Helmgorge Year 1

Year One

Spring

I took with me seven hardy dwarves on a fools errands to a plot of land nestled against a brook. The name of the land allocation authority provided this hearty chunk of land in the deep wilderness is Helmgorge.

Unsure of how arable the land around and under Helmgorge was we opted to drop a large portion of our supplies in favor of food and more food. And of course wine and ale. I set out immediately to plant farms to ensure we didn’t run short of food in winter. I now have 6 healthy plots producing plump helmets every season. Our food stocks are high and ales supplies are rising as well.

I excavated a wide entrance tunnel and placed the trade depot deep inside. I believe this will be more defensible but I’m a farmer so what do I know? Inside I put in two temporary workshops – a carpenter and a mason – and a barracks so the lads have a place to sleep. I heard several complaints about sleeping on dirt and work ethic suffered.

We then dug down two levels. The first of which house the farms, a food storage, seed storage and a modest dining hall. I also provisioned the beginning of a channel from the river but stopped short of the fortress. I haven’t yet decided how to use this. On the third level I dug out eight nice niches for workshops to house the new carpentry, masonry, jewelers and craftdwarfshops. Our miners went straight away to work on the stockpile room.
Summer

This summer was a mixed in productivity. The completion of the stills had the lads spirits high. I ran the still round the clock to produce a healthy reserve of ales.

We also completed digging out the private bedrooms and begin fitting them with beds, doors and cabinets. We dug out a total of 32 rooms so that we had room to expand for the future migrants. The trade depot was completed and just in time for a caravan. We traded for some food and in turn provided them with some nearly worthless chert crafts. I also picked up an extra pick in hopes we’d be getting some migrants, including a miner.

We also expanded the stockpiles room with an additional room and six more stalls for workshops.

We also discovered that some of the lads aren’t smart enough to construct their workshops with the benches facing the walls nor are they smart enough to climb over the benches to escape. Instead I had to follow the cries for water down the primary corridor to find a mason and a carpenter trapped in their recently completed workshops. I had the miners dig them out immediately. Lesson learned.

Summer started off slow with a lot of the dwarves sleeping, drinking or spending their time on break. I had to put an end to it promptly as none of the rooms were being completed on time. After some stern threats regarding moving workshops back above ground and reduction of ale rations the work resumed and soon we reached autumn.

Autumn

I started a top secret project with one of the miners in the summer and the near completion of its security was accomplished this autumn. They’re calling it “Death Plateau” since the plan is to place fortifications atop of and ballista. It’s not connected to the main fortress yet but there are plans under way.

Since the vast major of items we dump are stone I placed a large dump adjoining the workshops. Hopefully this will help collect the stone without distracting them by stocking a large stockpile. Without sufficient staff to set up a manager this micromanaging of them will have to do. My hopes are to clear the hallways of rouge stone but we’ll see what we have time for.

Inspired by the securing of the plateau both miners suggested that I let them do the same for the entrance area of the fortress. So they cleared the hillside from a large portion of the hill. There is still a lot of work but it helps prevent ambushes on the entrance directly.

A trade agreement was also reached. The caravan from Mountainhomes unfairly wants finished goods such as spears and swords. The kind of things we do not yet have the facilities to create. On the bright side if we have the forges and metalsmiths hard at work the dwarven caravans will pay a pretty price for these items.

I also had one last strange thing happen this autumn. The whole population became obscenely fascinated with a cabinet in one of the vacant bedrooms. Throughout the day and night I’d hear dwarves milling about in the bedroom next to mine checking the cabinet. To this day I have no idea what was so special about this particular cabinet but the lost productivity and keeping me up at night with the muffled talking had to end. I locked the door and threatened severe beatings. The nuisance of the mystery cabinet halted but the attitude towards me suffered. Not coincidentally productivity rose substantially.

As a reward for hard work this autumn I rewarded the lads with a nice dining room. The smoothing of the walls and detailing of the floors has been commissioned but not yet complete.

Winter

Winter brought us a fresh crop of plump helmets and began filling our food stores to the brim. I was concerned about surviving through the winter but receiving this bountiful crop early on was a sure sign we’d been provided a fertile plot by the land allocation authority. The success of this crop allowed me to focus more efforts on preparing food. I set about cleaning the barrels of fish that had been caught in the nearby river.

This winter, being a little stuck inside, we also worked together to complete the dining area. Completely smoothed and detailed floors and walls. I also commissioned the smoothing and detailing of my private quarters at a cost of one full barrel of ale. A small price to pay for a clean and comfortable room.

Again since we were stuck inside I detailed plans for the excavation and establishment of the forges. Since we received no migrants this year we have no one with the appropriate expertise to run them they will remain disassembled but at least the space is reserved for them adjacent to the stockpiles. As soon as they finished digging this out I tasked them with digging the access tunnel to the plateau.

Spring is here and I hear rumor that my replacement will be arriving soon. I look forward to going back to farming and cooking. It’s much less stressful and as the primary brewer my reputation among the others should benefit handsomely.

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