Part 54: Silento Boborachi: Update 5
Months of Summer
Apparently the kobolds are not skilled enough to dig out the larger test chambers, due to their multiple level heights. I've persuaded bobthethurd with a little of the elven wine to carve out the rest, citing that they are ventilation shafts for the lower mines.
Apparently it was too much wine.
A human caravan arrives, who knows how long it took them to get here. They promptly tell me they can't reach the trade depot.
On closer inspection, it is revealed that whoever placed the depot here never bothered to check if caravans could actually arrive. I guess we were lucky the elves did not have wagons. I immediately order the fortress architect, who is also bobthethurd, to design a remedy quickly, before we miss out on the dwarven caravan's wagons in the fall as well.
Bobthethurd, falls drunkenly over one of the many
s in the depot yard, and then decides maybe they're the problem.
Regardless, I send some squads out to patrol, in case any more thieves show up.
As the boulders are removed, some of the human merchants, determined to not go home empty-handed, make their way to the depot with just their pack animals. Commerce will not be halted by mere rocks.
At the depot...
Trade Captain Lesno: "Get those animals unloaded Puji, even though we couldn't get the wagons here, I am NOT going to leave without a profit, especially after the journey it took to get here!
Merchant assistant Puji: "Off I go, then!"
Merchant assistant Rith: "Hey boss, where's that ranger running off to? Think he saw something?"
Trade Captain Lesno: "I think it's a she, probably saw a kobold, heard the elves had some issues with those worthless thieves."
Merchant assistant Rith: "Oh, that answers that question, but here's my next one, what's Aba looking at?"
Spearman Guard Aba: "D-D-D!"
Trade Captain Lesno: "Dog?"
Merchant assistant Rith: "Drake?"
Merchant assistant Puji: "D'oh?"
Spearman Guard Aba: DRAGON!
Merchant assistant Puji: "That's it. I'm dead."
Inside the fortress, a dwarven ranger heads into the partially finished Parasol factory, and heads to a cabinet. Flipping a switch inside, the cabinet swings aside to reveal a door. The ranger hurries in.
"S": "It's here."
SB: "WHAT!?! No no no! This is too soon! We're not even ready! The Manufactory doesn't even have its floodgates created, much less insta-"
"S": "Hate to rush you, but did I mention it looks hungry?"
SB: "Fine, if I can't prepare a proper test, we'll see how normal dwarven steel does. I might even get a new testing material out of the battle."
Experiment #52: Syrupleaf. 17th Hematite, 144. Early Summer.
Objective: Test fortress champions against a dragon
Without seeing the military in action, I am inclined to side with the dragon. However, they do seem well geared, once I told them to stop using their training weapons.
Hypothesis: Dragon puree' with a few casualties
Method: Full on battle with three and a half squads (seven dwarves) versus the beast.
The journal seems to be written in a less steady hand at this point
The journal resumes its analytical script
The experiment started off so well, I sent the squads to rally near the dragon, and... "S"...to the hills to get another vantage point for data collection.
The dragon waited at its spot, not seeming to move, which I thought was odd. Usually they use the element of surprise to scoop up any easy prey. Were they working together? Or did the dragon merely wait for them to soften up the defences, so that it could eat both parties once they were weakened? Regardless, things started going downhill immediately.
As I watched "S" move into position from the lab windows, suddenly the ground around her blew open, and 16 sand raiders leap from the glacier.
She didn't even have time to draw her weapon.
I order the remaining troops not involved with the dragon to the depot, and on the way Skaw lets me know he's throwing a party. If it wasn't for the witnesses I would have gutted him like a fish right on the spot.
Bobthethurd lets me know he's bought all the trader's goods, my glare shuts him up as the north and south drawbridges are raised.
Forces going against the dragon
Forces defending the depot with the caravan guards
Seeing the sand raiders appearance, the dragon charges the champions gathered to face it.
Alius immediately starts firing, as Tehsid and Firos (with two babies on her back) charge in, with Sirocco close behind. The dragon closes in on Firos first, taking a bolt to the upper body, and swipes with its left front leg. Firos ducks, and parries, damaging the leg. Tehsid takes the opportunity, with the dragon's weight mostly on the back left leg, to sever said leg completely from the body. Alius offers a bolt to the liver.
The beast falls unconscious, and is driven backwards.
Tehsid drives his hammer through the dragon's head, pulverizing the skull and brain, and before the beast's cerebrospinal fluid even begins to start draining, Alius drives a bolt through the dragon's heart.
Sirocco finally catches up, and gives the corpse a kick for good measure.
The kill is credited to Tehsid.
The sand raiders still approach, I order all squads to close and engage. Whitecloak and Sarcose, caught outside, begin evasion tactics. Whitecloak draws the closest sand raiders away while Sarcose escapes. An axeman is not fooled and still chases Sarcose. Whitecloak smashes a sand raider wrestler in the face with his fist, stunning him.
The military squads close in, and Firos gives a sand raider axeman a splitting headache. And upper body ache, and lower body ache, etc. They quickly decorate the glacier with sand raider entrails.
However, they are too late for two dwarves.
With the slaying of the last raider I order most of the squads back to the fortress. It's time to get a drink.
Bobbin Threadbare wrote :-
It was our errant leader Jazzimus Prime that caused the next events in my life to occur. After hearing the words mumbled in his sleep, I found I could not keep them from repeating in my head. Surely, I thought, keeping an eye upon him would assist in my own understanding, would explain the damnable words that repeated themselves in my head time and again! Alas, this would not come to be. I am unsure if my timing was the issue in question, but none of my continued attempts to listen in on his unconscious mumblings yielded anything but numbers and quantities, counted endlessly as his sleepful mind attempted to gain comfort from the desk upon which he had fallen asleep.
Instead, one of my evening sojurnes turned up a different sort of revelation. As I approached Mr. Prime's usual location, I noticed a movement to one side of the hall. Careful to avoid notice, I crept up to the interloper, hoping, I think, to encounter a fellow conspiritor, someone with whom I could share my suspicions. Imagine my surprise, dear reader, when I discovered my companion to be a kobold! Alas, I am not a fighting dwarf, so my first reaction was to instead sneak away and call for a guardsdwarf to come to my aid. However, as I was attempting to distance myself, I noted that the kobold had come equipped with a clipboard and pencil, rather than their usual armament of dagger and lockpicks. When he at last finished writing, the unknown kobold snuck off to locations unknown. And I, to my endless sorrow, followed him.
Skullbuggy wrote :-
Another dorf story. Ppppffft
"Armok be damned, what is wrong with you?"
Skullbuggy slapped the mayor, who now gave him his attention (not in full, but close).
"You could have killed yourself out there!" Skullbuggy said, clearly aggravated. "I mean, had that cave-in fallen upon you..." Skullbuggy sighed and sat down. "We could have lost our mayor."
"Whass... what's the point?" Bobthethurd slurred, clearly depressed. "I'm not... not really worthy, am I?"
"Look, Bob..." Skullbuggy shook his head. "You're perfectly capable. You're the best mayor we have-"
"I'm... the only mayor."
"Look, that's not the point," said Skullbuggy. "The point is that you almost died, man! You should be a bit more... worried, shouldn't you?"
"That dark-spectacled dwarf..." Bobthethurd began. "He's the... the problem, I thinks." Bobthethurd got to his feet unsteadily. He picked up a mug of dwarven beer, got a mouthful, and gulped it down very professionally. Skullbuggy was envious. "You know, that dwarf cuts his beard short... something's not r-right with him, you know?"
"You mean Overseer Boborachi?" Skullbuggy said, confused. "He's doing a fine job with the fortress, it seems..."
"No. I don't... I dun' like the guy," Bobthethurd said. "He's bad n-news, buddy!"
"Look, it's best to take up all matters pertaining to the livelihood of Udibgovos with the Overseer," said Skullbuggy, uneasily. "He knows better than I."
"You think- ha!- you think I'm gonna talk to him?" Bobthethurd guffawed heartily. "The man's no good--I'm not wasting my time with him. I'm gonna find a way," he said, "to get rid of him. Maybe I might stage... an accident?"
Skullbuggy went silent. After a couple awkward seconds, he tried to articulate the right words for the situation... you're Armokdamned insane! might have worked, but all he could let out was a meek "o-okay".
"Look, maybe we can say the rockfall traps haven't been working right," said Bobthethurd, a sinister grin on his face. "We could accidentally sic one of the war dogs on him! The dogs are half-deaf, anyhow?"
"M-mayor, that's-" Skullbuggy couldn't believe what he was hearing. "Mayor, come next year, he'll step down and-"
"Why wait?" Bobthethurd chuckled.
Skullbuggy was sitting in the commons area of the fortress. A dwarf child walked up to him, a mug of ale in his hand. "Mister?"
"What is it, child?" Skullbuggy replied, half-heartedly.
"Oh, are you..." The child looked uneasy. "Are you alright? Are you going to drag me into a butcher's shop and make leather out of-"
"NO!" Skullbuggy stopped the child mid-sentence. "Who's been spreading such f-filth, anyhow?"
"Oh, my brother Markus," said the dwarf child. "He told me that over in Uristrith, there was a guy who killed a dwarf and made armor out of his bones and skin!" The child looked ecstatic, and definitely eager to share the story with the noble before him. "I don't know why, but he did, and that's cool! I want to be a sword when I grow up."
"No, you-" Skullbuggy sighed. "There are many other professions you could take up! Like, say, for instance... you could be a farmer!" Skullbuggy grinned. "Yes, you could work the fields and grow food vital to our success as a fortress! Isn't that cool?"
The child pouted. "I want to be a sword."
A mother dwarf sat on a rocking chair, her child playing in the room around her. Suddenly, there was a knocking on the door. "Markus," said the mother, "go get the door!"
The child got up. "What if it's one of those dumb nobles? They just want money, that's what dad told me-"
"Just get the damn door, child!" the mother said in a slightly aggressive voice. Markus cowered a bit and ran to the door.
Markus opened the door to see his kid brother and a noble standing in front of him. "Moooom!" Markus yelled. "Leperfish is back! And he brought a stinky graybeard with him!"
"Let him in," said the mother.
Skullbuggy grinned as he and Leperfish started to enter. Suddenly, Skullbuggy was held back by Markus. "No stinky nobles in the bedroom," said Markus, glowering at Skullbuggy. Skullbuggy stepped back, admittedly fearful that the child might be aggressive. His bones were brittle, and Armok knew he couldn't take a punch.
"So, uh, ma'am," Skullbuggy said, uneasily, "I found your young one running around the commons. Talkative one!"
"Yeah, Mr. Mengigam is real nice!" Leperfish said. "He's boring, though. He said I couldn't be a sword when I grow up, and I don't think he knows what he's missing!"
The mother laughed. "Leperfish, why don't you and your brother head over to the workshops? Maybe you might learn something!"
The boys both nodded and ran out. They nearly trampled Skullbuggy in the process, too. "And don't you talk to that crazy engraver!" said the mother. "She's batmanshit insane, and I don't want you learning anything stupid!"
"Lovely children." Skullbuggy said.
I think all dwarfen children should aspire to be swords when they grow up.
markus_cz wrote :-
Dear mr. Sirocco,
Will you be my new father?
My name is Markus Cz. Clasplashes and I am 11 years old. We recently moved to Syrupleaf with my older brother Leperfish and my mommy IceDrake. We have no father though! Mommy says our father "dissapeared" one day. I believe he was taken by the dreadful sand raiders! Yesterday I read on a wall near the dining hall that you are looking for a wife, and I thought you might take interest in my mommy.
She is very nice and tall and works as a flutecarver under mister Calavera. Perhaps you have one of her flutes in your pocket right now! (They have "ID" engraved on them). Also, when she is sad, she sometimes says she could use "a proper hammering". I have read in your diary that you are a champion hammerer of Syrupleaf, so perhaps you could help?
If you are interested, please come the day after tommorow to my quarters. (I live in the street next to you, in the last room on the left.) We are celebrating my older brother's 6th birthday and my mommy will be there!
Good bye, your
Markus Cz. Clasplashes
PS: Please bring lots of gifts.
Sirocco wrote :-
Man, I might take a break from all these journal entries after this one. I'm getting a little tired of Sirocco and I imagine everyone else is too by now.
The Journal of Sirocco: TENTH ENTRY
Things have really been happening around here since the new overseer arrived! Just the first day after he joined us I was going to my room to get some sleep when I discovered the door was locked and was full of weird holes! I tried asking him about it but he just told me some riddle and said I needed to find various keys in the shapes of phases of the moon that had been hidden around the fortress before I could solve it. Getting to the latrines has been very difficult, diary! Very difficult indeed! The door only opens if you can solve a sliding-block puzzle within the time limit or you get emptied into a magma pit.
We were attacked by a dragon recently, diary! It was ENORMOUS! I was going to go and write about it but Silento Boborachi (he's the new overseer by the way, diary) said we had to go kill it!
'Yes sir!' I said and gave him a friendly hug because I've always felt that salutes are a little impersonal.
tehsid killed the dragon before I could so much as lift Patsy out of the snow so I didn't get to do much. Still! An amazing sight to behold.
About a week ago I discovered a message had been left for me by one of the new children, marcus_cz! A boy in need of a father?! It would be irresponsible of me to turn down such a heartfelt request! All for one and one for all and all that.
I wrapped up a bone flute as a gift and left a message confirming my attendance. Two days later I walked into the room to find IceDrake reading her children a story. We've never formally met so I decided to introduce myself.
'Hello lady!!! I'm Sirocco! You may not know me but I have taken a great interest in your children!'
No one said anything for a moment so I raised Patsy above my head.
'I've come to hammer you and take your children as my own!' I elaborated.
'Please! Don't hurt us! she wept, holding the children close to her. 'I'll do anything you want, just leave my children alone!'
'It's alright, mother!' said marcus_cz. 'Mr Sirocco said he'd bring a flute for Leperfish to blow on!'
'HELP! ANYBODY! HELP US!' she screamed. It was really, really loud, diary! I could almost swear she was frightened of something! I looked behind me but there was nothing there. Maybe now was a good time to give her the hammering she wanted? It's an odd request, but I'm always happy to oblige a pretty lady.
The rest is a bit of a blur, but somehow I've ended up chained to a wall in the jail (again! Ha ha ha!) wondering where it all went wrong. Oh well! This really is a fine restraint! I will have to complement the jailer the next time he stops by to spit in my face!!! I asked for water, but I guess we must be running low again.
Thanks for listening, diary! Bye bye! Bye bye!!!
markus_cz wrote :-
Dear mr. Chance II,
Thank you for the freak-show. It was Fun! Do you want to get married?
I know a single mommy named IceDrake, age 77, who might be Interested in you. Would you be Interested in her? She is nice and handsome and skilled in handling flutes.
I know you are a busy dwarf with no Free Time, so I send you a Gift to convince you! My older brother Leperfish found this when we were playing "Spawns and Royals" in the bone stockpile. He almost swallowed it! But i pried it from his mouth with a spawn's Claw! I don't know what it is. It is metal. I think it might be a button?
Enjoy your Gift and please visit our mommy!
Markus Cz. Clasplashes
PS: Please don't bring any flutes this time.
OOC NOTE: To be honest, guys, I'm not sure if anyone is going to catch my meaning. But one can always hope...