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By Reginus Buca, Historian, University of Gwylim
With an equal measure of excitement and trepidation, I begin this series of journals that will one day form the basis of a scholarly work on Skyreach and the ancient Nedic people. The University of Gwylim has generously funded this expedition, in exchange for the exclusive rights to publish at least two books related to the subject at hand.
Note, however, that these journals are not the finished, published work. They contain my observations, theories, and general musings on everything I encounter throughout this trip. The journals will also contain asides by my scholarly partner, Verita Numida, whose theories are usually wildly opposite of anything I propose. I like to think that our differing points of view help to create a more complete picture of the past, but I will admit here, within these pages, that she often drives me into an intellectual rage. Without her support and the addition of her lofty credentials alongside my own, however, I'm not sure this expedition would have come to fruition.
Why Skyreach? These ancient ruins, we believe, hold the answers to the question that has intrigued us both since we first started looking into Cyrodiil's past. Namely, who were the ancient Nedes, the people who eventually gave rise to the mighty Imperials? I always imagined them to be uncivilized brutes that were as likely to fight each other as they were their enemies, but Verita has constantly insisted that they had to have a more advanced culture than I gave them credit for. Perhaps deep within the ruins of Skyreach, we will settle our argument once and for all.
* * *
Remarkable! The city of Skyreach appears to extend not only around the Dragontail Mountains, but through them and even beneath them. What an amazing feat of engineering went into the crafting of the place. It appears I have lost at least one argument with Verita. The ancient Nedes were certainly not simply uncivilized brutes. But beyond that, these monoliths have yet to tell us exactly who they were.
We have begun our investigation in a section of the ruined city we have decided to call "The Hold." Our first goal is to explore the area and come to some conclusions about what daily life must have been like in this Nedic metropolis. Did they utilize both the exterior and interior spaces, or were they primarily dwelling within the space carved from the very heart of the mountain? Perhaps the intricate carvings will provide some clue.
On first inspection, I theorize that the Nedes built this massive living structure as a private estate for one of their vaunted High Kings. Perhaps it was even the final residence of Durac, the High King that presided over the fall of the Nedes.
Verita, as usual, disagrees. She posits that the commonfolk lived and worked both inside and outside these now-ruined buildings. The evidence we see for what appear to be areas converted into living spaces, she claims, lend credence to the theory that the Nedes retreated into the mountain as a result of the Yokudan invasion. Her theory may be more sound, on further consideration, but I am not yet ready to concede to her on this. Not yet.