It’s no secret that Thalmor gear looks awesome and imposing. I haven’t played as an Altmer for months and decided it was high time I felt the raw power of the Highborn coursing through my veins again. This character was originally created for my own gaming rather than a build but I stumbled on some amazing artwork and just couldn’t help myself. Expect no subtlety with this one…
The Dominion no longer has a name for him. In life he was one of their finest inquisitors; known for his cruelty and precision, an expert in the apprehension and torture of Talos loyalists fleeing Skyrims borders.
It was only during an unexpected dragon attack that he was revealed to be Dragonborn and fearing a conflict of interests his superiors quietly ordered his death, a mistake they have long since regretted. The assassination was a failure and now the Thalmor are faced with an enemy that knows all of their deepest secrets and tactics, one that will stop at nothing to disrupt their plans and exact his revenge.
Race: High Elf Vampire
Major Skills: Alteration, Illusion, Conjuration, Enchanting.
Minor Skills: Restoration, Destruction.
Primary Weapon: Vorador (Silver Sword or Ebony Greatsword)
Armor: Thalmor Apparel, Ulfric's Bracers & Boots.
Essential Quests: Main Quest, Discerning the Transmundane, College of Winterhold, Civil War, Missing in Action.
Playing as a Thalmor is difficult for me; their oppression of the other races combined with a supremacist attitude is hard to swallow, though I do admit they dress well. The only way I felt I could truly embrace this character was to create a Thalmor that had been betrayed by the very system he had sworn to uphold.
So here we have a pure mage that combines three of my previous builds into an aspect of terror fuelled nightmare. By blending the combat style of my Alik’r, the power of my Sorcerer and the incredible entertainment of a Shadowmancer I had a recipe for disaster.
This character steps into combat with typical Altmer superiority. Dominating the battlefield with fear and chaos while calmly calling elementals and undead to fuel the carnage.
The Nemesis can change his combat style seamlessly, either fighting enemies directly with enchanted weaponry and destruction or slipping to the back of the ranks into ‘dictator mode’ with conjuration and illusion. This versatility is perhaps what makes this character so much fun to play.
The Thalmor must be punished at every opportunity, their influence is felt through many questlines around Skyrim so be sure to oppose them whenever possible and collect their gear for enchanting.
The Nemesis wields Vorador, a flaming sword with an appetite even greater than its master, an unsettling weapon choice for a vampiric character. Vorador synergises with destructions augmentations boasting 46 fire damage and 30 health absorption. Used in conjunction with an aspect of terror charged flame cloak The Nemesis can reach unprecedented damage per second and sustain good health through even the longest battles.
Vampirism works very well with this character. The ‘Champion of the Night’ illusion bonus combined with ‘Night Stalkers Footsteps’ are excellent when you just want to sit back as a Shadowmancer during tougher skirmishes.
At later levels the Necromage perk brings all its usual delights. A 25% increase to mage armor combined with the lord stone results in a very competitive 425 armor rating for close combat. The level cap for dead thralls increases to 50 and Atronachs last 50% longer. Healing spells and worn enchantments become 25% stronger even giving the Thalmor Robes a welcome boost.
The Highborn racial ability is also 25% more powerful and lasts 50% longer, an arcane berserk mode!
Unhooded Thalmor robes can be found in the Thalmor embassy early during the main quest and one can obtain silver swords for enchanting from Driftshade Refuge close to Dawnstar.
Perking out the mage skill set is always full of difficult choices. Altmer have a massive advantage for skill leveling with their racial power so know that most perks are never far away if you want them enough.
Magicka 1 / Health 1 / Stamina 0
Conjuration has been highly perked, as a Thalmor/Vampire The Nemesis is well versed in both necromancy and daedra summoning and it was rewarding to command both in battle. An early push into alteration and restoration is strongly advised for survivability during close combat.
Enchanting for the most part will determine the power of Vorador so don't let it fall behind. With all schools of magic being used some cost reduction in illusion, alteration and restoration is advisable. Boots should be enchanted with fire resistance to offset the vampire weakness and improved sneaking is a useful secondary effect for this character.
Although primarily a mage, destruction can be perked slowly, aspect of terror keeps novice flame attacks potent for the entire playthrough so don't hurry to place perks as quickly as other classes.
The Flame Cloak spell book near Winterhold can be picked up early and thanks to the Altmers huge magicka reserve can be cast without the adept destruction perk. Be sure to pick that freebie up!
The daedric quest 'Discerning the Transmundane' should almost certainly be completed, boosting all of this characters skills. Ideally wait till around level 25 - 30 when leveling becomes harder.
This links to a great vampire playthrough!
Looks good, just like to add that when you leave helgan and head towards the mage/thief/warrior stones on one of the S-curves there is an opportunity to head east down a path instead and you shortly hit a shrine of Talos in the mountain. (just southeast of the bandit camp with black robes and treasure map 1) Around it are dead worshipers and one dead High Elf in Thalmor Robes gloves and boot. The are not exciting (think the robes are either novice destruction or 50% magica regen) but if you want the look early, there you go.
ah oops, meant west on that S-curve, not east. it's the curve just north of the standing stones.
follow this link it will show you how to get into the thalmor embasy uninvited http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcImnAsu6Is
also if u pick up the esbern book you will start the quest diplomatic immunity (this is a glitch)
Really like this build, my Altmer is built almost like this. Looking forward to some special abilities as you mentioned!
Yeah Ponty does like his shiny bangles! We should call him Poncy really...
You can do this build without headgear if you like the look of Altmer, you would probably be sacrificing some spell cost reduction though so you may need to spend more time at the rear of battle dictating combat with minions and illusions...
Thats not a bad playstyle though!
It's a vampire/necromage mate, I'm sure you could survive without a tailored chest piece...
No you can't pick up unenchanted thalmor gear without the console, I heard a rumour about a mannequin glitch that could disenchant things for you but didn't explore it...
Yep, I joined the Stormcloaks originally, then I tried out Ulfric boots/bracers on a seperate save and loved it. So I changed 'essential quests' to simply civil war and made it players choice...
You can make as many variations of weapons as you wish, this build will always function best with a one handed weapon though! 'Pornador' maybe...