Part 30: Jazzimus Prime: Update 3
Syrupleaf - Chapter V Part 3 - The Copper and the Quern
12th Granite 142
I order the dwarves to bring the wood left by the fallen elves into the fortress. As the haulers march to the scene of the battle, a giant cave swallow swoops from the sky to threaten them. Idles brandishes his mining pick at the beast menacingly, and it flies away.
25th Granite 142
The situation has settled down a bit. Our scouts report that there do not appear to be any more sand raiders in the immediate area. Our steelmaking industry continues to operate at peak efficiency.
While hunting mammoths out on the glacier, Ideya Keeper is assaulted by an old enemy of Syrupleaf, the batman Lekokab.
Ideya's skills with a crossbow are formidable, however. She fires a crossbow bolt directly into Lekokab's face, and the battle is quickly over.
26th Slate 142
The situation outdoors has been fairly quiet for over a month now. I decide to head to the front gates and take a look outside the fortress myself.
I walk past the craftsdwarf workshops in the central chamber of the fortress. Gerblyn and Koorisch have stacked dozens upon dozens of masterpiece crafts outside of their respective workshops.
Walking out the front passageway, I pass HeliTurtle, who is smoothing the last few rough areas of the floors and walls of the passage.
I walk around the area outside of the fortress. Soon after, I discover an exposed vein of copper ore only a couple hundred yards from the entrance. I decide to take a chance that the outdoor situation will remain under control for a few more weeks, and order the vein mined out.
2nd Felsite 142
The outdoor mining is complete, and I order a group of dwarves to haul the copper into the fortress near the smelters. All of the haulers dutifully fill their mining carts with copper nuggets, and roll the carts into the fortress. All of the haulers except for one, that is.
The mason Sirocco sits down in the snow, staring intently at the freshly mined copper nuggets, lost in thought. I call to him, but cannot get his attention. Eventually I walk over to him and ask him if anything is wrong. He looks up at me for a moment, but says nothing. Then, with a faraway look in his eyes, he proceeds to roll his mining cart slowly into the fortress.
I follow him, watching from a distance. Passing through the gatehouse, he grabs a piece of the elven wood and tosses it into the mining cart. He continues rolling the cart down the entrance hallway, and then stops in the main chamber.
He should be bringing the cart to the smelters where it belongs. What is he doing, I wonder?
Sirocco picks up a large chunk of obsidian off of the ground and places it into his cart, and then rolls it into a Mason's Workshop, locking the door behind him.
I walk to the smelters, where the rest of the ore has been taken. I see that we have stockpiled a large quantity of ore, and we cannot seem to smelt it fast enough.
I order the construction of six additional magma smelters, and request that several idle dwarves, including The White Crane, Kallisti, and Goosekrieg, begin operating the new furnaces. Skullbuggy also volunteers to work the furnaces in his spare time.
9th Felsite 142
A week later, Sirocco emerges from his workshop, proudly carrying a great obsidian quern studded with designs carved from copper nuggets. It is certainly a thing of beauty, although several dwarves grumble that the artifact is useless. I do not agree with them, for we can certainly put this to use when the cave wheat harvest comes.
22nd Felsite 142
The elite wrestler Lackloss informs me that he has suffered a severe back injury while training. He is still able to fight, but now has great difficulty lifting the sort of heavy weights typical for Dwarven strength training. As it appears that he is permanently unable to train further, I grant Lackloss a couple of weeks off duty to rest, after which he will be stationed to guard the front gates of Syrupleaf.
1st Hematite 142
Summer, or at least what passes for such a thing in this desolate place, has arrived. There has been no sign yet of the fabled Spawn of Holistic, but Skullbuggy assures me it is only a matter of time.
OutOfPrint wrote :-
From the Pen on OutOfPrint
I miss you more than my dwarven heart can bear. Every day I am without you is darker than the day before.
Syrupleaf is an unforgiving place. Season after season, we are besieged by Things best left unspoken. The creeping cold permeates throughout the fort, bringing ill tidings and new challenges with each passing month.
Still, things are getting better. We have booze now, and water. Our clothing industry is among the finest in the world (as you can see from the enclosed mittens I bought for you!), and steel production is reaching a fevered pitch. I am proud to be here, lending my hand at taming this cruel and wild place.
My only wish is that I were here with you.
P.S. Having my own bed would be nice too
I really like the narrative being built up around this fort. There's a sense of looming dread I haven't seen in any other DF LP. So far, and I know I'll be eating these words within two overseers, tops, it seems a little less over-the-top than Headshoots, which is kind of refreshing.
Screaming Idiot wrote :-
FROM THE WRITIN'S O' PUMP OPERATOR SCREAMIN' IDIOT, OPERATOR OF PUMPS
Entry 1: THE GLORY OF OPERATIN' THA PUMPS
Some folks'll say that a fortress is founded 'pon tha backs of its miners. Others'd say that it's the overseer's guidance. Most would say it's the brewers, an' I'm hard-pressed ta disagree. Some fools'd claim it's the military.
But they's all wrong, they are! Nay, the true heart o' the fortress is its pump operators! We brave souls operate the delicate mechanicalnisms what make the fortress work! Yeh need water fer yer farm? Bam! Ol' Screamy's gotcher covered, he does! Yeh got some malformed beasty outside givin' yer swordboys some trouble? Not a problem! I grab tha crank, give it a yank, and flood the whole bloody thing with lava! Yer wife not producin' children fer yeh like yeh want? Well, I can pump more than lava an' water, if'n yeh know what I mean, har har.
All jokin' aside, the true heart of a fortress is its pump operators. Without us operatin' tha pumps, why, where would we be? Up shite creek without someone ta pump tha boat dry, that's where yeh'd be! Besides, what's a heart do? It pumps blood! So me metaphor be accurate as accurate can be, so all yer snobby swordboys can take their shiny steel toys and ram 'em right up where tha sun don't shine! Which for us dwarves can be practically any orifice, so I ain't real choosy-like.
Sirocco wrote :-
The Journal of Sirocco: FIRST ENTRY
Hey, diary! I can't afford to buy a journal so I'm just going to go ahead and engrave my thoughts on the fortress walls. NO PEEKING, GUYS! I MEAN IT! THIS IS PRIVATE!
So where was I, diary?! OH yeah! Syrupleaf! I love this place so much!!!! The ice, the snow... the musical screams of the eternally damned... it just speaks to me in a way that's just so... yeah. You know?
The others say they can't stand the cold, of course. The unreliable sources of food and water, the threat of death at every corner, the constant labour for little material reward... and a million other fussy-wussy little things I can't remember - but you know what, diary? You know what? They just can't appreciate the natural wonder that surrounds them, that's what! You've got to seize the day! Did I just lounge about and mope the day my father, mother, and three brothers were dragged into the lake by a small sturgeon? Not me! I engraved pictures of it all over the mountain home until they got fed up and sent me to this place. They said I was upsetting people. And now I'm here! Beautiful Syrupleaf! A cosy little castle nestled in the icy bosom of the frost-beaten wastes! So inspiring! I try to tell people how wonderful it is living here but they just give me these weird looks!!! WHAT'S THAT ALL ABOUT, DIARY? HUH?! I don't think they like me very much. They didn't even want to have a beetle drive.
But nevermind those party poopers! I can have fun all by myself, can't I, diary?! So yeah, ha, I made a quern today. Jazzimus (that's the new guy, he's got a funny beard, ha ha ha) said he liked the jaguar and I didn't tell him it was supposed to be a mountain lion! DON'T TELL ANYONE, DIARY, HA HA HA! THAT WOULD BE TOO EMBARRASSING! I also drew a square but I forgot to include the corners so I said it was the full moon. I think he believed me.
Well that's all I've got to say for now, diary! I've got some 'Home Sweet Home' wall hangings to put around the place! It's gonna be so darling!
Skullbuggy wrote :-
Entry - 19 Slate, the Fifth Year
Good God, Udibgovos has been moving slow as molasses for the last couple days. Looking outside, there's absolutely NOTHING there (though living on a damned glacier does that), including Holistic Spawn... so maybe we're doing better than we thought.
In any case, unless something INTERESTING happens soon, I don't think I'll be needing this.
- S. Mengigam, Manager
Entry - 2 Fels., the Fifth Year
You know, working in the mines isn't honestly as bad as I thought. I used to think that it was work for lunatics and beasts of burden, but after offering to do the job (read: they were out of competent dwarves) I found that it was actually a bit amusing!
Granted, it was kind of h ______ n there, and some of the lava spla ______________ ournal, and I had to t ___ off my coat (my coat! how can I go about not wearing th ______________ sn't all too dreary. I got some practise in with the other dwarves--kind of a down-to-earth experience for me. Kallisti and Goosekrieg definitely had some interesting stories... something about a girl with a broom ha _________________________________________________________________________ , what a laugh!
It dawns on me that I shouldn't be writing in my journal while on the job. It seems that everybody's doing it now, and maybe easing up on the writing might set a better example... especially for those lazier dwarves. I'm trying to help run a colony, here!
- S. Mengigam, Manager
Entry - 1 Hem., the Fifth Year
It's been too quiet around here.
- S. Mengigam, Manager
Drakenel wrote :-
From the journal of Drakenel, Furnace Operator.
Steel. It's valuable, hard, and quite a chore to make. But someone has to do it, ya? The other dwarves don't always make it easy for me though. Half of the time I have to go out and get the materials myself when someone decides that making crafts to trade to a caravan that will never fucking make it to the depot.
Speaking of depots, we suddenly got sand raiders that attacked the elven caravan... in a glacier. Why they were all the way out here, I don't know. I was just hauling more materials back to the furnace because apparently people have better things to do, when this Jazzimus prick yells at me to go alert the military. Do I look like their fucking manager?! I threw the flux stone at his feet and went off to do it anyway. Although when I got there, they were all content with staying in the barracks; fighting, eating and fuckin each other. Only that Luigi's Discount chick left when I told them that we had freaking sand raiders at our doors.
I realized that it was for these pricks that I was making this steel for. These self important asswipes that were certain that whatever they were doing was more important than defending their homes. I... didn't even have an insult to shout at them. I just sighed and went back to my furnace...
I hate my job.
The_White_Crane wrote :-
Excerpt from the Journal of Thatthilfikod 'The White Crane' - Masterjeweler
3rd Felsite - 142
This is an outrage! I, the creator of Insélodkish Rumadaknûn, denigrated to furnace operation? My nimble fingers will be blistered and hardened by the constant labour, and my keen eyes blinded by the gouts of scalding steam! Who does this 'Jazzimus' think he is, to keep me from my Art? He shall pay, by Armok he shall pay!
9th Felsite - 142
Curse that so-called Overseer! Sirocco Lareral has wrought a most marvellous obsidian Quern! While I'm not sure how wise it was to put cedarwood spikes all over it, I cannot deny its beauty. If I cannot return to my gemcraft I shall be left behind, and my status in the Art world will be ruined! I must plot... Scheme, yes...