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Arethyr and Aethon

Mythic Legions
by yo go re

The official description for the Legion of Arethyr says their goal is to usher in the return of their dark god.

...mission accomplished!

A fiery manifestation of war itself, Arethyr is a hellish storm of fury and violence. Atop his smoldering steed, Aethon, he charges into battle brandishing the Aetherblade, a mystical weapon that bore a key role in his return and once again burns furiously in its master's hands. With the Aetherblade's power to dematerialize the living and draw their souls to a dark plane, Arethyr is poised to reunite his malevolent siblings and lay waste to Mythoss once and for all.

King Arethyr is a big fiery devil guy, something suiting his position as the "War" of this story's Four Horsemen. He has the bare legs and chest, and the super-sharp, pointed armor on his arms and legs. He's got the leather strap skirt hanging from his belt, and the segmented loincloth. That's all stuff we've seen before, possibly even in this very combination. But a dark god deserves something new, so he gets a little demonic head right on the front of his belt, and gigantic shoulder pauldrons that appear to be metal bat faces with huge, rough horns curving up from them. There is absolutely nothing about him that looks soft or welcoming.

Lest you think the walking embodiment of how a kid feels inside when their parent tells them to stop playing videogames and take the trash outside was going to have a cute, friendly face, worry not: that's just as demonic as the rest of him. If anything, it's even more! A plume of flame rises off his scalp, framed in the front by a pair of thick, ridged horns. He wears a... well, it's not really a crown, and it's not really a laurel, it's more of a dark metal frame that runs around the back of his head and then down to the tip of his chin, with a slatted visor over the eyes. The visor and the chin strap have sculpted "fang" bumps that make them look like a large mouth, and his crooked teeth are visible between them. The visor part can be removed, to give you a clear glimpse at his round, yellow eyes and his flat, upturned nose. He has long, pointed ears, and apparently wherever he's been banished to had a Piercing Pagoda and a SPencer's Gifts, because he's got large ear gauges in his lobes - that's how your grandparents will be able to tell he's evil! Because he knows how to curate his own image, his shoulder pads have gauges, too.

The Mythic Legions: Arethyr series introduced a new feature to the line, demon wings. They plug in the same as the recycled Gothitropolis wings some of the other figures have had, or Artemyss Silverchord's fairy wings, but they look leathery and have insect-like serrations along the leading edge, while the membranes have thick veins and tattered holes. This is the first time I've had to use one of the "wing extender" pieces all the figures have come with for a while now - between the wings, the shoulder pads, the straps criss-crossing his chest, and the extender piece, this is one very cluttered spine! The wings feature a swivel/hinge where they go into the shoulders (though a very short peg, so it wants to pop out any time you try to move them) and a hinge in the middle part so they can spread wide. The wings are red and yellow, matching the body wonderfully.

Arethyr has a decent selection of accessories - plain swords, plain shields, etc. - but the most important one is the Aetherblade, his signature weapon. For comparison, there was a character in Series 1 who was literally named "Gorgo Aetherblade" (Monnkey Boy review coming... soon?) and even he didn't come with the Aetherblade! The only way to get it before now was to have been prescient enough to buy a weapons pack from the first Kickstarter with no indication it was going to be in any way special. This one has less paint, but it does have an attachable flame effect, which is pretty nice.

Anybody who placed an order in the first 24 hours was promised a "special gift," with no hint what that might be. That might be a little tray that contains new colors of the Turtle Shell Shield and the Bone Handle Sword, both pieces from the Advent of Decay "Dark Forces" weapons pack. Their colors match Arethyr pretty well, but could also work for nearly anyone else without looking odd, so I'm glad I hit that order button early.

This series also introduced something new to Mythic Legions: horses. When the preorders went up (in July of 2019 - way to squeak in under that two-year mark!), you could order Arethyr, could order his horse, or you could order a set of Arethyr and his horse. Getting the set of two wasn't any cheaper, like you'd expect it would be, but it is an actual set, not just the two figures sold together: they've got special packaging sized for the both of them, not just their individual boxes. Okay, fancy!

Both horsies use the same basic mold, and it's a big one! Remember, Mythic Legions are closer to a 7" scale than a 6" scale, so their horse is going to be similarly huge. Aethon gets pasterns and canons wiith long hair like a Clydesdale, and his mane looks as if it's blowing in the strongest winds.The body is red with dark, airbrushed shadows, and the hair fades from orange near the skin to yellow at the tips.

In contrast to Balius, the heroic horse, Aethon has his mouth open, ready to bite - after all, he's a war horse, so it makes sense he'd be belligerent. His nostrils are black, like he's been snorting fire, and the shadows around his yellow eyes help them stand out. He wears a leather chanfron with three large spikes on it, and a pair of ecru horns that curve down alongside the bridle. On the toy, the horns are attached to the headgear, because that's an easy way to make them; but if this is a demon horse, who's to say they're not a natural part of him?

The armor continues with a peytral laying against his chest. A layer of fur rests between the thick leather and his skin, providing some padding and protection. The saddle gets the same thing, plus four loops where weapons can hang, and a pair of stirrups for the rider's feet. The reins are made from real metal chains, a great touch! The horse moves at the head, neck, tail, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, ankles, and toes. Yeah, I know those aren't the names of horse-parts, but they're more informative for you, the reader. Most of the leg joints are swivel/hinges, as is the tail, but the hips, neck, and head are all balljoints.

If you want Arethyr to ride the horse rather than stand next to it, you'll have to do something about the loincloth - you could fold it under, but since Mythic Legions are all kinds of modular, you could also pop the figure apart at the waist and just take the piece off. He does look awesome mounted, after all.

Since the follow-up to the Arethyr series involes a second big bad becoming a toy for the first time, and a horse for her to ride on, it seems clear the Four Horsemen are going to be doing the full "four horsemen" set. So if you pass on this one, you may be stuck hunting it down later.

-- 05/07/21


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