Ordinator Character Build: The Desert Wind


“Many believe that our world is one without beauty and grace. This one thinks otherwise. This one knows better.

Every Khajiit knows it is more than possible to mix beauty and blood."


Sugar and sands, my friends. This one brings you a new Khajiit build, their first on the Skyforge: the Desert Wind, a follower of the Zhan Khaj dual wielding claw-dance.


While Khajiit is pretty new at making Skyrim builds, this one had a lot of fun putting the Desert Wind together. This is their first build for the Skyforge. Feedback and criticism is always appreciated!


Okay, I’ll drop the Khajiit LARP.


The Khajiit have been my favorite race in the Elder Scrolls for a while. While I’ll always have a soft spot for the Nords and what they could’ve been, and the Hist and Argonians are certainly food for thought, the Khajiit are so fleshed out yet leave so much to mystery that it allows one's mind to run wild. How true are their myths? Is the Mane truly a Tower? What were the Void Nights? How does the Lunar Lattice relate to Lunar Lorkhan if the latter is true? Are they descendants of Mer? Do they like being pet behind the ears? Do they purr and knead blankets? So many questions, so little answers, so much room for headcanon.


A long dive into Khajiiti culture a few days ago inspired me to replay Skyrim. While I usually play Nord or Imperial dragonborns, having a Khajiit dragonborn sounded like a lot of fun; especially as I dove into claw-dances, culture, food, and the Khajiiti mythos. This ultimately inspired me to play Skyrim in a way I haven’t in a long time: using a true dual-wielder, who moves and kills with speed, style, and grace.


As the name implies, this build is inspired by the Zhan Khaj claw-dance, or “Desert Wind” in the Imperial tongue. It focuses on wielding two balanced blades, but besides that we don’t get a lot. I felt like this would be the perfect excuse to flex my creative muscles and begin a tepid entry into a new way of experiencing the Elder Scrolls community I haven’t really been into.


The Desert Wind builds on this concept by combining dual wielding with three other skills; restoration magic, Ordinator's skills, and a powerful Thu'um. With speed buffs from both the Shadow Stone and Ordinator's perk trees and attack speed buffs from the dual wielding branch of One-Handed and Elemental Fury, the Desert Wind can combine deadly swordplay and pinpoint accuracy with blinding speed — a mix of grace and gore, boosted with restoration magic if the going gets a bit too tough.


A special thanks to taagra.com for their amazing translation tool and fleshing out of Ta’agra, the Khajiiti language.


Without further ado, let me introduce the Desert Wind.




Ordinator - Perks of Skyrim



Andromeda - Unique Standing Stones


Khajiiti Apex Armory

Any fix for the Elemental Fury shout

Khajiit Speak







Ne Quin-al was not a comfortable place for a child to be raised. It was the poorest of the two states of Elsweyr, with Pa’alatiin having richer lands, richer cities, and richer people. Yet, for the Desert Wind, it was home.


Ra’sanaz, born with the title Ma’ (as with all Khajiit), was lucky enough to be born in Dunei. He was born in the “One Hundred Sixty-Fifth Year of the Fourth Era,” but to Ma’sanaz he was simply born under waning Jode and full Jone about thirty-six summers ago. His family wasn’t the richest in Dunei: his father was a merchant and his mother was a tea brewer, but his childhood was at least happy. He learned a few things about the merchant trade from his father and enjoyed brewing tea with his mother, his favorite still being Mint. 


What fascinated Ma’sanaz more than anything, however, was the rich culture of his country. He found himself fascinated by the tales of Alkosh the Highmane, Rid-Thar-ri'Datta, the wars against Valenwood, and anything else that tickled his fancy. The Clan Mothers noticed the boy’s potential as a philosopher-soldier and recommended to his family that the boy be trained in claw-dancing, specifically Zhan Khaj: the “Desert Wind.”


Ma’sanaz started his training at the age of nine summers. His willingness to learn was picked up by many, and by the age of twelve he was proficient with swords and slowly expanding his knowledge of Alkosh, Riddle’Thar, and the Desert Wind philosophy. Even the Great War’s coming a year after his induction could not stop Ma’sanaz’s growth, and when it ended Ma’sanaz was thirteen summers and considered a prodigy amongst the Zhan Khaj school in Dunei. It was here that Ma’sanaz was given the title “Ra’.”


By the time he was twenty, Ra’sanaz was considered a master of the Zhan Khaj in Dunei. His proficiency with the dual blades was nearly unmatched, and his grasp of religious and meditative philosophies was remarkable; even if it had gotten him in a few arguments over theology with the Clan Mothers. Yes, at heart, Ra’sanaz was still a Khajiit — smart, gifted with a blade, and diligent, but also sneaky, mischievous, and perhaps arrogant. Every Khajiit has two souls, after all.


It was this sneaky mischievous arrogance that ultimately got the better of him. One night, Ra’sanaz and a group of childhood friends donned disguises and hit the night streets of Dunei. What was supposed to be a night of mischief with the boys and girls quickly turned into a bit of a mess, however, when a brazier was accidentally kicked over by one of the group. Things quickly escalated, and soon an entire temple dedicated to Alkosh was on fire. When the fire was extinguished and the cause investigated, the group pinned the blame on Ra’sanaz — so much for childhood friends!


Ra’sanaz was banished not just from Zhan Khaj, but from the entirety of Dunei. For the next fifteen years, Ra’sanaz roamed Tamriel as a sellsword and bodyguard, but the philosophy of Zhan Khaj never truly faded even as his heart hardened. Ra’sanaz became a bit of a legend among adventurers; he had fought trolls, beasts, vampires, bandits, and depending on who you asked even giants, daedra, and cliff racers from Valenwood to Morrowind. If you asked Ra’sanaz, he’d chuckle and give a non-committal answer about the giants and daedra: but he’d remain oddly silent whenever cliff racers were brought up.


Hearing of a potential job offer in Skyrim piqued the Khajiit’s interest. Something about a local king and an escort mission: he’d done plenty of those. As he crossed the border from Cyrodiil and made his way to his client in Darkwater Crossing however, he found himself caught up in a battle between two sides: his client among them. He was captured, his clothes and weapons stripped, and sent away for execution.




Despite their hardened heart and mistrust of others, the Desert Wind is still a kind person. If they believe a person is trustworthy, they’ll help them, but they’re quick to judge and quicker to mistrust given their banishment from Dunei and Zhan Khaj by those they believed were their friends. Like the duality of Khajiiti souls, the Desert Wind has two faces: the public face of a hardened and fierce but kind warrior, and the private face of a betrayed and emotionally hurt monk. While they are quick to help, they won’t help people they don't feel are trustworthy. Around those that they consider friends, the Desert Wind will let down their guard.


The Desert Wind, in line with the philosophy of Zhan Khaj, seeks violence only as a last resort. They will attempt to talk their way out of conflicts, but if the worst comes to worse they will not show mercy unless he believes they are truly deserving. They give no quarter to bandits, vampires, and other associated villains. They have a special hatred for betrayal due to their past.


 In line with their Khajiiti upbringing, the Desert Wind is more than happy to “borrow” other people’s property. The Khajiit believe in communal property, and as such the Desert Wind sees no problem with “stealing” if they’re going to put whatever they “steal” to good use. This includes weapons, gold, and perhaps potion ingredients; but, as a point of personal honor, they’ll never steal anything sentimental or necessary for a person’s livelihood. The Desert Wind is not a thief: more of an opportunist. We’re not breaking and entering here.


If Wintersun is installed, the Desert Wind will be an adherent to Riddle’Thar or Akatosh. It’s up to you!




Do not harm the innocent. 

Do not lie, unless in protection of others.

Do not associate with bandits, scoundrels, and thieves.

Do not act cowardly or show fear.

Honor your family and clan.

Honor Alkosh and Riddle’Thar.


The Desert Wind follows these, quite literally, religiously. To break any of these unless absolutely necessary would be sacrilege, and they've already paid for breaking the third. 





The Desert Wind will initially be very confused about their role as Dragonborn. It’s a rather foreign concept to them. Over time, however, the role will slowly grow on them. They’ll begin to take an interest in the history and philosophy of the Dragonborn, and as they evolve they’ll slowly begin to view themselves as an extension of Alkosh. 


By the end of the Main Quest, which should be completed in its entirety, the Desert Wind will take their role as the “Roar of Alkosh” in stride. They’ll incorporate the Thu’um into their combat style and, if Thunderchild is installed, honor Khenarthi in a similar vein to Riddle’Thar and Alkosh, learning every possible shout through meditation and fostering favor with Kyne daily.




The Desert Wind doesn’t have a very strong opinion on vampires, given that Khajiiti vampires are incredibly rare — primarily because of the near-total lack of Molag Bal in the modern Khajiiti pantheon and culture but also the distance between Elsweyr and Cyrodiil. The Desert Wind would ultimately side with the Dawnguard however since the actions of Clan Volkihar and vampires in general would violate the Tenets of Zhan Khaj: primarily tenets One (Do not harm the innocent), Two (Do not lie to those unworthy of being lied to), Four (Do not act cowardly or show fear), and possibly Six (Honor Alkosh and Riddle’Thar).


The Desert Wind wouldn’t trust Serana at first, but after fighting with her for a bit and seeing her come to Fort Dawnguard looking for them their mood will begin to change. As the quest moves on, the Desert Wind will begin to befriend Serana. By the end of the quest, the two are definite companions and comrades: it’s up to you whether they’ll seek to cure Serana’s vampirism or how the relationship evolves from there.


If the Serana Dialogue Addon is installed, then as the Desert Wind begins to grow more attached to Serana they’ll slowly start to piece together her past. If they ever find out what being a “Daughter of Coldharbour” really means, they will become incensed. They’ll take joy in killing Harkon and reinforce their already incredibly close bond with Serana. Whether you want to pursue romance is up to you, but I personally wouldn’t. This mod has been left out of the recommended list because there’s no Khajiit Speak patch for it yet, but if you want to use it then be my guest! I do.




The Desert Wind notices that Frea has a genuinely good heart and is surprisingly quick to trust her. As Hermaeus Mora’s role in the quest becomes clearer the Desert Wind will begin to feel more and more anger towards the Prince: both as a personal revulsion to the Spirit of the Tide’s manipulation and being an adherent to Riddle’Thar. Modern Khajiiti religion says that communion with the Tide-King is “a fate worse than death” that will “shred our sense of reality,” and they will always be disgusted by Hermamora’s advances.


When Storn Crag-Strider sacrifices himself the Desert Wind will mourn with her, growing enraged against Miraak and Hermaeus Mora. When Miraak is killed, the Desert Wind will openly defy Herma-Mora and proverbially spit on the Watcher’s name.


Throughout Solstheim, the Desert Wind will cleanse the stones, help with the Ash Spawn, and so on. They’ll help the Nords reclaim their Mead Hall and also explore Raven Rock Mine to find the journal, but won’t go out of their way to search for Mallory’s pickaxe unless they have nothing better to do.







The Companions aren’t necessary, but if followed then the Desert Wind would possibly seek to get rid of their lycanthropy. To quote “Refutations and Tail-Chasing”:

“Khajiit honor Hircine as the Great Hunter, and pity his hunger. But his blasphemy against Jone and Jode? His perversion of ja-Kha'jay?”


At the same time, from the Loremaster’s Archives:

“This one knows the natural dislike between Canine and Feline, but both are influenced by Jone and Jode. If a Khajiit was, say, a long-time werewolf, would this impact their worship of Jone and Jode any?”


It’s up to you to decide how your Desert Wind will honor this, but I personally feel that worshiping Hircine and becoming a full-fledged lycanthrope would mess with the Desert Wind’s religion and also violate tenets One, Two, and Six. There’s a good case to be made for either side, however. Follow your nose, my friend.





The College’s questline can be completed. It doesn’t really matter. Out of all of the factions, this has the least impact on the character.





The Dark Brotherhood should be destroyed. The Desert Wind will take a hardline stance against the Brotherhood, although admittedly they'll find some pleasure killing Grelod and potentially the Khajiit in the Abandoned Shack (if he’s killed after Astrid). The Desert Wind finds the Dark Brotherhood repulsive, and will show no quarter to the clawless cowards who worship the Void.




The Thieves Guild questline should be avoided, and the only interaction the Desert Wind will have with them is talking to Brynjolf for the quest with Esbern (but this can be avoided if you know where to go). They’ll not be openly hostile towards the Thieves Guild like the Dark Brotherhood, but they won’t follow them. Khajiit is a communalist, not a thief!




The Desert Wind will not interfere in the Civil War; it’s not their fight. In Season Unending, they’ll try to be as impartial as possible. Whether they snub Elenwen or not is up to you, although when I was creating this build I personally couldn’t resist (even if Ulfric and Tullius both tell her to shut the hell up if she sticks around, which is funny). Dark Moons take the Thalmor, all my litter-mates hate the Thalmor.



Khajiit, obviously. The gameplay could also work for Orcs and Redguards better than a Khajiit, but the RP is specifically built around Khajiiti culture. Whether they’re an Ohmes, Ohmes-raht, Cathay, Cathay-raht, or any other race… that’s up to your racemenu mods!





The Desert Wind uses a combination of restoration magic, close-quarters combat, and a more than healthy amount of power attacks. Keeping magicka, health, and stamina equal also increases favor with the Riddle’Thar. A stat spread of 1/2/1 could also work before dropping magicka and moving onto 2/2 or even 3/1 if you're not as concerned with worship and/or magic.




If Andromeda is installed, the Shadow Stone or Lord Stone. The Shadow Stone boosts movement speed in combat by a staggering 20%, which meshes well with how the Desert Wind fights: with the right Light Armor and Speech Perks perks, you can have a maximum of a 65% speed increase in combat! Given that speed is a core component of the Desert Wind’s playstyle, having an extra 20% changes a lot. Its unlockable perk dashes towards a target for 50 stamina. If the Shadow Stone isn’t used, then Lord Stone takes away your ability to regenerate stamina in battle but boosts your power attacks’ damage and stagger by 20% and power attack while out of stamina, dealing 30% less stagger and damage. Its unlockable ability throws targets to the ground, deals 15 magic damage, and absorbs their stamina.


If Andromeda isn’t installed, then the Lord Stone (50 armor points and 25% magic resistance), Lady Stone (restore health and stamina 25% faster), and of course Atronach Stone (50% magic resistance, 50 extra magicka, -50% magicka regen) are three good options.




Elemental Fury

Unrelenting Force

Dragon Aspect

Slow Time


If Thunderchild is installed:


Demi (two-word Annihilate: Soul Tear 1 and Cyclone 2 required)

Greater Curse (three-word Curse: Phantom Decoy 1 and Become Ethereal 3 required)

Health/Stamina Rip (one/two-word Essence Rip: Aura Whisper 1 and Unrelenting Force 2 required)

Warp (two-word Riftwalk: Elemental Fury 1 and Dismay 2 required)




The Desert Wind uses a mix of dual swords, fast movement, and the Thu'um to gain the upper hand. Using fast power attacks with dual swords unleashes an unholy amount of DPS, only bolstered by Elemental Fury, Slow Time, and Unrelenting Force, among other shouts. Even the strongest enemies in the game will bend the knee!


When the fight starts, immediately use Dragon Aspect (if available and worth it: don't waste the game's best shout on a Frostbite Spider) and Elemental Fury. If you don’t use Dragon Aspect, use Unrelenting Force or Slow Time. Once your shout recharges, use Unrelenting Force for a ragdoll or Slow Time for easy dodging. If necessary, eat some vegetable soup or other stamina-regenerating food.


Close the distance. If they’re not ragdolled or staggered, make them whiff a power attack by running towards them and then away. This is your opening: exploit their arrogance and simple-minded brutality. Power attack until they’re dead, ready to attack again, or you run out of stamina. Either follow up with a double-slash (click left and right mouse), a series of single slashes, or retreat. Rinse and repeat. Float like a butterfly, sting like a freight train!


If you’re low on health or Stamina, then Health/Stamina Rip and Demi alongside some potions, magic, and enchantments should keep you in the fight. If you’re fighting a strong opponent one-on-one then Warp will trip them up and help you deal a good amount of damage while keeping you safe.


When fighting dragons, obviously use Dragonrend: having a partner with a bow and arrow such as Inigo or Faendal can help if they won’t land, but when they do land your fast power attacks should make mincemeat of even the most powerful of the dov.




If Apex Khajiiti Armory is Installed:

Dual Khajiit Scimitars, enchanted to your liking (I recommend Absorb Health and Damage Stamina on both)


Khajiiti Apex Cuirass: Whichever one you like, honestly. I personally chose Royal. Enchant to your liking (I recommend Fortify Health and Fortify Stamina).


Khajiiti Apex Gauntlets, enchanted to your liking (I recommend Fortify One-Handed and Fortify Stamina).


Khajiiti Apex Boots, enchanted to your liking (I recommend Fortify One-Handed and Fortify Stamina).


Khajiiti Apex Helmet, enchanted to your liking (I recommend Fortify Restoration and Fortify Speech).


If Apex Khajiiti Armory is Not Installed:


Bloodscythe and Soulrender, or Dual Scimitars enchanted to your liking (see above)


Glass Armor, enchanted to your liking (see above)


Glass Gauntlets, enchanted to your liking (see above)


Glass Boots, enchanted to your liking (see above)


Miraak (Light) or Volsung






One-Handed Mastery (1/2), Disciplined Fighter, Clash of Champions (1/3), Ravage (2/2), Furious Strength, Cross Cut (1/2), Man O'War, Unleash the Beast


The school of Zhan Khaj focuses on dual wielding two equally-balanced blades; as such, this is the Desert Wind’s main fighting style. The Desert Wind will primarily use scimitars, although they’re not shy of using other weapons if required.


Light Armor
Light Armor Mastery (2/2), Annoying Mosquitoes (2/2), Initiative (1/2), As a Leaf, Light Armor Fit, Unhindered, Evasive Leap, Wild and Free

Like most Khajiit warriors, the Desert Wind prefers to move and strike quickly than to take damage and deal even more back. Let the Pahmar-raht “clank like a kitchen,” as the Nords say.



Enchanting Mastery (2/2), Soul Siphon, Thunderstruck, Gem Dust, Regalia, Attunement, Twin Enchantment, Arcane Nexus


While not explicitly part of the Zhan Khaj school, the Desert Wind was taught from a young age how to enchant and disenchant through fellow clan-members who dabbled in the arcane. Through application to Zhan Khaj, they were made an even stronger warrior.



Restoration Mastery (1/2), Descending Light, Tome of Many Pages, Edgewalker, Respite, Overflowing Cup, Warrior's Flame


The Khajiit are no stranger to magic. The Desert Wind was taught from a young age how to heal their wounds and the wounds of others; primarily after sparring matches in the school they were taught, but also by their mother whenever one of the kits was sick and she was busy brewing tea for them.





Speech Master (1/2), And the Universe Listens, Windborne, Hurricane Force


They’ve had to negotiate through their fair share of contracts or talk their way out of fights, and the Way of the Voice has taught the Desert Wind how to hone and master their thu’um and su’um.



Smithing Mastery (2/2), Arcane Blacksmith, Meric Smithing (1/2), Expert Smithing (1/2), Exotic Smithing (2/2)


When stripped of arms and armor, at the end of the day all you might be able to do is craft your own. While by no means gifted, through hard work the Desert Wind has learned how to craft armor strong enough to protect them and their allies.



To recap: a combination of shouts, speed perks, light armor, and dual-wielding skills will let the Desert Wind shred through their enemies with style and grace. They adhere to the principles and tenets of Zhar Khaj, and any break from that is nearly unthinkable to the Desert Wind. They're untrustworthy, but if they believe one has earned their trust they will form a nigh-unbreakable bond with them.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this. Like I said in the introduction, this was my first attempt at making a real build: any and all feedback is appreciated! 

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  • Awesome work, their martial arts have always fascinated me. Speaking of, Taagra doesn't have exact translations as we se so little of the language, but great job.

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