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About this mod

Powerful black sword that devours the souls of intelligent enemies. Has several abilities that can be unlocked be feeding the sword specific types of soul.

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--REQUIREMENTS--

Legal copy of Skyrim with latest patch
Dawnguard
Dragonborn
SKSE
SkyUI
LeanWolf's Better-shaped weapons (the mod will still technically work without it, but the sword will probably look odd) - Permission to make this a required file has been acquired

That's a lot of requirements for a mod that basically adds one sword (and some armor but that's not really the point), but bare with me.


--DESCRIPTION--

Overview
Inspired by fearsome "double-edged" weapons throughout (mostly) gaming history, namely: Soul Reaver (Legacy of Kain), Blackrazor (DnD), The Black Sword (Ultima) and, of course, Stormbringer (Elric saga, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCxL3-Fl7bM).

If your nature as the Dragonborn has been uncovered (re: summoned by the Greybeards) and you are powerful enough to warrant some attention (re: level 25), you may be ambushed while wandering Skyrim's wilderness after midnight by a man clad in holy (to some) armor wielding a strange black sword. If you can defeat your assailant (hint: fire and silver may be useful) you can try to take up the dark blade.

If the sword deems you worthy, you can take it up and realise that it's not nearly as powerful as when it was used against you. It is dormant and will require stirring. Once awoken and fed a steady diet of intelligent souls it will offer you many powerful abilities.

As the newly elected "Favored of the Blade," you and the dark weapon are inextricably bound. You may summon the sword at will. However, maintaining the sword in Nirn is taxing and demands some concentration (drains Magicka). When your Magicka runs out the sword will disappear back to whatever eldritch realm it hails from. If the sword is well-fed (more on that later) it may share the burden and lessen the strain. Feeding the sword will restore some Magicka, allowing you to sustain it for longer. Learning the sword's name will allow you to summon it with a Thu'um, though the cost of maintaining it still applies.

Ultimately the sword would probably be considered OP when fully upgraded, but due to the amount of work you have to put in I'd hardly call it cheating.


Hunger of the Blade
Using the blade against sapient (or higher, or... stranger) intelligent enemies will soon alert you to unseemly nature of your symbiotic(/parasitic) weapon. It devours. It does not trap. It is not your friend. It doesn't care about your enchantments. The enchantment bar at the bottom right of the UI represents the sword's satiety.

**Don't think you can cheat the blade by feeding it soul gems. It has particular tastes. Trapped souls are drained of will and provide no nourishment. Only fresh prey will do.

If the hunger of the blade has been awoken, when fully fed, the sword is your symbiotic companion and will go from being weaker than an iron greatsword to sharper than fully tempered Dragonbone. When empty it will turn on you, using its bond with you to weaken you and make you easier to kill in the hopes of finding a more malleable "master!" Furthermore, depending on diet, the sword will lend you a suite of abilities, including but not limited to: summoning swords from its home to strike enemies from afar, causing attacks to pass through you without harm, pulling distant enemies to within arms (swords) reach, devouring the sun's light when drawn and much more!

All abilities must be unlocked and fall under Least, Lesser, Greater and Dark tiers. In the sword's currently weakened state only one ability per tier can be active. If one were to feed it many powerful souls over a long period of time, however...

Active abilities can be chosen through the mod's MCM.

Favored Enemies
Intelligent mortal souls will satiate the blade's hunger, but to truly restore the blade you will have to find ancient powerful intelligences and feed them to the sword. Even alien intelligences will have something to offer.

The sword needs to be awoken before you can start to unlock new abilities (check the Pariah's journal after you kill him). Once the sword is awoken the "Souls Devoured" page in the MCM will display how restored the different aspects of the blade are (and will display the name of the sword if you know it). New abilites are unlocked 5, 10, 20 and 40%, with a special capstone if you manage to get them all to 100% (and know the name of he sword). The rate at which you unlock them also depends on the level of the enemies you kill. Killing higher level enemies will restore the blade more than fodder. See --SPOILERS-- at the bottom for more detailed information.

As of version 1.2, feeding on mortal souls acts as a appetizer for the blade and adds a multiplier (upto x5) to aspect restoration for favored enemy souls consumed within the hour. Aspect Multiplier decreases by x1 every hour.

Infamy
Once the sword is awoken, those who witness it in action may flee and spread rumors of black sword possessing terrible powers (you can kill them to prevent this). The number of people who have seen the blade's hunger for themselves and lived to tell can be viewed in the MCM. As this value increases the sword's "Infamy rank" will increase, from "Unknown" to "Dark Legend". If you reach "Hated" or higher, summoning the sword will be considered a major crime. Increasing Infamy will result in powerful enemies searching for the blade (and obviously trying to kill you for it). There are 9 in total. Some will seek you out while wandering Skyrim, others will be encountered as bosses in random (but fitting) dungeons. Some will haveother requirements to encounter besides infamy (time of day, aspect restoration,etc). Witnesses (and thus, infamy) decrease slowly over time (-1/day). Aspect Multiplier controls Infamy accumulation as of version 2.0.


--COMPATIBILITY--

This mod overwrites nothing and therefore should be compatible with everything. It does use scripts but I've used this mod alongside some pretty script-intensive mods (Tonycubed's Ultimate Sands of Dovahkiin's Walking Encounters, or whatever its called and Apollodown's Civil War overhaul come to mind) and have had no CTDs. So if you're getting them it's likely to be a problem on your end.

Version 2 is the current version. FOR PERMA USERS, download the current version and use PerMa's Reproccer.


--UPDATING AND UNINSTALLATION--

Several changes to core scripts as of version 2.final mean that I strongly recommend installing the new update on a clean save.

Unequip the sword, armor and spells of the mod.
Type "help devourer" in the console, followed by "player.removeperk xxxxxxxx" (where xxxxxxxx is the Form ID for the Soul Devourer Passives Perk.
Wait 3 days.
Save.
Use Skyrim save tool to remove old instances
Delete mod.
Save.
Install newer version if updating.

N.B: Any modding 101 guide will tell you that uninstalling mods, especially script-heavy mods, is not officially supported and strongly not recommended. If you strongly feel that you cannot live without your save file the instructions above are your best shot but the fickle nature of Skyrim means there's no certainty that uninstalling scripted mods won't ruin your shit. You have been warned.


--CREDITS--

The three main Vampire overhauls (Better Vampires, Vampiric Thirst and the sadly defunct, Belua Sanguinare). Tearing apart their scripts and Bethesda's to see how they did things was an immense help.

LeanWolf and masterofshadows' better shaped weapons does exactly what it says and their altered meshes allowed me to make sword look fairly unique without having to be a totally rad modeler or artist person. Even if you don't like this mod I advise you to download their meshes.

Vampire lord mod in the images is Vampire Lord Immersive Appearance, tweaked to personal taste, not included with this mod.


--PERMISSIONS--

As far as I'm concerned, barring bug-fixing and any truly spectacular ideas on your part, this mod is finished. If anyone wants to incorporate the sword and it's abilities into their mod, go ahead. Some credit would be nice though.

Also, don't upload this to other sites. If you charge for this mod I will find you. I will find you and take your skin off in rips and strips. I will fashion them into a cloak and wear them to your mother's birthday party.








--SPOILERS--

The 3 favored enemies of the blade are Dragons, Daedra and Vampires, in that order. To awaken the blade you need to kill a dragon with it. Upon it's death a storm of swords should appear and you should get a message in the top left of the screen that the sword is now awoken. Check the "Souls Devoured" page in the MCM to confim that the "Draconic Wrath" of the sword has been incited. Now you can unlock abilities by feeding on Dragons, Daedra and Vampires. Feeding on large numbers of player races, aside from keeping the blade from turning on you, will occasionally give you a perk point. The more powerful they are, the fewer you'll need to kill to get a perk.

DO NOT USE THE SWORD TO KILL DRAGONS WHEN YOU NEED TO PROVE TO SOMEONE THAT YOU ARE THE DRAGONBORN. THE SWORD WILL GET THE SOUL AND YOU WILL BE UNABLE TO PROVE THAT YOU ARE THE DRAGONBORN. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.


--ABILITIES--

The Sword can strike enemies who normally require silver or similarly enchanted weapons.

Least Tier (Requires 5% restoration)

Vampiric: Sanguine Sundering: Steal the lifeforce of your victims*. If you are a vampire with "Blood of the Ancients," you can also temporarily leech Critical Chance and Movement Speed.

Daedric: Daedric Laceration: Inflict terrible bleeding wounds to your foes. Such wounds can sometimes leave an enemy helpless for a short time.*

Draconic: Elemental Censure: Inflict poison, time and reaping damage simultaneously depending on how satiated the blade is. Poison deals little damage but gets worse with time. Time deals no direct damage but weakens mortal enemies by reducing their attack speed and damage resistance. Reaping deals damage to health but also negates health regeneration and healing for a time.*


Lesser Tier (Requires 10% restoration)

Vampiric: Unseen Evicerator: The blade gradually moulds its wielder into the ultimate predator. Sneak attack damage is increased based on remaining Magicka.

Daedric: Insatiable Predator: Each cut delivered has a chance to trigger a burst of great speed whereby time slows down and attack speed increases for 2 seconds. Magnitude increases if the sword is well-fed, but chance of activation greatly increases when starving.

Draconic: Tyrannous Thu'um: Feeding the sword reduces shout cooldown time to zero for a short time.*


Greater Tier (Requires 20% restoration)

Vampiric: Ethereal Bastion: When blocking, the sword may cause you to assume an intangible form when attacked, rendering you invulnerable to physical and magical attacks for 2 seconds. However, this drains Magicka each time. Magicka drain can be alleviated somewhat by devouring more Vampire souls.

Daedric: Daedric Shackles: Bashing sends a bolt of Daedric energy towards the target. Enemies struck by the bolt are instantly teleported in front you, well within the sword's reach. If you are sneaking or if the enemy cannot be moved, you will be teleported behind them. This ability drains Magicka however the cost can be reduced by devouring more Daedra.

Draconic: Draconic Hammer: The strength of consumed Dragon Souls allows your power-attacks to hurl your enemies back with collosal force even if the blade doesn't touch them! The force of the knockback effect increases with every Dragon Soul devoured. Each power-attack drains Magicka.**


Dark Tier (Requires 40% restoration)

Vampiric: Blackrazor: Upon consuming a mortal soul you are granted a bonus depending on the type of soul. Bonuses stack and last for 1 hour. The strength of the bonus increases with when the sword is satiated*. Furthermore, killing powerful enemies fully restores your health and triggers a burst of blinding speed where time appears to stand still for 4 seconds. BONUS: Having all vampiric abilities active allows the sword to drink the sun's light and darken the sky if drawn during daylight hours.

Daedric: Soul Reaver: Each attack drains the target's Magicka and Stamina*. When drained of Magicka and Stamina, the Sword will drain an enemy's skills to feed itself***. BONUS: Having all Daedric abilities active wreathes you in eldritch flames which add 10-60% to your magic resistance*.

Draconic: The Black Sword: Attacks cut through both magical and mundane protections as if they were paper. BONUS: Having all Draconic abilities active allows power-attacks to cripple Dragons for a time, forcing them to remain grounded.


Darkest Tier (Requires The Unspoken to have entered your world)

Unspoken: Stormbringer: Activating this ability simultaneously activates all previous abilities. None can stand against Bahlok Neh Viir's power now. Every cut delivered to the sword's prey has a chance, based on how satiated the sword is, to kill. Only the strongest enemies can endure, but even they suffer crippling wounds. Such is the sword's power that reality itself is warped with each swing as small portals to the dark place where the sword hails from are opened and ghostly swords rain down upon your current target. Enemies killed by these swords will feed the blade. However, wielding the sword in it's fully awakened state puts an incredible strain on your concentration, causing your magicka to drain rapidly.

* = Doesn't explicitly state it but it is affected by the sword's satiety
** = No theoretical limit on how powerful this effect can get. Consume thousands of Dragons and it'll probably look like something from God Hand. Have fun!
*** = This allows feeding off of unkillable enemies without possibly breaking your game.


Empty Thing (Master the Black Sword)

The Sword's hunger is your own. Though starving is still bad for you, it will not kill you outright. You can coax the sword to infect other weapons allowing them to feed you. Wielding the Black Sword in battle causes you to absorb Magicka from all nearby enemies.

--ENCOUNTERS--

The Iron Lord
Requirements: Infamy > UNKNOWN
Spawns at the point of a random Draugr boss.
Long dead high-king of Skyrim who once used the sword and his mastery of The Voice to defeat an otherworldly monstrosity. Though his mind is gone, his addiction to the Sword's power remains. Rumored to be interred somewhere in Skyrim.

Lilette, The Eternal Protector
Requirements: Infamy >= RUMORED
Wilderness encounter.
Paladin of Stendarr. Ancient. Sustained only by her duty to protect innocents from the Black Sword. Haunted by visions of a terrible being that stalks worlds inside and beyond Oblivion.

Murphy, The Undying Scourge
Requirements: Infamy >= STORIED
Spawns in a random necromancer enclave.
Single-handedly rediscovered the secrets of Lichdom. Leads a cabal of necromancers somewhere in Skyrim. Rumored to have contacted the terrible being that is the source of Lilette's visions. Wields powerful necromancy.

Galkin, The Fleshcrafter Savant
Requirements: Infamy >= SOUGHT AFTER, defeated Murphy.
Spawns in a random necromancer enclave.
Wayward apprentice of Murphy. Seeks to master the power that his master in his "transcended" state cannot. Blood. Wields powerful but physically costly blood magic.

Quintillius Varrus
Requirements: Infamy >= HUNTED, not joined Imperials.
Spawns in a major hold.
Unspoken legend within the ranks of the Penatus Oculatus. Tasked with finding the Sword as means of fighting the Empire's enemies (both within and without).

Flokir, He Who Does Not Kneel
Requirements: Infamy >= HUNTED, not joined Stormcloaks.
Spawns in a major hold.
Older than both Ulfric and Tullius combined, but age has not dulled his terrible strength. Rumored to be a dragon in human form. Wields a giant's club with unrelenting fury.

Anora, The Enthralled
Requirements: Infamy >= FEARED, Daedric aspect restoration >= 50%.
Wilderness encounter.
Tasked by Dagon himself with retrieving the blade. Summons a special class of Dremora, trained to combat wielders of The Black Sword, for this purpose.

Tamerlane, The Antediluvian Tyrant
Requirements: Infamy >= FEARED, Vampiric aspect restoration >= 50%.
Spawns at the point of a random Vampire boss.
Chose vampirism out of necessity. Some goals require a longer than human lifespan. Member of a long dead clan that protected and secretly fed the Black Sword hoping to uncover it's secrets and tease out the nature of it's association with an entity known alternately as The Unspoken or The Stillborn God, depending on who is asked.

The Unspoken, The Stillborn God
Requirments: Infamy = DARK LEGEND, All aspects fully restored, know name of the Black Sword.
Wilderness encounter.
Heralds the doom of the worlds it enters. None can stand (literally, you will see) against it. Simply being near it will kill you. If you face it you will do so alone. Do not bring followers or summons. They cannot help you. Liberal use of shouts and potions, as well as The Sword will be necessary to even get close, let alone kill it. 

???
Requirements: Defeated the Unspoken
Face the incarnation of the Sword and either be devoured by it or rid yourself of it forever... or take a third option if you are observant enough. Bring a light source, potions, shouts (you'll need Unrelenting Force to complete the encounter).
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