Skyrim Special Edition

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Dylan James

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About this mod

Housecarl Companions Refine is a standalone, low-fantasy, and faithful NPC appearance package of the housecarl followers assigned to the Dragonborn after they attain thaneship in a hold. Instead of overhauling the NPCs class and major design, the player is rewarded with a unique, balanced buff for bringing them along in your party.

Permissions and credits
Vanilla Follower System, Nether Follower Framework, probably everything else.

More To Say, Hallgarth's Additional Vanilla Hair


Markarth Side Refine
Whiterun Hold Refine
Stormcloak Rebellion Refine

Nexus Companions Refine


Housecarl Companions Refine is a standalone, low-fantasy, and faithful NPC appearance package of the housecarl followers assigned to the Dragonborn after they attain thaneship in a hold. The overall design is still "Vanilla+", but pays homage to character design you are probably more familiar with in Dragon Age or The Witcher. Instead of overhauling the NPCs class and major design, the player is rewarded with a unique, balanced buff for bringing them along in your party. This is an on-going project that will hopefully encompass every NPC in Skyrim by the end. In the meantime, consider checking out Windsong Immersive Character Overhaul, whose overall visual design helped inspire the direction of this mod and years of Skyrim modding.

Some changes from Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch (AI packages and additional bug fixes) and Cutting Room Floor (unused, base-game inventory items) have been forwarded for convenience). However, and in most cases, any mod that edits an Actor record with require a compatibility patch.


Housecarls: Argis the Bulwark, Calder, Gregor, Iona, Jordis the Sword-Maiden, Lydia, Rayya, Valdimar


Changes have been made in an effort to better reflect a character's lore and backstory. Certain heavy armor found in the base game has been distributed across some of the characters, such as Argis the Bulwark being equipped with Dwemer Armor and a Dwemer Shield or Jordis being given more elegant Steel Plate Armor. Homage has been paid to some of my favorite character designs in both gaming and the Skyrim community, such as QAxe's Housecarl Makover. Certain characters might look more tired, like Housecarl Gregor of Dawnstar, a city known for it's nightmares and harsh environment. Jordis has been designed to look a bit more younger, but just as built as her vanilla counterpart. Housecarl's are akin to civil servants in Skyrim, and not all need to be dressed in Steel Armor. When you meet Iona, she is instead wearing regular farm clothes.

As a demonstration, each follower will provide unique bonuses to the player for traveling with them. Housecarl's may provide unique insight to the thane throughout their travels. This may be a product of the city they live in or a major plot-point the character has progressed through. With the exception of Lydia (a very-early game follower), all housecarls have been designed to provide unique bonuses to the player that incentivize the player to bring different companions with them on different journeys. The design is not meant to disturb the balance of gameplay or features in other mods, and mostly inspire roleplay. This feature will be further developed and expanded upon.

Bonuses will take effect once a companion joins your party!



Name: Sworn To Carry Burdens
Description: By traveling with Lydia, you learn to carry your loot and equipment more efficiently.
Effect: Carryweight is increased by <25> points.

Name: For Whiterun!
Description: A proud helper, loyal to the hold of Whiterun regardless of wherever her journey takes her.
Effect: Block is increased by <5> points.

Argis the Bulwark

Name: Nchuand-Zel Study
Description: Years outpost in Understone Keep, Argis knows a thing or two examining the dismantled dwemer in Calcemo's laboratory.
Effect: <10%> increased damage to Dwarven Automatons

Name: Bulwark Protection
Description: Argis gets his title, 'The Bulwark', through mastery of block and fortitude.
Effect: Block is increased by <5> points.


Name: Sister of Mara's Benevolence
Description: Mara watches over Iona, an honorable civil servant serving her city. By traveling with her, you two share in her good grace.
Effect: Health regenerates <10%> faster in combat.

Name: Region Familiarity
Description: In a city like Riften, it would be wise to take note of where to take cover and where to not be seen.
Effect: Increase Sneak by <10> points when in The Rift.

Jordis the Sword-Maiden

Name: Song and Sword
Description: Jordis' youth and beauty, as well as her proximity to affluence and an opulent lifestyle, increases persuasion checks and bartering while she is in your party.
Effect: Persuasion attempts more likely to succeed.

Name: Favored Anima
Description: A child of Solitude and Haafingar, the divines grant you increase damage against the undead while Jordis is in your party.
Effect: <10%> increased damage to Undead.


Name: Bellowing Bear
Description: Having served alongside some of the fiercest warriors in the history of Skyrim, possibly Tamriel, Calder learned how to intimidate his adversaries through presence alone. And you, his thane, will benefit from this.
Effect: Intimidation attempts more likely to succeed.

Name: Skyrim Belongs To The Nords!
Description: Evgir Unslaad!
Effect: <10%> increased damage to Elves.


Name: Songbird of Satakalaam
Description: As a Redguard, you find her swift and athletic movement captivating. You can't help but follower her lead in battle, moving everso efficiently.
Effect: Stamina regenerates <10%> faster in combat.

Name: Heroes' Graveyard Another Day
Description: Some call Falkreath the "Heroes' Graveyard', and the merchants trade in melancholy and death. Rayya knows a bit about treating and subduing the effects of poison, and can help provide support in battle.
Effect: Poison resistance is increased by <20%>.


Name: Arcanist Proximity
Description: Valdimar, an older and wiser sorcerer living out retirement as a housecarl, appears to seep magicka. You can't help feel by working near him, you are benefiting mystically from his aura.
Effect: Magicka regenerates <10%> faster in combat.

Name: Movarth's Bane
Description: The swampy, foggy marsh of Markarth makes for a perfect environment for vampires. Living in such an environment as a mortal changes one, and traveling with Valdimar provides some inight when fighting such foes.
Effect: <20%> increased damage to Vampires.


Name: Frostland Escort
Description: Life found a way in the frozen, seemingly inhospitable, northern region of Skyrim. Those that live in the port city of Dawnstar can attest to this, and know how to make life happen both comfortably and efficiently.
Effect: Frost reistance is increased by <10%>.

Name: Dawnstar Healer
Description: "You like to dance close to the fire, don't you?"
Effect: Restoration is fortified by <10%>.




Tempered Skins for Males
Tempered Skins for Females
Superior Lore-Friendly Hair
Natural Eyes
Improved Eye Reflections and Cube Map
Natural Teeth
True Faces


Mauls One Handed Hammers
Hallgarth's Additional Vanilla Hair
Cuyi's Bosmeri Antlers
Realistic Eyeglasses


Veydosebrom Grass and Groundcover
Obsidian Weathers and Seasons ("Refine" Edit)
ENB Refine


Thank you to Hallgarth for allowing me to distribute their vanilla hair mesh edits as a standalone hair package.
Thank you to SarthesArai for allowing me to distribute their one-handed hammer meshes as a standalone item.
Thank you to MannyGT for open-permissions on their eyeglasses mesh.
Thank you to Windsong, creating such iconic renditions of characters that have made such a lasting impression on my taste and this project.
Thank you to Nightshade, Dreldyn and Lyreha for open-permissions on their bosmeri antlers.
Thank you to the r/skyrimmods Discord for providing feedback on this project.