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Author Topic: Dwarf Scholars uncover the long lost notes of an Overseer  (Read 320 times)

brewer bob

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Dwarf Scholars uncover the long lost notes of an Overseer
« on: April 19, 2019, 02:26:38 pm »

(So, I found some notes of a previous fort of mine and decided to share them. This was played on Dwarf Fortress vanilla version 0.44.10, with invaders set off, if I remember correctly. Unfortunately I had no screenshots of the fort left and I've managed to delete the save, so I'll mostly have to rely on my memory and chaotic notes. Posted this same stuff on Reddit while the forum was down.)

While planning for a new embark and expedition for the glory of the Mountainhome, dwarfen scholars going through dusty archives uncovered the lost notes and diary of a previous Overseer. After deciphering the cryptic notes and scribblings of Overseer Bob, the scholars were able to piece together some of the fort's history, though much knowledge was lost and unable to be recovered. This is what they managed to uncover...

A Tragic Beginning

Seven dwarfs were sent on a mission to build a roadside inn halfway between two larger dwarfen settlements. It was supposed to be a safe, simple and unambitious venture, which was expected to be accomplished within a couple of years. However, as usual, things didn't go exactly as planned...

After arriving at their destination, one of the seven dwarfs, Urist the Woodcutter, went to chop down some trees that were plentiful in the region. Unfortunately, this proved to be a fatal mistake, as the first tree to be felled came crashing down on poor Urist, hitting his head and exploding the part into gore. Everyone was horrified by this tragedy and the Overseet expected this to be a very short-lived fortress due to the fact that dwarfs were known to stress easily in this particular version. There were even thoughts of abandoning the embark altogether and starting anew, but the dwarfs decided to push on.

So the story of the fortress, whose name has long since been forgotten, continued, despite its tragical beginnings.

Despite the dwarfs being traumatized and constantly reliving the shocking moments of witnessing Urist's horrifying death, the dwarfs persevered and continued to build the fortress. Tunnels were dug, trees were felled, crafts were made, and houses were built above the surface and deep within the mountain. These were peaceful times with no unfortunate incidents nor any hostile forces coming to visit, for the fort was located by a road only a couple days way from the mountainhome (and it was whispered in hushed voices that the Overseer had made a secret pact with Armok so that no invaders would come along).

By the fifth year, the tavern and inn of the fortress was finally completed and opened to visitors. It was called “The Perfect Garnishes” - a fitting name for the fancy place, with smoothed out floors and walls full of masterful engravings, and columns of marble statues lining them.

The Caverns Are Breached

Around the same time, the miners had begun to dig deeper and breached the first caverns. It turned out that the dwarfs were not the first ones to be there: there was a marble road leading through the caverns, with bridges spanning over a chasm containing a deep pool of magma. The perceptive miners also spotted a twisting passage leading downwards, and there was something sinister moving and skulking in the shadows. Immediately the stairs to the cavern were sealed with a stone hatch, which was one of the first artifacts to be made in the fort, and entry to the caverns was banned by the Overseer. If the scholars interpretations are correct, the militia of the fortress had just been formed and they were still ill-equipped and barely trained, and thus, the cleansing of the caverns had to wait.

At some point when the militia was finally properly trained and fitted with steel weapons and armour, a dwarf clothier found their way into the caverns to collect some refuse when the Overseer wasn't looking. Needless to say, this was the last thing the foolhardy rubbish collector did. Stalking silently above the clothier was a giant bat, hungry and thirsting for blood. It swooped down and with one bite latched firmly on the unfortunate dwarf, thrashing him around until the spine of the dwarf snapped, and the bat dropped the limp, lifeless body of the dwarf to the ground. All the time the militia had been on its way to the caverns, and once they arrived they were horrified and angered to see one of their kin lying mangled on the ground. The perpetrator of this atrocity was mercilessly hunted down and given a swift taste of dwarfen vengeance in the form of a steel spear into its lungs. The remains of the giant bat were then carted off to be butchered, its hide was tanned, and the leatherworker made a pair of bat leather trousers from it.

The Monster Slayers

Around the fortress' 8th year, The Perfect Garnishes tavern was getting lots of visitors, of whom many were mercenaries and monster slayers. The Overseer decided to let these visitors go to the caverns and keep them clean, for there was much other work for the dwarfs conscripted to the militia. As should have been expected, the monster slayers were not as competent as they proclaimed, and soon three of them had been slaughtered by a giant spider plaguing the caverns. The remains of one of the monster slayers could not be found and recovered, and a slab was engraved to memorize her. This is what was written on it:

“In memory of Rushán Pujaani / Born 198 / Went missing in the year 258 / Lady of The Fellowship of Carrying in 258 / Slayer of Goblins / Devoted mother and wife / Admirer of Goats.”

These unfortunate deaths didn't deter other would-be monster slayers from venturing into the caverns in high hopes of accomplishing heroic deeds. Things didn't really fare any better for them as can be read from the Overseer's frustrated scrawlings full of obscene language. One such instance of particular note was a monster slayer who braved the dangers of the depths, charging straight into a band of roving troglodytes. In all the excitement and being pumped up by finally getting to fight, the monster slayer had dropped his weapon while rushing into the fray. So, in the heat of the moment he grabbed from his satchel a book called “An Exploration of Animal Diets” and started bashing one of the troglodytes with it barely bruising its muscles. The troglodytes were not amused by this, and they collided with the monster slayer. One of them tore off the sock of the monster slayer, started beating and pummeling him in the face with the sock until he fell unconscious. Then the troglodytes swarmed the unfortunate fool and tore him into pieces.

Rozmo and Zanortob

The fortress continued to grow and prosper, visitors came from far and wide, trade was good, and the fort was elevated to a Duchy from a Barony. The tavern was frequented by many travelling troupes, and some of their names were written down: The Feral Pants and The Full Saints were two such groups who frequently came to please the crowds. The original plans for this expedition had been fulfilled, but the Overseer had become quite ambitious and decided to continue with the expansion of the fort; many large-scale building projects were planned and being built slowly (in fact, *very slowly*, for the notes state that the flow of time had slowed down considerably, nearing the point of frustration).

It was the twelfth year of the fortress, when it came to the attention of the Overseer that a sneaky visitor had been asking around in the tavern about the location of certain artifacts. One of the resident human dancers of the tavern had accidentally revealed that the artifact Zanortob, “Heartsmashes”, resided deep within the fortress, in the mayor's office put on display on a platinum pedestal. Now, Zanortob wasn't a particularly astounding piece of work: it was a sheer llama wool sock with pictures of another artifact woven with llama wool, and menacing with spikes of llama wool, worth only around a measly five thousand Urists - nothing compared to other artifacts made by the dwarfs. However, for some unknown reason the unsavory visitor had set his eyes on this prize and was completely obsessed with it.

The Overseer did not pay much heed to this, and merely laughed at the thought of the fool craving for a sock. There were more pressing matters that needed his attention - namely the Duchess who was constantly causing trouble in fits of rage after years of neglect and unfulfilled desires. Many times she had been served dwarfen justice after being accused of vandalism and disorderly conduct (and punching the Sheriff in the face).

While the Duchess was being dragged into prison for thirty days to contemplate her actions, the dwarfs noticed the shady visitor returning and sneaking in the forests surrounding the fortress. Rozmo Uroñost was his name, and he was a human crossbowman on his way to claim Zanortob. “You will not stand between me and Heartsmashes!”, Rozmo yelled, challenging the dwarfs while drawing his crossbow. The militia was immediately notified of this, and all of them went rushing to gather their weapons and armour before confronting Rozmo.

It would take some time before the militia was at the ready and the Overseer feared that Rozmo would make his way into the fortress before all precautions could be made. Luckily, a dwarf hunter named Shorast was nearby searching for prey, and as a member of the archer squad, he bravely went to intercept Rozmo by himself. Rozmo turned out to be one expert of a dodger and Shorast's aim was not true on that day, while Rozmo's bolts hit their mark one by one. Soon, the legs of Shorast were full of bolts, and he fell to the ground unable to stand up. He did not give up to pain, for he was a proud dwarf ready to give his life in defence of his home. With the sheer force of his will, Shorast managed to crawl and make his way to Rozmo, and he began scratching and biting at the legs of the invader. This was enough to hinder Rozmo and give time for the rest of the militia to arrive.

The commander of the squad of sworddwarfs rushed to face Rozmo; first he struck Rozmo in the teeth with the pommel of his sword, sending bits and pieces of teeth flying through the air. Rozmo was horrified, but he had no time to react, for the rest of the militia hacked off his limbs until the commander hit him in the head, splitting his skull into a bloody mess and putting an end to his miserable life.

“Death… This is truly horrifying,” said the commander. To this the mayor, who was part of the squad, responded, “So easily broken… Begone fear!”

The Fate of Shorast

Immediately after Rozmo's desperate attempt to claim Zanortob, the Overseer's attention was shifted back to the well-being of the problematic Duchess. For some reason the Overseer had not deemed it necessary to build a temporary infirmary while the dwarfs were busy building a grand and opulent sanitarium fit for a king. Thus, Shorast was forgotten and left lying on the grassy field next to the horribly mangled and bloody remains of Rozmo, waiting in constant agony for someone to remember his existence and save him from the unbearable pain.

The Overseer tried desperately tried to appease the Duchess, Ùshrir Avaldeler, and make her feel better, for she had been utterly harrowed by the nightmare that was her tragic life. Plans were being made to wall her into her private chambers in hopes of keeping her out of trouble and maybe, eventually, the others would forget her existence. All of the Overseer's attempts were futile, though there are no clear notes what happened to the Duchess in the end. However, during all of this, Shorast was still lying outside, waiting for his rescue. That is until the pain and loneliness became unbearable for him, and something snapped in his head. Shorast went stark raving mad.

Yelling and screaming Shorast began to drag himself towards the fortress, stripping his clothing on the way. The incoherently babbling, blood-caked naked dwarf passed shocked dwarfs of the aboveground settlements, slowly making his way into the underground sections of the fortress to a yet unknown destination. He passed the entry hall, trade depot and many fellow dwarfs who payed no attention to him. He entered The Perfect Garnishes, for he longed for a drink of alcohol after only getting water for many months, and with the remainder of his strength he managed to clamber on a masterfully made chair, ready to have a drink.

There, on the chair, Shorast Zasbubnus fell unconscious, naked, and passed away from this realm to the next before managing to quench his thirst with a last sip of beer...
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brewer bob

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Re: Dwarf Scholars uncover the long lost notes of an Overseer
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2019, 01:55:08 pm »

Hum, seems like I found some more notes from this same fortress. Let's see if I'll manage to find and put together anything else worth sharing from my scribblings.
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