...continued from part one

Work continues in the deeps! The strand extractors - tradesdwarves and amateurs alike - are hard at work supplying the furnace operators with thin strands of unearthly metal. I can't help but let a smirk cross my face - the dwarves of the Momentous Dye will have their revenge. Even if the fortress eventually lies in ruin, the Ice of Ghosts will have paid dearly for its triumph.

An announcement catches my eye. My smirk disappears.

I guess I neglected to meet one of Rith Craftportent's mandates. Now, a dwarf must pay the price for insolence - and here, beneath the Ice of Ghosts, when a single dwarf is punished, all of Roomcarnage suffers. Perhaps the vampire mayor is not so complaisant as I had believed - even from atop the haunted glacier, she is able to deal harsh blows to the fortress.

Once again, the axedwarf Obok Workerringed is called upon to administer dwarven justice. Onget, the craftsdwarf who is to pay for my mistake (for it was I who overlooked Rith's demands), is already present nearby: look towards the craftsdwarf who stands just north of the double doors.

Obok makes a beeline towards Onget, but the craftsdwarf is quick to move. The criminal escapes through the barracks and down the stairwell heading towards the mines.

The axedwarf pursues, through the barracks, and down the stairwell. Obok passes the forges, and the pools of magma that now fill the caverns near the fortress. He emerges from the stairwell a short distance from the criminal.

Obok runs after the criminal, prepared to dispense the standard dwarven beating - ten strikes.

Onget Netholds is oblivious to his fate - he is simply on his way to the adamantine vein to pick up some of the near-weightless ore. Why is he to be punished? What sort of draconian logic placed the blame upon his head?

I'll never know. Obok catches up to Onget and administers the beating.

Sometimes a dwarven punishment is ineffective, resulting only in bruising. Sometimes it is worse. With his final strike, Obok crushes Onget's spinal column.

Onget's nervous system is compromised from the neck down - he immediately begins to suffocate as his lungs fail.

Moments later, Onget perishes.

This is troublesome. Onget's corpse lies deep in the mines. Despite being so close to the magma sea, there are no open holes for the craftsdwarf's corpse to be tossed into - the nearest garbage dump is far overhead, in the barracks.

If I were to go that route, a dwarf would have to haul Onget's corpse all the way out of the mines, up the long stairwell, and into the fortress. A lot of time would pass before the corpse would be disposed of... a long time, indeed, and many opportunities for the Ice of Ghost to claim Onget's corpse as another minion.

I am not willing to take that risk. I use an alternate method - after designating a separate burrow for the area of the map below the fortress, I restrict all of the dwarves to the upper area.

A bevy of job cancellations fills the announcements feed. These are all dwarves who sought to haul raw adamantine up from the mines - that adamantine must now be forsaken, for the good of the fortress.

Just to be safe, I have the fortress guard stationed in the mines. If Onget's corpse rises, I would rather have some warriors on hand to deal with the threat immediately.

There were some haulers already down in the mines when Onget was slain. The first of these rushes past, stepping over the craftsdwarf's still body as they go.

Another dwarf escapes, passing a child as they go. The child pauses, then returns in the other direction. Wise decision, young one.

The last of the haulers escapes, clutched in their hands a boulder of raw adamantine. It is the last bit of raw ore that will be gathered from this adamantine vein, for the time being.

I need to plug this passage, but I am reluctant to lift the burrow restrictions already in place. To bypass this, I create a third burrow, specifically for the construction of a single barrier. Then, I include that burrow in the specific alert, allowing dwarves to path into and through this area.

Then, I order a door to be constructed.

While I wait for a hauler to arrive, I check this unhappy dwarf.

Ah, the unhappy thoughts that are becoming standard throughout the fortress. They will be dealt with, in time. For now, I am willing to accept slight unhappiness - Roomcarnage has too many other things to deal with at the moment.

A hauler seizes a door from the newly placed furniture stockpile, and begins dragging it towards the mines.

The door is placed at the northern end of the passage...

...and is locked. I look towards Onget's corpse. It is still just a corpse - fortunate, I suppose.

It doesn't matter. This vein of adamantine is now unavailable to the dwarves - as well as all of the ore that was already excavated, but had yet to be hauled up into the forges.

It is an easy sacrifice to make, since I already have access to another vein, and have yet to tap two more that have been discovered on the map. Roomcarnage has no shortage of the mythical metal, at least in theory.

Still, industry grinds forward - only four pipes and eight corkscrews have yet to be forged.

A dozen strand extractors working around the clock continue to feed the magma smelters with fresh adamantine thread. I take a minute to sit back and admire the dwarves as they diligently labor away in the forges.

My admiration is interrupted by the arrival of the caravan. Is it late autumn already?

This year, the caravan and the liaison are alive.

Not for long. The merchants begin trekking across the ice, unaware of the incredible danger into which they have descended.

A hammerdwarf caravan guard slays a few corpses, but it's not enough - nothing will stop the evil glacier from feasting upon the souls of the living.

With the guards distracted, a crowd of undead charges the wagons.

One wagon is scuttled, its driver slain - but something curious happens to the other wagon.

The driver atop the wagon, and the two yaks before it, are brushed with foul fog, and immediately turn into zombies themselves. The wagon is apparently immune to the vile contaminant - a small mercy. I could not bear to face a wagon foul fog zombie.

The glacier's inhabitants do not cease their attack, and the foul fog merchant curiously turn towards the edge of the map. The wagon escapes - logically, it is now on its way back to the mountainhome.

Roomcarnage imports corpses.

Roomcarnage exports foul fog.

Who is really in charge here?

I look around for the outpost liaison, but can find them nowhere. They are already slain, and I can find no sign of their struggle in the combat reports. I dismiss the mystery and turn my attention back to the fortress.

The last bits of adamantine ore are being processed. I do a count of all the adamantine in the fortress - raw ore, strands, and wafers. I have just enough to finish the pump stack, without having to dig deeper. That's lucky - when I blocked access to the adamantine vein, I was worried that I wouldn't have enough raw ore to finish the project. Now, I can be sure that the construction will finish on schedule.

What now, Rith? Do you seek to undermine the fortress yet again with your obtuse demands?

Ah. Short swords.

This is doable.

To finish the last few jobs, the manager Tun Noselance himself arrives in the forges. A legendary metalsmith, Tun will no doubt lend his expert hand to the completion of the project.

As the last raw adamantine boulders are processed, activity in the forges slows down, and the crowd of laborers thins out.

Almost there.

Ah, a moody dwarf!

Geshud Boltclimax's best moodable skill is actually mechanics, despite being a woodcutter.

I can deal with having a legendary mechanism. I let Geshud go about her business.

These workshops have turned into a ghost town. Manager Tun hauls the last wafers of adamantine to the forges, to finish the last sections of magma-safe pipes.

The raw materials are complete! I order the construction of the last pumps.

The finishing touch are doors - doors placed on every level, so that if a horrific accident occurs, there are at least barriers to keep the disaster from spreading. Pumps below...

...and pumps above. Once these last few buildings have been constructed, the weapon will be complete. Then, the Ice of Ghosts will burn.

This hole, carved into the mountainside and lined with obsidian blocks, will soon erupt with a torrent of molten rock drawn up from deep within the volcano. What effect will the lava have upon the glacial ice, when it cascades over the vampire-constructed obsidian monument? I can't say - all I know is that magma and ice often interact in devastating and unpredictable ways.

Once the magma pumps are going at full blast, this tiny corridor will be filled with a pressurized, unceasing blast of magma. The face of the glacier will be forever changed.

It is the 10th of Moonstone, in the early winter of 1206. For over a year, the dwarves of the Momentous Dye have labored upon the construction of a massive weapon - a weapon, perhaps, not so large or flashy as those employed by other fortresses, but a weapon of sufficiently destructive potential. Roomcarnage endures and prepares for the day when the haunted glacier will perish beneath a curtain of withering flame.