The Midden, the area beneath the College, wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Cold and wet, yes, but I’ve started expecting that in Skyrim. The Augur of Dunlain, though… Not as much a person as… A consciousness, I guess? Tolfdir told me the Augur had had an ‘accident’ while trying to become a more powerful make. I will be more careful.
|The Augur of Dunlain.|
The Augur (He?) instructed me to find the Staff of Magnus, and after making some enquiries amongst the College staff, I learned that someone from the Synod, a group of mages that formed after the fall of the Mage Guild, had visited and asked about the staff as well. They had mentioned the dwemer ruins of Mzulft as a possible location, so that is where I had to go.
After consulting an old map in the library I found a likely location for the ruins and set out. Three dragons attacked en route. Three! The first one we encountered in the mountains before reaching Windhelm; it was fighting a giant, and Lydia and I rushed to the giant’s aid. However, once the dragon was slain, the giant turned on us. The bastard. Lydia was unprepared for the attack, so he knocked her over at once and came for me. I managed to hold him at bay until Lydia got back on her feet, and together we killed him. Both Lydia and I are glad that I know healing spells. Lydia was in real bad shape after that, so we decided to rest in Windhelm. No, I didn’t go to the castle to volunteer for the war. It seems that for once Lydia and I agree on something, and that is to stay away from the war for the time being.
Setting out from Windhelm the next morning, the journey south and east was uneventful until we closed in on the ruins. Another dragon attacked us. This time the giant that attacked us wasn’t actually fighting the dragon. Also, we saw it coming, so this time we weren’t taken by surprise. This dragon appeared to be guarding something near the road as well; I’d had a faint feeling of something being off just before it attacked, and sure enough, it was guarding a word wall. I can’t even tell all the words in my head apart now. I may have to listen to Lydia and go see the Greybeards soon, if for nothing else then at least to ask if they can teach me to control these words.
The last dragon was guarding the entrance to the ruins of Mzulft, and it was a strange one. It wasn’t a living dragon, but rather a mechanical one, apparently made of dwemer metal. We managed to knock this one out of the sky as well, although Lydia was grumpy afterwards because of the dragon chipping her sword. Told her she should have used the mace.
The ruins were already disturbed. We found a Synod mage that was breathing his last few breaths just inside the door, and further on we came across broken dwemer automatons and dead falmer as well. There appeared to have been a running fight from deep within the ruins all the way to the entrance, but I must admit I didn’t pay too much attention to it, other than making sure we weren’t ambushed; all those… Things! I’d really like to get back there one day to try to find out how the dwemer made all those machines and automatons, not least how they made them work!
Oh, and Lydia was angry with me. Understandably so, since I shot her. I pulled out the arrow and healed her, but she was still grumpy, even though it was an accident. A falmer tried sneaking up on use, and when I tried to shoot it the bow string slipped so I hit Lydia instead. She did kill the falmer before slapping me over the head, though, so it wasn’t too bad. Glad she has good armour.
Mzulft. It’s a big place, so big that we had to seal ourselves into a room and sleep down there. I didn’t really sleep well. Partly because of knowing that there were falmer down there, partly because we had no idea if there were any more dwemer automatons, but mostly because of those bloody bugs the falmer have! They’re breeding giant bugs! I hate them! I hate, hate, hate, hate them! As if it isn’t enough that they’re as big as me, they also spit poison! And some of them fly! Stupid bugs. The burn in pretty colours, though.
As we went deeper into the city, we found more and more signs of fighting, although I was unable to tell just who’d been fighting who. It seemed like it had been a three way fight, with Synod fighting falmer fighting dwemer. Luckily for us, we only had to fight the remains, making the journey through the ruins more of a tour of the sights than a dangerous exploration. We finally found the last surviving Synod mage, and together we made an ancient dwemer machine work. It seems this machine was made to locate powerful magical artefacts, and the College lit up very prettily. I’m guessing that’s because of the Eye of Magus, and, stupidly, I said so out loud, prompting the Synod mage to tell me he was going to report the College to the Elder Coundil, the ruling council of the empire. Oops.
|To Labyrinthian to search for the Staff of Magnus.|
On the bright side, one other location was highlighted, and assuming that is the Staff of Magnus, it is in a place called Labyrinthian. As we were leaving Mzulft, my elusive friend from the Psijic order appeared and told me that I was on the right track and should head back to the College as soon as I could and report what I had found. It started snowing as we passed Windhelm, though, so we’re staying the night here. I’m buying Lydia a nice venison dinner at the Candlehearth Hall as an apology.