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Author Topic: Smallhands - nearly 40 years and still tiny!  (Read 348851 times)

StrikaAmaru

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SmallHands 159

Prologue

(Album on imgur) 

Well, I was aiming for a short intro, but it kinda got away from me. Way, way away from me.



ďThe private diary of Amara ContestFloors is one of the more fascinating reads that have come to us from the dwarves. A young unskilled dwarfette without any prospect of advancement, she was suddenly thrust on the path of leadership, wherein she has unexpectedly persevered, and excelled.

She may be best known as the baroness of MetalBeasts, and authoress of many books of variable quality, relevance, and importance, but to this authorís humble opinion, it is her first writing that is closest to her soul - a raw, unfiltered composition which she herself has kept as accurate and unbiased as possible, while searching desperately for the ills of a conspiracy which never materialized.Ē

ďMy Friend, The DwarfĒ pg 12, by the human scholar Tunek Idla.



1st Granite, 159

When I awoke this morning, I found myself overseer. It's enough to make a girl paranoid.


Doubly so, when you consider that I have exactly no skills; and I donít mean for leadership or management, I mean in general. Let us not sugar-coat it: Iím a low-born, who was initially brought here by the whims of my superiors to do that kind of unglamorous scut work that a fortress nonetheless needs to survive. I have no relations that might have propelled me, nor am I friends with anyone who might support any hypothetical candidacy; merciful goddess, I havenít bothered to make any friends or acquaintances since getting here.


To sum it up, the highest position in a fortress has just been dumped in my lap. There is no explanation for it. There was no justification presented. There is, also, no way to refuse.

So yes, paranoia seems like an appropriate response, because I donít see any way in which this appointment was done in good faith. So far, there are only two explanations that I deem plausible:

Either a prophetic vision is involved, meaning some god or gods have picked me specifically; this may sound good, until you realize that gods donít choose people so they can laze about - no hero ever had it easy. For sure, Iíd be heading for interesting times.

Or, I got picked by those already in power to take the fall for some mis-deed that they have already made, and hope that nobody will notice until ďmy ruleĒ kicks off.

Whichever it may be, I see fit to take my new duties very seriously, and pore over the entirety of the fort. I am now in the fortís archives, and have taken this unbound quire as a quasi-diary where Iíll gather my thoughts.

The fort seems secure enough, at least on a cursory view. The surface has some dubious design choices, but nothing outright damning. There is always at least a bridge between a potential invader and the fortÖ though it may be argued that three separate entry points is a bit much.


What puzzles me is the aerial entry-way built in the antechamber going towards the fortís main entrance. In case of a flying enemy, that makes the outer bridge useless.

The trade depot canít be isolated from the fort as a whole; doesnít seem like much, until some were-beast comes as part of a caravan. Also, the caravan canít leave without endangering the fort; yes, there are hatches on top of the stairway, but hatches can be torn off.


A baffling structure was made in the left-lower corner; I canít even bring up a speculation why somebody wasted limestone blocks and risked dwarven lives to construct it.

Not related to defense, but there are 3 wall tiles made from materials other than limestone - a gneiss internal wall, and 2 coal walls in the corner of the mystery platform. These canít do anything against defense, butÖ why? Should there be enough time, theyíll be corrected; just for dwarven pride.

Below the immediate surface lie the remnants of half dozen defense and offense projects; each discarded or modified by the next one. The current strategy seems to be bridge smashing, followed by stone-fall traps to catch whatís left. At least the levers have all been clearly marked. Nonetheless, Iíll run some tests firings; these aren't circumstances where Iím willing to trust anything.


Beneath these, but above the aquifer, lies a dirt layer which can be counted as the first real layer of our fort. The farming area looks tiny; perhaps it should be expanded, for summer pig tail crops if nothing else; there are dwarves who canít get rid of their tattered clothes because they have no replacementÖ

Now thereís a potential pitfall for me: let clothes rot, then blame the overseer; definitely need to set up a cloth production somewhere.


In the areas where the aquifer didnít stretch, thereís a tree farm. Given our notable lack of wood sources, Iíll see if I can expand it. The other two sources of wood are the cursed east, and conquering the caverns. The cursed forest to the east, at least, can be exploited by those already afflicted by the unending fever. Caverns are a bit more difficult, what with the forgotten beasts; thereís something absurd about battling abominations older than the world, just for the sake of getting a few logs.

Then come four levels, partially occupied by the aquifer. Weíll never lack for water.

Under the aquifer, at level 113, begins the proper fortress, in layers of stone. The first stone layer isnít occupied with much, just many garbage dumps and a smashing bridge right by the stairs.


Below it is our main living area; the first bedrooms were carved in the limestone here, this is where we store our food and alcohol, this is where our tavern and hospital are, and where the levers for the crushing bridges are.


This prompts me to look at the list of locations; we have one tavern, one library, one farmerís guildhall, and three temples. All have been marked for free access, which has turned out to be quite pointless; to my knowledge, thereís never been a visitor to this fort in its entire history. I restrict access to citizens only, and wonder if anyone will even notice.


Frankly, our glorious locations are nothing to write home about - furniture is quite sparse, and monetary value is quite low. One more area to improve.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
The Cathedral of Kindness stretches over 2 floors:


The Youthful Shrine:


Beneath, the bedrooms continue. All are occupied, and a few more should be carved out; there are still dwarves without their own rooms. We have two jail rooms, only one of which was marked as such for some reason, and another much larger atom smasher.

 
About half of the fortís workshops are clustered on level 109; we have more than these, in various nooks and crannies.



Right below, lie several large rooms. One is clearly a library, though the area designation has been lost. The other two seem to be only storage space.


Beneath this, thereís a depressingly large necropolis. For such a small fort, it has too many dead; or is it the other way around, maybe, that there are so many dead because itís such a small fort?


At level 105, a large room was carved and engraved; I canít fathom its purpose. Perhaps the guild hall?


The smithy stands at level 97, right above the first cavern layer; clever minecart usage has brought 20 units of magma to the level below.



The first cavern has had a sizable chunk of it walled up in times long past. In more recent times, all of the fortís grazing animals have been pastured in this section - which prevents new trees from growing. I intend to trim their numbers and move the survivors above the aquifer, thereís already quite a bit of dug-out space there.


The same cavern layer, I should mention, is also occupied by a fire-breathing forgotten beast:



The first cave ends stretches between levels 97 and 92. The second cavern slopes gently east to west, from level 57 to level 34, and houses a small lake which makes it effectively unsealable, unless Iím willing to drop stone plugs. It too is now ruled by a forgotten beast, Pelese SoakedMuck:



The third cave covers levels 25 to 21, and is a scene of carnage: covered in corpses, and painted in blood:






Quite ironic, then, that there are no forgotten beasts squatting here. And the cavern looks very nice to seal off, too: we would need to plug only some very small gaps in the walls to make this place our own.

Right beneath the cave, on level 20, thereís the end of an exceedingly short magma pipe. This abortive volcano was the source of magma for the smithy way up on level 97. Judging by the tunnels below, it would seem someone made plans for extensive magma works, partially carried them out, and then abandoned them entirely:


And lastly, there is one adamantine spire under the fort; like most things here, itís quite small:


 
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StrikaAmaru

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SmallHands 159 - Spring

(album)

RightÖ what to do first? I suppose trimming the numbers of the animals looks like a good plan; we have both way too many useless tame animals, and a bunch of caged beasts which havenít been dealt with:


Two workshops for butchery and tanning are already built, in the main area; this is quite the terrible place for them and I fully intend to move them; but until then, we can manage.

Finding a spot for the surviving animals was a bit harder than I imagined; my first idea was to just put them in the dirt layer; but the eastern parts of the dirt layer are prime territory for channeling into a tree farm, and currently theyíre occupied by several stockpiles for ammo, leather, and cloth (glad I found those, too); after some deliberation, I designate a section of the inner labyrinth to be dug out.


The wild animals have all been marked for taming. We already have four dwarves with some skills in animal training, and I only want to get the beasts docile enough for butchery.

In the cavern, three farmerís workshops have been ordered. They will only last as long as the animals take to be milked and sheared; those which can be. Then theyíll be torn down, as part of the pasture move.


Well, one of the animals has escaped me already: old age has claimed a leopard before the butcherís knife could.


A notification arrives; it states an order for 25 charcoal has just been completed. Not bad on its own, but it does make me realize that my paranoia has failed to prompt caution - I have not taken proper stock of the fort, at all.

The pre-existing work orders can be allowed to unfold; itís a pleasant surprise that we even have steel at all, I know for a fact the fort has no iron-bearing ores; only copper and cassiterite, for tin.


I had resigned myself to bronze weapons and armor, which was perhaps a bit too pessimistic; we have plenty of limestone, and our enemies do bring a reasonable amount of iron at times, after all. Though this makes the smashing bridges economically unfeasible; given the mess in the 119th level, I dislike the notion of adding yet another set of defense modifications. Frankly, Iíll postpone deciding until after I see a good count of iron and steel items.

The general orders for the fort are only very slightly tweaked: previously, all could harvest crops; now, only farmers are allowed. I also canceled the order to automatically forbid fired ammunition and other death items; access can be controlled much better with burrows. Everything else is left as-is.

Nobles have it bad in SmallHands. The mayor and the captain of the guard have no rooms whatsoever; baron Salmeuk is missing armor stands and weapon racks.


My low-born heart rejoices, but my stone-cold brain points out all this crap is now my responsibility. Nobody ever taught me law, and now itís too late; for all I know, there is some bizarre clause that if a noble wonít have their needs met for 3 years consecutively, the overseer loses their head. Or some equally inane regulation. Iíll meet their demands, if only to be in compliance.

Justice has two recorded incidents, vandalism and disorderly conduct respectively.


Two separate dwarves have accused legendary mason Lokum Erithadil, and in both cases only the accusers are witnesses. Obviously, I am suspicious. I draw the paperwork for interrogations instead of convicting the mason willy-nilly.



Both accuser and accused are going to have a chat with captain BlockadeIdols. Heís an expert swordsman, though I hope that will not come to be relevant in this matter. He is also the fourth  member of the Rainbow Raptors, which surprised me; I was unaware that captains of the guard can also serve in the military.

Speaking of the Rainbow Raptors, they are short three members; the Grave Wardens are short four; I will need to find them replacements. There is a third squad, The Roads of Riddling, which was created without any armor or weapons. Riddle me why, if you please. There is no marksdwarf squad, although we have four dwarves with notable skills, and thereís a training room for them, with archery targets still built.

But the military will have to wait a while. I had started with sorting out the animals, and I should probably finish before I get side-tracked by another detail. We have an impressive number of metal cages:


Speaking from my experience as a hauler: I. LOATHE. Metal cages. Theyíre back-breakingly heavy, and bring no benefits whatsoever to good old wooden cages. Some of them are better off in fires, but if you have a fire, I daresay you have bigger problems than the continued structural integrity of your nearby cages. Either youíre dealing with a forgotten beast which set your cavern moss alight, or a dragon has wandered across the surface of your fort; either way, having prisoners released from cages is not the biggest worry, and may indeed become an advantage. So off to the melting pile it is!

Ö the melting pile doesnít exist yet, I should mention. But it certainly will.

5th of Granite.


Oh kindly fuck off. Weíll be cutting even more trees, and thereís nothing you can do to stop us. Got it?

Luckily, it wasnít me in charge of meeting the man-eating bastard; that ďhonorĒ went to baron Salmeuk; heís been flawlessly polite, and eventually got the tree-hugging ponce to leave without any ill-effects on the fort. Perhaps I have misjudged nobility, or maybe Salmeuk is a cut above the rest? Either way, heís getting his rooms completed (as soon as I figure out where they are).

Around the same time, interrogation reports have started coming in; our expert swordsdwarf is terrible at interrogations:




16th Granite. An elven caravan has arrived. I immediately mark all worn clothing for sale, although it isnít much; Iíll see what else I can haul to the depot.

And yes, I chose those words on purpose; Iím using their arrival as a chance to prepare for trade with humans. Elves never bring much, and what they bring is notoriously crappy.

Speaking of paranoia: there were two holes next to the smithy, punching into the caverns. The caverns with a flame-breathing forgotten beast. That cavern. They were floored over without incident. You can also glimpse a new space on the right of the smelters; this is where the substandard metal items will be stockpiled for melting.


24th Granite. Excuse me, what?


This particular bonecarver was the injured party in the claim of disorderly conduct. I am now to believe that the commander of the Rainbow Raptors, a legendary sword-dwarf on his own, has suddenly thrown a tantrum, and has just, ďaccidentallyĒ, killed off one of the accusers of the legendary mason.

Here I thought the mason was unjustly accused; Iím now starting to wonder if the tally of his crimes is balanced the other way around.

Regardless. Captain ReignedAxes is going in the clink. There were far too many witnesses to his outburst; there will rightly be a riot if heís not condemned. This puts his subordinate in a very awkward position - now he needs to go interrogate, and then imprison, his superior officer. Perhaps I mis-remembered, and it wasnít that law officers couldnít serve in the military, but merely that it wasnít recommended?

Either way, I resolve to have a chat with mister BlockadeIdols, and ask him what he would prefer: military, or law? Current legal issues will be postponed until I figure out if I change the captain of the guard or not.

Moving on to the elves: they have brought 29 logs, which have been bought immediately. Their animals are uninteresting, and theyíve brought no alcohol; but they did bring five cheap barrels, and two buckets. Iím not sure we need buckets, but Iíll get them anyway. Iím also marking the clothes which arenít made of wood, some splints, and lastly a single crutch. They have not brought a single piece of thread or bolt of cloth, but oh well. In the end, I manage to trade away every bit of worn-out clothing and a few crafts, in exchange for new clothes, logs, and wooden tools.

After some deliberation, I gift them a few bone trinkets; nothing of any importance, but traders and politicians have this way of not being on the same page; maybe next yearís trade will be better, despite the diplomats coming to yell at us.

13th Slate. BlockadeIdols has come with his answer: heíd prefer to remain in the army. In accordance, I remove him from his position as captain of the guard. His replacement is the rather flimsy KingZultan BoulderHeight, whoís an adequate clothier, and not much else.

With this done, I can now interrogate captain ReignedAxes, before imprisoning him.

Not to forget my original goal, all milking and shearing has completed; of the 48 adult animals in the fort, 21 were marked for slaughter on the simple grounds of being feeble. (ooc: everything with a stat below 30 got the axe). Of the remaining, three more were also marked for slaughter, on the grounds of being a donkey, which I'm not inclined to keep, and two water buffalos, which eat a staggering amount and I definitely wonít keep.


There is little left to do now, besides waiting for the rest of my fellows to finish slaughtering the animals and hauling the resulting food. I must say, itís a bit strange to see it happening from this end.

I now also wonder if thereís enough room for the meat to be stored; Iíve a sinking suspicion there isnít.

Captain KingZultan, for all her frail appearance, has managed to shake the legendary mason:


The sword dwarf in contrast isnít saying a peep. Too bad everybody has witnessed him being guilty as a goblin, then.


Thereís little reason to dally; itís time for convictions. Captain ďI murder legendary bonecarvers because I bloody feel like itĒ can go cool his heels chained in a bare room; the mason can go serve his sentence in the neighboring room too.

27th. For reasons that are still unclear, KingZultan has decided to go punch the two guilty parties instead of using our two jail cells. Thankfully, no lasting damage has been done. Sort of:



The architecture is baffling around here too: the jail cells are only one level below the common room, but in order to access them a dwarf would need to go all the way up to the sub-surface level, pass through the farm plots, and descend back down.

It occurs to me that summer is one month away; I would like for the rope reed plots to be ready by then. So I order the last two farm plots deconstructed, and the room expanded to a 11x11 format; dirt roads are placed on top of saplings, and two 5x7 plots are planned:

 
The top two plots can be extended later to 5x3; this neatly leaves a one-tile path between the plots, where we can store seeds.

A curious detail has been noticed: the metal cages that I planned for melting haveÖ passengers. I briefly panic, wondering if these are undead; but with a few dump designations, a much simpler, and much more depressing, explanation is made apparent. We have had animals that starved in cages. Already, two rabbits and a donkey were pulled out of the cages; a sheep, a bull and a cow soon followed.

 
(ooc: interestingly, the message ďan X has been found, starved to deathĒ was shown when the corpse was placed in the dump zone; Iíd have expected it to crop up when the cage was opened. I now have the bizarre vision of a dwarf whoís hauling a corpse all the way to the dump zone convinced the animal is still alive, maybe just sleeping a bit; and only on destination they become convinced itís dead. Even if theyíre hauling a skeleton. Especially if theyíre hauling a skeleton).

15th Felsite. Two beak dogs have been spotted outside, and have scared the crap out of me before I realized they are part of the local fauna, not a prelude of some mysteriously unannounced invasion. One already got caught in a cage trap; the other two werenít far behind:


28th Felsite. On the brink of season change, I order the emergency burrow activated. We might get the human caravan, or we might get an undead horde. Best lock the gate for a few days; if nothing happens until the 10th, Iíll open it again.

The staggering amount of cancelled jobs reveals to me the emergency burrow hasnít been updated with the changes to the fort. Most notably, the smithy is not included and neither is the walled-off cavern floor. Iíll save myself some trouble, and include all levels that donít also have caverns, or magma sea; or, obviously, outside. More detailed expansion can be done later.
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delphonso

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Awesome, Amaru. I like the style and am glad to see you're working on organizing the place a bit.

I too was curious about that square structure. What exactly is that?

auzewasright

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Awesome, Amaru. I like the style and am glad to see you're working on organizing the place a bit.

I too was curious about that square structure. What exactly is that?
That was part of a project that I ran out of time for.
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On a fun note, all of the beds just starting disintegrating
By the way, it (my name) is pronounced "ah-zee".

King Zultan

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I'm the captain now...      and I'm gonna punch you for your crimes!
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The Lawyer opens a briefcase. It's full of lemons, the justice fruit only lawyers may touch.
Make sure not to step on any errant blood stains before we find our LIFE EXTINGUSHER.
but anyway, if you'll excuse me, I need to commit sebbaku.
Quote from: Leodanny
Can I have the sword when youíre done?

StrikaAmaru

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I'm the captain now...      and I'm gonna punch you for your crimes!
Yes, but I wanted you to imprison them; in the two jail cells that we have. What the hells, girl? :D

Dorfy role playing aside, I picked your avatar for 2 reasons: because it's an avatar at all, and because she scored pretty high on the list of weak dwarves - fourth or so :| The murdering sword dwarf got away pretty easy with just a few punches from an unarmed dwarfette.

(Not that mister Moldath ReignedAxes actually took it well, that punishment pushed him from unhappy to very unhappy, and he just keeps getting worse. I already removed him from the squad, although he's an uber-swordwielder; if he's going to be miserable, he might as well be unarmed).

Apropos of nothing, it looks like I'll finish my turn come Friday; applet is next.

Edit: Nogood isn't visible in DwarfTherapist, by the way. I can see him just fine in the game itself, his squad can be controlled, and he's happily working alongside everybody else, but Dwarf Therapist insists the guy is off the map. I can still set his jobs from the in-game interface (he's a decent planter, too).
« Last Edit: May 31, 2020, 03:14:19 pm by StrikaAmaru »
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Spriggans

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King Zultan is merely a captain, and not a king. I see...

Do you think the real king would want to live in such a small fort as ours ?
Iirc we'd need either 80pop, wich is a no no, or a succession.
Or can we raid our king and abduct him ?

Edit : 140 pop. Not 80. So defenitely nope
« Last Edit: May 31, 2020, 02:57:54 pm by Spriggans »
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delphonso

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It is sad to hear about Moldath. Moldath is the reason we had any migrants at all when the unkillable dead were around. Perhaps we can give him an honorable death in combat somehow.

StrikaAmaru

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It is sad to hear about Moldath. Moldath is the reason we had any migrants at all when the unkillable dead were around. Perhaps we can give him an honorable death in combat somehow.
I'm not giving up on him this quickly; part of the reason I booted him out of the military was so he could get some new duds. He hadn't picked up any new stuff lately (including the new armor, for some reason), and he had bad thoughts for it.

He's been removed from everything except bone carving, and is making crafts on repeat. The real problem is that he doesn't have any crafting skills, so it will be a while until he starts cranking out masterworks. Once that happens, he's practically set; masterwork thoughts stack up, as shown by our other unhappy dwarf, the legendary mason who also got in legal trouble. He's been making furniture, and has already dropped his stress to about 15k. By the time the fort's furniture necessities are met, I'm guessing this guy's going to be fine.
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King Zultan

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Re: Smallhands - a small fort for small computers (small overseers welcome)
« Reply #354 on: June 01, 2020, 05:11:05 am »

King Zultan is merely a captain, and not a king. I see...
But I'm the Captain King that means I'm better than a regular king.
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The Lawyer opens a briefcase. It's full of lemons, the justice fruit only lawyers may touch.
Make sure not to step on any errant blood stains before we find our LIFE EXTINGUSHER.
but anyway, if you'll excuse me, I need to commit sebbaku.
Quote from: Leodanny
Can I have the sword when youíre done?

StrikaAmaru

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Re: Smallhands - a small fort for small computers (small overseers welcome)
« Reply #355 on: June 01, 2020, 07:43:19 am »

Year 159, Summer

(Album)

1st Hematite. Never mind the human caravan. Poor guys probably got eaten by zombies.


Yes, our usual buddies have returned, off from the north-west as they always do.

Annnnnd they have also left, as swiftly as they arrived. The siege is broken, about one eye-blink before it started. Not to say there werenít any complications, nowÖ



A third necromancer joins them soon after.


14th: Merchants have arrived. Not eaten by zombies after all! The next day, theyíre followed by a human diplomat with her two guards; her name is Buspel ShockMirror, and she bears a title - ďKeeper of the SealĒ. I am looking forward to ordering some war beasts, and I do hope my successor will beef up our military with them.

Unfortunately, the diplomat isnít offering any of that; she just said hi, helpfully informed us the world is the same as ever, then she took her leave.

Oh well. Back to the internal matters of the fort, then.

The third cavern gets some preparatory work; a previously-existing room has been expanded, and a trap channel will stop very near the cavern wall. Once itís dug out, Iíll put a block stockpile in it, then build the traps and hatch over the stair.
 

Higher up, my untangling of the animal situation has collided with the geography - the rooms I had planned to dig near the small atom smasher have streaks of aquifer running through them. I could move them one level lower, but itís still annoying.



Another matter I want to cover is the route from the common room downwards.

See, the vertical stair ends in the common room; this is something which effectively saved the fort five or six years back, when a necromancer siege managed to breach the stairway.


After this, the dwarves make their way east, on two separate winding paths to the workshops. From the workshops to the lower fort, the path has a one-tile corridor, sealed with both a door and a lever. The traffic direction for the way down is right to left, I should probably clarify that.


What vexes me here is that security measures arenít all that secure. Having a chokepoint that can be locked two-ways, sealing both the upper and the lower fort, sounds like a great idea - until you notice the lever is unguarded, and can be easily pulled or destroyed, by either a tantruming dwarf, or an external malicious actor.

This connection between main level and crafting level needs to be revisited. For that matter, the crafting level too needs to be revisited, because itís not terribly effective - stone is far from the workshops that use it, the workshops themselves are built haphazardly, and Iím quite sure we lack stockpiles for entire categories (notably, gems, which keep getting left where they have been dug out).

Iím very tempted to just extend the stairwell to the crafting level, then make the choke point there. Almost everything in here will be rebuilt anyway.

17th. A new mayor has been elected:


This was the former captain of the guard, if youíll recall. The guy who couldnít shake two guilty parties for information.

I do hope he wonít issue some idiotic mandate right after I tradeÖ

Up on the trade depot, anybody who wants to trade can do so; our broker, good old Auze, has gone to sleep right as all the hauling has completed. Not that crippling in the long run, all stocks were kept meticulously, and the appraising has been completed ahead of time. Even a trained monkey could complete the transactions.

For some reason, we have a disturbingly large number of blood barrels. I dimly recall goblins know how to cook with it, but we dwarves sure donít; nor do we terribly want to find out. I mark them all for trade.


The humans havenít brought any of the things we really care about - no logs, no ores, and no cloth or thread. They do have a handful of books, and a vast number of barrels and bags. Iíve grabbed a bag of jute seeds; thereís a chance they wonít grow here, but Iíd at least try to diversify my cloth production.


1st of Malachite.

I take a momentous decision (or so it seems to me): the military is going to be temporarily disabled; meaning, the active status of the squads will be removed, and the barracks are being freed. There is too much to do, and the remaining 41 dwarves are not keeping up.

Yes, I did complete the squads; from the ranks of the unskilled, talentless hacks. There but for the grace of god, go I.
The sleeping quarters are extended; 12 new rooms will be plenty for such a small fort:


5th Malachite. A great weight has been lifted from my chest. The necropolis is mostly unoccupied - most of our coffins are empty. I do notice a small blunder, though: two rooms have been blocked from access, by the building of commemorative slabs in their access passage. There should be nothing there deliberately locked, so I order the two offending slabs deconstructed; Iíll rebuild them soon after.


While on the subject, I also remove the slabs and the one coffin from the Youthful Shrine; it is a terrible place to put a reminder of mortality.

16th Malachite



A reason to rejoice! Our two most skilled armorers were barely proficient; having a legendary among our numbers can only be a good thing. I quickly forbid all our metal bars, except the 24 steel ones. A bit unfair to the divine inspiration, but Iím not all that inclined to care. He descends all the way to the bottom of the world, and claims a magma forge fed by the pipe; he grabs one steel bar, then moves to other materials.

2nd Galena The smith has begun a mysterious construction. A sparsely-decorated one, by all appearances:


Iím unsure what heíll make; heís already stated a preference for axes, but seeing as heís an armorer, itís obvious he wonít make that. Weíll see, I suppose.

7th Galena. He created a steel right gauntlet. Weíre far more excited about the newly-minted legendary +3 armorer. The steel and bronze industries are going to kick off immediately; food can wait a bit.

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Re: Smallhands - a small fort for small computers (small overseers welcome)
« Reply #356 on: June 01, 2020, 11:00:37 am »

5th Malachite. A great weight has been lifted from my chest. The necropolis is mostly unoccupied - most of our coffins are empty. I do notice a small blunder, though: two rooms have been blocked from access, by the building of commemorative slabs in their access passage. There should be nothing there deliberately locked, so I order the two offending slabs deconstructed; Iíll rebuild them soon after.


I didn't know that slabs blocked passage. Although I've never tried it.

Seems like you're shaping things up handsomely...
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Meanwhile in the background, some migrant brought a cat! The first cat in Whisperwhip for a few years now, actually. The local population accidentally died of exploding over the years.

After 3 days, the new cat explodes.

StrikaAmaru

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Re: Smallhands - a small fort for small computers (small overseers welcome)
« Reply #357 on: June 01, 2020, 01:33:13 pm »

I didn't know that slabs blocked passage. Although I've never tried it.
They always did, and they still do; I actually checked - tried to dump that chunk of ore in the right-side room, and nobody could pick it up.

Seems like you're shaping things up handsomely...
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As long as it's an interesting story, everybody's going to be fine with that. Besides,
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Re: Smallhands - a small fort for small computers (small overseers welcome)
« Reply #358 on: June 02, 2020, 05:32:26 am »

Youíre doing great, Strika; Iím really enjoying the writeups, which are detailed without being overly so. Keep in mind that the crazy, hodge-podge design of the fort saved it in more ways than one; the choke point saved it, but so did the extra space in odd places and the weird, inefficient paths ó although the fort has changed significantly since then. Youíre right about possible problems with threats from within, though.
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bool IsARealBoy = false
dropping clothes to pick up armor and then dropping armor to pick up clothes like some sort of cyclical forever-striptease
if a year passes, add one to age; social experiment

StrikaAmaru

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Re: Smallhands - a small fort for small computers (small overseers welcome)
« Reply #359 on: June 03, 2020, 09:18:45 am »

Year 159, Autumn

Album.

Autumn finds us in the middle of cleaning out the fort; digging and stone dumping seem to be the main activities at the moment.

Right below the surface, the survivors of the animal purge have been pastured; two farmer’s workshops are intended for the milking, shearing, cheese making, and spinning that comes with a healthy population of sheep… which we don’t have, right now: we do have one ram and one ewe, both pets, and an alpaca, a llama, a juvenile billy goat, and one nanny goat. I’ll need to order more ewes and rams from the caravan, and I can only hope my successor will bother to buy them.


The wolf over there is going to be slaughtered, too; unfortunately, they can’t be trained for war. (ooc: I considered keeping it for a zoo, but considering the fortress’ constraints, I decided against)

One level below, the farm has been expanded. Only the small plots on top are cultivated year-round; the large ones are marked only for planting pig tails, in summer and autumn. Considering how much cloth a full suit consumes, this may yet be insufficient.


Right below the aquifer, lies the spectre of failure, and I’ve somehow nicked the aquifer anyway. Or I dismantled a wall built by someone who nicked it before me? Either way, a small trickle of water keeps popping up around the pit of the atom smasher:


Below, corpse processing takes place; there’s a dedicated corpse stockpile, within close proximity to the atom smasher. To the right, workshops for a bowyer and two craft dwarves are going to slowly chew through the bones, skulls, hooves, antlers, and teeth resulting from butchery. The least happy dwarves will be assigned for this job; nothing like crafting to lift a sullen dwarf’s spirits.

A 9x9 coop has been dug out, holding all of the fort’s poultry; I’m also glad that we have a breeding pair of chickens - two hens and one rooster, all of them pets (ooc: and with decent stats, too; one of the hens could use an unfortunate accident, but I don’t think it’s worth the bother). I won’t let them breed, though, we have sufficient food; still, it’s nice to have the option The last section is currently occupied with cages; I’m unsure what to do with it in the long run.


The main level is next, and this is where I’ll upend everything:


All workshops have been dismantled; this large room will be turned into the new and improved tavern. The old one will be removed, and saved up for the next guild hall. The hospital needs more beds, the food & booze stockpiles need to be extended. The old corridor was turned into a kitchen, with dedicated stockpiles for meat & fish, eggs, and extracts. This is where the prepared meals will be cooked. In the temple, the slabs were removed, and they’ll be rebuilt in the necropolis; multiple empty pastures were removed too.

Below the main room, plant processing is gearing up. The stockpile marked here is only for thread-bearing plants; two farmer’s workshops are going to be constructed, and left to process plants into thread forever. On the right side, we’ll designate the ‘master’ stockpile for all plants, leaves and fruits. A barrel stockpile is going to be defined between them.


12th. The caravan has arrived. A bit earlier than usual. Oh well. Bridge up, and let’s move all finished goods to the depot. We have a remarkable collection of training weapons, for some reason; I presume they were bought for the military? They are not needed, actual weapons provide better training anyway.


While all the hauling is done, the outpost liaison manages to corner me. I would have liked to see him after we trade with the merchants, but I guess I’ll have to roll with it now. I ask him for all wood-derived byproducts - coal, lye, potash and pearlash. I ask gypsum powder for the hospital, as we have yet to hit any rock that can be baked into plaster.


Among the animals, I ask for cats, ewes & rams, and hens & roosters. Stone is disappointing - the mountainhome doesn’t offer lignite or bituminous coal, and that is what I’d have really liked to have; I have to settle for a bit of magnetite, hematite, gold ores, garnierite and some kimberlite just for the color. Wood gets asked for en masse, obviously, seeing as our only source of coal is logs.

(ooc: there was a slight instance of save scumming - 9th to 28th. The caravan glitched out somehow, and would not get ready for trade; it was stuck in “we are still unloading”, forever. This can happen if one of the wagons/traders was not in the depot, or was destroyed before reaching it, but none of that happened this time. It’s a mystery...)

19th; Let us trade!

Apparently, my predecessor ordered steel bars; this allowed the gouging traders to bring only four bars, total, and price them ridiculously high:


(ooc: always, always, order the ores. They’ll still only bring four chunks, ‘cause that’s how they roll, but this translates into way more bars; it’s cheaper too, not that any established fortress cares about costs).

On the animal front, every beast under the sun has been asked for, except for cats and hens - the ones I really wanted; I buy the dogs, turkeys, and two ewes that the traders saw fit to bring without having been ordered; smart guys.

There were no logs, but I did get the cheaper barrels. Three bins of extremely expensive cloth have been passed by; 800 dorf bucks for 10 bolts of cloth is a ridiculously high price.

And this concludes our trading.


I return to digging; three things are in progress now - the crafting area, the nobles’ rooms, and the cloth zone.

Crafting is the first to be completed; makes sense, seeing as it was also the first to be started. Our least happy dwarf, the militia commander ReignedAxes, is removed from all other jobs and left only with bone carving. I hope he’ll find some joy in crafting, and maybe some joy in new clothes when that industry kicks off as well.


The noble rooms are far worse than I thought - the old rooms were shared alcoves, in the main level, south of the hospital and north of the future tavern. Only Salmeuk’s bedroom remains there; all others have been removed along with all their furniture.


I do have some ideas as to where I can carve out new 5x5 offices and dining rooms - wrapped around the plant processing area. This will require us to connect some stairways that used to be isolated, but that’s not that big a deal.

The cloth processing area is best done under the plant processing area; not only is that level the only one available (sandwiched as it is between bedrooms and crafting levels) but it’s mostly unused, with only the upper level of the Cathedral of Kindness truly occupying space here. There’s a remnant of the old access ramps, but those were replaced by stairs.


12th Sandstone



While we were all focusing on digging and hauling, a were-pig had arrived; the caravan guard had stepped up, and killed it before I was even notified. I thank them, and make a quiet note to have the depot sealed off from the fort before next autumn - just in case any of the traders was bit and is hiding it.


The ‘werebeast’ here is the corpse being hauled, not the critter itself.

18th Sandstone. Apropos of nothing, our legendary armorer has just finished chewing through our supply of bronze:


Our supply of steel is still not worth talking about; and will soon stop due to lack of coal anyway.

Dwarves are starting to become jobless; I set up a new dump zone above the atom smasher, and mark all corpses & body parts for obliteration.
And since I’m here, I also run though all the seeds we have; none of these can grow in this climate (neither do some of the others, but I’m an eternal optimist):


One of the rooms on this level has been made useful after all; I pastured all the dogs in here. I’ll leave it to the next overseer if they want to wall them up or not; but I’d strongly suggest at least you train the mutts for war, then assign them to the military (or train all but a few females, and keep a separate breeding stock?)


1st of Timber.

The three goals established two months ago have been nearly completed. The crafting area was revamped, stockpiles for specific stones were made, and the fort’s one legendary mason has already started crafting limestone tables, chairs, cabinets, coffers, armor stands, and weapon racks. The man’s mood has improved greatly too - he was unhappy since the end of spring, but nothing lifts the dwarven spirit quite like crafting masterworks. He is now content.


I do believe we have no craftsdwarf to make use of that giant pile of jet; it was earmarked for pots, but it’s hardly critical; between the pots already present, and all the barrels I bought from traders, we’re set.

The thread and cloth area was completed as well; tailors are already at work, and whatever they make gets picked up immediately by a population with increasingly shabby clothing.

The stockpiles for cloth and thread have been separated. Leather was kept off to the left. The dyer’s workshop was built just in case; there is a bag of dimple dye, probably bought from traders, and dimple cups keep cropping up from the spontaneous flora. There’s no plan to deliberately start growing dye plants, however; it’s hardly ever worth the bother.


The bedroom level has gotten quite a few additions: besides the new bedrooms and the plant processing area, I have made offices and dining rooms for our mayor, our baron, and the captain of the guard. A fourth pod is available, if we get a surprise noble down the line. In retrospect, I shouldn’t have dismantled the jail cells.


Motivated by the werebeast, I decide the next project will be to move the trade depot in some place where it can be sealed off from the fort. That place is the top-right corner of the ‘internal’ part of the long-defunct Labyrinth. This location was picked around mid-summer, already been dug out, and stockpiles with items for trade have been set.


Too bad the dwarven caravan has not ‘benefited’ from our vast stores of crappy furniture. I’ll have to ask my successor to foist it on the elves; and likely the humans too, since elves can only carry very little weight.

The above-ground construction is designated: a 7x7 area will be the ‘landing’ for the caravan, isolated from the rest of the surface with walls, bridges, and roof:


(ooc: given just how small the embark is, the odds of hostiles spawning in the ‘secure’ airlock is uncomfortably high. The trade depot is going to be isolated with my favorite hatch-over-up-stair assembly, and considered to be outside for the purposes of security).

The two bridges are connected to a small lever in the main area, and then raised. This effectively seals the airlock from the rest of the surface.
With that concluded, it’s time to dig the ramps; the walls were all built while the bridges were connected. Trade depots need a bit of distance from the edge, but I’m still building it as far as I can get away with. Now what should I make this depot out of, I wonder?

Green glass blocks seem perfectly fine. Not like glass blocks are used for anything else...
« Last Edit: June 03, 2020, 09:23:34 am by StrikaAmaru »
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