The quest can be given by either a Hold Guard or an Orc named Durak after entering a hold capital at level 10 or after. It can also be given before level 10 by talking to Agmaer in Dayspring Canyon. They'll ask the Dragonborn about joining the Dawnguard, an order of vampire hunters based in Fort Dawnguard, near Riften.
The location of Fort Dawnguard can only be accessed via Dayspring Canyon, Northeast of Stendarr's Beacon. The initial path leads straight to a glacial waterfall overlooking a lake. Near the lake is Agmaer, a young Nord recruit. He asks if he can accompany the Dragonborn to the fort and remarks on his nervous disposition and his high hopes of joining the Dawnguard.
Upon reaching the fort, the Dragonborn encounters Durak outside practicing with his crossbow. When asked about the weapon he will give them a standard crossbow and some steel bolts to try out. Continuing into the fort, they will walk in on a heated discussion between Isran and Vigilant Tolan.
It is revealed that the Hall of the Vigilant was attacked by vampires and everyone, including Keeper Carcette, was killed. Isran is reluctant to help due to the friction between himself and the Vigilants. Tolan updates the Dragonborn on the vampires' mission: They are looking for something buried within Dimhollow Crypt. He informs them he will meet them there to further investigate, to the great reluctance of Isran at allowing a single Vigilant against a horde of the undead.
After the conversation has ended, the quest will be completed and the next quest, "Awakening", will begin.
| I've learned of a group of vampire hunters known as the Dawnguard. It seems they are looking for new recruits.
- Several of the Dawnguard members are non-essential. Those who endeavor to join the Volkihar Clan can use this to their advantage by quietly disposing of both Durak and Agmaer early on.
This section contains bugs related to Dawnguard (Quest). Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
- The vampires disguised as Vigilants in front of Dayspring Canyon might not appear.
- When entering Fort Dawnguard, the floor may not be fully loaded and there will be a small gap between you and Isran along with the water in a cylinder under what would be the floor. Re-entering the area should fix this.
- The quest "Awakening" may not start if you didn't speak directly with Durak when he was searching for vampire hunters.
Upon entering Dayspring Canyon, everyone is hostile.
- Fix: pay off your bounty in the Rift. If you don't have one, just simply get a bounty and pay it, but beware, this will make you lose any stolen items you are carrying. After that, head back, and everything will be normal.
- Regardless of level, guards will not mention anything about the Dawnguard, Durak will not appear in any of the Hold capitals, talking to Agmaer will yield no dialogue, and entering Fort Dawnguard will not trigger the quest's dialogue, and Isran cannot be found, making the quest impossible to start.