Part 7: Vox Nihili: Update 5
From the Journal of Vox Nihili, Settlement "Leader" Pro tem, Entry #12
I am thankful for Athith's guidance in having me craft the second truly sublime piece of artistry in this place, though I wish she had stayed her hand until after we'd finished our deal with the trade caravan. While everyone else was drinking, I was waiting for someone to put together a workshop with one of the anvils we had purchased. I almost perished waiting, but who can blame the dwarves for drinking their fill after weeks of waiting?
Since the completion of my artifact, things here have returned to normalcy. The water-collecting tunnel is not going as well as was hoped. Apparently, thawing only a small part of the spring means most of the source water remains trapped.
However, it was slowly making its way down to the cistern. Until the river re-froze. Yes, the temperature fell so far that even with a tube of magma directly under the spring, it returned to a state of solid ice:
In other news, a kobold thief was seen trying to make its way into our settlement, but was immediately chased off. Seems at least two civilizations will be attempting to steal from us in the future.
From the Journal of Vox Nihili, Settlement "Leader" Pro tem, Entry #13
Our past problems are nothing. They have come to this place, those that haunt dreams. The half-dwarves, the living-dead demons of another place. The lowly but fierce spawn of the Ever-Fallen Holistic Detective. They come bearing no weapons, for their useless regrown claws of hands could never hold anything meaningful. They come without clothes or armor. But imagine the fear that they must have struck in our look-out. Imagine seeing the 16 or so creatures, with their mottled gray, hairless, naked, twisted flesh. Their massive, slobbering maws where once was a mouth, taking up the entire space where a normal dwarf's face would be. Their eyes and nose, pushed bizarrely to the sides of their freakish head. But their mouth, oh Atith their mouth. They have no chin nor true beard, though long, spindly hairs grow both within and outside of the gaping hole in their head. Teeth line the gullet, growing first deep in the throat and covering the entire inside of the mouth, with several exposed through what remains of the monster's lips.
It is said that when the god Nemo fought the fell god-beast Holistic Detective, Nemo struck off both her hands, then slashed her face open along the mouth with his obsidian blade. Holistic Detective then used her now horribly enlarged mouth to tear Nemo in half, then descended to Hell, taking her rightful place at the head of the demons there. Now, her horrific descendants plague the land, conquering fortresses and towns alike, breeding madly like animals and consuming any who oppose them.
And now they have arrived here. I call together a small vanguard consisting of seven dwarves: bobthethurd, Kennel, Lackloss, Royal W, Holistic Detective, Luigi's Discount, and Skaw. Skaw and Lackloss carry axes, bobthethurd her trusty pick. What little armor we have is placed on Skaw, as only he is armed with both a proper weapon and the strength to wield it to full effect. The eight war dogs not posted at the front gate mill about at their heals as they form a thin thin halfway between the entrance and the center meeting area. The enemy closes quickly, moving with the speed of demons. I order the front doors locked, but the kobold thief had toyed with their mechanics, and a dwarf had to run outside to check their function before they could be fully locked:
Not that it mattered:
Our guard dogs fall insantly, and those inside get a glimpse of the invaders:
The combat dwarves stand nervously, unsure of themselves. Waiting for the order to charge forward into the frothing masses of demonflesh. Most of them are unarmed. None are trained with their weapons, save bobthethurd. The demons cannot bleed, nor feel pain, nor do they know fear, though it is said that a blow to their digestive organs can paralyze them momentarily as they vomit forth their foul meals. I consider briefly those who have lived and died under their horrible reign, then resign myself to my fate. I give the order.
As our troops sprint back inside, three masons leap forth, stones in hand, and build a defensive wall at the speed only a dwarf can manage. The monsters outside cannot break through such engineering as this, and we are now prisoners in our own fort. I hear the creatures outside destroying the trade depot. I had hoped not to have to give this order, hoped against hope. Swift death at the hands of demons is preferable to slow starvation any day, but certain death will never top even the slimmest chance of survival. I hang my head in shame.
(Short final update with images of the fort and the uploaded file coming later today. I swear, I did not ever expect these guys to siege so soon- I set them so that goblins or sand raiders SHOULD have sieged long before they did. My artifact must have just pushed them over the edge or something.)