Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and all characters aforementioned are properties of Bethesda software.

Journal Entry #2: The Vampire Hunter

1 Rain's Hand

I have lived many years on Morrowind. I am not an old bat yet, but I am getting there. But if there's one thing that I distinctly remember from my time in Balmora, Vivec, and Ald'ruhn is that I do not believe in the existence of vampires…that is to say, I did not believe in them.

I had heard many tales, many stories. I had even caught glimpses of the forbidden book "Vampires of Vvardenfell II". But as I have never seen one, for that matter never heard of one in the region in which I stayed, I did not take much thought to their existence. So when I heard that the "vampire" hunter, Ano Vando was coming to town, I was skeptical of the whole ordeal.

He stayed for about a week's time, if I recall. He was a very handsome man, albeit very obnoxious. He flirted with all the young women around town, mainly Aryni Orethi. He'd ask for free drinks from The Rat in the Pot, said that he was doing Morrowind a big favor, and this was a way to repay their debt. But oddly enough, everyone went along with him. The women kindly blushed with his advances, and Lirielle Stoine and Aengoth were more than willing to share their drinks with him. Only Hanarai Assutlanipal, a tamed Ashlander, and myself seemed to be able to see his apparent trickery of Ald'ruhn. And since Hanarai doesn't do much else than stay in her house, I had to take action.

I remember very distinctly what I said to him, told him that he may have the rest of them fooled, but not me. I did not ask, I demanded that he leave immediately. As I waited for a foolhardy response and an insult to my character, he just stared at me blankly. Imagine my surprise when he said that I was right, that he was squandering too much out of this town, and would leave by mid-noon tomorrow, today that is.

Today, the beginning of the sandstorm season went together like any other day. The only thing different was that Ano was leaving today. Most of the townsfolk were upset with me, told me I had no right to tell him off like that, that I was behaving like an old hag. But I didn't care; I just wanted him out of my life. We had seen many visitors come and go, the years that I've lived in Ald'ruhn, and this one I thought was going to be no different than the others. I was mistaken.

Louis Beauchamp, an Imperialist who had just came in from Solstheim was trying to make conversation with me, but it's impossible to follow that stuttering buffoon. Ano was making passes at all the local women who had gathered to greet him off. Typical of the short time I knew him. He was very pleasant and elegant with all of them, the only redeeming quality I did think of him, even if his intentions were impure. Most of Ald'ruhn had been there to see him off, which actually surprised me. I thought that maybe I was wrong about him, then the door to the Mages Guild opened.

I cannot describe what ran through my body. It was pure…terror. And all I did was heard the door open. But I knew…I could say truthfully…that I was in the presence of an omnipotent evil. Louis must have felt it to, because he stopped talking. I slowly turned my head and in the doorway, out of the light, a large orc stood, covered head to toe with orcish armor with an orcish battle-axe in his right hand. I'll never forget what I saw next…he stepped out of the door, and his skin began to burn.

What a horrible smell! I can still smell….

Excuse me…it's best if I do not mention that….

I cleaned up my mess, so I may continue. As I was saying, smoke began to billow off of his exposed skin, even his eyes. It looked so painful, but he…it even took the time to stop and glare directly at me…as if I was a piece of meat. It snorted, then called out to Ano.

As one, all of Ald'ruhn hushed…and as one they all cowered away from Ano. Ano didn't budge, the innocent, perverted smile slowly melded away into an unforgiving frown.

"Who sends you," Ano asked.

The orc grunted, wiping his nose. He didn't speak as he raised his axe in the air. Ano's brow furrowed, as he prepared his mace.

It was all so quick…all so fast…that's probably what made it more horrifying. The orc's axe came down so hard on Ano's shield that it held fast in it. Ano didn't flinch as he swung his mace back to strike…it was in a perfect position too….

But the orc was too fast…faster beyond mortal limitations…and even stronger. His bare fingers pierced Ano's armor and plunged deep into his stomach. Even as its skin began to melt away from the sun, he was horrifyingly strong. Ano stood there, the breath taken from him. His mace hit the ground like a rock, that being the only noise heard. Then the orc let go of his axe, pulled Ano close, and bit into his neck.

The entire crowd gasped as Ano's body began to shrivel away into nothingness, and the orc's body began to rejuvenate itself, even while it was being burned at the same time. Then it let go of Ano, who was now just a pile of skin and bone. The orc…the vampire ran along the entire crowd, as if it were picking out other people it wanted to feast upon. But it didn't do anything, as he reached into his armor, and pulled out an amulet hanging around his neck. It gave a brilliant flash, and it disappeared.

Never again will I question such tales. Never again will I shun someone for what they do, even if they may be a con-artist. I fear I will not sleep tonight, nor for many nights afterwards.

Gindrala Helen