If only Umani would have left one of these Dwarven machine creatures intact for me to study. The fact that they almost killed those Khajiit brothers in the middle of the night doesn't mean we couldn't have found a way to disable one. We dragged some stuff in front of the pipes they came out of to stop them from coming back.
They are simply fascinating! It is just as Calcelmo described in Dwarves, v2. Their appearance does, in fact, resemble that of an arachnid. I had thought that to be an embellishment given by his source. The inclusion of the soul gem into the design of the apparatus is quite remarkable. It could explain the focus for the lightning that he describes.
Oddly enough it doesn't appear to be the main power source for the apparatus. Perhaps some sort of harmonic resonance with the energies contained in the soul gem to bring heat to a small boiler? Too early to say conclusively. That does raise the question of where they get the liquid for the boiler however.
Huh, that was strange. I thought I just saw something moving beyond the barred door. It looked vaguely humanoid. I wonder if it could be an undiscovered automaton? I'm going to move my bedroll down here to see if I can catch another glimpse of it. This is all so exciting!