Part 8: I am a monster

On a map without water, the decision to train a military was a tough one to make.

Ha ha, no it wasn’t. Not anymore. Just look at all these useless dwarves!

The number of useless dwarves started piling up after I increased the maximum allowable population to 50. I discovered that my computer can take it just so long as I have nothing else running.

I figure that if someone in the military is injured and dies, they’ll just be replaced later by another immigrant! So why have healthcare when you have immigration? Ah, I’m so coldhearted. Check out my ruthless barracks design:

See all the doors? If a military dwarf is injured, drags him/herself into a bed to rest, and starts complaining for water, I can simply lock the door and leave them to die.

It’s pretty much the equivalent of shooting a lame horse! But slower and more painful.

Oh, I added a zoo as well. (No skylight for the zoo, though.)

Here’s my new army-in-training, looking like a flock of birds. Silly dwarves, you aren’t birds!

They’re being trained in unarmed combat for now. I learned in my last fortress that if your new recruits spar with weapons, they’re quite likely to critically injure each other. Better that they learn other skills first.

So I’m training up my new army, and all of a sudden, the “dungeonmaster” dwarf appears at the edge of them map.

“Oh cool! I’ve never had a dungeonmaster before,” I exclaim.

I’ve heard that nobles can be a pain, but I decide to let him in anyway. However, because there’s no path into the fortress, he doesn’t enter the airlock, opting instead to mill about on the edge of the map. So I lower the main drawbridge for the first time in a while, and send my new military out to protect the entrance.

I am promptly assaulted by THREE SIMULTANEOUS GOBLIN AMBUSHES.

My military has no weapons equipped. The blood… oh dear Armok, the blood.

You see? You see why I NEVER open both drawbridges? Nothing but death awaits those that dare venture outside.

We win the battle, but 3 dwarves are killed by the goblins. Another 6 suffer critical injuries.

All because I let that dungeonmaster inside. He had better be worth it.

As I close the drawbridge, cries of thirst echo through the halls. The injured dwarves mostly go to their own bedrooms to recover, not the barracks. I start to lock the injured dwarves in their bedrooms. Not all of them are soldiers, but none of them are the numbered dwarves… whew!

Then I come to a room I cannot lock – there’s an uninjured dwarf inside. On the bed is a female recruit, broken and dying. Her husband, a weaponsmith, is lying in the bed with her… as if to comfort her. As if to stop me from locking the door. As if he knows this is the last time he will ever see her.

Passing this room by for now, I look across the hallway and see this: My off-duty dwarven army, gathered around the bed of a wounded, dying comrade.

What… what are they doing? Are they… paying their respects? Giving homage to their dying friend? Seriously? Because that’s what it looks like.

Earlier, I saw them do the same thing on the battlefield – they silently gathered around the body of a dead soldier until I ordered everyone inside.

I’m stunned. The dwarves in a computer game are exhibiting more respect and empathy for each other than I do for them. They are plainly suffering because of my mistakes and decisions.

I feel like a sociopath. A monster. I can almost feel the dwarves shaming me through the computer screen.



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

4 thoughts on “Part 8: I am a monster

Leave a Reply to Steve Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.