Character Build: The Holy Revenant

This build is my own original work, which was first posted on the site SkyrimCalculator, and was discovered by Curse Never Dying and Blacklight who first convinced me to join this site and bring my ideas here. Many thanks to them and to you for taking an interest in my work. I hope you enjoy!

Lend your ears, Children of Light; take heed, Spawn of Darkness... I have a tale to chill your bones, if you care to hear. I tell you of a man who had enough faith in the gods to drink the waters of the River of Truth, but not enough to keep his hands clean of the bloody sludge from the Fountain of Power. I tell you of a man who earned the reverence of all who take up a blade in the name of justice, as well as instilled fear in his enemies so completely that even the Daughters of Coldharbour cowered at his shadow. I tell you of a man who destroyed the darkness by embracing it. I tell you of The Holy Revenant.

"There are times when the servants of the Light do not have the means to protect themselves from the darkness, even for all their praise of the gods. There will come a day when preserving the Light means abandoning it... and touching the Darkness."

The first time his old master, the Khajiit Priest of Arkay, told him this, he couldn't believe what he was hearing. This man, whom he had known for literally all of his life, had never spoken ill of the gods or the light they brought to creation before, but now... he spoke as if they left something to be desired. He was sure it was blasphemy to suggest such things, but he felt no need or desire to report it to the Elders of the Chapel; after all, he was getting old, and they were likely nothing more than the ramblings of an old man bordering on senility. More importantly, though, he was his friend, and the closest thing he'd ever known to a father since the old priest found the newborn Imperial abandoned at the doorstep of their conclave. There was little he wouldn't do to help his friends.

That was what started it all. He only came to realize just how far he'd go to save - or even avenge - his loved ones as he clutched the lifeless body of the man who had raised and cared for him, tears staining his cheeks as he stared into the lifeless pupils of the priest for so long and so fervently that he almost missed the bite marks on his neck. What began as sorrow evolved into an uncontrollable rage in a matter of seconds, and he looked frantically around the flaming ruins of the convent before bellowing out a cry of saddened hatred and reaching out to the main supporting pillar and toppling it, and the rest of the building, to the ground. When morning came, his hand searched its way out of the rubble and pulled him to safety. Turning back one last time to observe the once-home he was leaving behind, he decided that what his master had told him was right. Concluding that the rubble served as a sufficient burial, he turned his back on everyone and everything he'd ever known and headed out.
He was going to touch the darkness.

His moment came when he happened upon a fringe coven of conjurers in the woods near Bruma, where he found the witches raising the body of a soldier, most likely to pleasure them from the way they gave the standing corpse their best bedroom eyes. "Hey," he called out foolishly, startling them and breaking their concentration, which sent their reanimation crumbling to the ground in a pile of dust.
"Fool!" The eldest cried. "How dare you interrupt our ritual!"
"I could provide more entertainment than him," he offered, pulling away part of his convent robes to reveal a well-sculpted structure of flesh, which successfully enticed the witches, though not as much as the nervous uncertainty in his voice and the glimmer of innocence in his eyes. Once they had him surrounded, the eldest piped up again. "In exchange... for what?" She demanded as she eyed him up and down.
"Knowledge," he answered simply, trying to keep his voice steady as he thought of his cause. "Knowledge... and power."

Five years passed since that day, and though he did eventually learn all he wanted to from the witches, he left with his body marked in more ways than one, his innocence and the compassionate mercy he once knew all but sacrificed in the name of their dark practices... but, secretly, in the name of the end to their art. He had managed to grow stronger, miraculously, despite their best efforts to break his body and soul, and though he lost his innocence, his determination was steeled for it, as was his body through the many tasks they forced on him. Bruma wasn't too far, and anybody who happened upon a den full of beheaded witches would ask questions. There was no point in delay.

For the next half a year, he stayed at the home of a kindly old smith and veteran of the Great War who taught him what he could of his craft as well as how to hold his own in combat. After a while, the Holy Revenant almost felt as if his Hope... his Faith... were regenerating. That was all dashed away, however, as one day, a new vampire attack stole yet another father figure from his life, but not before he stole it's life in return.
"Where do you come from!?" He demanded of the abominable creature as it sputtered, begging for air with its throat under his boot. "V-Volk... iha... har!" It stammered breathlessly, earning a nod from the Imperial and a final thrust of his heel into the thing's windpipe, ending its misery.

If he remembered anything of the Volkihar Clan from the book Immortal Blood, it's that they resided in Skyrim. That'd be the best place to look.

The Holy Revenant

The Build.

Race: Imperial. The Holy Revenant was originally of noble birth, but once it was discovered that he was actually the product of the noble wife's favorite manservant, he was subsequently left for the clergy.

Stats (By Level 81): 380/520/200

Standing Stone: Lover to begin, Atronach or Ritual to end.

- Dragonplate Armor (Fortify Conjuration, Fortify Restoration)
- Dragonplate Gauntlets (Fortify Magicka, Fortify Two-Handed)
- Dragonplate Boots (Fortify Stamina, Fortify Stamina Regen/Resist Shock, Resist Frost)
- Dawnguard Full Helmet/Steel Plate Helmet (If Steel Plate: Fortify Restoration, Fortify Conjuration)
- Nord Hero Greatsword/Dawnguard Rune Hammer (If Nord Hero: Fiery Soul Trap, Turn Undead)
- Conjure Boneman
- Conjure Mistman
- Conjure Wrathman
- Dread Zombie
- Dead Thrall
- Sun Fire
- Vampire's Bane
- Stendarr's Aura
- Bane of the Undead
- Guardian Circle
{Recommended Jewelry} - Custom Enchanted Ring, Custom Enchanted Necklace/Locket of Saint Jiub

Major Skills: Conjuration, Restoration, Two-Handed, Heavy Armor

Minor Skills: Enchanting, Smithing

In a word: Ruthless. The Great Critical Charge Perk is one that might normally be left out, but with this character's level of aggression towards the Undead - a bloodlust that could also pertain to the scum of the earth (or, in this case, Nirn) - it works very well, at least from a role-play perspective. Have no followers as doing so would only place the lives of other innocent people in harm's way, to say nothing of the Dark Path to which this particular Dovahkiin's destiny would expose them. Besides, who needs followers when the corpses of your foes will do your bidding? Although you do use necromancy rather than atromancy, you should rely more on your summons from the Soul Cairn to distract and deal extra damage to enemies, mostly because they're bound to be more proficient fighters, if not harder to kill, and - for role-play purposes - only reanimate enemies as a means of punishment or obtaining power.

For Conjuration focus, summon your own long-dead Shield-Brothers from their bondage in the Soul Cairn: the Bonemen, Mistmen, or Wrathmen, depending on which would provide more advantageous support for the coming battle. If you are set upon unexpectedly, quickly dispatch one or two foes and raise them using Dread Zombie to distract the rest of the fools that dared to challenge you while you handle the more worthy opponents. If you meet an enemy powerful enough that you would like to keep them for assistance in the future, cast Dead Thrall and keep casting whenever they die or if you accidentally conjure more than one ally and break the spell.

For Restoration focus, know that your armor is sturdy, but won't always save you. Be prepared to step away from the more serious battles and let your summons distract the enemy while you restore your health and stamina (with the Respite Perk). Not that it will happen often, but it will happen. More importantly, though, be sure to take the Necromage perk to make your offensive spells do vastly more damage to vampires and draugr, and any other form of undead. When facing undead, it would be wise to Cloak Up with Stendarr's Aura before entering battle and sending off a few blasts of Vampire's Bane for good measure, or going in with Bane in one hand and Sun Fire in the other if you don't feel like getting up close and personal. Vampires can make you go through a lot of Cure Disease potions if you're not careful. Regardless, Stendarr's Aura won't provide a great deal of additional damage, but it does make a difference, and it has got a real kickass aesthetic.

For your Weapon focus, it depends on your preference of Greatsword or Warhammer. I personally choose to reforge an Ancient Nord Greatsword into the Nord Hero variant at the Skyforge and, once I've smithed it up and enchanted it, rename it "Silversteel." I feel like the Nord Hero Greatsword has an appearance of Silver blended with Steel, so it makes sense. If you prefer the look of the Dawnguard Rune Hammer and don't mind it's slower swing speed, however, it's a very good choice as well, especially with it's enchantment; not only does it have the generic extra damage to vampires that regular Dawnguard Warhammers have, but also bashing with the Rune Hammer places a Fire Rune on the ground that explodes for 50 points of damage, expending stamina instead of magicka to cast. Both weapons benefit from the Steel Smithing perk, so there's no need to go up the right side for Daedric Smithing for the Ancient Nord Armor improvements and then up the left side for the Dawnguard Full Helmet.

Joining the Dawnguard is your first priority, and absolutely DO NOT accept Serana's suggestion to become a Vampire in order to enter the Soul Cairn. Unless, of course, you feel you can rationalize it as just usurping another tool of darkness to serve the purpose of the light. If you do, seek the cure IMMEDIATELY after getting what you need from the Soul Cairn. I personally believe that after having so much of his soul beaten and defiled, losing one more piece is no tragedy, but to lose it in it's entirety is too much to bear. Besides, after the Vampires stole so much from him and destroyed everything he once was, why would he want to be like them?

The Companions is a good place to start on your journey to joining the Dawnguard and protecting the land of Skyrim from all that is vile. Their missions provide a great opportunity to hone your skills and see more of the land, and I feel that accepting Lycanthropy gives the Dovahkiin a particular advantage over the Vampires as well as, finally, a way to possess control of his own soul and its fate. With the knowledge that he could return to Yngol's Barrow at any time to rid his soul of the beast (but only after helping both Farkas and Vilkas to do the same, if you left the barrow without doing so the first time), I would cure my Lycanthropy only after completing the Dawnguard quest-line since both the Werewolf Form and 100% Disease Immunity would make for excellent advantages over the Vampires. As stated above, it would be "usurping a tool of the darkness to serve the purpose of the light." If you feel that his soul could not stand the additional restlessness, though, feel free.

For the Civil War, it would make more sense for the Holy Revenant to simply convene with both sides to draw up an armistice just so he can get them out of the way and continue hunting Alduin. If you desire to choose, however, the Dovahkiin's religious background would lend him more to the Stormcloaks; as serious as Imperial instability may be, an insult to the gods cannot go unpunished. Be merciful, though; these are the very people you are sworn by the divines to protect from evil. Use the darkness; don't let it use you.

Do the Main Quest line, of course, as the world cannot be safe as long as Alduin lives. As the avenger of the dead, you cannot abide a threat to Sovngarde itself. Do the Dragonborn quest line as well, and do all you can to help the residents of Raven Rock, Skaal Village and, yes, even Neloth. He may be a snob, but he has information regarding the Black Books, and as long as he can help you find them and keep their dark powers restrained, mortal lives will be saved, so he can be tolerated.


Stay away from the Thieves' Guild, for reasons that should be self-explanatory.

Daedric Quests aren't out of the question, but defy them at every turn. When you get to Molag Bal's quest in Markarth, don't lead his enemy, the servant of Boethiah, back to the house. Kill him as soon as you find him, and the quest will be over; the mace will be left to rust. It's understandable if you're kinder to Meridia, as she was once herself an Aedra and is far from evil. Malacath is an acceptable choice as well. Get the Black Star to defy Azura, kill Boethiah's priests but never return to the shrine, and help Erandur destroy the Skull of Corruption. You get the picture.

The College of Winterhold is a must for this character. Be careful about the Restoration Master Spell Ritual, though, as it's been known to glitch, and you may have to consult the Wiki for answers.

Have fun!

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  • Whoa, for a first build on this site the presentation is pretty damn amazing. Two things about presentation, though. That image above "Factions/Roleplay" is a little small, I would advise to either find a larger version of the image or replace it enitrely.
    Also, in the Factions/Roleplay section, you might want to seperate the paragraphs a little more, its kind of an overwhelming block of text.
    Other than hat, amazing for a first build on the site. Well done :D
    • Thanks for the advice! I found a new image to replace the tiny one, and I think it fits much better. I appreciate your feedback and that you enjoyed my build!

  • I like this build mainly because anti heroes are always a cool concept to work with.

    You start off really well with a some great opening paragraphs. The backstory is nice overall but for the purposes of presenting a build I would recommend trimming it down to the backstory to the barest elements required to understand the character.

    A build is ultimately a guide on how to recreate a character the author played. It's best not to bog down a reader with too much backstory before they get to the meat of the build.

    Other than that you did a thorough job of explaining your perk choices and fighting style as well as major role play decisions. My suggestion there would be trying to make these sections more concise. Try to explain in a single sentence what you'd normally explain in 2 or 3 sentences. Basically cut back on fluff statements that don't further a readers underatanding of what you're conveying.

    Overall good job on your first build presented here on the Sky Forge. I hope to see more of your work in the future.
  • This is a great first build! The introduction was captivating and well written.

    • I agree I liked it
  • Very nice build.
  • Very nice build - why Dragonbone though? Also, you forgot your Rank tag, which would be Rank:Expert

  • Is it possible to modify this build for Skyrim AE?

  • This is a really nice take on the anti-hero archtype... in fact, it might border an Oath of Vengeance Paladin, with the backstory and the intent of utilization of any means necessary to overcome the threath, even if this means dipping into darker necromantic arts.

    I'm interested though to understand how the skills synergize... for example, wouldn't vampire's bane affect your own summons and/or resurrected foes when fighting against draugr? Same with Guardian circle.

    But overall, a solid build, good start and looking forward to more builds from you.


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