Just Another Day in the Fortress of Rhymeceilings, Limestone 121

The Dwarves of Rhymeceilings had never taken down a multi-story above-ground structure before, as there had only ever been the one. But now it was time, as the attempt at a bucket-filled waterfall-tower had proven not nearly worth the effort: it froze in winter, as with all aboveground structures, and produced a puff of mist next to the properly-underground tavern below it only once a week, or perhaps month, or year. The new windmill-powered one, although further from the Tavern, had now rendered it entirely obsolete.

Ared Ilrerorkek was an expert diagnostician, but spent most of his time showing up drunk and naked to every available mining job, the further underground and distant from society the better; deprived of a dangerous physical task to perform dressed in nothing but socks and more recently a very fine river-otter-leather cloak (this was politely described as “zany” by his friends), he would rapidly fall into depression and stumble about aimlessly.

Needless to say, he was the first on the scene when it was time to deconstruct the Water Tower. Applying his usual unplanned but enthusiastic approach, he started tearing down walls, which caused the ceiling to fall in on him, the floor to collapse, and his body to fall several Z-levels down into the bottom of the obsolete well, in seven-deep water and crushed beneath the willow blocks of the tower.

A sad day for the fortress!

During the excavation for his planned palatial tomb near the well-bottom that had claimed his life, a goblin parley-horn was heard sounding from the West; a delegation from Spossnodub, the Abyssal Plague, had come to demand something or other from Rhymeceilings. Our Mayor at the time, Tukstis Asmuroma (still only a Mayor after the unfortunate death of the Founder and Baroness Zan Zozdegel in 112), went out to meet with them, but came back with no useful information, only carrying things from place to place muttering for some time.

We were still wondering whether the Mayor had received some demand from the Vile Force of Darkness after all, and whether his carrying and muttering were somehow related to the threat, when the sounds of battle arose from outside the walls, and the Battle Horn was blown.

In the aftermath, it developed that one or more of the Vile Force had slaughtered an animal that had strayed beyond the walls, and/or perhaps a Child Snatcher had attempted to slip into the fortress, and one of the more impatient members of the Guard had blown the horn; but in any case all thought of parley was now cast aside.

The battle was quick and bloody. When it was over, all of the Vile Force of Darkness was dead or fled, as was two-fifths of the then population of Rhymeceilings. The hospital was full of groaning patients, and various civilian bards and dancers were pressed into service as doctors and surgeons. Hammerlord Doren Zuglarbakust erithobur Kakdal, who had added at least two goblin kills to her long list, was in the Dead Sanctum, praying noisily to Mondul, deity of Death. And it had been suggested to the scholars in the Great Library that designs for more effective fortifications, and perhaps cunning traps, might be helpful as preparation for the future.

Shortly after this, naturally, a caravan from home, including the Outpost Liaison Asmel Gidthurreg, arrived. As I write this in the Great Library (which was, thankfully, spared any significant impact of battle), the Liaison is still wandering the fortress, waiting for the Mayor (who suffered compound fractures of the lower spine) to regain consciousness.