Part 62: Eiba: Update 2
The Arivial of a Great Dwarf
Now it seems the poor folks down in Syrupleaf didn't even know what kind of incredible molemine they were sitting on, and I wasn't interested in going to some barren dinky un-civilized mole-less outpost, so I sent word ahead that I'd be coming, and I expected there to be giant moles there when I arrived. I sketched out a couple'a designs for mole wrangling machines, and them Syrupleaf folk got right down to carvin' them out.
Now I didn't want to be dealing with no rank amateurs either. A giant mole is a dangerous critter the size of one'a them human horses- much larger than those pitiful mutts, the largest tame critter most dwarves are used to handling. So I send word again, and I say to those folks that they should get some practice wrangling big critters. And, well by Litast, they do just that.
I guess those beasts are kind of fearsome, but they still ain't no good old fashioned moles!
Work continues on the upper northern trap-
There are three major mole veins running through Syrupleaf. This one's closest to the fort, and there's another one far below it. The third is a long way down on the other side of the chasm below the random bridge those folks built- they've also begun carving out the trap area that one, but it's best to tap one vein at a time.
Each small pocket next to the chasm is just bursting with moles- see they dug out their small little burrow, and started breeding and breeding. This first vein here is one of the densest I ever did see. It's practically one solid mass of mole-flesh.
Now comes the tricky part, I tell those folks in my letter to send some brave soul that won't be missed into the chamber with a pick, and to lock the door behind 'em.
They send in poor old Dash Magnum. He will be missed.
Dash here has but one task- to break through into the mole vein and run like heck. You see traps need bait, and there ain't nothing giant moles like better than raw dwarf flesh. Still, it's best the fellow gets to the door at least before he's mauled to death so as to get the moles stampeedin' into the traps.
And that is what he does. Run Dash Magnum, run! The moles burst forth tumbling into the chamber, and straight into the first few cages, but there's more moles where they came from. They practically flow out, a pressurized geyser of mole-flesh, gnashing teeth, and earth-ripping claws. Your sacrifice will not be in vain, Dash Magnum.
Dash Magnum runs to the back of the chamber and in utter desperation... starts digging? Well I'll be. I ain't never seen such a gutsy mole ranching move such as that. It works too. He's safe back in his little burrow, and all the moles charge haphazardly into the cages, save one scared little pup.
Well, Dash Magnum is having none of that- he walks right out there, bonks the critter on his head, and runs away as the irate little fella chases him right into a cage.
The mole vein is tapped out 100%, with nary a mole or dwarf dead. These Syrupleaf folks... they're alright. Especially that one Dash Magnum. He has real potential. I say he could end up being my right-hand moleboy.
The next sensible step is to tame these wild beasties. Usually giving them some table scraps is sufficient, so it's a fairly simple procedure. This vein had some 12 pups and only 6 fully grown giant moles. Priority is given to taming the big'uns, as they're mature enough to breed and do work.
Not much else to speak of occurs before my glorious arrival. Some bureaucratic mixup had me registered as the Tax Collector, but that ain't right. I set them straight right quick, I was the fortresses official Moleboy!
But wait... who the heck was that haughty lookin' peasant eyin' me from the dining hall...
By my lucky mole's foot, Queen Sankis!
That was a really big migration group... it took quite a while just to name them all, so without further ado, here are all the dwarves who just arrived, bringing our total population to to 102:
Sankis the Queen
Accursed the Barroness and
FebrezeNinja her Consort
Uncle Jam the Hunter
Darkhorse the Armorer and
Veekie his peasant wife
Sejs Cube the Mason
Perfect Potato the perfidious peasant
Hellioning the Siege Engineer
Freudian Slip the Weaponsmith with his pet puppy and horse foal
Nerumworld the leatherworker and
Kgummy her child
NiceAaron the cheesemaker with his kitten and ass
Val Helmethead the craftdwarf
Kaninrail the Blacksmith
Dirt Five-O-Eight the Miner
Dragon Jones the Dragon Hunter
Mr Catchpenny the Blacksmith
Glop Demon the gem setter
KataraniSword the Weaponsmith
Meliv the Wrestler
Also, you'll note that I subtly tweaked the tax collector's graphic- being a noble and a moleboy shouldn't prove too much of a contradiction. I'll just get my silent companion Dash Magnum to do all the hard work (his name always needs to be in italics). I also added sprites for Woolly Mammoths, as you'll note, as well as Holistic Spawn, Sand Raiders, Donkeys and War Giant Moles, which you may see later.
Edit: For some reason Waffleimages seems to be making all the pictures a bit blurry, so you can't fully appreciate my beautiful spritework. Oh well, no big loss.
Skullbuggy wrote :-
War moles! YES!
Also, something I did. Just as a little side-thing.
Uz Tallbeards posted:
A Sighting at the Edge of the Ice
As Recollected by Dodok Daggerlashed of the Glazes, of the Mountainhome Musclelabored
Found and Transcribed for General Access by Uz Tallbeards
It was cold, that much was certain.
My caravan and I were heading across the Angelic Ice, during what may have been one of the worsts storms of the ages. Wind whipped to and fro, and the brutally cold snow stung our faces. Our war dogs had died miles ago, and a single muskox was pulling our cart as hard as it could.
Meng had a broken leg--a rather nasty spill on the ice had snapped his calf at an angle that pains me just to think about. Urist had thrown up his plump helmet after he had seen a purring maggot setting up camp within. Zog was crying, pining for her old Mountainhome. I had opened a barrel to see that its contents (some of the best dwarven ale ever brewed) were completely frozen. I had to eat my drink.
Needless to say, it was a rather hard experience for all of us.
We had tried our damndest to keep our spirits high on the journey... regaling eachother with tales of drunken conquest and merriment, singing songs of drink and fighting, and sharing stories of beasts that we had only heard of in legend. The good moods, however, had fallen since. Now, when I try humming a couple bars from "Uglier than a Naked Mole Dog", I'm quickly shushed by my compatriots. Excuse me for trying to act calmly in times of hardship!
I had grown bored, definitely. All I had to do at that point was wait for the beer to thaw and look out the back of our wagon. (I was off of caravan guard duty, and I had to look after Meng.) I tried my hardest to make shapes out in the whirling ice, but it was hard when snow whipped into my eyes every other minute. There was one thing that I had seen, though, that I was sure of.
In the distance, possibly thirty feet behind the caravan, was a creature that, to my weary eyes, looked like a dwarf. It was much too tall to be one, though... while it definitely had the beard for it, it may have been about seven feet tall, hunched over. It walked the ice, steps cracking the ground beneath it. Its entrails were being dragged behind it, scraping on the ground, leaving a smear of reddish-grey blood behind it. Its arms were massive, and it dragged its knuckles on the ground like an ape. And its moans... its moans still haunt me to this day... it sounded like a dying mammoth, or something larger... but it had the vocalizations of something dwarven.
I could make out words.
"HELP ME." I heard it say that. "HELP ME." Over and over.
Meng had turned to me and asked, "My god, shouldn't we help it? We must help our fellow dwarf!"
"That..." I said, "...that is not a dwarf. That is something else."
I was afraid, I really was. I tried not to move. I tried not to alert the creature of my presence. But it didn't notice me... it didn't notice the caravan. It kept walking, slowly. And then it fell to the ground, dead.
How do I know? It screamed the kind of scream that a dying dwarf would make. It yelled and it hissed, it howled before making a low gurgle and collapsing. The entirety of my caravan turned around.
"What the hell is that?" asked Urist. He decided (foolishly) to head over to its corpse and examine it. The verdict? It couldn't have been alive in the first place.
It looked like a dwarf, most definitely... but it looked like it had been slashed right down its middle, ribs split apart as if done by hand. It smelled like rotting and burning flesh. It had no eyes... it was just a walking corpse, really.
We left it on the ice and moved on. That's all we could do, really.
Val Helmethead wrote :-
Val Helmethead's Journal
Imagine my suprise to be selected as one of the brave souls to journey to Syrupleaf with the Queen herself! Of cource, she was in disguise at the time, and I was "selected" by way of the Mountainhome's magistrate sentencing me to hard labor at the outpost after my arrest for public subriety and failure to complete 5 handcrafts of red glass (we have no red glass in the Mountainhome... and it's not up to me to import it!), but it all worked out in the end. How great it is to be living in the future capital of the Dwarven Kingdom, Syrupleaf!
Not that the new capital is without problems. The people here - except for the Queen, Armok bless her beard - are fairly insane. Not that living in a place where the average tempature underground is rougly that of ice doesn't drive any sane dwarf mad. I suppose I'm not one to talk either, seeing as how I got here.
Still I hear some good things about this place. Adamantium is mined, and turned into crafts for folks like me to make! Apparently the thought of using it for weapons and armor has been discarded due to the rumors of the artifact armor driving a certain former dwarf that will not be named terminally insane. Also, I've heard rumors of a new type of material I've been hoping to get my hands on called "Essence". Sound Elvish, but if it's some sort of stone, I can only imagine what kinds of exciting crafts I can make with it!
Hopefully I can get to work soon, but I fear those very dwarves I had called crazy know better than me how to produce valuable goods, and I will be relegated to hauling goods around.