10th day of Malachite, 551 years since the Record began,
Stakud “Closebolt” Urolalath, Manager, Head Mason and Bookkeeper for the Expedition Group Anuzlolor, “The Fair Letter”
Tonight I sensed a level of contentment in my kin that I have not felt in quite a while. I think it has to do with the number of improvements we have made to the outpost, as well as the state of affairs in the area.
Our biggest improvement is Stodir’s latest excavation project: bedrooms. It seems like such a simple thing – and they are very small rooms – but I can’t count the number of dwarves that have personally thanked me for giving the order for their construction. Previously with just two dormitories, our increasing numbers were making privacy a new concern – and with children now all about, sleep was becoming near impossible. Almost three dozen alcoves have been dug out, which allows for most of us to have a private room; the couples and families can also share a room to themselves as well. We will likely turn the two dormitories into another storage room and a barracks.
Another improvement that has been a long time coming: the thaw arrived, and our cistern is full!
The design of the pump and channel system worked flawlessly and quickly; clean, fresh water is now deep underground, protected from the harsh cold winters, easily gathered from a marble block well I designed myself. The well has already become a frequent place of socialization and relaxation, lifting everyone’s spirits.
Still, that area can not hold us all, so I think the time has come to carve out a dining hall from the marble vein near the underground farms. I have not engraved anything since our first month here, and there is so much history we need to record on the walls!
There are still no signs of goblins, which is another reason we are at ease. I think we have enough defensive measures in place to begin crafting items that are of some worth. It may draw unwanted visitors, but it will certainly draw traveling merchants which so far have been unimpressed with us. Just this week a human caravan from Uhosgil arrived and we almost turned them away, for we thought we had nothing to offer. They happened to see our kitten skull totems and were eager to have them; since we had no use for them, we agreed, and gave us fresh fish in return. A strange trade, but we never say no to food. We hope that next time merchants arrive, be they human, elf, or dwarf, we will dazzle them with all manner of works that only we can create.
Yes, life is good here in Roofloves. Yet our leader, Lokum, does not seem to agree. She has not been herself of late. I have always found her hard to read since our arrival, but a few weeks ago she acted quite strange, even for her. She was making crossbow bolts from bone fragments, when suddenly she stopped and began running around the outpost looking for something.
We watched in confusion as she gathered strange materials and then returned to her work area. She muttered under her breath for several hours. We left her alone as she worked, and then in the night she called out in a loud voice: “Salirlised!” We ran to her, and she was holding a beautiful scepter high above her head. It looked like she carved it from the leg bone of a wombat.
A scepter? What use is that to us here? Does she seek to become a baroness – or worse, our queen? I can’t fathom what is going through her mind. I wonder if she even knows. As always, I will be watching her…
Not really much I can say here that Stakud hasn’t already said. I noticed a lot of the dwarves had negative thoughts about not sleeping in their own room, so I figured it was time to make private bedrooms. I went with a new design called the Savokis Leaf that I found in the “blueprints” folder of Quickfort; but I didn’t actually use the Quickfort utility to make it, because I didn’t have time to learn how to use it yet. The design is much better than what I was going to do (basic rows), so I’m glad for that.
The Hall of Death grows more deadly with an assortment of traps being added as I make more devices.
This will be interesting when I get attacked. It should happen soon, I would imagine – I struck platinum ore when digging out the bedrooms, so that should have spiked my wealth a bit.
I LOVE that it was Lokum that had the strange mood and created the artifact scepter. Couldn’t have asked for better story fodder.
Finally, I loved using that pump for the first time. Filled up so fast!
The story continues next week…
If you’re enjoying this story, perhaps you might enjoy my original fantasy novel, By the Light of the Moons, available for download on Amazon Kindle.