College of Winterhold, Saarthal Ruins, Fellglow Keep, Breezehome: A new Apprentice, Oops!, Thalmor scum, First lesson, Exploring ruins, Psijic visit, Orb of doom, Knowledge sought, Evil encountered, Celestine damaged, Thief rescued, The beast kills, Books recovered, Breezehome not a home any-more.
This journal entry was written at 1:00AM on Sundas, 18th Morning Star 4E 202 in Breezehome, Whiterun.
A couple of days ago “The Pull” returned and pointed me towards Winterhold. Today Lydia and Celestine are travelling with me to find out what The Divines need me for this time. I have decided to take Celestine as her knowledge of magic is more extensive than mine.
We left Dragons Keep at around 7:00AM
I was attacked by a Stormcloak spy not far into the trip. They are like cockroaches. No matter how many I squash there is another watching and waiting to try his/her luck and die.
About four hours into the trip we came across three revellers discussing the merits of different meads. I was about to ask them what kind of idiots remove themselves from the safety of a hold to get drunk out in the wilderness. Thump, thump, thump. Three Riekling spears, three dead revellers.
We killed the Riekling and a little further on I informed an Imperial Patrol of what occurred. They might have been idiots who died for their stupidity but they still had loved ones somewhere. Their bodies would be returned to them.
The College always looks impressive from a distance. When you get closer and see the devastation that Winterhold suffered centuries ago you start to wonder why anybody but the mages still lives there.
We hitched the horses and approached the broken bridge. As usual the Altmer mage Faralda was guarding it. Like most Altmer who have chosen The Empire over The Dominion she never shows the false superiority of the Thalmor. I also suspect there is a lot of Bosmer in her breeding. She greeted me,
“Hello Dragonborn, is there somebody you need to see or anything else I can do for you today?”
(The Pull stopped. Faralda is the one The Divines wished me to see. Since I never receive instructions from them I had to quickly guess why. If I needed to see somebody in the College “The Pull” would have directed me to them. Faralda’s primary job is to aid new students get admitted. I always intended to join the College for two reasons. They have the most extensive library outside of the Imperial City. I could gain information on Malesan’s whereabouts and if he is with Rigmor, maybe get some information on what is happening to my beloved. So even though I knew virtually every spell currently documented, I decided to become an Apprentice mage.)
Would the College accept me as an Apprentice? I wish to unravel the mysteries of Aetherium.
“Ah, the immortal plane. It is said to be the source of all magic. You could simply ask to use our library and other resources. Why become an Apprentice?”
I have received my spell-casting abilities from I know not where. Learning to be a mage according to the tenets of your College would really make me one and not just a skilled spell caster. Mage is a title I respect highly and would love to earn.
“You realise we would be studying you as much as you study anything within the College? I do not think we have ever had a Dragonborn as an Apprentice! We have a new class of Apprentices starting today. I will take you to do the formalities in a moment but first can I ask a favour?”
“Can you please use a Shout on me? It will give me something to think about and analyse whilst I stand here in the cold.”
Are you sure? I can use the lowest level of “Unrelenting Force” on you if that is what you desire.
“Please, go ahead but I do not wish to land in Solstheim so be careful.”
(So I used the lowest level, just the First Word, of the Unrelenting Force Shout on my eager test subject. I had forgotten the extra power it has thanks to Paarthurnax and Hermaeus Mora. Faralda went sailing through the air and would have plummeted hundreds of feet to the sea below if her cape has not caught on some broken stonework. Lydia ran over and dragged the laughing mage back onto the bridge.)
I am so sorry! That was the weakest force and I did not expect you to fly so far!
“Do not worry Apprentice. Your instructor asked and you did. That is a good start to your education. I think there is much we can learn from each other. Come, I will guide you across the bridge. I need to use some dweomer to make sure we are not blown over the side with the current winds.”
(As we walked along the bridge Faralda lit special beacons. They made the strength of the wind far less. Just that dweomer alone could keep me occupied for days with its intricacy. We soon reached the main gate.)
“Here we are. Just ahead you will see Mirabelle Ervine, our Master Wizard. I am sure she will be both amused and delighted to greet you as a new Apprentice. Good luck Dragonborn and thank you for the defeating the, what do you Nord call him, the World Eater. Also thank you for giving me the experience of flying although the landing needs some work I think.”
With that Faralda headed back to her usual post. Lydia came up to me and remarked, “What a delightful young girl!”
Both Celestine and I burst out laughing. When she could see hurt and puzzlement cross Lydia’s face Celestine told her, “Faralda is over two hundred years old. Not just Altmer blood but arcane arts make her look like a youth of two decades at the most.” That seemed to appease Lydia so I approached Mirabelle.
She was talking with a Thalmor. Arguing about something but I did not pay attention as I mentally went through my options. I had been avoiding Thalmor ever since I discovered they had hit squads looking for me. It would only take a single suicide assassin to put me out of business. Now I have a Thalmor looking at me approaching and he could either attack now, sneak attack later or most likely inform his superiors of my whereabouts. I could see he instantly recognised me by the hostility on his face.
Excuse me Master Wizard Ervine, I was told as a new Apprentice I needed to see you for registration and instructions.
(Mirabelle turned and for a brief second showed great surprise in her eyes. She soon composed herself.)
“A most unexpected but welcome new student. I am surprised at how many of you are starting today. Here is a set of Apprentice robes. I know you are far ahead in spell ability than that but traditions are traditions. You do not have to wear them if you do not wish. Many of our poorer students find them to be the finest clothes they have ever had.”
I gratefully accept them and since they are now mine I gift them to the College for a poorer student to use.
(I handed the garments back to Mirabelle and was treated to a wonderful smile.)
“I’ll give you a brief tour and then you can attend your first class.”
Mirabelle took me to the Hall of Attainment and showed me it facilities and the room that was now mine to use as long as I am an Apprentice. She then instructed me to go to the Hall of Elements and join in with the other new Apprentices for a lesson with Tolfdir, one of the senior instructors. She also told me to watch out for Ancano, the Thalmor she had been arguing with. He had just arrived that morning and she was still trying to figure out why The Dominion thought he would be of use to the Arch-Mage.
As I walked toward the Hall of Elements Ancano barred my way.
“What is the Dragonborn doing acting like an Apprentice I wonder. I assure you I will be watching you very closely.”
(I had to fight the beast to keep control. It has not reared its head for months but the sight and sound of this pompous idiot produced instant anger in me.)
And I am wondering why an obviously high ranking Thalmor puppet is doing here. What could his masters want? Is it coincidence your arrival coincides with mine? I think not. So let us stop playing games. Get in my way and you die.
I pushed past him and entered the Hall of Elements. I was soon in the room where Tolfdir and the other Apprentices were already in the middle of a lesson. Tolfdir turned to me and said,
“Welcome Dragonborn. Could you please see one of the other mages if you need help as I am teaching a class at the moment.”
Sorry Mage Tolfdir, I too am a new Apprentice and apologise for my lateness.
Tolfdir took that news in without batting an eyelid and continued the lesson.
He was trying to instil in the young mages the need to be careful with magic as it is dangerous and not to be taken lightly. All being young and confident they showed contempt for what must seem like a safety lecture from their mother. They cried out for some practical training. Tolfdir and I then demonstrated the use of wards.
Tolfdir then told his class we were to meet him at some ancient Nordic ruins called Saarthal for our second lesson and marked its location on our maps.
In the last few weeks I had heard many people mention that the College was poking around Saarthal and how they should leave it well alone. That had prompted me to find and read as much information I could about the place.
Saarthal was one of the very first, if not the first, Nord settlement in Skyrim. One night an army of elves attacked Saarthal, destroying it and killing most of its inhabitants. It appeared the attackers were of various mer races including the extinct Snow Elves. Ysgramor was enraged by this event and eventually drove all mer races from Skyrim and Solstheim.
There are two theories that explain the unprovoked attack. The “official” reason supported by senior Imperial scholars is that the mer races were concerned that Nord superiority would soon overwhelm them and take control of those provinces.
The other reason, and the one I believe, is that the elves knew of a powerful artefact that the Nord might discover during their expansion of Saarthal. They attacked to prevent the Nord finding and using the artefact.
I like the second theory. It explains why Ancano and I find ourselves here at the same time. If there is a powerful artefact then the Thalmor would know about the College excavations and have sent Ancano to control or even steal it. If the artefact is a danger to Skyrim then the Dragonborn would be sent by The Divines to remove the threat somehow.
We left Winterhold at about 7:30PM.
We arrived at Saarthal barely ten minutes later. We were way ahead of Tolfdir and the Apprentices and waited about 45 minutes for them to all arrive.
I asked Tolfdir what we were looking for. He said Saarthal had many magical seals, far more than they usually find in a Nordic ruin, and they were of major interest.
We were all ready so the group entered Saarthal.
When we got to the lowest point Tolfdir told me to go on ahead and help Arniel Gane, a senior mage and lecturer of the College.
When we found Arniel I introduced myself and asked what he needed help with. He said there were many small artefacts scattered about in nearby rooms and I should see what I can find.
I found three gold rings each with minor dweomer on them.
Then I found a peculiar looking amulet in a niche in a door.
I removed the amulet and some portcullis arose and sealed us in.
When I looked at the door there was a visible dweomer. On inspection it was very much like a basic ward spell. On a hunch I wore the amulet then…
…cast a flame spell at the seal.
The door burst inwards and the portcullis lowered.
Tolfdir came striding though eager to see what they were hiding with such an intricate lock.
I put my Talos symbol back in place of the strange amulet and followed him.
We were all soon crowded into a small room that had no visible exits and three sarcophagi
I moved further in to inspect the walls for hidden doorways. Suddenly I felt a strange dweomer and all colours and sounds were muted. The others in the room seemed to freeze in place.
A strange man materialized in front of me. I prepared to hit him with a Shout and lightening when he quickly said,
“Hold, mage, and listen well… Know that you have set in motion a chain of events that cannot be stopped. Judgment has not been passed, as you had no way of knowing. Judgment will be passed on your actions to come, and how you deal with the dangers ahead of you. This warning is passed to you because the Psijic Order believes in you. You, mage, and you alone, have the potential to prevent disaster. Take great care, and know that the Order is watching.”
Before I had a chance to ask any questions, and to tell him nobody but The Divines are fit to judge my actions, he vanished and the dweomer freezing everybody subsided.
I turned to Tolfdir who asked,
“What just happened? I felt a strange sensation and now everything seems normal again.”
I will tell you everything in a minute. First can I ask what is the Psijic Order? I have read very little about it.
“They were a group of mages with history that pre-dates the Empire. Very powerful, very secretive. No one’s seen them in well over a hundred years. They vanished, along with their sanctuary on the Isle of Artaeum. I have no idea what connection they’d have to this place.”
You were frozen in place with a dweomer cast by a member of the Psijic Order. Either his physical body or a projection of it appeared in front and me. He said I have set in motion a chain of events that cannot be stopped. That only I can prevent disaster.”
I believe the elves destroyed this city to stop the Nord finding a powerful artefact. I think we are about to find it. I think the Thalmor sent Ancano for this reason. I was sent by The Divines here for the same reason. I can prevent the disaster but only if we thwart whatever plans Ancano has.
“We had better discuss this in more detail later with the Arch-Mage. Meanwhile, let us examine the coffins and see what they contain.”
When Tolfdir approached one of the sarcophagi it burst open to reveal a hidden passage. Through the archway came a very powerful Draugr.
Tolfdir cast a serious of spells on it. It ignored them and him and made a beeline for me.
I did not think it was coming over to shake my hand so drew “The Sword” and cut it down in one movement.
We moved further into the complex and came across a lever. It opened a portcullis that lead to a very large and seemingly empty cavern traversed by a bridge. There were many sarcophagi lining the walls so I knew if we entered we could expect a welcoming party.
I pulled the lever, we entered the cavern and were met by a welcoming party of Draugr.
We soon dispatched them.
Tolfdir said he wanted to stay and study some of the coffins for a few minutes. I pulled some chains, raised a portcullis and we continued further into Saarthal.
There were many magic wards placed around the place. I suspect the average non-mage type crypt robber would be a pile of ash or blown to tiny pieces or turned into an icicle by now. I used lightning bolts to clear them.
I have mentioned several times before that the puzzles left by the ancients to protect their tombs are rather pathetic. If a being gets this far into the tomb they at least know how to dress themselves. Therefore the puzzles would not strain even the dumbest thief.
After hours of racking our brains and cursing the Gods for our stupidity we solved the accursed puzzle and pulled the lever. In reality it took about ten seconds.
YES! We are the best! The portcullis was out of our way and we could proceed to where only the smartest have ever been.
Tolfdir came running up saying it was time he re-joined us. I know the truth. That puzzle was too much even for a Master Mage. He hid till we solved it so his inferior intelligence would not be apparent to us.
Really, why are such simple puzzles used? I will put that in the box of “Questions I will Never Get An Answer To”.
We entered a room and there before us was an orb surrounded by some protective barrier. Before I had the chance to get a closer look a being arose from its chair and attacked.
It was far more powerful than any Skeleton or Draugr plus we could do not damage it with weapon, magic or Thu’um!
As we kept it busy Tolfdir inspected the orb and the field around it. He started to bring down the field with lightening saying when it is gone we should be able to harm the being.
We kept throwing everything at it and nothing even slowed it down.
Eventually the field around the orb collapsed and we quickly dispatched the being. I searched it and found a note that read,
“Be bound here, Jyrik, murderer, betrayer. Condemned by your crimes against realm and lord. May your name and your deeds be forgotten forever and the charm which you bear be sealed by our ward.”
I assume the ward was the one on the door where I found the strange amulet. Oops! At least Jyrik will not be troubling anybody ever again.
On the table near the Orb was a fine staff. It will be added to our collection at Dragons Keep for the attending mages and students to study.
I approached Tolfdir and he said,
“Thank The Divines I figured out the connection between the field and that creature!”
Yes, thank you Mage Tolfdir, that was a tough fight. This Orb, do you know what it is?
“I have no idea! This is amazing. Absolutely amazing. The Arch-Mage needs to be informed immediately. He needs to see this for himself.”
Be careful Tolfdir. This thing is what the Elves wanted to stay hidden. The Psijic Order have warned us. Ancano will want it.
“I don’t dare leave this unattended. Can you return to the College and inform Arch-Mage Savos Aren of this discovery and your concerns? Please hurry!”
When near the orb I could sense some kind of immeasurably strong dweomer. I had no idea what it was but I doubt it would be fun if the Thalmor tapped into it.
We found a shorter route out of Saarthal and found ourselves outside at around 3:00AM.
We entered the Arch-Mage quarters at about 3:30AM.
The Arch-Mage was asleep but I had no hesitation waking him. Even if I had not received the Psijic’s warning I would have been very nervous about our discovery. Time was of the essence. Savos arose and said,
“Our new and very famous Apprentice. What can I do for you so early in the morning? I assume it has to do with the Saarthal dig?”
I apologise for the interruption. We found something in Saarthal. I believe it is the reason the Elves attacked the city all those centuries ago. I believe Ancano has been sent here to procure it for the Dominion.
“I have been very careful with Ancano. Others have raised suspicions with me but nobody has dared accuse him outright. Do you have proof?”
The same time a hidden relic of the pre Nord Skyrim is discovered in Saarthal the Champion of The Divines and a senior Thalmor mage appear on your doorstep. Do you believe that is coincidence? I was sent here by The Divines themselves so there is something involving the College big enough to worry them. There is also something else. The Psijic Order contacted me when we were in Saarthal. Their spokesman told me we had set in motion events that can’t be stopped. That we are in grave danger and only I can prevent an impending catastrophe.
“Yes, I agree it logically adds up but I can’t act on Ancano without proof. A Psijic mage used to advise the Arch-Mage when I was but an Apprentice here. That was a great many years ago before all members of the order were called back to the Isle of Artaeum. The island disappeared entirely not long after that.”
Will you visit Tolfdir now? He is quite concerned about the relic. It is unlike anything he has seen before.
“Yes, I will need to see this discovery myself. I think perhaps you should begin researching the subject. Master Mage Mirabelle might have some idea where to start.”
With that the Arch-Mage hurried out of the room to go visit Saarthal.
We headed for the Arcanaeum and were surprised to see Mage Faralda waiting for me. She said,
“There you are. I’ve been trying to find you. I just wanted to let you know that Ancano has been asking about you. I think he’s looking for you.”
No doubt he is. We are on opposite sides you see. I am trying to help the people of Nirn. He is trying to help the Thalmor. You do not think he is here as an “advisor” do you?
“There are rumours about him. That this ‘advisor’ position he has is a sham, an excuse. That what he’s really doing is spying for the Thalmor, trying to feed them information. You know this for a fact?”
I am absolutely positive and have already warned him it would not be good for his health to get in my way.
Faralda smiled at that and left to try and get some sleep.
We entered the Arcanaeum and Ancano was there. He was starting to get under my skin. I confronted him,
You are not very good at your job are you? Everybody knows you are a spy and nothing more.
You heard me and let me up the stakes. I now regard the College to be under my protection. If any member happens to have an accident or go missing whilst you are here I will hold you responsible.
For the second time in 24 hours I shouldered him out of the way.
I had a couple of hours to see what I could find about the Psijic Order before seeking out Mirabelle. This is what I could ascertain:
- The Psijic Order or the Order of PSJJJJ is the oldest monastic group of Tamriel.
- They are devoted to the study and practice of Mysticism, which they call the “Old Ways” or “Elder Way”.
- Mysticism is one of the six colleges of magic and involves the alteration of the fundamental laws of magic.
- Mysticism is extremely dangerous to study and requires practitioners to deal with complex conundrums and paradoxes.
- A form of temporary insanity is required to achieve the state of mind to learn and cast its spells.
- Due to things he had seen being practised under the guise of Mysticism, the founder of the College, Vanus Galerion, decreed Mysticism was not to be taught.
- A complex and ritualised method is utilised to select potential members of the order.
- Psijic’s believe in spirits and that both Aedra and Daedra are simply exceptional spirits who attained great power.
- Psijic’s have acted as counsellors and advisors to many different rulers in Tamriel.
- Psijic’s will very rarely pledge themselves to a ruler as this can cause conflicts when adhering to the “Old Ways”.
These were the things I learned in a few hours of study. The Psijic Order appears throughout written history. However it is hard to separate fact from fiction. What I have listed is the relevant information for now.
The most important thing to remember about the Psijic Order is their spells and dweomer can seemingly do amazing things. Even the best and strongest mages of other schools of Magic, such as Destruction or Restoration, find it impossible to understand how such spells work.
A thing that caught my attention is their expertise in teleportation. I still have not experimented with it. Travelling by foot and horse maybe tedious but there is less risk to me and without sounding egotistical, it is imperative I stay alive for Nirn’s sake.
At around 8:00AM we made our way to the “Hall of Attainment” to speak to Mirabelle.
I asked her where I should start my investigations. She had no idea what the Orb was but thought Urag geo-Shub might know of relevant books to read. So we returned to the Arcanaeum.
I approached Urag and he greeted me,
“Hello Dragonborn can I help? Oh wait, I forgot. Let me try again. Yes Apprentice, why are you bothering me?”
Oh great Urag, God of the Arcanaeum and friend of nobody, can you please help me learn something about what we found in Saarthal?
“You know I would skin a real Apprentice alive for that! I know what you want but unfortunately the best book I can think of to help was stolen not long ago. An Apprentice called Orthorn stole three important books and has taken them to a place called “Fellglow Keep”. There you will find him with a group of mages we expelled from the College for practising Necromancy and conducting foul experiments. Orthorn was not a powerful mage so I think he took the books to ingratiate himself with them. Here, I will mark it on you map and good luck.”
I talked a bit more with Urag and he told me it would benefit both me and the college if I recovered some books by Arch-Mage Shalidor. He marked on my map where he believes one is being held by some bandits.
I agreed to track down Shalidor’s writings as he was a mage of unparalleled power and knowledge. Unfortunately he lacked the wisdom to match. Many legends surround him but once again it is impossible to know fact from fiction. One that fascinated me was the story of him stealing the secret of life from my Lord Akatosh. One thing for certain is that all the good he did for Nirn was erased by his co-operation with Daedric Princes, especially Sheogorath, in his pursuit of knowledge. Some of the bargains he made with the Mad Prince he tried to reverse later on in life which led to more disaster for some close to him. His wife eventually left him and I do not think he ever recovered from that.
My anger rose to dangerous levels when we tried to leave the Arcanaeum as Ancano blocked my way for the third time. He had the gall to ask,
“You were in Saarthal yes? It has come to my attention that something was found there.”
That is none of your concern. If there was something it would have been the Arch-Mage’s business and I would have already informed him. If I have to push you out the way this time I will use the Thu’um to smash you with full force against the wall. I hate having to touch you. I always feel like I need to scrub myself with soap and water for hours after I do.
He wisely moved out of the way and we left the College for our trip to Fellglow Keep.
Some vampires were attacking Winterhold when we crossed the bridge. They had some vicious looking dog things with them. They had already killed several guards before we fell upon them. We killed them all and Celestine healed the injured civilians, mages and guards.
That was disturbing. A vampire attack on a Hold near midday! I hope this was a once off and not an indication of sunlight resistant vampires becoming common.
It was about 11:30AM when we left Winterhold.
Out trip to Fellglow Keep was uneventful. Just the usual Riekling, bandits, Ice trolls, Ice Wraiths, Wolves and hungry Sabre Cats to slow us down. It finally came into view about 3:30PM.
We tied up our horses and proceeded on foot as quietly as we could. We had no idea of the defences and who we would face. Turned out there were only a couple of medium level mages and a few summoned creatures in our way. We soon entered the keep.
There were quite a few mages inside the keep but they all seemed to have spent too much time on Necromancy and not enough on offensive and defensive spell casting. We mowed them down with ease.
They had been conducting the worst kind of research. There were many vampires kept in cells ready to be experimented on. Do not get me wrong, I hate vampires for the abomination they are and the fact the most detestable of Daedric Princes, Molag Bal, was their master. What a bunch of them did to children and tried to do to Sorella was just about the most evil thing I have encountered. However, the imprisonment and torture of any creature is just not acceptable to me. Not just because of what happened to Rigmor. It is an instinctive dislike that seems to be a fundamental part of who I am. It may be something from my lost past. It may have been instilled in me by The Divines. Whatever the reason I can’t abide it.
I destroyed each of the vampires with lightening quickly and we moved further into the keep.
We soon found evidence of even worse atrocities. These reject mages had been experimenting on the normal citizens of Skyrim! It did not matter what race, profession or status of their victims. They kidnapped, imprisoned and killed many. I have no doubt torture was involved to aid them with their dark rituals and thirst for knowledge. The specially designed tools of that trade were all over the place. Normal implements such as wood saws and carpenter mallets showed signs of misuse in their hands. Hermaeus Mora thrived on this sort of evil and chaos in the pursuit of knowledge. I doubt he would be the only Daedric Prince they worshipped and sought knowledge from.
Lydia was hardened to these things. Celestine was not. She had rarely come out into the field with me. She was more suited to fixing the bumps and scrapes of the children and the inevitable broken bones and injuries of their and the guards training at Dragons Keep. I turned and found her weeping into Lydia’s shoulder at the site before us. Although it was dangerous to remain in one place too long I stood guard and let them talk it through for however long Celestine needed.
I think part of the problem was Celestine had heard stories from many of the children now living at Dragons Keep. Now she could see what those children had seen and endured. Their stories now became more real in her mind and I have no doubt she was relieving some of the more graphic with a new insight. I had spoken to her about Rigmor’s treatment by the Thalmor and how that became the driving force for me to establish Dragons Keep. Celestine had always been unsure how long she would remain at the keep. Kharjo and Iona and many others there had told me what they had seen travelling with me or with others ensured they would never leave the keep. I think Celestine had now joined that group of permanent residents. I wish I could make the Jarls and nobles and generals and others in power see these things and develop the same empathy as those close to me.
Luckily we did not encounter any child victims. That would have been too much for our healer I think.
After a while Celestine had calmed down enough for us to continue. Her beautiful face usually radiated empathy and genuine concern. It was now tainted by hatred and an unspoken desire to exact revenge. I vowed to myself I would never bring her out into the field again. I cursed myself for not thinking ahead. I should have left her at the College while we did this dirty work. I have a habit of moving too quickly for my common sense to keep up. That terrible day Lydia broke down as we rode through Helgen came to mind.
From that point onwards any necromancers we occurred were met with Destruction spells of immense power emanating from Celestine’s hands. She normally used more passive ones such as paralysis and fear spells and let others do the taking of life. I appreciated the extra offensive firepower but wished it did not come at such a cost.
We came to a room full of cells and a few necromancers. We killed the mages before they managed to pull a lever that would have released some wolves. In the middle cage was a forlorn looking mage. We killed the wolves in the other two cells and I approached the prisoner, who pleaded,
“I don’t know who you are but please let me out of here!”
So, you must be Orthorn?
“Yes, yes! Did Arch-Mage Aren send you? He sent you to rescue me didn’t he?”
I don’t think he has ever wasted a single thought on you. I’m here for the books you took form the College.
“What? The bo… Oh. Oh dear. I shouldn’t have taken them. I know that! It was stupid. I was stupid. It won’t happen again.”
Where are the books you stole?
“I don’t have them any more. She took them… The Caller. She’s the one who put me in here! Please, let me out of here!”
Why are you in this cage?
“They threw me in here until they were ready to use me in one of their experiments. This wasn’t supposed to happen. I thought they wanted my help, not to use me as a test subject!”
Did you know what type of evil they did at the College and the atrocities they planned to undertake here?
“No! No! You must believe me. I was not a very good student yet these senior mages showed me friendship and kindness. I can see now they were just using me. I just thought they were being expelled for necromancy. I did not see or know about their plans or experiments.”
If I let you free what are you going to do?
“I promise I will go back to the College and I’ll beg them to let me back in. I want to atone for what I did. I am stupid, not evil!”
(I pictured what Urag would do to Orthorn in my mind. He would regret his actions for a very long time I think.)
I am going to trust what you say is true. If I find any evidence it is not I will track you down and kill you. If I find you have not tried to gain re-admittance to the College I will track you down and kill you. Do you understand?
“Ye…ye… yes! I will accept whatever penance and punishment they give me.”
(I pulled the central lever which opened his cell door.)
Run back to the College Orthorn. Do not say another word. Just go while you have the chance.
He ran and I could hear him stumble over things in his haste to get away. I looked at Celestine and realised Orthorn was terrified of the look she directed at him. If she had not believed him she would not have asked my permission before turning him into an ash pile!
We killed many necromancers and their summoned creatures on the way to The Caller’s ritual chamber. I told Celestine and Lydia to wait outside as I wanted to at least have a chance to talk with whoever she is. Entering with the three of us may have been too intimidating for that to occur.
I entered the chamber alone and she stood in the centre of a star shaped chamber. At a guess I would have said she was Altmer. In front of her was a pedestal with what I suspected was one of the three books I needed to recover. I could not see anybody else. She said with dripping sarcasm,
“So, you’re the one who barged into my home and laid waste to my projects. How nice to meet you.”
(I was too slow. My inner beast was not interested in small talk. He took over in a flash.)
I am Wulf, Champion of The Divines and your judge, jury and executioner. I find you guilty of consorting with Daedric Princes known to be evil. I find you guilty of the kidnapping, torture and murder of Skyrim citizens. I sentence you to death. Die knowing your soul is lost and you will be denied a peaceful afterlife. I hope you enjoy entertaining whichever demon gets to you first.
She screamed in terror as I used the Cyclone Shout and the maelstrom descended upon her.
She was tossed high in the air and I could tell her limbs were already broken by the force of the winds buffeting her. I laughed.
Before she landed I impaled her with several ice spears. She was dead before she hit the ground. I laughed even louder.
Eventually I regained control and banished the beast back to the dark recesses of my mind. I turned to see Celestine staring at me in horror. Lydia just shook her head and said,
“My Thane, I have not seen that aspect of you for many months. I hope it is even longer before I see it again if ever.”
You were supposed to wait outside!
“I am sorry but I could hear your laughter and knew what was happening. Celestine heard it as well and did not know it was you. She thought you were dealing with some demon and ran in before I could stop her. We saw the last seconds of the fight and heard the last laugh up close.”
It was a demon. It was me in my pure form. The relentless killing machine designed by The Divines that I try and hide from those I love. I intended to talk to this woman. The real “me” thought otherwise. Let us get the books and leave. Celestine, I can’t express how sorry I am you have seen the horror of these necromancers and that beast within me. I wish to obtain the Dagger to gather dragon heart scales and the writings of Shalidor before returning to the college. Let us ride to Whiterun with all haste and spend the night in my house there.
So we left that evil place and rode with no encounters all the way to Whiterun. Not a word was spoken on the ride.
We entered Breezehome about 12:30 am on the Sundas,18th Morning Star.
We were exhausted. I told the women we would not start out till about 10AM. Lydia took Celestine downstairs where there were six beds. I was not surprised when Lydia did not return upstairs to use her old room. She stayed with Celestine. Just having another person in the same room might aid with the nightmares I knew our gentle healer would experience.
I walked into my room and prayed in front of my Talos shrine. I did not want Celestine to be another piece of collateral damage due to my actions.
Breezehome was always a place of comfort after Rigmor crossed the border. It was my home for quite a while but now it felt desolate and no better than a room at an inn.
I sat and wrote this journal entry.
I do not know what time I fell asleep. I do know I was wondering how long this task of The Divines would take. How many more I would have to undertake. When I will be allowed to re-join my beloved Rigmor.