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Character Build: The Viashino Tribes

Tags: #Character Build Archer  #Character Build Warrior  #Character Build Illusionist  #Race:Argonian  #Rank:Recognized  #Viashino 
  • Member
    March 18, 2015

    I've always been a fan of MTG and  Argonians are my favourites from all the Skyrim races, so why don't combine this two elements togheter to create a build? A build especially focused on the various Viashino tribes and their traditions, taking the MTG lore and porting it to Skyrim at best.

    Ok, I'm going to divide this article in three main parts, so that I can cover all the focal aspects of  the three main Viashino tribes, they all differs in the perk tree, in the equipment and in the abilities, but they all refer to one roleplay aspect.

    I present you, The Viashino Tribes:

    Lore: The Viashino are an environmental racial variants of Argonians adapted to live on the deserted lands of Hammerfell, and the main beast-civilization on the northern Alik'r sands, in addition, they may be found throughout Vvardenfell, near the volcanic ashes of the Red Mountain.

    Their history begins after the Battle of Argonia in 1E 2811, the Black Marsh was fallen under the hands of the Empire, many Argonians left their lands and entire tribes were dragged in chains by the Dunmer slave traders, the ones that manage to escape found refuge in the unwelcoming volcanic landscapes at first an then became nomad tribes; They have traveled throughout all Tamriel to end up as their last destination in the Alik'r Desert where they have lived until now.

    Living for all these years in the desert has changed the physiognomy af the Argonians who have lost the ability to breathe underwater and developing a resistance to the harsh climate and becoming known as the Viashino.

    They are nomads, wandering the desert, divided into several tribes, each of which led by a ''bey'', and have a society of warriors. In spite of the emphasis on militarism and their warrior code, the Viashino are also known for their metalsmithing and crafts. They are naturally carnivorous and their keen senses and natural stealth, combined with their above-average agility, make them excellent hunters, especially Dragons hunters or tamers.

    The rumors of Dragons have echoed to the heart of the desert, and so some members of the tribe have decided to venture into the snowy landscapes of skyrim to tame and hunt those legendary beasts.

    There are several tribes that can be recognized by their weapons and the different patterns they paint upon their bodies, I want to focus the build on these particular three:

    The Beast Smashers (Stealthly Hunters)

    The Beast Smashers are the premiere hunters of the Viashino. They have mastered either the destruction or the subjugation of almost every known animal in the desert. The traditional weapons of the Beast Smashers are the Crossbow and the Greatsword(*See the bottom notes).

    The Thought Shapers (Alteration and Illusion Mages)

    The Thought Shapers are the artists and scholars of the Viashino. They have developed ways to transform sand, rock, and bone into figures of loveliness. They keep the only written records of Viashino history and lore. The traditional weapon of the Thought Shapers is the Dagger.

    The Blood Eaters (Warriors)

    The soldiers of the Viashino. Though all Viashino are trained in the ways of combat, the Blood Eaters focus on it. The traditional weapons of the Blood Eaters are the Battle Axe and the Sword.

    "We drive the Dragons from our home. Why should we fear you?" —Fire-Eye, Viashino Bey


    Race: Argonian

    Obviously this is the only choice for the race, but you are not coming from marshes, you come from the desert, and this is perfect for the Dragonborn DLC. The ashes in the south of Solstheim and the volcanic geography of Burning Island are the perfect place for a Viashino to live, if you have the DLC, reach it as soon as possible, much better than tha cold mountains that chill your bones.

    Sex: Go with whatever you prefer, but if you choose the Blood Eater, a male is preferred, since the Viashino tend to choose males as specialized soldiers.


    Ok, and now let's analyze the roleplay aspects and the details that are much the same for all the three tribe members.

    Roleplaying a Viashino:
    First of all, respect your people, the Argonians, the years of struggle have made you very sensitive about the problems of your race; Helping them or spare them from death is a crucial part of the build, always help a lizard brother or sister that demand you so and never kill them, unless it's strictly necessary.

    Weddings: a Viashino will never marry someone that doesn't belong to his tribe, and since the tribes doesn't allow any other race, your choices are limited to Shahvee, Scouts-Many-Marshes or Derkeethus, the only three Argonians that can be married in the game.

    You are also a nomad creature, never buy a house, you live your life on the go, you don't need too much gear, bring  your essential items with you. There are many non-respawning chests in all of Skyrim, even if you don't own a property, but try not to use them, because you are trained to cross deserts, and in the desert there are no chest to store your equipment. If you find yourself overencumbered you can use a strenght potion to reach the nearest city and sell some stuff, or you can ride a horse.

    You are strictly carnivorous, and you are also an hunter, never eat food that doesn't come from animals, preferibly raw food that came from animals that you've killed by yourself, and this also includes Men, Mer and Kahjiit, basically everything that doesn't belong to your species could be a good meal, but don't eat Argonian meat, you are not a cannibal (the Ring of Namira is used on all the three tribe members).

    Every Viashino is trained in the art of Smithing, so every tribe member should be able to smith weapons and keep them sharp as well as improve their armor. They are also fascinated by technology, since that can be useful to improve the ability of weaponsmith.

    Finally, this may seem odd but I think it's an important roleplay aspect, don't abuse the Argonians native ability to breathe underwater, because a Viashino can't do that. Some Argonian builds on the blog suggest swimming to avoid combat or something like that, but don't do so, you are a creature of the desert, this doesn't mean that you can't swim, but stay on the surface. Also remember that the honor af your tribe depends on you, so never run back from a fight.


    Now that we've covered some general aspects let's get to the core of the build.

    Note: I used actual Viashino names, but I couldn't find a female name in my reserch, so I used a male name that fits, in my opinion, also on a female character, if someone know an actual female name, from some MTG book maybe, please let me know.

    Togk Manytooth (Beast Smashers - Male)
    "Togk Manytooth struggled helplessly as the kathari circled above him. For a warrior, immobilization is a fate worse than death."

    Stone:  Thief -> Lord

    Stats Distribution:  0 - 1 - 1.


    • Linwe's Hood
    • Linwe's Boots (Nightingale Boots are also an option)
    • Gauntlets of the Old Gods
    • Savior's Hide
    • Ring of Namira
    • Kyne's Token
    • Enhanced Dwarven Crossbow
    • Ebony Greatsword

    Major Skills:  

    • Archery, everything except the second stage of Steady Hand
    • Sneak, everything except Assassin's Blade
    • Two-Handed, basic perks to do damage and charge

    Minor Skills:

    • Light Armor, basic perks for survivability
    • Smithing, the Ebony Smithing perk allow you to forge an ebony greatsword and to  improve the Savior's Hide (with Arcane Blacksmith)

    Lvl. 50 Perkspread:

    Gameplay style: It's the basic stealthly archer style, the crossbow is great to keep your target at distance with the stagger effect plus the Power Shot perk, use your stealth to hide and strike your preys from the shadow, but if someone manage to get closer enough, unsheathe your greatsword and charge. The Lord Stone gives you a good defensive boost for melee combat and the Ring of Namira boost plus the Histskin can keep you alive even in the worst case scenario.

    Beast Smashing Charge: Great Critical Charge + Silent Roll

    A Silent Roll can trigger a Great Critical Charge with your greatsword while doing a sneak attack. This can be particular useful if used together with the Shadow Warrior perk, if you became visible after a Beast Smashing Charge quickly crouch again to get the stealth bonus, then charge your new victim with another Silent Roll.

    Zirilan of the Claw (Thought Shapers - Female)
    "Some believe Thought Shapers to be illusions; those with scars know better."

    Stone:  Lover -> Lady
    Stats Distribution:  1 - 1 - 1.

    • Improved Bonemold Armor, Gauntlets and Boots, best choice for a tribe that shapes rocks and bones (since you get the Dragon Smithing perk for the Dragonbone Daggers, you could go with the Dragonplate Armor, but I like this one)
    • Vokun, for the Alteration and Illusion bonuses
    • Ring of Namira
    • Gauldur Amulet, to round all the stats around
    • Dragonbone Dagger (x2), disenchanted for Elemental Fury

    Major Skills:  

    • Illusion, everything
    • Alteration, everything except Mage Armor (because you use heavy armor), Dual Casting and Master
    • One-Handed, Dual Flurry and Dual Savagery are the key perks, plus some other for the damage
    • Heavy Armor, everything.

    Minor Skills:  

    • Smithing, Arcane Blacksmith and everything in the right branch

    Lvl. 55 Perkspread:
    (the level cap is 5 level more in this one because of the various ability needed)

    Gameplay style: You mainly want to use your illusion spells as much as possible and from a good distance, let the foes kill theirselves, then eat their corpses to get the Ring of Namira boost, protect yourself with some flesh spell and strike with your daggers. The +50 stamina from the ring (and +30 from the amulet) plus the Lady stone recharging effect should be enough to do some good dual wielding power attacks.
    Illusion spell are a great help when fighting against other Argonians, you can just calm them down and go on your way.

    Fury of Jamuraa Desert:  Marked for Death + Pacify + Elemental Fury + Dual Wielding Attack

    I believe that MFD and Pacify sinergy is well known, mark your enemies, than use Pacify to calm them, wait for their armor to be weakened (about 50 seconds) and then use Elemental Fury and your dual wielding power attacks to exterminate them one by one while the Pacify effect is still active.

    Hivis of the scale (Blood Eaters - Male)
    "Find your courage in a desperate moment, and you turn the tide of history. So sayeth the Bey."

    Stone:  Warrior -> Lady  (or Lord for extra defense and magical defense)
    Stats Distribution:  0 - 2 - 1.

    • Scaled Helmet, Armor, Bracers and Boots
    • Shield of Solitude, until you get this one you can use Ysgramor Shield
    • Ring of Namira
    • The best necklace that you can find
    • Dragonbane against dragons, a regular Blades Sword against ohers to maintain the charge as much as possible
    • Skyforge Steel Battleaxe

    Major Skills:

    • Block, everything except Disarming Bash
    • One-Handed, basic perks to do damage
    • Two-Handed, basic perks to do damage and charge
    • Light Armor, everything

    Minor Skills:  

    • Smithing, Arcane Blacksmith and Advanced Armors to upgrade the Dragonbane and craft a Scaled Armor set
    • Enchanting, need only Soul Squeezer and Soul Siphon to recharge the Dragonbane

    Lvl. 50 Perkspread:

    Gameplay style: Since you lack the aid of a ranged weapon, you must be careful when approaching someone that posses ranged attacks. Elemental Protection and Deflect Arrow perks are really useful against both mages and archers, but you can also use Become Ethereal or Wirlwind Sprint to get closer to the enemy minimizing the damage taken.

    Ethereal Shield Charge: Become Ethereal + Shield Charge

    You can use your shield charge to knock down enemies while in ethereal form and this doesn't break the effect allowing you to knock down multiple targets while avoiding damage.



    Shouts:  Dragonrend, Bend Will, Call Dragon and Summon Durnehviir, are the shouts that every Dragon hunter or tamer should know, other useful shouts are Whirldwind Sprint, Become Ethereal, Marked For Death and Elemental Fury wich is particulary useful for the dual dagger combat style of the Thought Shaper but can also be used with the greatsword or the battleaxe on the other two members. Dismay can be used to avoid killing other Argonians in battle causing them to flee from combat.

    General Quests to do:  

    • Main Quest, hunting dragons is your bread and butter and in the process you can also get the main weapon for your Blood Eater: the Dragonbane.
    • Thieves Guild, becouse the people that inhabit the Dominaria plane have relationships with the black markets of Mercadia, an infamous city on a plane nearby, lead by thievery and corruption. In the meantime you can also get the pieces from Linwe's Armor for your Beast Smasher and get the formula for the Improved Bonemold Armor after the miscellaneous quest Paid in Full for your Thought Shaper.
    • Companions, fighters and hunters that live to prove their honor and strenght, the perfect guild for a Viashino. Just remember to cure yourself from lycanthropism, you are a beast hunter, not a beast.
    • The Taste of Death, get the Ring of Namira and have your meals ready.
    • I'll Met By Moonlight, the must do quest for all hunters, meet Hircine himself and get the Savior's Hide from him for your Beast Smasher.
    • Kyne's Sacred Trials, another must do quest for all hunters, and you can get Kyne's Token for your Beast Smasher.
    • Dawnguard, join the Dawnguard to kill some vampires and in the process get the side quest Ancient Technology and learn about the old Dwemer weaponsmith, you can get the Enhanced Dwarven Crossbow for your Beast Smasher. In the Soul Cairn you can also tame Durnehviir.
    • Unfathomable Depths, learn about the ancinet Dwemer technology and improve your smithing skills faster.
    • Dragonborn, the ashes of Solstheim are the perfect place for a Viashino and you can also lear the Bend Will shout here to tame Dragons.

    You can also do the Dark Brotherhood questline if you want, mainly for the third Marked For Death word and not for roleplay.

    Quest related to a single tribe member:

    • The Forsworn Conspiracy (for the Beast Smasher) to get the Gauntlets of the Old Gods.
    • College of Winterhold (for the Thought Shaper) getting access to the college means that you can buy spell books, train your magic abilities and get the Gauldur Amulet.
    • Forbidden Legend (for the Thought Shaper) to get the Gauldur Amulet.
    • A Scroll For Anska (for the Thought Shaper) to get Vokun.
    • The Wolf Queen Awakened (for the Blood Eater) to get the Shield of Solitude.


    Who really are the Viashino:

    For those of you who want to know more about MTG mythology and about this particular race, I will explain some stuff:

    The Viashino are a reptilian race from the Great Desert of Jamuraa,  located on the Dominaria plane, and the main civilization on the Shivan sands, in addition, they may be found throughout the Burning Isles, an highly volcanic archipelago north of Jamuraa.


    (*) Here's a brief note on the weapons choosen for the Beast Smasher, the real weapons of choice for this tribe would be whips and pikes but as you may notice there are no whips or pikes in Skyrim, we can overcome this detail with some MTG lore: during Urza's Legacy, Urza himself was studying an ancient lost civilization of Dminaria, well known for his advantages in technology and crafting: the Thran (Exactly, much like the Dwemer...). Inspired by this ancient culture, Urza manages to build a collection of technologic artifacts to stop the Phyrexian invasion and he also discovers a complex of structures in Shiv built by the Thran and called the Mana Rig (no need to explain what the Mana Rig is or the backstory, because it's beyond the point, so if you are interested this is the link: Urza's Legacy). To activate this structure Urza needed the cooperation of two of the Shivan main races, one of them was, in fact, the Viashino, here they learn, from ancient Thran technology and Urza's wisdom, how to smith new materials and craft new weapons like Crossbows, as you may also see in the "Viashino Weaponsmith" artwork:

    If all of this reminds you of the Ancient Technology quest, given by Sorine in the Dawnguard DLC, you are damn right, and because the Beast Smashers are hunters, the weapons of choice are crossbows. For the pike, I choose the most pikeish weapon that I could find, the Ebony Greatsword.

    "Within the rig settlement, those who have mastered the making of weapons earn highest honor."


    Thank you for reading all this, this is my first build, so: advice and tips, criticism, and comments in general are very much appreciated.  Hope you'll have some fun playing with the members of the tribes.
    Also English is not my first language, so I'm sorry for the grammatical mistakes that I could have done writing this, I tried my best but let me know if you find one, I'm still learning.

  • March 18, 2015

    I have to say that your presentation is realy good, but... that concept. People around don´t usually like things from other fantasy worlds. If you had transformed this in a real argonian, it would been an awesome build, but you have decided to stick to your Viashino. I´m sorry, I can´t give you my like until this is pure TES build.

    Plus you should fix your tags. You can have 3 character tags and they should look exactly like this "Character Build Warrior" with those quotations.

  • Member
    March 18, 2015

    I must disagree with you on that regard, Karver. To me, source material is of no matter to me as long as the build is perfectly playable and enjoyable. Presentation is a bonus, but besides the point. We can both agree on that. Now, I know that there are a number of builders here who are firm purists of TES, but in my not-so-humble opinion, the game we all know and love is very much flexible. There are infinities upon infinities of playstyle, not even counting the nonsensical ones! But hey, that's just my little view on the subject.

    All that aside, this is a very, very solid first build! Builds with multiple paths are hard to do justice, but you certainly nailed it with this little beauty. And though you could elaborate more on some parts, I still could capture what you were trying to get through in the build. In the end, that's all that matters. All I can say is, welcome to the wonderful world of building and keep up the good work! 

  • Member
    March 18, 2015

    In the end, the only real thing that change is the name of the race, if you see the Viashino as an environmental racial variants of Argonians, that's it. Think about the Trolls that you can find throughout all Tamriel, if they live in frozen areas they are Frost Trolls, not common Trolls, and that depends on the environment where they live, so Viashino are merely Argonians born and raised in deserts instead of marshes, it could be.

    By the way, I can easily understand your point of view and I made a little bit of a crossover with the two worlds, but there are so many similarities between that the idea was too tempting for me not to.

  • Member
    March 18, 2015

    I like it. My only criticism is that you should have adapted the lore behind these MTG characters to that of the Elder Scrolls. Here is a good example of what I'm talking about. This build was inspired by Disney's Elsa and Avatar's Katara, yet I let people know of it only at the end of the presentation.


  • Member
    March 18, 2015

    That's what I've tried to do, but maybe not enough, judging by the first comments. Maybe I was to focused on the MTG lore, but it should have been only as an introduction to know what a Viashino is.

  • Member
    March 18, 2015


  • Member
    March 18, 2015

    Under these circumstances it's best to make up your own lore within the ES lore.

  • March 18, 2015

    Don´t get me wrong, I like your build, because frankly it is very well presented. But the thing that bothers me, that you speak about Viashian lore from other worlds. If you make let´s say Argonians that are from Hammerfell or Elsweyr and you will make your own lore about them, I´m really ok with that.

    I don´t have problems with crossovers as long as the source material is just source material. An inspiration. If you look at the Event:Crossworlds builds, they are pretty good example how to take something else and make it The Elder Scrolls thing.

    Btw, I hope you will not take my words the wrong way. It is only my opinion. I like MTG, I really do and there are some characters that take inspiration from that. And I like them. But this has the "Copy, Paste" feel for me.

  • Member
    March 18, 2015
    Noodles loves plugging that Frost Nymph :D