The Arcane University is located on the City Isle, within one of the two small towers situated to the east of the main White-Gold Tower. The walls of the University form a circular area, outside the main city walls, of roughly the same area as the innermost circle of the Imperial City, Green Emperor Way.
The layout is similar to the Imperial Prison, located in the northeastern tower, consisting of a single circular wall, surrounding an open grassy area with the main tower situated slightly off-center in the middle of the area. The university layout includes a second, much larger building immediately behind the tower, which houses the Imperial Orrery.
The Arch-Mage's Tower is a smaller version of the massive White Gold Tower, approximately the same size and shape as the Imperial Guard towers found around the outside edge of the Imperial City proper. Its key distinguishing feature is the cone-shaped addition to the top of the tower, which houses the Arch-Mage's personal quarters. The tower also contains the Mages' Guild council chambers, and at the lowest level, a small lobby. The lobby is the only section of the tower open to the public.
The majority of the University grounds are located behind a thick wall, and are off-limits to visitors. The main tower sits precisely in the center of this wall, atop a raised walkway. Large iron gates extend out from the tower along the walls, and will only open for Mages' Guild members of at least Apprentice rank. Non-members are permitted into the tower lobby, where a few guild members are usually found, but cannot exit into the university grounds or Orrery.
As with the rest of the Ayleid city, the walls around the outside of the University house a number of buildings, most of which are two stories with no basement. There is a small Imperial watchtower near the back of the university, shorter than those in the city proper, which is home to the Imperial Battlemages patrolling the university grounds. The only gate through the walls leads to the northwest, to a short footbridge leading to a gate into the Arboretum.
Access to the UniversityEdit
Access to the university grounds is granted upon reaching Apprentice rank in the Mages' Guild. This rank is bestowed upon the Hero by Raminus Polus, after completing all of the recommendation quests. At this point, both the iron gates outside of the tower, and the two rear doors from the tower lobby, will open. This grants the apprentice access to most of the campus services as well; though the buildings themselves are open to Mages' Guild associates, such low ranking members would normally be unable to reach them.
The upper floors of the tower itself are off-limits to lower level guild members. Access to these floors is through teleporter pads found in the lobby. The pads are similar to the teleportation system used by the Morrowind guild halls, but those in the university are keyed to a single permanent destination, and they activate automatically.
Once the Hero has reached the rank of Evoker, they are granted access to the second floor, which holds the council chambers. The Arch-Mage himself, and the other two council members (Irlav Jarol and Caranya), are found here most of the time.
The top floor of the tower holds the private chambers of the Arch-Mage himself, so the Hero will not be given access to this floor until they have ascended to that rank.
After completing the Mages' Guild recommendation quests, the Hero can complete all of the arcane quests and become the Arch-Mage. The Hero is then granted access to the Arch-Mage's Private Quarters, of which inside is an enchanted chest. Putting a common ingredient in it duplicates the ingredient, after 24 (in-game) hours, into ten. It is advisable to collect the duplicated ingredients before a week is up or everything inside will disappear.
Alternate ways to accessEdit
There are a couple of ways to enter the main university grounds without being a Mages' Guild Apprentice. With a high enough Acrobatics skill (extremely high, well over 100), the wall itself can be scaled. Doing so involves jumping from the parapet nearest the Arch-Mage's lobby, onto the lobby roof itself, then several more jumps over the wall. One will drop down a considerable distance, and take damage even at higher skill levels.
The Hero can also wait outside the lobby for one of the NPCs that regularly walks in and out of the university to open the gate, and follow them in. However, even if they manage to get onto the grounds, none of the buildings will open unless they are already a Mages' Guild member.
Another way to gain entrance into the university without being an Apprentice is to use the paintbrush glitch. They should have a decent Acrobatics skill (at least 50) and ten to twenty paintbrushes. Drop one, jump on top of it, and drop another. Repeat until they get to the top, then jump off.
Another way of doing this requires less Acrobatics skill. They need some paintbrushes. Go to the ledge near the left-hand-side iron gate (upon entering the Arcane University area). Drop a paintbrush, jump on it, then repeat until they are high enough to jump on the roofing above that gate. Now jump and move sideways until over the top. Landing on the ledge on the other side prevents most, if not all damage.
The Arcane University provides a number of services that cannot be found anywhere else in Cyrodiil. In addition, the guild members who reside in the university are a wealth of information for the aspiring mage and for all citizens of Cyrodiil.
The Hero can find libraries, archives, classrooms and lecture halls, practice rooms, alchemical laboratories, enchanting centers, spell-crafting halls and living quarters throughout the university, with important, usable items in every location. Provided here is a short description of each location and the (Numbers) indicate the position on the map to the right.
The Praxographical Center (2) is the home to the spell crafters of the Mages' Guild. It contains several Altars of Spellmaking, and a number of dedicated spell vendors. This area is open only to Apprentice rank (or higher) members of the Mages Guild.
The Mystic Archives (3) are the central repository of the Mages' Guild's knowledge in Cyrodiil. It is a vast library, containing many books that cannot be found anywhere else on Tamriel, in which most are found upstairs.
The archives are run by Tar-Meena, a repository of arcane knowledge. A number of quests, including part of the Main Quest, require the Hero to find books here, or speak to Tar-Meena herself who sometimes can be found in the lobby.
- The book Necromancer's Moon here in the Mages Guild quest "Vaermina."
- Another find is the Modern Heretics book, which gives them two topics that provide the locations of Daedric Shrines.
- The Cleansing of the Fane provides them with the location of the Ayleid Ruin Malada in the miscellaneous quest Nothing You Can Possess.
- The Hero can find multiple skill books here:
- A source of one of the empty Grand Soul Gems needed for curing vampirism can be found here.
- The book, Mysticism, is in a display case inside the front door.
- A potted Nirnroot can be found on an end table in the room of the left on the first floor.
The Imperial Watchtower (5) is the section of the Arcane University which houses a few Imperial Legion Battlemage for the defense of the University. It resembles very closely the various other watchtowers in that it contains similar accoutrements and serves as quarters for part of the Imperial Watch. The tower, while unlocked, is not open to anyone (i.e. it displays a to signify trespassing), regardless of Mages Guild affiliation.
The towers are located at the back of the University, and the main entrance, which is on the north-west side in the public area, leads to the City Isle and features a foot bridge leading to the Arboretum.
A ladder leads to the Imperial Watch Barracks, a small room lined with four beds and accompanying chests. There is no third floor or basement.
This area is located inside the Arcane University and accessible only to Associate rank (or higher) members of the Mages Guild.
The Practice Rooms (6) are parts of the Arcane University where students can practice their magic on targets. Renald Viernis is the Practice Room Proctor.
The building has two floors with three targets on the ground floor, and three on the 2nd floor. If the Hero stands in between the mages and the targets, they can get the spell effects.
The Chironasium (7) provides enchantment services to guild members. The building contains several Altars of Enchanting, where mages can use soul gems to add enchantments to their mundane items.
This building is also notable for its caretaker, Delmar, who assists all novice mages in obtaining their Mage's Staff. One can also find the Master trainer of illusion, Martina Floria here. This area is open only to Apprentice rank (or higher) members of the Mages Guild.
- The Hero can find the mysticism skill book Before the Ages of Man
- An assortment of novice alchemic apparatuses can be found
- An assortment of empty Soul Gems can be found
- A few Bonemeals can be found
The Lustratorium (8) is the main alchemical center of the University. It includes a few alchemy books, and is run by Julienne Fanis, a noted alchemical researcher though she is often found in the Arch-Mage's Lobby.
- The Hero can find the alchemy skill book Song of the Alchemists here.
- An assortment of alchemic apparatuses can be found
- A single nightshade, which are used in the Vampire Cure quest, is found here.
University Tower and Arch-Mage's LobbyEdit
In the tower itself, the bottom floor foyer contains the Arch-Mage's lobby (9). This is the main audience chamber for higher ranking guild members, and the only area of the University that is open to the public. Master-Wizard Raminus Polus, the second highest-ranking member of the guild, is usually found here holding audiences.
Whenever the Hero is sent to talk to a university staff member, they are likely found in the lobby during some portion of the day. The lobby also holds the only entrance to the Imperial Orrery.
The second floor of the university tower is the chambers for the Council of Mages, and the three council members are usually found here. The top floor of the university tower houses the quarters of the Arch-Mage himself. In addition to the standard bed and storage, the arch-mage has access to his own personal altars of spellmaking and enchanting, as well as an enchanted chest which can replicate alchemical ingredients.
Outside of these buildings, on the main university grounds, there is a lecture area that is frequently used by instructors to teach classes of approximately a half-dozen students.
At other times, various guild members can be found wandering the grounds, or sitting in the open area park benches. As Arch-Mage, the Hero can request for one of these guild members to follow them and fight at their side. In addition, near the entrance to the Lustratorium is a garden full of various plant species, some of them only found in distant parts of Cyrodiil.
- Main article: Orrery
The Orrery can also tap into the arcane power of the moons to grant observers special powers. To access the Orrery they must have completed the Orrery quest. They can activate it any day for a greater power, but can only have one greater power at a time.
- Within the University itself, a secret room containing the Book of Fate is rumored to exist, although the whereabouts of this room are unknown.