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What happened to the Dwemer?

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ValkiirOfTheFalmer's picture
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Now I'm one of those people who are curious about a lot of things now what I wonder is, What happened to the Dwemer now as I remember in Morrowind there was one Dwemer left I don't recall his name though but I do have a possible idea what happened. I think the Dwemer, like Alduin, somehow time traveled into the future so maybe they will possibly appear in a future game I don't know though the Dwemer were a scientifically advanced race who may have discovered time travel in an experiment.

Proweler's picture
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There is a quest in game that allows you to discover what happend to the Dwemer. The UESP has the walk-through for the Mystery of the Dwemer. The quest has you collect a few books and talk to a few people. Lugar wrote a Final Report to Trebonius for the Forum Scholars Guild. It explains in some details what is being said about the Dwemer by those people and in those books.

TLDR; When the gods created the world, they had to split up into mortal. Dwemer figured out away to reverse that process and turn a whole bunch of mortals into a god. It worked in so far they had the body, but not a power source.

edit:

To complete the story. After the Battle of Red Mountain the Tribunal ended up with the Brass God. Vivec sold it to Tiber Septim in return for an Armistice. Tiber then powered it using either the heart of Ysmir or Zurin Arctus (depends on who you ask) and used it to subdue the Altmer.

After that Zurin Arcutus put the Numidium to rest. It's brought up again in Daggerfall which ultimately leads to the Warp in the West. It has the appearances that the control mechanism for the Brass God is given to the different rulers around the bay during a Dragon Break. Each of them received it. The Brass God being a God is able to maintain the Dragon Break (multiple gods walking on Mundus, essentially like the Dawn Era)  and eventually dukes it out with himself leading to its own destruction.

ValkiirOfTheFalmer's picture
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Interesting, though I have to ask which game I am just going to assume your speaking of Morrowind.

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The first bit (Until the edit) is Morrowind, then it switches to Daggerfall, the previous game.

dinmenel's picture
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Proweler (or anyone), can you explain why the Numidium is listed in the Loveletter as an attempt at the Last Subgradient if it was just intended to anti-create the Dwemer into a god?

Proweler's picture
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Because I'm paraphrasing a limited set of source material.

And because it transforms multiples into one. It needs the realisation from the loveletter to work.

Escaduel's picture
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The last remaining Dwemer looked a little creepy.

 

Pilaf The Defiler's picture
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Yagrum is old, diseased, obese and crippled. His physical appearance is not a good reflection of a typical Dwemer male. This "de ghosted" image of a Dwemer ghost from Morrowind is the clearest physical representation of a typical specimen we have, and closely matches MK's line art for them.

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I signed up just to put in my thoughts on the matter. I have so many of them, so if you care to read a lot about someone's thoughts on the Dwarves, well, here's your post. I'm going to use Dwemer and Dwarves interchangeably here. I hope I have my facts straight. I'm reasonably sure I do. I'm pretty confident that most of them are correct, especially as I've very recently played all of the last 3 games and read a lot of lore in addition to playing through them.

Relatively well established in-game lore:

-Nobody knows what happened to the Dwemer. Everything is conjecture, even the in-game explanations may go, as far as that's concerned. No first-hand eyewitness accounts exist for what happened and how it happened.
-Kagrenac's Tools were made by the Dwemer, to harness the power of the Heart of Lorkhan, in their possession at Dumac's Citadel.
-With the Heart of Lorkhan as power source, and the tools as instruments, they are intended to be used in the creation of the Numidium, a Brass God, and possibly in other ways to confer immortality upon the Dwemer.
-The Dwemer and Chimer, previously allies and co-inhabitors of Morrowind, turn against each other. Some plan of the Dwemer's upsets the Chimer, enough to start a war.
-The historical event associated with the Dwemer's disappearance is the Battle of Red Mountain, in the year 1E 700.
-During the Battle of Red Mountain, Nerevar, the Chimer General enters Dumac's Citadel to do battle with the Dwarf King. The tools are very likely used with the Heart of Lorkhan, and the Dwarves disappear.
-After this battle, no first-hand written accounts exist, but the Dwarves are gone.
-In this time, Dagoth Ur, guarding the Heart of Lorkhan and Tools against use on Nerevar's past orders, utilises the Heart of Lorkha and Tools to confer living godhood on himself, but does so in such a way as to drive him mad.
-Realizing that Dagoth Ur has been using the tools for his own ends, Nerevar seizes the tools to stop their use.
-A few years after the battle and the subsequent disappearance of the Dwemer, Almalexia, Vivec, and Sotha Sil are guarding Kagrenac's Tools. Nerevar has presumably died, reports of how, why, and when conflict.
-Sotha Sil says he has discovered that Kagrenac's Tools can be used safely to confer godhood. He, Almalexia, and Vivec use Kagrenac's Tools on the Heart of Lorkhan, and assume the status of living gods. Azura curses them with the Nerevarine Prophecy, foretelling the return of Nerevar to destroy their power. At this time, the Chimer are turned into the Dunmer.
-Two or three thousand years later, at the end of the 2nd Era, Tiber Septim recreated the Numidium out of its pieces, assembling it with the aid of the Blades and Vivec. He uses the Mantella (essentially a giant soul gem) to substitute for Lorkhan's heart. It is used to excellent effect to consolidate power in the formation of the Empire of the 3rd Era, known as the Third Empire. The Septim Dynasty begins the era.
-Later, in The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall, the Numidium surfaces once again, and is used by the player hero, again using the Mantella, resulting in the Warp in the West, which was a "Dragon Break" or break in time. It is used to consolidate power, once again, then destroyed in the process.
-In The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, the Heart of Lorkhan is destroyed by the Nerevarine to stop the spread of Dagoth Ur. The 4 gods, created using the Heart of Lorkhan thousands of years before, are returned to mortality.
-With the end of the Septim Line in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, the third era ends.

There certainly is more that can be said here, but as far as the disappearance goes, I feel this is the most that can be said of their actual disappearance and the events before and after, and with the items associated with their disappearance, without diving into conflicting accounts available in-game. The most extensive accounts about the times surrounding this come from Vivec, but even he claims, privately, that his remembrances of past history could be incorrect, in "The Battle of Red Mountain, and the Rise and Fall of the Tribunal." This book has the most ring of true account to it in my opinion, seeming to be the true thoughts of Vivec.

This brings us to my thoughts on the matter, and my possible conclusion of the possible disappearance event of the Dwemer:

The Dwarves were highly intelligent, and had many achievements that none of the known races of Tamriel have come close to achieving, both magical and technological, and often fusing the two together. In Skyrim we find they've discovered how to read Elder Scrolls without conferring any of the negative effects associated with it.

I find it highly doubtful that the tools were used improperly by the Dwarves during the Battle of Red Mountain. The presumed improper use of the tools by Dagoth Ur does not result in his disappearance, simply in his achieving godhood and madness at the same time. I certainly doubt that Dagoth Ur, starting without the combined previous knowledge of the Dwarves, would be able to use the tools in a manner that the Dwarves had not discovered. So, improper use by the Dwemer seems to be highly unlikely, and even if done, should not have resulted in the destruction of the entire race, only the user.

I find it highly suspect that the Daedra or Aedra would be unable to recreate the tools to destroy the Heart of Lorkhan if the Dwarves created the tools to do so, esepcially if the Daedra or Aedra were watching them enough to know what they were in the process of doing. This would imply that the Dwarves had already exceeded the capabilities of any known supernatural entity on Oblivion or Aetherius. If this highly unlikely event were the case, again, an intervention by the Aedra or Daedra would be highly unlikely or impossible.

None of the Aedra or Daedra or any other unknown force was able to or chose to directly interfere in the apotheosis of the 3 Tribunal gods and Dagoth Ur. Azura alone interfered after the 3 Tribunal Gods did so. She afterwards cursed them with the Nerevarine Prophecy, and cursed the Dunmer, her faithful, by turning their skin and eye color. The Nerevarine Prophecy was only fulfilled thousands of years later. Obviously, she didn't like them achieving powers of godhood, but at the same time, was unable or unwilling to stop them.

The possibility for any known supernatural entity to reach into Mundus and destroy the Dwarves all at once is also highly suspect. It is only with great difficulty and acting through mortal agents that the Daedric Lord Mehrunes Dagon was able to place gates to Oblivion across Tamriel (and possibly the rest of Nirn; the extent of the Oblivion Crisis to the other continents is unknown.) It takes a decently long period of time for the invasion to progress, showing that even the Lord of Destruction isn't able to wreak utter havok instantly. The Daedra obviously are limited in their powers to intervene.

After Mehrunes Dagon invaded, and after many casualities, and only again acting through mortal agents, utilising the Amulet of Kings, and requiring the selfless self-sacrifice of Martin Septim, is Akatosh, the original and principal Aedra, able to (or possibly, willing) to intervene against Mehrunes Dagon, and stop him from destroying Tamriel.

Additionally, there is the 1008-year-long Dragon Break in the 1st era to contend with. Members of the Alessian Order, a monotheistic sect (and thus, working without the support of the Aedra, Daedra, or Tribunal/Dagoth Ur Contingencies of Dieties) were able to, using unrefined methods and misguided motives, modify the god Akatosh, and in doing so cause 1008 years of disruption to the linear flow of time, another form of Dragon Break.

The Aedra were unable or unwilling to act in self-preservation to stop this. One would think that the highly logical Dwarves would certainly be more adept and cautious at delving into divine powers, and thus less likely to invoke the ire or self-preservation instincts of the Aedra. You would also think that if they were able to cease the existence of the entire Dwemer race for the transgression of using the Heart of Lorkhan, they would have stopped at the very least a small group of people from temporarily breaking Akatosh.

In addition, even barring all of the capabilities of the Aedra and Daedra being limited, there's also the matter of what the dwarves were presumably doing to even invoke their anger or self-preservation instincts. At this point, they were creating the Numidium. It is presumed that the Numidium has something to do with the Chimer's conclusion that what the Dwarves were doing was profane in some way. Yet the Numidium is left, able to be reassembled later on, and then used successfully.

Dagoth Ur is engaged in an act of creation of a second Numidium in TESIII: Morrowind. Only acting through her mortal champion, was Azura able to or willing to act in the destruction of this second Numidium. It isn't even really a stated or implied goal to destroy this second Numidium, only to destroy the Heart of Lorkhan and, in doing so, make the Tribunal and Dagoth Ur mortal again.

On top of all of this, we have the experiment in Skyrim quest "Arniel's Endeavor." In this quest, a mage at the College of Winterhold attempts to recreate the event that made the Dwarves disappear. He has the Dragonborn retrieve one of Kagrenac's Tools, the Keening, and uses it to strike a soul gem. In doing so, he explodes in a burst of energy and disappears. No conclusions are drawn from this, but it certainly doesn't appear anything similar to the way the Aedra or Daedra have seemed to work before.

I also find it hard to believe that any of the Aedra or Daedra would choose to punish all of the Dwemer for the choices of some of them. I also find it very odd that, if they did have a desire to do so, that they would get rid of an entire race, but Yagrum Bagarn would remain alive in Morrowind, after returning from the "Outer Realms" - whatever those, specifically, are. Additionally, it's odd that Dwarven ghosts would still be present in Dwarven ruins in TES III: Morrowind. The ghosts are almost certainly the ghosts of Dwarves who died prior to the disappearance, as Vivec, in the same game, claims that he cannot sense the presence of the Dwarves - surely he means the ones who disappeared, not the ones who clearly still existed as ghosts in the ruins on the same island he resided on. There's even a ghost, Radac Stungthumz, in the Tribunal expansion, who the player can talk with. It seems doubtful that someone would choose to erase the Dwemer fully from existence, and yet allow one to live, and allow the ghosts of the ones prior to the disappearance event to wander their old halls, and even converse with others. Why do something so complete, and then fail with it?

So in summation of everything stated thus far, we have a very important in-game event, the disappearance of the Dwemer. All of the tools, the Numidium, the Heart of Lorkhan, and the ruins of the entire civilization still remain after their disappearance. We have several similar and related events where the Daedra and Aedra could not or would not intervene directly. User error is highly unlikely, and highly unlikely to cause the disappearance of a whole race even if done so improperly. We also have the question of why it would be taken out on every member of an entire race simultaneously, rather than simply the ones who caused any possibility of offense. It's additionally unanswered why one dwarf would be spared simply because he came back from elsewhere after the event, and why the ghosts of Dwarves almost certainly dead before the disappearance event would still be allowed to walk their old halls and converse with the living.

My thought is that the important clue lies in the Numidium in Daggerfall. It is used to cause a Dragon Break, the Warp in the West. Far in the past, another Dragon Break is talked about, the one I mentioned previously in the 1st era that lasted 1008 years. The most important clue, after Daggerfall, is the other Dragon Break that figures big in game. Through the use of the Dragonrend Shout and an Elder Scroll, Alduin is catapulted from the time before the first era many thousands of years into the future.

It's established that the Numidium could create Dragon Breaks in the hands of someone who has no experience in using the magic and technology behind it. Especially with the use of the Elder Scroll and the Dragonit seems the only logical answer to me that an intentional Dragon Break is what happened to the Dwarves.

The Dwarven 'ruins' remaining are highly well-built, surviving and operating thousands of years after the Dwarves' disappearance. It's likely that the Dwarves planned for this to be a feature of their cities. Sure, there might be a bit of rubble here and some Falmer there, but I imagine an entire race, returning to their homes sometime in the future, would be able to continue with where they left off relatively easily given the state of things.

Of course, this is my own conjecture here. Honestly, I reach this conclusion because I respect the writers of Bethesda too much for it to be otherwise. I really hope if the answer to the Dwarven question ever is given by Bethesda, that it isn't any of the other apparent possiblities, because each one seems like a sloppy deus ex machina to me. More personally, I hope Bethesda would avoid the overly-repeated theme of "Dwarves digging too deep and unleashing [insert horror here]." Sure, these Dwarves were digging into the depths of knowledge, but it's still far too close to that concept, and that concept has been repeated so much that it feels cheap, generic, and almost comedic.

The Dwemer, by all conclusions, were too intelligent to mess this up, and by all other demonstrated behavior, the Daedra and Aedra couldn't and wouldn't have destroyed the entire race. If they had erased them from existence entirely, you'd believe that the creations that had caused offense, and possibly all the remains of their civilization, wouldn't have remained. It's certainly possible that the other conclusions I've seen will be the official conclusion, but I'd certainly rather the only apparent logical conclusion is the right one. I'd certainly be fine with another conclusion that made sense and fit in with the game.

The closest thing to a second possibility I could possibly think of that would lend any sort of legitimacy to the Dwemer's destruction it would be the possibility of a rare unanimous agreement by all the Aedra and Daedric Princes to remove the Dwemer from existence. Even that explanation to me is pretty doubtful. Such a thing would be unprecedented and unecxpected in the first place, and too well timed for such an agreement to suddenly occur at the time when it happened in the second place. That possibility only possibly eliminates the problem of the lack of demonstrated power of the Aedra and Daedra over Mundus to do such a thing, not anything else stated above, which to me are too big of problems to lend any credibility to such a thing.

Thanks for listening. I haven't seen my conclusion anywhere else, but to me it seems the only obvious one. Maybe it spurs some thoughts. I've obviously spent too much time thinking and writing about this, but that's a trait many of the people who use sites like this share, I'd imagine.

Summary (for those who don't wnat to read the long version):

The facts appear to point to the Dwarves being too intelligent to fail at the event leading to their disappearance, that user error does not appear to have the possibility of causing the removal of an entire race from existence, that the Aedra and Daedra do not seem capable or interested enough in stopping others' use of the Dwarves' creations or in destroying those who used them, and that the Dwarves' Numidium alone, used without either the Heart of Lorkhan or the tools, and lacking the capabilities the dwarves had, could definitely cause a Dragon Break. My conclusion is that the Dwarves engineered a Dragon Break and catapulted their entire race through to another time to continue their existence.

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dbbs wrote:
I find it highly doubtful that the tools were used improperly by the Dwarves during the Battle of Red Mountain. The presumed improper use of the tools by Dagoth Ur does not result in his disappearance, simply in his achieving godhood and madness at the same time. I certainly doubt that Dagoth Ur, starting without the combined previous knowledge of the Dwarves, would be able to use the tools in a manner that the Dwarves had not discovered. So, improper use by the Dwemer seems to be highly unlikely, and even if done, should not have resulted in the destruction of the entire race, only the user.

The thing is that the tools were just that: tools. Take an instrument, say a violin. I don't play one, but if I just wanted to draw a bow accross a string to get a note, that wouldn't be too difficult. It might squeak, it might not, but I think many could play a clean note on their first try with enough care and luck. If they read up on the violin, how to hold the bow and so on, their chances of playing a clean note would increase. In my opinion, this is the sort of thing Dagoth Ur and the Tribunal did with the tools.

In the case of Dagoth Ur, it is unclear how he messed with the tools, but it is implied that he was corrupted by the heart, much as in Lord of the Rings, and, for all we know, it could be that, in Dagoth Ur's maddening mind, the heart itself acted as a sort of instructor. In the case of Sotha Sil, he studied the heart intensively.

If I were to try to play, or even more so compose, a musical piece, I would fail, however. To do so without errors would require a lot of dedication and practice. In the case of the Heart of Lorkhan, practice isn't a good idea. Kagrenac did test the enchantments of the tools, but almost certainly not on the heart. For the most part, his theories seem to have been based on study and speculation without a basis of practice. Yagrum Bagarn has something to say on this:

Yagrum Bagarn wrote:
Lord Kagrenac, the foremost arcane philosopher and magecrafter of my era, devised tools to shape mythopoeic forces, intending to transcend the limits of Dwemer mortality. However, in reviewing his formulae, some logicians argued that side effects were unpredictable, and errors might be catastrophic.

This is all not to say the Dwemer did fail, just that they easily could have. Even they themselves were aware of the possibility. They were attempting something never attempted before, which cannot be compared to the Maruhkati, who were trying to alter a god, and the Tribunal, who were attempting to become gods. As they were attempting a different thing, it is not too hard to believe that the risks were different, too.

The Maruhkati are an interesting parallel to draw, again assuming that the Dwemer failed, which they may not have done: the Maruhkati tried to change a god and, in trying to do so, broke him. Others might be better acquainted with the repercussions and success they garnered; I'm unfamiliar with the Alessian Order. Similarly, one way of looking at Dagoth Ur would be that, by becoming a god, he 'broke' himself. Kagrenac tried to change his race and, in so doing, made them disappear.

What the Dwemer were specifically trying to do is more fully outlined in the Final Report to Trebonius linked to above by Prowler. In short, however, their actions are described in a pre-Morrowind source, Skeleton Man's Interview with the Denizens of Tamriel:

Xal, a Human Maruhkati, Port Telvanis (and, I should not have to mention this, an unreliable narrator) wrote:

[...] The Brass God is Anumidum, the Prime Gestalt. He is also called the divine skin.

[...]

Do not think as others do that Kagrenac created the Anumidum for petty motivations, such as a refutation of the gods. Kagrenac was devoted to his people, and the Dwarves, despite what you may have read, were a pious lot-he would not have sacrificed so many of their golden souls to create Anumidum's metal body if it were all in the name of grand theater. [...]

The Interview is outdated and, in many places, incorrect by now, but, as you might find by reading the Final Report, the quotes above have been elaborated upon since. They have also been confirmed by a developer, though I unfortunately don't have the link at hand. Kagrenac was not trying to become a god, nor change one. He was trying to make one, infusing it with the souls of the Dwemer. Essentially, he was making the Dwemer race into a god. And in a very specific way that may have been far more complex than anything the Maruhkati or Tribunal ever attempted.

I'm not saying that you have to believe that theory either, of course. Quite a few don't. It has one distinct advantage over other theories you mentioned though: the Dwemer did not necessarily fail, nor were they destroyed by the gods. They may have done exactly what they wanted to do: become the skin of the Numidium.

dbbs wrote:
[...] It is presumed that the Numidium has something to do with the Chimer's conclusion that what the Dwarves were doing was profane in some way. Yet the Numidium is left, able to be reassembled later on, and then used successfully.

It is not clear whether it is used successfully later on. The Numidium appears to have been a metaphysical tool for systematic regression, or transcending the Grey Maybe, or however you want to call it. Not a big stompy robot to carve out empires. Again, it is a tool, and you can do different things with it which come with different risks.

Now, I'm not a fan of the divine intervention theory, but, as to the reason why the Dunmer left the Numidium alone, that may be because of Tribunal greed, of course, but it may also be that they did not mind the Numidium itself, as such, but rather what the Dwemer were trying to do with it. As there were, as far as they knew, no Dwemer around anymore to use the Numidium it became a non-issue. Dangerously sloppy and shortsighted of the Dunmer, certainly, but a lot was going on and a big stompy robot is not always a bad thing to have around. Intimidating to neighbours, a good bargaining chip, and all that.

It wasn't too far off the mark, either. Most other races, if they were to be acquainted with what the Dwemer wanted to do, would probably consider it a pretty bad idea. Some might put the Numidium to a different, even subtly different use, but I would not be surprised if none would use it exactly as the Dwemer intended. The problem being that it can do a whole lot of damage even, perhaps especially, if not used as intended.

dbbs wrote:
On top of all of this, we have the experiment in Skyrim quest "Arniel's Endeavor." [...] In doing so, he explodes in a burst of energy and disappears.

Not quite. You get the spell "Summon Arniel's Shade". Again, no conclusions are reached, but the fact that he does not fully disappear is intruiging.

dbbs wrote:
I also find it hard to believe that any of the Aedra or Daedra would choose to punish all of the Dwemer for the choices of some of them. I also find it very odd that, if they did have a desire to do so, that they would get rid of an entire race, but Yagrum Bagarn would remain alive in Morrowind, after returning from the "Outer Realms" - whatever those, specifically, are.

Again, I don't like that theory either, but gods are capricious. Often. The Daedra certainly, and, from the little we hear of them, the Aedra seem no different. For Bagarn, being the sole survivor may well be a crueler fate than if he had been wiped away like the rest. Another point I want to make here is that what Kagrenac tried to do does not appear to have been radically opposed to the Dwemer train of thought.

When Dwemer skepticism of Kagrenac's theories is mentioned, it is never stated that there was a difference of opinion on his goals; it appears the Dwemer all agreed that it was a nice idea, some just weren't sure whether it would work out. For humans, world peace might be a similar example: most people would say that it is a nice idea, but unrealistic to pull off.

So punishing the race, while cruel and arbitrary, is a very different matter in TES than it is in reality, where races are social constructs, certainly as far as humans are concerned. Races in TES are formed through their culture and thought, especially their religious thought. If the gods punished the Dwemer, it was probably not for the actions of the few, but for the ambitions of, with perhaps some negligible exceptions, the whole.

dbbs wrote:
Additionally, it's odd that Dwarven ghosts would still be present in Dwarven ruins in TES III: Morrowind. [...] Why do something so complete, and then fail with it?

As far as the gods were concerned, the ghosts may not have been a threat. With the exception of the one in Tribunal, they are shown to be a pretty senseless lot and, whether through lacking intelligence or ability, do not appear to be doing any Dwemer-y tonal architectural things. The one in Tribunal is an odd one, as he appears both mentally and physically capable of doing what he did in life, which is odd on several levels.

This is an interesting point as far as the divine skin theory is concerned, though. Presumeably, the souls of the Dwemer are needed, which is just about the one thing Dwemer ghosts are not lacking. Why were they not included in the plan? Perhaps they had not achieved the desired/necessary level of regression the later generations had? Perhaps they were tasked with guarding the Dwemer ruins for some reason? Perhaps they are remenant shades of Dwemer who, for whatever reason, were not fully absorbed into the Numidium, leaving fragments of themselves to wander about? Going off from that, maybe they are 'imperfections' in the souls deemed unnecessary and therefore left behind. That would certainly explain how widely their behaviour contrasts with how the Dwemer are otherwise presented.

That would also be pretty amusing as far as the ghost in Tribunal is concerned: his character doesn't exactly seem typical of Dwemer either, and he seems more complete than other Dwemer ghosts. He may have been, by his race's standards, a pretty terrible Dwemer, who either only got a bit of his soul taken or was just left as-is.

As to your time-travelling theory, it is interesting, but Vivec's words seem to refute your theory:

Vivec (in Morrowind) wrote:
I have no sense of [the Dwemer] in the timeless divine world outside of mortal time.
Note his redundant mention of 'timeless outside of mortal time', if only due to its redundancy. Vivec, being a god, has an odd relationship with time, and the line above seems to imply that he would be able to sense the Dwemer no matter in which time they found themselves.

Proweler's picture
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dbbs wrote:
My conclusion is that the Dwarves engineered a Dragon Break and catapulted their entire race through to another time to continue their existence.

I've already done one long write up this week. I'm not going to do another one. :P

You're horribly misunderstanding what a Dragonbreak is and the general idea explanation in the Final Report to Trebonius has been stamped with approval.

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I've already done one long write up this week. I'm not going to do another one. :P

You're horribly misunderstanding what a Dragonbreak is and the general idea explanation in the Final Report to Trebonius has been stamped with approval.

You could be more polite in your use of the word "horribly", considering I've been nothing but polite with you. One would think that someone who thinks and wishes to share ideas would enjoy fostering pleasant debate in discussion, rather than alienating people. You weren't exactly polite in the other reply, either. If you feel you are right, then explain why you are right, but why be mean about it? This type of attitude alienates people away from places like this. I have gone far to separate what I state as fact against my own conjecture. I feel that is all that can be asked of someone wishing to foment discussion.

I don't believe I am "horribly" misunderstanding what a Dragon Break is, at all. It may not coincide with your understanding, but the fact remains that events which have altered the linear progression of time are called Dragon Breaks, and that the items mentioned could possibly have caused one. But, you in no way told me how or why you believed I was wrong, which does nothing to further your point.

It is also known that Bethesda puts in several different explanations into written lore and leaves it up to the player to decide, until such a time comes that the truth is revealed. Thus, despite the "Report to Trebonius", anything and everything read in game is not guaranteed to be true unless it correlates directly with something that the player has witnessed. I see no "Stamp of Approval" from Bethesda on the explanation, and because you haven't provided anything but you saying "Stamp of Approval", I have no reason to believe you. I've tried looking for the official stamp of approval on this, but all I can find are forum posts, nothing reliable, and everything I do find in these forum posts are references back to the Imperial Library. Please, if you have this stamp of approval, provide it so we can all be enlightened. Doing so would easily put an end to any debate on the matter, and not require a lengthy write-up.

In addition, the "Report to Trebonius" states that the souls of the Dwarves were bound to the Numidium before the events at Red Mountain, and additionally, that becoming the Numidium's skin was a long-held plan. I would say it goes beyond curious that Yagrum Bagarn, once master crafter in the direct service of Kagrenac himself, would have absolutely no knowledge of how or why his species would disappear if this was the case. That, alone, to me makes the explanation in the "Report to Trebonius" highly suspect. Surely he would have at the very least been aware of this plan, even if he wasn't present for the actual event to occur. If he was aware of this plan, he would have known where his people had went and not gone off searching for them, either, and more likely, would be attempting to join them, rather than find them. If the "Report to Trebonius" is fully correct, then why the contradiction?

Also, assuming Douglas Goodall was telling the truth in his interview (given in 2005, referencing his time working on Morrowind) then:

"No betrayal" meant that key NPCs couldn't turn on the player, lie to the player if they were honest in the past, nor could an NPC steal an item from the player, etc.

Why would Yagrum Bagarn be lying to the player? If the "Report to Trebonius" is right, then there must be a lie involved.

Also, Gnomey, regarding:

Note his redundant mention of 'timeless outside of mortal time', if only due to its redundancy. Vivec, being a god, has an odd relationship with time, and the line above seems to imply that he would be able to sense the Dwemer no matter in which time they found themselves.

I was aware of this, but wouldn't he be able to sense their souls residing inside the Numidium if that is indeed where they went? It was right there on the mortal plane. Also, while I agree that he has the ability to look outside of time, the Dwarves being sent to another time doesn't necessarily mean that they exist in the realm outside of time, just that they will continue to not exist until such time as they emerge. At least, that is my thought. And one thing the Tribunal gods did not seem to possess was a clear view of future events.

I agree, though, that the rest of your points are just as (potentially) valid as mine, Gnomey. Thank you for sharing your information and thoughts. I appreciated hearing your perspective.

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The developer confirmation is here. It took me a moment to find it, as it isn't among the MK quotes on this site. The discussion preceding and following the post in question is also pertinent. In fact, I found that post through another discussion here, which is also pertinent and, as far as I can see, the most recent citing of MK's post, but not of the general subject.

The subject of what happened with the Dwemer comes up very often in the official lore forums. When I checked, the third most recently updated thread was about the subject. Six pages back is the thread linked to above. Sometimes, threads on the subject pop up with greater frequency. As a result, looking at the threads in the officials, you'll notice that a lot of the replies in those threads are or contain links to 1. Skeleton Man's Interview, 2. the Final Report and 3. a past thread on the subject.

You'll also notice a lot of short replies either mentioning that the subject has been discussed before, giving a short summary of the sources above or saying very little indeed. And then there are a few posts which try to explore the subject in a more in-depth manner, as there is still much to be explored, and the rare longer writeup. This thread has actually been pretty above-average in that regard.

The pity is that the individual threads tend to get forgotten pretty quickly even if more interesting discussion has emerged on the subject, meaning that a lot of interesting ideas get buried and forgotten, and that a lot of those who frequent the lore forum get tired of answering the same question repeatedly. They still often do answer it, however, even in-depth, and will probably continue answering it for a long time to come. Just not always with great enthusiasm.

The reason so many replies are so flatly supportive of the divine skin theory, or some variation of it, is merely because it has been discussed many times, often in great detail. The Final Report is probably not the best -- read most detailed and up-to-date -- account, and it may not be a good approach to always cite it. As far as I know, there is no single repository of all relevant things that have been said on the subject. Nor, again, do I think anyone is forced to ascribe to the theory. Among its many merits, however, is that it is by far the most developed theory on the fate of the Dwemer.

Returning to the subject at hand, as opposed to discussion of discussion of the subject at hand, Yagrum Bagarn is addled. In his own words: "[Divayth Fyr] took me in when I was a mad monster, out of my mind. In time, I emerged from my dementia, and now I am quite lucid most of the time [...]". The fact that he "[...] was a Master Crafter in the service of Lord Kagrenac [...]" reinforces the idea that he simply may have forgotten a lot of things. It seems strange, for instance, that somebody so closely linked to Kagrenac would have to have his memory refreshed as to the debate raging between Kagrenac and his critics on the viability of Kagrenac's plans. Yagrum requires the books Divine Metaphysics and the Egg of Time before he can elucidate on the subject, however.

Yagrum Bagarn does not lie to the player. For one thing, his memory is vague. For another, he really wasn't there when the Dwemer disappeared, so he can't be certain of what happened: Kagrenac's plans were essentially untested theory before the events at Red Mountain, and Yagrum Bagarn wasn't there to observe the live test. For all he knows, the Dwemer may have been zapped out of existance before Kagrenac could put his theories to the test.

Yagrum Bagarn may have his suspicions as to what happened. He says as much. Yagrum Bagarn may also be hiding some things from the player. He says as much: he has no intention of explaining Kagrenac's theories to the player, for instance, as he considers that book closed for good. He never lies, though.

As to Vivec sensing the souls in Numidium, I'm a bit rusty on the details, but I believe that the Dwemer souls merged to form an oversoul of sorts. Vivec cannot sense the individual souls of the Dwemer because they are no longer individual. The Numidium being a big stompy robot, a Tower and an anomaly that causes Dragonbreaks merely by existing, a little thing like the Numidium possessing a large soul (two counting the Mantella) probably wouldn't seem too noteworthy. It is also possible that, rather than being incorporated into the body of Numidium, the souls were merged into the Heart of Lorkhan, perhaps with the soul of Lorkhan himself, which would, I believe, give the resulting oversoul infinite size and, on the other hand, would camouflage the finite Dwemer contribution within the greater (read infinite) whole.

Vivec seems to have had a pretty clear view of future events, and he's the one who counts. Sotha Sil, too, appears to have had a pretty good idea of what was in store, at least for him. Almalexia is described repeatedly as insane. Even she may have known what was coming, but tried to suppress it because she didn't like what she saw. The fact that, before the Morrowind mainquest is even started, two of the living gods seem to be dejected and a third driven to insanity, or, going with an alternate reading, that all three have been driven to insanity, hardly discounts the possibility that they were well aware of their unfortunate fates.

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Corprus will do that to you.

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Escaduel wrote:

The last remaining Dwemer looked a little creepy.

 

Corprus will do that to you.

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dbbs, the Final Report to Trebonius isn't as full an explanation as most represent it to be. As far as I can tell, MK's post in Made Up Word Round Up wasn't even a confirmation of that article, but rather given in support of Allerleirauh's preceding speculation.

 

If you're interested in some heterodoxy, you can check out this essay. The gist is that the Dwemer committed racial suicide by using the Numidium to forge themselves into an oversoul, and then purposefully shatter that oversoul into a further subgradient (attempting to reach the Last Subgradient mentioned in the Loveletter). The remnants of the Dwemer that exist afterward orbit the Numidium as plane(t)s and timelines (much like the Aedric plane(t)s), as mentioned  by MK.

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When I read that I thought that by "plane(t)s and timelines" MK actually was referring to the Aedra including Alduin-or-whatever-we-call-him-now. Basically I interpreted it as, rather than the Numidium actively smashing time, it sort of causes a severe allergic reaction in which time and the earthbones/laws of nature break themselves. (They reject the world in which the Numidium exists, would be one way of putting it).

Am I missing something or is it more a matter of interpretation? Both readings work for me, but I'm curious as to whether the matter has been clarified more than I had thought.

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Gnomey wrote:

When I read that I thought that by "plane(t)s and timelines" MK actually was referring to the Aedra including Alduin-or-whatever-we-call-him-now. Basically I interpreted it as, rather than the Numidium actively smashing time, it sort of causes a severe allergic reaction in which time and the earthbones/laws of nature break themselves. (They reject the world in which the Numidium exists, would be one way of putting it).

Am I missing something or is it more a matter of interpretation? Both readings work for me, but I'm curious as to whether the matter has been clarified more than I had thought.

 

I dunno - I never thought of that. World-refusal is characteristic of the Dwemer, so I assumed that the plane(t)s and timelines orbiting Numidium would be related to the Dwemer in some way. It is, of course, open to interpretation.

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"I do not wreak vengeance on the Dwarves for the reasons that the Tribunal might believe I do. Nevertheless, it is true that they will die by my hand, and any whoever should side with them."

Quote from Shor/Lorkhan - The Secret Song of Wulfharth Ash-King

Is there an avenue of thought, that the disappearance of the Dwemer may be connected to some divine revenge on the part of Shor? Lorkhan is known, maybe erroneously, as a Trickster god to some. Perhaps this was a part of the duality of his nature, his ironic device that the Dwarves should use his divine spark to rise to Godhood, only to meet an unknown fate and fade to obscurity?

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Leofric Shor-Sung wrote:

"I do not wreak vengeance on the Dwarves for the reasons that the Tribunal might believe I do. Nevertheless, it is true that they will die by my hand, and any whoever should side with them."

Quote from Shor/Lorkhan - The Secret Song of Wulfharth Ash-King

Is there an avenue of thought, that the disappearance of the Dwemer may be connected to some divine revenge on the part of Shor? Lorkhan is known, maybe erroneously, as a Trickster god to some. Perhaps this was a part of the duality of his nature, his ironic device that the Dwarves should use his divine spark to rise to Godhood, only to meet an unknown fate and fade to obscurity?

It's worth noting that these songs were written by men. I think that this passage can be grouped with the parallel belief among the Ashlanders that the Dwemer were smote by Azura as punishment for their profane disregard for the divine. Similarly, the Tribunal holds that it was Nerevar's last-minute intervention in Kagrenac's ritual that un-created the dwemer. Each culture seems to want their own exalted picture of divinity/sainthood/ancestry to be responsible for the Dwemer's "Destruction." I see them as more wishful thinking than genuine accounts.

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it would be a great storyline for the next game the slow creep of tech in tamriel and then bam the dwarves are back in business putting everyone to shame airships and scarabs and all don't worry swords and melees were still quite common even in WW1 after all songs tell people what they want to hear and so does organized religion