The strange lights of this place gave some light, but not enough to be useful. In the distance, I could hear the clanking of machines, along with what sounded like steam centurions, and other enchanted guardians of these strongholds.   


Just as we made it down the first flight of stairs, we were attacked by a centurion sphere. Laurenna lead the attack, and just as quickly, I called forth a sphere of my own. Laurenna stepped back and we watched the two of them go at it, poking at each other with their retractable swords.

Rather than let it battle go badly, Laurenna and I joined in and made sure that victory was to be ours.

"I can never get used to those odd things." said Laurenna.


Tunnel after tunnel, corridor after corridor, one machine after another met it's match with the 2-1/2 of us (my centurion sphere keeps disappearing after 90 seconds).

Still, no plans were to be found.   


We found a few more tunnels leading deeper into the stronghold, one of which took us right over a lava flow.

The heat was nearly unbearable, and in our rush to get to the other side, we ran right into a steam centurion, which put up quite a fight.

Laurenna was too close to use God's Fire, so we had to use swords against the thing.

We were victorious over the machine, but Laurenna had to perform a healing spell on herself several times before we dared continue to the next chamber.    


The next chamber provided a different challenge: A Dwarven specter, a left-over of the days when they lived here, thousands of years ago. The specter shot several fire spells at us. I shot back with a few spells of my own, sending the specter to Oblivion. Behind a huge machine, we found another cave, and upon entering it, another specter attacked us with more fire spells. The second specter was in a larger cave, within a large structure, and the only way to enter it was through a bridge that went right over a huge pool of lava.

I shouted to Laurenna to stand clear, and summoned a clanfear. Upon the specter's next attack, the clanfear ran into the chamber housing the nasty little specter. Drawing my own longsword, I ran in after it. The specter was so busy with the clanfear that it didn't notice my approach. One slash of the sword was all it took to send this specter to meet it's brother in Oblivion.   


The specter vanished, leaving a puddle of ectoplasm behind, good for alchemy work. We found the plans for this strange thing the Illuminated Order wanted kept out of the hands of others so badly hanging on the wall.

It was hard to believe that this thing had been built once before, and had helped build the Empire, as well as the Septum dynasty that ruled it.   


"What is that thing on the paper?" asked Laurenna.

"Something that should never fall into the hands of anyone." I replied. "It is a huge monster that the Dwemer were supposed to try building centuries ago."

"Hmmm, looks ugly." she replied. "Are we done here?" she asked. "If so, we should see what things we can take back home and sell."

"Certainly." I said. "Let's see what we have won from this strange place."   


We headed back the way we came, and made our way back to the front door with as much stuff as we could carry. Dwemer loot is extremely heavy.

It was still late, and since all these things in here were now dead and gone, we decided to spend the night at the door, and get a fresh start on the way home in the morning.

Yes, we told ghost stories all night long.  
No, really, we did.


We slept peacefully until 9 am, when hunger finally rousted us out of our slumber. After nibbling on some of our supplies, we headed out the door into the fresh air.

The sun was stull burning it's way through the morning mist as we left the stronghold.

"Come on." I said, casting a water-walking spell, "The day won't get any longer, and time is wasting. 


Laurenna cast her own water-walk spell and gave pursuit. "I'll race you to the other shore!" she shouted.

As fast as she was, I still beat her to the other side, since I wasn't wearing the heavy armor she had.  


Once we hit the shore, it was just a short walk to the outpost of Molag Mar. The boat dock on the east side of the building took us back to Sadrith Mora.   


We had both had a long two days, so I figured I would hand over the document we found tomorrow.

In the mean time, we had a great dinner, then settled off to bed for some more ghost stories. 











COMING UP: A Battle Under The Ocean