Another day and another Dwarven ruin in Hammerfell. Other then the most studious of scholars, it is perhaps only the treasure hunter that fully appreciates the vast scale of the Dwemer civilization across Tamriel, and just how seismic and monumental must have been their sudden, unexplained disappearance.
The broad and tall caverns of Mtharnaz seem unsuitable for a place of domicile, yet these ruins also lack the giant furnaces, pipes and work stations that suggest it might have once been a place of manufacture. And whilst there appears to be what looks like an ancient orrey, there are no other furnishings or fittings to imply that this may have been a place of study either. What was Mtharnaz’s purpose is now alas a mystery. If only these Dwemer constructs had a voice, of what wonderments they would sing.
The automatons still roaming the tunnels do not enjoy complete dominion over Mtharnaz however, for a cluster of giant spiders has made their nest in the inner delve. These most unfriendly neighbours have between them created a rather macabre battlefield of spiders limbs and metal parts. What is perhaps more bizarre is the thought of the brass constructs trapped in the huge webbed cocoons suspended from the ceilings.
This curious struggle between nature and machine reminds me of the philosophical debates that rage between the scholars whether nature is itself but a deterministic machine of intricate design by the Aedra. Indeed some even suggest that one of the dark elves so-called ‘living gods’, Sotha Sil, was somehow trying to replicate this theory with the building of a ‘Clockwork City’. Absurd of course, and besides that glorified tinkerer has not been seen for centuries; if he ever existed at all.
The only contribution this soldier can add to their debate is that once you have fought enough of their kind, the giant spiders behaviour in battle becomes just like that of the Dwemer automatons, as predicable as the journey of the two moons.