It works! The circle on the floor opens up after Serana adds her blood to the ingredients.
J’Zhirr wonders what Serana will do if we find her mother. It turns out, Serana is asking herself the same thing. She says of her mother, “She always seemed happy, before we heard the prophecy. Then it all changed. She become a different person. They both did.”
This one guesses that we will never know why Serana’s mother did the things she did until we find her.
Serana says we will need a sample of her mother’s blood. However, with her mother being in the Soul Cairn, it seems impossible to obtain her blood. J’Zhirr suggests that since Serana shares her mother’s blood, we can substitute her mother’s blood with hers.
Serana says, “Hmmm. Not bad. We’d better hope that’s good enough. Mistakes with these kind of portals can be… gruesome.”
With that warning in mind, J’Zhirr combed the laboratory for the ingredients. Luckily Serana’s mother kept a sample of all the ingredients (except the blood) in the laboratory. It’s almost as if she kept them for Serana to follow her.
J’Zhirr finds the journal next to the ruined books on the bookcase. In the journal, Serana’s mother wrote about her research on creating a portal to the Soul Cairn for a lengthy exile. It seems that is probably where Serana’s mother had gone.
J’Zhirr shows Serana the journal and ask her what is a Soul Cairn. Serana says her mother thinks that’s where the souls inside the soul gems end up when they’re used. She says, “The Soul Cairn is home to very powerful beings. Necromancers send them souls, and receive powers of their own in return. My mother spent a lot of time trying to contact them directly, to travel to the Soul Cairn itself.”
Serana thinks the circle in the center of the room is the portal. Luckily her mother listed the ingredients she used so we can recreate her formula. There’s one hiccup though. Her mother used her own blood as part of the formula.
Serana has no idea that her mother’s laboratory existed. She says, “She had an alchemy setup in her drawing room, but nothing that even comes close to what’s here. Looking at the equipment and materials, it looks like she was trying to advance her necromancy.”
J’Zhirr wonders why and Serana admits that she doesn’t know. She says, “Certainly not longevity. Kind of a waste of time for a vampire.”
At the top is a room filled with all sorts of ingredients. Not food, but alchemy.
Serana is excited, “Look at this place. This has to be it!” Walking around the room, she says, “I knew she was deep into necromancy. I mean, she taught me everything I know. But I had no idea she had a setup like this. Look at all this. She must have spent years collecting these components.”
Serana’s mother is obviously no longer here. So Serana suggests that we look around to see if there are clues about where her mother went. Her mother used to keep a small journal, maybe there are hints in there.
The gargoyle workshop seems to be a dead end.
However, Serana says, “I don’t think we’ve reached the top yet. I’d bet there’s some kind of secret passage around here.”
Guess what? Serana is right. Next to the fireplace is a non-burning candle. When J’Zhirr turns it, the back of the fireplace slides open. As J’Zhirr walks up the stairs, he hears Serana saying something about her mother being smarter than Serana gives her credit for.