Hitting the Books

In Brief

  1. Speak with Urag gro-Shub.
  2. Find the stolen books (3 total).
  3. Free Orthorn (Optional).
  4. Return the books.


Find Urag gro-Shub, who is probably in the Arcaneum with his books. He will tell you that the books that might help were stolen by a mage called Orthorn who ran off to Fellglow Keep with a group of renegade mages. He’ll mark Fellglow Keep on your map and send you on your way.

The Keep is in the wilderness downriver from Whiterun. When you get there, you’ll notice that it is largely derelict, and you will be set upon by two leveled mages. Once you’ve disposed of them (and their Atronach) you are able to enter the Dungeon. This is populated by frostbite spiders and even more hostile Mages of one sort or another – storm, ice, fire, and conjurer. The Mages will attack you with the regular kinds of spells, though they are unarmoured and are very vulnerable to cold, hard steel if you can bring them hand-to-hand. If wounded badly they will flee, making for some fun chases. Each one is wearing Novice Robes of some description – useful for sale or for enchantment. Many also have scrolls, potions or alchemical ingredients.

You will soon encounter a torture chamber where the renegade mages are keeping some leveled vampires. These vampires are friendly, and will attack the mages if set free. Once you push past the torture chamber you will see Orthorn imprisoned in another cage. He will beg you to set him free. If you do, he will offer to come with you, though your character appears to be reluctant to let him. This is the one of the few places where a stealth character may have to kill something. It can be difficult to hide Orthorn from his jailor who will release two wolves when he notices the mage. It is much easier if the jailor is dead before Orthorn is released.

You will then pass into a training room, with another 3 leveled Mages in it, and then into a chamber and up to a sort of library which is littered with Ruined Books – you got it – more Novice Mages. The Library contains one skill book on one of the two tables. At one point you pass a room to your right which contains an enchanting table, an alchemy lab and some forge equipment – useful for restocking.

After the Library you will need to dispose of a Flame Atronach, and then you can enter a chamber with The Caller, a powerful and mysterious mage who Orthorn has mentioned to you. The Caller offers you the chance to flee, but you will end up fighting her. She will be a tough opponent, with one or two summoned atronachs (the type and number depend on the player’s level) and a range of Destruction spells including Spark, Firebolt and Ice Spike. An easy way to deal with her is select the option of making a deal with her during the dialogue. She will allow you to take the books but asks that you leave Orthorn with her. However, you need to take the books yourself, which gives you an opportunity to sneak behind her, where she doesn’t see you, and hit her with a sneak attack and slit her throat. She doesn’t have any particularly great loot. There is also the (persuade) option at which point she may agree to your taking the books. She may make a threat at this point, and … of course you may choose to finish her anyways, or you can leave with the books. Choosing the persuade option causes Orthorn to simply turn around and leave the room, never to be seen again. If engaged in a conversation he will confusingly reply with “how could you just leave me here?”, as if the swap choice was made.

A stealth character who is not accompanied by Orthorn during the encounter with The Caller, but who has an invisibility potion can take it directly following the conversation, before she summons the Flame Atronachs, and easily sneak up behind and kill her. Alternatively, you can take the potion when the conversation with The Caller ends and hide behind one of the book stands in an alcove until everyone calms down. It is hardest to grab the book The Caller is reading and one must remember to pick her pocket to get a key to open the door if you don’t want to kill her. She is apt to notice you taking the book she is reading.

Books collected: “Night of Tears”, “The Last King of the Ayleids”, “Fragment: On Arateum”

Upon returning the books to Urag gro-Shub, he will give you several skill books, including 2920, Hearth Fire, v9, Catalogue of Weapon Enchantments, Daughter of the Niben, Racial Phylogeny, Response to Bero’s Speech, The Black Arts On Trial & The Doors of Oblivion. These books will raise your Conjuration, Enchanting, Alteration, Restoration and Destruction, respectively. Check the floor for any books knocked astray during battle.