They went searching for the source of the rumbling in the dark.
On the hunt they came across an abnormally large stone face whose nostrils were filled with a shimmering goo. Despite their revulsion, Allister secretly scooped up a large handful of the goo and consumed it greedily. The substance filled him with energy, and he felt faster and more nimble than ever.
As they continued their hunt, they came upon a strange scene. They moved through a small clearing that was full of man-shaped bundles of bric-a-brac, each staked to the ground with a crude weapon in its mannequin hand. The dummies appeared to have been attacked, and they all showed signs of sword cuts. The four survivors felt alert, but none of them could quite make out what exactly they were seeing.
A short time later they found their quarry.
The massive beetle was the shape of a man, yet it towered over them. It put one hand on the giant resin dung ball at its back before spinning the ball entirely around its massive frame. Before the ball could come to a complete stop, the Dung Beetle Knight shoved it towards the survivors. The resin ball sent tremors through the ground as it rolled to a stop mere inches from Zachary.
The monster slammed its foot into the earth, causing the ground to shift beneath their feet, and the great ball rolled back towards the knight. Amazed at the monster's sheer strength, and captivated by the movement of the resin ball they weren't prepared for, the Dung Beetle Knight to charge towards them. The beast sprinted towards Erza, cutting across her waist, before springing back to its spot next to the resin dung ball.
Lucy looked through her Cat Eye Circlet and saw an opportunity. Surging forth, she threw her Founding Stone end over end at the side of the ball. Incredibly, the blow landed with enough force to spin the ball into the monster, knocking it to the ground.
She shouted to Allister to do the same and, trusting Lucy's instincts, he too threw the Founding Stone that he had been keeping with him for years. The blow shattered the Dung Beetle Knight's sword, which Allister quickly snatched up off the ground. Even though mere heartbeats passed, the pieces of the blade appeared to be drawn to each other, and some of the smaller cracks were already disappearing.
Zachary and Erza quickly moved in to attack the beast while it was still down. Despite its vulnerable position, Zachary's swing was sloppy, and his Zanbato missed the mark.
Erza's spear struck the monster's armor soundly. With a resounding thrum, a Swarm of Botflies gushed from between the knight's armor plates, terrifying Erza and knocking her to the ground.
Allister shouted words of encouragement to Erza, who quickly stood before slamming her spear into the monster's eye. The knight attempted a parry, but it was sloppy, and it lost an eye to Erza's expert thrust.
The Dung Beetle Knight leaped back to its feet, pounding the ground impossibly hard, causing the ball to once again roll towards it. The force of the impact caused Zachary to lose his footing and fall. The monster launched an attack directly at Zachary's head, but he managed to roll out of the way.
Allister rushed the knight, slamming his axe into the monster's abdomen. The force of his blow was incredible, and he took a moment to savor it while Erza cut at the Dung Beetle Knight's Wing.
The burly beetle kicked the resin ball at Erza, slamming her out of the way. Despite possessing great strength, the beetle gingerly stepped on a keystone. A series of tunnels beneath the battlefield collapsed, knocking all four survivors to the ground. The ground opened up beneath Zachary momentarily before rumbling and slamming closed again, neatly severing his leg at the hip. His scream of pain could barely be heard over the cacophony of grinding earth and stone.
The survivors lay stunned by the passing tremors, but their foe didn't hesitate. It spun and kicked the resin ball at the screaming Zachary. His voice cracked as the ball rolled over him, warping his pelvis. Deafening silence settled over the battlefield, filling the space his screams occupied mere moments before. The beetle's wings thrummed as it quickly flew next to the ball as it rolled to a stop.
Despite the incredible pain, Zachary managed to get upright on his remaining leg. He pushed the ball with all of his might and managed to roll it a few feet away from the knight, who seemed perplexed by his behavior, while Erza and Allister pressed the attack.
Erza's attacks couldn't find purchase, but Allister managed to cut across the beast's claws.
Taking advantage of the unsteady ground, the Dung Beetle Knight pounded the ground, rolling the ball back towards him and knocking Zachary to the floor yet again. Fighting against fatigue, Erza surged forward and, taking inspiration from Zachary's missing leg, stabbed down at the beetle's leg. The beetle grabbed the haft of her spear and lifted her off of her feet. Instead of letting go, Erza held on, and the beetle slammed her into the dung ball.
Lucy sensed the tide of the fight turning against them, and she crept forward into bow range. The Dung Beetle Knight saw her coming, and kicked the resin ball into Allister before sprinting at her, bashing his shoulder into her chest, knocking her back into a fallen pillar and breaking her ribs.
Delirious with pain, Zachary shouted at Lucy to get up. He turned toward the monster and hopped slowly towards it, putting the entire weight of his body behind his attack. His Zanbato shattered on the knight's breastplate, doing no damage, but the attack opened up the monster's defenses, and Lucy fired, sinking an arrow into the beast's breastplate.
Fearing for Zachary's life, Erza threw her founding stone at her enemy, sinking the stone deep into its gut and carving off a piece of its armored shell.
Ignoring Erza, the knight attempted to shoulder slam Zachary out of the way but, even on one leg, he managed to dodge the blow.
Erza charged the Dung Beetle Knight, but he gracefully sidestepped her attack and again grabbed her spear. He vaulted her directly above his head and slammed her, full force, into the mouth of the dung ball. Erza landed hard, and her hip shattered. The smell inside the ball threatened to overpower her senses.
Allister stepped forward and deftly cut at the monster's wings and back. His sword bit deep, and with a spray of ichor, the knight collapsed to the ground.
The Dung Beetle Knight is tough. He doesn't show up until Kingdom Death: Monster's Lantern Year 8 at the earliest, and he's sure to punish anyone who isn't prepared to both dish and take serious damage.
Like the other Knight expansions for the game, the Dung Beetle Knight comes with a badge that is earned for defeating him, which provides a small bonus and gives access to powerful Tactics cards that add an excellent layer of tactical depth to the game. While the fight is tough, it's very worthwhile, and since the Dung Beetle Knight is a huntable quarry, it adds a great shot of variety to the mid-game. Unless you are playing a campaign that specifies not to add any expansions, I'd recommend adding the Dung Beetle Knight every time.
The Dung Beetle Knight has some incredibly powerful gear that can be made even better via a farming mechanic that even lets fans of the Zanbato, like myself, turn the fragile, but powerful weapon into an even bigger, badder weapon without the inherent flaw of the original. One of the really interesting aspects of the armor pieces from this expansion is that they are items, rather than armor, so they can be used to really beef up your armor points or to help fill in gaps that would normally go unarmored.
As expected, the plastics in the Dung Beetle Knight kit are great. The monster and resin ball are both very nice, and the detail in the beetle's armor is outstanding. This expansion comes with pair of survivor miniatures and plenty of armor kit compatible bits.
The copy of the Dung Beetle Knight expansion used for this article was purchased by the author.
Have you picked up any of the Kingdom Death: Monster expansions yet? If so, let us know what you think the must-haves are in the comments below.