Foreword: This build came to fruition through my desire to create an antihero kind of character. A hunter turned vampire who fights both vampires and vampire hunters alike. Gwynn comes from a unique cabal inside the Montalion Clan who specialises in tracking and hunting down vampires of rival clans and any hunters who meddle in Montalion affairs.
The Infernal Huntress herself is loosely based off of the Demon Hunter’s from the Diablo games and the Skyrim character build of the same name by “No Snakes Alive”. The Infernal Huntress is adept at hunting down the undead and other magical abnormalities and is deadly both from range and in close quarters. She wields specially enchanted crossbows and flame-based magic to give her an edge against her foes. This Huntress is sure to leave a scorched and bloody path in the wake of where ever her hunt takes her.
“Once, long ago, I was not unlike her, you know”. Gwynn paused, searching for the right word. “Gallant, righteous and noble. I was doing the work of the gods. I would have laid down my life for the gods. I did lay down my life for them….”
“You are nothing like her, fo-”
“Foul creature?” Gwynn finished the old man’s sentence. “Hmm, perhaps not,” she said her fiery eyes narrowing on him “But once, yes, we most certainly were”. The Huntress lazily stoked the fire with an old brass poker, turning a chunk of wood over, sending embers trailing into the air.
“Would it amuse you to know I hunt more of my kind now than I ever did as a mortal?” The old steward was silent. “Yes, you see if my years as a member of The Order the Hour taught me one thing. It is that time is man’s greatest enemy. How ironic it is that all I have is time now. Do you know how many years I’ve hunted the enemies of the Montalion?”
The old man tried to prop himself against the table leg more comfortably. The exertion was clearly paining him. “Why are you telling me this?” The steward spoke through laboured breath.
“Why not? It’s not as if you’re going to be telling anyone my secrets. Either you die of blood loss from that bolt in your leg, or, I may yet decide I’m hungry”.
“How comforting”. The man coughed.
“Indeed”. Gwynn grinned menacingly at him.
“Kill me or free me vampire, but do not waste my time with talk”. The steward seethed.
“Stubborn old wretch, aren’t you? Very well then, enough talk.” Gwynn pulled the hot poker from the fireplace and held it close to his face.
“Where is she old man? Where is Alayne Montforte?”
“I’ll never tell you”.
“Oh, I think you will see I can be very persuasive.” She touched the brand against his cheek, searing his flesh.
“Arghhh”! The frail old wretch cried at the touch of the hot metal.
“The clan tires of her interfering in our business. Now, I’ll ask you again. Where is she?”
“Nooooo”! The steward cried as Gwynn thrust the poker into the wound on his leg.
I can do this all night”.
It was close to dawn before she got the answers she sought. In the end, it wasn’t pain that had got him to talk but the threat of turning him.
“Skyrim. My lady has gone to Skyrim”.
“Where in Skyrim”?!
“S-S-Solitude”. The broken steward wept, in a crumpled and bloodied mess on the floor “Please just leave me.”
“Go with your gods’ old man”. Gwynn lifted the wretch to his feet and sank her fangs into his neck.”
Now sated she let his body fall to the floor once more. Grabbing her crossbow off of the table, she slung it over her shoulder. The vampire incanted a spell under her breath, and a stream of flames leapt forth from her free hand, engulfing the dead man’s body and setting the sitting room ablaze. You’ll not have a home to return to now you little bitch. Gwynn smiled fiendishly as the flames danced behind her.
Her course was clear. She would make for Skyrim upon the setting of the sun.
All of these mods are playable on Xbox One
- 20 Percent More Perk Points
- Andromeda Standing Stones
- Crossbows of Skyrim
- Alternate Start
- Enchantments unleashed
- Mortal Enemies
- Rebalanced Encounter Zones
- Dawnguard Hood
- Spell Knight Armour
- Expanded Crossbow Pack
Breton Vampire: As a Breton Gwynn will have several innate racial bonuses. Some of these traits she has been able to adapt, to greatly serve her atypical fighting style.
- Grail of Betony: A treasure hunter in Skyrim carries the mythical Grail of Betony. A Breton in possession of the Grail regenerates Magicka and Stamina 50% faster.
- Spell Mantle: Magic resistance increased by 15%. You also gain 25% spell absorption when Magicka is 25% or less.
- Stones of Galen: Each standing stone grants its own additional effect.
- Dolmen Haunt (Vampire): Can feed by activating a Standing Stone.
Standing Stone: The Atronach - The Atronach stone paired with Gwynn’s Breton heritage allows for a massive 70% reduction in spell cost. Though she is more vulnerable when casting her spells, her heavy armour mitigates much of the extra damage received.
- Corrupted Arcana: Magicka does not regenerate. Each death within 50 feet restores Magicka equal to 25 times their level.
- Oblivion Bound: If you have Magicka remaining, spells are 25% more effective and cost 50% less Magicka
- Devour from Within: Once a day Paralyses a living target, absorbing 50 Magicka for 10 seconds. When depleted, absorbs health instead.
- Stones of Galen: Spells cost 30% less Magicka, but you take 20% more damage from attacks while casting.
- Name: Gwynn Estwell
- Gender: Female
- Age: 219 (Appears to be in her late 20’s)
- Religious Views: Akatosh
- Affiliations: Montalion Clan, Order of the Hour (Formerly)
- Morality/Alignment: Chaotic Neutral. Gwynn cares little for the laws of men and the wellbeing of others. She is self-serving and somewhat of a lone wolf. When hunting her quarries, Gwynn pays little mind for collateral damage and will seek the most efficient option to complete her task without regard for others. She will not actively seek to hurt people she encounters but will kill any who stand in her way without remorse. Unlike most vampires, she reviles the Daedra, necromancers and most other forms of undeath. A trait that has stuck with her since serving in The Order of The Hour.
- Iron Armor Set - Common Armor found on bandits and highwaymen.
- Novice Mage Hood - Easily acquired from the corpses of wondering Vigilant’s.
- *Iron Crossbow - Found as common loot in containers or on bandits.
End Game Gear:
- *Demons Breath (Imperial Steel Crossbow) - Can be Crafted or bought from the Fletcher shop in Solitude or the Drunken Huntsman in Whiterun. Enchanted with Fire Damage and Absorb Health.
- *Desecrated Light (Silver Crossbow) - Bought from the Fletcher shop in Solitude or the Drunken Huntsman in Whiterun. Enchanted with Fiery Soul Trap, and Turn Undead
- *Infernal Armor (Steel Spell Knight Armor) - Found on Spell Knight Corpse. Gauntlets enchanted with Fortify Bashing and Force. Greaves enchanted with Fortify Destruction and Fortify Health. Torso enchanted with Resist Fire and Reactive Barrier.
- *Infernal Hood (Dawngaurd Hood) - Crafted. Enchanted with Fortify Magicka and Resist Magic
- Air of Confidence (Gold Ring) - Crafted or bought. Enchanted with Deadly Reach and Health Regeneration.
- Amulet of Accord (Gold Necklace) - Crafted or bought. Enchanted with Unbreakable and Health Regeneration.
Note: Modded and CC content is marked with *
Purge Iron Bind Barrow - An ancient and powerful relic is said to be held within the dusty confines of this crypt. Gwynn seeks the power within.
*Crypt of the Heart - A fallen Knight of High Rock lays in the crags of the Reach. His unique armour free for the taking.
Dawnguard (Volkihar) - Though a rival clan, Gwynn decides to ally herself with the Volkihar, albeit temporarily to further her agenda.
Destroy the Dawnguard - Gwynn seeks out what these would be hunters want. Upon gaining the information she needs, she ends their meddling.
Blood on the Ice - Necromancy is foul in the eyes of the Huntress. Gwynn hunts the would be defiler and foils his plans.
The Wolf Queen Awakens - The Wolf Queen hopes to be reborn, see that she fails.
*Undeath - A large force of Necromancers are said to be holed up in Scourg Barrow. End them before they grow too powerful.
Destroy Necromancers and Dragonpriests - The barrows of Skyrim are filled with Draugr and worse things. Gwynn hunts them in part due to an echo of an old life, and the threat necromancers pose to her own undeath.
The Black Star - What better irony is there than to use souls of Necromancers, Dremora and the undead to power the very weapons that destroy them? Gwynn collects this artefact to dispense such a fate upon those she hunts.
Attributes 1:3:2 (Stop perking Magicka at around 150 and Stamina at around 250)
Destruction - With an envious understanding of fire magic. Gwynn is capable of hurling fireballs, setting magical traps and incinerating her foes with ease.
Perks of Note:
- Scorched Earth - Fire spells (barring concentration), turn corpses to ashes, leaving a burning pyre that deals powerful damage over time on contact.
- Runecaster - Allows runes to be cast at a greater distance. And three runes can now be cast at one time.
- Combustion - Fire Spells and effects become up to 30% more powerful based on the targets missing health.
Heavy Armor - Capable of shrugging off blows that would mortally wound most, Gwynn can stand stalwart against almost any foe.
Perks of Note:
- Out of the Inferno - Incoming elemental damage is reduced by 0.02% based on max armour value.
- Never Kneel - If Wearing all heavy armour, take 30% less damage from power attacks.
- Heavy Armour Fit - Increase total armour rating by 25% if wearing all heavy armour.
Archery - Gwynn is deadly and extremely proficient at any range wielding her crossbows.
Perks of Note:
- Snipe - Targets take a guaranteed critical hit worth three times critical damage, and any enchantments are twice as effective.
- Wingstrike - Bashing target applies stagger, and any follow-up shots deal bonus damage for 10 seconds.
- Focus on the Prey - Cannot be staggered while holding a drawn bow or reloading a crossbow.
Restoration - Her knowledge of the restorative arts allows Gwynn to mend her wounds, purge the undead with ease and even perform some skilled blood magic when the need arises.
Perks of Note:
- Chalice of Tears - Being a vampire allows Gwynn’s restoration spells to be much more effective, increasing their potency by 15% and duration by 50%.
- Wheel of Life - Every 30 seconds, this effect heals Gwynn for 100 health points, so long as she has not been affected by another healing spell or effect during that time. Using a healing spell or effect will reset the cycle from the beginning.
- Crusader’s Fire - In combat any targets affected by a turning spell or effect are set aflame, taking 10 points of damage per second for 10 seconds. All attacks against targets under this effect deal an additional 25% damage.
Alteration - Gwynn has a keen understanding of the Alteration school of magic and uses her knowledge to empower her spells and fortify her resistances.
Perks of Note:
- Wellocs’ Dormant Arcana - Choose a spell type (Armor, Cloak, Conjure Daedra, Conjure Undead, Invisibility) and 3 magic effects (Fortify, Regenerate, Waterwalking, etc.). The chosen magic effects will activate when you are affected by the selected spell type.
- Wild Shrines - Five shrines dedicated to nature’s mysteries can be found in Skyrim. Each shrine grants a permanent bonus to one school of magic, making all spells from that school 15% more powerful or last 30% longer.
- Alter Self: Attributes - You can choose one attribute (Magicka, Health, Stamina) to increase by 50 points.
Enchanting - Gwynn use’s the souls of the undead to fuel her enchantments. An irony her victims find out too late.
Perks of Note:
- Regalia - New Enchantments placed upon robes, circlets, hoods and necklaces are 30% stronger.
- Twin Enchantment - Can place up to two enchantments on the same item.
Block - Gwynn is more than capable of using her crossbow in close quarters and can bash enemies with deadly force.
Perk of Note:
- Skull Rattler - Bashing deals 3% more damage per point of Stamina.
Smithing - Gwynn has some rudimentary understanding of smithing, being able to care for the upkeep of crossbows. (Note I only invested in this perk to be able to craft the Dawnguard hood. I never used it to improve items once I’d met the minimum crafting requirement for the hood).
Perk of Note:
- Smithing Mastery 1/2 - You can craft novice (Steel/Bonemold) items at a forge or anvil, and improve them twice as much.
Spells: (Modded and CC content are marked with a *, note that vampiric related spells and powers will be covered in the vampirism section).
- Close Wounds
- Turning Spells
- Guardian Circle
- Circle of Protection
- *Circle of the Strength
- *Blood Boil
- Flesh Spells
- Candle Light
- * Ocatos’ Recital
- Flame Cloak
- Wall of Flames
- Fire Storm
- *Incendiary Flow
- Unrelenting Force
- Slow Time
- Fire Breath
- Become Ethereal
Special Magical Effects, Spells, Powers and Perks:
* Wellcoc’s Dormant Arcana - With Welloc’s Dormant Arcana linked to a Flesh Spell, Gwynn gains a significant buff to her Restoration magic power (+10 %), a chance to absorb hostile spells (10%) and a buff to her total armour of (+ 50) whenever the said spell effects her.
Wild Shrines - There are several Wild Shrines scattered around Skyrim. Each provides Gwynn with a particular buff to a school of magic. Alteration + 30% duration, Destruction + 15% Magnitude, Illusion + 15% Magnitude, Restoration + 15% Magnitude and Conjuration +30% Duration.
Ocatos’ Recital - Charged with Flame Cloak, Close Wounds and Flesh Spell.
Storm Crown - Shout cooldown is removed when you enter or leave combat.
Thundering Echoes - The first shout you use in combat has no cooldown.
Way of Peace - Shouts have a greatly reduced cooldown out of combat.
Unyielding Storm - This Tome of power is hidden within the High Hrothgar library. Using it refreshes any active shout cooldown.
Dragonborn Flame - Upon killing a target with the Fire Breath shout, Fire Wyrms will spawn to aid Gwynn against any remaining foes. Ability is obtained from completing the Black Book: Epistolary Acumen.
Secret of Arcana - Gwynn is able to cast spells free of cost for 30 seconds. Ability is obtained from completing the Black Book: Filament and Filigree.
The Fire Within - Upon meditating on “Yol” with Paarthurnax, Gwynn’s Fire Breath shout becomes 25% more powerful.
Alter Self Attributes/Resistances - Gwynn can alter her biology through her understanding of Alteration magic. This will allow her to gain a 25% Boost to both Fire and Shock Resistance as well as a permanent 50 point boost to health.
Wheel of Life - A useful ability that allows Gwynn to be healed once every 30 seconds as long as she has not used a healing spell within those 30 seconds. This is a beneficial passive effect that allows you to focus on offensive means more often, rather than worrying about topping up Gwynn’s health pool.
Deadly Reach - This Summermyst enchantment coupled with the Sacrosanct ability Wicked Wind, allows Gwynn to deftly use the signature teleportation the Montalion clan is famed for, (from any distance) to close the gap or escape enemies as she wishes.
Skull Rattler - The bashing bonus of this perk does not only work for shields and melee weapons but also bows and crossbows. This allows Gwynn to deal out some severe damage with the butt of her crossbow.
Snipe, Hallowed Burial and Crusaders Fire - All of these effects combined with a Fiery Soul Trap and the Turn Undead enchantment on a Silver Crossbow, make for one hell of an undead killing machine. Snipe ensures any target struck by a bolt that has not been hit in the last 10 seconds receives double the effect from weapon enchantments. Hallowed Burial increases Gwynn’s attacks and all Restoration spell and effects (including weapon enchantments) by 30% against undead targets. Crusaders Fire is the icing on the cake. This allows Gwynn to set any undead foes under a turning effect alight with divine fire. They take constant damage over 10 seconds, and all attacks deal a further 25% damage to affected targets.
Overflowing cup - Because this ability only works when at full health, I found it was best used in tandem with Ocatos’ Recital. Linking a healing spell, like “Close Wounds” to Ocatos’ Recital will ensure Gwynn gets her health fortified by whatever her current Restoration skill level is whenever starting combat.
Below you will find all of the essential Sacrosanct perks you will need to play this build.
Blood Cauldron - (Power) Expend some of your Vampiric blood to replenish Health, Magicka and Stamina, becoming thirstier. (Only when sated).
Flaywind - While blood starved, Gwynn can use this ability to unleash a swarm of vampire bats on her target. They will rapidly absorb health and apply fear to the target.
Vampires Seduction - Silently bewitches a person for a short time, allowing Gwynn to feed on them.
Blood Knight - Able to feed on staggered enemies in combat for 50 points of Stamina.
Wicked Wind - Dash instantly to a target location within 15 feet.
King Among Kine - Gwynn no longer loses any vampiric powers when feeding.
Oberon’s Grail- Reduces the chance to fall victim to Wassail in combat by 75%.
Cauldron of Fire - After using Blood Cauldron, deal double attack damage and take half attack damage for 30 seconds.
Blue Blood Quest:
Potence - Gwynn's attack damage is increased substantially when fully fed.
Vampire Lord Form:
Starving Artist - In mortal form, Hemomancy spells used against people absorb Health equal to 25% of their base damage. Killing people with Hemomancy spells advances Gwynn's Vampire Lord perks.
Unearthly Will - Blood Magic, Night Powers, the Raze spell in Gwynn's right hand and Hemomancy in mortal form cost 25% less. The Vampiric Drain spell in mortal form costs 50% less.
Blood From a Stone - Gwynn's vampiric abilities now work on Dwemer Automatons and Daedra.
Exsanguinate - Gwynn's Vampiric Drain spell in mortal form deals bonus more damage when fighting only one enemy, and can be dual cast for a chance to stagger enemies.
White Wolf - Gwynn's Vampire Seduction power now works on higher-level targets, and she may drain people under its effect regardless of thirst level. Additionally, draining a sleeping or seduced victim advances Vampire Lord perks.
Dragon at midnight - Gwynn gets 4 perk points to spend in other perk trees. However, when Blood Starved, contact with Sunlight will instantly destroy her.
Amaranth - Vampire’s Seduction works on vampires. Able to Drain humanoid vampires to disintegrate them and absorb their power. Gwynn's reward for this depraved act is a 30% bonus to combat and social skills while weaker vampires flee, for 5 minutes.
Blood Seed - (Apprentice) Jagged bone shards grow in a living or undead target, dealing 6 magic damage for 10 seconds. (1 draining)
Blood Brand - (Adept) Living or undead target takes 5 magic damage per second. After 10 seconds, detonates for 100 damage. (3 drainings)
Blood Garden - (Adept) Casts Blood Seed on all targets (AOE), inflicting 10 magic damage for 10 seconds. (6 drainings)
Blood Scourge - (Expert) Living or undead target takes 20 magic damage for 15 seconds. On death, spreads to all nearby targets. (10 drainings)
Purge through flames, the blood of the unworthy.
Tainted is the heart, extinguisher of death and light.
Renewed in the ashes, the abominations cut the wind.
By precision and instinct, the bolt sends the message.
Infernal are we, cursed to walk the middling ground.
Shadow Form - Deadly Reach + Wicked Wind
- The blood of the Montalion Clan allows Gwynn to effortlessly teleport throughout the battlefield.
Smiting Lash - Skull Rattler + Wingstrike
- Gwynn pommels her target with the butt of her crossbow, leaving them vulnerable to follow up attacks.
Flames of Vigor - Welloc’s Dormant Arcana + Overflowing Cup + Ocatos’ Recital
- Flames invigorate Gwynn with energy, readying her for the coming battle.
Infernal Strike - Desecrated Light + Snipe + Hallowed Burial + Crusaders Fire
- Gwynn takes aim with Desecrated Light, unleashing a powerful shot that rips into undead targets.
Unending Barrage - Hailstorm + Slow Time
- Gwynn uses her heightened vampiric reflexes to unleash a fusillade of bolts upon her target.
Fire and Blood - Secret of Arcana + Dual cast Fire Runes + Guardian Circle + Wall of Flames + Flame Cloak + Dual Cast Blood Boil
- In a devastating amalgamation of blood and fire, Gwynn utterly eviscerates her foes.
Rage and Ruin - Armageddon (2nd word) + Thundering Echoes + Fire Breath + Unyielding Storm + Become Ethereal + Fire Storm
- Gwynn lays waste to all around her in a terrifying display of flames.
This build is made to be played aggressively. Promising, non-stop, face-melting action was at the forefront of my mind when crafting it. Gwynn excels at any range and can lay down both powerful single target, and area of effect damage. Unlike typical archers and mages, she is more than capable of standing her ground against numerous melee attackers. If the need arises, she can reposition herself effortlessly with the Shadow Form ability. Adept at beating down her targets with the butt of her bow or incinerating the masses, she is rarely found at a disadvantage.
- Initiating Combat - Begining combat will always activate Flames of Vigor on Gwynn, bolstering her for the coming fight. Depending on the situation at hand either use “Shadow Form” to close the gap between you and the enemy or lay down some runes and stand your ground.
- Melee Enemies - Most melee types are trivial to deal with, and the undead are child’s play. Lay down some Fire Runes and some Firewalls and pelt them with your crossbow. If they are in your space, you can easily reposition with Shadow Form or use Smiting Lash to beat them senseless. Larger groups can be managed with abilities like Unending Barrage, Fire and Blood and Rage and Ruin.
- Magic-Users/Dragons - These to enemy types can be dealt with similarly. Where possible close in on them with Shadow Form, interrupting their magic/Th’um with Smiting Lash. If they are in the air or otherwise inaccessible, generous use of the Become Ethereal shout and the Unending Barrage ability. Mages should be your number priority in a battle.
- Archers - As with mages, the best option is to close the distance with Shadow Form. Knocking them over with Unrelenting Force is also favourable. Archers should be dealt with quickly, as a stray arrow can be problematic for ones adventuring career.
I slowly ramped up the difficulty as I levelled, so as to keep the gameplay balanced.
This is how I used the difficulty. Levels 1 - 25 on Adept, levels 25 - 40 on Expert and level 40 - 50 on Master.
Below I have included a gameplay video to give a taste of what the Infernal Huntress plays like. (Note that the video is an early prototype of the build. Everything featured within the video the build is capable of. But there is still plenty more the Huntress can do that is not shown). I will be adding an updated video of gameplay as soon as I am able.
Well, what a long time coming this was. Almost a year in the making, The Infernal Huntress was a blast to make possible. Thank you to everyone who encouraged me along the way, I couldn’t have done without you!
I sincerely hope that this build has done “No Snakes Alive’s” “Demon Hunter” Justice. Without that build as a precursor for going off, I might never have had the opportunity to bring you the Infernal Huntress. I'll also take the chance to give NomadDashes build The Lord of Shadows a shout out. He discovered the nifty trick with Wicked Wind and Deadly Reach.
Gwynn’s character was fun to write, and it was very rewarding coming up with a character who was the antithesis to Alayne, my Shadow of Dawn. This may not be the last we see of Gwynn, so stay tuned.
I’d also like to state that any art depicted in this work is not my own, and all credit should be given to their respected authors.
Lastly thank you, the reader, I hope you have a blast playing The Infernal Huntress! Cheers Furrion.
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