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Necronomicon Vol. 6: Embalming

Tags: #Tips and Tricks Glitches  #Tips and Tricks Guides  #Tips and Tricks Magic  #Necronomicon 
  • May 20, 2016

    Hello and welcome back to my discussion on the mechanics of necromancy.  An intro and links to all of the previous discussions can be found here.  Those of you who have been following along will remember that last time I made a pretty extensive list of unique thrall targets that can be found in Skyrim.  Today I want to talk about permanency and persistence.

    Permanency and Persistence

    I have seen these two words used interchangeably and will probably due so my self during this discussion.  Basically what they mean is that a specific object will not disappear when a game cell resets.  We have all run into this problem when storing (hoarding) loot.  Every player has reached a point when they are over encumbered with valuables that they are either unwilling or unable to sell but don’t want to just discard either.  This leads us to search for a container that is “safe” meaning that it does not reset, or the game cell it appears in does not reset. 

    Some items are inherently persistent and will not disappear from the game whether left in a chest dropped on the floor or even sold to a merchant they will always be where you last left them.  There is a second tier to persistent items, those that are permanent until dropped.  This means that as long as the item is in an inventory then it will persist, however if it is dropped, placed on a weapon rack, or forcibly removed (disarm shout), then the item is not permanent and will disappear when the cell resets.  A list of permanent items can be found here on the UESP.  Furthermore most items will persist if placed within a player house, even if dropped on the floor.

    So, what does all of this have to do with us and our necromantic practices?  Creating persistent corpses, as I mentioned in our previous discussion most corpses are not permanent by nature and will disappear, sometimes even before the cell resets. (I’m sure some of you have revisited a ruin or cave only to find that the enemies you killed have disappeared but the weapons they dropped can still be found lying on the floor.)  Even corpses placed in a player house will disappear.  This creates a unique problem for those who practice necromancy and want to have a stock pile of diverse Dead Thrall targets.  Well it just so happens that there’s a way to transfer the permanency status of the aforementioned items onto a corpse of your choice.  Quite simply place the item in their inventory and viola the corpse is now permanent.  I like to call this useful little technique “Embalming”, and it will change the way you play a necromancer.

    The easiest permanent item to obtain and replicate is the Letter from a Friend.  Using shouts repeatedly will cause a courier to deliver one of these letters detailing where a new word of power can be found.  Complete the quest that the letter gives you and then bark a few more Shouts to trigger another delivery.  This is a relatively easy method of obtaining permanent items and a nice thing about the letters is they weigh nothing so you won’t be penalized for carrying multiple copies.

    You could imagine that the little quests are the necromancer seeking out the necessary ingredients for the embalming.  One could easily imagine that the concoction used to make permanent non-rotting corpses is very rare and that each quest only garners enough material to embalm a single corpse.  I also like to imagine that the piece of paper is actually a written spell that when placed on the body allows the necromancer to raise them as an undead servant.

    I should note that there are some bodies that are inherently permanent.  Previously I mentioned Arondil who is a prime candidate.  A list can be found here.  Additionally, most found corpses are permanent.  By found I mean that they are spawned within a dungeon already dead, for example the corpses you find in Falmer holding pens.  This may not be true for all found corpses, I don’t have the time to test every corpse in the game, but so far I have found it to be true.

    ***Note that corpses left outside in the world (any place called Skyrim) and not within a named game cell may sometimes disappear, even when made permanent.  Though a rare occurrence I have experienced this a few times.  To be safe always leave your unused thralls at home. ***

    Well that’s it for today; I hope you all have been enjoying this series.  I think that’s all I have to say on the subject of Dead Thralls (for now).  Next time I plan on discussing the other half of the two skills I associate with necromancy. 

    Until next time, I’ll be filling the Volkihar cattle pens.



  • Member
    May 21, 2016

    Great tips here - I'm learning a lot from this series!

    It's very cool how you're thinking of the letters as a 'scribed spell' of sorts.  :)

  • Member
    May 22, 2016
    You know, you can always use fortify conjuration potions to extend the duration of reanimate spells, which makes it possible to keep creatures that cant be brought back to 'live' by Dead Thrall. Some details:
    • With a hearthfire greenhouse + exterior garden you can create about ~ 42 potions per 3 days, using Blue Mountain Flower + Lavender (both give 3 ingridients every time you harvest them).
    • Without any enchanting lvls but taking the first perk point in enchanter you can create alchemy gear that will augment the standard 75% duration of the potions to 100% (at least that's true for destruction enchantments).
    • With 100% fortify alchemy enchantments, it's 150% more duration.
    • Using the fortify restoration exploit, you can create potions that augment the duration beyond the reanimation timer of Dead Thrall. Just create a ring with a very high fortify alchemy magnitude (through first creating a strong enchanting potion) and use it for conjuration potions only. This allows you to use followers like animals or Spriggans as long as you wish (quite the gamelplay/roleplay potencial here).
    • The passive effect "Sinderion's Serendipity" gives you a chance of 25% to create two potions instead of one, resulting in ~ 54 potions per 3 days.
    • A necromage/vampire gains 50% more duration on all conjuration spells.
    Just saying :).
  • May 22, 2016

    Thanks Relycs that's similar to the method I used in my Chirurgeon build.  I call it the Philosopher Stone.  Do you know of a place to collect a lot of fortify restoration ingredients?  Currently I use the fish barrels around Riften. 

  • Member
    May 23, 2016
    The fish barrels are probably the best method (aside Windstead Manor with the fish hatchery). I think there are also barrels located in Windhelm, near the ships, and quite some are actually inside fort dawnguard.
    Aside that, the lake near Solitude (and the one near Riverwood) is also a good place. Just check for dartwings that are close to the water as they indicate fish 'swarms'.

    Once the item is created, the high Alchemy lvl (probably 75-100) can be of good use for creating poisons with positive effects.
  • May 23, 2016

    I did not know that about dartwings!  That is such a great tip, thanks Relycs.

  • Member
    May 23, 2016
    You're welcome :).