Finally made it to Winterhold! It’s been an interesting road to get to the city and I’m glad to see it.
Azura’s Shrine was a familiar sign on the mountaintop as I entered the city limits, and the first thing I noticed were the destroyed buildings, almost hollowed out. What had happened here?
I was hoping to get at least a hint from the locals and I got more than that; in fact both the physical and political goings-on at Winterhold were fascinating.
The Great Collapse changed everything for the city – and Jarl Korir is still bitter about it. To be fair most of the city was destroyed in a cataclysmic event that may or may not have been caused by magic users housed at the college in town which did survive said cataclysmic event, so hard feelings (or at least mistrust) are understandable.
Not everyone believes the College of Winterhold is to blame, but it’s the general mood.
The college itself has not disappointed as a worthwhile destination; it has all the pettiness of Morse’s Oxford and the mystery of Potter’s Hogwarts.
More on the college later – I’m still making my way through the town!
The aptly named Frozen Hearth Inn is now a place I can lay my head for free, after getting Ramnir to promise to pay his sizable tab. Whether he’ll make good on that promise I’m not sure.
At first I thought it was funny that the only thing the innkeepers were interested in was Ramnir, but owing so much to an establishment that only just gets by means you’re in the owner’s thoughts constantly. The husband and wife team of Dagur and Haran are on opposite sides when it comes to the local drunk (Dagur feels bad for him while Haran is tired of his routine), but they let him hang around regardless.
Birna (Ramnir’s sister) runs the general goods store and gave me a quest; I loved how she told me that the the dragon claw was worthless but when I needed it to complete the quest she gave me she still charged me fifty gold.
Malur Seloth (steward of Winterhold) asked if I would still Nelacar’s staff so he can save face. Nope.
Nelacar seems like a pretty good guy and the information he gave me on Azura’s Star was helpful. The next piece of the puzzle is tracking down his old mentor so we’ll see what happens with that.
Even though Winterhold is remote there are two people who made the journey to speak with me – a courier from the Jarl of Falkreath, Siddgeir, offering a position as thane and Durak, to recruit me to join the Dawnguard.
Those quests will have to wait though as I’m headed to my first day of college!
I was able to play for an extended amount of time so I’ve already done quite a few things at good ol’ CoW – here they are in rapid fire:
- After being admitted by Faralda I met the “dean”, Mirabelle Ervine. She gave me no-nonsense (and quick) tour and showed me my dorm room
- On that tour I ran into the Arch-Mage himself, Savos Aren. He was appropriately stuck up and aloof to pass as a plausible president of the college (if we’re looking to match a stereotype)
- Met Urag gro-Shub, head (and only) librarian of the Arcanaeum. Dude respects the books and I respect him for that
- Tolfdir gives me my first lesson, which then leads to the next – checking out the “probably safe” ruins of Saarthal.
- This lead to a very cool sequence of discovering a giant glowing orb that Tolfdir stayed behind to guard (I wouldn’t be surprised if something bad happens to him). We both fought Jyik Gauldurson (or rather what was left of him) and won
- While down looking in the ruins I came across my first dragon wall/word – I haven’t progressed enough in the main quest for my character to know the significance but he’ll get there
- Saw a vision and in the process contacted by the Psijic Order. They all disappeared over one hundred years ago so it’s a mystery as to what they want from me at this time
- I just happened to see a trap door and upon opening it was in the Midden, a dungeon below the school. Great find that lead to more craziness – the Atronach Forge, a mysterious magic gauntlet, missing students (different from the missing apprentices that Phinis Gestor posted about) – what’s going on down there?
The back exit of the Midden dropped me out underneath the college, and looking up at the huge structure was impressive. I explored the coast a little, activating the Serpent Stone and exploring the Wreck of The Pride of Tel Vos.
In that wreck I picked up Meridia’s Beacon and heard her voice boom that I need to deliver it to Mount Kilkreath. Yes ma’am.
Lastly I met two wanderers while wandering around myself. First Talsgar the Wanderer; dude sang me a song of the Dragonborn right there on the road in the snow (for a modest fee of course).
The other was an afflicted refugee – apparently there’s a sickness that he’s suffering from that I’ll no doubt find out more about later.
- First Lessons
- Under Saarthal
- Brelyna’s Practice