The death of Elite Marksdwarf Ustuth Trancatten and the curse of the adamantine
11 December 2019, 11:31 Rating: 0 [+]
The city of Medtobthosbut lies deep in the once forest covered mountainsides, overlooking the hostile lands of Nitom Tishak. It is one of the few dwarven settlements to survive in this fierce world. The great halls of the fortress are carved from the stone underground, and are kept safe by a vast defensive system of traps, falling pits, siege engines and crossbows pointing from arrow-slits. The city is under almost constant siege by various foul creatures, however, remarkable dwarven engineering, unequal craftsmanship and bravery have kept it from being looted and destroyed. Hundreds upon hundreds of attackers have died at the gates of Medtobthosbut, the landscape is like the underworld itself, covered in ash and piles of corpses. There is nothing to be seen on the hillside but death, nothing to be heard but the silence of the fallen...
But beyond the scene of destruction, behind the proud stone gates standing high, lies vigor and life, a prosperous city of 162 dwarves! The sent of plump helmet roast fills the air, songs of falling hammers echo through the halls, stockpiles are full with riches, artifacts and statues decorate the corridors. Steel is plenty, adamantine is being extracted, economy is flurishing...
Great merit however requires great sacrifice... the graveyard is tightly packed with the tombs of dwarves, who paid the ultimate price for the survival of Medtobthosbut. Mining accidents, ambushing goblins, forgotten beasts and even berserk lifestock have claimed valuable lives. The most recent and most extraordinary tragedy of the colony however is the fall of Elite Marksdwarf Ustuth Trancatten. Let us hear her story, and let it be a lesson for all who plan to handle the dangerous treasures of the deep...
Ustuth arrived to Medtobthosbut in the 1st of Malachite, year 254 with the first migration wave, when the fortress was just a tiny outpost. Her siege operator skills were not much of a value at that time, but her great strength and unsocial behaviour soon got her into the military. Preferring long range weaponry, she chose to use a crossbow and soon became a respected marksdwarf. She never got married and had no close friends, but instead chose the life of a warrior, seeking glory on the battlefield. The number of monsters who fell from her bolts are countless, she was the first to become an Elite Marksdwarf in the settlement. Siege after siege she enjoyed the songs of victory in the legendary dining halls of Medtobthosbut... until the unfortunate day when the ferric elves appeared... these reckless treelovers lost their homes long ago, and have nothing to loose. They don’t care about pain and attack without fear. At first they fell like all the others before the mighty gates of the fortress, but there was an elven officer riding a peach faced lovebird, who spotted a hole in the defensive system. He flew quickly, evading the bolts shot at him and managed to breach the defences. Sqeezing through a tiny crack in the wall, he made it into one of the inner corridors. The hammerdwarfs were sent to slay him, but as usual, Ustuth the Elite Marksdwarf arrived to meet the danger first. She managed to wound the elven officer, but was shot in the lung and left cheek with two elven arrows. Just as she fell uncunciously to the ground, the hammerdwarves arrived and overran the elven scum and his giant bird. Ustuth was taken to the hospital in terrible condition... the chief medical dwarf soon realized that an ordinary operation will not be enough and decided to perform something unprecedented in these lands... he sutured the wounds using adamantine strands.
Remarkably, Ustuth recovered in days and could return to the archery range not long after she managed to stand again. Soon she became the symbol of dwarven strength and pride, a hero who came back from the face of death stronger than ever, with the divine adamantine sewn into her flesh. Songs were often sung at the dining tables about her bravery and skill. At first Ustuth was proud and bathed in the glory, but the days of celebration didn’t last long... as time passed, a shadow slowly crept into Ustuth’s mind... she cared less and less about the songs, started withdrewing from the company of others, ate quietly by herself and spent most of her time alone, patrolling the corridors. Her gaze became dull and her thaughts became dark... the adamantine in her body has taken its toll. As some legends say, adamantine veins grew from the teardrops of Hanseath the wide bearded warrior God when he visited his dead comrades in the underworld. As divine and valuable it is, adamantine connects the world of living with the world of dead, and thus carries the essence of decease. Sewing the adamantine into her very flesh saved Ustuth’s body and gave it strength, but it has also poisoned her soul with the scent of death. From the outside, Ustuth was a strong champion, but from the inside she was only half alive.
In the month of Galena, year 261 the war elephants laid siege on Medtobthosbut, led by their ruler Anriz Edosurus the law-giver. All marksdwarves were ordered to take positions behind the fortifications, the city was prepared and waiting. However something unexpected happened... a dwarf was spotted outside the gates... a dwarf who refused to take orders anymore... a dwarf who had no understanding of danger or fear... a dwarf who had a mind only filled with the thaughts of death... a dwarf who stood in the open to meet her enemies face to face... Ustuth Trancatten released her bolts with deadly accuracy as she started walking steadily towards the invading hordes. Running out of ammunition only made her fasten her pace, charging across the long and narrow stonebridge leading from the fortress gates. Reaching the bodyguards of the enemy leader by the bridgehead, she lunged at them wielding her crossbow as a club. Ustuth delivered many blows, but her fate was inevitable... although the enemy never touched her, when the first attack came from the war elephants, she jumped away, off the side of the bridge and fell into the depths below... she did not yell, nor did she try to hold onto something. Only the Gods can tell if her falling was an accident or a willful act to finally ease the inner torment and end the curse of the adamantine.
May Ustuth Trancatten the once best Elite Marksdwarf of Medtobthosbut rest in peace, and may her death be a lesson for the generations to come.
The final moments of Ustuth Trancattens life: