Godenegast - The Adventures of a Dwarven Fortress
Felsite 82: Fish and Elves
It is a rainy spring here in Godenegast, with the fisher-dwarves becoming ever more reluctant to journey out for fish at the hazard of getting wet.
"At least it’s not sunny!", the other dwarves would say, yet the fisher-dwarves still grunted and shrugged the responsibility off. Yet, many suspected the real reason behind the fisher-dwarves’ lack of ventures to be the annual elven caravans.
The elves did not always see eye to eye with the dwarves of Godenegast, with the industry needs of the fortress increasing constantly, the elves took a negative outlook on the constant deforestation and crafting with wood. The elves would hold a dwarf in conversation for hours just so they would be able to express their oh-so-deep concerns to the poor little bearded ones who could not return to their rooms fast enough.
Godenegast was not a fortress of visual might. The entrance was simply built into a small mountain side, with large bridges within a dwarf-made cavern allowing for a fast-acting front defense. The land around the entrance remained virtually untouched, save for the lack of trees. The dwarves often hoped it would stop the elven caravans from finding them, but the traders always knew where to look.
The fisher-dwarves continued their battle to spare themselves from the torture of meeting the elves mid-journey, but the Mayor of the fortress, Lorbam Yabuktonum, demanded that they continue fishing so as to build a stockpile, so that the winter would not take its toll on the seemingly bottomless pits known as the dwarven bellies. And so it was, that the fisher-dwarves found their usual spots by the river and kept a lookout for the elves.
A day of fishing came to a close, with the sun setting over the piles of fish that had yet to be brought in. The fisher-dwarves started to return to the fort, with their minds focused on what type of fish they were going to eat that night. When suddenly, “Hail, fisher-dwarves! Can you tell us where Godenegast is?”
Their hearts sank faster than an insane dwarf trying out diving from a mountain-top. They couldn’t misinform the elves for fear of being scolded. They had no choice but to bring them back to the fortress and see what strange creations they had brought with them. Just as the main group of dwarves went to speak to the elves, a lone dwarf further down the river shouted “Of course! We’re still fishing, but just follow the river and you’ll see it on the other side of the river downstream.”
The other dwarves were surprised. Shocked, even. This dwarf rarely spoke, but he would suddenly risk a beating or a stern warning for a mere joke! The dwarves decided to keep their mouths shut and let the elves wander off, their words of thanks in the distance.
"You’re a brave one lad, what’s yer name?", said one of the fisher-dwarves.
"Tekkud Oltartathur." - said the lone dwarf. He had assumed a withdrawn and antisocial personality again, as if he had never even spoken to the elves. The dwarves thanked him for the prank against the elves, and they made an attempt at conversation with Tekkud as they returned to put their fish in the stockpiles, but he barely spoke another word.
The next day, after a night of constant rain, the elves entered the fortress. Their faces in a seemingly permanent frown and their clothes dripping wet, with many of their goods ruined by the constant downpour. Many of them setup at the designated trade depot, but the leader of the trade caravan decided to meet with the mayor.
Within an hour, the dwarves had Tekkud’s description and placed him in custody for preventing trade with the elves. As the captain of the guard took Tekkud down to the cells, a huge applause was heard from the meeting hall as the fisher-dwarves had told the rest of the fortress of how he had tricked the elves. Yet, even with the applause, he was relatively unemotional. He was strange. Even I, the overseer of the fortress itself, could not work out what was so different about him. He did not seem to take comfort in the social activities that other dwarves participated in.
That evening, Tekkud was released from his cell, and rejoined much of the fortress population in the meeting hall. As usual, he found his quiet corner and sat there in his own world of imagination. No one knew what made the Sheriff let him off so easily, or if he received any punishment at all.
All they know, is the captain of the guard was dead the next day…Back | Source