Vampires are one of the enemies featured in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and its plug-in, Dawnguard. They are individuals afflicted with the disease Sanguinare Vampiris. The disease causes drastic physical and biological changes that are permanent if not cured within three days. Among these changes include a heightened vulnerability to sunlight and fire and an increased resistance to frost. All benefits and inhibitions are sustained by the consumption of blood.
Vampires can be traced back to the Daedric Prince Molag Bal, the Lord of Domination, who created the first vampire sometime around the First Era. Lamae Beolfag was a Nedic virgin who was raped by Molag Bal. It is recorded that after the ordeal, Molag Bal shed a droplet of blood on her brow and left her to die. During the night she died, but as her funeral pyre was still burning she emerged as the first pure-blood vampire.
Molag Bal has since been known to confer Pure Vampirism to other individuals directly via a ritual that granted them great power over "lesser" vampires. One such case was Lord Harkon, who claims to have slaughtered a thousand innocents in order to gain this power, though this might be an exaggeration due to contradictory evidence.
Daughters of Coldharbour
Females seeking to gain the pure-blood vampirism are required to undergo a ritual with Molag Bal. Such confluences are called Daughters of Coldharbour. A tradition developed among Molag Bal worshiping cults which dictated that females be offered to him on his summoning day. Few survive the ordeal and those who do emerge as pure-blooded vampires. Being selected as an offering was considered to be an honor that is not rejected lightly.
Due to their predatory nature, vampires are widely viewed as evil and violent creatures. Citizens and Hold Guards consider vampires open threats and attack anyone who reveals themselves to be a vampire (or if it can obviously be seen). In some cases, vampires are actively hunted down and destroyed by certain people, namely the Vigilants of Stendarr and the Dawnguard.
The vampires who inhabit the wilds of Skyrim are largely considered to stem from the powerful Volkihar Clan that began with Harkon. These vampires are not considered to be of pure blood like Harkon and his family, as their vampirism was contracted from other lesser vampires. As such they are often looked down upon by members of Harkon's court.
They are said to live under haunted, frozen lakes and only leave their dens to feed, however more often than not they are encountered in remote caves and ruins. It's unknown if any Volkihar Vampires possess the ability to reach through the ice of frozen lakes as described in books, or if it's just folklore.
In addition, the Volkihar share many of the same traits as their Cyrodilic counterparts. A few are known to be more cultured and civilized than the vampires of other provinces and as such can seamlessly blend into society. Many also prefer to feed on victims while they are asleep and unaware. One difference, however, is they do not burn in direct sunlight, rather they are just weakened by it.
Vampires can be of any race but the majority of them are easily distinguishable from uninfected persons. As a result of the hemophiliac virus, Sanguinare Vampiris, the infected slowly grow a pallid complexion. Fangs protrude from their gums, allowing for easier feeding and eye color changes from the spectrum of average hues to red. Bosmer and Dunmer, which typically already possess red eyes, may pass unnoticed as vampires.
When infected, the fur of the Khajiit alters as the skin of a human or elf would. Long-toothed by nature, the incisors of the Khajiit grow exceptionally long, so that they protrude below the lip. However, their pupils become thinner and more blade-like. The scales of Argonians grows grayer as the infection worsens.
The most apparent is the eyes which have changed from red to a golden-orange hue. The cheeks are prominently narrowed and folds of skin that run from the nose to the corners of the mouth are also significantly deeper. The bridge of the nose features several ridges and is shortened, much like a bat. Prominent ridges also appear around the forehead and eyes, and a deep crimson line runs down from the bottom of the nose to the chin. The only exceptions to most of these drastic physical changes seem to be Serana, Valerica, Hert, Sybille Stentor and Lord Harkon.
Becoming a Vampire
Vampires come in two variants: regular and master. The specific type that is encountered is typically level-dependent, however lower leveled vampires can still be encountered at higher levels. The race and gender is radiant.
The combat style of both types doesn't vary much. Both are primarily spellcasters and one-handed melee fighters and wear either assorted pieces of armor or standard Mage Robes. They also have a unique version of Vampiric Drain spell that is much more powerful than the version available to the Dragonborn. At higher levels it can drain health, stamina and magicka. All vampires past level 6 also gain a bonus to Unarmed Damage.
Both types also exhibit the symptoms of stage two of Vampirism, namely:
The Elder Scrolls V: Dawnguard introduces two new sub-types of vampire. The Nightlord Vampire, the highest standard vampire type and the Nightmaster Vampire, the highest boss level variety, replacing the Volkihar Master Vampire.
Master Vampires are the highest possible level of vampires encountered and typically serve as the boss of a vampire lair.
The standard Master Vampires are level dependant and range from level 14–42, whereas the Volkihar Master Vampire is fixed at level 53 but can be encountered when the Dragonborn is level 39+. The Nightmaster Vampire can only be encountered at level 65 or higher.
- Bloodlet Throne
- Broken Fang Cave
- Cronvangr Cave
- Fellglow Keep
- Haemar's Shame
- Mara's Eye Pond
- Moldering Ruins DG
- Movarth's Lair
- Pinemoon Cave
- Potema's Catacombs
- Redwater Den DG
- Shriekwind Bastion
- Alva – Found in Morthal. She can be found sleeping in her cellar during the day and inside Movarth's Lair, and is involved in the quest "Laid to Rest."
- Babette – A three-hundred-year-old child vampire, skilled at Alchemy who is also a member of the Dark Brotherhood.
- Helgi – A child who burned to death when a vampire named Laelette burned down her home and gave her vampiric blood.
- Hern – Owner of Half-Moon Mill and an assassination target for the Dark Brotherhood.
- Hert – Hern's wife, and an optional assassination target for the Dark Brotherhood.
- Laelette the Vampire – A friend of Alva, became infatuated with Hroggar's family, burning down their house. During the burning, she became enamored with Helgi, Hroggar's daughter, and gave her vampiric blood, although she did not survive the fire.
- Movarth – An ancient vampire found in Movarth's Lair. His pre-vampire life is detailed Immortal Blood, as the vampire hunter that was inquiring about the different vampire clans of Tamriel. Like Alva and Laelette, he is encountered during the quest "Laid to Rest."
- Sybille Stentor – The Court Wizard found in the Blue Palace.
- Vighar – An ancestor of Dengeir of Stuhn, a resident in Falkreath.
- Feran Sadri – The castle's resident alchemist and quest giver.
- Fura Bloodmouth – A vampire warrior and Two-Handed master trainer.
- Garan Marethi – Senior member of Harkon's court and quest giver.
- Hestla – Resident castle blacksmith and arms merchant. Former Companion.
- Harkon – Ancient pure-blood vampire and lord of Castle Volkihar.
- Lokil – The leader of the vampire search party found in Dimhollow Crypt.
- Malkus – An Orsimer vampire holding Dexion Evicus in Forebears' Holdout.
- Minorne – An Altmer vampire in charge of operations in Ruunvald Excavation.
- Modhna – Low ranking member of Harkon's court.
- Namasur – Low ranking member of Harkon's court.
- Orthjolf – Senior member of Harkon's court vying for the throne. Rival of Vingalmo.
- Rargal Thrallmaster – Overseer of the vampire thralls and cattle kept in the castle dungeon.
- Ronthil – Apprentice to Feran Sadri, General goods merchant and Adept Speech trainer.
- Salonia Caelia – Low ranking member of Harkon's court. Lackey to Vingalmo.
- Serana – Estranged daughter of Lord Harkon, found entombed in Dimhollow Crypt.
- Stalf – Low ranking member of Harkon's court. Lackey to Orthjolf.
- Valerica – Estranged wife of Lord Harkon, found in hiding in the Soul Cairn.
- Venarus Vulpin – Ancient vampire and leader of the Redwater Den operation.
- Vingalmo – Senior member of Harkon's court vying for the throne. Rival of Orthjolf.
"You've come far, mortal. No doubt you seek to enter Potema's Sanctum. I can see to that. We'll need plenty of fresh corpses to rebuild her army, you see."
Vampire: "These Vigilants never know when to give up. I thought we'd taught them enough of a lesson at their hall."
Vampire 2: "To come in here alone.... a fool like all the rest of them."
Vampire: "He fought well though. Jeron and Bresoth were no match for him."
Vampire 2: "Ha. Those two deserved what they got. Their arrogance had become insufferable."
Vampire: "All this talk is making me thirsty. Perhaps another Vigilant will wander in soon."
Vampire 2: "I wish Lokil would hurry it up. I have half a mind to return to the castle and tell Harkon what a fool he's entrusted this mission to."
Vampire: "And I have half a mind to tell Lokil of your disloyalty."
Vampire 2: "You wouldn't dare. Now shut up and keep on watch."
- Notes on Dimhollow Crypt
Adalvald: "I'll never tell you anything, vampire. My oath to Stendarr is stronger than any suffering you can inflict on me."
Lokil: "I believe you, Vigilant. And I don't think you even know what you've found here. So go and meet your beloved Stendarr."
Vampire: "Are you sure that was wise, Lokil? He still might have told us something. We haven't gotten anywhere ourselves with..."
Lokil: "He knew nothing. He served his purpose by leading us to this place. Now it is up to us to bring Harkon the prize. And we will not return without it. Vingalmo and Orthjolf will make way for me after this."
Vampire: "Yes, of course Lokil. Do not forget who brought you news of the Vigilants' discovery."
Lokil: "I never forget who my friends are. Or my enemies."
- While a vampire, characters will no longer make comments about the Dragonborn's race. (Argonians will call the Dragonborn a "Landstrider" even if they are also an Argonian, etc.)
- converted into a friendly character, she may have unique unused dialogue. If a female vampire is spawned via console commands using its Base ID and
- A vampiric Orc player will no longer be accepted into Orc strongholds by default, likely due to being considered a different race in game code.
- Vampires and draugr are the only two creatures in the game that are immune to poison.
- Human vampires sometimes hiss at their enemies during combat.
- The Elder Scrolls: Arena
- The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall
- The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- The Elder Scrolls Online
|Creatures and Enemies (The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim)|
|Animals||Ants • Bear • Cave Bear • Chicken • Cow • Deer • Dog • Elk • Fox • Goat • Hawk • Horker • Horse|
Ice Wolf • Mammoth • Mudcrab • Rabbit • Sabre Cat • Salmon • Skeever • Slaughterfish • Snow Bear • Snow Fox • Wolf
|Creatures||Chaurus • Frostbite Spider • Frost Troll • Giant • Hagraven • Ice Wraith • Spriggan • Troll|
|Daedra||Dremora • Flame Atronach • Frost Atronach • Storm Atronach|
|Undead||Corrupted Shade • Dragon Priest • Draugr • Ghost • Magic Anomaly • Skeleton|
Subjugated Ghost • Wisp • Wispmother • Vampire
|Animunculi||Dwarven Centurion • Dwarven Sphere • Dwarven Spider|
|Dragons||Dragon • Blood Dragon • Frost Dragon • Elder Dragon • Ancient Dragon • Skeletal Dragon|