Part 49: by Doctor Zero(Sorry this batch is blurry. I don't know what happened, but I'll try not to let them get like this for the rest. I'll try and fix these later.)
Prologue - 1062 - Road from Kinmlebel to Boatmurdered
Well I've finally arrived on 1st granite. An appropriate time to begin. I swear I'll never utter the phrase "Ha! I can run a fortress better than those bumpkins!" within earshot of the Dwarven Realm Expansion Minister again so long as I live. I clambered to the top of the hill just west of the infamous "Boatmurdered" as the sun rose over the mountain peaks within which it slept. My first thoughts were of elation. The majestic purple peaks, covered with a noble cap of snow as streamers of windblown snow trailed off like a woman waving her scarf at a departing lover.
Then, as I looked down excitedly my mood turned to one of dismay. The winter snows had receded already down here and the scene was... was... horrendous. The earth, the trees, the very rock face of the mountain was scorched and burnt. Feeble plants poked through the ash and soot in between the piles of... piles of... what was this? I moved off the paved road to investigate piles and piles of armor and weapons, laying around as if their diminutive owners simply crumbled to ash. Dogs and cats picked though the debris, hunting small vermin.
I turned to look back. perhaps I could make the journey back to Kinmelbil before....
No, it was too late. I was being hailed by a dwarf in rags and tatters. The dwarf hailing me was Olin, the Broker. His once noble pigtail clothes hanging in scraps from his limbs, standing in pools of dried vomit. He casually kicked at what looked like a half digested core of a plump helmet.
He greeted me with a sense of urgency. Apparently there had been an "accident" (Yes, he put his fingers in the air and drew the quotes) and that one of the former rulers was dead. And now, the most recent regent had simply walked off the job the day before and began happily carving. They were without anyone to lead them.
I asked for a tour that became more and more disturbing as time went on. He explained the history: The sieges, the elephants, the daemons. I wondered again not for the last time if I could escape away into the night, then it happened. A miner ran up to me, surrounded by cats.
"Oh sirrah. you must help!" She cried, "Sankis has ordered them butchered!"
"Uhhh... calm down... um.. ma'am" I said, trying not to eye her breasts that were practically hanging out of her tattered clothes.
"The cats! OH GOD THEY'LL KILL THEM!" She cried and ran off.
To make a long story short, I reviewed the last orders of "Emperor" Sankis and saw that several cats had been listed in the "To Butcher" book. It seemed a simple mistake as there was no record of cat meat being stockpiled, and the cat's entries in the ledger appeared in between the cattle and horses. I struck them from the record and proceeded to review the rest of the fortress.
It seems that Mystic Mongol had met an untimely end after flinging himself into the river. I could see why after I had looked around some more. This fortress was a wreck. There were also murmurs of Sankis working on some kind of "Shoving Autonomoton" which I dismissed as stories brought on by a lack of drink.
Well, there is indeed a lot of work to do here, which I should get to. The first order of business is to get a farm up and running. Seems the only food stores are a bunch of cow and horse meat that hasn't even been cooked yet, and unprocessed fat. I've never been one for sashimi, so that will need to change. Between having some people forage for spring berries and plants, and getting the farms running again, I feel that my associates degree in Subterranean Food Services will not go to waste. The one troubling thing though, is that nobody seems to know exactly where the lever for the farm's floodgates is.
"You DO have one, right? I mean I see the floodgates right over there."
Olin nodded enthusiastically and said, "Oh yes, yes. I mean. I think so." and began to scurry off without telling me. He stopped, turned, and said "Oh speaking of levers, in case of emergency there are some double keyed Dwarven Doomsday Levers off to the north.
"What kind of emergencies?"
"Oh, you know, the usual. Sieges. Goblins. Elephants. Well, sieges, Goblins, and Elephants mostly. But the elephants. Oh, gods, the ELEPHANTS! See, sometimes we catch them..." He lowered his voice to a conspiratorial tone, "...you can hear them... in the night... the trumpeting... THE TRUMPETING!"
And then he screamed and ran off.
And oh, did I find the elephants. At least five of them. In cages. Looking at me murderously...
Anyway, this should be interesting. Did you know Boatmurderd boasts the youngest Legendary Stone Carver?
And some nobles with some rather ... strange... recreational tastes.
I leave you with some examples of what "Emperor Sankis" has engraved. I leave it up to you to examine his work and the titles to decide on what may have happened to Mystic Mongol, my predecessor.
Maybe I need to increase the Royal Guard.