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Bloodline:Girdertrampled/Chapter 5:

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The diary of Annals 'yes that is my name; why are you sniggering?' Ingizam

1st Granite, 1056[edit]

Well! This will be a change! As senior officer of Dwarven Relations at my fortress, Eralsanreb, The Safe Mechanism, I never thought I would find myself in charge of a young wilderness outpost! How exciting! I must admit I was filled with trepidation when the commander of Eralsanreb first told me that I had been chosen for the position, but when I voiced my concerns to him he said: "Annals, you are the only dwarf I am not worried about sending." Unfortunately, no one was available to accompany me, but many have assured me that they will follow me later in the spring. A departure party was thrown in my honor, though for some reason the dwarves insisted on beginning it after I left. An old fortress tradition, I suppose.

5th Granite, 1056[edit]

After a hard journey I arrive at my destination. There seems to be some smoke hanging over the area, but--GOOD ARMOK WHAT IS THIS PLACE!

6th Granite, 1056[edit]

After some much needed bed rest, I'm in a fit state to write again. This place is horrible. Everything outside is burning, and the inside of the fortess is not better. There is smoke and miasma everywhere. The dwarves seem happy enough, but I think that deep down they just don't care about anything anymore--and with three quarters of the fortress violently dead I can't say I blame them. The fortress is filled with petty nobles who do nothing but bicker over the prices of goods. The Guard refuses to take orders from me, and their captain is an, er, eccentric, who owns half the cats in the here.
At least if they're arguing they're not mandating
The fortress is impossible to navigate, twisting and turning as though it were designed by four different architects, each one with a different style from the others, but all agreeing that the end result should look something like a cross between a graveyard and a garbage dump. Bodies lie in the hall, rotting and burning. Items are dropped and left to lie where they fall. The one thing that sums up the fortress is a stockpile that lies to the north of the workshop area. A festering pit, it holds whatever the dwarves care to throw in it, with no pretence of order or efficiency.
They call it "Stockpile #17"
Oh dear. Oh Armok. I'm not sure if I can do this. I feel my throat closing up! My hands are trembling! I can't! I can't!

1st Slate, 1056[edit]

Well, I'm up and about again, and ready to take control of the fortress. The first priority is to get a new entrance dug so that incoming immigrants won't have to walk through fire to get into the fortress. I start digging towards the south; the fire doesn't seem to be spreading there much. Thankfully, the bodies in the halls are no longer burning, and are ready to be cleared up.
Home sweet home!
I also start the construction of a new Trade Depot.

15 Slate, 1056[edit]

Well! Elves have arrived. Perhaps they will carry some useful supplies. The Trade Depot has been built, and I'm sure I can rely on my fellow dwarves to pull together and haul as many items as possible to be exchanged.
Annals cancels equip Iron Whip, cannot find path. Damnit
Ah. Well, they've been through a lot. Understanding goes farther than harsh words, as I always told the Captain of the Guard back in Eralsanreb. Eventually, they do begin hauling, and manage to get the small stock of stone items to the depot. Trading can begin!
Pointy eared tree hugging hypocrites
Oh dear. Someone must have brought something decorated with leather. What to do what to do? We need those items.
Heh. Damn right you can't
Ah well. One does what one must. The elves left in a hurry, but I'm sure they'll understand in time. Fortunately, they don't seem to be taking any action ag--
Hm. It would seem that crime doesn't pay. Haha. Oh dear.

1st Felsite, 1056[edit]

Since the fire rages on the entire west side of the river, I'm digging path to the east side so that the immigrants who are sure to arrive soon can get in there. This entrance can be floored over once the fire goes out. I do hate having so many entrances to the fort. I've also ordered a moat/firebreak dug in case of any more "accidents." Unfortunately, filling it with water will make it useless in the winter, but there are still smouldering items lying around and I don't want to take any more chances.
The hatch is actually farther north, I just liked the way the pictures matched up

1st Hematite, 1056[edit]

This is odd. It is summer, and the dwarves who assured me that they would follow me to Girdertrampled haven't arrived yet. Now more than ever I could use the extra hands. I've started trying to move the huge furniture stockpiles which function as eyesores and kobold magnets indoors, as well as getting the last of the dead dwarves properly entombed. With only seven workers the progress is slow, but it is progress. Barring any incidents, I can hope to have the fortress back in working order by the end of the season.
Well, shit
Several pages have been torn from the diary here.

20th Hematite, 1056[edit]

I am back up and about again, and quite certain now that the yellow harpies riding skeletal carp were NOT real. Fortunately, someone had the presence of mind to lock up the fort and order the dwarves to stay inside, so there were no casualties when the goblins showed up. This does put a damper on my plans for organizing, though. I've ordered traps and mechanisms constructed, and assigned every dwarf in the fortress to mechanics. Hopefully we can get this menace taken care of without ever having to engage them in combat: final reports indicated no less than 80 goblins, some of them masters of their respective weapons.

5th Limestone, 1056[edit]

It is now fall, and barely any traps have been constructed. Nothing else has been done either, with the exception of getting many of the hundreds of animals roaming the halls caged. Her ladyship the baroness seems to enjoy this job, so much that she refuses to do anything else. To each his own, I always say.

10th Limestone, 1056[edit]

I am beginning to worry in earnest now. The immigrants who couldn't make it in the spring should be here any day now, and if things continue as they have been they will have to sprint through an army of goblins just to...oh...
And STAY out! We showed them.
They just...left. The dwarves seem amused at my confusion. Did they know this would happen all along? Why will no one talk to me?

11th Limestone, 1056[edit]

Girdertrampled's reconstruction begins in earnest today! While the dwarves are busy clearing the halls of bones and rot I take a moment to look around at the engravings I had no time to appreciate before. That Mistem sure can tell a story, eh?
Er, moving on. The nobles have been giving me no end of trouble lately. They are fond of mandating impossible tasks, and then having a dwarf beaten when their demands aren't met. One of my miners is incapacitated and slipping in and out of consciousness from one such beating even now, and his friends refuse to care for him or even be seen with him. My coworkers become more and more repulsive to me every day. In an attempt to stave off any future such incidents, I've built a jail. Promptly, a mandate was ended and a dwarf imprisoned. I must congratulate myself on avoiding another injury. Aw, and I liked him.
I see. This is the final straw. I had had hopes that I could pull these dwarves together as an unit, that I would be the one to save the fortress, but no more. Let them destroy themselves. I am tendering my resignation now, and will stay until spring, giving the officers at the Mountainhomes time to find a suitable replacement, as is procedure. Then I wash my hands of them. Armok help whoever arrives to replace me.

Annals' entries end here.