I was new to Dwarf Fortress. Everything was magical and awe-inspiring, from the immensity of the world to the intricate detail of each and every dwarf and item. It was too much to behold at once, and so I hardly knew what I was doing. I read books, watched tutorials, studied the wiki, and finally I dove in to my first fortress in the peaceful lands of a quiet forest.
I loved my dwarves. They dug down into the earth, and crafted works of stone and wood. I looked down upon them with tender care and intrigue, especially when one of the cats started chasing a firefly around outside after I had locked it in inside. Even the cats had personality! All was joyous and glad in my peaceful little forest, and my dwarves would enjoy revelry and parties often.
After four years of peaceful living, my humble fortress had become over-populated and since it was my first fortress it was disorganized and alas, undefended. Word of my dwarves’ ingenuity and success spread, and a Minotaur full of greed and strength did come. It began to chase and kill the dwarves and their livestock with its Great Axe! I tried to sound the alarm, but I had not learned how to use burrows. I tried to raise the bridges, but I had not learned how to build them properly, and so they only retracted. I watched in horror as the slaughter ensued, until one brave dwarf, a hunter by trade, stood toe to toe with the great beast and fought him. They exchanged blows, one for another. I paused the game to loo[k] at the Minotaur to see what damage hath been done to it. A cut on his left hand. I loo[k]ed at the hunter… [broken head] [lacerated arm] [punctured lungs] [broken guts] [severed hand] [severed nerves] [broken spine]… it was not good.
Not sure of what to do, I signaled my dwarves to abandon the fortress! I could not bear to watch them be slaughtered.
Now, almost a full year later of playing Dwarf Fortress off and on, I have commanded many fortresses, each time becoming better and more cunning. Within three in-game years, I had a standing army clad in iron, and walls enclosing the entrance and pastures, with extra large bridges designed to crush foes beneath them. Word of my dwarves’ ingenuity and success spread, and once again, a Minotaur full of greed and strength did come… and this time I was ready for him. I like to think that it was the same Minotaur, though I know it wasn’t.
I rang the alarm and all dwarves ran underground. I mustered the militia, and armed dwarves ran up to the surface. I ordered the gate lever to be pulled… but for some reason it took the surrounding dwarves some time to pull it. The Minotaur was only a foot away from getting inside when the bridge raised, launching him into the fortress wall. Unconscious, he ricocheted off the wall and fell to the ground, having given into pain from a shattered right hand.
I laughed. And I laughed some more. I couldn’t stop giggling at the hilarity of what had just happened. My wife asked me what was so funny, and I tried to explain it to her, but she doesn’t speak Dwarf Fortress and thought I was nuts. Eventually the Minotaur woke up and tried hobbling away, falling over at every third step. Well, we lowered the bridge and my iron clad axe dwarves made hamburger out of the now crippled foe. The same foe that had brought ruin and death to my very first fortress was defeated BY my fortress, literally. Much satisfaction was had and I still beam with pride at its mention.
Written by Mythalinear
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