O All-Father, for our shared Oneness I do this.
I watch you watching me watching back.
Adversary dares not threaten us, for that is how we ceased him.
I always adore the story of the Divine Crusader from the Knights of the Nine DLC and the Skaals from both the Bloodmoon and Dragonborn DLCs. While I was thinking of roleplaying another character, the idea to blend the elements of the Crusader and the Skaal came into mind. This build is my portrayal of what if the chosen Divine Crusader was a Skaal warrior.
Adhering to the principle of the All-Maker, ‘Oneness’, my take on this Paladin is not as a typical Paladin that often harbors inexplicable hatred and prejudice toward malicious beings, but one that respects all forms of lives. One who preserves the balance of physical and spiritual worlds. One who embarks on a journey of self-discovery and finds the beauty of ‘Oneness’.
Song: Vopna – Taking Arms
Survival Mode: On
Often berated for its demanding aspects, many have forgotten that Skyrim is indeed a cold and harsh land. Few dare to face the Northern Mistress’ coldest wrath, and fewer prevail. Survival Mode is integrated with the roleplay elements, thus quite crucial.
I stood there, watching them decapitate the man, watching them toy the maidens. I stood there, laying on my knees, shivering as I bleed heavily. They came to me, hungry for my body. I blacked out and dim morning light touched my closed eyes. I woke up. Another nightmare… How long has it been since I had a peaceful night?
Every new morning was always the same. Another piece of my consciousness was robbed. Another piece of my past self was nowhere to be found. Am I still dreaming? Or am I wide awake? What meaning does my existence hold? Where should I go with my life? Pa and Ma would surely be saddened by my current state.
I was born in Skyrim but Pa and Ma hailed from the island of Solestheim. Ma was a Skaal and Pa was a hunter and warrior of the Thirsk. Ma always had a weak body. She did not live long enough to see me grow... Once Pa went to Sovngarde, I was left alone. I survived by doing what I did best, hunting; selling parts of the game I caught. But, it was not enough.
The call of banditry enticed me. The coins were good. The meads were tasty. The companionship was welcoming. We only killed the men when we needed the coins. I enjoyed it and thought that this life was fine, yet I started losing my heart. Until that night, a rich fella and his family passed our road.
When an anguished maiden’s scream pierced the rain, I first witnessed the true cruelty of a man’s heart. My mates in their drunken state assaulted the wife and the little girl, laughing all the while. I thought that my eyes were deceiving me until an arrow pierced our chief’s forehead. It was my quivering bow where the arrow came from.
Our axes and swords clashed but it was to no avail. Their number quickly overwhelmed me. I was wounded. I fell and they grabbed my body violently. As my sight darken, the sound of the hold guards’ steps drew closer. I woke up behind the iron bar. The guards arrived just before I became the next toy.
The wife and the daughter did not survive, yet some of those animals managed to flee. I spent the next 3 years imprisoned; repenting my past, contemplating my choice. Once they released me, I went back to my old home. I started hunting again, and yet… when I looked upon the mirror, I could not recognize the face.
It was very lonely. It was very hard to sleep. It… almost as if something was slowly eating me from within. Was it the guilt that haunt me? Or was it my once-again loneliness that torment me? I have no answer. Or perhaps, I simply fear the answer. How does it feel? It feels… as if a dream no longer needs its dreamer.
Race: All members of the Skall and the Thrisk are Nords, and of course, their child is also a Nord. Battlecry is a blessing in the early game and the +25 Warmth Points is welcomed in Survival Mode. The 50% Resistance against frost attack integrates her combat tactics and duties pleasantly.
Morality: In the beginning, Kára is not yet a Paladin. She is generally a reliable and honorable citizen but can also make hard decisions to fulfill her goal. Her morality gradually progresses to Neutral Good as she embarks on her journey as the Paladin.
Blessing: Kynareth is great in the early stage to compensate for the heavy stamina usage and fits with her occupation as a hunter. Akatosh is favored mid to late game as stamina will then be fueled with healing spells and Respite perk. If you have Wintersun, then the All-Maker is the obvious choice.
Standing Stone: The Lover will help Kára levels her wide range of skills. The Lord will guard her through her later journey.
Class: Her combat style is the amalgamation of bits of four different styles; stealth archery, dual-wielding, crusader, and shamanic.
Attributes: Health and stamina are prioritized in the early game. Mid to late game, Kára will become a heavy magicka user as spells start playing crucial roles. I capped stamina at 200 to comfortably perform three power attacks.
Follower: While Kára is capable to tackle many hardships on her own, having a follower is great for the roleplay; to remind her that she is not alone, that many kind souls are willing to help her to even face the world.
Pets: Survival Mode reduces the carry weight limit tremendously and forbids Fast Traveling, and thus, Hilda the ‘absolute’ Goat and a horse make for trustworthy companions.
‘Oneness’, a principle where all aspects of life play important roles and affect one another. My interpretation in applying this concept to the skill management was to incorporate skills from the three archetypes; combat, magic, and stealth; accordingly and synergize them. Each skill in each archetype is equally important and sustains each other thus creating a sense of comprehensive unity, a sense of ‘Oneness’.
One-Handed: When I hunted with Pa, I always found myself lacking patience. Only a single arrow hitting their vital tendon was all I needed. The rest? I grabbed Pa’s old axes and charged toward the beast, landing multiple fatal blows.
Charging like a beast and dancing with weapons in both hands is Kára’s most prominent skill. Critical Charge and perks that directly affect dual-wielding damage output are taken to emulate her unique hunting style. Savage Strike does not affect dual-wielding power attacks and the brutal execution is unfitting for a Paladin.
Frequently used in accordance with Sneak skills to open most combats and to fight flying dragons, only the basic Archery perks are taken. No fancy trick shots are necessary.
Perked to reduce the cost of conjuring animal spells up to the expert level. Valuable to counter the disadvantage of dual-wielding.
Slightly perked to cut the cost of flesh spells up to Ironflesh and open the gate to one of the best crowd control spells, Paralysis Rune.
Restoration: As I embark on this journey and my faith starts to grow, my power to heal the injured and cease the evil becomes more eminent. I believe the All-Maker granted me this power to protect those who I hold dear.
Supporting the primary skill of one-handed, Regeneration and Respite can convert a bit of magicka into a huge sum of health and stamina thus allowing constant power attacks. Most Adept level Restoration spells are adequate.
Since most battles would end up as close-quarter combats, having the durability to take direct hits is essential.
Paired with Archery to deliver powerful silent hits; sneaking, however, is not the highlight of the combat. Becoming an invisible shadow is often not the call of a Paladin.
The key to turning the hardest encounters into a breeze. Bolstered with some Fortify Alchemy enchanted gears (whether bought or found), some potent potions are at your disposal. Poisons are completely avoided as morphing the gifts of the All-Maker into ‘diseases’ is a shunned act.
Plenty of possibilities passing level 43 still. Mastering marksmanship and advancing knowledge in arcane and alchemical realms are all viable options. Even pursuing new paths of Illusion play by means of Calm spells, endeavoring the secret of enchanting, or sharpening the art of speaking is possible.
Note on Hunting and Skill Leveling
Conjuration is quite hard to level due to the early-level spells (Conjure Familiar and Flaming Familiar) being poor EXP givers. Using skill trainers’ services is certainly an option but of course, there is always a creative path we could take to further pursue the thematic roleplay.
Survival Mode forces you to eat regularly and thus makes for a great chance to hunt your own games. A consideration, however, is that each life is a gift given in the great wisdom of the All-Maker. Each life is precious and sacred. Receiving a soul then gratitude is certainly in order.
Gratitude could be as simple as giving the animals you just hunted their preferred diet; a fair trade for they also offer you their body parts. A salmon would make a great last snack for a bear on its journey to the afterlife and any plant-based ingredient would please any herbivore.
As all lives must return to the river of All-Maker, it is Kára’s duty as a Paladin to pray for their souls. Targeting spells like Calm, Heal Others, and Soul Trap that shine radiant glow could represent her prayer. Casting Soul Traps on a dead body does not trap the soul but it still levels your Conjuration skill. No longer is the spell a sinister one but a sincerity of one’s gratitude toward a simple blessing she has received.
The Stormcloak Officer Helmet is quite tricky to get. One is worn by the Thalmor spy impersonator, Captain Valmir, in Forelhost. Accompanying Hadvar during the Helgen incident is a wise decision to grab this bear helmet without a sense of guilt. The mask of sorrowful, Krosis, is a great addition to bolster the bow damage and mix potent potions.
The Nordic Carved Gauntlets and Boots complement the thematic look pleasantly yet Studed Dragonscale offers better protection. Custom Fit could be avoided if you wish to pursue the thematic look. The boots will benefit significantly from the static and silent enchantment of Muffle.
For accessories, a necklace that boosts melee combat profanity is favored in the early game (e.g., Kyne’s Token and Gauldur Fragment), and augments the magical capability is preferred starting from mid-game (e.g., Savos Aren’s Amulet). General Fortify One-Handed ring is prioritized but having a Fortify Archery ring in the pocket is always a nice alternative. While Kára lacks prominent blocking skills, wielding the Shield of the Crusader or Ysgramor will help her stand against pesky spells and deadly dragon breath.
Capable of empowering its own enchantment for every undead slain by the axe, not even a ward spell could withstand the strike of this holy relic. Quivering those mages are as Kára charges and shatters their fragile wards. The axe of the ancient tongue, Okin, is an exemplary one prior to getting Dawnguard Rune Axe.
Offered by Eydvina Shield-Hearth, the sword serves as a badge of honor; a proof of sisterhood forged in the fire of guilt. Kára seeks a ‘reason’ to live while Eydvina seeks a ‘reason’ to die. For they share the same burden, their steels clash like old sisters.
Imbued with the power of the sun, the divine bow deals tremendous damage to undead and turns Sunhallowed Elven Arrows into the brightest stars. Its ‘counterpart’, the Bow of Shadows, is an exceptional addition in the early game before Kára steps into the path of light.
Note on Using Soul Gems
Many have forgotten that a wicked fate could await the trapped souls once they are released from the containers. Some might say that the soul of a sinner belongs in the Oblivion realm of torture, as a consequence of their past lives. But is it right for the Agent of All-Maker to condemn those souls’ deeds?
No, it is not for Kára to judge the souls for their evil deeds, but to pray for their safety to meet the All-Maker in the afterlife. The All-Maker is the judge of the souls, shaping them into a new life and returning them back to Mundus. Death is only another phase of this endless journey and no transgressions should halt its mundane ascension.
Thus, it is also Kára’s duty to release trapped souls from their prismatic prisons. By her divine power and prayers, may the souls flow back into the river of All-Maker. A targeting spell, again, could represent this roleplay. Simply cast the spell on filled soul gems before using them. Performing this rite of passage under the bright light of northern stars and auroras is often a virtuous experience.
Every aspect of life is equally important. For this reason, the Skaals strive to live in harmony with nature. They only hunt for survival and collect firewood from fallen dead trees. Impacting their environment as little as possible is their simple yet sincere wish.
Adhering to this concept, spells that directly harm the environment or subvert the physical and spiritual world's natural order are avoided. Thus, spells of destruction, Daedra summoning, and reanimation are not practiced. The All-Maker’s wraths of Sun Flare and North Wind are restricted only to very dire situations.
Spells: Close Wounds, Heal Other, Greater Ward, Turn Undead, Repel Lesser Undead, Sun Fire, Vampire’s Bane, Stendarr’s Aura, Iron Flesh, Paralysis Rune, and Pride of Hirstaang
Passive Abilities: Agent of Dibella, Agent of Mara, Sailor’s Repose, Mother’s Love, Force Without Effort, Sinderion’s Serendipity, and Turn of the Seasons
Note on Forbidden Knowledge
Securing the Black Books is part of Kára’s trials as the Paladin. Realizing Herma-Mora’s power on Nirn Kára will not do, and thus, she will only set her foot once in each chapter of Apocrypha. Only a few forbidden knowledge that indirectly benefits her; Lover’s Insight and Seeker of Might.
Opening the combat by striking the Sneak Attack bonus from stealth archery, the Hunter Mode gives you the advantage to thin out the group number or chip down the biggest game’s health. Since Sneak skill is only moderately perked, your shadow steps are eventually bound to get discovered.
Lacking the left side of the Archery skill tree, Kára does not make for an effective combat archer. Continuing to release arrows as enemies sprint toward you is a dangerous game. Putting the bow and unsheathing the sword and axe is a wiser decision; allowing Kára to shift into the Beast mode.
Notable Shouts: Aura Whisper, Throw Voice (to lure and position certain enemies), and Slow Time (to deliver more shots before being fully discovered)
Once the enemies stand before you, sprinting and landing a Critical Charge followed by dual-wielding power attacks become the ultimate satisfaction. Power attacking outside of the attacking and staggering animations is the key to stun-lock most opponents. Some power attack combos allow Kára to dance gracefully;
- Charge power attack + dual-wield power attack + dual-wield power attack
- Charge power attack + dual-wield power attack + dual-wield normal attack + dual-wield power attack + dual-wield normal attack
- Dual-wield power attack + dual-wield normal attack + offhand standing power attack + dual-wield power attack + dual-wield normal attack
Dual-wielding is extremely effective when dueling yet you are prone to receiving direct hits when there are multiple enemies which often leads to a high-risk-high-reward situation, hence why thinning out their number first is important. The Paladin and Shaman-play help to further counter this disadvantage.
Notable Shouts: Become Ethereal (to safely charge power attack without consuming any stamina), Whirlwind Sprint (to instantly close the distance), and Disarm
All-Maker Powers: Bones of the Earth & North Wind
The Paladin guards Kára’s defenses by means of flesh spells and warding spells. Healing spells recover both her health and stamina thus allowing Kára to keep dancing on the battlefield effortlessly. Close Wounds is the balanced magicka to stamina ratio spell with her moderate stamina bar.
The power to purge dark magic by the blight of sun-based and repel undead spells is also within her possession. Stendarr’s Aura is particularly useful to damage lesser undead so you could focus on striking the stronger ones. All Turn and Repel Undead spells can stagger undead enemies regardless of their level and type.
Notable Shouts: Call of Valor, Battle Furry, Clear Skies, and Bend Will
All-Maker Powers: Waters of Life & Sun Flare
Under Storn’s tutelage, the spirit of Caenlorn Wolves and Hirstaang Bear aid Kára throughout her journey. Pride of Hirstaang can act as a great decoy at the start of the Beast Mode. Aside from the fast and aggressive bear, the spell also augments the health regen and frost resistance by 50%. This extra frost resistance will help Kára prevails against her common enemies as a Paladin and Dovahkiin; draugrs, necromancers, vampires, and dragons.
Paralyzing her enemies is Kára’s other shamanic prowess. Paralysis Rune could be placed as a precautious trap when observing as a Hunter or as a ‘panic button’ when overwhelmed as a Beast. The true power of a shaman, however, comes from their knowledge in brewing powerful alchemical arsenal;
- Sight of the Hunter: Garlic + Elves Ear + Juniper Berries --> Regenerate Health & Fortify Marksman
- Steps of the Hunter: Beehive Husk + Hawk Feather --> Fortify Sneak & Fortify Light Armor
- Strength of the Beast: Bear Claws + Charred Skeever + Rock Warbler Egg --> Fortify One-Handed, Restore Health, and Restore Stamina
- Protection of the Shaman: Blue Mountain Flower + Lavender + Tundra Cotton --> Fortify Conjuration & Resist Magic
- Will of the Paladin: Snowberries + Hawk Beak + Bone Meal --> Resist Frost, Fire, and Shock
- Wrath of the Paladin: Garlic + Salt Piles + Small Antlers/Abecean Longfin --> Regenerate Magicka & Fortify Restoration
Notable Shouts: Animal Allegiance, Kyne’s Peace, Call Dragon, and Summon Durnehviir
All-Maker Powers: Conjure Werebear & Root of Power
Note on the Adversary
The Adversary, the antithesis of the All Maker. Aspects that challenge the devotion of the Skaals toward their creator, testing them so they are not indulged in negligence. Among these many aspects, Thartaag, the World Devourer, resembles Alduin the World Eater who brings about the end of all creations. It is Kára’s final destiny to prevent the ruling tyranny of the Dovah and put an end to the World Devourer, protecting the creations of the All-Maker in this timeline.
Fighting dragons will indeed become an epic if not the most challenging moment (more so if you have the Combat Dragon Overhaul mod). Similar strategies still work against the flying beast yet two shouts prove to be more beneficial than the other; Dragon Aspect and Dragonrend. Prior to getting Dragonrend, the Staff of Magnus can be used to force the beast to land by devouring its magicka. Throw Voice and Clear Skies are also quite crucial to interrupt the deadly breath.
“True… But prophecy tells what may be, not what should be. Just because you can do a thing, does not always mean you should. Do you have no better reason for acting than destiny? Are you nothing more than a plaything of fate?” – Paarthurnax
Kára’s journey is not merely to vanquish the evil from Skyrim but is also a personal pilgrimage. The process to redeem and forgive oneself, the road to reconnect with her mother and ancestor’s belief, and the path to regain the lost meaning of one’s existence. I differed the storyline into chapters where chapter 2 serves as general roleplay elements.
A story of when Grandma, the village shaman, received a vision. A vivid prophecy that at the dawn of time, when she was no longer a shaman, the ancient rulers will return. The Skaal will suffer and her weak daughter was destined to bring a savior at the end of time, at a cost of her short life.
Bearing the thought of such uncertain heavy burden befalling her daughter she could not, Grandma forced Ma to leave the island along with her lover. Strange Indeed, for such long distant memories to visit me just recently. Perhaps I simply miss Pa and Ma.
Ma always wished to see her home village once again, but she never had the chance. To Solestheim my sight is set, to place her amulet and Pa’s bow in Lake Fjalding, a place where they first met and fell in love. At least it gives me a reason to greet new mornings with slight hope.
- Ma’s Amulet: Thematically the most fitting, the Skaal Amulet unfortunately could not be obtained by normal means. If you are playing on PC and do not mind using CC, then the amulet can be spawned by typing player.additem 04039d4a 1. Otherwise, any necklace could represent the memento amulet.
- Pa’s Bow: Any bow works but the Hunter Bow possesses a sentimental look.
Notable Quests: “Dragon Rising”, “The Way of the Voice”, “Retaking Thrisk”, and “The Temple of Miraak”
Starting off, Kára’s first objective is to travel to Solestheim to put her parents’ mementos in Lake Fjalding, to slightly ease the pain she carries. Honing the skills, making the preparations, and gathering enough supplies and coins are crucial as the road ahead can be treacherous. Any quest that rewards accordingly and is not blatantly or morally questionable could Kára do.
Skills to consider in this first chapter are One-Handed, Archery, and Light Armor. Joining the Companions will give access to Expert-level trainers and a good chance to gather some coins. As Hircinie’s bidding reveals itself within the inner Circles, there is no need to further progress the Companions main quests (yet) once they force you to become a werewolf.
In terms of main quests, as the Jarl promises honeyed rewards, Kára will retrieve the Dragonstone and stop the dragon attack. Absorbing Mirmulnir’s soul, her tongue speaks of the ancient Dragon language. Curious as to where her fate leads her, she remembers her mother’s old tale. Thus, Kára will heed the call of the Greybeards before sailing to Solestheim.
The quest “Hendraheim” is a great addition before setting foot in the foreign land. Aside from the beautiful Nordic-themed house, the Scaled Armor set worn by Eydvina Shield-Hearth is a great option before donning the Crusader mantle. For Kára and Eydvina share the same burden, their duel offers a minor yet effective roleplay moment.
Arriving in Solestheim, Teldryn proves his profanity with his wondrous skills. Approaching Lake Fjalding, Kára will help the Thrisks to overtake their Mead Hall from the invading rieklings for the Hall was once where her father belonged to. After peace in the Hall is regained, she could finally place her parents’ mementos and fulfill her late mother’s wish.
Visiting her mother’s birthplace, the Skaal Village is her next destination before sailing back to the mainland. Not a warm welcome she receives but a sight of the village shaman forming a barrier, revealing that a strange power indeed terrorizes the land. Perhaps the strange cultists who attacked her are behind this abnormality?
In the Traitor’s Temple Kára walks her next steps. Meeting the Shaman’s daughter, Freya, Kára breaches the nightmarish temple alongside the Skaal warrior and the Dunmer comrade; uncovering the strings of mystery that hide behind the closed curtains of Herma Mora’s power.
And yet, Storn believes that their diety, the All-Maker, has chosen me to be his agent. My past leads to this moment, for Storn foretold that my old bandit mates and the gift from the All-Maker await me in Four-Skull Lookout.
But, am I not a mere hunter? A sinner at that? Why would the divines bestow me this power? Should I sail back to the mainland and never return? Or should I help these people? Am I even ready to hold such responsibilities?
Countless questions pondering my mind. One thing is for certain, I cannot forever run from my guilt. I have to confront my old bandit mates and settle our unfinished business. That way, I might find the answer.
Required: Reforged Cuirass of the Crusader
Storn’s foresight is captivating, but of course, the shaman’s words could also not convince Kára immediately. However, once she is ready to face the fragment of her haunting past, then the Four Skull Lookout Kára will head to. There she will find the holy relics worn by the victims of her once-mates. Touching the relics, a vivid dream of the first Divine Crusader gives her hints of the answers she seeks.
Becoming a Paladin is the main focus of this chapter. A Paladin is often the representation of one’s strong faith and devotion toward their worshiped deity, typically a Divine. Committing a taboo and no doubt a consequence must be paid. This roleplay element is beautifully represented by the Crusader relics hidden negative effect in conjunction with Survival Mode.
Committing infamy (assaults, stealing, and trespassing) and you will be punished with a great de-buff, nullifying the health and stamina regen and reducing the Carry Weight significantly. Topped with Survival Mode which already gives a penalty to your Carry Weight and forbids Fast Traveling, you are forced to truly undergo a path of redemption and pilgrimage.
Wear the Reforged Cuirass of the Crusader and prepare for a pilgrimage of Kara’s self-discovery. A discovery of what role Kara has in this world graced by the All-Maker. A journey to redeem herself from the past that keeps chasing her. With the blessings of the Divines, Kára is now prominent with the Clever Arts of Restoration, Alteration, and Conjuration.
As how the previously chosen Divine Crusader, the Hero of Kvacth, required the blessings of the Nine Divines to defeat Umaril the Unfeathered, Kára needs to prove her faith by completing the Trials of the Divines and receiving the ten blessings. The tenth blessing, the gift of the All-Maker, will open Kára’s path toward her true destiny.
These selections of quests are my suggestions to immerse on the journey, should you think of other quests that also fall under the traits of these Divines, feel free to add them to the list. I highly recommend completing at least one trial of each of the Nine Divines and all trials of the All-Maker.
Trials: Put 100 or more undead to rest, defeat 5 Dragonpriests, and fulfill the sailor’s last request in Frostflow Lighthouse
Notable Quests: “Frostflow Abyss”
Rewards: Sailor’s Repose & Dragonpriest’s masks
Trials: Help the Dawnguard, prevent Queen Potema’s awakening, and solve the murder mystery in Morthal
Notable Quests: Dawnguard quests, “Wolf Queen Awakened”, and “Laid to Rest”
Rewards: Dawnguard Rune relics, sun-based spells, and Windstad Manor
Trials: Help any 5 merchants, restore Goldenhills Plantation, and cleanse the Companions of lycanthropy
Notable Quests: “The Unquiet Dead” & the Companions main quests
Rewards: Goldenhills Plantation, Wuuthrad, and Shield of Ysgramor
Trials: Prevent the catastrophe in the College, secure the Black Books from Harmeus Mora, and finish Sinderion's last research
Notable Quests: College of Winterhold main quests, Black Book quests, and “A Return to your Roots”
Rewards: Savos Aren's Amulet, Staff of Magnus, Lover’s Insight, Seeker of Might, and Sinderion's Serendipity
Trials: Find the lost young Dibellan Sybil, let your spouse warm the night, and reunite the Cryptic Knight’s spirit with his lover
Notable Quests: “The Heart of Dibella”, “The Bonds of Matrimony”, and “Crypt of the Heart”
Rewards: Agent of Dibella, Lover’s Comfort, and three Spell Knight Armor sets
Trials: Be the agent of love, be a loving parent to your adopted child, and stop Vaermina’s omen in Dawnstar
Notable Quests: “The Book of Love” & “Waking Nightmare”
Rewards: Agent of Mara & Mother’s Love
Trials: Complete Kyne’s hunting trial, restore the Gildergreen, and master 5 shouts by learning their 3 words (Including Kyne’s Peace)
Notable Quests: “Kyne Sacred Trials” & “The Blessings of Nature”
Rewards: Kyne’s Token & Kyne’s Peace
Trials: Absorb 10 dragon souls, restore the Chantry of Auri-El, and defeat Alduin
Notable Quests: “Touching the Sky” & “Dragon Slayer”
Rewards: Auri-El Bow, Auri-El Shield, and Dragonrend
Trials: Learn 15 Words of Power from Word Walls, sign the civil war peace treaty, and weaken the Thalmor’s influence
Notable Quests: “Season Unending”, “Diplomatic Immunity”, and “Missing in Action”
Rewards: Various Shouts
Trials: Cleanse all All-Maker Stones, defeat Miraak, protect the people of Solestheim, and defeat Alduin
Notable Quests: “Cleansing the Stone”, “At the Summit of Apocrypha”, “A New Source of Stalhrim”, “March of the Dead”, “Served Cold”, “The Final Descent”, and “Unearthed”
Rewards: 6 All-Maker Stone powers and Bend Will
While Kára will learn and derive the values and teachings of the other Nine Divines, her true patron is the All-Maker. Thus, special attention to the principles of the All-Maker needs to be realized. Below, I summarize 4 ‘tenets’ that exemplify her morality progression as her faith in the All-Maker starts to grow.
- Comprehension: Kára once allowed light thievery, soul trapping, poisons applying, conjuring Flaming Familiar, and using elemental arrows. Once she embraces her call, she will regard every action she takes with extra caution; respecting nature and every single aspect that depends on it.
- Abstinence: Animal parts and wild ingredients are valuable assets. However, once Kára understands the value of preserving the balance of nature, she will restrict herself from gathering such ingredients without concern. Goldenhills farm and Windstad Manor fish hatchery she could use wisely.
- Trustworthiness: Ceasing her initial intention of having a follower solely to secure her safety, Kára now stands side-to-side to protect them. A strong bond is forged in the heat of battle and trustworthiness. As they put their lives at the stake, so will Kára do the same. Never will she let her valuable friends lay helplessly on their knees.
- Compassion: Every life is precious and sacred. Thus, every encounter requires a moral compass. Necessary actions do often need to be taken, but to deliver cruel punishment is not commendable. Defeating enemies as self-defense or part of a quest is understandable, but to raid every fort and cave and murder everything is not.
Here I stand at the very paradise of my kin, Whale-bone Bridge to Shor’s Promised Hall.
Paarthurnax once questioned my very being. Am I merely a puppet of my fate? Of my destiny as a Dovahkiin? Of my duty as a Paladin? Contemplating the answer I have.
With Tsun at my right, the Ancient Tongues at my left, and the Old Heroes at my back, tremble I shall not. With the grace of the Divines and the blessing of the All-Father, fear I shall not.
At this very moment, I shape my destiny. At this very moment, I guard the All-Father's creations. Face me! World Eater! Let the sounds of my claws and your roars shatter the stars of Sovngarde!
Required: A full set of Reforged Crusader Armor
‘Final’ Quest: “Dragon Slayer”
Approaching the end of Kára’s journey, where she has to travel to Sovngarde to defeat Alduin, wearing a full set of the Reforged Crusader is a minor yet great roleplay addition. The full set grants a total of 36% Restoration spells cost reduction and a 10% bonus to Armor Rating, a befitting blessing for a final battle in Sovngarde.
While the Divine Crusader set is a relic blessed by the Eight Divines, the Reforged variant is role-played as a gift from the All-Maker, the ‘tenth’ blessing. Wearing the full set indicates that Kára is finally ready to embrace her duty as the agent of All-Maker; fulfilling her destiny to cease Tharthaag the World Devourer.
Once she defeats the World Eater and returns to Mundus, then what next? You could end Kára’s story here or continue her as the renewed agent of the All-Maker. There are certainly still some quests that adhere to her principles and Skyrim still needs a protector, one that upholds justice and shows compassion.
Her pilgrimage may have ended and her destiny may have been fulfilled, but Kára’s tale continues to live in the heart of the Skaals, of her comrades, and of the people who have known her throughout her journey. A tale of how one overcomes the lingering burden that consumes her very being and turns it into a strength to seek the new days.
I stand here, watching Baldor works the Stalhrim, watching Doer chops the firewood. I stand here, talking to Nikulas, enjoying his company as I hold Wulf's horker stew. Aeta comes to me, hungry for her share of meals. I pat her head and her smile makes the grin on my lips. I smile back. Another sun rises. How long has it been since I longed for this peaceful day?
“It is my first time seeing you smile like this. Gentle and subtle, but honest,” Freya comes to me.
Hearing such unexpected words, a soft grin decorates my face, “Well, there might be a reason for that.”
Well, thank you very much for reading! I know that this is lengthy, but if you make it this far, then you have my gratitude. Roleplaying and presenting a story-driven character was always one of my passions and I thought of sharing her story since I really enjoyed her journey. Credits go to the respective artists whose art I photoshopped (save the SSs and Headers) and huge appreciation to Midjourney AI for generating all the portraits. I also extend my gratitude to Curse’s The Skaal Crusader and Lee Fiskilis’ The Divine Crusader as I derived some inspiration from their outstanding builds. Feel free to drop any comment as I would love to hear any feedback and suggestion! Thanks once again and see you in the next build! :)