Well I found a book in-game today titled "Yngol And The Sea-Ghosts" this passage in the book caught my eye; "Ysgramor commanded the sea-ghosts to surrender his kin, and a great gale darkened the sky. The sea thrashed and churned, and a wrathful storm appeared." Now Sea-Ghosts and The Sea Of Ghosts sounded all to similar to dismiss so I read on and one clue gave evidence that the same thing may have happened to cause the great collapse, and it is that it mention Ysgramor burried his son Yngol in a borrow far beneath the rocky face of Hsaarik Head. Well I thought hmm I wonder where that is exactly, so I did a little research and I found out that it is where Winterhold and The College are located. So I feel its safe to say the cause of The Great Collapse was The Sea Of Ghosts and Its Sea-Ghosts themselves and no specific event or any mage had anything to do with it like most residents of Skyrim believe.
But the events of Yngol and the Sea-Ghosts and The Great Collapse are too far apart,even if the Sea=Ghosts caused it,who caused it?Like,Ysgramor caused the storms before,or something,who caused the storms of The Great Collapse?Hm.......Wish I could meet Ysgramor though.Not the Sovngarde one.The real guy with the same armor in the statue.Sick of everyone wearing Ancient Nord Armor.
True he did cause it but what if the its residule (however you spell it) like ghost residule haunting or whatever where the event repeate themselves every so often idk just playin with my theory full mind haha
The game heavily hints that the College was responsible for it. Malyn Valen specifically, as we know from his grimoir that he caused the same kind of effect at Lake Ilinata later on. HIm and Nelecar were both expelled well before the game starts, and I think the dates might just match up to put that at about the same time this event happened.
What if it was possible that mages from the Mage's Guild that were against necromancy conjured sea ghosts in order to try to destroy the College of Winterhold, but instead destroyed a large chunk of Winterhold?
I don't buy the "Red Mountain eruption caused it" theory. The eruption occured in 4E 5. The Collapse occured in 4E 122. There's no way that it was caused by an eruption 117 years before, hundreds of miles away.
I don't know what caused it, but I'm sure it wasn't the Red Mountain eruption.
I always liked the mages at the College but you know that they caused it. It's hard to believe that some mountain 117 years before erupted. May I also remind you that the people researching this theory work for the College. Bringing this subject up with anyone at the College you are quickly dismissed and told to continue working on things that matter. As for the sea-ghosts-sea of ghosts theory. Sure! Ysgramor thousands of years before destroyed Winterhold. I'm telling you the College caused this if you like it or not. The Nords should just get over it and rebuild. Rorikstead looks better than Winterhold.
Ysgramor could have indirectly caused the collapse, if he summoned/created the Sea-Ghosts. The Sea-Ghosts, with Ysgramor being dead, could have been "triggered" by something at the College (I assume College and not Winterhold because what would it be at Winterhold itself?) or some mage there doing something that ticked them off. Study into souls and soul gems, including the Black Star, could have angered them if they were being harvested. The Augur underneath the College could have caused the Collapse, if he were powerful enough. Perhaps a particularly strong mage there was just messing with high-powered spells and accidentally or purposely summoned a great storm.
In almost any case, I blame the College in one way or another - they directly or indirectly did something to cause the Collapse. Given the lack of talk about it, it was likely known only to the Arch-Mage or perhaps just a particular mage there, if they knew what they were doing. Perhaps it was a rival mage group or a something from the lands of Akavir, but it was more likely a College member at the heart of it.
It doesn't help that, whatever it was, it was not powerful enough to fully pierce the College's protective magic for itself. This could easily point to a lesser mage, especially an advanced College mage that thought they could take revenge or advance spells by conjuring a storm while being oblivious to the amount of power required to actually take down the College itself. I assume that the protection spells on the College were mostly by extremely powerful mages, and that, for instance, Sea-Ghosts or other College mages would not be able to pierce them, but a directed attack from another Mage guild would, if the purpose was to get revenge.
If it were a mage trying to take revenge or purposefully destroy the college, they would not stay in or near the college while triggering/during the events. That rules out the Augur almost instantly, not to mention the timing of events. In general, the only group strong enough to pull something like that off and escape before anyone noticed would be the psijic monks, but that seems highly unlikely. Because of the location of Red Mountain, that seems even less likely, especially considering the aftereffects of volcanic eruptions. It's not impossible that there was magic residue from Ysgramor even after all that time, and that wouldn't necesarrily have to be triggered by someone/something. If it were purposeful, because of location it would have had to come from Atmora, Roscrea, or Solstheim. Miraak is a semi-logical conclusion (said to be powerful enough and old enough having been involved in the Dragon War) except for the fact that he was imprisoned until the Dragonborn defeated him, though it is possible Hermaeus Mora allowed him a moment of freedom for some reason. Personally, I think the most likely theory is that the Ghosts from the sea just happened to pop in to say hello and destroy almost all of Winterhold.
1. Ysgrammor and Yngol happened not only hundreds of years before, but Yngol's Barrow is right next to Windhelm. Magic residue is far-fetched and writers of old loved embellishment. If you look at the book with a critical, realistic eye, Yngol got swallowed up in a storm and Ysgrammor was upset. No more, no less.
2. Red Mountain makes no sense because of it's location and time of eruption. This is just an excuse. The higher-ups or older members of the college know the reason, they just don't wish to admit fault.
3. I was going to mention the students who summoned the pirate daedra, but that doesn't quite add up.
4. The Augur of Dunlain is a mystery and a big possibility. He is never explained. He's just there, with no given reason how or why. If "it" were once man, he could have to go through some magic process in order to achieve his current state.
5. All things considered, the lack of damage to the college, the mysterious augur, and everyone within the college's avoidance of the topic... All signs point to the college being the culprit one way or another. Not embellished writing, not an eruption halfway across the world that happened 117 year beforehand, but mages. Mages who have lax rules when it comes to magic, mages who close themselves off to the world and are fairly unwelcoming.