So the goblins decided to send a siege to Nutscaves. (What goblin wouldn't want the plague! And we have a second plague now, thanks to a beast with a puking/nerve plague getting into the stairwell, while Armok was being forgetful about some cavern construction!)
The goblins realized that their last set of ambushes wasn't very effective, what with everybody standing on mechanical spikes or getting thrown onto spikes as the fiendish Stern Handles raised and lowered the drawbridge. This time the goblins had a new plan!
The typical sort-of-green (in more ways than one!) goblin lashers were led by a goblin spearman of middling skill. Spearmen are fairly new for these goblins.
And they brought along a new secret weapon.
A CAVE CROCODILE!
The spearman was riding it. Clearly if everyone could see him on the battlefield, the same slaughter by the mechanical upright spears would not happen a second time!
So the goblins cautiously approached the fort as a group, as they do in sieges. (Oh, how I wish I could order my dwarves to move like that--slow and orderly, a march.)
The goblins studied the mechanical spears. A few lashers were sent forward to stand on the first row of raising-and-lowering spears, to see what would happen.
For whatever reason, the current first row of spears are all wooden training spears. The goblins were unharmed.
The goblin spearman and leader, Zom Ghoulnightmares, became satisfied that it was safe. He guided his cave crocodile mount forward as well, and showed the group that the spears were completely harmless. His mount dodged them easily.
"Today we shall take this disgusting, orderly fortress, men!" he called out from atop his noble cave crocodile steed. "I will lead the way! CHARGE!!" he shouted, and when the spears next went down, he spurred his mount forward toward the bridge.
His mount was uneager. In the end it followed his command, but it balked left and right, and moved slowly, diagonally toward the bridge.
"Damn you, Azstrog!" cried Zom at his noble steed. He regained control of Azstrog just before the bridge and aimed him straight again, but it was a split second too late.
A menacing bismuth bronze spike of low production quality rose up out of the ground, tearing straight through Azstrog's stomach and into Zom Ghoulnightmares' heart, piercing a major artery.
Zom would have screamed in indignance, but he was gurgling blood. "Forward!" he tried to cry. "Forward!" But it sounded more like "fwghhghhh".
Azstrog's forward momentum carried them into the middle of the bridge, and in his dying moments Zom could almost see down the ramp into Nutscaves, the fortress he should have been set to plunder and rule over that day.
Azstrog the cave crocodile knew what was best for him. He threw Zom off his back, turned around, and raced over the spikes next time they went down, and into the horizon. The greenest lasher in the bunch took off running too. Zom lay on the bridge, staring up at the cold sky for a moment. And then he died.
The rest of the goblin lashers looked on in horror.
"Is it over?" asked a newer recruit.
Another lasher shrugged.
"It's not over!" cried the new recruit in reply. "Zom said the spikes were safe! Let's finish this!" And then, "And look--the spikes are gone now."
Meanwhile, in the dining room of Nutscaves, the lever puller's arm had gotten tired and she was swapping duty with another dwarf nearby.
"Hmm," said one of the more seasoned goblins, debating.
"CHARGE!" cried the goblin recruit.
The recruit stepped forward toward the bridge, and the same bismuth bronze menacing spike suddenly came up out of the ground and went straight through his stomach.
All the other goblins turned around and ran.
"Wait!" cried the recruit, hacking and leaning over. Between puking he cried, "I'm not dead!"
The dwarves would've gone out to finish off the recruit, but Armok decided to leave them working on trading for more spears. The recruit passed out and bled a lot, but he finally made it to the border of Nutscaves with the wilderness, and will never be seen or heard from again.