Part 79: Sirocco: Update 14
Sirocco's Year: Part Fourteen
Hi, journal! How are you today? I feel good! It's difficult to remain morose for any length of time when you're somewhere as joyous as Syrupleaf!!! Just this morning I saw a cloud pass high in the sky... and it was beautiful. Utterly captivating.
Ah, but I digress, good journal, my everpresent companion! I must try to stop rambling all the time, ha ha ha!
Eiba came by again asking for another crown. He was wearing the other two Val Helmethead (may his beard forever be bushy) made for him on top of the large white leather hat he already has. It looked... unusual, but who am I to critique another dwarf's fashion sense? That would be a bit out of line don't you think?!
Our hammerer, Daeren, has suggested we test the fighting spirit of the giant moles we've captured and tamed which I think is a splendid idea. Those sand raiders might be useful after all! There are some pits handy, they just need a little alteration...
After the designs were sorted out I was walking back to my office when a dwarf suddenly entered the lobby, gibbering excitedly. Everybody stopped their work to stare at him.
'It's ready!' he yelled. 'The penis is finished!'
'You mean the secret project, right?' I asked.
'Oh, yeah, sorry,' replied Freudian Slip bashfully. He's like that sometimes.
So, here it is, diary! The project I've been working on all these months! Syrupleaf's very own concert hall!!!
Here's the stage and viewing gallery. Those coloured squares at the top are some specially crafted gem windows. I'm afraid I'm not very good at drawing those.
And here's the floor below it where all the seats are! The view's not so good, but it's the music that's the important thing, right? The moment Manuel Calavera and OrangeSoda burst into my office and begged me to build one I've been in love with the idea... can't wait to hear some of those sweet, sweet tunes! I've left some space near the stage clear so we can have dancing too.
Manuel and Soda are already organising our first concert apparently... can't wait!
I hate to be so unsporting, but we've seen enough death this year. I ordered the sand raiders to be thrown in at the blow of the whistle. Chance II and Silento Boborachi were on the level above taking notes (I don't know on what exactly, it was all VERY technical) along with Queen Sankis who complained that she couldn't see anything.
The unarmed sand raider was thrown in first by Slaan, our glassmaker. We've told him loads of times that we can't make glass here but he's very insistent. I think he and Screaming Idiot would be good friends, ha ha ha!
We watched closely...
At first he just wandered around confused, first trying the door and then leaning on a wall for support until his senses came to him. When they did, he started screaming for mercy and punched one of the moles - which promptly and savagely bit his arm.
And then... he vanished. There was a lot of hasty scribbling on Chance II and Silento's part and we all craned over the pit to try to make out what the hell was going on.
A pale red mist rose from the murky darkness. And then the stench. The corpse was being sat upon by a very bloody mole which Slaan later named 'Sadama'. In just one quick bite it had utterly pulped the poor sand raider. It was rather brutal and I did, to my shame, empty my stomach contents into the pit. This only seemed to anger the moles further.
Slaan grinned and went to fetch the second sand wrestler. This one was armed with a spear. It would be valuable to know how effective giant moles would be against armed opponents - the wrestler had got in a few good punches with the moles but had been quickly overwhelmed. Would the spearman fare better?
We were just about to settle down to discuss this when Pimpmust appeared and told us some migrants had arrived:
sebzilla, potash maker
Revenant Threshold, woodworker
Aerobic Robot, woodcrafter
Vanguard Warren, tanner
I'm sure they'll love it here!!! Our population is 106 - WHICH IS ALSO MY FAVOURITE NUMBER!!!
Where was I? Ah yeah. The spearman lay stunned for a moment from the fall. Then he got up and ran around the room howling like a monkey. Frantically he stabbed one of the moles in the foot doing minor damage at best before hiding in the corner of the room.
He seemed to take stock of his surroundings then because his next action was quite professional in execution - but I'm no expert! Whatever it was he did, we had our first mole casualty. I'm glad Eiba wasn't here, he'd probably have jumped in to throttle the raider himself, ha ha ha!
Things went downhill for the raider after that though as an unsuccessful parry left an opening for a giant mole to tear into his chest, completely mangling his left lung (it LOOKED like a lung, anyway).
He hobbled away and gave another mole a thorough beating, but not quite being able to kill it - this gave another mole the chance to sneak up behind him and bite off his left leg with a really gristly crunch. Most unpleasant, journal!
He didn't last very long after that. Silento walked up to me afterwards and extended me a hand, congratulating me on my work and saying the company would be 'very grateful'. What company, huh? He's such an enigmatic dwarf! And really quite tall too! Some say he's actually a human in disguise but that couldn't be true could it? COULD IT?!
I'm so suspicious of my fellow dwarves, ha ha ha! It's really quite unbecoming of me! In light of the success of the experiment and the arrival of new citizens I ordered some celebratory engravings to decorate the main lobby.
Heliturtle... he just can't let go...
The rest of autumn was without incident.
Winter is upon us, her long, icy fingers chilling our breaths and freezing our beards with their frosty touch...
markus_cz wrote :-
This is how the dwarf kids looked when they came to the fortress... (old picture, just for comparison)
...and this is after one year in Syrupleaf.
(Markus_cz and Leperfish)
Damn it, I wish I could draw as well as you, Chance II.
Daeren wrote :-
I have not written in some time as the Fortress has been bustling with activity, good and ill. I shall summarize what has occurred.
Syrupleaf is a fortress of contradictions and mistaken appearances. Where I had seen bumpkins there was a close-knit community, a family of sorts. I arrived at the worst time to see the worst of the fortress. Instead of being a tribute to clumsiness, Screaming Idiot informed me of the tower's true story, of the champions who sacrificed themselves to destroy the twisted warped forms of Holistic's Spawn. Indeed, the tower was actually under construction when I first saw it, and has become a much more awe inspiring edifice: a giant stone fist flipping the bird to the wastes. Far more Dwarven than I had first assumed.
Sirocco, who I had once thought to be dangerously incompetent, completed all completable demands the royalty had in less than half a year, and has shown surprising military intelligence for one so...moonstruck. A second Sand Raider ambush when the caravan from the Mountainhomes arrived has led me to believe that the Humans didn't lead them here, rather that they follow caravan routes to cities. This, however, does not mean my suspicions about the tall folk are gone.
Possibly the largest underestimation I had were of the giant moles themselves. They fight with the fury of Saint Imketh Singedbanners himself, and showed their true lethal colors when we attempted to catch a new batch of wild-born moles. A door managed to get wedged open in the chaos and they began to slaughter dwarves, orphaning two of the children by devouring Ms. Icedrake. Their power led me to counsel Sirocco into testing their military might with two of the Sand Raiders we had kept alive, even though I had wished to execute them myself for their arrogance. It turns out death by moles is much more painful (and hilarious) than hammering. Word has gotten out in the Fortress of a recently completed concert hall for some new type of music with rocks in it. I shall attend to see what it's all about, the practice sessions have sounded promising.
As part of my inspections of the fortress military, I met Firos's recent child, TremendousMajestic. I inspected her for any deformities and to see if she would be able to join the military with her mother. She pissed on my robes and yanked off my executioner's hood, drooling all over it. Something tells me I'm going to hate the little brat.
I have been approached by Silento Boborachi recently. He apparently knew I found the obsidian farms, and has asked me to keep quiet in exchange for certain favors from an organization called Parasol. I shall see how this develops.