The Bounty Chronicles: Ch. 2



“Who…. who sent you?”


The vampire’s question was not what I was expecting. Normally the blood suckers would have attacked by now, but she didn’t. Why?


“Who,” I asked, flexing my right hand to try and dull the pain, “were you expecting?”


She placed her hands on her hips, more of her personality, and energy, returning. “Well, for starters someone like me.”


“A vampire,” I stated with a slight wince.


“Yes, a vampire.” The woman looked at me, as though studying what I was and could do. From what I could tell, all she knew was a black Argonian standing before her. “But you still didn’t answer my question: who sent you?”


I shook my head and continued to clasp my right hand; it felt like the inside of the gauntlet was becoming wet with blood. “The ones who sent me are a group of vampire hunters who call themselves the Dawnguard.” I winced again, this time letting out a slight sound of pain. Was the wound getting worse without proper treatment?


“‘Themselves’?” She asked with a puzzled look, raising an eyebrow in mild confusion. “Not ‘we’?”


“Their leader, brute of a Redguard called Isran, hired me as a hunter and tracker. Hm, guess that means he does not like this one.” I tried to give a light smile, to show I wasn’t all that terrible. However, the pain would not relinquish its hold on me. The spike must have hit a vein or few in my hand.


Her face became one of concern now. “Hey, what’s wrong?”


It threw me off guard.


“Why do you care?” I asked through gritted teeth, a drop of sweat streaking down my brow.


She gave me another look, insisting that she actually did. Very unlike many of her vampire brethren I’ve faced so many times.


I sighed. “There was a button, on top of this… thing,” I motioned to it with a knock of my head. “After pressing it, a spike shot through my hand. And no, I have no more potions on my to fix it. I’m going to have to deal with this until I can find the things I need.”


“Alright then,” she replied. “So long as you’re sure you won’t bleed out.”


“I never said that. But returning to the matter at hand,” I stated, standing straight now. A good few inches taller than the vampire before me, she came up to my chin. “The Dawnguard… Isran, he’d more than likely want this one to kill you.”


The vampire folded her arms. “Well look at it this way: you kill me, you’ve killed a vampire. But if people are looking for me," she pointed to the bodies across the bridge, "then there is something going on. Something big.”


I couldn’t help but get some sense of foreboding from that last part. “They only hired me to look into Dimhollow. If they bicker, their own fault.”


“Then yay for me, I suppose,” she said with a shrug.


Looking at her, I can’t believe I didn’t notice what she had before. “An Elder Scroll. Why do you have- Ah!- one?” Pain coursed through me once again.


“Yes, an Elder Scroll. And it’s mine,” the vampire replied defensively. “Look, I can’t really talk about it. It’s not you, it’s just I have no idea who to trust. But, if you want to know then help me back to my family’s home.”


“Fine, I’ll help you back home. Where is it?” Very light panting started. Shit, I thought.


“We used to live on an island to the west of Solitude. I would guess they still do.”


“Then come on. We’ll find a way out.” It had to be the loss of blood. Normally, I don’t agree so quickly to strangers’ requests, but not this time. Little did I know what would come of this agreement.


“By the way,” the vampire spoke as we walked across the bridge, “my name’s Serana. Good to meet you.”


My eyes widened in surprise. No vampire ever offered me their name. Exhaling, I returned the favor. “Xian-Krie.”


The walk through the cavern allowed her to talk to me and I try to hide what pain slipped through me. Her questions were benign, specifically about what I do in Skyrim.


The walk continued and I finally asked a question. “How long were you contained within that… thing?”


“I…,” Serana began, “I don’t really know. Centuries, perhaps? Who’s Skyrim’s High King? That’ll help.”


“Funny you should ask,” I commented.


“Why do you say that?”


“Because that’s a matter of debate right now.”


“Ah, a war of succession. Glad to know the world hasn’t gotten boring without me.” That made me chuckle and agree with her for some unknown reason. “Who are the contenders?”


“The Empire is supporting Elisif from Solitude. Here in Skyrim, a Nord named Ulfric Stormcloak has supporters in nearly half the province.”


My vampire “companion” gave me a weird look. “Empire? What… what Empire?”


“The… Empire,” I responded with equal surprise. “Out of Cyrodiil.”


“Cyrodiil is the seat of an empire?” Serana ran a hand through her raven hair. “I was gone longer than anticipated.”


Damn, she predates the Empire’s founding! That’s… ancient, I thought as we made our way deeper into Dimhollow. Shaking my head, I started to think of ways to quickly fix my hand properly.


The two of us seemed to be getting closer to the end of the cavern. The next room we entered had a large arena-type area. Stone stairs littered the sides, leading downwards into the large space. Peering over, Serana and I saw two thrones on either side of the place. A large fire pit sat in the center of the arena, emitting an orange light. The shadows spread far throughout the dark room.


“I don’t like the looks of this,” I hissed.


“Ambush?” Serana asked, turning towards me. Her vampiric eyes, in the dark we were in, gave a soft glow.




“So how do you want to do this?”


I winced, balling my right fist slightly and gritting my teeth; this wound was really hurting. “I’d rather not fight because of my hand. I can feel my fingers becoming cold. Dammit!”


Her eyes went to the gauntlet, my injury hidden from her. She inhaled a little, and almost immediately her eyes widened. “You have a lot of blood in that armor piece. Let me see your hand.” Her tone became that of a demand, like a mother scolding her children; her own hand was outstretched for emphasis.


I quickly went over the options presented and ultimately gave in to Serana’s demand. I lifted the injured hand and hung it there for her to take.


“Thank you, Xian,” she replied, taking my hand. Slowly she eased the gauntlet off, as if trying to not cause me any discomfort. I let out a soft groan as the suction of the armor released its grip. The now-scarlet stained cloth presented itself. Blood continuously dripped from one end of the wrap, forming a small puddle by my feet. She tipped the gauntlet to the side and the red liquid escaped in a steady stream. Serana could not hide her surprise, “By the Blood…!”


“Now you understand… why this one feels fatigued,” I said, panting a bit more audibly now. My vision suddenly started to darken and my balance was lost, causing me to wobble forward into the Nord vampire. My scales lost some of their rich, black color.


“Woah!” Serana cried as she caught me mid-fall. Sweat was beginning to fall as I became more and more exhausted. “Damn, you weren’t kidding. You feel limp and… your heart. I can hear it slowing down.”


I let out a sigh, “Great, just what I need.” Seems the spike did hit a vein or two. “I don’t have another healing potion either, Serana. I made that clear earlier.”


“Dammit!” Laying me down against a nearby wall, she looked at me. “Do you have anything to hold you over or something? I’m limited when it comes to healing magics.”


Reaching a hand to my vial belt I took one of the green bottles. “A stamina potion. It’ll hopefully do the trick. Need to get one of healing at some point. And what do you mean by ‘limited’?”


“Necromancy,” she said looking at the wound. “I can use what I know but a proper healer would be best.”


“Right now, I am desperate and about ready to pass out. Please, just do what you can.” I surprised myself by saying ‘Please’, but didn’t have the strength to shake my head.


Without a word, Serana softly grabbed my hand and placed it between her own. A flash of magicka appeared, instantly blinding my weak eyes, forcing me to shut them. Moments later, I opened them and moved a piece of cloth to see the hole in my hand, though still there, sealed. The bleeding had stopped.


“There,” the vampire stated, “that should do it. For now.”


Giving it a squeeze, there was still pain in my hand but it felt better than what it did earlier. “Thank you, Serana,” I said with a slight smile. Look at that, a battle hardened bounty hunter saying thank you, to a near common target.


“You’re welcome, Xian.” Delicately, Serana started to unwrap the cloth from my palm. The linen was nearly soaked in the red liquid. “That’s a lot of blood trapped in this,” she said watching a drop of blood drip to the ground.


“Get rid of it in anyway you deem necessary,” I stated with a deep breath. Uncorking my stamina potion, I guzzled down its contents. Despite there being a small amount in the vial, I still, somehow, managed to choke and cough as the container emptied.


Serana dropped the cloth to the ground and almost instantly was by my side. “Easy, now,” she said, placing a hand on my shoulder. Unable to help herself, the vampire smiled and laughed at my misfortune. “Don’t drink it so fast next time.”


Whipping what remnants of the potion from my mouth, I reached into my bandolier and pulled out more white cloth and wrapped it around my hand. “I’ll remember that next time I get stabbed.” Already her easiness to accept me and familiarity and getting close to me was a bit uneasy. Ignoring that feeling, I didn’t shake Serana’s hand from me. “Come on, we have that ambush in there to worry about.”


Helping me up from where I sat, the two of us proceeded into the next room. As predicted, we were attacked by several draugr and reanimated skeletons. Though it was difficult and a little more than painful, I was able to push the pain away and fire my bow while Serana dispatched them with her magic. She was spry for an ancient vampire.


With the last draugr dead at our feet, I turned to face her and nodded. “You fight well.”


“For being ancient, right?” She asked with a sly smile.


“Read minds, do you?”


“No, just a lucky guess.”


I had to admit, I was starting to like this woman. Smartass for sure.


With a chuckle, I motioned to a nearby opening in the wall, hoping it would lead us to the outside world. “Come on, we should keep moving before more arrive and surprise us.”


The vampire Nord nodded in agreement. “Let’s go then.”


For what seemed like hours, the two of us finally made it to an opening leading towards the open world.


Serana took a deep breath. “Ahh. It feels so good to get a breath of fresh air again. And the sunset.” She smiled at the setting sun as the sky turned a pink and burnt orange mixed with red. Even I had to admit, it had been a while since I had taken the time to look and admire the natural beauty that laid before my eyes.


“Hahah, I’m sure,” I chuckled, agreeing with her. Stepping further forward, I looked down the cliff of the mountain. I must of blacked out for a moment because the next thing I knew, Serana was pulling me back.




I gasped, eyes widening in complete surprise and kneeling down in sudden exhaustion. “Wha-what happened?!”


“You were about to fall off the cliff, that’s what almost happened!” Serana’s brow was narrowed, as if in anger, and eyes opened more. Blinking several times to make sure it happened, the vampire continued. “It’s because of the blood you lost, isn’t it?”


“Obviously,” I replied. Leaning my head back, dizziness took hold again, causing me to grunt out loud. This was not good. “Just give me a moment to catch my breath and footing. Then we can make our way to Morthal for the evening.”


Serana, though a little perturbed at my previous sarcasm, simply looked to me. “I figured finding a healer would be your first priority.”


“You’d think that, but no,” I chuckled, closing my eyes for a moment. “There are various plants and herbs around here and Hjaalmarch that can be mixed to make a healing potion. That can hold me off until I find and pay a healer in Solitude.”


Unknown to her, my eyes were slightly opened and I saw the vampire almost smile in excitement. Maybe there’s something in Solitude she wishes to see?


Taking a deep breath, I steadied myself and rose. The dizziness didn’t come right away, so I guessed that meant a good thing for my body. “Alright, Serana. Let’s move. If we don’t, we won’t make it to Morthal before it gets dark.”


“Ahhh, what’s the matter? Afraid of the dark?” The vampire’s face became almost playful at the question.


“Not at all. Just can’t see,” I replied, smiling on the inside. “Now then, shall we?”


“Obviously,” she said, stealing my line.


Together we started the long walk down the mountain side, towards Morthal.


Little did I know this would lead into a whole mess that I eventually became thankful for.


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  • I love this story! The way you weave the actual ingame script and events into your story is brilliant. 

  • "But if people are lookingfor me" Typo, not hating, just trying to help. I very much enjoy reading this story, keep up the good work.
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