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Event Build: The Crimson Conductor

Tags: #Character Build Elementalist  #Character Build Mage  #Race:Breton  #Rank:Event Recognized  #Event:Crossworlds 
  • Member
    February 22, 2015

               Born to a noble family of High Rock, the Crimson Conductor was destined for a life in court. That is, until the child learned of a strange group, and chose to take her future into her own hands. Mysterious hunters from Hammerfell, hired to kill a monster terrorizing the nearby countryside, who fought with strange abilities: blinding bolts of electricity and invisible psychic waves, coming from foreign organs placed inside them by secretive, skilled surgeons found only on the isle of Stros M’Kai.

                While many would be repulsed by this, the child soon became obsessed, and ran away from home to the distant shores of that island. She quickly hired only the finest surgeon to “transmogrify” her, and under his skillful knife, new organs of dubious origin were grafted into her body. These alien organs, similar to those found in the Netch, gifted her with the impressive ability to generate an electric charge.

                When she returned, her mother forced her to attend school, but her disdain for anything but the martial arts taught there eventually led to expulsion. She left, settled elsewhere, and began making a name for herself as a mercenary. Especially good at fighting the beasts that haunt Cyrodiil’s darkest reaches, she developed a fearsome reputation as a ruthless and merciless monster hunter.

                With the return of dragons to Skyrim, the Crimson Conductor journeys to the frozen north, to hunt down and eradicate these monsters…


    The Build

    Race: Breton (you can choose any human race if you prefer, but Breton works the best for backstory)

    Stone: Mage => Apprentice, or Lord if you feel too frail

    Stats:  2/1/0

    Major Skills: Destruction, Light Armor, Restoration

    Minor Skills: Speech, Alchemy, Illusion

    Shouts: Unrelenting Force, Whirlwind Sprint, Slow Time, Storm Call

                The Crimson Conductor is a light-armored mage who exclusively uses shock spells, but with a unique condition: her spells are close-range only. This places less of the traditional emphasis on kiting enemies, and a greater emphasis on avoiding attacks and retaliating as well as dodging in and out of an enemy’s attack range. While Oblivion’s touch spells would have been perfect, they sadly do not exist in Skyrim (curse you Bethesda!) so you’ll have to exercise restraint when casting spells. She also uses wards to defend against enemy mages, and fights with alchemical compounds as well as the occasional illusion spell.



    *Note: There are mistakes in this perk spread: the Restoration column should include Ward Absorb,

               and Experimenter is supposed to be 2/3 perked as well as Haggling 1/5.


    Major Skills

    Destruction: The Crimson Conductor’s surgically implanted organs grant her the power of “arcing,” which is the ability to generate electricity. She uses this to fight in close range, and when using her metal rod (staff), she can extend her arcing to mid-range. This will be your main offense skill, and you’ll go up the shock, cost reduction (until expert), and dual cast branches. Your main spell will be the early spell Sparks dual cast, and late game will see the use of Lightning Cloak more often. Lightning Rune looks good in that it has limited range and high damage, but in my experience the spell is too easy to misfire (casting just slightly out of range), though you may still want to use it.

    Light Armor: The Crimson Conductor’s gear is a special material called “proofing”. Through a process known as “gaulding,” simple cloth is put through a chemical process that reinforces it. The clothing becomes slightly heavier, but many times more durable. It can even take a sword strike without damage, though the wearer still feels most of the impact’s force. This is your armor skill, enough said. You’ll want to perk it almost completely.

    Restoration: The Crimson Conductor can use her arcing, in a technique known as “vacillating,” to defend against magic. By sending a mild electric arc through her body resonating in time with an incoming spell, she can render the spell useless and completely nullify it. This will help your survivability; your focus is on wards here, but you should still put points into the healing perks.

    Minor Skills

    Speech: The Crimson Conductor is a Duchess-in-Waiting, and the courtly life of High Rock has left its mark. She is well spoken (and wealthy), and her reputation also lends itself to her persuasiveness (or, more often, intimidation). This skill will allow you to amass the wealth worthy of a Duchess-in-Waiting, as well as make training more affordable.

    Alchemy: The Crimson Conductor’s foreign organs are dangerous; if she doesn’t take a certain mixture every day, the organs will spasm, which can be fatal. She brews this mixture, known as “Cathar’s Treacle,” as well as other compounds meant for combat. This skill will be used mainly to brew Cathar’s Treacle, but is perked partway up for other concoctions.

    Illusion: The Crimson Conductor has a formidable reputation, both for her influence as a noble as well as her skill in monster hunting. Her reputation can occasionally make a well-informed opponent freeze up or flee in fear. This skill will only be used every once in a while, on low-level enemies, so it is perked minimally.



    Conductor’s Hairpiece – Diadem of the Savant** – reduces the cost of all spells by 5%

    Charged Amulet – Any necklace – Fortify Destruction recommended

    Crimson Proofing – Vampire Armor (Red) – Fortify Destruction/Magicka Regen recommended

    Gaulded Sleeves – Ancient Falmer Gauntlets – Fortify Light Armor recommended

    Grounding Ring – Any ring – Resist Shock recommended

    Sturdy Jackboots – Vampire Boots – Muffle recommended

    Arcing Rod – Staff of Chain Lightning

    **NOTE: This is glitched, so that it counts as Light Armor for the purposes of having a full set; also, an easily obtainable copy can be found outside of Froki’s Shack at any time.


    Cathar’s Treacle, Factotums (Followers), and “Thermistoring”

                Every day the Crimson Conductor must take her medicine, a foul brew known as Cathar’s Treacle, to prevent her organs from spasming due to the body rejecting them. When making a batch of Treacle, you can choose for yourself which potions ingredients and effects you want to use, just remember what the potion is and designate that as YOUR Treacle. For my playthrough, I chose Bone Meal, Moon Sugar, and Fire Salts for a potion that had three effects I could remember: restoring magicka, increasing magicka regen, and fire resistance. Make sure to have your Treacle every day. As an alternative, you could become a vampire and treat Potions of Blood as Treacle to reset the feeding timer, but it felt wrong to me for the Crimson Conductor to be a vampire.

                Always by the Crimson Conductor’s side is her faithful factotum. A factotum is a servant with many duties, such as the preparation of Cathar’s Treacle, or assisting in battle. Your factotum will be an important part of the character; once you find the right follower, stick with them. You’ll want to store all of your excess Treacle in their inventory, and pick it up when necessary. In combat, you need to work with your factotum’s support to maneuver into close range with enemies. How you do this is up to which follower you take, but in my experience an archer follower synergized with the build best (especially when equipped with a Dawnguard crossbow). Alchemy also comes into play with the factotum; you can’t use any poisons you make, so instead you poison your factotum’s weapon, preferably with Weakness to Shock.

                Finally, the Crimson Conductor’s most powerful technique has a specific requirement. In stormy weather, or when it’s raining, she can pull off a powerful skill known as “thermistoring”. By being struck by lightning, she can redirect it and send out a massive bolt of electricity. This is the exception to the rule that limits range; when she’s in a storm, she can unleash her full fury from long-range. When this happens, you become significantly stronger, as you don’t have to get close to enemies while the storm is up. This is the only time you are allowed to use the Storm Call shout. Long story short, in a storm, just go crazy with your most powerful shock spells.



                When playing the Crimson Conductor, the main thing to keep in mind is to remember to limit your range. You’ll be concerned with fighting tactically, as rushing in headlong and leaving your factotum behind is a sure way to get killed.

                Try to have all fights start on your terms so you can avoid nasty surprises. In most cases, you’ll want to have your follower attract the enemies’ attentions so that you can get in behind them and cast a few spells before backing out again. You may want to use a “nullodor” (Invisibility Potion) to get into position before initiating combat.  Additionally, if you have enough magicka, a Calm or Fear spell can take an enemy out of combat for a time, allowing you to focus on their allies.

                Whirlwind Sprint and Slow Time are your main shouts, with Storm Call used exclusively for thermistoring in stormy weather. First of all, Whirlwind Sprint allows you to get the drop on mages and archers, especially if you have all three words, but can also help when you need to make an emergency exit from melee. On the other hand, Slow Time allows you to more accurately avoid enemy strikes, which is generally more useful in the heat of combat.

                When you get in close range, use mainly dual-cast spells up close until you run low on magicka, then retreat to mid-range with your staff, and optionally drink one of the potions you have on hand. Make sure to watch the enemy’s attack patterns and react accordingly; the Crimson Conductor is not a tank and she cannot withstand repeated blows. Dodge and use your spells whenever there is an opening.

                Mages and archers who attack you from afar can be trouble for you, so try to close the gap between you and them as quickly as possible. With mages, your wards will help protect you for a while as you cross the distance. To a lesser degree wards can help against an archer’s arrows, but the spell cost is often not worth it.

                Dragons are a difficult problem for the Crimson Conductor. Without the range of most mages, she can do very little to a flying dragon. When the dragon is soaring, your factotum and any nearby NPCs will be the only things dealing damage. When the dragon hovers, if they hover close enough, you can hit them with your spells or staff. It will usually take a long while before you can force them to land (though if you go through the main quest for Dragonrend, it’s easier), but when they do land, you can unleash hell. Since you can’t do much when it’s in the air, you should have a mostly full magicka bar by the time it lands, so cast your most expensive spells in close range with no mercy.



                Keep this in mind: the Crimson Conductor is haughty, self-centered, merciless, and cold. She is NOT a hero. She lives for her work out of a hatred of monsters, including undead, lycanthropes, daedra, and dragons.

    -        Only use your spells in touch range, unless you have a staff or are thermistoring.

    -        Always drink Cathar’s Treacle every day, or else your organs may fatally spasm.

    -        Kill every dragon you see, including Parathurnax.

    -        Always have your factotum by your side once you choose your factotum.

    -        Store your Treacle in your Factotum’s inventory.

    -        When doing sidequests, take mostly the ones that involve hunting down monsters.

    -        Generally be intimidating and brusque when speaking with people, but also remember you are a highly educated noble and act accordingly.

    -        Ignore the civil war, it is none of your business.


    Recommended Quests

    -        Dawnguard. Go all the way to completion, siding with the Dawnguard.

    -        Main Quest. Don’t rush to get this done, Alduin should be your final battle, but get dragons

                                      spawning ASAP. Make sure to kill Paarthurnax too.

    -        College of Winterhold. It’s up to you how far you go in the questline.

    -        Any sidequests involving hunting monsters. (Ex. Laid to Rest, Nimhe, Thirsk Hall)

    -        (Optional) Dragonborn. Miraak consorts with monsters and daedra, defeat him if you want.

    -        (Optional) Destroy the Dark Brotherhood. If you want to kill Grelod, do it! But don’t join the DB.


    Closing Notes

               The Crimson Conductor is based on one of the best characters from D.M. Cornish’s Monster Blood Tattoo trilogy, Europe of Naimes. I highly recommend this book series by the way. D.M. Cornish goes to extremes in worldbuilding, making a believable and compelling world that is amazingly unique and filled with memorable characters, the most memorable by far being deuteragonist and antihero Europe. Again, I HIGHLY recommend this series.

               Credit goes to all the people whose pictures/fanart I used, and a big “thank you” goes to Alice for the amazing perk spread!

  • Member
    February 22, 2015
    Wen I saw the first picture I immediately thought of Elizabeth Bathory , great job for a first (I presume) build Breaker, hope to see more from you.
  • Member
    February 22, 2015
    Great work on this... the whole premise behind this build is intriguing and really makes me want to check out the books ;D
  • Member
    February 22, 2015
  • February 23, 2015

    Wow, that must be one hell of a book. I'm sort of iffy on characters named after places, but Europe definitely seems incredibly badass and antihero, combining just enough steampunk to keep it within the realm of Skyrim. Very cool ideas.

  • February 24, 2015

    Nice! Fun to skyrimize such a character, even that i liked the main hero more!

  • Member
    February 24, 2015

    Fantastic! I LOVE this!

    Shock spells are my favorite in Skyrim, and this is such a cool concept.  I can't wait to play it!

  • Member
    February 24, 2015
    By "main hero", do you mean of Skyrim or of the books? I haven't seen many people who have read the books.