Significantly earlier than I'd expected, a new threat arose.
Why do all my monsters "undulate rhythmically?" It's starting to sound uncomfortably sexual.
Another Forgotten Beast has come! This one is a giant golden gecko without eyelids named Sedme. Unlike Ware, I didn't make the mistake of marshaling my soldiers in the barracks before sending them to attack. I immediately send them into the catacombs to face this beast. I don't know how bad its "deadly blood" is, but I didn't want it spraying venom all over my civilians like Ware did. I was nervous about my new recruits. They're well equipped in steel - I'd never found any iron to make steel with, but I've managed to melt down the steel toys and instruments from the dwarven caravans - but they're inexperienced and untrained.
It was the miners of Datanerith that made this victory possible. Unlike Ware, Sedme could not fly. This meant that he was in some distant section of the catacombs, far from the entrance to my fortress. All the stalagmites and sudden changes in elevation made the cave complex something of a maze. Since I did not want to wait for him to find his way to Datanerith, and since I did not want all of my soldiers to wander aimlessly through the confusing grotto and risk being separated, I had my miners dig a path directly to the monster. This small tunnel allowed my military to swarm the Forgotten Beast as a cohesive unit.
I just now realized that I have no idea how anybody sees anything down there.
And swarm they did! A great battle was done right there on the cavern floor. One of my recruits, named Asob, really distinguished himself with his swordsdwarfship. Though he was joined by other melee soldiers, it was Asob who did the majority of the fighting. Once the marksdwarf squad arrived, it was over for Sedme. Many of the crossbow-wielding soldiers had survived the attack on Ware. Those who hadn't were drafted in from the many hunters and rangers that I'd had patrolling the hills outside.
Bristling with crossbow bolts, almost looking like a giant porcupine at this point, Sedme retreated into the stalagmites. Here, archery was all but impossible, but Sedme was so wounded that my melee dwarves easily caught up to him. Cornered by the massive underground lake, he was finished off by Asob's steel sword.
Shit. Our wells are gonna taste like gecko blood for weeks now.
Four dwarves died in the attack. Shortly after Sedme had fallen, however, a small band of troglodytes skulked into view. There were about seven of them, and they were all spread out and disorganized. My soldiers were already down there, and I figured they could use the practice, so I told my new melee soldiers to go and kill all hostile forces in the region. I call this small war the Conquering of the Caverns.
My girlfriend called it "Cleaning out the Basement" because she has no sense for the dramatic.
As was expected, my dwarves did very well. Though not trained in stealth, they stalked the troglodytes through the vast stalagmites. What little fighting done was quick and furtive, under the crowns of the giant mushrooms that grew in this forgotten place. The troglodytes barely knew what was happening as they were ambushed by my warriors, all wielding steel.
Asob in particular did well, once again; of the seven troglodytes slain that night, four died by his hand. I promoted him to captain of the melee squad for his bravery, skill in combat, and wanton blood lust. That should make his family happy! I see he has a wife named Fevil, a dyer, and they have.... six children? Armok's Beard! Don't dwarves use some kind of birth control??
I guess not.