What's up builders. Been a while since I've created a Skyrim build, let alone submitted one hear on the Forge. So after hearing about the Event as well as being satisfied with a character on a recent playthrough, I might as well enter. Ironically, this build is loosely based on the Warlock class from Dungeons & Dragons and World of Warcraft. I say loosely since I've never actually played any of those games so it was more like researching the Warlock skillset and adapting it into a lore-friendly manner. With that I present to you...
The Oblivion Wyress is a damage-dealing spellcaster, using a wide range of debuffs and damage-over time effects. She is also adept at summoning her demonic-looking minions that are fueled by the spirits harvested from her enemies. Having the power to twist the souls of her victims empowers the Wyress and her minions that can rain death upon her opponents. While this build uses mods that are fairly new, it still plays like a typical battlemage character. It heavily relies on spells that drain the energies of foes that can restore the character’s attributes as well as summon creatures with special abilities.
The Glenmoril Wyrd are a loose association of witch covens from High Rock that are widely known to be Daedra worshippers. Their relationship with daedra establishes a bond between them that unlock secrets of forbidden knowledge to gain power and might. These secrets involve summoning otherworldly creatures, casting eldritch type magic, and binding daedra spirits into weapons. Because of their relationship with the Daedra, many civilized folk deem them untrustworthy, and sometimes evil. However, that’s mainly because of the coven’s reclusive nature as well as preferring to live away from city settlements.
That being said though, vampire members of the Wyrd prefer to live within the city’s walls. These vampires have blended with the rest of Breton society and have adopted their industrious behavior to climb the social ladder. They desire themselves to be noble members of society for multiple reasons: being part of the magical elite, ruling one of many kingdoms, or attending their high-class festivities. While this way of living seems contradictory to the Glenmoril coven, that doesn’t mean they have lost their bond with the Daedra. In fact, their relationship to their Daedric Prince grants them a path to achieve nobility as their ultimate goal.
Like many members of the Glenmoril, Isara forged a bond with a Daedric Prince that granted her knowledge to use dark magic. By serving Molag Bal and becoming a vampire, she became proficient in hemomancy. Blood magic not only advanced her spell-casting abilities, but also improved her physical capabilities and made her more cunning. With this ability, she pursued to find other forms of ancient knowledge that can greatly benefit her. Being a member of the Glenmoril coven also granted access to summon creatures that are empowered by harvesting souls, another form of ancient magic that is forbidden in many regions of Tamriel. Besides a seeker of ancient knowledge, Isara desires to be among the noble elite. Starting out as a lower-class peasant, she would climb the social ladder by performing deeds for high-class citizens. By performing quests and services to curry favor with various rulers to prosperity, Isara developed a quest obsession to not only be favored by the elite, but it also allowed her to seek out hidden tomes of forgotten magic. Isara’s preference of being with the upper class allows her to mingle and forge connections with notable individuals. She doesn’t seek glory and honor nor be a political influencer with them. She rather mingle with them and be a part of their festivities.
Being a Breton, Isara has a strong affinity of magic that not only makes her a powerful user but also resistant to magical attacks against her. Abilities covered by the Imperious mod
- Spell Mantle: Magic resistance increased by 15%. You also gain 25% spell absorption when magicka is 25% or less
- Grail of Betony: A Breton in possession of the Grail regenerates magicka and stamina 50% faster
- Stones of Galen: Each standing stone grants its own additional effect
- Shared Ancestry: 1/day Power that invokes your Aldmeri-Nedic heritage to gain the racial power of a living human or elven target for 300 seconds
Having access to dark magic has empowered Isara’s spell-casting abilities, but she can not regenerate magicka on her own… unless a victim is slain. Abilities covered by the Andromeda mod
- Corrupted Arcana: Magicka does not regenerate. Each death within 50 feet restores magicka equal to 25 times their level
- Oblivion Bound: If you have magicka remaining, spells are 25% more effective and cost 50% less magicka
- Devour from Within: 1/day Power that paralyzes a living target, absorbing 50 magicka for 10 seconds. When depleted, absorbs Health instead.
- Stones of Galen: Spells cost 15% less
Isara’s pact with Molag Bal enabled her to unlock hidden forms of magic and use them for her own benefits as servitude to the Daedric Prince of Domination. Abilities covered by the Wintersun mod
“Slay people who stand in your way. Trap souls in my name. Live as a vampire and never seek a cure. Those skilled in Destruction are most deserving of my favor.”
- Shrine Blessing: Destruction spells cost 10% less to cast
- Follower - Eye of the Storm: Absorbs an X amount of magicka and stamina (based on favor with Molag Bal) from nearby enemies in combat
- Devotee - Dragged to Oblivion: Activate a person in combat to banish them to Coldharbour. Pray to request the items. Costs 15% favor.
Spells, Abilities, & Shouts:
Majority of spells will be handled by the Warlock archetype from Triumvirate. These spells introduce a new mechanic by binding the spirit of those slain to summon a creature with an extra ability. Think of it as casting Soul Trap on the target and once captured, you use that soul to summon a more powerful daedra or something like that. Not exactly sure it's lore-friendly but that's pretty much the gist of it. These new summons include:
- Gremlin (Novice) - If Spirit is offered, gains a 40% chance to disarm targets
- Temple Grim (Apprentice) - If Spirit is offered, its attacks interrupt and feed on spellcasting
- Ravagor (Adept) - If Spirit is offered, gains an 8 point per second vampiric cloak
- Magister (Expert) - If Spirit is offered, it regenerates 25 Magicka per second. Also has a staff that absorbs magicka and casts an area of effect damaging spell
- Leviathan (Master) - If Spirit is offered, its attacks immobilizes and bleed targets
Possessing the ability to cast dark magic, Isara uses a range of obscure destruction spells that not only deal raw magic damage, but are used to bind the target's slain under its effects. Spells include:
- Eldritch Blast (Novice) - Warping blast that deals 20 raw damage.
- Witch Bolt (Adept) - Bolt of dark fire that deals 3 raw damage for 60 seconds.
- Hurl Into Oblivion (Master) - Deals 60 raw damage and flings survivors into Oblivion until the spell is cast again
To know if the target’s spirit is binded, a purplish-pink glow will appear on the character’s hands. You’ll then have 30 seconds to cast a warlock minion and if so, they’ll gain their special ability. The other destruction spells emits a poisonous cloud that makes targets weaker against the warlock summons:
- Balefire (Apprentice) - Corrupting fire deals 15 magic damage and burns for 2 poison damage for 10 seconds. Targets are 30% weaker to warlock minions.
- Cloudkill (Expert) - Corrupting blast deals 50 magic damage and leaves a 20 poison damage cloud. Targets in the cloud are 30% weaker to warlock minions.
Lastly, Isara has the ability to curse and debuff her opponents; weakening them and reducing their ability to fight back. They can affect any type of enemy so the Master of the Mind perk is not needed and only 1 curse can be applied. Spells include:
- Weaken (Novice) - Creatures and people are cursed for 30 seconds. Their attack damage is reduced by 20%
- Frailty (Apprentice) - Creatures and people are cursed for 30 seconds. Their armor is reduced by 150 points
- Iron Maiden (Adept) - Creatures and people are cursed for 30 seconds. Deals 25 damage each time they attack or cast a spell
- Life Tap (Expert) - Creatures and people are cursed for 30 seconds. Melee attacks against them absorb 40 Health
- Decrepify (Master) - Creatures and people are cursed for 60 seconds. They suffer 50% reduced weapon speed, 20% slowed movement and lose 50 Stamina per second.
As for vanilla spells, the Bound Sword is Isara's main weapon when deciding to finish enemies up close. Ebonyflesh is used for better protection when wearing light armor. The Flaming Familiar plays a more strategic role. An important note about the Warlock summons is that they can’t be summoned from long range even with the appropriate perk. So having a summon that can deal with long range targets like archers and mages to disrupt them will be helpful. I also find that the Flaming Familiar would fit well with a Warlock summon as opposed to an atronach or the original familiar. Another fitting summon is Conjure Seeker because of its demonic appearance and sharing similar spellcasting abilities. Also acquiring the spell tome when venturing into a Black Book is what a seeker of forbidden knowledge would do. For shouts, there’s Drain Vitality for its damage over time effects, Marked for Death for cursing the targets, and Summon Durnehvir who can provide aid for Isara as well as summon other demonic creatures into battle.
The Black Books:
Isara is a seeker of knowledge that lies hidden within the fabrics of Tamriel. Encountering beings of supernatural power, especially the Daedric Princes allows her to unlock magical effects both subtle and spectacular. What better way to do so than acquiring the Black Books:
- Secret of Arcana (Filament & Filigree) - 1/day power where spells do not drain magicka for 30 seconds.
- Mora’s Boon (The Hidden Twilight) - 1/day power that completely restores Health, Magicka, and Stamina.
- Seeker of Sorcery (The Sallow Regent) - Passive that reduces the cost of all spells by 10%. Improves Enchanting by 10%.
- Lover’s Insight (The Winds of Change) - Passive that inflicts 10% extra damage to the opposite sex. Provides 10% better prices from the opposite sex.
Becoming a vampire was Isara's first foray into understanding dark magic. The ability to cast spells that not only damage her foes but replenish her own are of great value to her. Vampire mechanics will be covered by the Sacrilege mod. Sacrilege is more of a streamlined overhaul of the vampire system so it's closer to vanilla compared to Sacrosanct and Better Vampires, but still offers some new features. One of these new features is its Vampire Rank system where as you age as a vampire your abilities become more powerful. This includes melee damage and blood magic effectiveness increasing over time. For example, you’ll start out as having an extra 5% in melee damage (Fledgling rank), but will max out to 30% (Nightmaster rank). This also applies to blood magic spells:
- Vampire Drain (Novice) - Absorbs 5-30* points of Health per second from the target
- Vampiric Seed (Apprentice) - Bone shards pierce a living target, absorbing 1-6* Health and dealing 1-6* magic damage for 5 seconds.
- Vampiric Orb (Adept) - Impales living targets in the area, absorbing 2-12* Health and dealing 2-12* magic damage for 5 seconds.
- Vampiric Cloak (Expert) - Bats attack living targets for 60 seconds. Absorbs 1-6* Health and deals 1-6* magic damage per second.
The * attach to the damage numbers depend on the Vampire rank system as explained with the melee damage. To obtain the newer spells is through the Vampire Lord skill tree. While Isara spends very little time as a Vampire Lord, its perk system allows her to acquire new abilities for her human form. Other than the destruction spells, they also include:
- Hemomancer - Vampiric blood spells deal 0.4% more damage per level of Destruction.
- Blood From a Stone - Vampiric blood spells can now damage nonliving targets
- Starving Artist - Vampiric blood spells absorb stamina equal to 50% of damage dealt.
- Make Them Beautiful - Vampiric blood spells tear apart targets below 25% Health, killing them instantly.
Sacrilege also provides ways of advancing the rank system. These include draining people, consuming a special type of blood potion, acquiring Vampire Lord perks and so on. Bretons have a racial ability to advance the progression by activating a standing stone which also counts as feeding. Increasing rank also slows down vampiric hunger so feeding on people or consuming blood potions won’t be needed on a daily basis.
Recommended stat distribution is 2 Magicka, 2 Health, & 1 Stamina until reaching 150 into Stamina. Then go back and forth with leveling up magicka and health. Perks are covered by the Ordinator mod along with using the 20% More Perk Points add-on.
The Oblivion Wyress' major skill. Isara will be able to command up to 3 minions who become stronger as she levels up. She can also manifest a Bound Sword that not only strengthens her, but also weakens her enemies especially when controlling a minion.
- Edge of Oblivion - You can summon or reanimate 1 additional minion and they last 50% longer. When you do not command a summon or reanimated minion, you lose 250 points of armor and 50% magic resistance.
- Pact Magic - Destruction spells and effects are 10% more effective for each friendly conjured Daedra within 30 feet.
- Elemental Potency - Atronach conjurations now call Potent Atronachs that are higher level and more powerful. Also applies to the warlock summons.
- Summon Resist - Friendly conjured Daedra and other non-undead minions within 75 feet gain 50% magic resistance and 300 points of armor.
- March of Oblivion - You can summon or reanimate 1 additional minion per 250 points of base Magicka, up to 3 additional minions.
- Mystic Binding - Bound Weapon spells now summon Mystic Weapons which deal more damage.
- Void Burn - Bound weapons brand victims with unholy energy for 5 seconds, halting Magicka and Stamina regeneration while draining 15 points per second. When both are depleted, the energy starts devouring their flesh, dealing 15 points of magic damage per second.
- Hollow Binding - Bound weapons cut through flesh and spirit, reducing magic resistance by 30% for 5 seconds.
- Dark Whispers - Bound weapons induce a battle rage in their wielder, granting 20% extra attack damage and 100 points of armor rating for 5 seconds when a target is struck.
- Covenant of Coldharbour - Hollow Binding reduces magic resistance by an additional 30% if you control a summoned Daedra or other non-undead minion.
Besides possessing otherworldly types of magic, Isara also has utility skills to cover her weaknesses as well as perks to compliment her battlemage playstyle. She also has a special skill that makes her stronger when controlling a summon.
- Spellblade - Whenever you cast a spell with one hand, you deal 20% more attack damage for 4 seconds.
- Alter: Self Resistances - You may choose two resistances to increase by 25%. Select shock and fire.
- Welloc’s Dormant Arcana - Choose a spell type and 3 magic effects. The chosen magic effects will activate when you are affected by the chosen spell type. The chosen spell type will be Conjure Daedra and the chosen effects are melee damage, armor rating, and spell absorption.
- Nullifier - You radiate a dampening field, preventing enemies within 25 feet from regenerating Magicka and Stamina.
- Rend Resistances - Whenever you attack with a weapon, reduce the magic resistance of nearby enemies within 10 feet by 15% for 4 seconds.
Further strengthens the Bound Sword while also weakening the enemies attack damage that coincides with the Wyress’s Illusion spells.
- Clash of Champions 3/3 - Attacks with swords reduce the target's attack damage by 20% for 3 seconds.
- Smite 2/2 - Unblocked regular attacks with a sword increase the damage of your power attacks against the target by 50% for 4 seconds.
- Furious Strength - Power attack damage with one-handed weapons increased by 15% plus 0.1% per point of Stamina. Unlocks decapitations.
The ability to capture souls into soul gems from her fallen victims allows Isara to improve her equipment with arcane power while further enhancing her battlemage skills.
- Spellscribe - Grants the "Spellscribe" power: use it to store the spell you are dual casting. Your power attacks unleash the stored spell for free, with a cooldown based on Enchanting skill. The chosen spell will be Vampiric Seed
- Might and Magic - Spells cast with your left hand are 10% more effective if you are wielding a weapon in your right hand. Attacks with a weapon in your right hand deal 10% more damage if you are holding a spell in your left hand.
- Regalia - New enchantments placed upon robes, circlets, hoods and necklaces are 30% stronger.
Enhances Isara's dark magic. The Raw Power branch strengthens the Warlock destruction and blood magic spells.
- Destruction Mastery 2/2 - Destruction spells cost 35/50% less Magicka, and Destruction spells are 0.25/0.5% more powerful per level of Destruction.
- Raw Power 3/3 - Destruction spells that do not deal fire, frost, or shock damage are 30% more powerful
Other than reducing spellcasting cost, perks applied will increase the minions’ offensive and defensive capabilities.
- Commanding Presence - In combat, you radiate an aura of mystical nobility that touches allied creatures and people within 40 feet. Those affected gain 20% extra attack damage and have a 20% chance of a critical strike.
- Crown of the False King - Commanding Presence also increases armor by 80 points and magic resistance by 20%.
- Imperious Splendor - Commanding Presence and Crown of the False King are twice as powerful as long as you remain above 75% Health.
Increases armor rating and the benefit of wearing a circlet is using a more effective enchantment.
- Keen Senses - If you are not wearing a helmet, Light Armor pieces have 20% increased armor rating.
Since Isara will be casting quite a bit of spells, cost reduction and an increased magicka pool should be mandatory for enchanting purposes. The rest are more for survivability to make up for her low defense. Armor set shown is from the Raven Witch Armor mod along with the Ebony Circlet from JS Circlets. The outfit is more for aesthetics and I've been wanting to make a build based on it. Its armor rating is quite high (around Glass category) but to aquire it, you need to defeat 3 high level Hagravens located near the Apprentice Stone. One of them drops a key to the chest in the same location. The circlet can be purchased by the Khajiit inside Warmaiden's or found as random loot.
- Circlet of the Wyrd - Fortfiy Destruction
- Wyress Outfit - Fortify Health
- Wyress Gloves - Fortify Magicka
- Wyress Boots - Resist Fire
- Amulet of Glenmoril - Resist Magic
- Ring of Binding - Fortify Conjuration
College of Winterhold
A school dedicated to homing and improving her magical abilities, Isara will gain entry to the College of Winterhold for her magical prowess. Eventually becoming the Arch-Mage, she becomes a notable figure to the magical elite and gains recognition throughout Skyrim.
The Wolf Queen
Solitude is the capital of the province and the Imperial seat of power in Skyrim. Its major trading hub and illustrious history makes it a prominent political power. Being recognized by the Jarl’s court for the elimination of Potema and her followers will grant Isara the opportunity to become Thane of Haafingar, an honorary title given by the Jarl to someone of great importance.
Blood on the Ice
Like Solitude, Windhelm is another prestigious city despite being unfriendly to outsiders. Finding the whereabouts of a killer nicknamed ‘the Butcher’ and putting a stop to them, gives her much appreciation from the Jarl’s court and another opportunity to become Thane.
Destroy the Dark Brotherhood
With rumors of a plot to assassinate the Emperor, Isara will align herself with the Penitus Oculatus to take out the Dark Brotherhood. While it may seem she is serving the Empire, the Wyress only does this to improve her social status.
The Black Star
An artifact that can trap black souls and be used an unlimited number of times is perfect for a harvester of souls
The Bard’s College
An opportunity to mingle with the established elite. Isara retrieves a missing poem in an ancient tomb and convinces the Jarl to allow the burning of King Olaf.
The Black Books are esoteric tomes containing hidden magical abilities few mortals come into possession. As a magical practitioner that seeks ancient knowledge, Isara will pursue these Black Books to obtain these hidden forms of magic further enhancing her abilities.
The House of Horrors
Isara’s insatiable need for power and knowledge all began by forming a pact with Molag Bal. She continues to honor this pack by acquiring his Daedric artifact, becoming his champion.
After rescuing an ancient vampire and bringing her to Castle Volkihar, Isara acquires more abilities of dark and forbidden magic that enhances her vampiric powers. She’ll put an end to Lord Harkon’s ultimate goal of blocking out the sun as this is detrimental in her pursuing secrets of ancient magic. There’s also the Bloodstone Chalice and the Ancient Power side quests that grants the Blood of the Ancients power allowing the Wyress to absorb magicka and stamina from her Vampiric Drain spell.
In her pursuit to become Thane of Whiterun, Isara unlocks the ability to use the Thu’um after helping slaying a dragon. This grants her the title of Dragonborn, a very prestigious honor only a select few have earned. With this newfound ability, she can absorb the soul of a slain dragon to unlock new forms of shouts. While she’ll eventually stop Alduin from destroying the world, she has a larger interest in learning more forms of shouts.
The Oblivion Wyress is meant to have at least 1 summon active at all times (at least in combat) otherwise the curse from the Edge of Oblivion perk will make her a lot weaker. Hence, this is why Conjure Daedra is the chosen spell type to gain the beneficial effects from Welloc’s Dormant Arcana. Without any summons, lower level enemies can still be manageable but higher level ones will make short work of you. Since this is a battlemage type character, focus on spellcasting especially when facing groups of enemies. Keep in mind though that magicka will not regenerate because of the Atronarch Stone so management is key especially when fighting dragons, named dragon priests, or any enemy with a large health pool. However, there's Mora's Boon to fully restore magicka and Secret of Arcana for free spellcasting. Magicka potions are also helpful
As for summons, they all have their strengths and weaknesses so they should be used appropriately. Gremlins can handle lower level enemies but shouldn’t be used around mid- to end-game. Temple Grims move quickly and their ability to feed on spellcasting is useful against mages, but aren’t great against melee opponents. Ravagors can turn into absolute tanks. Their vampiric cloak ability along with the Commanding Presence, Elemental Potency, and Summon Resist perks make them really hard to kill for melee opponents. Magisters have the most powerful ability out of all the summons as their staffs can absorb magicka and unleash a devastating area of effect blast. However, they move quite slow and their ability to track enemies may hinder inside caves and dungeons. Not to mention they’re weak against melee opponents so they’re best used against mages, dragon priests, and dragons. Leviathans, like Ravagors, are tanks that can immobilize enemies making them vulnerable to the Wyress’ attacks. Although their large size makes them difficult to move in caves and dungeons. Of course, having to summon these creatures at short-range leaves them vulnerable to archers and mages from the distance so this is where the Flaming Familiar comes in. They can easily distract those types of opponents while you move in on them and finish them off with the Bound Sword or Vampiric Drain spells.
Similar strategy can be applied for the Warlock Illusion spells. Weaken and Frailty are useful against melee opponents. Iron Maiden should be used against ranged opponents, especially dragons. Life Tap for melee in conjunction with the Bound Sword can finish off enemies rather quickly. Decrepify is the most useful out of all of them but because of its long-casting time, should be used whenever enemies are only engaging against the summons.
For the destruction spells, they are mainly damage over time effects that can hinder opponents especially when they’re fighting against the summons. But if they start advancing on you this is where the Bound Sword comes in. While this character does not have much defense, perks like Void Burn, Hollow Binding, and Dark Whispers grant Isara better offensive and defensive capabilities while also debuffing her opponents. You’ll also want to have the Vampiric Cloak active as it’s incredibly effective in melee range. The perks Covenant of Coldharbour, Hollow Binding, and Rend Resistances altogether reduce the target’s magic resistance by a combined 75%.
This is basically empowering the Vampire Drain spell to a more adequate version. The Eye of the Storm from worshiping Molag Bal and Blood of the Ancients from the Chalice allows the character to absorb magicka and stamina within melee range. The perks Raw Power and Hemomancer further increase Vampire Drain’s effectiveness making it a deadly spell up close when dual cast.
The go-to move for binding the spirit of the target. Casting Witchbolt and Vampiric Orb for its damage-over-time effects. Then follow up by dual casting Vampire Drain. Thanks to the Make Them Beautiful perk in the Vampire Lord skill tree, the target will be slain instantly when its health drops to 25%.
The Warlock summons aren’t just useful because of their extra abilities. Perks in the Conjuration and Illusion skill tree grant them extra health, increase armor rating and magic resistance making them tougher to kill and be able to handle tougher opponents.
Debuffs enemies by reducing their offense and defensive capabilities. Cloudkill damages the opponent and leaves a poison cloud making them vulnerable against the warlock summons. Weaken will reduce their physical damage and while they’re engaging against the summon, dual-cast Vampire Drain to finish them off.
Like the Vampiric Siphoner ability only this strengthens the Bound Sword. Not just by doing more damage but also draining the target's attributes, reducing their magic defenses, and weakening their physical attacks. Power attacking also unleashes a blood magic spell on the target absorbing their health.
Instead of relying on her summons and spellcasting, the Wyress can finish enemies up close with her blade. Having the Vampiric Cloak active and cursing the target with Life Tap siphons her opponents health in rapid fashion. Along with the abilities that weaken the target up close, their melee attacks become useless. Even if they manage to inflict some major damage on the Wyress, her health will recover almost instantaneously.
Ordinator - Perks of Skyrim (along with 20% More Perk Points add-on)
Triumvirate - Mage Archetypes
Sacrilege - Minimalistic Vampires of Skyrim
Imperious - Races of Skyrim
Andromeda - Unique Standing Stones of Skyrim
Wintersun - Faiths of Skyrim
Arena - An Encouter Zone Overhaul
Wildcat - Combat of Skyrim
Raven Witch Armor
Strange Runes (not really recommended but have some cool visuals. They're those runes you see on the caster's hands in some of the screenshots)
Well if you made it this far, thank you for taking the time to read my build and I'd appreciate any type of feedback on it. I like to give credit to PCoutcast's Triumvirate series on Youtube as seeing the Warlock spells in action helped figure out the gameplay aspect for the Oblivion Wyress. Also thanks to Furrion for organizing the event. Looking forward to reading the rest of the entries since these events usually bring out the best in Skyrim builds.