The resurrection of a century old joke, upon the release of the Dive Virtual Reality System, Bethesda announced a plan to remake Skyrim. Along with the remake of Skyrim, there was to be a remake of the other two games that had rocketed them into the over 100 years of popularity, Morrowind and Oblivion.
With it, thousands of game developers and engineers were employed once more, from the mundane, to the downright obsessive. Individuals who had clockwork minds fixated on the minute aspects of the game to improve performance and realism from the example of a one hundred year old games. One obsessive designer in particular recreated the Dwemer automatons with realistic clockwork, designed and built Dwemer factories, and even made mods to elaborate where Bethesda hadn't allowed him to design.
A man who had created a literal altar to Hermaeus Mora and the Tribunal in his house, he became enamored with the games and descended deeper and deeper into his designing madness. Bethesda allowed him off his leash, remembering another century old joke that was immensely profitable, embrace the crazy man.
They allowed him to design a DLC and made him manager of Bethesda Japan, finding that their Japanese office was the only one that was able to keep up with him. The company gained massive profits from the additional DLCs he made, but one day when they saw the profits diminishing as players went for the next big thing, they pulled the plug.
A man, now leading a studio area with no direction to be pointed, sat in his chair. Distraught that he was without purpose and guidance, he sought solace in the game that had paid his for his meals for the past several years.
He plugged himself into the Dive system and found himself in a familiar setting, the player home he had designed for his own personal use. It was far more elaborate than the player homes he had designed for official DLC and mods, containing shifting mazes and all manner of strange rooms therin. It all connected flawlessly to the ultimate piece of his fortress, Blackreach 13. A beautiful mix of Telvanni and Dwemer architecture, the brass and stone mingling in with the emperor parasols. It was here, at the top of Tel Arryn that Vivecine found himself appearing at.
The Dovahkiin Dunmer Lich had journals in his room where he had detailed the backstory of his character, one of many of illegitimate children of Vivec, he was one of the rare ones that Vivec mothered rather than fathered. He found himself drawn to Sotha Sil and his own workings with the Dwemer Animunculi, but found Sotha Sil's Fabricants to draw away too much from the classical Dwemer's design. He apprenticed himself to House Telvanni, a move that the Redorran obviously were thrilled about. Learning magic and Necromancy from them, he sought to increase his life indefinitely to study the Dwemer forever.
This was the result of that life.
Vivecine watched as the Dwarven Spiders crawled around his tower, their number of legs corrected so that they may have redundancy when damaged. The eight legged brass colored animunculi were much more robust in his home than they were in the dwemer ruins around the landscape. Rather than the size of a cat they were approximately the size of a dog, and each contained a centurion dynamo core. They each in addition had a rudimentary intelligence, able to report and repair, provided by the souls of dogs that Vivecine had created for this purpose.
There would be no more updates, no more shiny new toys that he could add outside of his own home. This would be the end, he couldn't go back to modding, not after this.
He walked out onto the wooden balcony, stepping off of the trama and onto the deck. There was no creak beneath his feet as he fitted the boards together perfectly. He looked out over the shining glistening city below, a city of his own make, filled only with NPCs who are traders. In his tower and in the mines, there were NPCs who were other forms of worker, Smiths, Alchemists, NPCs with actual real world applications for their abilities.
Vivecine's children came into his room, all of them resplendent in the gear that their father had made for them. He had taken a page out of Divayth Fyr's textbook for making his children, though to keep the creepiness to a minimum, he made them the same gender as him, and made sure they did not call themselves his husbands. He made them to take after their grandmother in appearance, though they were 100% Dunmer rather than half and half. They all three had heterochromia, their right eye red like a proper Dunmer, and their left eye golden like a Chimer. One was a monk, through and through, he was softspoken and fought with his fists. He wore no armor, only gauntlets and boots with his soft clothing, Randagalf was his name and he was the shortest of the three; stocky yet agile. Muatra had come in after him and stood to his right, the spear he was named after was strapped onto his back. He was clothed in armor that was part daedric and part dwemer, black and red stripes intertwined with the brass colored stripes. He wore only slightly more armor than his grandmother had, chest piece, pauldrons, vambraces, codpiece, and shinguards. He had bright red hair like his father's avatar once had, shaved into a mohawk to look like an Ordinator, an impish smile adorned his face. Finally there was Raerlas, wearing Mythril armor that was covered with a blue-grey surcoat. He had his bow and quiver of arrows across his back, but had his face covered by his helmet. He took off his helmet to show his face to his father, his short cropped hair just barely making it up to the height of his taller brother.
Vivecine turned to face them and scowled when the smell of the cave they were in reached his nonexistent nose. The mustiness curdled his stomach and he frowned, “Oh that's just wonderful! The last update for the game and the developers decide to add smell-o-vision! Fucking cave.”
“Is everything all right father?” Muatra asked, his impish smile going away from his face.
“You...” He paused for a moment, “Oh great, other updates, it's like the other devs are mocking me.”
Muatra looked at him confused, “Developers, father?” Vivecine paused and straightened up, his skeleton's bones clicking lightly as he moved.
He cleared his throat, “We're not in Solstheim anymore.” He said, walking over to the pedestals that lined the room, the black books missing, “No connection to Herma Mora. We have been abandoned.” He looked to the mounts for the Elder Scrolls which were missing as well, “Damn, they come and go as they please and now of all times, they go away.” He tried pulling up the menu, and as he thought, he couldn't. He laughed, “Well then, this is no longer a game. Boys, we're going to the surface.” Vivecine, said, spreading his arms wide and casting a teleport spell for all four of them.
They appeared just outside of the golden metal entrance of his home, their surroundings had changed from the ash covered mountain on Solstheim, to snow covered mountains.
“This world… Feels different.” Vivecine said, looking around, “I don't think we're even in Skyrim. This is something new.” He said, opening the gate to the elevator, he looked out at the sunlit horizon and saw approaching clouds, gritting his teeth. He waved his hand, teleporting a tarp onto the outer cage of the elevator, “I'm gonna have to disguise myself, and then we're going to have to dig our way out of here.” He said, pulling the lever that started the elevator downward.