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. 






2 comments:

  1. It was really a harsh fight. But i don't get why didn't you build more bone weapons. Most of them can be used later as bone resourcers, don't they?

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    1. The only way to recycle old items is one of the Lion Knight events as far as I knew. I figured I'd make my life a little bit harder for a bit of long term gain, I didn't think it would end up being such a close fight though.

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