Character Build: The Worshipper of Sanguine



A few years ago, there was once a respected elf who was a brilliant wizard for the College of Winterhold. Some say he should have been Master Wizard, while other’s said he was far too arrogant to take such an important role. But either way, none could deny that he was quite bright. He had conquered all the schools of magic but he truly loved Destruction and Alteration. He was a true master of them, for he could cause an impressive ice storm around him and stand in the dead centre of it, while not taking a single scratch of damage.

But one day he took a break and was in the Winterhold inn, enjoying a drink and showing off his frost magic to several disapproving locals in the inn. He thought he could sway them, change their way of thinking, but however, none were impressed. They all told him angrily that they would not be fooled by simple magic tricks, before throwing him out into the cold night.

This angered the wizard for he knew he was great, and that these simple and primitive Nords did not know true magic. Suddenly, he was helped out of the snow by a Breton in dark robes, introducing himself as Sam. He told the wizard he respected him and knew how he could help him. The wizard was shocked and untrusting, but then the man gave him something, a bottle of a mysterious liquid. He told the elf to drink it and he would know the answers.

In that bottle was skooma, a particularly strong kind known as Balmora Blue, and it changed the wizard. He hallucinated wildly, seeing monstrous things he could never imagine, but the man told him to focus and to cast an ice storm. The wizard obeyed and it was the largest he had ever done. Yet, he was still safe and could control it! Finally, the man approached him and congratulated him. When asked what for, the Breton changed.

He transformed himself into a toga-wearing Dremora, and laughed. “It is because I have finally found someone worthy! For I am Sanguine, friend, and you shall be my champion! Accept and be showed in much more power, gold, drink and women. Refuse and be forever shunned. Do you accept?”

The wizard’s eyes blazed with delight and a sly smile crossed his lips, before he lifted his hand up and took another swig on the Balmora Blue. Sanguine’s laugh could be heard into Oblivion and beyond.

- Excerpt from the book ‘The Tale of Sanguine’s Champion’



Even a Lurker is powerless against Sanguine's best

The Worshipper of Sanguine is pretty much Sanguine’s apprentice on Nirn. He’s a ladies man, loves to drink everything from wine to mead to Balmora Blue, partake in several illegal activities such as dog fights and brewing skooma, and was actually once a respected wizard. But after being swindled by Sam, aka Sanguine, he’s wandered the land spreading Sanguine’s merry and sinful joy to all who would listen.830849093?profile=original

The Worshipper of Sanguine is essentially, if you strip him down to the core, a basic summoner. But rather than the typical ‘sit-back-and-watch-my-minions-fight’ summoner, he happily leaps right in the fray to join in the fight! With destruction magic and unarmed combat, he happily slows enemies down with frost magic before beating them to a pulp when his magicka runs dry. Combine this all together with some fun roleplaying elements, this build is set up for a sinful ride.1

((Disclaimer: This build is designed to be playable on vanilla Skyrim, however, it was tested on PC with 
many mods installed. If I have missed something, please let me know!))

Race: Altmer, for the skills boost. Breton, Redguards and Dunmer would also be suitable races.

Stats: 3/1/0 Stamina isn’t a vital skill, so just really focus on health and magicka. 

Major Skills:
 Conjuration, Destruction, Alteration

Minor Skills: Speech, Heavy Armor, Enchanting

Stone: Mage, then Lord

Shouts: Slow Time, Unrelenting Force, Soul Tear, Whirlwind Sprint, Disarm

Follower: Cosnach. Mainly for RP reasons as he is a dunk, but he’s not too shabby in combat either.

Notable Spells: Conjure Dremora Lord, Freeze, Ebony Flesh, Ice Storm, Blizzard, Conjure Storm Atronach, Conjure Seeker, Summon Arniel’s Shade, Soul Trap, and Summon Arvak.



830851618?profile=originalConjuration: Can we take a minute to think about the possibilities and the overall badassery of the Conjuration school? Think about it, we can pull elemental warriors and Daedra from Oblivion to serve us, use Daedric souls as weapons AND raise the dead to terrorise our foes! It’s only fitting to use such a skill for a Worshipper of Sanguine and will be the number one offense for him. I’ll be ignoring the Necromancer perks and focusing on the atronach side of things.


830852746?profile=RESIZE_180x180Destruction: When your atronachs are overwhelmed with trouble, fighting fire with fire (or rather, frost) is the only way to go. While runes are useful for some builds, these won’t be used at all here as they do not suit the playstyle of the Worshipper. Focus instead on the frost spells, particularly Frostbite, Ice Storm, Freeze and Blizzard.


830853934?profile=originalAlteration: Vital for any mage. With both spell absorption and blocking from certain Alteration perks, defence will not be a problem for this mage. On top of that, there are a few offensive-styled spells at out arsenal too, such as Paralyse, Ash Shell and Mass Paralyse. Detect spells will also be useful for scouting out an area before charging in.





Speech: An extremely underused skill, in my opinion, mainly for the fact it doesn’t help anyone apart from thieves. From a moral stand-point, the Worshipper of Sanguine often gets in trouble with the law so this skill is used to replicate his ‘silver-tongue’ for getting out of trouble. Oh and we get the Allure perk, for how could a ladies man not use this perk? 


830855150?profile=originalHeavy Armor:
 Our final armor set will feature the elusive Daedric gauntlets and boots. All perks taken here will only be for increased defence (Juggernaut) and unarmed brawling (Fists of Steel). For when the Magicka runs out, the Worshipper of Sanguine throws down his staves and fights back with sheer muscle.



830856396?profile=originalEnchanting: Sanguine was said to have created the twenty-seven Webspinners of Mephala for the Morag Tong so it only seems fitting that his Worshipper would follow in his footsteps and take this skill. Unlike other builds that utilise enchanting, this skill won’t be using the perk Extra Effect.





Gold and Emerald Circlet (Magicka Regen)
Gold Necklace (Fortify Magicka)
Tavern Clothes (Regen Magicka)
Daedric Gauntlets (Fortify Unarmed Damage)
Gold and Emerald Ring (Regen Magicka)
Ahzidal's Ring of Arcana
Daedric Boots (Resist Shock)
Sanguine’s Rose

By end game, this will be your final gear. Getting Daedric armor isn’t difficult without smithing, but at the same time, it’s not exactly simple. Hit up the Atronach forge once you grab the Sigil Stone from the Conjuration Ritual spell. If you’re no fussy with having pre-enchanted gear, simply use the method which involves Void Salts, Daedra Heart and a filled Great, Grand or Black Soul Gem. Otherwise, you’ll need to buy some Ebony Gauntlets and Boots, a Black Soul Gem and find some Centurion Dynamo Cores. I find this way better, as the ingredients needed are not as rare and I can customise my gear.

Tavern Clothes are only found on several NPCs and can be extremely hard to find. Killing Alva during Laid to Rest will yield a copy, and killing Rhiada during the Forsworn fight in the Treasury House (though this will earn a bounty) will get you a set too. Morgrul in Raven Rock also wears them (the only male to do so) but you can only kill him during the quest, A New Debt. The only way to get them without killing is to loot the body behind the bar in Liar’s Retreat OR to start Blood on the Ice and loot Susanna the Wicked’s body before it is taken to the Hall of the Dead.


Your first weapon of choice for combat will be Sanguine’s Rose but it won’t be the stave you first find as the quest is locked till Level 10 (and I’ll talk more about that later on) and you’ll probably come across some generic ones in loot. My first staff was actually the Wabbajack, something I wasn’t planning on using for this build, but I later realised the absolute beauty of it. I won’t go through all the stats and chances’ but simply link you to this beautiful guide by Henson which will tell you all you need to know about it. Don’t bother using other Conjuration staves, you can use the Destruction ones early on, but by the time you get decent unarmed damage, you should ditch them. This is the type of build where your only back-up is your fists.

Finally, you’ll need Ahzidal’s Ring of the Arcana, one of the best enchanted rings in the game. The quest itself is pretty lengthy but it’s well-worth the reward at the end. Freeze is a great little spell, but be warned – It can become weaker at high levels. Switch it out for your enchanted ring when you gain all your Enchanting perks.



The first thing you should do after getting out of Helgen is head to Whiterun and get the carriage to Solitude and find Dervenin, which will prompt you to start Mind of Madness. Like I said before, it’s an amazing weapon, but one of chance so wield an offhand spell to counter any negative effects (such as your foe turning into a Dremora Lord or becoming invisible). Join the College as soon as you can to get access to trainers and merchants. Another great quest to do early on would be The Black Star to gain a permanent soul gem in your inventory.

At first, you’re going to be extremely squishy. Get Faendel to be your meatshield for Bleak Falls Barrow and after heading to Whiterun, if you do happen to do so, and pick up Uthgerd the Unbroken as a replacement follower. From there, do a few radiant quests to not only get your skills up but also to gain some decent coin for armor and spells. I avoided getting the Main Quest started until I was Level 20-ish so I wasn’t bombarded by dragons.

Until you get the Gloves of the Pugilist and the Fists of Steel perk, unarmed combat will be useless so take the time to blast out Destruction spells in order to level. Soul trapping foes once you get enough magicka will not only level up your Conjuration significantly, but give you plenty of souls for enchanting later. I am pretty against grinding it by zapping your horse with it, but if you find it levelling too slow, feel free to try that.

830864797?profile=RESIZE_930xOnce you get to the point where you can hold your own without a follower, combat becomes much easier. I personally hate relying on followers and summons because it just gets boring. So, I quickly got the gloves early on and disenchanted them to enchant my own Orchish Gauntlets with. Always upgrade to better gauntlets as soon as you can to get a better AR.

Now, combat is all about sizing up your opponent because running straight in is just a death trap. Just because sneak isn’t used as a skill, don’t think you can’t sneak into a dungeon anyway. For heavy hitters (bandit chiefs, I’m looking at you), summon your Dremora Lord from Sanguine’s Rose close by to let him deal with it. Use a Flame Atronach to flank other weaker bandits and isolate one to take on unarmed. If not in a group, weak lone enemies can be taken out with a few punches. 

Mages are more fun to deal with. Start off by getting your summon of choice (I prefer the Storm Atronach as he is big and bulky, but can also do long-range attacks) to become a shield for you while you fire off spells from behind. Once the mage has used up his Magicka, if he has not died yet, you can rush out with Whirlwind Sprint and beat him to a pulp with your fists!

And finally, for those overgrown flying lizards known as dragons, I say only this… Wabbajack, Wabbajack, Wabbajack! Why? Simply because when fighting dragons, the frost, fire or shock explosion damage from the Wabbajack always works. Dragons cannot be healed, turned invisible, transformed or instant-killed. Wield the Sanguine’s Rose off-hand to inflict more damage with your summoned Dremora Lord.




830867495?profile=originalSkooma and Moon Sugar doesn’t really cause any negative effects in Skyrim, but Sleeping Tree Sap (and Red Water Skooma) provides the unique effect ‘Drugged’, which not only restores 25 stamina but provides a pink lens over your vision and slows you down. The Worshipper of Sanguine can take advantage of this, however, and thus, he uses the Dragon Shout Tiid Klo Ul (Slow Time) to slow his enemies down while he freezes them in a never-ending blizzard.

Sleeping Tree Sap/Red Water Skooma + Slow Time Shout + Blizzard

830867661?profile=original* Your morality for your Worshipper of Sanguine is entirely up to you, the player. I felt that this build is suited for more neutral or evil characters than good, and I played mine as the latter, a true ‘take-no-prisoners-and-do-anything-for-power’ wizard who would steal, murder and ignore the law.

* Make sure to grab all the alcohol you can find, as well as skooma, redwater skooma, sleeping tree sap and moon sugar. I went one step further and gathered up a few tankards, goblets and empty wine bottles. After going through Morvaskar, I had over sixty, and that was just of the one variety. Dump them in your 830868257?profile=RESIZE_930xhouse.


* Try and spend at least a few moments in a tavern or bar each day, drinking at least a few bottles of wine or mead each time, and engage in brawls whenever you can. If possible, use the brawl option in all speech challenges.

* Weapons are for the weak. Magic is might, after all, and the Worshipper of Sanguine is determined to prove that even when a mage’s magicka reserve runs dry, they are still formidable in combat.

* An appropriate person to marry would be Ysolda, given her after-hours activities. Other good options include Cosnach, because he’s a drunk like you, or Muiri (but only if you join the Dark Brotherhood and kill Nilsense for her). With Hearthfire, where you build your house shouldn’t matter too much so pick the location of your choice (I used the Pale, for it was the closest to the Dawnstar Sanctuary.) And remember Worshipper of Sanguine isn’t really cut out to be a family man… So no children.



The following quests are only ones that will suit a more neutral Worshipper. If you’re feeling more good-aligned, feel free to do more radiant quests and help out the citizens of Skyrim. If you’re playing a more evil character like I am, it is perfectly acceptable to join the Dark Brotherhood or the Thieves Guild. It is entirely up to you. The one questline that doesn’t suit the Worshipper of Sanguine would be any that support the 830873521?profile=RESIZE_320x320divines or the ‘good’ Daedric Princes (Azura exempted) and the Companions, due to their stance on magic users.

With Dawnguard, I felt rather conflicted. I didn’t feel like he needed to fight the vampires yet I didn’t think he suited being one either. In the end, I decided to not do Dawnguard and play along without. Of course, you can choose either side if you wish to.

College of Winterhold, Main Quest, Mind of Madness, A Night To Remember, The Black Star, Dragonborn Main Quest, Tel Mithryn Quests, Unearthed, Black Books, and any quest that requires finding knowledge or doing rather ‘sinful’ things (such as the Sleeping Tree Sap unmarked quest).


I hope you enjoyed this build as it has been one of my most favourite, roleplaying-wise. I’d like to thank Miraak for the perks spreads, Nebula for proof-reading my backstory (and listening to me ramble about the build, ha), Alastor for advice, Henson for his Wabbajack guide and everyone who reads, likes, comments and keeps me motivated to post builds. Enjoy!


1. Tae-Rai does not encourages the use of skooma, alcoholism, moon sugar, naked rampages or fighting dragons naked in anyway. You should all follow the teachings of our lord and saviour, Uncle Sheo, and live long and prosper.

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  • Woudn't the wedding outfit (male) look good in combination with this build? I like this build, two of my favourite princes. More on the fun side, doesn't take itself too seriously.

    • Wait, dudes can wear the wedding outfit?

      • Yeah but it's like a unique variant (colour) of noble clothes, looks kinda cool.
  • Another great build of yours Tae-Rai, also don't forget your Rank:Apprentice tag

  • Great build ! I think themod sugar Atronach would be very fitting for this character.

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