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Bronzemurder is both a fortress and an epic tale of dwarven tenacity, gloriously illustrated by Tim Denee. It took place in the years of v0.31.03.
Not to be confused with Boatmurdered.
- Bronzemurder on Tim's website
- Bronzemurder on Tim's Flikr photostream
- Basic PDF version
- PDF imposed for two-up printing and binding on letter sized paper
- Tim's belated Bronzemurder blog post
Full Sized Images
Bronzemurder: a tale of Dwarf Fortress by Tim Denee
The thriving fortress Bronzemurder. Population: 66 and counting. (Above ground, lies the military barracks and windmills. Below one finds the entrance and workshops. Beneath these, stockpiles, and lower still the sleeping and dining quarters. Go down again and a trap lined tunnel connects the fortress to column of pumps which leads to a cavernous underground lake.)
23 levels below the surface A legendary fell beast rests on the first pump in a mighty pump stack, a grand project that has taken years of concerted dwarven effort in order to bring running water to the fort.
All 23 pumps are in place, and the dwarves have finally figured out how to bring power to the pumps from the windmills above ground. The only problem is one small engineering error; the first pump, the lowest one, needs to be pumped manually.
A dwarf has to go down there and operate it.
Oggez Rashas "An enormous iguana with external ribs. It has thin wings of stretched skin and it appears to be emaciated. Beware its poisonous sting!"
If an ordinary dwarf wakes the creature, he will run away when attacked and lead the beast right back to the heart of Bronzemurder.
The militia, however... Maybe they will kill it, solving the problem. Even if they fail and die, at least they won't lead Rashas back.
YES, SEND THE MILITIA. Bronzemurder's bravest sons.
- Oggez Rashas destroys the militia in a matter of seconds. One war dog survives and backs up the stairs.
- Oggez Rashas chases the dog up the stairs, where a mechanic is installing several traps.
- The dog is slaughtered by the beast, and the mechanic runs all the way up the stairs to the main fortress.
- Oggez Rashas follows, now chasing a crowd of masons, architects, and mechanics who had been putting the finishing touches on various levels of the pump stack.
- The fell beasts [sic] blows straight past the trap-lined corridor.
- Chaos erupts in the dining room as the creature emerges from the stairs. Already a third of the fortress is dead.
- By coincidence, a party of unlucky migrants arrive. They are immediately drafted into a ramshackle militia.
- The ramshackle militia confront the beast as it storms the stockpiles. The militia is slaughtered in seconds.
- Chaos erupts in the stockpiles as Oggez Rashas chases and kills dwarves at random.
- Refugees cluster in the barracks outside. Masons are ordered to pave over the entrance stairs, to block the creature inside. Two of the three stairwells are blocked when it bursts out of the third, killing the masons.
- The last hope is that the field of traps around the main entrance will kill the creature when it makes it that far.
- Driven mad with trauma, dwarves in the barracks begin rioting and attacking each other. The militia starts arresting and beating dwarves. Oggez Rashas blows past the traps and puts the riot to rest by killing everything.
Although there are around seventy casualties, all is not lost. While the beast finishes off the livestock above ground...
FIVE DWARVES ARE ALIVE, GATHERED IN THE DINING HALL
- One brewer, huddled in the corner crying.
- One jeweler, building a wall to block off the sleeping quarters. It is the only way to keep the beast away from the survivors. He walls them in and himself out. Does he think he is saving them or killing them? We will never know.
- A carpenter, a cheese-maker, and a miller. Walled into the bedroom wing of the fortress, cut off completely; from the stockpiles, from the surface, from everything.
The two dwarves outside the wall are struck down. With nothing still living in sight, Oggez Rashas rests at the entrance to the fortress.
The three surviving dwarves set about immediate tasks.
To prevent infection, corpses and body parts from the massacre are dragged into the large, ornate rooms previously occupied by nobles. Now vacant, these rooms are the only sizable ones left that the survivors can access. All the viscera is piled inside and the doors are barred.
A donkey and a dog were walled in with the dwarves. They are the only food source.
The dwarves can access the stairwell to the pumpstack, so they can get water.
They're not happy, they have no plans and are certainly doomed, but they're alive.
OGGEZ RASHAS WAITS
After several months, after all hopes has been lost, a human trade caravan arrives. One would think the soft humans would get massacred.
As it turns out, Oggez Rashas has been severely wounded during his attack on the dwarf fortress. The three human caravan guards are experienced warriors. In battle, one human has both legs broken. One loses and eye and suffers a punctured lung.
But finally, finally, they kill the beast.
HEARING THE CREATURE'S DEATHCRY, THE SURVIVORS BREAK DOWN THEIR BARRACADE
One refuses to leave his bedroom and before long dies of thirst. A prolonged and painful suicide.
But the other two carry on. Though it takes them three lonely years, they drag all the corpses outside into a pile, and clean all the blood out of the fortress. Three caravans come, and each time jewel-encrusted stonecrafts are wheeled out from the old Bronzemurder stockpiles and loaded on.
The two dwarves don't need the trade, but they are sending a message to the outside world.
BRONZEMURDER IS ALIVE
Eventually, migrants do arrive. A lot of them.
The migrants find a mere two dwarves living in Bronzemurder. Two tough-as-nails, poorly-clothed, deeply traumatized dwarves who reek of bad hygiene, rotting corpses, and booze.
SMELLS LIKE DWARF FORTRESS