Another update on my ongoing PotL campaign. You can find a version with pics at my blog: http://dyinglantern.blogspot.ca/2017/02/aephyus-lantern-year...
Thalia was tired by her duel with the Hooded Knight and as such her responsibility for taking place in the hunt was passed to the Blue Savior Diana. Diana took up one of the settlement's bows, finding she had an immediate affinity with the weapon, and resolved that she would become as great a warrior and asset to the settlement as Gaea the Ageless had become. Caleb, Gaea, Diana and Lorena thus set out to slay another Screaming Antelope, and quickly agree that they should follow the same path that led them to the stampeding herd the previous lantern year.
Thus it was that they moved quickly through the teething grounds, but this time they discovered no flat teeth. Oddly this sent the once stable but now increasingly unhinged Caleb into a sudden fit of despair which the other survivors had to work hard to bring him out of. Eventually he came round though and they set off through the trampelled grounds and discovered a stone fountain that Lorena and Caleb had previously not noticed. The survivors stopped and drank the cool clear water, feeling all the better for doing so. Before they could reach the stampede they had to venture through the overwhelming Darkness. Gaea became temporarily mad and lashed out at her companions wildly, Caleb became a frenzied mess, Lorena was forced to use all of her wits and efforts just to survive the madness, and Diana, the relative newcomer was totally disorientated by the horrifying experience.
The hunting party emerged from the darkness, maddened and frayed by the experience, but glad to find themselves looking upon a stampeding herd of antelope. With courage bourne of experience they stood their ground amongst the stampede and were rewarded by being able to corner an antelope who was distracted by the corpse of its mate. This allowed the weakened survivors to ambush the monster!
The battle began with Caleb and Diana launching clawed arrows into the beast's flank as Lorena and Gaea moved to engage the monster up close. Lorena though got to close and for her foolishness was gobbled up whole by the antelope. She kicked and squirmed but nonetheless became trapped in the beast's undermaw and could only scream out for her companion's help. Gaea and Caleb did what they could to help her but ultimately it was Diana who saved Lorena from a grisly fate as antelope food by destroying the Antelope's hoof, causing it to retch in pain and release Lorena from its gut. Lorena lay motionless on the ground beside the furious monster so Diana yelled at her to get up. Lorena did so and swiped half heartedly at the monster with her Beast Katars but the weapons were knocked out of her grasp by one of the many pairs of hands lining the Screaming Antelope's back.
The monster then went berserk, savaging both Lorena and Caleb with powerful kicks of its hind legs and dashing wildly across the stone plain. It was only with great effort that Gaea managed to draw its attention onto her in order to allow the others a measure of respite. The antelope hurled itself against Gaea over and over and flung her around but the Ageless Green Savior took it all in her stride, and slowly the beast exhausted itself. It was then that the survivors rallied and with a hail of arrows laid the beast low until Gaea could finish it by bludgeoning it to death with her shield.
The fight had been harsh, but once again the rewards were great and the survivors were in a good mood as they made their way back to Aephyus, though they did appear to be having quite weird dreams, possibly brought on by the the water drunk from the fountain but they couldn't be too sure.
The settlement was peaceful that year, and they developed the concept of Family, spurring Thalia to pair with Caleb and give birth to twins, Dusk (her son) and Dawn (her daughter), both of whom inherited her skills with the Twilight Sword. This comforted Thalia greatly as she knew now that the settlement would always have a competent wielder for her beloved blade. The resources of the Antelope were not put to waste and a set of Screaming Fur Armour was completed, while the growing surplus of materials was put aside to build a blacksmith the next year. Diana used the peace and quiet to meditate at the lantern hoard as her idol Gaea had done, but she could not find understanding this way and grew frustrated.
Quietly, where no one else could see, Icarus gazed upon the now withered corpse of the murdered Grace. The ugliness of her dead body was broken by a single beautiful flower that grew from her lips. Compelled by some unseen force he picked the lone flower and ingested it, in a haze his consciousness was subsumed and he became someone else, a strange combination of Icarus and Grace.
It had been a rare peaceful year for the settlement of Aephyus, they now possessed strong weapons and armor, a bounty of resources, and seemed safe enough under the protection of their champion, Gaea.
It wasn't a bad year this year, but the fight against the Screaming Antelope turned out to be a tough one, due largely to Caleb (now a support character) being frenzied and Lorena being forced to use all her survival during Overwhelming Darkness. This meant my two Rawhide support characters had no ability to spend survival and this made it really hard to control the battle. Ultimately if Gaea hadn't been there to tank the Antelope I could very easily have partywiped here.
The hunt itself was bizarre in that despite a well shuffled hunt event deck I ended up drawing the exact same Antelope Hunt Events in the same order. Weird but ultimately it ended up alright as once again I managed not to roll a 1 during the stampede. If I had rolled a 1 I am pretty sure no one bar Gaea would have made it out of the actual showdown.
The settlement is looking pretty at the moment. I now have the family innovation which will make it a lot easier to manage the next generation of Twilight Knights, enough materials to build the blacksmith next year and a decent store (3) of iron to start me on building beacon shields and possibly Lantern Armour. In terms of innovation I'm working towards Clan of Death. Diana will start trying to gain understanding with the ultimate aim of getting her to be ageless once I've picked the Romantic principle in LY 12 to double my chances.
Thanks for reading and keen to hear from you.