This page offers a guide on how to complete the ‘Hitting the Books’ quest, which is a part of the College of Winterhold story line.
Find the Missing Books
The first thing you need to do after speaking to Savos Aren about the orb is head down to the Arcaneum and speak to Urag the Librarian. He will inform you that there may be information in one of three tomes that were ‘borrowed’ by another Apprentice. Urag can’t help you without those books, so looks like we’re tracking down the missing books, which can be found at Fellglow Keep.
When you’re leaving the Arcaneum you may run into Faralda who says that there is a Thalmor, Ancano, who wishes to speak to you. If you do not see Faralda, Ancano will seek you out himself and ask about what you found in Saarthal. Feel free to answer him rudely, he isn’t a particularly nice guy.
After speaking to Arcano, make your way outside to then fast travel to Fellglow Keep. You’ll probably find that Whiterun is the best place to fast travel to if you haven’t explored much, but just head to the nearest location to Fellglow Keep and make your way over.
Clearing Out Fellglow Keep
As you approach the Keep, you’ll find some Mages here and a Flame Atronach, so take care of them and go down the spiral steps to the door that’s marked by a quest marker. Inside, you’ll fight some spiders in the first room, and an Apprentice Ice Mage. The Ice Mage is leaning over the balcony edge so if you’re into sneaking and shooting you could easily take him out from the doorway before he even notices you.
Go right this time and you’ll reach a jail full of vampires. Kill the Mage that’s guarding the jail cells and then lockpick their cells to release them. They’ll then all run into the next room and attack the numerous mages for you! They won’t go further but they won’t attack you either.
Go past this cell room to find the torture room, where you could loot a few various things. Keep going and you’ll find another room with more cells. Kill the mage here and you’ll find that the quest marker is inside one of the locked cells. The apprentice. Orthorn, who took the books has been captured and you’ll need to unlock his cell to help him out. Before you can do so, you’ll have to deal with another mage and his two wolf pets.
Once they’re taken care of use the lever in the center of the room to open up Orthorn’s cell and ask for the books. He’ll tell you that the books have been stolen by someone called The Caller. He then offers to help you out or you can tell him to head out to safety. He is pretty useful but he is also very susceptible to being murdered by the countless mages in the keep so it’s up to you if you take him up on his offer or not.
Next, proceed through the door down into a viny basement and continue along the corridor until you find the training grounds for the Fire Mages. There’s three of them so be cautious if you’re running in. When you take them out, you can head up the steps and take out the skeletons and mages in the corridor up ahead. Grab the Spell Tome: Raise Zombie. The door on the right has a chest behind it. Leave this area through the door up the stairs on the left.
Continue along the hall until you reach the next big room, where you’ll find a few mages and a wolf familiar. Head through the door and you’ll find a dining room area with another mage hanging around. In this space you’ll be able to loot a few different ingredients and small tidbits of food. Follow the path straight through until you reach another large room. In here you might fight a Frost Atronach and a Mage (enemies vary depending on level). The Frost Atronach isn’t conjured so killing the mage won’t make him despawn.
Kill them both and you’ll see 2 doors downstairs and 3 entrances upstairs. Inside the door downstairs (the unlocked one of course), there are only two enemies. Upstairs, the only door is locked, so go to the west room and you’ll see an Alchemy Station and an Arcane Enchanter. There is a workbench and some quicksilver ingots as well, and more importantly, an Unusual Gem on one of the tables that you should definitely grab.
Return to the main room and go through the east entrance. You’ll find two more enemies behind the bookshelves in the center of the room. Kill them and look on the tables to find a Destruction Skillbook named “A Hypothetical Treachery”. Continue along the path and in this long hallway, you’ll see two doors on your left and one all the way to the back. Enter the second door to find a sleeping mage. Kill her and loot her to find Fellglow Keep Key. Go to the end of the hallway, enter the room on the right using the newly acquired key and loot around. There’s a Shrine of Julianos in here that will up your magicka by 25 for a limited time if you use it.
How to Defeat The Caller
Return and enter through the last door. Kill the Flame Atronach (remember to back away from it once it’s died to avoid its fiery explosion), go up the stairs and enter the Fellglow Keep Ritual Chamber. You’ll find a woman who calls herself The Caller. After a short conversation, you’ll have to fight her. She can be tough if you are low levelled. Use the best spells and weapons you have while using Potions of Healing and Magika to stay alive if needed. She’ll spawn Atronach enemies but if you kill her then they’ll despawn so focus on hitting her and not her conjured familiars.
You can forego the fight altogether by offering to trade Orthorn for the books. Obviously you’ll need to have Orthorn with you for this. Be sure to talk to her again if you want to go this route. Agree to her terms before picking up a book or she will attack.
After the fight, loot her for the Fellglow Ritual Chamber Key and take all three of the books (some of them may have fallen to the ground mid-fight). H loot the place, and go through the trap door. From here, unbar the door and leave the Keep. Fast travel to the College and locate Urag. Speak to him and give him the books. This ends the Quest and starts the next quest in the questline, Good Intentions.