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About this mod

This mod creates additional content surrounding the strange gauntlet in the Midden Dark, as well as the four missing Apprentices from the College of Winterhold.

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This mod is inspired by and done with the blessings of Sirandar, the author of The Missing Apprentices Quest Fix (MAQF).

In the second era, the dremora pirate captain Velehk Sain terrorized the Abecean Sea.  In the Midden Dark there sits a strange black gauntlet, its purpose forgotten in time.  Early in the fourth era, four students of the College of Winterhold die under mysterious circumstances, the only clue being four strange rings being worn by that black gauntlet.  Now, merely a month ago, four more of Winterhold's students have gone missing, and unbeknownst to the college faculty, those four rings along with them.

  • 1.0.2:  This version contains no changes to the mod itself, but now offers an ESP-FE version so that the mod won't count towards your mod load order limit.  Please be advised that the ESP-FE version is not compatible with save games in progress from the original ESP mod.  You will either need an earlier save game, or to save it for your next playthrough.  This update now also includes an FOMOD installer which allows you to select from either standalone or complete versions while installing.
  • 1.0.1: Version 1.0 sadly had an issue with the bsa files which meant the mod couldn't find the ring models.  I've repackaged them and everything seems to be fine now. I'm very sorry about this. I've added shortcut clues to the spoiler section under "Installation" to help you find the rings if you've already looked on version 1.0.

The Missing Apprentices Quest Fix mod ties the mystery of the four missing apprentices, restored to the game by Cutting Room Floor, to the black gauntlet in the midden, which binds the dremora Velehk Sain to Mundus.  I take those changes a step further by moving each of the four rings, previous held in a chest inside the Arcanaeum, to the site of each student's death, requiring that you collect them one by one before you are able to confront Velehk Sain.  However, things are not quite finished once you do.

In the vanilla game, if you choose to battle him rather than set him free in exchange for his treasure, the quest was over.  In this mod, there's something else you can do, involving another mysterious feature of The Midden.
A recipe has been added to the atronach forge allowing you to craft a unique staff from Velehk's heart, provided you have the right staff to build on as a foundation.  But there is a third option...
The four rings no longer have to be used with the black gauntlet, and can themselves be put into the atronach forge to craft a new unique ring.

Two versions of this mod are offered.  The first, the complete version, requires MAQF, and by proxy Cutting Room Floor (CRF).  The second is a standalone version which contains only my changes and additions.  If you choose the standalone version then all of the new content this mod offers still functions completely, but will be much more difficult to find and will lack context when you do so. 

The detailed list of changes naturally spoils even more than the above!

  • Renamed the four ornamental rings (putting the word "ring" first) and adjusted their weights to be more inventory friendly.  Corrected the name of Pithinken's ring, which sometimes appeared as "Pithi".
  • Rings placed in the world are non-physics activators, so they can never be physic-ed under the floor or across the map.  Each gives an inspection prompt and a description with the option to take it or not.  
  • Added a written note to each of the four apprentice locations to provide further context and clues about the atronach forge recipes.  Also actually explains which ring goes on which finger so less trial and error will be involved.
  • Modified the Investigator's book to make it clear that there's two groups of four students, each 200 years apart, and to remove mention of the chest and key.  The complete version, which edits the text from MAQF, also includes a clue about the student's plans for the atronach forge. 
  • Removed the investigator's chest and key completely.  You no longer have to steal from the college to complete this quest.  Complete version moves the new History Book from that chest to Urag gro-Shub's desk, which can now be read at any time.
  • Changed Velehk Sain from a level 4 enemy to be twice the player's current level, as well as given him a unique enchanted scimitar.
  • Created the Fused Ring of the Black Gauntlet, which is made from placing the four rings into the atronach forge.  If offers potent elemental resistances in exchange for reduced stamina regeneration.
  • Created Velehk's heart and the Staff of Velehk Sain, which will summon a leveled version of the dremora to do your bidding for 30 seconds.  It can only be cast twice before it needs recharging, so use it wisely. It requires a Staff of Daedric Command (not included: you need to find one!) combined with Velehk's heart to craft in the atronach forge.

This mod is packed with a bsa archive containing one script file and its source. If you are new to installing Skyrim mods, please refer to the Nexus Guide.

It is intended that you install this mod before beginning the Missing Apprentices quest or any of the content related to Velehk Sain, but as it only does environmental and gameplay changes the mod will still work even with partial progress.

  • The locations of the students are not marked on the world map, so if you've already visited their bodies it may be difficult to find them again to recover the rings and notes.  This will help: In the console, the coc command (Center on Cell) will teleport you near three of the missing apprentice sites. Use (one at a time) coc poinortherncoast18, coc poinortherncoast16, and coc journeymansnookexterior01. The final location has no easy teleport command, but you can use coc yngvildexterior and then head due south to the coast.
  • If you've already taken the rings from the chest in the arcanaeum, then you'll have two sets of those rings.  This can be to your benefit, as it allows you to follow two mutually exclusive paths, but of course this isn't exactly supported. :)
  • If you've already killed Velehk Sain, you won't be able to get his heart without a console command.  You can open the console and type help Velehk to get a list of IDs for elements pertaining to him, which will be different depending on your load order.  You can then use player.additem IDNUMBER 1 to give yourself his heart.  You can also respawn him and fight him for it if you feel that's more sporting.
This mod uses a script to handle interaction with the four rings placed in the world, so there may be glitches on uninstallation if you've already interacted with them.  If you find that the mod is not to your liking, it's best to return to a save game before the installation. If that's not possible, remove all inventory items related to this mod, uninstall, re-save your game, and if anything is not right, try using Fallrim Tools to clean your save game.

This mod mostly adds new content to the game, so conflicts should be few and far between.  That said:
  • This mod forwards all fixes done by USSEP.
  • Load this mod before any mod that does global changes such as lighting, sound, music, or water.

This mod introduces some new artifacts and gameplay changes which have only been tested to my personal tastes for difficulty and balance.  A combat encounter was redesigned to introduce a leveled enemy. New artifacts, which are fairly difficult to acquire, are given drawbacks as well as as benefits, which is rarely seen in the vanilla game.  Any arguments for changes to these elements will certainly be considered.  This mod is my first time doing such things, so it's a continuing learning process, and I may do additional changes and tweaks in the future regardless of input.

This mod wouldn't exist without the hard work of Sirandar on MAQF and Arthmoor on CRF.  I relied on the information provided by The Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages and The Elder Scrolls Wiki. The tutorials of Darkfox127 remain an invaluable tool, not to mention Creationkit.com.  The FOMOD installer was built with the help of Shiva and the FOMOD Creation Tool.  Version 1.0.6 features bug fixes and suggestion by miguick.  Models and textures for the Midden Incident Report are by Daniel Coffey as part of Book Covers Skyrim.