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  1. - Top - End - #91
    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)

    On a sidenote I started writing this update at 09:00. I finished at 23:30 (add half an hour for proofreading and some quick edits). Staying with your family isn't very conductive to the creative process is what I'm saying.


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


    Obadiah had some qualms about asking Jahjah to dig a small room to serve as his office. Technically it was his priviledge as a leader, but in their situation privacy could be seen as a blatant luxury, and he wasn't sure how others would react.

    He decided the proper thing to do would be to explain to everyone the reason he needed it, and ask what their opinion was. First he went to Derek, who politely asked him to stop trampling his fields. Next was Celes, who yelled that she had enough of being constantly interrupted in her own kitchen and threatened him with a ladle. On his way out, he ran into Zazit, who ignored him and disappeared into her craftshop with an armful of bone. He went out of the camp, and found Milski's fishing spot. The weaponsmith just waved him away impatiently, whispering that he was scaring away the fish. And Raroy had left the camp yesterday - she'd spotted the horse herd moving through the valley again and went after them, crossbow in hand.



    So now he had an office, dug out by Jahjah, who immediately went down into his quarry to continue working his way around the "useless" ores in search for stone. The room had a hard chair, a rough table, and even a door, made by Milski inbetween his fishing trips - as well as two large lumps of galena that no one could be bothered with moving anywhere. But that didn't bother him: now he had a place where he could do his own work - organizing.

    Parchment was, of course, just another item on the long list of things they didn't have. But he already had an idea on how to get around that little inconvienience.

    ***

    On the sixth of Hematite - the sixth day of summer - they were woken by loud cracking and rumbling coming from right outside the camp. Alarmed, they ran out, thinking it to be an avalanche or, worse, an attack, but the walls were whole, and the slopes free of movement. It wasn't until they ventured outside the camp that they saw the source of the noise: large chunks of ice floating down the stream, breaking apart as they crashed into one another.

    The thaw had finally arrived.

    ***



    "So, uh, basically, Obadiah told me we need safe access to water," Jahjah was visibly uncomfortable with speaking in front of the group. "So, uh, I built this."

    "This" was, essentially, a drawbridge that, when raised, wasn't very different from the rest of the wall, and when lowered, it turned into a platform hanging just over the water's surface, reaching barely a quarter of the way across the stream.

    "We can take water from here. We can fish from here. And, uh, when the stream freezes again, we can just raise it back up."
    "But I already have a place to fish!" Milski protested. "It's my favorite spot. They practically fall into my hands there."
    "Your 'spot' is half an hour's walking from the camp, Milski," Obadiah countered calmly. "If anything were to attack you, we wouldn't even hear you calling for help. It's safer inside the walls."
    "Like what?" the fisher demanded. "Rats? Bluejays? Horses? Or maybe the dead goats our hunter saw once?"
    "How about a pack of wolves? Or a bear? Or giant eagles?" Obadiah retorted. "We're in the mountains here. And if we haven't seen a single predator yet, it's because we've been damned lucky. No, it's too risky," he shook his head. "We stay inside the walls unless we have to."

    ***

    The leaves on this berry bush were turning yellow, and Derek didn't know why. It wasn't dryness - this part of the field, he watered every day. He picked a leaf and rolled it between his fingers, then broke it in half - no, it was still tough and flexible, and the inside was moist. It felt strong and healthy. But it was yellow.

    "Ho, farmsmith."

    He looked up to see Celes approaching from the direction of camp proper. He raised his hand in greeting, then went back to inspecting the bush.

    "Like it?" she asked, stopping right next to him. "Figured I'll start calling you that. Since that's what you are, right?. Smith turned farmer. You got fields for a forge, and you make fruit instead of horseshoes."

    Derek picked a berry from the afflicted bush and bit it carefully.

    "Anyway, I came to ask when I can expect the next crop to show up in my kitchen. The lifeblood's running low again - I swear, the lot of them drink like they want to go sober for another month."

    "These will be ripe in three, four days," Derek indicated the bushes behind him.

    "Oh? Maybe we'll actually last that long, then," Celes pointed at the yellowing bush. "What's wrong with this one?"
    "I don't know."
    "You don't know? Wonderful. Some farmer you are," she rolled her eyes. "So you're saying all this could be withering before our eyes, and all you'd do would be to shrug helplessly. And here I was actually starting to respect you."
    "I will find out what's wrong."
    "Well now, that's a relief. Took a weight right off my heart, you did," Celes smirked humorlessly. "Tell you what, I'll leave you to it and head back to the kitchen. I need to find out whether your dinner will have anything in it except grit."

    She turned and strode away. Derek looked after her for a moment, then turned to the berry bush again. Maybe he couldn't see what was wrong because it was hidden. Plants had roots. If he-

    "Hey, farmsmith!"

    He looked up, to see Celes grinning at him from the entrance to camp proper.

    "If I throw a rock at you, will that get a reaction?"

    ***

    Zazit looked up sharply when she heard steps in the tunnel. No one, except for her, had cause to come into the craftshop. The few that did, learned quickly that their presence was unwelcome and undesired. Even Celes departed in haste after Zazit begun to hum joyously to herself while drumming on the horse skull with two cannon bones.

    She now ascertained that the skull was within easy reach, and looked to the tunnel, ready to challenge the intruder. A shadow loomed in the entrance, that upon entering the workshop proved to be... a dwarf?

    It was Raroy. But it was Raroy that appeared to have been dragged through miles of forest floor, Raroy caked in mud, twigs, and grass, to the point where only the intense jade of her eyes made her recognizeable, Raroy half-dead from exhaustion, and wholly ready to fall asleep upon the very spot where she stood.

    The huntress crossed the workshop, apparently without even noticing Zazit, unfastened the harness, and threw the quiver into the ammo store. She turned towards the exit, but after two steps stopped, squinting at something on a shelf behind Zazit.

    "'ere," she mumbled, "th'se... are those Fortress Defense pieces?"



    "You making a set?"
    "Maybe," Zazit gathered the figurines to herself protectively. "So what if I do? Elf-lover's too afraid of me to give me enough work. Got to do something to keep myself busy. Besides, we'll need goods for the autumn caravan. What will we trade them, Derek's trousers?"

    A tired chuckle escaped Raroy's mouth. "Not funny. Got th'rest?"
    "Not yet. I just started," Zazit frowned. "And bone's not a proper material for them anyway. Need stone or steel for dwarves. Iron or copper for humans. And elves just don't feel right unless they're wood."
    "Could make a frontier set," the huntress stifled a yawn. "Dwarves'n'monsters. Stone'n'bone. For small forts, traders. Can't afford full one, no room to carry."
    "Just dwarves and monsters? One round? Ridiculous!" Zazit scoffed. "That's completely unbalanced - dwarves win every time!"
    "Double the monsters," Raroy shrugged. "Works fine."
    "But... hey!" the carver startled. "You know how to play? You?"
    "Used to. Still do. Helped on couple sets."
    "Dwarves?"
    "Dwarves."
    "Uh... erm..." Zazit struggled with voicing her idea for a long moment, while Raroy struggled to keep her eyes open. "Do you think you could, well... assist me? I fear me and stone are like... like..."
    "Dwarves'n'water?"
    "Exactly!"
    "Sure. Just not," this time she couldn't stop the protracted yawn. "Not now."
    "Great," the carver clapped her hands in excitement. "Maybe we'll even play a few rounds before we sell it off. What do you say? Raroy?"

    But no answer came. Raroy had fallen asleep on her feet.


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


    Picking too many flowers may spontaneously change the color of your clothes - little-known fact of dwarven life.

    Day one relationship matrix was... unusual, in the context of the personalities I've created for the dwarves in the prologue, and it's only becoming more so as time goes on. If anyone wants, I can post the full chart later.

    Stonesense is currently compatible only up to 31.05 and we're on 31.08 right now, so I can't even use it just yet. And, aside from the reason I've already given, I prefer to stick to default graphics because I can manipulate them slightly with AsciiDraw to get chosen dwarves gathered in one spot, like I did for the fishing bridge "opening", or for the group meal scene earlier.

    Did hunger/thirst counters get readjusted in the new version? I think I'm on the fourth barrel of booze already, and we're only 3.5 months in.

    And does anyone know how to stop Raroy from trying to beat horses to death with her crossbow? She's slow, weak, and puny, and I gave her those bolts for a reason.

    Finally, if anyone feels that I'm taking their character in the wrong direction, or has suggestions on what I should aim for, feel free to let me know through posts, PM's, or otherwise (I'm told in-character journals are the usual way reader interaction takes place, though we seem to lack a credible source of paper at the moment). I hope this to become a true community fortress, where everyone gets to participate in its development in some way.

  2. - Top - End - #92
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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

    How are you planning to handle the trade depot? There doesn't seem to be any obvious three-square wide entryway to your fortress to place it!

  3. - Top - End - #93
    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)

    Today was going to be another update, but I ran into the infamous "why the hell are there suddenly 20 migrants on my doorstep" bug. I kinda hoped this would've been fixed by now, especially since I've set my population cap to 0 (I've since tried reverting to the last save a few times, with the cap set anywhere between 1 and 7, to no result).

    I know part of the charm of DF is the curveballs it continually throws you, but I'm having serious trouble justifying (within the context of this story) the sudden tripling of this fort's population. If these were two or three migrants, I'd have likely said fine and rolled with it. But not ten or twelve.

    I apologize for any incurred disappointment. If anyone needs me, I'll be over there, trying to find a workaround.




    Hmmmmmm....
    Last edited by Maxymiuk; 2010-06-28 at 10:23 AM.

  4. - Top - End - #94
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Kill them off quietly and pretend like they never showed up.
    If God had wanted you to live he would not have created me!

  5. - Top - End - #95
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    DwarfClericGuy

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

    Another separate band of exiles that just happened to end up in the same area?


    Another fortress that fell apart a few miles away and everyone scattered and happened to find yours?

    Shipwreck (if close to coast) or waylaid on the road and ran around in the wilds forever till they found your fortress?

  6. - Top - End - #96
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    Kobold

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

    Refugee exiles wandering after their fortress succumbed to darkness or something.
    **** Photobucket ; RIP avatars

  7. - Top - End - #97
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    AgentPaper's Avatar

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

    Maybe things aren't going so well back at the fortress, lots of people are bailing/being exiled and heading for other fortresses. This batch is part of that, heard that there was a fortress out here but not that it was a just-established one with only 7 people in it.
    Last edited by AgentPaper; 2010-06-29 at 07:42 PM.
    Excellent avatar by Elder Tsofu.

  8. - Top - End - #98
    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)

    This strawberry patch had too little water and, worse yet, he had been too busy with tending to the berry bushes and the long grasses that Celes said would make a decent beer. He did his best to fix the mistake, but by now more than half the plants were dried out, dead - another poor crop.

    "Ho there, the camp!"

    Derek stood up. The greeting came from outside the wall. But Raroy was recovering after her latest unsuccessful hunt, and no one else had any work in the valley, thus the gates were kept closed, by Obadiah's orders - for everyone's safety.

    He looked around, but there was no one else in the courtyard at the moment. He took a few steps towards the main hall, but changed his mind and ran up to the stairway leading up the high shoulder that they've incorporated into their defenses - Obadiah had plans to eventually build a lookout tower up there. But even now the rise offered a clear view of anyone approaching the gate.



    ***

    While Obadiah talked with the arrivals, the rest of them gathered around the table, waiting and drinking beer.

    "But they are asking that we let them in, right?" Celes wanted to know.
    "They need a safe place to rest," Derek said. "We have walls."
    "Aye, and a larder," she snorted, "that doesn't need a bunch of freeloaders raiding it. Do you know how much food we have left?"
    "We'd like to know, believe me," Milski said, coming back to the table with a fresh round of mugs. "But you don't let anyone go down into the food stores."
    "And that's why we have anything left at all," Celes smiled broadly. "We'd have all starved long ago if you lot could just come in and grab a snack whenever you bloody well wanted. My point is," she waved her arm to keep them quiet, "we don't have anything to spare, and they don't have anything to pay with. Or do they?" she looked at Derek.
    "They have a foal and a calf with them. One carries a pick. Another - an axe."

    The contemplative silence that followed was broken by the arrival of Obadiah.

    "Alright, they're waiting for our decision," he said the moment he dropped into his seat. "so let's get this started. Obvious questions first. Who are they and what are they doing here. They're migrants - or, at this point, I should say, refugees, trying to make it back home. What are they doing here. They've tried to shorten their route by traveling south-west across the Worried Spikes and ran into trouble along the way."
    "What kind of trouble?"
    "They say they were attacked by u- monsters a few nights ago," Obadiah looked at Celes, who smiled and shrugged. "There were originally twelve of them, but they've scattered during the attack, and only these four managed to find one another and continue. They've also lost most of their remaining supplies. They're asking for sanctuary for at least three days, and whatever food and alcohol we can spare."
    "Hah."
    "Questions? Comments?"
    "I've got one, if you don't mind," Celes said. "How do you know they're telling the truth?"
    "They are all on the verge of exhaustion," Obadiah started counting on his fingers. "When we talked, they kept glancing towards the northern hills - they're visibly afraid of whatever's there. One of them - the miner - has twin gashes on both her cheeks," it was a symbol of undergoing mourning for a loved one. "Lastly, I believe they're telling the truth."

    Celes rolled her eyes, while Jahjah cleared his throat quietly and raised a hand.

    "But there's no fortresses to the north of here, I thought, " he said doubtfully. "Our h- I mean, Mersethzuglar, was the furthest dwarves ever settled.
    "Correct," Obadiah nodded. "They're not from a fortress, or even an outpost. They're traveling from Aringole. It's a human town," he explained.
    "And what in the Seven Stones were dwarves doing around humans?" Celes demanded.
    "You know," Milski paused to drain his tankard, "I seem to remember a certain dwarf - can't recall her name just at this moment - suggesting something similar a few months ago, something about not bothering with this whole outpost business and moving to a human town inst-ow!" he jumped, when Celes kicked him under the table.
    "So they lived in a human town, did they?" Zazit said forcefully. "A town. Inside a house. Above ground. For who knows how long," she added with an air of finality.
    "And..?" Obadiah looked puzzled.
    "I would not expect you to understand."
    "I see. So, aside from raging xenophobia, do you have anything els-"
    "You said they're migrants," Derek cut in calmly. "Where from?"
    "From Gidthurdumat - the capital. Why?"
    "Never mind."
    "Alright... let's get back on topic, shall we? There are four tired, hungry dwarves at our gates. Do we let them in, or tell them to find help elsewhere?"


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


    Yes, a four-migrant wave. I'm more surprised than anyone, believe me.

    Unfortunately, their skillsets aren't a very good fit for anyone currently at the top (or bottom) of the waiting list, except for xp194, and he'd have to suffer the trauma of a surprise sex change. So it would be no big loss if the original group decided to toss them out on their ear. Here's who showed up:

    Miner (f)
    Carpenter/Animal Trainer (m) + inexplicable axe
    Butcher (m)
    Potash Maker/Architect (f) Guess she took night classes fortress design?

    Top of the waiting list is, in order, Rockphed, Zenos, Shpadoinkle, xp194. So speak out on whether you claim or pass. And "founder" players, feel free to let me know where your dwarf stands on the immigrant issue - even if it seems like the decision was already made for you. Right now I can still see good reasons for anyone to give either answer.

    Finally, a big thanks for everyone's suggestions. I had to discard most of them due to geographical, historical, or storyline concerns, but they did get me thinking about the problem instead of bitching about it.
    Last edited by Maxymiuk; 2010-06-30 at 06:07 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #99
    Orc in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

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

    Might seem not in the RP, but maybe just change their skills to what you need and say that what they came with were vestiges of their stay in the human town?

  10. - Top - End - #100
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    Rockphed's Avatar

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

    If you don't mind turning him into a hunter eventually, I'll take the carpenter/animal trainer. He does have an axe already, which makes the whole woodcutter/axe hunter easier to accomplish.
    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 - #101
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    Maxymiuk's Avatar

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Breltar View Post
    Might seem not in the RP, but maybe just change their skills to what you need and say that what they came with were vestiges of their stay in the human town?
    You mean change them with something like Dwarf Companion?

    Every community fort I've followed that used a program like that to manipulate events - every single one - managed to eventually screw up the game in some way: zero immigration, phantom dwarves, forever children, pacifist military...

    Therefore my answer is an empathic no.

  12. - Top - End - #102
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxymiuk View Post
    You mean change them with something like Dwarf Companion?

    Every community fort I've followed that used a program like that to manipulate events - every single one - managed to eventually screw up the game in some way: zero immigration, phantom dwarves, forever children, pacifist military...

    Therefore my answer is an empathic no.
    You have no idea how many ridiculously absurd plot-points you just gave up. Think of the possibilities! An entire fort populated with children, a single foe overrunning your unwilling(or unable)-to-fight military… The massive failures… The hilarious results… They’re endless! Endless damn you!


    *has no good ideas or anything to contibute to game beyond jokes*

  13. - Top - End - #103
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    DwarfClericGuy

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxymiuk View Post
    You mean change them with something like Dwarf Companion?

    Every community fort I've followed that used a program like that to manipulate events - every single one - managed to eventually screw up the game in some way: zero immigration, phantom dwarves, forever children, pacifist military...

    Therefore my answer is an empathic no.
    Nope, I just mean toggle off the jobs that they came with and toggle on the jobs you want them to be in their labor selections. They might not be proficient with the new jobs at first but you have so few dwarves that they will gain skill quickly enough.

    I hate outside programs as well, I don't use stonesense or any of it. Makes the game a lot more fun IMO.

    That said I just had a fortress wipe out because of zombie gorillas....

  14. - Top - End - #104
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Quote Originally Posted by Breltar View Post
    Nope, I just mean toggle off the jobs that they came with and toggle on the jobs you want them to be in their labor selections. They might not be proficient with the new jobs at first but you have so few dwarves that they will gain skill quickly enough.
    Yeah, this is what I was thinking of doing if it wasn't clear.


    I hate outside programs as well, I don't use stonesense or any of it. Makes the game a lot more fun IMO.

    That said I just had a fortress wipe out because of zombie gorillas....
    I totally agree with this sentiment. Except the zombie gorrillas. I haven't met those yet.
    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.

  15. - Top - End - #105
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    DwarfClericGuy

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Rockphed View Post
    Except the zombie gorrillas. I haven't met those yet.
    Terrifying embark area on a jungle island. Zombie Gorillas backed up by Zombie Chimpanzees and a few Snail-men just for extra 'umph'.

  16. - Top - End - #106
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Zombie Hippo. Embark on terrifying jungle with a river running through it. Death comes quickly as those soulless monsters tear you apart.
    If God had wanted you to live he would not have created me!

  17. - Top - End - #107
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    Maxymiuk's Avatar

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

    I choose to interpret the general lack of response as giving me leave to do what I want. Ok, I can work with that.


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


    Idked checked the position of the sun and scowled. If those bastards inside the walls didn't reach a decision soon, the four of them would have to leave - there was only so much time left to find shelter before nightfall. And right now the others would take a lot of convincing to start moving again. To them running into a settlement, and a dwarven one at that, out here, and after what they've been through, seemed nothing short of a miracle. They'd fight him if he told them to turn their backs on this wall. They'd insist on at least waiting for an answer. And he didn't know what they'd do if that answer was negative.

    He had a more realistic view of the issue. He knew the mentality of outposts like these: get everyone inside, lock the doors, and point crossbows at anyone who comes knocking. And it was only sensible - the world was full of dangerous things: monsters, brigands, looters, goblin marauders, mongrel warbands... and, rare as that happened, there were times when dwarves turned on dwarves. So could anyone blame these settlers if they'd decide to react with suspicion?

    Yes, Idked's hands tightened around the shaft of his axe, yes, he could. Because he was tired, he was hungry, he was sober, and he's been herding three other tired, hungry, and sober dwarves across the mountains for the past week. And behind this wall were people who, tonight, would sit down around a common table, eat meat, drink ale, go to sleep in a real bed, instead of on a bunch of ro-

    "Hey there! Um, Idked, was it?"

    The dwarf who introduced himself as the camp's leader, Obadiah, appeared up on the rise again. They all looked at him eagerly.

    "Yeah," Idket kept his voice level. "Have you made a decision?"
    "You're a woodcutter, yes?"

    No, he was a carpenter. He took the axe off the body of a woodcutter that they found after the attack.

    "Yes, I am."
    "You will pay for your stay in our camp with labor, and with your livestock. When you depart, we will give you half the meat we get from butchering it, so you will have provisions for your journey. And it goes without saying that you are to conduct yourself in an orderly manner. Are those acceptable terms?"
    "They are," he wasn't going to argue, because he expected much worse.
    "Very well," Obadiah nodded. "Derek! Open the gates!"


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


    Idked's profile:

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    Either this fortress is a magnet for all the socially active, but chronically depressed dwarves, or I need to take a look at the entity raws. At this rate, we'll turn into a suicide cult.

    Last call for the claim/pass from other people in the queue. Otherwise I think I'll just assign you a dwarf and gender preference be damned.

  18. - Top - End - #108
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Suicide cult go! You need to make a suicide booth.
    If God had wanted you to live he would not have created me!

  19. - Top - End - #109
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    Maxymiuk's Avatar

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

    "We're not what you expected, are we," Obadiah said.

    Idked considered his answer for a long moment.

    "Well," he said eventually, "I just had my first hot meal in over a month. I washed it down with three tankards of excellent beer. And tonight I will sleep without worrying that I'll wake up with my throat torn out. I think I can overlook the fact that I'll have a rock for a pillow."
    "Thank you," Obadiah looked relieved.
    "Though I wouldn't mind finding out what happened to you and yours," Idked stifled a belch. "Scuse me. No woodcutter, no tools, no underground farms... almost feels like being back in the Confederacy."
    "That's a bit of a story," Obadiah sighed.
    "It's not like we're in a hurry to leave or anything, right?"

    ***

    Raroy had assented to admitting the arrivals into the camp. It was a logical decision. The camp needed their tools. Their labor, their resources.

    And now the camp was suddenly very crowded. Everyone gathered in the main hall, to see the new faces, to talk with them, to get acquainted. There was worry and suspicion, slowly turning into ease and assurance.

    She couldn't stand it. She slipped out and crossed the inner courtyard, heading into Zazit's workshop. She sat down among bone and rock, breathing deeply, waiting for her head to clear.

    She should create something, she realized. And not the game pieces she's been neglecting for the past weeks. Proper art. An engraving. She hasn't made one since that last one, the one that told her she would come here. Yes. Her hands already itched in anticipation. She grabbed the makeshift chisel and approached the nearest bit of wall without a shelf.

    The pattern wasn't with her tonight. There was no sense of her hands working of their own volition, no feeling she'd be discovering the picture even as she was making it. Good. She felt like doing something simple tonight.

    After a few moments of thought, she set to work.

  20. - Top - End - #110
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Just pitching in here that I'm fine with being a female miner. The name can be explained by same strange naming system her old overseer enacted.
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  21. - Top - End - #111
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Obadiah leaned closely over his table, carefully chipping away at the surface. Mica wasn't a very good material for this kind of work - it frequently cracked and split along lines he did not intend it to. Eventually he asked Raroy for help, and got a long lecture about split lines and basal cleavage, completely alien concepts that he still struggled to understand.

    He did understand enough to let him carve shallow grooves in the table's surface, and that was all he really needed in this situation. Now he blew away the dust and stone chips from the newest groove and etched the symbol that meant "furniture" right above it. Then he took the pebbles he'd prepared beforehand and begun to arrange them in the groove. Dark bits of mica for tables, lighter gneiss for chairs. Slate chips for doors. And brown chert gravel for the beds Idked was busy assembling in the workshop they've set up for him.

    He'd gotten odd looks from the others when they've found out about his bookkeeping, and not just because of this system. "Why are you counting," Celes mocked, "how little we have? Why stack stones, when fingers are enough?" He learned to ignore them fairly quickly - there was no use explaining that it was crucial to establish the foundations of a robust record keeping system now, while their stockpiles were still small and manageable. This was also the reason he insisted on dedicated stockpiles instead of large, common ones that were the habit - he still shuddered at the memories of having to navigate piles of goods, scattered without rhyme or reason, in order to find the desired item.

    He jumped, pebbles flying everywhere, when someone pounded on the door.

    "Obadiah! Come quick!" he heard Milski's voice. "There's... things out in the valley."

    ***



    "Believe me now?" Raroy said to no one in particular.
    "They're goats," Celes scoffed, but her voice shook audibly. "You call that a threat?"
    "They know no fear, they know no pain, they can survive blows that would bring a giant to its knees," Obadiah replied grimly. "Their only purpose is to prey upon the living."
    "Yeah, but... goats!"
    "You tangled with undead before?" Idked asked.
    "Not personally. But I learned a lot about them on the expedition to the Stinky Horn," Obadiah squinted. "It looks like they're heading this way. Let's head inside - if they sense us, we'll have them banging on the walls for days."
    "Sense?"
    "It sounds better than 'see without eyes', no?"
    "And how long will they stay here?"
    "Who knows," Obadiah shrugged. "Could be a few days. Could be months."
    "Seven gods below," Idked sighed, "it seems like we'll have to burden you with our presence for a bit longer than we originally thought."
    "Honestly. Goats..."

    ***

    "Would you start whining already?"

    It was the start of the second week of Malachite - one week since they've been driven inside by the undead, and almost a month since the arrival of Idked's group. The time was nearing noon, which meant Celes was out by the fields, complaining to Derek that he should make the plants grow faster; the four extra thirsty dwarves meant they've ran out of booze again. But this question wasn't part of the standard set.

    "I whine about you all being a bunch of useless clods," she continued after he gave no reply. "Milski whines about me whining about him. Obadiah whines about how we're all not taking him seriously enough. Zazit whines about how he'd frolick with bunnies and hug trees if no one was watching. Jahjah whines about how there's too much everything everywhere. And the new guys whine about how we're on booze rations again. So what I want to know is, when are you gonna whine about how I should go back to the hell that spawned me and stop bothering you?"
    "You forgot Raroy," Derek said after some thought.
    "I didn't. She doesn't whine. But she's crazy, so that's only natural."
    "By that logic, I'm crazy as well."
    "Yeah, but here's the thing. She's crazy in a whazzit, socially acceptable manner. Runs around with a crossbow, attempts to shave beards off nobles, covers walls in pictures of bats, so on, so forth. You ain't like that. And you worry me, farmsmith."

    Derek waited for her to continue.

    "Everyone gets angry is what I'm saying. Everyone whines. You're no exception, I reckon. Only you don't get angry, see? You don't whine. You keep it inside. Don't let it get out. And you know what? I reckon there's a lot of it in there. Clawing at your innards. Driving you bonkers. In a bad way."

    Derek said nothing, his face unreadable. Meanwhile Celes hesitated - she was about to head into unfamiliar and mysterious land called giving advice.

    "You saw Xeper, right?" she began. "Those cheeks of hers? Overly dramatic crap, cutting herself up like that - some way to honor how your brother got eaten by zombies, huh?"

    Derek said nothing.

    "But see, then I got thinking," Celes continued. "You're just traveling along with your kin, then bam! Suddenly he's dead. Never happened to me, but I reckon, if it ever did, I'd probably get really angry. I'd whine like crazy. I reckon, maybe I'd whine so bad, words wouldn't be enough," she looked at Derek, but he turned away and begun to check the soil around a berry bush. "So then I thought some more. I thought: how angry would I get if my entire family got the hammer?"

    No one said anything for a very long moment.

    "Anyway, gotta get back to the kitchen and get started on dinner for you bottomless louts," she got up. "See you later, farmsmith. Oh, and in case you're wondering," she threw over her shoulder, "it's because you're the only one who knows anything about the crops."


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


    Xeper:
    Spoiler
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    I guess the idea is that eventually dwarven migrants will arrive at your fort with fully developed, procedurally generated backstories. For now I still have some leeway in deciding on just what that story will be.

  22. - Top - End - #112
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Can we see how the fort looks? Maybe upload it to that one site that lets you view it.
    If God had wanted you to live he would not have created me!

  23. - Top - End - #113
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Before the undead trapped them inside the camp, Idked managed to cut down almost two dozen trees, which the rest of them dragged inside the walls. While he turned them into beds, barrels and bins, Jahjah and Xeper worked to expand the dining hall, and to dig a dormitory. and everyone else busied themselves with construction work, or food acquisition. The new arrivals have resigned themselves to waiting for the autumn caravan to

    Seemingly, everyone was too busy with their tasks to do much of anything else.

    ***

    "So how do dwarves end up working for a bunch of humans anyway?" Milski asked one night, as they were finishing dinner. "What's your story?"
    "Stupidity," Idked growled, got up and walked out.

    "Sensitive topic, I gather?" Milski said to break the awkward silence.
    "Don't mind him," Zenos shrugged. "He hates being cheated."
    "Join the community," Milski spread his arms, encompassing the hall. "But what happened, I gather you had some kind of deal with the humans?"
    "The nobility had a deal," Zenos frowned. "Gidthurdumat has the same problems you do at the capital - too many dwarves, not enough work. So she negotiated with the Confederacy for-"
    "The Confederacy?"
    "Confederacy of Princes," Obadiah explained. "They're a loose alliance of city-states - your nobles probably had to make individual deals with each one separately, right?"
    "Don't know," Zenos shrugged again. "All we were told was that there's plenty of work among the humans. Honest, honorable work. Anyone without employment was encouraged to leave, hells, the humans even showed up with a whole caravan just to take us with them."
    "So what happened?"
    "It was all a lie, that's what happened," Zenos grunted. "Honest and honorable my left ear - we were little better than serfs to the humans. We got stuck with the worst scutwork, never mind what we actually knew or did. Take Dalantar here, for example. Tell them who you were back in Gidthurdumat."
    "Junior trader," Dalantar muttered into his tankard.
    "And what did the humans have you do?"
    "Butcher corpses."
    "Me, I've been the best potash maker 'Dumat had," there were a couple snorts. "Alright, alright, so it's not like there was much competition," she admitted with a good-natured chuckle. "Or need, for that matter. I thought humans would appreciate my knowledge - you always here they had a drought here, a crop failure there. But no, they wouldn't stand for a dwarf telling them how to tend their crops, bunch of stuck up mudpickers that they were."
    "So what did you do?"
    "Joined a mercenary band."
    "You're a mercenary?"
    "Were. Got out the first chance I got. Don't want to talk about it," Zenos took a swig grom her tankard. "Suffice that meeting up with Xeper was the only good thing that happened to me there."
    "Xeper too? But she's a miner!" Milski looked incredulous. "They didn't have work for a dwarven miner?"
    "Politics," Zenos sighed.
    "Politics," Xeper agreed. "Their guild didn't like it when I dug as much in one day, as the rest of the work crew in three."
    "Idiots."
    "I'll drink to that."

    They raised their tankards in a quick toast.

    "Alright, then what about Idked?" Milski wanted to know. "What did he end up doing?"
    "Shoveling crap."
    "Are you serious?!"
    "Absolutely. Handed him a pitchfork and threw him into the muskox pen for three years."
    "Damn."
    "He did eventually work his way up to supervisor, mind you. But he still dropped everything and decided to head home with us the first chance he got. Says something, doesn't it?"

    ***

    Except for Derek, no one ever came down into the seed storage, because there was no need for it. Even Celes simply left the seeds extracted in the kitchen near the top of the stairway, letting the smith place them as he pleased, and he regularly informed Obadiah about how many they had left.

    "I have to ask you for a favor," Derek began, while Raroy was still looking at the neat, regularly spaced piles taking up more than half the room.
    "A secret favor," she turned to him, understanding dawning on her face.
    "Yes," he nodded.
    "You think I will keep the secret."
    "You will."
    "Maybe you're right," she smiled broadly. "What do you need?"
    "A statue."
    "A secret statue."
    "I saw your mural," he said quietly.



    By now everyone had seen it. After a few simple engravings, she had decided to move on to something a bit more ambitious. It took two weeks of work, mostly during the night. Then Zazit had to go and brag about what a talented friend she had.

    "I admired how you hid the symbol in the pattern on its wings," he crouched down and quickly drew it in the sand. Raroy's smile waned, but did not disappear completely.
    "One more question. Why?"

    Derek placed his hand over the drawing and wiped it out.

    "I got good advice."

    ***

    Milski, Zazit, and Zenos stood side by side, looking morosely at the thick ice covering the stream.
    "You know, come to think of it, it was getting colder lately," Zenos said.
    "Yeah," Milski nodded. "We had a good run though, didn't we?"
    "I was getting sick of fish to tell the truth."
    "I suppose. Only now Celes is going to have to bake us strawberries."

    "Someone's talking about me?" the cook emerged into the courtyard, suppressing a yawn. "Bloody mornings. For your sake, I hope it's only good things you're saying. Oh, Lurit's tits!" she caught sight of the stream. "Hey! Calendar guy! What's the day today?!"
    "Er... the twenty-third? Let me think," Obadiah appeared as well, steaming mug of wine in hand. "No, the twenty-fourth. Twenty-fourth of Galena, why?"


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


    And the river freezes before summer is even officially over, barely two months after it thawed. Wonderful. Still, we have provisions for several months, and Derek finally started harvesting two, or even three plants per tile. And the caravan is due in less than a month.


    The more astute of you may recall that I've previously named Gidthurdumat as the capital of the Dutiful Lenses (our parent civ). I did so based on the fact that it was the first mountain hall of our civilization. Well, turns out that the reigning monarch, her royal highness, queen Kikrost Masoszas, is operating out of Mersethzuglar, which I've spent some time establishing as our original group's city of origin. Whoops.

    In my defense, the Legends mode has all the transparency of a tub of molasses. Do dukes or barons even show up as historical figures, or are they a fortress mode only phenomenon?


    Zenos and Dalantar:
    Spoiler
    Show






    And yes, I may have neglected to mention earlier that both Zenos and Xeper have military skills, standard immigrant set (competent in weapon, armor, shield, fighting, dodging). Hammers for Zenos, axes for Xeper. Real shame we don't have anything to arm them with.

    New deity!
    Spoiler
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    Bah! That's not dwarven. That's not dwarven at all!



    Finally, for the sake of completeness, here's the description of Corud Dunetree from the legends:
    Spoiler
    Show




    Here's a picture of a caddisfly.
    Spoiler
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    Corud's favorite method of killing seems to be invasive dentistry.



    Finally, finally, here's the state of the camp as of 24th of Galena:

    Main courtyard, dining hall, dormitory:
    Spoiler
    Show



    Milski is wondering where all his fishies went.


    Kitchens, quarry, seed storage:
    Spoiler
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    Celes working or her world-famous recipe of grab whatever's lying around and roast it.


    Upper levels:
    Spoiler
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    Bottom floor of the watchtower and my attempts at claiming the slopes above the camp for future expansion. I'd have finished those walls months ago if the undead didn't keep showing up.


  24. - Top - End - #114
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    BlackDragon

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

    Why did you use a ramp rather than stairs to get up to the quarry, out of interest?

  25. - Top - End - #115
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    Why did you use a ramp rather than stairs to get up to the quarry, out of interest?
    By accident. In this version channeling creates ramps, and the entrance was originally going to be the emergency waterhole, before I found out that ice doesn't melt into drinkable water.

  26. - Top - End - #116
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxymiuk View Post
    New deity!
    Spoiler
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    Bah! That's not dwarven. That's not dwarven at all!
    Sure it is! It would be better if it were also a good of alcohol, violence, or insanity, but it is still a very dwarven thing to worship a creature devoted to destroying sorrows. I figure Alil is pretty much the incarnation of giving people drinks who look sad.
    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.

  27. - Top - End - #117
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    Nothing more dwarven than finding consolation in the bottom of a barrel of ale.
    If God had wanted you to live he would not have created me!

  28. - Top - End - #118
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    I think "consolation" is just one of the thousands of names that dwarves have for alcohol.
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  29. - Top - End - #119
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    It also seems a very appropriate God for a fort like this.
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  30. - Top - End - #120
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    Default Re: All a dwarf needs - the saga of the Zuntir Clan (DF Community Fort)

    "...so I ask Urist again: 'Urist, where did you leave your pickaxe?' And he says, 'I told you already Obadiah, a horse stole it.' And I say: 'Don't be ridiculous, a horse? How?" And he says: 'It snuck up on me in the tunnel, so I panicked and swung at it, and then it stole my pick and ran away.' So I'm about to give him an earful for being too drunk on the job, when Kadol comes running into the camp, yelling 'Unicorns!' at the top of his lungs. So we lock the gate and run to the walls, and wouldn't you know it - there's a horse running about there, with a miner's pick stuck square in its forehead!"

    Obadiah looked at the others expectanly. They responded with shrugs and muttering "Yeah, I guess that's sort of funny."

    "You had to be there to understand, I guess," he sighed, then brightened up. "Alright, Celes, it's your turn."
    "Sod off."
    "Oh come on, I bet you have tons of great stories."
    "Yeah, alright. Like, there was that one dwarf who kept asking me to do dumb things. So I put a live carp in his room."
    "Alright... So maybe someone else can-"

    The door to the hall opened, and Idked emerged, his arms and clothes splattered in blood, as well as a few other strange fluids, his hair and beard plastered soaked with sweat.

    "They're both fine," he announced in a tired voice. "Now where's that unfrozen patch of stream, you said?"
    "Half an hour's walk."
    "Bloody hell... there better be a stiff drink waiting for me when I get back."




    ***


    As my all too brief vacation has come to an end, we're getting back to short updates for awhile.

    Looks like the next release will finally fix the hunter issues, so I'm happy.

    And is it me, or did you just go and select our patron deity when I wasn't looking?

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