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!
If this story inspired you,
Learn to Play
with Peter Tyson's new book.