The Dumner has always fascinated me but I have never had a proper playthrough with one until now, and I knew I wanted it to be different, something that hasn’t been done nor seen before. And I managed to come up with something that I think is original and fun to play. So now I present you...
In Tamriel, the term warrior can mean a few things as well as being named other things, like a sell-sword or a blade-for-hire. It can be a man sits around a tavern, boasting of his skill in battle to attract a customer. Or it could be an elf warlock who one hires when exploring dark ruins in the search for treasure. But there is one meaning that most don’t get to see very often. The man and women who would rather kill for a bag of gold then earn a normal trade. These people are vile, vicious murderers, who make the Dark Brotherhood look civilized. You don’t want to cross one on your travels. But this build focuses on one of those mercenaries in a whole new way.
Race: They also get a bonus to two of the skills we will be using and their racial power, Dunmer, for roleplaying purposes.Ancestor’s Wrath, isn’t a bad one to use every now and again.
Stone: Warrior, then Lord. This build is unarmoured so the extra boost with the Lord Stone might save your life.
Base Stats: 0/3/2. You’re going to needing the health early on and the low stamina might be a pain for a while when you’re power attacking but you can use Vegetable Soup to keep refreshing stamina for the first twenty or so levels. This build, unlike other Elven builds, makes no use of magicka skill.
Major Skills: Heavy Armour, Alchemy, Two Handed and Sneak
Minor Skills: Archery, Smithing and Block (unperked)
Dragon Shouts: Aura Whisper, Elemental Fury, Slow Time, Disarm, Become Ethereal, Throw Voice and Fire Breath. Aura Whisper will help you get a clear idea of what lies ahead, while using Elemental Fury will speed up your weapon swing. Slow Time is the best shout to use against mages. When in trouble Disarm a tough opponent for an easier fight and use Throw Voice when hidden to separate enemies from one another as they search for you. And finally, Fire Breath is your primary offensive shout.
Followers: None, but if you really want to use one, stay away from the sellswords. The Dunmer Warrior no longer trust there blades-for-hire and instead either hunts alone or with Dark Elves he has befriended. Those would be one of the following:
Athis (Begin the Companion quest line)
Aranea (If you choose her side in The Black Star)
Erandur (destroy the Skull of Corruption during Waking Nightmare quest)
Ralis (Spare him during the DB quest, Unearthed)
Telvas (Complete his DB quest, From the Ashes)
The Dunmer Warrior is a former sellsword who belonged to a unique group that taught many skills to the members. As a result, the Dunmer Warrior is a diverse and unusual breed of elf who favours a sword over spell, heavy armour over light. However, he still sticks the shadows and focuses on alchemy like others of his kind.
He is a true hunter, rivalling even some Bosmer with the bow, and knows how to catch any prey. He stalks, he strikes, and he succeeds. He also wears minimal armour, just gauntlets, boots and occasionally, a helmet. A pair of ragged trousers is suffice enough for him and no more. His armour is rusted and rugged, but he’s proud of it. True warriors can best their enemies with only their skills and their wit, not fancy-smancy armour.
He cares not for any of his Dunmer traditions, such as gods, Daedra Princes and magic, in fact, he acts the opposite of it. He dislikes magic, bards and people who are racist towards his people. He doesn’t hate his people, but rather the stereotypes around them.
((Disclaimer: This build is designed to be playable on vanilla Skyrim, however, it was play tested on PC with many mods installed. If I have missed something, please let me know.))
Heavy Armour: Like I mentioned above, this build is mostly unarmoured, but we will still need some gauntlets and boots, and maybe a helm (optional). I preferred the look of the grittier looking armours (Iron, Orcish and Ancient Nord respectively) so I used them to emphasise the fact that the Dunmer Warrior is a capable warrior, armour or not. It also gives up an extra challenge against bosses. For your body, head up to Solitude and nab the Ragged Trousers off the pirate on the Dainty Sload. Also, if you have Dragonborn, the Bonemold Armour is also a fine choice for your armour.
Alchemy: The Dunmer Warrior knows exactly with plants make the best poisons, as well as what heals him. He can whip up devastating potions to cripple those who oppose him and to heal himself in the heat of a fight. Never leave home without a potion!
Two Handed: Years of fighting and slaying have honed this Dunmer’s abilities into sheer brute force. I used a greatsword for both looks and speed, but a warhammer and battleaxe will also work if you prefer them. For your choice of weapon, stick with the same policy for your armour; choose gritty, rough-looking stuff. Good examples include Iron, Ancient Nord, Skyforged Steel, Orchish and Nord Hero.
Sneak: The Dunmer Warrior knows he cannot always overcome with sheer force, but he is no coward. He stalks his prey in the shadows, eyes glistening like shiny rubies, as he watches and waits. When the timing is right, he springs and slashes, before retreating back to await his next kill. He is the true hunter of the night
Archery: Mostly used as a secondary combat skill, the Dunmer Warrior uses this to hunt animals for food, pick off lone foes on patrol or cripple larger ones before springing into action.
Smithing: The equipment of a DW is very basic but it still needs to be maintained. The only perks I used were Arcane Blacksmith and the heavy side of the tree, up to Orcish.
Block: The final skill that we have, but this one will be unperked as many of the perks apply to shields. Put some on Shield Wall if you desire, but I personally didn’t.
Helm of Yngol
Amulet of Talos
Any Ring - Fortify Sneak
Orcish Gauntlets - Fortify Two Hand
Ragged Trousers - Fortify Heavy Armour
Orcish Boots - Muffle
Skyforged Steel Greatsword - Shock Damage
Orchish Bow - Soul Trap
The Orcish armour is relatively low quality compared to other armours we could use but as we are sticking with ‘rough’ armours, this is what we’ll end up with. By now you should be able to enchant your armour to decent levels, even without perks, so do that to all your gear once you get Arcane Blacksmithas a perk. If you dislike the helmet like I do, you can instead acquire the Helm of Yngol which has a unique enchantment for a helmet.
The Dunmer Warrior will head into combat in a few ways. He knows he is unarmoured and more vulnerable than others, but that doesn’t mean he can’t still take down nearly every enemy. You have to be faster, smarter and stronger then everyone who comes in your face.
As an alchemist, you should always keep Health Potions on hand, as well as many poisons, Restore Stamina potions and the occasional Invisibility Potion. The Dunmer Warrior brews these potions and poisons for himself at every opportunity. Always harvest ingredients when on the road.
Your footwork is crucial. Stay low and hidden during most dungeons and keep your bow at the ready. Listen carefully for the noise of footsteps and breathing or use Aura Whisper to seek out those behind walls. Now that you know where your enemies are, either take them down one by one with your bow orsneak attack with your greatsword.
Against multiple foes, the perk Sweep will become your new best friend. Lure enemies to tight spaces like stairwells before cutting them down. If you become overwhelmed, drink one of your health and stamina potions to either keep cutting them down or use the shout Become Ethereal to take a minute to recuperate and find a stop to bunker down. Disarming them with the Disarm shout is also another option.
When sneaking, use Throw Voice to send enemies searching for you while hiding. Use the confusion to either pick off a few foes or by moving to another hiding spot. When the dust settles, spring into action and slash up what is left. This is especially effective with the perk Great Critical Charge.
Against magic users, use Elemental Fury to speed up your swing and use the cover around you to block their attack and to take the time to coat your blade with a Drain Magicka poison before charging in. Block-bash if you’re having trouble getting a good shot before power-attacking.
Overall, the Dunmer Warrior is a silent, stealthy ranger from afar, but a close-cutting, poisoning fiend when he’s in your face. He is, after all, a former mercenary. He knows how to kill and to win a fight.
Mages are the biggest threat to this build so using this tactic will help turn the tide of the fight to you favour. When you’re in trouble, consume a Restore Vitality Potion (Luna Moth Wing + Vampire Dust) which will not only heal you but render you invisible. Use the opportunity to head to another location to sneak and hide yourself. Then, poison your blade with a Vicious Magicka Damage Poison (Glow Dust + Hanging Moss) and call out to your opponent and slay them!
Requirements: Restore Vitality Potion + Shadow Warrior + Vicious Magicka Damage Poison + Throw Voice
Sometime, melee attacks aren’t enough. The Dunmer Warrior has spent a life of being chased, humiliated, attacked and hunted, but this will be no more now. All his pent up fury and rage will transform him into a lethal weapon of pure muscle and strength that will stop at nothing to destroy his attackers. First, the Dunmer Warrior calls on the souls of his ancestors to fuel his power (Ancestor’s Wrath), and then drink a potion of Dunmer Rage (Dragon’s Tongue + Mudcrab Chitin + Troll Fat) and then unleashing a vicious shout that melts everything in its path (Fire Breath).
Requirements: Ancestor’s Wrath Racial Power + Dunmer Rage potion + Fire Breath Shout
Fortify Health + Restore Health = Wheat + Blue Mountain Flower
Fortify Health + Restore Health + Restore Stamina = Bear Claws + Charred Skeever Hide + Wheat
Regenerate Health + Invisibility = Luna Moth Wing + Vampire Dust
Resist Fire + Resist Frost + Resist Shock = Mudcrab Chitin + Snowberries + Thistle Branch
Fortify Two Hand + Resist Poison + Resist Fire = Dragon’s Tongue + Mudcrab Chitin + Troll Fat
Damage Health + Lingering Health Damage = Imp Stool + Orange Dartwing + River Betty
Damage Health + Slow = Deathbell + River Betty
Lingering Health Damage + Paralyse = Canis Root + Imp Stool + Orange Dartwing
Damage Magicka + Damage Magicka Regen = Glow Dust + Hanging Moss
Other useful guides:
Dragon's Alchemy Guide
Useful Potions with DLC Ingredients
- The Dunmer Warrior is typically a loner and very wary of others. He isn’t out to make friends with anyone but a bag of coin is always enough to sway his favour and earn his trust. He only became the Thane of Whiterun after a misunderstanding between him and the Jarl.
- However, he still respects his brothers and sisters of the ash and will always help out a fellow Dunmer. If they turn against him however, he will not hesitate to fight back.
- The Dunmer Warrior refuses to hire sellswords and if he meets them on the road, he’ll extract information from them in exchange for their life.
- He is neither good nor evil. He does tasks depending on how he is feeling or on the reward he is given. He however does result to insults with grand force… Slay anyone who crosses you.
- The Dunmer Warrior has not got a lick of magical talent to his name. The only magic he can use is scrolls and even then, he rarely uses them.
- No house and 2.5 kids for this guy – Use Breezehome for the alchemy lab but don’t spend much time there. Use storage-safe huts across the land for homes. Drelas’ Cottage, and Anise’s Cabin are good choices. Also avoid the cities as much as possible, stick to the smalls towns for trading and supplies.
- Collect every ingredient you see and kill every beast you see. Let nothing go to waste and live off the land
- Receive blessings rarely. The Dunmer Warrior believes the gods have abandoned his people after the eruption of Red Mountain.
- The Dunmer Warrior does not directly commune with the Daedric Princes but usually finds himself accidently completing their challenges.
With this character, play the DLC’s in order after you’ve finished the Main Quest and the Companions quest line to represent the character’s growth as not just a former Warrior but as a true warrior.
In base Skyrim, he is a little confused but doesn’t show it. He wants to escape his past and prove he’s not just another refuge from Morrowind; he’s a true warrior, perhaps one of the best in the land. He wants to help his brothers and sisters of the ash but he doesn’t want to get too deeply involved in matters that aren’t his to be involved with (Civil War quest line).
Regarding the Dark Brotherhood, it is a personal choice of each player if they make their Dunmer Warrior join the Brotherhood. I personally didn’t but I didn’t destroy it either.
The following are quests which I think fit the role of the Dunmer Mercenary: Main Quest, Companions, Thieves Guild, Dawnguard (optional), All Dragonborn quests, The Black Star, Boethiah’s Calling, Kyne’s Sacred Trials, Ancestral Worship, The White Phial, Dungeon Radiant Quests and anything that helps Dunmer.
Overall, I am pretty proud of my second attempt at a build. Any questions, queries, comments or criticisms, please feel free to post! I hope you enjoy playing with your Dunmer Warrior as much as I have.