The Let's Play Archive

Dwarf Fortress - Headshoots

by Various

Part 45

A plague tears through Headshoots. A plague known as Melancholy. So many have died, so many good dwarves...

So much has happened in the last year, demons, sieges, rebellions... I can't rightly recall all of it and for some reason my head is covered in blood. I wonder what that's all about. If it weren't for all the blood soaked giant cave spider silk mittens I've acquired I don't know how I'd ever cope...

The last overseer is in a coma in his bed, so as the sole Noble during this catastrophe, I feel it's my responsibility to lend a hand with damage control. Not literally of course, I wouldn't do more than flip a lever if the end of the world came, but I will consent to giving orders to the dispirited masses.

First, a review of our workforce:

(Everyone on this list with "no job" is melancholy or insane, save Professor Bling, who's just lazy.)

Right now we only have five dwarves capable of work: Whitecloak the mayor, Phrog our founder, Robot Uprising, Professor Bling, and Manuel Calavera. For some reason they're all dragging useless things to the stockpiles, like adamantine or dogs' skulls. This is total madness of course, and it needs to be stopped. I lay down a blanket order: as of this moment there are no more stockpiles. With the exception of the food room, there will be no more hauling of items, no more crafting of totems, no more forging raw glass. Every job is canceled, and every potential source of unwanted jobs is destroyed.

We're in crisis mode, people.

If we're going to survive this, we need to do two things. 1) Isolate and preserve the few dwarves who have the potential mental fortitude to survive this devastating depression. 2) Encourage new apathetic dwarves who are immune to this wave of despair to immigrate.

Our first goal has two steps, first I have to identify out of all our dwarves who are the likely candidates for survival. Most obviously we have HolisticDetective and Nemo2342, our adamantine-clad champions:

With the adamantine plate mail of the heart a hardened warrior has to develop, they remain ecstatic as the fortress implodes around them. I do wonder what would happen if, for instance, their spouses died...

Huh. That probably won't end well.

Having found a couple more hardened killers from our military, I next set about constructing a partition, dividing Headshoots into East and West. I didn't have the dwarfpower to mine out a pocket fortress, or haul our food or beds anywhere, so I had to get lucky while examining the architectural plans. Fortunately I found a way:

All I had to do was build one wall, and mine out a short corridor and the fortress was all but divided- all I had to do now was just lock a couple sets of doors and the division would be complete. The best part was that my absolutely incredible room and my collection of blood-soaked mittens just happened to fall on the eastern side. I won't even have to move for the evacuation.

Though my elation is short lived, as more dwarves are dying all the time:

These two deaths have already caused Manuel Calavera to throw a pretty bad tantrum. It's only a matter of time before he snaps...

The fragility of our current workforce brings to mind my second goal- attracting more migrants. Almost all of our mentally fit dwarves are champions who refuse to work, so we'll soon badly need more migrants. The primary obstacle to this goal is sitting in our depot right now:

These merchants will bring back news of the terrible slaughter to the mountainhomes, and then we'll never get more migrants. They must die, and quick.
I briefly pondered how to do that with such limited dwarfpower, when I suddenly realized how simple it would be.

I would use  WEAPON  to save the fortress.

I had always written it off as an over-hyped, ineffective waste of valuable dwarfpower, but right now I couldn't be any more thankful for its existence.

It's now or never, I don't know how soon they'll leave. There's no floodgate, so I order Whitecloak to deploy  WEAPON  manually:

Miraculously he survives, and the merchants start dying. Nemo terrifies the heck out of me by randomly dashing by as a barrel explodes:

Fortunately he's perfectly fine. He says he was only filling his waterskin, but I think he was just being dramatic...

My relief is short lived, as everything begins to go horribly, horribly wrong at this point:

Three of the merchant guards made it out alive. They'll surely tell the tale of what transpired here today... I'd be more disappointed if I hadn't already despaired by word that the mountainhomes already knew...

How did they know so fast? It very quickly occurs to me that I never saw the Liaison. He must have come and gone before I took over... this whole exercise was for nothing...

And then things got really bad:

I think there was a wardog in that doorway... then there was lava in the doorway... and now...

Huge globs of lava are randomly falling down the central staircase, killing dwarves at random. Manuel Calavera narrowly avoids death as a child is instantly incinerted... oh my, this won't end well, will it...

I hastily order the Chosen to evacuate to East Headshoots. This situation is still salvageable!

There's a sense of finality as the lock thuds into place. As of this moment there are two Headshoots. The relative paradise of the East, with all the food, the sane military, and myself, and the West:

The less said about the west the better.

Here's a list of the Chosen of East Headshoots (as well as the random stragglers who happened to be in the right place at the right time):

Eiba (miserable awesome noble)

Whitecloak (miserable mayor)
Robot Uprising (miserable civilian)
Phrog (very unhappy civilian)

Nemo2342 (ecstatic champion swordsdwarf)
HolisticDetective (ecstatic champion axedwarf)
WanderingKnitter (unhappy champion swordsdwarf)
Tyskill (very unhappy champion swordsdwarf)

Mofeta (quite content elite wrestler)
Veekie (miserable elite wrestler)

Captain Awesome the 2nd (ecstatic hammerdwarf)
an unnamed dwarf (ecstatic guard/axedwarf)
Serelon (quite content hammerdwarf)
ObMeiste (Miserable Marksdwarf)
Shadow Gamer (miserable recruit speardwarf)

Unfortunately, Professor Bling and Manuel Calavera didn't quite make it in time... I'm afraid they're stuck in the West.

15 dwarves, ad 6 of them are miserable and can be expected to succumb to melancholy as they hear their friends in West Headshoots die... Err, wait, except me. I won't give in to despair that easily!

Captain Awesome the 2nd gives me the most hope, as she can still be demobilized in an emergency (though she won't be happy about it). At the very worst, we'll at least end up with two champions and a peasant... assuming Tyskill or someone doesn't go on an insane killing rampage.

With moderate precautions, the fortress will live on.