Sundown
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
a travel journal in retrospective
8

The newest Associate
On the Mages Guild of Cyrodiil

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The Mages Guild is a well-respected and long-standing organization promoting the study of magic in Tamriel. During the events of Oblivion, the Mages Guild is headquartered at the Arcane University in the Imperial City, with the rest of Cyrodiil served by guild branches in every major town. Anyone can go to their local Mages Guild chapter to purchase spells, potions, alchemy ingredients, and other magical equipment and services. Whoever is interested in studying magic can ask for tutoring from the members of the Guild Hall, and they are free to use the Guild's books, equipment, and advice for their studies.

Essentially, each Mages Guild hall is a library, an open workshop, a consignment shop, a study hall, and a magic nerd hub - all for free. Plus, anyone is welcome to join as an associate, as long as they can pass a simple background check. A Mages Guild associate gets a discount on all of the services offered by the Guild, plus they can use the Guild Hall as a dormitory, free of charge.

It's a great system. Anyone interested in magic is given all the tools they need to practice it and research it, for free. We can see how someone might join the Mages Guild even if they have only a minor interest in magic, and then they can have access to anything they need to further their craft as much as they please. We can even see how someone might join just to have a bed available to them in any town; it's not required to even do anything magical to be in the Mages Guild. The Mages Guild is all free-form self-study, without any set schedule or exams to pass. You can join and do nothing, and that's good enough, as long as you don't cause trouble.

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And yet, almost every member of the Mages Guild will tell you some variation or other of their dissatisfaction with the current state of the Guild.

Things in the guild have been different since Traven was named Arch-Mage. They're more structured, but everyone seems tense.

Two years before the events of the game, Hannibal Traven was elected Arch-Mage of the Guild, and he immediately implemented some major changes to the way the Guild functions. First and foremost, he outlawed necromancy in the Guild - any wizard who practices necromancy cannot be part of the Mages Guild. This created a schism in the Guild. He also restructured Cyrodiil's Guild halls to make each one of them themed around a specific school of magic - for example, the Skingrad hall is in charge of everything Destruction, and the Anvil hall of everything Restoration. This threw everything off kilter, and resulted in each individual Guild hall offering less services to their community, because now they can only offer spells following their assigned theme rather than providing a useful, well-rounded selection. He also closed the doors of the Arcane University to the public, and even to associates of the Guild - anyone wishing to see the Arcane University is now required to obtain letters of recommendation from each of Cyrodiil's Guild hall leaders before they can even come through the gate. This is classist, elitist, and horrible all around - and also resulted in more political squabbles within the Guild.

Previously, the role of the Guild hall leader was about helping the other Guild members; with this change, being a Guild hall leader becomes about politics, power, and prestige. The decision of which associates can enter the Arcane University is now left to the discretion and the whims of each Guild hall leader - which means that, if one of them doesn't like your face, they have the power to completely impede your progress in magical studies, and just generally make your life hell with zero repercussions. It also means that the well-meaning mentor from before is now saddled with all this extra responsibility they never signed up for, and is less able to do their actual job - let alone take care of their personal studies.

And you, the poor sap who wants to join the Mages Guild in the middle of this shitstorm, need to do a tour of Cyrodiil and lick all these boots to get all the letters of recommendation to have access to the Arcane University, which would have been free to enter only two years before.

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This page will now detail everything there is to say about all these boots to lick. These recommendation quests can be done in any order at any time, if you so choose - the order of this page is arbitrary.

The Chorrol branch

Chorrol Mages Guild

The Chorrol branch of the Mages Guild specializes in Conjuration. The hall is led by an Argonian sorcerer named Teekeeus, who seems to be well-respected by his fellow mages.

Everything seems fine and dandy... until the moment when you go there and ask for a recommendation. Teekeeus will explain that, actually, he has something he needs your help with: an old enemy of his, an ex-Guild mage named Earana, is currently in town. He believes that she is up to no good, and you will be tasked with discovering what are her plans.

She and I have an unpleasant history. She does not care for Guild regulations, and errantly believes I am mis-using my powers. I have seen that she is in town. Though she has not approached me, I know she wants something. I would like you to find out what it is. Determine what she's after, and how we may be rid of her. I do not want her here, spreading her lies.
Teekeeus

Talking with Earana reveals that she is looking for a book called Fingers of the Mountain, which she thinks is located at a ruin called Cloud Top. She will task you with getting it for her. If at this point you talk with Teekeeus, he will express surprise over the existence of this book - he will then proceed to say that, if it is real, it is a very dangerous thing, and that he believes it should be in the safekeeping of the guild, where it cannot harm anyone. Talking with the other mages will lead you to learn that Fingers of the Mountain is imbued with some kind of Ayleid magic that grants control over the weather - and that Teekeeus had previously denied its existence.

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What exactly did happen between Teekeeus and Earana? Talking with the other guild mages reveals some information:

She's been nothing but trouble. She went to the University long ago, but was expelled from the guild. Caused all kinds of trouble while she was there. I think Teekeeus was the one who finally blew the whistle on her. That'd be just like him too: always playing by the rules.
Alberic Litte
I don't know all the details, but I heard that she complained to the Council until they removed Teekeeus from his position at the Arcane University.
Athragar

Nobody ever explains what kind of trouble did Earana get into. Whatever happened, Teekeeus was demoted, and Earana was expelled entirely.

Was Fingers of the Mountain the source of the dispute between Teekeeus and Earana? Piecing together what all the other mages are saying, we wonder if Teekeeus had previously based his theories on the assumption that Fingers of the Mountain is a myth and doesn't exist, and Earana knows otherwise and wants to prove him wrong.

We wonder if Teekeeus's demotion had to do with using the power of his position for his personal agenda. The first thing he tells you about this whole situation with Earana, unprompted, is that she thinks he's misusing his powers, but that's all wrong. Yet, that's exactly what he's doing right now: this quest is all about solving a personal squabble while he's presenting it as a task for the safety of the guild, with your recommendation as leverage to make you do what he wants, regardless of who you think is in the right.

We also wonder if Teekeeus reporting Earana happened because she had acquired some power that he didn't feel she should have access to. The moment that Teekeeus learns that Fingers of the Mountain is real, he immediately wants the book to be in the safekeeping of the guild; he says it's so that it can't fall into the wrong hands, but is he also trying to conceal its existence for the sake of his own reputation?

To be fair, Fingers of the Mountain is proven to be a very dangerous thing. When you reach Cloud Top, you will find the book near a pillar covered in Daedric lettering, on the charred remains of the last person who tried to harness its power.

The charred corpse at Cloud Top

Earana doesn't seem concerned by the danger that comes with this power, and believes that she should be allowed to use it without the Mages Guild - and Teekeeus - locking it away from her:

I'd have a few choice words for him, but he won't let me get near him. I know exactly why he's so threatened by me. He's desperately trying to control as much power as he can, and I'm a threat, because I don't want to see that power all in his hands. Anyone capable of handling it should have access to that power, don't you think?
Earana

Interesting that Teekeeus says that Earana has made no effort to approach him, while Earana says that she'd be very glad to tell Teekeeus off, but he's been hiding from her...

In any case, here is where things branch out a bit. You have the option to either give the book to Teekeeus, or to Earana.

If you give the book to Teekeeus:

If you give the book to Earana:

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Regardless of what happened in the past, it's super skeevy right now that Teekeeus has an unknowing third party wash his dirty laundry for him, with the recommendation to the Arcane University dangling as the carrot. On the other hand, if you go with Earana, you are helping someone who openly expresses hostility towards the Guild that you're trying to be a part of, and you're not quite sure what she intends to do with Fingers of the Mountain.

You can never know the full backstory. No matter what you choose, you cannot know if you did the right thing, and you can't help but feel like you're being in some way manipulated and are enabling something shady... but what else can you do? If you refuse to do what Teekeeus wants, you don't get a recommendation, and here is where your career as a mage ends. Even though the task you've been given has very little to do with magic, and absolutely nothing to do with Conjuration, the supposed specialty of the Chorrol branch. It's just an exercise in abusing power.

The Bruma branch

Bruma Mages Guild

Unlike the other branches, the Bruma branch of the Mages Guild does not have a particular specialization in any school of magic. The head of the hall, Jeanne Frasoric, seems nice enough, but petty - she's mostly concerned with appearances, knowing the right people, and sounding important. She says the way to visit the Arcane University is to know the right people, and makes a point to mention that she has visited Arch-Mage Traven many times. When asked for a recommendation, she pretty much immediately agrees, but first, she wants you to look for a missing guild member named J'skar.

Talking with another mage there, Volanaro, will reveal that J'skar isn't missing at all, but that he's hiding as part of a prank that they're playing on Jeanne. He will then explain what motivates this:

With all due respect to our wonderful leader... She couldn't cast her way out of a paper sack. It's insulting that we're here, working for her, when she knows nothing. She's managed to butter up the right people just enough to keep her position, and there's little we can do about it. But we have our ways of coping with the situation.
Volanaro

To find J'skar, you can either accept to play another prank on Jeanne, or try to find him yourself. J'skar is concealed by the effects of a full Chameleon spell, so you can try to find him by using Detect Life, at which point, if you have the required skill, you can use Dispel to reveal him. If you either don't want to or can't do that, Volanaro will ask you to get Jeanne's Manual of Spellcraft from her desk - his prank is to hide it away from her. In either case, J'skar will be "found", and you can report back to Jeanne, who will write you a recommendation.

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Talking about Jeanne with the only uninvolved guild member, the alchemist Selena Orania, reveals a little more about the whole situation:

I suppose I like her well enough. It's a shame she doesn't know more about her craft, though. Still, I don't quite think she deserves the hard time the others give her.
Selena Orania

The criticisms against Jeanne appear to be justified. J'skar has been hiding in plain sight, and Jeanne couldn't use Detect Life to find him. If you choose to follow Volanaro's prank, the book you are asked to steal is the most basic tome explaining magic, the Cyrodiil version of Sorcery for Dummies. Selena concurs that Jeanne is not very good at magic, but is that reason to harass her?

And Jeanne does seem to be trying her best despite perhaps having gotten in over her head. Sometimes, she can be seen reading about Daedra, and practicing summoning a scamp - she seems to be decent at conjuring. She doesn't know zero.

But we can understand why Volanaro in particular is annoyed. He knows Master-level spells in multiple schools of magic. He is very good in a well-rounded way. And he's taking orders from someone who's just starting to get a little good at Conjuration and who got their job because she has friends in high places.

This plotline is a bit unsavory given that Jeanne is female and those most vocally claiming that she doesn't deserve her role are male. Even if it is true in Jeanne's case, it is unfortunately common that men assume out of hand that women do not deserve their positions, and that women generally need to be overqualified to be seen as on par with their male colleagues. In light of this real-world sexism, it is a bit unfortunate that this quest was set up in this way. If Jeanne was instead a male Jean, or if Jeanne's pranksters were also female, there would be less resemblance and reinforcement of this real world problem.

The Skingrad branch

Skingrad Mages Guild

The Skingrad branch of the Mages Guild specializes in Destruction magic. Their head, Adrienne Berene, is a busy lady who would much rather not talk to you at all. Upon asking for a recommendation, she will task you with looking for Erthor, a guild member - she had lent some notes to him, and now wants them back.

He's... well, an interesting fellow. Sulinus Vassinus can tell you more about him, if you wish to know.
Adrienne Berene

Asking around will reveal that Erthor is known in the Guild Hall - and in Skingrad - as a troublemaker. Apparently if you need to blame someone for a spell gone wrong, it's Erthor. If the townsfolk so much as smell something funny or hear a loud noise, they assume it is one of Erthor's spells gone wrong. He apparently had a mishap involving a scamp a year ago, and others talk about him causing an explosion and bad smells. Were the two related?

Because of this scamp mishap, whatever it was, Adrienne banned him from practicing magic in the Guild Hall, and sent him to continue his studies in the nearby Bleak Flats Cave. He checks in at the guild a few times a week, but is otherwise out in the cave, alone, doing his work on his research. He's done the best he can to make the cave homey - he brought in a chest, a table, books, a bedroll, and even hung a Mages' Guild banner. Now that he's been away for a while, people in town and in the Guild Hall remark that things have been quieter around, without him - and they sound relieved about it.

Erthor's camp
Erthor in his little camp.

Despite his exile, Erthor has nothing but good things to say about the Mages Guild. In one bit of inaccessible dialogue, he even says he wouldn't have any friends if it weren't for the Mages Guild. Friends? You mean the guild members that exiled you to a cave? The ones who mostly sound grateful that you haven't been around so much lately? The ones that only care that you are missing because you borrowed some notes they need back? Nice friends. Out of the other Guild members, only Druja seems to care in the slightest about Erthor being missing, and it does not seem so much as she cares about Erthor personally, as she is just downright disgusted in how Adrienne has been treating him.

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Meanwhile, seven deranged zombies have wandered into Bleak Flats Cave, and Erthor is too scared to move a muscle while they are creeping about. He hasn't been eating or sleeping, let alone going back to the Mages Guild, for days. He is understandably very jumpy and jittery when you finally rescue him, and he asks you to please escort him to Skingrad. He repeats any time you so much as glance in his direction, that he can't wait to be back in Skingrad where it is safe. He must be so scarred from this experience.

I hope we'll get to Skingrad soon. I've had enough of the wilderness for now. I can't wait to be back in Skingrad, safe and sound.
Erthor

And when Erthor does get back to Skingrad, all he gets is a scolding from Adrienne, who admonishes him to be more careful... and sends him back to the cave. Erthor reluctantly resumes his usual routine of living out in the cave where he had been trapped by zombies.

Erthor:
Adrienne, I'm back! I was rescued!
Adrienne:
So it would seem. You are unharmed, I presume?
Erthor:
Well, my pride is a little wounded...
Adrienne:
Oh, spare me. You're lucky I bothered to send someone after you at all. In the future, would you please be more careful?
Erthor:
Erm, well... yes. I'll just pack up my supplies and be on my way, then. Thank you for sending someone to help me.

This grants you a recommendation, but what a situation. Poor Erthor has no real friends, is the butt of every joke, needs to live alone in a cave to complete his magic research work, he's probably been scarred for life, his superior blames him for the mishap that befell him in the cave she exiled him to, and after all this, he's still stuck living alone in the same awful cave. Poor guy. His life is hell.

The Anvil branch

Anvil Mages Guild

The Mages Guild Hall of Anvil specializes in Restoration, and is led by Carahil, a high elf mage who succeeded Hannibal Traven in taking care of the Guild Hall following his promotion to Arch-Mage. She has been part of the Guild for a long time, as learned during the questline centered around the haunted Benirus Manor: she fought the necromancer Lorgren Benirus about 90 years before, as an already accomplished mage. She is proud of the history of her chapter, and proud of Traven for his recent reforms - as an enemy of necromancy, she's nothing but glad that Traven has outlawed it in the Guild, and she approves of his choice to make admission into the Arcane University recommendation-based.

The task Carahil assigns you, as she herself points out, is a serious one - she wants you to see for yourself what sorts of jobs are assigned to mages. Recently, there have been several cases of merchants found dead on the Gold Road; as the wounds found on the victims were magical in nature, Carahil thinks it must have been the work of a rogue mage, which is why the Mages Guild is stepping in. The other lead they have is that all the victims spent the night at Brina Cross Inn. Because you're new to the Guild and less likely to be recognized as a member, Carahil wants you to pose as a merchant and spend the night there, acting as bait for the murderer, so that undercover battlemages can catch the culprit.

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At Brina Cross Inn, you meet with your contact, a battlemage named Arielle Jurard, who gives you instructions in theatrical hushed whispers; couldn't we have been told the plan in advance? In the meanwhile, you can talk around, and, if you want, you can loudly proclaim to everyone that you are only a wandering merchant, yep yep, totally defenseless. The innkeeper in particular has some wonderfully suspicious dialogue:

We get many [merchants] traveling through here. Well, we used to. Haven't seen as many lately, what with theā€¦ well, you know. The murders. I don't like to talk about it much, as it's bad for business. At any rate, would you care for a bed for the night?
Christophe Marane

When you leave in the morning, Arielle and another battlemage, Roliand Hanus, will follow you at a safe distance as you act as the bait. Sure enough, on the road you'll be assaulted by a mage named Caminalda. She was in the inn when you first arrived, scoping new victims - Christophe was only a red herring. The two battlemages will come to your aid to slay Caminalda.

Upon receiving your recommendation, however, you will learn that Carahil's great trust and pride in the Mages Guild is tainted by some bitterness:

You have done well enough for yourself. I'll pass along my recommendation to Raminus. Though I must say, I doubt it will do you much good in the end. You'd be surprised how easily they forget about the little people.
Carahil

Even though she is respected in town as a powerful and trustworthy mage, it seems like her recognition hasn't extended to the Arcane University. Now that she's inherited the Anvil chapter from Traven, she's left to lead her group with little glory and little thanks in a town far from the Imperial City, where she can be forgotten by the more influential sorcerers of the University.

The Cheydinhal branch

Cheydinhal Mages Guild

The specialization of the Cheydinhal chapter of the Mages Guild is Alteration, although this is only true in name. The reality is that the mages of Cheydinhal are a strange group - none of them are particularly skilled in Alteration, and they don't have any clear specialization.

This chapter is led by a high elf named Falcar, who is brusque and hostile towards anyone - you included. He disagrees with most of Traven's policies, with the exception of closing the doors to the Arcane University - he's glad that it will have the effect of keeping out the unworthy rabble that he wouldn't want to associate with. To earn a recommendation, you'll be sent to retrieve a ring of Burden, which Falcar claims had been dropped into the well by another guild member. He sends you to talk with Deetsan, another mage, who has a copy of the well key.

I believe I explained your task very clearly. Find the ring, which is somewhere down in the well behind the guild hall. Bring it to me. Do you understand, or do I need to use even smaller words?
Falcar

Talking with the other Guild members will reveal that the person that Falcar mentioned is a mage named Vidkun, and that he didn't misplace the ring - he was given the very same task to retrieve it by Falcar himself, and he hasn't been seen in the Guild Hall since. When you ask Deetsan for the well key, she will tell you to come back and talk to her when Falcar is out of earshot, as she has some information that she doesn't feel comfortable sharing with him around, but that she thinks you need to know before she gives you the key. If you do so, you'll understand why.

We can talk, so long as Falcar is out of earshot. If I didn't know any better, I'd say he's trying to get you killed! He gave poor Vidkun the same task, and we never saw him again. I'm reasonably sure there's a connection, but I can't prove it. Do be careful. I'd hate to lose another useful Associate. Here's the key, and something extra. I don't know if it will be of use to you, but from what I've heard of Falcar's ring, it may come in handy. And if you find out anything about what happened to Vidkun, let me know, will you?
Deetsan

Deetsan will teach you the spell Buoyancy, which gives you some Water Breathing and a limited Feather effect. Now you're free to go into the well.

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In the well, there is the corpse of Vidkun, who drowned as he attempted to retrieve the ring of Burden. According to how strong you are, and how well-equipped with Feather spells or potions you are, this task might prove difficult for you, too - in some cases, you might have to drop some things in the well to be able to exit with the ring.

Once you escape, you can go back to the Guild and tell Falcar that you've got the ring, but he will be nowhere to be found. Instead, Deetsan will give you an update on the situation.

I'm afraid some things have happened while you've been gone, Associate. It may affect your recommendation. I'll admit, it's my doing. I couldn't leave well enough alone, and after you'd left to go after that ring, well... I'm just so tired of the way we've all been treated by Falcar! I was worried about you, and angry about Vidkun, so I confronted Falcar directly. He was furious when I told him I'd helped you, and then when I threatened to report him to the Council of Mages, I thought he was going to kill me! He flew into a rage! I didn't even understand some of his ranting, but he said that our days are numbered, and then he stormed out! I don't know if he ever wrote your recommendation. I'm sorry. I didn't expect this to happen. Perhaps you should go look and see if he did write one? You should check his room in the living quarters. If you see the note, or anything else unusual, let me know. I'll gladly send it to the Council.
Deetsan

Deetsan will also tell you to drop the ring of Burden wherever you want, since it's useless and Falcar only sent you to retrieve it in the hope that you would drown. Telling her that you've found Vidkun's corpse will have her reply that she'd feared that was what had happened, and that something needs to be done to avenge him.

Falcar's room is downstairs. If you check into his drawer, you will find two Black Soul Gems - which are soul gems that can trap the souls of sentient races, and therefore point to him being a necromancer. His office also has a few Potions of Feather lying around. Twisted. He probably had a laugh playing with them at the same time in which Vidkun was drowning.

Once you talk to her about it, Deetsan will send the Black Soul Gems to the Council as part of her report on Falcar. As now the Hall is without a leader, she steps up to the role, and can write you a recommendation for the Arcane University.

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Who's doing the background checks on these mages, anyway?

The Bravil branch

Bravil Mages Guild

The Mages Guild Hall of Bravil specializes in Illusion. The leader, Kud-Ei, asks for your help in resolving a sensitive matter: the personal staff of Ardaline, one of the Guild mages, has been stolen - apparently by Varon Vamori, a frequent visitor to the Guild hall. You are to convince him to return it. If in the process you can learn something about Illusion, particularly Charm spells, that's even better.

We wondered why didn't Kud-Ei already take action against Varon Vamori herself, but it turns out that he's not actually a member of the Mages Guild, but just a frequent visitor who comes in to pester Ardaline. Had he been a Guild member, this would have been grounds for expulsion, or at least a warning... but, as just some guy, she has no power over him. She could report him to the Imperial watch, but she'd rather spare Ardaline all this fuss and just get her staff back.

I don't understand it. Some ridiculous male thing, I suppose. He's been bothering Ardaline every day for a while now. He even stole her Mages' Staff! Perhaps he thinks it's amusing; I don't know. But it needs to stop. It's making her miserable.
Kud-Ei

Talking with Varon Vamori, you'll learn that he has an unrequited crush on Ardaline, and, like a five-year-old, he took her staff because she won't talk to him. Now, Varon Vamori is known for his skills in Speechcraft. He's a bard, and, if you ask him about Bravil, he'll start spouting poetry at you. He must think he's such a ladies' man, and can't wrap his mind around the concept of Ardaline being absolutely not interested, not with all the cheesy poetry in the world.

But it gets worse: he was so ashamed of having taken her staff, that he did the logical thing... and sold it. The special, one-of-a-kind staff that Ardaline received during her initiation to the Mages Guild. We can't imagine why Ardaline doesn't like this charming individual.

This won't be readily evident, but looking in Varon Vamori's data reveals that he is a member of the Thieves Guild, as a pickpocketer. That's how he was able to steal the staff and sell it so readily. Is he actually making this cover story up, and thought, if she won't date him, he'll get consolation from robbing her valuable item? Wow.

The person who bought the staff is all the way in the Imperial City, so you have to schlepp all the way over there, and try to convince him to sell it back, which can be achieved through any means which raises his disposition enough - using the Charm scrolls which Kud-Ei gave us, but also playing the speechcraft game, using Fortify Personality potions or enchantments, and so on. Once you have the staff, the problem is solved, and you can get a recommendation.

B

On one hand, the staff is back. Kud-Ei didn't tell Ardaline about any of this so to not upset her, so she doesn't know what happened, and everything is back as it was. On the other hand, Varon Vamori still shows up in the Guild hall, and no one can do anything to keep him out. Hopefully Kud-Ei keeps constant watch.

The Leyawiin branch

Leyawiin Mages Guild

Specializing in Mysticism, the Leyawiin branch of the Mages Guild is led by Dagail, an old woman who has psychic visions. However, as of late, she's been indisposed, and so her friend and colleague Agata has been both taking care of the Guild and trying to help Dagail. Usually, Dagail wears an amulet that helps her keep her powers in check, but it has gone missing, and so she has been having so many visions that she can't function. Your task is to figure out what happened to the amulet and help Dagail.

At times, [Dagail's visions] served her well. She gained something of a reputation in the guild, and was highly valued by the Council. As she aged, the visions became less coherent. Rather than cast her aside, the Council gave her a position here. Some resent her, and wish she'd disappear. I do not. I am proud to help her with her daily tasks.
Agata

The other members of the Guild are troubled by how Dagail seems kind of unhinged, but they don't hate her. And then there's Kalthar, the guy with the forehead. He is vicious.

Why should we be forced to work under someone who's only kept sane by a magical trinket? Haven't we sacrificed enough already? She shouldn't even be here anymore. [...] It just annoys me that she's in charge of the guild, when she's clearly not fit.
Kalthar

During his ranting, Kalthar mentions that Dagail's father also had visions. You can go to investigate the grave of Dagail's father in the hope of finding his amulet as a replacement for the one Dagail lost. As you exit the fort, who shows up but Kalthar, who will try to kill you to stop you from bringing the amulet to Dagail:

I took the other one, and that should've been enough. I shouldn't have to go through all this, just to get rid of her! It's not even as if I was going to keep it forever. I was going to give it back to her, once I'd gotten what I wanted. That's not so wrong, is it? Once she helped me advance out of that place, and stepped down, then she could have it back! Why did you have to get in the way?
Kalthar

We are not too remorseful to kill him in self-defense. What exactly makes him think that he's better than everyone else? The size of his forehead?

Kalthar
Big head but little thoughts.

According to the rumor mill, he was apparently a "reformed necromancer". If that is true, considering he already has his past working against him, why did he think it would be a good idea to blackmail his way up the ranks? And why did he think that such underhanded tactics would work, given that he's already on thin ice with the current political climate of the Mages Guild? If he does anything even slightly out of line, people will be calling him a necromancer, and he's out. If he had been staying out of the way, he might have had better luck, but, nooo, attack your respected old Guild hall leader who might even have visions about you having done it.

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You can now bring the amulet back to Dagail, who, in a better mental state, is now able to write you a recommendation. Even more interesting, though, is her vision of your future:

Let me see your hand. I see the City in the Hand, and the Hand in the Stars. The Tower guards the Gate, but the Gate holds the Key. The King is the Key, and the Hand guards the King.
Dagail

She knows the plot of the main quest.

Maybe it's not so much that her visions have become incoherent, it's just that what's about to happen, both with regard to the Oblivion crisis and the Mages Guild, is so wild that it sounds deranged.

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Now that you have all the letters of recommendation, the Guild hall leaders will point you to the Arcane University to continue your studies. After all, you worked so hard to get past that stupid gate, so go and see what they've been keeping from you!

Continue reading...

References

These pages on the UESP contain quotes and descriptions of events that were referenced in this article. Some things we wrote about might not be mentioned in the wiki, but we witnessed them directly in the game.

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