Dwarf Fortress

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This is a diary of a recent play session of Dwarf Fortress.

Preparing for the Journey

We've finally decided to make the journey to setup a new Dwarven fortress in the barren wilderness. The seven of us have agreed to build the fortress at Uristumstiz (Daggersizzled) and have choosen the official name of Dumad Akath (Fortification of Winters).

I believe Morul, the expedition leader, has choosen the Dwarves well for their abilities which will no doubt help us survive the next few years. Ingrish and Udil are excellent miners and they both have picked up some other minor skills in their journies. Kikrost is an expert with his axe and can fell trees faster than I would think is even possible. Kel and Ezum will be our farmers in addition to Kel's carpentry and Ezum's cooking. Last but not least is our brewer, Ingiz, who has created some of the finest ale I have every tasted.

Our supplies are meager but should be enough to last us the first year until we become self-sufficient: the necessary amount of food and ale, many seeds, an anvil (of course) and a few animals. Unfortunately, we can only afford 2 mining picks and one axe and I hope these will last long enough.

Morul spent a long time pouring over maps and mining reports with Ingrish and Udil before picking Uristumstiz. I've heard that the land there is heavily forested and can be dangerous but the rock there should be excellent and there is a good chance of eventually finding magma. There is also a large river nearby and I do hope it is empty of any fish...I've heard too many reports from other expeditions who have been ravaged by carp.


After a long and uneventful journey we've arrived safely at Uristumstiz in the spring of the year 201. The land is pretty much exactly as Morul had described. A moderately wooded, hilly region with many small pools of water (no carp to be seen yet I'm happy to say). No time was spared to explore now, however, and the order to cut wood, gather plants, dismantle the wagon, and start digging were quickly given.

Setting Up

The initial fortress (if I can even call it that now) was kept extremely small and simple with little detail given to defense or asthetics. It will be hard enough to survive the first year or so without worrying about such things...I hope anyways.

Our fortress started with the basics, similar to how most fortresses start:

  • Hollow out basic rooms in the soil
  • A small farm plot was assigned and planted with a nearby storage room for seeds
  • A room near the entrance for the barracks (no beds yet though)
  • A carpentry workshop with lots of storage for wood and furniture
  • A basic dining hall with a ajoining room for the brewery, kitchen and storing food
  • A small but usable refuse pile (have to build some doors as soon as possible to keep the smell in)

Our first minor challenge came up when trying to convince Kel, our carpenter, to stop hauling wooding and build the bloody carpentry shop so he can go ahead and begin building us some beds, tables, and chairs. For some reason, Kel wanted to fill up the wood stockpile first but we finally convinced him otherwise. The lack of door on the refuse pile is also beginning to cause problems as I thought it might. Once the boys hollow out some room in the stone layer below we'll setup a mason shop and get that attended to. The layer is almost entirely Obsidian which makes the digging slow but leaves us hopeful for finding magma in the future.

13th Slate, 201

A normal day but one to note for a few particular reasons:

  • The basic digging has been finished
  • We have setup the dining hall, food stores, barracks, and mason's shop
  • The beds were put into the barracks just in time: the boys all took a good nap shortly after moving them
  • Farming is going well and we look to have enough food and drink for the coming winter

There is still plenty of work left...the dining hall looks pretty empty with only 2 tables so far.

2nd Felsite, 201

Our first injury...fortunately it was minor and it has Ingiz's cat who somehow was injured in a stock room. Everything else is going very well. Farming is giving us plenty of food and seeds. The still is operating so quickly we've run flat out of barrels for a while now. Doors are now up on the refuse pile and the food stores to stop any rotting smell from getting out.

I've thought about starting a rock crafts shop but everyone is so busy at the moment I doubt there is much point in it now. We do, however, have to build a trade depot as the traders should arrive sometime this summer.

23rd Felsite, 201

Things continue to go very well, at least compared to reports from other fortresses I've heard of. Our only significant problem is the bloody cats keep getting injured in the store rooms somehow which causes quite a noise.

We've built a trade depot just outside the main entrance but Morul decided it would be better to build it inside the fortress so we have to go to the effort of moving it. Food and drink stocks were swelling so another larger food store room was built which should last at least a few months before it fills up (unless Morul drinks it all first).

Everyone is keeping very busy and there's no free time to be had so plans for more workshops will have to wait.

16th Hematite, 201

We've finally moved the trade depot indoors but no sign of the traders yet. Our supply of meat ran out a little while ago but there is plenty of Plump Helmets to eat and Ezum has begun cooking up some simple meals for variety. There are some wild animals in the area but no one has any time or skills to hunt them. Udil suggested to open up a small area above the main hallway to the open air to help circulation and provide some light. He told a tale of Dwarves spending years under ground without ever seeing the sun who were incapacited when they eventually went outdoors. Hopefully opening up this area will prevent that from happening.

Someone noticed a whole bunch of monkey's in the area that we hadn't seen before. We may wish to train a few war or hunting dogs to protect the main entrance from them. They aren't too dangerous but tend to like stealing things I hear.

27th Hematite, 201

I heard shouts today from the dining room that Kel had produced a masterpiece but the bloody dwarf wouldn't tell me where he put it and I couldn't spot anything in the shop. He had been making barrels so I'll have to keep my eye open for any particularily well done barrel.

7th Malachite, 201

Ingirsh reported some exciting news today: he struck Tetrahedrite while building an exploratory staircase. This means we have a good source of silver and copper once we get a forge up and running.

We've built a craftshop and have begun making some rock crafts for export in our spare time. We're also slowly digging around to see what sort of stone we hit.

4th Galena, 201

We've mined out the Tetrahedrite vein we found last month and while it wasn't the largest I've seen it will provide enough for a few dozen bars of Billin at least. There was also one gem of Kunzite found in the vein. There hasn't been time to dig much else but we did find a bit of Olivine so there may be some platinum hiding nearby it we are lucky enough.

By this time of year any migrants that left home would have been here by now so we've assumed that no one came. This isn't very surprising since we haven't sent any word back that we are doing well so far. They might well assume we've all been eaten by carp, or worse!

Kel continues to pump out the masterpieces...its too bad they're only barrels and bins but we won't have time for more luxury items for a little while yet.

2st Limestone, 201

Autumn has come after a successful summer. Our exploratory digging has hit bottom (as they say) and we continue to explore the Olivine layer for precious metals and gems (no luck yet). Food and drink stores are filling up with plenty for the winter and enough to make some good money when the traders come. No new construction of the fortress has been done in some time although we have made a small prepared food stock pile just off of the main food stock room.

We're still in the survive mode but are beginning to think and plan ahead for the future. Time is still a luxury that we're all short of.

Our first new arrivals since we came: Reg the cat gave birth to two kittens! Perhaps we should call her Regina instead. I've also seen other tell tail signs of love about the place. The two miners, Ingish and Udil, have been involved with each almost since we started. Probably all that time they spend alone digging in the dark (at least we assume they're digging). Ingiz and Kel also are a couple, probably because their workshops are so close to each other. On the other side of things Kikrost and Ezum have a grudge going against each other. Heaven knows what its about as neither of them will talk about it all. Hopefully it won't grow into something worse.

7th Limestone, 201

A dog gave birth to 2 puppies today. Makes you wonder if there are more little ones on the way that we don't know about yet.

14th Limestone, 201

Finally, the first caravan from Kastolzas arrived. While we don't have too much to trade with at the moment we'll use the opportunity to make a good relation for future visits.

18th Limestone, 201

We've finalized our trade agreements with Kastolzas. We've asked for a few basic things such as seeds (other than Plump Helmets) and dogs to train as work animals. Amoung the things they have asked for are cut gems and shields. We currently have no source of gems (we've only found one in the past few months of digging) but will try and construct some wooden shields and bucklers for when they return.

4th Sandstone, 201

We've finished trading with the Kastolzas caravan. We sold about half our drink supply (still have over 100 and making more) along with the few rock crafts made so far. In return we received some seeds, assorted meats, and a few bronze items to make up the weight difference.

In other news, another season has passed with migrants arriving. Hopefully the caravan will return home with news of our good fortunes which will entice someone to come in a few seasons.

10th Sandstone, 201

Hurray! After almost finishing the exploration of the Olivine vein we finally hit a patch of Native Platinum. Its only a few blocks worth but more than enough for now.

22nd Timber, 201

After some debate we've decided to build a kennel to train a few of the extra dogs we have. Although we have no one with a lot of animal training experience, Ingiz the Brewer has agreed to do what he can since we are overflowing with drinks (even after trading 100 of them last month).

1st Moonstone, 201

Winter is upon us. Fortunately the past few months have been easy on us and we have a large supply of food (250) and drink (300), more than enough to last us the next year or two should things take a turn for the worse. We've slowly begun construction of a walled in above ground statue garden. While this is an extravagance it does keep our builders in practice as well as help get rid of all the Obsidian that has been piling up everywhere. When finished it will be a great place to relax and converse with everyone.

We are still with our original seven. While we have a few extra cats and dogs than when we started (and a cow), no new Dwarves have shown up as migrants and while there has been enough romance, there hasn't been enough time for new borns (yet, anyways). No doubt this will change by next Winter.

The next season will see us start to bolster the defenses a bit in case someone, or something, decides to attack us. So far the most dangerous things we've spotted are a few Wolves and Monkeys, both of which keep their fair distance from us but we're trying to train a few war dogs to chain at the main entrance in case they come closer. As time permits we'll try to enclose the entrance with a wall and draw bridge so we can completely close off the fortress from any invader. We don't have enough people, or time, to try and train and arm a militia just yet.

21st Moonstone, 201

Thief! Kel surprised a Kobold thief coming up (or down) the main stairway. He was chased off but it is not known whether he had a chance to steal anything or not. Unfortunately, while we had a war dog chained at the main entrance the thief escaped through the unfinished wall of the statue garden. The wall is almost finished and when complete the fortress should be safe from such interlopers in the future.

20th Obsidian, 201

Invasion! Fortunately only by a family of Racoons though. The guarding war dog dispatched several of them before they entered but one did into the fortress. I've never seen Dwarves run away faster from a small, furry critter. It would be rather funny if it didn't disrupt everyone's work for so long. The free Racoon was badly injured but survived for several days roaming everywhere before finally succumbing to a newly trained war dog.

1st Granite, 202

Spring arrived just after the Racoon invasion was finally ended. Other than that the winter was uneventful. The wall around the statue garden was finished to prevent trespassers from entering it again. We continue to increase our stock piles of goods, both for ourselves and for trading. Our food stores are increasing quickly and Morul says it is approaching 1000 units. We are producing as many wooden shields and bucklers to trade with the Dwarves whenever they return in addition to the usual assortment of rock crafts. Total worth of the fortress has been estimated at over 35,000! We done a lot in the past short year.

Work has begun to install two drawbridges at the entrance which will allow the fortress to be isolated from the outside world. Walls are currently being built and soil levelled in preparation. It will likely be the summer or even fall before this ambitious project is completed.

16th Granite, 202

An Elven caravan from Nowoaweme has arrived. I must remember to be careful to hide the fact we've been cutting down trees like crazy the past year lest the Elves become annoyed with us. The last thing we need right now is a bunch of angry Elves around.

Reg(ina) the cat has given birth to another litter of kittens. We're also trying to fight an outbreak of miasma caused by a few rotting Racoon corpses that someone forgot to throw in the refuse pile. I wonder why the dogs didn't eat them up. Unfortunately the corpse was ust outside the dining hall which has rightly upset a number of stomachs.

Just after the Elven caravan arrived and setup the entrance guard dog startled and scared off another Kobold thief. We're assuming that this time he didn't make it inside and steal anything. We might consider training a few more war dogs.

25th Granite, 202

We've finished trading with the Elves. Although they didn't have much useful to offer we traded a few rock crafts for some seeds, berries, and two goats. Why we got two goats and what we're going to do with them I don't exactly know. When I asked Morul he just had this crazy grin on his face. I'm wondering if that last batch of ale might have been a bit off. I've also noticed he's been conducting a lot of meetings lately. Ordinarily this would not be an issue but the meetings are not with anyone (they are all off working hard). He just sits alone at his table in the dining hall...odd.

Another Kobold thief was found just inside the entrance to the fortress. He fought with the entrance guard dog on the way out and injured the dog slightly. Hopefully the dog will heal enough to still be useful. Definitely need to train and place more guard dogs not to mention start thinking about traps.

4th Slate, 202

We've finished our trade agreement with the Elves. We are not currently in need of much so all I asked for was some Steel Bars. In exchange the Elves asked for a number of things including blocks, plants, windows, and cloth. We'll have to see if we can increase production of any of these before they return.

12th Slate, 202

Finally, after more than a year after we first arrived here, some migrants have arrived! I may have miscounted but I got 18 new arrivals along with a minor assortment of animals. This more than triples our original numbers and will let us greatly increase our production rate. At least if we can manage the large population increase. No doubt the dining hall and bedroom will have to be increased in size along with more workshops to fit everyone.

Unfortunately the war dog that got into a fight with the Kobold thief is not doing well so I've replaced him with a new entrance guard and have begun training additional war dogs. We'll see how he recuperates and perhaps retire him from active service if he is no longer able.

27th Felsite, 202

Wow, what a busy month since the migrants arrived. One of those times where you seem to end up with more work to do than when you started. We've been trying to assign all the new Dwarves work but there are still typically 10 at a time idle. We've started a clothes production line but with a lack of raw materials we'll have to wait a few months to harvest the first crops. Much of the new people have been assigned to building the walls around the entrance. Work is very slow likely to the little experience the migrants have. They'll learn in time...they have to if we're to survive for long.

We've started some exploratory mining at the very lowest level of the mine. Hopefully we'll be able to find some magma to jump start our forge production line.

14th Hematite, 202

A human caravan from Asthipesor has arrived. As if we don't have enough to do at the moment.... In addition to this the new butcher, Geshud, has been taken by a "mood" and won't respond to anyone. He's claimed a craftman's shop and simply demanded some bones and leather. While we had a good supply of bones from hunting and fishing we had no leather to speak off. Fortunately the traders had a bunch at a good price so we bought a bunch up. As soon as we made the deal for the leathers Geshud grabbed a piece sturgeon leather and ran off. Hopefully we won't take up the workshop for very long.

10th Malachite, 202

Some sad news today...our first death of the fortress. One of the new rangers, Doduk, died after a valient battle with a huge wolf name Erithmaram. Fortunately, the other Ranger, Sazir, was nearby to finish the wolf off before he could cause any more trouble. When Sazir brough the wolf's corpse back everyone was amazed at its sheer size. It was by far the largest wolf I'd ever seen, or heard of for that matter. While Doduk wasn't here long he will still be missed by everyone and his unfaltering bavery remembered..

11th Malachite, 202

Geshud finally emerged from the workshop, covered in sweat, but carrying the fortress's first artifact: Roldethdesor, a deer bone door:

  This is a deer bone door. All craftdwarfship is of the highest quality. This object menaces with spikes of deer bone and sturgeon leather. On the item is an image of a black bear and a human in deer bone. The human is shooting the black bear.

While I must admit it is a rather strange item for a butcher to make, it is truly a marvel to behold. We'll have to decide a fitting place to install it.

21st Malachite, 202

The busy times still haven't stopped. The human merchants have left after promising to return with a variety of seeds and other goods while they have requested earrings, idols, handwear and footwear. When we'll find the time to make these things I don't know.

We have managed to put together our first militia with six of the migrant Dwarves. They are practicing wrestling in their newly constructed barracks. It is bare but all we can afford to build at the moment.

Work slowly continues on the fortress defenses around the perimeter. The new Dwarves are more intent on finishing the floor in the statue garden than the actual defenses that may one day save our lives. If only we could convince them of the importance of a good defensive structure.

With the introduction of the militia and the assigning of more jobs we rarely have any Dwarves idle although more and more of them are enjoying their free time in the almost finished statue garden. I must admit that it has turned out better than I had imagined. It doesn't match the craftsmanship or scale of things back home but it comes close.

5th Galena, 202

No new migrants arrived this season keeping our total population at 27 Dwarves and over 20 animals. We're actually a little relieved that no new Dwarves have shown up as we haven't completely been able to fit in the previous migrant wave into the fortress.

Our exploration of the bottom level continues slowly but we have uncovered a few small caches of various precious gems but little else so far.

Also of important note today, Lorbam and Urvad, the two lieutenant of the militia, have been hailed as Legendary Champions! I feel much safer now with a few well trained guards around.

1st Limestone, 202

Fall arrives as we end the second of our summers here. Not much progress has been made on our defenses although we do now have a crack squad of wrestling militia. Exploration continues on the lowest mine level but no sign of magma has shown itself yet.

Morul is quickly finding out that managing near thirty Dwarves is much different than our original seven. He's beginning to have to order explicit instructions to some in order to keep things running smoothly. For example, our best wood cuuter, Kikrost, was found hauling gems from the bottom of the mine despite the wood pile being empty and our carpenters complaining about having no wood.

8th Limestone, 202

Another Ranger, Sazir, has fallen to a prowling cougar. The militia was activated immediately and sent to where Sazir was hunting to eliminate the threat. It didn't take long at all as the cougar was still in the area and was taken out very quickly. I have to admit that wrestling a cougar to death is a feat that won't be soon lived done. Tonight we celebrate the champion and remember Sazir.

10th Timber, 202

Ravod the cook became possessed and claimed the craftsman shop. He keeps muttering something about a shell but the problem is there are no shells to be had in the entire fortress. The Dwarven traders have come and gone so there's little chance of finding a shell for him before he goes completely mad. Will have to remember to request some shells for such occasions from the traders next time.

Some progress has been made on the fortress defense walls surrounding the entrance. There have been a few issues lately with workers walling themselves into a corner. I think they become so intent on the work at hand they don't notice they are closing their only way out. Careful planning and construction of temporary ramps should help prevent this in the future. We're almost at the stage to begin digging the channels and building the draw bridges.

With the recent deaths of the two rangers we've begun constructing a basic tomb in the bottom level of the mine. We don't have the time, or skill, to smooth or engrave the walls yet but the Olivine and Serpentine there should eventually make a fitting place for our fallen heroes.

4th Granite, 203

The start of spring marks the end of our second year here at Daggersizzled. Our current population is 26 Dwarves having lost three so far: the two Rangers while hunting and Ravod who became mad, refused to eat, and eventually died from thirst. Compared to some expeditions I hear about we are doing quite well so far. I'm worried, however, that there has been no migrants for two seasons now which seems unusual. Perhaps they've heard of the deaths which have scared them off but the last Dwarven caravan seemed enthusiastic about our progress so far. Hopefully some will arrive next season as we have plenty of work planned for the future.

A few of the larger projects have finally been completed. The statue garden has been done for a while now after the last migrant wave arrived and provided us a good source of labour. The entire structure was built from black Obsidian rock which sparkles marvelously in the morning sun and is accented with several statues as well. Our first defensive walls are finally finished for the most part aside for some walls which no one seems to work on. Two small channels were dug in the narrow access and draw bridges installed which can be raised with a single lever should any danger present itself completely isolating us. We have plenty of stockpiles of food, drink, and wood to keep on living completely inside for some time.

Speaking of our stocks, many of the Dwarves are working full time to build up our supplies. Extra farms have been planted to take advantage of our ever growing seed pile, some several dozen nearly full bags, and supply our kitchen and still with enough to continually cook and brew. Prepared food and drink stocks are both around the 400 mark not including a few hundred of raw plants and some meat left over from the last traders. Unfortunately, there is not much wildlife to trap or fish to catch and we've already lost two skilled Rangers so meat may be a luxury for a while yet. Our total worth is now quickly approaching 100k which should no doubt help convince others to join us in the future.

We've also finished a small tomb area on the bottom level of the mine which not only holds the three Dwarves killed so far but also has a few larger tombs carved out for future needs. As for ongoing projects we're continuing to slowly explore more of the bottom level in pursuit of the ever elusive magma, if its there at all. We're also beginning to dig out and build some basic bedrooms so finally everyone can get they're own room. No more having to deal with the mess in the barracks with all the wrestlers tearing their clothes off and not picking them up.

14th Felsite, 203

Some 20 migrants finally arrived a few weeks ago which nearly doubles our population. We're digging out bedrooms as fast as possible but the lack of doors and beds prevent us from assigning everyone a room just yet.

Degel has been taken by a mood and has claimed the bowyer's workshop. Hopefully he will finish better than poor Ravod did in the end.

We're also proud to announce our first newborn...Ingiz gave birth to a health baby boy today!

22nd Felsite, 203

It didn't take Degel long to emerge from the workshop carrying the fortresses second artifact, a beautiful pine crossbow named Sanrebfotthor. If I can ever find it in the mess of our stock piles I'll record its description.

21st Limestone, 203

Imush was taken by another mood but this one only lasted a few days before he finished his lovely Purple Spinel Mug:

 This is a Purple spinel mug. All craftsdwarfship is of the highest quality. This object meances in spikes of Purple Spinel.

In a turn of bad news Minkot the trapper was found dead from thirst marking our fourth death here. No one knows why he died of thirst seeing as our stocks are overflowing with full barrels.

It appears as though there will be no migrants this season which is fine as we are at 47 Dwarves and almost as many animals and are still trying to big out enough bedrooms for everyone. We'll also have to consider building a better dining hall soon, perhaps after we're done with digging out some areas for new workshops.

5th Opal, 203

Another hunter, Aloth, has been killed while in the field by what appears to be a pack of vicious wolves. We dispatched our wrestling military units and they took them out without any difficulty. We've also had a number of thefts recently from Kobold, Raccoons and Macaques so we'll be posting a guard at the main entrance for a little while to prevent this sort of thing.

Another wave of migrants arrived recently and while I didn't count them all this time our current population is up to 53 Dwarves now.

A small problem I've noticed now that our Crossbow Dwarves are not practicing at all. We have a nice archery range built up for them, some basic wooden crossbows and lots of wooden bolts but no one is using them for some reason.

28th Granite, 204

Udil became possessed a few days ago and claimed a clothier's shop. Fortunately, once again the mood didn't last more than a few days and he just came out with a pig tail robe, Amkoltharnas.

Besides that episode, work continues well throughout the fortress. The bedroom levels are complete enough so that everyone now has their own room even if only a small one. The noble level rooms are taking longer but there is currently no real need for anything more extravagant. Myrul seems quite content with his meager quarters for now at least.

We've started to construct a larger dining hall on one of the mid levels and mass producing enough chairs, tables, and statues to fill the place when we're finished. Eventually it will be a two level hall which should be large enough to house all the Dwarves we might manage to gather. We're also in the process of constructing more organized workshop and matching stock piles but have a ways to go yet.

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