|This article is about an older version of DF.|
The Hammerer is the executioner of your fortress. Normally, a dwarf that has committed a crime will be subject to justice at the hands of your Sheriff (later the Captain of the guard), who will imprison the criminal in jail. However, if the crime was particularly fun, the Hammerer will dispense the swift and brutal justice that rides on the head of his or her hammer.
In order for the hammerer to execute criminals, you must have an available chain in your jail - a cage cannot be used. If you have no available chains, the criminal's punishment will be automatically reduced to a Beating.
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There are multiple theories as to why the hammerer has such a huge role in dwarven politics. Experts claim that he serves no real purpose, as Armok usually finds a way to punish any delinquent even if no hammerer exists - magma, justice spiders or bridge mistakes usually lead to a criminal's
untimely demise. Hammerers do, however, present a sort of a calming factor on a typical fortress, and give any unhappy dwarf a simple, just, and brutal(ly effective) way to let off steam.