The Bloodlet throne coven was formed by Salthar and Vengar Vivarian in 4E 201, 1st of Rains Hand. The
civil war had just started, and Salthar Vivarian was looking for forces to bring about hit New Order. He and his brother had captured dozens of Nords, Bretons, and Imperials, to rebuild the abandoned fortress of the Bloodlet throne.
Unlike most vampires, the members of the Bloodlet throne coven refused to worship Molag Bal. This gained them the enemy of most other vampires, cultists, and the Daedric prince himself. Their armour was made up of ebony metal and chainmail. Their initial purpose was to wage outright war on the living, though as of 4E 203, they've redirected their efforts to infiltrating mortal governments, and combating the forces of Molag Bal. After the battle of Karthspire, their numbers were estimated at roughly five hundred, as opposed to nearly a thousand before the battle. After the civil war, the coven once again began to slowly recruit.
"We are the Coven. You cannot hide.You cannot run. You can only submit or die."
The coven was formed on the 1st of Rains Hand, in 4E 201, shortly after the beginning of the Skyrim civil war. Salthar Vivarian and his brother, Vengar Vivarian, took the ruined fortress the Bloodlet throne, from a group of vampires. Salthar was driven by the vision of a New Order, that would unite all of Tamriel under him and his followers. To this end, he and his brother, captured dozens of Breton, Imperial, and Nord workers to rebuild the ruin. Over the next months, the pair of Altmer vampires recruited several promising followers, including Lucius Draconus, Duros Kaast, and the Khajiit assassin, Karsh.
The Vampire War
By Last Seed of 4E 201, the coven had reached nearly a thousand members. In addition to capable warriors, many of the vampires were powerful necromancers. Ghouls, skeletons, wraiths and zombies supplemented the covens forces, along with some well paid mercenary troops.The coven forces were split into three moderately large armies. One was lead by Salthar and Vengar Vivarian, another lead by Lucius Draconus, and the last, by Kharkov Darkstone. They engaged in a series of battles that involved taking several Imperial and Stormcloak bases.
Both the Empire and the Stormcloaks were slow to respond to these unforeseen, lightning fast attacks. When general Altus Kathalon arrived in Skyrim to bring the rebellion to a quick end, he was met by the Imperial vampire, and former legionnaire Marcus Threnial, who posed as a scout, and misled the Imperials. After a series of attacks in Falkreath hold, and the fall of fort Neugrad, Kathalon and his command staff had concerns about the presence of a vampire coven in the mountains.
By the beginning of the second month of the war, most major cities in Falkreath hold had surrendered to the covens forces. Whiterun hold, Eastmarch, The Rift, The Pale, and Winterhold were left untouched during the war. Markarth, capital of the Reach was designated a priority target, along with Morthal, capital of Hjaalmarch. The coven planned to use these cities to launch a final assault on Solitude. However, Lucius Draconus' army encountered stiff resistance from both Forsworn and the Reachs militia and guard regiments. Despite succeeding in drawing an elite Imperial unit to the side of the coven.
By Frostfall of 4E 201, the Dawnguard managed to get the Imperials and the Stormcloaks to agree to a temporary alliance. The three forces joined with resistance fighters in the Reach, and engaged the vampires in a series of battles that to the final battle of the war, and the covens defeat.
In the aftermath of the battle of Karthspire, the covens remaining, demoralized, and mostly leaderless forces scattered, some hiding in the Reach, others retreating to the Bloodlet throne. Altogether, the coven lost around half its forces in the battle, and the following weeks. The Dawnguard and other various vampire hunters continued to harry the covens surviving forces. There were several vicious battles between coven and Dawnguard forces, in Hjaalmarch, the Reach and Falkreath holds. In most of these confrontations, the coven was defeated, and in the first month of 4E 202, there was next to no signs of coven activity.
Return to power 4E 202 - 4E 204
When Salthar Vivarian returned to the covens base in 4E 202, he summoned his surviving forces to him. Rather than order an attack, Salthar encouraged the coven to go to ground, encouraging the Dawnguard to believe they'd defeated the coven. This was due to the construction of fort Snowstone, a small Dawnguard fort built near the mountains of Falkreath hold, meant to observe and report on any activity from the Bloodlet throne coven. However, the emergence of the Volkihar clan of vampires, lead by lord Harkon, The Nord vampire and his clan were seeking to fulfill an ancient prophecy, that included blotting out the sun with the use of an ancient, powerful weapon.
This new threat drew almost all of the Dawnguards attention. Despite the fact that Harkons clan were followers of Molag Bal, Vivarian made contact and offered to help the Nordic lord in his search. A small contingent of Bloodlet throne vampires were dispatched. In reality, these vampires were to discretely sabotage Harkons attempts. The covens agents quietly drew attention to the Volkihar clans actions, until the Dawnguard took action, storming castle Volkihar in late 4E 202. After the destruction of the clans main base, the Bloodlet thrones largest competition was eliminated.
More importantly, the garrison of fort Snowstone was largely depleted. The coven quietly took castle Volkihar, and made preparations to take revenge on the Dawnguard. However, it would be another year until the coven assaulted fort Dawnguard. In a series of vicious attacks, the coven took several key locations from the vampire hunters, culminating in the destruction of their base in early Rains Hand of 4E 203. By this time, the coven had grown up to nearly six hundred in number. Included in this number was an elite group of vampires, lead by Duros Kaast, and tasked with hunting and capturing or killing dangerous threats to the coven. With the destruction of the Dawnguard, the coven began to recruit new members, and hunted in the nearby holds virtually unchecked.
In late 4E 203, and when the Empire retook control of Skyrim after the death of Ulfric Stormcloak in 4E 204, many smaller cities and villages began to pop up in the holds. The coven saw these as prime targets for expanding their grip on Skyrim. As the sudden change of power had caused numerous bandit groups to pop up, along with more dangerous creatures, such as Lycans, these small settlements were threatened by raids. The coven offered protection or in some cases, took areas by force.
The vampires built up their finances by exchanging protection from Lycan and bandit attacks,and in return, the villages and cities would pay a sum of gold, allowing the coven to purchase the materials needed to forge their darksteel arms and armour. In late 4E 204, the Bloodlet throne and Falkreath signed the Prisoner Accords. This meant that in Falkreath hold, and later in other holds where the coven had an influence, prisoners that had commited serious crimes were handed over to coven garrisons. This provided the coven with large amount of blood. By the end of the year, the coven had regained most of its numbers, and was being acknowledged by most Jarls in Skyrim.
Despite entering into conflict with the newly formed Order of the Silver Sun in 4E 205, a small contingent, lead by Salthar Vivarian and Lucius Draconus arrived in Solitude for High Queen Elisifs' coronation. Despite a near violent encounter between Draconus and Derek Starsong, High Queen Elisif and Salthar Vivarian were able to come to an understanding that lead to both leaders signing a 'non-aggresion pact.' Later referred to as the Solitude Accord. No hold guards nor vampires of the coven, would impede the actions of the other.
The Blight War
The covens influence continued to expand from 4E 205 on to 4E 207. In late 4E 206, disappearances were reported throughout Falkreath hold. Initially, a group of rogue vampires were believed to be responsible, and the Night Talons and Inquisitorius Vampirum were dispatched to hunt these rogues. However, a party of adventurers gathered by Salthar Vivarian and Aliah Stormwind discovered a previously unknown race of creatures called the Blight. After the Blights initial scouts were defeated by Vivarian and a group of adventurers, Vivarian returned to the Bloodlet throne.
A year later, the organization known as the Whitescar Brotherhood rose to power, and started rallying support for a Nordic warlord. Though initially content to leave the organization alone, Brotherhood forces moved to into Falkreath hold, and began recruiting local villagers, and scouting coven bases and outposts. The Brotherhood gained support in several villages, and on lord Vivarians orders, coven soldiers cracked down hard. Captured Brotherhood scouts and sympathizers were publicly executed.
Once the situation with the Brotherhood was resolved, once again thanks to the party of adventurers lead by lord Vivarian and Aliah Stormwind, supporters of the Brotherhood disappeared or were captured by the Inquisitorius.
A year later, the Blight finally emerged in force, destroying the city of Riften. Though forewarned by lord Vivarians findings, the coven was still caught off guard by the ferocity of the assault. Outposts across Tamriel went silent, destroyed in the first weeks of the war. The coven rallied quickly, and fought alongside Falkreath and Whiterun holds guard regiments. Unfortunately, Whiterun itself was unprepared for a sudden assault by the Blight, and fell fairly early in the war.
The Obsidian knights, based in High Rock, ended up fighting alongside the knightly orders in a desperate attempt to hold off the Blight. In 4E 208, the Bloodlet throne was besieged by the Blight, though the vampires prevailed in holding the fortress. Near the end of the war, castle Volkihar was also besieged, though the siege was broken due to the weakness of the Blight troops.
By the wars end in 4E 209, the coven had earned to respect of many small towns and villages, especially in Falkreath and Whiterun holds, and even more in High Rock. Early in the year, the Inquisitorius Vampirum took Ilinalta's Deep, and rebuilt it. The coven strengthened its grip on its current holdings, and acquired several new villages. The Order of the Silver Sun and the Lycan clans recommenced hostilities, with the coven, under the leadership of Alanna Starsong.
The Bloodlet throne coven was very different from most vampire covens in Tamriel. Where other covens were made up of one 'master' vampire, usually older and more powerful than his or her subordinates, leading a group of equal vampires, with no set command structure. The Bloodlet throne coven, being larger than most covens, relied on mutiple leaders, under lord Vivarian. Each vampire in a command position were expected to not only be able to lead, but also follow orders. In addition, the Bloodlet throne coven had several 'divisions'. The Inquisitorius, Blackguard, Obsidian Knights, and Night Talons, in addition to normal military forces.
"We maintain order. People like you disrupt that order." - Captain Sennec to Alanna Starsong
Coven soldiers were extremely disciplined and efficient, as well much as Imperial legionnaires. Many of them had been former legionnaires, either fed up with Imperial life, or rescued by the coven, and grateful. Others were simply wandering mercenaries, seeking greater purpose, and accepted into the covens ranks. The soldiers were dispersed throughout outposts in Skyrim, tasked with maintaining order, taking settlements and enemy positions. They lacked the powers of the higher ranking vampires, though they still had greater strength and speed than the average mortal. Most of the coven was made up of ordinary soldiers. By 4E 207, the distinctive darksteel clad soldiers were a common sight in coven controlled villages and towns.
They were known for their fierce dedication to the Bloodlet throne, and refusal to surrender or abandon their posts, even in desperate situations. Coven officers, such as captains, could be picked out by the reinforced armour on their torsos, as well as the crimson stripes on their breastplates. The lowest, and most common officer rank, was captain, followed by commander. Finally, was a high commander, known as a Valdor, an exclusive coven rank. They were often in command of amounts of troops, or a single fortress, castle, or order. Several elite units within the military rose to prominence in the Vampire and Blight wars.
See main article---> Inquisitorius Vampirum
The Inquisitorius took many of its tactics from the Thalmor. They had a large influence inside the coven, and operated largely outside the chain of command, answering only to the lord inquisitor, and lord Salthar Vivarian. They were tasked with hunting and eliminating threats to the coven.
See main article---> Blackguard
The Blackguard were an elite unit, trained to combat multiple threats, and defend important coven officials.
The Night Talons
See main article---> Night Talons
Night Talons were special operations vampires, trained to assassinate and infiltrate the enemy. Worked either on their own or in small groups.
The Obsidian Knights
See main article---> Obsidian Knights
Based in High Rock, Obsidian knights were an order of knights that were often shock troops, deployed to high resistance areas. They made a reputation for themselves during the Blight war.
Altdref- A small town on the edge of Whiterun hold. Near Fellglow keep.
Bloodlet Throne- The main base for the coven. A large fortress in the mountains of Falkreath hold.
Bilegulch mine- An Orichalcum mine, and prison camp, used to hold captured high Lycanthropes and other prisoners that could work.
Castle Volkihar (The Bastion)- A castle taken by the Bloodlet throne vampires. Later renamed the Bastion.
Fellglow Keep- A fort in Whiterun hold
Ilinalta's Deep- Prison Fortress, used by the Inquisitorius Vampirum.
Harvesthal- A town in northeast Falkreath hold.
Revanchest- A town west of knifepoint ridge.
Hollystar- A town on the Pale border and Whiterun hold border.
Several small villages in Falkreath hold
Several small villages in Whiterun hold
Castle Mourne- A castle in High Rock
Château de désespoir- A castle in High Rock
Several small villages in High Rock
Outposts and safehouses throughout Tamriel.
The Covens' original wealth was made up of ill-gained goods, taken from their slaves and looting bandit camps in the far reaches of Falkreath hold. As they became more established in the region, the vampires used slave labour to mine into the mountains around the Bloodlet keep, coming across several veins of orichalcum ore. They made their fortune by discretely selling to merchants and smiths throughout Skyrim and Cyrodiil.
By 4E 204, the Coven had several small villages under their control, and collected regular taxes from the inhabitants, though taxes in Coven controlled territory were much lower, because of the blood tax. Because of these taxes, the vampires eventually became able to sustain themselves through trade. This meant they could afford the ores they needed to forge their distinctive darksteel weapons and armour.
The blood tax
The blood tax, was a tax imposed within Coven territory. In addition to the gold collected by the vampires, they also demanded each village provide a certain amount of people. The unfortunates are taken by the Coven to be fed upon. Most villages provide any between three to a dozen inhabitants, though the vampires also accept criminals that had been captured by hold guards.
Salthar Vivarian- Leader
Vengar Vivarian- Salthars second in command.
Lucius Draconus- Castellan of the Bloodlet Throne.
Duros Kaast- Inquisitor.
Karsh- Chief assassin.
Galvar Thortsenson- Member of the Blackguard. (Killed.)
Adophus Rook- A human necromancer
Jeth La'ralle- Merchant and information broker
Veridas Ashheart- Breton assassin
Bjorn Half-Hand- Nord informant
Ulfjar Donaksson- Nord informant