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Author Topic: One Dwarf Against the World  (Read 166566 times)

Eiba

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One Dwarf Against the World
« on: February 23, 2007, 09:45:00 pm »

I was going to start another RPG/Forum Fortress/Let's Play thread, but considering that there are three of them active, I've decided to do something a little different, namely play a particular challenge variation and write a narrative to go with it...

So let's begin.
Datan Ekurkeskal (Mightyshoots) led his band of seven dwarves, like so many others, to start an outpost that might become a mighty fortress one day, bustling with over a hundred industrious dwarves... Or so was the dream.

After days of travel the chosen mountain at last was visible in the distance- proud and sturdy, a welcome change from the dark jungles through which they were traveling. They were all very eager to arive at the solid cliff face, but getting the wagons through the thick jungle was slow going...

Fortunately, one dwarf... Urist Borushdumat (Raked-Roughness), volunteered to stay with the wagons, while the other six hurried off ahead to the comfort of the cliff. Datan thought Urist was a bit... slow, and he was still wary after having been assigned their "miner" by the Society for Reformed Dwarves... Datan was skeptical that Urist had any type of skill at all, but she brought her own pick and the party was short on funds- and a fortress would be doomed without a miner...

In any case, slow as he was Datan was confident that Urist could handle the carts, as she'd been doing so for most of the journey... A rather strange dwarf...

The dwaves had been relaxing by the cliff face for several hours and there was talk maybe the beasts had gotten Urist when she finally emerged from the jungle, though extremely filthy. What's more, there was only one wagon and it was empty, holding only Urist's own pick!

"What's the meaning of this?" Demanded Datan.
Urist looked very sheepish and more than a little dense when she responded, "It... fell out..." She gestured vaguely from where she came...

Datan was furious... He promised to beat Urist when he returned, and called up his five reliable comrades to help him go out and find the supplies...

   

He didn't get far beyond the river before he noticed what appeared to be a mule in the distance- the cart couldn't be far away. When he approached however, he saw that the mule was dead, quite gorily impaled on... something... Datan looked around in shock- the place was littered with bones, Elephant bones... This must be one of those Elephant Graveyards he'd heard about. He shuddered at the thought of what they'd do to him if he were alive.

Then one of them stood up.

Datan screamed in a mix of surprise and terror as the animated skeleton charged at him... The other dwarves nearby rushed to see what was going on, as the rest of the elephant corpses rose...

A slaughter ensued.

   

They were dead... his comrades, they were all dead- After being thrown into a tree and grievously injured, Datan quickly saw the futility of facing off against one of these re-animated behemoths, he fled as fast as his dwarven legs could carry him, which given the circumstances was quite fast indeed...

He mindlessly fled towards the cliff face, and Urist...

   

Much to his surprise, Urist was already industriously (though not very skillfully as Datan had suspected) chipping away at the cliff face with her pick off in the distance.
He tripped, and his wounds made it hard to get up again- just as the elephants were almost on top of him, just before he lost consciousness he saw Urist glance at him... She had an entirely different look in her eye from her usual dullness- it was a sharp cunning look, a victorious gloating look... She'd played them all for fools. Datan's skull was crushed by a bony foot.

...

For a while Urist was concerned that the elephants had seen her, but that quickly passed as they returned to the forest. She'd finally made it. In this place, protected by the hoards of re-animated elephants... this is where she'd prove them all wrong.

She'd used them all, and now she'd show them... It started after she was dismissed as apprentice to her master... Her stupid, stupid master, "No abilities"!? "No potential!? What did he know? Her father didn't know anything either... He'd lectured her- berated her- claimed she'd never amount to anything. He went too far! She was perfectly justified in killing him...

They thought she was mad. Ha! They tried to "help" her... They were the ones who needed help! The Society for Reformed Dwarves? She played along, of course- she pretended she had an "illness," and then pretended it was "rehabilitated." It was simple for a dwarf of her quality. She had come out here with this utterly incompetent band... Hadn't they noticed the skeletal elephants trailing them for the last few days? Urist noticed... Urist noticed everything...

Now she was free, now she had a real chance to prove herself... She took stock of what materials she had... There was a mule and a horse as well as the wagon... They looked tasty... (not the wagon...) She also noticed a kitten roaming around... Probably one of the deceased dwarves' pets... More food.

She took her pick, the one she'd driven through her father's skull, and struck the mountain.

---

In game terms, here's the setting:
   

The events of this prologue were inspired by the actual game events- I sent all but one of my dwarves to wrestle with the skeletal elephants, but one got away, only to be struck down within eyesight of Urist.

The skeletal elephant graphic is of my own design... I also have really, really, lame skeletal bonobo graphics for consistency's sake...

If you thought this was too story-heavy, don't worry, most of my future updates will be far more game play as I attempt to survive with only one skill-less peasant and an iron pick. (If you liked the story, there'll be enough of it later on too).

Thoughts so far?

[ February 23, 2007: Message edited by: Eiba ]

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Grek

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Re: One Dwarf Against the World
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2007, 11:31:00 pm »

I must say, This is 14 kinds of awesome.
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JimmyJ

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Re: One Dwarf Against the World
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2007, 12:06:00 am »

Nice story work... I'm interested in seeing just how long Urist can last..
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et out of my signiture!!!!!!!!!!

Gaulgath

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Re: One Dwarf Against the World
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2007, 09:08:00 am »

Awesome, the hermit challenge! Will you drown all of the immigrants, or keep 'em?
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Eiba

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Re: One Dwarf Against the World
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2007, 02:12:00 pm »

Drown? When I'm surrounded by skeletal elephants?
...
If only I could think of some way to catch them in cages... what fun we'd have...

I'm more concerned about killing the fall caravan without getting their stuff... It would be pretty lame to just get an axe from the dead guards...

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Solara

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Re: One Dwarf Against the World
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2007, 02:18:00 pm »

This is great so far, and personally I don't think there's such a thing as too much story. Most of these kinds of threads are pretty much straight gameplay and that gets a little old after awhile.

So will this entire game be played solo or will Urist eventually deign to have a few servants to help detail her private throneroom?

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Eiba

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Re: One Dwarf Against the World
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2007, 03:52:00 pm »

quote:
So will this entire game be played solo or will Urist eventually deign to have a few servants to help detail her private throneroom?

Well, Urist is far too paranoid to allow any dwarf to survive for now... the future... Who knows? (I'm probobly going to go solo until I feel I've finished, If I allow any imigrants to survive it would be part of an epolouge or something.)


Now, I've been playing for a while... I should probably post what's happened.

The first day:
Urist was alone in front of a sheer cliff face. Aside from her pick, an empty wagon, a mule, a horse, and a kitten were all she had...

First things first, she was sure she'd get hungry sooner or later, she decided to kill all the animals and store their tasty meat.

The horse and mule were quickly slaughtered, Urist then went off to look for the kitten... She found it playfully killing a toad, it looked up, blood on it's tiny jaw, and stared right into her eyes, into her soul it seemed.

It... it knew! It knew that they were right, that Urist was worthless, that everyone who called her incompetent and insane were right! It knew of her crimes, the blood on her hands!
...
It had to die. Urist approached, pick firmly grasped in hand... The kitten looked up, as Urist raised the pick- and then the kitten... it, walked up and rubbed against Urist's leg while purring...

Why? It's eyes, it's eyes said it knew all, and yet... Urist was stunned... This kitten knew, but accepted her anyway... This kitten... This kitten could live.

   
The Animals' different fates.

Composing herself, she returned to her work... She didn't want to sleep in the mud, so she set about digging a small cave, and then ripping apart the wagon... With the wood she set about crafting a bed for herself.

It was difficult and time consuming work, as she had never made anything out of wood before... Upon completion she was rather thirsty. As she kneeled in the mud drinking water from the river, she knew what her next project had to be...

First she set off into the jungle to gather various plants... She didn't know much about them though, and work was slow and arduous.

   

The next step was to use some more wood from the wagon to make a nice barrel... She was concerned though, there wasn't much wood left at all, and she had no axe to cut more... She resolved to save that last little bit of wood to forge an axe when she found some ore... no it wasn't even enough for that... perhaps if she dug deep enough she could find some coal...

But for now, everything was in place, and she could begin brewing. From now on she'd have nice proper drinks.

   

Meanwhile her kitten had been wandering in the jungle when it came across a familiar sight... His former owner... The remains of his former owner...
...
From this day forward he was no longer a kitten, but a cat.
   

Feeling accomplished after such a productive day (day in the non-solar Dwarven sense of "the period between waking up and going to sleep"- actually several days for one so hardy as Urist), Urist decided to go to sleep.

   
The First Night (again in the dwarven sense).


---
More after I eat... I should note that I might take liberties with the order of events ever so slightly for the story's sake- nothing too major though (like Urist actually went to sleep in the middle of brewing and then woke and drank from the river first thing, but I've stuck the whole project in the first day...)

[ February 24, 2007: Message edited by: Eiba ]

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Solara

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Re: One Dwarf Against the World
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2007, 04:11:00 pm »

I'm really enjoying this, keep up the good work.

And that's one smart cat, love the little details like that.  :)

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Gaulgath

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Re: One Dwarf Against the World
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2007, 05:58:00 pm »

This is very nice work. Certainly has me hooked.   ;)
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Eiba

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Re: One Dwarf Against the World
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2007, 06:57:00 pm »

The second day.

Urist woke to the sounds of someone draging something outside...

       

"Hello, I'm the metal smith who was assigned to this outpost... err... where is everyone?"

Urist panicked- this dwarf, he'd come to drink her precious sewer brew! No, more importantly, he'd surely mock her... mock her like all the rest- he'd drive her out claim the fortress for his own, he had to be stopped.

"Uh... they're out... gathering plants right now..." Urist finally managed to say...
"All of them?" The metalsmith replied skeptically.
"... You might want to talk to Datan, he's in charge..." She had formulated a plan. "He's just beyond the river and to the south a bit... I think."
"Oh... okay." As the metalsmith went off he mumbled "strange dwarf..." He had clearly already begun to look down on her, he deserved to die- Urist was perfectly justified in what she had just done. Her cat carefully watched the metalsmith as he left.

Urist thought fast, this fellow wouldn't be the last dwarf to come inquiring about the fate of those who had come here... At the very least a trading party was scheduled to arrive that fall to investigate and bring supplies...

Urist wouldn't allow that! If she accepted their supplies, wouldn't that only be proving right all those who doubted her abilities? What could the traders offer that she couldn't make herself! And surely if they returned with stories of her accomplishments more dwarves would follow and try to steal her fortress like that metalsmith had attempted...

She heard a dwarf's scream and a sickening crunch. He had deserved to die...

   
The metalsmith's head is crushed.

Only then did she notice the metalsmith had left behind an anvil... She pretended not to notice it... She quickly set about on her third project... There was a lot to do, and she hoped she could finish it it before fall...

She worked tirelessly throughout the day, digging and digging- she felt like she was getting the hang of it, like she was a real miner...
By the time she was too exhausted to continue working she had carved out all the space she'd need. The next phase was ready to begin... tomorrow.

   
The second night.

---
The third day.

She immediately resumed work when she woke- she had enough food to last a while, but the alcohol was already running low...

She worked diligently, constructing massive rock slabs in the tunnel...
It was dehydrating work, and before she was done she finished off the alcohol, and had to brew up a new batch.

As she was doing that, she could see off in the, distance beyond the river, all the way to where the corpses of the original six dwarves lay rotting, there was a flurry of activity...

   

Re-animated mandrill skeletons were stealing the clothes off of the dead dwarves... Urist hadn't known that even skeletal mandrills lived here... she was glad they'd been distracted by the dead dwarves, or they might have attacked her fortress (really a shallow cave in the cliff at this point) to steal her goods...

It wasn't safe out here... She would have to move everything inside... but first, she had to prepare for the fall caravan.

By the time night fell, the huge stone slabs were in place, and she had begun the complex system of mechanisms she would need... She was making good time, surely the caravan was doomed, the caravan with it's laughing arrogant merchants... merchants who would look down on her, and tell her that she needed their help... She couldn't stand the thought! They had to die too!

She would surely finish her construction tomorrow...

   
The Third Night.

---
For the record, there are no pictures of the skeletal mandrills themselves because I just now drew the art for them... I honestly didn't know that there were any here...

[ February 24, 2007: Message edited by: Eiba ]

[ February 24, 2007: Message edited by: Eiba ]

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Grek

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Re: One Dwarf Against the World
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2007, 07:12:00 pm »

Is that a drawvridge trap?
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Gaulgath

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Re: One Dwarf Against the World
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2007, 07:14:00 pm »

This just gets better and better... Urist's character is awesome.
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Solara

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Re: One Dwarf Against the World
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2007, 07:48:00 pm »

Nice update! I've never really messed around with bridge traps, so this should be educational.  :)

I'm going to take this opportunity to put in a request for a steam or lava trap sometime in the future, once Urist has the time to mess with it.

Next time I start a fortress I'm going to have to try something like this.

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teabing

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Re: One Dwarf Against the World
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2007, 08:52:00 pm »

yeah, this is a lot of fun to read.  I want to try this for myself now!

Keep going, you're good at this!

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Gakidou

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Re: One Dwarf Against the World
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2007, 09:40:00 pm »

I'm really curious to see what happens when wagons are sent flying by a raised drawbridge. (They are, to my knowledge, the only multi-tile creatures implemented.)
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