Accursed fog

We arrived at an abandoned outpost. Just a small wooden room at the bank of a creek.  A few stray corpses are strewn about, but no cause for concern.  We decide to end our journey and set up camp here.
it begins

strike the earth

While scouting the area, one of our dwarves spots an odd fog rolling past.

No matter.  We will be below ground soon.  We have three miners assigned and lay out a very detailed floor-plan.


(not shown are a farm / food area, above)

We are making good progress digging out our new home.  Some migrants arrive.  Moments later, the strange fog returns.

migrants and fog

The best we could surmise, the fog has mutated one of our ordinary cats into deranged and accursed fog thrall.


Despite its injured appearance, the thrall proves to be lethal.  Dwarves scatter.  Those who stand against it find their wrestling skills useless.  Dwarves and pets go missing and are presumed dead.  Work grinds to a halt.
that darn cat
Dar makes a valiant effort to put down the feline.
go dar go
He is rewarded by spending his last seconds standing in a pool of his own blood and vomit.
The last 4 dwarves standing (at this point, things were so disorganized, not even Armok remembers who was still alive) organize into a military unit and plan an attack.  Whels of Mrrrng, kill that cat…
kill it!
I will be honest; lack of organization did not help things.  Two dwarves sleep while the others attack and fall.  As the final two dwarves wake, they attack… and meet the same fate.

It begins…

Cyclopean Domain

This is the end…

As quickly as winter game, I was struck by a heavy fever.  I was bedridden for days, with people bringing in slaughtered felines and as much clean water as they could.  I knew I could pull through it, but I could only feel my successor coming closer and closer.  I quickly solidified myself as a peasant among the working class and began hauling wood and miasma.  I encountered the queen again, and she was saying… something…

Although I could tell her mental capacity was fading, physically she still looked strong.  I kept my nose down and kept assisting the masons in finishing the quarters for the fortress.  In my year here, we have constructed meager quarters for nearly 80 dwarves, including special quarters for five dwarves.  I really wish I could have satisfied the queens needs, but to no avail could we not and she went mad. In the following week, the queen went missing.  Finally, the Baroness Isak found her, and it was not pleasant.

I hated to tell everyone that I saw it coming, but there just wasn’t anything we could do for Freddie.  A lot of the folk placed offerings in her room.  I decided not to assign it to anyone and let everyone use it’s majesty.  There was no sign of a replacement, so I decided to hold the room until there was one.

Afar in the distance, we all could see it coming.  A titan of immense size was approaching.  I set the military in motion, alerting everyone to it’s presence.   Most of the dwarves seemed ready, but I wasn’t sure if they were.  We had fended off the occasional thief and snatcher, but nothing of the titan’s size.

As it came through the gate, none of the men appeared.  Some of the war dogs stalled it, but they got turned to mush. All of the military just stood back and sent our champion: Hulk Hogan

They stood toe-to-toe, giving each other the thousand-yard stare that I had only heard about. Then it happened:

In a matter of moments, our champion demolished the Titan.  It wasn’t even close. He grabbed his right arm and threw him down with force we as a fortress had never seen. We were in awe when a goblin tried to run in and steal a child.  Hulk took care of it with immense bloodlust.

The blood from the titan hadn’t stopped running down the drawbridge when Ingish became possessed by the brute force that Hulk Hogan had displayed that day.

They trolled like a zombie to the leatherworks and set upon the mystery item of doom…

Ingish worked feverishly through the night and day for four straight days.  I could see the sweat coming out of the workshops, so I commissioned the miners to clear out some space.  I also told the mason to pave the floor in increase efficiency in the area. Alas, it was brought upon us:

I honestly didn’t know its purpose, but it was another great creation by out fortress. Although I came in very tentative about the experience, I felt everything went as well as it could! I began to fade into the population, in the hopes my coming successor would not try to find and remove me from command.  I did not need another battle at this point.

Autumn has come, but what has it brought?

As the leaves began to change at Helmgorge, so did the moods of many of the dwarves.  Many of the couples were expecting new additions to our colony.  I hope that some new migrants will come to freshen up the place.  Still, we have seen little of the ever-present  enemy in the wilderness.  Our only enemy… is Freddie Mercury.

I attempted to meet with Freddie in her more lucid periods, but she wanted nothing to do with me.  We installed one of our only artifacts that I could find in her bedroom / Throne room, and it only brought the quality up the Opulent, as she called it.  I was even more frustrated with her, as she was apparently with her dining room.  I tried to spruce the place up, but to no avail was it suitable to her needs.  Quickly, I was pulled away from our meeting when I heard that Kent Hrbek was in a strange mood.  With our recent losses of Erush and Fletcher, I knew it wasn’t to be taken lightly.

Our craftsdwarves hadn’t faired well lately, but hopefully we’ll be able to satisfy Kent’s needs.  In the meantime, a caravan arrived.

I was able to parlay some plump helmets, for which we ran out of for some reason.  I also took all of the wood and metals they had.  Everything else was pretty worthless.  Actually, I grabbed some cheese too, because I had hoped a more royal meal would satisfy the queen, but alas she could not be satisfied…

After another chair and a section of floor were destroyed, I just didn’t know what to do anymore with the damnable Freddie Mercury.  I told her to go to the sculpture garden and sort out her problems and we’d work on her shit as much as possible.  She didn’t take it well, but we are only dwarves and have limited resources.  I told her to bring some mangoes next time!

Kent Hrbek came to me and thanked me profusely for having all that he needed for his construction, or at least that’s what I think he said.  He sat down and started crafting away…

And Esudist was created:

And needless to say we were ecstatic about it! I was surprised he even had it in him.  We chatted about how he was feeling and everything just spilled out…

Needless to say, here is the queens mood, who happened to stomp by and spit in my face:

In the midst of the chaos of the Helmgorge, I heard a rumor that another person was coming to replace me.  Since we are unable to attract any more migrants, at least I knew it wouldn’t be this season.  I didn’t know the dwarf, but I hoped that people could hold it together until he arrived so I could so him around the majesty.  We definately have the new editions:

But alas, the end of autumn, with the days shortening and the crops slowing down, this was brought upon us:

Armok help us.

Thieves and Dyers


“Yeah, that’s me.”

“Thank Armok I found you.  Here is some mail for the colony.  You don’t realize how happy this makes me!”

“Why?” As I look around at the majesty of Helmgorge

“Because now I can get out of here…  You are in the asshole of the world!”

Such a weird man from the human caravan.  Unfortunately we were unable to trade for any of the things needed by Erush.  Hopefully she pulls through with what we have.  We were able to acquire some raw metals and some dwarven wine.  A few different dwarves tried to strike deals with the humans before Ess Eff Bee appeared and made things right.

We put in a request for some charcoal for our glass factory and some more alcohol, because there is never enough for the incessant partying that happens here.

As much deliberation, Ess Eff Bee and the humans were able to compromise on the following structure:

They bid us farewell and we were glad to see them leave with our toys and mugs.  Well, hopefully they’ll be back…

During the trading, the miners who were working on the new tombs for the noble enclave struck a few new goodies for our dwarves to use.  Also, Andre The Giant gave birth to a new baby boy!  Of course someone organized a party at the chert table to recognize this event.

There were some rampant Rhesus Macaque running about the fort, stealing some pretty worthless crap.  Once they started taking bolts, the military caught on and they were scared away.

We were brought some sad news.  One of the peasants working with Erush found her drowned in a pool of weird liquids.  We tried our best to appease her needs, but we did not have the time to wrangle everything together.  We will mourn in celebration, as we always do.

We heard one of the guard dogs through our mourning and ran upstairs.  There was a kobold lurking about, trying to get in.  Apparently we scared him away, because he ran to the west and never came back.  I heard a loud collective “aww, shucks” from the WWF crew.

In happier news, Thob gave birth to a baby boy!  That is two for the summer.  I guess something was in the water!

As I had the dwarves working on the new tombs for the nobility, creating literally hundreds of masterpieces, Freddie fucking Mercury decided it just wasn’t enough and blew her lid in the statue garden.  Many dwarves were scared away and could be near the usually social and kind queen.  I told everyone to keep their distance and maybe time would settle her.  I also talked to the mayor to see if he could call a meeting, but all he could call was the next drink from the kegs…

Thankfully, Freddie calmed down quickly and everything came back to normal.  In the meantime, Isak decided to mandate goods we cannot create, aluminum widgets. Hopefully in our excavations we can find some of this precious metal…

In the waning days of summer, I wandered around the fortress and found the hoary marmot that one of the marksdwarves shot.  Other than the kobold, things have been pretty quiet.  Hopefully autumn continues to bring prosperity and weird demands to Helmgorge.

Welcome to the fortress, brother

The kobolds don’t take R&R.  They are happy to eat some rat meat and steal off into the jungle.  Thankfully they haven’t came to Helmgorge to feed.  But they are out there, lurking, waiting for the time to strike.  In the meantime, it was late spring and I was accosted by someone that I normally would have kicked down the stairs, but it turns out its our first piece of royalty: a queen.

She brought a whole damn entourage: A baroness, a baron consort, a tax collector, and a hammerer.

I picked her brain a bit over some plump helmets and dwarven beer:

She told me her nickname was Freddie Mercury.  I said “Interesting…” Since she is the queen, who am I to judge. Husquarvarna immediately noticed our presence and threw an immense party!

And of course, Wolfgang created a masterpiece in her honor.  We immediately went to work on her and the rest of the entourage’s quarters.  Since I had no idea what even decent quarters looked like, I just told them to smooth and engrave the walls to hell, throw some shit in the rooms and hope for the best.  I think we did OK so far, but we’ll need to appease the queen as much as possible.

Even after all of our hard work, the bastard Aleph decided to ban the export of shoes or something.  As long as it doesn’t effect our export of the highly sought after mugs and toys, I think we’ll be OK.  I made sure the population put some extra effort into Aleph’s quarters, and snuck a few slightly unpleasant engravings in too.

Isak didn’t want to be left out, so she banned the export on earrings.  I don’t think we were even concerning ourselves with such frivolous trinkets.  So little in fact Verling decided to throw a party!  I am seeing a trend here…  As much as I enjoy these gatherings, I can’t help but think everyone is hiding something from me.  Who would leave such a joyous place?

Sadly Fletcher could not join in the revelry and didn’t have the heart to stick around.  It was a sad day among the brood.

Just as we were mourning the loss of Fletcher,  summer came.  Wolfgang created a memorial for the occasion and we continued our hard work.  Except for the tombs, almost all of the work is completed for the Queen and her entourage.  I think everyone is appeased except for her royal needs.  Maybe we can find a tiger to cage up and throw in her room… For some reason, the Tax Collector felt the need to mandate us to start making shoes.  I thought we had a ban on these blasted things.  I told him not to raise the taxes on shoes and I’d see what we could do.

Our first surprise of summer brought us a diplomat from Behal Mokun.  He insisted on meeting with the queen as soon as possible.  After much deliberation, I allowed it and set him loose in the fort.  He encountered our clothmaker Erush,  which set her off in a fey mood!

Great.  Just what we need in this damn place.  I nearly get done blowing all of the nobles and this shit has to happen.  I push Erush off to the side and made sure she didn’t bother the diplomat at all.

(Side note: The diplomat found the queens chambers and hovered over her bed as she slept.  Weiiird.)

After we arose the queen, they were able to meet and discuss my… err… our excellent running machine and what the trade caravan could bring for us.  Hopefully our broker, Ess Eff Bee, would be up to the task this time around. They traded other pleasantries in her chambers and then he left just as quickly as he came.

Well well, Erush decided she needed a new tunic to impress the diplomat.  I didn’t have the heart to tell her he already left. For said tunic, she needs rock blocks, rough gems, silk cloth, and shells.  After the happening with Fletcher, everyone wanted to pitch in and help her “beat the heat” burning in her heart.  I think we could round up or produce everything she needed, except for the shells.  We live by a river and nothing washes up!  I told some men to go find something that would work, but to no avail could we appease Erush. Then another twist of fate occured:

A human caravan arrived! Hooray!

The journey continues…

In order to keep the population on the task, I had them smoothing out some walls and planning for some more bedrooms in the lower realms (z141).  It was around that time the Elven Caravan decided to stop by and try to pawn their wooden wares.  I told the boys to round up all of the toys and crafts we could find and bring them to the depot.  I also told them to round up the broker Sfb.

Well, turns out word got around and Sfb decided to throw a party!  I’m not sure his intent.  I believe it was a trading tactic to delay the Elves and further smother their face in their wooden hypocrisy, but then again, anytime is a good time to drink.  As we waited, Fletcher Shecediton was apparently in a strange mood, unknown to me, and went stark raving mad.  Hopefully Sfb’s party will settle the mood…

While waiting for the party to die down, I had Orto clear out a meager office space for Sfb.  Might as well make the bastard a tinge happier before he trades.

She started drinking… and then back to party!  He makes these damnable Elves wait!  Oh well…  At this point I swapped the water in waterskin for whiskey.

Now she is on break!

I get warned that the merchants have grown restless and they will be leaving soon.  I have called for Sfb to appear, but her breaks and stupor appear to be more important.  We’ll see when the threats come what is more important…

The traders decide to leave, seeing that Sfb had better things to do, like drink and take a break from partying.

Well, we missed an opportunity.  Hopefully our population can handle what we have before the next group of traders arrive.  In the meantime, we wait…

A note from Andu:

I turned invasions on and nothing has appeared yet.  I set the trading post to trader needed, and sfb never appeared.  I checked her labors and nothing else was highlighted.  I am in mid-spring now.  We’ll see how fast the rest of the seasons go…

Up the river

I was being escorted by dwarven skiff up the C’thor’s River towards Helmgorge.  I could feel its presence.  The rest of the crew was headed to N’benland. The madness had spread throughout the countryside.  Weird beard rituals were exchanged and I hiked my way into the fortress.  Upon my arrival, I was strangely greeted by Gothbloodman, who muttered something about wrestlers, toys, and levers.  I took everything down in hopes to gain some sort of control of the situation.

Turns out these bastards were digging their way to the other side of the world.  I could see levels and levels of planned excavation.  The raw Adamantine does not favor us.  Please Armok, spare us.

‘One-Arm’ Cattenegast gave birth to a baby girl!  Thankfully it did not come out wielding an ax…

Stonetooth is a master of masterpieces.  He has created five of the damn things.  Hopefully they will stave off the demons…

In early spring, the miners have been productive.  We have hit: Magnetite, Jet, Carnelian, and Bituminous Coal.

Hopefully with these newly acquired resources we can build something to trade to the caravans.  We are in need of seeds and other oddities for the population.  Over 10% sits idle and I need to keep their minds off of what I know:  It can’t stay quiet for long…

The fortress grows darker…

WaxedLetters, shit. I'm still only in WaxedLetters. Every time I think I'm going to
wake up back in the fortress. When I was home after my first tour,
it was worse. I'd wake up and there'd be nothing...
I hardly said a word to my dwarven bride until I said yes to a divorce.
When I was here I wanted to be there. When I was there, all I
could think of was getting back into the fortress.
I've been here a week now. Waiting for a mission, getting
softer. Every minute I stay in this room I get weaker. And every minute
the goblins squat in the bush they gets stronger.
Each time I look around the walls move in a little tighter.

Everyone gets everything he wants. I wanted a mission, and for my sins 
they gave me one. Brought it up to me like room service. Welcome to Helmgorge.

DF Challenge – discussion and ideas

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