Xander of the Dawnguard (BtVS/Skyrim X-over)

Defender of Man, Slayer of Vampires


The Original M2J
Buffy steeled her resolve, ready to go through the portal, ready to sacrifice herself for the world once more.

She hesitantly stepped towards it when a loud bang could be heard over the noise of the roaring wind spiraling from the menacing vortex. Less than a second later, she felt a sharp pain in her leg and collapsed as it could no longer support her weight. She turned her head in horror at what she might find, only to see Xander standing behind her, a 9mm Beretta in his hand.


"Sorry, Buff, but I can't let you do this. Not this time." Xander looked down at her sadly, knowing that what he was doing could very likely earn her eternal hatred.

"It's my choice!" she snapped back, holding her leg in an attempt to staunch the bleeding.

"And this is mine," He replied as he tossed the gun away as he walked towards her. He shook his head. "How many times do I have to tell you that those higher mystical forces don't know jack? You're not alone in this Buffy. Your greatest gift, it's not death. It's life." He walked passed her. "And it's one that you'll be able to keep giving tomorrow and the day after that."

"Xander! You can't!" Buffy called out frantically, desperately wishing her leg would heal more quickly. She tried standing, but her leg wouldn't hold her weight. She desperately crawled towards her friend and the portal.

"I have to," he said with grim determination. More and more dust was being thrown about by the swirling vortex.

"Xander, don't!" Buffy pleaded desperately. "Please! Xander! You can't do this!"

"Sorry, Buffster, it's the only way," Xander replied with a smile. He then turned and walked into the vortex.


"Uuuggghhh..." Xander groaned.

"Good, you're awake," said the voice of an angry sounding man. "How do you feel?"

"Like I've been trampled and then kicked repeatedly," Xander replied.

"Considering the fall you took, it's not surprising," the man told him.

"All things considered, the fact that I woke up at all and not being tortured is a surprise," Xander admitted as he sat up.

"Where did you expect that portal to take you?" the man asked.

"Somewhere a lot worse than this. In fact, despite how run down this place looks, it's a helluva lot nicer than what I was expecting," Xander told him. "Pretty neat castle. My name is Xander."

"Isran," the man answered. "This is Fort Dawnguard, which is situated in a hidden valley in the mountains that border Skyrim and Morrowind."

Xander's focus sharpened immediately and he took in Isran's look, particularly the fact that the man was wearing armor and had a weapon strapped to his back- a warhammer, if Xander wasn't mistaken. A few of the girls, like Faith, liked to use one from time to time, but most preferred swiftness to stopping power like Buffy and used swords, though some, like Vi, often used axes as some sort of middle ground. "Can... Can I see a map?"

Isran nodded and helped Xander off the cot after he kicked off the blankets. Though he wasn't wearing most of what he was, he was glad to see that he still had a shirt and his boxer's on. Given the amount of time that people had seen him in less, he wasn't all that modest anymore. Taking care of each other's wounds, one was bound to see various people in various stages of undress- though he tried to keep a modicum of modesty when he could between him and any under-aged Slayer.

It was as they were walking that Xander suddenly paused, not believing what it was he'd just realized.

A friendly looking man wearing similar armor to Isran, only gray with a single metal pauldron walked towards them. He carried and ornate war axe on his right hip. "Sheesh, Isran, what did you do to the poor kid?"

"What makes you think I did anything to him?" Isran asked.

'I have two eyes!' Xander thought to himself. He quickly mentally shook himself from his incredible revelation.

"Because I know you too well," the friendly man said to Isran before addressing Xander. "I'm Celann. It's good to see you up and about."

Xander shook his hand. "Xander. And if what I suspect is true… Well, I don't think anyone would react well under those circumstances. Especially given something else I just realized."

"Well, the least he could do was gotten you some clothes," Celann pointed out.

Isran merely shrugged. "He asked for a map. A need for clothes seemed like a secondary concern."

Celann shrugged this time. "I'll find you something to wear."

"Thanks." Xander replied gratefully.

Celann turned to Isran. "Durak has headed out to try and recruit more people, but I question how successful he'd going to be with what's been going on."

"What's been going on?" Xander asked.

Both Isran and Celann looked at him in disbelief. It was the latter who spoke up. "Have you been living in a cave? Dragons have returned and have been ravaging the whole of the province, though there are rumors of what the Nord people call a 'Dragonborn' going around slaying them."

"Uh… Wow… Looks like my suspicions are proving to be more and more true…" Xander replied. "That map?"

"C'mon," Isran said in a suspicious tone. Celann followed them, his offer of clothes for Xander momentarily forgotten.

On a nearby table there were two maps. One was of a place called Skyrim, the other was a map of a place called Tamriel, of which Skyrim was a part of. Xander's shoulders slumped. "I'd been afraid of this…"

"I'm not going to like what I'm about to hear, am I?" Isran asked.

"Depends. What's your stance on extra dimensional beings?" Xander answered. "Because as far as I can tell, I'm on a whole new world."

"Could care less, honestly," Isran replied. "You don't attack us, we'll let you live. Just to warn you though, we don't have the magical expertise to send you back where you came from."

Xander nodded, unsurprised by the declaration.

"So are you like a daedra?" Celann asked in mild concern.

Xander shrugged. "Not even sure what a daedra is."

"How did you get here?" Celann inquired.

"I'm not sure how much you'll believe, but the fact that you mentioned things like dragons and magic give me hope you won't think I'm crazy," Xander replied. "My friends and I were investigating a strange vampire cult who were trying to raise some sort of Vampire God. We managed to interrupt their ritual, but they still managed to open the portal anyway. In order to close the portal, one of us had to sacrifice our life. I decided it should be me."

"Which is why you expected to wake up someplace unpleasant if you woke up at all," Isran stated.

Xander nodded. "My friends and I have been hunting vampires and demons since we were teenagers."

Isran looked as if he was thinking something over.

"Isran?" Celann asked.

"I think we could help each other out," Isran said after a moment.

Xander looked at the man warily. "How so?"

"We can't help you get back home. In fact, I'm not certain anyone can," Isran replied. "For that, your best bet would be to go to the College of Winterhold up north."

"As much as I'd like to get home, it was always meant to be a one-way trip," Xander told Isran who nodded. "What do you want and how will it help me?"

"We're an order of vampire hunters. Call ourselves the Dawnguard," Isran informed Xander. "We've been renovating this place to be our new base of operations. Join us and we can keep a roof over your head, food in your belly and possibly put coin in your pocket, until such time as you decide to return to your world."

Xander grimaced. "Pretty sweet deal, not that I have a lot of choices, really. What do you need me to do?"

"Get kitted out before you do anything else," Isran told him. "From there, we'll have to see how well you fight."

Xander shrugged. "I do okay. I'm pretty handy with an axe or a crossbow."

"That's a nice surprise if that's true," Celann said.

"What do you mean?" Xander asked.

"I'll explain on the way to the 'armory'," Celann told him. Xander followed after his new brother-in-arms. "Most of our prospective recruits have never even heard of a crossbow unless they're from Morrowind, and even that's not a sure thing."

It was sometime later before Xander was properly outfitted.

"If nothing else, this looks good," Xander replied wearing brown armor like Isran. Like the others he opted against wearing the helmet- for now at least.

"I said much the same thing," Celann replied.

"So… Other than you, me and Isran, how many of us are there?" Xander inquired.

"Five, though one of our number went out in search of new recruits," Celann informed him. "His name is Durak, he's an Orc."

"Orc?" Xander asked.

"Do you not have Orcs where you come from?" Celann asked.

Xander shook his head. "Only in fantasy stories. There's only been one dragon attack that I know of in the last couple centuries, not the hordes you talked about earlier."

"Things are bad out there," Celann replied, "Though we're relatively safe here. Dayspring Canyon is isolated enough that I don't think we'll have to worry about dragon attacks."

"I wonder what else is different," Xander speculated.

"Like what?"

"Vampires, for one," Xander said. "In my world they were demonically possessed animated corpses who were repelled by holy symbols and holy water and could only be killed by decapitation, exposure to sunlight, being set on fire or a wooden stake through the heart."

"As far as I know, holy symbols have no effect on vampires," Celann told him. "I don't know about the whole demon thing, but they are undead. Our weapons are enchanted specifically against vampires, though you could kill them with any weapon you have on hand. Weaker vampires are hurt by sunlight. The stronger ones are merely weakened."

"Strength, speed?" Xander inquired. "Vampires, even fledglings, in my world were much faster and stronger than regular humans and even acquired an unnatural, instinctual, ability to fight."

"The older, more powerful ones, sure. They have all sorts of abilities fledglings lack. The younger ones are not much different from regular humans," Celann replied. "What about magical abilities?"

"Vampires could only use magic if they had the ability to use magic as a human," Xander told him.

"That's mostly true for ours as well," Celann commented. "Though they have a few racial abilities you should be aware of."

Xander and Celann continued to talk until time for the evening's meal, which was where Xander met the cook for this particular meal and mysterious fifth member of the Dawnguard, Vori. She was a big woman, definitely stronger looking than either Xander or Celann. Her armor, Xander could tell, was thicker, heavier and like Isran, she wore a warhammer across her back, unlike Xander or Celann who each had a war axe. Xander differed from them all by also having a crossbow strapped to his back.

"Xander, this is Vori. She's the one who found you out in the canyon," Celann introduced them.

"Thank you," Xander replied gratefully. "If not for you, I'd probably be a goner."

"A… What?" Vori asked in confusion.

"Sorry, figure of speech from where I'm from," Xander replied. Isran, Celann and himself all decided it was likely a bad idea to reveal to anyone else that Xander was from another world, one that was beyond the boundaries of both Oblivion and Aetherius. "It means, I'd be dead if not for you."

"Anyone else would have done the same," Vori told him.

"Maybe, but you're the one who did," Xander responded.

"You any good with those weapons?" Vori asked with interest.

Celann laughed. "Any good!? He's the best raw recruit we've gotten in some time! His axe work is a bit shoddy- good, if a bit unrefined. His marksmanship with the crossbow, however, he's the best I've seen in a long time."

Xander shrugged self-consciously. "I've been doing this a long time."

Vori simply nodded. It was an unspoken rule to not ask how someone got into the business of vampire hunting as few did it out of duty and most people's reasons were deeply personal.

"Celann, I want you to take the boy up to Riften at first light," Isran ordered. "Get him familiar with the lay of the land. With luck, the two of you might quickly catch up with Durak before he leaves for another hold." He then turned his attention to Xander. "Durak is one of our best fighters and can train you up while you're both on the road and can help you gain a familiarity with the lay of the land."

"Do we just hunt vampires or do we take care of other things?" Xander asked.

Isran shrugged. "Our first priority is the vampire menace above all else. Defend yourself as needed. I'll leave it up to you and Durak if you want to play hero or mercenary for anyone who just randomly walks up to you wanting to pay you coin for doing stuff for them. Just don't forget that while you wear that armor and bear our arms that what you do reflects on us."

"Understood," Xander replied.

It was still mostly dark when Celann and Xander exited the castle, both armed and armored. Both were wearing the brown leather, silver lined helmets.

"No horses?" Xander asked.

"While they would be nice luxury, especially given how removed we are from the rest of the province, bringing them in and out of the canyon would be a bigger hassle than they're worth and we barely have the manpower to post a guard in the valley, let alone outside of it." Celann explained.

It only took a little more than a day and a half for Celann and Xander to reach Riften.

"Halt!" a hold guard ordered. There were two guards posted at the gate.

"What's going on?" Celann asked.

"Murder investigation," the guard informed them. "No one in or out of the city."

"Grelod, the old lady who runs the orphanage, was murdered," The other guard added. "Rumor has it that it was the Dark Brotherhood."

"Who would wanna kill an old lady who runs an orphanage?" Xander asked.

"Almost anyone could hire the Dark Brotherhood," Celann answered.

"And, the list of anyone who wanted to kill Grelod isn't exactly small," the second guard added. "She was known as Grelod the Kind in name only."

"We're looking for an associate of ours, an Orc by the name of Durak," Celann told them.

"I know who he is," the second guard said. "He's still in the city, last I heard. He was trying to appeal to the Jarl to be allowed to leave. You might be able to catch him at the main gate. Unfortunately, I can't let you in through here."

"Meaning, we'll have to go around," Celann said. "Looks like we got a bit more of a walk ahead of us."

Xander nodded, but added sarcastically, "I am just giddy with anticipation."

Xander was currently glad he'd spent all those years in Africa. While much of the terrain could be traversed by Jeeps or Humvees, a lot more, particularly were some of the more predatory demons dwelt, areas were inaccessible to any form of vehicular transportation and required to be traveled through by foot. Africa had been eye opening for him in many ways and he both loved and hated his time there. The long travel from Dayspring Canyon to the hold capital of Riften had him praising the fact that he was already used to walking long distances in much harsher terrain- granted the temperate climate was far colder than the sweltering temps he'd had to deal with on the Dark Continent, but he'd manage all the same.

"Ho' carriage master!" Celann greeted. "Are you the only one in town?"

"Aye," the carriage master acknowledged. "If you're lookin' to purchase my services, you have a bit of a wait. An Orc, armored like you lot, paid for my services in advance last night. We were supposed to have left already, but with the whole town barricaded..."

"Believe it or not, it is a bit fortuitous for us," Celann explained. "We were actually hoping to catch up to him before he left The Rift."

"Not a moment too soon," boomed a deep voice. Xander was glad he had been warned ahead of time about Durak's appearance, because he'd have automatically have assumed that the Orc was a demon. "I had planned to be gone sometime this morning, unfortunately the Dark Brotherhood had other plans."

"We'd heard," Celann replied.

"Didn't expect to see anyone else. What're you doing so far from the fort?" Durak asked.

"Escorting our new recruit here to join you on your travels," Celann explained. "Durak, this is Xander. Xander, Durak."

"Can you fight?" Durak asked neutrally.

"I can hold my own," Xander replied. "This is less about training me to fight and more about me getting the lay of the land. I'm not exactly from Skyrim."

Durak grunted in acknowledgment. "All right, I suppose we'll have to see what you can do. You got coin?"

"I'll be covering the cost of his travel to your first destination, old friend," Celann answered. "Where are you headed to anyways?"

"Hjaalmarch. There are rumors of something strange going on in Morthal," Durak informed him. "Probably nothing, but we can never be too sure."

"I see. Well, I'm back off to the fort. May the Eight watch over both you," Celann said as he handed the carriage master 30 coins. As the guards still weren't allowing anyone back into Riften he went back around the city the way they'd come.

Both Durak and Xander got into the back of the carriage. Durak set his crossbow next to him while Xander kept his on his lap. It was Durak who spoke up first. "You know how to use that?"

"Vampire Hunting 101, big guy," Xander replied. "Celann said I was the best he'd seen with a crossbow."

"Huh, that right?" Durak said contemplatively. "I suppose we'll just have to see about that then."

"What do you think we're gonna find in Morthal," Xander inquired.

"Hard to say. Nords can be a superstitious lot. Either way, we'll likely find something. There's a lot that lurks in the marshes at night," Durak replied. "We could find anything from giant frostbite spiders to wraiths. Not exactly out mandate, but they'll make us a bit of coin and hopefully earn the Jarl's favor."

"That's always of the good," Xander agreed. "It'll be nice to get paid. Back where I come from, the only time we ever got paid for killing bloodsuckers was if we raided a den."

"You did that often?" Durak inquired.

Xander shook his head. "Not so much. Not a lot of vamps in my hometown had dens, unless they were masters. There were enough abandoned buildings and caves in the area that it was often too hard to really check any and every known location on a regular basis- not that we needed to. The vamps back home could get territorial, so we rarely had to deal with too many master vampires at any given time. Of course what we lacked in quantity, we more than made up for in quality. Only the smartest, strongest and most powerful masters ever lasted long enough to do too much of anything."

"It's not like vampires to converge on a town like that, especially with active hunters in the area," Durak replied with a frown.

This line of inquiry had been brought up. Isran, Celann and Xander had each figured it was best to stick as close to the truth as possible.

"My hometown was the site of a moderately active portal to Oblivion. Even when it wasn't active, the energies it put out attracted all sorts of badness- everything from vampires to various types of daedra," Xander explained.

"Given that level of exposure to the darkness, no wonder you got involved in this line of work," Durak commented.

Xander shook his head. "Believe it or not, most people were oblivious that there was a war between use and the things that go bump in the night going on. Every night they went to bed secure in their own little realities, not knowing of the true nature of the world. And I was the same way."

"The how did you find out, if you don't mind me asking," Durak inquired.

"Nah, I've been at this for a while," Xander replied. "It all started with a girl."

Durak snorted. "Doesn't it always?"

"Only the best stories. Now, are you gonna let me finish?" Xander asked with a grin. Durak grinned back as he nodded affirmatively. Despite his fearsome visage, Xander couldn't help but like the middle-aged orc. He had a feeling they'd become friends as well as comrades-in-arms. "This girl came from a long line of vampire and daedra hunters- a lineage the creatures of darkness feared by reputation alone and she was one of the absolute best of them. She opened my eyes to the world of darkness and I never looked back, especially when the same day I met her, my two best friends were kidnapped by vampires. We managed to save one of my friends, but the other one was still taken. She tracked them back to their lair and I followed, but by the time we got there it was already too late, he'd already been turned. Despite overwhelming odds, we managed to escape and stopped a small scale invasion of the town. In the process, I killed the creature that used to be my lifelong best friend. I swore that day that I wouldn't rest until every last one of them was killed."

"In some ways, that's not too different from my tale. I was a chieftain once, had two wives. We had a good sized stronghold, not all that big, but not small," Durak explained. "One of our own showed up one night, beaten. Said they'd been out hunting and were attacked by some creatures. Didn't think nothing of it, that sort of thing just happens. We took him in, gave him shelter. He slept through the day while the Wise Woman tended his wounds. That night he killed her before going on a rampage. He killed several, including my wives, before I was able to put him down. I couldn't face my kin after that, after letting that creature… I failed my god and as a man, so I left in disgrace. I hunted on my own a bit before I met up with Celann and Isran."

"I don't think I've met anyone who ever really did this sort of thing out of duty," Xander replied solemnly. "I don't doubt they exist, just that they're rare. I was the normal one of our group. We had two girls who were born to kill vamps- that special lineage. My best friend, the one we rescued, was probably the most powerful mage I ever heard of and our mentor was a retired Warlock whose family has been fighting the darkness for generations. We even had two vampires join us for a while, as well as a minor vengeance granting daedra and another witch."

"Working with daedra and vampire hunting vampires?" Durak exclaimed in disbelief.

"I know, but they each had special circumstances. One of the vampires was cursed to feel remorse after killing a favored daughter of a nomadic tribe while the other had a geas- a magical compulsion- placed on him that wouldn't allow him to harm mortals," Xander explained.

It wasn't the exact truth, but close enough. Vampires in this dimension retained their souls, but were more often than not slaves to their instincts- particularly lust and hunger. It was the huge amount of remorse Angel had felt upon being ensouled that had forced him to actively seek out penance and redemption- eventually. Spike's situation on the other hand, Xander doubted that Durak, or anyone else, would understand the concept of microchips and computers given the level of tech he'd seen, or rather, not seen in Tamriel. He'd equated their individual situations to their closest equivalents in this world. It wasn't precise or exact, but even the most thorough of magical researchers would be hard pressed to discredit anything he'd said to anyone else.

"As for Ahn... She was a nord woman whose husband was cheating on her. She made a pact with another daedra, turned her husband into a troll, and turned into a wish granting daedra of vengeance. For a thousand years she was the Patron Saint of Scorned Women," Xander further informed Durak.

"She became a daedra!?" Durak asked in shock. "I didn't know that was possible."

"It's rare," Xander replied. "It takes a special set of circumstances for it to happen. Our group came to her attention due to something that happened between me, my mage friend and the woman I was courting. To make a long story short, the pendant that contained her power got destroyed and she became human once again."

Durak shook his head. "A story like that has to be true."

"Why?" Xander inquired.

Durak snorted. "Because that story is too unbelievable to not be true. I doubt any bard could come up with a story like that."

"Uh... Thanks... I think..." Xander replied.

The carriage ride to Morthal took a couple of days. As Xander took in the sight of the misty marsh land, he couldn't help but shiver.

"As my friend Buffy would say, this place gives me the wiggins," Xander declared. Durak grunted and nodded in agreement. While not quite sure what 'the wiggins' were, he could guess the sentiment behind the words easily enough.

"The marshes are said to be haunted by any number of spirits," Durak informed him.

"What can we expect?" Xander asked.

"Frostbite spiders at least, maybe bandits or even a rogue mage," Durak supplied.

"But no vampires?" Xander inquired.

"Vampire activity is on the rise, but not enough that we can focus solely on them," Durak explained.

"Ah." Xander replied. "So what's the plan?"

"I'll scout the marsh while you take to the townspeople about anything out of the ordinary," Durak told him. "Hopefully, we'll be able to take care of any issues they might have preemptively."

Xander snorted. "In my experience, that never happens."

"Just so you both know, I'm not sticking around more than a couple of hours," Siggar, the carriage master told them. "The marshes make me uneasy."

"We can find our own way out of Morthal," Durak assured him.

The carriage began to slow down as they reached the outskirts.

"That doesn't look promising," Xander noted the three men in front the Meade Hall.

Durak grimaced, which was an odd look on his face as it made him look like he was angry. "Damn Civil War. It seems like everyone in the province is going crazy. Civil war, vampire activity on the rise, dragons and early winter."

"What?" Xander asked.

"It'll be best if we don't stick around here too long," Durak said as he jumped off the carriage.

Xander was quick to follow. "I'll check the inn first to see if the inn keeper knows what's goin' on."

Durak nodded and grunted in agreement as he set off into the marshland.

As he made his way to the inn, Xander noticed the burnt down house. It had only recently burned down, he noted.

He frowned. While not exactly a mystical occurrence, it was unusual.

He entered the Moorside Inn. When he did, he was 'greeted' by the proprietor. "Wow! Someone new. What can I get for you stranger?"

"Information, mostly, but I wouldn't say no a pint of mead," Xander replied with a smile.

"We don't get many customers out this way, so we don't have any of that fancy Honningbrew or Black-Briar stuff, but it gets the job done. I'm Jonna, by the way," the innkeeper informed him.

"Xander," Xander responded in kind.

"What sort of information are you lookin' for, because there's very little to be had here," Jonna stated.

"Well... Let's start with the burned down house," Xander replied, placing a few extra septims on the bar.

"Hroggar's house? As you can probably tell, it burned down not too long ago," Jonna informed him. She got a sad look on her face, however, as she continued. "It's a real pity about his wife and kid. The screams woke half the town."

Xander shuddered. "What started it?"

"No one really knows," Jonna replied. "No one will go near the place, thinking it's cursed and everything. Hroggar claims it was a hearth fire, but a lot of folk around here say Hroggar started it himself."

Xander frowned. There was something he was missing from this picture. "That's... Pretty insensitive. Especially since he lost his family in that fire."

"It's just what people say, but there is no real proof," Jonna elaborated. "See, the thing is, he's living with Alva now. Moved in with her right after it happened. It ain't right, movin' in with a new love the day after your kin die like that." The last part was said with a great deal of disgust.

"Is it certain they're... Together?" Xander asked. "While admittedly it looks bad and his choice in who to stay with after the tragedy is in poor taste, what something looks like and what something is aren't always the same."

"Couldn't say for certain. All I can go by is what I've seen and what people tell me," Jonna said honestly. "Something's not right about the whole situation though. Jarl's been offering a reward for anyone who wants to investigate what happened, but there haven't been any takers."

"I guess I'll look into it," Xander said. He finished his pint of mead. "Thanks for the drink."

It didn't take him long to back track to the burnt out house. He suppressed a shudder as he stepped over the threshold.

'Something is still here...' Xander thought to himself. He stilled when he heard a child's giggling. "Hello?" He walked further into the ruin and as he did so, heard footsteps. Xander turned to face them, but heard nothing. The girl's giggling came from behind him. Forcing himself to remain calm, he called out to the invisible being. "Helgi?" To his left, a spectral visage appeared.

"Hi!" Helgi cheerfully greeted Xander and approached.

"Hi there to you too," Xander replied with a smile.

Helgi looked up to him hopefully. "Are you here to play?"

He had to work to keep the smile on his face as he knelt down to her level. "I'm afraid not, kiddo. You're Helgi, right?"

"Yep! Yep!" she responded cheerfully.

"Do you remember what happened here?" Xander asked.

"Not really. I was sick, cold. Everything was dark and then it wasn't," Helgi answered. "Laelette said she was gonna take care of me forever and ever. She plays with me!"

Xander frowned. "Who is Laelette?"

"She's my friend! She plays with me and said she's gonna take care of me now that mommy's gone!" Helgi declared.

A chill ran down Xander's spine. 'Something Hellmouth-y is definitely goin' on here!'

"Do you know where she is? Can a talk to her?" Xander asked carefully.

Helgi frowned. "I don't know where she goes, but she visits me every night."

Xander thought over the situation for a moment. "Tell you what, kiddo. I'll play with you tonight if you take me to meet this Laelette."

"Really!?" Helgi asked excitedly.

"Really, really," Xander confirmed.

"Oh, it's gonna be soooo much fun!" Helgi replied. "Meet me here tonight and I'll take you to her."

"Sure thing," Xander replied with a crooked grin. As Helgi vanished, he frowned and was nearly shaking with anger. 'Looks like vampires are involved after all!'

Swallowing down his anger, Xander left the ruin and headed back to the inn.

"You're back rather quickly," Jonna replied. "Find anything?"

Xander went straight to the bar and leaned in close so that the Orcish bard did not overhear. "Found something all right. Spoke to Helgi's ghost."

Jonna's countenance turned sympathetic, almost mothering. "She was a sweet little girl. Poor thing. She's probably beggin' us to string up her murderin' father. You best tell the Jarl."

"Still no solid proof of anything just yet," Xander replied as he shook his head. "But I have a hunch that he didn't do it." 'Or at least he didn't do it willingly.' He kept that thought to himself, however. There was no need to panic the townsfolk until he knew exactly what he was dealing with and how many were involved.

"Really!?" Jonna gasped.

"Yeah, but I'm still investigating, so if you can keep quiet about that fact for now, I'd be much appreciative." As he said this, he slipped her five septims.

"You don't have to bribe me," Jonna replied a bit tersely.

Xander shrugged. "You're helping me out with this investigation. Consider it payment for services rendered."

Jonna reluctantly took the coins. "All right..."

"There seems to be a bit more going on than what people realize," Xander informed her.

"Anything to be concerned about?" Jonna asked.

"Plenty, so stay indoors after dark and stay on guard. Encourage others to do the same," Xander told her. "I don't want to say anything until I know exactly what's going on. If it's as bad as I think it is, I'll go straight to the Jarl with what I find."

"Okay, but be careful," Jonna whispered. "You're the first paying customer I've had in ages."

Xander chuckled. "If I kick it, you get first refusal of all my stuff when they find my body."

"That's morbid," Jonna responded grimly.

"If you'd seen some of the things I've seen, you'd come to find that having any kind of sense of humor is a must for the line of work I'm in," Xander told her.

"And what exactly do you do?" Jonna asked in concern.

"You really don't wanna know right now," Xander told her. "Trust me on that much, for the time being."

"Is there anything else you needed?" Jonna asked, dropping the subject.

"Have you heard of anyone named Laelette?" Xander asked.

Jonna's eyes widened in alarm. "Do you think she did it?"

"I'm not sure at the moment, but I believe she's involved in one form or another," Xander answered. "Who is she?"

"Thonnir's wife," Jonna informed him. "She disappeared weeks ago- long before the fire happened. Most folks just assumed she ran off to join the rebellion."

"Where can I find Thonnir?" Xander inquired.

"He'd be working at the mill right now," Jonna told him.

"Thanks again," Xander said gratefully as he headed out to meet Thonnir.

As he got there, he was greeted by a blonde man with a green tunic. He had a worn and haggard appearance about him. "Ho, there stranger! What can we do for ya?"

"I'm looking for Thonnir," Xander replied grimly.

"I am he," The nord man said carefully.

"Xander," Xander introduced himself. The two men clasped arms.

"Well me," Thonnir stated. "Now, what business do you have for me?"

"That's something I think we should discuss in private," Xander told him.

"It's about my Laelette, isn't it?" Thonnir replied sadly.

"In a manner of speaking," Xander acknowledged.

"Sh-She's dead... Isn't she? Thonnir inquired sadly.

"I believe so," Xander told him.

"You believe so!?" Thonnir exclaimed angrily. "How can you be unsure!?"

"That's... Complicated..." Xander answered.

"Make it not complicated!" Thonnir snapped.

Xander steeled himself. "Answer some questions for me first and I'll see about getting you some closure."

"What do you want to know?" Thonnir asked angrily.

"Before she disappeared, did anything seem strange to you? Any odd changes of behavior?" Xander asked. "Weird changes in her routine?"
Thonnir looked startled at the line of questioning. "I... Yeah, now that I think about it. She started spending more and more time with Alva."

"What was so weird about that?" Xander asked.

"My Laelette, she despised Alva," Thonnir informed him.

"Really?" Xander asked startledly. The Hellmouth-y feeling came back a hundred fold. "What about the night she left?"

"The night she left, Laelette was supposed to meet up with Alva, only according to Alva, she never showed," Thonnir said. "What's going on? What's with all the questions?"

Xander thought over what he was going to tell the Nord man. After everything, the man deserved some sort of answer. "Meet me at the burned out cottage tonight. You'll get your answers there."

"Hroggar's house?" Thonnir asked in confusion. "Does he have to do with my wife's disappearance?"

"Nothing. At least not directly," Xander answered honestly. "If anything, your wife's disappearance has something to do with what happened to his family."

"I don't understand," Thonnir admitted.

"I can't explain it. I'm not sure you'd believe me," Xander replied. "It's something I'm gonna have to show you. If I'm right... If I'm right, you're wife, Thonnir, didn't rush off to join the Stormcloaks."

"Then what happened to her? Where did she go?" Thonnir demanded to know.

"That's something we're gonna find out tonight," Xander informed him.

It was several hours later, just before sunset, when Durak returned to town.

"Find anything?" Xander asked him.

Durak shook his head. "Nothing. There is a cave I want to check out. Looks like it's seen some use lately. Bandits or smugglers probably."

"Or worse," Xander muttered grimly.

"You found something," Durak stated.

"Vampires," Xander stated with a look of cold anger in his eyes. If Durak didn't know any better he would think Xander an Orc about to enter into a berserker rage. He then recounted investigating the burned cottage and speaking with Helgi's ghost, his conversations with Jonna and Thonnir and the link between Hroggar and Laelette: Alva.

Durak grunted, looking impressed. "I had my doubts about you, kid, but that's impressive work. How do you want to handle this?"

"You're following my lead?" Xander asked in surprise.

Durak shrugged. "You've done just fine without me. This is your investigation. Where you go, I'll follow."

"No pressure," Xander grumbled. "All right, we'll wait for Thonnir and then head to the burned out cottage."

"Are you sure that's wise?" Durak asked.

"No, but he deserves closure and it will help to have a local with us and on our side when we go to the Jarl with our findings," Xander replied.

"I don't like it, getting a civilian involved, but I understand your reasoning," Durak acknowledged.

"Good, because he's on his way," Xander informed him. "He doesn't know about his wife or Alva being vamps yet. I haven't told anyone anything just yet, just in case I was wrong in any of my conclusions."

"Smart," Durak commented. "It also lessens the chance of a panicking the local population or tipping our hand to the vampire menace nearby."

Xander nodded and then walked up to greet the newly arrived Thonnir. "Ho, Thonnir!"

"Xander," Thonnir replied, clasping his arm with Xander's. "Who's your friend?"

"Durak," the Orc answered as he clasped Thonnir's arm in greeting. "You ready?"

Thonnir hefted his steel war axe. "As I'll ever be."

"Good." Durak stated.

"What're you expecting to find?" Thonnir asked. By this time, the sun was set and the stars had begun to appear in the sky.

"A ghost," Xander answered.

"A-A ghost...?" Thonnir replied nervously.

Durak and Xander exchanged a quick glance at one another.

"Are you gonna be able to handle this?" Xander asked Thonnir.

Thonnir straightened up, checking his own resolve- bolstering it. "I need to know."

Durak grinned. "Looks like you have some spine after all."

"Durak," Xander warned. Thonnir looked more than a little offended at the insinuation that he was a coward.

Durak simple grunted as the trio continued towards Hroggar's burned down home. Each of them shivered as they stepped over the threshold of the once home.

"Helgi?" Xander called out softly.

"Shhhh!" Helgi replied as she materialized before them. "She'll hear you. She's really close by." The young girl vanished once more, before materializing outside of the ruins. "C'mon!" she whispered. She started up the hill, but vanished once more.

"I don't like this," Thonnir grumbled.

"What's up that way?" Durak asked Thonnir.

"The cemetery," Thonnir answered.

"Let's do as Helgi said," Xander suggested. Durak, hefted his shield and drew his war axe while Xander unslung the crossbow from his back. Taking a cue from the, unbeknownst to him, vampire hunters, he drew his own war axe as well. The three of them moved swiftly and silently as they crested the hill. When they got there, they noticed one of the graves had been dug up. Judging by the size of the coffin, Xander guessed that this was Helgi's grave.

"Who would do this?" Thonnir asked as they approached the coffin.

"MAKE LAELETTE GO AWAY!" Helgi shouted as she pointed off to the side.

They each turned as Laelette emerged from the tree line, steel dagger in hand as she charged them. Durak intercepted her and bashed her with his shield, full charge. She went sailing into the air, and landed with a hard thud. Seeing Durak approaching her menacingly, Laelette scrambled to her feet, only to receive a crossbow bolt to the leg, crippling her. Xander was quick to reload and shot another bolt at her, striking her shoulder and causing her to stumble. Another well placed bolt to her other leg finally halted her escape. She turned to face them and hissed at them, her vampiric features visible for them all to see in the light of the moon.

"L-Laelette…?" said a heartbroken Thonnir.

The vampire looked stricken at the sight of her husband. "Th-Thonnir… I…"

"Oh, Laelette…" Thonnir said as he dropped to his knees.

Laelette stuttered. "I… What's happened to me!?"

Thonnir swallowed. "You… You're a vampire… How? How did this happen?"

"It was Alva, wasn't it, Laelette?" Xander asked. "She did this to you."

"Y-Yes…" Laelette sobbed. "I-I'm so sorry! The… The things I've done! I'm so sorry!"

"So am I." Xander empathized before firing a bolt straight into her chest, killing her instantly. Laelette's body turned into a pile of ash, which was promptly and carefully collected by Durak.

"Why?" Thonnir asked devastatedly.

Xander and Durak looked at one another, trying to figure out how to explain what happened.

It was Helgi who answered him as she rematerialized. "She was told to burn mommy and me. She didn't want to though. She wanted to play with me forever and ever, so she kissed me on the neck. I got so cold that the fire didn't even hurt. Laelette thought she could take me and keep me, but she couldn't cuz I was all burned up."

"I… I don't know what to say…" Thonnir said to Helgi. "I… I'm sorry…"

"It's okay. It wasn't your fault," Helgi assured Thonnir. She then turned to Xander and Durak. "It isn't done yet. The bad lady still has daddy. You have to hurry. The bad men might come soon!" Helgi then vanished from sight.

"What's going on? What did she mean by all that?" Thonnir demanded.

Xander and Durak exchanged glances once more. Durak nodded at Xander.

"A lot of this is just hearsay and guesswork, but as far as I can figure, a group of vampires set up a nest somewhere nearby," Xander explained. "Alva was sent ahead to infiltrate the town. As for as I can tell, Hroggar wasn't turned, so she probably took him as a thrall."

"And my Laelette? How does she figure into this?" Thonnir asked piteously.

"I'm not entirely sure," Xander admitted. "She might have found out Alva's secret or she might have just been a target of opportunity. Either way, Alva turned her and likely ordered her to kill Hroggar's family while making it look like an accident. Probably so she could use Hroggar as a live in servant and daytime bodyguard."

"This… This is too much…!" Thonnir told them.

"It's not over yet," Durak reminded him. "We still have one more abomination in town to take care of and then we gotta tack down that nest."

"I'm willing to bet my weight in gold that they're holed up in that cave you spotted earlier," Xander commented.

"Agreed," Durak replied.

"So what do we do now?" Thonnir asked.

"Confront Alva," Xander stated. "But we have to be careful when we do. While he's still under her thrall, Hroggar will attack us if he even suspects Alva's in danger. So we need to knock him out first. Durak."

Durak nodded. "I'll take care of it."

"I'll confront Alva directly," Xander stated decisively. "Distract her."

"For what purpose?" Thonnir asked.

"For you to alert the guard and ransack her place and see if you can't find proof of what she is and what she's done," Xander said. "Durak, it would probably be a good idea for you join me after you've dealt with Hroggar."

Durak nodded in agreement. "Sound good."

"And after she's dealt with?" Thonnir asked.

"Then me and Durak go hunting," Xander informed him.

"I want to help!" Thonnir declared.

"Thonnir…" Xander began before the angry nord cut off what he was going to say.

"Those beasts took my wife from me! My son will grow up without a mother because of them!" Thonnir argued.

"And if something goes wrong, he'll grow up without a father." Xander rebutted.

"I… I can't just do nothing!" Thonnir complained.

"You're not," Xander replied. "Live well and raise your son like your wife would have wanted. If you die and leave your son an orphan, they win."

"He's right," Durak added. "You have proven yourself a courageous and honorable man, but you are no warrior and even if you were, these are not men, but vicious animals who can think and reason and hold a blade just the same as you or me. We are trained for this. Allow us to do our duty and avenge your wife in your stead."

"I… Okay… You've made your point," Thonnir reluctantly agreed. "But you better get those bastards. Leave none of them alive!"

"On my honor," Xander pledged as he thumped his fist over his chest. "So, we all know what to do?" Upon receiving two positive confirmations, he then gave them the order. "Let's get to it then. Moonlight's a-wastin'."

The three men then went their separate ways.

It didn't take long for Xander to find Alva.

"Oh, hello," she said to him seductively. "Are you new in town?"

'No wonder Hroggar was so quick to fall under her mind whammy,' Xander thought as he struggled to keep his wits about him. "As a matter of fact, just got in today, lookin' for some sort of work."

"Oh!" She gasped excitedly, which did wonderful things to her chest, which was all but bared to him under the pale light of the moon. "So are you an adventurer or a mercenary?"

Xander unslung the crossbow from his back, though he didn't point it at her. "Vampire hunter, actually."

Alva's demeanor shifted rather quickly at that point. She was no longer flirty and the glare he leveled at him would have sent lesser men running in fear. Her tone was positively frosty. "I see…"

"Is it just me, or did the temperature out here just drop several degrees," Xander inquired. "I suppose even if it did, you likely wouldn't even notice, being room temperature and all."

"I'm going to kill you," Alva hissed.

"I'd like to see you try," Durak taunted from behind her, war axe drawn.

"Stop right there!" shouted a Hjaalmarch guard.

"Oh thank the Eight!" Alva gasped dramatically as she went to run to the guard. She was about to discover her act was all for naught.

"Stay back, creature!" the guard ordered her, his sword drawn and pointed right at her.

She dropped her act and her eyes began to glow brightly. "I see…"

"Can we kill it now?" Xander asked the guard.

"You have permission to dispose of the abomination," the guard told them.

Before she could react, Xander shot her. Alva's head tilted back as she cried out in pain, which didn't last long as Durak stepped forward and decapitated her in a single swing. He then began to collect her ashes, though with less reverence than he had Laelette's. Laelette's ashes had been kept separate from the common alchemy ingredients and given to her husband.

Alva's would get no such considerations.

"Is it done?" asked Ingrod Ravencrone, the Jarl of Hjaalmarch.

"There's still the nest to take care of," Xander informed her. "We'll go there at first light and take care of them."

"Good," Jarl Ingrod said approvingly.

It only took them a few hours that morning to clear out the den. They were joined by a mountainous Nord man named Brenor, who had been in love with Alva and felt betrayed by her actions against his hometown. The master vampire in charge of the coven was a former vampire hunter named Movarth. Xander would never forget what had happened when they'd slain the last vampire.

It had been a long morning as the trip trudged their way out of the former vampire lair when Helgi appeared before them. "Thank you! Thank you for getting the bad men! Now me and mommy can finally go to sleep!"

He then faded, for what Xander suspected was for the final time. It took great effort to hold back the emotions he was feeling. Regardless, he still whispered back to her. "Sleep tight, kid…"

Durak placed a comforting hand on Xander's shoulder for a brief moment before he and Brenor made their way out of the cave. Xander stood looking at the spot where Helgi had once been before following them out.

Hroggar was horrified by everything that had transpired when he finally came to. Xander had no idea how the man would cope. They were also paid handsomely by Jarl Ingrod. Thonnir, Durak and Xander each received 75 septims a piece for discovering the truth behind the murder of Hroggar's family. Xander, Durak and Brenner each received another 150 septims for clearing the nest.

Xander, since he'd led the investigation and discovered everything independently was made a Thane of Hjaalmarch and was granted the services of Valdimar who was assigned to be his housecarl. This was in light of things revealed in Alva's journal. The vampires had been working on sacking the town and covertly taking over the hold and could have quite possibly succeeded if not for the efforts Xander and Durak when they arrived in Morthal.
They stayed a few more days at the Moorside Inn before they decided to move on with Valdimar in tow, Xander now in possession of an enchanted steel longsword called the Blade of Hjaalmarch, which was to serve as his badge of office while within the borders of the hold.

Despite leaving Morthal in high spirits, Xander was in troubled by something he'd found in Movarth's lair- a glowing orb that spoke to him.

Meridia's Beacon.

"Thane Xander, I don't presume to tell you your business, but I recommend against getting involved," Valdimar said as he made his opinion on the matter known. "One shouldn't interfere in the affairs of daedra."

Durak, however, disagreed. "You don't want to risk offending a Daedric Prince."

"I can't say I've really heard anything about Meridia," Xander told them. "Can either of you tell me about this Prince."

"Not much is really known about her," Durak replied. "She doesn't appear to really have any cults based around her like most of the other Princes do. I do know she hates the undead, so it's possible that either the vampires stole the beacon or she planted it there to get our attention after we wiped them out."

"Admittedly, she is seen as a good daedra, or at least not one that's not wholly evil," Valdimar added.

"Because as a higher being we cannot always know what motivates her," Xander guessed.

Valdimar and Durak both nodded in agreement.

"I'm gonna see what she want," Xander decided. "If she hates the undead as much as you say, Durak, then she might be able to give us something to fight vampires with."

"Then I will join you," Durak declared. "It'll do me some good to test my mettle against whatever this prince throws at us."

"Valdimar," Xander addressed his housecarl.

"Yes, my Thane?' Valdimar responded.

"I'm not going to force you to help us if seeing what this Daedric Prince wants makes you uncomfortable," Xander assured him. "So if you want to head back to Morthal or wait in Solitude for us, I'll understand. Would it be okay if he made his way to Fort Dawnguard, Durak?"

"As long as he isn't a vampire, I don't see Isran having a problem with it," Durak said with a shrug.

"I appreciate the thought, but I am sworn to your service, my Thane and I will protect you wherever your adventures take you," Valdimar declared.

"Good to have you with us then," Xander replied with a grin.
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
Seems interesting. If anybody would understand Isran's hatred of Vampires, then it's Xander. Curious as to how he'd react to Serena, considering his history with vampires like Angel and Spike.


The Original M2J
Serana is one of the least homicidal vampires in both the Elder Scrolls and Buffy universes, so initially it'd be live and let live.

One thing to keep in mind, is that Xander will be taking on the role of the Dragonborn for the Dawnguard. HOWEVER, he will NOT be the Dragonborn. The plan is to have all the questlines (minus the Civil War) happening simultaneously (As seen with the death of Grelod the Kind from the Dark Brotherhood Questline). Xander will be going through the Dawnguard Questline and the Meridia Quest and I'm thinking about him meeting the actual Dragonborn of the setting just after he goes through the events of the Blood on the Ice Quest in Windhelm (the Dragonborn and Delphine would be killing the dragon that Alduin resurrects in Kynesgrove).


Well-Known Member
It'll be interesting to see how you weave everything together in that case.


Well-Known Member
Will he meet Falion?
I'm also wondering if Xander will be understanding/friendly enough to convince Serana to meet with Falion, but that would probably be spoilers.


The Original M2J
I'm undecided on whether or not Xander will meet Falion. It would be some time before Xander even hears of him, despite his first foray in Skyrim being in Morthal.

And yes, future Xander-Serana interactions do fall under spoilers.

I plan to have a few Dragonborn stand-ins for many of the quests. The only one who will be the true Dragonborn will be the one going through the Main Quest. In fact, he'll be a Guest Star Party Member when Xander and Serana go to the Soul Cairn, as both the Dawnguard and Main Questlines deal with the Elder Scrolls. Diplomatic Immunity is a Quest I'm looking forward to writing as I plan to have all of the might-have-been Dragonborns present. The Nightingale, The Listener, The Harbinger, the Archmage and the Vampire Hunter will each be in attendance. I'm also considering a Joke DB stand-in for the Bard's College quest.


Well-Known Member
Diplomatic Immunity is a Quest I'm looking forward to writing as I plan to have all of the might-have-been Dragonborns present. The Nightingale, The Listener, The Harbinger, the Archmage and the Vampire Hunter will each be in attendance.
Okay, but why though? Or rather, why would Xander be there? Nightingale? Plenty of rich people to rob. Listener? Plenty of people want those same rich people dead. But the Vampire hunter? What would a Vampire hunter want there?


The Original M2J
Right on the nose there. It's canonical that the Dawnguard and Vampires were vying for influence in the various Jarl's courts. A party at the Thalmor Embassy would be a good way to get more influence and, hopefully, keep the Thalmor out of their business.
Shield Maidens, Princesses and Zeppos, Oh My!!!


The Original M2J
A/N: This chapter is quite a bit down the storyline from the previous chapter. I fully intend to go back and write Durak, Xander and Valdimar going through the Meridia Daedric Quest. Also, Freyja Snow-Song is an OC who is the Dragonborn Equivalent for the Companions Questline. Like Xander, she too is also not the Dragonborn.


Xander simply surveyed the carnage before him.

He'd hoped that Tolan would have waited for him to arrive, but it seemed as if the man's desperate vendetta against the vampires who's killed his comrades had won out. All around him he could see piles of dust, a dead Death Hound and various Vigilants. He couldn't help but be curious about the fate of the head Vigilant, Keeper Carcette. He couldn't identify her amongst the fallen, so he hoped her fate was swift and if not, that she'd been put to the torch with the building, as he didn't want to think about what would happen to her if the vampires had decided to keep her prisoner.

He heard movement behind him.

He stealthily drew his crossbow from his back, it was already preloaded with a bolt. The first thing he saw was the point of a steel arrow, notched in an Imperial style bow. Wielding this weapon like a pro was a nord woman with braided dark hair, wearing scale armor.

“Identify yourself,” He demanded, startling her. He kept his crossbow trained on her. The only thing that saved her from his bolt was the fact that it was day time. She immediately trained her bow on him.

Her amber colored eyes belied the rage she was feeling. “If you were gonna use that thing, you should have shot me when you had the chance. You might kill me, but I'll definitely kill you.”

“You're human… At least human enough for me,” Xander explained. She quirked an eyebrow. “It's easy enough, when you know how to look, how to spot a were. As far as I can tell, you had nothing to do with this massacre, so you're safe from me- so long as you don't attack me first.”

“Freyja Snow-Song,” she introduced herself, withdrawing her bow. “I'm with the Companions.”

Xander tilted his head as he lowered his crossbow. “Are all Companions weres?”

“Met some of the others?” Freyja asked.

“A big guy named Farkus,” Xander said. “Helped me out with a vamp infestation a few weeks ago in Falkreath Hold. I'm Xander Harris, with the Dawnguard.”

Freyja's eyes widened in disbelief. “You're the guy he wouldn't shut-up about?”

“We did good work,” Xander replied. “Sadly, we've both already discovered our callings- though I wouldn't pass up an opportunity to team up with him again.”

“Sadly, it's just me,” Freyja replied. “And no, not all Companions are werewolves. The werewolf bit isn't widely known or talked about, even amongst ourselves. Only the members of The Circle have lycanthropy. It's part of the Initiation.”

“Ah, gotcha. Well, unless one or more of you start going on senseless rampages, your secret is safe with me. So what brings a member of the Companions all the way up to the Pale?” Xander inquired.

Freyja sighed in sadness. “The Vigilants are a tough group to get along with. Their crusade against Daedra and other 'unnatural' creatures, like vampires and werewolves borders on zealotry. Even so, I had friends here, Keeper Carcette taught me quite a bit about healing before I joined up with the Companions,” Freyja informed him. “I had to come see this myself.”

“I'm sorry to hear that,” Xander replied.

“I take it you're here to investigate?” Freyja asked.

“A little yes, mostly no,” Xander replied. “We already know that it was vamps that did this, even without the overwhelming evidence here. And we know why they were in the area and where they went,” Xander replied. “One of the survivors of the attack actually made it down to Fort Dawnguard in The Rift and informed us of everything he knew, before making his way up here. Isran tried to talk him down and I tried to get him to wait for my arrival, but it looks like he went ahead anyway.”

“Would you mind some extra company?” Freyja asked.

“You and Farkus are both members of the Circle, right?” Xander inquired. Freyja nodded in confirmation. “Well, if you're even half as good as he is, I don't see why not.”

“Thank you. What is that weapon you're using?” Freyja asked.

“It's called a crossbow. For all intents and purposes, it's the signature weapon of the Dawnguard, though I'm told they're not exactly common- not even in Morrowind where they originated,” Xander answered. “If you'd like, I can talk to Isran about sparing a couple for your people. You guys do good work.”

“Not many of us used ranged weaponry,” Freyja replied. “Mostly it's just me and Aela, and I doubt either of us are going to give up our bows anytime soon.”

“Fair enough,” Xander stated.

“So if you're not here to investigate the attack, why are you here?” Freyja asked.

“Mostly, just checking to see if I can find anything of use- something that survived the attack that the vamps overlooked,” Xander commented.

“Oh?” Freyja replied interestedly. “Find anything interesting?”

“Interesting, yes. Useful, no,” Xander answered. “Just a book on some mythic Aetherium Forge that might or might not actually be real.”

“Are all questions asked of you answered twice?” Freyja asked half jokingly.

“Depends on the question,” Xander said with a shrug.

Freyja simply shook her head in amusement. “So, where are those vampires holed up at?”

“A nearby cave called Dimhollow,” Xander informed her. “Apparently, one of the Vigilants- an Adalvald, made some sort of discovery relating to vampires- some sort of elaborate crypt down there. According to Tolan, no one took him seriously.”

“To be fair, I've met Adalvald. He saw conspiracies in anything and everything you can think of,” Freyja defended her dead friends.

“It's only paranoia when a vampire coven doesn't wipe out a significant chunk of your order,” Xander chided. “Even Tolan admitted that the Vigilants had gotten arrogant when warned of the vampire threat, having had so much success fighting off daedra as long as they have.”

“So, where is this Dimhollow?” Freyja asked, changing the subject.

Xander let the matter drop. “Just up the mountain, believe it or not. With their main headquarters so close to a potential hotspot of vampire activity, I'm surprised they didn't give the matter more of their attention.”

Freyja frowned. Though she didn't want to, she couldn't help but agree with Xander there. “Any idea of what we can expect?”

“Vamps, vamps and more vamps. Some of their undead mutts too,” Xander told her. “Other than that? No clue. Caves like those typically have drauger, frostbite spiders and the occasional troll. Hopefully, whatever nasties that have made their home there and the vamps coming in to claim whatever it is that they think will further their goals, will wipe each other out, allowing us to take whatever treasure they're looking for, for ourselves.”

“Then what?” Freyja asked.

“Well… I can't exactly pay you, I don't typically carry all that much gold on me. So you're free to take whatever you want from whatever treasure we find, so long as I get the artifact that the vampires are after,” Xander offered. “Deal?”

Freyja shook her head. “I'm not doing this for the coin. Those things killed people I cared about. You can have the artifact, and we can split whatever treasure we find.”

It didn't take the duo long to find the entrance to the cavern. Just outside, they found a torch that had been carelessly dropped.

“Somehow I don't think that's a good sign,” Xander commented jokingly, trying to lighten up the tension.

“You have a gift for the understatement,” Freyja replied in a grim tone. “Do you think it was Tolan's?”

Xander picked it up, and felt the warmth of the normally, fiery end of the torch. “It's not that old, so possibly. I arrived not long before you and sunrise wasn't so long ago.” He sighed in frustration. “Only a damn fool attacks a vampire den alone at night. Vigilant arrogance mixed with a need for revenge… I figured Tolan could use this to get passed what happened to his comrades, but it looks like Isran was right to say Tolan should have stayed behind. Suppose I shouldn't be surprised, given his history with the Vigilants.”

Freyja frowned. “I've never heard of this Isran.”

Xander shrugged. “Apparently, he and Celann used to be card carrying members.”

“What?” Freyja asked in confusion.

“Sorry, expression from my homeland,” Xander replied. “Isran and Celann used to be Vigilants, but left them long ago to fight vampires instead of daedra. Don't ask me why, they haven't seen fit to share the whys of that particular tidbit of information.”

“So you want to lead, or should I?” Freyja asked.

“Can you see, hear or smell any better than I can?” Xander asked in response.

“In my wolf form, but that's not exactly subtle,” Freyja informed him. “And since I haven't been a werewolf long, I can only hold that transformation for so long and can transform only once per day. I do have full control though.”

“Good to know,” Xander acknowledged. “So you can transform at will?”

“It takes a few minutes, but yes, I can,” Freyja informed him, knowing he was no doubt accessing these tidbits of information as weaknesses in case he felt the need to put her down. She subconsciously felt her ring, feeling the bestial power stir inside of her. If he did decide to turn on her, she'd at least take him down with her. She was that confident at least. “Anything special about you?”

“Yes and no,” Xander said with a smirk. “What little bit that is special about me is hardly relevant to our current situation. Maybe if we get to know each other first?”

Freyja snorted in amusement. “I doubt you could handle me.”

Xander continued to smirk. “Play your cards right and if we both get out of this, I just might let you find out.”

“Isn't that supposed to be my line?” Freyja asked as the entered the cave.

“Yeah, well to be honest,” Xander said in a low tone. “The female warrior bad-ass thing you have going on is a bit of a huge turn on for me and I'm not exactly hard to get into bed anyway.”

“I can respect a man who knows what he wants,” Freyja whispered coyly.

“I haven't the slightest idea what I want, I simply know what I like,” Xander countered.

It didn't take them long to enter a rather large cavern. They immediately saw two vampires. It wasn't hard to tell, despite the lack of light and the distance, that the two vampires had somewhat recently fed, their chins glistening with crimson liquid. It was impossible to make out what they were saying to one another, however.

“You take the one on the right, I get the one on the left?” Freyja asked.

Xander was silent. “That'd be a good idea, except look to the shadows.” He pointed off to the left of the vampires. It took her a moment, but Freyja quickly noted the movement in the shadows. “Death Hounds- two by my count.”

“I can barely make out one,” Freyja whispered. “How can you see two?”

“I work more in the dark than you do,” Xander replied. “Hell, this cavern is far better lit than most vampire dens I've been in that weren't caves. We need to take them out first, think you can manage it?”

Freyja squinted. “I'm pretty sure I can- in one shot even.”

“Just in case, do you have a blade with a fire enchantment?” Xander asked as he took aim with the crossbow.

“I have a silver blade,” Freyja said as she too took aim.

“Really!?” Xander replied in a whispered exclamation as he did the same. “But you're a werewolf!”

“I'm not exactly one right now, am I?” Freyja bantered back. “Say when.”

“Point.” Xander acknowledged. “Reloading takes a bit more time than a bow, so take out the vamp on the right when they turn to check on the dogs. I'll take out the bitch on the left, since she likely won't notice her partner being dusted behind her. And I didn't exactly expect a werewolf to be carrying the key to her own destruction. When.”

They both fired at the same time. Both Death Hounds let out a shriek of pain as the were killed. As predicted, both vampires turned to the noise, only for the male vampire to end up with an arrow through his heart. The female vampire actually did notice but was too confused by the sudden chaos to do anything but die when Xander's crossbow bolt struck her own heart.

“I love it when a plan comes together!” Xander declared.

“You do have a point there,” Freyja acknowledged Xander's previous point. “However, it's not like only silver can kill a werewolf, it just kills us faster than most other weapons and it's just as effective on undead. You'd be surprised at how often we get called out because some idiot hedge mage or rogue necromancer wants to start an undead uprising.”

“The Dawnguard may only exclusively deal with vamps, but I do my fair share of freelance work, so I know how it goes,” Xander sympathized. “You should have seen this one idiot who thought he was gonna be the next archmage because he used his grandfather's staff to raise a few zombies when the grand sum of his entire magical potential laid in the staff he was using like a supreme idiot. I generally try to avoid killing humans if I can help it, but I nearly shot him on principle for that particular stunt. Luckily, he surrendered the staff with little fuss.”

The two quickly made their way to where the two vampires had simply left Tolan's body left to rot.

“Such a waste!” Xander said in disgust. He then drew his blade, which Freyja noticed for the first time. It was golden, but did not look as if it had been made of dwemer metal and glowed with otherworldly brightness. He stabbed Tolan's body in the heart and incinerated it. “One less thing to worry about.”

“Interesting blade,” Freyja commented.

“Daedric weapon, The Dawnbreaker” Xander answered. “Something I'm sure would give any Vigilant a heart attack, provided I actually cared about something like that and despite the fact that the daedra in question isn't exactly seen as evil, even by mortal standards.”


“Meridia. That lit up temple on Mt Killkreath… That's hers,” Xander replied.

“I'd wondered who lit that up,” Freyja commented. “Me, Farkus and Ria were just miles south when we saw it light up. By the time we got up there to investigate, we found no sign of anyone and what appeared to be the main chamber was sealed.”

“Durak and I found the beacon for her temple in a vampire lair and, along with my housecarl, we cleansed the temple,” Xander told her. “A Necromancer was attempting to use the bodies of the Legionnaires and Stormcloaks entombed there to build himself an army, either not realizing or not caring that it was also a shrine to a daedra with a serious hatred for the undead.”

“So there's more than a simple fire enchantment in the blade,” Freyja stated.

Xander nodded. “The enchantment works like a typical fire enchantment for the most part, the fire just burns a helluva lot hotter when burning the undead. However, whenever I strike a killing blow, it releases an explosion of power that sends all undead for a hundred yards into a panicked frenzy. Forget flight or fight… It's pure running for the hills for all but the most powerful of undead- typically that means Death Lords and Mistwalkers. As far as I can tell, it doesn't affect werewolves, or at least untransformed ones. Or at least it didn't affect Farkus any.”

“Good to know.”

It was then that they noticed the way forward was barred.

“See the switch anywhere nearby?” Xander asked as he examined the barred doorway. “Every now and again these things can be pretty well hidden.”

“Likely over there,” Freyja commented as she pointed to a crumbling tower structure built into the cavern wall.

“Or they can be remarkably placed in plain sight,” Xander replied.

Freyja giggled at his response. “You are very strange.”

“Oddly, that's not the first time I've heard that,” Xander bantered back as he went to the tower and activated the switch that lowered the bars.

Freyja was waiting, bow in a ready fire position, guarding the passageway in case something backtracked to investigate the entrance chamber.

“Once more into the breach?” Xander asked rhetorically.

“You first, you see better in the dark,” Freyja replied. “I'll follow your lead.”

“Fair enough,” Xander replied with a nod and the two them crept down the cavern.

The second chamber they found themselves in, was more of a hall and filled with drauger. Some had risen and were fighting a vampire and two death hounds.

“Hounds, vamp, drauger,” Xander stated.

“I'll take the bloodsucker,” Freyja stated.

The hounds died instantly, distracting the vampire enough to allow the drauger it was fighting to kill it. Freyja killed the drauger that stole her kill instead. Xander took out another one, leaving the final drauger for her.

It wasn't long before they came into a moderately lit cavern with a vamp simply sitting carefree on a ledge. Xander began to take careful aim at it as skeletons began to rise from the pond, catching the attention of the vampire, vampire hunter and the shield maiden. Freyja secured her bow on her back and drew her silver longsword. “Take him out, I'll deal with these.”

“Gotcha.” Xander agreed as he took aim at the vampire, who'd done little more than stand up. He released the bolt, taking it out as Freyja charged the skeletons, making short work of them.

“Barely even a warm-up,” Freyja commented in slight disappointment.

“Not exactly a bad thing, you know,” Xander chided. “Besides, we still have yet to find the head honcho, so I'm pretty sure you'll have plenty to sate those blood-lusting urges of yours on.”

Freyja sighed. “I can't help it. I'm a nord, a woman and a werewolf. It's who and what I am.”

“Is it strange that I'm more afraid of the woman part than I am the werewolf part?” Xander asked her with a sideways glance.

“It just shows your smarter than the average male,” Freyja commented. “There's hope for you yet.”

“There's just something about taking down vamp dens that brings people together,” Xander commented.

“Speaking of which, how did you and Farkus get mixed up together?” Freyja asked.

“Ran across him fighting off a group of spriggans,” Xander answered. “He was holding his own pretty well and likely could have taken them on his own, but it was three on one, so I stepped in. He decided to help me out with my contract, which I can't really talk about, in repayment.”

“Why can't you talk about it?” Freyja inquired.

“My contractor wanted to save face. It's an image thing,” Xander replied evasively.

“So it was likely a matter of court, either a Jarl or a Thane,” Freyja guessed though she didn't expect an answer and was unsurprised to not get one. “And unfortunately, since it was Falkreath Hold, anybody who's anybody has an ancestor or twelve buried there.”

“Farkus knows. There was no way in hell I was going in there with him without his complete trust,” Xander said. “And while he might project the image of the dumb warrior nord, he's smart enough to be discreet, though I'm pretty sure the Harbinger at least knows. He was uncomfortable keeping things from the rest of you, so the contractor gave him permission to at least tell Kodlak Whitemane.”

The next area housed more drauger, though these looked like they remained in a restful slumber. There was, however, a multitude of frostbite spider egg sacs and webbing all over the buried chamber. The two almost immediately spotted a vampire, but remained undetected. Freyja crept up on it, grasping its shoulder and impaled it from behind on her blade.

Xander spotted a death hound at the top of a small set of stairs that had come to investigate the noise. He shot it in the eye, killing it instantly.

“Interlopers!” shouted a vampire and another death hound rounded the corner. Freyja quickly shot it, staggering it, but not killing it. Xander drew his sword and sliced its head off, ignoring the pain of the frost aura it put out. Fortunately his exposure to it's frost aura was brief. The kill also had the added effect of releasing the Dawnbreaker's power, sending the undead frostbite spider that had followed the death hound scurrying away. Xander gave chase, only to be caught in a red stream of power from the vampire. Freyja shot it's hand, breaking its hold on Xander and then put another one it its heart, killing it.

The two watched as the frostbite spider crumbled to dust since the vampire's hold on it was severed.

“Damn, that was stupid,” Xander cursed himself. “Thanks for that.”

“We're shield-siblings, it's what we do,” Freyja said dismissively.

“All the same,” Xander replied catching his breath. He was feeling a bit woozy, so he pulled a potion from his pouch, uncorked it and drank it down. Freyja raised an eyebrow, so he explained. “Just making sure I don't get vamped.”

Her only response was a nod as they delved further into the crypt. They found themselves in yet another chamber. Freyja was quick to note some vampires fighting off a giant frostbite spider. It was Xander who noted the switch near the door.

“How's your stealth?” Xander asked her.

“I could sneak up on a Falmer,” Freyja boasted quietly.

“Then let's force them to do our work for us,” Xander replied.

“And mop up the survivors,” Freyja added, quickly catching onto his plan.

One of the vampires turned to see the gate come crashing down, losing focus on what he was doing. The end result, for him, was the wounded frostbite spider catching his neck in its' mandibles and snapping his head off, dusting the vampire. Another vampire shoulder tackled the giant spider, knocking it off balance. He raised his sword to finish it off when a crossbow bolt penetrated his lower back. The sudden force jarred his stance and the unexpected attack made him lose his grip on his sword as the spider recuperated and knocked him down with it's leg.

A third vampire attempted to further drain the spider's life force, however the spider was quick to overwhelm it. While it couldn't get a solid killing blow it did leave multiple bites on the vampire. In small amounts, even the weakest of vampires are highly resistant to poisons, however, this one was just a fledgling and the spider, though wounded, was no mere regular frostbite spider, it's gigantic size adding to the potency of its fresh poison. It was enough to overcome the vampire's natural resistance and the vampire felt immense pain as its' blood began to freeze in its veins. The second vampire recovered and jumped on top of the wounded giant frostbite spider and stabbed downward into it's head, killing it. It crashed into the vampire below it, pinning it down as it screamed in agony before succumbing to his wounds and turning to dust.

The vampire let out an unneeded sigh as he turned to see the gate reopening, only to feel a sharp pain in his chest. He looked down and then back up at the bastard who'd shot him and the nord bitch right next to him.

He exploded into a cloud of dust.

“That was strange,” Freyja noted. “Don't they usually turn to dust immediately upon death.”

“Never underestimate the power of dramatic effect,” Xander warned her. “It just goes to show that the world is stranger than we know.”

“As if a civil war, vampire uprisings and returning dragons weren't enough,” Freyja complained.

“Don't forget early winter,” Xander added. Freyja looked at him strangely and he just shrugged. “It was something a friend of mine said.”

An agonized scream met them in the next chamber, this one seemingly more grand than the previous ones.

They hurriedly crept to a nearby ledge.

“Adalvald,” Freyja whispered. Throwing caution to the wind she stood up while taking aim. “Hey, bastard, over here!” She fired her bow and her aim was true. The vampire, however, as a master and easily caught it. His underling wasn't so lucky as she dusted when struck with a crossbow bolt. In retaliation, he stabbed the arrow into Adalvald's eye, killing him instantly. Meanwhile, his thrall ran to the stairs to intercept the intruders. Xander drew Dawnbreaker, moving to engage the thrall. Freyja, on the other hand, consumed by rage, began to change as she leapt to the ground below. She let out a mighty howl as she landed and pounced on the master vampire, savagely ripping him to shreds. She then attacked the thrall, who'd become distracted by her sudden change and savaging of his master. He didn't last more than a few seconds. Xander on the other hand, watched Freyja warily as she turned her gaze on him.

“Freyja… Calm down…” he said soothingly.

The werewolf snarled at him.

He put his sword down. “Easy girl. I'm not gonna hurt you.”

He approached with his arm outstretched, allowing Freyja to sniff him and gauge his intentions. To his relief, she allow him to scratch behind her ears when suddenly she shrank back down to her normal self, sans clothes. Xander immediately turned around to preserve her modesty.

“Sorry,” Freyja apologized. “I was just so angry.”

“Who wouldn't be in your shoes,” Xander replied.

He was startled when she walked passed him without an ounce of shame. He suppose than since many of her order were werewolves that they didn't have a large amount of body modesty. Even still, he did his best not to stare at her nude form. Freyja looked back at him with an alluring smirk. “Like what you see?”

“Even a dead man would like what I see,” Xander quipped. He couldn't help but stare at her bare ass as she walked up the stairs to where her armor lay as she added an extra sway to her hips. To put his mind off his currently nude companion, he searched the area around Adalvald. All he managed to find was the Vigilant's notes on Dimhollow Crypt that seemed to be about the pedestals nearby. “Convenient.”

“Ready?” Freyja asked.

“Considering the size difference, how is it that your armor is in one piece? Or how does someone like Farkus not get crushed in that armor of his?” Xander asked.

Freyja shrugged. “Your guess is as good as mine. It's not something we think about.”

“The world truly is stranger than we know,” Xander said with a shake of his head. “So, this is what we have.” He showed her the notes Adalvald had on the crypt.

Freyja perused them for a moment. “They're pretty vague.”

“If I had to guess, the vamps kept him alive in case they couldn't figure out the puzzle based on his notes,” Xander stated.

“Any ideas?” She asked as they stepped into the dais.

“Blood offering...” Xander noted. He rushed back to the thrall, hoping that enough of him was intact to guess what had happened. A quick check of the remains was enough to confirm his suspicions. He made his way back to the altar where Freyja looked at him inquiringly. He studied it for a moment, taking note of the dried blood on it. “They couldn't get it to work.”

“Activating this altar's function requires a blood offering,” Xander said.

“Looks like they tried that,” Freyja noted.

“If I'm reading between the lines right,” Xander said. “Vampire blood wouldn't cut it, at least not vampire blood of a specific bloodline, which I'm guessing these guys belonged to. So they'd at the very least need an unaffiliated vampire, which they wouldn't trust, or a human, acting on his own free will. Most humans acting as daytime bodyguards and servants to vampires are thralls. They've been enchanted to do the vampire's bidding.”

“And Adalvald would never willingly help a vampire,” Freyja caught on. “So now what? Because I've already tried moving the pedestals like he described, but none of them will budge.”

“My guess is that the altar has to be activated first,” Xander said. “And this button is at least the first step to doing that. He pulled off his left gauntlet. Freyja idly noted that it was the opposite of his sword hand. He took a deep breath.

“Expecting something bad to happen?” Freyja asked incredulously.

“Yes,” Xander replied shortly as he pressed down on the button on the center of the altar.

“Xander!” Freyja cried out.

A sharp spike pierced his hand, making him cry out in pain and he collapsed, his hand held in place by the spike. The basin of the alter filled with his blood and the spike receded. Freyja held him securely in her arms as the altar began to glow and the pedestals lit up with other worldly purple flames.

“Fuck that hurt!” Xander exclaimed as Freya dressed the wound as best she could.

“Are...” she began to ask on pure instinct before she stopped herself.

“I'm as fine as can be expected,” Xander answered her unfinished question. “So… Think the pedestals will move now?”

“Potion first,” Freyja insisted as she pulled a flask with ruby colored liquid in it.

“'Tis but a flesh wound,” Xander declared.

“Drink anyway,” Freyja insisted further.

Xander made a disgusted face. “I'd rather eat werewolf droppings.”

“That could be arranged,” Freyja scolded. “Now, quit being such a baby and take the damn potion.”

Reluctantly, Xander took the healing potion and drank it down quickly in an effort not to taste it. “Blech...”

Freyja snorted in amusement. “Milk Drinker.”

It didn't take them long to figure out how and where to move the pedestals to. Once the last one was in place, the altar began to lift itself out of the ground.

“This should be interesting...” Freyja commented sardonically.

The obelisk type object that rose from the ground opened up to reveal a woman inside of it. She immediately collapsed, however before she could hit the ground, she was caught by Xander. Brown eyes met crimson as he pushed her hair out of her face. She looked apprehensive, but was too weak to move out of Xander's arms.

“You're not who I expected...” she said weakly.

“And just who were you expecting?” Xander inquired.

“Well…” her eyes cut to where she saw Freyja with her bow drawn and arrow notched, waiting for her to make even the slightest misstep. “Someone a bit more like me.”

“Sorry to say, you're gonna have to make due with us,” Xander said with a comforting smile. “What's with the scroll?”

“It's an Elder Scroll,” Freyja said.

“And none of your business,” the unnamed vampire replied.

“Considering the trouble the vamps we dusted went to, to find you and your scroll, I'm pretty sure it is our business,” Xander argued. “So… Any idea how long you were trapped in there?”

“Well... Who's the High King?” she asked.

“A very good question,” Xander praised. “And once the Jarls figure that one out, we'll be happy to tell you.”

She quirked an eyebrow at the comment directed at Freyja.

The lycan shield maiden elaborated. “War of Succession.”

“Well, at least things didn't get boring while I slept,” she commented dryly. “Who's the leading candidates?”

“Jarl Ulfric of Windhelm is leading the rebellion while the Empire supports Jarl Elisif of Solitude,” Xander informed her.

The woman looked startled. “Empire!?”

“The Cyrodiilic Empire...” Xander said slowly.

“Cyrodiil is the seat of an Empire?” she asked in disbelief.

“Well...” Xander said as he looked up at Freyja, who looked shell-shocked at the information, and then back to the mysterious woman, “Let's just say you've been down here a long, long time.”

“So, what do did those other bloodsuckers want with you?” Freyja demanded. Xander could barely contain his sigh at her blunt questioning.

“I… I'm not entirely sure,” she replied. “It would all depend on who sent them and to figure that out, I'd have to go home.”

“Somehow, I think that'd be a bad idea,” Freyja commented.

“Maybe not,” Xander interjected.

“Give me one good reason why we should spare her?” Freyja demanded.

“For one, we haven't the foggiest clue as to exactly why they were here. Even if we kill her and take her scroll, we still won't know what they're after or who we're dealing with. Or what sort of resources they have,” Xander argued. “Vampire attacks had been nearly non-existent until recently. The destruction of the Hall of the Vigilants was just the beginning.”

“So, what? You're just going to take her home and confront this mysterious vampire overlord in his own home?” Freyja asked incredulously.

“I wouldn't put it quite like that...” Xander winced.

“And just how would you put it?” Freyja inquired challengingly.

Xander sighed. “Okay, I would put it like that, but it's not like we have a choice. Any information she'd have is centuries out of date and I doubt any of the vamps we've been dealing with up until we faced down the one who killed Adalvald have any sort of significant rank or stature,” Xander reasoned. “We're fighting blind and this is our only true alternative.”

Freyja sighed. “Do what you want. In the mean time, I'm going to warn both my comrades and yours about what's going on.” She then unnotched her bow and resecured it onto her back before addressing the vampire. “What's the quickest way out of her.”

“I don't know, this place looks quite a bit different from when I was first sealed here,” she commented.

“Just great...” Freyja sighed.

“Can you stand?” Xander asked her.

“I-I think so...” she replied.

Xander helped her to her feet and steadied her. “So… You got a name?”

“S-Serana...” she answered. “My name is Serana...”

“I'm Xander, with the Dawnguard and this is Freyja with the Companions,” Xander replied.

“Your friend smells like wet dog,” Serana said with a modicum of distaste.

“Werewolf shield maiden, real nasty temper,” Xander replied. “While I'm just a regular, average, human vampire hunter.”

Serana looked at him suspiciously. “Why don't I believe you?”

“I assure you, she really is a werewolf,” Xander promised.

“As if I couldn't help but notice the smell,” Serana replied distastefully. “I was talking about you.”

“I really am a vampire hunter,” Xander said reassuringly.

“Though not exactly what any sane person would call normal,” Freyja commented earning a glare from Xander.

“Very funny,” Xander sourly responded as he surveyed the surrounding area. “Serana… How's your night vision?”

“Better than yours, I'm sure,” she replied.

“What's off in that direction?” Xander asked.

“What are you thinking?” Freyja inquired.

“That I don't want to have to fight through every vamp within a few miles of here if they have reinforcements waiting at the entrance,” Xander replied. “Not to mention, if she's seen with us fighting her kind, or even just watching us fighting her kind, they'd be less likely to accept her and we'll still be clueless.”

“She’s standing right here,” Serana reminded them. “Stairs and a cavern.”

Xander nodded. “With luck, that will be an exit and not just a quick way back to the entrance.”

“And how often are you that lucky?” Freyja asked with a raised eyebrow.

“Never you mind,” Xander replied as he lit Tolan's torch and began to walk towards the darkened part of the cavern, Freyja and Serana following close behind him. Unfortunately, as soon as they reached the stairs, the two gargoyle statues on either side exploded, making them realize they were not ordinary statues.

“Damn it!” Xander cursed as he'd fought them before. Only this time he didn't have a Farkus with him to easily take them down. He immediately bashed the one on his right with his torch, setting it ablaze, as he lashed out with Dawnbreaker. The slash did minimal damage on its own, with the fire enchantment doing more to it than not.

He heard a growl behind him and he turned to see Freyja having transformed into a werewolf once more and savagely attacking the gargoyle. Unfortunately for the Companion, this wasn't a vampire that had been caught off guard, but a creature of magic who was nearly it's equal in strength and battle prowess, if not pure savagery. The distraction cost Xander as the gargoyle back handed him on the back of his head. Despite his helmet, Xander was seeing stars and it took his head a moment to realize why there hadn't been a follow up attack- the gargoyle had a shard of ice sticking in it's shoulder. There was also a stream of lightning that surged through it from Serana's hand. Shakily, Xander got back up as he shook his head in a vain attempt to clear it.

Serana loosed another ice spike at the gargoyle, while maintaining her stream of lightning. Unfortunately, time had taken a toll on her and having only just awakened and not having fed, she was incredibly weak. She couldn't hold up much longer and once her magicka had run out, she was out of the fight. The gargoyle, despite being hit with a constant stream of lightning, slowly stalked her. She released a third ice spike at it, causing it to stumble. As luck would have it, her strength gave out and she collapsed and she dropped to her hands and knees.

The gargoyle roared in victory as it lifted its taloned hand to finished her off, when she heard a cry of defiance from the only male in their trio. She looked up to see Xander once more engaging the beast. While most of the damage caused by the blade was moderately superficial, each swing was causing more and more damage and the fire that was caused by the blade was more than making up for the lack of damage from the sword. She could only look in awe as the “simple human” vampire hunter defended her with both bravery and savagery. Considering her former position in her father's court, the image of a brave and noble knight defending/rescuing the fair princess from a savage and brutal monster played strongly in her mind.

She hated those stories growing up.

However, living out the story she was not only more than a little thankful to him for saving her life, but the image wasn't as repulsive as it had been when she was small girl wanting to be the heroine saving the stupid boy from the monster instead of it being the other way around. Then again, she'd already done that. In fact, she'd saved him first. So perhaps they'd saved each other from the fearsome beast- the warrior princess and the roguish knight…

She'd definitely spent far too long in that obelisk.

With a final cry, the gargoyle went down as Xander pierced it's chest with his sword, bringing it down for good. He looked to Serana. “You okay?”

Though she didn't want to admit it, especially not to her self, his genuine concern for her was touching. “Fine.”

“Damn that took a lot out of me,” Freyja said as her naked form stumbled towards them and she collapsed. Xander immediately rushed to her aid, pulling out a green colored potion.

“This will help you get back on your feet,” he said as he handed it to her.

“Thank you,” Freyja said quietly as she accepted the stamina potion.

“I thought you could only transform once,” Xander said as he tried to do the gentlemanly thing and not look at her nakedness.
Freyja absently played with her ring, the only thing she was still wearing from before she transformed. “Trade secret.”

Serana was certain that Xander hadn't really noticed as he wasn't really looking at the shameless nord shield maiden, but Serana would know the mark of Hircine anywhere and that ring had it.

Compared to the gargoyles, the drauger in the next chamber were a joke- something Freyja had commented on, much to Xander's dismay.

“You just had to say it, didn't you,” Xander groaned.

“What?” Freyja asked, sharing a befuddled look of confusion with Serana.

“You've cursed us!” Xander exclaimed.

Serana looked at Xander curiously. “I didn't see or sense her use any magic...”

“Because I can't,” Freyja added. “I'm not exactly mage material.”

“Just you wait,” Xander warned them. “We're gonna have to fight some sort of big nasty in the next chamber and it will be all Freyja's fault.”

“That's completely and utterly ridiculous!” Freyja exclaimed.

He was right.

The moment they stepped into the chamber, Xander groaned out loud once more in complaint as they were met with the sight of a combat arena littered with skeletons, which even with their ability to use varying weapons and magic, weren't difficult to deal with.

What was rather troublesome however, was the drauger deathlord that had challenged them. It rose from its throne and immediately engaged them in combat. Xander charged it with Dawnbreaker, however his weapon had be wrenched out of his hands by the drauger's Thu'um. He only barely managed to avoid getting his head chopped off in the process and it was only Freyja's skill with a bow that saved him as the creature stumbled backwards.

Serena then engaged it with Freyja's silver longsword, which had bewildered her as much as it had Xander that Freyja actually used one. The drauger expertly parried her blows, but stumbled back as Xander shot it with his crossbow. She went for a decisive killing blow when her fist met the mummified zombie's breastplate as a wave of energy washed over her and she found herself weaponless.

The drauger backhanded her, but was engaged by Freyja wielding two daggers. The nord woman was quick and pushed the drauger back before it could fully recover. Just as it did, she ducked out of the way and backed off as another crossbow bolt hit it in the chest, causing it to stumble once more and an ice spike finished it off.

“Don't say it,” Freyja warned Xander as they collected their weapons.

Xander smiled unrepentantly. “I wouldn't dream of it.”

All in all, the trio were immensely glad to see the light of day, as it were, and breath in the fresh, crisp, night time air that one could only find in Skyrim and took in the sight of the aurora borealis, that lit up the sky.

It was Xander, standing in the middle of the trio, who broke the silence first.

“I don't think that is something I'll ever get tired of.”

On either side of him, the werewolf shield maiden and the vampire princess couldn't help but agree.
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
Nice. Not sure I really agree that Xander is dumb enough to walk into the middle of a castle full of vampires just for information, but it has been a while since I last rewatched Buffy.


The Original M2J
Elder Scrolls are pieces of creation. Capable of looking into every future and every past simultaneously. Anything and everything regarding them is worth any and every risk. Just studying them has driven people insane. Unless you're destined to read it, just looking at it can render you blind without certain precautions and even then, you still may lose your sight.

While Xander at this point isn't exactly sure what an Elder Scroll is (and really, who does?), he knows it's a big deal. End of the World type big. Investigating the vampires looking to use an Elder Scroll is actually the smart play. Which should really highlight just how insane it is to even mess with an Elder Scroll and Xander and Serana will have to track down three of those suckers.


Well-Known Member
Serana yay!
So will going after the Dragon scroll be how Xander finally meets/interacts with the Dovahkiin?
Also, **** Blackreach, and the Crimson Nirnroot.


The Original M2J
No, Xander will have met the Dragonborn before this. That being said, the three of them will go into the Soul Cairn together.
So, I know my personal biases, but what do you guys think regarding the Parthurnax Dilemma? I'm already leaning towards killing him off, but which do you guys think would be better for the story in general?


Well-Known Member
I'd honestly need to know the context of why our protagonist would even be involved.
The whole of the delimma, in this fic, will stem from the fact that the Dragonborn is torn between both The Blades and the Greybeards in regards to whether or not Parthurnaax should die or not. From there, the Dragonborn would go to some of the friends he's made and can trust in his various adventures and get their thoughts.

Xander would be one of those friends (they will have not only have spilled blood together, but they also go to the Soul Cairn together). The ultimate decision would be up to the Dragonborn, but Xander would join in, should he decide to kill Parthurnaax.


Well-Known Member
I think Xander would advocate for not killing Parthurnaax. He'd have some proof by this point that there can be exceptions to what is usually considered 'monsters.'

Spike (Maybe? I don't remember exactly when in series he became a good guy compared to when Xander got portaled.)

All are examples he's aware of of vampires that aren't irredeemably evil, so what can't Parthurnaax be a non-evil dragon?
Spike and Angel aren't the best examples to use. Spike was a case of Pavlov in action. He couldn't harm humans directly, which lead to Buffy underestimating how dangerous he could be. He just got into the habit of being a good guy after being one unwillingly for the longest time. They could get along, but they were hardly friends.

Angelus was irredeemable. Angel was the human personality trapped in a vampire visage. Unlike Spike, there was a huge difference between souled Angel and soulless Angelus. Honestly, I'm not entirely sure just what that says about Spike's mental state that pre and post soul Spike was the same person.

As for Serana... She's basically the exception to the rule. She isn't the only Mundus Vampire Xander doesn't kill, but she is the only one he gets along with. Harkin won't be wrong when he points out Xander's hypocrisy regarding Serana- nor would anyone else be. Sybille Stentor in particular comes to mind here. Both Xander and Stentor will absolutely loathe each other, but neither will be able to do anything about the other one. Especially when one considers that the only truly trustworthy dragon in Skyrim is Durnehviir and that's because he was trapped in the Soul Cairn by the Ideal Masters. Parthurnaax even admits this, as he actually agrees with the Blades that dragons in general should not be trusted and that they are right for wanting him dead. The only person to fully argue against killing Parthurnaax is Arngier.

Still, while the paralells between Serana and Parthurnaax are there, they aren't the same either. While they are both renegades to their kind, Serana doesn't struggle with her nature the same way Parthurnaax does. Likewise, she can stop being a vampire. Parthurnaax can't quit being a dragon and completely lacks mortal perspective. While he is practical enough to be willing to help the Dragonborn learn Dragonrend, he is completely incapable of learning or even saying the words himself because he is an immortal dragon who craves domination and destruction, even if he fights against those instincts. The words only exist in the Thu'um because humans made them up and even saying them would harm him. Hell, even his turning against Alduin could be seen as playing the long game, as it was foretold that the Last Dragonborn would defeat Alduin- eventually. And what are a few millenia to an immortal? And once the mortal Dragonborn dies? Parthurnaax becomes the leader of the Dragons until Alduin's final return.
Does anyone else get frustrated by the misconception that Ulfric Stormcloak is a racist, Thalmor spy? Especially, when one considers that he is neither of those things? The fact that people use that dossier in the Thalmor Embassy to reinforce this view point is especially irritating because it definitely doesn't say ANYTHING like that.


Well-Known Member
Does anyone else get frustrated by the misconception that Ulfric Stormcloak is a racist, Thalmor spy? Especially, when one considers that he is neither of those things? The fact that people use that dossier in the Thalmor Embassy to reinforce this view point is especially irritating because it definitely doesn't say ANYTHING like that.
Yes. If I remember right while starting the Civil War was what the Thalmor planned, they basically manipulated Ulfric to do it.

I do see where people are coming from with the racist thing though, even if it's a misconception. He keeps the Argonians outside the city, has the Dark Elves in the "Rundown" Grey Quarter. I feel like because we see two Nords harassing a Dark Elf woman out in the open, we're supposed to see it as "Windhelm is a city of Racists".
The problem with the Stormcloak side is that is mostly rooted in religious dogma and patriotic nationalism, which all too easily can turn to racism. Many Stormcloak supporters do show some racist tendencies, however the Stormcloaks themselves do not: this is best seen with the Falkreath pawnbroker and lumber jack and with Galmar and Rolf Stone-Fist.

That being said, the Dark Elves do somewhat bring it on themselves, by trying to pretend that they don't live In Windhelm at the Jarl's pleasure, as Windhelm is the only city who took in refugees, converting the whole of the Snow Quarter into a section specifically for the Dark Elves. They want all the benefits of living in a walled city, but then go out of their way to remain separate from it. When you consider that there are two wealthy High Elf business owners in Windhelm, it really puts a damper on the whole Ulfric and the Stormcloaks are racist narrative.

Honestly, while I do feel that Brunwulf Free-Winter is an honest and honorable man scarred by the Great War like Ulfric, I don't think he truly understands everything at play. He's basically an agitator who blames all of Windhelm's problems on Ulfric.

As for the Argonians, as a whole, they don't have the best relationship with the Dark Elves. Most of the refugees in Windhelm are there because of either Red Mountain or the Argonian Invasion of Morrowind. Ulfric already has enough to deal with, with the Civil War, Dark Elves, Dragons, Vampire uprising, and his own personal demons, without having to deal with Dark Elf/Argonian incidents in his streets. Nevermind the fact that the Argonians don't really worship the Aedra or Daedra, but Sithis. Until the 4th Era, all Argonians born under the constellation of The Shadow were handed over to the Dark Brotherhood for training as assassins. While not exactly fair, there is a reason they are kept out of the city proper during a Civil War.
Character Notes
Not a new Chapter, but some notes so I can keep some details straight in my head. Ignore if you don't want spoilers, but do speak up if you have questions or want clarifications. Honestly, your questions and criticisms actually help me figure things out, whether or not I change course. These notes are by no means complete and are subject to change. I'm just putting them here so I can reference them later if need be.

Alexander "Xander" Harris aka Xander of Sunnydale, Thane of Hjaalmarch and Haafingar
Weapons: Crossbow(s) (primary), Dawnguard Axe, Dawnbreaker, Dawnguard Rune Axe, Dawnguard Rune Shield
Quests: Dawnguard Questline, Laid to Rest, Break of Dawn, Blood on the Ice, Wretched Abyss, Discerning the Transmundane, Boethiah's Bidding, Tending the Flames, The Man Who Cried Wolf, The Wolf Queen Awakens, Bound Until Death, Forgotten Seasons, A Night to Remember, The White Phial, Diplomatic Immunity

Grom gro-Khashnar aka Grom Hellscream, Thane of Whiterun, Dovakiin
Weapons: Dawn/Duskfang, Steel Shield, Thu'um, Dragonbane, Blades Shield
Quests: Main Quests, Dragonborn Quests, Wretched Abyss, Discerning the Transmundane, A Night to Remember, Chasing Echoes

Freyja Snow-Song, (Future) Harbinger of the Companions
Weapons: Imperial Bow, Silver Sword, Skyforge Steel Dagger, Nordic Bow, Nord Hero Sword
Quests: The Companions Questline, Ill Met by the Moonlight (sided with Sinding), Awakening, Diplomatic Immunity

Weapons: Elven Dagger, Elven Bow, Dawnguard Axe, Nordic Dagger, Auriel's Bow
Quests: Dawnguard Questline, The Man Who Cried Wolf, The Wolf Queen Awakens, Wretched Abyss, Discerning the Transmundane, Myrwatch, Tending the Flames

Henri Ducard, Listener of the Dark Brotherhood
Weapons: Imperial Bow, Steel Daggers, Imperial Sword, Blade of Woe, Mehrune's Razor, Ebony Blade
Quests: Dark Brotherhood Questline, Diplomatic Immunity

Weapons: Steel Crossbow, Dawnguard Axe, Dawnguard Shield
Quests: Laid to Rest, Break of Dawn