Then the rains came. Not water, but some horrid yellow stuff which clung to the skin. Inan retched, a steam of bile spilling from her mouth. The vile rain bounced off the huge broad shoulders of Esran, hammering at his mighty frame, and doubling him over in a long goodbye to his lunch. Soon they were all at it, and it wasn't long before Esran was taking sidelong glances at his two children - checking the little things were holding up against the conditions.
They staggered on in misery, coated now in the gunk. Just when Esran thought that they could not make it another few minutes, the rains let up and in front of them a figure appeared, waving.
"Come on, come on - you'll need to get that stuff off you"
Esran and the rest of the party were shown in to the fortress, trying hard to smile politely at Tigerpixie's tour.
"This is the entrance"
A thick layer of the goo lay all around as she led the party in between the two mounds of rock, and through a door in the rockface. The corridor was filled with blood and vomit, and Esran made an annoyed sound at his elder child, as it leant over and contributed to the mess.
"This is the upper level - that's the bedroom on your left, and the temporary workshops on your right. A bit further on your right is our dining room"
Esran looked in dismay at the single table standing amidst a pile of furniture and various foodstuffs. Looks like they've spent more time vomiting than working here...
"Going down the stairs, you have our water source where you can clean up - believe me, you'll be wanting to come here often. The first lever you get to controls the floodgate that lets water in to our reservoir. The second opens the reservoir to flood our farmland. Probably best not open both at once"
Esran barely heard the next part, as he washed the muck off his face and clothes, and almost immediately started to recover. It was something about a farm level, with a water tunnel dug to the stream.
"And beneath that," continued Tigerpixie "our miner is digging deeper, so that soon we'll have our own rooms, further from the workshops so the noise doesn't wake people, and a dining room and we won't have to go outside as much"
Esran completely failed to notice the slightly desperate edge in her voice - he was never the most empathetic of dwarves, and now all he wanted to do was sleep.