Alska couldn't remember the last time she had felt the warmth of the sun, seen the light of day. How long had it been, she wondered, since the elves of black and gold had come to her, in the wilderness, asking all of these questions she had no answer to. All she knew was what Mother had taught her ; Father was a hunter, and had unfortunately died when Alska was still in the womb. Mother was a shaman, from an island across the Sea of Ghosts. She had shown Alska the ancient magic of her people, taught her their history ; but when the elves of black and gold had come, they had asked about men draped in cloaks of storm. And so, she told them what she knew.
Alska knew of the Old Ways, as mother had shown them to her ; she knew how to use the energies of nature : that the wind, the breath of Kyne, could be tamed. That water could cleanse, but also drown, and earth could provide, but also harm. That the fire from the sun could warm the body and the soul, yet also burn - but using such magic to destroy was forbidden to her. She knew of the plants, of how to use them to heal every ailment of beasts and men alike.
She knew the secret language of the howling wolf, and that of the roaring sabercat ; she could growl as the bears do, and converse with them. She knew how to read the omens, when flocks of birds flew high above the trees ; but of men draped in cloaks of storm, she didn't know.
The elves had gotten angry at her response. They had called her a witch, a liar ; they dismissed her powers, calling them primitive. They dubbed her a savage, unworthy of wielding magic. They asked her for one last time if she knew anything of the rebellion. And she answered, yet again, with all she knew.
She knew of love - Alska, the name given to her by Mother, meant love, in the ancient tongue of her people. She knew of pain, sadness, and loss ; all of those she had felt the day Mother's eyes had closed. She knew of mysteries, those of Nirn, those of her people. Those of her father she had never known. But of rebellion, Alska did not know.
The elves had then ordered her to come with them ; she didn't want to. Mother had told her about the great warriors of her people that had battled elves just like those. Maybe the ancient elves were not of black and gold, but she did not trust these ones either. One of them threw a bolt of lighting at her. She screamed in pain as it hit. But she, too, could wield magic ; She could use the powers of the elements around her. Mother had told her these were her weapons against the darkness. And of that, the elves of black and gold didn't know. From her fingertips, Alska threw a gust of wind at her agressor ; the elf flew back into a tree, and his skull cracked against the bark. The other elves subdued her with their wicked thunder magic, and threw her in a dark cell, away from the light, the wind, and the forest. And every day, they would come to see her, and ask their questions she couldn't answer all over again.
This day, though, the elves were not alone ; they had brought men in metal garbs along with them. They took her outside, at last. At last, she could feel the breeze through her hair again. She could hear the songs of the river flowing between the rocks, and those sung by the birds as they flew. She could feel the embrace of Kyne once more. The men of metal had thrown her at the back of a cart, her hands and feet bound in chains. Never had she felt so tired ; she fell unconscious when the wheels started moving. When she finally opened her eyes again, a day and night had passed. Other men, bound in chains just like her, had gotten into the cart as well since. One of them, with golden strands of hair, and eyes as blue as the skies above, turned his head towards her.
"Hey, you ! You're finally awake !"
To play as Alska, the wildling shaman, here is a list of the mods you will need, as well as a few suggestions.
ESSENTIAL MODS :
Tomebound (Activate Ordinator compatibility patch in the installer)
RECOMMENDED MODS :
Any mod that enhances the follower system and follower behavior. The best mod in this category is undoubtedly EFF
NB : The latter three essentially act as a replacement for 20/50/100% more perk point mods that come with Ordinator. I prefer to play with these, as exploration (Skyshards), defeating epic enemies (PPA) and mastering more and more skills (PP@SL) make perk points feel like a reward for your acomplishments, rather than just something you get double every few levels. It is up to your preference, however, you could bypass these and just get any perk point modifier on the Ordinator page.
Alska, alongside a tamed bear
Name : Alska
Age : Unknown ; likely in her mid-twenties
Class archetype : Healer
Race : Nord
With Imperious installed, Nords start with a base Health of 110 (regen rate 0.75%), base Magicka of 85 (regen rate 2.875%) and base Stamina of 105 (regen rate 5.25%), and a carrying capacity of 325.
Their racial abilities include Warrior's Heart, which increases attack and spell damage by up to 40% based on missing Health, The Purge, which lets you select three different races other than Nord at levels 10, 20 and 30, increasing your damage to them by 35%, and finally Child of Skyrim, which grants 25% Frost resistance, and an additional 50% when their active abitity, Avatar, is active.
Speaking of Avatar, it is a one use a day power that regenerates 10% of total Magicka and Stamina per second for 30 seconds. It is unlocked by clearing any 10 dungeons.
As for The Purge, the three races you should choose are Imperial, Dunmer and Altmer ; the order depends on what content you aim to do first. Imperial is a good choice for the Civil War, Altmer is a good choice for the main questline, and Dunmer is a good choice when you're in Solstheim.
Standing Stone : The Mage
With Andromeda installed, the Mage Stone has two passive properties and one active ability.
For passives, Power of the Arcane makes all spells 10% more effective, and all scrolls 20% more effective, while Mage's Path makes all magic skills progress 10% faster.
The active ability, Ultimate Power, is unlocked through discovering every standing stone in Skyrim. It is a one use a day power, that allows you to choose one of three random schools of magic, making all spells from the chosen school cost half the Magicka and be twice as effective for 60 seconds.
Faith : The Old Ways
With Wintersun installed, a new game mechanic is introduced : Faith. By choosing to follow the Old Ways' Tenets and Praying once a day, Alska will get increasing benefits.
The Tenets are the following : “Slay people who stand in your way. Absorb dragon souls. Assume our powers through prayer. Nords are most deserving of our favor.”
The Shrine of the Old Ways can be found in one of the barrows in the massive ruin of Labyrinthian. It's in the same location as the altar upon which you place all the Dragon Priest Masks to obtain Konahrik (do note that you'll need to wear the Wooden Dragon Priest Mask to send you back in time in order to access it). Its blessing increases your damage and critical damage to animals by 15%. You need to meditate at the shrine to receive this buff, however you don't need to be at the shrine to Pray. Praying once a day increases Favor.
As a Follower of the Old Ways, Alska receives the passive effect Totem Worship, which allows her to sacrifice 100 gold worth of gems while praying to assume the powers of an animal deity.
Once Favor reaches or exceeds 100%, Alska becomes a Devotee, gaining an additional passive ability : Dragon Cult, which allows her to use Totem Worship to assume the powers of the Dragon, in exchange for 2% Favor per in-game hour.
Stat Distribution : 0 - Stop perking Health when you reach 250 and put all further points into Magicka./ /
Factions : Stormcloak Rebellion, College of Winterhold, Skaal-Friend
Alignment : Neutral Good
These are examples of quests that make sense role-play wise for Alska, the Nord outcast. Please note, these lists are non-exhaustive, in no particular order, and are overall just a way for you to get started into roleplaying the character.
QUESTLINES : Main quest, Dragonborn DLC, Civil War (Alska was mistreated by the Thalmor and the Imperial soldiers, leading her to join the Stormcloaks), College of Winterhold Questline
MAIN QUESTS : Thirsk Mead Hall (Alska will side with the Nords and lend them her aid in retaking Thirsk), Skaal village quests, Kyne's Sacred Trials, Voice of Kyne (Alska will read the tablets that tell of men wielding the Dragon Voice on her way up to High Hrothgar)
MISC QUESTS : Find all standing stones, Find all Dragon Priest masks, Hunter and Hunted (Alska will heal Valdr's wounds and help him bury his friends)
As a Healer, Alska's main purpose is to use her magical prowess in a supportive manner ; however, she still is competent enough to defend herself. Let's review the key perks here.
RESTORATION - Alska's primary focus is to keep her allies alive and well, be them animals or men.
- Respite : This perk will increase our allies' proficiency in combat, by letting them power attack more often.
- Warrior's Flame : This perk gives us well-needed in combat resource regeneration, and acts both as a buff to our allies or a debuff to our enemies.
- Overflowing Cup : Given that the build requires a lot of investment into Magicka to be effective, and as we won't be using enchanting, this perk comes in handy to increase our overall survivability.
- Under my Wings : By far and away the best perk in the tree for a supportive build, it renders the relatively weak targeted healing spells obsolete, by allowing you to heal all allies with your much stronger self-targeted spells.
- Wheel of Life : This perk has two uses : either it will proc Overflowing Cup, or it will save your life from targeted burst damage. A must-have regardless.
- Sacred Guardian : This perk is the perfect counter to burst AOE damage ; spells like Ice Storm, as well as dragon shouts, end up being negated.
SPEECH - Alska's Voice is that of Kyne herself, able to tame wild animals, as well as unleash the power of the dragons
- Speak with Animals : Our chosen animal companion will be a Bear in most cases, as it has great natural tankiness as well as decent damage.
- Gift of Kynareth : This perk will grant our Wild Companion a huge buff ; it makes non-bear companions viable as a result, although you should stick to the bear in most cases
- Hurricane Force : Alska uses the power of the Voice to soothe or inspire, rather than harm ; given that most of the Shouts we use affect other targets, this perk is essential.
ALCHEMY - Alska has lived in the wilderness all her life, and has extensive knowledge in herbalism as a result. She is able to brew simple potions to aid the sick and the injured.
- Physician : You should pick as your specialization, considering we don't use enchantments to boast our regeneration ; furthermore, in a healing-based build, Magicka allows us to regain both of our other resources, with a healing spell and the Respite perk.
- Pure Mixture : This perk ensures we can provide effective utility potions to our allies, and keep some to ourselves. It may also come in handy if giving a poison to a follower is crucial to win a difficult fight.
ALTERATION - The staple school of supportive magic. Alska uses it to boost her defenses, and to harness the powers of the earth to stay out of harm's way.
- Mage Armor : Considering Alska will be wearing clothing, this perk ensures maximum protection against physical attacks.
- Throne of Nirn : A great option, both RP-wise and gameplay-wise. It renders melee opponents completely useless, while providing you clear line of sight on most ranged opponents.
- Wild Shrines : You should look for the Alteration shrine (above Uttering Hills Cave), Destruction shrine (in front of Halldir's Cairn), Restoration shrine (On a small patch of land in the river south of Old Hroldan, along the road between Whiterun and Markarth), and Illusion shrine (West of the Stones of Weynon above a giants' camp). Conjuration is not used for this build.
- Welloc's Dormant Arcana : You should bind Fortify Magicka Regeneration, Fortify Magicka and Spell Absorption to the Flesh spell type.
- Alter Self : Resistances : You should increase Shock and Fire resistance.
- Alter Self : Attributes : You should go with Health, to get to your desired Health total faster. If you've hit this cap already, then pick Magicka.
ILLUSION - Unlike most practicioners of this school, Alska focuses on using it to bolster her allies, occasionally calming wild animals or dangerous foes.
- Imposing Presence : This perk, along with the Fickle Fate branch, ensures your Calm spells will be usable on the most dangerous foes ; it also greatly increases the potency of Rally, which is a key spell for this build.
- Commanding Presence : This perk acts as our main source of damage output, and synergizes extremely well with Respite from the Restoration tree.
- Crown of the False King : This gives our allies a boost of tankiness, which is essential considering we are using neither enchanting nor smithing to enhance their gear, and that our Wild Companion doesn't use gear at all.
- Protect your God : This is a passive emergency button, in case you end up getting caught by a dangerous foe and don't have time to Charm them, or can't do it, due to it being mechanical, undead or daedric in nature.
DESTRUCTION - Alska is able to harness the raw power of the elements ; the only one she is forbidden to use by her principles being Fire, she makes use of Earth, Water and Wind magic to harm her foes.
- Force of Nature : This perk allows us to get maximum damage output by choosing between our three spell types depending on weather.
- Robe of the Magi : Considering we're using three different spell types, we won't be using perks in the specialization branches ; it would be too big an investment. This perk, however, is able to keep our Destruction spells relevant in the later stages of the game.
Considering this build uses neither Enchanting nor Smithing, we have invested into perks that circumvent our lack of protection and utility ; some unique items, or enchanted ones, you may find in your travels might still prove useful. Here are a few suggestions.
Armor - I personally used Skaal Clothes HD Revival as a retexture for my outfit, namely Skaal Armor as Clothing, which is a standalone mod - meaning it won't replace your Vanilla Skaal armor, just add an unarmored copy to the game - for aesthetic purposes ; finding a few filled Grand Soul Gems allowed me to put the most basic enchantments on : I chose Fortify Magicka for all pieces, since without any perks in Enchanting, stat enchantments are the only decent ones. Should you want to avoid Enchanting altogether, try to get your hands on Fortify Restoration robes, and the Mage's Circlet from the College of Winterhold questline.
Jewelry - Surprisingly enough, The Gauldur Amulet works pretty well with the build if you get it early on, but you should replace it with Savos Aren's Amulet whenever you can. Regarding rings, try to get your hands on a Fortify Restoration or Fortify Destruction one.
Miscellaneous - You should always carry Magicka potions crafted with the Physician perk, and give your follower a few Health/Stamina/Magicka potions, and lockpicks if they're skilled enough to make use of them.
Followers - For your Wild Companion, you should almost always choose to tame a Bear ; as for your human follower, even though basic tank followers such as Golldir or Lydia get the job done, Frea is by far the absolute best follower in the game. She buffs herself, has monstrous damage output but still retains great tankiness due to the perks we are using from Illusion, and, despite wearing Nordic Carved armor, she actually is skilled in Light Armor too, so I outfitted her with Deathbrand armor and weapons.
COMBAT SPELLS - For most AOE spells, you may want to use the Black Book power Companion's Insight, to avoid damaging your allies
- Waterball, Rockblast and Zephyr are your go-to single target spells
- Stalagmite, Boulder, Wall of Earth, Earthquake are your Earth spells
- Geyser, Torrent, Wall of Water, Tidal Wave are your Water spells
- Tornado, Tempest, Wall of Wind, Cyclone are your Wind spells
- Courage - Replace by Rally once you're able to have one follower + one Wild Companion
- Call to Arms
- Healing Hands - Replace whenever possible with Heal Other ; these two spells will be rendered obsolete by the Under my Wings perk later on
- Fast Healing - Replace whenever possible with Close Wounds
- Oakflesh Other - replace whenever possible with Stoneflesh Other, later Ironflesh Other, and finally Ebonyflesh Other
- Oakflesh - replace whenever possible with Stoneflesh, later Ironflesh, and finally Ebonyflesh
- Whirlwind Cloak
- Resist Magic
- Ocato's Recital - Link your strongest available Flesh spell, Whirlwind Cloak, and Muffle to passively level up Illusion. Once Illusion has attained the desired level, replace Muffle with Resist Magic
- Drop Zone
- Reynos' Fins
- Kyne's Peace
- Clear Skies
- Whirlwind Sprint
- Become Ethereal
- Animal Allegiance
- Battle Fury
- Alessia's Love
THUNDERCHILD BONUS ABILITIES
- Storm Crown : Shout cooldown is removed when you enter or leave combat.
- Thundering Echoes : The first shout you use in combat has no cooldown.
- Way of Peace : Shouts have a greatly reduced cooldown out of combat.
Earthern Link (Passive) : Ocato's Recital + Mage Armor + Throne of Nirn
Alska uses her connection to the natural energies around her to enhance her protection, sometimes allowing her to get out of reach of her opponents
Might of Tsun : Call to Arms + Ebonyflesh other on all allies + Battle Fury
Alska inspires her allies before they charge into the fray, imbuing them with the strength of the God of Trials
Hand of Orkey : Dual-cast Close Wounds + Under my Wings + Respite
Alska's touch is that of the Old Knocker ; it heals all allies around her including herself and reinvigorates them
Breath of Kyne : Ultimate Power (improve Destruction) + Wither on all targets + Cyclone spam
Alska calls upon the Mother of Men, unleashing the inescapable power of the winds and skies upon her hapless foes
Voice of Ysmir : Avatar + Warcry + Thundering Echoes + Become Ethereal
The Dragon of the North's voice resonates through Alska, allowing her to recover her strength while being shortly invulnerable
Stuhn's Bulwark : Crown of the False King + Imposing Presence + Rally + Lifestream + Thundering Echoes + Alessia's Love
The God of Ransom grants his protection to Alska's allies during battle, bolstering their endurance as well as their morale
STRENGTHS : Amazing utility, good AOE damage, surprisingly durable despite not wearing armor, great class fantasy RP-wise, does extremely well on high difficulty levels, relatively easy to play
WEAKNESSES : Mediocre single-target damage, reliant on allies, vulnerable to ranged attacks, cooldown-heavy
Alska, She of the Wild
Alska is a Healer, a traditionally supportive class, with decent offensive capabilities as well. I was always intrigued by the Healer as a class, and thankfully Ordinator allowed me yet again to use a traditional skill in an unconventional way ; Speech is supposed to be a staple for Healers, and the Animal Companion perk allowed for a whole different take on it, while staying true to the original class concept.
In combat, Alska relies on her allies (her follower and Wild Companion) to tank the heavy blows and deal the physical part of the group's damage, staying back to buff and heal them, while dealing magic damage from a safe range whenever her allies aren't at risk of dying. She is also a decent Alchemist, and can provide her party with beneficial potions, either to replenish attributes or to provide temporary buffs.
As far as fighting goes, you should always use Might of Tsun before battle begins : this ability is the first layer of buffs you'll provide to your allies, and should have permanent uptime on them. Hand of Orkey should be used straight after to apply the Overflowing Cup buff, and regularly in combat to provide sustain to you and your allies ; note that it can also be used only for a Respite proc, to maximize your allies' damage output.
The order of priority regarding what you should do is fairly simple : you want to keep your allies alive and buffed at all times, and only if they're safe and sound can you switch to being a damage dealer as well.
When Hand of Orkey isn't needed, you should use your cheaper Destruction spells in single-target situations, switching to the more expensive AOE ones only for large groups of enemies - note that, due to the high Magicka cost of these spells, you should never spam them unless your Ultimate Power ability allows you to choose Destruction, in which case Breath of Kyne should be your preferred offensive technique, providing both damage and crowd control. Even when dealing damage, you should always keep a Magicka safety net for an eventual rebuff on your allies, or emergency healing.
The type of offensive spell you should use (Earth, Water or Wind) should always be dictated by two things : which ones benefit from the current weather with the Force of Nature perk, and which secondary effect is preferable against the enemy you're fighting. Earth spells stop Health regeneration and may stagger, Water spells stop Stamina and Magicka regeneration, and Wind spells have a chance to blow away enemies. Keep these secondary effects in mind when you're able to take a moment to deal damage.
You will probably have noted that both of your emergency defensive abilities, Voice of Ysmir and Stuhn's Bulwark, both rely on Thundering Echoes, which means you only get to use one per fight ; in most cases, getting yourself out of harm's way will allow you to tend to your allies' wounds, making Voice of Ysmir the preferred option. However, in case of heavy, sustained area of effect damage, Stuhn's Bulwark will outshine the more selfish defensive option.
This concludes the fifth build I'm posting on The SkyForge, namely my Healer build. This is a part of my Project 21 series of builds, which will be my own take on all 21 classes of the TES universe ; sweet lil' sixteen is how many I still have left to publish.
I was pleasantly surprised that so many people were happy and willing to bounce off ideas, provide useful advice, and generally encourage me in this ambitious endeavour. Thank you very much for welcoming me into the community, and for your support. It is a great source of motivation for me to keep putting all of my älska (which means "love" in Swedish, see what I did there ? hehehe) into crafting these builds.
I would like to extend special thanks to Enai Siaion, creator of Ordinator, Andromeda, Wildcat, Imperious, and many more gameplay-enhancing mods, for making Skyrim an even more amazing game than Bethesda already had, and one I still enjoy playing after almost a decade, as well as to Furrion 17. I tried all of his builds when I got into character building and really had a blast, and the dedication he shows in crafting a good backstory for a good build inspired me to try my hand at it as well.
That's all from me for now, expect more soon ! Don't hesitate to comment and share your experience playing Alska, I hope you'll have as much fun playing her as I had creating, playing and writing the build she is the star of !
MY OTHER BUILDS
BARBARIAN : Ulfgar, the Lone Wolf
KNIGHT : Acilius, Alessia's Chosen
NIGHTBLADE : Caesia Tremellius, the Imperial Inquisitor
ROGUE : Thessia, the Rascal
SORCERER : Lanathel, the Bloodsworn
SPELLSWORD : Ariane, the Skystrider
WARRIOR : Kazan, the Lion of Bangkorai
WITCHHUNTER : Taren Verelas, the Beckoner of Retribution