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Event Build: The Wise Princess

Tags: #Character Build Archer  #Character Build Enchanter  #Character Build Acrobat  #Rank:Event Mythic  #Hall of Fame Build  #Event:Crossworlds  #Anuic  #Borom 
  • Member
    February 9, 2015

    Build Theme

    In the Second Era, High King Dalthus, a successor of Queen Freydis, moves the capital of Eastern Skyrim to Winterhold, hoping to ease tension between the East and West kingdoms by increasing port trade. Soon after, on the day he takes his daughter to be inducted into the College of Winterhold...they vanish, leaving a broken kingdom and her grieving, disinherited Altmer mother.

    In 4E 122, their sudden reappearance unleashes magic that destroys much of Winterhold. The king and his daughter are unaware, locked in a protective stasis and buried under tons of fallen stone far beneath the newly formed cliffs. Over the decades their protection wears away until at last they awake, confused and eras from their kingdom. Dalthus is forced to sacrifice himself to free his daughter from their rubble tomb, and she makes her way alone across a hostile and war torn landscape, trying to piece together what has happened. Swept up in an ambushed and captured, she quickly realizes that her people, her Skyrim, is in danger. Given the chance, she resolves to do whatever it takes to save them. *This build relies on Dawnguard content and favors having Dragonborn*

    "I am no stranger to civil war. This Skyrim is no less my Skyrim, and I will see her peace restored, whether it means fighting brothers and sisters, or turning the Empire itself on its head."


    The Build

    A stealthy assassin, an open combat archer, a warrior, a ruler; take your pick! The beauty of this character is that she can do a lot without over-reaching, and each role has its place. As she becomes stronger and better trained, she gains the ability to change from noble warrior to stealthy assassin in the blink of an eye. This transformation entails having two distinct sets of armor and weapons, and a detailed explanation is given below the equipment spread. Whether using stealth or fighting together with allies, she is capable of handling any situation.

    Race: Altmer or Nord; In my book, Highborn is the more valuable racial ability for this character, and you can easily craft an Altmer with fairer skin, human eyes, and softer features, but also those characteristic pointed ears that really look the part. If that doesn't fly for you, a Nord will do everything else just as well as an elf, and probably fits the roleplay more seamlessly.

    Stone: Thief~>Lord &Lady

    Key Spells: Flesh Spells, Healing Spells, Sun Fire, Vampire's Bane, Stendarr's Aura

    Key Shouts: Slow Time, Become Ethereal, Whirlwind Sprint, Fire Breath, Call of Valor, Storm Call

    Primary Skills: Archery, One Handed, Alteration, Sneak

    Secondary Skills: Enchanting, Light Armor, Restoration

    Abilities: Blessing of Talos, Agent of Dibella, Sun Flare, Waters of Life, Secret of Strength/Protection, Mora's Grasp/Boon, Bardic Knowledge, Dragonborn Flame, Seeker of Sorcery, Lover's Insight

    Attribute Spread: 3/1/1 until 150 stamina, and then 3/2/0

    *If carrying the character past level 50, consider perking Speech, or going up to Wind Walker with Light Armor. Here's what the build might look like about halfway done: Level 24



    Progressing: The only important thing to get from Helgen is a sword, a bow and light armor. From there your main tasks will be leveling Sneak, Archery, and One Handed. Either one of those combat skills synergize well with Sneak, so take advantage of that as you go questing. Casting and recasting flesh spells before and during battles will help advance Alteration as well, but it's a good idea to just always wear your light armor choice for the early game so that skill doesn't lag behind. If you come across a Muffle Enchantment in the early game, disenchant it asap.

    Begin the Main Quest, but don't go past A Blade in the Dark. It'll be useful to have dragons roaming about, but there will be other priorities. Preferably at level 10, begin Dawnguard. I punctuated the first few Dawnguard quests with familiarizing the character with all the holds and the Jarls, doing smaller quests to prepare for becoming Thane of each, and also carrying the College questline just past Saarthal. By then you can make a good strong fire-enchanted bow, and with the Sun Fire spell, tackle the Soul Cairn.

    Emerging that dark place, I paused again to return the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller, and pick up some of the important shouts. If you want, consider doing the Companion's questline; in part for the quest locked shout, but it also lets you stack two Amulets of Talos and not have to worry about renewing the blessing every eight hours. It's okay to keep the werewolf form, but do not feed or perk that tree. If that's not for you, then you need not finish the questline. Once that's done, finish the College questline, and then Dawnguard.

    Of course, this was just my approach, dictated mostly by roleplay, and not the only way to do it. Basically, the earliest perks should be going into Sneak, Enchanting, Alteration and Archery or One Handed. By the time the College, Dawnguard and two or three thaneships are complete, most of the Princess' skills should be fairly well rounded, with the exception of Enchanting, which can be fully perked before finishing Dawnguard (which provides a nice edge for completing that DLC). From there, take on Dragonborn and the Main Quest at your leisure. The Civil War and the Dark Brotherhood should be done at the same time, the war effectively covering the assassinations, completing the character's gear and role play. When first visiting the Dawnstar Sanctuary, don't forget to pick up the enchantable Worn Shrouded Armor, as some of those pieces (particularly the chest and gloves) may turn out much more useful than the Ancient Shrouded armor.

    *If playing on PC I recommend the Improvable Silver Weapons mod.

    Combat: You have a couple of options for handling battles. Whatever route you take, a flesh spell will offer some valuable protection, but more important will be engaging smartly with the enemy. When enchanting your weapons, keep in mind that you aren't perking or leveling Destruction, so you'll need to find a comfortable balance between enchantment magnitude and charges. DPS is your friend here.

    • Mystic Form: Fighting in this form, you'll use cunning and deception to outwit, outpace, and outdamage the enemy. Avoid bringing a follower when you know you'll use this method. Attempt to score as many sneak attacks as possible, and use Become Ethereal (one word bursts are usually enough) for protection and breathing room. Once you have Shadow Warrior, you'll practically be able to chain between enemies by breaking combat with a crouch and attacking at the same time.

      Melee combat can get chaotic, and benefits the most from the special abilities listed below, so having them prepared before a fight is a smart move. Sneak attacks with a bow are great for softening up groups or bosses. I also recommend using another, less flashy bow like Zephyr, and abilities like Mora's Grasp.
      Equipment: Alik'r Hood, Shrouded Armor, Senbon, Bow, Amulet of Talos, Mystic's Ring

    • Heroine Form: This is the best form for fighting in public; it's important for the people to see that someone is in their corner. It's also a good opportunity to lead a follower into battle. If using your archery skill to attack, you'll inherently have more space to maneuver. Don't use underhanded tactics like sneak attacks. After getting in a first shot and drawing enemy attention, let loose with as many words of Slow Time as you have, and stack a barrage of arrows on the closest targets. With one word, this is enough to take out one enemy, maybe two. With three words, you can take on five or six at once if terrain allows, especially with the draw speed of Auriel's Bow. 

      If taking a melee approach, careful use of Slow Time (ideally with an Amulet and Blessing of Talos) will still carry you through most combats, giving you the speed to outmaneuver enemies, and time to heal or reapply flesh spells as needed. Don't try to tank hits; lead enemies along by striking and falling back to new open ground. Whirlwind Sprint can also be helpful for giving you room to fire off a few arrows.
      Equipment: Aetherial Crown, Noble Clothes, Regent Greaves & Gauntlets, Bows of Fire, Ice and Light, Royal Rapier, Amulet of Talos, Heroine's Ring


    Weapons and Equipment

    Because this character will eventually be able to change roles and playstyles at a whim, she needs two sets of gear, detailed below, along with some options for things to use in early levels.

    Early Weapons: One bow each of Fire and Ice, any elegant sword, and one or two Steel Daggers

    Early Armor: Elven Gauntlets and Boots, ClothesBoots, Alik'r Hood, Stormcloak Armor

    Early Equipment: Enchanted circlet(you'll use it only until you acquire the Aetherial Crown) and ring, Amulet of Talos

    * For PC players, the Fine Raiment is also a great option

    Until acquiring Shadow Warrior, it's best for RP purposes to choose the gear set and playstyle before undertaking a quest or dungeon. These approaches will occasionally overlap, and that's just fine; you have a lot of options for swapping between them without letting enemies get close, whether with Slow Time, a follower's distraction, or slowing them down with an ability. Speaking of which...




    In a flash the Princess swaps personas, between Heroine and Mystic, tapping into her different skills and blending seamlessly into the dual roles she has to take on in order to save Skyrim.

    Shadow Warrior + Hot Keyed Gear Set (Dress, Boots, Gauntlets and Crown, or Shrouded/Ancient/Worn Shrouded Armor and Hood)


    Sage's Compassion

    A younger brand of the protective magic that kept the princess and her father in stasis, this power grants her both protection and healing until danger has been dealt with.

    Waters of Life + Secret of Protection + Become Ethereal + Guardian Circle


    Warrior's Fire

    One of the princess' few offensive magical powers, this sacred ability creates a blast of fire within a respectable radius, capable of destroying multiple enemies at once.

    Dragonborn Flame + Sun Flare + Scroll of Fire Storm/Auriel's Sunburst (+ Stendarr's Aura/Vampire's Bane)


    Wanderer's Wind

    Perfect for making an escape when under pressure, the princess is swept to safety by arcane winds, which will also slow down and damage her enemies while she repositions or escapes.

    North Wind + Scroll of Blizzard + Whirlwind Sprint


    Song of Storms

    The princess' wrath, once kindled, is mighty to behold and able to lay waste to a large area. Her Thu'um, almost musical, sounds a terrible song of destruction that few can withstand.

    Storm Call + Staff/Scroll of Storm Atronach


    The Princess is just that, royalty. She starts off as disoriented as a prisoner can expect to, but not helpless. Before leaving Helgen she is already reacquainting herself with the weapons she learned in her father's court. Once free, she finds that Skyrim has changed little since the Second Era. Turmoil and confusion are Skyrim's true rulers, but she hasn't forgotten her duty or training and she's prepared to restore the peace. Through her Nord father, she learned worship of Talos, and her commitment to her people. From her Altmer heritage she understands the High Elf mindset, and distinguishes between that and the will of the Thalmor. She will gladly use her training to undermine the Thalmor agenda.

    • She can receive aid and further training from a loyal female protector like Lydia, or, ideally Rayya (who can be RPed as setting an example for the hood disguise). They will teach the Princess how to survive, and fight back against the tyranny threatening the province.
    • It is best if this is the only follower used, or at least the follower used most often. As a young, and isolated heiress in a terrible situation, a strong bond of trust forms between these two, and this follower is the only person trusted with knowing the Princess' alter ego (meaning they should be the only person you transform in front of, but also that they can support you in any situation). That being so, it's best to choose and enlist this follower as early as possible. This doesn't necessarily mean using them all the time, of course.

    Since she was set to be trained at the College of Winterhold prior to disappearing, it's natural that she'd want to fulfill that wish of her father, but her first real task is eliminating the dark menace of the Vampires. After visiting the twilight realm of the Soul Cairn, she comes back tainted, leading to a brief stint of lycanthropy. Once purified of it (or accepting it), you can claim your signature weapon, Auriel's Bow.

    In her own time, Skyrim was divided.  King Svartr of Western Skyrim, the enemy of Freydis and her successors, employed the Dark Brotherhood and more than once nearly toppled the East with their assistance. The Princess finds that the Brotherhood is weak in modern Skyrim, and she can use it to strike at the heart of both Skyrim's corruption, and the Empire's, while preventing the unbridled assassinations that took place in her time. Between that, her heroism during the Civil War, and her immense popularity throughout the holds, she can regain the throne that is her right, and lead Skyrim to peace.

    • Take only the bare minimum of Dark Brotherhood contracts.
    • Eliminate Cicero at the appropriate time.
    • Do not restore the Dark Brotherhood. As Astrid points out, successfully eliminating the Emperor gives the Brotherhood fear and respect, even if they aren't around to act on it. The Princess can use this both to control the Brotherhood and have the protection granted by their reputation.

    Take every opportunity to help and support Skyrim's ordinary people. Familiarize yourself with each hold, their problems, and their Jarls(who may be the problems), even becoming Thane in a few to garner the public support that will be needed to have the Nord people behind you.

    • Don't become Thane to a corrupt Jarl, but do help their people.
    • During the Civil War, some Jarls will be replaced, creating new opportunities for Thaneship.
    • Regardless of which Jarls rule, purchase property in every hold.
    • Don't forget to put a Shrine of Talos in each Hearthfire house!

    Don't worry too much about Dragonborn; getting access to the All-Maker Stones early is very helpful (just pick up one word of Bend Will from Saering's Watch), otherwise the Dragonborn questline will likely take you past level 50; it is well worth it and quite in character.

    Recommended Quests: College of Winterhold, Dawnguard, Forsworn Conspiracy, Bards College(Pantea's Flute), Wolf Queen Awakened, Dark Brotherhood, Companions, Civil War(Imperial), Dragonborn


    Huge shout-out to Casey, who was an enormous help in bringing out the full potential of this build and helping polish it until it shines! It turned out better than I could have imagined. Be sure to check out his Musashi build and other works!

    Thanks for reading!


  • Member
    February 9, 2015
    So, who is this suppose to be....oh, Zelda.
  • Member
    February 9, 2015

    I can certainly see how that would be. I'll reorganize that, then.

  • Member
    February 9, 2015
    Did you consider using the queen Freydis blade? Nice build btw +1
  • Member
    February 9, 2015

    So clarification about the two set of gear has been added both prior to the build details, and prior to the equipment spread, hopefully easing readers into why that's happening a little better.

  • Member
    February 9, 2015

    It was definitely a thought, but it's tied to the Stormcloak questline, so that's part of why the Silver Sword won out. Thanks for the like!

  • February 9, 2015

    Looks really good Boro, I like it a lot. Am I correct in seeing a sort of Zelda/Sheik connection here, I think I can see it but I could be wrong, the Zelda side is really strong. The only thing I'd say is that the Equipment Spread is massive and maybe making sure people can tell it's for two different play-styles could help, if you're not as in to Zelda as some people it might be confusing. 

    Anyway great build and I really want to play it, I've said that for all four Event Builds but this one might top the cake because Zelda has to be one of my favorite characters (even in Smash). An easy +1 from me.

  • Member
    February 9, 2015
    Hahaha Song of Storms indeed! That perk spread is the shit!
  • Member
    February 9, 2015
    Thanks Dragonborn. You're right, this is about playing both Zelda and Sheik! I'll work on making the equipment spread clearer. I wondered if it would turn out cluttered, and it seems it has.
  • Member
    February 9, 2015
    Thanks Al.