Bay 12 Games Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Author Topic: A Report On The Mismanagement of The Rounded Dawn-Tower, Circa 222-223  (Read 456 times)

AbanUshatgatin

  • Escaped Lunatic
    • View Profile

To: Zas Muthkatrith, Outpost Liaison for The Furious Merchants
From: Aban Ushatgatin, Bookkeeper for The Rounded Dawn-Tower
Subject: A Report On The Mismanagement of The Rounded Dawn-Tower, Circa 222-223
Date: 13th Galena, 223

Esteemed Zas Muthkatrith, Outpost Liaison for the glorious Furious Merchants,

I write today for the good of our new Mayor, Kogan Loregen, who has become increasingly disturbed after reading fragments of what transpired in our fortress in the years 222 and 223. This letter hopes to give an accurate accounting, of the highest precision, of the events that have transpired and the mismanagement that caused them.

As you well know, seven of us set out from The Furious Merchants set out in Granite of 221 and we became good friends over the past two years. As will become important later, I can personally attest for the work ethic of Stakud Morulbardum, our miner for the first few months, who literally made us a home. The first year was the usual chaos for a new expedition, as we remembered all the niceties of home that we left behind and had to make do on Plump Helmets for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a few seasons. It was not that we didn't have other seeds, we just never were told to plant them.

In Malachite of 221, our first batch of migrants arrived, including Vucar Lavathonul and his wife, Aban Tobulgeband, both farmers. They were instrumental in expanding our food production, diversifying the meal choice, and producing those meals for their fellow citizens. Vucar kept bees on the side and for some, that was the first honey they ever tasted. He expanded production to 12 hives, spread throughout the area beyond our pasture's walls to yield different flavors of honey. This would eventually prove disastrous, but we were not thinking of death in those happy times.

13th Timber of 221 was an illustrious day for both Vucar and Stakud. The day that Vucar officially became a Farmer, Stakud was taken by a fey mood and, despite not being a mason, produced Erarosod Berimushil. You have likely heard tell of it already, I only draw note of that exquisite work of anhydrite to point out that Stakud was the first to produce a weapon rack within our halls and made such a fine one that it inspired other masons to begin thinking of the common defense. Within a month we had five more, albeit of lesser quality, and through the winter of 221 masons and architects continued in Stakud's example, eventually fortifying our main entrance with a trap door and 3-story fall to spiked weapons. Many more weapon and armor racks were produced and we dug deep enough to begin iron production. None of this would have been possible without Stakud's example and pick swinging from the front.

By 222, we were thriving according to my records. Food and drink were plentiful and diverse and elegant crafts were being produced at an astounding rate. Admittedly, we lacked the basics of clean water, a healthcare system, justice system, and military due to the temperate, peaceful area we live in and never having been told to tackle those needs, but as noted above we had begun to think of at least the latter point. We had no central leadership guiding our efforts to make those improvements, a failing that would prove disastrous.

On the 6th of Slate, we had our second group of migrants join our fortress, including Imush Sazirkilrud. He was formerly a general within The Furious Merchants, I imagine you know him well. Immediately prior to this, Vucar's wife Aban officially became a Farmer and immediately afterward, she gave birth to their firstborn son. It was a joyous time in Vucar's household, and the first male child born within our ranks. The Farmer's guildhall rang with celebration.

1st Hematite saw confusion spring up in our fortress as a newer citizen, Litast Uristudist, became possessed and was shouting nonsense at all who tried to wrest him away from the Craftdwarf's workshop. All he seemed to care about was glass and although we had ample sand within our walls, we had no glass, nor bags, nor experience with glass blowing. Most of that month was spent in a hurry to sate his mood before the unthinkable happened and I confess even my records are a bit jumbled with everything that was going on. Thankfully, we were able to get Litast everything he needed to produce Okilnitem, a green glass scepter. In retrospect, we believe this was foreshadowing the need for effective leadership.

At this point, the joy and laughter in our fortress turned to mourning. Vucar was found by a neighbor dead in his bed on 16th Malachite, drained of his blood. Upon hearing the news, his wife immediately stopped sowing the fields and took to a period of grieving. Unfortunately she did so in her bedroom, which is where Vucar's body still lay, traumatizing her further. It was not until 20th Malachite that we were told to start producing coffins, dig the start of our catacombs, and give Vucar the burial he deserved, during which time a number of dwarves who were told to haul Vucar's possessions were also traumatized.

On 15th Limestone, you and your caravan arrived back at our little fort. At this point you will likely be wondering why we did not mention any of this to you. The simple answer is we had no effective mayor and although we inquired diligently after every Dwarf's background, believed all told the truth when they said they ate, drank, and slept. We thought that maybe a vampire came in a caravan or snuck in. In retrospect, this was likely again a failing of our leadership who outsourced the questioning to all, even those with poor records. We would pay for this oversight.

On 8th Sandstone, Urvad Amerith was elected mayor, with many believing him to be adept at fixing the areas of our society which were lacking. Unfortunately, power quickly went to Urvad's head, mandating over and over again the production of bolts, despite us not having crossbows to use the bolts. He then forbade the export of bolts, leaving many questioning their reasoning in electing him mayor as the piles of bolts grew along with my workload.

That is not to say all of Urvad's doings were bad. Under his administration we created a new pasture, fenced all around and fortified on top for the eventual crossbow wielding dwarves. We moved our chickens within this wall, but still had many of our hives beyond it. We also added an iron gate to this, with another trap door beyond it should we need to last through a siege. This proved to be Urvad's only smart decision.

During the winter of 222, morale plummeted. Aban Tobulgeband ran into the Farmer's Guildhall with severe bloodloss and no obvious wounds. Rumors quickly began to circulate that a vampire was still within our midst and things became dark. Three craftsman were possessed by fey moods during that time, pouring all their energies into the production of a craft to find some glimmer of hope but all they turned out was darkness. There was Bavastan, the limestone amulet depicting Sibrek Tombstone and menacing spikes. If a surname of tombstone wasn't enough, next came Ushil ilun, the plum wood splint depicting Bavastan. Finally, Zocol Nonub, the Coven of Punches, our finest floodgate ever made. The depiction of our founding would be joyous if the sky hasn't been made from skunk bones.

Urvad's reaction to the despair all around was to increase his staff and order nicer quarters for them all. I remained his bookkeeper, sequestered 4 levels below in the heart of our production, while he filled the following positions quickly, based on apparent ability:
 - Ushat Daselshorast became Captain of the Guard
 - Imush Sazirkilrud became Dungeon Master, due to being an adequate schemer
 - Zefon Sigunemal, a veteran of the first wave, became his manager
 - Vucar Vutokberdan (no relation to the first victim and henceforth just "Chief Medical Dwarf" to eliminate confusion) became Chief Medical Dwarf due to his master diagnostician skills
 - Kosoth Uristthoth remained his broker
 - Stakud Morulbardum became his first militia commander, given his prowess with a pick

As the Spring of 223 dawned, hope was returning to our fortress. An Elven caravan visited and all the crafts from the winter proved incredibly valuable to purchase cloth and leather with which to make bags for sand and plaster. We were beginning a hospital and had sketched out plans for purifying the water around us to allow Chief Medical Dwarf to do his job well. Our military plans were lagging slightly, but we had more than enough strong miners, led by Stokud who was legendary at this point, to deal with any trouble.

On 10th Slate, all of that changed. Dumed Shigosral was found dead, completely drained of blood, in his bed. Being unmarried, it wasn't clear how long he had lain there undiscovered, but Urvad knew he had to act quickly to keep the citizens from revolting. The first priority was finishing the hospital, which finally received soap a few days later. Water was purified and transferred to a cistern, just waiting on a well to be built.

On 12th Slate, Urvad called in the Captain of the Guard and, having never navigated the Dwarf justice system before, accidentally accused and convicted Stakud of the murder of Dumed Shigosral. Urvad swears he simply did not know how the justice system works and as there was no immediate effect, ignored the mistake.

On 16th Slate, Urvad called up the militia, led by Stakud, confident the medical facilities would be able to handle the wounded and assuming there would be no surviving vampire once found. As soon as the military was activated, Stakud was drug from bed by the Captain of the Guard and sentenced to 225 days in prison due to his prior conviction, however Urvad had never thought to build a prison. In our haste to spare Stakud a beating, the only chain in the fortress was used to create shackles in Stakud's bedroom, keeping the well from being built and preventing clean water from flowing to the hospital. Knowing Stakud's reputation, Urvad panicked and disbanded the military immediately, hoping again that a lack of immediate effect meant no negative ramifications. Stakud was freed and went back to his work, only to be beaten by a member of his own militia who viewed themselves as carrying out the orders of the Captain of the Guards. Thankfully, Stakud's wounds were only moderate, although he lost substantial blood. The hospital patched him up but were unable to clean his wounds effectively due to the well still not being constructed.

As things settled down the next day, Stakud improved enough to return to work, although he was still dribbling a bit of blood. The other miners saw him as a symbol of hope in such a dark time and redoubled their efforts to increase production of iron for the metalsmiths to equip Stakud's squad, which was freshly renamed the Execution Arm in hopes of future vengeance on the menace within our midst.

Urvad was in over his head and asked me to assist in this puzzle. I retraced the steps of all three victims, who all had bedrooms in our initial burrow, separated from the rest of the population. I also investigated every dwarf again and discovered one who confessed to needing alcohol to get through the work day, but hadn't had any in quite some time. I spend more time inventorying alcohol than any other good in our holdings, so this was an interesting clue. This Dwarf was a worshipper of Sikel Bothonshedim, who you well know as being associated with the moon and just how many dwarves she has cursed. One of them, Kogan Strokesabers, was cursed in 126 to be a vampire.

As is reported in "The Amusement of Amber," a Vampire's true name can be discovered by using their real nickname and by whispering "Vampy" to Kogan Strokesabers, his true identity was discovered, if not revealed. On 18th Slate, we realized that the vampire was none other than Urvad's Dungeon Master, Imush Sazirkilrud. The nature of his expertise in scheming had never been investigated in Urvad's haste to deal with the problem.

On 24th Slate, just as Urvad and I were trying to determine how to move Imush to a safe location, the well was being finished, and we were finally cleaning Stakud's blood from the blood, thundering across our peaceful hills came the scream "The Werebull Etur Godengikut has come!" Crazed for blood and flesh, he immediately tore open Sakzul Thadeshtan and her daughter, Lorbam Godensakzul who were well outside our borders tending to Vucar's beloved beehives. Although they stood no chance, the mother's strength allowed Skakzul to rip Etur's left arm off before succumbing to her wounds. This brief but bloody battle may have saved our fortress. Sakzul's last cry of "Close the gates" caused two mechanics to spring into action, closing our draw bridge and pasture's iron bars while Urzad wept in the corner.

Seeing that Urzad could no longer be trusted to lead, I appointed Imush a militia commander and ordered him to stand guard on the pasture's battlements. This gave him a sense of purpose without tipping our hand to his identity. While Imush stood watch over Etur's running back and forth, Stakud readied his men for battle.

On 15th Felsite, the Captain of the Guard and I officially convicted Imush of the murder of Vucar, now understanding how the justice system works. Sadly, Ushat sentenced Imush to a measly beating, while I advocated death for all the trouble he had caused. Even sadder, Imush did not protest or fight back when he was stripped of his militia commander status and received his beating on 15th Felsite. He promptly returned his borrowed equipment and retreated to a burrow deep in our halls to be watched.

As I observed Imush in his burrow over the next few days, I confess my view of Imush changed. He seemed sad at the deaths he had caused. He was horrified as he thought back to them. It made me realize he may have been cursed to be a vampire, but he was still a Dwarf and had as much self loathing for his actions as we did at him. His respect for the law is what prompted him to accept his punishment for his past and his desire to master a skill opened up a door for his future.

On 17th Hematite, Urvad was removed from office and Kogan Loregen elected to replace him. Kogan immediately banned the export of crowns, declaring that he was not a king and announcing his desire to improve the fortress' defense, production, and medical sectors as the people would desire. As he only knew parts of this story, he then tasked me to document everything.

As of 13th Galena 223, we have separated Imush from the rest of the fortress deep in the mines and given him an exceptional iron pick. For the rest of his time in The Rounded Dawn-Tower, Imush will be mastering the art of mining, following in the footsteps of Stakud. It is not widely known that he is a vampire and sequestering him in his own mine will protect his own privacy as much as the safety of dwarves around him. We are closely interrogating any migrants who join us that worship Sikel Bothonshedim.

Speaking of Stakud, we owe him a debt of gratitude for his inspirational leadership despite our mistreatment of him. Stakud has been appointed the Hammerer as well as a Milita Commander, since he knows what injustice feels like and will not dispense it quickly. He has been moved to the noble's quarters. Aban Tobulgeband continues to develop in the Farming profession and visits the grave of her husband.

As for Etur the Werebull, he disappeared and we keep watch from the battlements in case of his return.

I await any questions  King Rurnomal or you have.

Penned by my hand, 13th Galena, 223
Aban Ushatgatin, Bookkeeper, The Rounded Dawn-Tower

Attachments:
My report on Imush's history: https://imgur.com/Z9aXeG6
A sketch of Imush's future: https://imgur.com/AP5G4Ro



Out of character:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Logged

Superdorf

  • Bay Watcher
  • "Sanity impaired"
    • View Profile

As is reported in "The Amusement of Amber," a Vampire's true name can be discovered by using their real nickname and by whispering "Vampy" to Kogan Strokesabers, his true identity was discovered, if not revealed.

...I laughed so hard

Mind explaining what exactly you did to make this happen? There's an exploit here that's tickling my funny bone mightily. :))

AbanUshatgatin

  • Escaped Lunatic
    • View Profile

Mind explaining what exactly you did to make this happen? There's an exploit here that's tickling my funny bone mightily. :))

It is slightly a spoiler, so I will merely refer to the Wiki page on Vampires (which bears a spoiler warning): https://dwarffortresswiki.org/index.php/DF2014:Vampire. Happy to give specific steps via direct message, if needed. Exploiting a feature is a polite term for it.

Glad you enjoyed!
Logged

Uthimienure

  • Bay Watcher
  • O frabjous day!
    • View Profile

A nicely written report from an interesting and comic perspective!  It made me laugh several times, thanks!
Logged