The Final Scroll
The College of Winterhold
The College of Winterhold is a school for magic in the city of the same name. Its campus is imposing and fortress-like, located atop a seemingly precarious rock formation and reachable only by a crumbling bridge that spans the Winterhold inlet.. It functions much like Mages Guilds in other parts of Tamriel, but is a resolutely independent establishment. The College holds documents dating back as far as the late Second Era, though the College itself is even older, having been founded in the First Era by the legendary mage Shalidor.
The College is a selective institution, which allows entrance only to those students who prove themselves adept at the magical arts. However, once a student earns admittance, they are granted more freedom of experimentation than elsewhere, with even Necromancy regarded as an acceptable arcane research. The College’s main building is the Hall of the Elements, which is used for all kinds of magical practice. It holds the famous Arcanaeum library as well as the Arch-Mage’s quarters, while accommodations for students and faculty are provided in separate buildings. Beneath the college campus lies the Midden, a remnant of the college’s past where many of its greatest secrets lie.
In the late Third Era, the College became home to the Ysmir Collective, a library rescued from destruction in the east. It became the cornerstone of academic life at the College, and scholars from all over Tamriel descended on Winterhold to study its contents. Being an independent organization, the College was not affected by the dissolution of the Mages Guild following the Oblivion Crisis, and remained studiously neutral despite pressures from the Imperial Synod and the College of Whispers.
The College has struggled to maintain its prominence in Skyrim in the Fourth Era for a number of different reasons. The local Nords, who remained skeptical of magic despite the prestige the College brought to their city, became even more distrustful after it came out conspicuously unscathed during the Great Collapse, perched on a surviving, inverted pyramid of rock that juts out of the sea. The College maintains that it was spared thanks to ancient magical protections not afforded to the surrounding city. However, the many troubles of the Fourth Era resulted in a significant loss of their history. The war against the Thalmor caused much magical knowledge and talent to be destroyed, and so the College has dedicated itself to preserving what it can and passing it on to future practitioners of the arts.
The College of Winterhold (Expansive Arcane) 60,000gp resource limit; Membership 412 (57 on site); Dues 10gp per level per month, 500gp entry fee.
Authority Figures: Arch-Mage Savos Aren (male dunmer wizard 24/archmage 3), Master-Wizard Irinde (female altmer wizard 19/cleric 4), Instructor Drevis Neloren (male dunmer illusionist 15), Instructor Mirabelle Ervine (female breton evoker 17), Instructor Falion (male redguard conjurer 18), Instructor Tolfdir (male nord abjurer 15).
Associated Classes: Any spellcasting class.
Associated Skills: Craft (Alchemy), Decipher Script, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (history), Knowledge (the planes), Spellcraft.
Requirements: Instructors must be on the premises to instruct students an average of 15 hours each week. Students must attend classes and commit to study for an average of 30 hours per week.
Benefit: The school subsidizes its members’ expenses with an extensive collection of expensive components and high-quality facilities, reducing the raw cost to create magic items by 10%.
Special: Members of the College start out with 4 additional spells in their first spell books.