Monday, December 17, 2012

This Is Terrible

I've finally gotten the hang of Dwarf Fortress and can play the game with a reasonable degree of competence. The military menu is still pretty dense and the finer points of burrows elude me, but as far as forts go I feel like mine are fine examples of Dwarven architecture.

This is the world I've generated and will probably be the one I use the most for a while since it's so big and spacious. The parameters for mineral content was set to extremely high, so gems and metal occur world-wide with great frequency. Besides that, I ramped up beast frequency to extremely high so the planet is absolutely infested with strange mystical creatures. Finally, I set the established history to extremely short. Basically, this means that every civilization is just starting out, with no huge fortresses or cities established yet. The world is untamed and largely unexplored so there's no telling what's out there in the steamy jungles.

Oh and it certainly is jungles. Like, jungles galore. All the green spaces you see are grasslands, the darker the shade of green the more thick the vegetation. The yellow regions are deserts, the grey stands for mountain ranges and blue is the arctic where there are few resources and building a fortress is exceedingly difficult.

Oh yeah, the purple? Those are evil regions. It's even more impossible to survive there then in the frozen wastelands. In evil regions the rain is acidic and will melt your Dwarves' skin off. Then they turn into zombies and attack your other dwarves assuming they aren't already killed by any of the multitude of horrible ungodly monsters that live there. I...haven't tried embarking in an evil region yet. But if I do I don't expect to stick around long.

In any case, we have a brand new world with thousands of years of history to look forward to, exquisite riches and adventure to be found. And thus the dwarves struck the earth and founded...


It's a great tradition among my Dwarves to name things after bees, since their national drink is mead and their largest food industry is almost always honey. Beebane was established next to one of the largest rivers in the world, on the south western continent. If you look on the map you can probably see it, it's the omega symbol out in the middle of the jungle.

For the first couple years the fortress prospered. We indulged in every industry we could (except glassmaking, that's lame), with an entire layer of the fort dedicated to our workshops. The grand dining hall was also on this level, it's walls covered in engravings of the deeds of our great civilization.

But suddenly disaster struck. We were attacked by a werecreature, not a run-of-the-mill werewolf, Oh no. A werekangaroo. It killed our best trader before our squad (The Beekeepers) could drive it away, leaving us more or less unprepared for our next caravan. But besides this bizarre little incident, things generally went well in the early days of Beebane. Migrants came in huge waves every year, faster than we could even build beds for them. We had quickly become a bastion of Dwarven civilization, with a staggering two-hundred occupants. It was without a doubt the most well-populated fort I had maintained yet.

Our miners were kept constantly busy, hunting for more gems for trade and stone to build statues as monuments to our greatness. In no time at all they found this, a huge, sprawling cavern deep under the earth. It was so large it extended past the screen in practically every direction, linking to further, yet unseen underground regions. We might have found the beginning of an entire underground ecosystem for all we knew.

But, uh, things started to go downhill...

...things went downhill very quickly.

Our first Human caravan had just rolled in, wanting to trade for our vast coffers of gems. All was fine and good at first, but just as they started unloading their goods a Goblin siege appeared. A big one. Hundreds of goblins appeared on the screen and charged down the hill, making a beeline for the trade depot. Panicking dwarves scattered in every direction. The humans defended their caravan as best they could but were slowly whittled down until they all laid dead in front of the fort. The goblins were killing everything in sight, including our prized reindeer. I could only watch helplessly as my military completely failed to kill any of the invaders. More and more dwarves were conscripted into the army in a desperate attempt to defend the fortress. Engravers, gem workers, mechanics, cooks, farmers. All of them poured out of the fort to beat the goblins to death with their bare hands.

Practically all of the goblins were dead by the time the slaughter had swung into high gear, but our population was completely devastated by the effort. By the time we had shaved the enemy forces down to a single goblin our population had shrank all the way down to less than thirty dwarves. Most of the survivors were children who escaped by hiding the the lowest levels of the fort. Despite this, most of them saw their own parents go up to the surface and die horribly. Naturally...they weren't happy about this.

In fact, it drove every last on of them insane. In a few short minutes my fort went from a thriving community to a slaughterhouse, with hundreds of dead humans, goblins and dwarves littering the entrance. A disturbing recreation of Lord of the Flies was occurring downstairs, with insane children beating each other to death. By this point they were the only ones still alive in the fort and I had nothing left to do but watch and wait for them all to die of dehydration. Eventually the last of the goblins wandered away, hopefully traumatized by the ridiculously over-the-top disaster it was a part of. I hope he goes to live in the woods, haunted by the screams of dying dwarves until he gets eaten by dingos.

Beebane was a complete disaster. It's once proud walls, engraved with scenes of the greatest moments of our history were stained with the blood of the children who were born in it's very depths. The only survivor was a single tamed leopard. Someone's pet once, now just another wild animal, scavenging off the corpses of dwarf children. No doubt ministerial will sing of the tragedy of Beebane, the fortress destroyed by it's own hubris (and goblins) and of the leopard that managed to escape the madness.

Goodbye Beebane, your legacy will live on.

For what it's worth I've started a game in adventure mode in another, much smaller, world. Say hi to Shad Grimgrave, his hobbies include crab hunting and troglodyte slaying. He's a human Outsider, meaning he doesn't belong to any civilization in particular and starts the game with nothing but a copper spear and dagger. I do mean nothing by the way, not even pants. I'll be sure to keep you informed on his adventures, assuming he isn't killed by giant sparrows or dingos.

No comments:

Post a Comment