Dwarf Fortress
Download Features Screenshots Development Forums Bug Tracker
Threetoe's Stories DF Talk Contact Links Champions Other Games
Threetoe's Stories, and Analysis

Bride Price

By Threetoe

Thorne was the youngest son. With father's money doled out to his older brothers there was no way he could find a woman. He could not afford the Bride Price.

He slipped out from the town that night. Outside a tavern he met the stumbling drunk Terrance. The aging vagabond told him tales of gold just lying in the earth waiting to be taken. Lost treasure of the dwarves. Thorne was inspired by the tales and talked Terrance into joining him on his adventure.

That night they traveled through the woods. The bushes seemed to move. The leaves parted revealing a dozen blood thirsty kobolds wearing branches on their heads. Thorne covered his head and rushed down the trail. Terrance tried to run but fell on his face and was shot full of arrows. As Thorne thundered through the brush, he smiled. Where there were kobolds there were caves, and the dwarves' gold.

Backtracking through the woods, Thorne saw the kobolds dragging Terrance's body into the trees. He followed them to the mouth of their cave. Before dragging the carcass inside, they tore through the clothing for loot. Thorne crept to the entrance. He heard gleeful chattering inside. On the ground he saw a glitter amid the mud. He snatched the object and ran.

Jogging through the wood, he scrapped off the grime and revealed a golden statuette. How had he been so lucky? It was like the kobolds to miss such a prize. It must have fallen out of Terrance's pocket.

When he reached the town he strode boldly into the tavern holding the idol high. "I have seen the dwarves' gold!" Shortly after a group of ten men gathered on the road on the outskirts of town. They were armed with pitchforks and table legs. Thorne urged them forward. He cursed the kobolds, promised them gold and swore that Terrance would have his vengeance.

The kobolds kept clear of the woods. Thorne had cornered them in their cave. The band paused at the entrance. The men muttered, questioning each other's manhood. Eventually three of the drunkest charged into the cave. Just inside a net fell on them, tripping them, and throwing them into a heap on the floor. The kobolds leaped from their hiding places hurling poisonous insects and stabbing them with cruelly barbed spears. Thorne shouted and urged the drunks on.

They charged into the cave swinging their clubs and driving the kobolds back. The men paid for every inch further into the cave with blood. Poisonous darts struck their legs and spiked pit-falls broke their bodies. Only Thorne and one other man reached the end of the cavern alive. Six kobolds stood in a phalanx, pointing their spears. The room was covered in muck.

A kobold stepped forward, holding a long knife. "Behold human scum! I am Bacabadabis! Slayer of Terrance, whose beer mug decorates my throne room!" The kobold gestured to a shelf carved in the rock where the beer mug rested next to Terrance's severed head.

The drunk stared around the muddy stone room. "Where's the gold? Where is the gold!" Tears poured from his eyes and he fled the room. Bacabadabis barked twice and the kobolds rush after him.

Thorne set his teeth, blood rushing to his head. Soon all his friends would be dead. It was between him and Bacabadabis now. He lifted his club high and the kobold ran him through. Thorne crashed to the ground. As the kobold rifled through his pockets, Thorne thought of the children he would never have. The Bride Price. How little it seemed to matter now. The kobold lifted the gold idol, eyes glowing with greed. Thorne slipped into darkness.


    • primogeniture stuff in some entities, with various twists on this theme
    • using objects as evidence for claims
    • various ceremonies, rites of passage, and agreements between entities, families and individuals can be sealed with a financial exchange
    • sometimes joining shouldn't just be a yes/no thing -- can have a conversation and haggling
    • trophy taking and associated shit talking
    • items can be cleaned
    • objects staying on corpses, things can fall out of containers
    • as in armok I, all objects could have components that can be removed, such as table legs
    • spiked pit-falls, nets, net traps
    • wearing vegetation to sneak
    • tripping and falling:
      • when sprinting on uneven or overgrown terrain
      • when in an altered state of consciousness or a distraught emotion state
    • obscured objects:
      • by sullies after being dropped in certain terrain
      • by being small in certain terrain
      • by being very small in any terrain
      • can be given away by occasional glitters
    • people in need of weaponry could improvise, using the most lethal objects around them, including pieces of furniture
    • barbed weapons, increases chance of stuckin, increases bleeding and pain
    • using less signifant limbs to cover from projectile or melee attacks