So there I was, working on my latest fort. I’d just finished the final touches on the parapets and catwalks and was working on building the second layer to the outer walls. A happy troop of gorillas was passing by, and a lowly stone engraver, Endok, was out smoothing over some boulders for the main road.
Endok did not care for gorillas, it seems.
Endok did not care for them, at all.
Endok, for whatever inextricable reason, had decided to bring a steel crossbow and quiver of bolts that day. She’d never shot before, never hunted, never trained, never took the life of any living thing. She was as pacifistic as they come.
But she did not like gorillas.
There she sat, chiseling away at that boulder when in the corner of her eye she saw it, those bastard silverbacked beasts. A fury of rage, a stretch of bowstring,
Through the eye, one gorilla down
Two more down, half the troop scattered in fear, two of them charged Endok full force.
Make that one. The other reached her and swiped –
Dazed, the Gorilla stumbled back. Endok’s mind flashed back to those days in the Mountainhome, she lived in a small cave her father had dug by hand. It was in the deep jungles in soft loam soil, dug deep into the shale bedrock beneath. Ever since her mother had died, it was just her and Dad… Until that fateful Thursday, 5th granite, 184, when the Gorillas came.
Endok ducks under a mighty swing from the great ape’s hand, landing a solid upper cut with the front of her crossbow. The beast is down, reeling from the hit. Endok slowly loads one last round.
When the gorillas came, it was with terrible raucous noise, the great thrashing of the waterfalls that lay on the other side of the mountainhome would have been drowned out by the whoops and hollers of the gorillas, and the other animals fleeing from them. Daddy told her to wait inside, so wait she did, in her room on the bottom floor, just a few feet of earth between her and the magma channels that led to the mountainhome and gave her father the ability to work. He had been a metalcrafter, building intricate and tiny things that only a dwarf could appreciate. Little metal things, pretty things which Endok loved, but no more pretty things for Endok. For hours she waited for her father, who had taken that old copper axe that hung over the mantle out, he went to protect the mountainhome from the raiding gorillas. He was not a novice, he had served in the Dwarven Guard for many years, devoting his weekends to train for the event of a goblin or elven siege. “Those good-fer-nuthin’ elfs,” he’d say to Endok, “all they ever got is wood for wood, never ‘preciate true metalcraft…” Endok would not see her father again.Some two days after the hollers quieted, a knock came to the door, Endok had not eaten in those days, didn’t drink, didn’t sleep.
“Hello? Anyone here?”, said a voice, hollow and distant to Endok.
“I– I’m”, Endok struggled for words, “I’m here.”
“Ma’am, my name is Urist Macbaddenews, and I’m afraid I have something for you, it’s not a pleasant responsibility, but…”, he handed her a bloodstained war axe, made of Copper, the same one that fit where the dustless outline lay above the mantle. She choked back a tear and looked up, he pointed her towards a box that lay outside. She knew what was inside, she knew it was her father.
“Now, we are happy to take him to be buried in the grand halls of the mountainhome, he was a brave dwarf, and killed many of those beasts before he was finally killed. The King himself has expressed his desire for him to lie-in-state with the other heroes who fell, but I suggested that we ask the families first, and our Gracious King agreed with my small suggestion. Now Ma’am, would you like your father to be buried there? Or do you have some family plot you’d perhaps prefer? Speaking of… where’s your mom, miss?”
Endok sobbed, she managed to say that her mother had died, and that her father should be buried next to her, in the tomb in the lowest level of the house. Endok left that day for a new home, she vowed never to build a metal thing, never to return, to build a new life somewhere where no gorilla would ever dare go.
Endok’s bolt flew past the ear of the great gorilla. She saw him, lying there helpless, and she saw his little son, off 10 or 20 feet away. She looked at him, and in that instant they knew each others’ life story. She knew his mate had died. Maybe Endok killed her; who knows. She knew that that little gorilla had nothing else, she knew she had become the monster that killed her father, but she wouldn’t let that happen to her.
She fell into a deep depression after that, and less than two weeks later, Endok was found dead, with the tiniest metal thing in her hands, a little gorilla made of silver and menacing with spikes of obsidian. The tiniest metal thing, and an old copper war axe sticking out of her chest.
This, of course, is somewhat embellished, but all the (non-flashback) events basically happened. A Engraver named Endok randomly decided to carry around a Steel crossbow and bolts, picked a fight with a passing troop of gorillas, killed 5 of them, spared one (she missed from 1 tile away, no kidding), walked back, fell into a melancholy and killed herself after retrieving a metal trinket from the stockpile and a copper war axe. I have no idea what sequence of events led to this, I wish I recorded the game, but oh my god, greatest thing ever.
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