Leaving the settlement, once more venturing out into the darkness, Aeolus, Abas, Ariadne, and Atlanta were confronted by the hulking form of the Butcher. It was clad in thick furs, skulls, lanterns, heavy armour, and brandished a pair of mighty cleavers.
Acting quickly the party took cover behind some pillars, and encircled the brute.
The Butcher was not only armed with scything cleavers, but was able to stare into the minds of the survivors, and tormented their souls. The survivors launched a flurry of attacks against him, and began to make him hurt, but it did not take long for fear to overwhelm their minds.
The Butcher was able to swing his blades around, knocking them all to the ground.
Another swirling death blow sends Abas and Aeolus flying.
The Butcher magically appears next to Atlanta and sends her mad with grief. She feels nothing for life and the world.
Abas was able to strike a lucky hit from behind the Butcher, knocking him to the ground. The others take their chance to lay into the monsterous being. Atlanta struck him with her spear.
Ariadne prepared herself, once more mimicking the manner in which the lions hunt, and bounded forward to strike the Butcher on the ground. But it was a trap, and the Butcher stood up and knocked Abas down, before teleporting away to once more attack Atlanta-
However, the Butcher was once more surround by Ariadne and Aeolus, who were able to finally kill the Butcher. The armoured figure slumped down, and faded from view. Nothing remained.
Upon returning to the settlement, Atlanta was consumed by the need to eat the skull of one of the previous dead of the settlement. But her hunger was sated, and she remained calm.
With nothing to use to build or create, but having survived the Butcher, Aeolus led the settlement in celebrations, which in turn led to him knocking down a lantern, and in a moment of inspiration learnt how to harness fire properly. He created an oven, that in future could be used to make new tools. The settlement also grew, and five children were conceived, two being twins.
With a lack of resources, Aeolus, Abas, Atlanta, and Ariadne once more set off, to hunt, this time hoping to find a true bounty. They were seeking far larger game.
Abas found a lion claw as they found signs of scratching, and it confirm they had found a larger lion. But it was as they travelled that Atlanta broke down, consumed by grief. However, in turn, as they walked along, something spoke to her. The very faces of the ground whispered, and with it she gained some sort of understanding of the world. In time they came upon a valley, where the stone faces with sharp and jagged, they cut them as they clambered down. It was in the valley, in the shade of a tree, that they found a lion cub, and Abas slew the small animal. The yelps of the young lion bringing the far larger parent. It was larger than any lion they had faced previously. (Yeah Level 2 lion!) But the party was prepared. Aeolus had taught them a secret art, that filled their attacks with an inner fire.
The lion roared in grief and stalked after them. Atlanta was driven to frenzy and readied her spear, able to deliver a series of deep wounds to the lion.
Ariadne, using her katars made of the Antelope teeth, struck and crippled its paw (Huzzah! The Lion trait to be able to just run off and grab a survivor was out of action quickly).
However, the lion was undeterred, and slashed and swiped, maiming Ariadne. The fight was so brutal that eventually the lion's attacks were so savage that it ripped her leg off and she died of shock.
Making good use of the injuries to the lion, the party kept their distance and encircled it, with Aeolus's fighting art lending strength to the others. The lion was finally killed.
Returning to the camp Abas was also consumed by grief, eating the skull of Ariadne and driven to a murderous urge and a need to eat uncontrollably. The survivors were of little help to the camp, for the Bone Witch waylaid them. She was the exile from a few years back, and she tested the survivors, and maimed Abas, promising her return.
The survivors, already wounded, tired and exhausted from the lion and the witch, found the settlement in chaos. The were met by armoured figures, that then left. But Aelous discovered that the young born of the previous year of celebration were now dead. These Kings Men had slew all the young. Already the remaining survivors had begun to render down their bodies into organs and flesh to be used for weapons and clothes. Along with the harvest from the lion, a great many things could be made.
Aiakos donned as much armour of the lion as possible, and led Arachne, Alcestis, and for the first time, Acastus, on a hunt. The antelope would be their quarry this time.