A quick note before delving into the build : this one has been heavily influenced by my love for Blizzard games, which I have played all my life, and absolutely adore. Not to brag or anything, but I am proud to be able to say that I have achieved the highest tiers of competition in both WoW and Hearthstone (being a Mythic raider in the first, a multiple-season Legend player in the latter). In essence, this build is intended to be a fond nod on my love for the Warcraft universe, and a way to tie some of it into Skyrim in a lore-friendly fashion. Most of the inspiration for this character comes from the San'layn in Warcraft, and the card Bloodsworn Mercenary in Hearthstone. Without further ado, here is :
"Come on, one more, one more !" the little elfling begged his dad. Bedtime stories were always his favorite moment of the day. "Alright," said Eancar with a cheeky smile, "but just one, and then you're off to sleep, little cub. Promise ?"
"Promise !" ecstatically giggled the boy. "Tell me a story father !"
Eancar cleared his throat, took a sip of Muthsera tea, and begun.
"Once upon a time, our own ancestor was a wealthy lord. He had land, titles and servants. He had men fighting for him. He was respected and feared. But he was a very bitter man. His wife had died, you see, giving birth to twin girls, one of whom wasn't breathing when she came out of the womb. In a single night, the mighty lord had lost his wife and a child. And he put the blame on the only survivor of this tragedy : his daughter. He would scold her every day, he wouldn't show her love, or kindness ; often, he'd even tell her he wished her mother and sister had survived, and she had been the one to die. The servants and the men at arms feared the lord so much, they wouldn't speak against him for abusing his child, either. He would beat her, every day. He would stop feeding her for weeks, and lock her in a dark room in the attic of his mansion. A room where she would weep, alone, always wondering what harm she could have done, that her own father would hold her responsible for his sorrow. That her own father would not love her."
"The girl's father seems like a cruel man", uttered the boy in puzzlement.
"Indeed, he was," answered Eancar, yet again chugging some more tea, but his cruelty would be repaid. You see, in that room where he would lock her up, there was a small carved effigy, made out of ebony so pure it was blacker than the very night. And one day, as the girl had suffered yet another beating, a deep voice spoke to her from the statue.
'You should not suffer as you do, child.' the voice had said. 'I can feel so much strength in you. So much hatred. For your father. For yourself. It can make you so very powerful, if you embrace it.'
She was fascinated. A mysterious someone, out there, cared for her. Believed in her. Knew she could succeed. 'I know not who you are, wise one. But I will listen. I will do whatever you ask of me, if what you saw in me is true.'
A nefarious laughter emanated from the statue. Or was it only in her head ? Surely, someone would have heard it by now, yet no one had bothered coming up to see her. Not even her father, who would have been too happy to take the noise as an excuse for another beating. 'I shall tell you who I am, girl. I am the King of Strife, the Harvester of Souls. I am the Schemer Prince. I, little one, am Molag Bal, Lord of Domination, Father of Coldharbour. And I shall make you more powerful than you could ever hope to become.'
The next morning, the girl had left nothing of her father's domain. The old man was dead, the servants had been butchered. The soldiers had fled cowardly as the estate was engulfed in flames. Molag Bal was pleased. And he said 'You have served me well, Lanathel. I shall now reward you with my blood, that you may walk a lion among sheep. Drink it, and all shall fear and respect you, as they did your father. Drink it, and you shall live to rule them all. Forever.'
To play as Lanathel, the bloodsworn sorcerer, here is a list of the mods you will need, as well as a few suggestions.
ESSENTIAL MODS :
Tomebound (Activate Ordinator and Sacrosanct compatibility patches in the installer)
Alternate Start so that you may choose to start the game as a Vampire.
RECOMMENDED MODS :
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.
"In an insane world, sanity made very little sense. No one expected me to live, and therefore, I did. Forever."
Name : Lanathel
Age : Unknown ; likely several centuries - if not millenia - old
Class archetype : Sorcerer
Race : Altmer Vampire
With Imperious installed, Altmer start with a base Health of 90 (regen rate 0.5%), base Magicka of 115 (regen rate 3.75%) and base Stamina of 95 (regen rate 4.5%), and a carrying capacity of 250.
Their racial abilities include Elven Supremacy, which increases the effectiveness of all skills by 10% once they reach their maximum of 100, Gold & Glass, which makes your Magicka and Stamina regenerate up to 100% faster when they're below half, while decreasing your Armor by up to 100 and Magic Resistance by up to 50% as regeneration increases, and finally Shimmering Threads, which makes weapons and armor 15% less effective, but improves their enchantments by 15%.
The active racial ability, Contingency, is obtained by plucking 40 butterfly wings. It allows you to store spells into an auto-cast matrix, which makes them go off at no cost when a chosen condition is met.
Standing Stone : The Atronach
With Andromeda installed, the Atronach Stone has two passive properties and one active ability.
For passives, Corrupted Arcana prevents your Magicka from naturally regenerating, but allows every death within 50 feet to restore Magicka equal to 25 times their level, while Oblivion Bound makes all spells 25% more effective and cost half Magicka, as long as you have Magicka remaining.
The active ability, Devour From Within, is unlocked through discovering every standing stone in Skyrim. It is a one use a day power, that allows you to paralyze a target, draining 50 points of Magicka from them per second for 10 seconds. Should their Magicka deplete, their Health will be drained instead for the remaining duration.
Stat Distribution : 1/3/0 - Stop perking Magicka when you reach around 300, excluding enchantments, and put all further points into Health.
Factions : Volkihar Clan, College of Winterhold, Dark Brotherhood
Alignment : Neutral Evil
These are examples of quests that make sense role-play wise for Lanathel, the power-crazed blood witch. 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 : Dawnguard DLC (Side with the vampires), Dark Brotherhood Questline, College of Winterhold Questline
MAIN QUESTS : Sommelier, Blue Blood, Arniel's Endeavor, Boethiah's Calling, The House of Horrors, Discerning the Transmundane, Pieces of the Past, The Black Star (Side against Azura), The Taste of Death, The Whispering Door, Waking Nightmare (Side with Vaermina), The Path of Knowledge, Old Friends
MISC QUESTS : Find all standing stones, Volkihar radiant quests, Dark Brotherhood radiant quests
Lanathel has studied the dark arts of summoning the undead, controlling minds, as well as dabbled in blood magic. Let's review the key perks here.
ALTERATION - The staple school of supportive magic, Lanathel makes use of Alteration to siphon the Magicka from her foes, and reinforce her already potent armor.
- Wild Shrines : You should look for the Alteration shrine (above Uttering Hills Cave), Destruction shrine (in front of Halldir's Cairn), Conjuration shrine (North of Morthal), and Illusion Shrine (between Loreius Farm and the Stones of Weynon, above a Giant's camp). Restoration is not used for this build.
- Alter Self : Resistances : You should increase Fire and Shock resistance, as vampires are naturally resistant to Frost, and immune to Poison and Disease.
- Alter Self : Attributes : You should go with if you haven't reached the desired cap yet. Otherwise, choose .
CONJURATION - Lanathel prefers to summon hordes of undead minions from the darkest planes of Oblivion, rather than reanimating the weaklings she so easily defeats in battle.
- Edge of Oblivion : This perk allows us to have a second summon without investing too much into the tree ; it comes at the price of reduced tankiness when you don't control a summon, but that should never happen.
- Undead Crown : Along with the perks from the Illusion tree, which we will review later, and the Power of the Master spell, this perk ensures your minions stay alive throughout the toughest encounters.
ILLUSION - Lanathel has the ability to break the minds of her foes, and also uses Illusion magic to strengthen her undead thralls.
- Commanding Presence : A very good perk to boost your overall damage output. You should only take it once you've unlocked Master of the Mind.
- Crown of the False King : Along with your Conjuration perks and the Power of the Master spell, this ensures your minions stay alive. You should only take this perk once you've unlocked Master of the Mind.
- Master of the Mind : A key perk for this build, it ensures that Commanding Presence and Crown of the False King apply to your summoned undead.
DESTRUCTION - Lanathel's knowledge of Destruction magic is dedicated to her hemomancy spells.
- Harsh Lesson : An excellent utility perk. Sorcerers are naturally favored against melee opponents due to their use of heavy armor and summons, but often struggle against mages because they lack mobility ; the Atronach Stone combined with this perk gets rid of this weakness entirely.
ENCHANTING - Lanathel empowers her gear with powerful enchantments, using the very souls of her defeated enemies.
- Gem Dust : You can destroy a Flawless gem at an Arcane Enchanter to make your enchantments on the corresponding piece of gear 25% stronger - Destroy a Diamond for jewelry, a Sapphire for gauntlets and boots, an for your cuirass, a Garnet for your circlet. Rubies are used for weapons and Emeralds are used for shields, but Lanathel doesn't carry either.
- Miracle : You should use this perk to enchant a necklace, considering the enchantments on your necklaces are made stronger by the Regalia perk.
HEAVY ARMOR - While taller than all other races of Tamriel, Altmer lack stamina and physicality ; Lanathel circumvents this weakness by wearing the thickest of armors.
- Face of Death : This perks allows us to use a circlet instead of a helm, which means to have a more powerful enchantment on our head piece, due to the Regalia perk in the Enchanting tree.
- Warbringer : Getting a free Rallying Standard in battle is huge, given it buffs our summons and our Hemomancy spells with Doombringer.
- Doombringer : As there is no way to boost our Hemomancy spells in the Destruction Tree - the only specialization bonuses available are for elemental spells - this perk acts as a nice replacer to damage-boosting perks such as Elemental Specialization.
Note that in the Vampire Lord perk tree, the only perks you should aim to get are Starving Artist and Make Them Beautiful. Other than these, the only Vampire Lord tree perk that has a meaningful impact on the build is Dragon at Midnight, which grants you free perk points. I didn't end up using the Vampire Lord form all that much to be honest, so using it and perking it is up to your personal preference.
While we won't be upgrading or smithing our own gear, the key improvements to our equipment will be through enchanting. Perks like Twin Enchantment and Miracle, paired with Shimmering Threads, should make up for the lack of armor rating. For the armor, I chose to go with Ebony, as the look fits the character like a glove. You might also want to check out the Volkihar Knight Armors if you're looking for a less vanilla vibe that stays true to the Dawnguard vampire aesthetic. Here are the best enchantments you can apply to your gear.
Armor - Useful enchants include Area Fortify Minions, Fortify Health, Fortify Health Regen, Fortify Magicka, Resist Magic, Resist Shock, Resist Fire, Cheat Death, Death Shroud, Link Health/Magicka, Generate Soul Gems, Nova, Reactive Barrier, Soul Harvest, Influence : Fear, Influence : Fury and Stability.
Jewelry - It would make sense RP-wise to exclusively use gold jewelry - as silver harms vampires, though even with Sacrosanct installed, wearing silver jewelry won't actually be detrimental to a vampire character. Useful enchants include any of the aforementioned in the armor section. For the necklace, which you will enchant with the Miracle perk, I strongly recommend going for stat enchantments, as they provide the best value when buffed.
- Vampiric Drain
- Blood Seed - use Blood Garden instead when fighting multiple foes. Be aware that Blood Garden might also damage your summoned minions if not aimed properly.
- Blood Brand
- Blood Scourge
- Borrowed Time
- Atronach Mark
- Fear and all subsequent variants.
- Frenzy and all subsequent variants.
- Malviser's Gauntlet or Asphyxiate - both spells serve the same purpose, with Gauntlet being the more balanced option from what I've seen.
- Oakflesh - replace whenever possible with Stoneflesh, later Ironflesh, and finally Ebonyflesh
- Spellsip - replace whenever possible with Spelldrink
- Anti-Magic Shell - due to how strong the spell is when combined with the Atronach Stone, I recommend only using it in conjunction with Power of the Master, and not to buff yourself.
- Power of the Master
- Soul Trap
- Conjure Wrathman - replace whenever possible with Raise Dead
- Death Pact
- Master of the Undead
- Control Undead
- Defile Corpse
- Blood Cauldron
- Blood Revel
SACROSANCT BONUS ABILITIES
- King Among Kine
- Oberon's Grail
- Wicked Wind
- Wine & Revelry (Altmer-Specific)
Blood Pact (Passive) : Master of the Undead + Crown of the False King + Undead Crown
Lanathel drew her formidable powers by drinking the very blood of the Daedric Lord of Domination. Her very presence bolsters the undead she commands.
Hand of the Defiler : Power of the Master + Flesh Spell + Anti-Magic Shell
Lanathel uses a forbidden ritual to empower her thralls, making them resistant to both physical and magical attacks.
Enslave the Strong : Flaywind OR Devour from Within + Borrowed Time + Blood Brand
Rending the very soul of a single foe, Lanathel is able to obliterate even the strongest of enemies.
Crimson Sacrifice : Blood Seed + Blood Brand + Death Pact
Lanathel destroys an undead minion of hers to both damage enemies around it and replenish her own energies.
Absolute Chaos : Blood Revel + Blood Garden + Blood Scourge + Frenzy
Lanathel unleashes her destructive powers upon all, be them friend or foe.
STRENGTHS : Unmatched AOE damage, great survivability, decent utility and crowd control capabilities, great class fantasy, disgustingly strong in boss fights if high-cooldown abilities are used, makes late game feel like kindergarten even on the highest possible difficulty settings.
WEAKNESSES : Mediocre single-target damage if no heavy cooldowns are expended, slow to ramp up to full power, bad against mechanical foes, reliant to some extent on summons.
Lanathel, the Bloodsworn
Lanathel is a Sorcerer, a mage in heavy armor with the capacity to absorb the Magicka from hostile spells. Being an Altmer, you might think her defensive capabilities are lackluster, due to Shimmering Threads and Gold & Glass ; However, the first gets its negative effect on armor rating negated by Elven Supremacy once you reach 100 in heavy armor - as for Gold & Glass, we won't be benefitting from the increased regeneration because we're using the Atronach Stone. However, perks such as Alter Self : Resistances, the natural resistances provided by being a Vampire, and the ungoddly amount of healing that Blood Cauldron and Crimson Sacrifice offer circumvent it very nicely. Not to mention that being a Vampire gives you a free revive in combat.
Speaking of combat, it is messy, gory, straightforward, and excessively fun ; start off by letting Master of the Undead activate upon entering battle, then use Hand of the Defiler to boost your minions, while Blood Pact and Warbringer will passively help you in this endeavour - you should have five undead servants in total at this point, three from Master of the Undead, and two additional summons with the Edge of Oblivion perk. Now that your undead lackeys have their armor boosted up, and are practically immune to magic, you can start unleashing hell on the battlefield with a barrage of AOE effects, such as Absolute Chaos. Corrupted Arcana will ensure you pretty much never run out of Magicka in a multiple-target situation. You should aim to kill the weakest enemies first, while letting your summons tank up the heavy blows from the most powerful foes, controlling them with Illusion effects such as Fear or Fury, or incapacitating them entirely with Malviser's Gauntlet, if they get too close ; once you're down to fighting the biggest baddie, your summons surrounding them, and your single-target Hemomancy spells should make quick work of the fight. You'll also want to try and keep maximum uptime on the Atronach Mark spell on the targets your small army is currently dealing with. For especially powerful foes, Enslave the Strong is an amazing tool, though keep in mind you can use either variant once a day only, which gives you two uses of this technique per day in total.
Note that, if Crimson Sacrifice is best used defensively, its damage output is nothing to scoff at in an AOE situation ; if you still have enough summoned undead at your disposal that you can afford sacrificing one for the sake of pure damage output, then you most definitely should.
This concludes the sixth build I'm posting on The SkyForge, namely my Sorcerer 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 ; fifteen more to go !
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. As some of you are aware of, I have been battling manic depression (also known as bipolar disorder), since my early teens. Recently, I fell pray to it again, and stopped publishing builds for a couple months, to focus on myself. And though the passing of WoW legend and Twitch streamer Reckful, due to the same psychiatric disease, took a huge toll on me, I've beaten that thing once again, I am back, motivated, and yet again I've found nothing but compassion and support from you guys. It means the world to me. Thank you so very much.
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 Lanathel, 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
HEALER : Alska, She of the Wild
KNIGHT : Acilius, Alessia's Chosen
NIGHTBLADE : Caesia Tremellius, the Imperial Inquisitor
ROGUE : Thessia, the Rascal
SPELLSWORD : Ariane, the Skystrider
WARRIOR : Kazan, the Lion of Bangkorai
WITCHHUNTER : Taren Verelas, the Beckoner of Retribution