Part 32: Jazzimus Prime: Update 5
Syrupleaf - Chapter V Part 5 - The Calm Before the Storm
15th Hematite 142
A human merchant caravan has arrived. Hopefully this will give us the opportunity to replenish our wood stockpiles, as we are completely dependent upon trade for that particular resource in this climate. I order all idle dwarves to bring the crafts of Bobatron, Gerblyn, OrangeSoda, Koorisch, and Manuel Calavera to the trade depot.
Well, this is rather embarrassing. There is a row of levers just between the main chamber and the chasm, but I don't know which one lowers the east drawbridge to the trade depot. Although I suppose I could try every one of the levers, I have heard far too many stories of fortresses reaching an untimely end because a single unlabeled switch was holding back a magma gate.
I have no choice but to awaken the previous overseer 64bitrobot and ask for his assistance. He limps out of bed to point out the proper switch. Although the switch is labeled as "Bridge #4", I order its label changed to something a bit more obvious for future reference.
The human caravan pulls into the trade depot, and we trade crafts of rock, bone, and cave spider silk for all of the wood, alcohol, and food that they have to sell.
Bobthethurd and I meet with the human liaison to discuss a trade agreement for the next year.
"What would you like for us to bring next year?" asks the liaison.
"As much wood, alcohol, meat, and fish as your caravan can carry," I reply.
"Bring some metal bars as well, Bismuth Bronze in particular," adds Bobthethurd. I begin to wonder about this dwarf and his fetish for this particular archaic metal, but I keep my mouth shut and nod my head in agreement. Bobthethurd is an overwhelmingly popular mayor at Syrupleaf, having been re-elected in a landslide just a few days ago, and he is also the best miner that we have. It would be best for the fortress to keep him happy.
"Will there be anything else?" asks the liaison. "Any pets, perhaps? Dogs? Kittens?"
"No thank you," I chuckle.
"No, I don't think that... what?!? You have war horses?" I sputter.
"Yes. Yes, we do. We would be happy to sell you a few, if you'd like."
Bobthethurd and I look at each other incredulously.
"Er... yes. Yes, I think that we would like some war horses," I reply.
11th Malachite 142
As the human caravan rides off into the snow, I proudly look at our stockpiles. Not only do we have an ample supply of wood now, but we also have a wide selection of different foods and drinks. During the previous month, many dwarves had complained that they were tired of having nothing but Dwarven wine to drink. I hope that our new variety of spirits will raise the spirits of our dwarves.
But what of our metal stockpiles, I wonder? It is time that I check in at the furnaces to see for myself.
I visit the bustling furnace operations. Phrederick the Dungeon Master is doing an outstanding job of overseeing the production of steel, gold, and copper. I walk over to congratulate him.
"Phrederick, this is excellent. With you in charge of the furnace operations, I am free to focus on other things."
"Well, I'm doing the best I can," says Phrederick uncomfortably. "I admit that it's somewhat difficult, though, seeing as how I don't have a proper office or desk to deal with the paperwork. For that matter, I don't have most of what I require for my role as a Dungeon Master, either, but I'm able to make do."
I flush with embarrassment as I realize the implications of this. I have not seen to it that my own second-in-command has what he needs, and Phrederick has not taken it upon himself to request the metalworkers to work on the things he requires. He has truly put the needs of the fortress before his own.
I immediately order the metalsmith IMLemon to begin work on furnishings for Phrederick, which will be made of solid gold. This seems to improve Phrederick's mood immensely.
25th Malachite 142
News has reached me that our miners have struck another vein of gold beneath the mountain. Our military has stepped up its patrols of the surrounding area, but there have not been any new threats for quite some time. Dare I say that the fortunes of Syrupleaf might have turned around?
I order the entry corridor of the fortress to be paved with gold, knowing that such a display of our wealth is likely to keep the dwarves happy. Vox Nihili takes a break from working on steel armor in order to produce the golden bricks to pave the entryway.
Our military is attacked for the first time in almost two months, as Lackloss is attacked by a batman while on patrol in the caldera just above the volcanic magma pipe. Lackloss easily dispatches the creature with his bare hands.
16th Galena 142
Vox Nihili completes a stretch of the Golden Road connecting the gatehouse to the main chamber. The situation continues to improve here. The dwarves are as happy as I have seen them since I first arrived. Even Skaw has recently come out of his depression to organize a party.
30th Galena 142
Just before autumn arrives, 64bitrobot's leg, although still tender, has healed enough for him to leave his bed. A celebration is thrown in honor of the former overseer.
As the summer draws to a close, it seems as though nothing can go wrong here at Syrupleaf. There is still no sign of those fictional Spawn creatures, I think to myself with a chuckle. Why were they all so afraid?