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Event Build: The Silver Hand

Tags: #Race:Nord  #Character Build Archer  #Character Build Witchhunter  #Character Build Battlemage  #Rank:Event Mythic  #Event:Factions 
  • Member
    May 16, 2014

    The True Silver Hand

    Welcome traveler. Come warm yourself by the fire. I see you’ve brought furs and meat, are you a hunter? I am, of a sort. Let me tell you my tale.

                First, what I must tell you will surprise you. Do you know of the order of the Silver Hand? They are not who they say they are, but rather bandit imposters and traitors of the lowest kind. The true Silver Hand died nearly a year ago, all except for one.

                I must tell you the fallen clan’s history: They were formed in Winterhold soon after the Oblivion Crises. A fear and hatred of werewolves brought together an archer, a mercenary and a mage from the college to form a guild specifically to hunt the beasts. Together, they gathered a group of their peers; who taught each other everything they knew, such that a fighter would teach a mage how to wield a sword and that mage might teach an archer to cast spells. For nearly two hundred years they remained largely unknown in their silent hunt of the disciples of Hircine, werewolves and Hagravens. That silence changed after a group of former bandits begged their way into our fold. The leader of the order, The Silver Master, felt that redemption for these souls was possible, that The Silver Hand could help them form new lives of redemption…but he was wrong. In a year’s time, the bandits were able to tempt allies and eventually incite a rebellion against the orders more moral members. It began with the mysterious death of The Silver Master. On the 10th of First Seed, year 200; during a Moot to choose the next Master, the treacherous members massacred everyone in the guild that wasn’t with them, taking the Guild’s gold, weapons and armor for themselves.

                I was fortunate enough to be away at the time. Having only just joined the guild a few months before, my mentor had sent me to investigate a possible werewolf sighting, knowing my task was more important to my training and the guild then the Moot’s politics. When I returned, everyone was dead and our hall deserted. I buried my brethren as best as I could, then swore vengeance against the traitorous bastards who carried out the heinous act. At the time though, their numbers and skill outmatched me. A group of them led by Krev captured me near Gallows Rock. The night before they would kill me, I was able to flee from them when my guard drank too much and fell asleep during his watch. They chased me to the mining town Darkwater Crossing. There, an Imperial Patrol captured me. Seeing my hands were bound and that I wore nothing but ragged clothes, they assumed I was an escaped prisoner and carted me to Helgen with several Stormcloak prisoners to be executed.  That is when the dragon attacked, and I was again able to escape to resume my hunt.

    The Build

    This build was created as an attempt to make up for the shortcomings of the Silver Hand you meet in game and come up with a unique approach to the witchhunter play-style.  A crossbow is your main damage dealer, with shock spells and a shield as backup.

    The Silver Hand in the game don’t give a lot to go on, no lore, no distinction from bandits besides their silver weapons, so I took the lack of information as an opportunity to create a whole new image of the guild for this character. The armor combo was largely inspired by Paul England’s Swordthane build. I wanted to use armor that had an almost silver color scheme without going with Steel Plate Armor.  A crossbow allows a quick enough player to stand and fight an opponent. The crossbow already has a reputation as a vampire hunting weapon; I wondered why a successful werewolf hunter wouldn’t want the same powerful weapon. Shock spells drain magicka of magical opponents such as Hagravens, included because of their ties to Hircine.

    This last surviving member of a guild that was destroyed from the inside out has to find protection from the College of Winterhold and the Dawnguard, as well as to gain allies and to continue his training to prepare for the work he feels obligated to finish.

    Race: Nord. I chose this purely for roleplay purposes of a man living in his country trying to cleanse and protect it. 

    Standing Stone: Coming out of Helgen I chose the Warrior Stone to help level armor, block and archery quicker, but as soon as I was in the area I changed it to the Lady Stone. After getting to a comfortable level, I switched to the Lord Stone.

    Major Skills: Archery, Destruction and Block

    Minor Skills: Enchanting, Smithing, Light & Heavy Armor and Restoration

    Unperked: Alchemy and Sneak

    Shouts: Ice Form, Slow Time, and Unrelenting Force

    Stat Spread: Magicka 2, Health 2, Stamina 1




    Notes on several key targets were saved after the massacre. I took everything I managed to save and wrote them in my journal, including everything I knew about the renegades.



                An example of the worst kind of werewolves, Arnbjorn is an assassin with the Dark Brotherhood, using his transformations to murder. It is said that he enjoys killing innocent people and even refers to them as ‘food’. The Dark Brotherhood must also be destroyed for their association with and assisting of Arnbjorn. The Dark Brotherhood’s attention will have to be obtained, their agent interrogated, then euthanized. No one within my knowledge knows where their safe havens may be; and therefore where they may be hiding the beast.








    A werewolf who has trouble controlling his transformations, last seen around Falkreath.  Rumors insist that he stole an artifact of Hircine. If this is true, this artifact must be recovered from his body and destroyed. No other information is known.







    Frostmoon Pack

                A small pack of werewolves residing at Frostmoon Crag in Solstheim, led by Majni. Members also include Akar, Hjordis and Rakel.  They are rarely seen apart, so great caution is necessary.







    The Companions

                A group of fighters based in Whiterun. The elite members, The Circle, consist of the werewolves Skjor, Aela, the twins Farkas and Vilkas, and their leader Kodlak Whitemane. It is not know if any other members are also werewolves, but their association with and protection of them must be judged as harshly as with the Dark Brotherhood, including their smith Eorlund Gray-Mane. Because of this close tie with the Companions, Clan Gray-Mane must be considered hostile and Clan Battle-Born should be considered as allies.  Unfortunately, due to their good standing in Whiterun and their prestige across Skyrim, direct action is not advisable at this time; rather careful observation and probing for weak points in their organization are the goal. If I can frame them for crimes, or perhaps pit them against another enemy…









    Glenmoril Witches and Hagravens

                The witches of Glenmoril are known worshipers of Hircine and many Hagravens also worship Hircine. The only known Glenmoril Witches in Skyrim have become Hagravens. As for the rest, it’s impossible to tell which do worship Hircine and which do not, no chances can be taken and all must be eliminated. As the Forsworn, they revere these abominations as well as possibly Hircine, so any encountered must meet their end. Known locations are as listed:

    Glenmoril Witches, Alter of Thrond and Glemoril Cavern                                                         Hagravens; Orphan Rock, Darklight Tower, Hag’s End, Blind Cliff Cave, Lost Valley Redoubt, and Dead Cranes Rock.






    Silver Hand Renegades

                These traitors must die!

    Strongholds; Driftshade Refuge, Faldar’s Tooth, Fort Fellhammer, Lost Knife Hideout, Gallows Rock and possibly Treva’s Watch




    Perk Spread 

    Level 25

    Archery: Overdraw 3/5, Critical Shot 2/3, Eagle Eye, Steady Hand ½, Power Shot

    Destruction: Novice-Adept, Augmented Shock 1/2

    Block: Shield Wall 2/5

    Restoration: Novice-Apprentice, Regeneration, Recovery ½,

    Enchanting: Enchanter 1/5

    Smithing: Steel Smithing

    Light Armor: Agile Defender 2/5

    Heavy Armor: Juggernaut 2/5


    Level 50 

    Archery: Overdraw 5/5, Critical Shot 3/3, Hunter’s Discipline, Ranger, Eagle Eye, Steady Hand ½, Power Shot, Quick Shot, Bull’s Eye

    Destruction: Novice-Adept, Augmented Shock 2/2, Disintegrate

    Block: Shield Wall 4/5, Quick Reflexes, Power Bash, Deadly Bash, Deflect Arrows, Elemental Protection

    Restoration: Novice-Adept, Regeneration, Recovery ½,

    Enchanting: Enchanter 4/5, Insightful Enchanter

    Smithing: Steel Smithing

    Light Armor: Agile Defender 3/5

    Heavy Armor: Juggernaut 5/5




    Head: Steel Helmet (hornless, 32% Bow Damage)

    Body: Winterhold Guard’s Armor (20% Stamina Regeneration)

    Hands: Steel Nordic Gauntlets (33% Bow Damage) & Steel Shield (21% Block Damage)

    Feet: Steel Cuffed Boots (20% Stamina Regeneration)

    Jewelry: Silver Hand Ring of Eminent Destruction (Silver Ruby Ring, 21% less cost) & Savos Aren’s Amulet

    Weapon: Enhanced Steel Crossbow of Stamina Drain


    The fools think just because they have silver weapons that they're werewolf hunters


                Keeping distance between you and everyone else is crucial for survival. Sneak attacks are not out of character for this build, but without perks you won’t stay hidden long, especially with a crossbow, which makes a lot of noise. Before joining the Dawnguard use the highest damage bow you can find. The Forsworn Bow benefits from the Steel Perk, and the irony is amusing.

    Battling multiple enemies is tricky, but this character has a few options. One is running around, using speed to get time to take a few shots, hence the stamina enchantments, or you can take out your shield and cast a Lighting Cloak and use shock spells and shield bashing to finish enemies off. This is when Chain Lighting is very useful.  Ice Form and Bull’s Eye will get at minimum one enemy out of the fight for a little while, with Ice Form damaging until they break out. Bardic Knowledge provides another boost to stamina regeneration if needed.



    A personal loss drives this character to join the Silver Hand before it changed. He didn’t lose his parents to lycanthropy, but his brother.

    We lost our parents when we were just boys. Our mother died from a fever and our dad drank so much he eventually fell in the river and drowned, so all we had were each other. A werewolf attacked us one day in the forest when we were hunting. It pounced on me and was about to take a bite out of me when my brother jumped on its back.  I was able to crawl away just as the thing grabbed him and threw him off, scratching him in the process. I locked an arrow and loosed it into the creature’s head, killing it. We laughed at the close call, but later that night my brother came down with a fever. After an hour he…he transformed. I don’t know why he jumped out the window rather than attack me, but that doesn’t matter, because now he’s one of them. I must find him and end his suffering. I owe him as much, he saved my life.

    Now this character is a loner, all the friends he once had are dead, and he never wants to go through loss like that again. He has allies and people he knows, but never again friends.  He is forever roaming and never stays in one spot. The only reason to buy Breezehome is to have an excuse to stay in Whiterun and keep an eye on the Companions. He never wants followers that slow him down, he rather be alone with his grief and hatred.

    The reason to join the College of Winterhold is to continue the lessons he was learning from his mentor before the coup, and the Dawnguard gives him more allies, access to a crossbow and the opportunity to practice with vampire. Plus with the Companions off limits now, he needs a warrior guild to be associated with, not just magic. Always keep Potions of Cure Disease on you, and collect any books about werewolves, such as Physicalities of Werewolves.

    Arnbjorn is easy to kill while staying in character. Killing the old woman is just used to get the Dark Brotherhood’s attention and find out where they’re hiding. Sinding requires a bit more flexibility from the character, as he has to act like he cares about the creature and has to interact with Hircine. The best way to deal with it is to think of it as a means to an end, like killing Grelod. Behave as though you don’t care that Sinding is a werewolf, offer to help and act reluctant to help kill Sinding with Hircene. At Bloated Man’s Grotto lie to Sinding and tell him that you won’t kill him, so he’ll help you to kill Hircene’s hunters. After they are dealt with, kill Sinding right away, that way when you leave you can still tell Hircene that you didn’t do what he wanted, despite him still being pleased, which would enrage the character more. Keep the ring until the Aetherium Forge, and then throw it into the lava. Hagravens, Forsworn and the Silver Hand bandits will be attacked throughout the game, and the Frostmoon Pack will be the ultimate test of your battle prowess. Joining the Imperial Legion can be in character because the Battle-Borns support the Empire, but I never did. Other than that, members of the Companions are essential until finishing the Companion quest line, which I couldn’t see a werewolf hunter doing.

    I shall be watching you...

  • Member
    May 16, 2014

    I like the build and it's basic approach to archery, I'm not sure how destruction fits into the build however and I feel even without that skill it could do fine. But other than that and the weird formatting problem you have with some of the pictures, it's a +1.

  • Member
    May 16, 2014

    Yeah I tried to fix it but it's not working for me.

  • May 16, 2014

    I seriously love this build and how you made the lack of lore work for you! Making the in game faction out to be traitorous bandits was also a great idea. I love the armor, looks awesome!

    But no silver weapons??!! This saddens me.. :(

    Great build overall, seems like a lot of fun! +1

  • Member
    May 16, 2014

    A Silver Hand build that hunt's... wait for it... the Silver Hand! Sweet!

    I've always hated those guys, and not just because you're supposed to. Witch hunters that attack you on sight... even though you aren't a werewolf or vampire or draugr or even some kid wearing all black, black eyeliner,  and writing poetry about death. The guys are just jerks, but this build explains that... awesome!

    I was wondering how you were going to do this, but never expected you to come at it from this angle. I'm glad you did, though

  • Member
    May 16, 2014

    I had the same struggle. There's really no way around it. Still, you've made a great build, and put together a solid backstory for it. I really like the lone survivor vibe throughout.

  • Member
    May 16, 2014

    Thanks man :) I would have liked to use silver weapons, but it just seemed too obvious

  • Member
    May 16, 2014

    Thank you ShinJin :) Yeah they never really met my expectations, when I first began playing I thought it was just because I was a member of the Companions, but then I realized that they're just jerks.

  • May 17, 2014
    I suppose you're right. Haha And I agree with you guys! When I first heard the name Silver Hand, I was like, Woah that sounds awesome! I wanna be part of The Silver Hand and slay monsters! Then they turn out to be bandits with cool swords. Haha You really made that makes sense, which is partly why I love this build. =P
  • Member
    May 17, 2014

    Getting the silent moons enchant for your crossbow is also cool.