One of the things you need to go in order to advance in House Telvani is obtain a representative, or "mouth", to will be your voice in the Telvani Council Chamber. I nice gentleman in Balmora was recommended, but Master Aryon didn't remember his name. Well, a little checking around in Balmora resulted in several people saying that "Edd Theman" was close to that rank. Finding him was another issue altogether. Seems I had to check just about every door in town before I found him. His nickname was "Fast Eddie". Later on, I found out why: he had a talent of knowing where really neat things were hidden, and was willing to obtain them for me. I had to get a few invisibility potions for him, but he did manage to find a few really nice artifacts for me to use in my every-day life as a wizard.
I also had to check on the progress of my stronghold. It was in the middle of the Molag Amur reason. I went there and found my mushroom growing, already reaching several feet into the air. The two powerful soulgems I had supplied for it had crystalized on either side of it, pulsating with energy.
I spoke to the caretaker, Gashnakh gra-Mughol, a female Ork. Not bad looking, for an ork, but not really my type. She said my stronghold was growing well. She couldn't wait for me to leave. Her eyes would not meet mine, for fear that I would put her in some sort of trance and bite her neck. I couldn't say that I would blame her, but it made me feel bad again, all the same.
I was given a task by Llunela Hleran. She wanted me to go to an old Dwemer ruin just northwest of my stronghold. There, I would find schematics that she would use to build "something extra" for me. She also mentioned obtaining a book at yet another Dwemer stronghold that could be used for the same purpose. That second Dwemer stronghold had been overrun by vampires. I didn't mention that I had already destroyed them and already had said book at home. The book had provided me with a spell that would create a Dwemer centurian sphere machine that would fight for me.
I made my way to the Dwemer ruin in short order. After fighting my way past the usual bevy of assorted creatures outside of the front door, I found myself in a very dark hallway. I used my belt of nighteye to brighten things up a bit.
I found several strong creatures inside, including a mechanical spider that spit poison at me.
I carefully made my way through the dark hallways, all the while hearing strange mechanical sounds of things clicking, moving, clanking, shifting back and forth. You never know when the sound is one of those enchanted Dwemer guard machines coming around the next corner. Even for a vampire, it can be spooky. Suddenly, around the next corner, a very tall, and very angry steam-powered machine-man saw me, and charged! There was almost no time to react, it was so close. I managed to slip on my ring of armor, and instantly I was wearing a chestplate, shield, and sword, each as dense as lead, but as light as a feather. The shield was the most important thing to materialize, as I raised it up just in time to block a very large, steel-spiked ball shooting out from the creatures right arm. The blow nearly knocked me down. The ball retracted into it's arm, the shot out at me again. I dodged the blow and it deflected off my shield once again. I struck at it with my sword, and caused a minor amount of damage to it. This creature was made with hardened metal, stronger than most other creatures the Dwemer had left behind. Another shot from it's arm, this one catching me off guard. It struck me in the chest, and nearly knocked the wind out of me. Being a vampire probably saved my life, as I had more stamina that a normal person, and could stand up to the extra punishment. I swung my sword at the machine, and the blow knocked it back a foot. It swung it's mighty right hand back at me, but I blocked it with my shield. I struck at the machine again and again. It swung back at me, but I dodged it's massive fist by inches. Several more blows with my sword finally destroyed the machine, and it fell to the floor with a lound CLANK!
A little further down the same hallway, I came up against a centurian sphere. I had seen them before, and they usually carry a retractable sword. Naturally, this one didn't; instead, it carried a repeating bow and arrow, and seemed to manufacturer the arrows within it's mechanical body on demand. I summoned several creatures to come to my aid, and they fought this machine for me, wearing it down. When the spell wore off, I charged the machine and finished it off with one blow of my sword.
After working my way past one mechanical creature after another, I finally came to a room with a lot of steam pipes in it. Over in the corner, on a bottom shelf, was a dirty piece of paper with some drawings on it. It was a Dwemer schematic for one of those machine-men that had nearly killed me. This is what I was looking for. I grabbed it, and brought it back to the Telvani council chamber basement. I gave the paper to Llunela, and she said she would use it to build me a stronghold like no other in the whole land of Vvardenfell. She bid me farwell until our next meeting in a few days.
Master Aryon gave me yet one more task. To become Archmagister of House Telvani, I must remove the current holder of that position. Somehow, this reminded me of the way one advances through the ranks of the Mage's Guild. This would not be an easy battle. Master Goren was surrounded by two Demora, summoned from oblivion as his personal bodyguards. Very tough to fight. I used my belt of flight, flew to the top of the room, summoned several creatures around me, then shot a bolt of magical fire at Goren. I used a shield spell to protect me, as well as the Amulet of Shadows to hide from their eyes. Once my bolt of magic struck Goren, the fight was on. One creature battling another creature, blasts of magical fire, frost, lightening, poison filled the room. When it was over, it was just me that was left alive. I reported back to Aryon, who prounounced me "Archmagister of House Telvani". Enjoy your new stronghold, have a nice day.
I made my way to the stronghold to set up housekeeping. It was just my luck that a powerful ashstorm was in progress when I entered the area. In the darkness, through the blinding dust and ash, I could see my tower.
What greeting my eyes was a huge, enchanted mushroom, that was several stories high. Several of the side pods had grown out and were already being used by those who would sell things and support the tower.
I was greeted by a Dwemer centurian sphere, which, thankfully, did not attack me. It had already been a long night, and I wasn't in the mood for another battle. The approach to the stronghold was impressive, stone monoliths on either side of the walkway.
About 20 yards from the entrance, I was greeted by yet another familiar face; the schematics that I had recovered were used to create a steam-powered battle machine, only this one would help protect my stronghold from invaders. It huffed and puffed at me, but somehow it seemed to "know" me, and I walked right by the contraption without so much as a blink of it's mechanical eye.
Inside, it was quiet, peaceful, and dark. All I could hear was the humming of the glowing crystals on either side of the entrance room. It seems the mushroom had grown right over them. I could also hear another centurion sphere huffing and puffing up and down the hollow tubes that served as walkways to the upper and lower portions of my home.
There were several rooms, one of which required levitation to reach. On the other end, the roots went deep into the ground, coming out into a chamber full of lava. Now I needed a broom to sweep out all the dust and ash that got inside the door when I came in. Ah, home, sweet home.