Dwarf Fortress Stories

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Wrath of the Weresheep

29 January 2016, 11:39 Rating: 8 [+]

Let me tell You the story of the weresheep the woolen horror which haunted the fortress "strikemirror" and has taken it close to defeat twice.

I embarked in year 250 in a really peaceful spot. Between a dwarfen and a human controlled region there should not be much hassle with invaders and both the lands as well as the mountain were full of riches.

Things went pretty smoth for one year. For defense i deployed the good old dwarfen bunker. One entry to the castle secured with a raising bridge, one outer wall with two raising bridges. Right behind the outer wall was the trade Depot and a lot of farming and pasturing was going on. 
Then the weresheep arrived at the gates. It immediatly started charging at my dwarfes. I ordered the bridges raised, but all the dwarfes nearby the lever decided to have a drink first or socialize with visitors.
The sheep passed the outer wall, and attacked the farmers while the militia was still on its way. Several dwarfes were wounded and one killed by the time the beast was dead.
While the dwarfes were still cleaning up the mess several of the wounded transformed into weresheep. This time it was much worse in the end only five able bodied dwarfes survived. The wounded were walled in in the hospital since i was afraid of a new wave of weresheep transformations. After inspecting the remaining dwarfes i suspected 4 of 5 to be infected with the weresheep curses. So i walled them in as well.
What remained was the dwarfen lady Nomal. In a fortress previously housing about 50 dwarfes she was alone, only guarded by a crippled dog in the entrance. Ghosts spooked all over the place and the walled in dwarfes transformed back and forth to weresheeps. She spent some months Burying the dead, and securing the survival of the fort. Eventually migrants arrived, industry resumed its work and a new militia was raised and trained.
In the meantime the geopolitical surroundings had changed. The former neighbouring dwarfen city had been captured by goblins.
In the winter of 252 a vile force of darkness arrived. Numerous skilled warriors accompanied by war dogs. I commanded the marksdwarfes to gather on the fortified wall. They are outnumbered and outskilled by the goblins. Nomal is one of the first to be deadly wounded. It was a long battle and the entire militia was wiped out. I had to sacrifice a good bit of my fortress as they got into the main hall. I flooded one entire level of the fort and hid the survivors in the temple complex. But eventually the invaders and the fortress remained with about 20 dwarfes strong enough to do the repairs and enhance the defense for the next attack.
I opened the gates and ordered the folks to haul in the bodys to give them a proper burial.

Just as the gates are opened a weresheep appears at the site. Again it passes the gates before i can close them. After the attack i wall in anyone who might have catched the weresheep curse. Afterwards there remain 5 able dwarfs. The weresheep again has crushed strikemirror to a point where a small error will result in annihilation.

Let this be a warning to You, to beware of the woolen and fluffy horror.

Of all the dwarfes i suspected being cursed by the weresheep about 30% turned out to actually transform.
To identify cursed dwarfes i looked over the battle reports for successfull bite attacks.
On the other hand of all the dwarfes who i did not suspect turned out to acutally not have the curse.
So maybe one can draw the conclusion that a bite causes infection about 30% of the time.
Although i suspect that this is really a complicated function depending on the bitten dwarfes physical condition, favorite meal, worshipped god, and so on...