78

The dwarves can keep the bees in the caverns, but provide them with suitable exits. You have your beekeepers on the upper levels of the cities. You'll need ventilation somehow to allow for your city to breathe, so these vents can be plenty useful for the bees to exit and re-enter. The beekeepers don't need to ever leave the caverns (Except, perhaps, to get ...


68

Some things need to be addressed here. Can the structures be made? When does a mine get too hot? What about asphyxiation? What about food? It should be noted that many of the issues here can be solved or compounded by local factors, so this answer applies in general cases, not specifics. Where the dwarves decide to mine, what rock they are mining, and other ...


67

Manna One option is to make the stronger creatures deeply dependent on magic/manna and put a source at the bottom. It seeps up through the dungeon. The deeper you go the easier powerful magic becomes and the biggest, scariest and most powerful creatures need that manna to survive. The creatures might want to leave but they need to stay for roughly the ...


52

Core-scrapers Buoyancy is a problem. The main issue with getting a building that deep is the water table. If you build something deep under the water table and want that thing to be full of air, it will really want to float. This is even a problem with recently buried coffins during floods. So, if the building is being built where people typically live (...


52

Radiotrophic melanin. Underground there is more ambient hard radiation. Radon gas is a prime example and a major source for radiation exposure in subterranean spaces. The Drow use this radiation to supplement their metabolic activity in the same manner as radiotrophic fungi. http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2017/ph241/white-t2/ . Robertson et al. ...


50

Insects Tasty tasty insects. If insects aren't plentiful enough in the Labyrinth, he can supplement his diet with spiders. The Minotaur needs food which is calorically dense, but doesn't require sharp, meat eating teeth. Insects, specifically cooked ones, are the perfect solution. They can be crunched up and eaten, providing a high protein high calorie ...


40

Solid is a relative thing No caves in sand No caves in water No caves in magma No (permanent) caves in ice sheet No caves in soft soil No caves in peat bogs In short: No caves in anything fundamentally unstable Only caves where you have surface rock An old, geologically stable world, where the mountains have eroded down. Land is low lying and either ...


39

Is there a physics or engineering(which i presume) reason why we use this big flat bore instead of the pointy one? A minimum area cutting surface is best in hard rock; so disk beats cone. If memory serves, the flat face of the real tunnel-boring machines is pressed -- with enormous force -- against the rock face, as it rotates. The cutting wheels and ...


39

From my experience with dwarf fortress, what you want to do is trap the dragon and use it as a source of FUN. Basically trap it and use it to terrorize prisoners and bad dwarfs. Lava The funnest way is to create a trap passage way. One roughly double the length of Glori and positioned so that if he wants to get access into the inner sanctum of your city, ...


38

Use honeydew, either as intermediary or final product Aphids feed on plant matter. When they are eating plant sap, they excrete honeydew, a sugary liquid. You could reasonably make an alcoholic beverage from honeydew, although milking aphids sounds like a chore. However, certain bees will do it for you. They can take this honeydew and use it to make ...


34

Is there a physics or engineering(which i presume) reason why we use this big flat bore instead of the pointy one? Yes. A bore is essentially a really big drill bit. As such, the shape of the bit is determined by the material you are cutting. The cartoon bore has a twist bit that has a high twist rate resulting in a large surface area for the swarf (the ...


32

It's going to be very difficult for the Minotaur to be self-reliant. As you state, this maze is not a very good place to grow food. So here's how you do it: Jurassic Park Style Have a narrow, vertical shaft leading down into the heart of the maze (its existence can be a closely guarded secret). Lower chunks of meat in for the Minotaur to feed on. Only ...


32

The myth of the Minotaur states that the monster must eat humans for sustenance. It also states that Athens was obliged to provide seven young noblemen and seven noble maidens each one, seven or nine years (sources differ) as a sacrifice to feed to the minotaur. Assuming that the minotaur requires 3000kcal per day as per the OP's question, and that a 70kg ...


32

Honey Mines from The Lost Honey Mines of Texas These caves are filled with millenia worth of the bee's endeavors, as far back and as far down as you dare to explore. Dwarven honey miners brave the dangers to bring back ancient honey, as concentrated as amber. It is from this that they brew their fabled mead. I am very pleased that this question was ...


31

Mining There are a number of species on earth, including insects, mammals, birds, and reptiles that create massive structures underground, so it's not inconceivable that such burrowing could be done with medieval technology. In fact, we were able to create fairly incredible mines in medieval times. Perhaps early dwarves were burrowing humans, and they ...


30

Yes, and it's being worked on right now. The Above Below project aims to take a disused mine in Arizona and convert it into a underground building. The terraces of the mine will be covered by a large domed roof, with some skylights and artificial lighting providing natural light. The building will be 900 feet (274 metre) tall deep and 300 acres (1.2 km²) in ...


30

The maze isn't place to keep the Minotaur trapped. The maze is a Minotaur nest. The Minotaur is a mythical beast. It is an infovore: it eats information, and excretes mazes (information waste). It is attracted to civilization because civilization generates tasty highly abstract information: lists of goods, taxes, areas, names of citizens, salaries, ...


28

Open Pit Mining The giants are big and strong. They can move a lot of dirt. A pit mine directly over the dwarven city is difficult to stop - the dwarves could collapse parts of it, but only by doing the giant's job for them (making the mine bigger). It will cause casualties but presumably the giants are willing to accept some of those as part of a siege. ...


27

You are right that tunnels under the ocean wouldn't work, they would be flooded quite apart from anything else. Your most likely case is that they got there by accident and then got lucky. The founder population were on a reasonably large ship/boat or possibly a group of boats that got driven south by a storm and eventually wrecked against the antarctic ...


27

First, just as executives tend to seek out the top floors of a building the the most powerful of entities likewise seem to gravitate to the lower, less accessible regions of a dungeon. Perhaps they just don't wish to be disturbed by every nuisance attempting to explore the area. Better things to do with time kind of argument. Allowing the lesser or less ...


26

Want to cause all sorts of trouble for people living underground? Just divert the nearest river to the mouth of a cave that leads into the Dwarven habitation and let gravity and hydrodynamics do the hard work for you. Any giants capable of the earth-moving necessary for open-pit mining (as Dan Smolinske suggested) can dig a trench and drop a few boulders ...


25

Use an isometric projection. Source This will let you depict multiple levels and whether tunnels link up with one another or not. This is a map for getting around, not for urban planning or measurements. It lets people get from A to B, but gives about as much perspective about the whole layout as any city map might. People living in cubics might have ...


21

Something like this... Depiction Choices The cartography of such a map as UnderLondon can choose whatever shapes they please to convey the needed information. The above map uses rhomboids to convey a sense of depth but note that Big Dome 300 has a different shape to indicate that it is, in fact, a giant domed cavern. Likewise, the shafts can be shown as ...


21

I would like to suggest a fourth possibility in addition to the three in the original question, that the Dwarves are advanced technologically enough to have artificial lighting. Some people may think that Dwarves with artificial lighting are inconsistent with a fantasy setting. Remember these lines from "The Song of Durin", The Fellowship of the Ring, Book ...


19

Hit it in the voonerables 'Im sure a hero will turn up in time,' said Carrot. With some new sort weapon, or something. And strike at its voonerable spot.' 'What's one of them? Said Nobby 'A spot. Where it's voonerable. My grandad used to tell me stories. Hit a dragon in its voonerables, he said and you've killed it' Lacking a hero with ...


18

Mining Such vast underground structures occur naturally and as others have noted in areas of suitable rock people actually have built and used large underground complexes. The real question is why the Dwarves would stay underground instead of living above ground in areas of harder rock. It would help if we assumed some magic that gives benefits either to or ...


18

Because the dome is impermeable; rock isn't. Or more accurately, the ground is not impermeable. Cracks run this way and that, soil lets gases seep through it, and it all shifts and cracks anew frequently (see: earthquakes). Further, the rocks themselves could pose hazards for those living there, everything from dust getting into the electronics and wreaking ...


16

NASA have considered this for the moon: http://www.theverge.com/2014/7/18/5915743/nasa-moons-underground-caves-could-house-astronauts "A habitat placed in a pit — ideally several dozen meters back under an overhang — would provide a very safe location for astronauts: no radiation, no micrometeorites, possibly very little dust, and no wild day-night ...


16

The main problem actually is where do you put the rock that you dig out. You would either need access to the surface to dump it somewhere or some way to compress it and then use the compressed rock to make the walls of the tunnel. For digging through rock close to habitation you would definitely not be using explosives. Modern tunneling machines are quite ...


16

Burn them out. Get extremely large quantities of flammable oils and other fuels and start pouring it down every air shaft and entrance. Put large smokey fires with toxic chemicals on lower entrances, and when they ignite the oils in the upper passages and air shafts it will pull in oxygen from below, drawing the smoke into the caves. In a house fire it ...


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