Part 189: Orangesoda: Update 4
Syrupleaf had survived the giant's collaborative offensive. I was told later by a few residents who had studied their language that the attack was lead out of revenge for their dead queen. The giants did not retreat in fear. The spear lord who watched his queen fall only came for Tehsid's life. Having got that, he ordered a retreat. The entire assault was to avenge their queen, it seems.
I guess I could finally focus on things not related to combat now. For one, one of the dwarves had complained of a horrible, leathery stench coming from "Vox Nihili"'s quarters. When I went to check on what was causing the disturbance, I nearly passed out from the stench from his room. You see, for some reason, Vox was collecting used boots. Apparently they had all been combat relics, taken from battles both here and elsewhere. Instead of axes or maces, he took boots. The entire damn hallway smells of leather and feet now.
I'd deal with it when he woke up. For now, there were more important matters.
A few brave dwarves had volunteered for the military after realizing we were lacking any. Someone even suggested I draft Eiba, but he was incredibly opposed to the idea of being a soldier and we need him training those war moles. He said he'd get right on it after he buried the two moles lost in the battle. A record low, Eiba claims.
No sooner had I sent out summons via letter (it's delivered by whatever hauler I give it to "When he gets a moment", which means whenever he feels like it. Syrupleaf really needs a postal service.), I heard a bloodcurdling scream from the lower floors, followed by a weakened, gurgling battle cry.
Wopoo, the frost giant macelord, was alive. He ambushed the guard "Shadow gamer" and his patrol mole, which was quickly crushed like a grape. The two began to battle across the hallway as Wopoo, despite his throat being slit and a gaping axe wound in his chest, dodged and counterattacked skillfully. We could literally see the damn giant's heart and lungs, yet he was fighting as if it were nothing!
Shadow gamer lunged for the giant, grappling with something much larger than he was with great skill, trying to break it's limbs and joints.
Though I don't think it was necessary to strip the giant during the fight.
Suddenly, a dog wounded in the previous battle, a leg mangled and another broken, limped to Shadow Gamer's aid, growling and snarling as it bit at the pinned giant. It was rather nice to see even the animals in this place knew who their true enemies were.
The giant had wrestled free though, I was sure he would crush the poor dog before fighting with Shadow again, possibly crushing him next. Where was the rest of the guard!?
Sadly, Wopoo wasn't interested in a war dog. He turned and swung his mace at something much worse.
Wopoo was having fun with this now. He punched Freudian, who had just left his room, sending him topping back and coughing up blood, laughing in a deep, booming tone as he did. He didn't even care about Shadow Gamer now.
"Hurr hurrr... much more squishy." he gurgled, grinning over at the guard, who couldn't do anything as he pummeled Freudian against the walls, floors and celing, all while hopping away from his attacks.
He finished by tossing Freudian into the air, then whacking him with the oversized mace. The poor dwarf flew across the hall before hitting the ground and collapsing into a jiggling pile of flesh. I'm pretty sure that the blow left nothing solid in his body.
Shadow Gamer responded to this atrocity by retiring for the evening. I wish I were making a joke, but he literally gave up the fight and went to bed. Another guard, A124!, walked by the giant without question.
I know now why, despite their power, nobody speaks highly of the guard. They put the fortress' safety on their own time. If they feel like saving lives, that's when they do it. If they're hungry or sleepy or just want some booze, tough luck.
I'd want nothing more to draft them ALL into the real army, but they all have workarounds in the inner politics of Syrupleaf that prevent them from being drafted, save for a few. I might draft those few if just for the fact they're much more trustworthy.
I ordered traps build to block the giant into the hallway, but no dwarf would get close enough to set them up, understandably.
After his 3 hour long nap, Shadow gamer finally emerged from his room to finish what he began, thankfully. We don't need any more casualties caused by the giants.
I wondered where the one experienced soldier we had that wasn't Oni was, only to find out that he too was wounded by giants in the battle.
His hand was badly broken and he could not fight. I understood, I guess. As a wrestler he'd need both hands in working condition to efficiently battle.
Things were looking bleaker by the moment once again. The fortress was now defended by three recruits who hadn't fought in their entire life. Since I figured I could trust him the most, Manny leads the recruits until Country Matters recovers.
On the bright side, one of our clothmakers was insane. The good kind, though. The kind that leads to amazing things being created. I can only hope he has everything he needs to work out his creative insights. Iv'e heard bad stories about what happens to those who don't.
"Hey! Ogre sofa or whatever your name is!" a dwarf called from a nearby stairwell, covered in mud. It was one of our farmers, Spoonboy "We've got a little problem."
"...How little are we talking?"
He sighed "Just come with me ok, i'll show you."
So once again I was exploring the "lost cities" of syrupleaf, large areas beneath the actual fortress where few ever go and fewer ever use. I ofter worry about getting lost in these unused mazes, but at the same time iv'e seen dusty but unworn clothing, unopened barrels of ale in the corner and even a few well-made crafts in my journeys into forgotten Syrupleaf.
In fact this time I found a previously undiscovered room, full of various junk, clothing and even abandoned shops. I can't even tell why they were abandoned, other than being in an inconvenient location. Still, you think the merchants would take their inventory with them when they left...
"Ey, did you hear, the mountainhomes were sending some new workers over, they were due here today...did they show up at all?"
I shook my head, but damn was I glad to hear that! Provided they survive the trip, it'll be nice to have more help. Maybe some will even know how to fight!
"So, what's the problem?" I asked as we headed down the last stairwell before the farms
"Remember when those guys pulled the lever for molearnok?"
I nodded to him. I was.."indisposed" at the time, but i'm sure someone did it.
"Well" spoonboy said..
"It wasn't the lever fer the moles."
Oh for fucks sake.
Eiba wrote :-
What's this talk of defeat?! Don't we still have Markus, Chance, Eiba, and now are viking of rock? We thought that the end would come when royal w fell, but look at how far the fort has come!
All I really want... is to be half the dwarf Dash Magnum was... but I can only pretend...
If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go cry like a little girl in fear with my moles now. Please don't let the Spawn get me...
[I was going to drop this plot point somehow at the end of my turn, but got cut off, and it didn't seem all that important.]
Knockknees wrote :-
ATTN OVERSEER ORANGESODA:
I, Knockknees, Lye-Maker, creator of a divinely inspired Turtle Shell Helm, formerly an aspiring Soap Maker, do humbly apply for military service.
I wanted to make soap, once, but there is no soap to be made here. I understand now that the helm the gods directed me to make was a message. This is how they want me to serve in Syrupleaf.
When there is death all around, does a dwarf mope in the corridors? When terror abounds does a dwarf descend into madness? Well not this Dwarf! I want to Fight!
And if I should fall in battle, please grant me this one request: that you would give my departing soul wings with a performance of my old song "Knockknees Lye Soap"
It is my deep hope that you honor this petition.
Freudian Slip wrote :-
To the overseer OrangeSoda,
I Freudian Slip have had my efforts ignored and even mocked by previous overseers. I have created a hammer that would make the gods themselves proud. Yet it sits idle whilst the fortress crumbles. Sirocco was the only overseer who appreciated it - but wouldn't use it himself as he was too attached to "Patsy". The jocks in our military won't use it, because it's too "Phallic" (not their word). I have grown to distrust everyone in this dam place and have been reduced to digging and hauling.
Uncle Jam posted:
Trusts No one - FreudianSlip
As the new overseer and a fresh face to Syrupleaf, you could help stop this decline.
Either use me as the legendary that weaponsmith I am or let me use the hammer and place me on the front lines.
TremendousMajestic wrote :-
ATTENTION ORANGE SODA!
I want to give up the Noble's life.
I do love a good hammering, as much as I love nearly anything in this world, and, as such, I believe I would love even MORE delivering a good hammering to our enemies.
I hereby denounce my noble status and offer to join the military at the lowest rank in order to defend the fortress
Please replace me as Hammerer with the first willing immigrant or willing current resident.
I want nothing more than to offer my life in the defense of Syrupleaf.