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November 1st, 2012, 19:52
A while ago I read the story of an illusionist in Skyrim and thought it would be fun to do something similar, but less extreme. So I decided to make a Dragonborn who was… not exactly a coward, but more cautious than your oridinary PC.

Right away that made Archery and Conjuration the skills of choice. A bit of Light Armor added some protection without turning me into a slow-moving target, but early on a robe gave a helpful boost to Conjuration. Naturally Lydia was an early and much-cherished meat-shield and distraction, and reduced the amount of girlish screaming and fleeing to safety while my magicka recovered.

A quick little backstory came to me during the opening credits. My new Sir Robinesque Breton was apprenticed to a wizard who lived near Bruma and was conveniently killed by the Vigilant of Stendar for cavorting with daedra. Oops. Then came a mad escape through the mountains into Skyrim and an encounter with some Stormcloaks and Imperials. After staring death, or a dragon at least, in the face, it was time to get enough power to avoid getting trapped in that sort of situation again. Booze helps the recovery process after particularly nasty encounters, and spiders are left for summons and Lydia to take care of.

Anyone else have any interesting characters they'd like to share, or themes to recommend? Any pacifists, pilgrims, or city-fearing hunters out there?
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November 1st, 2012, 22:18
I am not sure this qualifies as a theme but I will outline my current character which I have been playing for awhile. I had to "twist" the beginning a little to get it to work the way I want but that is what games are all about Also, even though very cliche, I always prefer to start as an orphan. Just avoids any family back story issues.

Kveldulfr, The Evening Wolf

Born an orphan in Skyrim Kveldulfr knows nothing about his parents as he was found abandoned out in the wild by a Bosmer Ranger. He had been tracking some wolves … which in turn had led him to the infant. Not sure what to do with the child he left him at a temple of Mara in Riften. He was raised there until he was around the age of twelve before he was forced into the Honorhall Orphanage. It was there he developed his wild rebellious streak and hatred of Grelod the Kind. Unlike some of the other orphans, however, he frequently fled the orphanage into the Ratway. There he started to learn the way of the theif.

Due to his connections at a young age with Mara, however, he has a deep seated sense of honor and sympathy towards those less fortunate. So he focused his theivery on the rich and the corrupt whenever possible. He was also visited from time to time by the Bosmer Ranger and he learned how to survive in the wild to some degree by his time with the Bosmer.

Growing up in a richly diverse city with all races made him very open minded and even though he had Nord blood he never felt the call to his homeland. He felt the Imperial Empire did a good job of providing for all races and was more closely aligned with them.

One event that was to lead to future changes in his life was his fascination with wolves, perhaps because that was his only connection to his birth. He researched wolves, Hircine and Werewolves whenever he had the opportunity and became a bit obsessed with the whole subject.

Until he was released from the orphanage at 17 he worked on developing his thieving skills with the rogues and some combat with the Bosmer Ranger. Once released he join the Theives guild which had fallen on hard times. His luck ran out one night attempting a heist at a crypt belonging to an undead mage. He was imprisoned and tortured. The mage attempted to steal and bind his soul but he was rescued by his Bosmer friend, who was mortally wounded in the rescue.

Based on this, and some later negative experiences with mages, Kveldulfr grew to hate any magic dealing with souls, and most mages in general except those who dealt with healing. He sought revenge a few times but the mage was to powerful and Kveldulfr sought to find a way to become more powerful.

This drive, along with his friends in the Thieves Guild, drove him rapidly higher up in the guild as he sought power and wealth although never losing his sense of honor or soft streak to the poor. Eventually he heard a rumor about the Companions being werewolves.

Taking a break from the thieves guild he joined the Companions and joined their inner circle. The night he was initiated into becoming a Werewolf he was overcome by the experience and fled to the woods. Fearful of what he might do he fled to Falkreath where he learned he might find Hircine, whom he knew about from his studies. There he was able to save Sindig, a wild werewolf, while also impressing Hircine enough to get his Ring.

Once again he attempted his revenge against the mage, whom he had discovered was an undead dragon priest, and again he barely escaped with his life. More determined than ever he returned to the Thieves guild, following rumors of Nightingales, powerful theives who worked for Nocturnal. It was also during this time that he fought and killed the Dark Brotherhood, after "stealing" of their kills when he finally got revenge against Grelod the Kind.

Through much effort he became a Nightingale, his allegiance now torn between Hircine and Nocturnal … but he figured they could work out the details later. He was traveling on guild business when he was ambushed by an imperial raid that had caught him off-guard. When he came to he was in a wagon going to his execution in Helgen - as they had made the mistake thinking he was a rebel.

Apparently the attack had also addled him somewhat as some of his memories were a bit vague. It was only through the intervention of a dragon attack that he was able to flee and now seeks the town of Riverwood.

END OF BIO.

So in essence I played a lot of the game as if it was BEFORE the dragons attack. Then he was attacked and now the game starts with him at Helgen …

Based on this the character finds out about being dragon born and starts to search his soul for what this means and what he wants to be in life. Should he abandon his life of crime? Is his revenge against the mage forcing him to become something he despises? What about his werewolf form? Should he seek a cure?

My plan is that he will eventually become guild master of the theives guild with the plan of making it become more of a mercantile based guild with a strong code of thieves honor. Think Robin Hood and his merry men. The rich, the powerful, the corrupt, all are fair game. But the guild will look out for their own and the poor.

He will stay a werewolf as killing with claws is no different than killing with a weapon or burning someone alive by magic. Death is death. However he has brokered a deal with Nocturnal - when he dies she will free his soul from Hircine and he will server her instead … until she releases him from her contract and then he will go to …. wherever.

Some quirks:

- Won't use conjuration or enchantments
- Avoids most enchanted items, prefers "honest" equipment and weapons
- Only uses restoration and a little illusion
- Will never hurt, steal or otherwise harm the poor (who are basically good people; lowlifes are fair game)
- Hunts in werewolf form fairly often but limits feeding to certain types of people
- Enjoys hunting bad mages and sometimes gets into hot water because of it

Character is centrality, the impossibility of being displaced or overset. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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November 2nd, 2012, 00:21
Right now I'm playing Oblivion, not Skyrim, but I figured I would share anyway.

My character has gone through a bit of a transformation. To start, he was a Redguard warrior who found himself siding with the "good guys" in most situations. However, the Thieve's Guild quickly lured him in with it's promise of riches and wealth, so he strayed from the good path a bit. He wasn't murdering innocent people in the streets, but he would regularly break into noble's houses and steal everything that wasn't tied down, just to fence the stuff for a profit.

Well, a little thievery led to even darker things for Cyrus. He noticed the enemies in the world were getting extremely hostile, worse than usual. Even walking the roads between the Imperial City and Leyawiin, things got extremely difficult for him. So he decided that in order to gain enough strength to deal with these difficult times, he would make a pact to serve the various Daedric gods in order to gain their help in this difficult battle. Well, needless to say, working for Daedric gods can get a little…messy. After murdering 2 innocent villagers for Mephala, he had really become a dark, corrupted person. He even got visited by the Dark Brotherhood to become a companion of theirs, and it intrigued him a bit.

But then, everything changed. He heard about a preacher in Anvil who was prophesying the end of the world. Out of a sheer curiosity with the whole situation, he just had to investigate. Turns out that the Nine Divines themselves were looking for a champion, to rid the world of a certain evil that threatened mankind. Surely this wasn't Cyrus's calling, or was it? The thought of rescuing certain sacred artifacts and using them in his battle was very intriguing indeed.

So from that day he vowed to become a holy knight of the Nine Divines themselves. The Divine Crusader. He collected the artifacts and killed the evil that befell the land. All of a sudden he had a bigger responsibility, to the very people of Cyrodiil, that he would become a real hero and his lust for wordly possessions would come to an end. From that day forward he has walked the righteous path of the Gods themselves.

The question now is, will he continue to be a crusader for the gods and walk the righteous path? Or will the dark rewards of the Daedra lure him back into the dark side? With a strange door opening in Niben Bay, which appears to be a gate to the realm of the Daedric god of madness himself, things are definitely going to get interesting going forward.
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November 2nd, 2012, 06:46
If your Cyrus stays true to namesake No. 1 from Redguard, he might want to visit that door. If he's closer to No. 2 from Oblivion, then he'll remain a lawful good crusader … or wouldn't he?

While I have no themed characters as such, I rarely do the Sheogorath-of-all-trades and play all guild quests with one character. If my char is a do-gooder and a close quarters fighter, for example, I wouldn't send him or her to join the Dark Brotherhood against his or her will.

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November 2nd, 2012, 23:09
Originally Posted by Jaz View Post
If your Cyrus stays true to namesake No. 1 from Redguard, he might want to visit that door. If he's closer to No. 2 from Oblivion, then he'll remain a lawful good crusader … or wouldn't he?

While I have no themed characters as such, I rarely do the Sheogorath-of-all-trades and play all guild quests with one character. If my char is a do-gooder and a close quarters fighter, for example, I wouldn't send him or her to join the Dark Brotherhood against his or her will.
I play the same way. I only do the quests and pursue the interests that feel right for my character.

That said, there are some conflicts that I faced that I outlined in my previous post. On one hand, I want to keep the holy relics and keep the Nine Divines on my side, but on the other hand, the lure of Daedric artifacts and the general lure of the "dark side" of things, makes it extremely tempting to do those types of things. I honestly can't say for sure that I'm going to remain on the good path. I'm going to try to I guess, but who knows.

I will be visiting that door most definitely. What happens when I'm inside is going to really be interesting. I don't think it's going to end well
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November 2nd, 2012, 23:56
Sounds a bit like a mace-wielding restoration caster I played, who was a failed priest of the Eight who wandered off to Skyrim and found himself drawn towards Daedric doings. At least, he did until I got distracted with some other game. Naturally, by the time I got back around to Skyrim I wanted to make a new character.
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November 3rd, 2012, 00:18
I usually start off roleplaying a "good guy", but I'm drawn to Daedric gods in the Elder Scrolls games. The proposition of gaining powerful and enchanted artifacts made by the gods themselves is usually too good to pass up.
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November 3rd, 2012, 18:43
But is collecting the artifacts the character or actually you the player who wants powerful items?

I know I have always skipped any of the Daedric quests that went against my beliefs, no matter the power.

In general I don't have a huge issue with Nocturnal, Azura, or Meridia (sp?). Hircine I struggle with but I tend to throw him more into the neutral area versus some of the darker lords - those I try to destroy their artifacts or otherwise work against them.

Unless I am purposely playing a character meant to be corrupted, or is on the much darker side, I don't worry about any meta-game issues and focus purely on what they would do in the game context.

Character is centrality, the impossibility of being displaced or overset. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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November 17th, 2012, 19:57
I created an outline for my new Orc character to take through the Dawnguard. Not well written but it would have been a novel if I had taken the time to really fill it out

Varg the Adventurer

Introduction

In a year of playing Skyrim I have made about 6 characters that got to level 20 or so. Only one "finished" the game and that was my Nord Barbarian, Ulfr Bjorn (Wolf Bear) last Spring. He was level 45 when he retired at a nice windmill he converted to a home, along with his partner. Since then two expansions have come out (Dawnguard and Hearthfire) and a third is due late December/early January (for PC) called Dragonborn. So it is time to make a new primary character. I attempted a Nord Rogue who was a werewolf and thief. It was very fun but to dark. By the time I made level 21 I was feeling guilty over all the deception I had to do as a thief. Not to mention eating all the things and people I killed as a werewolf … So he was discarded. I made another guy where he was a werewolf but not a thief. Still to dark.

I have to face facts. I like GOOD GUYS. I want to be the Hero Archetype. I want to bash evil in its head and help the innocent. Course I also like some darkness … in a rough world like Tamriel the milk drinkers just end up used and abused. After a post by another forumite I decided to give Orcs a try. I made a preliminary one and really liked it. I read up on all the lore for Orcs (who are actually called Orsimer as they come from the Mer races) and found it very interesting.

Orc Link1: http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:Orc

Orc Link2: http://elderscrolls.wikia.com/wiki/Orsimer_%28Skyrim%29

However once I decided this would be my new main character I had to dig into history and refine who he was going to be. I reviewed some of the existing Orcs, just to get a feel or how to design them in the editor.

Moth gro-Bagol from Markarth


and from a load screen:


So I spent … hmmm .. maybe 3 hours fiddling and trying things out and came up with Varg the Adventurer. I spend way to much time with character generators in games!



I also discovered, in my research, that I could scale his size (console command player.setscale 1.0 for "normal" and bigger values to increase size. Setting it at 1.08 made him about 7 ' 5" tall which fit my image it this hulking Orc perfectly). So right after the part of the game where you create your character I went and set his size to be a bit bigger. To big would be stupid … not to mention he would not fit in dungeons or through doors



Now his size does mean he runs a bit faster, jumps a bit higher, and does a bit more damage. But I consider this balanced by all the limitations I place on him:

- Refuses to use enchanting. The husks of trapped souls ends up in the Soul Cairn. Overall seems very evil to me, especially if the souls are sentient.
- Related to above won't use most magic items as he won't recharge anything. Also Varg does not like to rely on magic items, preferring good steel and leather. The only items he uses are Aedra/Daedra items that don't require charges. Amulet of Arkay for example.
- Refuses to use conjuration except for the Familiar spell (part of his story). To much like slavery and binding another wills.
- Will not steal. He follows the unwritten code of honor of the Orcs and Malacath, even for non-orcs. While he will do some plundering he refuses to rob from the buried dead (although no issues looting those he kills).
- Tries to do the right thing whenever he can … although life sometimes means making hard choices.

With all that now explained here is his basic biography. I avoid filling in all the gaps as it gets long easy.

Varg's Biography

Varg was found as a baby, left at the Altar of Mara at the Temple in Riften. No one ever discovered how or why he ended up there. Watching over him was a ghostly familiar of a wolf-hound that would vanish whenever someone got close. If Varg ever knew anything about his birth or past he has never revealed it. An elderly priestess took him in and raised him until he was ten. He was a very bright kid (contrary to the stereotype that the Orsimer are thick headed) and picked up the basic ability to heal and ward himself. Shortly after his tenth birthday the town was attacked by a band of Vampires and the priestess was killed defending the temple.

With no place to go Varg was sent to the Honorhall Orphanage. Even back then Grelda was a bitch and she developed a strong dislike towards Varg, calling him her disgusting "pig child". She use to chain him to his bed at night. Luckily Varg had made some friends with some of the kids who worked for the Thieves Guild beneath the city. In exchange for doing some odd jobs (like being a look out or distraction) he was welcomed into the Rataway and Ragged Flagon. He learned how to pick locks (useful to escape the chain to his bed), fight with daggers, and sneak. However it was not the life for him and life at the orphanage became worse. When he was around 14 he fled the Orphanage, deciding he would head to Cyrodiil to become a Legionnaire.

While on the road he met a band of wandering Khajiit merchants. In exchange for doing numerous chores they let him travel with them, finding a bit of kinship with the lost and outcast Orc … especially since the Khajiit were often mistrusted and outcast in many lands as well. Varg ended up staying with them for many years, traveling all over Tamriel. He learned how to fight with swords and bow, improved his sneaking skills, and learned to be a smooth talker by watching the merchants trade. His time traveling the world made him appreciate the peace, and open minded attitude towards other races, that the Empire brought to Tamriel. It was during this time he learned to value the Empire, for all its corruption, and all the races of the world.

In his 18th year the group was exploring some ruins and were attached by Vampires and some undead. Only half the group managed to escape with their lives. The rest agreed they had had enough and decided to return to Elsweyr. However one asked Varg if he would like to become partners in setting up an Inn in Cyrodiil. Varg agreed.



A few years passed and Varg and his Khajiit friend started a successful Inn. For an Orc he became very well liked as he was honorable and often helped the locals fight off Bandits, undead, and other monsters. He also used his meager healing and alchemy skills to help the sick. But it was his reputation that drew the attention of a clan of Vampires trying to take over the town he was in. Seeing him as the biggest threat they attacked and destroyed his Inn. However this time Varg did not try to escape and though it left a bad scar on his face he killed the entire clan.

His partner was willing to rebuild but he had enough. No more would the Undead wreck his life or the innocent. He had heard rumors of an order of vampire hunters, the Dawnguard, back in his "homeland" of Skyrim. So he left his partner to rebuild the Inn and set off to Skyrim. His skills were rusty, however, so his plan was to seek out the Companions of Whiterun and hone is battle skills. There was also a Priestess there he hoped to learn more of the Restoration line of magic from.

But his plans almost ended before they began. While crossing the border to Skyrim he met up with a band of rebels who called themselves Stormcloaks. They had come up on him while he was making camp one night. Before he even had time to learn if they had a hostile intent the entire group was ambushed by an even larger group of Imperials. Before anyone could react a mass paralysis spell was cast and the few who resisted its magic were quickly surrounded by archers and forced to surrender. Varg struggled to resist but was clubbed unconscious.

He regained consciousness on a wagon … to discover he was being led to his execution as a rebel! Bound and trapped they refused to listen to him - accusing him of being in with the rebels. He was sure this was the end but his life was given a second chance by the attack of a dragon! In the chaos he escaped, at first with the help of a Stormcloak who felt some guilt towards his false capture and then by an Imperial. While Varg was not happy with either side at the time he still felt the Empire was worth saving and so he went with the Imperial.

They managed to escape and Varg was able to find shelter in Riverwood with the mans family. Realizing his plans for the Dawnguard would have to wait until he was a better fighter and more prepared he decided he would earn his living helping out the locals and becoming more acquainted with the land of Skyrim. He would continue on to Whiterun and from there see where life lead him.

Character is centrality, the impossibility of being displaced or overset. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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November 17th, 2012, 22:08
Nice story. Varg sounds like a cool dude
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November 17th, 2012, 23:44
Originally Posted by Fluent View Post
Nice story. Varg sounds like a cool dude
Thanks Fluent!

I was a little bored so wrote it up for fun … but also it makes the character a bit more concrete having something in writing to work by

Character is centrality, the impossibility of being displaced or overset. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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November 18th, 2012, 09:26
Would be nice to hear about some of his adventures later .

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November 18th, 2012, 13:02
I've had an idea for a puny orc scholar kicking around for a while. Could be interesting playing against stereotype, but I bet it would be tough starting out not relying on normal orc skills.
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November 18th, 2012, 15:45
Originally Posted by Menigal View Post
I've had an idea for a puny orc scholar kicking around for a while. Could be interesting playing against stereotype, but I bet it would be tough starting out not relying on normal orc skills.
Well I am playing on the average difficulty (Adept) and it is a little more challenging. Not being able to use any magic weapon and very limited in my magic armor makes it harder. However with sneak and restoration I can sometimes avoid combat, shield/heal, and get the jump on them. It is much slower paces as I have to go carefully. But also rather fun.

Here are what they start with:
Skill bonuses

+10 Heavy Armor (Level 25)
+5 Block (Level 20)
+5 Enchanting (Level 20)
+5 One-Handed (Level 20)
+5 Smithing (Level 20)
+5 Two-Handed (Level 20)

Of the above the only one that helps me is the one-handed and a little of the two-handed. The beserker rage does help out on some of the harder mobs but I have to use it carefully. I am playing "in game" so I won't just stand in place for 24 hours to recharge it. I also avoid most "teleports" and instead run or use the carriages. I am not fanatical about it though - in general I just try to avoid using it.

My "primary" skill set, in order of importance (to me), is: Sneak, One-handed, Restoration, and Light Armor. They will get most of the perks. Secondary skills are Two-handed and Archery which will get just a few perks.

I see him as a sort of Ranger with his favored enemy being Undead and more emphasis on healing instead of "nature" based spells. But he has the conjure familiar which is a wolf and a smattering of low level spells (since don't have any perks left in my build plan) from destruction, alteration and illusion.

Anyhow the Scholar idea sounds fun. It is interesting to note that the person who runs the Arcaneium in Winterhold is an Orsimer! So it is not out of the question to be an Orc Scholar.

PS - I may add a few stories later on. When it comes to the guilds the thieves guild is out and the warriors guild I believe I may stop at the werewolf choke point … not sure if I will make the decision to go forward with that or not. I have never done the Mages guild so I am leaning towards that although I consider it somewhat out of Vargs character. The Dawnguard is the best fit for him.

Character is centrality, the impossibility of being displaced or overset. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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November 20th, 2012, 17:22
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Great background stories! They gave me a sudden urge to fire up Skyrim again.
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December 24th, 2012, 00:04
Well I finished my adventures with Varg which went very well indeed. His main goal was to join the Dawnguard and rid the world of Vampires and the undead. However like most heroes he learned not all is what it seems. He accomplished his mission but in the process learned that not all undead are pure evil or what they seem.

However with no other games on the horizon, and one more DLC on the way, I decided to make one more character, Grimwolf Nightblade. I wrote up his story this weekend and started to play him. His story is very long but for anyone who wants to read it feel free (although its typical fan-fiction quality). I seperated it into parts - the OOC preamble followed with his birth/creation story and then his opening adventure. I tried to stick very closely to lore whenever I could although I took some liberty in assuming Lorkhan and the All-Maker are just different aspects of the same god. I posted some shots of him in another thread but will post one here for reference, from when he first arrived in Falkreath.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Grimwolf Nightblade

Preamble:


When I play characters in a game I prefer to play as myself to various degrees. Most often it is my idealized version of myself – the person I truly wish to be. The noble hero, strong, powerful and capable of defending not only myself but those I care about. I am the hero who is always helping out others, protecting the weak, and a guardian of nature. Beowulf, Gandalf, King Arthur, Robin Hood … those are some of my heroes from literature that most may know. At other times I play closer to my own personality, still good but with more faults and more self-involved. However a third character I like to explore is one that looks a bit deeper into the shadow archetype (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_%28psychology%29). We all have our shadows and to be truly self-aware one needs to confront and accept the darker aspects one human nature. This does not mean I am evil or bad but it does mean I will give in to some of the darker desires of the id. Consider the vigilante who would rather kill the villain then let them go; the person who will make their own moral judgments instead of letting the laws decide; it is the person who may rationalize their deeds as being necessary for the end result.

An example of this is the anti-hero. One example, in the context of Skyrim, would be the assault on the Thalmor at Northwatch Keep. The most noble would try diplomacy first. Failing that they may try to sneak in, doing the least amount of violence to rescue the prisoner. A darker hero might consider the Thalmor an eternal enemy of human kind and destroy any who would get in his way (although he would let those who wanted to flee do so). This then is Grimwolf Nightblade, a darker, grittier hero with dark passions and a violent nature yet one who tries to not let those feelings rule him; instead he uses them as fuel to achieve his goals.

Lastly I should point out I need a connection to my character. If I just say so and so was born of human peasants, or nobles, in a town and raised as such and such it makes the character someone else. No matter how far-fetched, how illogical, or fantastical, I like to come up with some reason how I might be there. That comes in the creation and birth phase.

The Birth of Grimwolf Nightblade:

The great God Lorkhan, who was primary in creating Nirn, was once again in need of an avatar; someone who would work on his behalf to help protect his creation from the forces of Oblivion and the chaos of the nameless Void. But the gods could no longer directly intervene in the world of Nirn and could only nudge and influence events. Lorkhan was even more limited as he no longer truly existed as a God. He was everything and nothing. In his dreams he felt Nirn was threatened yet again. Unable to directly interfere with those in the world itself he reached out his divine mind across dimensions seeking a kindred soul willing to accept his gifts in exchange for their vow to serve him.

He found a soul, recently separated from its body, willing and eager. Knowing that his agents worked best given their complete freedom he let the forces of creation shape and define this souls new body based on its innermost needs and desires … and this was born Grimwolf Nightblade.

Grimwolf was born to the Skaal Wolf Clan (http://elderscrolls.wikia.com/wiki/Skaal), followers of the All-Maker (http://elderscrolls.wikia.com/wiki/All-Maker), living in a lost and forgotten valley deep in the mountains. The Skaal believe that when a creature dies, its spirit returns to the All-Maker*, who shapes it into something new and returns it to Mundus. This particular tribe had been isolated for so long from the rest of the world, due to a massive earthquake that had isolated them in this valley, and spent so much time in wolf form, that they had forgotten most of their human aspects and knowledge, spending their lives in wolf form unable to return to human form.

Only one among them still retained the knowledge to become human again, one of the Elders of the tribe by the name of Wolfgar. He was centuries old as he had learned the rare ability to transform into a tree. His roots drawing life and energy from the sacred glade he lived in. But time took its toll on his memory and much of his people’s lore and knowledge was lost to him. The earthquake had destroyed all their artifacts, tools, and writings. He had managed to recreate much of it once, only to lose it in a great fire that had swept through part of the valley. He had retreated to tree form after that and lost himself in dreams until the night a vision woke him from his deep sleep … the arrival of Grimwolf.

Grimwolf appeared as a Nord infant at the sacred grove next to the tree that was Wolfgar, and the Skaal there took this as a sign from the All-Maker that he had some greater purpose. Wolfgar, the Elder returned to human form and did what he could to help raise the young man. While he had forgotten much he recalled the basics of human language and some writing. He taught Grimwolf everything he could remember (although Grimwolf was to find much later that he spoke with an odd dialect that only scholars and mages seemed to recognize). Wolfgar had once been an excellent fighter and he was able to teach Grimwolf some of the basics of human combat. Now and then a adventurers body would wash over the falls into the valley and from them he had managed to salvage a few weapons and even some ancient barbaric Nord armor that seemed resistant to rust and age.

Meanwhile the Skaal wolves taught Grimwolf how to hunt and move with stealth in the woods. Grimwolf created his own form of armed combat, a mix of wolf and human that was based on agility and speed. Wolfgar new little about whom, or what, Grimwolf was beyond the first vision he had from the All-Maker, but he had the resistance to cold that was a Nords heritage and he would often run around in little more than a loincloth in even the coldest of weather and blizzards. The magic of the grove seemed to strengthen and nurture his growth and by the age of sixteen he was well over seven feet tall.

Yet one thing, the most important thing, the thing he craved the most, avoided Grimwolfs reach; he was unable to transform into a wolf. The Elder had tried to teach him only to realize he no longer could remember the rites and the magic needed. They had lived so long as wolves they had lost the ability to transform. As Grimwolf got older his frustration and anxiety grew. Still he was mostly content. The tribe took advantage of his human form to gather food, build shelters, and help them hunt. All this exercise forged Grimwolf into a powerful and muscular young man with exceptional senses and stamina. He also developed many of the morals of the tribe. While he understood loyalty to the pack and honor he also adapted what some might call a cruel and violent approach to life when it came to killing anything that threatened him, or the pack, as well as hunting for food. He became a ruthless killer that the Elder tried to soften by strengthening the ideals of honor, loyalty, and to only hunt for survival and never for sport.

At first Wolfgar thought Grimwolf had been gifted to them to return them to their old ways and glory but his inability to shift seemed to reject this idea. Wolfgar was at a loss as to Grimwolfs purpose, although he was happy to have him with them. He began to recall more of what they had lost by becoming wolves and he enjoyed the companionship of the young man. But he knew Grimwolfs destiny was not to provide company to an old shaman.

On Grimwolfs sixteenth name-day, the age when most Skaal would have made the formal rite of passage, he decided to try an old ritual to commune with the All-Maker. He had tried once before but it had failed and he had had no communion with the All-Maker since the night Grimwolf had first appeared. But he felt this would be different … and it was.

On the night of the full moon they sat in the waters of the sacred grove and began the ritual. Their spirits left their mortal bodies and become one with the valley around them. As they moved through the woods it became dark and fog filled the air … and then the visions came in a rush, like a dream yet with crystal clarity like none he had experience before. The fog transformed into a monstrous beast, half wolf half man, a twisted form of what the Skaal were (who were either pure wolf or pure human). A bloodlust filled this beast yet it was aware and intelligent. It was poised to attach them yet struggled with its rage to bring it under control. Then the mist dissipated and reformed, this time into a white stag of majestic beauty and a single word whispered through the air and that word bespoke of a Daedric Prince, Hircine the Lord of the Hunt.

Again the fog swirled and changed and for a moment they looked down upon a map of the land, and saw a town in a deep forest with shadows of death rising from the ground. Above it floated the antlers of a stag and another word whispered in their mind, Falkreath it whispered, and their field of vision altered again to behold a worn and distressed human locked in a pit. On their hand they saw a ring that grew in their minds eye. It was in the shape of a wolf circled on itself, tail to nose.

Then all went black, like the void, and they were torn away from their vision to a new place. Here was Evergloom the shadows whispered, home of the Daedric Prince Nocturnal. Out of the shadows a man crept who seemed familiar … it was Grimwolf only older and far less innocent. In the dark he went to face the first monstrous beast they had seen. The two fought but then the strangest thing happened. The two melted together, becoming something different, greater than the sum of the parts, something the ancient shaman knew was cleansed of the influence of the Daedric Princes yet also part of them. A new type of Skaal, mighty hunters of the night and shadows, and a final word became etched into their minds, Kveld-Úlfr. The Elder knew that word, it was a very ancient dialect of the Nords and it referred to shape-shifters and meant “Evening or Night Wolf”.

It was then Wolfgar knew Grimwolfs destiny although no idea how he would achieve it outside of where to start looking. When they awoke the next morning Wolfgar and Grimwolf discussed the vision. Wolfgar explained he thought the All-Maker was going to transform the Skaal into something new and that Grimwolf was destined to facilitate that change. What other purpose the All-Maker might have for Grimwolf he did not know.

Grimwolf felt he knew though for while he had shared the visions he had had his own and he knew they came from another aspect of the All-Maker, that of Lorkhan. He had been granted a new chance at life in exchange for serving Lorkhan. In his visions he had seen ancient creature called Alduin, the World-Destroyer, and he saw himself fighting this great being. He also saw other dangers to the world of Nirn that he knew was his destiny to face. Yet, if he managed to survive these trials, he also saw a glimpse of someday returning to this valley, if he wished, to return the Skaal to the world as a new breed of defenders of Nirn, the Kveld-Úlfr, the Night Wolves, a new type of were-wolf able to shift into the shadows as easily as they could human and wolf form.

The Adventure Begins:

With little more than his two daggers, a rusted great sword, and the enchanted barbaric leather armor Wolfgar had saved, Grimwolf was lead to an underground river that Wolfgar said would bring him to the outside world. The current was fast and there was no surety of success nor could he return this way. But with an ever increasing sense of adventure and need Grimwolf was determined to try.

Grimwolf managed to survive the journey but he was badly hurt in the trip. He washed ashore in Skyrim, as was the plan, and rescued by a group of humans he later learned identified themselves as Stormcloaks. In some ways it was a blessing that he was barely coherent as Grimwolf found himself overwhelmed with all the information bombarding his senses. He had no experience with other humans and spoke as little as possible. The Nords appeared satisfied with the assumption that his injuries had him addled.

It was shortly after that their camp was ambushed by more humans, who claimed the title of Imperials. Grimwolf cared little for the titles but he understood the difference that could occur in human “packs” as Wolfgar had taught him some of this. Still his nightmare continued, leaving little time to ground and center himself. He found he was being led to his death for no other reason than being found with the Stormcloaks, whose cause he cared nothing for. Only to have his imminent death prevented by an attack of a dragon whom he felt he should know for some reason but could not remember why.

He found his loyalty torn as he was helped first by one of the Stormcloaks, named Ralof, and later by one of the imperials named Hadvar. He was lost and confused, acting on pure instinct as they fled the attack of the dragon. Never had he felt so unsure and unable to focus. He cared little for whom he followed. When they both yelled at him to follow them into the keep he went with the closest, which was Ralof. At least he knew him from his earlier rescues when he first arrived in Skyrim.

They fled deep into the keep, into the dungeons and passages below. Ralof commented a few times at how efficient a fighter Grimwolf was. Grimwolf could also smell an underlying current of fear as Ralof watched him butcher those in his way. So he tried to control his rage and bring himself into focus and control as he had been trained by Wolfgar. By the time he had escaped Helgen he had managed a little self-control.

Ralof told him he should come to his home village, Riverwood, but then said they should go their separate ways, which only confused Grimwolf. In the end, battered, hurt, and confused he ran off into the woods seeking the solace of nature. On an almost instinctual level he also felt a pull leading him somewhere. He had learned to trust his instincts so he followed them.

While travelling he came across a band of men attacking someone, from his studies with Wolfgar he thought she was an old Dunmer. He was not sure what to do when he saw them cut her down as she cried on the ground. Being in need of supplies and understanding these were not men of honor, he attached and quickly dispatched them. Looking through their belongings he was able to figure out they were mercenaries, swords for hire, and they had recently accepted a commission for the Jarl of Falkreath. When he saw that name he grew dizzy as the vision returned … he needed to go to this place. He was supposed to find some man with a ring and it had something to do with Hircine.

Taking some of their gear, weapons, and papers, he decided he would adapt the identity of a mercenary while becoming acquainted with the “civilized” world of Skyrim. While he knew he had much to accomplish he also felt no geas on his behavior, no pressing need for speed. He understood, on some level, that he needed to learn and grow in power before he could truly confront his enemies in the future. Based on his visions he knew that he would learn to shape-shift, although not in the way of the Skaal and that he had to learn to control this form he would take. He knew little beyond that fact that it was connected to Hircine, Falkreath, a ring, and an ancient band of fighters referred to as “The Companions”. He also had some vague memories, from his night of visions, of joining some guild so he could make contact with Nocturnal. Beyond that he was on his own and could only hope he would find his way.

It was getting very dark when he finally reached Falkreath, tired beyond all endurance, and all he craved was food and sleep. A guard directed him to a place humans collected, an Inn named “Dead Mans Drink”. He somehow managed to convey his needs and paid for food and a room with some of the gold he had looted from the mercenaries he had killed. As he lay in a real bed for the first time his mind settled on how he would interact with people. He would call himself Grimwolf Nightblade, a mercenary for hire, and he would earn a living while training his skills and increasing his power at the same time. With that he drifted off to sleep, firm in his resolution to track down the imprisoned human with the ring somewhere in this town of Falkreath.
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Character is centrality, the impossibility of being displaced or overset. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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January 21st, 2013, 12:50
In between sessions of Realms of the Haunting I've been toying around with a character that I've started thinking of as the Hidden Terror. I need to get Sneak up a bit to really stick the Hidden part, but I foresee lots of fun with this one.

It started with a character meant to finish the Dark Brotherhood quests, so sneaky knives were the default, but then I thought I'd add in necromancy to give a bit of variety and make it more interesting. Then, while exploring that mine near Riverwood, I discovered what a fun mix Illusion and necro-Conjuration make, especially if you need to play a character disturbed enough to do some of the darker quests.

Imagine, you and your buddy are hanging out, muttering about your dad telling you to go to college, when all of a sudden he whips out his sword and starts attacking you. Finally, you succeed in beating him down, but as you lean against the wall to catch your breath, you hear a moan and turn to see him rising from the ground to continue the fight. Your buddy's back, and now all he wants to do is eat your brains. You never even notice the shadowy figure sneaking up behind you… It's an intriguingly strategic way to play; even more than a normal Illusion or Conjuration one.

I've got to get a decent Sneak level and Quiet Casting before I can get really terrifying, but it should be a more fun evil build than one that's just doing it for TEH EVILORZ! It doesn't feel right to do the darker things just to tick off a quest log, so I've been trying to come up with a character who would do them, but not be evil for the sake of evil or so devoid of character as to be boring to play.

This character was an apprentice conjurer who had to hide in a pile of bodies for a few hours after a bandit raid, so now I've got someone unhinged enough to play with Cicero and listen to voices claiming to be Daedra lords.
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January 21st, 2013, 23:10
Way to dark for me … I still have trouble with a werewolf mercenary character I made who is basically good and struggles with the beast inside … only letting it out fight the bad guys.

But I like the overall imagery you created with the mix of abilities and back story. I find it adds a lot to the game when you have a character with actual motivations and reasons to help guide decision making and interactions.

I spent literal days of scouring the Nexus and Steam workshops finding just the right mods that were lore friendly and did not break game balance that also aided me in my character role playing.

Character is centrality, the impossibility of being displaced or overset. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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February 6th, 2013, 05:55
Whoa that is detailed. Nice work sir.
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February 6th, 2013, 06:09
Was just passing through and I saw this! How long did it take for you to do this? I thought about doing a character from The Game of Thrones series. Already had mods for Robert Baratheon.
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