Zan died from starvation, but in times of sadness, happy events have a way of coming forward, and two dwarven couples have been married, forgoing any formal ceremonies due to the circumstances. There is even a baby in the fort.
All is going well, the farms have once again started producing food, and the drink shortage has been solved so the fort is now completely self sustained, meaning we do not need the traders, and once an indoor water supply has been secured, the gate will be closed, Aristlitast will remove itself from the world while the project is completed.
The great stairway into the depths.
And now that stairway goes somewhere, four years since the founding of the fort, the stairway finally reaches nearly 150ft into the earth, and the miners have found a network of underground caves, filled with bugbats and troglodites, foul denizens of the dark. The militia was dispatched as the yelps of one of the miners dogs were heard and they arrived at the scene to find a bloody corpse and a blood splattered trog eating from it, the militia charged and made swift work of the creature, pausing to build doors as a barricade to any other unwelcome intruders.
While this was happening, one of the traps at the entrance to the shaft had been sprung, we had captured a trog, but what to do with the creature? They are humanoid in shape so it would be strange to eat it, and most of the fort believes them to be inedible, it cannot be trained and setting it free isn't an option. So we will keep it until we find a use, perhaps the militia can train new recruits with it.
But now the caverns, vast and filled with gems and fungi like you have never seen, and fine webs which could be spun into fine clothing. A scouting party was sent, and killed another trog on the way, they pose little threat to fully armed dwarves, and the group discovered a tunnel downwards, a series of ramps and small chambers leading deep into the earth. The route was followed a little way, but then news was passed down that traders had arrived. Not wanting to let them in on the potential wealth down below, the scouting party retreated, sealing the doors on the way out.
Perhaps next time we will venture deeper, perhaps we will find something interesting...