Orthjolf is a Nord vampire of the Volkihar Clan and one of Lord Harkon's primary advisors. He and fellow senior vampire Vingalmo are embroiled in a feud over the throne, and can be often heard making cutting remarks towards one another.
Upon first meeting with Orthjolf, he and Vingalmo will be arguing in the dining room. Once their exchange is complete he will warn the Dragonborn not to trust Vingalmo or get involved in any of his schemes. He mentions that Vingalmo covets the throne and will only make friends with anyone if it helps him in some way.
If the Dragonborn is not a Mer, he will make his prejudice against them clear by stating: "Between you and me, there's too many of them; can't trust the lot of them. Never could".
Orthjolf often sees himself superior in strength to the Dragonborn as he frequently tells the Dragonborn not to interfere with his business unless they want to be hurt by him.
Upon starting the quest, Orthjolf is surprised to hear Harkon is sending the Dragonborn to fill the chalice and reacts with suspicion.
Once the Dragonborn fills the chalice from the bloodspring, Stalf and Salonia Caelia spring an ambush. It's revealed that Orthjolf sent Stalf in pursuit to kill the Dragonborn and retrieve the chalice. Orthjolf hoped that this would give him more power and would bring him one step closer to claiming Harkon's throne. Salonia Caelia however reveals she has her own plans and attempts to retrieve the chalice for Vingalmo, for the same reasons.
"Another elf, I see. I'm sure Vingalmo will be sizing you up as we speak, trying to figure if you're friend or foe. He'll tell you what a monster I am, that I can't be trusted... You mark my words, it's him you need to worry about. If it'll get him closer to being in charge, he'll slit your throat without a moment's thought."
- You don't trust Vingalmo? "No, and if you're smart, you won't either. I know he's one of your kind and all, but he's only looking out for himself. You'll think you're best of friends, until you find his fangs in your neck."
"Darkness shroud you."
Orthjolf": "Well, well. Where have you been, Vingalmo? Nose stuck in a book all day?"
Vingalmo "Orthjolf, I'm surprised! I didn't even think you knew what a book was, my brutish friend."
Orthjolf: "You'd do well to watch that tongue, elf."
Vingalmo: "And you'd do well to be more careful of whom you engage in witty banter."
Orthjolf: "Surprised you weren't at the last meeting with our Lord, Vingalmo. Too busy plotting to overthrow him to show up?"
Vingalmo: "What? What meeting? I wasn't informed of any such thing!"
Orthjolf: "Oh I see. I just understand he'd sent for both of us. How awkward for you."
- "You can't trust a word that comes out of Vingalmo's mouth. Remember that."
- "We need strength, power. Not magic. Elves don't seem to understand that."
- "You dare show up here after becoming mortal, abandoning all that Lord Harkon has granted you? You'd best find him soon. Ask him to change you back." ― If cured of Vampirism before Kindred Judgment.
- "Look at you. Mortal. Weak. I suggest you have Serana change you back. At once." ― If cured of Vampirism after Kindred Judgment.
- "You realise that doesn't impress anyone here" ― If approached in the Vampire Lord form.
- "Don't keep our master waiting. Take him the bow immediately." ― During Kindred Judgment, if the vampires are joined.
- "It's good to see a new face around here and that face isn't attached to an Elf." ― If the Dragonborn is not an elf.