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!
3E 241. The Dark Brotherhood was busy, their presence a looming shadow over Tamriel. When they aimed to spill blood, nobody stood in their way for very long.
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: Vampire Lord form, Drain Life
Used out of stealth, when health is low and there are numerous enemies. Weaken your foes and strengthen yourself with Drain Life projectiles.
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!
Great to see this ported, FishDout. I really like the vibe of the gameplay and Slow time isn't something I tend to play with much.
I've been porting my builds slowly and steadily too.
Looks like you've been building up a storm, Lissette. They all look great.
Ive fixed up the build as promised Fish. Lemme know what you think.
Cheers Curse. I was worried the headers might not be too visible with the translucent background but it looks swell.
So glad this gem was ported over.
Glad to see this up here Fish. Don't worry, I won't blink
Hah, thanks Chris.
Hey Fish. Never seen Doctor Who myself - nor have I ever thought of using Slow Time and Sneak. It's a unique combination, I like it. Especially how you recreate the/a Weeping Angel in Skyrim. Great job. For some reason you've got your images, and above/next to them, broken images? I can take a screenshot to show what I mean.
Btw mate, you hit Adept! Great job (aye, I literally read this a few days ago on the Vault, great to see it ported)
I'm not getting any issues with broken images Lee. That being said sometimes pictures will not load when viewing from my mobile, but will be all there on the PC.
Anyway at the risk of railroading I'll jump to me thoughts on ya build Fish.
How long ago did you do this man?, cause I swear I've read this or somthing very similar years ago on the Skyrim Blog, either way it's just as awesome now as it was then. The slow time tactic with sneak attacks is a very fun tactic and could work even better if you used throw voice instread of an Arrow. It's just a really neat way to emmulate the Weeping Angel from Doctor Who. And I never would have thought to use Elemental fury with a bound weapon I just always assumed it'd be considered enchanted so never bothered to try. But that is really cool that it does!
Your presentation and formating of the build is great. You've delivered all the info we need in a short and succinct way which is very well done. The ability icons you've got are fantastic I really like em, I like to use ability icons on my builds section too.
All in all mate this is a very cool build and I am glad you've posted it here!! Can't wait for the next one.