Online:Crafting Motif 38: Draugr Style

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Crafting Motif 38: Draugr Style
ID 3610
See Also Lore version
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Collection Draugr Style
Crafting Style Draugr Style
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Crafting Motif 38: Draugr Style
by Narsis Dren—Treasure Hunter
A guide to crafting armor and weapons in the Draugr style

So, you want to be able to pass yourself off as a Draugr? That makes perfect sense! Done it myself, and more than once! Just follow my instructions below, and you'll have gear so Draugr-y not even a Dragon Priest's mother could tell it from the real thing! After all, if you're going to imitate my exploits recovering relics from ancient Nord tombs, in theory it will go much easier if it looks like you belong there!

Anyway, that's the theory.


Draugr-style weapons have three characteristics: they're old-fashioned Nord in design, they're typically high-caste or high-quality, and they look like they've been in a tomb for centuries. Draugr axes exhibit all of these traits.


Draugr all wear those big, broad Nord belts of thick leather, with great, round metal buckles—but the buckles should be rusty, as should any metal rivets or edgings on the tassets that hang from the belts. And rub grave dirt into every crack.


Take a pair of Nord boots, you know the kind: simple, but thick and sturdy. Leave them next to your stove or forge for a month, making sure to spray them with water once or twice a day. When the metal is spotted with rust, and the leather is cracked and flaking, you're done.


How Draugr bows maintain their flexibility and functionality after rotting in a vault for a thousand years is a mystery, even to me—but they work just fine, and I've got the arrow-scars to prove it. However, if you don't want your "new" Draugr bow to snap in half when you draw it, I advise using fresh materials. Just antique it appropriately for that musty from-the-catacombs look.


Get one of those Nord cuirasses that shows a lot of skin, the kind that says, "I'm too tough to care about the weather." Then weather it: dry out the leather, spot the steel with rust, rip chunks out of any fur, and finally scar up every visible surface with a chisel. There you have it: authentic Draugr armor!


Why does a Draugr dagger look so creepy? I mean, it's just an ancient Nord fighting knife that's been buried with an undead warrior for a millennium. If you want the same look for your dagger, you can't go wrong with rust spots and spider webs.


Acquire a pair of medium-grade Nord gauntlets, with good coverage of the lower forearms. Then Draugr-ize them by tying them to a cord and dragging them behind your mount for a few weeks.


Don't get mere helmets, get full Nord helms that cover the entire head, and ideally have prominent horns. Don't skimp on this: the horned helm is very important to achieving that classic Draugr silhouette. Scar the leather parts with a cleaver, ding up the metal with a hammer, and rub rust and grave dirt into every surface.


Start with a pair of basic cylindrical greaves of Nord design, then "Draugr them up" by burying them in a dung heap for two weeks. You can add verisimilitude by nicking them with a chisel if you like, but after the dung treatment nobody's really going to look at them all that closely.


A Draugr's mace may look old and rickety, but I assure you, it's strong, solid, and will crush your skull in a heartbeat if you're careless. Make sure your Draugr warhammer is made of sturdy materials underneath its coating of dust, rust, and cobwebs.


The ancient Nords bore large shields, and so do their revenants. Use modern oak and steel, but craft your Draugr shield to an old pattern, then use a heavy axe to nick its face and edges as if it's survived a hundred battles. I use a heavy lumberjack's tool for this purpose—no points for subtlety!


Take a pair of classic Nord shield-shaped pauldrons, and then abuse them by tying them to the rim of a servant's wagon wheel for a week. Your servants may complain that this makes the wagon's ride intolerably bumpy, but just tell them you're following Narsis Dren's advice. That will silence them!


Draugr revenants schooled in "the clever art" don't cast a lot of happy healing and light spells, so for authenticity, make sure your Draugr staff has a dark and sinister look to it. You can't go wrong with dried bloodstains on the head and haft, in my experience.


The ancient Nords liked their swords large and heavy enough to kill at a single blow, so avoid light, dueling-style blades for your Draugr-style swords. And no matter how nicked and dented it is, your sword's edge should still be razor-sharp.