Dawnguard,  Ysani Playthrough

In Which Ysani Slays Lord Harkon at Castle Volkihar

This post is for play done on the night of Friday 4/1! Main action here was the attack on Castle Volkihar, wherein the Dawnguard slew Lord Harkon. Like they do. And with a refreshing after-dinner mint of getting Valerica out of the Soul Cairn!


  • Play date: 4/1/2022
  • Session number in this run: 67
  • Reported to Isran that hey look we have the Bow! Time to go attack Castle Volkihar!
  • But first: got five rounds of Heavy Armor training off of Isran for level 63 training purposes
  • Then boinged to houses to grab better armor and weaponry: went to Heljarchen, then Windstad, then Lakeview, then back to Heljarchen
  • Got the dragonscale armor, also the Ancient Shrouded, and also Chillrend
  • Did some smithing to make jewelry with all this gold and silver i had, and all these jewels; however, couldn’t improve Auriel’s Bow because I lost Arcane Blacksmithing booooo
  • Finally boinged to Castle Volkihar to rendezvous with the strike force
  • Called up the dremora, and led the charge in!
  • Pretty sure we got in and out without any Dawnguard casualties? Will have to do a roll call next time I’m back at the fort 😀
  • Went ahead and shot Harkon mid-speech just to see if I could, LOL; Ysani, I figure, rolled her eyes at his pontificating and just shot the bastard
  • But had to do it a whole bunch of times because the bow doesn’t do much damage in its current state, I will need to fix that later
  • Called up the dremora for this fight too to help Serana fight all the gargoyles and skeletons, while I took potshots at Harkon
  • Got him taken out, and Isran’s epilogue exchange with Serana happened
  • Did a spot-check of the route back out, nope, no obvious Dawnguard casualties!
  • Boinged over to the balcony to get into Valerica’s lab, and then into the Soul Cairn
  • Fought a few mistmen on the way, also got a few more soul husks
  • HI VALERICA! Hey, will you make me some soul husk extract? And also, by the way, I killed your husband
  • Got Valerica safely returned to her laboratory
  • Parted ways with Serana for the moment and began a bunch of loot tallying
  • Boinged first to Heljarchen and grabbed all the stuff
  • Then jumped on Arvak and boinged to Windstad to grab more stuff; spent some sabre cat teeth and other building materials on a couple more decorations while there
  • Tried to Arvak to Lakeview but bandits showed up, so okay fine, Réjean, André, help me out with these assholes, will you?
  • Then Arvak’d to Lakeview
  • Spotted Valdimar here again, and DUDE, GET YOUR ASS BACK TO WINDSTAD! Don’t you make Iona defend the place alone!
  • Did a bunch of smithing in Lakeview’s forge, then did a bunch of alchemy and enchanting
  • Leveled up to 64! Took Advanced Armors perk back
  • Arvak’d over to Honningbrew and sold Mallus a bunch of things
  • Then Arvak’d to Thieves Guild and sold stuff to all four vendors and Tonilia
  • Went topside, and oh good, Balimund was still at the forge; got five rounds of training in Smithing which got me back to 60, so I can wake up Arcane Blacksmithing again next level up
  • Did a bit more smithing, then parked in Honeyside and saved for the night


I am now to the point of summarizing the rousing speech Isran gives to the Dawnguard about attacking Castle Volkihar thusly:

Me: Hey Isran, check it out, I have Auriel’s Bow!

Isran: FUCK YEAH! Let’s go kill some vampires! HEY EVERYBODY! She has the Bow!


Serana: Fuck… yeah? Just remember I’m on your side, people.

Me, with Réjean and André looming behind me: And given that she very specifically helped me get this bow, I will be very, very cross if any of you hit Serana with anything, even if it’s by accident. Don’t make me have to throw my dremora at you.

The Dawnguard: WE LOVE YOU, SERANA!

Notable differences running Castle Volkihar’s attack this time through:

  1. Pretty sure we got in and out without any Dawnguard casualties? I didn’t see anybody lying around dead from Team Dawnguard after the battle was over
  2. Determined that you can, in fact, make Harkon shut up and stop pontificating at Serana about what a shitty daughter she is, if you just shoot him with Auriel’s Bow 😉

And, most notably, this time through I didn’t yet go down the dialogue path of convincing Serana to give up her vampirism. Partly just to try a variation of play, and partly because Serana does have dialogue to the player about not seeing her vampirism as a thing that has to be “cured”. So I feel like Ysani would want to respect her wishes!

Don’t really have any further plans to pop back into the Soul Cairn this run–though as I write this, it occurs to me that the Cairn is a good place to get a bunch of soul gems filled up? So I’d thought that perhaps bothering to have Valerica make me soul husk extract potions wasn’t exactly useful. But now I’m going to hold that thought.

And closing out with getting in more smithing training was satisfying. I want to be sure and get back to being able to work ebony before I go over to Solstheim!

Language commentary

No language commentary this time, just because I didn’t go anywhere I hadn’t hit before as Ysani, and didn’t find any new characters.

Next time

I’ve already played the session after this one (see next post), so that one will feature returning to Blackreach for the rest of the crimson nirnroot and taking it to Avrusa Sarethi. And also, dragon fighting!


No screenshots this time.

Editing to add

  • 11/21/2023: Added play date and session number markers.

As Angela Highland, Angela is the writer of the Rebels of Adalonia epic fantasy series with Carina Press. As Angela Korra'ti, she writes the Free Court of Seattle urban fantasy series. She's also an amateur musician and devoted fan of Newfoundland and Quebecois traditional music.