Diary of Risen Idenadas, Leader of the Crazy Ships.
I think I can sum up this expedition with five words: somebody had to do it. We had gotten into the habit of meeting every fortnight to moan about how the days of adventure were dead, and it had become a running joke that complaint-hearer was my part time job. And then...things got out of hand. Now I'll have to stay on top of this mud slide and keep these crazy loons (I'm including myself) alive, Inod preserve us. Zaneg works(ed) with the queen, you see, and she came to our meeting all excited that our expedition was approved! Oh gods. It's been a while since any of us was "brave" enough to found a new city, so we were given a wagon, two yaks, and keys to the larder.
We arrived safely in the middle of nowhere. Haha! Our elven neighbors were "kind" enough to give us an armed escort across their territory, which, on the plus side, got us where we are going. Er, apparently. None of us have ever been above-ground, so it blurs together a bit. What can I say about our new home? There are...trees, grass, two incredibly pathetic hills, and a brook. So...standard above-ground stuff? Maybe?
The first problem was, well, the first thing you do is dig into a mountain, right? That was out, so we argued back and forth about building a human-type walled city while the rain came down over and over on our heads from that awful yawning void called the sky. We found that we could build a wall of approximately dwarf height, but any higher than that tended to end up on our heads. Obok suggested we could just all crouch down if the goblins arrived, but then Ustuth pointed out that there were walls everywhere--we just had to remove some dirt to reveal them. So it was decided. We would dig a big square hole straight down to bedrock, then branch out from there.
I quickly made up a list for everyone to start working. Obok was to gather wood, Zasit would train the hounds for war, Zaneg and Ustuth was start tunneling, and I would start making gears and cogs. Asmel and Edzul were assigned to guard the wagon. Now that everyone had a job, we set to it, and immediately everything went haywire.
First of all, "mistakes were made," and we tunneled into a small pool. The miners persevered, however, despite the damp conditions. I only hope that we will not have drainage problems later. Obok, determined to make up for the unfortuante wooden wall situation, started murdering trees with a vengence. Logs were spewing everywhere. Zasit quickly finished training the dogs and has asked if he can comb the local plant life for edible parts. I'm skeptical that anything edible can grow on the sun-scorched surface, but he is determined to try. I okayed it. He has also somehow found time to fish.
UPDATE: More "mistakes were made." Our dear miners carved out a staircase alright, and then proceeded to mine out from under it. We constructed some emergency stairs to excavate them and will have to rethink our entrance plans. (A scrawled note: this proved not too difficult. We now have a nice ramp down to the bottom of our muddy hole. We only hope that the partial staircase in one wall with not facillitate enemy entry into the fort should such things come to it.) We are now fairly exhausted, but Obok found time to make us all beds, and Ustuth scraped together a few tables, so at least we can say we are officially underground. Obok has also ringed our hole with a hazelwood fence as tall as we can safely make it. Asmel and Edzul have constructed a plump helmet plot in the soft dirt to the side of our hole and are investigating planting some of the "items" that Zasit has brought back for inspection.
In other news, the dogs have killed a veritable army of badgers that marched towards us. I am infinitely glad we have them. We have been told to expect a resupply caravan in the fall. Our next task is scrambling together something to trade.