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May 11, 1823 – I finally met a dwarf, Stennar, who would talk to me and didn’t treat me like a fool. He didn’t dismiss me out of hand when I talked about my interest in dwarven technology, either. Cedric wouldn’t stop following us around and I think he irritated Stennar. He said he comes into town periodically to trade, so I’m going to start going into town more regularly to try to meet him again. I’ll have to leave Cedric behind in the future or I’ll never be able to have a serious conversation with Stennar.

June 27, 1823 – I showed Stennar some of my drawings of dwarven machines and how I thought they could be improved. He was impressed that I could discern their workings from simply looking at engravings I had found in some old books. I think he was actually considering bringing me to his clan until Cedric showed up. I like Cedric, but why does he persist in being such an idiot?

June 30, 1823 – I can’t believe it, the other dwarves treated me worse than adults do! They practically patted me on the head like a dog. When Stennar first asked if I wanted to go back to his clan I couldn’t believe it! The mines were everything I had ever imagined, the machines, the architecture, it was all so magnificent. I felt as if I was home until I tried to speak to some of the other dwarves. Stennar told me to ignore their attitude, that they would learn to respect me over time, but I don’t think so. I need to do something that will impress them with my understanding of their machines. Dwarves always respect good engineering.

July 23, 1823 – I cannot describe the machine I saw today. It was the most beautiful thing I think I’ve ever seen. It was an engine driven by steam! Stennar showed it to me, as he knew I’d appreciate its genius. They had left it rusting in a corner! Stennar laughed when I asked him why they had abandoned it. He said that it was ridiculous to think that a dwarf would use something that did the work of his muscles for him. They have some sort of religious view of physical labor which I cannot grasp. He also told me that they never found a good use for it, and that it was wasteful. He said he’d much rather spend his days digging in the earth than cutting down trees to fuel the thing. I tried to tell him how they could make the thing more practical, how it could work more effectively, but he wasn’t really interested. I ran straight here and began drawing up my plans to show them how to use the steam engine more effectively. I have a feeling this is the very thing that will gain their respect. I think I can devise an efficient pump to drain the old mines of water, which is their biggest problem in mining new ore. I cannot wait to show them my plans.

August 2, 1823 – Even Stennar was shocked at the ridicule the other dwarves heaped on me today. They laughed! They dismissed my ideas out of hand, simply because I’m not a dwarf. They have no respect for the human race, and they feel no one but the dwarves have any sort of understanding of their technology. This is one time I don’t think my age worked against me. They wouldn’t have listened to me if I had been 45 years old. Stennar tried to make me feel better, but I can’t show my face around there until I’ve proven myself. I gave him my father’s ring as a sign of thanks and friendship, and told him I wouldn’t be coming back for awhile. He actually seemed sad at that. I think he considered me his friend, as strange as that sounds.

August 13, 1823 – Now that I have my designs all worked out, I’m not as sure about presenting it to the dwarves as I was when I started it. What if they laugh at me again? I need to insure they will see that it works and has value. I’m going to go to try and talk to some human miners tomorrow and ask if they’d help me pay to build the machine if I let them use it on their mines. I don’t think this will be a problem, as the humans always have to work under horrible conditions while trying to salvage whatever the dwarves leave behind when the mines become too filled with water.

February 3, 1824 – I am rich. I can’t believe this. The steam engine pump worked better than I had even hoped, and the miners gave me a portion of their mines to let them continue using it. I don’t care so much about the money, but I feel confident the dwarves will see me as their equal now.

February 10, 1824 – After I write this, I will be hiding this journal so that if I am killed people will hopefully find it some day and know what happened to me. I finally worked up my nerve to go and finally speak with the dwarves as equals – and they were gone! I began to search the caverns, but I became scared and ran away. I was going to try to hire some people to go back with me to find out what happened, but I’m afraid the dwarves of the Black Mountains are all dead. And it’s all my fault! I killed Stennar with my eagerness to earn their respect, I know it. Just minutes ago two robed figures appeared in the middle of my room and threatened my life! They told me to never speak of my association with the dwarves, or about anything that had happened. They said if I ever told anyone about this, they would kill me. And to make matters even worse, everyone is beginning to think I invented the steam engine myself, and now I can not tell them the truth. Every time some newspaper journalist tries to speak to me I have to watch what I say, or I’m afraid those dark agents will return and kill me in my sleep. What am I to do? I feel so lost.

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