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Author Topic: The Insidious Sons of Steelhold -- Revival Succession Fortress  (Read 115401 times)

TalonisWolf

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Re: The Insidious Sons of Steelhold -- Revival Succession Fortress
« Reply #555 on: February 13, 2014, 07:11:12 pm »

What I can't believe is that we've had adamantine for 3 years now and all we've used it for is building a goddamn trade depot.

...I have NEVER encountered a fortress which had this problem at ANY point. EVER.

 Also, marvellous story-telling, I can see how this fortress earned it's place in the Hall of Legends.
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4maskwolf

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Re: The Insidious Sons of Steelhold -- Revival Succession Fortress
« Reply #556 on: February 13, 2014, 07:19:47 pm »

Why thank you, we do our best.

MDF, what interactions do you want, I can whip them up this weekend pretty easily, along with some other surprises.
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Deus Asmoth

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Re: The Insidious Sons of Steelhold
« Reply #557 on: February 13, 2014, 07:52:21 pm »

I think he either wanted them all to have necromancer and vampire abilities or have castes with vampire traits, castes with necromancer abilities and castes with elfish traits. The civilisation was to have morningstars as a weapon, I think.

If we're planning a major ending, Asmoth would probably cut and run when she saw the Steelhold was going to hell, taking whatever vampires she could to infiltrate another fortress and restart project immortality.

"Mother, I can catch him within a month! I don't need to sleep, and the desert will slow him down. Think of how far he put up back!" Thikut shouted.
"No, child. You think. You have no way of knowing where Kairus went, and if someone else finds you, a child travelling alone through a desert is going to raise questions! Just- Did you hear that?"

Asmoth eased open the door of her bedroom, peering down the corridor. There was a familiar silhouette lit by the glow of the pits outside...

"Lenehan!?" she gasped, then realised there shouldn't have been any light behind him.
"Not quite, doctor," grinned Corley. Behind him, the demons massed.
"Thikut, find Shank or Uristador. Tell them they need to get everyone out of Steelhold, now." Asmoth was vaguely proud that her daughter didn't waste time asking questions.  She clicked her tongue disapprovingly at the legions of hell.

"At least your father had some imagination. Releasing the horrors of the underworld? Bit of a cliche, don't you think?"

Then she threw a scalpel at her nephew's head.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2014, 09:03:32 pm by Deus Asmoth »
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MDFification

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Re: The Insidious Sons of Steelhold -- Revival Succession Fortress
« Reply #558 on: February 13, 2014, 08:33:27 pm »

Why thank you, we do our best.

MDF, what interactions do you want, I can whip them up this weekend pretty easily, along with some other surprises.

Basically all we need to do is give them a bite-transformation syndrome, the necromancy syndrome, maybe the ability to spit case magic globs of something dangerous at targets. I would say give them the option of summoning a random demon, but I think that'll require DFhack, so probably too ambitious.
Sorry about this, haven't bothered to learn interactions. They're probably a lot simpler than I assume they are.



Uristador stalked through the tunnels beneath Steelhold. He couldn't remember the last time he'd had a drink. Well, prefer ed not to remember it. That poor dwarf had trusted him.
Funny, nobody tells you about all this when you enlist, do they? You hear all this talk about the honor and glory of your nation. Nobody ever talks about having to watch your friends die. Nobody tells you you might have to do it. They expect soldiers to be machines. Well, he certainly wasn't a machine.
The sound of battle could be heard somewhere in the tunnels. Probably a beserk dwarf. With luck, that one would be occupied killing some of the wildlife that Steelhold had once farmed, and nobody he was responsible for. Uristador shuddered. He was not going to wind up like one of those poor bastards, their mind gone and replaced with pure animalistic rage.
As much as it pained him to admit it, Steelhold was dead and buried. It was time to move on. As soon as possible, the Guard could move out of the infirmary and set out for civilization. Maybe they could find mercenary work.

Then it hit him; there shouldn't be a breeze down here. The smell of brimstone drifted across his nostrils. That could only mean one thing; somewhere, there was a breach.
Panic seized him. If the demons were free, what hope did he have? They'd killed Rhaken, and that tough old bastard was at least twice the soldier he was.
But then again, Rhaken hadn't had a weapon like Uristador. Hefting his artifact adamantine axe, Uristador braced himself. Maybe there was some redemption to be gained dying to hold back the horde. At least he'd never have to drain another dwarf again. Steelhold deserved a last stand.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2014, 08:57:05 pm by MDFification »
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Deus Asmoth

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Re: The Insidious Sons of Steelhold
« Reply #559 on: February 13, 2014, 08:59:47 pm »

I think that the problem with a bite transformation would be that they'd still be loyal to their original civilisation, unless the species they turn into is berserk or opposed to life. Opposed to life would make more sense, but if they use mounts, they'd try kill them before going on to the fortress.

I'm not sure if spit attacks carry syndromes properly, though I haven't used them all that much. If it's just a minor thing, it could be put on a vapour attack, but we don't want to be fighting an army that melts anyone that gets near them. Alternatively, they could have liquid secretions with a more major syndrome, but those would be pretty ineffective against anyone wearing clothes.

Since the bloodkin would originally have been dwarfs, would they be immune to traps, since they'd know how dwarven tech works?
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Gnorm

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Re: The Insidious Sons of Steelhold -- Revival Succession Fortress
« Reply #560 on: February 13, 2014, 09:06:57 pm »

Corley quickly threw himself on his back, allowing the scalpel to fly right over him. He then got back to his feet with incredible speed.

"If you think that I'm allied with the demons you are sorely mistaken. As for imagination, couldn't you have done anything more impressive than simply throwing your scalpel?"

Asmoth glared at her nephew, tilting her head down and showing her fangs.

"Must I remind you that I myself am a vampire as well? After all, I have you to thank for that."

Corley leapt back and motioned for the demons to gather.

"I'm afraid that our reunion must be held off temporarily, for I have business to attend to."

He ran up the stair way into the fortress itself, leading the demons along with him. Although the demons did not know it, they were not heading in the direction of the fortress, but rather to a pool of magma where several hundred vampires once perished.
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Deus Asmoth

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Re: The Insidious Sons of Steelhold
« Reply #561 on: February 13, 2014, 09:40:23 pm »

There were at least twenty demons inside the tower before Asmoth pulled the lever in her room, and perhaps ten more before the gears finally ground into motion. The entrance of the silver tower rumbled and flowed as sections of it shifted and fused together, sealing the entrance again. The beast clawing at her door finally gave up and followed the rest.

"Why does everyone in my family except me have to be insane?" muttered Asmoth, pulling on a XXdwarf leather labcoatXX. She couldn't remember much about Corley. Quiet child, maybe a bit too clever for his own good, and then Len had gone off to war, and she'd been in prison before he'd come back. She wasn't sure if it was good or bad that the masked dwarf wasn't around, but it didn't really matter. The best she could do with the information she had was find Thikut and start the project again somewhere else. There were plenty of dead names they could use. Of course, they'd have to hang around long enough to see what Corley was actually doing, but there were plenty of loose ends she could tie up in the meantime.

"Who are you?" said someone. Asmoth looked up and realised she had gone straight to her first loose end without even thinking about it.
"Don't worry about me, your Majesty," she said brightly. "I'm just someone on the lookout for a pound of flesh."

The screams didn't stop for a long time.
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MDFification

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Re: The Insidious Sons of Steelhold -- Revival Succession Fortress
« Reply #562 on: February 13, 2014, 09:42:16 pm »

He ran up the stair way into the fortress itself, leading the demons along with him. Although the demons did not know it, they were not heading in the direction of the fortress, but rather to a pool of magma where several hundred vampires once perished.

Fun fact: Demons are immune to lava. Perhaps they're heading for an lovely outing by the (lava) seaside?



There was no mistaking it. The screams and howls coming from the deep could only mean the demonspawn were loose. Not for the first time, Uristador cursed whoever decided to put the lever for Emdief's last project so far down; there was no way to pull it in the event of a breach unless someone happened to be right there while it occurred. Not that it could have stopped the horde, but softening them up could have helped them all live a little longer.
More members of the Guard had gathered around the staircase, waiting for the first of the demons to come upwards. Uristador knew he should be down there, and he would return as soon as possible, but someone had to prepare. At this point, he couldn't martial the masons to block off the lower levels entirely, so the demons couldn't be contained in the fort. The only option left was to martial those who could fight, and let the others evacuate.
Uristador never really wanted to lead. So long as people let him be, he saw no reason to ask anything of them. He assumed they wanted to be left alone as much as he did. Steelhold's remnant deserved someone better than him to send them to their deaths.
Then he got an idea. And why not? It's not like things could get much worse.
He knew the room well; the faction had been using it to meet since Asmoth took over. It was no difficult task to find what he was seeking. He pushed with all of his might.

Emdief's slab toppled and fell to the ground with a crash.
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Rhaken

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Re: The Insidious Sons of Steelhold -- Revival Succession Fortress
« Reply #563 on: February 13, 2014, 10:01:37 pm »

I had my own ideas rergarding the Bloodkin. Some should be simple, others not so much.

The Bloodkin will have been waging war against everyone and everything with a pulse long enough to understand one thing - lack of booze over many centuries has made them sluggish. However, since they essentially use mortal dwarves as livestock, they have a solution to their sluggishness - turning some of the cattle into Fledglings, arming the recently-turned, poorly trained dwarves, and sending them to the frontlines. The far more ancient Bloodkin would be pretty hardcore (if ponderously slow) fighters, since they have had centuries to train.

As for "something dangerous" to spit at targets, why not blood? Apparently harmless, until your entire military has been vampirized and starts chowing down on each other.

I also suggest that they use Cyclopes in much the same way that goblins use trolls, for extra !!FUN!!.



The iron flavor of blood shook him to his senses. It dribbled down his chin, still warm, dripping down onto his breastplate. His hands were soaked in it, up to the wrist.

Shank groaned. He had done it again. He had let the beast take control. After fighting the urge for months, he had collapsed, only to wake up in this very situation - wandering the hallways, with another dwarf's blood all over him. Had his victim survived? Probably not. When the hunger took him, he rarely stopped. It was like a battle frenzy, taking away all sense of himself and replacing it with a singular urge to feed.

He had given up on his work. Both as royal guard, and as royal spymaster. How could he manage a network of spies if he couldn't even manage his own impulses? And the queen was under arrest, locked away where none could get to her. Her sentence called for decades of imprisonment. In another time, perhaps, the irony would have pleased him immensely. Imprisoned in her own penal colony. How droll. The chief would have loved it.

Limbs trembling, Shank wandered the hallways. He wasn't sure where he was going. Sights passed him by without fully registering in his twisting mind. He passed other dwarves, some cursed, some mortal. He paid them no heed. His feet were taking him somewhere and hadn't deigned to inform his brain what their destination was.

Thoughts assailed him as he walked. Despite this entire ordeal and the horrors he had seen and done, Shank felt... stronger, somehow. His senses were sharper than ever as well. He could hear the heartbeats of the creatures around him, smell the delicious blood in their veins. His mace felt light as a feather, and his armor felt light as a pig tail cloak. And what had it cost him? The ability to eat? To drink? To die of old age? The price didn't seem quite so overwhelming anymore.

But then what little conscience he had left came back, and with it came the guilt. He had killed plenty in his life, but never had he murdered another dwarf. Nor had he ever taken leave of his senses like this. Was this the curse's fault as well? Or was he heading down this road even before that fateful day with the chalice of blood?

Shank's feet stopped. Looking down, he saw a bin, its lid most of the way off. He was in the stockpiles. Amidst piles of green glass trinkets, he saw a glimmer of gold. Not fully aware of what he was doing, Shank dipped his hand into the bin and retrieved the object, examining it in his hands.

A golden, featureless mask. It radiated power. Shank looked into its empty eyes.

And the mask told him all its secrets.

Somewhere in the distance, the howls of demons.




I'd like to request that the queen stay mostly unharmed for now. I gots me some plans for her.
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4maskwolf

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Re: The Insidious Sons of Steelhold -- Revival Succession Fortress
« Reply #564 on: February 13, 2014, 10:04:32 pm »

Oku blinked, disoriented.  She had not intended to return to Steelhold.  The gods must require something more of her here, then.  Her mask had been left here, true, but that was on purpose.

A cry of alarm rang out from across the room, drawing Oku's attention. Across the room stood an unfamiliar dwarf, next to a broken slab.

Oku grinned, not bothering to raise her illusions.

"A little dwarf, alone in the fortress?  What a shame.  I could have used a challenge."

Oku stomped once, and the ground around her erupted.  When the dust settled, the dwarf no longer faced an unarmed human, but one encased in massive sheets of black iron, wielding a pair of titanic swords as if they weighed nothing at all.

"Now come forth, little dwarf, and meet your death."


Yes, that is Uristador I'm facing.
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Gnorm

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Re: The Insidious Sons of Steelhold -- Revival Succession Fortress
« Reply #565 on: February 13, 2014, 10:07:01 pm »

"Who are you?" said someone. Asmoth looked up and realised she had gone straight to her first loose end without even thinking about it.
"Don't worry about me, your Majesty," she said brightly. "I'm just someone on the lookout for a pound of flesh."

The screams didn't stop for a long time.
Was the queen just taking a pleasant stroll when this happened?

Corley marched through the halls with the demons and he led them to a great pit of fire, and beckoned them to enter. Smarter demons would have found this suspicious, but Corley brought only the most foolish with him, and devils fear no fire. They filed into the pool until no more could possibly fit, and then Corley began to remove his gloves. Once removed, his quivering hands were revealed, and his veins began to pulse and glow a dull red. It was exactly as he had hoped, for he knew that a vampire such as he could make use of simple magic, and Steelhold was utterly flowing with magic at this point.

He began to mutter the incantation, and the flames in the pool grew hotter as he did. They soon became so hot that even the demons themselves began to scream. Some tried to crawl out of the magma, but they were disintegrated before they had a chance. The earth shook violently, and several structures and stairways built within the fortress began to crumble. When the spell was complete, the fires died down, until all the magma had cooled to rock.

Miles above, in the fortress itself, the dwarves about the halls began to feel intense emotions. They felt sorrow, joy, pain, hate, ecstasy, and melancholy all at the same time. It was too much for any dwarf, even though many were vampires. They began to throw the furniture and engage in fistfights. Within minutes, metal weapons were drawn. It was brother pitted against brother in the dining hall.

This is turning out to be an awesome ending, and I am not using that term lightly. Oku vs. Uristador, Corley will probably fight Asmoth -- possibly Thikut as well, -- Shank is going to do something cool, I'm sure, and Emdief is going to return. On top of all that, the fortress is going insane!
« Last Edit: February 13, 2014, 10:09:43 pm by Gnorm »
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MDFification

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Re: The Insidious Sons of Steelhold -- Revival Succession Fortress
« Reply #566 on: February 13, 2014, 10:34:20 pm »

Uristador knew his assailant. That he was certain of. But where could he have seen this monstrous apparition before?
It didn't matter. Today was as good a day as any to die.
'Iron, eh?' He hefted his axe. The craftsdwarfship was exquisite; not even a king had a weapon this fine. Uristador would never stop wondering why fate had offered him it. 'Why don't ye come see what a real metal can do to yer knees, ye tall bastard. Ye might've thought yer home down there was hell. Common mistake to make, ye see, because Steelhold will make that seem like a bloody vacation.'
When he saw the slightest hesitation in the apparition's eyes, Uristador didn't bother to turn around. It was pretty obvious what would happen after he toppled the slab. He had never been made for leadership. The best choice he could make was to be led.
He didn't react as the vengeful spirit of Emdief entered his body. He had been ready to die for some time, now. He joined the voices of Steelhold's dead whispering in their champion's head. They never could get their hands on a saviour, but perhaps they'd find themselves an avenger.

The dwarf who had once been Uristador's eyes glazed over, and his face broke into a manic grin. Where he stood, a void grew as magic fled from his awful presence.
Well then. No mask, I see. Shame, that. I had explicit instructions from Modi to shove that down your throat.
Cackling madly, Emdief swung at the human's legs.
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4maskwolf

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Re: The Insidious Sons of Steelhold -- Revival Succession Fortress
« Reply #567 on: February 13, 2014, 10:47:22 pm »

Oku deflected the blow without thinking about it, swinging the other blade at the reborn Emdief's chest.  The dwarf jumped away from the blow, showing more agility than he had ever demonstrated in his previous two lifetimes.  Oku stepped back slashing one blade in an arc, sending a blast of shadows rippling over Emdief to no noticeable effect.

"Interesting.  Your magic resistance remains intact."

That's right, demon-woman.  No magic tricks for you.

Oku grinned, swinging both blades towards the dwarf, who was forced to duck one and parry the other.  Before Emdief could respond, her swords were back in defensive positions.

"Don't be so sure, little dwarf.  I can still crush you like a knat.  I have over two hundred years of combat experience.  What can you claim?"
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Deus Asmoth

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Re: The Insidious Sons of Steelhold
« Reply #568 on: February 13, 2014, 10:56:18 pm »

The queen was still in her cage. Asmoth was wandering while she was thinking, which I probably should have been clearer about.

Asmoth put the queen back in her cage. The doctor was pretty sure she'd live, but a few nerve endings wouldn't be working again any time soon. She absent-mindedly licked some of the blood off her fingers, winced at the taste and wrote a reminded to test if it was nobles or other vampires that tasted so horrible. The screams in the air finally got through to her, but she decided it was probably some ruffians taking the opportunity to riot. She had to find Thikut before she did anything else, especially now that the fortress seemed to be glowing, shaking and... Bleeding? The doctor spat. Magic. All it did was get people blown up. Speaking of which...

"Mother?" Thikut said several minutes later. There were a couple of children with her that were normally covered in blood and smiling. Now they looked... like children. Scared and following the only person who looked like they knew what was going on.
"Thikut, I need you to do exactly what I tell you ok?" the girl nodded slowly. "Go north and stay at the first fortress you find. Spin them the old 'my home is overrun and I can't find my mommy' story. DO NOT KILL ANYONE. If I'm not there in a year, find somewhere you can start a cult of the vampire baby or something, and restart the Project. My notes are all here," she added, handing the child her journal.
"But what about you?" her daughter asked.
"Well, first I'm going to finish setting up these flasks. Then I'm going to have a family reunion, and if I don't like what your cousin is doing, I'm going to give him a slap," Asmoth grinned, raising the queen's severed arm. "If he kills me, these should catch fire in an hour or two, causing that big old pile of booze I've been making to explode, which should put a dint in anyone's plans."

Thikut nodded, wiping something away from her eye as she did. Asmoth watched them go, then headed into the madness that was Steelhold.
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Deus Asmoth

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Re: The Insidious Sons of Steelhold
« Reply #569 on: February 13, 2014, 10:57:04 pm »

Ignore this, I seem to have double posted.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2014, 11:03:08 pm by Deus Asmoth »
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