Confront the King
Quest Information
Starting Location: Imperial City Arcane University
Starting NPC: Hannibal Traven
Possible Reward(s): Staff of Worms, King of Worms' Robes, Arch-Mage's Robe, Arch-Mage's Hood

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At the end of the Ambush quest, Traven will tell you that you must launch an assault on Mannimarco himself. He then suddenly promotes you to Arch-Mage and guildmaster of the Mages Guild, holds the gem that you looted from Falcar above his head, and lets loose a spell that engulfs him in flame and sends his lifeless body to the floor of the university. The good Arch-Mage sacrificed himself so that you may carry a Filled Colossal Black Soul Gem capable of saving you from Mannimarco's enthralling magic. Take the gem and the guild key from Traven's corpse, then begin the trek to Echo Cave to confront the King of Worms himself. The future of the guild rests on your shoulders alone.

Echo Cave is located to the west of Bruma, though you can save a little traveling distance if you fast-travel to Cloud Ruler Temple (if you've done the first few quests of the game's main storyline, anyway). The cave itself is locked, but the Necromancer guarding its entrance, Bolor Savel, holds a key. Make him relinquish the key in any way you'd like, then use it to gain entrance to Mannimarco's lair.

Making your way through the first level of the cave is pretty straight forward, but your progress will be impeded by several Necromancers and various undead. When you reach the doorway into the Echo Passages, head inside and continue your pursuit of Mannimarco. The second level offers a couple of side passageways (including one leading to a trap door to an overhang on the previous level), but what you're really looking for is a downward sloping passage leading to the Echo Necromancer's Chamber.

It's on this third level that you'll face off with Mannimarco himself. Kill the single Necromancer guard in the level's first chamber, then move through the wooden door to your right into the huge cavernous expanse beyond. Mannimarco stands at the back of the chamber near the Necromancy tapestries. When you approach him, he'll paralyze you for a moment so that he can tell you a bit about his plans. Even if you attempt to persude him in letting you become his servant, Mannimarco only wishes to study you and learn more about your source of power. Therefore, a fight is inevitable. Considering that he is the King of Worms, Mannimarco is surprisingly easy. You probably won't have a whole lot of trouble with him beyond that of the regular Necromancers you've faced here in Echo Cave.

When he finally falls, loot Mannimarco's corpse for his Staff of Worms and King of Worms' Robes. You'll also want to loot the three chests nearby before exiting the cave. If you use the trap door on the second floor mentioned above, it will save you quite a bit of traveling time while heading to the surface. Once you're back on solid ground, fast-travel to the Arcane University to report the Necromancers' defeat.

Raminus Polus couldn't be happier to hear that Mannimarco has been defeated. Hannibal Traven apparently left him a note stating his plans to sacrifice himself and that you were to be left in charge, so Polus has taken it upon himself to send word to all of the local guild halls that you are the new Arch-Mage. He then hands you an Arch-Mage's Robe and Arch-Mage's Hood for you to wear in your new position. After assuming your new role, speak to Raminus about ingredients to receive the Alchemy Acquisitions quest. And don't forget that you can now recruit an apprentice to take along with you in your travels. The university's campus is full of possible recruits, so don't hesitate to make use of the service.