noseless dogs

Well this is pretty much the saddest thing to ever happen in Dwarf Fortress.

Solonvir was the only dog my fortress, Atisked, had for most of its history.

In the fort’s early days, before it had an established military, Atisked was besieged by a force of goblins and trolls. The fort is surrounded by a high wooden pallisade, which should have kept them out, except that I’d forgotten that in the most recent update, creatures can now climb. I should have cut back the forest around the fort’s perimeter, because the invaders were able to climb a tree trunk, run along its branches, and drop down into the fort’s courtyard. There was a brutal massacre of the civilians in the courtyard, and it probably would have been the end of the settlement if it wasn’t for the pack of seven war dogs. After a bloody fight, six dogs were dead, along with all of the invaders except for one: their leader, Nish. 

The last surviving dog leapt on Nish. Although he lost his nose to an axe strike and his front paw was crushed to pulp by a kick, the dog finally managed to drag Nish down and tear him apart. For killing the goblin leader the dwarves named him Solonvir, which apparently means “Flagstar” in dwarven.

Although missing his nose (“How does he smell?” “Terrible!”) and one front paw, Solonvir pretty much became the fort’s mascot. He never really needed to do much more in the way of defense, but he’d wander all around the fort, just doing his own thing, and I’d often spot him in odd places. He was easily recognizable not only because he was the only dog left in the fortress, but because his icon would always be flashing because of his permanent injuries.

17 years later, and the fortress has four militia squads fully outfitted in steel, a pack of giant War Tigers, and, just in case anything really nasty crawls out of the depths, a tame Dragon. A noseless, crippled war dog is not exactly the front line of defense any more. Solonvir presumably knew this, because he just dropped dead of old age, peacefully, right on the fortress’s front steps.

I engraved a stone slab for him, and placed it in the royal mausoleum next to the king’s tomb.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have some FORGOTTEN BEAST DEADLY DUST in my eye.

“So I decided to take Voldy out on errands. And I bought him this toy at the store right? Because as a good parent I let him walk around and sniff them until he found one he was chill with. It ended up being this stuffed Olaf from that Frozen movie. But he’s had that thing for a solid week now and rarely lets it go and it was getting pretty nasty and needed to be cleaned before disease set in. So I took it and washed it and it’s nose fell off and now I have a noseless snowman and a dog who’s staring at me like I murdered his child. Fun times in the Walsh house.”