Since Reepicheep died almost immediately, I though I'd post the account as a sort of short story. If you're interested in stories involving a dwarf nicknamed after you (if I can get enough Sals people it will read a lot better), post a comment saying so. See the previous blog post. Practically everything in the story is present in Dwarf Fortress, as it is strong in what trendy people call 'emergent narrative'. What's not there is a conversation engine or (for example) drinking from gold goblets. I've made gold goblets in the fortress, and all the dwarves (including children and babies) drink booze, but they haven't put two and two together. Combat details are fairly accurate, but I didn't take a blow-by-blow screenshot, annoyingly. Injuries can run from individual teeth, fingers, and toes to larger areas like guts, right thigh, left shoulder, major organs etc.
The older dwarf carefully took two finely crafted gold goblets and set them before the child, before reaching for the barrel of wine. Pouring two generous cupfuls, both dwarves drank long and deep. The child began to recline in his seat, and the older dwarf, glancing around the superb dining room, began to speak.
“Since you have requested it, I will tell you the tale of Reepicheep, one of our champions in Guisemined, a hammerer and a hammer lord, slayer of werebeasts and undead.
Reepicheep arose from the humble position of fish dissector. Our overseer and expedition leader was keen to have him enter a contraption of his that he called the ‘danger room’. Reepicheep was not a bold man, but he felt it reasonable to obey the overseer’s request.
This dangerous room was a somewhat fearful contraption, with ten wooden spears fixed up to a single lever. Reepicheep would be locked in for hours at a time and forced to dodge, block, and take the brunt of the blows from these spears at an astonishing rate, all while supposedly performing individual combat drills. Hard as this was, Reepicheep had no choice. As we dwarfs say, with stout work comes sustenance, and he was soon-much sooner than many had expected-superb at wielding his fresh-forged hammer and blocking many a blow with his gem-encrusted armour, delivered as a gift from the mountainhomes.”
“A gift? I did not know the mountainhome gave those.” commented the child.
“No, and perhaps it was in truth stolen, but that does not greatly matter. The mountainhome continues to send traders, and the armour was extremely useful. I believe the overseer has plans to give some goods back one day, but I do not know when.
In any case, Reepicheep became phenomenally useful. Promoted to the position of hammerer (who, as you well know, is in charge of distributing punishment) and militia captain of his own, personal squad of one, he became known as a hammer lord.
Reepicheep was used many times to deal with threats to the fortress: goblin snatchers, kobold thieves, and even werebeasts who invaded, all to great success. Such things threaten the fort and threaten us all.”
“So what happened? I have seen his memorial slab in the catacombs. Lover of rings, it says. Inkyair the Ace Brim of Fortifying. Slayer of two well known undead goblins…though how a goblin zombie can be that well known, I don’t know. How could a zombie kill him? How did he depart?”
A memorial slab, engraved by Micael Fatia's dwarf. This would have been a piece of rock, turned into a slab by a dwarf with the 'masonry' labour and then engraved by a dwarf with the 'stone detailing' labour, and then hauled and installed into the ground at a designated spot.
“Sometimes, child, dwarfs receive messages from Armok, our god. They are short, and to the point: occasionally they celebrate victory, but more often they are portents of danger or foreboding. Armok is fickle and desires amusement, so perhaps that explains his message.”
“ ‘The dead walk. Hide while you still can!’. And then a horrible laugh.
A list of hostiles. There were about 40 zombies, quite a lot for the fortress at the time, but I won't bore you with pictures of all the screens.
Well, Reepicheep took no offence from that, and nor did anyone; Armok is as Armok does: we are his slaves, and he is a god of blood. The bold dwarf marched forth as all elsewhere burrowed down into the fortress proper, raised the bridges behind him, and prepared lest any of the zombies somehow get through.
Reepicheep quickly entered into a martial trance. He appeared as a whirlwind of iron, crashing through the battlefield that had been created, swinging the hammer –which he had created himself- to and fro, breaking hips, legs, arms, ribs, skulls, hands, feet, knocking a tooth out there, smashing his shield into a gut here. A hammer lord is said to be deadly in combat, and those who peeped over the battlements of our fortress report seeing that he was incredibly thorough in his kills. It is not unknown for a hammerer to break every bone in the body before he kills his victim.”
The child shuddered.
“Come! You are eleven, and when you come of age at twelve you should know that the price for murder is grim. Be thankful we have had such protectors. As I was saying, he was a titan of destruction. But they were too much for him.
Horde upon horde of zombie presents a unique challenge to the challenger. Each component of the army is weak, but together they are astonishingly numerous. Zombies jumped onto Reepicheep faster than he could destroy them. Eventually, one shattered his thigh with a superb kick, and he lost the agility that was a part of his strength.
With this chink in his defences made, they pinned him down and killed him.”
A picture of the ground immediately after the fight. The N~ symbols are undead creatures -animated corpses- that flash between that symbol and the symbol of their original creatures, such as 'g' for goblin. The purple face is Reepicheep, a corpse. The characters with a letter and then a red background are other corpses: we can see 6 that Reepicheep created, including several goblins ('g'), humans ('U'), and an unrelated dead Llama ('L') and raven ('r') Blood is on the ground around some, while you can also see green grass, some trees (1 tile each, multi-tile trees are coming next version) and a flowing brook. I hope you enjoyed, please leave a comment if you did.