Hello everyone and welcome to my second contest build. I have been enjoying vanilla Skyrim, learning a bunch of stuff and this contest seemed like the perfect time to finish something I had in mind for a few months. I've heard a lot of good stuff about the Necromage perk but I never used it, so I gave it a shot with this one. With that being said, let me introduce
Screenshot by Argonegei
The Twisted Jester never knew his parents, his art was his life. He was born an entertainer and was destined to be the next court jester. His master, the closest thing to a father he had, taught him everything. Being talented never blinded him with ego, he worked diligently to be a worthy artist and he had the scars to prove it. His performances ranged from blade juggling to magic tricks and at last, it seemed the day he had waited all his life for was upon him. He would perform for the first time before the noblemen as the new court jester.
The banquet room was crowded and the merry ambiance was exhilarating, he could feel his heart pounding out of his chest. His master showed up with a flamboyant attire, he could not believe his eyes. The eccentric hat, the vivid colors, the odd lines, and shapes. The outfit was the embodiment of his craft. “You are now ready, go forth and mesmerize the audience” said the old man before leaving.
The time for the performance was nearing, while he was finishing his preparations, a hooded man entered the room “I have been keeping an eye on you for a long time and I wanted to salute you in person, I also have something that I need to deliver to you” the man said. As he turned to greet the man, The Twisted Jester was met with an odd feeling when the blade entered his guts and the whispering words “Hail Sithis, the Black Sacrament is fulfilled one last time” played into his ear. He watched as the crimson drops touched the floor right before collapsing. He could hear his name being called, the moment of his life was right there, the stage was calling him but his life force was leaving like a distant melody. The assassin then proceeded to remove his garb, ogling it as if it was his trophy. And at that very moment, The Twisted Jester’s mind broke, death was the least of his worry. He realized that he was being stripped away of his craft, the overwhelming emotions led to laughter, screams, cries, and laughter again.
The stage caller was stunned speechless before the gruesome spectacle upon entering the room. He rushed him to the priest, but his state was dire. The caretaker emptied the room and asked with an intense gaze “Do you want to live?” she could see a light in his eyes that was refusing to fade. “Everything for my art” he gurgled with all he had left in him.
The Twisted Jester was then given a blessing or was it a curse? He could feel a gentle bite on his neck and his heartbeat going back up like a rapid drumbeat. This was his second chance, a chance to entertain the biggest audience and he will reserve a special performance for the one that stole everything from him…
A jester, court jester or fool was an entertainer by nature, most of them were integrated into noblemen court or households to amuse them and their guests. Some of them were wandering artists performing at fairs and markets. They were recognizable by their costumes with eccentric hats, bright colors and odd patterns. The first mentions of jesters come from ancient Egypt where they were known as "balatrones", (there is still a debate on the original meaning of the word) they were part of the few common folks that had access to an opulent environment.
I got inspired by the story of Cicero and the jester he killed as his last contract. His identity was never revealed and I always thought: "who was it and what if he was not dead?". I want to say, this turn of events might not be lore-friendly since Cicero wrote that "the jester lies dead" in his journal, but I think it is an interesting take on how this character could have been brought into the Skyrim universe.
Screenshot by Novaren
Race: Imperial vampire
Standing Stone: The Shadow
Weapons: Ebony Sword and dagger
Armor and Apparel: Cicero's outfit and Amulet of Talos
Shouts: Disarm, Marked for Death, Throw voice, Elemental Fury
Powers: Summon Spectral Assassin and Voice of the Emperor
Spells: Flesh spells (up to Ebonyflesh), Invisibility, Frenzy, Pacify
Factions: The Dark Brotherhood and the Thieves guild
Screenshot by ChaozhouTiger and perk spread by Curse
Stats: 2 Magicka/ 1 Health/ 1 Stamina. Stop Health and Stamina at 200, your Magicka will be 350 at LVL 46.
One-Handed- This is our damage dealing skill. Dual Savagery and Savage Strike will net you +75% damage while doing a standing power attack, and Dual Flurry lets you deliver this damage quickly. You will use the dagger in your offhand to swing as fast as possible.
Illusion- This will be the crowd control skill, you won't have a lot of armor rating so messing with your enemies' mind will help you with survivability. Dual Casting is not necessary because it would make this build overpowered and Champion of the Night will give you a head start early game allowing your illusions spells to be more effective.
Sneak- It will be used in conjunction with Pickpocket. Nightstalker's Footsteps and Cicero's Hat already put you above Sneak 5/5, but I use two points for early game.
Pickpocket- You will rid people of their valuables and weapons. I used it to fight dirty against though foes like bandit chiefs and forsworn.
Alteration- Flesh spells are used to buff the Armor Rating preventing you to be one-shotted by every enemy in the game.
Screenshot by saraceni
Right off the start, you will need the Necromage perk. I picked up the Atronach Stone and use the fire traps in Ustengrav (you can also do it in Raldbthar) to power level Restoration, after that I contracted Vampirism in Shriekwind Bastion (Haemar's Shame is another alternative). I was able to finish the setup at LVL 15 but I am sure you can achieve it earlier. The Necromage perk will boost several aspects of this build:
- The Shadow is increased from 60 seconds to 90 seconds in duration
- All your shouts will have 50% reduced cooldown
- Invisibility is increased from 30 seconds to 45 seconds in duration
- Dual Flurry is increased from 120/135% (in other words, 20/35% faster) to 150/168.75% (in other words, 50% to 68.75% faster)
- Elemental Fury is increased from 130/150/170% weapon speed (in other words, 30/50/70% faster) to 162.5/187.5/212.5% weapon speed (in other words, 62.5/87.5/112.5% faster). The duration is also increased from 15 seconds to 22.5 seconds.
This build is easy to start because you can level many of the skills easily. Sneak and One-Handed can be power level at the beginning of the game with Hadvar or Ralof, and Illusion can be brought to 100 by casting Courage and Muffle while doing the "Out of Balance" quest you get from Drevis Neloren at the College of Winterhold. I recommend pickpocketing jewelry and gold coupled with the trainers' help to raise the skill quickly. Keep in mind that those are suggestions and you don't necessarily need power leveling to play the build.
The Twisted Jester is a glass cannon, (with 200 health and a little over 300 AR) and as such he fights "dirty" all the time. You should always open combat with a Frenzy spell followed by a couple of Marked for Death (1st word) when there is more than one target. It will keep the aggro off of you and leave the last target very weak. When you have to go one-on-one with an enemy remember your options:
- You can pickpocket weapons to fight without danger. Most enemies have two weapons, always snatch the lighter weapon first and use the Disarm shout when you fail to steal the second one
- Mages will wipe the floor with you, you can identify them by the fact that they only have a dagger for physical damage. Some dual-wielding sneak attacks will take care of them optimally
- Archers can be distracted with the Summon Spectral Assassin power to close the distance
- When your illusion spells are useless you will use the Spectral Assassin as a decoy, allowing you to make quick work of distracted enemies thanks to Elemental Fury and Dual Flurry.
The Twisted Jester is a deranged individual who thinks of Skyrim as his stage. Corrupted by madness he now delights in laughter, chaos, and murder. He believes his life is an endless performance and he will use everything he wants as his plaything. His desire to meet the one who was once his admirer will push him to journey through the whole province. I wanted to roleplay this build to the fullest, so I started doing things I usually don't.
I did my best to cycle through the different inns of the province, thinking of myself as a wandering artist amusing the people of Skyrim. In order to represent the duality of the character (the artistic side and the crazy one), I went out of my way to deceive and betray people whenever I could. In a sense, it has been refreshing because I rarely take the "bad" side of quests like betraying Sadia or misleading whoever you are helping in the love triangle of Riverwood. I also found myself killing for no real reason. Random citizens, beggars, bounty collectors, scavengers, or afflicted refugees, no one was safe. The Twisted Jester finds pleasure in people's misery and he will have no shame in shedding innocent blood.
Another thing I sure did was to play with my foes every time I could. Watching Draugr Deathlords swing at you (doing no damage) with their bare hands or Bandit Chiefs and Forsworns running around looking for a weapon to use was definitely fun.
There are a few quests that you stumble upon when visiting some locations for the first time because everyone is mentioning them, such as Blood on the Ice or Waking Nightmare. The Twisted Jester will make sure to get to the root of those events, not out of kindness for the people of Skyrim but because those events/individuals are stealing the spotlight from him which is unacceptable.
The Dark Brotherhood Questline: While passing through Windhelm, The Twisted Jester hears that a child is trying to perform the Black Sacrament in the city. Those same words were spoken by the person that attempted to end his life. He follows up on the lead and finds himself joining the assassins' organization.
You can decide if you want to rush the DB questline to retrieve your attire and kill Cicero early in your playthrough or leave this decisive meeting for the endgame.
The Thieves Guild Questline: During his visit to Riften, The Twisted Jester is approached by a man making a curious offer. He accepts it and sides with the group of thieves. He has no interest in gold and riches but will use this new connection to cause more mischiefs in the province.
Fadeaway: The Twisted Jester disappears from enemies' sight when things become too hectic.
Shadow Stone/Invisibility + Shadow Warrior
This move can be used when you find yourself in a tough spot and need some breathing room.
Necromage + Elemental Fury + Dual Flurry 2/2
Sometimes you will need to deal with foes head-on. You can use this to dispose of them very quickly because Necromage affects both the shout and the perk. This is very effective when enemies are distracted, if not, remember to cast a flesh spell before closing in on them. It is very useful against dragons, dwarven automatons, Falmer, and the like.
Throw Voice + Frenzy + Multiple Marked for Death (1st word) OR ThrowVoice + Marked for Death (full shout) + Voice of The Emperor/Pacify
Enemies will make your job easier with this, you can easily get 4-5 MFD (the 1st word of the shout will take 10 seconds to recharge) on them while they are fighting each other. The first version requires some Magicka while the second can be used for free once per day (keep in mind that Voice of the Emperor only works on people). Either way, you will enjoy the full effect of the shout since Frenzy, Pacify, and Voice of the Emperor last 60 seconds.
Screenshot by diederik
Thank you very much for checking my build, I have had a lot of fun with this one and I hope you will consider trying it. I want to say good luck to all the participants, I'm very happy to see our ranks growing day after day. I'll encourage everyone to leave some criticism good or bad because I still have a lot to learn about Skyrim building. Also, I 'll be updating my profile if anyone wants to check my other builds.