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Author Topic: The Weary Warriors: Histories of Resignation and Rally  (Read 7379 times)

Mobbstar

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Re: The Weary Warriors: Histories of Resignation and Rally
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2023, 11:15:36 am »

Chapter 9: Foil

110 Sa 26
Asml has been longing to worship Mišar Kirar again.  Of course, he could simply pray every now and then, like the rest of us do.  But to the deity of persuasion, true worship cannot be done alone.

Dodk hesitated due to inexperience.  Tosirid faintly recalls that the convent does not teach "ignoble forms" such as Quips.  Six syllables for context, then eight for content, then a pointe in four.  I've given Dodk examples I had heard elsewhere, and she got the hang of it quickly.  With a better vocabulary, she could pass as a regular tavern speaker.

Darikon eagerly joined and demonstrated an impressive collection of metaphors, some of which relate to his artefact spike.  Owing to my lack of weaponry knowledge, I merely understood it is a sword optimised for thrusting.  As for form, I couldn't help but point out when he had miscounted syllabels.  Amusingly, he barked back with the correct amount.

Meanwhile, Asml skillfully retold our adventures so far, earning many laughs and much acquiescence.

Tosirid and I listened intently the entire time.  We did not participate, but the audience was much appreciated.  In stark contrast, Čogon actively commentated.  His strong ideas about improving the art-form, while not bad per se, entirely disregard the tradition behind it, and were politely dismissed.

At some point, Ustir made the mistake of expressing her boredom.  What she meant is that she does not understand Deep-dwarvish.  (This language barrier is part of why I write these histories in Commontongue, lest somebody worries I write ill of them.)  To Asml, the comment meant an insult against his profession and his faith.  I shall refrain of detailing his response.  We are now working to reconcile the two dwarves.

110 Sa 27
All seems fine, thankfully.  Asml acknowledged the misunderstanding once he had calmed down.  He apologised to Ustir, and she reluctantly reciprocated the attitude, going as far as to phrase her reply as a rhyme.  It wasn't a good rhyme, but it got the point across, and that is all that matters.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2023, 10:42:28 am by Mobbstar »
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Mobbstar

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Re: The Weary Warriors: Histories of Resignation and Rally
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2023, 12:29:48 pm »

Chapter 10: Reckoning

Music Recommendation: Antonio Vivaldi - L'estate III Presto


110 Ti 10
The new stilt houses withstand the constant barrage of water better than our initial shelters do.  It seems the bog is saturated by now, as puddles grow and coalesce into ponds.  Amst fears the water level will rise, and the huts would sink into the soil.  We have no plans to act on this, though we are preparing wood for quick scaffolding and elevated platforms.

110 Ti 18
Sksl nearly died today.  She went out to top off our food stockpiles and got stuck in the ground.  Every attempt to move made her sink deeper.  Shouts barely made it through the noisy precipitation.  By the time we had boards down and rope to pull her out, she was chest-deep.  In the end, this only cost us a pair of boots and many nerves, but one cannot count on such luck.  We shall not stray from Ritharthikthog anymore.

110 Ti 25
I am running out of dry space for writing.  The huts are a lost cause, but we're attempting to turn the rooves into platforms, connected by simple walkways and covered by planks and empty barrels as to keep some supplies merely damp - as opposed to waterlogged.



110 Mo 19
In the midst of the pouring rain, slim boats glid on the flood.  We had not noticed them until one came directly towards us.  Its two occupants must've noticed the desperate constructions, our struggle not to sink into the clear depths and the murky morass beneath.

The unexpected visitors were elves.  And they were aghast, seeing the outpost up-close.  We do not understand their language, and they soon assumed a sharp variant of Commontongue.  "What sordid place is this?!"  Sksl had the courage to take initiative, and stepped out.  "This is the dwarven settlement Ritharthikthog."  "Dwarves?!  Why did you come here and deface the swamp so?"  Sksl stammered about the broken wagon wheel, and Asml took charge by cracking a joke about the horses.  It wiped the furrows off elven foreheads.  After an inquisitive look towards the animals, the visitors apologised for their offensive introduction and asked to land their boats for a while.  "Be our guests!  But we have no land, only shallows."

It turns out the winter in this swamp is always excessively rainy.  The elves come every year to harvest some of the wild plants that sprout and flourish in this weather.  They told us how to prepare rice (the pond grain), what tubers are edible, which shrubs make cloth, how to brew so-called tea steep, which animals to watch out for when and where, and most important of all, they scolded us for clear-cutting the area.  Apparently the roots would've helped keep the ground stable, which seems obvious in hindsight.

Conversely, we explained the situation in the north, our purpose and misadventure here, and what life in the mountainhalls is like.  These elves are unrelated to the ones in the valley and have never seen a dwarven community before.  Neither had they heard of the Conflict of Clouting, which Mattl told with straight face and bone-chilling detail.  Though I don't think the elves quite believe it.  We also informed them of the various kinds of stones and ores known to us, described how a forge works and why the human empire of the east cannot compete with our metalsmithing.  sn overcame her usual diffidence to demonstrate gypsum casts and obsidian tools.

I brought up our discoveries regarding the soil.  Though the elves know little about it, they call the flammable stuff peat.  We promised not to disturb the ground much, and given our guests' wisdom and experience with the swamp, we intend to keep this promise.

Finally, relations were good enough that we exchanged some goods before parting ways.  Despite their expressed purpose of gathering food, the elves had lovely toys with them.

Unfortunately, I could not write anything down during their stay, because they would've frowned upon our use of vellum if they had recognised it as cow skin.


Deluges are not implemented in DF directly.  Using DFHack, you can spawn a "range" of "static" water.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2023, 02:36:42 pm by Mobbstar »
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Mobbstar

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Re: The Weary Warriors: Histories of Resignation and Rally
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2023, 10:38:58 am »

Chapter 11: Alone With Everyone

Music Recommendation: Micheal Mearns & the Monday Mornings - I Await


110 Mo 24
There is nothing to do but hope and be patient.  We have two stilt houses with barely enough space to accomodate all dwarves and animals, and flooded huts holding our supplies on their rooves.  I've counted inventory twice:  This should be enough to survive the deluge and restock in spring.

110 Op 01
There is nothing to do but tell old stories and repeat prayers.  For the first time in at least one year, I find myself truly bored.  At least the elven toys help the children stay occupied.  gboth and Il don't seem to play nice with each other, but Detam can put up with either.

110 Op 08
The weather wears us down.  By now, almost everyone has caught a cold.  Tosirid, Čogon and Il are down with a fever.  Luckily we have no shortage of drinkable water.  sen confessed she is a doctor for injuries, not disease, and thus cannot help them any more than the rest of us can.

Bb and sen grew up in the valley.  She was a digger until she found her calling after a mound collapse.  The pair moved to the town Moblab to help those humans recover from harpy attacks, and stayed for a few years.  Detam was born there.

Unsurprisingly, they decided not to raise their child in a place so dangerous, and that she should grow up among dwarves.  Hearing of a new successful settlement, one lacking medical dwarves, gave them the final push to move.  The stories couldn't have prepared them for this natural disaster.

110 Op 15
It is getting perplexingly difficult to keep track of the date.  The days meld together and each morning I cannot recall if I made a mark for the day yet.

Sleeping between horses and the sick is exhausting.  As Ustir put it, we wouldn't have the energy to do anything even if there were anything to do.

110 Op 26
Much of the past days has been a mere drizzle.  Could the rains finally be ceasing?  Even so, I fear the obsidian beneath will prevent any drainage, for however far it stretches.  Watching the water level slowly lower will be agony.  Darikon is in denial about this and insists we discuss it no more.  Everyone else found a seat somewhere between expectant and miserable.

I am considering to write as a pastime, but at this point I fear the children would ravage the vellum if they knew where it is.  They have already annihilated the toys and threaten to dismantle houses if we cannot entertain them.  We can hardly entertain ourselves anymore!

110 Ob 08
Asml snapped.  Bb has been lazily drumming a barrel like an improvised instrument until Asml threw it out into the blue.  I told him to "cut it out", to which he replied "Gladly!  Ustir, toss me the axe!"  He was probably just setting up a joke, but Ustir mumbled a cautious "uh nu-uh".  She looked scared, and Asml must've noticed, because he dropped the topic.

But he was still riled up, so he turned on his heels and proposed a ban on unskilled music-making, with no shortage of vulgarity.  Tosirid began a response but derailed and babbled to herself.  Darikon joked that "Asml just wants to keep all the music to himself."  I saw a glimmer of truth in that, and called him out for making up rules that don't apply to himself.  Darikon pulled back, not wanting to be involved in an argument.  His wife Mattl did the opposite.  "Bromek can sing, too!  Why don't you two brawl it out?  Whoever has a working windpipe gets the right to music."  She seemed eager to throw some punches.  I was halfway with her on this, despite my usual self.

Rabl came from the other house and told us to "Calm down.  Is anybody hurt?"  Only then I noticed sen sobbing in Bb's arms, and Tosirid's nervous twitching.  My memory fails me.  Apparently I repeatedly apologised until Ustir set me down.

The Weary Warriors should not be fighting each other.  How much longer must we hold out?

King Zultan

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Re: The Weary Warriors: Histories of Resignation and Rally
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2023, 03:43:59 am »

Dang things seem to be getting quite desperate here, hopefully the water starts to recede quickly.
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Mobbstar

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Re: The Weary Warriors: Histories of Resignation and Rally
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2023, 01:44:05 pm »

Chapter 12: Emergence Season

110 Ob 14
Mattl has gained weight during winter and shrugged it off as lack of activity, but at this point there is no denying her pregnancy.  Both her and Darikon seem unsure how to feel about it, but sn volunteers as midwife.

110 Ob 23
Our plans for the coming year are taking form.  Spring will be spent recovering from the flood and restoring our stocks, though Amst believes there will be little to recover.  Either way, housing and supplies should be in order by summer, when we shall attempt piercing the earth properly.  Autumn will see whatever preparations be necessary for winter, when we hope to make crafts and celebrate.

111 Gr 05
At long last, it is shallow enough to walk on our old paths.  Without having to fear alligators, that is.  While we cannot begin work just yet, some time alone is much sought after by all.

That said, Ustir couldn't wait any longer and is already beginning to scrap the old huts.

111 Sl 16
A third stilt house stands, while a platform holds plenty of supplies.  Tosirid even found the barrels we had buried last summer.  The first we lifted contained swamp water, but the second remained tight.  A fine drop does much for the mood.

Mattl has decided to stay at Ritharthikthog.  Asml pointed out to me that she had only ever smiled at jokes before.  Now she seems genuinely hopeful.

111 Sl 27
Darikon is placing demands for safety and protection.  While Dodk agrees with the measures, she believed he is taking his own child more serious than the others.  Her dismay earned a snappy response, but Dodk did not yield so easily, and neither did Darikon.

Eventually he admitted "I've already lost a child to monsters.  I will not lose another one."  Then he explained, with tears in his eyes, why Mattl and he left:  Their son, a gnome of three years, had been eviscerated during a harpy attack a year earlier.  Darikon bore witness to it all, and eventhough the creature has been struck down, life has been miserable to the couple since.

The only attractive thing about this outpost was how far it is from the Entrancing Mountains and all bad memories there.  Now they remember life goes on, and recognise the danger of this treacherous soil and its denizens.  We agreed to not let the children stray beyond our supervision, especially not alone.

111 Fe 21
One of the houses collapsed thanks to gboth picking the foundation apart.  Though uninjured, he is currently getting scolded by Dodk.  Whether the child even comprehends this is debatable, but his mother hereby effectively spares him of Čogons scorn.

Meanwhile, Mattl is doing well and expecting one more month.  Upon sn's request, Rabl and I are preparing soap.

111 He 10
Alongside the rise of the sun, a baby was born this morning.  The Weary Warriors are celebrating Trdm's healthy first day in the legendary lands, here at Ritharthikthog.

Mobbstar

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Re: The Weary Warriors: Histories of Resignation and Rally
« Reply #20 on: January 30, 2023, 10:11:48 am »

Chapter 13: Second Shift

111 He 22
The soil seems dry, therefore we launch a second attempt at mining into the obsidian beneath.  This time, we have knowledge of the groundwater flux, sn's digging experience, and of course her sheer size as well.



111 Ma 15
We have broken into the bedrock and are laying the foundation with the resulting material.  However, our lead miner and Dodak believe they are both pregnant, and therefore cannot continue the physically intense labour.  Clearly, they made good use of the reclaimed space and privacy in spring.

111 Ga 03
Apparently, Id and Okol's caravan told the story of Ritharthikthog all across the clan.  22 dwarves arrived today, more than doubling our population.  They have been inspired by the flourished words, humbled by the dreary assessment, and encouraged by our perseverance.

Among the flurry of praise slipped a "boldness to defy the queen's orders".  We have been assured this was not meant in a rebellious way, but yet we fear our queen Inet may take such rumors amiss.  Sending a messenger to mend relations may be wise, if only we could spare any pair of hands here.  The new arrivals are great succour, and though we will be hard-pressed for appropriate accommodations, this may bring the strength to finish our excavation.

I'll be honest, most of these people are miserable in some way or another.  The "weary" in Weary Warriors has gained a much wider meaning.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2023, 01:46:15 pm by Mobbstar »
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Mobbstar

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Re: The Weary Warriors: Histories of Resignation and Rally
« Reply #21 on: February 06, 2023, 01:47:39 pm »

Chapter 14: Extradition

Music Recommendation: I Monster - She's Giving Me The I


111 Ga 05
Two nights passed and I still haven't talked to every new arrival.  Bb and Dodk manage to maintain some semblance of order as we try to accomodate and employ them all.

Ritharthikthog needs a mayor at this point, and Asml rose to the occasion until we can hold a proper and informed vote.  While he doesn't seek or accept help with the position per se, he doesn't enforce decisions either, rendering his title neither de-jure nor de-facto.  That said, I appreciate what he does.

Amst does not want to be seen as a guard of the pantry, therefore we agreed I will maintain official stock records from now on, kept separate from these histories.

111 Ga 08
A human has arrived.  We do not understand his language, but he was armed with a longsword and shrouded with frayed purple cloth.  Now that he has calmed down and holstered his weapon, Asml and I are trying to find out---

As I was writing, the gallop of horses drew near.  Twelve humans, armed with whips and swords, rode a circle around Ritharthikthog.  Our earlier guest fell quiet and hid in the excavation site.

One woman, by the name Jee, was fluent in Commontongue and explained that they were chasing the bandit Pum-Pik.  He had been stealing livestock and even murdered a herder to that end.  The thought of a murderer hiding among the children was blood-chilling, but Jees manner of speaking was also disturbing.  Her tone was vicious, never soft nor grieved.  The wide brim of her hat was upturned at the sides, but downturned at the front, giving her eyes a menacing contour against the summer sun.

Then she asked "You don't happen to know exactly where he is, will you?"  With only two armed dwarves, we were vastly outnumbered, yet they made no direct demand.  Perhaps they had heard rumors of what a martial trance can do to a dwarfs opponents, without knowing that neither Amst nor Sksl are capable of such feats.  Asml is, and in a stroke of genius proclaimed "A criminal must be judged.  Assemble the ting!"

Of course that was a bluff.  We haven't had the time to agree on a ting yet.  But it meant we could stall and discuss our options.  While the humans pieced together what a ting is, the ad-hoc fs of the Weary Warriors consulted.

Immediately, we agreed not to surrender Pum-Pik.  Even if he is a bandit and a murderer, he has so far made a more civilised impression than his persecuters.  We couldn't count on hosting a fair trial ourselves.  All combat scenarios lead to unacceptable risks and casualties.  Some dwarves could join the humans and keep eyes on the matter, but odds are none would be willing to leave with these strangers.

Ultimatively, we agreed to have Asml continue the guise of obtuse dwarven laws, with a dash of merchandise to keep them hooked.  "The human Pum-Pik has been found guilty and sentenced to a year in the dwarven dungeons!"  As we feared, Jee took issue with that, replying "The kaiser won't take that as answer.  We'll take Pum-Pik to the royal jail."  "Hmm, but *dwarven* dungeons have their prisoners make trinkets to repay their debts.  Can we trust you to deliver said trinkets to-"  A man cracked his whip and growled.  Jee translated the wordless message as "He comes with us."  To my surprise, Asml didn't even stutter.  "Very well!  The Empire of the West shall conduct the punishment of Pum-Pik to precisely the intended extent.  We will gladly trade our miraculous metalworks when you return him next year-"  "Return him?!"  "-for the ting to formally conclude the retribution, and handsomely reimburse the kaisers expenses of course!  Just as dwarven law sees to it."

Some of the dwarves overheard this and managed to communicate the gist of the agreement to Pum-Pik, who then voluntarily joined the begrudged but compliant humans.

The Weary Warriors dearly need an audience with queen Inet.

Mobbstar

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Re: The Weary Warriors: Histories of Resignation and Rally
« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2023, 01:38:10 pm »

Chapter 15: Deep Society

111 Ga 11
Finally, all fourty Weary Warriors came together and agreed on the state of the outpost.  Most notably, Asml has been accepted as mayor for a year, until we know each other better.  Amst is militia commander and in charge with assessing who is fit for duty, or at least training.

We also have a ting.  Of the founders, the afforementioned two are illegible and Sksl declined.  The fs are Ustir Otem, Čogon Fikd, Tosirid Fimur, Mattl Geni, Ebodb Sueg, Tuthm Ngkit, and I (Bromek igun).

Our priority remains to secure stone access and underground lodgings.  Tents will suffice for now.

Lastly, a messenger party will venture to the mountainhome while the terrain is still dry.  Three dwarves have been chosen for this:
- Rabl Čatthol, whose urge for descalation is backed by strong convictions and wisdom
- Mlvil Gaml, as she is knowledgable of dwarven law and its roles
- Bromek igun, for my histories may need to be justified, and that is best done by myself and in person[/li][/list]

111 Ga 13
Ustir gave the messenger party a pep-talk before departure.  She desperately wanted to come along, but is sadly not fluent in Deep-dwarvish, so there would be little point to it.



We have spent the first day of the journey discussing what else we plan to do at the mountainhome.  As it turns out, Mlvil is daughter to Councillor Gulonin Mugtak.  Rabl assures me this came up during the conference and I simply missed it.  Mlvil doesn't seem like she would withhold such important information on purpose.  In fact, she eagerly shares personal details and takes gossip in return.

111 Ga 17
This time of year, the green praeries are not as lush as their name suggests. Nevertheless, it is suprisingly pleasant to travel here.  Rabl uses the time to explain his ideas of a fair society.  I doubt they would work, so long as some people still hold more power than others.  Mlvil doesn't seem to care much, but has relevant stories on occasion.

111 Ga 22
It feels good to finally be among mountains and hillocks again.  Everything here seems to be the same as it ever was, for better or worse.

111 Ga 26
Mlvil invited us to her family's hillock for the night.  Councillor Gulonin was there and treated us well.  Two of Mlvils siblings - out of eight total - were also there.  Warm welcome was followed by warm supper, alongside stories of Ritharthikthog.  It would have been cozy to the point of bliss, were it not for some backhanded compliments and odd remarks.

Mlvil said she came to Ritharthikthog out of curiosity and to meet new people.  But now it sounds more like she tried to escape the expectations of her family.  At 53 years of age, she is still unwed and has no career besides some forestry.  The role of outpost representative earned her some respect, but still not enough to compare to everyone else's success.  No trade volume, no renowned skill, nobody at her command.

I admittedly played along more than I have any right to, bearing no notable achievements to my name.  Eventually Mlvil excused herself up the ladder.

"Think she's off to sob again?"  Gulonin answered with but a disappointed sigh.  Rabl hadn't said anything, but his plea was clear in the look he gave me.

For the record, she was not sobbing.  The two of us talked out of earshot.  "Don't take the teasing to heart, Ml.  Some shrooms take their time to fruit and that is fine."  "I'm not 'taking my time'.  I *could've* done more, gone deeper, take the gold.  I just didn't bother to break the obstacles.  I'm lazy..."  "Really?  You carried your weight during our whole journey.  Literally, and also in labour.  Getting firewood is not lazy."

"But I give up when work gets hard.  Same reason I stayed home one more year:  So I wouldn't have to work hard founding Ritharthikthog."  "Heh, you missed out on a winter of doing precisely nothing.  ...Look, your family is used to hot metal glowing, but dark metal can singe just the same."  That cheered her up a bit.

"When we meet Inet, can you back me up? Like that?"  "Of course!  I will cite the histories and assert the facts while you lead the discourse.  And should things get tough, have Rabl take stance."

Now I sit here, hastily writing this while Mlvil is down there, saving face.  Tonight might turn out to be practice for the audience, and I will play my part as promised.

Mobbstar

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Re: The Weary Warriors: Histories of Resignation and Rally
« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2023, 12:44:10 pm »

Chapter 16: Burden of a Clan



I am not yet happy with the audience chapter, so have this drawing in the meantime.  Honestly, my schedule is generally difficult right now, in part due to the upcoming 7DRL.  I will take a few weeks off.  Sorry to the three and half people who are reading these when they come out.  Consider it a season finale.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2023, 12:47:04 pm by Mobbstar »
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brewer bob

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Re: The Weary Warriors: Histories of Resignation and Rally
« Reply #24 on: February 24, 2023, 10:48:50 am »

Take your time with the updates, no pressure. Been enjoying it this far (and liking the art too!).

Good luck with the 7DRL!

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Re: The Weary Warriors: Histories of Resignation and Rally
« Reply #25 on: February 25, 2023, 03:30:06 am »

Good luck with the game you're making.
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Make sure not to step on any errant blood stains before we find our LIFE EXTINGUSHER.
but anyway, if you'll excuse me, I need to commit sebbaku.
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Mobbstar

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Re: The Weary Warriors: Histories of Resignation and Rally
« Reply #26 on: September 18, 2023, 01:51:42 pm »

That was a long "few weeks" of hiatus, but I wrapped various things up. The 7DRL was a success (fifth place!).

As for the Weary Warriors, I have plotted some narrative goals as well as made efforts to raise the general quality standard. Shyllelagh generously volunteers to beta read. All in all, glad to be back at full steam!

The dialogue is best formatted on my website, I hope it is readable here too.



Chapter 17: Superior Schemes

111 Li 01
The capital welcomes us into its busy halls.  Sunrise has little meaning within the earth, but the queen should be awake roughly when foreign diplomats are.  Her aides will grant us entry in a few hours, when daily business has concluded.

While we were waiting, I have gathered news to share at Ritharthikthog.  Rabl ran into one of the caravan guards from last year and made sure we can depart with them tomorrow.  Or rather, he made Mlvil make sure of it.  I am starting to see why he married Dodk.

Time flows frustratingly slowly.  It is certainly after noon by now, and our esteemed queen Inet is still occupied with other duties.  Nobody has crossed the door since I returned to here.  The aide assures us her work is very important, even compared to our news.

There is commotion among the servants now.  Hooded scribes are hauling records in and out, pertaining to whatever took this long, or to Ritharthikthog.  The day is almost over, and we are only about to begin our audience.

I will write along, and afterwards translate to Commontongue for those who need it.

---

Ml:  Well met, your glorious sagacity.
Inet:  Well met.  Take seats.
Brom:  May I take notes during the audience?
Inet:  You may.  I would offer a scribe, but I believe you prefer to write by your own hand, Boromek.
Ml:  It's "Bromek".
Brom:  Either is fine.

Inet:  I see you count Mlvil among your friends.
Ml:  I moved to Ritharthikthog earlier this year.
Inet:  Fascinating.  Given they have sent you back to here so soon, I take it no timber is needed for housing anymore?

Ml:  The state of accomodations is Bromek?
Brom:  Unfortunately, there was a months-long deluge.  The Weary Warriors spent most of the early year repairing and are now securing stone access.
Ml:  Yes.  Once a flood-proof entrance is in place, we can spare efforts on huts.  If we were to do it the other way around, the next deluge would drown our miners and leave us unable to build all winter.
Inet:  I understand.  Boromek, you should copy and distribute the current extent of Ritharthikthog's histories, lest more dwarves migrate unprepared.

Brom:  About the histories  I had written
Ml:  There was some confusion about the Weary Warriors' alignment.  We assure you only good intentions and will co-operate in eliminating any misunderstandings and rumours among the populance.
Inet:  Your efforts are appreciated.  However, I know you meant no disobedience.  The caravan brothers Id and Okol, as they chose to name themselves asked for my explicit permission to spread this rumour.
Ml:  Forgive my ears?
Inet:  It was the perhaps only good idea they pitched.  By suggesting vague recalcitrance without specifics, the outpost has attracted dwarves who are unhappy with the clan, but too like-minded or terrified to join the Tenacity Of Stasis or the Ivory Kingdom Of The East.  These exact dwarves then learnt the hardships of venturing beyond orderly fortresses and safe hillocks.
Brom:  To what purpose do you want this?
Inet:  You may not have noticed, but many dwarves set out for Ritharthikthog and turned back.  They are now more thankful than ever, and participate in the clan with renewed fortitude.  Those who finished the journey may find happiness, but also merit in leadership, however localised.  Sooner or later, they will have to come to terms with it.
Ml:  I don't know what to make of this.  Rab?  Rabl?
Rab:  Um  I  It's not  *entirely* honest, but  fair enough.

Brom:  Are you not worried about the presumed cult of the colossi?  What if it instigates a revolt?
Inet:  Whence it may or may not exist?  I doubt it.  My scouts have yet to find a trace of it.  At this point, I am inclined to believe the rock-man that sparked this scare was alone and as ancient as the colossi.

Ml:  Alright, but we have yet to discuss the actual reason for the audience.
Inet:  I was told you met humans.
Ml:  Riders of the Empire Of The West.  They were chasing a man who feared for his life, and threatened us if we didn't hand him over.
Inet:  Why were they chasing the man?
Brom:  They called him a bandit, but we couldn't hear his side of the story because he didn't speak our language.
Inet:  You sided with a bandit on grounds that he was too menial even for Valleywords?
Rab:  A cold-blooded murderer would have taken shelter by force, not begged strangers for asylum!
Inet:  Bandit and murderer, as well.  Please tell me you didn't attack the riders.
Brom:  Of course not.
Ml:  We gave them the man, on the condition he'd come back next year.
Inet:  By "he" you mean you invited the riders to return, too?  This is not solving the problem, only stalling for time at the cost of good relations.
Ml:  They promised to let him go when we give them mere crafts.
Inet:  Am I to understand you not *only* taxed the riders' patience, *and* failed to let the man free, but *also* intend to *reward* them for this mess?!
Ml:  We, um
Brom:  This whole promise founds on a ting judgement.  If we just tell them the council overrules
Inet:  We are not assembling the council for this!  Hng

Inet:  How many capable fighters does Ritharthikthog have?  How many can it arm?
Brom:  Just two, to my knowledge.  On both accounts.
Inet:  I shouldn't be surprised.  I won't misplace my faith in those peddlers again.  You'll be accompanied by whatever military-dwarves can leave the valley on such short notice.  Do what you can to stretch your resources and accomodate them.
Ml:  Gladly.
Inet:  Make stone crafts, baubles as heavy and bulky as possible, to encumber the humans without giving away actual value.  Whatever does have value, retain for bilateral trade.  Do not give them a bugbats toe without something in return.  Any demands placed in the name of the Empire Of The West, defer to me.  Have I made myself crystal-clear?
Ml:  Yes, your glorious sagacity.
Brom:  Yes, your glorious sagacity.
Rab:  Yes, and thank you, your glorious sagacity.
Inet:  I will send messengers for the military-dwarves now.  This audience is concluded.

---

Mlvil says she has never heard the queen veer off formal speech like this.

111 Li 02
Queen Inet was right about the caravan.  They wouldn't have brought much military equipment had I not told them to.  I have also taken the liberty to request various kinds of clothing, because the soggy hole in my shoe reminded me to.

111 Li 06
While the queen's advice was certainly helpful, the military-dwarves are no more skilled nor better equipped than Amst and Sksl.  Still, we appreciate any reinforcements.

Perhaps most useful, however, is a gift from the Shipdip Library of Wisdom.  One of my peers copied the Empire's section from a vocabulary index.  We should be able to lead a rudimentary discussion with Pum-Pik come summer.

For now, the Weary Warriors must prepare.

brewer bob

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Re: The Weary Warriors: Histories of Resignation and Rally
« Reply #27 on: September 19, 2023, 02:38:00 pm »

Congrats for the fifth place!

That was a long "few weeks" of hiatus, but I wrapped various things up.

Sometimes a few weeks turns out to last a bit longer.

In any case, nice to see this one back!

King Zultan

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Re: The Weary Warriors: Histories of Resignation and Rally
« Reply #28 on: September 20, 2023, 04:56:50 am »

Congratulations for getting fifth place!
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The Lawyer opens a briefcase. It's full of lemons, the justice fruit only lawyers may touch.
Make sure not to step on any errant blood stains before we find our LIFE EXTINGUSHER.
but anyway, if you'll excuse me, I need to commit sebbaku.
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Mobbstar

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Re: The Weary Warriors: Histories of Resignation and Rally
« Reply #29 on: September 25, 2023, 10:38:21 am »

Chapter 18: Finding Rhythm

Music Recommendation: Real Estate Out Of Tune


111 Li 18
After over a month, I set foot in Ritharthikthog again.  Asml received us with joy and jest, and is currently trading with the caravan.  Rabl is with Dodk and the children.  Mlvil is reporting to Amst and the fs as she meets them.  Tosirid volunteers to show me what happened in my absence.

I had dampened my expectations, knowing full-well there would be no miraculous leap in progress.  However, many things have been accomplished, just not the ones we needed the most.

Additional shelter has already been assembled, though not to Čogon's standards and not elevated.  It is somewhat upsetting to see good wood used for what will be waterlogged beyond habitability in a few months.

On that note, sealed obsidian walls extend to the surface level, soon to reach even higher and form a dam in time for the annual flood.  Peat has been harvested during the construction, and is now piled in a pit silo lovingly titled "Ivory Dragon's Chamberpot".  While some dwarves wish to burn it as an anniversary spectacle, we should keep a supply for practical uses, and I would put some aside for experiments.

Some dwarves evaded construction labour, but at least took care of some other duties, such as cooking.  Their "Sorry-I-slacked-off"-stew tastes good.

111 Li 25
The newest residents have prompted conflicting opinions.  Some are glad to have proper guards, while others are wary of the "queen's dwarves".  It doesn't help that Thiknas, a troll barely of age all the guards are strikingly young, threw a fit about the poor conditions here, as though she couldn't have expected this from a new outpost.

Asml put in some good words for the guards and for Ritharthikthog.  However, other problems demanded his attention too.  Bb told me about one such problem:  The new miners, Sstegk Movath and Fastis Bukzatd, are not working.  The former walks off to help with constructing huts instead, and the latter is mostly sitting around grumpy and drunk.  It is unacceptable to leave urgent physical labour to sen while she is carrying a child.  There aren't even any other doctors to stitch her back together if she pops.

111 Li 28
Be it age or alcohol, getting through Fastis' stupor is futile.  She understands what we say, even if we have to spell out the implications.  But she quickly loses any motion we set her in.

Sst claims to be going where labour is needed.  When I started disassembling and denying that argument, he instead insisted on doing what he is best at.  This, too, seems unlikely, given we asked everyone what they enjoy before giving out jobs.  The ensuing assertions were even less founded.

I have seen this kind of reasoning in a few new scholars at the Shipdip Library of Wisdom.  They begun research with vivid dreams of making a great discovery within weeks.  None succeeded.  Instead of employing patience and thoroughly analysing their subjects one part at a time, they made up excuses and ridiculous conspiracies.  Unfortunately, I do not know how to guide someone out of such folly.

111 Sa 01
Tosirid took Sstegk aside this morning to admire the obsidian bulwark that withstands autumn showers so far.  Something about his attitude changed.  Fastis made a passing remark about "great halls", but then joined Sst in silently swinging a pick.

By the time I arrived, their morale was already waning again.  Simply cheering them on did nothing.  As a last effort, I thanked them for the single chunk of obsidian their work has yielded.  While hauling it away, a pick shanty came to mind.  Somehow, those two lines are all it took to rekindle Fastis' spirit.  Her out-of-tune warble in turn got Sst chirping with renewed determination.

Bb checks the tunnel occasionally to validate progress and encourage them.  Asml taught them more quips and shanties, to profound effect.

The Weary Warriors work best with cheer.




While I fancy the hatch-shaded pencil drawings, flat digital drawings are faster and more fun to me, so I will default to that from now on.
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