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The Dark Sword Singer 53 #486629




This build is loosely based on Galen Marek aka Starkiller of the game Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. Sorry for the long backstory. I feel like it's necessary to get to know the build more and how it relates in the Star Wars Universe. Hope you enjoy the read!

Introduction:
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“What is thy bidding, master”, Starkiller asked his master.

“The empire has enemies in hiding in the Alik'r. Search them out, then destroy all of them. Leave no witnesses, not even the imperial garrison”, Dar Vados replied.

“As you wish, my master”.

“There is one target of particular interest.”

“It doesn't matter. I will kill them all.”

“You are resolute, my very young apprentice. However, I do not think that even you will survive this", Dar Vados answered emphasizing that it will not be an easy task for his apprentice. “This target is a 'brother of the blade', a master sword singer. He is known as Ramma Kuwata, a general of the army of Hammerfell, responsible for killing Thalmor and Imperial soldiers during the great war. This nuisance has to be dealt with before the Empire retakes Hammerfell again”, he added.

“If this general Kuwata is strong, how do you suggest I deal with him, master”, Starkiller asked.


“As I've said, I do not expect you to survive. However, if you succeed, you will fulfill your destiny as a sword singer of the void. Look to the stars. They will show you the path to the far shores. But do not stay close to the light. Stay in the darkness of the void. Use your hatred. Release your anger. Then we shall see. Now go and show them the power of the dark side”.


Backstory:

Starkiller was born in the year one hundred and sixty nine of the fourth era on the island of Stros M'kai. His father was a retired blade and a master sword singer, while his mother was an imperial legate stationed in Hammerfell. His childhood was not exactly one to remember. With him being born before the outbreak of the great war, his mother left home when he was just barely a year old. His father was loving enough to fulfill the role of both parents, but was strict and strongly adherent to Frendar Hunding's 'the book of circles', the very basis of Yoku and Redguard tradition. At the age of one, Starkiller can already wield an Imperial Gladius and an Orichalc sword, at the same time.

Since Starkiller's father was retired (but still very adept with the 'song of the blade'), he spent most of his days training with blades with his old man, helping him around the forge, and learning from him about the 'Walkabout', the very essence of the book of circles. His father taught him that 'the stars were placed by Tall Papa (or Akatosh since the boy was half Imperial) in the sky so that the light may guide him towards the Far Shores (or Aetherius). And that same light should be used to gain strength in spirit to do heroic deeds'. His father would always start with that line before teaching him the different ways of doing the Walkabout over dinner. ‘Always do good deeds for the people’. Then they would meditate after each day. Starkiller hated it. He only wanted to play with his swords in his free time. In short, he spent most of his day by his father's side.

Every few weeks, Starkiller's mother would come home. He would always be the first to greet the Imperial caravans. He would always jump into his mother's arms then a long hug tighter than a bear's would follow. She was a staunch protector of the empire, a devout follower of the divines, a loyal imperial servant, and a resolute commander. Such traits make her appear stronger than most men, but to her son, it was a different story. Making up for all the lost time, her stoic features would always soften up to bright smiles whenever her son was with her. She would give Starkiller the world if she could. Whenever she was home, he was always within her loving arms. She would tell stories about her adventures in the great war. It was also during his mother's visits that he could hear his father's laughter. They would also take a break from the usual Walkabout lectures to spend time with each other. They were complete. His memories with his mother were probably the brightest spots of his childhood. Sadly, these memories would have to be suppressed for quite a long while.

It was the year one hundred and seventy six, Starkiller just turned seven, and the great war was over. The Aldmeri Dominion and the Empire signed an agreement called the 'White Gold Concordat', and one of its terms was handing over of southern Hammerfell to the Elves, something the Redguards did not take lightly. Ultimately, the entire province seceded from the empire, but the fighting never stopped. Starkiller's mother was caught in the middle of the cross fire. She was supposed to head home a year earlier, but carried on with the war in southern Hammerfell. But at last, an imperial caravan strode in the middle of the busy streets of Port Hunding. Starkiller ran towards it as he usually did to greet his mother. However, a man robed in black Alik'r clothes came out of the carriage instead. A crowd gathered in front of him. Then he asked for a man named 'Kendo Mariq'.
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A bone chilling sensation passed through Starkiller's spine. That was his father's name, and something inside him told him that this enormous Redguard did not come for a chat over wine. Suddenly, a handful of men and women drew their scimitars. The rest of the crowd scattered away. The imperial soldiers with the mysterious man also drew their weapons. Since the great war, Port Hunding was a neutral ground for opposing sides to discuss matters, and so that trade and shipping lanes won't be paralyzed. Both the Summerset Isles and the empire were benefiting from that trade. But on that day, the war had finally arrived on Stros M'kai. For Starkiller and the rest of the people living in the city of Port Hunding, and the rest of the island of Stros M'kai, this was the beginning of the real war.

Clearly something was awfully wrong with this picture, Starkiller thought to himself. Imperial soldiers clashed against imperial. It was a confusing sight. But what caught his attention the most was the battle between the mystery Redguard and the local bladesmen of Port Hunding. These local bladesmen were his father's students, sword singer apprentices. All of whom were very proficient with 'the song of the blade'. But somehow, they were being overwhelmed by this man. He was wielding a sword made of light, only it was black as the void. It was an astonishing sight, he thought. Was this an 'Ansei' of legend? The legendary 'saints of the sword' was thought to be just a myth, but Starkiller must have been witnessing one in action at that very moment. Only that he was wielding a sword so blindingly dark it emanated bone chilling fear. And why was he killing apprentices of the 'song of the blade'? More importantly, why was he seeking out his father? He thought to himself. Suddenly, someone grabbed him from behind and covered his mouth. He struggled for a while until he realized that it was his mother.

Starkiller snapped out of the moment. The memories of his childhood were too painful, but useful to give power to his anger. His anger has been key to power the 'dark side of the song of the blade'. With it, he was able to channel the infinite power of the void. He stopped meditating up to a point where he remembered his mother taking him into an abandoned shack then witnessing her being beaten and raped to death by imperial soldiers. He was hidden by his mother and did nothing. It angered him greatly. For twenty four years, he had been suppressing his childhood memories. But every now and then whenever he meditated before battle, painful memories would come back. It would serve him well for his next mission for he had to kill every witness, including imperial soldiers.
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On that day sometime in the year two hundred of the fourth era, Starkiller fulfilled his most successful mission to date, assassination of a rogue Alik'r general Ramma Kuwata. He was a master sword singer, probably just a rank lower than an Ansei. Since 'Order sixty six' or the 'purge of the sword singers' given by the Thalmor wizard and imperial senator Arthidion, Dar Vados, the mystery man of Port Hunding has successfully executed hundreds of sword singers. Starkiller, being his 'secret apprentice' has taken over the past ten years and has executed notable 'brothers and maidens' such as Kazzadan Parat and Shaaq Tur, and just recently, Ramma Kuwata.

In every successful mission, Starkiller would bring his main target's weapon as a trophy. He would offer it to his master, Dar Vados. Eventually, he would have to take something else besides a sword if he faced an Ansei in the future for they only used their mind and spirit to make a sword appear out of light, he thought, if he could kill one. He could not make anything appear out of thin air except for lightning and mystic armor, no 'shehai' or 'spirit sword'. There was no way he could beat an Ansei. However, his master, Lord Vados was one.

Dar Vados said that his master from the 'dark side' taught him the 'Shehai Shen She Ru', or the way of the spirit sword, but in a slightly unconventional method. It was easier to make it materialize using the Void's power. It was essentially the same with Starkiller's father's teachings that they follow the stars to make it to the far shores, or eternal life for the Yoku. However, Vados' master said that the light coming from the stars were limited and can only reach so far, and standing close to it would reveal you to the great serpent Satakal and eat you. It was best to follow the stars through the endless darkness in between for the power of the Void has no limit, it was where everyone began as ash, and will return as ash. But being one with the Void, you get to decide who's ash. That is why Vados' shehai was of a dark light color.

Then Starkiller would often ask Vados when he was a youngling, 'why not just kill all the stars if the Void's power is limitless'. Impressed with the boy's hateful statement therefore implying his connection to the 'dark side of the song', he named him Starkiller. However, he was still unable to form a 'shehai'. He would try numerous methods to no avail. He would train numerous hours with his imperial swordsman sparring partner, Proximus. But still no result. It would take the greatest moment of his life, under great stress for him to form his own shehai. It happened at the conclusion of his next mission.
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Dar Vados had a particularly deep hatred towards his master. He only gave his allegiance for he knew it was unwise to go against the power of his master, and he was mesmerized by the power promised to him. For more than two decades, he complied. He was used as the empire's superweapon to slowly retake Hammerfell, his homeland, something he did regret deep inside with all the murders of his former friends. He did get the power he wanted, but he wanted more without his master. When he saw the boy, Starkiller, he saw the potential to end his master's tyranny. Lord Vados told Starkiller that it was finally time to kill his master. However, Vados' master of the dark side was strong and had many political and underground connections. They needed strong allies. He ordered Starkiller to seek out the empire's powerful enemies to form an alliance. Starkiller, excited to finally fulfill his destiny as Vados' apprentice (and secretly also wanted to challenge and kill him), gladly obliged.

Starkiller first sought out Ramma Kuwata. When they battled a few weeks back, he knew that he failed to kill him for he was only able to blind him and push off a cliff. But what really made him seek out the old master was why the man intentionally let Starkiller win the battle. When he finally found the general in the slums of Dragonstar, Ramma told him that he saw something in him that might turn things around. Then Starkiller and Kuwata recruited three more allies, imperial senator Bale Organo to represent Cyrodiil, Joane Ellis, a former breton cavalry commander for High Rock, and Ulfric Stormcloak, Jarl of Windhelm for Skyrim.
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The meeting was held hidden somewhere in the mountains north of Bruma in Cyrodiil. All were present except for Ulfric Stormcloak who had a prior commitment to meet the high king of Skyrim. Instead, he sent a delegation from his council in Windhelm. Starkiller and his allies officially formed the 'alliance to resist the empire'. Just when the meeting was about to adjorn, the roof of the building fell towards them due to an explosion. The imperials found out. Suddenly, out of the rubble, Dar Vados appeared. He commended his apprentice for a job well done in revealing and bringing all of the empire's influential enemies together. It was a well orchestrated betrayal. Lord Vados proceeded in executing the rebels starting with the Skyrim delegation. Then he killed Joane Ellis, Starkiller's apparent secret lover.

Starkiller loved Joane greatly. Ramma Kuwata said that in a vision, she was the only bright spot in the dark sword singer's spirit. Starkiller met her in one of his missions as his carriage driver. He never chose another cavalier as his stable master. She reminded him of his mother in a lot of ways. Eventually, the two grew close and secretly married. But now she's gone. He couldn't believe what his master had done which caused him to have a vision, a flashback from a lost memory.
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It was very similar to the current situation. After witnessing his mother's grewsome death, Starkiller ran home without looking back only to find their house in shambles. He went inside to look for his father. He was there, sword drawn looking towards a smoke filled area in the house. Dar Vados appeared out of the ashes, and confronted Master Kendo Mariq, Starkiller's father. It was an epic sword duel, but his father was eventually overwhelmed with Vados' shehai and lightning. Just when Vados was about to give the killing blow, Starkiller jumped in front of his father and blocked the strike, with a sword made of blinding darkness, a dark shehai. Imperial soldiers suddenly went inside and shot arrows at his father. Enraged, Starkiller jumped back and went for the soldiers. Just when an arrow was about to hit him, Vados turned it to ash with his lightning and proceeded to kill all the imperials. Overwhelmed by the power within him, Starkiller lost his consciousness and the rest was history.
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Then there it was. The same dark shehai formed in his right hand. Walking over to Joane's dead body, he looked at her one last time before unleashing all oblivion to his master. It wasn't even an epic duel. Starkiller's anger overwhelmed Vados. His training was complete said the dark lord to his apprentice. By killing Joane, he has been set free from the glimmer of light within him. He was finally one with the Void.
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A shadow appeared out of nowhere telling him to kill Vados. It was Vados' master revealing himself to be Arthidion, an imperial senator and Thalmor wizard obsessed with the sword singers. His obsession stemmed from his ambition to become emperor of Tamriel. He was already a senator and a High Elven noble of the Aldmeri Dominion. He believed that the only thing that could elect him as chancellor, and therefore have the right to challenge the current 'weak' emperor Titus Mede II was to focus on reclaiming Hammerfell as an imperial province. He became so obsessed that he ordered (secretly) the purge of the sword singers, the real reason why the Dominion lost the war to the Redguards in the year one hundred and eighty. He became a 'dark ansei' himself with his obsession.
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Ramma Kuwata, who was still alive and protecting senator Organo told Starkiller not to strike Vados in anger for it would lead him lost in the Void. Instead, Kuwata told him to hold on to Joane's memory and let justice deal with these dark lords. But Arthidion persisted. He told him to kill Vados and the rest of these rebels then he would become his new apprentice with promise of unimaginable power, and possibly becoming the heir to an empire.

Starkiller raised his sword, about to strike, but the shehai disappeared. He refused the dark lord's offer then walked towards Joane's lifeless body. When he was about to carry her, Arthidion unleashed lightning towards Kuwata and Organo with unimaginable force that it almost knocked Starkiller aback when he quickly blocked it with his ward. So this was the power of Vados' master, he thought. No one alive was going to escape the dark lord's fury. However, while blocking the blasts of the shear force of electricity, he told the rebels to leave. The meeting would be for nothing if they all died that day. Kuwata gave a nod and assisted Organo out of the building, taking Joane's remains as well.
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When the building was clear of people, Starkiller met Arthidion's lightning with his own causing the entire place to shake. Then everything exploded into ash. The dark lord and Starkiller emerged from the rubble in a severely weakened state. Starkiller drew his shehai, but alas, he couldn't. He was not in full control of it yet. He thought that this would be the end of him. Arthidion laughed and struck him with lightning with all he's got. The pain was out of this world, thought Starkiller as he wailed in agony. It was like his body was slowly turning into ash. Then it stopped. He looked up to see Arthidion in the air screaming shooting lightning bolts everywhere with a blindingly dark blade protruding out of his chest. Vados pushed his shehai deeper into Arthidion's back while he carried him away from Starkiller. Dar Vados looked at his apprentice while he was also being electrocuted with a smile as if he never smiled before. Suddenly, the dark lords turned into ash. They had finally succumbed to the power of the Void. They were no more.
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Starkiller was assisted by Proximus, his training partner out of the rubble. He told him to tell everyone that no one survived this incident including himself. He then proceeded north to Skyrim to do the Walkabout to atone for his sins and hopefully, to form the shehai at will. He had been also looking for the legendary Geode veins that contain gems that could help him attain the Ansei rank and strengthen the shehai he would hopefully form. And it was said that these ore veins were in Skyrim (but he really did not expect it meant ‘inside’ Skyrim). However, the Thalmor caught him eventually on the border as a part of 'cleaning up' the mess caused by this conflict. They couldn't afford a malfunctioning imperial superweapon running around. The Thalmor casted a spell that suppressed his powers temporarily, and proceeded to oversee his execution in Helgen.
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Build:

Race: Redguard
Gender: Male
Standing Stone: Warrior then switch to Lord
Magicka/Health/Stamina: 2/3/2
Major Skills: One-handed, Destruction, Enchanting
Secondary Skills: Heavy Armor, Alteration, Block, Conjuration


Gear:

Head: Apprentice Hood
Body: Ebony Mail/ Mourner's Clothes (fortify health, fortify destruction/alteration)
Hands: Dawnguard Heavy Gauntlets (fortify one handed, fortify block)
Feet: Dawnguard Heavy Boots (fortify one handed, resist shock)
Neck: Amulet (fortify one handed, resist frost)
Finger: Ring (fortify one handed, resist fire)
Weapon: Bound Sword/Sword with Soul Trap
Shield: Optional (resist magic, fortify block)

Abilities:

Spells: All Lightning Spells, Paralyze, Ironflesh, Telekinesis, Bound Sword, Bound Dagger, Fury, Calm, Fear
Shouts: Unrelenting Force, Bend Will, Storm Call
Powers: Adrenaline Rush

Gameplay:

Starkiller in the game “Force Unleashed” wields a lightsaber and at times, dual wields it. In Skyrim Vanilla, he will be using bound sword spell instead. He will be using a lot of block to bash then strike combinations. However, whenever the need arises, he will use dual wielding with the adrenaline rush racial power.

When it comes to “force lightning”, he will be using lightning spells, but very heavily level dependent (begin with sparks). This is his primary ranged attack, or whenever an enemy annoyingly regenerates when it's about to die. It'll be nice to see a dual wielding Starkiller with the bound sword spell under the lightning cloak spell, looks very much like the game cover of “force unleashed”.

Some of Starkiller's spells are either for some specific perks or for roleplaying purposes. He'll only use flesh spells at the beginning especially if you're playing on higher difficulties to boost armor rating and to level alteration up for the magic resistance perks. Basic illusion spells like fury, calm, and fear should only be used for unnecessary combat, and highly for roleplaying as Starkiller's mind control capability. This goes the same with the bend will shout. Paralyze is for roleplaying “force choke”(useful against multiple enemies). Telekinesis is yeah, you get the picture. Unrelenting force shout is like “force push”, again used to herd out multiple enemies. Storm Call is also used to show that Starkiller is in full control of lightning. Bound sword and dagger is necessary because it is the “shehai” of the sword singer, the main weapon of this character. Also, for roleplaying, it acts as the lightsaber in the ES universe.


Roleplay:

Yes, I know, roleplay is different from gameplay. Gameplay is basically how Starkiller deals with the game. Roleplay is how he behaves in the world of Skyrim. In essence, he should go about the in game world to fulfill the roles of Starkiller in the Star Wars universe and as a “Dark Ansei” in the ES universe.

Most importantly, the Walkabout should be done. Doing random good deeds or quests for NPCs and killing hostile animals, monsters, and undead is a must. It's highly recommended that he shouldn't level up until he finds the bound sword spell in the world. I know it's crazy taking on the game at level 1 the whole time. But trust me, it's rewarding. It's really like roleplaying the Walkabout and being able to form a Shehai, and suddenly, you're high level with a lot of perk points to spend. If you're playing at higher difficulties, level up to 8. It's perfect because it's at level 9 when Skyrim starts to recognize your feats.

One more thing, absolutely no smithing of one handed weaponry. War axes, daggers, maces, and most especially swords are sacred to the sword singers. Tampering with these weapons would be like defiling the warrior gods. Plus, the fortify one handed enchantments can power it up so much already. Improve it on the grindstone and it will be OP and ruin the experience. And also, the bound sword should remain the most powerful one handed weapon in this game (14 base damage and 4 'enchantments': banish, turn undead, soul trap, 0 carry weight).

Geode veins are mentioned in the backstory to represent the roleplaying aspect of finding “Kyber Crystals” in the SW universe, however, in the form of soul gems in the ES universe. Enchanting with soul gems is crucial for forming a powerful Shehai via the fortify one handed enchantment. It is very much like finding a powerful kyber crystal in making a lightsaber in the SW universe. Soul gems are mined in the Geode veins. It is suggested to mine these at high levels because of the higher probability of mining black and grand soul gems.

Morality is where Starkiller's character is roleplayed the most. Remember that the dark side is all he knows, but he's trying to atone for his mistakes. He strives to do the best out of a situation, but he can't help but kill sometimes. He will definitely join Ulfric Stormcloak in the rebellion because of his backstory. Of course the Companions is a good faction for Starkiller for the greatest warriors of Tamriel are there. Just get cured of lycantrophy after, it doesn't add up for a “semi-jedi-sith” to be a werewolf in the ES universe. Siding with the Dawnguard is also the better choice for it kills enemies for a better cause. Up to you if you want to progress in Winterhold, but the training in the different schools of magic is essential. The thieves' guild and the dark brotherhood aren't ruled out. It's up to the player how Starkiller justifies his motives for joining a faction.
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Lastly, some of the minor details can define one's character. I'd like to put some color in his personality. Things like drinking all the alcoholic beverages in a dungeon because he loves to drink and it's free is one. Using dual wield lightning on Skeevers because he's disgusted with the creature is another. Imagine also how “Sith Apprentice” Starkiller in the SW universe will answer to different NPCs in Skyrim. He could be talking to them with a bit of intimidation and arrogance, probably a little dark humor, as well. Choosing a spouse should be someone that reminds him of Joane Ellis (the Juno Eclipse of the ES universe) and his mother in the back story. I guess this won't be that hard because there are a lot of strong women in Skyrim.


Conclusion:

“You look like shit”, Proximus said.

“You look shiny”, Starkiller replied to his old sparring partner.

“With Lord Vados gone, I can wear this armor and serve the legion cleanly. I think I'm free. My family is free, I owe you, old friend”.

“So you just followed us around because he had your family? I'm sorry to hear that”.

“Well.. him. But you, you're a friend. What's your plan now”?

“North of here. Skyrim. Fucking 'Walkabout' and shit, I guess. To atone for my sins. I heard there are legendary 'Geode Veins' there that have gems. I can make a strong shehai with that”.

“You know, with all of your crimes, I should kill you right now. But I owe you, so I'm letting you go. Make sure I don't see you again”.

“Ha, as if you could. You've been trying to kill me for almost three decades, friend”.

“Right. So what do I tell them then”?

“Landslide in the Pale Pass. Everyone dead. Impassable. Needs to be cleared before the Legion can pass”.

“It will be done. Anything else”?

“One last favor, Proximus. Tell Ramma, only him, I'm alive and I will return when I'm ready. Tell him to make sure Joane is buried properly. Put this ring in her grave”.


Starkiller will return in Elder Scrolls VI

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