Entries from the journal of Sigun Gebarrigoth commander of the army of Scoutbridge.

1st Granite, 505,

I’ve filed yet another petition with Kadol for equipment.  We’ve only a handful of battleaxes and a few short-swords we’ve confiscated from the odd kobold, and no armor to speak of either.  At the least, we’ve got four full crates of leather that should be used to make some basic armor for all the recruits that have been volunteered into service.  I may go over Kadol’s head and just tell our leatherworker to start churning out armor.  Like as not, Kadol doesn’t even know the leather exists in the first place.

In me latest visit to his office, I was once again assured that once we have something decent to export, weapons will be the first purchase that’s made.  It’s been over a year hearing that promise, so me patience wanes.  In the meantime I’ve put all the grunts to work practicing wrestling and dodging maneuvers.  Better than nothing.  Come fall I’ll probably have to restructure the grunts.  Some of the light-duty conscripts are getting skilled and hardened enough that they should be moved to full active-duty.

The attempts of our incompetent mechanic to breach the water layers continues.  A planning error on her part ended up nearly flooding the crafting shops.  Idiot. Kadol moved that little project outside of the main halls of the fort, just in case another little mishap occurs.  A rare occasion where I fully agree with our leader’s decision.

Me petition to Kadol for greater control over the entrance work was granted. The basic framework of the entrance gate and kill-zone is complete, but there’s a lot more work to be done.  Several masons were entrusted to me command for completing this structure while Kadol focuses more on housing, food, and public satisfaction.  Ever the politician, that one.  The next phase of the gate area is to create a series of drawbridges to section off the killing field, and build the fortifications on the walls above to give our marksmen some cover.  This means I’ll have to ask that moron for mechanisms and levers; she can’t possibly screw up something as simple as a drawbridge, can she?  Hopefully we’ll have a smarter mechanic at our disposal before I need to requisition all the traps I plan to place in the area.

scoutbridge_entry

While the construction continues on schedule, I’ve voiced me dissatisfaction with having to make everything out of what is essentially mud-daub made from raw fire clay.  We’re dwarves, we should be using stone.  However, with stone being scarce as it is, mud-daub is probably better than just leaving the front door wide-open.  I’ve been assured by the masons that the structure can be upgraded to stone block once we breach into the stone layers below the water.  I’ll try not to hold me breath for that happening anytime soon.  At the very least we need somebody who knows how to make charcoal so our potter can make us bricks.

Meanwhile those damn ravens are back again.  I’ve talked to the masons and they have a few ideas on a structure they could build that might funnel the ravens into some cage traps.  I’ve put that on the back shelf for now.  Something to consider once we hit a stretch where the masons have some free time and we’ve got a mechanic who won’t screw up a simple cage trap.  A little raven roast is just the thing to boost the morale of everyone in the fort.

7th Granite, 505,

One of the marksdwarves shot down a raven today.  I’m putting him in for a commendation.

19th Granite, 505,

I lost one of the wrestlers, Erith, in a freak accident during sparring today.  Head staved clean in when she hit the wall wrong after a throw.  This has decided me, I’m going to the leatherworker in the morning and telling him to make a load of helmets immediately.  With a little skull protection these kinds of accidents won’t happen.  Or at least they won’t happen very often.

She was a youngin too, and always surrounded by family and friends.  I’ll make sure to raise a glass in the mess after supper.

I’ll let Etur know that he’ll need to make a few more coffins for the mausoleum.  Erith will be the last that fits in what we have.

3rd Felsite, 505,

We are outgrowing our meager space too quickly and, while the effort to dig down to the stone is (surprisingly) making progress, the progress is very slow.  Too slow.  Our miners have carved out some meager rooms from the sand and clay, but these dirty burrows are temporary accommodations at best, and so near the crafting shops that nobody can get a good night’s sleep.  Moral is taking a beating all over the fort, and the grumbles of the citizens must be quieted if Scoutbridge is to survive.  I talked to Kadol this morning about what we should do.

Kadol claimed that ye cannot mine through the air, so our only course of action was to wait for the water to be breached, even if it takes a year or more.  But, this is not so. The humans dig the air and make caves in it; they have done so as long as either of our civilizations have been able to record history.  We can do the same.  The lessons we’ve learned building the entryway can be extended to some living space and a little more farmland.  We can dig upwards through the air by making our caves upon the face of the mother instead of beneath  her bosom.  It is likely that long ago humans were simply dwarves faced with a challenge like we are now.  A dwarf must dig, and if he cannot dig down, then he must dig up.  Humans are the masters of digging up; and so shall we become.  We must study their methods and their genius at digging the air, copy it, and master it.

Kadol has consented to attempting this venture and I will be relinquishing me masons to this project for a while.  Me head mason will be taking charge of the project as she has learned the most about digging the air.  The water tunnel will continue as well, but the slow progress has lowered the urgency of completing it.  All available resources and civilian personnel will be made available to the mason team for completing the first of our sky caves.

While this need is setting me own defensive project back, it is not halting progress.  I’ve got miners busy digging out a maze of channels to funnel any little nasties that try to storm the fort into killing zones, where traps will be waiting for them.  The bridges are also getting rigged up for blocking the entrance and sealing us all in against any large assaulting body.  Me hopes are that this minimal safety measure will be finished before month’s end.

5th Felsite, 505,

Our reindeer breeding program has produced it’s first fawn; still no word on the possibility of training them for war once we have a surplus.  I remain optimistic that a small herd of battle-deer will help us defend Scoutbridge.

The leather helmets are slowly being produced by our leatherworker; I’ve told him to make a pile of them as our halls are filled to bursting with folk who are ripe for the draft.  However, I’ll not risk the draft on any citizen until the proper protective wear is available.  Leather is near as scarce as stone in the fort these days, but hopefully the human caravan due in three months will bring us more materials to work with.  Meanwhile the craft dwarves continue to pump out their meager commodities for trade.  Without stone or metal, these trinkets will have to do.

24th Hematite, 505,

Scourbridge_fey

One of the new Carpenters, Shem, wigged out today. She started talking about something she absolutely needs to make. If we’d kept her as busy as Good Ol’ Etur, this probably wouldn’t have happened.

She started demanding silk cloth almost immediately after taking over a crafting station.  Kadol immediately ordered the shop walled off after her demands reached his ear.  This is what happened last summer all over again.

18th Galena, 505,

After almost two months we finally opened the walls back into the crafting stations.  It had been quiet for quite some time so we figured things had run their course.  Amazingly, Shem was still alive.  However, she appears to be so depressed that it’s little use trying to talk to her.  She just wanders the hall and stares blankly off into space.  There is little hope that this will end well.

Otherwise, things proceed pretty well on most fronts.  In one of the migrant waves we got a clothier, so some of the citizens have been able to upgrade out of their ratty duds.  Meanwhile I’ve had more armor made.  I’ve almost got enough stockpiled that I’ll feel comfortable opening up the squads again and filling the ranks.

Construction of the sky cave continues at a fairly good pace.  It’s nearly half done, and the masons are already talking about diging it up a little deeper after it’s done.  Apparently this first basement will offer a unique opportunity to farm and move our grazing animals inside, so the area should not be wasted on rooms for the ilk of the fort.  Fine by me, so long as they can dig the second basement upwards fairly quickly.

scoutbridge_sky_cave

The hole through the water continues at its slow pace.  They’re down three levels through the water so far, and still have at least two more to go.  Tun is estimating that we could break into rock as early as next summer.  With that timeline it’s all the more important that the sky caves continue as the main priority.

23rd Galena, 505,

The human caravan also arrived today.  I shall hope we’ve got enough odds and ends around to buy a weapon or two, and maybe a crate or two of leather.

Kadol was voted down today in favor of a new Mayor.  Apparently his strange decisions and aloof nature were starting to put some of the folks off.  The new may is Udil Oslanlogem, a Siege Engineer who hasn’t had much chance to practice his craft here at Scoutbridge.  Apparently he decided to go in for politics instead.  Used all that free time to make a lot of friends and then get himself voted in.  Can’t fault him for it, as it was damn effective.  Anyway, he’s given me the go-ahead to proceed with the projects, so he’s all right by me.

12th Sandstone, 505,

Today was a good day.  We need those because they’re so rare in Scoutbridge.

scoutbridge_good1

First, our sky cave reached one level deep! The masons are ready to start building it deeper right away, the farmers are itching to get their hands on the protected soil up there, and the animal handlers are already carving up a spot for the herd.

Meanwhile, a new group of migrants arrived and with them was a new mechanic.  May he be brighter than our first one.

Speaking of our first one, she had some good news for us this morning.

scoutbridge_stone1

Tun’s little project hit stone this morning. They’re still several months away from actually being able to get miners down there to start bringing it up to use, but it’s the first honest-to-goodness stone we’ve seen at Scoutbridge. This has mobilized the drill team, they’re hoping to get into the stone in mid-spring.  I’m cautiously optimistic; however, our sky cave project will proceed as planned.  We’ve already sunk a great deal of resources into it, and the project is moving much faster than the drilling team. The second basement of the sky cave will begin construction almost immediately, after a short period allowed for the farmers and herders to settle in.  The hope there is that we’ll have livable space in the second basement around the same time we have stone, maybe sooner if we can recruit a few more.

15th Obsidian, 505,

The projects continue to slide forward slowly.  The drilling team hit a setback when they mined out a wrong square and had to spend more time than usual plugging up the hole.  They’re pretty much right where they were back in mid-Sandstone.  The sky cave continues to grow.  We’ve got the second basement starting to radiate outwards from the center, but it’s not much to look at yet beyond just a skeletal scaffold for building, but with time it’ll be a grand living hall capable of housing upwards of 150 dwarves.

Otherwise late fall and winter have been quiet.  A surplus of leather from the caravans has gotten me troops outfitted with full leather gear, so at least we’re safe during training.  I’m up to three squads of ten dwarves each under me command.  I’ve broached the subject of a sheriff and jail facilities with Udil and he’s taking it under advisement. That’s fancy political dwarf talk for: “I’ll do it later and take the credit.”

The only hitch is that food and drink stocks are growing low.  Very low.  With Scoutbridge up to near 160 citizens, it’s getting hard to feed everyone.  With the farmers working full tilt and the brewer making beer ’round the clock, we’re still coming up quite a bit short.  We need to get the farms in the sky cave built and producing at full capacity, otherwise things are going to get ugly.   We’ve got anyone with herbalist training scouring the hillsides for extra food.  So far it’s been enough, but if we have another wave of babies, we’re going to need to start slaughtering the herd for emergency rations.

End of Scoutbridge, Year 5.

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