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Author Topic: The truth about the famed adamantine "space elevator"  (Read 5937 times)

rmunn

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The truth about the famed adamantine "space elevator"
« on: July 20, 2010, 02:50:55 pm »

What follows is the last entry in the journal of Urist McBroker before his disappearance. I reproduce it here in the hopes that it may be of some comfort to his family and friends. For while we will almost certainly never see him again, there is reason to hope that he may not be dead. Indeed, he may even -- who can know for sure? -- have succeeded in his quest. May Armok be with him, wherever he is.

Signed, Urist McMayor, leader of Planetouched the Fires of Industry


The Journal of Urist McBroker, bookkeeper and broker of Planetouched the Fires of Industry

20th of Malachite, 1074

By Armok, I know what I must do now. The burden lies heavy on my heart, but it may be our only hope of survival. Yet before I go, I must leave a record of my discovery. If I should fail, others must follow me. The very survival of dwarfkind depends upon it.

It all started this morning, when I had a most disturbing conversation. Yesterday I finished negotiating with the human merchants, and today as they were packing up the trade goods we had not chosen to purchase, one of them chatted idly with me. After talking about the weather (which seems a constant obsession with surface-dwellers, for reasons I find difficult to fathom) he told me about something he called "Star Control." It seemed clear to me that his mind was addled from spending too much time on the surface -- it's obvious that you can't control the stars, which is why sleeping under a nice stone ceiling is far superior -- but he seemed to think it was an actual place, inhabited by races that nobody has ever heard of. Arilou, Ur-Quan, Spathi, Orz... he called them by the strangest names. (Now "Sigun Kolkib," "Mebzuth Bāsensazir," those are some good, solid, normal names.) He spent a lot of time talking about the Orz for some reason. He said that they have a strange way of speaking, that even the best "automatic" translators (whatever that means... I think he must have meant "legendary") couldn't translate certain words from the Orz language and had to make a "best guess" effort. Then he gave me some examples of Orz speech:

Quote
Here is *bright* and *smooth*. The other place is *hurt* Orz too much tired for keeping together.
Other place is **Frumple**. Orz are here now, but almost not yet.
Soon Orz are really here! You are help Orz with *parties*.
Orz looking for you, and find you. So much joy!!

Quote
This is my *house*. Do you want to know a *secret*? Do not *think* it too *not campers*.
You are so many *lonely* *juicy* *bubbles*. It is so sad.
Now that you are *campers* you will have more *parties*
and no more *sad* *lonely* *bubbles*.
This is the *secret*.

Quote
I am *expanding!* It is so much *squishy* to *smell* you!
*Campers* are the best! I have *anticipation* and then what?
Better parties in *the middle* for sure.

When he said that part about "the middle", I started to feel strangely nervous. I couldn't have told you why -- these Orz, even if they were just the ravings of a lunatic, sounded like friendly creatures, always talking about "parties" -- but something about them made me nervous. And then he mentioned two more things the Orz had once said, and everything started to make sense to me:

Quote
Perhaps after the biggest *party* you will understanding the Orz
and I can showing you other *levels*.
There are so many, but you only *play* on this one.
One is not enough.
We are *friends* now. Never be afraid to *open* enough and *spread the wax*.

Quote
We are from *outside*. Also the Arilou *quick babies* are from *outside*.
It is the same, but not.
Orz are from *below*, Arilou are from *above*.

"Below"? "Above"? Suddenly the lever was pulled in my mind, and his mad ravings became crystal-clear sanity. Just last Sandstone, I spoke with a dwarf who brought fantastic tidings of an adamantine spire, apparently fallen to the ground from the heavens. Some called it a "space elevator," though how you can elevate space is beyond me. (A space is what's left when you've carved out the rock. It's empty, there's nothing to grab onto or lift!) This spire stretched up and up, far out of the sight of even the clearest-eyed dwarf, and seemed to have no end. Nobody knew its purpose, but it clearly had one. And now, this news of "Orz" and "Arilou" from a human.

I had first thought him to be a madman, of course, but now I am beginning to reconsider. What if the tales he told were true? These Orz claim to come from "below," and hold "parties" in "the middle" once you "open" enough. As a broker, I talk with many caravans and hear the news of the world -- and recently, there have been more and more fortresses destroyed under mysterious circumstances. Caravans that go there almost never return, and the few dwarfs who make it out, badly burned and mortally wounded, can never explain exactly what happened. All they can do is babble about "digging too deep"... but this phenomenon has struck fortresses both in the valleys and on top of mountain peaks, so it's clear that "too deep" is only part of it. And always, always, the last shipment before the fortress goes silent contains a rich vein of adamantine, which was found deep under the fort.

All is clear to me now. The Orz which the humans spoke of are the ones living "below" the earth. They taunt us with adamantine in the hopes that we will dig too deep, and somehow "open" ... something or other ... which allows them access to "the middle". Us. The brave and noble race of dwarves, who live in the middle of the earth. And from the condition in which they leave their victims, the Orz's idea of "parties" is nothing I want anything to do with.

Clearly, our entire race is in mortal peril, from enemies we know nothing about. Yet there may be a slender thread of hope. The Orz gave it away when they said that they are like the Arilou, yet unlike them: "it is the same, but not." Here, too, a strange race has used adamantine to get our attention. But they may be -- we can only hope that they are -- friendly towards us. And perhaps the term "space elevator" has another meaning. Perhaps that adamantine spire has a hollow space inside, wherein may be a staircase that will, perhaps, elevate me to the place where the Arilou control the stars. And perhaps I will be able to negotiate with them, to ask them to help us in our battle.

I do not like how often I have written the word "perhaps" just now. It is a very slender thread on which to hang all our hopes. Yet there is no choice. I must go, find these Arilou, and obtain their aid in order to save all dwarven civilization.

And you, you who have found this journal, and are reading these words: I lay a charge upon you. That you announce my findings far and wide, that all may know of the true purpose of this spire, this "space elevator", and how it is our only hope for survival against the enemies that lurk below us, hidden in the depths of the earth. And if I do not return within a year, another must be sent to follow me. And another, and another, until one of us succeeds. The thing must be accomplished, at any cost.

Enough. My gear is packed, and I am merely lingering over this journal in the hopes of delaying my departure another few minutes. For even if I should succeed, I will most likely never return. Farewell, Planetouched, o fairest of mountain homes.

Time to go.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2010, 02:53:05 pm by rmunn »
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Meet the seven year-old girl Lokum Ishemavuz. Her hobbies include taking care of her pet vulture, playing in graveyards, and killing people before they have a chance to scream.

Deteramot

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Re: The truth about the famed adamantine "space elevator"
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2010, 03:15:42 pm »

You win an internet.

Congratulations.
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I'm currently making a nice room for my legendary clerk. I always treat my legendaries with the greatest respect, giving them the best rooms and so on. Although the walls are mostly engraved with pictures of my miner starving to death after he fell down a well, so it's not too cheerful.

Fuumin

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Re: The truth about the famed adamantine "space elevator"
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2010, 03:57:13 pm »

At the mountain of madness by H.P. Uristcraft? FABULOUS
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Urist McTaverish

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Re: The truth about the famed adamantine "space elevator"
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2010, 08:38:01 pm »

This is a master craft story.  It is made of awesome and win. :D
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Here at Bay12, we're constantly looking for ways to set the world on fire.
But at least after all the chaos, the weather cleared.

rdwulfe

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Re: The truth about the famed adamantine "space elevator"
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2010, 11:29:11 pm »

I never, in all my years, thought I would see the blending of Star Control and Dwarf Fortress.

I am fearful, intrigued, and strangely excited, and suddenly have the strangest desire to mod StarCon. I agree. You win your own intertube, in my not very humble opinion. Well done. This pretty much covers digging too Deep, too.

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"   So the gods discussed it and created elves. The Elves were beautiful, Mistral Thrax admitted, in and elvish way, but it was his belief that the gods grew disappointed after a time because the elves -- being elves -- were essentially decorative but not particularly functional. They were content simply to live long lives and to exist. They did not nothing of any real value, in the opinion of Mistral Thrax."
   -- The Covenant of the Forge by Dan Parkinson, a Dragon Lance Novel

Darkmere

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Re: The truth about the famed adamantine "space elevator"
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2010, 11:46:59 pm »

I feel obliged to mention the Mycon deep children and magma in the same sentence.


...


My work here is done.
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And then, they will be weaponized. Like everything in this game, from kittens to babies, everything is a potential device of murder.

Argonnek

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Re: The truth about the famed adamantine "space elevator"
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2010, 01:17:49 am »

Great story. Hmmm, I wonder if our dwarves would try to kill the other species. Would they die of tooth decay from eating too much sweet spathi flesh? An intriguing thought...

atomicthumbs

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Re: The truth about the famed adamantine "space elevator"
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2010, 02:57:48 am »

dwarf fortress/star control glitch crossover alternate reality fanfiction

this is amazing

there are no words to express the enormity of this
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Discord

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Re: The truth about the famed adamantine "space elevator"
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2010, 08:28:19 am »

Mr Urist McStoryteller,
We all are huddled around the fire in this cold and dark fortress. The little ones are peeking out, wide eyed and safe in their parents laps.
Please, stand up and tell us the rest of the story you began...
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Thoth

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Re: The truth about the famed adamantine "space elevator"
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2010, 09:08:10 am »

dwarf fortress/star control glitch crossover alternate reality fanfiction

this is amazing

there are no words to express the enormity of this
This.
And while I'm here, copy paste of the full extent of the spire;
I've yet to bother stitching this monster together, but i shall attempt it today, here's the entire tower, 2074z is the top, last one is at a colossal 2250z, which would make one hell of a death dive / noble mandate solution.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
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"Do not offend the chair leg of Truth. It is wise and terrible" - (Urist) Spider Jerusalem

SeanTucker

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Re: The truth about the famed adamantine "space elevator"
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2010, 11:41:47 am »

 :o
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Hokan

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Re: The truth about the famed adamantine "space elevator"
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2010, 03:28:16 pm »

Change the blue to red and imagine the picture as a cellular model, yellow being skin, it looks like a puncture wound on flesh spewing blood.
Yes, I am slightly maniacal
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Valuing life seems too close to an aesthetic rule for me, I think.
Only in Dwarf Fortress is the value of life placed as "aesthetic."

einstein9073

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Re: The truth about the famed adamantine "space elevator"
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2010, 03:37:25 pm »

Change the blue to red and imagine the picture as a cellular model, yellow being skin, it looks like a puncture wound on flesh spewing blood.
Yes, I am slightly maniacal very Dwarfy.
Fixed that for you.

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Strike the earth!
Dwarf Fortress: It menaces with spikes of AWESOME.

rmunn

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Re: The truth about the famed adamantine "space elevator"
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2010, 11:58:00 pm »

I never, in all my years, thought I would see the blending of Star Control and Dwarf Fortress.

I am fearful, intrigued, and strangely excited, and suddenly have the strangest desire to mod StarCon. I agree. You win your own intertube, in my not very humble opinion. Well done. This pretty much covers digging too Deep, too.

Thanks to everyone who posted kind words like this. I didn't originally set out to write this; it just sort of happened. I was reading about the new Hidden Happy Fun Stuff being referred to as "clowns", and the place they're all packed into being the "clown car" or the "circus"... and then I was hit by the fact that "the *clowns* came from the *circus* and there was much *fun*" looked a lot like Orz speech. The next hour or two can best be described in the following terms:

rmunn, Programmer, is taken by a fey mood!
rmunn has claimed a Computer Workshop!
rmunn has created a masterpiece first post!
This is a master craft story. It is made of awesome and win. It menaces with spikes of awesomeness. On the object is an image of Urist McBroker the dwarf in adamantine. Urist McBroker is traveling. The artwork relates to the journey of Urist McBroker to the famous adamantine spire in the summer of 1074.
rmunn has become a Legendary Storyteller!

Time will tell if I keep this skill level, or if skill rust bumps me back down to Dabbling again... but for my first-ever post on the DF forums, I think this came out rather well.

P.S. And this post is really a shameless self-bump in disguise. :D I'm pretty proud of this story, and want to get it back on the front page again so a few more people can read it.
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Meet the seven year-old girl Lokum Ishemavuz. Her hobbies include taking care of her pet vulture, playing in graveyards, and killing people before they have a chance to scream.
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