Riften, Fort Dawnguard, Dimhollow Crypt, Castle Volkihar: Pulled, Brave farmer, Grumpy Dawnguard, Creepy crypt, Surprise ally, Egotistical father, Next step decided.
The timing was good. My last booked performance at the Bee and Barb was last night and today I need to make my way to Fort Dawnguard.
“The Pull” started a few days ago and today is when I start whatever the Divine Task is. As per usual I have had one of my housecarls shadowing me and staying in Honeyside, my Riften home.
It was about 8:00AM when I picked up Dogmeat from the stables. Jordis and Meeko joined me there.
We reached Dayspring Canyon at about 8:30AM. We tied up the horses and entered.
Dayspring Canyon is the home of Dawnguard’s headquarters. They occupy and old castle called Fort Dawnguard.
Not far into the canyon a young man ran up to us. He looked like a farmer and had an old iron war axe as his only weapon,
“Oh, hey there! I’m Agmaer. You here to join the Dawnguard too?”
Well met Agmaer. I’m Wulf. That is Jordis the Sword-Maiden and Meeko the flea city. I am going to find out what is going on before I decide to join them.
“Truth is I’m a little nervous. I’ve never done anything like this before. I hope you don’t mind if I walk up with you.”
Sure. We have more chance against the giant invisible rabid rabbits if you are with us!
“Hey, uh, don’t tell Isran I was afraid to meet him by myself. Not the best first impression for a new vampire hunter, I guess… GIANT INVISIBLE RABID RABBITS!”
Only kidding Agmaer. I assume Isran is their leader?
(As we walked along Agmaer was looking all over the place. Not sure he believed the giant rabbits were a joke.)
“I heard what’s going on. The vampires, the Dawnguard, all of it. I wanted to help, so here I am.”
(I was having a bit of fun with the boy but this was obviously something way out of his experience.)
I think it is very brave of you to even get to the canyon. There are a lot of things on the roads trying to rob, kill or eat you.
“There is? Oh my! You’ve probably killed lots of vampires, huh? I’m sure Isran will sign you right up. Not sure he’ll take me. I hope so.”
If he knows what he is doing he will sign you up. Don’t worry about vampires, they all suck.
(I waited for a while to see if the jest got through. About 30 seconds later…)
“They all suck, vampires… suck… ha ha….”
(Lucky you do not need brains to plant your axe in a vampire’s brain! I caught a glimpse of the Fort. It was HUGE!)
“That must be it, Fort Dawnguard… WOW! Bigger than I expected.”
We passed a Dawnguard using a crossbow. It was their weapon of choice to try and kill Vampires from a distance.
The Fort was impressive from a distance. It was more than impressive as we got closer. Since “The Pull” started a few days ago I had been reading about the Dawnguard. At one stage they were one of the biggest martial orders in Tamriel. After they eliminated most vampire threats their numbers dwindled. Eerily similar to The Blades when Dov had become scarce.
We entered the Fort and approached slowly whilst Isram and Tolan, a Vigilant (member of the Vigil of Stendarr), had a heated discussion.
- Isran: “Why are you here, Tolan? The Vigilants and I were finished long ago.”
- Tolan: “You know why I’m here, the Vigilants are under attack everywhere. The vampires are much more dangerous than we believed.”
- Isran: “And now you want to come running to safety with the Dawnguard, is that it? I remember Keeper Carcette telling me repeatedly that Dawnguard is a crumbling ruin, not worth the expense and manpower to repair. And now that you’ve stirred up the vampires against you, you come begging for my protection?”
- Tolan: “Isran, Carcette is dead. The Hall of Vigilants… everyone… they’re all dead. You were right, we were wrong. Isn’t that enough for you?”
- Isran: “Yes, well… I never wanted any of this to happen. I tried to warn all of you… I am sorry, you know.”
“The Pull” indicated Isran was the man to speak to. It stopped once he turned to address me,
“So who are you, what do you want?”
Try, ‘Hello, I am Isran. Can I do something for you?’
(This man not only lacked manners, by the look on his face he lacked all humour as well.)
Okay then. Formal it is. I am Wulf, Dragonborn and Champion of The Divine. I have been directed by the God’s themselves to come and see you
“Dragonborn. I suppose that killing dragons does qualify you for killing vampires. Different skill set but just as dangerous. All right, you’re welcome in the Dawnguard.”
Heard of the Bloodlet Throne? Myself, my dog and my housecarl Lydia wiped out the entire population of high level vampires without breaking a sweat! I will provide what help you need but I am not here to join the Dawnguard. I have killed dozens if not hundreds of vampires that have stood between me and more formidable foes. The Divine sent me here and that means there is something more dangerous than a few vampires. I am here to find out what that danger is. Tell me what you need doing and maybe that will lead me to what The Divine are concerned with.
“There must be something that has made the vampires suddenly active after so long. Maybe that is your “danger”. Tolan was telling me about a cave some of the Vigilants were poking around in. Seemed to think it was related to these recent vampire attacks. Talon, tell him about, what was it, Dimhollow?”
(The elderly Vigilant turned to me.)
“Dragonborn, it is called Dimhollow Crypt. Brother Adalvald was sure it held some long-lost vampire artefact of some kind. We didn’t listen to him any more than we did Isran. He was at the hall when it was attacked…”
Thank you Tolan. I am truly sorry about the members of your order. May Stendarr grant them peace.
(Tolan marked the location of the Crypt on my map.)
“I’m will meet you at Dimhollow Crypt. Perhaps I can be of some small assistance to you. It’s the least I can do to avenge my fallen comrades.”
Thank you again Tolan. We will head straight for Dimhollow Crypt and see what the artefact might be.
With that we exited the Fort and made our way out of the Canyon.
It was about 10:30AM by the time we retrieved our horses.
It was a long but uneventful ride to Dimhollow Crypt. We tied the horses out front at around 5:30PM. We waited till 6:00PM and when there was no sign of Vigilant Talon we entered.
When we entered we could hear some vampires discussing Vigilant Talon. He had not waited for us. I do not know how he got there faster than us! Apparently he had managed to kill several of them before succumbing to their superior numbers.
I prepared some fire spells and we rushed into the cavern. It did not take us long to eliminate two vampires and a Death Hound.
We found the body of Talon. It looks like he took down at least four vampires single handed. Well done but I wish he had waited for us. Perhaps he saw one of his friends in trouble?
There was a closed portcullis and no obvious lever to open it.
At the opposite end to the portcullis we found a pull chain.
That opened it.
AS we made our way through the Crypt we encountered many vampires, hounds and skeletons.
Eventually we came across a door that led to a huge cavern.
When we entered we heard some more vampires talking to Vigilant Adalvald,
- Adalvald: “I’ll never tell you anything, vampire. My oath to Stendarr is stronger than any suffering you can inflict on me.”
- Lokil: “I believe you, Vigilant Adalvald. And I don’t think you even know what you’ve found here.”
(I heard a sword being drawn.)
- Lokil: “So go and meet your beloved Stendarr.”
(There was a grunt as Lokil ended the Vigilant’s life.)
- Vampire: “Are you sure that was wise, Lokil? He still might have told us something.”
(I could hear the vampire sheath his weapon and his footsteps hinted they were walking away from where we were.)
- Vampire: “We haven’t gotten anywhere ourselves with…”
- Lokil: “He knew nothing. He served his purpose by leading us to this place. Now it is up to us to bring Harkon the prize. And we will not return without it. Vingalmo and Orthjolf will make way for me after this.”
- Vampire: “Yes, of course Lokil. Do not forget who brought you news of the Vigilants’ discovery.”
- Lokil: “I never forget who my friends are. Or my enemies.”
We could have rushed in when we first entered but I doubt very much we could have saved Adalvald. It has not always worked out when we throw caution to the wind.
We now cautiously entered the cavern. I saw the body of Adalvald below and a vampire walking in the distance. A well-aimed Incinerate spell spoiled the vampire’s day.
We leapt down and took care of another vampire and a thrall. These vampires are not the threat. The Divine gave me this task for something other than blood-suckers.
Vigilant Adalvald looked like he taken quite a beating before death. There is something important here and I wonder if he knew what.
In the middle of the chamber was a small column. It was waist height and what looked like a push button on top. I could detect no dweomer but that is not unusual if it is Daedric in nature.
I went to push what I thought was a button and a spike thrust out and pierced my wrist. It was some sort of blood seal and an energy field erupted all around the cavern and encircled the column.
I wondered if the blood seal required special blood or would any suffice?
There were fonts on sliders around the room.
I pushed one and it filled with the energy and a new wall of energy linked it to the existing walls.
I guessed that if I could make all fonts full something might happen.
After a couple of minutes there was one last font to be put in place.
As predicted, when I pushed it into place, something happened.
That something was the floor moving, steps being created and the central column rising to show a much wide bottom section.
After everything had settled I took a good look around the column and once again there was no dweomer I could detect.
I started touching each side when suddenly a door slid open and a young woman stumbled out.
She stood and faced me. I normally would have said she was early twenties at most but she was obviously a vampire. She could have been thousands of years old for all I knew. She was carrying an Elder Scroll. That is the kind of thing a Divine Task might revolve around!
My weapons were sheathed and I showed no aggression. I signalled and Jordis took her hand off her sword and Meeko sat staring at the new curiosity.
“Unh… where is… who sent you here?”
Who were you expecting?
“I was expecting someone… like me, at least.”
A vampire? No, I am a mortal. A unique mortal but one nonetheless.
“Who sent you?”
“Why would The Divine care about what is in here?”
I do not know yet.
“Well, look. Kill me, you’ve killed one vampire. But if people are after me, there’s something bigger going on. I can help you find out what that is.”
That is what I thought and why I have no intention of harming you unless you give me cause. I am not here to hunt and kill vampires unlike those who discovered this place. They are called the Dawnguard. Others called Vigil of Stendarr would also wish to kill you. Several of them were killed by a vampire called Lokil and his minions when investigating this place. Lokil attacked me and is dead.
“Lokil was one of my father’s lackeys.”
Why were you locked away like this?
“It is complicated and I’m not totally sure if I can trust you. But if you want to know the whole story, help me get back to my family’s home.”
And where is that?
“My family used to live on an island to the west of Solitude. I would guess they still do. By the way… my name is Serana. Good to meet you.”
Mt name is Wulf. Before I ask you to mark your home on my map, how long have you been locked in there?
“Good question. Hard to say. I… I can’t really tell. I feel like it was a long time. Who is Skyrim’s High King?”
Elisif the Fair, the Jarl of Solitude, will be High Queen. The moot should be called soon.
“I don’t know that name. You say she’s Jarl of Solitude.? Who supports her?”
The Empire supports Elisif and after I ended the civil war, all the other Jarls will as well.
“Empire? What Empire?”
We are in the 4th Era, also known as the Mede Era. Titus Mede II is the current Emperor. Capital of The Empire is the Imperial City in Cyrodiil.
“Cyrodiil is the seat of an empire? I must have been gone longer than I thought. Definitely longer than we planned!”
You have been in there before Tiber Septim founded the empire and started the 3rd Era? We are several hundred years into the 4th Era. You have been in there at least 630 years. You look good for your age! You missed some fun. The Oblivion Crises. The Great War. There are now Nine Divines.
“Please, let’s hurry. I need to get home so I can figure out what’s happened.”
Here, mark it on this map.
“Many of the borders look the same! It is an island about here. Hopefully there are boats nearby to cross the small strait between the mainland and island.”
Near to Northwatch Keep. Hopefully they have not repopulated it after a friend and I killed everybody there. They will not be friendly. Tell me about your home.
“Popular huh? Anyway, it’s my family home. Not the most welcoming place, but depending who’s around, I’ll be safe there.”
Why wouldn’t you be safe there?
“Let’s just say my mother and father had a bit of a falling out. Don’t worry I’m not in any danger or anything like that. It’ll just be more unpleasant to run into my father.”
Why do you have an Elder Scroll?
“It is mine! I can’t really talk about it. I’m sorry.”
I have my own so don’t worry about me stealing yours! Any idea how to get out of here?
“Your guess is as good as mine. This place looks pretty different from when I was locked away.”
I dealt with some vampires who eat children to stay young.
“What? Look, vampires are not by nature the nicest people to invite to dinner. Eating flesh of any type is not needed and killing children is abhorrent. There were literally thousands of vampire families when I was locked away. Just like mortals, there are some families who believe strange things and act accordingly.”
With that we set off to exit the Crypt. We could have returned the way we came but I needed to see if there was anything that might shed light on what the Divine Task is. Logic says it has something to do with the Elder Scroll that was locked away with Serana but better safe than sorry.
As we approached some stairs two Gargoyles attacked. Lydia had taught me their names when we investigated the Bloodlet Throne. Scary looking and noisy but not very tough. We soon despatched them.
We encountered no more vampires which is good, I did not want to see if Serana would side with us. We did encounter some very tough skeletons though. There were quite a few in what looked like an arena for watching torture or sacrifice. Why can’t they enjoy bards and jugglers instead?
Serana was a very powerful Destruction mage and more than competent one handed swordsman!
After dispensing with the last skeletons we came to a passage leading outside.
Serana seems relieved to be out in the open. I asked her,
How are you feeling?
“It’s so good to breathe again.”
I didn’t think vampires needed to breath?
“We don’t. Let’s just call it a hobby of mine.”
Let’s get you back home so we can sort this out.
Jordis quickly went around to the other entrance and brought our horses back. I said to Serana,
We will need to ride. You can use my horse. I will summon my other one.
“No need, I have my own.”
With that she summoned this skeletal horse covered in flames. At least Blaze looked like a horse!
We were mounted and ready to go just past midnight.
We rode past Northwatch Keep at about 5:00AM and there was not a guard or sentry to be seen. Serana looked at the empty fort and asked,
“Who were they and why did you kill them?”
They were slavers. I needed to find out where they held a particular slave. They tried to stop me. They died.
Not far from the Keep was a small jetty with a row boat tied to it. Across the water a way was a large castle on an island. Serana’s home. It did not take long to row there.
The castle was not the friendliest looking. I turned to Serana and asked,
This is your home?
“This is it. Home sweet… castle.”
It’s impressive. A bit heavy on the gargoyles though!
It’s something all right!
We started walking up the long ramp to the entrance. About three quarters of the way Serana halted,
“Hey, so… before we go in there…”
(Serana was looking a bit worried.)
Are you all right?
“I think so and thanks for asking. I wanted to thank you for getting me this far. But after we get in there, I’m going to go my own way for a while.”
I am sure you have lots to catch up on a digest. Just remember that I have to find out what is going on, no matter what the means.
“It’s not about you or trusting you. You’ve been so great in getting me back here. I just need to be alone. For a while. There’s a lot of feelings wrapped up in this old place and I don’t think you’re quite ready for them.”
Probably not. I am trying to stay focused on the Divine Task so the less I am confronted with distractions the better.
“So let me take the lead in there.”
With that we continued to walk toward a portcullis. An elderly guard saw us approaching and recognised Serana. As the portcullis rose he yelled,
“I can’t believe it. It’s Lady Serana. Lady Serana is back!”
We entered the Castle and first impression was, “WHAT A DUMP!”
An Altmer Vampire challenged us,
“How dare you trespass here! Wait… Serana? Is that truly you? I cannot believe my eyes! My lord! Everyone! Serana has returned!”
Serana walked into the main hall and I followed behind.
I will repeat what I thought earlier. WHAT A DUMP! There was blood, bones and viscera all over the tables and floors. Vampires were noisily chewing on human flesh and swigging down blood from goblets. Corpses lay on the tables in various states of consumption and decay. I took a good close look at everything. My inner beast was ready to come forth if I saw any indication children were victims of these monsters. I would have annihilated every being there without mercy if such evidence presented itself and if that stuffed up the Divine Task then too bad, I am mortal. Lucky for me and my Lord there was no sign of children suffering.
There was a great deal of excitement and comments as we walk towards her father.
- Serana: “I guess I’m expected.”
- Vampire 1: “I can’t believe it.”
- Harkon: “My long-lost daughter returns at last. I trust you have my Elder Scroll?”
- Serana: “After all these years, that’s the first thing you ask me? Yes, I have the scroll.”
- Vampire 2: “She has the scroll!”
- Harkon: “Of course I’m delighted to see you, my daughter. Must I really say the words aloud? Ah, if only your traitor mother were here, I would let her watch this reunion before putting her head on a spike. Now tell me, who is this stranger you have brought into our hall? “
- Serana: “This is my saviour, the one who freed me.”
As I approached Harkon I could see Serana head out of the room. He said,
“For my daughter’s safe return, you have my gratitude. Tell me, what is your name?”
I am Wulf. And you are?
“I am Harkon, lord of this court. By now, my daughter will have told you what we are.”
“Not just vampires. We are among the oldest and most powerful vampires in Skyrim.”
Never heard of you.
“Perhaps you should have! I count some of the oldest and most powerful vampires in Skyrim among the members of my court. For centuries we lived here, far from the cares of the world. All that ended when my wife betrayed me and stole away that which I valued most.”
And I count amongst my friends this hairy dog and his collection of some of the most powerful fleas in Riften.
(That got some sniggers from the vampires till Harkon shut them all down with a stare.)
What happens now?
“You have done me a great service, and now you must be rewarded. There is but one gift I can give that is equal in value to the Elder Scroll and my daughter. I offer you my blood. Take it, and you will walk as a lion among sheep. Men will tremble at your approach, and you will never fear death again.”
And if I refuse your gift?
“Then you will be prey, like all mortals. I will spare your life this once, but you will be banished from this hall. Perhaps you still need convincing? Behold the power! This is the power that I offer! Now, make your choice!”
(Harkon then transformed in a Vampire Lord and hovered off the ground. I did a Dragon Aspect Shout and stood there glowing with the power of my Lord Akatosh. My own armour provided great magic resistance and combined with the Shout I was pretty well invulnerable for a while.)
I refuse your pathetic powers.
“Then from now on you are prey and banished from here!”
(Harkon threw some spell at me that did nothing. I have never spoken to a Vampire Lord before but I suspect that was not a happy look I saw on its face. Bragging is a legitimate weapon. Anybody reading these journals knows I use it effectively and find it great fun. One thing that often causes immortals to make mistakes is to attack their ego. Just the audacity of a mortal standing up to them seems to scramble their brains, or whatever they have. I wanted to see if this minor immortal, a Vampire Lord, was as easy a target. Plus, as I already said, it is fun!)
I did not give you my full title. I am Wulf, Dragonborn and Champion of The Divine. You offer me second hand powers given to you by a lesser God when I already have superior powers given directly by the most powerful God of all, the God of Time, my lord Akatosh. Do you think you are as powerful as Alduin? What do you think I could do to your court? Just the thought of contaminating my God given dragonblood with your disease is blasphemy. I am turning and leaving as I have no desire to destroy what I may need as I perform my Lord’s task. I strongly suggest you let me leave unmolested.
(The room was silent as I started to turn and head for the exit. I caught a glimpse of Serana peering around a column but could not guess what she was thinking.)
We exited the Castle and Jordis started laughing,
“Some of the most powerful fleas in Riften!”
Meeko gave a proud bark and we headed back to tell Isran the wonderful news.
Apart from some suicidal bandits it was an uneventful ride.
As we headed towards the Castle entrance we encountered Isran and two other Dawnguard battling some Volkihar vampires.
We leapt in to help and I soon dropped the last one with a sword through his centre.
“Look at this. I should’ve known it was only a matter of time before they found us. It’s the price we pay for openly recruiting. We’ll have to step up our defences. I don’t suppose you have some good news for me.”
“Damn. Well what do you know?”
The vampires were looking for a woman trapped in Dimhollow.
“A woman? Trapped in there? That doesn’t make any sense. Who is she? More importantly, where is she?”
She wanted to go home so I took her to her castle.
“I’m waiting to hear what any of this means.”
She’s the daughter of a powerful vampire lord.
“And so you delivered her to them.”
They also have an Elder Scroll.
“They what? And you didn’t stop them? You didn’t secure the scroll?”
I told you before. There is something going on here that is far more important than killing a few vampires. I have performed many tasks for The Divine and my intuition has yet to fail. If it had you would be dead. Not just from Alduin but many others who took turns at trying to destroy or dominate Nirn. That woman promised to help me find out what is going on. I could have brought down her father’s castle and lost her as a resource. I am asking you to trust me as Champion of The Divine, including Stendarr!
“I have no choice now do I? Come inside. You look like you need a rest and some food.”
He was right on both counts. We had been going non-stop for over 20 hours and I had a huge appetite. As long as nothing reminded me of the vampire’s banquet I could spend an hour or two gorging myself while coming up with a plan.
We were about an hour into our meal when Agmaer came running up to us,
“Dragonborn, Isran needs to see you straight away. He looks angry so I would not delay. He is waiting for you on the 2nd floor.”
Thanks Agmaer. That Dawnguard armour suits you. A mighty vampire slayer if ever I saw one!
Agmaer beamed at that as Jordis, Meeko and I made our way upstairs.
Isran has got the angry look down to an art. His face would probably shatter if he smiled. He grumbled,
“A vampire showed up here looking for you. It has an elder scroll. Probably that thing you took home to daddy. Let’s go have a little chat with it, shall we?”
We walked to a small alcove where Serana was standing in a corner not looking overly concerned about being surrounded by vampire killers. Isran stood in the other corner not looking anywhere near as relaxed.
“I’m guessing it’s the one you found in Dimhollow Crypt. Says it’s got something really important to say to you. So let’s hear it.”
Her name is Serana and she is under my protection, understand?
(Isran nodded his head but if looks could kill his stare would have turned Serana into a pile of vampire ash by now.)
(I approached Serena.)
“You probably weren’t expecting to see me again.”
Happily surprised I guessed right. So tell us what you are doing here Serana.
“I’d rather not be here either, but I needed to talk to you. It’s important, so please just listen before your friend, here loses his patience. It’s… well, it’s about me. And the Elder Scroll that was buried with me.”
What about you and the scroll?
“It all comes back to my father. I’m guessing you figured this part out already, but my father’s not exactly a good person. Even by vampire standards. He wasn’t always like that, though. There was… a turn. He stumbled onto this obscure prophecy and just kind of lost himself in it.”
I am always dealing with prophesy. What does this one say?
“It’s pointless and vague, like all prophecies. The part he latched onto said that vampires would no longer need to fear the sun. That’s what he’s after. He wants to control the sun, have vampires control the world.”
Not a pleasant thought! What do you mean by ‘lost himself’?
“He just became absorbed… obsessed. It was kind of sick, actually. The prophecy said that vampires would no longer need to fear the sun. For someone who fancied himself as vampire royalty, that’s pretty seductive.”
I don’t think mortals would appreciate that!
“Anyway, my mother and I didn’t feel like inviting a war with all of Tamriel, so we tried to stop him. That’s why I was sealed away with the Scroll.”
You took a big risk coming here.
“I did. But something about you makes me think I can trust you. I hope I’m not wrong.”
No, you’re right. We just have to convince the others you’re on our side.
“Well, let’s move on then. I’m nothing if not persuasive.”
(I turned my attention to Isran)
“Al right, you’ve heard what it has to say. Now tell me, is there any reason I shouldn’t kill this bloodsucking fiend right now?”
I will give you two. The first is I told you she is under my protection. You would die before you laid a blow on her. Second is that I intend to save everybody on Nirn, again, and Serana is going to help me do that.
Why, because of that story about the prophecy? About some vampire trying to put the sun out? Do you actually believe any of that?
Yes I do because I have seen even weirder things. I deal with Gods and evil mages and despots all the time. There is the magic of an Elder Scroll involved. I have read one, I know the power they contain. The prophecy is real. What it is and how to stop it is what Serana is going to help me find out. As I keep telling you, this is far more important than killing a few vampires.
“OK, it can stay for now. You will be responsible for keeping my people safe from it!”
(I turned my attention back to Serana.)
“So in case you didn’t notice the giant thing on my back, I have the Elder Scroll with me. Whatever it says, it will have something that can help us stop my father. But of course, neither of us can read it.”
I have read an Elder Scroll before. But that was a particular scroll at an exact place in Tamriel. Looks like we will need to find a Moth Priest. They are all in Cyrodiil and I can’t go there till The Divine tell me I can.
(Isran tapped me on the shoulder so I turned to him.)
“Some Imperial scholar arrived in Skyrim a few days ago. I was staking out the road when I saw him pass by. Maybe that’s your Moth Priest.”
The Divine strike again. We need a moth priest at this particular moment in history and voila, one walks through our door, figuratively speaking. Do you know if he was staying anywhere?
Maybe he heard about the one I used at the Throat of the World and have since donated to the College of Winterhold. I think we shall start our search there.
(I turned my attention back to Serana.)
“Can I come along with you? I’ve been really wanting to get out and explore a bit.”
Of course, I think your help will be essential and you proved quite handy in the fighting at the Crypt. It will not take us long to get to Riften, I have a house there we can stay in and leave for the college early tomorrow morning.
(Serana is not silly. She knew I was taking her away from a place of danger and discomfort for one of her kind.)
Farewell Isran, I will let you know what we find and if we have to prepare for anything.
With that we left the Fort and proceeded along the canyon. As we walked Serana asked,
“Have you always been a Dragonborn?”
For as long as I can remember.
“How did you become a Dragonborn. It is not something you are born with is it?”
Nobody is born a Dragonborn which makes the name a bit silly!. Akatosh blessed me with Dragon blood and a Dragon soul. He gave me the ability to absorb the souls of Dovah I slay and from them gain knowledge. He has given me the ability to quickly learn new Words and Shouts and the Thu’um to use them. Before you ask I do not remember how or when Akatosh blessed me.
“And you defeated Alduin, the World Eater.”
With the aid of my friends I defeated him twice in battle. Once at the Throat of the World and the other time in Sovngarde. I do not think he is gone forever. One day he will win and this cycle will end and another start.
“No wonder my father paled, well went an even pastier grey colour, when you challenged him.
My turn, I assume you weren’t always a vampire?
“That’s… a long story.”
Please Serana. I can tell you would not have been a willing recipient of the gift. Your father and you are different than any vampires I have met before. I suspect you did not contract the disease from a bite.
“I guess… we kind of have to go way back. To the very beginning. Do you know where vampirism came from?”
Molag Bal. I have spoken to many Daedric Princes. That is one I do not think I would enjoy conversing with.
“Yes, the first vampire came from Molag Bal. She… was not a willing subject. But she was still the first. Molag Bal is a powerful Daedric Lord, and his will is made reality. For those willing to subjugate themselves, he will still bestow the gift, but they must be powerful in their own right before earning his trust.”
How did you actually become a vampire then?
“The ceremony was… degrading. Let’s not revisit that. But we all took part in it. Not really wholesome family activity, but I guess it’s something you do when you give yourselves to a Deadric Lord.”
He raped you didn’t he? I have read on Coldharbour and that is what you are isn’t it? A Daughter of Coldharbour!
“You are well informed. I said I did not want to revisit it!”
Were you willing? Were you even of marriageable age?
“I was a young girl of a very powerful family and isolated from society. I did not know what was “normal” family behaviour!”
(I could see this was upsetting her. Harkon and Serana’s mother have a lot to answer for. )
I am sorry to bring up painful memories. Do you regret becoming a vampire?
“Nobody’s ever asked me that before. I… I don’t know. I think… mostly I hate what it’s done to my family.”
How has it affected your family?
“Well, you’ve met most of us. My father’s not exactly the most stable, and eventually he drove my mother crazy with him. And it all ended with me being locked underground for who knows how long. It’s definitely been a bad thing, on the whole.”
Thank you for being honest Serana. I have trusted you so far and you have shown that to be a wise decision. You are so far removed from what your father is.
We dismounted out of view of Riften and walked. If Blaze attracts so much attention I would hate to think of the “Ooohs!” and “Aaahs!” Serana’s flaming skeleton horse would get!
We were soon in Riften and Serana commented that the central canal used to be a major waterway and the docks were much larger. I told her there was some uprising against a Jarl and most of the place was destroyed.
We settled into Honeyside and Jordis made us a good meal. Serana told me she was going out for dinner. When I showed alarm she told he how it works. She will wander outside of Riften until molested by some bandits. Then she will feed. That is how she had always done it.
As I write this journal I am wondering how I have come to accept the assistance of a servant of Molag Bal.
There are scholars who can administer cures for vampirism but I have no idea of how they work or what effect they have on the body of the patient. Perhaps when I have finished this Divine Task I might suggest she consider a cure. Until then I will work with her as I still believe she is the key to finding out what the danger is and stopping it.
I just hope I never have to take her life. I can see there is still some of that naïve young rich girl in there who deserves a chance to be free of the evil in her veins.
It was strange sleeping in one of my houses again. I have spent many months being a bard and sleeping in taverns.
I know not what time I fell asleep.