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Like an Aztec cult

27 June 2012, 06:53 Rating: 11 [+]


You know, I've ran a fortress like an Aztec cult before.

I don't know how it all got started. Maybe it was when I noticed how fun it was to drop an elf invader 20 Z-levels and watch the explosion paint the walls red, sending little peasants scurrying to clean up the gore. Maybe it was when I renamed my philosopher's profession to "Priest" and then "High Priest."

I definitely know where it went. Some urge made me create a sort of sacrificial pyramid that stretched fourteen Z-levels to the heavens over the rest of my fortress. Each section was engraved with all sorts of horrific events, as the local legends seemed to revolve around the wounding of some dwarf when he tried to fight a cyclops and got his arm ripped off or something, not to mention all the inhumane atrocities committed by the little buggers. Needless to say, when the temple was finished, it was covered from top to bottom in pictures to rival any glowing pit. I was quite content with my little megaproject.

But that was only the start. Now, to understand this setup, you have to understand the layout of the fortress itself. The temple was constructed at the center of this open-sky fort, where I had also designated the meeting area. Around this, there were several nobledwarf's and legendary's houses and a few grand dining halls and such. A small wall separated this section from the larger, more industrial area of the city, and finally open-air farms ringed the walls that were a good 3 levels high and patrolled by 2 squads of marksdwarves. The lower class living quarters, which consisted of 2x1 squares with a door and a bed, the magma-fueled steel foundry and the barracks were all underneath the city, where the miners toiled all day long and the noise and heat were unbearable. Mind you, these hellish subterranean apartments were located just below the grand temple.

Now, one day, I decide that I want to see an goblin explode in the middle of the town square, so I order that a cage be dumped at the top of the temple (which, of course, had a 3x3 notch in it designated just for that purpose). So my will be done, a little metalcrafting immigrant dwarf climbs to the top, releases the doomed prisoner, and watches as the goblin's guts spray all over the 10+ idling dorfs.

He immediately goes insane, and produces a steel-gold-silver-aluminum monstrosity of a chair that's worth millions of dwarfbucks. Apparently, Armok was pleased with my sacrifice.

So I test the system. Every time a peasant gets sick of the hell-pit they live in and goes berserk, I sacrifice an invader. Every time a dwarf screams for shells and crystal glass, I sacrifice. Every time a noble mandates a steel-plated bedroom, I sacrifice.

And it works. Like a charm. A bloody, gored-smeared charm.

Soon, I realized the necessity of these near-weekly offerings, and how the sadistic dwarves seem to love them. I installed grates to allow the blood and guts to splatter down into the lower levels, staining the living quarters crimson. The king bathed in carmine near-daily, spending all his time in the meeting area. The subterranean river runs red with gore, and the nobles demand mandates of ruby and bauxite and hematite to visually satisfy their thirst. The engravers are going mad with all sorts of demonic pictures, and the temple itself is stained.

I loved it. I loved every siege, for it meant more sacrifices. I murdered the human caravans so that they might fall into my traps. I provoked the wildlife into my snares. I would have Armok be exalted by my worship.

Soon I realized the madness, soon I realized the sanguine path on which I tread. I watched as the streets ran red with blood, as the mines flowed with red rivulets and dwarves went berserk with bloodlust. I realized what I must do.

I saved the game, removed an old 512 mb USB drive from my desk, and copied the file to its barren memory. I then deleted the original from my hard drive, took the stick to my back yard, and buried it.

As far as I know, it remains there today, slowly polluting the ground with its thirst.

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