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Character Build: The Telvanni Wizard

Tags: #Character Build Elementalist  #Character Build Summoner  #Character Build Enchanter  #Race:Dunmer  #Rank:Legendary 
  • Member
    March 16, 2013

    Note: This build contains spoilers, read at your own discretion. 

    "To shed the mantle of fear is to cast it upon your enemy." -Frandar Hunding

     The wizard-lords of House Telvanni have traditionally isolated themselves, pursuing wisdom and mastery in solitude. But certain ambitious wizards-lords, their retainers, and clients have entered wholeheartedly into the competition to control and exploit Vvardenfell's land and resources, building towers and bases all along the eastern coast. According to Telvanni principles, the powerful define the standards of virtue.

    — Great Houses of Morrowind


      A map of Vvardenfell, the Telvanni’s homeland
    The Telvanni one of the five representative Houses of Morrowind. They are a skilled group of mages who hail from Telvannis. The Telvanni can live for hundreds of years because of their magical skill and are ruled by their leader called the Archmagister. These wizards are wise and have an array of knowledge on ancient civilizations and the Daedric Princes, primarily Azura, Boethiah, and Mephala. The most important leaders construct wizard towers to represent their importance. Usually isolated from the outside world the prefer to undertake an apprentice to teach and pass on their abilities. Some members of the house choose to seek artifacts of immense power while others prefer to seek knowledge.  

     After the eruption of the Red Mountain most members of the clan died off. On top of the eruption destroying most of Vvardenfell, the Argonians from Black Marsh took advantage and invaded Morrowind and sacked the capital, Mournhold. During the sack they destroyed the vast Dunmer archives which concealed important tomes containing the history of their race. The remaining Telvanni seek to rebuild their dying civilization by experimenting and exploring to eventually one day take back their homeland. This is achieved by studying magic, collecting artifacts, and seeking greater powers, hence the daedra. Most Telvanni are wise and are not easily fooled by the Princes but will do what is needed to attain their goal.


    An Everlasting Magicka Pool:
      This Builds primary focus is using Absorb Magicka and less Fortify Magicka. Absorb Magicka 100% can be achieved in Dragonborn (DLC). This could not have been achieved before without becoming a vampire or using major exploits. The legitimate way I recently discovered to do this was by combining the Atronach Stone (50%), the Atronach Perk (30%), & Miraak’s Robes and Boots (20%) which brings the grand total to 100%.

       If any of you have ever played around with the spell absorb system you would've found a bug that negates all conjure spells. Because of this spell absorption is not popularly used. However, Dragonborn includes three new conjurable spells. Therefore I tested the Seeker, Ash Spawn, and Ash Guardian because they were not affected by twin souls. Surprisingly, the only one that could be summoned 100% of the time was the Ash Guardian. I presume this is true because this is the only summon that requires an item like heart stone and therefore targets the item, not the player.

    This is where it gets interesting. The Ash Guardian can be summoned hostile or friendly depending on whether the player has a heart stone in their inventory. This is the only summon that can be summoned hostile and it will then attack you. The main attack at medium range is a burst of ash or steam which is similar to the Dwemer Automaton. Since he mainly deals magic damage to you, you will gain magicka points refilling you whole magic bar to full. Since it is a powerful creature and you have 100% absorb, you will take no damage making him no threat. With the elemental potency he becomes 50% more powerful and when I was testing I had 300 magicka which he constantly filled to full. On a side note he can stay around 120 seconds with the atromancy perk. The Ash Guardian is giving you essentially free mana in every battle since all enemies target you as the first priority instead of him, thus he will follow you farther for a longer duration. He can be re-summoned easily. 

    A Wizard’s Best Friend:
    In the Lore of the Telvanni, usually each possessed a staff that was equal to their ability as spellcasters. Well, the Staves in skyrim are not much to look at if you are a mage and have no real benefit since you could cast the spell anyway. The only staves I found to be useful was the Staff of Magnus and Miraak’s Staff. The Staff of Magnus is very beneficial because is the only staff in the game that allows the draining of magicka 20 points per second. This makes opposing mages basically useless because they cannot cast any spells and in a way fits in with the absorb magicka theme. Miraak’s Staff is definitely one of the most unique items in the game to say the least. It Staggers and poisons the opponent which is very useful because they can eventually become stuck in the tentacles. These two staves have a lot to offer during battle especially in tight spots.

      The staves can be easily recharged with Azura's star because the Ash Guardian's soul can be absorbed as a Greater soul. This makes it easy to use staves while being able to level the enchanting skill easily. 


    Race: Dunmer (Dark Elf)
    For roleplaying purposes because the Telvanni are an order of Dark elves plus they already get bonus’ in the Magic skill trees. 
    Stone: Mage -> Atronach
    I would get the atronach stone late game because in early game It is not very beneficial and makes it harder to level conjuration because of the glitch and the slow magicka regeneration. The Atronach stone should be picked up around level 25
    Stats: 1/3/0 to Health/Magicka/Stamina
    A mage does not need much Health after about 200 so once you get there you can start just putting all other levels into magicka. No stamina is needed for obvious reasons because we are not doing power attacks and sprinting is fairly quick with low weight robes.

    Destruction: Main source of damage like most mages. The Telvanni prefer mastering the shock spells. The perk impact can be used to stagger-lock opponents at low levels for low magicka. Nothing really too special about this skill.

    Alteration: The Wizard’s only defense. There are pieces of armor that have an armor rating but do not interfere with the mage armor perk. The Atronach perk is required for achieving 100% spell absorption since it grants 30%.

    Conjuration: Twin souls are not needed since the main summon, the Ash Guardian is not affected.    Note: you cannot summon atronachs, thralls, seekers, and summons from the Soul Cairn them once you have attained 100% spell absorption. Atromancy and Elemental potency effect the Ash Guardian making him more useful, allowing him to be around twice as long and 50% more powerful.

    Restoration: Very useful skill to have other than healing. The perk recovery 2/2 completely negates the Atronach Stone’s -50% regen. With the regeneration perk the healing spell Close Wounds can be made to heal 75% of your health. Wards are not really used once max spell absorption is obtained.

    Enchanting: Unfortunately I know not many people like to be bent over a table for much of the game but enchanting levels pretty fast when recharging items. Azura’s Star can be used in unison with the Staff of Magnus often because of it’s high recharge bar. The reduction of spells and the extra magicka regen enchants are considerable at low and high levels when you can put two enchantments on one item. Since this build only requires you to have the Robes and boots that leaves the Neck, Head, Finger, and Hand open for up to a maximum of eight enchantments.

    The main Robes that you are going to be using are the Telvanni robes for RP and Miraak’s Robes for the spells absorption. The fine armguards which have armor class but does not interfere with mage armor can be enchanted with Fortify Magicka.  The Necklace which I called ‘Heartstone Necklace’ can be enchanted with Fortify Magicka and Fortify Alteration. The Ring which I dubbed ‘Ring of the First Order’ can be enchanted with Fortify Magicka and Magicka Regen. As you could of Probably told I attempted to create a fortify magicka set for obvious reasons.
    -Telvanni Robes (Reward from the quest ‘Old Friends’)
    -Archmage’s Robes (Reward from the College of Winterhold quest chain)
    -Miraak’s Robes (Reward from the quest ‘Summit of Apophryca’)
    -Miraak’s Boots (Found on Miraak)
    -Fine Armguards (Enchanted w/ Fortify Magicka)
    -Ruby Circlet (Enchanted Fortify XXX)
    -Heartstone Necklace (Enchanted w/ Fortify Magicka and Alteration, Name is custom)
    -Ring of the First Order (Enchanted Ring w/ Fortify Magicka and Magicka Regen, Name is custom)


    -College of Winterhold
    A good place to pick up the Staff of Magnus and the archmage's Robes. A very good place to level to around twenty five. Sort of a staple for every mage build so I don't think further explanation is needed.
    -The Black Star
    The Black star should be picked up instead of Azura’s Star. Very useful for leveling enchanting and enchanting equipment itself. Essentially acts a unlimited Black Soul gems.
    -Discerning the Transmundane
    Very good RP wise and quest wise. Leads to the possession of an elder scroll, the Oghma Infinium, and access to Blackreach. By using the book depending on your level you will go up about 2-3 levels before level 30.
    -Main Quest
    If you so choose. I’ve done this quest so many times I can remember esberns line’s.
    I personally would not finish this quest because when you finish It you kinda feel like the game is over. That is just my opinion.

    I would highly recommend not joining the vampire’s side because it is not needed to achieve 100% spell absorbtion and does not fit the Telvanni character. The Telvanni are not by all means bloodthirsty and chaotic evil. Dawnguard does not highly benefit the mage class but is still better in my opinion than the vampire side.
    -Lost to the Ages
    The quest for one of three aetherial items. The best choice would probably be the aetherial crown so if you chose to remove the atronach stone, you can without having to travel there.

    -Dragonborn Main Quest
    Defeating Miraak is the only way to achieve 100% spell absorption. His staff is also highly useful along with the Black Book that allows you to reset skill trees. The stone cleansing quest is also very important because the Tree Stone turns out to be very useful. The Tree stone makes all spells cost 75% less for 60 seconds.
    -Tel Mithryn Quests
    Neloth’s quest are very fun and provide the Telvanni robes toward the end of the quest chain. He also offers new spells which are required for this build like Ash Guardian. Neloth also possesses a Black book which gives a special power called Mora’s Boon. After hiring a new steward he will give you access to construct staves at his staff enchanter.
    -Black Books
    The Telvanni search for knowledge and wisdom anyway and at the and of each book you aquire special powers. Notable powers to obtain are:
    ~Secret of Arcana — Spells cost no magicka for 30 seconds.
    ~Mora's Boon — Fully restores your health, magicka, and stamina.
    ~Seeker of Sorcery — All spells cost 10% less magicka. Enchantments are 10% more powerful.
    ~Secret Servant — Summons a Dremora butler to carry your excess items.
    ~Scholar's Insight — Reading skill books gives you an extra skill point.


    The Telvanni House

    This is a special section which I would like to dedicate to Hearthfire and Followers
    The Telvanni are known to undertake one apprentice, some notable followers are:

    -Brelyna Maryon: She is also a descendent of the great Telvanni House so RP wise, it is not a bad choice. She can be picked up at the College of WInterhold and can be married. She is one of the only followers who can summon a frost atronach which makes her a very ideal mage companion.

    -Erandur: Can be found at Nightcaller temple near dawnstar after the quest Waking Nightmare and is some of few followers who have unique lines. He is also a dunmer mage which makes him ideal. Unfortunately he cannot become a Steward.

    -Aranea Ienith: Can be found at the shrine of Azura after completing the quest the Black star.She is perhaps the most powerful mage follower because she can cast thunderbolt and summon a frost atronach. You cannot marry her and she cannot become a stewardess.

    -Talvas Fathryon: Master Neloth’s apprentice. He does not seem very content under the guidance of master Neloth so I guess he wouldn't mind following you. He can train in conjuration and sells spells. He can also become a steward but, there are some Hearthfire related bugs.

    Every powerful wizard needs a tower, yours will be in skyrim. This house will act as the Telvanni representative home. For the house build a Library, Enchanter’s Tower, and a Trophy room. The best location for a House is in The Pale because it is the closest to Morrowind. With Hearthfire you can have your favorite three followers at the same place and time. One as you’re wife, steward and follower. For example Brelyna Maryon can be my wife, Talvas Fathryon can be my steward and Aranea Ienith as my follower, allowing you to switch out followers easily. This is basically to make good use of Hearthfire, by the way don't adopt Nord children.

    These are tactics and special moves to be used during battle. They are not a one time thing but rather used in unison or separately to make battles more interesting. These are all perfectly viable ways to handle a fight. I understand most of these are higher leveled but you really can't do anything out of the ordinary at low levels.

    Recharge (Defensive)

    The Telvanni summons an ash guardian to aid him in battle by spraying him with mana in the form of ash. This will refill his whole mana bar repeatedly.

    Requires: 100% Spells Absorption, Ash Guardian(No Heart Stone)


    Arcane Fury (Active)

    The Telvanni uses his Staves of power effectively trapping his opponent in never ending tentacles and stealing his life force. Before the enemy falls to the ground the Telvanni tears his soul out encasing it in his black star and resurrecting him as a slave.(Use Miraak's Staff in a circle to surround yourself)

    Requires: Miraak’s Staff, Staff of Magnus, Soul Tear, Black Star


    Forbidden Magic (Power)

    The Telvanni calls upon forbidden knowledge from Apophryca to aid him during the midst of battle, rejuvenating him and rendering him the ability to cast magic unhindered.

    Requires: Secret of Arcana, Mora’s Boon


    Storm of the Ages (Active)

    The Telvanni surrounds himself in a whirlwind flinging nearby opponents away becoming his true ethereal form and begins a powerful incantation. He shouts to the skies and a thunderstorm begins, then he casts a devastating storm of lightning incinerating all foes into ash.

    Requires: Tree Stone, Whirlwind Cloak, Storm Call, Lightning Storm


    Call of the Red Mountain (Power)

    The Telvanni calls upon a dragon whose made his lair at the Red Mountain to ride and summons ethereal armor that increases his damage and defense. The ancient dragon arrives at his service and the Telvanni gets on the back of the dragon. From the skies his dragon strikes fear while the Telvanni casts lightning magic from aloft.

    Requires: Dragon Aspect, Call Dragon, Thunderbolt


    Closing Thoughts

    Again I would like to thank everyone who stopped by my previous build who had given their constructive criticism, which I very much appreciated, and likes. This build had taken up much more time with the new ash guardian concept I was trying for because of testing. Had I posted this build a week ago without testing It would've looked much different and I would've made a fool out of myself. I would also like to thanks Zach who directed me to a photo editor program. As for this build I would highly appreciate some feedback.


    -I would also like to thank Tiberius Nero for creating my awesome perk spread!

    -For my friend Logan

    Master Adrik,Telvanni of the First Order

     Check out my other builds:

  • Member
    March 16, 2013

    I see you used a similar style to Zach's builds. +1

  • Member
    March 16, 2013

    Yes I based my builds off his format since I have joined. It seems better presented then most builds in the community.

  • AJ
    March 16, 2013

    Very nice build! +1

  • Member
    March 16, 2013

    Ah this is the 100% absorption build you were working on .

    I like it very much! +1

  • Member
    March 16, 2013

    Love your use of the Ash Guardian. Very clever indeed. 

  • Member
    March 16, 2013

    Yes, thank you very much!

  • Member
    March 16, 2013

    The Staff of Magnus is extremely useful but hard to aim for me, but with Miraak's Staff the pretty much stay in place poisoned.

  • Member
    March 16, 2013

    Thank you 

  • March 16, 2013

    Great build, will try this definitely.