Part 3: by TouretteDogPrologue
In the year 1050, the dwarven civilization of Kinmelbil, "The Oaken Tomes", exhausted the last of its mines. Driven by lust for gold and rumors of the priceless and all but mythical metal adamantine, a team of seven colonists was dispatched to build a new home for the dwarves of Kinmelbil in the Smooth Points of Pride. The first year of diaries from the ill-fated foreman of the mine were recovered, giving some hint as to the beginnings of the fortress that once stood there, if not its mysterious and presumably gruesome fate...
The 1050 Diaries
Month Granite - year 1050
"We've set out for the mine, led by the Miner's Guild representative. The man claims to have led several successful expeditions, so taking his advice we've set out with a skeleton crew; just one miner, one lumberjack, a pair of farmers, and some craftsmen. He suggested plenty of meat and -- my favorite -- booze, as well as some seeds and a few dogs and cats. He swears the dogs will pay for themselves a dozen times over in warding off larger wildlife, while the cats will make indoor life more comfortable and pest-free. I thought he muttered something about their taste as well, but I'm sure I misheard..."
"The new fortress site is truly in the puckered sphincter of nowhere. The nearest civilization -- if you can call it that -- is a goblin citadel to the northeast. But the Guildsman swears they've surveyed for precious metals and this is the best spot. There's also a river nearby, which means one underground, which means we can start our farm without much trouble once we dig to it."
"Of course, he waits till he's leaving to tell us the name of the site..."
"Then takes off at a flat run promising to be back 'real soon'. Bloody nobles."
"But still, nothing to do but start. Stockpiles, send someone to chop a few trees, and set someone else to dig for the river."
Later, same month
"God damn but there are a lot of elephants around."
Month Felsite - 1050
"Hit the river. Got lucky and found it at a low point, heard tell of some nasty cave floods, and damn glad I didn't have to see one. We can start the farm now, and carve out some other rooms."
Month Hematite -1050
"A few months on and it looks like we might actually survive. We've got a farm up, got some bedrooms which ain't much to look at, but at least they've got beds. Got a dining room with some decent thrones, and got a bunch of traps. God knows why but the lads love them. Stand around staring at them for hours. Nothing out of the river yet, and the elephants have been pretty quiet. Too quiet. I see them out there, staring at me with those beady eyes, those gleaming tusks. Looking over the river. Elephants can't swim, can they?"
Several pages of the journal are torn out here, the entries seem to resume sometime in the fall...
"...merchants trying to dodge the elephants. The betting pool's up to ten stone blocks and a rat skull; we really need to make some coins. I guess the trade depot was a good idea but we'll see if we can finish it before they get here or get eaten by those bloody pachyderms."
"Now riddle me this: what sort of soft-headed, beard-gnawing merchants braves goblins, mountains, more goblins, and then those damn elephants to show up with nothing but one piece of cheese and two rolls of cloth? These merchants, that's who. I noticed one try to eat his own ear coming in, gods know how they're going to get out. Fortunately they're dumb enough to take some of these useless trinkets in trade."
Month Timber - year 1050
"Fall's settling in and it seems like a good time to take stock of where we are before winter gets around to killing us. Our bedrooms and dining rooms are finished, we're running low on booze so we put a still together -- I've never seen the lads put any building up so fast -- and we've got a butcher's shop behind closed doors so the squeamish don't get put off their meat, seeing where it comes from. There's also the statue garden, to get them away from throwing rocks across the river at the elephants, and the kennels, so we can start training the dogs. One of the peasants has been working on smoothing the floors in the dining room, looks like she's actually picked up a bit of a knack for it. The farm's undertended, but we've got plenty of food, so I'm not too worried."
"What does worry me is the wildlife. They're too quiet, I know they're planning something."
Coming soon, the conclusion to the (so far) uneventful first year, and the save file for megor.