The quest begins with the acquisition of Auriel's Bow at the conclusion of "Touching the Sky" after which Harkon must be confronted. The stages of the quest vary slightly depending upon what faction has been joined.
Preparing the attack
If the Dawnguard questline has been followed, instructions are received from Serana to return to Isran to formulate a plan of attack. After speaking to Isran, he will agree that now is the time to strike the Vampires and will call all the members of the Dawnguard into the main lobby for a rousing speech:
The time has come to finally put an end to Harkon and his unholy prophecy! We will march on their lair and destroy those wretched abominations so they can no longer corrupt our world.! This is our fight, and this is our fate. This is the time of the Dawnguard!"
After the speech, Isran, Sorine Jurard, Celann, Agmaer, Durak, Gunmar, Florentius Baenius if "Bolstering the Ranks" was completed, Ingjard, Beleval and an Armored Troll will leave the fort and begin their long trek towards Castle Volkihar to join in the final battle. Upon reaching the shores of the island, they will wait for the Dragonborn before storming the castle once the Dragonborn speaks to Isran.
Heading across the bridge will cause the Gargoyle statues that line the bridge to animate and attack. Several vampires will pour out of the castle, including Rargal Thrallmaster, Modhna, Namasur, Stalf and Garmr. These are the court's lesser members and can be challenging in groups but pose little threat on their own. This is one of the few opportunities where firing Sunhallowed Arrows into the sun with Auriel's Bow will provide additional help, provided that it is daytime.
Once these foes are dead, Castle Volkihar can be entered. Florentius remains behind to guard the entrance and Ingjard the boat leading back to the mainland, while the others head in. Inside, the remaining vampires will attack, namely Hestla, Salonia Caelia, Fura Bloodmouth, Orthjolf, Vingalmo, Garan Marethi, Ronthil, and Feran Sadri, along with the remaining Death Hound, CuSith. These vampires are the higher-ranked members and are very dangerous, but tend not to congregate. Fura, Hestla, Orthjolf and Salonia all wield leveled weapons along with their Vampiric Drain spells and tend to stay in the main hall. Vingalmo, Garan Marethi and Feran Sadri are all powerful spellcasters and prefer to run along the upper balconies while hosing the area with powerful Destruction spells and Ronthil will take refuge in the room full of coffins and use a leveled bow and arrows if confronted. The Dragonborn may choose to join their Dawnguard allies in cleansing the castle of its vampire presence, or hide and watch instead.
Alternatively, it is possible to ignore the vampires and rush into the cathedral directly, skipping the entire fight until the final confrontation with Harkon. Once Harkon is killed, all the vampires outside will be found dead afterward. Some of the Dawnguard members may be found perished too.
Either way, proceed to the door to the Volkihar Cathedral, where Lord Harkon waits.
If the Volkihar Vampires have been sided with, then after speaking with Serana head directly to Castle Volkihar. Several members of the court will be loitering around the castle as usual, each with some additional dialogue relating to the finding Auriel's bow. Follow the objective marker and enter the castle's cathedral.
Confrontation with Harkon
Upon entering the cathedral, Harkon will be waiting in his Vampire Lord form and will initiate a conversation with Serana:
Harkon: "So, you've returned. Is your... pet keeping you entertained?"
Serana: "You know why we're here."
Harkon: "Of course I do. You disappoint me, Serana. You've taken everything I provided for you and thrown it all away for this... pathetic being/half-breed vampire."
Serana: "Provided for me? Are you insane? You've destroyed our family. You've killed other vampires. All over some prophecy that we barely understand. No more. I'm done with you. You will not touch him/her."
Harkon: "So, I see this dragon has fangs. Your voice drips with the venom of your mother's influence. How alike you've become.
Serana: "No...Because unlike her, I'm not afraid of you. Not anymore."
Harkon: "And you...
At this point he turns to the Dragonborn. The following conversation between Harkon and the Dragonborn will vary slightly depending upon what faction has been joined:
"It appears I have you to thank for turning my daughter against me. I knew it was only a matter of time before she'd return with hatred in her heart."
Hatred born of your neglect: "A small price to pay for the betterment of our kind."
- Your kind is a blight on this world: "Yes, yes. Always the noble vampire hunter. And what happens when you've slain me? Is Valerica next? Is Serana?"
This in turn leads to three options to choose from:
I would never harm Serana. She's too important to me: "Then my daughter is truly lost. She died the moment she accepted a mortal into her life."
I'm only here to kill you: "I see. Interesting that you can set aside your morals when it suits you."
This is about more than killing vampires: "Ah, of course. The prophecy. You've come here to stop me from taking Auriel's Bow and shrouding the world in darkness."
"It appears I have you to thank for turning my daughter against me. I knew it was only a matter of time before your ambition outgrew your loyalty."
Loyalty? You never intended to let me live: "A small price to pay for the betterment of our kind."
You're an insult to our kind: "Oh, come now... spare me your notions of kinship. You've simply used Serana in an attempt to take away what should rightfully be mine."
This in turn leads to three options to choose from:
I would never use Serana like that: "The vampire is eternal, and with immortality comes the revelation that these bonds never endure... it's fleeting, momentary at best."
No, I'm here to prevent our annihilation: "Ah, I see you've been speaking to Valerica and she's convinced you that eternal night will plunge us into war with daytime dwellers. If only it were so. With the world in shadow, we would never tire, never weaken... more than a match for their pitiful armies."
The bow belongs to me now: "Finally, a trace of honesty in our little conversation. How does it feel to hold the fate of the vampire in your grasp. Exhilarating, isn't it? "
Finally, the last set of options is the same for both alignments and they end in having to choose between giving him the bow or refusing. Both options result in him becoming hostile.
Enough of this!: "Yes, quite. I'm growing weary of speaking to you and my traitorous daughter. I'll give you a single chance to turn over the bow to me. There will not be a second."
- Never: "Very well then, you leave me no choice!"
- Very well: (Give Auriel's Bow): "Pitiful. Simply pitiful. I expected more from the defiant fool that beguiled my daughter. No matter. Serana will sacrifice her blood for the sake of the prophecy, and I will feast upon yours in Molag Bal's honor!"
- ...: "Little patience for talk? Good. Let's end this!"
Lord Harkon uses the Bats Night Power when damaged enough and begins attacking from above on the balcony. After his health is depleted, he will retreat to the blood fountain and cast a unique, complexly scripted spell called "Shadow Shield," which uses the same mechanics as the Ideal Masters drain effect. This scripted spell makes Harkon invincible and acts as a mass vampiric drain spell absorbing 4 points of Health, Magicka and Stamina from a huge area, healing him. Using Auriel's Bow, however, will cause his barrier to vanish. He will summon Gargoyles, which will necessitate close range combat. The process repeats itself until he dies with a unique death sequence of an explosion of bats and his final words calling out to his daughter: "No... Serana... your own father....."
Once the battle is over, Isran or Garan Marethi, depending upon alignment, will walk into the cathedral and congratulate the Dragonborn for ending Harkon's plans.
Isran: "It's over. He's dead, and the prophecy dies with him. I... I suppose this is difficult for you."
Serana: "I think my father died a long time ago. This was just... the end of something else. I did what needed to be done. Nothing more."
Isran: "I think perhaps... I think you did more than that. You have my thanks."
"So, the beast is destroyed. Not only that, but Auriel's Bow is in safe hands. The Dawnguard will now be dedicated to safeguarding it, making sure that the prophecy will never come to pass. You've served Skyrim well. Even with these vampires gone, the fight still isn't completely over. Once we're settled in back at the fort, there will be more work to do. We'd be honored to have you join us."
Garan Marethi: "Lord Harkon defeated. I never imagined I'd see the day. My congratulations on defeating Harkon. Clearly, you are the superior vampire. You are the new Master; we bow to your power. A power which, I note, includes Auriel's Bow. My lady, you have my deepest sympathies. I am sure this was not easy for you."
Serana: "He was out of control Garan. It had to be done. I'm not happy about this. He... he was still my father. But I suppose my father really died a long time ago. This was just the end of something else."
Garan Marethi: "Of course my dear. All will be well now."
If the Dragonborn is a member of the Volkihar Vampires, Castle Volkihar becomes a home, with every item there belonging to the Dragonborn. The quest ends with Serana saying a few words about her father and asking if she can come along on future adventures, with the Dragonborn's permission.
If the Dragonborn returns to the Soul Cairn after slaying Harkon, they can speak to Valerica and inform her of her husband's demise. She will thank the Dragonborn and will be in her laboratory on arrival to Castle Volkihar. She will offer an explanation of how the Dragonborn can survive return trips to the Soul Cairn and offer any potions or ingredients in her freshly restocked lab for free. She will decline to provide blood for Bloodcursed Elven Arrows.
|Kindred Judgment – DLC1VQ08|
|20||Dawnguard: With Auriel's Bow in my possession, I need to rally the forces of the Dawnguard before I attempt to confront Harkon and put a stop to the prophecy.
|Vampire: With Auriel's Bow in my possession, it's time to confront Harkon and reshape the prophecy as I see fit.
- If the Dragonborn is a member of the Dawnguard, the Armored Troll may remain outside Castle Volkihar after the main quest has finished (if it was not killed). It will still be there if the Dragonborn leaves and then returns.
- If the Dragonborn is a member of the Dawnguard, after Harkon is killed, all the vampires located at Castle Vokihar will be found dead.
- After the completion of this quest (if aligned with the Dawnguard), the two Elder Scrolls (Blood and Sun) can be sold to the blind Moth Priest, Dexion Evicus, for 6000 . Alternatively, they can be given to Dexion for free. Conversation with Dexion suggests a third alternative involving indestructible armor, but following that line accomplishes nothing. The two scrolls may also be kept, but appear to serve no further purpose.
- The Dragonborn has the option to be turned into a Vampire Lord by Serana after this quest even if the Dawnguard faction was joined.
- If the Dawnguard-aligned Dragonborn dual-casts Pacify with the Master of the Mind perk on the vampires, they will not lower their spells/weapons, but will instead tell the Dragonborn to present the Auriel's Bow to Harkon, as if the Dragonborn sided with them. Unfortunately, Heal Undead cannot be bought this way from Ronthil.
- During the final battle with Lord Harkon, the boss music when facing a dragon will play until he is slain.
- At the start of the final battle, while Lord Harkon is having a conversation with Serana, the Dragonborn is free to move and it is possible to slay Lord Harkon out-right with high enough sneak attack damage.
- In the final battle, when siding with the Dawnguard, a few of the members may get caught up in fighting the vampires, and might die. They can only be saved if the player is alert and assists them.
|Click to see the list of bugs encountered|
- Main article: Achievements (Dawnguard)
Complete "Kindred Judgment"