<The following is an excerpt from the personal journal of the third Dimensional Sensing Project team lead>
I was awakened early this morning when the lab hotline rang urgently, demanding my attention. It seems that the translation systems made a breakthrough overnight, and we were able to decode a significant quantity of what seems to be the historical log of our new observation site. It would seem that the leader of the expedition identifies herself as Stukos Gembishfikod (“Sealglazes”). I will let her words explain our discovery. Anything appearing inside (“parenthesis and quotes”) is simply a translator’s note; either for a term which we ca’n’t accurately reproduce with our language or for a name or other given appellation.
This is the first entry for the civic record of the outpost to be named Kilrudzulban (“Bronzebanners”). I will begin by introducing myself and my six hand-picked settlers.
My name is Stukos Gembishfikod, and His Majesty the King of our mighty tribe “The Prime Paddles” has deemed me worthy of being given leadership of this mission as a reward for my long and honorable service in the gem mines. He gave me almost 1500 (“dwarfbucks”) and ordered me to select six other stout Dwarves to accompany me and a selection of goods sufficient for our survival.
I am honored by His Majesty’s faith in me, and I am certain that our operation will be a resounding success.
The first thing I did was to narrow our selection group, and it became rapidly apparent that none of our male brethren were stout enough of beard nor strong enough of will to accompany us. Once that determination was made, the selections became much easier.
First, I chose two of our most loyal and skilled miners, Id Stinkib (“Strifenet”) and Kivish Basenlibash (“Sprayaxes”). Both have loyally served the Mountainhomes for more than sixty-five years. Rather than recognize their long toil and loyalty, the Crown chose to imprison them both for crimes which they had not actually committed: Id was accused of disrespecting a noble, interfering with the course of royal business, and raising her voice in the presence of a high official, all charges stemming from an incident where she took up defense of a downtrodden sister-Miner. Kivish was this other; the charges which she was facing that led to Id’s outburst were wasting royal resources, committing unsanctioned artwork, and theft of Gem-labors. She was only attempting to make the mines in which they all worked more beautiful by leaving some deposits of gemstones in their natural locations, and carving the walls around them to accentuate their beauty. Unfortunately, the foreman could only see the value of the gemstones she had refused to collect.
My next selection was for a hardy outdoorsDwarf, one who would brave the sun and the weather to collect for us the wood of the trees in our destination. I selected Stukos Idenagesh (“Paddlecontest”) for this task. She is renowned – or perhaps notorious – for her handicraft with an axe. Unfortunately for her, this handicraft was demonstrated when she hewed her supervisor in twain for years of verbal abuse in the workplace. I am certain that no such misfortune will befall her at Bronzebanners.
I then decided on a pair of Craftsdwarves – a mason and a carpenter. Both are highly skilled at their trade and will be vital to the furnishing and comfort of our new home. There are few carpenters more deserving of this honor than Moldath Godenginet (“Ropecrewed”). Moldath had been languishing in the Mountainhomes as a lowly sub-apprentice, Tinker class, because she had a habit of crafting wonderous and intricately detailed furniture regardless of what she had been assigned to craft. As she was assigned to the Bridgebuilder’s Union, this naturally caused her to appear to be shirking her duties.
As for a mason, I was instantly certain that Atir Idathezum (“Amusehame”) was the best Dwarf for the job. She suffered from almost the exact opposite of Moldath’s fate – she had been repeatedly reprimanded for producing, in her supervisor’s words “Severely un-aesthetic stoneworks, and morally horrifying engravings” for her fact-accurate depictions of our old fables of demonkind in her carvings. Even if her former supervisor couldn’t see the brilliance in her work, I certainly could.
Lastly, I decided that it would be best to bring a Dwarf I was certain would support me and serve loyally as my second-in-command. I selected a sturdy and extremely unimaginative farmer named Aban Oslanlitast (“Windtorches”) whose only reputation was that of allowing other Dwarves to lead her, as long as she was kept safe and allowed to sink her hands into the rich loam of her fields.
I have high hopes for our expedition. I have ordered a large supply of Giant Raven meat, a local delicacy which happens to be my favorite meal, and a selection of fine Dwarven alcohols, as well as several sets of mining and stonecrafting tools. I have been assured by the King’s surveyors that our assigned site has an ample supply of metal ores and gemstones in the belowstone. A caravan is assigned to visit our site after about six months of occupation, to take our first products and to determine our supply needs for the following Spring.
All that remains now is to gather our equipment. We set out in the morning for what, I am told, will be a two-month trek through the winter snows. We should arrive at our new home by the beginning of Spring, should all go well.
It would seem that our phase of the Project is more successful than the previous observations – while they found a group of criminals who had opted for exile rather than imprisonment, we have a group of happy, loyal, and optimistic volunteers. I have high hopes for their, and our, success.
That’s all I have time for now. I can hear the phone in the study ringing again; I really should get to the lab.