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Brutal Skyrim - Mordecai Run

Some time ago I did a Mortis Reverse Vampire run for Skyrim. The Premise of the run revolved around the Better Vampires Mod, creating a character that had to feed to get stronger, and being starved made them weaker. This was a predatory character and it involved a lot of edits and time skips. After reviewing what I wanted to do, plus what my YouTube fans asked of me for a NOT Offensive Skyrim Run, I started this new brutal run. Check this page often for updates.

Brutal Skyrim via Requiem

Mordecai Run

1 - Run Overview
2 - Run Watch it live
3 - Run Rules
4 - Character Backstory
5 - Character Starting Sheet
6 - Character Watch Episodes
7 - Game Programs Used
8 - Game Mod List
This series is being live-streamed on and edited for permanent display on my YouTube channel. Whist Mortis Zhakaron started AS a Vampire via the Alternate Start - Live Another Life and eventually broke into the Main Quest, Mordecai Zhakaron has a different back-story and has Arrived on Skyrim by Boat, having yet to travel to Helgan, he knows nothing of Dragons or Dragonborns or anything like that.

I'm using Requiem 1.7.3 although a newer version is out, I choose to use the older version. Requiem Overrides the difficulty settings of Skyrim, making it hard all the time. The goal is to play the game, have fun, try not to get my ass kicked, and when I do, reload the save and try try again. Stock up on potions, use strategy and WIN WIN WIN.

Largest Collection of Quest Mods - A Steam Workshop Exclusive
The Goals set forth are thus:
* Level up to 15
* Get a House
* Mages College (on hold)
* Winterhold Rebuilt
* Dawnguard
*The Elder Scrolls Quests Collection,
...and more.

Eventually I may even start the Main Quest. That said, until I go to Helgan and see Alduin, the main quest will not start. I don't plan on doing that any time soon.

Don't Play on Easy-Mode, get Requiem
When I call this "Brutal Skyrim" it really isn't AS brutal as it can be, I can still kill things really quick with high-output damage, HOWEVER! I'm also very fragile, enemies do an extremely high amount of damage.

The gist of the run is this: I'm gonna be a badass, but I can still die in one hit to an arrow or a two-handed weapon to my face.

The kind of difficulty where you can die at any moment is half the fun! 

The series will be syndicated on
or you can...
Watch it Live on 

I stream more than just Skyrim check the FAQ on my Twitch Channel

to see when I stream and get regular UPDATES.
I stream at irregular hours on irregular days.


I'm using Requiem Roleplaying Overhaul which adds a lot of mechanically imposed rules to the game most vanilla-bean players wouldn't understand.

Cheats Used

* player.modav carryweight 9000 - I have OVER NINE THOUSAND!! *crushes scouter*
Carryweight. I have an autoloot mod that will pretty much pick everything in the world up. That said, I have mods to compensate for being able to carry everything - See Trade and Barter.
* Lockpick Pro - The lockpicking mini-game is horrible, I remove it using this mod. That said, requiem makes it so I can't pick locks until I invest perks into it.

Game Changes

1 - Enemies DO NOT scale with your level - There are areas where enemies are stronger, there are areas where they are weaker. They are stronger at Bleak Falls Barrow. All main bosses are brutal! You can bash your head against the wall, but you may just want to go and grind some mudcrabs instead - but from the newbie areas, mudcrabs in other areas can still kill you.
2 - Buying things is expensive, selling is cheap. An ordinary spell may cost me a few thousand gold, where as selling regular stuff is less profitable than ever.
3 - You can't lockpick AT ALL without the perks for it. Novice locks under the right conditions can be BASHED open with a melee weapon. I have a cheat mod installed for lock-picking that means I don't have to play the mini-game for it, that said, the mod is WORTHLESS until I get the lockpicking perk.
4 - You can't wear heavy armor without the heavy armor perk. If you wear heavy armor without the perks, your stamina will drain rapidity, and magic will be HEAVILY penalized to the point it's not worth it.
5 - You can't use Alchemy without the perks for it. If you try to brew a potion without any alchemy perks, the potion will provide 0 effect.
- Enchanting doesn't work the same - You can NEVER have free spells. It's very difficult to get your character optimized.
7 - Low Stamina effects EVERYTHING - When your stamina is low, your stuff fails more, your spells cost more magicka and deal less damage. In short, you don't want to be tired.
8 - Fast Travel is disabled - Wagons and Teleports only, other than that, it's all walking.
9 - Shrines won't bless sinful characters: I steal too much, I murder people too much, the shrines do NOTHING for me, no blessing, no cure disease.
10 - Health does NOT regenerate - You can sleep all you want, health doesn't go up on it's own. Most humanoid enemies carry healing poultices which give you a very little OUT OF COMBAT healing regen for an hour. Healing Magic or Potions are the only way to heal in combat.
11 - Potions aren't instant anymore - When you drink a potion, it's effect will be felt OVER TIME. So no spamming potions to stand in dragonsfire. Potions work great, but they aren't godly anymore.
12 - Food does NOT work in combat - If you eat food, it will give you a passive stamina, magicka, or healing regen depending on the food in question. This passive bonus ENDS if you enter combat.
13 - NO ingredient has cure disease anymore - If you get a disease, poison, or magical curse, you can't just eat garlic, you can't craft potions that cure them. You have to buy an extremely expensive Elixir of Vitality that will cure all of that for you.
14 - MORE - Requiem is a total overhaul, I'm sure there's more I don't know about.

Misc Changes

* Using Amazing Follower Tweaks ; I can summon followers on demand if they are too slow, gotten stuck, whatever. I can put them into Stealth Mode so they won't stupidly alert people while I'm sneaking. I can change what role they are going to play, make the tank for me if I want, or achery, or teach them MY spells. I can even set outfits for cities, homes, and outside world, they'll swap automatically. Much much more.
* Teleports ; When I complete a hearthfire home I can teleport home to it whenever I want. When I complete certain tasks in the Mages College I will be able to teleport back to that. 


I always draw one of these up when I make a new character. It's used as a very rough guideline on how to play the character, subject to change based on in-game events and whimsy. At the request of several of my friends, I'm sharing it up here, spurcing it up with a few pictures. The screenshots are taken from Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion (Heavily Modded)

Mordecai Zhakaron is a distant and rather disconnected relative to the 7th Champion of Cyrodiil, part of a very large family of greedy merchants with less than upstanding mortals, many of the family had ties to the thieves guild and dark brotherhood in generations past. The only real connection Mordecai's branch family has with the Champion is the inheritance of a Manor in Anvil, where Mordecai grew up, formerly known as "Benirus manor".

Although a once great family, most of their holdings were in Southern Hammerfell and were all but wiped out when the Dominion clashed with the newly freed province in the 4th era, leaving his line only moderately well off, when they should have been quite wealthy. By the time Mordecai entered into the picture Mordecai's parents were barely scraping by, something they did well to hide from the Count of Anvil, the entire court, and Mordecai -- he grew up believing he was quite wealthy and stood to inherit a trade empire.

So, with the benefit of the court's favor, Mordecai saw a very brief education in almost every field. With a primary focus of his early upbringing were court politics, bartering, and general speechcraft. Although he found politics mind numbingly boring, he found he had a natural talent for speechcraft and bartering.

He was taught balance with the blade, first and foremost, not the large sort of blades adventurers carry, but rather the short stubby ones easily confused with daggers. He did eventually find himself a real trainer and by the time he had the chance to pick up a real blade, he discovered he hadn't learned much of anything at all other than form and he was actually quite weak -- a fact his trainers did well to hide from him.  Because he at least knew the form well, he found himself most skilled with one handed weapons that were well balanced for quick strikes. He took a certain joy with wielding two of them at once.

One thing his education didn't touch on much at all was magic. Sure, he was taught magical theory, fire hurts undead more, lightning drains an enemies magicka, but other than that he learned NO spells, were as most others had learned the most basic of fire and healing spells, he had no knowledge what so ever.

When the local garrison of Imperial Legion soldiers were sent away to the nearby Hammerfell town of Rihad to deal with a bandit uprising in the newly "freed" province, Mordecai was sent away to a nearby priory while his parents accompanied the Count of Anvil and the soldiers north. What Mordecai didn't know was that his parent's debts had caught up with them and the Count had found out, in exchange for their assistance, many (but not all) of the debts would be forgiven. In order to spare Mordecai this knowledge that was the real reason he was sent away.

Mordecai spent over a year at the priory where he became quite good at alchemy, learning to see every herb and plant as a potential potion. It was also at the priory that he learned about the divines, specially the Aedra and Daedra, the elven pantheons. Talos of course was not covered in his education, Talos Worship was already outlawed at this time. What really changed his destiny at the priory though, was his exposure to magic firsthand. Although he was, in keeping with his parent's wishes taught no spells, he felt drawn to the magic he saw, and although he was still most skilled with one handed swords, he knew that his destiny would be in magic.

He was summoned back to Anvil close to the new year with the news that his parents had passed
away; killed by bandits who had planned to ambush the carriage containing the Count of Anvil, they acted as decoys for the real count to escape. Feeling somewhat guilty over the course of events, the Count offered Mordecai a place in the court but reminded him that his family debts would have to be paid eventually or the family estate would be forfeit. Disgusted by the general state of affairs, he sold the family estate to pay off the family debts, taking the little coin that remained and departing by ship to make stops at Hammerfell, Highrock, and ultimately Skyrim.

After many travels, loosing and making back his coin in the various lands the ship visited, he heard rumors of the civil war in Skyrim, an excellent time to put his blade to work. He knew he would have to work hard to earn enough coin to learn magic, but that was why he was going to Skyrim, the college there was unaffected by the dissolution of the Mages Guild, given enough time and money, he would become a proper Mage. Until then, he would have to take the jobs that came his way, and try to find a place of his own to set up trading. Arriving in the Solitude docks his adventure begins.

He immediately heard rumors of something happening in Helgan, luckily he's smart enough to ignore such rumors and avoid the area.

Character Starting Sheet

Name: Mordecai Zhakaron
Race: Imperial
Character Origin: Disenfranchised Noble
Character Role: Mercenary and Tradesman
Sign: The Mage
Planned Homes:
Lakeview Manor (South)
Castle Volkihar (North)

Parimary Skills (Goes up like mad):
Main Skills (Focus):
One Handed
Minor Skills (Frequently used):
Evasion (Was Light Armor, now affects both Light Armor and Unarmed)
Forbidden (Will not use):
Heavy Armor

Watch Episodes

Episode 0 - The Definitive Skyrim Build!
Episode 1 - Starting is always boring!
Episode 2 - Wilderness Wandering, Before the Chaos!
Episode 3 - Halldir smashes my face in!
Episode 4 - The Slaughterfish God's Wrath!
Episode 5 - Lets Bandit Genocide!
Episode 6 - Skooma Divining into Hillgrund's Tomb!
Episode 7 - A RIFT between fun!
Episode 8 - Dead Kajits still shake their tail!
Episode 9 - She got all squishie in Angarvund!
Episode 11 - The WORST Episode!
Episode 12 - Lights Out for Jaree-Ra & Deeja's Blackblood Marauders!
Episode 13 - The Sven Space Program!
Episode 14 - College Time, Lets Skooma!
Episode 15 - Icy Butt and Fire Blast!
Episode 16 - Forsaken Cave; Burnination goes both ways!
Episode 17 - To Be Announced

Programs Used

*Mod Organizer
I migrated from Nexus Mod Mannager mostly due to the multiple profile support. Each profile has it's own set of mods, inis, and save files.
*Skyrim Script Extender
Required to run a lot of the mods.
*Open Broadcaster
To record and broadcast gameplay.

The Modlist and Load Order

Pulled the profile data right out of Mod Organizer for you all.

[Rest of the Download Links will go here]

* Skyrim.esm - The actual game, Buy it On steam! Then join our stream group and talk about it.
* Update.esm - Every time they updated your game, it went here.
* Unofficial Skyrim Patch.esp - Nexus - Fixes most of the bugs inherent in Skyrim's broken retail state, it's an awesome although broken game otherwise.
* Dawnguard.esm - Buy it on Steam - Adds awesome Vampire/Anti-Vampire content and is required by many mods. I do NOT recommend playing a werewolf or vampire without this.
* Unofficial Dawnguard Patch.esp - Nexus - Fixes issues with Dawnguard.
* HearthFires.esmBuy it on Steam - Adds really poorly designed home building system to the game. I use the Falkreth version as my primary home in the early stages of the game.
* Unofficial Hearthfire Patch.esp - Nexus - Fixes some really game breaking bugs with Hearthfire.
* Dragonborn.esm - Buy it on Steam - The largest of the official expansions to the game, awesome environments, new perks to gain, and a horrible letdown of a final battle.
* Unofficial Dragonborn Patch.esp - Fixes all kinds of bugs with Dragonborn.
* Falskaar.esm - Nexus - The largest unofficial expansion pack to the game, creates it's own landmass and has it's own main quest, fully voice acted.
* Wyrmstooth.esp - NexusThe second largest unofficial expansion pack to the game, creates it's own landmass and has it's own main quest, mostly voice acted, although the quality isn't quite up to Falskaar.
* ClimatesOfTamriel.esm - Nexus - Better looking weather effects, creates 7 separate climates based on location and date with variation resulting in creating 2024 unique days.
* ApachiiHair.esm - Nexus - Adds VERY SILLY looking hair to Skyrim (Better Alternatives: [1][2][3])
* HighResTexturePack01.esp - Free on Steam - Official free DLC improves textures.
* HighResTexturePack02.esp Free on Steam - Official free DLC improves textures.
* HighResTexturePack03.esp Free on Steam - Official free DLC improves textures.
* SkyUI.esp - Nexus - Fixes the horrible "made for console" user interface of Skyrim into a more PC friendly one. REQUIRED for many mods.
* JaxonzSmartLooter.esp - Nexus - Auto-loots corpses, plants, pretty much anything. Very configurable.
* JaxonzMCMKicker.esp - Nexus - Forces SkyUI Mod Configuration Menes from other mods to all load up faster. For use when starting a new game or adding mods to a save file, disable later.
* RaceMenu.esp - Nexus - Allows you greater control over creating your character; you can re-customize your character with the console command "showracemenu".
* Chesko_LoreBasedLoadingScreens.esp - Nexus - Adds a bunch of new Loading Screen sub-text that is nearly incomprehensible to those not familiar with The Elder Scrolls lore.
* FNISSexyMove.esp - Nexus - Requires FNIS. Female characters walk anywhere between Sexy and Silly. You must run FNISGenerateForUsers.exe after installing this.
* Chesko_WearableLantern.esp - Nexus - Adds lanterns your character can wear on their belt. The lantern's MCM allows you to set a keybind to turn it on and off.
* Headtracking.esp - Nexus - The player's head tracks who they are talking to targetting -- aka not blankly staring off into space.
* HelmetToggle2.02b.esp - Nexus - Allows you to enable and disable the helmet graphic with a keybind (default h). Even while hidden, you still benefit from the helmet as an item.
* JaxonzArcheryFocus.esp - Nexus - After your bow is fully charged, you will instantly enter first person mode.
* EnhancedLightsandFX.esp - Nexus - Improves most light sources, creates new indoor light sources from windows.
* Realistic crime report radius.esp - Nexus - Reduces the distance someone can witness a crime from 4000 feet to 1000. This ensures they can't shout across skyrim.
* Dual Sheath Redux.esp - Nexus - Displays both your mainhand and offhand weapons on your character when sheathed. Instad of vanishing into nowhere, staves when sheathed are worn on the back.
If you have any questions about Requiem, see Requiem's SubrReddit.
* Requiem.esp - Nexus - Makes Skyrim BRUTAL, and fun; this rolepalying overhaul revamps most everything about Skyrim, as such it is incompatible with many, many mods. For SOME of the functions of Requiem, read my Rules Section.
* TradeBarter.esp - Nexus - Changes vendors all across the game, gives them more gold. You buy things for more, you sell things for less. Your relationship to the NPC can give you better prices, being a thane or faction leader can give you better prices, all better prices stack.
* Improved Dragon Shouts - Dawnguard.esp - Nexus - Makes all the existing Dragonshouts from Dawnguard better and more balanced.
* FullBootForKKSA.esp - Nexus - Killer Keos Skimpy Armor Replacer (UNPB Version), makes a lot of the female armors skimpy.
* Dr_ItemBones.esp - Nexus - Turns most of the non-lootable bones on the ground, in the world, in dungeons, into lootable versions. These looted bones, bloody bones, skeletons, skulls, can all be smelted into the Bonemeal alchemy ingredient at a smelter.
* CollegeOfWinterholdImmersive.esp - Nexus - Adds ALL KINDS of features to the College of Winterhold, adds teleport orbs, makes the archmage's quaters better, and even adds objects and books you can STUDY for EXP gains in different magical skills.
* JaxonzWeightlessElderScrollDawnguard.esp - Nexus - You get 3 Elder Scrolls in Dawnguard, they can't be dropped but they take up carryweight, this sets them to 0. 
* JaxonzWeightlessElderScrollSkyrim.esp Nexus - Makes the Elder Scroll you get in Skyrim not weigh anything.
Compatibility Patches for Requiem.
* Requiem - Resources.esp - Nexus: Requiem Patch Central - Makes Requiem work with other mods. This file is the resources required by the other patches.
*Requiem - Dragonborn.esp Nexus: Requiem Patch Central - Makes Requiem work with other mods. Makes requiem work with the Dragonborn Expansion Pack.
* Improved Dragon Shouts.esp - Nexus - Makes all the existing Dragonshouts from Skyrim better and more balanced.
* Improved Dragon Shouts - Dragonborn.esp Nexus - Makes all the existing Dragonshouts from Dragonborn better and more balanced.
* Requiem - Falskaar.esp  Nexus: Requiem Patch Central - Makes Requiem work with other mods. Makes Falskaar work with requiem, failure to use this with Requiem will result in random, unpredictable crashes in Dawnstar.
* WATER Falskaar.esp - Addon Included with WATER, makes Falskaar's water look better.
* WATER.esp - Nexus - Makes all the water in the game look better.
* cleaner_castlevolkihar3.esp - Steam Workshop - Makes the Vampire Castle from Dawnguard better, also after you beat Dawnguard it becomes the BIGGEST and most upgradable PLAYERHOME IN THE GAME.
* AmazingFollowerTweaks.esp - Nexus - Gives you unparalleled control over your followers in Skyrim, far surpassing that of the more popular, Ultimate Follower Overhaul. It is just plain the best follower mod for Skyrim.
* JaxonzRenamer.esp - Nexus - RENAME ANYTHING! Objects, NPCs, Items, Whatever! Don't go and rename quest stuff though or you could break the quest.
* AOS.esp - Nexus - This Audio Overhaul revamps all the sounds to allow you to hear things from further away, and sounds are much more locational. Echos and things of that nature as well.
* 3DNPC.esp - Nexus - Adds Interesting NPCs all over Skyrim, all of them voice acted.
* betterinns.esp - Steam Workshop -
* Guard Dialogue Overhaul.esp - Nexus -
* Sexy Armor Replacer Patch.esp - Nexus-
* WetandCold.esp - Nexus -
* AOS2_CoT3_1_patch.esp - Addon to AOS.
* AOS2_WetandCold Patch.esp Addon to AOS.
* Undeath.esp - Nexus - Quest mod that adds a lot of Necromancer content including a new beast form transformation for your character: Litch.
The BEST Vampire mod, be sure to combine it with
Royal Bloodline to enhance the Vampire Lord as well.
* Better Vampires.esp - Nexus - Overwrite Requiem Files. This mod makes being a vampire much, MUCH better. You gain the ability to sneak-combat-bite enemies, level up your vamprie powers via victim count, and even reverse the flow of Vamperism to "mainstream vampire" expectations: get weaker the more starved you are, stronger the more fed you are.
* Requiem - Better Vampires Patch.esp Nexus: Requiem Patch Central - Makes Requiem work with other mods. Makes requiem work with the Better Vampires.
* Requiem and Undeath Patch.esp  - Nexus: Requiem Patch Central - Makes Requiem work with other mods. Makes requiem work with the Undeath quest mod's transformation.
* 3DNPC - Requiem Patch.esp Nexus: Requiem Patch Central - Makes Requiem work with other mods. Makes requiem work with the Intresting NPCs mod.
* CWINPCApachiiSkyHair.esp - Nexus - Applies the horrible and Silly Apachii Skyhair to all the NPCs in the game.
* Civil War Overhaul.esp - Nexus - Revamps the Civil War making it possible for you to loose battles, making the entire civil war a dynamic fight for land.
* bettercitiesjarlshouses.esp - Steam Workshop -
* MoonAndStar_MAS.esp - Nexus - A quest mod that adds a town called Little Vivic, cumulating in the hero you play from Morrowind making his return, teaming up with him. (Yes, technically the Nevenerine is ageless-immortal).
* bettermorthal.esp - Steam Workshop -
* Requiem - Wyrmstooth.esp Nexus: Requiem Patch Central - Makes Requiem work with other mods. Makes requiem work with the Wyrmstooth quest mod.
* Cloaks.esp - Nexus -
* Civil War Overhaul - Requiem Patch.esp Nexus: Requiem Patch Central - Makes Requiem work with other mods. Makes requiem work with the Civil War Overhaul.
* Run For Your Lives.esp - Nexus -
* QaxeWinterholdRebuild.esp - Nexus -
* Requiem - Cloaks of Skyrim Patch.esp - Nexus: Requiem Patch Central
* iHUD.esp - Nexus
* quest_thebiggertheyare.esp  - Steam Workshop -
* quest_nomercy.esp  - Steam Workshop
* Requiem - HearthFires.esp - Nexus: Requiem Patch Central 
* Killable Children - Quest Important Protected.esp - Nexus
* Killable Children.esp - Nexus
* Requiem - Trade and Barter Vendor Default Gold.esp - Nexus: Requiem Patch Central
* 1nivWICCloaks.esp - Nexus
* Requiem - Guard Dialogue Overhaul Patch.esp - Nexus: Requiem Patch Central
* new morthal.esp  - Steam Workshop
* tos_laintardale_hf.esp  
* new ravenrock.esp  Steam Workshop
* markarth_plus.esp  Steam Workshop
* tos_oakwood_hf.esp  Steam Workshop
* betterdawnstar.esp  Steam Workshop
* bettermarkarthexterieur.esp - Steam Workshop
* tos_amber_guard.esp  - Steam Workshop - Steam Workshop
* tos_granitehall.esp  - Steam Workshop - Steam Workshop
* quest_pitfighter.esp  - Steam Workshop - Steam Workshop
* Vampirelordroyal.esp - Nexus
* tavewindhelm.esp - Steam Workshop
* WATER DG.esp - Nexus
* When Vampires Attack.esp - Nexus
* quest_sorcery.esp  - Steam Workshop - Steam Workshop
* whiteruninenhanced.esp - Steam Workshop
* quest_andtherealmsofdaedra.esp - Steam Workshop
* bettercitiesmorebees.esp - Steam Workshop
* bettercitiesnewfarm.esp - Steam Workshop
* tavesolitude.esp - Steam Workshop
* newplaceddawnguard.esp - Steam Workshop
* bettercitiesdocksolitude.esp - Steam Workshop
* betterwinterhold.esp - Steam Workshop
* riverwoodenhancedplugin.esp - Steam Workshop
* bee.esp - Steam Workshop
* whiterunexenhanced.esp - Steam Workshop
* WATER Plants.esp - Nexus
* newplacehermaeusshrine.esp - Steam Workshop
* DragonCombatOverhaulDragonborn.esp - Nexus
* DragonCombatOverhaul - Requiem Patch.esp - Nexus
* DragonCombatOverhaulDragonborn - Requiem Patch.esp - Nexus
* IMAGINATOR - Visual Control for Skyrim.esp - Nexus
* JaxonzEnhGrab.esp - Nexus
* Sneak Tools.esp -  Nexus
* IMAGINATOR - MCMenu.esp - Nexus
* tavefalkreath.esp - Steam Workshop
* enhancedhighhrothgarbymat.esp - Steam Workshop
* Apocalypse - The Spell Package.esp - Nexus
* quest_pitfighter_dlc01.esp  - Steam Workshop
* ForgottenMagic_Redone.esp - Nexus
* Alternate Start - Live Another Life.esp - Nexus
* Dual Sheath Redux Patch.esp - Nexus
* hfhometeleports.esp - Nexus - Lets you cast a spell to return to your Hearthfire homes.


Quiet and Silent Dead Thrall Groans - Nexus - Go to the files list and pick the SILENT file instead.
SkyTweak - Nexus - When I get too powerful for Requiem to deal with, I can enhance the damage I take FAR BEYOND what Requiem is capable of.
Immersive First Person Prospective - Nexus - Helps deal with a bug in the UNDEATH mod that locks you into first person prospective.