Your Dwarf Fortress Stories (3)Just two Dwarf Fortress stories this time, due to the length of the second.
Here's a story from Thom Moyles:
During one of the first years of my fortress, it was plagued by attacks from frogmen climbing out of the wells. One of these attacks left one of my first Swordsdwaves, who arrived only shortly before in the first wave of migrants, with a wound to his head that showed up as yellow on the status screen, a wound that typically spells the end for a dwarf.
He was immediately dragged to bed and would periodically cry out for food and water, which was brought to him whenever a dwarf had time to spare. I knew that this was really a waste of resources, since he probably wasn’t going to recover and the chances of insanity or a tantrum were high. Nonetheless, I couldn’t bear to lock his door and let him starve to death, so I allowed him to be tended to and largely forgot about it in the chaos of daily management.
Almost two years later, while scrolling through the dormitories, I noticed that he was no longer in his bed. The buckets that the other dwarves had used to bring him water were still there, just not him. Going to my job list, I noted that he was drinking and when I went to my dining hall, there he was, gulping down water, back on active duty, with only a minor wound to show for the blow that had rendered him invalid for seasons on end.
It was such a small thing and still so incredibly gratifying to see him recover, that the attention of his fellow dwarves and my mercy as Fortress Keeper had allowed him to survive when there seemed to be no hope.
Here's a long but amazing story from Kel Woodbury:
I'm going along on year 5 of my bustling settlement. 150 dwarves are here now and I've been spending a lot of time settling the nobles into grand bedrooms, dining rooms, offices, and tombs.
Then I see a message about someone being unable to deliver food to a sick person due to lack of... food?
I look around and find out I don't have any prepared meals and my kitchens have been idle. Ok, so I'll just turn them on and have them start cooking my ridiculous stockpile of seeds and other foods. I'll build a few more kitchens, crank them all up to repeat easy meals, butcher a few cows and horses, and then be fine. The problem is, the dwarves are getting hungry and don't want to really do anything other than eat so they end up going on a drinking spree and drink almost everything. Then they set up the kitchens and butcher animals and gather plants and generally create barely enough meals to meet the demand.
This struggle goes on for a bit, and then I see something horrible. "A dragon has made residence in your area." Um... crap. So I bring up my unit list and look for this dragon. The dragon's name is flashing which when used on a dwarf indicates legendary status. So either dragons in general are legendary or just this one, I'm not sure. I check out the dragon and find out it's a female. So she is just sitting there on the very edge of the map. Everything should be ok as long as no one disturbs her. I'll just not designate anything to do near her and stop hunting and it will all be ok. Then an elven caravan came a little south of where she was. She breathed fire and it was the coolest looking thing ever. A HUGE cone of destruction and the caravan was turned into ashes. The land was charred across the entire cone.
Well that's not good. So then I see some dwarves run out to pick up the bones of the caravan, also not good!
They see the dragon and run in terror, but she chases them all the way to my fortress. I turn my ballistas on but she fries them all the way from across the river. Her breath has a 20 square range and is 10 squares wide at the end of the cone! My guards at the entrance take note of this and run towards her to attack and they are fried before they even get to her.
So much for their bronze plate armor and shields.
Crossbow men pelt her with bolts and do absolutely nothing to her at all. Not even a scratch on her wounds page. She proceeds to burn them down with flames. Then one of my fairly proficient fighters runs out and manages to run through one of her breaths unharmed and started to hit her. She instantly ripped him in half. At this point I felt pretty doomed. She waltzed into my base and breathed fire into the main hallway and destroyed a lot of doors. Then she walked into the food storeroom and burned all the food. So much for the food issue. Then she walked into the dining room and fried everyone and everything inside.
She would breathe fire at ANYTHING that moved. A kitten at the end of a hallway? Toast.
At this point I was down to about 50 dwarves. My main squad engaged her and they all got toasted in about 5 seconds. Down to about 15 dwarves now. One soldier had managed to not get fried. He was my spearuser who had become a legendary shield user some point in the past somehow (I have no clue). He has legendary agility and is quite tough also. I sent him for the dragon while she was terrorizing the bedrooms and I saw him acting strange. He wouldn't approach her directly because apparently he didn't want to be fried. He would bolt up and down the hallway almost taunting her with his legendary speed. After running back and forth for a bit he suddenly ran straight for her and started to attack her with his spear. Then he was on top of her. In fear of being burned to death he apparently jumped on top of her and starting wrestling her. Somehow, he managed to cause some decent wounds to her liver, spine, and neck wrestling her. I drafted the remaining dwarves and made them all pick up weapons and rush to help try to slay the dragon. A hunter who was a decent shot with the crossbow got an iron bolt to stick in her rear left leg. Still only a dark brown wound similar to the ones caused by the legendary shield user.
Then it happened: the dragon fell unconscious! I felt the taste of victory but then I noticed my shield user walk a few squares and then collapse. What happened to him? I looked at him and he lost the left side of his body. Apparently the dragon had fallen on top of him when she fell unconscious! I felt confident that my militia could kill the dragon before she regained consciousness, but apparently it was only a sleeper hold on her that knocked her out, for she stood back up and scorched the remaining dwarves in the hallway.
I had to abandon the fortress because my last remaining dwarf was a horrified noble hiding in his bedroom, far from trouble.