After finishing The Freelancer, I told myself that I was never going to do an event or contest again, but when the hosts of CB pouted, I could not resist them and ventured into my first-ever contest, stressing all the way. At first, I was going to do Oblivion's Aurorans, but at the time, nobody had yet claimed the Dwemer and I decided to take on the challenge. After our journey from Ning to Social Engine in mid 2016, this build languished a bit with formatting. After a few builds in SE under my build, I decided to redo the formatting for the big awesomeness that is SE.
"A race of stonecutters, artisans, and engineers. They invented machines and built elaborate underground cities where they researched powers to rival the gods themselves. And then, at a time we are still not sure when, they disappeared. The whole people, all at once. Leaving behind only their works."—Calcelmo
The Dwemer... the lost race. Their legacy... revolving gears and pulsating gyros, ever running, glowing like the light of the Magna Ge, imbued with the ancient powers of Arcana. Glistening cities of white and tiled gold, like clouds and sunlight in the deepest fathoms of darkness, where usually only the black reaches. Minds greatly knowing, possessing of runed lexicons and artifacts able to tap into the very power of the Elderscrolls and Et'Ada themselves. I present to you my take on the Dwemer in a build that merges the technical might of maces and shields, born of an ancient forge’s unquenchable Aetherial fire, with the subtle intelligence of Alchemy, Biological Warfare, and the secret knowledge of Hermaeus Mora into a powerful combination that heralds the return of the Dwemer to Tamriel. I present to you...
They called me.
I heard their voices in my head, “The Calling”, their thoughts, and I rose from my stone bed, the warm steam filling my lungs. I woke and walked to them, still in my bedclothes, bare-footed upon the stone and entranced, the beads of my beard swaying rhythmically with each heavy step, my mind in perfect sync with theirs. They fed me with their thoughts, their plans. Their voices, blending in harmonious music, beckoned me to the grand chamber of the massive Dwemer Airship that had been our home since Lord Kragenac dared touch the Heart. Living among the stars of Aetherius, living in other planes of existence. Escaping. Waiting. Our Tonal Architects summoned me, a hundred years young and dull among the mighty Dwemer, a mere slayer of the airship’s pests that lurked its many crevices and dark corners—expendable—to their grand chamber. Many others slated to replace me should I fail. I arrived at their circular chamber of gilded gold, glass, and green-veined marble, the diamond patterns of burning lamps casting their flickering shadows upon smooth surfaces, feeling the hum of the massive ship that had sailed endlessly for thousands of years. My home and life. All I have ever known. And their bearded, elaborately robed forms said but three words to me before I was engulfed in a blinding light.
"It is time..."
My body then separated from their plane of existence, splitting like a baby separated from its mother's womb—violent, visceral—traveling through the physics of space and time, the star-colors passing before me, through me, around me. Traveling back. To a world I had never known, unfamiliar, virgin. Filled with new possibilities… and new dangers.
And I knew what my mission was, their plans ingrained; maps, locations, and images of the hidden that could help me burned into my mind, like metal branded by the heat of a forge. My mission? To exterminate all which plague our former dwellings and holdings, both the poisoned pests and the outdated machinery. To cleanse our halls of gold and white. To pave the way... for our Return.
“Dwemer blood can loose the hooks, but none alive remain to bear it. A panoply of their brethren could gather to form a facsimile. A trick. Something they didn't anticipate, no, not even them. The blood of Altmer, Bosmer, Dunmer, Falmer, and Orsimer. The elves still living provide the key.” –Septimus Signus
Race: If you recall the Quest Discerning the Transmundane, the races of Altmer, Dunmer, Bosmer, Orsimer, and Falmer are used to recreate the blood of the Dwemer in order to open the Dwemer lockbox. All four of the playable races of that group offer skills that would benefit you when recreating the Dwemer. The Altmer possess the greater magicka pool, allowing one to not put a single level-up into magicka as well as a boost to Restoration. The Dunmer offer boosts to Alchemy. The Orsimer offer racial boosts to Heavy Armor, Block, and Smithing and, if you read up on some theories, it is rumored that they may be the descendants of the Dwemer. I opted, however, for the more unusual choice of the Bosmer. They share the Dunmer’s boost to Alchemy, a fifty percent resistance to both poison and disease (important considering the primary enemies to be encountered), a strong initial boost to Archery (which will be an unperked skill), and the greater power, Command Animal, which I thought was a clever way to recreate the Dwemer’s reported telepathic ability without investing in Illusion.
Stats: 1:1:1 until you reach 150 magicka, then 1:1 ratio health and stamina for the rest of your mission.
Standing Stone: Warrior, then Steed, providing a hefty 100 point boost to our carrying capacity and allows us to ignore the left side of the Heavy Armor tree.
Shouts: None, save what was needed to advance through questlines. I roleplayed Bend Will from the Dragonborn dlc as merely another form of telepathic communication.
Difficulty: Initially Expert, but there was a transition to Master difficulty at around level 30. Build can be played initially on Master difficulty or even Legendary if more caution is taken during play.
Level of Grinding: Despite two crafting skills, a surprisingly low level, as I took a different approach to crafting.
"Now you must taste the potions you've wraught, take a spoon and sample it right from your pot."
—Marobar Sul, Song of the Alchemists
While many Dwemer were skilled in the magical arts and Enchanting, The Exterminator chose to hone his skills in Alchemy, developing a natural resistance to poison in his studies of their effects. However, he is in a strange land full of unique flora and fauna, some of them vaguely familiar, but familiar from a 3,000 to 4,000 year old standpoint, their images faded in dusty tomes. Life changes in accordance to its environment and controlled cultivation, so I approached Alchemy as if he was unfamiliar with the local ingredients (which means, no UESP or power-searching for ingredients). Ranks of Alchemist, Poisoner, Concentrated Poison, and Green Thumb were important to get.
Investing in Block allows The Exterminator to fortify his elemental defenses and deflect arrows and poison attacks, some of the most common forms of attack he faces while he works to accomplish his mission. The right side of the tree was ignored.
Like the mighty Dwemer Centurion, The Exterminator wears his heavy armor like a protective casing, allowing him to take blows that would devastate a lesser being from the hardened chitin weapons of his primary foes. I favored the right side of the tree.
The powerful swing of the Centurion’s hammer is mimicked by The Exterminator’s trusty mace, a warhammer in miniature. With the powerful Bone-breaker perks, he will be able to crush the thick chitin shells of the pests of the Dwemer ruins he will be clearing, his concocted poisons seeping deep into their exposed flesh.
Restoration was explored for only a specific spell, Dragonborn’s Poison Rune, used in a way that imitated an actual exterminator’s bug traps. An Adept level spell that deals poison damage over a period of time in the form of a rune that can be placed in the path of your enemies. This was the only skill I ended up investing some training in; however, I leveled up significantly just by healing myself and my “assistants” during gameplay.
The Exterminator values the construction of his people’s weapons and armor; therefore, the only three perks worth taking in his eyes were Steel, Dwaven, and Arcane. The lower armor rating was offset by perks in Heavy armor, special powers, and discovered buffs from Alchemy. Grinding was kept to a minimum by focusing his smithing skills on improving his own weapons and armor, those of his “assistants”, and constructing his base of operations to carry out his mission, Lakeview Manor.
The only skill that was leveled beyond 70 was One-handed, making this a concise build that did not require much grinding or training of skills. I was able to avoid the Companions altogether, something I had never been able to do with a warrior build before. Leveling was done out in the gaming world but became extremely potent in endgame, so much so that I was playing the build at level 32 with only perks invested up to level 20. The only extensively used unperked skill was Archery, giving the Exterminator a form of ranged attack to deliver poisons. The skill was buffed with potions of fortify marksman.
The level 20 perkspread only has seventeen perks. I was waiting for some numbers to go up. If I were continuing The Exterminator’s gameplay beyond level 40, which I did, Archery and Destruction are possible trees to explore, in addition to expanding on Heavy Armor and Block. The right side of the tree for Archery and for Destruction, I would expand into Rune Mastery, but I didn’t see the point in investing three additional perks for only one spell.
“As a culture that built almost exclusively underground, it’s no surprise that dwarven armors are built to withstand incredibly heavy blows. Again, the fact that they are also resistant to being pierced by arrows or small blades is more of a testament to superior dwarven metallurgy over superior dwarven armorsmithing, but it would be erroneous to thus conclude that dwarven smiths did not take the manufacture of their weapons and armor very seriously. Every piece of war crafts I have examined show a remarkable amount of unnecessary detailing and personalization that is just as evident today among the most ardent blacksmiths.” – Calcelmo, Dwarves; Volume 2
Armor & Jewelry: A Dwarven set, enchantments optional as alchemy buffs often eliminated the need. As were his assistants—for the most part. The playtest for this build had one of my worst drops for Dwarven gear, so I ended up playing without enchanted gear for the majority of the game. For jewelry, I went with a necklace of Shock Abatement and a ring of Major Health, again found in loot drops.
Visage of Mzund: A special Dwarven helmet that ties with Konahrik for the highest base armor rating in the game. Increases stamina by sixty points and allows you to use the Breath of Nchuak (See Special Powers).
Aetherial Shield & Spellbreaker: The two shields in The Exterminator’s inventory. When you strike an enemy with this shield, you render them ethereal for fifteen seconds, unable to take damage or, more importantly, do damage. Spellbreaker, of Dwarven make, was a shield rescued from the diseased and corrupted followers of the Daedric Prince Peryite. Blocking with it sends out a ward that blocks fifty points of magical damage.
Zephyr (See Assistants), Dwarven Black Bow of Fate, & the Enhanced Dwarven Crossbow: These three bows were used by The Exterminator during various stages of his gameplay to deliver his poison to pests from a safe distance. Zephyr for its thirty percent faster draw speed. The Dwarven Black Bow of Fate for its ability to absorb Health, Stamina, or Magicka randomly. The Enhanced Dwarven Crossbow for its armor penetration.
Dwarven Mace: An unenchanted weapon, but one possessing of immense bone-breaking power due to its high level of tempering. Made even more potent through the infusion of poisons into its very metal.
Miraak’s Staff: Poison imbued within a staff! A marvel of hidden knowledge and the ultimate weapon for any poisoner. Belonging to a dragon priest who turned against his masters to serve Hermaeus Mora; he himself is of little significance to The Exterminator. His staff, however, is a potent tool used by The Exterminator to release gouts of poison to damage his targets. Exterminators in real life often have a poison dispenser that goes for quite a range. Miraak’s staff simulated this effect rather nicely.
Spider Scrolls: While not something to wear or a physical weapon, they form an important part of The Exterminator’s arsenal. A feature of the Dragonborn dlc, spider scrolls, when created from albino spider pods and various gems, implement the use of magical spiders that can be thrown to achieve various effects from elemental and poison damage to even mind control.
“And I knew what my mission was, their plans ingrained; maps, locations, and images of the hidden that could help me burned into my mind, like metal branded by the heat of a forge. My mission? To exterminate all which plague our former dwellings and holdings, both the poisoned pests and the outdated machinery. To cleanse our halls of gold and white. To pave the way... for our Return.”—The Exterminator
Dwemer are known to be careful and industrious, and The Exterminator is no exception. His people entrusted him with cleansing their buildings of millennia of filth and he will not fail. Therefore, his time in Skyrim and the quests he undertook were divided into two main sections with some overlap: Preparation and Realization.
In these series of quests, The Exterminator will begin amassing the materials and equipment he will need to fulfill his mission.
Mainquest: Only until The Way of the Voice. While this was not a character who shouted, I wanted him to experience Skyrim like any other non-Dragonborn would, which is typically my custom. Besides, doing these quests enables him to stumble upon a pick axe and new alchemical ingredients (glowing mushrooms, blisterwort). It also gave him enough coin to purchase a horse. Done right out of Helgen.
Rare Gifts & Kill a Bandit Leader (Falkreath): In The Exterminator’s preliminary observations of the province, he learned that the area surrounding Lake Ilinalta is teeming with harvestable alchemical ingredients. Complete the necessary tasks and obtain the right to purchase property. Becoming Thane is not necessary, The Exterminator does not concern himself with the politics of humans. He has only one goal.
Build your own Home: The Exterminator’s base of operations while on his mission. Used to forge his weapons and experiment on new concoctions to test on his quarry. His workshop and his lab. This took quite a bit of time as I gathered the building materials on my own, which makes a great deal of sense for The Exterminator and provided him with the opportunity to travel Skyrim extensively; hunting, mining, and gathering ingredients, which leveled his combat experience through random encounters. For Lakeview Manor, priority in construction was given to the exterior garden, basement forge, Alchemy tower, and the Greenhouse Wing. Later, I added the furnishings to the Main Hall and then the Armory Wing.
The Lost Expedition: While The Exterminator’s travels brought him to the Reach’s silver, hanging moss, and Junniper berries, he met with Tamriel’s leading expert on the Dwemer, Calcelmo. He agreed to exterminate Nihme, the poisoned one, only to discover a much larger problem at Nchuand-Zel: Falmer, the true pests. With the help of a young Nord, Vorstag, who displayed a rudimentary familiarity with Dwemer ruins, The Exterminator was able to clear his first ruin, making it ready for the Return of his People. Done at around level 13.
After Nchuand-Zel, The Exterminator earnestly begins to seek out the locations branded in his mind by the Tonal Architects before he was sent to Skyrim.
Lost to the Ages: Recover an artifact that contains pure Aetherium, and while that is done several Falmer-infested ruins are also cleared, including Arkngthamz and Raldbthar.
Unfathomable Depths: Deactivate the Dwemer automations at Avanchnzel and restore the stolen Lexicon to its rightful place.
Fahlbtharz: The Exterminator dreams of the images left by the Tonal Architects. Images of a powerful helmet laying in a ruin on an island Northeast of Skyrim, Solstheim, infested with disgusting tiny blue creatures, strange albino spiders, and constructs and traps that need deactivation.
The Kragumez Trials: The Exterminator cannot resist the music of the resonance gems to test his mettle against the powerful constructs and elemental traps of Kragumez. To prove himself worthy of the Black Bow of Fate and earn a construct of his very own to serve him on his ongoing mission.
The Only Cure: The infected followers of Peryite have, first of all, blighted a ruin with their presence. Second, they have in their possession an artifact of the Dwemer people, the shield Spellbreaker. Bthardamz will be cleansed.
The Cursed Tribe: These degenerate Goblin pigs are not the descendants of the Dwemer and the Dwemer warhammer Volendrung does not belong to them. The Exterminator will reclaim it from the dung heap that is Malacath.
White Ridge Barrow: While exploring a route to Fahlbtharz, The Exterminator stumbles upon a cabin in the wilderness, containing more curious spider pods and precious gem geodes. He is led to a barrow where he discovers the dark science of spider scrolls and an even darker black book. The Dwemer studied the knowledge of Hermaeus Mora, and The Exterminator’s reading of this book sends his mission on a new path: to acquire a weapon of ultimate poisoning power.
A Return to your Roots: Explore the expansive cavern of Blackreach, following the melodious chimes of crimson herbs, searching for Sinderion’s Serendipity, a boon to any alchemist.
The Thieves Guild: While traveling through Riften, The Exterminator spies a Breton in a strange leather armor wielding a Dwarven blade. Inquiries on the matter lead to contact with the Guild, where he learns the Breton’s name, Mercer Frey. While he is not a thief, Frey knows the location of an extensive ruin for clearing and he will do whatever it takes to get there. Proceed through the Guild’s main quest through Blindsighted, which allows for the clearing of the Falmer-infested Irkngthand and symbolically blind the Falmer forever by taking the Eyes. The Guild can then be left to solve their own affairs. Another quest to consider, especially if you have not acquired enough gems to make spider scrolls is No Stone Unturned.
The College of Winterhold: The Exterminator joins the College to benefit from some magical training in Restoration; however, the politics of the College are not of his concern, until doing work for them leads to Mzulft. The Falmer, since the War of the Crag, like the very insects they now tend, have run rampant through the ruins of Skyrim and need to be squashed.
Dawnguard Questline: Ancient Technology to obtain the Enhanced Dwarven Crossbow and the Main quest through Touching the Sky, where The Exterminator will join forces with a vampire to clear a massive Falmer stronghold in the Forgotten Vale. Vampires wanting to blot the sun? That doesn’t particularly concern him, but he will help Serana in exchange for her helping him. Also important in this questline is the search for the Elderscroll in Alftand, which later givesTthe Exterminator access to Blackreach.
Dragonborn: The entire Main quest and several Black Book Quests. The traditional trigger for the main quest was ignored, opting instead for the trigger at Saering’s Watch, which is near White Ridge Barrow. If Miraak thinks The Exterminator is Dragonborn, so be it. It is not what interests The Exterminator. He wants the power of Miraak’s Staff and the hidden knowledge of Hermaeus Mora to release poison upon the filth that still infest the ruins of the Dwemer race.
Other Dwemer Ruins and Falmer dens to clear: Altar of Xrib, Mzinchaleft, Shimmermist Cave, Sightless Pit, Chillwind Depths, Darkwater Pass, Duskglow Crevice, Frostflow Abyss, Gloomreach, Kagrenzel, Liar’s Retreat, Lost Echo Cave, and Stillborn Cave.
Powers and Passives: Bosmer’s Resist Disease and Poison, The Steed Stone, Ancient Knowledge working as intended (See Mods), Bosmer’s Command Animal, Breath of Nchuak, Sailor’s Repose, Sinderion’s Serendipity, and Prowler’s Profit (Optional).
Black Book Powers: Mora’s Agony, until Miraak’s Staff was acquired then switch to Mora’s Boon (The Hidden Twilight), Companions’ Insight (The Winds of Change), Bardic Knowledge (Untold Legends), and Seeker of Might (The Sallow Regent)
The Dwemer elders left The Exterminator with a monumental task. While they had others lined up to take his place, he was not going to give them a reason to exercise that option. But one cannot simply venture into Dwemer ruins on their own. They are places wrought with danger; creatures that dwell in the darkness, constructs that will attack anything that moves, traps that can sever heads or fry to a crisp. A good mastermind needs assistants.
Steadfast Dwarven Sphere: A Dwemer construct that is a reward option after completing the second chamber of Kragumez’s Trials. A solid creature follower, the Steadfast Sphere is capable of both powerful melee and ranged attacks. If it dies, simply wait a day, travel to Kragumez and through the powers of Dwemer engineering and the pull of a level, another will be waiting to take its place. Dismiss it, and it returns to Kragumez (see Mods).
Vorstag: A Nord found at the Silverblood Inn in Markarth. A hireling, his skills include one-handed, archery, block, and either light or heavy armor depending on whether or not you have the Unofficial Patches installed. He shares the same voice actor as Farengar Secret-Fire, and also has several special dialogue options when near or in Dwemer ruins. Besides using Vorstag’s typical skills, The Exterminator also had Vorstag carry his extra gear—as a good assistant should—and wield Destruction staves to offset The Exterminator’s lack of ability in that school of magic. His gear was selected for both roleplaying aesthetics and enchantments. Most of The Exterminator’s enemies use poison attacks; Vorstag needed poison resistance.
Serana: The Dwemer do not typically like it when plans are disrupted. Vorstag was a perfectly adequate follower, more than willing to carry their supplies across Skyrim, but when their investigation of Dimhollow Crypt for the Dawnguard turned up a mysterious woman who insisted that Vorstag not accompany them on their missions, The Exterminator was forced to send Vorstag back to Lakeview Manor (see Mods) to manage The Exterminator’s base operations while he worked with Serana. She is a formidable caster, specializing in necromancy and frost and shock Destruction who also possesses skill in light armor, sneak, and one-handed. An added bonus is that since she is undead, she is also immune to poison. Once you complete A New Order, she accepts the gear you give her, so she ended up with the items below. Other followers tend to bug out when you use Serana, so I made sure I dismissed Vorstag and the Steadfast Sphere before I worked with her.
Like all of my builds, you are in character and playing as such right out of Helgen. The first perk taken was even Steel Smithing, so The Exterminator could get right to the business of making his own gear, even if it was only steel. Steel made by him was better than anything made by anybody else unless it was Dwarven make. Elemental resistance in the Block tree was key to the Exterminator’s growth as formidable presence in the battlefield. With boots of frost suppression and a necklace of shock abatement, reaching the resistance cap for all three elements was made easier by combining these passive resistances with concoctions that boosted resistance to all three elements. I will not divulge their ingredients; part of the fun of playing Alchemy “blind” is learning these combinations on your own. I will say this: don’t always look to the ground to gather ingredients. What circles the sky holds the key for all three elements.
The Exterminator has a varied approach to gameplay. By mid to end game, he could go toe to toe with most melee opponents, and while he never vanquished an enemy in one shot, he usually survived the confrontation, using healing spells and fortify health potions to offset taking much damage until the armor cap was reached; the gathering of crops around the local farms to fund his building, providing more than just a little extra coin.
For constructs, he tended to favor melee, shattering their armor on the power of his metal-bending mace alone, as he had no weapons that dealt either fire or shock damage, using the Aetherial Shield for crowd control or switching to Spellbreaker to ward off a Centurion’s steam attack, or he countered with his own steam attack. In these instances, his assistants provided magical support, but as you can clearly see, he was quite capable. As constructs are immune to poison, The Exterminator saved his brews for other enemies. Human targets were also approached with melee, though he could use poisoned attacks on them.
Fight poison with poison. The only creatures that are immune to poison are vampires and draugr. I was pleasantly surprised to learn through gameplay that poison works on most other creatures, including Falmer, Chaurus, Spiders, even on Lurkers and Seekers, which was something I had not tried before. It was a very satisfying experience eliminating entire Falmer and Chaurus dens and retaliating their attacks with poison of my own in several forms.
Standard imbuing poison onto a melee or ranged weapon: A three-effect poison was favored, and The Exterminator’s inventory was surprisingly light once he found that particular combination. A devastating brew that ravaged Health, Magicka, and Stamina over time, doing nearly 380 points of damage in each area over the course of thirty seconds (with 70 in Alchemy, 4 ranks of alchemist, Poisoner, and several pieces of fortify alchemy gear found in various drops). Before he found that brew, he experimented with various ingredient combinations, resulting in a rather large inventory of poisons with single effects; inefficient, but it got him through until he discovered that particular poison, hence why the Steed Stone worked so well for this build. The concentrated poison perk allowed The Exterminator to deal devastating double doses of this poison. The ingredients for this special concoction are scattered among the ash that spawns from Solstheim and in the volcanic tundras of Eastmarch.
Poison Rune: As The Exterminator lacked the magicka pool to cast multiple runes, Poison rune was used mainly to weaken approaching single targets, usually in a situation where enemies could be funneled along a narrow corridor or path. Companion’s Insight, however, is very important, here, as Vorstag can often trigger runes and suffer damage. If I wanted to cast more runes, I drank potions that both fortified and restored magicka with ingredients commonly found along the route to Whiterun.
Steam: The Breath of Nchuak was useful in earlier levels as stamina-draining crowd control. It got weaker as I progressed through the game, but the armor rating of the Visage of Mzund and the sheer novelty of being able to do a Centurion steam attack never got old.
The Minds of the Weak: though not as powerful as the Dwemer Elders, The Exterminator can still manipulate weaker minds into following his commands. It was a pleasure in heavily-infested Falmer caves to turn their chaurus, skeever, and spider “cattle” against them, leaving only the weakened to exterminate. Also used as a method to acquire Giant’s Toe, turning their mammoths against them. I almost considered using Bend Will in such a way, but decided that since this wasn’t a Dragonborn, I only used Bend Will to advance through the Dragonborn questline.
Mora’s Agony and Miraak’s Staff: Both deal a similar jet of poisoned tentacles designed to poison the targets that walk in their path for a period of time. Mora’s Agony, a greater power, was used until Miraak’s Staff was acquired. Once I obtained the staff, my poison inventory shrank considerably as the staff is quite powerful and has a good charge capacity.
Spider Scrolls: While labor-intensive and not exactly cost-effective due to the limited number of spider pods available, these scrolls still proved quite useful. I used them primarily against mages, crowd control, and beings that had some sort of elemental weakness, since The Exterminator didn’t have a weapon that dealt elemental damage. Favored were cloaked, jumping, mind control, and oil spiders, as they had a bit more health and several actually followed me around through several quests.
By far, the worse enemies in the game were Seekers. Their absorb effects were pretty devastating to The Exterminator since he embarked on most of the Black Book Quests well before he reached the armor cap. Rather than waste poison on them, a strategy was to use the Aetherial Shield to render them harmless for fifteen seconds and then repeat until I was able to advance to the next chapter of a black book. Once Spellbreaker was acquired, creatures that used absorb spells or magic attacks were dealt with far easier.
Many roleplay elements have already been touched upon throughout the course of this build, but here are a few more minor elements that were not covered.
Only Dwemer gear and a few other artifacts were kept, to be displayed in the Amory of Lakeview Manor; the other artifacts were mostly used for followers. Very hard to turn away that steel plate armor of peerless Restoration or boots of waning fire, especially in earlier levels, but this is a Dwemer build; if Dwemer metal couldn’t touch his skin, he only wore what he himself had made.
His task was simple: clear the Dwemer ruins and caves of Skyrim and Solstheim of falmer, chaurus, and other beasts; and he did not do much deviating from his path, save his involvement in the Thieves Guild and the College of Winterhold. The Exterminator was indifferent to the Civil War and the dragons, only directly involving himself in confrontation when it hindered his mission. He was also indifferent to many of the side quests that originate in settlements, unless it was a rumor revolving around the location of a possible Falmer den. He ventured into city shops to sell rejected artifacts from his travels, but otherwise, he did not remain long in the cities. It made for delightful, focused gameplay that was surprisingly varied with the tactics used above. Gameplay where a definite end result was achieved. Of course, until the caves all respawn and he’s back at it again, like a little construct in his golden armor, endlessly working, toiling away… Speaking of endless toiling, part of his roleplay involved not sleeping much and eating even less. Ever dedicated, using only potions to sustain him.
No shrine blessings were ever taken, losing out on some minor buffs, but since the Dwemer religion is complex and they did not especially hold the Divines in high regard, I saw no reason for The Exterminator to rely on the power of an Aedra to help him. Neither did he embark on any Aedric quests. This is also part of the reason why I did not play him as a Dragonborn, nor did I use Auri-El’s weapons once the Dawnguard Questline was complete.
Same went with the Daedra and their quests. I only played through three Daedric quests and two of these quests involved retrieving/rescuing a Dwemer artifact, one of which was in a blighted ruin, so I saw justification for this build to do these quests. Discerning the Transmundane was never completed and only used as a means to acquire the attunement spheres to access Blackreach. Now how did I justify completing the entire Dragonborn dlc questline? Nchardak. A Black Book is encased within the “City of a Hundred Towers”. The Dwemer were studying the knowledge of Hermaeus Mora and The Exterminator’s discovery of the Black Book was no accident, allowing him to finally acquire the weapon that would let him wield poison without making potions. A weapon that would allow him to work towards his goal, the return of the Dwemer.
While The Exterminator can be played using entirely Vanilla and dlc assets, my playthrough was enhanced through the use of several mods.
Unofficial Skyrim Patches: Fixes the issue with Unfathomable Depths that didn’t allow Dwarven armor to benefit from Ancient Knowledge, making Dwarven Armor much more attractive for the endgame with an additional 25% bonus to the armor rating.
Hearthfire display case fix: Why not display your weapons and trophies in your display cases?
Vastly more Unique Visage of Mzund: Why The Exterminator looks so badass.
Sinderion’s Field Lab Redone: A delightful mod by our TaeRae that makes Sinderion’s lab a player home for The Exterminator’s extended stay in Blackreach.
Bandolier – Bags and Pouches: Adds bandoliers and pouches to increase carrying capacity, but I used it mostly for the aesthetics of carrying poison vials.
Dwemer Beards: Enhance the look of your Dwemer by giving him a beard that his race would truly be proud of.
Dwarven Helmet – Open Faced Variation: So you can actually see the beard.
Etherial Elven Overhaul: Several of the Bosmer presets actually shocked me with how Dwemer the final result looked.
My home is your home: A wonderful mod that allows you to set the location of your follower. I used this to keep Vorstag and the Steadfast Dwarven Sphere at Lakeview Manor while The Exterminator and Serana were together.
Well, here you have it, my first contest build. A challenge to create within a limited time frame and I hope you enjoy. I had a great time playing Ohrkihnmmaanz, using elements of the game that I had never previously explored. I’d like to thank always Karver, Phil, Teineeva, and Sotek, who are always there when I want to soundboard off them. Also Dragonborn1721 for lighting a fire in my belly by also doing a Dwemer build. We had some great chats. I wish him the best of luck on his build (Rust and Steam), hope you all check it out. Congratulations to all the builders who participated in this contest. It was great seeing the creative ways you brought these unplayable races back to life. Go and support all the entries. They can be found in the first post of the Contest Thread. Character Build Contest 5 - Exotics