The Story of Idenzatthud

Idenzatthud, also known as “Paddlejungle,” was glorious in my eyes.  It’s the best fortress I have ever created, mostly because it’s the only fortress I have ever created.  I plodded along, adding workshops and areas as I realized their critical importance in the game and trying to figure out what the heck you were supposed to do in order to get a military and a hospital up and going.  I even found time to smooth out a great hall in preparation for any epic acts that I could engrave on to the wall.

Oh we had goblin attacks, sure.  My effective tactic was to let my utterly worthless immigrants take their tools and mob the goblins until I won.  This had the benefit of free armor and a good way to cap the population.  And for a while, all was happy and kind of boring.  That is, until I learned of glorious, glorious, magma and all of its wonderful uses.  I had to have it.

After digging down about 122 levels, I found caverns, which I promptly walled up in order to not have to deal with them.  As it is with dwarves, of course one of my miners was stuck outside the walled in staircase and started to wander around the cavern until he died of thirst, I was disappointed at the loss of a pick, but oh well.

A few in-game months later, I finally found the magma sea and mined into a pillar so I could reach down to the magma and run a channel to make my magma furnace placement easier.  It was going pretty well, and I started reading about channeling on the wiki to see what I could do with it.  At about the exact point when I noticed that I shouldn’t do exactly what I was doing, my expedition leader mined out the last rocks holding back the molten rock.

I didn’t really see what happened, because of all the smoke, so I thought he might’ve escaped, until I noticed some oddly colored magma. It was molten copper.  Izen had a copper pick.  I quickly switched out his coffin for a memorial slab. Close enough, I suppose.

I set up the forges and started building copper armor and swords for my to be military. (My dwarves weren’t appreciating all the migrant deaths.)  After I sold about 200 mugs to a caravan (“I went to dwarf fortress and all I got was this stupid mug,”) I was feeling pretty good about myself as everything was in perfect order.  Then we got hit by another goblin ambush.

Before, these guys were no big deal.  My migrants with picks and axes could take them on with heavy casualties, but they still won fairly easily.  These goblins were different.  They had steel armor, flails, swords, and battle-axes and they knew how to use them.  I was feeling pretty cocky and sent my two full squads which had literally started training two days earlier, as their armor and weapons were being produced.  They stood no chance as the invaders cut through them like a scythe through wheat.  Blood was splattered all across the front of my fortress.

I panicked and raised the drawbridge, promptly launching one of about 60 idle chicks through the air to its death.  The goblins had no way inside, so I just had to wait for the armor and weapons to be made.  In short order I had two more full squads (with copper armor and weapons this time) waiting by the raised drawbridge in preparation for attack.  There was only one goblin outside; the rest were wandering the countryside killing my chickens.  I lowered the drawbridge and charged.

I watched in horror as about 10 seconds later, the goblin emerged from the blood and corpses completely unscathed.  I immediately ordered my drawbridge raised, but of course the bridge only was raised after he had run well past it, locking my remaining 30 dwarves inside with him.

At this point I had given up, and I ordered the great hall to be engraved so that hopefully some history would remain.  As the goblin gleefully chased my terrified dwarves and puppies down the halls, the fortress eventually grew silent, except for in the great hall.  One dwarf remained, and of course it was a noble…

This noble figured he’d try his hand at engraving, so I watched him engrave a few walls, and then the goblin found him.  The noble tried to run but the goblin just splattered his brains across my beautifully smoothed flooring.  At least he finished a few engravings.

The first thing I find he engraved was a circle, with no decorations or anything.  I viewed his other engravings and found two more circles, two engravings of reeds (which didn’t exist in the biome my fort was in) and two engravings of giant Axolotls (which have never existed or been relevant to my fortresses history.)

How incredibly anticlimactic.

So ended the story of Idenzatthud, a fortress whose downfall went unrecorded due to one noble’s artistic deficiency.



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

One thought on “The Story of Idenzatthud

  1. I’m on my third attempt on getting into DF, this time it seems to be clicking with me (not so much everything I’m still trying to figure out) but the game itself has grown on me, I finally feel like I want to try again instead of being frustrated and moving on to something else.

    I say that to say this: stories like Idenzatthud inspire my imagination. No this fort was not bathed in glory or steeped in legend but it is real and a reminder of the fun that comes from losing.

    You can see the events unfold and imagine the noble trying but failing to engrave his legacy. The moment he hears the goblin’s footfalls and just hangs his head at his inefficiency. It’s a reminder that not every game will end ‘well’ but it will end with a story. Thanks for the good read.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *