Branches of the Mages Guild can be found in Anvil, Bravil, Bruma, Cheydinhal, Chorrol, Leyawiin and Skingrad. The guild headquarters is the Arcane University in the Imperial City. However this is not accessible until you have joined the guild.
Joining, Tenets, Expulsion, and Re-admission
To join the guild you just have to talk to one of the leaders of the guild. To get into the Arcane University, you need a recommendation from every guild leader. You cannot join if you have a bounty on your head.
The tenets are much like the other guild's rules. Don't steal from guild members. Don't attack/kill them. If you break one of the tenets you will be expelled from the guild. Unlike other guilds, the penalty for getting back into the Mage's Guild is based on which tenet you break not how many times you've broken it.
If you are expelled from the mages guild you have to bring alchemical ingredients to Raminus Polis.
If you are Arch-Mage, you can use the chest to duplicate items to get back in, you just can't wait there as it is trespassing
- 20 nightshade
- 20 mandrake root
- Assault - You cannot actually get excluded for assault
- 20 dragon's tongue
- 20 redwort flowers
- 20 vampire dust
- 20 daedra hearts
Regardless of which town you start to gather the your recommendations in, You will be recognized as an Associate of the Guild and are on your way to becoming a full fledge member.
Carahil in the Anvill guild will tell you about some murders and kidnappings on the Gold Coast Road. You are asked to act as a lure to draw out the culprit.
Go to the Brina Cross Inn north of Anvil and speak to Arielle. Pose as a merchant and spend a night at the inn. In the morning travel on the Gold Coast Road towards Kvatch, with a mages guild escort surreptitiously following you. Along the way, a familiar face from the inn will attack and your escort will intervene. When Caminalda is dead, you can return to Carahil to get your recommendation.
- Note: You can get a key from the Caminalda's corpse which will unlock her room at the inn. If an Imperial patrol sees your escort attack Caminalda he may intervene and kill them. This does not affect completion of the quest.
Kud-ei in Bravil informs you that Ardaline is having some problems with Varon Vamari. She even says that Varon stole her staff (some kind of terrible travesty for mages.) She asks you to try and get the staff back from Varon and gives you a Charm spell to help with that. Use the charm spell on Varon and he'll spill his guts all over you (apparently he stole something precious from someone because he cared about them.) Now he regrets it and wishes he could get it back, but he sold it to someone in the Imperial City.
Find Soris Arenim in the Imperial City Telos District. Head into his shop and talk to him. He doesn't want to give it up because he paid so much for it. Talk to his wife and get her trust maxed out and she'll tell you that he has it in a chest in the basement and that the key is upstairs in his desk. Head upstairs while they are talking and grab the key then leave the house and come back in the middle of the night. Break into the house and go straight to the basement. Unlock the dresser with the key and grab the staff. Head back to Bravil and give it to Kud-ei for your recommendation. You could also max out Soris's trust and he will sell you the staff for 200 gold, this is a good idea if you don't want to risk time getting caught.
Talk to Jeanne Frasoric in the Mages Guild on getting their recommendation. You are asked to find J'skar, a Kajiit, that has mysteriously disappeared. Talk to Volanaro along with the other mages to gather information. Volanaro tells you he can make J'skar show up if you will help him "prank". If you agree he gives you Minor Latch Crack, a spell, to use to pick the locks of the Bruma guild master. Go up to Jeanne Frasoric's room without being spotted. Over at her desk open the lock on the drawer and remover the Manual of Spellcraft. Bring it to Volanaro and he will ask you to meet him in the living quarters at 10 PM tonight.
You can leave now and return at 10pm any night. Once in the living quarters at 10pm ask of J'skar again... Talk to J'skar. He tells you that they pranked Jeanne. You still managed to make J'skar appear so Jeanne will give you her recommendation once you talk to her about it.
When you enter the Cheydinhal Mages Guild find Falcar. When you find Falcar he tells you that another associate lost his ring which is the Ring Of Burden and Falcar thinks the associate threw it down the well behind the Mages Guild. Falcar then tells you to go and see Deetsan for the key to the well.
Deetsan will only talk to you only if Falcar is not around so wait for him to go away then speak to Deetsan. Deetsan will then give you the key and a scroll of water breathing then Deetsan tells you to go in the well and find out what has happened to the associate.
Now before you go into the well you should be warned that you'll be underwater and the ring weighs 150 units so there are three ways of going about this. If you have 25 alteration, use the spell Deetsan gave you to get it and breathe. You could put your items in the counter at the Mage guild or at your house and pick them up later or you could use a feather spell to increase the amount you can carry for a bit. Now go into the well and you will find the associate floating in the water. Collect the ring, exit the well and return to Deetsan.
Deetsan then tells you that Falcar has disappeared. She then tells you to go into Falcars' room in the basement and see if Falcar has left you a recommendation. You won't find a recommendation but if you unlock the set of drawers, you will find 2 black soul gems (implying that he was doing some necromancy and soul capturing.) Take these back to Deetsan and Deetsan will tell you that she will write a recommendation for you and that Falcar would be fired. Feel free to discard the ring anywhere you want.
In Chorrol the Mage's guild leader, Teekeeus, has some problems with an ex-member Earana. He wants you to be his inside man and find out what she wants. Talk to her and she'll recognize you're a new recruit to the mages guild and assume you're trustworthy. She'll tell you that she wants a book called "Fingers of the Mountain." She'll give you a vague idea of where it is, but not enough to find it.
Once this discussion occurs you should run right back to Teekeus and tell him about it. He'll tell you exactly where the book is and make it clear that you mustn't give it to Earana. Head to Cloud Top, the location of the book, north of Chorrol. When you arrive you'll find a single pillar and the book clutched by a charred body (not a good omen.) Take the book and head back to Chorrol
- NOTE: There are a couple ways to complete this quest depending on where your loyalties lie, but if you want to learn the spell Finger of the Mountain then Earana has to have it at least for a moment.
Allying with Teekeus
If you're a good little Mage Guild lackey (or you just want your recommendation) then you will give the book to Teekeus. He'll immediately write the recommendation and the Mage's Guild part is done. If you still want the spell then you can steal the book back from Teekeus and give it to Earana and she'll give you instructions to get the spell.
Allying with Earana
If you are tempted by Earana's offer of a reward then you can give her the book instead of Teekeus. She'll give you the spell. If you still want your recommendation you'll have to steal the book back from her room at the inn and give it to Teekeus.
Getting the Spell
Now it's possible to miss getting this spell, but if you do decide you want it Earana will make you jump through a few hoops. First she'll make you wait a full day. Then she'll give you a note with instructions on what to do. You must visit Cloud Top and cast a Shock spell on the central, broken column and have a welkynd stone in your inventory. Welkynd stones are all over the place in Ayleid ruins and eventually you'll have to visit one it is suggest that you just wait until you happen to find one later and then come back to Cloud Top.
- NOTE: Finger of the Mountain is a leveled spell, which means its power depends on the level you are at the time. This is a very bad spell to have unless you get it at around level 1-14. It uses up a lot of Magicka and as you gain levels it will cost more and more Magicka to cast, at level 26+ it costs 3551 Magicka to cast, much more Magicka than you would normally have, if you do not get it at lower levels it may be best to not get it at all.
When you arrive at the Leyawiin guild hall talk to Dagail. She seems to be completely out of her mind muttering something about voices, vision, and an amulet. Talk to Agata for more information and she tells you that Dagail needs here seer's stone to suppress spontaneous visions of the future. Ask around to see what you can find and everyone will refer you to Kalthar. Talk to Kalthar and he'll go on a rant about how neither Dagail nor her father deserved to be leader because they were crazy, he'll then tell you to leave it be in hopes that she gets fired. Tell Agata about this and she'll notice that Kalthar knew about Dagail's father (and he shouldn't have) she'll then refer you back to Dagail. Talk to Dagail and she will tell you "what was once my fathers must be mine." I found this a bit cryptic and useless but the quest log said that we have to go to the fort where her father was stationed and loot his corpse. So off we go the fort is south east of Leyawiin and not very far.
In the fort you'll find it crawling with Marauders. It seems that they've taken this fort as their own and will defend it to the death. Make your way through the rooms as usual try to fight as few people as possible at once, ideally one on one. In one of the later rooms you'll find a Marauder Captain with a key to the next room kill him and take it. In the next room you'll face two creatures. For a level 7 they will be a troll and an imp, but they are leveled so they could be anything. Kill both of them and head up to his corpse. Now before you loot it wait for an hour and save so you're full healed. Once you pick up his amulet and head for the door Kalthar will confront you confessing he stole the amulet and that he was trying to extort Dagail. Once this is said he'll rush you and you'll have to kill him. Head out of the dungeon and give Dagail her amulet. She'll collect her thoughts, give you a recommendation, and then give you a grave warning about your future.
Adrieene Berene in Skingrad asks that you find Erthor one of the mages from her group (it appears that mages get lost quite often.) Ask around and you'll find out that she sent him away to Bleak Flats Cave after he summoned some scamps that went crazy. Talk to Adrieene again to jog her memory and she'll give you a fireball spell and send you on your way (not exactly a good omen).
Bleak Flats Cave is North West of Skingrad so head on over there and enter the grave. Inside it's pretty dark so get out a torch. You'll soon encounter a deranged zombie (missing its head and right arm) so it seems that something has gone wrong (presumably Erthor's failed another summoning). Fight through the zombies and be careful not to face 3 at once as they are pretty tough.
Once you reach the end of the dungeon you'll find Erthor is scared, but safe. Walk down the tunnel and open the secret passage and leave. Fast travel back to Skingrad and go to the guild hall. Give Erthor a minute to talk to Adrieene (you don't actually see this) and then talk to her for your recommendation.