Character Build: The Feral One


The Feral One

“Some can't separate the animal from themselves. Go feral.” – Offhand comment by Aela that inspired this build.

Recall the first time you become a werewolf during the Companions questline, where you are thrown out onto the streets of Whiterun and given the opportunity to terrorize the people. That is what this build is all about. With a predefined path set out for it, this is a roleplay-intensive build, one that explores what it means to lose yourself to the beast within. It combines all the destructive fun of my Raider with none of the crafting; making it a quick and simple build to put together that is nevertheless a blast to play.

Race: Your choice. Orc provides the best skill boosts and racial power, but I went with Nord to match the atmosphere of the Companions.

Stone: All your skills are combat skills, making the Warrior a good choice. Later on, you’ll want to go with the Lord for its extra defenses as well as for the fact that its effect still applies in Beast Form.

Stats: 0/2/1. Standard warrior stat spread, not much else to say.

Equipment: Iron->Steel->Skyforge Steel Sword, Iron->Banded Iron->Steel Shield, Long->Hunting Bow, Iron->Banded Iron->Steel->Wolf Armor, and whatever jewelry you can find with useful enchantments.

Skills: One-Handed, Block, Heavy Armor, and Archery. It’s a basic skillset, designed to simply let you use your equipment more effectively. You can put a perk into Steel Smithing (doubles the improvement of all your equipment) if you’d like, but since this build doesn’t use its equipment setup for the later levels, I didn’t bother.


Becoming The Wolf

With this character, I wanted a character that would level up very naturally throughout the course of the playthrough (i.e. no crafting) and had a believable skillset for a companion (i.e. no stealthy mage types). I settled on my favorite style of melee combat, sword and board, to be the primary focus on combat, but you could customize the skillset any number of ways. Swapping one for two-handed, dropping block in favor of dual-wielding, swapping heavy for light armor, or dropping archery for a melee-only approach are all options. With regards to actual combat, standard sword and board tactics apply, along with archery for ranged offense as necessary. For healing, simply rely on any potions you buy/find.

After escaping Helgen with Hadlof, pick up the Warrior Stone, then go to Riverwood and speak with Gervor. From there, go to Whiterun and speak with Jarl Balgruuf, but don’t talk with Farengar, as you don’t need to go any further into the Main Quest. Instead, go to Jorrvaskr and start the Companions questline. Play it as normal up until you become a werewolf, at which point things shift slightly.

While you’ll still continue to use your standard sword and board fighting style, you’ll also want to start utilizing your newfound beast form as much as possible. As a werewolf, your power attacks will frequently ragdoll enemies, so use them frequently; you have stamina to spare anyway. You can also use your Howl of Terror to scatter weaker foes as much as you like, and with the incredible sprinting abilities of the werewolf, you can easily hunt them down.

With the Dawnguard DLC, you can get perks for your werewolf form. Go straight for Savage Feeding first; it’ll make getting additional perks easier. From there, max out Bestial Strength and finally grab Totem of Terror. Since you won’t be becoming Harbinger, you’ll never be able to get the Totems of Hircine, thus making the Totem of the Predator, Ice Brothers, and Moon perks useless.

Continue playing through the Companions questline, being the honorable shield-sibling that you are, up until you have to speak with Kodlak to start Blood’s Honor, where things will take a turn for the worse. You should be around level 20 with a perk spread that looks something like this at that point.


Descent Into Savagery

Upon speaking to Kodlak, our noble companion has a heated argument with him, saying that it’s foolish to throw away a gift as beautiful as Lycanthropy, and leaves Jorrvaskr in a fit of anger, traveling south to Falkreath. It is there that he meets Sinding and, feeling a sense of kinship with his fellow wolf, agrees to help him. It is this same sense of kinship that leads our companion to spare Sinding’s life during the events that follow, and for his efforts, Hircine grants him his ring. Little does our companion know, however, that the ring’s power is what finally allows the beast to overtake him, sealing his humanity away and leaving him with nothing but the desire to hunt and kill. This is where the build truly begins…

At this point, you can toss out most of your equipment; all you need is your bow, arrows, a pair of Ragged Trousers, and the Ring of Hircine. With the ring, you are capable of shifting into beast form as many times as you want, provided you re-equip it after every transformation and select its specific power in the menu (not Beast Form).

As far as gameplay goes, most of the fun from this build comes from shifting into Beast Form and attacking towns and settlements, be they a small little hamlet or a big city like Riften. When your transformation time is nearing its end, or you feel like you’re being overwhelmed, retreat back into the wilds, preferably to a safe campsite of your choosing. As a human, you’ll avoid settlements and contact with other people in general, opting to live the huntsman/survivalist life instead. This is where you’ll use your bow to hunt for game, living off the land like a true outdoorsman.

Where you want your Feral One to go next is up to you. Perhaps he finally meets his match one day attacking a hold capital. Perhaps he finally comes to his senses after a particularly gruesome murder and learns to control the beast within. Maybe he even returns to the Companions, becoming Harbinger and finally curing himself. Or perhaps he never regains his humanity, remaining a pawn of Hircine and hunting forever. Regardless of where you take your character, it will doubtlessly be a fun playthrough filled with exciting roleplay. If you liked this, then check out my other builds to see more!

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