Part 195: Orangesoda: Update 10
Day by day, the fortress seems like a more draining place.
They say it was like this once before. They say that souls howled from the very walls, the souls of the dead sealed here forever. The soul beacon atop the pyramid allows us to pass on in death, but did it solve everything?
I don't think it did. It's tiring to even be alive in this place. The band and I don't even practice. We haven't been able to play well, I can't even sing anymore. Ever since this scar appeared around my neck, my voice grows hoarse and gurgling, as if my throat has been damaged.
Tehsid's corpse was decapitated today. It's become a tradition to decapitate the corpse of a fort's strongest champion, lest they arise as unstoppable monstrosities as Hollistic did so long ago at Headshoots.
Headshoots. I can remember headshoots now, but they are not my memories. They're his. My ancestor, the captain of Headshoot's guard. He walked among the living as one of the dead, he ruled the entire fortress for a time and was one of it's champion warriors. Why do I remember HIS memories?
Iv'e noticed a kid around the fortress as of late that I hadn't seen before. He's really nice and polite, but the poor lad is missing an eye. He just kinda wanders around with his eyepatch, occasionally passing out due to some sort of brain injury. If he makes it to adulthood, I think he'd make an excellent fortress guard.
While musing about this and that in my head, I wandered the fortress, listening to dwarves chatter on about the siege and those we lost. As if listening in on us, fate decided to proper bitchslap us. Twice. Backhanded.
There was nothing we could do. I ordered the bridge from the trade depot raised, effectively sealing off our fortress from the outside world. Then, I laughed. I fell into the rock dust and dirt, laughing and babbling. I don't really know that came next, I blacked out and awoke in bed. I assume that I most likely suffered from some sort of breakdown.
I believe I am hallucinating. I witnessed a jellyfish crawl from the collapsed bones of a spawn, slopping across the ground as it attempted to devour a kitten, who was luckily too fast for the venomous creature. It died soon due to the lack of water, but that doesn't make things any better.
Luckily, the bridge was raised in time. Eiba was even happy to hear that we could isolate his moles with us when we holed up. I guess if we could easily do so, then why not save the poor guy's pets, even if he is a murder suspect.
The spawn stopped, dumbfounded when they realized they couldn't access our fortress anymore. They hobbled around outside, howling and screeching, hungry for meat and blood that they would never get. No, i'd let starvation take us before those things would.
Alongside all this death, new life managed to spring up, The countess gave birth to a new baby girl, "MortuusLupus". A rather grim name for a child, but she was behaving normally and was healthy so far.
But her mother, the countess...I realize now that sealing out the spawn only sealed us in with the true monsters. The nobles continued to make demands and threatened those who tried to reason with them. Eiba is requesting things made of "Nickle silver", though there's no nickle in the damned fortress.
The bourgeois fucks took it out on one of our recruits, cracking his skull and giving him possible brain damage. They snuck up on him while he slept, of course. They didn't do it in person either.
And that's when things really got bad.
I suppose I should've saw it coming, really. It would be stranger if this didn't happen at this point.
In the panic surrounding the Titan's arrival, the nobles struck again. One of our best miners was now out of action for months at best with a hammer-smashed arm.
The fortress's infrastructure was being broken down by their idea of "justice", yet they didn't care.
I didn't care anymore either. About anything.
I wanted the adamantine in the chamber gone. I wanted it gone fast. I ordered the miners to begin mining it all out, yet after a few strikes to the adamantine veins, Cuddlebottom suddenly screamed at us. He screamed in a horrible tone that wasn't even his.
"DON'T TOUCH MY ADAMANTINE! IT'S MINE! MINE DAMN YOU! MINE!!"
He chased the fleeing miners upstairs, only to run into a wardog. It was already wounded, missing a leg, but he didn't think it was enough, mangling the poor thing further. However, in his rage, he failed to see a second dog lunging for him.
Needless to say, we don't have to worry about him anymore.
The spawn waited outside day and night now. They waited by the bridges outside, they knew that our supply caravans came in from there, following the frozen brook they guarded closely, then one that's...wait...is it thawing?
...It is. The frozen brook road we used as a trade route was thawing out, the spawn waited along it to ambush any supplies we had coming, food stocks were running mildly low due to various issues, a Titan waited for us if we somehow bested the spawn and worst of all we were running short on booze with no skilled brewer on hand.