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Poll

Whose story should be told next?

The Doctor: Chief Medical Dwarf coping with the sudden influx of wounded
- 8 (61.5%)
The Guard: Captain of the Guard trying to bring order to chaos
- 5 (38.5%)

Total Members Voted: 13


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Author Topic: The Day That Brassworked Fell  (Read 14575 times)

Broseph Stalin

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Re: The Day That Brassworked Fell
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2015, 05:47:10 pm »

The Herbalist


I'm Rash Vigortone, amateur herbalist of Brassworked, and I'm going to die because I didn't want to puke on my shoes. Laugh you bastards it's serious! They all think it's funny, they all think I'm crazy, even my husband and the girl. I just hate puke, It looks awful and smells worse, I don't see how other dwarves just deal with being covered in puke all the time it's terrible! I don't have a traumatic childhood story, I don't think I should need one puke is terrible.

   If you don't want to puke all the time you can't get cave adaptation and that means certain steps. You have to go out and stand in the sun once every day. Sometimes you cut out of work early, sometimes you skip a meal, but no matter what happens you get out there and you stare at that damned ball of hate until your vision gets fuzzy then you can spend another day in the dark. But I hauled stone, long days of hard work getting wheelbarrows up and down those damned stairs. Sometimes they'd threaten to rat me out if I left and when I got to the dining hall I'd be starving and by the time I ate my fill the sun would have set. I dealt with it, I'm not crazy, sometimes you're going to puke and I can manage that. I'd puke a little then I'd go wash ,in the river because the damned well is surrounded by huge piles of puke blood and gods know what else that nobody sees fit to clean, while they all laughed at me for being fussy. I'm not fussy, I just don't want to be covered in puke all the time!

    I put up with it till they came into my life. I was digging through the stocks for a new suit of clothes when I saw the most spectacular pair of shoes I'd ever seen. A pair of Giant Kakapo leather boots, supple and soft and strong they were gorgeous. They were worked with designs of a palisade in goat horn and had the fortress crest carved into panels of boar ivory. They were dark in color and padded with silver dyed Brown Recluse Man silk- where'd that even come from? The laces went through hanging silver rings and brass spikes flared up from the heels. To top it all off- there they were right beside each other, no mismatched shoes for this dwarf! My own shoes weren't even that rough but I left them on the floor like trash and slipped these new masterpieces on.

   I couldn't get puke on these shoes, it would be a travesty! In a fair world I'd be killed for even thinking it. So when I heard they were looking for herbalists I jumped at the chance. Sure it's not a “traditional” occupation, they all laugh at us flower pickers but the booze stocks wouldn't be as vibrant without dwarves like me! Dwarven Beer,Ale, Wine, and Rum with nothing in between- that's the way it would be if I wasn't up on my ladder during summer and on my hands and knees digging for tubers or plucking bushes clean the rest of the year.  Sure, it's not noble I don't have a deluded view of what I do- I just want to work outside.

   Some dwarves put so much into their jobs, why? Nobody cares who does the work just that the job got done. I like simple group work so I can talk while I do it. That's why I took up hauling, straight forward gig and when it's done I can have a few drinks with a few friends in the hall. Herbalism is pretty much the same, me and a handful of others go out there and work the field all day then get a nice meal and a nice drink come supper. It's a decent enough living, and now I'm being hunted like a damned fox because I didn't want to puke on my fancy shoes.

   Working outside's nasty business. There ain't no walls to keep the beasties away. Sometimes that means you see a nice deer, sometimes it means you see a mean bear. Sure everybody says they've got a rough job. Oh those miners are always on about the nasty things in the caverns and the woodcutters whine about wolves while they polish their razor sharp implements of murder. You ever see a miner angry? A pick's worse than a sword or a spear, it punches through armor real easy and since fighting with it and working with it are so similar the miners might just be able to take the militia in a straight fight. And  woodcutters, you ever see the arms on a woodcutter? They're thicker than half the trees they fell and there's not a bit of difference between the axes they use and the axes the militia dwarves do.

    Imagine you're walking around outside doing whatever it is you do all day when a wild animal attacks, you reach for your weapon. You do this ten times.  At any point is the thing your grabbing a ladder? No, that's because you aren't crazy and neither am I. When I see trouble I run, I book towards the fortress and I don't stop till there's two layers of stone wall and a hundred trained killers between me and it. Maybe it's craven, I don't care- call me a flower picking crybaby I'm not showing up to a battle with a ladder and an armload of apples.

   I've gotten pretty good at this coward business. I spotted an elven ambush once and I still managed to get inside before they closed the gates. Once there was a siege that lasted three days, I got caught outside the gate and spent all three of those days with a vicious goblin horde. I was caught with a few woodcutters and we formed a little bundle. Eventually they decided to fight back with their axes, I ran away. They died like heroes, I survived till the gates opened and ate a tallow fried pork roast for dinner; who made the right decision?

   This one's worse. Armok's blood this is worse, it's been twelve days and I don't know how many of those bastards there still are. On day five they opened the gates and did some fighting trick that didn't really work. They killed at least two hundred goblins but it looks like we lost a lot of ours and there's still a few invaders lingering about. When there's a siege they shut the gates, rally the militia, then they send them out to make the enemy regret a few decisions. Sometimes it takes a few minutes, sometimes it's a few hours, sometimes it takes a few days. This time I guess they're turtling, they're shutting the gates and they plan to outlast the siege. They're doing a good enough job of killing anyone who climbs the walls but the rest of the gobbos are too wary to make a real push like that. That means I am definitely going to die out here all because I don't want puke on my shoes.

   Twelve days is really long in hunted-like-a-fox time. When they came after me it was frantic, I was running all over the place crossing streams and jumping stones until they were out of sight. Then they caught up and I started again. We've been playing that game ever since. Thank the gods for iron armor, I'm wearing pig tail and spider silk- I can run all day.  Every day I wake up and start moving, I alternate between jogging and walking to stay fresh and if the goblins catch up I start to sprint. Sometimes I get far enough ahead to get a handful of berries or stop to drink from the stream but then I run again.

   I'm not spending another night out here. This coward thing is too frightening for me. It's a shame I won't see the girl or the fella again but that's not really on the table, if the fortress survives I still won't, I'm just choosing between now and later. It's a sad state of affairs but I started crying day six and I got sick of it by day nine so these last three days have really just been to see if they'd take another crack at breaking the siege. Looks like they won't so there's one last thing to do before the doing's done. I jump up as I extend my arm and my shoes go flying over the battlements tied together. If I get stabbed in the guts I might puke.

   I don't have many regrets. I did some things I shouldn't and I didn't do some things I shoulda but I did a pretty good job of being who I am. There's more noble causes of death than a nice pair of shoes or a totally reasonable objection to vomit but what's that worth? I spent a lot more time living than I'll spend dying what I lived for's a nice place to live, a decent fella, and a daughter I think's pretty swell. I didn't have any adventures but I've never been the adventuring kind, I got to try my hand at hauling and herbalism I made a couple friends and had a nice little family for myself. It's been a decent life and I'll be damned if I spend the last few bits of it crying and pretending it wasn't enough. The goblins are charging, twelve in this pack maybe, I've learned the sound of their iron armor jangling pretty well these last few days- heard em coming a mile off. I throw up my hands when they come, let's see if I'm any good at this hero business. 
« Last Edit: August 07, 2015, 02:36:07 pm by Broseph Stalin »
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Broseph Stalin

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Re: The Day That Brassworked Fell
« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2015, 12:49:14 am »

I'm deciding between two stories and it occurred that deciding things is for crossing guards and budgerigars. Polls instead of choices! I have those two chapters and the final chapter in mind but I feel like there's more to do with this idea. So after I get these two done I'm going to be looking for ideas from readers.

What little stories do you think get overlooked when a fortress crumbles?
« Last Edit: August 07, 2015, 10:49:56 am by Broseph Stalin »
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Iamblichos

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Re: The Day That Brassworked Fell
« Reply #17 on: August 07, 2015, 09:52:25 am »

The thing I always wonder about is how once something happens, all the dwarves in the fort home in on it like lemmings and run right into the jaws of whatever-it-is.  I know life in a fort is probably boring, but there are alternatives to the suicide rush, people.
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I'm new to succession forts in general, yes, but do all forts designed by multiple overseers inevitably degenerate into a body-filled labyrinth of chaos and despair like this? Or is this just a Battlefailed thing?

There isn't much middle ground between killed-by-dragon and never-seen-by-dragon.

DDDragoni

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Re: The Day That Brassworked Fell
« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2015, 10:03:27 am »

These are absolutely fantastic!
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Stuff I run:
Icehold(Second Thread)
Stuff I was/am involved with:
The Succession Tower, ConstructIvory
Bonepillar                    Thunderdoom
Parallel Fortresses

Immortal-D

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Re: The Day That Brassworked Fell
« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2015, 10:38:58 am »

Yeaaahhh Broseph is back 8)

Gwolfski

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Re: The Day That Brassworked Fell
« Reply #20 on: August 07, 2015, 02:00:08 pm »

These are absolutely fantastic!
Exactly
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Eventually when you go far enough the insane start becoming the sane

Broseph Stalin

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Re: The Day That Brassworked Fell
« Reply #21 on: August 08, 2015, 08:02:48 pm »

Poll closes in 12 hours.

Graknorke

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Re: The Day That Brassworked Fell
« Reply #22 on: August 08, 2015, 08:26:18 pm »

PTW. These are great.
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Broseph Stalin

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Re: The Day That Brassworked Fell
« Reply #23 on: September 22, 2015, 06:03:19 pm »

So it turns out Law School kind of sucks. I'm getting the hang of managing the workload and stress and I'm going to update soon.

Splint

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Re: The Day That Brassworked Fell
« Reply #24 on: September 22, 2015, 07:00:22 pm »

I await eagerly. Posting to watch.

Broseph Stalin

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Re: The Day That Brassworked Fell
« Reply #25 on: October 03, 2015, 09:39:17 am »




The Doctor


“Bed One: Militia Dwarf Left Hand; Missing. (Wash it, not much else to be done.) Neck; Muscle Bruised, Fat Bruised, Bone Broken (Responding to stimulus- lucky bastard's spine is intact. Requires Setting, wash for good measure. USE SOAP.)” I jot it down, pin it to the door, and keep moving.

   My name is Libash Grimhonor. I was born in the city of Chokeclaw, my father was a weaver and my mother was a butcher. I got my father's steady hands and my mother's skill with a sharp blade. I came of age and became a self-taught Diagnostician. There's a lot of difference in the various areas of medicine that nobody seems to respect, since I was the only medical professional in the city I quickly went from being Libash the Diagnostician to being Libash the Doctor. I took care of everything from the scraped knees of children to weapon wounds that travelers often boasted. Eventually I decided I'd like to live someplace nice so I struck out for Brassworked.

   I was a competent as a Diagnostician and a novice in surgery, suturing, wound dressing, and bone setting. That made me one of the greatest medical minds the fortress had ever seen. I was second only to a dwarf named Dodok who was a fairly proficient diagnostician and an utter idiot at everything else. I was his number two, he would look at a patient with a gash in his arm then diagnose them with a gash in their arm and I'd handle everything else. He was nice enough dwarf but he spent all day in the dining hall, he was the Chief Medical Dwarf so he was beyond civilian labor. I imagine the point of that was for him to practice his trade and to be a professional doctor rather than a dirt shoveler who occasionally did medical procedures.

“Bed Two: Militia Dwarf Lower Body; skin torn, fat torn, muscle torn, Guts; tissue torn. (Axe probably, wash it, stitch him up, dress the wound, and somebody bring him a water bucket. USE SOAP.) “

   No names, that's a policy I put in. If we're going to make the call to cut off a limb I don't want our emotions getting involved. I've also started hammering home the importance of cleaning patients with soap, we've had too many infections recently. Anyway Dodok was crushed by a drawbridge several years back and I took his place as Chief Medical Dwarf. I got a lavishly decorated bedroom, an ornate dining room, and a stately office where I go to study. I also got the hospital. five beds and a chest in what was originally supposed to be someone's house, all we needed apparently.  I drew up designs and harassed the Baron until an above ground structure with sunlight and fresh air, ten private beds, five operating tables, four traction benches and a storage room overflowing with medical supplies was built. I brought on four doctors with varying specialties but general training and made sure all of them knew the ins and outs of basic procedures. I also found two of the strongest, quickest, haulers in the fortress and told them that if there was ever an attack their first duty once the fighting was done was to run out into the field and recover the wounded.

   You think you planned for these things...Ten new beds, have been set up in the waiting area and we're still lying some of the patients on the floor. There were so many wounded in the fighting and after they started telling their stories people went mad. There are a lot of able bodied dwarves coming up wounded from fights in the dining hall. If they'd been armed maybe we'd have had enough force to break this damned seige and maybe there'd be a few more of us alive. I'm staying away from the riots, I don't have any opinions worth dying over, besides I've got my work cut out for me writing out orders. As CMD my most important job is as the lead diagnostician, the team's competent enough to carry out procedures but if they misdiagnose something it could get someone killed. I jot it all down and leave it on the doors of the rooms for the team to deal with. Given the crunch I'm scribbling frantically as I diagnose and running from room to room.

“Bed Three: Militia Dwarf- Left Upper Arm; Crushed, severe compound fracture, bone shattered, significant muscle damage(Mace, definitely a mace). Left Lower Arm; muscle torn, bone fractured, artery torn, response indicates sensory nerve damage(spear maybe?) Left Hand; missing (torn looks like, something bit it off.) Right lower Leg; crushed, severe compound fracture, bone shattered, muscle damage (our mace goblin again). Left lower foot; crushed, severe compound fracture, bone shattered, significant muscle damage (no boots, this could be from anything.) Head; skull fractured, cheek torn, severe bruising (thank the gods his helmet held out). Lower Body; skin torn, fat torn, muscle torn, spine fractured, significant nervous tissue damage. Surgery on those compound fractures, sutures for the tears, dressing when it's done, and the bone setter's going to have his work cut out for him with all those breaks- check plaster stocks if there's not enough for casts reserve a traction bench WASH WITH SOAP FIRST.”

 Bed Three's my favorite. Went through hell but he never dropped his axe.

“Bed 4: Potter, right cheek; skin bruised, left index finger; nail broken. (No treatment pending, tip the bed if you have to.)”
#4 probably fell off something or got socked in the dining hall. The gall of some dwarves, taking up beds in an emergency.

“Bed 5 Surgeon: Lower Body; skin torn, fat torn, muscle torn (sutured) her guts are spilled. (Wash it and see what happens. SOAP)”

Bed 5 is gruesome. I hate going in there, sometimes it's more lucky to die. She was always such a sweet girl. She's always distant and that makes patients a little uncomfortable but if you're getting carved up she's the dwarf to do it. Better than me even, her hands are steady as stone. She got caught up in the fighting and someone gutted her with a sword.

   After that my best bone setter decided it was more important that he joined the rioting than help out up here. He's got a weapon apparently, the new militia commander is arming people to defend themselves if the goblins scale the walls again. Idiot's turned the dining hall into a war zone. If the bone setter's still alive I'm not getting him up here without a fight. Me, the dresser and the suturer are stuck up here trying to sort this mess out. That means I get to treat a few of the more pressing cases.

   Bed 9 blocked a punch with his throat, I start suturing immediately but he dies anyway. 14's had his face torn apart. Eyes gone, cheeks ripped, teeth removed. Goblin wrestler I imagine. He'll live but I don't know if he'll appreciate it. Bed 18 is the damned potter again. Bed 20 is a child with a whole list of bruises a shattered rib and a punctured lung, he apparently bit a dog and was brutally kicked and stomped half to death by a group of concerned citizens. Got him stable but only time will tell. The ones on the floor are the saddest.

   They lie there, some of them piled on top of each other fighting for space. Some have bits torn, bitten, or hacked off. Some are bleeding visibly, one of them's broken over a dozen bones and all he does is lie there and whimper. Every so often he wakes up, gets off one scream, and passes out from the pain of trying to move. After a lot of work the cue's gotten even bigger.

   Back to bed one diagnosing where I can and treating where I have to. New #1 is a conscript with a deep gash in his leg, sensory and motor nerve damage. Not an emergency so I keep going. Bed two is the damned potter again, bounced him again. Bed three's on the ground gibbering.

   I get him under the shoulders and get ready to put him back in bed but I'm stopped by a horrible pain. His steel axe is lodged in my stomach. I throw him down and stumble away. There's a mad look in his eyes and he's screaming. He rips his axe out and swings again tearing open my shirt. I grab the axe and kick him hard in the side. The pain is too much and he loses consciousness. One clean swing of the axe ends it.

   I brace myself on the wall and move over to the bed to collapse. The pain's overwhelming and in an effort to stay conscious I fall into a routine.

“Bed 3 Diagnostician...” 
I drop my writing charcoal. With a bit of blood and the tip of my finger I manage to scrawl out one final message as the darkness comes.
 
“USE SOAP”
« Last Edit: October 03, 2015, 01:02:44 pm by Broseph Stalin »
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Immortal-D

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Re: The Day That Brassworked Fell
« Reply #26 on: October 03, 2015, 10:59:44 am »

I feel inclined to ask; da fuq is wrong with you? :o (In all seriousness, your pendwarfship is fantastic as always).

Splint

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Re: The Day That Brassworked Fell
« Reply #27 on: October 03, 2015, 12:39:40 pm »

I laughed far more than I probably should have reading this...

LordBrassroast

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Re: The Day That Brassworked Fell
« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2015, 07:41:38 pm »

Awesome to see these are back!  :D

Bearskie

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Re: The Day That Brassworked Fell
« Reply #29 on: October 03, 2015, 10:42:10 pm »

Darn, I would've thought it was lupus.
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