Part 65: Eiba: Epilogue
Vox Nihili posted:
On another note: Eiba, how's the next update looking?
I hate to just leave it like that so suddenly, especially as the first bit was so well received, so here's the epilogue (unfortunately sans pictures- one more reason this is too much work right now- I would have had to replay the last few months due to a picture-saving mishap):
Epilogue- The Deep Scars of Mole Wrangling
Some days... some days make you wonder if it's all been worth it. Syrupleaf began training its first six war moles today... but I ain't got the heart left to celebrate. You see, it's my little buddy, Dash Magnum. He's laid up in a bed in some far corner of the fortress, his broken leg in a sling, his mangled arm... unlikely to ever be able to do a good days work in his life again. He's near catatonic too. Not from any head wound, but a wound of the heart.
Seeing a dwarf like that and knowing you're responsible. It's just 'bout the hardest thing in the world. I ain't worthy of the responsibility if that's how things turn out when I call the shots.
So let me leave y'all with this- a testament to my mistakes, the story of Dash Magnum.
I didn't meet the fella in the flesh before 'bout a month ago, but he was the brilliant sonofanakedmolebitch who done single handedly corral Syrupleaf's first mole vein in my absence, so naturally I took a keen liking to the boy before we even met. Dash, unfortunately, felt otherwise.
[Dash Magnum has been miserable lately. He has been accosted by terrible vermin. He has been attacked lately. He has complained about the draft lately.]
He had a mean look in his eyes when he saw me. He clearly took the dangers of the profession pretty hard. I told the boy to suck it up like a real moleboy- he should be proud of the noble work we moleboys do. It didn't make him none happier at the time, but later when I asked him to tell the tale of his exploits, I did detect a touch of pride in that boy's voice. I thought there was hope for him yet.
[He has been satisfied at work lately]
Sill, he was determined to have a meeting with our mayor Bobthethurd and get himself assigned back to his old garbage hauling detail. I was going to let him too. After a season or two of picking up the fluffy wambler remains the cats have been leaving everywhere and wiping up the sticky pools of pudge they leave behind, he'd begin dreaming of the glory of the hunt again, of the lonely life deep in the caverns, just your trusty pick for company, tracking the migration of the herd by the telltale way the disturbed rock is replaced. The rush as you break through into a large vein, the wholesome earthy smell of mole waste rushing through your lungs as you turn tail and run, run as fast as a cave in, with the squealing, writhing, gnashing, herd of moles flowing through the tunnels hot on your heels as you lead them to the complex series of mechanical traps you set up earlier, and one by one- snap- they're yours. The ultimate expression of the rugged dwarven individual conquering indomitable mother nature's bowels! Oh yes, that's the life for me! None other will do!
Er... where was I? Yes, surely Dash Magnum, having but tasted that life, would realize his mistake sooner or later.
But though he held himself well against the mighty moles, it had left him in a vulnerable state back amongst civilized dwarves. As often happens, a dwarf who's been weathered by digging nature's harsh debris, alone against the elements, often finds himself unequipped to deal with the inane bureaucracy of civilization.
I wasn't there at the time, but I heard he grew more and more irate at all the forms to fill out and waiting for approval he had to do before the meeting, and eventually snapped, screaming at the top of his lungs, "You don't know what I've been through!"
[Dash Magnum, Assistant Moleboy, is throwing a tantrum]
He began throwing things and shoving other dwarves out of his way, all the while shouting incoherently about moles. Eventually he ran out to the Golden Road lining the entrance hallway, mustering all his rage to rip a huge segment of the road clean off the ground and smashed it against the wall.
[Golden Road destroyed by Dash Magnum, Assistant Moleboy!]
All the dwarves nearby looked on, utterly shocked, as Dash just stood there breathing heavily for a time before finally saying, "I could really go for some plump helmets right about now."
[Dash Magnum, Assistant Moleboy, has calmed down.
Dash Magnum has been very unhappy lately. He has enjoyed throwing something lately.]
Dash was somewhat embarrassed, and didn't really want to deal with anyone for a while, so he took his Plum Helmet Platter to a small out of the way room to eat it in peace. No sooner had he sat down when in burst FlockOfMice, the sole Royal Guard of Syrupleaf.
"So, you think you can just up and deface one of Syrupleaf's most treasured monuments, eh?"
"No sir... I'm sorry sir... it won't happen-"
"DAMN RIGHT IT WON'T, STINKING MOLEPUNK!"
The vicious beating that ensued left Dash lying mangled, unconscious in a pool of his own blood. This was how Dwarven Justice left a rugged Moleboy.
[Dash Magnum, Assistant Moleboy, Cancels Eat: Unconcious
Flock of Mice has been happy lately. She beat someone recently.
She is quick to anger. She always feels as if she is not in control. She finds rules confining.
Dash Magnum has been miserable lately. He sustained major injuries recently.]
Eventually Gerblyn came in to clean up the body he began dragging it to a nearby bed, but halfway there he decided he could go for some booze and unceremoniously dumped Dash in a random hallway.
There lay the courageous soul who put his life on the line for his fortress braving the harsh stagnant air and biting gravel of the frontier tunnels, pitting raw dwarven potential against everything the earth could throw at it, and triumphing. Why now does he lie batterd and bloody, unattended, uncared for in this smooth polished hallway? Has the furry of nature at last triumphed over the individual? Has he been mauled by a giant mole, or crushed in a cave in? No. He lies here broken by his fellow dwarf.
He conquered the great underground wilderness by his lonesome, but he was overwhelmed by the true harshness of the 'civilized' dwarven heart.
E-excuse me, I seem to have a bit of grit in my eye.
And so, I retire with my battered little buddy, to reflect on the true loneliness, even in a crowded fortress, as only a misunderstood moleboy knows. As only we know. I'll live that life- it's the only life I know, but damned if I'll drag anyone down that rough tunnel with me.
(As for the vicious rumors that he was really shoutin', "Fuck you Eiba, it's all your fault," as he ripped the Gold Road from the ground... well, ain't no
sense in putting much stock in such rumors. Folks'll be jealous.)
To my successor, all I say is... don't give up the hunt. I still firmly believe that Syrupleaf's future is in Giant Moles. We've got a breeding stock, but it's mostly younguns to young to breed or fight so don't let that keep you from harvesting more.
I've mostly set up a trap you'll find by crossing the chasm and following the stairs deep down into the earth. Quite a few more traps are required, but we should have the cages. I'll leave the last mole vein I haven't worked on to be tackled however my successor sees fit.
Until next time,
-Eiba, the simple moleboy
And here's the save... I only got to mid spring, shamefully enough.
If I've got time, Eiba the dwarf might give a moleboy's perspective to events in the form of journal entries... though you may note I have trouble keeping his voice.
Also, I did that one critter you asked for, Vox Nihili, and it came out pretty good. I didn't get around to Ice Drakes unforunately, nor anything else that isn't on the map. Also, a migrant brought a horse foal which also appears not to have a graphic, which is pretty odd, and I'd have liked to fix that, but I didn't notice it until I uploaded the thing already..
Tremendous Majestic used the save and tried embarking on the island in the middle of the map. This is his story.
DarkHorse wrote :-
Yay I'm an armorer! I have a feeling my dwarf was thrown out of Armor College for his radical doubt in Adamantine's usefulness as a defense material. What better way to prove them wrong than in a desolate, hostile wasteland where once-dwarven monstrosities try to kill you and you can't use the exquisite metal?
Copper and bronze not good enough protection? You can't make chain out of rock? They're wrong, they're all wrong. I can prove it, I just need a chance, find someplace where they won't judge me, jeer at me in their precious metal armor.
YOU'LL SEE! I'LL SHOW THEM! I'LL SHOW ALL OF YOU! HAHAHAHAHA
This is a crude image of a dwarf and mask in graphite. The dwarf is holding the mask. The dwarf is cackling.
This relates to the expulsion of DarkHorse from Greasedgreaves armorsmithy in 102
Crackmaster wrote :-
Unbe-goddamn-lievable. Nothing in that miserable lump of a fort gets done the fuck right unless I do it myself. I don't know who the hell came up with a name like 'Lanterntool', but it's spot on. A shining beacon of incompetence that attracts every two-bit moron in sight. Sitting here now, by a warm campfire, I can start to unwind, but day to day life in that place? It's enough to drive you to Dwarfslaughter.
Gold. G-O-L-D. Gold. Is that so hard for people to wrap their tiny merchant brains around? Go to the Mountainhome, grab all the gold you can find, load up your little wheeldwarrows and get your asses back here! Simple. Impossible. I don't know. Humans, elves, even other Dwarves, if you can believe it; every single one of the traders that shows up here bitches and moans 'til they're blue in the face about how there's no roof on the tower, and with the trade depot out in the open they're exposed every time it rains or snows. Boo hoo. They also complain about the ramp leading up not being enclosed, think they're going to fall to their deaths, but hauling all that Microcline up from the mines is a big deal. One project at a time, and right now it's the depot roof.
Despite the barrage of outrageous demands, I'd be happy to oblige if I could get what I'm after; I have explained to them more times than I care to count that if they want their vaulted, gleaming triangular trade depot protected from the elements, I need gold! Every piece of flooring, all three walls, the staircases, even the damned support pillars are gold all the way through. You want this done the right way? I need more. We've mined this entire hill, scoured the underground, there's none left and now we need to trade for it. Bars, nuggets, toys, instruments, goblets, whatever, as long as it's gold! It's not like we can't pay for it: we've got crafts out the shitter, they're obsessed with all the little flutes, mini forges, everything we make they go macaqueshit for. They pay top dollar for the stuff (they're gouging themselves, when you think about it), but they can't seem to remember to bring what the hell we ask for. I politely remind them of our trade agreement, they look at me like I have six heads. I will never understand the world.
Anyway, a few months back some migrant workers showed up with stories of some new fort way down south; Syruploaf, or some shit, I wasn't really paying attention. What I did hear, however, with crystal clarity, was word of an artifact gold boot they'd crafted. I'll repeat that, as it bears repeating. A golden boot. A boot! Like you'd wear on a foot? Made out of gold. That's all I needed to hear. Any fort so overwhelmed with stocks of gold that they can afford to piddle it away on a shitkicking boot can sure as hell afford to part with some for those of us who really need it. I had to spend the next few months finishing off the waterfall project I'd started (if I'd trusted it to these assclowns I'd come back to a lake where my fort used to be), but once that was over and done with I was good to go, and this afternoon I set off, the depressing grey clouds dovetailing nicely with my state of mind.
I told a handful of my least worthless compatriots what I was doing, and though they seemed the least bit confused they more or less got the idea and wished me well. Grabbed what provisions I could and headed out the front door toward the brook. Once I'd set foot on the opposite bank, I turned for one last look at the unfinished depot.
Knowing there was still a caravan up there, I flipped off the tower as I turned away, and struck off on my journey. I half-jokingly considering not coming back, and a smile crossed my lips for the first time in months.
I'm within dorfshot of an immigration wave, and I've wanted in on the journal writing fun since it started, so there you go. I know the "I'm surrounded by assholes" dwarf has been done before, but it's the best character I know how to write, and I'm rather proud of my little backstory.
Koorisch wrote :-
"The journal of Koorisch Metalarmor, creator of the Pants (and other garments)."
There is not much I can write about in this journal since I don't really feel the need to keep one, but as the others have been writing journals themselves I suppose it's time to make one myself, so I'm not forgotten in case of death or WORSE.
When I first came here to Syrupleaf I was surprised, who would want to live out here, in this remote, cold and desolate place filled with evil and death... and then I remembered that I was here because this was a new frontier for Dwarfkind.
It does not matter if it's cold or dangerous, it's a new hope for all dwarves everywhere, a mark that we would seek out any new possibilities, no matter of the hardships in store.
Even I, a at that time slightly experienced wood crafter, fought for my life whilst searching for spider silk in the surrounding area. Not many dwarves would survive a encounter with a batman unscathed while being completely unskilled in the art of fighting.
After that, I was sent to become the weaver who would later on create the mentioned artifact spider silk Pants.
After a while some strange sounds started, it was then I realized that the military dwarves were alarmed and afraid, what could it have been that made them so?
When I first heard of THEM I was both frightened and intrigued, how could this type of creature exist? Where did they come from and WHY did they seek us out? I had heard the stories of the legendary Headshoots and the great treasures that sleep deep in under the ground, guarded by the most evil, most horrid beasts the world hopefully would never see.
I could not say no when I was invited to the dissection of one of the so-called Spawn of Holistic, I knew I had to see it with my own eyes, how this abomination of dwarfkind were a reality and a threat to all that lives.
When I saw the creature I was flabbergasted and scared, never before had I seen such a nightmarish demon, a parody of a dwarf complete with a wisp of a beard, strong and fast with claws that could crush stones with ease, it made me fear for my life and everyone that lives above ground.
After a while some of the people here started to act strangly, like they were hearing voices or something. I wonder what strange things are happening in this place... Sometimes I can hear cries and howls and sometimes I hear a beating, pulsating heart... Am I going mad?
I have to stop writing this now, I'm not very good at this at all... If anyone finds this journal and I no longer am in the realm of the living, please tell my fate to my family... if they still live.
- The journal of Koorisch Metalarmor, Legendary weaver of Syrupleaf, Worshipper of Moldath Purpleinked the Cave of Color, Citizen of The Gate of Climaxes, member of The Romantic Graze, this journal began the year 138 and and ended year 143. All dwarven journals are of exquisite quality. It is studded with spikes of Gold, iron and turtle shell. On the item is a image of Merrangimush, "The Languishing Dike", a pair of cave spider silk trousers with Gold, iron and turtle shell spikes.