Author's Note: Hello. This is going to be the my first fanfic, so any constructive tips would be appreciated. I played through the Dawnguard DLC on both sides and recently got the Hearthfire DLC. This story will be set following the main quest and starting the Dawnguard quests, while including some Hearthfire content.

OCs will be present in this fanfiction.

Jim sat at the bar in the Bannered Mare, staring into the ale he ordered.

He was Harbinger of the Companions and Dragonborn on top of that. He ordered yet another drink from Hulda, who did not question why he was drinking heavily. He usually came in with a smile on his face and a laid-back attitude, with only personal acquaintances talking to him: Saadia, Amren, Ysolda…most of the residents in Whiterun knew him.

Then again, he wasn't famous before—renowned, yes, but not famous. About two months had passed since he defeated Alduin, the World-Eater and put a stop to the Civil War. Nearly everyone knew his name now, regardless of what hold they lived in. Some admired him more than others.

Jim never cared about fame; he fought as a matter of principle. Of course, getting paid for what he did best didn't hurt.

Night fell outside, and he decided to head to Breezehome and go to bed. He was stopped on the way by an Orc, clad in armor like nothing Jim ever saw before.

"Looking for work?" the Orc asked him.

"I might be interested, if the pay's good," Jim replied. "Or if the cause is right."

"Does killing vampires sound like a good cause?"

"Well, I'll be…" Jim trailed off. "Where do I sign up?"

"Isran is going to like you," the Orc replied. "Take the cave past Stendarr's Beacon, through Dayspring Canyon and to Fort Dawnguard."

Jim gave a nod, and started past him.

"Name's Durak," the Orc said as Jim walked away. "Hope to see you there."

Vampire hunting…simple enough, right?

He woke the next morning, covered in sweat.

Those damn memories; they haunted him in the form of nightmares. He must have made a considerable ruckus, because Lydia came in.

Jim almost always reached for the bottle after such a nightmare, a bad habit he developed; drowning the past away in a flood of ale. This time, he fumbled it and it fell. Lydia caught it before it hit the ground.

Lydia sighed, dropped the formalities and asked, "Was it the same dream?"

"Leave it be, Lydia…" he murmured.

Lydia was one of the few people he opened up to about his past. A dumb decision, looking back; concern almost never left her voice now.

"I'm traveling," he said.

Jim had a preference for the Wolf Armor that the Companions used, but instead opted to use the Orcish armor he stored. While vampires he encountered before always used spells, thralls tended to aggressively attack up close and often with warhammers.

Orichalcum was simply better crafted than Nord steel.

Dawnbreaker—the blade gifted to him by Daedric prince Meridia for clearing her temple of the revolting machinations of the necromancer Malkoran-its very cut burned the undead and sent the stronger ones fleeing in terror.

The vampires had better watch out…

His destination lay beyond The Rift, within the mountain range between Skyrim and Morrowind. At least, that's what he figured, since it was further east of Riften. He saw the cave Durak had mentioned, and—from a distance—two Vigilants of Stendarr. It wasn't until he got closer that the so-called 'Vigilants' attacked.

Without hesitation, Jim drew Dawnbreaker from its sheath. As one stayed back casting flames spells at him (which Jim found rather ironic), the other sidestepped and tried to rush at him with a war axe.

"Yol Toor Shuul!" Jim Shouted at the farther vampire. Shock filled her expression just before the blast of fire hit her. Shrieking as she burned, all that remained was a charred husk.

Jim barely had enough time to get his shield up before the war axe hit. He retaliated with a shield bash, followed by an X-shaped cut with Dawnbreaker. The vampire screech as the first of the cuts set him ablaze, and the second one made him explode in an inferno of light and fire.

Victorious and uninjured, Jim sheathed his blade and walked into the cave opening.

What did it all mean: Vampires masquerading as Vigilants instead of staying in a cave during daylight? Under what insane delusion did they think they would win in the situation?

Right then, Jim had a big feeling that this job was going to be anything but simple.

Dayspring Canyon was beautiful in its own right: a ravine with a glacial waterfall emptying into a lake, with a hill leading upwards. At the top of the pathway lay Fort Dawnguard; it was severely understaffed, which explained why this Isran seemed desperate for recruits. One doesn't recruit from the general populace unless they needed the manpower in a hurry.

The lack of guards compared to an Imperial fort might also explain why two vampires had gotten so close to it. And the Nord he saw at the base of the pathway was definitely no professional; a farm boy with big ambitions, Jim figured. The kid was talking to Durak.

"You're here to join the Dawnguard too, huh?" the Nord asked.

"More like lending a hand," Jim said. "I'm a mercenary."

"A sellsword, then? Great…"

"This isn't just any mercenary," Durak interrupted. "He is the Dragonborn."

The young Nord looked away, in a show of shame. He felt that he had disrespected the Dragonborn. Truth was that Jim didn't really mind not being recognized. If anything, he was more annoyed that Durak mentioned him.

"Just call me Jim, if you don't mind," he said.

"Agmaer," the farm boy said.

"Now," Jim changed the subject. "Where do I go to see Isran?"

"Follow the hill to the top, through the main doors. You'll know him when you see him," Durak directed.

Giving a nod of thanks, Jim continued up the path and through the entrance to the fort.

Author's note:

Hope you enjoyed the chapter. I hope to have at least three up this month. I doubt you'll get more until I finish my semester, but it may happen.