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Character Build: The Fog

Tags: #Character Build Rogue  #Character Build Alchemist  #Character Build Villain  #Rank:Mythic  #Hall of Fame Build  #Race:Altmer  #Borom  #Character Build RP  #Padomaic 
  • Member
    November 30, 2014

    They will soon learn respect for the Taskmaster. And not only Skyrim; this may be the twilight of the Nords, but all of Tamriel will soon see Peryite's true power.

    Build Theme

    Once an over-ambitious alchemist, a deal with the Daedric Prince of Pestilence has turned this recluse into an incubator, a host that will produce a disease the likes of which has never been seen. Not just a plague--a sentient plague. *This build requires both Dawnguard and Dragonborn content*

    The Build

    This character is meant to be pure, concentrated poison and disease. There's very little of its damage that won't come in some kind of poison or damage-over-time form. Combined with its stealth and ability to reach out for multiple enemies at once, this becomes a plague to be feared.

    Race: Altmer or Dunmer Vampire; Highborn is an extremely valuable ability for this character, allowing runes to stack very quickly.

    Stone: Thief~>Advanced Apprentice [+ Serpent]

    Key Spells: Poison and Frost or Fire Runes, Frost or Flame Cloak, Bound Bow

    Key Shouts: Marked for Death, Fire Breath, Ice Breath, Drain Vitality

    Primary Skills: Alchemy, Restoration, Pickpocket, Conjuration†

    Secondary Skills: Illusion†, Archery, Sneak, Destruction, Heavy Armor

    Abilities: Sailor's Repose, Waters of Life, Mora's Boon/Agony, Secret of Arcana, Seeker of Sorcery 

    Attribute Spread: 3/1/0~> 2/2/0

    †Optional Skills

    Level 25 Perks

    Optional perks would include Novice-Adept Conjuration, and possibly Mystic Binding for the late game, as well as Illusion perked to Quiet Casting, to allow stealth Shouts; not necessary, but handy. Perks in Heavy Armor may also be placed elsewhere. I carried so many poisons that the extra carry weight was useful. Power Shot may also be a good choice if you feel overwhelmed.

    Weapons and Equipment


    Dwarven Black Bow of Fate or Ancient Nord Bow (w/ only Iron or Ancient Nord Arrows)
    Poison Cloaked Spiders
    Optionally Miraak’s Staff and/or the Staff of Jyrik Gauldurson ‎


    Ebony Mail
    Ahzidal’s Helm of Vision or Aetherial Crown
    Any boots, gauntlets and jewelry of Fortify Restoration or Destruction
    Optionally Ahzidal's Boots of Waterwalking


    Progressing: I like being able to pick up and play a build quickly, so this character was kind of a divergence for me. In contrast to my last playthrough, the Fog really has to be built. With this guy, it’s all about the destination.

    Despite being a heavily armored character, this takes a great deal of delicacy to be successful, both in terms of attribute choices and quest order. You can get a small taste of what this character is all about right in Helgen. Follow Ralof into the keep so you can claim heavy armor from the Imperial captain. Take a bow as soon as you can, and harvest the venom from the Frostbite Spiders to get you started. This is the core of the character, and for a while, it’ll be all you need. Tackle Dragon Rising so that dragon souls start becoming available.

    From there, it’s a good idea to start “building a rep”. Study alchemy extensively, testing your creations on unwitting citizens and creatures. A mercenary follower also makes a handy meatshield/test subject. Also keep a tight hold on any emeralds you come across.

    Using early perks for Alchemy, Sneak and Destruction will be a big help to keeping you alive, and so will good quest choices. It’s quite manageable to begin the Dawnguard questline at level 10, which will expand your toolset a little with some vampiric abilities. Three aspects of this are particularly important: First, a stage 4 vampire gains Embrace of Shadows, which is essentially a free Shadow Stone with night-sight thrown in. It can be a huge help, and can be acquired well before actually starting the questline. Second, the Vampire Lord form, while not something we’ll use, allows us to stack Amulets of Talos, and we’ll use just two; one for a regular amulet, and the other in place of the Blessing of Talos.

    Third and most important, the Vampire Lord form also gives access to Mist Form, which we’ll take back into natural form with us. Unlocking it requires a couple of perks in the Vampire skill tree first. I just invaded Northwatch Keep, and by the time all the elves were dead, Mist Form was unlocked. Really key here is that in natural form, the ability has no recharge time. If you need to book it out of a dungeon, Mist Form can get you out unscathed. Note: Stacking the amulets and acquiring Mist Form is best done all at once. Reentering Vampire Lord form afterwards will remove Mist Form from your powers. *Note that though Dragonborn content is available from this point, it will still be very challenging*

    Original Art by Fetsch

    At some point, it’s also a good idea to build Windstad Manor if possible, as it's the best homestead for a reclusive alchemist. If Hearthfire is unavailable, any home with an alchemy table will do. Riften is appropriate for its seedy underbelly. If you can build a homestead, you won’t want for ingredients again. You should also choose a steward; having a follower handy will be important soon.

    Now’s the time to begin your “descent”. Travel to the Shrine of Peryite to begin The Only Cure. This quest marks a turning point for the character. If you haven't gotten some of your key Words of Power by now, this is a good time to do that. From there, head to Solstheim and clear out White Ridge Barrow. Remember those emeralds you hoarded? You’ll use them here to create as many poison cloaked Spider Scrolls as possible. There are only three Black Books of real value to this character, but they are all tied to locations we already need to visit: Tel Mithryn, White Ridge Barrow, and Kolbjorn Barrow. Approach them with caution.

    Before leaving Solstheim, collect the Poison Rune spell tome from Talvas and begin the Unearthed quest if you want Ahzidal’s helm. Once you have all this you can either come to terms with the fact that your spiders are very limited, and return to Solstheim with an emerald every ten days or so to make more, or you can use your follower to duplicate the scrolls and build a stockpile. While the spiders are weak, they do a lot of damage quickly to any susceptible target, so with careful play, you want need a ton of them.

    Either way, return to Skyrim and start hunting down the worshippers of other Daedric Princes. As soon as you are level 30, complete Boethia’s Calling for your final piece of equipment. Once you have the Ebony Mail you’ll be equipped to unseat every Daedric Cult, defile every Temple of the Divines, and purge every population center in the province. So go do it.


    Original Art by MihaiRadu

    Combat: Early on, you’ll need to take what you can get in terms of bows and arrows. As you’re hunting down Words of Power and questing in dungeons, your poisons won’t be any help against the draugr you’ll face, so a good bow is worth having. Eventually, you won’t need to go dungeon diving anymore, and I’ll explain combat from this perspective.

    Your damage should come from your pestilent poisons, meaning archery is just for applying poisons. Most of the time I used an Ancient Nord bow with Iron arrows for this (plus they look like suitably decrepit tools), but the Black Bow of Fate also fits the theme really well, besides being an all-around good weapon. You’ll later add in Spider Scrolls and long range poison runes for damage, and then the Ebony Mail, granting you some truly ridiculous DoT in the right situation. It’ll be enough to deal with almost every threat, and the spiders make a surprisingly sturdy screen.

    You only need to deal with as many dragons as it takes to unlock your shouts. The first of these should be one word of Marked for Death. The one from Autumnwatch Tower is fairly easy to get by wearing the dragon down from the abundant cover. Against dragons, as well as undead, summon the bound bow for something more damaging(or use the Black Bow of Fate if you have it), hit them with Marked for Death, and use fever-inducing fire magic(Flames or runes), boosting each form of offense with potions. You won’t have to face too many undead, though. The real threat is mages, especially those with flames. The Fog is weak against magic, so it’s always a good idea to target mage’s first, using poison to drain their magic.

    If things get too dicey, Mist Form, Embrace of Shadows, Become Ethereal and invisibility potions can pull your boots out of the fire. Played right, the Fog will roll through an area like a deadly cloud, leaving only decay in its wake.



    Original Art by Vincent Proce

    Plague Cloud- Positioning yourself in the middle of a crowd, dissolve into a cloud of noxious disease, rapidly depleting the health of anyone in a wide area. If anyone realizes the source, disintegrate completely, leaving them to strike at empty air.

    Ebony Mail + Poison Cloaked Spiders + Fortify Restoration + Fortify Destruction + Flame/Frost Cloak + Secret of Arcana + Poison Runes + Mist Form


    Original Art by Igor Kieryluk

    Acute Rockjoint- The target's joints seize up as fever and inflammation corrupt them, leaving them unable to move, let alone look for a cure. 

    Imp Stool + Canis Root + Mora Tapinella = Paralysis and Lingering Damage Health

    2nd Stage Ataxia- Weakness and trembling are just the start. Soon, fine motor control is gone, and not long after that the organs succumb.

    Deathbell + Imp Stool + Scathecraw = Ravage Stamina and Lingering Damage Health

    Extreme Brain Rot- Mages are especially susceptible, and suffer extremely as the disease seems to sever their very connection to Aetherius before laying them low.

    Orange Dartwing + Scathecraw = Ravage Magicka and Lingering Damage Health

    Severe Rattles- Seizures and extreme fatigue accompany this condition, but the ultimate result is still the same: death.

    Silverside Perch + Skeever Tail = Damage Stamina Regen and Ravage Health

    Caustic Witbane- The bane of magic users, once it strikes their minds become lethargic and their powers weak, until even the healing spell that might bring relief is too much.

    Hanging Moss + Nightshade + River Betty = Damage Magicka Regen and Damage Health


    This character begins as a simple alchemist, perhaps an outcast for his methods, or secretive about his work. As he delves into the power of alchemy, he looks for more and more powerful means of enhancing his art. When he turns to Peryite, he thinks he has hit a dead end, or unlocked a great secret. He doesn't realize he has been infected with a poison himself, one that will change him. Feeding on his magic, or the fumes from his alchemy, the disease grows slowly corrupting first his mind, and then his body. When it finally takes hold, it's purpose is to spread and leave Skyrim desolate, proving Peryite's might once and for all.

    Original Art by Suburban-Samurai

    From then on his body is largely replaced by the plague cloud, barely maintained by the power of Peryite's magic. Taking a physical form requires a conscious effort (exiting sneak mode), and usually doesn't last long. I created a particularly bony, scarred character to depict how poorly the plague can reconstruct the body into a physical form. Because of its magical nature, magic disruptions and attacks are very dangerous, while physical blows can often be ignored altogether.

    Spread Peryite's disease. Decimate the population of Skyrim, starting with Daedric cults. Gather their artifacts and cast them into the sea, or the Aetherium Forge.

    Complete the Civil War with as much collateral damage and "friendly fire" as possible.

    Avoid conversations and being approached.

    Move and travel as the Fog, using Mist Form and the poison cloak, taking physical form only when necessary (limited trade, progressing quests).

    Contract other diseases (Ataxia, Bone Break, Rockjoint). The Bloodspring helps with this. After vampirism, use the Tainted Blood of the Ancients.

    Use mercenary followers like Jenassa or stewards ONLY to get more spiders.

    "Whither" the farms throughout the province (uprooting all the plants).
    Once you've gathered the Daedric Artifacts, dispose of them as best as you can. The Aetherium Forge is a great place to do it, but so are the depths of the sea.

    Important Quests: Daedric Quests, Civil War, Purge Skyrim

    Thanks for reading!







  • Member
    November 30, 2014
    Was this already up before?
  • Member
    November 30, 2014
    This is awesome Boro! An amazing poison based buil
  • November 30, 2014
    Man this seems like a hell of a lot of fun. Really creative way to make a fun poison based character.
  • Member
    November 30, 2014
  • Member
    November 30, 2014
    Thanks Chris!
  • Member
    November 30, 2014
    Thanks for the feedback, Ben! I see what you mean; I'll try to put together a separate header for the ability and the diseases. That Calm idea would fit right in. You should consider keeping that for a build!
  • Member
    November 30, 2014
    It's been a ton of fun to play, and I've been dying to condense it into a build since I first saw the poison rune.
  • Member
    November 30, 2014

    I really like build and that's really cool putting the recipes too.

  • Member
    November 30, 2014

    Very inspiring Boro, love the "truly ridiculous" dot approach to combat. Awesome stuff!