Ransackediron Restored, Part 4: A Dwarf Fortress Story

← Continued from Part 3

1st day of Limestone, 550 years since the Record began,

Praise Rimtar for many hands! Our modest outpost has expanded greatly, with everyone working harder than ever. Lokum has, as I feared, become overwhelmed with the duties of leader, and the rest can see it. There is so much to be done, and Lokum is simply slowing us down. While she will retain the now ceremonial title of Expedition Leader, the group has unanimously elected me Manager of Roofloves, and I have taken up my position with great pride. I am not a harsh task master, but I am respected, and because of that we are making incredible progress.

I assigned apprenticeship tasks to the new dwarves and everyone is learning at a quick pace. My junior masons have made the kitchen and still and some doors, and our woodworkers have made beds, barrels, and a retaining wall around our pump.


Pump is ready

Stodir is unstoppable in her excavation! I am now forever in her debt, for she prevented me from making a horrible mistake. I was about to give the order to begin pumping into the cistern when she stopped me – we had not yet dug the well shaft above the cistern! In truth, I had not forgotten it, but she being the experienced miner explained the safety of digging now, before the water is in there. She sketched out her plans for a well, completely underground, accessible only via a long corridor from under our current home. Though I deemed it very sensible and thus conceded, I do fear this has set us back a week or two. Autumn is here; I feel a chill in the air, and I know frost is just around the corner. We must pump before the pond freezes. Perhaps one last touch-up to the cistern is in order: a grate, to prevent small fish that made it through the pump from getting into the cistern.


Black hole = well shaft above cistern (well itself still to be built)

Some mixed news came this morning: the hunting dog gave birth to puppies, which is welcome, but the cats have also had a litter. The last thing this place needs is to be overrun with felines. I wonder what anyone else thinks of grilled kitten.

22nd day of Limestone, 500 years since the Record began,

Stakud “Closebolt” Urolalath, Manager, Head Mason and Bookkeeper for the Expedition Group Anuzlolor, “The Fair Letter”

Two nights ago, despite the pounding hail outside and the raucous laughter indoors, we heard a knock at our entrance doors. Stodir raised her pick and Edem grabbed the tree axe, but Lokum waived them off and went to the door herself. There stood a soaking husband and wife, Lokum (called Paddelglow) and Tirist. They had traveled from the northwest, from a place called Portaltone. They saw our constructions outside, and thought to find a shelter for the night. We welcomed them in, gave them dry clothes, and then they told us what they had seen: a long line of dwarf refugees is pouring from the south. They could not say exactly from where, only that they bore the colors of the The Ferocious Galley. It can only mean that our brothers and sisters have been attacked, and that the enemy is close. Adil immediately leashed the war dog to guard the entrance, and bolted the door.

Thus began the next few days of much talking and disagreement. Most of our newest members want to leave and rescue the refugees, fearing for their friends and families they left behind; some of us wish to prepare for war; still others wish to wall off the entrance and burrow deep below where we won’t be found. We have not yet decided what to do.

All this concern and debate has left us completely distracted from the urgent tasks at hand. This morning, we awoke to a flash frost. I feared the worst, ran to the pump to start it myself, but it was too late. The murky pool had frozen overnight. We will have no water for the next 6 months.


Ice delays plans

Gameplay breakdown

Note: I won’t be creating a separate post for the gameplay breakdown anymore, I’ll just be tacking it onto the bottom of each story part.

Just some more infrastructure building for this round, and nothing too exciting. Stakud was made Manager, but I have not actually used his abilities in that role yet. Got some new areas laid out upstairs and downstairs of the main entrance, and increased the food and drink stores. I do plan to slaughter the kittens, as horrible and as gross as it sounds. Cats will reproduce like crazy if you’re not careful, and can actually slow the game down if there’s too many of them running around. If cats adopt dwarves as pets (you read that correctly), you can’t exterminate them without making the dwarves very sad; so yes, it’s best to kill them young. (OH STOP IT, IT’S JUST A GAME.)

I mainly focused on the cistern and well area, which look very nice, but despite working as fast as I could, I missed my chance to pump the water from the murky pool. I gave the order, but the dwarves were all over the place, and seemed to be ignoring the order. The water turned to ice before my pump operator reached it. Makes for a good story for Rob the author, but it will make things a bit difficult for Rob the gamer. Without access to water, I have to have a large alcohol store or the dwarves will either die of dehydration or will go stark raving mad from thirst. Mad dwarves make other dwarves mad, resulting in the dreaded tantrum spiral (cue ominous music).

The 2 migrants “seeing” the refugees is a bit of creative license because of what I know happened just a little while later when my dwarven liason brought news of world events. (You’ll have to read part 5 to see that, though.) Thanks again to Legends Viewer for providing some context to the situation.

The story continues in part 5.

If you’re enjoying this story, perhaps you might enjoy my original fantasy novel, By the Light of the Moons, available for download on Amazon Kindle.

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