As per usual you can find the full version at: http://dyinglantern.blogspot.ca/2017/02/aephyus-lantern-year...
Though the previous hunts to slay Screaming Antelopes had yielded great success and begun to make life comfortable in Aephyus, the survivors, led by Gaea decided that they must explore more of their dark world in order to at least understand the threats that they face. The most experiences survivors thus set off in order to find the beast from which the mysterious feather had come from several lantern years earlier. Caleb, Gaea, Lorena, and Thalia set off with a sense of grim determination into the unknown darkness.
From the outset there was a sense among the survivors that this hunt would be somehow different. As they traveled time seemed to flow strangely and as they stopped to take a rest at a strange fountain they found that none of them could recollect how much time had passed. What felt like an age to Caleb seemed only moments to Thalia, disorientating and unsettling the entire hunting party. Suddenly and without warning, the hunters find that they are plucked from time and plunged into Overwhelming Darkness. The veteran survivors hold their nerve as their world plunges into madness but are shocked when a monstrous flash of feathers rips through the darkness and savages Lorena with human like claws.The survivors freeze as they take in the grotesque sight of the previously unknown monster. Before them, perched on a nightmarish tree, is an oversized bird with flaming red feathers, human like hands and a face that is pure madness to behold.
The ambushed survivors attempted to gain the upper hand over the Phoenix but struggled with what was easily the most dangerous adversary they had phased. Ferocious winds were created by the flapping of the Phoenix's massive wings which seemed to prevent Caleb and Lorena from utilising their Vespertine Bows to full effect and it was left to Thalia, the Twilight Knight, who was now near to mastering her weapon to take the fight to their enemy. Her sword slashed across the Phoenix in overwhelmingly powerful strokes which rended its flesh. Again and again she struck at a speed that was breathtaking to behold. The monster was dismayed at the ferociousness of her attack and lashed out wildly with its beak and claws but these found only the stalwart shield of Gaea. Lorena and Caleb, both thoroughly savaged by the Phoenix's ambush could only hide in terror as the Savior and the Knight fought bravely.
Though the others could not see it, the fiercest battle was being fought in the dimension of time between Gaea and the Phoenix. Constantly the monster sought to disrupt the hold on time that Gaea had achieved through profound meditation, threatening to rip her from existence itself. The Green Saviour though possessed a willpower that was more than the match of any foe though and with indomitable determination she fought off the abominations assault on her existence. The battle ended as it had begun but with the Phoenix's shrieks of rage being replaced with cries of pain and terror. It's thick hide and bulk was no defense against the lightning fast Twilight Knight.
The hunting party carried back their rewards slowly, exhausted by the exertion of the brief but dangerous battle they had just partaken in. Arriving back at the settlement they found that in their absence the other survivors had become increasingly certain that a presence was haunting Aephyus. The most affected was a young man named Mason, who began ranting so madly that none could rest or work in the settlement. Caleb, enraged at the youth's impudence, began beating Mason senseless with his fists and pushing him away from the lights of the settlement. As they reached the edge of the settlement Caleb screamed at him to leave and never come back. Terrified, Mason scrambled away from the furious Caleb and was never seen again. The other survivors were unsettled by Caleb's actions, but he turned around to face them and with a wide grin declared that now they could get back to living their lives.
Using the vast stores of the settlement a blacksmith was constructed where the people of Aephyus would be able to finally use the strange iron they had found to craft the greatest of weapons and armour. It was decided that a great shield would be the first weapon to be forged at this new site and for ages there ringed out the hammering of iron and steel as a Beacon Shield was forged for Gaea. Meanwhile the others constructed a Shrine where departing survivors could meditate and gird themselves for the horrors of battle. This was fortunate for at the edge of the settlement arrived one of the massive armoured strangers who had carried away four of their number years ago. Arrogantly, the Kingsman approached the settlement, but this time he would not be allowed to act with impunity. Caleb, Gaea, Diana and Icarus assembled their weapons and armour, prayed before the Shrine and made their way to defend the settlement.
Well that fight caught me by surprise. I've fought the Phoenix before in other campaigns but I'd forgotten what a leap up from the Lion and Antelope it can be. The hunt event I pulled meant that both Lorena and Caleb were out of survival at the beginning of the fight and lo and behold they were the ones targetted during the Phoenix's ambush leaving both of them without armour in key locations and vulnerable to death. Thus they spent most of the showdown hiding after launching their initial claw head arrows as they were just too vulnerable. Fortunately, Thalia, went absolutely batshit crazy on the Phoenix. Due to the effects of the claw head arrows stuck in the phoenix she was essentially hitting and wounding on 2's or higher and with a few extra surge survival actions she cut through the phoenix like butter. Gaea was her usual awesome self as she effortlessly tanked the Phoenix. Ultimately it was a very short but incredibly tense fight.
In the settlement phase I had some tough decisions to make. I built the Blacksmith and had to decide where to invest my now 5 pieces of Iron. The choices were to start on a lantern armour set, build beacon shields or use it for phoenix armour. Ultimately I decided on beacon shields for a few reasons. The first is that I intend to finish the campaign with Gaea as my tank, and due to her being a green saviour the leather armour allows her to tank very effectively already. The second is that Gaea will also be working on shield mastery, ultimately granting the settlement shield specialisation meaning that beacon shields are worth +3 Armour to any survivor with them in their grid (and helps when fighting the Hand.) Finally, Lantern Armour is so resource intensive. Thus I'll work on building multiple beacon shields and then potentially build Phoenix Armour for one of my heavy hitters.
All in all it's going well and I'm confident that I can deal with the Kingsman without too much hassle.
Not to be rude but shouldn't these be all combined in one single thread? Those of us that subscribe to Kingdom Death get a notification each time you post a new year.
I do appreciate these type of posts but those interested can subscribe to the thread and get notified each year and those that aren't interested only get notified the first post.