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Author Topic: The Chronicals of The Dark Shield  (Read 1290 times)

Mephansteras

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The Chronicals of The Dark Shield
« on: May 01, 2008, 11:25:00 am »

I've decided to try my hand at storytelling again. This time with a rather challenging fortress, which sits partially on a range of haunted hills amidst the glaciers of this world. There is no running water, no magma, and the ice isn't thick enough to collapse into an underground reservoir. Which means any injuries are probably going to result in a dead dwarf.

For this story, I've decided to focus a lot on the religion of the people involved.

The Portals of Strength, Dwarves
Worship List
 Tobul, deity: earth
 Dakas, deity: jewels
 Ibel, deity: fortresses, war
 Stettad the Copper Finger, deity: mountains, caverns, wealth, trade
 Limul, deity: courage, suicide, death, murder
 Soshosh, deity: theft
 
Thier Queen - Unib Wheeledmirrored, is a follower of Ibel. A perfect god to have when you're justifying the expansion of the kingdom.

And, of course, I'm planning on having the followers of Limul and Soshosh play a more sinister part of the plot.

I'll also note that I'm using a heavily modded version of the game. So you'll see some new stuff in here. I'll explain anything that I think needs a bit of an introduction.

Now, on to the story...

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Mephansteras

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Re: The Chronicals of The Dark Shield
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2008, 11:26:00 am »

Greetings unto his Grace, Duke of the Eastern Lands

From Priest Strongwall, dedicant of Ibel

Contained herein you will find our report on the first two years here at Umomsodel. All of this was written by a young woman who has been named our chronicler. She seems loyal, and is a solid worshipper of Dakas. Though I'd wished to find a follower of Ibel for the position, she was the most logical choice.

Things progress well, and you have my solemn word that we shall root out the evil of this land, and extend the power the great Dwarven kingdom of Mistem Emen!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I am known as Rune, and in the winter of 1051 I became chronicler of the newest bastion of Dwarven power in frozen lands of the south. The seven who first broke earth here have named it Umomsodle, the Dark Shield. An appropriate name, as we border the western edge of a great haunted land.

It is to the founders of this fortress that all we have accomplished here so far was possible. When I arrived with the first settlers sent here from the mountainhomes, I felt a sense of awe. Standing tall and proud at the base of the foothills, we could see a tall dark tower of stone. It raises four stories above the frozen earth. A testimony to the dwarven capacity for labor, for what other race could accomplish so much in such a short period of time, and with so few to do the work?

The first to be sent here were Lord Blackstar, who manages this fortress. Priest Strongwall of Ibel, who designed the fortifications and did most of the work himself. Deepdelver, miner and mason, for whom we can all thank for our homes in strong bedrock. Forgesinger, mistress of the forge. Darkbolt, hunter and guard against the foul creatures of this land. Alder, woodworker and slayer of harpies. And Goodboots, stout farmer, cook, and brewer whose labors have kept us all well fed.

In their first year, they faced many challenges. From the very beginning, this land challenged them. First, sending a horde of monkeys to harass them as they struggled to make a home in the frozen ground. Darkbolt and the dogs, however, made short work of them, and it turned into a blessing. Fresh meat, and hides to make into bags.

Slowly they carved out a large storage chamber, and a farm to give Goodboots a place to work. As spring moved to summer, they dug deeper, and began to carve out the living quarters in the flint that makes up much of the living rock of the land. Forgesinger, meanwhile, smelt the ores they had brought, and forged many fine crafts to trade with the caravans of the mountainhomes. Later that summer, Darkbolt spotted Ogres wandering the southern hills, and they decided it would be wise to keep close to the tower they were building. Unlike monkeys, Ogres are not to be taken lightly.

As fall set in, and a few weeks before the caravans would arrive, they faced their first true test. A trio of harpies had spotted the tower, and swept down upon them as they started work on a curtain wall to surround the immediate area. Darkbolt struck one down, while two others chased Forgesinger off into the woods. Lord Blackstar and Alder gave chase, wrestling one the ground and hacking at it with their axes. Unfortunately, Alder was gauged by its claws and suffered a punctured lung. Forgesinger, now far from the safety of the tower but only being chased by a single harpy, turned on her assailant. Grabbing its leg, she managed to slam the creature into the ground. Stunned, it was helpless as she pummeled it to death. Alder’s work cutting timber had toughened him, and he survived his injuries, though he still has a wheeze to this day. His lung may never really recover.

The trade caravan showed up a few weeks later, and Forgesingers wares bought enough supplies to last the winter. Our caravan of immigrants arrived a few days later. With enough strong backs, we were able to help finish up the walls around the tower. We now have a secure fortress, with outer grounds for our kennels, butchery, and tanning vats. We also assigned a young dwarf to stand guard. He is now known as Sunbolt, and later that winter he proved his worth.

Once again, Ogres were spotted prowling the southern hills. This time, however, one of them grew bold and approached the front gate. It howled at us, and beat the ground with its fists as a challenge before charging forward. Sunbolt, who was training his marksmanship near the gate, ran forward to defend the fortress. His bolts struck it time and time again, slowing it down as our war dogs and beetles charged it in turn. It was knocked prone by their weight, and torn to pieces. We cannot be sure what actually killed the beast, but Sunbolt was given a toast that night for his efforts. And our war animals all got special treats for their bravery as well. The other Ogre, fearing for its life, fled back to the hills.

The remainder of the winter passed peacefully. Our miners were able to turn their attentions to exploration digs. We found obsidian, and copper. Our stonecrafters began work on swords and trade goods from obsidian. Forgesinger took up her hammer again, and we could all hear her singing the ancient forge songs as she hammered out new bolts, and finely wrought goods for the traders.

As the winter came to a close, we heard great shouts erupt from the mines. “All Praise Tobul! All Praise Tobul”. We rushed down to see what they had found. Pointing excitedly, Deepdelver brought out a hunk of yellowish ore. “Limonite!” He said with a broad grin. Praise Tobul indeed, we’ve struck Iron!

So ends the first year of The Dark Shield.

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Mephansteras

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Re: The Chronicals of The Dark Shield
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2008, 05:59:00 pm »

Spring has arrived, and a new year begun.  With it, a caravan of Elves arrived. They bore with them cloth and food, which we took in exchange for some of the rock crafts that Strongwall created. They wished us luck against the darkness here…pity they’ll do no more then that. But I suppose they have their own concerns, with Bugbears encroaching upon their northern borders.

The spirits of this place seem to have tainted even the wildlife of these hills. A small pack of raccoons snuck into the fortress at night. The dogs managed to drive most of them off, but one seems to have stolen one of our more finely crafted Obsidian swords. We can only sit her and wonder why? And will we see that blade again some day, turned against us? More disturbingly, Songweaver, our resident healer and clothier, spotted a few Ogres out in the hills. She had to sneak past them to retrieve one of our hunters kills. Fortunately, they’re as dumb as they are large, and did not see her.

Despite the forces working against us things here have gone well. Another caravan of migrants has arrived, guarded by two stout Axedwarves. Apparently Mayor Zefon of the magma forges to the northwest has decided we could use some more hands. As his fort was the farthest east before this one, I suppose it makes sense. Regardless, we have 20 more dwarves here in the fort, bringing us up to 35. Small as it still is, this place is starting to feel more and more like home.


---------------

Any interest in me continuing this story?

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Mephansteras

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Re: The Chronicals of The Dark Shield
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2008, 02:07:00 pm »

-- Well, i've decided to do a bit more with this story, even if no one is reading it. Good practice, if nothing else.  ;)

----------------------------------------------------------------

In a letter from Baron Greenstar Uristbomrek to Lord Blackstar Uristbomrek:

Son,

Your mother and I are very proud of your accomplishments in Umomsodel. We have heard good things about your new fortress, and I have every confidence in your ability to battle the evils of that haunted land.

However, I have had some troubling reports that I felt you needed to hear of. There have been whispers of rebellion in the kingdom, and we believe that the followers of Limul and Soshosh are behind it. We have no proof of this yet, but what I have heard in the council chambers lends me to this conclusion.

High Priest Thadolsol of Limul has been pushing for the King to use his armies to crush our enemies, rather then this slow creep of fortresses across the lands. While I personally agree with the King's caution, there is a fair amount of support for Thadolsol's plan within the military. And the followers of Limul seem to be behind his plan as well, though no one is sure what gain they see in it.

Regardless, we've heard stories of sabotage in one of the western outposts. I'd advise you to keep a sharp eye out for any suspicious activity in your own fortress. There may be dwarves in your fort that are willing to see it fall, and may work actively to that end.

Take care, and may Tobul give you the strength to persevere.

(signed with the signet of Baron GreenStar)

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Mephansteras

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Re: The Chronicals of The Dark Shield
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2008, 05:49:00 pm »

So far, Summer has been quite eventful! Jade, a jeweler who arrived just this spring, has been quite excited about a few gem pockets the miners found. And Forgesinger and the new blacksmiths are even more excited about the rock that the gems were found in; marble. Apparently we can start making steel! This has cheered Lord Blackstar quite a bit, who has been worried about something ever since he received a letter from the mountainhomes. He has not seen fit to confide in any of us, however, so all we can go on is speculation.

He seemed to be cheered by the arrival of some High Elven merchants who arrived with wagonloads of goods and exotic animals from the north. We had all been very excited about the wondrous things they had brought with them, and there was a sense of pride in the entire fort as they praised the workmanship of our goods. However, the sense of good cheer evaporated when their head merchant exploded in fury, holding up a tiny groundhog skull totem that had somehow slipped into the bins waiting to be traded. He raged about our cruelty to living creatures, and ordered the wagons to reload and leave. Dejected, we set about returning our trade bins to the stockpiles. How could that have been overlooked? Lord Blackstar was furious about the lapse, especially since he’d specifically ordered that anything made of bone or shell was to be kept out of sight of the elves while they were here. I have started hearing mutterings of incompetence, even sabotage, and many of the veteran residents have started giving the newcomers hard looks and even a few harsh words.

Strongwall has kept everyone working hard, however, and we’ve had little time to gossip. Guided by the wisdom of Ibel, he has found a way to get fresh water from the ice flows of this land. A great engineering project was undertaken to drop a large section of ice deep underground, where it can be melted and stored at a stable temperature. It took a great deal of effort, but we now have a source of fresh water. Songweaver was especially pleased to hear this. Apparently, she thinks that fresh water could be used to help Alder’s wounds heal. Regardless, it is always a source of pride for the whole Fortress when such a large endeavor is completed.

Our military has been equally busy, with Blackaxe and Redaxe training some of the new arrivals. We’ll need a strong army if this fort is to succeed. Sunbolt has also been joined by a few other dwarves at the archery range, including an aspiring hunter named Hawk. We haven’t seen any Ogres in a few weeks, but we’ll all be glad to have a few more guards around in case they come back.

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