Character Build: The Stormrider



"Maw unleashing razor snow, Of dragons from the blue brought down, Births the walking winter's woe, the High King in his Jagged Crown." - Ancient Nord Verse 


The legends tell of a time when Skyrim was thrown into darkness and the skies were torn asunder. The dead roamed the land in droves spreading famine plagues and death wherever they went. All at the behest of the one known only as the Stormrider.  

The story of the Stormrider begins with a man who was betrayed by the priesthood of Talos when the White-Gold Concordat was signed. His fellow brothers at the temple bent knee to the Thalmor invaders and when he would not, they exiled him. In his anger he flew into a rage and slew them one by one for their treachery, leaving the temple in flames. He wondered aimless for years trading his help, his blade and spells for megor rewards. He never stayed in one place long, for fear of the thalmor who were certainly after him.

275386496?profile=RESIZE_710xMany years later still bitter from the white gold concordat he decided to venture through the treacherous slopes of the Jerall mountains to Skyrim. After some days he reached the border and was caught in a skirmish between Stormcloak Rebels and the Imperial legion. The sound of a bugle in the distance echoed through the mountains "ahoooooooo". The air was bitter cold and the clang of steel and cries of dying men were carried on the wind. As he observed the battle he saw an imperial officer had impaled a Stormcloak on the end of his spear, the mans lifeblood was flooding out onto the snow where it steamed. To the right of that scene a Stormcloak caught an Imperial in the head with his mace sending her helmet and bits of gore flying before she crumpled. He had seen enough he unfastened his shield, drew his blade and charged into fray. He slew two Imperials before they knew what was happening the next saw him coming. The Imperial side stepped his strike and followed with a swing of his axe. He raised his shield just in  time, the axe bounced off of the shield stagerring the imperial who had not anticipated the block. He took the oportunity to quickly thrust his sword into the imperials chest. Turning from the dying man he saw a monstrous Orc bringing down a war hammer towards him it was all he could do to move out the way, the blow glanced off his pauldron forcing him to drop his sword from the force. The Orc glowered at him menacingly thinking him to be without means of attack. He blocked one two and three swings of the war hammer with his shield and saw the orc drop his guard for an instant. Lashing out with his shield he sent the orc staggering a few steps back, enough time to charge up a bolt of lightnng and send it fourth exploding from his palm with an ear spliting "CRACK" the Orc wailed in pain and dropped his hammer. With smoking armor and the scent of singed flesh the Orc let out a bellow of pure rage and charged at him franticly tackling him to the ground, the Orcs strength was overpowering and soon he found the brutes hands about his neck. With his consciousness flagging he charged another bolt with the last of his strength and let it fly, the orcs body went limp forcing the last of the air from his lungs, turning the world around him into darkness..

When he came to he was bound and fettered in a carriage with some Stormcloak soldiers. He was to be executed at Helgen for aiding Stormcloak "traitors" he found out from one of the other prisoners. Soon they dismounted the carriage and were being read thier sentences. He prayed to Talos for help but there was no answer, an Imperial nudged him along with his spear. The headsman had just finished with one of the prisoners and now it was his turn, begging for mercy from any who would hear it. His answer came as dark whispers of Molag Bal who offered him the power to claim vengeance if he would do his bidding and be his vessel to bring doom and destruction unto the lands of man and mer.  He accepted Molag Bals terms and as he did his blood boiled, his consciousness waned and he felt the power inside him grow. When he awoke, Helgen lay in smoke and ruins, he the only survivor with corpses piled around him and the taste of blood in his mouth…... 

3390919385?profile=RESIZE_710xHe is commanded to travel to the Island of Solstheim to seek out visions that will fulfil part of the pact he made with Molag Bal and bring him closer to his vengeance. Molag Bal shows him the power that lies within the Black Books scattered across the island. He must steal the knowledge from another Daedric prince Hermaeus Mora, in Molag Bal’s name. He then set forth to conquer this new found power and crush all in his path. After conquering the final book and destroying Mora's champion he receives another vision. He saw himself wearing the fabled Jagged Crown, leading an army of vampires and undead against the living under a blood red sky. Feeling the power inside himself grow as well as his ambition he no longer just wanted revenge against the empire; he wanted all of Tamriel to know his wrath. 

Upon returning to the mainland he began his quest to divide and conquer the land, where he would rule with chaos and fury for several years under an apocalyptic darkness. With the land now in ruins and his quest for vengeance fulfilled, Molag Bal came to him one last time. With satisfaction he stated "I gave you what you wanted in your mortal life and your soul is now mine". Infuriated by the final betrayal he tries to resist but is overwhelmed by Molag Bals power. Only then did he realise the true scope of what he had done and how the power he had taken had corrupted his very being. In a fit of melancholic anguish relents and resides himself to the fate of Coldharbor for eternity.Overtime,  order is returned to the land. But None will forget the cold blooded legacy of the man who came known as The Stormrider. 


All of the mods I am using here are availble on Xbox One and PC.

276208357?profile=RESIZE_710xEsential Mods

Optional Mods



 Nord Vampire -  With Imperious races installed you will start out with a 25% resistance to frost. A pasive effect known as the "Purge" which you can choose a race to do bonus damage to at levels 10, 20 and 30. An innate ability to do more damage the lower your health gets.  You also get an unlocable power called "Avatar" which you can use to regenenrate stamina and magicka once a day. With Sacrosanct installed being a vampire will allow you to reanimate one slain enemy per battle for free, using the power "From Ancient Soil",  


Daedric Quests: Most are fine to do. Just role play that your'e working against the other Daedric Princes to steal the artifacts for Molag Bal. "House of Horror's" is an obvious one to do and good to pick up early on as the Mace of Molag Bal has some pretty powerful enchantments on it and looks pretty sinister to boot. You will not do Meridia's quest however as you are opposed to her ideals. 

275592874?profile=RESIZE_710xThe Jagged Crown: You infiltrate one of the two opposing factions and use their information to find the Jagged Crown for yourself. Once the crown has been found you should slaughter all who remain in the barrow, and leave Skyrim to it's infighting with the empire (The more chaos the better). The Jagged Crown will be a symbol of your dominance over the people of Skyrim. You can also obtain the first word to "Slow Time" on this quest. 

Dragon Born Quest Line and Black Book Quests: At Molag Bals behest you set out to the island of Solstheim in search of the elusive Black Books, eliminating any opposition in your quest to domination. The forbidden knowledge in the Black Books are essential to gain as they will unlock true  power and potential of the Stormrider 

Dawnguard Questline (Volkihar Side): You hear whispers of vampire hunters banding together to deal with the growing menace. As a newly turned vampire yourself you are just gaining an appetite for the new powers you have inherited and have no want of any pesky humans foiling your plans of chaos. You go to their fortress to speak with their leader who does not seem to recognise you for the beast you are. He tells you to seek out Dimhollow Crypt and that the vampires seek something within. With a toothy grin you depart for the crypt, where you find Serana and learn of a prophecy to send the world into darkness.....

Finding words of Power/ Thunderchild: The Stormrider will seek out and find as many words of power as he can to strengthen his th'um. Thunderchild is rewarding in that the more vanilla shouts you unlock, the more Thunderchild shouts you unlock whenever you meditate at the High Hrothgar Library. Pursue all of the Thunderchild quests to unlock powerful bonuses like; "Way of Peace" When out of combat shout cooldown reduced to 10 Seconds (unless it is above 60 seconds). "Thundering Echoes" First shout you use in combat has no cooldwn. "Storm Crown" When entering or leaving combat cancels any active shout cooldown. These are just a few of the unlockable abilties, there also over 20 new shouts learn as well, so embrace your dragon blood and get to shouting. 



Dawnguard provides you with the ultimate line up of sinister looking characters to accompany the Stormrider on his quest to annihilate and dominate Skyrim. 

Serana - A daughter of Coldharbor, and talented Spell Blade.

Death Hounds - Loyal undead beasts that look too sinster to pass up. 

Zombies/Thralls - With the perks from ordinator you can even dress your thrall in whatever armor you want.

Arvak -  A Flaming Undead Horse, find him in the Soul Cairn.  

Storm Atronach - A poweful elental daedra, empowered with lightning.

3390977048?profile=RESIZE_710x 3391146323?profile=RESIZE_710x Armour 

 Jagged Crown  (Head) - You get this during the quest "The Jagged Crown". With the dragonplate helm mod installed you can craft your own with Dragon smithing perk after completing this quest. 

Enchanted Ancient Nord Armor (Torso, Arms and legs) -  You can find a few full sets of armour at Forelhost along with the first word to "Stormcall" Use the helm from this set until you get the Jagged Crown.


Enchanted  Iron Shield - You should be able to get a lot of armour points out of this if you buy some potions and use an enchantment to boost smithing skill. 

Enchanted Honed Ancient Nord War Axe or Sword -  I called mine Soul Storm (enchanted with lightning and soul trap). Or the Witch kings sword if you have Isilmeril's LOTR weapons installed, this sword looks bad ass. 

Mace of Molag Bal - Evil sinister and the artifact of your lord, it's a good option if you want to crush some skulls. 

Auriel’s Bow - Obtained through the Dawnguard questline use this with 'Blood Cursed Arrows' to darken the skies. 


Enchanted Necklaces - Used to supplement crafting, combat and magickal abilities.

Enchanted Rings - Same as above 

The Atronach Stone -  This will make all spells you cast cost less and be more effective, But the only way to regen your magicka is by slaying foes. (Fun right your power is sustained by the blood of your enemies). Unlockable abilty "Devour From Within" Paralyze a living target absorbing 50 magicka per second for 10 swconds. When depleted absorbs health instead, (You must find all standing stones to get this ability). 

Hodir's Th'um Notes - A detailed journal on all of the Thunderchild shouts. Can be found in meditation area in High Hrothgar library.

Unyielding Storm Power Tome - Found in the High Hrothgar Library, this Tome will cancel any active shout cooldown once a day.

Stormtuned - Meditate on Strun (Stormcall) with Parthunax. 

Dark Pact - If you have Undeath Remasterd you can recive this blessing from a shrine to Mannimarco, it allows you more undead summons at the expense of no daedra summons. 

The Black Star -  Take every opportunity to send the souls of the vanquished screaming to the Soul cairn, letting their pain and agony fuel your enchantments. 

Secret of Arcana - No Magicka costs for 30 seconds. 

Mora's Boon - Fully restores health, magicka and stamina. Very useful in a pinch. 


3391092693?profile=RESIZE_710xThere are a few shouts that are particualry useful for this build. But to really appreciate how awesome it can be I would highly reccomend using Thunderchild. Thunderchild unlocks many new shouts some of which go so well with the build it'd be hard to pass up. One example would be the "Stormblast" Shout, which imbues your weapon with lightning that is released on a power attack. And an ability to refresh active shout cooldown once a day. Thunder Child acompanied with ordinator truly makes you feel like a dragonborn, you can win entire fights with just your th'um.

Another mod "Rotmulaag" allows you to meditate on all of the shouts in vanilla Skyrim with Parthunax (Feim, Fus and Yol, are the only words you could meditate on in vanilla). The one to Call your attention to here however is "Strun" (Stormcall) which grants the "Stormtuned" passive that makes all Lightning spells and effects 25% more powerful in the rain. Rotmulaag is so lore friendly it litarally is a crime not to have it in your load order.

  • Stormcall - Fun to use in densely populated forts or camps, synchronises great with a few perks from Ordinator and Rotmulaag.
  • Soul Tear - Extremely High damage and you get a Zombie and Soul Gem.
  • Become Ethereal - Very useful when fighting dragons. Or if you need to regen health.
  • Dragon Aspect - Basically Super Saiyin for the dragonborn.
  • Dismay - Actually becomes useful with ordinator installed.And makes you feel like a true terror.
  • Bend will - Enslave and dominate mortals and even the dovah with mighty shout.
  • Lightning Shield - A lightning cloak that damages nearby enemies and can even cause shock explosions if they attack you.
  • Stormblast - Your th'um imbues your weapon with lightning striking down enemies on a power attack.
  • Kingsbane - Launches enemies from all sides, great if your souronded.
  • Curse - You reflect damage up to 7 times back at the attacker (you still take normal damage). 



Final Stat Distribution: 3:4:(When magicka reaches 300 divide stats into stamina and health as you see fit) 

Major Skills:


Destruction magick is the most outward way of channeling the Stormriders chaotic tendencies. His mastery over lightning  shows his complete supremacy over the weather. 



With the blood of the dragon the Stormrider can use the th'um to destroy his foes and even control the weather. None can match his th'um for shear power 


Able to raise powerful undead minions from from fallen enemies,which gain various buffs from his dark knowledge. 


With this skill he can inflict grievous wounds with the his shield. deflect any arrows to mitigate damage taken and keenly defend himself from physical blows and charge down any enemies in his path. 

Minor Skills: 


Able to turn flesh as hard as iron or atune his natrual restances the study of alteratin help sthe stormrider dominate any scenario.  

One Handed: 

The Stormrider is quite competent in combat and can just as easily fell foes with a blade as he can with spell. 


This is how the Stormrider ensures that his victims can never find peace even in death, By banishing them for an eternity of pain and misery to the Soul Cairn he can use their agonized souls to fuel his own twisted venture for dominance. 

Heavy Armour: 

The Stormrider's vast experience of war has given him a few tricks on how to make better use of his armour. 


Able to make armour tougher than dragons hide or a weapon sharper than the edge of a razor, he has no problem charging into the thick of battle.  




Some of these abilities seague really well together, for example I've used Charging Storm to finish an initial wave of enemies then used call of the abyss on them and then proceded with unholy terror on the next group. In some cases if your in an area that is heavily populated and you can find a choke point you can use this combo to great effect and maybe even get to throw Ascension into mix as well. 

275827700?profile=RESIZE_180x180Ascension - Dragon Aspect + Stormcall + Secret of Arcana + Storm Tuned and Lightning Storm. 

This is great for smiting dragons from the sky and often by the time they have landed you have depleted most of their health and magicka so they can be dispatched with relative ease. Or if your hanging back and letting your thralls distract enemies charge up lighting storm and give them a blast of it. 

 275848933?profile=RESIZE_180x180Charging Storm - Lightning Cloak + Lightning Shield + Unstopable Force and Shock Nova

Charge down your foes with your shield while cloaked in lightning and when your in the middle of the fray unleash a few blasts of shock nova.

275860753?profile=RESIZE_180x180Unholy Terror - Marked for Death and Dismay

 Enemies flee in terror only to have their life force sapped away from them. Those who return will be scarred from the last conflict and will quickly fall to your relentless onslaught.  Works best in cramped spaces. Can be acomplished by unlocking the Force redoubled perk.

275866165?profile=RESIZE_180x180Call of the Abyss - Dark Pact + Ravenous Dead + Undead Crown + Shocked to Life + March of Oblivion and Necromancy spells

Raise legions of powerful un-dead minions to sew destruction and disarray amongst your enemies.  


275882298?profile=RESIZE_710xYou will use a vast array in your arsenal to power you through your quest of destruction. Including the power of Lightning, whether it come from blade, spell or th'um (You are the Stormrider after all). The art of necromancy to raise the fallen to do your bidding, your understanding of lightning is such that you can even empower your thralls with the element. You know your way around the field of battle and thus have experience with martial combat, the upkeep of armours and use of heavy armors. Your dark grasp of forbidden arts allows you to use the souls of your enemies to weave magick into your weapons and armor making you a true force to be reckoned with.  

You will often use a shield in one arm and spell in the other. Charging into a group of bandits then hitting them with a blast of the shock nova spell is quite satisfying. and when your magicka is running dry you can always switch to your melee weapon or unleash the power of your th'um to loose even more elemental fury on your opponents. See a bunch of dead bodies on the ground? They're no use just laying there, hit them with a necromancy spell so they can be used as fodder against your foes. Remember you are inherently evil, your not here to coddle the people of Skyrim your here to enslave and destroy them. Part of the beauty of this build is that you can swap between a full on tank to hanging back as support for your minions semlesely so gameplay seldomly becomes repeatitve. Any opportunity to divide the land and sew the seeds of discord should be made paramount. 

This character has an insatiable lust for power and is never truly satisfied. Whether it be learning new shouts to increase the effectiveness of your Thu'um or searching Apocrypha for forbidden knowledge you will always lust for more.


275896981?profile=RESIZE_710xThe story behind this character is largely based off of the album “Night of the Stormrider" by the metal band “Iced Earth”. 

I'd like to thank Dragonborn 2021 for lending some helpful advice. The remaster of this for ordinator took awhile to do but was so very worth it. It is a blast (pun intended) to play and goes so well with mods. I'll also say thank you to Curse Never Dying for helping me with the original concept for this build way back in 2015. It was my first build and getting help from some of the vetran members of the Skyrim Blog really helped to shape my building style and make me feel welcome.

Disclaimer: I take no credit for any of the art or pictures displayed in this build. All credit should be given to thier respective artits (except for the ingame screenshot that was me). 

 I hope you enjoy playing this as much as I did. Please feel free to leave a comment letting me know your thoughts.

If you liked what you saw I have more builds. Just follow the link below.3573952626?profile=RESIZE_710x


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  • Another awesome build, Furrion! Well done.

    As someone said on your Shadow of Dawn build (I think it might have been Chris) part of the strength of your builds is the presentation. You've got a great format with some awesome supporting images that really help me envision the character.

    This build in particular seems very powerful indeed. I am definitely a fan of the many avenues by which the Stormrider can use lightning to damage his foes, whether it be raining from the sky, in a cloak form, shot at enemies, or applied directly to his weapon. Combining that with necromancy and you've got a very very powerful build. The only thing I'd say is it could take a long time to get the character to the full level he needs to be to have all perks and powers, but I feel that this character could be enjoyable enough to make that worth it.

    Well done once again. Glad to see more builds added to your repertoire on the Forge.

    • That it was. Also, huzzah for lightning focused builds!

      • Huzzah!

        • Thanks guys :)

          It's great to hear the good feedback.

          @Pixel - It absolutley takes time to get to full power, but it feels like a really rewarding and natrual evoloution of the characters arc getting there. Charging into a fort full of bandits with lightning raining down all around you casting them aside with shield charge is so much fun. Not sure if there is a character archetype for a character who use's magic and a shield, but I'd be inclined to call him a Spell Shield or a Shield Mage. But yea I really tried to incorporate every use of lightning I could think of for this guy!!

          Keep your eyes peeled for my next one, she's not far away.

  • I quite like the build, especially the presentation of it all. Might I suggest breaking down what apocalypse spells were used and what they do for those who are not familiar?

    • Hey thanks man. Sorry for the super late reply. I'll see about adding in a section for spells at some point.  The main apocalyspe spells I used were Shock Nova and Ocatos recital. Loaded Ocatos Recital with lightning cloak and a Flesh Spell, i didn't find a use for the 3rd slot. Shock Nova is really good to use after you have shield charged a group of enemies.

      • Hey dude! Haven't seen you around in awhile. Any plans for new builds?

        • Hey Pixel, yea I got a WIP up in the workshop. Should be finished in a few weeks hopefully. It's called The Witch Arrow.

  • Holy damn mate. This is bloody awesome. Only problems I have is the Perk Spread looks a tad 'stretched' and some images have broken but been replaced (if that makes sense). Also what Apocalypse spells did you use?

    • Hey mate. Glad you like the build. That was my first attempt at a perkspread so it's a little rough around the edges. I'll see about finding a new background for it one day. I touched up the errors with those pictures, not sure what was going on there thanks for pointing it out though. As far as apocalyspe spells go I mainly used Shock Nova and Ocatos recital. Will think about putting a section dedicated to spells in at some stage. Anyway Cheers for dropping by and checking it out.

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