Lydia and I rode out from the College as fast as we could, barely reaching the Nightgate Inn before it became too dark to carry on. We were up again before the sun rose, and as soon as we’d eaten we continued east towards the mountains. We were delayed a bit, though. Near where the Hall of the Vigilant stood (apparently burned down after a vampire attack) there’s an old fort on the road. The banner of The Pale was flying over it, so we thought it safe to pass through. Couldn’t have been more wrong.
Bandits had taken over the fort, and by the time we had cleared out the place it was time to rest again. I was coughing, and a fever was building, so despite our haste we took the time to brew me a potion then settled in for the night in the fort inn. The next morning my fever had broken and we were on our way again, reaching the ruins of Labyrinthian around midday.
Labyrinthian isn’t a nice place to be. The wind is blowing constantly, there’s little proper shelter, and the doors of what buildings that still have roofs are long gone. Of course, we did keep warm by fighting off all the trolls. It didn’t take us too long to find the place we needed to go to, though. It appears the Arch-Mage had been here in his younger days along with other apprentices from the College, and their… I don’t know if it was their ghosts or echoes of their spirits, but we got a glimpse of what they did when they were here. Not much, but enough to learn that they’d gone through Labyrinthian searching for something.
We kept getting more glimpses of the past as we worked our way through the labyrinth. The place is aptly named. We had to backtrack several times, fighting draugr at every turn. What we learned of the past showed us that the apprentices were fighting for their lives as well. They were being picked off one by one, being forced deeper and deeper into the ruins, the path behind them blocked by either draugr or whatever was hiding in the depths. The place was still well defended when Lydia and I broke our way through. As if draugr and animated skeletons weren’t enough, the place was also riddled with traps. Oh, and an animated bone dragon. Fat lot of use my bow was against that one.
I’m not sure how many hours it took us to find our way, but we finally came to where the last of the apprentices were. It would appear that the Arch-Mage was the only one that got out alive, leaving his last living companions behind to hold the power of Labyrinthian in torpor. They were still there, powering the shield surrounding… I don’t know what he was. What I do know is that he was powerful, and that whatever held the apprentices and their shield broke when Lydia and I entered. They all attacked us, forcing me to kill the apprentices, although I do not think that much of their selves were left.
And Lydia is awesome. As I dealt with the apprentices, she ran up to the, I’m just going to call him a sorcerer, and held him back until I was able to join the fight. And a long fight it was. That sorcerer was very powerful. Not quite powerful enough to stand against Lydia and me, but it was close. And now I have the Staff of Magnus, and Ancano doesn't want me to have it. A Thalmor agent had followed us, and as we were leaving he attacked. He said that Ancano had sent him to kill me. I need that deal with Ancano as well.
We didn’t get out of Labyrinthian until midday today, and not wanting to sleep in the troll infested ruins, we made our way to Whiterun. I’ve had a nap, and we’ll sleep at the Bannered Mare tonight. Tomorrow we will go back to the College. For now, though, I’ll just sit on the wall of Whiterun and think about what I want. The more I learn about people trying to get powerful, the more it seems as if they need to sacrifice a lot to do so. I’m not sure I’m willing to do that.