For those of you who aren’t fond of big reads or prefer the gameplay driven details. I’ll post a condensed version at the bottom outlining gameplay beats and what to expect while playing the Void Maiden
"And may my guided hand deliver those to our Lady’s Embrace. For we will eventually wither and decay, finding our way back to the dirt from which it was born. Although the defilers have taught us to betray her Benevolence - it is them who run from the comforting Void. For The Void Maiden will send these defiled souls to Namira. May you live within the Lady of Decays darkness, stripped from the embedded fears of rejection and shame you've been misguided to comfort."
Vermont grew up as a servant in the royal house of Evermore. Despite her efforts to conform to the expectations of her peers. She found a compelling interest in the things many considered to be abhorrent.
As the years went on, she spent more and more time in the outfields studying insects and fungi, or in books of disease, poisons and blight. The hurtful words and actions of others left her feeling outcast, alone and undeserving of their acceptance, furthering her introverted lifestyle. One night when she was exploring, she met an old man who was feeble and horrifically disfigured. He was surprised by her reaction, for he was used to being shunned and feared for his appearance. Through her compassion and acceptance, he revealed to her that he was a conjurer, and a devoted follower of Namira. After learning about Namira, Vermont felt compelled to go with this stranger, for never before had she felt a connection with someone. The feeling of acceptance made her realise how alone she was in her home city.
She begged to become his apprentice, even though she didn’t bear the same deformities as the man, she was treated the same as him. She wished to learn his skill in magic and to preach the word of Namira. A Goddess who would welcome those as they were, be it of their own volition or a victim of circumstance. Seeing her fortitude to serve, he agreed to let her come along as an apprentice.
During their travels the frail man taught her many things about Namira, about her Benevolence, and the truth of her origins, the embrace of her realm and saying that she wore the title of Goddess of gods. With every word he spoke, Vermont listened, learning everything she could. She learned the basics in conjuration as well as other spells of novice class. As the months trailed forth, the condition of his body worsened, until the day came when he could travel no more. On one of his last nights, he told her of the country to the east, about how she wished to master her studies. A college that did not shun the teachings of conjuration. Despite her requests for healing, no one would assist them, for his deformities were grotesque and his skin diseased. In his final moments, he expressed gratitude for making the last few months of a life filled with pain, just a little more bearable. “You’re meant for something great, Vermont.” He wheezed with laboured breath. Clasping her hands in his. “I can feel it. Lady Namira has incredible plans for you. Your grace to us afflicted is unique to this world.” His breath trailed off, his hands slowly loosening around her hands. “...Like a Maiden of Namira’s Void…” his hands folded out of Vermonts, his body laying limp in a place of rest. Tears whelled in her eyes before realising she was holding something, it was her masters amulet. Sorrow filled her heart as though a piece of herself fell with his hands, trying to hold on to something as it inevitably slipped away, through desperation she cutched the amulet to her chest, with the belief it were the only thing keeping her from eternal loneliness. She was alone again. Worse off than before, she wouldn’t go back to Evermore. Vermont soon remembered that she was never alone. With her she carried the Embrace of Namira, the comfort of her darkness. With the new notion in mind, she grabbed her things. Said a final farewell to the only family she had known, before stepping out into the Void. Where the Druadach Mountains awaited, and beyond them - the lands of Skyrim.
As with every build, please take this section with a pinch of salt. I will be describing how I role-played and what suited myself, but everyone's experience will be different and that's completely ok! With that out of the way, let's make our way into this build.
Initially starting out I wanted to fulfil the wishes of Vermont's teacher, unfortunately on her way to the College she had some trouble - we all know how that turns out. So with that minor setback, she not only takes the near miss of her life as further confirmation that she plays a special role to Namira, but also develops some deeper understanding of Skyrim and its turmoil. I personally decided to follow Ralof, the only reason for this is that the imperials were the ones who imprisoned Vermont, and willing to kill her regardless of her identity. I think of it more as “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” - a theme that goes throughout this playthrough. Additionally you want to be grabbing the necromancer's amulet as soon as possible. I roleplayed that this is her master's amulet. Despite no longer needing a conduit to his memory, she imagined it to be quite valuable and priorities getting it back on her way to Winterhold.
After winterhold you can return to Ralof and continue the main quest, I chose to postone the quest unti later when I got to the Thalmor Embacy.
Taking additional side quests and spreading the influence of Namira across Tamriel. I prioritised ‘Bones for a Crow’. In the end of the quest you fight someone called “Alvassor the Rat”, he wears full falmer armour and wields a unique falmer war axe called ‘Namira’s Itch’ this will be your primary weapon. Here you can branch out and choose to do any quests you find fitting. I personally chose; Dragonborn, Dawnguard (Vampire) dark brotherhood, stormcloaks civil war and I also chose the thieves guild (she is not a thief, so this optional. I personally like how they choose to live in sewers, even after the guild is remade they don't move. It's a choice the Maiden respects.) as well as companions (also optional, but her views are that serving hircine is a defect from Namira's Void, something she doesn’t tolerate. The only reason she would go ahead for be a Werewolf, is hearing from Kodlak that there is a cure, as such her intentions are to cure all members of the circle, those who refuse are killed. Sad Aela Noise)
At sometime after level 20 a nice progress beat is to be doing the forgotten vale section of Dawnguard, on your way to the Vale itself or the Inner Sanctum you're guarenteed to find a falmer wearing the Hardened Chest Piece.
Now to get into the good stuff. The Void Maiden plays as an aggressive battlemage. Her small mana pool is intentional, for you want to be using the staff of magnus in your off hand to replenish your magicka whenever possible. Despite being a mage/conjurer, she is the front line of most fights. Namira’s Itch has the strong enchantment of absorbing 30 Stamina each hit, so don’t let up on those power attacks. (This is a personal choice, but I chose to hold the staff in my right hand. The power attack from an offhand axe is a fake with a shank under the ribs. It suited someone who wasn’t a conditioned fighter. Additonally with force without effort it really causes your opponents to topple over as if the wind has been taken out of them.) You want to constantly have the lightning cloak spell activated, for the aesthetic of decay with disintegrate. Combat will switch from a staff/sword to spell/staff depending on the situation. Meanwhile you will be having support from your Lightening Atronach and Cursed Spectre.
The Void Maiden uses an arsenal of spells;
Conjuration: Potent Storm Atronach, Cursed Spectre, Haunting Spirit
Destruction: Touch of Death, Lightning Cloak, Shock spells.
Restoration: Greater ward, Poison Rune
Alteration: Stoneflesh, Paralysis Rune
I personally chose to not use any form of direct healing (restoration or potions) so I got into the habit of constantly leeching hp from my enemies with touch of death. Combat will consist of constantly absorbing Stamina, Health and Magicka from your enemies to win fights. Additionally a nice habit to get into is whenever you cast Lightning Cloak, cast Haunting spirit as well. Any extra survivability/damage is handy. In the later levels I began utilising the ward spells for dragons. Using the Staff of Magnus with wards will ensure you're safe while slowly forcing them to land once they are drained of magicka. Additonally if you are finding that you're being overwhelmed the additional armor of Ironflesh is a nice piece of survibility. Additionally the Paralysis Rune is a great addition to roleplay your opponent withering fortitude. Plus it will play into a nice Special Move later on.
Animal Allegiance, Drain Vitality, Storm Call, Marked For Death
I liked to roleplay the Thuum as an extention of Namira's gift to the Void Maiden. As such I personally used the ones that I felt best matched her play style. Animal Allegiance is an exceptional choice when dungeon diving in Dwemer ruins. They take full control over the many spiders and Chorus within the ruins to aid your fight against the Falmer.
Drain Vitality and Marked for Death fall into similar circumstances. I used Drain Vitality earlier on and swapped out for Marked For Death when the enemies were getting harder.
Storm Call is just an overall great shou to have in your Arsenal, I like to roleplay that it's your ultimate gift from Namira. Where you summon the Void on Mundus to create chaos and panic. The Lightening strikes are the fingers of her Void plucking life from the earth Surface.
Additonally The Void Maiden does well with lesser/greater powers. Some play an active role in her gameplay, while others offer passive bonuses or roleplay value.
The Main ones I focused on were:
Schollars Insight, Force without Effort, Seeker of Sourcery & Serinderoin's Serendipity.
I personally found this build to be very strong on adept/expert and didn't find any need for crafting skills. Although that being said, I did start using some potions to assist when things got tough. You're welcome to use/create whatever ones suit. The two I found most useful are;
Tonic of Atrophic Grasp;
Glowing Mushroom, Nightshade, Swamp Fungal Pod = Fortify Destruction/Resist Shock
Tonic of Atrophic Boon;
Glowing Mushroom, Giant's Toe, Canis Root = Fortify Health/Fortify One Handed
Additonally after level 40 I started using another potion for dragons.
Tonic of Magical Solvency;
Cyrodilic Spadetale, Salt Pile, Salmon Roe = Fortify Restoration/ Regenerate Magicka
Fortify restoration ensures up to 160 defense against magic attacks. It would help your greater wards hold out and provide some survivability against the flying beasts.
I liked to roleplay that Atrophic Grasp is applied to the offhand like an oitment. Causing the Touch of Death to rapidly spread through the opponents body. It boosts the effects of Touch of Death to be 80hp/s at 100 alchemy which is pretty busted. But once you start getting into the level 40's. Those Legendary Dragons and Draugr Deathlords start hurting.
Atrophic Boon is roleplayed to function like a poison. It's applied to Namira's Itch and functions as an on-hit poison effect that causes rapid cell degeneration when it makes contact with skin. Seeing someone topple over with Force without Effort really brings home the aesthetic of how terrifying a blow from the Void Maiden can be.
If you're using the Weapon in the right hand, feel free to utilitise poisons as well. When making potions for the Void Maiden, I tried to utilise fungi or inherently poisonous ingredients to roleplay her innate curiousity for all things "disgusting". Giant's Toes are hard to come by at early levels so feel free to use something like wheat or blue mountain flower.
Falmer War Axe (Namira's Itch), Staff of Magnus, Spells
Unmasked Necromancer's Hood, Hardened Falmer Armor, Corrupted Vigilant Boots, Corrupted Vigilant Gauntlets.
Diadem of the Savant or any Circlet (Hidden, and optional), Necromancers Amulet, Ring of Namira/Ring of Peerless Destruction.
Circlet Glitch; The way I used the Diadem of the Savant glitch is by grabbing a Dunmer Outfit that comes with a hood. (There is one guarenteed at the Bloodskall Barrow towers on the second floor. The Dunmer outfit doesnt use the face slot, which allows you to equip circlets with the hood. Once you've equipped the hood (Not the circlet), quick save and reload. You should be able to then equip the Savant, and then equip another head piece while the circlet is still equipped. you might find that it is invisible as well is your masked Necromancers hood. Just quick save again and reload. This should fix it.
This is completely down to the individual. I personally went with the Serpent stone early on incase I got in a really sticky spot. Later on I grabbed the Lord stone for the extra defense. You might find that the Steed Stone is a good choice, seeing as we aren't perking Conditioning and so she is very slow. I personally liked this mechanic as it really made you double down and stick out a fight, it suited the agressive nature and headstrong perspective of the build and worked for me personally.
When starting out, I recommended getting the parts of your outfit as soon as possible. Starting the Unholy Vigil as well as Bones of a Crow, as well as visiting Yngvild for the Masked Necromancers Hood. From levlels 1-20 your outfit can be whatever suits. I found using the body,boots and gauntlets of the Corrupted Vigil set with the masked necromancers hood worked just fine. The goal should always be to get the theme down on your character sooner than later! Remember, at level 20 is when you can get Hardened Falmer Chest pieces.
This is pretty flexible. I personally didnt put any points into stamina. Although I will recommend rushing 150 magicka to help with early summons, after that I went with 1:1:0 until 200 magicka and then dropped all my points into hp.
Feel free to place more points into One Handed and Heavy armor if playing after level 40. I also invested in further alteration flesh spells as well as getting the Stability perk for increased paralysis on Paralysis Rune. Another useful tip is if you're using the Diadam of the Savant under the Masked Necromancers Hood, you can also benefit from the Tower of Strength and Well Fitted Perks in the Heavy armor tree.
Plain of Decay - Mora's Agony + Marked for Death + Poison Rune. I like to think of the Tentacles from Mora's Agony as Leeching tendrils from Namira. After your enemys get stuck in the cesspool and their health begins to errode away. I normally use a marked for death on as many victims as I can before spamming the Poison rune, its effect stacks on itself. If you're low on mana be sure to use the Staff of Magnus as during this time to maintain that mana pool.
Aetherium Decomposition - Potent Storm Atronachx2 + Staff of Magnus + Storm Call. This one is tailored to those pesky Dragons. I personally try not to use the dragonrend shout or long range destructions spells. The Void Maiden is a very close ranged fighter. When a dragon reaches 0 magicka, it can no longer use breath attacks. This will force a dragon to land so you can engage with it head to head. I like to think of this move like the opponents mind has decayed to the point of it breaking its connection to the Aetherium plane. They will no longer be able to use magic, sticking to them in melee distance with Lighning cloak will ensure no magic is ever regenerated.
Thankyou so much for taking the time to read my guide. I hope this provides a unique experience through Skyrim. Any comments or critisms are welcomed as I'd love to make some more in the future with improvements.
I'd like to give a big thankyou to Furrion17 for giving me some guidance on guide formats as well as story pacing and proof reading my chracter design/build. I would of been super lost if it weren't for him. Please if you're reading this build and you haven't checked out his work. Please do at https://theskyforge.ning.com/members/Furrion17. Additonally if you want to support him even further I'm sure he'd appreciate us all looking at his website at https://www.billbromley.com/. He's a writer in the making and a bloody good one at that!
I'd also like to give a shout out to Skypothesis. They've been a big inspiration for me to begin theory crafting and build design. They have a discord at https://discord.gg/pZVgRJKRJ7 which is full of like minded people who enjoy working together to help people just like me bring their ideas into fruition. They also have a YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/skypothesis. Its got some amazing roleplay heavy build ideas and their edit style mixed with vibrant story telling will get anyone hooked.
The Void Maiden plays as an aggressive front liner. Using summons to assist them in battle. Think of her as a Conjuration Battlemage. Feel free to use whatever you want, I went with solely summons and specialised in shock spells. Think of her as Lawful Evil; Her goal is to spread Namira’s influence over Skyrim, as long as your actions are going to help do that (whether by directly influencing a Faction by becoming its leader or destroying it entirely.) The repercussions of your actions matter little as long as it furthers your goal.
Auxiliary, Weapons & Armor;
- Namira’s Itch from ‘Bones of a Crow’ (CC)
- Eye of Magnus from the Winterhold Questline
- The masked necromancers Hood found at Yngvild (CC)
- Heavy Falmer armour obtained from Falmer after level 20
- Corrupted Vigil gauntlets and boots from ‘Unholy Vigil’ (CC)
- Namira’s Ring
- Necromancer’s Amulet
- Diadem of the Savant (Optional)
- Leech spells (Chest found in Hob’s Fall Cave) CC
- Shock spells
- Flesh spells
- Paralysis Rune
- Any form of summon is fine. My choices were Storm Atronach, Cursed Spectre (CC), Haunting Spirit (CC)
- Lord or Steed
Perks and Stats are in an infographic in the guide.
Story Beats for me were;
Helgen < Winterhold < Falmer Embassy < Dawnguard (Vampire) < Dragonborn < Main Quest.
Side quests are up to you. I made sure to get her gear as soon as possible for roleplay.
The Diadem of the Savant glitch is brushed on in the guide but feel free to look at videos online for a better understanding.
Thanks again for checking out my guide. I'll hopefully see you all on the next one!