It seems like an eon ago I said I was making a series called "Where Are They Now?" for TES characters. The first one was Crassius Curio, a prominent figure from Morrowind recreated as a stealthy vampire out for revenge.
Aside from being a historical figure, the Tomb of the Snow Prince was a small dungeon in Morrowind’s Bloodmoon expansion. It was filled with some nice loot, but what I never forgot was that, even though it was a tomb, there was no body to be found. Not even a skeleton. Admittedly, this was early 2000s gaming, but this, is what I think happened to it.
From whence he came we did not know, but into the battle he rode on a brilliant steed of pallid white. Elf we called him, for Elf he was, yet unlike any other of his kind we had ever seen before that day. His spear and armor bore the radiant and terrible glow of unknown magicka, and so adorned this unknown rider seemed more wight than warrior.
Now, before we go on, I do have to say that this build is based on one of my all-time favourite TES books. The Fall of the Snow Prince. I definitely advise that you read it, as it's just a short story.
If you don’t like storytime, this is the short version:
The Nords look like they’re going to win the Battle of Moesring. It’s the last stand of the Snow Elves, and they’re dying by the bucketload; they’re tired and the army’s depressed. The Nords see a change in the elven army, as they begin to chant and cheer. Turns out, they’re cheering for a single rider, who inspires this defeated army to charge back at the Nords. But the Nords feel his presence, too, and know he’s come with a terrible anger and is there to bring death. It looks like the elves are going to win now and the battle goes on for a while, but a small squire of twelve years old witnesses her mother struck down by the Snow Prince and takes up her sword and stabs the fearsome warrior dead. Heartbroken, the elves flee or fall dead, the Nords charging after them with battleaxes. But the Nords felt that the Snow Prince, even though he was an elf, was such a great warrior and so loved by his people that he deserved better than being burned on the battlefield. Instead, his body was preserved in a tomb decorated with all the riches of a king and given Draugr guardians in death.
Race : Altmer for both the +50 and the Highborn power, not to mention the looks, but we are definitely Falmer.
Stats : 1/2/1, I tend to put Fortify Magicka enchants on my gear, but as a mixed warrior/mage we’ll need a healthy amount of everything.
Standing Stone : The Steed (I chose it since I used Heavy Armor) / The Atronach (in the Crown), but used with restrictions
Shouts : Dismay, Dragon Aspect, Bend Will, Disarm, Animal Allegiance, Frost Breath, Cyclone, Become Ethereal
Primary Skills : Destruction, One-Handed, Alchemy, Restoration
Secondary Skills : Block, Alteration, Enchanting
Alignment : Lawful Good
Quests : Main, Dawnguard, College of Winterhold, Dragonborn, Thaneship, Civil War (Imperials), Raven Rock, Lost to the Ages, White Phial, The Pale Lady, Dragon Priest Masks, Black Books, Tel Mithryn, Unearthed, Served Cold
I made use of Frost the horse as both thematically appropriate and a replacement for the Prince’s mythic white steed. Using Destruction, a sword, and a shield we can adopt three combat stances for various different enemies.
My personal favourite combat style in any game, a strong shield in one hand and a quick-to-fire spell in the other will make a great way to make a strong stand. When we consider frost magic’s Slow effect, Freeze (a Slow effect of 15sec), Whirlwind Cloak, Turn Undead, and ash/paralysis, which will knock any hardy enemy to the ground, we can effectively stop chargers from charging, mages from magicking, and archers from getting off a shot. We want to be quick to make our enemies impotent, repositioning or blocking spells and arrows if needed. If needed, you can turtle up into a full defensive mode with a ward in your other hand for a hefty armor buff and magickal defense. Then, we can move into our next stance.
I prefer concentration spells with a Potion of Fortify Destruction, but between Wards, Blizzards, and the Poison Rune, there is always a good spell to match a blade. This is where we focus on the hardiest enemy, the one or two we didn’t knock out as a Shieldmage, and it’s pure DPS. Poisons of Weakness on the blade, Poison Rune stacking, elemental walls, and cloaks, we can deal some hefty damage to any and all, before any of our foes get back on their feet. Don't be afraid of Wards fortified with Restoration Potions for extra armor or magical defense, especially with Ward Absorb to recharge our magicka for more Destruction spells.
A standard sword-n-board, it’s a steady balance between the heavy defense and repositioning of the Shieldmage and the guns blazing style of the Spellsword. Here is when we’ll want to cast flesh spells and lay down a rune or walls before engaging in straightforward combat. I suggest using this for particularly honourable opponents or a fight that is simply too large to operate as either of the other two.
SNOW ELF MAGIC
Snow Elf magic seems to revolve around storing energy to use later, like batteries. Think of the paragons or the priests at the Wayshrines. So, I created combinations of potions and powers that relate to elven religion. After you decide to use one, drop a filled soul gem of the corresponding level. It gives you a reason to collect and fill gems rather than rely on Azura's Star. Also, none of the abilities that go into creating these moves (Secret of Protection, etc.) can be used outside the moves.
Due to a slight error of mine, the images appear a bit off.
Opening them in a new tab will make them perfectly readable.
It is hinted at that other Snow Elves might’ve survived the Dwemer’s enslavement and the Nords’ genocide. It was in one of these surviving communities that the Snow Prince awoke, his body stolen by the straggling survivors as a symbol of the Falmer Empire that was lost to the invading Nords. Whether it was by a necromantic ritual (which could let you roleplay a darker Prince) or the will of Auriel (where you could roleplay a very holy Prince), it was soon obvious that the Prince was, once again, Auriel’s Champion. Holding a great disdain for men and an intense hatred for Nords, particularly the ones occupying his homeland, the Prince was released by the few surviving Snow Elves to the hellish, war-stricken Empire of Man. While able to cooperate with the Nords to save elves, he doesn’t lose sleep over killing them and would rather sleep in the wilds than in a Nordic inn or stay in town a day longer than necessary. Stay in the Cornerclub or in the Bosmer-owned tavern in Whiterun, if you must.
Even with his poisonous anger and hate, he still loves his homeland and is pained to see it polluted by vermin. Necromancers, blood mages, vampires, werewolves, and supernatural filth should be cleaned where they can be found, along with bandits and highwaymen. Leave Dwemer structures alone; while he hates the Nords for starting this war, he hates the Dwemer even more for betraying the Snow Elves when they asked for asylum.
I played the Prince as a somber warrior, almost like an elven Messiah. A strong silent sentinel on the roads toprotect whatever elven descendants he can find, along with his beloved Skyrim. He is a Snow Elf first and Auriel’s Champion second. In order to protect his land, he would be willing to ally with the Empire in order to destroy the Stormcloaks, and with theDawnguard to destroy the vampires, since destroying ancient Nords is a pastime of his. Desecrating Nordic tombs and burial sites will lead him to the floaty masked Priests, who he will gladly knock back to Nirn, throwing their heinous artifacts in the Sea of Ghosts. He can follow his destiny as Auriel’s Champion to defeat Alduin and Miraak or assist the College of Winterhold.
The Prince returns to the Battle of Moesing
Rebuild Raven Rock for the destitute Dunmer and assist the Thalmor where you can, such as protecting them on the road from rogue Dragonborns who want to use them for target practice (we’ve all done it). Whether or not the Prince is a Thalmor sympathizer is your choice, but I would wager he is an elven supremacist. Help out in Tel Mithryn and save the Redoran Councillor from an assassination (Merethic Era or Fourth, the Great Houses can always be counted on to try to kill each other).
Eventually, the Prince will come to recognize the traits of boldness, loyalty, and strength that the Nords value are the same the Snow Elves once did. This isn’t forgiving or forgetting, but more of a “live and let live” philosophy. Eons have passed and while anti-elven sentiment is still common, these people aren’t the same as the ones who sought the Snow Elve’s extinction. Reunite with Knight-Paladin Gelebor in the Chantry and return frequently. I used it as an unofficial base. Your people are few and far between and the task of saving them is impossible. The most that can be hoped for is that the race inheriting your fatherland is a decent one, if not a good or honourable one.
This is when he will stop being a silent figure and start becoming a spokesperson, a reminder to the Empire (and the Thalmor) that the Snow Elves still exist and, while he might have a few millennia of politics to catch up on, their Prince will not let their passing go unnoticed. Do thane quests and become a public figure, be a good samaritan to the locals (try to stay away from the Nords as much as possible—we don’t like them) and build homes around the country for orphaned children. Let your celebrity of being Dragonborn and your political power as a Prince and Thane fester in the minds of the people.
With Flesh spells to back up our armor, we only care about the aesthetics. I picked a Steel Plate-rank modded Heavy Armor with a Glass Shield, but regular Steel Plate or full Glass could look the part. Ancient Falmer armor is very appropriate as well. Alteration can make up for what your armor lacks, in any case. Feel free to mix and match armor types until you find something you like.
I enchanted these with maxed out Enchanting (both skill and perks), and a Potion of Fortify Enchanting 30%.
“A circlet worn by the reigning Falmer emperor, an inscription writ on the band reads, ‘A ruler's strength comes not through battle but through raising what remains’.”
Fortify Restoration 28%, Fortify Magicka 70pts
Battlecage of Jephre’s Knights
“The links of this breastplate rattle with Jephre’s nature magics and echo of an order destroyed by barbarians long ago.”
Regen Magicka 70%, Fortify Alteration 28%
“Sworn on the blood of the twisted beasts and the Prince’s own, this silver amulet imbues all who touch it with righteous anger.”
Fortify One Handed 45%, Fortify Destruction 28%
“The only piece of his armor recovered from his sham of a burial, these bracers are a bitter memory of the people he failed on Solstheim’s mountains.”
Fortify Block 45%, Fortify Magicka 70pts
“An ancient ring in the possession of dozens of warlocks and battlemages, it lends the wearer increased intelligence and wisdom in the magical arts.”
Fortify Magicka Regen 70%, Fortify Magicka 70pts
“A powerful defensive shield gifted to the most prolific warrior in the Snow Elf empire, the proud object sadly resides in the Prince’s hands.”
Resist Magicka 52%
“Forged in memory of the long-dead dragons, these greaves now see use on the feet of the Champion of Auri-El, a Dragonslayer and hero.”
Resist Fire 53%, Frost 53%
My final weapon, which I picked up at level 27, was the Pale Blade (37pts Frost Damage, 75pts Stamina Damage, Fear 24 levels), an excellent weapon for an agile warrior.
While not required to enjoy the build, I did use a few that are worth mentioning.
- Heavy Weaponry. This adds a lot of other weapon types, but the spears were what I was after. While the Pale Blade is powerful, it is a bit too Nordic for my tastes. I custom-enchanted mine with Fear and Frost Damage.
- Silver Knight Armor. The armor I used for the bulk of the playthrough and I featured in the screenshots.
- Frost Horse Retexture. An old texture replacement to make Frost more appropriately pure white instead of dingy blonde.