Entries from the journal of Etur Oltarmubun, Undertaker and Master Carptenter of Scoutbridge.

1st Granite, 504,

Today it came down to me to inform Kadol of an issue the others discovered with his plan to vacate Scoutbridge this Spring.  Namely, that I disassembled the wagon and used it to make some of those coffins last fall.  At the time it seemed like a sound enough idea, since we needed coffins quickly and that wood was just sitting there not doing a useful thing.  Maybe if we’d had two wagons with such convenient wood, I’d still have me arm.

5th Granite, 504,

Kadol was not happy to have received the news.  He immediately put me to work gathering loads and loads of wood as punishment.  Fine by me, as I’m sure I’d have been doing that anyway.  It’s possible that he’ll be wanting me to make another wagon, which is an interesting prospect as I don’t rightly know how to make one.  Meanwhile, I’ve put forth the suggestion that maybe some pilot holes through the earth might turn up a way past the water that we haven’t yet found.  I was told the idea was a bad one, which it probably is on account of me not being a miner and all.

Also, apparently that grand room they were making for me was canceled by Kadol and reallocated as the privy.  Shame, but we do be needing a better place to do that.  We can only dump so many filled barrels into these ponds before we can’t dump them no more.

7th Granite, 504,

The mining team announced today that they plan to be digging in a bunch of areas around us in hopes of finding a way past the water.  That’s a really fine idea; I wish them luck.

2nd Slate, 504,

One of the miners caused a small cave-in in the entryway of the fort today.  Damn fool mined out the rock between him and the bit he was standing on.  Luckily he didn’t hit anyone on the way down otherwise there would have been whining for months.  I don’t know what it is about these city dwarves we have running around here.  I lose me arm and can still drop a tree in one swing, drag it back to me shop, and make a casket out of ‘er, but one of these blokes takes a short spill off a cliff and ye hear about it for months. By the grace of the gods, that was all avoided, so I don’t have to go hearing all the bellyaching.

17th Slate, 504,

scoutbridge_stone

While the holes weren’t successful at penetrating the water table, they did reveal some previously undiscovered stone.  It’s not much, but it’s more stone than we’ve seen since getting here.  The miners have already begun to dig out the entire area looking for more.

In an unrelated note, I’ve been told that the privy in question has been upgraded to the “Etur Memorial Privy for the Unwashed.”  I’m honored, though somewhat confused that they’ve made a memorial for me premortem.  Me wife says not to think too long on it, so I won’t.

Last, we had a huge group of migrants arrive today.  To make a long story short, they seem mostly useless for anything other than drafting into the military.  I’ll leave that to the more soldierly among us.  However, with our numbers swollen to near 50 dwarves, and no means to carry enough goods to support us on the way back to Mountainhome, it’s fast becoming the consensus that we should start considering more permanent settlement.  Perhaps Scoutbridge will yet become the fortress outpost we were seeking.

Exceptions to the rule of uselessness: there are few cooks, another carpenter, a renowned glass-maker/potter, and a leather worker who shall be added to our pool of artisans.  There is also a very good crossbow-maker in the lot, and several archers.  I’m sure the military will be more than happy to put together a crew of marksdwarves from that lot.  Otherwise there are a few smiths and a gem crafter who might be worthwhile some day, if we ever happen to get a mechanic to help us get down through the water.

29th Slate, 504,

Walls are going up.  The masons have been ordered to construct battlements outside the fort using the clay and stone we have gathered.  The archers will be trained to rain bolts into the killing field created within those walls, and the militia will be ready to storm the field to end any lingering life that may struggle.  Though we do not know the fate of the first Scoutbridge, we will guard resurrected fort from any forces without.  The archers need more bolts, and we have only wood; our woodcrafter has started building hundreds from the wood that was originally planned for the wagons.

The weapons have been handed out to the spare peasants of the last settlers.  Training is making them unhappy so statues are being ordered from some of the stone, and soldier rotations are being considered as a relief to them.  Perhaps with prettier surroundings and some time off they will whine less.  I can only wonder what their countenance would be if I removed a few of their arms.  A shame that ghost was put to rest, it might have served as a teaching tool for the disgruntled.  Kadol has been informed of the general lack of moral of these weaker dwarves.  Bedrooms, statues, and wells will be considered after the walls are complete.

To live in a room carved from soil?  I shall wait until we have rooms of stone.  The weaker dwarves may live in the dirt without me.

19th Felsite, 504,

The elves arrived today with a caravan full of goods.  I’m not sure we have much ready to trade them.  I’ve been told to keep me chopping a secret while they’re here.  I’m guessing they’re not so fond of all the furniture that I’ve been making.

24th Felsite, 504,

Scoutbridge_elf_trade

The elves only brought two horses worth of goods. It’ll do, but we were hoping for more. But, our general lack of export goods means that hauling less to the fort was probably smart on their part. We ended up trading a pile of clay and a few trinkets left over from the last caravan for a caged female wombat (why, I don’t know), all the wood they were carrying, and all their spirits. At least we’ll have something new to drink for a while. It has been a good long while since I’ve had an Elvish Sewer Brew.

Our craftsdwarf is already getting busy making wood trinkets for the next caravan so that we’ll have a useful export for getting another wombat.

25th Felsite, 504,

Me wife started whining about the lack of a forge today and then planted herself dead center in the mess hall and won’t budge.  She keeps mumbling to herself and casting baleful looks at everyone.  I think I’ll eat down in the shop tonight.

28th Felsite, 504,

The other smiths got together and used our only anvil to build a forge for Muthkat, me wife.  I guess everyone was as tired of her whining as I was.  She immediately took it over and gathered a bunch of random bits from around the fort and started to build something she called “the item.”

Metal workers are a strange breed.  I’ll stick with wood and sap.  Hopefully after all this business she’ll be back to her old self. She’s a handsome filly and normally as opposed to whining as I.

4th Hematite, 504,

scoutbridge_relic2

A bloody brass toy boat.  That’s what all the fussin’ was about?  And it’s not even got dwarves on it.  Perfect waste of resources I’d say.  At least it wasn’t a giant mosquito statue.

Our militia got to have a little sport today.  A kobold tried to sneak in and rob the Elves while they were packing up to leave.  Poor dolt didn’t even make it past the end of the new wall before four of our axedwarves fell on him.

One of the bairns also grew into a fine peasant today, too.  The coming of age ceremony was beautiful.  I’m sure she’ll find herself holding a sword in the training hall before the end of summer.

22nd Hematite, 504,

More useless immigrants today, aside from a fellow who claims to make a decent barrel of brew.  We’ll see if his boasting is true soon enough.  Useless blighters didn’t even bring a cat with them.  I guess that means we’ll all be sleeping in the lice ranch for at least another three months.

As predicted, the lassy who came of age signed up with the light-duty training militia that’s easing in the unskilled peasantry towards the craft of war.  I think she’ll do well there until she’s ready to wield the sword as a professional soldier.  As for me, I’ll stick to waging me own personal war on the forest.

That large she-wombat has been hanging around the carpentry shop recently.  It keeps sitting there just watching me as I battle the wood into the useful shapes Scoutbridge needs.  She’s actually kinda cute now that I take a closer inspection of her.  I wonder if she’d take some table scraps from me.

scoutbridge_wombat

15th Galena, 504,

scoutbridge_caravan_hum1

An extensive human caravan arrived today, luckily we’re ready for them this time.  Hopefully they brought a cat with them.  We’ve got loads of clay, excess plump helmet roasts, and masterwork wooden crafts ready for the trade.  We should be able to barter quite a few odds and ends off them for all that.

Meanwhile our stone masons are making me question their sanity.  Ye see, we asked them for statues to help pretty up our common areas:

scoutbridge_statues1

They claim to really, really like spiders.  Too bad it’s a rare love not shared by most of the folk who’ll be like to view these statues.  The forgotten beasts one is kinda nice actually, if the forgotten beasts didn’t also happen to be part spider.  I may not be a smart dwarf, but at least I know to make statues out of normal stuff.  Like trousers.  Gilded, finely sewn trouser statues are what makes a living space truly inviting.

10th Limestone, 504,

The caravan had a cat!  We tossed a load of clay at the caravan for that precious kitty.  It’s been running around killing vermin ever since we let it out of the cage.  Must have felt cooped up in there.

Meanwhile our gem cutter just went off his rocker.  Started babbling to himself about wanting rough color, whatever the heck that is.  We’re all getting worried about the crazy moods that keep showing up in our crafters.  The caravan is still here, so we’re buying everything they have that pertains to gem crafting.  Hopefully that’ll sate our resident kook.

17th Limestone, 504,

Today Muthkat gave birth to a Baby girl, who we’ve decided to name Meng.  Shamed to admit, I didn’t even know she was pregnant, been spending far too much time in the shop, I think.

Meanwhile, our alarm at the unhinged gem crafter grew to a point where Kadol decided it was best to wall him into gem crafting shops.  scoutbridge_caged

Once he calms down we’ll let him out.

Kadol has been making weird decisions like this recently.  He found this old blood-stained book amongst the rubbish and has been reading it in his office just about every day; it’s probably about politics and leadership or something and he’s trying new methods.  He’s quieter since finding it, so he’s probably thinking a lot, which I’ve seen readers do from time to time.  Thinking is what gets a fellow into danger, best to be avoided really.  He about flipped his lid when he heard ol’ Rigoth had parked himself in the crafting rooms and was demanding weird rubbish.  Had him sealed in within a day.  Strange, but it’s not for me to question.

The caravan also left today.  They weren’t bad, for humans.

24th Sandstone, 504,

scoutbridge_insane

We’ve been hearing mad raving coming from behind the walls where Rigoth has been sequestered.  The wisdom at erecting the walls is more apparent with a raving madman on the other side of them.  Hopefully he’ll calm down and we’ll be able to let him out afore too much longer.

Otherwise it has been too busy the last month to properly keep me journal.  A mechanic arrived with the last batch of settlers and he’s been put in charge of the effort to breach the water.  Meanwhile, with so many mouths to feed and house, Kadol has decreed that we need to expand and build rooms to house all the citizens of Scoutbridge.  I have been making beds non-stop since early Autumn.

Meng grows steady; she is a healthy and sturdy baby.  Hopefully she will take an interest and someday I can teach her the craft.  Maybe that shall be me legacy to Scoutbridge; instead of a tomb full of wooden caskets.

28th Timber, 504,

We were too busy with the preparations for digging through the water, the dwarven caravan, the beds, the constuction, and everything else.  We were busy and distracted, but that’s just excuses.  Today a goblin snuck into the fort and stole Meng from us.  There are no words in any language that can express the sorrow to lose one’s own progeny in this way.  The only consolation we have is that goblins do not kill their captives, but instead keep them as their own.  Much like what the human tikers do.

Even so.  The last thing any goblin that has the poor luck to meet me will see is the blade of me axe a breath away from their face.  That image will follow them to hell.  And they can think about that sight while they’re waiting for me to die and join them there.  I will spurn the embrace of heaven and take me axe to hell just so I can show them that scene forevermore.

This loss is not new among dwarven kind, and, as always, we will make the green skulkers pay dearly for their crimes against us.  Let their ambushes and sieges come.  We will meet them in battle, and slaughter them until the land is soaked in goblin ichor.  And when they tire of that battle, when they are so dispirited by watching their kin be minced to feed the grass, we will take the battle to them where they live. We will make sure they learn the true depth of their error.

I have no taste for keeping this journal any longer.  The words have become dry and black as wood ash.

End of Scoutbridge’s 4th year.

Advertisements