17 Heartfire, 3E433
It was inevitable that I would eventually run into someone at the Mages Guild like Falcar. While the other guildmasters have been at least begrudgingly accepting of my desire for their recommendation, Falcar acted downright hostile.
I presented myself to the Guild well after everyone was awake and breakfasted, but it had done little to improve Falcar's mood, for the first thing he said to me was, "Don't tell me you're here for a recommendation". Well, I was! He invited me to travel to the Imperial City and attempt entry into the University without all my recommendations just to get used to the feeling of rejection...something which I am not sure why he felt I needed. Tellingly, he said that the Guild was still powerful overall, but that "recent decisions" had weakened it, possibly killed it. I assumed he was talking of the ban on Necromancy, but at the time had no idea why he would feel the Guild was dead as a result of it.
His task was deceptively simple: retrieve a ring of Burden from an old well behind the Guild where a previous and disappeared Associate had misplaced it. The well was locked and an Argonian named Deetsan at the Guild possessed the key.
When I approached Deetsan she was upset to hear that I had been given the same task as the missing Associate, Vidkun and asked to speak with my privately. This was difficult owing to the Hall's construction of two simple open floors. Eventually Falcar left the Hall on personal business and Deetsan was free to tell me the real story of Vidkun.
Deetsan's suspected that Vidkun's disappearance shortly after being given Falcar's task was not a coincidence and that Falcar was seeking to have me disappear in the same way, though this was all just a feeling on her part. She gave me the key and hissed at me to be very careful around Falcar. He still had not returned, so I quickly left the guild and made way around the building and into the well.
Swimming is never a fun thing when you are covered with fur, but I had a much better time of it than the unfortunate Vidkun.
The poor man had apparently retrieved the ring of Burden only to find that he was entirely too burdened to swim any longer. Perhaps he could not get the ring off in time or thought himself a better swimmer than he was, whatever the case, he met his death in the abandoned well behind the guildhall. It is possible I may have met a similar fate if it were not for Deetsan's gift of two potions of Buoyancy, which gave me an almost Argonian ability to swim, albeit for a short period of time.
But when I returned I found that Deetsan had taken matters into her own hands and confronted Falcar with her suspicions surrounding Vidkun's death and my strange assignment. According to her, the man flew into a rage and stormed out of the guild, promising that the hall's days were numbered. Deetsan's intuition was telling her that something else was amiss besides murderous recommendations and requested that I look around his room for anything out of the ordinary, as well as to see if he actually wrote the recommendation, which I doubted.
My doubt was correct, he did not write anything, but the Argonian's crafty mind was also correct: my searching produced two Black soul gems buried underneath a pile of linen in one of his cabinets. These soul gems can trap the souls of actual people and are highly illegal to possess and a warrant of instant death should someone use one. I returned immediately to Deetsan with my (fortunately unused) evidence.
Deetsan is made of sterner stuff than Falcar gave her credit for. Confronted with evidence of her guildmate's illegal activities, she wasted no time in summoning a courier and writing a report to the council, including both the soul gems and my recommendation with it. I do have a feeling Falcar will never be seen again and that Deetsan had just secured herself a promotion within the Guild, deservedly.
I had no business left in Cheydinhal, so I left the town, mounted my horse, and eagerly started my way towards the last guildhall I have to visit before I can enter the University. En-route I was half-heartedly ambushed by a bandit duo, one who was wielding a bow whose arrows froze anything they came into contact with. It was a minor enchantment, but I took it with my out of a sort of curiosity. I wonder where or on who he found the weapon.
A Gate in the wilderness, I can come back to that. A Gate right on the side of the road, I cannot pass by. I expected the usual collection of Scamps sulking about and was surprised to hear the screech of a Clannfear as one charged out of the gate at me.
It is nice to have some variety to one's opponents and I fought enough of them while in Morrowind to not have any trouble with this one, even given the skills that have lapsed since my last adventure. The gate itself led to a world I am becoming very familiar with: the one with the many towers, each opening a gate which allows me entrance to the main tower and eventually the pocket plane's Stone.
The Stone I received is larger than the others and has cracks along the surface which glow, unlike the smaller stones that have no glow at all. It is interesting and I am looking forward to hearing a learned opinion on these things.
The rest of my journey passed quickly and I arrived in Bruma well after the sun had set, giving me no time to visit the Guild today. Tomorrow I will finally be done with my province-spanning journey and can gain access into the University...ironic, for I am hardly a spell-caster of great skill and with only a few Illusion spells of dubious use at my command. Perhaps my entry into the University can be a first step towards changing that.