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In the year 1050, the dwarven civilization of Kinmelbil, "The Oaken Tomes", exhausted the last of its mines. Driven by lust for gold and rumors of the priceless and all but mythical metal adamantine, a team of seven colonists was dispatched to build a new home for the dwarves of Kinmelbil in the Smooth Points of Pride. The first year of diaries from the ill-fated foreman of the mine were recovered, giving some hint as to the beginnings of the fortress that once stood there, if not its mysterious and presumably gruesome fate...
—The Prologue

So begins the tale of the dwarven settlement of Koganusân, better known as "Boatmurdered." Perhaps the Dwarf Fortress Let's Play, Boatmurdered was a Succession Game played in one-game-year turns by Something Awful members that quickly became the stuff of legends.

The game started innocently en... actually, no, from the very beginning the poor dwarves were plagued by murderous elephants. Then came the food shortages. And the goblins. Then the floods. And then the magma. All of this was compounded by the usual problems of a succession game, with leaders at odds over how to run the settlement, half-finished and forgotten projects, an increasingly labyrinthine fort layout, and outbreaks of megalomania and supervillainy. By the end of the thread the fort is in ruins, but everyone agrees that they've created the root of evil in the dwarven universe.

Like all Dwarf Fortress games, the Let's Play ends violently (though to be fair, it started violently).

The Boatmurdered saga provides examples of:

  • Apocalyptic Log: The whole LP is essentially the story of one town's damnation. It lightens up in some places, but the elephant sieges, and especially the last foreman's entries, are pretty grim.

 Finished an amulet today. It is crafted of dolomite. It menaces with spikes of gneiss. It menaces with spikes of limestone. It depicts an image of an elephant. It depicts an image of a dwarf. The dwarf is cringing. The elephant is laughing at the dwarf.

Finished an amulet today. It is crafted of obsidian. It menaces with spikes of basalt. It menaces with spikes of granite. It depicts an image of a dwarf. It depicts an image of a elephant. The dwarf is in a fetal position. The elephant is striking the dwarf down.

Finished an amulet today. It is crafted of dolomite. It menaces with spikes of petrified wood. It menaces with spikes of alabaster. It depicts an image of a elephant. It depicts an image of a tentacle demon. It depicts an image of a dwarf. The tentacle demon is doing an unspeakable act to the dwarf. The elephant is laughing at the dwarf.

Finished an amulet today. It is crafted of marble. It menaces with spikes of jet. It menaces with spikes of onyx. It depicts an image of an elephant. It depicts an image of a goblin. It depicts an image if a human. It depicts an image of a dwarf. It depicts an image of me. The elephant is on fire. The goblin is on fire. The human is on fire. The dwarf is on fire. I am on fire. The elephant is screaming. The goblin is screaming. The human is screaming. The dwarf is screaming. I am screaming.

  • Ax Crazy: StarkRavingMad's username says it all. "I've started project 'Fuck The World,' a top secret attempt to funnel magma to the outside. I'll kill those elephants. I'll kill all those fucking elephants."
    • Near the end, mariguana unleashes the magma on a human caravan, the only allies the dwarves had. In a bit of karma, the smoke from the burning bodies provides the catalyst for the fort's collapse into madness.
  • Badass: GuerillaMedic is the only dwarf to leave Boatmurdered alive, thanks in part to his skill as a soldier and the fact that he's carrying two weapons and is wearing plate mail over his chain shirt.
    • Several of the elephants, as well. They kill so many dwarves, they actually manage to earn quite long titles. Which is not a good thing, but is very badass indeed. For, you know, enraged, homicidal pachyderms.
    • Sankis, after retiring from rule, survives several more generations of rulers (impressive in itself), attempts to drink lava, beats up a cow and a baby, and finally takes on an elite marksdwarf while on fire.

 Kire: I bet if Sankis ever dies, he explodes in an enormous detonation that will take out a large part of the mountain with it. Water will pool in the crater in the years afterward, and it will be remembered as "The Watery Crater Tomb of Sankis."

  • Because Destiny Says So: Unknowing consults his dice to see if a goblin siege will succeed. When they tell him it will, he goes to unlock the gates for the invaders.
  • Blessed Are the Cheesemakers: "Apparently the two most significant historical events here in Boatmurdered are elephants and cheese. Take a close look at the cheese ones actually, they aren't even carvings of cheese, but renditions of some other image of a cheese. They're freaking homages!"
    • Cross Quantum eventually tracks down the work being referenced, and agrees that "this image of a cheese speaks to the dwarven spirit, and will be a cultural treasure for generations to come."
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: "You need an aqueduct. The aqueduct needs to be made of stone. You just murdered dozens of our BEST TRADING PARTNERS, YOU BASTARD. You could also dig a new channel down south, so we could flood whichever hemisphere angered us."
  • Bunny Ears Lawyer: The list of fortress overseers has included a stereotypical DnD nerd who was kicked out of his mom's house and a university student expelled for smoking pot one time too many. Against all logic, neither of them managed to destroy the fortress.
  • Butt Monkey: Every dwarf inside the fortress, and everything outside the fortress when the two-keyed Dwarven Doomsday Lever is pulled.
  • Captain Obvious: "Our coin vault finally finishes. It contains the fortress's supply of coins."
  • Cluster F-Bomb: StarkRavingMad's log.
  • Corpse Land: An ASCII-based form of this graces the exterior of the fortress once they start magma-cannoning all their troubles away, since no one bothers to clean up the remains. Fanart tends to go a little overboard, depicting a massive wasteland of trashed goblin equipment and elephant bones.
  • Crapsack World: Even from the start. Boatmurdered sits right in the middle of the territory of a huge horde of elephants. The elephants are a constant, impossible-to-get-rid-of problem until the magma tunnels are completed and the outside is flooded with molten rock. Later, Boatmurdered turns into a complicated mess, with nobody knowing what does what, and nothing being managed or completely fixed until the eventual fall of the fortress.
    • As far as scenery, before PFTW is complete, the predominant things to see in front of the fortress are rampaging elephants and dead dwarves (and the dead dwarves' stuff, which is unusually popular...). Afterward, there's the fields of charred grass and dead ground, and heaps upon heaps of skeletonized elephants and goblins as far as the eye can see.
  • Creepy Child: Dodók Sabrefrenzies, who while Boatmurdered was tearing itself apart in a haze of ash and flame, happily spent her days playing in the bonehoard. "In all cultures, both name and place will come to elicit hushed tones and ultimately grow to be synonymous with doom of the very soul, itself."
  • Despair Event Horizon: Guerilla Medic, who by the end was ecstatic despite surviving a tantrum spiral that left only 25 dwarves alive. "He doesn't really care about anything anymore."
  • Disaster Dominoes: As expected of Dwarf Fortress, this is how Boatmurdered dies, with a chain reaction of murders that leads to hospital patients attacking each other in their beds while the fort burns down around them.
  • Doomsday Device: Project Fuck The World, which floods everything outside the fort with magma.
  • Downer Ending: This being Dwarf Fortress, you know it. Parts of the fortress catch fire and it soon turns into an inferno. The population of Boatmurdered is driven insane by a constant fog of smoke, causing a killing spree, and many dwarves to simply walk into burning sections of the fortress. There are soon only two dwarves left (Most of the others walked into the fortress and caught fire), the ruler and a child, and the ruler abandons the settlement, and the child.
  • Driven to Suicide: Not uncommon throughout the Let's Play, mostly due to routine fey moods. Later, smoke and miasma cause a lot of dwarves to "wander into the flames."
  • Due to the Dead: An attempt to build a necropolis for former rulers doesn't really pan out.

 Locus: Well at least we're resting peacefully in our tombs. In spirit. Probably underneath elephant remains, in the physical sense.

Bremen: I ran out of coffins. Then I ran out of designated graveyard space. Most of you are spending your eternal rest in the garbage dump.

  • Elaborate Underground Base: Made all the worse by the fact that it's a succession game, with each new overseer effectively coming in blind.

 StarkRavingMad: Room full of levers, I don't know what any of 'em do and I'm not going to try and figure it out. With the way this place is set up, any one of them could make the whole place collapse in like an accordion. Armok help me.

  • Evil Is One Big Happy Family: During an impromptu elephant siege, a force of goblins shows up to join the party on the dwarves' doorstep. "I think they're starting their own little town in there, elephants and goblins living together in peace and harmony, joined only by burning hatred for dwarves."
  • Goddamn Elephants
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: When a flood traps a number of dwarves outside, Sankis decides to use Project: Fuck the World to evaporate the water. Instead this ends up scalding the dwarves to death.
  • Got Volunteered: StarkRavingMad's starts his section as an innkeeper with no plans to change. Then a group of guards tell him he has the great honor of being appointed governor of Boatmurdered, and turning down such an honour would be ill-advised. He has a sneaking suspicion this has something to do with his recently discovering gold.
    • At one point, one of the commentators suggests that new "migrants" are actually adventuring parties who get kidnapped and press-ganged into joining the fortress.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: The effect of ludicrous amounts of miasma that build up, thanks to the un-dealt-with corpses. This contributes directly to the Tantrum spiral following the loss of Sankis's masterpiece.
  • Incendiary Exponent: Sankis' final rampage is made all the more awesome by how on fire he is during it.

 "Did I mention he is on fucking fire!?"

  • Hope Spot: The third to last ruler Doctor Zero enjoys a peaceful, productive reign. Relations with both the elves and humans improve, and the "Fuck the World" lever is not used at all. It begins to seem like Boatmurdered may be able to outlast its doom a little longer ...only for everything to spiral out of control soon after.
  • It's Quiet... Too Quiet: "...I'm starting to worry that something's about to happen."
  • It Got Worse: Boatmurdered's history in a nutshell. "And you know, sometimes you think it really can't get much worse... and then it does."
  • Kill'Em All: Only two dwarves survive Boatmurdered, one a death-seeking veteran, the other a completely insane little girl.
  • Kill It with Fire: The magma flooding device is used to this effect frequently.
  • LARP: Unknowing plays his character as a Wizards and Warlocks-obsessed nerd who stumbled into Boatmurdered after being kicked out of his mother's and was mistaken for an actual wizard. He tries to cast "spells" during battles, but laments that he fumbles all his attack rolls.
  • Let's Play: The go-to example for Dwarf Fortress LP's.
  • Look on My Works Ye Mighty and Despair: mariguana decides to devote the entire fortress workforce to building a monument to himself. He runs out of time and succeeds in constructing the bottom half of a giant lizard.
  • Mad Artist: Sankis, once he retires as ruler, spends his days as the fort's premier engraver, creating reliefs of flaming goblins, elephants murdering dwarves, burning dwarves, burning humans, cheese, or other reliefs of cheese.
  • Madness Mantra:
    • "All burn..."
    • And in the epilogue: "Any place is better. I must press on."
  • Meaningful Name: The players frequently Lampshade how disturbingly prophetic the Fortress's title turned out to be.
  • Mordor: After an accident involving an accidental water flood and the release of lava, Boatmurdered's environnement became this.

  "I love that Boatmurdered has turned into some sort of horrendous evil eyesore on the continent. I'm picturing groups of hardy adventurers gearing up to assault the place just based on the barren ash- and skeleton-filled landscape in front of it."

  • Paint the Town Red: "Hope you like miasma!"
  • Pointless Doomsday Device: "A note to my successors: Don't pull the switch near the chasm. It causes everything past it to die from magma."
    • Why do we even have that lever!?
    • Notably averted by Project Fuck The World, which in all ways sounds like a Pointless Doomsday Device (it works by flooding the entire playable area with lava, no joke) but is extremely practical for getting rid of elephants.
    • A few of these arise purely by accident, due to abandoned and re-purposed projects. "In looking for the lever to the farm, I found something that might be it nearby. It might also flood the seige workshop, but I'm not exactly sure why that would be a good thing." [It does.]
  • Pregnant Badass: "A few more war dogs ran out and attacked. I have to say I'm slightly terrified by them. One of the bitches actually gave birth while she was attacking, and her puppies joined in on the carnage."
  • Redshirt Army: "The recruits (minus all those drinking, eating, and sleeping) let out a mighty shout and charge! For the glory of Boatmurdered! No one can fault their bravery... Only their results."
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: At one point a force of kobolds shows up, takes one look at the place, and immediately leaves.
    • StarkRavingMad ends his turn by paying off some guy to pretend he's him, digging an escape tunnel, and running into the night. The next LPer does a Call Back to this by accidentally entering the fort through the same tunnel. It collapses behind him.
  • The Siege: "The place isn't a total loss, just so long as you, you know, don't open the front door." Once the magma tunnel is completed, however, sieges stop being an issue.
  • Siege Engines: This is used early on as a defense against the Elephants but proves mostly ineffective and is later overshadowed by project "Fuck the World".
  • Spanner in the Works:

 But the door is stuck open! Sabotage! That Elephant sympathizer! That traitor! That Quisling! That...

...Monarch butterfly?

Apparently, showing incredible coordination, a monarch butterfly flew into the door workings just before the time of the attack and jammed it open. With all the bodies and items left by the elephants, no one is doing such a low priority task as cleaning up bug remains.

  • Too Dumb to Live: The dwarves, of course. An elephant kills a dwarf and starts to walk away, but then a bunch of other dwarves rush outside to loot the body, thus provoking the elephant and beginning the cycle anew.
    • Former ruler "Emperor" Sankis spends a few months trying to drink from a river of magma, but snaps out of it and goes back to making horrifying engravings.
    • Another dwarf somehow falls down a well and begins to die of thirst. All of his friends are able to get water around him while the stuck dwarf dehydrates.
    • In character, one of the later overseers throws out the documentation of the fortress's various Pointless Doomsday Devices. This ends about how you'd expect it to end.
  • True Art Is Angsty: In-Universe example: much of the art produced by the inhabitants of Boatmurdered focuses on elephants killing dwarfs, or the results of magma floods.
    • Unknowing's character is trying to write the next fantasy epic between managing the fort. "The halls echoed with a cacophony of screams from the unspeakable atrocities the dwarves endured before succumbing to the sweet embrace of death. On the positive side, progress on my novel has increased exponentially."
    • "That boy needs counseling."
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: In-Universe, much of the rest of Boatmurdered's art is either renditions of cheese or homages to renditions of cheese, for no explicable reason.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: "Asides from the wounded soldier lying unconscious, starving, and dehydrated in the main hallway, the remainder of the summer remains uneventful."
  • Wave Motion Gun: Project: Fuck The World.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer: Once the magma flooding device is in place, it becomes the standard response to threats. Rampaging elephants? Pull the lever! Horde of goblins? Pull the lever! A Colossus? Pull the lever! A human caravan? Pull the l- wait no DAMMIT!
  • Xanatos Gambit: Sankis traps former ruler Mystic Mongol in a separate room and pits him against an elephant, which he wrestles and sends into a trap, sustaining only an injured leg. However, Sankis planned for him to win all along.
    • "He now lies useless in his room. I did not wish to kill him as that would merely lead to a replacement. He will suffer in his room until his own kind forget about him, where he will slowly starve to death alone."
      • Sankis posted: Out of seemingly nowhere Mystic Mongol, Judicator of Boatmurdered, throws himself into the water and drowns.
  • Zerg Rush: The early days of the fortress have hordes of mandrills terrorizing the fortress until dogs can be trained to dispatch them. Then come the enraged pachyderms, to which the dwarves respond by conscripting the entire fort's population and charging.

 Thus ends the official written history of the fortress known as Boatmurdered. May their tortured souls rest in peace.

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