Kingdom Death - The Rise and Fall of Gyrmek Part 1

The following is a storytelling of our heroic time in the dark. Kingdom Death is a nightmare horror board game where a group of people band together to survive, it is brutal, it is unforgiving and you will die. These things are true. The game encourages building a primitive tech tree along with character traits (and disabilities) much like a pen and paper RPG but goes further to give a structure and coordinated event and plot situations which drive the storytelling for people who may not be so pen and paper RPG inclined.

As a group we really had a great deal of fun with this game, possibly going as far to say its the most fun I have had in a board game with three other people around a table. So after Lewis kindly backed this project many moons ago, last month he received his Kingdom Death Monster package through the post. Let the games begin! I will be recounting our heroic tale through the storytelling which evolved naturally as we played the game, as an experience this game shouldn't be missed so find someone you know to buy it! We will be recounting our heroic deeds for many a moon.


Gydian van Gyrmek awoke to a wild roar in the dark, the screaming of people and the crashing of stone pillars. Dust rose to fill his nose which was pressed against the marble floor. Eyes, he could see eyes! Staring back at him were two piercing eyes and a mouth eternally caught in gasps of agony. As his vision focused he began to see more faces entombed in the floor. Before he could think, the noises died and out from the shadow stepped a hulking great beast with the body of a lion but eyes that were more human than feral. He realised that nearby lay a lantern, casting its dim light grudgingly into the endless night. Primal fear and reflex kicked in, he grabbed at the floor to push himself upright and hit upon a loose notch of stone, fist sized with a decent weight about it. He picked it up as he got to his feet and found himself back into a woman, their eyes caught then swept to look at the beast. They fled.

The beast tore after them, silent except the sound of its murderous almost too large paws on the stone. Gydian fell bringing down the woman with him. In that instant the beast had leapt and would have caught them both had it not been for chance. A tangle of arms, legs and groaning. They lay in a crumpled heap on the floor, but there was now four, all a tangle of skin and cloth robes. A fifth ran from the shadows screaming at the lion, but with one great swipe of its claws tore open the persons stomach letting his entrails fall to the dusty floor. All it took was a moment, but the four that lay in pile settled upon a mutual understanding that if they did not band together they would not last the night. As they arose from the dusty floor, motes swept through the air and they charged the beast.

The lion unused to coordinated prey leapt at Slania. She fled. Gydian felt a primal calling in his mind, MINE. He leapt in front of the monster, casting his bare chested form across its path. With a mighty swing of the stone piece in his fist time seemed to slow. He caught the lion across the jaw with a sickening blow, at the same time feeling the razor sharp pain as he broke two of his fingers caught between stone and bone. Recoiling and kicking out the lion took Gydian's legs from under him. With a crack he hit the floor hard, a blinding pain shooting up his back, I can't move my legs he thought. In an instant the beast was over him, watching him, goading him with all too human eyes. As the remaining survivors looked on in horror the lion rose on its two back legs and brought its front paws down on Gydian's head. Darkness.

Slurm's looked on, the others, dazed by this monstrous show of strength. It was now or never. Slurms ran, screaming sounds that he didn't know his body was capable of, straight at the monsters flank and threw his jagged stone with inhuman strength. It flew true, striking the creature on its great hind paw. A guttural cry came from the cat which began to limp away from Gydian's body into the night. At the loss of one of their own the group rallied and pressed on the lion. Tane gathered her courage and struck, catching it across the stomach causing a deep gash which began to trickle thick sweet blood, sensing the lion was done for Slania ran to cut it off. Slow and cumbersome now the monster rose its paw to bat Slania out of the way, but with adrenaline fuelled reflexes Slania smote the beast completely tearing its jaw off with an overarm strike from the marble floor piece. It was done. The monster crashed to the floor, dust rising in all directions but all the party did was look back to Gydian's broken headless form several meters away.

Weeks passed but the memory of Gydian remained, the survivors scrounged what they could from the lions carcass, crafting what they needed to survive the coming darkness. But those who survive remember Gydian and his sacrifice, from his broken body a monument was built and Gyrmek, a beacon of light in the long dark was formed.

Craig McNicholas

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.