Se’rith greeted the dawn with a cold chill and aching joints. Her fever was getting worse and as of yet had not found an alchemist in the College of Winterhold. She felt like lying there all day and disappear under the goose feather quilt. Yet her fellow apprentices would not let her be. Onmund, the Nord, politely coughed as Se’rith was clasping on her robe. He was standing awkwardly at the entrance to her chamber. ‘Well are you going to spit it out or are you going to stay gawking there all day?’ she spat. The Nord’s white face reddened at the dark elf’s boldness and so he set tounge to purpose. He talked rather sheepishly of a transaction with Enthir, a mage of shady repute who was rumoured to have access to College unsanctioned materials. Onmund had handed over a family heirloom, an amulet of sorts in return for some goods the Nord was reluctant to mention. Enthir, unsurprisingly did not come up with the goods and had refused to return the amulet. Onmund had hoped Se’rith would talk to the elf on his behalf. She agreed just to get him out of his room as her head was thumping uncomfortably.
However she would not find peace as loitering at the entrance of the Hall of Attainment was Ancano, the Thalmor Ambassador. ‘You there,’ he called, his voice dripping with scorn. Se’rith froze like a fawn caught in the hunter’s gaze and watched the Altmer approach. He immediately launched into questions about Saarthal and was very insistent that Se’rith tell him what had been found. She found her tongue and told him very little actually having the temerity to tell him what business of his it was. At this he snapped around exclaiming that everything was the Thalmor’s business. At that he courteously bid her farewell though she could feel his golden eyes piercing into her back as she headed to the Arcaneum to see if she could find anything on how to brew a cure disease potion.
On her way there however she was called over by Drevis, the master illusionist. He rambled on about having been given a task by the Arch Mage that was better suited to the talents of an apprentice and as Se’rith was the first apprentice he saw he entrusted her with the job. She was to go around the College and clean all the focal points of magical energy from any impurities she found. He pointed to the blue pillar of light pointing skywards from the stone basin at the centre of the Hall of Elements to indicate what he meant. Indeed it was rather different to the others she’d seen. It had swirling pale blue lights that moved around the main pillar of light in a chaotic fashion. ‘Here I am a Master of this College tasked with house cleaning,’ he groaned as he handed Se’rith a pair of gloves covered in arcane sigils. She was simply to insert her hands into the focal points and let the magic in the gloves do their work. With that he turned away and told her to seek him in the Arcaneum when she was done. Putting on the gloves, that at first sight seemed too large for her slender hands, she felt them adjust perfectly to her fingers until it seemed she was wearing a second skin. Pausing for a breath she put her hands in the flow of magical energies bracing herself for the worst. An anti climatic whoosh and a rush of air being sucked downwards were the most dangerous things that happened. When she dared to open her eyes she saw that the pillar of light had been restored to its usual serene self but resting at the bottom of the basin there rested a glittering soul gem. She looked at it for a second, marvelling at its perfect facets, before gingerly placing it in her satchel.
She quickly went about her mundane chore in less than an hour. At each focal point the same thing happened. A soul gem was left nestling at the bottom of each basin. She did indeed find Drevis in the Arcaneum who collected his gloves but told Se’rith with a wink that she could keep the gems as payment. He also told her that a sickly Dunmer could always seek the blessing of Azura to cure her of whatever ills she may be suffering from. With that he bade away and continued to enjoy his brunch. Ofcourse Se’rith instantly caught onto Drevis’s meaning, the Shrine of Azura. She had bumped into a pilgrim on the way to the shrine on her journey to Winterhold, somewhere near that mine she rested outside of. She dug into her satchel, produced her map and almost kicked herself when she noticed the shrine was less that a days walk to the South West. She could almost kiss the wizened old Drevis but thought better of it. She immediately set off to the Shrine of Azura to seek the Goddess’s blessing.
OT – I have changed the time scale of the game to 5 down from 20 after reading this article on improving the role playing experience while playing Skyrim.