Feb 10, 2022
6 mins read
The story so far:
Previously, Second Archivist Eldaline, a cruel and unusual Thalmor dignitary, sent her library assistant Skavild to the College of Winterhold to learn some spells, but he has still not learned any. Instead, he has uncovered a conspiracy to use the power of the Eye of Magnus to devastating effect, just in time for Eldaline's colleague Ancano to go mad and attach himself to it.
Skavild has headed to Labyrinthian to find the Staff of Magnus, to thwart this plot. Despite the now-late master-wizard's advice to go alone, Skavild has been surprised by Eldaline, who has very helpfully and not at all suspiciously offered to assist him in his search.
"Oh, poor Mirabelle!" Cried Skavild. "I can hardly believe it! How could such a great wizard be taken from us in such apparently avoidable circumstances?"
"How indeed?" Said Eldaline. "Why are you following these ghosts? One of them looks like Savos Aren. Who is dead as well, by the way."
"He is Savos Aren." Said Skavild. "Poor Savos Aren!"
"Yes, poor Savos Aren. Even if he did watch me in the bath. Skavild, why can I not kill these ghosts?"
"They're projections of the past, not ghosts. Wait a minute, Eldaline. Is that my amulet you're wearing? The mysterious one that we took from the draugr in Saarthal?"
"Yes. The Jarl of Winterhold gave it to me."
"How did he get it? It was on my desk." Said Skavild.
"It must have somehow found its way into the shop again." Eldaline said.
"Skavild, were you looking at my chest?"
"Of course not, I was looking at my amulet. Why would I be looking at your chest?"
"No reason." She said. "Let's find the staff."
At an otherwise unremarkable door, the ground shuddered, and a voice boomed forth from nowhere:
"Have you returned... Savos, my old friend?"
"Savos hasn't got any fr..." Eldaline began.
"Skavild, I've been silenced!"
"You sound like you're still talking to me." Said Skavild.
"No, my magicka has been sucked out of me. We must be getting close to the Staff of Magnus."
"I suppose you'll be wanting me to fight everything, then." Said Skavild.
"If you'd be so kind."
"Don't mind me." Said a passing skeleton, and left through a side-door.
"All right, Eldaline, I've tolerated you pillaging the tombs of my ancestors for long enough, but picking the pocket of the ghost of my dead headmaster is a step too far, even for you."
"I was just checking to see if it was possible."
"What's that humming noise? It's coming from the next chamber."
"Careful, Eldaline." Said Skavild.
"Well, look at that!" Eldaline whispered. "Savos did have friends."
"And he froze them." Said Skavild.
"They don't look very comfortable." Said Eldaline. "We should kill them."
"That's almost what I was going to say." Said Skavild. "But not quite."
"Look, my magicka is returning." Said Eldaline. "But I still feel a little weak."
The dragon priest awoke
"Hit him with your stick, Skavild!"
It was after being hit sufficient times with Skavild's stick that the dragon priest Morokei perished.
They knew it was Morokei, because he had, in his vanity, had his name engraved on the inside of his mask and even sewn into his robes.
"Well, there is it. The Staff of Magnus." Said Skavild.
"I agree that you should be the one to carry it, Skavild. Despite your lack of magical ability, you dealt the death blow to its keeper."
"Really?" Said Skavild. "I think you just want to avoid fishing through that horrible pile of bones and ash. But anyway, poor Mirabelle did say that I should wield it, and no one else."
"Can I just try it once, though? It might make me feel better."
"No, no, I think I should follow the Master Wizard's advice, Eldaline. It's nothing personal."
He picked out the staff, and waved it in the air. "Grr." he said. "Look. I'm the evil dragon priest Morokei."
"Ha! So you are!" Eldaline cried. "Put your mask on."
"Grr! Grr! Is this good? Worship my friends the dragons, or die. I've got a big stick."
"Oh, your impression is terribly good." She said. "Do another one."
"We'd best be getting back to the college." Said Skavild. "Ancano isn't going to thwart himself."
"He probably will, you know, if we wait long enough."
"Hm." Said Eldaline, at the final door.
"What's the matter?"
"I feel slightly silly telling you this, Skavild, but for all your lack of magical ability, this door seems to require brute force, and I do not have enough."
"Brute force? Watch, and learn, little elf!" Said Skavild. "Hold this."
"Pff." He said, pushing open the door. "Just a little sticky. Your problem is, you give up at the first obstacle. There. Come on."
"Silly me." Said Eldaline.
As they made for the stairwell, the door to it flew open and Estormo fell into the room, looking like he'd been dragged sideways through twelve hedges.
"Where in Oblivion have you been?" Cried Eldaline. "I've got the staff, no thanks to you."
"Bears." Said Estormo.
"What do you mean, you've got the staff?" Said Skavild. "I've got the staff. No wait, I haven't."
"That's the trick with Nords. Play to their vanity, and they're as tame as a... what was it? Wallpaper?"
"A carpet!" Shouted Skavild. "And how dare you steal my trick and use it on me!" *
"I need you to stay here, Skavild, while I go and teach your college a valuable lesson about Sharing." Said Eldaline.
"But Ancano wants him dead." Said Estormo.
"When Ancano gets his own human, and waters him, and feeds him, and educates him, then he can decide he wants him dead. This is my human."
"You monsters!" Said Skavild. "I'm not your human, I'm my human, and may Talos angrily confiscate my woolly cloak if I ever trust another elf again!"
"I really am very sorry. And it truly is nothing personal. You must know that I think very highly of you and I hope that you can find it in yourself to one day understand the personal constraints of my position and speak kindly to me again. Good-bye, Skavild."
"Bah!" Said Skavild, as Eldaline and Estormo flounced off. "I'll get you for this! You'd better hope you're a hundred leagues away when I get out of this cage!"
"I believe this is what they call 'burning your liminal bridges', agent." Eldaline sighed. "We've made a terrible mistake."
"What is it, Second Archivist?" Said Estormo.
"Well, can you lift this door bar?"
"Yes, I understand." He said. "I don't suppose there's any way we could reason with the human, now?"
"Do you want to go and ask him?"
"No." Said Estormo.
"Perhaps each of us could lift one end." Said Eldaline. "And we really should hurry up."
To be continued
* (See Skavild the Wizard, part 5, or don't and just believe that it was there.)