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Author Topic: The Adventures of Vikarion the Red, vampire sorcerer in Skyrim.  (Read 5620 times)

Havohej

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Hm.  I never really thought about exactly what 'line in the sand' you cross to trigger the event.  With my graphics settings (not quite highest) I typically see the Giant from a fair distance, but yeah...  Next play through, I'll sprint from the Meadery with a ranged weapon.  It only takes one hit, aye?
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Vikarion

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Journal,
Not much to say this time, because the Soul Cairn...wasn't much of anything.

The Soul Cairn is a endless wasteland, under a dead sky. It strikes me that it fits Harkon's vision perfectly...above you, there is only an empty hole in the sky, forever hungering, and beneath it, a vast wasteland of basalt cyclopean ruins, fissured earth, and dead brush. I doubt that the brush was ever alive.

The air is thin, and the only smell is of dust. Pits dot the landscape, filled with strange white fire, and dark crystals hover over some ruins, but the only sounds are the hissing of the fissures, and cold wind howling through the basalt ruins of stone. Occasionally, one sees a soul, silent and hunched, or one of the Bonemen, Mistmen, and Wrathmen. Soul gems are everywhere.

I explored the area thoroughly. I found spell books to summon the Bonemen, Mistmen, and Wrathmen. I found the three gems of the Reaper, and plundered his house and killed him. I also learned to summon a skeletal horse, named "Arvak".

It had occurred to me to wonder why others, rather than making bargains with the Ideal Masters (the apparent rulers of this dimension), did not simply enter and take what they desired, as I did. But this place is hostile to all life...even I, as an undead being, found that it tried to separate soul and body. For a living thing, it would probably kill almost instantly.

We found Valerica, trapped in one of the ruins. She took an altogether rather confrontational tone with Serana, which I thought was somewhat interesting, considering her plight. On the other hand, Serana did not apparently feel inclined to take that sort of treatment, as she launched into a reasonably devastating diatribe, which I personally thought was justified. However, if I had any doubts about the relative decency of her mother, Valerica quelled them. She apologized, and explained that everything she had done, she had done for her daughter. Words, of course, mean little, but she backed them up by offering to give us the Elder Scroll we needed.

There was, of course, a catch: the Ideal Masters had apparently decided that Valerica's soul was just what they wanted, so they'd trapped her in that ruin, behind some sort of ward. There were three "Keepers" powering it, via several souls per "Keeper". These "Keepers" were arranged around the ruin, probably so that Valerica couldn't get at them. Well, that meant I could, so I killed them.

Incidentally, while I was at it, I met a soul calling himself "Saint Jiub", who drove out the Cliff Racers from Morrowind, whatever a Cliff Racer is. I'd been picking up pages of some book along the way - turned out it was his book, which he needed to complete his "Opus". Fine, whatever. I found a couple more, and turned ten of them in, which seemed to make him happy. He gave me a copy of the book, and a locket. The book is actually a fair read.

Anyway, taking down the "Keepers" meant we could get into the ruin. No sooner had we done so, though, then we were attacked by a dragon. We took it down with relative ease - with both Serana and I pelting it with spells, it had nary a chance - but it did summon Bonemen. No big problem, but I had expected to be able to consume its soul. Instead, I was bending over the puddle one of the Bonemen had left when I realized that the dragon wasn't burning - rather, it was disappearing.

Leaving that mystery for later, Serana and I accompanied Valerica and retrieved her scroll. She refused to come back with us, stating that it would put both the world and Serana in more danger. She told us that the prophecy that Harkon is seeking to fulfill is called "The Tyranny of the Sun", and if he uses Serana's blood to contaminate a weapon called "Auriel's Bow", he will be able to permanently darken the sun. As I already concluded, she also noted that vampires could not survive the crusade to remove the curse on the sun that would follow.

In addition, I'm not a fan of bleeding out Serana any more than Valerica is.

As we made our way out, we encountered the dragon again, significantly more friendly. He asked only that I summon him to Tamriel now and then, as he cannot otherwise leave the Soul Cairn. He also called me "Dovah", more evidence that I am dragon-born, I suppose. Perhaps I really should visit the Greybeards. No time to think of that now, though.

I have to say, it was good to be back in Tamriel, even in Valerica's ruined laboratory. I had worried that the Ideal Masters might try to trap us as they had trapped Valerica. For now, though, I've promised both Serana and Valerica that I'll return to tell Valerica once the coast is clear. And as Serana made clear to me when we left the Soul Cairn, if Harkon won't give up his desire to blot out the sun and kill his daughter, that means he has to go. Actually, Serana pointed out that Harkon will probably also want to kill me, as by accomplishing what he could not, I've proven to be stronger - and a threat.

We'll see about that.

In the meantime, we're off to find the last Elder Scroll. We've visited the Mages College again, who directed us to a hermit in the ice fields of the Sea of Ghosts. I made a bargain with the old man to bring him a copy of the Scroll in a Dwemer lexicon cube, which I shall. Eventually. At the moment, we need to find the scroll in this Dwemer ruin before anyone else does.
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Vikarion

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Hm.  I never really thought about exactly what 'line in the sand' you cross to trigger the event.  With my graphics settings (not quite highest) I typically see the Giant from a fair distance, but yeah...  Next play through, I'll sprint from the Meadery with a ranged weapon.  It only takes one hit, aye?

That's right.
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Vikarion

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Journal,

Well, finding the scroll was less difficult than I expected. That is to say, no trekking through the wastelands of some dead world on another plane. No, all we had to do was first go to the Mage's College, then track down an old mage trying to unlock a Dwemer puzzle box, then make our way through an seemingly endless Dwemer ruin, fight our way through an underground city, take a lift all the way from the subterranean depths to the heights of an observatory, then finally take readings of the Elder Scroll from an a arcane machine designed for the purpose, before getting to snatch the the Scroll.

I should note that I intend to return to that ancient and abandoned city, Blackreach. It is magnificent.

Of course, once we had the scrolls, Dexion couldn't read them. He'd gone blind, perhaps permanently, because he did not take the correct precautions before reading them. I don't know why - it wasn't as if I'd told him to "read the Scroll without proper preparations". Perhaps one needs to be perfectly precise when commanding thralls. Or perhaps Dexion just got unlucky.

Well, I didn't want Harkon to rip out his throat, so I asked Dexion what we could do. He suggested going to an Ancestor Glade and using the Ancestor Moths to help me ascertain the location of Auriel's bow.

There's not actually much to be said about that adventure. It was mostly in and out, with the directions Dexion gave us making things easy. Reading the Scrolls was, however, different. Watching yourself venture down different time streams, or up, rather, to select the one where you find the bow is draining. And difficult.

Of course, the Dawnguard decided to attack right as we were leaving. I don't know why they have it in for the two of us. It's not like we're the ones out attacking cities. We're not even looking to put the sun out. But every time I turn around, there they are. One of them had a writ of some sort on him - apparently Isran has decided to "condemn" me to death for the "crime" of vampirism. As if I were running around biting people - even if I wanted to, I haven't had the time. Well, he can condemn all he wants, but his failed attempts prove his words to be just that...words.

Still, he's beginning to irritate me.
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Vikarion

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Journal,

We have the bow! We had to trek through a cave, and then undergo a small ritualistic pilgrimage - collecting water from a number of sacred sites to open a ruined chapel of Auriel - who is the ancient sun god of the Snow Elves. Apparently the Falmer used to be snow elves, before the Dwemer got hold of them, and at least one is still around - he still serves as the guardian of the chapel, and aided us in getting to it.

It turns out that his brother was also still alive, at least until we found him. He was a vampire, and apparently wrote the prophecy that we've been running around trying to rewrite. Well, after he tried to kill us so that he could be the one to blacken the sky, we destroyed him, and took the bow.

His brother, the guardian, was kind enough to give us some "sun-hallowed" arrows. I don't like to look at them, much less touch them - they almost seem to burn - but they should be very useful when we go up against Harkon. Which is what we must do now. I feel bad for Serana, but she's right. Her father won't give up until she's dead...and she's probably right about him planning to kill me once I'm no longer getting him what he wants.

And I suppose that there's also the fact that I don't want to live in a dead world. I've already seen what that looks like.
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Vikarion

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Journal,

Well, we did it. Harkon is dead. It was a long fight, and a hard one.

We used Auriel's bow against Harkon, and although both Serana and I also suffered some burns from the sun-bursts, it nonetheless worked to stop him from simply regenerating at the shrine of Dagon.

Serana seemed a bit shaken after the fight. I can't blame her -  it must be tough to have to kill your father before he kills you. That said, we also ventured back into the Soul Cairn and retrieved her mother. Valerica was happy to be back in Tamriel, and I can't say that I blame her. Oh, and I'm apparently in charge now, or, at least, I have the run of the place. Not really "king" as Harkon was, but I suppose the others want a modicum of stability.

Anyway, I suppose that I should make my way up to High Hrothgar soon. I've put it off long enough.
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Vikarion

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Journal,
Well, I went to High Hrothgar. The Greybeards were...interesting. Arngeir seems slightly full of himself, in that "wise man knows best" sort of way. They taught me a couple of shouts - well, that is, they taught me the next word of "Unrelenting Force"...yes, it turns out that these shouts are not just one word, but phrases - and "Whirlwind". "Whirlwind" is interesting - it moves you forward, and fast. After they taught me those, they sent me off to find an artifact: the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller. Well, alright, whatever.

I was going to get it, but I got distracted. First, when I entered Whiterun on my way there, I was attacked by some cultists. After I killed them, I found a note on one of the bodies. Apparently there's someone in Solstheim who wants me dead. Well, I'm not quite ready to go to Solstheim, but I suppose I'd better plan on making the trip relatively soon.

In the meantime, I learned that there's a Bard's college in Skyrim, located in Solitude. That sounded interesting, so up to Solitude I went. Of course, they wanted something too - Viarmo, head of the college, wanted me to go get him a book. Apparently there's a festival here every year where they burn a king in effigy, but the current Jarl - Elisif - has banned it because her husband died. Or possibly because she's an annoying and incompetent puppet of the empire, from what I've seen at her court when I've gone to visit her court mage.

Anyway, I agreed to get the book. Insert your standard trek through an ancient nord ruin. This one was a bit different, though, as I had the ghost of an ancient bard helping me. Together we found his body, and the book, and then we went and together tore the undead remnants of King Olaf to shreds. It seemed only fair to let Svaknir (the bard) have the final blow. Then I looted the place and Svaknir disappeared off to wherever happy ghosts go.

Well, turned out that the book was in bad shape. So Viarmo and I made up some verses to fill in the blanks, and presented it to Elisif, who, pleased with our invention, allowed the festival to go forward. I admit, the festival seemed a little gloomy at the start, but then the bards and food hawkers started up, and things got more festive. I was accepted as a bard, and even got a little coin for my work. Unfortunately Elisif, apparently going overboard as always, declared that the festival would now take place once a week. From one extreme to the other, that's Solitude's Jarl for you.

Anyway, there were a few other things I could do for the Bard's College, specifically, fetching a few stolen or lost items. That wasn't hard, although one of the items was located in another ancient Nordic ruin with some ancient sorcerer trying to revivify himself by luring people into his cave and then into sacrificing themselves to fuel his regeneration. It must have been someone effective, because I had to kill him about seven times to make it stick.

That's all for now...having delivered their instruments, I think I'm going to see about dealing with a dragon that has been bothering the area around Shearpoint. Oh, and I still need to get that horn.
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Vikarion

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Journal,
Well, I got distracted again. I found a book at the Bard's College called "The Aetherium Wars". It spoke of some extremely rare metal that the Dwemer found, and a forge they created for it. I decided to check it out, because...well, because I was curious. I don't need another reason.

When I arrived at and entered Arkngthamz, however, I encountered a voice telling me to go back. I didn't, and soon found myself in a vast fissure in the earth, on a small mesa-like island with a corpse. Well, not just the corpse - the woman's ghost also showed up - she was the one warning me to go back. I politely insisted that I could take care of myself, and she asked to come along. Katria (her name) has apparently been haunting these ruins, trying to stop adventurers from getting themselves killed, ever since she died doing the same. The reason she was here was that the guy who wrote the book (The Aetherium Wars) stole her research, and she was trying to prove her claims beyond a doubt.

Arkngthamz, aside from being a geologically unstable and mostly-destroyed Dwemer wreck, had little of unique note, save for a "tonal lock" - a vault wall which requires you to hit certain switches in the correct order if you want to get in. Of course, the Dwemer being the Dwemer, if you don't hit them in the right order, the construction starts releasing automatons with a distinctly irritable disposition. The combination was fairly easy to figure out, but being an old hand at killing Dwemer constructions (and more to the point, fond of looting them for parts), I intentionally got the sequence wrong a few times. I stopped when the bolts from a couple of mounted ballistas started raining down around me, and decided that I'd had my fun, and entered the right combination.

Inside, we found a piece of Aetherium. Sort of a light, glowing blue. I took it, and using Katria's journal, we quickly scavenged the rest of them from around Skyrim. It wasn't too hard - one of the pieces actually was just sitting on a pedestal out in the open up near Deep Folk Crossing.

Oh, and I did eventually make it to Shearpoint - Raldbthar (where one of the pieces was located) is close to it, so I had a fight with the dragon there. That went about as well as it could go - I surprised the marauder as he was resting on his Word Wall roost - but as he died, a coffin nearby broke open. I turned, expecting a Draugr, but instead it was...well, if I had to guess, I'd say it was one of the ancient Dragon Priests I've read a very small bit about. Like a lich, but far nastier. Unfortunately for him, Vampire Lord Dragonborn beats just-woken dragon lich. He had a mask, however, which seems...interesting. I'm going to hang on to it, as I'm hanging on to Katria's bow, Zephyr. She pointed it out to me while we were in Arkngthamz...it was hanging up on a log, lost during her fall. Interestingly, she seemed to have her own ghost version of it.

At any rate, with the four pieces of Aetherium in tow, we made our way to Bthalft. It didn't look like much - just a pedestal with a metal-vane globe on top, but Katria suggested I place the four crests into the pedestal, and then remove them.

With a great rumble, the ground quaked, and the pedestal rose up into the air, atop a small Dwemer tower. Inside was a lift, which took us down a long way. You could feel it.

Inside, there was a vast cavern, dark but for the dimmest light breaking through from some cave system far above. A Dwemer road - with ancient torches firing up to provide light as we walked along it - led from where we stood down into a small valley, across a bridge of natural stone, and then up a great stairway to the forge. It was...magnificent. And humbling. Like Blackreach, the ancient power and knowledge of the Dwemer is on full display.

The ruins were untouched. More than four thousand years have passed since someone walked in the Aetherium Forge - even the Dwemer had apparently long abandoned it even before their disappearance. It was...strange and exciting to be the first to see it in so long.

Of course, that didn't mean nothing had been walking the halls of the Forge. There were still some automatons there which Katria and I met shortly.

When we finally made it to the forge, it appeared that the Dwemer had found it necessary to use the heat of magma to power to forge itself. Steam was everywhere - and when I shut off the steam, we were swarmed by Dwemer spiders and spheres. As I noted earlier, I'm experienced in the killing of same, but what came after was not a pleasant surprise.

I've fought a few centurions before. They're nasty, but the trick is to stay back, hit them with stunning firebolts, and avoid their blasts of steam. This thing - the Forgemaster - was far deadlier. Fast, and fire didn't bother him a whit. He could breathe it, though, blasting us with bursts of flame. As a vampire, fire is hardly my most favorite element to be on the receiving side of...but fortunately, I'd kept that in mind, and enchanted my boots with a spell designed to resist flame. Also, I downed a potion with the same effect. That was enough to keep me from bursting into flame while I switched to ice magic, which eventually brought the monster down.

After that, it was easy enough to use the Aetherium forge. There were plans loaded for three artifacts: a crown, a staff, and a shield. The Staff was tempting, but the Crown is apparently designed to allow one to utilize the powers of two standing stones rather than one...both theoretically and practically more interesting and useful.

Katria was overjoyed to see the crown, and thanked me profusely before fading away...to Sovngarde, I suppose. If anyone deserves it, she does. It's a pity she didn't want to hang around - I found her company enjoyable, and I'll miss her. But I suppose she's done more than enough.
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Havohej

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"The Aetherium Wars"
I've never done this quest.  Great journal entry, I'll have to check this out tonight!
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Vikarion

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It's part of the DawnGuard expansion pack, I think. Also, it has a lot of non-map locations, so finding all of the spots can be tough. Good luck!  :)
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Havohej

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Aye, just went through the first ruin.  I don't like those Centurion things, so I'm glad I got the tonal lock right on the first try (it's kinda 50-50, but I guessed the pattern correctly).  This ghost is one of the most engaging NPCs I've encountered yet imo, which for Skyrim is actually saying quite a bit.

I was a little :argh: when I got out in the world to find the other locations NOT marked on my map... but I'm off and searching for the spot by the river northwest of the starting ruins.  The more I think about it, the more I like that it's not as simple as pre-marked locations.  This way is much more immersive.   :D
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Morwen Lagann

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Also, that Zephyr bow that you get from the first part of the quest - it's one of the highest-DPS bows in the game (next to Dragonbone and Nightingale, iirc), if you happen to pay attention to or care about that sort of thing. ;)

Definitely one of my favorite quests from Skyrim, though. I was sad when Katria left. :(
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Morwen's Law:
1) The number of capsuleer women who are bisexual is greater than the number who are lesbian.
2) Most of the former group appear lesbian due to a lack of suitable male partners to go around.
3) The lack of suitable male partners can be summed up in most cases thusly: interested, worth the air they breathe, available; pick two.

Vikarion

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Havo: yeah, finding some of the locations is pretty easy. Only one I had any trouble getting to was Raldbthar, because there are two entrances and one of them is locked. However, two minutes of searching isn't a great inconvenience...for someone who started with Morrowind, anyway.

Morwen: I very much am the sort to take that sort of thing into account, which is why Zephyr is stashed in my chest of cool stuff. However, this character isn't much of an archer, and I find that Destruction outperforms archery for any use save sneak-attacks. Destruction does more damage, its ammo (magicka) regenerates, and staggers virtually every enemy in the game (if you got the perk, which you should have). And provided the player buys or enchants his items with even a glance towards magicka use reduction, destruction spells are almost free.
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Vikarion

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Journal,
Well, I finally made it to the tomb of Jurgen Windcaller. It was infested by rogue mages, bandits, and Draugr. The mages had pretty much wiped out the bandits, but were in turn being wiped out by the Draugr. Actually, it looked like the Draugr had been woken up recently: there were signs of recent human habitation even deep inside.

Well, it turned out that I was right to notice that, because someone had been deep in the tomb. Taking the horn I was supposed to retrieve, and leaving me a note. Something about meeting them and asking for an attic room at Riverwood's inn. I figured it had to be a code phrase, because the place isn't big enough to have a second story.

I was right. I went there, asked for the room, and promptly discovered that the innkeeper - Delphine - is more than she appears. She brought me down into a secret room below the inn, and showed me a map of dragon burials. I learned why this was important fairly quickly - Delphine was sure that dragons were being brought back to life. I was skeptical, but it did seem to explain where they'd been all this time. I have to say that she did give me the Horn, but I find her attitude both arrogant and demanding. She might be trying to help, as she says, but she's also trying to do so by both withholding information and being threatening.

Fortunately, Delphine, although a bit pushy, did have a plan. She'd spotted a dragon burial mound near Kynesgrove, and we agreed to meet there, as it fit the pattern for the next resurrection - provided dragons were being resurrected. We agreed to meet at Kynesgrove, and I headed off.

Well, what do you know. I'm heading up the road to Kynesgrove in the middle of a blizzard when a woman comes screaming down from the village, claiming there's a dragon attacking near the old dragon mound. When Delphine and I go sprinting up to the mound, there's the black dragon from Helgen. Hello, bastard.

However, it didn't seem interested in me. It was interested in the dragon mount. It spoke...something, and the mound heaved. As we watched, a skeletal form clawed its way out, and as it did, flesh and skin covered its bones, and it spoke back to the black dragon.

I've seen much, but I do have to admit, this was a bit more impressive and terrifying than much, if not all, I've experienced - although, frostbite spiders dropping from the ceiling still is the gold standard for terror, as far as I'm concerned.

Then the black dragon turned its gaze on me. He said some nasty things, then flew off, after ordering the newly resurrected Sahloknir to kill me.

Sahloknir tried, I'll give him that. But I've been fighting dragons a lot more than he'd been fighting Dragon-born, and it showed. His first mistake was using frost, seeing as vampires are nearly immune to it, and his second was...well, he didn't really get the chance for a second mistake. Delphine and I tore him apart, and I devoured his soul.

Delphine was pleased to have her theory proved true, but that was pretty much all she had. She explained that she is a member of a secretive order known as the "Blades", who are apparently sworn to serve the Dragon-born. Yeah, sure, and I crave the gentle caress of the sun on my skin. You don't "serve" someone by ordering them to prove themselves to you, demanding they prove your theories, and then telling them what they have to do after that.

Anyway, I agreed to meet her back at the inn. Which I will. Eventually.

In the meantime, I returned to the Greybeards. They were far more pleasant. Apparently, all I had to do was get the horn, and that was enough. They taught me the last word of "Unrelenting Force", and then welcomed me by speaking to me in the Dovah tongue. When they did, the mountain trembled. I probably trembled a bit too...there was power in their speech.

After that, they sent me off to find more words of power. One of them coincided with my finding an (grumpy) old alchemist in Windhelm a magical phial. Unfortunately, it turned out that it was damaged. Still, his assistant was kind enough to pay me something, and I found the word wall, so it wasn't a wasted trip. I'm now off to look for some other words.
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Vikarion

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Journal,
Oh, so, remember how I went to the Mage's Guild to find some information on a certain Elder Scroll, in order to prevent/rewrite a certain prophecy - which reminds me, I need to check on how Serana is doing - and joined the college in order to get access to their library?

Well, I stopped by there again today to get some training in enchanting. And guess who had promised to take a tour of the facility and team up with the students to do some lessons? Right. Me. Oops.

Faralda and Mirabelle - Destruction instructor and dean of the college, respectively, were quite insistent this time. Apparently, it's not so much that they want me as a student, as that they think my expert level of knowledge in Destruction would be excellent for instructing other students. I tried pointing out that everything I knew about Destruction, I had learned from actually blasting, frying, or freezing various entities, but Faralda only noted that that was precisely what "Destruction" was about. I suppose she had a point.

I tried the same argument on Mirabelle, but she only responded that practical knowledge was the most useful. I wonder if she would be so interesting in my practical knowledge if I started educating students here on the best ways to become a vampire, the correct methodology for plundering the Soul Cairn (which, coincidentally, would also include becoming a vampire), or the best way to knock the head off a Dawnguard trooper/Vigilant of Stendarr with a firebolt before they can close with you?

Actually, based on the short list of rules I was given, she might not mind any of those, come to think of it. It pretty much boiled down to "don't kill anyone here, don't take their stuff, and try not to get caught doing anything that would make us look bad". I can live with that.

Anyway, off I went to my first..."lesson". To be quite honest, it wasn't really a lesson for me. An older man named Tolfdir - actually an approachable and kindly man - was lecturing on the dangers of magic, and then the two of us demonstrated the use of wards. After that, he suggested we all take a break to head off to Sarthal. The trip might take a bit for the rest of them, so I promised to show up in a couple days, and used the opportunity to find and learn another word, conveniently located at the end of a long trek through a Nord tomb, and guarded by a Dragon Priest.

Fortunately, aside from the Dragon priest, there was nothing of particular note in Volskygge....er, Volkygge...forget it. V-something. And the Dragon Priest, apparently without prior experience with vampires, tried to use frost magic on me, which meant that the Frost Atronach he summoned was actually more threatening than he was. Throwing freezing wind and ice at me? Annoying. An ambulatory ice statue hitting me over the head? Now that hurts. So I melted it. And the Dragon Priest. And stole his mask. And learned the last word of Whirlwind Sprint.

After reporting that to the Greybeards, I made my way to Saarthal. Along the way, I encountered a dragon flying over the glacier, who had it in for a snow bear. So I let the two of them battle it out, and then killed the winner (the dragon).

Once inside Saarthal - which seemed like a model excavation, I have to admit - Tolfdir put me to the task of helping Arniel Gane collect enchanted items. Easy enough, right up until I pulled an amulet off the wall and got locked in a room by a row of bars intersecting the doorway, activated by the removal of the amulet. Tolfdir suggested putting the amulet on, which I was skeptical of - I've heard a few horror stories about strangling amulets - but putting it on revealed that the wall the amulet had hung on was enchanted to crumble if hit by fire magic.

Heh.

Well, that lowered the bars, too. So, Tolfdir was soon by my side, egging us on deeper into the ruin. With me in the lead, I note, although, to be fair, I'm far better with Destruction magic than Tolfdir is.

I should make sure to note this - just as we started, something froze time, and an apparition appeared, making cryptic comments about how I had unleashed a chain of events, that I wasn't to blame, but the Psijic order believed in me. Then it - he? - was gone.

Uh...thanks. I should write more about that, but there isn't more to write. Just *poof* cryptic comments and *poof*. As if that's some sort of help. Maybe they could have done a little announcement before I pulled the amulet off the wall? Like "hey, maybe don't do that, and here's why?" or, if it's not a disaster I'm about to incite, maybe a "caution, momentous events ahead"? No, all I got was "hey, you may have royally screwed up, but it wasn't your fault, and we believe in you!"

Oh well.

We worked our way through Draugr and traps until we came to a great room, in which a giant orb sat...glowing teal, with rune-covered black bands and lacings. And magical. You could feel it coming off the orb. You could see it coming off the orb, too, because there was a very angry Draugr apparently siphoning energy from it.

Did I mention that the energy made him invincible?

If it wasn't somewhat hair-raising at the time, the spectacle of me running around the room trying to keep a Draugr busy while Tolfdir disrupted its connection to the orb would have been a bit hilarious. I may even find it funny myself, in a hundred years or so. But Tolfdir managed it, and deprived of his little protective shield, the thing went down quickly.

Of course, neither of us had any idea what the orb is, or does. So Tolfdir sent me off to see the Archmage. Savos Aren, the Archmage, seems nice enough, but a bit distant. I get the idea that the Archmage basically does his own thing while the Dean actually runs the college. In any case, he sent me back off to the library to find some books.

I've learned enough to expect that things are never that simple. As usual, this was the case. The books I need are...um...gone. As in, stolen. And the librarian is going to track them down for me. In the meantime, I suppose I'm going to try to track down another lead on the orb: the Draugr guarding it was apparently named Gauldur, and had a "Writ of Sealing" on him. There are apparently other "Gauldur" buried around Skyrim, and perhaps it has something to do with the orb.
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