The Bounty Chronicles: Ch. 13

*~Harkon Volkihar~*

The moon shone brightly this night, the red waves of energy given off felt electrifying on my skin. Watching Masser rise higher and higher into the black, starless sky from the peak of the castle gave me such a thrill. Unfortunately more pressing matters were plaguing my mind. Not one damn thing was ever simple.

“Have you found either hide or hair of my Serana?” I asked aloud into the great, yawning chasm before me.

“No, Lord Harkon,” came Vingalmo’s voice from behind me. “I’ve sent agents scowling all over Skyrim. They all returned empty handed.”

“The outcome is shared by us both,” Orthjolf spoke. “The Elder Scroll is gone as well, sire.”

“Don’t you two fools believe I know that?” The frown could be heard in my voice, nearly dripping with malice and venom. “That was among the first things I looked for after she ran away!”

“Then where could she have gone? Not very far; simply impossible!” Vingalmo complained.

“Don’t underestimate my daughter’s resourcefulness,” I replied, grabbing my arms from behind my back. The wind faintly blew by, brushing my hair near my cheek. “She was able to manipulate that Argonian savoir of hers.”

“’Manipulate’?” My Nord fellowman laughed. “There was no way she manipulated that piece of flesh! Serana had that boy wrapped around her finger.” That eclectic accent of his sounded as true as ever with his factoid. But…

I knew the younger vampire was merely toying with that idea, so I called his bluff.

“What makes you believe so, Orthjolf?”

“Just by the look of the boots, he was nothing short of an adventurer. There is no shortage of idiots like those in these bleak lands.” He was laying down shortsighted points, but continued. “But from the way he was studying you in your glory, my Lord, he appeared to be more curious.”

“He was sizing me up for a future confrontation, you dimwitted bastard!” I could hear both pairs of boots scrap against the stone of my ancient home. “Vingalmo,” I sighed, “do you have a hypothesis of how Serana was able to use that Xian-Krie?”

“Well,” he started, “perhaps it was something simple as a bond. From the way the cretin acted, he was not overly acting on any front. He seemed rather calm. His heart rate didn’t elevate when you transformed however.”

“Yes we could all smell that. Even the cattle took notice.” I mused, allowing a fang to poke out and brush my beard. “The black lizard appeared to be very used to something of that nature. Perhaps our weaker, pathetic counterparts, werewolves, are a common occurrence for the child.”

“Maybe, maybe not, my Lord,” Orthjolf responded with some thought. “Perhaps he is more than he appears. The lizard did appear to be unfazed by any of us. Actually worth his blade in a battle.”

Vingalmo scoffed.

“Please. That black scaled fool may look that part, however, I sincerely doubt that.”

“Are you two done quipping about a meager fly?” I was growing tired at their prattle. “It really is not Xian that I am interested in finding.” My eyes darted from side to side as the situation presented itself. “He may, however, be the target of my daughter’s sights. After all there was nothing in the world that could separate that Elder Scroll from her possession. Even my demanding of it did not stir any feeling of passing it along. But there was that delightful smell of fear and cowardice radiating about her.”

The bone hawks above the three of us soared with soundless flaps of their wings casting their disfigured shadows onto whatever light Masser gave. A few squawked now and then adding more ambiance to the ominous air.

Xian-Krie, the Argonian bounty hunter, would be worthy prey indeed in a future confrontation. The wildfire of prattle from a year or two ago about him killing the World Eater reached us. A very difficult task indeed and if memory served me correct, only a Dragonborn could do such a feat. So he had power and expertise on his side, did he? That would make killing him all the better, such a perfect specimen and soul for Molag Bal. I could already taste his blood on my lips, the very idea making my mouth salivate; a chortle escaped in an almost animalistic fashion.

“Harkon?” Vingalmo asked, making quick glances to Orthjolf.

“Ahh, yes. Vingalmo, what is it?”

“Are you feeling alright, my Lord? You appear… distracted. What is on your mind?”

I smirked.

Audacious, aren’t you lowly bug? “What is it to me is of no worry to you.”


“I said the matter if of no concern to you!!” I shouted, causing them to start and several birds to scatter from the rooftop.

“O-of course, my Lord Harkon. Forgive my impudence.” I heard his feet rub the tiles as he positioned himself to bow in forgiveness.


“Yes, my Lord.”

“Is there anything more that you wish to say? Vingalmo? Orthjolf?”

“I do not,” the High Elf said shakily.

“I concur,” the Nord replied in agreement.

My voice rose slowly as my resentment for the both of them grew.

“I do. You two have started to slowly shrink in efficiency ever since my beloved daughter was returned to us. Your agents have failed you! More importantly, they have failed me!” The world momentarily became red as the power of my blood activated. The power radiated off of my body, chocking and smothering the men behind me.

“I do not tolerate failure from anyone! Do I make myself clear?!”

“Y-yes, my Lord Harkon,” the two enemies stammered together. “Forgive us and our thralls impudence!”

“You are forgiven,” I growled. “But if another setback should happen, your puppets shall meet their end! Then you both will be punished accordingly!”

“Of course, Lord Harkon!” They spoke in unison once more.

As quickly as the transformation happened I returned to my old Nord self. The changes were nothing more than second nature over the course of centuries. All of my court could transform to some degree, some more than others. It was those with pure blood, my daughter- my wife, Valerica, and myself- who could transform fully into the creature Molag Bal originally though us for.

“There may be a way to make up for your pawns’ misfortune and find a way into my graces once more.” I rolled the thought over and over into my mind. “Yes… Yes that will do quite nicely.”

“My Lord, what is it?” Orthoylf asked.

“The Chalice, of course.”

“The Bloodstone Chalice?”

“Precisely, my old advisor. I believe it is time I have it put to good use.”

“But who will deliver it to Redwater Den?” Vingalmo’s question was just. There were so precious few we truly trusted. “I know you don’t trust anyone as far as you can throw them, my Lord. No matter how far you are able to throw them.”

“My my, how astute of you. Nothing gets past you and your wit, eh Vingalmo?”

“Ah… no, Lord Harkon.” He was being modest and right to do so. His observation skills and pointblank reasoning knew no bounds. “Just who should take the Chalice?”

“Send whomever you desire. Garan Marethi perhaps. He gets more done than the two of you, one way or another.”

“Then,” Orthjolf asked, “who will be sacrificed?” I could hear him rub that beard of his. Was he becoming complacent so soon? Running out of ideas?

“Why are you asking me such a stupid question, Orthjolf?” I started to reprimand him. “I know there pretty of lesser vampires down in Redwater. There is bound to be a very powerful vampire there.” I gave a toothy grin. “Butcher them. Get creative.”

“Yes, Lord Harkon,” the men stated as one. “It will be demanded at once.”

“Very good.” Things were starting to fall into place ever so slowly. But the wait makes the outcome oh, so worthwhile when it finally arrives. Now then, how to deal with my current business: how to shatter an enemy from the inside out?

“Before you two head down to give Garan the news there is something else I need to discuss.”

“Lord Harkon?” Vingalmo asked, raising an eyebrow. “There is more?”

“Of course there is more, you fool!!” I shouted him down. My voice echoed far and wide, no doubt reaching Skyrim’s shoreline. “However, because of your idiocy, it will be Orthjolf who will be in charge.”

They went silent, utterly flabbergasted at my choice of words. None dared to make a sound.

“L-l-lord Harkon… I… I don’t know what to say.” The Nord brethren of mine stuttered.

“Lord Harkon,” Vingalmo called out. “Are you sure that’s wise?! What could possibly have your grand attention?! To Let Orthjolf lead us while you are away?!”

“Ah, my dear friend, Vingalmo.” I said calmly, more than likely sending shivers down both the men’s spines. “The business is of my own, like I made clear moments ago. This will take my full attention and, thankfully, I already have the information I require to accomplish this little goal.”

“And while I am away, you both will do well to follow the information my agent gave me.”

“How important is it, Lord Harkon?” Vingalmo asked.

“It is very important, Vingalmo. More important than many things. There is a very prime target coming to Skyrim incredibly soon. A Moth Priest.” Incredibly intelligent Imperial men who spend many of their twilight years learning the precise rituals and procedures in order to read an Elder Scroll or two. “He will be able to read the Scroll once my daughter returns it to me, willing or no.”

Orthjolf began to see the larger picture.

“And you wish us to enthrall him, to make forcing his reading it easier on us all. Excellent!” The smile was heard in his voice. “But the step after that, having Serana give us the Scroll once more.”

“How correct Orthjolf. I’m sure she can be… swayed one way or another.” Ideas began to flood of how to do such a thing. “Quite simply indeed. Be sure to capture that Moth Priest alive. If he is killed, I’ll send you to Molag Bal myself!”

“Understood, Lord Harkon! He will be cornered like a rat in a trap,” the Nord stated with gusto. “Did your agent say where his destination would be?”

“Why yes. The Moth Priest will be arriving by boat to Riften. I believe that has already happened and is currently traveling by guarded carriage all around Skyrim. You will tell Garan this as well; he will probably send that Orc of ours after the priest.” I huffed and smirked. “Now, I need to leave. Important business awaits me elsewhere.” That side effect of my spell should have worn off by now. Such valuable information in that brain. He should feel better right about now.

“My lord, if I may be so bold as to intrude just a little, what is the occupation of this business?” Orthjolf asked.

My, the man was brave.

“Why yes you may, Orthjolf.” I finally turned to face them. The nearly jumped out of their skin and shrank at the mere sight of me. A wicked grin was carved into my face, teeth bard for all to see. Fangs protruding wherever they could. Hair tussling in the wind, casting eerie shadows along my skin. Orange eyes burned with the ferocity of a raging forest fire, cutting through the night.

“Murder, my dear boy. Murder. More accurately, suffering. I am going to make my prey suffer.”


“By hitting him where it hurts. By hitting his source.”

The future thorn in my side would burn before it could be stuck into my skin and cause any harm. 

Table of Contents

Previous ~Next

You need to be a member of THE SKY FORGE to add comments!


Email me when people reply –


  • You did a great job with Harkon in this chapter. He's as menacing as a vampire of his level ought to be.
This reply was deleted.