Saturday, 11 March 2017

Aephyus Lantern Year 10

       
The four warriors approach the King's Man
 
        The four warriors stepped out into the darkness to defend Aephyus from the armoured King's Man. Years before this nemesis, or one like it, had come and cut short the lives of their friends and families, but they had been weaker then. Now they were prepared, and stronger than ever. Gaea, clad in a full set of leather armour and carrying an impressive iron wrought shield led the band out. As she had done so many times before she would guard her companions from harm. Diana, the Blue Saviour, and Icarus followed shortly behind resolutely carrying the Vespertine Bows which had been crafted after other hunters had defeated the flower knight. Finally in the rear came the leader of the settlement, Caleb, who hefted a great ugly axe which he had stripped off of the corpse of the Butcher. The King's Man stood motionless with its lantern halberd held to its side, waiting for the arrogant survivors to make their stand.

The King's Man waits patiently for the survivor's to make the first move.


              The encounter began with a nod from Caleb and the two archers unleashed a hail of arrows from their bows at their enemy. Half a dozen shafts sailed through the air in the blink of an eye but just as quickly the King's Man dodged and weaved, somehow dodging all of the arrows. Arrogantly he paused to show his achievement to the survivors but Diana and Icarus were ready. Surging with energy they each loosed a Claw Head Arrow which struck the abomination in the greaves and skirt. These arrows would remain lodged there for the rest of the battle. Gaea and Caleb rushed at the monster in order to be able to engage it in close combat.

Like lighting the King's Man lashed out with his halberd in order to cleave the heads from Gaea and Caleb. Gaea, with her inhumanly fast reflexes was able to slide under the arc of the halberd, but Caleb was caught unawares and it was only through a lucky dodge that he managed to avoid decapitation. He would have to be much more careful from now on. Caleb managed to regain his balance, and hacked away furiously with his axe. The King's man though was far too fast and deftly avoided the blows, though Caleb began to believe that he could see a pattern in the movements of the armoured soldier. A few more arrows managed to find their way through the King's Man's defence and Gaea bashed its face in with her shield before readying it to block future blows.

After a very close call with decapitation Caleb starts looking for safer places to hang out.


With ferocious speed the King's Man lashed out with it's Halberd and unleashed a flurry of blows upon Gaea which she ably dodged, evaded or took upon her beacon shield. Caleb, struck again, and this time the movements of the King's Man became clear to him. They fought and stepped together in unison and Caleb found he was able to penetrate its defence with ease now. This added pressure made life easier on the archers and Diana and Icarus found that many more of their arrows were now hitting the mark.

With a cry of frustration the King's Man kicked and speared at the survivors but found himself unable to penetrate Gaea's defences and quickly he was weakened by the damage wrought on his armoured body by the survivors.  Cracks began to appear in his armour and Gaea saw a strange liquid begin to ooze from the monster's wounds. She screamed at Caleb to run from the King's Man and in that instant gouts of acid spewed forth from the monster's armour. The archers were well clear from the spray but Caleb only just managed to escape the lethal acid. The other 3 looked on in horror as it seemd Gaea would be killed on the spot. The Ageless Green Saviour though crouched low and placed her iron shield in front of her. A great green flash of light erupted from her and when it was over the three looked upon Gaea, who was merely singed. The survivors let out an exhilarated roar, sure now that triumph was certain, and renewed their onslaught against the King's Man.

Shields FTW! I knew the trap was coming by using a rawhide set so made sure Caleb was well away as I think I had 7-8 cards on the wound stack at this point.


The showdown is finished when Icarus lets loose two arrows at the King's Man's collar which narrowly miss and strike its chest instead. The survivor's let out a cry of victory and then a sigh of relief. All seems well until Icarus begins screaming. They turn to see him holding his hands out in front of him watching in horror as his fingernails extend like a sheath and encase his hands and then arms in a cocoon of bone. Icarus then falls to the ground gasping in pain as searing heat erupts within his arms and what used to be his flesh oozes through the joints of the hollow armour which now comprise his upper limbs. Icarus then falls silent and sits on the ground with a defeated and shocked look on his face. The others help him up and they walk back to the settlement.

I got totally Kingdom Death'd on this one, the funny part is this is the second time in a row that I've rolled a 1 on the death blow location and missed out on the halberd. 


Back at Aephyus, they discover evidence that yet another stranger had been living amongst them when they find a pile of bones. Though they have a large store of iron, there are not enough other resources available for the smithing of more shields or innovating new technologies. Instead they use the lantern year to reflect and Diana gains more understanding of the world around her. Icarus though is left feeling cold and begins to isolate himself from the others. The leaders of Aephyus convened to discuss the future of the settlement. It was decided that the settlement must continue to grow and that to do so hunting of Antelope would have to continue for the foreseeable future. It was also determined that more effort would have to be put into creating families as the fabric of society. It was then that Thalia revealed to the others what she had slowly come to realise. There would come a day soon that she would have to leave Aephyus in order to become a Twilight Knight. The others were shocked by this, for if Gaea was their shield then Thalia was their razor sharp blade which struck down their foes. Thalia resolved though that before she went she would bear children and train them in the use of her Twilight Sword. It was the best she could do to ensure the survival of the settlement she had helped to raise from nothing so many years ago.

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

This fight went pretty smoothly once I remembered the tricks to fighting the King's Man. I had forgotten about his peculiar method of attacking all survivors in particular areas and this almost led to the decapitation of Caleb early on, but once my memory had been jogged I was able to keep only Gaea in the danger zone and sweep in and out with Caleb and was lucky to grab King's Step pretty quickly. From there it was a pretty simple fight, to the point where I actually cycled the HL deck a few times in an attempt to get the deathblow location and hence the halberd. I managed to get a situation where all I had to do was roll 2+ to get the deathblow but I rolled a 1 and the other hit wounded. This brought me to King's Curse, which was the entire reason I brought Icarus along. Icarus is at best a 2nd string team member and I need one of those around to get the King's Curse. While armour 4 at one location is good I believe it to be much worse than being able to obtain a set bonus so didn't want to risk any of my main crew getting the curse.

As for the settlement itself, we managed to innovate family last year but I'm holding off until I can get Clan of Death before I produce Thalia's heirs to the Twilight Knight title. My innovation deck has gotten relatively narrow again so this should hopefully show up soon in the next year or two.

Thanks for reading.

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