Well, we had some more accidents at Nutscaves. (...) One of the dwarves whose spouse was killed by the recent bout of plague tantrummed a bunch of times. His name is Ezum Fedtome. He was assigned a royal dining room and bedroom, and had been comforted by the lovely waterfall, but it wasn't enough.
Ezum Fedtome knew exactly what he wanted to do during his final tantrum, too. He stomped out of his royal bedroom, marched past the roast stockpiles in a rage, headed up the main stairway, past the forges and the dining hall and the hospital, and proceeded all the way through the fort, past the farms, past the trade depot...and then he was outside under a starry winter sky. He stood in the center of the vomit-covered drawbridge which makes the sole entrance to Nutscaves, and he did the unthinkable.
He destroyed it.
He fell crashing down, along with the bridge, onto the upright spears underneath, where he was merely injured. I had deliberately left the spears upright instead of retracting them when I saw what he was up to, because dwarves who destroy the entrance drawbridge are not welcome in Nutscaves.
Ezum pulled himself off the spears, calmed down, and went about his business. I may execute him for his terrible crime later. I'm still considering it. His four children are all ecstatic despite the dead mother. He's the only one who insists on continuing to have a problem.
(I am sorry Armok's heart probably seems to have grown so hard.)
We had to spend the rest of the winter frantically rebuilding the drawbridge and reconnecting it to its lever. The bridge is long and because of its size, it takes a very long time for the architects to design and build. This is extremely time consuming work and Armok was very, very displeased. Without the drawbridge we are completely disconnected from the outside world, and if a siege came we would be trapped underground forever.
As the masons finished reconstructing the bridge and the mechanics got to work linking the lever, the fortress was attacked by a very terrible forgotten beast. Of course the beast waited to attack until a dwarf had trapped himself in the spear corridor in the deepest cavern. Mechanisms were still not connected from the last beast attack--the dwarves had been too busy with the drawbridge over the winter. The trapped dwarf was unable to get himself out before the beast destroyed the floodgate separating them.
The beast is the most terrifying (to me) one I've seen yet. "Nokgol Sodkun", a gigantic hairy lacewing, with an enormous shell and a bloated body. Its russet hair is long and wavy. Beware its fire!
Why didn't I use fire-safe materials to construct the entrances to the caverns??? What was I thinking???
When the mighty lacewing tore down the "warning" floodgate, it blew a wave of fire at the helpless dwarf. The wave of fire lit up all the wooden spears in the traps and some clothing a stupid, sloppy dwarven child, in need of a stern talking-to, had left behind. Then the marble floodgate connecting the spear corridor to the designated combat area caught fire.
Yes, the marble floodgate. Flux materials are "considered fire-safe", but apparently only when they're used in the production of steel. @#*$!! Put them in front of an angry fire-breathing lacewing and nothing good will happen!
The !!*Marble Floodgate*!! was holding up for the time being, despite running with flames on both sides. The fire spread rapidly to engulf all the plant life and soil in the fighting room. I hadn't had time to floor it properly yet. I had considered that task low priority, since I had been keeping it clear of trees, and trees were the only previous reason I knew why I ought to floor it. (That and plague contaminants, but we hadn't had any yet in this cavern.) Some soldiers had been waiting in that room to fight the beast when it came in, but that was before I realized how I ought to
BEWARE ITS FIRE.
The nearest soldiers' clothes caught fire and smoke filled the room. I realized the trapped dwarf was good and dead, and the beast was standing on the spikes now as it worked on destroying the flaming marble floodgate between it and the soldiers. So I commanded the dwarves in the dining hall to man the spikes. And I commanded the soldiers to run out of the area through the bathtub.
Who knew--dwarven bathtubs are great for more than one reason! The bathtub doused their !!clothes!!, and is preventing the fire from spreading into the fortress.
I am a little bit annoyed at this beast. And at Ezum Fedtome. If our hairy lacewing manages to kill anybody else, I'm going to stick Ezum in a cage. I'm not sure for how long.
Back to conquering it...