...continued from part one

After what seems like ages, one of the dwarves takes up the task of constructing the second wall - a planter named Cerol Viperbrass.

Cerol is one of the few dwarves in the fortress that has remained content, despite the circumstances - but I'm a little shocked to see just how callous she is. She is irritated at having to give someone food and water lately, which is explained by her almost complete lack of empathy.

If the situation continues to worsen, I expect she'll handle it well.

Cold Cerol completes the stone wall without further incident - the two undead creatures beyond will progress no further.

Though, as a result of blocking off that passage, I've cut off the dwarves' water supply. This is a crucial resource, and one earned with no small effort - all of this liquid water is formerly glacier ice, the very ice that once occupied the space where the wood farm is now. There is no other naturally occurring source of water anywhere in Roomcarnage, above or below.

I order a new well area to be dug out, just adjacent to the two previous well areas.

Then, I connect it to the fortress via a long - one-tile wide, this time - passage.

The miner that arrives on the scene is Tun Noselance, the manager and bookkeeper of the Momentous Dye. Standing behind him is a ghot - Adil Crushedgild, who once plagued Roomcarnage under the guise of Rift Craftportent. I have often noticed these two as a pair in the fortress - indeed, it often seems as though Adil is hovering nearby every single time I check in on the manager.

Tun works, hewing away at the rock to the south - Adil Crushedgild, as though suddenly aware of my notice, does not follow into the excavated tunnel.

I spot some new arrivals in hell - roaming slush spirits.

The demons alight upon the remains of the dwarven army with apparent gusto.

A farmer is taken by a strange mood...

...but I only have a few moments to consider it before another troubling notification shows up. A dog skin? In the fortress? I haven't butchered anything recently, so it must have come from one of the many cages that stands in the statuary. But how?

A familiar, nostalgic chill runs down my spine as I zoom to the site of the notification. I find an uncaged dog skin - and two ghosts, one of them Adil Crushedgild. One of them must have let the untanned hide loose, and I'm inclined to suspect the specter that has haunted Roomcarnage from its earliest years.

The curse of Rith Craftportent still lingers in these accursed halls.

A few dwarves are still active soldiers.

I order the dwarves in these two squads - the Everlasting Wires and the Tin Diversions - to slay the undead horror.

As the military dwarves sprint over from the dining hall, the dog skin flaps and tumbles towards the melancholy child nearby.

The soldiers arrive in time, however, and damage the hide enough to render it dead - for a time.

I order the remains to be dumped, and the dwarves dispose of them without further incident.

Meanwhile, I notice that the moody dwarf, Bomrek Constructtempests, hasn't claimed a workshop yet.

Ah, it would seem that I am actually missing a couple. I order the construction of a leather works and a bowyer's workshop nearby, in case that's what Bomrek needs. I realize I also need the leather works to fulfill the mayor's backpack order, so it's good to take care of it.

I also notice that the magma forges below are forbidden - I re-enable their use.

That does it! Bomrek immediately begins making her way to the forges.

Very quickly, however, I realize that Bomrek doesn't have all the supplies she needs. She has chosen adamantine as a base, but the next component - animal bones - are missing. Roomcarnage has been short on bone for a long time - at least, the sort of bone that has been properly processed, and is able to be used for crafting. There's no shortage of the other kind.

I'm fairly certain that butchering a cat won't give Bomrek the necessary materials - but it can't hurt to slaughter a stray, anyway.

Thank you for your service, Solon.

And just as I suspected - butchering the cat produces a cat skull and some meat, but no usable bone.

Alas, there's only one thing to do, then. I order the workhops between Bomrek and the rest of the fortress to be removed.

Once the workshops have been deconstructed, I order a wall to be placed in their place.

Now that things have calmed down, I cancel the civilian alert once again - I suppose that if there is still a way for the dwarves to get into hell, they'll let me know.

"The fortress attracted no migrants this season." I'm pretty sure the outside world thinks that Roomcarnage is dead at this point - if they think about it at all - and they'd be mostly right.

The new well area is prepared - when I construct the well, I have the option of three different chains/ropes. I opt for the Circumstances of Celebrating, the adamantine chain.

Some time afterwards, a violent ghost batters a dwarven child.

I find the ghost - Kogan Oilisland - hovering over the pale, miserable child Kogan Fountainsounds. The dwarf's left leg lies nearby.

Fortunately, Kogan appears on the list of dwarves to be memorialized. Perhaps one day, a malevolent ghost will appear who does not, and the beginning of the true end will begin. For now, this ghost will be calmed, and the fortress will continue to endure.

Some time passes. The miserable dwarven child finally dies of thirst.

I order their body to be dumped...

...and her remains are treated with dwarven honor: incinerated in the magma sea.

I check in on the mayor - I find Nish starving, dehydred, miserable, and barely awake, near the bottom of the stairwell leading to the lowest training area. I don't expect her to last much longer - for Nish Saintochre, and several others, this is where they depart from the story.

The other Nish, that fought alongside the new mayor at the base of the adamantine stairwell, succumbs to their wounds in the infirmary.

As Nish's corpse is carried to the incineration shaft, the moody farmer Bomrek Constructtempests snaps, and goes insane. Eventually she will die of thirst within her obsidian encasement, but her body will not trouble the living.

The mayor's corpse is found soon afterwards.

Hopefully these deaths will not weigh too heavily on those that remain.

The dwarves elect a new mayor - Unib Pageorder, a dwarf who already seems to be having a difficult time. That's understandable.

As before, I reassign the undead-infested mayoral suite to the new leader of the Momentous Dye.

The slab sits in the furniture stockpile, ready to be brought out at any time. For now, as before, I wait - for some reason, I can't bring myself to banish this nostalgic, if dangerous, ghost. Not yet.

I also order the next round of engraved slabs to be built. While I place them individually, I notice adamantine slabs as an option on the list.

Curious, I check the stocks, and find three adamantine slabs - two raw and untouched, and one engraved and forbidden.

Ah, I recall now. This is the memorial slab for Adil Crushedgild - engraved out of curiosity and suspicion, in memoriam, confirmation of the vampire mayor's true identity. If I placed this slab, the malevolent ghost of that which once bore the name of Rith Craftportent would be banished - forever? I dare not say.

A few things jump out that make me confident in Unib's ability to fulfill his mayoral duties - here in Roomcarnage, at least. He is extraordinarily physically fit, and has stunning spatial sense, an astounding feel for his own body position, and an unbreakable will - a superb warrior. His difficulty with words, bad intuition, and poor analytical ability won't count against him in this fortress. Music hasn't been implemented yet (in this version), so that doesn't matter either.

Also - he is not affected by the suffering of others. Good - there is quite a bit of that in Roomcarnage, and it wouldn't do for a leader to be bogged down by it.

Time passes. The fortress, hewn to house more than a hundred dwarves, seems empty with fewer than thirty.

The living in the dining hall are outnumbered by the dead - among their ghostly number is the spirit of Adil Crushedgild, present in a meeting area she never entered during her physical presence in Roomcarnage. It has been some five decades since her physical form was obliterated by a drawbridge, but still she lingers.

One of the few remaining dwarves - an older planter named ZuntÎr Touchedchamber - enters a strange mood, and claims a mechanic's workshop.

The resulting artifact is a set of raw adamantine mechanisms - a glorious relic of Roomcarnage's latter years.

ZuntÎr names the machine component Graspingstable the Spattered Humor. Charming.

Months pass at a crawl. Every now and then, another dwarf succumbs to the after-effects of the assault in hell - one of the children, depressed beyond consolation, withers away in a forgotten bedroom. I order the doors locked, and walled up.

Other times, the vengeful dead personally return to spite the living.

I find ZuntÎr Touchedchamber, the same dwarf who had just crafted Graspingstable the Spattered Humor, lying unconscious in her bedroom - hovering over her is the violent spirit of a warrior slain by the demons, and looming in the doorway is none other than Adil Crushedgild.

Once again, I consider placing her memorial slab and ridding the fortress of her for good, but I talk myself out of it. Of all that creep and seethe beneath and above and within the Ice of Ghosts, the ghostly vampire mayor alone seems to fancy residing here.

On a whim, I seek out Dumat Sensesstakes, the foul fog zombie that kept close company with Rift Craftportent during those early years. I find the diagnoser lingering in the mayoral suite I had carved specifically for Rith - accursed, odd behavior.

I check poor ZuntÎr's wounds - she has a single severe injury, caused by a blow directly to the skull. For a moment, I consider her lucky to be alive, but then I recall that this is Roomcarnage, where a peaceful death in one's sleep might be something to be dearly coveted.

The revenant appears at the top of the memorial list - I order their slab to be engraved.

When the memorial is finished, I examine it - the axe lord was slain by the pig monster Cystspurts in the year 1257 - and place it along with the others.

Time continues to pass. Another one of the dwarven children wastes away in misery...

...and eventually the youngest dwarf remaining, Dôbar Sealyawned, survives to be counted among the adults.

Years later, in 1261, another dwarf is taken by the undead.

I find the corpse of Zon Nuttour, contorted in a frightened ricture, lying amongst the craftsdwarves' workshops. The ghostly clothier, Degël Doorclean, menaces overhead. As I prepare the memorial slab, as I have done countless times before, I realize that this will probably continue to happen as more spirits of those slain in the underworld continue to return in anger. For the first time, I have the dwarves begin to engrave memorials en masse, hopefully to foreward against as many spirits as possible before they arrive.

I also realize - too late, probably - that the cat population has gotten out of control. I mark all the strays to be slaughtered.

Time passes. Some months later, ZuntÎr Touchedchamber finally passes away, having never left her bed - the area is littered with copper buckets, and I am suspicious that the axedwarf died of thirst, as the rest of the dwarves were too busy with the obligations of a mature fortress.

Her death is the last of those who died as a result of the battle in the underworld - the remaining twenty dwarves, apparently, will endure happily in the darkness.

More time passes. One day, the game crashes the moment I unpause. A few days later, it happens again. And again. After some experimenting, I figure I cannot continue the telling of Roomcarnage on this device - I must move it to my current computer, the thought of which gives me pause.

It is the 1st of Moonstone, in the early winter of 1266. If I am to see this narrative to its grim and inevitable conclusion, I must transfer it to a new computer. I have such a computer at hand, yet I find myself reluctant to allow the bare code containing such entities as Adil Crushedgild - Rith Craftportent - to find a new, more potent home. In doing so, though, I hope that this tale might find its end in a way even I, its chronicler, may not yet dare to guess.