Food and Immigrants – A Wintertime Nightmare

Written by Nick Youngblood

This story takes place in my second fortress. My first fortress starved to death in the very first winter, because I misunderstood the summary screen. I thought that the food I had in the “Other” category was actually edible, and so while it seemed like I had enough, in reality I began to starve days after winter began. I still remember the sinking feeling I got when it rained at the beginning of spring, destroying the road I had built for the human traders. That caravan was our only hope, and when the road became impassable, I knew that all was lost. But I digress.

On the fate of the second fortress: I had perhaps 24 dwarves in my fortress going into autumn, and I was confident that we had more than enough food. It would be a lean winter, but I was confident that we would make it through without going hungry. However, days before winter began, I was visited by a group of migrants. Now, apparently my fortress had become known as some sort of greatly sought-after dwarven vacation spot, because in one group of migrants I went from around 25 dwarves to just over twice that amount. Twice as many mouths to feed and not enough food to fill them. Horses and dogs were slaughtered wholesale to make up the lack, but partway through winter we began to starve.

Things were very desperate at this point, but I had learned from my previous mistakes and made sure my road was in good repair. Then, I began to plant crops as fast as I could. Every dwarf I had was assigned to this task. I was sure that if we could just reap a single harvest, we could survive until the humans came to help us. For a time it seemed as though my plan might work. The two plots were almost sown, and soon we would have food enough to survive. I knew that some would die, but we would make it.

I then see this on my screen: “Olav Eitherok has gone stark raving mad! Olav Eitherok has destroyed Plot! Olav Eitherok has destroyed Plot!” I gaped at the screen. One of my farmers had gone mad with hunger, and in his senseless rage destroyed the city’s only chance at life.

I knew now that we were doomed, but I had one last task that I would finish before the end. On the spot of those farms I constructed a stone sepulcher decorated with the finest stonework I could create, four statues at the cardinal points. When Olav finally succumbed to starvation, I had him interred within those walls. I imagined that in their final moments my dwarves carved the story of the fall of Glas Galak upon those stones, so that for all time those who visited this place would know of the infamy of Olav Eitherok, and how his reckless madness had doomed an entire people.

Only the dead inhabit Glas Galak now, but I find some small comfort in knowing that the name of the traitor Olav Eitherok will be cursed for all time, and that though he is dead, he will never be at peace.

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1 thought on “Food and Immigrants – A Wintertime Nightmare

  1. Why not just get some of your dwarves locked away? Butcher them and eat them. Tough times make for tough dwarves.

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