June 12th, 2014
|11:46 am - Skyrim Part 9 - Rita Oidrom And The Order of the Psijic|
Today I learned Skylanders (a game about collecting elemental-themed toys) has little plastic toy dragons in every elemental affinity. Thanks, universe, I needed a reason to spend all that money I don't have on miniature dragons. That's pending. I'm still thinking about that. Maybe with the Wii U...
Rita has been in magical college for like 54 minutes and is already wrapped up in some kind of weird mystical artifact situation. I am led to believe you seriously cannot get NEAR mages without that happening. They have some kind of mage-netic attraction to trouble and artifacts and stuff. I'm sorry about the word mage-netic, it won't happen again.
Let's face it, if Rita had to draw heaven it would look like the library at the Mage College. Maybe it's not as huge and elaborate as her own will someday become, but it isn't exactly shabby either. We've got to resist the urge to just stand around and read ALL THESE BOOKS.
Inside, Rita spends some time talking with Olivia Meronin, formerly of the Imperial Mage Guild. She believes in a bit of a conspiracy. Extremely paraphrased: That a great mage once wrote five spells that -blend- the schools of magic and hid them. She also asks Rita to find her assistant before she gives any details about THAT. He may be "in one of the caves along the north shore". She's to identify him by telling him his whiskers are as black as an Imperial's hair, and even when he laughs he looks unhappy.
But that's not why we're here. We're here to learn about that giant glowing ball thing. And we can't, because some dipshit named Orthorn ran off to impress some group of misfit mages who "didn't fit in" at the college, and when he left he stole a big pile of supplies and library books. Including the primary book on Saarthal.
"The Archmage believes in letting these things sort themselves out." explains the head librarian. "Looks like you'll be the one doing the sorting. Good luck with that." So yet again Rita becomes someone's Fist, to remotely slug people in the arm and go "Hey. Quit it."
On the way out, Rita is stopped by Ancano the Thalmor, he who was chewed out yesterday. He's the advisor to the Archmage, and he notes that he WILL find out what Rita found in that cave. Whether she likes it or not. ... Okay bye.
The loser with the stolen library books is off in Fellglow Keep, a considerable distance south of the college. It hasn't been long enough yet for Jaspar to finish his rewrites, however, so Rita shrugs, packs up and rolls out. Down the road again...
Along the way --
-- A thief! He whips out a knife and tells Rita to hand over all her money. Rita replies "I don't have TIME for this." and strolls right by. "Hey... wait! Don't walk away from me!" the thief yells and tries to stab her, so Rita puts fireballs down his throat until he stops talking.
-- A discovery! Walking through a snowstorm at four in the morning while being hounded by wolves and skirting the edge of cliffs? It sucks. Don't do this.
-- The Nightgate Inn, where Rita holes up for a few hours to stop it being four in the morning and terrible. It is soon ten in the morning and terrible. She sets out again.
-- The ruins of Irkngthand, a Dwemer city. We can't get in, as it's all locked up and requires a key. There are several bandits outside, however. They turn out to have expensive armor and weapons and show themselves willing to donate their equipment by attacking Rita. Hi-ho, we've got plenty to sell when we next find a shop.
-- A Thalmor named "Agent Lorcalin". He is under orders to stake out a Talos shrine up in the mountains and kill any worshippers who get too close. The shrine attracts Rita. Agent Lorcalin is cut down in the line of duty while attempting to deal with her. Gee, thanks Talos. Rita offers no prayer at his shrine.
-- Fellglow Keep! Finally.
Bit of a dump, really. The attack of a group of angry mages reveals that this sure is the place. Rita sneaks in through the back door and sets about repossessing a heap of library books, too many to list here. It's quickly obvious that there is some bad stuff going on here. Vampires lay sprawled across stone tables, cut apart, and several of the mages are also clearly daedra worshippers. I'm not sure what's going on, but I don't really want to know either.
Orthorn, however, is in one of the cages in the dungeon. He begs to be let out... when Rita admits she's just here for the books, he deflates awfully fast. Sigh. Rita lets him out and he perks up again, so now she has a companion in setting necromancers on fire. In the top chamber, Rita finds "The Caller". She offers a deal: Leave the elf, take the books.
"Wait, what?" asks Orthorn.
"I need more test subjects." The Caller replies. "Do we have a deal?"
Rita sets her on fire and leaves with the library books. Orthorn is rather grateful and buggers off somewhere.
Total haul: A few magical supplies, some misc. treasure, and 52 books. I allow a rare use of fast travel back home to tuck them away, and also slip Lydia a thousand gold so she can furnish the house while we're away. Of the books, the three that're quest items and thus need to be returned to the library are:
On Artaeum, a fragment that talks about the Psijic Order.
The Last King of the Ayleids, which is about exactly what you think it's about.
And The Night of Tears, which talks about the night when Saarthal was burned to the ground. Now, this holds interest to us.
The Nords found something when they built their city, buried deep in the ground. They attempted to keep it buried, but the elves learned of it and coveted it for themselves. Thus they assaulted Saarthal, their goal not to drive the Nords out but to secure this power for themselves. I believe Ysgramor knew something of what the elves would find under Saarthal, and rallied together his people to keep the elves from gaining it. When Nords once again controlled Skyrim, this power was buried deep below the earth and sealed away.
That's it. Whatever that is, that's what we saw down there in those caves. Let's get back to school.
On the way, however... the ground shakes and there's a mysterious rumbling off to one side. Now what could tha--
FUCK FUCK FUCK PANIC
Thankfully, Rita is well-versed in a variety of Ward spells, knows a wide range of attack magic, and is not TOO terribly FLAMMABLE. It hurts though. Ow.
Back at school, Rita turns in the books -- and gets an armload of books in return. A nice stack of skill books we haven't read yet, too. Urag gro-Shub, you are a gentleorc and a scholar, and you just pushed Rita up about half a level. He also asks us to keep an eye out for any writings by the Archmage Shalidor, and Rita notes that down for later. Then it's off to tell Tolfdir what we've learned.
Tolfdir has returned to college, it seems! And he brought the hoversphere with him. Oh, that'll end well. He admits to Rita that he's lost his alembic, and Rita agrees to look for it, then shows him the book. Tolfdir shares his findings: The markings on the sphere are like nothing anyone at the college has ever seen before. Not in any language any of them know, either. It's also radiating magic and --
Ancano interrupts. Would Rita like to explain why someone claiming to be from the Psijic Order is at the gate, and demanding to speak with her? "BECAUSE AWESOME" is sadly not a reply, so it's off to see what they want. As soon as Rita gets near the monk from the Order, he casts time-stop or something to speak with her alone.
The Eye of Magnus, the big floating thing? The world is not ready for what it will bring. Rita is the only hope of stopping it from... doing something. The future isn't clear, but it will be considerably LESS clear if anyone uses the Eye. Rita must seek out the Augur of Dunlain. Whatever that is. The monk doesn't actually know. But he really must leave. His Order should not become involved in events any further.
Sigh. Goddamn cryptic mystical orders.
The Augur of Dunlain is tucked away below the college, as Rita soon pries out of her instructors. So it's down to the basement we go. Rita shells out some more for spells and training, then descends into the Midden. (Really? Ew.) Down we go, and...
Well now there's something you don't see every day. The Augur explains that we have chosen a path of Knowledge. Knowledge corrupts. Knowledge destroys. Knowledge ruins everything. Rita seeks meaning in Knowledge, but it will not help.
Then it decides to tell her some things anyway. Like that Ancano was down here earlier, asking some very different questions about the Eye of Magnus. Like that the path the Psijic Order wants will lead to the salvation of the college. And that to see through Magnus' Eye without being blinded, Rita requires his staff.
There's also this thing.
It's called the Atronach Forge. Rita's not gonna fuck with this right now. Looks complicated.
Anyway, a bunch of fellows came through asking about the Staff of Magnus a while back, and they eventually settled on the Ruins of Mzulft. That's probably where the Staff is... But that's a long-ass ways away to the south, and we haven't checked in on Jaspar in quite some time. Let's go see if his rewrites are finished yet!
No they are not.
Since it's probably bad form to stand there and zap Jaspar occasionally with a lightning bolt, let's come back to this later.
NEXT TIME: Rita visits some ancient ruins!
Bonus! Rita's Reading Corner!
Today we'll be reading The Aetherium Wars. The abrupt vanishment of the Dwemer, or dwarves, is kind of a big mystery of the Elder Scrolls universe. One day they just all up and poofed. Could this book actually have a good reason why this happened? Who knows? It's not like we can just...
...go to the southern Reach area of Skyrim and... explore... hmm. ... Hmmmmm.
See you next time!
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It just occurred to me that that everyone in Skyrim has weird hands.
I mean, if the Dragonborn is the only one with a thuum.