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  1. - Top - End - #121
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    *popcorn*

  2. - Top - End - #122
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Maxymiuk's Avatar

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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    *sigh*

    Ok, my last two weeks in ten words or less.

    Work, sleep, work, writer's block, work, you get the idea.

    Whinefest over, here's an update.



    ***


    The others would say that digging an indoor water tank now, when the stream was frozen, was akin to patching a barrel after all the beer has spilled out onto the floor. Obadiah would counter that once fixed, an empty barrel could be made to hold more beer. Yeah, the others would say, but what use was beer that wouldn't show up for at least ten months? Ah, their leader would say, but wasn't the promise of beer better than no beer at all? Then everyone would drop what they were doing and head for the dining hall in search of their mugs.

    For Jahjah, the decision meant that he could stop stacking blocks of slate into the rough shape of a wall up on the slopes above the camp, and take up the pick that has spent the past couple of weeks under his bed in the dormitory. Yet, as he retrieved it, he felt almost ashamed at how much joy the prospect of digging through rock had brought him - as opposed to the dull purposefulness of masonry. He was not doing his family name proud.

    "Craftfortress - that's the kind of name you earn," his father would tell his many sons and daughters. "We dug the halls you pass through every day. We then took the stone left behind, and we carried it up the slopes of Mersethzuglar, where we used it to remake the very face of the mountain. We took the rocks into the workshops, where they became tables, chairs, and doors that you can still find in every corner of the fortress. We founded the Masons' Guild, and we've been heads of the Miners' guild for over half of its existence. Therefore, I will not see any child of mine be just one or the other. We are Craftfortress - a name like that is an obligation!"

    For Jahjah, it was a burden he could not shoulder. Rock, once mined, was rock. Something you tripped over on your way back from the shift, because the haulers have been slacking off again. And though he did haul his share over the years, and he did get a rudimentary education as a mason - his father made sure of that - all that time his heart was down in the tunnels.

    It was... there were no words to describe it. Carving your way through the strata, feeling the stone tremble and sing around you with each strike of the pick, learning to recognize different rocks and ores by touch when light ran out down in the depths, cutting an iron vein in half and the exhilirating against the other team, to see who'd reach their end first.

    And then, sometimes, when they took a break from work, and they'd sit down to eat and drink, and old foredwarf Imal would light up his pipe, there'd come moments when everyone would fall quiet. And in those moments you could feel the great mass of stone all around you, surrounding, enveloping, embracing you.

    You are a dwarf, the mountain seemed to say. And I shall house you, I shall protect you, I shall provide for you. You are my child. A child of stone.

    And in those moments, if he put his ear to the rough stone wall and held his breath, sometimes he could hear it. A slow, rhythmic thrum. The heartbeat of the mountain.

    Jahjah would work himself to exhaustion. He'd pull double, even triple shifts in the mines. His entire hands would erupt in blisters, which would break and bleed under the bandages he put on his hands. He'd spend off-days studying types of ore and stone, or forever hounding senior miners, hoping to learn from them. Shortly after his sixty-sixth birthday he achieved his goal, at the same time becoming one of the youngest foredwarves in Mersethzuglar's history. Now that he had status, that he had value to the fortress, no one could force him into the workshops. There was important work to do, down in the mines, where he belonged.

    And then the flood happened. The stupid baron happened.

    His father had the clout to make the nobles drop the charges - between the Masons and the Miners he held sway over nearly a third of the capital's workforce. If he had insisted on it, Jahjah's punishment would've been reduced, maybe even dropped altogether. But he didn't. He'd allowed his firstborn son to be exiled, stripped of everything that made him a dwarf - including his family name.

    Why?

    ***

    Ten months was good. Plenty of time to do things properly. A proper water tank should go two, even three dwarf lengths deep. Dig down level by level, let that creepy artist woman smooth the walls to improve retention, then remove the floors. She wouldn't be here to see it finished, of course - the caravan was due any day now - but Jahjah would handle it just fine. Plenty of time.

    Xeper stopped chipping away at the slate wall in front of her when she realized something was off. It was Jahjah - she couldn't hear him digging anymore. He was just standing there, staring at the pick clutched in his hands.

    "Uhh... Jahjah? You alright?"

    He looked at her, and she flinched when she saw the look on his face. But a moment later it was gone, replaced by a tired smile.

    "Perfectly fine," he nodded. "Just taking a small break."

    Then he was back at the wall, the pick a copper blur in his hands.


    ***


    Next update probably sometime next week. One of my coworkers managed to drop a motorcycle wheel on his hand and is now on pain meds, so we're even more understaffed. We'll see - there were certain occasions when I turned exhaustion and a desire to stab stupid people into high-octane fuel for my creativity.
    Last edited by Maxymiuk; 2010-07-28 at 05:56 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #123
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    I read this while listening to... well, something on the radio. Really meshed with it. Very good writing in this one. Keep it up.

  4. - Top - End - #124
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Cute_Riolu's Avatar

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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Quote Originally Posted by The_JJ View Post
    I read this while listening to... well, something on the radio. Really meshed with it. Very good writing in this one. Keep it up.
    For some reason, I think that DF journals would be good spoken.
    Formerly known as Cariyaga.

  5. - Top - End - #125
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Maxymiuk's Avatar

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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    "Mind the steps," Obadiah said to the two dwarves following him. "I'll have to get someone to chisel off the ice later. Last thing we'd need right now is someone breaking a leg."
    "I'm more worried about this whole thing dropping on someone's head," Idked replied, stepping carefully over a large frozen patch. "With us still inside it."
    "The base is a bit narrow, yes," Obadiah repeated for what must've been the dozenth time. "But the foundation is stable and the battlement is designed to bear a third of the weight of the upper levels. So no, this watchtower won't fall over."
    "And you're certain of that? Or are you just repeating what Zenos told you?"
    "You know, I don't recall you objecting to the design back when she presented it to everyone."
    "Yeah, well, that was before you told me I'd have to climb the damned thing. Speaking of which, why are we here? Why's he here?" Idked pointed at Derek, who was the last to climb the stairs. ""Survey the valley for more trees to cut" Lurit's hairy arse. I already know where they are."

    Obadiah sighed and sat down on a block of stone, indicating that Idked should do likewise. The carpenter shook his head and instead leaned against a wall, arms crossed on his chest. Derek did sit down and began studying his fingernails.

    "Well?" Idked said eventually.
    "Alright, it's like this," Obadiah pursed his lips. "Derek, you tell him."
    "There will be no caravan," the farmer stated plainly, looking up at Idked.

    It took a moment for his words to sink in.

    "What?! How- What do you mean?" the carpenter demanded.
    "Seven exiles cast out in the middle of winter, without supplies or provisions. A caravan would only find their bones picked clean by carrion eaters."
    "It makes sense, I'm afraid," Obadiah shrugged helplessly. "We weren't intended to survive more than a month - that much is clear. Even if we did, what trader would risk his wagons in these mountains for a bunch of non-dwarves?"
    "And you were planning on telling us about this when, exactly?"
    "We're telling you right now, aren't we? I only found out a few days ago, when Derek talked with me about it."
    "How would he know?"
    "I didn't believe him at first either - I didn't want to believe him. But, as I said, it makes sense. As far as anyone is concerned, we're long since dead."
    "And if he's wrong?"
    "I hope I'm wrong," Derek said.
    "As do I," Obadiah agreed. "But right now we need to work under the very likely assumption that you aren't. Which means we have to figure out how eleven dwarves can survive the winter with what little provisions we have left."
    "Eleven? You're assuming we're going to stay here?"
    "I'm assuming you're not suicidal enough to try and get anywhere on foot, Idked. It's snowing daily, in case you haven't noticed."
    "I'm more concerned with you just kicking us out the gate," Idked snorted. "Given what little provisions you have left."
    "I'd like to think we're not so desperate as to turn our backs on fellow dwarves in need. Look, why are we even arguing? Do you want to leave?" he waited for a reply, but got none. "Alright, so maybe now we can talk about important things."
    "Such as?"
    "Such as," Derek spoke up, "what are we going to tell the others?"

  6. - Top - End - #126
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Maxymiuk's Avatar

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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Sorry about that lots of real life turnmoil. Quitting my job, switching countries of residence again, etc. etc. Here's an extra-long update as an apology.


    ******


    “So I finally got our peerless leader to give me an estimate on what we’ve got so far,” Zazit kicked the bin filled with rings, figurines, bracelets and various other crafts she and Raroy have been carving during free moments over the past few months.
    “And?”
    “Barely three hundred and fifty guldens,” the bonecarver spat.
    “Maybe if we had proper tools,” Raroy sighed.
    “Maybe if we had more blasted time!” Zazit snarled. “But it’s always “go catch more fish” or “go build that wall.” And he had the nerve to shake his head when looking them over. Can you imagine! I’d like to see what he would carve when half asleep and with fingers that won’t bend right cause you’ve been soaking them in freezing water for the whole day!”
    “So what will we get for it?” Raroy had never taken any real interest in trade, or the prices of goods. Now, when almost a dozen dwarves would depend on the provisions her work could buy, she found that lack of knowledge frustrating.
    “Depends on how badly the traders will rip us off,” Zazit shrugged. “Enough food and booze to last the winter, I reckon, but little else. We can forget about proper tools, warm clothing, and anything that “doesn’t contribute to our immediate survival” though.”
    “Warm clothing? But not even you were complai- I mean, I thought we’re doing fine with what we have, even now that it’s snowing again.”
    “Oh, sure, now we’re fine. You’ll sing a different song once midwinter rolls around and the snowstorms hit. Ever been outside during one of those? I had a cousin in the military, and he told me the tower sentries called the wind that blows then Ostar’s Breath,” Zazit made a sign to ward off misfortune when saying the name of the Death God. “Know why? Cause if you feel it on your neck, you’re dead a few minutes later. He said he heard of dwarves found frozen solid on their posts, still standing upright as they were. So sure, we had it nice and easy so far, Depths, our trip here was a bloody miracle as far as weather goes. But mark my words, we’re in for some ugly weather before too soon.”
    “Alright,” Raroy said, unconvinced. “But then, I still don’t see why you’re so worried,” she remarked innocently. “From what I hear, you’ve already found yourself another way to keep warm this winter.”

    ***

    The four of them were taking a short break from work on the tower – sheltering from the wind and snow in the mostly finished guardhouse and sipping on tankards of warmed wine Celes brought over. The silence was broken by Obadiah, who slapped Milski on the shoulder.
    “Milski, my lad,” he said, grinning broadly, “when are you going to finally tell us.”
    The weaponsmith gave him a long look.
    “I’m sure I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said finally.
    “Oh come now, don’t be coy. We just want to know how you managed to charm the socks off of our dear Zazit.”
    “It was a lot more than just the socks, I think,” Zenos added. “No mean feat, given how much she always complains about being cold.”
    “And small wonder, since she usually comes off just as cold as the fish she’d caught, eh?” Idked nudged Zenos with his elbow. “No offense meant,” he nodded apologetically to Milski.
    “So let’s hear the whole story,” Obadiah urged. “How long has this been going on?”
    “Yeah, and when did the charming happen, cause Chief here told me he thinks you might’ve been a’slackin’.”
    “And where, cause we’d sure as hells have heard you in the dormitory.”
    “Oh, I don’t know, Idked, you snore loud enough to drown out a battle,” Zenos laughed, then yelped as the carpenter’s elbow dug deep into her ribs. “Ow! I’m not saying anything that’s untrue. But yeah, what bolt-hole have you two been using?”
    “There’s nothing to talk about,” Milski muttered into the tankard, his ears burning red. This was met with a general cry of disbelief. “And it’s none of your affair anyway.”

    ***

    “…and lastly, I don’t see how you’re in any position to pass judgement,” Zazit was finally winding down from her twenty-minute tirade, “given how you’ve been getting all cozy with our farmer.”
    “But all I said was how from what I he- What?!” Raroy blanched. “Derek? But I’m not… we’re not… that’s absurd!”
    “Sure it is. So it’s somewhere else than his seed cellar that you sneak off to after work every now and then, eh?” the bonecarver leered, seeing Raroy’s shocked expression. “Though no one would notice, did you? I knew you’ve had your eye on him almost since we got booted out of the mountainhome. For shame, Raroy,” Zazit wagged her finger at her, “that dwarf’s only just lost his whole damned family. By rights he’s still in mourning.”
    “Shut up! We’re not doing anything… like that,” Raroy felt herself blush furiously.
    “Then why make such a secret of it?”

    ***

    “Can you just drop it?” Milski said in exasperation.”Before I drop this here block on your grinning face?”
    “Milski, my lad-“
    “You’re just five years older than me you bearded lech!”
    “-my friend, no one’s judging you,” Obadiah raised his arms in an exaggerated shrug. “Love is as blind as a cow in a mineshaft, as they say.”
    “Yeah, we just want to know why it fell down that particular one.”
    “Well, it’s not like he had much to choose from to be honest,” Zenos grunted, wrestling a block of slate up the stairway. “Hate to have to put it this way Obadiah, but if I can say that I’m the most normal female around, then you know you’ve got trouble. What?” she asked when everyone stared at her. “Your cook bosses around everyone she can, and shouts at anyone she can’t. And after hearing the stories about her, I’m worried one of those days I’ll pick up a tankard and it’ll bite my nose off. Then there’s the creepy one from then next shift – ever notice how she stares off into the distance all the time? And when she doesn’t, she stares at you and damn if that doesn’t give me the heebie-jeebies. And finally there’s our friends’ lady companion, and she’s just plain crazy.”
    “No she isn’t!” Milski protested. “She just… has strong feelings about elves. Like any proper dwarf should,” he added firmly.
    “From what I hear it’s less strong feelings and more wanton murder. But,” Zenos shrugged, getting back to work,” as Chief here said, you’re the one plumbing that mineshaft. Oh,” she added quickly. “Could you not repeat to Celes what I’ve said about her? I’d like to eat something other than stones until the caravan arrives.”

    ***

    “How about this: if you tell me about you and Derek, I’ll tell you about me and Milski.”
    “For the last time, there is nothing to talk about. We’re just friends.”
    “You expect me to believe that?” Zazit snorted. “Why all the sneaking about then?”
    “Uh…”
    “ Can’t even come up with a good excuse, can you?”
    “No, it’s just that I, er… I prefer to keep my affairs private.”
    “Heh, affairs.”
    “If you’re going to be that way, then we’re done talking,” Raroy got up angrily. “I’ll be seeing you when you decide to grow up.”
    “Off to find comfort in your farmer’s arms then? Have fun.”
    “You… forget it.”
    Zazit’s laughter rang in her ears long after she left the workshop.

    ***

    At the end of the workshift Milski ran off immediately, followed closely by Zenos, who was already grinning in anticipation of how this evening’s dinner conversation would go. Obadiah was set to follow them, but Idked motioned him to linger behind.
    “Look, I’m sorry about Zenos,” the carpenter began with a sigh. “She had no call to say what she did. We’re here by your leave and on your hospitality, after all.”
    “Don’t worry about it,” Obadiah dismissed the apology with a wave. “First of all, she’s absolutely right.”
    “Yeah, but that still doesn’t mean she sho-“
    “And second, I’ve seen worse. I’ve lived with worse. This bunch – they’re probably the best group I’ve ever worked with. You don’t believe me?” he laughed at Idked’s expression. “Well, let’s see: since our arrival I have yet to witness someone wall themselves off on a ledge, or inside a niche. I have yet to see someone fall into the stream and drown. We’ve had no deaths related to these contraptions Jahjah calls drawbridges. We haven’t been flooded because someone dug where they shouldn’t have, mauled by wildlife because someone left the entrance open, or forced to resort eating rats and cockroaches because no one’s been keeping track of the supplies. In fact,” Obadiah dropped his voice slightly, “what we have should very well last us until spring even if no caravan shows up. Sure, I may have dwarves who are bossy, creepy, or just plain crazy under my care. And they may frustrate me every now and then. But none of them are stupid. So I wouldn’t trade them for anyone else.”
    “Idked! Obadiah! Come quick!” they both looked down from the tower, to see Dalantar running out of the camp, waving frantically. “Xeper’s dug her way into the bottom of the cistern, and now she can’t climb out!”
    After a brief moment of stunned silence, their palms met their foreheads almost simultaneously.


    ******


    “Must’ve been a flaw in the rock,” Xeper muttered with a shrug. “Happens sometimes. So the ramp collapses under me and this damned fool takes off running, yelling his head off. Didn’t even wait to check if I’m alright. Well – I was. So lucky me, I guess. Got done breaking through the wall to get out almost before you all came.”
    “While I’m of course relieved that you came to no harm,” Obadiah said with a frown, “it seems I should be concerned about there, in fact, being a wall for you to get through.”
    “Ah, well…”
    “Um, we can explain,” Jahjah said quickly.
    “I certainly hope so.”



    “It’s like this, see: you got everyone started on that tower, right?”
    “And on them walls up on the slopes. Don’t forget those.”
    “Right. So suddenly everyone needs a whole lot of stone.”
    “And that was afore you got us started on the cistern.”
    “Right. So we needed to get some more digging done. But then Xeper comes to me-“
    “And I say ‘weren’t you telling me ‘bout how there’s a whole mess of iron and coal and whatnot on the slopes across the stream’?”
    “Right. Only there was no way of getting over to it cause that was when all those dead goats started running around the valley.”
    “And so I slap him on the back and say ‘Jahjah, we’re dwarves-‘”
    “Only we’re not.”
    “Aw shut up. Still got your beard, pick, and a barrel of booze, don’t you? Anyway, ‘we’re dwarves,’ I say, ‘and if a dwarf can’t get over to something, he goes under instead’.’”
    “Right, so-“
    “So you’ve decided to dig a tunnel under the stream without telling anyone about it!” Obadiah the first twinges of a massive headache growing in his temples. “Is that what you’re trying to tell me?”
    “Um…”
    “Well…”
    “It’s like this-“
    “I also notice that most of the stone here is, in fact, kaolinite. A stone I distinctly don’t recall using in any construction work.”
    “Ah…”
    “Y’see…”
    “No, stop. I don’t care about your excuses. I’ve just spent the whole day hauling stone up three flights of steps, and all I care about now is a plate of stew, a tankard of beer, and my bed. We’ll discuss this tomorrow,” Obadiah let out a long sigh. “Just tell me two things: is this tunnel going to get flooded once the stream thaws, and will we need to relocate the cistern now that you’ve punched through that wall.”
    “Oh, no, we’re deep enough that no water will seep thr-“
    “What for? Just some stone and mortar and that wall wi-“
    “Good. That’s all I needed to know.”

    ***

    “Oh will you finally cheer the hell up,” Idked said five days later, while working on a wooden bin. “So they did a bit of extra work on the side and it got discovered by accident – so what? You admitted yourself that they took all the proper precautions.”
    “Yeah, but-“
    “Plus, they’ve hit two veins of lignite along the way. And hit a huge deposit of iron once they’ve started digging up on the other side. Alright, so it’s not like we can use any of that,” the carpenter shrugged, “but you never know, right?”
    “Well, yes, but-“
    “And hey, your tower’s finished. And no one died, no one drowned, no one walled themselves off, right? I thought you’d be happy about that, at least,” Idked pointed at the gray structure rising above the camp. They’ve laid the last few stones this morning and convinced Celes to let them open a new cask of wine to celebrate the occasion. The building still needed a couple doors and hatches to make it weatherproof, but they’ve already lit a signal fire on the top. The damp logs they threw into the flames resulted in a column of dark smoke that would be visible for miles – just in case there was a caravan on the way and it had trouble finding them.
    “No, I’m happy, believe me, I am,” Obadiah said without enthusiasm. “It’s just that I’ve been thinking…”
    “Well that never did anyone any good, no sir, as my dear old mother used to say. What about? Hey,” he added, before the other dwarf could open his mouth, “think we could get Derek to tear himself away from digging in the dirt for long enough to cobble together a furnace and actually smelt some of that iron? Only see, I’ve already kinda asked him about that and he said it might be possible to set something up. I mean, I know we won’t be able to do anything decent without an anvil, but I’m hoping he could at least roll out some nails for me, cause have you ever tried making a bin, or a bed for that matter with just wood? It’s no stroll through a mine, let me tell you that. Though you’d need to agree to everything first, of course. But you were saying?”
    “Er, what was I saying?” Obadiah blinked.
    “That you were thinking.”
    “Oh, right. Like you say, Jahjah and Xeper know their job well enough that they didn’t put anyone in danger. But what about everyone else?”
    “What about them?”
    “That’s the problem – I don’t know. I’ve realized that in this tiny, cramped camp of ours, they’ve all nevertheless managed to find their own private little spaces, and they get up to gods know what in there.”
    “What, you mean like when Milski and Zazit charm off each others’ socks and-“
    “Ye- What?! No!” Obadiah needed a moment to purge the image from his mind. “That’s not what I mean at all. I mean what if someone gets an idea – they might think it’s a brilliant idea - to help everyone out, but don’t say anything and one day it blows up in our faces?”
    “Seriously? That’s what’s on your mind?” Idked snorted. “Wasn’t it you that was telling me just a few days ago about how proud you are of everyone being so smart?”
    “Yeah, but that’s precisely the problem. After that little adventure with our miners I’ve realized that everyone’s smart enough to cover up being really, really stupid. Don’t give me that look. I’m actually afraid that I’ll go down to the kitchen one day and catch Celes cooking rats she was catching to make our food supplies stretch. Or that I’ll find out Derek’s been watering his fields with blood to make the crops grow taller. Or-“
    Here Obadiah had to stop talking because Idked started laughing. And he kept laughing for quite a while. He slapped his knees, he threw back his head and roared with laughter. Great big tears of mirth rolled down his cheeks to disappear into his beard and his face grew as red as the berries Derek was picking that day. Other dwarves left their work and came over to see what was so funny, but all they’d see was the carpenter holding his stomach as he heed and hawed, and a nonplussed Obadiah mumbling something about a good joke. Then they’d shake their heads and go away, and meanwhile Idked still laughed and laughed. He didn’t stop until his laughter turned into a coughing fit, and Obadiah had to run for a tankard of beer, for fear that he’d choke. And even then he spilled half of it as snorts escaped him between one gulp and the next.
    “Thank you for that,” he gasped at last. “Dear Lurit on his bejeweled throne, but I needed that. I haven’t had a laugh like that in twenty years, and by his golden crest, I won’t need another one for twenty more.”
    “I’m glad I amuse you so much,” Obadiah said dryly.
    “Oh, I don’t think you could’ve made me laugh harder if you tried,” Idked agreed amiably. “Watering crops with blood? Honestly, Obadiah? I’d have expected something like that from a Confederacy peasant, but you? And Derek?” the carpenter giggled. “Derek? The most stable dwarf either of us is ever likely going to see? If I didn’t know any better, I’d say it was you that was going off the deep end, throwing accusations like that around.”
    “I wasn’t accusing anyone,” Obadiah protested.
    “Which is why I said I know better,” Idked nodded. “Your problem is, it’s the first time you’ve been leading anyone for so long – I’m remembering it right? Just broker and bookkeeper up until this place? Not making a fool of myself here, am I? Ah, alright - you’re responsible for a dozen lives and you’ve been wound up tighter than the brass spring in a nervous guardsdwarfs’ crossbow, right? And you’ve just had something go almost, but not quite wrong, and woosh, it all went flying loose. You’re overreacting.”
    “I- I suppose-“
    “You are. Trust me, I’ve been there before, and I went through the same thing. Nothing as life-and-death as here, obviously – just a bunch of horses and stablehands, and a promise of a whipping if one of them got hurt. The horses, I mean. Nobody cared about the stablehands.”
    “That’s right, Zenos mentioned something about you being an overseer at some estate in human lands.”
    “Yeah, they found out I was a fair hand with the animals, so they’ve decided to put me in charge of humans. And what a barrel of joy that was. But,” Idked’s eyes grew hard, “that’s a story for another day. Look, the point is, things will happen. There will be problems. People will get… creative. That’s life for you. You can’t predict when, or where something will go wrong, so don’t bother trying, or you’ll worry yourself into an early grave. Just do your best to deal with trouble as it comes. I think you did a fine job with the miners – let them know your angry, but didn’t get angry, know what I mean?”
    “Yeah, I think I do.”
    “Good,” he slapped Obadiah on the shoulder. “But I’ve rambled for long enough. Plenty of work left for the day, right? And think about what I said about that smelter, eh?”
    “I will. And Idked?” Obadiah smiled. “Thanks.”
    “Yeah, yeah, now off with you,” the carpenter leaned over his work, but once Obadiah was out of earshot, he let out another giggle. “Blood rituals. Oh man. I’ll be telling that one for years.”

    ***

    It took only four days for the smoke beacon to show results.
    “There’s dwarves at our gates,” Derek said, entering Obadiah’s office.
    “The caravan!” the leader sprang up, suddenly hopeful.
    “Part of one,” the farmer agreed.




    ******


    The init file and me, we’re having these creative differences. I turn immigrants off, going “Nooo, no immigrants, I’m not done characterizing the last group yet!” Then the init file goes “Sez you!” and sends me more dwarves. Also:



    Sod off you judgemental pricks. No one died here yet and no one's forcing you to come all the way out here. For that matter, how do you even know about this place? We haven’t even had a caravan yet. Who gives these people directions and why can’t they go somewhere that wants them?

    Nah, I already know how to fit them into the narrative. I’m just not sure how to go about assigning them to the people on the waiting list, since next in line we have Robz defheadz requesting a male miner with a sobriety problem and Starbuck II requesting a male trapper with identity issues and neither of the arrivals fits those concepts even remotely (I'm assuming no one will want the 3-month-old toddler). Either way, I’ll give those two some time to let me know if they’re amenable to altering their concept a bit.

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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    So, what did we get? One is purple, and the other seems to be a recruit. I'm guessing the one is a high master Diagnoser/novice glassmaker, and the other is a competent shield user/armor user/dodger/teacher/leader with no civilian skills and no real weapon training. Also, they appear to be married.
    Last edited by Rockphed; 2010-09-21 at 02:26 PM.
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    Rockphed said it well.
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    A female trader and a male cheesemaker with a grab-bag of military skills, including Skilled Axedwarf - he actually appeared on the edge of the map as a military dwarf, then immediately "went civilian" so I changed him back to military for the screenshot.

    None of them have any prior relations to one another - not even the baby.

    Upon reflection, this raises troubling questions.

    In any case, since there's been no response from Robz and Starbuck II seems to have forgotten that he even wanted to be dwarfed, I think I'll skip down the list to lord khaine and Terraoblivion - their concepts are a lot closer to what I've got to work with anyway. I hope that won't make anyone too angry.

    I'm aiming the next update for Tuesday.

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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Did he come with an axe and other equipment, or is he currently unarmed? Idked doesn't want to give up his axe just so somebody new can properly kill goblins. Also, isn't Idked's axe copper?
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Yay to smart for my own good.

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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Heh... might want to keep an eye on Xeper...

    "Boss... I think I may have dug too deep..."

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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Quote Originally Posted by xp194 View Post
    Heh... might want to keep an eye on Xeper...

    "Boss... I think I may have dug too deep..."

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    Unless Maxymiuk has either a weird site, a weird world, or just gets really unlucky, digging deep enough for that response is hard. However, the underground cavern level pretty much all include lots of nastiness, so if they are breached before the fort is ready for them, it leads to fun, as opposed to !!FUN!! !
    Quote Originally Posted by Wardog View Post
    Rockphed said it well.
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Your name: Bill
    Your preferred gender: None (I never pay any attention to them anyway)
    Your profession (preferred/goal profession for anyone beyond the first six): Engraver/Architect/Mason/Miner/Whatever (I really only care about Engraver)
    Your reason for being called undwarven and exiled (optional for anyone beyond the first six): One night, when everyone was asleep, he snuck into their bedrooms and engraved a picture of himself eating cheese on the wall.

    The nobles did not appreciate it.

    Loud, carefree, and boisterous, he happily follows through with whatever task given him with charming incompetence.

    His jokes are 'hilarious'.
    Avatar by Me!
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    I hope you're still taking migrant suggestions. If so...

    Your name: Tsiru McFrawd
    Your preferred gender: Male
    Your profession: Miner
    Your reason: Goblin raiders have a habit of kidnapping dwarven children and raising them as their own, presumably because it means less precious goblins need to die in future raids when there's dwarven limbs that could be hacked off instead.

    Sometimes, things go in reverse--Tsiru's mother gave birth to him in the middle of a raid, and one of the local dwarves decided that turnabout was fair play. Raised as a dwarf in secret, he was kicked out of his 'home' fortress once the local law enforcement discovered him.

    Passing himself off as a dwarf was easy among those who wouldn't suspect he was anything but--all he had to do was scar his own face excessively to make himself look as ugly as possible and join a migrant caravan, claiming it happened in a mining accident, and they bought it.

    Tsiru tries to be as inconspicuous as possible--but among dwarves, all that does is make him stand out as the rest of them are at least slightly unhinged. All he does is mine, simply because it keeps him away from everyone else for as long as possible, thus lowering the chance of discovery.

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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Breaching the caverns basically means you have a vector for Forgotten Beasts to enter and kill your dwarves.
    If God had wanted you to live he would not have created me!

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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Do we have any flux lying around, or are we going to have to import that sort of thing? I don't remember seeing a listing of what layers we have, but if it was posted, I would like to look at it for a bit.

    Also, having iron and no flux is much nicer than having flux and no iron. That fort was fun, except for the distinct lack of iron ore. I had to use goblinite, which was, shall we say, less than fun seeing as the easy magma to get to was the stuff down at the bottom of the world, which meant a long haul or a magma pump stack, neither of which really appealed to me.
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    I would say the opposite. You can get iron ore from merchants far easier than flux. Plus you can use goblinite to make your steel.
    If God had wanted you to live he would not have created me!

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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Quote Originally Posted by ObadiahtheSlim View Post
    I would say the opposite. You can get iron ore from merchants far easier than flux. Plus you can use goblinite to make your steel.
    True, but if you don't have a good supply of bronze making metals, you end up being relegated to copper weapons and armor, which are not all that great.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wardog View Post
    Rockphed said it well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Starfall
    When your pants are full of crickets, you don't need mnemonics.
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Update wasn't posted yesterday due to a headache that laid me out for most of the day. We do have iron ore all over the place, but no flux to be seen - though for all I know, it may be hidden away somewhere under the soil layer.

    And speaking of intersecting biomes, it's really eerie to see the southern half of the stream dry out because the northern half has been frozen for the past month and a half.



    ******


    From the journal of Obadiah Boltedbald


    7th of Sandstone, Autumn of 451
    The Camp

    First, let me express the unbridled joy I feel at being able to press a quill against parchment and watch words emerge. I have not realized how much I’ve missed this until now that I find myself doing it, and I have Terra – one of our newest arrivals – to thank for this opportunity, even though it came about because of a great tragedy. But I should get to the point of this entry – ink and clear parchment are a limited resource I should not waste on idle gushing.

    Two days ago, on the 5th of Sandstone, Derek entered my office to inform me of arrivals at the gates of our camp. I’ve expressed everyone’s hopes that this may be the annual dwarven making a tour of new settlements, carrying desperately needed supplies we could trade for. Unfortunately, in a way, it was…


    There was no question of letting the arrivals in – not once Celes saw the baby. “We’ve all voted yes,” she growled in a way that caused Obadiah to go open the gate himself, without raising a word of objection. Zenos was told to give up her cloak to serve as a blanket. Derek was handed a bucket and sent to milk the mare. Raroy and Zazit who stood around snickering at the commotion were told to make themselves useful and arrange some toys. Celes herself ran off to the kitchen, right after shoving Idked in the direction of the wood pile with an order to fetch her some firewood. The arrivals watched it all wide-eyed, stunned speechless by the commotion their arrival had caused. Obadiah gave them a helpless shrug.
    “You look hungry,” he said . “Why don’t we head to the dinner hall and you can introduce yourselves properly after you’ve eaten.

    ***



    “My name is Terra Tooltest of clan Lórokil,” the woman said, pushing away the empty bowl. “And you have mine and my companion’s sincere thanks for letting us in. I honestly don’t think we could’ve gone on for another day. I’ve all but given up hope when Khaine spotted your smoke signal.”
    “Told you Asmel would guide us,” the other dwarf grunted, picking a bit of meat out of his beard and popping it into his mouth. “Name’s Khaine.Granitetorch,” he added, almost as an afterthought.
    “And the babe?” Celes wanted to know.
    “We…” Terra hesitated. “We don’t know.”
    “You don’t know? But-“
    “I’m not his mother,” she sighed heavily, looking at the infant sleeping in her arms. “She died in the attack. Afterwards we found him under her body. She… she died shielding him from harm. I didn’t even know her name – she wasn’t part of the caravan, just a traveler that came with us for protection.”

    …while no one would dare say so out loud, so as not to speak ill of the dead, I know that most of us have guessed that there’s only one reason for a mother to travel alone so late in the year, with a child just a few months old, and that would be because the child bore the shame of being born out of wedlock.

    Fortunately, our camp is the last place where anyone will look askance at such matters. From what I hear, the women have taken to care for the boy as a group, and given him the name Amost…


    “Forgive me if I seem callous,” Obadiah said gently,” but could you tell us how far from here the attack took place? The caravan – we’ve really been counting on the supplies you were carrying. Maybe we could go out and salvage whatever’s left.”
    “I-I’m sorry,” Terra shook her head. “We were utterly lost – I wouldn’t be able to tell you which direction to start looking in. Besides, the goblins took almost everything there was of value. All we’ve been able to find was some food to get by on – and that ran out three days ago. We’ve been wandering around for over two weeks.”
    “I see,” Obadiah sighed dejectedly.
    “Wait,” the trader looked up suddenly. “You said, the supplies you were counting on?”
    “Er, yes. The usual autumn circuit of all settlements and holdings? Only you’ve been so late, some of us were starting to wonder whether you haven’t forgotten about us.”
    “But we have forgo- no, what am I saying? We couldn’t have forgotten about you.” Terra said, looking extremely puzzled. “We couldn’t, since we didn’t know about you at all.”

    …and so Derek had been right after all. We’ve been sent off to die, forgotten and unmourned. Though I’ve been trying to accept that possibility before, finding out for certain was still like a punch to the gut. The others took it even worse – a lot of yelling and waving of arms, to put it lightly. Things almost ended in an incident when Khaine pulled his axe on Zenos who looked like she might hit Terra. Fortunately Idked and me managed to get everyone calmed down at that point – though I’ll admit that it was mostly because of how sharp that axe looked.

    The next morning, with everyone rested and tempers cooled, we’ve all sat down to discuss what’s next. While I’ve appraised the new arrivals of our status as exiles, Idked took the chance to talk with his group. Afterwards…


    “Alright, the way I see it, it’s like this,” Idked began with a sigh. “We could take the promised supplies and leave right now, bringing those two with us. Zenos and Dalantar campaigned around these parts a few times, so they know the lay of the land, more or less. If we moved fast, we might just make it to the Spine of Lathering before the real snowstorms hit. Failing that, there’s at least two human cities along the way: Rogonketas, and Escuquemer, which is where our friends were trying to get two. But,” the carpenter looked at Dalantar, “there’s a problem with that idea. Two problems.”
    “First,” the mercenary bent back one finger, “if goblins are raiding that far north from the Reputed Crest, it means the Confederacy went to pieces again, which I believe makes it the eleventh time just in this decade.”
    “Thirteenth.”
    “Either way, all the soldiers that should be protecting the roads are holed up in the cities, protecting their merchant princes against surprise sieges. And that in turn means that one, there’s goblin warbands – and worse – out in the country, and two, anyone showing up at the city gates is likely to be accused of being a spy for the opposition. If you ask me and Zenos for our professional opinion, this makes our chances of “making it” anywhere virtually nil.” Dalantar took a deep breath before continuing. “And second…”
    “And second,” Zenos cut him off, “we kinda don’t want to go.”
    “You… don’t?” Obadiah blinked.
    “Not really,” she shrugged. “I mean, our mountainhome pretty much kicked us out too. They were just nicer about it.”
    “In that they didn’t quite say “and don’t ever come back” out loud,” Dalantar said bitterly.
    “And even being let into yours is a right pain.”
    “Änd where else would we go? The humans all treat us like dirt…”
    “The dwarves treat us like we don’t exist…”
    “Well, there’s always this other dwarf kingdom to the southeast.”
    “What, the Speechless Sword? Hah,” Zenos spat. “Remember Baldbridge? Back in Enempobe?”
    “You mean the huge bastard? The one with the beard like this? He was from there? Damn, you know, I thought he was one of ours, the way he always acted. Always wondered how his own mother didn’t drown him in a barrel of ale.”
    “Yeah, and I’ve met a dwarf who said that down in their lands, they all act like this.”
    “Seriously? I-“
    I think the point here is,” Idked said firmly, “that, funny as it may sound, your camp is our best option. All four of us agree on this – this may be a far cry from a dwarf’s dream mountain, but it’s still a damn sight better than most places any of us have slept over the years. we’d like to stay. If you’d have us, I mean,” he added.

    …I’d have said yes without a second thought. During their stay here Idked and his crew have proven themselves hard and reliable workers, well worth the food we’ve put before them on the table. However, this was a matter that would affect more dwarves than me. I called a vote.

    It was a unanimous aye.

    As for the newest arrivals, Khaine just repeated that it was Asmel that guided him here, and that he wasn’t about to turn around and leave. And Terra – well, she wasn’t about to head out into the wilderness all by herself, was she? And there was the baby to think about – our mare was still producing milk, having foaled recently.

    With that issue settled to everyone’s satisfaction, the discussion turned to the matter of provisions. Here things didn’t go so well…


    “We’ll need to butcher one of the animals,” Celes said matter-of-factly. “Or come winter we’ll only have berries left to eat.”
    “Alright, I suppose the donkey will ha-“
    “NO!” everyone jumped at Celes’s outburst. “We’ll kill the bull.”
    “What? It’s still a calf” Dalantar protested. “And just last week you were saying that-“
    “And now I say that you’ll kill the bull. In case it escaped your attention, we now have a baby here with us. Babies need milk – lots of milk. And that donkey’s a jenny.”
    “So?” Dalantar shrugged. “It’s not like it’s with foal. No foal, no milk.”
    “Actually, that’s not entirely true,” Idked smiled. “There’s ways to artificially induce lactation in most livestock – it’s quite simple, really. All you need is a-“
    “IbelieveyouandIdon'twanttoknowandyouwillstoptalki ngrightnow!” the mercenary covered his ears just in case, as a few others laughed. “I still remember your lecture on horsebreeding – no matter how much I drink to forget. I’ll kill the damned bull.”
    “How are we for alcohol?” Obadiah asked.
    “Plenty of booze left,” Celes said, much to general relief. “And I’ve got enough berries cluttering up the kitchen to double what we have, if I need to.”
    “And speaking of berries…” Obadiah looked at Derek.
    “Last crop gets planted tomorrow,” the farmer said. “Anything I try to grow later would just freeze once the storms start.”
    “Damn. But alright, I still think this should last us until spring.”

    …”And then what?” was the inevitable question, which didn’t get asked because, luckily, Zazit decided to start an argument…

    “Half of you snores,” Zazit said, drawing a lot of unfriendly glances, “and the other half farts. It was bad enough with eleven, and now there’s gonna be fourteen. I say sod this, I want my own room.”
    “You mean you and Milski want a room,” Zenos leered, causing a few laughs.
    “But no, I agree,” Celes offered unexpected support. “I think everyone’s noticed it’s getting really cramped here,” she looked around the table. “I mean, if I was to serve dinner now, someone would get an elbow in the eye when you’d raise the spoons. We’ll need to dig a bigger mess hall for sure – might as well throw in a few rooms while the miners are at it, right? For that matter,” she smirked, “our honored leader needs a bigger office. I’m not so fond of his face that I want to see it from a few inches away when I come to yell at him.”

    …uncalled for remarks aside, it’s true that we’ve been too busy with other crucial projects to expand our living space beyond the few basic chambers Jahjah dug us at the start of our exile. Now that we have two miners on hand, I see no reason not to dig a few extra rooms – I have already spoken with Jahjah and Xeper about finding a suitable space for expansion.

    However, by far the most… interesting problem was brought to my attention the day after the meeting – just a couple hours ago, in fact. It started with a knock on my office’s door…


    “Can we come in?” Zenos looked around the door. “Damn, it is cramped in here. Hey, what’s this?” she walked in, pointing at the table. Dalantar followed her, closing the door behind him.
    “What? Oh, that, well, I suppose you could call it a filing system, ”Obadiah said, doing his best to move the chair closer to the wall. Three dwarves were two too many for the tiny room.
    “What, the table? And all those beads and rocks and things?”
    “Don’t touch it! Sorry, it’s very easy to get things mixed up. Yes, a table. We didn’t come here with any books, or ink, and I had to keep track of how much food and other things we have left somehow, so I made these grooves in the table and started using different colors of pebbles as markers. It’s very simple really.”
    “I see,” Zenos nodded, clearly not understanding. “But now that you’ve got those ledgers the trader girl carried around with her you’ll do it like a normal dwarf, with numbers and things, yeah?”
    “Well, I don’t know, I kinda got use- How about you tell me what brings you here,” Obadiah smiled brightly.
    “Okay, see, there’s this thing. Um…” Zenos looked at Dalantar worriedly. “I don’t know how to explain it. Dal! You ask him.”
    “You said you were going to do it!” the other dwarf protested.
    “Yeah, but I can’t. It’s too… silly. No!” she cried out. “No! It’s not silly. It’s a serious question… thing. A serious thing that we want to ask about. It’s just that, I mean me and Dal have been talking about this for awhile, right? Cause we’ve known each other for years, so there’s not much one of us doesn’t know about the other, you know, and we both want this. But we’ve also been listening to others, cause we don’t want to impose or anything, and it’s like it’s just me and him that want this and no one else. And I’m sorry I’m babbling, but it just feels so silly to ask for it,” Zenos looked at Obadiah helplessly.
    “That’s alright, I understand what you mean,” he lied blatantly. “But just to make sure I understood you: tell me, in five words or less, what do you want?”
    Zenos looked at Dalantar, who shrugged and rolled his eyes. Then she looked at Obadiah and took a deep breath.
    “We want a temple,” she blurted out.

    …they’re both worshippers of álil Blamelessclears, the deity of consolation and copious amounts of alcohol (which in most circles means the same thing, I suppose). The treaties we the treaties the Dutiful Lenses have with the Confederacy forbid construction of shrines to dwarven gods in human territory (and vice versa), so they haven’t attended a proper service in years (Dalantar tells me binge nights at a tavern don’t count). When it still seemed that they’d be heading home with the caravan, they kept quiet, not wanting to add to anyone’s workload, but now they’re asking for – at the very least – a shrine to leave offerings at.

    I told them I’ll think about it. While it’s true that on the surface we may seem like a heathen bunch, it’s mostly been because survival takes precedence over gods, even for the most ardent of worshippers. And if experience taught me anything, when one temple pops up, more are quick to follow. There are seven gods in our pantheon, after all.



    ******


    As an aside, I still remember the promise to show the fort (as much as there is to show, at least) in Stonesense. However, there's two problems with that. One, the program's compatibility updates are having trouble keeping up with the game's updates, given the rate at which Toady One has been churning them out. Two, the one time I did try to run it on a compatible version (31.8, I think), I gave up after two hours, because it wasn't working. However, I'm willing to try again, especially now that I'll be expanding the camp a bit. I'll stick with 31.14 until Stonesense catches up, and then we'll see.

    Next update will happen during the weekend. I'd like to have a more reliable schedule, but my internet access is currently sporadic.

  20. - Top - End - #140
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    From the journal of Obadiah Boltedbald

    23rd of Sandstone, Autumn of 451
    The Camp

    I’ve had numerous contacts with elves over the years I’ve spent as a trader and broker in various frontier settlements around the Spine of Lathering. As a consequence, I’ve learned some things about this strange race – not nearly enough to consider myself an authority, but enough to have some gleaning of how they view the races they trade with.

    I write about this, because the events of the past few weeks have brought to my mind a discussion I’ve once had with one of these nomadic merchants, in which he attempted to teach me of the fundamental difference between elves and dwarves.

    “Elves,” he said, holding up a length of wood, which he then threw at the wall surrounding the trade depot. The stick bounced off the stone and fell to the ground. The elf picked it up and showed it to me – it looked much the same as before he threw it. When I nodded that I understand (at the time I didn’t), he took the stick in both hands and snapped it in two without much effort..

    “Dwarves,” he then said, pointing at a rock laying under our feet. He then proceeded to stomp on it, kick it, and wail on it with his staff. After a few minutes he stopped, and calmly picked up the rock to show it to me – aside from a few scuff marks, it has withstood his assault unharmed. When I nodded, he turned and threw the rock at the wall, where it shattered into a hundred pieces.

    Looking back at this event from the perspective of years, I can conclude that his methodology was flawed – had we been standing five feet to the left of where we were, we’d have had the fort’s layer of chalk under our feet. Any rock he’d have found laying there would’ve been pounded into paste in just a couple of blows. That said, there was some merit to his point. Upon realizing that we’ve been betrayed by our former homeland, we’ve raged and despaired, then we drank heavily through the night, and then we went on with our lives.

    Still, I’ll confess to helping things along in that regard. A working dwarf is a happy dwarf, or at least a dwarf with no time to brood, so for the past two weeks I’ve had us all working on rebuilding our stock of wood. Terra and Khaine encountered no undead on their trek towards the camp, and Raroy’s patrol confirmed that the valley is once again clear of danger. With two axes at our disposal, Idked and Khaine have been felling trees faster than we can haul them away, a problem exacerbated by the fact that Idked’s previous work has completely cleared the immediate vicinity of the camp.

    I am well aware of the five trees growing within the confines of our walls. I’ve declared that they are to remain standing, thus serving as an emergency supply, impervious to consumption whether by accident or oversight. There is also another reason, but one that I dare not dress in words yet, not when my plan is but a shadow of intent, hung on a latticework of hope.

    Moreover, I have greater concerns right now. Jahjah and Xeper still haven’t provided a plan of the residential area they’re to dig. Neither have they started any actual work. Instead they waste hours wandering the camp, arguing loudly and ceaselessly, stopping only long enough to cover the nearest wall with a web of diagrams that no one can decipher. In fact, I was forced to confine their discussions to the area of the quarry, after they nearly defaced one of Raroy’s engravings in that manner, and she chased them across the camp, attempting to bludgeon them with her crossbow.

    When confronted about their lack of progress, the miners informed me that they’ve had a number of disagreements concerning, and I quote, “philosophy of fortress design.”



    “The what of what?
    “Philosophy of fortress design,” Xeper repeated patiently.
    “That’s an actual field of study?” Obadiah asked weakly.
    “Absolutely. Very active too. Cutting edge, really. New theories springing up overnight, you could say. My father, for example,” Xeper said, with a hint of pride in her voice, “is the one who formulated the Unified Tile Theorem.”
    “My grandfather wrote the treatise on Dwarfspace Coefficients,” Jahjah added.
    “Which got soundly debunked by the later work of Asmel Rackbitten.”
    “Asmel was an idiot who wouldn’t know the business end of a pick from his arse.”
    “He did prove the dangers inherent to-“
    “He fell down a bloody chasm! The only thing this proves is that he didn’t know what precautions to take when approaching a hollow space.”
    “Oh, so you’re saying we should take your granddad’s advice to “dig a mile down into the mountain and start the whole thing over”.”
    What?! That’s not what I’m saying at all! I just think that-“


    Long story short, I’ve learned why most expeditions are ever assigned only one miner. The best I can hope for, I think, is that eventually one of them will throttle the other. At least then the philosophy department will have reached consensus and actual work can begin.

    ***

    26th of Sandstone, Autumn of 451
    The Camp

    The goats are back. Raroy looked inordinately happy when delivering these news. I don’t see why, as it means that she has to get back to smoothing the walls of the cistern with Dalantar. I confess to some frustration, as the stockpile is only half full. I’ve ordered everyone back inside and the gate raised. Most of us were happy to comply.



    “So you’re just going to hide?” Khaine scowled. “Cower behind the walls? What are you, children?”
    “We’re grown men and women,” Obadiah replied coldly, “who are not suicidal. We have no weapons. We have no armor. We-“
    “Weapon,” Khaine hefted his axe. “Armor,” he pounded his chest, causing his chain mail to jingle.
    “We also don’t have a trained physician in case anyone gets hurt.”
    “Not gonna get hurt.”
    “Hey, Khaine, know what it feels like to die of infection?” Zenos called out from where she was dragging the last of the wood to the stockpile.”
    “Cause we could tell you all about it,” Dalantar grinned, joining her. “It’s barrels of fun, let me tell you.”
    “A real scream, you could say.”
    “A hoot.”
    “A holler.”
    “Let me fight,” the guardsdwarf insisted, ignoring the mercenaries. “I can handle them.”
    “And if you can’t?”
    “Then you can take the damned axe off my corpse. Now let me fight!”


    It took Terra to finally talk him down – she appears to be the only one Khaine can’t say no to, but even she had trouble convincing him to get inside.

    I later had a very troubling conversation with Zenos and Dalantar. They tell me that Khaine is what’s known as a “late bloomer” – a dwarf that got fed up with his “boring civilian life” from one day to the next and decided to join the military or, in his case, become a caravan guard (he used to be a cheesemaker, apparently). They tell me his type are unusually aggressive and prone to looking for trouble and excitement. “Thinks he’s got a lot to prove, to himself and to everyone else” were the exact words they used.

    I’ll have to have a talk with him. Maybe I can convince him to put down the axe and take up his old job. Young Amost doesn’t need nearly as much milk as everyone thought and it’s been piling up. It would mean some variety in our diet, at least.

    Meanwhile I can’t have half the camp sitting on their hands, so I’ve got everyone I can started on putting a roof over the inner courtyard. It should help keep the warmth in, especially once the snow falls, creating another layer of insulation.

    Still no progress on the residential situation.



    ******


    Almost forgot the profiles for the new characters.





    Is it just me, or does Terra actually look well-adjusted?
    Last edited by Maxymiuk; 2010-10-08 at 05:35 PM.

  21. - Top - End - #141
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    Rockphed's Avatar

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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Okay, what have you been inflicting on the dwarves that they are already "getting used to tragedy?"
    Quote Originally Posted by Wardog View Post
    Rockphed said it well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Starfall
    When your pants are full of crickets, you don't need mnemonics.
    Dragontar by Serpentine.

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  22. - Top - End - #142
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    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Yeah, Terra does seem sane. Huh.

    Anyway, awesome sauce is awesome.

  23. - Top - End - #143
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Sweet, looks like I get the next dwarf that is inevitably sent despite you turning of migration.

    Just as an idea for the next wave, perhaps the Mountain Home, still hemorrhaging dwarven exiles, has either A) sent another group of exiles to the same place by coincidence (probably for the same reasons the first group got sent here), or B) They've actually been keeping track of the place and sent one or two dwarves to "check up on them.", which is basically just their excuse to send out even more dwarves to die. Which one you use would basically depend on the size of the group, though it could be a full expedition of exiles that got less or no escort, leading to many of them dying on the journey.
    Excellent avatar by Elder Tsofu.

  24. - Top - End - #144
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    *poke* *poke*

    Maxy, if you let this die, I will hunt you down and feed you to the zombie eagles.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wardog View Post
    Rockphed said it well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Starfall
    When your pants are full of crickets, you don't need mnemonics.
    Dragontar by Serpentine.

    Now offering unsolicited advice.

  25. - Top - End - #145
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rockphed View Post
    I will hunt you down and feed you to the zombie eagles.
    Well, alright, but only because you''ve threatened me with horrid death.

    I do apologize. I've been in a bit of a funk this past week or so. I have no intention of letting this die however.



    ******


    From the journal of Obadiah Boltedbald

    30th of Sandstone, Autumn of 451
    The Camp

    I’m writing these words in my new office. Which is really the old office, only much larger. Our two miners may still be arguing esoterics – I even heard some of the others start referring to the quarry as the “philosophy wing” – but at least they can still follow simple orders like “expand my office”. I now have a separate meeting table, so that now as many as five dwarves can yell at me at once. The filing table has been moved further away from the entrance; hopefully it’s far enough that no one will disrupt it accidentally. I’ve also had four new ones made – I was really running out of space for new grooves.

    The herds of undead goats continue to pass within a stone’s throw of our walls. Khaine continues to watch them in every free moment. Everyone else is currently busy putting a roof over the inner courtyard, since one, I can’t have them sitting around with nothing to do, and two, this should help us retain some warmth once winter sets in.


    ***

    The middle part of the leaf was still green, but the rim has darkened, dried up and curled inward. He picked one of the berries and it came apart, with watery juice and bits of brown pulp running through his fingers.

    “What’s wrong with it?”

    Derek turned around, to see Terra looking over his shoulder, curiosity written all over her face.

    “The cold’s killing it,” he said, turning back to the plants.
    “But why like this?” Terra came up and kneeled next to him, pointing at the bush. “The leaves dry out, but the fruit rot.”
    “I… don’t know,” Derek replied.
    “Oh,” she looked disappointed. “Is it true what Celes said? That you didn’t know anything about growing crops when you came here? That you had to figure everything out with no help?”
    “I had help,” he shook his head. “Celes and Obadiah knew which plants I should grow. Without them I would’ve wasted time growing shrubs. Or grass.”
    “But you’re the one who figured out how to grow them,” Terra insisted.

    Derek shrugged and began prodding berries hanging on the bush, looking for any that were still salvageable. Terra waited for him to reply, but it was quickly becoming clear that there wouldn’t be one.

    Celes did warn her that this wasn’t going to be easy.

    “You know, I originally wanted to be a farmer,” she said wistfully. “The guild wouldn’t have me though. Usual reason – too many members, not enough work. And from what I’ve heard even if they take you in, it’s ten years before they even take you down to the fields, and another five before they’ll let you pick your first plump helmet.”
    “You want me to teach you,” it wasn’t a question.
    “Well, I just thought that with the food shortage Celes mentioned, you might need some help, so…” she shrugged helplessly.
    “This is the last crop for this year,” Derek indicated the berry bushes, the strawberry patch, the two rows of longland grass on the far side of the plot. “I think at least half of it will die from the cold. I won’t be planting anything else until spring.”
    “Oh. I see,” Terra looked away to hide her disappointment. “Yeah, you already said that, back when we showed up, I forgot. Yeah, no point in me asking then. Sorry to have bothered you,” she started to get up, only to be stopped by a hand grasping her shoulder.
    “A prickle berry is always green, but you know it’s ripe when the thorns start coming off with just a light touch,” he dropped a couple berries into her hand, letting her examine them. “It should be hard, but give way if you squeeze it. If it’s any softer, it’s probably overripe, or rotting. Go on then,” he added, pointing at the bush. “They aren’t going to pick themselves.”
    “I… I don’t…” Terra stared at the fruit in her hand, stunned by this sudden turnabout. “Thank you. I don’t kno-“
    “Tell me about Khaine.”


    ******


    On the technical side of things, does anyone know if there's a way to prevent dwarves from nabbing a bag and using it for seed storage? (I think they'll use it even if I remove the seed stockpile beforehand) We've got all the longland beer we need for the moment, and I thought I could vary the diet with some flour in the meantime.
    Last edited by Maxymiuk; 2010-10-19 at 09:10 PM.

  26. - Top - End - #146
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    The only thing I can think of is creative use of burrows and labors. I'd just recommend growing some pigtails and use that to make some more bags. Bags are like barrels and bins. You can never have too many.
    Last edited by ObadiahtheSlim; 2010-10-20 at 03:05 PM.
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  27. - Top - End - #147
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    I’ve delayed playing Fallout: New Vegas and watching House Season Two DVD Set in order to bring you this update. I hope you can appreciate the sacrifices I’m making here.


    ******


    2nd of Timber, Autumn of 451

    “What I’m failing to understand,” Obadiah said with a slow sigh, “is why you’ve started arguing now, of all times. You’ve had no problems digging the cistern together. Or the dormitory. Or my office. Or anything else for that matter.”



    The two miners shifted in their seats, sharing an uncomfortable glance.

    “Well, you see,” Jahjah began, “the cistern was easy.”
    “Yeah. There was a good space for it,” Xeper added. “Had to do just one workaround on account of the tunnels, is all.”
    “There was… Are you serious?” Obadiah gaped. “Are you trying to tell me that we have no space for a few rooms?”
    “That’s a… crude way to put it.”
    “That’s a ridiculous way to put it!” Obadiah half-rose from his seat. “What do you mean, no space?! Have you seen that hill you’ve dug us into?! There’s plenty of space! Pick a wall. Any wall! Start digging!”
    “Aw, well, see, it’s not that easy,” Xeper shook her head. “Not if we want to maintain the ACE.”
    “The what?” Obadiah fell back into his seat, his anger momentarily replaced with confusion.
    “ACE. Amenity, Community, Efficiency. Three words every miner lives by. Usually cause the Guild will take every moment to hammer them into your skull.”
    And what do they mean, exactly?” Obadiah asked weakly.
    “Hah, that would be a telling. There’s scads of books that’s been written by greatest dwarven minds on them three words. But, in the simplest terms,” Xeper counted off on her fingers,” Amenity is about keeping dwarves happy about their lodgings, and that includes giving them enough room to stretch their legs.. Community means making sure everyone’s got a chance to see everyone else at least once per day, and that’s only good sense cause not only people need to socialize, but this way you can immediately spot outsiders.. Efficiency is the layout of the fortress as a whole – you want everything close on hand, otherwise dwarves waste time running around looking for stuff all the time.”
    “What she means to say,” Jahjah added, “is that a properly built fort needs a defined focal point.”
    “No I bloody well don’t!” Xeper snapped at him, “And I’ll thank you for not bringing up that nonsense again.”
    “It’s not nonsense. It’s a valid approach to fortress design, as detailed in-“
    “It’s complete nonsense. Focal point design has been proven to be impossible to maintain as the fort grows, and what’s more-“
    ENOUGH!!

    The miners broke off their incipient argument and stared at Obadiah.

    “Enough,” he breathed out a bit more calmly. “I don’t care about your difference of opinion. What I care about – what everyone else cares about – is that you two haven’t started digging us rooms yet. And as far as I understand it is, you’re wasting a lot of words to tell me that you don’t know where to start digging.”
    “Well…”
    “Essentially…”
    “Fine!” Obadiah ran a hand down his face. “I’ll help you with that. This,” he pointed at the wall behind his chair,” is where I want the entrance to my room. Once you’re done digging here, you’ll go and ask Celes where she wants hers – chances are it's somewhere near the kitchen. Then you’ll ask Derek. Then Raroy, Milski, and everyone else. And you’ll dig where they tell you to dig, barring any obvious and legitimate problems, such as collapsing this whole place down on our heads. Is this something you think you can do?”
    “Well…”
    “It’s certainly… interesting.”
    “Certainly somewhat unorthodox…”
    “Yeah. Like… small-scale distributed habitation?”
    “Though it would prevent traffic congestion in the access corridor.”
    “Preserve privacy too.”
    “And keep the dining hall as the central point of the fort.”
    “Certainly has potential.”
    “So is that a yes?” Obadiah demanded.
    “We’ll have to thi-“

    Just then, the door swung open with a crash, and Milski burst into the office.

    “Obadiah!” he shouted, his voice full of anxiety. “Come quick! Khaine went outside the walls!”
    What?! When? Just now?”
    “Yes!”
    “How? Why would he do that?!”
    “I think he’s going after the goats.”


    ******


    And I’m finally starting to catch up to my latest save. Who knows, maybe I’ll actually get to play the game again in a couple weeks.

  28. - Top - End - #148
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    Rockphed's Avatar

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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    I notice that Khain's method of exiting the compound isn't explained. Furthermore, I notice that they have FINALLY come to a decision on where to start putting rooms. I normally have a giant staircase of doom running down the middle of my fort, but I think your way might be better.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wardog View Post
    Rockphed said it well.
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    Dragontar by Serpentine.

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  29. - Top - End - #149
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    This is actually a large departure from my typical fortress design, in that I don't actually have one. I'm adding new rooms based on current needs and available space. I'm hoping this will result in a fort that looks more natural, more "organic" than those built according to an overarching plan.

    Which isn't to say that I won't be undertaking any large-scale architectural projects. But for now they're only plans for the future.



    ******


    2nd of Timber, Autumn of 451

    Khaine wasn't afraid.

    He walked carefully across the ice, as the fishing platform raised itself behind him with a loud grinding of gears, cutting him off from safety, denying retreat.

    He wouldn't retreat.

    Once on firm ground he broke into a jog, heading southwest, following the group of goats he saw passing the camp barely a quarter of an hour ago. They'd been moving very slowly, shambling along almost, but he couldn't see them from the valley's floor - they were probably hidden behind one of the slopes.

    He slowed down a bit once the ground started sloping upwards. No need to tire himself out needlessly, especially since he could stumble onto the goats at any moment. He'd catch up with them even if he just walked.

    Goats. Undead goats. Heh.

    Maybe that's why he didn't feel any fear. Hard to take an enemy like that seriously, even if they were an abomination of life, creatures of bone and rot. But he wielded bronze, wore iron and steel. Metal wins over bone any day of the week. Now goblins...

    There was distant yelling behind him. He was high enough that the camp's wall no longer hid him from those working on the courtyard's roof. But in truth they were the ones who were hiding. Hiding, worrying, and cautioning, believing the walls would protect them. They were wrong. Hiding didn't work. It hadn't worked against the goblins and it wouldn't work here. The only way to protect anything is to meet the threat, to put yourself between the threat and that which you were tasked with protecting. That's what it meant to be a guard. That's what he... was supposed to be. Not even Terra understood that. But at least one other did.

    He crested the slope, and there were the goats. Three of them, stumbling over the uneven ground, seemingly bereft of all the grace and speed of their living counterparts. But he wasn't fooled. He saw a bunch of them chasing a horse across the valley a week ago. All speed and relentless purpose. The horse did manage to stay ahead, by virtue of having longer legs, but on the other hand, the undead didn't tire. Unfortunately, he did not see the end of that race - the entire group disappeared into the forest.

    There'd be no running here. He picked up a rock and threw it at the nearest goat. He missed, but the clatter made the creatures turn around, seeing him - or perhaps sensing him in some other way, as their white skulls were bereft of eyes. And how could they hear the rock without...

    Irrelevant. They've charged.

    Drill sergeant's voice in his head. If you getting charged, you either set your spear, or step aside, or get knocked on your hairy arse. He steps aside, sweeps the axe low. The goat's foreleg separates from its body, it crashes to the ground.

    It immediately clambers upright, but he guessed they'd feel no pain. Bashes downwards with the shield. Iron meets skull, slams the creature into the ground. The axe follows, severing the spine, bursting the innards.

    Putrid stench. Why didn't he notice before that they still have organs? Irrelevant. Sound of hooves on stone.

    Turn. Too late to dodge. Shield up, brace. The goat strikes, bounces off.

    It's just bones. So light without all that meat. Axe comes down, cuts off two legs. Goat tries standing. Shield bash. Axe sweep. Innards on this one too. They break off, go flying, trailing dark liquid. Goats stops moving.

    Third one. Brace, bash, chop. What makes them work? One, two, three, four legs go off. Goat squirms and crawls, tries to bite. Head goes off. The body writhes. Cut the innards. Bones go still.



    Interesting.


    ******


    So apparently skeletal undead can still bleed. Specifically, you get blood spatters (and blood trails) if you cut off their lower body. Neat stuff, huh?

  30. - Top - End - #150
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    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    My actual prefered method of rooming:

    3x3 sections, smoothed, in a grid pattern 2 or 3 stories high. Generally centrally placed, though the fort tends to move since I like to reclaim mined out seams for various random things.

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