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Cypress "Paperscratcher" Lyshra

Cypress Lyshra has been ecstatic lately. He was satisfied with work lately. He spoke with a friend lately. He admired own fine laptop lately. He was pleased to have a mandate deadline met lately. He had a satisfying sparring session lately. He slept in a good quality bedroom recently. He had a wonderful meal lately.

He is agnostic.

He is the Philosopher of The Grand Library. He is the Bookkeeper of The Grand Library.

Cypress Lyshra likes Copper, Iron, Silicon, Quartz, Sand, the color Grey, MST3K, and Machine Elves for their confusing ways. He enjoys glassworking, and Book keeping. When possible, he prefers to consume Stew.

He is often cheerful. He finds rules confining. He is eager to try new things. He is bored by reality and has a wonderful imagination. He is entranced by riddles and puzzles, and loves to debate issues and ideas. He is given to procrastination. He rarely does more work than necessary. He needs caffine to get though the working day. He does not mind being outdoors.

Cypress's Library

Cypress writes often, and also collects many stories from others, publishing them in large novels. Sadly, the library is fairly empty right now, but a few novels occasionally appear in the shelves.

Tales from the Labyrinthine Hatchets

The Labyrinthine Hatchets welcome you! We are a group of dwarves that maintain the small settlement of Astninur, on the foot hills of the Fiery Spire, and on the banks of the Running Stream. Collected below are a series of stories straight from the gates of Astninur.

Journal of Ms. Urdim 'Whippeaks' Bomrekilrom

Opening entry, 8th Sandstone, 208, Year Eight, Dwarf Count Eight

The traders brought my journal today! It was a year ago that I asked them to bring me this small, leather bound book (They forgot the calender though, those bastards). It's been a long year, full of digging and...well, more digging. We set up our defensive tower, and made a small glass ceiling over our dining hall. Our farming and brewing system are finally set up, and all of our horses have been caged to prevent a horseplosion.

Ach, they just hit a vein of gold, and they need me there! I'll be right back.


10th Timber, 208, Year eight, Dwarf Count Eight

The vein has been completely mined out, now our farmers, Kulet and Sodel are hauling the gold to the stockpiles. The work was aided by my dearest Likot, who is shaping up to be a legendary miner just like me.

We broke ground on two new towers today, built out of the sides of the mountain. They're being built entirely from the inside out, so the front gate can remain closed while the construction takes place. Hopefully we'll be done in less than a year, and we'll be able to repel those darn goblins that keep interfering with trade.

None of us are really any good with a cross bow, but we have good quality materials, and we're not fighting fair. Goblin's shouldn't stand a chance.

As always, our count stands at eight dwarves, although Minkot is considering sending an invitation to a few of her aquaintances, and I'm inclined to allow it. Although, they would probably end up being assigned to military duties, since the eight of us here already have out work set out for us making sure the fort runs as it should.


10th Moonstone, 208, Year eight, Dwarf Count eight

Well, it either is a drought or it's a flood. This time last year we were running dangerously low on spirits, thanks to our plump helmet harvest being cooked instead of brewed. But this year, we have untold gallons of the stuff. My only complaint is that it's taking up all of our barrels, so we can't use them for anything else. Maybe it's time to start making gold barrels.

The merchants came and left today without any trouble, and all seems to be going well. The towers are soaring into the sky, able to cover all of the east face of the mountain, and the entryway has been fully equipped with glass spike traps. Everything is looking up.


Ammendum: Ah, looks like Likot and I aren't the only lovers in this mine! Minkot, our metal smith, has been seeing Bembul, our craftsdwarf. I wish Minkot all the best!

10th Timber, 209, Year Nine, Dwarf Count Eight

It's been a busy year, hardly any time to write. But after the merchants left, I finally sat down to recalculate the stocks, and wrote a bit.

Our tower defense (Southern) is completed, or at least stablized. If we want to continue building at a later date, we can. The spike traps have been used to great affect, and I believe that we've found a way to deal with our horse population, since butchering, at the moment, is inefficient. On that note, actually, we are beginning to radically redesign the fortress, starting with the roofing of the dining hall, to combat the already prevalent cave adaptation. This completed, we are outfitting the entire room with gold and obsidian walls, tables, chairs, doors, and statues! Next, we are building a crafts district. Our original fortress was compact and quickly built, but this led to most of the production buildings being bunched together, with woefully inadequate stockpile space. This should be remedied in the coming months, as well as a moving and expansion of the sleeping areas, to encompass much larger rooms, with smoothed walls and chests.

Also, to fuel our growing need for obsidian, the old, woefully slow obsidian farm has been signifigantly redesigned, to allow for faster creation of obsidian.

No goblins this year, and thank goodness considering all the outdoor work we've been doing. None of the caravans we've hosted have noticed any either, so we're not sure what's going on. Maybe they're massing.

18th Hematite, 211, Year Eleven, Dwarf Count Eight

Literally as I write we are scrambling for the first real test of our defenses. The problem with Astninur isn't keeping enemies out, we can raise our gates and wait them out, with our magma, fresh water, and farms. But allowing merchants to come in and out of 'Sabreescort' is a little difficult. As I write some goblins, fresh on the trail of a team of merchants, were brought to a halt as both the outer and inner drawbridge rose. Now, we are taking a brief interlude to conduct business as the goblins pound at our walls. And just before we show the merchants out, I will pull the lever (Maybe a few times for good measure, those goblins are a nuisance), and flood the main entry hall with spikes and other such unpleasantness. And then we get to take their stuff. God I've been waiting for years to pull this lever...

In other news, the mining for the new craftsman sector is going well, and the new bedrooms are carved out, and being emptied of rocks. Soon we'll have wonderful new rooms, above the magma and the water level.

Life is good. I think I'm gonna pull the lever now.


16 Sandstone, 212, Year Twelve, Dwarf Count Eight

I have come to believe that I am enjoying the use of our spike pit too much.

This year, we have lost all three incoming caravans to goblins and kobolds. And while the kobolds have had the dignity to run away, the goblins have been throwing themselves at our fortress, even going to far as to kill our adorable bait horse, Target. You will be missed, Target, but your children Bullseye and Snipee will carry on your proud tradition.

But back to the goblins.

I managed to kill a few (Using goblin bone bolts), in our newly constructed towers, but the real breakthrough came when they spotted Target, and ran right into the entrance hall.

The entrance hall, the one full of spikes with the airlock set up? That one.

So now we have about six of them, not the whole force, but a few, stuck inside the entrance hall. And so, every day or so, I pull the lever to lower or raise the spikes. Sometimes I do it a few more times out of spite. I suppose I could just fire down on them from the fortifications on the second story of the entrance hall, but...this is honestly a whole hell of a lot more fun!


Amendum: I just snuck in to look at our goblins. Three dead, one with minor injuries (He doesn't need that spleen), one with an injured lower back, and one with a pierced lung. We're gonna let them steep there for a while, see which one dies first. We've even got a betting pool running.

20th Opal, 213, Dwarf Count Eight

Well...the craftsman district is taking it's time to come together, but we've started moving things inside it, and carving all of the relevant staircases to make access easier. It should be done mid-summer next year.

I've been taking time off from mining, and gotten into engraving. At the moment, I've not engraved anything yet. I've been apprenticed to Stukos Esmulshem, our fortress's legendary engraver, and I have just reached her level of skill. I shall begin engraving our bedrooms shortly.

Oh, yes, and our trap has caught so many kobolds this year. We've gone through three trap animals, and we're so full of goblin bones, we're ready to start selling glass embedded bone bolts.


9th Slate, 214, Dwarf Count 11

Our invitation has finally gone through, and this spring has seen the arrival of our first immigrants, and our first family, Reg Tulonnosing and his wife, Stinthad Lashbold, and their child, Korgan Paintlast. This has the potential to either be very good, (Two people who can be placed in our military, since they have few other skills, which is fine), but it has the potential to be very bad (Our fortress is not set up to have many children born... And even less set up to survive a miscarrage.) In any case, it is good to see some new faces around the place, and I wish them all the best.

Now to clear out the old barracks and set up a crib...


13 Malachite, 216, Dwarf Count 11

He proposed.

My love, after sixteen years, finally proposed.

Right now, I'm coming back from my own wedding reception. I'm drunker than hell, and I can hardly hold my pen still!

It was right after the human merchants left that he approached me. Apparently, the gold he requested last year from the liason was for more than just statues, because he gave me the most beautiful ring, gold encrusted with opals and blue diamonds

Looks like my idea of linking our bedrooms was a good one...


The Ghost Cave

Taken from the diary of Kogsak Olinostar, dwarven trader

There is a place we visit every fall, as the trees begin to drop their leaves. It isn't a fortress, hasn't been for some's more of a cave. It's built into the side of a mountain, right next to a stream. It's the most beautiful place, almost no sign that dwarfish hands had touched the land. No roads, no tree stumps, no dead animals. Then there is the cave itself. It's a small place, just barely big enough for the old trading post that rests within it. The floor is smoothed, and engraved with strange, unsettling images. They seem to move when you watch them, and it makes me uncomfortable to stare at the wall for too long. Walls shouldn't be able to stare back.

This year, as we walked into the cave, Urdim popped out, happy as always. That poor woman is the last inhabitant of the fortress of Astninur, and this cave all that she has. The trading post is the second floor of a two story cave that she calls home...I've only had cause to go below once, when I helped her carry down a barrel of Plump Helmets...I daresay I shall never want to go down there again. Her bed is placed near the door, and then, right behind that lies six coffins, carefully made and sealed shut. Below that is a flooded had been one mistake that flooded the whole fortress, she'd explained. It's a terrible story...and yet she seems unaccountably cheerful.

But we do not visit this place every year just to check in on the poor young woman, for she produces incredible pieces of work, ruby encrusted mechanism and masterfully sculpted crowns, made from the very stone of the mountain, yet more beautiful than any metal crown. It is an incredible that she produces it all in her little cave...and so very sad that this work is all that she has to remember her comrades, one her husband, by. Every night, she locks the door to the lower chambers, and we hear the last mark of her madness...voices. A myriad of voices rises from the unnatural floors, filling our sleeping ears with their laughter, and the beating of hammers, and the chink of picks hitting stone. But come day break, it all fades away, and Urdim pops out, smiling, her madness sustaining her for one more day.

When we leave, she sees us off, then vanishes into her cave, closing the door behind her. We've caught many goblins stalking the area, and none of them know of the fortress in the area. None of them even knew that dwarves traveled through here...and our swords ensure that no one will know.

She is indeed a strange one, her madness singularly healing...and yet, sometimes I wonder...for sometimes, the voices sound so real, so convincing...I almost want to share her delusion...that her world is just fine. But I always leave the poor girl behind, to live with her ghosts.