My search for curios and trifles to trade with the Daedric Prince of knowledge leads me to the Dwarven ruins of Rkhardahrk just to the Northeast of Hermaeus Mora’s fallen temple. Much of the grand façade of this settlement seems to still be intact, as is its peculiar lobby. Further inside however and the delve has now all but collapsed into piles of rubble and broken brass pipes blasting hot steam into the stale air. Whatever was the purpose of this delve has long been lost to decay and pillage, which I guess will be the eventual fate of all Dwemer delves when their automatons no longer protect them.
For these caves have become overrun by goblins, durzogs, ogres, and strangely dreugh. Just how these aquatic beasts arrived in Craglorn is beyond me, but I guess they came down here to escape the dry wastes above, as the caves seem to have a source of water of its own. Whether that be via pockets of connate water or a subterranean river seeping through into the halls I cannot tell. But it might help explain the dwarven automatons overthrow, for whilst brass itself does not rust, just how well do the steam-powered mechanical Constructs operate in water?
I hoped that the dreaugh might not be hostile if I offered no aggregation, but sadly they attacked at first sight, perhaps thinking me a tall goblin. They attempted to swarm me, my vision quickly filled with flailing limbs and claws and I am rather afraid I was reduced to hacking and slashing most ungracefully through the throng just to make it out alive.
When I did eventuality reach a room at the end of the giant cavern I found my summation that all the Dwemer Constructs had been vanquished from Rkhardahrk to be mistaken. For here standing resolutely was The Last Sentinel of Rkhardahrk. A giant Dwarven Centurion still dutifully holding back the barbaric interlopers.
Do I feel any remorse about assailing this last proud vestige of the lost civilization of Rkhardahrk that has survived so long against all odds? No, for it is but a metal automaton, marvellous and beautiful in its own way perhaps, but equally soulless, and possessing about as much personality as an abstinent Nord.
And besides, as I leave I can hear scraping and scuttling in the walls about. Something tells me that the next visitor to the delve of Rkhardahrk might just find that its Last Sentinel has been rebuilt and stands once again ready to defend its home against fate.