The departing survivors share out their new gear. Red ties her headband and swings her axe, Coal tosses his darts from hand to hand, Ash and Chestnut mock fight with their bone blades.
The rest of the settlement watches in silence as the band disappears into the dark. An Aromatic Breeze lets them know they are on the trail of a White Lion, but its smell overwhelms Ash and he slips into a waking nightmare. The Sea of Golden Grass looks like a place to hide and wait, but a young White Lion has the same plan and pounces on the group from behind.
Grasping at Coal, Coal rolls to one side and the Lion lets out a Terrifying Roar. Ash and Red lose their minds to the fear of this beast and everyone takes a step back. Coal stumbles over a rocky outcrop, but there is nothing useful in its cracks.
Chomping on Coal’s head, he is knocked to the ground. The others move back, trying to regroup. Ash hides in the long grass, Red loses herself a little as she pulls at the carcass of a long dead survivor, but his mummified body has been picked clean.
The Lion’s Claw cannot find a target as the band hides in the tall grass. Only Coal’s darts can reach the target, but they are too weak to be effective.
Two more swipes of the Claw and Ash has his Rawhide Vest torn to shreds as he ducks the head blow. Putting his momentum behind his blade, Ash wounds the Lion twice, the Femur and Shoulder. Red’s Axe follows the blade, deep into the flesh of the beast’s Flank and slicing its Heel, knocking it down. These are both deep, bloody wounds. Coal’s darts whistle through the air and one lodges deep in the Lion’s Ear. It’s deafened! Chestnut cuts the monster’s Tail, it tries to lunge away, but cannot get up.
The Lion shakes itself, stands and Roars. Three step back, the horrors they’ve seen make the open roaring maw seem like nothing, but Ash loses his grip, going into a terrible Frenzy. Standing and shouting at the beast, he takes blows to his arm and chest without even noticing. Coal throws his darts, misses until the Lion steps on one, driving it deep into its Paw, chipping a Claw off in the process. The Lion is down again. The band moves back in for the kill.
There is a flurry of Claws and blades. Ash is hurt and on the floor, Chestnut stabs the Fleshy Gut, Coal is swatted to ground, and the Lion grabs Chestnut’s head in its mouth and tosses her aside. More flailing until Coal can see a clear shot with his darts … but it’s just a Clever Ploy by the Lion who lunges at Coal and tears the back of his throwing hand with its claws.
The Lion Roars and Roars again, driving the survivors back.
Looking up the Beast chases towards Red. She feints and gets behind the Lion, swinging her axe between its legs. Blood and organs scatter as the axe bites deep. The Lion, almost done for, turns and hits her in return. She dodges away as Ash drives his blade into the creatures Straining Neck for the kill.
In shock, the survivors gather their resources and head home.
As the weary band approaches Gloomwych, they can see all is not well. Cracks split the ground, releasing a noxious gas, but also releasing an especially sharp stone from the ground. As Lantern Year 2 dawns, the mad screaming starts, an unearthly noise surrounding the camp. Red struggles to reassure the settlement and become the Orator of Death, but the sounds still drive everyone a little crazy. They can only imagine what could be making the din as it fades away.
A group discusses how they should rule the settlement. A Symposium is founded and they know this group will guide them better in the future.
With more knowledge of the Lion, the settlement builds the Catarium to tan and sharpen the Lion’s parts. From the pelts they craft a flowing Coat and heavy Helm, knowing the thick fur will protect them. A Cat Gut Bow and long Spear will let them fight from a distance. But best of all, a potent drink is distilled from the Lion Testes, allowing Ash to enter his frenzied fighting state. They are ready to hunt again.
Wow! 4 criticals and two frenzies. The symposium does nothing for us now, but we can control our innovations much better. Ammonia, here we come.