The College of Mages rises as a gloomy stronghold in the northeast of Tamriel, is the territory of the province of Winterhold. As its inhabitants say, the glory of Winterhold is gone, but the College lives on.
The College of Winterhold has long been a mighty bunch of hermit mages who have devoted their lives to studying the mysteries of the universe. As the main attraction of Skyrim's capital city, the College rarely attracted lore hunters. Not every guest dared to visit the guild due to the innate hostility of the peoples of the north to everything magical.
Spoiled the reputation of the Board and the mysterious storm that raged off the coast of Winterhold. Giant waves tore apart the rock, and part of the buildings of the town collapsed into the abyss of the Illusive Sea. In addition to the surviving street, the Collegium also remained indestructible, which gave rise to a number of rumors regarding magicians and dissatisfaction with them. However, the latter do not confirm their involvement in the cataclysm that began with the eruption of the Red Mountain, but do not refute the rumors either.
Nevertheless, tales sweep across Skyrim, the College of Winterhold is entwinedgossip, like a thick cobweb. Only lonely magicians who meet by chance on the way can say a kind word about the Academy.
Skyrim fans will remember the College of Winterhold for a number of ornate quests that send the player to various interesting locations inhabited by mysterious creatures, dangerous opponents and unexpected turns of events.
And yet, how to get into the College of Winterhold? To gain access to the quest chain related to this location, you must show your own interest in magic anywhere in Skyrim. The closest suitable character is a court mage in Dragon's Reach, the royal castle of the city of Whiterun. The sorcerer will advise Dovakin to contact the most suitable organization for the realization of witchcraft potential. The College of Mages of Winterhold is just the right choice.
After receiving the desired task to visit the College of Winterhold, it remains to get to the northeastern part of the continent, overcoming the charms of the harsh Nordic nature, such as constant snowstorms, wolves striving to attack, forest robbers lurking behind every bush, and, of course,, dragons.
The adventure begins
The quests of the College of Winterhold are interesting and varied, but it is not necessary to rush to the threshold of the majestic Academy. Dovakin is given the opportunity to talk with the locals, find out what the guests of the Frozen Hearth eatery are talking about, look at Byrna's goods in the store named after her, examine the surviving buildings of Winterhold andvisit the local jarl.
In this location there is a possibility of a dragon attack, therefore Dovakin is strongly recommended to look at the sky and observe the behavior of the local guards. Although the latter is not numerous, it is easy to understand from the guards running back and forth that somewhere in the frosty fog of the northern night a giant winged monster is flying towards the city. In a battle with such, all means are good: from existing weapons to dragon screams.
After going forward along the only street, the hero will stumble upon the Dunmer Faralda, meeting with which will mark the end of the first task offered by the College of Winterhold quests.
Lesson one - prove yourself worthy
The guard stands for a reason, her task is to guard the entrance. She will only let her in when the incoming one demonstrates the presence of their own magical skills. The player needs to use one of the spells of any school of magic or one of the Dragon Shouts, making it clear to the elf that Dovakin himself is in front of her.
Faralda will lead the hero along a long, narrow bridge hanging over the abyss, at the bottom of which the waters of the Illusive Sea wash over the remains of collapsed pillars. Without them, the bridge is held together by magic. Be free - welcome.
The Courtyard of the College is notable for the presence of a statue of a woman greeting a student with wide arms. Next to the statue is a well that emits upward streams of radiant magical energy as a symbol of the bright essence of a true magician, striving upward to enlightenment, knowledge and the stars. Entrance to the main hall of the fortresscrowns the Eye as a symbol of wisdom and hidden knowledge.
Mirabella Ervin is standing at the door, the dialogue with which will be reduced to a verbal blitz tour of the Collegium, as well as a story about some of the guests of the fortress. She will direct the Dragonborn to the Hall of the Elements for Tolfdir's lecture. Here you can also meet the meticulous Thalmor Ancano, always pestering with various questions. Sometimes the archmage himself walks in the courtyard, welcoming new students. The sorcerer teaches a lesson with several more students, who now and then offer the master to move from boring theory to entertaining practice. After a few variations with learning and casting spells, the quest will be completed.
Old man Tolfdir offers an unusual adventure in the form of a sortie to the excavations of the ancient city of Saartal, where the storyline of the next quest takes place. You will have to explore the ruins of the ancient Nord settlement not alone, but together with the students and the master himself, who will immediately tell the story of this place.
It turns out that Saarthal was once one of the Nord settlements, until the snow elves staged a bloody massacre, killing almost all the inhabitants, except for Ysgramor and his children. Ysgramor is known as a celebrated hero of Skyrim, the leader of the Nord ancestors who once landed on the northern shores of Tamriel. It is assumed that the snow elves were looking for some powerful artifact, knowledge of which has been lost. The robbery remained in the memory of generations under the name "Night of Tears", it is described in a book with the same name.
Dovakin is assigned to help one of the researchers fromColleges collect valuables. On the way, you will come across several rings and a unique amulet, designated as the Amulet of Saarthal, touching which will cause a distortion of a piece of wall located near the player. Using the wizard's hint, Dovakin needs to cast a spell that can bring down the wall.
Suddenly, time stops and a mysterious robed figure appears to the Dragonborn. She introduces herself as Nerien. An unknown guest will warn the player of an impending global catastrophe, the mechanism of which was set in motion by the mages of the College of Winterhold. When the obsession disappears, the dialogue with Tolfdir will shed some light on the mysterious guest. In particular, the teacher will ask in detail about the vision and tell a short story about the Psijic Order - a group of sorcerers from the island of Artaeum who chose to go into seclusion in order to follow the "old ways" of ancient magic - forgotten mystical treatises, intentionally or accidentally hidden from the eyes of a mere mortal.
While master Tolfdir is narrating, nearby sarcophagi suddenly open, exposing their unpleasant insides - two draugrs (the walking dead) attack the main character. One of the sarcophagi, as it turns out, is a door behind which lies the path that Dovakin and Tolfdir will follow. Further exploration of the abandoned ruins of the Nords, inhabited by the same walking dead, will lead the magicians to a large room, the center of which is occupied by a large rotating sphere surrounded by a mystical glow.
The slightest approach to the artifact awakensthe guard is a draugr named Jurik Goldurson, a dead man who, during his lifetime, was the son of an archmage in the service of King Harold. The battle with the boss is not so easy, because the dead man uses the Dragon's Cry, which can throw the enemy a long distance, and the orb itself protects him. Suddenly, Tolfdir makes an attempt to attack the sphere, the draugr loses contact with the object and becomes vulnerable. A part of the amulet will drop from the killed boss, the remaining pieces are stored in the tombs of his brothers, and their souls guard the tomb of their father.
Master Tolfdir has no idea about the nature of the find, and further conversation with the archmage at the College will lead Dovakin to a librarian named Urag gro-Shub.
This is the name of the library where the protagonist will go to complete the next quest of the Skyrim game. The College of Winterhold, according to the librarian, does not have the necessary literature to identify the find. Therefore, Urag will offer Dovakin to sneak into the nearby fortress of necromancers to return the books stolen from the Arcaneum.
Fighting a small group of Fellglow Fortress sorcerers will not cause much difficulty, except for the summoning of Frost Atronachs by one of the mages.
The following tomes are required from the shelf:
- Night of Tears;
- The Last King of the Ayleids;
- Fragment: About Artaeum.
The contents of the first book will be of great interest to the librarian, but only uncertain ambiguous hints will follow in response, which will lead to the need to again have a conversation with Tolfdir, wholocated in the same place - the Hall of the Elements. Only now the chamber has been replenished with a new find from Saarthal - a sphere rotating a few meters above the floor in the hall.
Find the Augur
Tolfdir never ceases to admire the unique find, working day and night in an attempt to read the unknown symbols that cut the sphere up and down. The dialogue with the master is interrupted by the elf Ancano, who reports on a stranger demanding an audience with Dovakin in the chambers of the archmage. Waiting in the room is a hooded stranger who looks like a strange visitor in the ruins of Saarthal. Psijic stops time to inform the hero of important information about the Eye of Magnus (that is the name of the artifact) and the dangers of setting it into action. The guest offers to find a certain Augur of Dunlane in the College to get answers to a lot of questions. When the spell wears off, Quaranir informs Ancano that he has miscalculated and leaves. The Talmorian, on the other hand, is suspicious of everything and vows to follow Dovakin's every step.
The search for the mentioned master leads the hero to the Midden location, located in the dungeons under the College, which can be accessed through the hatch at the main entrance. The underground passages are inhabited by ice spiders, snow trolls, and a few ghosts. We should also mention a unique place - the Atronach Forge, capable of creating a special item - the Staff of the Atronachs. Not far from the forge, in the location "Darkness", the protagonist finds a huge beam of light, which is the goal of the search for the Dragonborn.
Augur of Dunlane was once one of the best mages of the College of Winterhold,but an unsuccessful experiment led to its disembodiment. Disembodied, the master exists as a beam of light in the Midden. The sorcerer reports that before many came who wanted to know the secret of the Eye of Magnus, and now Dovakin must stop one of the members of the Academy, who is about to put the artifact into action. The Augur advises finding the Staff of Magnus and talking to the Archmage. After that, the quest is considered completed, and the interlocutor disappears.
Questions about the staff among colleagues will lead Dovakin to Mirabella, while the girl will direct the player to the ruins of the city of Mzulft, located near the stronghold of the Storm Brothers, the city of Windhelm, to complete the next quest offered by the College of Winterhold. The key to the ruins is nearby: from a dying explorer, who mentions his colleague and some structure underground.
Wanderings through the gloomy dungeon are complicated by the Falmer - local residents, periodically annoying Dovakin either with a poisoned arrow fired from the darkness, or with a sudden attack from around the corner. One of the Falmer encountered has the necessary quest item - Focusing Crystal. As a result, the player ends up in the Oculatory, an old Dwemer structure, the secret of which is unsuccessfully tried to unravel by another researcher who agrees to help only after learning about the Crystal.
By placing the crystal and manipulating the directions of the rays with the help of elemental magic - fire and flame - the beam is divided into three beams and projects an image on the wall - a map of Tamriel. But the researcher is dissatisfied with the result, he reports thatthe image should not be so small, and declares the presence of some powerful item on the territory of the College of Winterhold. However, upon completion of the quest, he reports the location of the Staff of Magnus - the ruin of Labyrinthian.
Leaving Mzulft, Dovakin again encounters Nerien, who will tell about the need to return to the College.
There is panic in the Hall of the Elements of the College, Mirabella and the archmage are at a loss: the doors of the hall are blocked by a magical barrier, the energy flows reject anyone who dares to approach. Through the whitish veil emitted by the rotating Eye, the already familiar outlines of a tall figure, located next to the artifact, are visible - Ancano.
Attempts to destroy the barrier lead to a fight between the archmage Savos and Ancano, but the elf, using the power of the Eye of Magnus, turns the situation to his advantage. The next moment, the hero wakes up near the College along with Mirabella, which will mark the end of the quest and the beginning of the next one, which implies the elimination of the consequences of a large-scale energy release due to the activation of the Eye of Magnus.
In the courtyard, Tolfdir announces the death of the archmage and the emergence of a threat to the town, and not just the College of Winterhold. The passage of the quest continues with the guard Faralda and Anriel. Dovakin goes to the settlement to destroy ten small magical anomalies that look like ghosts. After eliminating those, the hero will receive the amulet of Savos and the master key from the doors of the Labyrinthian from Mirabella.
Wandering through the long tunnels of the ruins will shed some light on the identity of the archmage: periodically, the Dragonborn will come across the ghosts of Savos Arena and his mage friends who were exploring the ruins. In the depths of the catacombs, the dragon priest Morokei is imprisoned, who periodically tries to speak with the hero in an incomprehensible language. Each attempt drains your mana and awakens swarms of draugrs who can use Dragon Shout, magic, and archery.
The path to the goal is paved with a series of traps. There are opponents of varying difficulty, as well as the mentioned voice of Morokei. Closer to the target, ghosts reappear. It turns out that Savos Aren, not without regret, sacrificed the lives of two of his comrades, imprisoning them in a dungeon so that they would hold the sinister dragon priest with the help of magic.
To fight the boss, you must first kill the souls of mages. Morokei himself is the owner of the quest objective - the Staff of Magnus. Of particular value is the Mask of Morokea. At the exit from the Labyrinthian, the hero is ambushed in the form of a Thalmor magician and Ancano's ally, which indicates a well-thought-out conspiracy.
Eye of Magnus
A growing anomaly generated by a powerful artifact seems to be erasing the Collegium from the world map. Now the only way to get there is on foot. On the spot, they will already inform Dovakin that the magical barrier is growing. With the help of the Staff of Magnus, the protagonist manages to break through the barrier and enter the Hall of the Elements. Fascinated by his occupation, Ancano claims that he has power in his hands that can bring down the whole world into oblivion. The use of magic does not give any result, and the elf remains under the protection of the artifact. It remains only to use the power of the Staff of Magnus on the sphere itself, then the traitor becomes vulnerable to attacks, however, periodically the protection of the Eye is restored.
Ancano's defeat triggers the final scene: the arrival of Quaranir and his fellow Psijic Order, who decide to place the Eye in a safe place, away from human eyes, where no one can find it. After that, the Eye disappears, and Quaranir informs the Dragonborn about the appointment of the head of the College of Mages - the archmage. It is this award that the College of Winterhold presents to the hero for saving the province of Skyrim. The quest chain ends here. Everything turned out to be not so difficult.
College of Winterhold: bugs and notes
- Attacks by dragons of different levels on the College happen quite often - with the growth of the player's level. The fight takes place in the courtyard, the magicians are put on alert, but not everyone takes part in the fight, because without the help of Dovakin they still can’t cope. Some magicians may fall under friendly fire, the death of which will make it impossible to receive tasks from the quest chain.
- Even after assigning the position of archmage to the main character, the court mage of Whiterun, along with some mages encountered, will not stop offering to join the College of Winterhold.
- Faralda's Guardian sometimes won't let a hero through even after demonstrating the ability to use magic. There is only one way out - to use the underground passage throughMidden.
- While conducting a tour of the fortress, Mirabella sometimes just stops and falls silent. This quest is a side quest, so it's better to immediately go to Tolfdir for a lesson.
- There are also a number of common bugs that occur throughout the entire Skyrim game. Passing the College of Winterhold is no exception. These include all kinds of getting stuck in the doorways of the mercenaries accompanying the hero, failures in the textures, the periodic disappearance of partners in an unknown direction.
Some mods for the College of Winterhold
A number of author's modifications that transformed the game "Skyrim" (mod "College of Winterhold") are available for download on the Internet. Various additions involve changing the appearance of the characters (both the inhabitants of the College and the entire game world), as well as replacing the standard textures with more picturesque, colorful ones.
A number of mods available for searching under the keywords "college of Winterhold expansion" include fixing some bugs, reworking the textures of the College, upgrading the behavior of characters in a given situation, redesigning the appearance according to the level of the character, adding side quests and replenishment of a set of spells both for sale and for study.
The trend to “wrap” your favorite games with all sorts of mods is far from new, because the number of masters exhibiting their creations is incalculable. In addition to these mods, there are many others: from the introduction of characters from various cartoon universes to a complete redesign of the storyline of the game. Everyone will find somethingtheir own, and connoisseurs of the original game will always remain true to the classic version of it.