Burning Dwarf Fortress

Fight for the Tunnels

Drahkar and Frigga took on the task of securing the rest of the tunnels, and establish a base of operations for the city. The first task was the secure a source of light. The pair of them scavenged up enough branches to make some torches, but they were terrible, smoky, and wavering. Although they cleared the web cave of webs, mostly by melting them on to the floor, the torches were running out. As part of the clearing task, however, they discovered the remains of quite a number of other unfortunate dwarves. Rummaging through them, they managed to recover a footman’s axe, which Frigga took ownership of, and a dirk, which Drahkar took.

To get a better source of ligh, Frigga tried to repair her broken old lamp. This had little success. Instead, Frigga and Drahkar went about rendering down some bear fat to make better torches, which met with some moderate success. Better equipped with light, the pair proceeded on.

Past the web cave, they found a branch in the tunnel, with a high alcove on the left and a chamber to the right. The pair decided to investigate the alcove, and Drahkar boosted Frigga on his shoulders to be able to look over the cliff edge. Frigga looked over, and was immediately startled, as a spider jumped at her face. She ran screaming, knocking Drahkar over in the process. The spider landed, and turned on Drahkar. He grabbed for his axe, and fought from the ground as the skittering creature rushed in. With a powerful series of strikes, Drahkar cut the spider down.

The pair regrouped, and clambered up into the alcove. It contained a bunch of spherical web nodules suspended between floor and ceiling by more webs. One of the nodules was loose on the ground, and several other webbing structures appeared to be missing nodules as well. Drahkar went about slowly opening one, and found that the webbing gave way directly to a slimy interior filled with small lumpy nodules encase in goo. As they contemplated these things, Frigga was unable to provide details as to what they might be, but recalled enough to know that several subspecies of spiders lived in some hierarchical structure. Suddenly, another spider came over the wall, and rushed at Drahkar. The two struggled, the spider trying to keep Drakhar backing up and occupied.The reason why became evident to Frigga, as another three spiders suddenly appeared, having snuck up on the group, and quickly grabbed three of the nodules. They went to run for it, and although Frigga tried to cut them down, they skittered down the tunnels with their nodules. The one spider still fighting Drahkar then turned tail and ran off with its companions.

The dwarves shook themselves off, and proceeded to investigate the next chamber. This turned out to be an abandoned mushroom farm, with some ailing mushrooms in place. Frigga recalled that spiders did occasionally grow mushrooms, possibly to feed prisoners being kept for food. The pair evaluated the prospect of restoring the farm, and it looked plausible. Rather than deal with that, however, they proceeded to spend time fortifying the room. They constructed a pair of walls on two of the tunnels leading out of mushroom chamber, to restrict the ability of spiders to move around. They investigated the third tunnel, and found that it leads to a large chasm that drops perhaps a 100’ down. Tunnels on both sides of the chasm were visible, and one particular tunnel on the other side even had some source of light. Whether it was luminescent fungus or not, Frigga could not tell.

The dwarves returned to the mushroom farm, and decided to wall off the last tunnel out for security. As they worked, Frigga spotted spiders coming down the tunnel, yelling out a warning to Drakhar last second. He managed to just avoid a lasso from one of the spiders. Drakhar and Frigga both pulled axes, and charged into the tunnel at the spiders. Drakhar laid waste to the two spiders that confronted him, chopping about with his axe, while Frigga’s charge was less successful. She rushed forth with conviction, but one of the two spiders managed to bite her, injecting her with poison, and partially incapacitating her. She struggled, as one of the two spiders began to drag her away, and the other spider blocked Drakhar’s advance. It hissed at Drakhar about trading Frigga for ‘our eggs,’ but Drakhar was hardly listening and simply moved forward to attack. Frigga tried to free herself, but the spider dragging her managed to loop more webbing around her, and the poison coursing through her system made the struggle that much harder. Drakhar and the spider exchanged wounds, the spider losing a leg, Drakhar getting a bite but luckily not being poisoned. The spider hesitated in pain, and Drakhar rushed past as Frigga was at the edge of the chasm. Even hanging in the air, Frigga tried to cut herself loose, but perhaps fortunately, failed. Drakhar managed to overpower the spider enough to pull Frigga back up, then wound up his shield and smashed the spider out into the chasm. The last spider ran for it, scuttling away into the darkness, Drakhar’s throwing axe skittering off of rocks just behind it.

The dwarves retreated and finished their work, sealing their part of the cave off. Drakhar went about making the mushroom farm functional again, and Frigga spent time turning the alcove into a crypt for the fallen dwarves recovered from the web chamber. After a wekk or two’s work, Drakhar’s farm was functioning well enough, while although complete, Frigga’s crypt was finished with some undetected instability in it.

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Smells in the Dark

Frigga and Largos found cause to head deeper into the caves. A charnel smell was starting to make the main chamber hard to bear, and making Largos hungry. The duo headed into the tunnels. The first chamber they entered was much like the entrance chamber, except as they stepped inside the ceiling gave way! Both dwarves were caught in the falling rock and pinned to the ground. They struggled out, but Frigga’s lantern was broken.

After the two scrounged up supplies to make a torch, they proceeded to investigate the trap. The conclusion was that in fact it was a spider trap, probably to catch dwarves. After shaking off their injuries, they headed in towards the worsening smell.

The next chamber was a bit smaller, and at the last moment the dwarves noticed it was filled with thick spider webs. They also noticed a badly mauled dwarf deeper in, who weakly called out to them for help.Frigga tried to hack her way through, only to promptly get both of them entangled in the web. Largos almost tore his way out, but promptly fell back into more webs. At Largos’ urging Frigga carefully applied the torch to the flames, and managed to melt away the webs without burning anyone. They got to the dwarf, Vrunn, and dragged him back to the main cave.

Vrunn was in desperate need of medical attention, and Frigga and Largos were at a bit of a loss. They realized Vrunn would need an amputation, and proceeded to try their best to save the dwarf. They got him drunk, scrounged up some analgesic herbs, and sharpened Drahkar’s axe, then Frigga got to work. Despite the help and preparation Vrunn’s injury proved beyond their ability to deal with, and the dwarf died in their arms.

Largos and Frigga then decided to make what they could of the situation, and while Largos constructed a proper tomb for Vrunn in the main entry chamber, Frigga prepared an appropriate inscription to memorialize the first dwarf to fall as a citizen of Dumhasburg.

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Berries and Bears, oh my!

Frigga and Drahkar decided to undertake the task of securing a sufficient food supply so that real work on the city could begin. Although they considered delving further into the cave, they decided that perhaps the surface was the best place to look. Drahkar took the lead, and foraged forth to try and find some largeish patch of berries. With Frigga watching the ridgelines, Drahkar managed to find a field of various berry bushes, and the two dwarves began gorging themselves. Frigga kept just enough of an eye out to spot a bear sneaking in on them…

Drahkar pulled a pair of throwing axes from his belt, and handed one to Frigga. The two dwarves circled out to the sides around the bear, and then closed in. Drahkar launched his axe at the bear, and managed to bury it in the bear’s shoulder so deep the handle barely stuck out. Drahkar pulled forth his light axe, and charged, Frigga rushing in beside him. Both dwarves were initially defensive, and the bear’s powerful swing missed Frigga widely. Frigga swung her weapon and didn’t make solid contact, but Drahkar also buried his second axe hilt deep, and the bear groaned in agony and collapsed.

The two dwarves then set about preparing the bear to be food. They contemplated the giant pile of meat and considered and measured it off to try and figure out how to butcher it, then set about the task with what sharp tools they had at hand. After much effort, they managed to disassemble the bear and preserve it sufficiently that the bear would feed them for a month or two!

With having taken a lay of the land, Frigga drew forth he cartography supplies, and prepared a map of the local environs to help in future endeavors above ground.

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Embark!

And so our dwarves leave Inedimsal.

The trio gathered their belongings and headed out into the tunnels to the surface. After a few hours march, they noticed some movement and lights being doused up ahead. They moved forward and found Thadrin and two of his armsdwarves waiting to ambush them. Thadrin demanded the charter to the city, while jibes were made at his beard. Drahkar recognized one of the two dwarves with Thadrin as an old aquaintance, and began chatting with him. Largos, however, kept pushing the confrontation with Thadrin until Thadrin pulled his axe and began swinging. Drahkar was the only one not surprised, and although Thadrin landed a glancing strike on Largos, Drakhar then burried his axe in Thadrin’s side. The armsdwarves then dragged their master back off to the city while the companions traveled on.

After the companions stared at the great furnace in the sky for some while, Frigga got down to the business of sorting out their map. She did a fair job of it, and began leading the party overland. Drahkar foraged for food as they traveled, and promptly poisoned the party with some plants Frigga had seen in some illuminations. Largos just dragged heavy stuff.

Finally the party arrived in a swampy ravine with a small tunnel leading into a cave. They proceeded in, having hidden their baggage train, and were promptly struck with awe staring at the gem studded cavern. Frigga did keep her wits about, and noticed three writhing spider corpses, and a fourth very alive one. It hissed “You aren’t the interloper, but you will do to feed the young.”

Drahkar was filled with Greed, and charged at the spider, who rushed him. The spider bowled Drahkar over, but Drahkar buried his axe in the spider pretty deep. The spider panicked, and tried to flee, but Drahkar kept swinging until the spider was dead. Frigga grabbed a broken stalagmite and helped out.

Finally, the companions attended to the mass of writing dead spiders. Frigga pointed out that those corpses were likely full of spider young, so the companions piled branches around the corpses and burnt them out. Largos, in the meanwhile, feasted on the popping spider young.

In the end, the team rolled a giant rock in front of the entrance, and called it a day.

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Prelude: The Charter

Just to make things complicated, the King Dhumath has decided do expand his holdings, and is offering a charter for a new city.

Largos is instructed by his father to deliver a small coffer to Thadrin Stonebound. After some arguing with his father, Largos complies. He finds Thadrin at the Stonebound complex. Thadrin is giving lessons on beard care to two younger dwarflings. He is very dismissive of Largos, and talks derisively of his beard. Largos tries to impress the dwarflings that in fact he has actual strength which they and Thadrin lack, but they seem unimpressed. Thadrin does flash his coffer’s worth of gems at Largos, and brags about how he is going to get the charter for the new city from King Dhumath. Largos departs, and looks up a dwarf buddy of his who happens to know how these kinds of charter awards go, and finds out that its usually presenting oneself to the king and trying to impress him that you are the most capable of the lot.

Thadrin then barges into Frigga’s study to brag about how he is soon to be endowed with a city of his own. Frigga feigns just enough disinterest to get the details of the charter situation. Thadrin tries to rile Frigga up with repeated mention of their abandoned wedding, to little avail.

Frigga heads off to a bar to try and think of a way to stop Thadrin from getting the charter. There she encounters Glim, who is buying everyone a round on her. She sits down with Frigga and tells her that she just scored a major deal, as a guide for Thadrin to some ideal mining site. Not only that, but she also sold the map to another group of ‘stupid’ dwarves who promised to set her up if they founded a city there. She sees herself in a win win situation. Just then Largos shows up and confronts her about being ‘stupid’. Frigga tries to make an effort to convince Glim to abandon Thadrin, as Thadrin’s oath to reward her with “enough gold to fill her skin” is clearly of dubious merit. Glim has taken a liking to Frigga however, and tries to get her to join Thadrin’s expedition. Frigga has clearly been making cases for far longer than Glim, and after a lengthy discussion Glim abandons any idea of working with Thadrin or trying to get Frigga to join him.

The next challenge was to get Thadrin to not be able to show up to get his charter. Frigga was convinced he would not show up in public if his beard was not immaculate, so now the only question was, how to make his beard a disaster. Largos ran off, and brought back the vilest stickiest substance he could scroung up, so that they could somehow get that into Thadrin’s beard. Frigga then got the best beard treatment she could, to trick Thadrin into thinking that their goo could work such miracles on a beard. She did this over a dinner, and even managed to extort a ruby out of him for it.

The next day, Frigga overheard Thadrin in panic as he was finally trying out the beard oil… only for it to go completely awry. Satisfied, she headed off to meet up with Largos to make a go at getting the charter for themselves.

Frigga and Largos decided to make a case to the king based on their possession of a map, combined with their myriad abilities, that they would be able to build a city, and would even name it in honor of the King himself, Duhmathburg. Frigga also made the argument that sending her, a Stonebound, would weaken the Stonebound clan locally, and they would pose less challenge to the King in local politics. The king was swayed, and awarded the charter to Frigga Stonebound, Largos Emeraldback and their partner in absence Drahkar Stonebound.

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Prelude: The Map

Drahkar and Largos caught up with each other while their fathers were engaged in business, and began discussing a rumor that some ‘adventurer’ called Glim Manyaxe had recently returned to Inedimsal with a supposed map to a cave ripe with resources. They contacted whoever they could to track Glim down, only to find her in a bar surrounded by knocked out dwarves. She immediately challenged the two newcomers to a headbutting contest, which Drahkar took up, only to be knocked utterly senseless. Without pause, Largos stepped in, and knocked Glim out with a solid smash of his forehead.

Once everyone came back about, they managed to get Glim to sit with them with offers of free beer to be had. She produced a raw gem that both Drahkar and Largos immediately coveted. They kept badgering Glim about how to get to this new cave system, but Glim said that the two reject sons of rich dwarves would not be able to pay her price. She wants to be able to rejoin dwarven society as a respected member (a particularly hard task being an outcast). In the end, Drakhar and Largos convinced her that they can in fact guarantee her a place in a new city, and Glim agreed to give them her map.

As they were about to part, Drahkar challenged Glim to a fight for the gemstone, and Glim agreed, with her prize being a employment in the Stonebound household. Drahkar chose to fight dirty, throwing beer in Glim’s face, and promptly beat her with the blunt end of his axe to earn his gemstone.

And thus a map was acquired.

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