Part 6: Revenge!

With my trading “airlock” finally complete, the dwarven caravan arrives, bearing wood and iron ore (There’s only silver and copper ore beneath the earth, I’ve searched everywhere!)

Before I shut the traders in completely, the Kobolds decide to attack.

Bad idea. This caravan came prepared.

I grin as I watch the kobold’s limbs fly, and their blood spatter and flow. They totally deserve it.

The bloodbath over, all dwarves but one return to the wagons. The final dwarf seems content to chase around a two-humped camel, part of the local wildlife. I let him have his fun, closing the external drawbridge and opening the internal one so I can trade. All is well.



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Part 5: So I DO care about the founding seven

The trading “airlock” is almost finished. I just need to lay a few more traps. I also decided to add a 3rd drawbridge next to the depot that has no function other than to squish the crap out of invaders. You know, if the traps aren’t enough.

Then I’m attacked by more kobolds. Have I mentioned how much I hate kobolds?

I order the interior drawbridge closed. But there’s nobody around to pull the lever! It’s not going to close in time!

The kobolds gleefully make their way across the open drawbridge and towards my utterly defenseless fortress. I don’t even have any war dogs left. I guess I’ll have to gather together a little military once again. I draft ‘1’ and Vabak, both miners.

It works like a charm! The kobolds are struck down like the vermin they are. The rest flee. My two recruits give chase. I hate it when they chase things.

But the drawbridge is still open. And my recruits are running towards it. I don’t know how to make them stop.

“Wait! Don’t pull the lever!” I yell. I check the lever downstairs. A dwarf lingers nearby. It’s already been pulled.

I can only watch in horror as 1 and Vabak run after the kobolds. They step onto the drawbridge. It closes.

They are both crushed to death in the enormous hinge.

I pause the game. Because of my military-related incompetence, I just lost ‘1.’ And Vabak was being trained as a miner to replace ‘2,’ whom I also killed.

I check the list of all the dwarves who have been killed so far.

What!? Is that 5 on there? When was 5 killed?

In a previous raid. I didn’t even notice it. Crap.

At this point in the game, I’m completely taken aback by the fact that I actually care about the dwarves whom I’ve gotten to know. I was absolutely not expecting this. But there it is.

The remaining dwarves worthy of receiving a number are 3, 4, 6, and 7.

THEY SHALL NOT PERISH LIKE THE OTHERS.

Part 4: The Founding Seven

So, I’ve played quite a few games of Dwarf fortress, in different starting locations. And I always start with the same 7 starting dwarves. I used to name them things like “Mine bone mech” and “Farmer brew cook,” so I could remember who did what. But in Scouredbridged, I’d become familiar enough with each of them that I didn’t even need that anymore. This time, I called them by number instead of profession.

Sure, it seems like a cold thing, to call a dwarf by a number. But it was even colder to call them by their profession.

1 and 2 began as miners.
3 is my woodcutter (not needed on this map) and blacksmith/weaponsmith/etc.
4 is a carpenter, mason, and sometimes a craftsdwarf.
5 is a butcher, tanner, leatherworker, and mechanic.
6 is a farmer, cook, and brewer
7 is the trader, record keeper, manager, and architect

By now, I have plenty more dwarves to do menial tasks, but these guys are the backbone of the whole operation.

….

So, while I’m laying down walls and traps for the “airlock,” several masons and mechanics get killed by kobolds. No big loss! They’ll be replaced by new immigrants.

The elves come to trade, bringing me much-needed wood. I throw a few piles of gem-encrusted obsidian crafts at them. They’re ecstatic.
And then the goblins attack. Goblins are less jittery than kobolds, more heavily armed, and less likely to run away.
With so many of my dwarves outside, carrying wood and other goods into the fortress, I can’t rely on the measly two layers of traps around the depot to keep my dwarves safe. Once again, I need a military. Ugh.

I grin as I watch the elves, who have no caravan guards, get slaughtered. (I think it’s hilarious how this game has made me hate elves.)

I order my jury-rigged military to stay BEHIND the two outermost layers of traps. Instead, they make a beeline for the goblins.

Wielding his iron pick, 2 runs forward and mortally wounds the goblin Olong Oldpoison, who falls to the ground and bleeds to death. Then, much to my surprise, a human springs “out of hiding” and sprints towards 2. A human? What’s a human doing here? Unshaken, 2 swings his pick at the human Hob Veiljacks, who also falls to the ground, slain.

While 2 is turned towards the human, the goblin Ngebzo Thinwraith sneaks up behind him and thrusts his sword though 2’s back. 2 falls and bleeds to death there on the ground. I pause the game. 2 was killed by a mere goblin? I’m stunned.

2 was a legendary miner AND a legendary engraver. He and 1, also a legendary miner and engraver, are responsible for mining out and beautifying most of the fortress. And, looking closer, 1 and 2 were married. I just killed 1’s husband! I feel awful.

Whoa whoa, wait. “I feel awful?” That’s ridiculous. Didn’t I just laugh at the deaths of the elves, and several of my own masons? What’s up with that? Do I… do I actually CARE that much about my starting 7 dwarves?

Part 3: Kobolds

My army-free fortress was about to face its biggest challenge yet.

KOBOLDS.

I hate kobolds. I HATE them. Why?

Well, there I was, feeling smug and secure in my wealthy fortress. I’ve got rows and rows and rows of traps set up at the entrance. Surely nothing can get through. Then the kobolds attack. And what do they do? They walk RIGHT OVER THE TRAPS, completely unharmed. I keep waiting for one of them to get crushed, but it just doesn’t happen. Imagine my surprise – I’ve never encountered kobolds before in this game.

The kobolds make it through the stonefall traps unharmed. And they make it through the blade traps unharmed. The ONLY remaining defense is two war dogs I have on chains, just inside the fortress.

The war dogs rip into the kobolds, killing two of them. But it’s not enough. A third and fourth kobold slash at the dogs, knocking them into stonefall traps, killing them. The kobolds just used my own defenses against me!

With my fortress now completely exposed, I have no choice but to draft my very best miners into a temporary militia.

The miners, armed with their iron picks, kill a few kobolds. The rest flee.

Nobody was injured. Then I check to see if anyone was killed.

Heh, yup, they killed someone. Oh well, he was just a useless dyer. No big loss. I don’t even really have a textile industry.

So…

It seems that traps just aren’t good enough if I want to survive here. But I still don’t want a military. I need something better. Something 100% effective at keeping invaders out, and yet allowing traders in.

I figure it out. I’ll build an “airlock” of sorts. When traders enter the airlock, I’ll shut them in with a drawbridge, and then open the drawbridge to my fort. It’s perfect!

I don’t have any usable screenshots of the airlock under construction, so I drew this instead:

Unfortunately, many dwarves were about to be killed while building it…

Part 2: The Barrel Crisis

In my fortress, there aren’t many barrels because I have to make them out of copper instead of wood. It takes about 6 times the work to make a barrel out of pure copper.

So I don’t have many barrels to go around.

Now, over time, the few dozen barrels I have are increasingly being used by my dwarves to store FOOD instead of BOOZE. And without any water on the map, my dwarves need booze to stay alive.

Even though my dwarves are perpetually brewing alcohol, the supply of barrels in which they can put that alcohol has suddenly vanished. Every single barrel in the fortress, once full of delicious alcohol, is now full of either food or seeds. And my dwarves start to get thirsty.

I order a second forge built, and have both forges to produce as many copper barrels as possible.

But there’s still food lying around on the farms and in the kitchens! So instead of using the barrels for booze production, my dwarves fill the new barrels with MORE FOOD. They get thirstier.

And then I run out of copper. And I’ve mined out every vein of copper I’ve found. Desperately, I order barrels to be made of the only material left to me: silver. What a waste.

But I have too many farms and too much food lying around. The silver barrels ALSO get filled to the brim with food. I scream at the dwarves, “You idiots! What use is food when you’re going to die of thirst!?”

And then I realize what I have to do.

I order the dwarves to dump the contents of more than a dozen food barrels onto the  floor. Biscuits, stew, berries, mushrooms, everything.

Finally, with empty barrels now available, the dwarves are able to brew much-needed alcohol and have a drink for the first time in a long time.

While my dwarves are happily guzzling down alcohol, the dwarven caravan arrives. I open the drawbridge and the first thing that happens is a goblin ambush. The traps make short work of them.

Meanwhile, unknown to me, the food begins to rot…

Eventually, though, I get the foul stench under control by ordering a WALL to be built around the heaping pile of rotten food. Scouredbridged lives on!

Part 1: The Cowardly Mountainhome

Scouredbridged is the best, most valuable, and the happiest (so say my dwarves) fortress I’ve built so far.

I wanted a site with magma, no aquifer, and flux stone. I got exactly that. What I didn’t get were trees and water. I guess you can’t have everything.

Here’s what the landscape looks like in all directions… flat and barren.

In Dwarf fortress, dwarves will always drink alcohol if they can, and will only drink water if they’ve been injured and need to recover. On a map with no water, this means that a dwarf with a broken leg will NEVER RECOVER, and in fact, die. And because military dwarves inevitably get injured, I’ve decided to play this fortress using nothing but traps and drawbridges as my main defense. I shall cower in my  fortress, deep underground, and try my best not to confront the various evils which prowl the surface!

(I have temperatures and weather turned off because my computer is too slow to run them. That means no rain for me. Also, the tiles are all a little squished horizontally because my screen is small.)

Behold, Scouredbridged!

The trade depot is the only way to get wood, and the soil is the only place to grow food. Let’s just pretend it’s really wet soil.

In Dwarf Fortress, you start out with 7 dwarves. I decided to give them really nice, large bedrooms, because I felt bad about the lack of wood. At least I have lots of stone!

Here we see the dining room and statue “garden.” Those red “7’s” over there represent magma. And then there’s the hallway of pet-slaughter.

Now, I like animals. But in Dwarf Fortress, all they do is slow the game down. And my computer is not that fast to begin with. That’s why I’ve created a crude but effective method of crushing them beneath a giant stone “bridge”!

So far, the most exciting thing that has happened in this fortress is that the guy who pulled the lever to kill a pet decided to visit the statue garden immediately after, and got crushed by the descending bridge. Fortunately he was just a useless hide-tanner or something.