...continued from part one

The time has come to link the well hall with the rest of the fortress. To the north, I designate a pair of doorways. Then, I begin designating a long ramp, leading downward...

...and downward...

...and downward, until it reaches the level of the dining hall. I finish the connection, and designate another, smaller hall - a sort of foyer, leading to the well hall.

Before digging commences, I decide to make a slight change to the foyer's entrance.

The array of doorways will allow for traffic to pass in and out easily, while also allowing for the entire area to be locked off if necessary.

The fortresses miners are growing to be quite skilled - they carve out the foyer with impressive speed.

While the miners work, so should the engravers. I order the entire new hall to be smoothed.

The miners work their way upward, hewing a rough ramp through the solid stone.

Eventually, they reach the level of the well hall.

The last step is to punch out a channel in the floor, over which the well shall be built.

Before the well is constructed, I check back in on the hospital. Despite the work orders for crutches and splints having been completed, the tools still haven't been stored in the infirmary's stone coffers.

Perhaps installing two more coffers will do the trick?

Now, the well. It will be a grand affair, certainly. The body of the well itself is built of obsidian blocks, and the masterwork copper bucket will be lowered into the cistern by a masterwork copper chain. The centerpiece of the well shall be Saffrongood the Superior Hail, a thoroughly decorated andesite mechanism.

Finally, I order the well hall to be connected to the mines by an auxiliary staircase, just so the room has another exit to the fortress.

Ah! Yes, the hospital is now properly stocked with crutches and splints.

The time has come. I increase the hospital's quota of cloth and thread by a single standard increment.

Soon, haulers begin to come and go - but not nearly in the same numbers as before. Good.

One hauler can't access the infirmary.

Good.

While checking in on the production of copper statues in the forges, I notice that little Tosid has yet to begin constructing an artifact.

Tosid doesn't have all the materials necessary to construct "Kor Merir," and I can guess which material is missing.

The fortress ran out of wood, after I ordered all of it to be burned down in the ash, as part of the soapmaking process. The blood thorn groves still have a ways to go before they begin producing usable wood.

I scour the fortress for some forgotten tree - mercifully, I find one on the cavern ledge that the dwarves have secured for sand collection. I order the blood thorn to be cut down - with the work orders for ash production cancelled, there's no danger that the fresh, bloody wood will be burnt down to make lye.

I check back in on the hospital - dammit! They're filling the coffers to beyond any reasonable capacity.

Oh well. I might as well let them do it - the soap is the most important thing to be stockpiled in the hospital.

The well is completed. I designate the well hall - now the fortress has a safe and clean source of water for drinking and bathing both.

Finally, the haulers "finish" bringing cloth and thread to the hospital. In order to return vital raw materials to the textile industry, I place a garbage dump in the cloth stockpile.

Then, I go through the coffers and liberally designate the textiles to be dumped.

The haulers arrive once more, but this time their actions are reversed. Victory!

Additionally, little Tosid begins constructing the artifact! Crisis averted.

And to top it all off, the dwarves are using the well. The copper chain hangs down into empty space, the bucket submerged deep in the reservoir.

I watch as the bucket rises upwards, out of the cistern and into the well hall.

Just afterwards, another forgotten beast arrives. This one gives me pause - a flying forgotten beast poses a very real danger to the fortress. Perhaps it could path to the door set into the barrack's southern wall.

Time will tell.

I can only watch as Snang Shoreslug slavers and chitters through the darkness.

I feel slightly uneasy. Snang is moving very quickly - with intent.

It knows where it is going.

Curiously, the beast takes a ground route, and doesn't seem to fly.

Unsettlingly, the route it takes is one known to me already.

The beast descends the cavern slope just to the east of the fortress, towards the passage that was sealed...

...before coming to a rest just outside. It stops, mere urists from where Rupola the Steamy Scabs was slain by the brave warriors of Roomcarnage.

A moment later, my attention is called away from Snang Shoreslug. Little Tosid has completed the artifact!

How... useless. If only dwarves used mugs - instead, they just drink right out of the barrel.

I check back in on Snang Shoreslug...

...and I find the beast to be deceased.

Curious.

This mystery can be solved though. Once again, I order a memorial slab to be engraved, so that I might learn from the dwarves, for they surely know how Snang Shoreslug met its end.

As the copper statues continue to be churned out, I decide to have some of the more mundane statues erected. There are some green glass statues that were created some time ago - they might as well get used.

They are the first additions to the new hall. For now, this area is essentially bare, but soon it will be a center of dwarven culture in the fortress.

With the smoothing in the new statuary almost completed, I order the well hall to be smoothed as well.

I check in on the two recently engraved memorials. From one slab, I learn the ultimate fate of Snang Shoreslug - like two other forgotten beasts before it, Snang perished in flame. It would seem that some monsters can be defeated simply by setting out a few pools of molten rock in plain view.

The other memorial is less informative. It would seem that there are some deaths that even the dwarves do not perceive. Bim's fate will remain a mystery.

I take a look back at the new statuary. Eight green glass statues have been placed at its western end - statues mostly of dwarves and gods of dwarves.

One statue relates to the founding of Roomcarnage in 1201 - a momentous event indeed.

Another statue is a representation of the god of nightmares, war, and fortresses in the pantheon of the Playful Spattered Walls. Bothon is screaming, but why? Is it a scream of agony, or supremacy? It is impossible to know.

I check another statue, and my heart stops.

There have only been two mayors of Roomcarnage, and one of those was living. The explanation for the discrepancy is obvious, for I have known for some time that "Rith Craftportent" was only an assumed identity, a fake persona adopted by a vicious, life-hating monster.

Why, then, would the vampire mayor assume any identity at all, if the dwarves could see right through it? If the dwarves of the Momentous Dye are implicitly aware that the vampire mayor is actually the vile Adil Crushedgild, why does the bloodsucker maintain the charade?

An icy, paralyzing sensation creeps through my body as I realize the answer.

The vampire's disguise isn't for the dwarves.

It's for me.

I'm still shivering when the caravan arrives at the southwestern corner of the map.

I barely register the presence of the outpost liaison. So many diplomats have come to Roomcarnage to die. Udil Orbford is but one more.

There will be no trade this year.

There is only one answer.

It is the 18th of Timber, in the late autumn of 1209. Another year shall pass before Roomcarnage has another opportunity to trade with the outside world, and before then the volcano will bleed. Torrent after torrent of molten rock shall be thrown out over the glacier, until every last undead has been encased in a flood of ice and stone. The Ice of Ghosts resists the will of the dwarves at every turn, but the dwarves do not give up easily. With the lure of ultimate glory fueling their industry, the dwarves of the Momentous Dye shall finish this war upon the glacier that they started years ago, and immortalize themselves in the annals of dwarven history forever.