Despite having 600+ hours invested in Skyrim, I've never tried three things and this is my attempt at combining Illusion, Two-Handed, and Enchanting with a Divine who is rarely taken seriously. Also, dredging up old factions to play in Skyrim is one of my favourite things. (If you find the equipment sheets a bit difficult to read, view the image in another tab for a much larger view). So, I present the knights of the Divine of Orgies and Bards...
The Order of the Lily
The House of Dibella, the Goddess of Beauty, is concerned with the various aspects of the world’s beauty, such as artists and bards, finery and sexual pleasures, and feminine grace and form. The temple’s priests and priestesses are frequently too consumed with spreading the word and instruction in these arts to defend themselves properly. The Order of the Lily are a selection of knights and wizards of High Rock who protect and serve the House of Dibella with the arts martial and magical.
Entering the House of Dibella at a young age, you were raised there most of your childhood, among the priests and priestesses, and, of course, the Order of the Lily. You were trained in religious ceremonies as well as the Dibellan Arts, such as Illusion and Speechcraft, and were groomed to take the place of one of the orgiasts when you came of age. However, you decided you would rather become a Knight of the Lily, one of the sacred Order who guarded and fought in the name of Dibella and her loyal worshippers. You swore the oath and were trained to guard your former brothers and sisters.
Time wore on, as it always does, and your Gift from Dibella became more prominent. Dibella has been known to offer Gifts to her most devout followers: some are given the Gift of prophecy, others of speaking directly to the Lady, or to see into the hearts and minds of men and mer. Your Gift is the Gift of Song.
Eventually, a sect within the Order of the Lily formed of those who were Gifted and could use their Gifts to spread the word of Dibella across the war-torn Empire. The House of Dibella in High Rock surrendered their precious Gifted and sent one to each province to unite the revenged people under their Lady and spread her message of serenity and beauty.
Race : Since there are many races in High Rock, any would suffice, but Voice of the Emperor is about as appropriate as a racial power is going to get. And while Dibella is associated with grace and femininity, men are still allowed in her temples and such and I tend to RP better with a male character.
Standing Stone : Mage -> The Lady / The Serpent
Stat Spread : 2/2/1. Three magic schools puts a hefty strain on mana reserves and as a close quarters fighter, the Knight will need a fair amount of health and stamina.
Quests : Heart of Dibella, Book of Love, Bard College, Blessings of Nature, Black Star, Companions, Lost to the Ages, Dark Brotherhood, Main Quest, Dawnguard, Dragonborn
Open your heart to the noble secrets of art and love...
Primary . These are perked heavily and used on a regular basis.
Illusion : Dibella’s Knights aim to protect and serve her domain. Thus, they utilize Illusion magics to save the lives of the innocent and allow her foes to die tasting Dibella’s sweet serenity. Fear and Fury are impure forms of Illusion, so avoid them and stick to Calm and Courage.
Two Handed : The elegance of Dibella’s blade disposes any who corrupt the beauty of the world. In the original faction, also, Long Blade was their weaponry skill of choice. And with the training of the Companions, the Last Knight of the Lily can wield a blade with both hands. Since Long Blade was an ambiguous skill in Daggerfall, ranging from broadswords to claymores, one-handed would also be an acceptable option, turning this into a standard spellsword class, but I wanted a more unique feel to the character and it was important for the Companions to have a lasting influence on him.
Enchanting : Blessing those who sought Dibella’s favour and bringing them into her light, has brought you closer to the Queen of Heaven and you can now bring weapons and armor to be touched by her magic.
Secondary . These are used frequently and rarely perked.
Restoration : As the purest form of magic, the Priestesses of Dibella all practice and teach the art, offering their services as nurses or doctors in times of violence, and there are few places in Tamriel more violence-filled than Skyrim.
Alchemy : Perhaps not the most dignified art, with all its smells, sounds, and stains, through Alchemy and donations the Priestesses were able to sustain the temples in the darkest times of economic strife.
Block : If close quarters fighting ever happens to spill blood, the reflexes honed by hours of training with the Companions trigger and the Knight can parry blows with his weaponry. I never perked this myself, preferring to use enchantments to compensate.
Heavy/Light Armor : Without his standard armor in Skyrim, the Knight uses what is most beautiful, enhancing it with enchantments, but never devoting himself to a particular skill. Largely depends on what you feel is most beautiful/useful and what endgame look you want to go for. I never perked either and used the most aesthetically pleasing combination. Besides, the paradox of having potentially very powerful defense while remaining a glass cannon is a central part of this character. But still, armor skills will level.
I will raise my sword in the name of the Lady and Her loyalists to strike any who oppose us.
I will never let an enemy die in the fury and hatred that hinders the sight of Her Beauty.
I swear to upload Her Beauty wherever I find it and punish those who defile it.
The Order of the Lily believe that violence, brutality, and all the ills of the world are caused by an inability to see Dibella’s Beauty, and since Illusion and Speechcraft are Dibella’s patron skills, the Calm archetype of spells would be the way to force the enemy to see her Beauty and die with it in his eyes, for no one can commit violence in the presence of a Divine. The Knight of the Lily, however, is not violent. He is simply an instrument of his Lady’s Will and all who represent ugliness and mar her Beauty are her enemies.
Funnily enough, in Dagerfall (the game where the Order originated) the followers of Dibella are sometimes called “epicureans”, who are actually those who follow the philosophy of the ancient Greek Epicurus, who said that the only way to achieve true happiness was through deriving physical and mental pleasures and avoiding stress and fear. He called the state of mind that was achieved with this stress-free life “serenity” and it’s quite likely this is what Dibellans strive for.
Dibella is not necessarily a moralistic Divine, as her main command is to treasure friendship, femininity, art and beauty, but the definitions of art and beauty can be somewhat lax to say the least, and femininity isn’t necessarily for good. If Daedric princes can be good, why can’t a Divine be ambiguous? Though mingled with the teachings of Mara and Stendarr in the Imperial Cult to incorporate the virtues of innocence, chastity and mercy, Dibella’s own cults are focused more on personal serenity and peace, and it would then be the Order’s sacred duty to protect the freedom of beauty and art, but when Dibella is broken free of the other Divines and beauty and art are taken for their own value, their definition deteriorates and this somewhat philosophical statement is at the heart of this build.
THE HEAVENS OF DIBELLA
A combat stance that allows the Knight to play a support/crowd control role by wielding spells and allowing their friend/follower/pack mule to tank the larger groups of bandits, inspiring them with the Voice of Dibella. The Courage archetype combined with Heal Other spells will level Illusion and Restoration at nice speeds. Later on, he can supply his party with Calm and Paralyze spells. Riding the Heavens of Dibella gives the Knight the opportunity to orchestrate her serenity without bloodying his sword and also allows his more war-minded friend to fulfil their love of full-contact battle. This arrangement is the Knight’s favourite and he honestly prefers fighting like this, keeping an eye on the edges of battle and inspiring others with Dibella’s leadership.
ARTISTRY OF THE LILY
The Knight has many worries about close battle, but can also use Dibella’s Gift for closer combat, in offense and defense. Forcing them to stumble backwards (Fire/Frost Breath, Ice Form, Unrelenting Force) or drop their weapon (Disarm) could give the Knight the second sly bonus he needs to stay alive to fight another day. His friends have his back and Dibella’s Gift of her Voice provide the best survivability factor, as the Knight isn’t skilled in particular armor types and Alteration is very magicka-hungry in early levels. Charging after a Turned undead with a massive greatsword might well be my favourite thing that I’ve ever done in Skyrim. While still feeling very elegant and holy, it’s a very barbaric style of fighting and one that’s suited to dominate the playing field, which is exactly the feeling this character needs in fights. Managing two handed greatswords with Illusion magic and a follower, with Shouts and agility as the main defense, creates a close combat style the rides the line between suicidal and a fast paced thrill ride.
With her Gift and my Songs, Skyrim will ring with the music and art of the Lady.
As what is basically a Tamrielic missionary, the Gifted Knight’s goal is to spread the word of Dibella’s Beauty and majesty through song, his Voice, and the arts. The Bards’ College is very well-suited to this and the Knight sees association with the Companions as a necessary evil; unused to battles, the Order being more of a formal tradition than a proper military order with training and fighting, and the Knight isn’t prepared for the harsh climate of Skyrim or even travelling across the nation on foot. Keep doing radiant quests after “Proving Honour” to hone your skills.
Dragons and the Civil War are also not his problems. Dismissing the court at Whiterun when they said his Voice was an ancient Nordic art, he left the Greybeards’ call unanswered to pursue his own goals. Hearing the Temple of Dibella in Markarth is in need of help, the Knight runs off and receives his Lady’s blessing for his actions. I also spent a lot of time in Solitude, as it is such a beautiful city, and my Knight become the Thane, even buying a house to base his exploits from.
Helping the commoner and avoiding stress and strife are your prime objectives, as you try to convert Skyrim to the Cult of Dibella with your reputation and Serenity rather than by force and reciting gospels.
This should net you a fair amount of random dungeon delving and shouts. The Knight travels on foot to acquaint himself with the local towns and villages, because he knows the way to the Jarls of this land is through their people, and saving them from the occasional dragon won’t hurt publicity for Dibella, and you know she approves of your pursuits because most nights you are able to learn a new Song to call forth in the language of the Divine.
Followers like Lydia and Celann (from the Dawnguard) are suitable tanks and choices for the Knight. Lydia was, more or less, a gift from the Jarl and is a very Nordic lady, able to guide the Knight through this unfamiliar land. Celann, on the other hand, is a former Vigilant of Stendarr and would probably be very willing to join in the fighting order of another Divine, one less preoccupied with mercy and forbearance. You will have to do the opening quest of the Dawnguard DLC to get Celann as a follower, and I don’t think the Knight would leave such a horrifying predicament (evil Vampire Lords with an Elder Scroll of the Divines) without slaughtering his way through Castle Volkihar .
I’ll paint the snow in your blood.
If anyone were to truly live in Skyrim for any length of time (a country torn by civil war, suffocated by foreign control, rife with violence and death, brimming with monsters and evil) it would become hard to see beauty in this land anymore. For the Knight, it was his friend who first opened his eyes. Both Lydia and Celann have very bloodthirsty personalities, aside from their usual quirks as followers, and one of them eventually said that there was beauty in death.
The Knight agreed there was beauty in victory, in conquering evil, protecting those who were beautiful but his friend insisted. There was beauty in the mangled corpse of the vampire, the bludgeoned skull of a Stormcloak rebel, you just had to know where to look.
Shell-shocked, the Knight returned to the Companions and spoke with the friends he made there. All similarly bloodthirsty and violent, they agreed and the Knight began to “loosen up” as they called it. The look in their eyes, their serenity, only reinforced this idea, and the Knight tried to look at things differently.
There was beauty in the moon, art in the profession of thievery, and even a blade swung in battle could ring with the Voice of Dibella. He rose through their ranks and felt honoured to be one of the Companions, seeing them with a new eye: the honour in their actions, the bond they shared, and even the form they took rang with Dibella’s truth.
On an impulse, the Knight bought Illusion and Muffle spellbooks and while making small talk with Drevis, he heard the rumour that would change his life. A small boy was trying to summon the Dark Brotherhood.
Though his first impulse was to get the boy’s life back on track, he rolled the idea over in his mind and decided to stay open and impartial. He eventually met Astrid and, though was confused when Dibella didn’t abandon him, played her game and entered her family.
Though he couldn’t see the beauty of murder and assassination the way the Dark Brotherhood did, he decided their love of beauty was no less valid than the Companions’ or that of the College of Winterhold or the Bards’ College, and it was no less worthy of being protected, and creating the beauty of a body red with blood for Astrid and Sithis was no less grand than creating the beauty of a landscape in oils for the Imperial Museum, or a new spell with all its interwoven complexities. And if the creation of new beauty and art infringes on already existing art, Dibella accepts the new beauty as a new offering to her. He even considers the beauty of the dragons and resolves to only kill those who harm him or Dibella’s followers.
Thus, the Knight truly dedicates himself to serving Dibella’s Beauty, wherever it may be found and for whoever it may be for. Many of his previous morals have already been corrupted by the Companions and their lust for gold and violence, and what is left was eliminated by the Dark Brotherhood. While the Knight hardly makes the change from Good alignment to Evil, he does change to a very heavy, very solid Neutral.
He refuses to even consider his Gift Nordic in nature or a blessing of Akatosh, but humours the Greybeards and the Blades to eliminate the threat of the World Eater. Even though such power is beautiful, Alduin’s attempts on his life and his plans for the destruction of the world are intolerable. Miraak’s desire to (ultimately) kill the Knight is irritating and dangerous, and the Knight will even brave the ruined landscape of Solstheim to end Miraak’s return.
With all these new skills and ways to please his Lady, the Knight turns to his skill in enchanting and alchemy to make up all he lacks in these skills. The main use of the Aetherial Crown is to have a reusable paralyze effect, without creating poisons or using an enchantment slot on a weapon. Storing the Serpent Stone in the Crown allows for a quick 5sec paralyzation and a shot of 25pts worth of poison damage, using the same equip/unequip glitch commonly used for the Ritual Stone. These are three potions I created fairly frequently throughout the playthrough, even though I used poisons more frequently later.
Mora Tapinella + Dragon’s Tongue + Fly Amanita = Fortify 2-Handed, Fortify Illusion
Dwarven Oil/Taproot + Mora Tapinella + Garlic = Fortify Illusion, Restore Magicka, Regenerate Magicka
Frost Mirriam/Abecean Longfin + Purple Mountain Flower = Fortify Sneak, Resist Frost
Snowberries + Hawk Beak + Fly Amanita = Resist Fire, Frost and Shock
Wrath of Dibella
Deathbell + Giant Lichen + Skeever Tail = Damage Health, Ravage Health, Weakness to Poison
Dibella’s patron skill, the tree is fairly useless in-game (unless you want to pay for spell tomes or armor in homemade potions) and so I created a blend of two “skills” to emulate the Knight’s commanding presence in and out of combat.
1.) The Voice. Blessed with the Voice of Dibella’s own glory, she blesses the Knight with the ability to recall Aedric tales of valor and victory to imbue himself and his allies with powerful magic. Chaining shout combos to create the Songs of Dibella creates a powerful defence in a character that is fairly squishy at higher levels. This opens up a lot of different play styles and a lot of somewhat useless (read: unperked) skills will level us up at a keen rate, which is why the shift in character is so early and the original skillset fairly small. You should be at adept or higher in all of these skills to balance out your progression. However, now, enemies will begin to get difficult again, as you’re levelling off of used, but not primary, skills (like Sneak and Heavy Armor, as I used Light for a lot of my first half).
To compensate for this, I used a simple modded way (added the enchantment of Fortify Shouts) to fortify Dibella’s Gift to about 90% shout reduction. The standard fortify restoration glitch works well for those who don’t want to mess around with mods, but I tend to leave a second or two of cool down by using a smaller soul gem or not using all the required perks, as I find it really satisfying to see the cool down bar zoom down, as it makes me feel powerful rather than godly, and I tend to abuse the mechanic if given complete freedom. Taking the blessing of Talos can also be seen as the Knight pledging his new military mindset to the War of Beauty, as the Order sees Dibella as the chief goddess, and all other Divines just figments that can lead to her serenity.
2.) Followers. Abiding Dibella’s commandment to treasure friendship, her Knight rarely travels without one of the many people he helped in Skyrim, fortifying their fighting prowess with his illusion magics and bringing them back from the brink of death with restoration. Rather than seeing followers as pack mules or even friends, the Knight sees his companion as a sacred contract with his Lady, and is absolutely inconsolable if they should perish. A more morally ambiguous follower is recommended for the second half, but not a hireling.
While Slow Time allows you to escape by moving much quicker, Become Ethereal gives free sprinting, for no stamina, or Whirlwind Sprint shoots you in the opposite direction, and gives the Knight time to reposition to drink potions, use magic, or simply get a better sense of the field.
Most useful against a hoard of Falmer or enemies around animals (I once found a bandit camp with a few bears around the outskirts). While you’re detected the newly allied animals will turn to kill the enemies and you can watch it all from a safe distance through their auras of confused hatred. This is the only “Fury” spell available to the Knight, as it’s sanctioned by Dibella and her Gift.
Utilizing Dibella’s raw power in the form of elemental energy, the Knight’s foes are filled with terror at her Voice, surrendering the battle and their dignity as they flee, throwing their weapon at the Knight’s feet. This is the only “Fear” spell available to the Knight, as it’s sanctioned by Dibella and her Gift.
Singing her praises to the heavens, her Knight brings Dibella’s peace to Tamriel, silencing wild beasts and in return the Divine touches him with her own hand, rendering him invulnerable to all harm. Mostly a roleplay device, I played with a mod that linked shouting to the Speech tree and shouted at every opportunity. Plus, free sprinting in the wild is always fun.
Snatching her Gifted from the world into the throes of her grasp, Dibella makes her presence known to her Knight’s enemies, sending forth a whirlwind of her Knight’s essence and passion to dispel threats and force the Knight’s enemies to fight for him. Bend Will acts as a very satisfying “Fury” variation, as it allows multiple enemies to be your allies for 30 seconds, which is enough to win most fights.
Throughout his travels in Skyrim, the Knight has learned much of the Nordic traditions and stories from the Bards’ College and has gained the ability to temper his Gift to their stories, terrifying any who hear the tales of the Nordic warriors into fighting very poorly. After meeting some of the heroes in person, the Knight can recall their tales on the battlefield and call them back to war.
Used for massive battles or more hideous outdoors fights, the Knight can bring about Dibella’s Armageddon, bringing forth his friend from the Soul Carin and protecting his own soul from the dark magics, while rendering the strongest of foes even more vulnerable to the black magic. (Note: Durnehiir will also summon the Dawngaurd summons, like Bonemen and Mistmen to help with outdoor battles, and can be summoned places where Call Dragon will not normally work)