Welcome to the second ever Character Building Contest! This is a build that was a joint effort of my good friend Hainesy and myself. With the theme of the contest being racial builds it was only fitting that we chose something of racial importance. We settled on a legendary faction that is very seldom spoke of.
The Bal Molagmer
Growing up watching my father, hearing about my grandfather and Gentleman Jim Stacey resurrecting the legendary Bal Molagmer I knew that was my path. My destiny. It is in my blood to do this, help the poor, give to the ones in need, to punish the corrupt. All the stories my father told me about Gentleman Stacy and The Great Neveraine recruiting my very own grandfather to help rebuild this incredible faction was just awe inspiring. I got to watch and hear about how my father followed in his footsteps, building his own legacy as a part of this new Bal Molagmer of Vvardenfell to compete with the Camonna Tong. Slowly but surely we did woo the people on Vvardenfell, and more and more people learned about this new, Yet prestigious faction known as... The Bal Molagmer.
It was now my turn to wear the gloves. Yet after much success and rapidly learning from my father and other members of the Guild, it seemed we had hit a ceiling. The Bal Molagmer was doing great and gained much appreciation from the city and its people. Then, after The Red Year, the Argonians knew we were weak, fragile, in no condition to fight. They attacked and conquered much of Morrowind. They were seeking retribution for the many years they were enslaved and their lost lands. I had no choice but to flee, the battlefield is no place for a thief. It was either run or die. My father chose to stay and it led to his demise, at the ripe old age of 281. I fled and roamed Tamriel looking for a place to settle and hopefully pick up where i left off. Now my travels have landed me in Skyrim, Home of the Nords. I don’t know the land, or the people. But I certainly do not feel welcomed here, not that I am too fond of the people anyway. But one thing is for sure… I will write my own legacy like my father and his father, and I will revive the Bal Molagmer again.
Stone: Thief then Tower
Stats: 3 / 1 / 2
Skills: Alchemy, Alteration, Destruction, Illusion, Light Armor, Sneak, (One-Handed, Archery, Pickpocket, Lockpicking)
Head – Thieves’ Guild Master Hood
Body – Thieves’ Guild Master Armor
Hands – Vampire Gloves
Feet – Blackguard Boots
Necklace – Fortify Lockpicking
Ring – Fortify Pickpocket
Weapons – Ebony Sword, Ebony Bow
In the Dunmer language, Bal Molagmer means “Stone Fire Men.” This could be a hint at their strong willpower and righteous attitude. As you see, they are no ordinary thieves, in fact they are almost the opposite; they steal from those they deem unjust to give to those in need rather than stealing from anyone and reaping the rewards. As with any Dunmer they do have a vindictive side, they generally do not kill anyone, but punishing is not out of the question. It is only fitting that these thieves are Dunmer because it takes a great deal of respect and the ability to remain reserved and level headed to perform their duties.
The Bal Molagmer were recogonized by their special gloves. These gloves were used to transport rocks and other things to and from Red Mountain. Because of this, these gloves were specially made to hold the hottest of things imaginable; giving the Bal Molagmer, like many Dunmer, the ability to manipulate fire, but more so then the average dark elf.
Although they were thieves, the were adept fighters like many Dunmer. They favored the sword more than other weapons for its weight and reach. Although they were naturally skilled in combat, they could never compete with those who go through formal training such as the Imperial Soldiers. Which should never be a problem as the Bal Molagmer,like most thieves, are against murder.
Skills and Equipment
The challenge started right away when we were faced with the task of creating a master thief without Pickpocket and Lockpicking perks. This means missing out on some amazing perks such as Misdirection, Perfect Touch, Skeleton Key and the multipliers; all essential perks to the normal thief. The Bal Molagmer really shows his knowledge of the field by using alternative methods to help him. One is the use of pre-enchanted armor to boost the skill rather than using the perks. With the Blackguard Boots and one piece of jewelry of Peerless Deft Hands, you can raise your pickpocket success rate by 80%. Same holds true for Lockpicking, except we sacrifice the second boost in favor of the unique gloves the Bal Molagmer are known for, simple appearance but they are able to absorb drastic amounts of heat. Instead of getting that Lockpicking boost though, we pick up the rarely seen Tower Stone. This becomes imperative at higher levels because without the normal perks this gives you the option to open any chest up to Expert level once a day, which means you can quickly clear what you need to. Just something to note, without some of the perks, these skills rely a lot on the player’s personal skill level, but even that is remedied slightly when you add in the fact that you raise your success rate as the skill itself levels and the option of adding potions to the mix.
Alchemy is used for a couple things early on. First, it will give you the chance become a better thief early on by boosting Pickpocket, Lockpicking and Sneak. Next it gives you access to Invisibility early, before you become an expert Illusionist. This really helps since you will have relatively low sneak and will be kind of squishy.
Sadly, it is pretty difficult to go through the whole game and completely avoid combat. So for those times when it is absolutely necessary you have the calling card of the Dunmer: Destruction magic. Fire is the one of choice for many reasons; one it stays true the history of Dunmer who are known to excel in fire magics; secondly it will do far more damage than any unsmithed, unperked weapon at higher levels; and lastly it gives you Intense Flames which opens up a couple different combat situations. Not to mention, this makes Aspect of Terror boost the damage of all fire damage by 10%.
The main reason for Illusion was originally Muffle and Invisibility, but as it all came together it was imperative that Aspect of Terror and Master of the Mind complimented the use of fire too much to pass up. With Master of the Mind and some self-control, you can refrain from killing just about anything that you do not have to, without even having to switch to actual Illusion spells. The biggest oddity here may be that there is no Quiet-Casting, personally I felt like it made sneaking too easy and it did not seem to fit the thief perspective because it lends more towards a silent mage style.
In order to protect yourself, you will utilize Sneak, rather than a high armor rating. Sneak gives you access to abilities every thief should have. For one, Silent Roll, Silence and Muffle Movement are important because they allow you to maneuver around enemies silently and avoid combat as much as possible. When required to kill someone, sneak attacks are pretty much the only consistent way to finish someone because of having no perks in One-Handed, Two-Handed, or Archery and the use of enchantments to bolster more thief like skills rather than those previously mentioned. But since you are not an assassin either, you will only take Backstab and use an Ebony Sword rather than an overpowered dagger. You will aloso have access to your bow, but you will not be using it to kill! Hence the lack of Deadly Aim. But instead it is just another one your tools for sneaking around. The Ebony weapons were the perfect fit for a Dunmer since according to lore Ebony is made from the volcanic glass found under the lava flows of Red Mountain, not to mention all Dunmer are known for being adept in the use of swords and bows.
Finally, Light Armor and Alteration are lightly perked to give you back up options if all else fails. Light Armor needed to be perked in order to get to Unhindered which is necessary if you want to move smoothly and have loads of extra carry weight coupled with the Thieves Guild Master Armor. The other perks are so you do not die in one shot if it comes down to it. Then there is Alteration, this is used solely for the Ash Shell spell which acts as your fail safe.
Being a third generation Bal Molagmer has given you a knowledge of the job that even master thieves do not have. The ability to steal from the unjust is usually a difficult task as the majority of these people are well armed, well secured, and generally do not care about anyone else’s wellbeing.
For those times, you have many tricks. First is Invisibilty and Muffle. This is obviously the best way to go about business. The ability to move around undetected is honestly ridiculous, but is not always an option since you do not have the ability to silently cast these spells. To open up holes though, you may use your trusty bow to distract enemies and move them out of the area. Do so with caution though because depending on how far from them you are and how far from the arrows shot you are, they may detect you. Sometimes you must rely on just purely sneaking around or sometimes, combat is inevitable.
Combat is very interesting considering you are not a master of any offense style, but you use natural talent and your tricks to succeed. Remember you are a thief and killing is generally against your code unless it is unavoidable, and there will be times where it is. Early on when your bare weapon is actually capable of dealing damage it will be your main source. Power attacks are tremendous as it gives you a chance to escape if you need to while your enemy is staggered. That split second is legitimately enough with your trusty Invisibility and Muffle potions! In this situation potions are better as they do not make noise when you use them. Be wary of running out of potions though.
Eventually you will begin to lean more on your fire magic. Dual-Casting and Augmented Flames allow you to out damage your sword pretty early, but that is not necessarily a good thing when you are trying not to kill anyone. Waiting until you get to Impact is when fire magic really begins to take over. Rather than throwing yourself in harm’s way you can stun opponents from a safe distance before attempting a retreat.
Soon you will not retreat right away. You will want to punish your enemies for their wrong doings. Once you have Intense Flames you can slowly torture your enemies until they run in fear of dying. This is where you choose their fate. Some people must die in order to continue your journey, such as Mercer Fray, and others are irrelevant. After they have fled you have the option to return to the shadows and continue your business as usual. Or you can return the shadows with sword in hand and kill them. The 6x multiplier of Backstab is more than sufficient when your enemy has 20% of health or less.
Lastly, you have your master escape plan if you ever are overwhelmed. Being raised around the lands of Morrowind has given you an insight into not only fire magic, but ash as well. So much so that you have become able to manipulate it as well and use it to your advantage. With your back against the wall you can unleash a fury of Ash Shells encasing all foes around you while you make your grand escape.
Your ultimate goal upon arriving in Skyrim was to spread the influence and ideals of the Bal Molagmer to return it to its legendary status.
Since the Red Year and the tragic events that followed the Dunmer have been spread across Tamriel. This only strengthened their views of family and clannish ideals and as a result you will not steal from or kill any Dunmer.
As a member of Bal Molagmer you have a code to honor, therefore you will not steal from just anyone and you will refrain from murder as much as possible. You shall only steal from the unjust such as bandits. You will not kill any humans unless absolutely necessary. Undead and Daedra on the other hand are not so fortunate.
With the goods you steal or are given, you will give them to the needy. Beggars are constantly asking for some coin and you shall provide. While in cities and towns you will drop your excess equipment and goods. Anyone who picks it up can keep it.
Once you become Guild Master you will start to get gifts from the thieves of Skyrim, these shall also be given to the people and gives the illusion that the guild is actually following the Bal Molagmer and giving the things they steal to those in need as well. As a result, you have once again resurrected legendary faction of the Bal Molagmer.
Thanks for reading guys! My partner and I really had a great time coming up with this. It was definitely a challenge, but I am glad I finally got to work with my best friend Hainesy. I hope the contests to come are all this fun and good luck to everyone!
Credit for the screenshots goes to Zimbu as always.
If you guys liked the idea of this build or you have much darker desires, go check out Henson's Camonna Tong They are the rival faction of the Bal Molagmer and the whole reason the Bal Molagmer was revived. Henson does a great job integrating the lore and symbolism of the Camonna Tong together. If anything, by reading that you will know exactly what NOT to do when playing this build.