The Bounty Chronicles: Ch. 6


Five long days of traveling had passed before finally arriving at Fort Dawnguard in the afternoon. The damn Thalmor didn’t make the first day of traversing any simpler. True they had their deaths coming but it didn’t mean it was easy, especially with what I had experienced previously.

Each tried their best against me. Had more fun with those men and women then I did with the vampires in Dimhollow.

The traveling gave me time to give my journals a through updating. The one that Serana read was recently changed to fit what she told me. Harkon’s other form was added soon after, a section all to itself. His form was unworldly, even by Oblivion standards. Deadric Prince standards, however, were not Oblivion’s and a very plausible explanation for its creation.

 Molag Bal created the vampire generations ago, something not many the people of Skyrim know. It wasn’t a farfetched hypothesis that he created the ‘Vampire Lord’ that runs in Harkon’s veins.

Making my way through Dayspring Canyon the woodland creatures scattered at my approach and- was that the sound of battle?

“Either they are training,” I muttered, “or they are being attacked by something...” The sound of a gurgling cry told me everything I needed to know. “Being attacked by an assailant. Got it.”

Breaking into a sprint I made my way through now up barricades and into a fight. Several members of the Dawnguard battled against vampires! Even from where I now stood they wore the same armor that the creatures in Harkon’s court was. Did they follow me or were they ahead the entire time?

But how?! I thought incredulously. How far is that vampire’s reach?!


Bringing my knee out, it struck a vampire in the chest and sent him rolling to the ground. I felt some ribs break and he didn’t even get back up; he didn’t even move.

Immediately my daggers were in my hands, parrying and striking at any undead foolish enough to attack. Been a little while since either dagger was used in a fight, hopefully this would be a good one.

The cries of the vampires and blood soon filled the air as the Dawnguard swung their silver weapons. Isran in particular. His Warhammer broke bones and cracked skulls wide open, sending blood in all directions. His magic was indeed incredible too. An aura of gold surrounded his being that burned and charred any vampire that got too close.

The hammer was interesting. From the looks I could get in it was covered with engravings and what looked like suns. He blocked sword strikes and mace blows with the handle only to hit his enemies across the face with the pummel. Wicked gashes were left in its wake.

Durak was something else. He used his crossbow in the same style I used my own bow. The Orc fired bolt after bolt at his attackers taking out any he could get from afar before charging in like the berserker his people are known to be, clubbing the butt across the cheek of an unlucky Daedric creature.

Incredible, I thought. Getting the chance to see them fight is something I needed to see. Especially Isran. I turned to see Celann block an incoming with his shield only to bring his axe across her chest into a shoulder. The woman wailed before gasping for air after my boot found its way into her gut. Seeing any of them fight is something I needed to see.

“You’re welcome,” I grunted plunging a dagger into her forehead, giving it a twist. Blood wept from the open wound as brain matter oozed into the outside world.

“Who said,” the Breton bellowed, slamming his shield against another monster, “I didn’t have her covered?!”

“Your hands were full with that one,” I pointed a dagger at the vampire his axe now dripped with blood from. “Come on! There are still more here!”

With the Breton we watched each other’s backs, making sure we weren’t struck by their draining magic or lighting strikes. Though we tried they got lucky strikes in. Nobody is perfect after all.

It didn’t slow us down, only succeeding in pissing the two of us off. Particularly me.

Taking advantage of the now dwindling numbers of the enemy, I threw a dagger, hitting one in the back and charged for the other.

Isran let out a yell as his hammer took the head off the one my dagger hit. “Leave one of them alive!! We can interrogate them later!”

Unleashing a snarl and grabbing an arrow, the last vampire met his demise when the head cut his throat and disappeared into a temple. Watching the body drop put a smile on my face.

Isran didn’t hold back on his displeasure, hammer drenched in vampiric blood. “What did I just say, Xian?! Huh?! I said leave one of the undead pricks alive!!”

Finding the Redguard with my dagger in its back, I knelt down, wanting it back. “You do. It’s over there.” The Nord still lay in an unglorified heap in the grass.

“He better be still alive,” Isran growled. “Now then, don’t you have a report for me?”

“Don’t you have a bag of gold for me?” Celann and Durak began to gather around Isran and myself, their weapons dripping blood onto the grass and dirt. The Orc’s crossbow’s drawstring was broken, having become so after he blocked a sword strike. His own axe looked less caked then his comrades.

“Only after you tell me what you found at Dimhollow,” he retorted, sheathing his weapon.

“Fine.” Whipping the dagger clean I faced my employer. “What this one found in Dimhollow was interesting to say the least. Vampires everywhere.”

“Vampires in Dimhollow… what were they after?” He rubbed his chin, ruffling the long beard that, no doubt, stole all the hair from his head.

“A vampire woman was who they were after,” I said putting my own weapons away.

“A woman? Trapped in there? That doesn’t make any sense.” Isran looked away in thought. “At any rate, what was she? More importantly, where is she?”

This should be fun, I thought. “She was a vampire who wanted to go home. So this one took her there.”

“WHAT?!” The Dawnguard leader was turning red in his anger that Celann and even Durak looked away. “Why on Stendarr’s Great Mercy would you not take the opportunity to kill that woman?!”

My turn.

“Because that was not part of your briefing,” I shouted back. “You told this one to look into Dimhollow, not kill what the blood-suckers were after!!”

“The only good vampire is a dead vampire!”

“This vampire was different! Actually talked instead of attacking on the spot!”

“She took advantage of your softness, Xian!” He attempted to poke my chest for emphasis only to have it swatted away. “That softness will get you killed! You already aren’t fit to join!!”

“But I am not a member to begin with you bastard!” We were in each other’s faces now. “You HIRED me as a hunter and tracker! To do what you could not! Lost Tolan as well, if case you were wondering about him.”

“I did not forget about him but if he’s dead than oh well. But because of your incompetence with the assignment, you aren’t getting your payment.”

“…Excuse me?” My eyes stared daggers into the man’s very soul. “Did I just hear you say I’m not getting my payment for a job I finished?”

“Isran,” Celann braved the storm by coming close, “maybe you shouldn’t deny Xian his gold.”

“And why the hell not?” His leader sneered.

“Because I did what you asked of me you bastard!” No one was dumb enough to refuse to pay me for a job I completed. It was an unspoken business deal that everyone honored. Almost everyone. “You know I am right, dammit!!”

“Before I agree to pay you Xian,” Isran spat, “is there anything else I should know?”

“The vampires have an Elder Scroll,” I added nonchalantly.

“And you didn’t retrieve it?!” He was incredulous now. So were Celann and Durak. Wonder where Agmaer was…

“Even if I wanted to, which I didn’t, there was never an opportunity to. Having eyes on one from every direction leaves very little movement,” I explained. “You would not have been able to do better.”

“I don’t know about that Argonian. Unlike you I’m-“

“No. Not like this one,” I interrupted with a snarl. “You may specialize in vampires, but I broaden my expertise to nearly everything in Skyrim.”

“Look you two,” Celann declared with mock determination, “we need a plan of action instead of fighting amongst ourselves.”

“Yea, he’s right,” Durak agreed with a nod. “If you argue like this we’ll never get anything done.”

We glared at him for a moment before realizing the man was correct.

“Fine,” Isran and I grumbled.

“Anyone in mind?” I asked the Breton.

“Any person that Isran has worked with in the past.”

The Redguard grumbled aloud. “Sorine Jurard and Gunmar. They should be able to help us.” He looked to me, a fierce look of defiance. “I need you, Xian, to find them.”

 “I will find one of them,” I said raising a finger to make a point.

“Then I can find who you don’t want to go after,” Celann cut in.

“Or I can or go with you, Celann,” the Orc said looking to the Breton.

“Of course old friend,” the Breton smiled.

“No Durak.” Isran interjected with a new voice of reason for his subordinate. “I need you here with me in case we should come under attack again. Agmaer, myself and the other two may not be enough.”

“Not with how you fight Isran,” the green Elf replied with a degree of respect.

“While that is true, having another with experience similar to yours is invaluable when forced to divide and conquer. “

Durak sighed, “Alright. Fair enough Isran.”

“Then I guess Gunmar and I can have a good chat coming back,” Celann said more to himself than anyone else.

“Good, that cuts traveling in half,” I surmised with crossed arms. ”This one will go after Sorine.”

“And Gunmar is my assignment. Be good to see him after all these years,” he mused.

“Before I agree to anything, is this another job offer?” I asked.

“It is,” Isran answered placing his Warhammer onto its slot on his back.

“Then not only will I get payed for this job but also the last one plus interest.”

“Excuse me?!”

“You heard me,” I spat. “I don’t give my services for free.”

Isran gritted his teeth. “Fine. I’ll pay you when you return with Sorine. Not before.”

“You’d better, old man,” I replied jabbing a finger into his armor-covered chest. “Now, where was she last seen?”

“That tinkering Breton was last seen in Markarth. More than likely because of all the Dwemer machinery."

“I see. Then I’ll return with her.”

Quickly going over my equipment I also made a note to count how much coin remained in my purse. I nodded to myself when 100 gold was left. Plenty to get to Markarth and whatever services that would be required in the city.

Isran was going over the possible last known location of Gunmar with Celann and Durak when I interrupted with a cough.

“What Xian? Can’t you see we are a little busy here, going over his assignment?” The brute of a Redguard made his displeasure known, his brows deepening into a frown.

“Then I will be quick,” I reassured him with a frown of my own. “My payments better be ready when I return with Sorine. Because if they are not,” my face darkened, “then there will be very serious problems. And you do not want to see how this one resolves serious problems.”

“As long as you don’t screw this up, you’ll get it. Along with that interest boy.” His gruff voice remained calm and had a hint of violence in it.

I was beginning to like this man. Even if it was very slightly.

“Good. Then I shall return with your Breton woman.”

Taking my leave, Markarth would soon be short a Dwemer enthusiastic Breton. Before getting completely out of earshot, the sound of a body being dragged away could be heard.

I wonder if Isran will get anything out of that vampire. Maybe if he shatters a few bones like glass, I laughed to myself. 

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  • The tension between Xian and Isran was incredibly well written. 

    • I could not agree more. I thought Xian and Isran would end up fighting any moment.

  • I aplaud your sir
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