Looking for other Skyrim Speedway posts? Part One has links to them all!
Previously on Orc Potter And The Breath Of Fire, Orc was sent to the College Of Winterhold, where he passed the entrance exam by breathing fire on the examiner. Hopefully, Orc’s antics won’t make him fall foul of the crusty old Dean!
Actually, that’s not a concern. I’m going to have fun with the Harry Potter and Animal House references, but the Mage’s Guild (they’re not called that in game but eh, close enough) is kinda short on any kind of…personality? The game sort of tries to hint that there’s a web of petty rivalries and power struggles in the faculty, but all of it is completely irrelevant to what you actually do during the questline. In the first quest the game sets you up in a lesson with other new students, gives them all backstories and personalities and then…they more or less stand in the background for the rest of the game.
In fact, I consider the bland, forgettable College questline one of the biggest missed opportunities in Skyrim and hope that for the next game, it’s far more like the Mage Guilds in the previous games, particularly the involved web of politics and occasional research it was in Morrowind. Make magic weird again!
Anyway, on with it. As I said, Orc is given a brief tour of the place, taking time to frolic in the fountain of pure magic while he does.
The guy in the magical poncho giving us the hard look is Archmage around here. Don’t worry, he’s not going to be very important. After the tour, it’s time for a magic lesson given by benevolent Dumbledorealike, Tolfdir. From him, Orc learns how to use a magical shield! I have never, ever used wards apart from in this lesson quest. They’re pretty useless compared to killing the thing trying to magic you!
It’d be nice if there was some incentive to hang around the place – I can see why they dropped the Morrowind system of requiring a certain skill level before letting you do important Guild business but it did give you a reason to get involved and actually learn things from your teachers – but as we’re in a hurry and Orc is max level in all magic skills we’d be moving on immediately anyway. Our destination is a nearby burial mound, for some Practical Archaeology 101. Should be easy for Orc, who is an expert in uncovering priceless relics from ancient ruins.
On the way out, I have a quick chat with the College’s conjuration teacher. Orc is an expert at conjuration, so he offers us a quick quest to summon a Dremora from Oblivion and break its will by hitting it with a mace several times so it will fetch us a Sigil stone. It’s a demon, this is fine!
We get a new friend out of this, a Lord of Hell to call our own. I enjoy having a dremora summon around, they’re just so enthusiastic about bloodshed! He’ll handle any enemies we can’t be bothered to from now on. I seem to remember having permanent Dremora Lord summons at master conjuration level, but that must have been a mod. (As a side note, shame Orc couldn’t ask any of my Oblivion characters for Sigil stones, they all had a few hundred spare!)
Onto the archaeology! After a small incident with an enchanted amulet (Tolfdir’s advice: “Is there some way you can…interact with the amulet?” Why yes, I can put it on!) and solving several puzzles where the door code is carved behind the puzzle lock, we reach uncharted territory.
Apparently these “puzzles” are to keep the mindless undead in, not people out…but they’re on the wrong side of the door for that.
Also we’re interrupted from our draugr killing by this flashy jerk, who stops time to smugly tell us that we’re about to do something really bad, but that he forgives us in advance.
Yes, it was a High Elf but for a change this one wasn’t a Thalmor, he’s with the Psijic Order, an organization of elitist High Elf mages. Still annoying though. Shortly after we find an ancient relic, buried since the earliest days of Man in Skyrim. This one’s all glowy!
Obligatory victory selfie, although Tolfdir’s combat buffs wearing off are upstaging the Ball a little bit.
With this find, the Archaeologist of the Year Award is practically Orc’s already! Tolfdir doesn’t know what it is and sends us off to tell the Archmage about it. He sends us to the library to have a look in the “Large Ball, Glowy” section. The Librarian is an Orc who also has a cool beard and is very protective about his books. While here, Orc briefly remembers he’s supposed to be saving the world and asks about Elder Scrolls.
I really like the completed quest objective in this screenshot. Unfortunately, the librarian both doesn’t have an Elder Scroll lying around and the entire “Large Ball, Glowy” section has been stolen by necromancers.
Orc duly proceeds to their hideout to issue the library fine, which is payable in hearts eaten by a werewolf (Not that Orc is a secret werewolf! Ha ha, who would think that!). This is quite profitable and
Orc a mysterious stranger gets three entire werewolf perks in an extended rampage around the area, including two dragons. I’ll confess to being a bit worried when the first one attacked as werewolves have no ranged attack to force the dragon to ground and Orc someone else had eaten so many hearts the timer before changing back was ridiculously long, but they were no problem!
Returning with the books, Orc finds Tolfdir has moved the Ball inside the College. If you look at it, it comes up on-screen as the Eye of Magnus but shhhh, we’re not supposed to know that yet. Orc tells Tolfdir about what the books say, but before Tolfdir can do anything…
…look who’s here. It’s a Thalmor. I bet he’s planning to be a jackass somehow. We’ll find out next time.
Time Elapsed: 12hr 50m
Achievement Progress: 30/75
Next time: Orc Potter And The Elf Blood Prints