Monday, May 19, 2014

Stesokur Entry 19: DFHack

So I've started using DFHack.

Because the interface wasn't confusing enough already.

Look: I'm not a programmer. I'm not even a writer. I studied philosophy, for Armok's sake. There's no way I can learn how to use this properly. So if I'm using DFHack ineffeciently, forgive me - there's no way I'm going to use this program to its fullest. I seriously considered just never using it at all, and letting it run in the background (I use the Lazy Newb Pack for things like Stonesense and Overseer; it automatically runs DFHack). I found a page full of commands that even an idiot like me can understand, though.

Well, some of them.

My game starting slowing to crawl, and I realized that it was because of all the goblin blood. Blood on every tile of every level - especially in my tower - being tracked all over the place by my disgusting dwarves. It was a lot for the game to remember, and it took its toll on my poor computer. There's a command for DFHack that cleans everything though: just type in clean all and hit enter and it scrubs the entire map of blood!

There's some issues I have with that. For one, it removes some of the cool bloodstains (like what was left from the battle with the killer croc). I could just spot clean everything by typing spotclean, but that only works under my cursor. Ain't nobody got time for that. I was also concerned that the landscape full of goblin blood, one of the key attributes that gave Stesokur Tower it's personality, would be missed.

Turns out I didn't have to worry about that.

Yeah, that concern quickly took care of itself.

Another problem arose when I built The Drop; the game had installed a maximum Z-level. Meaning, up to a certain altitude, I couldn't build any higher. I didn't like this, especially since my ultimate goal with this fort is to build a tower up into the clouds! There's a command for that called infiniteSky. All I need to do is type in that command, plus the number of Z-levels I want to add, and the game raises the invisible ceiling allotted to me. For The Drop I typed in infiniteSky 5, but I foresee Stesokur Tower going much, much higher.

That's it, though! I'm not using DFHack to cheat or anything. There's options to  make your dwarves build things instantly and teleport; no way am I doing something like that. No matter how easy it would make building Stesokur Tower. The difficulty is the point! And there's another command to remove all the bad thoughts in the fortress - to literally make tantrums a thing of the past. No way! If I didn't want to manage my moody dwarves, I'd just go and fucking play some Minecraft or something. 

Wait, I can set the game so patrol duty doesn't cause unhappy thoughts? Meaning I can make soldiers who enjoy training and marching every day? Which means I can finally have a highly-trained, happy military? And all I have to do is type tweak patrol-duty and hit enter? Well... that's not really cheating. I mean... maybe a little, but it's only cheating for one thing. In fact, by using this cheat, I'm essentially creating the option for some dwarves to prefer a life of career soldiering! That's not cheating, that's roleplaying.

And just look how happy those guys are!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Stesokur Entry 18: The Drop

So I've got a problem. Well, not really a problem. Not, like, starvation or a storm of violent tantrums or even an elven army knocking at the door. No, the current issue on my action-item list is what to do with all my prisoners

I need to capture one of them Olms, so I can start spelling out words. Like "KNOB" or "BONG."

Right now they're all just kinda shoved in the back of the slums, which I guess is the correct place to put a horde of unwanted creatures. But that's no fun! I should at least build like... a zoo or something. Or an arena! That's actually a great project to keep in mind. An arena to let my soldier dwarves practice their skills on live opponents. Or I could use it to answer the age-old question: who would win in a fight between a naked mole rat and a boar man?

An arena's a big undertaking, though. I'd need to get it just right, and that'll take a lot of time and resources. That's a project for another day. I want to do something with these prisoners today.

Like with most of my playing style, I decide to take a page out of Captnduck's playbook. If you want to learn how to play Dwarf Fortress, I can't recommend his videos strongly enough. If you've never seen them, they're entertaining to watch, anyways. He's got a couple Dwarf Fortress Let's Plays. I learned all of the basics (and some advanced things!) from his 2010 series. It was from his videos that I learned about The Drop.

The Drop is a small, thin tower, about 20 Z-Levels tall. At the top of it is a small floor with a hole in the middle. All-in-all, The Drop took about as much stone and time as building the walls of a single floor of Stesokur Tower. Easy cheesy. At the top of The Drop, I've placed the cages of enemies I want to... well, y'know. Drop.

Careful! It's already slick with goblin blood.

That center hole I've designated as a Pit/Pond with i > p. Then I hit (that's capital P; yes, it matters!) to designate individual goblins to be thrown into the pit. One of those cages I've got up there holds Stosbub Kutsmobarstruk, Goblin Thief. I make sure to select Stosbub from the menu that pops up when I mouseover the pit and hit P. And then a dwarf comes up The Drop, opens the cage, and tosses Stosbub down the hole. And down he goes, two-hundred feet, splat! 

Where will all these bodies end up, you might ask? Aren't I worried about the possibility of one of my dwarves being struck by plummeting goblins? Oh, I planned for that.

I've built The Drop over an empty pond, a leftover relic from building my reservoir. I made sure to carve away any slopes leading upwards, and built a wooden ceiling over it so there wasn't any way out. Only a single hole, directly below The Drop, remains to allow any sunlight in. And, of course, falling goblins. I made sure to pave the entire area with granite so there was no chance the muddy ground could break their fall.

Now the only things that can break their fall are the corpses of their friends and families!

And, because I am apparently some type of psychopath, I spend the rest of the evening hurling goblins to their death.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Stesokur Entry 17: The First Ambush

Our first ambush! Finally, a chance to test the defenses of the fortress. A small army of goblins, sick of sending thieves and snatchers out to Stesokur, have finally mustered the courage to try me in a test of arms. Unfortunately, poor Kumil did not live long enough to see combat against the goblins, but the Blockaded Slaughters have been waiting for such an event! Led by Iton Sholidunib, one of the first seven, the melee squad has been training non-stop for such an event.

Yeah, they killed that cat. Pity, too; my dwarves were gonna eat it.

Seven goblins came from the south. Five wielded whips, and two of them carried spears. Were they at all discouraged by the fact that they literally had to wade through ankle-high pools of goblin blood to assault Stesokur Tower? If so, they swallowed their fear like champs! After killing my little kitten there, they stormed the entrance of Stesokur like it ain't no thing that their kins' blood was falling from the sky. 

My dwarves stood ready. All of my melee squad trained at the foot of the tower, so it was an easy thing to have them mobilized right outside of the tower. Nothing would get by without facing their axes and hammers!

Nothing would get by at all, actually.

Oh. Looks like none of the goblins made it past my traps. Well, shit. Looks like the biggest challenge of these goblin ambushes is figuring out what to do with all my prisoners!

I stuff them away in some cells in the basement for the time being. I'll think of something to do with them later. Good to know that my defenses work at least! I think I'll put some more cages around, though, in case of a larger siege.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Stesokur Entry 16: Jamming the Shaft

The above-ground entrance isn't the only one that needs protecting. In fact, the vast majority of the threats to my tower come from its mines and caverns, far below ground. The problem is this fucking thing:

How can such a little thing, all alone there in a sea of black, be a problem, you may ask?

What am I actually looking at? you may also ask, if you don't play the game.

That's the central staircase. A tunnel leads to this staircase, south of the slums of Stesokur. It's a shaft that leads straight down into the center of the earth. From this shaft my miners dig out in various exploratory directions, seeking ores and gems and precious stones. The shaft also leads directly into the caverns, wherein various monsters dwell. It's an easy thing for giant crocodiles and lizards and whatevers to just storm right up those stairs and into the fortress. I mean, yeah, they attack the slums before the dwellings of the important dwarves, but still. Something needs to be done.

So I made some modifications:

"It looks like a penis!" said my girlfriend. "Certainly not my penis," I responded. I think she's doing it on purpose, now.

It may be a little difficult to tell what exactly I did, especially to those who don't play the game, so let me describe the situation:

The bottom of the second picture there is where the Central Shaft used to be. Technically it still goes all the way down, but I've changed the stairs. There is now only one set of stairs leading upwards, and none leading down. The old stairs, which used to go all the way down to the caverns, have been floored over. So now you can no longer go down the central staircase. Instead, you have to go north - through a narrow tunnel filled with cage traps.

Once you've gone through this tunnel, you reach a 3x3 chamber filled with stairs that go down. Once you've gone down a single level, you're faced with another tunnel, heading south, back into the shaft. That way all of my dwarves - and every other creature - that want to pass through the Central Shaft need to take a small, trap-filled detour on the way.

If you don't understand what I just wrote, don't worry about it. That's because I'm a bad writer, not because you're a bad reader. Let my expert MSPaint skillz do the talking. Here's the detour, viewed from the side:

My degrees in philosophy and law may be as worthless as an art degree, but at least those guys can fucking draw.

See how it's a straight line of stairs heading all the way down? And see how there's a floor forcing you into the tunnel to the left? That floor was built on the stairs to stop things from coming up. If you want to go down those stairs, you have to go left through that thin tunnel, past all those cage-filled traps, down another flight of stairs, and then through another tunnel, to the right, which takes you back into the Central Shaft. More importantly, there's the same detour going up. Any monsters or dangerous critters can't just run up the stairs... they have to make their way through dozens of cage-traps first.

This should take care of anything getting into my fortress from below. So I'm now well-protected from all threats; those above-ground, and those-below. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Stesokur Entry 15: The Wall

Like Datanerith, I have decided to make a wall surrounding Stesokur.

I'm pretty sure there's no secret back entrance for the elves to exploit this time. I mean, I hope.

Look at that bad boy. Seriously, fucking click that shit. So large it ain't even covered in the picture. The Wall is two layers of stone deep - twice the strength of the tower itself - and, so far, two  Z-Levels tall. I might go for three tall, because why not? It connects to the mountainside north and south of Stesokur Tower, and I made certain that there's no way any damn elves are gonna sneak in the service entrance. How can I be so sure, you say?

"Everything's already covered in blood." - A common saying in Stesokur

This is the mountaintop above the wall. Remember, the elves took advantage of a hidden slope that I had missed, like a goat path or something, and then literally walked along the top of the walls, and down the stairs into the heart of my last fortress. This time, though, I built a wall - again, twice as strong as necessary - literally cutting off any foot traffic to the top of the wall. Even if the elves found a way onto the level behind my wall, they wouldn't be able to find a way down.

Which means that there is literally one way into my fortress:

Maybe I should just name this area "The Zoo"?

Those green symbols, pointing upwards? Those are cage traps. A small army could be trapped in those motherfuckers. I've got more, lining the entrance into Stesokur Tower itself, but so far I haven't seen anything get by these traps. I can't wait to piss off some elves!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Update hiccup!

Hey guys,

Sorry for the lack of updates lately. I've had to deal with some abrupt issues in my personal life. Nothing worth worrying about, just things that have precluded me taking time to play a video game and write a blog about it for a few days!

I hope to start updating regularly again soon. I'd like to say sometime next week - maybe even Monday - but don't want to give any promises. Sorry for the inconvenience!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Stesokur Entry 14: Killer Croc

A cave crocodile, like the giant olm, managed to sneak its way into the back entrance of my fortress from the underground caverns. I'm quickly learning that I need to prepare for threats from the vast underground cavern as well as from above. There's more to destroying a fortress than elves and goblins, right?

You mean I discovered an expansive monster factory deep underground.

Well, OK, no problem. Mobilize the militia! I decide to send everyone I have after it. The Slaughters and the Canyons mobilize and rush it one-by-one. Personally, I'm hoping that my melee squad gets there first. I know the crossbows will just feather it with bolts and kill it in, like, ten seconds. I'd like the axedwarf or hammer lord to get a little combat practice in first. I was hoping to see Kumil do some badass dual-wielding, even! I knew they wouldn't get a chance, though, if the crossbowdwarves just killed it right away.

It's shit like this that proves I am not a clever man.

Melbil, the leader of the Canyons, my squad of crossbowdwarves, was the first to arrive. The cave crocodile closed the distance between them surprisingly fast:

Dear Armok, no! She lost both her socks!!

So, ouch. The cave crocodile goes straight for the feet for some reason. It first tears away one of Melbil's feet, then another. I'm proud of her for bashing it with her crossbow while it's literally chewing off her second foot, but, not surprisingly, she does not survive very long.

Then Kumil arrived.

He just had to follow the trail of blood.

Kumil is a highly skilled warrior, the equal of Solon Beridos. Unlike Solon, however, Kumil was very poorly armored. And the cave crocodile didn't go for the feet this time: it bit Kumil on the torso and shook, severing arteries and tendons all over the Hammer Lord's chest and abdomen. Gripped in the mighty maw of his reptilian foe, Kumil did exactly what I hoped he would. With one hand he bashed the crocodile in face with his silver hammer, with the other, he repeatedly stabbed the crocodile in the eyes.

After he killed the crocodile, Kumil dragged himself from its deadly jaws and slowly began the walk back to the hospital. He made five steps before he collapsed.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Stesokur Entry 13: Onwards and Upwards

I've made mention of Stesokur being a tower before, so let's take a look at how I'm actually trying to build everything in one direction: upwards.

Ground Floor.

I think I've shown off this floor plenty; it's the ground level and the entrance. Notice the Depot and the refuse pile flanking the gates, which I've covered in cage traps. The bottom of the Ground Floor is a hospital; I plan on actually dedicating an entire floor to the hospital, but right now I've got to have it somewhere. Similarly, above the main staircase in the center, I've got my barracks. I would like to give each military squad a floor of their own to train in, but that will have to wait for another day.

Second Floor.

The Second Floor is the dining room; you can see the sky bridge to the Cookhouse at the northernmost section. Right now the dining room is certainly large enough to feed all of my dwarves at once - it's actually far too big for my current needs - but I know that will soon change. I've kept the room above it empty because I fully expect to need two dining rooms of this size. Notice that the Second and Third Floors are the only ones with actual hardwood flooring. From here on up, it's all stone, baby.

Fourth Floor.

Here are the offices. I did the math, and I don't actually think I will need this many offices - there are fewer nobles who technically require offices than there are rooms available. So, for the time being, I'll use the spare rooms as private dining rooms. That's a temporary thing, though, until I dedicate a floor to private dining. I like the idea of several "important" dwarves, like the Hammerer, having an office, even if they don't strictly need it according to the gameplay. 

Fifth Floor.

The Fifth and Sixth Floors are dedicated to industry. The Fifth Floor has my stoneworkers on the northern half, and my woodworkers on the bottom half. It's also where I keep most of my finished goods and furniture stockpiled. I've also put my wood and stone stockpiles up here, which has most of my peasant dwarves in constant motion, hauling the raw materials up five floors. The Sixth Floor has a few miscellaneous but necessary workstations, like a soap maker or jeweler. The northern half of the Sixth Floor is my textile industry: dyers, loomweavers, and clothiers. The vast majority of Stesokur's wealth come from the pretty dresses made by my tailors.

Seventh Floor

I've set up a sculpture garden on the Seventh Floor. Dwarves enjoy relaxing around statues, and I figure it's good to have a place for them to hang out between the bedrooms above and workstations below. Unlike Datanerith, with its works of art celebrating the love between cockroaches, or mocking its dead citizens, Stesokur's statues are pretty cool. They're all designed by Kadol, the mason who got shot that one time. Most of them are of gods, such as Kun, the God of Luck, or Ertal, the God of Gambling. One statue is celebrating that time Kumil killed a kobold, and two other statues celebrate Fikod Imushbunem, the leader of the original seven dwarves.

Eighth Floor

Beyond the statue garden are my bedrooms. I'm pretty proud of this layout: I wanted to strike a balance between efficiency of space, and allowing my dwarves to have a little luxury. I decided to give each of them a cabinet (and later, a chest or coffer). I can fit forty-eight dwarves per level, set up this way. I plan on having four levels of this exact same layout. Right now, though, I only have the Eighth and Ninth Floors finished, with the walls put up and everything. The Tenth Floor is completely empty, but it at least has its walls up.

Eleventh Floor

Here's where we're at now. The Eleventh Floor, when it's finished, will be the last of the four "common dwarf" bedroom levels. Right now, though, it's just a roof: and a bad one at that. See those poor masons hard at work up there? They gotta do all their work in the bloody rain. And it's not like they'll be done once all the flooring and walls are installed; after that, I'm just gonna have them build upwards, and upwards, for as high as I can.

We're at eleven floors now. Wonder how high it'll go?

Friday, April 25, 2014

Stesokur Entry 12: Recursive Chests

Not to be outdone on the whole creepy artifact thing, a new dwarf has entered a mood. Iden Kivishducim, one of the masons I'd put to work building the wall outside (I'll talk about that soon!) took over a mason's workshop. Fortunately, this time I had all the materials I needed.

I guess it doesn't really matter. Iden's not that threatening. I checked her personality: she has a "profound understanding of her own feelings." Oh yeah she's a sissy.

So after a toy boat made of stone and a creepy as fuck sheep-leather veil, what are we going to get this time? A loin cloth made of spikes? A sword made out of mushrooms? She's a mason, so she's probably going to use stone. Ah, I know! A sock made out of granite! This should be fucking interesting.

Remrotig is dwarvish for "Dousedblenched." I hope Iden knows just how weird her profound feelings are.

That's... actually pretty cool. In fact, that's really useful! A coffer I can use to store, well, whatever in. More importantly, though, this can be put in some noble's room, or in some public place for dwarves to pass by regularly. If a noble gets it, it'll make him happy. If it's out in public then it, like a statue, would make all the dwarves who see it happy. Neat! Good job, Iden! In fact, let's take a closer look at it.

Alright, that's pretty badass! Encrusted with (cheap) gemstones, and leather and bone, and it's got an image of some suns, some mechanisms, and itself!

W-wait what

It has an image of itself? How is that possible? Does the image of the claystone coffer have... another little image in it? How far down does this thing go? I can't wrap my head around this at all. This is like... a mathematical impossibility. Iden, I'm happy that you have a profound understanding of your own feelings, because I have no fucking clue what you are all about!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Stesokur Entry 11: Stabbing Lizards

A bunch of my dwarves - peasants who were hauling stone for my skilled masons to continue building the tower upwards - started freaking out and quitting their jobs. Apparently a Giant Olm had somehow gotten into my mines. I had to look up what it was - a big ol' peach colored lizard! Looks like a snake with legs, which had me a little scared at first. But, it wasn't harming anyone, it was just scaring the peasants.

Is it weird to run into giant snake-lizards underground? I don't even know anymore.

So, of course, I had to kill it.

I have two militia squadrons to choose from: my melee squad, called the Blockaded Slaughters, and my crossbow squad, called the Blockaded Canyons. The shared prefix of "Blockaded" is actually an enormous coincidence, but I think it's really cool. I'll make a mental note to name all of my militia squadrons "The Blockaded Somethings" for this fortress. Anyway, we're indoors, and I don't see why we should waste any ammo, so I sent the Slaughters out to do some slaughtering.

Kumil, who wants very badly to be seen as the greatest soldier of Stesokur, is the first on the scene. Again. And what's the first thing he does? Before even starting the battle itself? 

aw yeah

He becomes a hammerlord! Like Solon Beridos of Datanerith, Kumil becomes the lord of his chosen weapon. And here's what's truly awesome about Kumil: the dwarf fights with two weapons. In one hand, he clutches the silver hammer with which he gained his title. In the other hand, he wields a silver dagger like a main gauche. You know where he got that silver dagger from? It belonged to the kobold he punched to death. Kumil pays the iron price for his weaponry.

The Olm doesn't last long.

Kumil likes his dagger, apparently. He stabs the Olm over and over again. At one point, the creature's lung is pierced, so Kumil twists the dagger in the wound. Once the Olm falls over, Kumil just kicks it to death. Can't wait to see this guy use his actual hammer.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Stesokur Entry 10: The Cookhouse

As part of my efforts to keep everything above-ground, I have emptied the basement of Stesokur of the few things it was still used for - kitchens and food stockpiles. Where did all this go, you may ask? The dining room? The empty floor above the dining room?

Don't be silly. I need all this empty space for my second dining room.

Well, as it turns out, there are some problems with building everything up. Mostly, it's a very very slow process. Even with over half of my fortress' population dedicated to hauling stone or masonry, it still takes a long time to finish a single floor - and I've got workshops and bedrooms to worry about before worrying about a pantry. Plus, I'll be honest; the single tower is starting to get a little... boring. So I installed an adjacent building:

I thought about how unsanitary it was to have the cooking facilities right there on the grass... then I realized that it's still way better than the ankle-high pool of goblin blood outside.

There's my still, farmer's workshop, kitchen, butchery, and a tanner's workshop. The tanner isn't, strictly speaking, thematically appropriate for a kitchen, but I figure it should be near the butcher anyway. Tanner's make leather from animal skin, and it's the butcher who removes the skin. See the upper right corner of the room there, the way it protrudes a little? That's my ventilation system! So when miasma rises from the dead bodies in the butchery, it won't bother anyone but the butcher. I'm a little proud of that.

Sharp-eyed viewers might have realized that there's no entrance there. At least, not on that floor. That's because I wanted access to come from the second floor:

Look! See the vent? All walled off from the rest of the fort, leading out into the open air? I don't know why I'm so proud of it, but I keep forcing my girlfriend to come look at it.

The second floor of Stesokur is the dining room, so it makes sense to have the pantry be right next door. I built a sky bridge linking them (covered, of course, to keep out that disgusting goblin rain). So my food storage is right above the kitchen area; you actually have to go through the main entrance of Stesokur, walk up the stairs to the dining room, and go down to the stairs in the back of the pantry to get to the kitchens. I think the placement there is actually pretty efficient.

There are two floors above the pantry that are currently unused; that way, when my fortress expands, I'll be able to add another level of food-related workshops, and another level dedicated to food stockpiles. I've added a roof, of course; I can't be having the goblin blood drip down on all my food, now can I?

That makes this building - which I have called the Cookhouse - four stories tall, each story approximately five hundred square feet, made of solid stone. The building I threw together for my larders and kitchens is larger than most houses. Of course, that's as it should be. This is Dwarf Fortress.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Stesokur Entry 9: L'hopital des Nains

Kadol and Meng were immediately rushed down to the hospital, located on the ground floor of Stesokur, by two nearby dwarves. I'd built a wall to separate the hospital area from the barracks/entrance, and had several beds and surgery tables installed. Still no traction benches, but it's good enough to handle most problems. Just getting them to the hospital ain't enough, though!

Avuz, the Chief Medical Dwarf, was called to the scene. 

His god is called "Fingerwalls the Silvery Holes." Does he know his deity sounds like a very interesting porno?

He's thin for a dwarf, with short hair and a long braided beard. Avuz is a very good doctor - his skills lay mostly in diagnostics - and he's been described as very modest. He likes toy boats (obviously), and he absolutely detests rats, which I guess is a good quality to have in someone who's in charge of the health of the entire fortress. He's also, apparently, a total dick. Look at him complaining about having to give somebody water. Stupid crippled patients, amirite? I don't know which attributes are worse for a doctor: the fact that he "does not go out of his way to help others," the fact that he "often does the first thing that comes to mind," or that he is "always tense and jittery." Thank Armok he's apparently been getting laid lately.

The first thing Avuz does is his speciality: diagnosing the patients. This actually causes two things to happen. In addition to allowing the doctors of the fortress to properly treat injured dwarves, it allows me to view the kinds of damage done to each dwarf under the game's health screen.

Knowing nothing about medicine, I am forced to assume that actual medical records are just as confusing.

It's easier than it looks to decipher. Kadol has suffered tissue damage in this leg, and therefore cannot stand. Meng's damage is worse; there is heavy damage to the kidney, and surgery is required. Kadol just needs his wound dressed.

My hospital has everything it could need - except powder, which is used to make plaster for casts. I don't really know how to make powder yet; I just buy it from the caravans whenever I need it. Fortunately, there are no broken bones here. We're low on splints and crutches so I get the manager, Monom, to queue some up. But we have soap, and thread, and cloth.

The first thing Avuz does is clean the patients. Dwarves were sent scurrying to the reservoir with buckets to bring back water, and the soap helped stave off infection. The next step is to dress the wound. This step required thread and cloth; the thread to literally stitch the cuts shut, and the cloth to serve as bandages.

Right now, Avuz is literally standing on Meng to treat Kadol. Like I said: dick.

Kadol was an easy fix. A splint was wrapped around his leg, and a crutch was fetched for him. He hasn't fully recovered yet, but he can work. The wound will heal, thanks to the dressing and splint, and the crutch ensures that he doesn't remain immobile throughout the entire healing process. After Kabol hobbles away, Avuz turned his attention to Meng's internal bleeding.

Well, actually, Avuz went to take a booze break real quick first. Because what doctor doesn't interrupt a surgery to go guzzle some wine?

Meng received largely the same treatment as Kadol, except surgery was involved. I don't honestly know what difference that makes - I don't think surgery requires any tools or equipment compared to other types of wounds - but maybe the doctor's skill in surgery impacts the changes of a dwarf surviving the procedure or not. Which would suck, since Avuz has a pretty low skill in surgery... but Meng survives. She doesn't need a crutch or splint, but she's suffered some pretty serious internal injuries that may never fully heal. Hopefully her liver heals up nicely. A dwarf who cannot process alcohol is no dwarf at all.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Stesokur Entry 8: Mortal Wounds

An Animal Dissector named Mosus Estantilesh fell into a fey mood one day in Stesokur. He gathered a bunch of leather, and -

Wait, what? Animal Dissector?? He's not a mason, or a shearer, or even a fucking soap maker, he dissects animals for a trade? Alright, I don't know if Stesokur is going to be haunted by a vampire or anything, but even if an undead abomination stalks the night, Mosus is still creepier. There's goblin blood literally falling from the sky, and Mosus is still the creepiest part of the fortress. At least he made an artifact.

"He's so creative, isn't he?" - the mother of Mosus Eshtantilesh, and every other weird goth kid

You're one creepy fucking dwarf, Mosus.

Cilob Eralurem, one of my best hunters, apparently inspired by Avuz's retarded toy and Mosus' incredibly disturbing mask, fell into a mood of his own. We'll never know what he wanted to make, though, 'cause it needed metal and Stesokur didn't have any. He went berserk.

Usually, berserk dwarves ain't that much of a big deal. It's actually pretty funny watching some Master Tailor throw a hissy fit and flail his little fists. But Cilob was a hunter, and a damned good one... and he had his crossbow with him. Most of the crossbow bolts in the fortress were made of wood or bone, but Cilob filled his quiver with the fortress' only ration of iron ammunition. His wrath was dangerous.

Cilob was indiscriminate in his targeting. He shot Kadol Dedukadril, a mason, in the leg: Kadol was on his way to the upper level with some stone to work on the top floor's outer wall. Zas Kogannoram, a peasant, was hauling a surgery table downstairs to the hospital when a single shot from Cilob pierced his heart and killed him instantly. Fortunately, my militia was nearby, and they rushed to the scene. Cilob got one bolt off - hitting a crossbowdwarf named Meng in the abdomen - before Iton, the militia commander, put the mad dwarf down.

You don't have to read that if you want, I'll summarize; Iton swung her copper battle axe and struck Cilob in the chest, puncturing the lung. Cilob, having trouble breathing, laid on the floor and bled to death while Iton punched him in the arm. Why did Iton not finish Cilob with her axe? Well she obviously wanted to see if he would suffocate to death first, or bleed to death first. Why did Iton punch Cilob in the arm while waiting? Spite, I guess.

Meng's wound had hit her in the kidney. She and Kadol, the mason with the damaged leg, were immediately rushed to the hospital. Kadol should be fine, assuming no infection and decent attention. Meng's wound, however, could be much worse. She may not survive surgery. It's been a rough day for the dwarves of Stesokur.

Some have had it worse than others.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Stesokur Entry 7: Delicate Trading

Our first artifact! Stesokur's resident doctor took some time out of his busy schedule to make a toy.

Shouldn't you be, like, healing people and stuff?

We're all very proud of Avuz. The rest of the dwarves were polite enough to not point out that a toy boat made of stone can't float, and is therefore the dumbest kind of toy he could have made. But it menaces with spikes of bone and leather! So that's cool, at least. I've actually had a dwarf dedicated almost entirely to making rock crafts, so it'll go well into the stockpile of tradable junk. All I need now is a trading partner!

Oh! H-Hey guys... I promise not to rob you blind every time I see you. I mean it this time!

Elves. Shit. OK, play it cool. We don't want a repeat of the last major run-in I had with the elves. We'll do this nice and easy! No robbing them. No killing them. And, of course, no trading them in wood. Elves hate wooden crafts. They think it's barbaric. I mean, shit, they butcher children and practice cannibalism, and don't seem to mind the non-stop rain of blood, but I guess they gotta draw the line somewhere.

No, stop. Don't be mean. Be polite. These guys will send an army to fucking destroy this fortress if they get pushed too far. Fortunately, I have plenty of goods to trade! Soap, cut gems, and a bunch of rings and toys made out of stone. And I need this. I don't have any cloth, and my last mushroom crop was pretty weak; I'm low on food. Carefully, so as not to offend, I do my trades in small increments. Here's me trading some gems for cloth and ropes:

So far so good!

And here's me trading some soap and rock crafts for food:

"Your kind?" Man, elves are so fucking racist!

Wait, what? But I was so careful! I didn't give you any wood! I transported my crafts in wooden bins, yeah, but I didn't offer them to you! All I gave you were bracelets and scepters and toys made out of stone, and soap made out of kitten fat and ash....

Ash which came from burning wood....

Oh you picky motherfuckers! Fuck you, you moss-fondling pieces of shit! I fucking hate elves! I hate elves so much! Go molest a twig, you pollen-snorting bark fuckers! Damnit! I needed that food! What the fuck am I going to do now? I'm running out of mushrooms, all of my large mammals died from starvation 'cause all the grass is soaked in blood, and I don't have any food because these pointy-eared shrub-humpers are such assholes! Stesokur is going to starve to death now. This fortress is in need of a miracle.

Eh, that'll do.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Stesokur Entry 6: Deez Keas Displease

Stesokur, unlike Datanerith, is not building inwards or downwards, but upwards. This approach, aside from just being something new and interesting, provides me with a great deal more security. Every floor only has to worry about the stairs below it! If, for example, a legion of elves attack, I can send all of my dwarves to the top floor, destroy the stairs so the elves can't get up, and then... I guess just hope for the best? I haven't thought that far ahead. But still! Up to that point, it's a full-proof plan.

Except for fliers.

The giant keas swarmed en masse. I was terrified. Then I googled what a "kea" was and went "aw! It's just a big ol' parrot! That's no big deal. Just like Toucan Sam! They'll follow their nose, say something about crackers, and then... steal from me?

C'mon, man, what do you even need cloth for? Make your nests out of sticks like normal birds!

Well that sucks! I actually kinda needed that, too. I don't have much cloth, aside from what I embarked with, and I wasn't quite set up to make my own cloth, just yet. Still, though, as far as problems go, I've had worse. Like the constant goblin menstruation coming from the sky. 

Well, these giant keas, in addition to being total dicks, are actually pretty violent. Here's one beating up a little boy:

 Remember, kids! "K" is for Kea!

You'll notice we're pretty high up at this point: and my floors are incomplete. See, I like to build small "bridges" of flooring so that my dwarves can get to the walls first. It takes a lot of stone to build the entire floor, and I like to prioritize my walls so I can prevent shit like this from happening. But, obviously, the walls ain't finished (and neither is the roof), so in come the keas to harass my people. I'm worried that the dwarven child might get knocked off the bridge and fall down several stories to his death, but he's actually doing pretty well:

She's 14 years old. The most badass thing I'd done at that age was beat Mortal Kombat 3 on Expert mode.

Not only did young Kubuk not fall to her death, but she actually threw some decent punches and took some hits like a champ. By the time the crossbowdwarf squad made its way to the rooftop to protect her, the kea had lost interest and flown away. Kubuk was taken into the beginnings of my hospital on the first floor, and, thank Armok, we still had enough cloth for the doctor, named Avuz, to successfully treat her.

So, lesson learned. From now on, I keep a few soldiers stationed on the top floor while it's under construction. I have lot of miners and stone haulers hanging out up there, and I need to keep them under protection from... you know. Dangerous things. Birds'n stuff.

"My cousin's out fighting dragons and what do I get? Parrot duty."