From Traversing Tamriel
The two Dawnguard survivors were already dead when we entered and Isran was down on one knee, heavily wounded. We arrived in time to cut down his assailants and provide much-needed healing. Without a word of thanks Isran sprang back up and charged deeper into the Keep, alone.
I was starting to have doubts regarding the leader of the Dawnguard’s sanity.
A second melee erupted in the Great Hall where Isran had run into. I feared he was greatly out-numbered, but two Dawnguard members I had not previously noticed were fighting alongside him against four vampires and two thralls or reanimated bodies, I could not really tell the difference.
We lost one of the Dawnguard, but with myself and Serana the Dawnguard prevailed, again with losses. The Great Hall was clear and Isran moved to the doors at the end of the Hall, but Serana warned him to stay where he was. Lord Harkon was for Serana and I to deal with.
No well-dressed Nordic lord was waiting for us, but the gargoyle form of what he had called a ‘Vampire Lord’. Whatever it was called it certainly looked grotesque. He and Serana traded words, but it was clear each of them knew the final battle was at hand. He even asked me to return Auriel’s Bow to him, promising me that everything previous would be taken as a simple misunderstanding. It was a desperate request and one I rejected, of course.
The battle that followed was rather anti-climatic. His followers slain, all Lord Harkon could manage was flinging magicka around the room and summoning weak Draugr as he glided around. When wounded he retreated to a statue at the end of the room which provided him with a red shield of magicka.
The first time he did this Serana shouted at me to fire an arrow at the shield with Auriel’s Bow. I am a much better shot with a crossbow, but I was never far from Harkon anyway. The first arrow burst into flames against the shield, but it destroyed the shield as it did so. The Vampire Lord shouted something in frustration and resumed his spells and summonings.
Three times we did this, but the fourth arrow against his shield did not cause it to harmlessly explode, instead seeming to draw the energy into Harkon himself. He screamed, burst into red flames, and was utterly destroyed, his blackened skeleton lit for a moment against the fire.
Serana and I walked over to the vampire shrine and silently gazed at the smoldering pile of ash that was her father. Footsteps sounded behind us, but it was just Isran, respectfully alone. Serana sighed and, sounding relieved, told him that the job was finally done. He nodded and thanked her, then, to my surprise, invited her to join the Dawnguard, which she accepted. They left, Serana asking me to stop by and visit if I had any more adventures planned.
I felt like correcting her: none of my adventures have ever been planned! But then was not the time for japes.
In the ashes was a blade in the ancient Akaviri style, the likes of which I have not seen since the Oblivion Crisis. I am loathe to wield it and am planning on displaying it in one of my homes. Perhaps I should see what Lydia has been doing while I have been away.
I have one final task awaiting my attention in Volkihar Keep, one that I am very surprised Serana has failed to remind me of: returning her mother, Valerica, back to Tamriel. That, however, will have to wait, for I am in need of rest, though I am greatly relieved to have this Dawnguard business finally taken care of.
Original URL: http://traversingtamriel.blogspot.com/2018/07/skyrim-day-086-bittersweet-victory.html