the saga of tickwire – part 2

Early Spring 251

We have just arrived at the future site of Tickwire, fortress of … fortitude or something. It looks like our initial pack animals are a male horse and a female donkey. Normally, this would mean that we could breed mules, but I am pretty sure the game overlooks that sort of thing because it would be one of the only viable cross-breeds possible.

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Our initial loadout is full of animals. One of our first priorities will be setting up nests for the turkeys and pasture for the sheep and goats. But, before we do that, we need to look around.

The badlands are all clay, which could be an interesting alternative to stone everything. This area really is a river valley between two cliffs. I’m pleasantly surprised by how much flat open space we have, and how much access we have to the river. I will definitely be digging a moat for defense later on.

There are no wild animals visible yet – so that’s a good sign. It means we will have time to dig in before the hostilities start.

The shallow ore is hematite. There is actually quite a bit visible. So that’s great… fuel is going to be my biggest concern for metal industry. Probably just going to stockpile it until we get some more workers – unless we need to defend ourselves from something hostile.

And after performing the initial survey, I like the area in the southeast of the zone to dig into. Granted, there will be an aquifer under it – so we’ll need to tunnel downward further north. But that’s fine. It is clay, which will dig out faster. This means that we won’t have to make surface stockpiles for everything. Its proximity to the trees also means that we will have to travel less during our initial treecutting extravaganza.

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So it’s designation time. Miners to digging an initial indoor area, woodcutter to deforestation, everyone else to hauling things closer to the door.

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The pastures will be separate – one for livestock and one for poultry. I’ve had bad luck in the past with large animals picking on smaller ones. A refuse pile will be going on the far side of the northern pasture and a wood pile will be going near the front door. We’re also going to eliminate the ramps leading up the hill face around the doorway to restrict access by unwelcome guests.

Animal hauling goes quickly and the miners are making good time with the initial dig. I need to figure out where exactly I want to put the carpenter shop. It will be along the main hallway near the front entrance… hrm.

Speaking of unwelcome guests, we have our first visitors – a small pack of dingoes.

dingoes

Right now, they seem more afraid of us than we are of them. Dog training is an immediate priority. I’m scheduling a kennel for construction outside … and nobody’s going to build it … because the animal trainer is normally responsible, and he’s busy being Grizzlefences right now and is declaring war on the tree population. I guess we can disable his lumberjacking for the moment – he’s cut enough wood for our initial beds and wheelbarrows already.

We will then train two dogs for hunting and two for war. The male can be a hunting dog – both will be assigned to Grizzlefences. The war dogs will be assigned to protect the pastures once trained, I think.

Oh, weird. It looks like the kennel isn’t necessary any more. We designate a zone for training animals now. Well, alright then. Whatever it takes, just give me dogs.

Meanwhile, the initial dig is almost complete and it’s time to break apart the wagon and haul everything inside. One large food stockpile goes next to the dining hall, a small one goes right in the entrance, and the rest of the storage room will be dedicated to miscellaneous goods.

With two dogs trained, almost everything hauled inside, and the dingoes fled… we are now visited by an eagle and a wombat. I sincerely hope the bird leaves us alone – though it isn’t a giant eagle, so we should be fine.

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The first month has passed and we are in good shape. We have a carpentry workshop and some beds and wheelbarrows are being queued up. The mason, on the other hand, is having problems building his workshop – because there are rocks in the way. He’s just going to haul things right back. Meh. While we wait for tables and chairs and things, our clerk is out of work. He can dabble in some light rockcraft and make some nests for our turkeys.

Grizzlefences, having finished training the dogs and cutting the initial batch of trees, has earned himself a fishing break. There isn’t anything in the little pond – but the brook looks like it has stuff to gather.

The miners have started on a long hallway to where we will start digging down, and they’ve struck turquoise. So yay shiny rocks for trade whenever we get around to worrying about that sort of thing. Spring is halfway over and we haven’t quite settled in yet. Tables and chairs and beds and nests are all being queued for placement… so we can build some doors and designate some rooms soon… And then I can lock my clerk in the back room and get some real numbers for things.

Aww, poor Grizzlefences. Since the beds are being so long to install, he has decided to take a nap in the corner of the warehouse… with his pile of raw fish.

The first nest has been placed and the first turkey has lain a clutch of 10 eggs. I have forbidden dwarves from eating them, so we will have 10 baby turkeys soon enough. Actually, I’m going to break tradition this time and forbid the first 3 clutches of eggs from being eaten. This will give us 30 turkeys and a significant boost in meat yield later – when we actually need it.

The other two nests have produced 21 eggs, which will feed a lot of dwarves as it is. Especially in conjunction with our fish supply – we are already up to 3 fish, even taking into account our fisher’s unceremonious nap. But he hasn’t started cleaning any catches yet – so that needs to be fixed.

Disabling fishing and waiting a bit longer for things to normalize was enough for him to finish cleaning what he had. Meanwhile, I also set up a farmer’s workshop and sheared/milked/cheesed what we had. We’ve created a kitchen and brewery – just haven’t started using them yet.

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The season is almost done, and I think we’re at a good stopping point for now. Next time, we’ll see about actually cooking some of this fish and eggs and cheese and start thinking about defense and metal industry a bit more.

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