Short and depressing story of Urist McUseless, the All Too Valiant clerk.

Works on new dwarven fortress were going fast. Nearby Wizard Tower and goblins lurking in the woods necessitated quick organization of defences, and soon a large drawbridge (doubling as a wall when raised) was constructed. Behind its thick, safe rock a cozy and efficient establishment quickly developed, thanks to hard work and ingenuity of seven founding dwarves. Underground farms sprang up from mud, foundries, smelters and workshops quickly followed. Plump helmet wine, although not very sophisticated, soon flew to satisfy most important needs of the dwarves.

Within a short time prosperity of this new settlement attracted migrants from overpopulated Mountainhome. After the first wave there were over twenty citizens at Twinklesorrow. Luckily for the fortress, most important professions were amply represented among migrants, and soon blacksmiths, miners, craftmasters and others employed their skills at their various vocations. First wave also brought quite a lot administrators, traders and other white-collar dwarves, and positions of manager, bookkeeper and trader were manned by highly qualified personnel.

Second wave of migrants brought even more of these overeducated dwarves, as if Mountainhome suffered some kind of banking crisis and a lot of white-collars were fired. Not having any jobs in line with their qualifications, (library construction was postponed to fulfill more pressing needs) Twinklesorrow employed them according to their secodary skills as farmers, miners and builders. One last clerk had absolutely no useful skills whatsoever, and even at his primary profession he was not particularly good. It was therefore decided to draft him into military, apart from asigning him important, though not very glamorous, duty of hauling.

Urist dutifully picked up a rusty copper hammer, almost the only weapon available in Twinklesorrow, and put on a dented pot on his head.

It has to be said that it was not planned to fight any siege or ambush for next several seasons, relying instead on drawbridge and living in autarky until any invaders left. It was therefore hoped, that in time Urist, with excercise, will become better at fighting, and maybe with next migrant waves his militia will receive more members.

Urist was, however, a peculiar dwarf. Unlike his brethren, he didn’t care much for going underground. Even when a proper barracks were build for him, he almost never descended there, preferring instead to wander among the trees. He was not well liked by other Twinklesorrowers, and kept mostly to himself. He also never stooped to fulfilling his hauling duties. Some say he felt he was above it, and by his refusal to do any job or training he was sending an haughty message to the fortress, for not assigning him a job in line with his profession. Others say he felt guilty for not being very useful for his new home, and for being only a drain on Twinklesorrow’s resources of food and booze. The truth will never be known. In any case the fact is, Urist seldom visited dinning hall or even ventured underground.

As was said, Twinklesorrow was build in a dangerous, dark region with many enemies lurking nearby. Despite this, first several seasons were peaceful and prosperous, and the dwarves began to hope that both goblin fortress and wizard tower were abanoned. It turned out not to be the case and one fine day an alarm sounded – a siege by a vast undead army commenced.

The dwarves expected something like this since the founding of Twinklesorrow, and almost all went according to drill. Gathering area in great dining hall was soon swarming with all the citizens of the fortress, and the lever to close the drawbridge was ready to be pulled.

But… all the citizens? No. Urist The Useless Clerk stayed outside, as was his habit. He didn’t react even to assigning him to a burrow or ordering back to barracks. Not only that, but he charged head-on against the incoming horde with his copper hammer in hand.

Armok, watching from far away, could almost hear him scream “Leeeeroy Jeeeenkins”.

Citizens of Twinklesorrow watched his charge in astonishment. Although he lacked any combat skills whatsoever, some whispers and hopes appeared – can he do something? Can he destroy one or even several of the attackers? Will his mad charge scare away the entire enemy force? Legends were heard of unlikely heroes, dwarves that single-handedly defeated entire sieges. As Urist neared enemies, Twinklesorrow watched in awe.

Then came anticlimactic end to all this awe and astonishment. Urist met first zombies near the source of the local river. He even managed to swing his hammer, although he missed. A moment later he was hit with a barrage of blows – his teeth flew half-way to fortress entrance, his arm was broken and leg torn off. His mangled but still living body was thrown into the river near its source, not deep enough for him even to drown. Even the zombies didn’t bother to finish him off. There he laid, for several days lamenting his fate and crying in sorrow, until merciful death took him away.

Some wondered what motivated him to make his wild charge. Was it a way, in his mind honourable, to commit a suicide and rid Twinklesorrow of his burden? Some say it was a desperate attempt to become finally a useful dwarf, revered and not mocked, even at the cost of his life. The truth, again, will never be known, althought another group is probably the closest to it. This group simply says that young Urist was too stupid to understand that having a hammer doesn’t make him a soldier, and even being a soldier doesn’t allow him to defeat entire armies single-handedly.

In the end, Urist proved to be less than useless. When Twinklesorrow expanded it was discovered that some dwarves disappear sometimes and nobody knew where. It turned out that Urist’s mangled body, forgotten by both zombies and dwarves, still rotted at the river source. Some dwarf tasked with burying the dead would ocassionally attempt to retreive it and fall into the river, get carried away by current and promptly drown.

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First Time Playing, a Tidy Little Fort!

Found on
Author Anonymous

>First time playing dorf
>Make a nice, tidy fort, everything is going great
>Out of booze and it’s winter
>”Oh well, the farm’s still working”
>”Urist McFarmer has gone berserk!”
>and, soon after
>”New migrants have arrived.”
>there are like 3 children with them
>they are on the entrance, where there’s a gigantic moat and a bridge
>Urist McFarmer is on the other side
>he pulls the lever to the bridge
>all of the children are on the bridge
>they fall down
>they are all still alive, they fell like 12 z-levels though
>the moat is almost completely red
>they’re crawling around, everything is broken oh god
>Urist McFarmer is finally put down by one of the miners
>children aren’t even starving or dehydrating, they’re just crawling there
>have to lock up the non-important people in a room so that they don’t diminish the food reserves
>the nobles are sad now, the miasma is getting to them
>dump the corpses in the moat, including urist mcfarmer
>the children are puking and still crawling, not even starving or dehydrating, just endless agony
>the migrants are still on the other side, they die too
>the only people left alive are a few miners and a farmer
>and the children
>they never die
I retired at that point, fuck that

The Mightiest Warrior of Razorcrowded

Up from the shallow waters some 159 levels below ground level rose TARITHA NUNORECETHUTHA, FORGOTTEN BEAST. Towering over the average dwarf, it was a giant sauropod with a small trunk upon its skinless visage. It belched deadly freezing dust as it turned its gaze toward the nearby exposed staircase, the corner of which allowed access to its creator’s mighty fortress of 90 strong dwarven fighters, lovers, and craftsmen. Children roamed the elegantly engraved and carved halls while several levels of industry churned out goods for the caravans to trade.

Slowly it moved toward the exposed staircase, striding with purpose and a bloodlust unseen for 451 years. As it neared, it heard the sounds of a magma forge in operation, its user engaged in forging an adamantine battle axe, destined to be used to hack at the necks of countless goblin foes. Unfortunately, destiny was not to be fulfilled this day, save by one being.

As the forgotten beast blasted the blacksmith into the pools of magma with its freezing breath, a scrappily clad militia composed of 16 battle hardened dwarves and 20 civilian wrestlers descended upon the beast. Taritha sustained damage to three of her legs, causing her to fall over periodically, but she was still able to wrestle a dozen other dwarves into the nearby underground pool, drowning them. The dwarven numbers had dwindled to 20 as the dwarves above began fighting in throes of melancholy, attacking each other in great depression and rage. Many locked themselves in their rooms and starved to death, weeping.

A stray kitten began to inch its way down the great staircase. It heard the cries of war dogs, dwarves and horses alike. It saw Taritha, collapsed on three of her legs, panting and pale.

She swipes! The forgotten beast jumps away!

The beast is vanquished!

And so, the smallest warrior in the history of dwarvenkind became Razorcrowded’s greatest with just one swipe of her paw.

Submitted to by Jargle

Boro Horrorgripped

I’m not sure how it happened, but my goblin, Boro Horrorgripped, got jumped by a Hydra. An epic battle ensued in which Boro had his arm torn off, and thus lost his sword. Certain of his death, he fell back to his last resort: a copper dagger and his (lack of) skill in wrestling.

By sheer luck alone he managed to grab hold of the hydra’s third head with both his legs, repetitively stabbing the head and any other that came close enough. The Hydra, becoming enraged, broke Boro’s grip and bit his left leg, shaking him around and ultimately tearing the leg off. Both creatures where worse for the wear; Boro, missing two limbs and bleeding profusely; and the Hydra, with several fractured skulls and multiple neck wounds.

The Hydra then charged, but Boro rolled out the way and thrust up with the dagger: striking the hydra in the heart and opening a major artery. The Hydra’s heads continued to snap at Boro, who again thrust upwards, stabbing the Hydra in the lung. Both tumbled down together, and all was silent. Boro, mortally wounded, crawled out from beneath the Hydra, triumphant. The Hydra, named Zenod Calledsculpts, had bled to death. Unfortunately, so did Boro.

Submitted by Eirik

Undergrotto: One Fort, A Dozen Megaprojects.

Undergrotto is truly the greatest fortress ever created. A deep, hand-carved grotto houses multiple astounding feats of engineering.

Posted here are just a few of the amazing features from the 61 page Undergrotto tour. For the brave, we host a 14 megabyte file of the entire tour by creator Retro for download here.

Winding through a hand carved gulley

A mysterious dwarf-made mountain spring that can be shut on and off from deep within the fortress.

Rummy Dodger - Hold full of Booze

The Rummy Dodger - All of Undergrotto's booze is stored here. Inhabitants swagger to and fro with the ship's rhythm as they drink merrily

Burial Mounds with Undertaker's Shack

The gloomy burial mounds of Undergrotto, surrounding the nondescript undertaker's shack. He is the dwarf tasked with all burial duties for the entire fortress.

Undergrotto Drop Tower

The Undergrotto Drop Tower, where captured foes are sent plumetting from a heartstopping height, right into a sacrificial shrine's bloody pools.

Download The Full Undergrotto Tour (PDF 14.8 mb)

30 Levels Down | The Promised Land

Written by Trevor

I got the new version of Dwarf Fortress today… I was patient for the past two years, waiting for DF2010, and the last couple weeks, waiting for the Mac Version.

I download the package, shove in the Mayday graphics, take them out again due to crashes, and “Create a New World”.

I pick a spot with some mountain and forest tiles, and strike the earth!

Now I’ve played Dwarf Fortress on and off for a couple years, since just before its creator started work on DF2010 back in 2008. I know about building a fortress, tantrum spirals, and making a pyramid out of kitten fat soap. I didn’t want to waste time on all that crap, I wanted to see the NEW stuff, NOW!

My fingers twitch with glee at the 140 z-levels below the surface of the hill I’ve embarked on. Tunneling down, I find my first new feature.

Wow! Cool! This place is HUGE! Alright, Dwarves, start carting food down there, we’re taking over this cave! Screw digging our own fortress, this is way cooler than anything I could make!

Alright, we’ll dig a new staircase through that pillar, and the workshops will go over here… oh, what’s this?

Cool a Troll! Let’s kill it! A bit of fiddling with the new military menu, and all 7 dwarves are chanting, “KILL TROLL! KILL TROLL!”

The dwarves manage to bruise a lot of body parts, and bust open a horn… but the troll’s bones are far too sturdy for the novice wrestlers to crack.

After a long fight, the troll takes down a couple dwarves, but seven dwarves is a lot for one troll to handle, and soon the troll is fleeing the bearded menaces.

Man, that guy moves fast! My dwarves can hardly keep up with the huge strides by the grey-haired, black-skinned horned troll.

Suddenly, the troll gets CAUGHT in a SPIDER WEB!

It halts Mrs. Troll long enough for the Dwarves to uselessly latch on, trying to injure it enough to bring it to the ground.

Nothing works, though, the troll is simply to strong and too large.

The Dwarves remain in forced pursuit, running around the cavern for a half hour, chasing the behemoth that keeps stupidly getting caught in several more spider webs. I’m pretty sure the troll is way less injured then he was a couple minutes ago. This could be a long, tiresome battle with Mrs. Magical-healy troll.

Finally, the Troll makes a mistake, tumbling down a shallow drop of 3 z-levels, spraying its blue blood all over the wall.

My heroic Dwarves jump the fallen Troll, beating its face in with their bare fists. The Troll still refuses to die. After a couple minutes of constant punishment, I find myself yelling at the tiny ‘T’ on the screen, “GIVE INTO PAIN! GIVE INTO PAIN!”

FINALLY the beast does. I breathe a sigh of relief, and find that my whole body was tensed and battle-ready during the final part of the combat.

I relax, and let my dwarves out of their military squad. I smirk when I see that they’re still chanting “KILL TROLL! KILL TROLL!”

One dwarf, a fish dissector, lay unconscious, bleeding and broken, the rest of the dwarves only suffer minor injuries.

Excited about making this cavern more hospitable, now that the foul troll guarding it was slain, I start designating ramps and a quarry section.

Then suddenly…





Sociopathic Dwarves

By Jim Riegel

I want to share with you a quick note on a bug that I found vaguely disturbing though: First, I’m sure you’ve learned by now that dwarves don’t like death. It leads to depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Put simply, if they see enough, they flip out and kill something – themselves or those around them. However, certain dwarves are sociopaths. They lack the natural emotional empathy and sensitivity of the proper dwarf. They look just like every other dwarf – they act just like every other dwarf… yet, like Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Terminator, they are perfect little emotionless machines. They make excellent butchers and fantastic soldiers. I happened to get lucky and had one of these little soulless wonders as my butcher. I have a policy of making newborn puppies and ponies available for adoption and, if ponies are not adopted by the time they grow up, I send them off to be knackered. It just so happens that I sent out my butcher to round up the herd and thin the ranks one day. I saw ‘Stray Horse (Tame) has been struck down! Stray Horse (Tame) has been struck down! Krazen Ergoblasbit (Tame) has been struck down!’

A sinking feeling hit me. The butcher had just grabbed the wrong horse. He’d somehow found someone’s pet and killed it. I expected a dwarf to go crazy any minute. When I looked at the corpse, I saw that Krazen was marked as being the pet of the Butcher.

I blinked. He’d never owned a pet before. I checked his thoughts. He was ecstatic. He had been comforted by a pet recently. He had adopted a pet recently. The little bastard befriended and adopted the horse while leading him to the block, improved his mood, killed him and had ZERO sense of remorse, guilt or loss. He just didn’t care. I’m starting to think about waiting until he’s asleep, removing his door and replacing it with a floodgate just to give the creepy bastard the Cask of Amontillado treatment.

A Fluffy Victory

So, I’m just wandering along through this forest, looking for a cave where I could maybe kill some dragons or something and get their fat loot. This was shortly after I had gotten my throwing to legendary +2 (remember this).

I came across a cave and thought, “Well, maybe it’ll be filled with giants or something.”


There was a bronze colossus.

He told me his name then proceeded to bum rush down the side of the mountain after me. Tripping over my feet, I tried to run away and disturbed a nest of fluffy wambler bunnies at the bottom of the mountain. They immediately spread forth in a great cloud at my feet. So, I did as any adventurer would do. I stuffed them in my backpack in an attempt to make some money out of this encounter.

Maybe I could sell them or something.

The bronze colossus was coming up from behind when I was struck with the awesome idea to begin throwing these bunnies at the bronze colossus.

The result was astonishing, and I could do nothing but stand up from my computer with my fist held high in the air, because I had just beaten the game.

Written by Discontent