Lancescour 11: Winter Begins and Mosus is Sad

1st of Opal, 125.

I am Ilral Amusewires of the Dwarf Fortress Lancescour. Nineteen dwarves now inhabit our little outpost. That’s seven founding dwarves plus the addition of two groups of migrants. Winter has arrived. There is a dusting of snow up the mountain, and the trees above our fortress are covered in snow. Here, closer to the brook, there is not so much snow, but the water has frozen to ice.

Mosus took a break from fishing. It really wore on her that she spent the whole of every day fishing but never had any time left for worship or social activities. I do not know why she traveled here originally. She left a lot of family back home that she constantly misses. There’s been mention that she had some formal training in music not long before the journey here. In addition to Datan the Diamond of Oil, she also worships Id, Teshkad Bridgetrades the Merchant of Wandering, Babin, and Tarag the Frothy. I’m not sure how she acquired devotion to so many deities in her short 13 years. I barely have interest in Babin, and I’m more than 50 years older than her.

A week into her break, I saw her sitting in our meeting room, eating a plump helmet. The carpenter, Ubbul Tombsaction, sat across the room eating a plum. They both sat in silence, focused on their meager meals. Sure, Ubbul is 40 years older than her, but he loves conversation and can tell a good joke. “Oh,” she moaned. “Where is my younger brother, Likot Cagebell?”

Screenshot from Dwarf Fortress showing five dwarfs in workshop areas.
The dwarves of Lancescour keep busy at the workshops.

The following week, I saw her in the temple. She spent the whole week there, meditating and praying. At the end of the week, she returned upstairs to the meeting room. There she encountered the engraver, Unib Graspingpaddles, who noticed she was looking unhappy.

“Friendship is one of the finer things in life,” he said, smiling at her. “I just met the outpost liaison, Dastot. He’s been visiting us from the north for a few months now. You should go meet him.”

“I don’t care so much about friendship.” She replied. “It’s not so important.”

And somehow he went on to explain how bending the truth is OK if it helps you gain power over other people. She kept trying to change the subject, but he went on and on. Her face twisted as she grew increasingly bitter over the conversation. Then she ultimately just turned around and left the room. “I was better off ice-fishing in the rain.”

“What’s that you say?” asked our expedition leader, Olin Oilspiraled. “You should try praying to The Chances of Distraction.” You could introduce yourself to the outpost liaison Dastot while you’re in the temple; he’s often relaxing there.”

“I already don’t have time to pray to the gods I do follow!” Mosus huffed and walked away, glum and bitter. She’s been in the temple ever since, meditating and ignoring Dastot.

I really wish I could help her in some way, but I’ve been busy carrying doors and other furniture to the new bedrooms. The new arrival, Zan the bowyer, built a bowyer’s workshop in one of the new workshop rooms. She’s been making wooden crossbows ever since. Likewise, Geshud the weaponsmith has started construction on a metalsmith forge. I suppose we must prepare to defend our fortress at some point. Most of us don’t even think about it. We’re just looking forward to relaxing and playing music again.

- Ilral Amusewires

Lancescour 10: Medical Chief Muthkat Trotvaults

1st of Moonstone, 125.

I am Ilral Amusewires, one of seven founding dwarves of the dwarf fortress Lancescour. We learn as we go, but after eight months, we seem to be doing OK. The liaison from Severemirror, Dastot Twistlances, continues his vacation in our temple. Kib Atticgroove excavates future workshop and storage space. Zan Sparktorches details floors and walls of our main entrance hall. She also assists Kib in creating the workshop rooms. I’ve mostly been carrying things to storage. I managed to make a wooden bucket, but I don’t really feel like I get much opportunity to really help. Unib Graspingpaddles devoted much time to finishing the walls and floors of our temple. Our expedition leader, Olin Oiledspiraled, has really taken to brewing drinks from the fruits and vegetables gathered outside. Everybody appreciates his work.

Many of us appreciate the works of Bomrek Mastercanyon. He’s been crafting bracelets, amulets, and other items with great skill. I am now wearing a well-crafted olivine bracelet on my left hand. Earlier this week, I saw Asmel Gorgebronze admiring a gabbro bracelet on his right hand. Unib Graspingpaddles may have acquired a similar bracelet as well.

About two weeks ago, Muthkat Trotvaults found a finely-crafted crown made of pecan wood in the mass of stuff in the storage room. It is a light brown color with reddish-brown lines running straight up and down like stripes. I’m not sure who made it, but it was likely Bomrek Mastercanyon. She lowered the crown upon her head regally and then slowly marched through the workshops. “I am the Chief Medical Dwarf of Lancescour!”

Olin stepped out of his manager’s office and nodded. “There’s an empty office next to the bookkeeper Zuntir’s office, you can have it.” She marched on to the vacant office and sat on the gabbro throne before her new empty granite table. So, we do not have any medical facilities, but we have a chief medical officer. She’s already proposed we build a hospital, but Olin said we have more urgent concerns. Let’s hope he’s right.

Ubbul Tombsaction adopted the blue peachick that originally arrived with him half a year ago. This skinny young bird has stripped brown feathers and thoughtful black eyes. He calls her Ral Lertethlibash, which means Silver Tangled-Axe. He’s quite happy with her company. I saw him pat the upright tuft on top of her head and say, “Lertethlibash, the quest for knowledge never ends!” She will surely grow up a wise peahen.

Screenshot from Dwarf Fortress showing one dwarf by a brook.
Young dwarf Mosus Diamondtomb fishing all by herself in the rain.

I worry about Mosus Diamondtomb. She’s a younger dwarf that arrived with the first group of migrants back in Hematite. I understand she’s about 13 years old and a kind of clumsy. She didn’t arrive with many skills, but she has quickly developed a talent for fishing. Sometimes, I see her sitting in the rain by the brook, catching fish and looking forlorn. I’ve heard her talk about missing relatives from back home, mostly cousins. She apparently has some training in music composition and can play drums and wind instruments. I haven’t seen her do it, but I have overheard her humming to herself.

Overall, things are going well at Lancescour. More experienced dwarves might have made better progress, but I think we’re going to get by.

-- Ilral Amusewires

Lancescour 9: Five More Migrants Arrive.

1st of Timber, 125.

I am carpenter Ilral Amusewires, one of the seven founding dwarves of Lancescour and an accidental chronicler. Last month, merchants arrived at our little fortress with an outpost liaison dwarf from Severemirrors in the far north. The merchants left a couple weeks ago; the liaison Dastot Twistlances remains, somehow enjoying a relaxing vacation in our small, rugged home inside the mountain. He spends most of his time in our temple, The Entry of Graves, making occasional visits to our meeting room. Five more migrant dwarves arrived from the southeast; Lancescour’s population grows to 19 dwarves and we’ve only been here for six months. We’re going to extend the hallway to add six more bedrooms. That’ll give us a total of twenty bedrooms, some vacant for now.

Kib Atticgrove spent much of the past month digging out a second stockpile room close to our first, with a wide hallway connecting them. While Zan Sparktorches typically assists Kib in these efforts, she focused on other tasks. Zan toiled away at smoothing and detailing the walls and floors of our new temple. She then constructed a wooden barrel and a couple of wooden chairs. Zen devoted the second half of the month to the detailing of the room designated for our future trade depot. During this time, Zefon Dyemobbed and Kib carried rock altars to the temple, providing worshipers with places to make offerings and focus their prayers. I often see somebody in there taking a moment to pray or meditate; the religious among us seem less uneasy as a result.

Screenshot from Dwarf Fortress showing hall of bedrooms and temple with altars.
Dastot Twistlances relaxes in the temple with two dogs while the dwarves of Lancescour plan more bedrooms.

On the 19th of Sandstone, the five new migrants arrived, all with the same dark brown skin and pale taupe hair as the rest of us from Maroon Helms. Their leader seemed to be the engraver, Unib Graspingpaddles, who keeps his head shaved and his very long beard and mustache neatly combed. On his way to our meeting room, he tripped over every possible pebble and crack in the floor. I hope he’s better at engraving than he is at walking. Next in line was weaponsmith Geshud Craftslovers. His mustache and beard are also very long, with the beard in double-braids. His medium-length hair is tied back neatly in a pony-tail. A fat white bunny hopped loyally by his side.

Both Geshud and Unib appear to be in their mid-50s. I judge the gem-cutter Asmel Gorgebronze to be the youngest at around 50. He too wears his mustache and beard in very long double-braids. Asmel brought in a pet auburn-haired cavy pup. The oldest member of the group is surely the armorer Nomal Scaldedbrass, probably in her early 80s. Her hair is clean-shaven, and she wears a long robe made of water buffalo leather. A pump operator named Olin Splashbronze, in her early 70s, followed the group. She too keeps her hair shaved smooth. She clumsily led a stray water buffalo calf and stray chick behind them.

They soon met the liaison, Dastot, in the meeting room. The gem-cutter Asmel Gorgebronze talked with the mason Morul Painteddie while he worked on a gabbro door. “It was nice to meet you,” he said, keeping an eye on his work. “But I prefer to be alone.” and he carried the masterful door to our general stockpile room. Morul’s skills grow with each passing day; his work is enviable.

While Olin bragged about how well his meeting with Dastot went last month, he admitted he couldn’t remember everything about their deals. “Bomrek,” he declared. “I feel we’re kindred spirits, and you have a great way with people. I name you the broker of Lancescour. I only hope you don’t mind the brief interruptions to your work to take with any merchants that arrive. “

Bomrek nodded. “It will be an honor.”

-- Ilral Amusewires

Lancescour 8: Severemirrors Caravan

1st of Sandstone, 125.

I am Ilral Amusewires, carpenter and one of the founding dwarves of the dwarf fortress Lancescour in the Tower of Escorts mountains. With a wagon of supplies, seven musicians arrived far south of our homelands and struck the earth. Our expedition leader, Olin Oiledspiraled, declared himself our manager about four weeks ago. His lover, Avuz Zenithsword, recommended her close friend Zenith Sidepages as bookkeeper; I consider Zenith a great friend, but I’m not so sure she’s a great choice. She’s very friendly but doesn’t deal well with obligations and has no concern with perfection. I feel like a good bookkeeper is a precise bookkeeper.

Olin agreed with Zenith’s reasoning and approached Adil Postseer and offered her the position of bookkeeper, thinking he was talking to Zenith. Adil turned around with a proud smile on her face and Olin quickly recognized his mistake. “Oh, I’m sorry, I thought you were Zenith Sidepages. You’re not the bookkeeper.” and he sought out Zenith and gave her the job instead. I saw Adil start to cry and walk away solemnly.

Over the past couple months, there’s been grumbling about the lack of time and place to worship the various gods. Our manager, Olin Oiledspiraled, has been particularly uneasy lately about not being able to pray to The Chances of Distraction, god of games. Avuz walks around looking dejected from not being able to pray to Babin, the god of death and justice. The young recent arrival, Mosus Diamondtomb, spends a lot of time alone, looking annoyed, uneasy, and downright grouchy. I believe she worships multiple deities and misses her family back home. Even though she enjoys fishing, the rain really gets to her.

They’re not the only religious dwarves here; others have the same problems. Olin declared that a nondenominational temple with multiple altars shall be built just off the stairwell across from the bedrooms,  so all may worship their respective gods. So, we now have a temple. Kib Atticgrove did most of the work, unearthing some emerald and plenty of gabbro and granite. I’m also now wearing a finely-crafted bracelet made of gabbro by Bomrek. I’m very pleased. He does good work.

The most exciting thing that happened recently was the arrival of the Maroon Helms merchant caravan from the fortress of Severemirrors in the far north. The caravan waited some distance from our entrance while their outpost liaison, Dastot Twistlances, took a quick walk around our fortress. He seemed disappointed by our lack of a proper trade depot, went back to the caravan, told them to stay, and returned to our fortress. Though they were some distance away, I counted three merchants, one with an axe. The wagon was pulled by both a yak and a horse. Also, attached to the rear of the wagon was a cage containing a water buffalo.

Meanwhile, Zan engraved the symbol of Lancescour on the wall just outside the future home of our trade depot. So now, all visitors will pass by the well-crafted engraving of The Diamond Chance, an emblem consisting of a pair of sandals framed by a rounded crest. Olin Oiledspiraled chose the image of two sandals “in honor of our journey here.” Perhaps he remembers us wearing sandals; none of us have ever even owned a sandal.

The visiting liaison nodded to Zan as he passed the work in progress and continued to explore our fortress. I noticed that none of his clothing was dyed; everything was left in its natural color. He wore a white cave-spider hooded silk tunic, over which he wore a brown leather robe and cloak. He had no mittens, exposing his white silk gloves. At his feet were furry gray socks and shoes. He was not really dressed for travel, but showed no extravagance. While the top of his head was completely bald, his very long pale-taupe beard and mustache were both double-braided with stripes of gray throughout. He took note of our new, admittedly rough, temple and our meeting hall. He also checked out each of our workshops, particularly the work of Bomrek at the craftsdwarf workshop.

Dwarf Fortress screenshot of 7 visiting liaison in temple with a dog, the stairwell, and fourteen bedrooms.
Liaison Dastot Twistlances from Severemirrors relaxes in the Lancescour temple The Entry of Graves.

After taking a trip through our storage room and visiting all of the workshops, Dastot asked for directions to our manager’s office. He found Olin Oiledspiraled behind his desk. The visitor closed the door behind him, so I do not know what was discussed. They were in there for the rest of the day. When the door opened, Dastot went to the temple. “Well,” he said, tugging at one of his very long gray sideburns. “I have come not just for commerce and diplomacy, but also relaxation.”

Olin emerged soon after, looking quite proud. “That went well; very satisfying. I like that, Dastot. They want backpacks, crutches, and toys, so we should start making those things. “

He smiled. “yes, very satisfying indeed.”

- Ilral Amusewires

Lancescour 7: Need for Trade and Worship

1st of Limestone, 125.

I am Ilral Amusewires, one of the seven founding dwarves of Lancescour, our modest fortress in the Tower of Escorts mountains. We were joined by seven migrants on the 27th of Hematite. We’re slowly but steadily carving our new home into the rock mountainside.

Over the past month, Zan Sparktorches and Kib Atticgroove carved several bedrooms for all of the dwarves. I helped Avuz Zenithsword and Reg Agesmines carry to these new rooms the beds that Ubbul Tombsaction and I constructed. During one trip down, I ran into our woodcrafter, Bomrek Mastercanyon, who exclaimed, “To have my own bedroom and such a nice bed to sleep in! It is bliss.” He’s become quite the craftsdwarf, devoting much of the past month to making wooden cups, rock mugs, and even a rock jug. We no longer have to cup our hands to drink water, spelt beer, or plum wine.

In the meeting room, I overheard some of the new dwarves discussing the importance of trade and commerce. It started between the large bald woman in her mid-60s, Adil Postseer, and the short-haired peasant in his late-50s, Zefon Dyemobbed. “I’m no expert,” she said. “But trade is the life-blood of a thriving society.”

He listened while combing out his long mustache.

“If this Lancescour is going to survive, we need to start building a trade depot.” she continued.

Zefon nodded. “I suppose that seems right.”

Muthkat Trotvaults, the intellectual doctor in her early 80s, joined them. “Let me explain the importance of a trade depot,” she peered at her peasant husband Zefon. “Without the means of trade…”

Adil snuck away to play with her dog. I also left to make more wooden chairs. I agree that we need a trade depot, but I didn’t care to stick around for the whole dissertation. I returned to the woodworking shop and continued making chairs, beds, and doors. Soon, Adil and Ubbul returned to the workshop room and set to work constructing wooden barrels and chairs.

Dwarf Fortress screenshot showing fourteen bedrooms along hallway
The dwarves of Lancescour add beds and doors to the new bedrooms.

The following week, I walked by the meeting room and saw our leader, Olin Oiledspiraled, sitting at one of the gabbro-rock tables eating a plump helmet. He was grumbling to himself about not being able to pray to The Chances of Distraction for so long. Both of Adil’s dogs sat on the floor resting beside him. He’s not the only dwarf I’ve heard worry about the lack of a place of worship.

Olin is a member of The Cult of Festivals, a religious group founded in the The Salves of Lulling fortress Flashedfurnace to worship The Chances of Distraction. Their god is a teenaged male dwarf who represents games. The Cult of Festivals founder, Rakust Guildclenched, described The Chances of Distraction over a hundred years ago. Rakust’s father was the mayor of Flashedfurnace, and his mother was the outpost liaison, which is how they met. Their third child, Rakust, was born a couple years later. He had two childhood friends, Urvad and Erush, but they were not that close; by the time Rakust turned 12 years old, they had found other friends, leaving him alone with nobody but disinterested siblings. That was when he met The Chances of Distraction, the god of games that nobody else could see. A few years later, he convinced the seven-year-old son of the hammerer and bookkeeper of Flashedfurnace to join The Cult of Festivals, and a religion was born.

Just a few days ago, Olin declared that we would begin work on a trade depot soon. I guess all that talk got around to him. More farm plots were designated for plump helmets and cave wheat. Bedrooms are being made and furnished, and a trade depot is coming soon. I suspect a temple stands in our future as well. Lancescour progresses!

- Ilral Amusewires