Character Build: The Rotting Beast


"She came to me that night as I lay rotting in the swamps, the hackwings circling above. Her words were the maggots eating away dead flesh from my wounds, the pus forming to fight my infection. She spoke the truths I was too afraid to see.

Perhaps there was a time when the Hist was good for us. A time before our race were used as common slaves. A time before we were taken from our own homes, growing old knowing nothing but chains and punishments. The Hist did nothing but watch. It’s only act? To protect itself from Oblivion, from the invading force. I see through it- we are no freer than under the Dunmer."


Required Mods:

  • Ordinator- Perks of Skyrim
  • Imperious- Races of Skyrim
  • Andromeda- Standing Stones of Skyrim
  • Apocalypse- Magic of Skyrim
  • Wintersun- Faiths of Skyrim

Recommended Mods:

  • 20% more perk points
  • Better Claws and Gauntlets
  • Organized Bandits of Skyrim
  • Your preferred difficulty mod, as when this build is near completion it gets a tad bit strong
  • Alternate Start- Live Another Life


Race: Argonian Werewolf.

Argonians start with three passives:

  • Amphibious: Become harder to detect and move faster after swimming.
  • Histborn: Rapidly regenerate Health, Magicka, or Stamina below a threshold.
  • Marsh Dweller: Swim much faster and can breathe underwater.

After looting 4 underwater chests you’ll unlock:

  • Caustic Spit: 1/day spit a corrosive jet that reduces armor and magic resistance.

I always thought Argonians look the part of swampy witch doctor, and with Imperious installed you’ll be able to feel like one- getting a power to spit poison at your opponents and rend their resistances. Since it’s only a 1/day power, it’s recommended to save it for tough fights.


Standing Stone: The Lady.

Instead of a meager 25% boost to health and stamina regeneration rates, the Lady Stone will give us:

  • Lunar Familiar: When entering combat, summons a Lunar Familiar under your control for 60 seconds.
  • Premonition: Pale light marks enemies who can kill you with their next strike, slowing them down and reducing armor by 500 points.

After finding all 13 Standing Stones, you’ll unlock:

  • Eclipse: 1/day command you Lunar Familiar to fight the target. It deals 300% more damage and takes 50% less damage.

The Lunar Familiar takes the form of a saber cat, and is great for tanking melee fighters. Premonition acts as another debuff/curse to enemies, enabling you to run from their strike or retaliate with one of your own. I never much used Eclipse, but it pairs well with an enemy who’s effected by either Caustic Spit or Premonition.


Deity: Namira.3323049904?profile=RESIZE_710x

“Murder the innocent. Poison your weapons. Eat the corpses of the dead with my Ring. Be generous to beggars.”

  • Shrine Blessing- Resist Poison: Increases poison resistance by 50%
  • Follower- Creeping Decay: Reduces poison resistance of all within 40 feet by X% (based on favour with Namira)
  • Devotee- Necrophages: Poisoning a person or putting a human heart or flesh into their inventory attracts insects, reducing armor by X% and dealing X disease damage (based on favour with Namira)

Worshipping Namira with Wintersun not only fits the roleplay, but is perfect for The Rotting Beast’s skillset. While you won’t be pickpocketing human hearts/ flesh on people, your restoration spells and unarmed attacks will benefit from Creeping Decay stripping the poison resistances of your foes.


Stat Spread: 3 magicka / 2 health / 1 stamina, for 4 levels, then switch to 2 health / 1 stamina.

Because of enchanting we can have a fairly even stat spread- being able to sling spells and take a hit or two without armor. Stamina is needed as it’s what will be scaling our unarmed damage.


Major Skills: Restoration, Light Armor, Enchanting.


Minor Skills: Conjuration, Alteration, Sneak (unperked).



Ring of Namira and custom enchanted robes. I went with unarmored shaman robes and boots from Immersive Armors, arm bandages available through console, bonehawk amulet, and a falmer helm for aesthetic purposes. Enchantments can vary based on what playstyle you lean towards- whether you want to play a more active role, or throw out some alteration spells- but I’d recommend Fortify Health, Fortify Restoration, Fortify Magicka Regeneration, Fortify Unarmed, Fortify Alteration, and Resist Magic.


Shouts/ Powers

Beast Form, Marked for Death, Drain Vitality, Caustic Spit, Merciful King. Shouts and powers aren't overly important to The Rotting Beast, as most damage will be coming from restoration and light armor.



Putrefy, Death Cloud, Carrion Wind, Horrid Wilting, Necroplague, Close Wounds, Life’s Finale, EbonyFlesh, Ocato’s Recital (some may consider this spell to be overpowered), Raise Zombie.



  • College of Winterhold

The Beast had a newfound obsession with poison, and decides that the college in Winterhold is the safest place to study without persecution- the mages of Cyrodil care more for politics and flashy spectacles than the study of the unknown. This will give access to higher level alteration and restoration spells, as well as useful gear until you get your enchanting leveled up.

  • The Companions

Wanting to hone his unarmed skills, he’ll join up with The Companions. He doesn’t much care for their ‘death or glory’ attitude, but will feign the part in order to fund his research. You can either abandon the guild after getting beast form- seeing no more use for them, or continue forward- believing they will help your beast form grow.

  • A Taste of Death

Rumours are circulating around about the Hall of the Dead in Markarth being cursed. Most rumours turn out to be nothing more than the exaggeration of a town gossip, but this will peak The Beast’s interest. Upon arriving he will feel the pull of his patron, guiding him to become Her champion. Namira’s Ring is both useful to the build- giving a nice boost to stamina, health, and health regen- and perfect for roleplaying as her chosen disciple.

  • The Only Cure

After finding the Afflicted Refugee among the roads of Skyrim, The Beast will immediately become interested- having never seen such disease before. While he doesn’t worship Peryite, he holds respect for the Daedric Prince of pestilence. The Only Cure is more for roleplay purposes, as Spellbreaker sees no use for this build.

  • The Dark Brotherhood3323045545?profile=RESIZE_710x

The Beast will hear of a dark child in Windhelm, said to be preforming a ritual of death and despair. Investigating this, you will come across Aventus Aretino, attempting to summon the Dark Brotherhood to murder the headmistress of an orphanage. Knowing what it’s like to feel betrayed by those who are suppose to be your betters, The Beast will take the contract himself. He’ll eventually find himself face-to-face with the Dark Brotherhood, and will gladly join their ranks to bring about his decay to the world.



Arriving in Skyrim, The Rotting Beast seeks to learn more about poison spells- hearing of the politics-neutral College of Winterhold. He either gets caught at the border, or arrives to his destination unscathed. He starts out as confused and angry. His whole world view has been flipped- realizing the very thing his people worship are uncaring, unloving, selfish beings. This will build in him resentment to his culture, and eventually his people- those too blind to see the truth. He will feel comfort with those ostracized and looked down upon by society, and begins seeing beauty in the grotesque. As Namira’s influence grows on him he will begin to lose any sense of morality, wanting to bring truth to the innocent through the very things they find revulsive. Insects. Rats. Pestilence and rot. The Great Darkness will be set upon the world, and he will be its carrier.



Restoration- The Cursed Healer.

  • Restoration is one of the two main sources of damage for The Rotting Beast. Following the left side to Necromanticon will allow you to access the spells Putrefy, Death Cloud (lvl 50), and Carrion Wind (lvl 75). Going up the adjacent branch will enable Under my Wings and Sacred Guardian to deal damage to enemies. Keep in mind that poison spells do not stack with themselves: 8 damage putrefy + 8 damage putrefy = 8 damage/second, but if you use a different poison spell the damage gets added on. This means you can use different restoration spells and keep stacking damage: 8 damage putrefy + 15 damage death cloud = 23 damage/second. With the different magic and poison resistance stripping tools at your disposal, these numbers can get magnificently high.

Light Armor- Claws of Decay.

  • The only branch we need here is the one starting with Iron Fist. The Beast’s claws deliver lethal toxins, which has their damage increased due to the restoration tree (when choosing Hissing Dragon, pick poison as the element). Be sure to only pick (1/2) of Light Armor Mastery as you don’t wear any light armor. This is one of the few sources of poison damage that stacks with itself, so the more you spam attacks the higher the poison dps. The main reason I chose this skill is because it synergizes nicely with your werewolf form, allowing you to feel like your claws are glazed with toxin. Remember that unarmed perks only work if both hands are free!

Enchanting- Predator’s Gift.

  • Enchanting is for the typical buffing of our gear, but the fun of this tree is found with the Spellscribe perk. It’ll allow you to ‘store’ a dual-casted spell, which will be released when you power attack. I didn’t bother with Power Echoes, as Spellscribe’s cooldown is already quite low. If you’re out of magicka or are in werewolf form, a simple power attack will begin to wither down your foes alongside the poison from Hissing Dragon.

Conjuration- Creatures of The Scuttling Void.

  • Only get (1/2) of Conjuration Mastery, as the only spell of this school you’ll be using is the low-cost raise zombie. Pick up Rat-King, and go up the necromancer branch until you reach A Plague Upon Thee. Yep. There are 5 perks in conjuration and the only spell used is the lowest tier reanimation spell. I recently discovered that you can have quite a bit of fun reanimating a killed skeever alongside Necroplague and A Plague Upon Thee, but more of that in the Abilities section.

Alteration- Beast’s Protection.

  • If you decide to use Ocato’s Recital, only pick up (2/2) Alteration Mastery and (3/3) Mage Armor. If you don’t plan on using it, also pick up dual casting so you’ll have longer-lasting flesh spells. Ocato’s recital allows you to store up to 3 spells, which are then cast automatically, free of charge once you enter combat. If you have left-over perk points, it never hurts to go into the Nullifier branch to add some passive boosts. I found I was getting one-shot a lot of the time, so I added this tree simply for flesh spells. If you’re feeling adventurous however, you can throw in a wither or paralysis here or there.

Sneak- Stalking the Prey.

  • Due to the lovely thing that is Skyrim AI, I use sneak to get in closer to enemies before they spot me so my rats and lunar familiar were less likely to run off in a random direction. This isn’t a sneak build however, so I keep it unperked.


Special Abilities

3323056444?profile=RESIZE_710xPlague Carrier: The unending horde- you kill one and another takes its place, deadlier than the last.

Requirements - Rat King, Necroplague, Raise Zombie, A Plague Upon Thee.

In any necromancer build, I never found much use for A Plague Upon Thee. Why would I want my reanimation to die within 20 seconds? However, I recently realized that it synergizes very well with Rat King- the skeevers have very low health, but don’t despawn upon death- only when combat ends. This means you can reanimate them, and due to their low health an enemy will kill them quickly, triggering A Plague Upon Thee. Throw in a Necroplague just before your reanimation spell, and your skeevers have become ticking time bombs.



3323057294?profile=RESIZE_710xTwisted Remedy - How can that which is holy become blasphemous? How can such purity be twisted into horror? The magic- opening wounds, tearing apart flesh, corrupting organs. His power only grows as his enemies fall apart.

Requirements: Restoration Dual Casting, Lightwielder, Sacred Guardian, Under my Wings, any non-concentration self-targeting healing spell.

Sacred Guardian heals all allies within 20 feet by 150 points when they fall below 30% health, and Under my Wings will cause any dual-casted non-concentration restoration spell to be cast upon nonmechanical allies. The Rotting Beast twists these abilities with Lightwielder, enabling them to damage enemies when it would heal an ally. Sacred Guardian starts finishing off enemies at low health, and Under my Wings lashes out at enemies with the same energy used to heal yourself.


3323058366?profile=RESIZE_710xNamira’s Beast - They say he was gifted by the darkness itself- granted a terrible form of tooth and claw. The beast’s mere presence wrenching stomachs, it’s sight too terrible to behold. But those are just tales, designed to be told around the campfire to scare the young’uns…

Requirements: Creeping Decay, Rushing Tide, Sweeping Wind, Hissing Dragon, Plague Doctor, Spellscribe, Beast Form, Howl of Terror.

Infused with Namira’s gifts, The Rotting Beast takes on the form from which he got his name. With Plague Doctor and Creeping Decay decreasing the poison resistance of your foes, the unarmed skill increasing your claw damage, and Hissing Dragon combined with Spellscribe coating your claws in decay, this is the ultimate power-up. Werewolves can chain attacks in quick succession, so Rushing Tide will increase your movement speed to insane levels, which in turn increases your power attack damage. This form is incredibly strong so I wouldn’t recommend using The Ring of Hircine, limiting this to 1/day. Hit enemies a few times as the poison from Hissing Dragon stacks up, power attack to unleash the poison spell of your choosing, and use Howl of Terror to watch your hapless opponents collapse to the ground as they try to flee.


Combat Style

The Rotting Beast opens up combat with 3 skeevers and a lunar familiar being summoned automatically. Start stacking different poison spells and either stand back as your enemies wither, or play a more active role using Twisted Remedy or stacking more poison with unarmed strikes. If you notice a skeever getting killed, use Plague Carrier to add even more DOT and another thing for your enemy to focus on besides you. Use Caustic Spit, Drain Vitality, and Marked for Death on boss battles that survive your initial onslaught. Namira’s Beast is incredibly fun, and useful for a Dark Brotherhood assassin that can’t stealth. Use this form when raiding a fort, don’t want your identity tied to a murder, or have a very tough battle ahead of you.



  • Spellscribe doesn’t work with the werewolf sprinting power attack for whatever reason, so don’t worry if it doesn’t trigger!
  • Automatons are resistant to disease and poison, so allow your skeevers and lunar familiar to tank as you go in and claw them.
  • Vampires are a bit iffy. Sometimes my spells worked on them, other times it didn’t, and I don’t know why that is. You can rely on Twisted Remedy to kill them, or use the undead damaging side of restoration spells.
  • Followers are a no-go for this build. The Rotting Beast uses a lot of area-of-effect damage-over-time spells, and you will hit friendlies. If you get Companions Insight from the Dragonborn DLC feel free. On the same note- don’t worry if you hit your familiar or your skeevers with spells, there isn’t much avoiding it.
  • Life’s Finale is a master-level restoration spell added by Apocalypse. It causes 150 disease damage to enemies per second, and 75 to the caster. However, with our Beast Blood we get 100% immunity to disease, so the spells downsides are nullified. Use it to nuke rooms, but be warned as it has the long 2-handed casting animation.


Closing Remarks

About an hour after posting on The Welcome Thread about how I didn’t think I would be making any builds, my mind starting swarming with possibilities to the point where I couldn’t sleep the remainder of the night. This is my first build, so any recommendations on how to improve would be greatly appreciated :) This is probably the most fun I’ve had with Skyrim in a while, but remember to install a few difficulty mods to really feel the progress this character makes- from someone who can barely hold their own to Namira’s very own champion.

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  • Nicely done: I wish I had more time to read this but sadly I’m at work. I’ll be back with more detailed comments soon. 

  • I quite like what you’ve got here. An interesting twist to the Hist, and Namira. I may have missed it so I apologize if I did, but why be a Werewolf? Besides the 100% poison resistance, (Vampire Lord also has this as well as Toxic Claws (not the perk name), which do Poison DoT per hit. 

    Ah I see now, both the 1 day cooldown, attacks as well as the Howl of Terror. 

    I can’t speak for Apocalypse personally, but looking at Wintersun, Imperious, Andromeda, I really like what you’ve got going.

    Oh, don’t forget to add Rank:Novice, as well as change the title of the Build to, Character Build: The Rotting Beast

    • Also, perhaps add a perk spread? You can drop by and request one in the Art Group - Screenshots and Art Request Thread

    • Thank you! Choosing werewolf over vampire lord was more of a matter of preference- vampire lord works just as well and will also enable access to Ring of the Beast. I just prefer the theme and faster attack speed of being a werewolf to stack up those lovely poison debuffs.

      • Hmmm, fair point there. For your first build, you did a great job.

  • Looks cool! I’ve been wanting to make a disease magic character for ages, definitely gonna try this one

  • Oh man, this build is good and it's your first one. I really like the aesthetics. Like Lee said you might want to add a perk spread even if you explained everything quite clearly. New players might need precise perks to choose from. Also, you could recommend some quests that you completed to support the roleplay aspect. Overall I think you did a very good job, I look forward to seeing your next builds.

    Edit: Looking even more badass after the few changes. +1

  • Edit:

    • Fleshed out the recommended quests and added roleplaying aspects to them.
    • Added another picture to accompany the newly added wall of text.
    • Fixed a typo where I used the old build name in the Roleplaying section.
    • Added a perk spread. Thank you Curse for making it!
  • This is more than just good for you first build. This is nothing short of amazing! I really like the build's backstory. I dont think I've ever read a build involving an argonian opposed to the Hist, so huge points for originality there. The introduction to that concept is welll written and very attention grabbing which is essential to any good build, and you nailed it. 

    My only two nit picks are with the white background in the first image and the inconsistent size of the images in the special move section. I can fix up both for you if youd like. 

    • I'm still getting use to the formatting, so any fixes you could do would be greatly appreciated. 

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