Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Aephyus Lantern Year 7

Flush with their new weapons created from the fallen Flower Knight and his gardens the four survivors, Caleb, Thalia, Grace and Lorena set to hunting more dangerous and more lucrative prey in the form of an older and more mature Screaming Antelope. 

They moved out quickly from the settlement and returned to an area where they had seen antelope sign previously, and were rewarded to find a trail of devoured acanthus plants which would help them track their quarry. Soon they came upon an area of ground where deep gouges had been rent into the plain of stone faces and antelope teeth had been left behind, broken and discarded. Caleb and Lorena pocketed these and the party rested for the night. During their slumber though Thalia suffered from terrible nightmares about the hooded knight killing her when next they met and woke up screaming, thus preventing the rest of the survivors from being able to sleep. Caleb tried to get the others to play a game too pass the time but it garnered little enthusiasm from the tired survivors.

The next morning they set out once again but were overtaken by an overwhelming darkness which sent the survivors into fits of madness. In the end they push through despite Caleb's lantern light being drowned out, Grace is exhausted, Thalia is still upset from her nightmares, and Lorena is enraged. As they start to believe they are safe, they hear a sound, slight at first but then rising to a roar, over a rise comes rushing at them countless stampeding antelopes. Grace cries out that they must flee but Caleb yells at the survivors to stand their ground! This emboldens Thalia and Lorena and the three of of them manage to corner one of the stampeding antelopes while Grace weakly looks on.

Stampede is a scary event but I almost always choose to stand my ground for two reasons. The first is that I don't want a Level 2 moving away from me if I can help it as a real risk of starvation starts to arise. The second is that +1 Courage is awesome and KDM is about living dangerously, plus a Level 2 fight is not that hard in itself.


The battle itself is a glorious slaughter. Despite the Screaming Antelope being stronger than previous ones they have fought  the survivors tear it to pieces. The new Vespertine bows unleash flurries of deadly arrows into the Screaming Antelope as it dashes wildly amongst the survivors. 

The two archers have set up shop on a Giant Stone Face. They are both using Claw Head Arrows and Vespertine Bows, a brutally effective combination. 


What few coherent blows it does manage are ably absorbed by Caleb with his Leather Shield. It is not long before Thalia is able to deliver the killing blow by lopping off its head with her Twilight Sword. While the danger of the hunt had been much greater, so too was the plethora of rewards yielded by the larger Screaming Antelope, and the survivors hurriedly began to collect the resources to return them to the settlement. All except for one, Grace, who remained motionless and was still exhausted from her ordeal in the darkness. Her idleness sent Caleb into a rage and he screamed at her to get up and help. No amount of cajoling would cause her to budge though and finally Caleb's sanity, already sorely tested by his new found love of eating skulls, snapped and in a rush of violence he bludgeoned Grace to death with his shield. 

Caleb then looked up at Thalia and Lorena to gauge their reactions, wondering if they would cast him out or kill him. While he had the armor and raw strength he knew that between Lorena's Bow and Thalia's twilight sword they could cut him down in an instant if they so chose. Their actions though were the opposite, they declared they saw the necessity of his actions and that they would follow his lead in the future as he had always made good decisions in the past. This notion excited Caleb more than it should have, causing him to become a but quixotic and to seek new thrills safe in the knowledge that the others would indulge him.

Thalia and Lorena confront Caleb after he has murdered Grace. This was a tense roll as I really wanted Caleb to survive due to the huge amount of stat bonuses he has amassed so far this game (mostly from his multiple gender swaps). Ultimately though he'll continue to be a liability due to being a skull eater.


The carcass of both the Screaming Antelope and Grace were hauled back to the settlement. Lorena noticed that a strange flower had emerged from where Grace's mouth should have been and left her body to the side of the settlement to be buried later. The settlement was all in an excitement when they returned as they believed they had found a stranger who had been living in the settlement, but when they searched they had found only a dark pile of bones. As the survivors gathered around the strange bones a single brightly colored feather drifted down amongst them. Lorena cried out that it must be from a new monster which they must slay. 

As Thalia had dreamt, the hooded knight returned for her and wordlessly indicated that they were to duel. The combat lasted for what seemed an age and the whole settlement watched on in awe as Thalia, founder of Aephyus, fought for her life amongst a flurry of blades. Eventually, and without warning, the duel stopped. The knight simply bowed his head to Thalia, and then walked off into the darkness. 

The settlement was busy that year, constructing a Stone Circle and rendering the carcass of the antelope into a new set of armor to wear into battle. As the time inevitably came again for the settlement to send forth hunters for new provisions one more strange event did occur. Gaea, who had meditated for so long in front of the Lantern Hoard raised herself up and called a meeting of the settlement. She explained that she had learnt how to defy age itself, and that for the rest of her existence she would use her unique powers to guard Aephyus. Caleb eyed her nervously, trying to determine if she was a threat to him, but he knew deep down that she would never be so easy a victim as Grace was. He would wait and see.....

There are very few times you are happy to roll a 1 in Kingdom Death, but when it nets you an ageless Green Saviour it is a blessing. Gaea will now become the lynch-pin of Aephyus' defence against the horrors of the world. The biggest challenge will be protecting her against Caleb in any murder events. 



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

Well there are good years and then there are fantastic years, this being the latter. Armed with 2 Vespertine Bows the fight against the Screaming Antelope was pretty easy, and the hunt itself turned out to be not as bad as I had feared. I was certainly nervous throughout about the possibility of having to fight a Level 3 White Lion but all is well that ends well. The risk was certainly rewarded though with a slew of resources (especially since I am using the 1.5 rules).

I knew Grace was going to die due to the Skull Eater event last lantern year and deliberately manipulating her hunt XP so she would be the target and not Gaea. I'll be able to bring Grace back to life next year using the sleeping virus flower anyways so this is not a big loss. I was stoked though when Lorena and Thalia decided to accept Caleb as their leader rather than killing or exiling him. I picked Quixotic as it is a good disorder and Thrill Seeker as Caleb will now move into a permanent Rawhide Support slot where he can generate nearly unlimited survival.

The settlement events went well with Thalia doing well in her duel with the hooded knight and innovations going well. I'm still chasing after Family so that I can pass on Thalia's twilight sword proficiency and set myself up to create the settlement's second twilight knight when she leaves. I started in on the Stone Circle and the Screaming Antelope Armour as I've never used them before and want to try them out.

The best bit of luck though was finally getting Ageless on Gaea. An ageless Green Saviour is incredibly powerful and should make the rest of the game easier. I will have to be careful though that I do all I can to ensure she makes it to the end of the game as she (along with Caleb) will likely be among those who face down the final boss.

Thanks for reading, sorry it's been so long between updates. 



5 comments:

  1. How did You get ageless on Gaea?

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  2. I thought you needed to exploit lion to do that...

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    1. I got 3 or 4 understanding from hunt events and used augury at the organ grinder to grind the rest out.

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  3. ah, I always roll intimacy there lol

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  4. Congrats, that's crazy good to have her immortal

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