...continued from part one

Oh no. It seems that Avuz's corpse has risen from the dead, as I expected - but I had forgotten that the caverns were teeming with wandering dwarven children.

Shit.

The dwarves have named the undead menace Palmdaub.

It was a mistake to allow Avuz's corpse to reanimate - a mistake I will not make again. I order the military into action - the Rapidity of Ink, to be stationed nearby, while the Worthy Seals attack the walking corpse.

Actually, scratch that - I switch the squads' orders. If Avuz's corpse shambles somewhere elsewhere, I'd much rather have the more skillsd warriors of the Rapidity of Ink chase it down.

The military streams out of the fortress and towards the site of the tragedy.

Obok Girderflares, captain of the guard, leads the warriors of Roomcarnage through the muddied caverns.

Soon, however, he is overtaken by another Obok - Obok Workerringed, the axedwarf.

The captain is, interestingly, equipped with an exceptionally crafted copper battle axe, despite only being a dabbling axedwarf. He is also clad in the best armor available in Roomcarnage - a full suit of exceptionally crafted copper armor.

Meanwhile, Obok Workerringed is a talented axedwarf - despite having a much poorer quality weapon, and much less armor, he may be the dwarf for the job.

The axedwarf runs through the caverns, passing a pair of dwarven children as he goes. Why are they out here? What business do they have in the caverns? I can only guess.

Despite being the first dwarf on the scene, Obok the axedwarf is not the warrior who takes down the undead - it is Obok the captain.

Despite being relatively unskilled with an axe, captain Obok strikes the undeath out of Avuz's corpse with a single hack.

There is no time to waste, now. I order both corpses to be dumped.

As well, I create a new garbage dump (deleting the old one, of course), on the further side of the magma crevice.

I station the Rapidity of Ink in the caverns, near Avuz's corpse - now, both military squads watch over the corpses.

Before the haulers can arrive, little Kogan's body shudders and begins to move.

Despite many warriors of the Worthy Seals being present, it is a single recruit who is responsible for engaging the shambling horror.

After a second or two, it is over.

The recruit delivers the final blow, reducing the undead to a lifeless corpse once again.

The recruit is Dodók Syrupsabres, a basically unskilled warrior. Somehow, it was Dodók who found the bravery within her to face the undead in combat. She may yet pay the price for that bravery.

The unhappy thoughts gained from fighting an undead horror are too much for poor Dodók to bear at this moment. She releases her pent up distress and anger in a fuming, uncontrollable dwarven tantrum.

As the unhappy recruit begins raging, I notice another unfortunate announcement - but this one, at least, is expected.

Already, Cerol's corpse lurks behind an obsidian door in the infirmary. Death closes in upon Roomcarnage from all around.

The wait for the haulers continues as morale amongst the Worthy Seals dips lower and lower. Soon, no fewer than four of the eight warriors present are showing signs of dangerous unhappiness.

The warriors of the Rapidity of Ink, on the other hand, are only showing signs of thirst.

Dodók Syrupsabre's mood slips deeper and deeper into misery. Something in my stomach turns over - I have a bad feeling about this.

Finally, the haulers arrive.

One hauler, a clothier, quickly grabs Avuz's corpse and returns back through the caverns.

With Avuz's corpse in transit to the magma pit, I no longer require two military squads to be present. I dismiss the Worthy Seals, and station the Rapidity of Ink adjacent to the second child's corpse.

Thirsty and furious, the Worthy Seals return to the fortress, while the fortress guard take their place.

I watch the first hauler carefully, vigilant for the moment when the child's corpse is taken by the curse of the Ice of Ghosts..

...but that moment does not come, thankfully. Avuz's corpse is dumped and incinerated without further incident.

Shortly thereafter, the second hauler arrives to take the other corpse.

I dismiss the Rapidity of Ink - there is no more need for the fortress guard here.

The hauler returns through the caverns, alongside the warriors of the fortress guard.

As before, I watch for any sign of reanimation.

But, fortunately, none appear.

Just before the bowyer tosses the second corpse into the magma pool, I pause and zoom down to just above the surface. As the dwarven child's body hits the surface of the magma, it sends up a gentle spray of magma mist - far less of a reaction than when the corpse of Rupola the Steamy Scabs was disposed of.

I check in on Dodók Syrupsabres. Poor, miserable Dodók stands amidst dozens of other relatively happy dwarves - I can only hope that she is enjoying her drink, and that she pulls out of her poor mood soon.

I glance across the dining hall. Ah! Speaking of syrup, all these blood thorn barrels have been filled with dwarven syrup! Wonderful - dwarven syrup is an excellent addition to any cooked meal.

And now that these magma smelters have been removed, some glass furnaces may be installed in their place.

And of course! For the first time in a while, I look back at the additions to the weapon. The vampires have completed the final touches, and the weapon is complete!

Rith Craftportent, the vampire mayor of Roomcarnage, stands at the aperture of the northern lava vent. As always, she is attended upon by Dumat Sensesstakes, the foul fog zombie diagnoser. If the weapon was activated now, I could slay the both of them... but with only 10 idlers, the weapon cannot be activated. Roomcarnage's industries churn with activity - I must wait for the back log of work orders to be processed and completed, before the weapon can be activated once more.

I double check the furniture stockpile - yep, plenty of cloth bags. Good - they'll be needed to gather sand.

My attention flits around - there are many small improvements to be made, things to be taken care of. I expand some passage in the fortress...

...so that there might be fewer traffic jams. Normally, this is a much higher priority for me, but Roomcarnage's growth has been dictated almost entirely by necessity, not comfort.

Perhaps that will be the fortress' eventual downfall - my lack of attention to dwarven comfort. There have already been a few close misses regarding dwarven unhappiness - hopefully, these new changes will make life a little easier for the dwarves of the Momentous Dye.

At the very least, they're sure to make the fortress run a little more smoothly.

The miners get to work immediately. Hopefully, the expansion of these passages will allow the industries to operate more quickly, thus working through the work orders and hauling jobs sooner. The sooner all the jobs and orders are completed, the sooner the weapon may be reactivated.

Of course, safety cannot be ignored. In the event of an undead outbreak, it may become necessary to seal off whole portions of the fortress. Floor hatches atop stairways are one way to do this. Doors are another.

Doors! There are enough of them now to complete the bedrooms. In the future, I may expand the dormitories to include more rooms - certainly, there aren't enough as-is to house the entire fortress - but these will do, for now.

Dodók continues tantruming, and the knot in my stomach grows tighter.

In her blind, tearful fury, she lashes out ineffectually at a squadmate.

I look over her profile. Her thoughts come across as a flat, emotionless psychoanalysis, but between the lines of rage and upset, I can read the true meaning all too clearly - Dodók Syrupsabres may be the doom of Roomcarnage.

I have just enough time to place some sand collection jobs on repeat before my fears are confirmed.

The knot in my stomach unravels all at once, leaving an empty void, a sense of vertigo as I sense the fortress quivering upon the razor's edge, high above a vast and unavoidable ocean of misery and undeath.

It was too much for poor Dodók. A short distance away from the food stockpiles, her mind snapped.

She has been overtaken with rage and fury - but unlike a peasant, Dodók is equipped with exceptionally forged implements of war.

The fingers of her right hand clench a copper battle axe - weapon that has already slain one. Before this is over, how many more kills will this battle axe have?

It is the 13th of Malachite, in the mid-summer of 1207. Foes give way to more foes as the warriors of Roomcarnage strike away their enemies. Misfortune upon misfortune piles atop the delicate minds of the dwarves - in time, I know, every dwarf will fall before the relentless onslaught of the Ice of Ghosts. The only question is when - will it be after the weapon has reactivated? Will it be reactivated at all? Will the dwarves reclaim the surface, or will they perish in a spiral of gore and anguish, alone in the darkness? Only time will tell.