The Adventures of Arian

Chapter 9 - Hall of the Dammed

The trio traveled throughout the following day, stopping twice to eat some of the fish Frosty had caught for them. Arian's ribs were finally healed thanks to health potions, and the clear air of Skyrim had relieved him of his hangover. Feeling recharged, Arian had a renewed determination to find Isran and help restore the Dawnguard.

They had initially walked down to a small hamlet west of Solitude, and upon talking to villagers there had corrected their course to the east. Arian remembered that Reundelf had told him Isran was a Vigilant of Stendarr, and so they had asked directions to where their base may be located. After being told that it could be found between Morthal and Dawnstar, names which meant nothing to Arian, Kharjo led the group east through a series of bogs.

It was a tough walk, their progress slowed by muddy terrain and being forced to navigate around bodies of water too large to wade through. On their travels they saw lots of wildlife, including deer, bears and mudcrabs. When once Arian may have been nervous to encounter such animals, Frosty's presence was enough to ward even the biggest of alpha predators.

During the walk, Kharjo and Arian spoke of Kharjo's life before coming to Skyrim with the caravan. Arian learned that Kharjo had originally trained to be a knight in Tamriel, actually intending to serve in the Imperial army there. However his father grew ill in his absence, and Kharjo had been forced to return to Elsweyr to take care of their family's farm there.

After his father passed, and his mother shortly after from grief, Kharjo had joined a caravan travelling to Skyrim to make a life there. Ahkari had actually saved Kharjo from a prison in Cyrodiil back in Kharjo's training days after Kharjo had too much to drink one night, and as such he owed her the debt of his company on their caravan. Elsweyr had become a hard place to make a living, the great war with the Thalmor affecting their economy dramatically.

"Aye, and since then I had traveled with the caravan for many seasons in Skyrim," Kharjo explained. "Once we had raised enough money here in Skyrim we planned on traveling to Hammerfell and working there for another few seasons. Then we were going to return to Elsweyr and open an exotic goods shop."

"Wow, so you had been with them for a while," Arian commented. "I'm sorry, it must have been hard to lose them like that."

Kharjo nodded solemnly and replied, "It was. They were like family to me after all we had been through."

Then a small smile returned to Kharjo's face and he added, "But, at least I am still not alone."

"Neither of us are," Arian responded. And then Frosty made a grunt noise and hopped up and down.

"We at least have Frosty," Arian joked, and Kharjo laughed as Frosty continued to hop up and down excitedly.

After the sun set that night, the three continued to travel, eventually reaching the city of Morthal. A city built into a lake, Morthal seemed like a bit of a ghetto to Arian. The buildings weren't in great condition and it was difficult to walk without losing one's shoe in muddy terrain. However the people were nice to the duo there, everyone smiling and saying hello to Arian and Kharjo.

Frosty was once again forced to wait outside the city, however the troll seemed to be getting used to the idea. Once Arian and Kharjo had left the troll, Arian glanced backwards to see Frosty jump into a puddle and begin to thrash around. Arian could have sworn the troll was giggling.

The two agreed it would be a good idea to actually get a good night's rest after the shenanigans in Solitude, so they walked into the Moorside Inn, Morthal's local inn. Upon walking in, Arian quickly took in the scenery. As opposed to the Bannered Mare in Whiterun and the Winking Skeever in Solitude, the Moorside Inn seemed more bare-bones and lacking in character.

All around the four-walled inn were tables that a few patrons were using, and in the middle was a large rectangular fire-pit that was being used to cook meals. Behind the bar was a staircase leading downwards, presumably to the inn's cellar. There were only four rooms in the inn, and none were particularly decorated.

Arian and Kharjo walked over to the bar, intent on getting a couple of drinks and asking for a couple rooms. Kharjo's funds were beginning to run out, but luckily a night at an inn was cheap so they'd have enough to make it at least until they found the Vigilants of Stendarr. From what they had been told they should only have been a day's walk away from reaching their hall.

Their map spread across the bar, Arian said, "So, I think they said we could find them here." Arian pointed to the map, indicating a location to their east and north. Kharjo shook his head however and motioned to a more southern location.

"No, I believe we'll have better luck down there. Up north it'd be too cold, only fishermen would want to live that far," Kharjo argued. The inn keeper, a Redguard woman who introduced herself as Jonna, had been listening in on their conversation and moved closer to address the two.

"What are you two looking for?" she asked, cleaning a mug in her hands.

"Maybe you can help us settle a debate," Kharjo said, putting an arm on the bar as he inched closer to Jonna. Arian noticed Kharjo's ears perk up ever so slightly, and his eyebrows seemed to rise. Was he trying to be seductive? Arian asked himself. Maybe ten years earlier Jonna would have been attractive, but she was looking old. Not frail however, she looked strong from enduring Skyrim winters. However the concept still bewildered Arian.

"My friend and I are trying to find the Hall of the Vigilants," Kharjo explained. "Maybe you can point us in the right direction." Kharjo seemed to be rolling his tongue even more than usual. Perhaps the strangest part to Arian was it seemed to be working, Jonna leaned in closer to Kharjo. Arian didn't know if Kharjo was attractive or not, because for starters he was a cat person and secondly Arian was straight. However Jonna must have thought so.

"So you boys haven't heard huh?" Jonna said, looking more at Kharjo then Arian. Arian raised an eyebrow and was suddenly more into the conversation.

"Heard what?" Arian questioned.

"The Hall of Vigilants has been burned down. It's completely destroyed," Jonna explained. Kharjo snapped out his flirty mode for a moment and shared a concerned look with Arian.

"What happened?" Kharjo asked.

Jonna shrugged her shoulders and answered, "Don't know. The rumor is it was vampires, but the guy who found the Hall said it was such a gruesome scene he threw up for days just thinking about."

Arian looked to the bar and the map. Suddenly where the hall was didn't seem very important anymore.

"Were…were there any survivors? A man named Isran maybe?" Arian implored, hoping to on a chance that he was still alive.

"I have no idea," Jonna honestly replied. "Maybe, but no one has gone back to check."

Jonna then left them to keep working, and Arian and Kharjo both slumped in their chairs. For a few minutes neither of them said anything. Arian contemplated other options. Maybe they could go to the Imperials, or the Stormcloaks, for help to fight the vampires. Odds were they were too busy with their war to pay attention however, so Arian considered maybe one of the guilds in Skyrim could help them. It still seemed like a long shot to Arian though, so with a defeated sigh he took a drink of his mead.

"We'll…we'll stay here tonight and think of something in the morning," Arian muttered, to which Kharjo nodded slowly.

As the night passed on and more drink was in their bellies, the two friends remained mostly in silence. However once Jonna returned to them, Kharjo's flirting returned. Watching Kharjo play the game, Arian wondered if that was how most people actually did it. When he had Ysolda, it just kind of happened.

At one point Jonna left again to attend to some other business, so Arian leaned over to his Khajiit friend and asked, "Isn't she…I don't know, a little old? Why her?"

Kharjo grabbed his mug, but before he took a drink his words were muffled into the cup just loud enough for Arian to hear, "One less room to pay for."

Then with a wink Kharjo proceeded to drink, leaving Arian sitting there a little dumbfounded. Kharjo finished his drink and then slammed the mug down on the bar, laughing at Arian's surprise at the reasoning.

"It's what the mead is for," Kharjo elaborated. "A trick I learned when I first came to Skyrim, helped me avoid a few cold nights in the winter."

Arian shrugged his shoulders and conceded the point. It wasn't like they had a lot of gold to begin with, being a frivolous spender had its benefits. This unfortunately meant Arian had to watch Kharjo and Jonna flirt for the remainder of the evening as Kharjo continued to put away drinks. Arian had stopped after one, his intoxication the night before already getting him in enough trouble.

It was around midnight that Jonna had forgone her duties altogether to just chat with Kharjo. She was sitting in the Khajiit's lap as he regaled her with tales from Elsweyr, and Arian simply sighed and looked to the bar's entrance. His room had already been paid for, and Kharjo's seemed like it soon would be, so Arian considered just hitting the hay.

However, Arian thought about Frosty who must have been out in the dark. The thought of Frosty alone inspired Arian to go take a walk and visit his troll friend. Frosty had never abandoned Arian to bed a woman. Dropping off his potions and other valuables in his room before departing, Arian grabbed his sword knowing there was a good chance there would be wildlife outside looking to disembowel him.

Arian walked out of Morthal, heading back the way he and Kharjo had entered the city from. Calling for Frosty, Arian tried to see in the dark of the night but found it quite difficult. The moons were covered by clouds, and Arian struggled to see his friend. Though suddenly Arian heard a sharp panting behind him, and nearly jumped out of his skin thinking it was a bear.

Much to his relief, Frosty started giggling again. Arian caught his breath, putting his hands on his knees and bending over, and then he couldn't help but laugh.

"You are a troublemaker," Arian commented to Frosty. "But that's why we're such good friends."

Arian started to pet Frosty on the top of the head, who had ceased laughing and was now letting out a purr sound.

"Trouble seems to follow us wherever we go," Arian remarked quietly. He stood there for another few moments tenderly petting his troll, when suddenly he heard what sounded like running nearby. The splashing sound of water was repeating quickly somewhere in their area, leaving Arian to assume that at least two people were in a rush.

"Hurry! Movarth didn't call this meeting so we could be late!" one man hissed to another.

"Movarth and his vampires can wait! It's the other company he's expecting that has me scared," another man shot back. Their voices and the sounds of their footsteps disappeared suddenly, leaving Arian to digest what he had just heard.

Vampires. Arian kneeled down low, and Frosty followed suit. Arian listened intently where the sound was coming from, and pin-pointed it to being just south of his location.

"Speaking of trouble," Arian muttered to himself. Arian beckoned Frosty to follow quietly, and the two made their way over to where the two men had been running, finding the location of where their voices had vanished.

Coming across a large rock-face, Arian inspected it, and even in the dark of night Arian found there was a cave. Leaning down and feeling the ground, Arian felt wet-imprints in the ground of boots leading further into the cave.

For a moment Arian considered going back and getting Kharjo. However Arian wanted to know what those vampires were talking about, and was worried he'd lose that opportunity if he wasted too much time. Swallowing any trepidation, Arian led Frosty into the cave.

After travelling a short distance into the cave, torches began to illuminate the hallway and Arian was finally able to see where he was going. This cave looked more refined than the Swindler's Den. It was less of a temporary hideout and felt more like a home to Arian, due to the small bedrooms he came across that were hidden in nooks and crannies in the cave.

Arian was on his guard, not sure when there would be a guard or some sort of patrol wandering through the cave, but for the first few minutes of exploring there was nothing. Then the cave started to branch into an upper and lower path, the upper supported by a constructed pathway. Arian quickly examined both, and then he and Frosty picked the lower path. The upper path ran alongside the lower one, and Arian hugged the wall moving slowly, in case anyone appeared unexpectedly.

The trail led around a curve to the right, and as they etched around the wall Arian stopped abruptly upon seeing the large cavern the tunnel opened into. Arian quickly caught his breath, the air in his lungs escaping upon what he saw.

In the cave in front of them was a huge open room, in the middle a giant banquet table with an assortment of human limbs on it. It was like back in Castle Volkihar, and Arian's stomach churned at the thought. Walking around the table with trays of food and wine were mindless humans. There were no expressions they carried, it was like nobody was home.

Sitting at the table were at least twenty vampires. They were all dining and chatting, having a nice meeting by the looks of it. At the head of the table was a well groomed vampire, much like Harkon. He was wearing dark robes and had longer shoulder length hair as opposed to Harkon's shorter trimmed hair, but he wore a similar goatee.

Suddenly one vampire stood up and said, "A toast to our host, Movarth!" All the vampires in the room raised their wine in unison, and the one at the head of table, Movarth, Arian now realized, nodded his head in appreciation. However, what caught Arian off guard was the vampire who said that looked very familiar.

Squinting his eyes, Arian examined the vampire very closely. As the vampire sat back down, Arian took in the vampire's facial features, trying to place a name or location to his face. That was when Arian noticed the thick red mark right between the vampire's eyes, a slit that looked just large enough for a dagger.

"Groatian?!" Arian whispered to himself. It was the vampire he had killed to save Reundelf, or so he thought. Arian firmly remembered throwing the dagger between the monster's eyes and dropping him. How could he still be alive?

Arian looked to his side then and saw a torch was illuminating the wall beside him, and he realized in that moment they were very exposed to the vampires seeing them. Grabbing the torch and extinguishing it before anyone could notice, Arian crouched down low. He instructed Frosty to do likewise, and the amazingly quiet frost troll followed suit.

Movarth stood up then, properly addressing all the vampires in the room.

"We have gathered here today, master vampires from all corners of Skyrim, to discuss the ongoing machinations of Lord Harkon," Movarth explained, although Arian had a feeling everyone already knew that. "And to discuss the role's we can all play to help those plans along, under the pretense that certain demands by us are met. Groatian is here today as an emissary from Lord Harkon to take in our demands and vows of servitude, as well as explain to us how far along Lord Harkon's plot really is."

Then with a snicker, Movarth added, "And maybe he'll tell us where he got that new beauty mark."

The banquet table erupted into laughter, and Groatian shook his head and sighed. He was clearly embarrassed by the new mark making Arian smirk. Even though he wanted to leave the vampire more than embarrassed, he considered himself personally responsible for that one.

Groatian stood up next as Movarth took his seat, and then said to the crowd, "I assure you all, I will one day find the mortal who did this to me, and I'll leave him with more than just a beauty mark.

"Regardless, in terms of Lord Harkon's ground operations, we are continuing to hunt down notable vampire slayers in the province. The only ones to elude our capture are Reundelf, and those who are joining the Dawnguard."

Arian's ears perked up at this. The Dawnguard still existed? He was more than a little confused, but at least it meant he and Kharjo still had an objective to follow.

"However the Dawnguard are hardly a threat," Groatian said with a grin. "We know their location, we know their strengths and weaknesses, so we are simply biding our time until we finish them off."

There was a pause in the room, and Groatian looked over to Movarth.

"For the next order of business…well we are still one guest short," Groatian said, and Arian could detect a nervous tone in his voice.

Suddenly the whole cavern began to shake wildly, stones and dust falling from the ceiling. The vampires all seemed to grow extremely nervous, and Arian fought to keep his balance. He heard Frosty begin to whimper, a sound Arian had never heard the troll make before. Arian put a hand on the troll's head to calm it, but it seemed to do little good.

The shaking was followed by a thunderous booming sound, and Arian followed Movarth and Groatian's eyes to a large hole in the wall behind them. From the darkness of the whole appeared two large blood red eyes, and as they grew closer Arian felt a wave of pain surge through his brain. He gasped in shock and held his forehead. Those eyes were intimately familiar for a reason he didn't understand.

Then through the hole came a large reptilian snout, and many of the vampires chatted nervously. The whole of the head was revealed, and it was spiky angular dragon head that was a black as death, and then two massive claws gripped around the edges of the hole. It breathed through its snout, little puffs of dark cloud being released.

"Little vampires," the dragon said. "I have come to your, soiree, now do not waste my time."

That voice. It was the same one from one of Arian's visions when he had fallen off the mountain. It was deep, menacing, and it chilled Arian to his very core. This dragon had told him that his destiny was to destroy the Dragonborn, but at the time Arian put no thought to it. He assumed it all had just been a bad hallucination. Arian was no longer so sure.

"W-we appreciate your attendance, great Alduin,"Movarth said, bowing low. "I assure you, we would not ask you here unless speaking to you was not of the utmost importance."

Alduin growled deeply, discontent with the whole situation.

"Very well. Speak," Alduin commanded.

Movarth cleared his throat to speak, swallowing his trepidation. Then he seemed to realize he had nothing to say, so he gestured to Groatian. Groatian sighed and stood up, positioning himself to speak to everyone in the room.

"As all are aware, Harkon has plans for the domination of Tamriel," Groatian explained, his voice far shakier then before. "However, it wasn't until recently that he has had the means to do so."

Arian pushed past the now throbbing headache he had from Alduin's presence to focus on what was being said. It was luck that drove him to be there, but Arian was going to find out what the vampires were planning and stop it. Especially if that meant what Groatian had just said.

"Harkon has been searching for Auriel's Bow, an ancient artifact. It is prophesized that with the blood of a daughter of Cold Harbour, Auriel's Bow can blot out the sun," Groatian continued. "However with the disappearances of Valerica and Serana, his wife and daughter, along with that of the Elder Scrolls needed to find the bow, Harkon's plans had hit a dead end.

"Now that Serana has returned with an Elder Scroll, we are searching desperately across every corner of the world for Valerica, because we believe she will have the second one we need. As for the third, our sources indicate its hidden somewhere in Skyrim," Groatian explained.

One vampire asked, "And what then? What happens after Harkon uses this bow?"

"Once the sun is no longer in our way, then we will be able to conquer this world with ease," Groatian answered, confident in that plan.

Arian contemplated what he was hearing. Was that possible? Blocking out the sun? He didn't know anything about this bow or Elder Scrolls, but an eternal night would make for some pretty unstoppable vampires. Then Groatian grew nervous again and turned to Alduin.

"However, our numbers are limited," Groatian started, doing his best to stand tall in front of the giant dragon. "And we are aware you have plans to…ahem…devour the world. We are here to propose a treaty."

"What does your kind have to possibly offer mine?" Alduin asked indignantly inching forward ever so slightly. It looked like with even the slightest movement the large dragon could swallow Groatian whole.

"There are…a few things," Groatian said. "For starters, a peace signing between vampires and dragons will cease unnecessary hostilities and result in less losses for both sides."

"Is that all?" Alduin questioned mockingly.

"No-I mean, no your grace," Groatian stammered. "We are aware the third scroll possesses secrets that may hurt your intentions. It contains knowledge of your first…defeat."

"I was not defeated," Alduin stated firmly. "I was only delayed. This world will be destroyed."

"Of course…but if the Dragon Born was to find this scroll…you would be delayed again," Groatian explained hesitantly.

Alduin said nothing, he only stared at Groatian.

"So, once we find the scroll and have used it to find Auriel's Bow, we will deliver it to you for safe keeping," Groatian continued.

A few more tensely quiet moments passed, and Alduin finally asked, "And what would you need of me? Once this world is yours it will not stop me from destroying it."

"We wouldn't imagine so," Groatian quickly said. "However we know of your…tastes in the afterlife. All we ask is that the vampires are spared."

Then Alduin laughed. It was a deep, terrifying laugh. Arian clutched Frosty nervously, feeling like he should run for the hills. He couldn't though, Arian needed to know what was going to happen if he wanted any chance of preventing it.

"Well, that is quite the offer. Especially considering vampires don't have souls," Alduin remarked. "However, I believe I can find room in my new world for you, if you grant me this boon."

There was a collective sigh of relief in the banquet hall, even Arian found himself a little relieved for reasons he didn't understand. Suddenly, Alduin turned his head and looked straight in Arian's direction. Arian froze, Alduin's red piercing eyes on him.

"Do not think I don't see you," Alduin said, drawing confusion from everyone in the room. Groatian and Movarth both followed Alduin's eye line, intent on seeing what was happening.

"Frosty, run for the exit. Find Kharjo," Arian whispered to his troll. "Go, now!" Frosty hesitantly turned and ran back to the exit, as Arian made a daring play and stepped out into the light.

"Well now everyone can see me," Arian commented. Somehow, Arian knew he wasn't going to get out of that cave alive. But he could give Frosty a chance to make a break for it. The vampires all scrambled to their feet, grabbing weapons. Groatian scowled furiously and pointed at Arian.

"You! You're the one who did this to me!" Groatian yelled, his finger pointing to the dagger mark in his brow.

"Yep. Do you want another one to go with it?" Arian offered as he folded his arms. It was like in the vision he had, somehow his smart mouth was amplified around Alduin and Arian didn't know why. Groatian growled, and Movarth was about to bark orders, but Alduin spoke again.

"So, you've chosen to entangle yourself with the affairs of the vampires," Alduin noted. "A brash decision, but ultimately pointless. In the end you will serve my needs."

"Yeah…I don't think so," Arian shot back. "Whatever it is you're expecting me to do I'd forget it. Because it isn't happening."

Alduin laughed again, and it took all of Arian's will power to not be visibly unnerved.

"Well, you continue to be so bold. But it's not like you have a choice. You gave up the chance to make one in your past life," Alduin teased, and then his head pulled back into the hole. His claws followed shortly after, but Arian only stared ahead dumbfounded.

Past life? Arian wondered. Then suddenly there was no time for pondering as a fireball whizzed past Arian's head. The vampires were charging him now, and Arian had no choice but to turn tail and run. Five vampires, maybe he could beat that. Twenty however was going to be a bit much.

Running back the way he had come from, Arian dashed as quickly as he could. The shouts of vampires behind him were getting closer and closer, but Arian pushed through and kept running. Foot past foot, leg's pumping furiously, Arian mustered all the strength he could to run as fast as possible.

A few arrows flew harmlessly past his head or landed at his feet, but Arian ignored them and kept moving. Suddenly he saw the darkness of the cave's exit and knew he was close. Maybe in the dark of night he could lose them, but Arian realized vampires could see better then him in the dark and he'd be easy to track in the muddy terrain. He was going to be in trouble.

Just as he set his foot on the ground outside, he received a sharp hot forceful push in the back which sent him forward off his feet. Someone casting magic finally had decent aim. Arian crashed into mud, at least he hoped it was, and then turned onto his back to sit up. However he was greeted by a woman vampire hissing and jumping on top of him, keeping Arian pinned to the ground.

The vampire had him in a mounted position, and Arian couldn't hope to grab his sword from his back. Lunging downward, the vampire attempted to slice Arian's jugular wide open with her claws. Arian quickly grabbed the wrist of the attacking hand and diverted it, sending it harmlessly into the mud beside Arian's head. Arian then quickly thrust his arm up into the vampire's neck and rolled her onto her back.

Arian spun to get on top, grabbing his sword with his other hand. He held the vampire at bay with the arm bar, when she suddenly got a hand free and swatted at Arian. The attack cut Arian's neck, making him wince and stand up. The vampire thought she had an advantageous position on him then, when Arian swung low with his sword and decapitated her on the ground.

Her body went limp as her head rolled away, and Arian shakily stood back up while feeling the blood trickle from his neck. It wasn't a deep cut, but it stung like nothing Arian had ever felt before in his life. Arian then took the chance to look around and saw the vampires now had him surrounded completely. Their yellow eyes glowed in the dark of the night, as they all stared at him with their bared fangs.

"Well…you beat two of my men before," Groatian stated. "How do you feel about trying twenty?"

"Ummm…how about we let bygones be bygones?" Arian offered. He brought his sword into a low fighting positon. If he was going to die, he was going to die fighting.

However before Arian could think there was a gust of air from behind him, and with a sharp pinching sensation in his shoulders he was airborne. Groatian could be heard cursing from the ground and arrows shot past Arian's feet. Arian wasn't even sure what to think, the ground was suddenly very far from his feet. Looking up Arian tried to discover his rescuer, but it was too dark. All he could tell was it was some monstrous figure.

There was light beneath Arian, and he realized they were passing over Morthal. Then they started to go lower and lower, until Arian's feet were almost touching the roof of the Moorside Inn. The grip around Arian's shoulders was released and he felt instant relief, until the figure that had been carrying him landed on just a few feet away from him on the roof.

It had greyish skin and jagged wings, long scrawny wings. It was wearing a type of leather over top of its breasts and had loincloth covering its lower regions. Its face was curved downwards and it had pitch-black eyes. Then to make things even more terrifying for Arian, it started to transform. A dark shroud covered it as its wings retracted. For a few moments Arian only stared intently, until the shroud faded away and revealed it was the vampire from Castle Volkihar, Serana.

"You," Arian said. "What…what are you doing?"

"Saving your life," Serana responded, crossing her arms. "Maybe some gratitude would be nice."

"I-uh-well-thanks," Arian stumbled out. Serana smiled a little, amused by Arian's confusion.

"We don't have much time, so I need you to listen closely," Serana instructed. Arian wasn't even sure what was happening, or if he could even trust this mystery woman. She did just save his life, so Arian figured maybe he owed her at least a minute of time.

"I saw you back at Castle Volkihar before you escaped. Seeing you here now, I can guess you aren't friendly with the vampires," Serana guessed. "This might confuse you, but I want to see my father stopped as much as anybody. To do that, I need to beat him to the Auriel's Bow, and therefore the Elder Scrolls."

"Wait hold on," Arian interrupted. "You're his daughter, why do you want to kill Harkon. And secondly, why should I trust Harkon's daughter?" Arian questioned. Serana stared at Arian hard for several moments, her piercing yellow eyes striking him.

"Because he needs to be stopped. The world is for more than just vampires," Serana argued.

"Well then, I never thought I'd hear that from a vampire," Arian commented with a snarky tone. Everything he had been through, he made it a general rule to not trust vampires. Arian was also trying quite hard to not fall once again for a pretty face, which Serana had.

Then Serana looked to the side then and put her weight on one foot as she leaned awkwardly. Biting her thumb's nail she hesitated for a few moments.

"I didn't always used to be a vampire," she countered finally. "I still remember what it's like to be human."

There was a long silent pause as Arian stared at the mysterious vampire in front of him. He didn't want to trust her. Everything her kind had done to him and the people around him sent impulses of hate up and down his body. However, Arian had two factors to consider. For starters, Harkon's daughter as an ally could be invaluable for numerous reasons. There was also that native need in Arian to trust people. He wanted to genuinely believe people were good, and Serana was doing her best to appeal to that. Arian just hoped she wasn't abusing it.

"Alright," Arian finally said. "What do you need?"

Serana smiled weakly, and then kept going.

"Harkon doesn't know that I still have my Elder Scroll, and when he finds out he's going to send everyone after me. So to stand a chance, I need to find the Dawnguard."

"Wow, that's actually what we're already trying to do too," Arian chipped in.

"Excellent," Serana stated with a small grin. "I need your help to join though. They're not just going to let a vampire into their ranks."

"What do you need?"

"For us to read the Elder Scrolls, we'll need a Moth Priest," Serana explained. "They're the only ones who can interpret the scroll without going mad. Normally they're in Cyrodill, but Harkon's forces captured one near here.

"If we can go save him and deliver him to the Dawnguard to read the scrolls, then we stand a chance of beating Harkon to the bow," Serana finished.

Arian mewled over the plan for a couple of seconds. He'd have to be on his guard the whole time, the plan could just be one giant set-up for a trap to recapture him and Kharjo. However the idea made sense, so Arian would go with it for the time being. After Arian agreed to it, Serana explained where to find the Moth Priest, and instructed Arian to mark down a cave on his map to the east of them.

"Wait, you're not coming with us?" Arian asked.

"I think it'd be better for everyone involved if I wait it out," Serana answered. "I heard your Khajiit friend isn't too fond of vampires, so I'll meet you there and help from the shadows."

That made it sound like even more of a trap, but Arian reluctantly agreed.

"Thank you," Serana said, starting to act a bit shy. "This…this will….thanks."

Then a dark shroud covered Serana once again, her wings sprouting from her back. In just a few moments she had become the giant monstrous vampire again and was flying away into the night sky. Arian watched her for a few moments, and then blew out a little sigh.

Was there such a thing as a good night's rest, or was this how all of Arian's night were going to be?

Arian heard a familiar noise to his side, and walking over to the edge of the rooftop, on the side of the building facing away from the main street of Morthal, was Frosty. The troll was bouncing up and down excitedly upon seeing Arian, and Arian grew infinitely more relieved that Frosty had made it away from the vampires okay.

This made Arian realize a problem however. How in the world was he supposed to get down?

Chuckling to himself helplessly, Arian knew that this was just his luck.

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Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.