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Author Topic: Vaultdeaths: the black tower in a volcano  (Read 286 times)


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Vaultdeaths: the black tower in a volcano
« on: September 01, 2019, 06:30:18 pm »

When I heard that magma pipes refill I just had to build a fortress inside of one and let it be immersed. I just love the thought of magma bubbling up the side of the fortress and encasing it in fiery goodness just through its own power. I'm sure this has been done before, and probably a lot better, but I had a lot of fun. This is my first major Dwarven project.

Vaultdeaths is a (currently) 55-level obsidian block tower submersed in magma. It has taken 8 in-game years to build, mostly because of distractions.

Pictured below is the current bottom level of the tower. You can see my magma forges and smelters, as well as the old obsidian mines which now lead down into adamantium mines. Almost every level of the tower currently has this layout. It was the most efficient layout I could find - symmetrical, with 8 general purpose rooms, 4 small and 4 medium. There is enough space on all sides for magma to bubble up. For stockpiles the walls are removed and the whole level is used. The tower is 100% made of obsidian blocks.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

I started building the fortress by channeling drains that flow out into the first layer of caverns which could be blocked by mechanised bridges (pictured below). After the magma drained below the first layer of obsidian that I found, I started building up a tower anchored to the sides of the volcano. When the tower was nearly built up to the surface, I closed the drains and allowed the magma to bubble up through the supports. An unfortunate mistake while building the drains meant that a bottom bridge could not be closed, which I attempted to fix between long stretches of building the tower and resulted in most miner deaths and wasted time. The tower is now done and the magma has reached up 10 levels above the bottom floor.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Dwarven mental health was not a priority in the beginning. The Dwarves started out by living in one big dirt room together (what remains of it can be seen below), what I would call a "depression hole", though they barely saw it. They operated at 100% efficiency, with all Dwarves either mining out entire levels for obsidian, creating obsidian blocks, or constructing walls, stairs, and floors as well as hauling blocks. One level would be built in just a few breaths, and then dozens of new blocks would be available for the next level when they were done. One Dwarf spent all of his time creating rock crafts from the useless, non-obsidian rocks, and one Dwarf would adorn these crafts with Gems that the miners found. These crafts were traded for food, alcohol, wood, and any other things I needed. Dwarves were sometimes allowed to practice mechanics, carpentry, unrelated masonry, farming-related skills, and architecture, but for long periods the Dwarves would do nothing but build the tower.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

These harsh working conditions, and the hungry mountain, caused many deaths for my Dwarves. The Dwarves of Vaultdeaths only make a memorial slab for the dead, since many are just lost to the magma. Below you can see some memorial slabs, which I am still trying to find a good home for. Many masons and craftsdwarves were taken by moods, and with little other industry or available workers to help them, they completely lost their minds waiting for trading caravans to come with the materials they needed. I tried to not become attached to my worker Dwarves but some of their lives and deaths were so powerful that I could not help it.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Curiously, the miners were always happy. Their deaths were always unseen and quick, bathed in magma with only a split second of pain. One miner managed to survive from early on in the fort and, from becoming so powerful from working in the mines, was able to easily kill a two-headed giant that attacked the fortress. Tragically, he was later thrown from the lip of the mountain into the supports below by a crazed craftsdwarf, who was in turn killed. The miner was holding a masterwork by that same craftsdwarf, which was lost in the magma forever.

When the tower was partially complete, the Dwarves were allowed to move in to lift their spirits. One mason who had been with the fort for a long time and had never complained dreamed of doing nothing for the rest of his life. I took pity on him. He was freed from all labor and allowed to live in retirement. Unfortunately, despite having a wealth of all kinds of traded alcohol and food at his disposal and a beautiful obsidian dining room, he soon succumbed to boredom and took on a mood. He demanded metal bars. Just as the caravan arrived and the magma reached my furnaces so that I could give him what he needed, he succumbed to insanity. He was locked in the workshop and died of starvation, yearning to do work that he once dreamed of being freed from.

Below you can see my somewhat messy entrance to the tower on the surface, along with my mayor's quarters. The mayor is handsome and and reasonable, having never lost his mind despite 5+ years of waiting for his room living in dormitories and listening to endless miserable worker Dwarves every day. All of the most miserable Dwarves have been cast out into the wilderness now. If you do not want to badly live inside of the blood of the mountain, you are hardly a Dwarf. The Dwarves are now happy and seem to love the new tower and the furniture crafted by the masons who have built their skills creating blocks for years.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Vaultdeaths is, unfortunately, situated on an Island. Though it could easily start processing its wealth of ores and using its strong defences, free workers, and stockpiles to build a military, there is no surrounding civilization to defend from or attack. Vaultdeaths was just an experiment in magma engineering that was expected to crumble much earlier and, after the magma reaches the lip of the volcano once again, if I cannot think of a use for the tower the Dwarves will likely be allowed to spend their days drinking and eventually crumbling under the weight of their own excess...
« Last Edit: September 01, 2019, 06:35:58 pm by smort »