Mages Guild Advancement Guide
Skingrad Recommendation
Bruma Recommendation
Avil Recommendation
Bravil Recommendation
Cheydinhal Recommendation
Leyawiin Recommendation
Chorrol Recommendation
A Mage's Staff
Ulterior Motives
Vahtacen's Secret
Necromancer's Moon
Liberation or Apprehension?
Information at a Price
A Plot Revealed
The Bloodworm Helm
and The Necromancer's Amulet

Confront the King

To join the Mages Guild, speak to one of the seven branch leaders: Carahil in the Anvil guild, Falcar in Cheydinhal, Kud-Ei in Bravil, Jeanne Frasoric in Bruma, Dagail in Leyawiin, Teekeeus in Chorrol, or Adrienne Berene in Skingrad. The only requirement for joining is that you have no bounty on your head.

Guild rules: No stealing from guild members. No killing. If you do either of these things you'll be expelled from the guild and will need to apply for readmission to Raminus Polus. You can find him in the lobby of the Arch-Mage's Tower at the Arcane University (Imperial City).

If you were expelled for theft, you will need to collect 20 Redwort flowers and 20 Dragon's Tongue flowers.

To find Dragon's Tongue, visit: Fort Redwater (along the Black Marsh border), or the West Weald.

To find Redwort flowers visit: south of Fieldhouse Cave in County Leyawiin, the Ayleid ruins of Morahame or Wendelbelk, or scour the West Weald for them. The space between Bravil and Skingrad has many types of flora.

If you were expelled for murder, you must find 20 daedra hearts and 20 portions of vampire dust.

The Daedra hearts are easy. Vampire dust will be harder to come by. Try: Bloodcrust Cavern, Lipsand Tarn, Nornalhorst, Gutted Mine, Fort Carmala, and several other places (though I won't reveal them all here.) You can be expelled and readmitted twice. The third time you won't be forgiven.

To advance in the guild you'll have to undertake seven recommendation quests (one for each of the guild heads). Recommendations will be sent to the Council of Mages and will allow you to climb to higher ranks in the guild. The first recommendation I completed was Skingrad, though you can complete them in any order.

Skingrad Recommendation #return to index
Adrienne Berene needs to find a guy called Erthor to retrieve some notes he borrowed from her. Don't waste your time searching for him in the guild: he isn't there. Talk to Sulinus Vassinus. You'll learn that Erthor was essentially banished as punishment for an unfortunate experiment involving scamps. He now operates remotely out of Bleak Flats Cave, dropping in to the guild here and there to report his findings.

Worryingly, Erthor hasn't visited for quite some time. You can guess where your next stop is. Talk to Druja; she'll add Bleak Flats Cave to your map. Talk to Berene and mention that the decision to banish Erthor to Bleak Flats Cave was hers. She teaches you a weak fireball spell. Adrienne seems to believe Erthor may have got himself into a spot of bother.

To travel to the cave, make your way to the stables outside Skingrad, then trek cross-country the remaining distance. The cave entrance can be found among a cluster of rocks. When I arrived, an Oblivion gate had opened just north of the cave. I ignored it. Tomas had already had his fill of Oblivion in Kvatch and wanted no more to do with it for the time being.

Bleak Flats Cave is just that. Bleak, distinctly lacking in loot, and populated by Zombies. These creatures pack quite a bit of health. To defeat them, try to engage them in one-on-one combat. They attack by swiping their clawed hands at you. The pattern of combat should involve you launching an attack, and then running backwards out of reach as they swipe at you (they cannot move while making the swipe attack). If you attack, step back, attack, and continue that pattern, you can defeat your undead opponents cleanly and with relative ease.

You'll know you're near Erthor when you start seeing lit torches towards the back of the cave. He's got a little hide-out and has, apparently, been keeping the Zombies at bay. How did they get in there? Well, we can assume it involved another experiment gone wrong. You must kill all the Zombies before Erthor will follow you out of the cave. You can march him back to the Skingrad guild or tell him to make his own way there. Either way, you win Adrienne's recommendation.

Bruma Recommendation #return to index
The Archmagister is Jeanne Frasoric. Talk to her about a recommendation and she'll tell you that she needs to find J'Skar, an Argonian guild member who's been missing for days. She's mainly worried that it will look bad if someone from the Council of Mages drops by. Jeanne is very concerned about her friends in high places and, as you'll find out, they are arguably the only reason she has the position of Archmagister.

Jeanne suggests you talk to Volanaro. Seek him out (using the quest map marker if needed). Ask him about J'Skar to find that it was all a prank they played on Jeanne. He has little respect for her and, in truth, is quite bitter about taking orders from someone with less magical skill than he has. He'll promise to reveal J'Skar if you replace one prank with another -- you are to steal Jeanne's 'Manual of Spellcraft' from her chest. He teaches you a spell which unlocks an 'Easy' lock to accomplish this (though lockpicks work just fine!). Wait until Jeanne has left her room (perhaps to read downstairs) and open up the central desk in her room.

Grab the book, and make your way back down to Volanaro. Give it to him, and he'll tell you to meet back here (Living Quarters, Cellar, wherever you are at the time) at 10pm. Find him at the designated time and Volanaro will dispel the invisibility effect on J'Skar. If you can't be bothered dealing with Volanaro, you may be able to find J'Skar yourself.

Run around until you have a 'Talk' symbol with the name J'Skar on some thin air, or watch for signs of noise or movement. You can remove the effect by casting 'Dispel' on him. Either way, once he is revealed, step over to Jeanne to receive your recommendation.

Anvil Recommendation #return to index
Talk to Carahil about a 'Recommendation'. She'll tell you that Merchants along the Gold Road are being waylaid and murdered.

The Council of Mages has asked her to put a stop to this, and she believes you may be able to help her do so. As per Carahil's orders, travel to the Brina Cross Inn, a place which all the victims visited at one time or another. Talk to the Battlemage Arielle Jurand to receive more instructions. Like she asked, find innkeeper Cristophe Marane and buy a room for the night. During the conversation he'll ask you about your business. It really doesn't matter how you reply, but it would be consistent with Arielle's instruction to say you are a merchant.

Meet Arielle in your room where she'll lay out the plan. You're to travel East along the Gold Road. They'll follow you at a distance. You're not required to kill the robber yourself, merely act as bait. Sleep until 6am and then depart. Ah, the wonders of Radiant AI. When I did this mission, a dead horse was lying in the middle road, with a forlorn Imperial Legion soldier standing next to it. This happened to be at the exact spot where.... Caminalda attacks!

You may have spoken to her at the inn. She seemed a little bit over-eager, didn't she? At this point, you can run off and let the two Battlemages mop her up, or help out. She's not a difficult foe, and the battle should be over soon. Unfortunately, when I played, the Legion Soldier took issue with the Battlemages and killed them both!

It doesn't affect the mission if they survive or not, only that Camanilda is dead. Search her corpse to find a key to the room she's taken at the inn. There's some gold in the chest (when I did it, only 11, but it may be leveled). Return to Carahil in Anvil and receive your recommendation.

Bravil Recommendation #return to index
Talk to Kud-Ei about a recommendation. If you can. I'd overheard some previous conversations and asked a few questions which had led me into the 'Through a Nightmare, Darkly' quest, which directly involves Kud-Ei. I had to complete that quest before I could even talk to her about a recommendation.

Whether you ask her before or after completing the quest, her problem is simple, and through it you will learn 'the power of Illusion'. Sounds good. In truth, it's not a very serious mission. Varon Vamori has been giving guild member Ardalina quite a hard time lately, and has gone so far as to steal her Mage's Staff. Kud-Ei thinks he might just be trying to get her attention.

Either way, you're to retrieve the staff at all costs. She'll give you a Beguile scroll to assist your efforts. Walk up to Varon and use it on him, then talk about Ardaline. Or, you can raise his disposition to 65 and pocket the Beguile scroll. Vamori admits that he has a big crush on Ardaline but she doesn't feel the same way at all. He has been doing all these nasty things just to get some attention, even if it is of the negative kind. Not only has he taken the staff, but he has sold it to his friend Soris Arenim, who can be found in the Talos Plaza district of the Imperial City.

Talk to Kud-Ei and she'll give you a few more Beguile scrolls for the road. Then travel to the Talos Plaza district, and enter Soris Arenim's house. Talk to him cold about the Mage's Staff and he'll end the conversation. Use the Beguile scrolls or persuasion to raise his disposition to 70 and he'll sell you the staff for 200 gold. You don't get the money back, though, so it might be better to go about it another way...

Talk to Soris' wife Erissare Arenim. She's pretty keen to get the musty old staff out of her house. Raise her disposition to 65 using the Beguile scroll or persuasion and she'll tell you that the staff is being kept in a locked chest in the cellar, and that they key to the chest can be found on her husband's desk. Or, you can bypass Erissare altogether, keep the scroll you would have used on her, and simply take the key and staff by your own initiative. Return to Kud-Ei. She doesn't want to know anything about how you got the staff (meaning she can't reimburse you if you paid the 200 gold for it).

As a reward for retrieving it, she'll teach you the Captivate spell (a weak charm spell) and glady pass on a recommendation.

Cheydinhal Recommendation #return to index
Talk to Falcar, the unpleasant Archmagister of Cheydinhal. He'll tell you that an Associate 'deliberately' dropped Falcar's Ring of Burden down the well outside the Mages Guild. He wants you to retrieve it.

Ask him about the ring and you'll find that it may do just what it says on the box... Falcar sends you to Deetsan who has a key to the well. If Falcar is not nearby, she'll tell you that she's quite suspicious of he Archmagister. The Associate Falcar blamed for the loss of the ring was in fact sent down to retrieve it on the same mission you find yourself on. He hasn't returned. To better protect you Deetsan teaches you a dual Water Breathing/Feather spell.

Before you go down the well, drop about 200 pounds worth of equipment somewhere safe. Climb down the well to find yourself submerged in water. Move straight ahead from the bottom of the well to find a Nirnroot plant. If you're running low on air and don't have the skill to cast the spell, leave the well to catch your breath and drop back down again. You'll find Vidkun's corpse to your right.

Take the Ring of Burden from him. You'll find it's a worthless item that encumbers you by, in my case, 150 pounds. It most likely increases depending on your level or strength. Swim out of the well and re-enter the Mages Guild. Talk to Deetsan, who'll tell you to drop the ring anywhere (yes, it's just a sick joke). She confronted Falcar in your absence. He has left, and may not have written your recommendation.

Deetsan asks you to search Falcar's room, both for your recommendation and any evidence of foul play. You won't find any recommendation, but you will find two scrolls and, in the dresser to the right of the bed, two Black Soul Gems. Their significance will be revealed later on. Deetsan takes these from you, saying "This is worse than I expected."

Yes... where's my recommendation? Don't fret. Deetsan will write one for you to send along with her report on Falcar. But this is not the last you will see of Falcar and his cruel ways.

Leyawiin Recommendation #return to index
Talk to Dagail, the Archmagister of Leyawiin. She'll tell you about some wierd troubles she's having, then ask you to help her. Accept. This is your recommendation mission.

As per Dagail's vague instructions, talk to Agata, who'll explain that her Archmagister has certain 'visions'. They were once useful, but as Dagail ages, they grow less coherent. The Seer's Stone was the only thing keeping Dagail from a degree of madness.

Agata tells you to ask around about the amulet. The others in the guild will mention Kalthar as the person to speak to. And he is. He'll launch into a resentful tirade about Dagail and then mention her father. It appears both father and daughter had the same problem, and were both 'unfairly' promoted in the guild.

Your journal will now tell you to speak to Agata about this. Agata thinks Kalthar must have overheard a conversation between herself and Dagail. Yet, strangely, they never talked about Dagail's father. Kalther knew that himself. Agata instructs you to talk to Dagail about her father.

Dagail seems to already know what you are after. "Blood ran blue..." she says. Your journal points you to Fort Blueblood as the final resting place of her father, south-east of Leyawiin. You can fast travel to the nearest marker (Leyawiin's stables), but you'll have to walk/ride the rest of the way. Here I ran into my third dynamically opening Oblivion gate, and ignored it! Let's just hope Leyawiin lives to tell the tale.

Fort Blueblood is big and full of enemies. For the most part, they're light-weights. Your first challenge will occur when you run into the big central room. There are about four enemy marauders here. Try to draw two at a time back down the corridor with the spike-ball trap (which, hopefully you avoided). There's a chance they'll set it off. If not, you should be able to manage two marauders at a time. The next challenge occurs when you enter the burial tomb of Fort BlueBlood, where you'll face two leveled mythic creatures (ranging from Imps to Ogres).

Take the Amulet from Manduin's coffin. On the way out you'll be confronted by, you guessed it, Kalthar. He won't let you leave with the amulet, and the conversation devolves into a fight. Make short work of him and pick up the key from his body. You can use it to exit the burial tomb (if that is where he confronted you). Take the door on the left, which places you just behind a portcullis you might have seen upon first entering. Pull the lever, then exit Fort Blueblood. Return to Leyawiin and pass the Amulet on to Dagail. She calms down, tells you that you've got her recommendation, then spouts out some prophetic stuff about you determining the lives of many, etc. etc. This is an Elder Scrolls game - you didn't need to tell me that!

Chorrol Recommendation #return to index
I typed this out and then the power went out at my house. I can't be bothered typing it out in magnificent detail, so here are the bare bones of what you have to do to get the most rewards from this recommendation.

Talk to Teekeeus about a Recommendation. Talk to Earana (she will be either outside the guild or in the Grey Mare Inn). Talk to Teekeeus again about her request. Travel to Cloud Top, take 'Fingers of the Mountain' from the charred corpse. At this point, you can give it to Teekeeus, who will then give you a recommendation.

However, if you want to get a nice spell out of this, you will have to manipulate both Earana and Teekeeus somewhat. Travel back to Chorrol, talk to Earana again. Meet her again in a day like she instructs. She'll give you notes which essentially say: cast a shock spell on the stone at Cloud Top with a Welkynd Stone in your inventory to get a powerful shock spell. If you don't have a Welkynd Stone, the nearest locations where they can be found are Wendir (full of undead) and Lipsand Tarn (full of vampires) -- take your pick.

If you don't have a shock spell talk to Athagar at the guild to buy one. Travel to Cloud Top, fortify against shock damage (you're about to be struck by lightning). You can fortify health, shield against shock damage, or cast 'reflect'. Either way, cast a shock spell on the stone (the one behind the charred corpse) and hope you survive it. You'll recieve the spell 'Fingers of the Mountain'. Return to Teekeeus and tell him you gave the book to Earana. He'll tell you to steal it back.

Go to her room at the Grey Mare Inn, break in, and then open the chest. You'll find the book hidden there. Take it, return to Chorrol, give the book to Teekeeus, and he grudgingly gives you his recommendation.

A Mage's Staff #return to index
Once you've completed all the recommendation quests, your journal will instruct you to talk to Raminus Polus at the Arcane University. You'll find him in the Arch-Mage's lobby, which is the central tower with entry gates on either side. Introduce yourself to him. He'll promote you to the rank of Apprentice and present you with the 'Robe of the Apprentice'. Thankfully, you don't have to wear it if you don't want to. But the robe does not make the Mage - you also need an enchanted staff.

You yourself will have to retrieve the wood needed to make the staff: you're to fetch this from a grove near Wellspring cave. There, you're to meet with fellow Mages Zahrasha and Eletta, who look after the place. You'll soon find this ain't no Morrowind-style retrieval mission.

Travel to Wellspring cave and you'll recieve an innocent journal update that you should find the two Mages. This may, ironically appear just as you catch first sight of a... Necromancer. Yeah, you guessed it, your two guild friends are dead and the place has been overrun with spellcasters of the foulest persuasion. You'll need to kill six throughout the caves and will have to face three at once when you leave the cave to enter the grove.

Necromancers raise summoned creatures to fight for them - creatures you should ignore. Go straight to the spellcaster and engage in melee, unless you want to fight an endless wave of minions. They're fast, so try to back them against a wall if you can.

Once you've killed the necromancers in both the cave and the grove claim the 'Unfinished Staff' from the stone chest in the center of the grove. You don't learn why the Necromancers have chosen to attack Wellspring, but it seems like they just love making things hard for the Mages Guild.

Return to Raminus Polus and he is, unsurprisingly, greatly disturbed by the news. He's going to bring the matter before the Council of Mages. In the meantime he instructs you to meet Delmar in the Chironasium (one of the rear buildings in the university). Delmar is to be the architect of your Mage's Staff.

Talk to Delmar and he'll ask you if you're a Destruction, Illusion or Mysticism kinda guy/girl. If you select Destruction, you'll be given the choice of Fire, Frost or Shock Damage. Select Illusion, and you'll be given the choice of Charm, Paralyze or Silence. Select Mysticism and you can build a staff with a Soul Trap, Telekinesis or Dispel Effect. Choose a power you would realistically use but are not already adept at (for example, don't choose Charm if you're already able to cast powerful charm spells...).

Place your order and then give Delmar some time (24 hours, in fact) to construct your staff. Return when the time is up and you're ready to pick up your prize - you'll find it in the cupboard against the back wall, along with a bunch of scrolls free for the taking. If you return to Polus you'll be promoted to Journeyman (but do not receive a Robe of the Journeyman, for some reason) and be given the quest...

Ulterior Motives #return to index
To aid an investigation into the Necromancers' invasion of Wellspring cave Raminus would like you to retrieve an important book from the count of Skingrad, Janus Hassildor. Pfft, you are beyond such things, I hear you say. Well, this quest is, not surprisingly, more than meets the oddly coloured eye.

Travel to Castle Skingrad. You won't be able to go straight in and see Janus, so talk to the guy in the ridiculous green outfit, Mercator Hosidus. The count simply won't see you (and Mercator admits that he isn't surprised). Despite his obvious disdain for you, he promises to speak to the count once again on the morrow to change his mind.

You might wonder why he's doing this if he obviously thinks you're, well, scum. If you're starting to feel suspicious, I don't blame you. If you're the impatient type, return in exactly 24 hours. He's made progress, he says, but not as much as you'd like. The count wishes to meet with you at 2am near the Cursed Mine on the outer West side of town. You simply can't negotiate a more convenient meeting place, and even illegally gaining access to the rest of the castle and talking to the count will not change the arrangement.

The meeting place is a little field of wildflowers to the right of the winery which is on your left when you exit Skingrad by the West gate. If those directions make no sense, make this your active quest and follow the green marker. Wait until 2am and you'll be approached by Hosidus, flanked by two Necromancers. Gosh - who woulda thought this'd turn out to be a trap?

They have plans, you're an obstacle to the fulfillment of such plans, and thus, they wish to kill you. You'll be left with no choice but to kill them first. Predictably, Hosidus is your toughest opponent. Take him out first, then mop the floor with the remaining two Necromancers. As you're turning their devious plan on its head, you might find another figure enters the fray: Janus Hassildor himself will, with fists alone, greatly assist in swinging things to your favour.

After the fight he'll talk to you. See those eyes? They scream vampire like a pair of big pointy fangs. He'll call you stupid for thinking he'd meet you in such an odd place at such an odd time. Still, he's glad to finally have confirmation that Hosidus was involved with Necromancers: and all it took was an attempt on your life... Janus will tell you that the real reason you were sent was to uncover whether or not Hassildor himself was also involved in Necromancy (which he isn't).

The task had nothing to do with retrieving a book, and it seems that Polus has lied to you. Return to your quest-giver and tell him the same. He'll apologize and explain the reasons behind the secrecy. He'll also tell you that Hassildor is a vampire, but the Guild tolerates him in exchange for information. You'll be promoted to Evoker and given the Spelldrinker Amulet, imbued with Spell Absorption. Take your reward and forgive Polus for his lies: he gives you pretty things, after all. Ask him about your next task when you are ready. It's a brain-teaser and a nice change of pace. No Necromancers, guaranteed.

Vahtacen's Secret #return to index
In this quest you are to assist the Mages Guild with some research in the Ayleid ruin of Vahtacen. Speak to Raminus Polus to get the quest - he refers you to Irlav Jarol, the man in charge of the project. He requests that you travel to the ruins and speak to Skaleel about some trouble they are having. If you've discovered Swampy Cave (part of the Mystery at Harlun's Watch quest, for the Fighters Guild), fast-travel there and then travel west. Otherwise, make your way south-east from Cheydinhal. Once you enter the ruins, head onwards until you find Skaleel. You don't need to worry about enemies at this point.

Skaleel will tell you that the path to further explorations in the ruins is blocked by a giant pillar that responds to magic. She believes it is a lock which will react to the right magical combination, but she has been unable to discover how it is opened. Continue towards the pillar room and speak to Denel, who'll tell you about strange inscriptions in the far corners of the room. These inscriptions are written in the ancient language of the Ayleids, and Denel believes that translating them may reveal the key to opening the pillar. He refers you once again to Skaleel, who has a text which will aid in the translation. Talk to Skaleel again and ask for an "Ayleid reference". She'll hand over 'Ayleid Inscriptions and Their Translations' - perhaps it would have been an idea for Skaleel and Denel to read this earlier? Head back up to the pillar room and read the inscriptions, then speak to Denel about translating them. Eventually you'll find:

Av molag anyammis means "from fire, life". Cast a fire spell at the pillar (if you don't have one, make sure you open the chest near Denel - it contains scrolls with all the spell effects you will need to unlock the pillar). After casting the spell (doesn't matter where you cast it) the pillar will open slightly. Next you need to cast a Frost damage spell at the pillar, followed by a Damage Magicka (Drain Magicka or Absorb Magicka will not work) and then a Fortify Magicka spell to open it fully.

The raised pillar now reveals an entrance to Vahtacen Tarn, the object of the Mages' explorations. Of course, since you're here, it's up to you to do the dirty work. Enter Vahtacen Tarn.

Here you'll face a number of Ghosts or Wraiths and several traps. Make your way into the last large chamber with a raised area in the center. Your prize lies atop it, but you'l need to raise stairs to gain access. Ascend the stairs to your north, turn right and press the Ayleid button there. This will raise stairs to the top of the pillar and allow you to retrieve the Ancient Elven Helm. Head back to Skaleel, inform her of your success. She'll send you off to speak to Irlav Jorrol about the find. Once you have done so return to Raminus Polus to complete the quest.

Necromancer's Moon #return to index
After completing Vahtacen's Secret you'll be promoted to Conjurer and receive a new Robe. Raminus Polus will now inform you that the Council of Mages is attempting to compile extensive information on the Necromancers.

He asks that you visit the Mystic Archives to see what can be found there on a more specific subject: black soul gems. The Mystic Archives can be found further back in the Arcane University compound. Speak to Tar-Meena about the gems and she'll point you towards a book called 'Necromancer's Moon'. You'll find it resting on an end-table to the left of the entry. Read the book and then speak to Tar-Meena again. She'll point out an interesting reference to "Shade of the Revenant". She allows you to hold on to the book for now.

Take it to Bothiel in the lobby of the Arch-Mage's Tower, who is purported to know something about this topic. Interestingly, Bothiel will reveal that Falcar asked about the very same thing not too long ago (remember Falcar, the Necromancer who trapped Vidkun down a well?).

Luckily, Falcar dropped a page of notes he was keeping on the topic, and Bothiel has kept it with her since then. Read the 'Hastily Scrawled Note', which lists Dark Fissure, Fort Linchal, Fort Istirus, Pothole Caverns and Wendelbek as locations of specific importance to the creation of these dark gems.

Speak to Polus. He has heard of Dark Fissure before and sends you there to dig up more information. You'll find it easiest to reach by traveling to Vahtacen or Swampy Cave. Wait outside for a Necromancer to approach the altar and create a black soul gem from a normal soul gem. Once you've observed this action return to Raminus Polus to complete the quest and receive a promotion to Magician. You will now receive further quests from the Arch-Mage himself: Hannibal Traven.

A note on black soul gems: the process of creating gems is not just for Necromancers. You too can convert Grand Soul Gems into Black Soul Gems. Visit the altar on a night when mysterious lights are active over the altar, place your soul gems atop it and then cast dispel magic at its surface. Your normal soul gems will now be necromancer's tools, able to trap the souls of any NPC. Unfortunately, these are no more powerful than filled Grand Soul gems, but make a neat accessory for the evil-inclined!

Liberation or Apprehension? #return to index
You'll receive this quest from the Arch-Mage himself. He'll tell you of a Mages Guild mole who has infiltrated the Necromancers' group, Mucianus Allis. He has not been heard of for some time, and Traven fears the worst - he may be dead, or worse, he may have joined with the Necromancers.

The guild recently sent a group of battlemages to the ruins of Nenyond Twyll, the last known location of Mucianus. Traven fears that the battlemages he sent will harm Mucianus, either mistaking him for a true Necromancer, or as a traitor. Your task is to fetch Mucianus and keep him safe from both Necromancers and battlemages alike. Head to Nenyond Twyll. You'll soon run into Fithragaer, the last of the battlemages - or his corpse.

Fithragaer tells you that the Necromancers knew of the battlemages' coming and were able to set a trap - Mucianus must have defected. He'll tell you to follow him into the ruins, but make sure you stay back. He won't last more than a few seconds before running head-first into a trap that slams him into the ceiling. Don't try to keep him alive with spells, as this prevents the quest from advancing.

Make your way through the ruins, dealing with undead, Necromancers and traps like only you know how. Deeper within the ancient passages you'll be met with a spooky sight - a seemingly normal woman standing in the middle of a corridor. Talk to Mariette Rielle to learn that Mucianus has been turned into a Worm Thrall. You'll soon see what this means.

Descend further into Nenyond Twyll until you reach a grand chamber with water on either side of a central pathway. Mucianus is concealed behind a secret passage at the northern end of this chamber, a passage that can only be opened via a button north of the door. This will release Mucianus, who is now a powerful zombie, and retains no shred of intelligence from his former self.

You have no choice but to kill him and exit the ruins. Report the sad news to Hannibal Traven, then speak to Polus for a promotion to the rank of Warlock. You can now enter the Mages' Council chamber without irate comments from your company.

Information at a Price #return to index
According to Traven, Skingrad's one and only Count Dracula (Janus Hassildor) has some information pertinent to the Necromancer threat. Of course, he's asked that you and you only travel to speak with him. As you may remember, Hassildor likes you, but is on uneasy terms with the rest of the guild.

Travel to the lobby of Castle Skingrad and speak to Hal-Liurz. Wait as she fetches Janus Hassildor. Upon his arrival you'll learn that you need to do something for him before he'll give you the information you've come for. You need to take care of some Vampire Hunters that have set up shop in Skingrad after hearing of a nest of vampires in Bloodcrust Cavern. The vampires are a threat to the people of Skingrad, and the hunters are a threat to Hassildor himself.

There are two good approaches to take here. One is the 'let everyone else do my work for me' approach, which begins by finding the leader of the Vampire hunters, Eridor. He can be found at the Two Sisters Lodge in the dining room between 1pm and 4pm, and in his room from 11pm to 7am. Tell Eridor that the Vampires can be found in Bloodcrust Cavern and he and his comrades will rush off to deal with the threat.

Their success is not guaranteed. Within a day you should receive a message that the Vampires have been cleared out of Bloodcrust cavern and the hunters have left town, or that the Vampire hunters were killed when attempting to complete their mission. If you don't, you'll need to visit Bloodcrust Cavern personally and finish the job.

If you want to ensure the success of the vampire hunters then you can travel with them to the Cavern, leading the charge or hanging back to kill any vampires they were unable to handle. If you're up for a challenge, however, you can go straight from Hassildor to Bloodcrust Cavern and destroy the vampires yourself. When they are all dead (really dead, no undead) you'll receive a message. Make sure you take at least one portion of vampire dust with you and then find Eridor in Skingrad in the time and place described above.

The vampire dust will serve as proof that the Cavern has been cleared, and the vampire hunters, no longer needed, will leave Skingrad. If you are the pure evil type then you can slaughter the vampires and vampire hunters alike. Remember, however, that you have not been granted grace from the law to kill the hunters, so make sure that if you choose to assassinate them that you are not seen doing so.

Either way, return to Hassildor when both the vampires and their hunters have been dealt with. He'll give you the information that an infamous Necromancer, the one they call "Mannimarco", has returned to Cyrodiil. He is gathering allies for an assault on the Mages guild. Bring this information to Traven who will indicate he needs some time to bring this matter to the Council of Mages. He has no further tasks for you at the moment, and will not until three days after your conversation with him.

A Plot Revealed #return to index
Traven is concerned about the ways in which Mannimarco might be targeting the guild. He hasn't heard from Jeanne Frasoric, the Bruma guildmaster, in some time, which is "unusual for her". If you remember, she was very proud of her connections to the Council of Mages.

Upon traveling to Bruma and entering the guild-hall there you'll discover that things are very wrong. The place has been utterly destroyed by undead creatures, who roam the burning corridors amongst broken furniture and broken bodies.

Clear out the first level then descend the stairs into the lower Mages' quarters. You'll face a number of undead there. Work your way through the passage to the far door, and then proceed up the stairs to Frasoric's quarters. There you'll encounter one of the architects of this attack, Camilla Lollia. Fell her and J'Skar will cancel his invisibility spell, revealing himself. He witnessed the whole terrible attack and has only survived by virtue of his invisibility and Mannimarco's decision to spare him for reasons unknown.

Luckily, like all good arch-villains, Mannimarco couldn't help but reveal the location of his hide-out (Echo Cave) and his intention (destroying the Mages Guild) as he reveled in his uber-badness. The traumatized J'Skar will make his way to the Imperial City, and so should you. Inform Traven of what has occurred. He'll need another three days to process the information. In the mean-time, speak to Polus, who will promote you to Wizard and teach you the Wizard's Fury spell.

The Bloodworm Helm and The Necromancer's Amulet #return to index
Speak to Traven after his three days gestation time is up. He'll inform you that, at the worst possible time, the Mages Guild has split after two factions disagreed on how Mannimarco was to be fought. In particular, Traven is most worried about a break-off group that believes that Mannimarco can only be beaten at his own game, meaning they intend to use Necromantic tools to defeat Necromancers. Yeah, that always ends well.

Two powerful artifacts have been stolen from the Arcane University: the Bloodworm Helm and the Necromancer's Amulet. The items have been spirited away to hide-outs in far corners of Cyrodiil, and it's your task to retrieve them. You'll learn that familiar face Irlav Jarol has taken the Bloodworm Helm to Fort Teleman.

To get there, travel to Leyawiin and then head north-east. Or, if you've discovered Atatar, travel there and head south-east. You'll find the Fort to be overrun by both Daedra and Undead, working in concert to take you down. Head to the last chamber of the second section and you'll discover Jarol's discarded corpse, still clad in his pearl-white robes. Take the Bloodworm Helm from his body and return it to Arch-Mage Traven.

Your next target is Fort Ontus, which can be easily reached via a trip to Weatherleah or Fort Diritch, and a short trek west into the hills. Upon entering the Fort you'll find a number of guildmates arrayed, suspiciously, like necromancers tend to be. They're not hostile, and point you towards Caranya, deeper in the Fort.

Enter the second section and make your way forward. You should be able to catch a glimpse of Caranya through barred gates to a lower chamber. Few well-intentioned people stand around shrouded in Necromantic mist like that. If you can do so, unlock one of the gates and drop down to speak with Caranya below. Otherwise, continue onwards until you find a portcullis and a nearby lever leading into Carany's chamber.

Your short chat with her will confirm that she has indeed been corrupted by the Amulet and now serves the King of Worms. You'll have to kill her and take the Amulet from her corpse. The rest of the Fort is magically made aware of her death and will reveal their true colors (being, of course, black and red). Unless the promise of a few more loot chests is worth the trouble, head out of the ruins the way you came. The exit route from the northern portcullis is more heavily guarded.

Return to Traven who is surprised by Caranya's dark-side leanings. Polus will make you a Master-Wizard, his equal in authority, and can no longer promote you any further.

Ambush #return to index
The guild has learnt of a powerful black soul gem destined to be delivered to Mannimarco. You and a group of battlemages are to stop the delivery occurring by intercepting the gem at the Ayleid ruins of Silorn.

Travel to Bloodcrust Cavern and then travel southeast until you find Silorn, which you'll find to be more extensive in its above-ground architecture than most ruins. Speak to Thalfin, the redguard leader of the battlemages. You'll learn that Silorn's door is enchanted, preventing it from being opened from the outside. All is not lost, however - two Necromancer guards are patrolling the site, and the battlemages sense that the black soul gem will emerge soon.

You're in charge of coordinating the attack, and Thalfin tells you that the battle will go better if you position the battlemages according to their abilities. Tell Merete to keep back and instruct Thalfin and Iver to stay up close, speak to Thalfin again to confirm that you're ready, then wait. Save at this point, and keep hidden.

Wait until the Necromancers, with gem-bearer Falcar, are as close as possible, then spring the ambush. Falcar will attempt to dash back into the ruins unless you can prevent him from doing so. If you manage to kill him before he enters Silorn, you save yourself a three level slog through Ayleid ruins, so it is recommended you do so. Either burden or paralyse him to keep him still, or intercept him on his way back to the ruins. Kill him and take the gem from his corpse. If you fail to do so then you'll need to enter Silorn and seek him out.

The map-marker is deceptive in leading you to Falcar once you've entered Silorn. You'll need to travel to the ruin's deepest point to find him, three levels below the surface, and make your way through a bevy of Necromancers and Undead to get there. Once you've retrieved the 'Colossal Black Soul Gem' - and no, you can't enchant with it, despite the promise a 'Colossal' gem seems to yield - return to Traven. You'll learn that the Black Soul Gem was intended to hold Traven's soul.

Confront the King #return to index
In this quest you will finally meet face-to-face with Mannimarco. To defeat him, Traven informs you that the soul gem will be integral. He appoints you Arch-Mage in his stead and then kills himself in order to place his soul within the Colossal Gem. Take the gem from his body and set out for Echo Cave. Travel to Cloud Ruler Temple, if you've been there before, and head west. Otherwise, make your way from Bruma.

You find the Echo Cave entrance to be guarded by Bolor Savel, who will approach you for a chat before informing you that he has the key to the entrance. You will not lay eyes upon the key while he lives. To rectify that problem, kill him, and take the key from his corpse. Enter Echo Cave.

To reach Mannimarco you'll need to make your way through three levels of powerful Necromancers and Undead. You'll face him in a grand chamber on the 'Echo Necromancer's Chamber' level of the cave. He'll speak to you and inform you that he'd like to make you his thrall.

Once the conversation is over, you find your trust in Traven's plan well placed: Mannimarco's attempts to enthrall you fail, and he can now be killed. Try not to move around too much as you fight him- he is able to trigger traps all around the chamber as he moves over a pressure-plate.

There is some good loot in chests around the sanctum, and you can also pick up Mannimarco's 'Staff of Worms' from his corpse, a nasty-looking staff which allows you to briefly reanimate the corpses of the dead. Return to the Arch-Mage's tower to enjoy the benefits of your new found status.

You can access altars of Enchanting and Spellmaking in your chambers, or make duplicates of any alchemical ingredient by placing it in your Arch-Mage's chest. In addition, you can select an Apprentice from the Arcane University to follow you on your travels. They are relatively weak, but if they die, or are dismissed by you, they can be replaced simply by picking another Apprentice from the University grounds.


Oblivion Portal


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