Well, this is a fine kettle of fish. I'll be stuck doing nothing but going out all night, hunt things...well, I do that during the day already, but you know what I mean. Food means nothing to me now. I must kill something to surivive. Bread and water do nothing for me anymore.
I wandered over the northern part of the countryside, sleeping in tombs during the day, emerging during the night to feed on the local wildlife.
Up in the northern part of the grazelands, an unfortunate thing occurred. It was so dark out that I didn't see the nixhound approach us from behind, and the darn thing attacked Stinky! I managed to kill the nixhound, but the damage had already been done. Stinky's left foot was badly injured, and try as he might, he couldn't walk properly anymore. I tried several healing spells on him, but nothing worked. I took everything from his packs, and decided to leave him there, eating grass to the end of his days. I used the amulet of recall to bring everything back to my home in Caldera, then used a spell to transform myself into a cliffracer. I went back to the grazelands to make sure Stinky was ok. He seemed content to stay where he was, eating grass and wickwheat.
While hunting one night on an island north of the mainland, I came across an ancestral tomb, and thought it might be a good place to stay during the daylight hours. What a strange site I saw when I entered the tomb! It was populated by vampires! Specifically, the Aundae clan of vampires. I was unaware they actually had clans, but apparently, even vampires have factions.
I made my way to the bottom of the tomb and met with Dhaunayne Aundae, a most delightful person to speak to (not!). She seemed very annoyed with my being there, but said that she had a small task for me to do for her (even as a vampire, someone always wants you to do stuff for them). She wanted to know about her son. Apparently, she had one before she became a vampire, and, as most mothers tend to lament, he never calls, never visits, never writes. Typical kid.
She gave me a family ring that anyone in her "normal" family would recognize. They would all be altmer (a high elf), and she said to check in Sadrith Mora. Well, it was a long flight as a cliff racer, but I made it and managed to check around for her. Even though I was now a vampire, the Telvani guards didn't seem to care (though the dark elves cursed me as I walked by - you can't please everyone). I finally found the right person to speak to in the Mage's Guild offices of Sadrith Mora. It was actually the nice lady that does the teleportation between Mage Guild offices. She told me she new of this lady's son. It seems her son had become a vampire hunter (and he couldn't even find his own mom???), but had been killed by a vampire in the performance of his duties.
Well, I brought the information back to Dhaunayne, and she was (1) happy with me for finding the information and (2) unhappy that her son had been killed by a vampire. Not only that, it was a member of a rival faction of vampires. Naturally, she wants revenge, and sends me off to go knock the guy off. Well, after more and more wandering around in the ashlands, I finally came across the place where that rival clan hides out. It was an old Dwemer fortress. I managed to get in, find the actual guy who killed her son, dispatched him, and got out alive (or what passes for "alive" as far as a vampire is concerned).
Dhaunayne was pleased with my work, and naturally, gave me yet another task. Seems some orc vampire hunter is slaying vampires (well, that's their job, right?) and Dhaunayne wanted to make an "example" of him. Seems he stayes in Ald-rune. I agreed, since I'm pretty much stuck as a vampire now.
Then she dropped a surprise on me. I want you to kill him in broad daylight, so that all may see that we vampires are not to be trifiled with.
"Uh, Dhaunayne," I said, "isn't daylight kind of a bad thing for vampires to be out in?" She laughed at me and said "It is a task I have given. The details do not concern me." Oh, well, thank you, yes, I will enjoy frying myself on your behalf, I thought to myself. This vampire stuff can be harder than I thought.
I made my way to Ald-rune and managed to hide myself in one of the two towers that guard the entrance to the city.
I waited until noon, then took 3 of my home-made restore-health potions, one after the other, then stepped out into the sunlight. The orc saw me almost immediately, and attacked without provocation. I don't know which was worse: his weapons or the sunlight eating at my flesh. The health potions kept restoring my health, and would continue to do so for at least 2 or 3 more minutes, but the pain of the sunlight was terrible. I fought back with the spell of Medusa's gaze, along with my vampire touch, draining the life out of him. Suddenly, my paralizing spell wore off, and he ran from me like a child. Oh, good, now I have to spend more time in the sun chasing him down. I finally saw him hiding by a door of one of the huts, hit him with another paralizing spell, and finally dispatched him in full view of witnesses in broad daylight, and managed to live to tell the tail. Ms Aundae was very happy with my report, and said that I can use the "cattle" to feed on (those are the non-vampires that they keep around to do regular day-time chores that vampires don't do).
She said that if I get rid of enough of the "other" vampire clans, she'll be happier with me.
Gee, can't we all just get along?
I stopped back in Caldera to replace some of my health potions, and noticed a nice lady named Aneta Wavebreaker walking around looking distressed. I asked her what was wrong. She didn't want to speak with me at first, but I promised her I wasn't really looking at her throat (well, I was, a little bit). Anyway, she said thieves had robbed her of some precious family amulets (as well as her money). It was the work of a fierce group of bandits lead by a Kajjit by the name of Dro'Zhirr. She said she would reward me if I could return her precious family amulet. Well, I may be a vampire, but I'm an old softie, at heart, so I said I would help her. "Where can Dro'Zhirr be found?" "Oh, he's on the other side of the mountains to our east." she replied. "Even the guards are afraid to go after him, he's such a fierce bandit!" Well, after running through a building full of vampires, bandits don't seem too hard.
I managed to get over the mountains to the east of Caldera and right below me was an entrance to their hideout. I made my way in the door and was attacked almost immediately by one of Dro'Zhirr's guards. He was a very big nord, but was using a normal battleaxe. One thing about being a vampire is 100% immunity against normal weapons. I laughed at his pitiful attempts to do me in, then hit him with Medusa's Gaze, followed by a vampire bite. I came across two more bandits as I went in deeper and deeper into the tunnel.
I finally came across the dreaded Dro'Zhirr himself. "Ah, I see a victim actually comes to me to empty his pockets of gold." I replied in my most angry vampire voice "Bandit, I have come on behalf of a woman who only wishes a family amulet to be returned. She does not care for the gold you took, just the amulet. Give it to me, and I will be gone from your hideout." Dro'Zhirr hissed, showing his own fangs. "She wants this thing so badly, but sends the undead to retrieve it. If it is so important to her, let her retrieve it herself. Leave me now, vampire." Well, I had come all this way, so I'm not going to take no for an answer. A battle followed. These creatures have claws and fangs of their own, and I could see why he was considered to be such a fierce bandit. He put up quite a struggle, but I managed to put the bite on him after a few knock-downs. I found Aneta's amulet in his pocket, and returned it to her. I'm such a nice vampire.
The most friendly Ms Aundae wants me to get rid of as many of the rival vampire clans as I can, but naturally didn't bother to tell me where they were located. It took several days of wandering around the Molog Amur region before I stumbled across another clan of vampires.
Another group of vampires that decided to use another Dwemer stronghold as their home. Why does my clan hold up in a tomb? Why don't we get to stay in one of these neat places?
I made my way in the door, and proceded to come up against one rival vampire after another, going deeper and deeper into the stronghold.
As I made my way into the stronghold, I found more and more of these strange machines. They all seemed to run on heat from the lava flows underneath them, but no one yet knows what these machines do.
I finally found the head of the rival clan, and killed him. It wasn't easy; he was pretty strong. On the desk next to him, I found a strange book. As I opened it up and read the pages, I realized that it was someone's spellbook. It actually taught me how to create one of those enchanted dwemer machines for about 30 seconds, and it would fight for me if I were attacked. Pretty handy spell.
I reported back to Ms. Aundae, who struggled to contain her excitement over my accomplishment with the rival clans. She rewarded me with an amulet that will teleport me directly to her clan headquarters in case I ever need a quick nibble on the "cattle".
I had decided to join House Telvani earlier, but now that I was a vampire, I wasn't sure they would want me. I went to the northern part of the grazelands, and arrived at Tel Vos. Master Aryon didn't seem to mind that I was a vampire. In fact, none of the Telvani guards thought anything of it, either. Master Aryon had me contact his "mouth" (representative) in Sadrith Mora.
I did several tasks for him (and a few other of the mouths there in the council chambers). Due to the fact that I was a pretty good wizard to begin with, I advanced through the Telvani house ranks rather quickly.
Finally, Master Aryon agreed to advance my rank to "Wizard" but before he could do that, I must build a stronghold. Each member of each house had their own stronghold. House Hallu and House Redoran had them built. House Telvani would "grow" one for me out of an enchanted mushroom. I was sent to the Council Chamber basement. Down, deeper and deeper I went. I was now in the roots of the council chamber building, and it seemed like I was several feet underground until coming to a large, round door. Once inside, it was so dark, I had to use my belt of night-eye to see. Finally, I met the hermet, Llunela Hleran. She said I would need two things:  two soul gems with very strong souls in them, such as a storm antroch, winged twilight, or golden saint, and  written permission from the Duke in Ebonhart. Well, the soul gem part was easy; I had several of those things in a cabinet at home.
I changed into a midnight mist and floated to Ebonhart Castle. The duke and me, we got things to discuss.
I arrived at the castle, changed back into my handsome self, and proceeded to the front door. I wondered how they would react to my vampire self. Well, not too well, at first. Several of the guards shouted at me to get away, calling me names, vile creature, and so on. It took a few glaring eyes and slight showing of fangs to soften them up. For guards, they can be intimidated pretty easily. I'm glad I don't have to rely on such guards to protect ME!
I found the duke and his more than friendly group up on the 3rd floor, after growling my way past several guards.
His guard, Varus Vantinius, warned me away from the duke, putting his hand on his sword. I did not come to fight. I gave him a glare that made him think twice. Llaalam Dredil also decided to put his hand on his weapon, but I changed his mind as well. Duke Vedam Dren was not so easily impressed with me, but I raised my hand in a show of peace. "Duke Dren, I am not here to cause trouble or death. I am a member in good standing with House Telvani. I wish to a deed to build a stronghold." Duke Dren must have decided that I was not just another vampire looking for victims, but decided to make sure. "As the Emperor's representative here in Vvardenfell, I must do what I can to protect my people. Will you use your stronghold to protect them from danger?" Naturally, I agreed. The duke said "I have never dealt with a vampire before, but I know if your reputation, Eldorf, and I trust you." I thanked him for his time and consideration.
I returned back to Sadrith Mora, and the council chamber. After going all the way down to the bottom of the root of this mushroom, I gave the two soul gems and the deed to Llunela Hleran. She said the work would begin on my stronghold shortly.
I had some free time while my mushroom was growing, so I went to Ald'ruhn for a while. I needed to feed on something, and there are always creatures in the Ashlands to bite. While I was there, I asked a few people about the latest rumors. Some of the people didn't want to talk to me, but one of the guards said that the Lady Llethri was having trouble with her oldest son. It seems he actually wanted to become a vampire! I decided to go and see her.
Well, the Lady Llethri wasn't happy to have a vampire in her home near her youngest child, and kept him close to her side while talking to me. She was extremely worried about her son. He was completely mixed up about what he wanted in life. He was hoping to become a vampire for all the benefits it would bring him. Naturally, his mom wanted to talk him out of a bad career move. She practically begged me to talk him out of this decision.
I thought about this for a minute. You get to live practically forever, you are stronger, practically immune to normal weapons, and you get to nibble on the necks of pretty girls. The bad side, of course is that everyone curses at you, telling you to go away, some guards will even attack just because you're a vampire, you have to feed on creatures of people at least 2-3 times every day, you can't sleep (nightmares), and there's the problem with sunlight burning you to death. Yes, I will have to talk to him about this.
I left her and went down the hall to her son's room. I found Sanvyn Llethri there. He turned and looked at me, almost startled that I was there. His eyes became wide with excitement when he saw a vampire had come straight to him.
"Dark Lord! Take me as one of your own! I wish to join you as a vampire!". I asked him why he wanted to do this to himself. Without a moment's hesitation, he replied "Power! I want to be powerful. I want people to respect me. I want to live forever." I could see he had not thought any of this situation through. I said "Listen to me, child. You do not know what you are talking about. You do not gain respect from anyone by force or fear. Respect is earned. Do you think that I am respected because I am a vampire, that my eyes glow in the dark, that my fangs are long? No! I am champion of the Fighter's Guild, and Arch-Mage of the Mage's Guild. I was not handed those titles on a silver platter, child! I EARNED those positions. THAT is what brings respect!" Sanvyn glared at me. "I want the respect that comes with power. Power grants respect." I said "Foolish child. You do not know what you are saying. You want respect through power, but power, without control is chaos, and you have yet to learn control." He stared at me, like a child that had been given a piece of candy, and then had that candy snatched away from his hand. His hopes and dreams of power and glory were disolving before his very eyes.
"But what about imortality?" he cried. "Imortality is nothing if you mix it with a lonely life. Do you know what you would be giving up?" I asked him? "The warmth of the sun on your face. Sleep? Don't make me laugh, child. I have not been able to sleep in weeks since this happened to me. I have nightmares every time I try, they are terrible. You wake up in a cold sweat anytime you try to rest your eyes. You think this is an advantage?"
Sanvyn didn't seem to be convinced. "Sanvyn," I said, "do you enjoy being lonely? That is what is staring you in the face, should you take your life in this direction. What is power and respect when it is empty of friends, family, a wife?" Sanvyn didn't want to hear the bad things about being a vampire that I was telling him. "You lie!" he replied. "Vampires have clans. They are not lonely!" "Yes, they have clans," I replied, "but that is all. They just stay together, feeding on their cattle, but they do not live like you think of living, and they do not love the way you think of love."
Sanvyn didn't like what he was hearing. "You are a liar!" he cried. "Vampires are powerful, and can defeat anyone. I want to be powerful, like you." I glared at him. "You fool of a child. We are not 'all powerful' as you claim. Even we can fall victim to spell or blade. A properly armed opponent can easily take down a vampire, such as myself. I will not bite you. I will not make you a vampire, fool."
With that, he screamed in anger, took out his glass dagger, and struck at me. His dagger was enchanted, and gave off a bolt of lightening as it struck me. His first blow struck my chest. His subsequent blows struck at random, without order or purpose, swinging at me in a blind rage. I let him hit me with his blade. He struck me again, this time in the arm, the shock causing more pain that the wound itself. I fell to my knees in pain, and he struck me in the back with his dagger. I felt the blade crack a rib. The pain was terrible, and I cried out, but I did strike back in response. I was determined to let him win, let him see that even HE could defeat a vampire with nothing more than a small dagger.
He kept stabbing at me, over and over, though only one or two of his blows actually caused injury. He didn't even know where to attack - he just kept screaming that I was against him, swinging his arms around like a rag doll.
Finally, he dropped his dagger and stared at me, bleeding, in pain, nearly dead from my injuries. "Vampires are not as powerful as I thought. I would NEVER want to be like you!" he screamed. "Get out, vile creature! Go, before I call the guards."
I picked myself up off of the floor and left his room, slamming the door behind me. I did a healing spell on myself, then again, and a third time. The pain from the former cracked rib was still there, but at least it was healed now. I went back to his mother's room and spoke to her about what had transpired. She thanked me for the trouble I went through. "Eldorf, I know that you are a vampire, and all that, but I want you to know that I appreciate what you did. Please take this ring of fire shield. I know your kind are suseptable to fire, so this may be of use to you. I know it isn't much, but I hope it shows my appreciation for saving my son from a very, very bad decision."
I thanked her, took the ring, and used my amulet of recall to return home to Caldera. I had had enough excitement for one evening. I needed to rest. For all the good it did, I collapsed on my bed, closed my eyes, and tried to rest. I woke up with a nightmare, just as I had told Sanvyn. Resting, for a vampire, is useless. Disgusted with my lot in life, I got up and went outside. It was just before the dreaded sunrise. I found an animal and paralyzed it with a spell. I sank my fangs into it's hide, and drained it dry, then discarded it's dead husk.
I returned home, sat and thought about what had happend this day. I thought about what I had said to this boy. Was I truly stuck as a creature of the night? Was there truly no way back to a normal life for me? Most people I had asked so far said the same thing, over and over: "The only cure they knew of was the distruction of the vampire." Not a pleasant thought.
I stared at the wall in front of me. I went downstairs and found a book to read. Daylight was coming, and it would be a long, long day with no sleep for me.
Soon, I will have to check on my stronghold.