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Author Topic: Pickponders, Ghost Fortress  (Read 351 times)

Graysire

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Pickponders, Ghost Fortress
« on: February 12, 2020, 11:58:24 am »

'Attend all ye seekers of blood and death
Hear the tale of Pickponders and its final breath
A dark mountainside the place of its rest
An evil fog shrouding the deadly nest'
-Excerpt from Tale of Pickponders

The first year Pickponders was a normal fortress, all digging and stockpiling without a care in the world, the first abominable fog came and went without incident in the winter.

The second year Pickponders seemed about to thrive. But then the dead walked lead by a foul necromancer, reading archaic words from a marcasite slab, the necromancer attempted to summon the abominable fog to destroy our fortress. But something went wrong, the fog would obey no master and so it struck him down, broke his will and made him its thrall. The zombies and newly thralled necromancer fought, crushing body parts and mangling heads, until at last only one being stood, mangled and vicious at the entrance to Pickponders. But the dwarves dared not step outside for they knew the dangers of a thrall such as this, and it was beyond their meager power. Luckily, word had spread of their temple and tavern, The Bloated Abbey and the Silvery Harvester and so mercenaries and bards flocked to Pickponders, dying in droves upon the thrall, until at last after more than a hundred deaths the thrall fell, and Pickponders was opened once more. A second cloud came upon Pickponders and turned many of its population, but the militia rallied and destroyed the threat, though sadly with the loss of its commander. For his valiance Meng the Bronze Meteor of Points was promoted.

The third year, Pickponders was truly thriving, the weapons, armor and clothing from the fallen mercenaries increasing their wealth substantially, and two artifacts came about First was Slippedprice the Learned Grief, a frilly donkey leather dress, the envy of all young maidens. The second was Dakost Pillarworked, a tall platinum helm studded with platinum, worth a hundred thousand gold it is said, a finer masterpiece might never be created. The fame brought with it over a hundred visitors, nearly more than they could afford to host, but the dwarves took it as a sign of success, not of inevitable doom.

The fourth year brought the end pf the beginning, thought no one knew it. After several provocations, the elves attacked, but they were no match for Meng the Bronze Meteor and his legendarily skilled warriors, they were brought to their knees, elven dead filling the entrance hall, their blood painting the stone. But this great victory took a darker turn, while the military was unconcerned, less disciplined dwarves look at the bodies with trepidation. Guthstak, God of Deformity whispered in their ears, forcing them to see their future, how they would be next. The rotting stench of elf seemed to fill the halls, as if their was no end to the bodies in the hall, and slowly the dwarves stopped moving them, struck by depression or rage. Then the first human came, seeking the frilly donkey leather dress of legend, and he died quickly, but his compatriots in the tavern rose up and started fighting, they too were put down though nearly all of the legendary dwarves were slain (some say by Meng himself for their lack of loyalty). A second man came seeking the dress and he and his companions were slain. But the lethargy of burial remained, and so in the midst of the tavern bodies rotted, and Guthstak whispered in the ears of the hundred visitors, and they began to get angry, a bar fight was started, and as the bodies piled up, the encroaching miasma drove more and more to join the madness of the bar fight.

Twice an elf asked for the frilly dress, and twice denied, the armorer began to grow spiteful as her valuable helm was overlooked in favor of the dress and yet another human came seeking it, and fled when discovered. But these minor events paled in comparison to the stress placed on the dwarves by the tavern as it filled with miasma and the sounds of combat, yet none of it would compare to when the humans came. No one knows if they sought vengeance or the dress, but they slaughtered their way inside Pickponders and without his companions even legendary Meng fell to exhaustion. At last all that remained was the human army and a single wounded human dancer, just accepted as a resident hidden away in empty catacombs. But the dancer succumbed to dehydration and so it seemed the end of Pickponders.

But no, Pickponders would not go quietly into the dark, without a citizen to its name, without a noble position to reclaim, Pickponders struck out in anger, abominable fog crept towards an errant dancer and corrupted him. You see, despite the lack of citizens, Pickponders still had an incredible draw in its tavern, asiren song summoning bards, poets, dancers, and more to their doom. This one dancer killed the migrants who thought to join Pickponders, and even as its legs gave out, crawled to Pickponders and massacred everyone inside. The human army was routed, for the first time the flow of bards and poets slowed as they met vicious end after vicious end.

Then, the fifth year came, and the elves attacked once more, lead by The Five Spears they destroyed the abomination of Pickponders and stood careful watch for dwarves, sure that they would return any moment. For a season they waited, with nothing to show for it, the siren song of Pickponders once again drawing more slaves to the tavern, filling it again. Then a lone pikeman came, without weapons and with meager armor, his only treasures were two codices, one bound in iron, and one in diamond. The fog seized its chance and made him one of its horrible abominations, he charged the elf army......and even now still fights them, the tale of Pickponders does not end, even as no dwarf, nor human nor elf lives in its halls.

(Note: This fort just won't die, I have lost everything but it won't end, making it a strange spectator sport. Also the abominable dancer did kill something like 200 bards so he has more kills than most, maybe all megabeasts, and this new abomination is just dual wielding books against the elf army AND WINNING. He's killed like 5 of them so far and dodged basically everything that's come his way, and he's a wrestler now, so I think thralls can gain skills? Which makes him even scarier)

Superdorf

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Re: Pickponders, Ghost Fortress
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2020, 12:14:39 pm »

...wow.

So I'm guessing that's a bug?  :o

craftinater

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Re: Pickponders, Ghost Fortress
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2020, 10:45:37 pm »

Legend has it that the books wielded by the zombie absorbed so much elven blood that it transformed the book into a necronomicon.
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delphonso

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Re: Pickponders, Ghost Fortress
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2020, 11:35:44 pm »

This is quite an odd occurrence. Wonderful story, though.