Urag gro-Shub is at his usual position behind the library counter. J’Zhirr tries asking Urag go-Shub for help in finding the second Elder Scroll.
Urag gro-Shub asks, “And what do you plan to do with it? Do you even know what you’re asking about? You think that even if I did have one here, I would let you see it? It would be kept under the highest security. The greatest thief in the world wouldn’t be able to lay a finger on it.”
J’Zhirr persists and Urag gro-Shub relents. He says, “What we do have are plenty of books. I’ll bring everything we have on them, but it’s not much. So don’t get your hopes up. It’s mostly lies, leavened with rumor and conjecture.”
J’Zhirr runs in Phinis Gestor at the College of Winterhold’s library. He is one of the teachers at the college and specializes in conjuration.
Seeing J’Zhirr, Phinis says, “If you require assistance with summoning techniques, please let me know. If you would, please also contain your summons to the College grounds. The locals do not need to be agitated further by Atronachs roaming their town. The summoning of undead is even less advisable outside the College.”
J’Zhirr is amazed at the mention of necromancy. Is it not forbidden magic?
“By Shear, no,” Phinis replies. “Those archaic policies died out with the Mages Guild, and were never enforced here. Necromancy, as any other type of magic, is a tool to be used. Of course, non-mages may not see it that way, so we don’t go around flaunting it.”
It feels so good to be out of the Soul Cairn and back in Skyrim again. It almost makes J’Zhirr glad to be able to feel the freezing wind and cold, wet rain. Know what else J’Zhirr is glad about? Getting his strength back and doing a lot more damage than he did with only half a soul.
There’s still a lot more to do for this questline but first, J’Zhirr makes his way to the nearest city, which happens to be Solitude, and treats himself to warm meal.
J’Zhirr is taken aback to see a skeleton lying on the ground. There is a note beside the skeleton and it reads:
They warned me not to go through that portal. What did I have to be scared of? I been adventuring for years, and I never seen nothing that I couldn’t wallop. But this place…
Ain’t nothing living here. Just dead things up and about when they should be in the ground. I can hear their bones scratching at the rocks and knocking together when they walk. If I home, I’ll hang up my sword and never go out again…
Looks like this poor adventurer never made it home.
J’Zhirr tries to enter the Soul Cairn but there seems to be an invisible wall barring his way. Not only that, this one hears the crackling of electricity accompanied by a sensation of pain. He quickly backs out of the portal.
J’Zhirr asks Serana if she knows what happened. After thinking about it, she says, “The Soul Cairn is… well, hungry, for lack of a better word. It’s trying to take your life essence as a payment.”
Serana proposes two solutions. One is to turn into a vampire as vampires are not counted among the living. Another is to give up J’Zhirr’s soul as payment for the “toll”. Serana says, “My mother taught me a trick or two. I could partially soul trap you, and offer that gem to the Ideal Masters. It might be enough to satisfy them. It would make you a bit weaker when we travel through the Soul Cairn, but we might be able to fix that once we’re inside. Maybe.”
Neither option sounds good.
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.