Forsworn Briarhearts are high ranking male Forsworn that are usually found in Forsworn encampments. They appear to be partially undead in nature, as the ritual of creating a Briarheart involves cutting out the warrior's heart and replacing it with a briar heart, hence the name.
There are two distinct types of Forsworn Briarhearts: magic casters, and melee fighters. The attack methods used by Briarhearts are one-handed weapons and destruction magic, usually fire or frost based, but sometimes shock. The melee using Briarhearts can be found dual-wielding Forsworn axes or swords, and are usually leveled with the Dragonborn. They are also rather quick, and can make short work of their enemies when at close range.
The magic-casting Briarhearts will often begin the battle by activating a cloak spell and conjuring an Atronach. They can cast Ice Storm, Icy Spear, Frost Cloak, and Conjure Frost Atronach or Fireball, Incinerate, Lightning Bolt, Sparks, Flame Cloak, and Conjure Flame Atronach, depending on the preferred element of the Briarheart. These enemies can be very difficult to face at longer ranges, and they also run backwards if chased, making them harder to hit with melee weapons.
The partially-exposed Briar Heart can also be targeted with a bow if the Dragonborn is skilled enough. Striking the heart will deal more damage than usual and is easier to score a critical hit on it, though not significant.
- Broken Tower Redoubt
- Red Eagle Redoubt
- Serpent's Bluff Redoubt
- Sundered Towers
- Hag Rock Redoubt
- Deepwood Redoubt
- Bard's Leap Summit
- Kolskeggr Mine
- Bruca's Leap Redoubt
- Druadach Redoubt
- Lost Valley Redoubt
- It is possible to pickpocket their briar heart, which instantly kills them and leaves a gaping hole in their chest, therefore, it is quite similar to a "stealth attack." Unfortunately, to combat this weakness, they have unusually keen hearing, making it difficult to sneak up on them even with Invisibility and Muffle.
- Being only partially-undead, Briarhearts are immune to the effects of Silver Weapons, Turn Undead spells and the Dawnbreaker. They are, however, highlighted as dead when Detect Dead is used (this is due to a bug, fixed in the 1.9 patch).
- There are no female Briarhearts. This may be an oversight or maybe due to censorship, as the hole with the briarheart flower inside is always on the chest, and if the briarheart was a female, then the breasts would be exposed. Hence, no female Briarhearts.
- The creation of a Briarheart can be witnessed at the Bard's Leap Summit and Lost Valley Redoubt, where a pair of Hagravens perform the ritual. The "created" Briarheart warrior may come to life and come to the Hagravens's aid if given enough time.
- They often have a filled or unfilled black soul gem in their loot, making them a good source of soul gems.
- Despite having their hearts removed and replaced with Briar Hearts, werewolves can still consume a heart from one for points toward werewolf perks. Their corpses can be looted for the Briar Hearts afterwards even though they've supposedly been eaten.
- Strangely, despite dying after having their Briar Heart pickpocketed, there is a chance they will send Hired Thugs after the Dragonborn.
- Even though partially undead, Briarhearts are still affected by poisons.
- When the briar heart is looted from their corpse or pickpocketed from them, their body will disappear and re-appear again, with a hole where the heart should be. Their torso will also appear partially larger after that.
- In the case of melee-type Briarhearts, sometimes, at higher levels, they carry not two Forsworn Swords or Axes but rather two different enchanted weapons, for example an enchanted Ebony Sword and an enchanted Glass Sword. However, because NPCs cannot dual-wield like the player can, (i.e., without a pickaxe, Forsworn Sword or Axe, or Falmer Sword or Axe in the other hand) only one of the weapons is used, more often the more powerful one.
- Counter to their being partially undead, Neloth describes the process as putting their "life spark in direct connection to the natural forces."
This section contains bugs related to Forsworn Briarheart. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
- A Briarheart may send hired thugs to attack the Dragonborn if they pickpocketed their Briar Heart.
- Detect Dead is used.
Briarhearts will show up as dead when
- This is patched in the 1.9 update, or if Dawnguard is installed.