Skyrim Special Edition
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About this mod

This mod gives Alduin a series of powerful buffs which are dispelled by killing the named Dragon Priests. This encourages you to tear down the figureheads of the Dragon Cult before battling Alduin. Esl-Flagged

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First and foremost, I'd like to give credit to vantablackbass for suggesting the idea for this mod on Reddit.

Secondly, a huge thank you to wSkeever for optimizing this mod by making the death tracking work retroactively and making the mod script-free!

For an Elder Scrolls game that focuses heavily on dragons, the impact of the Dragon Cult felt oddly absent from the main story. This mod aims to make the Dragon Cult more involved in the main story by giving the player an incentive for hunting down and destroying the named Dragon Priests before battling Alduin. Alduin is significantly more powerful now, but you can weaken him down to his normal level of power by destroying the named Dragon Priests. Each Dragon Priest gives Alduin a buff, which will be dispelled upon their destruction.

After installing the mod, Alduin's stats will gain the following bonuses:


As for which priests empower which buffs, here is a list that includes names and locations (do not click this if you don't want spoilers!)


-Nahkriin is in Skuldafn, meaning I cannot dispel his buff before the first Alduin fight! How is that fair?!
I intentionally gave Nahkriin a weaker buff for the sake of fairness because of that reason.

-Why did you make this mod?
Vantablackbass suggested the idea on Reddit. I read the post, loved the idea, and had an idea to get it working, so here we are.

-Any requirements for this mod?
As of 1.2, there is a non-SPID version. I suggest the SPID version if you are adding the mod mid-save. The SPID version obviously requires SPID

-Why is there a non-SPID and a SPID version?
In 1.2, some optimizations were made that removed SPID as a requirement. However, I found a repeatable bug that can occur when installing the mod mid-save close to when you naturally fight Alduin. I made a second file that requires SPID to completely squash that bug. I am keeping the non-SPID version up so that people who don't have an active save and/or don't use SPID can download it, though. If you installed the non-SPID version on a new save or well before fighting Alduin, there is no need to update to the SPID version. If you installed the non-SPID version on an existing save right before fighting Alduin, update to the SPID version.

-Which version should I pick?
Either one. The only instance where the non-SPID version is not ideal is if you're installing right before fighting Alduin during an active save.

-Is this safe to add mid-game?
Yup! As of version 1.2, the mod works retroactively! Just keep in mind what I said above about the non-SPID version. Outside of that warning, pick either version if it's your first time installing.

-Is it compatible with xyz?
Yes, it should be. I didn't touch any vanilla records. I've also tested this mod with Deadly Dragons, and they work together. Just be prepared for a very difficult battle if Alduin is still fully buffed and you use Deadly Dragons!

-Esl flagged?

-Are the Alduin fights even possible if you don't kill any Dragon Priests?
Yes, but with varying amounts of difficulty based on your character build, stats, game difficulty, and difficulty of your load order. Be prepared for a hard fight regardless!

-What is with the name of the plugin?
Alduin is an influencer, duh! ;) Nah, I jest. In truth, I am pretty bad at naming mods, so I gave the plugin that name before settling on the current name of the mod. The idea for that temporary name was that with the destruction of the Dragon Cult's figureheads, Alduin's influence wanes, and he is weaker for it.

-Did you include the Solstheim Dragon Priests?
No. With Miraak's betrayal of the Dragon Cult and Hermaeus Mora's influence over Solstheim, it did not make much sense to have them buffing Alduin. If you're looking for more to do with the Solstheim Dragon Priests, check out Cult of the True Dragonborn - Immersive Miraak Difficulty by zamio1. Their mod was inspired by this one, and it adds a similar system to Miraak: the three Solstheim Dragon Priests that support Miraak buff him, and killing them removes the buffs. Killing Vahlok, the one who opposes Miraak, adds a buff.

-Is there any in-game hint or quest that tells you that you need to destroy the Dragon Priests?
There is a book in Sky Haven Temple (next to Dragonbane) that alludes to the capabilities bestowed upon Alduin by his Dragon Priests. Reading this book is not a required part of the mod; it just gives you some insights. This book does not detail the locations of the priests. If you want something that gives you locations, other users have suggested Bromjunaar Journal.

-Will there be a console port?
Using the non-SPID version, it can be directly ported to console. My permissions are open if anybody wants to do that, but I have no inclination to do it myself because I do not like dealing with Bethesda's website.