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Anvils are required to build forges, either conventional or magma powered. At least one is absolutely required if your fortress intends to do any metalworking whatsoever, including weaponsmithing, armorsmithing, blacksmithing and metal crafting.

Smithing an anvil uses the blacksmithing skill.

Since the only way to make an anvil is with a metalsmith's forge, your first anvil must be sourced from outside of your colony, either before embark or by later trading. Anvils require three metal bars (currently only one barBug:130) to be smithed at a forge - once you have one to begin with. As this is an infinite loop, the origins of the first anvil are hard to discern.*

Acquiring an Anvil[edit]

A standard (no quality) iron anvil is included by default in starting equipment, arriving with your dwarves in your wagon, though it is possible for no anvils to be available during the embark screen. If you choose not to bring an anvil, you are refunded the 100 point cost, to be used for other purchases of items or skills. You will then have to trade for your first anvil with the dwarven (autumn) or human caravans that usually (but not always!) carry one or more iron anvils (at a cost of 100☼), and/or steel anvils. If this fails the first time around, you may also request one from the dwarven liaison, if you are willing to pay an increased price to guarantee that at least one anvil arrives with next year's caravan.

Once you have an anvil and have built a forge, smithing an anvil requires one bar of metal.

Tearing down a forge retrieves the anvil used to build it, which can then be stored, traded, melted, or re-used to build another forge.

Anvil Properties[edit]

Anvils may be made of iron, steel or adamantine. Rarely, dwarves in strange moods will make anvils out of other metals; due to a bug, the game permits them to be used in any forge regardless of their fire or magma safety. The material used does not seem to affect the performance of the forge, nor does the anvil's quality.

Anvils are considered furniture and will be stored in a furniture stockpile if not utilized in a forge.

Anvil Origins?[edit]

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  • One theory of the anvils origin is that a dwarf struck by a strange mood made one of stone or bone (though this isn't actually possible in-game). Another more radical theory put forward by dwarven philosopher Urist McTaggart is that the first one was made of wood in a similar manner. This was deemed a heresy and he was later sentenced to be hammered for being an elf sympathizer by an angry mayor who had a strange fondness for glass.
  • Recently unearthed documents seem to indicate that the anvil was the first major tool produced by the earliest dwarven societies. It is generally accepted that humans first created the plow, and oral histories record that the first accomplishment of the elves was the domestication of forest animals.
    There are questions regarding the implications of this revelation, however. Skeptics question how the anvil was created without a hammer, how the metal was shaped, and what social, cultural, or environmental pressures could have required the invention of what is, when reduced to its most basic nature, a flat surface used to position objects scheduled to be struck repeatedly.
    Dwarven scholars suggest that the first anvils were made of stone, not metal, and were little more than flattened stone blocks, chipped with flint or obsidian. This possibility has sparked an interest among dwarf nerds in attempting to recreate stone anvil replicas, but such enterprises are generally regarded with indifference by dwarven society at large.
  • One researcher posits that all anvils originate from the FirstAnvil. Where does it come from? The FirstAnvil, of course. It's anvils all the way down.
  • The dwarven philosopher Urist McStotle has recently suggested that the existence of Anvils is evidence that dwarven civilisation will eventually develop a method of visiting (or at the very least, sending anvils to) the past.
  • Regardless of dwarven theories some humans believe that there must have been early technologies to produce an anvil without the usage of a hammer or an anvil. While improving the production of anvils through the dissemination and use of anvils over the centuries, the original method was forgotten. Dwarven philosophers argue that dwarven technology has always been driven by perfection from the beginning and nothing was developed over time. Besides, dwarven history never forgets.
  • The first anvil was given as a gift from the god of smithing. Engraved with the secrets of mineralogy and metalworking, it taught dwarves everything they know of finding, smelting and shaping metals. There is considerable theological debate going on over WHICH god of smithing was responsible.
  • The first anvil is the only remnant of the previous kalpa. Every time Armok the World Eater unmakes the universe, He leaves one anvil behind. The dwarves inevitably find it and use it to make more anvils, one of which is carried over to the next world, completing the cycle.