Friday, January 31, 2014

Sore Loser

Endok Anguishedpages certainly didn't take too well to losing...

By late Spring, she revealed her creation, which was at least semi-useful.

Impeded in her goals and passed at the last moment, the name "Trammelpasses" was fitting.

You Snooze, You Lose

A month later...

Endok became complacent while in the lead. When Edem went to sleep, she decided to flaunt her certain win, talking long into the night with the other bachelorettes. It proved to be her undoing. When Edem woke up, Endok was far too tired to continue her relentless flirtation. She went to sleep, thinking her status safe. Zon, in second place, tried to press the advantage, but Lolor III's candid, and some would say crude, demeanor charmed the bachelor and won his heart!

The Bachelor

Pop. 140, Early Spring of 354 (Year 103)

The population of Relicshield has been in a slow, but steady decline over the past few years. To combat the trend, Mayor Regent Mosus II Lanterngaze-Anguishedpages has offered several benefits to courting and recently married dwarves, including paid leave from work and exemption from military service.

The most eligible bachelor of the fortress is Edem IV Claspletter, the 22-year-old grandson of Relicshield's first dragon battlemaster, Edem II.

The four bachelorettes currently vying for his affections are Endok Anguishedpages, Lolor III Earthenbreaths, Zon Channeltree, and Zan II Socketinked.

A holiday suite all to their own and plenty of time to socialize, bets are being taken all around the fort on who will win Edem IV's heart. With all four bachelorettes considered beauties, it's their traits that set them apart.

Endok, a 22-year-old traditionalist from an influential family, is a favorite among older bettors. Still, Endok is far from stodgy and still enjoys trying new things.

Zon is another frontrunner with a fine pedigree. Friendly and modest, the 23-year-old is nearly as popular as Endok.

Zan II is a calm and collected 24-year-old, who is rarely moved to anger and able to handle stress. All admirable traits, though she comes across as a bit dull and aloof for most bettors.

Finally, there's Lolor III who often feels discouraged, has a lack of self-discipline, and doesn't go out of her way to help others. Still, she's almost as assertive as Zan II. This 26-year-old might prove to be the dark horse of this courting competition.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Up to Code

Pop. 142, Mid-Winter of 353 (Year 102)

The dumpsite that led to Urdim Channeltree's broken arm was finally brought up to current safety codes, but not before one final accident. Uvash Crescenttours, one of Relicshield's best frontline marksdwarves, was killed :(.

Construction Delay

Pop. 143, Late Autumn of 353 (Year 102)

A floor cover was ordered for the steps leading to one of the southeast dumpsites, but construction was delayed after noticing some clothes on the stairwell that was about to be blocked. Captain of the Guard Urdim Channeltree wasn't paying attention and ventured too close to the danger zone. Luckily, he only suffered a broken arm.

Spice It Up

Pop. 143, Early Autumn of 353 (Year 102)

After some initial difficulties with using quarry bush leaves in conjunction with other ingredients, the chefs of Relicshield have fine-tuned their spicing technique.

Pair of Arrows

Pop. 143, Late Summer of 353 (Year 102)

The Evils of Spray once again stepped up their attacks. Elite archers have become more common, with one killing Ezumi Freeoil and Ingish II Claspletter, granddaughter of Edem II, in the most recent siege.

A massive enemy host had gathered at the east wall. The East Watch, with a few soldiers from the North Watch, battled their way to the bowgob, while the rest of the military guarded the trade tunnels. Two more dwarves would've lost their lives, but the defenders finally broke through the enemy lines and slew the goblin squad leader.

Atis Blockadetempted and Vucar Gillhandle were rescued, though they each had a pair of arrows embedded in them.

Apparently, Vucar got sick of staying in the hospital and crawled his way out before his treatment was truly finished. He was brought back to the hospital, diagnosed again, then given a crutch.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Return of the Grizzly Guards

Pop. 145, Late Spring of 353 (Year 102)

Due to the death of Dakost Channelflashes, war grizzlies have been reintroduced as guards, with 28 now stationed in the underground trade network. They were removed long ago when the population was decimated over the course of several sieges. Alone, the bears were unable to hold back fully armored goblins, but the addition of armed reservists has changed the equation. With the bears providing front line protection while the reservists shoot from afar, the combination should delay goblin incursions long enough for reinforcements to arrive.

Don't Touch the Booze!

Pop. 145, Mid-Spring of 353 (Year 102)

There was an alarming reduction in the booze supply due to the new lavish meals being churned out. Especially with the legendary cooks Sakzul Fissuretour and Urdim Channeltree finishing meals in the blink of an eye, the brewers simply couldn't keep up. Booze has been removed as a cooking ingredient, but larger farms are being considered. For now, the tweaked recipe consists of rocknut press cake, flour, and dwarven syrup along with a filling of meat, fish, eggs, cheese, or plump helmets.

Take No Prisoners

Late Winter of 352 (Year 101)

After the Centennial Games, the bloodlust of Relicshield's citizens has been at an all-time high. Cage traps throughout the trade tunnels have been removed so that dwarves may strike their enemies down right then and there. Unfortunately, while most of the fortress's elite troops were guarding cage removal operations elsewhere in the tunnels, a well-coordinated goblin siege almost breached the inner trade hub. Reservists were on hand and fought well, but Dakost Channelflashes was cut down by a goblin axe lord.

All That Junk

Mid-Winter of 352, (Year 101)

There was another junk-related accident. Iton Hatchetsearched and Vucar Gillhandle both managed to end up in the middle of the garbage dump while their fellow dwarves were throwing items in. Iton was killed, while Vucar lost a hand :(.

The surviving dwarf has no memory of the incident. It's possible that he fell in while the surrounding area was packed. Regardless, the lower level access stairs, rarely used for mistakenly discarded items, have been covered as a precaution.

A Bugbat?!

Mid-Winter 352 (Year 101)

What?! How a bugbat managed to get into the fortress is a mystery. The Second and Third Caverns have been blocked by the Dragon Watch and the First Cavern was completely secured over seventy years ago. Bugbats only live for about twenty years, so it couldn't have been from a stranded remnant population. Perhaps an abandoned mineshaft allowed access? But if this were the case, how is it that no forgotten beasts have breached the fortress the same way? A troubling puzzle, indeed. Still, this was yet another reminder of the benefit of arming the civilian populace of Relicshield. The worker Unib Faithtorch shot and killed the flying beast with his trusty crossbow, then went about his business.

Culinary Renaissance

Pop. 148, Summer of 352 (Year 101)

Following the advice of master chefs Sphalerite, Captain Ford, and Hurkyl, Relicshield has undergone a culinary renaissance. Rather than meals consisting of one ingredient, truly lavish meals with separate ingredients have started to appear on the menu.

The new roasts now consist of a filling (meat, fish, eggs, cheese, or plump helmets), dough (flour or rocknut press cake), cooking liquid (booze), and glaze (dwarven syrup).

Monday, January 27, 2014

In Honor of the Seven

Pop. 149, Mid-Winter of 351 (Year 100)

In honor of the Seven Settlers, seven dragons fought in the seventh and final combat of the Centennial gladiatorial games! The adult dragons Etog and Bestra were joined by three hatchlings of Ibmat and two of Mistrum. The seven faced 117 goblins, 82 trolls, 3 yetis, and 1 kobold as the holding pens were emptied (except for the wombat men, who were deemed too adorable for dragon bbq).

The chill of winter was the furthest thing from the spectators' minds as dragonfire filled the arena!

The Seventh Match

The stands had to be cleared soon after due to all the smoke from the burning bodies. Boiling blood also splashed quite a few dwarves, particularly those watching from the lowest level of the arena. Still, all the dwarves felt the lung irritation and scalded skin to be well worth the sight of the fortress's dragons smiting their enemies. All told 354 goblins, 197 trolls, 13 coyote men, 5 yetis, 2 minotaurs, and 2 kobolds perished in the arena as a fitting tribute to Armok.

Melancholy and the Infinite Sadness

Pop. 149, Winter of 351 (Year 100)

Amidst the festivities of the Centennial, melancholy struck Dastot Earthenbreaths. She had complained about being uncovered, though additional clothes had been created.

Dastot perished in the dining hall after refusing all food and drink, leaving behind her lover, Morul Channeltree, who had already suffered through recent tragedy. Ghosts and goblins, fey moods and creatures from their worst nightmares stalking the caverns below, it's a testament to dwarven willpower that more of their people haven't succumbed to madness and melancholy. Dastot's death was a stark reminder of dwarven mortality, causing many to turn to the Centennial games with even greater fervor in celebration of life.

Bear Hug

Pop. 150, Late Autumn & Early Winter of 351

For the 6th match of the Centennial celebration, 50 goblins were tossed into the pit where 36 war grizzlies waited in cages.

With an enthusiastic audience shooting bolts into the battle, the outcome was never in doubt.

We've Got Backup

Pop. 150, Late Autumn of 351 (Year 100)

A squad of goblins tried to ambush several workers while the dwarves were busy clearing traps. The lucky ones were captured in cages. The not so lucky ones faced armed civilians backed by an angry war grizzly.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Time to Shine

Pop. 150, Late Summer of 351 (Year 100)

Inspired by the performance of the elite soldiers, four of the the fortress's 2nd tier soldiers felt that it was also their time to shine. The gladiators were marksdwarf Logem Graniteright, his 18 year old nephew, macedwarf Besmar Graniteright, and the two axedwarves, Shorast Channelflashes and Uvash Earthennourishes.

9 goblin snatchers, 1 kobold thief, and 1 minotaur were thrown into the arena. The thieves and minotaur did not fight, unlike the previous match. Once the gate opened, the minotaur rushed at the youngest dwarf, Besmar. While his uncle Uvash was busy shooting at snatchers, Besmar did his best against the raging bull-headed beast. It attacked him relentlessly, keeping the young soldier off balance and unable to counterstrike.

Still, Besmar managed to dodge or block every attack until Uvash cleaved the beast in two with his axe, Morningwhisper.

Not So Shrewd, Shrew

Pop. 150, Mid-Summer of 351 (Year 100)

The wereshrew made the mistake of ambushing members of the West Watch, one of Relicshield's elite squads. The fighting was over quickly, with one of the younger soldiers dealing the killing blow. At only 33 years of age, swordsdwarf Goden Bustcrystals has quite a future ahead of him.

The Games Continue!

Pop. 150, Late Spring of 351 (Year 100)

Despite the massive "CLOSED" notices posted on each of the trade tunnel entrances, the elven caravan arrived and demanded entry. Naturally, the goblins attacked at that moment, slaying most of the elves before they could reach safety underground. Still, that provided more prisoners for the gladiatorial games.

For the second match, 2 trolls and 2 yetis were thrown into the pit.

One of the yetis was immediately slain by a headshot from an audience member, while the other three combatants seemed far more interested in dodging bolts than fighting each other. The spectators slew them all and yelled for the next match-up!

This time, 8 goblins were pitted against 13 coyote men.

Again, the two sides avoided each other while they were pin-cushioned by the crossbow-wielding audience. One coyote man remained after the dust settled and was promptly slain by Commander Dishmab to move things along.

Crossbows were banned for the next match. 30 goblins, 20 trolls, and 1 minotaur were tossed into the arena to face the four squad leaders of Relicshield's elite troops: macedwarf Dishmab Shootwondered-Vesselbrain of the North Watch, axedwarf Goden II Claspletter of the East Watch, swordsdwarf Deler Anguishedpages of the South Watch, and speardwarf Asmel Fissuretour of the West Watch.

Unlike the previous two matches, the goblins and trolls immediately fought with the minotaur. It was a glorious three-way battle as the best warriors of Relicshield waded into the fray!

Dishmab smashed the minotaur's foot with her lead mace, Drumseer, causing the beast to fall. Goden II Claspletter, sister of Edem II the tiniest hammerdwarf, then sliced the minotaur's head off with her bloody axe, Drencheddragons. The remaining foes were no match and quickly fell before the dwarven onslaught.

100 Years!

Pop. 150, Mid-Spring of 351 (Year 100)

Relicshield began its Centennial celebration! The underground trade network was completely closed down and the arena was finally opened to the public.

Arena Level 1

Arena Level 2

Arena Level 3

Arena Level 4

Arena Level 5

Holding Pens & Drop Hatches

The first match was dedicated to Astesh Goodhatchet-Gearriddled, the miner who died during the arena's construction. A mass melee pitting 140 goblins & 93 trolls vs 40 soldiers, audience participation was encouraged, with spectators firing bolts into the fray with wild abandon! Commander Dishmab, daughter of the late King Urist Shootwondered, inspired her troops as she smashed goblins and trolls with her artifact lead mace, Drumseer the Contemptible Loot.

Unfortunately, in the chaos of the opening games, the hatches leading into the arena were not locked. Goblins and trolls began to pour out as they fought past Relicshield's soldiers.

The legendary miner Unib Flagblaze, who breached the pit to start the games, was an immediate target. He was chased all the way to the holding pens, but all those years of mining gave him plenty of speed and endurance. Unib left his pursuers in the dust before he was rescued by Commander Dishmab's squad. Soon after, all the near-escapees were mopped up and corpse removal for the next bout commenced.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Deadly Bolts

Pop. 150, Late Winter of 350 (Year 99)

Two reservists, Ilral Lightningstaff and Stukos Yawnfurnace, perished at the hands of an elite crossbow goblin before help could arrive. They valiantly stood their ground and traded bolt volleys, but they were simply outmatched.

The fortress's veteran troops tried their best to get to the ranged killer in time, but there were simply too many goblin minions and trolls in the way.