A New Adventure
Arthius turned around to see two vampires and two thralls attacking Falkreath, three males one woman. Breton by their appearances. A few guards were already on the attack so Arthius quickly joined the battle. He ran towards one of the males with his sword held above his head as he was about to strike down on the creature. The vampire took notice of this and quickly swung up his dwarven war axe to deflect the strike. The impact barely shook the vampire but the flame bursting from the sword made it wince in pain. Arthius put his boot up to the vampire's stomach and kicked back. The vampire hissed in anger as it charged up an ice spike spell to send at Arthius, but Arthius rushed it and dodged the spike as it was shot at him. He then thrust his sword through the vampire's chest, and let it fall to the ground dead. He turned to see one of the male thralls dead on the ground while the last vampire and her thrall were holding their own against the guards.
Arthius shouted "MOVE BACK!" and the guards quickly obeyed knowing already who he was. The vampire and her thrall turned to see who gave the order but couldn't react fast enough to get out of harm's way.
"YOL TOOR SHUL"
The vampire and her thrall were engulfed in flame from Arthius' shout and their screams were muffled by the flames as they were roasted alive. Arthius watched as their bodies roasted in the flames, savoring his kill and…craving more.
Arthius shook himself from his thoughts. "No, don't go back to that now" he thought. The guards cheered amongst themselves as Arthius tried to gather his thoughts. "Don't let it control you like it did before" he thought to himself, "remember what Kodlak told you". As he was thinking, one of the local guards approached him.
"Damn bloodsuckers, I hear they've been attacking some of the other holds same as this one". Arthius just nodded, not truly listening to what the guard had to say. "I hear they're reforming the Dawnguard. Vampire hunters or something, in the old fort near Riften. Might consider joining up myself, better than staying here and waiting for them to attack us again". This got Arthius' attention.
"What fort are you talking about?" Arthius asked.
"It's in dayspring canyon, just down the road from Riften you'll see an opening in the mountain side. Can't miss it" the guard replied.
Arthius pondered this for a moment. "Well, there's nothing else to do", Arthius thought. He began back up the road to his house as he heard the guards arguing over who has to clean the mess of bodies.
A few minutes later, Arthius stepped through the doors of Lakeview manor.
"Is that you my thane?" Lydia asked.
"Yes it's me Lydia" Arthius answered "Please gather me supplies for a few days, I have to travel to Riften".
"Why does Jarl Siddgeir want you to go to Riften?" Lydia asked.
Arthius paused, like a child caught in the act. "I…didn't speak with the Jarl, there was a vampire attack". "Maybe I can avoid a damn lecture from my own housecarl", he thought.
"Are you alright?" she asked with concern.
"I'm standing here aren't I?" he replied.
"What business do you have in Riften?" Lydia asked, ignoring his remark.
"A group of vampire hunters are forming something called the Dawnguard in a fort near Riften, I figure I should help out" he replied.
"You can never exclude yourself from anything involving danger, can you my thane?" Lydia asked sarcastically as she began packing food, potions and other supplies he might need in a small sack.
"Not as long as there's people in need of help" he replied with a smirk, to which Lydia rolled her eyes.
"Our mighty hero…".
Arthius arrived in Riften about three days later, stopping by Whiterun to check in on the companions. He and Vilkas sparred some in the dining hall where Arthius soon found himself sent through a table. Though Arthius is a better warrior, he still can't surpass Vilkas' strength. Aela reported all notifications she felt he needed to hear as he basically left her in charge as he is absent most days, but he still travels to Whiterun when a companion needs their harbinger's guidance. He and Farkas spent the night drinking mead and trading stories of what's happened since they last spoke. Though many believe Farkas to be an idiot, Arthius acknowledges that he just follows his brother's insight and Arthius came to respect this about him.
Arthius stopped by Riften to check in on the guild and see how Brynjolf is handling being the temporary guild master while he's away.
"It'd take all the gold in Tamriel to keep me in charge of these idiots much longer, Arthius" Brynjolf stated. "I can't go one day without hearing Vex ramble on about how she deserves more of a pay, or Niruin trying to shoot a damn book out of my hands every time he gets the chance".
"That's ridiculous!" Arthius responded. "You're a thief, there's never enough gold to keep you satisfied" Arthius stated smiling, as Brynjolf responded by breaking into a fit of laughter.
"Ah, it's good to have you back, mate. Keeping the family together and all that" Brynjolf stated.
"Speaking of family, how's Karliah been?" Arthius asked. He hasn't spoken to her since the day he left to read the elder scroll almost two years ago.
"Bringing honor to the thieves guild my fellow Nightingale" Karliah spoke from the shadows, scaring every fiber of Arthius' being. As Karliah stepped out of the shadows in her nightingale armor, Arthius found himself grinning ear to ear as he watched the beautiful woman appear before him. There was a time when Arthius wanted nothing but to have her, but that was when he was young and foolish. "Well, YOUNGER" he thought. He now understands the love she had for Gallus and refuses to let his own lust allow him to overlook it.
"What brings you back?" Karliah asked. She always had a stern yet subtle voice so Arthius could never understand what she's truly thinking.
"I'm on my way to a fort nearby, vampire hunters of some sort that call themselves the Dawnguard" Arthius replied.
"Eager to save Skyrim once again are we? You weren't so happy the last time you returned from something like this" Brynjolf stated. Arthius couldn't exactly disagree with what Brynjolf said considering he spent three months searching for Alduin before realizing he was nowhere in Skyrim or Sovangarde. He basically secluded himself from everyone he knew because he thought of himself as a failure.
"This is just a small issue that needs dealing with, that's all" Arthius told him. He was hoping it to be more than that, a little adventure wouldn't hurt after all.
After saying farewell to his fellow Nightingales, Arthius left Riften, not trying to spend the night in the most corrupt city in Skyrim. Well, unless of course you count the daedra worshipping town of Rorikstead but that was just a rumor after all. He arrived at the entrance to dayspring canyon in the early evening. When he stepped inside he almost gasped aloud. The inside of the canyon was beautiful. Flowers blooming as a waterfall poured from above to the crystal clear lake below. It was truly one of Skyrim's hidden gems. As he walked down the path he noticed a young man standing awkwardly looking up the path. The boy was a whelp of a man wearing a green tunic and blonde hair that went to his shoulders. He was imperial by the looks of it and Arthius noticed he was equipped with an old axe for cutting wood. Was this supposed to be a member of the mighty vampire slayers he's heard about?
"Excuse me" Arthius called out.
The man looked towards Arthius and said "Oh, hey there! You here to join the Dawnguard too?"
Arthius was slightly relieved hearing that this boy was not representing the Dawnguard.
"Yes I am" Arthius stated clearly
"Alright"said the man" Truth is, I've never done anything like this before hope you don't mind if I walk up with you".
Arthius had to restrain himself to not roll his eyes at the man's request. The lad might as well go back home to his parents. He looked like he had no will to fight and would die quickly anyways if he did. Arthius hoped he was wrong about the lad as Vilkas was wrong about him.
"I see no reason why not" Arthius stated with as much control as he could muster.
"Thank you. Hey, uh, please don't tell Isran I was too afraid to meet him by myself. Not the best first impressions for a vampire hunter, I guess. My names Agmaer by the way" Agmaer said.
"Arthius" Arthius replied. "Vampire hunter? Is that what you call yourself?" Arthius thought.
"You've probably killed lots of vampires, huh? I'm sure Isran will sign you right sure he'll take me. I hope so." Agmaer continued.
"Hmm" was all that Arthius could muster out. The boy was already afraid and it's not even the vampires. "What kind of fool decides to leave his home to go to war with absolutely no confidence in himself? Does the lad even know how to wield a weapon, let alone a fire enchanted one?" Arthius couldn't help but try and ignore him until they reach the fort. As they continued down the path they came upon a massive castle looking brand new by the looks of it.
"This must be it, fort Dawnguard…wow. Bigger than I expected" Agmaer said.
Arthius nodded, as even the college of Winter hold would envy this structure. It was massive enough to home a city. As they approached the entrance, a man in what appeared to be custom leather approached them.
"New recruits?" he asked. Arthius and Agmaer nodded. "Go on inside, Isran will decide if you've got what it takes.
"Thank the divines, hopefully this will be the last he sees of this pathetic excuse of a hunter." Arthius thought to himself as they stepped inside he noticed it wasn't as good looking as the outside had been. The walls were crumbling and there were large cobwebs all around the room. He saw two men standing in the middle of the room. One was a bald, older Nord dressed in white robes. A vigilant of Stendarr by the looks of it. The other man was a Redgaurd dressed in the same armor as the man outside. He had a shaved head and a rough goatee on his chin. He had dark features with light brown eyes and appeared to be in his late fifties. A warrior like Arthius by the look of it with a Warhammer strapped to his back. Arthius himself had a slight tan but still light. He had a clean shaven face with a scar going down from his left eyebrow to the side of his face. A scar given to him by Alduin himself. He had short dark brown hair and a toned and muscular body due to his large amount of combat experience.
The two men were arguing by the looks of it and Arthius stepped forward to listen in.
"…stirred up the vampires against you, you come begging for my protection". The man that Arthius presumed to be Isran stated. "A vigilant of Stendarr needing help? That's the first I've heard of it"Arthius thought to himself. Though the vigilants weren't all great warriors, most of them have hunted down daedra and destroyed them, so having problems with vampires made Arthius question how big of a problem the vampires have become.
The vigilant replied "Isran, Carcette is dead. The Hall of Vigilants…everyone…they're all dead. "This took Arthius by surprise. The great hall of the vigilants…wiped out by vampires.
"I'm sorry, I tried to warn you, all of you" Isran turned to Arthius." So who are you, what do you want?" he asked.
"I'm here to join the Dawnguard". Arthius stated.
"Got a fire in your belly to kill vampires eh? Good for you, but look around. There's not much to join yet. I've only started rebuilding the order". Isran stated.
"What would you have me do?" Arthius asked.
"I need someone out in the field taking the fight to the vampires. The vigilants were telling me about this cave they've been investigating. Seems to be related to the recent attacks" Isran said.
"What's the cave called?" Arthius asked.
Arthius arrived outside the cave two days later, rushing to arrive there early on in hopes to stop the vampires plans. On his way he came upon the Hall of Vigilants, or what was left of it anyways. The building was left in ruins littered with dead vigilants and vampires alike. There were some canine creatures that Arthius didn't recognize but was sure that they weren't natural. The creatures looked like a mix between a bat and a wolf with a lot of children's nightmares thrown into the mix.
As he entered the cave he heard voices speaking. He quickly used his muffle spell and crept closer, trying to hear what they were saying.
A man's voice spoke up "These vigilants never know when to give up. I thought we taught them enough of a lesson at their hall". Arthius peeked around the corner to see two figures in vampiric armor. "Vampires" Arthius thought to himself. The rage building inside of him as he took aim with the crossbow he was given by Isran.
"To come here alone…a fool like all the rest of them" the female said. "I suppose that makes me a fool then" Arthius thought as he released the bolt, It flew through the air with great speed and struck the male through the head immediately ending his undead life. The female turned quickly towards the sound of the crossbow and saw Arthius crouching there. She hissed as she unleashed a ray of red light at Arthius. It struck him and he immediately felt weaker, the spell was draining him. He quickly hid behind the pillar he was crouched beside while he equipped his sword and shield, preparing himself to charge. He was surprised when a beast pounced on him from the side, he quickly ducked making the creature fly over him. He turned in the creature's direction, staring right at its ugly face. It lunged again but Arthius was ready for it and side stepped bringing his sword down on the nape of the beast. It whined quickly before it fell dead on the icy floor. Arthius waited until he could hear the vampire and learn its location, but after a few moments he still heard nothing.
"LASS YAH NIR" Arthius whispered as he saw the vampire's life essence through the pillar as it was slowly sneaking up on Arthius with a dagger in hand. Once it got close enough, Arthius jumped out at it and sliced its head clean off its body. Arthius sheathed his weapons and walked along stumbling upon the vampires head. He chuckled as he kicked the head far into the distance. "Fools to think they could even stand a chance against me." Arthius thought.
Arthius continued down the cave killing off countless vampires and draugrs, and even a giant frostbite spider. He soon entered through a door to a large cavern. He heard the voices of multiple men speaking as he passed by some very ominous looking gargoyle statues.
"…so go now, meet your beloved Stendarr "said one of the voices. Arthius looked over the edge to see a vampire strike down a man who was tied by the wrists who appeared to be a vigilant. This enraged Arthius as he aimed his crossbow at one of the three vampires.
"Are you sure that was wise Lokil? He may have-"she was cut off by a bolt striking her through the head.
"No," Arthius stated" it wasn't"
"Ah, another vigilant? No matter, you will soon join your friend here." Lokil smiled, baring his fangs.
Arthius quickly charged the two as they hit him with their life drain spells which he blocked using his Spellbreaker shield. He pushed onwards, fueled by rage. The other female swung her sword at him which he parried, he then struck her in the head with his shield, stunning her. Then he stabbed her through the chest, Arthius grinned maniacally as he kicked her off his flaming blade to the hard stone floor where she would die soon after. Lokil charged forward with his orcish sword.
"ZUN HAAL VIIK" Arthius shouted, sending Lokil's blade and only means of defense over the edge of the platform they were standing on. Arthius dropped his shield and punched Lokil hard in the face, knocking him to one knee. Arthius then pressed his sword against Lokil's face, savoring the sound of Lokil screaming in agony as his flesh was being burnt. Arthius then repeatedly bashed Lokil's face with the blunt of his sword until it was a bloody mess. As Lokil was on both knees barely keeping consciousness, Arthius whispered to him.
"Go now, meet your beloved Molag Bal, filth "And then he was stabbed through the back of the neck slowly, feeling the sword burn every fiber of his being as he screamed in agony like a mad man until he couldn't scream anymore, and died. Arthius felt the rage inside him winning, and he was enjoying it. The vigilants were protectors of skyrim and these creatures slayed them like vermin. At least that's what he held onto as an excuse for his actions.
He looked around the platform noticing a button in the middle. He knew they were searching for something, maybe it had the answer. He pushed down on the button and a spike came out piercing his hand. He cried in pain as pillars reflecting some sort of purple glow rose around him. Using the little restoration he knew and most of the healing potions he had, he was able to heal his hand with only little pain remaining. He glanced around the room following the trail of purple light coming from the pillars with some sort of chalice on top of them. He learned all about these puzzles from his time with the thieves guild. He soon placed all the pillars in order and the room began to shake. The ground surrounding the middle lowered as a large stone monolith rose from the ground. Arthius approached it with caution and inspected it. He carefully pushed the wall of it. The wall slid down to reveal…a woman. She wore ancient royal armor of some sort and had black hair braided into neat buns behind her head making her appear as a princess. Arthius thought she was the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen. She began to fall forward and Arthius stepped forward catching her and holding her until she got her balance, she then looked up at him, and he gasped out loud.
She had the most beautiful…glowing eyes.