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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Maxymiuk's Avatar

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    Default All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Captain Sibrek Imsalsarvesh looked at the crowd, hiding his nervousness under the expressionless face of a professional soldier. A Day of Exile always gathered a few onlookers - mostly families of the guilty, but this was different. There were far too many dwarves gathering around the protective ring formed by the fortress guard and, worse yet, they were too quiet. There was no crying, no pleading for release, no jeers or throwning rotten plump helmets. Haulers, fishers, farmers, craftsdwarves, masons... and all of the fort's remaining blacksmiths. They all simply stood there, looking on silently. Looking at him.



    Captain Sibrek knew what, or rather, who was the cause of this. It was the young dwarf - his name was Derek, he recalled - in a smith's apron standing in front of him, waiting patiently for his reply. Normally that would be a clout behind the ear from one of his soldiers and a few nights in the cells, but this - he spared the growind crowd another glance - this required some discretion.

    "Look," he tried reason again, "you do realize what you're doing? What the consequences will be?"
    "Yes," Derek replied quietly. "If I leave, I can't come back."
    "More than that. Once you're out the gates-"
    "I'm no longer a dwarf." what got to Captain Sibrek the most was how thrice-damned calm that dwarf was. Most in his situation would - well, they'd be dead by now, brought down by the guard after strangling three dwarves, a horse, and a kitten. "I will have no rights, no property, no family, no name. I will be forgotten. I know."
    "And, knowing all this, you're trying to convince me that you're volunteering?" Sibrek asked incredulously.
    "We're allowed to, aren't we?"
    "Well..."

    It was true. By law, anyone could undergo the Exile, for whatever reason. However, no one ever did. Ever since the law was made, all who have left were cast out of the fortress by noble mandate for their crimes. No sane dwarf would make the choice to abandon the safety of the mountain, not with the wilderness teeming with wild beasts, goblins, elves, and worse.

    "Why?" he aked finally.
    "You know why, Captain," Derek's voice was as calm and quiet as it's been through the whole conversation, but now there was the tiniest edge to his words. "You were there. With a lot of your men, watching me."
    "I don't write the law," Sibrek said stiffly.
    "That's true, Captain," Derek nodded solemnly. "You only carry it out. And the law says, anyone can leave. Now please - may I join the others?"

    "We leave once we finish loading supplies," Sibrek said finally, stepping aside and signaling his men to let the smith through to the group of dwarves by the last wagon. "You have until then to change your mind."
    "Thank you, Captain," Derek said. "But if I stayed, I'd be agreeing with what was done to me. And that isn't something a true dwarf would do."



    ***************************************



    Why yes, I've decided to run a Dwarf Fortress LP, why do you ask?

    So let's start with the usual.


    Dwarf Fortress?

    It's a frustrating, difficult, complex, insane, ugly, unfinished, and above all FUN game that you can find here. The game itself is a long ways off from being finished, but that doesn't stop it from being among some of the (subjectively) best games currently in existence. I recommend anyone to at least check it out.


    AAAaaaaaaa what the hell is this?

    Yes, that's exactly how most people react to the ASCII interface. To answer the next question, no, I won't be using any graphic packs modders have created, for the simple reason that I find them much more difficult to parse than the default symbols. So lucky you I'm the one who'll be dealing with the actual playing bit, no?


    That image above confuses me.

    The smiley faces represent our titular dwarves and the whole game is played from a top-down perspective. The rest you'll probably figure out from context (or just play with the game for a bit). Incidentally, that very image isn't actually from the game, since setting things up like that would be, at that point, more or less impossible without resorting to hack tools. I made it using a little program called AsciiDraw, which I'll continue to use throughout the LP. Incidentally, it's and idea I, ahem, borrowed from a very good community fortress that you should read right now.


    Ok, so what's a community fortress?

    You may have seen the thread for the succession fort that we have (had?) running on this very forum. A succession game has multiple players that play for an in-game year, then pass on the save to the next person in line. By comparison, a community fort has a single person doing the actual playing, with other people participating through claiming individual dwarves to be named after them, as well as (sometimes) journal entries reacting to various events in the fort. In fact, judging by the forts I've followed, knowing the goals and motives of individual dwarves tends to be an enormous help to the author of the story.


    Then how does this work, exactly?

    There's always seven dwarves to begin with, and you get a pick of six (since one of them's already taken as my "avatar". We'll be getting more later through migration, though arrivals may be slow in coming, at first. What I'll be asking from you is name, prefered gender (that's randomized at embark, so no promises!), profession, and the reason for being exiled from the fortress.


    Exiled?

    The background to this story is that the mountainhome suffers overpopulation and lack of available work, the two problems than not even the frequent hammerings for unmet mandates can solve. To counter this, the king finally ordered that all criminals would be cast out from the fortress.

    However, since he quickly ran out of criminals, the was expanded to include any and all dwarves that were deemed not to be dwarven enough - with what constitutes "undwarven" behavior decided on a case-by-case basis by the royal court. Those found guilty would be stripped of their status as a dwarf and cast out of the fortress, their only chance to redeem themselves to found their own fort, beyond the borders of the kingdom, using only the supplies provided - all a dwarf, a true dwarf, needs to survive.


    When does this start?

    Hah, not for awhile yet, actually. I'll be starting the actual game once the newest version of the game comes out (sometime in March, hopefully). You know, the one with all the cool new stuff, like doctors, and improved military, and burrows, and the underground, etc. But until that happens, I intend to hold you over with the origin stories of our little group of exiles (accompanied by handcrafted ASCII art). And this is where you come in. To reiterate, I'll need:

    Your name:
    Your preferred gender:
    Your profession (preferred/goal profession for anyone beyond the first six):
    Your reason for being called undwarven and exiled (optional for anyone beyond the first six):

    Profession restrictions: in order to simulate the conditions in the mountainhome, all starting exiles can start with at most four levels in skills out of the usual ten - so you can be a Novice in four skills, Skilled in one, or anything inbetween. Here's a list of all skills, though the next version will also have a few new ones related to medical care. And here is a list of existing experience levels.

    Reason for exile: get creative with this. The royal court is ran by nobility, and who knows what
    they consider undwarflike. And remember that the more you give me, the more I'll have to work with.*


    You better not abandon this LP the way you did Morrowind!

    I know, I'm sorry, I won't. Promise.


    Anyway, let's get started.


    * Just, you know, don't overdo it.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Maxymiuk's Avatar

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    Last edited by Maxymiuk; 2010-10-27 at 10:09 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Your name: Jahjah
    Your preferred gender: Male
    Your profession (preferred/goal profession for anyone beyond the first six): Miner.
    Your reason for being called undwarven and exiled (optional for anyone beyond the first six): Dared to suggest to Baron that maybe the tunnel should go here not there. Because putting the tunnel there would, you see, flood levels 4 through 6.

  4. - Top - End - #4
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Name: Zazit 'The Great Spark of the End'

    Gender: Female

    Profession: Bonecrafter, specializes in Masterpiece Bolts.

    Reason for Exile: Quite frankly she feels the other dwarves aren't dwarven enough. 10 years ago, she received a revelation from Armok telling her to slaughter every last elf. From that point on, every year when the trade caravans came, she set another trap and killed a few elves. Eventually, she succeeded in provoking a War between the Elves and Dwarves, but she was exiled before she could revel in the slaughter, because of something stupid like "Trade Agreements" and "Peace Treaties".

    Her Goal: Eventually, she hopes to provoke another war with any nearby Elven Regions, one where her bolts would fly true, killing thousands. If possible, she would be honored to be the puller for a bridge or trap that did the deed and started the war.

    She is a carryover from the Succession game we had been playing. I decided to declare war on the Elves, and she dragged herself up 3 flights of stairs and hundreds of steps with a collapsed lung to pull the lever that dropped an entire caravan 10 flights onto spikes...TWICE. She then made a very nice Goblin Bone Artifact. In the succession game, I ended up making her and her family a royal level room with her own lever to kill Elves, and named her husband Apocalypse, and her Children after the 4 riders (Elf-Starver (Famine), Elf Plague (Pestilence), Elf Bane (War), and Elf Death (Death)).

    But you know, even just having her attempt a similar deed would be nice. Or even an artifact by her. Because her goals are rather lofty, and a good military with crossbows in need of bone bolts isn't in play for a while, it may be preferable to just name the first Bonecrafter you see 'The Great Spark of the End' and go from there.

    Keep in mind that Toady has said a few times that this update could be a while (You may be waiting till May or Later).
    Last edited by TheLogman; 2010-02-23 at 09:33 PM.
    Thanks a TON to Almighty Salmon for the Amazing Log Man!

    The Legend of TheLogMan

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Your name: Celes
    Your preferred gender: Male
    Your profession (preferred/goal profession for anyone beyond the first six): Brewer
    Your reason for being called undwarven and exiled (optional for anyone beyond the first six): Replacing the Hammerer's barrel of booze with a barrel of stream water (Carp included)

    Stupid Hammerer thought he was the King of the Muontainhomes, and demanded the extravagance of a king. Well, I din't have the time nor patience to deal wif such idiocy. So, I gathered the Golden Gem encrusted barrel he had decreed be used for his Masterwork Dwarven Brandy. Went out to the river, and with the help of a fellow upset fisherdwarf and crossbowdwarf, wrangled an enraged carp into the barrel and filled it with water.

    Later that evening, the hammerers hand was found hanging on the outside of the barrel of a rather content, and full, carp.
    Last edited by Celesyne; 2010-02-23 at 10:34 PM.
    Current Sexy Reya Dawnbringer avatar by Edwin, thanks for the awesomeness.

    "Come with me, and we'll be...
    In a world of total annihilation." .....Itnetlolor of Bay12 forums

  6. - Top - End - #6
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Your name: Milski
    Your preferred gender: Male
    Your profession (preferred/goal profession for anyone beyond the first six): Armor (Novice) and Weaponsmith (Competent), fine with mining until we get some actual ores and coal to start forging.
    Your reason for being called undwarven and exiled (optional for anyone beyond the first six): Obsidian sword forged due to the baron's mandate contained an image of said noble pulling a lever and being impaled on spikes from all directions.

    Nothing is more dwarven, yet more dwarven, than the ritual slaughter of nobles. Stupid baron thought that obsidian, which the mountainhome only had if the dwarf bothered to try mixing lava and water, would be easy for me to come across. Almost burnt off my hands, and figured I'd get payback. Now I'm out here. Fun.
    Last edited by Milskidasith; 2010-02-23 at 10:24 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Your name: Raroy
    Your preferred gender: Don't really mind.
    Your profession: Artist.
    Reason for exile: For not being dwarfish enough. Sightly tall, shaves, and does not drink alcohol. Pacifistic. Is seen as a heretic for these reasons and thrown out.
    Last edited by Raroy; 2010-02-23 at 10:30 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Maxymiuk's Avatar

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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    It's been less than a month since he was made foredwarf of his team. In retrospect, that was probably why he made that mistake. If he had more experience, he would've just told his crew to dig around the obstacle and "forgot" to inform the higher ups. The tunnel would've been just a little longer and no one would've noticed anyway.

    But Jahjah wasn't used to having authority. He was concerned about getting things wrong. He wanted to prove himself. He wanted to show initiative. So when Ilem came back and said the walls and ceiling were dripping water, he reported to Baron Thebiliden, plans for a workaround in hand.

    When the baron told him to proceed as planned, he made his next mistake. He argued. He tried reason. He talked about how porous limestone is - that any water above just seeps right through. He somehow convinced the baron to come down the shaft to see the water seeping into the tunnel for himself.

    "Keep digging," came the order, backed up by the baron's guards.
    "No," he replied angrily.
    "You dare to refuse my orders?" the noble demanded?
    "I will not endanger the fortress," Jahjah threw down his pick.

    While the guards dragged him off to the cells, his team was told to continue, under the baron's personal supervision.



    When he was allowed a brief visit from his family, he heard that the construction teams managed to put up a barricade just in time to stop the water from getting into the booze stockpiles, but they couldn't stop it from flooding Low Town. Fortunately, most residents had the presence of mind to seal themselves in their quarters, or the main dining hall - the rescue teams tunneled in from above and got them out afterwards. Most of the western shafts were lost however - Damming off the breach and setting up a pumping operation would take months, if not years.

    All in all, sixteen dwarves lost their lives, including the baron and five miners.

    And Jahjah was the one being blamed.



    Surprisingly, it wasn't the glaring unfairness of it that hurt the worst, nor the knowledge that it was decided a hammering was too light a punishment for him. What cut into his very soul like a blade of sharpest obsidian, was the disappointment he saw in his father's face.

    Even if by some miracle he was found innocent, he was already considered dead in his own home.


    *****************************


    Note: if some of the images look different from the way they would in the game, it's because AsciiDraw doesn't have some of the DF's tiles, so I'm forced to improvise.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Your name: Obadiah
    Your preferred gender: Male
    Your profession: Administrative (Bookkeeper, Manager, etc.)
    Reason for exile: Elf Sympathizer. This stems from previous posting as trader where the elves brought a Giant Jaguar instead of the normal bin after bin of rope reed.
    If God had wanted you to live he would not have created me!

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Rockphed's Avatar

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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Out of curiosity, what exactly is "All a Dwarf needs to survive?" I have successfully started forts with nothing but the clothes on their backs and an empty wagon. They tended to die because I was also running natural population growth forts, but they got started up just fine. Also, you stole my idea. I was going to run a LP of DF once the new version came out. On the other hand, my current record with LPs is miserable, so I will leave this in your much more competent hands.

    As for dwarves:

    Your Name: Idked
    Preferred Gender: Male
    Preferred Profession: Hunter/woodcutter(I want to hunt with an axe and cut down trees to boot)
    Reason for Exile: Doesn't like being in artificial environments. He much prefers the outdoors or the wild underground. Muwahahahahaha!
    Last edited by Rockphed; 2010-02-24 at 10:19 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wardog View Post
    Rockphed said it well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Starfall
    When your pants are full of crickets, you don't need mnemonics.
    Dragontar by Serpentine.

    Now offering unsolicited advice.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Zenos's Avatar

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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Your name: Zenos
    Your preferred gender: Male
    Your profession (preferred/goal profession for anyone beyond the first six): Mechanic/building designer
    Your reason for being called undwarven and exiled (optional for anyone beyond the first six): Designed a room for a tax collector which impaled whoever tried to sleep in the bed.
    Avatar by Arokh.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Name: Dalantar
    Gender: Male
    Profession: Wrestler. No weapons. He enjoys beating goblins to death with his bare (save for a gauntlet) hands and finds the crunch thier bones make when he breaks thier arms quite satisfying. If he MUST use a weapon, though, he prefers swords.
    Reason for being exiled: Expressed a liking for carp. He later tried to clarify he meant the way they taste, but the damage was done.
    Last edited by Shpadoinkle; 2010-02-24 at 11:53 AM.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    xp194's Avatar

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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Name: Xeper
    Gender: Male
    Occupation: Miner
    Reason for exile: While drunk, tried to make out with the King's Daughter. Along with such lines as "I bet you want to see the size of my pick, eh?" Blames the incident on a strange Elvish drink he bought pried from the dying fingers of one.
    XBL & Steam ID: xp194

    Ninja-Jedi Avatar by Deuxhero. Thanks!

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Maxymiuk's Avatar

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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Taking another dwarf's pick was wrong. A crime. As bad - almost worse - as murder. "Take it back," the hands grasping it screamed at her. "Throw it away."

    "No," Zazit muttered through clenched teeth, and struck the point into the stubborn rock. "I must."

    Besides, if all went well, it'd be back by her brother's bed well before he woke up, with no one knowing anything. And all would go well - she knew it. Was it not by Armok's hand that caused the flood that now had mining teams scrambling all over the mountain, trying to reach inaccessible sections that may still hold survivors? In this glorious chaos, no one would pay attention to yet another dwarf wielding a pick that may or may not be theirs.

    She was close. Already the granite she pierced with the fine iron tool bled water. Her brother spoke the truth, when he mentioned the old depleted gold vein that came close to the surface by the Halfway Inn.



    She took a short break to sneer at the buildings down the slope. The king had the beginning of the right idea. Only the dwarven caravans from other mountainhomes were admitted into the marketplaces of the fortress proper. The humans making their yearly trek for the priviledge of purchasing fine dwarven crafts had to stop here, halfway between the first gate down by the entrance to the valley, and the great gate leading into the mountainhome at the end of the highway. That was the proper place for them - close enough to be awed by dwarven architecture, but far enough that they didn't trample all over it.

    What was not proper was that the king has also allowed elves to come here. Elves! These carrion eaters had no place here, or anywhere else in the world. Their existence was a mistake, and a blight upon the world. Armok declared it so.

    And by His will, tonight there'd be a few less of them.

    Zazit went back into the tunnel. She had never held a pick before, and she was weary, but the vision of bloated elven bodies floating in the waters gave her strength.

    The pick's blade lodged in a crack, and when she pulled it out, a spray of water hit her in the face. At last! Just a few more swings and-



    That she survived was obvious - her work was far from over. That she was caught and sentenced was unfortunate, but Armok would see that she was free before long. That none of the elves died was a bitter disappointment - someone had managed to pull the lever lowering the bridge in time to let the water drain out.

    That among the charges she heard - theft of a pick, destruction of property, endangerment of fortress security and dwarven lives - she didn't hear a singe word against her attempt to kill the elves, was glorious.

    Her cause was just.


    *****************************************


    Couple notes:

    TheLogman: I know, but as the release is already in the bughunting phase, I'm really hoping for early-to-mid march.

    Milskidasith: keep in mind that obsidian swords are created using the Stonecrafting skill.

    Raroy: when saying "Artist", what skills do you have in mind? Or are you giving me free reign?

    Rockphed: The question you should be asking is "what biome are you going to embark on?"

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Raroy's Avatar

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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    You can do whatever you please. Carver would make the most sense. So that's something to keep in mind. Here's hoping I don't turn out to be a half breed.

  16. - Top - End - #16
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    Milskidasith's Avatar

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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Milskidasith: keep in mind that obsidian swords are created using the Stonecrafting skill.
    Oh, I know that. The stupid noble, however, didn't. Assigning a metalsmith to try making something out of stone, especially a stone that isn't even there, isn't a good idea. The Baron just thought "he makes swords. Make me an obsidian sword."

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Robz_defheadz's Avatar

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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Your name: Clake the Grim
    Your preferred gender: Male
    Your profession (preferred/goal profession for anyone beyond the first six): Miner
    Your reason for being called undwarven and exiled (optional for anyone beyond the first six): Shockingly enough does not actually like the taste of beer. He's known as the grim because while the other dwarves party the night away he sits and sips water.
    Current Avatar By me. Hurray!

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    TheLogman's Avatar

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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Maxy...that was...exquisite.

    Also, March? That soon? Awesome.
    Thanks a TON to Almighty Salmon for the Amazing Log Man!

    The Legend of TheLogMan

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    I won't be surprised to see it as a May release.
    If God had wanted you to live he would not have created me!

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Celesyne's Avatar

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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Holy mother of Carp.... I had forgotten how awesome of a writer you are. Ignore whatever that crappy backstoryness i had typed up there, and do whatever your muse tells you. and let me reiterate.., Holy Carp your an amazing writer.
    Current Sexy Reya Dawnbringer avatar by Edwin, thanks for the awesomeness.

    "Come with me, and we'll be...
    In a world of total annihilation." .....Itnetlolor of Bay12 forums

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Starbuck_II's Avatar

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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Your name: Delf the Elf
    Your preferred gender: Male
    Your profession (preferred/goal profession for anyone beyond the first six):
    Trapper
    Your reason for being called undwarven and exiled (optional for anyone beyond the first six):

    Thinks he is a Elf. Shaves his beard. Eats only veggies. Won't chop down a tree. Also set fire to a noble's chair, but everyone laughed at that (except the noble).

  22. - Top - End - #22
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    Flumph

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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Your name: Thol Orstist
    Your preferred gender: Male
    Your profession (preferred/goal profession for anyone beyond the first six):
    Miner
    Your reason for being called undwarven and exiled (optional for anyone beyond the first six):

    Thol looked up at the bearded face of the Mayor. His wrists were chained around his back and his arms were aching. The mayor was angrier than anydwarf had seen him- with good reason.

    "I'll ask you again- at what point did digging that hole seem like a good idea?"

    Thol thought about this. He had, at some point believed that the excavation in his room would lead to something useful. He fantasised about gems & adamantite, dwarvern artifacts, bones of long extinct creatures talked about by the fortress's philosopher when he'd had too little to drink. Eventually, digging deeper had become an obsession. There were dwarfs consumed by a desire to create; why couldn't a dwarf do the same with digging?

    "I wanted to see what was down there," replied Thol, weakly.

    Thol was saved from the mayor's response by two dwarfs carrying a large bauxite floodgate.

    "Where," began one, before the mayor interupted him.

    "Over that door!" he snapped, gesturing at a wooden door. A sulfurous smell was seeping through the cracks and heat was radiating from it.

    The magma incident wasn't Thol's fault, at least not in his opinion. If the firey creature in the pit hadn't stolen his pick, the hole wouldn't have appeared. Without the hole, the magma wouldn't have got in. The magma rising up the stairs was rather impressive, until the mayor found out.

    "That's my bedroom," pleaded Thol. "All my stuff is in there!"

    "I'm being merciful by not locking you in there!" retorted the Mayor. "Kinkel!"

    To the untrained eye, it would appear that a large metal rock began moving towards Thol. The Dwarfs knew him as Kinkel, the hammerer. He wore a massive suit of armour that nodwarf had seen him ouside of. Some hypothesised that he even slept in it.

    The warhammer in his hands was a monstrous object, covered in spikes and decorated with bone. When his predecessor was around, The Hammerer would cause pain to punish dwarfs and deter future offenders. Kinkel, on the other hand, would end up killing a dwarf in a few blows. The lucky ones died to the first.

    Kinkel looked at the mayor. "Ten strikes," said the mayor, mercilessly.

    As Kinkel advaced, Thol's mind began to race. Thoughts of everydwarf he had ever known filled his head, combined with the hopeless feeling that he was going to be crushed. The hammer rose.

    Thol spun round as the hammer fell. It impacted perfectly on his chains, shattering them. Thol fell to the ground but quickly rose, expecting it. He began to run.

  23. - Top - End - #23
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    "Oh stop your whining. It worked, didn't it?"
    "Whining? Whining?!" the marksdwarf's eyes bulged. "Then you tell me how in Armok's burning beard I'm supposed to explain this to my commander!"

    "This" was the crossbow he now waved incredulously under Celes' nose. However, the weapon no longer deserved its name, as it's been neatly bitten in half, the toothmarks clearly visible on the lacquered oak.

    "Think of something," Celes shrugged. "You knew it was going to be risky when you agreed to help us."

    They all glanced at the barrel standing by the streambank. It was solid gold, heavy enough that they needed an elf-bred donkey to bring it all the way down into the valley. Even before they filled it with water, it sank a few inches into the soft loam. And yet, they could clearly see that it shuddered under the repeated blows against its insides.




    Yes, it worked, although at this point none of them were sure exactly how. The plan was to have the fisher distract the carp with his beard, while Celes caught it by the tail and then they both would wrangle it into the barrel, with the marksdwarf ready to shoot in case things got hairy. He explained it to the other two so many times, that in the end even he started believing it.

    Instead, the fish decided to go for the marksdwarf. It took a flying leap out of the river, and the trained military dwarf, seeing a face full of teeth coming towards him at eye level, fired, missed utterly, and brought the crossbow up to shield his face.

    Then there was a lot of yelling, splashing, and slipping in the mud. Somehow, they all managed to wrestle the carp into the barrel. Somehow, they secured the lid before it could jump back out. Somehow, no one got seriously hurt, although that was mostly because the carp refused to let go of the crossbow. Even now, the piece that it bitten off was still with it in the barrel. Not even the marksdwarf, who faced the prospect of jailtime, or worse, for losing his weapon, suggested they should try and retrieve it.

    "Look, just tell your commander the truth. Not the whole truth, obviously," Celes hurried to add. "You got attacked by carp, it destroyed your crossbow and swam away."
    "Oh yeah, and-"
    "Do I honestly have to think of everything myself? The important thing is that we have what we came for, right? Now we just have to get it back to the fortress before any of us are missed. And tonight we get our revenge."

    "The Hammerer dies," the fisherdwarf spoke up for the first time since leaving the fortress. From what Celes knew, he used to be a talkative sort, but that was before his best friend got hammered because the masons ran out of microline for the count's mandates.

    "Yes, Kib," he nodded. "The Hammerer dies."


    ***

    It was no secret that Cilob Noramgoden liked gold. The tables and chairs of his office and dining room were golden. His arms and armor racks were golden. His cabinets were golden and decorated with golden spikes. His tool of office, the simple steel hammer, had been decorated with gold studs. He used to have a golden bed, but that lasted only until one particularly cold winter morning he lost half the skin on his back when getting up.

    And, of course, there was his prized masterwork solid gold barrel, inset with the finest rubies he could get his hands on. The one where he kept the finest booze turned out by the royal breweries. Speaking of which, he hoped it's been refilled as per his orders. The kitchen help has been getting slack about it lately. Complaining about the weight of the barrel. About the booz stockpiles being cut off by some flood or other. Hah! Lazy weaklings, the lot of them.

    The Hammerer rocked the barrel back and forth a few times and heard liquid sloshing around inside. He grunted with reluctant satisfaction when he heard the liquid sloshing around inside. Good. Maybe he wouldn't suggest to the king they spend the next few months working the pumps.

    He popped off the lid and suddenly the world was full of teeth.




    ***


    "Understand that we are as outraged as you are, Hammerer," the Duke said calmly, "but therein lies the crux of the problem. Your position as the executor of justice requires you to approach the tasks before you with cold impartiality, while this court gets a strong impression that you are taking this particular case rather personally."
    "He cost me my bloody arm!" Cilob swung the hammer in a wide arc with his remaining limb, stopping it to point accusingly at Celes, held in chains between the two guards, who both took a step back in the face of the Hammerer's rage. "Of course I'm taking it personally!"
    "Which is why, as heinous as his attempt at assassination may have been, we cannot sentence this brewer to a hammering. Justice born of a need for petty vengeance is no justice at all."

    There was a sharply cut off snort, too quick to notice who it was.



    "So you won't punish him?!" the Hammerer demanded.
    "Of course we will," the Duke said. "In fact, we have already decided the punishment."
    "What will it be?"
    "Exile."
    "Exile?" the Hammerer frowned in thought for a long moment, and then smiled a nasty smile. "Yes, exile sounds just fine."

    "Hear that, you miserable gritbeard? "You're getting yourself exiled! And you know what?" he grinned broadly. "Right now I wouldn't hammer you if you begged me."



    ************************************************** ***


    Celesyne, while I do take some creative liberties with the provided backstories, in order to make them more cohesive, I still want this to be a true Community Fort, where people can say that their dwarves are really theirs.

    Besides, working with the ideas you give me sure beats trying to come up with seven cool and unique stories all by myself.
    Last edited by Maxymiuk; 2010-02-26 at 04:27 AM.

  24. - Top - End - #24
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Woooow... That is way better than I had it envisioned. Oh, and as an aside, should the need arise, feel free to morph Celes into whatever gender is required, i don't mind in the least. I don't mind providing a little bit, but I'm not exactly a writer meself, thus why you make absolutely epic LPs and i read them and weep at the awesome story.
    Current Sexy Reya Dawnbringer avatar by Edwin, thanks for the awesomeness.

    "Come with me, and we'll be...
    In a world of total annihilation." .....Itnetlolor of Bay12 forums

  25. - Top - End - #25
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    I should probably mention that we're far past the signups for the starting group, with ObadiahtheSlim being the last one to make it by virtue of the FCFS rule. Everyone else will need to wait for migrants.

  26. - Top - End - #26
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    In order to make my dwarf more diverse and different, make my dwarf more manic depressive and enjoy locking himself and rooms and carving whatever all around.
    Such as prophesies that will never happen and ridiculous philosophies that have the guise of being deep and meaningful are really a bucket of carp. A tree is only a tree when cut down, processed, and manufactured. Then it’s a good tree.

    Or something. You don't have too.

  27. - Top - End - #27
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Milski wished that what happened to him could be summed up into a neat adage, a valuable life's lesson to be passed on to any hypothetical offspring he might produce some time in the future. Something about how life's unpredictable and you should make the most of it, or that mistakes don't cancel out, but tend to grow on one another.

    So far he had "it sucks to be me."

    ***

    It started twenty three years ago with a failed mandate for an electrum throne, which resulted in five hammerstrikes for the completely blameless Medtob Libasherith, master engineer, and the brilliant (if somewhat erratic) mind behind the mountainhome's vast system of water pipes and magma tunnels. Needless to say, he did not survive the punishment.

    Soon afterwards, the noble who issued the mandate was found murdered by means of a lever-operated spike trap. The cleverness of the design pointed at Medtob's daughter, Udil, as the culprit. She was quickly found guilty and executed.

    Thus died the second of two dwarves who knew how the weblike array of channels, floodgates, pipes, gears, waterwheels, pumps, and pressure plates actually worked.

    However, Medtob wasn't called a genius for nothing. His design was precise, robust, fully automated, and uncharacteristically safe. A system of pressure plates and counterweight ensured that the magmaworks could work without stopping, and that the well always had a fresh water supply. The engineering detail knew better than to touch anything, and as a result the fortress enjoyed two decades of no mechanical breakdowns.

    The massive flood, triggered by undermining the main artery of the water system, only served to prove how resilient Medtob's creation was. The water level in the well dropped by a couple of handspans, then returned normal within a day. A few dwarves complained about noise as several forgotten, sealed off pumping stations kicked in around the fortress. That was it.

    And perhaps in the end it would've been better if some minor disaster did happen. It may have stopped the nobles from thinking that the magma channels were designed with similar redundancy. They may have not decided to cork the breach with an obsidian plug.

    Even so, maybe they'd still have been reluctant if it wasn't for some crazed dwarf with a pick and a grudge, who gave the floodwaters release, turning the passage into the valley into a river of mud. As long as the flood was the mountainhome's private problem, everyone could've taken as long as needed to clean it up. But with the human, and then the dwarven caravan due in several months, this mess needed to disappear now, before their fortress became the laughingstock of the world.

    A hasty tunnel was dug, and a system of pumps set up. The engineers carefully breached Medtob's system and slowly pumped magma up several levels and into the plug. The whole operation went off without a hitch.

    And everything was fine up until the point where the central chamber under the royal magmaworks overflowed, burning two furnace operators alive and scorching off most of Milski's beard.



    The only reason he was still alive at all, was that the emergency measure, i.e. dropping a few dozen metric tonnes of water into the 'works, malfunctioned.

    Correction, the emergency release worked fine. It's just that there wasn't any water left in the tanks. A throughout examination determined that it was used to balance out the deficiency caused by the breach in the mines and was only starting to fill back up.

    Either way, the magmaworks were sealed off and Milski was being treated for burns, when in waltzed some baron or other, and declared that he heard many wonderful things about weapons made of this stone called obsidian that the fortress now seemed to have, and he'd really like a sword made of it, so where's a weaponsmith he could entrust with the task?

    And someone helpfully pointed at Milski. Who couldn't protest, since his face was all bandaged up.

    And even though there was plenty of obsidian once they managed to flood the magmaworks, it didn't change the fact that he was a weaponsmith. He didn't know the next thing about working with stone.

    And even though his best friend Iton who worked the craftshops, patiently walked him through constructing a wooden (wooden!) handle in such a way that it could be inset with obsidian "teeth", it didn't stop the shards Milski used from turning his hands into a gory mess.

    So at this point Milski wasn't in the best of moods. In fact, he was feeling rather miserable. And his only mistake - the only mistake he was willing to admit to making - was that given a choice between acting out quietly now, or loudly and violently later, he went with the former.

    The pain from the burns and the cuts on his hands, the story of Medtob that resurfaced due to the recent events, the death, and misery, and lack of of stability, it all swirled and twisted like cloudy beer in his mind, bubbled and strained, and spat out an image of the noble killed by Udil.

    The image then found its way onto the sword's handle. It was fairly good, as far as Milski was concerned. And he did feel better for making it.

    Until he found out that the baron who commissioned the sword was the son of the noble Udil killed.

    ***

    At this point, as he stood with the group of dwarves who no longer had the right to call themselves dwarves, Milski wouldn't have been surprised if one of the muskoxes suddenly caught fire.

    Not surprised at all.


    ************************************************** *


    This took way too long to write in a way I was satisfied with.

    Pictures tommorow, once I get a chance to sleep for more than a few hours at a time.
    Last edited by Maxymiuk; 2010-03-05 at 06:36 PM.

  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    There are no accidents. Only patterns too grand to understand.

    In an old fortress there are plently of places to go if you want some privacy. Forgotten mineshafts, unfinished projects, tunnels leading to nowhere. Places nobody else goes to.

    There was a tunnel that crossed a magnetite vein. The ore had been mined out, and the digging discontinued, likely because something else demanded the attention of the miners. It remained like that for years, until Raroy found it.

    It was perfect, as long as she remembered not to bring any metal objects with her - there were still bits of ore in the floor. She spirited away a few barrels of food and water that no one would notice missing and brought them here, so that she could be away from the fortress for hours, even days at a time. It's not like anyone would care she was gone. "One part carver, one part engraver, all useless."

    Raroy knelt down on by a part of the floor that seemed no different from the other. Why here? She studied the rise and fall of the uneven surface, the grooves left by miners' picks, later worn down by countless boots trodding over them. Yes, she could see the pattern now. A hand here, and there would be a head. Here the light mica gave way to the darker magnetite, the dividing line running just right to to separate the sky and the ground. She reached for her tools and got to work.



    There were patterns in everything. The patterns were everything. You just had to watch for them.

    The flood was an inevitability. The signs have been there. Raroy didn't understand them until it was too late, but she knew something bad was coming - the entire mountainhome fair screamed of it. Even the other dwarves, usually too sodden to notice anything past the bottom of the barrel, were affected. They were agitated, upset, angry, and they didn't know why. They acted out. A new batch of exiles was sent away almost every month now.

    She expected all this to subside once the flood was under control. Instead the pattern looped back on itself and now returned with even greater strength. Dwarves were turning violent, vindictive. She couldn't see enough of the pattern to explain why this was happening, or where it would end. But it was easy enough to tell that it would be nowhere good.

    The image was taking on shape. There was the mountainhome - there was no mistaking the two peaks, one straight and sharp, the other tapered, as if broken off, that appeared on most of the images related to the fortress. And here, a group of dwarves, walking away from the mountain. Who were they? Exiles? Survivors? Was the mountainhome going to be destroyed? The trees she was etching out have lost their leaves. Wintertime? That was barely half a year away.

    She noticed one of the dwarves in the group was noticeably taller than the rest. It was her. It had to be her. She was the tallest dwarf in the fortress, tall enough that an ugly rumor had it she had a human somewhere among her ancestors - a complete absurdity, not to mention impossibility, but like most such rumors, it refused to die.

    Regardless of why and how she would come to leave, she knew it would happen. It felt right. There was no future for her in the mountainhome, that much was clear. The Crafts Guild had their pick of highly skilled stonecrafters, none of which got any work either, due to the fortress having a stockpile of several thousand crafts and toys that the yearly caravans couldn't put a dent in. The Engravers had no work either - about the only things left to smooth, or engrave would be the mines, and no one was going to pay for that.

    And if it was exile to be her fate, there were any number of ways to make it come about.


    ***********************************


    I've been bad about the number of images in these past couple of updates, I know. I blame the fact that most of them take place inside the protagonists' head, and it's hard to represent that with traditional media, never mind ASCII.

    Obadiah's bit is going to be a lot more interesting visually, I promise.
    Last edited by Maxymiuk; 2010-03-06 at 06:12 PM.

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    The Halfway Inn dated back to the early days of the mountainhome, a period of strained relations with the human kingdoms. The founders - it was a time before nobility - hesitant to allow outsiders study the fortress proper, but perfectly willing to purchase the raw materials the merchants brought, established a temporary trading post halfway down the mountain, where they could conduct business every year.

    The constant danger of kobold thieves and goblin ambushes quickly led to the outpost becoming a fortified compound, with its own lodgings, wall, moat, food and water supply, and a guard detail.

    Though eventually the relations improved, and most of the soldiers moved to the watchtowers built at the mouth of the valley, the law forbidding any nondwarf from setting foot inside the mountainhome was never repealed. Thus the Halfway Inn still served as a trade post for human and elven merchants. As well as temporary lodgings for new migrants.



    "Broker Alath. Obadiah," the guard greeted them as they crossed the bridge. The broker muttered something under his nose and moved on, only to be accosted by a couple migrants wanting to know if their settlement permits have cleared. He immediately started swearing at them.

    Obadiah used this unexpected break to catch his breath and adjust the strap on his knapsack, which was filled to bursting with ledgers and parchment. "The word is, they've dug into the lower quarter," he said to the guard before he could ask the question. "Everyone there survived - they've managed to seal off the stairways before the water got in."
    "Thank you, lad," the guard nodded, relief and gratitude clear in his voice. "Best news I've heard all week."
    "It was no problem. How's things down here?"
    "The usual," the guard produced a small hip flask from underneath his beard and offered it to Obadiah, who accepted it gladly. "Ears keeping to themselves and turning their noses up at anyone who comes near. Strays getting huffy about having to stay down here."

    Obadiah winced slightly at the derogatory term for the migrants - it hadn't been all that long ago that he was one of them, waiting at the Halfway Inn for the nobles to decide whether his skills were needed by the mountainhome. Even then, he soon found out that he only got the job as Alath's assistant because Alath himself was currently on shaky ground with some of the Barons and they were considering replacing him - a reason for the broker's permanent poor disposition, which usually found its outlet in verbal abuse of anyone that displeased him. Especially if that someone was Obadiah.

    That they were down here to talk with the elves did nothing to improve his mood.

    "Do you really have to do this?" Obadiah asked, seeing the guard pull the lever that operated the bridge they've come in across, which now began to raise with the clicking of gears. "We'll be here a quarter of an hour, if that."
    "Them's orders, lad," the guard shrugged. "Always a kobold or two that manage to find some goat trail and try to get at the trade goods. Better not to tempt accidents by giving them a way in, no?"
    "I guess."

    "Assistant!" Alath managed to put enough venom into that word to drop an elephant. "You're not being paid to stand about and flap your tongue. Get over here. And you!" he wheeled on the group of migrants, who shrank back from him visibly. "If I hear one more complaint out of you, I will personally make sure that you're all thrown off this mountain by evening, is that clear?!"

    As the migrants quickly retreated into the main building, Alath turned on Obadiah again, his face marred with a deep scowl.

    "It seems to me that every time I see you, assistant, you are slacking," he began his tirade. "Off in a corner somewhere, whispering with someone, muttering, gossiping, talking. Not working."

    Obadiah knew better than to defend himself, or say anything at all for that matter.

    "You are neglectful of your duties. You abuse my goodwill and willingness to take you under my tutelage. You squander the rare gift that is the knowledge of the written word," Alath sighed dramatically over such clear folly. "My patience for you is at its end."

    Maybe I would believe that if i haven't heard the same speech sixty-four times already, Obadiah thought, while trying to look appropriately contrite. Twice since this morning.

    "But as much of a burden you are, you are my burden to bear. And whether you want to or not, I will see to your training. And a unique opportunity presents itself to perhaps improve upon your meager, nay, nonexistent negotiation skills. Be honored, my assistant, for today you are going to conduct trade with the elves."


    ********************************************


    Ok, here's the deal. I really wanted to do Obadiah's update before I lose access to internet for a week (wheee, vacation!), but I got overambitious with this little story and ran out of time. But instead of leaving everyone hanging, and probably thinking that I'm about to abandon the LP or something, I've decided to post what I have. So ObadiahtheSlim gets a two-parter AND a cliffhanger.

    Feel free to heap jealousy and scorn upon him and see you sometime next weekend.

  30. - Top - End - #30
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    I just remembered something of vital importance to the success of this mission! In the next version, hair will be modeled to some extant. Thus we must answer the age old question: do dwarven women have beards? If they do not, then we need not worry. If they do, then Maxymiuk must navigate the chaos that is the DwarfFort RAW files and add beards to dwarven women! The horror! The atrocity! The possibility to ensure our fiery demise before we even begin with a single misplaced opening square bracket!
    Quote Originally Posted by Wardog View Post
    Rockphed said it well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Starfall
    When your pants are full of crickets, you don't need mnemonics.
    Dragontar by Serpentine.

    Now offering unsolicited advice.

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