The Elder Scrolls V: Of Blood & Dragons, Book I

Author: ZAVAZggg/Elijah Thompson.
Genre(s): Fantasy
Rating: Explicit
Status: Abandoned
Series: The Blood & Dragons Saga.
Preceding: The Elder Scrolls V: Of Blood & Dragons, Book II (Unwritten).
Succeeding: None.

Cover Art

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Author's Note

{Arcamor and all other vampires in this are following the same format of vampirisim in the Better Vampires mod. Cause it's better than default, and in my opinion, crappy vampirism. Also I do not own Skyrim or the Elder Scrolls-duh-or Better Vampires, which was made by Brehanin. Seriously go download that mod and any other good vampire mods you can from Nexus Mods. Your play through as a vampire will be greatly improved. Trust me. Oh! And be aware that this contains graphic depictions of violence and gore! Do not read if you can't handle things like that! Also the cannon in this is the same as the game but with Dawnguard (this book) coming first, then the main quest, then Dragonborn.


Let the story begin!}

"Long ago in an Amaranth far, far away...."

{Ok this is where the seriousness begins.}

Chapter One: An Odd Offer

Arcamor wasn't one for conversation, he hadn't been since he had become a vampire on that fateful night five years ago.

And today was no different.

After the night he just had, Arcamor was ready to rip out the throat of the next mortal who dared disturb him.

To be fair, he had just spent the last eleven hours slashing his way through the lifeless hordes of draugr within Angarvunde, so he had a right to be in a foul mood. He had gone there to search for useful items such as potions and the like, only to end up helping a dark elf named Madresi Dran gain access to the bowels of the ruin, since only she knew how to get past the puzzle locked doors and into the inner sanctum where some long forgotten treasure supposedly lay ripe for the taking.

She had promised him half of the spoils if he aided her in her quest. Normally he would have taken what he could from the crypt and left, but the opportunity to gain some easy loot changed his mind. That and it had been hours since he last fed on fresh blood.

While dark elf blood wasn't his preferred drink of choice, it was too damn fiery for his taste; it would do if nothing else was available. Which nothing was, unless you counted the dusty, dry, and emaciated flesh of the draugr that roamed the ruin as a viable source of nourishment for a creature of the night...which it wasn't.

So Arcamor agreed to help her and spent the next couple of hours trudging through the labyrinthine and trap filled tunnels of the ancient crypt, until he finally managed to solve the puzzle lock and get the doors to the inner sanctum open. He rejoined her a little while later and was about to enter the room, when Madresi ran past him and towards the "treasure" which turned out to be nothing more than a rotten wooden chest and some moth eaten pouches filled with Septims, sitting in front of an old Word Wall.

It seemed she had intended to betray him and keep everything in that room for herself. He remembered placing his hand on the hilt of his weapon, a steel short sword strapped to his waist, and readying himself to strike her down for her treachery. But before he could do so, an ancient moss covered stone pillar shot up out of the floor like a piston and crushed the elf into a series of old and rusted metal spikes hidden in the ceiling above.

"Ancient traps are a bitch, aren't they Madresi?" Arcamor thought to himself with a smirk, before going back into the memory. He recalled watching in dark amusement as the remains of the dark elf's corpse slowly slid off of the old metal spikes and hit the ground with a wet, dull, thud.

It was at this point that Arcamor remembered, with disgust, running over to the mutilated remains and lapping up the blood seeping into the dust covered stone floor. He may be an undead monstrosity mostly devoid of emotions, but he still had a small amount of self esteem, and what he had done, drinking the spilled blood off of the ground on his hands and knees like a dog, was repulsive even to him. It’s not as if he really had a choice in the matter though. His instincts and lust for blood had taken over. All he could've done at the moment was follow them.

After regaining his senses and taking a minute to compose himself, Arcamor had searched the nearly empty room, being careful to avoid the floor trap that Madresi had activated earlier. Besides the old chest-which had two health potions, some gold, and a stamina potion inside it-and the moth eaten, septim filled pouches, there was nothing else of interest in the room save for the Word Wall, which was of no use to him since he couldn't understand the ancient symbols carved on its surface.

As he turned to leave however, Arcamor noticed a dark object sitting inside one of the many coffins lining the room. When he approached, he found that it was a long, straight two handed sword of Daedric make, similar in design to the blades used by the ancient Akaviri. A Daedric Dai-Katana.

Upon picking up the blade Arcamor noticed that the blade gave off a slight dark purple glow, which meant that it was most likely imbued with a soul trapping enchantment. He took it and carefully wrapped the blade, which was still as sharp as the day it was made, in some burial shrouds he found nearby before leaving.

Arcamor's mood improved gradually as he exited the tomb. The trip hadn't been a complete waste of his time and he had actually managed to leave this ruin a little richer and better armed than he was before, unlike most of the other crypts he explored in which he was lucky to escape with his unlife.

He noticed the sun was beginning to rise, so he called upon his vampiric abilities and blanketed the area in a thick fog, which would allow him to travel to the nearest city unimpeded by the scorching light of the sun.

Unfortunately the nearest city happened to be Riften.

Home of the Thieves Guild.

And to make matters worse he had to deal with two idiots on his way in. The first was a gate guard who said there was a fee to enter the city and the second was a thuggish looking man named Maul, who was leaning against the wooden post of a house a few feet away from the other side of the gate.

Both of them had tried to threaten him and both got nothing but a cold, silencing, glare from him as he walked by. Once he was out of the company of fools, he went down a side street and cast an illusion on himself that made him look mortal again, for a short time anyway, before heading towards the Bee & Barb.

Upon entering he had ordered a mead and sat down at a table in one of the more shadowy corners of the establishment, far from the prying eyes of the other patrons.

He then spent the next couple of hours nursing his drink, which did little to lessen his raging blood-lust, all while doing his best to resist the urge to kill the annoying priest of Mara who had decided to preach a sermon here rather than at the temple, where he belonged.

Fortunately, the priest returned to his temple after one of the owners, an argonian named Talen, asked him politely, but firmly, to leave. Arcamor could already feel his mood improving again as he no longer had to listen to the priest's amazingly naive rant on morality and sin. While Arcamor didn't particularly hate religion or those who followed it, he did hate people who used religion as an excuse to act like arrogant bastards who thought they were better than everyone else, especially when those same people knew that things weren't as black and white as they claimed...

Arcamor was suddenly jolted from his thoughts when a battle scarred orc clad in a padded, brown, leather cuirass with steel shoulder pauldrons, brown cloth pants, and brown boots that seemed to be made of deer skin and fur walked up to his table.

"What do you want?" Arcamor asked the orc in a tone that clearly showed his annoyance.

"First, a place to sit." He said as he pulled out the chair opposite Arcamor and sat in it.

"I don't recall giving you permission to sit there." Arcamor growled.

"That's funny, because I don't recall needing it." The orc replied, an arrogant smirk spreading across his weathered face. Arcamor stared at the orc for a moment before taking another sip of mead from his flagon, a small grin appearing on his own lips. Despite all outward appearances, Arcamor liked being challenged by lesser beings every once and a while. It helped to break the constant monotony of such creatures running away from him in fear.

As he finished his drink, he carefully schooled his expression back into its original stoic state, and gave the orc his full attention.

"Well..." Arcamor began. "You've gotten the first thing you wanted." He gestured to the chair the orc was currently seated in. "Now what's the second thing?"

"To make you an offer." The orc said, his expression becoming serious. "My name is Durak and I am a member of the Dawnguard. We're an ancient order of vampire hunters dedicated to ending the threat vampires pose to Tamriel."

As Durak finished what he was saying Arcamor noticed, out of the corner of his eye, that his knuckles were turning white due to how tightly he was gripping the empty flagon in his hand. Inside of his mind, Arcamor took the mental equivalent of a deep breath and calmed himself, his unnaturally strong grip on the flagon loosening in the process. He knew strange behavior like that, especially around people skilled at hunting down and executing his kind, could get him killed.

"I see." Arcamor said, calmly returning his attention to the orc. "And what of this offer you mentioned?"

"My offer is quite simple." Durak said, handing him a folded up map of the surrounding area. "I'd like you to join us. We're always looking for capable people such as you." He said, gesturing to the modified armor Arcamor was wearing-which was a strange combination of the dark leather armor worn by masters in the Thieves Guild, a Daedric gauntlet with armor that went up his left arm and to his shoulder where it ended in a spiked pauldron, and a black, hooded, cloak that hung down to the floor from off his right shoulder, kept in place by a bat shaped clasp made of solid moonstone-as well as the short sword strapped to his left hip and the still wrapped Daedric Dai-Katana leaning against the wall behind him.

He considered the orcs offer. If he joined the Dawnguard, he could gain access to the movements and operations of the organization. He'd also be able to find any weaknesses in their defenses or amongst their members that he could exploit, which would no doubt be useful in any future encounters he might have with them. Of course if they managed to find out he was a vampire, they'd kill him.

While Arcamor had a certain degree of skill in combat, both physical and magical thanks to his time wandering the wilds of Skyrim, he knew that he wouldn't be able to take on what was most likely an entire fortress full of highly trained vampire hunters.

"So...killing vampires, huh?" Arcamor said, feigning eagerness.

"Yeah." Durak replied with a nod.

"Where do I sign up?" Arcamor asked as he unfolded the map Durak had given him.

"Fort Dawnguard." Durak said as he took the map and marked the location with a piece of charcoal he pulled from a pouch hanging from his belt.

"Find a man there named Isran, he's our leader. Tell him I sent you." Durak passed the map back to Arcamor and placed the charcoal back in the pouch it came from, before getting up and walking out of the inn.

Arcamor watched him go and folded the map up before placing it in one of the many pouches hanging from his armor. He got up, grabbed the katana, and headed towards the exit, leaving ten septims on his table as a tip. Once he was outside of the Bee & Barb, Arcamor went over to the local blacksmiths forge and crafted a pitch black sheathe for his Dai-Katana out of ebony, before attaching a leather strap to it and slinging it over his shoulder, unwrapping the blade, and sliding it into the newly made sheathe.

After paying Balimund for the use of his smithing equipment Arcamor left the city, feeling the illusion he cast wearing off and his thirst for blood rising once again.

Chapter Two: Fort Dawnguard

Arcamor calmly wiped away the excess blood on his face away with the piece of cloth he had just cut from the scaled armor of the bloodless bandit sprawled out on the ground in front of him, before throwing it into a nearby bush.

He looked down at the man, a Nord like himself, and felt a slight twinge of pity and guilt in his unbeating heart at the sight. The fact that so many of his once proud countrymen turned to crime, robbery, and Talos only knows what else to survive simply because they found the rule of the High King a burden, saddened him.

He stared at the lifeless corpse for a few moments before burying his emotions. All the sorrow and pity in the world wouldn't have changed the bandits’ fate or given him a second chance at life. Arcamor picked the corpse up and threw it over his shoulder.

"Regardless of what you may have done in your life..." He said as he carried the body over to a nearby oak tree. "You don't deserve to sit out here and rot like a discarded piece of meat." He leaned the corpse against the thick trunk of the plant and began to dig a grave for the man he had killed. Once he was done, he placed the man and the steel sword he had used to try and rob him into the grave before refilling it with dirt.

"May Shor welcome you into his hall brother." Arcamor whispered as he stood up and dusted the dirt off of his hands. He looked up at the sky, his orange eyes glowing softly in the darkness. It was around midnight and the twin moons Masser and Secunda were easily visible in the starry night sky. Arcamor turned his gaze from the sky to the pouch where he had stored the map Durak gave him.

He opened the pouch, pulled out the map, and examined it. Judging from the landmarks on the map and the general direction he had been travelling in, Arcamor guessed that he was close to Stendarr's Beacon at this point.

His estimation was confirmed after a few minutes of walking. The ground changed from grassy and vibrant, to cold and rocky. Snow began to fall as well which made Arcamor pull his hood up over his head simply out of habit more than actual discomfort, since the cold had stopped affecting him after he was turned.

As he approached the Beacon he noticed that the Vigilants who were there had turned in for the night. They had dismantled some of the wooden furniture they brought with them and barricaded the entrance to the small, circular, stone tower they had taken up residence in. Arcamor looked up to the top of the tower, his face concealed by the hood he wore, and saw a man with a bow and a quiver full of arrows sitting in a wooden chair facing away from him, his eyes scanning the surrounding area.

While Arcamor was certain he could easily scale the tower, take out the sentry, and feed off of everyone inside, he chose not to. He had just fed after all and didn't need to do so again for several hours. Instead he simply studied the map he had been given briefly, before placing it back into the pouch he had taken it from.

He then began his search for the entrance to Dayspring Canyon, which the map indicated was a small, well hidden crevice in the rock flanked on the left and right by lit torches. It took him a few minutes of searching before he finally found it. Before he went in however, Arcamor cast the same illusion spell he had in Riften on himself. It shifted his facial features slightly, returning his fangs back to regular human size and changing his eyes back to the emerald green color they had been before his turn.

He took a deep breath and held it as he squeezed himself through the narrow opening, carefully inching his way through the small passage.

"By Malacath's balls! How in Oblivion did those idiots fit through here!?" Arcamor cursed mentally as he felt the crevice get narrower and narrower the further he went. After spending a few more agonizingly slow minutes inching himself through the passageway, he finally got to the other side and found himself standing in a large ravine surrounded by mountains on both the left and right.

Arcamor slowly made his way down the dirt covered path and towards the other end of the ravine where he saw a medium sized cleft in the rock that looked like it was wide enough for a person to walk through comfortably. When he finally reached and stepped through the cleft his eyes widened in surprise. The whole area was surrounded by tall mountains and covered in plant life.

Off to his right Arcamor saw a pool of crystal clear water shining in the light of Masser and Secunda. It was fed by a steady, yet seemingly never-ending stream of glacial runoff. Despite all of this grandeur however, the thing that caught his eye most was the imposing form of Fort Dawnguard off in the distance, its smooth stone walls and high towers gleaming in the moonlight.

"Well..." Arcamor mused as he silently approached the large fortress. "That's impressive."

After a few minutes of walking, Arcamor finally reached the castle gates. As he went to open them and step inside, he heard someone approach from his right with a torch. Knowing that the illusion he had cast on himself was intact and that he was in no immediate danger, Arcamor calmly turned to face the person.

It was a Breton man, most likely in his early thirties, with short brown hair and a short beard. He was wearing the same type of armor as Durak and had a strange steel and wooden bow like weapon slung across his back.

"Here to join the Dawnguard?" He asked in a cheerful tone.

"Yeah. Durak told me about this place. Said you guys were recruiting more people to help you hunt down vampires, so I decided to join." Arcamor said in a tone just as friendly and easy going as the Bretons, despite how much the words irked him. While Arcamor wasn't obsessed with kinship among vampires, the idea of a group of highly trained soldiers religiously hunting down his kind, most of which simply wanted to be left alone, disturbed him.

"Good!" The man exclaimed before quickly becoming serious. "To be completely honest however, our order isn't doing very well at the moment."

Arcamor's friendly, yet concerned, expression didn't change, but he did take note of what the man had said before continuing the conversation.

"Why?" Arcamor asked hoping to gather more information on this potential weakness.

"There's too few of us." The man replied, shaking his head. "We're too weak to defend ourselves. If the vampires decided to attack us now, we'd be slaughtered."

"I see." Arcamor said, storing the information for later use.

"Anyway..." The man continued, his mood lightening. "Let's not dwell on such dark things. Isran is inside speaking with Vigilant Tolan, I don't know when they'll be done but you can go on in." He said, gesturing towards the door with his free hand.

Arcamor nodded in response and resumed his journey towards the large wood and steel reinforced doors of the keep.

"Oh! I never got your name!" The Breton called out as Arcamor placed his hand on one of the doors.

"Arcamor." He said, regarding the Breton out of the corner of his eye.

"My name is Celann, welcome to the Dawnguard!" He said with a smile.

Arcamor simply nodded and went inside, the large wooden doors shutting behind him with a loud thud.

Chapter Three: Dimhollow Crypt

Arcamor crossed his arms and leaned against a nearby wall as he waited for what he assumed to be Isran and Tolan to finish their conversation, which was steadily becoming more heated as time went on.

"Why are you here Tolan? I told you the Vigilants and I were finished years ago." Isran said, crossing his arms.

"You know why Isran!" Tolan shouted as he took a few steps forward, his temper rising. "Vigilants all across Skyrim are under attack! The vampires much more dangerous than we belie-"

"And now you want to come running to the Dawnguard for safety, is that it?" Isran said, cutting Tolan off with a contemptuous glare. "That's funny, because I seem to recall Keeper Carcette telling me repeatedly, that the Dawnguard is a crumbling ruin, not worth the manpower to repair. And now that you've stirred up the vampires against you, you decided to come crawling back here to beg for my help, right?"

"Isran..." Tolan sighed, seemingly losing the will to continue the argument. "Keeper Carcette is dead. The Hall of the Vigilants....everyone....they're all dead. You were right, we were wrong...isn't that enough for you?" Tolan said, clearly struggling to hold back a wave of overwhelming guilt and sorrow.

"Yes, well...I never wanted this to happen....I tried to warn all of you." Isran said, unable to look Tolan in the eye.

"I am, sorry you know." He said as he let his arms fall to his sides. Isran knew that what the Vigilant had gone through wasn’t fair, but then again neither was life. That was just the way of things. What's done is done. The Hall of The Vigilants had been burnt to the ground and its members slaughtered.

All the apologies and good intentions in the world couldn't change that. And Isran knew it. He knew all Tolan could do now was move on and try to pick up the pieces.

As Isran stood there lost in thought, he noticed a figure around his own height leaning against the wall directly behind Tolan. He couldn't make out much of the figures face however, since it was obscured by a black hood and shadows cast by the nearby torches.

Isran felt himself reflexively reaching for the war hammer on his back as he noticed a long two handed sword strapped to the man's back and what appeared to be a short one handed sword resting in a sheathe on the figures left hip. His hand found the wooden handle of the weapon, but he did not draw it. Tolan saw his movement and turned to face the figure as well, reaching for his weapon as he did so.

"Who are you?" Isran asked warily as he saw the figure, whom he realized was a man due to the way his armor fit, calmly stride into the light whilst simultaneously removing the hood masking his face, allowing Isran to see it more clearly. The man was a Nord, seemingly in his mid thirties, with medium length raven black hair, a light dusting of facial hair, thin eyebrows, emerald green eyes, slightly tanned skin, a hawk like nose, and a long thin scar running down his right eye.

"My name is Arcamor." The man said, stopping a few feet away from the two men who tensed up even more.

"I assure you both that I am not a threat." He said, holding both of his hands forward in a non-threatening way. "One of your members, Durak, told me about your order and I came here to join."

"Ah, that's right. I remember Durak mention you when he returned from Riften. I apologize for the hostility earlier, recent events have made me more...cautious." Isran said, releasing his grip on his war hammer and letting his arm fall to his side. Tolan also relaxed and took his hand off of the hilt of his mace as Arcamor approached.

"I understand." Arcamor replied with a nod.

"So, you have a fire in your belly for killing vampires?" Isran asked. Arcamor nodded in response, despite how much it bothered him.

"I can respect that." Isran replied briefly. "But it doesn't mean much since there isn't much of an order left to join." He gestured at the stonework around them, which Arcamor noticed was in desperate need of repair, as well as the unguarded archways that led to other parts of the fortress.

"I can see that." Arcamor replied curtly. "But I still want to join." He had come this far and he would not allow a minor inconvenience such as this disrupt his plans.

Isran stared at him critically for a moment, seemingly in judgement or appraisal, before speaking.

"Very well." Isran said, crossing his arms. "But I have a small test for you to pass first. Don't get me wrong..." He smirked. "You seem capable of handling yourself, but I'd like to see your skill for myself."

"Tolan, tell him about, what was it, Dimhollow?" Isran said, turning his attention towards the Vigilant.

"Aye, Dimhollow Crypt. It's an old Nordic ruin in the mountains to the northwest, a few miles away from that accursed shrine to Mehrunes Dagon. Brother Adalvald was sure it held a long lost vampire artifact of some kind. He also mentioned seeing vampires lurking in that area. He believed they were searching for the artifact, so he took a small group of Vigilants who had survived the attack on our hall with him to raid the ruin." He replied.

"But that was days ago. And I haven't heard from them since." Tolan said, a grim, yet knowing look on his face.

"And you want me to go there and retrieve whatever it is the vampires are looking for?" Arcamor asked as he shifted his gaze from Tolan to Isran.

"Exactly." Isran replied with a nod. "Just remember, you're there for whatever the vampires are searching for. Get in, kill any bloodsuckers in your way, grab whatever it is the vampires are after and leave. Don't try to be a hero, alright? That'll just get you killed."

Arcamor nodded and pulled a map of the province out of a leather pouch hanging from his belt. He handed it to Tolan, who marked the location of the crypt before handing the parchment back to its owner. Arcamor folded up the map, placed it back in the pouch he had taken it from, and headed back towards the main entrance of the keep. As he was about to leave however, Arcamor heard Tolan asking him to wait. He did so and calmly turned to face the haggard man.

“Please allow me to aid you. It’s the least I can do to avenge my fallen colleagues.” Tolan pleaded.

“Tolan, I don’t think that’s a good idea. You Vigilants were never trained for-” Isran began.

“I know what you think of us Isran.” Tolan said with unexpected steel in his voice, cutting the other man off. “You think we’re soft, that we’re cowards. You think our deaths proved our weakness! Stendarr grant that you do not have to face the same test and be found wanting!" Tolan took a few moments to compose himself before continuing.

"I’m going to Dimhollow Crypt." He said determinedly. "With or without your approval.” And with that, he turned his back on the leader of the Dawnguard and walked out of the keep.

“Damn fool.” Isran said as he watched the Vigilant go. He let out an exhausted sigh and turned his attention back to Arcamor.

“Here…” Isran said as he walked over to some nearby boxes and produced another one of the strange bow shaped weapons. “This is a crossbow. It’s perfect for taking the fiends out before they get too close.” He walked over to Arcamor and gave him the weapon and some bolts, before showing him how to use it.

After a few minutes of practice Arcamor had gotten a good grasp on how the ingenious device worked. He attached a leather strap to the underside of the weapon and slung it over his left shoulder before hooking the pouch the bolts were stored in on an empty part of his belt and leaving the fort.

After exiting Dayspring Canyon, Arcamor dispelled the illusion that had made him appear mortal and his vampiric nature manifested itself physically once again. Arcamor took a moment to consider the best way to get to this crypt and decided to take a carriage from Riften to Whiterun, which was the city closest to it. He knew it would be risky, since he would be spending most of his time under the lethal rays of the sun, but reasoned that the trip wouldn’t be too bad if he minimized the amount of skin he left exposed and fed regularly.

With this thought lingering in his mind, Arcamor stopped mid-stride and gazed up at the top of the stone tower the Vigilants he had seen on his way here, were holed up in. He noticed that the sentry that was posted there earlier had been replaced by another Vigilant. One who happened to be asleep and facing away from him.

“How convenient.” Arcamor thought as he licked his lips, his blood-lust slowly rising as he moved towards the tower like a shadow. When he reached its base, he dug his hands into the crumbling stonework and began his ascent.

He moved slowly and methodically, avoiding the numerous loose and mortar less bricks whose displacement would have given away his position, until he finally reached the rounded edge of the tower roof. Arcamor scanned the area briefly, to make sure he hadn't been spotted, before grabbing the edge and silently pulling himself up onto the flat, circular, top of the structure.

Arcamor could smell his prey, even though he was standing several feet away and didn't adjust his eyes to the low levels of light. He dropped into a crouch, so he wouldn't be seen, and slowly approached his target who, from what he could tell, was a relatively young and physically fit female Breton with the distinctive lack of a violent scent on her body, which meant that she hadn't seen much, if any, combat before.

"Perfect." Arcamor thought as he silently stalked closer. The Vigilants rhythmic heartbeat, like sweet music in his ears, grew louder as he got closer and before he knew it he found himself standing over her, fangs only inches away from her warm blood filled neck. Arcamor could feel his blood-lust rise at the sight as he did his best to resist the rising urge to rip into her throat and drink her dry.

He had to be careful about how much of her blood he drank, especially this close to Fort Dawnguard. If a bloodless corpse was found practically on their doorstep, they would launch a crusade into the surrounding countryside, killing anything remotely related to a vampire.

And Arcamor couldn't have that.

So he took a few minutes to calm himself and reassert his control, before carefully biting into his victims neck. The woman's eyes fluttered open and a small moan of pleasure escaped her lips as he began to feed off of her. Her reaction was something that Arcamor was sure, no matter how long he walked across the face of Tamriel, he would never understand.

Of course he didn't really care at the moment. The feeling of his victims warm blood slowly sliding down his throat and bringing a semblance of life back to his dead form banished all other thoughts from his mind.

About a minute later Arcamor managed to pry himself away from the woman's neck and watched as she slumped over in the wooden chair she was seated in, unconscious, but alive. He re-positioned her body back to the way it was before, to avoid arousing suspicion, and used a healing spell to close up the small holes where his fangs had pierced her flesh.

Arcamor then silently made his way back down the tower and headed towards Riften.

A few days of travel later, Arcamor found himself trudging up a narrow path on the side of a mountain in the middle of a blizzard. He had managed to make his way from Riften to Whiterun by carriage with little difficulty, even though he had traveled during the day. From there it was simply a matter of walking in the general direction of the crypt with a makeshift compass he had made during his brief stay in Whiterun.

Arcamor continued to follow the path, just managing to stop himself from walking off of the side of the mountain.

He cursed.

This damn blizzard was making it hard to see, even with his enhanced vision, and while he knew the fall wouldn't have injured him, it would have cost him a lot of time to climb back up, and he preferred to find the crypt's entrance as soon as possible.

Turning away from the cliff side, Arcamor scanned the area and noticed the familiar light of a torch shinning through the swirling wall of white in front of him.

"This has to be it." He thought, as he approached the guttering torch, the snow under his feet crunching with each step he took. It was mounted in a metal holder, which was itself bolted directly into the rock on the right side of the cave entrance. Arcamor looked to the left, into the crevice and used his enhanced vision to see into the pitch black darkness ahead.

There was a long, narrow, tunnel leading down into the depths of the mountain. Arcamor didn't see any traps, just rock and a small pile of snow that had been blown inside by the blizzard raging around him. Sensing no immediate danger, Arcamor carefully stepped into the tunnel and began his descent into the mountain. As he traversed the dark subterranean path, he came across the bloodless corpses of some Vigilants.

" seems Adalvald was right about the vampires." Arcamor thought as he searched the bodies. Some people would disapprove of looting the dead, but Arcamor had no such scruples. He found several Septim filled purses, as well as three health potions and a magicka potion. Arcamor pocketed the items and continued on his way. He walked for a little ways, before reaching a roughly circular opening in the tunnel with a weak stream of white light shining through it from the other side. Stepping through the opening in the rock, Arcamor emerged in a large cavern illuminated by a stream of sunlight pouring through a sizable crack in the ceiling off to his right along with a few sputtering torches that were left at the entrance to a large Nordic ruin embedded in the rock off to his left.

Standing in the darkness Arcamor carefully surveyed the rest of the snow covered cavern. Off to his right was a short tower whose crumbling stonework had seen better days and off to his left was, of course, the massive Nordic ruin which he assumed was the actual entrance to the crypt itself. Other than that there didn't seem to be anything or anyone else of interest in the immediate area.

As he continued to examine the ancient structure, a sudden movement from behind one of the pillars in front of the ruin caught his attention. Arcamor dropped into a crouch and silently ran from shadow to shadow until he came to the pillar that had caught his attention. Using it as cover, he peered out from behind it slightly and saw a male High Elf and a female Wood Elf standing on the other side searching the corpses of some more Vigilants who had come to storm the ruin. The telltale fang marks on their necks told Arcamor all he needed to know about how they had died and, more importantly, what had killed them.

"These Vigilants were courageous but foolish." Arcamor heard the female vampire say as she finished looting the corpse and got to her feet, her orange eyes glowing in the dim torchlight.

"Fools indeed. You'd think that they'd leave us alone after what we did to their hall." The male vampire replied with a scoff as he disgustedly threw a empty potion bottle off to the side, causing it to send an echo throughout the natural structure as it hit the wall of the ruin and shattered into hundreds of tiny pieces. The male vampire brushed some snow off of his clothing, whose style and tailoring was of an unknown and somewhat regal yet ancient make, and got to his feet as well.

"I wish Lokil would hurry up. I have half a mind to return to the castle and tell Lord Harkon what a fool he's entrusted this mission to." The female elf remarked as she pulled out a strange looking purplish black Daedric sword from a sheathe on her waist and gave it a few swings.

"And I have half a mind to tell Lokil of your disloyalty." The male elf replied in annoyance as Arcamor slowly moved back into the shadows behind the pillar and went over everything he'd heard. These vampires were indeed here for something, be it an artifact or something else entirely, and they were apparently being commanded by his estranged brother Lokil, the last person he'd ever thought would be a leader. Though when he thought about what these two had said, it seemed that his bastard of a brother was more of an underling to this "Harkon" person rather than an actual leader in his own right.

"How typical. You always were one to lick the boots of other's,  Lokil."  Arcamor thought to himself as he stuck his head out once again to keep an eye on the two vampires. But as his eyes lingered on the space before him, his instincts told him that something was off yet he couldn't really place his finger on what it was until he gave the the area a second, more careful, look.

That's when he realized the male vampire wasn't there.

Arcamor muttered a curse as he felt the point of a sword being pressed against his neck. Turning his head as much as he could manage, Arcamor saw the male vampire regarding him with an ice cold stare, a Dwarven sword held in his hand.

"Who are you?" The vampire demanded as he applied pressure to the blade, causing it to draw a bit of black blood from Arcamor's throat. Taking a moment to center himself, Arcamor went over all the ways to escape this situation that didn't end in death. He could attempt to disarm his attacker and kill him as quickly as possible, but if he made one mistake that blade would run right through his neck. Of course there was always magic. But spells took time to cast and as things were now he was at a huge disadvantage in terms of maneuverability.

Arcamor quickly searched the ground around him for a rock or maybe a pile of snow that he could use to distract his opponent in some way, but found nothing. Gritting his teeth, Arcamor locked eyes with his attacker and prepared himself for what he knew was his final moment in this world, when an idea suddenly sprung into his mind. One that just might save his unlife if he played his cards right. Shifting slightly, Arcamor gave his attacker a contemptuous glare before speaking.

"My name is Arcamor. I was sent by Lord Harkon to check on your progress." Arcamor growled as he glared hatefully at his attacker. Admittedly it was a risk to be this bold, but hopefully his act would be convincing enough to fool the elf into letting down his guard, even if it was just a little bit. Although he'd never met this Harkon, Arcamor guessed that he was a man who valued strength and cunning in his servants over blind loyalty, at least if the earlier conversation between these two was any indication, as it seemed like going and saying things behind others backs wasn't uncommon or really discouraged amongst this group of vampires.

"Really? You don't seem like the kind of person he would send..." The elf muttered as he lowered his blade slightly, clearly unsure about the situation. Arcamor heard the female elf call out to ask her companion if everything was alright and that's when he made his move. As his attacker momentarily turned his attention away from him, Arcamor knocked his blade to the side before drawing his short sword from its sheathe and lunging towards his attacker, hoping to stab him through the heart. Unfortunately he miscalculated the angle and ended up stabbing just to the left, close to the elf's sternum, instead of where he'd originally intended.