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This quest is given by Nazir of the Dark Brotherhood. Hern is a vampire to be assassinated. However, during dialogue, there is little indication that Hern or Hert are vampires (Astrid had stated that both are vampires), nor in terms of fighting; neither leaves vampire dust upon death. However, Hert and Hern's faces show some physical elements of vampirism, with Hern's red eyes and Hert's "cracked" face, (a line/scar going down her cheek from her eye).
When fighting, Hern uses a Steel battleaxe, and if disarmed with the Disarm shout, he will pull out a dagger, or use his fists. Hert behaves in a similar fashion, making it unlikely to contract Vampirism through combat.
- To kill Hern without making Hert hostile, enter their house in the evening, and wait until they both get up and head towards the door. Quickly engage Hern in conversation so he stops, then, after Hert leaves the house, make a sneak attack on Hern as he heads towards the door.
- If the lock to Hern and Hert's home is picked early in the morning, Hern may be inside the house without Hert. If he is quickly killed, Hert may not notice the Dragonborn.
- If the Dragonborn has the Master of the Mind perk that becomes available after reaching level 100 Illusion, Hert may be Frenzied into killing her own husband. The Dragonborn will also need to heal Hert as she attacks Hern, or she will be defeated. If the Frenzy spell is silently cast, no one will ever know what happened.
I know what you are, nightspawn. "Well then, you won't be leaving here alive!"
Assassin versus vampire. A fight for the ages. "Ah, so the Brotherhood has come for old Hern, has it? Well then, let us meet as equals."
(Remain silent) "Hmph. Don't say much, but there's a strange aura about you. You walk in the shadow of death... Leave here. Leave here and never return."
If the Dragonborn remains silent Hern will walk away, the other two options will make him hostile towards the Dragonborn.
I must travel to Half-Moon Mill and kill the vampire Hern. I may use any means at my disposal. When I am done, I am to report back to Nazir at the Sanctuary and collect my reward.
Hern is dead, and I have collected my reward from Nazir at the Sanctuary.
- Hern leaves the hut and can be found alone, often around 9PM. The Dragonborn can sneak up and assassinate him without having to fight Hert, even if the kill is done right outside their door.
- Occasionally, Hert will be near or in the mill around 5:30PM, while Hern is in the house. Hern may ask the Dragonborn to leave.
- Hert can also be found at the mill around 12:30pm. She can be taken out easily with a sneak attack. Then the key can be looted from her body, which allows the house to be entered and Hern killed.
- If a Bloodcursed Elven Arrow is used to block out the sun, Hert may say phrases such as "It is our time now" and "The tyranny of the sun is over", things that a vampire would say.
- If the Dragonborn is in good standing with Hert and her husband is killed in front of her, she will turn hostile. At that point, killing her with the Ebony Blade will upgrade it.
- Strangely, there's no unique dialogue option with Hern if the Dragonborn is a vampire, like those with Ma'randru-jo (as Khajiit) and Deekus (as Argonian).
- Another sign of vampirism among the two is resistance to Healing Hands which does not affect undead.
This section contains bugs related to Contract: Kill Hern. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
- If weapon(s) is(are) sheathed during the fight, both Hert and Hern will stop fighting and go about their business. Upon then using Ice Form on Hert to freeze her, Hern will sit back down at the table with his back turned toward the Dragonborn. A power attack on Hern, while crouched, may kill both Hern and Hert, even if Hert is across the room.
- Wabbajack. When she reverts, she's not hostile anymore. There is also a way to kill Hern in front of Hert without having to fight her in the end. If Hern is killed in the house, when Hert turns hostile, she can be transformed using
- Killing Hert and Hern will cause the misc objective buy lumber to be impossible to complete. This is because the objective marker will point to Half-Moon Mill.