What little knowledge we have of the Dwemer has been traditionally harvested from either the historical records of their battles with other races, or the excavations of the ‘forsaken’ cities they left behind. Few accounts can be assumed to be reliable or accurate however, as both are heavily tainted by the distorted perceptions of their interpreters.
It is no surprise that by their enemies narrative the Dwemer were portrayed as a terrible people; cruel, callous, and unsympathetic to all other races. What is perhaps surprising is that this portrayal has endured and is so readily accepted even today. And the archaeologists that now delve into the ruins of the Dwemer cities that are found across Morrowind, Hammerfell, High Rock and Skyrim, do so prejudiced by these historically partisan reports. But perhaps more importantly, the industrious society of the Dwemer is being judged by a people infatuated with all things magicka. It is a fact that many of the most influential scholars in Tamriel are also either prominent members of the Mages Guild, or claim to share strong links with the esoteric Psijic Order.
And yet we appear no closer then we were a millennium ago to discovering the fate of the Dwemer, understanding their achievements, or replicating their technology. Some believe that our dependence upon magicka has stifled our natural capability for invention and innovation. That the infinite possibilities of mortal ingenuity has being sacrificed for the sake of a finite dogma, and the vainglory of the few.
Here we stand on the very doorstep of the Dwarven city of Nchu Duabthar in central Bangkorai, and yet so far none have been able to break open the city’s seal. Through the doors we can clearly hear the clank of pistons, grind of gears, and hiss of steam, only able to imagine the hustle and bustle of the automatons going about their daily routines, utterly oblivious to the outside world. We can feel the heat of a dynamic, working city through the walls, and we can watch the ground water gently vibrate with the each heartbeat of the hidden metropolis beneath.
What secrets lie behind these doors, what explanations, observations, interpretations and elucidations awaits? Perhaps one day it will here where we might discover something unequivocal and untaintable. Is Nchu Duabthar an answer, or just another question?