Laurenna lit a torch as we entered the chamber. "Do you want to go down those stairs first, or should I?" she asked.

I looked at her funny-like. "You're kidding, right?" I asked. "I'll lead, just be careful and have that bow ready. There's no telling what monsters are in here."


Sure enough, not more than 5 steps down, she drops the torch and grabs the bow. I remembered that the helmet had been enchanted with night eye to help see in the dark.

Once the target had been lit up with the arrow, I added a few surprises of my own.


I could barely see what it was we were attacking. I used my amulet of Fire and Ice, calling forth a frost and flame Atronach.

Between the arrows, and the two creatures I summoned, whatever it was that tried to attack us, died a tragic death.


Once the way was clear, we headed deeper into the hallways of this stronghold.


We knocked off a few other creatures, and finally made our way into a large chamber. There, we found one of the long-nose Dagoth people. He put up a nasty fight, but was no match for God's Frost. He fell dead on the floor, as well as the ash slave that I found seconds later lurking in the corner, about to strike.


In checking out the chamber, we found a number of huge machine parts.

Laurenna found what looked like a foot. I found a huge hand. I could only imagine what this thing would have been connected to.


Laurenna called me to her from across the room.

"It's a body." she shouted, "But it's not one of 'those' people."

I came over to investigate. It was the body of an adventurer, one that came here without enough potions or intervention spells.

Carrying out his supplies and armor would be unnecessary, since we had everything we needed already. We decided to leave the body alone.


While checking out the body of the dead hero, we both noticed something on a table. It startled Laurenna, as she thought it was something staring right at her.

It was a head, but not the head of the usual steam centurions you find in these Dwemer ruins. It was...unusual. Could this have been part of the so-called machine god that the Dwemer had planned to build?

I doubt we'd ever find out. Those who created it were long since gone from this world.


We ventured further into the stronghold. In the deepest regions of this place, we encountered another dagoth, this one being Dagoth Endus.

He turned to attack with a shock spell, but his life ended quickly enough with a spell of God's Fire.


In this chamber, we found a number of books and papers on a table. One of them was a schematic of how to build a steam centurion.

The scale of this thing was huge. Whatever this was about, they were trying to research on how to build large things.

One of the books I found had many complex diagrams, heavily annotated with numbers and strange symbols. The title, however, was clearly marked in a language called Aldmeris - 'Kagrenac's Journals'.

I didn't know what good this book would do, but I figured I'd better bring it along, just in case.


We headed back outside, and decided to continue on to the next Dwemer stronghold. I knew there would be several, in a someone odd-looking circle around the center of Red Mountain.


We were attacked by two Hungers at the same time. The Wall of Fire spell put them both down at once.

We continued down the path along the western side of the Ghostfence, the red sky screaming at us in protest of our presence.

We would not be stopped.


We were attacked by more blighted creatures, one sick cliffracer after another, numerous blighted guars, and a corpus stalker.

He seemed uncaring that I had a sword and shield. He just came forward, full of rage, fury, anger at everything and nothing, just wanting to lash out like some animal. It broke my heart to put him down, knowing that I could have been one of them a short time ago.


It seemed like hours later, we arrived at what must have been Vemynal, the first of the two strongholds holding the lost artifacts we needed to retrieve.


Two blighted nix-hounds and another Hunger attacked us as we approached this place.


Yes, we had arrived at Vemynal.

Once again, I cautioned Laurenna about jumping ahead of me and to just use her marksmanship skills. I didn't want her getting hit with any magical blasts.





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