Wednesday, 27 November 2013

And then the goblin what?

So, Nutscaves has been testing out various machines and constructions before the inevitable-looking future shutdown*.  I had a bunch of migrants, so I made some new "Reserves" (soldiers) for the veterans to train. A bunch of naked mole dogs and those leftover goblins from the overly hilarious spiking incident last night** were slated to assist in "training" the new soldiers.

((* The fortress had seemed to stabilize at this point. Ha ha.))
((** Unfortunately this event was told orally and everyone who heard it tragically died of laughter, including me, somehow. If I find the record of it, I will post it.))

So I sent a military squad to the execution chamber. The squad consisted of one strong veteran, two fairly fresh recruits who at least vaguely know where the pointy ends of their weapons were (but could use quite a bit of practice), and two true newbie soldiers.

There were the usual complaints from the two total newbies. "Oh no, I've been drafted, WHY?! WHY ME?! Can't you pick someone else??? Someone else would definitely be better! /cry" I knew as soon as they got their blades really good and wet in the blood of about a dozen opponents, that they'd stop complaining.

Unfortunately their veteran captain was a little too veteran, and quickly finished off just about every prisoner the "Animal handlers" dropped into the room, in one strike of his beloved steel blade. The newbies didn't get much good practice. But they got a little.

As I train a squad I like to start with easy enemies, and work up to harder ones until the dwarves are too tired to continue (or until the dozens of corpses in the room are too close to rotting, as happens with veteran soldiers who don't get tired easily). So the naked mole dogs got thrown into the room, then the wild camels, then the (naked) goblin bowmen and crossbowmen. At that point the newbies were really griping a lot and on the verge of tantrumming, and the room was full of flies and going to generate miasma soon. The soldiers were hungry and thirsty, too. So I dropped in one final goblin, a naked lasher (they use whips normally). I figured the soldiers would finish it off fairly quickly, although it was the toughest opponent they'd meet today. And I decided I would let the dwarves have a recess after that.

Unarmored melee goblins tend to dodge around a lot and give a lot of valuable experience to my soldiers, as the soldiers try and fail to strike, and as the goblin punches hopelessly at the steel plate mail. Unfortunately, I sort of forgot that I'd never had many steel-plated soldiers in my military in this fort, and so there wasn't quite enough steel to go around. One of the newbies was wearing some alderwood high boots (as in, wooden boots) I'd bought from the elves, instead of metal ones.

The naked goblin lasher rolled and hopped nimbly around the room as the dwarves whiffed away at it. The captain soon hacked a hand off it, and promptly stabbed it through the stomach in one smooth motion before it danced away. This made its fate quite inevitable, but for a few seconds the goblin would still be going strong. (They start puking or doubling over from nausea shortly after any type of gut wound, and then they become easy to hit.)

So in his last few moments of free movement before the pain and nausea would kick in, the naked goblin lasher jumped across the room, probably did some kind of parkour on the wall, and then charged straight into one of the really irritated total newbies, Tobul Deepcraft. Tobul caught her steel axe blade in the goblin's elbow on the way down, but they slammed into the floor together in a tangle. The goblin promptly locked his jaws onto Tobul's right boot. She tried to shake the goblin off, but being inexperienced in combat, she failed at first. The goblin responded by jerking Tobul around by the foot, and she flailed wildly in a panic, trying to get away--

And then the goblin lasher bit her foot clean off.  Alder wooden high boot and all. Quite violently.

The captain was swinging his steel blade down at that moment, and saved poor Tobul from further harm by immediately beheading the prone goblin, but the damage was done.

Armok, in quite a panic (and sort of amusedly horrified, in a way...), released the soldiers from their station and threw the switch to open the execution room door. Armok had never before seen a fully armored (admittedly her feet weren't in metal but...) soldier get so badly harmed by a naked goblin, when the odds were this much in the dwarves' favor--even with total newbie dwarves. (Five armored soldiers vs. one naked goblin?!) The goblin lasher wasn't even anything special--he was nearly as green a combatant as Tobul.

Tobul was immediately so relieved to finally be off duty, that she forgot about her bleeding stump and immediately went on what she felt was an overdue break, right in the heap of corpses in the execution chamber. She refused to let anyone rescue her. She said, "This is my time and I'm trying to calm down here. I've had a very bad day. You will have to wait," as various helpful pump operators and miners walked in, inquiring if they might escort her to the hospital for treatment.

After a few hours went by, Tobul managed to calm herself down, probably by getting weaker from all the blood loss. At last she relented and let one of the still-living murderers in charge of the fort, pick her up and carry her to the hospital. She left some pretty big pools of blood in the execution chamber behind her. Now her stump is being cleaned and dressed in the hospital, and she's being given a crutch as we speak.

I wonder if Tobul considers herself lucky, in a way, for losing her foot at this particular time. Word has certainly spread to the hospital that we currently have a forgotten beast breaking into the top cavern, and all military squads are being activated to deal with it.

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