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Character Build: The Squire

Tags: #Character Build Blacksmith  #Character Build Healer  #Character Build Unarmored  #Rank:Exemplar  #Peppo 
  • October 7, 2015

    The Squire

    The role of the medieval squires during the Middle Age was an important step to achieving the status of a knight. Noble families would commonly teach their male children to become one, but by doing so they had to undergo different layers of training: after serving 7 years as a page, kids - now become young men - could move to the role of a squire at the age of 14 years old. A squire was bound to his knight and attended several tasks for them, while also gaining confidence with weapons and armor.

    The countless jobs of a squire included carrying shield and armor, taking care of horses, accompaining the knight and, of course, protecting him from incoming dangers. Should the squire prove loyal and skillful in combat, as their mentors often gave them the chance to test their abilities, they could be introduced to a cerimony which made them knights.




    The Build


    The squire is a follower-dependent character that focuses on strengthening and supporting his partner: being an unexperienced swordsman, it's not uncommon to start with low weapon skills and let the follower do the fighting, although one-handed swords should always be the choice as you want to train and become a real knight. The Shouts, in particular Disarm and Marked for Death, add credibility to 1v1 fights between the knight and scary enemies.

    The character must have good smithing and enchanting abilities to give his mentor the best weaponry available; healing and courage spells are used on occasion, the armor-increasing abilities from the Alteration perk can also be utilized on yourself. Growing up surrounded by the best court teachers, a squire is most likely good at using words to persuade and convince townsfolk and merchants.

    Lore-wise, a squire has to be very young (about 20, max 25 years old), dressed in elegant and unarmored clothes, without scratches, dirt or facial paint; a sober haircut should be preferred, and having too much muscle mass would be unrealistic.



       Stats: 1/3/2 


       Main skills:  Smithing, Enchanting, One-Handed, Speech

       Minor skills: Restoration, Alteration, Illusion

       Standing stone: Warrior or Lord

       Blessings: any, choose the one that fits you best


       Clothing: armorless high-quality clothes, preferably comfortable for fighting

       Weapons: any one-handed (preferably enchanted) sword; a Pickaxe for mining ores

       Spells: Healing Hands and above, Courage, Oakflesh and above

       Shouts: Slow Time, Disarm, Marked for Death, Become Ethereal





    Choosing Your Race

    This build leaves much room to background stories and lores. You can choose between 5 different races (all 4 -men races plus Orcs): each of them grants benefits and, according to your playstyle, they can adapt to the situation. Here is what you should be looking for when you're undecided:




      +5 Smithing, +5 One-Handed, +5 Enchanting

    Although it's the less realistic lore-wise (isn't the page-squire-knight path a "human" custom?), it is one of the best races - if not the best - for this build: extra points in 3 out of the 4 main perks make Orcs an excellent choice. Berserker Rage is also a great backup plan for when your knight gets floored.




      +5 Smithing, +5 One-Handed, +5 Speech, resist frost perk

    Nords are gifted with higher skill in combat and smithing: while the magic-focused part of the build may suffer, those benefits will give a lot of advantages in the earlier stages; extra speech is also really useful, as it is one of the hardest perks to improve. The Battle Cry ability makes an opponent flee, letting your knight catch some breath.




      +5 Smithing,  +10 One-Handed, resist poison perk

    Surprisingly enough, the Redguard is a great race for this class: it's terrificly skilled in one-handed combat and even has high points in smithing. Natural resistance to poison strengthens defense while the Adrenaline Rush, much like Orcs, can be very useful for protecting your mentor.




      +5 One-Handed, +5 Enchanting, +10 Restoration

    A bit less appealing than the formers, Imperials are a well-rounded race that works better for spell-heavy squire builds: early points in restoration give you the chance to focus more on that perk than others (maybe skipping alteration entirely) and let your knight do the fighting while you stand and watch. The daily ability is sub-par, but Imperial Luck - although it's pretty bland - never hurts.




      +5 Speech, +5 Restoration

    The Breton is probably the worst of the viable races, but as it starts with extra points in Speech and Restoration it's not completely pointless: you should focus more on spells and tricks, maybe trying to increase Conjuration; bear in mind that crafting armors and enchantments might be difficult. On the other hand, the natural resistance to magic comes in handy, and so does Dragonskin.







    A squire worthy of respect should dress halfway between a fighter and a nobleman: gorgeus high-quality clothes are rejected, but so is any kind of armor; of course, you can't go around with ripped or dirty shirts either.


    Some exampes of clothing are shown here: in the first picture a Nord young man wears normal Clothes, Fine Boots and a Circlet; in the second picture a Redguard wears Clothes, Redguard Boots and a pair of Gloves. It is always good to add necklaces and rings so you have more room for enchantments.


    Particularly, if we're talking about rings and necklaces, some of the most notable ones are the Silver-Blood Family Ring (+15% Smithing) and some Amulets of the Divines (Arkay, Dibella, Kynareth...). The Amulet of Articulation (+5-35% Speech, plus persuade checks in dialogue will almost always succeed) is rejected because it counts as light armor and you have to play the Thieves' Guild questline to obtain it, which is not really appealing for lore-playing.


    Regarding weapons, any one-handed sword - as said before - is a good choice: any craftable sword (Steel, Orcish, Daedric and so on) is viable, according to your current Smithing level. Of course you can also loot swords from dead enemies, but don't forget to upgrade them! Concerning this, I have to do an important addition: always improve your knight's weapons before yours; same for his armor.




    The Perks


    Level 25 (perk spread here)


    Level 49/50 (perk spread here)


    The skill tree is very flexible, so you can adapt it to your playstile: a rule of thumb, though, is to prioritize Smithing and Enchanting over most other perks, exploiting them to create good weaponry for your knight and yourself. The Smithing progression may vary according to what you want to forge: if you're playing with a follower that prefers heavy armor, go for Dwarven Smithing and so on; else choose the Elven Smithing path. If you go for light armor smithing you'll save one skill point: that's why the second perk spread is for level 49 and 50.

    Magic-oriented perks (most notably Restoration, Alteration and Illusion) shouldn't be overlooked either: while historical squires didn't use them for obvious reasons, I feel they make your role in a fantasy world like Tamriel much more gratifying. Healing skills have the priority, while the others are used much more rarely: Illusion is only used for Courage, so the Novice Illusion perk is enough; the other two need the Apprentice perk as well since you can buy healing/armor spell tomes of a higher level.




    The Followers


    A core feature of this build is the possibility to choose your mentor: in Skyrim, every recruitable fighter has a particular mindset and specializes in different skills. For this build, I made a list of the best ones that satisfy the following conditions:

    • Are male (after all, knights were male)
    • Are humans or, at the very least, Orcs
    • Aren't drunkards, bad-mannered or with a bad ethic (thieves, assassins etc.)
    • Have a believable background story for a knight (no lower-class workers like farmers, miners etc.)

    These are grouped into four categories according to their armor and weaponry (Heavy/One-Handed, Heavy/Two-Handed, Light/One-Handed, Light/Two-Handed); they all will also use bows and arrows.

    Heavy/One-Handed: all male housecarls (except Valdimar), Vorstag

    Heavy/Two-Handed: Stenvar, Benor, Ahtar

    Light/One-Handed: Ghorbash the Iron Hand

    Light/Two-Handed: Erik the Slayer

    Choose the one that suits your character: you might want a knight of your same race/political orientation or coming from your hometown.






    Before talking about enchantments, bear in mind there are countless things you have to improve. These are, in order of priority: your knight's weapons, armor, your weapon and your clothes.



    I found out that the best thing for you is carrying different swords (preferably of the same style, e.g. three Dwarven Swords), as many as the enchantments you like: I usually keep one with Absorb Health for generic enemies and one with Shock Damage for wizards. Another strategy is enchanting both your weapon and your knight's with Fire Damage to stack up the extra damage.


       Swords: Absorb Health, Shock/Frost/Fire/Stamina/Magicka Damage (choose as many as you like)

       Hat/Circlet (optional): Fortify Barter

       Clothes: Fortify Restoration and Magicka Regen

       Gloves (optional): Fortify Smithing

       Boots: Fortify One-Handed

       Necklace: Amulets of the Divines (choose)

       Ring: Fortify Health





    As certain enchantments don't work for followers (e.g. Fotify Archery/One-Handed/Two-Handed), there is a limited pool to choose from:


       Sword: Absorb Stamina or Fire Damage (if the squire's sword is enchanted with Fire Damage as well)

       Helmet: Water Breathing (the only helmet enchantment that works on followers)

       Cuirass: Fortify Heavy/Light Armor

       Gauntlets: Fortify Heavy/Light Armor

       Boots: Resist Frost

       Necklace: Amulets of the Divines (choose)

       Ring: Fortify Health

       Shield (if one-handed): Fortify Block





    Gameplay and Special Moves


    Playing as a squire, your main job is to aid your knight in fights: remember that squires tend to stay back when the knight is fighting, unless he's being outnumbered. For instance, let him fight a bandit leader 1v1 (maybe heal him from the backrow); he can take two or three bandits by himself as well. If things get messy, don't be afraid to take the field and rescue him when he falls.

    About quests, that depends entirely on your morality: assuming all squires are good, you should avoid the Thieves Guild and stealing in general; same for the Dark Brotherhood. The best questlines you can play with a follower are the the Civil War, the Bards College, the Companions (in this case, sometimes you'll be assigned a shield-brother instead of choosing a follower yourself), most of the quests assigned by jarls and townsfolk and maybe even the College of Winterhold. You might want to skip the Companions questline for lore reasons, as it forces you to become a werewolf.

    A thing people tend to foget is Shouts: use them! marking bosses and disarming enemies with enchanted weapons helps a lot. As for special abilities, there isn't really much to say: there are very few combinations  that mainly focus on buffing the knight, but they are used a lot. These are:


       Inner Hardihood: Oakflesh + Courage

    Spurred by his knight's words, the squire joins the battle with good temper, showing off all he learned with zeal. The knight, in turn, feels safer with such a reliable comrade by his side.

       "I'll make you proud of me, master!"


       Motivational Talk: Slow Time + Courage + Healing Hands

    Just as the knight seems to lose all his strength the squire, always by his side, reminds him of the past battles and his role of mentor. The knight lifts up with renewed force and the squire follows him.

       "A squire's tasks include burying his knight if he dies; this, however, is not the case."




    Closing Words and Update History


    This is my first character guide, so criticism is welcomed. I'd like to thank the Community for such a warm introduction to the site and the various guides to character building that made formatting a lot easier!


    Restored in 2017. All the images in this character build are made by me, except for the race thumbnails which are taken from The Unofficial Elder Scrols Pages (UESP) and the opening image. Reminder that it had 38 likes before the site got moved.

  • Member
    October 7, 2015

    Damn, this is one good character build, especially for someone new! Great work man! 

  • October 7, 2015

    I´ve recently found love for followers builds and this one is really awesome. Is this your first build? The presentation is really cool, mate. I really like this build. Easy +1 from me. Keep fighting the Good Fight. 

    I have only one objection. Even if you say that Orcs are not lore-wise realistic, I myself wouldn´t include them at all. But that´s just me. It isn´t harming your build, so it´s only up to you. 

  • Member
    October 7, 2015
    Awesome work,
  • October 7, 2015

    Thanks for the compliments, and yes, this is my first build!

    About the Orcs, I wouldn't have included them either if it wasn't for their stats: they are so good they can't be overlooked. But yeah, I have no trouble in removing them if other people think it is inappropriate.

  • Member
    October 7, 2015

    Nice job.  I found it interesting that you're doing all of that smithing for your follower/knight and not yourself.

    I do have a question about the mage armor perks.  Your primary defense is your alteration armor spells and you have several perks in the alteration school, yet you don't have any mage armor perks.  Was that intentional?

  • October 7, 2015

    Very nice job especially for a first build. 

  • October 7, 2015

    I've only skimmed for now, but believe me, I'll be coming back to read it all. Great work!

  • Member
    October 7, 2015

    It's rare to see a character build where the focus isn't on how awesome or badass the character him/herself is, but turns on some interesting role-reversal and roleplay.  Nice! 

  • Member
    October 7, 2015

    An Orc squire/knight seems like an intriguing roleplay opportunity to me.  Same goes for any race, really.