This was originally posted here by Bleaktea, and since it is quite old now, I chose to preserve it as best I could in crappy HTML. In my opinion, this is by far the funniest Dwarf Fortress LP ever done.

Dwarf Fortress VD: Staying Dry

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A new version of Dwarf Fortress has arrived, with a variety of new ways to torture us endlessly. I'm going to attempt to settle a hopeless team of dwarves in a haunted wilderness, because there's nothing like rains of toxic fluid and clouds of zombie gas to make life more interesting.

I'm using Ironhand's Graphics Set for this, since I think it makes the screenshots a little more intelligible for non-players, and also I am a big baby.

So, first I create a small world. This takes a long time since I set it to proceed to the year 2012 for fun, but I can already see some promise. There's at least one vast haunted hilly region... with cities in it, no less. I might check that out later in Adventurer mode.

It turns out this is pretty much the only haunted area on the map, other than a really scary glacier a bit north, so I guess this is where we're headed. I find a nice place with no aquifer, some metals, and a brook called Scribeskirts.

To the Obscene Hills we go!

The dwarves, in a sudden fit of dullness, name the place Glazedcoast. Guys, the coast is about a hundred miles north, and as for glaze, I don't know what -

- well I suppose that counts. I have no idea what this does, but we're getting out of it asap. Everything around us is featureless snow, dead trees, and puddles of ooze, so we just dig straight down:

The darker patches are, yes, wonderful skyslime. There's a brook under all this somewhere.

The rain of unspeakable horror from the sky is making the dwarves feverish and nauseated so I usher them all quickly into the tiny hole in the clay the miners have managed to dig. They quickly coat it in a fine layer of vomit.

Still, nobody's been eaten by zombie badgers yet so actually this is looking pretty good.

The fever and the nausea pass fairly quickly once they're out of the rain, so at least there's no permanent effects from that. This is good, 'cause they left the cart and everything outside, and someone is going to have to go brave the eternal snotblizzard to bring all the supplies in.

Luckily, it is really easy to dig through clay, so carving out a temporary storeroom is only a few minutes' work. I lay down some stockpiles and the dwarves get to work piling up their worldly goods in the damp hole in the ground we will be calling home. I even get brave and order the woodcutter to take down some of the trees.

Meanwhile, aboveground, spring is arriving and the snow has melted to reveal the local plants - something called "wormy tendrils". They squirm. A lot. Also staring eyeballs. Occasionally they blink. The ones nearest the fort entrance are covered in vomit and malodorous ooze.

Glazedcoast: Come for the graspy tentacleflora, stay for the torrent of viscous fluids.

I suppose it's about time to introduce our varied cast of characters. In-game status screen behind the spoilers for folks who like to see that.

Zulban Narrowflag, our glorious leader and woodcutter/carpenter with a disturbing attraction to chickens!

Spoiler: Maybe he just likes that they hate worms too.

Sakzul Violentchanneled, a miner. He likes horses. I predict a zombie-horse incident in his future.

Spoiler: No, Mr Clip-clop, noooo~

Shorast Blockadeclenches, also a miner. Also, from his description, possibly a bear trying to pass as a dwarf.

Spoiler: RAWR

Onul Haildoor, the mason. Unfortunately his name has a lot of unusual characters which this tileset likes to render as symbols. Think of him as Missingno, the dwarf.

Spoiler: data read error

Ral Girdergorged, the planter and the only woman for some reason.

Spoiler: I hope she likes farming in oozerain.

Kol Cradledbridges, the trader, organizer, and general paperwork man. If we survive long enough to actually make anything in this god-forsaken vomit-filled pit, he'll tell us how much it's worth.

Spoiler: There are no beans in Dwarf Fortress, so what does he count?

Adil Roompatterned, our hardened axe-wielding warrior, who I brought because I really expected the place to be swarming with monsters. Mostly his job is to move heavy objects in the slimerain.

I ran out of image space so I'll throw his description in the next post.

But there you have it - seven dwarves, against slime, evil plants, and whatever other horrors await them in the Obscene Hills.

This is my first attempt at a Let's Play so if anyone had any advice I am eager to hear it. Right now I'm playing alone but if anyone wants to take a year and turn this into a succession fortress, I am happy to do that. Also if someone wants a dwarf named after themselves, please speak up.

Bleaktea, Feb 14, 2012

Adil Roompatterned. He likes to axe questions. HA HA HA HA. Ho ho ho.

Spoiler: Hee hee hee.

Bleaktea, Feb 14, 2012

Everything is inside and we have enough wood to make some beds, so I seal up the entrance with ... erm, chalk. Well, it's what we have available. It will at least prevent any wandering monsters from nosing around until we're ready to face them.

I designate some farms and also convince the dwarves to slap together a kitchen and a still. Next on the list is a butcher's shop - we need to slaughter the animals we brought with us as soon as possible, because underground they will die of starvation and then rise as freakish undead.

The miners are busy digging out a more permanent settlement down in the chalk layer under the clay. Some storage, workshops, and living quarters, with a spacious dining room and attached offices for the leadership. It's a bit cramped, but it'll do for now.


There's some nice iron-bearing rock down in the chalk, which would be useful if we had fuel for the forges. Unfortunately, no coal so far, so it's basically just a big mineral tease.

I give Zulban the unpleasant job of slaughtering the horses, and he does it in short order. The meat is immediately signed up for cooking, and the bones and other remains are placed in a room behind the sturdiest door we can make. Unfortunately the sturdiest door we can make is out of chalk, so we may be in trouble when a horse tongue gently licks its way out of confinement.

I see something moving in the refuse room and immediately panic and lock the door ... but it's just a pest lizard. Still, in this version of DF, any corpse with a head or manipulator, or any empty skin, can be animated by a necromancer. And evil zones are basically giant necromancers that - and while writing this, I realize that the horsehides from the butchered horses could, at any moment, become walking skins and rise up against us.

Excuse me while I fix that.

Good news: the dwarves thought ahead and put the skins in the refuse pile with everything else. I'll just... I'll just throw in a second door and lock that too. Can't hurt. Maybe I should invest in a garbage crusher.


There is so much ooze on the surface that you can't see the grotesque plants anymore. It's just a vast sea of ooze pools with the occasional wriggling plant poking up out of it. Oh, and the wandering tribes of hamster men. The ooze doesn't seem to bother them, for some reason. Or the louse women. Or the peregrine falcon people, although they're probably soaring above it all, those lucky bastards.

In case anyone is wondering what life is like in The Obscene Hills:

It's like that.

Now there is a giant hedgehog wandering aimlessly around in the ooze. It has a fever. I guess not everything is immune to the snotstorms.

It also looks like all the water on the surface is contaminated (at least, it's now marked as "stagnant water", even the free-flowing brook), which means if we want a reliable source of clean water, we're going to have to look underground. Since that's where the magma is too, I think the next goal will be to dig deep.

Since this gets us as far as possible from the grotesque ocean of slime on the surface, I am actually rather keen on the idea.


Migrants! Aww, it's a married couple: Momuz Earthenpink, a lye maker, her fisherdwarf husband Dodok Seizurelashes and their ... six children?! I mean, thumbs up to Momuz' uterine fortitude there, but did they get seriously lost on their way to Disneyworld?

Oh well. I get them close to the entrance and then deconstruct the wall. I have to create a burrow to convince everyone to come inside, but eventually it works. The children paint long lines of vomit behind them as they enter. How delightful. I kind of pity them, since clearly they were hoodwinked into thinking "Glazedcoast" was some kind of seaside resort town, but not enough to stop me from immediately enslaving them and putting them to work as stone detailers.

But now to begin digging downwards, hoping for clean water and hot magma.

Bleaktea, Feb 14, 2012

Could I get a dwarf named after Penguin McMoffen?

I suggest you cage a dwarf on the surface, just to see what happens. I also suggest you name it after Adree.

Penguin McMoffen and Adree are strangers to me, so I have no problems inserting them into this world to mine chalk for the rest of their days. If I get some more migrants and one of them seems particularly useless, he'll be exiled to the surface and we'll get to see what long-term exposure to the sneezestorms does.

I mean, assuming a delirious hedgehog doesn't come along and eat him first, anyway.

Bleaktea, Feb 15, 2012

I think being eaten by a delirious hedgehog could be noted as a symptom of snotticanes, in this case.

Also, thank you for using a texture pack. I've read DF LPs before, but I was never very good at telling what was going on. :D

I'm glad the texture pack is having the intended effect. :D

So I started digging downwards, and almost immediately struck the first cavern layer. It's rather underwhelming. No water, and not even any interesting minerals - some gems, sure, but when the zombies come calling, we're not going to be able to turn them back with some teardrop-cut almandines. I need coal. I need to make steel. I need - are those consonants moving?

They are. It looks like there's a tribe of ratpeople in the basement. Luckily we broke into this area through a roof over a large cavern, so they can't reach the entrance and we'll be able to brick it shut. The game describes them as "an evil humanoid", which tells me that Toady has never owned a rat. Rats are snuggly and love everyone; rat people would basically be tiny and huggable and want to be carried everywhere. In fact, I'm pretty sure what's pictured above is a big ratty group hug. So we'll just leave them in peace.

Also: seriously, almandine, brown zircon, and lapis lazuli? Do I look like the Home Shopping Network? Stupid underdark.

We brick up the entrance to the Cave of Contemptible Failure and continue digging. We'll carve a few fortifications so we can peer through into other areas but I'm pretty sure the whole cavern layer is going to be a loss unless we desperately need fungus-wood.

I also plot out some space for tombs, on the basis that getting people buried quickly is going to be important.

Suddenly, the skies open and:

Real rain! Made of water! I didn't think that could even happen - oh, and it's washing the foul, poisonous ooze away! ... and revealing the writhing, blinking ground cover but whatever, change is good I guess. At last, one ray of hope in -

- I hate you, Obscene Hills, I hate you and I am going to melt you down and trade you for cheese.

The surface is still a mess, but down underground things are actually going fairly well - the horsemeat made enough food to last us a while, and the farms are producing ingredients for wine, rum, and beer. This helps keep the dwarves drunk enough that they don't realize they've been banished to the planetary equivalent of a sinus infection. The bad news is that there's not enough wood to build beds for all the children, so they've been sleeping on the dining room floor. I order the floor smoothed out, because I am a kind and caring person and like hell am I sending someone to die in the barfwoods just so some city brats can have a nap. Maybe you kids should've thought about that before you whined about wanting to go to the beach, huh? Do you like the beach now? DO YOU LIKE IT?

Sorry, went somewhere there.

The bridge to seal the entryway is complete and I rig it up. Now we'll be able to seal and unseal the entrance at will - just in time for some migrants to arrive!

Directly into the path of a huge swarm of giant mosquitos. Oh this is not going to go well.

Today's bloodsucking horror brought to you by: the letter M.

Bleaktea, Feb 15, 2012

The mosquitoes clearly see the migrants, but instead of attacking they just... writhe in swarms. It's oddly unsettling to watch. The migrants reach the entrance, stopping occasionally to barf all over everything and each other, and come inside. I tempt fate and send the woodcutter out, since we'll need beds for all these new suckers. A quick glance tells me it looks like we've got a metalsmith and some other random people. At least nobody brought any children with them this time.

Someone brought a puppy, and it has a fever from walking in the slime. This is the saddest thing I have seen all day.

Harvesting the wood is going well for now, but walking in the slime is making people sick, so the inside of the fortress is slick with vomit again.


Broke through into the second cavern layer! This one has... uh, pitchblende. So it's like the first cavern layer, but also radioactive. I don't know why I thought the underground would be any different than the surface, clearly that was insane. Dwarf Fortress doesn't actually model radioactivity so the pitchblende is basically just a purple rock, so really we're safe, but there's still no water down there. There's a few veins of silver, which will be nice if we can ever find a fuel source. I admit I've been digging around just hoping to stumble across a magma pipe - at this rate we may have to place the forges down against the magma sea, which would mean an enormously long trek back to the surface.


Water! While carving peepholes to explore the first cavern, we find an underground lake. It's not much, but it's enough that we can sink a well. I'll have to build some security into the area just in case something tries to fly up the well and eat everyone, but it's much better than nothing.

Also, merchants! I don't have a trade depot and have no intention of building one. What am I going to trade them, a few vomit-covered logs? This chunk of horse-bone? I suppose digging out a space for them might be kind, so they can at least shelter out of the ooze, but I feel this is an opportunity for science: what happens if you stand in evil mucous for a month? I do open the gate so the liaison can come in and chat, though.

It's getting cold outside now - the water has frozen, and the ooze is slowly covering the ice. I find myself wondering if it will get cold enough to freeze the ooze, although I doubt it.

The tombs are ready, each with a drawbridge that can be used to seal it shut once it's occupied. That should keep any wandering undead sealed up, if it comes to that.

In order to improve morale, I have cabinets installed in the bedrooms. A bed in a boulder-strewn hole in the wall is survival, but just add a cabinet - bam, instant civilization.

A brief tour through the engravings in the dining room rewards me with this story from six hundred years previous. Apparently sometimes people come to the Obscene Hills and return victorious!

I will take this as a hopeful sign. Next time, we search for magma and dig a well, and maybe start an industry to keep the slackers busy.

Bleaktea, Feb 15, 2012

Also, I went poking in Legends mode looking for Ithithi Mothpulleys (she died a heroic death some sixty years later, fighting an olm woman) and discovered the sweetest necromancer the world has ever known. Her name is Sazir Axeweight. She was the first queen of the dwarves, but twenty years into her reign she began to fear death, so she prayed to Nikuz Perfecttorch, the goddess of death and murder, for aid. Nikuz rewarded her with Sabremasters, a stone slab which held the secrets of life and death.

Sazir abandoned her crown and took the slab. She travelled to the faraway Ominous Glacier, and there found a fresh battlefield, littered with corpses. She used her new powers to raise 13 dead elves, and with them built a great tower: Timelabored.

She has since spent two thousand years writing books. She has never hurt anyone, and neither have her undead minions - the only thing to happen in Timelabored other than bookwriting was when, in 2009, a kobold came by and managed to steal a bone amulet. Looking through her books, almost all of them say "it is clear evidence of a compassionate being" or "gives a feeling of compassion here or there." She wrote a book about Timelabored called "Common Sense Tower", and a 3-page poem entitled "Sazir Axeweight and The Trooper" which I can only assume is a cry for help. Her later works are largely critiques of her earlier books.

Then I stumbled over a place called Murkyseal, a necromancer's tower founded in 704 where a dozen or more necromancers settled and proceeded to write books, then books about each other, then books about each others' books, and so on. It's basically a university where all the tenured professors are immortal and have armies of undead under their command.

I've never tried Adventurer Mode but I am tempted to open it up and see if I can get my hands on Sabremasters.

Bleaktea, Feb 15, 2012

I'm not sure you could convince anyone who has heard anything about fortress or adventure mode but their insanity is false, legends is where true madness lies.

... those legends, man. Those legends.

I lost at least an hour to Legends mode last night. If we could get the game to output a linked wiki, I don't think I'd ever leave. For example, Ithithi Mothpulleys was an ardent worshiper of a dwarven god - I checked in on the god, and discovered he'd cursed dozens and dozens of people to be vampires and werewolves. One of the vampires only survived about fifty years before being discovered and staked, but in that time he killed 777 people. The most recent vampire was created in 2009, so the cursing is still an active problem.

All these things end up weirdly linked. Like, the 13 dead elves that Chibi-Necromancer Sazir raised were killed in a battle completely unrelated to her, part of a war between the elves and a goblin culture ruled by a monstrous ogre. She just happened to be in the area when the corpses were fresh.

So yes, Legends mode is the wellspring of DF's insanity.

Thanks for the playthrough. How buggy/slow does it seem this time around? I usually try to wait for a few patches but the appeal of seeing an fortress fall to the undead is strong.

Fortress mode seems to be running smoothly for now, but I'm using a 3x3 embark and only have 14 dwarves. If it gets bad I'll be sure to mention it, though.

Adventure mode is chugging like crazy, however. Trying to loot an abandoned town (and almost all the towns are abandoned, something really bad seems to have happened to human society on this world) would result in minute-long pauses between each step, and similar problems switching between the fast-travel modes. Possibly this is because the world I'm using has a 2000-year history when the recommended default is 250 years, so there's thousands of years worth of corpses and treasure and monsters in the catacombs under the city. I never tried going down there.

I did poke my head into a human tomb, though! And met a mummy! And then he raised all the skeletons in the tomb up, and they tore me to bloody shreds, and I had to start over. I kept watching just long enough to confirm that, yes, after I was dead the mummy raised my corpse as a zombie. Bastard.

I never even got to the Ominous Glacier, let alone anywhere near Timelabored. Clearly this is going to take some work.

Bleaktea, Feb 16, 2012

Ok, after a brief diversion into Adventurer Mode I am back in the relative safety of Glazedcoast. In my final death, I was pinned to the ground by a giant desert scorpion - she tried to claw me, but had a small fur loincloth stuck on her tail, so she ended up just slowly pummeling me to death with that. I finally died from being shot in the head by a nearby goblin, in what I can only assume was an act of mercy.

First duty: dig a well. We don't really need one, since right now there's more than enough booze to drink, but it creates happy thoughts and we'll want all the pleasant thoughts we can get. I lay out the design and let the miners get to work. My first design required anyone wanting to drink from the well to pass by the tombs ... yeah, no, let's not tempt fate that way.

Next up, industry: the easiest way to jumpstart this would be to find some magma. I've already got a metalsmith, and there's iron ore piled up to the ceiling all over the fort. If that fails, however, I can at least keep the proles busy with making clothes. I plant some pig tail farms in the clay on the first level - it's winter, so they won't grow yet. I guess we'll see what happens first: summer, or magma.

And looking at that makes me realize the new rooms are one square off center and that is going to bother me for the rest of my life. THE FENG SHUI OF OUR FILTHY HOVEL IS RUINED.

Seriously, I almost considered force-quitting and reloading just to fix that. I am not normally this kind of person (for example, I am typing this from within the drift of bills and junk mail that consumes my desk), but somehow Dwarf Fortress does this to people. It's a sickness.

I cannot bear to look at it! This is just like that time with the coffins!


There are honeybees outside. Just in case there were any phobias this place hadn't quite touched. If the game still lets you build greenhouses, I might try building some beehives underground... but that's a long way off. Need to find that magma first.

I do build some querns, though. Because it's fun to say. Quern quern quern. Seriously, give it a try.


Now everyone is looking at you funny. This is why you don't take advice from Dwarf Fortress LPs.


Finally, after much digging, the miners suddenly stop and I get the most wonderful message:

MAGMA AHOY. Now I just have to find a way to tap it without killing everyone or letting giant firemonsters into the fortress.

Unfortunately it's about 70 levels below the fortress, so I'm going to have to build an outpost down here and the smiths and smelters are basically going to be living in this area. Running back and forth constantly will just waste a lot of time. But who cares - magma! Steel forges and glass furnaces! Steel axes for everyone and greenhouse bees with which to vex my people!

Let's get moving, dwarfs, we've got a sticky, malodorous surface to claim.

Bleaktea, Feb 16, 2012

Spring has sprung! I went up to the surface to take a look around and saw a flock of giant crows wheeling over a landscape of crooked trees, snow, stinking ooze and frozen vomit. I immediately returned underground, which I think means six more weeks of winter.

Also, the well room is done!

Those wavy bits north and south of the well? Yeah, those would be pools of hideous ooze - apparently the very first thing everyone did once they got access to clean water was to rush in and pour buckets of water over themselves to wash off the caked-on layers of ooze and vomit they'd been living with for over a year now. I suppose they're happier, but god dammit I just built that wellroom.

Also, new migrants have arrived. We'll see if they can run the giant crow gauntlet. Since the gates will be open briefly while they all stumblebarf their way inside, I send the woodcutter out to bag a few more trees. This is apparently a good thing since the migrants just keep coming, an enormous flood of them.

Seriously, people, it rains snot here, what is the attraction?!

Forty people so far, and more are still appearing at the edge of the map. I'm never going to have enough wood to make beds for this many people. I draft someone else into a woodcutting job and hope to cut down enough trees before something bad happens. In the meantime, the dining room is now packed to the rafters with nauseated dwarves and animals. They are basically following each other around vomiting and then cleaning it up. Truly, hell is other people.

If you think there's a lot of kids in that image, you'd be right - of the over forty dwarves in that wave, twenty-four of them are children. Almost half the population is kids now! This isn't some goddamn daycare, people, it is a vile pit in a haunted wilderness. Did you not see the giant crows? The evil storms? The louse people? Did none of that seem ominous to you?!

Well, screw it, they're here now, and some of them have skills I can use. I order all their animals slaughtered - yes, even the baby llama - and pull the miners off digging out space for the magma forge and put them onto expanding our living space fivefold.


There's a peregrine falcon in the butcher's shop. It just flew right in there of its own accord. I'd always heard they were endangered animals and now I know why.

The ooze rains are making it hard to cut wood, because the constant retching slows the woodcutters down. The gates have been open for a long time now, a lot longer than I am comfortable with. Still, the surface is safer than the underground for now. We just need to pile up enough wood to make beds and steel, and then we can seal ourselves up again. Then we crank out steel and iron armaments, arm these yokels, and start putting our mark on this place.

A fresh rain starts, cleaning up the ooze and speeding up our woodcutting efforts, just in time for the elves to arrive. I hurriedly order some rocks crafts made - if we can trade for wood, that means we can shut the gates sooner. Of course, that would require that someone actually finishes building the depot.

Okay, the falcon is starting to annoy people and interrupt jobs now. I send our trusty axedwarf, Adil, to exert some evolutionary pressure. Except he doesn't use his axe, instead he wrestles the falcon to death, breaking almost every bone in its body before crushing its skull with a single punch. Apparently the axe is ok for trees, but on living things he likes to get his hands dirty.

Momuz, not content with six children, gives birth to a seventh. I have to admire her devotion to motherhood.

I'm still trying to convince someone to maybe build a depot so we can trade with the elves, and then:

Normally this would be great news, except we have no fuel, no forge, and no ingots. I get a few workshops built and hope we can slap together the ingredients he wants before he goes crazy. A legendary armourer would be great... a dead one, less so.

Next time: magma, finally, maybe. And the elves. And the fate of Kosoth the fey-touched armourer.

Bleaktea, Feb 16, 2012

Okay, I couldn't leave Kosoth completely in limbo, so I scrounged together what he needed, and:

Phew. I get to find out tomorrow what he made.

Also, someone finally built the trade depot, and the elves settled in for about half a second before instantly running out their timer and turning around to leave. So, no wood from them. Luckily we've got all the beds built and have some extra wood, so I'm going to shut the gates and settle in to clean up the unholy mess this spring has made of Glazedcoast.

Bleaktea, Feb 16, 2012

That's a really good idea. So good that it must have already been tried, and it either exists or the reason exists why it cannot be. Perhaps I shall try to discover which.

I tried using the XML dump utility in Legends mode to see if it would output something a person could script a parser for. It proceeded to create a 2GB .xml file that made Firefox's brain explode. In theory something could be done with that, but I am not a programmer by trade.

However, I did find this:

Not a wiki, but it claims to let you explore the legends mode a little more easily than in the game. I don't have time to try it tonight but it could be useful.

Bleaktea, Feb 17, 2012

I would love to see an evil biome lets play with some goals - perhaps build a huge dock next l an evil sea, or an all-above ground fortress except for open cast stone mining (I loved this last time).

Yeah, I've been playing extremely cautiously because I'm not sure what's coming. Once I have a solid footing I'm going to try something above-ground - maybe a castle.

As for converting legends to a wiki, I'd have to research more about how other people have produced automated wiki content. Hell, I'd have to learn how the backend of wiki works. But it shouldn't be too complicated - build an index of IDs to object names, create wiki pages for each object name, then step through the XML objects adding text and links as appropriate.

Sounds like something an amateur could accomplish; I might just give it a try. The only thorny part might be how well it works with an entire 2GB .XML file loaded into memory. ><

Bleaktea, Feb 17, 2012

Well, I get started on the cleanup, and almost immediately Kosoth presents me with magical pants:

And - ok, I have to go find out what the hell "Sloppy Slab" is about, because what. What? If that is necromancer porn, I am done here.

Turns out it's a poem. About an evil book.

Of course, since it was written in Murkyseal, there is naturally a paper concerning it that is many times more massive than the poem itself, because the necromancers of Murkyseal make the faculty of Oxford look terse and untalkative.

And in case you're curious, here's the slab in question:

So basically he wrote a four-page poem about how the grammar in the Necronomicon is really terrible, and then wrote a 278-page biography of his struggles to write said poem. It's interesting to see Nikuz Perfecttorch involved again - she seems to be the patron of all necromancers. Although with atrocious penmanship.

Well, now his travails are immortalized on a pair of silver pants, and Kosoth is a legendary armourer. As is my usual tradition, I change Kosoth's labours so he does nothing but craft armour. Right now that's a bit meaningless, but once we get the forges running he will be a fine source of masterwork armour.

And I JUST finished the new bedrooms, and what happens? More migrants. No doubt they heard someone was making necromancer memorabilia here and just had to run on over. Well, bring it on, how many this time? Do I get another Octomom? Ok, just fifteen people, only about three of whom are children. Not too bad.

Now I'm mostly waiting for the forges to get dug out. I chopped out a piece of the floor to take a glance at the magma sea, and caught sight of some adamantine. I am most pleased. I then immediately bricked up the hole because there are magma crabs down there, and those bastards are - well you can probably imagine how something called a magma crab could be bad news.



I am a monster.


Several halls of rooms are now occupied by sleeping children. I don't know why, but this vaguely annoys me. Those beds are for contributing members of society, you freeloading urchins!

And now it's Autumn. We're starting to have food troubles - plenty of booze, but much less prepared meals than I'd like. This probably means we'll need new farms, and to get the querns going to make flour and sugar to use as ingredients. And that means going up to the lopsided farm level, where my failure stares me in the face. I get the clothmaking going so there's bags to put the flour in, and my shame burns me the whole time I am there. One square off. Why couldn't you have looked where you were designating? Why. Why.

Bleaktea, Feb 17, 2012

MORE bloody migrants! How bad are things in the mountainhomes, exactly? On the upside, a few of them are experienced millers, and that's exactly what I need right now, so I won't look a gift dwarf in the mouth.

I cut down some more trees and spend some time watching the surface level. A bluejay flits from tree to tree while a tribe of porcupine women walks by, sick and feverish from trudging through the slime that covers everything. The trees I cut down before don't seem to be growing back - I assume that's the slime at work, and it means forestry isn't going to be a renewable resource. Stupid slime.

A fish dissector is struck by a fey mood. I'm not sure what we're going to get out of this. Awesome fish? Oh - he claimed a craftsdwarf workshop and grabbed one of my precious, irreplaceable wood logs. If this is a flimsy toy boat, I am feeding you to the magma crabs, mister.

It seems we gained a mayor at some point, and he's complaining about not having an office.

The fish dissector creates a wooden crown for his elf cosplay:

What is this, The Crown of Elementary School? It's got chalk and a book on it. Go back to moping around the dining room drinking all my finely-made rum while I think about what to do to you. Kosoth made me invincible silver pants, why can't you be more like him? Hm? HM?

He's a legendary woodcrafter now. I think I may chain him up outside and make him our promised Adree.


The miners keep whining that the rock is warm. Well yes, of course it's hot, that's the core of the planet right under your feet. Just dig where I tell you to dig and you probably won't die. Unless Marcin was right and working in the heat will slowly kill you, in which case your sacrifice will be remembered by all of dwarfkind. Also we will be incinerating your body in the magma in case you rise as a zombie. No hard feelings, right?

And the dwarven caravan arrives, laden down with precious, precious wood. Yes my pretties, come close and let us trade you chalk junk for all your wondrous plant matter.

I come away from the trading less one bucketful of hideous chalk earrings, and up a huge pile of wood and some cloth and leather I can keep around in case someone gets into a mood and wants it. I also trade four buffalo meat biscuits for an enormous pile of meat and fish, probably enough to feed us for a year.

Unfortunately, the caravan also brings two kobolds and a goblin thief with them. Adil grabs a kobold and chokes the life out of it - the other kobold and the thief escape, stumbling through the ooze. Trying to chase them is ridiculous, as both the target and the pursuer are slowed down by constant vomiting.

Seriously, this goes on for three pages. Guy has issues.

So, now we've got a kobold corpse, and apparently one of the caravan guards took it upon himself to murder an entire herd of keas that were wandering by. I need to dispose of these bodies fast, before they get back up again. I hollow out a little space in the clay, dump the bodies in, and brick them in. It'll do for now. Plus I'll get to see if dead things actually get up, or if I'm just paranoid about that.

The forges are ready - I pop the magma, and unfortunately lose one of our legendary miners doing it. He manages to run out of the magma ducts - on fire, trailing smoke - but dies in the process. There's always a slim chance that will happen, although thinking about it now I should've just channeled from above. Oh well. We'll get to test out our burial arrangements!

If I can find the corpse. All his stuff is here, where's the body?

I appoint a new miner, and in the process notice that she's got at least some experience in almost every skill. This is rather weird, so I take a look at her, and see this:

Assuming her name and birthdate are lies... I think the fortress has a vampire.

Bleaktea, Feb 17, 2012

Digging through Legends mode doesn't reveal anything conclusive. If she is the vampire I think she is, then she's four hundred years old and has killed over a thousand people. So she's not just any vampire, she's one of the oldest and most dangerous vampires on the planet, and her name is Kubuk Flashtrades. The only dwarf woman older than her is Sazir Axeweight herself.

So confronting her directly is probably a bad idea right now. I could arrange for an Unfortunate Accident and, say, smash her into nothingness with a drawbridge, but where's the !!fun!! in that? No, we do this properly. We do this by creating vampire hunters.

Behold, The Divine Mechanisms:

Logem is their intimidating leader, an unconventional and courageous man who basically has no skills I could use elsewhere. Tosid is our legendary woodcrafter, who I figure can make the stakes. Ilral and Kogan are both hunters by trade - and, uh, technically Kogan is also the mayor. Geshud is a shearer. I have no idea what he contributes to the team. Together, these five dwarves will work to expose Mosus Azuzdatan for the monster she is, while fighting crime in the dirty streets of Glazedcoast.

These people need matching cloaks. I'll get right on that. But first, every crime-fighting team needs a base, and so here's our vampire-hunting headquarters at the end of a hallway:

The Divine Mechanisms contemplate the next move against their wily foe.

I added some chains and cells under the base, to encourage the dwarves to take prisoners rather than just beat the shit out of everyone who annoys them. The local children immediately gather around to gawk at the iron chains for some bizarre reason. There's no telling what the kids get up to all day around here, frankly this could be a cult and I would never know.

Meanwhile, the magma forges deep down in the dark are finally bearing fruit - two steel swords so far, with more coming. The plan is to create steel weapons, steel breastplates, and then iron armor for the rest of the body. If I can get my weaver and clothier skilled enough, adding in a masterwork cloak will leave my dwarves pretty well-protected.

The Divine Mechanisms are now all outfitted in matching blue cloaks, some of which I managed to get embroidered with designs (a book on one, a... square on the other - well, it's a start). I also finally give Adil some recruits to train - the guy's been defending us all by himself, it's time he got some help. I set them up to be axedwarves, as is right and proper.

And a small child grabs a bunch of puppy bones and some gems and starts making... something. The child is a daughter of Ilral, one of the Divine Mechanism's members, so maybe she's just trying to help Dad fight evil. We'll see what she makes.

Now we just wait for the forges to finish churning out our weapons and armour, and hope the vampire queen doesn't eat everyone first.

Bleaktea, Feb 19, 2012

Also, a herd of these just wandered past on the surface:

Can Hatoful Fortress be far behind?

Bleaktea, Feb 19, 2012

Having been lulled into a false sense of security by our crack team of vampire hunters picking out blue capes and building a totally bitchin' secret base instead of hunting for vampires, the vampire finally strikes:

We'll see if the dwarves can figure this one out on their own. Unfortunately Morul was a close friend of Logem's, so he's really upset. I'm not too bothered, since shearers aren't very useful when I slaughter all the animals out of fear that they'll turn into hideous monsters and devour us all.

Also more dwarf migrants just arrived, bringing our population up to ... 120?! Uh. It was 76 the last time I looked. Time for another bedbuilding spree, I guess. I set our one real miner, Penguin McMoffen, and our evil vampire to work digging out new rooms. If you're wondering how Penguin is doing these days:

Life's been pretty good for him in Glazedcoast. Although, when it says "flies", it means "blood gnats", which are fist-sized carrion eating insects. Because every so often the Obscene Hills has to remind us that we're living in a grotesque hellscape.

I felt a brief surge of pride as I connected together the east and west wings of the living areas through a loop behind the dining room, and everything lined up perfectly. Oh yeah, baby, symmetry. That is how we roll in Glazedcoast. Rigid geometric - oh for chrissakes, there's barf all over everything again. And children swarming all over the place, since the latest wave brought twenty more with them. I don't know how I ended up running a vampire-infested Chuckie Cheese here.

I doubt I'll be able to play tomorrow, so I will wrap up the week with a brief overview of Glazedcoast.

First, maps. This is the dread first layer, with its lopsided rooms:

Then, a few levels below that, is the main fortress living area, workshops, offices and dining room. The passage to the right leads off to the well room.

Our somewhat limited tomb level; the one with the sealed door is poor Morul's final resting place.

Sixty z-levels below the tombs, we have the forges:

And finally, the status screen as of the moment I stopped today:

See the number beside "Dwarven Children"? Yeah, that is the bane of my existence. Only half the population can be relied on to do any actual work, the rest are running around playing tag and developing the lifelong alcohol addiction that will continue to cripple their entire culture.

Oh, and remember Ilral's daughter, who was making an artifact? She made a puppy bone amulet, decorated with indigo tourmaline. It menaced with spikes of puppy bone. Maybe it repels vampires. It certainly ought to repel everyone else.

Bleaktea, Feb 19, 2012

Are the dwarfs capable of finding a vampire on their own? Is vampire hunting a skill like, uh, being a marksdwarf? Is vampire hunting in the game, I guess is what I'm asking. I assume so, but how is it handled? Can you instruct a vampire to eat someone? Someone small and useless, maybe?

Love to see a fortress humming along prettily.

There's no strict vampire-hunting skill, I just threw some hunters in there (the kind that hunt animals) for giggles and because they're not actually useful since I keep the surface closed off all the time. The Divine Mechanisms are just the fortress guard - the police. So it's really less Urist the Vampire Slayer and more CSI: Glazedcoast.

The fortress guard will investigate murders on their own - I'm not sure how in-depth they get because this feature is new. I can accuse someone right now of Morul's murder and they'll arrest them, but I want to give them time to see what they do. I have no idea what they do if they decide someone is a vampire; I assume the hammerer gets involved (Logem is our hammerer). I don't know if they realize there's a vampire on the loose, they may just be viewing Morul's murder as any other murder.

Unfortunately I can't control the vampire directly. If I draft her into the military, there's a chance she'll slip up and reveal their supernatural powers during a fight, which can be good. If I lock her in a room with another dwarf, eventually she will get hungry and eat the dwarf... I think. Vampire powers are apparently randomized a bit and I have no idea what Toady put in. It's really tempting to put her into a squad, but I'm not sure I want her armed and combat-trained in case we really do need to take her down someday.

You ever read through "Boatmurdered?

Multiple times. My favourite part is the butterfly in the door.

You could set him up in his own sub-fort.

And then throw people down there for her to eat, like she's a Rancor? This idea has merit.

Bleaktea, Feb 19, 2012