Updated: Mar 2, 2019
*Once upon a time, there was a place of carved stone faces. A man with a lantern lay sleeping a dreamless sleep. the man knew nothing. One day the man woke up. He rubbed the dried ink caked over his eyes and opened them. Around him, he saw other people stirring, and beyond, a horizon of unbroken darkness. A woman approached the man with lantern. Her soft hand reached out to him. They had no words. They were a mystery to each other. Suddenly, a monster emerged from the darkness, its eyes wild with hunger. It attacked. The people were no match for the monster. It tore their flesh and crushed their bones between its teeth. Some, it devoured whole. Overcome with terror and grief, the man with the lantern collapsed to the ground. Cold stone noses pushed into his side. There was no escape. But the man did not want to die. Desperately grasping at the cold stone faces, he felt a crack, and tore at it with all his might. A piece of stone came free. It was sharp and deadly. The man with the lantern scrambled to his feet, his weapon clenched in his first. He took a deep breath and roared into the darkness. Somewhere in the place of stone faces, nameless men and women stand together. They have nothing but a need to survive and a lantern to light their struggle.
The four survivors awoke, knowing not each other but a threat lurked in the darkness ahead. There was Lysander: a burly man with fair skin and hair and a contemplative personality. Adonis, chiseled finely of olive skin with sable hair whose romantic notions led him to Phoebe and Zoe. Phoebe was the quiet type with tanned freckled skin and bright red hair and Zoe was the opposite: full of vim and with very pale skin and dark hair. With lanterns in hand, they saw each other but hand no language to speak but they knew a threat was near and they must help each other should they have any chance to survive...
Just then ... the monster emerged from darkness, the survivors surrounded the white lion and attacked!
After the group had many failed attempts of striking the monster, Zoe removed the lion's hand by tossing a founding stone. Lysander critically wounded the lion in the neck, which allowed Adonis an easy hit. Lysander's second swing missed as the lion jumped out of range which knocked Adonis down.
Phoebe leapt in and critically wounded the lion's elbow. It screamed in agony, giving time for Adonis to stand. Lysander tore out the lion's chest with a founding stone, pulling the bones with it. The survivors scavenged the corpse, gathering resources of bone, sinew and fur.
*After they defeat the white lion, the survivors wander the darkness, drawn to soft glow blooming on the horizon.
As the survivors stumbled upon the lantern hoard, Lysander spoke: Oikos. This would be what this place would be called and several others already sought refuge here. With the first words, he taught the others language and they flocked around Lysander to learn. He named the settlement Oikos and ordered the construction of several buildings. With the new buildings, they crafted weapons and armor and outfitted Phoebe and Zoe with new arms. Lysander stayed behind from the upcoming hunt to ponder the meaning of existence and oversee the development of Oikos. He sent the three friends that helped him slay the first beast and one of the men of Oikos: Nico.
During the survivor's first hunt, they found some banquets trees with enticing red fruit and cannot resist. Although most of the survivors did not suffer ill effects, Nico ate a poisonous apple, causing him injury before the hunt!
*There was once a beast that wanted to feel how soft its fur was. Since it could not reach its own back, it killed many other creatures and spent time rubbing its paws over them. They say that when the monster finally killed a human, it fell in love with their soft hair and its paws grew into a pair of fine human hands.
After a sleepless night, the survivors advanced upon their quarry. As they stalked through the tall grass, the lion sniffed them out and attacked.
Phoebe wounded the beast's flank and angered the lion. The lion turned to face Phoebe and swiped with such great force she flew back through the air and landed prone. The lion retaliated against Zoe's attack and knocked her prone, then picked her up with his maw, carrying her away. Phoebe called out to Zoe to encourage her to stand.
Nico threw his founding stone and critically wounded the beast's brows, impeding his vision. Zoe attacked with the bone sword, cutting the lion's ear off. The lion chomped at Adonis' face and tore his jaw off completely. Phoebe tossed her founding stone and tore off the lion's claw.
After knocking Adonis down, the lion tore off Adonis' head with his sharp teeth, killing him instantly.
Nico tore off the lion's tail. In response the lion clawed out Nico's stomach, causing the second casualty. With his final breath, Zoe was filled with vigor and struck at the Lion with fury!
Though the Lion withstood the onslaught, Zoe called out to Phoebe and the heartening words resounded through her. She quickly stood up and she finished off the badly wounded lion with her bare hands!
Mourning the loss of Adonis and Nico, Zoe and Phoebe returned to Oikos with their remains, giving them a proper burial.
After returning to Oikos, a playful woman of unparalleled beauty arrived, clad in living tongues. The men were captivated while the women were filled with jealousy and suspicions. Zoe and Phoebe drove the woman away, causing the men to become love-sick and unwilling to venture out for the next hunt.
*Tainted by darkness, a survivor nearly brought ruin to the settlement. On the day of her exile, the people decided that all must spend equal time hunting and working to avoid future disasters.
Oikos' population grew when Demitri and Ophelia had a baby, Margot. Two other survivors had twins and two other couples had babies. Lysander decided that the children were to be raised with love and patience, encouraging growth within the community.
*The settlement embraces the child with warm arms. Nurturing new life is their highest calling. The settlement gathers around the newborn in awe. Never have they seen something so precious and meaningful.
*Italicized sections from Kingdom Death: Monster Manual by Adam Poots