Before we begin, a quick disclaimer : I am aware that the Crimson Dirks exist only in CC content, and not in the actual game lore. I did not intend to rip anyone of their intellectual property by using them as a part of this character's backstory, merely to show my appreciation towards what I think has been great attention to detail from Kris Takahashi and his team in their CC work. I have been a fan of theirs since the first release of Interesting NPCs, a mod that has never left my load order. If you come across these lines, Kris, I do hope you forgive me, and you view this build as a small tribute to your work. And now, without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, lads and lasses, I humbly present you...
One of the most infamous gangs in recent history, the Crimson Dirks have scattered to the wind ; once led by the fearsome warlord Tyra Blood-Fire, they ransacked Cyrodiil with violence, ruthlessness, and impunity. As we speak, they're presumed to all be either exiled, dead or in irons, and the name that terrorized the Imperial province for so long is now but a distant memory... Or is it ?
Thogra was born and raised in the Imperial City by her single father, an Imperial Legion veteran, now serving as the private bodyguard to a wealthy Breton merchant. Despite having a stable job, Thogra’s father raised her in poverty, and struggled to put food on the table for the both of them. He would often not eat, so that his cherished daughter could. Little Thogra grew up there, in the slums of the Waterfront district, playing with the sons and daughters of the Argonian dockworkers. A modest, yet happy life.
The only times Thogra would feel sad were when her father was forced to fast so she wouldn’t have to, and one day, she asked her best friend Kuseem-Jei for advice.
Kuseem was the son of a member of the Thieves Guild, and told Thogra that her father’s employer probably wouldn’t notice it if some food went missing from his shop once in a while. Thogra armed herself with all of the courage she could muster, and crossed the bridge to the City.
She made her way to the Market District and glanced inside the shop ; her father was busy stacking up crates of goods, and the merchant was nowhere to be seen. She seized the moment, and quietly crossed the threshold. She swiftly grabbed a basket of cold cuts that was laying on an end table, and turned tail to head out. She came face to face with a fat little man in finery.
“And where, might I ask, are you going with this, little one ?” said the merchant. “Say, isn’t that your pup, Karosh ?”. Thogra’s father was ashamed of his daughter’s actions, and mumbled an apology. The merchant told him not to worry about it, as he wouldn’t call the guards on a child for what was obviously a youthful error ; instead, Thogra would work at the shop for a few days in place of her father, so that she may learn the value of hard work. Karosh agreed with the chastisement, and the merchant sent him home for the day. He and Thogra were alone, and he locked the door and closed the curtains. “Now, now…” he said, unclasping his belt, “I know just how I’m going to punish you.”
The merchant had thrown Thogra face down on the table, and forced himself into her. He had put his hand on her mouth to muffle her cries, and was creepily giggling as he raped the child. Tears rolled on Thogra’s cheeks as she helplessly struggled. It was then that her clouded eyes saw it. A knife. Right there on the table, not an arm’s length away. In an instant, the die was cast, as she had grabbed the blade and plunged it in the merchant’s belly. She used this moment of surprise to escape his grip, dislodging his prick from between her buttcheeks, and stabbed him again. And again. And again. The hateful little man fell to the ground, struggling to breathe, and she pounced onto him, repeatedly slashing his face with the knife. Her frenzy only ended when she realized there was nothing left to be disfigured. She ran away home to her father, telling him the full story. Karosh was horrified at the sight of his daughter covered in blood, and appalled by what he heard. Soon, the sound of rattling metal could be heard outside. Karosh knew this sound too well. “Thogra, hide. And promise me whatever happens, you won’t make a sound or get out.”
“Karosh gro-Urul !” bawled the guard Captain pounding on the door “Deliver us your daughter at once !”. There was no answer from the Orc, and the Captain signaled two of his men to kick the door open. Karosh was there, stoically waiting, donned in his old Legion armor. “Captain Petronius. There was a time when we fought side by side, and for this, I will let you and your men walk away. But I will not let you lay a hand on my daughter.”
The Captain didn’t back down, and gave the Orc a final warning. “Petronius,” calmly stated Karosh, “You couldn’t have beaten me in a fight on your best day, and your best days are long gone.”
Thogra, hidden beneath the floorboards, could barely see a thing. She heard swords being drawn, and the clashing of steel. One of the guards fell dead on the floor, his blood dripping through the planks onto Thogra’s face. Soon, another man was struck down, and a third one quickly after.
And then, for a second that seemed like an eternity, it all went silent.
“She isn’t here. Scour the docks. Find her !” said Petronius, as he and the remainder of his men rushed out. Thogra waited a few minutes just to be sure they were gone, then got out of her hiding place.
Karosh was breathing heavily, coughing up blood. While he had taken down two of the guards, he had quickly gotten overwhelmed by the remainder of the patrol. “Thogra…”, he whispered, putting his hand on her cheek, “Run away… Run… I love you… so very much…”
As he died, Thogra’s eyes filled up with tears, and she roared and screamed at her misfortune.
When her weeping stopped, Thogra ran as fast as she could, and hid herself in an old carriage, behind a bunch of barrels. It wasn’t long before the horses neighed, and started galloping southwest. She fell asleep, and was awoken the next morning in Skingrad by a woman’s voice prompting her to get up. The woman could see she was startled, but she managed to calm the orcling down, and get her to tell her what happened.
“You’re a very, very brave girl, Thogra.”, she said. “My name is Tyra. Why don’t you come with me ? I’ll introduce you to my friends. You’ll see, they’re a nice bunch. We’ll take good care of you.”
The child silently nodded and grabbed Tyra Blood-Fire’s hand. And thus, Thogra gra-Karosh became the youngest member of the Crimson Dirks.
These mods are mandatory for the build to function as intended
Ordinator and the Thief Skills Rebalance optional plugin
A few suggestions to turn your gameplay experience up a notch
Alternate Start For a more comfortable early game, you should start as a new recruit for the Thieves Guild
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.
These mods were used for this playthrough, but the build does still work without them
Thogra is an Orsimer, or Orc. With Imperious installed, Orcs start with a base Health of 105 (regen rate 1%), base Magicka of 80 (regen rate 2.75%) and base Stamina of 115 (regen rate 5.5%), and a carrying capacity of 350.
For racial abilities, they have Bloodlust, which increases movement speed by 25% and Stamina & Magicka regeneration by 300% upon entering combat, with these bonuses decaying gradually over 20 seconds. They also have Shockwave, which allows them to jump once per battle to stagger nearby enemies with a chance to knock them down, and Strength of Steel, which makes weapons and armor 20% stronger, but enchantments on them 20% weaker.
Furthermore, their active ability, Berserk, is acquired by staggering 150 enemies in total with Shockwave. It is a one use a day Power that doubles your attack damage and your critical damage and halves your spellcasting costs for 15 seconds. This ability has a chance to randomly activate for free in combat when off-cooldown.
You'll be using the Thief Stone in the early game, as when using Andromeda it provides you with Ambush which makes sneaking and sneak attacks 10% more effective, and Thief's Path, which makes you learn all Thief skills 10% faster. The latter is great for early leveling, however, you'll soon switch to the Shadow Stone. I recommend swapping your Standing Stone once you've unlocked the active ability it offers.
With Andromeda installed, the Shadow Stone has two passive properties and one active ability.
For passives, Blur increases movement speed by 20% while in combat, while Hide in Shadows makes sneaking and sneak attacks 20% more effective when near a wall or obstacle.
The active ability, Shadow Step, is unlocked through discovering every standing stone in Skyrim. It is a dash to your target, with a 75 ft. range, at the cost of 50 points of Stamina, usable at will.
Thogra is Chaotic Neutral, which means she pretty much follows her whims. She values her own liberty, resents lawful authority and restrictions, and doesn't believe in the Manichean conception of good and evil, instead placing her interest - namely, her desire for acceptance - above all else. That being said, contrarily to the traditional Chaotic Neutral archetype, she is not against the killing of innocents, but she does so out of necessity, to further her ends, not for pure sport or pleasure. Another point where she differs from most of those who share her alignment is that she actually is loyal to her friends, almost considering them to be family ; that being said, her trust is not easily earned, and should you betray it, she will neither forgive nor forget it. She won't accept an apology, but you will never have a chance to make amends or regain her confidence.
Thogra's character is a complex one ; animated by ire and guilt, she is trying to find a place where she would be accepted and recognized. Her youth and the hardships she has gone through might have made her a firebrand, and subject to outbursts of anger, but in time, she will learn to apply caution and measure to the planning of her battles. No matter how violently she fights, she always does so with the utmost confidence that she is one step ahead of her opponents at all times. She knows herself to be underestimated by most, and uses this to her advantage ; her intelligence often shows through sarcasm, even though she is more of a woman of action than a talker. Thogra is also a lesbian, and has a particular liking for the beauty of Bosmer, Breton and Redguard females.
Here are a few examples of quests that make sense role-play wise for Thogra, the Orc assassin. Thogra is not the Dragonborn, and will not pursue the main quest. She will also not pick sides in the Civil War. Please note, this list is non-exhaustive, in no particular order, and is overall just a way for you to get started into roleplaying the character. Quests from the Interesting NPCs mod are marked with an asterisk.
Thieves Guild Questline – Joining up with the Thieves Guild allows you to access fences, which are almost mandatory for Stealth-based builds. It also provides you with decent early to mid-game gear.
Dark Brotherhood Questline – An obvious choice for an Assassin, the family-like vibe of Astrid’s Brotherhood will be appealing to Thogra.
Darkened Steel Questline* – Thogra will discover the existence of an ancient assassin order and investigate.
A Return to Your Roots – You actually don’t need to progress through the main quest to do this, and the buff completing this quest grants you is very invaluable, as Thogra relies a lot upon Alchemy.
The Paper Mirror* – This quest is the way for you to get your hands on the Writer’s Dagger. Despite how disturbing the way she gets this job is, Thogra is always ready to execute someone for money.
Pieces of the Past – Silus Vesuius has discovered that the pieces of the legendary Mehrunes’ Razor are scattered around Skyrim ; Thogra will collect them, hoping to reforge the blade and keep it for herself.
Rise in the East – No matter the employer, if Thogra is offered payment to take down a specific target, she’ll do it. Haldyn’s name would be a fine addition to her kill list.
Hunter’s Quarry* – When Brakh tells her he has a man to put down, Thogra will gladly help him, and add yet another name to her list in the process.
Radiant Quests – Thieves Guild quests should be your priority, as they help restore the Guild to its former glory, and give you access to special jobs. Try to focus on Windhelm quests first, as it will allow you to get your hands on Linwe’s Armor. Dark Brotherhood quests are a good source of profit, and you should keep an eye out for bounties when visiting inns and major cities.
This totals 66 perks, which might seem like a lot ; however, keep in mind that a few of the perks we’ve chosen give us plenty of extra perk points to allocate elsewhere ; let’s review the most important ones.
ALCHEMY – Thogra is a very competent Alchemist, able to both craft lethal poisons and beneficial potions.
- Physician : While Stamina potions are invaluable, Thogra's only source of sustain is through Healing or Health Regen potions. You should therefore pick Health as your specialization.
- Bottomless Cup : Probably the best perk in the whole tree for any build using poisons. Also, getting multiple applications per vial means less crafting and more killing !
- Amplify Lethality : This perk gives you pretty much a guaranteed one-shot once a day. Bosses beware !
- World Serpent : I actually didn’t use Shouts, so the only use of this perk was to unlock the final perk of the tree. Should you decide to use shouts, I would recommend Marked for Death, Throw Voice, Whirlwind Sprint, Drain Vitality, Disarm and Become Ethereal.
- That Which Does Not Kill You… : Be careful, the toxin really fucking hurts. Stock up on Healing and Resist Poison potions before you learn this perk.
- Lab Skeever : Situationally useful : should you find an alchemy lab while exploring a dungeon, use it and then use Assassin’s Elixir and Tonic of Thievery (two potions listed in the Recipes below), which should last pretty much for the whole run.
- Steady Hand : You could make a case for grabbing 3 points here instead of 1. To be honest though, the Slow Time effect is better for combat archers, so just grabbing 1 point to be able to zoom is enough.
- Ambush Predator : Rule number one of remaining unseen is to take down the lookouts first. This perk takes care of that.
- Hawkeye : As for Amplify Lethality, this perk gives you pretty much a guaranteed one-shot once a day. Even though it looks like a fun combo, you should refrain from using both at once, it’s a waste.
LIGHT ARMOR – This type of armor is the go-to choice for assassins, as it allows for more freedom of movement in and out of battle.
- Initiative : Assassins aren’t the best in an open fight, due to their all-out offensive nature. This perk combined with the Orc racial Bloodlust will ensure you can power attack non-stop if discovered, to make the fight as quick as possible.
- Lightning Strike : This perk follows the same logic as Initiative : the shorter the fight is, the better. A few dual-wielding power attacks in conjunction with this perk will take care of all but the strongest foes.
- Windrunner : Dual-wielding sacrifices defense for damage output, as it prevents you from blocking ; Thogra’s only means of defense in an open fight is mobility, which makes this perk the most important of the tree.
LOCKPICKING – One of the staple supportive skills of Stealth classes, Lockpicking guarantees loot and perk points galore.
- Game of Fate : A tremendous investment, I was lucky enough to find 3 out of the 5 containers by level 20. Spending one perk point to get 5 perk points and 75 000 gold, what’s not to like ?
- Seen This Before : Again, this perk gives us more points to spend on other trees ; in total, we invested 6 points in the Lockpicking tree and got 8 points back. There’s the 2 extra points we’re able to put into Smithing for ya !
ONE-HANDED – Thogra loves getting up close and personal, favoring the speed and ferocity of dual-wielded daggers.
- Furious Strength : With her very large Stamina pool, Thogra is able to make great use of the damage boost from this perk.
- Man o’War : Gets fully stacked after a few dual-wielded power attacks. This perk offers great burst damage, which is what Thogra relies upon in open combat. We aren’t taking the dagger-specific bleed perks or Unleash the Beast because those are much better for elongated fights, which is precisely what we’re trying to avoid.
PICKPOCKET – Another great supportive skill, notably great for early game moneymaking.
- Cutpurse : One of the oldest tricks in Skyrim is to train up a skill then pickpocket the gold back from the trainer, which levels up the chosen skill and Pickpocket all at once. This perk makes it much easier.
- Brotherhood Cocktail : An absolutely key perk, and perhaps the most important perk of the entire build ; reverse pickpocketing poisons works wonders on humanoid enemies.
- Dragon Hoard : 50 000 gold might sound like a lot ; however, Alchemy is extremely lucrative, and you’ll have no trouble reaching ridiculous amounts of wealth with it, not to mention the Game of Fate perk from the Lockpicking tree. The fact that there’s no limit to the number of points you can purchase as long as you’ve got the money to do so makes this perk really amazing in the late game.
SMITHING – While not a common skill for Assassins or Stealth classes in general, Smithing is a late game investment we can afford with our extra perk points. Orcs are also traditionally renowned as great blacksmiths by nature.
- Arcane Blacksmith : The only perk we need from the tree, it allows us to temper the enchanted gear we’ll be using in the late game. A luxury perk though, so you should only invest the 2 points into Smithing after you’ve unlocked every other perk in the build.
SNEAK – The art of remaining unseen. Shadows are, after all, an assassin’s best friends.
- Assassin’s Blade : With Thogra using dual-wielded daggers, we essentially get double value from this already amazing perk.
- Backstab : The best way to use this perk is to deliver a dual-wielded sneak attack from behind your target. Coincidentally enough, that’s exactly what we want to do.
- Problem Solver : Does exactly what its name suggests, and will take care of the pesky, high level poison-immune targets that would otherwise be a pain in the butt to deal with ; goodbye, Draugr Deathlords, Master Vampires and Dragon Priests. And good riddance.
- Clean Escape : Sometimes, you’ll awaken suspicion within enemy ranks before you managed to trim their numbers down ; this perk allows you to get another shot at it.
Not every piece of gear is available from level 1. Some require completing quests, while others have to be found through exploration or bartering. Some even require crafting and tempering skills to become, in turn, better than others. For these reasons, I've split this section into early, middle and late game gear recommendations. Note that the listed stats take into account the optional mods, as well as the enchantment debuff from the Orc racial.
Thogra is at the beginning of her adventures, and has to make do with whatever she can salvage.
HEADGEAR : Torturer's Hood - Tempered
ARMOR : Leather armor - Tempered
GLOVES : Leather bracers - Tempered
BOOTS : Leather boots - Tempered
NECKLACE : Necklace of Minor Health - Fortify Health by 16 points
RING : Ring of Minor Stamina - Fortify Stamina by 16 points
MAIN HAND : Brutal dagger - Crafted
OFF-HAND : Brutal dagger – Crafted
RANGED : Hunting Bow – Tempered
Having become more competent, Thogra is now wearing equipment that fits her newfound status.
HEADGEAR : Linwe's Hood - Prices are 8% better. Bows deal 12% more damage
ARMOR : Linwe's Armor - Increases Stamina by 12 points. Stamina regenerates 20% faster
GLOVES : Linwe's Gloves - One-Handed attacks deal 12% more damage. Locks are 12% easier to pick
BOOTS : Linwe's Boots - Sneaking is 12% more effective. Pickpocket chances are 12% higher
NECKLACE : Necklace of Wielding - One-Handed attacks deal 16% more damage
RING : Muiri's Ring - Created potions are 12% more powerful
MAIN HAND : The Writer's Dagger - Deals 12 points of Fire damage
OFF-HAND : Valdr's Lucky Dagger - Tempered. Has a 25% chance of a critical hit
RANGED : Gauldur Blackbow – Absorbs 24 points of Magicka. Damages Magicka by 24 points
Thogra is unrivaled ; she has become the best at what she does, and now uses finely-crafted, tempered gear imbued with magical properties.
HEADGEAR : Krosis - Bows deal 16% more damage. Created potions are 16% more powerful. Locks are 16% easier to pick
ARMOR : Guild Master's Armor - Tempered. Increases Carry Weight by 48 points and Stamina by 24 points
GLOVES : Guild Master's Gloves - Crafted & Tempered. Enchanted with Backstab
BOOTS : Guild Master's Boots - Crafted & Tempered. Enchanted with Muffle
NECKLACE : Necklace of Peerless Wielding - One-Handed attacks deal 32% more damage
RING : Ring of Peerless Alchemy - Created potions are 20% more powerful
MAIN HAND : Blade of Woe - Tempered. Absorb 8 points of Health
OFF-HAND : Mehrunes' Razor - Tempered. Each hit has a 2% chance of instantly killing your target
RANGED : Nightingale Bow – Tempered. Does 24 points of Frost damage and 12 points of shock damage
MAGICAL EFFECTS : Bonuses gained from completing quests that can be of use to the build
Agent of Dibella, Agent of Mara, Sinderion’s Serendipity
HIDDEN KNOWLEDGE : Abilities granted by reaching the end of a Black Book area
Mora's Boon, Seeker of Shadows, Secret of Protection, Black Market, Lover's Insight (Replace by Companion's Insight if you're using a follower)
While Alchemy might seem tedious, it's actually very simple to make use of with a bit of know-how. Below, I have listed all the poisons and potions in Thogra's arsenal, every ingredient you’ll need, and where you’ll find them. These were designed making sure that no ingredient is present in multiple recipes, so that you never have to go through the dilemma of choosing which decoction to craft over another.
Nightshade + Red Mountain Flower
Orc poisons have a reputation for being simple yet deadly mixtures.
Tips : A lot of ingredients can give the Damage Health effect, but don't use Deathbell or River Betty even though they make for a stronger poison, instead keep those for another recipe.
MIND-RENDING POISON - Damage Health, Damage Magicka, Damage Magicka Regen, Frenzy
Falmer Ear + Hanging Moss + Human Heart
A potent poison corroding the very minds of her foes, Thogra saves it to use against powerful magic-wielders.
Tips : Human Hearts can be hard to find, so use this poison with caution. Reverse pickpocket it only if you need the Frenzy effect above all else.
River Betty + Deathbell + Giant Lichen
A poison of unrivaled viciousness and potency ; it attacks the organs and muscle tissues of its hapless victim.
Tips : As mentioned above, save your Deathbell and River Betty stocks to craft this poison ; use for tougher foes, with Orcish Toxin being your default poison.
Human Flesh + Imp Stool + Slaughterfish Egg
This poison temporarily cuts out the nerve connections of whoever is affected, only to slowly start devouring them.
Tips : A great poison to reverse pickpocket onto a strong foe to take out the rest of the group. Use with care, Human Flesh can be hard to come by.
Scathecraw + Spawn Ash + Jazbay Grapes
This debilitating toxin can cause fatigue, confusion, and most notably, a slow and horrid death.
Tips : Use when fighting large groups, constantly swap targets to apply to all of them. Also, this is another very good poison to reverse pickpocket.
Wheat + Blisterwort
The simplest of brews, carried around by adventurers of all sorts.
Tips : A lot of ingredients can give the Restore Health effect ; feel free to swap them around, but avoid wasting ingredients used in other recipes.
Purple Mountain Flower + Histcarp
Sweet as ale and easy to mix, this potion keeps Thogra's energies replenished.
Tips : As for Restore Health, Restore Stamina is a very commonly found effect ; follow the same guideline as mentioned above for crafting these.
Blue Mountain Flower + Charred Skeever Hide + Mudcrab Chitin
A cure for all ills, and a kindness after the toughest of battles.
Tips : Very situational yet very useful. You don't need to carry around a lot of these at all times. They also sell extremely well and progress your skill fast.
Luna Moth Wing + Vampire Dust
"How can shadows kill… Impossible..."
Tips : Stock up on those ! They're a tremendous tool both offensively and defensively, and only require two ingredients which are cheap and easy to find.
Beehive Husk + Bear Claws + Hawk Feathers
Thogra's tonic of choice, it greatly increases her fighting prowess and makes her as nimble as a cloud of mist.
Tips : Keep an eye on your stock. These potions aren't mandatory to carry at all times but prove extremely useful for boss fights and tough dungeon crawls.
Namira’s Rot + Spider Egg + Juniper Berries
A concoction usually favored by burglars. Keeps the hand steady and the mind focused.
Tips : If you’re low on ingredients, combine a Spider Egg and Juniper Berries for a simple fortify Archery potion.
The complete list of all the ingredients you need for the recipes above. You should, of course, still look to collect any and all ingredients you find ; those not on the list would be best used crafting expensive potions to level up your Alchemy skill and make an ungodly amount of money in the process.
Bear Claws - There are lots of bears in The Rift, especially in caves around Ivarstead.
Beehive Husk - Found in beehives, most commonly seen in The Rift's forests and in Whiterun Hold.
Blisterwort - Commonly found in caves.
Blue Mountain Flower - Commonly found in the wilderness, especially in Whiterun Hold.
Charred Skeever Hide - Found in giant encampments, Falmer caves and some bandit hideouts.
Deathbell - Abundant in the marsh around Morthal.
Falmer Ear - You'll have to take these from Falmer, obviously.
Giant Lichen - Found in the marshes around Morthal, east of Solitude.
Hanging Moss - Found in caves, on buildings, and in Nordic ruins. Great farming spots include Moss Mother Cavern and Eldergleam Sanctuary.
Hawk Feathers - Grab a bow and shoot the birds down. Hawks are commonly found everywhere, but especially around Solitude.
Histcarp - In any waterbank, close to the surface, or in fish barrels. Best farming spots are Riften Fishery and Lake Illinalta.
Human Flesh - A few are hand-placed in the world, but your best bet is to loot them off of Falmer.
Human Heart - A rare find. Try necromancer hideouts, vampire lairs, Forsworn encampments, and Falmer caves.
Imp Stool - Commonly found in caves.
Jazbay Grapes - Commonly found in the hot springs south of Windhelm.
Juniper Berries – Commonly found throughout The Reach.
Luna Moth Wing - Luna Moths only spawn at night, often along roads.
Mudcrab Chitin - Mudcrabs are a common sight around lakes and on the northern coastline.
Namira’s Rot – Commonly found in caves.
Nightshade - Found around cemeteries and vampire lairs, and pretty much around any place that reeks like death.
Purple Mountain Flower - Commonly found in the wilderness, especially in Whiterun Hold.
Red Mountain Flower - Like the other types of mountain flowers, they're commonly found in the wilderness, especially in Whiterun Hold.
River Betty - As for all fish, your best bets are to have a swim in Lake Illinalta or check out the Riften Fishery.
Scathecraw - Abundant in Solstheim, especially in and around Raven Rock.
Slaughterfish Egg - Found on riverbeds and lake shorelines. Best farming spots are the marshes around Morthal and the islands around Goldenglow Estate.
Spawn Ash - Found on Ash Spawn in Solstheim.
Spider Egg – Found in egg sacs in Frostbite Spider lairs. Best farming spot is Cronvangr cave.
Vampire Dust - Found on the bodies of Vampires. After reaching level 10, check out the Hall of the Vigilant.
Wheat - Found in any farm, they spawn in abundance around Whiterun and in Rorikstead.
Master Poisoner (Passive) : Advanced Lab + Double Toil & Trouble + Sinderion’s Serendipity
Thogra knows her way around an alchemy table like no other, and makes the most out of even the smallest batch of ingredients.
Tip : These two passive effects do actually stack, giving you a tremendous amount of potions and poisons to work with.
Shadowstrike : Dual-wielded Sneak power attack + Hide in Shadows + Shadow Step
Thogra blinks to her target and swiftly slits their throat from behind.
Tip : wind up your power attack while affected by Hide in Shadows and use Shadow Step during the animation ; this will let you keep the buff for your attack, which will go off after you blink. Proper timing is key and requires practice, but the effect is well worth it.
Killing Shot : Tonic of Thievery + Problem Solver + Ambush Predator
Thogra carefully aims at her opponent’s heart, putting them down before they even notice her.
Tip : Try to make use of the Hide in Shadows buff as much as you can for increased effectiveness.
Thogra furiously slashes her opponent to dispatch them before they strike.
Tip : Thogra’s only form of defense is offense, so open combat has to be very quick. Thankfully, Initiative and Bloodlust ensure you’ll have enough Stamina to chain multiple power attacks. Let the Berserk buff activate passively, only use the active as a last resort.
STRENGTHS : Very versatile toolkit, unparalleled burst damage, has both melee and ranged options, great class fantasy, amazing late game scaling
WEAKNESSES : Squishy, no magic options, no blocking capabilities, bad in elongated open fights
Thogra gra-Karosh, the Crimson Dirk
Thogra is an Assassin, a cunning fighter that uses daggers and bows alike, and dabbles into Alchemy to craft vicious poisons and self-enhancing potions. Assassins typically favor a stealthy approach over direct combat, and don’t use any sort of magic.
While Orcs are typically not the first race you think of for a Stealth-based class, they actually provide a lot of benefits to such a playstyle ; firstly, their racial ability Shockwave provides emergency, multi-target crowd control, which is something these classes usually crucially lack. Secondly, Strength of Steel is great, as raw weapon damage is multiplied by Sneak attack modifiers, while enchantment damage is not. And lastly, since Assassins only engage in open fights as a last resort, and have mediocre defensive capabilities, Bloodlust allows us to rush through this tricky part of combat ; the less time you spend actually fighting, the better.
Speaking of combat, Thogra’s approach is typically to thin out the ranks of her enemies, following this order of priority : mages first, archers second, melees last. To set up your ambush, get into a dark, safe spot, and snipe off isolated targets with Killing Shot. Should you see a target within range of Shadow Step that is in an ideal position for you, you may Shadowstrike them instead. Usually, Orcish Toxin combined with these techniques is enough to land a killing blow, however, you should always pick the poison that fits the situation the most ; your beneficial potions such as Assassin’s Elixir and Tonic of Thievery are excellent damage boosts in the right situations, and should be used accordingly. Note that, as mentioned in the Perks section, the Lab Skeever perk allows you, should you find an alchemy lab, to tremendously extend their duration. In this case, you’ll want to use both of them for maximum usage of this buff.
If and when discovered, the movement speed from Bloodlust, Blur and Windrunner is pretty much your only line of defense, and you should look to dodge incoming blows, seeing as you can’t parry them. Never use your bow in open combat, instead resort to your daggers and Slice & Dice through any enemy that gets too close. Note that you can use Shadow Step as an escape tool, or during the animation of a power attack to get the jump on an incoming foe. Berserk should activate by itself, and even though the damage boost is nice, it isn’t mandatory to finish off most enemies ; as using the active disables the random activations, you should only do it if absolutely necessary. The key to mastering this class is the same as for any Stealth-based character : fight with your brain first and your brawns second.
Aside from Thogra’s alchemical recipes, you should make use of this skill to fund your Dragon Hoard perk. Indeed, Master Poisoner makes Alchemy even more lucrative than it already can be.
This concludes the eleventh build I’m posting as part of my Project 21 series, namely my Assassin build. Thanks a lot for reading it ! This build has taken me more time and effort than I could have imagined, and I really, really do hope it shows. Assassins and Stealth-based classes are my favorite ones to play in any RPG, and I tried my absolute hardest to do them justice. As always, I was heavily influenced by pop culture fantasy characters, and the main inspiration for this build is Garona Halforcen from the Warcraft universe.
First and foremost, very special thanks to DenaHelmi, as I used gorgeous art of hers in this presentation, namely the very last image in the backstory section. I highly suggest you guys check out her work, I’m sure the fantasy vibe in her drawings will please your eyes, and maybe give you some character ideas ! I would also like to extend my thanks to Kris Takahashi, creator of Interesting NPCs amongst many other great mods, and of the Crimson Dirks, whose lore I used in this character's backstory. 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 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. Since I joined this community, Furrion has given me nothing but constructive input, words of encouragement, and sincere friendship, for which I am immensely grateful. This project I’m having so much fun working on simply would not exist without him, his work, his advice and his support.
That's all from me for now, expect more soon ! Don't hesitate to comment and share your experience playing Thogra, 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
ARCHER : Kastav, the Turncoat
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
SORCERER : Lanathel, the Bloodsworn
SPELLSWORD : Ariane, the Skystrider
WARRIOR : Kazan, the Lion of Bangkorai
WITCHHUNTER : Taren Verelas, the Beckoner of Retribution