Splatterwine: A Story of Bloodshed and History

Splatterwine was one of my best attempts at making a FUN fortress, simply because of the way the world was made.

It was supposed to be a suicide fort, a way to have a hilariously short and brutal game for that cathartic mad scramble to survive up until the bloody end, and I found the perfect place: The intersection of a savage jungle, fairy forest, and sinister swamp, placed at the ford of a central river, and the foot of a goblin fortress. I geared up my seven dwarves, and sent them to their demise.

It went about as expected; frequent harpy raids were set to the backdrop of an ogre tribe that watched hungrily from across the river. The fortress lived up to its name, as blood-rain came weekly and set half the map awash in the vitae of man. Eventually, the ogres crossed the river, and the fortress was destroyed in a futile attempt at defense. The last dwarf, a farmer, was beaten for three straight months by a pair of sock-wielding brutes, a scene which would be commemorated time and again by artifacts within the fortress.

The goblins never arrived, so I resolved to continue to reclaim the fort until it attracted a proper goblin army. Their capitol was right there! So, a squad of seven recruits, armed and armored in copper with a contingent of war dogs, were shipped to Splatterwine.

When the game started, an ogre was already in the wagon. No one survived.

The third attempt at a fortress was more of a success. The reclaim squad dealt with the ogres one by one, and used what supplies and burrows were already in place to begin the new community in earnest. Eventually, the harpy clan was driven off for good, and immigrants came, despite the danger.

Blood became as water to the dwarves; a life of constant violence beneath the perpetual deluge of crimson. A castle was built, with parapets and gatehouse, moat and traps, which was ever painted red. The first stone layer had both iron and coal, and steel ran in rivers from the forges. The dwarves sharpened their axes, and built strong their walls, and prepared for a time when the goblins would come. Artifacts came in three varities: weapons, armor, and doors.

But the goblins never came.

What was meant to be a FUN little adventure had instead grown into prosperity, with a full two years and hundred dwarves coming to pass before I realized the absence of our sworn foe. For a time, I suspected they were ever just a season away, and continued as I had. Then, while checking the civilizations screen, I noticed that the Dwarven General was no dwarf, he was a goblin! I immediately backed up the save and delved into Legends Mode…

The world was only 250 years old, but what bloody years they were. Fitting. The first 50 years of existence were a time of growth and expansion. The Elves were untouched in the southern reaches, while Man, Dwarf, and Goblin were cramped between the northern mountain ranges and the Sea of Ghosts. Violence came easily between them, but always had a trend: Man and Dwarf killed Goblin. This habit grew in momentum until in the year 82 it erupted into open war between the goblins and their neighbors. This conflict lasted over a full century, and in that time, the goblins won just two battles. These two fights were led by who must have been a great commander, General Malicehammer. He routed combined dwarf/human forces twice in defense of his hometown, only to be shot and killed near the end of the second battle.

Crushed between the strength of Man and the steel of Dwarf, and devoid of heroes, the goblins’ cause was hopeless, leading to the annexation of all their border states. Most of the conflict, however, was only raiding. It seemed to be a monthly sport for the “civilized” factions to raid and slaughter goblins in their heartland, but never conquer them.

That’d spoil the fun.

In the year 190, a demon emerged, who took leadership of the goblin nation. I suspect that a century of horror had forced the goblins down desperate paths, and that the beast was summoned intentionally. It acted quickly, rallying the goblin military, and led a massive force to battle against the human/dwarf coalition. The resulting bloodbath was a stalemate technically, but the armed forces of both sides were fully destroyed in the conflict. In the wake of such devastation, a peace was brokered, and recovery began.

For a decade, things were calm, but Man and Dwarf were wary of the new goblin overlord. They feared its power, and all that its existence implied, but they were too weak to challenge the goblin state as it was. Convenient, then, that an elven hero and known Titan slayer appeared and killed the demonic overlord.

By the end of the year, the violence against goblins began again. This time, however, there would be no recreational raids, no allowed shadow of a goblin government, and no mercy. Every goblin site that didn’t join Man or Dwarf was razed. Every goblin that didn’t submit to capture and slavery was killed. So it was that the dawn of the second century saw the death of goblinkind as an independent people.

Now I knew why no invasions ever came. The dark fortress my settlement was built near was just a charred husk of its former glory, the warrior people that inhabited it broken and destroyed. The goblin that now led the military of our civilization had a rather unremarkable service record, but some spark of the fighting spirit and tactical ability of the goblins of yore had surely kindled a talent in him. Splatterwine would grow fat during this age of (ironically bloody) peace, eventually becoming a capitol. It has a storied life that continues to this day, but I can’t help but feel that whatever I do, I will never live up to the past.

Written by Lord Navry

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