Part 229: Pozzo: Update 4
Update 4, Vander Gemurbim, Clothier and Siege Apprentice
13th Granite, 152
The two weeks since our Mayors sudden transformation had been something of a revelation for me. The past two years we had been without any solid leadership what with the rule by mandate of Countess Accursed and her odd daughter and then the rule by post-it-note of the mysterious Tosanu and I for one was finally glad to have an assertive and 'get-things-done' dwarf finally take the helm. Many of the other dwarfs had questioned the odd behaviour and the nature of 'Bobzzos' transformation but I knew in time they would come around to my way of thinking and agree with me that it was for the best and that it was a nice and pleasant surprise to see our mayor finally rise above the odd little funk he had been in for the past 12 years since his injury!
A day or two after the explosion I was sitting having lunch with TheWhiteCrane in the dining hall when Bobzzo walked up to us to ask us a bit about what jobs we had been doing recently and I was forced to say to him "Actually sir since the last post-it-note of Tosanu didn't mention me I took that to mean I did not need to do anything so I have spent most of the last few weeks making sandwiches drinking sewer brew and tossing bones into the chasm and other such time-wasting busywork". He responded with a resounding laugh:
"By jingo, hah ha! Well fair enough fellow, I know I would jump at the chance to skive off around here! But what would you normally do? What is your trade?" to which I replied
"Well sir I am a clothier by trade and in fact probably the finest sock maker in the whole fort if not in the general region for hundreds of miles in any direction"
"Ah." said Bobzzo and continued "Well, that's all good and proper, lad, but a finely crafted sock isn't going to be all together that helpful with killing a spawn, is it? Let me think." and at that he stopped talking and stared blankly over my head for a while. "Tell you what, you know whats like a sock?" he asked me and I thought about it and could think of several things that seemed like a sock but none of which would have to do with killing a spawn and so I said
"I don't know sir what is like a sock?" and he replied
"A ballista! Since our only trained siege engineer - Idles - doesn't have any hands anymore, I'm making you chief siege engineer!" This seemed to me to be slightly derivative but I was getting sick of sandwiches so I said
"Thank you sir I do like trying new things".
"Yes! First off, do you know where the pyramid is?"
"Yes sir I believe I do know the location of the pyramid"
"Yes, funny old place. I got up the top and there's some lippy bastard caught in a statue trying to scare me off! Tried to tell the bally fellow that its all alright, I'm here to help, but he wouldn't have any of it and kept trying to claw at me. Had a bit of difficulty, though, because he was a statue! Hah ha! Anyway. What was I talking about again?"
"Siege engines sir"
"Ah yes, well down the bottom of the pyramid there's a mess of ballistae that some damn fool has aimed back at the wall for some reason."
"Well I want you to go and disassemble them, and when you're done, you get together whipping up some arrows. I hear there are a lot of parts about because that Moleboy fellow keeps shooting his lip off about them." Then he stopped and turned to TheWhiteCrane and said "And you there, what have you been doing?" TheWhiteCrane replied "Ahem. Well, I've mainly been trying to engrave the walls around here, and record all that's happened to us here."
"Ah! Capital idea! Well, I tell you what, you keep doing that."
"Ok then Bobzzo. Anything in particular you think I should record?"
"Well, make sure you get a few pictures of me in there."
"Ok then, done."
"...Anything else you want?"
"Oh, jiggered if I know. Demons?"
"Certainly. I'll start now."
And so TheWhiteCrane got up to engrave and I got up to engineer for the first time in my life and that was how I became the chief siege engineer of Syrupleaf. Bobzzo himself walked away whistling and I saw him collect a pick up off the floor and start off down the hall. Koorisch told me he had started singing and mining away just north of the new entrance to the fort.
The ballista it turned out were quite hard to disassemble and even though I went to talk to Idles in his bed and ask him for any tips he kept waving his arm stumps around in pain and falling unconscious so I couldn't get much out of him. The ballista were so hard to disassemble that I was working at it for two straight weeks and was nearly done when on the 13th I was out there and all of a sudden I saw movement out in the snow to the south of the pyramid.
I ran to the main hall to find Bobzzo to let him know but he already knew they had arrived somehow. He said "Ah, lad, I know. Its not as if it doesn't happen the same every year! Look, there are those bloody stupid elves again."
"...It seems there's three groups, about 40 or 50 of them in total."
Bobzzo looked at me now, grinning maniacally. I remembered fondly his former vacant expression. He grabbed me by the shoulders.
"Can you smell that? Lad? That's the smell of battle! Once more into the breach, Vander, my man! Once more into the breach!"