Contest Build: The Shade of Umbra' (Modded)






Deity & Backstory


For centuries, I've depended on others in order to be complete

But the forces around me have always failed to bring me whole

Instead of being reliant, I'll be unreliant

It's time to take control and be fully formed once and for all



Umbra’ Keth, the Shadow of Conflict. The entity was born under the forces of great conflict occurring in Tamriel. Whenever blood is spilled during war or tensions arise through an ongoing crisis, Umbra’ Keth emerges and feeds on the conflict to be fully manifested. Historians and scholars are unsure where the creature came from, why it appears, and what its sole purpose. Is it controlled by another entity like a Daedric Prince or does it act on its own accord? However, the deity has a connection to Shadow Magic, an obscure form of magic that is said to rival the legendary Elder Scrolls. Shadow magic has the power to change the past, present, and future which is what Umbra' Keth desires to do.

Umbra' Keth was known to appear during the War of the Bend’rmahk in the 3rd Era but was defeated by the Soul of Conflict. Unknown though, Umbra’ Keth began to emerge during the Oblivion Crisis in Morrowind. Following the invasion of Daedric forces, Argonians began to raid and pillage Dunmer towns and villages. The lizard-beings took up arms against the Dark Elves who used them for slave labour and the bloodshed occurred allowed Umbra’ Keth to feed on their deaths. However, Umbra’ Keth's influence began to fade as the Argonian invasion was thwarted by the Redoran Guard. Although smaller factions of the Argonians continue to raid across southern Morrowind early in the 4th era, deaths occurred were minimal diminishing Umbra' Keth's influence. Before its disappearance, the entity managed to transfer its consciousness into a mortal merging its mind with someone who sufferred greatly from the ongoing crisis. Instead of relying on other forces, Umbra’ Keth will use this individual to create conflict so it can be fully manifested.




  • Name - Melaina Drexen
  • Race - Dunmer
  • Origin – Morrowind
  • Age – 76 (appears in her 30s)
  • Class – Nightblade
  • Standing Stone – Shadow
  • Attributes – 3/1/1 (up to 175 in Health & Stamina, then everything into Magicka)
  • Allignment – Chaotic Evil (due to Umbra' Keth's control)


Melaina used to work at the Tribunal Temple with her parents. Like the majority of the Dunmer prior to the 4th Era, they worship the the 3 god-kings of Morrowind. However, after their disappearance during the Oblivion Crisis, the Temple was superseded and Melaina's family were left homeless. Things got worse for her as the Argonian invasion killed her family as she barely escaped. With no where else to go, she returned to the Temple scattered in ruins. Among the rubble, a shadowy figure emerged from the wreckage. Before she can react, the shadow lunge towards her merging its consciousness within Melaina's mind. In her head it spoke to her, knowing who she lost and how much she's sufferred. The shadow managed to turn her feelings from grief to anger. Using this as a motive, Melaina will act on behalf of the shadow's desires. Create as much bloodshed and chaos for everything she's lost. With the entity communicating to her, she heads to Skyrim during the Civil War. A perfect opportunity to contribute to the ongoing conflict.


 Build Overview

The build uses perks from the mod Vokrii, a what you call "vanilla-plus" overhaul that is not as massive as Ordinator, but respects the original's game design. Gameplay wise, the build will be at its strongest when hidden where the skills will be greatly amplified yet mostly ineffective out in the open. This is why there is no crafting involve besides using some unique enchantments so there is no need for smithing, potions, and fortify damage to buff the skills.


Major Skills:

Sneak - The Shade's central skill. Sneak allows the character to remain hidden and unheard in the shadows while gaining beneficial attacks from her attacks and destruction magic. If undetected, enemies will encounter a quick death before they even realised.

  • Assassin’s Blade – Sneak attacks with daggers deal 150% more damage. It's actually the same as the base game, just worded differently
  • Shadowcaster - Destruction spells are twice as powerful against targets that are not detecting you
  • Cloak & Dagger – Sneak attacks by daggers from invisibility also inflict a critical strike for 6 times critical damage
  • Shadow Warrior – Entering sneak mode or performing a silent roll in combat briefly makes you invisible, forcing opponents to search for you

Illusion - The Shade uses corrupt forms of Illusion magic that create havoc and chaos on her victims. Her spells can even affect the strongest of opponents while operating in the shadows. Her invisibility spells not only keep her hidden, but allow her to be immune from damage. 

  • Quiet Casting - All spells and shouts from any school of magic are silent to others
  • Animage 3/3 - Mind affecting spells and effects work on creatures and people up to 40 levels higher, and other targets up to 20 levels higher
  • Master of the Mind 1/2 - Mind affecting spells work on undead, daedra and automatons at half duration
  • Blur - While invisible, you are ethereal and cannot be harmed if you are not attacking or casting a spell

Alteration - The Shade does not wear armor so fleshspells are important to keep her protected when in danger. Alteration also allows the Shade to become more effective from her melee attacks and magic casting while wearing clothing.

  • Stability - Alteration spells and effects last 25% longer
  • Sorcerer’s Robes - Spells from any school are 25% more effective if not wearing armor
  • Ocato’s Preparation - When entering combat, automatically activates the most effective magical armor spell you know
  • Battlemage 2/2 - Your weapon attacks improve your spells cast on the target by 30% for 3 seconds

One-handed - The Shade prefers to wield a dagger as her main arsenal. Daggers, especially power attacks, are best suited for performing sneak attacks as oppose to using any kind of weaponry.

  • Furious Strength - One-handed power attacks do 0.1% more damage per point of Stamina. Unlocks decapitations
  • Valorous Charge - Can do a one-handed sprinting power attack for up to 50% more damage and critical damage to high health opponents.
  • Spitting Cobra - Power attacks with daggers bleed the living for 30 seconds, inflicting a critical strike for 3 times critical damage

Minor Skills:

Destruction - Since shadow destruction spells are non-elemental, only 4 points is needed to invest in the destruction tree. I went with flames to be used for the Fire Rune spell since I find that fire magic fits with a Dunmer character.

  • Destruction Mastery - Cast Destruction spells for 0.5% less Magicka per level of Destruction
  • Augmented Flames 2/2 - Fire spells are 40% more powerful 

Conjuration - While bound weapons are conjured from the planes of Oblivion, the bound dagger will be created by manipulating shadows for the Shade's main weapon. 

  • Conjuration Mastery - Cast Conjurtion spells 0.5% less Magicka per level of Conjuration
  • Mystic Bounding - Bound Weapon spells now create Mystic Weapons instead, which deal more damage

Speech - Shouts will be used alongside spells as a way of manipulating shadows to benefit the Shade. Although the Shade is not the Dragonborn, the shouts she will use will make the gameplay more dynamic. Perks taken will help with regenerating magicka as well as extending the duration of the shout.

  • Tonal Harmony - Shouting restores Health, Magicka and Stamina equal to its cooldown in seconds
  • Words of Power 2/3 – Shouts are 50% better


Quests & Roleplay

The Shade’s purpose is to cause further tension and conflict throughout Skyrim. However, their actions require operating in the shadow as oppose to creating havoc in open. To achieve this goal, our character will be joining certain factions while rising in the ranks as she gains more knowledge in shadow magic. Her progression in shadow magic will not only advance her skills as a nightblade but will also be able to summon Umbra’ Keth in its truest form.

8071436692?profile=RESIZE_400xDark Brotherhood

An organization dedicated to committing murder is the perfect opportunity for the Shade to advance their skills while doing her deity's bidding. The Brotherhood was greatly feared and respected throughout Tamriel, but the organization is now but a shadow of its former self. Performing assassinations on innocent civilians will further create tension and conflict following up with the assassination of the Emperor.

“The Emperor has been murdered! Right here in Skyrim. By the gods, if the Dark Brotherhood can do that, nobody’s safe.”

Thieves Guild

The Thieves guild share a connection to Nocturnal, the Daedric Prince of Night and Darkness. Nightingales that serve her had access to shadow magic to strengthen their skills. While the Shade will eventually become a Nightingale, she has no interest in serving Nocturnal. Her goal however is to resurrect the Guild’s prominence giving rise to crime and thievery to create more conflict in Skyrim. The guild has a strong hold in politics and law enforcement due to their ability to bribe, intimidate and extort the officials and guards of any hold by exploiting their greed or by threatening to reveal embarrassing and potentially damning secrets to the public.

“Ain’t no doubt about it. The Thieves Guild is back, and they’ve got Riften in their grip”

8070903676?profile=RESIZE_400xDawnguard (Volkihar Clan)

With vampires attacking civilians, the Dawnguard are tasked to hunt and eradicate them throughout Skyrim. The Shade decides to become a vampire by joining the Volkihar Clan in her pursuit of creating more conflict. Her goal is to wipe out the Dawnguard so that vampires are free to create more bloodshed and chaos. Although there is no connection to shadow magic and vampirism, operating at night with stronger skills in Sneak and Illusion are beneficial to the Shade. 

“These vampires are becoming a real menace.”

Civil War/Main Quest

Both conflicts serve as the main reason for the rise of Umbra’ Keth. While the Shade will not complete either quests, she will participate in a few events to create more conflict.

"Dragons breathing fire in the sky. Vampires brazenly attacking people on the street. It's the end of the world I tell you."

  • Dragon Rising

This quest needs to be completed for dragons to appear. The purpose of having dragons appear and attack anywhere displays another force in conflict throughout Skyrim. Of course, you're also going to need their souls for shouts.


  • The Jagged Crown

Both the Imperials and Stormcloaks try to obtain the Jagged Crown, an ancient relic that is said to symbolize leadership and power. During their attempt, the Shade will retrieve the artifact and keep it for herself indicating that someone infiltrated their armies to cause more tension during the war.

  • Missing in Action

A family member of the Grey-Manes, allied with the Stormcloaks, is held captive by the Thalmor at Northwatch Keep. The Shade decides to join the group rescuing him but after eliminating the Thalmor guards, will turn against the Stormcloak allies resulting in more bloodshed.

  • The Forsworn Conspiracy

While the Forsworn are not part in the Civil War, the rebellious faction opposes all political groups active in the Reach operating as a terrorist organization to strike fear against their opponents. Freeing their king, Madonach, from Cidhna Mine, will not only cause more bloodshed, but create more havoc in Skyrim during the Civil War and Dragon Crisis.


Other Quests8072877288?profile=RESIZE_400x

  • Boethiah’s Calling/Bidding

If your familiar with the mod Boethiah’s Bidding then these 2 quests are a perfect fit for creating more conflict. After retrieving the Ebony Mail, Boethiah will ask you to assassinate the Jarl of Solitude.

"First Torygg and now Elisif. Damn those Stormcloaks. Let's hope that Erikur fares better than they did."

  • Pieces of the Past

Mehrunes Dagon has a history of attempting to take over Tamriel. Although he has failed every time, the Daedric Prince of Revolution has always created attempted in violent fashion. Obtaining his dagger will help symbolize his actions.

"Who did you have to kill to get that blade?"

  • Gallows Rock/Driftshade Refuge

Both camps are home to the Silver Hand, an enemy faction to the Companions. Eliminating its occupants while releasing the feral werewolves held captive will create more conflict between the 2 factions.

"Killing you will make for an excellent story"

"None of you will be alive to tell it"


College of Winterhold

After creating as much chaos, conflict, and bloodshed throughout Skyrim, the Shade will need to acquire the Sigil Stone. After transferring its subconciousness to our character, Umbra' Keth's body was locked behind a Shadow Gate. Shadow Gates acts as portals to other dimensions and the only way to bypass them is with a Daedric artifact known as a Shadowkey. Of course there is no official Shadow Gate, but we can create one with the Atronarch Forge as the Shadow Gate and use the Sigil Stone as the Shadowkey since it is a Daedric artifact. After completing the Conjuration Ritual quest, Phinis will have the Summon Umbra' Keth spell. Aquire it, head towards the Atronarch Forge, and summon the creature. You'll likely need the Mage's Circlet to summon it due to its magicka cost. Umbra' Keth will emerge in its truest form and therefore fully manifested. The spell comes from the Shadow Spell Package mod.8071677263?profile=RESIZE_710x


Shadow Magic

"A light strikes a rock, and the shadow is a record of their clash, past, present and future. Other conflicting forces produced less obvious shadows, fire and water, wind and rock, or nations at war. With skill and patience the shadows of all could be read, and patterns teased out, emphasized or eradicated. Manipulating a shadow could, through contagion, manipulate the object or force which cast it."

Shadow magic is not simply the absence of light, but the reflection of possible worlds created by forces in conflict. Those skilled in this obscure form of magic can not only manipulate forces, but can also drain the life’s essence of another, teleport in short- and long-range distances, and manifest shades of themselves, others as well as weapons. Due to Umbra' Keth's presence, Melaina finds great power in shadow magic using a variety of spells and techniques for the deity's desires. 

Most of the spells come from the mods Triumvirate and Apocalypse that are essential to the build. I've also included abilities from Andromeda - Standing Stones of Skyrim and Imperious - Races of Skyrim to fit with the build.


Spells, Powers, & Abilities:

Manipulation of Shadow to affect forces:

  • Fury/Frenzy – a malicious spell that will send the target or targets in a murderous rampage attacking anything nearby. The perfect spell to create conflict.
  • Darkness/Gather Darkness – Makes use of the shadows to strengthen the Shade’s skills.
  • Aura’s Whisper – While classified as a shout, it utilizes the shadows to outline living creatures nearby.
  • Invisibility/Shadow Warrior – Using the shadows to remain hidden from enemies.

Shadow Draining: Ability to absorb the shadows to strengthen one’s mind

  • Draining Touch/Shroud – Spells that siphon the targets health to replenish the wielder’s health and magicka.
  • Azra’s Wrath – While concentrating, can convert their magicka reserves into an explosion.
  • Bound Dagger – Shadows can be absorbed and converted into weapons. The Shade’s main arsenal.
  • Nightingale Strife – Nightblades who serve Nocturnal have access to certain shadow magic abilities unattainable through normal conventions. Becoming a Nightingale will grant the Shade a power useful in dire situations.

Stepping Through the Shadows: Ability to teleport through short- and long-range distances

  • Step/Pull Through the Shadows – Targeting an enemy, the Shade can dash towards the target or pull a target towards them as well. This will reduse the target's armor rating by 100 points that can be followed by a sneak attack
  • Shadow Step - From Andromeda. After finding all the standing stones, our character will be granted this ability from the Shadow Stone. Like Step Through Shadows, the Shade will dash towards the target from long range
  • Ghostwalk – Utilizing both invisibility and teleporting techniques, the Shade can strike the target and immediately appear elsewhere.
  • Nightblade – Combining both teleporting and magicka conversion techniques, the Shade can strike the target from long-range. The attacks deal additional damage by using half of the Shade's current magicka.
  • Slow Time – While the shout is meant to manipulate time, the Shade will utilize it by striking multiple targets simultaneously. Used as a method of teleporting short-range distances in a quick fashion.

Manifesting Shades: Shadow Magic can reach out into the multiverse summoning different versions of oneself and others

  • Spirit Walk - From Imperious, after completing a small quest of eliminating 10 targets, the Shade can summon manifestations of themselves from different dimensions to aid her in battle. Although the ability is described as the caster's ancestors they are intended to be different versions of the Shade.
  • Pale Shadow/Evil Twin – A corrupted method of shadow magic, the Shade can summon another form of the target from a different dimension to attack them.


Other Spells:

  • Ebonyflesh – used for Ocato’s Preparation to give the Shade armor protection in combat. With Mage Armor at 2/3, this will give the Shade an armor rating of 200.
  • Spell Twine – Binds a chosen spell that will trigger a temporary attribute when the spell is cast. For Ghostwalk choose Cushion for immune to fall damage. For Step and Pull Through Shadows, choose Blood for increase melee damage. Both attributes last for 10 seconds.



Although the build doesn't use any enchanting skills, the gear uses some unique enchantments from the mod Summermyst as well from the base gameBoth the Deadly Reach and Rollback enchantments are essential to use with the shadow magic spells from Triumvirate and other abilites allowing the Shade to teleport back and forth to take out her opponents. Other enchantments will help strengthen the rest of her abilities.

8071611681?profile=RESIZE_400xCultist Robes – 75% Magicka Regeneration

Cultist Boots – enchanted with Rollback

Shrouded Gloves - Double sneak attack damage with one-handed weapons

Face Mask – enchanted with Reclaim Magicka

Ring of Reach - Touch and location target spells can be cast at any distance

Amulet – Fortify Destruction

Weapon - Bound Dagger

The Ring of Reach is a unique enchantment that allow for location based spells to be cast at any distance. Using this enchantment with Nightblade, Step/Pull Through Shadows, and the Shadow Step ability can close within a target from any distance. Perfect for following up with a sneak attack to take out your opponents. With Rollback, you will be teleported to your original position 4 seconds before when your hands are raised by jumping. Using these two enchantments allow the Shade to take out an opponent from a distance and then returning to her original position in a quick and stealthy fashion. Both enchantments are quite rare however so if you can't find them you can use console commands or a mod that adds them into your inventory. I know that method is cheating, but its totally worth it from a gameplay perspective. Reclaim Magicka is another unique enchantment where deaths within a certain radius will drain the victim's magicka reserve to replenish yours. Its quite useful for spells like Azra's Wrath and Nightblade which are dependent on how much magicka you have. I also find that this enchantment works with our character influenced by Umbra' Keth's as a way to strengthen the deity. With a Grand Soul gem, the radius will be 15 feet which is more than enough since our victims will be within melee range. The enchantment is usually sold by college mages and court wizards. The Shrouded Gloves are a valuable asset to the Shade giving her a 30% boost to sneak attack damage when using a dagger with the Assassin's Blade perk and striking the target from behind. The Cultist Robes boost to magicka regeneration not only benefits the build, but also works aesthetically with a female dunmer character. I went with Fortify Destruction for the amulet since I found it very beneficial to have less magicka cost for Destruction magic. The Bound Dagger will be the Shade's main arsenal and with the Mystic Binding perk will be able to do the same amount of damage as a Daedric dagger. I recommend, however, to always have another dagger handy in case you're unable to cast it. The Blade of Sacrifice, Blade of Woe, and Mehrunes Razor are good substitutes.



With a plethora of spells and abilities, the Shade has a large arsenal in dealing with her opponents. Like any other nightblade characters however, these skills should be implemented when hidden and from a certain distance. The Shade's strength come from operating in the shadows and engaging in open combat will result in a quick death due to her low armor rating and magical resistance. This build is meant to be played on Master or Legendary difficulty due to how strong the Shade's skills are when hidden as well as how vulnerable she is when facing her opponents head on. 


Combat Techniques:8071500852?profile=RESIZE_710x

Shadow Infusion – Gather Darkness, Bound Dagger

  • With the absence of light, the Shade can manipulate shadows around her making her attacks stronger as well as manifesting her own personal weapon.

Shadow Empowerment – Step/Pull Through Shadows, Battlemage

  • Using either Step or Pull Trough Shadows on a target will reduce their armor by 100 points. With the Battlemage perk, melee attacks are stronger for a short time period after using the spell on the target providing a perfect opportunity to take them out.

Shadow Concealment – Ghostwalk, Invisibility, Shadow Warrior

  • Utilizing the shadows, the Shade can hide from her enemies either to prepare for an assault or plan an escape route.

Shadow Maneuvers – Shadow Stride, Shadow Stone, Rollback

  • If the Shade is caught or ambushed, she can use her speed to outrun her opponents. The Rollback enchantment is useful as a dodge mechanic avoiding both melee attacks and spells.


Special Moves:


Shadow Strike – Shadow Empowerment, Spell Twine (Blood), Spitting Cobra

  • The Shade can teleport to or pull a target towards her for a sneak attack that does massive damage due to lowering the target's armor rating and melee buffs for her dagger.

Shadow Burst – Shadow Step, Azra’s Wrath, Shadowcaster

  • While channeling, the Shade can teleport towards the target and release a powerful AOE blast of shadow magic wiping out all in the vicinity.

Shadow Assault – Nightblade, Deadly Reach, Rollback/Ghostwalk

  • Having the ability to strike the target at any range, the Shade can take out an opponent from a distance and instantly teleport back to their original destination.

Shadow Manipulation – Slow Time, Words of Power, Assassin's Blade

  • Using the Slow Time shout, the Shade can take out a group of enemies simultaneously with her deadly sneak attacks.

Shadow Malevolence – Shadow Infusion, Nightblade, Aura’s Whisper, Reclaim Magicka

  • Using the shadows to outline her targets, the Shade can take out each enemy and upon death can absorb the magicka and focus on her next target.

Fury of the Dark – Darkness, Fury/Frenzy, Pale Shadow/Evil Twin

  • Casting a pool of darkness in an area and following up with the fury or frenzy spell will send targets into a rage attacking anyone nearby. The Shade follows up by manifesting shades of her enemies to deal additional damage.

Dead in the Shadow - Shadow Concealment, Silent Roll, Valorous Charge, Cloak & Dagger

  • From the sneak position, you can execute a running power attack while performing a silent roll. With the Cloak & Dagger perk, this does massive damage on the target where the victim is unlikely to survive the assault.  

Jump in the Fire – Dual Cast Fire Rune, Pull Through Shadows, Shadowcaster, Shadow Empowerment

  • The Shade lays down a fire rune and pulls a target towards it igniting them in flames. The Shade can follow up with a power attack from her dagger for good measure.

Creeping Death – Draining Shroud, Invisibility, Blur

  • Combining both the manipulation of shadows and shadow draining, the Shade cloaks herself in darkness while absorbing her foes’ life essence. With the ethereal effect from Invisibility, she will be immune from damage while siphoning the target's health. Draining Shroud is an overpowered ability in my mind and I only used it for this move and in the Arch-Curate Vrythur fight where you're fighting the frozen falmer. However, I really like how this move performs while watching your victims health bar deplete. 

Death from Above – Dual Cast Nightblade, Dual Cast Draining Touch, Bound Dagger, Ghostwalk, Spell Twine (Cushion)

  • This method should be used against dragons. Using her abilities to strike from the distance and immune to damage while invisible, the Shade can strike dragons while in mid-air. Using Draining Touch helps regenerate magicka quickly so that the Shade can maximize her damage output. Ghostwalk will teleport the Shade back to where it was cast after striking the dragon.
  • Due note that although the Nightblade attack will trigger, actually striking the dragon while flying may not always work which will not generate the Ghostwalk affect. Having the Cushion ability link to Ghostwalk ensures your character does not fall to their death. Be prepared to strike the dragon once you cast Ghostwalk since there is a short time period to be immune from fall damage.




Always approach your opponents stealthy and avoid open combat as much as possible. The Shade attacks when performed during sneaking are quite devestating even against multiple opponents. With the Shadow Stone active, you are better at sneaking next to walls as well as performing sneak attacks from your blade and destruction magic. Aura Whisper is benefical to outline your opponents to help you strategize. Azra's Wrath and Nightblade damage output are dependent on how much magicka you have remaining so keep that in mind before casting or striking your opponent. It's also why I used Aura Whsiper instead of Detect Life/Dead so that your not relying too much on magicka regeneration. If you're ambushed, enter sneak mode right away so Shadow Warrior can activate. You'll only have a few seconds of being undetected so use the time to cast Invisbility. Groups of enemies are best handled by casting Fury/Frenzy on them then followup with either Pale Shadow or Evil Twin. Of course, you can play it safe and simply cast Invisibility or Ghostwalk and sneak attack your opponent from behind but for me, that's cheap and boring. This is why I listed 10 special moves so that you have multiple ways of taking out enemies to keep the gameplay interesting. If you really want to have fun with this build, I recommend to use Nightblade for your sneak attacks. Performing them with the Deadly Reach enchantment is insanely fun especially since you can strike your target from an absurd distance. It's also effective against dragons with the Death From Above move when they're flying though its quite tricky to pull off but nonetheless very satisfying if done correctly. Step and Pull Through Shadows are also fun to pull off especially when you get the killcam activated (if you like that feature). Same can be said with Shadow Step. The video below showcases the Shade's abilities and most of her special moves in action.




Vokrii – Minimalistic Perks of Skyrim: Overhaul of the perk system.

Triumvirate – Mage Archetypes of Skyrim: Adds new spells associated to different classes. The shadow magic spells can be acquired from Neloth and Babbete or you can get them all by killing the chicken in Riverwood

Summermyst – Enchantments of Skyrim: Adds new and unique enchantments. 

Imperious – Races of Skyrim: Overhaul of the racial abilities.

Apocalypse – Magic of Skyrim: Adds additional spells.

Andromeda – Standing Stones of Skyrim: Overhaul of the standing stones.

Shadow Spell Package: Adds shadow-themed spells. The mod is only required to summon Umbra’ Keth in its truest form for roleplaying purposes. The spells aren’t required, but feel free to use them if you want.


I used these mods during my playthrough and feel they compliment the build as well. Some are also optional.

Sneak Overhaul

  • I find that sneaking is way too easy in Skyrim so I figure its best to have a mod that makes it more challenging and immersive. I was using the Hardcore Stealth option in Ultimate Combat since its my go to combat overhaul. However, if you don’t want to use a combat mod then there is Realistic AI Detection which is quite similar.

High Level Enemies

  • This build is quite strong, so I recommend an enemy overhaul to keep the gameplay at least challenging especially for end-game. HLE raises the level cap of enemies so you are not always killing them with one hit. I used it while playtesting and even though I could take out most opponents with a single sneak attack, I ended up dying from 2 or 3 hits if I was detected (1 from bolts and arrows). With dragons, I would only survive for a few seconds from their dragon breath and instantly die from their physical attacks (This mod doesn't affect dragons by the way). I usually recommend this mod for my builds in case anyone has never tried an enemy overhaul before and I find it mandatory for builds using EnaiSaion's mods. However, any other enemy overhaul you use is also ideal.

No Enchantment Restrictions/Face Mask of Skyrim

  • I used these 2 mods to have the face mask enchanted with Reclaim Magicka from Summermyst. Only did it for aesthetic reasons but the Reclaim Magicka enchantment can only be used on mage robes and clothing.

Black Mage Armor

  • Arguably, the Archmage's Robes have better enchantments for the build. However, I didn't aquire them until late-game and was quite use to my current gear. This mod adds a set of black Archmage clothing with the same enchantments and it fits the build aesthetically as well. Like the Archmage Robes however, you can only aquire it after completing the College of Winterhold questline.

Boethiah’s Bidding

  • Mentioned this in the Other Quests section since it fits with the Roleplaying aspect perfectly. Highly recommended.

Alternative Start

  • I used this mod to begin in Raven Rock as a refugee from Morrowind since that's where our character originates from. It was also the quickest method to aquire the shadow magic spells from Neloth as well as the Cultist robes. You'll also have to defeat the Ash Guardian to aquire the Bound Dagger. Difficult especially at Level 1 but not impossible. Just lure it towards the Sun Stone so that the Reavers can damage it and use the shadow spells to finish it off.  


  • If your familiar with NomadDash's Lord of Shadows build and/or Furrion's Infernal Huntress, you're probably aware of the Deadly Reach enchantment being used with Wicked Wind to teleport across the map from any distance. Although this ability fits perfectly since the Shade becomes a vampire, I didn't want to include an overhaul mod with it just to use one ability especially how big of an overhaul Sacrosanct is.



Credits & Closing Notes

Like to give a shoutout to Henson for suggesting me Umbra' Keth as the deity as well as his Ceya-Tar build that introduce me to the concept of shadow magic. I guess this would be the antithesis of the Ceya-Tar since the Shade uses shadow magic for evil purposes. It was a "delicious" playthrough. Also, since I mention them, have to credit NomadDash and Furrion for their builds that uses the Deadly Reach enchantment. Something I was completely unaware of but once I found out, I just had to use it since I like messing around with the gameplay mechanics. Lastly, even though he's not a member of this site, I should credit EnaiSaion and his mods since without them I probably wouldn't be able to share any of my builds on the Forge and I'm guessing other members feel the same way.

I'm quite relieved this one is done. Went through a couple of playthroughs that started out with Ordinator but it was not working out for me and I did have some motivationl issues to finish it. Either way I'm glad its done and I can't wait to read the rest of the contest builds. Good luck to all the contestants.

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  • DAMN Kruger, this is amazing,  Your builds are always presented very well, I love the choice of deity and how you role played with it, but I mean absolutely no disrespect to any builds that are up that's in the contest this has set the bar high imo. Glad this is out Man! 

    • Too kind Frans, we don't do that here. LOL joking of course. Serious though I really appreciate it.

      • Of course I know you're joking lol

        hey man it's much deserved, to me it looks amazing maybe with some more experience in the future I'll be able to give advice. 

  • Scrolled through the entire thing and it already looks promising and intriguing. Gonna give this a read when I get the chance.

  • Hi Kruger. Congratulations! I struggled with multiple playthroughs during this contest too, and multiple concepts, so I definitely understand the feeling of relief. I may well drink a whole bottle of champagne when I'm done with mine. 

    I really love that you picked rather obscure lore for this build. It is presented neatly with very good screenshots. I'm also glad you put balancing mods into your list, so that we could see what goes into your game. While Vokrii seems a bit better balanced than Ordinator, I'm still noticing some issues if AI enhancing or difficulty mods were not used. 

    This is a gameplay build and you definitely deliver on the gameplay, as it seems exciting and interesting with new synergies brought about by the mods. I'm not a huge fan of Enai Siaion mods (I know, I have spoken heresy here), but that is more because my own preferences for gameplay don't gel well with his mods (Requiem girl, so there you have it). That being said, a lot of readers will enjoy this emmensely and I do appreciate you making a no-crafting build (why would the personification of Umbra'Keth craft, am I right?) and your descriptions of the new features introduced by the mods is sussinct and easy to follow.

    I'm a bit puzzled by your backstory and caught myself doing the math of your character in my head. The argonian invasion was 4e 6 and for her to survive that, she can't be 76. At the earliest, being a child during the invasion, she has to be around late 190s early 200s maybe by the events of Skyrim. Please, do correct me if my math is wrong (I've only had one cup of coffee) but it leads me to my next point. In my opinion, your backstory is the weakest part of this build. With an entity like Umbra'Keth, I would not have had a named character, she really isn't that person anymore, is she? She is the Shade of Umbra.  So having  a name diminishes Umbra'Keth's weight for me in this build, and therefore how this build relates to the theme of the contest, if that makes any sense? I love me a backstory, when it works and fits and it doesn't always work or fit with a build. I think what you wrote above your backstory, the lore was much better and revising the backstory to be more generic, so Umbra'keth really shines as a dark entity who is fed up with being reliant can take over and be its own evil entity would give a greater weight to your character.  This is a vessel type build, where the person is serving as a vessel for another force, entity, or deity. My Sea Ghost is an example of this genera. Named characters don't really matter with these builds and in fact, the lack of a name would serve the build extremely well, especially with its connection to shadow magic and being unseen. What matters is that the vessel experienced trauma so great that he/she/it becomes receptive to the entity invading it. There are those who would probably disagree with me, but not every backstory has to be the same type, nor do they need to follow a format or mold. There's room for detailed, named backstories, I have several of them in my own builds. The key is finding the best backstory for the particular build and I think yours would be served better with a nameless backstory. 

    My other tiny quibble is the use of console commands to obtain enchantments. I understand drops can REALLY suck, I do, and I've played characters that rely on drops (especially Fallout 4) and I have probably the worst luck ever, so usually the stuff that is reliant on drops is the least important aspect of my gameplay not the most important. Because as you said it yourself, it's cheating and that hurts the impact of the gameplay that you've worked so hard to cultivate in this fine build. It begs the question, well can you play this build without resorting to console commands? Please don't take this the wrong way, I am by no  means saying you're cheating. I've had the same problems with my Turning Wheel and the use of sun magic prior to Dawnguard. Do I console these spells in? What do I do? Installing a mod that makes thes enchantments better accessible, since you already run a modded game may be the best choice and you do offer that, so that's good. The only time I've seen console commands fly well in a build was adjusting the height of a player character.  I only offer the suggestion that for your next build, perhaps consider lessening the reliance on drops so that you don't put yourself into that position again.  

    What rp there is, and this one doesn't need much to be extremely "delicious" as you put it, reminded me of my Agents of Oegnithr, a series of Thalmor mini builds where questlines were manipulated to cause more bloodshed and chaos for men, so I really appreciated that you went through each questline and left it in a state of disarray to cause more violence. Well done. 

    All in all, great job on this excellent build and good luck to you. 

    • Hey Lis, sorry for the late reply but I did read your comments earlier and made some fixes. I added ongoing raids by the Argonians after the initial time period so it could fit with the backstory. Your right about my character's backstory being its weakest since well I'm not much for creating backstories (something I've never done before making Skyrim builds). I usually include them to make the build feel more complete and at least give the character a motive for roleplaying purposes.


      Understandable about the rare enchantments. Other than console commands, hitting the merchant to reset their inventory still works I think so there's that. But yea both ways to obtain the enchantments breaks roleplaying unfortunately. 

      I really appreciate the feedback so thank you.

  • Awesome job Kruger, loved how you used a more obscure piece of lore and made a fantastic build out of it. Also, just a little note, you put save labor rather than slave labor

    • Thanks Chris and also for that spelling error. Got it fixed. Apologies for replying late

      • No problem. Always found the Umbra'Keth interesting

  • Looks really neat. Though I've seen a few builds trying to replicate shadow magic, I think you've captured the core essence of it really well. The backstory and lore background is pretty good too, especially that there's not much lore on Umbra'Keth. 

    But there is a bit of an issue. As Liss has already mentioned, the math in your timeline doesn't seem to add up (I'm not 100% sure so I'll double-check it).

    And I have been fascinated by nightblade-type characters for some time so this one looks even more interesting to me. I think it's quite a strong contender for this contest.

    On a side note, that second-to-last screenshot made me chuckle, just casually showcasing some dragon ass, lol.

    Oh, and one more thing. The title is somewhat misleading, Umbra is a wholly separate entity, unrelated to Umbra'Keth.

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