After speaking to the mysterious woman, it is revealed her name is Serana. If the Dragonborn happens to be a vampire she will comment that she could "Smell you from a mile away." She seems puzzled at her newfound freedom and asks to be accompanied to her home, Castle Volkihar, located west of Solitude.
The Dragonborn must then proceed to the exit on the far side on the cavern. Two gargoyle statues will shatter and come to life. After defeating the gargoyles, proceed out of the cavern into the next room. There is a lever on the right that then opens a gate on the left, and also releases two leveled draugr from tombs on the walls.
Through this gate is a large arena of sorts. Several skeletons and a level draugr or Dragon Priest will be seated in various places around the arena. A word wall is located on the far right where a word of Drain Vitality can be learned. Around this room are at least four malachite ore veins.
Proceeding through the final iron door, another gate can be found with a chain that leads to the exit.
Upon arriving at Volkihar Castle, the Watchman will be at the door.
Inside, Serana is met by a surprised Vingalmo who initially berates the Dragonborn for entering, but backs off once he sees Serana, whom he gives her a grandiose welcome back, only to be cut short by her father, Lord Harkon, who only seems interested in the Elder Scroll that is on Serana's person.
He then proceeds to question her on the "guest" she has brought with her. She tells her father the Dragonborn is the one who rescued her from her entrapment.
Harkon: "My long-lost daughter returns at last. I trust you have my Elder Scroll?"
Serana: "After all these years, that's the first thing you ask me? Yes, I have the scroll."
Harkon: "Of course I'm delighted to see you, my daughter. Must I really say the words aloud? Ah, if only your traitor mother were here, I would let her watch this reunion before putting her head on a spike. Now tell me, who is this stranger you have brought into our hall?"
Serana: "This is my savior, the one who freed me."
Harkon: "For my daughter's safe return, you have my gratitude. Tell me, what is your name?"
Harkon then asks the Dragonborn their name. The following options are presented:
- I'm <Alias=Player>. Who are you?
- You first.
Either choice leads to the same follow up: "I am Harkon, lord of this court. By now, my daughter will have told you what we are."
- You're vampires: "Not just vampires. We are among the oldest and most powerful vampires in Skyrim."
- You're a reclusive cannibal cult: "Not quite, though I can see how an outsider might arrive at that conclusion. No, we are vampires, among the oldest and most powerful in Skyrim."
- I don't really care what you are: "Perhaps you should. I count some of the oldest and most powerful vampires in Skyrim among the members of my court."
He will expand on this by mentioning "For centuries we lived here, far from the cares of the world. All that ended when my wife betrayed me and stole away that which I valued most."
The next set of questions relate to a potential reward where Lord Harkon offers to bestow the power of a Vampire Lord unto the Dragonborn.
What happens now? "You have done me a great service, and now you must be rewarded. There is but one gift I can give that is equal in value to the Elder Scroll and my daughter. I offer you my blood. Take it, and you will walk as a lion among sheep. Men will tremble at your approach, and you will never fear death again."
Do I get a reward for finding your daughter? "I was about to suggest that very thing. Yes, you most certainly deserve a reward. There is but one gift I can give that is equal in value to the Elder Scroll and my daughter. I offer you my blood. Take it, and you will walk as a lion among sheep. Men will tremble at your approach, and you will never fear death again."
The next set of questions are dependent upon if the Dragonborn is already a vampire, werewolf or neither. He demonstrates his immense power by transforming into a Vampire Lord himself:
I'm already a vampire. What more can you offer me? "You contracted a disease, perhaps, but you are no true vampire. Accept my gift and I promise that you will learn the difference. Refuse me, and I will banish you from this castle. I will spare your life this once, but after that, you are prey."
I'm a werewolf. What will happen if I accept your gift? "Yes, I can smell it on you. The power of my blood will purge that filth and make you whole again."
And if I refuse your gift? "Then you will be prey, like all mortals. I will spare your life this once, but you will be banished from this hall. Perhaps you still need convincing? Behold the power! This is the power that I offer! Now, make your choice!"
Volkihar or Dawnguard?
The Dragonborn can either accept or refuse his offer:
|"I will accept your gift and become a vampire."||"I don't want to become a vampire. I refuse."|
|Accepting Harkon's offer will please him. He will lunge forward and bite the Dragonborn causing everything to fade out.||Refusal will result in banishment from the castle. The Dragonborn will appear outside the castle with no other option but to report back to Isran.
The opportunity to become a Vampire Lord is made available again during the questline, however.
If Harkon's offer has been accepted, the Dragonborn will awaken in the castle cathedral where Harkon stands before an altar and explains some of his history. He then proceeds to teach the Dragonborn how to use the vampiric powers which include Blood Magic, Night Powers and fighting "as beasts do".
"Awake at last, good. The power is growing within you, and now you must learn to wield it."
- I'm ready to learn about my new powers.
- What happened? How did I get here?
- What is this place?
I'm ready to learn about my new powers: "With my guidance you will become a deadly instrument, striking terror in the hearts of mortals wherever you tread. Now, listen to my words and do as I instruct. The true power of the ancient blood is found in the form of the Vampire Lord. Assume the mantle of the Vampire Lord, and we will continue."
- <transform into Vampire Lord>
"In this form, you can drain the life from your foes with your right hand. With your left hand, you can wield the power of blood magic to raise the dead. You can also call upon the powers of night to turn into a swarm of bats and reappear some distance away. Should you run out of magicka, you can descend to the ground and fight as the beasts do. Do so now and we will continue."
- <land on the ground>
"Good. You are weaker while on the ground, because you cannot access the blood magic. However, the night powers are still yours to command, and your claws are still formidable weapons. Over time, your powers will grow in strength and you will find new ways to use your gifts."
- <view perk tree>
"There is much to learn, but if you master the powers of the Vampire Lord, few enemies will be able to stand against you."
- <select powers from favorites>
"There is one last thing you must know. Slaying mortal men with your life drain grants you new night powers and blood magic. I keep a stable of thralls in the castle should you need to feed like the baser vampires to stave off the sun. That is all I have to teach you. If you wish to be reminded of these lessons, you need only ask. I have a task that will test your new powers, but first, do you have any questions?"
- I'm ready to carry out this task: "Good. Go and speak to Garan Marethi. Tell him it is time. He will understand."
- Tell me again about being a Vampire Lord: "When you first transform into a Vampire Lord, you will hover in the air. While you do, you will command the powers of Blood and Night. Descend to the ground, and you can attack with your claws and feed upon your prey to regain your strength. With experience, your powers will grow and you will discover new ways to use them."
- What must I know about being a vampire?: "As a vampire, you gain new powers, but also a weakness to sunlight. With each passing day that you do not feed, that weakness will become more deadly, but your powers will also become stronger. Feed upon those who are sleeping, and your vulnerability to sunlight will diminish along with your powers."
What happened? How did I get here?: "My blood is potent. At first, the body is overwhelmed by it. After my bite, you collapsed and fell into a slumber. Now your flesh has acclimated to the new blood that courses through your veins. I assure you, no harm was done. In truth, your strength surprises me. Not all mortals can withstand my embrace."
What is this place?: "A shrine to Molag Bal, the mighty Daedra Prince who is father to all our kind. Our power is a blessing from him. It is he who first bestowed the gift of the ancient blood upon me."
- You made a pact with Molag Bal?: "In an age long forgotten to history, I ruled as a mighty king. My domain was vast, my riches endless and my power infinite. And yet, as my mortal life neared an end, I faced a seemingly invincible enemy -- my own mortality. I pledged myself to Molag Bal, and in his name I sacrificed a thousand innocents. In reward, he gave everlasting life to myself, my wife and my daughter. And so I have defeated mortality itself."
|Bloodline – DLC1VQ02|
|5||While exploring Dimhollow Crypt, I freed a young woman from an ancient sarcophagus. She asked me to guide her home, to a castle off the northern coast of Skyrim.
|20||I learned that the mysterious woman I freed from Dimhollow Crypt is named Serana. Her father Harkon is a powerful vampire lord, and in gratitude for bringing his daughter home, he offered me the gift of his blood. Now I must choose whether to accept the gift.|
|25||Refuse: When I brought Serana back home after freeing her from Dimhollow Crypt, her father, a powerful vampire lord, offered me the gift of his blood. I refused the gift, and was banished. Now I must return to Vigilant Tolan and tell him what happened.|
|30||Refuse: When I brought Serana back home after freeing her from Dimhollow Crypt, her father, a powerful vampire lord, offered me the gift of his blood. I refused the gift, and was banished. Now I should return to Isran and tell him what happened.
|40||Accept: When I brought Serana back home after freeing her from Dimhollow Crypt, her father, a powerful vampire lord, offered me the gift of his blood. I accepted the gift and joined his court.|
|180||Accept: When I brought Serana back home after freeing her from Dimhollow Crypt, her father, a powerful vampire lord, offered me the gift of his blood. I accepted the gift and joined his court.
|190||Refuse: When I brought Serana back home after freeing her from Dimhollow Crypt, her father, a powerful vampire lord, offered me the gift of his blood. I refused the gift, and was banished. I returned to Isran and told him what happened.
- If the Dragonborn tries to escort Serana back to Fort Dawnguard before taking her to Castle Volkihar, she will stop and say "I don't like the feel of this place. I'll wait for you back by the entrance." One can, however, choose to inform Isran about Serana while she is waiting outside of the fort.
- By delaying the completion of this quest it is possible to retain Serana as an extra follower for as long as one chooses to do so.
- Following this quest, depending on which side the Dragonborn chose, they will now randomly encounter either three Dawnguard members or a leveled Vampire and her two Vampire Fledglings who will attack the Dragonborn on sight if spotted. The vampires are usually all female when encountered, while the Dawnguard members will be random, but are usually Orcs in most cases.
|Click to see the list of bugs encountered|