Castle Volkihar – 1 Year, 4 Months Prior the Siege
It had been four months since the destruction of the Dawnguard, and my Clan seemed to have lacked goals. The Stromcloaks’ siege towards the Legion was halted for now. All there was for me to do was just sit back, and welcome this dark depression coming. Serana was becoming distant the last couple of months. But all that would change on this day, while searching for the answer she was looking for.
She came to me, and could not wait for to me get down into the chamber where her mother was last seen. She had been spending lots of time here, thinking perhaps she could still find her.
We entered the cluttered room, and she went straight to the desk table.
“What’s this about, Serana?” I asked her.
“I was looking for clues around this room, books, journal entries, anything to know where my mother has been. And then, I found this.” She picked up a broken dagger, and brought it to me. I gasped when I saw it.
“That’s…..my dagger…” I said. “How?”
I caressed the one still in my belt. They were nearly identical, except for the blade.
“It’s been here for sometime. ” Serana said.
“It doesn’t look dull.” I said.
“Because it is enchanted. Jeric, it is your dagger.” Serana implied.
“Wait, how do you know it’s mine? That’s impossible!” I said.
“Because, it showed me something…a vision. Take it, Jeric.” She said, offering me the dagger.
I studied it, and grasped the handle. I held it up to study, and then everything around me blurred, and a vast amount of images began appearing before my eyes. So many….it was disorienting, and I nearly fell over trying to comprehend them all.
“Jeric?” The voice of Serana was all I heard echo through my head.
“Jeric!” a new voice said. I recognized it, it was my own!
A new vision came in front of me. A snowy peak, with two people in front of me. It was Serana and….the new female Arch-mage!
“There, it is done. The blade is now infused with Jeric’s soul.” the girl said.
“Now it’s up to you.” Serana said. I was puzzled why she was conversing with the Arch-mage of Winterhold.
“I know what to do. Thank you Serana.” she paused. “Thank you, my daughter.”
I couldn’t believe what I was looking at. Serana then bowed her head down, a tear coming down her cheek, and the Arch-mage caressed her face with her hand.
“I can’t wait to meet you in the First Era. To hold my newborn daughter….you.” she said. And then she put the broken dagger into her satchel, and began to head towards some sort of portal. She stopped at the entrance, and turned around.
“How will I know if it is him?” she asked.
Serana then broke into a smile, and laughed. A sight I have never seen from her.
“You will know, Valerica.” Serana said.
“Valerica…usually it’s the parent that names her daughter.” the Arch-mage, or Valerica said. She turned around, and entered the portal, a white light emanating from it, swallowing my surroundings again.
And then I found myself on some sort of platform. All around was a dark blue energy that made up the surroundings. The platform it self felt like it was made from crystal, reminiscent of a Soul Gem.
“Hello?” I said, my voice echoing.
“Jeric,” a voice said. It was my voice again. A figure then formed in front of me. It…it was me, grey haired as if the years have taken me.
“What is this?” I asked.
“The future. One possible, one made to change the past, your present.” my other self said.
“What’s the meaning of this? I’ve never seen this kind of magic before.” I said.
“Take my hand, and learn everything. What is, what was, and what could be.”
“What if I refuse?” I said.
“There are worse things than death, Vampire.” he said. And that’s when my attention was grasped. I knew exactly what he meant.
I approached, took his hand, and watched everything he had to offer me.
I came back into the room where my mind had wondered off. Serana asked what took a hold of me, but I reassured her I was alright. She then noticed that I was different.
“Jeric….your eyes…” she said to me.
I could feel myself changing. The blade had more power than just visions of myself from another time. No, it was changing me, restoring me to my former self.
“Serana, my power….”
“Your vampire powers are gone.” she sensed.
She examined my face, not really sure on what to do. I stood up straight, thinking of everything I just learned.
“Come, we have much work ahead of us.”
Whiterun – 1 Month after Broken Blade Acquisition
Jarl Balgruuf was in the middle of a council meeting in the Throne room of Dragonsreach. He looked almost bored slumping in his chair, his hand propping his head up from the armrest of the chair. To me, this was a welcomed site when I came into the main hall.
“What? Jeric?” he said, noticing me come.
“Your grace, it is me. After almost a year of absence, I return to you now to reclaim my duties as Thane of Whiterun.” I announced.
“Where have you been?” he asked.
“Let’s just say I’ve made some new friends. Friends that might help Whiterun in their struggles.” And with that, Clan Volkihar came in through the door, lining up beside me. Serana spoke.
“Jarl Balgruuf, I present to you the Vampire Clan Volkihar.” she said.
“What is the meaning of this Jeric!?” he asked.
“Your grace, we come here not as your enemy, but as your servants.” She said. And she knelt down, along with the rest of the clan.
“Jeric?” he said, surprised.
“Now is not the time to question, but to act. Alduin and his force of dragons are growing in strength. It won’t be long now until they are ready to take Skyrim, as well as the rest of Tamriel.” I offered.
Balgruuf nodded. “So, what shall you have us do?” he asked.
“Ulfric Stormcloak. We must siege Windhelm, and prevent his rebellion from going out of control. Clan Volkihar will not be the only ones to help us. There are others we need to acquire as well.” I explained.
He pondered, and then nodded. But then we heard the main doors opening, and the Companions storming in. The Clan alarmingly stood up.
“No! Wait! It’s all right, they are with me.” I said, stopping them from almost engaging in battle. Kodlak just looked at me, surprised to see me.
“Jeric? Is that really you? What are you doing with Vampires?” he asked.
“They’re friends, don’t worry.” I said, noticing some of Clan Volkihar being a little uncomfortable. They sensed the werewolf presence.
Aela then came up to me, raised her hand up, ready to slap me. I grabbed it, and began to kiss her. After an embrace I pulled away, and looked into her eyes.
“I’ll never leave you again.” I said.
Windhelm – 2 Months after Broken Blade Acquisition
Ulfric expected me to meet him again on this day. This would be the third time, the time I did not meet him before, as I saw in one my visions. This time I would though, not as a Vampire lord, or corrupt being of any sort, but of the Dragonborn. And of course, I did not come to talk this time.
Today wold be the day everything would change. The future I saw will not happen. This, I swore to the divines. Today, I would fight, and seize the day.
Ulfric was in his Throne room when he heard the news. A large army was approaching the gates of Windhelm. The guard could not distinguish if it was the Legion or not.
“How many?” he asked.
“At least 500 men, sir.” the guard said
“It must be the Legion. No other force would dare oppose us!” Galmar said.
“Gather the guard, and whatever forces you can. Prepare to repel!” Ulfric ordered. And the guard then ran out of the room.
I watched as Ulfric got up from his throne, going to gather his battle gear. His own vanguard came into the room to ready themselves. He had no idea I was there. I revealed myself to him from the place I hid.
“Ulfric Stormcloak!” I said, my words resonating in the halls. He turned and met my stare.
“Jeric. Come to do battle by my side?” he asked.
“I just want to let you know who it really is storming your gates.” I said
“You come betray me now? After our accords and everything? You dare?” he said.
“You should’ve never trusted a Vampire!” Galmar said.
“Well, fortunate for you, I’m not a vampire anymore.” I offered.
“That was foolish, Jeric. To give up such power? You stand no chance against my men.”
I approached him slowly, and his guards readied their swords.
“Maybe. But it’s not just me.” I said.
A guard came rushing into the room with a report.
” My lord, the enemy, they’re Whiterun soldiers!” he said
“Whiterun!? Balgruuf….” Uflric said. And then everyone flinched when they heard the roars of a dragon flying overhead.
“A dragon approaches!” another guard said.
“That dragon is with me, Ulfric. I’m giving you the chance to surrender. What say you?” I offered.
“Seize him!” Ulfric ordered. And his men readied their weapons. I just grinned.
“Not today, Ulfric.” I said, and with a hand signal, the Vampires of Clan Volkihar revealed themselves, surrounding the guards, slashing, and even biting the throats of all of them. I readied my newly crafted dragon sword and charged at him.
I came down with the broadsword and he parried it with his sword. I swung again, and and clipped his shoulder. Blood spewed out, but it didn’t stop him. He then shouted a Thu’um at me.
“FUS RO DAH!” I shouted back at him, and our Thu’ums collided, intertwining with one another, and then exploded with a force in all directions. This caused everyone in the hall to get knocked down, stopping the fight.
I slowly got up, only to notice some guards outside now coming into the hall. Behind them, four Lycans were in pursuit of them, biting, shredding, and making short work of them all.
I got up fully now, and approached Ulfric, still on the ground. I took my sword and held it up to his throat.
“Surrender, Stormcloak. Your hold is besieged. Your army can’t repel Vampires, Lycans, Whiterun and a dragon.” I told him.
He looked at me and hesitated. But then after considering, he finally nodded, and ordered his guards to stop attacking.
The word spread quickly throughout Windhelm of Whiterun sacking the main castle. The Stormcloaks surrendered, with few casualties.
Balgruuf, accompanied by his guard and The Companions, came into the main hold. He went up to Ulfric, who was bound by the hands now.
“I wish it didn’t have to come to this Ulfric, but there are larger things happening other than your petty rebellion.” he said.
“Your Thanes first mistake was letting me live, Balgruuf. This is not the end.” Ulfric countered.
Balgruff then motioned to his guards to take Ulfric away to the dungeons. They also took Galmar as well, having more guards to keep him in check due to his sheer size.
More Whiterun guards came in, this time with the Arch-mage, Sanoa and a few of her Mages.
“It looked like our little trick worked then, Jeric.” she said.
“They definitely picked the right successor for the head of Winterhold. Your spell worked indeed, tricking the Stormcloaks thinking there was an army of us.” I complimented. She nodded, and went to attend to some of her Mages.
“That reminds me, I have to take care of something.” I said, excusing myself from everyone’s presence.
Parthuurnax was circling outside still. I went up to the top of the main hold of Windhelm to meet him.
“Well done my lord, your hand, or claw, was pivotal in this.” I said. He then landed on the roof beside me.
“Krosis, apologies, for not doing more than I could. But I swore to myself never to hurt another being.” he said.
I acknowledged him, and nodded.
“Thank you Parthurnaax. The fear of a dragon looming is all that we needed. We can take care of matters from here.” I said.
He bowed, but then snarled with awareness.
“Vulaus! No….he can not be here now!” he said, worried.
“What? Who?” I asked.
“To the main chamber Dovahkiin. Vothloskes! Make haste!”
I rushed back inside, only to find some guards slaughtered, as well as one other casualty.
“Oh gods, gods no!” I said, finding Serana on the ground, both the Companions and Vampires huddled around her.
“What happned?” I asked.
“I’m sorry Jeric, he just came out of nowhere….” Aela offered. There was no life coming from Serana’s body. She just lay there, with a stab wound right through the heart.
“Who did this!?” I asked.
“Whoever he was, he was robed, with some sort of mask on. Almost like an old dragon priest. But he was different somehow.” Sanoa explained.
“I’m so sorry, Jeric.” Aela said to me.
I knelt down, took Serana’s hand, and brought it up to my mouth, kissing it gently.
“I will avenge you, Serana.”
Windhelm – 3 Days after the Siege of Windhelm
I sat in a room that was acquired for me as my new sleeping quarters, contemplating the Broken Blade. I needed guidance, but was hesitant of what I would find out of Serana’s death.
I took the blade and held it up, distorting the room around me and bringing me to the plane of existence that my former self was.
“Are you here?” I asked out loud, my words echoing.
“I have always been here.” he said.
“Serana’s dead. You never showed me that. Why?”
“Because in the future I come from, it was Aela that was killed.” he said.
“The being who killed him, he was a Dragon Priest of some kind.” I offered. My former self thought for a minute, and then offered what he could explain.
“Miraak. Alduin is gaining allies to fight against Skyrim.” he said. “I’m sorry, but you must keep pushing forward. There are more allies to gain in order to defeat Alduin.”
“How do you know this? You have showed me everything that you once knew of.” I said.
“I may have been a dagger for almost 3 eras, but my conscientiousness was still alive and well in the dagger. I hear things, and there are many things to be heard.”
“What must I do?” I asked.
“Trust your self, and act. But be swift, and remember, you are not alone.”
Those last words resonated in me. But he was right, I was not alone.
Down in the dungeons of Windhelm, Ulfric sat, and heard the sounds of more prisoners ready to join him.
“You weak fool! You’ll regret this!” the shouting said. I joined up with Aela, who was escorting Skjor down to the cell. She put him in with Ulfric, and shut the door. I then went up to the cell bars, and stared at Skjor for a minute, then looked at Ulfric.
“Your new friend here was going to offer you an army you couldn’t refuse. Tell me Skjor, what is the main location of where the Silver Hand resides?” I asked.
“Piss on you, Vampire lover!” he said.
“Well, I’m sure you will have much to talk about, Lord Ulfric.” I said, turning away from the cell, and heading out of the dungeons.
Aela followed me. As soon as we got to the main floor, we were stopped by Vingalmo, who was waiting for me, expecting me to give orders to him now.
“I want Clan Volkihar to keep a look out on one other person.” I said.
“Who?” he asked.
“My housecarl, Lydia. I’m not too sure whether to trust her these days. Can you do this?”
“We will be her shadow at all times, my lord.” he said.
“Vingalmo, I think it is I who should be calling you lord now.” I said.
” Yes, but I shall keep Clan Volkihar loyal to you. Is there any other business?” he asked.
“No, carry on.” I said, and he nodded and took absence of us.
“I never thought Lycans and Vampries would be working together.” Aela said.
“I’m pretty sure your kind will be watching him. I’d recommend it actually, for he is always up to something” I said, thinking of his betrayal in a former life. She nodded to me, and we carried on towards the main hall.
Everyone gathered for the main ceremony that was taking place. Today, we named a new Jarl for Windhelm. The citizens of Windhelm gathered with the forces of Whiterun, and this was the day to unite them together.
Balgruuf stepped up from the main throne, raised his hand to silence everyone, and began to speak.
“Today, is the day that our two holds come together to fight a common enemy. But first, we must present new leadership to lead the people of Windhelm, and reassure them that Whiterun is not a threat. And for that, we name one to do that.”
Balgruuf looked at me, and presented me to the people.
“Jeric has fought bravely against the dragons that threaten Skyrim, and he has united many forces to help protect it. Would it not be the best choice to name him the Jarl and protector of your hold?” He said, and everyone started cheering.
“Jeric, Thane of Whiterun, Dragonborn, I now name you Jarl of Windhelm. Step forward and claim your right.”
I approached, but before he could present me officially with the title, I spoke.
“Thank you my Jarl of Whiterun, but as a Dragonborn, I can not accept this title. For I have another who should take the mantle in my stead.” I said, and whispers from the crowd started to arise. And that is when I remember a certain phrase that one once said to me, something from a previous life.
“Skyrim belongs to the Nords. We are all children of Skyrim, and I can only think of one man who can lead the people of Windhelm. Someone, who’s title has renown for all Nords of Skyrim.” I explained. I then turned to the head of the Companions.
“Kodlak Greymane.” I said. And he stepped forward.
“The Companions have protected Skyrim for many centuries. You have been residing at the great mead hall of Jorvaskrr for many years, but perhaps it is time you deserve something bigger than a mead hall.”
“Thank you, Jeric. I’m honored and I accept you proposal.” Kodlak replied.
Everyone then cheered in acceptance of the new Jarl of Windhelm.
The Next Day
I was just finishing up packing my supplies, as Aela came into my room.
“I should’ve known Kodlak would name you his Thane.” I said.
She nodded with acknowledgement, but ignored and began questioning my motive at hand.
“So, after all this, you’re leaving again.” she said. I was just packing the Broken Blade into my satchel, and then I turned to her.
“Alduin is out there, and I must stop him. He is gathering allies, and I must do the same.” I explained to her.
She nodded. She looked disappointed, but I knew she understood. I then had an idea that would reassure her of my well being.
“I don’t have to go alone, Aela. As a Thane, you have the freedom to come with me. Besides, where I’m going, they might need a diplomat of Windhelm to produce ties to Skyrim.” I offered.
“Just where exactly are you going?” she asked me.
“To where the winds bear to strongest direction now. The island of Solstheim. I know that is where I will find Miraak.” I said.
“For revenge?” she asked, referring to Serana’s death.
“No, to end the coming darkness. This is my duty, my burden. I must fulfill it.”
Aela nodded, and spoke.
“Then I will go with you. Because you will need all the help you can get.”
I nodded, looked into her eyes and kissed her.
And so we went on the ship that carried us, leaving Skyrim behind, and looking past the horizon of new dangers, and heading towards new adventures. Being dead once taught me one thing, no matter how hard you try to fight and win the day, you will end up losing something, or some one. But you can’t let it defeat you in reaching your ultimate goal.
I had to die once to figure this out. But at least I got to come back, and do it again. Because rarely do we have second chances. We just need to make sure not to repeat what we did before.
This is not a new beginning, nor and end. This is a transition; one of many that you will go through. Life is always transitioning, and you must be able to change with it, or else be left for ashes in the wind.