The Blacksmith’s Daughter (Skyrim Fan Fiction) – Part 4, Episode 8 – “Under Saarthal”

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Journal of Anya Fire-Heart – Sundas, 14th of Hearthfire, 4th Era, Year 201

‘Under Saarthal’

It is very early but I must write of yesterday’s event while they are still clear in my mind.  I woke up yesterday morning in Windhelm.  After spending an hour studying some books I had bought from Wuunferth, I had learned both Flame Cloak and Fireball.  Fireball pulls from my magicka reserve something fierce but I can get off a couple of shots.  Flame Cloak is still beyond me yet. I need to learn more, so it was a good thing I was headed to the College of Winterhold.  The carriage ride was short and we passed under the Shrine of Azura but I will probably visit that on the return trip as no carriage works out of Winterhold so I will have to go on foot back the other way.

I had been to Winterhold once before but only briefly.  It is a rugged small collection of buildings (Inn, Jarl’s Palace and one merchant) and the College which stands on a tall stone Island connected to the town by a broken stone bridge. I approached the entrance was stopped by a high elf named Faralda.  She warned me that crossing the bridge was perilous.  She asked me what I was looking for so I told her I needed information on the Elder Scrolls.  When she said they might have some, she also warned not anyone was just allowed to enter the College. Normally I would have to show some skill with magic.  I asked if an exception could be made for the Dragonborn.  She asked me to prove I was Dragonborn and one Fire Breath Shout into the open air and I was crossing the bridge behind her.    Image result for faralda skyrim

It turns out the Faralda is also the College’s Destruction Magic Instructor.  I asked her about destruction magic and she gave some very helpful advice.  My power since learning the Yol meditation from Paarthurnax in fire has been growing, even extending into my magic spells.  Faralda directed me to Mirabelle Ervine the College’s master wizard. She told me that even though Savos Aren was the Arch-Mage, Mirabelle ran the day-to-day.  I met the mater wizard who was very friendly and she took me on a tour of the grounds, showed me my room and then directed me to my first class which was being instructed by Tolfdir, the College’s instructor in Alteration magic.  I asked her what was expected of me and she said – nothing.  Practice magic freely as you wish and share your discoveries.

I entered the Hall of the Elements which housed the instruction area, the Arcanaeum and the Arch-Mage’s quarters I ran into the Arch-mage himself who is a dark elf.  After a brief conversation where he welcomed me he gave me some history and said the one thing that has stuck out in my mind all day – “Magic is a true power,,,It deserves respect and study”  With that I went into the Hall and found Tolfdir who had three other apprentices gathered around him. he welcomes me and what followed was a discussion on the value of practicality and safety when dealing with magic.  The students wanted something practical and Tolfdir warned that without caution disaster was inevitable.  When I sided with the students, he showed me what my Ward Spell could do.  He then asked us all to meat in a few hours at the ruins of Saarthal where the College had an expedition.

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As I finished crossing the bridge and started through the town to get to Saarthal, a courier came up to me and handed me a note.  When I asked him who it was from he said he didn’t know.  It was a creepy guy in a black robe but he paid good money to get it into my hands. When I opened it up, it had nothing but a black hand with two words – ‘We Know’.  The Dark Brotherhood.  Considering they have tried to kill me three times at someone else’s bequest through the Black Sacrament, I am not sure what this coming conflict would mean.  The Brotherhood wields considerable power and their information networks must be extensive. Given my task for Ulfric, they could be powerful allies.

I continued on to Saarthal which involves a short journey from Winterhold through a mountain pass. Once inside I was given the task of helping a college scholar catalog artifacts.  While gathering some, I pulled an amulet of the wall and became trapped.  Tolfdir advised me to put the amulet on and see what happened.  The moment I did, magical resonance appeared on the wall where I had taken it from.  I used my Flames Spell on the wall and it shattered revealing a passage.  Tolfdir and I followed it to a chamber with an altar and an apparent dead-end with three coffins. That is when something weird began to happen.  It was like when I use my Time Slow shout only much more pronounced and a figure appeared to me.  He said that I needed to listen well.  Then he told me their was danger ahead and that I had just set in motion events that cannot be stopped.  He then told me that I had been selected because the Psijic Order believed in me.

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When the apparition disappeared, Tolfdir said he felt something odd and asked me what had happened.  When I told him he was completely shocked but said if the Psijic Order was contacting me I should take it as a compliment.  As soon as we decided to move forward again, two coffins popped open – draugr.  In the first room we found an inordinate amount of coffins and Tolfdir wanted to examine them further so he sent me on ahead.  This ruin was part draugr infested and part puzzle traps.  I made it through all of them, even the last draugr who I fought for a long time before he went down.  When I was nearing the end Tolfdir caught up with me and we entered the last chamber where their was a floating orb absolutely radiating magicka. It was guarded by the draugr of Jyrik Gauldurson.  He was pretty invulnerable at first until Tolfdir realize the orb was powering his resistance somehow.  Tolfdir started bleeding that power off and I could then damage  him.  Fire worked really well on him and he went down.

I discovered Jyrik was one of the sons In a book I once read which spoke of forgotten legends in Skyrim. Tolfdir told me to tell the Arch-Mage of our discovery. There was a fragment of a powerful amulet and  a powerful staff with Jyrik which I took and I pressed on further into the unexplored areas which opened into another room which had a Word Wall.  I learned the Ice Form Shout’s first word and collected some more plunder.  I found the tunnel finally opened up back at the beginning where we came into Saarthal.  I journeyed back to the College and informed the Arch-Mage.  He thanked me and said that I would be the perfect person to do the research on the orb, so I should head to the Arcanaeum and do the research.

I entered the Arcanaeum and ran into Urag gro-Shub the orc Librarian.  I asked about the Orb but Urag told me he had some books that might help but they had been stolen by a former student names Orthorn.  I then asked about the Elder Scrolls, and he seemed resistant until I told him I was the Dragonborn then he gave me two books, one of which read like nonsense.  Urag told me that was the work of Septimus Signus who he had not seen in a year or two as he had found a Dwemer artifact out in the ice fields to the north.  I asked if Urag if he needed any assistance for the library or the college and he gave me two assignment to find some books.

I stumbled my way to the room I have at the College  My plans for tomorrow are to travel the ice fields to try to find this Septimus.  If he knows about where I can find the scroll it will be a trip well made. I continue to be concerned about the Dark Brotherhood.  They have made three assassination attempts on me and now they are directly trying to spook me. Honestly, I feel the only way this might stop is if I either join them or destroy them completely.  I don’t think the second is possible.  Besides, the history between the Empire and the Dark Brotherhood is one that favors the idea they might valuable allies in the war against the Empire.  They once assassinated the Emperor, maybe they could be asked to do it again.

Next: Folgunthur

 

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