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Should I start a new world so the gulag can have sieges, or not?

Yes, make a new world and start the story over!  It's not a true Dwarf Fortress without Goblin Claus!
- 4 (30.8%)
No, it's fine.  I prefer to see the story as is run its course.
- 9 (69.2%)

Total Members Voted: 13


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Author Topic: The Gulag (Dig Deeper GOLD Community/Story Fort)  (Read 4497 times)

Urist_McArathos

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The Gulag (Dig Deeper GOLD Community/Story Fort)
« on: June 20, 2011, 02:34:43 am »

Times had been hard in Kantekkud.  Over the last five centuries, most of dwarven civilization had declined, to the point where it's very future was in question.  The queen knew that this could well be the sunset of her race; they certainly were not the first kingdom to taste utter defeat.  Only two strong cities remained in all the world that called her queen, the rest were tired and pitiful havens of refugees or lost to invaders and ruin.  Disorder was creeping into her realm, and she knew that only through great strength and a will of iron could the people be shepherded into a new golden age.  But what to do?  Surely simply executing the upstarts that fought against her could quell the riots, but it might also make her a tyrant that could not be tolerated in such horrible times.  However, mere prison was not enough: the guards were corrupt, seeing no point in enforcing the laws too tightly when it seemed the world was ending around them.  So, what to do?

What to do...

Eventually, a strong and loyal recruit proved herself worthy of the queen's attentions, and she summoned this dwarf to her private office.  Sitting at her table, the queen eagerly awaited the soldier's arrival.  Her new plans were harsh, but as the saying goes "desperate times call for desperate measures,"  There, alone, the two met.  Dishmab Bisolcatten was a typical new recruit; her muscles were well defined under her tunic, and her head still shorn from the traditional shaving all dwarves performed when joining the military.  She knelt before her queen, but was soon asked to rise, and sit at the table with her, a rare honor indeed.  She was puzzled as she took a seat beside her queen; all this was terribly confusing to her, and she did not know why she was being subject to such secrecy and intimacy with her ruler.

"Dishmab, you have proven to be a strong, capable dwarf with a thirst for more than mere palace work and patrol duty in the lower mines.  Our kingdom is in turmoil, and I need you to help me save it.  Crime is a growing problem, and the jails do not stop the criminal element from plaguing our halls.  Therefore, I am enacting a new punishment.  All who are found guilty of a severe enough crime, or a multitude of pettier ones and thus beyond hope of reform, shall be sentenced to exile."

"Exile, your majesty?"

"Indeed.  The mountainhome is not fit for their kind, and the prisons are too luxurious and corrupt to punish them anyway.  No, instead they will be sent to the harshest corner of the world, deep in the glaciers and frozen tundras of the south.  There, it is said there is much wealth, metal and stone aplenty under the frozen soil.  They will be sent there to labor, and labor until they die or are pardoned for their crimes.  It is my hope that the severity of the punishment will be enough to deter crime here; meanwhile, the labors of the pitiful wretches sent to this frozen land can help prop our weakened kingdom up until better times are upon us."  The queen leaned forward, the concern evident on her brow.  "You will be tested, my dear, and I need you to succeed.  I cannot spare proper weapons, or anything indeed besides a bronze axe and my hopes you will manage.  I have prepared a wagon for you and your charges: six dwarves charged with various crimes and in need of this punishment, to set an example to others.  Three are decent miners, two of them passable farmers.  The last, I'm not sure what skills, if any, she has.  Take them to this place," here the queen produced a map, and pointed to a location on it circled in charcoal, "and establish a prison.  You will be the Warden, and I trust you to handle it.  The land is brutal, wild, and cold.  The conditions will be harsh.  You must survive on your own until a caravan can arrive.  I will send guards when I can to help you, but you will mostly receive prisoners.  Dishmab, good luck."  The young dwarf nodded, took the map, and stood.

"I will not fail you, your majesty.  We shall save our kingdom!"

............................

The supplies she received were not pitiful, Dishmab decided, but not great.  The queen was sending an abundance of beer and pig meat, plump helmet spawn, and cave wheat seeds.  She was told that the prisoners were not to be given a luxurious diet; part of her duty would be making sure that while she and the other guards (if and when they came) were well cared for, while the prisoners were treated like prisoners, not colonists.  For now, she knew that the queen would tolerate some variety for the sake of survival.  A breeding pair of pigs were taken along with some hens, for eggs.  Pig meat, plump helmets, and beer would be the diet of the prisoners (and herself for some time).  A pair of wooden axes and some picks were given, along with her own trusty axe.  No armor could be spared though; she was given an anvil, bars of tin and copper, some coke, and wished the best of luck.  It was indeed going to be a rough time.  Thankfully, a breeding pair of war dogs was also spared as an emergency early defense.  Well, that was something.

She took some time to get to know her charges.  The queen had provided a short bio on each, though the names and crimes had been removed "for security reasons".  Oh well.

Prisoner #1
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Prisoner #2
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Prisoner #3
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Prisoner #4
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Prisoner #5
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Prisoner #6
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

...................................................

The cold bit into them bitterly as the wagon finally creaked to a stop.  "Here we are!  Prisoners, unload the wagon!"  Dishmab shook the snow from her head, fog pouring from her nose as she watched them work.  It was even colder here than she expected, though they had arrived at the start of the new year and the start of spring.  She barked out orders for them to cut down trees, dig into the ground, and more.  She was concerned because of the signs of giant forest spider webs, which meant danger if they did not hurry.  She unfurled her map once more, and confirmed their arrival at the site.  The queen's handwriting spelled out the name for their new home.

Ushiloggez Isholräm, "Icehold the Frigid Prison".

((This is a new story/community fortress I'm starting while I work out the details and such for megaprojects in my other fort.  Dwarfing is welcome, and you can be either a guard or a prisoner (though obviously openings for one will be limited, so be patient if you're in line!).  The idea for me came from reading up on the old Soviet Gulags; specifically, the brutal conditions and the reality that many unfortunate souls were sent into the wilderness with meager supplies and made to either found a new camp, or die trying.  Rather like DF, in many ways.  The grim, brutal nature and the hardships seemed excellent fodder for a dwarf fortress, so here we are!  There are a few nonstandard things to bear in mind, though.

-Firstly, this is a GULAG style PRISON, not a colony or trade outpost.  Prisoners will be isolated in their own wing, and fed a meager diet of pig meat, dwarven beer, and plump helmets.  Nothing else!  I will have to take care to essentially run two different forts.  Prisoners will be kept in relatively poor accommodations, and forced to do the majority of the labor.  Guards will be almost exclusively military; stockpiles and burrows will be used to allow the prison kitchens and farms to produce food and drink for the guards, but not the prisoners.  Guards may have some civilians in their ranks, depending on need, but the vast majority of work will fall to prison labor.

-Secondly, since this is a prison, there will be no Justice implemented.  The entire Gulag is JUSTICE.  Production orders don't fit the story and will be ignored; beatings, violence, and the like amongst the prisoners will either be ignored or the prisoner will be thrown in solitary, like a real prison.  Prisoners that go berserk will be considered rioters, and will be dealt with in the only manner acceptable.

-Should the guards ever die out, the prisoners will take control of the Gulag, and do with it as they see fit.  Forum members with claimed dwarves WILL get a say in determining the future of the seized prison, and we'll deal more with that if it ever happens.

-Lastly, this is a modded game.  I'm using Dig Deeper GOLD because it seemed really interesting and exciting, we'll see how it works out for my hapless dwarves.

Questions?  Comments?  Requests for Dorfs?
« Last Edit: July 05, 2011, 03:58:45 pm by Urist_McArathos »
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Ahra

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Re: The Gulag (Dig Deeper Community/Story Fort)
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2011, 05:41:06 am »

prisoner 3 and you mean the prisoners make the food and the guards take it?
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Neyvn

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Re: The Gulag (Dig Deeper Community/Story Fort)
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2011, 05:53:31 am »

I'll take Prisoner 4 then... ^_^
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kerlc

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Re: The Gulag (Dig Deeper Community/Story Fort)
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2011, 06:01:43 am »

i'd like number 2. he sounds similar to a person i see every day in my mirror.  ;)

except that i am much younger.
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BrickT

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Re: The Gulag (Dig Deeper Community/Story Fort)
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2011, 07:29:21 am »

I will take prisoner number 5
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Dohon

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Re: The Gulag (Dig Deeper Community/Story Fort)
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2011, 09:18:45 am »

I'll take the first new guard that comes up. His name will be Dohon and he will be handy with a hammer. He, like Dishmab, was deemed loyal enough to be a guard. In reality though, Dohon has strong doubts about the survival of the Dwarven race and it is only his strong sense of duty that keeps him from deserting his post. Just and compassionate, he was considered to be a "soft" guard, trying to earn the respect of the inmates. All within the borders of his orders given by his direct superior, that is. But this new assignment will test his resolve and his modus operandi.

That's him in a nutshell. Feel free to edit all those things, Urist_McArathos, if you find it necessary. :)
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The13thRonin

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Re: The Gulag (Dig Deeper Community/Story Fort)
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2011, 09:37:37 am »

I'll take any dwarf. I'd just like to see myself in it so I'll take dwarf 1 or 6. Whichever is not taken by another person.
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Cheveux

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Re: The Gulag (Dig Deeper Community/Story Fort)
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2011, 10:46:52 am »

I would like to be dwarfed as the last prisoner remaining. This should be really interesting.
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mr. macduggan

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Re: The Gulag (Dig Deeper Community/Story Fort)
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2011, 10:58:20 am »

I want to be Macduggan the guard. If you need a mechanic, make me him.
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Urist_McArathos

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Re: The Gulag (Dig Deeper Community/Story Fort)
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2011, 11:02:21 am »

((Okay, dwarves renamed though our guard still doesn't know anyone yet.  To answer your question Ahra, sort of.  The prisoners will be cooking and brewing and growing/slaughtering everything, but only permitted to keep dwarven beer, plump helmets, and pig meat in their own stockpiles.  Everything else will be stored in stockpiles in the guard barracks.))

A snow storm blew in shortly after the initial groundbreaking, and Dishmab peered out from the entrance to the tunnel, listening to the prisoners yell.  The dogs were barking, and the prisoners seemed to be using their noise to find their way back from the wagon site.  It was impossible to tell though; the snow was causing white-out conditions.  Prisoner #2 finally stumbled in, covered in snow, ice, and something else.  "What the hell happened to you?"

"I got caught in a web out there!  I could have frozen to death."

"Did you bring any supplies?"

"What?"

"Get back out there," Dishmab motioned with her axe, "and don't come back without some gear!  We're parked on a frozen pond, and there's gods-knows-what kind of predators waiting in the forest!  We don't have time to run crying from the snowstorm, now move!"  The prisoner glowered, but turned and made his way back outside.  It wasn't long before all the supplies were inside, and just in time.  A clan of badgers was seen making its way through the woods, and Dishmab was glad that she wouldn't have to lose a prisoner to the mean little beasts.  She next chained the dogs in the entrance tunnel, just before the opening.  The prisoners were huddled further inside, shaking the snow from their beards and hair and having a few mugs of beer to unwind.  Dishmab hefted her axe over her shoulder.  "Alright, we've got some work to do if we're going to make it out here.  None of you like being prisoners, I get that.  Well, that's too damned bad.  You're here, and I'm in charge, and in case you hadn't noticed, it's entirely possible we could freeze to death or be torn to pieces by predators if we don't deal with it.  The dirt here is almost as solid as stone, but you're going to dig into it anyway, and we'll find good hard rock soon enough for you all.  Now, you three get to digging while the rest of you help me get started on some work areas.  We'll have beds and basic set ups for now.  You, Prisoner #6, get out there and start cutting down some trees.  We'll need more wood."  The prisoners were off to work, and Dishmab went into the newly dug lower tunnel once it was ready a few days later.  She was just sketching out the plans for a forge and smithy when Prisoners #2 and #3 walked over to her.  "Yes?"

"No good, boss.  We're stuck."

"What are you talking about?"

"There's an aquifer below us."

"How deep below?"

Prisoner #3 stamped his foot.  "I'd say about ten feet, give or take."  Dishmab sighed; this was going to be harder than she thought.  They had no stone, not even enough dirt to try and collapse a hole in the water table.  A shallow aquifer meant they were stuck in the surface levels for some time.

"Alright, get upstairs, let me think for a bit."
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Cheveux

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Re: The Gulag (Dig Deeper Community/Story Fort)
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2011, 11:48:16 am »

Could you tell us who are the prisoners, like #2 is kerlc, #5 is BrickT or something like that?
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Conan

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Re: The Gulag (Dig Deeper Community/Story Fort)
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2011, 12:30:45 pm »

I want to be the next guard. Preferably, he will have axedwarf skills. And be a baron (if you ever get there).

Urist_McArathos

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Re: The Gulag (Dig Deeper Community/Story Fort)
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2011, 12:32:33 pm »

((Sure.

Prisoner #1: The13thRonin
Prisoner #2: Kerlc
Prisoner #3: Ahra
Prisoner #4: Neyvn
Prisoner #5: Brickt
Prisoner #6: Cheveux

The prisoners will, of course, know their own and each others' names.  The guards will refer to them by number, so I'll keep a running roster in the Original Post once I'm done formatting a table of contents, etc.))


Dishmab pondered as she stared down into the hole dug into the aquifer.  The presence of flowing water was a sort of blessing in this frozen land, but it blocked any chance of finding stone or metal.  She was frustrated, because this meant establishing proper dwarven living quarters was going to be a nightmare.  The longer she stared down into the water, the more irritated she became.  She finally decided that since it was impossible to set up proper living quarters below ground, the prisoners would have to make do with the next best thing.  Although it was cold in the tunnel, it was much worse outside, and they were going to have to deal with it.  Thankfully, the clay they had found wasn't completely frozen and it was fire clay, so it wouldn't need glazing to keep out the moisture.  She nodded to herself and made a decision.  She walked up the ramp to the upper tunnel and found the prisoners relaxing as they waited for orders.  "Get moving, outside.  We're not going to be able to build much underground without risk of collapsing into the aquifer, so we're building outside.  I want #6 clearing out a stretch of land for grazing and building, the rest of you get to hauling blocks of clay upstairs for cabins.  We're not licked yet."

"You want us to live in that blizzard!?"

"This isn't a hotel, sweetheart!" Dishmab gripped her axe, and stepped forward.  The prisoners slowly stood up, and started either chiseling out bricks of clay or moving into the snowstorm.  Dishmab knew the tough conditions would try the prisoners' patience.  She prayed the queen sent another guard or two soon; she couldn't count on the guard dogs for protection while she slept forever.
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Conan

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Re: The Gulag (Dig Deeper Community/Story Fort)
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2011, 12:38:24 pm »

Oh yeah, if you're going to go open-pit style for the ice to freeze, you'll need to designate the blocks carefully.

Ice takes a second to form, which gives time for a dorf to move into it. Example:

Code: [Select]
Assume aquifer is just under surface.
. = dirt
-=designated channel

If you go ahead and designate the area to be dug like this:
......
------
......

the miner will dig out the first one from the left, then move onto the dug-out space to dig out the next one. Second later, he gets iced.

So, if you're going to designate it to be dug, go around it like this:
......
-.-.-.
......

And mark the land channeled restricted or something so that the dorfs don't go inside and get frozen.

Alternately, designate block by block.

Urist_McArathos

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Re: The Gulag (Dig Deeper Community/Story Fort)
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2011, 02:46:32 pm »

Summer was here.  At least, that's what the calendar said.  Some of the snow had melted and the ponds had thawed, a bit, but the land south of them still had sprinkles of snow, and just beyond that full blown snowfields.  The winds were still biting cold; it rarely got far above freezing, and the wind chills made it feel far below that.  The grass was hardy, and thank the gods for that since it gave their pigs something to eat.  Near-freezing rains came frequently (when it was too warm for snowstorms, that is), and the prisoners were still building above ground while Dishmab pondered how to make a proper prison and homestead out of this place.  She had accepted that they would probably have to stay above ground for some time, and considering how unpleasantly cold it was out there, it felt like a good enough punishment for the convicts.

Slowly, their little patch of hell was becoming a settlement proper.  A pasture had been fenced off, and the animals confined to it.  A small patch of surface farms was claimed, and the prisoners were foraging for local plants to grow.  Below ground, under the farm, a set of underground fields was plowed and seed and agriculture stockpiles were made.  Three squat clay buildings were gathered around the pasture, field, and crude tunnel entrance.  One, the only one with a roof, housed the prisoner bunks.  It was a meager affair: within its crude red clay walls (not even hardened by fire into bricks, so rushed were they to make a shelter) twenty bunks were lined on either wall, bare grass and dirt or clay for their floor.  The next building housed the tanner, butcher, and leatherworker, along with an open space that would eventually be used for storing leather goods, horns, bones, and skulls.  The last building was closest to the field, and housed the agricultural workshops: kitchens, stills, farmer's workshops, a stockpile for various goods for these shops, and stairways to connect to the underground fields, stockpiles, and seed storage.  Dishmab had just given orders to begin work on a dining hall when she spotted something on the horizon.  Another five convicts chained together, following a dwarf with a hammer in one hand, and the lead to this chain-gang in another.  Since there was nowhere in this frozen hellhole to run to, she felt safe in walking out to greet the new arrivals.  The new dwarf hailed her when they were within talking distance, and she nodded to him.

"Who are you?"

"Dohon Alathmidor, hammerdwarf.  I was chosen by the queen to escort these five prisoners to Ushiloggez."  The cold wind whipped the newcomer's beard in the air, and Dishmab frowned when she saw his "hammer" was merely a wooden truncheon.  He noticed her gaze, and nodded.  "Nothing to spare from the mountainhome.  Weapons, armor...all too precious to give to us out in this frozen hole.  I'm told you have some bronze?"

"Not anymore," she replied, motioning to the full suit of armor she now wore, and the shield on her back.  "I was given just enough to outfit myself."

"That the camp?" he asked, frowning as he pointed towards the crude red buildings sticking out amongst the green, yellow, and white horizon.  Dishmab nodded.  "We're living on the surface, in these conditions?"

"No, we're not.  The prisoners are.  I've got some crude accomodations under the earth for us, but we'll expand once we figure out a way to get through the aquifer.  We're just a few dozen feet above the water table."  She eyed him.  "Why?  Is that an issue, keeping the prisoners in the snow?"

"No," Dohon offered, taking a deep breath.  "No, I suppose it isn't.  Any plans for getting under the water and into the stone?"

"Nothing solid yet,"  Dishmab grinned a bit at her pun.  It had been months since she had a chance to socialize normally, and she was enjoying this chat.

"At least we've got water, then,"

"Nope," Dishmab interrupted, stamping her feet a bit to keep warm.  "It's all salt water; the pools, the aquifer, all of it.  We're going to have to desalinate the water and get a cistern dug at some point, but for now it's imperative we keep booze stockpiled.  We've got wheat, some local plants, and plump helmets, so we'll manage for a bit."  Dohon nodded, and they proceeded towards the camp.  The prisoners were taken to the "Warden's Office", really just a table and chair in the tunnel, tattooed with their number (7 through 11), and then sent to work.  According to Dohon's notes and the interviews, one was a skilled carpenter; one was a talented lye maker; the other three were a milker, clothier, and some talentless peasant.  No word on their crimes, and neither Dohon nor Dishmab really cared.  They were put to work finishing the roofs, the dining hall, and making furniture.  Dishmab explained her plans to set up a wooden fence surrounding the perimeter, to control access to the camp.  Right now there weren't enough supplies for anyone to survive making a run for it, to say nothing of the brutal weather and local wildlife making a lone escape attempt a more certain death.  However, that would certainly change soon enough, and the risk of goblin raiders was always a possibility.  Later, they could upgrade to stone walls, but a wooden guard fence would do for the moment.

Life for the prisoners was, for the moment, not too bad.  Sure, they labored from sunup to sundown, and slept in the biting cold in their clay shack, but the two guards had much work to do, and rarely were out to administer beatings or crack the proverbial whip.  They had time to get to know each other while laying bricks, and the rules about limited food and drink options for prisoners wasn't being enforced just yet.  The camp had to feed the prisoners whatever could be had, so locally foraged plants were just as fair game as the rationed plump helmets and pig meat.  At least they had a place to sleep free from snow, and fresh rations.  The prisoners worked to make the best of this lot in life; they were slave laborers, but the brutal winter had been avoided by them; they came just at the start of spring, and so didn't truly grasp what they were in for.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2011, 10:42:16 pm by Urist_McArathos »
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