What's going on with this device? "Sieve lice? Oh dear, you're just as mad as the others, aren't you? Try to focus. This resonator is broken. I need to set these dials to the correct sequence, but I can't hear the tones. Are you aware of any sequence it could be set to? Just nod."
- <Nod your head, "yes."> ""Excellent!" He said, expecting the worst. Just turn these dials until you think they're in the correct sequence. That lever there seems to execute the pattern. I'm sure that if the dials are in the correct position... something will happen."
- <Nod.> "I'm sorry, but I'm not going to be of much use. Even if I could hear the tones, I wouldn't know how to arrange them. You must have heard or seen something on your trip down here, right? Clues of some kind? Just try to remember."
- What about these kwama egg-hands? Could they help? "Well... I'm not sure how a kwama leg gland could help us, but you certainly get points for creativity. Ah, I just had an idea. Maybe one of these kwama egg-hands could help! They're in poor condition, but they might hum or mumble something useful."
- What is this thing, exactly? "What?"
- <Point at Dwarven device.> What is this thing? "Ah. It's a tonal resonator. Very powerful and very, very broken. I'll be happy to tell you all about it once you've fixed it. We're on a bit of a time-table. No offense, but I think the tonal stimuli have already made you a bit... scattered."
"Ah, the hero of the hour! You have my deepest thanks and most heartfelt compliments. The fact that you fixed it in your clearly addled condition... exemplary work. Just exemplary! Seems like it's quieted down. I do hope it stays that way."
- What happened back there? "I can offer little more than a guess. When you corrected the melody, the resonator returned to a dormant state. Some kind of slumbering function to conserve energy maybe? What matters is that it's quieted down, thank goodness."
- Do you think the egg-hands will be all right? "Oh dear, I hope so. Their exposure was fairly limited. If they had remained for another day though? Difficult to say. Please, let the foreman know how truly sorry I am. If there's anything I can do to help, feel free to call on me at my tower."
- Thank you. I'll speak to the foreman. "I do wish I could have done a more thorough study of the resonator. What do you think they would do with such a device? Enslavement perhaps? No... not enslavement. That's too obvious."
- Can I ask you something? "Please! After all you've done, I'd say you're entitled to ask me several somethings."
- What was that machine, exactly? "A Dwarven resonator. A tonal amplification device meant to alter thought patterns. That's my hypothesis anyway. The tones clearly have a powerful effect on the brain. To the Dwarves though? It might have sounded like a lovely song and nothing more."
- You mentioned it might have been used for slavery? "Well, not slavery in the conventional sense. The tone wouldn't compel the listeners to work, so much as it would make working a source of profound pleasure. So the workers would be eager to work, you see? They might have been paid for the privilege!"
- So slavery through mind-control? "Well, again, "slavery" is a clumsy description. It's more like a transaction. Labor in exchange for brief pleasurable sensations. Much like the skooma trade. I guess that's not much better than slavery, is it? Of course this is all just conjecture."
- Why were you fiddling with this device? "I hail from House Telvanni—a house obsessed with magical antiquity. We suffer from a peculiar need to tinker with... well, everything. I won't make excuses. I knew there were risks. But I honestly had no idea that the miners would be exposed."
- Didn't you know about the Gnisis mines being connected? "Of course not! I've spent years surveying this ruin. I took so many precautions! Unfortunately, when I engaged the resonator there were a number of minor tremors. They breached the wall between the ruin and the mine. The rest is tragic history."
- "Yes. Several days, in fact. I erected a series of aural wards to protect myself from the resonator's effects, but I could tell I was slipping. Another few days and I'd have been as mad as those egg-hands. I had to get creative."
- Earplugs? "Yes! The wonderous power of kwama wax! Given a few minutes of heat exposure, it hardens and expands. Great for plugging leaks mending furniture, and protecting you from ancient Dwarven brain-scramblers. First rate stuff."
"Ah, hello again, my friend! All's well in Gnisis, yes? I heard the bustle of the town when I returned home. It would seem our work in the mine was a success! What a relief. Care to join me for—? Wait, what are you doing all the way out here?"
- The kwama's queen is dead. Foreman Lathdar is furious. "Oh dear. That is a problem. Damnable resonator. That is the last I randomly flip switches on an ancient Dwarven machine. Never let it be said that Revus Demnevanni shirks his responsibilities. I'll fix this—you have my word."
- How do you plan on doing that? "Well, in addition to being a Dwemer scholar, I'm a compulsive egg-collector. What? I have diverse interests! Anyway, I happen to possess a royal kwama egg. Or at least I did. It seems that some cliff striders stole it from my hatchery."
- Where's the egg now? "Tucked away in one of the beasts' roosts, I suspect. I'm not sure which one though. Find as many cliff strider egg-heaps as you can, then mark them with this divining stone. I'll jot down their locations and prepare them for transport."
- All right. I'll find these egg-heaps and meet you back here. "You shouldn't have any difficulty finding the egg-heaps. Just look for giant piles of hardened mud and feces. Did I mention that feces would be involved? No? Well, there will be feces. Loads of it."
- If you love eggs so much why do you leave them in an unguarded open-air hatchery? "Ah, it only appears unguarded. I erected a series of powerful wards before I set out to discover the resonator. Unfortunately, I was down there for a very long time. These wards don't last forever you know."
- Why are these cliff striders storing the egg in a "heap?" "Honestly, your guess is as good as mine. I've never been interested in the brutes. They steal all sorts of things. Guars, furniture, spare keys... They pack them in mud and feces along with their own eggs. Puzzling, truly."
- Do you think the baby cliff striders will try to eat the royal egg? "I guess it's possible. Like I said, cliff striders are very odd and unpredictable. All the more reason to find the egg quickly."
"Excellent work finding those egg-heaps. Really, first rate. Now comes the real challenge. The mud-slurry encasing the eggs is hard as obsidian. There's really no way to tell which heap contains the royal egg until we crack open the casing."
- If you have no idea which heap contains the royal egg, how do we know which heap to take to Gnisis? "Simple! We bring them all with us! I'm confident at least one of these heaps contains the royal egg. Of course, there's the other matter of getting the eggs out without breaking them—but that's something we can figure out when we get to town."
- This doesn't feel like much of a plan. "Don't worry so much. I mean, you managed to disable an ancient Dwarven resonator with zero training. Extracting an egg from a pile of dung should be a walk among the daisies for you, right? This is going to work, just you wait and see."
"Lathdar's gone, right? Good. I have news... of the unpleasant variety. Based on the looks of the egg-heaps, I'd say our royal egg is near to hatching. If the queen emerges before we've put her in the mine, the workers will reject her."
- So how do we keep the queen from hatching? "Our misadventures in the mine gave me an idea. Kwama seem particularly susceptible to tonal magic, and tonal magic is simply the creative manipulation of sound. I propose we sing our young queen a lullaby!"
- You're not suggesting turning the Dwarven resonator back on, are you? "What? No. Simple music and a dash of magic should do. We just need a bard. Preferably one that puts people to sleep. I can amplify the tones through magic to make a soothing, enchanted melody. It's brilliant!"
- You're serious? "Yes! And what's more, I know a bard who can do it. Vigard the Sparrow. He's a talentless hack, but he's proven very adept at putting audiences to sleep. Word around town is that he's headed south. Track him down and tell him I sent you. That should be enough."
"Manore is right. The resonator activating, the queen getting killed, that poor bard losing his life... it's all my fault. I deserve everything that's coming to me."
- So that's it? You're giving up? "More like quarantining myself. I'm a natural disaster masquerading as a person. If I just sit here quietly no one else gets hurt. Besides, we're out of options. Other than breaking into the mine and planting the egg in the nursery, of course."
- You're the one who created this mess. You need to fix it. "You know, fetch it. You're right. I'm the one who got the miners into this mess, and I'm going to damn well be the one who gets them out! It will be dangerous though. Planting things in kwama mines always carries risk."
- What do we need to do? "I knew I could count on you. Head to the mines and look for the nursery. I'll retrieve the royal egg and meet you there. Once we plant the egg, the workers will almost certainly attack. You'll have to fend them off until the queen emerges."
- All right, I'll meet you in the egg mine.
"Our little queen-to-be is stirring! No time for pleasantries!"
- The egg is hatching? "Yes. And soon! We need to get her majesty inside the nursery before that happens. If the queen doesn't take on the scent of the colony, the workers will reject her. So, yes. Urgency!"
- By "reject" do you mean kill? "Yes. Exactly that. Kwama workers produce a pheromone unique to their colony. Unfortunately, these colonies often compete over resources, making them natural enemies. Hence the infanticide. Now if you don't mind, this egg is getting very heavy."
- All right, lets do this.
"I thought the foreman was going to strangle me with his belt, but now we part company as friends? Remarkable. I owe it all to you. Without your help, my head would be decorating some Redoran's parlor. I'm at a loss."
- What will you do now? "Help with the mine, of course—provided Lathdar lets me. I have to learn to fix my mistakes. Or better yet, to not make them in the first place! I suspect the miners are still suffering from the resonator's effects. I'm sure I could brew a remedy."
- Not worried about Manore? "I'm getting the impression that Manore's threats don't count much without the foreman's support. I doubt I have much to worry about. Thank you again. If you ever need another rare egg or need something broken, feel free to call on me, all right?"
"Ah, welcome to my home. It's quaint, but sufficient. I can study in peace here and my practices don't disturb the people of Gnisis. Not that I'm working on anything capable of causing a fuss, mind you. Not after the mine incident."
- What are you working on now? "I'm still unsure if the song ringing out from the Dwemer machine will have any lasting effects on the miners of Gnisis. I've been doing research into Dwemer technology, but the results have been, well, lacking."
- Are you worried the miners might still suffer from the song? "The song is quiet now, so I hope it was more of an immediate effect. But we can never be too sure. I'd like to not wake up one morning to find those miners we rescued dead in town. Not that I'm saying that's likely."
- What about you? Are you staying here? "You've likely noticed the luck that follows me isn't of the favorable variety. Perhaps a Telvanni mage cursed me for a reason I'm unaware of. Wouldn't shock me. For the safety of others, I'll stay here for now. I've learned to do that much at least."
- I wish you luck then. "And may the Three guide your path, my friend. Watch your step on the way out. I'd hate for you to fall into the fire and burst into flames. That would be a dreadful way to end our little adventure here."