Part 41: Jazzimus Prime: Intermission
1st Granite 143
Having left Phrederick in charge of overseeing the fortress, I look over the fortress inventory records that have been prepared by Skullbuggy. In my new role as Fortress Hoardmaster, the responsibility for maintaining such records now falls to me.
Perhaps reading through all of the numbers a sixth or seventh time will help me finally get to sleep. Perhaps not.
I think I can hear the demon chuckling again.
Chance II wrote :-
Journal 1: Granite 2
As I carve this entry into this felsite tablet, my hands shake both with excitement and terror. Excitement of new discovery and terror at the ramifications of this discovery. This past fortnight has confirmed the truth of the legends of the fell Holistic Detective and that dread creature's spawn. For years have I dismissed such stories as mere myth, suitable to scare children or lies told by drunkards deep in their cups. Unfortunately, I must now accept them as fact. Seven days previous, a group of woodcutters whom I have often prevailed upon to indulge my hobby of studying the inner workings of various creature they happen across in the course of their work, deposited the corpse of a creature they claimed accosted them in the woodland far to the north of the Mountainhome.
At first I was horrified and denounced the men as murderers for the corpse they had drug before me resembled nothing so much as the mutilated remains of a dwarf! Yet, upon closer inspection (and a calming tug from the silver flask of dwarven rum in my breast pocket], I realized that no manner of work with fist or hatchet could account for the horrible misshapen thing before me. I ordered the corpse brought to my cold celler before the bone carvers caught wind of its arrival. Those stone cursed bone carvers would not be making flutes of THIS find!
Locked within my study, I carefully dissected the creatures remain. Or what was left of it I should say. Let me clarify. The woodcutters claim that they encountered the creature dragging itself along with its arms, trailing various vitrea and organs behind. So, mistaking it for a gravely wounded dwarf, they attempted to render aid. Upon approaching however, the creature lashed at them with its clawed arm, score a deep gash along one dwarf's thigh. In a rage, the injured dwarf removed the offending creature's appendage with his ax. Perhaps finally at its limits, the creature let out a terrible shriek and collapsed. The wood cutters observed that a strange glowing deep within the creature's chest faded out with this last deathcry. *see note in attached engraving.
I end this entry with a few initial observances pertaining to the dissection and study of this creature, this Spawn. Most apparent, is the vertical gash running ventrally from mid navel to just under the creature's nasal passage. This wounding corresponds with those of the legendary Holistic Detective and appear to not have been related to the creature's death. Indeed, the monster shares many characteristics with other examples of undead creatures I have examined. Yet where normal zombified dwarves or humans are merely reanimated corpses, much of this creatures nature has become transfigured by some unnatural force. Examples for this include the monster's freakishly regrown claws and carmelized blood. Where hands should be, the creature has apparently partially regrown horrible clawlike talons. Explaining the woodsmen's claims that the creature did not bleed is that all the blood in the creature had carmelized, as if exposed to great heat, rendering it too thick to move through the body. Within the chest cavity I found a fist sized obsidian stone, warm to the touch. I speculate that this stone was the strange glow the wood cutters mentioned.
This will require much more study. I will log all of my finding in this journal for future dwarven scholars.
Sirocco wrote :-
While we're waiting...
The Journal of Sirocco: SIXTH ENTRY
I had a really satisfying sparring session lately!!! Usually when I spar it's all a bit, you know, same old same old... but this time I think I've really made some progress! It seems like it was only yesterday... but it was really this morning! That's a bit weird if you ask me.
I walked into the barracks for the first training session of the new year: it's the first of Granite already! Hey, all the months are named after rocks!!! I can't believe I never noticed before!!1 ha ha whoops, I engraved a one instead of an exclamation mark. Blame it on this old worn chisel of mine, diary!
Anyway, I walked into the barracks and saw my good buddy tehsid!
'You don't pronounce it with a capital T, Sirocco, how many times?!' he grumbled.
'Sorry, tehsid! I won't make the same mistake twice! HEY do you wanna spar! I've just sharpened my hammer!'
tehsid's expression was one of apprehension - but I like to think he was confusing it with enthusiasm! They are both very long words after all!!!
'I don't think you're supposed to do that,' he said. 'Maybe we could spar later? I haven't been given a weapon yet-'
'Unguard! Touchy!' I cried, leaping forward and swinging my hammer at the unsuspecting foe! You've got to take them unawares, diary! The element of surprise is ten times as terrible as an adamantine sword, that's what they said at Boatmurdered! I think it was element? Might have been something else actually. This memory of mine, ha ha ha!
'By the beard of Imketh, are you trying to kill me?!' shouted tehsid who had managed to dodge my blow (grr!!!).
'We're just SPARRING, it's not real, tehsid,' I laughed and hefted my hammer for another counteroffensive, the sharpened spike glinting in the torchlight.
I swung my hammer with all my strength, and tehsid dived into the corner (he's just like a snakeman, ha ha ha!) and my hammer smashed a bed to splinters instead.
'Oopsies! Ha ha ha, you won't tell Phrederick about that will you?' I asked, swinging Patsy towards tehsid again. OH! Did I forget to say that?! I called my hammer Patsy.
'You're INSANE!' tehsid screamed, just managing to duck my swing as it bust a new window in the barracks wall (you don't think anyone will mind, right diary? I've tried to hide it with some rope reed cloth with WALL written on it but I think the others are getting suspicious!!!).
'HELP! DEAR ARMOK, SOMEONE HELP ME! ANYONE!' tehsid cried, fleeing through the door. He's a really good actor, diary! For a moment I honestly think he was afraid of me!!! It's really great practice for when I have to fight the spawn (I just know they'll run away at the sight of Patsy - she's a little more violent than I am, ha ha ha!).
I chased him through the door, but FlocksofMice tripped me up and took me to the jail to 'cool off' for the night. That'll be easy here in Syrupleaf, diary! Ha ha ha! That tehsid is one tactical player! But I wish he would hurry up and explain we weren't REALLY fighting! I'm running out of space on this wall and the chain's chafing a little on my leg. I hope I'm not allergic!
Oh well! It's a new experience and I'll get some cool dwarf cred after spending some 'time on the inside' so it's not all bad! Can't wait to get out of here and spar with tehsid a bit more! I think we're going to be really good friends!
Bye, diary! Buh-byeeee!!!
My, ah, apologies to tehsid.