For other uses, see Contract.
"Hmph. Don't say much, but there's a strange aura about you. You walk in the shadow of death... Leave here. Leave here and never return."

Contract: Kill Hern is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim in which the Dragonborn is tasked with assassinating Hern, a Nord vampire living in Half-Moon Mill in Falkreath Hold.

Background[edit | edit source]

I must travel to Half-Moon Mill and kill the vampire Hern. I may use any method at my disposal. When I am done, I am to report back to Nazir at the Sanctuary and collect my reward.

Objectives[edit | edit source]

  1. Kill Hern
  2. Report back to Nazir

Walkthrough[edit | edit source]

The quest is given to the Dragonborn by Nazir during the Dark Brotherhood questline in the Falkreath Sanctuary. Hern is a vampire and lives with his wife Hert who is also a vampire. The Dragonborn can speak to Hern before attempting to assassinate him:

I know what you are, nightspawn. "Well then, you won't be leaving here alive!"
Assassin versus vampire. A fight for the ages. "Ah, so the Brotherhood has come for old Hern, has it? Well then, let us meet as equals."
(Remain silent) "Hmph. Don't say much, but there's a strange aura about you. You walk in the shadow of death... Leave here. Leave here and never return."

If the Dragonborn remains silent, Hern will not initiate combat. The other two options will make him hostile towards the Dragonborn. Attacking him will also turn his wife Hert hostile. When fighting, Hern uses a steel battleaxe. If he is disarmed with the Disarm Shout, he will pull out a dagger, or use his fists. Hert behaves in a similar fashion, making it unlikely for the Dragonborn to contract Vampirism through combat.

Killing Hern[edit | edit source]

To kill Hern without making Hert hostile, enter their house in the evening, then wait until they both get up and head towards the door. Quickly engage Hern in conversation so he stops. Then, after Hert leaves the house, make a sneak attack on Hern as he heads towards the door. If the lock to Hern and Hert's home is picked early in the morning, Hern may be inside the house without Hert. If he is quickly killed, Hert may not notice the Dragonborn. If the Dragonborn has the Master of the Mind perk, which becomes available after reaching level 100 Illusion, Hert may be Frenzied into killing her own husband. The Dragonborn will also need to heal Hert as she attacks Hern, or she will be defeated. If the Frenzy spell is silently cast, they will remain the same and nothing will happen. After having said the second line of dialogue, Hern will attack. If the Dragonborn focuses purely on Hern, then sheathes their weapon after defeating him, Hert may stop attacking.

Attacking Hern when he is working at making lumber is recommended to avoid fighting against Hert as well. Using sneak attack by wearing an item that muffles movement sound is helpful to kill him quickly without alerting Hert. Hern leaves the hut and can be found alone, often around 9pm. The Dragonborn can sneak up and assassinate him without having to fight Hert, even if the kill is done directly outside of their door. Hert can also be found at the mill around 12:30 pm. She can be taken out easily with a sneak attack. Then the key can be looted from her body, which allows the house to be entered and Hern killed.

Journal[edit | edit source]

Contract: Kill Hern – DBSideContract04
ID Journal Entry
10 I must travel to Half-Moon Mill and kill the vampire Hern. I may use any means at my disposal. When I am done, I am to report back to Nazir at the Sanctuary and collect my reward.
  • Objective 10: Kill Hern
  • Objective 20: Report back to Nazir
200 Hern is dead, and I have collected my reward from Nazir at the Sanctuary.
  • Quest complete

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Occasionally, Hert will be near or in the mill around 5:30pm, while Hern is in the house. Hern may ask the Dragonborn to leave.
  • If a Bloodcursed Elven Arrow is used to block out the sun, Hert may say phrases such as "It is our time now" and "The tyranny of the sun is over," indicating that they may actually be vampires.
    • Another sign of vampirism among the two is resistance to Healing Hands, which does not affect undead.
  • If the Dragonborn is in good standing with Hert and her husband is killed in front of her, she will turn hostile. At that point, killing her with the Ebony Blade will upgrade it.
  • Strangely, there is no unique dialogue option with Hern if the Dragonborn is a vampire, like those with Ma'randru-jo (as Khajiit) and Deekus (as Argonian).

Bugs[edit | edit source]

This section contains bugs related to Contract: Kill Hern. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Please reload an old save to confirm if the bug is still happening.
  2. If the bug is still occurring, please post the bug report with the appropriate system template  360  / XB1  ,  PS3  / PS4  ,  PC  / MAC  ,  NX  , depending on which platform(s) the bug has been encountered on.
  3. Be descriptive when listing the bug and fixes, but avoid having conversations in the description and/or using first-person anecdotes: such discussions belong on the appropriate forum board.
  •  PC   If any weapons are sheathed during the fight, both Hert and Hern will stop fighting and no longer be hostile. Upon using Ice Form on Hert to freeze her, Hern will sit back down at the table with his back turned towards the Dragonborn. A power attack on Hern, while crouched, may kill both Hern and Hert, even if Hert is across the room.
  •  PC   There is a way to kill Hern in front of Hert without having to fight her in the end. If Hern is killed in the house, when Hert turns hostile, she can be transformed using Wabbajack. When she reverts, she will no longer be hostile.
  •  PC   360   PS3   Killing Hert and Hern will cause the misc objective "buy lumber" for building a house to be impossible to complete. This is because the objective marker will point to Half-Moon Mill.

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