So after the long winter has passed, spring dawns on the fort again, still out of plump helmet spawn, but surviving on gathered plants and animals meat, hopefully our seeds will be replenished soon.
The thawing lake did nothing to the pillar, leaving the dwarves confused as to why it floats so, some think the lake may be magic, others realise that the rock they used is in fact quite buoyant, none the less, not what was expected.
But then hark! On the horizon travelers are spotted, the dwarves watch them come to the fort entrance and ask for a home with some sadness in their hearts, supplies were barely enough for the fort as it is, and the migrants are great in number, 18 of them in total, 1 more than the fort contains at the moment. But they say they will help out where they can, and The Righteous Picks will never turn a fellow dwarf away.
The miners gab their picks and strike the earth once more to make new rooms along the hallways of the second level, the crafters get to work, and the mason makes new doors, all will be well soon enough.
But the fortress is out of gems, the crafts will be much more valuable with them, and the fortress badly needs a lot of supplies next time the traders come. So the miners start a new project, to dig deep, deeper than ever before, deeper than the lowest levels of the mountainhalls themselves! But the miners are not foolish, they know of tales of things in the deep, so they are prepared.
A nearby lake is attached to the brook, then the lake channeled into the cliffside at the same level. Beneath this a passage is dug to the site of the main shaft, deep on level 3 of the fortress, and barred with a drawbridge, the waters will be freed against it, and in time of dire need, the bridge will be lowered to flood the shaft, and hopefully wash away anything that comes from it.
But what is this, a caravan from the elves, our struggles may be at an end!
Next - The shaft...