Skyrim: People
(RefID: 0002A389)
Location Fellglow Keep Dungeons
Race Altmer Gender Male
Level PC×1 (range=4-10) Class Fire/Frost/Shock Mage
RefID 0002A389 BaseID 0002A388
Other Information
Health 100+(PC-1)×8.3
Magicka 100+(PC-1)×6.7
Stamina 50
Primary Skills Destruction, Restoration, Alteration, Conjuration
Class Details CombatMageElemental
Morality No Crime Aggression Aggressive
Orthorn in Fellglow Keep

Orthorn is an Altmer mage, who was an apprentice at the College of Winterhold. He left the college to join a group of mages at Fellglow Keep, taking some books he stole from the college library with him.

He wears novice robes of alteration, a novice hood, and a pair of boots. He knows a variety of powerful spells, specifically Conjure Familiar, Conjure Flame Atronach, Lightning Bolt, Fast Healing, and Lesser Ward.

After the disturbing discovery inside Saarthal, you will be pointed towards Arch-Mage Savos Aren, who will do little but point you towards College librarian Urag gro-Shub for further information about the find, who then in turn tells you to find Orthorn to find the stolen books.

Related QuestsEdit

Quest-Related EventsEdit

Hitting the BooksEdit

During your trek through Fellglow Keep, you will encounter a bunch of leveled vampires imprisoned for experimental purposes. In the next room, you will find Orthorn imprisoned as well, right next to a few wolves in separate cages. After you have disposed of the guarding conjurer, Orthorn will plea for your help:

"Don't leave me here!"
"Please! Help me!"
"Please, please let me out of here!"
"You have to let me out. They're going to do something awful to me!"
"There's a lever, right there in the center. Hurry, before more of them show up!"

You can then speak to him directly:

So, you're Orthorn?
"Yes, yes! Did Arch-Mage Aren send you? He sent you to rescue me, didn't he?"
I'm just here for the books you took from the College.
"What? The bo... Oh. Oh dear. I shouldn't have taken them, I know! It was stupid. I was stupid. It won't happen again. Help me get out of here, and I'll help you find them. Please!"
I'm here to rescue you and recover the books you stole.
"See? I knew Aren wouldn't leave me in here! Hurry and get me out of this cage before they come for me!"

You will receive an optional quest objective and an opportunity to ask Orthorn for elaboration.

Where are the books you stole?
"I don't have them anymore. She took them... The Caller. She's the one who put me in here! Please, let me out of here!"
Why are you in this cage?
"They threw me in here until they were ready to use me in one of their experiments. This wasn't supposed to happen. I thought they wanted my help, not to use me as a test subject!"
Is there a key for this cage?
"No, it's the levers in the center there. Just make sure you don't pull the wrong one. Please, hurry. I don't like being in here!"

If you leave him, he will beg:

"Don't leave me here!"

When you pull the correct lever (which is the center one), Orthorn will rush out of his cell and seek you out:

"Thank you, thank you! I promise I'll help. And then I'll go back to the College and I'll beg them to let me back in."

If you choose to exit conversation and talk to him again, he will change his greeting to:

"Oh, you've saved me! Thank you so much. Who knows what they'd have done to me if you hadn't come along. I promise I'll help you get out of here."

Two options will be available at this point; should you choose to exit conversation, the options will disappear and Orthorn will follow you. If you stick with the two options you can ask Orthorn where the books are, and his response will differ depending on your earlier choices. If you talked to him while he was behind bars he will respond:

"Yes, of course. I said I'd tell you, didn't I? The Caller will have them. She was most interested in one of the volumes. Although not interested enough to keep me from being locked up."

If you didn't talk to him before pulling the handle he will instead say:

"The... the books? Oh, I see. I thought perhaps... Well, I thought you'd come for me. But yes, the books. The Caller will have them. She was most interested in one of the volumes. Although not interested enough to keep me from being locked up."

The second option is to tell him that you don't want his help:

I don't want your help.
"Ah. I see. Well, then I'll just stay behind you a little bit, and follow along quietly."

Both options will eventually lead to you suggesting he should leave the ruin and get to safety:

You should get yourself to safety.
"Don't you need my help?"

You will now have four available options, three of which will make Orthorn run out of Fellglow Keep and relocate to The Frozen Hearth (see notes). The fourth option will make Orthorn your follower during the rest of the trek through the ruin:

Option Dialogue
I can handle this on my own. "Well, I... If you're sure... I'll just be on my way then. Please do be careful, and thank you."
This will be easier without you getting in my way. "Well, I was only trying to help. Fine, I'll just save myself then. Thank you for letting me out of that cage."
If you don't get away from me right now, I may kill you myself. "I hope the Caller turns you inside out!"
You're right. I could use some help. "I shall do my best."
"I've got to get out of here."

However, even if Orthorn becomes your follower, you can get rid of him by leading him back to the main entrance. On the way he will be puzzled, saying:

"No, no! This is the wrong way!"
"We need to go upstairs, that's where she is! That's where the books are!"

However, he will follow you all the way back and leave the ruin with you. Once outside you can approach him:

All right, you're safe now.
"Wait, what? I thought I was going to help you!"
I thought you wanted to get out of there.
"Well yes, I did. And thank you so much for helping me. But... I rather thought that if I were to help, I might... Well, I might be allowed to return to the College. I'm not sure where else I'd go."
I can handle this on my own.
"Are you quite sure? I don't want to get in the way, but... But... I rather thought that if I were to help, I might... Well, I might be allowed to return to the College."

At this point, three additional options are available, with one final chance to keep him as a follower.

Option Dialogue
I don't need your help. I can do this myself. "Well, I guess you'll have to."
I'll be fine. You just take care of yourself. "If you really think you can manage... I mean, I'd hate to leave now and find out later you met some horrible fate at the hands of the Caller. But if you insist, I suppose I'll be on my way. Thank you, and good luck."
Okay, then let's get going. "Yes, let's!"

Should you decide to let Orthorn stay in his cell while you get the books, a return to him will net you another plea:

"Have the books, do you? I mean, I'm very glad. That's wonderful. You could, you know, let me out of this cage now."

After all this, Orthorn will tag along as your follower and help you rid Fellglow Keep of his old accomplices. During the trek he will be a useful fighter, but also busy whiner, constantly repeating:

"I've got to get out of here."
"Why did I ever come here?"

He will also help out with a few directions, such as:

"The undercroft is ahead... ugh, Necromancers. Be careful."
"The library is just through here. We're getting close now."

When you finally reach the Ritual Chamber where the mysterious Caller resides, Orthorn will follow you inside and watch as you speak with the powerful mage. However, if your conversation with the Caller turns into a negotiation where she requests you leave Orthorn behind. A seemingly worried Orthorn will step forward and initiate conversation with his captor:

"Leave me the elf. You may go with your books."
Orthorn: "I, uhh... wait, what?"
The Caller: "This little adventure of yours has cost me a number of test subjects. I need more, and you'll do nicely."
Orthorn: "But why?"
The Caller: "He/She gets the books, I get you. It's very simple."
Orthorn: (to you) "You wouldn't do that, would you? You wouldn't leave me here with her!"
The Caller: "I'm waiting."

If this conversation takes place, a helpless Orthorn will watch as you collect the three books then return to his cell where he will wander around 24 hours a day, at times sitting down for a bite to eat, forever in the mercy of the Caller. He will only say:

""How could you just leave me here?"

If you use other means to get the books, the Caller will become hostile and Orthorn will help you fight her. After the battle, an encouraged Orthorn will seek you out and say:

"Well, everything worked out nicely, didn't it?"
I've got what I came for.
"Yes, you certainly do. You'll be going back to the College, then? I, uhh... I think perhaps I'll wait a bit before venturing there myself. Let this whole thing blow over, you know. Give certain parties a chance to forget what I may have done. Still, you've gotten me out of that cage, and I won't forget it. Thank you again, and good luck to you."

He will then find the exit and leave Fellglow Keep.


  • Regardless of route, if Orthorn manages to escape Fellglow Keep, he will be transported to The Frozen Hearth in Winterhold where he will do nothing but stand behind the counter. As soon as you finish the quest, Orthorn will be disabled from the game.
  • In his inventory you can find, and steal the Fellglow Ritual Chamber Key, the very key he could've used to escape from his cage.


  • Orthorn was supposed to have a brief conversation with the guard outside of his cell. Orthorn would choose between five possible lines, and the guard would have a 25% chance of responding, choosing between four lines. However, the guard was mistakenly programmed to be hostile at all times, causing the conversation to remain unheard in the game:
Speaker Dialogue
Orthorn "Really, I think there's been a mistake."
"May I just speak with her, please, to clear all this up?"
"Just let me out of here. I only wanted to help you!"
"Okay, now can you let me out? Please? I won't tell anyone it was you."
"Just open the cage, and I'll leave quietly. Won't make a sound, won't bother you at all."
Guard "Quiet down."
"Stop your whining."
"She said you stay in there, and that's final."
"I'll give you something to cry about if you don't quiet down."
  • Sometimes, Orthorn isn't in the cage, and is instead found outside having his usual conversation with the guard. Speaking with him then will lead to the normal conversation available after freeing him ?