Thursday, 26 January 2017

Aephyus Lantern Year 6



Spurred on by the insistent Grace; Caleb, Thalia and Lorena took the newcomer with them to seek out the guardian of the hidden glade. As they made their way they came across a tome resting on a pedestal. Caleb opened the pages and the survivors looked at wonder at the contents but despite how hard they tried they couldn't discern any meaning. As they were peering at it Lorena let out a cry and motioned to the others to run as quickly as they could. Before them a wildfire raged, scalding them with its heat and burning to ash anything that lived on the plain of faces. As quickly as it erupted it died away, soon the ground was cool enough to walk on and the survivors carried on with their hunt.

The Flower Knight Himself


At first it seemed like little remained where the fire had touched but eventually they passed from the lands that had been damaged into new ones. Here there were signs of others, they passed by a gibbet, unenthusiastic to examine whatever inhabited it. Their wish to avoid the horrors of their world though were for nought, as only moments later a monolith of flesh erupted from the ground in front of them. It was truly a terrible sight to behold as it stretched into the sky like an amalgamation of organic matter and malice. Grace started forward to examine it but Caleb halted her as he instinctually felt the malevolence of the disgusting tower. The survivors circled around the monolith, but for the rest of their days the horror of it would stay with them.

They trudged on until they found the forest gate that the old crone had described before expiring. It begrudingly opened for them as they pushed through, but the battle through its thorny branches did leave them feeling weak and bleeding. They were rewarded though with a gracious aroma which enhanced their understanding of the world around them and made them eager to find their quarry. It was only a little further, and while they had to navigate a field of flesh eventually they found the Flower Knight.

Thalia leads the way through the Forest Gate


The flower knight gazed arrogantly at the survivors as they approached him from a ring of flowers. As they went to step inside the ring it burst into action, unleashing a cloud of noxious pollen and striking at Caleb's chest. The blows are weak though and are only enough to temporarily halt Caleb's advance. Content that he has warned off the intruders the Flower Knight carefully moves back to the centre of his domain.

Caleb just wants to pick flowers but the Flower Knight has other ideas. I'm assuming this is also the flower patch where he finds the tasty skull.


The survivors though are intent though on slaughtering the strange creature and unleash a volley of arrows at the knight, all of which it deftly parries and dodges. Instantly it reacts, by rushing back out at Caleb and swiping its blade across his head. Thalia attempts to use its distraction to her advantage and slashes across its helm with her twilight sword. While the blow is true the Flower Knight reacts with a lightning fast riposte which injures her foot. The knight's assault though is halted when Lorena hurls a dart into the back of the monster's delicate knee. In an instant the Flower Knight returns to the centre of his fairy ring and somehow transports Caleb right in front of him. The monster lets out a flurry of kicks with his bladed limbs but Caleb is able to dodge them all.

Is In response Caleb smashes his shield into the Knight's shoulder as Thalia lets loose an arrow into its legs. Caleb attempts once again to run out of the fairy ring but even as he exits it he is again somehow pulled to its centre and is shocked when the monster impales him with a venomous sting to his chaste, while slashing at his waist armour. Desperately Caleb lashes out and flees from the monster. The other survivors pelt the Knight with arrows and Grace hacks at it with her Katar, but none can properly close with the monster as it only seems to grow stronger the closer it is to the centre of its fairy ring.

The Flower Knight becomes wholly fixated upon Caleb, teleporting him back into the ring of flowers everytime he tries to escape and attacking him. It is all Caleb can do to keep his shield up and dodge the lightning fast blows of the knight's rapier as well as its poisonous stinger. His fellow survivors do all they can to help him but none can stay long in the fairy ring without falling victim to the noxious pollen. They rain darts and arrows at the Knight weakening it greatly.

The Flower Knight is not by any means a 'tough' monster but a lot of his hit locations can make it very difficult to land a good hit. 


As Lorena attempts to deliver the killing blow she is trapped by the Flower Knight who slashes ugly wounds into her chest and knocks her to the ground. It then brings down its pommel on her head but she avoids her skull being crushed thanks to her armour. Lorena crawls out of the fairy ring, desperate to live and her life is spared when Grace dashes into the ring and with all her might hacks at the Flower Knight with the Butcher's Cleaver. Furiously she hacks and bludgeons at the once graceful creature until the Knight is left twisted and broken on the ground.

The survivors rejoice and begin to collect all the flowers in the grove. Caleb though wanders at the edge of the fairy ring and finds something resting under a clump of rotten flowers. Curiosly he pushes aside the debris and discovers a decayed skull. Suddenly a compulsion overtakes him and he begins to eat the skull. The bone breaks into powder as he chews it and Caleb finds the experience exhilirating but is wise enough to hide his actions from the other survivors.

The mood is sombre as the survivors return to their settlement and they are upset to learn that while they were away a group of armoured strangers had arrived and killed five of their number.Grace though, is treated like a hero upon return to the settlement and she excitedly tells the tale of their battle with the Flower Knight, in particular acting out the way that the Knight would rapidly attack amongst a spiral of petals. This is great for the morale of the settlement and inspires them to make two might Vespertine Bows from the various plants and flowers brought back to the settlement. Curiously, the symposium the survivors usually hold to innovate new ideas is not held this year, as Caleb sticks to himself. Gaea, still contemplating the nature of reality, notices Caleb's withdrawal from the group. There will be trouble soon.....

**********************COMMENTS**********************************************

This year was almost all good news, the hunt went well and I had a really enjoyable fight against the Flower Knight which was made relatively challenging by him drawing the Noxious Cloud mood and another which meant he would basic attack anyone in the fairy ring at the end of his turn. This really drew the fight out as I was very reliant on my ranged weapons to take him down. I was also lucky that he continually picked on Caleb, the survivor most able to survive his attention.

One tip here for new players with hunting the flower knight is that you shouldn't hesitate to pick up tokens from "The forest wants what it wants" event. The Flower Knight has very low toughness so you can easily afford -1S tokens, and the bleed isn't too bad if you have a bandage or two lying around. That said I've only fought the L1 so it might be different if you fight a higher level. In my mind though it's almost always worth ensuring that you actually get to have the showdown.

The bad news though was drawing Skull Eater and having Caleb (the de facto leader) succumb to illness. While he hasn't been noticed there will be a murder next year. As such I used the Lantern Hoard to age up Grace so she will be the victim (and come back to life as she has the sleeping virus flower gear). Who knows what will happen then but it gives me the best chance of a decent outcome (I'd love to get to pick 3 fighting arts and disorders for Caleb.)

In terms of gear crafting I had the resources to build two Vespertine Bows so I went ahead and did that. These are incredibly powerful weapons and by building two at once I will only have one necrotoxic mistletoe event to deal with. This meant I wasn't able to innovate but at this point I was a little ahead (thanks to getting ammonia from the White Lion hunt) so I was willing to not innovate this turn.

Hope you enjoyed and keen to hear from you. 



Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Aephyus Lantern Year 5

After hunting the proud White Lions, the search for a Screaming Antelope was a new challenge for the survivors and they advanced more cautiously, knowing that new challenges and threats potentially awaited them. Caleb lead the survivors on towards an area where he had previously seen many acanthus plants growing, stating that it was as good a place as any to begin their hunt. When they arrived though they found that the plants had been uprooted and half eaten, certain evidence that a screaming antelope had passed this way recently. It wasn't long until they were able to pick up the trail of their quarry and they rushed excitedly after it. They ran and ran until tiredness took them and they had to pause to rest. Lorena suggested that their hunt may have been too eager and may have caused the skittish antelope to flee from them. Thalia was less sure about this, but either way it was clear that the trail had gone cold. 

Always good to be hunting a new quarry!


The hunting party continued on, coming to a portucullis standing alone on the plain of faces. It seemed to serve no obvious purpose and the group moved carefully around it lest it hide some unseen peril. In time they regained the scent of their prey and were lead down a strange path littered with the bones of dead monsters. The survivors hurriedly collect what they can. As he reaches down to harvest the bones Caleb pauses as his glance discovers something odd on the ground. One of the stone faces appears in the likeness of his own, but older and wiser. It is then that a scream pierces the darkness, the survivors rush towards it and in a clearing find their quarry, the Screaming Antelope, warily grazing amongst a clump of acanthus. 

Gratuitous beauty shot of the Antelope. My friend actually painted this for me and did a fantastic job of it.  


As the survivors try to surround the monster, Caleb stumbles and alerts the beast. In an explosion of movement it dashes straight at him, kicks him in the chest and then bolts away from him towards Lorena. Thalia and Icarus, both armed with Cat Gut Bows unleash a volley of clawed arrows which come to rest in the screaming terror's ear and knee, rendering it maimed and slower for the rest of the fight. Lorena attempts to gut their prey with her Katar but as she strikes the Antelope spasms ferociously and its black hooves strike her hard in the chest.

Frightened, the monster bucks wildly, forcing the survivors to keep their distance with the exception of Caleb who closes with it and attempts to bash it with his shield. It all goes awry though and the Screaming Antelope onto him and devours him with its grotesque undermaw. Lorena is horrified by the sight and is frozen for long moments staring into the antelope's restless eyes as it tries to digest her friend. It is the archers who save Caleb, as they let loose another hail of arrows into the beast's flank, causing it to regurgitate Caleb. Panicking, the beast bolts, smashing Caleb over and thrashing its hooves at Thalia's head. The survivors pursue the wounded abomination but as they try to strike it their weapons are ripped from their hands by the multitude of tiny hands which infest the monster's hide!

The fateful moment before Caleb is swallowed whole by the Antelope. 


Eventually though, Thalia manages to bring her Twilight Sword down onto its shank, causing it to sink to the ground in pain. This opens the way for Caleb, furious from her near death experience in the Antelope's Gut, to kill the monster by bashing its head open with repeated strikes of his shield. 

The return home seemed as if it would be relatively uneventful, most of the survivors had little to say and Thalia felt stronger as she reflected on how this new hunt had differed from the five other times she had battle for the good of the settlement. Almost within sight of home though, it appeared again! A strange spot hung there upon the ground, its silhouette reminding the survivors eerily of themselves of Caleb's former form. Without hesitation Caleb stepped into it and was transformed back to his former self and with the strange girdle absent. Caleb only smiled at his shocked companions and joked that he would try not to make a habit of doing such things in the future. 

Life at the settlement goes on and the survivors work on constructing more leather armour as well as a lucky charm. As they work industriously they hear a cry from the Lantern Hoard and discover that Starbuck has knocked over a lantern. She picks it up cautiously, but then shakes it vigorously causing it to heat up and burn her hands. She lets out a roar of triumphant surprise and declares that with heat they can accomplish many new feats of creation. She then starts a warm fire using the lanterns and the survivors gather around and tell stories. 

It is only late into the night that Freya steps forward to admit an old secret to her fellow survivors. She tells them of a forest gate beyond which she once saw a strange knight who tended flowers. As she tells the joke she moved off into the darkness and was followed by the settlement. To their surprise her tale was real and they reached a gleaming green gate and through it a peaceful glade. It was then that Freya fell over dead, a ghostly flower bursting from her lips with her last breath. Gently the survivors carry her corpse back to the settlement and leave her in state prior to burying her. One survivor, Grace, waits until no one is looking and grasps the blossom from her lips. 

Next year's quarry.


As the days go by Grace finds that she cannot shake an obsession to return to the glade and she pleads with Caleb and Lorena to take her on the next hunt to track down the glade and its guardian. 

*********************************COMMENTS*************************************

This was another year that went relatively well. The hunt for an antelope can be pretty brutal but I was lucky that Devoured Grounds balanced out Skittish. The fight itself was a bit more hectic than I made it sound and I was definitely a bit nervous when Caleb got swallowed up whole and Lorena fluffed her attacks. I also felt the consequences of lazy positioning a few times as the Antelope dashed all over the place and knocked over survivors a few times. Ultimately though everyone managed to get their weapon proficiency so it was a good fight.

I laughed when I drew A Strange Spot again and randomly determined that it would be Caleb who went back into it. I sort of house ruled that he would come back out as he was before (except with the buff from the first time he changed) with the exception that the belt of gender swap would be gone. It was sort of a weird situation but I figured this made more sense than him keeping it. 

The settlement phase went smoothly as I managed to pick up the lantern oven and scrap smelting innovations (I'm starting to amass a decent amount of Iron and Scrap) and I continued to work on a set of Leather Armour. Next year I'll depart to hunt the Flower Knight with the aim of picking up a Vespertine Bow.

Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed it.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Aephyus Lantern Year 4


Caleb, Lorena, Gaea and Thalia approached the Butcher carefully. The monster stood there motionless, letting its oversized cleavers hang loosely at its side. The only indication that it was somehow alive at all was the misty air from its deep and heavy breathing steaming the cold darkness. Lorena motions to Caleb to flank the monster from a giant stone face and he and Thalia move to take up their positions as Gaea and Lorena move forward to confront the abomination.

Once in place Caleb and Thalia both loose their clawed arrows both of which lodge in the Butcher's Gut and knock it down to the ground. Seeing its vulnerability Lorena surges forward and slashes its greaves and thick cape to shreds with her Katar. As the armoured monster scrambles back to its feet Gaea moves in front of it and readies her shield.

A pretty good way to start your first Nemesis showdown.


In a whirlwind of fury and blades, the Butcher lashes out at the survivors around it. It launches a massive blow in an attempt to Hew Gaea in half but her shield takes the force. Frustrated by its lack of success the Butcher carves wildly at the Green Saviour but she is too fast and he manages only to just nick her rawhide headband.

Thalia uses the confusion to dash behind the beast and bring her Twilight Sword down across its unnerving mask as Caleb lets loose a hail of arrows which pierce the Butcher's cape and gauntlets. Lorena piles in with more attacks and breaks the nemesis' crown. In an instant it lashes out and sends Thalia, Lorena and Gaea sprawling to the ground. Seeing the vulnerability of his fellow survivors Caleb calls out to Gaea to rise. With effort she does and she brings her shield up to protect her fallen comrades. The Butcher is enraged by her defiance and kicks and hews at her but for naught. Gaea is fulfilling her destiny as a saviour of Aephyus and no harm comes to her.

Gaea was more than the Butcher could handle throughout the fight. I really can't overstate how much a Green Saviour helps when fighting the Butcher. 


Thalia then rips away the Butcher's Cape with a swing of her twilight Blade, but is knocked away as the Butcher hews away wildly at the survivors. Gaea wears the brutal blows the best she can and applies a bandage to staunch the blood that is now flowing from her chest. From the vantage point of the giant stone face Caleb continues to let fly arrow after arrow into the Butcher, bringing it close to the point of death. It took until this point in the fight but it seemed now that the Butcher realised the mortal threat posed to it by Caleb and it rushed furiously at her to cut her to pieces. It came to naught though as the Butcher once again found its path blocked by the resolute Green Saviour and his cleavers found only empty air and her shield.

With a knowing smile and a nod from Thalia, Caleb let loose the killing arrow which buried itself in the Butcher's Furious Scrag. In an explosion of blood and gore the beast was decapitated, though its corpse still stood lifeless in place. All of the survivors let out cries of celebration and inspired by Gaea's efforts learnt to better evade their enemies strikes. They also manage to salvage one of their nemesis's cleavers in order to outfit their settlement with a mighty weapon.

Careful manipulation of the HL deck with the Cat Eye Circlet allowed me to avoid the trap and put the final wound onto the Death Blow location. This would not have been possible without Gaea giving me the security of knowing I was in control of the fight after getting  the Butcher down to 1 wound. 


Their celebration though was short lived though as a roaring sound split the sky. With a flash the Butcher exploded in light and cracks in the ground appeared beneath the survivor's feet. The Survivors rushed back towards the settlement, nimbly dodging the chasms which threatened to swallow them into the dark abyss. After what was only moments but seemed an eternity they made it back, but only just. They felt sure that had any of them been wearing heavier equipment then they might not have made it.

A hell of a lucky thing that no one had heavy gear such as the White Lion armour. 


The celebrations resumed though when the hunting party were met by the other survivors of Aephyus. Elated to be alive and to have so convincingly defeated such a terrible foe they partied long into the night and thus was it that two more Saviours were born. Diana, daughter of Wilfried and Starbuck came into being and declared that she had dreamed the dream of the Lantern and would protect the settlement with deadly ranged weapons. Marius, son of Gerald and Freya, emerged from his dream with the rage of a beast, determined to strike down any who would bring harm to the people of Aephyus. As if the birth of two saviours was not enough good fortune, twins were born to Hiram and Scout. 

The survivors who had faced the Butcher were more melancholic than the others though. Caleb found Gaea sitting quietly contemplating the lantern horde whilst the others celebrated and asked her what was wrong. Gaea replied that she was happy that she had been able to protect the settlement but that she could feel that such effort had seemed to cost her dearly and that she could feel her life force ebbing as if blood from a wound. She resolved that she would seek to understand the nature of who she was so that she may protect the settlement forever. Thalia was also quiet and contemplated what it meant to have taken the first steps towards mastering the Twilight Sword and if it would be enough to face the hooded twilight knight when he returned. To symbolize her commitment to mastering her weapon for the good of the settlement she took the original cloth she wore when she first battled alongside the original founders and remade it into a tabard to cover herself in battle. 

Thalia, one of the original founders begins her journey to become a Twilight Knight. 


As the elation of survival slowly faded away, the hunger and stark reality of the settlement's existence returned. Knowingly, Caleb, Lorena and Thalia came together and planned their next hunt. This time they would hunt the antelope whose screams and tortured them several years past. Gaea would not come with them as she was busy meditating on her existence, but Icarus jumped at the chance to rejoin the hunt....

*********************************COMMENTS*************************************

Butcher fights don't go much smoother than this. I was able to open up with two Claw Head Arrows hitting the Butcher for a -2 evasion total and knocking him down. From there I used surge and dash liberally to pile on the hurt and I think I managed ~5 wounds the very first turn. From there it was a simple matter of tanking the Butcher with my green saviour (who had 5 armour at all locations, and +4 Evasion) and controlling the HL deck with the Cat Eye Circlet. At no stage was the Butcher able to reliably put damage through onto Gaea and that meant I had the time to make sure I got my first proficiency point with the twilight sword with Thalia and that eventually I could death blow the Butcher to get the extra stats (I chose evasion for everyone bar Thalia, who took accuracy to help with the Twilight Sword). 

I want to mention that I used the V 1.4 Lantern Hoard to age up Gaea to age 2 in order to allow her to bring more evasion to the fight. I'm not sure how balanced this is as it seems a bit too easy to power up a saviour for their first fight.

Cracks in the ground came up and I nearly had a heart attack when I rolled a 1, only to find that no one was packing any heavy kit. Definitely a lucky break as I would have hated to lose any of these four survivors. 

As for the settlement phase not too much went down as I couldn't innovate. Instead I pumped endeavors into Augury and was rewarded with more saviours thanks to Hovel, twins, and managed to  get Gaea more understanding in order to try and get her to be ageless.

Anyways hope you enjoyed. 

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Aephyus Lantern Year 3

With confidence born of their previous success the Hunting Party set out again to slay another of their eternal foes. Lorena lead the party ably into a sea of golden grass where the party was able to pick up the signs of not just one, but two creatures. One set of tracks though was much smaller than the others and after discussion they agreed it was likely a mother White Lion and her cub. The chance to reap such a bounty spurred the party and they stalked their prey with relish. It was only a little later that they came upon the Mother and her cub in a clearing. Without hesitation Thalia notched an arrow, drew her bow and loosed an arrow which tore through the cub's chest. The slain lion let out only a weak cry as its last breath escaped its lungs.The mother spun around quickly towards the survivors and in its rage let out a terrifying roar that sent a shiver of fear down the survivors spines.

The survivors square up for turns out to be a mercifully short hunt phase.


In the next instant the White Lion closed the distance between her and Caleb and clawed out at him. The attack though was obvious to Caleb and he was able to nimbly avoid the strikes and get out of the way, leaving Thalia free to fire her best clawed arrow into the monster's neck. Lorena and Caleb then strike the beast. Lorena manages to lodge a dart in the monster's chest but Caleb only receives a raking of claws across his rawhide armour for his efforts. The lion quickly switches tactics and waits cautiously on the ground to savage anyone who comes near it. This creates a stand-off between the warring parties which only ends when Thalia lets loose an arrow which strikes its heel. Her victory though is short lived as the roar the creature unleashes in its pain is so intense that it knocks Thalia to the ground. The Lion is so focused on avenging itself and her cub against Thalia that she fails to notice Caleb moving to her flank. The lion does notice though when Caleb's Katar smashes into its temple and shatters its skull, leaving it dizzy and confused.

Thalia was the star of the show as her arrows wounded the Lion over and over. Lorena and Caleb were also able to use their rawhide bands very effectively to manipulate Ground Fighting.


The Lion lashes out now in desperation and is able to fend of an attack by Icarus with powerful swipes of its strange and before trying to rip off Caleb's head with a ferocious Chomp. The instant before it can make its attack though Lorena warns Caleb and he is able to again roll out of the path of yet another potentially mortal strike. The Lion now is exhausted and confused and tries to buy time for itself by trying to fight the survivors on the ground where it has the advantage. It's of no use though as Thalia is able to let fly arrow after arrow into the beast and bring it near to the point of death. While the White Lion does manage to cleverly trick Lorena into exposing herself and inflicts a nasty wound to her head, it is not long before Caleb is able to finish the beast off by sliding his Katar between the beasts ribs.

The journey back to the settlement is longer than the hunt itself, especially as they are weighed down with the spoils of the slaughter of two White Lions. The survivors discuss how they are more experienced now; Lorena discovers a method for blocking blows with her forearms, Icarus masters a breathing technique which allows him to run faster than he had thought possible, and through great practice Caleb discovers that in the right circumstances he could chain his attacks together to do more damage to his foes. The journey went without incident until the survivors encountered a strange spot on the ground that seemed to emanate darkness and cause their lanterns to flicker uneasily. Caleb, the most courageous of the group moved to investigate it and was engulfed in darkness. Moments later Caleb emerged and to the surprise of the other survivors had been greatly changed. While moments ago Caleb had been a lean and wiry grizzled man, there was now before them a younger woman who was in the prime of her physical strength and powers. Caleb calmed the survivors down quickly though and though she couldn't explain what happened that all would be well. When Icarus asked her if she meant to take another name Caleb replied that she would not as she was essentially the same person.

A Strange Spot is a settlement event that came with the plastic pinups of death box. It's a bit silly but I throw it in anyways as any addition to the variety of settlement events you can get is welcome. 


Time passed once they arrived back at the settlement and the survivors worked industriously to create a leather shield, bandages, another set of bow and arrows as well as to concoct a drink from the genitals of the White Lion which would enable a survivor to fight with all the savagery of a monster. It was during this time that a Hooded Knight visited the settlement. The survivors could only look on speechlessly as it walked straight up to Thalia and left with her a tattered parcel containing a cloak and sword. The knight nodded to her with a wry smile as it left and she knew that he would be back to test her. The settlement was ecstatic as their numbers grew after Grace and Hiram gave birth to twins. Even this joyous event though was eclipsed by the miracle of Gerald and Freya having a second daughter in their new hovel. At the instant of birth their daughter, Gaea, disappeared for an instant and then returned fully grown. Gaea could not explain what had happened but that she knew her purpose was to protect the settlement and that to do so she had been given special powers. At that moment though the horror came.

A cry rang out from Icarus and the survivors rushed to him. He could only point in terror at a figure standing just outside the settlement. There was a man shaped creature, clad in armour and the flayed skin of humans, just waiting with two over sized butcher's cleavers hanging at its side. Not a word was spoken until Caleb cried out to the settlement with her new voice. She exclaimed that they must accept the darkness of the world around them no matter what it threw at them, and that by doing so they could conquer any foe who presented themselves, including the abomination that stalked them now. Inspired, the survivors roared their approval and set to preparing their most experienced warriors for the upcoming battle. All except for Icarus, the first to see the Butcher, for he was too terrified to face the creature. Caleb patted him on the shoulder and told Icarus he was not needed and that Gaea would be the saviour of the settlement. All she asked of him was that Icarus spend time with her so she could benefit from his experience. 

The Butcher just waits menacingly. Let's hope this next fight doesn't hurt too bad.


Soon all that could be done was done. Caleb, Thalia, Lorena, and Gaea, the finest warriors the settlement could assemble, set out into the darkness to defend their home.

**************************COMMENTS********************************************

This is about as good as a year as I could ask for before fighting the butcher. I had a thankfully short hunt phase (which makes a good change) and an easy showdown where I was able to collect ~14 resources. The Settlement Event turned Caleb into a woman but also increased her strength, evasion and accuracy making her now quite a powerful survivor for LY3. I've also now got a Twilight Sword that I can start getting Thalia to work on, though she will continue to use a bow as well.

Innovating Hovel was a no brainer when I had the option this lantern year for two reasons. First it gives me access to Saviours which are incredibly powerful (especially Green ones) and it also allows me to get the Family innovation which is an important part of developing the weapon proficiencies of the settlement as a whole (and of keeping the twilight sword useful until the end of the game). I was instantly rewarded for having Hovels with a green saviour who I then used my last two innovations to get XP for (using the KD 1.4 Lantern Hoard location.) This will allow me to put her up against the Butcher with a good deal of Armour and evasion to hopefully get me through the fight without too much trouble. 

I built another bow and claw head arrow as I had enough resources and this way all 4 survivors now have pretty decent weapons. 2 Claw head arrows also gives me the chance to really make it easy to hit monsters. I also built bandages as these are crucial to surviving a fight with the Butcher.

Thanks again for reading and hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Aephyus Lantern Year 2

The hunting party sets off once again in search of their quarry. This time though the mood in the hunting party is different as Caleb and Lorena lead the way with a cool intelligence and optimism. It isn't long until they come across an area that stinks of lion urine. While Thalia and Icarus are revolted at the smell and wish to move away immediately, Caleb and Lorena make them wait as they investigate further. After a few hours of exploring the unique scents Lorena declares that she believes that they could use their own urine to create Ammonia which would have all sorts of uses. The others are doubtful, but agree they can try it out later. As the party heads off torrential rains are suddenly unleashed and the ground around the hunters gives way. They manage to muddle their way through the mud slide but both Caleb and Thalia get battered bodies in the process.

Ah, the sweet smell of cat urine!


As they head on Thalia notices a similar pattern to the last hunt and mentions to the parties that it seems that the White Lion may be hunting prey of its own. The others are excited at the opportunity this could present but Thalia warns them it was of little help to Logan and Maximo during their previous battle. Suddenly the come to an area where the plain stone faces that make up the ground are somehow rotting beneath their feet and find themselves getting stuck. With great effort though they manage to free themselves and not long after they find the White Lion they have been hunting prowling through the long grass hunting prey of its own. It's clear that they could wait to fight the Lion after it has brought down its prey, but to do so would risk it getting away and not getting home with enough resources. They decide to fight it immediately and move through the long grass to surprise it.

Lorena and Caleb take charge of the fight and direct Thalia to climb up a giant stone face so she can better fire at the lion with her bow. They spread out to surround the prowling Lion and when they are in position Lorena calls out to Thalia to fire the opening shot. She lets loose a claw head arrow straight into the monsters brow which lodges there, slowing it down for the rest of the showdown. Furious, the White Lion rushes at her and claws her arms and head leaving her sprawled out helpless on the ground. Caleb though is perfectly positioned and is able to run to her aid and with his Katar destroy its heel and rupture its tendons! The lion is knocked down in pain allowing Icarus and Lorena to work together to wound its flank. Caleb intuitively understands what the Lion will do next and shouts out to Lorena to hide behind a Great Stone Face. As the lion gets up to attack it can't see any threats, only the cowering Thalia. The survivors are deathly silent as the lion then sniffs the air to find new threats to savage.

Caleb manages to crit the Lion's heel. The White Lion sustained a lot of critical wounds during the fight which ended up meaning it had 2 -1 accuracy tokens. 


Icarus strikes again with his founding stone and sheers off the beasts tail. The other survivors miss the Lion but Lorena is able to warn Caleb to get back in the long grass. Only moments later the monster grasps out at him but he is able to evade its lethal reach and strike back with a devastating blow that rips the White Lion's jaw clean off. Thalia's arrows are not flying with unerring accuracy and another lodges itself in the chest of the beast. The others look on in awe as Lorena laughs and moves herself straight in front of the beast. It charges at her but with no jaw all it can do when it reaches her is vomit profusely. Lorena just laughs at the absurdity of the situation as yet another of Thalia's arrows strikes the lion's throat. Caleb manages to slash at the beast's groin but in retaliation the lion's strange hand lashes out and tears deeply into his torso, knocking him down.

This had me worried for a second as I really want to see Caleb stick around as one of the mainstays of my settlement. It's always good to remember that a lion is dangerous until it is dead!


Icarus, desperate to prove himself and protect one of the settlement's leaders flails wildly at the lion, rending the flesh from its arm and puncturing its ear drums. The lion now is grievously wounded and having difficulty moving but it isn't ready to die yet. Lorena prepares a dart to finish the lion, but its weakness is a clever ploy! The lion though is spent and his clumsy attack hits nothing but the air around here. Resigned, the lion slumps to the ground, daring the survivors to come close to try and finish him off. Lorena gave Thalia the nod, and the archer put the beast out of its misery with a final razor sharp arrow.


All was not well though at the settlement, and they returned to find Rhea deathly sick. Her wounds had somehow festered into putrulent boils and she was coughing mucus and blood terribly. Thalia, Caleb and Icarus ran to comfort her. She coughed again, covering them fluids. Lorena ran after them and cursed the for fools as they were now infected. She quarantined off the plague victims and directed the rest of the settlement to produce as much ammonia as they could. It was barely enough, while they managed to scrub away the plague with the pungent liquid, nothing they did could stop Rhea from dying. Thalia spent time at her grave, mourning and reflecting that of the founders of Aephyus only she now survived. 

Rest in Peace Rhea, we hardly knew ye.


Caleb and Lorena come to comfort her and together they find a way to paint a crude depiction of the three fallen founders within the settlement. The survivors look on in awe and are inspired by the invention of this new art form. They work industriously to finish a set of Rawhide Armour, a beautiful Cat Eye Circlet, and under the direction of Lorena a Leather Worker where they can use their new ammonia to turn hides into leather to offer them greater protection.

*********************************Comments***************************************

Well I might have had a plague which killed one of my founders but all in all not a bad year. I lucked out and managed to innovate ammonia through hunt events and this combined with having Tinker on Caleb and Lorena was crucial to allowing me to get rid of Plague (it used up nearly all my innovations). If I hadn't had ammonia from the hunt event I still would have had a chance at getting it using innovation. Even with symposium its not a sure thing and if I hadn't drawn it things would have got ugly pretty quick.

The fight itself went pretty well as I was able to make the most of my new weapons and the rawhide bands to get rid of AI cards I didn't want to see come up and ensure that ground-fighting actually became an opportunity to regroup and regain control of the situation. I had the option to start with 5 wounds on the monster but only take half resources. There was no way I'd do this as those resources are badly needed at the beginning and now that I have some decent weapons (Bow + Katar) the fight itself is usually pretty manageable.

In terms of development I chose to innovate Paint over storytellling, scarification and nightmare training. I wanted to make sure that I got all of the survival actions as soon as possible. Part of me did consider taking one of the others simply to have a better shot at Hovel next year (to start getting saviours and last names) but I decided Paint was a better idea. Also I knew I wouldn't be getting intimacy this year due to using so many endeavours to stop the plague. Finally, I built the Leatherworker early. I had no white fur so lion armour wasn't an option anyways and this way I can hopefully get at least a Leather Shield before the Butcher comes to town. I was also able to squirrel away a few resources for a rainy day.

Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed it.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Aephyus Lantern Year 1


 The original four survivors, Logan, Maximo, Rhea, and Thalia left the settlement bravely. They knew that untold horrors awaited them, but likewise they knew now that the fate of others rested upon their shoulders. Inspired by the words of Caleb, they marched onwards into the unknown. It was not long though before they saw movement, believing this to be their quarry the hunting party shook out into their battle formation. As they pushed through the long grass though they saw that this was no full grown monstrous lion, but a small cub wandering lost and in its own. Without a hint of hesitation they leapt at it, butchering it where it stood and gathering the resources it offered. Logan suggested that this would be enough and they could return home, but the others disagreed. There were now too many mouths to feed and they must press on.

Always kill the cub!


They wandered on in search of their quarry, feeling all the while that it was moving further away from them on some hunt of its own. Their hunt took them through scorched lands that were devoid of water, sapping their strength as their thirst grew and deep down they knew they would not be in great shape for fighting the White Lion when they found it. They rested that night, and in the morning when they awoke they told eachother of their bizarre dreams. Logan and Maximo were shocked to find that they had had the same nightmare where each of them walked into a dark cave in the shape of a lion's jaws.

Later that morning they found their quarry, a large White Lion, stalking low along the ground and waiting to strike. They used the opportunity of its attention being diverted elsewhere for Thalia to harvest some fresh acanthus while Logan found some bones in the corpse of a long forgotten survivor. Once they were ready to fight the lion the survivors cautiously advanced into position and sprung their attack.

The survivors move into position and wait for Maximo to use his darts to get rid of Ground Fighting.


Maximo flung one of his bone darts into the White Lion's belly, causing it to shriek in pain and leap to its feet. The others descend on the White Lion and hack at it with their founding stones, but this monster is tougher than the last one they faced. Rhea is mauled across her chest after her stone fails to penetrate the beast's hide. Thalia, though manages to take the attention from Rhea by plunging her stone into the beasts flank. Furious at her, the White Lion lashes out at Thalia and bloodies her head and waist, knocking her down. Logan manages to wound the beasts ribs and chest, but the others are injured as well when the monster reacts to their weak blows.

The lion sees Maximo fallen over in the tall grass and swipes at him with two massive strikes of its claws. The other survivors hold their breath but are relieved to see that Maximo has somehow managed to dodge the bloody claws by rolling away into the cover of the long grass. Rhea rushes to his aid and wounds the monster's leg. Logan is emboldened by her success but overextends has he tries to strike the lion. In an instant the White Lion grabs him by the head and runs forward. His colleagues can only watch in horror as the beast runs off with Logan's head, leaving his body lying on the stony ground.

The White Lion runs off with Logan and tears his head off!


Maximo hurls another dart at the beast, wounding his paw and earning its deadly attention. The lion charges back at him and claws at Maximo's foot in an ironic turn of events. The lion won't stop attacking Maximo though and no matter how Rhea or Thalia try to intervene they simply cannot wound the beast. Maximo tries to fight off the lion from his position in the long grass but it is hopeless. It is for the best that when the lion's jaws close down around his head, causing it to explode like an over-ripe fruit that Rhea and Thalia can only hear his screams.

The women fight on though, desperate to live and avenge their fallen friends. They are beaten senseless but the Lion becomes worn down as well. The women take turns distracting the Lion while the other attacks it from behind. It is injured now but its blows still rain hard on them. Thalia's chest is torn open and she is only saved from death by rubbing Fresh Acanthus on her wounds. Blows are rained back forth, the lion's legs are smashed to pieces by the survivors, but both take nearly deadly strikes to their heads leaving them battered and clinging to life. Finally as the Lion is mauling Rhea's abdomen, Thalia lets out a primal scream and hurls her founding stone at the Lion , killing it instantly. All three slump to the ground, the two survivors exhausted, the lion dead.

They regain their composure though and together survey the carnage around them. Silently they butcher the great beast and construct a travois using its bones and bloodied hide. Onto it they pile the spoils of the battle. They wonder what to do with the bodies of Logan and Maximo. After a brief discussion they agree that it would be best decided by Caleb and they load the bodies onto the travois. As they walk home, Thalia tried to make light conversation with Rhea, dubbing her the Brainless Saviour of the Antelope and herself the Dingle Sneak of the Antelope, but Rhea didn't seem to be able to hear her anymore and just looked at her with a sad knowing smile. The convesrsation died quickly and the two trudged on in silence with Rhea, having found a new strength, pulling the travois most of the way and Thalia noticing that her eyesight had sharpened greatly.

Eventually they arrived home, their fellow survivors ran out excitedly to meet them but a pall fell over the settlement as they saw the dead bodies behind them. Under Caleb's direction though they erected monuments to the fallen hunters so that they could remember them for eternity. The survivors gathered around and reflected for long moments before setting about the hard work of rendering the remains of the lion into useful materials and a place to use them dubbed the Catarium. They busily set to work making weapons of the lion's bones and more rawhide armour.

As the survivors work to create new weapons and armour piercing screams begin to sound out through the settlement, driving the survivors into a panic. Without hesitation though Caleb, stands up and becomes the voice of reason, calming the settlement and explaining that this must be some new monster that lives in the darkness and can be slain for food and resources. Emboldened by their leader's wisdom the settlement discovers their inner lantern that can be drawn upon to keep them brave in their terrible world. This inspired two of them, Gerald and Freya, to pair off and bring life into the world in the form of an understanding and beautiful daughter who they named Lorena. They declared that they would cherish and protect this child, much to the approval of the rest of the settlement.

Freya and Gerald, the proud parents of Lorena. 


The festive mood though was dashed when Caleb declared that they must embark on another hunt. This time he declared he would lead it himself and called for volunteers. Thalia quickly stepped up to the mark, eager to try out her new bow, followed shortly by a young man named Icarus. Rhea wished to go, but was too injured to be of help. As he looked for one more he was surprised to see the first daughter of the settlement, Lorena, step forward and volunteer. Though her parents objected, she was adamant that she had the intelligence and strategy to help the party. Caleb and Lorena had the understanding and intelligence to explain why her becoming a hunter made sense and eventually Gerald and Freya relented. The hunting party, stronger and more intelligent than any who had come before it, began to prepare for their departure.

*********************************Comments***************************************

Well that was a rough Lantern Year 1. The first time you hunt a level 1 White Lion is always a big challenge as it is a big step up from the Prologue Lion. There were a few things that made this fight particularly tough for me. The first was that I didn't build too many weapons (just the bone darts). and thus had a tough time wounding the lion. The reason I didn't over-invest in bone weapons is that they are of such limited use after the first year or two of the campaign that I'm not sure they're worth it. The second reason was getting the Dry Lands hunt event which meant I started the showdown with no one having any survival. This was crucial as both Logan and Maximo died of head wounds that could otherwise have been dodged. The final issue (although minor) was ground-fighting. While this being in play allowed me to do some gathering of the acanthus and survivor corpse it meant the lion had another hit point.

That being said it wasn't all bad. Thalia emerged without a scratch, and Rhea though now deaf is still a usable survivor. I was able to build a Catgut Bow, Claw Head Arrow and a Katar while building an entire set of Rawhide armour meaning I have only the pants left before I have two sets. I used love juice to get my first birth and thanks to settlement events both Lorena and Caleb now have the Tinker ability. I feel like the settlement is in a pretty good place right now and am confident that the next WL hunt should go a lot smoother.

Thanks for reading and am keen to hear your thoughts. 






Sunday, 8 January 2017

Starting Survivors and White Lion Showcase

The first thing that I painted up when I received Kingdom Death: Monster were the four starting survivors and the White Lion. I have a bit of experience with painting from playing Warhammer but I am by no means very good. As such I decided to stick to simple basic colours that I know how to paint decently and that I believe are visually appealing. So without further adieu....


Thalia from the front.

Thalia from the rear.

Rhea from the front.

Rhea from the rear.

Logan from the front.

Logan from the rear.

Maximo from the front.

Maximo from the rear.

White Lion from the front.

White Lion left side.

White Lion right side.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Aephyus Prologue

Aephyus Prologue

Hey everyone, the way this will work will be that the narrative will be at the top and at the bottom of the post I'll make my more "meta" comments on how the year went and why I did what I did.

They awoke, confused and lost but yet resolute to survive in the face of whatever terrors the darkness may conceal. Through the shrieks of pain and flashes of monster and torn person four of them pressed closer together, combining the light of their lanterns to illuminate the eternal night in order to face whatever mortal threat awaits them. No words are spoken, but each understands that they will live or die by their ability to fight together.

This is one of my favourite pictures in the rulebook.


For a moment the sounds of slaughter stop, the silence seems to last forever as the survivors wait anxiously for their battle to begin. It's then that the monster stepped from the shadows and into the light. It was hideous, at a first glance it wore the shape of a pale male lion, but once they looked on further they could see grotesque claws that eerily reminded them of their own hands. Silently the White Lion glared at the survivors, considering the prey in front of him. Then, without a sound it charged them...

The Survivors face off against the White Lion.


The beast hurled itself straight at the thin and wiry Logan and lashed out with its claws, causing superficial wounds to his arms. Logan attempted to strike back but the pain of his cuts prevented him from laying any blows on the monster. Maximo, the largest and strongest of the four survivors, hurled his founding stone at the lion, utterly destroying one of its hands. The women, blue haired Rhea, and the fair Thalia, hacked at the lion furiously, wounding its ribs, throat and mouth. The lion was surprised and angered by the savagery of these four survivors, turned to grasp Rhea in an attempt to isolate her. At the last moment though she dodged out of the way, leaving the lion empty handed.

They White Lion tries to grasp Rhea but she dodges out of the way!


Once again the survivors hurl themselves at the Lion, this time though their strikes hit empty air or are not strong enough to pierce the monster's hide. Only Logan, despite blood flowing freely from his wounded arms wounds the beast's flank. As Logan drives his stone into the lion it lets out a terrifying roar, knocking back all of the survivors before rushing back at Logan and clawing his torso viciously. Desperately Logan lashes out again, trying vainly to rip off its mane with one hand while he smashes in its elbow with his stone. The other survivors run frantically to aid Logan but can only look on as the monster grasps him. Logan though is not ready yet to die and he twists out of the lion's grasp, aided by the slipperiness of the blood now covering his body.

The combination of Terrifying Roar and a priority token has isolated Logan from the other survivors. Logan puts up one hell of a fight though and manages to give as good as he gets in the next few rounds.


The White Lion is now on top of Logan, but even then Logan manages to slash out and wound the monster's groin, maddening it greatly. In return the monster savages Logan's legs and body leaving him sprawled out and helpless on the ground. As the lion seems about to deliver a mortal blow Thalia runs behind it and with a great strike cuts its tail off. Maximo arrives a moment later and wounds the lion's brow which causes it to roar in pain and rage. The awful sound is too much for Maximo and he flees in terror; the monster senses his weakness and chases him down all the while clawing at his chest and arms.
I was very lucky to get a critical on the Tail! If I hadn't Logan would have been further isolated from the others.

Satisfied that the large human is no longer a threat the now grievously injured White Lion returns to finish off Logan, but only succeeds in further injuring his arms. Rhea throws herself at the monster n an attempt to save Logan and smashes out its knee causing the White Lion's bloody body to slump down and remain still. The monster is dead, and somehow they are alive. Battered and bruised, but alive.

Finally, the beast is dead. Logan and Rhea did most of the hard yards during the fight.

The survivors hack at and butcher the corpse, knowing on an instinctual level that they will need all the resources they can find if they are to survive long in this strange world of darkness where the ground seems to be made of smooth faces. They carry what they can on them and wander into the darkness. Time passes and they wander on, but then they see a light in the darkness. As they approach it they find a mammoth pile of lanterns and a small group of people like themselves. One of them, a man, approaches, points at himself and utters the first words they have heard, "Caleb." He points at the glowing lantern hoard and says, "home."

Got to love the art.

The survivors now number fourteen, and now thanks to Caleb they can communicate with each other. They quickly set to work improving their home, creating a skinnery to make armour and clothes from the hides of monsters, a bone smith where they can fashion primitive weapons, and an organ grinder which they will use to create concoctions to aid them in the days to come. They then used what they had to make nearly a full set of raw hide armour and darts made of bone. Caleb, the father of words, also made all the survivors sit down and discussed the importance of developing their minds as well as creating buildings and weapons. From this the concept of the settlement Symposium was born, it was believed that this sharing of minds would help guide the development of the settlement. They discussed how they would need to hunt any monsters they could find in order to find more resources and keep themselves safe. At the end of the meeting Caleb turned to the original four survivors, "You must go and slay another lion so that we have a future."

Stoically, they agreed and prepared themselves for the hunt....

**********************************Comments**************************************

This is the start of my new campaign for this blog. I've played the full campaign through before but to keep it simple I've made this one a fairly standard People of the Lantern campaign with the only additions being that I am using the Flower Knight and some of the White Box Promos I've picked up (particularly the hunt events).  One thing I am doing different is that I am using the Vibrant Lantern (link on left) Settlement Manager to do my book keeping rather than doing it by hand. This should save some time and help me out a lot later in the campaign where there is a lot going on. I also find sometimes I'll leave a campaign for a week and have a hard time remembering everything that was going on.

The prologue itself went pretty well. I chose to use my founding stone for the +1 Strength on Maximo as it is my intent to go for Fist and Tooth mastery with him and the extra strength will help. The fight itself was pretty straightforward otherwise. It was a close run thing for Logan but that was largely due to the effects of Terrifying Roar splitting up all my survivors and Logan keeping drawing hit locations that earned him the priority token. I was relieved to make it through without any severe injuries and I got a good hand of resources. I chose to use a new survivor to utter the first words simply because I hadn't done that before, wanted to spread the courage and understanding around, and wanted to get my original four to 2 Hunt XP at the same time.

In terms of settlement development it was also pretty straight forward. I built the three standard sites rather than go for an augury (I didn't want to risk losing a resource.) I also innovated and ended up having the choice between Drums and Symposium. This is a no-brainer and I went with Symposium as this will help me shape my innovations throughout my campaign.

For gear I built all of a rawhide set less the pants, and some bone darts. Rawhide sets are excellent and I used some White Lion Fur to make them. I usually save White Fur for a White Lion Armour set but this campaign I want to try getting to leather quicker and skipping White Lion Armour. I made bone darts as this is the only way to guarantee that drawing ground fighting in my next White Lion hunt doesn't turn into a disaster.

Hope you enjoyed the write-up and keen to hear any feedback.

Waking in the Darkness (Introduction)

Hello fellow survivors! Like many of you I am a major fan of Kingdom Death: Monster and it has captivated me since Adam brought us the original Kickstarter in 2012. At the time I wasn't able (at least that's what I tell myself now) to back the Kickstarter but even as production dragged on I found myself pulled time and time again back to this game and the amazing miniatures produced by Kingdom Death. Finally, after the core game was delivered I took the plunge in 2016 and bought it.

I was not disappointed. The game held the perfect combination of dark fantasy, role-playing, tactical combat and strategic settlement and character building, and miniature assembly/painting to hook me instantly. As a long time miniature wargamer (GW and Historical wargames mostly), I soon found that I was devoting more and more time to Kingdom Death due to my love for it, the amazing models, and my desire to move away from a strictly competitive way of enjoying my hobby to one that was more collaborative and could be done solo as well. After a move for work later in 2016 to an area without a thriving war-gaming scene Kingdom Death: Monster quickly became "my game", whatever expansions were soon in the mail and on their way to my gaming table.

So why then have I started a blog about Kingdom Death: Monster now as we come to the end of the second even larger Kickstarter campaign? Well it's primarily for me in that it's a way to record the stories of my settlements, spitball ideas about strategy and tactics, and motivate myself to keep on painting the mountain of plastic I currently have and all those on the way (235 at the moment according to a google doc I'm tracking.) Of course everything is more fun when you get to do it with other people so I'm also hoping that this blog will provide a way to interact with fellow fans and let them read the stories, pontificate on strategy, and share tips on painting.

The plan for content at this stage is to:

  • Start a new settlement and put up the resulting narrative stories. I will also include as a spoilers at the bottom of each update why I made the choices I did.
  • Post up pictures of my models as I paint them. I'm by no means a great painter but I've found in the past this is a good way to motivate myself to keep painting. I also have a real hang up about playing with unpainted models so this motivates me to keep painting so I can keep playing.
  • Discuss Kingdom Death content, the new Kickstarter and all of the amazing resources out there online for fans.
In terms of frequency of updating I'm shooting for 2-3 times a week ( 1 campaign update, 1 painting update and a miscellaneous article). Of course if there's more I feel like saying I'll jump on and say it! Well that's enough for now, time to set up the new settlement! I hope you enjoy and am keen to hear anything you have to say.