After heading make to the College Se’rith had a light supper and headed straight to bed, the day’s efforts finally caught up with her. She had an untroubled rest and woke ere the crack of dawn full of vitality and energy. After dressing she headed to breakfast bumping into Mirabelle on the way who remarked how well Se’rith looked. Indeed the Goddess had been kind to her and with the aid of Stendarr cleansed her of disease. Mirabelle asked Se’rith to join her for breakfast and the Dunmer took the opportunity to quiz her about College mages that had dedicated their research to the study of the stars. Mirabelle’s countenance changed rapidly. Such research had been carried out by a number of mages most notably one named Malyn Varen, who had gone insane, and more recently an Altmer named Nelacar. Could this be the elf Aranea mentioned? Mirabelle went on to tell Se’rith that this Nelacar had chosen exile from the College after the Arch Mage had told his research was not welcome after the incidents with Varen. Last she had heard he was holed up at the Frozen Hearth in Winterhold but banned from the College grounds. Se’rith knew where had path would next lead her. As she left the College Sergius Tarrianus, the Master Enchanter, grabbed her by the arm and told her she’d been nominated to go to Whiterun to fetch an item of great importance for him! He handed her a note and without another word turned away.
Nelacar was a tall elf with sparkling, golden eyes. Se’rtih found him in a side room at the Frozen Hearth. Upon seeing her he curtly told her his ties with the College were cut and that Soren could go up a guar’s arse for all he cared. His defensive nature dropped immediately when Se’rith mentioned Azura’s star. He started with a dire warning that insanity followed that accursed item and that his friend Malyn Varen had lost his mind with tales of immortality and dreams of storing his soul in the star so he could live forever. The Star, he continued, was also a soul gem but one with unlimited uses as the soul would pass through it when used and leave it vacant for a new soul. Malyn tried hard to find a way to achieve his goal of immortality knowing full well his research was against College regulations. It wasn’t until people started to die that the Arch Mage took action. In a fit of madness Malyn slaughtered one his apprentices to use her soul. The Arch Mage and several of the masters cornered him and subdued him. Azura’s Star had driven him mad. Last he’d heard, Nelacar went on, was that Malyn had holed himself up in an old imperial outpost called Ilinalta’s Deep. As for Nelacar’s situation he deftly swerved Se’rith’s questions. He then politely bade her to leave with a twinkle in his golden orbs.
A lot to take in indeed. She decided to take a walk down the South Road to clear her and mind and decide her next course of action. As she left the Frozen Hearth there was a commotion just at the entrance of Winterhold. An adventuring party was passing through and took the path to Saarthal. Se’rith’s soul sparked for a moment. Adventure was always true to her heart and seeing these strong, confident warriors and wizards made her want to delve into dark holes with the promise of glittering reward. Yet it was only a fleeting moment as her sense of duty also kicked in and she was soon heading down the road deciding what she was going to do.
OT-extra travellers and adventurers courtesy of Adventurers and Travellers mod by kittenailer.
She was about an hour down the road when she noticed a small domed structure, almost hidden among the falling snow, to the left of the road. She’d past many times this way but never seen it before. She cautiously approached the building reading her magic as she heard some scuffling and the drawing of steel from within. The sudden crash of magic made her run towards the entrance. As she passed the threshold a blood curling scream filled the air. She entered and saw a rough looking Nord wielding a bow standing over the body of a mage, robed in blue. Looking up he smiled and said, ‘two for the price of one.’ He nocked and arrow and let fly. Se’rith darted to the left and hit a glancing blow with her first bolt. The arrow whistling past her cheek. The Nord was an assured bowman and moved with grace and agility but in such a confined space the effectiveness of his bow was limited. Se’rith soon had him bleeding and smoking from several solid hits and as he dropped to one knee she finished him off with a solid hit with her mace, brains and skull fragments dirtying her robes. Gods she hated that weapon. Looking around her she saw the bandit had attacked an Alchemist. Searching the room she found two full Apothecary Satchels which she added to her own. The robes the mage wore radiated strong magic and looked warmer and sturdier than her current garb. The dead mage surely would not begrudge a fellow wizard use of his former clothes. She stripped the dead imperial and consumed his body to ashes with magical fire while praying to Arkay to fend for his soul. The bandit carried several interesting looking weapons which she put into her satchels to trade for good or coin with Birna.
She also found an excellent book called The Herbalists Guide to Skyrim. This tome would be an invaluable aid for her Alchemy development. Detailed drawings of several ingredients were accompanied by instructions on how to use them in the brewing of potions. She learnt, for example, that the wings of a lunar moth could be crushed and used in potions of invisibility. She leafed it for a while and then pocketed it. Looking around the small hovel she decided there and then that she would indulge both her sense of adventure and fulfil her duty to the College by travelling to Whiterun. Skyrim lay at her feet and the world was open to her to explore as she saw fit!
OT-HD textures for books thanks to HD High Resolution Books by Jac22v. A great improvement on the vanilla textures.