Lore:Clockwork City

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Sotha Sil, The Clockwork City
Type Settlement
Continent Tamriel
Province Morrowind
Appears in Tribunal, ESO, Legends
Representation of the Clockwork City, seen from Seht's Vault circa 2E 583 (note Barilzar for scale)
Obsidian towers stretch ever skyward, festooned with polished brass and godly filigrees. Great turbines drive memory through a thousand thousand pipes that stretch out like tangled veins, or the golden roots of an ageless tree.The Truth in Sequence

The Clockwork City, also known as Sotha Sil,[1] is a metaphysical clockwork realm created by Sotha Sil, one of the living gods of Morrowind. It supposedly exists "outside space and time", and is represented in Tamriel as a miniature realm within a globe about the size of a large crate, requiring an individual to be magically shrunk to enter.[2] The Clockwork city was built for many reasons, among them was that Sotha Sil saw the Aedra's creation of Nirn as flawed, and the Clockwork City was built as his response in an attempt to perfect it.[UOL 1] Sotha Sil also built the city to serve a noble goal, The redemption of Tamriel, The unification of competing forces, and the destruction of the Daedra.[3] When designing the Clockwork City, Sotha Sil was inspired by the Dwemer and Dwemeri influences can be seen in his early creations but ultimately his style became his own and the city's structures, vegetation, and wildlife are all mechanical constructs of his own design.[UOL 2] From his city, Sotha Sil had hoped to "forge the future"[1] and "reshape the world".[4]

Location[edit]

Portal to the Clockwork City as seen from Abanabi Cave
Skyline of the Brass Fortress

The Clockwork City's exact location is shrouded in mystery, with the city itself being described as a "metaphor made manifest". Statements about where the city is located more accurately describe ways to get to the city, rather than the physical location of the city itself.[UOL 3] Around 2E 583, the Clockwork City's Tamrielic representation was located in Seht's Vault within the ruins of Bamz-Amschend, deep beneath the Mournhold Temple in Deshaan.[5][6] Other sources from various eras theorized that it could be located somewhere in the southern swamps of Morrowind,[1][UOL 4] close in proximity to Tear,[UOL 5] or beneath the settlement of Ebonheart;[7] it is possible that the location of the clockwork globe changed throughout time.

The means of entering the Clockwork City were varied. Only two entrances to the city were known to have existed: the first was a rift that opened up in Abanabi Cave in 2E 583, and the second was the globe representing the city itself.[2] Skilled mages were able to create devices that allowed them to teleport into the city. The mage Barilzar created the Mazed Band, which enabled its wearer to teleport directly to the city. Telenger the Artificer created the Hyperagonal Locational Determinator, a device that could pinpoint any desired location in the entire Gray Maybe, even those protected by magical defenses including both Artaeum and the Clockwork City. [8] Other skilled mages were occasionally able to teleport to the city when conditions were right.[9] A number of the city's inhabitants arrived in the realm unintentionally and spontaneously.[10][11][12]

Citizens of the city referred to outsiders as exodromals (from beyond the celestiodrome, or the "Nirn Above").[13] To gain citizenship in the Brass Fortress, one had to find a sponsor among the city's inhabitants who would be willing to vouch for them. In most cases, new citizens had no way to return to Tamriel, and consequently had no choice but to stay in the Clockwork City forever.[6] Though a portal back to Tamriel did exist in the Basilica, citizens were told by Apostles that it did not exist,[14] and not even Apostles would use it.[13] Some felt that living in the realm was a miracle,[15] while others considered it an unending nightmare.[16]

History[edit]

A memory of Sotha Sil appointing one of his apostles as the caretaker of the Planisphere after its foundation

The Clockwork City is believed to have been constructed some time after the rise of the Tribunal at the Battle of Red Mountain, when Sotha Sil harnessed divine power from the Heart of Lorkhan with the use of Kagrenac's Tools in the First Era. During the genesis of the city, Sotha Sil's vision of a self-contained world made of brass and machinery was very ambitious and he developed highly advanced methods to see it through. To achieve the proper humidity needed for a breathable atmosphere,[17] he created the Halls of Regulation, which maintained the city's water cycle, breathable air, humidity, temperature, wind currents, as well as creating drinkable water.[UOL 6] He installed rotating girders in the Celestiodrome in order for proper topography to be formed within the Realm.[17] He created the enormous processing facility known as the Halls of Fabrication with the purpose of breaking down Dwemer machinery so that their parts can be repurposed into his own creations, but would later abandon the project and left the artificial intelligence known as the Assembly General to continue alone.[18] One of the first buildings he made was the Mnemonic Planisphere, created as an extension of Lord Seht's consciousness where his memories were stored in the form of stars. It was maintained for millennia by its caretaker, the Astronomer.[19] He created the Cogitum Centralis which was where the control center of the city was located. It is where Sotha Sil would often vanish into to work in solitude, sometimes decades, or even centuries at a time without leaving.[12] It is thought that he was reshaping the world from the Throne Aligned.

In 1E 2712, a battlemage of Reman Cyrodiil's army, Luciana Pullo, was transported to the city after an explosion of magical energy. Sotha Sil found her gravely wounded on the outskirts of The Radius and used his advanced technology to save her life and deliver her premature son. Luciana lived in the city honing her combative skills and rising through the ranks of Clockwork Apostles, as well as raising her frail son Marius, who she later discovered had a terminal heart defect. Sotha Sil entered the Cogitum Centralis in 1E 2721, and when Marius' condition worsened, Proctor Luciana forcefully entered the Centralis in 1E 2730 to ask him to save his life. Sotha Sil stated that while he had the power to heal him, circumstances made it impossible and he would not save his life. He then teleported Luciana back to the city and continued his seclusion in the Centralis until at least 1E 2750.[12]

Divayth Fyr confronts the Assembly General

As part of The Triad's goals in 2E 583, Clavicus Vile and Barbas carried out an elaborate plot to gain access to the Clockwork City. They used a powerful staff created by Sotha Sil, Sunna'rah, to steal Vivec's divine energy and use it to discover the city's location. They succeeded, and Barbas entered the City to arrange Clavicus Vile's arrival, but was stopped by the Soulless One and the mage Barilzar, who pursued him into the City.[2]

Around the same time, Divayth Fyr planned to extend his tower of Tel Fyr into Abanabi Cave until a portal to the Clockwork City inexplicably opened up inside, spilling out Refabricants and Fabricants from the Halls of Fabrication. The Fabricant threat was neutralized when a large group of Undaunted accompanied him into the cave and then entered the Clockwork City portal, defeated the Assembly General, and disabled their production. Divayth then studied the portal.[20]

Divayth Fyr and Proctor Luciana Pullo defend Sotha Sil

Nocturnal subsequently tried to take control of the Clockwork City. She summoned Sotha Sil's Shadow, who replaced him as ruler of the Clockwork City. Meanwhile, one of the Clockwork Apostles, Chancellor Gascone Dusant, sought to deliver the Skeleton Key, which had been accidentally found by a Factotum beneath the Brass Fortress, to Clavicus Vile, only for the Key to be stolen by the Blackfeather Court. The Soulless One, assisted by Divayth Fyr and the Clockwork Apostles, unveiled the plot, but were unable to reclaim the Skeleton Key before it was taken by Sotha Sil's Shadow. Using the key, Nocturnal and the Shadow attempted to seize control of the Clockwork City, but were stopped by the Soulless One, Divayth Fyr, and Proctor Luciana Pullo, who rescued Sotha Sil by defeating his Shadow. Sotha Sil gave the Skeleton Key to Divayth Fyr for safekeeping.[6]

Sometime before 2E 583, Sotha Sil created vessels for the souls of three revered Tribunal Temple Saints: Saint Felms, Saint Llothis, and Saint Olms. The mechanical transformation turned the saints mad and they were sealed away in the Asylum Sanctorium. The Asylum would become a place where people would come make offerings to the saints but over time the minds of the saints eroded even further and Undaunted adventurers were then tasked with putting an end to their suffering before they could threaten the Clockwork City (around the same time as Nocturnal's attempt to take control of the Clockwork City).[UOL 7]

Sotha Sil after his death

Also during Nocturnal's attempt to take over the Clockwork City, High Magistrate Rinwaray of the Divine Prosecution (posing under the identity of Penewen with an enchanted necklace) manipulated Telenger the Artificer to use his teleportation device, the Hyperagonal Locational Determinator, to teleport her into the Clockwork City. There she planned to find Seht's Affect Inducer, a magical device entrusted originally to Barilzar that can manipulate a person's emotions. She planned to use it on Proxy Queen Alwinarwe for her own political gain and to revert the Summerset Isles to isolationism. Her efforts were stopped when Razum-dar caught wind of her plot and followed her tracks through the Clockwork City, the Evergloam, Artaeum (accidentally) and eventually caught her in Alinor where he managed to subdue her and she now awaits the Queen's judgement.[21]

After the loss of Kagrenac's Tools at Red Mountain in 3E 417 Sotha Sil retired to the city and slowly became almost completely detached from the real world.[22]

The overgrown ruins of Clockwork City in the Fourth Era

In 3E 427, the goddess Almalexia, having been driven mad by her loss of immortality, manipulated the Nerevarine to retrieve Barilzar's Mazed Band, which she used to murder Sotha Sil in cold blood and transport his fabricants into Mournhold to wreak havoc. She then tricked the Nerevarine into going to the Clockwork City to kill the late Sotha Sil, who she blamed for the attacks. Once there, she attempted to murder the Nerevarine as well, but wasn't powerful enough and was struck down.[22]

Despite the death of its creator, the Clockwork City lived on. In secret, Sotha Sil had created a mechanical Heart of Lorkhan which would continue to power the city and its inhabitants even after his demise. Because the city remained functional, even the Clockwork Apostles remained in the city. However, stories tell of a Forgotten Hero who followed a former apostle, Mecinar, into the city to prevent the latter from claiming the Heart. The stories have different endings, including one where the city was destroyed, while others claim it still lives on.[23]

Society[edit]

Three major groups of people exist in the Clockwork City and have developed their own communities.

The Clockwork Apostles reside in the Clockwork Basilica within the Brass Fortress and revere Sotha Sil. To become an apostle, you need to have great skill in magic or machinery or have some other skill they deem worthy. Clockwork Apostles often replace their limbs with clockwork ones, to correct what they see as a flawed part created by the et'Ada with a perfect part created in Sotha Sil's design, usually as an expression of faith.[UOL 8] [24] Despite Sotha Sil's influence from the Dwemer, the Clockwork Apostles see Dwemer creations as inferior and even blasphemous.[25] They are often seen as elitist by non-apostles and often send others to do tasks for them that they deem beneath them.[26] They follow The Truth in Sequence sermons and devote their work towards one goal: achieving Tamriel Final, a new Nirn.

Those that lack the skill in machinery or magic required to become a Clockwork Apostle but have another desirable skill are referred to as auxiliaries. They can be a skilled adventurer for hire or they may have a trade and be merchant, craftsmen, and other roles [27] They usually dwell within the Brass Fortress in sections outside the Clockwork Basilica and Slag Town. Merchants gather to sell their goods in the Chancel of Transaction near the center of the Brass Fortress while craftsmen reside in the Hall of Refined Techniques. Carpenters go to sell their furniture in the Domicile Enhancement Hub near Slag Town.

Those who lack any desirable skills are cast out and become a Tarnished.[UOL 2] The Tarnished live in the slums of Slag Town and in the outlaws refuge. The Tarnished feel abandoned by the Clockwork Apostles[28] and often have to rely on themselves to get by. In the Second Era, the Orc Razgurug ran Slag Town as its unofficial mayor and would help keep stocks of Slag Town's supplies. The mayor petitioned for the Clockwork Apostle's help but the apostles do little to help the Tarnished out. As a result, he enlisted adventurers to help obtain necessities to treat their illnesses, fuel their fires for warmth, and overall improve their quality of life.[6]

Flora[edit]

A Fabricant Cherry Blossom Tree
An apple orchard in the Everwound Wellspring

Sotha Sil's realm is completely synthetic and inhospitable to most forms of organic life apart from transient fungi known as the Ironstalk Mushroom.[29][30][31] As the metallic soil precluded the growth of natural vegetation, Sotha Sil created various types of artificial vegetation that mimicked familiar species found across Nirn. The Everwound Wellspring is one of the only places with genuine, non-mechanical flora,[32] which manages to grow despite the poor environmental conditions with the aid of a reservoir of water, artificial lighting, and alchemical nutrients.

Fauna[edit]

A Firepot Spider, a type of Fabricant
A Factotum performing its function of being a bard

Various metallic lifeforms inhabit the Clockwork City. Fabricants are a mixture of organic and synthetic parts. There are Fabricant beetles, scorpions, spiders, nix-hounds, nix-oxen, kagouti, and many other species. Unique to the Clockwork City are the Verminous Fabricant and the Hulking Fabricant, two creatures with no obvious counterpart on Nirn.[33][34]

The other major group of fauna in the Clockwork City are Factotums, bipedal constructs that are completely synthetic. They fulfill a wide variety of functions, such as performing maintenance, providing security, and even acting as bards.[35][36][37]

Refabricants are the third category of known fauna and refer to Sotha Sil's early creations which were part of his efforts of taking Dwemeri design and making it his own. They include Dwemer Constructs which have been tinkered in ways beyond the capabilities of even the most talented individuals,[38][39][40][41] Additionally, early model Factotums are also referred to as Refabricants as they are the contain Dwemeri parts that have been repurposed as well as having a more Dwemeri-inspired design. [42][43] They are usually found in sections of the Clockwork City created in its early stages of creation that have since then fallen to neglect such as the Hall of Fabrication and the Asylum Sanctorum.

Notable Places[edit]

The entire realm is surrounded by a glass globe and is perceived as its sky from the inside.[13] It is known to the realm's inhabitants as the Celestiodrome, and in the physical world, it is no larger than a good-sized netch.[5] The realm mimics both a day and night cycle and stars can be seen during the night time. Within the realm, the outskirts of the Clockwork City is known as the Radius. The Radius emulates Tamrielic wilderness with artificial flora and pools of oil and foul water and is home to many predatory synthetic life.[44] Often the radius experiences inclement weather which may require the use of protective gear for the eyes as well as a rebreather for the lungs. Being unprepared with such gear will lead storm-blown metallic motes possibly damaging a person's lungs and can lead to a condition known as "Brass Lung". [45][46] The Brass Fortress is near the center of the radius and is where most people are safe from the dangers of the Radius. Both are inhabited by Fabricants and Factotums.

Radius[edit]

The outskirts of the Clockwork City, the Radius
The Halls of Regulation, which performs many important functions for the Clockwork City
Insalubrious Effluvium
Canyon that runs south of the Brass Fortress. It is likely where sewage goes.
Halls of Regulation
The Halls of Regulation maintain the Clockwork city's breathable air and potable water. It precisely controls humidity, temperature, and wind currents.[UOL 6]
Elegiac Replication
Memorial to people important to Sotha Sil's life and a blossoming place within the synthetic realm.
Everwound Wellspring
One of the only places in the city where real flora can grow. Food is grown here.
Mnemonic Planisphere
Where Sotha Sil stored his memories.
Mire Mechanica
Swamp region of the Clockwork City. It runs into the Halls of Regulation.

Brass Fortress[edit]

The Brass Fortress
Cogitum Centralis
In the Second Era, Sotha Sil dwelled in the Cogitum Centralis, located deep beneath the Brass Fortress, controlling the City from his Throne Aligned. In the late Third Era, Sotha Sil inhabited the Dome of Sotha Sil and was guarded by two Imperfects, giant Factotums.[6][22]
Mechanical Fundament
The underbelly of the Brass Fortress. Within the Mechanical Fundament the Cogitum Centralis could be accessed.
Asylum Sanctorum
Used to seal the Dunmer Saints Felms, Llothis, and Olms as their Clockwork Vessels caused them to turn mad overtime.
Clockwork Basilica
Where the Clockwork Apostles conduct their research.
Slag Town
Where the Tarnished live, the slums of the city with its own outlaws refuge.

Other Places[edit]

Halls of Fabrication
It was an enormous processing facility where Sotha Sil once collected and broke down Dwemer machinery to repurpose their brass into his own creations.
Clockwork City Vaults
Houses the Divinity Atelier and other places a person must traverse if they got there from the Clockwork City Globe entrance
Sections the Nerevarine traverses in the Third Era
the Maintenance and the Outer and Inner Flooded Halls; the Halls of Delirium, Theuda, Sallaemu and Mileitho; the Central Gearworks; the Chamber of Sohleh; and the Domes of Kasia, Serlyn, Udok, the Imperfect and Sotha Sil. [verification needed — Most likely same location as Cogitum Centralis]

Gallery[edit]

See Also[edit]

  • For game-specific information, see the Tribunal and ESO articles.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: Morrowind — Imperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
  2. ^ a b c Events of ESO: Morrowind
  3. ^ Sotha Sil's dialogue in ESO: Clockwork City
  4. ^ Varieties of Faith...Brother Mikhael Karkuxor of the Imperial College
  5. ^ a b Barilzar's dialogue in ESO: Morrowind
  6. ^ a b c d e Events of ESO: Clockwork City
  7. ^ 2920, Evening StarCarlovac Townway
  8. ^ Razum-dar's Journal, Chapter 1Razum-dar
  9. ^ Outsider Observation Report - Log 1Rosalind Frenrick, Stranded Mage
  10. ^ Dulza's Log — Dulza gra-Morkul
  11. ^ Journal of a Stranded MageOrinol, Mage of Cormount
  12. ^ a b c Proctor Luciana's JournalProctor Luciana Pullo
  13. ^ a b c Provost Varuni Arvel's dialogue
  14. ^ Sarvlos Velar's dialogue
  15. ^ Barilzar's JournalBarilzar, Apprentice to Sotha Sil
  16. ^ Outsider Observation Report - Log 3Rosalind Frenrick, Stranded Mage
  17. ^ a b Dialogue of various Stars in the Mnemonic Planisphere
  18. ^ Cogitation Log 1322331455212478
  19. ^ The Astronomer's dialogue
  20. ^ Forging the Future quest in ESO: Morrowind
  21. ^ Razum-dar's JournalRazum-dar
  22. ^ a b c Events of Tribunal
  23. ^ Events of Return to Clockwork City
  24. ^ Crafting Motif 56: Apostle
  25. ^ The Truth in Sequence: Volume 5Deldrise Morvayn
  26. ^ Inveigling the Clockwork Apostles — A Helpful Citizen
  27. ^ Outsider Observation Report - Log 2Rosalind Frenrick, Stranded Mage
  28. ^ Stuck in the SlagCircone, Good Deputy of Slag Town
  29. ^ Ironstalk Mushroom Preservation and Sterilization — Salas Ramothran
  30. ^ Excerpts From Fabricated Flora: A StudyAcolyte Kelvivi
  31. ^ Chirrhari's NotesApprentice Chirrhari
  32. ^ Realms of the Clockwork City: The RadiusProvost Varil Arvel
  33. ^ A Study of FabricantsEndilaril, Naturalist
  34. ^ The Fabricated Fauna of ClockworkEndilaril, Naturalist
  35. ^ The Mystery of FactotumsAssociate Zanon, Clockwork Apostle
  36. ^ The Factotum's Secret VoiceLector Tidras Dran, Clockwork Apostle
  37. ^ Factotum Classification - Log 233Proctor Neimos, Apostle of Sotha Sil
  38. ^ Divayth Fyr's dialogue in ESO: Morrowind
  39. ^ Appearance ofRefabricated Arquebus in ESO
  40. ^ Appearance of [[Online::Ruptured Centurion|:Ruptured Centurion]] in ESO
  41. ^ Appearance ofOrdinated Protector in ESO
  42. ^ Refabricant Slayer achievement description in ESO
  43. ^ Crafting Motif 53: Refabricated_Style
  44. ^ Realms of the Clockwork City: The RadiusProvost Varil Arvel
  45. ^ Radius Mask hat description in ESO
  46. ^ Radius Rebreather hat description in ESO

Note: the following references are not from official sources. They are included to provide a rounder background to this article, but may not reflect established lore.

  1. ^ Lawrence Schick on Sotha Sil's Reason for creating the Clockwork City-Bethesda Twitch Stream 13:30
  2. ^ a b What is the Clockwork City? on the official ESO website
  3. ^ Lawrence Schick on Clockwork City's Location-Bethesda Twitch Stream 12-12:30, 13:35-14:26
  4. ^ Concept map of Morrowind
  5. ^ Loremaster's Episode of ESO-RP ZOS Interview
  6. ^ a b The Clockwork City Adventure Guide on the official ESO website
  7. ^ Introducing the Asylum Sanctorium on the official ESO website
  8. ^ Lawrence Schick on Clockwork Apostles-Bethesda Twitch Stream 24:13-25:09