A Dwarf Fortress Story
Not sure if this is the right place to post this, as it's more of a Let's Play than a traditional story. If you're wondering what Dwarf Fortress even is, see here and here.
Content warning: May contain violence and zombies and ****. Well, perhaps not literal ****. Will definitely contain bad writing.
From the records of Morul Fashkeskal, expedition leader of The Still Castle
1st Granite, year 6
Wagon broke down today. This place looks dangerous, but to continue on foot in this weather would be suicide, so we're going to have to hole up here for a while at least. I've started the construction of a defensive wall and ordered the miners to dig out a few rooms underground so we can get out of this blasted cold.
11th Granite, year 6
Wall almost done, have started moving supplies indoors. Lorbam set off by himself in the night. He'll die. I would not miss the boneheaded fool, but for the fact that he is our only skilled mechanic.
(the following is undated, scrawled in a shaky handwriting)
Just the two of us left now. Had to wall off the surface. They were already dead. All the others, Ushrir, Onul, Domas, even Erith...
but not us
we are still alive
19th Granite, year 6
The Still Castle lives on, though only me and Deduk are left. We are safe for the moment. The dead creatures cannot get through, and we got most of the food and booze underground. But if we're ever to get out of this accursed place, we need a plan. The walking corpses may shrug off axe blows, but there must be some way to destroy them, to crush them to paste so they never get up again.
27th Granite, year 6
Deduk struck chert in the hillside below us. We will need the stone for building up our defenses, but first, I shall craft a memorial for our fallen comrades. I led them to their deaths here, and I will put their souls to rest, even if I cannot yet do so for their bodies.
25th Slate, year 6
The memorial is finally nearing completion. At this rate, it looks as if it will take us a while before we can even think of opening the way to the surface, so I have started a small mushroom farm on the upper level to ensure a steady food supply.
8th Felsite, year 6
The memorial is finished. We can begin construction on the trap to destroy the undead as soon as we finish moving our supplies out of the way.
24th Felsite, year 6
Deduk has taken over the farm, he seems to have a knack for growing things. He also suggested building a still to brew more alcohol if necessary, but I told him that could wait. By my count, our current supplies are enough to last over three years, and I hope to be out of this hellhole long before that. Most of our supplies have been hauled to safety already.
2nd Hematite, year 6
It is summer now. Part of me wonders if, now that the chill of winter has passed, the dead have not simply collapsed and rotted away in the heat, but that is wishful thinking. I have begun construction of the first mechanisms needed for the trap, though it is slow going. I bet Lorbam is mocking my clumsy attempts from the afterlife or wherever he is.
1st Malachite, year 6
The trap is complete! At last, our freedom is nigh.
The system is this:
Two bridges, linked up to a lever.
Once the lever is pulled, the bridge raises, crushing anyone on it against the wall.
If pulled again, it lowers, crushing everything that is beneath it. Basic enough, but it should work.
To be continued of course. In the meantime, meet our heroes Morul and Deduk ...and the enemies they face.
8th Malachite, year 6
The trap works! As soon as I finished tearing down the wall that separated us from the surface, a dead water buffalo burst in, hungry for blood. I barely managed to run out of the other end of the corridor before Deduk pulled the lever, and the corpse was crushed so thoroughly that not a single bone was left intact. It will not rise again.
11th Malachite, year 6
Onul and Erith came. We put them to rest. It has been quiet, so I ventured out for the first time in months. The sunlight burned. I saw a dead dwarf lying in a field, could not tell if it was Ushrir or Domas. He did not get up, but there were more corpses in the distance. It is not safe to leave.
16th Malachite, year 6
It looks like the area immediately outside our little "fort" is safe. I have fashioned a crude axe out of wood and stone and cut down some trees outside. We will need lumber to make more defensive traps.
22nd Malachite, year 6
I saw dwarves, living dwarves! A small group, refugees by the looks of them, chased by the dead. Five of them are now gathered safely inside, but three panicked and ran off. I doubt they will return alive, but I have kept the gates open for now.
24th Malachite, year 6
Two of the missing refugees have returned unharmed. Thikut insists that her husband must still be alive, but I cannot wait any longer. I have ordered the gates closed.
At any rate, we now have seven more dwarves to deal with - four of them children, the adults all simple peasants and farmers. Thikut tells me they fled when their settlement was ransacked by goblins. None of them have any weapons, nor supplies, nor any idea of how to survive in the wilderness. There is no way we can make it out of here with this lot.
28th Malachite, year 6
I suppose it is something I have known for a while, just not wanted to admit until now. We are not going to get out, we will have to settle here and carve out a fort in this undead-infested hellhole. And if we're stuck here for better or for worse, we might as well make ourselves comfortable.
I told Deduk to carve out some bedrooms and a dining area on the lower level.
7th Galena, year 6
Dumat was itching for something to do, so I told her to smooth the walls and floors of the memorial chamber. I also ordered a still to be built. Now that there's more of us, our booze stockpiles are getting depleted at an alarming rate and being stuck here without alcohol is a frightening thought.
14th Galena, year 6
The first bedrooms are completed, but we have run out of wood and cannot make any more beds. I must venture to the surface soon to cut down some more trees. Dumat has made nice progress with the memorial hall and I told her to take on the living area next; she seems to have a talent for stoneworking.
23rd Galena, year 6
My attempt to acquire lumber was a bitter failure. I had barely set foot aboveground when I was spotted by a dead water buffalo cow and had to retreat. The beast followed me through the corridor, but when we attempted to crush it, the bridge itself broke apart. It must've suffered some structural damage earlier; it did not even slow down the beast. The corpse is trapped in the tunnel and can't get through the doors, but we are cut off from the outside.
24th Galena, year 6
I have formed plans for a new exit tunnel. It will be filled with several kinds of traps, and if any should get past them, they will have to descend a staircase and enter a cavern whose ceiling will collapse on top of them. That should be enough to halt any intruders, but we are not planning to put that to test just yet. Once the tunnel has been mined out, Deduk will take his pick and dig deeper. We will need the lifeblood of the earth to defeat the undead once and for all.
So, we got our first migrants, a group of eight consisting of two families:
Thikut and Atir (the one who ran off and got killed by the undead), and their three children, Onul (yep, same name as one of the first 7), Kumil and Goden.
Dumat and Cog and their son Mebzuth.
10th Sandstone, year 6
The construction of the tunnel is almost complete. Now begins the long descent into the depths of the earth, to get fuel and materials for the rest of the traps. I will be going with Deduk, so we can take turns with the pick; I am not a skilled miner, but slow digging is better than none at all.
11th Sandstone, year 6
Reached an underground cavern today. There are trees here, of a sort; giant fungi that grow taller than dwarves and whose pulp is denser and sturdier than wood. We shall not venture into the caverns to cut them, though, since there are many dangerous and hostile creatures in the area. Our true goal lies further below.
15th Sandstone, year 6
We have found many riches in the bowels of the earth. Gold and silver ore, more gems than we can count. These treasures are of little use to us though. We must press forward.
28th Sandstone, year 6
Finally, we have found it! The great magma sea, and more than I could ever have hoped for - raw adamantine! Though we have no way to forge it right now, nor any way to reach it, this has given me hope. For the moment, we shall continue with the original plan. A glass furnace shall be set up, using the magma as fuel, and from the glass we shall fashion many deadly traps.
11th Timber, year 6
We've returned to the upper fortress and informed the others of our discovery. Cog and Dumat both volunteered to be the glassmaker. I chose Dumat, since she seems to be a quick learner and we need Cog up here for farming and cooking. She'll take sand and turn it into serrated glass discs. These are fragile, but sharp. When propelled with enough force, they should easily dismember the undead.
18th Timber, year 6
I found strange mushrooms growing in the sand in the upper fortress. It appears that after we breached the caverns, spores of the great fungiwood and tower-caps drifted upwards and took root here. Perhaps we won't have to venture into the caverns to acquire wood after all.
And another season draws to a close. We had 3 more migrants, but didn't even get a chance to let them in before they were slaughtered.
1st Moonstone, year 6
Winter is upon us now. The construction on the traps is progressing, albeit at a slow pace. Still I hope to have the tunnel finished by the end of this season.
17th Moonstone, year 6
I have ordered Deduk to channel deep pits on either side of the tunnel. This way, any intruders who try to dodge the traps will face the risk of falling to their doom.
4th Opal, year 6
Thikut claims to have felt the haunting presence of her dead husband lately. I made a memorial for him in the hopes of appeasing his spirit.
2nd Obsidian, year 6
The tunnel is nearly complete. All that remains is to seal off the exit from the pit, and then we can open the way to the surface.
6th Obsidian, year 6
Deduk opened the way to the surface, then fled back indoors. Only a hamster woman followed and the traps destroyed it, but Deduk says he saw many more undead lurking nearby. Have they become wary of traps? There must be some way to lure them in.
11th Obsidian, year 6
More corpses have come. The traps tore them all apart, and so far they have not risen. One of the dead dwarves was Thikut's husband Atir, but the other none of us recognised. It seems more dwarves than we know have lost their lives here.
22nd Obsidian, year 6
I have ordered the corpses stuck in the traps to be tossed in the pit. They did not object.
So yeah, not much happened this season. Building anything with so few dwarves is slow, and I daren't risk losing any of them. Hope we get some migrants next season so we have somebody to throw at the zombies.
This is cool. =D I love how Thikut apparently senses her dead husband, but then he turns up as a zombie. I love me some zombie fun.
Also, combo breaker. Bwahahaha.
Yeah, dwarves can come back from the dead in two ways - as ghosts and zombies.
Ghosts are mostly just nuisances, unless the dwarf was berserk when it died, in which case the ghost will kill or maim dwarves at random. Ghosts can't be killed or harmed physically and will only disappear if you bury the dwarf or make a memorial for them.
Zombies will rise automatically from any corpse left on "evil" terrain and can be killed with weapons or traps, though if a zombie is killed and the corpse is left in the evil area, it will rise again. Severed body parts such as hands or heads can also become undead.
Of course, if a dwarf is turned into a zombie, its spirit will likely also rise as a ghost unless you make a memorial for it, since the walking dead generally won't agree to be buried. Double the fun!
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