Don't blink. Don't even blink. Blink and you're dead.
Too often, assassin characters end up following a very familiar pattern of gameplay: hide, kill once, hide again. Here, I attempt to deviate from that pattern without delving into dangerously enticing stealth-archer territory. Brutal efficiency is the goal, with a particular focus on cultivating the ability to kill well and often, and in the blink of an eye. The Slow Time shout is used extensively to perform stealth kill after stealth kill, assassinating the last person standing in a room full of baddies before the first body has even hit the floor.
As well as the shout, I've thrown in a few other gameplay mechanics to bring Doctor Who's Weeping Angels into Tamriel in a way that is as lore-friendly as possible, and good fun to play. But enough buildup, let's get to the build!
Their secret to making a roaring trade out of death? An indifference to life, in the traditional sense, helped. Many of the Brotherhood's best assassins belonged to a clan of Dunmer vampires. Cold, brutal creatures that seemed to move and act outside of the constraints of conventional time.
Such power instilled fear. Fear that even other members of the Dark Brotherhood were not immune to. It seemed an internal revolt was inevitable, and when it came the vampires were hunted to near extinction.
The Brotherhood fell from power.
Stone: Mage, then the Atronach.
- Major - One Handed, Conjuration, Sneak.
- Minor - Light Armour, Illusion.
Main Shouts: Slow Time, Soul Tear, Unrelenting Force, Bend Will.
1 Magicka / 2 Health / 2 Stamina
Recommended Quests: The Dark Brotherhood, Dawnguard - Volkihar, Dragonborn, the College of Winterhold.
The Angel is predominantly an assassin, and so we'll be trying our hardest to clear rooms quickly and without being detected. The Slow Time shout is central here, so I'd suggest going far enough through the College and Dark Brotherhood questlines early-ish to pick up the shout's words of power. Under the effects of Slow Time, we'll be able to move around quite freely, steadily picking off individuals with successive and oh-so-satisfying backstabs. Movement while time is slowed can be a bit sluggish, but I found that once I unlocked 'Silent Roll' from the sneak tree, I could jump between targets very quickly without jeopardising my stealth. Even if detected and placed in combat, at its peak the Angel can still crouch in front of enemies and sneak attack them, thanks to the 'Shadow Warrior' perk.
Cutting down an entire bandit camp and watching bodies slowly fall to the floor before anyone has been able to draw a weapon will give you tingles, I promise.
Outside of stealth, we're also far from helpless. Re-animated corpses (or summons, if that's more your flavour) keep the heat off of us in situations where sneaking isn't an option. Light armour keeps the Angel protected enough to chip away at enemies until either everyone's dead or our shout meter has cooled down enough to enter Slow Time. For a change of pace, if we have a few enemies lined up, the Soul Tear shout will devastate and/or kill multiple targets- and then re-animate them to fight for us! Further, we'll have the Vampire Lord form at our disposal. Summoned gargoyles are not to be sneezed at, and there are a whole host of other VL abilities and attributes that are helpful outside of stealth.
- Angels feed on energy. Our magicka reserves are plentiful, and we'll have a passive spell absorption rate of 50% from the Atronach stone. Shouts, spells, diseases and poisons will only hurt us half the time- otherwise it's all just power waiting to be consumed.
- Angels are made of stone. Light armour will keep us protected enough to take a few hits. However, do not rush into combat if it can be avoided! Our real power relies on us not being detected.
- Angels are unseen. 'Quiet Casting' is an essential perk, as without it using the Slow Time shout makes noise and will alert enemies. The Muffle spell is handy for the early-game, and frequent use will level up illusion quickly and make Invisibility available earlier. Invisibilty helps us with boss fights, where our priority is to sneak forward and take out the heaviest hitters (Draugr Death Overlords, Dragon Priests) before dealing with their minions.
Weapons: Dual bound daggers; the spell tome for the bound dagger can be bought off of Talvas Fathryon on Solstheim. If you hotkey the spell and tap it twice, you'll have a dagger in your right hand and your left for dual-wielding sneak attacks and combat.
*Equipment Note: Player-enchanted muffle items always have a magnitude of 100% regardless of enchanting skill level. If you find disenchantable muffled equipment, enchanting the Vampire Boots can help with stealth before you can acquire the 'Silence' perk.
- Conjuration: Necromancy felt like the more thematic choice, but you could just as (if not more) effectively use summons. 'Soul Stealer' and 'Oblivion Binding' for the bound daggers aren't necessary, but can be very useful if you want to go into enchanting or if you're up against summoned creatures. Seriously, 'Oblivion Binding' is a blessing when you're fighting a hulking frost atronach.
- Illusion: I didn't bother with calm or fury spells, but they could certainly add some flavour to gameplay. Along with the Bend Will shout, they could represent an Angel's ability to control its victims.
The Vampire Lord Form
Do not overlook the Vampire Lord form. It's a great panic button, and good for intense, large-scale battles. Drain Life spells are fantastic at keeping us alive, and it's also a blast to power through enemies, ripping into them with claws. Certainly not stealthy, but sometimes subtlety isn't called for. These are some of the VL perks I'd suggest:
Requires: Slow Time, Silence, Assassin's Blade
Impossible to defend against. Make every enemy in a room face away from you with a well-placed arrow, activate Slow Time, and roll between everybody, striking out as you pass. Use dual daggers for twice the damage if one isn't doing the trick.
Requires: Soul Tear/Bend Will, Quiet Casting.
When hidden, use either shout on a large group of enemies if you can't position yourself for Blink. Either all of them are bent to your will, or only a few are and chaos ensues. Either way, you remain unseen.
Requires: Re-animated corpses/summons, Elemental Fury, Twin Souls
Desperate situations can call for desperate manouvers. Bring on your two strongest summons and ready your bound daggers. Activate Elemental Fury and cut through enemy ranks in an exceptionally bloody display of teamwork. Can also be used in Vampire Lord form, with summoned gargoyles.
The dissolution of the Weeping Angel clan in the 3rd Era leaves you with a wide open space for your own backstory and roleplay elements. There are plenty of things for an assassin to do in Skyrim, after all. Regardless, here are a few suggestions:
Shhh... No tears, only sleep now.
Maybe you've existed for eons - you were a part of the original Weeping Angel clan. You're hell-bent on revenge for what the Dark Brotherhood did to your clan, and it looks as though they've resurfaced after hundreds of years. Awaken your weary body from its slumber and kill the killers. Incidentally, the Falkreath Dark Brotherhood sanctuary is a great place to try 'Blink', as all members of the DB are relatively close together and in an enclosed space.
Having been at rest for such a prolonged period of time, your Angel will need to train to become the great assassin it once was. The Thieves guild can help those looking to be unseen, and there are plenty of mercenary jobs available to hone your combat skills.
Maybe the whole Dark Brotherhood betrayal is water under the bridge for you. You're in the business for the wealth, and the Brotherhood can certainly get you there. Take any paying job you can get - your loyalty lies with the highest bidder.
Or maybe you should do what you're best at - remain unseen. Keep up appearances by becoming a thane of every hold, save Tamriel; all the while secretly working at beating a vampire's biggest weakness: the sun. Eliminate anyone who gets in your way, take care not to get caught, and target influential people who, upon their demise, leave behind powerful positions ripe for the taking by yourself or your accomplices. When all's taken care of, wash your hands, and revert back to the innocent noble everyone thinks you are.
The Weeping Angel has gone through further changes. As many people - including myself - have started using the unofficial patches, I've taken away this build's previous reliance on several glitches. I've also altered its skillset and I feel it's now closer to what I've always envisioned my character being.
Thanks for reading!