Part 9: by Locus1st Hematite, 1054, Early Summer
After being informed by the kitchen staff that we have a large stock of "Prepared Meals" [I am not sure I understand the purpose of these], I have focused my attention mainly on our magma forging area.
I am ordering the construction of another Magma Smelter, and bronze bars to be cast.
This craft business was just interrupted by the withdrawal from society by Tosid Fireyabbey, who is unfortunately a novice glass maker. Perhaps his mood has been caused by our lack of skilled and healthy miners, who have not yet excavated space for a magma furnace. I have called off the malachite mining operations until this area has been completed.
Meanwhile, I am worried about the very unsafe construction of the halls near our magma forges.
Rather than the leaving occasional natural supports of living stone, the previous ruler has instead dug out the entirety of this wide hallway, and built rather unstable looking stone pillars here. I noticed a small lava flooding space around a pillar blocked by floodgates, which is presumably part of an emergency system to collapse the roof here, but even if a careless or angry dwarf were to dislodge one of them, the consequences would be catastrophic to anyone nearby.
As I was coordinating mining operations and drafting an unskilled mechanic into the mining occupation, another flood struck!
We were not so lucky this time, as the worker Aban Lisidinod was claimed by the river currents. However, my improved safety bridges saved the life of a farmer girl and her adorable kitten, who clung to the lower bridge until the flood receded.
Kobold thieves infiltrated the entrance to the fort recently, somehow bypassing the cage traps. Two were ripped apart by dogs and fortress guard, while the last was chased away by a small cat.
More invaders. It's good to see our cage traps are still functional. Here they are after thwarting a troop of mandrills. I am a bit worried about the amount of animals we have already captured and tamed. Few seem to adopt them, except for the terrifying battle scarred elephants.
The amount of stray animals running through the halls has become a nuisance, but no one seems to have the knowledge or will to geld any of them. I foresee this to be a problem in the future, but I cannot bring myself to slaughter any needlessly.
I have used some of our steel to create glassworking shops, as well as an additional smelter. This will speed up metal production a great deal. Unfortunately, although the reclusive glassworking dwarf has claimed a standard glass furnace, he has not found all that he requires to build. I suspect that he is missing a turtle shell, and have asked those at the fishery to start processing fish in case one turns up. I find it hard to believe there are no shells in this entire fortress, so perhaps it is a specific type of rare glass he seeks.
All for naught it seems. He has gone insane and wanders the halls babbling with a depressed look on his face. Perhaps it was for the best though, as he seemed to have an unhealthy interest in demons and strange idols. *Note* He later drowned beneath the main drawbridge entrance.
I oversaw a lot of cage management earlier. They are becoming exceedingly full, and the trappers are demanding more empty cages. All stray elephants were transported to a single cage, and animal trainers are working on taming the savage elephants, as well as the mandrills. I would like our mandrills to be chained up near sensitive areas as a form of defense. Although they cannot be trained as war mandrills, they surely would attack some invaders, and serve as psychological defense to weaken enemy morale.
Apparently two stray elephants, one adult and one calf were accidently released, and are now interrupting the workers jobs nearby. The workers seem to be almost as disturbed by the beasts as I am, tame or not. At least they have stopped complaining about the lack of traps. I am unsure how to proceed in this situation. Perhaps it is time for my earlier catapult battery plans? The area they seem to be inhabiting densely populated, but I will begin construction of siege parts and observe their movements.
On the topic of the main work/storage area, I must complain about the decision of previous rulers who placed it out in the open. It is a horribly cluttered mass of barrels and shops, which are all easily immobilized by a single problem, as proven by the stray elephants. As I write, the stray, supposedly TAME elephant appears to have struck down a pet war dog who wandered too close. It was probably Ikudoltud, or "Reignedstalked" the rather large and battlescarred mother of the calf. I only hope that the siege workshop isn't close enough to be interfered with by her, although I confess that this place has proven too confusing for me to locate it myself.
Whichever elephant was responsible for the earlier carnage, it was the male calf of Ikudoltud who just now smote Cerol Zenom, another war dog, who although not dead, probably has little time left on this earth. His name translates to "Helmedcrushed", which is sadly appropriate, as he seems to have had his head stomped upon, and is limping along and passing out frequently. I hope to do something before before THIS elephant gets a name for its infamy. I do not know who started the fight, but it makes no sense either way. If I had a way of finding out who trained these animals there would be a public flogging.
Ikudoltud just finished off Cerol, but just now I heard word that someone (most likely a war dog) has struck down the elephant calf, which had wandered near the main bridge entrance. While watching this, I witnessed another stray elephant, most likely released from the animal trainer cages wandering nearby. It did not seem to disturb the dwarves as much as Ikudoltud did, and one actually took it by the collar and led it towards the cage where Ikudoltud lurks before being scared away. I have a theory that once an elephant tastes dwarf blood, which surely is how this particular creature got her name, they cannot be tamed properly. Once again, a public flogging would be appropriate.
The Mayor ended his mandate ban on exporting Red spinel objects. Still a mystery as to why he had it in the first place. Soon he'll probably be mandating something worse.
I have ordered the construction of a catapult to the east of Ikudoltud, but no one seems to be working on it. Perhaps the parts are stored too close to her, or the workers are incredibly lazy.
Summer has ended, and although I have accomplished some of my goals, there is much more to be done.