Skyrim Story - Of Dawn And Dark: Part 9: The Fall Of Clan Volkihar
Derbana breathed steadily as the power of Auriel's Bow continued to flow into her, it was as if a warmth spread from her head to her fingers down to the toes. Serana put a hand on her friend's shoulder who turned to look at her.
“It's...not as shiny as I was expecting. Still, it's beautiful.”
“You know, now the Bow is in our possession, it's time to face Harkon.”
Serana nodded, “If we don't, he'll keep chasing us for the rest of our lives.”
“Then you do realize, he'll have to die.” Her words vindicating what she had already promised.
“I've...” Serana sighed, “been thinking about this for a long time. It's...it's not easy. But I don't think we have much of a choice. This has to end here and now.”
Derbana dipped her head, “If we were to go together, I don't even think the power of the Bow would do us much good. However, Harkon is not likely to wait while we gather our forces.”
“So kicking in the front door isn't an option. Though I don't like it, it will take us a while to get to the Dawnguard and get them to rally. If we'd only had a set of wings.”
“Then, maybe I can be of assistance...Slayer of Alduin.”
The flapping of dragon wings was unmistakable, a large silhouette cast itself in front of the sun as he descended down. A mighty wind came down as Odahviing perched himself carefully across the balcony railing.
“Odahviing! You're better!”
“Your concern is appreciated, Dovahkiin. Not many of the joore would care for one of the dov. I had felt the deaths of powerful dovah from across the world, I knew you'd be at the cause of such actions. It took me a few hours to fly here and some time to pass through the mystical energies that shroud this place.”
“Good thing, we need you to take us back to Fort Dawnguard as fast as you can.”
“Yes...I see...” He looked at her new weapon, “Auriel's Bow...it has been a long time since one of the dov has looked upon it. Your urgency is understandable, climb on.”
The two carefully climbed onto his neck and seated them as comfortably as they could. Waving to Gelebor one last time, they took off into the skies. Derbana stared ahead as the wind and clouds rushed passed her.
“There's one more thing we haven't thought of....what...what are we going to do about your father? He's a powerful Vampire Lord and you told me his soul was offered to Molag Bal, so even if we kill him...he will...”
“Don't worry, Serana. I've also been thinking about this for a long time. I need to make a stop at Whiterun, I need something from there.”
“Really? What could it be?”
“Something that can save my father...only if in one way.” She tapped Odahviing's neck, “Odahviing, you hear all that?”
“Indeed, those of the dov are blessed with great hearing, but I do not enjoy the prospect of revisiting that place.”
“Trust me, I know exactly what I need. I will save my father if it's the last thing I do.”
There grew an uncomfortable silence as they continued flying southeast toward Whiterun.
Isran was busy running around Fort Dawnguard. Since witnessing the power of Auriel's Bow, he figured now was the time they've been waiting for. His small army was scrambling as he barked orders as fast as he was running to deliver them.
“Gunmar, get your best trolls ready to move!”
“Got it, Isran!” The burly Nord ran toward the pits.
Isran turned to the next person he saw, “Sorine, take Agmaer and gather all the crossbows and bolts you've made and evenly distribute them to all members joining us in the attack.”
“On it! Hey, new kid, I've got something for you to do.” She said, going to her assignment.
“Celann, Durak! If you're not too busy, check the horses and make sure they got enough supplies for the journey. I don't want anyone starving while fighting their kind.”
They nodded and went to work. Florentius stepped to the side to avoid them as they ran toward the stables. He tapped Isran on the shoulder, who looked disappointed.
“What is it now, Florentius?”
“Yes, Arkay wanted me to tell you something.”
“Look, I don't time for you or your nonsense, Florentius. In case you haven't noticed, we're in the middle of preparing for the final assault on a large vampire clan.”
“But, Arkay says it's important.”
Isran looked into his eyes and sighed, “All right, make it quick.”
“Right, he says...”
“Dragon!” Vori shouted from outside, causing Florentius to stomp his feet in irritation.
“Yes, Arkay. I was going to tell him, but she beat me to it!”
“Great, just what we need right now. Florentius, just be ready, okay?” He said, dashing up the stairs to find out what this dragon problem was all about.
When Isran reached the top of the stairs, he gripped his iron warhammer in one hand and heard the sounds of a dragon landing on the roof just behind the door. Taking a deep breath, he opened the door shouting a battle cry as his second hand went down to the warhammer that he twirled into his grip. His feet stomped on the stone, ready to face a dragon.
Until he saw Serana getting off the dragon and Derbana petting his long nose. He froze at the sight of this, he had expected many things but not this.
“You two, what are you doing here with...that?”
Derbana walked up to him, “Isran...” She pointed behind her, “this is Odahviing.”
“All right, so it has a name. What is it doing here on my fortress?”
“He's here to fly the Dawnguard to Castle Volkihar to end this war.”
“How can we trust that it won't drop us from the sky?”
“He's bound to my service for slaying Alduin. He flew us all the way here, he can be trusted.”
“Looks like I don't got a choice, it's better than a few days riding there.”
“On him, it will be about two hours. I have Auriel's Bow and I am ready to end Harkon and his prophecy.”
Isran looked passed her shoulder to Serana who's turn it was to pet Odahviing's nose, “But what of Serana? Can she be trusted to lift a blade against her own kind? Her own family?”
“I trust her to do the right thing.”
“I suppose that's as much as I can hope for. Let me address the Dawnguard and then we'll be off. The men deserve to know that we've finally gained the upper hand.”
Isran hurried through the door and back down the stairs, Derbana turned to Serana.
“Do you mind keeping Odahviing company? This should only take a few minutes.”
“Sure, I don't mind.”
Derbana smiled with a nod before chasing after Isran. He walked into the main chamber with her standing closer to the archway where they came in.
“Everyone! Gather around!” He shouted, an opus of marching boots echoed into the room, “Come on then, we haven't got all day!”
Soon, every member of the Dawnguard stood in a semi-circle facing their leader. With everyone assembled, Isran began his speech.
“For too long we've allowed these vampires to poison the night and kill our people! Now, we finally have the means to strike back!” He gestured toward Derbana, “We now have Auriel's Bow, the gods themselves have favored us and we must answer with action! The time has come to finally put an end to Harkon and his unholy prophecy! We will march on their lair and destroy those wretched abominations, so they can no longer corrupt our world! This is our fight and this is our fate!” He drew his weapon and received cheering from the crowd, “This is the time of the Dawnguard! This is it!”
The members, who would join in the attack, readied their weapons as Isran finished his speech.
“To the Roof! We have been provided a way to arrive at their doorstep faster than horses!”
Derbana had already started running to the roof, not wanting any of them to attack at the sight of a dragon. After the obvious initial shock of seeing a dragon, they all too came to the same conclusion Isran did after Derbana's explanation.
“Dovahkiin...I can't carry this many.”
“How many do you think you can carry for the two hours?”
“Five maybe and the troll in my claws.”
“Good, I was counting on that. Celann, Durak, Florentius, Gunmar, and Sorine. You five will be on Odahviing.”
As they took their time climbing up his scales and getting seated, Sorine approached Derbana with a large item in her hands, wrapped with a tan cloth and thin leather strips keeping it bound.
“Since this maybe the last time we see each other, here is the item you specially requested.”
Taking it in both hands, Derbana smiled, “Thank you, Sorine. But this will not be the last time we see each other.”
The eccentric Breton smiled and moved to Odahviing as it would soon be her turn to mount. Serana walked up from behind, patting her friend's shoulder.
“How much are you going to milk out of that last line? First, Gelebor and now Sorine. Don't let that become a habit.”
“I won't, but you didn't come here to idly chatter before the final battle, did you?” She swung her pack away from Serana after getting her arm free, placing the item inside as Serana talked.
“Yes, I wanted to ask how are we getting to the castle if we're not on Odahviing?”
“Simple, I've got another way, remember?” She turned away from Odahviing to a large empty space next to him, “Dur Neh Viir!”
A large violet portal opened and the cursed dragon stood next to his living counterpart. He breathed in the fresh air of Tamriel once more. And after giving the second Word of Power for the Soul Tear shout, he had Derbana, Serana, and Isran climb aboard.
“Ah!” Durnehviir shouted.
“Oh, nothing. Just felt a pinch in my tail is all, Qahnaariin.”
“Are you sure about this, Derbana?” Serana asked, “He only lasted an hour last time.”
“He'll make it the whole way. I have faith in him.”
What happened next was a sight to behold, never before had two dragons take off from Fort Dawnguard and flew together in the night sky. The cold wind blew as everyone was readying themselves for the battle, not even a single word had left their lips throughout the entire flight. Durnehviir kept resisting the pull of the Soul Cairn as his body slowly decayed, but much slower than the first time.
Derbana steeled herself as the sight of Castle Volkihar appeared on the horizon, she looked to Durnehviir as he strained to keep himself on this plane.
“Not much longer, Durnehviir. Just give us a few more minutes.”
“Yes, Qahnaariin. I will do my best.”
Then a flash of lightning and an ice spike flew by, they saw it came down below. The Volkihar Vampire Clan was ready for this attack. However, the dragons evaded such spells and kept to their course. The cursed dragon swooped just shy of the ground.
“Qahnaariin, I will give your friends time. Get off now!”
“All right! See you soon, Durnehviir.”
The dragon smiled as the three passengers jumped off his body, hitting the ground hard, but their somersaults softened the impact greatly. With everyone safe, Durnehviir closed his eyes knowing he would not be so lucky.
Crashing to the ground, he rolled over and over as the stunned vampires could only look at the tumbling dragon heading toward them. However, pieces fall off his body to turn into goo. The fleeing vampires were knocked over as Durnehviir's roll ended with a large splat against the main doors. A moment later, goo and all vanished into purple flame. The vampires started to recover as the Dawnguard had safely dismounted Odahviing who proceeded to fly into the sky.
As they charged up the stone ramp, two gargoyles burst from their stone sleep. Isran took the closest, bringing his warhammer around, solidly connecting with his opponent's head. A death hound roared as it ran as fast as it could toward him, baring it's salivating fangs. Then a twang rang through the air as a dwarven bolt shot into the hound's neck, causing it to whine as it died, sliding to a halt.
“Thanks, Sorine.” Isran said, pushing off his opponent, he finished off the gargoyle as Derbana ran passed him.
The second gargoyle roared as it raised its claw high. A quick slash of her blade and its arm flew through the air as she continued toward her goal. The Armored Frost Troll ran in, tackling the beast to the ground and killing it with one of its dull forearm blades, roaring in triumph.
Derbana saw the four vampires that stood between her and the castle. The first was a female vampire who charged in with her mace. Blocking with her shield, Derbana stabbed Modhna through as she looked to the next row of enemies.
Two male vampires had their spells ready. The one on the left had lightning while the other had ice. Charging in with Modhna's body still on her blade, an ice spike impaling her vampire shield. Derbana kicked her off and hit Stalf to the ground as she turned to the lightning mage, Namasur who shot his hands toward Derbana.
Then two twangs were heard as two bolts hit him in the stomach and the chest. Chancing a look behind, Durak and Sorine were reloading their crossbows as Celann came in with his and fired at Stalf who was just getting back to his feet, the bolt hit into the leg where Derbana rushed in and beheaded the weakened vampire.
“Die, bitch!” The fourth vampire, Rargal Thrallmaster shouted with a running power attack from his mace.
Caught off guard, Derbana couldn't react in time when a mighty gust of wind flew by. Odahviing took the vampire into his claws and tossed him into the air. As the world spun around him, Rargal couldn't see the maw snapping down hard on his midsection and thrashing him about. The dragon landed on the perch above the gate, throwing down the dead vampire as he did so.
“Thank you, Odahviing.”
“My pleasure, it's been a long while since I've been in a true battle such as this. Continue on, joore, I will guard out here.”
Isran nodded, “Dawnguard! Follow me!”
As the Dawnguard charged with their leader in the midst of loud battle cries, Derbana and Serana entered the castle first.
Derbana and Serana walked down the two sets of stairs into the feasting hall where they saw Harkon floating in full Vampire Lord form in the back.
“So, they have finally come. Eliminate them all, I have things to prepare!”
He floated across from where he was, up the stairs into the cathedral as the wooden portcullis closed.
“Father!” Serana shouted and charged passed the enemy.
“Serana, no!” Derbana yelled as two female vampires and a death hound came at her.
She held her own as best she could against the three enemies as her shield and sword deflected and blocked every strike that came her way. Then an opening as her sword came across and slit Salonia Caelia's throat. As she gasped for air helplessly, she fell to her knees then to her side and died for the last time.
However, two vampires from the balconies to the left and the back started throwing lightning as another female vampire charged her with an elven axe. Derbana kept fighting despite these odds. The death hound roared as it leaped up to pounce on the occupied Dragonborn.
“Ah!” Isran roared as he jumped down over the railing and brought his hammer down hard on the hound's back, killing CaSith as its spine shattered, “Go on! Kill Harkon! We'll handle this!”
Celann and Durak came with their weapons drawn down the two sets of stairs, now standing at both sides of Isran. Derbana was now free to move forward as she saw the two mages continued focusing their attacks on her.
Going around the right banquet table to gain some distance, she saw the shock spells exploded against it, causing the plates and candlesticks to fly up into the air.
She needed some more time to exchange weapons when this thought gave her an idea.
“Tiid Klo Ul!” She shouted.
Her empowered Slow Time shout spread across the room tinting everything into a sepia tone. Everyone around her was moving slower even her, though she moved slightly faster. Sheathing her sword, she drew her bow and notched an arrow. The first flew to the left balcony, piercing the heart of Garan Marethi as he started to fly backward, though at a fraction of the speed. The second arrow she aimed toward the other balcony, driving under the jaw and coming out the top of Feran Sadri's skull as he started to look dumbfounded at his own death.
Then time resumed normally, Garan crashed to the carpet as Feran fell on his side. When she turned left, running the short back end of the hall, she marched up the stairs.
As soon as the upper hall came into view, an arrow flew right at her. Taking a step back, it harmlessly went by, the arrowhead slamming into the wall before bouncing down the stairs.
“So, you fancy yourself an archer, huh?” She heard the bowstring being drawn back, “I can take you!”
Taking a moment to breathe, then Derbana dove out of cover, the arrow missing as she ducked down and climbed up the steps. Ronthil notched his next arrow, aimed, and fired. Using a combination of a sidestep and her bow to deflect, the arrow narrowly missed her as she was almost face-to-face.
Before he could draw his next arrow, she brought her bow arm back and around, punching him hard across the face while her other hand grabbed an arrow from her quiver. He turned back to her as Derbana thrust the arrow into his chest, he looked on in disbelief as he stared down to see it sticking out of him. She pulled it out, gliding it onto her bowstring and drawing it back with supreme ease, firing it into his throat, the bloody arrowhead shining in the dim light at the other end.
She smiled at the dying Wood Elf vampire to retort, “I learned that move from a Bosmer while I was staying in Valenwood.” She patted him on the shoulder as he fell dead, “Thought you should know.”
With no other opponents near her and the sounds of battle echoing from the hall behind her, Derbana switched back to her sword as she opened the large doors to the cathedral and walked inside.
This large chamber had a gray-brown tile floor with every corner being rounded out by a black four-sided diamond. The old blue carpet down the middle was torn and faded with the passage of time.
On both sides were two large pillars keeping the ceiling up, large piles of bones rested next to them. On the outside of these pillars are two small sets of steps leading to a raised floor where on the sides of the room was a longer set of stairs that led up to the path that went along the walls and raised above the entry door, only splitting at the back of the room, which was a domed alcove. Here bathed in the moonlight was the bloodspring where blood flowed like a little waterfall from the mouth of a stone vampire skull into a shallow basin.
Serana looked over her shoulder to see Derbana closing the door behind her while her eyes were never leaving Harkon who floated off the ground an inch or two.
“Serana, my darling.” Causing her to look back at her father, “I see you still favor keeping a pet.”
She held back her rage, her elven dagger trembling in her hand as she came closer, “You know why we're here.”
“Of course, I do.” He glanced at Derbana with a sigh, “You disappoint me, Serana. You've taken everything I provided for you and thrown it all away for this...pathetic being.”
“Provided for me? Are you insane? You've destroyed our family. You've killed other vampires. All over some prophecy that we barely understand.” She raised her dagger and got into a fighting stance, “No more. I'm done with you. You will not touch her.”
“So, I see this dragon has fangs. Your voice drips with the venom of your mother's influence. How alike you've become.”
“No...Because unlike her, I'm not afraid of you. Not anymore.”
Harkon turned to Derbana, “And you...It appears I have you to thank for turning my daughter against me. I knew it was only a matter of time before she'd return with hatred in her heart.”
“Hatred born of your neglect.” Derbana's voice filled with a restrained rage.
“A small price to pay for the betterment of our kind.”
“Your kind is a blight on this world!” Her rage loosened a little.
“Yes, yes. Always the noble vampire hunter. And what happens when you've slain me? Is Valerica next? Is Serana?” He paused to smile evilly, “Is Jerthos?”
“Enough! Where is my father? Where is Sondas?”
He turned toward the darkness behind him and waved his arm forward. Stepping into the light was Jerthos dragging Sondas across the ground. With a small grunt, he threw Sondas next to Harkon who lifted him up by his hair. He was tied up and blindfolded as he drooped his head toward the ground.
“Either turn over the bow now or I will order your father to kill him and feast on his corpse while you watch.”
“No...” She shivered.
“On the count of three. One...”
“Derbana...don't...” Sondas shook his head.
“Derbana...” Serana said.
“All right, stop!” She shouted, “You can have it!”
“Derbana, No! Sondas wouldn't want you to give it to him!”
“And I don't want my child to grow up without a father.”
Having taken out Auriel's Bow, Derbana tossed it to Harkon who grabbed it and started to revel, laughing at his triumph.
“Very good...Here...” He tossed Sondas.
Derbana dropping her sword, caught her husband and gently eased him to the ground.
“Derbana...how could you?” Serana asked.
Failing to hold back tears, “I had no choice...I couldn't lose him...”
Harkon smiled, “Jerthos! Kill them all!”
He tried to resist, but it was to no avail as he sprung forward, charging claws bare at his daughter. Serana stepped in the way and slashed her dagger down, causing him to jump back.
“Father! I will stop you....even if we don't have Auriel's Bow!”
He laughed louder, “Foolish child! You can not win now! With the bow, you may have had a chance, but with it in my hands, nothing can stop me!”
Serana clenched her teeth as she tightened the grip on her dagger, refusing to believe what her father was telling her.
“No...” Derbana's one word caused the room to silence, “You're wrong, Harkon.” She gripped her sword and rose to her feet, “As long as we have hope in our hearts, we can do anything. I hoped to have my husband back and he's with me now.”
Harkon glared at his enemy.
“Keep the bow! With hope on our side, we will put an end to your prophecy!” She pointed at Harkon with her sword, “We will put an end to you!”
“Enough of your sentimental dribble! Jerthos, kill your daughter! Leave Serana to me!”
Jerthos leaped forward as Derbana swung her sword, cutting into his arm and stopping at the bone. She ran to the left as Serana ducked under Harkon's claws and cut him across with her dagger, then throwing lightning that made him fly back.
Derbana kept going until she was running along the wall. She did this to give both fights their needed distance. She also needed the time to change to her bow and let the first arrow of this battle fly across, but Jerthos avoided with ease as he hovered just above the ground. Her heart raced as she was fighting her father for the third time.
“You are a failure, Serana.” He avoided a bolt of lightning, “In my heart, I knew you would be nothing more than that.” Her vampiric drain spell hit, but it did little to faze him, “But before I kill you...” He received a cut across the stomach from her dagger and then grabbed her arm, “Tell me why!”
Serana groaned from the pain and spoke clearly, “Because...ah, you are no longer...the man you once were...”
“The man who held his daughter and loved her with everything he had...you wanted a reason, father. That is it, that is why!”
After a moment to reflect, he grimaced, “Then you are truly lost. You died the moment you accepted a mortal into your life. Yes, it is all her fault! Fine! If you want to be with her, then you can both die together!”
Harkon threw her to the front of the room where she hit her head hard on the reinforced wooden door. Falling unconscious as she dropped down to the floor and her body collapsed over Sondas's. Harkon glared as he withdrew to the back of the room, hovering over the bloodspring as he gathered his energies.
Derbana's arrows were being dodged too easily by her father. She turned to look where she was going and nearly fell over the edge as she looked down to the floor below. Looking back, she had very little time. Giving herself a running start, she leaped over the gap and tumbled into a shoulder roll.
Jerthos roared and jumped over himself, his face contorted with bloodlust and rage. But, Derbana had counted on this. She drew an arrow and fired, no one could dodge in mid-air as it hit its mark and he was sent reeling back onto the other side.
She caught her breath as she got to her feet. Jerthos laying flat on the floor, turning into a swarm of bats flew right next to his daughter where he rematerialized. Derbana couldn't believe it as a claw came across to her face, but she knew this was coming and blocked his arm with hers. She groaned in pain, but she wasn't harmed. The other hand gripped her throat and with a full body spin, threw her across to the front of the room. Hitting the floor hard, Derbana skidded and slid until she was laying flat on her back, just short of Serana and Sondas.
“At last, it is time to end this!” Harkon smiled as he turned to the two gargoyle statues in the room, they broke open as they exited their stone sleep roaring. Derbana struggled to sit up, but it was no use. Not only was the wind knocked out of her, but her body refused to move. Her only view was that of the ceiling before the two gargoyles stood over her, looking down on their prey. They opened their mouths, kneeling down, wondering which one was going to take the first bite.
She closed her eyes, preparing for the end. When two zaps resounded through the room, she looked up to see the two gargoyles flying to the back of the room with large scorch marks blackening their entire torso, they crashed against the stone dead.
“Ser...ana?” She asked, looking back to see her friend was still unconscious.
“No, Sister. It's me.”
She looked up to see Jerthar standing over her, fully recovered and in his ancient red robes.
“There's time for that later. First, we need to get you well.”
He knelt down and bathed her in a powerful Restoration spell. She felt as good as new, getting to her feet, she drew her sword and shield.
Harkon growled, “It doesn't matter, this blood shield is impervious to all attacks, only Auriel's Bow could...”
Jerthar threw a spell forward like a baseball. A small ball of sunlight that hit the shield causing it to ripple all the way to the other side. Seeing nothing had happened, Harkon opened his mouth to gloat when the shield exploded, sending him against the wall.
“Jerthar...I need you to take Harkon. I...have to deal with the other one.”
Noticing the lidded passion of her voice, he simply nodded and said, “Okay, Sister.”
He walked forward, looking on as Harkon wedged himself out of the wall. Jerthos flew toward this new enemy.
“No, you won't!” Derbana shouted, shield charging right into the chest of her father, tossing him off the ground, his back meeting a pillar before falling to the floor.
Looking at his minion, Harkon turned to Jerthar.
“Ah, I remember you. The mage that turned Vingalmo to ash and disappeared into thin air along with your sister.”
“Yes, that is me.”
“Do you think you can stand before the master of this castle? Do you think you can stand before a Vampire Lord?” He shouted, throwing his vampiric drain spell forward to be blocked by a powerful ward.
“Hmm, that tickles.” Jerthar said before throwing his ward forward like a battering ram, hitting Harkon across his entire left side. Not giving his enemy time to recover, Jerthar gathered a white light in both hands and threw his overcharged Vampire's Bane spell forward, exploding just like a fireball, though incinerating only Harkon's flesh.
“Do you think you can stand before a master mage?” Jerthar retorted.
Derbana bobbed and weaved every claw attack that came her way, she was reluctant to strike, but when she did, it was more to disable than to kill. She glanced to the side to check on how Jerthar was doing. If there was any hope, it would be in the death of Harkon.
With this momentary distraction, he managed to rush in striking her across the chest, though her shield managed to deflect a part of the blow. She used the strike's momentum to deliver a spinning attack as well, cutting him deep across the chest. He gripped his wound as he fell to his knees.
Harkon stood up to see Jerthar walking closer. When he was in reach, one of his claws grabbed his neck and tightened.
“Hahahaha! You thought you can defeat me? I've been walking this world for centuries, I will not fall tonight!”
Jerthar smiled and looked him right in the eye, “You will! Now, feel the burn!”
He raised one hand to cast his spell and he was enveloped in Stendarr's Aura, a spell that encases him in a ball of golden light, burning all undead who touch it. Harkon screamed as smoke whiffed from his skin, he writhed in agony just long enough for Jerthar to cast his next spell.
Slapping Harkon's arm hard, he was free from his grip and he took a few steps back, catching his breath. Harkon looked up at him with a smile and stretched out his arm once more before a small speck of sunlight glowed from his skin.
“What?” He tried to rub it, but it wouldn't go away. In fact, it continued to spread, illuminating both his body and the room. When it enveloped his arm, he started to feel the searing pain.
“What have you done to me?”
“It's a new spell I developed while staying at Fort Dawnguard. I knew you were powerful, I sensed the vast magicka within you and made a spell to use that to my advantage.”
“What are you talking about?”
“It's called Sun's Glory. When cast and hit on the target's body, it continues to spread like a fire burning you from the inside out starting from the affected area.”
Harkon thrust a hand out, but no magic spell shot forward, “What? Why isn't it working?”
“The reason is my spell consumes your magicka, converting it into energy for the spell allowing it spread throughout your entire body and it will not stop until you are destroyed.”
“No...” Most of his body was glowing like the sun.
Serana groaned as she awoke, Harkon looked to his daughter and a small tear left his eye.
“Serana...your own father...” She was the last sight he'd ever see.
Screaming to the heavens above, he was entirely encased in the light. When it did so, a large flash burst forward and faded as quickly as it came. When Jerthar lowered his arm to block out the light, A charred skeleton was all that was left standing of Harkon. Its skull dropped on its jaw and the body crumbled into a pile of ash.
“Well...” Jerthar brushed off some of the ash from his shoulder, “I'd said that was a very successful field test. Right, Derbana?...Derbana...”
She was on the platform above, her blade running Jerthos through. His monstrous face looked down at the sword and then to his daughter, a smile appearing as she removed the blade. He fell, Derbana catching him on the way down, easing him to the ground.
He transformed into his mortal self, still smiling even on death's door, “Thank...you...my daughter. The voices...in my...head are...finally...silent...”
“Father, no! I didn't want it to come to this!”
“Relax, my child...Even with Harkon's death..nothing could have freed me...from the curse...except for my own.” He looked at her face, “You look just like her...your mother...though you did...seem to inherit my eyes...”
“How? How did you become like this?”
“I felt you...when you walked...through my memories...”
“Here, father...” She bathed him in a minor Restoration spell.
He breathed steadily, “I was sent to Coldharbour and toiled under the slavery of my daedric masters for over four decades. I was whipped and tortured, but I eventually became a servant of the Black Palace. I stood next to Molag Bal himself and heard every sadistic word he spoke. I never showed any emotion for the fifteen years I was there. Until...until he mentioned your name.”
“What? When was this?”
“He boasted that he had a new champion, that you...ah, sacrificed a priest of Boethiah to him and earned his mace as your reward. Then he said your name and I flinched, the tattered tray holding his wine cup fell to the dark stone floor. He was amused and held me to the wall, using his daedric powers, he read my mind and knew I was your father.”
“It was...because of me that you became Harkon's servant?”
He shook his head fiercely, “No, it was me. I originally thought it was your mother that became his champion. I had to go back, I had to see her again, I had to just one last time. I begged him, I got down on knees, and begged him to send me back to Nirn. He laughed, thinking it was a giant chance to torture me, to crush my spirit. He allowed me to return under two conditions: His servant Harkon was beginning to make his move, I would be bound to his service and the second was I would remain locked in the hideous form of a Vampire Lord, so you would never see my true face.”
“So, I was finally back on Nirn. Harkon wanted me to spy on and kill the Dragonborn if necessary, but I was still strong enough to resist him. It was to my surprise that you were the Dragonborn. That night...at the festival. I saw you there and wondered if you were truly her.”
“The New Life Festival, when I was raised up before the crowd? That's when you first saw me?”
“Yes, I had to confirm it and so while everyone was at the party. Following your scent trail, I entered your home and found that journal on your nightstand. That is when I learned...she had died and you were our daughter. I did everything in my power to stay close to you and keep an eye on you. I wanted to know you, my baby girl.”
She held him closer, “Father...”
“But it couldn't last forever. Once you disappeared, I took your husband as I was commanded. I tried to protect you, I tried to fight for you, but as time went on, my resistance weakened. You only got to see my face because of the power of the Elder Scrolls you possessed, which was the happiest moment, the one that made those four decades of torture all worth it. AH!” He screamed, Derbana put him down to see his chest convulsing, an imprint of a clawed hand reaching out from his insides.
“He's reaching...out to me...Molag Bal...he's trying to take me back!”
“Father, he won't have you again!” She put down her backpack and holding in one hand, she pulled out Azura's Star.
“Derbana...AH! How did...”
“It's a long story, which we don't have time to share. You have to trust me.”
“I do...with all my heart...” He screamed once more as the hand thrust outward without breaking the skin.
Derbana gathered her magicka in one hand and soul trapped him. The pain of Molag Bal faded as the spell took effect. Derbana raised her sword up, looking at the serene face of Jerthos, she still cried tears as she stabbed her sword down with her body, not wanting to see the moment when he died.
Jerthar walked up the steps, “Derbana, what are you doing?”
“Freeing my father. Jerthar, help me!”
He nodded, “All right, I'll help.” He sat on his knees beside her and gripped a hand over her's that was holding Azura's Star.
After a few seconds, he said, “It's not working, Derbana. That doesn't work on sentient life.”
“It will! It has to!” She turned to her father and closed her eyes, “Azura! Mother of Roses! Goddess of Dusk and Dawn! Hear my plea, take my father's soul into your Star!”
She kept repeating this chant as Jerthar joined her. The magic grew as a purple light seemed to swirl in a perfect column around them. The more they chanted, the stronger the feeling became.
After several rounds of chanting, Jerthos's body convulsed hard, it shook and twitched for a few moments before becoming perfectly still, his soul left his body...and entered Azura's Star. The purple light column drew itself inside and the once dull gem in the center now glowed brightly with that purple light. She had done it...they had done it, her father's soul was now safe inside Azura's Star.
“His soul is no longer his.” She whispered gleefully, it was a strange mixture of feelings as she wept happily, “His soul is no longer his...it's now mine.”
“Yes, Derbana. He's free. Come on, let's join the others.”
Wiping aside her tears, she smiled, “Okay...”
As they walked down the stairs, Isran entered the cathedral as Serana stood there the entire time looking at the pile of ash that was once her father. He walked next to her as Derbana and Jerthar joined them.
Serana said, “Well, now that's done.”
“What will you do now?” Derbana asked.
“I'm not sure. I'll probably stay with the Dawnguard, for as long as they'll let me.” She turned to Isran, “They're respectable fighters, and I think they see the benefits of having a vampire on their side now.” Isran tried to hide his smile with a small grunt, She turned back to Derbana, “Of course, if you've got any more adventures planned...”
“I'd love to have you along. You're important to me...to all of us, after all.”
“That's what I wanted to hear.”
Isran grimaced at the pile of ash, “So, the beast is destroyed. Not only that, but Auriel's Bow is in safe hands.”
“Um, about that...” Derbana interjected before Jerthar smiled.
“Yes, they are...” He pulled both Auriel's Bow and Harkon's Sword from his pack, “I managed to teleport these off him before he was destroyed. These are kind of important to history and well...research, after all.”
Isran continued, “Regardless, it's over. He's dead and his prophecy dies with him.”
“Yes, it is.” Serana said and started to leave, Isran followed alongside her and began talking.
“So, Jerthar....” Derbana was now alone with her brother, “When did you get all better?”
“I...um, it's a long story and there's so much to be done still.”
“You're not...getting off...that...easily...” Derbana's words weakened as she slowly became still.
Her head lifted up to the sky as her entire body tensed. She couldn't hear her brother's words, she wasn't there at the moment.
Derbana had found herself in the midst of darkness. Looking around, she was hoping to found something or someone, though she would come to regret that.
A large hand came out of the darkness, gripping her entire body, Only her feet and head could be seen as she felt her entire body being squeezed. She couldn't breathe as the pressure kept getting tighter around her body.
Then, an ugly protruding head with two long horns emerged out of the darkness.
“You dare to rob me of his soul! Then, I shall take yours...my champion!” Molag Bal shouted as he continued to squeeze the life out of Derbana. With no hope of escape, her eyes started to close, her consciousness fading, and soon all would be nothing to her but black.
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