The Arch-Mage's New Rules

Disclaimer: I may have logged 1,000+ hours in Skyrim, but that still doesn't mean I own it, sadly. It just means I have no life. I also don't own Immersive College of Winterhold, S.W.I.F.T., and any other Skyrim mod referenced in this fic.

- From the desk of the Arch-Mage:

I can't believe I have to set down these rules in addition to the official code of conduct, but the need exists and here I am. Yes, we have an official code of conduct, and, yes, you are required to abide by it as a member of the College of Winterhold. If you did not receive a copy of it during your orientation or have since lost it, you may request another copy from the Master Wizard.

It is possible to skate by with only the knowledge of the abbreviated code of conduct I know Enthir likes to preach to gullible new apprentices, but I do not recommend it. All of the usual penalties shall apply both to infractions of the official code of conduct and also to these new rules I am drawing up, unless otherwise stated. A copy of this list shall be posted in the Hall of the Elements and the Arcanaeum as well as the college dormitories. I shall tolerate no complaints.

- Celeste Lachapelle, Arch-Mage of the College of Winterhold

1) Any member of this College found trapping the souls of sentient beings in soul gems shall receive a complimentary trip to the Soul Cairn, courtesy of myself. There it is hoped that the individual will be moved not only by the plight of the spent souls therein but also by the prospect of being double-crossed by the Ideal Masters.

a) It has not been satisfactorily demonstrated that black souls produce more powerful enchantments than grand white souls. There is no logical reason to prefer black souls over them.

b) Yes, Enthir, this includes the souls of giants in addition to all the races of man, mer, and beastfolk.

c) Falmer are still a race of mer, as the name implies. Stop asking.

d) Dragons and Dragonborn cannot be soultrapped. This has been extensively proven. No, any Soul Trap cast upon me is not painful, but it is annoying. I have indulged your curiosity long enough. The next idiot to try this will also receive a complimentary trip to the Soul Cairn, and I might just forget to retrieve him or her.

e) Exceptions to this rule about the souls of sentient creatures may be made in the cases of particularly deserving individuals. Please discuss with me before making any such soultrapping attempt or at least before using the resulting filled soul gem.

2) Our latest research into the Great Collapse does suggest that a sload necromancer may have precipitated that disaster or have worsened the effects of the already cataclysmic natural weather. You are not, however, allowed to claim, "A sload did it!" as an excuse for anything and everything, including your late homework.

3) My predecessor's skooma habit may have been one of the College's worst-kept secrets, but I have no such habit, unfortunately for you. Even the watered-down skooma most commonly found in Skyrim remains illegal and I am in full accord with the Jarl on this issue. There shall be no production, consumption, or distribution of skooma in any way, shape, or form on the campus of this College.

a) Don't think I don't know about that still down in the Midden.

b) I don't care if you now have to distill your skooma on an ice floe in the middle of nowhere.

4) Despite his line of work and occasional somewhat creepy comments, Phinis Gestor is a fellow member of the College and deserves to be treated with respect. The unfortunate deaths of the four apprentices in his class were independently verified and were not the result of poor teaching, poor supervision, or foul play. Stop insinuating the opposite. He is upset enough as it is.

5) Forget Master Urag gro-Shrub's atronachs. If you damage the books that I retrieved from the bottom of a Falmer pit, you'll have me to deal with.

6) I understand that alchemy experimentation can be messy, but common courtesy dictates that you clean up after yourself when you are finished. If this continues, I'll let Nirya deal with the culprits as she sees fit. Maybe self-preservation instincts will finally motivate some tidiness around here.

7) As with all research trips, you must inform either Mirabelle or myself before you go spelunking in the ruins of old Winterhold. As is also typical for research trips, please list any next-of-kin you would like to be informed if you never return and/or your remains are someday found.

8) I don't care how badass you think I am whenever it happens; I am tired of chasing off any Daedric Princes and/or any lesser daedra summoned during your frat parties. Alcohol and the school of conjuration do not mix.

a) Sanguine is not my boyfriend, and he has never had any luck at all with me, despite whatever he may say to the contrary.

b) No, I will not be "among my own kind". As Dragonborn, my soul is Aedric. Aedric. Not Daedric. I have more in common with the Nine Divines than with any of the Daedra. Is that clear?

c) I will absolutely not summon a dragon here for the purposes of a party or to sate your idle curiosity. If I summon a dragon, that means shit is going down and you need to hide in your nearest magically-reinforced bunker. If you don't have a magically-reinforced bunker, that is not my problem.

d) I will also not be summoning any of the Nine Divines. Are you mad?

9) The Thu'um can be used to alter the weather, correct. However, such power is not to be used lightly. The next person to beg me to alter the weather for frivolous reasons will be sent to climb the 7000 Steps to High Hrothgar while meditating upon these words: "The Voice is worship / Follow the inner path / Speak only in True Need".

10) Bernadette Bantien is a member of the College in good standing, conducting vital research on the nature of draugr and on the ancient dragon cult, and is not to be referred to as a "zombie whisperer".

Author's Note:

Yes, I am yet another fan who refuses to take Mirabelle Ervine's death as canon. To me, she was clearly killed off only in order to pave the way for the Dragonborn to become Arch-Mage. However, as I see it, the positions of Master Wizard and of Arch-Mage are very different. The Master Wizard handles the actual running of the College, while the Arch-Mage handles all the dealings with the Jarl and with other magical institutions and the occasional magical catastrophe. Thus, in the world of my headcanon, Mirabelle continues to run the College and generally Get Things Done, while my Dragonborn was chosen as Arch-Mage for her ability to handle magical crises and for her status as Thane in multiple holds, one of those being Winterhold itself. It was hoped that she'd be able to begin mending the College's reputation in Winterhold and Skyrim as a whole. Has she been successful? *shrugs*