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Author Topic: Whisperwhip: a megabeast steakhouse (Circus Edition)  (Read 90074 times)

Drokles

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Re: Whisperwhip, a story of anticlimatic happenstances
« Reply #45 on: November 08, 2014, 06:46:17 am »

This is some of the best DF storytelling out there.
I tip my hat to you, sir!

I love the way the Bronze General has a compulsion to just come up with terrible, terrible ideas all of the time.
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On the rare occasions where this fort isnt under siege, wood cutting and hauling is our ultimate priority.

Taupe

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Re: Whisperwhip: Tales of bloodshed and deicide
« Reply #46 on: November 08, 2014, 11:48:25 pm »

Thanks everyone for the support! Feedback is awesome. (and so is quantum monarchy!) And now...

CHAPTER 27: Schrödinger's queen
113? Look, I don't even *know!*

So, I'm locked up in my own quarters. The old ones, not the one I claimed when I named myself acting ruler of the kingdom. How long have I been in here? I cannot say. The sun doesn't reach down here, and also the nature of time itself is being corrupted and crushed by it's own weight. I remember it was winter when the royal guards accused me of killing the queen, and had me tossed into my chambers. It's hard to prove you didnt murder the queen, qhen you were sort of actively designing a failsafe to flood her chamber with magma.

But I disgress. This story begins in the spring, with the murder of a hyena.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
The lion and hyenas had a gruesome battle in the courtyard, resulting in the death of another beast. It was the third this month, which prompted me to consult the ledger: we now had around 400 animals. Were did they come from? How did they breed so fast? I swear we are murdering rebellious dingos and eagles every week.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
As I try to puzzle out where these animals came from, a messenger warns me of something much more important: the King has arrived! Wait, the king? Don't we have a queen? I assume this is a simple generic way messengers have of cnveying the incredibly common and fasticious fact that a fortress has just become the capital. I put on my nicest garbs, and make sure to carefully hide the documents relative to my regicide machine. Yasee, I am not exactly trusting Quula and her soon-to-be padawan, and while I cannot figure out a way to eliminate the former, the later is fair game. I just need to make it an accident. My plan is to erhm, flood her chambers with magma should any undead threat be noticed. The main fucking issue is the fact that our magma source is about 20 levels under the queen's chamber. Solution: convince people that we need magma on the surface. But I disgress...

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I'm told that the queen is bringing her own bodyguards, the royal guard, known as the ''magical glove''. What an unconfortable name. They are the armor that guards and shelters the hand of a sorceress. I planned for the queen's arrival, but not 5+ bodyguards, and they will need rooms of good quality. I designate the floor above her majesty's level to be carved out into a mess hall and bedchambers of adequate size. I was planning to dig there anyway, for my special ''device''; at least now I have a reason to do so without arousing suspicion. when the time come to install the magma pipes, I'll simply claim we are enlarging this area.

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A kid is taken by a vision. Let's hope it's something about ponies and rainbows and making a fucking earring piece, and not related to my planned high treason.

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While awaiting for her majesty, I decide to stop and pray to Kadol. Her wisdom and mercy will soon be needed. Am I doing the right thing? Should I initiate my plan, or have I grown delusional and paranoid? My meditation is interupted by Kivish, our outpost liason. Now that we are the mountainhomes, his purpose is now... nothing? He says that thanks to a loophole, he is still assigned to conduct diplomacy with whisperwhip on behalf of the mountainhomes. which is now us. So this guy's job is to stay here and... manage the relationship of Whisperwhip with itself. He's basically a freeloader. It's hard to hate him, tho, because while most creatures are listed as missing, dead, or merchant, his official status is ''friendly''.

...Which is kind of problematic, because for some reason, our drink stocks have begun to dwindle. from close to 6k last year, we have reached 4k this morning. I can't seem to locate the source of the problem. We have sufficient potash and farmers, enough barrels, and enough storage. The current stills are to be operated nonstop, too. Maybe we need more? I order 2 more stills to be put in the wstern courtyard, because digging new rooms is not an option with the Magical Glove requesting housing. Could it be that our brewers are doing random shit instead of brewing? In that case I ope 5 stills instead of 3 will convince people to make booze more often.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
The fey-infused child is back, proud to announce that he turned the lion's bones into a wonderful creation: a rack for our queen's weaponry. Inspired by her majesty, and by the fight between lion and hyena earlier, he imagined a vivid and colored tale about a young lion cub raised by a skypig and a dingo, who later returns to his ancestral home to challenge the current king, and kill him.

...Is this the sign Kadol sends me? Am I to eliminate her grace? If so, I'll need 2 things: a war, and a magma machine. The first one I know how to get easily, the second is a two-step process. First, we need to install a working magma system underground, next to BASE1. Magma is awesome, and once people have seen how cool this red flood is, they'll be more open to... ''special uses''. Like defense. Against the elves. Which I'm about to piss off first chance I get.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
The queen is STILL not there. nobody has seen her since she presumably arriver in Whisperwhip. Stranger still, people seem to be working much, much slower than usual, except for the animals, who keep boning and duplicating. I consult with the mayor, who has studied dwafgineering ardently in the last 5 years. He knows what is going on...

-It's quite simple, and also very, very problematic, says the mayor. You see, our people have long mastered the art of amassing countless objects within the same space.
-Like dumps
-Exactly. This is also how we are able to build atom smashers. HOWEVER, with every exploit comes a glitch of equal force.
-What the what.
-Yes. FPS. Framerate. A common unit used to measure the flow of time itself. It's a calculation of how many frames a given dwarf can haul around wiithin a given moment. A normal, non-glitchy society will usually have a vast amount of framerates. The problem is when many, many objects gather in a single area, and create a singularity
-Yo, I'm not sure i follow.
-Ok, put it simply, time and space are entwined. What affects one ffects the other. dwarven technology has a way of compressing matter, which sadly has the side-effect of dilluting time by an equivalent factor. The more mass we accumulate, the slower time will flow. Stone is a big issue when we have a lot. so are countless corpses and hyena teeth. animals are the worst, because they increase their mass automatically by reproducing. Ever heard of a catsplosion?
-Yes. I tried to murder all our kittens, but I ssumed it was to prevent people from being sad if the adult cat died.
-No. cats are the worst. but dingos and hyenas and eagles and chickens are also a big issue.
-so we need to butcher every single animal we have, or at least most of them.
-Yes, it will work. but we are also reaching a critical mass of corpses and refuses. We must DESTROY them utterly
-Would.. would magma work?
-Yes, yes it would! Want me to work on a magma machine, Dumat?

Yes. Yes, dear mayor, I want you to design a magma machine.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
The easiest way to get rid of things is to trade them. Especially when you are dealing with leftover rags. But the humans are sending us Quula instead of merchants, we are the mountainhome so I doubt we'll get to trade with ourselves, and the elves... I have other plans for them.  Needless to say, our trade agreements are going to be shoddy at best for the next years.

We can't get rid of our clothes that way, BUT we can get rid of our absurd leather stockpile by making clothes. This is actually something I learned right here, live. After 17 years. You can use leatherwork to make pants. Sorry, all the naked people out there wearing goblin underwear! We have a legendary leatherworker, and many master-level crafters from all those stupid earrings we made. I order two spare workshops to be installed in the courtyard, and order 60 robes, trousers, and shoes. Hopefully they cost more than 1 leather piece, thus reducing our stockpile AND shameful nakedness.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
the butchers sloooowly start to annihilate the fauna of the fort. With 2 new butcheries, it goes smoothly. Having rotten corpses outside instead of in the kitchen also increase our cook's health ever so slightly. But butchering animals is a slow and annoying process. Shooting rebellious animals is WAY swifter. I order the trainers to not do their job, except for a select few animals of each kind (usually the lucky ones to be born tame). Dingos and hyenas and eagles and what have you start to go feral, then dead.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Quula has grown tired of creeping out the mayor and trying to follow him around. She is now spending all her free time (of which she has infinity) to corpse-starring and blood admiration. Whenever something dies, she strolls around and spend her afternoon sitting in the bloodsplatter, humming this

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
One thing is sure, tho, she aint EATING those fucking corpses, because they are still pilling up, and our new ''kill all pets ever'' political platform is not slowing that at all. In time everything is going to burn, but for now we need a new dumpatorium. This one is closer to home, because lazyness.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Oh, it's the elves. What's up fellas? Welcome to our fort. Don't mnd the smell, we are burying dozens of joyful pets. Why? because we just killed them. For fun. I hope that's okay with you, because it's super okay with the Godess of Death. They tell me they are ehcnated by my super work ethics, which I guess is what elves refer to as ''sarcasm''.

But I guess you didnt come here to discuss huh? Let's do business. All we want, is this booze of yours, and a bunch of logs, which we will BURN. Because we fucking hate trees. In exchange, we will give you all those wonderful, lovely soiled overused and bloodsoaked goblin-made vestments. We have a ton of it. In fact, you can have ALL of them. We have 50 pins of the stuff.

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The elves refuse my offer, because I ''accidentally'' forgot to uninclude one of the bins from the offer. This is why I hate elves: you'll offer them close to 40 thousand bucks of high quality wares, and they'll complain and insult you because one sock contains a splinter. Now they refuse to trade with us until ext year. We don't get to discard all those friggin rags, which is a shame.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
But just because we can't give you stuff doesn't mean we can't work something out. You see, dear pointy-eared friends, we have a shortage of booze, and an absurd overload of loaded crosbow bolts. So just, yaknow, drop all the logs and beer.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Impressed by our diplomacy and work ethics, the elves gift us free shit and depart. Elves are so friendly.  I head to see the general. I inform him that the elves are really super offended by Quula staying with us. They plan to attack us soon!

-Wow, those fucking assholes! I will shoot them all if they show up here. Or drown them. Can we reroute the river to drown the elves? Make sure you work on that!
-I...will... but I'm already working with the mayor on a magma waste disposal...
-Dumat, there are no bigger wastes than elves. As soon as you have a working magma channel I want that thing pumped to the surface and ready to overflow the region. Abandon all you architectural thingies, weaponising magma should be our PRIORITY!
-Yes, sir! As you command, sir!

...Excelent...!

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
I get the miners to work. The first step is to dig from BASE1. We'll need a magma forge running if we want to start a megaproject requiring engineering. Especially if we end up torching the entire surface. I'm not a big fan of burning elves alive, because seriously a sword to the face will just do, but the elf menace was the best way to get my plan approved. In reality, I want the magma flooder up and ready in case of an undead apocalypse. There is enough corpses around to take over the world, 2 necromancers willing to take over said world with an undead army, and dumping them all into the waste disposal could take years to achieve.

I don't know much about magma, actually, but I'm sure everything will work out. What I DO know, tho, is that pressure will make our tunnels overflow with magma if we breach the furnace too deep. I ''think'' the first layer of lava should be enough to fill the forge tunnel AND the disposal box without going under 4/7 high.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
The forges themselves will be situated inside a giant stalagtite that's right above the first lava layer, and 2 layers down from the southern BASE1 tunnel. If we build this correctly, magma monsters whouldnt be able to atack from the forge, nor will normal monsters be able to besiege it, since it's isolated from the caverns proper.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Here's the design: Lava poors from the volcano, goes around the underwater river, fills the magma forge, then floods a disposal box that'll be on the other side of the pillar workshops.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
There is NO convenient path to get the disposal box under an aquafier breach. Rivers or open caves and pits bar the way to the north. As such, i cannot make the dump chute start from the surface, not even fro the first layers of the fort. The closest spot is from above the civilian catacombs, which is the highest level to exist below the aquafier. Conveniently, it is unused, and a tunnel is designated. I make it 3x3 because making such a long and important passage 1 large is just asking for jams. It's a long walk, but that's all i can do. People will have to take shit outside, enter the fort, go down several levels, cross that long-ass tunnel, and then dump corpses and rags into a shaft. Still better than going all the way down next to the volcano, tho. I calibrate the shaft so that it doesn't destroy any existing structure along the way.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Several z-levels below, the workers start to excavate the pit right under the disposal shaft. It is 2 levels deep, because im not sure if a single level filled at 4/7th would destroy absolutely everything.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Ah, goblins. I don't mind them, but I mind what they leave behind. Clothes and useless copper shields and equally useless copper helms are NOT helping our FPS, which is now down to 14 at the best of time.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Our best cook starts to cross the entire county in the wrong direction, attracting a dozen trolls and 2 squads of goblins. thankfully none of the invaders in this section have ranged weapons. The cook spent the last year breathing misma from the kitchen, and his lungs are now very, very good at stockpiling air for long periods of time. He manages to outrun the goblins and join with the troops without having to catch his breath.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Onol, from the Contests of fortifying, has an epic duel against a particularly badass spearman. The fight lasts for 5 pages, but the wounds are too deep, and Onol finally gives in. His lungs are not cook, level, and soon he suffocates.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
After the battle, the queen is gifted a magnificient scepter honoring her, to commemorate the start of her reign in Whisperwhip. The big issue is... we don't know where the queen is. Nobody has seen her. 5 courtiers arrived, including her 4 bodyguards, but nobody knows where the queen is. they say she should be around, but she isnt listed in the unit list, nor do I see her name in the death list. Maybe the civilisation screen is giving me a false name? I heard of monarchs falling dead as they arrive to their new capitals, and the queen is rather old. Did she get all the way here, only to have Quula counterspell her witchcraft and reduce her to dust?

I check the tombs. The most recent death is Kikrost's, and that was in winter last year. if the queen did show up, and died, she should have been buried here, regardless of the name she used. yet there is nobody down here. Is the time warp bending reality around our county locking her outside?

Wherever she is, someone has to govern this place. the queen named me as expedition leader 17 years ago, to watch over Whisperwhip. Now this fortress is the capital, and the queen is missing. As the overseer of our capital, I bestow upon myself the title of regent, and move my quarters to the throne room. As long as the queen doesn't show up, I can postpone my plans to actively kill her, and focus on fixing this friggin time-bubble. I also get to use this really awesome scepter. With the general on my side, I can coerce our own army into protecting me. The royal guards are relocated to the shitiest dorms that BASE1 has to offer. I could spare the time to smooth, engrave, and furnish their quarters, but nah. I like the place empty of outsiders. With the Magical Gloves exiled to the mines below, it should be really easy to prepare the deathtrap, should the queen show up. If she does. for now, the queen is presumed both dead and alive, until we can observe her corpse.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2014, 11:54:10 pm by Taupe »
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Taupe

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Re: Whisperwhip: Tales of quantum physics and deicide
« Reply #47 on: November 11, 2014, 03:51:02 am »

CHAPTER 28: Lava 101
Late 113

My nomination to the title of regent was rather self-imposed, and rather shaky in terms of legitimacy. As soon as I took that scepter and sat in the throne, I knew my every actions would be doubted and judged, by the royal guards and the old citizens both. It would no longer do to simply scramble around and dispatch orders, now I had to choose my every word.

First, I brought before me the important members of the Citadel, and explained to them how it had fallen upon me to defend and order this place in the absence of our beloved queen. The elves are coming, and Quula is a disaster waiting to happen. The seat of leadership should not remain empty, especially if said seat is made of pure solid gold and covered in gems. The mayor was on my side, and so was the general, thanks to the whole ''lava murder'' project. count Tun was on the side of querns, but since I had always kept our stocks high, and refused to trade our joy and pride to the various coveting nations that visited us, he was sort of chill with the idea. The main troublemakers were the queen's men. Of course, they would oppose my powergrab. Where was the queen, they asked. Gee, I dunno, you are her bodyguards, you tell me. Just go look for her, I have a war to prepare for, and a country to flood with magma.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
I knew memorialising fallen soldiers would go a long way toward securing the loyalty of our army, so I made sure that Onol's death would not be a trivial event. The name of her killer catches my eye. ''Dang, Poisoncalled''. I spend a few minutes trying to come up with the perfect joke for it, but my devotion to comical narration is interrupted by a tantruming dwarf.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Mebzuth the tanner is really friggin mad right now. He breaks into a fit of rage, calm down, then immediately goes back on a rampage. He has been working nonstop at the tanner's shop, and the other butcher on duty is quick to explain why Mebzuth is so angry. Many of his pet cats died. Why did they die? We butchered them. Why were we butchering them? Because they were kittens. why were they his pets? because he waited for them to become adults, promptly befriended them, then shopped their head off. Sometimes, people choose the fucking wrong job for their personality.

I order that Mebzuth be kept from butchering duty until further notice (read: never). This will seriously impede our animal murderspree, but a tantruming dwarf may be worst then a low framerate.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
With the poor life-choices of our workforce dealt with (hopefully) it's time to focus on our main operation: the lava device. We won't have lava upstairs until we get pumps, and for pumps we need iron, and for iron we need to smelt 15 years worth of goblin equipment, which mean a lava forge. Around winter is when the tunnels under the forge are finished, and the waste pit excavated.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
We install an iron floodgate to give some time to the miner, but i think letting magma pour to ither tunnels may also be a good idea. Relying on my total lack of research or knowledge regarding lava, I order two side paths to be dug.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
[/spoiler]
The miners are done with the dumping hallway. Most of them venture downstairs to excavate the side-tunnels, but I need one guy to create the shaft, ideally before we fill the pit underneath with red death.

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The miner start his long journey. He digs right next to the catacombs, avoiding the walls by two urists. He passes the queen's chamber, then the coliseum. He can feel the smooth wall right next to him. A single hit on the side fills the gigantic dome with a low and muted echo. Another leel of channel is designated, and our worker ventures further down...

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Under the 4 levels of the coliseum is the military crypt, and this one too is rather close. Thankfully the mayor made very precise calculations, and the shaft seems to be avoiding any existing structure, albeit narrowly.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
His journey ends at the bottom of BASE1, in the southern corridor next to the magma forge staircase. He is followed closely by some gems and about a dozen blocks of stone. Using a logic-defying diagonal move, he makes it back to the tunnel, and channels the last level from the tunnel, with both feet on solid ground. The shaft now connects to the pit, with two dumping points. One at the top, right below the aquafier, and one here in BASE1.

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The metalworkers are eager to see this place running. They don't even wait for the new forge to be decorated, and install the first magma forge right away. Now we just need to breach the obsidian wall...

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The lucky bastard to undertake this perillious task arrives in the tunnel. I expected our best miner, someone fast and battle-hardened, and focused on the task at hand. Instead, they send us a very slow dwarf...

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
A fourteen year old dwarf, with ADD. Litast is the first and only dwarf to be born in Whisperwhip that survived to adulthood. The miners tell me they chose him because he is young, and eager, and brave. We go over the briefing one more time, and do some test runs without the lava, to make sure the kid is up to date. Litast will break the obsidian wall, retreat and retreat. the lava will slowly flood the tunnel, and most of the initial flow will go into the side tunnels, giving us time to activate the floodgate. Once the tunnel is cleared, we rectivate the gate, and the tunnels will fill the forge and pit. Let's go Litast! I believe in you!

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
[/spoiler]
Oh...

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Well...

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
At least the lava is here? you know how they say, ''you can't make an omelette without melting a few kids''.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Liquified volunteers aside, the project is a success! The tunnels are filling, altho very slowly, and there should be enough magma on this first level to fill both the pit and the forge at least to 4/7th height. Once that happens, we'll close the floodgate and seal the tunnels from the volcano, so that we can use the lower levels of the reservoir to power the Floodmeister's pumps.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
I'm told a new tribe of troglodytes moved into the caverns, but they were engaged by our soldiers before they could interfere with the magma site. The military's fast reaction time made for a fast and efficient dispatch of those 15 monsters.

With our enemies dead, and our tunnels filling, there is nothing more to do in the caverns for now. Everyone returns to the main fort, to celebrate with mead and songs. I decline the invitation, and retreat to the throne room, to drink alone while I meditate on our next step. Should I start burning corpses now, or use the workforce to quickstart the pumps? We'll also need power, as well as tons of iron. Maybe a dam? I'm not sure the river is mighty enough to support one...

As I'm musing on my options, a copper door slams open in front of me, across this silvery hall. Without reverence, the Magical glove walks in, and approaches me with their weapon drawn.

''-Dumat Construcmirrored! barks their leader. By order of the queen, you are now relieved of your functions. You shall be escorted to your quarters, to await your trial and execution.
-Under what pretense?
-Regicide
-That's ridiculous. Even if the queen was to be dead, I have nothing to do with this.
-We have proof of the contrary, says a second guard, producing a small book from his backpack. My journal!
-Please, good sir, read the relevant passages to the accused.
-Yes, commander. Ahem... ''My plan is to erhm, flood her chambers with magma''. Then some pages later... ''now I have a reason to do so without arousing suspicion. when the time come to install the magma pipes, I'll simply claim we are enlarging this area.''. Here later still one can read: ''...Is this the sign Kadol sends me? Am I to eliminate her grace?''
-That's not... I...
-SILENCE!

From the first quote, I knew I was boned. I know better than to argue. And what wold I say? ''You have the wrong of it, I was only planning to kill the queen, it's just a weird coincidence that she suddenly disappeared!'' Trying to prove my innocence here and now is futile.

Alas, all my men are busy drinking and dancing upstairs. With no guards to defend me, I have no chance of fighting my way out of the throne room alive. Not against 4 trained champions. I let go of my scepter, and my hopes of escaping, as the Magical Glove grabs me and escort me to my room, where chains await me...
« Last Edit: November 11, 2014, 04:02:49 am by Taupe »
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Taupe

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Re: Whisperwhip: Tales of quantum physics and deicide
« Reply #48 on: November 11, 2014, 05:05:37 am »

Choose your own Overseer
-Read on if you like some behind-the-scenes ranting, or skip to question 4 if you just want to choose the new overseer


Sidenote: I'm trying to move slowly toward some sort of narration. How much, however, is something I'm not certain about.

At first I simply screenshoted what happened ingame, and wrote the posts as i played. an ok formula, but not one I was too fond of, as most of the early updates can be read as ''here's 27 things that happened before I got tired of playing''. Over the weeks I've started to simply play and amass screenshot until I felt I had enough to make a coherent post. I'm basically trying to make each update more thematic, usually starting and ending with a specific problem and it's resolution (or disastrous lack thereof).

The big issue with this approach is that I don't want to break the flow of the narration, which in turn means rearranging some screenshots and the narration that connects to them. The various animal births and knowledge increase obviously didnt happen right after the other, more like over a 3 month period, but it made more sense to start the update talking about the big issue of the season, instead of stopping every 10 lines to mention a new dog was born. So to some extend, I'm tweaking the timeline a bit. That's why I started cropping most of the dates from the screenshots. Rest assured, if a chain of event is relevant, it will be kept intact, so the reader can understand what birthed the new clusterfuck that is at hand.

The other issue is how much I should include in terms of minor events. Not all dog births are actually relevant, and narrating all of them usually clogs up a story pretty hard. Thankfully, with about a season to a years' worth of events in mind when I write, it's easier to either group those events together if they are numerous enough, or omit them if they serve no comical or narrative purpose. The big culprits here are the goblin and kobold thieves. We get ridiculous amounts of them every years, but they usually fall in traps or get shot before they cause any problems. If a thief appears in a problematic situation, and adds to the tension, or if he murders something, then I include him. that's usually when they show up during invasions or ambushes. But most of the thieves (I'd say over two thirds) never make it to the final post. I'm also too lazy to screenshot all of them.

The number of screenshots I tale is going down drastically as the fort progresses, primarily because the framerate is dropping, and the game is usually running in the background while I watch TV. I'll usually unpause and ackowledge that somebody named a new palm crossbow every 5 minutes, check the combat and announcement logs, then go back to binge-watching CinemaSins. I'm no longer sticking around and staring at my screen actively, unless we are fudging around with magma.

The framerate drop, as well as the appearance of Quula and the queen's entourage, are why i'm planning a thicker narrative. With fewer random images, and  important characters joining the story, I end up padding the story much more than I did in the beginning, with monologues, discussions and bits of story and foreshadowing. Is this a good thing, or a bad thing? I need your opinion, readers. Here's 4 questions that will give me an idea of what makes this thread interesting to you. I'm out of screenshot, I won't be able to play much for a while, and the game is slow as hell, so now seems like a good time if any to ponder on those questions.

1-Do you prefer more, or less screenshots? And are full-sized SS annoying when you unspoiler them?

2-Should I aim for smaller upgrades? Looking back on this thread I noticed that a lot of posts are simply humongous walls of text and spoilers... It also means that some upgrades may not contain much interesting stuff if i shorten them.

3-Should we move toward more storytelling, stay where we are, or move back to a more casual form of narration? The other points are technicalities, this one is the main concern. I have no clue if people are here for the jokes, the clusterfuck of administration and bloodshed that WW has become, or my very rusty writing...

4-Choose your own overseer: No matter how prosaic or casual the writing gets, we'll still need a narrator, and Dumat the broker/founder is currently out of the loop, so someone will have to step up. I have 4 candidates: Count Tun (a vain pawn), The mayor (architect and engineer with zero friends), The Doctor (working against Quula, possibly insane) or the Bronze General (Brilliant at fighting, terrible at having safe ideas). It's safe to say that whoemever takes over as overseer will influence the decisions I make, and the focus of Whisperwhip's horribly unspecialised labor, at least for a year or two.

So there you are, a Choose your own Overseer! The next update won't be in for a while. Expect maybe 2 weeks, possibly more. Thanks for the patience, and the feedback!

PS: If you would like to be dorfed, now is a good time to step in! We have 170 (i think?) dwarves, and most of them are generic guys named Urist, which is just bland. This fort could need a few more recognizable faces.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2014, 05:11:49 am by Taupe »
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Drokles

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Re: Whisperwhip: Tales of quantum physics and deicide
« Reply #49 on: November 11, 2014, 07:16:04 pm »

Hi Taupe,
Basically just carry on telling the story like you are now, I think you've struck a really nice balance between all of the points you've mentioned, and I never get tired from reading your walls of text. I didn't think I'd read it through to the end, but what can I say.. You're just an awesome writer.
However, I will recommend that you crop your screenshots more often, as you've started to do recently. With some of the earlier posts I have no idea what's going on in a given screenshot because there's just too much clutter and I can't be bothered to look at it closely.

Of course I'd love to be dorfed. Find some neurotic pessimist that nobody likes, and give him my name!

As far as the new overseer goes, I definitely vote the Bronze General. I feel like everything so far has been leading up to that choice!
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Immortal-D

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Re: Whisperwhip: Tales of quantum physics and deicide
« Reply #50 on: November 17, 2014, 09:04:16 pm »

1- Always more, and with bright photoshop circles to highlight important parts.
2- This is always tough.  Try to constrain each block of writing to 2-3 months of game time.  However long you make each subsequent update is up to you.
3- I'm here for the first two, personally :p  Though not intentionally clusterfucking the Fortress, is fun to watch peeps learn stuff.  I've been playing the game several years now and still finding new things.
4- Bronze General.
5- Dorf me up baby!  Preferably something exotic like Jeweler or Spear & Shield.
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The Dwarf Fortress Hall of Legends
The wheelbarrow just up and attacked her masterfully.
Christ, it hit her while she was standing up...
Put that wheelbarrow in the military.

Taupe

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Re: Whisperwhip: Tales of quantum physics and deicide
« Reply #51 on: November 19, 2014, 12:48:53 am »

CHAPTER 29: Kicking into gears
End of 113

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

The news of Dumat's arrest reaches me promptly. Shocking. They say he was driven mad by his Overseer job, and is now babbling incoherently about dark forces, demons and undead. Strange and troubling news indeed, as just a few weeks ago we were discussing the implementation of a giant lava murderflood device, and he seemed quite rational about it. The army had a vote, and elected me as their new Overseer. I turn to Led, my trusted second (and Bookkeeper).

-Led, my command over this outpost now extends beyond the fields of military leadership. Do you know what that means?
-Sir, with all due respect, we are a capital, not a mere ''outpost''.
-Well, a metropolis is just a bigger outpost, isn't it? Stop interrupting.
-But you asked a...
-I said stop interrupting. Well, do you?
-...
-I said, do you know what that means?
-You... will need to make important decisions?
-Yes, and the first is, of course, to have my biography written. By you. Write my Biography now, Led.
-Sir?
-Well, you are a bookkeeper, aren't you?
-Yes, keeper, not author...
-Well, yes, but whom better to keep books than the one who writes them? That's why we give babies to their mothers. Because they ''crafted'' them, Led.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Led the Bookwriter is dismissed for now. My next guest is our beloved and ingenious mayor, Mebzuth, but as always he is late, probably working on some cage trap of some sort. His lack of devotion to his mayoral duties is deplorable, yet we will need his mechanical skills to construct a murderflood. While I wait, I take some time to inspect our artifact hatch cover, which links my quarters to the first barrack right below. Below is my personal squad's quarters, but their barracks are now mostly unused, given that they are in charge of protecting the caverns.

What a fine item this hatch is! It was the second artifact ever crafted here in Whisperwhip...

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Mayor Mezbuth interrupts my artifact-based musing as he enters my office with various blueprints. He says he worked all night on them, as I requested.

-We are working on the first lever, he says. But I suggest adding 6 others.
-Agreed. Make sure the cages are spread evenly between each lever.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
-Yes, my lord. I also took the liberty to order doors placed. Copper doors, of fine quality. We have so much of it around, that most of our non magma-proof stuff should be made from it.
-Yes, doors. that should stop the trolls alright. well long enough for them to be shot down.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Our soldiers are getting remarkable with crossbows, but bolts are far from lethal, in most cases. It would take dozens of shots to take down a troll, even weakened ones. thankfully, my years-long emphasis on bolt stockpiling has so far ensured an adequate supply of the little buggers.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
The mayor and I spend some time browsing various blueprints. ''this one!'' I yell. I like this one. The cages are well-spaced, and it should make the wiring less confusing. 7 levers, and 7 rows of cages. We have 42 prisoners, too.

As you may have guessed, I'm putting the coliseum to good use. Or any use whatsoever, for that matter. Dumat had it built, and it took 3 years and 5 dwarven lives, including a brave fighter. I refuse to have this megaproject gather dust to no end. The queen may be missing, but my nomination to the Overseer post is worthy of a good show. A mass execution in front of every soul in Whisperwhip is a good way to reduce or fabled ''FPS'', free some cages, and remind the citizens that our army is strong, and our enemies endless.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
-We won't have enough mecanisms as it is, my lord. May i suggest that we put the side-space to good use, and designate a second mecanist's workshop, as well as a mecanism stockpile? We'll need about 90 of them to set up the cage wiring. Having them close at end means less time lost for the workers.
-Yes, yes. Do that. How many mecanists do we have right now? And how skilled are they.
-Well, hum, it seems that my main assistant was completely anihilated from existence 2 years ago, and is now haunting the nothwestern hills. Another mecanic was eaten by a troll, and a third lost both his legs in an ambush. so that's, well, me and two novices.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Before leaving, I sign and stamp a request from our manager. some workers want better protection, and he commissioned countless pairs of working gloves. Led mentioned we had enough leather to feed the continent. Give the peasants some gloves if they need them, I don't mind. I place an order for more smelted tetrahedrite, while we're at it, and charcoal for good measure. Mezbuth and i head to the surface next.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Miners are designating parts of Dogshatter Hill to be channeled out. I want the groundwork for the magma flooder up and running as fast as possible. For now the best way to go at it is to redirect the river across the hill, to act as a moat. when we get magma, we'll get rid of, erh, the river somehow, and replace it with magma. I'm sure it can be done easily. it's just liquid swapping.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Another layer of the western wall nears completion. I'm told that our masons have terrible work ethics, and need constant supervision to build something as simple as a all without getting stuck between two blocks. Dumat the broker was coordinating our workforce as best as he could, but now we'l obviously need to nominate a master builder.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
The miners want to know what to do once they have channeled the first layer. Channel the second layer, is obviously my answer. I'm sad that I even need to adress that. Clearly none of those idiots is worthy of the master builder title. While this was playing out, Mebzuth took some notes, and updated his plans. ''We'll need to move the depot sooner or later.'' he claims. ''Otherwise the moat will be too small, or too faraway from the walls.''

I'm not sure what to do with the trader area. not that it matters anyway, as we have no trading partners, and our broker is waiting for his execution. I still have some time to think about that. for now, our next stop are the caverns, and the magma forge they contain. Mebzuth would make a great chief architect, but i need him to focus on training mecanists and devising blueprints for our more complicated contraptions. I simply cannot have him wasting his time babysitting a bunch of brickhandlers.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
I meet Led on the way home from the hills. He's not done with my book, sadly, for he claims that we have more urgent matters. Our corpse stockpiles are full again, and the haulers and butchers need a place to dump all the dead animals. ''Just add a southernier wing to the southern wing'' is the solution I present. I'm sure they can figure out the details on their own. Hopefully.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
We have to stop on our way to the forge, as a huge commotion is jamming up the workshops area. Apparently a child has completed what people describe as an artifact. I politely congratulate the lad on his work. Too bad he couldn't produce something artistic, or useful. This bracelet is incredibly well crafted, yet it lacks any type of personal touch. His peers are praising his bright future as a stonecrafter, but what we truly need is more soldiers, or some metalworkers. Stonecrafters are both numerous, and unneeded right now.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
As we reach BASE1, a panicked herbalist rushes toward me. He is visibly hysterical, and i can barely make out what he is saying. Calm down, lad, calm down. What happened?

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
He finally regain enough sence to explain the basics to us. He was working in the caves, when a crocodile came out of nowhere, and lunged at him. He managed to get away solely thanks to his pet dogs, who defended him against the beast.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
By the time we reach the battle, it's already too late for the dogs. Thankfully the herbalist himself made it to the fort in one piece. I examine the carcass after the skirmish, and to my deepest regret, I conclude that this crocodile was not the dreaded Purerisks, meaning this fabled hunter still lurks around in the dark waters, somewhere, waiting.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Why was the herbalist there in the first place? The caverns were off-limit, as far as I'm concerned.
-We spotted some Elk birds further north, so we went after them.
-We?
-Me, the dogs, and Ustuth the hammerer...

Ustuth? That's bad news. What is he doing downstairs? His job is to hammer criminals, not chase down birds in the depths of the earth. given, we had no crimes in 12 years, thanks to half the population being peace enforcers, but even at that... Ustuth the hammerer is a fishery worker by trade, and has no business handling a crossbow so far away from his quarters.

Al this paperwork and blueprint-reviewing is boring me to no end, and i could really need a fight right now. I declare that I will look after Ustuth. A pessumistic, female voice decides to join in:

-I'll go with you, my lord. You'd probably end up dying if you went on your own. In fact, Ustuth is probably gone as we speak.
-That's... very nice of you to volunteer, Drokles.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Drokles is our newst recruit. She joined the army some years prior, and is still undergoing intensive training. People Drokles like tends to, erhm, die horribly to say the least, and as a result she has grown rather morbi and pessimistic over the years. She is slowly turning into a fine soldier, if you can ignore her constant reminders that we're all doomed to die sooner or later. I would scold her for her attitude, but she is almost entirely clad in bronze, so I'm ready to forgive her a lot of things. Bronze is the greatest thing.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
...As those weakling birds soon realize. The newfound elk bird colony is dispatched with haste, while Drokles lament on the foolishness of migrating here. Is she talking about the birds, or us? it's better not to ask.


I return to BASE1 with haste, where the mayor is waiting for me. ''the magma levels are now adequate!'' he announces. Indeed, our first magma forge is now ready for some action.

-Excellent, Mebzuth! Let's begin iron production, that we can turn those sweet bars into magma pumps.
-Yeah, hum, that's a forge, sir, not a smelter. We'll need to build two additional smelters next to this workshop.
-Two?
-We don't have many metalworkers. with 2 smelters, and one turning the iron into pumps, we're basically employing most of our metalworkers, assuming we run at full capacity. which we won't, because this forge is pretty fucking far away from our stockpiles...

He's right. BASE1 has living space and a dinning hall, but it lacks any form of industry, save for one forge. The workers will need to do tremendous amounts of walking to get any work done. I need better industries down here, and to set them up I'll need a master builder.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
The mayor has some more bad news.

-We can't operate the floodgate for now. The ghostly teenager Litast is haunting the magma tunnels
-He's dead, and a ghost now. I told you we were all going to die here! screams a nearby voice.
-Quiet, Drokles. Was the kid not memorialised?
-He was, my lord, but the slab never was placed. Dumat was arrested before he could get to that.

I turn to the guards and miners sitting in BASE1's hall. ''One of you get on your feet and have this slab installed within the hour''

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Anyway, I explain to the mayor that once the magma forge is no longer haunted, I want all those iron and copper helmets melted presto.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
There is, at least, one good news regarding the forge project. The miners keeping an eye on the reservoir swear it's still at the same level, despite our intervention. This means we'll never run out of sweet, sweet lava for our murderflood project. It also means that the tunnels we dug will fill to their maximum capacity...

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Well, no point in just staring at the volcano now, miners. Get your ass upstairs, and bring back some blocks or stone to wall off the waste disposal pit. I don't want any magma leaking out or spilling randomly when we drop stuff from above. Oh, and leave some room for a door, just in case we need to improve the design, or her, retrieve something in there. Or someone.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
The rest of the winter goes about without any incident. soon the new year kicks in, and 3 cats die of old age in unison. In the middle of the celebrations, an engraver gives birth in the kitchen while securing some extra cookies.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
The bad news is, our kitchens are still suffering from serious miasma-related issues. I'm not sure this is the best place to give birth, Datan.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Despite the terrible conditions that saw her enter this world, the baby appears to be fine. She is named Vishakanya, for her affinity with miasma. May she live a long and healthy life! Visha's mother describe her joy and pride as having incredible memory, and a way with word, which is pretty damn impressive for a 17-minutes-old toddler.

While everyone is singing and dancing, i'm approached by a very energetic young man.

-General, you must come see this! Quickly!
-Is it this damn baby? because I've already been told about...
-No, sir. not the baby. t's... it's important.

The lad seems serious about it, so I follow him outside, where he presents me the corpses of two lions, burnt to a crisp.

-We found those in the western hills, while gathering wood. Everything around had been scorched into ashes.
-Tell the soldiers to sober up, and assemble outside. Now.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2014, 12:57:29 am by Taupe »
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Drokles

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Re: Whisperwhip: Tales of quantum physics and deicide
« Reply #52 on: November 19, 2014, 09:46:54 pm »

Oh cool, I've been dorfed! thanks ;)

The Bronze General is definitely the right person to be in charge of the lava moat. And, yes, I mainly say that because he is the supreme military leader of the fortress and I now happen to be in a position where I can't disagree much.
Good luck!
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Taupe

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Re: Whisperwhip: Tales of quantum physics and deicide
« Reply #53 on: November 20, 2014, 12:12:19 am »

Quote
Oh cool, I've been dorfed! thanks ;)

Indeed! Your dwarf is actually the most important of the named dwarves so far (and most pessimistic.) As for the other dorfed members, they are really doing nothing at all, but Orion is the strongest person in the fort, and immortal-D is, quite fittingly, the best dodger on the continent.

Taupe

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Re: Whisperwhip: Tales of quantum physics and deicide
« Reply #54 on: November 20, 2014, 03:57:45 am »

CHAPTER 30: And the land shall burn
Spring of 114

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
I order all able man to mobilise outside, as fast as they can muster. Only 4 answer the call. The rest are drunk beyond relief, which for a dwarf is saying something. Before me stands Doren the lasher, Drokles with her ion scourge and her non-existent enthusiasm, Zefon the hammerdwarf, as well as a fourth one with a helm so large I can't put a name on him/her

I order my four underlings to seek out the source of these fires. Murdering it painfully is unspoken, yet very hinted at.

I surge into the great hall, and grab a few more soldiers, ordering them on their feet and ready to fight within the minute. Half a dozen answer my call, and regroup outside, yet it's obvious to me that they won't be doing any fighting. None that involves winning that is to say. They have produced crossbows from the armory, but not even half of them bothered to grab a quiver, and one of them is holding his weapon upside down. Another vomits. A third complains that he hates the sun, despite the very clear presence of night around us. So this ragtag team of drunkards mobilize near the fort, on a nearby hill, and stare in the distance

-Pretty!
-Fires!

They are right, something is going on to the west.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
A child arrives, claiming that he has seen what's over the hill. A great beast of fire. The kid pretends it is a Forest Titan, despite being made of fire. He also nicknamed the creature San, because kids are stupid.


The simple name of ''San'' is nowhere near strong enough to convey how awe-inspiring this titan truly is. As I approach the fight, I can now see it more clearly. What I mistook for a forest fire is in fact a gigantic pterosaur, whose unending hairs are made of bright flames. The beast's fiery hair descent along its body, and turn into 2 enormous wings, spreading fire and ashes with his step.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
I only catch a glimpse of this astonishing titan before the area around it fills up with a vast cloud of smoke. Screams and a strong smell of burnt flesh is coming from inside the cloud. Half the scouting party is trying to aim at the beast from afar, when they can catch a clear sight through the smoke. Drokles is nearby, her scourge in one hand, and a half-melted shield leaking on her left arm. Further away, more soldiers have gathered to watch, but are obviously too drunk to engage, prefering to admire what to them is simply a new year firework display.

-Soldier! What's going on? Where's Zefon?
-He's... he's in the smoke, general! not sure if he's alive or not. Probably dead
-....arrrgh heeeeeeeeelllllllp
-Well, clearly he is, get in there and support his ass, Drokles.
-Yeah... I guess I'll end up dying sooner or later, migh as well be it now, huh...

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
I think I can see Zefon wrestling the creature as best he can, which is not very well. he attempts to latch on the titan using his teeth, but he's quickly shaken. Drokles move in to flank the beast, but they can hardly hit anything above the junk area, for the beast is tall indeed. They settle to foot-whacking. Some bolts are coming from the two marksdwarves nearby, not that it does any good.

Suddenly, Zefon leaps out of the fight, very much so on fire. His head is now a dwarven torch, beard and hair burning, fat melting away. Soon his shirt catches fire, as the waxy flesh pours over his torso. I see a gigantic ball of fire coming out of the smoke, right at him.

-Doooodge! I scream

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Zefon heads my warning, and turn around just in time to parry the fireball, sending coals flying left and right as the attack impacts on his shield. the beast s not done with him, and charges at him, Drokles jump on his left leg, and San slams on the ground, visibly exausted. The falling beast is so huge that hitting the ground knocks the smoke cloud away for a breif moment. The two archers and myself wste no time, and fire at the beast. As it gets up, a bolt from Doren the lasher pierces it's brain.

Good job, everyone! Zefon is still on fire tho. by the time we get to him, his face can hardly be described as such. The poor guy is hardly able to stand, suffers from intense bloodloss, and he starts to walk slowly toward the fortress. I have him followed.

A few days later, I hear the official report on the battle's aftermath. Doren is now known as the unburnt, because slayer of flame sounded way too corny. The troops also gave the custom title of ''firewalker'' to Zefon. I'm told that after the fight, he went back to the stockpiles, losing consciousness two or three times along the way, then he picked up some provisions, and crawled back outside to get his shield back. Once he had correctly secured his military supplies, he went on top of the central tower and stodd watch for 5 minutes, before collapsing. they sent him to the hospital, but every time he just gets up and return to the tower.

Come mid-spring, we hear words of elven warriors on our land. they pretend to be escorting a caravan. I was warned of their planned invasion, however, and ordered them shot on the spot. they didnt even shoot back. for a bunch of supposed traders, they sure were back at exchanging shots. The looters were surprised to see that the corpses of the would-be merchants had no weapon on them, and that their caravan was actually filled with goods.

Did we slaughter innocent traders? I mean, I don't mind a few dead elves, but the implication that Dumat lied to me is angering. The old man was getting pretty paranoid at the end, I heard, seing demons and conspirations everywhere. It was probably madness that spoke of an imminent elven attack, and not malice. Regardless, the tree-huggers will probably be pretty mad after that. do I mind? not really. what's the point of an elf-slaying murderflood if we don't get to slay elves with it? The goblins have been growing soft lately, and I could use a few new foes to change my mind.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Elves are notoriously good at shooting stuff down, however. A bit of a dodge training could be in order. As it stands, our greatest dodger is called Immortal-D, for nobody can aparently land a blow on this dwarf. For a guy so focused on avoiding hits, he still manages to get his fair share of kills, offing two or three goblins a year without a miss. I inform him of possibly incoming elves, and ask that he give a few dodging demonstrations to the guards defending the wall. Our newest recruit have seen a lot of battles, but their experience with defensive manoeuvers is still embryonal, with maybe a goblin or two sporting a bow in each siege.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
I'm told that the forge has been exorcised, so I order our 500 fucking helmets to be forged into something useful. Sadly, everyone tells me they are busy hauling the elven goods inside. Ironically, the only person in the fort who is not forced to carry shit around is the countess, Tun's wife, who takes up smelting duty with her 5 kids. I hope one of them falls into the stupid magma vents. I hate kids. They are like dumber, defenseless dwarves.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
It seems that in the chaos of new year's eve events, someone was so drunk that he carried the artifact bin at the fartest edge of the caverns, and dropped it on a pile of bloody troglodyte corpses. nobody will claim responsibility for this act of utter idiocy, but they can be assured that consequences will be felt if this wooden bin is not back in the vaults within the hour, along with the half-million bucks worth of stuff it contains.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
With the forges theoretically operational, we'll need some decent workshops and stockpiles down in BASE1. the ''dump shit randomly in the corridors we dont use too much'' approach can only carry you so far, unless you devote all your time to digging up new corridors. Which sounds like a pretty rad plan, actually.

However, the miners insist that building 3 stockpiles on the upper floor of BASE1 would be immensely easier than, say, an infinite amount of hallways. Lay bums. They should be glad they found a cluster of red zircons in there, otherwise I would have taken their insubordination less well.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
People ae taking a break from elf-hauling to do some stone-hauling. They are forfeiting food storage to delve in the deepest levels of the fort, grab a giant-ass block of stone, then spend 2 weeks carrying it upstairs across narrow corridors floating around chasms. That's absurdly inneficient, and dumb. i order 4 workshops built and excavated (not in that order, morons), and demand that the gneiss from all this mining be turned into gneiss blocks, which will be stored across the hall in our new workshops. If BASE1 need stone, we can use those They are lighter and not 2 fucking weeks away.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Speaking of workshops, some haulers are complaining about their duty at the dumpatorium. Tired of spending their days doing back and forths into the mouth of death itself to swim in miasma and handle dead bloody carcasses, they volunteer themselves to be on crafting duty instead. They say they could save much space by decorating existing items with bones. I'm not sure using our butchers to produce animal bones is a great idea, tho, as we still have 340 animals in the fort, which is at least 200 too much. The butchers have more important tasks to do right now.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
They keep insisting, and present me a list of all the bones we already have. Do they not know i'm aware that sentient creatures bones CANNOT be used for anything for SOME VAGUE REASON MAYBE? do they take me for a fool? Their inventory list even contain THREE upper left legs of Rith Onamudib, exposing their forgery and deceit. I order them hammered for lying...

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
...but soon learn that our hammerer is running after a fucking giant snake for some reason.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
I send some men to bring him back whole, and yes I obviously want that dangerous snake killed, idiots. and take care of those infighting hyenas while you are at it. I heard that one of them assaulted a weaver recently. Why we have a weaver is beyond me, as we never produced any form of cloth in the 17 years we've been here. I wish we didnt have so many wild animals causing trouble. but then again, I also wish half the guards keeping them in check hadn't had their eyes fall off.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
to vent my frustration, i take a crocodile murdering break. The soldiers decide to join in, and dismember the beast before i can even get to it, however.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
The Lion Lord Catten, commander of the contest of fortifying, has also been feeling a bit down. He and I are the two squad leaders in charge of keeping the fortress safe from cavern invaders. As such, he has been very, very annoyed by the sun recently, which he hadn,t seen in almost a year. He also complains about miasma and terrible bedrooms down here, and needs to cheer up. he suggest that we go and hunt some troglodytes to feel better.

His lioness, Ral rakustshar, easily track down the smell of a few monsters, which it helps us take down. Ral is growing weaker with the years, having a leg and part of her lower body cut open over the years. Yet she is still menacing enough that Catten has been relying on her for most of his fights now. It is said he has not killed a single ennemy himself in over 5 years. ral, however, has defeated countless of the little buggers, and probably more crazed eagles and dingos than we could count.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Still, in time Ral may grow old, or die horribly in battle. Our ten war lions are already owned, but a pride of young cubs are running around the fort, only a few years apart from their military training. Ral's offspring should serve us well, and for many years to come.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Dingos, however... where should i start& I should start with murdering them all is where i should start. Dumat's purpose for these beasts remains unclear at best, and he may be gone now, but the fucking dingos aren't. Butchering them is taking an awful lot of time, and in the meantime nobody has adopted them, probably because those things are batshit insane. No, lions are the only animals we need. And maybe some cats, which are just small lions.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
As summer draws near, I'm told a farmer was taken by a mysterious force, and ordered him to create... this. The craftdwarfship is examplar, but the subjects portrayed are dull at best. no wonder the forces behind this artifact chose to remain mysterious.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
The farmer is exausted after his work. not from the posession, mind you, but from all the hauling he had to do, he thinks. Our fort is well defended, but so friggin hard to navigate. I order the front door to be torn down. We have 63 able dwarves guarding this fortress, and trolls have knocked down our entrance a dozen time anyway. we don't need doors. we need a moat and a gigantic-ass bridge. Tt would be cool if the bridge could also be used as a catapult to launch something in the air, or to crush stuff. Or throw them into the lava. We could also use some catapults and siege engines. that possibly shoot lava.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
I remember what the mayor said last season, about the moat needing space, which means getting rid of the depot somehow. well, our entrance hall is not exactly filled, so that's where the depot will go from now on. Now that the entrance is 3 wide, the wagons should be able to get inside. Less hauling, more protection, I'm surprised our broker oversaw this place for a decade and a half yet never came up with such a simple idea. We'll need to make the entrance ramp more than 1 large, tho, which means we'll have to get rid of some of those stupid quern-admiring depictions of our count. Oh no.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
...and while we are revamping the outside fort, maybe just maybe some of you useless masons could finish this new layer of the food tower, instead of leaving an empty platform between the two wall section.

...Man, i should make that tower 20 floors high and outfit it with magma catapults.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
As spring comes to an end, so too do the diplomatic missions of a few guests. First is our outpost liason. By orders of the queen, he wishes to bestow upon us a greater title. even tho we don't have much of a queen right now. And are already a capital. Also he doesn't do that, and we are still a county as I speak. the outpost liason leaves, and returns to the mountainhomes. By which i mean, he just sits on a bench and order our cooks to bring him food.

Man I hate nobles.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Next is Quula, godess of a lot of actually neat things, like blood and war and i think killing? as soon as she learns that we are finally at war with the elves, she announces that she must leave. The mayor doesn't really pay her any attention, as he's busy wiring cages to slaughter countless goblins. Quula seem to be very understanding, as she knows how important genocides can be. she bids our elected mecanic farewell.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Another outpost liason arrivers at grossly the same time, claiming to be from the mountainhomes. Hum, no. He says he has urgent business to discuss, discuss none of them, then sits down with the previous outpost liason to drink some beer and talk about how really swell being and outpost liason is.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
...Annnnnnd a new diplomat from the lavender empire enters the fort, tag-teams the goddess of death, and sits on the diplomat bench to drink beer.

-Oh hey, I'm the diplomat from the human kingdom or whatever, hope you don't mind if i just eat all your stuff and discuss nothing?
« Last Edit: November 21, 2014, 02:58:14 am by Taupe »
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Immortal-D

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Re: Whisperwhip: Tales of quantum physics and deicide
« Reply #55 on: November 20, 2014, 07:49:45 pm »

...Man, i should make that tower 20 floors high and outfit it with magma catapults.

Nothing spices up your Fortress like a mega project!  Also love my Dorf, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to need a personal War Dingo in the near future :P
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The Dwarf Fortress Hall of Legends
The wheelbarrow just up and attacked her masterfully.
Christ, it hit her while she was standing up...
Put that wheelbarrow in the military.

Taupe

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Re: Whisperwhip: Tales of poor planning and deicide
« Reply #56 on: November 20, 2014, 08:57:04 pm »

Quote
I'm pretty sure I'm going to need a personal War Dingo in the near future

It seems that all the dwarves who wished to adopt  dingo have already done so, and were murdered by them.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2014, 09:15:32 pm by Taupe »
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Taupe

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Re: Whisperwhip: Tales of poor planning and deicide
« Reply #57 on: November 21, 2014, 02:42:56 am »

CHAPTER 31: Don't split the party
Autumn 114

I may or may not have accidentally engineered a situation where the civilians are locked with a forgotten beast, while the milicians are locked away from the fight. it's a weird story. as always, it involves dying babies and poor planning. Where to begin explaining that?

I guess it all started around the beginning of fall. Summer had been incredibly uneventful, by which i mean a siege and nonstop corpse hauling. While the civilians were busy outside, I figured it was a pretty damn good time to work on improving the fortress' navigation.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
first, the corridot between the slaughterdome and the brewery. It was initially designed as a defensive mecanism against monsters from the dept. a fair call, but it turns out that beyond the bridge are our catacombs, then more bridges, then another base, THEN the caverns. While I enoy defensiveness, having half the base be a narrow corridor across a bridge is not optimal. I order the corridor to be enlarged to 3 urists large.

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Soon, a fight breaks out. While my subordinates erased the details of the fight before i could read them, I'm told it involved a baby, a dingo, an engraver and some pets. What the hell went down there?

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
The civilisans refuse to tell me what happened on the worksite, but they can't hide from me the fact that we are one live baby short, and one dead baby overstocked.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
By taking a look around, I start putting together clues about this encounter of the strange kind. Right underneat the enlarged corridor lies a 2-deep chasm, and the only way out used to be at the south end, trough ramps leading upstairs. to enlarge this pit, the exit/floor patch has been removed, so people could access the pit. It seems that baby Vishakanya, as well as some farm animals, fell down the pit and were ambushed by a dingo. Blood, vomit and random gems litter the ground.

Now here's what's going on with our little project here: we want to make the pit 3 large, just like the passage above. At least under where the bridges will go. Otherwise lifting the bridges will only reveal a floor, which is just terrible defense. In order to dig those pits, the workers must channel alongside the initial chasm. The first level only creates a small vertical detour, but as soon as they dig a second layer, that section of the corridor is no longer accessible, and the workers must exit southward, leaving them stranded on the BASE1 side of the project. they wont be able to cross back until we've replaced the whole by a brand new 3x3 bridge sitting over a 3x3x2 pit.

This is fine in theory, as the project should only take a few moments to complete, if the masons are doing their job.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Which they are not, apparently. Everyone is busy running around the countryside to gather rags from the last siege, in order to drop them at the depot. Most of the masons are doing this, and thanks to architecture being not our forte, the workers branded on the south side of the corridor don't know anything about bridge design, nor do they have the materials do do the job.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
And that's when shit hits the fan. The forgotten beast Uthimi Puken ightmares now wanders in our caverns, where most of the workers are currently sitting, unable to return to the main base. Usually they would be protected by the milicia, but turns out the milicia went to pick up more bolts upstairs and cant return to the cavern. I order a makeshift bridge made of floor tiles be built, but it'll take some time.

We have about ten guys in BASE1 at the time, and they are running low on food and drinks, which they cant get a hold of. We used to have a supply stockpile down there, but it took so long to bring anything across the multiple bridges that workers just gave up on keeping BASE1 operational.



Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Our thirsty and hungry soldiers have been stuck down there without refreshments for about a week now. Regardless, they need to take down this creature. As with the others, the underground river is a place of choice for Pukenightmares. The gigantic flashy dinosaur jumps in the water, and our makeshift slaughter party starts to camp the eastern bank.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
As an omen of death, the detached head of Rifi is washed ashore by the current, in front of our soldiers.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Uthimi Pukenightmare has all the time in the world, unlike our starved fighters. It spend a day or two just wandering the river back and forth. The northern side of the river could be reached by the double-bridges, but the rock formations were never cleared, and fighting there will be a mess. The small fighting force will be split even more if they engage there. The troops, under guidance by the Lion Lord Catten, decide to stick together.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Catten may be a milicia captain, but he inspires little respect or courage to the troops, having killed exactly one goblin in the last decade. Some say unleashing his lion on his foes is pretty badass. Most agree it's simply cowardly.

*    *    *

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Meanwhile at the surface, the caravaneers are unpacking their good and waiting for our broker.

-Where's good old Dumat?
-He's... undisposed as of now, I tell them.
-And the mayor?
-He's working on some special project. Can't be disturbed.
-Well, what about the queen? We should talk to the queen herself, see if she'd love some of our wonderful crafts. Back when the capital wasnt a backwater bloodied surface castle, the queen always insisted on handpicking some of our finest crafts.
-Like, wut, lead toys?

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
The merchants retrieve a quiver from one of their wagons.

-We are told your fortress has a high demand for bolts of all kind. We thus bring those fancy ammunition stacks as a matter of good faith.
-That's... those bolts are truly astonishing!
-Indeed, now, I'm sure someone like Dumat would know the real value of those wonderful items. When will he be here?
-He's not... Wait, I'll be back!

I rush to the battlements the second i spot what's going on there. The traders will have to wait.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
The masons and peasants were given a very simple job. In order to construct fortification alongside the southern wall, they had to demolish one section of the existing defense to reach the wall. Doing so from atop the jail tower where we are standing would be very straightfoward, but...

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
...instead the masons have decided that the best way to go about this simple task was to:
1-exit the fort
2-go around the entire set of walls
3-climb a fucking bunch of hills
4-walk around the unfinished walls
5-balance across the unfinished tower
6-traverse the fortification site to deconstruct the wall from there.

The peasants are chilling on the roof, watching the worker go. Wait, the worker is 3 years old?!?

-You gave this dangerous job to a baby?
-Relax, general, says a toothless peasant. Kid knows what to do, 'tis a simple job. nothin bad will happen.
-That's what you said when you sent Litast to break the volcano wall!
-Yeah well, nothing bad happened there!
-He turned into a ghost!
-Doesn't mean he was deadened, milord. whaddaya want me to say6 they be children, yo. A child does as he pleases, you can't just tell them not do do crazy dangerous things. that's not a dwarven way to raise a kid...

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
The peasant is interrupted when an engraver arrives with some stone blocks to start the fortifications. He is accompanied by 7 excited and bouncing hyenas, jumping around him as he balances 5 floors above the ground.

As much as i want to punish those irresponsible masons for their work procedures, that'll have to wait. The merchants are starting to roam the fortress looking for Dumat constructmirrored, or the queen. I can't really let them know what's up, so i rush downstairs and conclude the trade.

*    *    *

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Catten and his men have been here for way too long. they start to disperce across the riverside, hoping to disturb the beast and send it somewhere else, or maybe trick it into attacking. after a while, the beast wanders to the southwest. the dwarves move to the fishing spot, and wait some more.

-Wait, i have an idea, says Catten. go fetch me a miner, that he clears some of the rocks near the bridge. If we are to wait, let us shape the battlefield to our advantage...

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
the very instant he announces his idea, Uthimi emerges from the river and attacks. Did it grow tired of the waiting game as well, or was he hungry for some miner?

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A long fight arrises, but thanks to the training of Immortal-D, our dwarves are getting really good at sidestepping attacks. this comes in handy when the foe at hand is relying mostly on deadly frozen whirlspits. Some do get hit, but no immediate effect seem to befall the victims, save for a few broken bones. Uthimi is slain after a long fight, made tricky mostly by the hunger and thirst of the dwarven combatants. they have indeed been down there for 3 weeks, and had nothing to ingest but murky water and fungiwood.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Examining the body, catten tries to figure out if the beast may have carried any disease, the way Rifi did. He finds no such plague, as his men seem frozen but otherwise healthy. Ral the lioness scents something peculiar, however.

-What's that, girl... elven blood? What was this beast doing covered with elven blood? Ah, I guess it did us a favor before coming here, slaying a few pointy ears!

*    *    *

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
I'm still trying to make a deal with the merchants when news of Uthimi's demise reaches the surface. Once I'm done listening to the tales of our victory, te merchant announces that he will accept none of my offers, even tho they seemed rather fair to me. He takes my lack of commitment to our trade partnership very seriously, and orders the wagons to pack up and leave...

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
As they depart, I'm left in the middle of a depot flooded by bins after bins of leather earrings and amulets, which I had hopes to get rid of. The peasants will no doubt choose to haul those back before they contemplate fixing the bridge. We have only one competent trader here, and we need him.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2014, 02:53:54 am by Taupe »
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Taupe

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Re: Whisperwhip: Tales of poor planning and deicide
« Reply #58 on: November 27, 2014, 04:21:56 pm »

Dumat's intermission 1

His head was dizzy. And not just from the lack of alcohol. Oh right, Someone smashed it against a wall again. At least it can't that bad if he could remember it this time. He tried to get up, but trying to raise himself up only brought pain in his hand

-They seem to have broken a finger again, says a friendly voice across the room. Don't worry, I've cleaned it up. Just, you know, don't use that hand too much.
-For what, anyway? replied Dumat, trying to make a joke.

He had been confined to his chambers for a year now. He had received very few visitors during that period of time. The Magical Glove were not allowed to kill him yet, thanks to Count Tun condemning the execution of the founding expedition leader. The Magical Gloves were nothing if not puppets to the nobility, and thus they had to comply with orders... altho they had been visiting now and thn for some routine beatings. As was the case, the next visitor was usually Melbil, the doctor, altho his title had been more along the lines of  ''chief ragdoll engineer''.

-I have good news, the doctor announced.
-A drink?
-No, altho that may come in time. I've spoken with the general, and he seems in dire need of someone who can both trade, and manage the general construction of this fortress.
-Wait, the bronze general is going to let me out?
-Yes! But I'm not supposed to tell you, so make sure you act surprised when he shows up next month.
-A month? Dumat seemed broken. I thought you meant I was getting out, i dunno, now.
-Lady Asmel had your release delayed, no doubt she wants to postpone your release as best as she can. Probably so you don't look too bad. Probably means they won't be visiting you until then, tho.

The news were good, but the mention of that name made Dumat's expression turn to stone. truth is, he never expected anyone to read his journals, especially at the end when he started to write about the queen. Even then, he had made certain to keep his impressions on Lady Asmel to a minimum. Regardless of what he let transpire in his writtings, he knew she was the one to locate his journals. The Magical Gloves would not betray her real identity,  but they were following her orders closely.

Chances are, she is the one who offed the queen. Not that anyone would really believe me at this point. Asmel had gotten pretty good at hiding her kills over the years, as well as her true identity. Even her name had been borrowed. Many names she had taken over the years, and promptly discarded. Her first one tho, the one Queen Cog herself bestowed upon her daughter, was Kumil Hoistlash.

Dumat finally gets up, and drags himself to the table, where he sits alongside his friend. The meals of the incarcerated are usually tame in quality, but whisperwhip's cook had gotten good at their job. Even the lowliest of food they could gather was still better than what most dwarves across the world had access to. The day the goblins got into the kitchens, tho, was the day the fort's morale would bleed dead. Legendary meals was what kept this mess running.  And statues. They certainly don't complain about the way I spent our silver bars...

Today was dingo blood sausage with legendary dingo steak,  with minced kitten meat, honey and berry cookies. No longland beer, tho. For Armok's sake, we must have 5000 of the thing, they could at least spare some for me... They eat in silence, altho it's visible to an experienced diplomat such as Dumat to see that Melbil is hiding something. Or doesn't know how to say it, perhaps.

-What's wrong?

Melbil ponders for a moment, avoid the broker's gaze, then finally admits:

-The general is to name her Champion of the Citadel before the year is done.

Dumat goes blank instantly. No! They both know what this means. The general may be the captain of the guards, and altho he was named general by the troops for his bold decisions, Asmel remains a milicia commander. with the title of Champion under her belt, she would be his equal in this fort.  All she had to do was to wait for the right time, a few years maybe, then make her big reveal. Then the throne would be hers. And there I thought that a necromancer would be a terrible monarch... A vampire would be worse, arguably so...

For a few years now, dumat had spent a lot of time speaking with the caravans from the citadel of clutches, trying to puzzle the truth behind their exile here in the north, the true purpose of this fort. The queen's necromantic studies were part of it, altho it took some time to puzzle out the whole picture. It came to him as he was discussing matters with alan the diplomat, who spent most of his time in the temple of Kadol.  ''Queen Cog's elder daughter was the high priestess of Kadol once. Better not talk of her here, tho...'' Alan had said that day. It was enough to launch Dumat's own investigation into the royal family.

The records were mostly blank, or had been erased, out of secrecy, shame, or both. but what he could piece back together was this: In the year 50, the eldest princess of the Citadel of Clutches ws named Archpriestess of Kadol. Yet in 74 it is said that Kumil Hoistlash angered the gods, and was cursed by Kadol to prowl the night in search of blood. The heir to the throne disappeared, but over the next years, was tracked to various fishing villages where she fled after her crimes were discovered. Needless to say, her skills at hiding and killing had grown considerably by 90, because no trace of her remains. It is at this time that her younger sister also vanished.

In 78, four years after the downfall of her daughter, queen Cog was rumored to be studying necromancy. while noble souls and subject claimed she was merely searching for a cure to her daughter's affliction, others whispered that she was merely jealous of her child's newfound lifespan, and seeked to extend her own lifetime by any means available. A decade later, she must have exhausted all available lore on the dark arts in the capital, and that's when talks about ukas Archescort began. Within a few years, Dumat was sent unknowingly to the northern continent, to establish a foothold on the giraffe fiend's library.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
There were rumors according to which the youngest daughter had not died, but merely went on a hunt to kill her sibling. If this was the truth, then two possibilities remained the first one was that Asmel truly was the younger princess, who for some reason abandonned her search for Kumil to settle in Whsperwhip more than 15 years ago. If such was the case, why would she not reveal herself? Did she expect her sister to show up here, but was soon entangled in the great wars? Or was she seeking the same knowledge her mother once did?

The other possibility ws much darker: Asmel was in truth Kumil herself, fleeing to a backwater country where no one would look for her. Whisperwhip was the perfect place to blend in, for it was a dwarven settlement, yet the furthest away from all the main civilisations. And it was such a great place for a vampire too, as troll blood circulated in the watersource, and countless bodies lied across the land, or in the fort itself. There had been so many weird accidents and vanishing bodies over the years, too... the dry planter on top of the wall, the vanished mecanics, missing bodies all over the place...

-She will be watching me, Melbil. Even free, I won't be able to stop her...
-I know. but we are not yet sure...
-We will NEVER be sure, damnit! And we can't take the risk. This place has endured for so long, and i won't let it crumble to dust because of dark forces conspring to make it their personal graveyard.
-She is royalty, Dumat... If she is not Kumil...
-...Then what are the chances that she is innocent regardless? She has been hiding her identity from us for almost two decades, her mother practices the dark arts, and her sister has been cursed by the gods. The royal bloodline is tainted, Melbil. Tainted.
-Perhaps. I see your point. but you were already discovered. How long do you expect me to remain a free dwarf if I follow in with your plans? Who will save Whisperwhip once we are both parted with our head?
-Then just... be very careful.
-I should go. I've been here too long, people may suspect...
-Yes. Goodbye, friend

Melbil shakes the broker's hand, before gathering up the empty plates. Soon, Dumat the broker is left alone, as he has been for the last year or so. The doctor may be on my side, but even he cannot know about my trump card. If he was discovered... Dumat had spent the last decade taking notes in his journal, yet even they would not betray this secret. Had he not mentionned anything incriminating, Asmel would have known he was hiding something. Yet by revealing his plans to kill the queen, he also made the journals appear truthful, and concealed the nature of his other ally. No one would ever proofread his notes, and discover the subterfuge.

It's all in his hands, now. I hope he's been training...
« Last Edit: November 27, 2014, 04:25:38 pm by Taupe »
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Onod Itlud

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Re: Whisperwhip: Tales of poor planning and deicide
« Reply #59 on: November 27, 2014, 04:44:25 pm »

Posting to note that I've started reading and will continue to.
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