So, here's my contribution to the Crosswords build event, it's really rushed cause the build I originally had plan became a whooooole different thing. So, with out further intro duction welcome to:
Blackmane The Barbarian
The door burst open as a heavy breathing soldier rushes towards our table, before crashing to the ground with a loud thud.
His leather was patched and cracked, and his boots were on the brink of tare; his once blood-red cloth is now tattered, shredded and dark. His skin is scratched, with his legs especially slashed and clawed.
Quickly, the General and I rushed to his side, ‘what happen? Who–’
Forcing his lungs to take in air and dazed beyond sanity he says: ‘they attacked our camp in Fal… kreath. Came outta nowhere. Don’t… how many… lived, but, Legate ordered me to… r…un and report.’
He collapsed in my arms. I put my fingers at the right side of his neck; one… two… nothing.
‘May those above judge me, and may those below take me. You served well, Hero.’ the General says carefully.
‘Take him to Styrr, and report to his family. He’s gone.’ I speak grimly.
‘Will do, ma’am!’ The guards say. Slowly, they lift his body up, and, take him out of our base. Tullius and I return to the table.
‘They’re becoming bolder,’ he states, ‘and we’re stretch too thinly that I can’t call for reinforcements. We need more soldiers; yet, we can’t move a single one from their post. Smart bastards, they’ve set us up, Rikke.'
‘We’ll prove them wrong, sir.’ I voice, ‘If there’s one thing I know it’s a Nords fearlessness in battle, and untamable sense of honour and valor. More will come, more will answer the call, if not for the Empire, for glory, and the Gods.’
‘From where?’ Tullius asks pessimistically. ‘The sky? Or will they grow like crops from the snow, or–’
Suddenly, we were cut off by a loud commanding announcement, ‘New recruit, Sir!’
‘Well,’ astonished Tullius. ‘Seems your Gods have heard you.’
Grinning, I say, ‘Oh, yes they have.’
‘I didn’t even order him to-… these recruits are going to kill me.’ Said Tullius.
A huge dark shadow eclipsed the candlelight, and a strange, horn-headed silhouette devoured the ground.
‘Is demon joining our ranks?’ Sarcastically remarked Tullius.
Then… he appeared.
A beastly man, old iron boots sheltered his legs knee down; nearly naked, if not for a loincloth that hung from his waist, exposing his huge, hairy chest and broad shoulders. His giant arms bore traditional steel gauntlets that just barely contained his forearm; a multi-horn steel helm sat on a long black mane, with burning blue eyes that stared with disturbing determination, and a gruesome scar was etched across his face. Dark, bronze like skin covered him in head to toe.
After Tullius ensured his purpose, he asked, ‘Why join the Legion?
The brute replied: ‘My mother bore me on the battlefields of Legion; under the blood-red banner of the Empire. My father, Ulfurg, was a masterful blacksmith that traveled far across Tamriel in the name of the Empire. At times repairing weapons, at times making armour, and at times spilling blood. Afaf, my mother, was a skilled warrior and the perfect soldier– both had an undying loyalty to the Empire– to their oath. Thus, I have swore the Oath to the Empire and the Emperor two times over, and am hear to swear it for a third time. I was born in war, and raised in battle, and I year for more. But, I warn you, woe to any who crosses me, for I will personally separate the betrayers heads from their spines– not the most efficient way of murder mind you, but, the most thrilling. Yet, even if not for my skill, I know these lands more than you know your own face, and I am able to read and write fluently– I promise you, my reports are never dull- and am well versed in the old tomes of the Ancient Ones. My thirst for battle is endless; my loyalty is undying, and my bloodthirst… is unquenchable. There is no better banner to fight for, over the searing snow. I officially join, now, for I have been a silent member for far too long.’
Astonished, and thoroughly impressed by such a spirit, the General set about giving the barbarian the oath, and him reciting it perfectly.
He approached me, for all new recruits must fulfill a task- a right of passage.
Oh, I knew we landed on treasure. I have given him orders to clear out Fort Hraggstad, and I very much know he’ll succeed.
On the 201st year of the Fourth Era; 27th of Last Seed, the crushing of the Stormcloaks has truly begun, and the end of the war is on the horizon.
Blackmane. He called himself– Blackmane the Barbarian.
Race: Nord. While half-Reguard the Nordic blood flows strongly through Blackmane... and they fit the role-play and complement the skills chosen.
* The build is made so you can use whatever weapon you find, there is no required weapon for this build hence the astrieks. The Astrieks are just my recommendations as they fit aesthetically– Use whatever you find.
One & Two-handed- The Blackmane is an master of melee and as such is proficient in both one and two-handed, though, he’s more skilled in one-handed, with a heavy preference for swords, and, while still deadly using two-handers, is not as skilled with them, and thus isn’t as talent, because of this he relies more on battle-axes slightly more than other weapons as it’s tendency to cause heavy bleeding within groups of enemies is most useful in battle and war.
Block– Always a versatile tool to, either, hold your ground from an incoming attack or dodge devastating blows, the block skill is essential for any warrior, and Blackmane uses this skill with ruthless grace, along with the Targe of the Blooded, deadly and power bashing be comes blood-curlingly strong.
Heavy Armour– The brute is, shall we say, humble in his garb, his bear-like muscles are always put on display to intimidate his foes, but, four of the five pieces are heavy, and thus, has grown more accustom to their weight and feel.
Enchanting– This skill is used as a substitute for hand-to-hand combat, by enchanting gauntlets and rings with fortify unarmed. Being a gladiator-type it’s no surprise that Blackmane is a lethal martial artist, only needing to ensure he won’t be encircle and he raves in the skirmish.
Sneaking– Despite his height and size, Blackmane is silent, agile, and cunning. Like a sabre cat, he scouts, picks, stalking, lunges at his opponents seemingly out of nowhere untamable savagery; moving with the winds in an elegant and delicate dance of blood and fate.
Pickpocketing– Being born on a battlefield, and raised in constant war teaches you many a terrible things. One useful, however, is survivability. In a warzone war is plenty and food is scarce and you, lone soldier, must survive on what you find, though, most often, what you can steal. Now, Blackmane uses these skills in increase his wealth and power, taking what he wants, from who he wants, with the slightest, and softest of hands.
When it comes to Gamplay,
the key with combat, here, is knowing what to use; who to use it against, and when to use it. ‘It’ being the plethora of weapons you have; from around mid level you’ll be proficient in swords, daggers, war axes, maces, great-swords, war-axes, war-hammers, all types of shields, with each having different uses, for different purposes. And, while not being the most efficient dual wielding it is a possibility.
For example: Maces are painfully slow when swung, but, if you add a dagger to you’re off hand- you lose the ability to block and dodge, but, your swing speed has beeen heavily reduced- allowing you to throw more swings at your opponent than usual. You could use this against heavily armoured warriors in a one-on-one battles due to maces having the most damage out of all one-handed weapons, as well as, since we have it perked, ignoring 25% of armour, which, comes in handy when faced with, and this is true, heavily armoured opponents– shocking resolution I know.
Now, compare that with the likes of swords and war axes; the barbarian has a strong preference for swords, and thus, you have a more likely chance of hitting critical blows– significantly lowering an opponent’s health in single stunning blow, likely, ending, or shortening, the battle. Same with daggers, their swift speed is unrivaled, meaning, you can land a multitude of critical strikes, but, the damage of daggers, both in a normal swing and a critical strike, is very low, so, I didn’t much use a dagger, mainly, it was in the off hand, to speed up sword, axe, or mace swings.
The axe is the master of the battle of attrition with it’s bleeding effect- an exception is made for Draugr and Dwemer machines, though. But, this means that it’s an effect that can’t be resisted or blocked, making it useful for fighting lightly armoured enemies that could possible out endurance you. Think the Forsworn: they are lightly armoured enemies with a liking for duel wielding; early and mid game, they’re ridiculous in damage output. Your mace can’t do much ‘cause they don’t wear much, and your critical strikes might not hit enough to kill them before they kill you- this is where the axe comes in; the bleeding effect is put on every power attack, and… it stacks, couple that with the axes’ ability to stagger more than the sword, and, you get a very reliable effect that’s not left to chance, but rather, your ability to properly time your attacks- making a matter of skill, rather than chance.
The Shield is an interesting weapon in this build, as, it’s the only weapon that’s specified in the build as a must have- The Targe of the Blooded, while the others: The Skyforge Steel Sword, War-Axe, & Battle-Axe, are more preferred weapons, you don’t need them– at all– just for role-play reasons, but, the Targe is required. Why? Well, other than fitting the aesthetic, both, visually and characteristicly, it’s mainly due to its Bleed effect, which, unlike the axes, is applied to everyone and anyone, making it this hybrid between defense and offence. You could easily use the Targe with a battle-axe and absolutely shred enemies, or you could you it with a sword; stunning the enemy, then quickly switching to a dagger and landing rapid fire blows, or with a mace to safely wear down an opponents armour, or, to serve as a ‘blocking/dodging arm’ in hand to hand combat. Also, the Targe gives you a nice boost to defense (another shocking statement) if you feel yourself taking to much damage, or, in a crowd and need to make some room to dodge. Mainly, I used the Targe for hand-to-hand, and to make room when surrounded/taking a lot of damage from too many sources, and to get close to mages, but, not for much more. But, I’ve given you enough examples for you to make your own decision on how you want to use the shield, and this paragraph is way too long. Though, I would advise you that if you’re fighting hand-to-hand, find a wall, and stick you’re back to it- forcing you’re opponents to face you directly, and stops you from being surrounded.
Then, we get the big bois- the two-handers. The Barbarian has a slight preference towards axes when it comes to two-handers, and so, you’re most likely going to use mainly axes, but don’t worry, I’ve got even MORE examples- cause this build is just not boring enough with all this writing.
Weirdly, two-handers are quite versatile, despite their near zero defense, because of one perk– Sweep. This perk, gives you the ability to straight up stun and damage whole ROWS of enemies, with one draw back- speed. Even when using a great-sword, this attack is slow and leaves you extremely open to power attacks, which can stagger you- canceling the attack, and, leaving you more open than before. Conversely, when successfully pulled off; you now have a fucking row of heavily staggered, strongly stunned, enemies that are, if you’re using an axe, also bleeding; not to mention the weaker enemies you’ve just flung across the room. Nothing, absolutely nothing, makes you feel like a brute’s brute just massacring enemies by the groups.
The difference of two-handed weapons are nearly identical to one-handed, so, I won’t delve to deeply, though, I want to address one thing- Hammers, and their crushing power. You might just opt to only using battle-axes ‘cause that’s the only weapon who’s special effect is perked, or, use great-swords, for their speed, allowing you to easily dodge and move more freely, but, the never under estimate the power of a literal hunk of metal attached to an objectively tough piece of wood. They are insane, and their stagger is like no other weapon; the sheer crushing force of these mammothinian weapons are unrivaled, only hindered by their mind-numbingly slow swing speed. If you’re having a hard time with an enemy, give that good ol’ WHACK with a hammer.
Sneak comes in handy when scouting and choosing your enemies, with Backstab a solid advantage in battle. Not much that can be said, that has already been said. Scout & pick out (armour, or lack there of, is a good indicator of difficulty), be careful of your surrounds; use traps when you can, and you’ll be fine.
Pickpocketing is not combat related.
* Yes, ‘Mammothinian,’ is not a word, but, it sounds cool and you get my point.
If I could describe Blackmane in three words they would be self-serving, loyal, and brutal.
Blackmane is a great man, who does great things, but in the end it’s all for his desire. He seeks adventure, battle, riches, glory, and ancient knowledge and treasure. He’s fluent in Ancient Nord tongue and is a literal strong tongue– user of the thu’um. Sometimes Blackmane will do heroic things, either saving an old friend, or protecting a person he just met simply because he said so. He’s not always like this, though, as he does not fear being gentle- he is- with those he respects. He gives to the poor, helps his elders, and listens to the wise, as well as, never fighting an opponent who can’t win, nor fight the sickly or injured, and will commend soldiers and fighters on a job well done, and express his happiness and pride in them. Don’t mistake this for mercy, if a newly made opponent, say a bandit, runs away or cowers in fear they will still die a ghastly death, just not normal civilians who would easily break in his hands.
He is loyal to those who are loyal, and respectful of old, seasoned warriors. He’s caution of Wizards and spell casters, due to their terrible power. He hates nobility, as they grow soft, and weak. Indulging in too much in the comforts of gold, food, and drink, they need to be roughed up, to feel the weight of a weapon once more, and smell the blood of battle once more. Because of this, Blackmane will most often steal from the nobility in a form of mockery, knowing full well that they fear him. Though, he’d never betray any one for anything. Be it man, mer, daedra, adra, and everything in between once a word is given, a proposal accepted, or a cry for help is answered he will never backstab the person he gave his word too– even if they are objectively evil.
In battle, Blackmane leaves no survivors. All will die, all will suffer, so is the fate of all those who oppose him. His mastery of combat comes in grim affect in battle, and even if the opponent surrenders it will not be accepted and they will still die. Whether it axe, blade, or blunt weaponry or fists– all who bleed, will die, and all who do not bleed will.
It is this strange code of honour that demented chivalry that difference Blackmane from the rest, his strange mix barbarism, dignity, and straightforwardness that make him a strange figure.
He’s a cunning fighter making use of traps and stealth, but is horrible unskilled in diplomacy and prefers battle over speech, but, maintains a sarcastic sense of humour, often making light of a terrible situation to restore confidence and easy the stress both on himself and any who he leads.
He’s, also, and avid reader and writer, knowing much about history, though, this is mainly due to make sure that he does not repeat the same mistakes repeated threw out time.
Blackmane worships the Old Nordic Gods of Skyrim, specifically Ysmir and, weirdly, Mehrunes Dagon, seeing one as the ultimate warrior, and the other the ultimate test, and as such prays to Ysmir to add him in his quest of glory, and the other to test his skill.
Companions– These warriors have forgotten the true meaning of brutal battle. Many ill Harbingers have distorted these glorified mercenaries imagine; they must be put back in to shape. Time to turn a bloody chapter on these mercenaries, a glorious chapter.
The Gauldur Amulet– I have heard, and read the whispers of ancient amulet of formidable power forged by the legendary wizard Gauldur. Battles and treasure awaits.
Civil War: Imperials- While tainted by the sours of forced peace, the Empire is a last defense against the Third Dominion; the Redguards held a solid defense, but, a united empire of Man and Dark Elves would be much better equipped than single-armed populous fighting a union of three nations. And, if not for common sense, for the honor of My Mother and My Father.
East Empire Company- Pirates have continued to attack Nordic and Imperial ships that has caused damage to multiple ships and put countless more in danger. These mad dogs must be tamed- better yet: destroyed.
Main Quest-line– A great black-winged fiend has threated my world, and thus, threatened me. What a glorious time to be alive! The Ultimate test of my skill!
The Dragonborn Quest-line– A challenger from foreign land claims himself to be the first Dragonborn. This coward hide behind his strange tentacle mask (I don’t really understand why specifically tentacles, but, to each his own) and uses the weak to build great monuments by hopinotizing them… I will writhe in his blood.
Yup, if you couldn’t guessed this was based off Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Barbarian, hope I did the character justice. Anyway, hope you enjoyed and have a nice day.