"Yes, sir.  I understand, but Azura's Shrine is nearby.  Wouldn't it be easier if I just grabbed it and went on with my task?"

"Of course it would be easier, but you know full well it would be rather odd to have some upstart outlander running around collecting Deadric Artifacts."

"You're right, I just thought I could get it while I'm on the way.  It wouldn't hurt anything to have two before enacting a cover story, would it?"

"Nothing but your reputation within the BattleMancers and your standing with me, personally.  I have given you a very strict set of instructions and I expect you to follow them!"

"I understand, I will comply and follow."

Gulamoth released his grip, white-knuckled as it was, from his Soul Speak - a Soul Gem specially tuned to allow for communication between large distance using the Soul Cairn as a short cut.  He certainly wasn't happy about the lack of trust, but he couldn't very well defy the master of his order, they would know instantly.  It was painful to watch his second target in the mountain side as he walked by it.  The Shrine of Azura, sitting high on the mountain, no doubt worshipped by some Dunmer up there.  Yet here he trails, towards the College of Winterhold.  He was told to work there as a novice enchanter.  It will be difficult to not show them all a thing or two, Gulamoth had a flair for enchanting and soul stealing . . . but it would not serve to be better than their master enchanters, not at all.

So on he walked, trudged would be more accurate in all the snow.  He could barely feel his toes at this point, he thanked the Eight (and a silent thanks to the Ninth, just in case he is Divine) when he saw the College behind some ruined town.  An Altmer woman stood at the main entry to the walkway, blathering on some nonsense about "the way is not safe" and "the gate will not open" or some nonesense of the sort.  She was speaking to some young mage yelling about being the Dragonborn and they didn't need to pass some stupid test (to be fair, they were only yelling to be heard over the roar of the winds on the cliff face).  The High Elf seemed to not be impressed and was asking if this newcomer knew any fear spells, and to case one at the emblem on the ground. 

As Gulamoth stood back and listened, this self-proclaimed Dragonborn was getting a little too whiny for his taste, and he knew a few fear spells so it was time to take care of this himself.  Walking up behind the two at the entryway he said, "Here, I know a few fear spells.  Allow me to teach by demonstration!"  With that Gulamoth cast it at the would-be mage and watched as they went running off into town screaming bloody murder! 

Laughing, the Altmer said, "Sir Breton, that was quite a display of a fear spell.  What brings you to our fair college?"

"Thank you, I was just tired of hearing that fool babble on about how much magic--"  Interrupted by the Dragonborn screaming by, Gulamoth had to give out a bit of a chuckle.

"Just how long will that spell run, sir?"

"Not much longer, by the time you lead me into the College and make it back it should be over.  Then you can start the arguement all over again,"  he said with a wry smile across his blackened lips.

"So what was it you wanted to gain from within our walls?"

"I seek the knowledge of enchanting items with great and powerful magic . . . more powerful than even what I already know how to cast."

"That we have, Breton.  Our enchanting is only rivaled by the Psijics themselves in all of Nirn, and by none in Tamriel.  I will show you across and you should speak to Sergius Truuianus, I presume you're the new apprentice he was to be sent.  You are more knowing than we were led to believe."

"I apologize for any misinformation you may have been given, or information you might not have understood.  I have been training at various  institutes of magical knowledge for many years and have learned much.  I heard of the enchanting that comes out of the College and it was my next obvious stop."

After being led across and locating Sergius, Gulamoth got setled in to his new living quarters in the College.  A spacious enough room with decent bedding and plenty of storage for things.  A few locking spells and trap encantations would ensure nobody bothered his things.  You'd like to think you can trust mages, but not so much.  Gulamoth learned early that the BattleMancers only 'trust' one another and don't steal from each other is because any of them can kill you and then use your corpse as a puppet - this is a great deterrant.

Early the next morning he met Sergius in the Hall of the Elements to discuss enchanting and his immediate training.  This would include obtaining many souls and previously enchanted items to disenchant.  Suddenly the Dragonborn from the day before came bursting into the hall yelling something about needing to find Savos Aren and a giant glowy ball they found under some Nordic ruin nearby, and then went running into the Library.

Standing nearby talking to another student was the Altmer woman from the entryway, "I though you said that fear spell would wear off, Gulamoth!"  They all had a fine laugh at that.  Not long after, Ancano drifted in and asked what all the commotion was about.

Gulamoth just shrugged, "Got me, that initiate came in screaming like a damn fool about something they found under that tomb they were going to earlier today.  It must have been a big deal, he just ran straight to the Archmage about it."

". . . interesting . . . well, I will just have to see what's going on with this."  Ancano promptly turned and walked away toward the Library to await the initiate.

After the room cleared, Gulamoth got back to his discussion with Sergius. "So what's my first errand?"

"Well I need you to look into Azura's Star, are you familliar with it?"

He smiled inwardly, "A little, some kind of special soul gem, right?"

"That and so much more!  I'll lend you a book on Deadric Artifact so you can brush up on it before you head out, but I'll need the Star back here in the week."

"So will I get to use it any along the way, or is it lost to the College after I do whatever work I have to do in order to get it?"

"I see your point, and I understand.  No, it isn't lost to the College, you get to hang on to it.  I mostly want you to get it so we can look into a rumor I've heard about it, as well as not have to burn through Soul Gems at such a high rate.  Most apprentices I have go through about ten soul gems a week, I have a feeling you'll want to use much more than that - you seem mighty curious and rather adept at the ways of magic."

"Thank you, sir, I'll read over this book (not likely) and make my way to the shrine to begin looking around and getting information."

"Excellent, I look forward to your return then."

If you enjoyed this, you can find links to each of my blog series on this forum thread.