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Into the Dark

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28th Obsidian 1657

Our ship made landfall today. Or it might be better to say that we crashed. First Ox will never pull HMS Wagon again; but that's fine because we don't have any fuel left; the last of the fuel was used to excavate a meeting room under the surface so we have somewhere to eat and sleep. We decided to keep the primary stockpile outdoors until we were sure that cave adaption wouldn't be a problem.

Strike the Earth!

5th Granite 1658

Excavated further into the rock. Found some sand stuff that Asmel Vudtharlikot says could be used to grow crops if we irrigated it, next problem is to find some water. I rejected suggestions that we irrigate it with Dwarven Ale.

6th Granite 1658

We struck Magnetite.

7th Granite 1658

We struck Ice. A block of Ice was mined and brought to the surface, where we left it in direct sunlight.

Datan Nökordodok escaped. I told Urvad that it was a bad idea to bring cats with us but he refused to be parted from them. I have designated the meeting room as a pasture for stray cats; but I fear this may result in a lot of wasted dwarf-hours cat-herding.

9th Granite 1658

Our plan with the Ice worked. We have irrigated the farm and our first Plump Helmets are now in the ground. Dwarven Ale all around!

25th Granite 1658

Full moon today. We checked and none of the expedition is a weregila monster.

13th Slate 1658

Excavation continues apace. After the incident where Ustuth deconstructed Asën's bed while she was sleeping in it we now all have individual bedrooms. What's better, I have my own office which I'm sitting in right now; with my own barrel of Dwarven Brandy.

23rd Slate 1658

We were having a party in the meeting hall when Asën stalked in, grabbed a yak leg roast and started muttering in the corner about bones. Before we knew what was happening she had grabbed all the food and claimed the craftdwarf workshop. The party was a success and much beer was drunk.

24th Slate 1658

Yesterday was the full moon; but noone noticed because of the party.

5th Felsite 1658

I was adopted by a kitten today. I didn't even know we had kittens; but I guess they were inevitable once we had cats running around loose. I have named it Id.

7th Felsite 1658

Asën emerged from the workshop. I am the ... proud ... new owner of a Yak-bone and Marmot leather bagpipes. Why did we bring Marmot leather with us anyway?

8th Felsite 1658

Apparently the Marmot leather was to make quivers with. Fortunately there appears to be no hostile wildlife around here so we can probably manage without marksdwarves for the moment.

21st Felsite 1658

Full moon today. However Ubbul pointed out that in fact we don't have a moon, being as we're in a comet. So maybe we are weregila monsters after all? How will we tell?

22nd Felsite 1658

Migrants are arriving. They have a small vessel, I'd guess there are about 4 of them.

24th Felsite 1658

Three fisherdwarves and a child. We don't even have any fish, the only water out here is frozen. What use is a fisherdwarf?

I have assigned one of them to mining and the other two to hauling.

They can reorganise the stockpiles.

28th Felsite 1658

With the aid of Catten Zirilsolon, our new trade depot is completed. It is the only part of the fortress that is open to the surface and we have mounted a drawbridge on either side for atmospheric containment.

10th Hematite 1658

Thief! Protect the hoard from skulking filth!

A kobold in a dwarf-sized spacesuit was observed landing in the trade depot. I sprang immediately into action, pulling the lever to raise the drawbridge and setting Bëmbul Razotstukos the hauler to "greet" it with his adamantite short sword.

We reclaimed the spacesuit and a pair of pig tail socks. On the back of the spacesuit was crudely engraved "Chrayngin, Kobold Thief".

15th Hematite 1658

Our migrants' ship had a working MagmaPile™ reactor. With this we have been able to create our first forge; a problem I had considered intractable before owing to the lack of wood on this comet.

20th Hematite 1658

Our dwarven industry is meaning that sections of the interior are now becoming quite warm and we actually have liquid water most of the time.

Sadly it is running down the walls. Catten assures me that the water will eventually find its way to the bottom of the cavern.

21st Hematite 1658

I finally finished counting everything in the fortress. We should hire a vampire to do this job, I understand they like counting, and I find it incredibly tedious; but at least the books are now correct.

Tomorrow I'm going to take a break and wander around the fortress and see what is going on.

22nd Hematite 1658

Party in the Dining Room.

23rd Hematite 1658

Dwarves cancel task Attend Party; Water in dining room.

So it seems the bottom of the cavern is the dining room. Could have been worse, it could have been my office. Catten has a plan for a new dining room beneath the current one with a waterfall passing through it and a water tank underneath. I have approved this plan provided she gets the design properly architectured.

26th Hematite 1658

Digging commenced on the new meeting hall. We found some indigo tourmaline.

8th Malachite 1658

Signals from Mountainhome tell us to expect a trading caravan. I hope they have some Two-humped camel meat; because I'm having cravings.

16th Malachite 1658

I started inventorying the stockpile prior to the caravan arriving. Found some nest boxes and got distracted into setting up a nesting area for our turkeys. Stockpile still needs tidying.

20th Malachite 1658

Why is the bag of gypsum powder in a finished goods bin?

21st Malachite 1658

Note to future me: order some metal bins before the elves arrive.

25th Malachite 1658

I haven't seen Catten for over a week. Admittedly I have barely left the stockpiles in that time, but noone else has seen her either.

1st Galena 1658

Asën found the mangled corpse of Catten under a large granite boulder in the new meeting hall. Investigation suggests she was trying to channel out some floor above a void; probably a result of bad planning.

I blame myself.

2nd Galena 1658

Why do we have to make a tomb for Chrayngin before we can make one for Catten?

4rd Galena 1658

Somehow this has turned into a project to make a tomb for every dwarf in the colony.

Plus a few spares for any more kobolds who turn up.

10th Galena 1658

Tomb complex completed we can get back to thinking about the Trade Caravan.

12th Galena 1658

I requested some wheelbarrows to speed up hauling to the depot. This morning I encountered Bëmbul Razotstukos carrying one of the wheelbarrows to the stockpile. I asked him if it wouldn't be easier to push it; but all he'd say was that it was empty.

This afternoon I encountered him again with the same wheelbarrow; but this time he was pushing it along, hauling another wheelbarrow. "Much better," he said.

15th Galena 1658

The turkeys obviously liked their nest boxes because we now have about two dozen poults wandering around the fortress. Olin likes their gobble, but I find it's annoying and makes it hard to think. I have put him in charge of a project to cage up the poults until they're fully grown and we can enjoy turkey roast.

20th Galena 1658

Pretty much everything has arrived at the depot now, so I've started more digging so we can build a butcher's workshop. I'm worried about miasma so I've ordered up four doors to go between it and the dining room.

22nd Galena 1658

I'm just going to have a little nap until the caravan arrives. You can see it with the naked eye now; or so I'm told, I've not been up on the surface for over a month.

1st Limestone 1658

Trader Requested at Depot

2nd Limestone 1658

Trader Requested at Depot

3rd Limestone 1658

Trader Requested at Depot.

Uhh, what? Oops I overslept. Off to the depot.

10th Limestone 1658

I think that went quite well. I secured a couple more MagmaPile™s, replacement leather (yak this time), some wood to make ash with (why didn't they just bring ash bars?), some new clothing, strawberries, crossbows, and yak roasts. Also a breeding pair of Wild Boar. I'm not sure what we'll do with those, although I'm told there's good eating on one of them.

11th Limestone 1658

I'm sure I didn't trade for cavies; however the fortress now appears to have a small population of them. They are very cute, particularly their three toes.

13th Limestone 1658

Right! Glass Industry Time!

I've ordered a wood furnace set up on the surface; we're not going to need that when the atmosphere goes away. I've also set a couple of the fisherdwarves to gathering sand and started excavating for a place to build glass furnaces.

15th Limestone 1658

Excellent news! They found Rock Crystal while excavating for the furnaces. This means we'll be able to make the windows out of Crystal Glass.

I've ordered the entire seam be excavated.

23rd Limestone 1658

A sparkly object is approaching. We can't make out what it is; except that it's probably a rocket of some kind.

24th Limestone 1658

I'm assembling the militia in case it's goblins. We have four dabbling marksdwarves with crossbows and yak leather quivers, and our three miners. We assembled in the old dining room, by the trade depot and practiced.

Apparently archery targets are not intended for pick practice.

26th Limestone 1658

Crisis over. The object landed and turned out to be a Crystal Glass rocket. There were 5 more migrants within, one of whom, Thîkut Besmarkodor, is an Expert Glassmaker. I hope he'll be happy here.

We excavated a special hanger for the glass rocket; the HMS Quartz; where it should be safe for the day when we eventually produce our own fuel.

2nd Sandstone 1658

Commendations to Olin Asteshgikut for avoiding an industrial accident. He was digging out Rock Crystal for the glass making when he discovered that the rock was surprisingly cold.

Careful surveying ruled out the first theory; that the excavation had reached the surface. A plan was produced to build an airlock with two portals and reinforce that with a drawbridge. Construction will take a couple of weeks.

5th Sandstone 1658

Setup of the glass furnaces is all going to plan. Thîkut is happy; however one of his assistants, Rith Keshkalanam, has withdrawn from society and commandeered one of the furnaces.

6th Sandstone 1658

Ingish, who is acting as Wood Burner, reports that the surface is now uncomfortably hot. He has, however, been able to simplify wood burning procedures by constructing a mine track around the front of the comet (which is the hottest part). Releasing a cart at a slow speed along the track causes the wood inside to ignite in the heat and then burn out as it travels all around the comet.

10th Sandstone 1658

Meanwhile the new dining room is finally finished. The waterfall is a great hit and makes everyone happy when they see it. Catten's notes say that once we get out into deep space any water in the atmosphere inside should condense out on the ceilings and flow down into the waterfall and end up in the tank below. I have no idea what that means.

We placed a memorial for her in the corner of the new room.

15th Sandstone 1658

The airlock and drawbridge completed we sent Olin back to the caveface where he attached himself to the nearer portal with a piece of rope and carefully picked out part of the wall.

The next thing we knew he was pulling himself back to the airlock along the rope and making the signal to raise the drawbridge.

He had discovered that on the other side of the wall was a large vacuum-filled cavern; descending probably into the middle of the comet. All the air in the cave face was sucked into the cavern and only our precautions prevented Olin himself from being sucked in as well.

16th Sandstone 1658

Ubbul Sáreklolor (who came with the glass rocket, not Ubbul Rakustteling previously mentioned in this log) had already started to make an engraving showing Olin pulling himself along a rope.

20th Sandstone 1658

Rith emerged from the furnace to show us an artifact Crystal Glass bed, decorated with Crystal Glass spikes and Crystal Glass spikes. We didn't want to tell her but I don't think anyone wants to sleep on it.

1st Timber 1658

We have now moved far enough away from the Sun that it's possible to go back up onto the surface again. Various of us were starting to suffer from cave adaption so we spent all day on the surface; mostly cleaning up the contents of our stomachs.

Looking ahead we can just about pick out the second planet from the Sun, and in orbit of that the Elven arcology of High Kapok. High Kapok is literally a giant tree in space. No I don't know how that works either; Elves are mad.

8th Timber 1658

On the subject of Elves being mad, we have a signal from High Kapok saying that since it is spring they'll be sending traders next month. Since when is Moonstone in spring?

9th Timber 1658

I have a detailed plan for hauling all the trade goods into our three metal bins that won't offend the Elves. While producing the plan I discover that I have got behind on my bookkeeping; so my job is to run around counting things.

14th Timber 1658

Why is there a pot of yak meat roasts in the furniture stockpile?

Well, there isn't any more. I've temporarily designated the spare space in my office as a yak meat roast stockpile.

15th Timber 1658

In the seeds stockpile I have found two bags marked "pigtails". One of them contains pigtail seeds. The other contains the tails from butchered pigs. The planters insist that they both work.

17th Timber 1658

We now have 16 Crystal Glass windows. This should be enough; however I'm still the only Architect and I'm currently busy being the Bookkeeper and Trader.

18th Timber 1658

I have left detailed instructions and, after the last time, I'm having a nap well in advance of the traders arriving.

1st Moonstone 1658

Trader Requested at Depot

Yes, I know. I'm there already. Trying to hide the wooden goods that have been brought along just "because they were in the bin with what you wanted".

2nd Moonstone 1658

I think we got away with it.

5th Moonstone 1658

The elf trader was very polite. We came away with a lot of stuff; most of it made of wood; which seems kind of hypocritical to me. We may end up burning some of it to make more Crystal Glass.

He also warned that the savants at High Kapok think that our comet is going to pass very close to Mountainhome. Hopefully we'll miss.

7th Moonstone 1658

We had a party, and the elves left. I don't think these two things are related.

8th Moonstone 1658

Finally I can do a job I actually enjoy. I'm off to the surface to architect the giant window.

9th Moonstone 1658

I forgot about cave adaption.

10th Moonstone 1658

Feeling better today. The actual architecting is still good work though.

12th Moonstone 1658

Right, I want a 5 x 4 grid of windows. That makes 20. Fortunately the glassmakers didn't stop at 16 so we have enough.

We're going to start by excavating a large room inwards from the surface of the comet.

20th Moonstone 1658

Having built the big cavern we've built an airlocked corridor back up to the surface. This seems odd when the whole cavern is open to space, but it important to ensure we don't trap someone inside with no Ale.

22st Moonstone 1658

Construction of the windows has started.

Meanwhile we have started excavating a corridor to the new room.

28th Moonstone 1658

We placed the last window, locked the airlock doors, and knocked through the last wall. Immediately following that there was a flood of dwarves carrying thrones to construct inside the new Observatory.

I designated it a meeting room, and we had a party!

1st Opal 1658

Now we can see where we're going it's clear that the elves were right and we're going to come very close to Mountainhome.

I've sent a message home to see if their astronomers can figure out where.

3rd Opal 1658

The High King's astronomers think that we're going to pass between the planet and the moon; but they recommend that we prepare for the worst.

We never deconstructed HMS Wagon; and whilst it was never intended for reentry it would probably be a safer plan than staying on the comet. I have sent Ubbul, our mechanic, to assess the situation.

Meanwhile we're constructing a clothier's shop.

5th Opal 1658

Ubbal reckons that we could probably use Second Ox to lift the Wagon off the comet and throw it into the planet's atmosphere if needed.

In the clothier's shop we are sewing together all the misfitting clothing the Elves sold us to make a giant parachute.

10th Opal 1658

Today everyone is either hauling goods to the Wagon, or making mechanisms to fix it up. As our only skilled mechanic, Ubbul is in charge of installing mechanisms.

13th Opal 1658

Everything is ship-shape. We are ready in case we need to evacuate. I have even found space on the Wagon for the cats, the cavies, and the wild boar.

15th Opal 1658

Mountainhome have a plan. They are sending up another rocket of migrants; and we're to use the leftover fuel in the rocket to slightly divert the path of our comet.

20th Opal 1658

Mountainhome is getting very large; however the migrants have arrived. Mounting their rocket correctly is an all-hands evolution.

22nd Opal 1658

3... 2... 1... Fire!

23rd Opal 1658

Mountainhome report that our course correction was successful and we shouldn't be hitting any celestial objects as far as they can see.

We are due to pass near to the asteroid "tower" of a necromancer in about 15 months, but that's tomorrow's problem.

24rd Opal 1658

With no pressing problems I have declared a party until we pass our old home. Ale, Beer, and Roasts for everyone in the Observation Room.

2nd Obsidian 1658

Ubbul pointed out that, since we passed nearly directly between Mountainhome and the Moon; with the full illumination of the Sun on the Moon; today was technically a Full Moon. None of us turned into Gila Monsters so we had a toast to not being in danger from Weres.

7th Obsidian 1658

I think we've all recovered from the party. We have said goodbye to Mountainhome for the next fifty years; and are heading out into the cold dark where cave adaption will no longer be a problem.