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Author Topic: Lanternwebs (The End!)  (Read 55766 times)

Rysith

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Lanternwebs (The End!)
« on: December 13, 2008, 02:43:23 am »

"Halt!" cried Tosid Vodsazir. "This shall be the site."

The other six looked out from the wagon and down the mountainside. Below them, a stream burbled happily through clay soil, trees dotted the hillsides, and green grass grew thick upon the ground. Above them, though, they could see a plateau, twisted trees long dead tied to blacked earth and stagnant, murky ponds. A malignant place, rumored to be caused by an ancient evil long buried beneath the mountains, an evil so terrible that the dead walked the land freely near them. The mountains themselves were named "The Unnameable Point", and the forest "The Forest of Funerals".

The brook was no safer, the dwarves knew, despite its inviting greenery. Many nights on their trek from Endoksobìr had been spent, not in restful sleep, but huddled in the wagon listening to the deep howls of the wolves, both lower and more savage than the howls of the wolves of their homeland.

And yet it was here that Queen Lektadlòr had ordered a fort built. It was to be, she said, a fortress unmatched by any throughout the land, to secure a vital corridor between the mountainhomes and the Bewildering Oceans. Tosid had objected, of course. The site was wholly unsuitable, surrounded by untamed wilds on all sides and with the Unnameable Point looming over it like an axe waiting to fall. He wasn't the right dwarf to lead, he insisted. There were other, more qualified dwarves available, ones from the court who knew how to lead dwarves with a gentle but firm hand. He'd do something wrong, and the entire expedition would be for nothing.

But the queen had held firm. The site was a bit harsh, it was true, but the location had all of the resources he could possibly want: Flux and sand had been reported by the scouts, and the mountains themselves were known to house ample magma. With the brook for running water, there was nothing that he would want for. Furthermore, his experience with mechanics would give him the perfect background to create a well-organized and smoothly running fortress, which was exactly what was needed if he was to accomplish the Queen's goals: Wall off the Forest of Funerals, tame the wilderness, and provide a forward outpost to hold off the Orcs when they turned their attention from the Unions of Responsibility to the dwarves further south. And, she reminded him, it was only with much negotiation and maneuvering that she had managed to take the honor of administering this fortress for the Braided Lenses. Eshtân Fikodniral had been extremely vocal in insisting that the expedition be lead by The Fence of Taking, claiming that the expedition would surely be lost without her clan's superior combat experience, and would no doubt jump at the chance to take over.

And so, eventually Tosid's sense of duty won out, and he had agreed to lead the expedition for the glory of the Braided Lenses and the Theater of Beards. For months, they had skirted the edges of The Virtuous Towers, who's cliffs had long sheltered the five dwarven nations that lived within, hidden from the wars outside. Through the Cruel Skull-Fields, across the Prairies of Impaling, around the Stinky Murk, and over the Gilded Hill, until at last they had arrived at Udilorshar, Lanternwebs.

Tosid looked over the dwarves before him. Sigun Dumatigath and Mosus Bidoksibrek, both competent miners. Kikrost Dakaskûbuk, their carpenter and guard. Uvash Ottansazir, their mason. Zaneg Sibreknekut, their armorsmith. Stinthäd Umåmfath, their farmer. And of course, himself, Tosid Vodsazir, mechanic-turned-expedition-leader. He raised his arm.

"Strike the Earth!"

Embark Location
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

The Forest of Funerals
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: December 27, 2009, 04:58:13 pm by Rysith »
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Rysith

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Re: Lanternwebs
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2008, 03:07:08 am »

And, hopefully the other updates will be a bit easier to write then that, when I've got actual events to describe. Now, a bit of out-of-character stuff.

I've been thinking about trying to write a dwarf fortress story for a bit now, inspired by the writing that I've seen here. Then, when I was generating worlds to test my orcs on, I found this site, and decided that it was too good to simply use for testing. It's got flux, sand, a brook, a magma pipe, adamantine, and chasm all in a 5x5 area. So, now it's going to be a story! The brook/adamantine/magma are actually in a 1x3, but I wanted a bit more space. The chasm is, unfortunately, only in the upper-left corner (I don't have chasms turned on for embark), but it's got a nice selection of skeletal thingies in it, from skeletal Antmen through skeletal Batman and skeletal Troll to Skeletal Troglodyte, so it should be plenty.

However, it was generated with my test RAW configuration, so there are a few "cheaty" reactions that you might see in screenshots (when I find a good image host, grumble...), mostly to generate fortress wealth quickly and attract orcs for testing purposes. I don't want to re-generate and take them out, for fear of breaking the site and the wonderful history that ended up happening. I tend not to play Dwarf Fortress for resource-restriction challenges anyway, so I might use, for example, the "generate rock crystal from green glass" reaction from time to time, but by and large I'll stay away from them, even though they are there.

That said, this is definitely not vanilla DF. Most notably, I've got orcs (and, as hinted in the opening, the site is between two orc civilizations). I've also got a variety of nasty beasts that should show up, such as dire wolves, giant ants, giant wood spiders, and armored war elephants. With luck, the test will work and the orcs will show up riding the latter two. I've also got "fine" and "Pure" versions of the metal-bearing minerals, which process into two and four times as many bars (with a bit of randomness) respectively. "useless" stone (Orthoclase, Microcline, I'm looking at you!) have been reduced to small clusters. Glass can be tempered to make "metal" bars, ranging from green glass as low-quality smithing material to crystal glass as a slightly weaker, but more valuable, substitute for steel. I'm also using both Growable wood (trees can be farmed with a 2-year grow duration) and a plant rebalance that increases grow times to a season or two, as well as adding cotton as a valuable (rope reed < cotton < GCS silk) above-ground plant. I think that that's all the mods I have in right now...

Anyway, just thought that I should do a disclosure of how this game will be a bit different from standard dwarf fortress, so people aren't disappointed later when I strike Fine Native Gold or I talk about someone dying to a pack of zombie giant wood spiders. In general, less struggling with internal factors, more fighting against external ones.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2008, 03:16:23 am by Rysith »
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Lanternwebs: a community fort
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The OP deserves the violent Dwarven equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Duke 2.0

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Re: Lanternwebs
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2008, 03:12:46 am »


 Wait, you have glass as a metal ah-la Morrowind?

 SOLD!

 So is this going to be a "Post a name, I will name dwarves after you" type of jazz? Or just you posting a story?

 And don't sweat over modded in things, as long as we can recognize the name. Violent Xalecs is not reconizeable. Wood spiders, armored elephants, even Beak Dogs we can somewhat visualize. And that is what DF is all about, visualizing the awesome things going on.
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MIERDO MILLAS DE VIBORAS FURIOSAS PARA ESTRANGULARTE MUERTO

Rysith

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Re: Lanternwebs
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2008, 03:23:27 am »


 Wait, you have glass as a metal ah-la Morrowind?

 SOLD!


Yeah, sort of. Except that rather than being rather uber, as in Morrowind, it's 50% block/damage for green, 75% block/damage for clear, and 125%/100% for crystal glass. It seems reasonable to me, since glass can actually get pretty hard if you've got enough of it.

Quote
So is this going to be a "Post a name, I will name dwarves after you" type of jazz? Or just you posting a story?

I hadn't really thought about it, but I don't have any objection to naming dwarves. I'll do my best to accommodate requests, but I'll warn ahead of time that there probably won't be much to do for the first year other than a frantic scramble to get enough trade goods up before the autumn caravan shows up, and a bridge up before the winter orcs show up.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2008, 10:09:10 am by Rysith »
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Lanternwebs: a community fort
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The OP deserves the violent Dwarven equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Duke 2.0

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Re: Lanternwebs
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2008, 03:29:41 am »


 Bah, that is the best part of a fortress! When you don't know if you will survive the first winter! After that, you should be fine and boring. Trust me, unless the Orcs are like the apocalypse made flesh, by year 5 you should be set. Unless this is SpearGrove.  :(

 I would like a character by the name of "The Duke." The 'the' is essential.
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Buck up friendo, we're all on the level here.
I would bet money Andrew has edited things retroactively, except I can't prove anything because it was edited retroactively.
MIERDO MILLAS DE VIBORAS FURIOSAS PARA ESTRANGULARTE MUERTO

Rysith

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Re: Lanternwebs
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2008, 03:41:05 am »

Trust me, unless the Orcs are like the apocalypse made flesh, by year 5 you should be set. Unless this is SpearGrove.  :(

 I would like a character by the name of "The Duke." The 'the' is essential.

They are like the apocalypse made flesh. Read the thread in my sig =) I'm also going to try to take them on without resorting to immense numbers of traps, or just sealing myself in, since we wouldn't be much of fort of legend if we didn't go engage them in hand-to-hand from time to time. I want my walls engraved with glorious images of dwarves striking down orcs, not "The orc is withering" "The orc is sitting around looking bored" "The orc is making a rude gesture across the moat". Unfortunately, that means not taking on the 16-20 orcs that will likely show up the first winter.

And, the miners are now lead by The Duke Dumatigath.
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Lanternwebs: a community fort
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Flintus10

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Re: Lanternwebs
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2008, 05:20:18 am »

ooh is this community cause it sounds great so far

Can I have the carpenter/Guard plz

Flint if male
Skeria if Female
« Last Edit: December 13, 2008, 05:51:05 am by Flintus10 »
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DeadorK

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Re: Lanternwebs
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2008, 06:03:10 am »

Cool fort! If possible could I have the mason. Name him/her Hat.
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Maggarg - Eater of chicke

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Re: Lanternwebs
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2008, 06:20:01 am »

Please can I have the armoursmith?
Name him/her Skjald.
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Shoruke

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Re: Lanternwebs
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2008, 02:11:41 pm »

Guess I'll take the other miner. Call him Shoruke. When you get into late game, draft him into the military (as 'unarmed') and have him fight with a pickaxe and heavy armor.
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Rysith

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Re: Lanternwebs
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2008, 04:39:08 pm »

Planning is the key. If the Queen says that I am to use my expertise with mechanics to run a fortress, then I shall run in like a exceptionally crafted set of mechanisms. And exceptionally crafted mechanisms are not made from parts cobbled together. The mechanic must see the entirety of the mechanism, each gear and axle perfectly fitted together in the mind, before they even begin to work the stone. They must ensure that no piece that is needed is cut, and no piece that is unneeded is not cut. So shall it be with my fortress. Already, I can see it. Waterfalls streaming through the dining rooms. Workshops stacked on each other, close to the bedrooms but not so close that the noise will be bothersome. A triple-layered entranceway with positions for marksdwarves and an immense pit to swallow any who attack us, emptying next to the barracks that our warriors can finish off the weakened and stunned enemies. Pathways for water, magma, and mechanical power throughout the fortress. Unfortunately, we will be unable to accomplish this with only the seven of us, and some things must remain un-done until the proper time.

The first season passed in a flurry of activity. We've carved out an entrance in the red sand next to the brook, and struck Dolomite immediately beneath us. That means iron and coal, both useful once we trade for an anvil in the autumn. I've ordered  our mason, who now styles himself "Hat", to produce as many blocks as he can. Not only will it give him valuable practice, it will greatly increase the quality of our buildings to be made with smoothed blocks rather than rough stone. If we are to become a shining example of dwarfdom, it hardly befits us to have sloppy workshops. We've moved everything out of the wagon, and gotten all the food underground. Many of the tower-cap logs that I ordered brought still need to be moved inside. Though we have space for them, it seems that there is no time to haul them all.

One other thing of note: On the 22nd of Granite, we had our first encounter with a creature of the Forest of Funerals. Stinthäd saw it first, just a small blur of motion near the wagon. Soon after, though, I saw it for what it was: a hoary marmot skeleton, walking the land as if it still had flesh and muscle. The sight of it sniffing around our wagon so unnerved me that I ordered Flint to kill it, or destroy it, or whatever you would call it. While he did so most proficiently, the prospect of future, and larger, visitors from the forest is not a pleasant one.

((I've got screenshots, but no idea where to host them. Does anyone have suggestions?)) Now with screenshots!

Workshops, food storage, and dining halls
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Main entrance, farms. There is a bridge across the brook right where the outcropping is, on the next level up
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

And, of course, our dwarves:

The Duke
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Flint
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Hat
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Skjald
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Shoruke
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Tosid
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: December 13, 2008, 05:52:59 pm by Rysith »
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Shoruke

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Re: Lanternwebs
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2008, 04:52:04 pm »

I use tinypic.com myself... it works just fine. I've heard other people say they use photobucket, but it seems to get a lot of downtime and errors and stuff.

Glad to be of service  ;D

And I like how my character likes war. Perfect for someone who spends his life reducing mountains to rubble, and then joins the army.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2008, 07:00:21 pm by shoruke »
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Rysith

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Re: Lanternwebs
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2008, 06:44:44 pm »

It is as I feared. The marmot was but the first of many. On the 15th of Hematite, Skjald cried out that there was a giant eagle rising over the peaks. But this was no ordinary giant eagle. Held together and aloft by fell magics, it was nothing but the bones of a once-terrifying predator of the air. Its death had done nothing to quench its appetite for bloodshed, though, and it swooped down upon us before we were aware what was happening. In the chaos, it struck down one of our faithful war dogs and severely injured another before being shattered. I was far too busy fleeing from it to know who stood to fight, other than the dogs, but within seconds the battle was over and the eagle's bones lay shattered on the ground next to our dogs. I hope that the wounded dog will recover with time, though I cannot spare anyone to tend to it. Perhaps during the winter, when there is less work to be done. The problem of assault from the air worries me, and I will need to think of some additional defenses. As always, the mechanic finds that the mechanism is a bit more complicated than he had initially thought.

We have also seen skeletal batmen flying out of the chasm at night, their long fingerbones making whistling noises as they fly around the peaks. I only hope that they are not enticed to come nearer to the fortress. The others, though, have taken to naming them. I suppose that they find it less fearful if they have been given familiar names. Thus far, we've sighted and named six: îton Endokusân, Solon Nishdodók, Udil Logemïlul, Dumat Unibokil, Kadol Igathkol, and Dodók Ostathingish. The chasm creatures, and the batmen in particular, are the sand in the mechanism of the fort. I have no doubt that if they are allowed to continue roaming, they will begin picking off woodcutters and migrants, slowing the fortress and eventually causing it to grind to a halt.

The bridge over the brook has been finished, and I've given orders to have walls built at strategic places so that that bridge is the only means of accessing the fort. While the progress hasn't been as fast as I would like, it will almost certainly be done by the time that winter comes. The sooner we can retract our drawbridge, though, the sooner I'll be able to sleep soundly at night.

And, as summer draws to a close, we had our first harvest. It's only a few plump helmets, and the wine that they will produce may be so foul that I'll use it only for cooking and emergencies, but we have food now that was not brought with us. Not a moment too soon, as well. Our food and drink supplies had begun to run low, and booze is the grease that will allow our fort to work smoothly.
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Rysith

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Re: Lanternwebs
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2008, 12:43:09 am »

With autumn came the dwarven caravan that Queen Lektadlòr had promised. They had assured me, before I left, that it would be carrying all of the necessities that we were unable to fit onto our single wagon. And, when they showed up, I suppose that they did. They brought an anvil, some meat, and some more food, all of which I traded in exchange for some mechanisms that I had made during my idle time here.
   They also had a whole variety of items completely unsuited to a fortress struggling to get itself underground. Giant cave spider silk mittens encrusted with black diamond? Perhaps we would want to import that when we were a large, prosperous fortress, but right now that single mitten was worth more than the rest of the goods we had in the fortress, combined. There was also a hoary marmot bone ring, encrusted with sapphire, that they wanted 2,000 ingots for. I think that we've seen quite enough hoary marmot bones here. Perhaps the mountainhomes have really been isolated for too long, to count jewel-encrusted clothing among the necessities. I spoke with Urist Almôshilral, our liason, about the situation, and told him that next year we would need leather, meat, more drink, silk thread, some of the rarer ores, and colored rocks. Some would question the need for colored rocks, but they have never seen the inside of the defensive control room that I'm planning. There will be at least eight levers, and having them all in Dolomite would make it too difficult to tell them apart, particularly if people are panicking during an attack. Much better to color-code them. We already have an orthoclase lever to raise the outer bridge and a cobaltite lever to raise the inner one, but we will need more. Microcline, mica, kimberlite, serpentine, jet. Anything but plain white, really.

Just to further drive home that the mountainhomes were out of touch with the needs of a developing fortress, they asked us to supply them with tanned hides, cheese, crowns, seeds, plants, fish, earrings, meat, amulets, and drinks. Surely, they must have all of the supplies to produce them back at the mountainhome? While we might be able to make some rock crowns and amulets, the rest will probably be in short enough supply that we couldn't risk trading them away, especially just before the winter. Perhaps I am being unfair, though. We have always had Endoksobìr, and only Endoksobìr. The other groups have always only had their mountainhomes as well, so we are the first new fortress founded in over a hundred years.

The rest of the season was mostly uneventful. The Duke struck rich magnetite while he was tunneling out what will become bedrooms, which should give us ample iron once we find and tap into the magma. The Duke also managed to attain the rank of legendary miner early in Sandstone. Shoruke is lagging behind him a bit, but his work in the masonry workshops cutting and dressing the stone that we mine more than makes up for it.

I've ordered the dog that was wounded in the giant eagle attack tied up behind the outer drawbridge. The merchant caravan will surely draw the attention of thieves, and I want to at least be alerted to their presence. I've also ordered some more space mined out in preparation for placing fortifications overlooking the drawbridge.

Now I must go. Winter is upon us.
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Lanternwebs: a community fort
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Rysith

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Re: Lanternwebs
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2008, 02:49:52 am »

Winter has come, though it is not nearly as cold here as it was in the mountainhomes. The brook remains free-flowing, and the grass remains green.

However, as I feared, the caravan has drawn the attention of the orcs, and they arrived in force: 12 slashers and four wrestlers, one of them mounted on a fearsome beak dog.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

 I'll admit that I panicked a bit and ordered both the inner and outer drawbridges raised, and then panicked even more when I realized that most of us were asleep, so there was nobody to pull the levers to raise them. Anyone else in my place, seeing over a dozen of the beasts charging the gate when we had only a single trained soldier to protect us, would have done the same. Fortunately, my shouts roused Skjald and Flint enough to have them raise the bridges, and we were safe, if trapped.

The Duke questioned why we were hiding inside rather than fighting them on open ground, the way we would with goblins. A single trained warrior can stand against a dozen goblins, and between him, Flint, and Shoruke they would only have five apiece. Flint, who had seen the aftermath of battles between The Unions of Responsibility and the Orcs, vetoed that plan. Orcs, he explained, were unlike goblins in several ways that made fighting against them much more difficult.

"For one, as you can see, the average orc stands nearly seven feet tall. This gives them a great advantage over dwarves in combat that the goblins don't enjoy." He said, "Their skin is naturally tough, removing another advantage that dwarves have over goblins. As if that wasn't bad enough, they are fearless in battle and feel no pain. If we fought them, it would be a fight to the bitter end. I've heard stories of orcs losing both their legs, only to crawl along the ground and tackle soldier to allow their comrades a killing blow. They came here willing to die. Are you?"

The Duke remained unconvinced, and Flint ordered an area of the planned fortifications overlooking the brook, where the orcs were now idling, mined out while he made a handful of wooden bolts to drive his point home. The orcs began grunting at us and gesturing rudely as soon as they could see dwarves, and Skjald was so frightened by her first actual sighting that she fled in terror from them immediately, and joined Flint in opposition to The Duke's plan.

From the position overlooking the orcs, Flint took aim with a crossbow and fired bolt after bolt at the milling group, to no noticeable effect. The orcs seemed nearly impervious to the bolts, and it was not until fifty bolts were fired that they retreated behind a hill and out of Flint's firing range, leaving three dead behind. None of the surviving orcs had so much as a scratch on them.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

This finally convinced The Duke that force of arms was futile against the orcs at this point, and so we began to make preparations for spending the winter as prisoners in our own fortress.

We still had ample material inside, and we began making it seem a bit more like the mountainhomes. Several large digging projects were laid out, including space for our forges and a system of pipes to supply us with fresh well water without the need to venture outside: I expect more orcs to attack, once they know the location, and I would hate for one of our wounded to die of thirst because we cannot venture outside. The siege, though, prevented any immigrants from the mountainhomes. Though I would be glad of the extra labor, I am somewhat relieved. Getting them safely inside would have been a tricky operation at best, and a total disaster at worst.

And so, while the orcs wandered outside, we labored inside. Proper rooms were built, so each of us can have some privacy rather than the communal arrangement that we had before, for which I'm quite grateful. And so, with the doors just being put into place, we pass the one year mark from our arrival here. The orcs still wait outside, and there is still much work to be done. But we shall continue on, for the glory of the Braided Lenses and the Theater of Beards!

Current maps of the fortress:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Here the outer fortifications can be seen, as well as the main entrance, food storage, and farms.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
The workshops, dining room, food processing area, and the Orcish menace. The designated, un-dug area is scheduled to become a pit trap under the entranceway

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Storage for the workshops, the bedroom complex, and part of the plumbing system. The bottom of the pit and the barracks are in the upper left

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
The lower storage, directly above where we have mined out space for the forges and furnaces. The edges of the magnetite are at the bottom of the bedroom leaf, and the large rooms with upwards stairways are going to be the water reservoirs once we can venture outside to flood them, and we've had engravers down to smooth them out.

Thus ends the first year of Lanternweb's history.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2008, 03:02:55 am by Rysith »
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