~A Path Paved by Blood~
4E 176: As the last light of Magnus fell behind the mountains’ peaks, utterly swallowed by Nirn’s horizon, blazing beacons lit throughout the stone citadel, Markarth. Silently, a silhouette rose before the grandest pyre, which threatened to consume him within its conflagration. Thundering from the miniscule man, an impossibly deafening voice wracked the blood-soaked streets with sermon, “The bear is but a cub, young, naïve, and ignorant of that which threatens it. His execution will be simple, Brothers and Sisters! Ulfric will fall to our blades today, and we will wear the Bear’s skin with pride!" Shouts of agreement bellowed through the streets of Markarth, Madanach’s ire filling desolate hearts with unbound courage and might.
Beams of iridescent light seeped through the blood-splattered stained-glass windows of Talos’s temple, falling upon the crude guise of Hircine – a makeshift shrine erected to honor the Lord of the Hunt. Bone fragments and splintered skulls litter the floor, scattered in some incomprehensible arrangement. Roused from his rumination by the commotion outside, a solemn figure arose from the rubble. Doom befalls the ignorant man; Ulfric’s forces are mightier than we know – the thought permeated his mind. Despite his counsel, the Tribe refused to heed his warnings, instead following Madanach’s paradigm.
Pulling scraps of leathery parchment - transcribed with blood - from a deer-hide satchel, the figure began to execute a sacred ritual. Taking a wicked blade of twisted bone, he slit his hand and used the gushing wound to fill a wooden bowl, pausing for only a brief moment to revel in the glorious smell before placing the vessel at the shrine’s foot – an offering of crimson given painfully to the lord of the hunt. He took a bear’s claw and a boar’s tusk, grinding them together with a mortar and pestle, adding drops of blood as needed, and poured its contents into the bowl. Following, he crushed a clove of garlic with his cut left palm, allowing the amalgam to drip among the contents of the offering. Finally, taking the blessed bowl in his hands, he drank the concoction. Instantaneously, painfully, hair erupted from his back, while his jaw brandished a pair of bloodied iron tusks; Hircine’s blessing coursed through his veins. He gave the shrine one final nod before tossing his apothecary’s satchel over his shoulder and departing the temple, ready to face his fate at the gates of Markarth.
4E 201: He gawked at the lone stone table, splattered with viscera and glass, remnants of his rage while awakening. Alone in an unknown Hagraven’s lair, he stood, contemplating why she would bring him back; Hagravens are characteristically egotistic, and he had never known of a matron going to such lengths to help another creature, much less restore them to life. Perhaps she foresaw something veiled to him.
Furthermore, he was aware a significant length of time passed since he last breathed. It struck him. The air tasted different, the ever-present smell of crisp vegetation no longer filled his nostrils, replaced by an unknown pungent odor that was revolting to behold.
Has the air changed, or have I? he pondered, eyes fervently darting between the strange instruments strewn about the lab. Terrified of the implications of his situation, he attempted to beckon the beast from within. Desperation crossed his mind, followed by grief, as he concluded that the beast’s blood no longer flowed through his veins.
As his conscience faded momentarily, a new ire ignited within his desolate heart. With newfound passion and intent, he tore a few repulsive feathers from the Hag’s corpse, grabbed the briarheart from the table, and finally took his first steps outside the cave, resolute to reclaim his shifting powers and take his rightful place as head chieftain of the Reachmen.
After seeing this spectacular contest, I finally decided to join the site and formulate my first character build. From the looks of it, the competition is quite stiff, and all the builds I have seen so far are absolutely phenomenal, so I wish the other contestants the best of luck.
I absolutely adore the Forsworn in their entirety and was gravely disappointed when Skyrim failed to illustrate their story properly, giving us only a single questline to understand their place in Nirn. What information we are given of their people is brief and scattered throughout the province of Skyrim, bestowed unto us via book; however, we can draw further information through implied messages in their many dungeons, strongholds, and fortifications. Their religion is a largely an enigma, but a few traits can be discerned. Their pantheon differs from any other culture on Tamriel, consisting of an amalgamation of Aedric and Daedric spirits. Their pantheon also consists of the Et’Ada, or “original spirits.” Furthermore, the natural world - both plants and animals - play a large role in their society, seen through quests like The Blessings of Nature, where we retrieve Nettlebane, a dagger specifically forged to sacrifice Spriggans, from a Hagraven. The Reachmens' spiritualism largely reflects the real-world Celts, whose religious leaders, the Druids, communed with the spirits of the natural world and saw that all life was intertwined. Utilizing skills and techniques attributed to both the Forsworn and Celtic Druids, I sought to create a build that pays homage to the underappreciated Reachmen. This build applies alchemy and various magical skills to produce a compelling fanatic shaman of Hircine, whose reverence of the Lord of the Hunt is so zealous that he adopts the form of beasts to rip a bloody hole in the Reach, reclaiming his rightful home with claw, fang, and spell. Without further ado, I present the Chimera.
Race: Breton Werewolf – The Chimera is one of the Reachmen, and while Bretons are a separate race, they are the closest you can come to the Reachmen without mods. The extra magic resistance and dragonskin ability work quite well with the Chimera's werewolf form.
Stats: 3/1/0, until base Magicka hits 250, then put every point into health. With all of the Chimera’s gear, he should have a max Magicka around 310, more than enough for his hybrid playstyle.
Standing Stone: Lord >>> Lady; since the Chimera wields the ring of the hunt, he may benefit from the lady stone's regenerative properties, and coupled with his great knowledge of elixirs, the Chimera can augment his beast form to be incredibly durable. Use the Lord stone early on while the Chimera levels his Alteration skill.
Shrine Blessing: Azura
Black Books: Secret of Arcana, Seeker of Shadows
Abilities: Most passive abilities transfer to Werewolf form, so the Chimera makes use of the following skills.
- Agent of Mara: 10% extra magic resistance for dealing with mages, especially while transformed, is quite useful.
- Sinderion’s Serendipity: A 25% chance to create two potions helps cut back on potion making cost, especially useful for hard to acquire reagents like Spriggan Sap.
- Dragon Infusion: 25% resistance to dragon melee attacks stacks quite well with the Chimera's already formidable defenses. Imperative for late game dragon slaughtering.
- Ethereal Spirit: 25% more health regeneration while ethereal. A useful skill to have while in humanoid form. Step back, take a breath, and recover.
- Totem of Brotherhood: Summoning two spiritual allies while in Werewolf form can quickly shift a battle to your favor or serve as an effective distraction if the Chimera needs to skulk away and heal.
"You want to know who the Forsworn are? We are the people who must pillage our own land. Burn our own ground. We are the scourge of the Nords. The axe that falls in the dark. The scream before the gods claim your soul. We are the true sons and daughters of the Reach. The spirits and hags have lived here from the beginning, and they are on our side. Go back. Go back and tell your Empire that we will have our own kingdom again. And on that day, we will be the ones burying your dead in a land that is no longer yours."
-Cortoran, Consultant of the Chimera
- Lycanthropy: As one of Hircine’s gifted, the Chimera is bestowed with the boon of lycanthropy, which is used to take on the ultimate avatar of Hircine's bestial might. Take all perks from this tree, since there is no consequence for doing so. As the Chimera levels up, his claws do more damage and he gains an innate damage resistance while shifted.
- Alchemy: Prior to and during combat, the Chimera augments his physical form with elixirs made from the creatures of Skyrim, taking on bestial traits such as bear’s hide, eagle’s eyes, or boar’s strength. Alchemy is the one and only crafting skill used in the build as I wanted to maximize gameplay while minimizing grinding; let this skill develop naturally to enhance your gameplay experience. I have seen several builds that utilize alteration and destruction to enhance one’s werewolf form, but rarely have I seen alchemy included in the list, and never have I seen all three. I find it highly ironic that, despite lore stating otherwise, Werewolves are unable to heal naturally while transformed. Furthermore, most builds that utilize the Alchemy tree focus heavily upon the poisoner branch, while the Chimera devotes his practice exclusively to the beneficial draught branch. This skill, plus the ring of the hunt, enables you to achieve incredible levels of regeneration. When creating elixirs that fortify skills or stats, the Chimera will try to always use at least one animal material, which alters his transformation when consuming the concoction. For example, using chaurus eggs might cause him to grow chitinous plates, or utilizing salmon roe may cause him to grow gills along his neck. Snakeblood is an often overlooked perk which halves poison damage from not only outside sources, but the Chimera's own potions as well. It greatly expands his arsenal to include many elixirs with detrimental effects that would normally go ignored.
- Alteration: The Chimera is a skilled shaman of the Forsworn tribe and utilizes alteration to bolster his defenses, sprouting scales of stone, iron, or even ebony. The defensive properties bestowed by this tree are vital to making the build viable in later gameplay. While this skill and light armor may seem counter-intuitive, Werewolves are unarmored, so they benefit from mage armor. Additionally, the spell resistance perks of the tree, such as atronach and magic resistance, fill an important niche in the build.
- Destruction: The Chimera harnesses powerful elemental forces to weaken his foes, peppering them with bolts of fire and lightning before closing the distance to eliminate them in melee combat. Furthermore, the Chimera produces elemental cloaks that carry over into his savage werewolf form. In addition, the Chimera makes use of the formidable Whirlwind cloak.
- One Handed: Avoid perking this too heavily, as the core of the Chimera’s gameplay is centered around his role as a shaman and bestial shifter; however, he is also an experienced combatant and can swing a sword quite well.
- Light Armor: Since this build does not utilize Hircine’s ring, the Chimera is limited to only a single transformation per day. He requires additional protection to increase his survivability.
- Enchanting: While the Chimera does not apply enchanting to his skills, he benefits greatly from taking the soul squeezer perk, which reduces the amount of soul gems he will need to purchase.
- Dragon Aspect: Interestingly, Dragon Aspect still works after transforming into werewolf form, so this shout has a unique application for this build – buffing damage and effectiveness considerably.
- Become Ethereal: A great defensive shout for recuperating during a drawn-out fight; however, this may be turned offensive should the Chimera cast a cloak spell before becoming ethereal, as the cloak still functions as normal. When it becomes available, meditate on the word Feim, for 25% more health regeneration while ethereal.
- Dragonrend: A vital shout for later gameplay, since dragons boast huge health pools. Forcing them to land allows the Chimera to tear into them with his claws.
- Whirlwind Sprint: Applications for this often-overlooked shout are numerous. The Chimera can close distance between himself and enemies, flee quickly if he needs to recover, or hasten travel speeds. Overall, a great shout for a battlemage skirmisher.
- Marked for Death: A phenomenal shout that allows the Chimera to remain a skillful melee combatant throughout your playthrough. Furthermore, since the Chimera uses no companions, there is no need to worry about accidently striking them with the shout.
- Animal Allegiance: Never underestimate the power of turning a pack of animals on your foes. Especially useful in Falmer infested caves, since they keep powerful animal companions.
- Call Dragon: Summon the Chimera’s greatest bestial ally to lay waste to swaths of enemies. This shout is particularly useful for clearing outdoor areas quickly, and the only thing more fearsome than a mutated werewolf is a mutated werewolf with a dragon in his pocket. In use, serves a similar purpose as the Storm Call shout, but fits within the Chimera’s repertoire better.
Ring of the Hunt: Frostmoon Crag. Perhaps the most important item in this build, the ring of the hunt allows the chimera to heal while transformed. This is the primary mechanic exploited to produce a highly durable werewolf that excels in drawn-out combat; being able to flee and heal - rather than having to find humanoids to consume - augments werewolf combat into something unique.
Ring of Namira: The Taste of Death. While the Chimera does not revere Namira, this artifact allows him to consume corpses while in his humanoid form. Additionally, since the ring’s regenerative traits remain even after unequipping it, they carry over into werewolf form, further bolstering the Chimera’s regenerative properties and allowing him to wield the powerful ring of the hunt.
Armor and Headdress of the Old Gods: The Forsworn Conspiracy. Since this build does not utilize enchanting, the Chimera requires a pre-enchanted set of light armor. No other set works quite as well as the Old Gods set, which not only provides significant enhancements to the Chimera’s arsenal but allows him to don the attire of a true Forsworn shaman. Replacing the gauntlets and boots with Forsworn counterparts seems to amend the bug that causes those items to disappear. The reverent silhouette of Hircine will be the last thing those Nord curs see before the Chimera sends them to the Hunting Grounds, destined to perish at the hands of ravenous beasts for all eternity.
Predator’s Grace: Hag’s End. Predator’s Grace completely muffles the Chimera, making potions of invisibility a viable escape tactic mid-battle, since enemies will be unable to track his movement.
Morokei: The Staff of Magnus. Useful for when the Chimera wishes to adopt a more magical approach to combat. Light armor status plus double Magicka regeneration provides significant support to the Chimera’s combative skills.
Krosis: Shearpoint. The Chimera lacks the enchanting skill, and Krosis is a set item that allows him to bolster his alchemy skill. It also lets him focus on archery, if you wish to lean into that tree more heavily.
The Gauldur Amulet: Forbidden Legend. An amulet that boasts a net stat upgrade of 90 points, or a full 9 levels of advancement? Perfect for the build, since the Chimera uses Magicka, health, and stamina. Additionally, the amulet’s aesthetic is perfect for the build’s theme.
Staff of Hag’s Wrath: Repentance. A useful staff that punishes foes for approaching the Chimera; great for when he needs to take a moment to re-apply buffs or regenerate Magicka. Simply lay down a substantial wall of fire and take a moment to breathe.
Eye of Melka: The Affairs of Hagravens. Great for when the Chimera runs low on Magicka and wishes to preserve his potions. Bombard his foes with destructive fireballs. Repeat as needed.
Gauldur Blackblade: Forbidden Legend. Since this can be found on the same enemy which drops a quintessential piece of the Chimera’s amulet of choice, there is no reason to not use the sword. An absorb health enchantment works especially well when adopting an offensive stance.
Red Eagle’s Bane: The Legend of Red Eagle. Thematically perfect for the Chimera, since he wishes to lead the Forsworn. Claiming this legendary weapon serves as a self-imposed rite of passage.
The White Phial: The White Phial. An interesting trait of the White Phial is that its effects stack alongside potion buffs, which allows the Chimera to benefit from an additional source of Fortify One-Handed. When prompted, choose “I want to deal more damage in battle.”
Nettlebane: The Blessings of Nature. While not particularly useful on its own, equipping it in the left hand hastens dual wielding attacks, letting the Chimera deal significantly more melee damage. Furthermore, It is thematic to the Chimera's character.
Below are listed several alchemical formulas that the Chimera uses. Feel free to modify the list by adding to it during your playthrough. Rare Curios significantly increases the Chimera’s capabilities by adding a plethora of new reagents to his repertoire, which is why I recommend picking it up. For a one dollar investment, the payoff is remarkable.
- Might of the Bear: Bear Claws, Hawk Feathers, Wheat. The Chimera’s musculature grows, granting him superior physical prowess. This potion of fortify health is highly useful for when the Chimera wishes to switch to melee combat, since it also fortifies one-handed for 60 seconds.
- Elixir of Shifting Tides: Creep Cluster, Grass Pod, River Betty. Minor burgundy scales emerge from the Chimera’s forearms, bestowing the ability to manipulate the physical world more adeptly. This Formula creates a potent concoction that increases the Chimera’s carrying capacity for 300 seconds, restores Magicka, and fortifies alteration for 60 seconds. This is a multi-use potion great for restoring Magicka reserves mid-fight or getting just enough to reapply a flesh spell.
- Quintessence of the Eldritch Boar: Boar Tusk, Glow Dust, Glowing Mushroom. Tusks of pure copper emerge from the Chimera’s jaw, while bristling fur, charged with arcane electricity, erupts from his flesh. This potion grants the Chimera a fortify health effect for 300 seconds. Furthermore, for 60 seconds, the Chimera has increased destruction magic capabilities and a potent resistance to shock damage.
- Sap of the Eldergleam: Red Mountain Flower, Salmon Roe, Taproot. This concoction is exceptionally potent, allowing the Chimera to momentarily bind his soul with a fragment of Aetherius, becoming one with the Et'Ada. When Imbibed, the sap fortifies Magicka by an incredible amount for 5 seconds, so use this to cast a devastating spell. Additionally, it restores expended Magicka, and provides hasted Magicka regeneration for 60 seconds.
- Avian Evasion: Hawk Feathers, Luna Moth Wing, Vampire Dust. Reserved as a last resort, the Chimera will consume this potion when he finds himself in a pinch. Donning the feathers of a bone-hawk, the Chimera can flee stealthily without retribution from his foes. When imbibed, the potion provides invisibility, fortifies his light armor skill for 60 seconds, cures all diseases, and increases his health regeneration for 300 seconds. The cure disease effect may seem useless, as werewolves gain disease immunity, but there is a bug where they may still contract ailments, so this tonic is designed to amend that.
- Essence of the Red Eagle: Ashen Grass Pod, Hawk Beak, Snowberries. Iridescent feathers erupt from the Chimera’s flesh, granting him a formidable buff to fire resistance while also bolstering both shock and frost resistance.
- Aquatic Adaptation: Garlic, Nordic Barnacle, Salmon Roe. This formula produces a potion that grants water breathing and fortifies both Magicka and Health regeneration for 300 seconds. If in a pinch, this brew allows the Chimera to retreat into a body of water, where he may heal and prepare for a counter.
- Carapace Coating: Chaurus Eggs, Garlic, Luna Moth Wing. A thin carapace of illusory plates forms over the Chimera’s skin, bestowing invisibility while his health recovers rapidly for 300 seconds. Additionally, the elixir fortifies stamina for 60 seconds. Carapace Coating also has a damage magicka effect which is halved by the snakeblood perk. Very useful alternative to Avian Evasion.
- Form of the Bear: Might of the Bear + Essence of the Red Eagle + The White Phial + Marked for Death + Red Eagle’s Bane. Sprouting Fur speckled with feathers, this transformation is highly durable and is the Chimera’s signature offensive stance, Useful for quelling irksome mages, since marked for death will eat away their loathsome armor quickly.
- Form of the Eldritch Boar: Quintessence of the Eldritch Boar + Secret of Arcana + Ebonyflesh + Lightning Cloak + Lightning Storm. The Chimera becomes a mote of incomprehensible arcane power, able to manipulate Aetherius unlike any mortal before him. After expending his temporary energy on fortifying his defenses, he lays waste to his foes with a singular beam of raw arcane power.
- Spirit Step: Morokei + Whirlwind Cloak + Aquatic Adaptation + Become Ethereal. The Chimera dissipates his physical form, temporarily merging his soul with Aetherius to recover Health and Magicka rapidly. Utilize the rift where he crossed planes to disorient foes and toss them aside.
- Ire of the Lord of the Hunt: Lady Stone + Namira’s Ring + The Ring of the Hunt + Dragon Aspect + Call Dragon + Elixir of Shifting Tides + Carapace Coating + Quintessence of the Eldritch Boar + Sap of the Eldergleam + Ebonyflesh + Fire/Lightning/Whirlwind Cloak + Beast Form. The Chimera fuses the entirety of his repertoire to transform into a primal locus of rage, a true monstrosity to behold. While complex, this transformation is well worth the cost. In this form, thanks to the ring of the hunt, health regenerates rapidly. Couple that with the formidable ebonyflesh spell and natural damage resistance, the Chimera becomes nigh-invincible. If facing magical enemies, such as dragons or mages, essence of the Red Eagle is recommended as well.
The Chimera is forever changed by Hagraven experimentation; no longer is he a mere Breton, but an amalgamation of countless creatures. All it takes to instigate the beast within is the introduction of the Chimera’s peculiar elixirs. His intent is to restore order to the Forsworn, so that they may spread their influence over the Reach once more. After escaping Helgen, he immediately travels to the Reach, wishing to reunite with his fellow Reachmen. Realizing that they no longer recognize him, he enters Markarth and gets involved with the high tensions there, and reunites with his former leader, Madanach. Determined to ultimately unify the Reachmen tribes under his own banner as Red Eagle once did, the Chimera travels to acquire relics of great power, solidifying his position as leader of the Forsworn. Avoid fast travel and carriages, as the Chimera wishes to keep a low profile until the final steps of his journey.
The Chimera's unique paradigm is shaped by seclusion, hardship, and his devotion to Hircine. Despite his eerie appearance, occult tactics, and hatred of the Stormcloaks, the Chimera behaves similarly to any man. Unlike many of his brethren, the Chimera separates the Stormcloaks from the rest of the Nordic people. He respects their traditions, beliefs, and legacies; after all, the Reachmen are an amalgamation of Breton and Nordic blood, a fusion of the two peoples’ ideals and culture. He is far more levelheaded than most other Reachmen, reserving his ire for only the most despicable. As such, the Chimera despises those who abuse their position, such as Ulfric, who uses his title as Jarl to avoid punishment for his crimes.
Quests to complete early in his journey include: Ill met by Moonlight - slaying Sinding since he defied Hircine, The College of Winterhold, Forbidden Legend, The Legend of Red Eagle, The Companions up until you receive Lycanthropy, The main questline to get the Call Dragon Shout, and any pertinent quest to obtain his necessary gear. Return to the Companions to get the powerful Werewolf Totems. After completing those lines, The Chimera is prepared to complete the first of his deeds as leader of the Forsworn; he aims to slay the Bear of Markarth, Ulfric Stormcloak. Strike a temporary alliance with the Imperial army, work your way through the ranks, and lead the siege of Windhelm, striking Ulfric down with your own hands. Afterwards, work towards fully uniting the Forsworn under your banner by clearing the Reach of threats. Seek out and wipe the Dark Brotherhood off the map as a statement of your will, since they have bastardized the worship of Sithis, one of the Et’Ada, forming a cult that has abandoned the Old Ways. Most importantly, take back Markarth by eliminating the Silver-Bloods in their entirety. By the time the Chimera’s journey ends, Jarl will simply be an honorary title, as he will be the true king of Markarth.
When first engaging in combat, the Chimera takes a cautious approach, utilizing guerrilla tactics to remain hidden while picking off stray enemies with devastating destruction spells. Once direct conflict is eminent, he swiftly shifts to an aggressive stance, donning a flesh spell and cloak of his choice while closing the distance between himself and the nearest foe, drawing his blade to engage in melee combat. This technique is less of a rage and more akin to a blood rush or extreme focus. Finally, if facing dire circumstances, the Chimera abandons any semblance of caution and takes on his potent beast form, augmented by spells and potions. Unlike other lycanthropes, the Chimera retains his grasp on reality, allowing him to act with intelligence during his transformation. This stance fuses the previous two styles, as the Chimera will both use hit-and-run tactics in conjunction with his now overwhelming offensive capabilities.
And Finally, one last tip. Adaptability is the name of the game when playing the Chimera, just be sure to maintain a decent stock of Elixirs before setting out on a quest. If played correctly, any situation should be a breeze. Remember, make use of your shamanic secrets, blast Nords with arcane power, and lead the Forsworn into a new era of authority as undisputed ruler of the Reachmen.
I’ve led my people into a new age of prosperity. No longer must we pillage our own land, slaughter our own people. My pilgrimage in this inhospitable time is complete; boiling ire no longer pulses through my veins like a beast clawing to escape its cage – It and I are one, at peace for now. With our conflict in Skyrim resolved, I set my sight on the setting sun, on High Rock. To the kingships there, we are still but savages – I intend to prove them wrong. For now, though, the hunter rests.
My focus was to create a build that did not rely on mods, rather relying on natural mechanics within the game to produce an effective, engaging build. Likewise, this build was created and tested in Vanilla. The build does use content from the Dragonborn, Dawnguard, and Hearthfire expansions to augment gameplay. While it is not detailed in this build, the Rare Curios creation is a helpful boon, since it adds a plethora of potent reagents to your playthrough.
That said, here is a short compilation of mods that can enhance gameplay:
Unofficial Skyrim Patch - A mod that needs no introduction, this patch amends several developer oversights while adding a handful of features back into the game. Of note, the patch adds Briarheart Geis, a unique forsworn axe that does extra damage to Nords, back into the game. Obtainable at Lost Valley Redoubt.
Portable Alchemy - The ability to craft elixirs without needing to locate an alchemy workbench makes gameplay more streamlined and enjoyable. Simply find or purchase a mortar and pestle.
Reach Magic - This mod adds a plethora of spells and abilities scattered across the Reach that all pertain to the Reachmens' unique magic. The spells are quite engaging and thematic for the Chimera, since they all fall under alteration. It also adds or alters the effects of several Reachmen artifacts. A list of improved artifacts can be found on the mod's page. Using the unique magics bequeathed to the Chimera via Reach Magic, several new techniques become viable in combat. While all the spells prove beneficial to the Chimera, here is a shortened list of recommended spells to utilize.
- Briar Sapling: First and foremost is a spell that reduces the cost of the Chimera’s Reach magic spells by 35%. Paired with the appropriate alteration perks, that brings Magicka reduction for those spells to a total of 85%, allowing the Chimera to reserve the majority of his Magicka for destruction spells. A notable drawback of this spell is that it consumes a Briar heart from the Chimera’s inventory.
- Briar Thorns: A useful flesh spell that has a unique twist. In addition to matching stoneflesh’s armor rating boost of 60, the spell also reflects 15% of all damage dealt to you. While useful in humanoid form, this spell truly shines when used before activating beast form. With enhanced health and survivability, the Chimera begins to do even more passive damage – when stacked with cloak spells, enemies will drop with little effort. Since health becomes the Chimera’s primary stat in the late game, this spell continues to increase in potency throughout your playthrough.
- Harness Dead: Due to the Chimera’s relatively low Magicka pool, you will run out of fuel for your spells relatively early into the fight. Harness dead amends this issue, allowing the Chimera to boast more adept magical manipulation, since he can convert the flesh of his foes into Magicka. Consumed corpses turn to dust and can not be exploited again. An interesting consequence of this is that creatures disintegrated with shock spells can not be consumed, so prioritize fire damage when you plan to utilize the Harness dead ability.
- Healing Vines: Since the Chimera does not use restoration, he relies on his excellent passive regeneration and potions for healing. Healing Vines proves exceptionally useful when adopting a melee stance, since not only does it heal, it also bolsters the Chimera’s already exceptional stamina regeneration by 50% more, allowing for more power attacks.
I’ve given it my all in formulating my first-ever Skyrim build, so I hope you derive a little bit of joy from it; I look forward to producing more content for the forge in the future. Before I go, I want to wish the best of luck to the other contestants and give proper thanks to those who have helped me both directly and indirectly. First, thanks to Lee and Curse for their input and recommendations on improving my visual assets. I also want to thank The Long-Chapper - your contest winning build, The Sea Ghost, greatly inspired the format I ended up using. Finally, I want to thank the entire community for welcoming me with open arms, I’ve never been part of a community with such a positive attitude.