The Let's Play Archive

Dwarf Fortress - Syrupleaf

by Various

Part 31: Jazzimus Prime: Update 4

Syrupleaf - Chapter V Part 4 - The Bone Collectors

5th Hematite 142

Our bone carvers have carved all of the bones we have available. I request that Skaw, Screaming Idiot, and Recursive head outdoors to gather bones from the scenes of the previous battles and bring them into the fortress. For their safety, they are accompanied by the ranger Ideya Keeper and the wrestler Lackloss. Skaw's pet war dog Fath Babakost follows him outside.

The snowstorm has calmed down for the moment. I climb to the vantage point at the top of the mountain to observe.

As Skaw gathers bones from the site of the elven caravan's ambush, I see something leap at him from the shadows. It appears to be a sand raider swordsman! I yell to alert Lackloss and Ideya Keeper, as Skaw's war dog bravely leaps at the raider to save his master.

The dog bites at the raider's shield arm and latches on. Grunting in pain, the raider runs the dog through with his sword. The dog whimpers meekly and slides off of the sword onto the ground, staining the snow red with blood. Skaw's expression changes from one of confusion to one of utter despair mingled with rage. Completely unarmed, he charges at the swordsman, who smirks and holds his sword at the ready.

At that very moment, Lackloss and Ideya Keeper crest a nearby snowbank and sprint towards the battle. Seeing the two well armed and armored dwarves, the raider turns and flees into the trackless snow. Skaw gives chase for a time, but another snowstorm whips up suddenly, causing him to lose the trail.

Skaw, the legendary carpenter, sinks into a deep depression, having lost his beloved pet. He continues to perform his duties admirably, but his heart is obviously no longer in it.


8th Hematite 142

As Recursive collects a pile of troglodyte bones near the crevasse, a batman swoops out from the chasm to threaten him. Fortunately, Ideya Keeper is standing nearby with her crossbow, and she peppers the creature with bolts, quickly ending that particular threat.


11th Hematite 142

Almost all of the outdoor bones have been collected by now. Screaming Idiot, guarded by Ideya Keeper, is out collecting the last few bones from a couple of batman corpses. This should provide enough material for our bone carvers for the remainder of the calendar year.

As Screaming Idiot tosses the bones and skulls into a rope reed sack, Ideya Keeper sees a sand raider wrestler leap at her in ambush from behind a snow bank. She calmly fires a crossbow bolt into the raider's right leg, crippling him.

She does not see the other ambusher, a sand raider axeman, creeping up on her from behind.

Screaming Idiot yells at Ideya to look behind her. She swivels around just in time to see the sand raider's axe descending upon her head.

Grinning, the raider axeman charges at Screaming Idiot, who flees for the fortress gates. Hearing the commotion, the elite wrestler Lackloss charges out of the gatehouse to intercept the invader.

Lackloss stuns the raider with a punch to the face, his mailed gauntlet shattering the raider's nose. The raider axeman's face contorts with rage and pain. Lackloss follows this with a brutal roundhouse kick to the midsection. The axeman is sent flying a few yards away, but is able to quickly roll to his feet and flee into the snow.

Lackloss gives chase, but in his heavy plate mail he is unable to catch up to the lightly armored sand raider. Ideya Keeper's death will have to go unavenged.


12th Hematite 142

The dwarves of Syrupleaf solemnly gather in the crypt for Ideya Keepers's funeral with full Dwarven military honors, her body borne by pallbearers The Deadly Hume, Skullbuggy, Goosekrieg, A124!, Kennel, and FlocksOfMice.

As Bobthethurd gives the eulogy, my mind begins to wander. There still has been no sign of the fabled Spawn. I confess that I am beginning to question the veracity of these stories. The terrible snowstorms here impede the vision of even the best of dwarves. Woolly mammoths can certainly appear to be terrifying beasts when seen from a great distance. It is likely that sasquatches wander these regions as well.

The fact remains that no dwarf has seen one of these spawn up close and lived to tell about it.

I believe that the very real threat of more ambushes from these sand raiders is a greater danger than some mythical undead beings at this time. I do not speak openly of my suspicions, but I order our scouts and hunters all to be outfitted in full plate armor, and request that the guards at the gate run regular patrols outside of the fortress's entrance.

64bitrobot wrote :-

Date Unknown, Year 142. Log of 64bitrobot, Captain of the Guard

I've been hearing a lot of stories around. Apparently there have been many ambushes by creatures known as sand raiders. The death of an elven caravan and a dwarf of our own. And a kidnapping as well.

This news distresses me. I know not where these ambushes come from, but I wish I had left our military on patrol of the trade route. I took them off it before our new overseer arrived, this was a mistake it seems. Oh well, nothing we can do now. The loss of Ideya Keeper worries me, she was a good hunter, able to bring in wooly mammoths without problem, and able to take care of most batman that would attack her.

I mean no blame on the current overseer, but there was not a single death under my rule, though perhaps, it is just fate.

I however, lie useless here in this bed. Unable to properly do anything of use to the fort.

And I'm not even in my own bedroom.


Loving the narrative on these updates, can't wait for more.

OrangeSoda wrote :-

From the diary of stonecrafter "Orange Soda"

I made a MUG! HELL YEAH!


Screaming Idiot wrote :-


Bloody 'ells, this new overseer's gonna be tha death of all of us, by Armok's bloody beard. I'mma pump operator, one of tha best, an' 'e sends me ta go out an' collect bones? What sorta sick fuck is he? If I didn't know better, I'd say 'e was tryin' ta get me an' tha lads killed out there.

I keep hearin' Ideya's screams in me 'ead. She was just a mushminded swordgirl, but she died defendin' me life. How'm I 'sposed ta repay 'er? I'm a dwarf what pays back 'is debts, but... ah! Words fail me!

I'm not a brave dwarf. I'm not a fighter. I'mma technicalnician, an artisan o' tha pumps and the operation of which. Me 'ands--callused and tough as they are--was built fer pullin' levers and tightening bolts.

And by Armok's fiery nutsack, it's bleedin' cold out there! The winds cut ta tha marrow, and the chill permeates yer 'eart 'til ya feel nothin' left. It's no wonder tha spawn laugh at our swords an' axes--they're numb from tha cold, an' no pain simple steel can inflict can compare ta tha agony o' their lives.

Why'd I leave fer this place? Ain't nothin' 'ere but pain an' death an' cold an' more death.

I'mma pump operator. I operate tha pumps. I ain't no fighter an' I ain't no bone collector.

I need a drink.

Zoe posted:

I forget what Screaming Idiot's profession is but he needs to be made a squad leader and put on the front lines of the next battle, the Knives of Flame is an awesome enough name to overcome any lack of skill.

Also, requesting more diary entries from Sirocco please.


Sirocco wrote :-

The Journal of Sirocco: SECOND ENTRY

Hey, diary!

It's a sad day today, we lost Idaya Kipper (I think that's how you spell it?) to an uncivilised sand raider! I think he must have been lost or something because there's no sand for miles around here! Just cold, cold ice! Maybe he confused deserts with DESSERTS?! Ha ha ha! I should write that down! Wait, I already did! Silly me! Anyway, it's been quite the downer but I always try to look on the bright side of things so to cheer everyone up I suggested we have an essay competition! Simple 2000 words dissertations on what everyone's favourite things were about Syrupleaf would be so FUN to read and share, don't you think?!

I'm afraid to say it had a rather frosty (ha ha ha! I'm on a roll today, diary!) reception and I had to disqualify the only entrant for extremely naughty language! The imagery was bold and striking but simply too ghastly to be left on stone so I smoothed it over at the first opportunity and replaced it with a nice picture of a square instead (though I think it might actually have been a rectangle. Shh!)

After all the fuss had died down, I thought I'd go pay 64bitrobot a visit and read him some of the poems I've written about Syrupleaf! He threatened to throw me in jail after the first one (he's such a kidder!). After I was halfway through my fifth poem he did something really odd, diary! He PUNCHED HIMSELF IN THE FACE and knocked himself out cold! I felt so sad that he'd have to do something like that just to get some kip! The pain from his injuries must be terrible! Terrible! I knew I had to do something to get that frowny-frowny upside-downy!

He didn't have a cast so I engraved a heartwarming message on to the frozen tip of his beard (we've all got them now, they're so funny!) instead once he'd fallen asleep. Just a little 'Smiles and rainbows, champ! We're all counting on you!!!' to keep his spirits up!

I'm afraid that's all I've got room for today, diary! I'll be sure to let you know if I get eaten by Holistic spawn monsters! Ha ha ha! See ya!

Skullbuggy wrote :-

Entry - 5 Hem., the Fifth Year

The sand raiders attacked again. I can't help but feel like maybe it's not the best idea to go outside any more. I took it up with Jazzimus and suggested we keep the fortress on lockdown... he assures me the problem, while present, isn't a dire one... after all, we only lost one of our dogs.

Skaw seems to have lost much more, though... and I can't rightly berate him for that. His woodwork, though, is becoming a bit lackluster, and I can't help but hope he shapes up soon.

Sympathy, while nice to have, isn't important. Especially when trying to help oversee a colony.

- S. Mengigam, Manager

Entry - 9 Hem., the Fifth Year

I keep hearing those damn sand raiders yelping at us from outside. It's days like this that have me pining for the days when Holistic Spawn would try and batter our doors down.

- S. Mengigam, Manager

P.S. - I take it back. At least these things don't keep me up at night.

Entry - 12 Hem., the Fifth Year

I laid Ideya Keeper to rest today.

It was definitely eye-opening, if not tragic and sobering. I realized today that I was wrong about those sand raiders... they are a brutal kind, and completely merciless. I heard from Screaming Idiot (who was visibly shaken upon returning to our colony) that they approached her from behind and...

I'd rather not continue describing it. Even now, when I think about it, I start to get a bit queasy.

Screaming Idiot couldn't sleep that night. I heard him at his post, scrawling in a notebook and making sure the pumps were operating. He had taken with him a keg of ale. Can't say I blame the poor fellow.

All of Udibgovos, it seems, is now aware of the danger at hand. We need to lock down the colony, otherwise this will continue. I don't want to see this great colony die in its prime... especially not to a bunch of damned sand raiders.

- S. Mengigam, Manager

Skullbuggy wrote :-

Entry - Hem. 15, the Fifth Year

Some baldface humans came today, offering us food, wood, and sweet, sweet alcohol. Of course, it's worth it for all of our fine crafts... I can't say I'm handy with a loom, but I know several who are.

It appears they're going to be staying here for a bit. Ho, boy, this will be interesting.

- S. Mengigam, Manager

Entry - Hem. 24, the Fifth Year

I thought I smelled sulfur today. I think somebody just passed wind, though it pays to be cautious.

- S. Mengigam, Manager

Entry - 25 Mal., the Fifth Year

My god, we've struck gold! What a nice bit of serendipity on our part, eh? It seems that Jazzimus has ordered a bricklayer to pave the entry corridor with gold... I thought we'd have used it for something more useful, but that's just me, being the economic type.

It seems like things are looking up!

- S. Mengigam, Manager

Entry - 20 Gal., the Fifth Year

I smelled brimstone again.

- S. Mengigam