The Bandit Chief looked up from his grindstone, alarmed by the sudden commotion at the door. One of his subordinates rushed into the room, panting heavily.
"Sir," the bandit wheezed, "there's -- he's -- they're all --"
"For the Divines' sake, spit it out!" barked the Chief, rising from his seat.
As the bandit drew breath to answer, the frozen limb of a Frost Atronach appeared out of thin air, slamming into his chest and sending him flying into the nearest wall. The sickening crunch of bones was audible throughout the room.
The Bandit Chief recoiled in shock, saved from the next thunderous blow by an arrow fired from behind him. The arrow staggered the Atronach long enough for the Chief to dissipate it into frigid powder with his massive warhammer. The Chief turned to the source of the arrow, his trusted marksman, with a thankful grin.
His gaze was met not by the familiar face he knew, but by one twisted with irrational hatred, the eyes tinged red with a frenzy only magic could induce.
Just in time, the Chief raised his warhammer against a series of savage knife strikes. The marksman threw himself against the hammer, without regard for life or limb, slashing with animal fury. The Chief dully realized what he had to do to survive. With a heavy twist of his hammer, he sent his long-time friend spinning to the ground. Before he could get up, the Chief brought the hammer down with all his might.
The Chief felt his hands go numb with the impact, his hammer clattered to his feet, and he fell weakly to his knees. What had he done? He didn't have time to process this nightmare before he heard movement behind him. Instinctively he rolled forward, narrowly dodging an axe strike. The metal screeched against the ground, chilling his spine.
He whirled around, expecting to see his true assailant. Instead he saw the gruesomely battered, reanimated corpse of the Frost Atronach's vitcim. He realized with mounting panic that his warhammer was too far away for him to reach in time.
"Show yourself, you coward!" the Chief screamed into the darkness, willing to say anything, try anything to survive. As the thrall brought its axe downwards, he threw his hands up, shutting his eyes and waiting for...
He tentatively opened his eyes to the sight of the thrall disintegrating into glowing ash. His sob of relief caught in his throat as he saw the heavily armored figure looming in the shadows of the doorway across from him.
"Be careful what you wish for," the Fanged Prince's chilling voice rasped from behind his helmet as he slowly stalked towards his prey. With terrifying ease he unsheathed his monstrous greatsword, bringing it down without mercy.
Despite having cough cough hours logged into Skyrim, I haven't really explored Summoning or Necromancy. Aiming to remedy that, I stumbled upon some outstanding synergies between the Conjuration and Illusion trees, especially in conjunction with followers and Vampirism. The result is this build, a terrifying, power-hungry manipulator with one heck of a control complex. I present to you...
The Fanged Prince
The Fanged Prince may not have always had fangs, but he was never without ambition. He was born into a noble house in Cyrodiil, with every need catered to by servants. Many would call that enough, but he hungered for more. He discovered his gift for manipulation early in life, meddling in court politics whenever he could. Although his family never realized it, his subtle hand formed blood feuds and alliances alike, and his family's power over the land grew significantly.
All that came to a sudden end when bandits ambushed him on one of his luxurious carriage rides. His guards were no match for their numbers, and the Prince himself had no experience fighting. Powerless to stop it, he was captured within minutes.
For months, while they negotiated a ransom, the bandits used him for whatever demeaning work they could think of, in between bouts of abuse. This was the first time the Prince had to work in his life, and adapting to it was grueling. But over time, his pampered fat turned to muscle, and he found himself growing stronger.
Tired of waiting for ransom, and ever the skilled manipulator, the Prince slowly allied himself with one of the cliques within the bandit gang, and began to sow discontent and hostility. All of it culminated into a brief and bloody skirmish, and in the chaos, the Prince managed to escape, but not before burying a dagger in the bandit chief's heart.
But he couldn't return home; he had disgraced himself, and likely lost all of his influence and prestige. But more than that, he had been shown just how vulnerable and truly powerless he was. He had to start fresh, and after hearing rumors of destabilization in Skyrim, he ambitiously decided to take it for his own, and restore honor to himself and his name...
This build uses a few overhauls to enhance character building without going overboard. I actually decided against using a Vampirism overhaul mod like Sacrosanct or Better Vampires, because I wanted to see what I could do with the vanilla Vampirism that comes with Dawnguard. But if you feel like this build would be better with one of those mods (or any other mods), go right ahead.
- Ordinator – Ordinator overhauls the perk trees of Skyrim, replacing them with ~400 new perks to improve the depth and fun of building and playing your character. We'll use this to expand on the existing synergies between Conjuration and Illusion. I recommend taking one of the Extra Perk Points options, but I made sure that it isn't necessary.
- Imperious – Imperious makes the races of Skyrim unique and diverse by overhauling racial abilities, powers and stats. Each race gets 3 new racial abilities and a quest to unlock their racial power.
- Andromeda - Andromeda replaces the mundane vanilla Standing Stone effects with two new abilities per stone, enabling many new character builds. Upon discovering all Standing Stones, each of them also grants a unique power.
- Wildcat + Ultimate Combat – Gives Skyrim's combat a much-needed makeover. Battles are now more fast-paced and deadly, and enemy AI is smarter. This has the very nice effect of making your minions smarter, too.
Difficulty: Any. This build is very strong at all difficulties, but I recommend taking one of the higher ones, especially late-game when it really becomes a powerhouse.
Race: Imperial Vampire. With Imperious, the Imperial is the perfect choice for this build. Each of the Imperial's passives can be used to either enhance your connection with your minion army, or counter the negative effects of Vampirism.
- Discipline: In combat, nearby allies gain bonus armor and attack damage. This passive is amazing for ensuring that your minions do all the heavy lifting.
- Imperial Virtues: Randomly gain bonus Health, Magicka or Stamina when entering combat. This never hurts, especially if you get caught in the sun.
- The Human Spirit: At levels 10/20/30, you may change your attributes/resistances/skills. At Level 10, choose to increase your Magicka, then make a judgement call on what to decrease. At Level 20, when asked to change your resistances, choosing to increase Fire Resistance by 50% and decrease Frost Resistance by 25% lets you negate entirely the fire aversion of Vampirism and still keep up some frost resistance.
Vampires also receive bonuses to Illusion, which this build will use to great effect.
Stats: 3 Magicka/ 1 Health. Stamina isn't important to this build, since most of your fighting will be done by others. A high Magicka pool is crucial to maintaining full control of the battlefield, as well as making use of some Conjuration perks. Cap your Health at 200 and pour the rest into Magicka.
Standing Stone: The Warrior -> The Mage -> The Ritual. Use the Warrior/Mage for leveling, then switch to the Ritual to make use of two effects:
- Mara's Mercy: Approach a violently slain corpse to gather its memories, summoning it as a vengeful spirit in your next battle. An additional minion is always helpful for this build.
- Mara's Tears: Periodically relive the death of an ally or enemy whose memories you gathered before, creating a corpse. Useful for when you gather the memories of particularly strong fallen NPCs, which you can then reanimate.
Blessings: The Fanged Prince will gladly pay homage to the Divines, in exchange for their favor. I went with Blessing of Talos, to help with Shout cooldowns, but you can pick whatever you need at the moment.
Shouts: Unrelenting Force, Call of Valor, Call Dragon, Summon Durnehviir, Become Ethereal. These are the Shouts that I used most frequently, but any Shouts are open to you. I advise against Storm Call though, because it targets your allies as well as enemies.
Major Skills: Conjuration, Illusion, Two-Handed
Minor Skills: Heavy Armor, Smithing, Speech
While I wanted this build to have a very strong and unique playstyle, I also wanted it to be a story: a story about power and ambition, about sacrifice and conquest. For this reason, I have split the build up into Acts, with each Act signifying a major change in gameplay, mechanics, and/or roleplaying. Each Act will give approximate level ranges, perk and equipment changes, as well as recommended quests and roleplaying choices, designed to give you an enjoyable experience on and off of the battlefield, without holding your hand too much.
~Act I - Birth~
Act I begins fresh out of Helgen, and our Fanged Prince is neither fanged nor a prince. His goals are ambitious, but he lacks guidance, until Jarl Balgruuf the Greater names him Thane of Whiterun, and the Greybeards name him Dovahkiin. Throughout this Act, he will become a competent warrior, ensuring that he will never again fall prey to petty bandits. He will also begin to delve into the school of Conjuration, utilizing primitive summons to aid him in battle.
Two-Handed: For now, the greatsword is the Fanged Prince's main source of damage. Early on, he will have no trouble with minimal perk investment and a decent Smithing skill. By the time he might need more damage, he will have amassed an army of minions to do the heavy lifting.
Heavy Armor: The Fanged Prince adds a layer of separation from the fray with a suit of heavy armor. These are all the perks he will need to put into Heavy Armor to keep himself protected, and Smithing will make up for any weakness.
Conjuration: The Prince will begin to explore the uses of Conjuration with simple summons, which will have great effects on the battlefield. This skill will be built upon in later Acts, but for now we will just lay the foundations.
Smithing: Even the Prince's chosen crafting skill reflects his dominative personality, as he literally bends materials to his will. Smithing will allow the Prince to get away with minimal perk investment in his combat skills, allowing for a much deeper focus on the arcane.
Speech: As a skilled manipulator, the Fanged Prince has an uncanny gift for getting others to do what he wants, often without them realizing it. Take just the 2 perks in Mastery for a significantly higher chance to succeed at Persuasion/Intimidation attempts, as well as better prices.
Weapons: Leveled Greatsword. For now, use the best greatsword you can find. I finished Act I with Dwarven.
- Masque of Clavicus Vile. This headgear will be used throughout the build, as it almost perfectly matches the Prince's personality and gameplay. Its appearance is rather menacing, and the bonus to Speech pairs well with the Prince's skill with words. The better prices are also great for amassing wealth more quickly, which will help when purchasing the more expensive properties.
- Leveled Heavy Armor. At this stage, the choice for the rest of the armor is up to you. I went with Steel Plate, because that was the best I could find.
- Enchanted Necklace and Ring. You won't need any specific artifacts in these areas (yet), so go with whatever is most useful at the moment. Fortify Health/Two-Handed are good ideas.
Spells: Conjure Flame Atronach, Conjure Familiar. Magic isn't a key part of the build during this Act, so we won't use very many spells.
Minions: Housecarls, mercenaries. In your quests for Thanehood, you'll acquire a few Housecarls to do your bidding. If you ever want to switch it up, hire a merc or two.
After being taught a valuable lesson by his experience with his kidnappers, the Fanged Prince makes sure he is more than able to defend himself, choosing the greatsword and heavy armor as his means of offense and protection.
Combat at this point is very straightforward. Upon entering combat, cast a Familiar to aid you, then charge in with your greatsword. The goal is to level up Two-Handed and Heavy Armor, perk them, then not worry about them for the rest of the build.
Without a ranged weapon of any kind, archers, mages, and dragons might seem like a major problem. This is easily solved with the use of Flame Atronachs. These fiery Daedra will decimate anyone unfortunate enough to anger you, and provide excellent cover fire (pun intended).
You should be able to passively stock up on enough Healing Potions to keep yourself alive, without resorting to Alchemy or Restoration. If all goes well, you won't be getting hit too many times anyway, especially in later Acts.
The Fanged Prince will also make extensive use of followers, who will cover up any of his weak points. If you find yourself needing more ranged capability, give your follower a bow. If you want destructive magic on your side, hire a mage. A good starting point for followers is Housecarls. You'll be getting a lot of them, so consider them... expendable.
- Main Questline through The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller. The Main Questline is conveniently enough split up into Acts of its own, which line up neatly with this build's.
- A Daedra's Best Friend. Clavicus Vile is the Daedric Prince of Power (among other things), so our Prince is naturally attracted to him. Refuse the Rueful Axe to get the Masque of Clavicus Vile, an integral part of the build.
- Thane of Hold X. This isn't technically a quest so to speak, but it's important nonetheless. Part of conquering Skyrim will involve becoming the Thane of every Hold, and thus having influence in the court of every Jarl. You'll want to average about three Holds per Act. For this Act, I recommend becoming Thane of Falkreath and Winterhold in addition to Whiterun. Purchase these Holds' properties and decorate them fully.
- Bloodline. This is the last quest of Act I, so complete the others before this.
Hunger for Power
The Fanged Prince's ultimate goal is domination: more than anything, he wants to control the land of Skyrim, and everything he does needs to reflect his hunger for power. He will follow the Main Questline in order to develop his Thu'um into a weapon, for use against others. Despite their power, he will view the Greybeards as weak for pursuing a peaceful lifestyle; in his opinion, their gifts are wasted.
He will gladly become the champion of Daedric Lords, and not only for their powerful artifacts. Deep down, he believes that one day, he might rise to their level of power, and so he seeks to interact with them as much as possible.
In addition to Thanehood, the Prince sees property ownership as a stepping stone in his path towards rulership: a land is easier to rule if you own half of it. Therefore, he will buy as many properties as he can, and adorn them with the trophies of his many exploits.
His interactions with the people of Skyrim will be as brief as possible, and he won't take any petty requests, unless they help him become a Thane. He is the soon-to-be ruler of this land, after all.
Going into urban areas, he will change out of his armor and into fine clothes, replacing his brutish greatsword with a more elegant dagger. His love of the finer things remains untouched by his experience as a hostage, and he will carry himself with poise and aloofness around others.
For bonus points, only drink fine wines, none of that Nord peasant swill.
Act I ends with accepting Harkon's gift. Seeing a way to increase his powers tenfold, and conquer the little problem of mortality, the Prince will become a Vampire without a moment's hesitation, and the rewards are instantaneous.
~Act II - Coronation~
Act II gives the Prince his fangs, as well as new powers and insights. He will expand on his magical abilities, and begin weaving together the schools of Conjuration and Illusion into a powerful combination.
New School - Illusion: Harkon's blood will give the Fanged Prince new insights into the school of Illusion, and how it can be used to further his goals. He will use Illusion to strengthen his own minions, and manipulate his enemies into working to his benefit.
New Branch - Necromancy: After spending some time with Serana and other vampires, the Prince will realize that the dead can make just as good minions as Daedra. Additionally, after studying Conjuration more deeply, he will be able to conjure an additional minion.
Smithing and Two-Handed Advances: As his magical talent grows, the Fanged Prince ensures that his physical talent follows suit. He becomes more adept with the hammer and greatsword alike, and is able to create and destroy with greater prowess.
New Weapons: Leveled Greatsword. Pick the best greatsword you can find. I went with Ebony, to match the armor.
- Ebony Mail. This armor synergizes very well with the Prince's new role on the battlefield, passively punishing enemies that get too close. It also creates a very nice aesthetic with the Masque of Clavicus Vile.
- Leveled Boots + Gauntlets. I ended this Act with Ebony.
- Gauldur Amulet Fragment (Saarthal). This amulet will grant you 30 points of Magicka, which will aid spellcasting.
- Ring of the Erudite. The additional Magicka and Magicka regeneration are much-needed at this point, with the influx of new spells.
New Spells: Conjure Frost Atronach, Summon Arvak, Frenzy, Rout, Rally. Focus on acquiring Illusion spells that deal with Fear, Fury, or Courage, and any new summons from the Conjuration school.
New Powers: Vampire Lord, Colovian Star. Whether or not you utilize the Vampire Lord power is up to you. Doing so greatly reduces your effectiveness at maintaining control of the battlefield, but increases your own combat lethality. Ultimately it depends on the situation, but I generally avoided it. Colovian Star is a neat racial power, letting you regenerate fortified pools of Stamina and Magicka faster for a short time.
New Minions: Death Hound, Serana. You are able to have both a follower and a pet at the same time, and the Volkihar wardogs, with their deadly bite, freezing aura, and intimidating appearance, are the ideal companions. Serana is a powerful follower as well, being able to reanimate a minion of her own, but on account of her undeath she won't be affected by your Illusion spells... for now.
This is where the Prince's unique playstyle emerges. No longer will he be the first to charge into battle; now he will stay above the fray, controlling his newfound allies and enemies alike, until he is the last one standing.
If you are far enough away from your enemies before a battle begins, cast Frenzy in the midst of their group. It is only right that they become your first minions.
To begin the battle in earnest, cast Rally on your follower(s) to augment the already-impressive Commanding Presence. This will make your allies significantly stronger, and eliminate any chance of them fleeing.
Then cast your summons. Since you can now have two, I recommend spreading them out, one on each end of the battlefield. Then the real fun begins.
Hang back from the chaos, and use a combination of Illusion and Conjuration spells to manipulate the battlefield to your advantage. If one area gets too crowded with enemies, use Fear to scatter them, or Frenzy to help thin out their numbers. If you see a better opportunity for Atronach placement, take it. If you notice that a particularly powerful member of the group has fallen, don't hesitate to reanimate them, and have them work for you. Battles are now a game of chess for you, and you're rapidly becoming a Grandmaster.
Become Ethereal will allow you to move around the battlefield without resistance, allowing for easy repositioning.
If any enemies get too close to you, the Ebony Mail will begin to wear away at them while keeping you protected. Finish them off with your greatsword, then return to your control/support role.
On the topic of strategy, it is imperative that the Prince picks outdoor battles at night only. For now, the sun is your worst enemy, and you will be at a severe disadvantage if you're caught fighting in it.
- Main Questline through Alduin's Bane.
- College of Winterhold Questline through Good Intentions. The Prince's newfound affinity for the arcane will lead him to the College of Winterhold, where he will discover new spells to use on the battlefield.
- Volkihar Questline through Beyond Death. This runs nicely alongside the Main Questline as you hunt for the Elder Scrolls.
- Waking Nightmare. This is a prerequisite quest to becoming the Thane of Dawnstar, and will grant the Fanged Prince a powerful Daedric artifact as well as more exposure to the Daedric Princes.
- The Man Who Cried Wolf. This is a prerequisite quest to becoming the Thane of Solitude, but breaking up the ritual is about more than that. The Fanged Prince won't take kindly to the returning spirit of someone nearly as determined to rule Skyrim as he is.
- Thane of Hold X. I recommend becoming Thane of Markarth, Solitude, and Dawnstar.
- Rings of Blood Magic. This is one of the Volkihar radiant quests, and completing it will grant the Ring of the Erudite, used for the rest of the build.
- Boethiah's Calling. Boethiah is the Daedric Prince of Ambition, so it's no surprise that the Fanged Prince will quickly win her attention and become a worthy champion. The Ebony Mail is a fitting token of her favor.
New Hunger - Vampirism
Vampirism comes with a price, and that price is an insatiable hunger for blood. The Prince will almost subconsciously submit to it, feeding immediately whenever his hunger grows even a little, without a second thought. When there is no fresh blood to be found, he will consume a Potion of Blood from his stock.
His condition will also cause him to travel exclusively under the cover of night, away from the relentless sun. This will cause him to sympathize with Lord Harkon's wish to end the Tyranny of the Sun.
New Civil Behavior
The Fanged Prince will go into urban areas less than before, and while he will still change into finery upon entering them, he will also conceal his face with a hood. Perhaps he worries that someone might recognize him as a Vampire, and rally the town against him.
He will never be without a companion of some sort, not out of loneliness, but as a display of power. His words will be taken much more seriously when they are backed up by the steel of a Housecarl or the frigid bite of a Death Hound.
Act II ends not with a specific quest, but with an event: Stage-Four Vampirism. The Fanged Prince has been feeding regularly with no trouble until now, but delving into so many caves and ruins eventually separates him from a source of blood for long enough. Crazed with bloodlust, he will attack and murder the first human he sees, draining their corpse of its blood. Only then will he realize that he is not in control.
~Act III - Conquest~
The Fanged Prince flew through the forest, his wings carrying him between the trees with the speed of a galloping horse.
His wings. A gift, among many others, from Harkon. The blood now flowing through his veins had given him power beyond his wildest dreams, letting him achieve dominion over mortality itself. What a fool he had been, to believe that this wouldn't have come with a terrible price!
He had lost himself that night, when the bloodlust overcame him. Never before had he felt so powerless, so... hungry. He hadn't been able to control himself, and that wasn't something he could bear the thought of.
The Prince descended to the ground, reverting to his human form. With a howl of frustration, he unsheathed his greatsword, biting it deep into the nearest tree. After everything he had worked to accomplish, he had once more become a slave, not to any man, but to his own thirst. He yanked his sword out of the tree, only to swing it again, and again.
He kept hacking at the tree and howling his anger at the full moon until the tree fell. Exhausted, the Prince tossed his greatsword, now bent beyond repair, to the ground. Weak with fatigue, both physical and mental, he let himself fall with it, staring up at the night sky.
No. This was not how he would let it end. He had worked far too hard to be brought down by this, or anything.
Now was the time for him to begin his conquest in earnest, and he would start with this thirst.
Act III is the climax of this build and its story. Over the course of this Act, the Fanged Prince will truly rise to power, slaying anything and everything that gets in his way. He will achieve mastery over himself and his skillset, acquire his final gear, and finally conquer Skyrim.
Mastery - Conjuration: The Fanged Prince will master the school of Conjuration, developing his summoned Daedra into the ideal minions. His power will grow to the point of being able to maintain a small army of minions at once.
Mastery - Illusion: The Prince's use of Illusion will reach its maximum potential with Master of the Mind. He will now be able to bolster his summoned and undead minions as well as his followers, affording him greater control of the battlefield. Protect Your God will help ensure that if he is ever outmaneuvered, his minions will prioritize defending him.
Mastery - Smithing: Daedric Smithing will bring the Prince, in his eyes, one step closer to the power of the Daedra. As such he will use and improve Daedric weapons and armor in his conquests.
New Weapons: Daedric Greatsword, Auriel's Bow, Bloodcursed Arrows.
- Randomly Enchanted Daedric Boots + Gauntlets. The Fanged Prince will discover the Atronach Forge as he masters Conjuration, and will use it, enhanced by the Sigil Stone, to create Daedric armor pieces with immensely powerful enchantments, all without relying on the Enchanting skill. These will be improved to perfection with Smithing.
- Savos Aren's Amulet. This is a step up from the Gauldur Amulet Fragment, providing 50 total points of Magicka. Feel free to change this for something more useful once your Magicka is satisfactorily high.
New Spells: Conjure Dremora Lord, Conjure Storm Atronach, Dead Thrall, Dread Zombie. Conjure Dremora Lord is a gamechanger for this build, and it will likely be your most-used summon. Aside from that, take any Conjuration/Illusion spells that appeal to you.
March of Oblivion provides him with the ability to summon/reanimate up to 3 additional minions on top of the two he can summon already, based off of his base Magicka pool. But having up to 5 summons is just the beginning.
On top of that, the Ritual Stone will add another spirit to the mix, with the Call of Valor or dragon summoning Shouts tossing in one more being under your control.
Don't forget about your follower and Death Hound, either.
The Master of the Mind perk allows the Prince to fully incorporate the Illusion tree into his personal army. Humans, undead, and Daedra alike are now affected by your spells, as well as Commanding Presence and its enhancements.
The result is near-total control of any battle, all without having to lift a finger. Just like so long ago, the Fanged Prince has his servants do the work for him; only this time, he is more than able to defend himself when the need arises.
The final touch is Auriel's Bow. The Prince's power has grown such that he controls the sun itself in battle. No longer will you have to wait for nightfall to engage in battle: a single arrow will blot out the sun for as long as you need.
- Main Questline through Epilogue. The Fanged Prince will ensure his name is known and feared throughout Skyrim by killing Alduin.
- Laid to Rest. This is a prerequisite quest to becoming the Thane of Morthal, and will also allow the Fanged Prince to destroy a powerful rival vampire, eliminating a potential threat to his power.
- Thane of Hold X. I recommend becoming Thane of Riften, Morthal, and Windhelm. After completing Season Unending, you should be able to bceome Thane of Windhelm without participating in the Civil War Questline. Purchase and develop the respective Holds' properties.
- Volkihar Questline through Kindred Judgement. Killing Harkon and taking his place as Lord of Castle Volkihar will bring the Prince one step closer to total domination.
- College of Winterhold Questline through The Eye of Magnus. As he masters his chosen arcane skills, the Fanged Prince will become the Archmage of the College, which will raise his social status and influence considerably.
- The Wolf Queen Awakened. The Fanged Prince has unfinished business with Potema, and killing her for good will eliminate yet another threat to his power.
- Destroying the Dawnguard. This is the last quest of Act III.
The Fanged Prince's age of conquest will begin from within, as he struggles against his own bloodlust for control of himself. Eventually he will become victorious, and regain his freedom. No longer will he feed, and he will grow far stronger because of it.
He realizes now that fulfilling the prophecy completely would result in the end of his kind, but this won't prevent him from occasionally using Auriel's Bow. Just make sure to avoid using it in cities or other urban areas.
New Civil Behavior
The Fanged Prince will now stride confidently and often into towns and cities, wearing the finest garments available, and with his hood thrown back. His power has grown such that anyone who suspects him of being a Vampire knows to keep quiet. In fact, his fiery eyes will dare them to speak up. They never will.
His ego will grow proportionally to his power. Slaying Alduin and Harkon has given him an unshakeable sense of destiny, and he looks down upon everyone else on Nirn because of it.
The Blades claim that Paarthurnax deserves to die for his past crimes, but the Fanged Prince cares nothing about that. He is more concerned about the threat Paarthurnax could pose to him and his dominion.
Ultimately the choice to kill Paarthurnax is yours. Will you trust that the dragon won't interfere with your master plan, or will you stamp out any and all potential resistance?
Act III, and the Fanged Prince's conquest of Skyrim, ends with the destruction of the Dawnguard, the last threat against him and his kind.
It was midday at Fort Dawnguard, and the sun burned mercilessly overhead. The noble vampire slayers, normally ever so vigilant in the dead of night, now relaxed. Even their dear Isran let himself breathe more easily. After all, no vampire in their right mind would attack with the life-preserving sun at its peak.
That was when the sky became blood, and the sun a gaping hole in the sky. Slowly, as if in a nightmare, the Dawnguard picked up their weapons, holding them uncertainly. Then the first wave attacked.
Potent Storm Atronachs shook the foundations of Fort Dawnguard, blasting all else apart. Ferocious Dremora Lords followed them shortly after, hacking down any opposition. The last few warriors were slain by their own reanimated comrades, as one last blow to their order.
Isran himself received the honor of facing the Fanged Prince in a duel. He was surprised at how quickly it ended, and who the victor was. He didn't have much time to dwell on it.
So fell the mighty Dawnguard, and so rose the Fanged Prince to the height of his power.
~Act IV - Dominion~
This is the moment the Fanged Prince has worked towards for so long, and drinking it in feels better than drinking blood ever did.
He has become Thane of all Holds, purchased all properties, and slain all major threats to his power. The only thing left to do is to consolidate his dominion over this land. Now is the time to get creative and diabolical. Ask yourself: How can I further increase my control over Skyrim? Some ideas to get started include:
- Selling Skooma/Moon Sugar/Sleeping Tree Sap to Ysolda and other merchants. While the Fanged Prince abhors the thought of being controlled by a substance, he may sell these drugs to merchants in order to dull the population. After all, Skooma addicts have other things on their mind than who's in charge.
- Hunting down the Dragon Priests. Slaying these ancient beings will grant you powerful artifacts, and eliminate some potential threats to your reign.
- Pursuing other Daedric Artifacts. Completing Daedric quests has many advantages for the Fanged Prince. Possessing otherworldy items is an obvious plus, but it also ensures that nobody else can acquire them. Additionally, the Prince has his eyes set on some day becoming the Daedric Princes' rival, and it's never too early to start trying to understand them.
This Act is more about resolution than anything else; after all, every good story needs an ending. What that ending is, and whether or not it's a happy one, is up to you.
How will the Fanged Prince's story end?
Will he chase mysterious cultists across the seas to Solstheim, to expand his territory and face his greatest rival yet?
Will he return to his family in Cyrodiil, to finally restore honor to his name?
Will he find a bride and start his own bloodline, to be feared throughout the ages?
Or will he perish at the hands of some forgotten hero, to be heard of no more?
For me, his story ended with him sitting on Harkon's old throne, his now, with a chalice of fine imported wine, looking over his kingdom, and regretting nothing.
This is hands-down my most ambitious build to-date, in more ways than one. I poured my Dragon Soul into this build and I hope it shows. This contest was amazing, and I wish I had signed up for it sooner. Here's to many more awesome contests, and happy building!
Credit to Curse for his outstanding help formatting this mess.