I found her almost immediately, but as I should have expected, she'd made things more complicated. She'd managed to arm herself with a sword she'd taken from a defunct factotum, and was about to make her way out, when she'd bumped into another of Baldan's victims. The Khajiit had started to follow her out when they had been spotted by another factotum patrol, and he'd run off in the wrong direction. Now Kireth felt an obligation to go find him, which she passed on to me.

The two of us wandered further into the fundament, looking for the Khajiit's trail. Apparently he'd been hiding down here for a few days, as we found various places where he'd made a temporary camp.

"He hasn't been here for a while, the fire's gone cold," Kireth noted. "but it's at least a sign that he's been this way. If he keeps to parts he's familiar with, we may find him."

There was a regular pattern to the design of the place, so we had some idea where the cozy dead-end areas would be that made for good camp sites. Places with no mechanisms to service, so no reason for patrols to visit. We moved on to where the next one should be.

There were indications that he'd used that before, but he wasn't there now. Keep searching.

I think it was the fourth or fifth where we caught up with him. By that time we'd gone in almost a complete circle, and were presumably close to where I'd entered. But the path ahead was blocked by a huge fan with a grate over it. At least that stopped us risking the whirling blades to try and pass.

There was a hole in the floor and a murky darkness beneath. I dropped a piece of debris down and heard a splash not far below. It was worth the risk of jumping down, if we could assume that the chamber connected to a way out. Or we could retrace our path, through the factotum patrols that now knew we were here.

We took the short drop, and found that the oily water was only ankle deep. And there was light at the end of the tunnel. Not only that, but we heard familiar voices. We emerged to find Neramo and Raynor waiting for us. Provost Varuni Arvel and Proctor Luciana Pullo were there with the Constable, about to come looking for us.

It appeared that Baldan was trying to deny that Kireth had ever existed, which didn't correspond too well with Varuni's memory of things. Although by now it probably did match the official record. I produced the memory stone, as further proof, and the Proctor led Baldan away for further interrogation.

Varuni was happy to have the mystery solved, and gave all four of us the sponsorship we needed for full citizenship. I'm not sure if that extended to the Khajiit that we'd rescued, but at least he was alive for another chance.

I went to the Chancel of Records to have my details entered, and ran into Fyr again on my way out. He'd met with Sotha Sil, and was unsettled by how much his old friend had changed.

"I'm convinced that he really isn't himself," he told me, "and we need to find ot who he really is."

"what do you mean?" I asked.

"I think that Seht is an imposter, and I mean to find out more. I'll need your help, of course. If I go asking questions, people just clam up out of deference. My assistant, however, can swap complaints about his duties with others' assistants, and find out a lot from that about what's really going on."

"I suppose you have a list of these assistants that you'd like me to talk to?"

"I do. Especially anyone connected to Chancellor Gascone. He's a particulary obnoxious boss, who really demands deference. I would imagine you'd get a lot of dirt on him."

"Before I do that, I understand that my new citizenship lets me use the wayshrines here in the Clockwork City?"

"Yes, but you only know the one here in the Brass Fortress so far."

"Will that let me travel back to Vivec City?" I enquired. "I'd like to go back and pick up my guar."

Actually I wanted to spend some time with Seryn, before she forgot me.

Let's just say that it look me a long time to recount everything that had happened since I got Fyr's letter. Seryn hadn't forgotten me, but I suspect my guar had.

"Now you have access to the wayshrines, you can come back more often," Seryn reminded me as I left. "And the next time you do, I have a job for you."

Back in the Brass Fortress, I went looking for the other assistants.

Kiliban Arethi, who worked for Varuni, didn't have much to complain about. Yes, she was over-enthusiastic at times, and expected everyone to share her youthful energy, but she didn't get angry if you fell a bit short. If anything it was Sotha Sil who made life hard, through her. Turning the lights down whenever he passed through was getting tiresome.

Sedris Nadaren, Sotha Sil's assistant, was sure he'd changed recently. He wasn't always changing his mind before. "But you can't say a word, or Chancellor Gascone is accusing you of treason, or blasphemy."

Gascone Dusant's own assistant, Agral, had a lot more detail. He'd been put in charge of replacing all the lamps with - to his mind - an inferior model. And not just replacement, all the lamps taken out had to be destroyed according to his meticulous instructions, so they could not be repaired and re-used.

Fyr had the same idea that I had. We needed to find out what problem the imposter Sotha Sil had with the light. I was pretty sure I knew where this was all leading, but I didn't like the answer. I agreed for now to work with Neramo on re-creating the original light.

Rummaging around in the fundament, I found enough parts of the old lamps for Neramo to deduce their construction. Fabricating new ones however, required gathering materials from other sources, such as factotums and fabricants, that were ... reluctant to part with them. But soon Neramo and Raynor were busy making the new lamp. I wasn't at all surprised that Raynor was brought in to supply labour. Neramo seldom did anything for himself.

And then Kireth pointed out that the balcony where I needed to place the lamp had just had extra guards assigned. This wasn't going to be simple.

At least it wasn't far, and the guards weren't particularly effective. There was just the one carrying a lamp, so I was able to hide in the shadows and avoid detection. Once the lamp was in place, I dropped off the balcony into the empty chamber, and quickly returned to Fyr to report success.