They call me “Mad Hammer”


A river flowing from the east, carrying ice at the end of the long winter. A charming valley with deep soil and peaceful animal life.Two years into my embark, the winter caravan found me in an embarrassing situation. My expedition leader had just been ambushed by a goblin thief, and even though my pair of hammerlords managed to defeat the goblin by bashing all the bones that could be broken in his little body, Kivish had gotten a terrible fracture in his right hand, and somewhat lost the ability to handshake with anyone, even the official outpost emissary.

Worse still, the outpost emissary found the leader outside before he could be diagnosed or sutured, and decided the meeting would be conducted immediately, atop my snowy outside defense wall.So, the outpost emissary made my very necessary expedition leader stand outside in a snowstorm, as he was wounded, tired, thirsty, and passing out frequently from the pain.I tried activating the civilian alert. When you make it an “exercise,” the dwarves follow along and stand in the burrows properly – but when you try it for real, they panic and go anywhere but where you want them to. I should have printed that emergency notice.

The wind got even colder, and in addition to the fractured hand, my expedition leader felt like he terribly needed a drink – I cannot blame him for that. Soon, I’d had enough, and decided to send my two hammerlords to bash in the skull of the outpost emissary.At the time it felt like a good plan.

Reg, the first of my hammergirls (did I mention they were both girls?), comes in and starts bashing him so fast the outpost emissary looks like he’s flying. That’s a legendary fighter for you. The second one, Zas, a squad captain, tagged along to deliver the finishing blow — and suddenly gives me a fun surprise.

In an instant she attacks Reg from behind and smashes her skull. For the love of Armok, Zas! What are you doing?I built many theories around this. First, this could have been seen as a form of justice (a bad deed: a beating) – but justice was not aware of Reg. Zas was not in love with the outpost emissary, nor had she any reason to hate her best friend and coworker Reg.

I think what happened is different, and it looks like a deep moral conflict that solved itself in a wrong way (well, she IS a hammerlord, after all). I am gonna try and reproduce a dialog between morality and duty, in Zas’ inner mind.Duty: “Go and kill that fuckin’ outpost guy.” (pressing voice)

Morality: “But this civilization is peaceful. They are our friends!”
Duty: “This is an order. GO KILL HIM.”
Morality: “So … does this mean I can kill friends?”
Duty: “As long as he dies.”

And so, instead of crying the loss of Reg, Zas just got a happy thought:

“Zas took pleasure in a slaughter recently.”

Disturbing. But maybe it explains what happened next.What’s done is done. I lost a hammerlord, but it was all for the leader’s sake. Now we just have to hope this will not turn into that much of a diplomatic incident. Zas goes to the expedition leader to lend a helping hand and carry him to the hospital, but carelessly cracks his head open by dropping him on a stockpile. Then she goes on and starts playing cricket with my five war dogs guarding the entrance.

My best and only efficient soldier has officially gone on a killing spree. This kind of looks bad, mmh?

zas killing things

Zas, leaving a trail of blood behind her.

What disturbs me the most is that Zas seems perfectly sane – she is in a good mood and says she is going back to the barracks to make individual drills. My ass you are.Civilian alert, and AGAIN, my citizens choose to all go outside — ‘A dwarf on a killing spree? I got to take a closer look!’

What a bunch of retards. I take the heavy decision of sealing off the fortress without waiting for the dwarves outside to come back in. It was designed so that the military buildings could be entirely separated from the civilian fortress. This results in two drawbridges getting lifted with dwarves on them, which launches everything on the bridges upwards Рresulting in two brewers and a mason taking off for their final flight.
Melbil, a brewer, taking off with some rat remains.

I carefully observed the phenomenon this time around: they went up ten z-levels or so in an approximately straight line (one tick: one level) before slowing down and falling back on the fortress with appropriate crunching noises.

Thanks to their flashy sacrifice, my civilians remained safe. The ones outside all got butchered by Zas without delay. She goes back and closes in on the military buildings, and then … I remember there are about ten newbie archers in the towers. This is so gonna be a one-sided slaughter. Or is it? I wait and wait in the marksdwarves tower, waiting for the big bad blinking pink nightmare to go up the stairs and start painting the walls red … but nothing happens.Of course not! Zas has found her barracks on the way, and she is making individual drills. For real. Like nothing happened.I save the game and go to sleep.

Written by Kevin T.


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