I started a Dwarf Fortress last week.Despite playing for 15 years now, I’ve never been able to survive the second invasion. I suck at prepping my military and especially training. But there were… reasons this time. Still, this is why I never keep their names. I don’t remember my fortresses by name, ever. Only by stories. Like my original one about the woman who was trampled by an elephant trying to get bolts of fabric from across the river when the game was still 2D and the elephants were murderous.
Kitten curled up on her corpse. I was smitten.
This time, it all began badly when my dwarves were digging out a well so they could have fresh water year round: very important. Just as the shaft and trenches leading from the river to the well were ready to go, and the floodgate was in place with a lever there to pull and open and control the heavy tide, an alpaca wandered down the stairs and into the well pit. I did not notice. The dwarves flooded the pit.
A season or two later, after the first invasion and half my dwarves died to a horde of goblin pikemen and archers (But we won!), fresh, clean water becomes even more important. Well, now all my injured dwarves in the hospital are getting sick… the well is poisoned because there is a rotting alpaca carcass down there…
Meanwhile, I opened temples, libraries and taverns all over my settlement, hoping to attract mercenaries and trained warriors to better protect my dwarves. Maybe a spell caster would show up. These folks stay long enough, they petition to live in your town.
But do I get swordsman, adventurers, or skilled soldiers petitioning to join my town to kill monsters, or to be a soldier? No. Instead, I get 5,000 Goblin, Human, and Elf poets. WTF?
And why did I let them all stay? I had a poet’s row of these fuckers, all their apartments in a straight line in the back of the first floor. These had been for my regular dwarves, but again, most died in siege number 1.
Well, after siege 1, and the poisoned alpaca well, I had to dig a new well and channel water all over the fucking place. It was a mess. But I managed to just flood the lower half of my unused digging area, and instead of finishing the original plans there for a meeting hall, I just used it as a sewer.
It took the dwarves forever to build the fucking well, but finally, they had an alternate water source, once floor above in an emergency doored off chamber that was now donkey-central. Meeting halls, you know.
So the dwarves in the hospital are now healing because they have a fresh water source, but they’re… mostly not right. I mean, half my dwarves are dead, most of my population of 60 is foreign poets, children, and “Emotionally Traumatized” dwarves.
That’s why it wasn’t really surprising to me when one of my many Barons went crazy in the temple of Wealth, kicking and punching a Cheese Maker for no good reason. The foreigners started stepping around him, as they marched to their inns and libraries: These were build cheese grater style so you walked through a bunch of other things to get to them.
So, yes, all the goblins, humans and elves visiting my libraries and taverns and temples were daintily stepping around a dwarven baron beating the shit out of a lowly migrant wave 5 Cheese maker. Nothing to see here. Keep petitioning to entertain citizens. I’m rejecting all of you bards and dancers and poets, now.
At this point, I should have just had my military march down poets row and slaughter all of the elven poets. Or, hell, all of em. My wife had this idea. She hates elves. It was a good one. But I didn’t do it.
But then, this very same Cheese Maker turned jup inside my Mayor’s house, and he was going berserk. Like, right now. And who’s here with him in the Mayor’s quarters? Two children! And so he goes after them.
And that’s why, after he was put down and the second invasion began, I gave up on this particular fortress.