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Caldr Frostveins (WIP)
Alleigiance- Ulfric's Stormcloaks (pre 4E 204)
Alignment- Lawful Neutral
Black beard and head, which he keeps short yet prominent. Curious blue eyes that squint a lot. Dirty face, yet one that looks youthful for his age. One long scar that runs across the right side of his face. Small and lightly muscled from the torso up, but has strong, prominent running legs that give him an ideal stamina and speed. Thick blue war paint that snakes around his arms.
Weapons- Worn leather hunting bow, and a quiver full of Steel arrows, plus a few Silver- tipped arrows. A stolen silver sword, that he only uses if engaging at close range.
Apparel- A full set of reinforced, hooded leather armour
Personality- The bread-and-butter 'strong and silent' type, Caldr rarely initiates conversations with strangers, and when spoken to remains calm and composed, regardless of the tone. Commonly mistaken as a money-lusting mercenary, the mans main motivation is to fight for causes he deems worthy, with finances being a secondary priority. Likes to dabble in Alchemy in his spare time, but never buys his ingredients. Determined sometimes to the point of being headstrong, and impatient during serious situations. Difficult to anger, but when he does snap it is spontaneous and unexpected.
Likes- Peace, Adventure, Archery, Alchemy
Dislikes- All manner of foul creatures, immoral lifestyles, Disease
Backstory- Born in Falkreath, Caldr belonged to a peasant family who lived in the woods. In order to survive, they had to grow and hunt their own food, but the family persevered and prospered. His father, though not much of one, was quite the huntsman, and he and his brother Valdr learned how to use a bow just by watching him. Their mother had a similar talent, but preferred to work on the farm. Caldr got a job in Helgen working at the Apothecary's, and the owner gave him tutoring lessons on how to make potions, and later on poisons.
Overall he had an honest upbringing, and at the age of 18 when he traveled to Whiterun, Caldr was disgusted by the immoral and unfulfilling lifestyles led by the city folk. He went to prison more than once for stealing things for the poor, but eventually found that he could help the Impoverished by becoming a priest. Joining the Temple of Kynareth allowed him to help the poor and stay in touch with his nature-loving personality. The experience helped to progress his knowledge of Alchemy even further, and his healing skills spared him from the front lines during the Great War.
Assigned as a missionary to go to Morthal after the war, Caldr was finally given the chance to travel again, even if it was to a depressing place. He traveled with a group of soldiers to Hjaalmarch, and although he opposed their love of fighting, he allowed himself to be tutored in the art of swordsmanship. Caldr was there during the Morthal Incident, and while he refrained from joining the milatia groups during the Battle for Morthal, he served as a healer after the fighting was over. Seeing the horrible (and sometimes fatal) wounds inflicted on people he had gotten to know, the Nord was enraged by the sadistic vampires who were responsible, and joined the Silver Hand, seeking to cleanse his homeland of abominations.
Throughout his time in the monster-hunting guild, Caldr enjoyed the justice he doled out on their foes, and rarely thought back to his days as a priest. But then he was assigned to guard the torture rooms of the guild, and he realised that in his fury, he had become blind to the suffering of their targets, who were little more than cursed people. Leaving the guild in shame, he decided to become an independent monster hunter; killing those who threatened civilisation but acting on his moral compass.
16th of First Seed- The Morthal Incident. Following investigations into a murder in the Hjaalmarch capital, a vampire plot to infiltrate society is foiled by a cunning knight-commander of the Knights of the Blazing Sword. Evidence points towards a nearby coven located in Movarth's Lair.
18th- Initial assessments of the lair indicate a large vampire presence; almost 200 in number. Knights inquire for the aid of the city guard in helping to eradicate the group.
21st- The Battle of Movarth's Lair, often referred as the Battle for Hjaalmarch, begins. A combination of Knights, hold guards, mercenaries and militia attack the coven. Spies enable the vampires to prepare, and most of the battle takes place in the Drajkmyr swamplands.
23rd- The mortal forces prevail in the battle, with Movarth Piquine dying at the hand of knight-commander Septimus Celaive. The surviving vampires, including one of Movarth's prized lieutenants, break off to form numerous splinter groups throughout the province.
24th- A three-day celebration begins in Morthal in light of the vampires defeat. After being assigned property in the hold, Jarl Idgrod Ravencrone proclaims Septimus as a Thane of Hjaalmarch.
27th- The Knights depart from Skyrim, believing the vampire presence to be extinguished. For several months the threat of vampires remains a hot topic throughout the province.
3rd of Rains Hand- Notable influx in enlistment for the Silver Hand begins.
6th- Numerous disappearances reported throughout southern Eastmarch. Ulfric Stormcloak promises his holds people that an investigation will be made.
8th- Guard patrols in South Eastmarch fail to uncover the source of the disappearances, and return to Windhelm empty-handed.
10th- The Phantomsnare Coven is officially formed after a hostile takeover of the ruined fort Gallows Rock.
19th- Silver Hand forces, led by the Infamous Krev the Skinner, attack Gallows Rock. Instead of finding vampires, they find the fort to be uninhabited. Rather than investigating the anomaly, the Silver Hand's occupy the fort immediately, strengthening their influence in Eastern Skyrim.
22th- Abductions resume in the region. The mining town of Darkwater Crossing is one of several victimized settlements.
14th of Midyear- A study from an Imperial scholar is published, which educates the provinces in the recent actions of the Forsworn. The article hypothesises additional aggression in their behaviour due to inevitable conflict with the Nord landowners, and recounts the reports of child abductions from numerous settlements throughout the Reach. Ulfric publicly expresses his outrage at this news.
17th- A band of 'Stormcloaks' are detained in Whiterun after publicly announcing their plans to invade Reachmen territory.
18th- High King Istlod sends an open letter to Ulfric, informing him that this agressive and unprecedented act almost resulted in a Civil War within the Reach, and demands that he recall his men from Whiterun.
Nord settlement of Birchstead attacked by Forsworn. No reported survivors.
22nd- Ulfric begrudgingly recalls his troops from Whiterun, but challenges the judgement of the High King after hearing news of Birchstead. Speakers for the Silver-Blood family announce their plans to keep the remaining settlements safe from the Forsworn.
23rd- Notable increase in the Silver-Blood families wealth as several mining towns sell the deeds to their silver mines.
Thalmor agents spotted patrolling the ruins of Birchstead. They leave after a few weeks.
7th of Sun's Height- After several decades of seeking favour with Malacath, the Orc's of Largashbur finally hear from their patron deity, and are instructed to reclaim his shrine from the giants.
9th- Phantomsnare vampires begin to raid caravans on the road. Silver Hand at Gallows Rock are cut off from their supply of silver.
A large contingent of armed Orc's are seen heading east of Riften. Guards are kept on high alert.
11th- The Orc's prevail over the giants, but with many casualties. Ragarz personally dispatches the giant leader, and is later rewarded with the legendary hammer Volendrung.
14th- The Silver Hand finally decide crack down on the Grimclaw bpack, a notorious werewolf group known to be operating in the Rift.
Ragarz's forces return to Largashbur. Malacath agrees to give the clan a second chance, but warns them of an enemy they must face in the near future. His warnings go unheeded, with the Orc's focusing on returning their stronghold to its former glory.
15th- Mogrith the Crooked, a member of the College of Winterhold, descends into the College Midden, against the recommendations of his peers.
16th- Silver Hand members attack Autumnshade Clearing, the centre of Grimclaw territory. Numerous lycanthropes are taken prisoner, but the monster hunters are forced to retreat.
20th- Riften provides a bounty to the Silver Hand, thinking the pack to be abolished.
Mogrith returns from the Midden, and quietly resigns from the College, before heading south.
22nd of Last Seed- An unknown, Orcish assailant attacks Gallows Rock, and kills most of the Silver Hand garrison before fleeing. All surviving lycanthropes escape without obstruction.
24th- The Grimclaw pack declare war on the Silver Hand, enraged by the treatment of their kind.
The Phantomsnare coven discontinue their caravan raids.
6th of Hearthfire- The werewolves attack Gallows Rock, hoping to finish off the garrison. A vampire assassin is dispatched to assassinate Krev the Skinner in anticipation of the attack. Both efforts succeed, and the fort returns to its state of abandonment.
19th- In light of their defeat, the Silver Hand's recruitment rate drops to a snail's pace. Becoming desperate to retain their former glory, members begin abducting villagers and townsfolk suspected to be lycanthropes, and they develop a reputation for being overzealous thugs.
24th- Caldr, an agent of Ulfric, is sent into the field to put an end to the abductions. He is instructed to find the hideout of the Phantomsnare Coven.
Reg Eagle Redoubt attacked by unknown adversary. Surviving Reachmen forced to retreat to other camps.
27th- Ulfric denies all involvement with the incident, but declares his support for the mysterious killer.
30th- Mogrith the Crooked arrives at Darkwater Crossing. He departs the next morning, leaving no trace of his presence.
2nd of Frostfall- Eastmarch abductions traced back to Mara's Eye Pond. Though wounded by vampire assassin Omus, Caldr is able to return the information to Windhelm.
3rd- Large force sent by Ulfric to destroy the Phantomsnare Coven.
5th- A Thalmor Justicar arrives in the Rift, on official business. The nature of his 'business' is kept secret.
8th- The Phantomsnare Coven is forced to retreat southward by the approaching Nord's.
10th- Thalmor Justicar is killed under mysterious circumstances. Body not recovered.
11th- Mogrith makes first contact with the Phantomsnare's.
18th- A legion of Thalmor enter Skyrim, to enforce the laws of the White-Gold Concordat.
27th- The Grimclaw pack is divided into two feuding factions following claims of cannibalism. This divide ends the war between them and the Silver Hand, and what remains of the original pack is severly weakened.
14th of Sun's Dusk- The Thalmor Embassy in northwest Haafingar begins construction.
19th of Sun's Dusk- The Battle of Largashbur. Phantomsnare Coven vampires attack the orcish stronghold, led by Mogrith the Crooked. The battle has no clear winner, with the vampires slain and the Orc's having contracted the disease. Chief Ragarz is slain in the battle by Mogrith, who retreats following his forces' defeat.
20th- Phantomsnare forces, led by Mistwalker Regnus Beleath, begin an assault on the Dwarven city of Avanchnzel, hoping to claim the city from its Animaculi residents.
21st- Vampires capture Avanchnzel, and discover the Dwemer Lexicon. Regnus gives the order for Mogrith to be eliminated on sight.
Mogrith recovers from the battle, and makes plans to head for Avanchnzel.
22nd- The Silver Hand arrive at Mara's Eye Pond, the former headquarters of the Phantomsnare coven. No vampires are found, and the attack force set up camp.
The surviving Orc's of Largashbur emerge from their stronghold as vampires. They gather up arms, and immediately head west towards Avanchnzel.
23rd- Mogrith arrives at Avanchnzel, and is lured into the ruins before being attacked. His kin arrive in time to save the Battlemage, killing the initial defenses and establishing a camp on the upper levels.
24th- The Phantomsnare Coven attempt to make a peace offering to the L-Orc's. After much debate among the clan, they proceed into the cities deeper reaches anyway. Phantomsnare vampires are forced out. Clan wise-woman and temporary chief Bolmar die during the battle. Regnus Beleath barely manages to escape.
26th- The Autumnshade Coven is formed. Conversion of Avanchnzel into a formidable Stronghold begins.
29th- A conflict emerges as a Thalmor taskforce arrives in Ivarstead. Jarl Laila Law-Giver instructs civilians to remain docile and co-operative with the elven forces.
20th of Evening Star- Chil'a; the summoning day of Molag Bal.
21st- The Silver Hand at Mara's Eye Pond vanish. Regnus Beleath re-occupies the hideout, and sends out messengers to warn other Coven's of the Autumnshade's.
30th- Ulfric Stormcloak visits Riften to discuss the Empire. His arrival is met with celebrations. The nature of the discussion was supected to be rife with political and patriotic debate.
13rd of Morning Star- Hreffna the Sword-Matron narrowly avoids capture by a Thalmor patrol near Riften.
16th- The gathering of the Pale-folk. Every vampire coven in Skyrim, bar the Volkihars and Autumnshades, meet at Broken Fang Cave in the Whiterun plains, to discuss the formation of the Autumnshade Coven. Regnus campaigns for them to be eliminated using infiltration. Others believe lethal force to be necessary.
18th- Hreffna's scavenger party captured by Autumnshade vampires. She is turned, and is brought back to Avanchnzel.
19th- The gathering ends, with Regnus receiving promises of support in combatting the new coven. Somebody tips off the Vigilant of Stendarr about the meeting, and they attack several coven ambassadors on the road during their return trip.
22nd- Mogrith deploys Hreffna to Mara's Eye Pond, believing it to be under Silver Hand control. To conceal her identity, her alias is changed to 'Night-Claimed'.
Thalmor complete the construction of their Embassy in Skyrim.
24th- Grimclaw pack leader Tyrann is almost assassinated by a member of the Dark Brotherhood.
25th- Avanchnzel Stronghold is completed. Mogrith names it Alum Sharr.
Important members of the coven (and potential Roleplay characters).
Race- Orcish Vampire
Age when converted- 67
Birth date- 13th of Sun's Dusk, 4E 116
Allegiance- Autumnshade Coven
Alignment- Lawful Evil
(Image is accurate, aside from skin colour)
Pale green skin, yet darker than most other vampires of his kind. White hair that ties up at the back. Stained white war paint that covers most of his cheeks, forehead and chin. Deep red eyes that can terrify the weak-minded, and are uncomforting to look at. Polished grey tusks, with his fangs concealed behind them. Hunched up shoulders, and muscular biceps.
Apparel- Dwarven-shape armour made of Orcansteel*
Weaponry- Two Orcish swords and a backup Orcish dagger, all of which are unenchanted. Can also transfix weaker-minded opponents with his malevolent glare.
Personality- Not a heavy talker, being forced to keep many secrets. Friendly towards most strangers (especially soldiers, of which he once was), but remains loyal to his coven over anything or anyone else. Very reserved, not thinking of his feelings too much for fear of feeling unmanly. Enjoys a fight, but only for a good cause. Prefers to fully kill his meals, and completely drains their blood for later consumption.
Likes- Fighting, Smithing and good meal.
Dislikes- Thalmor, Silver and lack of purpose in life
Backstory- Khadrash was born into the Dushnikh Yal stronghold in The Reach, and trained as an apprentice under the clan’s forgewife for many years. He became an expert in the art of the forge, but he never desired to challenge the Chief, not wanting to be tied down by responsibilities. Not long after completing his training, Khadrash grew weary of the Stronghold life, and within the year he had ran off with several of his kin to enlist in the Imperial Legion.
The Orc became renowned as a prized smith during his military years, but when the Great War with the Aldmeri Dominion began in 4E 171 he was sent into battle. Participating in the Battle of the Red Ring at the end of the war, Khadrash killed his share of Thalmor, but received a sword wound from a Altmer warrior. He survived, and the wound only left him hungry for more violence. Deciding to join Hammerfell in its fight against the Dominion, for the next four years he continued to shed elven blood across the Alik’r desert, until the Second Treaty of Stros M’kai was signed.
Now past his prime and with no more wars to fight, Khadrash departed from the Legion and began to wander, seeking a ‘good Orc death’. By 4E 182 he had settled in Ivarstead, living what would have been his last years as a woodcutter for the village lumber mill. But one night, he was abducted.
His kidnappers revealed themselves to be vampires of the Autumnshade Coven, who made it clear that they would either convert him, or kill him and make him one of their thralls. Not wanting to come to such a meaningless end, Khadrash agreed to become a vampire.
Gradually coming to grips with his newfound immortality, Khadrash remained loyal to the coven, seeing no alternative and feeling glad of his renewed strength. Over the years the Orc climbed the covens ranks using his impressive combat abilities, and for a long time served as a ‘recruiter’ under a pack operating in Eastmarch. At one point he discovered the pack chieftain’s involvement in a plot to overthrow the coven leader, Mogrith. Taking the matter into his own hands, Khadrash challenged the chief, and after a long and tiresome battle his adversary fell to the floor, dead.
Rewarded for his obedience, Mogrith promoted him to the rank of Chieftain, but his pack resented him for killing his predecessor. So instead, Khadrash was assigned to become an infiltrator of society, posing as a mercenary in Riften to obtain information that would benefit the coven.
Race- Orcish Vampire
Age when converted- 22
Birth date- 16th of Hearthfire, 4E 177
Allegiance- Autumnshade Coven
Alignment- Orderly Evil
Youthful in appearance, but her undeath shows. Pale lips and skin, and grey tribal paint around the eyes. Mostly shaved head, with the centre pushed back, leaving an exposed forehead. Red eyes that are unsettling, but can be concealed by consistent feeding. Small fangs and tusks, which are easier to conceal. Small and pointy ears. Slender and barely feminine build. Prefers to work alone, and dislikes asking others for help.
Apparel- Leather armour worn under a cloak and hood.
Weaponry- One Orcish dagger, and several smaller throwing knives made of the same material. Capable of using apprentice-level frost magic, and can also drain the life from her foes as a vampire.
Personality- Cold and manipulative, prefers to keep to the shadows. Works for money alone, even for the coven. Talks using an array of strong language, but is also careful as to what she says in front of strangers. Has no revulsion to gory imagery, and can be violent in battle. Knocks meals unconscious before feeding on them, and threatens them to make them stay quiet afterwards.
Likes- Money, Killing, Revenge
Dislikes- Imperials, Forsworn, the downsides of being a vampire
Backstory- Kidnapped as a child from her Stronghold, Yataele was raised a Forsworn in the Reach, not long after the Markarth Incident, when the faction was young. She has no memory of living among her kin. Even at a young age she was a strong fighter, but found it more efficient and less problematic to kill her foes through stealth rather than honest combat. She also trained under a witch who resided at her redoubt. From her she learnt frost spells which could be used to weaken her foes for a final blow, but her Orc blood left her with limited magicka reserves.
One night however, their camp was attacked by an Imperial force. With her people massacred by the legionnaires, the adolescent Orc killed many of them in vengeance, but was ultimately forced to retreat into the wilderness. Cold and lost, Yataele eventually stumbled upon Karthspire camp. She looked to them for sanctuary, but was turned away, suspected to be an Imperial spy. From then on, she declared her hatred of all the political factions of The Reach, including the ones who had raised her. Later that day, she sneaked into the camp, stealing supplies and poisoning the water supply.
Now an enemy of the Reachfolk, the Orc fled east, into Whiterun. Using her talents to become a blade for hire, Yataele lived a shameless life for years, until she received an assignment to wipe out a lair of vampires in Eastmarch. The bounty took her to Mzulft, and she expected the vampires to be almost dead from the dangers within the city. As a result, they ambushed her, and she was captured, albeit after killing several fledglings and thralls.
As was the Autumnshade Covens system, they respected her abilities, and offered her a chance to become a vampire. At first, she refused, even after receiving several death threats. They bit her anyway, but for several days she was locked up in a storage room, with magical enchantments trapping her, but slowly she began to starve. Eventually, the pack Gatherer arrived. He attempted to convince her to join the coven, but she refused. But not wanting to waste such talent, he left her there with a bottle of blood sat just out of her reach. Gradually her stubbornness waned, and her will was broken. She asked to see the Gatherer again.
Agreeing to become a member of the coven, the other Orc converted her. She planned to attack them once released, but she had become indoctrinated to some degree, and instead of attacking felt an obligation to join the coven. Yataele remained convinced that with her newfound powers and allies she could get revenge on those who had wronged her.
Relatively new to the coven and with no interest in furthering the organisations goals, the assassin initially was kept in line by blood payment for her kills. Gradually she learned to feed on her own, and now expects payments of gold instead. Her ruthlessness but ability to get the job done has merited her as one of the covens most useful assets, thus securing her livelihood as a vampire.
Hreffna the Night-ClaimedRace- Nord
Age when converted- 38
Birth date- 26th of Last Seed, 4E 144
Alleigiance- Autumnshade Coven
Alignment- Lawful Neutral, but with less aversion to killing
Short and untidy black hair, and a relatively plain, pale face. Middle-aged in appearance. No visible scars, but makes little effort to appear attractive. Keeps her natural blue eyes, as opposed to the red tint the Orcish clan members develop. Very human features, with nothing to suggest elven blood. Average weight but strong physical build, including hunched up shoulders.
Weapons- Blades Katana, and a bow with a quiver of arrows, both of Orcish make.
Apparel- Orcansteel* plated armour.
Class- Heavy Warrior
Personality- Sociable around strangers, but makes an effort to avoid forming attachments. Hreffna is empathetic to those who suffer, despite appearing as somewhat insensitive on the surface. Always abides by local laws, unless given strict instruction to do otherwise. Values a stable society over all else, which has led to her being in support of the Autumnshade Coven's goals. This can sometimes have the unfortunate side-effect of clouding her sense of judgement. Rarely desires vengenace against those who have wronged her, but has been known to hold grudges. Ignores her vampiric urges for the most part, prefering animal blood to that of men or elves. Always keeps her word.
Likes- Stability, Friendship, Justice
Dislikes- Thalmor, Forsworn, Daedra
Backstory- Hreffna was born into a small settlement in the Reach, which at the time was a relatively peaceful hold. Her mother was an Imperial legionnaire that was briefly posted at the settlement, but she was reassigned to Cyrodiil after dispute began between the Empire and Aldmeri Dominion, and throughout most of her childhood she was raised by her father alone. He made sure to raise her in the knowldege that her mother had done the right thing, and she was inspired by the endurance and prosperity of the Empire.
A restless child, as a girl Hreffna had a very tomboy-ish behaviour, likely in absense of a female role model. Her father tried to teach her in combat, and though she became a compotent swordswoman from his training, he had spent most of his life as a farmer, and she soon surpassed him in skill. Not wanting her talent to go to waste, when she became an adult he suggested that she could join a warrior guild rather than the Legion, secretly fearing for his daughters safety. Taking the advice, she traveled to Bruma in Cyrodiil, and joined the Fighters Guild.
Making a name for herself even amongst the seasoned warriors, Hreffna was invited to become a member of the Blades. Imagining it to be what her mother would want, the Nord woman happily accepted the offer.
In 4E 170 the Great War broke out, and like many of the surviving Blades she fought the Dominion to avenge her fallen comrades in Valenwood and Summerset.
When the White-Gold Concordat led to the organisations collapse, Hreffna was forced into hiding, returning to Skyrim and forming a group of scavengers. The Thalmor constantly kept her on the move, and several years had passed before she dared to venture back to her hometown. Upon her arrival, she found that the settlement had been raided and destroyed by the recently-formed Forsworn.
Loosing faith in society, the woman led her group as far away from the town as possible. Sensing their leaders suffering but feeling helpless to comfort her, they made the decision to avoid civilisation completely. By 4E 182 they were living in the Rift, struggling to survive in what was becoming an increasingly unstable province. Eventually making the mistake of pillaging the ruins of Largashbur, all of the group were finally cornered by a party from the Autumnshade Coven. Proving more than a match for the fledglings, Hreffna slayed several vampires, but was unwillingly infected with Sanguinare Vampiris from a wound she aquired, which severly weakened her. This affliction eventually forced her to surrender, and the woman allowed herself to be taken away at the price of her friends being spared.
Taking the Nord woman back to their headquarters, the coven's leader Mogrith saw use for her skills, and promised her protection from the Thalmor in return for serving the coven. She gave the battlemage her word, and while initially serving the coven for this reason alone she grew to respect the organisations goal of bringing peace to the region. Taking on a new identity, Hreffna abandoned her past life as a Blade and began to dedicate herself entirely to the coven.
Orcansteel- A form of metal alloy; combines Orichalcum with dwarven metal to produce a highly durable and yet mouldable material, which is then used for making armour. The art of merging the two materials is unique to the smiths of the Autumnshade Coven, and is likely derived from the Dwarven Lexicon. Varying armour designs exist;
The generic orcansteel armour, fashioned to resemble
a darker variant of traditional Dwarven mail. Worn
by Autumnshade Gatherers.
Unique plated orcansteel armour. Given to higher ranking coven
members (Primarily Chieftains), but may be given to others under
More on the way!
Attached Files:Madrar likes this.
Name- The Autumnshade Coven
Founded in- 4E 181
Leader(s)- Mogrith the Crooked
Government- Vampiric hegemony
Headquarters- Alum Sharr
Membership- Almost exclusively Orsimer, although there are several members of other races that are hand-picked for the cause. Rather than being approached and recruited, candidates are captured and held hostage within the nearest base, and are then given the choice of becoming either vampires or thralls. Varying amounts of magic-based indoctrination are used to keep them loyal. Specific assets (Orcish or otherwise) may be approached or kidnapped, depending on their disposition towards the coven. Numbers estimated to be around 60 at headquarters [thralls and Animaculi are not included in this count], with at least an additional 150 members spread out across Tamriel, primarily within the coven’s sphere of influence.
Description- A [relatively young] Vampiric coven established from the newly converted Orc’s of Largashbur. The majority of the bloodline was converted by members of the [now inactive] Phantomsnare coven, who in turn were a splinter faction of a larger coven, who are thought to be the remnants of an extinct Cyrodillian tribe. Led by the powerful and mysterious Battlemage known as Mogrith, the coven combines the brutality of the Orsimer with the dark powers of the Vampire.
Centred in the southern regions of The Rift, this clan upholds few of the values typically associated with their race, with their leader promoting knowledge of the arcane arts over optimal physical strength. The members have abandoned the Code of Malacath, and they no longer view the daedra as their patron deity. This is likely due to the will of their [Autocratic] leader; as vampires, age and maturity are now considered to be positive traits of a chieftain, coincidentally traits possessed by the battlemage. Their leader has faced numerous challengers over the coven’s brief existence, but none have succeeded, resulting in the clan’s method of government remaining the same over the decades. Outposts may have their own Chieftians, but all are subservient to the founder of the coven.
Another unique trait of the coven is their use of dwarven technology. Having quickly experienced the difficulties of being undead, the clan has chosen to base all of its outposts (and of course headquarters) underground. The ancient cities of the dwemer were already habitable, and so it was merely a case of conquering and controlling these ruins. Each victory gives the coven more territory, as well as rich supplies of Dwarven metal to utilise or sell. However competition from other groups, be they vampires or others, has limited their expansion.
Now controlling several dwarven ruins across Skyrim and Morrowind, the Autumnshade Coven has been able to reverse engineer some of the advanced technologies found within, and accumulates a small fortune for the organisation. Their advancement has been made in no small part by the discovery of the Lexicon found in Avanchnzel, which has offered great insight into the creations of the lost race. Some of these accomplishments can be seen being used on the field, such as the blood-extracting Harvesters, which can be used to quietly collect food for coven field operatives.
Vampires- Immortal creatures of the night, who fear the sun and multiply by converting the living.
Fledglings (referred to as; Scamps, Maggots, Peons) -lowest caste of vampires, but also the most abundant. Composed of scouts, warriors and some berserkers. No evident magical talent, but can be adept in infiltration. Not viewed as expendable or fodder, but are held in low regard. Most initiates begin at this rank.
Gatherers (referred to as; Duskraiders, Predators, Ascenders) -Serve as the covens ‘recruiters’. Ambush travellers, and wear heavy armour for intimidation and concealment purposes. Utilise Illusion magic on an elementary level, and know basic brainwashing techniques. Limited combat abilities, often accompanied by Fledglings. Initiates may reach this rank should they develop any magical ability.
An Autumnshade Gatherer, looking around for new talent to 'recruit'.
Chieftains (referred to as; Deacons, Soul-Sages, Enforcers) -Lieutenants of the Battlemage, these powerful vampires are the only rank that are distinguished purely by strength and not combat style. May use magic, muscle or both in combat, but are extremely distinguished fighters nonetheless. Usually leading packs* on conquests throughout Tamriel, vampires of this rank are the most frequent challengers for control of the coven, possibly due to spending long periods of time out of Mogrith’s control. Initiates can challenge their respective chieftain in order to attain this rank, or may be chosen by their peers should their existing leader be killed.
*A group of around a dozen vampires [thralls not included in this count], deployed to capture territory or obtain more Initiates.
Thralls- Indoctrinated minions converted by dark vampire magic to serve as slaves for the coven.
Bondservants (referred to as; The Unwilling, Walkers, Gravers) -Common thrall, converted by Fledglings as part of their initiations, or when captured candidates refuse to become vampires. Used as labourers, combat fodder and cattle. Each additional rank that an initiate receives allows them to possess two additional Bondservants.
Spectres (referred to as; The Obedient, Striders, Zealots) - Completely concealed by thick golden armour, these thralls exceed Bondservants in numerous ways; in combat, rank, and intelligence. Always utilise two-handed weaponry, and rarely appear on the field, instead acting as bodyguards for Chieftains and the Battlemage.
A Spectre thrall. 6 of these elite undead are assigned to be Mogrith's personal guard.
Animaculi- Repurposed dwemer automatons, which run on steam and can be controlled from short distances.
Harvesters- Similar to dwarven spiders, except these machines are magically muffled so that they can move around silently and avoid detection. Possess a syringe-like device which can be used to inject poison into or extract blood from those it latches onto. Rarely used for combat, these machines are not yet mass produced by the coven, and so each pack normally receives only 2.
A Dwarven Harvester, silently scouring the Riften dockyards for a target to harvest.
Headquarters- Alum Sharr, formerly Avanchnzel
Prior to the attack on Largashbur, Mogrith dedicated almost half of his force (the Phantomsnare coven) towards capturing the Dwarven city, realising that he needed a place to retreat to should his plan fail. This group was to be led by a powerful Mistwalker vampire named Regnus Beleath, who was sceptical of the Battlemage’s motives, and wished to regain control of her coven. As he laid siege to the stronghold, 40 vampires entered Avanchnzel, and began to fight their way into its heart, removing any hostile Animaculi that they encountered. By the time they arrived at the boiler room, the machines had nearly halved their numbers. But eventually they claimed the ruins from the last of its occupants. In the final chamber, the party found a Lexicon, which would prove to be a priceless artifact.
Having established their new base, Regnus took note of the Lexicon, and realising its full potential ordered the guards to attack Mogrith on sight, not wanting him to steal the artifact for his own use. Upon his return (alone at this point), the Orc was unsure whether the detachment had even survived. Caught by surprise at the Mistwalker's betrayal, the surviving Phantoms almost defeated him. But just as he collapsed, his surviving and newly converted brethren came to his defence, and began to forge a bloody path through the city. Within a few hours Avanchnzel had once again been captured, and Regnus barely escaped with her life, using the elevator as a means of escape.
With the fighting over, the Orc’s turned on Mogrith, realising that he could not cure them. They attempted to dispose of him, but he warded them off with his Illusion magic, threatening that he could make them turn on one another, ending the clan once and for all. Eventually they came to an agreement (secretly fuelled by a fear spell), and the Coven was formed. Having lost a lot to capture it, Mogrith decided to use Avanchnzel as his lair, and renamed it Alum Sharr, which in the Orcish language means ‘broken keep’.
Alum Sharr has been restored- though not exactly to its former glory. The balcony level has been refitted to provide defensive cover, and the entrance now has a gate. Mogrith resides in the tower that connects to the balcony, and the underlings are scattered throughout the upper level and Animoncultory. The latter also stores the Harvesters and research rooms. An elevator on the top floor connects to the Boiler room, where the Lexicon is kept and studied.
The Stronghold features numerous defences; the majority of which are the Dwemer’s own traps. Using Regnus’ gathered notes on the Lexicon, the coven has developed a control panel of sorts in the Animoncultory, which can activate most of the traps at will. The coven has also made some new additions. On the upper balcony a ballistae has been installed. Also introduced into the Boiler room is a gas trap, which can suffocate any living beings and produce a highly flammable environment. Soul gem pedestals around the room provide a near-impenetrable magical barrier around the Lexicon.
Largely focusing on dwemer ruins and commonly used roads, The Autumnshade coven is constantly trying to expand into new areas. Though never engaging the regional government, they frequently have to contend with mercenaries, bandits, and other vampire covens with similar aims. One pack is deployed to each region, though many individual vampires may be dispatched for infiltration or artifact extractions.
Head of sector- Mogrith the Crooked
Head of Sector- Aktog the Savage
Head of Sector- Gathime the Wraith-clawed
Head of Sector- Alfgnad the Stone-Skinned
Head of Sector- Ramroth the Bloodthirsty
The Autumnshade Coven- Rise of the Pale-orcs, Part II (Part I here)
The study of a notorious Vampire clan, by Imperial scholar Acilla Sibaeria.
Make sure to have read Part I of this short story before reading this.
I should reiterate; we were not attacked, just my companion. Something small and golden had jumped out from behind a rock, and now sprang towards the warrior. His response was quick, and in the blink of an eye the Orc had brought out a war axe, which was then smashed into the animal. Whatever it was, the attack had knocked it out cold, perhaps even killed it. After checking to see if it was safe to approach, I went in for a closer look.
It wasn’t an animal at all. In fact, it actually appeared to be made of metal. A sphere supported by six legs, and two arm-like appendages at the front, though they were now badly damaged. A series of strange patterns were drawn across its central sphere, and a small gap near the top revealed a core of sorts, that contained a soul gem, a boiling device, and at the bottom a… needle?
A Dwarven spider, from a dwemer ruins no doubt. I had read up on just about every threat Skyrim had to offer in preparation for my journey. But why would it be out here? And how could it have been so quiet? Even when active the Animaculi had given off only a quiet hiss of steam.
My companion was mostly interested in the needle-like apparatus at the bottom. I say needle only because it was sharp. It seemed to have a hole at its centre that could be used to inject or extract liquid. Probably some device the ancient dwemer used to allow their machines to transport water. My companion suddenly stood up. “This machine is being controlled by someone. We need to move, no-“He was cut short by something. I turned to look at him. A dart, small and yet visible, had just been fired at the Orc, hitting him square in the forehead. Within moments he had collapsed. It had come from the spider’s direction.
I turned to look at him, frozen for a moment. Suddenly I pulled out my dagger and drove it into the Animaculi’s core, determined to kill it permanently. As my blade hit the core, a burst of electrical charge caused the machine to explode, throwing me backwards. The machine was in pieces now, but the discharge had left me paralyzed. But I was not yet unconscious. So I saw when they arrived. I saw the vampires.
There were two of them. Both of them were wearing heavy armour that was composed of gold and black metals. Their movement seemed slow and painful with the sun bearing down, which was what gave away their true nature. They examined the Dawnguard warrior, taking note of the dart. One of them nodded at the broken spider, and the other began to pack its remains into a large sack. Neither of them noticed me. Perhaps they thought I was dead, even though I could feel the numbness in my legs dissipating. But I saw something that stopped me running away. One of the vampires took their helmet off, and revealed themselves.
I was horrified; as if looking at a monster straight out of a nightmare. He- a term I use lightly, I would prefer to say it- had bright red eyes that glowed as bright as a flame, a twisted face that hid no beauty, and a pale green skin that looked decayed from years of undeath. I closed my eyes for a long time, desperatly trying to erase the image from my mind, to no avail. When I opened them again, it was night. The Vampire-Orcs were gone, and with them my companion.
Readers should take comfort in the fact that I survived the ordeal. Sprinting back to Riften, I told the guards of the attack and was quickly ushered to the city prison. They thought I had been bitten. They let me out a few days later, and promised to inform the Jarl of the attack. They'll keep it hushed up, for sure. But the public deserves to know, so I will write and publish this, so that Skyrim's people may know the truth.
Their transfixing glare, gaunt faces, and mechanical minions. Their motivations may not be known, and the evidence thin, but do not doubt me for a moment.
The Pale Orc's are real.
The Autumnshade Coven- Rise of the Pale-Orcs, Part I (Part II here)
The study of a notorious Vampire clan, by Imperial scholar Acilla Sibaeria.
During my time in The Rift I have heard many stories of this ancient hold; Anicent barrows teeming with undead, Dark caverns full of nightmarish goblin-creatures, Hidden glades where spirits gather and nature prevails. The people of this hold, and by extension province, have many a tall tale to impart. Perhaps there is a hint of truth in some of them, but I prefer the stories that are alive and evident in the land.
I'm talking about Vampires, normal people turned into suncursed creatures of the night. These infamous beings are certainly real; the Morthal attacks confirm this reality. The history of vampires overall is a long and mature one, but quite simply; almost everybody is at risk of becoming one.
But when I arrived in Ivarstead, and began to ask around for stories of these creatures, nobody made any attempt to volunteer information. It was not as though they had nothing to say, they just seemed... scared. Everyone I asked seemed to look around nervously, as if scared that they might be heard. They told me to leave the subject alone. My only lead was an Orc, who had been in the town for a few days. He told me that the village was not safe, and that I should accompany him back to his base if I wished to learn more. Initially sceptical, his next comment erased my doubts of this source; he was from the Dawnguard.
The next day the two of us departed for Fort Dawnguard, Skyrim's base of operations for the legendary vampire hunters. I had of course thought of visiting before; their knowldege of the nightwalkers would have been second to none. But in truth I had no idea where to look for them. Supposedly the fort was hidden so that there was less worry of attacks. This was a privilege, although my new companion (who had requested that his name should omitted from this work) made me promise to keep quiet.
We traveled to Riften first; my companion was insistant that we took this route, rather than the one to the south. My guess was that there was personal reasons for this; a decade or two ago there had been an attack on Largashbur, one of Skyrim's strongholds where the more orthodox of the Orsimer congregated. Nobody seemed to know how, but one night the entire settlement's population vanished. There had been signs of a struggle (if not an all-out siege), but no bodies were found, and the agressors were anonymous to this day. I decided not to approch my companion on this topic, but to think that he may be one of the only accountable survivors of the clan was amazing.
We stopped in the city overnight. My Orc friend scared off anyone who might have thought to rob me, but I kept a hand by my coin purse nonetheless. He spent the evenings giving a seminar at the guard barrakcs, but was awake before me the next morning. I was glad for the rest, and several of Riften's inhabitants were willing to talk to me about vampires. Seemingly they have much less to worry about than the people of Ivarstead, who have no walls or legitimate complement of guards. Unfortunatly I managed to get little exciting information at all; the Dawnguard's propaganda was almost as rampant here as the organized crime.
Several of them mentioned how there had been a few vampire splinter factions that had come to the hold a decade or so ago. They had fled from a small war among their kind that had been going on across the northern holds, but nobody knew whether any of them were active groups once more. To be honest, I had hoped for a bit more information, but then I reminded myself of where i was going. Two days later and we had set off again. I was promised that we were almost there, although it was hard not to enjoy the trip. The Rift can be quite a beaufiful place.
But then we were attacked.
My first vampire character, and his (and his covens) origin story.
Mogrith the CrookedRace: Orc (stronghold-born)
Orc tribe name: Mogrog
Alias': The Crooked One, Autumn's Shadow, Scourge of the Rift-folk
Afflictions: Vampirism (Sanguinare Vampiris strain)
Allegiance: Autumnshade coven
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Age when converted: 53
Appearance: Average height of 5,9. Heavy and overweight, but his Orcish blood and Vampirism give him strength uncanny for his build. Pale green skin, and glowing red eyes set deep into his face. Small fangs which are covered up by his sharp tusks, which are well polished for an Orc. Balding white hair and short beard. Long, crooked nose; the inspiration for his main title.
Apparel: Heavy Dwemer armour, but no helmet. Wears a robe beneath, and can pull up its hood when exposed to daylight.
Weaponry: Magic-oriented in combat. Uses fire and fear magic to shatter the confidence of his foes, and is adept in both areas. Light Necromantic skill, but only from being a vampire. Rarely uses Restoration magic, believing it is better to heal naturally without magic aid.
Combat role: Battlemage
Personality: Cold and calculating, Mogrith is always seeking to advance his own power and goals, and views most to be expendable on these conquests. Around strangers he is quiet, but can be stubborn and prideful when conversing. Possesses no racist views, instead judging people by their motivations and resolve. The few friends that he makes are only in the interests of advancing him and his coven. Has learnt patience and diplomacy from his years of leadership, and is now more sociable with his life having improved.
Biography: Born into the Orcish stronghold of Largashbur, Mogrith (born Mogrog) had a hard upbringing. His mother, and the Chief's most treasured wife, died giving birth to him, and his father and brothers resented him for it. Viewed by many to be a cursed child, the stronghold became victim to numerous giant attacks shortly after his birth, and he became the chief's scapegoat. His poor fitness (though relative strength) and interest in the arcane arts made him even more unpopular.
By adulthood he was banished when one of his brothers took control. Mogrog swore revenge against the stronghold, and went away to the College of Winterhold. He became a scholar at the college, but his dark and anti-social behaviour made him few friends. Becoming sadistic in his desire for revenge, the mage began delving into the magic arts focused on suffering, but his Orc blood meant that his magical capabilities were always limited.
Evantually his studies and experiments went past the legal boundries, and so he retreated into the Midden to hone his abilities against its putrid denizens. It was down here that he found a feral Vampire, but using his Illusion magic he was able to dominate its mind, forcing the rogue into submission. Locking up the vampire, Mogrog began to study the affliction in great detail.
A few weeks later, he emerged from the Midden, having willingly become a creature of the night. Afterwards his old name was forgotten, and he was reborn as Mogrith, the Crooked One.
Now resigning from the College, he headed south, though his travels were impeded by his newfound weakness to the sun. Evantually he stumbled upon a large and unruly coven of Vampires, who had recently split from another group, and were now facing a power vacuum. Taking command of them, he made empty promises to them of power and might in return for their alleigance, and then began to march on Largashbur. A few days before they attacked Mogrith sent a detachment of powerful Mistwalkers to capture the nearby Dwarven City of Avanchnzel, so that he could have a base of operations in the Rift, regardless of how the battle played out.
The vampires attacked at night, but even so it was a close battle, Most on either side were dead, and Mogrith personally killed the chief, who was in fact the grandson of his brother. Regardless, his revenge was complete, but he was now faced with immortal life without purpose. After a few days resting, he and those who remained joined him in establishing the Autumnshade coven, which became a major menace in the Rift for many years to come...