Lore:Proctor Luciana's Journal, Vol 1
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Date: (Month and day unknown) 1E 2712 (?)
I write this with an unsteady hand. The factotums tell me that I'll regain full control of my new fingers soon enough. I have my doubts.
I've never kept a journal. It always seemed like an act of vanity—putting all your life's pursuits to paper. As if anyone would want to read them. But given the circumstances, I think it's worth the effort. I find myself in a very strange place—the Clockwork City.
It was not an easy trip. I don't remember much. There were trees. Valenwood, I think. I remember striking something with a summoned blade, then a flash of light. The rest? Nothing but whispers and pain.
When I came to, I found myself suspended in a glass sphere—submerged in some kind of viscous fluid. Polished metal clamps kept my shattered limbs in place, while tiny mechanical creatures stitched the flesh to new brass appendages. To my great surprise, I felt no need to breathe—just a deep thirst, and a dreamy state of mind. I saw a tall Elf gazing at me from the other side of the glass, his face warped by the curve of the sphere. He identified himself as Sotha Sil, and told me that I would live. He also told me that I had a son.
This came a surprise. I had no idea I was even pregnant. Apparently, the factotums discovered the tiny, barely viable child while they rushed to stabilize my ruined body. In Tamriel his severe prematurity would have been a death sentence, but here the impossible seems effortless.
I never had any intention of having a baby. Toting a child around while making war on the Akaviri hardly seemed practical. But time and circumstance make fools of us all.
I named him Marius—after my paternal grandfather. I hope this journal will serve him well if I succumb to these injuries. He should know something of his heritage at the very least.
Date: 15 Sun's Dusk, 1E 2712 (?)
The more I learn about the Clockwork City, the more it appeals to me. The Brass Fortress provides few comforts. It's a dry and hard place—full of strange machines and stranger people. Dark Elves mostly. I've met Dunmer before, of course, but these Clockwork Apostles seem like a breed apart. They revere logic and innovation above almost anything else. Can you imagine? My fellow battlemages always mocked me for my dedication to cold reason. "Where's your fire, Luciana?" As if there's no fire in rigorous thought.
Sotha Sil still checks in on me from time to time. I've never met another person like him. The apostles worship him as a god, but I get the sense that it makes him uncomfortable. He only occasionally makes eye contact—not out of timidity, though. He's just always focused on something else. A device, or a book, or some other clockwork oddity. I ask him questions whenever the opportunity presents itself—questions about the nature of this place, his motives, his history. I never get straight answers. Nonetheless, he seems to enjoy the back and forth. I get the sense that even here, surrounded by worshipers and loyal machines, he remains profoundly alone.
The apostles keep telling me that blasphemy is acceptable here—even encouraged. But it seems like a belief without a backbone. My caretaker, Lector Marilia, was aghast when I told her about my conversations with the "Clockwork God." For example, I asked Sotha Sil about those persistent rumors—the ones about how he and the other Tribunes murdered Indoril Nerevar, the Dark Elf king. According to Marilia, the topic is strictly taboo. Even so, Sotha Sil answered my questions with a quiet grace that surprised even me.
"Why do you think things happen?" he asked. I told him I didn't understand the question.
"Why are we sitting here talking? Why does young Marius exist? Why do I reign over this place, while you convalesce within it?"
I sat quiet for a moment, then replied: "Because that's just the way it is."
His cold face melted into one of his solemn half-smiles. "Exactly."
I can't be sure, but it seemed like relief in his voice. His shoulders relaxed, his tone shifted—he had the look of a man at peace with his sins. Soon afterward, he thanked me for the conversation and left the room in silence.
I looked down at Marius, sleeping soundly in his brass crib. In that moment, things seemed to make sense. The Clockwork City finally started to feel like home.