The Moonlit King – Just Another Werewolf Build by MarinTheFox
Hello my darlings! I’m back with another Skyrim build! My first one did so well, I would have felt incomplete had I not tried another. Though I am continuing my theme of beast-race characters, this one is very loosely based on that. Instead of being an Argonian or a Khajiit, this one is a Werewolf! Rather than an actual beast-race, this one has the ability to shift into one at will, or under the effects of the Full Moon!
As before, I’m going to begin with a list of mods that I used to make this build. However, unlike The Pale Mane, these mods will all be optional, as the core of the build can easily be done in vanilla.
- I use this mod to make werewolves more immersive and to give me a custome werewolf appearance (black with red eyes).
Apophysis Dragon Priest Masks
- I use this mod to alter the appearance of Otar the Mad's mask, though you can choose to not use it if you wish.
Alternate Start – Live Another Life (it is essential that if you choose to use this mod that you select the “I am camping in the woods” option)
Honorable Mention: Ordinator - you by no means need to use Ordinator. I, in fact, did my playtest in Vanilla. I am certain Ordinator can benefit this build greatly, but since I play both on PC and on my Switch, I like to be able to replicate most of my characters on both, hence the exclusion of Ordinator for this build.
As I said, all of these are optional, so my build actually will be done with just ASLAL and Moonlight Tales, just wanted to suggest a few mods in case you wanted to use them
In order to really grasp the concept of this build, I need to rundown its lore first.
“You think you are the first to hunt me? My whole life, I have been running, the moons within me singing, always hungry.” – unnamed Werewolf ancestor of the Moonlit King
The Moonlit King is the latest in a long line of werewolves, claiming ties to one of the first Werewolves in existence, one of the Moon Hunters, the very same pack led by the great Khajiit Vykosa herself – whom lore regards as the first Werewolf in Elder Scrolls lore (shoutout to the Loremaster Fimvul for helping me find this). Though this unnamed Yokudan/Redguard werewolf ancestor has been lost to history, the Moonlit King claims he is descended from this ancient werewolf. The Moonlit King draws extensive power while the moons are out, whether in mortal form or shifted, and wields the very light of the moons themselves, instilling fear into the hearts of his enemies. He is also favored by Hircine, using Hircine’s Ring to augment his already powerful werewolf form. He also has become Harbinger of the Companions, who initially taught him how to use his gifts from Hircine before he understood his lineage.
The Moonlit King began his adventures as a Redguard Hunter, camping outside Helgen, making use of the herds of deer and elk, as well as the occasional wolf pack, to collect skins and pelts to both make his own fur armors and to make a profit. For some reason, he always felt uncomfortable in large cities, preferring to live on his own, but his innate desire to help people, regardless of who or why, drew him into them on more than one occasion – also, he had to go in them to sell his wares anyway! On one blighted morning, he awoke to absurd and disturbing noises coming from Helgen just up the hill. Smoke drifted above its battlements and as he watched, a massive black Dragon flew through the skies – a dragon! Assuming it had done its deeds in the city, he ventured cautiously into Helgen to investigate the attack. He found a tattered, worn, almost charred journal that indicated some survivors had gone into the Keep to help funnel out the others, something about a cave. Going through the Keep was a bad idea, surely the attack had shaken its foundations and caused cave-ins, but perhaps he could go through the cave’s mouth? He rescued Ralof, who begged him to go to Riverwood and help him warn them about the pending dragon attack, and though he wanted to help, he was not sure what they could do against a dragon. Still, he persisted, travelling to Riverwood with Ralof. He eventually made his way to Whiterun, to warn the Jarl about the impending threat of a dragon.
It was here he met the Companions for the first time, using his bow to help Farkas, Aela, and Ria kill a giant just outside the gates. After helping the Jarl of Whiterun and his court wizard, Farengar Secret-Fire, investigate into the dragon rumors, it turned out his desire to help might have been a gift from Akatosh, for turns out the Moonlit King is Dragonborn. He went to visit the Greybeards and learned of his destiny to slay Alduin World-Eater, but he ultimately determined he needed to learn how to fight more effectively – the bow and arrow was effective, especially to help take down dragons – but he was never adept at combat. He joined the Companions to learn how to wield a blade and to use the bow more efficiently. Being a Redguard, he had a natural gift for being a warrior and quickly became the warrior he needed to be, eventually destroying Alduin in Sovngarde. However, Tsun, the Nordic God of Trials and Shield-Thane to Shor, recognized the Moonlit King and, though he did not deny him access to the Hall of Valor, he did not welcome either.
Not long after his triumph over Alduin, he returned to the Companions, now a battle-hardened warrior, and resumed his place in their ranks, quickly rising to the Circle. Aela and Skjor had him participate in a secret ritual where they infused him with beast blood, turning him into a Werewolf. The ferocity and savagery of his ancestor surfaced and he slaughtered many of the denizens of Whiterun before going on a bloodlusted frenzy in Whiterun hold. He finally calmed down and came to just outside Gallows Rock, with Aela. Though Skjor was a casualty in the siege on Gallows Rock, Aela was determined to teach the Moonlit King about being a Werewolf. His abilities progressed quickly after recovering the Lost Totems of Hircine. His powers intensified even further upon being given a blessing from Hircine himself, in the form of the Savior’s Hide armor and Hircine’s Ring. Between the Totems, his ferocity as a Werewolf, and the two boons of Hircine, the Moonlit King became lord of all Werewolves, making his home in Jorrvaskr, where the other powerful Werewolves obey his every command.
“We never wanted this curse. Hircine forced it upon us. Forced to endure this never-ending pain, this never-ending anger. But make no mistake. We will not be hunted.”
- Being the descendant of a powerful Redguard werewolf, it makes sense you would be of the same race. Redguards have a natural resistance to poisons, which makes them effective against assassins who might be sent to hunt you. Redguards also begin with a bonus to Alteration, Archery, Block, Destruction, and Smithing, which are all skills this build uses. It also has a bonus to One-Handed, but this build doesn’t entirely focus on it.
- In spite of the fact this build does use a few spells, we are placing very little stock in Magicka, only increasing it once every six levels. The idea behind this is that you will have just enough Magicka to cast the spells you need when entering combat, then you will be using your natural abilities to deal with your enemies. This spread gives you enough Health to handle any enemy, while the focus on Stamina allows you to carry all the weapons you use and use each of them exceedingly effectively. And when your Magicka reaches 200, I recommend swapping off to a spread of 0…2…3…
Standing Stone: The Warrior Stone (ASAP > Completion of Dragonslayer), The Lord Stone (remainder of the build)
- Using The Warrior Stone in the beginning will ensure you can progress your skills quickly enough to be effective, however once you’ve slain Alduin, you should already be at your optimal perk spreads, thus you will forsake The Warrior Stone in exchange for greater resistances. If you use Andromeda, you instead use The Lord Stone to fortify your power attacks. The negation of Stamina Regeneration in combat is thwarted by the fact that, at this point, you should have a massive pool of Stamina at your disposal, so running out in combat generally won’t happen.
- Quest: Unfathomable Depths
- As you will notice in the Skills sections, we don’t use Heavy Armor. However, we do use Smithing. Since Ancient Knowledge increases gains to Smithing by 15%, early acquisition of this ability is advised.
- Quest: Black Book - The Winds of Change
- This Black Book ability prevents any type of damage you can inflict from hurting your followers while in combat. Since this build’s endgame will see you utilizing at least one follower, this ability is going to be a great friend.
- Quest: Black Book - Epistolary Acumen
- This Black Book ability enhances your Unrelenting Force shout to deal more damage and using all three words has a chance to disintegrate enemies.
- Quest: Dragon Research
- This ability comes from researching dragons for Esbern and the Blades. It gives you a permanent 25% resistance to melee attacks from dragons. Very useful when Dragon Soul hunting for your Shouts
Force Without Effort
- Quest: Word of Power Meditations
- This ability allows you to stagger your enemies 25% more effectively while also being 25% more resistant to being staggered yourself. The self-proclaimed Lord of the Beasts should be such a powerful warrior.
Seeker of Might
- Quest: Black Book - The Sallow Regent
- Makes your combat skills all 10% more effective. What else do I need to say?
Animal Allegiance: As King of Beasts, animals exist to serve you
Bend Will: Essentially the same line of reasoning as Animal Allegiance
Dismay: What better way to prove how powerful you are than to force your enemies to flee in terror both in human form and wolf form?
Dragon Aspect: You have stolen Miraak’s shout and now use it to bolster your own abilities
Dragonrend: Considering much of your damage is dealt with melee weapons, you need a way to ensure the Dragons come to you
Unrelenting Force: You are so powerful a warrior, your enemies cannot even get close enough to you to deal damage!
- You’re a Redguard. You have this power naturally. An insane boost to your Stamina Regen so you can easily chase your prey while they’re running from you
- You’re a Werewolf….
Secret of Strength
- Quest: Black Book - Filament and Filigree
- For 30 seconds, Power Attacks cost no Stamina. Whether you use Andromeda or not, this is going to be incredibly useful in a pinch.
- Quest: Summoning Karstaag
- (Again, shoutout to Fimvul for lore) Karstaag is an ancient and powerful Frost Giant who was cursed by Hircine and forced into his Hunting Grounds, where he was slain by the Nerevarine. Being Hircine’s favored Were-champion, you have been given the gift to summon Karstaag to your side for a short time.
Bones of the Earth
- Acquired from: Earth Stone on Solstheim
- For 30 seconds, you ignore 80% of all physical damage. After use, this Power must be picked up again from Solstheim.
Howl of Terror (Beast Form)
- This shout-like howl forces enemies up to level 25 to flee in terror. When combined with the appropriate Werewolf Perks and the Totem of Fear, that number is increased to level 45-50, making this the perfect way to make all but the most stoic of enemies to flee before you.
- Detect Life – with your enemies fleeing before you, this spell will help you keep track of them while in human form
- Transmute Mineral Ore – as a master blacksmith, using this to convert all Iron to Silver and all Silver to Gold will aid your skill advances tremendously
- Detect Dead – after you’ve had your fun in Beast Form, this spell will allow you to locate the mangled bodies and retrieve their loot!
- Ebonyflesh – unless you enter the battle in Beast Form, this spell (dual-cast once the Perk is acquired) will give you an advantage over tough enemies
- Fireball – wielding the power of the moons, you have the ability to ignite your foes with bursts of moonlight, but only at night
- Incinerate – wielding the power of the moons, you have the ability to scorch your foes with blasts of moonlight, but only at night
- Pacify – use this spell to calm your foes, making it easy to destroy them. Or maybe you accidentally shifted near town, and the guards saw you. You can use this to stop them from attacking you. Or just kill them.
- Rout – with the power and blessing of Hircine at your disposal, your enemies will flee before you
- Silent Moons Enchantment – during the night, Hircine blesses your weapons, causing them to burn your enemies with the light of the moons
- Fortify Stamina – Hircine blesses your armor, allowing you to perform more power attacks in battle
- Fortify Health – Hircine blesses your armor, granting you greater physical defenses
- Fortify Light Armor – Hircine blesses your armor, granting you greater physical defenses
- Prior to defeating Alduin -
- Fur Armor OR Forsworn Armor. With either set, you will forgo the helmet
- After defeating Alduin -
- Scaled Armor
- Otar the Mad’s Dragon Priest Mask
- After becoming Harbinger of the Companions -
- Fur, Scaled, or Forsworn Boots and Gauntlets (enchanted with Hircine’s Blessings)
- Savior’s Hide
(You may continue to use the Otar mask, but I nixed it for the Jagged Crown, to personify me Skyrim’s Werewolf King)
- Prior to defeating Alduin -
- Steel War Axe
- Long Bow with Steel Arrows
- After defeating Alduin -
- Dragonsbane (Blades Sword)
- After becoming Harbinger of the Companions -
- Dual-Wielded Nordic War Axes OR Ancient Nordic War Axes (enchanted with the Hircine’s Blessing)
Otar the Mad – this powerful Dragon Priest Mask will fortify your elemental resistances, establishing your dominance over the Dragons of Skyrim
Dragonsbane – this powerful Akaviri Katana presented to you by Delphine and Esbern is instrumental in defeating Alduin, and you carry it with pride until you realize your gifts come from Hircine, not from Akatosh.
Savior’s Hide – Hircine grants you his boon to grant you greater resistances to magic and poisons
Ring of Hircine (Cursed Ring) – Hircine grants you the ability to shift at will (the curse upon Hircine’s Ring causes you to randomly shift, regardless of when or where)
Aetherium Crown – This powerful and ancient artifact will give the ability to use two Standing Stones at once (I didn’t use this personally, but I would recommend The Lord Stone and either The Serpent Stone – the Lord of Beasts is so frightening, some enemies are paralyzed with fear before him – or The Warrior Stone or The Steed Stone; as far as with Andromeda, you should use, again, The Lord Stone and either The Warrior Stone or The Steed Stone)
Totem of Fear – Hircine’s blessing permits you to cause your enemies to flee in fear while in your Beast Form
Light Armor – Though this build seems to make a bit more sense for Heavy Armor – due to acquiring the ability of Ancient Knowledge and having a generally low chance of survival until your health reaches its optimal heights – you actually place your focus on Light Armor. When you think about it, it is far more logical. The most dangerous apex predator in Skyrim would hardly be caught in the open clunking around in a suit of heavy metals, but sneaking through the wilderness in naught but the furs he catches himself. Plus, once you get the Savior’s Hide, you need to be sure it can be used effectively.
Marksmanship – Considering for much of the early build half of your damage is dealt with a Long Bow, it stands reason that you place great stock in it for fighting dragons until it is no longer required.
One-Handed – early build uses a war axe and then Dragonsbane, and end build uses dual wielded war axes. What more do you need me to say here?
Alteration – this spell school increases your odds of survivability and has useful boons for a hunter.
Destruction – Hircine’s favored champion wields the power of the moon itself in combat, burning his enemies with its light during the night. (Author’s Note: do not, and I cannot stress this enough, do NOT use your Destruction Spells during the day!)
Illusion – Between Fear and Calm spells, you will ensure your enemies are frozen with terror before you
Smithing – Despite the fact the early build focuses a lot on your smithing, it is categorized as a minor skill because, once you reach the end build, it pretty much becomes worthless to you – unlike Marksmanship, which is still useful for the ability to hunt for roleplay.
Now that you know the various skills and abilities this skill needs, it might help to know how to perk your chosen skills. This brings us to…
Considering how much we end up using both Alteration and Illusion magic both against enemies and towards our followers - in both regards - it makes sense to put a decent amount of perk points into both. It is interesting to note that Destruction is perked so heavily as well, when you consider that much of the damage is either from a bow or dual-wielded war axes. However, you will find that a small arsenal of destruction spells will greatly increase your survivability, particularly against dragons, during the night, where it is hard to see to land arrows effectively, and beast form won't help.
Smithing and Marksmanship we continue to use into the late game, so we perk them accordingly, but the focus of the build is One-Handed, hence the multitude of selected perks there. I did not see a need to max out Armsman or the skill itself, as you can achieve the maximum damage necessary on Expert difficulty or higher without them. Light Armor is the only hindrance, since we never actually use a full set so we can't acquire many of the really good perks, as they would become a waste, so survivability is low, but your health regeneration and health pool at this point should more than compensate, not to mention your shouts and beast form howls.
The gameplay for this build is actually relatively simple. In the first stage, prior to Alduin's defeat, you mainly use the bow for damage, only using the War Axes upfront. You also do not have access to spells at this point. Why would a hunter know how to use spells with such vindiction?
The second stage, after joining the Companions, sees more use of the axes instead of the bow, and small increase in magickal power, beginning to utilize flesh spells for extra defense and fire spells (only at night) for increased potency
The third stage, after defeating Alduin, sees the bow is almost entirely unused, as you are now a battle-hardened warrior, one with the Dragonsbane sword, believing yourself the mighty champion of Akatosh.
The fourth stage, after becoming a Werewolf, has you realize your true potential. You swap out your armor to better favor Hircine, and drop the Dragonsbane entirely.
The final stage brings back the bow for roleplay purpose - your are now the apex predator of Skyrim, thus should be able to hunt all manner of beasts at your leisure. As far as pertinent quests go, I think I explained enough in the lore to understand that. Fulfill the main quest and join the Companions. Venture to Solstheim and destroy Miraak and collect the Black Books as is Hircine's will.
I'm gonna be honest with you. I thought this build would struggle against Alduin considering how early in the build you fight him, but he was actually really easy. A combination of stun from Unrelenting Force, a slew of power attacks, and Dragonrend, coupled with Dragonsbane made him pretty darn easy to defeat.
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I hope you all have as much fun playing this build as I did creating it. As always, I'd like to thank Curse for his model builds and Fimvul, for his help with the lore. Love you all, my pretties! Until the next build~