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Author Topic: Deephail - How a mod test fort turns epic.  (Read 876 times)

Clover Magic

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Deephail - How a mod test fort turns epic.
« on: September 14, 2012, 12:52:56 pm »

So, I'm modding, Final Fantasy 9 total conversion, all you need to know is that my race is called genomes and we have chocobos and moogles so far.

Anyways, to test what I have, I set up a test fort.  For shits and giggles testing purposes I embarked on a Terrifying Rocky Wasteland.  What followed was a truly epic year of playing that has made me want to see the supposedly-quick test fort out to its bitter end.  Since I've been spamming the "What's going on in your fort" thread with this fort, I figured I might as well write a story with it.

Forgive me for not having any screenshots during the story, though - as I said, this was a test fort, I wasn't expecting to want to screenshot anything.

Anyways, with no further ado, the saga of Deephail!  (Warning: long as shit.)

Journal of Kinsk Madzialuka, colony leader of Deephail

6th of Hematite, Summer, Year 102

It has been a trying year.  So trying, in fact, that up until now I could not spare the time to sit down and record anything in this journal.  Only now do I have the time to sit down and document our trials up until now.

It all started at the behest of the Overwatch.  We were to establish a stronghold in the east, in a barren landscape known as The Ungodly Waste.  What a fitting name it is!  However, we were not to know that until we foolishly set out at the Overwatch's behest.  We were sure we would foster a secure hold for our leader.

After long months of travel from our towns in the west, we finally arrived at our surveyed site, which would be known as Deephail.  It was a depressing sight - nothing but sand and rocks as far as the eye could see.  No plant life of any kind grew here, despite the stream that ran through.  It was still the bitter bite of early spring, especially cold here in this treeless wasteland, and the stream was frozen over.

It was as we were crossing this frozen stream that our troubles started.

From out of nowhere, it began to snow.  But not the benign frozen water of normal snow.  No, this snow was red, armed with a putrid copper reek - it was blood.  Lobod, our colony leader at the time, somehow identified it as the blood of the summoning tribe, although how he knew is beyond me.

It fell fast and heavy, quickly coating everything with congealed blood.  Apparently this region sees frequent rainfall, but now we have the reason for why it doesn't produce any life - the rain is never wholesome water, but instead the fluids of fellow living beings.

We had stopped on the frozen stream to observe this phenomenom, when we heard the most horrendous moaning sound.  SO began our curse.

On the horizon, and closing quickly despite their rotting corpses, were strange beings, wrens with the shape of humans.  They were not alive - no breath drew into their lungs, and their eyes stared mindlessly - but they moved nonetheless.

They were upon us before we really knew it.  We had no choice but to abandon the wagon and scatter, each genome for him or herself.  Our brave war dogs that had fended off the wildlife on the journey quickly lunged to protect us from this new threat, but alas, even the strongest and bravest of dogs falls before a tireless enemy that merely stands once more once defeated.

To our horror, the dogs that fell soon, too, shambled to their feet - only they were no longer our faithful traveling companions, but ravening monstrosities that attacked our pack animals.  This is the curse of Deephail - all dead do not stay so, the evil eminating from the very ground brings unlife to their bodies.

For several horrible days we fled uselessly from the undead, nothing on us but the clothes on our backs and whatever working equipment we'd been carrying at the time.  I myself had been but a simple woodcutter at the time, with a small axe that would fell trees but not these foul corpses.

Sometime during the chaos, our two miners, Zven and Izia, disappeared.  We thought that perhaps they had fallen to the undead, as our farmer did, and eventually so did our leader, Lobod, and their corpses rose to terrorize us with the rest.  We were without food, without water, without leadership.

Then, when all hope seemed as dead as the corpses around us, it ironically arose like said corpses when two voices called to our huddled group, consisting only of myself, our mason, and our chief medic, Belits.  It was Zven and Izia, our miners!  It seems that during the first attack, they had retained their wits and had grabbed their picks.  When the majority of the undead had gone after us, they managed to dig a hole in the ground, nothing but a sandy retreat at first.  But it was enough.

We managed to get into the hole, where to our surprise two of our pack chocobos had survived with the miners, and Zven and Izia quickly dug up some of the loose rock beneath the sand.  With that, our mason packed them into a sturdy wall even the undead could not breach, and we were sealed into darkness.  It was dank, dark, and not at all what we strive for.

But it was free of the horrors of the outside, and that was enough.

Zven and Izia continued to dig down and down, eventually making a solid and firm stairwell, and began carving out some chambers around the natural ones of the caverns below.  As they worked to secure us, we remaining three had no choice but to break into these caverns ourselves to see if anything was remotely edible.  All of our food and drink was with the wagon outside, and we dared not breach the sealing wall in order to retrieve it.  It was simply too dangerous, but that meant we had nothing to live on.  Some eyed the chocobos, but I insisted they be kept alive unless there was no other option - it was a breeding pair, and would mean more food in the long run alive than slaughtered for a quick meal.

In the caverns there was oddly-colored moss, huge mushrooms, and spiderwebs aplenty.  Knocking on the giant fungi, I found them to be a similar quality to wood, and would serve us as such.  Hunting through the strange moss, we found several plants that proved to be edible without ill side effects.  With no choice, we gathered as many as we could, and, as it seems somehow everyone was looking to me for orders, I told our mason to begin building a wall in the cavern with the rock Zven and Izia were mining out.  It would seal off our home from anything that might be in the caverns, for after the surface, I dare not trust any place safe unless sealed with our solid rock.

With our farmer as one of the corpses shuffling around on the surface, we knew not how to grow these strange edibles, but I told everyone to give it a gaming try.  They had recognizable seeds, after all, so inside our sealing wall we furrowed some plots and planted what seeds we had after we ate.  I also ordered a drawbridge in our wall, for we still needed access to the cavern and the fresh water contained within.  As it turns out, our medic Belits had some experience with mechanisms, and was able to build a clever lever contraption that raised and lowered the bridge at will from safely inside our walls.  With our wall, now also floored over from above, sealed as such, we were safe if a threat appeared.

It was just the five of us huddled in a round room the miners had carved out for long months.  There was nothing to do but cultivate the strange plants and make our home more presentable.  I busied myself with felling the large mushrooms and turning them into useable beds.  It made for an odd multi-colored dorm, but they would do.

To stave off boredom in her free time, Zven began carving the rocks and gems she found into items and appealing shapes.  Belits busied himself with creating more mechanisms and stocking a small room to the south in case any of us fell ill or wounded.  Izia began experimenting with brewing the plants, as they were now growing fruitfully and we had some spare.  Unfortunately, some time while he was carving some shapes into the wall deep below, our mason somehow discovered hot molten rock and perished in it.  There was no choice but to seal off the hole and engrave a memorial to him, and the others lost.  Perhaps their spirits will at least be calmed if we honor them, if not their bodies.

We all took up smoothing the stone of our home in our free time.  Zven and Izia even made us our own bedrooms, as it was not like there wasn't room, what with only us four left.  We carved pictures into the walls of our own rooms and the round room we'd taken to meeting in, and had placed a few chairs and tables to dine from there.  They were mainly pictures of happy things, things of history, to take our minds off the horrors we'd seen and our bleak existence.  There were many pictures of carp - we had taken it as our banner for our new stronghold, now a mere hold on life - and many of our civilization's symbol, a giant mushroom not unlike one of the kind I cut down for beds.

Although none of us wanted to, we still ascended to the surface sand, never breaching the wall, but listening.  The moans of the dead never left, but one day Izia reported something even more disturbing - the sound of deep rushing water.  The stream had thawed, and no doubt carried the wagon and all of its supplies with it.  We truly had only what was here in the stone with us.

We determined we would survive, however - we had food and water, and some form of entertainment in wall-carving.  Belits relocated the well to inside his makeshift hospital so that we would not have to go into the caverns themselves to drink.  I also began gathering up the spiderwebs littering the place, finding them useful as a strong thread and cloth.  We would have clothes, and Belits would have supplies for his medic duties.

We had began keeping track of time with some marks on a wall, and when it was in mid-summer by our reckoning, we heard something chilling from the surface, even more so than the moans of the undead.  Terrified genome voices!  There were fellow people out there!

We warred with ourselves for a small time - basic survival need screamed to keep our sealing wall closed, but civilization and decency demanded we at least see if we could save our fellows.  Finally, Belits proposed a solution - a smart one, he is - he would build bridges and seal them with his mechanisms in place of the wall.  This way, we could save them.

Taking a breath and preparing ourselves, we tore down the wall.

It was chaos.  Nine genomes were being chased by the undead, although no one had fallen yet.  They were running around frantically with no direction.  With no choice, we called out to them, gaining their attentions - and the undead's.

They ran for our hole, and it was a close thing as Belits worked furiously to build the bridges and link them to his levers.  One of the new arrivals turned and fought back against the horde when a few got underground with us.  He, I would later learn he was a dyer by the name of Dubtsi, managed to defeat the corpses of a dog and our fallen colony leader, Lobod, but he suffered a serious bite on the hand and a broken arm for his troubles.

Beyond all blessings of the gods, however, Belits finished his bridges, we got everyone inside, and the entrance was sealed once more.  Dubtsi was taken by Belits for treatment, his hand sewn up and a splint applied to his arm.  We managed to drag the dead dog and Lobod and took them out into a deeper cavern, sealing it off in the same manner as the first before they arose again.  At least that is two who will not roam the surface.

The new arrivals, save Dubtsi in the hospital, were huddled in our round room.  It seems the Overwatch had ordered settlement to our location, before we had even managed to report back.  Not that we could have, since our messenger moogles are currently among the undead on the surface, but it seems a little foolish to send settlers before even learning if the settlement was successful!  For Samsk's sake, one couple brought a child of no more than two years with them!  The poor girl was huddled in her mother's arms, traumatized from seeing her pet guineafowl torn apart before her eyes and added to the horde.

Still, no one had died, and Dubtsi's wounds were minor in comparison to what he could have suffered, and we now numbered thirteen.  No one was going anywhere soon, so the new arrivals soon fell into our rhythm, and I admit all the new pairs of hands made our work loads easier.  I ordered a hall to start being dug out, so that we may engrave our trials on its surface, and tell our story.  Slabs were also erected for the dead, so at least their spirits pass on safely.  It seemed to calm everyone when looking upon them, which is good, as we needed all the happiness we could get down here.

Sometime when autumn was reckoned to be upon us, we heard voices from beyond our bridges.  It seems news of our settlement had spread, and so Cleyran traders had come.  However, they were quickly felled by the corpses before even reaching a hole, not that we dared open the bridges.  Their goods would have been welcome, but the risk was too great.  I'm afraid their corpses wer eleft to rise and shuffle with all the others, a horde of at least thirty now on the surface.

Bas, a fellow who had taken up masonry duties since ours had died, announced more disturbing news during this time - strange growls were coming from the uppermost cavern!  It was not the undead, but, not knowing what kind of foul beast made such noise, the bridge was duly shut and I ordered the cavern off-limits.  There were deeper ones if we truly needed them, but by now our small settelemt was reaching something that could be called self-sufficiency.  Everyone had food and drink, and a room to call their own.  Bas had even carved up some containers for what belongings we had.

This peace was soon disturbed - more genome screams from outside!  I regretted the death of the Cleyran traders, and indeed these were even our own people, so I could not ignore these.  With dread we opened the door.

It was even worse this time.  One had already fallen to the dead, and the other three were running for their lives.  Two of them made it in, but the third was cut off.  With at least ten corpses headed for our entrance, I had no choice but to close the bridges.  The poor girl was sealed outside, but if we all wanted to live, it was a necessary sacrifice.  One for the many.

Poor girl was married.  Her husband stayed in our dining room for a long time, staring distantly at the pictures we engraved in the walls.  It seems it is Deephail's fate to split lovers.  Belits had only just recovered - it turns out our lost mason was his love.  Too many loved ones are lost here.

However, we now numbered fifteen.  It is a measly number, but it is more than four.  Life continued on through autumn and into the bitterly cold winter.  The stream froze over once more, rendering any of our goods that might have survived on the bottom truly unusable, including the only anvil that we had brought in hopes of beginning metalwork.  I ordered a building to receive traders, in hopes that they can seek refuge in it fast enough.  I was still filled with guilt over those poor Cleyrans who did not make it.

Dubtsi developed an infection in his bitten hand as winter progressed, and I worried for a while he might lose it or perhaps even sicken and die.  However, by this time we had taken to pressing some of the things we'd started calling rock nuts, finding their oil made for a decent soap, and with that soap Dubtsi faithfully washed his wound every day, and the infection eventually faded.

By now I'd started taken account of our stores, since if the position of leader fell to me, then I would do a decent job of it.  I had Zven and Izia build me a small room in which I could sit and write our stocks down.  I now had a rough estimate of our worth, and to my surprise we were doing fairly well.  There was stock of at least a hundred units of food and drink each, and rising as the farms continued to do well.  Our chocobos had finally clutched, and four peeping chicks were scurrying around in the dining room.  The trinkets Zven carved in her free time were getting fairly refined and would be great for trade.  I had her start sticking the gems she cut onto them, so that their value was increased, for I knew we would probably need every bit of supplies any traders would bring, if they ever made it to the trading station.

Surprisingly, this had turned out to be a good call, because in winter the home civilization sent us their traders.  Unlike the peaceful Cleyrans, at least some news of the danger must have reached home, for they arrived with well-trained guards, who managed to defend the wagons of goods until they reached the station.  An outer bridge was built by Beltsi, so that the station could be sealed off from the threat, which was a good thing, for apparently a diplomat had arrived with the caravan, but they sadly informed me he was now among the undead, and never made it to the entrance.

Despite the loss of the diplomat, the traders were safely inside!  They brought us much-needed supplies, bolstering our food and drink with things other than the so-called "plump helmets" and the wine made from them.  Wood was also abundant, as well as seeds for new plants and a variety of other things.  We traded Zven's trinkets for every usable scrap.

I was starting to feel confident for the first time in a long time.  With the traders, hope had also arrived - we could inform the Overwatch that this was no fit place for a settlement - if they really needed a stronghold here, it would have to be bought with military force.  A normal genome can fend off one corpse or two in desperate need, but there is now over forty reanimated shuffling around upstairs, and we could not possibly hope to hold against a breach.  If we were not saved, then perhaps at least a  force of arms would come and help.

I was too naive back then.

We held a small party at the end of winter, when spring finally came, to celebrate the trader's arrival and our continued existance.  I had been in this cursed place for one year already.  At once it seemed like both an eternity and gone in the blink of an eye.  As the new official colony leader after poor Lobod fell on our arrival, I would see things through to the end, even if it means mine.

My optimism was shattered when the trader's made to leave.  Unlike their arrival, the guards became overwhelmed by the dozens of corpses and fell.  One wagon was overrun, its chocobos and trader killed.  The last wagon, our only hope of informing hoe of our situation, grimly continued on.  It passed into the distance, until even the undead lost interest.  That, at least, was one life not claimed by this land.

Unfortunately the grim luck did not end there - apparently a group of settlers had been sent out with the traders, although being without wagons they arrived a season later, in this spring.  I can't help but wonder what they thought as they arrived - every inch of sand, once yellow, is now coated with blood, and herds of undead genomes, dogs, and chocobos roam the surface.  What were they told that made them so eager to travel here?  Whatever it was, we certainly are not it.

There were thity-four poor souls out there this time.  So many!  They would make many additions to the undead as well, if we could not safely get them within our walls.  It would take too long to simply leave the gate open, and there were at least fifteen undead milling about in the entrance anyways.  They would die on our doorstep.

There was only one choice - I shouted at them to form up and charge the corpses.  If they wanted to live here, they would have to fight.

Ten brave settlers formed up, led by someone named Ez'ma.  They fought bitterly in the entrance as the settlers not fighting scrambled past, all in a panic.  Three of the brave fighters fell, to be replaced by others, grim-faced and determined for survival.  Finally, the last settler was inside.  One of the fighters, bless her, suddenly ran outside, the corpses distracted and trailing after her as she yelled for the others to run.  Her sacrifice allowed the nine remaining to retreat inside with the others, and we closed the bridge, feeling regret.  I wish I had learned that brave soul's name, because she is numbered among the dead now.  The original leader, Ez'ma, was also among the perished.

However, their fight meant that thirty were added to the small refuge of Deephail.  Not that they were without their scarring - many arrived sobbing and distressed, covered in the blood that rained from the sky.  I culd only tell them to wash it off at the well and take comfort in the meeting area with the other survivors.  There is nothing else to do.  One poor woman named Olo, her only daughter was among the fallen, and she was forced to watch as her daughter was killed, and then, to make it worse, her daughter's corpse rose and attacked her!  Understandably, it took her at least a month to smile again.

We now numbered forty-four.  However, we would soon become forty-three.  It started with a series of events during winter, in which I had been informed that the uppermost cavern was apparently on fire.  There was some fell beast out there made of flame, and its body had set the colored moss alight.  It would be a long time yet before we dared set foot in that cavern.

I had also made a mistake when I had sealed the two corpses in the second cavern, one of a dog and our former leader, for it seems the land is so evil, it raises the dead no matter how far under or over it they might be.  The two undead had roamed the cavern, slowly killing off the animalistic peoples within and adding to their numbers, but the worst came when one of those foul monsters from before time began appeared in that cavern.  Even a abomination such as that cannot hold out against the tireless army of the undead.

And as it turns out, their corpses, too, are subject to Deephail's curse.

So involved with counting the new arrivals and trying to console them - Olo spent a good few hours yelling at me in a meeting, but it made her feel a little better afterwards so it was worth listening - that I distractedly ordered one of Beltsi's levers to be pulled, thinking it sealed the station off.

Unfortunately, a new arrival was the puller, and they did not realize their error either, and pulled instead the lever that opened the second cavern to our home.

I was not even aware anything was wrong until someone screamed.  A giant monster, somehow looking a ladybug but horribly twisted, was crawling up our stairwell!  To make things worse, it was obviously one of the undead, killed by the second horde developing in the cavern.

It was another grim decision, but most of us were only two floors up from the beast - including the nine children that now lived here, victims of their parent's relocation.  So, I yelled for whoever was nearest to engage the giant corpse.

It was a bitter battle, and long, but we felled the beast.  Unfortunately, hwoever, not before it felled one of our own - another new arrival by the name of Tria.  He fought bravely and saved us, so I ordered some small notches dug out in the deep of our hold.  A statue was erected, and a coffin, and he was laid to rest there.  However, I knew the evil would too reach his body, and so a wall was built, sealing him forever into the walls of Deephail.  I wish I could do the same for every wretched victim out there, but we cannot stand against the dead.  I ordered more notches dug out, however, and now everyone is assigned a small statue-and-coffin room.  It is morbid, but we must be prepared - they must be laid to rest and sealed away immediately before the evil reaches them, so everyone is now assigned a coffin should they fall.

Such is our mindset nowadays.

It is now summer.  Our food stocks now number over a thousand, and our drink five hundred - it turns out butchering a corpse somehow prevents the evil from re-raising it, and what does come back to life can be safely beaten and locked away.  It also turns out that forgotten beasts from the beginnings of the world are somehow good to eat, so that was two hundred units added to our stores, and its tallow is making more soap for Beltsi's hospital.  We had procured an anvil from the ill-fated winter caravan, and so we have finally begun working with metal.  In time, we will arm ourselves and secure the surface, for if the Overwatch wants this little bit of land so badly, they will have it as long as one genome in Deephail still stands - not counting the standing dead.  If we cannot leave, we will fight.

A summoner caravan has apparently fallen to the dead - we heard distant screams, but they were across the stream and too far to help.  Their blood already rains from the sky, so I wonder what they saw in coming here in the first place.  Well, we will now have summoner corpses harrassing the living, in addition to their blood painting the land and anyone outside red.

So our saga continues.  It has been a hard year, but we will not give up yet.  Long live Deephail of the Frosty Funeral.

The outside of Deephail
What it says.  Scribbled on for your convenience.

The mini-fort of Deephail
The main level of Deephail.  As you can see, I wasn't expecting so many migrants to actually make it inside alive, so most of the fort is crammed into that tiny space.  I've since started digging out proper bedrooms levels and such.  Also there was literally nothing to do for most of the year, so we smoothed EVERYTHING.  And made a lot of furniture.

Anyways, just a little story of a fort, I hope you enjoyed!  I'll play Deephail until it dies, although I need to get to finishing my mod.  Deephail did in fact do its testing job - don't ever put natural hunting skills on your playable race, guys, the trouble is not worth it.


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Re: Deephail - How a mod test fort turns epic.
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2012, 12:59:26 pm »

A fellow FF modder? :D

Clover Magic

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Re: Deephail - How a mod test fort turns epic.
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2012, 01:10:56 pm »

A fellow FF modder? :D

Yes indeed.  ;D  9 is my favorite, so that was my base.


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Re: Deephail - How a mod test fort turns epic.
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2012, 01:25:19 pm »

That was a good read.  :)

It's always interesting when a test fort becomes something more.
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