Foreword: This build was born from my interest in the Dragon Age 2 Merrill specialisation "Elven Pariah" and the Rogue Specialization "Ranger" from Origins. My goal was to use the basis for these classes and meld them into a character that could fluidly embody both at once. I also pulled some inspiration from "The Viridian Witch" build by Oneness. It was one of the first nature builds I played in Skyrim and remains to be one of my favourites to this day.
The resulting outcome of the build is an archer who is capable of controlling and supporting multiple animal companions and summons whilst dealing out a devastating amount of poison damage be it from poisoned arrow or spell.
For the full backstory click here
Moss green eyes locked in a mournful stare. A lingering kiss on the forehead. A scarlet red cloak fluttering in the wind amidst a wash of silver- gold locks. Distant memories of a distant time.…
Ivriel smothered the last smouldering embers and retired for the eve. Tomorrow would come too soon, and with it, the usual hapless villagers from Ivarstead, wanting her to cure their ailments, bless their crops, mix a tonic, or breathe new life into an overworked ox. Each day brought more of the same— linear, boring… everyday life. And yet, a thrill of excitement burned in her belly, one she couldn't explain. Ivriel closed her eyes and sent thoughts scrying out through the winds of change in the air…
Another Autumn Rift morning dawned sharp and clear—a warm, amber sunrise and a chilling breeze and earth that crackled underfoot like shattered glass, shimmering with shades of liquid gold and ruby and topaz. Melting frost fell like raindrops on a nearby icy stream.
Moss-green eyes and tear-stained gloves, gentle hands pulling away from a chubby-fingered grasp.
Ivriel shook away the unwanted memory, and supplanted it, as she always did, with thoughts of Anise. Anise had found her, long ago, on such a morning, and taken her in. Raised her as her own, and Ivriel owed her life to the crafty Nord witch. From her, Ivriel learned the way of the land and the ways of magic. Of the balance inherent in the world – to save a life, one must understand how to take it. To understand Nirn, one must learn the ways of man and mer and beast. Of Divines and the Daedra, for even the Planes of Oblivion traversed the paths of life.
Ivriel offered up a murmur of thanks to Anise as she snipped sprigs of frost mirriam and wondered…what would she do if she found a babe on a cold morning, shivering and abandoned in an Autumn frost? Would she raise the babe as her own? Teach her, love her, as Anise had, so many years ago?
A doe knocked its hoof against the ice-crusted stream. Ivriel blinked, Anise and the babe she'd once been finally fading into memory. The doe watched Ivriel with liquid black eyes and lowered its head in invitation. Ivriel approached – slowly, reverently – and took off her glove, stroking the doe's soft, brown neck. But the moment wasn't to last. A rush of wings and feathers shattered the quiet, and the doe scampered away.
Ivriel crouched – a predator? A hunter? No, something felt…wrong. The thrill of excitement burned in her belly again, and she swallowed it down, good sense winning over adventure. No adventure to be had these days, anyway, with Vigilants in town, thickening the air into a miasma of righteousness and hypocrisy. Dissatisfied with hunting Daedra worshippers, they'd turned their attention toward solitary mages – herbalists, alchemists.
Like Anise. Like her.
The peasants of Ivarstead might depend on her cures, but they did not trust outsiders or "knife-eared witches," as she'd heard herself described. And she didn't trust them to turn down a purse full of gold, or hold up under a Vigilant's thinly-veiled threat. The only certainty of life in Skyrim was violence – Stormcloaks and Imperials fighting on the roads, Thalmor justiciars sniffing out heresy. Bears. Wolves. No, they'd take the gold offered and tell the Vigilants what they wanted to hear.
Ivriel eased out of her crouch and started back toward her hut. She found the quiet of the woods no longer peaceful, but eerie and tight. Her very bones tingled with warning. A nearby bush rustled. She spun around, and purple mist between her fingers coalesced into an ethereal bow. Her breath came in short gasps as she scanned the woods – the empty woods. Shivers crept over her spine. Someone else was there, someone who shouldn't be. The animals of her forest knew her, accepted her, wouldn't run from her. But others? A few steps more, and she heard another rustle and a flash of blue. A bawdy laugh.
Ivriel let out a long exhale and relaxed her grip. Stormcloak soldiers, a pair of them. But they didn't bother her – she could sneak past them as easily as the mist, especially when they desired nothing more than ale and a bed of warm furs after a night's patrol.
She smiled and watched them walk down to Ivarstead. She turned back toward her hut. Her smile faded. Smoke drifted from the chimney, yet she was certain she had smothered her fire before she left that morning. She edged closer, under the trees, and squinted through a window.
Two figures stood near the firepit – one wore a hood which obscured his face, but the other was a middle-aged Nord with a receding hairline, a great maul was slung over his shoulder. The thrill of excitement in her belly boiled over in fear and anger. The bow in her hand blinked back to Oblivion, and she crept closer, green light flashing at her fingertips "Not like this, Not now. I will not be snuffed out by zealots on a mad crusade.".
The green light in Ivriel's hands flared, and a moment later the hut filled with a blast of poisonous magic. The Nord coughed and gagged. "Argh, Tolan! It's the knife-eared bitch, sh-"
A shimmering arrow erupted through the back of his neck, and the Nord collapsed, clutching his ruined throat. Gouts of blood spilt out on the earthen floor.
"My earthen floor," she thought, and turned to flash her green eyes on the Nord's companion – the one he'd named Tolan – rushing from her hut. She ran after him and barely escaped the arc of his maul as he doubled back just outside the door.
He screamed and struggled to regain his balance. "You'll pay for that, witch!"
"Maybe. One day," Ivriel hissed, her throat tight with icy conviction. The ethereal bow faded once more, and she raised her hands, a green light shimmering around her palms. The ground trembled and cracked, and a dozen vines slithered free and wound around the Vigilant's chest. "But today, this is my forest, and you are not welcome. Leave now, and I will spare your life."
Tolan gasped and spat at her feet. "This is not your forest elf. This is Nord land, and it is you who are unwelcome!"
Ivriel closed her fist and vines tightened around Tolan's throat. "So be it," she said grimly and motioned with her hand, purple mist wreathing her fingers. A great wolf padded to her side. Another gesture, and the wolf stepped closer to the Vigilant, until the two stood face to face. The wolf's breath steamed through bared teeth in the cold morning air. Slaver streamed from its jaws. Ivriel tilted her head and sneered. "You will die a fool. A fool who was given the chance to lea—"
A crossbow quarrel whistled past and pierced the wolf's side. The beast yelped and sank to its knees. Ivriel spun on her heel and summoned her bow. Three hooded figures garbed in robes and mail strode toward the hut.
Tolan screamed through laboured breath and flung an arm toward Ivriel. "Kill her! Kill the witch!"
This time, the quarrel missed its mark, finding purchase in the wall of her hut. She whispered a spell and her flesh turned to armour of stone. Her own arrow flew true, knocking the Vigilant bowman to the ground. Blood spurted through his fingers as he grasped at his chest. After that, everything blurred into fire spells and whizzing arrows and the smell of blood and burned cloth. In the midst of the confusion, Ivriel's wolf lunged at the Vigilant mage, savaging his arm in his jaws. With no flames to dodge, Ivriel took careful aim and took the mage down with an arrow to the throat.
A yelp sounded behind her, followed by a whoosh as her wolf collapsed into a purple mist. The third Vigilant held a bloody flanged mace, and grinned. "Give it up, knife-ear, you've lost!"
Ivriel heard a rustling and turned, keeping one eye on the bloody mace. Tolan had freed himself from her vines, and the two Vigilants paced around her, tightening their circle with each turn. "I would advise you pray for mercy," seethed Tolan. "But Stendarr does not grant it to the likes of you, foul witch!"
Ivriel wasted no time on prayer. She drew her bow and loosed. Her arrow pierced the maced Vigilant's shoulder. He screamed and staggered, but Tolan charged, sweeping Ivriel's legs out from beneath her. The Bosmers head crashed to the ground, and when her vision cleared, all she saw was the sky. "Beautiful and blue," she thought, "like winter roses."
The maul crashed down on her chest.
Ivriel gasped and forced her eyes open. A sharp pain stabbed through her chest and she wheezed, blood dribbling from her mouth and down her chin. Ivriel struggled to rise, and her vision darkened again, the pain in her chest and head threatening to drag her back down. Eventually, she hobbled to her hut. Stoneware and broken glass littered the floor, and parchment soaked into a pool of fresh blood on the floor.
"At least I gave as good as I got," she thought, remembering the old Nord she'd killed. "One shot, too." She winced, baring bloody teeth as another wave of pain nearly doubled her over.
Ivriel slapped a hand over her chest and sighed as a golden glow sank into her skin. "But that won't last long. I have to find herbs. Need something stronger." Her hand glowed golden over her chest once more, and she managed to stand.
The door clicked shut behind Ivriel. She took one step, then another, toward the forest. As she'd done hundreds of times before. But this time was different. This time she had a plan.
This time…this time, she wouldn't stop. Not until she'd reached the Hall of the Vigilants. And left none alive.
Ordinator: Ordinator completely revamps the perk system in the game and is an essential piece to the build
Apocalypse: Apocalypse adds dozens and dozens of new spells to use in Skyrim. The poison spells are an essential part of Ivriel's arsenal.
Andromeda: Overhauls vanilla Standing Stones allowing for all-new roleplaying options. Each stone feels genuinely unique and can't be replicated like most of the vanilla stones could.
Imperious: Breathes new life into the racial system, including unique racial attributes, passives and unlockable abilities via a race-specific quest.
Wintersun: Wintersun adds a complex religion system into the game, that allows you to meditate and worship a chosen deity.
20 pct more Perk Points: A well-balanced option in my opinion, when used with Ordinator installed. There are many new perks to choose, and having an extra skill point to spend every five levels helps to get those perks that would otherwise take a few more level-ups to get.
USSEP: Not a lot to say with this one. It fixes a lot of issues and also makes Miraaks's Robes, well robes, instead of light armour.
Alternate Start: With this installed, you can pick one of several scenarios on how to start your character's story off in Skyrim. For Ivriel, I chose the "Attacked and left for dead" scenario, which fits in with her backstory, having been attacked by the Vigilants of Stendarr. Conveniently I started off in the Rift, but it is randomised so you may start anywhere. Alternatively, you could use the "Camping in the woods" start instead.
Hedge Mage Armor: The Hedge Mage Armor, are great starting robes for Ivriel, and suits her rugged nature.
Wildcat: Overhauls damage and many combat features and allows you to customise your combat experience.
Mortal Enemies: Tweaks enemy AI and hitboxes, creating more fluent combat.
Rebalanced Encounter Zones: Essentially this randomises enemy levelling, generally making most encounters much tougher.
Thunderchild: Adds in 30 new shouts and several mini-quests that can unlock additional shout-related powers.
Awesome Artifacts: Adds a little bit more oomph to some of the less appreciated items in Skyrim.
Bosmer: With imperious races installed, Ivriel will start with several race-specific abilities. She will have a harrier hawk that will mark targets and weaken their armour in battle. It will also mark animals in the wild for Ivriel to hunt. As a Bosmer, she can detect moving targets whilst sneaking. And she can invoke the Green Pact to eat the corpses of slain humanoid NPCs. I'll note that I did not use the ability to eat corpses as in my playthrough she did not adhere to the Green Pact. Lastly, Ivriel will unlock the "Beast Tongue" ability after hunting ten marked animals that the harrier has revealed. This will allow her to permanently tame a nearby animal of her choosing until she releases it or it is slain.
Standing Stone: The Apprentice - The unpredictable and turbulent nature of The Apprentice stone suits the unconventional ways Ivriel has learned to employ her magic. The stone grants the Prodigy passive effect, which lowers overall spell cost by 15% and enables free casting of novice spells. "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" passive ability gives the interesting effect of any spells cast being 50% more effective or 50% less effective than intended. (The former is more likely.)
Religious Views: Being raised by the hermit Nord witch Anise Ivriel was taught to worship Hircine, Kyne and the Old Ways of the Nords. This means she does not follow the Green Pact or Y'ffre's teachings, and in fact, knows very little of Bosmer culture. When it comes to choosing a religion from the Wintersun mod, Hircine or Kynareth are both an appropriate choice. Unfortunately, The Old Ways are locked to races who are not Nord or Breton; thus, this does not allow Ivriel to gain the full benefits of The Old Ways. She can still get the blessing from the shrine however.
Morality/Personality: True Neutral. Ivriel tries not to involve herself with the matters of others, which often leads to her being labelled as indifferent. She enjoys her solitude and communing with the creatures of the forest. She will help those who come to her for aid but never for free. What that price entails is not necessarily always gold, but things she may need for her alchemical experiments or just general supplies. She will stand her ground when threatened or taken advantage of. If someone requires aid, she will often weigh whether helping them or the assailant will benefit her or others the most. She tries to stick to the belief that there is balance in all things and will try to keep the scales as even as possible so as not to disturb that balance.
Destroy the Vigilants of Stendarr: After being attacked and left for dead Ivriel has decided to show no mercy to the vigil. Attack their hall (before the vampires), Stendarr's Beacon and any patrolling the roads of Skyrim.
White Phial: The old Altmer in Windhelm is well known as a renowned alchemist, Ivriel makes the trip to see if she might learn more from him. She discovers the tale of an ancient alchemical artefact and helps him in recovering it.
A Return To Your Roots: As she was exploring the ancient ruins of Black Reach, Ivriel stumbled across a new and very unique specimen of Nirn Root. She strives to find out more of this intriguing plant.
Kynes Sacred Trials: Froki an elderly Nord hunter who lives near Ivriel's shack wishes to impart some knowledge of Kyne, Ivriel gladly accepts.
Blessings of Nature: Ivriel reveres Kyne and upon finding out the fate of Gildergreen she seeks to help Danica restore it to its former glory.
Labyrinthian (Diadem of the Savant): While on one of her visits to the college Ivriel heard tell of a lost artefact in the ruins Labyrinthian. She seeks it out to claim for herself.
Main Quest (At least to High Hrothgar): When Ivriel comes across the smouldering remains of Helgen she finds herself caught up in matters beyond simple wars but the literal fate of the Nirn itself.
Dragon Born: When hired assassins ambush her, Ivriel seeks to learn who sent them and stop them by whatever means necessary. She finds more than she bargained for and learns some valuable new magic along the way.
College of Winterhold: Ivriel will seek to join to gain access to some of the available tomes the college offers. She is not comfortable with all of the confinement and strict learning, so often will simply come and go as she pleases preferring the wide-open spaces of the wild to train her craft.
Early Game Gear:
- Hunting Bow: A common yet reliable bow, can be found on bandits or bought from a blacksmith.
- Iron Dagger: A sturdy dagger suitable for rubbing with paralytic poisons when enemies get too close.
- Worn Travelers Robes: A set of ragged hedge mage robes that can be easily crafted at a tanning rack with common components (leather, leather strips, iron ingots and a piece of linen wrap).
Mid to End Game Gear:
- Bound Bow: Ivriel can conjure an ethereal bow from Oblivion to strike down any in her path. A spell tome for the bow can be acquired early on from the Fort Amol prison.
- Hunting Bow: Used to deliver beneficial poisons to allied creatures.
- Nettlebane: A crudely crafted dagger found on a hagraven. Ivriel rubs this with paralytic poisons for when enemies get too close.
- Miraak's Staff: The staff of a defeated dragon priest. Ivriel can use it to lay "vines" in the path of foes.
- Miraak's Robes: The boots and gauntlets combined give Ivriel a 10% chance to absorb spells, and the robes cut the cost of all spells by 15% and give 100% increase to magic regeneration.
- Diadem of the Savant: This elusive circlet can be found in Shalidor's Maze and will grant Ivriel a 5% spell cost reduction
- Kyne's Token: An amulet gifted by the goddess Kynareth herself. Damage taken from animals is reduced by 10%. Bows now do 5% more damage.
- Ring of Pure Mixtures: A ring which grants a 12% boost in alchemy. Can be found by taking the quest from Frida in Dawnstar.
- Black Book: Companions Insight - An essential item which benefits Ivriel greatly in being able to heal her wild companions.
- Black Book: Mora's Agony - An ability which allows Ivriel to conjure a nest of noxious vines on the ground.
- The White Phial: A mystical artefact that will replenish itself daily. Ivriel has crafted it to resist magical damage.
Spells - (Apocalypse Spells and CC content are marked with *)
- Leech Seed*
- Poison Rune
- Tree Rings*
- Healing Blossom*
- Welling Blood*
- Blood Boil*
- Conjure Familiar
- Conjure Seeker
- Conjure Cat Totem*
- Conjure Bear Totem*
- Pride of Hirrstaang*
- Bound Bow
- Ocato's Recital*
- Flesh Spells (Ironflesh etc.)
- Paralysis Rune*
- It is worth noting here that this schoolis trained and perked, but no spells are used.
- Animal Allegiance
- Kyne's Peace
- Bend Will
- Dragon Spite: Fly Amanita, Snow Berries and Thistle Branch. (Resists Fire and Frost).
- Healer's Tincture: Blue Mountain Flower, Yellow Mountain Flower and Salt Pile. (Fortifies Health and Restoration).
- Sorceress's Draught: Garlic, Salmon Roe and Red Mountain Flower. (Fortify and Regenerate Magicka).
- Stalwart Medicament: Wheat and Blue Mountain Flower. (Fortify and Restore Health).
- Ranger's Heart: Canis Root, Juniper Berries and Namira's Rot. (Fortify Marksman, Regenerate Health).
- Witch's Ward: Bone Meal, Lavender and Tundra Cotton. (Fortify Conjuration and Resist Magic).
- Torpor: Deathbell, Chaurus Eggs and River Betty. (Slow, Weakness to Poison and Damage Health).
- Serpent's Kiss: Mora Tapinella, Imp Stool and Canis Root. (Lingering damage health and Paralysis).
- Magebane: Hanging Moss, Namira's Rot and Blue Butterfly Wing. (Damage Magicka Regeneration and Magicka).
- Warlock's Ire: Torchbug Thorax, Swamp Fungal Pod and Scaly Pholiota. (Lingering damage Magicka and Weakness to Magic).
- Warrior's End: Wheat, Creep Cluster and Salt Pile. (Damage Stamina regeneration and Weakness to Magic).
- Ravager: Spawn Ash, Scathcraw and Skeever Tail. (Ravages Health, Magicka and Stamina).
- Lifestream: Blue Mountain Flower, Blisterwort and Hanging Moss. (Decrease Magicka Regeneration, Restores and Fortifies Health). Note this poison requires companions insight and a weak bow and arrow to deliver it, as it is meant for healing wild companions.
Alchemy - Taught from a young age to use all that Nirn provided for her. Ivriel has been experimenting with alchemical reagents for years and has thus become a master alchemist in her own right.
Perks of Note:
- Lab Skeever - For 20 seconds after using any alchemy lab, beneficial potions you drink last 15 times longer and are 25% stronger.
- Maenad - Magicka and Stamina are increased by 50 points when you are under the effect of a beneficial potion or ingredient, but reduced by 25 points when you are not.
- Witchmaster - When you use a beneficial potion or ingredient, 50% chance to receive a powerful side effect, randomly chosen from a range of 40 side effects.
Conjuration - Being at one with the creatures of Nirn, Ivriel can summon powerful spirit animals to aid her in battle. She also can manifest an arcane bow to strike down those who would mean her harm.
Perks of Note:
- Mystic Binding - Bound Weapon spells now summon Mystic Weapons which deal more damage.
- Summon Resist - Friendly conjured Daedra, and other non-undead minions within 75 feet gain 50% magic resistance and 300 points of armour.
- March of Oblivion - You can summon or reanimate 1 additional minion per 250 points of base Magicka, up to 3 extra minions.
Archery - Ivriel taught herself to handle a bow from a young age. Her Bosmeri blood and keen eyes giving her a natural edge at marksmanship. Not only that, but she has also learned to bind her spells to the arrows she looses.
Perks of Note:
- Ranger - Can move at full speed with a drawn bow.
- Lions Arrow - Grants the "Lion's Arrow" power: use it to store the spell Ivriel is dual casting. Shooting a fully drawn bow in combat also releases the stored spell in the direction of the crosshair. Only works with spells that affect other targets.
- Hailstorm - Attack 8% faster with bows and crossbows for 10 seconds after shooting a fully drawn bow or crossbow in combat. This effect stacks.
Restoration - Taught to harness the essence of nature itself Ivriel can heal just as easily as she can harm. Knitting the wounds of those around her or subduing foes with potent toxins.
Perks of Note:
- Restoration Dual Casting - Dual casting a Restoration spell empowers it, increasing effectiveness and cost.
- Sacred Guardian - Emanate a 20-foot aura of protection. Any of Ivriel's tamed allies within range who fall below 30% Health are automatically healed 150 points. This effect has a 30-second cooldown per target.
- Plague Doctor - Radiate a zone of pestilent death that reduces the poison and disease resistance of enemies approaching within 40 feet by 50% for 30 seconds.
Speech - Growing up in the wilds Ivriel has a strong connection to all kinds of wildlife. She also can use the Thu'um to restore some vital energies when needed.
Perks of Note:
- And the Universe Listens - Shouting restores points of Health, Magicka and Stamina equal to your shout cooldown in seconds. You gain Speech experience when shouting based on your shout cooldown.
- Speak with Animals - Can Activate animals to tame them, forcing them to follow you anywhere you go and fight for you until released. You can only have one Wild Companion at a time. Use the "Release Companion" power to release your Wild Companion. (The Bosmer Racial power "Beast Tongue" allows you tame a second animal follower).
- Gift of Kynareth - Improves your Wild Companion. Wolves gain 100% extra attack damage. Spiders gain magic immunity. Bears gain 150 points of Health. Chaurus gain 300 points of armour. Sabre cats gain 40% movement speed and move silently.
Illusion - Ivriel can inspire her tamed animals to fight with greater tenacity and never flee.
Perks of Note:
- Commanding Presence - In combat Ivriel radiates an aura of mystical nobility that touches all allied creatures and people within 40 feet. Those affected gain 20% attack damage and 20% chance of a critical strike.
- Crown of the False King - Commanding Presence also increases armour by 80 points and magic resistance by 20%
Alteration - Through the use of Alteration, Ivriel has learned to manipulate nature itself. She can turn her flesh hard as iron, and even use knowledge from the school to empower all other magics.
Perks of Note:
- Mage Armor - Protection spells like Stoneflesh are 100/150/200% stronger if not wearing armour.
- Wild Shrines - Five shrines dedicated to nature's mysteries can be found in Skyrim. Each shrine grants a permanent bonus to one school of magic, making all spells from that school 15% more powerful or last 30% longer.
- Wellocs Dormant Arcana - Choose a spell type (Armor, Cloak, Conjure Daedra, Conjure Undead, Invisibility) and 3 magic effects (Fortify, Regenerate, Waterwalking, etc.). The chosen magic effects will activate when you are affected by the selected spell type.
Destruction - Having learned the basics of destruction magic Ivriel is able to inscribe multiple noxious poison runes further away.
Perk of Note:
- Runecaster - Can place runes 75 feet farther away, and place three times as many runes at a time.
Light and dark.
Fire and ice.
Life and death.
In all things, there is an antithesis.
To heal, one must understand what ails.
To take a life, one must first understand what gives it.
This is the way of the Witch Arrow.
Balance in all things.
For without balance, there is an imbalance.
And imbalance, whether for good or ill, serves the few, whereas balance serves the many.
Bitter Mercy - Welling Blood + Lion's Arrow + Torpor (Poison)
Striking her enemies with blood magic and poisoned arrows, Ivriel will often fell weaker foes with one loose of her bow.
The Thorn Within - Wingstrike + Alkahest + Bottomless Cup
Lashing out hard with her bow, Ivriel gains a damage boost against her target and also bypasses much of their armour with her corrosive poison.
Death Blooms Eternal - Decompose + Wild Companions.
Ivriel infects a target with potent toxins that transfers the targets life force to herself and her tamed companions.
Tooth and Claw - Paralysis (Rune, spell or Serpents kiss (poison) + Summons and Wild Companions
Inducing her foe with paralysis, the victim is helpless to stop Ivriel's creatures tearing into them.
The Wild Hunt - Fear Poison + Wild companions and Summons
Ivriel laces her arrows with a concoction which sets foes fleeing. Her beasts then run the target down.
Tears of the Fallen - Poison Runes +Paralysis (Rune, Spell or Poison) + Necroplague
Carefully setting the field with well-placed runes, Ivriel can whittle the life force away from her enemies, while skirting them with her bow. Any who fall are then infected with a necrotic poison that passes on to other enemies who come near.
Nature's Bulwark - Ocato's Recital (Flesh Spell, Tree Rings, Healing Blossom)+ Welloc's Dormant Arcana+Mage Armor
Channelling the earth around her, Ivriel can use the essence of Nirn itself to form a robust protective layer around her body. Increasing vitality, regeneration, and armour rating.
Nirn's Due - Healers Tincture (Potion) + Poison Runes + Miraak's Staff + Blood Boil
Ivriel casts several poison runes in the path of advancing foes and then calls upon the roots of Nirn itself to hold and poison them while she unleashes a devastating display of blood magic.
This build can be played in several ways, depending on the situation that arises. Ivriel can switch from an aggressive close quarters bow basher to a supportive back ranks healer and buffer, or a devastating trap setter with the use of her runes, poisons, and necroplague. The main thing to be aware of here is unless you are trying to set up a trap, you've got to keep moving and skirting enemies with poisoned arrows. Ivriel is no sneak, so there is no hiding from your foes. You're facing them head-on with a pack of hungry familiars and wild animals at your side.
- Potions: Certain perks in Alchemy make it extremely beneficial and easy for Ivriel to remain under the effects of her potions. Sorceress's Draught and Ranger's Heart are two potions in particular that can last a very long time when paired with the Lab Skeever perk. It is also worth noting that whenever combat starts, it is worthwhile to make to sure Ivriel is under the effect of a potion, so she is getting the full benefits from the Stimulants, Crimson Haze, Maenad, Witchmaster and Chymical wedding perks.
- Poisons: There are many useful poisons at Ivriel's disposal. From the paralytic and the flesh-devouring to stamina and magic halting concoctions. With perks like Bottomless Cup and Alkahest Ivriel can rend through the armour and apply an extreme amount of stacking poison damage, which can be especially deadly when used with the Torpor and Serpents Kiss poisons. Additionally, she has access to the unconventional Lifestream poison, which she can use to heal any of her tamed animals when paired with Companions Insight from the Black Book: Winds of Change.
- The Bound Bow and Poison Application: Now switching between poisons on the fly can usually be a problem with the bottomless cup perk. But with the bound bow, you can sheath the spell, and it will remove any active poisons from it allowing Ivriel to apply a new poison the next time she summons the bow.
Magical effects and Perks:
- Welloc's Dormant Arcana: It is advisable to link this perk to a flesh spell. When selecting this perk in the Alteration tree, the buffs you will want to choose are 10% boost to physical damage, 10% magnitude increase in Restoration spells and lastly 50 armour.
- Companions Insight: This ability removes the chance to harm allied followers (aka Wild Companions) when paired with the life Stream poison it is a very effective way to heal her animals without swapping out her bow.
- Sinderion's Serendipity: This is a beneficial effect to get as an alchemist and can be obtained by completing a return to your roots. The effect gives Ivriel a 25% chance to make an extra potion or poison whilst brewing.
- Sacred Guardian: This is a very effective skill when paired with the Illusion perks Commanding Presence and Crown of the False King. It is instrumental at buffing and keeping Ivriels wild companions alive, particularly when they have the Gift of Kynareth perk.
- Initiating Combat: When entering combat Nature's Bulwark will always activate on Ivriel. Her tamed companions will be buffed and protected by Sacred Guardian, Commanding presence, Crown of the False King and Kynes Gift. But what of her summonable creatures you ask? Well, let me tell you what happens there friend. They are only buffed by the Summon Resist perk, and this is where the Power of the Master Spell comes in. It will allow Ivriel to cast any self-targeting spell on nearby conjured allies, enter Tree Rings and Flesh Spells. Now that her summons are armoured up and have a significant boost to health, she can go on the offence.
- Melee Enemies: Warrior NPC's should only ever get close if you let them, for example, if you are using the Thorn Within Ability or Nirn's Due ability. Ivriel's wild companions will often do an excellent job at keeping the heat off her allowing her to pepper melee foes with poison arrows and set up poisonous traps for them to stumble into.
- Magic User's and Dragons: Mages should be dealt with as fast as possible. Firstly take a Witch's ward or Dragon Spite potion and then paralyse them with either a spell or poison. This will expose the mage to the Tooth and Claw Ability. While her animals are busy with the mage, Ivriel can follow up with the Mage Bane or Warlock's Ire poisons if the mage is still alive after the paralysis wears they will be forced into melee combat. When it comes to dragons, be sure to take a Dragon Spite potion and make plenty of use of the Become Ethereal shout. Use a generous amount of Mage Bane and Warlock's Ire poisons to prevent them from using their dragon breath when they have landed switch to Torpor poisons to finish them off.
- Archers: Archers are not very hard to deal with. Often Ivriel's animals will run them down, but if they don't the best thing to do to avoid their attacks is to keep moving and skirting the battlefield. A few well-placed arrows should be enough to put them down.
Below I have attached a gameplay video, courtesy of Kruger, that shows his playthrough of The Witch Arrow in action. Watch and enjoy, he's done a great job here!
What can I say it's good to have finally finished this build, it has taken me nearly a full year, and it has been sidelined on and off more times than I care to count. I would like to thank all of you who have helped me along the way, whether that be proofreading, editing, providing me with some nifty ideas or simply taking the time to give it quick looking over. Ivriel would not have gotten here without your help, and I am in your debt for all the time you guys took to help me - Thank You a thousand, thousand times.
I'd also like to state that any art depicted in this work is not my own, and all credit should be given to their respected authors.
Lastly thank you, the reader, I hope you have a blast playing The Witch Arrow. Cheers Furrion.
If you are interested in more of my builds, you can find them by following the build link bellow.
Build is albeit done. Still have to grammar check. I will be checking backing now and then over the next week making edits. Needed to post now because my time off work is up tomorrow.
Also is it just me or does the WIP page present the build more wider. Because it seems skinnier to me on this page for some reason?
Let me check the WiP page.
Yeah, your WiP page is actually a good 15-20% wider than this page. That's interesting. Hmm. Wouldn't it make sense to have both sections be the same width, otherwise, I can imagine that reformatting once the build is posted would have to be done. If the build is relatively simple in construction, than this isn't a problem, but your build is image heavy and has text wrapping, being able to correctly estimate distance is important. The different sizes between the two screens, IMO, renders the WiP a moot point as you have to spend the time reconstructing to account for the width difference in the actual Character build section.
That being said, nice to see your work, Furrion. I always like a nature-based archer. I also appreciate you giving some detail as to why she is not a "Green Pact is awesome" Bosmer, so to speak. The images are nicely done and clear and while the gameplay feels to cluttered for my own personal tastes (I'm a horrible button-masher, so anything more than whack, whack, blast, blast will make my head hurt), I'm sure others will like it. Good use of mods, though my inclination would be to play this as a Breton instead, unless you really wanted some of the Bosmer animal stuff from the your selection of racial mods.
My one quibble is that the backstory, and lol, this is coming from me who writes ridiculously long stuff, is a bit long. It's not that it's long, it's that it's all in one spot. I had a backstory that is just as long, but I divided it up throughout the build instead, to read more like chapters. You break it up, however, with enough pictures that it isn't pure wall of text. It conveys Ivriel's story and motivations well enough, though the portrayal of Nords, Thalmor and Vigilants feels sometimes one-dimensional and the dialogue is at times, too modern sounding. I did like how Anise is not some generic bad witch, so that is interesting. Looks like you have a lot of fun with this build and I'm glad you got it up. Congratulations.
The page width is standard across the entire site. The wxtra info on top of the WIP forum perhaps gives the page the illusion of seeming wider than it is here.
Hmm, then it appears quite a bit wider in my page. Let me show you. I'll take some screenies to show what I mean.
I take it back. Turns out it actually is a bit wider in the WIP section. I've adjusted the site wide page width from 960 px to 1120 px. Things should feel much less constricted now.
Skyforge has become widescreen! :D
Thanks for that, the page looks the same as it did in the WIP now with everything lining up proper :)
@Lissette - Thank you. I sure did have a lot of fun creating the character. Took me a very long time lol, you can probably remember when I put it into the WIP section last year haha. Glad ya liked it :)
I might consider breaking the story up acrross the build at some point, but for now, I'll leave it as is. I just don't have the time to go through all the editting again as i'm back to work again tomorrow. I can see a Breton working quite well for the build too, with thier boosts's to a lot of the magic skills and starting with the familiar spell being a good head start.
@Lissete - Also well noticed about the vigillant's and Nord's seeming one dimmensional. That was kind of what I was going for, in that it is all through the eyes of one character "Ivriel". Everything seen and heard in the story is through her perspective. So the villagers might see the vigilant's quite differently, the vigilants may even be happy to lend the villagers aid. Where as Ivriel see's Witch Hunters and violent Oppressor's. The vigilant's will see that they are freeing the villagers and Skyrim for that matter from an evil Witch who practices foul magic and worships the Daedra and so on. In this fact Ivriel is somewhat of an unreliable narrator I suppose. Because you know and I know that the vigilant's have good qualities and are far more complex than what she sees them as, but we have the luxuary of knowing everyone and everything in Skyrim with all that lore at our fingertips, but she does not.
A beautifully presented build! And even better it’s a build based on my favorite Dragon Age character!