Character Build: The Steel Dragon

Born to nobodies who abandoned him as a babe, the Steel Dragon was raised in an orphanage and had to push to achieve anything in his short life. When he reached of age, he joined the Legion and was inducted into their ranks as a footman. Bit by bit, he proved himself as a capable warrior and eventually, he was given his own squad, who become known as the Beast’s Raiders, a elite group of troops who were famed for sneaking into enemy camps and laying waste to the enemies. He was infamous and strong, a good drinker and life was good.

But the Great War was hard on them and he retired soon after, the horrors of what he had seen the Thalmor do to the people of Cyrodiil still fresh in his mind. Thirty years later, he had grown bored of his new dull city life and packed up his things, heading for the Skyrim border...

But little did he know, life was no longer going to be simple. He was arrested wrongly, accused of treason and thrown in irons and sent to the headsman block. But then, a dragon flew overhead! A beast of black and red, breathing throngs of fire from its great maw. Never had he seen such a majestic beast! The thrill of the battle surged through him and somehow he knew... It would be his destiny to kill it.

The Steel Dragon is a build that relies on brute strength and primal fear to overcome hoards of enemies. He is a loner but has a single ally in his lone journey to travel to Skyrim. After finding the nephew of his partner in the Great War, Eric, he intends to take the young lad on as his apprentice and trains him... But then the dragons attack and he finds a more important purpose...

Pure dread and true power drive this character, through both clever use of Illusion magic, shouts, powers and perks. But not only that, the Steel Dragon has devastating speed and almost unlimited stamina, truly become a whirlwind in the heat of a fight, The more damage he takes, the more brutal and violent he becomes! 

Race: Orc, for the stat boosts and Berserker’s rage. Make sure to wear warpaint!

Stats: 2/1/2 Once you get your Hide Armor enchanted, health isn’t really an issue but early on, your stamina will be.

 Warrior, then Steed, and finally Advanced Lady

Major Skills: Two-Handed, Illusion, Smithing

Minor Skills: Heavy Armor Block, Light Armor 

Shouts: Elemental Fury, Dismay, Cyclone, Call Dragon, Unrelenting Force, Dragonrend, Dragon Aspect, Aura Whisper

Follower: Various but the main one should be Erik the Slayer. See the section \ufffd?The Brute Force's’ for more information.

Notable Spells: Fear, Rout, Hysteria, Equilibrium  

Powers and Abilities: Mora’s Boon, Secret of Arcana, Bones of the Earth, Roots of Power, Dragonborn Force, Force without Effort, Companions Insight, and Seeker of Might

Two Handed: The Steel Dragon uses a mighty battleaxe to cleave through his enemies with ease. This is his only offense but he wields with skill and poise, using Elemental Fury and the Sweep perk to quickly cut through swarms. Combining high speed moves with a vast stamina pool and fast regeneration rate, running out of power is never a problem for this guy. Sweep and Great Critical Charge are an excellent mix, especially with our high stamina regeneration.

Illusion: Some say that looking upon the Steel Dragon is like looking into Cold Harbor and staring into Molag Bal’s cold, dead eyes. The very aura of this Orc conveys the element of fear through his subtle but impressive magical talent. Through a simple roar of fury (Dismay shout) and small bolts of Illusion magic (Fear spells); he can make enemies scamper away in fear, only to have their spine split in two... The most important perk is Aspect of Terror, obviously.

Smithing: Every good warrior knows how to tend their gear and the Steel Dragon is no exception. While he prefers to keep his chest bare, he clads his hands, feet and head in the bones of those he slays and keeps his weapons in top condition. Key perks are obviously Dragon Smithing and Arcane Blacksmith.

Heavy Armor: Bones may be heavy but the Steel Dragon is trained in carrying this weight around with ease. With either the Conditioning perk or Steed Stone, he can move swiftly into battle and sprint at his foes to deliver devastating blows.

Block: Even with a battleaxe, the Steel Dragon can parry and bash enemies. While slow-levelling, this skill will eventually lead to this build being able to bash, block and slam into enemies with devastating results. Key perks include Quick Reflexes and Deadly Bash.

Light Armor: The least perked skill for the Steel Dragon, but is still important. Only one perk is taken here (Agile Defender) but this still provides the Steel Dragon with some much-needed AR in early levels.

Bull Horns– Dragonplate Helmet with Fortify Illusion
The Gauldar Amulet
Battered Leather Mail – Hide Armor with Healing Rate
Beast Claws – Dragonplate Gauntlets with Fortify Two Hand
Ring of Recovery (or next closest) 
Ring of Namira
Bounding Bone-Striders – Dragonplate Boots with Fortify Stamina Regen
Ebony Battleaxe (unenchanted) 
Spinesplitter – Ebony Battleaxe of Absorb Stamina

As you can see, most of our gear will need to be smithed but do not fear! Natural progression is quite easy to have with this character. When you’re out in the wilds, keep an eye out for animals to kill and skin and the same for ores to mine. Grinding is not needed and is completely unnecessary! At Level 14, you will want to head to Riften and do the quest Unfathomable Depths, as this quest gives you a very unique power known as Ancient Knowledge. This makes your Blacksmithing increase 15% faster and in console version, gives you a 25% boost when NOT wearing Dwarven armor (the Unofficial patch corrects this). The Battered Leather Mail will be the only armor piece you will NOT need to smith and will be what you should have all playthrough. Speaking of helmets, ALWAYS wear horned ones.

The Ebony battleaxe you fondly call Spinesplitter is your main weapon when not using Elemental Fury. The stamina absorption will be a lifesaver in combat, making you basically cut through foes like a hot knife through butter.

Finally, we got out jewellery. As all three attributes are used in one way or another, the Gauldar Amulet is the go-to item. I picked up a Ring of Recovery in a dungeon sometime, but use whatever is closest. Switch to the Ring of Namira after combat to fee on corpses and regenerate even more health!

The Steel Dragon has only one rule – The more blood he loses, the harder he hits. Quite obviously, the more health he loses the more desperate and brutal he becomes in combat. Simple melee fighters can be taken out with a few sweet chops of your axe, draining their stamina and making them helpless against your power attacks. Block incoming blows and sweep them off your feet. With the Steed Stone or the Conditioning perk, heavy armor is a breeze to move in and you can easily sprint towards your foes before slamming your axe into their skull.

Power attack, power attack and do some more power attacks! He is truly a weapon in human form, able to dish out hit after hit. Not only that, his very voice (Dismay shout + fear spells) sends his foes scuttling for cover! Through the use of blood magic, he can sacrifice his health for magicka (Equilibrium spell), making it so that even when he is not sending his enemies running, he can still cleave them apart. After the fight, he consumes their flesh and tears the tissue from their very bones, devouring them and regaining his strength.

Shouts-wise, we have a lot but they are all very useful! Our unenchanted battleaxe is for use with Elemental Fury, making your attacks a true whirlwind in the heat of the moment. Cyclone, Call Dragon and Unrelenting Force are great \ufffd?oh crap’ shouts and can clear a crowd in minutes. The Dismay shout is perfect for when you lack Magicka to cast your normal fear spells. Both Dragon Aspect and Dragonrend are used for obvious reasons. Finally, Aura Whisper is used for its ability to scout out the battlefield beforehand.

Your powers will function quite similar to your shouts, even if you don’t have that many of them. Bones of the Earth is an excellent move against heavy hitters, negating 80% of damage for 60 seconds, while Secret of Arcana and Roots of Power is handy for when you need to cast Hysteria or any of your other spells when low on magicka.

The Steel Dragon boosts an impressive regen rate thanks to a handy little glitch called the Advanced Stone glitch, and here is how to do it...

1. While wearing a piece of Fortify Alchemy gear (I myself had an Orcish Helmet of Eminent Alchemy), craft one potion of Fortify Restoration with a Cyrodilic Spadetail and an Abecean Longfin.

2.  Next, do the same thing but add some White Cap mushrooms into the fray to make a Fortify Restoration and Frost Weakness potion. 

3. Select the Lady Stone and you should have increased regeneration! This does not show up under active effects but the results should still be the same. Please note that the Unoffical patch removes this glitch but this mod removes the fix.

Starting off with the Steel Dragon is very simple. From Helgen, head straight to Riverwood and follow along the main story (I recommend doing the Golden Claw quest before heading to Whiterun). Once you get to said city, join up with the Companions and do a few side-quests and then head up to Dragonsreach. A great side-quest to do early on is My Time In Need, as you can head to Roriksted and pick up Erik, who will function as your second-in-command. From then on in, alternate between the Companion’s quest and main’s quest which allows you to unlock trainers, followers and dragons for your adventures. The Steel Dragon is NOT a werewolf and will refuse their curse, turning his back on the Companions forever more and will form his own mercenary company (see below).

After he abandons the Companions, he heads to the College of Winterhold to learn a bit more about being Dovahkiin. From there, he helps them stop the undercover Thalmor agent, Ancarno, corrupting the Eye of Magnus. He travels around Skyrim, helping common folk and making a name for himself before ascending to his right as the Dragonborn and defeating every last dragon in Skyrim!

Furious Frenzy

Fuelled by fury and dedicated to causing fear to his enemies, the Steel Dragon shouts to the heavens and roars at his foes, causing them to flee before him. While he chases after them, he draws his axe and delivers at resounding blow into their skull, before feasting on their corpse to recharge...

Dismay shout + Sprint + Great Critical Charge + Cannibalism

Scenting Blood

Upon smelling blood, the Steel Dragon goes into an unstoppable rage and moves with swift, direct movements, able to see even in the darkest of hours. He can throw his weight around, attack after attack after attack, draining stamina from those he cuts down and refilling his reserves. With the sweep perk, this is even more effective.

Berserker’s Rage + Aura Whisper + Spinesplitter + Sweep

  • Even when not adventuring, make sure to check in with your companions every once in a while (those companions are listed below). Marry one if you so wish, and make one a steward in Hearthfire to keep them all together.
  • The Steel Dragon LOVES hunting dragons but he has a begrudging respect for those who go against their natures, such as Odahviing, Durnehviir and Paarthanax. He will not kill Paarthanax, preferring the Greybeard’s Way of the Voice philosophy to some degree and will call upon Odahviing and Durnehviir if needed. Do remember that you are the Dovahkiin, the slayer of dragons and protector of Tamriel... It is up to YOU to stop Alduin, Miraak and Harkon destroying Nirn!
  • Regarding morality, the Steel Dragon is a good soul but is not completely lawful. If he needs to get something done and there is someone standing in his way, he will not hesitate to remove that person from existence. That being said, however, he will not harm innocents and will ALWAYS protect them from danger.
  • Now, who doesn’t love a good drink? At the end of a big quest, celebrate by heading to the nearest tavern and drinking the night away with your companion! Also, flirt with as many people as possible but do settle down with the right one by the end of your playthrough. Who that is though, is up to you!
  • Surprisingly, the Steel Dragon has a fear of madness and Daedra. When battling either insane foes or hulking Dremora, he finishes the fight in quite brutal and swift ways...
  • Avoid conscripting with either the Imperials or Stormcloaks unless absolutely necessary. Skyrim’s problems are its own, not yours.

The Brute’s Force is the Steel Dragon's mercenary company and your go-to band of followers for adventurers and quests. While they may not be the strongest or brightest in their field, they are dedicated and mighty in heart, which the Steel Dragon finds admirable. Along his journey, he finds men and women alike of all race and roles, and takes them along with him for the ride. Always equip them in your best gear and weapons and make sure you keep them alive.

Erik the Slayer – A farmer turned adventurer, one who is craving fortune and glory, Erik is your young apprentice in the art of combat. Stay by his side and show him how to be a man, keep him safe and protect him when necessary. Erik favours Light Armor with a two-handed weapon, so equip him with the best you can find! 

Golldir – This Nord warrior is found in Hilgrund’s tomb, and he is not very courageous and is feeling a lot of guilt for role in his aunt’s death. The Steel Dragon helps him take on a necromancer defiling his family’s tomb and keeps him safe while doing so. Golldir works best in heavy armor with a sword and shield.

Illia – An Imperial witch located in Darklight Tower, this woman once belonged to a band of hags but turned away from their dark and evil ways when her mother decided to become a Hagraven. With the Steel Dragon’s assistance, her mother never become that twisted hybrid of lady and bird, and thus, the Beast invited the witch into his order. As a frost mage, Illia is perfectly fitted for a long-rage destruction role.

Ghorbash the Iron Hand – An Orc ranger found in Dushnikh Yal, he is a former legionnaire and desperate for adventure again. When the Steel Dragon returns to his old stomping grounds and finds this Orc, he offers him the chance of glory once more. Ghorbash is your best hope for a true archer follower, making his awesome at cover fire.

Derkeethus - This Argonian archer has been taken captured by Falmer and needs your help! The folks of Darkwater Crossing miss their favourite lizard miner and ask the Steel Dragon to rescue him. From there, the Argonian proves himself as a strong and capable fighter and joins the gang. Derkeethus is a great dual-wielder and archer, making his great for slicing up damage quickly and easily.

Rieklings – After helping some Rieklings free their new home from the grasp of some Skaal on Solstheium, the Steel Dragon finds himself becoming their chief by accident. Regardless, he always is looking out for his little guys and always takes one along for the ride when questing, as these fellas are very versatile.

The Steel Dragon is first and fore-most an adventurer but he will join some factions during his time in Skyrim. He is a helpful, kind soul but a brutal and effective warrior. As such, the following quests are suitable or essential for the Steel Dragon to complete.

Main Quest, Compaions (until the Silver Hand), Collage of Winterhold, bounty quests, Dragonborn questline, Black Book quests, the Chief of Thrisk Hall, Ancestral Worship, Repentance, Forbidden Legend, the Cursed Tribe, and any other quests that revolve around helping people or doing good.

Well, that’s it folks! Thanks for reading my latest build and I apologise for the huge hiatus from the group (and to Noodles for the lack of Zuko :P)! For those who are unaware, I based the Steel Dragon off THE Iron Bull from Dragon Age: Inquisition.

 I would like to thank Albino, Dragonborn, Lizard Wizard, Miraak, Cait and everyone else in the Skype Character Building group for listening to me ramble on about this guy. Special thanks to Alice for my perkspreads and to you, for reading my build!

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  • So where's the steel?
    • I thought the same when I first saw this build...
      • I love how you understand me
        • Yes, our connection is almost, electric.
          (get it? cause Tesla and- no? okay...)
          • This pun... not the worst
            • But definitely not the best. :P
    • What, did you want me to call it 'The Dragonbone Dragon'?

      • I uh, had a reply to this comment. Was it deleted or just not posted?
  • Hey Tae, I like this idea, it's definitely one that caught my attention.  The biggest thing was actually the followers list, which I find really fun.  I have been using it for a build of my own, also the man is slightly less kind than your Steel Dragon is.  Also, how did you get Derkeethus to dual wield?  I can't get my followers to do that to save their life.

    • Perhaps try giving Derkeethus two different swords. Not sure if that'll fix the problem, but you can try it. I never used Derkeethus as a follower before.

This reply was deleted.