22nd Obsidian, 1050
It looks like that episode with the head stonecutter's daughter and the dwarven wine and the mules has finally caught up to me. As penance (on top of throwing me out of blacksmithing college), they're making me head up the next colonization efforts. Here's my first string choices for companions:
Ought to make a good leader. Never known a dwarf with such a good head for numbers; she doesn't even need to use her fingers! Also, she appears to not already know about the, uh, thing with the stonecutter's daughter, which is good, because the last thing I need is to be the colony laughingstock right off the bat.
Aerobe comes with strong recommendations from the local liberal arts college. I suppose we'll need some sort of scrimshaw industry so we can dupe those dirty humans out of their weapons until I can get enough ore together to make some superior ones. I'm not really sure how useful a degree in bone carving and basketweaving is going to be, though...
For a doctor, I have to say, he doesn't have much of a bedside manner. His office was full of rusty (I think) tools and assorted trash. When I arrived, some other patient (victim?) was there already; he threw a cloth over him before I could circle the chair. Wouldn't look me in the eyes and kept asking if I was with the town watch. Then he threw a scalpel at me and told me to get out and that he'd be there when he damned well felt like it.
So far, the most normal one of the lot. She even brought a resumé to the interview, which seemed like overkill considering I just needed an experienced miner to help out with the initial dwellings. I don't know if she understands what's she's getting into, considering I can't find anyone to help her...
Another unknown like Aerobe, but then, I have yet to see such high marks when it comes to cave fishing and cleaning. He's been working in the local fish extraction plant for the last couple years, and he says that he can farm just as well as he can fish (quote: "Pulling fish out of the water can't be any harder than putting seeds in dirt, right?"), so he's on the team. Hopefully he can keep us decently fed until the first trade caravans arrive.
Still looking for someone to handle colony defense and woodworking. Going to go ask the others for recommendations.
That Hapax girl gave me the name of a friend to check out, one Creases Vucaralis. Going to go interview him and see if he's any good.
He's a dirty elf-lover. I should have guessed; first thing I see is a weirdo brown axe over his shoulder, and then I realize it's made of wood. He says it's just as sharp as a regular axe (it's not), and then he split a few logs to prove it. He says it's from something called a rubber tree, which sounds stupid. What kind of dwarf does he take me for, anyway?
Whatever. If he's going to insist on the wooden axe, I'll just have to make a few normal axes once we get there. Besides, the word about my reputation's getting around and no one else will even look at me, much less talk to me. Beggars can't be choosers!
1st Granite, 1051
We got underway today, at last. Trying to get everyone out of here is like herding cats. About a half-day's travel out, Clockmaker revealed that he'd left all of the thread and bandages back in his office. He didn't seem too worried though, which makes me extra worried. I guess we'll just have to avoid getting cut.
Trying to keep everyone on task and working is a total nightmare. That Creases fellow immediately bounded off into the woods with his axe; I haven't seen him in three days, but Aerobe and Clockmaker keep bringing logs back out. What if goblins attack and we need something other than a single pick, a couple of war dogs, and a bunch of mugs to fight them off? Hapax seems to think he's really great for some reason. Lousy elves and their fan club...
Also: it appears our little mountain is mostly made up of rock salt. All of our structures have been made of large blocks of rock salt. All of the food has been flavored with rock salt. Yesterday, OldMiner tried to offer me a piece of rock salt candy.
I am considering a strict diet of booze and raw meat. Assuming they don't get a chance to salt and cure the meat first.
It's now summertime, and we've struck a deal with this whole leadership business, because there's no way in hell I am going to do this forever. At the next spring, someone else is going to take the reins while I retire quietly to my favorite smelter and forge and do nothing but pound metal into interesting shapes for the rest of my life.
Because the gods hate me, they have seen fit to send us a bunch of new immigrants. I had to tell them that we don't even have enough rooms or beds for us original founders, which means they all get to sleep on the ground by the cave entrance and keep watch. What the hell was Homeforge thinking with this lot? What am I going to do with two cheesemakers, an animal specialist, and one manual laborer? I don't even know what the others are good for; I told all of them to start stacking things underground and not bother me until my headache disappears.
Autumn has fallen, and with it are a new batch of idiot immigrants. This time, I got a couple of soapmakers, another fisher, and a bunch of rejects from the Homeforge community college system. We struck copper, iron, and gold a month or two ago, so I put together a couple of picks and a couple of axes. Half of them looked at me like I was an idiot; the other half stared at me like they didn't understand simple language. I think all of the yelling got my point across, though.
Aerobe has been struck mad by the gods and has shut herself up in her room, alternately mumbling or screaming about mechanisms and rare rock formations. I had one of the flunkies put together a ramshackle mechanic's workshop; she immediately kicked her own door down, grabbed some loose rock, and knocked the dwarf out of the way on her way over. I don't think she's eaten anything in a few days.
Aerobe finally came out of the workshop, carrying the most ridiculous mechanism I've ever seen in my life. It's made of this crazy green rock and it's got a carving of some famous human hero beating the snot out of a fierce-looking mountain lion. She refuses to put it down, saying it's her "life's work" and that it was inspired by the gods.
I should have just accepted the prison term.
I nearly killed a dwarf with my bare hands, today: upon wandering downstairs to check on the progress of the dining hall and expanded living quarters, I found only two of our three miners hard at work. When questioned, Hapax expressed surprise that I'd ever actually assigned a third miner.
When I went upstairs and checked in the cave opening, I found my third miner using the pick as a clotheshorse. He couldn't figure out why I was so angry, and kept trying to tell me that tailoring fine clothing was his life's calling and that I was an insensitive bastard for not accepting that. He's been reassigned to stone hauling duty; the pick went to the next dwarf that walked past. Maybe we can get the living quarters done before the season turns.
Winter's come, and with it, our first dwarven caravan. We had to rush to get a bunch of trade goods ready; it's a good thing I had a bunch of metal bars smelted together. However, after a solid week of bargaining, the caravan owners left in a huff, and Kizor had an alarmingly smug look on her face. I asked what the result was, considering they weren't leaving anything behind or taking our goods with them, and she wouldn't say anything besides "We both know who the better trader was."
I think we're out of booze. I'm afraid to ask in case I'm right.
We were definitely out of booze. An emergency still has been set up, and a single dwarf tasked with nothing but nonstop brewing until we run out of ingredients or the mash tun explodes and kills him. I tried to make a joke out of it but I don't think he got it; he kept backing away from me when I tried to explain what I wanted done.
Imagine my surpsise when I went to check on Hapax's mining projects and found, again, only two miners at work. Hapax is starting to think I'm crazy, and the screaming matches with Creases over the merits of wooden weaponry aren't helping. (I don't care how much time you spend at it, wooden weapons are not useful!) I called him a dirty elf-humper and I don't even feel bad, even if no one is looking me in the eyes any more.
Anyway, I found my third miner, Erush, upstairs, moping by the cave entrance. I asked him why he wasn't downstairs doing what I told him to (or I'd hit him in the head again) and he said that he couldn't decide if making lye and soap or making crossbows was a nobler profession.
(bloodstains blot the page, making the text unreadable)
- gave the pick to a different miner and made sure he understood that I actually wanted someone to dig with it for a change. Erush has been relegated to hauling duties.
I am utterly and totally convinced that prison, nay, the animal fighting pits would have been a less torturous fate. I went to check on the stone stock piles that I was having all of the extras work on while I tried to think of other pointless tasks for them to do and found Erush in an unauthorized bowyer's workshop, slaving over a ridiculous-looking crossbow. Attempts to make him look up or do something other than polish wood were ineffective. I have advised the other dwarves not to get too close or they'll catch whatever's going around.
I'm not sure if this is existentially funny or mortally stupid, but it seems that Erush's little project is a really amazing crossbow. Except, he has the design sense of a gnat: the crossbow has been decorated with a picture of Aerobe's fancy mechanism.
Just the rest of this month, and I can relax with a hammer in a forge. (writing becomes unreadable, appears to repeat the previous sentence for three pages)
1st Granite, 1052
Finally, no more of this. I've officially handed the colony control over to my successor, and I plan on doing nothing but beating the hell out of pieces of metal until I pass out every day. If I ever end up in control of this place again, it'll be too soon.
The tale of Outpost Copperstrapped
*A bloodlines game, in Dwarf Fortress parlance, is a way to play a single-player game with more than one person. Each player takes control of the entire colony for an in-game year, developing the fortress as they see fit and attempting to avoid mass colony destruction by way of lava, elephant rampage, or poor deathtrap design.
A Dwarf Fortress Bloodlines* Game, told in parts
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