Part 105: Sirocco: Update 39
Sirocco's Year: Part Thirty-Nine
After we survived the second siege of the year (though the third for myself - shh! Don't tell anyone, journal!) I ordered yet more celebratory engravings to record our efforts and keep the rich history of Syrupleaf alive.
There's a lot of these dotted all over the fortress now... but I particularly like this one because it's so colourful. The others decided to call the winter siege the 'Siege of Tempests'. I asked tehsid why and he said 'That's easy; when a storm's raging outside all you have to do is wait... and it'll blow itself out.'
The autumn siege, or the 'Dangerous Siege' is more self-explanatory! The day after poor Firos died we all had a very solemn funeral. MysticalHaberdasher and Male Man were weeping openly as they carried her remains to the coffin and laid her to rest. God speed, Firos.
The truth will out. I also have it as fact from an anonymous source that That Guy Bob was the one responsible for Nuvan's untimely death... I'm not going to follow up on it though. I sense that fate moved his weapon more than he did himself.
I appreciate a dwarf who has pride in their work, but this is just tooting your own horn, Heliturtle! Ha ha ha!
This one's got me in it! I must say, Skullbuggy's got my likeness down pat - but am I really that chubby round the middle?
I feel a little self-conscious now, journal!!!
A few weeks ago Eiba came into my office rather abruptly.
'A-hem,' he said. 'Are you going to get me those blasted moles or am I gonna have to dig out that wall with my fingernails?!'
'Oh! I'm sorry, Mr Eiba! I'll get onto it, right away!' I replied.
'Oh, OK then.'
'I want a ballista arrow head too.'
'What?! What for?!'
'MOLEGONE IT, STOP ASKING ME ALL YOUR DAMN QUESTIONS YOU LITTLE VARMINT! I'M GOIN' FOR A DRINK!'
And with that he stomped out the room.
This time I'm being extra careful!!!
A success! With the door locked the moles can't escape. I don't have enough time to wait for all the moles to be captured though so the next overseer (that'll be your new friend, journal!) will have to finish that for me.
At last. My work is done.
The gazebo stands proudly, a dark outline against the pale yellow sky. A dwarf lazily swings in a hammock, looking at nothing in particular. Another dwarf climbs up the steep rocky slope to enter the little edifice.
'Hey, Sirocco,' says tehsid as he clambers in. 'What're you doing all the way up here?'
'Watching the sunrise,' Sirocco says. tehsid looks to the horizon. There is a reddish glow around the mountains.
'I think I'll join you,' tehsid says, sitting down next to the other dwarf. 'Here, I brought some beers.'
They drink in silence for a while.
'How do you think the new year will be?' tehsid asks at last.
Sirocco seems to ponder the question for a moment. 'I don't know,' he says at last. 'But it will be the newest new year Syrupleaf has ever had...' He turns to face tehsid.
'And that can't be a bad thing. Can it?'
Chance II wrote :-
Things are fast turning grim in my new home. I have let myself become much too complacent these past seasons and now I fear it is too late. Still, I could not tell them everything. I must not tell them. Not about you my friend. Now come, whisper more of your secrets dear Drakanel...
Sirocco wrote :-
Warning! Lots of words ahead!
I'm still waiting for Silento Boborachi to show up and discover that I've turned his dwarf into a demonic supervillian. If he became a recurring villain that would make me laugh. How good it would be depends on how it's done though, I guess.
Anyway, I just wanted to say that I've really had a blast writing for this thread, even though I feel quite drained now. When that third siege started I couldn't help but think that the game wasn't going to let me stop updating! What was going to be a fairly simple character-centric storyline turned into something of almost novel-like proportions.
A few notes on my year:
I was really quite pleased when everyone started posting about their dwarves having dreams of dying and such because it tied into my plans for Silento's reveal (I knew exactly what was going to be happening story-wise when I started updating post-Event). The moment I'd figured out that Sirocco was going to go back in time, I wanted there to be a... satisfying explanation. I didn't want it to be a dream, I didn't want it to have not mattered. I wanted it all to have been real, or at least real for Sirocco.
The general idea I had is that Parasol found the Spawn and used Syrupleaf to test them with, resetting the fortress every eight years when the dwarves became too holed in for the studies to be useful. After eighteen iterations of this, the system began to break down until eventually one dwarf (Sirocco) was able to recall what was going on. Fearing the experiment had become irreconcilably contaminated, Silento tried to scare him into not interfering with the fortress's destined end. And the purpose of this was... so that the demons could sell parasols to their hellbound victims at extortionate prices. Yeah. A rather weird masterplan, I understand, but it ties into Silento's updates and, more importantly, I found it amusing.
I was deliberately vague about the origins and capabilites of the Spawn because it would detract from their mystery (and I want more Chance II goodness). I enjoyed drawing all the disparate elements together into something cohesive and meaningful and it really wasn't hard to do - there's good stuff in this LP, very good stuff.
Future overseers should never be afraid of playing around with someone's dwarf's personality. I took complete liberty with Rixaxun for instance and I went very far in developing Jazzimus' subplot. I loved his nightmare entries but I could sense (correctly I hope?) that there was no planned resolution for them so I tied them into the main narrative.
All in all, I'd like to thank everyone for supplying such rich and interesting characters to bounce Sirocco (hell, and other dwarves) off of - some of them I almost consider my own! tehsid's grumpy pragmaticism, for instance, is the perfect foil for Sirocco's pie-eyed approach to problems. I really liked the way their relationship developed throughout the year from one of unrequited buddyship to an 'I guess you're cool' kind of thing. I've been needing to scratch the creative writing itch since the game data for another LP-esque project I've been doing got given away so, again, it's been a real blast.
Well, that's enough rambling! I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of Glob's playthrough, now. Thanks again everyone for the encouragement - it's been enormous fun.
Vox Nihili wrote :-
Smithmaster Vox Nihili's Log
Today I spoke at length with Chance II about a subject that has been bothering me for some time now. I broached it cautiously, fearing to sound cowardly or foolish. "Chance II," I said, "have you noticed that it's been getting a bit chilly at Syrupleaf lately?" If he didn't know what I meant, it was an obvious joke. The place has been freezing since day one... I should know, I was there the day we opened up the first hole in the frozen mountainside. Fortunately, he frowned, rather than laughing. He knew as well.
"How much do you know?" he asked me. "Only that the nights have been a deathly, unnatural cold these last few months. Where once a dwarf could venture out on the surface to have a few moments to himself before being be forced back inside, now ye cannot take a piss out there without the stream freezing ere it hits the ground. It ain't right, even the damned sons 'n daughters o' Hollistic look frostbitten when they show up here now. Winter should be over-" I stopped. Chance II was waving his hand in my face, telling me to shut up. "We'll talk in private, when the enclave next meets. Meet us in the lost hall at midnight on the day that the moon cannot be seen in the sky."
Four days later, I met with the Enclave. Tehsid, unspoken leader of the military, came for the soldiers. bobthethurd, Skaw, and Spoonboy, each one of the original seven, were also in attendance. Eiba, Jazzimus, and Sirocco showed up as well. Queen Sankis and several other nobles were noticeably absent. Chance II waited some time for Silento to show, but decided to start without him. He spoke at length about what was known of the Spawn, the sand raiders, and the frost giants. Then he got out a strange device:
He called it a temperometer, and claimed that by putting certain gems in slots and positioning a bar against an object, he could give a measurement to how hot or cold it was. He placed a handful of special gems that he called sunstones in the slots:
He pressed the metal bar of the object against a cube of ice he had brought, and several nozzles slowly rotated and many stones fell from their slots. Only 4 of the original 24 remained where they had started. Then he replaced the gems and put the bar into a steaming bath of boiling water. Several gems fell out again this time, but a full 10 remained in place. He went on to say that he had received the machine from Silento and had learned a great deal about the meaning of cold in this place. The frost giants are only active when it is coldest, in the depth of winter, and even then they are merely sleepwalking. That is, until the temperature drops to a certain low, wherein their very blood freezes and their true nature manifests itself. Chance II claims that he has used the temperomometer outside at night, and that all 24 gems fell from their slots. At below 0 gems, according to the words of the mysteriously absent Silento, the frost giants will need not blood nor breath nor fear of death, and will ravage the land at will.
The hall is silent. There is little discussion. I am told that I should devise more effective armor for our troops, at whatever the cost. I had spent most of my smithing hours up until engraving heroic verses and ballads on our soldiers' armor. I even wrote inspiring battle cries on the backs of their shields. Now I feel foolish, incompetent even. Thicker steel, additional plates to cover throat and face, larger, spiked shields. That is what this new menace calls for.
Before we left, Chance II mentioned that he had overheard Silento talking to an unseen dwarf about "the nest beneath Syrupleaf" and a "pact with X," where X was apparently some sort of screeching, clicking sound apparently meant to signify the name of some man or nation. I don't know what to make of it all, but I fear the worst has yet to come for our growing home. Even Sirocco seemed disheartened, and spoke of passing the leadership of Syrupleaf on to another dwarf so he could retire to a life of drinking ale at his gazebo.
For now, life goes on.
Here is the Updated Save File! Go for it, Globofglob!