Character Build: The Fireheart Raider (Requiem)


The Fireheart Raider is a restless adventurer and a cunning fighter, combining their skills with ordinary hand weapons, and simple but effective magic, to carve their way into the pages of history as they search far and wide for a foe who can finally stop them. While they don’t fight without reason, they are always looking for trouble. Hunting bounties, uncovering powerful magical artifacts, delving into ancient ruins, provoking Justiciars, and fighting all manner of monsters, the Fireheart lives for both the thrill of combat, and the satisfaction of leaving the world better than they found it. They are always on the move, taking on ever more dangerous foes, and seeking ever greater rewards, slowly graduating from the petty evils of bandits and insurgents, to malicious Daedra and other foes that threaten to consume their very world. An unconventional fighter, the Fireheart is skilled in the use of two-handed swords and polearms, combining them with rapid maneuvers and tactics to take on whole groups of enemies alone, while also making use of their intermediate magical talent for healing and protective spells, and using their burgeoning Thu’um and carefully honed weapons to support their attacks.

Recommended Mods

Requiem - The Roleplaying Overhaul is key to the build, since it makes use of Requiem’s completely overhauled vanilla perks, and it was designed to survive the increased difficulty of Requiem’s unleveled world and deadlier combat. While one could take this build and translate it into vanilla Skyrim or a perk overhaul like Ordinator, where it would still be fairly effective, the whole point was to create a build that a player new to Requiem could use, to not only survive, but thrive, with the added challenge of the mod.

Fozar’s Dragonborn Patch is also recommended since Requiem doesn’t include Dragonborn content normally, but it isn’t essential.

Honed Metal is an optional quality-of-life mod that provides access to tempered and enchanted equipment without investing in crafting skills, by paying smiths and enchanters to do the work for you with custom orders. The build can still function quite well without it, but it’s great to have.

Alternate Start - Live Another Life is another optional mod, providing a more concise and flexible way to start the game. The “shipwrecked off the coast” option is recommended, but the vanilla start is still fine, and still fits the character’s backstory, if you prefer to use it.


Returning to Skyrim after spending most of their life in High Rock, the Fireheart’s Nord physiology shrugs off frost and shock magic, while their stature and strength make them well-suited to fighting at close range.

Standing Stone

The Lord Stone offers even further protection from both magical and physical attacks, combining with the Fireheart’s own innate sturdiness and their Mage Armor spells to make them truly durable, even without being covered in steel from head to toe. The Warrior Stone is fine for a while if you use the vanilla start, but you should switch to the Lord Stone once you’re able to reach it.


1 Magicka | 0 Health | 0 Stamina

Prioritize Magicka first, as it will be low, and you will need a lot of it to cast your support spells consistently. Keep putting points in until the base value reaches 200 (at level 24 if you’re playing with vanilla Requiem’s beginning stat allocation). Besides giving you a nice magicka pool from which to cast your spells, this also gives you a few points of magic resistance and increases your magicka regeneration speed. Note that Requiem reduces the attribute increase per level-up from 10 points to 5 points.

0 Magicka | 1 Health | 0 Stamina

After reaching 200 base Magicka, put all remaining points into Health, as this will help to improve your Two-Handed damage with Requiem’s derived-attributes system, and of course it will let you survive more damage. When you reach level 40, at which point the build is pretty much complete, you should be at:

200 Magicka | 200 Health | 120 Stamina

After this point, you can keep adding Health if you want to keep the build going. Bear in mind that these are base values only, and will receive many large bonuses from the Gauldur Amulet, the Oghma Infinium, the Transmute Muscles spell, stews, and/or divine blessings from Arkay, Kynareth, or Akatosh.

Major Skills

Two-Handed (Swords and hammers), Evasion (Light Armor), Alteration, Restoration

Minor Skills

Block, Speech (Thu’um branch), Smithing (Optional)

Recommended Perk Priority Order

  1. Level 1 Starter Perks (3 Already Given)
    1. Two-Handed: Great Weapon Mastery I
    2. Block: Improved Blocking
    3. Restoration: Novice Restoration
      1. Spells to Study: Healing Aura On Self, Healing Aura On Target
      2. Spell to Purchase: Heal Self I
  2. Two-Handed: Great Weapon Mastery II
  3. Speech: Haggling
  4. Evasion: Agility
  5. Alteration: Novice Alteration
    1. Spells to Study: Mage Armor on Self I, Candlelight
  6. Block: Strong Grip
  7. Two-Handed: Barbaric Might
  8. Evasion: Dodge
  9. Block: Experienced Blocking
  10. Alteration: Magic Resistance I
  11. Alteration: Apprentice Alteration
    1. Spells to Study: Mage Armor on Self II, Transmute Muscles
    2. Spells to Purchase: Knock (Rank I), Featherfalling
  12. Two-Handed: Greatsword Focus I
  13. Two-Handed: Warhammer Focus I
  14. Evasion: Finesse
  15. Restoration: Apprentice Restoration
    1. Spells to Study: Heal Self II, Protection from Poison on Self
    2. Spells to Purchase: Healing Hands I, Protection from Poison on Target
  16. Alteration: Empowered Alterations
  17. Restoration: Benefactor’s Insight
  18. Two-Handed: Devastating Charge
  19. Alteration: Magic Resistance II
  20. Two-Handed: Greatsword Focus II
  21. Two-Handed: Warhammer Focus II
  22. Evasion: Vexing Flanker
  23. Evasion: Dexterity
  24. Evasion: Agile Spellcasting
  25. Alteration: Adept Alteration
    1. Spells to Study: Mage Armor on Self III, Knock (Rank II)
    2. Spell to Purchase: Transmute Water
  26. Two-Handed: Devastating Strike
  27. Restoration: Adept Restoration
    1. Spells to Study: Heal Self III, Healing Hands II
  28. Restoration: Improved Healing
  29. Speech: Lore of the Thu’um (Only useful after The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller)
  30. Speech: The Way of the Voice (Only useful after The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller)
  31. Speech: Indomitable Force (Only useful after The Throat of the World, requires meditating on Fus with Paarthurnax)
  32. Two-Handed: Greatsword Focus III
  33. Two-Handed: Warhammer Focus III
  34. Evasion: Combat Reflexes
  35. Evasion: Windrunner
  36. Alteration: Magic Resistance III
  37. Alteration: Expert Alteration
    1. Spells to Study: Mage Armor on Self IV, Paralyze
  38. Restoration: Expert Restoration
    1. Spells to Study: Powerful Healing Aura on Self, Powerful Healing Aura on Target
  39. Restoration: Respite

Note that you may be unable to follow the perk priority order exactly, but this is just a rough suggestion, based on how things progressed during my own playtest. You can always use gold to pay for training if one of your skills is lagging behind the others. Also note that picking one of the main-branch perks for a magic school allows you to study two spells from that school by selecting them from a list after you assign your perk point, learning them for free. Recommendations for which spells to pick are listed for each perk in the build’s progression.

Smithing Perk Priority Order

  1. Craftsmanship (Requires The Craftsman’s Manual)
  2. Advanced Light Armors (Requires An Introduction to Scale Armors)
  3. Dwarven Smithing (Requires The Art of Dwarven Blacksmithing)
  4. Advanced Blacksmithing
  5. Nordic Smithing (Requires Art of the Nordic Blacksmiths)
  6. Ebony Smithing (Requires Harder Than Steel - How to work with Ebony)
  7. Stalhrim Smithing (Requires completion of the “A New Source of Stalhrim” quest)
  8. Legendary Blacksmithing
  9. Draconic Smithing (Requires The Compendium of Draconic Armor)

Smithing is left out of the main priority order because it isn’t essential to the build, and doesn’t level up smoothly, depending on how much effort you put into leveling it, and how important better equipment is to you, compared to saving perks. Flying off to fight Alduin is not recommended if all you have is some untempered silver and Dwarven weapons, but spending too much time on crafting skills may bore some people. If you do invest in Smithing, make sure to create the most valuable items you can with the materials you have, as experience gained scales with item value. Tempering each weapon and piece of armor you make is also very resource-efficient for the amount of experience gained. Jewelry, unlocked at skill level 50, is very valuable and levels up the skill quite fast. If you don’t want to sell the equipment you make, be sure to recycle it at a smelter or tanning rack, to reclaim some material and use it for even more leveling up.

Final Perks




Mage Armor I-IV, Transmute Muscles, Protection From Poison, Featherfalling, Circle of Protection


Healing Aura on Self/Target, Heal Self I-III, Powerful Healing Aura on Self


Candlelight, Knock I-II, Transmute Water, Paralyze I



Note that all armor selections are suggestions only, as none of them are really essential to the build. They’re mostly just selected to create an aesthetic that fits the character while still providing good stats. I’ve play-tested the build with a number of different armors against the most difficult enemies in Requiem, and you can get by with generic Glass Armor or Dragonscale Armor, or even faction armor like the Dawnguard Armor, if that’s your preference. Weapon suggestions are also a bit loose, although the Blade of the Pale and Volendrung both make many fights significantly easier, so those two shouldn’t be ignored.

Early Gear

Whatever light armor you can find that provides a good armor rating while fitting your aesthetic preferences. A ring and/or necklace of Resist Magic can be a big help in pushing you above the 50% magic resistance threshold required to avoid getting tossed around by enemy shouts and secondary magical effects. If you happen to find or buy other pieces of armor you like with Fortify Two-Handed, Fortify Stamina II, Fortify Health II, Resist Frost/Fire/Shock, etc., even better.

Note that Requiem adds a supplemental damage-types-and-resistances system, categorizing physical attacks as ranged (bows and crossbows), slashing (swords and axes), blunt (maces and hammers), or piercing (daggers). Torso armors each have different levels of extra resistances to these damage types, so while you can get by on your armor rating while leaving out bracers, a helmet, or boots, you shouldn’t go without torso armor.

Improved Gear


  • Savior’s Hide
    • The final choice for physical protection. Poison and disease immunity are good on their own, but the real draw is the 25% magic resistance, which is an effect not usually seen on torso armor, and very powerful. Its base armor rating is a bit low, but it still provides great physical protection thanks to its weapon resistance bonuses. Thanks to the vanilla model’s… questionable aesthetics, I personally recommend replacing the mesh, with either the model replacer option from the Wolf Knight Armor mod, or the one from the Comprehensive Sleeves Pack mod.
  • Otar’s mask
    • This provides 30% resistance each to fire, shock, and frost damage, but adds no armor rating. Use it whenever you’re expecting to take any notable amount of magical damage. Just remember that a helmet is better if all you’re dealing with is physical damage.
  • The Gauldur Amulet
    • Immunity to paralysis, health drain, and magicka damage from being hit, is a major power boost, while the attribute increases are a nice bonus. The long quest to reconstruct the amulet is also quite fun, and the final fight with all three Gauldur brothers is a memorable challenge.
  • Ring of Extreme Sure Grip
    • Red Eagle provides a great Ring of Extreme Sure Grip (Fortify Two-Handed) after you bring him down during his quest. Make sure not to swap out your Resist Magic ring (assuming you hopefully have one) for this too soon, since being above the 50% magic resistance threshold is more important than a damage boost. If you have to wait on the Savior’s Hide, Alteration perks, and/or finding the Lord Stone, it’s worth it to wait and not get tossed around by Unrelenting Force shouts.

Optional Gear


Honed Metal can be used to add custom enchantments to your armor, but the build is still perfectly viable without them.

  • Deathbrand Armor
    • A great alternative armor if you have Dragonborn content enabled, with fantastic resistances and all-around protection from just about every source of damage. I'm quite fond of combining the Outlandish Stalhrim and Stalhrim Helmet Replacer (ported to SSE) mods to make it look worthy of taking on Tamriel’s strongest foes.
  • Light Helmet (Fortify Magicka Regen)
    • Having any decent helmet is a good option when facing melee or archer enemies, where physical protection is more important than magic resistance. The optional enchantment is also nice for keeping up your defensive spells. I personally like Requiem’s open-faced Guard’s Helmet, mostly for the way it looks.
  • Light Bracers/Gauntlets (Fortify Two-Handed)
    • This is a nice damage boost for whatever arm protection you prefer to use. You can even enchant simple unarmored gloves with the same effect. I personally prefer Scaled Bracers, just to match the aesthetic of the Savior’s Hide.
  • Light Boots (Resist Fire)
    • Fire resistance rounds out the inherent Nord bonuses of frost resistance and shock resistance, making you well-equipped to deal with any and all elemental damage. I personally like to use Scaled Boots to match the aesthetic of the Savior’s Hide.
  • The White Phial
    • Not exactly an enchantment, but still worth mentioning. Pick the “I want to deal more damage in battle” option, and use it whenever you need a damage boost against a tough enemy. Bear in mind that it takes a full in-game day to regenerate.

Recommended Swords

10064281488?profile=RESIZE_710xThese are the go-to weapon option outside of a Dwemer ruin, as the increased swing speed and reach compared to hammers make them better for general use. Animals, dragon priests and most other undead, and regular humanoid enemies, will generally be easier to kill with a sword than a hammer. The Ebony/Dragonbone Greatsword is likely to eclipse the others, since it will kill most enemies so quickly that enchantment damage from the other options becomes irrelevant.

  • Silver Greatsword
    • In Requiem, silver weapons will be on par with even ebony weapons against undead enemies due to a damage bonus, so this one may be worth keeping around for a while. Ghosts in particular also have a massive resistance to all physical damage besides silver and Daedric weapons, so don’t be too quick to get rid of it if you’re likely to face ghostly summons or other enemies.
  • Blade of Falkreath
    • Unlike the vanilla Thane weapons, Requiem’s versions all have manually programmed enchantments and weapon types, so they won’t change between playthroughs. This one is a nice greatsword with a high-tier shock damage enchantment, and a bonus effect that deals irresistible damage to Dwemer automatons. It’s easier to acquire than the Blade of the Pale, since taking out a bandit camp or running errands for the Jarl of Falkreath isn’t as dangerous as clearing out Nightcaller Temple.
  • Blade of the Pale
    • An otherwise identical greatsword to the Blade of Falkreath, this one has a fire damage enchantment, making it more useful against most regular humanoid enemies, and of course against undead. It’s probably a bit better than the Blade of Falkreath in most situations. However, taking out the high-level mages and Orsimer warriors in Nightcaller Temple, in order to get it, isn’t exactly easy.
  • Ebony/Dragonbone Greatsword
    • The final upgrade from whatever generic swords you may find or make up until this point. Whether you enchant it or not is up to you, since by the time you get it, you may already be slicing almost everything in half without too much effort. I personally didn’t feel any need to enchant my main sword by the time it was smithed and tempered, during my own playtest. If you invest in Smithing, dragonbone equipment is attainable without too much trouble. If you don't invest in Smithing, even with Honed Metal, it's likely to be too expensive to be worth it, so you may end up finishing your adventures while still using a much cheaper, and almost as effective, ebony greatsword instead.

Recommended Hammers

10064340469?profile=RESIZE_710xUse these to deal with naturally tough or armored enemies, such as skeletons, atronachs, dragons, Dwemer automatons, gargoyles, ebony vampires, and Slighted. Both the Longhammer and Volendrung are worth keeping around for different purposes during endgame quests. Volendrung utterly demolishes Slighted during individual duels and can sustain you in tough slugging matches where you’re likely to run low on stamina, but the Longhammer still excels at smashing through large groups of Dwemer automatons, gargoyles, and other “lesser” armored enemies due to its faster speed.

  • Ebony Warhammer
    • Although a generic weapon, you can find one fairly early, by fighting Olaf One-Eye during the Tending the Flames quest. He’s tough to fight, but ultimately he only commands a mid-sized group of Draugr, so taking him on is an easier challenge than acquiring the other two hammers.
  • The Longhammer
    • Although it can only be acquired by fighting a sizable group of bandits and Falmer, this weapon is well worth it. The unusually fast swing speed makes it great at recovering quickly after a power attack, and allows you to more easily duel with quick-hitting but heavily armored melee enemies like Dwarven Spheres and gargoyles. I’ve found through practical experience that even in Requiem, the better swing speed is more important than its slightly lower base damage when compared to other options.
  • Volendrung
    • This monster of a hammer, made even more powerful by Requiem, runs out of enchantment charges quickly, but it can be a game-changer. The combination of a paralysis and stamina absorption enchantment makes it downright unfair to use against normal enemies, and a great equalizer for taking on the notorious Slighted. Finding the Daedra heart needed to acquire it can be difficult, but you should find one in Nightcaller Temple, which you already had to clear out in order to get the Blade of the Pale, and one more in Sinderion’s Field Laboratory in Blackreach, where you have to go to advance the main quest.


10064309282?profile=RESIZE_710xThe main focus of the build is two-handed swords and hammers, used in a cautious, movement-intensive style to reduce large groups of enemies into one-on-one encounters. Once an enemy is isolated, they are struck down with rapid, overwhelming force. Parrying blows with a weapon is something the Fireheart practices, but tries not to rely on, as they prefer to give ground and wait for a good striking opportunity, rather than take a hit. The Evasion (Light Armor) skill tree provides the Dodge and Combat Reflexes perks, which allow for even faster, more fluid movement. The former is self-explanatory, using the sprint key to rapidly step in any direction, while the latter allows them to fight in a constant state of slowed-down time, at the cost of an ongoing stamina drain. The White Phial can be used to briefly push their offensive power through the roof, enabling them to cut down nearly anything with an overwhelming burst of damage.

Magic is used by the Fireheart in a mainly supportive role, as their overall magical skill isn’t terribly impressive. Healing Aura (or Powerful Healing Aura), Mage Armor, and Transmute Muscles are generally applied before a fight, or just as a fight begins. Self-healing spells are used when needed, although potions can fill the same role.  Many other utility spells are also used when needed, such as Candlelight, Featherfalling, or Transmute Water for dealing with treacherous environments, or Knock for forcing open locked doors.

The Fireheart’s Thu’um also bears special mention, as Requiem develops this skill significantly compared to vanilla. A new branch in the Speech perk tree provides bonuses to Thu’um usage, as well as defense against enemy shouts. Unrelenting Force (or Cyclone) is used to force back groups of enemies when cornered, Whirlwind Sprint is used to close distance or quickly dodge incoming spells and shouts, Become Ethereal is used to fully negate incoming damage for a short time, Fire Breath is used for both direct damage against groups, and to negate the regeneration of enemies like trolls and dragon priests, Marked For Death is used to nullify the strong armor of tough enemies like dragons and Enchanted Spheres, Ice Form is used to immobilize high-priority enemies, and Kyne’s Peace is used to rapidly restore magicka, health, and stamina. Other shouts can be used for more specific temporary purposes, such as using Dragonrend to bring down Alduin, or using Aura Whisper to detect the dozens of invisible Slighted that inhabit the Soul Cairn.

Level 1 Capabilities

With the three starter perks at level 1, common animals, bandits, and other ordinary humanoids are about the only thing that you will be able to fight at this stage, as any kind of magical or poisonous attacks will be difficult to survive, and Requiem’s tougher enemies can also deal enough physical damage to easily kill you.

Level 10 Capabilities

By level 10, you will probably be an accomplished bounty hunter, used to dealing with even large groups of bandits, wolf packs, and other common threats on the open road. You will now be ready to start delving into the many Nordic ruins and other dark corners where undead may be lurking. Skeletons and Draugr become manageable opponents with patience and planning, as do many of the tougher beasts you may encounter in the wild, such as trolls and Ice Wraiths. Enemies using magical or poisonous attacks, however, may still be beyond you, depending on your equipment.

Level 20 Capabilities

After surviving your dives into many a Nordic ruin, you’ve become a true adventurer, who has a good chance against monsters such as giant spiders and spriggans, deadly enemies like mages, or even the occasional dragon, if you prepare well for each encounter. You should also be fairly well-equipped to take on Forsworn, human soldiers, Thalmor, and Falmer, while weaker vampires at least, if not the ebony-armored solo monsters, may also be within your capabilities. Similarly, Dwarven Spiders and Dwarven Spheres should be manageable, even if Centurions and Enchanted Spheres are still beyond you.

Level 30 Capabilities

By now you have probably made your way through a good portion of the quest to destroy Alduin, if not completed it already, and you’re likely no stranger to mage covens, vampire dens, or Dwemer ruins either. The vast majority of enemies in Requiem should be manageable opponents for you by now, and the completion of tough quest lines like Dawnguard and the College of Winterhold should be within your reach as well. Even endgame enemies like ebony vampires, gargoyles, legendary dragons, dragon priests, Centurions, Enchanted Spheres, and Slighted can all be crushed with good planning and preparation. You will likely have most of your endgame equipment by now.

You’re also likely to get the Oghma Infinium around this point in the build progression, as delving into Blackreach to get it is quite difficult. However, Requiem’s version provides a +200 boost to any attribute of your choice, along with 7 free perk points. The Path of Might (+200 Health) is recommended. These perks help to advance your skills a bit further, but even at this point, they aren’t strictly necessary for the build to take on most challenges. If you choose not to take the Oghma Infinium for roleplay reasons, which is certainly understandable, the final build will simply end up 7 levels higher.

Level 40 Capabilities

The build is effectively complete at this point. Even endgame enemies fear you, with your kill count for dragons, Slighted, and vampires each going into the dozens. By now, you’re likely to run low on challenges, being able to complete even notorious quests like The Black Star, Dragonborn, and Pieces of the Past, if you play competently. After this point, besides seeking out ludicrous levels of challenge like the Ebony Warrior and Karstaag, you’re likely to be at the end of the road, renowned throughout the world as the legendary warrior who took down Astrid, Morokei, Alduin, Harkon, and Miraak, along with everything else you carved your way through to reach them. Still, if you do want to continue the build, investing in some of the higher-level Alteration or Restoration utility perks can push the envelope even further.

Special Abilities


Shor’s Focus

The White Phial + Combat Reflexes + Marked For Death

10064328484?profile=RESIZE_710x“That particular enemy, that one right there. I need to kill it as thoroughly as possible.”

Gathering the formidable strength of their combined offensive abilities, the Fireheart drinks the enormously powerful strengthening potion that regenerates itself every day in the White Phial, enters a state of heightened reflexes as if time has slowed down around them, picks a specific target, withers its defenses with the Marked For Death shout, and draws their weapon to cut down this target with unparalleled ease.

Ysmir’s Volley

Tongue’s Trance + Slow Time + Combined Shouts

10064339893?profile=RESIZE_710x“I am known as the Dragon of the North for a reason. I can’t do this often, but few survive an attack like this if I can muster up the strength.”

Focusing their Thu’um to a frightening intensity, the Fireheart unleashes an overwhelming volley of shouts. The Tongue’s Trance power allows them to shout many times in succession without any recovery time, while the Slow Time shout maximizes their short time window in which they can do this. Any number of shouts can be used here: A series of Unrelenting Force or Fire Breath shouts to disperse large groups of enemies, a combination of Marked For Death, Drain Vitality, and other indirect offensive shouts to make a single target vulnerable to their other attacks, a series of self-buffs like Kyne’s Peace, Elemental Fury, and Dragon Aspect, a number of summoning shouts like Call of Valor, Call Dragon, and Summon Durnehviir, or any other short combination of shouts. This is also a once-a-day ability, but it can be extremely powerful, so get creative and experiment with different combinations to deal with different situations.

Backstory (Entirely Optional)

10064343066?profile=RESIZE_710xThe Fireheart Raider comes from a simple background: With Nord parents who fled from the Reach after the chaos of the Markarth Incident, they spent most of their childhood in High Rock. Treated as outsiders and scorned by most, the family was poor and struggled to get by, developing a disdain for the nobles and wealthy landowners who mistreated them. After repeated sickness and a particularly long winter took their father, and their mother disappeared a year later while working the fields at a remote farm, presumed dead, the Fireheart was left with no support. Meandering across High Rock until adulthood, they learned a great deal from the hedge knights and wandering mages of the fractured country, taking up their lessons in skirmishing with two-handed swords, polearms, and simple protective and restorative spells. In between the planting and harvesting seasons as a poor farmhand, they began seeking out their own small adventuring and mercenary jobs, taking out the odd monster or outlaw to make some extra gold. This wandering and learning period took them east, back towards the provinces closest to Skyrim, where they began to hear about the intensifying civil war and other unrest in their ancestral homeland.

Sensing adventure, and a chance to finally see their homeland, the Fireheart started saving their earnings to buy passage on a ship traveling to Skyrim’s capital of Solitude, not wanting to travel through the dangerous Reach, where the rebel Forsworn might overpower and kill them just for being a Nord. After several years of scraping by with farmhand work and small-time adventuring jobs, hearing ever more about the civil war, as well as rumors that dragons had returned to Nirn and were spotted in Skyrim, they finally had the gold they needed to begin their trek. But on the journey, the ship struck an iceberg off the northern coast of Skyrim, knocking them unconscious as the ship drifted and ran aground near Winterhold. Waking up freezing, confused, and barely alive, they now begin their time in Skyrim with a new goal on top of the ones they already had in mind: Before they can investigate the dragon rumors, repay the Forsworn rebels who still threaten their family’s former homeland, or confront the Stormcloak leader who bathed that former homeland in blood in the first place, they will first have to make it back to civilization alive...

As said, the backstory is entirely optional. Feel free to work it into your play-through, or disregard it completely. The build is more about the gameplay, and this is simply the way I interpreted the character during my own play-through.

Recommended Quests


Major Quests

Main quest, College of Winterhold, Dawnguard, Dragonborn. The Civil War is optional, as a way to resolve Season Unending during the main quest.

Minor Quests

The Legend of Red Eagle, Forbidden Legend, The White Phial, Destroy the Dark Brotherhood, Ill Met By Moonlight, Liar’s Retreat, No One Escapes From Cidhna Mine, Waking Nightmare, The Cursed Tribe, Discerning the Transmundane, Ragnvald

Roleplay (Entirely Optional)

10064343700?profile=RESIZE_710xReturn to the Homeland

The Fireheart derives their goals from the life they knew before they came to Skyrim: Stay alive, earn gold, become a more skilled warrior and spellcaster, and take on tasks that leave the world better than they found it. At first, their new life in Skyrim closely resembles the old one in High Rock. Wandering around to perform both menial labor and whatever adventuring or mercenary jobs they think they can handle, money is in short supply, risks are high, and they have very little stability. After investigating the dragon rumors and getting caught up in a difficult mission for the Jarl of Whiterun however, a clear purpose begins to emerge.

As their improving skills and equipment allow them to more easily pay for daily necessities, the Fireheart realizes that they aren’t willing to settle down with their spoils and live a quiet life. Even if gold is less of an issue, they still have a strong urge to take on ever more dangerous tasks, often seeking lost artifacts, weapons, and other sources of power more valuable than gold, that continue to drive their adventuring abilities in turn. After fighting their first dragon, and training to unlock the potential of their own dragon soul, the Fireheart realizes that they have a truly unique source of power, and could become a major piece of Skyrim’s history. Thus, they begin what they will come to call the Long Struggle.

The Long Struggle

After starting their training in the use of the Thu’um, and learning that they could become a genuine hero of the ages on the level of Tiber Septim or Pelinal Whitestrake, the Fireheart’s priorities shift. Gold and other rewards become secondary, as they focus on becoming the best Dragonborn they can be, using their ever-increasing power to take on ever more dangerous foes. Able to do far more than just take on the odd bandit, they are now on a campaign of extraordinary, directed violence against anything that threatens their homeland. Forsworn (and possibly Stormcloak) rebels, hordes of ancient Nord undead and the liches who control them, rare monsters that would tear normal warriors limb from limb, the belligerent dragons, covens of rogue mages and necromancers, Aldmeri occupation troops, swarms of Falmer, mindless Dwemer machines, entire vampire dens and clans, atronachs and Dremora, and even some of the Daedric Princes themselves, will all fall within the Fireheart’s list of things to kill or subvert in order to improve the world.

While small-time contracts always gave them the satisfaction of making the world a bit safer before, wiping out several of the large-scale, overarching threats to Skyrim and humanity provides a much stronger sense of purpose. Unlike their wandering period, the Fireheart is now quite certain of what they were meant to do, and enjoys doing it. But rather than mindlessly carve their way through everything that looks at them sideways, they are restrained in their efforts, following a clear set of personal rules.

Controlled Chaos

The Fireheart does not kill without reason, despite the enormous amount of killing they do. They follow a clear code in their adventures and their daily life, adapted from the Breton hedge knights who trained them in combat:

  • A yielding opponent should be shown mercy if they ask for it, so long as they truly yield and don’t simply run back to their allies to recover. Fleeing is not yielding.
    • Requiem alters NPC behavior so that yielding enemies will actually yield permanently (or almost permanently), and you can even take their weapons, gold, and other non-clothing/armor items from their inventory without killing them. The Fireheart’s general practice is that if an enemy yields and stays roughly where they were, they will use Requiem’s “Examine” power to search their inventory, disarm them, and allow them to live. Sometimes they may be caught in the heat of combat, and kill a yielding opponent simply because they were the closest target without thinking, but they still strive to be selective in their killing.
  • Theft, trespassing, and pickpocketing are all to be avoided with few exceptions. If something needs to be stolen, or a place needs to be broken into, it should be to serve some other worthy purpose, and never for personal gain.
    • For example, sneaking into the Battle-Borns’ house and stealing their Imperial documents is acceptable, as this serves the ulterior goal of reuniting a family torn apart by the civil war.
  • Engaging in combat should be a reactive measure. If potential enemies are not attacking, they are to be left alone unless they’re barring access to something important. Even if they are barring access to something important, attempt to first go past them without fighting, and only respond in kind if they attack first.
    • To give examples, a small group of armed people camping in the woods, who look like potential bandits, are to be left alone if they shout a warning to back off. There’s no bounty on them, and they aren’t in the way of anything worth fighting over. However, treasure hunters outside a Dwemer ruin that contains an important artifact, who refuse to step aside peacefully, are fair game.
  • Necromancy and soul trapping sapient people is absolutely unacceptable. There is no hard rule against using weapons or attacks that cause painful deaths, but once dead, enemy souls should be allowed to rest.
  • Molag Bal, Mephala, Namira, Vaermina, Boethiah, Peryite, Hircine, and Hermaeus Mora are to be fought, ignored, or subverted at every opportunity. Dealing with the Daedric Princes may sometimes be necessary, but resisting their will is a moral imperative.
    • Hircine is honestly up to player choice. Unfortunately, the dialogue options for choosing to kill Sinding make you come across as loyal or subservient to Hircine, but there’s a logical argument to be made for it: Sinding’s own recklessness in angering Hircine got an innocent killed, so you may want to hunt him down out of a sense of justice. Or you may think he deserves a second chance. Even choosing to kill Sinding, however, the Fireheart definitely won’t be happy to be praised for it by Hircine.
  • Nobles and wealthy people are to be generally avoided except for discussing business. Fellow warriors and common workers will usually make much better friends. Beggars, refugees, and addicts are to be helped whenever possible.
  • Despite a lack of any particular religious devotion, Halls of the Dead are to be visited often, to see if they need any assistance. Killing so many things brings a new perspective to the importance of the cycle of life and death.
  • Becoming tied down to any particular group is to be avoided. Ridding the world of evil is easier when roaming freely.
    • Joining the College or the Legion is an exception, as each serves an ulterior purpose: To learn more about magic, or to crush the Stormcloaks and advance the main quest, respectively. The Companions, for a counter-example, are explicitly dedicated to being a close-knit group of warriors, and should thus be avoided.
  • Known vampires are to be destroyed or cured without exception. Suspected vampires are to be watched closely and reported if possible.
    • A deep hatred of Molag Bal drives this rule, and there is a particular hatred for those vampires who willingly worship him. Serana can be cured, fortunately, but as a necromancer and a willing former servant of Bal, she will never be trusted. Other “hidden” vampires like Alva are only to be engaged once they make themselves known.

As with the backstory, this roleplay section is entirely optional. The build is set up to be a straightforward fighter, ill-suited to sneaking, thieving, and other dubious play-styles. But there's nothing stopping the Fireheart from becoming a brutal, blood-soaked warlord if that's what you want them to be. This is simply the way I played, since an upstanding character was a good fit for the skills I invested in.

Final Notes

10064344681?profile=RESIZE_710xRequiem is very different from vanilla Skyrim, almost a different game entirely. Don’t go into it expecting vanilla combat tactics to work. Pretty much every aspect of combat has been rebalanced in some way, with a lot of new stuff added. This video is an excellent resource on melee and surviving combat in general. Since this build uses two-handed weapons, it applies directly, but most of the tactics in the video also work for one-handed builds as well. Magic is a lot simpler.

Also, I apologize in advance for making this thing so long. Whenever I think about how some aspect of Requiem is different from vanilla, it's hard to resist going into detail, to better prepare the Requiem rookies this build is intended for. So if you made it to the end, thanks for reading and congratulations, you made it! I hope you consider giving Requiem a try, and if you want to play a melee character, this build should help you survive the more dangerous and vibrant world that the mod creates. Wind guide you!

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  • Mate, this is an excellent build and it's structure is reminiscent of the neverwinter nights ecb forums, aspecislly the level and perks + spells breakdown structure.


    The build in itself seems to be a melee 2 handed with slight magical augmentation. Question, if the white phial is needed for one of your special moves, then why is that quest optional?


    Other than the above, this is a well thought out build and I may utilize the way the perk and level.breakdown is portrayed here in the future, if you don't mind, for any build I post in the future.



    • Well, I did call The White Phial a "minor quest", not "optional", just to differentiate it as one that doesn't take very long, while all the major quests have multiple individual quests and require a lot of preparation.

      The Phial itself is far from mandatory for the build's success because Marked For Death and Combat Reflexes is already a very powerful combination, but I do recommend giving all of those minor quests a try. Besides being, well, fun, many of the ones I listed do yield other equipment that the build uses, like Ill Met By Moonlight for the Savior's Hide, Forbidden Legend for the Gauldur Amulet, The Cursed Tribe for Volendrung, etc.

      I'm glad you like the build though. As for using this format for the perk and level breakdown in your own builds, go for it! I'm always quite happy to hear that my own way of organizing something was useful to someone else.

  • My favorite Requiem RP gets a write-up! I always liked the use of magic with two-handed weaponry, and especially how easy you made it look. The roleplay is quite good too, especially his tendency towards mercy despite the power he wielded. Not that long I watched as you let Silus Vesuvius go! The skills combined with the strong moral compass make for a very appealing and playable character.

    Thank you taking the time to write this up and share it, and for sharing your video series. I know that Harald's adventures are soon coming to a close, but hopefully this will serve as inspiration to other Requiem players.

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