Hello everyone and welcome to our submission for the event: Stories of Skyrim. I have been thinking about this build for a long time and I was very happy to find that I and SeconHandGamer54 were looking for the same thing: Nord, shouts and frost magic. After a lot of trials and errors, the build is ready.
SeconHandGamer54 has created a really neat backstory for the build, you can find it below.
Race: Nord female. This is mandatory to match the story and roleplay the character.
Shouts and Powers: Frost Breath, Slow Time and North Wind
Stats: 2 Magicka: 2 Health: 1 Stamina
Major Skills: Archery, Heavy Armor, Destruction
Minor Skills: Alchemy and Enchanting
Weapon: Stalhrim bow
Gear: Stalhrim Heavy Armor, Dukaan, Amulet of Talos and ring of Extreme Destruction.
Passives: Seeker of Shadows, Force without Effort, Blessing of Talos and Dragonborn Frost
Recommended quests: Main questline, College of Winterhold, Dragonborn questline, Missing in Action, Forbidden Legend, A New Source of Stalhrim and Civil War questline.
I have always been fascinated by frost magic and it pained me to see how nearly half of the Skyrim universe is either immune or resistant to it. I know a lot of people think of it as the “least useful” of the destruction element but I hope people who never dived into it will give it a go.
For this build, the emphasis has been put on crowd control. The Arrow of Talos can efficiently manage threats on the battlefield by slowing, paralyzing and staggering foes.
The build is shining by using the improved Slow Time shout. As many already know, consuming a potion of Fortify Alteration will extend the time of the shout significantly.
Weapons and Armor
Armor: The Frost Aspect from Blackblood’s Armor Combo perfectly suits the build. You will need to spend a fairly large amount of time on Solstheim to get everything you need. If you want to bring the “A-game” out of this build I recommend a Stalhrim Heavy Armor of Extreme Destruction sold by Baldor Iron-Shaper in the Skaal village in Solstheim.
Weapon: Keeping it frosty, the Stalhrim bow is the ideal weapon allowing us to make a minimal investment in enchanting but still wielding a powerful weapon.
Accessories: The Amulet of Talos (found on Roggvir) coupled with the blessing allow us to use our shouts more frequently and the Ring of Extreme Destruction (found at Radiant Raiment) lets us cast our spells multiple times.
Alchemy is the joker of this build making frost magic a deadly tool, most of the ingredients required are easily accessible. I recommend buying Briar Heart and Ectoplasm (though some are found in the Hall of Countenance at the College of Winterhold and during the quest The Staff of Magnus by killing ghosts).
Don’t forget to put on some Fortify Alchemy gear while creating your potions.
Winter’s Touch: Weakness to Frost
Abecean Longfin + Ash Hopper Jelly
This poison allows you to deal more damage with your bow, the Frost Breath shout and your spells which makes it easier to proc the Deep Freeze perk.
True potential: Fortify Magicka + Fortify Destruction
Ash Creep Cluster + Briar Heart + Ectoplasm
Use this for enemies immune to poisons and resistant to frost, it allows you to maintain some good damage against them. It is the most powerful concoction in our arsenal. Both of the last ingredients are categorized as rare and uncommon respectively so use it carefully.
Perfect Marksmanship: Fortify Marksman
Canis Root + Elves Ear
This is for foes immune to frost and poison (I’m looking at you Dwarven Automatons). It allows you to put up a fight against those though guys.
Tachypsychia: Fortify Alteration
River Betty + Grass pod
This concoction is required to extend the duration of the Slow Time shout.
Starting the game you should focus on Destruction and Archery. If you feel like it, you can power level the latter since we cannot do a lot of damage with our spells early game and upgrade your frost spells as your destruction level increases. The go-to spells here are Ice Storm and Frost Rune. During this phase, disenchant everything you can and start putting frost enchantments on your bow of choice. We only need enchanting to be at 40 to put three points in Enchanter.
Alchemy can be power level with potions like
- Invisibility: Lunar Moth Wing, Chaurus Egg, Vampire Dust, and Nirnroot
- Poison of Ravage Stamina/ Slow: Deathbell, Salt Pile and Thistle
Early on you can use the War Cry power to avoid difficult enemies like bears and sabre cats. If you want to, you can play the Companions questline just enough to get Farkas as a trainer in Heavy Armor. Overall you should keep leveling your offensive skills first until you have everything required.
This character is meant to play as a combat archer, you can take some hits but don’t overdo it and use all your arsenal to control the battlefield. You will have a 75% chance to stagger opponents (Powershot + Force Without Effort).
Quality of life mod:
If going back to Solstheim to re-acquire the North Wind power is too tedious for you, I encourage you to install this mod: All-Maker Stones Power
The Arrow of Talos has been wronged by the Aldmeri Dominion and is on a journey to quell their influence in Skyrim. She is siding with the Stormcloaks to “free” Skyrim of those invaders. Through her adventure, she obtains intel on the targets she needs to kill.
The targets are not listed in any particular order.
Ancano: He is officing as a “counselor” at the College of Winterhold. He will certainly reveal some evil scheme in due time and you will be there to put an end to it.
Ancarion: After helping your new friend Freya, you are informed that the blacksmith of the village is missing. It seems to be the elves doing again. You will rush to rescue the kidnapee and deal with the threats on the island.
Estormo: The handyman of Ancano, meeting this stooge confirms your intuition and you will be the last person this elf will ever see.
Gissur: There are rumors that one of your kin is helping the Dominion. You will investigate this matter and put an end to it, even if it means slaying one of your people.
Agent Lorcalin: A Thalmor agent has been hunting Talos worshippers. You must eliminate those participating in this dark crusade.
J’datharr: Malborn informed you that he is being targeted by a Thalmor assassin. You will solve his problem by disposing of the elves' lackey.
Captain Valmir: A Thalmor insurgent is trying to unlock the power of an ancient dragon cult artifact. See that he fails in this task.
Elenwen: She is the First Emissary of the Thalmor in Skyrim and represents the face of those opposed to Talos worship. She is undoubtedly the most important target. Finishing her will send a strong message all over the province.
The Arrow of Talos is from Bruma, I emphasized exploration during my playthrough to roleplay the build to the fullest. I have to say, it was quite enjoyable. I recommend checking out:
- Every shrine of Talos (I didn't know Skyrim had fifteen)--- Talos shrines location
- Every Nordic ruin you can--- Skyrim Nordic ruins
- All the major cities of Skyrim
The Alchemist Shack will be used as our house as the Arrow of Talos is used to the wilderness, this will be no problem for her. She will also try to learn as much as possible about her Nord heritage. Through my journey, I picked up several books about Nords. A few of those are Children of the Sky, Nords of Skyrim and NordsArise!
Fell free to help whoever you want (please don't help any daedra). I ended up helping Mjoll the Lioness, Onmund, Andurs, Annekke Crag-Jumper, Anska, Balimund, and Golldir.
Make sure to kill all the Thalmor patrols you come across during your playthrough.
Ranger’s Focus: The Arrow of Talos can bend the flow of time and use her superior marksman skills to make every arrow count.
One of the most effective combo for archers, I’m pretty sure nearly everyone is familiar with this move. It is your best answer to Dwarven automatons.
Requires: Tachypsychia + Slow Time + Perfect Marksmanship
Frigid Assault: Your affinity for frost magic lets you deadly manipulate ice.
Ice Storm is an awesome spell, it has a huge radius but it’s slow-moving. By using it with Slow Time we make sure to hit our targets and deal great burst damage. Very effective against groups of enemies.
Requires: Tachypsychia + Slow Time + Multiple Dual cast Ice Storm
Winter’s Wrath: Freeze the ambient air around you and watch your enemies fall in a frost vortex.
The North Wind power is boosted by Augmented Frost and the Fortify Destruction potion dealing some lethal damage even to frost-resistant foes.
Requires: True Potential + North Wind
Strategies and Overview
- The Arrow of Talos is a semi-durable character with high damage potential. Switching from magic to bow or vice versa is effortless and doing it the right way can prevent enemies from doing any type of damage.
- Dwarven Automatons are the nemesis of this build, Centurions have a lot of health but are slow allowing you to kill them in a battle of attrition (watch out for their Steam Breath). The real threats are the Spheres, they can keep up with your speed and they deal a good chunk of damage. Engaging them with your shouts on cooldown will most likely lead to your demise, so plan accordingly in those ruins.
- Don't forget that you can use your runes from afar if enemies are close to each other. In dungeons and cramped places you should use Frigid Assault as your opener, then finish the survivors with your bow.
- Should you find yourself surrounded or dealing with a really powerful enemy, Winter’s Wrath will act as your panic move. This move passed the test for me when I used it on a Draugr Death Overlord ( 1400 Health and a 50% resistance to frost) bringing his health down to 25% in 10 seconds! Also, True Potential can be used to empower Frigid Assault.
- When enemies are too far from each other remember to use your Frost Breath shout to paralyze as many as possible and deal with the rest. Regarding dragons, the frost ones are a joke since your Nord blood and Dukaan mask let you tank frost damage like a boss. The other should be dealt with by using cover and shooting them as usual.
Final words and Thanks:
If you've read until this point, I want to say thank you for reaching the end. This build was a blast to play, it is my first “effective build” without being OP. I’m still learning the building thing so every opinion matters to me. Huge thanks go to Furrion 17 and SecondHandGamer54 who helped me with screenshots and the banners; KnightBlade, Lee, and Marook on the Discord who helped me make this build work. I hope you've enjoyed reading the build!