Bus Ride Fantasy

Skyrim FanFiction, Skyrim Erotica, and More

The Worst Mage in the College of Winterhold

Elves ear. Snow berries. Troll fat. Or was it ice wraith teeth? Storven could not remember. It was always those last little details that vexed him. Troll fat has resist poison, damage health, and frenzy, but what was the fourth? And ice wraith teeth had invisibility for sure, but beyond that? No, it was troll fat. He was almost sure of it.

To mix, or not to mix? Storven paused for a moment in the dim candlelight of the Hall of Attainment’s second floor. Nobody was awake except for him and the owls. One had been hooting outside of his window for the past hour.


Storven started the alembic and turned up the heat. Things were going well at first, the potion seemed to be congealing. Yes, that’s it, he thought. Just like that.

And then it all went to hell.

The troll fat started to burn as it congealed, and within seconds the wretched smell of charred flesh filled his nostrils along with the rest of the room. Then the potion turned black and the entire thing caught fire.

Storven grabbed a handful of salt powder and dumped it onto the alchemy lab, smothering the flames before they got out of control. Another potion ruined. At least the only witness was the cursed owl.

Storven sighed. He would never graduate at this rate. Never don the robes of a master as his father had, and his father before him. They told him that he was a true Antaval. A member of an ancient, important house on the Summerset Isles. That failure was not in his blood, only magic.

But if there was magic in his blood, how was it that he couldn’t brew a simple potion of water breathing? How was it that every spell he attempted came out weak or twisted or in some way defective?

Tolfdir ragged on him Storven constantly. Correcting this and berating him for that. When Storven had put himself into a drunken stupor at the tavern in Winterhold and showed up hungover for class the next day. Tolfdir had put him into a stasis field for the entire lesson while the other students snickered and laughed.

Storven was the worst apprentice at the college, and everyone knew it.

And then, of course, there was Artemis. Wonderful Artemis who could do no wrong. He was an Altmer like Storven, but that was where their similarities ended. Artemis was tall and lean and strong, rumored to be just as good with a sword as he was with destruction magic. But that couldn’t be true, because he was already one of the best spellweavers in the college. Just an apprentice and already blowing holes of fire through frost trolls and burning draugrs into ashes. Oh yes, Artemis was gifted. Some even whispered that he was the Dragonborn – that’d he slain dozens of them, first at Whiterun and then Kynesgrove.

Of course, not only was he gifted beyond measure, the tall bastard was handsome, too. Word was he’d already bedded every female apprentice in the College, and he had his eyes on Mirabelle next. If Storven was any judge, Mirabelle had her eyes on Artemis, too.

And to tie it all together, he was lucky. He’d found some object in a ruin not far from the College on a class expedition. Storven had missed that little field trip – a pair of ice wolves waylaid him on his way to the ruin and he’d been forced to hide in a small, freezing cold cave until they lost interest.

That took an entire day, and by the time he found the ruin it had already been sealed off so the archmage could inspect the object. Whatever it was.

Storven sulked for a while longer, and then he went back to his book, looking for another potion to screw up.

Health potion, too easy.

Invisibility, too hard.

Paralysis, way too hard.

Damage health…that he could manage. Probably.

And then Storven got an idea. An inkling of a thought. The whisper of a plan. He let it marinate and stew while his finger sat on the page, right under the ingredient list for damage health.

He would poison Artemis.

With that showoff out of the way, surely he would have more luck. Surely that was the problem. One Altmer was hogging all the glory while he sat in the cold, dismal shadows.

And there were enough ingredients in the alchemy lab to make at least twenty damage health poisons. That would do the trick, surely.

Storven started the heat on the alchemy lab again and went to work.

It was nearly dawn when he finished, but he’d done good work. Murder had a motivating power over him, it would seem. Now, all he had to do was slip the poison into Artemis’s breakfast. That wouldn’t be hard, the fancy bastard washed down his ration of bacon and bread every morning with an entire jug of Blackbriar mead. He had a private stash in the kitchen that nobody dared touch less they lose favor with the blessed student or, worse, be incinerated by his wrath.

Nobody would be up for another hour, so Storven tiptoed downstairs, silent as a skeever. He passed the other apprentices beds. They were all sleeping except for Artemis himself — he almost never passed a night in his own bed.

With his envy and fury renewed at the thought of Aretemis’s naked, golden ass pumping into sweet Mirabelle, Storven slipped into the kitchen and opened Artemis’ private cupboard.

The cocky fool didn’t even keep it locked.

He took a few swigs of each bottle of Blackbriar mead and replaced the missing liquid with poison. Storven was a bad alchemist, but he at least knew how to brew a damage health potion so that it was odorless and tasteless. Any two-bit bandit could do the same, but who cared?  After putting everything back, he closed the cupboard and quietly moved out of the room.

He caught a whiff of something as he was leaving — the faintest hint of a spice he could not place, yet it seemed familiar.

No matter, Storven told himself. A spice cannot betray me.

Storven lay down in his bed and pretended to sleep. He counted the passage of time in his head. Forty-nine minutes later the first of the apprentices roused herself. He heard the snapping of fingers and the stretching of joints. The girl muttered a few lazy incantations, and then started off to the kitchen.

He waited until everyone else had woken up, and then he headed to the meal hall himself.

Artemis was there, of course, already munching on a slice of bacon. Storven could barely contain a grin when he saw the familiar jug of Blackbriar mead sitting by Artemis’ plate. Unopened, but not for long.

The other apprentices were already fawning over him, rushing for the spots next to him and asking him questions and advice and favors. Typical.

Storven sat down on his customary bench, the furthest from the others, and filled his cup of wine from the nearest earthenware jug. He grabbed a sweet roll from the center pile, took a small bite, and chewed, trying his best not to look at Artemis every few seconds.

After Artemis finished his bacon, he wiped up the grease with a piece of bread and tossed it into his mouth. As he chewed, he reached for his bottle of mead and unscrewed the cap.

Storven’s heart began to race. He felt sweat on his brow. This is it, he thought, this is the end of the evil Artemis.

Storven grabbed his own cup and drank as Artemis drank, watching his fellow Altmer’s throat bob as he chugged deep from his precious mead and Storven drank from his wine.

It tasted like victory.

And then something strange happened. Artemis put down his bottle and locked eyes with Storven. His eyes were as gold as his skin, sparkling with intelligence and wisdom. They were magic eyes.

Suddenly, Storven remembered where he’d smelled that spice. It was a desert perfume that someone had given Artemis as a gift. One of his lovers. Artemis had sprayed a bit of it for everyone to smell, and then added a touch to each of his wrists, saying he would wear it to remind himself of the beautiful redguard who loved him.

He was in the room with me, Storven realized.

Artemis smiled, then. A perfect smile full of beautiful elven teeth. He raised his bottle of mead to Storven, as if he had just given a toast to his honor, and took another long draught of mead, never shifting his gaze.

In a panic, Storven tried to get up from the bench but found he suddenly lacked the strength.

The poison was already taking hold.


2 comments on “The Worst Mage in the College of Winterhold

  1. elspethaurilie
    October 30, 2012

    The paragon and the dunce! This is excellent. I love the attention to detail in the description of the alchemy in the beginning. And really, how terrible of a student to you have to be for Tolfdir to give you a hard time? I could just picture him, awkward and weak, waiting for the wolves to leave while he shivered in the cave.

    That moment when the feeling of absolute victory turns downward is priceless.

  2. ericanorth
    November 1, 2012

    Vengeance gone so horribly wrong. I think the thing about Storven’s disposition that really got to me was how convicted he felt as a failure, as if all his troubles were someone else’s fault. It’s far too easy to sink into that kind of bad-thinking, and it always fills an already full-of-bad-ideas head with terrible notions that backfire. I have to say, I love how varied these tales are, how rich the language is, how descriptive every moment to the point that you feel like you’re actually there. I feel like I know these people, and that definitely makes for the most memorable stories. Thank you again for sharing them.

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This entry was posted on October 30, 2012 by in Skyrim Fiction and tagged , .
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