Thursday, 26 January 2017

Aephyus Lantern Year 6

Spurred on by the insistent Grace; Caleb, Thalia and Lorena took the newcomer with them to seek out the guardian of the hidden glade. As they made their way they came across a tome resting on a pedestal. Caleb opened the pages and the survivors looked at wonder at the contents but despite how hard they tried they couldn't discern any meaning. As they were peering at it Lorena let out a cry and motioned to the others to run as quickly as they could. Before them a wildfire raged, scalding them with its heat and burning to ash anything that lived on the plain of faces. As quickly as it erupted it died away, soon the ground was cool enough to walk on and the survivors carried on with their hunt.

The Flower Knight Himself

At first it seemed like little remained where the fire had touched but eventually they passed from the lands that had been damaged into new ones. Here there were signs of others, they passed by a gibbet, unenthusiastic to examine whatever inhabited it. Their wish to avoid the horrors of their world though were for nought, as only moments later a monolith of flesh erupted from the ground in front of them. It was truly a terrible sight to behold as it stretched into the sky like an amalgamation of organic matter and malice. Grace started forward to examine it but Caleb halted her as he instinctually felt the malevolence of the disgusting tower. The survivors circled around the monolith, but for the rest of their days the horror of it would stay with them.

They trudged on until they found the forest gate that the old crone had described before expiring. It begrudingly opened for them as they pushed through, but the battle through its thorny branches did leave them feeling weak and bleeding. They were rewarded though with a gracious aroma which enhanced their understanding of the world around them and made them eager to find their quarry. It was only a little further, and while they had to navigate a field of flesh eventually they found the Flower Knight.

Thalia leads the way through the Forest Gate

The flower knight gazed arrogantly at the survivors as they approached him from a ring of flowers. As they went to step inside the ring it burst into action, unleashing a cloud of noxious pollen and striking at Caleb's chest. The blows are weak though and are only enough to temporarily halt Caleb's advance. Content that he has warned off the intruders the Flower Knight carefully moves back to the centre of his domain.

Caleb just wants to pick flowers but the Flower Knight has other ideas. I'm assuming this is also the flower patch where he finds the tasty skull.

The survivors though are intent though on slaughtering the strange creature and unleash a volley of arrows at the knight, all of which it deftly parries and dodges. Instantly it reacts, by rushing back out at Caleb and swiping its blade across his head. Thalia attempts to use its distraction to her advantage and slashes across its helm with her twilight sword. While the blow is true the Flower Knight reacts with a lightning fast riposte which injures her foot. The knight's assault though is halted when Lorena hurls a dart into the back of the monster's delicate knee. In an instant the Flower Knight returns to the centre of his fairy ring and somehow transports Caleb right in front of him. The monster lets out a flurry of kicks with his bladed limbs but Caleb is able to dodge them all.

Is In response Caleb smashes his shield into the Knight's shoulder as Thalia lets loose an arrow into its legs. Caleb attempts once again to run out of the fairy ring but even as he exits it he is again somehow pulled to its centre and is shocked when the monster impales him with a venomous sting to his chaste, while slashing at his waist armour. Desperately Caleb lashes out and flees from the monster. The other survivors pelt the Knight with arrows and Grace hacks at it with her Katar, but none can properly close with the monster as it only seems to grow stronger the closer it is to the centre of its fairy ring.

The Flower Knight becomes wholly fixated upon Caleb, teleporting him back into the ring of flowers everytime he tries to escape and attacking him. It is all Caleb can do to keep his shield up and dodge the lightning fast blows of the knight's rapier as well as its poisonous stinger. His fellow survivors do all they can to help him but none can stay long in the fairy ring without falling victim to the noxious pollen. They rain darts and arrows at the Knight weakening it greatly.

The Flower Knight is not by any means a 'tough' monster but a lot of his hit locations can make it very difficult to land a good hit. 

As Lorena attempts to deliver the killing blow she is trapped by the Flower Knight who slashes ugly wounds into her chest and knocks her to the ground. It then brings down its pommel on her head but she avoids her skull being crushed thanks to her armour. Lorena crawls out of the fairy ring, desperate to live and her life is spared when Grace dashes into the ring and with all her might hacks at the Flower Knight with the Butcher's Cleaver. Furiously she hacks and bludgeons at the once graceful creature until the Knight is left twisted and broken on the ground.

The survivors rejoice and begin to collect all the flowers in the grove. Caleb though wanders at the edge of the fairy ring and finds something resting under a clump of rotten flowers. Curiosly he pushes aside the debris and discovers a decayed skull. Suddenly a compulsion overtakes him and he begins to eat the skull. The bone breaks into powder as he chews it and Caleb finds the experience exhilirating but is wise enough to hide his actions from the other survivors.

The mood is sombre as the survivors return to their settlement and they are upset to learn that while they were away a group of armoured strangers had arrived and killed five of their number.Grace though, is treated like a hero upon return to the settlement and she excitedly tells the tale of their battle with the Flower Knight, in particular acting out the way that the Knight would rapidly attack amongst a spiral of petals. This is great for the morale of the settlement and inspires them to make two might Vespertine Bows from the various plants and flowers brought back to the settlement. Curiously, the symposium the survivors usually hold to innovate new ideas is not held this year, as Caleb sticks to himself. Gaea, still contemplating the nature of reality, notices Caleb's withdrawal from the group. There will be trouble soon.....


This year was almost all good news, the hunt went well and I had a really enjoyable fight against the Flower Knight which was made relatively challenging by him drawing the Noxious Cloud mood and another which meant he would basic attack anyone in the fairy ring at the end of his turn. This really drew the fight out as I was very reliant on my ranged weapons to take him down. I was also lucky that he continually picked on Caleb, the survivor most able to survive his attention.

One tip here for new players with hunting the flower knight is that you shouldn't hesitate to pick up tokens from "The forest wants what it wants" event. The Flower Knight has very low toughness so you can easily afford -1S tokens, and the bleed isn't too bad if you have a bandage or two lying around. That said I've only fought the L1 so it might be different if you fight a higher level. In my mind though it's almost always worth ensuring that you actually get to have the showdown.

The bad news though was drawing Skull Eater and having Caleb (the de facto leader) succumb to illness. While he hasn't been noticed there will be a murder next year. As such I used the Lantern Hoard to age up Grace so she will be the victim (and come back to life as she has the sleeping virus flower gear). Who knows what will happen then but it gives me the best chance of a decent outcome (I'd love to get to pick 3 fighting arts and disorders for Caleb.)

In terms of gear crafting I had the resources to build two Vespertine Bows so I went ahead and did that. These are incredibly powerful weapons and by building two at once I will only have one necrotoxic mistletoe event to deal with. This meant I wasn't able to innovate but at this point I was a little ahead (thanks to getting ammonia from the White Lion hunt) so I was willing to not innovate this turn.

Hope you enjoyed and keen to hear from you. 

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