Looking for other Skyrim Speedway posts? Part One has links to them all!
Last time: Orc Orcersson finally completed his set of collectible daedric artefacts. However, with great power comes some weight, and he’s now lugging around tons of gear we don’t need. Somewhere to store it might be nice, yeah?
Every Skyrim character fairly quickly ends up with a sizable collection of rare and powerful magical weapons and equipment that men and elves would kill for. Orc really, genuinely will never use most of it so really, we could just chuck it all in a river. Or stash it in the poky little Whiterun house we have. Still, we have to build a Hearthstone house anyway, so why not build the Orc Orcersson Museum of Legendary Artefacts?
As you may recall, we own a plot of land down near Falkreath. With Orc’s amazing ability to summon tons of building materials out of thin air using the epic spell “cheating stuff in”, within minutes we have a three-wing mansion. Behold!
Some people like to spend significant amounts of time arranging items nicely- actual full-on museum mods are fairly popular- but Orc just shoves everything in the closest chest; he’s more of the Indiana Jones style of archeologist. Maybe we’ll find a curator on our travels. We also get the Architect achievement for fully building a house.
While looking through the Achievement list for the next priority, I was reminded that there’s a set of Vampire achievements that need to be powered up just like the Werewolf perks. It’s probably a good idea to get that ball rolling, so it’s with great reluctance that I have Orc start the Dawnguard quests.
I’m not a huge fan of Dawnguard. For a start, I don’t really care about vampires in general, which is definitely a hindrance, but there’s more to it than that. There’s an often mandatory follower who doesn’t have the personality to justify being forced on you, the questline is largely the same no matter if you join the vampires or the vampire hunters, which leads to really weak justifications for why the vampires/ vampire hunters care so much about something that really only the other side would be concerned with and to top it all off it doesn’t mesh well with the base game despite taking part largely in Skyrim. I’m sure I’ll gripe about it in more detail as we go, so you’ve got that to look forward to!
To get started we follow up on the rumour that the Dawnguard has reformed, which every single town guard will tell you about constantly. As a newly reformed order of vampire hunters, they of course own the biggest castle in Skyrim that is in excellent repair.
Impressed by Orc’s credentials of “showed up”, the chief Dawnguardman immediately sends us off to investigate rumours of powerful vampires digging in an old crypt. You know, standard rookie stuff.
Partway through the dungeon, which is indeed filled with vampires, the architecture changes and become far more 19th century Gothic, ending up in this little gargoyle-filled cavern. The circle seems to be an elaborate lock, but Orc has a Daedric Key with the power to unlock anything in his possession! That is, of course, completely irrelevant and we get it open by pushing purple flame braziers around instead. Inside the container we find not treasure but a vampire!
Deciding to investigate why other vampires wanted this vampire so badly, we learn that this vampire is called Serena, has an Elder Scroll on her back and wants to go home please. Orc decides to help.
Wait, what? Orc, you’re normally extremely good at everything, why are you such an awful vampire hunter?! At least we got the Awakening achievement…
The vampires also have a castle, located in the far north. We’ve spotted it passing by before. I realize also that I forgot to take any screenshots of freeing Serana, but that’s her hand there.
Inside, we’re greeted by Lord Harkon, a fancy lad who is very upfront that his whole clan is evil vampires.
He’s very pleased to see his Elder Scroll and his daughter, in that order and claims that the only way he can properly reward Orc for their return is the gift of blood, i.e he’ll turn us into a vampire and incidentally wipe away our werewolfness.
Ouch, that looks painful. Orc wakes up and Harkon walks us through the basics of being a vampire. We can transform into a batmonster just like Harkon did, kill people through biting them or draining their health to power up and are now inconvenienced by sunlight.
It’s kind of a pain because your stamina doesn’t regenerate if you’re outside in sunlight, meaning you can’t sprint around everywhere. A terrible tradeoff, if you ask me.
Anyway, as his newest vampire pal, Lord H asks us to be a dear and go power up the Bloodstone Chalice, a vampire artefact he hasn’t used in years and years. To do this we have to go to the mystical Redwater Spring, fill it from that and then add the blood of a slain powerful vampire.
I say mystical spring, but some other group of vampires has turned it into a magical crack den to harvest superblood from addicts.
Nothing a bit of sneaky murder won’t fix, so we reach the spring without issue.
Note that Orc now has sinister glowy eyes! Immediately after filling the chalice, two of Harkon’s vampires show up, aiming to kill us and return the chalice themselves to gain favour. Despite going down like chumps, they still count as a powerful vampire so the damn cup’s at full magicness now.
We’ll drop it off next time!
Time Elapsed: 19hr 33m
Achievement Progress: 39/75
Next time: Vampires, bats, gargoyles, blood etc.