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Author Topic: Tales from Roughearth.  (Read 1763 times)


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Tales from Roughearth.
« on: April 22, 2020, 01:14:45 pm »

Roughearth is so far my third and most successful fort, lasting a total of three in-game years and having progressed to a total of 69 inhabitants! I'll make a proper post on Roughearth soon enough (and an ongoing project with it) but for now I'm going to talk about one of those inhabitants. A thresher by the name of Durbisol Avuzam.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Durbisol's the one in the bed, and boy has he had a turbulent history. As has Roughearth as a whole! Now it's worth talking about the Dining Hall Massacre of 252. This was back when Roughearth was starting out, being a fort in its first two years of infancy. But by that point it had gathered approximately 40 inhabitants and was doing pretty well for itself. No bronze, traps, drawbridges nor militia yet, but the people were content and happy. Up until one night, a dreaded Werepanther appeared on the horizon. His name lost to history, but his actions having lasting impacts on the fort.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

This was the very spot where it happened. The massacre began when the Werepanther caught sight of two dwarves fleeing for safety into the fortress down below, having been caught out replenishing the plump helmet farm. After ripping them to shreds at the top of the stairs, he leaped down into the hallway directly in front of my dining hall. Twenty dwarves converged on the beast with their fists and whatever else they could find to try and stop the primal menace, and twenty died in their efforts to save the fort. Almost half of my population, gone, replenished only by a migrant wave arriving shortly thereafter--mortified at the sight of miasma billowing out of the fortress as the corpses quickly began to rot in the chaos (AKA me forgetting I had a burrow activated and then my dorfs being idiots and not properly moving the bodies).

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Though a tomb was dug for the dwarves who died in the massacre, some of the dead did not wish to rest quite yet. Three of them came back as ghosts, haunting Roughearth's halls and wailing day in and day out. The stresses were felt by every dwarf...but Avuzam got the worst of it. He had witnessed all these dwarves die, seen their corpses bloated with miasma, the stench burning his lungs as he hauled them towards their tombs. The spirits were eventually banished...but right as that happened, HE HAD A FUCKING TANTRUM.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

The tantrum starts at the green arrow, but it's worth noting the capybara fight beforehand. Incentive for him to learn to fight better? It sure does show here! My breakdown of the fight is as follows:
-Tantrum starts, he begins beating on the miner closest to him, giving her minor (hah, pun) injuries.
-Tries to grapple her for a necksnap, she rolls away and he flies into an even greater fury.
-Starts throwing punches everywhere, hitting a hen, a drake, and almost hitting an armorer.
And then THIS happens:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

You can see it in the main tantrum logs, but this's what it looked like from Urist McGlassbone's POV. Literally just walking along and a fist flies out of nowhere, punches him in the neck and severs an artery, causing him to bleed out and die. Then Durbisol goes BACK to fighting another hen and a carpenter, bruising HER neck as well. Then he just walked off to a cafeteria to sit down and think about his life while someone else hauled Urist McGlassbones off to be buried. I later took a closer look at Durbrisol's thoughts and found something pretty touching. Notice the cyan and pink near the middle of his thoughts.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

"Values tranquility and a peaceful day" due to a friend dying in the Dining Hall Massacre of 252. And yet here he was, with a murder on his hand and just having attacked his fellow dwarves. He's a novice wrestler by now, I'm going to do my best to get him into better spirits while also training him as part of my planned military. I decided to rename him "Durbisol" after the dwarven words for "Peace" and "Fist".  When that Werepanther attack first happened, I was absolutely terrified as I had just lost a young fort in a prior game to a similar assault which ended up infecting some of my citizens. By pure luck, all the people were either dead or unharmed this time around. At least from what the battle report seems to indicate! I'm happy with where Roughearth is ending up and I'm planning to show it in further detail at another time! But for now, that's just one (or two, really) stories from this fortress.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2020, 01:06:58 pm by tehbrandon »


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Re: Tales from Roughearth.
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2020, 11:11:11 am »

Another day, another tantrum in Roughearth! This one managed to be more fun than the last one, though, as it involves a triple murder. As opposed to yesterday's singular neck punch murder. So! Let's get started.

Our perpetrator is one "Ustuh Cilobakmam, herbalist". And let me say that I had no idea what was going on inside this guy's head. I'm not sure how long he's been around for, but I'm assuming his story is much like Durbrisol. Witnessed the Dining Hall Massacre of 252, breathed in quite a bit of miasma in the ensuing body crisis, aaand was haunted by the ghosts of the dead due to their restlessness. Or it might just be that he never had a proper job in Roughearth, herbalists are mighty useful when it comes to planting, using stills and such--but generally I just have any dwarf do whatever they want as long as they just do it properly. Perhaps his talents as an herbalist never truly got to shine?

Point being, this was actually his second tantrum. The first was...pretty short lived. Judging by the fact it took place near the farms, perhaps he got fed up seeing that other people were tending to plots that were rightfully his, and decided enough was enough. So he attacked the nearest person, who happened to be a wrestler in my newfound Dwarven army. The encounter was short, to say the least.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Ustuh lunged for Dobar, hate in his eyes and expressing a fury that had been pent up inside of him for the better part of two years, trying to find some reason to go on after the tragedy in the dining hall, finding no purpose as his job had been stolen from him by other, less talented dwarves. The wrestler immediately rolled away Dark Souls-style, laughed and declared "I was attacked. How exhilarating!" He then proceeded to break both of Ustuh's legs in short order and also his lip. Ustuh rolled around on the floor of the fort's West entrance, kinda just...crying like a baby for a while, sobbing out: "I've been injured badly. I feel hopeless."

I'm not actually sure how he even recovered from having both his legs broken, we had a few crutches lying around and maybe some splints (I recently made a ton more of them in preparation of an actual hospital), but I guess when I was more focused on Operation: Wrong Hole he...slipped away. Evidently, during the few months that I wasn't paying attention to him, he not only got better in terms of health, but also at fighting. As we'll see shortly.

But first! To talk about my fortress's mayor, Bembul Eteskol. He's not that bad of a mayor! He's not a noble, at least, but he's made some...odd mandates. First, he forbid the exporting of breastplates (which I wasn't remotely going to do) then demanded we build breastplate. Which I did for my army. Of course, the pleasing part came in with his quarters.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

I'll show you what his quarters look like in a minute, but when the second tantrum happened, his quarters were on their way to being engraved and smoothened. We'd already put in just about everything he had asked for, so now we had to spiff up the place! Ustuh, Stukos (a blacksmith), Dumed (a bookbinder) and Mebzuth II (an animal trainer) were the ones assigned to actually engrave the place. Though everyone else was content in their duties, Ustuh was not. His inner rage continued to build as he was forced to engrave the walls for a mayor he hadn't even voted for! He hated that smug dwarf, getting such fancy quarters while he was confined to a practical box--with only one cabinet and one chest with his bed.

Ustuh Cilobakmam has gone berserk!

The first one he turned his attention to was Dumed, giving her a variety of blows which caused minor damage, causing Dumed to flee as she cried out "I must withdraw!" and cried out for the guards of the fortress to come intervene. As he turned to the other two dwarves, Mebzuth II attempted to calm him, after all he was acting like an animal! Sadly, his urges were far more sinister than that of any beast. He fell upon her with punch after punch, knocking the woman unconscious quickly due to sheer cranial and spinal trauma. With a sadistic grin, Ustuh stood over his unconscious foe and declared "I've improved my striking." followed by a grimace as he looked down at Mezbuth II. "That was not satisfying." After stomping and punching her to death, he finally turns to Stukos and this exchange occurs:

Ustuh: "Death is all around us. This is truly horrifying."
Stukos: "Death is all around us. I'm not uneasy."

Little did Ustuh know, but Stukos had been around since the fort's initial founding--being one of the first of the migrants in 250. He'd faced a capybara early on, not expecting such a creature to pose any threat, he initially ignored it...until it leaped at him. Stukos panicked, his natural instincts allowing him to best the creature easily. He had the moves of a wrestler, and truly should have been part of The Barricaded Kings, my elite wrestler team. Stukos's talents served him well, though, and rest assured that he did not die in vain.

What followed was a fistfight unlike any other, punches thrown by both parties with enough force to bruise fat, crack bone and tear ligaments and tendons with ease. Still, Stukos held the line, eventually becoming enraged at the prospect of losing this battle. He would not allow himself to let Ustuh leave this room and murder any more innocent dwarves. Just beyond the door were the sleeping quarters, anyone could be a target in their beds. Stukos began to lose his breath, starting to give into pain. But with the last of his might, he delivered a punch straight to Ustuh's gut.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Soon, Stukos fell into unconsciousness, easy prey for the berserk herbalist. Even as he continued to spew bile onto the once pristine floors, now covered in blood, vomit and gore, Ustuh beat away at Stukos's unconscious form, his attention only fixated on his nemesis. Soon entered Mezbuth, a proud axedwarf of The Gilded Doors squad. Seeing Ustuh punching at the almost dead Stukos, Mezbuth tightened the grip on his +bronze battle axe+ and went into the fray, shouting:

"This is my fight too!"

With one sweep of the axe, Ustuh fell to the ground, his left foot five feet away from his body--stump leaving a trail of blood on the ground as he crawled to Stukos's body, frothing at the mouth, utterly absorbed in his contempt for the blacksmith. To try and stop the attacks before the could go any further, Mezbuth took another swing, removing his right arm from his body. And still, he continued, not even being struck with the flat of the axe, shattering his knee, would prevent him from beating his foe while they were down. Realizing that the herbalist's vendetta would not be stopped regardless of life and limb, Mezbuth raised the axe and brought it down onto Ustuh's torso.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Pushing the two halves of Ustuh's body off Stukos, Mezbuth crouched down by the blacksmith. Sadly, Stukos had not survived the fight, but in their last moments in Roughearth, Stukos had saved his fellow dwarves from certain death at the hands of an insane herbalist whose mental state had long been ignored. As other dwarves came to investigate the situation, Mezbuth pondered as they stood up from the blacksmith's fallen form.

"How fleeting life is... Begone fear!"

Bembul did get his decent quarters, after the blood had been washed out, vomit cleaned up, and bodies hauled away to their respectful burials. Last time I saw him asleep in there, he had a guard standing over him. A reminder that his dwarves were not to be underestimated, nor ignored. In their heroics and insanity alike.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Roughearth: Begone, Fear!
« Last Edit: April 23, 2020, 01:07:15 pm by tehbrandon »


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Re: Tales from Roughearth.
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2020, 09:36:56 am »

Roughearth, Fortress of the Imperial Pillars
Current population: 88

The Cavern, part one.
Clockwise: Kogsak, Urist, Sigun, Moldath, Thikut, Vucar.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
The year is 254 and the Fortress of Roughearth is thriving. Its inhabitants have plenty to eat and drink, jobs are constantly on offer to keep the idlers busy and the army has begun to refine its skills in order to one day protect Roughearth. But miles below the earth, its inhabitants make an awe-inspiring and unknowingly terrifying discovery. Mere weeks beforehand, a migrant wave arrived to bring the fort's numbers from 66 to a powerful 88. Morale is high among the new and old alike, even in the stuffy, damp conditions of the mines. The closest beds are about a mile above their heads, with the dwarves working in cramped conditions, marble dust flying into the air with each strike of a pick and rendering visibility to its lowest yet. Still, the dwarves press on in making their tunnels, overjoyed at having found an element of flux.

Urist: "Flux! Praise to the Mountainhome, we've found flux!"
Vucar: "Surely, we're on our way to greatness down here!"
Asmel: "Not quite, I got a larger pat on the back when I helped discover tin ore. The army boys were ready to use copper, mph!"

Once the initial tunnel is dug, the group splits into two--one digging North and the other to the West. The plan is to connect their tunnels halfway through at a right angle, through another Northbound tunnel through the Western one. If there is flux, surely there must be iron! Silver, bronze and leather keep the army going. Yet, steel] would be a gamechanger.

Left to right: Urist, Solon, Feb.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Urist: "Our time to shine! Show those older dwarves what we can do on our own, enh?"

There's only silence from Solon and Feb, they know that the echo of the tunnel carries down to the other shaft--where the rest of the group tirelessly works away at the flux. The trio is diligent in their efforts, not wanting to be seen as a hindrance to the rest of the fort. Especially not Solon and Feb, for their first week in Roughearth they hardly spoke to anyone. And still don't, really. They're good for work, not social interaction--probably the reason they decided to come to Roughearth in the first place. Despite this, you'd never find any two dwarves closer than them.

Left to right, top to bottom: Kogsak, Vucar, Asmel, Sigun. (Vucar + Asmel occupy the same space)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

The opposite corridor is, however, filled with light, cheery singing from Vucar, barely stopping to cough at the marble powder filling the air around them. She carries on in her duty with a blissful attention to her work, Sigun soon joining in the humming--albeit with an added giggle or two as she looks ready to collapse with each weak strike of her pick. A half-there smile draped on her face, teeth showing from her lower lip. Asmel soon walks over as Kogsak carries on in his work in the background, each strike being powerful enough to almost make the tunnel shudder at his force.

Asmel: "You'd best get back to the dormitory, Sigun. These mines are nowhere for one such as yourself to be, you've not got the lungs for it."
Sigun: "Whaaaat?! Ah might not be him-" She gestures with her pick to Kogsak, who merely grunts in response. The pick is taken from her grasp by Asmel as it almost falls from her slack hands. "-but I'm me! And me's good!"
Vucar: "Oh, you sound like a Kobold! Do your best Kobold impression!"
Asmel: "Vucar, go to the North tunnel--they might need your help. Sigun, back to the dorms and send Tosid down."
Sigun: "But Tosid smells like cheese!"

A stern glare from Asmel later and she slumps off with a huff, Vucar skipping along to the North tunnel--humming to herself all the while. Once they're gone, Asmel begins to dig with Kogsak. There's a brief silence between them before Asmel quietly speaks up, less out of worry that the tunnel will echo their noise, and more for his own apprehension at what he's about to say.

Asmel: "About Stukos..."
Kogsak: "Don't bring up Stukos to me."
Asmel: "Maybe you should talk to someone about it? Maybe Mezbuth? He was there when-"
Kogsak: "What does Mezbuth know? They know more about Ustuh than Stukos, he only cares because Stukos made his job easier."
Asmel: "You know that's now how he looks at it! Stukos was a hero, we all think he's a hero!"
Kogsak: "I don't see Bembel making a heartfelt speech about him."
Asmel: "Well that's just Bembel, and may I remind you he got re-elected for, what, the second year in a row now?"
Kogsak: "Would've rather seen Ustuh go at Bembel. Maybe then the guards would've arrived sooner."
Asmel: "Kogsak! Bembel's doing his best for the whole fortress! At least his mandates are reasonable--after all, why would we export breastplates?"
Kogsak: "Bembel'll be doing his best when he's down here, busting his arse like-"

A shrill voice calls from the other tunnel, overflowing with euphoric glee. It's Vucar, Kogsak and Asmel rush over to see what the commotion is about and immediately drop their pics at the sight of what's beyond the tunnel entrance.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Vucar: "It's a cave!"
Asmel: "...right in the middle of our tunnel. Hmh."

After clearing the rest of the tunnel to properly access the cavern, an attempt at surveying the cave is made. The dwarves are stunned by the various bright colors, alien flora and seeming lack of fauna around them. They march on cautiously, picks in hand and heads on a swivel as Asmel and Kogsak take the lead with Urist and Vucar behind them. Solon and Feb refuse to go any further, opting to finish working on the actual tunnel as to have two entrances leading into the cave--one from the East, the other from the South.

Urist: "Eugh. Lots of dead olms around here. At least, I think they're olms. What killed 'em?"
Asmel: "Anything could've done that, probably some kind of cave spider. We'll have to tell the clothiers about this place, they've been looking for a better source for fabrics other than just using whatever plants aren't brewed or eaten."
Vucar: "Ooo, what if we find a man made of plants! A-a plump helmet man! Back at the Mountainhome, they told stories about plump helmet men!"
Kogsak: "Stories. Nothing more. If we're unlucky, we might just find a giant cave spider."
Urist: "...I think we're especially unlucky today."

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

End part one.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2020, 11:04:29 am by tehbrandon »


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Re: Tales from Roughearth.
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2020, 10:42:46 am »

Asmelsheced: "Merchant of carnality" in the Dwarven language.

Bembel's quarters weren't exactly in the ideal location--it wasn't on the surface, near the entrance where he could greet newcomers. Rather, it was in the once-hastily constructed lower dormitory, now housing its own dining hall, forge and stockpile. An ideal location for dwarves to rest, work and eat closer to the mines while still being able to go to the higher levels as they wished. But for now, he had just gotten done speaking to Aban--calling out to the dwarf as they stomped out of his room.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Bembel: "And, no, you cannot fight with a shield, Aban! You need a weapon! Keep me updated on the Barricaded Kings, I look forward to seeing how my elite fighting force will handle itself!"
Aban: "Ahm tellin' yew now, Bembel! Tha Gilded Doors're enough of anh army for ya! Tha Kings ain't even in their armor yet!"
Bembel: "Ah, ah! Yet! As soon as Endok is done with the armor, we'll have them ready for any siege! Besides, Melbil's tunnel has been going swimmingly!"
Aban: "Melbil's fackin' tunnel, it'll weaken ah siege, but we'll be thare tah break it."

As Aban went to storm off, he was almost run down by Tosid--out of breath and covered in marble dust and what looked to be cobwebs. The impact hardly phased Aban, sending a cloud of dust into the air but otherwise not harming the axedwarf. Reaching down, he picked Tosid up off the floor, brushing him off as Bembel walked over.

Bembel: "Ah! Urist, was it? The new arrival? What news do you bring to me? Have you struck...iron?"
Tosid: "N-nay, sir! Th-there's a f-fearsome beast down in tha caves! A-Asmelsheced th-tha dwarves're callin' it!"
Bembel: "So? Go grab Melbil, construct a few traps and the like. I'm sure he'll be able to handle an overgrown lizard!"
Tosid: "W-we went to Udib, s-sir. Melbil's, ah, still workin' on th-the killzone. W-we tried to set up a trap a-and..."
Aban: "Spake slowly, son. Who's injured an' how badly?"

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

 "B-begone...f-fear...o-oh, Mountainh-home, h-help me...b-be...gone f-f...fear...." Thikut lifted a hand off her torso, the glove being covered in a dark, oozing shade of red. She had hidden herself away in a crevice, by the south of the cave. Her, Kol, Tosid and Asmel had been exploring the cavern--following Erith's vague suggestion of setting up a workshop to lure the beast into destroying, then trapping it as it was distracted. She hardly even noticed the crocodile from the corner of her view, more focused on carrying the cage than anything else. It was only when Kol began to wrestle with the beast that she took note of its presence. She felt unbelievably stupid--she'd survived 252 and her life had come to this. Bleeding out in some forgotten corner of the cave.

 "Be...gone...begone...!" She sucked in a hollow breath of air, a hoarse coughing leaving her as her injured lung throbbed in her chest--sending waves of pain through her. Thikut never would get that family, she supposed. At least she'd finally see-

"Wot the bloody hell're you doing, Thikut?" The dwarf sat down next to her, just as she had last seen him. He wasn't any ghost, no, that thing couldn't be called Zefon. She'd heard stories of his spirit, howling in agony throughout the fortress. It's what made Durbrisol so on edge. She'd done her best to comfort the man after what had happened, and it might've just worked. Durbrisol was depressed, often. But whenever he threw a tantrum, he never wounded anyone. He went to the dining hall and sat down. And just...thought.

"I-I'm dying, Zef. This crocodile-"
"Yew survived a bloody werepanther! Twenty dwarves died that day an' you lived!"
"I know! Mountainhome, I know." She paused, looking down at her injuries again with a soft sigh. "I'm hopeless. Everything's been going so well a-and now this. When will it end, Zef...?"
"It won't. But Roughearth is more than ah fortress. It's ah home. Our. Home. An' if you let this home fall 'n' die, then all the sacrifices--my sacrifice...s'all been fer nothin'. Yer gonna live, Thikut. Promise me that."

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

 "We found 'er, Dodok! Grab the cage, I'll get her-" Asmel lifted Thikut up over his should, Dodok picking up the cage with little more than a grunt. Without any further ado, the two dwarves began to make their way to the exit of the cave, with haste. Every now and again, glancing about as though their menace could be hiding in any shadow.

Thikut: "I saw him, Asmel...!"
Asmel: "Quiet now, that's a nasty wound--could've hit your lung."
Dodok: "Who'd you see?" Asmel did his best to shush Dodok, glaring at him as Thikut let out a dreamy, quiet sigh.
Thikut: "Zefon..."
There was silence from Asmel, his glare fading as he almost stopped in place for a moment...before recalling the danger of the location and moving on with the same amount of haste.

Ilral sighed, looking down at the torn leg of his pants and the mauled flesh underneath it. The dwarf sat against the wall of the cave, the stairs mere feet away from him. Yet, he knew that crawling would risk worsening the injury. He'd gotten lucky that the beast hadn't torn an artery, though the current burning pain he was in begged to differ. "Survived a werepanther for this. 'Course none of those bleeders're trying to help me. S'prolly Bembel, him bein' all 'The use of power is just in the hand of me 'cause I can fockin' do what I want'! What a bloody bastard."

He resigned himself to fate, closing his eyes and slumping against the wall, hoping that he could at least bleed out against a nice piece of marble. He felt a tad annoyed, dying against perfectly good flux that he'd never get to craft into steel weapons, armor and so forth. Perhaps he'd finally get to see Limul in the afterlife, laugh at Bembel being a bumbling idiot from up above.  As he felt himself being lifted up, he craned his head upward and opened his eyes--expecting to see Limul guiding him into Dwarfy Heaven, all perfectly healed and in one piece.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Instead, he found himself on the back of none other than Bembel, the mayor huffing as he carried the bulky metalcrafter towards safety. "Still mad at me, Ilral?"
"...aye. Yer still a mayor. Ah hate mayors. An' nobles. An' monarchs. An' expedition leaders-"
"Ilral? We were both new recruits when it happened, weren't we?"
"That massacre, the corpses which piled up on those stairs and in that hallway--the miasma which spewed forth from them...I take it you still remember it all?"
"We shall not have another. So long as I can help it."

Mosus Ivoryearth, marksdwarf, is visiting!
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

End part two of three.


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Re: Tales from Roughearth.
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2020, 11:42:04 am »

The Gilded Doors:
Primary soldiers of Roughearth, axe and speardwarfs designed to take out lightly or unarmored threats

Top to bottom: Aban, Mezbuth, Rith and Kol.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Aban: "Ah can't fockin' stand this waitin' 'round. How many more dwarves hafta get mauled 'fore Bembel does sumthin'?"
Mezbuth: "Hold your tongue, Aban. That marksdwarf is here to slay the beast, he's talking to Bembel now. He'll handle the issue."
Kol: "Just like Udib said his traps would handle it?"
Mezbuth: "We cannot predict the beast's behavior, this slayer should be able to-"
Aban: "Fock it, ah'm gonna go help Udib with 'is traps. Secure tha stairwell 'fore that beast comes up t'us. Begone fear my arse."

Mezbuth watched Aban storm out, Rith just avoiding him and pretending like he was sleeping in his bunk. Kol, however, made to follow, only being stopped by Mezbuth's hand on his shoulder.
Mezbuth: "Kol, we cannot-"
Kol: "You should know better than anyone else that waiting won't get us anywhere." With that, he was gone as well. Leaving Mezbuth to only dwell on the conversation.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Bembel: "And you will be able to kill it?"
Mosus: "Does it bleed? Then, yes, I can rid you of the beast. I'll want lodging here. And food. And alcohol. But! You'll have me protecting your dwarves from the terrors of that cavern."
Bembel: "Excellent! Welcome to Roughearth, Mosus! The stairwell to the cavern is right down the corridor and to the right--and remember! Begone, fear!"
Mosus: "...riiiight. Don't you worry, it'll be gone in no time at all."

Mosus strode out of the room, crossbow in hand and cape billowing behind him as he grinned from ear to ear. He practically radiated confidence among the terrified dwarves, all scrambling about with their daily tasks. Shuffling items into stockpiles, assembling rooms for new arrivals, or hammering away at forges to smelt down the latest stock of copper, silver and tin. As he approached the stairs, he found two dwarves assembling traps--one of them glancing over with what could only be called a glare and the other in minor awe.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Udib: "You're the-!"
Mosus: "Mosus Ivoryearth, at your service. I take it you're Udib? The, ah, training trapmaker?"
Udib: "Yep! Learning under the best! And, ah, this is-"
Aban: "Aban. Do yah need backup down there? Ah've got mah shield-"
Mosus: "Hah! Ah, you amuse me, mister Aban. A shield is no match for a crocodile...but a finely built crossbow! This, this is the stuff you want to use-" He held up an iron crossbow, Udib letting out an awed gasp as he reached over to touch it, running his gloved hands over the iron.
Udib: "Iron! I've never much of it in one place. W-we're still digging for some, you see-"
Aban: "Tha's enuff, Udib. Y'can go do yer job, Mosus. An', remember...begone, fear."
Mosus: "Curious phrase! 'Begone, fear'. Implying as though I had fear in the first place. Well! I'll be back, get your butchers ready!"
Aban: "Ah am a butcher."

Within the caverns below, Mosus departed the corridor dug out by the dwarves--right by where Ilral had rested before his rescue by Bembel. The blood had dried by that point, but Mosus's eyes went towards the cliff by the edge of the area. Standing over it, he peered down and observed the hint of a white tail moving down beneath him. It was the size of his arm, almost as long as him and idly swaying on the ground. Mosus crept down the side of the cliff, readying his crossbow as he swallowed hard, slowing down his breathing with the stock of the weapon to his shoulder.

Mosus: "Goodbye, Asmelsheced."

Dobok came down there an hour later, asked to go find the marksdwarf by Bembel. The fortress had assumed he was either still on the hunt or was having some difficulty hauling the corpse back up to the rest of them. Finding himself on the same cliff as before, Dobok jumped down and was immediately greeted with a wet splash under his boots. Finding a trail of dark blood, torn flesh and muscle in front of him, Dobok's eyes soon fell to what remained of Mosus Ivoryearth.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Dobok: "He's dead, Aban. Torn to pieces, he was."
Aban sighed, rubbing his temple as he laid one arm across the table. Dobok, him and Kol spoke in hushed tones--with the third dwarf speaking next.
Kol: "Find anything of note on the corpse?" Dobok nodded, placing a bloodied crossbow onto the table. Made of pure iron, though now stained with crimson splotches and even a bit of gore from its maker.
Dobok: "Hadn't even been fired. My guess is that it moved so fast, didn't even have a chance to shoot. Would've picked up more of his stuff, but heard it stompin' nearby."
A moment later, Udib burst into the hall--eyes wide and mouth open in an expression of pure terror. He sucked in a few weak gasps of air before forcing out his words in a strangled voice. "I-it's gone up a-a few levels! I-it's by the stairwell, n-near where the f-first stairs connect to the second!"

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Aban curled his hands into fists, grabbing his pearl wood shield as he stood up from the table. Kol did the same, picking up his bronze axe and his own oak shield. The two dwarves looked to each other, nodding firmly in agreement of their intentions. They strode past Udib while Dobok did his best to calm the dwarf, looking down into the stairwell that house the monster. With one more glance, they spoke at once: "BEGONE, FEAR!"

Leaping down into the stairwell, they immediately spotted Asmelsheced--the beast had to be the size of a horse, and almost as tall as one, if not for its stumpy legs. Blood caked its maw, staring at them with a pure, primal urge to maim and kill. It opened its maw, a rumbling hiss leaving it...which was immediately silenced by Aban slamming his shield onto the beast's snout. It snarled in rage, needing a moment to reorient itself--one that was used by Kol to slice at its leg, severing muscle and tendon and sending a spray of blood onto the floor. It lunged for Kol in a blind fury, soon made literal as he jumped back and Aban got in another blow, pulping one of its eyes into a mess of gore. Kol followed up with another strike, a second leg now out of commission as Aban continued to taunt it with blow after blow from his shield, even using his hands to twist and wrench its neck after grabbing onto it. The two dwarves were soon in a rhythm of carnage and combat, the croc barely having any time to even get a blow in...though none of them ever landed.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Bembel: "Food, drink and a place to rest, yes! Now, the last one who arrived made the mistake of...oh, right. Macedwarf. Ah, well, just...! Do your best and-"
Muthkat: "Bembel, sir! A miner saw Kol and Aban down in the caverns--they're...they've been fighting Asmelsheced!"
Bembel: "By the Mountainhome--send the rest of the Gilded Doors! I refuse to lose two dwarves to this beast!"

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By time Mezbuth, Rith and two other speardwarves arrived, the pathetic beast had been reduced to a blind, shuffling mess. Snapping its jaws at the air in an attempt to get anything near it. Mezbuth took one look at the monster, to the two dwarves who had incapacitated it and then to the three behind him. He raised his axe, striking a blow which severed its head from its body.

Mezbuth: "BEGONE, FEAR!"
"BEGONE, FEAR! BEGONE, FEAR! BEGONE, FEAR!" The chanting was enough to make the very mountain quake and shudder at the resolve of the dwarves. The shouting coincided with a new migrant wave, immediately overwhelmed by the celebration of the inhabitants within. Roughearth needed not any foreign hunters to slay the beast, for her own children were more than capable of handling such a threat. Thus, the fortress's inhabitants were safe for another day.

Roughearth, Fortress of the Imperial Pillars.
New Population: 98