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Bloodline:Ironhold Year 1053B

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Year 1053, Universe B, of the fortress Datankegeth, also known as Ironhold. The records of "Sorenson" Tithlethzag, steward of Thikenlorbam and Her Grace Queen Atis Teskomlitast

Contents

[edit] Preface

In honesty, I am beginning to somewhat regret offering my services to Her Grace in regards to the management and development of Datankegeth. While I mean no disrespect to the brave souls who risk bank and beard in the name of expanding our mighty kingdom, they cannot deny that they have developed something of a bad reputation for the troubles they experience - not so much that they are besieged by beast and barbarian, but rather that the majority of those assigned to oversee its development have either dissipeared completily or failed to make the journey for one reason or another. So much has this reputation grown that even Her Grace herself has taken an interest - a rather *annoyed* one, at that - and now nary a soul seems to dare volunteer to oversee this cursed land. I myself would have excused myself long ago were it not for my curiosity at just what of Ironhold makes it so repulsive against management, and then, of course, there stands the prestiege and influence of having overcome the Ironhold Curse, as some have come to call it. With Her Grace's eye upon me, to succeed would all but guarentee an ascension to even greater assignments, and perhaps even enough influence to begin forming expedition parties proper instead of the seven-dwarf teams that are the usual lot.


I leave for Ironhold in the morn and shall hopefully make enough speed to arrive by the new year. If nothing else, let this record show that I perform my duties to the utmost of my abilities, and that it is only by great calamity that my efforts should cease.


In the name of Her Grace, "Sorenson" Tithlethzag, steward of Thikenlorbam

[edit] New Year's Day, 1053

I've no doubt in my mind now that there be some mysterious mechanism at work against Ironhold's administration. Whilst en route, some fool took it into his head to sneak a bit of a smoke in the back of one of the wagons - which, as it would have to be, caught fire and nessecitated a frantic bucket brigade and several days' worth of repair before we could continue. The rest of the caravaners have him shackled in the last cart 'til we find an outpost with a more permenant jail or, as some are hoping, a Hammerer. In any case, I can only hope that the delay does not slight those of Ironhold *too* much.

[edit] Spring, 1053

I've been pondering what to write for nearly half an hour - given the state here, what *can* I write - and have decided to simply forego the traditional formalities and simply go straight to the details.


If nothing else, Ironhold is at least well-prepared aggriculturally: there is ample amounts of foodstuffs, enough to supply twice or perhaps thrice its current population, and the climate and the seeds obtained by the previous leaders have expanded our capabilities to include surface crops as well, inferior as most of them may be. If nothing else we could use some of the alcohol produced by these for cooking - I've heard Strawberry Wine is *fantastic* as a glaze for meats and such.


And then there is the matter of everything else.


First and foremost, even more pressing than the security gaps, is the fortress' organization. While I hold nothing against the brave men who had to administer for the first and second years of the fortress, there are certain things that are simply baffling about its design. For example: whilst I understand the need for flowing water in the case of the injured and potential alcohol disasters, was it nessecary to dig out such a large, multi-story-in-some-parts channel to run to the center of the living quarters to do so And what of the placement of the workshops and their respective stockpiles? And the mishmash placement of farming plots? These are all things that I should hope to rectify by the time year's end has arrived or that whomever should follow in my stead shall complete.


Next there is the matter of security, or rather the extrordinary lack of one. We are open to infiltration from at least *three* different points throughout the fortress, and the most that has been done to address such is the placement of some traps and the chaining of dogs nearby. Were this some den of the lesser species, this would be acceptable, but our inevitable rise to wealth and fame shall draw our enemies to us sooner or later, and we must be prepared to face this fact - or rather, to fortify ourself within our soon-self-sufficient fortress and allow the invaders to starve and succumb to whatever the wilderness should throw at them. For this I have already ordered the construction of a hardened bridge across the stream near the enterence, and once construction is finished the traps placed within will decimate anything that dares to enter - if they even manage to breach the gate I've ordered at the bridge's head.


Third is the matter of labor within the fortress - whilst I know that the first few years of any outpost can be a hard time given the lack of labor diversity one tends to see, one must also ensure that the work spread on some of the outpost members is not too thin - too many dwarves doing too many tasks means too many with misleading claims to their titles and too few who specialize in the more sought-after professions. I'll have to go through the roster and change assignments accordingly.


Other than these three, any other gripes I have are mostly trivial, and it is these three that I vow to concentrate upon the most (alongside the development of Ironhold into a glorious, profitable outpost of our nation, naturally).


3rd of Granite

Things are off to a start, though perhaps a bit slower than I expected (literily - perhaps there is something in the air?). Asides from suspending some of the masonry being done (statues and blocksfor trade, I'm afraid) it turns out there was a Fey that had slipped under the radar until recently - Eden, the leatherworker, who just completed his masterpiece, Rirmishos. A leather...


...buckler.


And people wonder why I hate the Fey so much.


12th of Granite


And writing of the Fey, the elves have arrived. I'd been hoping I could get some extra crafting done, but so much for that - I don't even know if we've anything the High And Mighty will even touch with a pole, let alone trade for. Even the *fish* don't like them - as they were crossing the stream on approach a lungfish took a grand sacrificial leap out of the waters and struck one of 'em square in the face. That'll do, fish. That'll do.


13th of Granite


I've always disliked the notion of having children in a fortress - the young babe Rith being an example of why. The poor thing is crawling about in a thirst and there isn't a single soul helping her.


Or rather, was, until one of the other children...Obok? Damn these smudged records - up and drenched the poor thing with a bucket of water.


19th of Granite


And it seems the High and Mighty won't even touch items of an animal extract nature - I offered them some of the silken goods from the invaders who struck last year and they turned up their noses and prattled on, as always, about our lowliness. As I'm sure was expected of me, I've siezed the goods we wanted and hopefully they'll be out of the province by the end of the week.


21st of Granite


Just my luck. As soon as I feel things are beginning to get on track with the fortress, one of the children decided to throw a party in the lower floor of the living quarters. I've a good mind to tear down all the statues currently standing about the fortress - they should be for demonstrating the splendor of our grand people, not an excuse to go prancing about more drunk than usual with a bucket atop one's head!


1st of Slate


Things have been quiet, which is always a good note in my book. Work progresses on the bridge - one wall has been completed already, as is the gate, and someone is currently setting up some levers to control it and another I'd like to set up later on.


17th of Slate


Huzzah! The bridge is finally complete!


Ironhold 1053B - 1 - Bridge.jpg


Naturally, the next step is to laden the thing with traps - cage traps, specifically. While there is certainely something to be admired about a trap that can turn a goblin into a fine red-and-green mist, the cage trap lets us turn them into *money*. Man and dwarf alike are always in need of extra labor, and I've heard there's excellent money to be made in the slave trade - and if nothing else, we'd have some fodder for the recruits to sharpen their swords on.

24th of Slate


One of the workers reported seeing migrants incoming. Hopefully they're *useful* migrants - in particular a mechanic, since we're in dire need of mechanisms and someone dedicated to setting them up.


Leatherworker...child...soap maker?...ranger...dyer and his pets...stonecrafter...planter...hunter...milker...jeweler...child...child...metalsmith...peasant...cheesemaker...thresher...peasant - Armok, how many *are* there? - clothier...carpanter...peasant...cow...horse...carpanter.


  • Crap.* 53 hands total in this fortress, and not a dedicated mechanic amongst them. Still, we've at least got the peasants

28th of Slate


Our smelting and forging capabilities aer woefully inadequate, primarily due to our reluctance thus far to tap into the nearby volcano's magma. This is about to change.

Ironhold1053B-2 - ForgingPlan.jpg

The plan is simple, but efficient: a stockpile of smeltable ores to the north, with a chain of smelters down to the south, followed by a stockpile of smelted bars and with the forges proper at the south end. A nice, clean, and efficient production line, though it'll be at least several months before the area is excavated and the magma channels dug to the volcano itself.


1st of Felsite


We've run out of wood - I suspect our earlier reliance on wood-fueled forges played a grand part of this. The woodwoerkers have been given the orders to start clearing out whatever trees they can find, and hopefully we can get a decent stock by the end of summer.


5th of Felsite


It had slipped from my mind that eventually we shall have to begin dealing with the accursed nobles if we wish to truly rise in power among the fortresses. While we have more than enough rooms for ordinary citizens, those that cater to the more...empowered amongst us are lacking, and I've ordered several sets of chambers built that will hopefully sate them when they arrive.


30th of Felsite


And spring thus draws to a close. The fortress stands stable, generally speaking - the work on the magma channel is going nicely, and I've called for a reorganization of some of the stockpiles (mainly the food ones) to help streamline things a bit. The humans will be arriving soon, and the crafters are busy at work as ever cranking out items as per the trade agreement we have. Other than that, just business as usual.


[edit] Summer, 1053

8th of Hematite


Amost the engraver has gone fey - time to put to use those anti-fey procedures I drew up years ago...


11th of Hematite


And he's a goner. Amost barricaded himself in one of the crafts workshops, and now he's screaming for shells and metal bars. I'm locking the doors and have posted the guards nearby should somehow he break through in a fey fit.


13th of Hematite


Truth be told, I'd forgotten about *locking* the door to Amost's workshop - and it's a good thing I did, for apparently we nabbed some elephant leather and an iron bar when I wasn't looking. This might not go horribly wrong after all.


14th of Hematite


And the humans have arrived! I've ordered the items we've produced to the depot - now inside the safety of the fortress walls - and'll send down the trader as soon as he becomes available. Hopefully the humans will prove far more benificial than the elves did. I've also ordered everybody inside the fortres - if there's one thing I've learned, it's that if something's going to strike, it'll be as the trader's incoming.


In the meanwhile, Armot has begun his mysterious construction - the screaming and hammering and scraping goes on all hours, but it's relief compared to murmering and occasional shrieking fits.


18th of Hematite


The traders have unpacked their goods without incident, and as soon as our own trader finishes drowning himself in drink he'll be along to see what they've brought.


In other affairs, Amost has finished his work:


Ironhold 1053B - 3 - Amost's Item.jpg


That dwarf ain't right. On the other hand, a grand 24,000 dimdums is nothing to sneeze at, provided he survives the inevitable tantrum if we hocked it.


19th of Hematite


We've met with the trader and sorted out an exchange of goods - while the deal was considerably in their favor, much of it was from the cave spider silk items they suggested in a counter-offer, and once our defenses are established to their fullest extent a supply of such items should be no problem. We've meat and fish and drink a'plenty, so much so that I see us spending the rest of the month just moving it all into the fort.


27th of Hematite


The traders left today. We were unfortunetily unable to come to a trade agreement with them - the people of Ironhold apparently decided to elect a new mayor, one of the engravers, who was at the time busy at work detailing the walls of the lava channel (why, some might ask? Why not? More prestiege and practice.) and eventually he gave up. Whatever be the case, though, by this time next year we should have an industry capable of producing items so valuable in such quantities that a trade agreement is needless for us to turn a profit.


6th of Galena


When Medtob Ramsakzul emerged from the tunnel near the volcano today, he said to those waiting outside but four words:


"The magma shall flow".


And flow it shall - for several months, really - until finally it arrives at the forging center that was excavated earlier this year. We shall finally be free of the need for wood-burning forges and finally be able to put our industry into action.


This also gives me an idea. Ironhold's chief export is stonecrafts and the like, of which those of obsidian are of the most value, Obsidian, however, is relatively rare - under normal conditions. With the volcano tapped into, however, it is quite possible for us to begin to utilize its lava for obsidian production - an obsidian casting pit, if you will. If we can siphon some of the lava off to a chamber and then pump water into it, we'll have nigh-infinate amounts of obsidian to work with, not to mention the skill-building for miners.


[edit] Autumn, 1053

2nd of Limestone


I'm afraid I must admit to having somewhat neglected the records I'm supposed to keep, but the truth of the matter is that things are simply *quiet*. Everything is peaceful: no feys, no ambushes, no raids, nothing of the sort. It is, of course, only the beginning of autumn, but if things keep up like this then I dare say I could make it through the rest of the year with but only a few more entries.


Several things of interest to at least *someone* have transpired, though:


  • The noble quarter was carved out, is being stocked with furniture, and has largely been smoothed out, and dare I say that by season's end Ironhold will have one of the fiercest teams of details I've ever laid eyes upon. Almost like machines, they are: they are at a spot but aa second before its impurities are purged, and but two before some masterful piece of art adorns the walls. Though I *do* have to wonder about some of their muses - one does not normally wish to see the ultra-detailed image of a hunter being torn asunder by a ferocious jaguar while eating his supper.
  • The magma has finally reached the forging channels, and by month's end the entire facility will be in operation. I've ordered the decommissioning of the wood-burning forges in the upper reaches of the fortress, and what ores we have should be smelted quickly.


12th of Limestone


Our brothers from the mountainhome have arrived!


Interestingly enough, the arrival of the caravan also prompted our mayor to actually finally meet with the human envoy, whom I had presumed to have left long ago. Hopefully we can come to a profitable agreement.


16th of Limestone


Agh! In a moment of carelessness, I ordered the creation of an opening in the rear of the fortress to allow better access to out surface crops until we are able to create enclosed plots, and a snatched infiltrated no more than a day after it had been finished. Luckily one of the dogs was near the location and it looks like it scared the snatcher off before it could do any harm.


We've also finished negotiation with the humans, but the outlook is grim - they're largely looking for leatherwork goods, quivers, tanned hides, plants, other things of the sort. The summer of 1054 is not looking nearly as good as this one was.


Trade with our brothers was far more pleasing. Whomever made the requests list last year was right on the money - gems, metal bars, wood, cages and caged animals, meat and drink, plants - practically everything that we needed! We'll be feasting like kings for a month with the load they brought!


18th of Limestone


Extra liquor bedamned! Keeping that rear enterence open is an open invitation for every thief and snatcher within the region to come prowling about! Our gem-cutter is currently dealing with no less than *three* of the curs, though hopefully the guards shall make quick work of these assailants. As soon as this is resolved, the outdoor plot is being destroyed - I *will* not risk this outpost for a few berries for inferior alcohol!


20th of Limestone


AMBUSH!


Ironhold 1053B - 4 - AMBUSH 1.jpg


The mongrols attacked from the south, catching Ilral the farmer and one of the peasants offguard. The peasant went down in a hail of arrows, whilst Ilral took one to the head and arm but managed to limp away.


Ironhold1053B-4-AMBUSH4.jpg


Close the gate!!


"You can't! Mayor Geshud is still out there with the liaeson!"


And we've got fifty men, women, and children in *here*! CLOSE THE GATE!


Luckily for the mayor and the liaeson, whomever first built that office had the sense to put a door in there. Locked and bolted, nothing's getting through there - and the liaeson decides to finish negotiations, never mind that the mayor had been *shot*


Ironhold1053B-4-AMBUSH5.jpg


Apparently the goblins managed to get a few shots before the gate was drawn, and one of the caravan guards was felled.


And now all we can do is wait.


23th of Limestone


The "siege" continues. I know not what happened to poor Ilral - last I saw of him he was fleeing up north whilst the goblins descended to the fortress enterence - but inside life continues as much as it can. The mayor has concluded negotiations with the liaeson from the mountainhomes - short swords and idols are the big-ticket items for next year's caravan, and we can easily meet the demand for such.


7th of Sandstone


  • Still* they prowl about the entry bridge, just like the animals they are. And to make matters worse Edzul the leatherworker acts as though a dwarf possessed - the last thing I need while keeping murderers at bay outside is to have a psychopath *inside*.


8th of Sandstone


And we are safe of the interior front - Egzul found his materials without a problem and is now happily hemming away at whatever he is making.


12th of Sandstone


I fear the poor mayor will not survive the siege - hungry and thirsty, it seems he's fairly aware of his potential doom and has begun etching like a madman upon the walls.


Edzul, meanwhile, has finished his creation:


Ironhold1053B-4-AMBUSH7.jpg


A mere six thousand dimdums, but considering the circumstances it's better than him going postal - or gobbo, as it were


13th of Sandstone


The mayor has finished with the walls, and now he takes to the floors themselves. Those who keep watch near the enterence have told me that from the room outside they can hear his screaming - his screaming about a ban on the export of Electrum goods.


20th of Sandstone


We have been held hostage by these accursed green devils for a month, and they show no signs of relenting. We can only be thankful that it is autumn and that the caravan from the mountainhomes had already arrived (they are held with us as well, and I shudder at the thought of one of those guards going berserk) but spirits are beginning to run low as the days go by.


Ironhold1053B-4-AMBUSH8.jpg


The poor mayor has, from the sounds of it, completily engraved his room - or cell, as some say - from floor to ceiling, and one can only hope for the safety of the poor liaeson trapped there with him.


With the outside world cut off, I've ordered the miners to begin some new excavations - one of the things I wanted to do most of all was get the farming plots at the height of the fortress in order, and now I've more than enough time.


25th of Sandstone


I make now an extrordinarily risky decision: to lower the gate long enough for the caravan to leave. Each day brings them closer and closer to the brink of madness, and I've heard the horrifying tales of destruction those deranged axedwarves have wrought upon those fortresses unfortunate enough to be sieged while they are present. I can only hope that the mechanisms will be swift enough to prevent the enemy from infiltrating - for all our defenses, this siege has brought to light our vulnerability and weaknesses.


Ironhold1053B-4-AMBUSH9.jpg


"OPEN THE GATE!"


Ironhold1053B-4-AMBUSH10.jpg


Godspeed, caravan!


Ironhold1053B-4-AMBUSH11.jpg


O, villainy!


Ironhold1053B-4-AMBUSH12.jpg


Fly, good caravan!


Ironhold1053B-4-AMBUSH13.jpg


Fly, fly, fly! Thou mayst revenge, O slave!


1st of TImber


The caravan made good on their escape, but not without heavy casualties; at least five dwarves were struck down during their flight, and another two of the merchents were injured or stranded, including one within the bridge. By dwarven law, we cannot do anything for him; ask me now why or how, but that is simply the way it is. The slaughter was not one-sided, though, as a few of the invaders were slain, bringing the remaining number to four - all crossbowgoblins, naturally.


The caravan's flight has given enough distance between the invaders for the mayor to attempt a daring escape, aided by the fact that the invaders appear to have expended all of their ammunition. I've ordered the gate lowered for him to enter - hopefully our fledgling military will be able to aid him, and the traps should help.


Ironhold1053B-4-AMBUSH14.jpg


Realizing that he'd get no help from us, the injured trader attempted his own escape - and was soundly clubbed to death by the goblins.


Ironhold1053B-4-AMBUSH15.jpg


That got them! One of the goblins walked right into our traps and got caged - when the other two were walking about the corner, our hunter laying in wait sent a few quarrels their way, and the beasts turned tail and ran!


Ironhold1053B-4-AMBUSH16.jpg


And with the siege over, we once again must return to our regular business, or at least as much as we can.


17th of Timber


Someone finally found poor Ilral today - apparently he had been comatose on the ground above the farming plots during much of the siege. We put him in a makeshift infirmery in the soldiers' quarters, but his wounds were so severe that he couldn't even eat with aid, and eventually he starved to death. He shall be missed.


Reorganization of the farming plots is going fairly well - I've had excavated an area of that level that'll serve as a greenhouse of a sorts, with enough space to give us a respectable plot for every plant. Our liquor problems are all but completily absolved - the problem now is finding enough hands to plant and harvest everything.


[edit] Winter, 1053

1st of Moonstone


Winter has come upon us of Ironhold, and hopefully the cold weather will stave off any would-be attackers long enough for us to properly organize and recover from last season's attack.


16th of Moonstone


Yet another attempt by a thief to lift from our stores. How this one got in I cannot even fathom - the formerly-open enterences have all been locked and there are dogs chained at the main enterence. The only opening (literily) is through the open ceiling of the area where I hope to have our surface farming plots established, but it doesn't seem likely that kobolds would jump down through there to get inside. Still, it is but a thief and shall be easily dealt with.


Ironhold1053B-5-Catacombs.jpg


The recent attack has occupied all of the available burial slots in the tombs built by former administrators, so I have designated for a large catacomb to be built and furnished near the soldiers' quarter. With time, it shall hopefully be of such splendor that even Her Grace would be quite content to rest eternal within its walls - but she is but one of many names that I build it in.


9th of Opal


The "greenhouse" is all but finished - the overlying terrain has been demolished (of note: from my observations dwarves will channel from the west and north and ALWAYS from the west and north, to the point of standing on land that will collapse from their actions - luckily the miner suffered only a temporary fainting spell) but now there remains the problem of preparing the ground. As we've no suitabl running water nearby we cannot channel it into the area, and the dwarves under my administration seem incapable of manually spreading water to muddy the selected area, at least of what I've observed. It being so late in my administration there is very little I can actually do to address this, and I must leave it to my successor to handle such.


25th of Opal


I heard the most infernal shrieking last night - peeking from my chamber door, it sounded as though it came from the direction of Uzol the metalsmith's room. A moment later, he came sprinting past in the direction of the workshops. I can only hope that like the others this year he's able to sate whatever beast drives him - then again, he's just as likely to take a dive into the magma that fuels his forge as he is to begin attacking someone, so the danger to the rest of the fortress is minimal.


26th of Opal


Things are quiet down in the forges - deathly quiet. This afternoon, one of the other workers tells me that whilst listening in on poor Uzol, he overheard a murmer of "shell" - I'm afraid Ironforge's luck with the fey has run out.


3rd of Obsidian


Ironhold1053B-6-arksdwarfPost.jpg


While the entryway I erected early in the year helped to save the fortress from the attackers that struck during the autumn, the fact that we had no way of striking back at the invaders from safety negated this advantage, perhaps even hindered us. I've never been good at organizing militaries, and the time it would take to do so is far more than I have - but to whomever follows in my footsteps, I can give them the architectural tools to correct my folly. A large fortification now overlooks the bridge, from which marksman can easily strike at the enemy.


29th of Obsidian


Work proceeds well on the mausoleum - at this time it had been excavated, smoothed, and detailed, and is now in the process of being stocked. Several of the fallen have already been placed, Armok rest their souls, but hopefully they shall be the last for a good, long while.


[edit] Conclusion

And so comes to an end my tenure as steward of Ironhold. I would like to think that my decisions have been for the good of the fortress and the nation as a whole, though it is not my place, but that of my successors and Her Grace, to pass such judgement. I know not exactly who or where the next steward is coming from, but for whomever they may be I must prepare my final notes and observations so that they may know best where Ironhold stands.


Strengths


Our defenses are considerable - at the very least we have the capability to fortify ourselves and wait out ambushes and lighter sieges, and the traps in the main enterence combined with the marksdwarf outposts above will give anything that tries to attack Ironhold a worthy fight. The other enterences to the fortress have been sealed - the only way to gain enterence to the fort asides from the main enterence is the overland farming plots at the top of the outpost, which should only be a problem if flying creatures should assail Ironhold.


We have managed to tap into the magma of the nearby volcano and our forging and smelting capabilities, facility-wise, have been fully accessed. We've a total of twelve smelters and forges, evenly divided, and a dedicated team of workers with a good supply of materials will make Ironhold a mighty figure in the production of arms, armor, and other metal goods. Acquiring said materials is a seperate matter - I will admit that I did not focus on creating exploratory shafts and branches in search of ores, so what little metal we have left is from captured/recovered articles and the odd bit of ore stumbled upon.


Our farming capabilities are formidable - we've a total of six plots for indoor crops, and once the areas exposed to light can be moistened and conditioned that'll be space enough for an additional nine five-by-five-meter plots. We've also a reasonable stock of food, though the death of Ilral the farmer means we are without a formidable cook/brewer, and the replacements are still relatively inexperienced.


And if nothing else, our engravers are perhaps the best of the entire nation, and are sure to help boost Ironhold's appearance of value amongst the other outposts.


Weaknesses


Our military forces are paltry - a total of four dwarves, two wrestlers and two recruits. While traps can take care of anything that gets into the fortress proper, Ironhold will need marksdwarves to fend off those outside its walls.


Ironhold's organization is still somewhat of a mess - while I was able to shift the foodstuffs to a location across from the main dining hall and excavated a warehouse for outgoing trade goods, there are many items that are still in general catch-all stockpiles that need to be sorted out, and areas must be excavated connected to the workshops for these articles to be distributed.


While we've plenty of foodstuffs, out liquor supply is a bit of a problem - compared to somewhere around 350 units when I arrived, we've only about 130, and the death of our chief brewmeister means that what liquor we produce from now on will take more time and be of less quality, at least for the near future.


Finally, the organization of task assignments for the fortress populace is rather poor - numerous people have numerous jobs outside of what they are perceived to do, and finding out who does what and who is the best at a given task is outright painful. A massive personnel reorganization is in drastic need, and I'm afraid the transition period will be quite harsh and inefficient.


Notes


I had created behind the kennels a small storehouse for spare cages and captured animals - most of them are currently set in a central cage, but one of the cages currently holds one extremily ornery and bloodthirsty goblin. Hopefully it (or at least the items it wears) will fetch a good price with the next human/dwarf caravan that comes around, but take extreme care when ordering its transport - we know well enough the tale of the caged bronze collossus and the careless trader.


The exterior gate is currently fully active and linked to a switch near the stairs of the residential area, but there is a second that I'd ordered built but had overlooked just to the north of the trade depot - if you link that one to the north-most switch to the east, our defenses should be improved even further, and permit us to remain enclosed for as long as we wish without alienating ourselves from our trade partners. Take care with it, however, for as a drawbridge-style gate it runs the risk of crushing anything caught under it when lowered (although Ill admit a morbid curiosity as to what'll happen to the dogs chained near it if they're on it when it's raised). And speaking of which, it might be a good idea to re-mechanize the main gate once our new mechanic becomes more experienced - currently there is quite a delay, and speed is of the essence with such devices.


I'd reccomend removing the futniture from that office outside the main gate by the river and sealing off the doorway - after the attacks in winter, many of the fortress' citizens refer to it as "Geshud's Tomb", and should the need to recall everybody to the fortress interior arise again it would do little good to have people ducking in there instead of the safety of the main gate.


And with this, I, "Sorenson" Tithlethzag, do declare my term as steward of Datankegeth, coloquially known as "Ironhold", in the names of the nation of Thikenlorbam and Her Grace Queen Atis Teskomlitast, to be officially ended, and for the title of steward of Datankegeth to be passed upon the appropriate individual as decreed by the state or by circumstance.


In the name of Her Grace, "Sorenson" Tithlethzag, steward of Thikenlorbam


ADDENDUM: At the beginning of this record I had mentioned an individual who had caused a delay for the caravan I had been travelling with to Ironhold - what I had neglected to mention was that, following the caravan's departure, supposedly the caravan had met with an untimely end at the hands of goblins - save for him. So the story goes, he had wandered the wilderness for a few days before meeting the migrants who had joined us during the spring. The interesting thing? He *also* goes by the name of Sorenson (or more than likely lifted it from me during the early caravan) albeit unofficially. When I discovered this during my final day as steward, I decided to leave a bit of myself behind and made his little bit of name-stealing official in the documentation, and I'll be interested in seeing just how he turns out in the months and years to come - provided he doesn't burn the entire fortress down, of course.

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