The first discussion.
"I have a special project for you, Cilob."
Ral Siknugmeng, queen of The Imperial Pick, had called me to her throne room. It was elegant, though clearly not as lavish as she would like. Great pain had been taken to spread the platinum and aluminum out, to give the impression that the statues were solid rather than hollow or plated, and a close inspection would reveal that only the most visible surfaces were plated with true precious gems, cheaper gems or even glass used where visitors would be less likely to notice. It clearly wasn't as large as would be desired, but that was true everywhere in the cramped, overcrowded mountainhomes, where too many dwarves were trying to live in too little space and too little resources.
The one feature that the room did have, that the architects had not compromised on, was a magnificent view of a waterfall, a mighty mountain stream diverted from above to flow through fortress before emptying out into the valley below. Nearly all of the Imperial Pick's mountainhomes incorporated flowing water into their design, taking advantage of the unusual number of rivers and streams emptying out of the massive mountain ranges surrounding the valley.
"I was once a fishery worker, long ago, before that minotaur killed the old king Kivish Masteredceilings so long ago. Not an uncommon thing here, I know. We have many rivers and brooks, and many fishery workers. Of course, I haven't had the time for that in a long time," she glanced down at her ruined, crushed left hand, "And since that titan attacked, it would be difficult for me anyway. I have but one regret now. I never once was able to fish from the ocean. Oh, we had that trip to the Sea of Waves once, but that's just a big lake, no matter what the elves call it.”
She turned to face me.
“I want you to conduct an expedition for me. Take a team and supplies, and go to the ocean. Build a settlement, somewhere where the ocean can be fished from, and whatever exotic creatures live in the depths brought forth. I may never be able to visit it myself, but it will do my heat good to know that others may do what I can never do. I have drawn some plans for you, of what I would like to see built.”
She handed me some paper with crude sketches on it. I studied it, with dawning confusion. It looked straightforward, a large curtain wall, a mighty tower over the ocean, but I couldn't make the directions match up.
“I hesitate to correct you, my lady, but I think you have east and west confused on this map. The Water of Enchantments lays to the west of us. You have the land drawn on the west here, and the water on the east.”
She laughed. “Silly Cilob. I'm not sending you to the Water of Enchantment. That coastline's full of human and goblin and elven cities. There's no space for us there. You're going to the other ocean. I'm sure you're aware that our General, Reg Logemiteb, has been scouting far-off lands? Just last year she found a way through the mountain ranges to the north, a pass between the Constructive Spike and the Spikes of Stoking. There's a whole land out to the east of the mountains where hardly anyone lives. Past that, an entire ocean, with just one friendly human civilization on it. There's more than enough room for a little settlement of ours there.”
“Go to Reg, she'll give you directions and supplies for the trip. And send me back some fish!”The second discussion.
Reg Logemiteb's office was deep underground, far from the scenic waterfall view of the Queen's throne room. The walls were decorated not with gems and precious metal, but with simple if graphic engravings. Most of them were about Reg. Reg fighting monsters. Reg killing elves. Reg traveling to the underworld to tame terrible monsters. Reg leading an army to attack an elven retreat during the War of Horns in 39. The few engravings that didn't show Reg doing something heroic concerned the minotaur Abesp Qakeowls, and its attack on one of The Imperal Pick's mountainhomes in year 4. One engraving clearly showed the monster striking down Kivish Masteredceilings, former king, and incidentally Reg's husband.
Between the engravings were trophies – weapons siezed from enemies, skulls of strange creatures – mounted in display boxes. I suspect that if common decency hadn't forbade it she'd have dead elves stuffed and mounted as well. In one corner of the room crouched a horrible creature, a thing having feathers and a beak but being far from any bird. A Jabberer, it was called, and it was descended from a pair that Reg had managed to tame on one of her expeditions.
Reg Logemiteb, General of the Imperial Pick, hero of the War of 39, was a terrifying figure. Despite being no taller than the queen, despite being lower in rank, she managed to project an air of palpable malice into the room. Her face bore the scars from a battle with a minotaur decades previous, her mirthless grin had gaps where teeth had been smashed out, but more than that some way in how she carried herself showed she had passed beyond the point of caring about anything but power and vengeance. She looked at the orders from the queen and shook her head. “Fishing expedition? That's the excuse she's using for this one? Oh, you're not the first one she's sent out, since learning of the pass and the lands to the east.” She threw the papers on her desk. “Wasting good dwarves sending them away. With our excess population, we could make an army and drive away the elves bottling us up in this damn valley.”
She gestured at a map. “The mighty Imperial Pick! Half a dozen mountainhomes, crammed side by side so you can't even tell where one begin and the other ends. Not enough of us, and yet we're overcrowded anyway. You know, if she hadn't signed that peace treaty back in 39, I could have burned a path clear to the sea from here.”
Her eyes went to the horrible creature crouching in the corner of the room. “But perhaps some good can come from this folly. I know you, Cilob. You're one of the best animal trainers we have.”. A gleam came to her eye. “Legend has it there are terrible monsters in the depths of the oceans. Leviathans, dragons of the deep, fish big as hydra. If we could catch some, if we could domesticate and train them.” She chuckled unpleasantly. “Wouldn't even need to be all that tame. Just releasing them in the river and letting the current carry them downstream. Wouldn't that be a surprise.”
“These other expeditions the queen is sending out? They're all doomed. But catch and tame me some monsters I can use, and I'll make sure yours survives.”
This is my first experiment with journal/community fortress writing. The game-wise goal of this fortress is to learn more about how the new animal taming rules work, especially for taming aquatic creatures. The larger goal is for me to stretch my somewhat lacking writing skills, and hopefully tell an interesting story in the process. I hope to be updating this regularly, but I can't promise anything.
I will be using a copy of DF 34.06 with a lot of custom mods. The mod package is actually my own personal mod set. It uses lot of content copied from other mods - I've got metals and stones from Dig Deeper, creatures and materials from Genesis, most of Zero's metalworking mod, and a lot of other stuff I don't even remember where it came from. If you notice me using something that comes from a mod you recognize, feel free to remind me, since I didn't keep track of where I borrowed all the bits from.
Of course, there's also a fair amount in this mod that is completely original, my own content.
The embark map:
The embark site is 5x5, and straddles 5 different biomes. All are Untamed Wilds. Four of the five are ocean biomes. This should be Fun.
The embarking dwarves.
Cilob Amudaban, expedition leader and animal trainer.
Cilob is claimed as the journal POV character. The other six are
available for dorfing
all claimed now.
Monom Dodokzalud Argel
, Farmer, Brewer, and Thresher
Monom Edemkadol Will_Tuna
, Butcher, Tanner, Cook, and secondary Farmer
Rigoth Esdorbomrek Phenix
, Miner, Mason, and Mechanic. Strangely, Rigoth and Cilob had already formed a strong grudge, even before the wagon had stopped.
Solon Mesirled Cain
, our Doctor.
Thob Litastavuz Coraiunki
, Woodcutter, Carpenter, and Herbalist
Zan Onulibruk Fishybang
, Engraver, Building Designer, and backup Mechanic, and Mason
Deities of the Imperial Pick:
Ustuth Blanketsafety, deity: fortresses
Ber, deity: minerals
Stettad, deity: wealth
as Copperrock, deity: metals
N shas Maroonochre, deity: jewels
Adil the Flicker of Glowing, deity: mountains, volcanos, fire, the sun
Guthstak the Bloated Mucous Snot, deity: blight, disease, deformity
icum the Gladness of Trusting, deity: generosity
Bokbon Calmstills, deity: peace
Bisek Perplexknots, deity: the night, darkness