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Playing since 40d!

I like waterfalls.

Fortresses Past and Present[edit]

Dreadwood Fortress and the Combined Luck of Fools[edit]

"Because suffering builds character."


Dreadwood is located in a temperate broadleaf forest. To the south is a small stream and hills gently roll to the north. The entire forest and vegetation are utterly dead, hence the name. Likewise, the animal life are also mostly undead: foxes and deer, skeletal and zombie. The fortress is located on top of a small bluff with nearby pools of water where toads and turtles are the only legitimately living things. The fortress was founded directly adjacent to the ruins of a fortress that was abandoned the previous year.


The Combined Luck of Fools are seven dwarves from the extreme south east (data incomplete):

  • Weaponsmith (lvl 5); Appraiser, Judge of Intent; Novice Persuader
  • Armorsmith (lvl 5); Novice Furnace Operator
  • Blacksmith (lvl 5); Novice Cook, Brewer, Grower
  • Metalsmith, Gem Encruster (lvl 5)
  • Carpenter (lvl 5); Novice Axedwarf, Wrestler, Armor User, Shield User
  • Mechanic, Glassworker (lvl 5)
  • Mason (lvl 5); Novice Hammerdwarf, Wrestler, Armor User, Shield User, Woodburner

We departed with large quantities of bismuthinite, copper nuggets, cassiterite, and bituminous coal. The plan is to smelt these into our initial wealth the first year until native resources are found. Other resources include an anvil, two loads of bauxite, and 5 turtle. A mere 1 or 2 seeds of each underground crop will have to be planted immediately when we arrive.


Year 302[edit]

The first thing we did upon arrival was build two smelters to begin processing our bituminous coal and other ores. It would have been simple enough to have brought picks or even metal bars so that this initial smelting would not be necessary but we decided to bring as much raw material as possible and wouldn't spare any expense for other essentials like food.

This posed a problem since the surrounding vegetation is all dead. There was not a single living herb or bush to be foraged as far as the eye could see. This meant that in the spring, while still waiting for the first harvest of plump helmet, The Fools had to tighten their belts and reign in the howling of their hunger. The less busy dwarves fished the nearby ponds and a fishery was temporarily installed to process the turtle that was caught. Since none of us were fisherdwarves by trade, this was an unhappy solution.

In the meantime, we forged a pick and two battle-axes and began chopping down the evil wood and digging out a home below. The design of the first layers is not ergonomic. We anticipate incursions from the undead and so have laid out pinch points at the stairwells for traps. The design is four-cornered with a central area for temporary dining. Later, we will use it for storage.

The second layer consists of yellow sand which will be used for glass-making later.

The only other springtime event to note is that while fishing, our weaponsmith was accosted by a skeletal dear. Fortunately he smote it handily with his axe and suffered no trauma. But the incident weighs heavily on our minds. An outer wall must be established and fishing discontinued.

In the summer we plant more rock nuts, sweet pod, and plump helmets as well as our cave wheat and pig tails. Are stores are empty but we manage to cook and brew our crops in time for dinner.

A well area and a passage to one of the surface pools is ready. As soon as the stone gets cleared, we shall construct our well. A wall now surrounds our above ground entrance except for one small entrance/exit. Soon only our axe bearers will be allowed outside to haul wood. Hopefully the narrow entrance will mean no thieves sneak in undetected. And a door should keep the undead out. Alas, we have no dogs...

As our mason constructs blocks for our outer fortifications, our mechanic builds mechanisms. He has already constructed one masterpiece! Our carpenter also created a masterpiece. It is a wooden bin. Though appreciative, we would rather he dedicate this care to the quality of our beds. Our armorer is also forging armor pieces, starting with guantlets and high boots. Quality goods will be kept in the barracks.

Finally, our miner has established living quarters so we may all have the privacy we could not obtain from sleeping in the barracks.

By autumn moods are high but less than ecstatic. A racoon stole a wooden shield. We noticed the burgler just as he made off into the underbrush. Some are taking this as a bad omen. One of the few living creatures in this cursed place and it practices evil against us. But the wooden shields we have were made in the spring against the possible contigency of early attack. We have since prepared bismuth bronze shields to replace them. Regardless, a cage trap has been ordered in case the racoon comes back. But the mechanic is taking a month off first.

Food stores have reached a comfortable threshold.

The caravan arrived with only two mules worth of stuff. It was very disappointing. But we traded for some silver bars which were forged into a nice chain for the well. The merchants became insulted, however, and stormed off after we purchased their donkey meat and tried to trade it back to them at a profit as donkey meat biscuits. How did they know?

After the merchants left and winter encroached, a swarm of new immigrants arrived! And were immediately beset by a skeletal wolf. Fortunately, there were enough immigrants that they formed a militia and bashed the wolf to pieces--all while our two military members were still donning armor. Indeed, such brave souls are welcome members to our fortress. This also means that our high ranking workers can stop with the mundane tasks of milling, processing plants, and planting seeds.

More good news came as we started carving out quarters for our new members. We struck magnetite! Now our bismuth bronze can be used for decoration and crossbows while the iron from the magnetite will be used to make fine weapons and armor! It will be a warm winter in the fortress, heated by the efforts of our labor.

The winter was unforgiving. First a skeletal racoon made off with a masterpiece wooden shield made by our carpenter. We tried to comfort him the typical dwarven way by saying things like: "It's just a wooden shield. It's not really that good..." and "You know, if you had made a masterpiece bed this never wood have happened." But he would not be consoled. Even worse, our new leather worker was caught outside when another skeletal racoon appeared. Perhaps wishing to take vengeance upon racoonkind for their transgressions against us, he charged the thing completely unarmed. Alas, he bled to death soon after before our soldiers arrived in time to smash the undead horror.

Year 303[edit]

The elven caravan arrived just in time to be assailed by a skeletal cougar. The fairies did not bring any guards with them. That's probably for the best as they would have likely been killed. The elves fled and one of their camels fought bravely against the abomination. It held out long enough for our troops to get there and put down the horrible thing. They then came and we traded mechanisms for fresh food. Now we can farm on the surface!

More immigrants arrived. Many more. Work has begun on new quarters.

Summer began with yet more immigrants arriving. We are slowly preparing a military force. The outer walls are also being expanded. Altogether, we have far too many masons for the work that needs to be done.

Our new leatherworker was seized with a fey mood and demanded tanned hides. We obliged by slaughtering a horse. He took the single leather hide and created a marvelous, though simple, artifact: "Rotraced" the horse leather leggings. We congratulated him on his good practical sense! Now if only we had more leather...

A skeletal deer was caught in one of our cage traps and brought back to the fortress. This alerted us that we needed to clear the general vicinity of undead. What an ordeal! We were in the middle of it when the caravan arrived. Our hunter decided at that time to go hunting (desperate to do so after going so long without a single living creature to kill). Then some goblins showed up and were immediately beset by undead. The traders got to our outpost and our local militia was mobilized. What a pathetic lot! They had plenty of time but still couldn't manage to get organized before the caravan guards slaughtered the goblin raiding party from atop our butte. We promptly gathered the goblins' things and then traded them to the caravan... along with the horrid skeletal deer we had caught. At least we have a ton of steel and leather now! We also grabbed an excess of fine giant cave spider silk!

After the caravan left, one of our new arrivals went into a strange mood and seized a craftdwarf's shop. He emerged with an artifact drum made of wood, decorated with... wood! We are a simple, practical lot.

Obnoxious Things That Have Happened to Me[edit]

Here I will keep a list of some of the more attrocious things Dwarf Fortress does either to me directly or to my dwarves by proxy. Unless noted explicitly otherwise, the following incidents have resulted in abandoning the fortress.

Dwarf cancels drink: unconscious[edit]

My mason, while fleeing from a skeletal fox took a kidney punch in the back, lightly wounding her lower spine. Naturally, I retaliated by drafting her so she'd fight back. Grabbing a nearby war-hammer (that was convenient!) she pulverized the fox into so many skeletal bits. Unfortunately, some of the shards must have gotten into her eyes as one was bleeding and the other completely ruined. At this point, my dwarf is falling over unconscious. Why? You have vanquished the skeletal fox! Stand up! Only one eye? That just means you have to turn your head more! Come on, are you a man or a dwarf! She does, eventually, get up and then must have a drink for her efforts have parched her throat, I guess. She makes her way to the barrels of wine below, falling over repeatedly--I assume by running headlong into walls she can't see. By the time she is hunkering over the beer barrels she is now suffering from pain as well as thirst, and yes, the pain is so bad it knocks her unconscious. This has the obnoxious effect of aborting her beer drinking and guaranteeing a slow death by dehydration (which conveniently exacerbates her already intense pain). This process plays out repeatedly. I despair.

None of the other dwarves can be bothered to help her, of course, because in Dwarf Fortress, you're not really injured unless you're dead.

Dwarf pumps river, and self, back into river[edit]

My first attempt at a screwpump resulted in my dwarf pumping the water out behind him... which then flowed along with him back into the river.

Sadly, the dwarf did not survive.