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  5. Year 5 Report: Fortress of Ikengatrid, Subsidiary of the Familial Ceilings Due to continuing issues with a patient that may or may not have been placed in such an horrendously bad condition that the doctors have absolutely no idea what to do with them, the Spear Protocols were administered, and the patient in question interred after a quick and painless death after the first seventeen strikes of mechanized spears. At least we put Ubassoloz to good use this time around, even if it was for something as horrendous as lever-assisted euthanasia. Unfortunately, in times of dire need, unfortunate necessities arise, and breaking the doctors out of stupid is one such necessity. That is, of course, until control of the lever was taken away from me and the whole system was dismantled; something about "horrendous misuse of private property" and "blithe disregard for dwarven life". Lot of good that did the poor sod, considering the doctors refused to help them. 'Least I found some distraction organizing the new smelting area, and drawing plans for a potential geothermal heating operation. And ordering the making of some soap for medical use, maybe that'll fix things. Also, ALPACA BABIES! THIS IS OFFICIALLY THE BEST YEAR THIS FORTRESS HAS EVER HAD, LIVING DEAD SIEGE BE LITERALLY DAMNED! Lowering the drawbridge to try and lure the living dead onto our traps was met with mixed success. By which I mean, the corpses were smart enough not to rush blindly into our brand new entry, and instead decided to shamble about the surface, happy and content in their unholy servitude. Seeing as we STILL lacked anything resembling a proper military, we were now forced to wait out their assault. On the bright side, the masons have completed the work orders I gave them for room furnishings, which should be enough to start prettying up the place, along with the engravers being told to smooth out the stone all around. Probably not enough to stop all the complaining, but it's a good first step. Before: And after: Now I need only repeat this for the other three dormitories I had dug out, and we'll be set for a population of up to 200. Will possibly need to increase further, but oh well, we'll cross that bridge when we get there. For now, I'm interested in bloody soap. And getting the Mayor an adequate office to he stops complaining. Thankfully, it appears my idea for an alpaca farm is working in terms of milk and wool output, so I'm counting that as a victory for me as well. Now, all I need to do is figure out how to break through the siege and I'll be set fer life! If not, I still have delicious alpaca cheese. Tastes like a good idea that worked. Nothin' better. One of the metalsmiths was, you guessed it, possessed by something and compelled to work on whatever the spirit had its mind on. I swear to Armok above, this is getting patently absurd, especially when they start shrieking about metal bars and I've half a mind to just lob a chunk of cassiterite at them and tell them to figure it out. Problem is, the cunts just might, and then I'd look absurdly silly. Just like when it turns out our doctors would rather let this poor kin writhe in pain on a traction bench than do... well, anything to them. It was getting ridiculous, so we opted for the easy way out and merely walled them off to wait for their inevitable demise by starvation. Seemed easier and more humane than just having them helpless on a bed for the rest of their miserable existence. Roundabouts this time, the esteemed Mayor blamed a carpenter for the lack of gauntlets being made, sentenced them to 79 days in prison, then immediately demanded more short swords. Because that really worked fantastically in the past, so surely we should do it now, right? Bloody idiot... Meanwhile, the beasts down below keep making horrible, horrible noises, scaring off most of our kin working in the lower levels. It's been a nightmare dealing with that, and I'm beginning to think if it isn't worth opening up a tunnel and seeing what happens trying to kill the damned things.To this end, I've had the miners start to dig downwards at the start of Summer, hoping to find something, anything, resembling usable fuel and ores. I don't care if we have to dig up a bloody volcano, we need fuel for the furnaces! In the ensuing mining operations, we managed to find out a few things: Firstly, the source of the noises appears to be three gigantic, horridly deformed, mismatched creatures roaming the underground caverns. The miners didn't get a good look at the things before we plugged up the access shaft, but when someone starts talking about giant toads with feathers that spit webs, you close the door. No matter how much your insane butcher starts raving about the amount of meat they could get out of something like that. Secondly, we found a second layer of caverns, this one too with our access shaft ending up on a rock ceiling several dozen feet above what was now a deep, underground lake. We may just take advantage of this and use it as a fishing ground, but we'll have to conjure up a way to both get down safely AND protect the entire area against potential incursions. Possibly via a very high wall, maybe? At least there's plenty of marble to go around, which means easy access to flux for future steel production. Lastly, we hit what appeared to be some sort of molten stone, deep below the fortress and even far lower down under the caverns. Further exploratory mining revealed that the whole fortress has been built atop a gigantic magma lake this entire time, just like the one back home at the Ceiling. We'd been convinced such a bounty was unique to the Mountainhome, but it seems we've lucked out and found ourselves our fuel... at least, when we manage to bring it up to a more manageable level. Methinks we'll have to repurpose some of that extra mechanical power into magma pumps. Gonna need plenty of iron for that, though, which means breaking through the siege so the caravans can show up. Still, I'll get to work designing a pump system, and hopefully we'll get ourselves a working magma foundry within a year. Maybe. The project should be relatively simple, assuming we don't run into any unexplored sections of the caverns. Same logic as the millstones: run the axles down into the earth, and hope the river's strong enough to keep the damned machines runnin'! Sadly, one of the miners decided to take a quick lava bath. Much rejoicing was had when this ridiculous happenstance of idiocy took place, followed by strict lessons on magma mining safety protocols. We don't want our miners dying for no reason, after all. They're valuable, and the pickaxes are hard to make at this point, not to mention the extensive mining they'll have to do in order to get the basics up and running for the magma pumps. To make matters more complicated, we (of course) breached into an hitherto unknown section of the underground cavern system. We quickly went to work walling it off from the magma pump stack, because frankly, sod that nonsense. Nothing breached the safety of the inner halls, thankfully enough. To add to this year's compensation for the shambling dead's troubles, the metalsmith came out of his forge carrying a solid bronze crown, which he claims is "fit for a king, emperor, or a fanciful duke". Running it by the broker revealed it to be of great worth, possibly enough to draw the ire of the Mountain King himself. Having seen the Mountain Crown myself, I scoffed and told them to place the crown somewhere nice if they were so worried about it. Of course, this just means we've got even more trouble to contend with. Specifically, in the form of a soddin' hydra that just randomly showed up from nowhere out of the northeast. Drawbridge goes down, we go "SOD THAT", and return to walling off sections of the caverns below. At least the seven-headed idiot was too busy chasing down a giant porcupine to do anything to us, but then, right out of fucking nowhere, it squeezes into the small tunnel we built to go under the river and throws itself at the living dead, tearing a bloody path through the whole group! The fucking thing fought valiantly for hours on end... but it, too, like the Ettin, fell before the risen soldiers. Left a nice carcass behind, though it rotted away before we could do much with it. I mean really, if not for the fact that they scared off any business opportunity we may stumble onto, these things would make great guard dogs. To stave off the boredom, Urist and I played "Who'll be possessed next?!", a fantastic game of observation the esteemed Mayor had forced everyone to learn. This time, everyone lost, as the clothesmaker who ran into the workshop screaming bloody murder about logs and bones was most definitely acting of his own accord. Had to slaughter one of the baby alpacas to get them the bones they wanted, sadly enough. Autumn rolled around before they could finish their masterpiece: a face veil by the name of Egastamas. What in the name of Armok's right shin is wrong with these people?! Fuck it, at least the veil itself was a right proper piece of work: As Autumn rolled midway, the magma forges and smelters were complete and set in place. Now, all that was needed was iron, which we were sure would come (eventually) in next year's caravans. I'm quite proud of how quickly we got this done, especially considering the absolute ridiculousness of the millstone mechanisms. We'll have to expand on the existing water wheel station in order to secure enough power for the pumps, but that should easy enough now that we have some practical experience in the matter. Erecting the defenses will, I believe, be the worst part. In the final weeks, the esteemed Mayor once again sent someone to the cells because they wouldn't give him what he wanted, and then immediately asked for a pair of gauntlets, again, despite the last three requests going unheeded. What exactly does he expect us to smelt the metal with? Our beards?! Well, one thing's for certain, the alpacas have reached a considerable number, though we've had to cut down on the male population in order to curb further births. Still, their wool and milk will serve us well in the coming times. Winter rolls in, and with it, no contact from either the Mountainhome or the nearby humans. But hey, at least the living dead decided to sod off, so we could actually start work on the bloody water wheels, and get ourselves some more wood, seeing as our stockpiles of logs had all but been depleted. Unfortunately, this also meant one of our own was caught outside during a vapor storm. Nothing too major, just a small whiff... still more than enough to cause complete organ failure. And yet, the bastard kept on working, like a proper dwarf should! Even as his legs rotted away from coagulated blood! MOUNTAINOUS SPIRIT! And for the first time in Armok knows when, MIGRANTS! Fresh new faces to help and not be horridly nauseated by the sun! Helping hands before the next inevitable siege completely blocks us off from the outside world!!! Armok's beard, I could've kissed them all if I hadn't been stopped! Who I ended up kissing was one of the carpenters who, true to bloody tradition, got possessed by something! No clue what the tally's at. What does matter is that the glorious bastard spent a week picking and choosing from every stockpile we had, then came out a week later carrying the most valuable item currently inside this not-so-miserable piece of shit we call Cottonblossoms: a cave spider shirt, by the name of Delerunos Duthaltinoth! Weird, yes, but does its job properly! Speaking of which, we've managed to finish a project on time this year! The expansion to the water wheel station was complete just the old calendars were thrown out, more than tripling our power supply, and it wouldn't be a little cloud of gut-busting vapor that stopped us, oh no! Urist, as always, was kind enough to get shoved onto the wall to produce a drawing of the outside: And the inside, of course: Hopefully, this coming year, we'll be able to start defending ourselves properly. Next stop: magma pumps. Signed, Sakzul Kelstorlut, Lead Foreman of Ikengatrid
  6. Year 4 Report: (Besieged) Fortress of Ikengatrid, Subsidiary of the Familial Ceilings This year's Spring blessed us with a large wave of migrants from the Mountainhome, providing both manpower and more pets to feed. Damn the idiots who refuse to let me order the butcher to process the bunnies before they breed out of control, the idiots... Well, at least the bull upstairs has grown big enough that we can actually harvest something out of him. Regardless, I guess news of our successful settling has finally spread properly, and soon enough, we'll have enough people here to maintain a proper militia, rather than relying on time alone. Though it will require finding a source of fuel that doesn't literally grow on trees, and the complete lack of any coal or lignite is extremely worrying. Without any natural source of coke, we'll have to resort to buying it from caravans, leaving us dangerously dependent on the Mountainhome. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course! HAIL TO THE MOUNTAIN KING, YES! For whatever reason, it turns out someone, early in Spring, dragged two... honestly, I'm having a hard time figuring out what these things are. They look like the grizzly bears that occasionally show up to be disappointed by the lack of fish, but they walk on two legs and look oddly... like the humans that showed up at the Mountainhome for trading missions. Almost like one of them got extremely lonely out in the woods and settled for a bear. They seem to be somewhat intelligent, and Urist managed to get one to complete a basic mathematical operation (admittedly, it was adding 2 and 3, but still, impressive for what amounts to a two-legged grizzly bear with tits). They should fetch a nice price for the next trading caravan to show up; we can sell them as bearded women to whatever circus needs to hire more freak show attractions! Or something, I don't honestly know; the butcher refuses to use them for spare meat, kept complaining about "ethical implications of eating sapients" before I just had him thrown out the office. Bloody useless. At least it's better than the two-legged chipmunk people upstairs; those got caught in this year's early vapor storms and had their insides burst. Their rotting bodies made the best decorations. Just as Spring was rolling into Summer, preparations for the millstone's power supply were finished, and the milling itself could finally begin! Took us far too long, and hung up the miners with something that was far beyond their pay grade, but at the very least, we can now let the wind and water mill our plants, rather than forcing the threshers to spend hours manually processing the literal ton of plants we've harvested so far. Urist was helpful enough to get volunteered for a new drawing session. This ended up being the main joint gear area: We decided to construct a few more water wheels, and ended up with enough power to divert to future projects; thank Armok this river doesn't freeze over during Winter! On a sadder note, we lost a mother and her child in the construction of our internal water reservoir. The poor sod opened the wrong door and got swept down the current; we couldn't open the floodgates quickly enough, and they ended up drowning with their child in their arms. Unfortunately, they seem to have sunk to the bottom of the reservoir, so we just had our engravers make two slabs and we're now waiting for their bodies to rot away so we can clean the water properly. I swear, even in death... The miner, Lokum, finally emerged from his workshop, proudly carrying his finest creation, just before he collapsed after whatever took him over decided to vacate the premises of his empty head. Turns out, all the materials he hoarded together amounted to... a floodgate, named Kasbenkonad. Admittedly, one that looks fantastic and our appraiser told us was worth several year's wages worth of the poor sod's actual job, but a floodgate nonetheless. We can't really use it for decoration, so I guess we'll just shove it in the stockpiles and wait for a chance at putting it to good use. At the very least, the thing's made out of granite, so everyone who's seen it so far has become completely convinced that this fort will succeed in its nominal duty. I, for one, am not so certain of this, and will take steps towards curbing these silly superstitions before they turn into something more than just a minor annoyance. Meanwhile, that weird kid with the fixation on bones has been hard at work turning all the spare bones and hooves we had lying around into something worth exporting. I have to say, he still creeps me out every time I so much as give him a small glance, but his skill is absolutely undeniable, and he'll prove to be a valuable asset in the future if he keeps things up like this, especially if my long-term for an alpaca farm comes to fruition! Even better, as Summer rolled around, another of the miners (one Lolor) was struck with sudden inspiration and occupied another of the mason's workshops, providing a list of materials bigger than even Lokum had. Better yet, he didn't even force us to press gang one of the farmers into producing bad billon for the sake of satisfying their urges, and this one seems not to be possessed! So congratulations all across the board, really. Of course, in keeping with tradition, they've produced a bloody door, which they've taken to calling Tashemabir (the other miners relentlessly bullied such silly notions, for which they were compensated with an extra biscuit). The door itself will see itself put to use as our last line of defense, seeing as it looks all but indestructible; we'll place it in the entrance to the main fortress, and hope to Armok it'll actually work to stop incoming invaders. Pretty valuable by itself, as well! As was expected, none of the bloody knife-ears showed up this year. Probably too busy fuming over their inability to produce proper metal, conjuring up some pansy-arse forest spirits to spook us with. They'll face naught but cold steel by the point we allow them to face us in open combat. Simple cages will do for now, followed by re-sale into slavery indentured servitude forced labor (Armok's beard, do NOT let this go unredacted). To compensate, a nearby human settlement sent their own caravan to trade with us, as well as one of their merchant guildmasters to establish a trading deal with us! Unlike the bloody knife-ears, these ones actually carried some useful supplies we wanted to trade for. UNFORTUNATELY, one of their pack horses somehow got stuck in a tree, forcing us to go cut it down so the bloody thing could get to our depot. By the time that sorry excuse for an equine got to its proper place, the caravan was already overdue, and they absolutely REFUSED to trade with us until the horse got to the depot! Absolutely disgraceful! As if to make matters worse, the bear people escaped from their traps as we were transporting them, and had to be put down by the caravan guards; and the local Mayor decided we should produce short swords instead of worrying about more pressing concerns. Considering what I know of him, he probably just wants to "procure" them for his own office when no one's looking. Regardless, I had our metalsmiths work something out; can't have the "nobles" get all uppity, now can we? Before you know it, they'll be wondering why they're not actually in charge of anything. At the very least, the human guildmaster brought us news from the world at large: In addition, it seems that their settlement's connected to a larger kingdom, or... is one? Human language is still somewhat beyond us, so we may actually be trading with someone far larger and more powerful than we are, so there's that; at least we secured a trade agreement, where we'd export our local goods in exchange for hematite, limonite and charcoal, saving our own wood supplies. This should be useful when manufacturing steel, assuming we can get enough. And assuming their bloody horses can refrain from climbing up fucking trees. Of course, just as they left, the two uninvited guests down below were joined by a third one. They're having a nice screaming party, and we were forced to issue pig tail mufflers to the stoneworkers, just to stop them going crazy from the noise. I've heard it myself; not exactly conducive to having us strike the earth further below us, I'll say that much. There's going to be a lot of engineering going about if we want to properly dig down through these caverns, as we are NOT going to face off against whatever's making those unholy screeches. Speaking of, someone dragged in the decayed skeleton of a Weregila Monster? Where in Armok's saggy left tit did we find that?! It's just been sitting there, rotting away and spewing miasma everywhere! Speaking of which, one of our kin seems to have breathed in some of the bloody surface vapors, seeing as he's been shitting and vomiting out his insides for the past two days. At least the hospital's nearly built, we can quarantine them properly and see if we can't treat them and the myriad of minor injuries that have been cropping up here and there. Summer at least saw a fresh group of migrants show up, which were quickly put to work as soapers and lye makers; we've been stockpiling tallow for some time, and it's high time we clean up the dirt that's been accumulating on literally everything for the past 4 years. Next group to show up will probably have to be assigned as militia, despite the fact that we have absolutely no weaponry or armor to speak of. In the meantime, the surface hatches have been locked shut until such a point as they need to be opened again. Meanwhile, it looks like the infected one just needed a good scrubbing. Apparently you can live through severe, floor-staining bleeding as long as the doctors get to you with a wet towel fast enough, I guess? Of course, most of their body has rotted away, but at least they're ambulatory. Take the victories as they come, as me dad always said! Which reminds me, this year's harvest was large enough that the farmers have suggested we simply leave the fields alone the following year. We've got enough supplies to last us quite a while, and I'd rather we don't waste valuable space with food that won't get eaten for months. And speaking of wasting valuable space, our esteemed Mayor immediately mandated the construction of more short swords after the last two got forged. I'm not wasting resources in fulfilling their whims, so fuck that; if they want to order anyone's arrest, I'll just divert blame over to the metalsmiths and tell him it was absolutely them that didn't fulfill the production order. Last thing I need is bowing to the fickle desires of some popularity contest winner. I'll just mandate the construction of a pretty little set of cells and hope for the best. And obviously, this entire bollocks only got worse when Summer turned to Autumn and a group of human bandits showed up wanting to come lay siege to our site. "At least it isn't the living dead," we thought, convinced we'd be able to deal with this before the Mountainhome's caravan arrived. So we waited, ready to face down whatever group would be bearing down on us... and it turned out that the "scouting force" of one was the whole thing. One. Human. I'd be insulted if I wasn't so busy laughing at such a ridiculous attempt to intimidate us. All we had to do was open the doors and lower the drawbridge, at which point the bastard happily ignored us until we tried to lure him in, after which he successfully murdered one of our carpenters and, to make matters worse, killed one of our cats! At least they had the decency to go away before the Mountainhome caravan showed up; I wouldn't have been able to handle it otherwise. As with the humans, they too bring news from the outside: We've also secured a trade deal for hematite, limonite, charcoal and coal coke, which means we'll be capable of kickstarting steel production SOON. Only took us about five years to get the basics out, I'm calling this one a victory. And just as the caravan was done setting up for trading, one of the brewers rushed into a nearby workshop and starting yelling about rocks and hides. Almost enough to distract me from the fact that the caravan bloody well delivered on their promise and brought us four breeding pairs of alpacas. This is going to make my plans for an alpaca farm a lot easier! Not only that, but a full haul of foodstuffs for our stocks as well. A good year for trading, and I can only imagine what we could've done earlier had the humans' horse not gotten stuck on a bloody tree. We asked the local children to name the alpacas for us, and ended up with Simon, Fuzzball, Hopper and Sir Alpaca the Fourth, for the males, and Snowball, Cotton, Twinkle and Lady Alpaca the Sixteenth for the females. They've since been placed in the pasture, and the shearers and milkers put to good use doing what they do best. We also took the liberty of slaughtering and butchering three of the males, and left Fuzzball alone; we only really needed one stud, not four, and it's extra meat and tallow anyway. The celebrations were somewhat mitigated by the infected one eventually succumbing to his wounds, but oh well, it's not like everyone wasn't already expecting it. They were entombed by the front door, as is the tradition I want to start. After all, nothing's scarier than invading some place that proudly displays its dead. Speaking of terrifying things, the brewer finished his work as the caravan was leaving. A spear made from goat bone, given the, I have to admit, tremendously awe-inspiring name of Ubassoloz Shiginobur! And really, the artwork is impressive; I think we'll keep this one around and not use it as a trap. As the apprentice diagnostician wasted all of our time failing to realize his assigned patient had his wrist split open (bloody interns), a new wave of migrants showed up. We recovered from our losses taken during the bandit's "raid", and assigned the remaining individuals to furnace duty. We'll be digging a forge work area now, and hopefully we'll have weaponry ready by this time next year. Seeing as the elves already know where we are (and seem to be out for our blood), and now the humans do as well, it's only a matter of time before we attract more... unwanted attention. Speaking of, we've started construction of a temple, for all the gods-fearing kin out there needing a place to worship, as well as a potential site for a library in order to satisfy more... intellectual pursuits. Urist suggested a tavern, but we've more important things to worry about than getting even more drunk than usual. There's enough vomit around as it is. That said, the rest of Fall went by without any issues, the kitchen staff hard at work using the new millstone system to get through our supplies. We've ended up with enough food for about three years at this point, and enough drink to keep the whole fortress completely drunk for months on end. Life is good, except for the one thresher who's been stuck in the hospital for several months due to negligent medical care. The doctors assure me that he's merely healing from a fracture, but the constant screaming tells me otherwise. Well, no issues until a giant Ettin showed up at our doorstep. An Ettin. Fucking why. I swear to Armok, this place has it out for us. We've got nothing that can stop it, so the only thing we thought of doing was... well, raise the drawbridge and hope a vapor burst killed the damned thing. At the very least, we knew it would die to the organ bursting cloud banks. It was living, after all. Of course, it wasted no time breaking through our surface hatches and doors, then heading straight for the lifted drawbridge... then ran off to hunt a porcupine. Fuck if I know what's going on anymore. Woe to any migrants who show up while the Ettin's around, we are not lowering the bridge until it goes away, no matter what our precious Mayor says. At the very least, we got a good look at it: And, of course, because things couldn't get any worse, a wave of the living dead show up from the south just as Winter rolls around, because why the fuck not, am I right? The force is smaller than last time, but the necromancer seems to have shown up, along with two still-living bodyguards. Apparently we pissed him off enough that he wanted us dead, personally. And seeing as we were locked inside, we could little more than hope the Ettin turned on the walking dead. Which they eventually did, after a few days of wandering around, only to immediately be butchered mercilessly. Turns out the corpses are carrying armor and weapons, because Armok hates our guts, I guess. So, we're back at where we were back three years ago. Stuck waiting for the living dead to go away, to attend to their master's will elsewhere. At least until we manage to secure an adequate source of weapons-grade iron for us, which isn't likely to happen any time soon. Nor is the funeral for the poor bastard who ended up underneath the trash compactor when it came down on this year's supply of refuse. Not even a hat was left of him... In a similar vein, seems the Mayor opted to blame our one gem cutter for the failure to deliver his precious short swords, for whatever reason (and sentenced the poor bastard to a full 97 days in prison). And then immediately demanded a pair of gauntlets, which he also isn't getting. He'll learn to mitigate his demands, or he'll fuck off back to where he came from. There are no other choices. At the very least, the alpacas have been a valuable source of milk and wool, so if he demands something that can be woven or cheesed up, we'll be happy to deliver. As for in-house renovations, by the end of winter we had already put most of the haulers to work stockpiling the various ores lying about, and as a reward, we provided a basic "temple" in the shape of a large, dug-out room with a tarp covering the entrance. Apparently, that was enough to get people to drop to their knees and thank the gods for the bounties they had bestowed upon us, even as the shambling corpses upstairs keep trying to force their way in to eat us alive. Skewed priorities. At least one of the carpenters, Atis, started screaming about this new fantastic idea he had, and locked himself in his workshop with a bunch of logs and uncut gems. Ended up carving out a wood chest they called Nabreth Mubun (immediately sent to counselling). Name notwithstanding, it's actually a decent addition to the growing hoard. Could probably even use it to store gems in! And, Armok be praised, the treatment on the poor thresher was actually moved along. Winter may be coming to an end, but at the very least, one can hope the poor sod will recover soon. And so we sit here, as Spring rolls around and we have to make due with the living dead upstairs. At the very least, I can take solace in the fact that none of this has affected the general populace's mood in any way; still had six babies being successfully delivered this past year. Signed, Sakzul Kelstorlut, Lead Foreman of Ikengatrid
  7. Year 3 Report: Fortress of Ikengatrid, Subsidiary of the Familial Ceilings Well, all that time and work put into the entire trap corridor was completely pointless. As soon as Spring turned around, so did the living dead; bastards vanished faster than Urist does on cleaning day, the slimy cunt (where does he even get slime?!). Just as well they did, seeing as a caravan showed up roundabouts the second week of the season. Only this one was led by the knife-ears themselves, finally paying little old us a visit. Lot of good that did it. The bastards were barely clothed, wielding pretend wooden axes and selling absolutely nothing but useless shite. What use do we have for elven toys? Or socks? Or... whatever they call those almondy things. All they sold us was cheap clothing, while insisting it was made out of the "finest silks of the land", and so we should pay the exorbitant price they were demanding for the things. Would've tried selling them a wooden cage if I hadn't been stopped. Not that it mattered anyway. The cunts waited a few more days, left with a few friendly parting words, and not two days later we get an emissary announcing their intention of declaring war on us and the Familial Ceilings! SO I GUESS WE WON'T BE GETTING MORE TRADE WITH THE ELVES UNTIL THE DIPLOMATS BACK HOME FIX THIS, RIGHT NOW, HINT HINT HINT WE DON'T HAVE ANY WEAPONS HINT HINT. Armok's beard, diplomacy is beyond me. As are the bloody knife-ears. What, is not purchasing anything considered a sign of disres-wait, what am I saying? Of bloody course it must be. You'd be hard pressed to find something they don't find disrespectful. No more lowering the drawbridge for them, noted. Apart from that little diplomatic hiccup, we've been receiving plenty of migrants from the Mountainhome, who've been quickly put to work serving the outpost. The miners have finished digging out the work areas and final stockpile for processed goods, so they've been reassigned to mechanics operation (see below). As for everyone else, well, we have textiles, stone, wood, leathers and a whole assortment of materials we can finally start to process and sell to anyone wanting to trade them off for something valuable. The one child who had produced the bone mace grew up to have a scary affinity towards bonecarving, so the lark was put to work making something useful out of the piles of bones and hooves we had lying around. Got ourselves a couple of pack animals waiting for slaughter in the pasture, requested a breedin' pair of alpacas from the liaison, and even the vapor storms were quieter this year! Speaking of, we are officially designated as a Fortress now, and our expedition leader was promoted to Mayor. Good on him, the poor sod. Now he has to go entertain dignitaries in the chairless meeting hall while I get to lounge around doing sweet fuck all in my brand new office (which I had furnished myself. Being the Foreman comes with its own perks, after all). The supplies we traded with our kin's caravan were enough that, mixed with this year's bountiful harvest, our cooks, brewers, threshers and millers have been hard at work the entire Winter, and they are STILL not done going through our food supplies. This bodes well! Apparently, granite is an omen of good things to come. We even managed to bag ourselves someone with minimum skill at economic appraisal; turns out the bone mace was barely worth more than a regular steel one of equal quality, but the pine bracelet was worth a small fortune! Meanwhile, one of our fellow kin created what appears to be a cage built entirely out of billon. Forced us to improvise some fuel with charcoal to get him the metal he needed, but in the end, it turned out to be a rather... okay-ish decoration, we guess. We'll probably just end up using it in a trap, then hang it from the ceiling and call it modern art. No one will notice anyway, everyone's too drunk from all the strawberry wine to give a shit. Though that name, Nomal Uvash... it gives me ideas... Meanwhile, one of the miners, of all people, got possessed by something. Seriously, this is the THIRD one to have a spirit take them over, the entire place needs to burn in the Underhalls for how much bullshit it's doing to us! Anyway, the miner's still gathering materials (has been for a week now), and his list is already big enough that I can tell the end result will be something worth making a statue over. The querns have since been replaced with millstones, though sadly this Winter was not enough to fully build the power supply. We had to wall off a large section of the surface just to get the windmills and water wheels in place, and it took a lot of dwarfpower to get the basics dug out and then filled with axles and gears. By the time this is finished, however, we will have a fully functional set of six millstones, enough to put our prior output to shame! We had Urist climb the walls and give us a beautiful rendition of how it looked from the surface: And, of course, the first layer before the axle shaft: Of course, not everything is roses. The caverns below the fortress have been... loud. We have absolutely no idea what it is, but some sort of gigantic beast is now roaming the unexplored tunnels below us. It has, from the noises, murdered every other creature down there, and now continuously paces back and forth, restless and screeching like a demon. And, just five days ago... something else showed up. We dare not look, but the two are not fighting one another. In fact, they've tried hitting the walls to our stone stockpiles, to no avail. The workers are restless, telling me that we dug too far down. I may just agree with them. Signed, Sakzul Kelstorlut, Lead Foreman of Ikengatrid
  8. Year 2 Report: (Besieged) Outpost of Ikengatrid, Subsidiary of the Familial Ceilings The dead walk. In fact, they have been walking for the past year. Not a day after the courier was dispatched with the first report out of this miserable excuse for a shitehole, a force of about three dozen of the living dead shambled in from the south. Humans and elves, their rotting bodies spewing maggot and miasma as they traipsed their way towards the entrance we immediately shut close and isolated with the drawbridge pit. Urist was confident for the whole process, told us they'd get tired of waiting for us. The living dead. Tired. I'm aware that, as an Outpost, we cannot legally nominate anyone as an Hammerer. However, for this occasion, we've opted to ignore this and do so anyway just so we could deliver a swift beating to the idiot who proposed waiting out the risen dead until they grew "tired" and somehow decided to go away. Not even the necromancer responsible for these abominations bothered to show up, so any chance of a surprise cave-in was quickly discarded. As such, we drew the drawbridge, locked the doors, and waited. We've been waiting for a year. There has been no contact from the Mountainhome, no emissary, no scout, no caravan. Not one migrant has showed up, which makes me think you blokes are well aware of our plight, and are doing absolutely nothing to help us (thanks for that, by the way, really, we're just BLOODY PEACHY IN 'ERE!). The scout who led us to this accursed place two years ago had spoken of elven and human settlements, yet there has been no contact from any of them either. For all intents and purposes, we've been stuck in our hole for the past twelve months, and are just as close to breaking through the siege now as we were before. We've no competent smiths, and our forays down below have yielded no iron or coal (thanks for that, again. Smell of iron in the air me hairy arse), but at least a plentiful bounty of tetrahedrite and cassiterite; enough for several sets of bronze weaponry and armor, if only we weren't growing short on wood and had no way of replenishing it. Even the local geography is against us; we've settled atop caverns filled with giant mushrooms, but the rock ceiling ends some fifty feet above the ground! We can't even get down there! So we've stayed put, waiting out the time, slowly bringing our operations further down below as the miners cleared out living and work areas for us and any future potential daredevils wanting to risk life and limb for a paycheck at this slice of... whatever this is. We'd hoped the constant bursts of organ-bursting vapor would have helped us, but as it stands, the living dead can breathe the thing in and keep going like nothing had happened. Why did we even think anything else would've happened? Fuck me, the shambling horrors above seemed to have attracted even more of the fucking stuff; there's been an increase in the vapor bursts since they've been here. Of course, the wildlife's suffered even more, as even the giant bears upstairs are no match for the human and elven corpses walking about. We've since lost one of our farmers. Poor bastard was struck with inspiration and kept demanding we give him silk cloth. Silk cloth that we didn't have. The family was compensated with an extra ration of Lokum's strawberry jam surprise gumbo roast each, and their pet piglet given a friendly pat. Damned thing was just as bad as its owners. On the bright side, another of our kin has actually succeeded at producing something of worth. Of course, the name Fushurbumal aludes to their state of mind, so they were provided with three days off to get their minds off our impending doom. Sadly, and much like the other two masterpieces we have in our stores, we've no idea how much something like this would be worth; no one here has any sense of economic appraisal. Not that it would matter, obviously, since WE'RE STUCK IN HERE WITHOUT ANY WAY OF GETTING OUT!!! When Fall turned to Winter, we decided we've had enough, and began work on a desperate plan to end this state of siege: we're filling the entrance to the outpost's lower levels with traps of various shapes and sizes, then opening the doors, lowering the drawbridge and locking ourselves behind stone doors. Hopefully, this won't backfire, and I'll be able to send this bloody report back home. Signed, Sakzul Kelstorlut, Lead Foreman of Ikengatrid
  9. Year 1 Report: Outpost of Ikengatrid, Subsidiary of the Familial Ceilings Urist was kind enough to lend me his ledger forms, which I was kind enough to throw at the river after he suggested he was better at getting shite organized than me. Bastard thinks he can walk into my hole and speak ill of my ability to wrangle this doomed project into something somewhat resembling a working colony. He's lucky we don't lock him out during the vapor storms to melt like all the others. (Redact this when you give it to the Liaison, Uvash, thanks) Spring went by in a flash without much hassle. Basic accommodations were dug out, beds made from some of the several tons of wood the Mountainhome gave us, and some farming facilities tilled out. Urist had the (admittedly) bright idea of opening up some of the farms to the outside, seeing as the area around here does have plenty of plants that could go well as a side for Lokum's famous sweet pod soup, so we ended up being able to farm some of the native whip vines and strawberries. Should fetch a pretty price when the traders come knockin' 'round and we wave our dirty plates around since A CERTAIN SOMEONE decided to delay the reservoir project because he, and I quote, was "deathly afraid of all the horrible carp". So now, we have to work around a flooded cave-in, which is always fantastic. Speaking of cave-ins, the controlled collapse of our new pasture went off without a single hitch, one broken leg from falling off a tree notwithstanding. The opening is now the home for the two piglets the migrants brought with them. Pity they're both female, or we could get a good breedin' farm up and running as well. The collapse of the entrance pit, on the other hand, was... not so successful. The miners were wailing about Armok cursing the settlement after the support was collapsed and the giant slab of rock it was holding up kept floating without anything to support it. It was... unnerving, but mostly annoying; those were precious logs we used up, and the bloody thing refused to go down. So we just had it mined out. Worked like a charm. Two groups of migrants showed up this year, one in summer and one in autumn, the piglets comin' with the latter. Without any losses so far, we've got enough kin to help move our operations down to the lower levels the miners have been busy clearing out; we've arrived atop a thick layer of granite, which everyone has taken to thinking is a good omen for times to come. I personally would've preferred quartzite, but then again, I'm not a follower of Amos like the rest of these drunkards. But I digress. One of our farmers suffered an unfortunate possession by a hostile spirit, after which they locked themselves in one of the workshops and came out waving a pine bracelet he called Aralishol. I honestly did not want to know how his sex life was going, but alas, the bracelet's his, so he gets to name it however he wants, I guess? Even more worrying was when one of the children running around also suffered an unfortunate possession and came out of the workshop carrying a bone mace twice his size. Everyone just stared at him, until Lokum asked him, in a shaky voice, what he was going to call it. The little one replied: "Gatizzaneg". He's since been placed under the watchful eye of one of the farmers; hopefully, learning a trade will get his mind off such impure thoughts. Still a nice mace, though. The rolling clouds of vapor outside continue to lay waste to every bit of organic life above ground every few days. The plants seem to be immune, for some reason, but whenever the sun's blocked off and the gigantic cloud banks show up and roll over us, everything with a pulse falls over after screaming in pain for hours. Our butcher's since found out that they've all died by internal bleeding; their organs seem to bloat up and burst, and the poor beasts bleed to death. This only made this year's caravan from the Mountainhome more terrifying than I ever thought it could be. I had convinced myself I was going to deck the Liaison in the face and tell them to bring that back to the Mountain King, when a rolling vapor cloud showed up over the horizon. It was a hard decision to make, but the safety of the outpost trumped the lives of our kin outside... and we lifted the drawbridge leading to the stairs outside. The caravan and its members were caught in the cloud, and were surely dead... until the Liaison starts yellin' at us from across the drawbridge pit that the caravan wanted to come in and we were holding them up, To whoever reads this letter: please make sure the vapor clouds didn't actually turn the Liaison and caravan drivers into some new, unknown sort of living dead that can somehow pass for regular kin. Because those bastards were completely fine, despite being caught in the middle of the bloody organ-bursting vapors straight from the Underhalls. No one dared talk to them the whole time they were here, and the drawbridge was immediately raised after they left. Hopefully they'll change up next year's riders. Seeing as I've been doing a great job so far, I've been permanently assigned as our lead foreman until such a point as I either wish to retire, or suffer an accident damaging enough to knock me out of commission. In addition, the role of fortress bookkeeper has more or less been foisted onto me, which I don't particularly mind. The lack of competent doctors does worry me, though. Hopefully this next year can go as smoothly as the past one. Signed, Sakzul Kelstorlut, Lead Foreman of Ikengatrid
  10. This place is a bloody mess! It's covered in so many trees you can't move without getting apples landing on ye, we had to ford the river just to get to where we were supposed ta be (which means wasting time making a bloody tunnel for the next group of poor sods press ganged into showing up at this sad excuse for a hole in the ground), there are no fish for miles and every single bloody animal's giant! The bastards back home didn't even pack us hunting equipment, nor any way of making more! How are we supposed to hunt like this?! And if that weren't enough, we had about 3 hours after first striking the earth before the sun was blocked off by, and I shit ye not, a cloud of bubbling blue gas that turned the bloody ravens into piles of meaty sludge. So I guess that's a good sign, if we all want to give up and die we can just sit outside and wait for our inevitable demise. The other cunts in the expedition named me as our foreman, so I'm sitting inside the wagon trying ta make us live through the coming weeks. A floor plan for the initial area's been drawn, and the miners are hard at work digging out our accommodations for the foreseeable future. This place is gonna take a whole lot of elbow grease to get up and running, but at the very least we don't have any undead bastards running around. That's what killed off our last attempt at expanding the borders from the mountains; turns out the whole bloody region is a mess of evil magicks, and we lucked into the one spot that doesn't force every dead thing to rise again. At least we think it doesn't. Signed, Foreman Sakzul Kelstorlut
  11. By the grace of the Mountain King, Avuz Tosedonul, blessed be his name as he resides on his throne, the Familial Ceilings shall celebrate its 100th year of glory by expanding its borders outward, striking the earth beyond the horizon like never before. The site for the creation of the grand fortress of Ikengatrid has been selected by the greatest of the Ceiling's scouts, riverside in a thick forest. The smell of iron and coal hangs about the air, even as the waters abound with fish and the land with meat. Here, a new home for dwarfkind will stand, a marker of our greatness and glory for centuries to come. If you have received this letter, noble kin, you have been personally selected by the King's scribes to embark on this journey, and prepare for the coming of further colonists. Your task is simple: settle, and expand. Soon, the Mountain King himself shall visit you, and stake his full claim to Ikengatrid. Go forth, noble kin, and do the Mountain King proud. Signed, Cilob Silkubuk, Royal Scribe --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- (scribbled on the bottom of the sheet is a sloppily written message, clearly of different calligraphy) SOD THIS, BLOODY CUNTS!
  12. Seeing as Metastation is more or less ready for deployment, we'd like to ask what your opinion on it is, so we can adjust potential auto-rotation accordingly!
  13. HereticChurch has retired from their position as Game Administrator and Community Manager.
  14. https://github.com/ParadiseSS13/Paradise/pull/8283