Character Build: The Lionheart of Sunhold

Greetings and salutations my fellow Forgers, to my latest build! Shortly after I finished my Degenerate Dragon, I began to think, “What would a nearly magicless Altmer be like?” Thus I began forging this heavily armored, face crushing pugilist, even began writing a fic for ‘em. Check it out. Welcome to one leonid patterned Altmer, welcome to…



Born of an ancient union between Mer and Daedra, born with barely the spellcasting ability of a newborn, the Lionheart focused on training his body as well as his mind. Slowly but surely, Sairaorg Chandris of the minor noble Summerset House found himself eventually coming to blows with the Thalmor, beside companions he had surrounded himself with.

Upon a dream of a draconic eagle urging him to Skyrim, as part of their tradition where each would separate for a year and head to one of the Provinces, the pugilist found himself heading to the land of frozen mystics. Upon crossing the border, he was ambushed by a Dominion raiding party, and was eventually laid low, and tossed into a cart, where fate would once more lay their hands upon a hero with the heart of a lion….

Build Overview

Race: Altmer Vampire. Not only does their tall height make them imposing in full heavy armor, it increases their speed. The vampirism is meant to reflect his Daedric blood, plus he is in essence, a Hulkynd, which from my understanding is an Altmer born with some kind of deformity or disability that is abandoned by his family in this case, everyone on his father’s side of the family save his father, to an extent. Plus the +50 bonus ro Magicka, +5 bonuses to Alteration and Enchanting helps.


Standing Stone: The Warrior to start with for skill leveling purposes, then swap over to The Lord for the added +50 to Armor Rating, alongside the 25% Magic Resistance. 

Alignment: Lawful/Chaotic Good

Stat Spread: 1/2/2 in Magicka, Health, and Stamina. With the starting +50 buff to Magicka and enchants on your gear, plus how small our spell selection will be, the Lionheart won’t need an insane amount of Magicka. 


Inspiration: Sairaorg Bael (Highschool DxD) and to a much lesser extent, the White Lions (Warhammer Fantasy).


Shrine Blessing: Blessing of Talos for Shout Cooldown Reduction.



*Note, despite the screenshots, Sairaorg is male. I asked Jazzy to use a female Mer as due to a mod they used, males suffered a rather unfortunate body model issue of the phallic nature*

(Levels 1-25)

Siding with Hadvar, the only real things you’ll need to grab are the Imperial Captain’s armor, the potions and ingredients (which are basically just the Rock Warbler Eggs and Salt Piles), Lockpicks, and the gear off the dead mage, but feel free to grab what yah can to sell to Alvor. Following the usual song and dance with Bleak Falls Barrow, head on over and join up with the Companions. As with some other builds who wouldn’t or couldn’t become werewolves, I roleplayed something akin to what happens in the Enhanced Skyrim Factions-The Companions Guild occurs, in that he instead joins the Circle via a trial by combat. You’ll want to cure yourself (I RPed that his latent Daedric blood canceled out the lycanthropic curse),  Farkas and Vilkas, but don’t grab the Totems.


With a follower at your side to help offset your currently low damage, you’ll want to work on training up your Alteration, primarily with Tolfdir, and in combat with Flesh Spells. One of the first pieces of gear you’ll want to grab are the Fists of Randagulf, which you can acquire from Crovangr Cave after receiving the quest “Caught in a Web” by reading Adonato Leotelli's Journal on the top floor of Candlehearth Hall. These intricately carved gauntlets boost not only melee damage and blocking, but most importantly for this build, your unarmed damage by a base 20%.


The Lionheart will side with the Stormcloaks, believing in their cause of freedom, till seeing how some of their number treat non Nords, the kingslaying of Torryg by Ulfric, their “Skyrim for the Nords” mindset, and how Ulfric prioritizes Nords over non-Nords leads to the Lionheart turncoating to the Imperials, delivering the Jagged Crown not to Jarl Stormcloak, but to General Tullius. 


Early-to-mid Lionheart combat will consist primary of popping on a flesh spell and rushing in with your fists, using your armor and spells to shrug off melee and arrows, and begin to punch as many things as you can, with a follower, Faendel for most of my run, offering support. Focus on the squishy, yet mystically strong, mages first. Dragon Priests are harder, but even still, they fall with enough punches.


Dragons, even with the Magic Resist we get from the Alteration Tree, Blessing of Mara from the Book of Love quest, and The Lord Stone to help deal with their Shouts, as well as hiding behind trees and such, was to let a follower, and any guards or other armed NPCs whittle it down, and then rush in to pummel it with furious flying fists.


On a side note, one of the primary ways I leveled both Heavy Armor and Alteration was via popping on a Flesh spell, sliding down the difficulty to Novice, and then letting a Giant smack Sairaorg around, healing when needed. 


Also, make sure to beat any Thalmor patrols you come across to death, as well as any you find such as the trio in Markarth (preferably right before heading back to Eltris while doing the Forsworn Conspiracy so you can have that cleared up with your pardon), Ancano and his flunkie at the tail end of the College, and Elenwen and co when you’re able to return to the Embassy. 


Level 25




Steel Plate Armor

Steel Plate Boots

Fists of Randagulf (The Contest Creation Club content)-Melee and unarmed strikes do 20% more damage. Block 20% more damage with shields.


Amulet of Talos








Following on from that, after much questing, we reach….


Levels 25-50



By now you’ll have completed both the Companions and College questlines, as well as eventually completing the Dawnguard main quest on the side of the Dawnguard, “suppressing” IE curing your vampirism and having sweet Serana suck you to become a child of the night again to stop Isran and co from whining. Also, you’ll have destroyed the Dark Brotherhood, that was fun. Speaking of, prior to, I helped Cicero, as while a Cicero to them seemed a bit…off, the Lionheart is always eager to help. Sneak was occasionally used to start fights, like a lion pouncing upon prey.

Alongside this, both for questlines, and for the prospect of bringing ancient evils to heel, you’ll have gone about collecting the various Dragon Priest masks throughout Skyrim, eventually finding your feet taking you to the shrine in Labyrinthian, whereupon you get Konahrik, the final ninth mask. Fun fact, when they trigger, the healing and summoned dragon priest effects of the mask level up Conjuration and Restoration. Alongside this, whether by speaking with Ri’saad, one of the Khajiti traders, or by finding their camp by North Brittleshin Pass, start Balance of Power and kill the Golden Saint cosplaying banditos for the final armor, smithing it up with Gold Bars either gained from the stash in Forsaken Cave while getting both the White Phial and Frida’s ring, or via using Transmute on any Iron or Silver Ore chunks you come across in your journeys.

My primary follower alternated between Serana and Teldryn, for good old magical backup. Serana, being more of a pure mage, was able to raise dead for further fun times in combat. 

Konahriik was chosen both for its gilded color, but also because of its effects. When you drop below 15% health, the mask offers you an equal chance to not only fully recover your health, but get an ally in a wonderful Spectral Dragon Priest, useful in very tough fights.


Gameplay wise there isn’t much of a change, still a Flesh Spelling pugilist. However with the added bonus of Dragonrend and Marked for Death, even with its nerfing, dragons become much easier to deal with. On another note, Stability, and any found Fortify Alteration potions can extend the duration of Slow Time, perfect for fighting landed Dovah. Just pop a potion, activate Slow Time, and get to fisting!


Level 50




Leonine Vestiture-Golden Saint/Dwarven Armor W/ Fortify Healing Rate and Stamina Regen.

Nemean Cestus-Golden Saint/Dwarven/Dwarven Brawler Gauntlets W/ Fortify Unarmed and Fortify Carry Weight.

Paws of the Brave-Golden Saint/Dwarven Gauntlets W/ Fortify Stamina Regen and Fortify Stamina.

Heart of Sarosh-Gold Ruby Necklace W/ Resist Magic and Fortify Healing Rate.

Signet of Bael-Chandris: Gold Emerald Ring W/ Fortify Unarmed and Fortify Stamina Regen.










  • Daily go out and hunt bandits, Reavers, rogue mages, and other threats to insure the innocent are able to live safely, and to keep your skills sharp.
  • While not as easy, only slake your blood thirst from Blood Potions (Feel free to use either a mod that makes them craftable or a duplication glitch), as well as feeding on only less morally reputable folk like bandits, Maven Black-Briar, etc.
  • Try and Persuade or Intimidate before or else. However if Brawl is an option, go with that.
  • Never run away from a fight, for such would wound your pride as a warrior, unless there is absolutely no way to win.
  • While not a dedicated hunter per say, to honor the leonine heritage of the Lionheart’s maternal ancestry, keep a container in your homes for Eyes of Sabercats, Sabercat Hides, alongside their Forgotten Vale counterparts.


Whew, first build in a while. Ah, the joy of writing a build, and the pain of porting it from Google Docs onto Ning. Heh, well, anyway, welcome to 2024 my friends, and may it be better than 2023. Thanks as usual to Jazzy for the screenshots and spreads as usual (and putting up with my constant requests, you rock). Here’s to more builds which will come whenever I am able to get psyched and post em. Thanks for reading!

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  • Hey Chris! Awesome build my friend, as always! One teeny error I see right in the beginning

    This is a mostly magicless build, yeah? You state in your preamble 

    What would a nearly non magicless Altmer be like?

    I believe you meant to write "What would a nearly magicless Altmer be like?

    Also, your perk spreads are identical. Both are level 51 perk spreads, I assume you have a graphic for your relevant level 25 spread? Might want to make that edit, lol

    Further, you have a paragraph that just kinda...ends

    Gameplay wise there isn’t much of a change, still a Flesh Spelling pugilist. However with the added bonus of Dragonrend and Marked for Death, even with its nerfing, dragons become much easier to deal with. On another note, Stability, and any found

    and any found...what?

    Otherwise, excellent build. Honestly, thousand upon thousands of hours in game and not only did I never know you could switch sides in the war, I never even thought of trying that. Definitely going to be giving that a whirl on my next playthrough. I love the roleplay aspect of the build and the fact you kept it 100% unarmed is super cool; I had an unarmed orc brawler build myself, but he also didn't wear armor and it was a tough cookie to crack.

    • Oh thanks Fimvul, Imma take a crack at those edits amd such. Yeah, unarmed is fun, albeit a bit tedious to start, and we have to deal with well, Skyrim being Skyrim combat wise, but gotcha, gotcha. Yeah,  I first learned about it through an article I read once. You can swap places a few times. Earliest is with the Jagged Crown. Just deliver it to the opposite leader.

  • Hey Chris, 

    Awesome build as always! Been a while since I'd laid my eyes on a pugilist build.
    Another thing you may want to consider is the clear skies shout or soul tear With its ability to knockback and very low cooldown, brought even further down with the blessings and amulet of talos, this shout can be used ever so often to knock your enemies back, in between dual power attack punching.

    But other than that, it's a fun build.

    • Thanks Warlorc. I honestly forget Clear Skies exists sometimes, hah.

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