Skyrim Character Building » Discussions

Event Build: The Rift Opener

Tags: #Character Build Archer  #Character Build Summoner  #Character Build No Crafting  #Rank:Event Recognized  #Event:Crossworlds 
  • Member
    February 9, 2015

    The Rift Opener


    Origin Story:

    Gwendolyn Virian was just a young middle-class Breton girl living with her parents in North Point, High Rock when, around 12 years old, she started to manifest strange magical powers that seemed to be able to create objects and events that should simply not be there. Perplexed and worried for their daughter, Zachariah and Madeline Virian called the local priest to diagnose the origin and extent of her powers. When the priest came back baffled, saying he could not trace the source of her abilities, which he called Rifts, the two were frightened but reasoned that their sweet Gwendolyn would never hurt anyone, so they allowed her to continue her life. That is, until one fateful Fredas, when, at age 17, Gwendolyn was being bullied by the local troublemaker, Ingrid Hammer-Hand, a brutish Nord girl in her 20’s. Ingrid was teasing her again about her abilities and Gwendolyn was doing her best to ignore her. But this time, her best was not enough, and when she lashed out against the abuse, she materialized a familiar, which proceeded to mortally wound Hammer-Hand, before being banished. Days later, Gwendolyn was encountered by Grigori Hammer-Hand, Ingrid’s father, who stunk of stale mead, and in a drunken rage, he charged at her. In an effort to protect her daughter, Madeline threw herself at Grigori, hoping to stop the blow, but intercepted the attack of yet another accidentally summoned creature that Gwendolyn had conjured and was killed. Zachariah was grief-stricken. He called for the Synod based out in Cyrodiil for assistance in sealing his daughter and her powers away to never hurt anyone again. After Madeline’s funeral, Gwendolyn went into her bedroom when she noticed the humming of strong magicka and decided to investigate. Her father told her that mages were sealing up the tower wing in which she lived, to protect others from her. Heartbroken, she lived her life alone for the next four years, with nothing but books to keep her entertained. She read on marvelous wonders; crossbows, new types of locks, Oblivion, and eventually decided to train her powers. She managed to make it so that she could summon helpful allies and weapons. One night, bandits attacked the house, and while they were easily chased off by Zachariah, they broke the seal on her tower, allowing her to escape later in the night using a lockpick one bandit had discarded. Living in the wilderness for many months, Gwendolyn decided to make for Skyrim, cursing her luck when she tried to smuggle herself there and ended up running into a group of rebels.

    The Build:

    Race: Breton – chosen for the bonuses in four of the skills used, the natural resistance to magic, and the petite look of the race

    Gender: Female

    Name: Gwendolyn Virian

    Attribute Assignment Ratio: Magicka 2 / Health 1 / Stamina 1

    You will want Gwendolyn to have plenty of magicka to be able to cast her spells, while still having enough health to not die from moderately powerful hits, and if that fails her, to sprint away. Shrugging off powerful blows will not be that much of a concern, as you already will have run away or run then go into stealth mode.

    Level 45 Attributes: 320 Magicka / 210 Health / 210 Stamina

    Standing Stone Blessing: The Lord Stone in the beginning, then switch to The Lady after your defenses are beefed up. The Lord Stone’s natural and magical defenses will protect her while she is starting out; then The Lady will ensure better regeneration between battles.

    Major Skills:

    Conjuration: This is the magic that was manifesting from her at such a young age and causing so much grief. Conjuration lends Gwendolyn the ability to manifest weapons and other-dimensional allies from nothingness.

    Alteration: Alteration is used primarily for its utilities. The Flesh line of spells are what will guard her and shield her from harm through her adventures, and the Detect spells will allow her to foresee danger ahead.

    Archery: This is Gwendolyn’s main form of direct combat, as in this is how she damages enemies directly. As time goes on, she will become increasingly efficient with the Enhanced Dwarven Crossbow that the Dawnguard wield.

    Sneak: This is another method of keeping her out of harm’s way, as well as allowing her to set up some devastating sneak attacks with her crossbow.

    Minor Skills:

    Illusion: Illusion will only be used for two spells, Muffle and Invisibility. Illusion enhances Gwendolyn’s stealth capabilities (as in no mind altering).

    Speech: This is relatively nothing. Just her able to use her natural Breton charm to sweet talk her way to the occasional good deal.

    Lockpicking: Gwendolyn dabbles in Lockpicking primarily from wanting to escape from her prison. This role-plays nicely.


    • Desired Spells:
    • Conjuration: Bound Bow, Bound Sword, Conjure Flame Atronach, Conjure Frost Atronach, Conjure Storm Atronach, Conjure Dremora Lord, Banish Daedra, Expel Daedra
    • Alteration: Oakflesh, Stoneflesh, Ironflesh, Ebonyflesh, Detect Life, Detect Dead
    • Illusion: Muffle, Invisibility

    Desired Shouts:

    • Aura Whisper (To detect nearby threats in case you have no magicka for Detect Life.)
    • Become Ethereal (To shield you when you are close to death.)
    • Bend Will (To shrink the opposition by turning enemies over to your side.)
    • Call of Valor (A Shout that makes use of Gwendolyn’s rift opening powers.)
    • Ice Form (Used to paralyze enemies that are ganging up on you.)
    • Summon Durnehviir (Yet another Shout that makes use of her rift abilities.)

    Dragonborn Black Book Powers:

    • Epistolary Acumen: Dragonborn Flame (Summoning a fiery ally from the remains of an enemy is a powerful rift-opening maneuver.)
    • Filament and Filigree: Secret of Arcana (Choosing Secret of Arcana allows you to maintain a stream of Gwendolyn’s spells.)
    • The Hidden Twilight: Mora’s Grasp (Knowing how to summon and banish daedra is easy, but Gwendolyn doesn’t exactly know how to banish humans. Every time you attempt she always does it only half way.)
    • The Sallow Regent: Seeker of Sorcery (This just shows that she has come a long way from being unable to control her summons and banishes.)
    • Untold Legends: Black Market (Sometimes to survive, Gwendolyn had to summon a Daedric merchant who, even though he was clearly ripping her off, was keeping her alive by buying her scavenge when no other merchant would and enabled her to buy food while she made her way to Skyrim, but he was by no means a friend.)
    • The Winds of Change: Lover’s Insight (Just another example of Gwendolyn using her appeal to her advantage.)



    Regarding Fighting Styles:

    Gwendolyn has two distinct fighting styles that can overlap as much as you allow. Number one is:

    1.       The Rift Opener

    This fighting style is based around her ability to make use of Rifts. Usually, this will consist of her strengthening her skin by using a Flesh spell, summoning an ally, then maybe conjuring a weapon and attacking. This method is primarily wielded when she has a follower to absorb the brunt of enemies’ attacks.

    And the second fighting style is:

    2.       The Crossbow Sniper

    This fight method is put into action whenever she doesn’t have a follower, whether just telling them to wait to scout the area or just plain not having one. Sneaking is imperative. This one also makes use of her abilities and spells that allow her to effectively ambush and paralyze enemies, such as Ice Form, Mora’s Grasp, Aura Whisper, Detect Life, and Bend Will.

    Regarding which factions to join and which questlines to pursue/Roleplaying:

    Well for starters, the main quest campaign. Gwendolyn spent the last four years of her life living in fear that she was inferior just because she was born with unknown power. So when she learns that she is actually a gods-gifted legend in the Nord’s religion, the Dragonborn, she jumps on the opportunity to make sure she never feels that helpless again. Also good for her would be the College of Winterhold, the Dawnguard, and Bards College. Gwendolyn, despite having better control over her powers, still doesn’t understand the nature or source of her powers. So she goes to the College of Winterhold to see if the masters there can help her better understand them, but she gets wrapped up in solving the mysteries of the Eye of Magnus. For the Dawnguard, first, you have to if you want those sweet crossbows. But also they are opposing an actual resistance to a legitimate threat, the vampires, and Gwendolyn wants to be a part of that. Gwendolyn sees Isran as a bit extremist, but knows his heart is in the right place. And finally, for the Bards College, Gwendolyn did always have an amazing singing voice, going all the way back to before the tragedy that shook her childhood. She and her family would gather round a campfire once a month and Gwendolyn would sing to her parents. So if at some point during her adventure, Gwendolyn feels a little stifled or stressed, she just might go check out the Bards College for application.

    Closing Notes:

    Thanks for reading my first Character Build on The Skyrim Blog! BioShock Infinite is one of my favorite games and Elizabeth is one of my favorite characters in gaming. Gwendolyn and Elizabeth share similar pats and personalities, as well as sharing similar abilities. This build combines Elizabeth's abilities from the Infinite main quest and the Burial at Sea DLC. The initial picture is called "Then and Now" by the artist ADL-art from DeviantArt. The screenshots are from Google Images, but I don't know who made them. Thanks again for reading! Constructive criticism is welcome and appreciated.

  • Member
    February 9, 2015

    I finished Bioshock Infinite and Burial at Sea very recently and I was blown away by what Elizabeth could do. Nice!

  • Member
    February 9, 2015
    Solid first build, Jedi! Nicely adapted Elizabeth!
  • February 9, 2015
    I don't really think there is much for me to say other then it's a very well presented build and seems like something fun, I really do love mage/archer combos so this is probably on my play list. +1 from me.
  • Member
    February 9, 2015
    I. Love. Bound. Weapons. And kudos for utilizing the Lockpicking skills. Granted, while on a mechanics level they aren't necessary to pick locks, they're still nice. And for anybody who gives a rip about RP'ing and plans to get in and out of places they shouldn't, it really is a crucial skill to perk.

    Skyrim is the only game I own (it was Oblivion before that), so I'm at a disadvantage with all the game builds coming out xD

    It goes to your credit, then, that even without knowing your source, this is still a build I would enjoy playing. Goid work on this :D
  • February 9, 2015

    From the title I was almost sure this was going to be a Dragon Age: Inquisition build. Dammit. 

    Good work though, I guess.

  • Member
    February 9, 2015


  • Member
    February 9, 2015

    Thanks a lot!

  • Member
    February 9, 2015

    I'll be honest, I don't know what the "+1" means, but I'm pretty sure it's a like. If so, thanks! It was pretty fun to play.

  • Member
    February 9, 2015

    Thank you! I did my best.