Been awhile, but it feels good to get back to creating. I want to first thank Zimbu yet again for the awesome screenshots to capture the character concept. This character was inspired awhile ago when trying to create a traditional Redguard type, but instead it turned out to be the complete opposite ... literally. Mixing some skills and items I love, I think the overall experience of this character is one of a challenge. If you know me by now, you know I love Redguards, so here is:
Apostasy is the official disaffiliation from, abandonment, or renunciation of a religion by a person. The Apostate is a character built on strife, anger, and deception. To get into the role, we must look at the geographical and societal origins of the Apostate...
The Redguards of Hammerfell are divided into two main classes: the Crowns and Forebears. The Crowns are the higher classes of noblemen and women that are devoted to the old ways of Yokudan society. They despise the Empire and the Imperial mindset that came with the new rule that once was overbearing on Hammerfell as a province. The Forebears, made up of the Ra Gada or warrior class, are a little more open to worldly views and accept more Imperialistic lifestyle, including some magics. But both are in agreement: eastern magic is seen as evil, dark, and unbecoming of any Redguard.
The Apostate was once a Crown, a high class nobleman who held the steadfast views of the world with unending passion. With the coming of the new war, he decided that in order to ensure the safety of his homeland, new powers must be explored to completely understand and enhance powerful magical areas. He was instead cast out as an exile of his own homeland. On the road, homeless and angry, the Apostate travels to Skyrim, a land in the midst of war, to prove his brethren wrong and display his new found powers of illusion, necromancy, and other shunned magics...
Messing with minds, raising the dead, and capturing and using souls (sometimes referred loosely as "nudri-hi") is all magic that is shunned completely by Hammerfell society so I thought that it would be the most suitable magics to explore given the character is giving up his old beliefs. He is a "blank slate" willing to try new magics, even if he was raised and cultured that they were off limits.
Stone: The Serpent
Dragon Shouts: Aura Whisper, Dismay, Drain Vitality, Marked For Death, Soul Tear
Major Skills: Illusion, Conjuration, Enchanting, Light Armor
Minor Skills: Two Handed, Restoration, Sneak, Smithing
Head - Forsworn Headdress (Fortify Illusion + Magicka Regen)
Chest - Morag Tong Cuirass (Fortify Conjuration + Magicka Regen)
Hands - Stormcloak Officer Gauntlets (Fortify Two Handed + Magicka)
Feet - Stormcloak Officer Boots (Fortify Two Handed + Muffle)
Ring - (Fortify Illusion + Magicka Regen)
Amulet - (Fortify Conjuration + Magicka)
A Weakened Soul
The Apostate is without worship. He seeks no approval of gods or goddesses and does not bow down to any of the Yokudan religions anymore. This has caused his inner spirit to be weakened. The shunning from Hammerfell has put his willpower at odds with the world and he is forever weakened to roam the lands of Tamriel alone.
The way of apostasy is that of diminished power and the character concept achieves this by never taking any cost reduction perks to enhance his own abilities. He is therefore forced to absorb, trap, and use the souls of others to become powerful and expand his essence, feeding off of the other living creatures to stay both alive and to survive at the same time. Not only does he not have the power to lower the cost of spells within a school of magic perk wise, he cannot dual cast spells meaning illusion spells are not overpowered. Single cast expert illusion spells will affect enemies anywhere from level 36-38. This honestly more than enough to mess with most enemies in Skyrim. The Apostate is also, once available to do so, forced to contact the Daedric Prince Mephala to obtain the life absorbing Ebony Blade. Not in worship, not in desperation, but in a mutual respect for turning one's back on their own brothers. Now governed solely by two handed perks, the Ebony Blade is a force to be reckoned with and enables the Apostate to fight with ferocity and gruesome violence to prove his homeland wrong.
Skills and Perks
The Apostate has many tricks up his sleeve, but is only as effective in combat as the amount of souls he collects to enchant his own gear to reduce the cost of his spells. This makes using spells, especially higher cost spells, much more invaluable when knowing the right time to cast them. With a healthy magicka pool, the Apostate can pull off just enough magic to back up with powerful swings of his enchanted swords.
Illusion is the front line of combat and the entrance into what the Apostate does best: confuse his enemies. With only being able to single cast spells, illusion spells will (once up to expert spells) affect enemies around 36-38, which does cover most in the game: more than enough and it saves perks! Conjuration operates the same way but delves into the dark art of necromancy, raising the dead and giving lost souls a purpose again. The Apostate not only is able to raise his slain foes, but also conjure the undead from the Soul Cairn in the form of undead bone warriors, archers, and mages. This extends his power when corpses are not available.
Light Armor and Sneak are great back up skills allowing the Apostate to be agile and undetected when needed. Quiet casting from illusion lets illusion and conjuration spells fly without being noticed and sneak makes it all the more fun to attack from the shadows, even more unbecoming of what should be an "honorable" warrior.
Enchanting. Oh lovely, lovely enchanting. I just can't seem to quit you! Taking the souls of his enemies, the Apostate can harness their power into soul gems to enchant his own gear and early weapons. Before level 20 and the Ebony Blade, the Apostate can enchant his two handed swords with powerful damaging properties: stealing health, absorbing stamina, gaining back magicka, and much more. The real power comes from the ability to enchant powerful armor to reduce the cost of his own spells. Therefore, it is only through stealing more and more souls to grow in enchanting ability that the Apostate can truly show his powers of Nudri-hi!
Two Handed boosts the power of all melee attacks with capabilities of the mighty sweep attack (attacking multiple enemies at once), great critical charge (gaining large amounts of distance quickly), devastating blows (decapitations), and being a warmaster (paralyzing backwards power attack.) Smithing is only used for Arcane Smithing enabling the enhancement of enchanted gear. Restoration is also only used for Healing as well as boosted magicka regeneration and avoid death.
Where does this leave us? Being an exile is not always the most pleasant feeling, but to take up arms in his own willpower to overcome his enemies is exhilarating. Delving even deeper into Redguard lore is always a joy and makes me connect more to their society and place in the world of Nirn. I hope you enjoy this build as much as I have and try it out if you are looking for something a bit more untraditional. Oh, and because I hate the question being asked, the stat ratio was around a 2/2/1 M/H/S for about 20 levels and then moved to around a 2/3/0...
The only thing I regret is not being able to use all of the absolutely wonderful pictures that people provide me when I am in need of screenshots. Vazgen, Zimbu, and Ponty have been so awesome in making pics for me with my PCless self and I believe screenshots really set a personal tone to what a character build is all about.