Character Build: The Night Mother

The Night Mother

The Night Mother is the leader of the Dark Brotherhood. Some say this is the title given to the leader regardless of who she is. Others believe she was the head of the Morag Tong before the split with the Dark Brotherhood. Some say the Night Mother is Mephala herself! She goes by different names - The Lucky Lady, The Bride of Sithis, The Unholy Matron, The Blood Flower and Lady Death.

The history of The Night Mother is clouded in mystery. She could have been the head of the Morag Tong (link) and caused the split that formed The Dark Brotherhood because she was focused on profit. Stories tell she may have been a leader of the Thieves Guild and encouraged her crew to focus more on their specializations. She could have been a real person but maybe she was Mephala.

Nothing about The Night Mother is certain!

One story places her origin in the Second Era. She began hearing the voice of Sithis telling her what to do. She gave birth to 5 children but killed them at the direction of Sithis. The town turned on her and killed her. Later a man heard The Night Mother's voice in his mind, the same as she heard Sithis. He became the first Listener.

The Night Mother is motivated by profit and power. Why would you kill for the Morag Tong when you can make a profit on the same murders?


I chose to see The Night Mother as a "glass cannon". She is pure offensive power with little or no defense. Illusion is your only form of defense. You must use your wits to defeat the enemy, not just rush in and start firing away. This is not the typical "sneak attack then hide for another sneak attack" character. You attack fast and hard. Destroy the enemy before they know what hit them!

You have your deadliest bow and a series of one handed weapons at your disposal. Your dual wielding flurries will stagger and topple the enemy before he can touch you!

Once you become a member of the Thieves Guild you can find the Thief Caches. There are 3 in Riften right away. They include a good potion, good arrows and a great dagger. Use the daggers you find in your left hand during dual wielding. I never left home without my Glass Dagger of Annihilating and my Ebony Dagger of Leeching.


Race: Dunmer

Stat Ratio: Magicka =1

Health = 4

Stamina = 1

Major Skills: Illusion, One Handed, Alchemy, Archery

Minor Skills: Sneak, Lockpicking

Stone: Lady Stone until Alchemy is higher then Lord Stone for a small boost to defense

Weapons: Any dagger or sword but the star is the Blade of Woe

Armor/Clothes: _____, _____ __ ____, ____, _____ ____, ____ __ ____ ____

Shouts: Marked for Death, Aura Whisper, Storm Call, Disarm, Slow Time

Blessing: Shrine of Auriel (for gameplay), Shrine of Arkay (for roleplay)

Quests: The Dark Brotherhood, Thieves Guild



This build is designed to be free of specific item choices. Illusion is your defense. Because there are no perks in any defensive skill you can pick and choose anything you want! Go for the best look or go for the best enchantments. The Night Mother sometimes dressed in all red, making Mythic Dawn Robes a great lore based choice. 

Krosis fits the build perfectly, boosting 3 of your skills. Master Robes of Illusion allow you to cause more confusion in the enemy ranks. I chose health regeneration for my jewelry while using alchemy for offense and buffing. I found Dragonplate Boots Frost Suppression but before that I used Steel Plate Boots. Combine Frost Resistance and the natural Dunmer Fire resistance to withstand almost every magical attack.

I often employed Dark Brotherhood items especially gloves that boost sneak attack damage from my dual wielded weapons. I slip the gloves on before combat, kill all who stand and put the gloves back in my pocket.

Once you are a member of the Thieves Guild you can find Thief Caches in 3 locations of Riften. They will contain a good potion, better arrows and great dagger with a great enchantment. Use these daggers in your left hand for maximum attack speed. I carried a variety of them for every situation. I never left home without my Glass Dagger of Annihilating and my Ebony Dagger of Leeching.


Alchemy is very important. The potions you create will make your offensive power much stronger. As a "glass cannon" you need to pack the biggest punch you can! I have designed a series of potions and poisons that aid your combat in a variety of ways.

Warrior Bane - Damage Health + Slow + Weak to Poison (deathbell, giant lichen, river betty)

Assassin's Touch - Damage Health + Lingering Damage Health (imp stool, slaughterfish scales)

Rush 'n Attack - Fortify Health + Fortify 1H + Restore Health (hanging moss + rock warbler + wheat)

Illusionist's Dream - Fortify Illusion + Regenerate Stamina + Restore Magicka (frost salt, more tapinella, scaly pholiota)

The Touch of Sithis - Fortify Marksman + Regenerate Health (canis rot, garlic, juniper berries)

Sneak perks are to gain even more power for your attacks. This is not an outright stealthy character! The Night Mother would rather rush in and strangle someone instead of sneaking around like a scared mouse! You can get in a first strike sneak attack but follow it up with your powerful offense. All of your weapons are made better through sneak attacking perks.

One Handed can be a risky but effective form of offense. Dual wielding gives you a mighty attack at the cost of no defensive possibilities. You cannot block, you must swing those blades!

Archery is perked to increase speed, just like one handed increase dual wielding speed. Steady Hand makes your mind work faster than the action and Quick Shot will allow you to draw your bow faster than anyone in all of Skyrim!

Alchemy will be your best friend! Create potions to heal yourself when needed. Buff your attributes and debuff your enemies. You will find both poisons and potions to be very important if you want to stay alive!

Illusion is your only method of defense. Every perk is taken to ensure you are a master of the mind. You will turn your enemies against each other or make them flee. Cause the threats to give up their attack and treat you as a harmless visitor as you plot your assault!


The mighty weapons you have at your disposal will be even greater when combined. A mix of weapons, potions/poisons, spells and shouts will have your enemies quaking in fear! 

Marked for Death is used to make your enemies glass cannons as well, balance the playing field! You can hit the enemy with MfD then an Illusion spell. Once their AR is low enough you draw your blades and charge! This is perfect for Dragons - just hit it with MfD, hide behind cover and hit it again with MfD. After 2 or 3 shots of MfD the Dragon should be ready to be skinned. Archery is recommended for Dragon unless you are certain your fast flurry will win.

(Marked for Death + Illusion + patience + dual wielding)

Alchemy affects everything you do. Make some Fortify Restoration potions to drink before you take the Auriel's Shrine Blessing and put on Krosis. With 100% Fortify Restoration you will boost your archery damage by a whopping 60%! You can drink a fortify marksman potion or wear more fortify marksman enchanted items you find. Your Assassin's Touch poison will do an addition 200 points (or much more!) of damage, double because of the Concentrated Poison perk.

Auriel is the exact opposite of Sithis which means the Blessing of Auriel is not fitting with the role play of this character. Should you choose to use the Blessing of Arkay you will be able to gain a boost to your health of over 50 if you drink a restoration potion or two before taking the blessing.

(Fortify Restoration Potion + Krosis + Auriel's Shrine + Touch of Sithis Poison + Assassin's Touch poison + Concentrated Poison perk + Archery)

I managed to push Krosis and The Blessing of Auriel to a combined effect of over 75%!

My enchantments gave me 100% fortify health regeneration and my potions gave me another 100%. The Blade of Woe absorbs 10pts of health and my Glass Dagger of Leeching absorbs another 20pts of health. This combination of enchantments, potions and weapons will keep your health high when within melee range. If all else fails just calm the enemies and let your health regenerate before you spring another sneak attack!

(Jewelry of Health Regeneration + Blade of Woe + Dagger of Leeching + Touch of Sithis potion)

Role play

You are playing as the original Night Mother, a woman so evil she killed all five of her children! You are a ruthless and cunning serial killer. Your greed has no equal. Embrace the darkness inside of you. 

  • In combat you hit hard and fast. Your enemies often know your darkness while not even aware of your presence.
  • If you have Hearthfire you should make your home as dark and evil as you can. Furnish it lightly and make it a true house of horrors. A safe would be necessary for your riches.
  • Get as much gold as you can while feeding your darkness. Anyone can get rich with alchemy, avoid this whenever you can. The money you get from selling your potions should be spent. I spent mine on training. Stockpile the gold and jewels you actually earn, through your malicious endeavors, in your home.
  • You hear the voice of Sithis in your mind. Your darkness overcome you, making you kill often. Do not go too many days without slaughtering someone.

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  • This sounds like a fun character to play as You know 

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