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."

Friday, April 18, 2014

Stesokur Entry 5: Kumil Crosses Courses with a Kobold

One of our newest migrants was a Hammerdwarf named Kumil Idashurist. According to his in-game profile, his last name translate as "Moistnessdagger," which is equal parts unfortunate and hilarious. I might just see if I can convince my girlfriend to start calling my penis "Moistnessdagger."

(she will not)

More importantly than a name that must have made junior high particularly difficult for Kumil, though, was his skills with a weapon. He's no Solon Beridos, but he's the most well-trained of my soldiers so far, with the exception of Iton the Militia Commander. Remember, this time I embarked with a trained soldier. So I've got two warriors now, ready to fight!

Here they are, locked in mortal combat! Or a sparring session. Or a staring contest? The graphics don't make it easy.

So far none of the louse men or giant birds have bothered my fortress, so I haven't had much use for these warriors yet. Until a kobold thief came to steal from our rich stores of... something. We don't really have anything of value yet, so who knows what the fucking thing was doing. Trying to steal some of our lumber? It's just a kobold; as far as I'm concerned, they rank only slightly below the elves in terms of savagery.

Well, since I haven't gotten any manufacturing done yet, Iton had the only weapon in the fortress (a copper axe), poor Kumil had to make due with training weapons made out of wood. And, since I just traded all our training weapons to the caravans, Kumil didn't even have a club in his hands when he crossed paths with the kobold, armed with a silver dagger. So what did our intrepid dwarf do, unarmed, against an enemy of the state?

He grabs the kobold with one hand, and then beats it to death with the other. Look at that shit! Kumil grabbed the kobold's right hand and bent it backwards, shattering the wristbone, as he punches the kobold in the side and breaks its ribs. The poor creature never stood a chance. After murdering the surprised kobold with his bare hands, Kumil dropped it like Nick Cannon dropping a drumstick and went back to sparring.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Stesokur Entry 4: Cultivation Problems

Alright, so, remember the part where it was periodically raining blood?

Get it? Periodically? Get it??

That's contributed to somewhat of a food shortage. I mean, not directly. It's not like the bloody rain is destroying my food stockpiles or anything. And I still have my mushroom farms. But I'm at my second wave of migrants right now, and they're starting to eat up all the plump helmets that I've grown. Datanerith was in a rich field full of game, abutted by a river full of fish. My animals could be put out to feed on the vast, lush, green pastures. The grass is all soaked with blood, here, and Stesokur has those weird peach-faced lovebird things, and the occasional monster called a "louse man," which I guess is some kind of combination of lice and people? Yikes. I'm glad this game has such shitty graphics. Anyway, I give a couple of my dwarves some crossbows and tell them to go hunting anyway - hopefully we can eat all of this stuff. And, of course, I've got my standard go-to solution for hunger problems:

I'm super excited that cat had a litter of kittens! Because we're hungry.

We had a merchant caravan come in, too. The dwarves of Subetenolral wanted to trade, but quite frankly, Stesokur is really behind in its manufacturing. I think it's because I'm getting fancy with the tower thing. I didn't have much to offer - some training weapons and lumber - but I managed to get some food and booze out of it.

Lastly, one of the old ponds in the surrounding area, that I had drained in order to fill up my cistern, seemed like a good place to put my chickens and geese. That way they were still on grass (do they need to graze? I imagine they do, right?), and I could build a roof over top of them so the blood wouldn't rain down on my little egg factories.

Get it??

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Stesokur Entry 3: Expansion

Some migrants have arrived, which means I need more food, more beds, and of course, more space.

I'm still mad I can't draw a circle.

In the Main Chamber, I've got a few workshops up and running, for my carpenter and mason to build the essentials of any up and coming fort. Beds, doors, wheelbarrows, whatever. I've also taken to moving all of my stockpiles inside. It's part of the measures to keep everyone out of that disgusting blood rain. It's not perfect - they still have to go outside every once in a while, especially the woodcutter - but it's something. You can see my farm plots to the right there. You guessed it! Mushrooms.

I know I said I was going to be doing it all as one large chamber, but I actually threw that idea aside pretty quickly. Things were getting needlessly cramped. So I expanded on a few of the old pipelines I had used for my cistern.

Which means, yes, those beds used to be part of the plumbing.

I give you the slums of Stesokur. Right now, unfortunately, they're the only source of beds my dwarves got. Once I start building the tower up, I'll be able to set aside nicer space for larger bedrooms. In the meantime, though, everybody gets to sleep in the same awful place. I also, needing more stone, just carved out a huge section in the southernmost part of the map. I guess that'll serve as a warehouse. That's what basements are for, right?

The grass isn't colored red or anything. The ground is just soggy with blood - like, all the time, now.

This is the first floor of the tower. Like with Datanerith, I wanted to keep open the idea of there only being one entrance to the fort. Stesokur is a lot smaller, which means easier to account for every potential entry way, and I've only got one gate open, to the east. You may have noticed that, also like Datanerith, I carved away the slopes behind the walls again. This time, I made sure that every slope turned into a cliff. Don't want any more sneaky elves coming in the back way. Even better, though: look! Those stairs go up! The tower is underway.

I guess nobody minds that the chairs, floor, and tables are covered in blood? Is goblin AIDS just not a thing?

This is the second floor, the Lower Dining Hall. I say lower because I plan on there being at least two rooms just like this; a few levels higher, I'll have nicer, larger dining rooms for the nobles and administrators who insist on having their own. Right now these dining rooms can comfortably fit forty-eight. I can easily squeeze another dozen or so tables and chairs (maybe more, if I redesign the whole room). This should last me then next several migrant waves, at least.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Stesokur Entry 2: Dwarven Plumbing

OK, so goblin blood is falling from the sky. Like... all the time. OK. At least it's not dwarf blood, right? It's just goblin blood. It's just a little creepy. That's no big deal.

Well, there is one problem. Ignoring the fact that my dwarves don't like being in the evil weather - and who can blame them? - it's gonna contaminate the water. The first thing I have my dwarves do is take everything into the chamber. My woodcutter is going to have to spend some time outdoors, there's no helping that, but hopefully I can keep everyone else out of that rain as much as possible. The second thing I do is create an underground cistern.

I went for a cool abstract shape. My girlfriend took one look at it and said "cute mushroom!" Can't unsee.

How did I create such a marvel, you may ask? It was a pain in the fucking ass.

The very first thing I did was carve out that shape you see above. That's several levels below even my basement. It has to be far down, because, duh, water flows downward. Without a complicated system of pumps and mechanics - which I'm just not set up for yet - I need to let gravity and water pressure do all the work for me.

There were about four or five little ponds in the area. I dug out a small room directly above my cistern, with a hole in the center of it. This is my central drain. Then I dug a bunch of small tunnels from the drain to every nearby pond on the map. Some were harder than others; I often had to take several z-levels into consideration, and wanted to make sure none of these stone pipes crossed paths. 

 Here's one level of what I'm talking about. This was, by far, the most complicated thing I've ever done in this game.

Once all of those tunnels were dug out, I had my dwarves (from a higher level, so they wouldn't get caught in the flood) dig out the final section of stone that separated pond from tunnel. I did this last because I wanted all the tunnels flooded at the same time. Had I done this process piecemeal, one-by-one, I ran the risk of the water of one small pond drying out before the rest of the water could join it. A small puddle of water dries up quickly; several streams joining together at the same time takes much longer to dry out. 

Gravity did the rest. All of the water drained from the ponds, through the stone pipes I had mined, and into the central drain. From the central drain, all of this water fell right into my underground reservoir. This didn't clean the water or anything, but keeping my water source underground meant that no further contamination could occur. The water was clean enough to drink now, and would remain so for as long as it lasted. Hopefully it'll last a very, very long time. If I'm lucky, it will last as long as Moltenhearths does. If not, by the time I need more, I'll be able to set up a system to draw water from an underground lake. In the meantime, after the lakes were fully drained, I plugged the stone tunnels with dwarf-built walls. This way, if the raining blood ever filled up one of the empty craters that had been a pond, the blood won't find its way into my cistern.

So there you have it! Cool, clean water; dwarven plumbing at its finest. That's one problem caused by the bloody rain I no longer have to suffer.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Stesokur Entry 1: Strike the Earth!

Ignoring warnings that the area is haunted, my dwarves have arrived! This area, just like Datanerith, is temperate, with plenty of trees and no aquifer. There's no river, though, but there's several small lakes. My settlers, who call themselves "The Polished Boots," have called this place Stesokur, or "Moltenhearths" in English.

These settlers include a woodworker, three miners, a farmer, an architect, and a doctor. Our architect is also our soldier - I made sure to include somebody with some combat skills this time - and the doctor has taken the responsibility of Expedition Leader.

Say hello!

There's a swarm of giant peach-faced lovebirds, which sounds totally adorable, but I'm worried they might start harassing the outpost. There's several of them, which might prove problematic even to my warrior, but so far they've just been ignoring my dwarves. Let's hope they keep it that way. Aside from them, there's no wild animals nearby, and no civilizations that I know of. 

One problem with the original tileset - that's supposed to be a perfect circle, not a lopsided oval. Oh, well. Imagination!

Instead of carving out a bunch of small rooms, I just make one large chamber. I'll put all my temporary stuff here - a dormitory on one side, some workshops on the other, maybe some tables and chairs in the middle. My plan is to make a tower, and this will be its basement. I want it to be something cool and imposing... we'll see what happens. I'm honestly a little worried about the "haunted" thing. I've never done an embark in an evil biosphere. There could be zombies or necromancers... I don't really know what to expect. The place seems nice, though.

Oh! That's not... too bad, I guess. Maybe it'll just go away by itself.

No, go away! Make it stop!