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Skyrim WIP: The Resolution of Z'en

Tags: #modded  #WIP  #Shouts  #Crafting 
  • Member
    November 13, 2018

    The Resolution of Z'en

    This build is a bit of a love letter to Lohtar and Shinjin's Knights of Iron build, borrowing the concept of a heroic knight-craftsman with mods to create a new, interesting sort of beast.

    Using the same four "non-combat" skills of the Knights of Iron, The Resolution of Z'en is named after the Daggerfall temple which eventually became associated with Zenothar, but Z'en was a slightly different god. Rather than being a god associated primarily with mercants, farmers, and middle nobility, Z'en was a simpler god, one of toil and "payment in kind".

    Worship of Z'en likely originated in Akavari and Argonian mythologies, but it spread to the Bosmeri and Bretons by way of travelers and sailers over time. The Kothringi people, an extinct race of men who fell to illness during the Aylied Empire, prayed to Z'en for protection, perhaps as a form of payment for the backbreaking toil they faced as slaves. Likewise, it could be understood why Bretons and Bosmeri would pray to a god who embodied a reward for hardship at the time.

    The Resolution of Z'en carries with him (Or her!) the old beliefs, faith in the value of hard work, and that there should be a force which grants both the virtuous and the vile exactly what their actions have earned.



    -Race: Breton (Feel free to choose differently!)
    -Stone: Lover or Tower
    -Attributes: All into Health


    Mods are a bit touch and go. I've divided mine into those which are essential and those which are optional.

    Essential: Ordinator, Apocalypse, Imperious, Andromeda, and the mods required to set these mods up.

    Optional: Campfire, Frostfall, Hunterborn, Ars Metallica, Convenient Horses, whatever your mod load order requires.



    The Resolution of Z'en can be played a truly massive number of ways. The Ordinator mod offers a number of ways to specialize in the four Skills I've listed, and I encourage you to try going your own way if that is how your heart moves you when reading through this build. My own choices were to create a character who is able to embodied a combat style somewhere between a Crusader's virtues and a Spellblade's mix between magic and martial combat.


    The Ordinator Alchemy tree can branch in several directions, including some which focus on elemental traps or poisons. When considering my options, I chose the middle way, which leaves one able to gain strength from imbibing potions for added Stamina and Magicka regeneration, as well as enhanced movement. At higher levels one gains random buffs to effectiveness, which I felt was most in keeping with the fun aspect of Alchemy: That of the inventor always tinkering with different mixes and seeing what happens. I used poisons on a few, very rare occasions for effects like Paralysis, Slow, and Longering Health Damage, but I did not climb the insanely powerful poison tree.

    Alchemy - 10 Perks
    -Mastery (2)
    -Crimson Haze
    -Chymical Wedding
    -That Which Does not Kill You
    -Green Thumb
    -Pure Mixtures

    Making awesome gear via smithing is really nice, but Enchanting allows for a level of gear customization in Skyrim that few games match to this day. Ordinator expands this to also encompass boosting the power of spell scrolls and even expand the use of staves. I loved the idea of a Knight-Cleric with a staff in one hand and a weapon in the other, as well as the idea that scrolls could be made possibly even more powerful than perked spells. Because of this, I avoided using any magic other than Scrolls, Staves, and Enchantments, and my perks reflect this.

    Enchanting - 13 Perks
    -Mastery (2)
    -Last Word (3)
    -Staff Channeler
    -Gem Dust
    -Twin Enchantment
    -Heart of the Sun
    -Charge Tap

    Compared to Enchanting, Smithing sometimes looks a little unimpressive. It makes the stabby-stabby numbers go up and the ouchie-ouchie numbers go down. Pah! It also allows for Steel Armor to be as strong as Dragonbone! Due to my perks in Alchemy and Enchanting, I made a choice to proceed through Smithing perks in a way that allows for every piece of gear in the game that can be enhanced, to be enhanced. Others may want to stop at Steel of Meric Smithing and then drop points into Dwarven turrets for additional ranged combat options. Those turrets are oustantingly cool and effective at range, but I found my own style with this build to involve a lot of close quarters, where rapid changes in direction left them usually shooting at walls (But seriously, try those turrets out on a ranged character!)

    Smithing - 11 Perks
    -Mastery (2)
    -Arcane Smithing
    -Meric (2)
    -Expert (2)
    -Exotic (2)
    (Planar (2)

    Oh me oh my. Speech in Vanilla Skyrim is wonderful for quality of life, but for combat it offers very little. With Ordinator, the options for mercantilism actually EXPAND, and beyond that one can also use Speech to enthrall enemies, gain allies, or empower your Shouts! I couldn't resist climbing up the Shout branch of the tree and use Thu'um of War and Windborne to help make up for my build's lack of blocking, but if that's too much for you then I wholeheartedly suggest investing in the Performance branch to enhance your follower/s and debillitate enemies.

    Speech - 11 Perks
    -Mastery (2)
    -And the Universe Listens
    -Hurricane Force
    -Force Redoubled (2)
    -Thu'um of War

    The Final Five
    These were Ordinator perks which I felt are ultimately not needed, but also ultimately sort of, well, ultimate. They enhance base numbers even further beyond making enchanted gear, and in the hands of an optimizer the results can be staggering. Miracle and Merciless Storm, in particular, can result in some pretty crazy stuff.

    Final Five
    -Arcane Enchanter (Enchanting)
    -Miracle (Enchanting)
    -Advanced Lab (Alchemy)
    -Advanced Workshop (Smithing
    -Merciless Storm (Speech)


    Gear is the heart and soul of this build. It's the product of your character's labors, and in many ways it defines how you play the game from the moment you don a set of custom gear to when you remove it and replace it with something else.

    For weapons, I chose to utilizes the staff of a traveling knight-cleric and a one-handed axe. For anyone who is curious as to why I chose the axe instead of the hammers and maces of the Knights of Iron, I suggest you try and chop down, section, and split the live wood of a gnarled, knotted, obnoxiously fibrous Hackberry tree with nothing but a hand-axe. That, my friends, is an agonizing example of toil (I lost nearly fifty pounds in one summer from chopping those sumbitches on my parents' farm, and the wood wasn't worth a damn to burn until nearly two years later).

    For protection, I felt Heavy Armor was the right choice. Its protection has a cost to your character's mobility when using the Andromeda mod, because the Steed Stone no longer makes armor weight inconsequential. I felt it a better exchange for the defense and aesthetic of heavy armor.

    By the end of my playthrough, I had a number of armor sets that I chose for various reasons, but in practice I found the most fun and effective effective gear setup for my own playthrough used enchantments which gave effects I couldn't acquire through alchemy. My current favoreite setup is:

    -Ebony War Axe (with the following enchantments: Absorb Stamina, Fiery Soul Trap, Absorb Health)
    -Staves (Numerous, but Emphasis on either Paralysis or Destruction spells)

    -Ebony Helm (Smithed, with Deep Breath and Tryptich: Attributes)
    -Ebony Armor (Smithed, Siphon Health, Deep Breath)
    -Ebony Gauntlets (Smithed, Recharge Weapons, Fortify One-Handed)
    -Ebony Boots (Smithed, Fortify Speed)
    -Gauldur's Amulet
    -Ring (King of the Lost, Siphon Health)