Burning Dwarf Fortress

Lost Tales: Bad GM

The dwarves finally chased the spiders away, baiting them into the spider trap, scorching them, and then chasing them from their holds. They rescued two dwarves in the process, and made a ‘room’ aka holding cell for them just in case they had brain spiders.

A new dwarf, Werast, showed up, and delivered a message to Largos about returning to his father to help manage the business. Largos did his level best to not let on he couldn’t read, but Frigga eventually read the letter for him. Largos immediately pointed at the two miner dwarves they rescued and said, I’ll just send them… and they wanted none of it. They wanted to settle down and join the city. In the ensuing Duel of Wits, Frigga threw in with Largos, one worried about brain spiders, the other about his father. Though the rescue dwarves were outmatched, they did get out a concession that they would not leave unless their friends were rescued as well.

Largos was really hoping some proper help would show up, and in a stroke of luck, Glim and two of her fellow mercenary dwarves showed up in the hold. She wanted her set up, and a place of pride in the new city. They asked her to come and help with the rescue, and she insisted she have her hall in the city ASAP. Largos and Frigga agreed, and so the party set out to find the remaining dwarves in the spider mines.

The first challenge was finding the mines… for which they decided to get Splibprax’s help. Werast was rather unhappy about this, but Frigga convinced him it was the only option. Splibrax agreed on the condition that he be given the eggs the party had taken from the previous occupants of the caves.

Splibrax led the party through tunnels for the better part of a day until they began hearing the sound of activity in the nearby tunnels. Splibrax left them to their business. The party was almost ambushed, and only quick reflexes saved them from being overwhelmed by the spiders attacking them. Largos tried to prove he was a better fighter than Glim, while Frigga crawled into tunnels to rescue Dvar, their guide miner dwarf.

They noted that after the ambush, the sound of mining was no longer audible. Also, one of Glim’s mates had disappeared in the fighting. Despite the need to rest, they pushed on. Frigga and one of Glim’s mates then spotted a small horde of gold in a side tunnel, and almost came to blows over them. They managed to only have a brief tussle, stuff their pockets, and agreed to return after more pressing concerns. The party of dwarves headed down the halls, towards what spiders might still be around.

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Spider Invasion

Largos and Frigga slammed the door closed behind them, momentarily thinking themselves safe, until realizing they were staring into the back of their mushroom farm, and the tunnel leading back to their caves had caved in. Frigga’s work on the crypt in the alcove there had weakened the stone, and only now did it crash down.

The spiders were scrabbling at the door, and the dwarves had to work fast. Clearing the cave in was not looking like an easy task, so Largos decided to try yelling through the rubble to get Beary to come and help. Frigga, rolling her eyes, helped yelling for the other two years. By some miracle the bears heard, and began rolling rocks away from the other side. Largos and Frigga dug in, and managed to clear the rubble… Just as a rhythmic loud thumping started on the door. Largos insisted they just put a rock in the way of the door and build traps, while Frigga insisted they build a new door. Frigga of course won the argument, and a new door was quickly constructed… Just in time, as the spiders’ ramming finally payed off, and they broke through the outer door. The dwarves scrambled back, and began to build an elaborate bear-grease flame trap past their new door, but after several days of banging and construction it became evident that the spider’s were not going to be able to break through this door.

In the downtime Largos decided to put his mind to training Beary to ‘sit’, which he eventually succeeded at!

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Out of the Gaspocket and Into the Fire

Largos and Frigga had to think quickly to try and get out of the gas pocket, as their attempts to make their way out quickly lit gas seeping into the chamber on fire. With some quick thinking and scrounging they made a cement paste and managed to seal the leak shut, and putting out the fire. Largos then measured up the side of the wall, and excavated a hole out of the gas pocket into the chasm. Luckily they exited exactly where their handholds were carved into the rock, and proceeded to climb back up to their caverns.

Once their, they had to take stock of their food, and found they were starting to run low on food as the bears were burdening their stocks. They decided to go out into the wild again, and try and forage up a new supply. Largos insisted on taking Beary along, for whom they managed to make a makeshift harness to carry more materials. Largos’s aim was to teach Beary to follow him on command, though teaching the bear turned out to be tricky. As they combed the berry patches for a very healthy harvest, Beary suddenly disappeared, only to appear floating down the nearby stream wailing for help. Frigga tried to stop Largos from just jumping into the river, but the powerful hauler shrugged off her hand, and dove in after his bear. In a heroic effort, he hauled the soaked terrified bear back to shore. Though the foraging expedition was successful in replenishing the dwarves food supplies, Beary was clearly now terrified of water in pretty much any form.

Frigga then urged Largos to finish their foray into the crevasse, and complete a switchback tunnel up the far side in order to access the cave with the glow coming from it. Largos proceeded very carefully on this task, with Frigga helping by mapping out the area. Although the tunnel was succesfully completed, as Frigga and Largos broke through to the cave they were tunneling to, they were confronted by a pack of spiders led by Seven-Legs. Frigga was not backing down from her quest, and swinging her axe wildly sprang to grab a fistful of glowing moss after fistful of glowing moss. Finally, the press of spiders was too much, and Largos grabbed Frigga, and started hauling back down the tunnel. Frigga kept swinging her axe, keeping the spiders just enough at bay that they could not catch up. The two dwarves ended their exhausting sprint collapsing behind one of their doors in the mushroom farm cave.

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First Journey into the Crevasse

Largos and Frigga took on the task of trying to bridge the Crevasse. They considered several ways to cross. Largos insisted he could just lower Frigga by a rope, but Frigga wanted some safer setup. After arguing extensively, Frigga disassembled Largos position on the topic and instated dwarf-osha.

The two dwarves worked out a way to better secure the rope around a stalagmite, and Largos still acted as spotter while Frigga carved handholds into the rock face on the way down. After a day or so of labor, they finished, and Frigga started to climb back up. Half way up, the handholds collapsed, and a gas cloud blew out of the cliff face throwing Frigga around. Largos tried to reel her in, but went tumbling over the edge as well. Frigga slammed into the wall hard, cracking some ribs, while Largos bruised up his shoulder.

Largos tried desperately to drag the two of them back up, but couldn’t get enough traction on the wall, so opted for lowering both dwarves to the bottom of the chasm.

As the two dwarves assessed their situation, Beary the bear stuck his head out over the edge of the ledge above. Largos contemplated having Beary retrieve some medical herbs from camp, but at Frigga’s urging, realized that Beary was after all a bear cub. Instead, Largos climbed back up the rope to see what the bear was up to. Beary seemed quite agitated and kept nudging Largos in the chest. Largos ended up returning to the main chamber, only to find Beer and Danger Floof curled up on the ground, ill, and with vomit and little poison sacks all around.

Frigga, in the meanwhile, steeled herself, and inhaled several deep wiffs of somewhat anesthetic gas from the exploded gas pocket. With her mind somewhat cleared of pain, she looked about, just to spot an whitish hided spider on a ledge above across from her. The spider began climbing down, so Frigga hid in a crevice and stayed still. The spider scuttled about a bit, asking in poor dwarven where the dwarf disappeared to, and saying ‘dwarf hurt’ repeatedly. Frigga could tell from the spider’s coloration that this was an old spider.

Largos, having assessed the bears, returned to the ledge to find a spider circle Frigga. Largos repeatedly threatened the spider, while the spider kept insisting that the dwarf nearby was hurt. Finally, as Largos was about to zip down and murder the spider, Frigga stepped out and confronted the spider what it wants. It responded that it wants to help the hurt dwarf (Frigga). Frigga asked why a spider would want to do such a thing, and the spider responded that it was a vegetarian. On further questioning, the spider said he ate many dwarves until it realized dwarves, like Splibrax were people. Frigga then let the spider have a look at her injury. Largos, zipping down the rope, immediately tackled the spider off of Frigga, and was about to kill it. Frigga told him to stop, and said toet Splibrax help. The spider investigated the wound further, ran off, came back, and patched Frigga up with herbs and spider silk.

Largos then relayed his concern about the bears, and an argument broke out over whether to let the spider help the bears. Frigga, with help from Splibrax, won the argument, but conceded that the spider could most certainly not stay with them. Splibrax managed to patch the bears up as well. Largos asked, reluctantly, what he could give it in exchange, and Splibrax asked for thanks, which Largos only muttered out once the spider was finally out of earshot.

Frigga’s health began to rally, though a permanent injury was just barely averted.

The two dwarves decided to complete their initial task by mining out switchback tunnels down to the bottom of the crevasse. Half way there, after two weeks or so of work, as their tunnel broke into the gas pocket area, the tunnel collapsed. Both dwarves dove into the gas pocket before they were crushed, but now they sat trapped, half way down the cliff side, in a gas pocket.

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Bear adventures

The dwarves found themselves in the middle of a rainstorm, which was showing the unfortunate drainage situation in the entry hall to their dwelling. As the chamber was filling up, they debated which of their doors to open… the one to the outside, or the one leading back to their farm. In the end, they decided to open the front gates while Largos excavated out a cistern off to the side of the entrance cave. This was going smoothly, and Frigga and Drahkar were pushing the water out of the chamber until a bear and her cubs wandered in. Frigga jumped on Drahkar’s shoulders and they tried to scare the bear off, but being protective of her soaked cubs, she just became more aggressive.

Drahkar pulled a throwing axe, and threw it as the bear charged. The axe grazed across the bear’s shoulder, and the bear bowled Drahkar over. Frigga’s swing made another scar across the bear’s side. Largos jumped in to try to wrestle the bear down, and managed to stagger the beast before being pushed back. The bear swung its giant paw at Largos, and Drahkar, from the ground, still managed to use his shield to push the bear off balance enough that the swing missed. Largos then jumped back in, burying his new dirk hilt deep in the bear’s chest. The bear reeled, and tried to run for it, but with another expertly executed swing, Drahkar struck the bear across the hind leg, nearly bringing it down. The dwarves moved quickly, and overwhelmed the stunned bear, killing it in short order.

The bear cubs milled around confused and distressed. The trio of dwarves looked upon them, and saw great opportunity. They carefully approached, and went about calming the bear cubs to get them to be handleable. Once calmed down, Largos went on to carve a bear cubby for them. In the meanwhile, Drahkar and Frigga went about butchering the mother bear to increase their stock of bear meat. This operation went awry, however, and the bear meat was ruined when they knicked the intestines while trying to remove them.

With the bear situation handled, the group decided to do some further exploration. This began by securing the routes out of the mushroom farm by replacing the walls there with doors. Frigga recalled about spiders that they are inexpert at dealing with doors, so with minimal security they can be fairly reliable to hold spiders at bay. They explored the two remaining tunnels, and found one to lead to the same chasm as the first tunnel. The other, however, had a side branch where a pool of water was sitting with strange spherical objects at the bottom.

Largos tried to swim to the bottom to recover the globes, but like a proper dwarf, could not bear the thought of immersing his head under water. Frigga, caring less for dwarven hang ups, dove in and pulled out six spheres in short order. They looked similar to the egg sacks from earlier, but was not tacky and was significantly harder. Although she recalled that in fact water spiders do exist, these did not seem to be their eggs. They cracked one open, to find some scroll cases with maps, though Frigga could not quite tell to what place. They then proceeded to open the other eggs. Within were:
~a dozen steel spheres with ropes
~3D cash
~maps (the first of the six cases)
~squishy sacks that almost made Largos sick
~candles and powders and ointments
~dwarven keys

With their newfound items in hand, the dwarves returned to their home cave to check on the bears.

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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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