The elves brought with them fine cloth and tanned hides from the forests, but unfortunately their foods were not to the taste of the dwarves. Yes they would provide sustenance, but they were not the fungi that they were fond of.
Still, the people gathered around the trade depot and watched the finest crafts being brought forward, shining scepters encrusted with gems, crowns, rings and a multitude of other things.
The elves were amazed and gladly accepted the offers, giving all the food they had, along with 3 animals, a mule, a horse and a tame fox. While not of much use for the militia nor for food, they would provide nice pets for some of the nobles of the fort.
The elves departed, the dwarves proud of their crafts having been praised so highly, and work recommenced on the shaft into the earth. The flooding mechanism was ready and with a flick of the switch, the whole lower level could be submerged.
But the winter had not been so kind to all the residents of Aristlitast, Dobar Sanreberith had fallen ill, and upon his recovery, he removed himself from the others, claiming a workshop and drawing pictures of shining metal bars and piles of cloth. Fearing for his sanity, and their safety, he was sealed into the metalsmiths. The dwarves would do all they can to bring him the materials he sought, though this means they must build a loom and mine for silver, they are just praying he will hold out until then.
Praise to the miners! Gold and silver veins have been found in the shaft, the ores will be extracted and refined then hopefully Dobar can begin crafting. The weaving has not yet begun, but hopefully in the time it takes the miners to dig out the vein, we will have something ready.
Unfortunately construction was too slow of the loom, the miners didn't prioritize excavating a room for it's construction, they were too caught up in the gold to notice that Dobar was almost at the point of no return. And now he is gone, driven mad by the lack of cloth, he has gone into a frenzy, he bangs on the doors of the forge, screaming to be let out so he can kill any he deems responsible for the lack of cloth.
After a day or so passes his screams turn to the sounds of crying, sorry for his madness, begging for forgiveness, and the dwarves tentatively open the doors, he is led away to his room, he will be watched closely over the coming weeks.
To lift the mood a little, construction of the shaft is paused, and the miners and mason team up to engrave the walls of the workshops and passageways, hopefully this will brighten up the fortress and lead to more happy dwarves.
The food crisis is also at an end, there is now breeding stock of 8 war dogs and several normal dogs, producing enough puppies to feed most of the fortress, hopefully the traders will bring plump helmet spawn next time though as should the war dogs be needed, this supply would soon end.
Dobar has died from thirst, it would seem he locked himself in his room and refused to drink, the fortress needs a new blacksmith.
Next - The shaft goes deeper...