Although he still mourned his father, Dolff found that being Jarl of Windhelm wasn’t as difficult as he had feared. His days were filled with business, but everyone knew his or her job and was generous with their guidance. For the most part, the prominent citizens of Windhelm, whom he had expected to approach him with demands and unsolicited advice, gave him the time and space he needed to ease into the job. A couple of them came to the Palace of the Kings with such tidings, but Dolff let them know right away and under no uncertain terms that he would not be bullied, and they left him alone.
Ben rushed to the body of the Arch-Mage, but he knew there wasn’t anything he could do. Tolfdir stood next to him and rested a hand on his shoulder.
“I’m afraid he’s gone,” said the old wizard. “Are you all right? What happened in there?”
“Ancano has done something with the Eye.”
He began his search in the Hall of the Elements, planning to look for evidence in the Arch-Mage’s quarters; but the glowing orb in the lecture hall caught his eye, and for a moment, he just gaped in awe. It was glorious.
When Ben returned to the college, he found that the orb had been moved to the Hall of the Elements and was now floating above the energy well in the center of the main lecture room. Tolfdir stood at the well, gazing raptly up at the orb, with Blanche standing next to him. Ben’s stoic aunt was wizard, vampire, and Dragonborn, and Ben loved her. She was the main reason he had taken an interest in magic as a boy.
3E 19, 7 Hearthfire
All over the southern part of Skyrim, autumn was in full glory. Fall color dotted the landscape and set the mountains aglow, and a brisk wind blew through the air. Animals’ pelts were beginning to thicken as their winter coats started to grow in. Treks through the woods were accompanied by the sound of crunching leaves. To many, it was a magical time. But Ben was missing out on autumn this year, because there was no autumn in Winterhold. Just winter. All the time. It wasn’t so much that he minded the snow; he was just bored with it and would like to look at something a bit more colorful for a change. A blizzard had been raging all day and the snows were just easing off, but the wind still howled with temperatures well below zero.