Beards, Fear & Incompetence: A Dwarf Fortress Diary (Part 2)


Oh my holy fuck.

As you might remember, our last Dwarf Fortress diary ended with the arrival of a few immigrants.

Forty cockbastarding four of them turned up at the gates at the start of Autumn, banging their great big hammy hands against the fortress door (which didn’t crumble directly off its hinges; that’s something I suppose), and with great reluctance the resource-sucking tide was allowed in.

It was at this point I realised just how many of the new arrivals were in fact children; useless little coagulants in your finely oiled system who can’t be made to work on specific tasks. There were twenty of the little bastards:- cockroaches who so far as I can tell exist only to eat your food and drink your booze while doing whatever the red hell they like.

I fucking hate children in real life and I fucking hate children in Dwarf Fortress too.

Luckily, once the immigrants had arrived, dumped their belongings and realised that I had no beds for them to sleep in nor any rooms to put any beds in, Autumn was largely uneventful.

Apart from the whole nasty business with Fikod Likoteral that is.

Fikod was the newly appointed head of our military (mainly because he had no discernable skills of any use, but was capable of holding the axe I had bought him) and I was in the process of fine tuni- trying to set u- crying at-

I’ll be honest. I have no fucking clue how Dwarf Fortress’ military screen works. I can equip my soldiers with weapons and armour, but that is it, I’m afraid. The bits of the game actually tasked with making them militarily useful might as well be written in bloody Sanskrit for all the use they are to me, and as such my military force is one in name only.

An indecipherable menu, yesterday.

So, just to recap: Fikod was so stupid that he was considered an idiot in a society that lets children drink as much wine as they like, and because of this he had been put in charge of the fortress’ protective force, which consisted entirely of two braindead dwarves with no military understanding whatsoever.¬†What’s insane is that at the time, Dwarf Fortress makes this sort of thing seem like a good idea. It’s like that friend who encourages you to drive home after eight hours in your local.

To be honest with you, what Fikod was or wasn’t was largely academic, as not long after the immigrants arrived he was taken with a Fey mood. I had absolutely no clue what that meant, but some frenzied Googling (one thing DF does very well is make you panic and flail at a game that probably spends more time paused than not) revealed that this mood that had struck Fikod meant he was telling me that he wanted to make something; he’d been commanded by whatever God he followed to do this, and nothing I or anyone else could do was going to stop him from trying to make it.

After painstakingly working out what kind of workshop the picky little weirdo wanted (and building it for him, because I’d read that Dwarves who don’t get to fulfill their insane crafting wishes get a little bit… well, more on that later), I watched him storm in there and immediately start drawing pictures of what he needed in order to create his God-commanded masterpiece.

He drew pictures of cloth.

I had loads of cloth, but it seems that when a Dwarf becomes a vessel of the Gods to whom they are dedicated, they become choosy little pricks who won’t actually properly fucking explain what they need; just drawing pictures or mumbling vagaries about materials they need. I spent ages throwing every different type of cloth I had at the struggling artist whilst he continued doing drawing after drawing after shit-flipping-toss-bastard drawing – but obviously none of these kinds of cloth were good enough for him, because he never got what he wanted and as such slipped into a terrible depression.

Obviously the other Dwarves in the fortress figured that this was the optimum time to throw a party, so a huge number of them decided to stand around in the dining hall and have a grand old time (for almost the entire season), while one of their number wandered the fortress, so morose he had stopped drinking, before finally dropping dead of thirst in the same room as the party.

Now, you’d expect that would properly ruin everyone’s day: You’d figure that they’d at least stop doing “Oops Upside Your Head”.

The party continued as Fikod’s corpse rotted.

Then some traders arrived and set up in the trade depot, wondering why nobody was coming to see them (which was down to two things: everyone was busy having a little Dwarven Hoedown, but mainly because I hadn’t figured out how trading worked). Their patience quickly grew thin.

That was pretty much Autumn. One dead, a frankly outrageous number of grasping infants stealing my food and booze, and a bunch of traders stood in the hallway that I haven’t even begun to work out how you’re supposed to interact with.

What “Fun”.