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Character Build: The Sandstrider

Tags: #Character Build Dual-Wield  #Character Build Archer  #Character Build Warrior  #Race:Orsimer  #Rank:Mythic  #Hall of Fame Build  #Hunter  #Alik'r  #Bonemold  #Desert 
  • Member
    February 9, 2013

    This build was inspired by the Bonemold guard armor and how well it fits with a desert theme.  The mechanics of the build came from my desire to take a break from magic and play a versatile warrior that has many approaches to combat.

    *This build uses content from both Dawnguard and Dragonborn*







    The Sandstrider

    Khalash grew up in the Dragontail Mountains and was part of a small orc tribe.  When he was an adolescent, his tribe was attacked by a group of vicious vampires, known as Khulari.  Khalash was saved by a group of Redguard paladins, but they arrived too late to save anyone else.  The Redguards belonged to the Order of Diagna and offered him refuge in exchange for his expertise of smithing and enchanting.  Khalash crafted their armor and weapons for a few years and even learned a little about combat from them.

    Once he was a young adult he struck out on his own, adventuring out into the Alik’r Desert and further into Hammerfell.  He became a competent hunter and tracker, and put his skills to use slaying dangerous animals for local villages in return for supplies and coin.  Khalash almost met his demise when he faced off against a mythical giant scorpion, which many thought extinct.  After a grueling battle, he was victorious and he claimed its chitinous hide which he crafted into armor.

    Eventually he decided to travel Tamriel in search of more dangerous game to hunt and exciting places to explore.  After seeing much of Tamriel, Skyrim was his next destination, as he had heard accounts of ferocious animals and even giants.  Unfortunately he picked the wrong time to journey to Skyrim.


    Race:  Orc, Redguard (with RP adjustments)

    Stone:  Steed (until Conditioning), Lord, Serpent (Aetherial Crown)

    Stats:  3/0/1 in Health/Magicka/Stamina

    Shouts:  Cyclone, Whirlwind Sprint, Slow Time,

    Quests:  Dawnguard, Dragonborn, In My Time of Need, Black Star,

    Major Skills:  One Handed, Archery, Block, Enchanting, Heavy Armor

    Minor Skills:  Smithing, Sneak








    Scimitar (main-hand):  Absorb Health
    Scimitar (off-hand):   Absorb Stamina
    Steel Crossbow:  Fiery Soul Trap


    Final Set

    Scimitar (main-hand):  Absorb Health, Paralyze
    Scimitar (off-hand):  Absorb Health, Absorb Stamina
    Dwarven Crossbow:  Fiery Soul Trap, Paralyze


    Alik’r Hood:  Archery
    Bonemold Guard Armor:  Health
    Bonemold Gauntlets:  One handed
    Bonemold Boots:  Sneak
    Necklace:  One Handed
    Ring:  One Handed
    Bonemold Shield:  Block


    Final Set

    Redguard Hood:  Archery, Alchemy
    Bonemold Guard Armor:  Health, Health Regene
    Bonemold Gauntlets:  One handed, Archery
    Bonemold Boots:  Sneak, One Handed
    Necklace:  One Handed, Archery
    Ring:  One Handed, Archery
    Bonemold Shield:  Block, Resist Magic



    Combat Stances:

    Savage Scorpion


    This dual wielding stance is aggressive and utilizes swift yet precise strikes.  By combining health absorption and stamina absorption, the Sandstrider can unleash an unrelenting barrage of strikes.  This stance is concerned only with offense and moving from one enemy to the next as quickly as possible.  By weaving together devastating dual power attacks and mobility, the Sandstrider is able to slash his way across the battlefield.  This stance is best utilized against weaker melee enemies or archers and mages after closing distance on them.


    Wise Tortoise

    This stance combines scimitar and shield for a defensive style that relies on timing and patience.  Use of a shield grants significant damage reduction against melee attacks as well as magical attacks and dragon breath.  Properly timed shield bashes and Quick Reflexes allows the Sandstrider to reposition himself or retaliate with a series of quick scimitar slashes.  Once Shield Charge is taken, this stance becomes capable of evening the odds.  Once the Sandstrider has positioned a group of enemies in front of him he can burst through them and then turn around and assault the newly prone opponents.  With Deflect Arrows and Elemental Protection archers and mages become nothing more than pests.  This stance is best used against hard hitting enemies, mages, dragons and when greatly outnumbered.


    Stinging Wasp

    This stance utilizes opportunistic shots from a crossbow, whether from hiding or in open combat.  Well placed sneak attacks against weaker opponents can even the odds when approaching a situation where the enemy outnumbers you.  This stance is very effective for thinning out the ranks in a bandit camp with devastating sneak attacks.  Even once combat has broken out, ranged shots can even the odds against distant archers remaining after you have dispatched their melee allies.  Perhaps the best use of the stance is against dragons as they fly around the battlefield and harass you with flybys and breath attacks.  This stance is most effective as a start to battle before closing in and against distant archers and mages, as well as elusive dragons.



    The Sandstrider is an adventurer and a hunter of both men and monsters.  Once he enters a town he seeks out bounties to rid Mundus of dangerous beasts and violent criminals.  If any other locals need a mercenary he will listen to their request.  The Sandstrider is not a thief nor will he strong arm innocents.  His need for coin is secondary to his need to hunt and explore.

    Once the Dawnguard quest has been started, Khalash will not hesitate to join them.  His hatred for vampires stems from his traumatic encounter with them when he was young.  Although the Volkihar are the regional vampires, Khalash considers them monsters just the same. 

    Once the vampire threat has been stopped, he will then continue on to fight the dragon menace in Skyrim.  He sees them as the most dangerous game he has ever faced and is eager to hunt them.  In addition to the main quest objectives, the Khalash seeks out any dragon lairs.


    Combat and Gameplay:

    The Sandstrider crafts and improves his own arms and armor, and is able to do so with a minor investment in Smithing.  Bonemold armor, scimitars, and basic crossbows are governed by Steel Smithing allowing for very early crafting and improvement of his full set of gear.  Scimitars can be found by completing the In My Time of Need and defending Saadia, and additional scimitars can be found on the Dainty Sload near the Solitude lighthouse by killing the corsairs that carry them.  By merely starting Dragonborn and entering Solsteim you can get the Netch Leather required to craft Bonemold Armor.

    Joining the Dawnguard allows you to craft steel and dwarven crossbows and their respective bolts as well as giving access to the Aetherial Crown.  The crown is used to give unlimited uses of the Serpent Stone by merely unequipping and re-equipping to reset the stone’s cooldown.

    In addition to the stances the Sandstrider utilizes, he has general tactics he will employ.  The Sandstrider has many methods for paralyzing his foes.  He has a paralyze enchant on his primary scimitar, found, purchased or basic crafted paralysis poisons, the Serpent Stone, and Paralyzing Strike.  He also has a few key shouts which he will use in any stance depending on the situation.  The Cyclone shout allows him to send groups of enemies flying, either leaving them prone or in some cases thrown off a cliff or building.  Whirlwind Sprint allows the Sandstrider to close in on an archer or mage, or to reposition himself when surrounded.  Slow Time can be used both offensively and defensively.  When on the attack it can allow him to dispatch multiple enemies in the blink of an eye as well as give him the time to switch to a shield and better position himself when overwhelmed.

    The Sandstrider uses the most appropriate stance depending on the situation and this includes seamlessly switching between them.  One of the most devastating combinations is when the Sandstrider Shield Charges through a group of enemies whilst in Wise Tortoise and then switches to Savage Scorpion to swiftly kill off his opponents while they try to stand up.  There are as many possible combinations as there are scenarios and the Sandstrider can adapt to any situation.





  • February 9, 2013
    Ugh... Bonemold armor looks terrible...
  • Member
    February 9, 2013
    Nice job
  • Member
    February 9, 2013
    Lol...personal preference I guess. It was one of the deciding factors in this build. The guard version specifically looks like its worn after exposure to sand and goes great with the rest of the ensemble.
  • Member
    February 9, 2013
    Btw, I posted in the art group with no luck butif anyone has Dragonborn and can take basic screenshots I would be eternally grateful. I really wanted to use screenshots for each stance.
  • February 9, 2013
    I try, but I'm on console so I can't take good pics, and my iPad doesn't paste in pictures.
  • February 9, 2013
    I have an excuse
  • Member
    December 15, 2016

    All images have been restored for this build. While I try my best to keep the formatting as close to the original as possible, there are some unavoidable differences as a result of differing platforms... for this I apologize.

    Also, please feel free to remove the 'Restored' banner at the end of the build--I put it there as a courtesy to let the reader know that the build has been worked on by somebody other than its original creator without his or her knowlege.