PM Plot: Just Another Bug Hunt

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Owen is sitting at a bench table in the Dragon's Den this evening, mulling over a few sheets of parchment with a cup of table wine, several cups and a near full pitcher sharing the table with him. By word of mouth through the temple and religious circles, or by the adventurer's guild, it seems the priest-adventurer is looking to subcontract some work out.

Slinking through the tavern's evening crowd, only to shamelessly take a seat opposite Owen, Sharna provides the Althean with a pleasant smile. Yes, that is a Mul'niessa-blooded half-elf. Right there. "Word around the Guild of Explorers is you're looking for folks to handle a problem?" she offers as both greeting and explanation, the business-like smile flaring. Leaning forward, elbows rest lightly on the table and hands fold.

"Word is," replies Teppus, sliding into the seat nearby Sharna as well, "that you're looking for folks." He casts a look over his shoulder at Sharna, warily. She's a mul-blood, after all, and that's never something you don't pay attention to. He puts his hands on the table, adding, ""So what are you needing?"

Minka is arguing with the bartender about the tab. She says she had four; he says she had six. Eventually he seems inclined to see things her way, and she pays before meandering away with another drink in hand. "Oh, what's going on here?" she wonders as people seem to congregate around Owen.

"That th' one?" a voice calls in after Sharna's. A bandy-legged fellow stumps his way into the tavern. He smells like the woods and wilder things, with leathered skin that could have been peeled off a crocodile's hide. His tusks are heavy, one chipped and busted. And he scowls as he comes to the table, though he's wary enough not to rest his hands upon it.

Owen waves you all over to take a seat, sliding the pitcher to the center of the table after refilling his own cup. He nods a greeting to each of you and then wets his mouth with a sip of wine, then speaks. "Well, it's no secret I'm one of several trying to improve conditions for the wave of immigrants coming in from the outside world. There is work started on founding new towns in the badlands and moors to the west of here, but it is a long and slow progress, that will only result in potatoes, turnips, and goats until the soil improves. And that's why I'm looking to hire the lot of you. I've talked with sages and farmers, druids and wizards, and they seem to agree the rocky soil needs to be turned and loosened. And the experts tell me there is a creature that can do that. I want you to find it and bring it back alive."

"Ach. That creature's long, hard work. They tamin' some billy-animal to do what they ain't willin?" Ormarr folds his arms. They're heavy with scars, and he smells of the earth.

Quint isn't a bar person. Really, he's not terribly at home in taverns, inns, saloons, pubs or anything along those lines. Relaxed, alcohol-friendly settings. Maybe it's a righteous paranoia or maybe he was just drugged and taken advantage of in such a place. The bearded human is so tight-lipped it's unlikely anyone will ever know. Still, do-goodery needs doing and so he moves carefully through the light, milling group of regular pub crawlers towards the growing assembly of dangerous people -- all sombre frown and suspicious glances.

Listening to the Althean talk, Sharna takes a moment to look over and survey her would-be companions. Good gods, the lot of them - her included - are one mottley crew. "And... what creature would this be? What's the catch?" she asks Owen plainly once he's stopped talking. She provides Quint a little wave, wiggling her fingers his way. She's not yet put anything sharp in Teppus' kidneys, but there's no telling with her kind!

And Teppus eyes Sharna warily for a moemnt longer before his attention goes back to Owen.

"Yeah?" he asks, cautiously, "Now just what kinda creature be ya talkin' about here? I'm assumin', whatever it is, that its fairly dangerous if you're going to need the likes of a group like this to capture it."

"Heh, my father taught me to work smarter, not harder. It's not a matter of hard work, there are immigrants out now toiling for a better way of life as we speak. They haven't the time and I haven't the coin for a works project on such a large scale, especially with winter around the corner." The Althean priest remarks, waving Quint over to take a seat. "I've been told of a creature known as an Ankheg, large bug that spits acid. It's the woe of farmers as it preys on livestock, but they burrow and churn the soil faster than any plow could ever hope to. I've heard reports of what sounds like such a creature to abandoned farmlands north of Sendor. I would like you to capture it alive so it can be released in the moors."

Minka says, "I bet you could find a lot of ant eggs if you dug up an ant pile. But you'd probably get all kinds of bites on your hands when the angry ants wandered up the stick to your fingers, furious that you'd ruined their home," Minka observes to no one in particular."

The old oruch squints at the Hearthguard. "Alive," he echoes, in the same response as some old, grumpy man might say, while rockin' on his front porch: you lost your mind, boy? But, "Yer payin', though. Alright. You want it done, I'll help out. ...spit burns like hell, though."

A shallow nod of recognition is offered to Sharna, Quint listening from where he stands behind one of the table's many chairs. "Can such a creature be managed without serious risk?" He seems dubious, frown twitching at the mention of acid. "Or do you have an appropriate expert in mind?" A hand hidden in a thick, leather glove rests easily on the pommel of his sword while the conversation meanders.

"A large acid-spitting bug. Sounds delightful." Sharna deadpans. There's a mutter, there, into her own chin - Sildanyari, something about acid burns. Bad experiences, maybe. She takes a deep breath, exhales it. "Alright. Well. You sound like you might know a thing or two about these things." she says, turning to regard the rickety Yrch. "Any good way to lure one? Trap it? Hells, even just finding something that burrows ought to be tricky."

"I've no money to pay you. What I had available is going to securing travel and the equipment necessary. Cages, and an alchemical substance that will neutralize the creature's acid once you'd subdued it. But what I lack in coin, I can provide in service. In my travels, I've studied in the monastaries of my faith and I've learned to distill the blessings of Heaven's Queen into aqua vitae. I provide you a draught for emergencies, and if you wish to comission any other blessings, I will do so at cost. And of course, this creature has been plaguing the nearby roads now that the livestock are gone. It could be very likely the creatures have inadvertantly amassed coinage and other items from travelers its preyed upon." Owen monologues, taking a moment to sip from his cup every so often.

"I know a bit about this an that," Ormarr admits. "Ormarr, of the Drum Reavers," he says firmly. "I ain't a bad scout or lookout, when it comes down t' things."

"Great," says Teppus after a moment, nodding towards Ormarr. "Nice to meet you. All right, so. We need to find one. And then we need to tap uit with the equipment you're giving us. All right. WE can do that. We'll need rope. A lot of rope." He's got thsi idea of lassoing the damn thing, see. "So where do we find one of these things, though? That's what I'm wonderin'."

Also, he's eyeing Minka. "You have a good point there," he adds.

Minka nods solemnly for a moment. Then she pulls out a flute and begins to tootle along cheerfully.

Owen chuckles, draining his cup before he adds in a bit more detail, "I've already found one, I believe. It's on this map here." He slides over a parchment with a quasi-professionally done trail map that leads two days travel from Sendor. "I have an airship that was kind enough to give me bulk rate, but it's not going to be a pleasure cruise. They will be back in port tomorrow evening and head to Sendor the next morning. I've also taken to supplying mules and a wagon, along with a cage, rope, and various other items that you will need. You just have to get the creature and get it to the outskirts of Sendor. I'll have an airship waiting to pick it and you up for the return trip."

NO MONEY?! ... But the tentative friendship of a healer-priest. Choices, choices. Sharna looks very, very thoughtful for a moment - but in the end, Owen wins. The prospect of a healer contact, plus possible lifetime supply of cheap anti-scarring salve? Totally worth its weight in gold in her business. "Alright." she agrees, giving a firm nod to strengthen the word of acceptance. "Sounds workable."

No money? That seems perfectly okay by Teppus. He nods towards Owen, "So you asked 'em nicely as a Priest of Althea until they gave in, did'ja?" He flashes Owen an approving grin and then adds, "All right. I'm good to go. We're gonna need to go through the supplies you've got available and then we'll go and get extras. Now," he continues, "how exactly we're gonna wrangle this damn thing is gonna be an issue. Youm," he turns towards Ormarr, "You look like you know what you'd be doin' on horseback..."

"And you do have someone prepared to break and train such an exotic creature when it is brought back into the city?" Quint reiterates his question, his even tone unchanged. Distracted a moment by the woodwind's chirping, he glances from the orc-blooded woman back to the Hearthguard. "I would not think it as simple as finding a horse trainer."

"I've no plans to train it or bring it into the city. It, along with any eggs you might find, will be released into the wild moors and hills far away from the current founding town and colonies. Their range of their hunting ground is not massive, but they often wander. And there is enough small game to support a few in the area, I'm told." The Althean explains.

Quint nods again after a moment's thought. "I see. So long as there are proper records kept and those closest are well aware of the beasts' presence -- tasks I am sure you were planning -- it would seem that the benefits well outweigh the risk." This human, clearly, enjoys living in the heat of the moment without overthinking things too much.

Ormarr rubs at a three-day stubble. "Eh. Well, ain't got much else to do. Guess we're goin huntin, then." And he grins, then. And there's a gap along one of his back molars.

"Right, then. Let's do this," says Teppus. At least he doesn't shout his name thereafter. He's more than happy to be on his way, though. Excited, actually.

The next day is relatively uneventful. You get provisioned up, gathering what few personal supplies that aren't provided, and then come face to face with the Sky Scab. A crusty freight airship crewed by goblins that salvaged it from a wreck in Bludgun years back, that had nothing to do with goblin sabotage. It makes the Millenium Falcon look factory fresh by comparison, but it runs! You find yourself in the cargo hold, which is toting clocks and timber. The timber makes decent sleeping racks, but the clicking and gonging of clocks is almost maddening, along with the din of goblin chatter and worrying creaks and groans from the oft-patched hull.

After a day and a half of travel, you find yourselves in Sendor, where the Althean has provisioned you with a large wagon dominated by a steel cage bolted into it, pulled by four mules. Your map leads along a heavy traveled road, that veers off towards the Bludgun border just a bit, where farmlands were devastated from the war and never recovered. You are pretty sure you found the spot when you spot a small gypsy wagon with peddlers goods tipped over into a ditch, the side of it eaten away from acrid smoke. The owner and the steeds pulling the wagon are nowhere to be found, but there are two furrows of fresh turned earth that run through a smashed open hedgerow and old stone walls that have been toppled by shifting dirt. Following that trail ever so cautiously leads you a half mile north to an abandoned wheat field near a burnt out farmhouse. The fresh dirt and drag marks go into a large tunnel that an ogre could fit into, loose dirt packed in and shored up with some strange resin.

<OOC> Owen says, "When you're ready, set me up a marching order. It's 10ft wide, so you can go 2x2 if you want."

<OOC> Teppus says, "Teppus, Sharna, Minka, Ormarr, Quint."

<OOC> Teppus says, "Let's say Me and Sharna, then Minka, then Ormarr, then Quint. So 2/1/1/1. :p"

And so Teppus stakes his new horse not far from the cave entrance, hoping that it will not get eaten rigth away for being outside the cave. Still, though, he's readied himself and drawn his glaive. "Right, then. Let's have a walk in," he adds, aiming to begin descending right into the tunnel, poking at the resin with the haft of his glaive.

The tunnel is broad but not too tall. It goes from 8 feet in height to 5 in certain places. But the strange smell of the resin, fresh dirt, blood, and bilious stomach acid hangs in the air. The tunnel goes straight straight minus the occasional winding around a large rock or a tree stump, but at a 15 degree angle. You pace forward, ready to attack or be attacked at a moment's notice. *cue ominous music*

<OOC> Owen says, "Make me some perception checks"

GAME: Teppus rolls Perception: (1)+1: 2

GAME: Quint rolls Percepton: (20)+Percepton: 20

GAME: Minka rolls perception: (9)+7: 16

GAME: Sharna rolls Perception: (13)+12: 25

GAME: Ormarr rolls perception: (12)+7: 19

Minka hums as she goes, all cheerful in spite of the danger. Still, she's got her weapon well at hand for shooting things that need to be shot.

Twin blackjacks in hand - they've been told to bring the horrible, acid-spitting monster back alive - Sharna strides alongside Teppus, keeping a mildly slanted eye and sharply pointed ear out for danger. A hand is held up. "Hear that?" she whispers to the group, voice barely audible. "No, not the minstrel. Like something moving. Or at least shifting."

Ormarr rubs a hand over his nose. It leaves a smear of dirt. "Inside of a bear's stomach smells better," he mutters sourly, though he doesn't sound upset, not exactly. "I feel like a dumbass for not adding two and two together, though, figurin' we'd be underground. Anyone able to see here but me?"

"Yes." Quint's response to Sharna is succinct, sliding out from behind his barbute at just above a whisper. In his surcoat and armor he seems a bit more impressive than the simple clothing he favors for his more banal moments, a crascent shaped shield is also strapped to one arm. His head swivels around slowly, eyes sliding over the foreign terrain of the natural tunnel.

With his glaive held in one hand, Teppus strides forward with narrowed eyes, a sunrod in his hand. He's an unhappy camper at the moment, armor clanking with each move. "Gods. You're right, Ormarr. This *does* stink."

"Tellin ya. Heh. Course, it reminds me of an old cook we used to have...his stews smelled about like this." Orrmar makes a point of keeping from the walls, though with an oruch's frame, it isn't always easy.

"Shhh. The stink's the least of our worries." Sharna hisses, peering into the gloom ahead with narrowed eyes. She could hear SOMETHING moving, and she has a sneaking suspicion it may just be big, with entirely too many legs, mandibles and acid-spitting. "Slope up ahead." she relays quietly. "Looks fairly steep. Very shallow water underneath, probably from pouring down it."

"Don't swim that well," Ormarr chimes up.

"It's little more than a puddle." Sharna assures poor Ormarr, waving away concerns of drowning on top of being eaten by acid-spitting insectoid things.

And Teppus starts humming. Really. He's humming casually, actually, like going through a resin covered, smelly tunnel is the most normal thing in the world for him. It probably is. He brushes a by a root and grumbles irritably under his breath.

"I don't like it in here," Minka observes unhelpfully. "I feel like this is probably a bad idea." She sighs, then resumes humming cheerfully.

"Getting anything of substantial size out from these tight environs will prove interesting." Quint makes a point not to mention what fighting something adept at digging these sorts of tunnels will be like on (in?) its own turf. The plain pommel of his scimitar remains neglected as he adjusts the grip on his baton -- he will be as ready as he can be for the creature's arrival.

As you head further down the tunnel, Sharna proves to be right and you find yourselves ankle deep in cold muddy rainwater that has trickled down and collected. As the tunnel bottoms out, it continues in a steep upward angle, almost 50 degrees, for another 30 feet. There you can see a variation in the tunnel. It seems to open out into a chamber just slightly larger than the tunnel itself. Instead of resin shoring the walls up, it's packed dirt and thick wooden beams. The faint smell of rotting tubers is added to the boquet. And the crunching, biting, chewing noises of an insect is even louder, coming from inside the chamber.

Teppus hums with Minka, actually! In tune. Marginally. He might knwo the tune she's humming. At any rate, he nods to Quint on that count and adds, "Damn right. I'm not exactly loking forward to the soreness of the 'morrow when we're done hauling things over." And then? Then there are noises. He stops. Sniffs once. His nose wrinkles. "Think we're pretty close to it. That's got to be it." He looks at the beams and readies his glaive now. "Right, then," he whispers. "Shall we?"

Ormarr looks up at the timbers, and mutters something unpleasant under his breath. And nods once, to Teppus. For whichever reason, he rolls up his sleeve, showing old and older scars, and a pair of sunken knuckles.

"Sounds like it's... eating. The guy whose wagon we ran into, probably." Sharna says, forgetting for a moment there's followers of strict holy tenets and forces of Light there to get possibly enraged by the prospect. Be as it may, she looks ready as she'll ever be.

Once again, Sharna is correct. The smell of death is overpowering in the chamber, which is now revealed to be a root cellar near the farmhouse, now honeycombed with tunnels of various sizes. The front half of the oxen remains, along with most of the peddler, minus his torso. Which a cockroach/ant hybrid looking creature the size of a large dog has it's head buried in, chewing away at the sweetbreads and ribs of the poor merchant. The light fight snaps it out of it's hunger reverie and it snaps its head up, acrid green slime dripping from it's fiercly clicking mandibles. "SKREEE!"

Owen dropped Owen's Timestop.
===== Current Initiative Order =========
 22                  Anky
 20                  Minka
 17                  Sharna
 16                  Teppus
 13                  Momma
 12                  Quint
 11                  Ormarr

<OOC> Owen says, "Kay. Anky is gonna charge...Teppus/Sharna - How many licks did it take Wise Old Owl to get to the center of the Tootsie Roll Tootsie Pop?"

<OOC> Teppus says, "Sharnas."

<OOC> Teppus says, "That's how many."

<OOC> Teppus says, "<.m,"

<OOC> Sharna says, "I'll take it like a man that Teppus isn't. :("

<OOC> Owen says, "Okay. :D"

GAME: Owen rolls 1d20+6: (18)+6: 24

GAME: Owen rolls 1d8+2: (6)+2: 8

GAME: Owen rolls 1d4: (2): 2

GAME: Owen rolls 1d4: (4): 4

GAME: Owen rolls 1d20+4: (3)+4: 7

<OOC> Owen says, "Okay, Sharna/Teppus/Minka, you are the front most. Make me a perception check plz."

GAME: Sharna rolls Perception: (16)+12: 28

GAME: Minka rolls perception: (19)+7: 26

The ankheg wastes no time and scuttles forward as fast as it's glistening nasty roach-like six legs can carry it, sinking it's rotting-meat and acid cakes mandibles in Sharna's shoulder. It whips it's head around and tries to pin Sharna to the wall with it's front two legs, but the half-shadow elf avoids that fate at least.

<OOC> Owen says, "Minka!"

<OOC> Minka says, "Great. I start singing."

<OOC> Owen says, "Kay. Pose it. Sharna!"

<OOC> Sharna says, "Delay. (waiting for one of the lazy melee to get into flank, but if they DENY ME HORRIBLY, I'll act 'fore the end of the round anyway.)"

<OOC> Owen says, "Alright. Teppus!"

<OOC> Sharna says, "I'll yell it to them for incentive ICly. :("

Minka begins to sing a little song. It is a bracing, helpful song, because she is a good bard, and it goes a little like this: "Oh, Anky, Anky, you gross gross thing! I hope you've got gold here, enough for a ring! We're going to kill you and take your stuff! I hope your friend behind the ox carcass doesn't make this rough!"

<OOC> Owen says, "If you want to flank, it'll take some doing, since its threatening you at the moment."

"AUGH!" Bitten. Acid. Hells. "Gods that stings! Get behind it and distract it so I can wallop it!" Sharna barks at the group in general. It's a request, not an order. Not a terribly -polite- request, but then again, she DID just get bitten.

<OOC> Teppus says, "Tepp us is going to simply step to the side and try to hit the thing, subdual, with his glaive."

<OOC> Teppus says, "Actually."

<OOC> Teppus says, "I'll eat an AOO."

<OOC> Teppus says, "And try to flank."

GAME: Owen rolls 1d20+4: (4)+4: 8

<OOC> Owen says, "It misses and you flank it. Start swinging!"

<OOC> Sharna says, "Stop delay once he's done, then! :D"

<OOC> Owen says, "Okay. Roll your bones, Sharna/Teppus."

<OOC> Sharna says, "I f-f-f-full (sap) attack (with bardsong omg)."

GAME: Sharna rolls 1d20+3+5+1+2-2: (11)+3+5+1+2+-2: 20

GAME: Sharna rolls 1d20+3+5+1+2-2: (7)+3+5+1+2+-2: 16

<OOC> Owen says, "Both hits."

GAME: Sharna rolls 1d6+3+2d6: (5)+3+(10): 18

GAME: Sharna rolls 1d6+2+2d6: (6)+2+(11): 19

<OOC> Owen says, "In the immortal words of Smokey."

<OOC> Owen says, "You just got knocked the fuck out (Ankheg)."

<OOC> Sharna lets Teppus roll and pose since technically he goes first. :(

<OOC> Teppus subduals. D:

GAME: Teppus rolls 1d20+5: (13)+5: 18

GAME: Teppus rolls 2d4+6: (7)+6: 13

<OOC> Owen says, "Yeah, you club it upside the head."

<OOC> Owen says, "Quint!"

"Oh, come on, you big bug," replies Teppus. He makes his way around it, drawing a snap of the mandibles and walloping it once across the head with the haft of his glaive. "COME ON."

<OOC> Quint says, "I'll move up and LoH Sharna, assuming I have sufficient movement and room to do so."

"Thank you, Teppus. Maybe you're not so bad." Sharna nearly purrs when Teppus valiantly nearly gets himself horribly bitten to, indeed, distract the creature. And the moment it turns its ugly head? A blackjack impacts there. WHAM. And then another. WHAM. If those were more lethal weapons, the thing's brains would spill right about then - as it is, they just sort of get rattled something awful in its head and it sways for a moment before collapsing in a twitching heap of unconscious insect. Little (maybe not so little) legs work at air a bit before stopping.

"Just so you know, that ox carcass has antennae sticking out of it. I think this thing's a mommy." Sharna says, pointing a blackjack that-a-way. Oh god. "Or has a significant other." Oh god.

<OOC> Owen says, "Alright, roll it."

GAME: Quint rolls 1d6: (6): 6

<OOC> Owen says, "Ormarr!"

<OOC> Ormarr scrolls up. Sees my blank disconnect screen. X) Are there other entrances into here that things could enter into here from?

<OOC> Owen says, "Yeah. Several. There are dozens of smaller tunnels branching off this main one. The largest being 5ft in diameter. Plus the stairs that go up and outside."

<OOC> Owen says, "The others look like they'd be a squeeze for these things. Enoguh you could squeeze through."

<OOC> Ormarr says, "Okay. Could I strategically place an entangle to cover some of those, and not us or our escape route? Let it grow into the tunnels?"

<OOC> Owen says, "it's down far enough that there aren't any roots or the like around, sadly. Esepcially not in the acid-soaked tunnel and chamber. :("

<OOC> Ormarr says, "Okay then. He'll try to start tying momma up really quickly, then, since nothing else has shown up yet (that he can see, it was just hinted at). ...think that's a CMB check, these days. :/"

<OOC> Owen says, "Yeah, you can just do it, since it's out cold. Just pose grabbing and pulling towards you or whathaveyou."

Quint is moving by the time the creature issues is charging cry, plated skirts and heavy footfall announcing his movement up the clear side of the tunnel -- but then the creature is already subdued. Without a word he moves instead to Sharna, whispering something unintelligable behind his helm. He lets the Dreaming Goddess speak with his lips for the briefest of moments before his gloved hand grasps the elf-blooded woman's shoulder carefully. Silver-blue tendrils play out warmly from his fingertips and seal the worst of her wounds. "Good work," he says simply.

"...think we've got enough rope?" Orrmar drops the bundle from his shoulder, and laughs. "Don't see anything yet, girl. ...I'll get this critter here tied up, though. Faster we get out of here, better it is for all of us." He grasps one of the legs, and quickly binds the creature.

GAME: Owen rolls 4d4: (8): 8

<OOC> Owen says, "Sharna and Quint, make me reflex saves."

GAME: Sharna rolls Reflex: (8)+9: 17

<OOC> Sharna can haz Evasion, too, if that's enough!

GAME: Quint rolls Reflex: (13)+8: 21

The other ankheg that was eating it's way trhough the oxen carcass scurries out, hugging the wall as it tries to avoid being skewered by Teppus. It eyes Sharna and Quint and makes a horrible screeching noise of distress before it hurlks a gout of acid at the the pair. The mul-blooded sappist ducks to avoid the stream of fresh squeezed acrid slime, but the paladin isn't quite as lucky, taking a splash on the shoulder. More distressing is the shriek of the ankheg is mirrored in the largest of the tunnels and it is closer. Dirt shimmies it's way free from the walls, causing motes of dust to play in the air.

<OOC> Owen says, "Minka!"

<OOC> Minka says, "Oh, I'm going to keep singing and shoot the conscious ankheg in the arse."

<OOC> Owen says, "Kay. Roll it!"

<OOC> Minka says, "Oh, yeah. I can rapid shot now!"

GAME: Minka rolls 1d20+ranged: (13)+5: 18

GAME: Minka rolls 1d20+ranged: (11)+5: 16

<OOC> Owen says, "Hit and a miss. You should be doing...1d6+3, I think?"

GAME: Minka rolls 1d6+3: (6)+3: 9

Minka hits it! In the ass! With an arrow! And she continues singing. "Stupid ankheg, we got your bride. And now we're going to take you for a ride!"

<OOC> Owen says, "It shrieks in pain! Sharna!"

<OOC> Sharna says, "I'm going to move 30 ft into a possible flanksy position and ready an attack upon said flank happening, if plausible."

<OOC> Owen says, "Quarters are tight enough that you'll have to do some ninjy flippin or draw an Aoo."

<OOC> Owen says, "The root cellar is roughly 15x15."

<OOC> Sharna says, "Ninja flip attempt, then."

<OOC> Owen says, "Aight."

GAME: Sharna rolls Acrobatics: (20)+12: 32

<OOC> Owen says, "It is the most ninjy flip ever. Action readied. Teppus, same for you, if you got that acro. :D"

<OOC> Teppus says, "I'll eat the AOO."

GAME: Owen rolls 1d20+4: (16)+4: 20

GAME: Owen rolls 1d20+4: (6)+4: 10

<OOC> Teppus says, "Ow! D:"

<OOC> Owen says, "But not grabbed!"

GAME: Owen rolls 1d8+2: (4)+2: 6

<OOC> Owen says, "It gnaws on you a bit, but it's bile gland is empty. Yay!"

<OOC> Owen says, "You are in position. Drop those attacks like it's hot."

GAME: Teppus rolls 1d20+5: (19)+5: 24

GAME: Teppus rolls 2d4+6: (4)+6: 10

GAME: Sharna rolls 1d20+3+5+1+2: (7)+3+5+1+2: 18

<OOC> Owen says, "That is a hit. Roll damage."

GAME: Sharna rolls 1d6+3+2d6: (6)+3+(9): 18

<OOC> Owen says, "Out cold!"

<OOC> Owen says, "Now Teppus gets this one, since you got that last one Sharna! :D"

GAME: Owen rolls 1d20+7: (3)+7: 10

<OOC> Teppus says, "Whew!"

Sharna leaps, swinging across a beam, boucing off the wall and spinning gracefully to a stop behind the poor, confused ankheg. She stands there, ready, tense - nods once at Teppus. Brave, brave Teppus. And soon as he's in position to strike, a blackjack lashes out, ramming into the thing's midsection painfully with a cracking sort of noise.

As Teppus and Sharna work over what was thought to be the last of the ankhegs, there is a rumbling in the walls and floor. Or rather the existing rumbling only gets louder. Suddenly there is an explosion of dirt and rocks as the small tunnel off to the side becomes a much a larger tunnel. There is a horrendous bug-like stench, a shriek, and the sound of mandibles scraping and dinging against armor. When the dust settles a bit, you see a much much larger bug the size of a warhorse clacking it's acrid mandibles menacingly.

<OOC> Owen says, "Anywho, Quint! Your up!"

<OOC> Quint says, "I suppose I'll move in on the big'un."

<OOC> Owen says, "Alright. Do your thing."

GAME: Quint rolls 1d20+5: (10)+5: 15

<OOC> Quint says, "Ah, plus bardsong."

<OOC> Owen says, "On the nose then."

GAME: Quint rolls 1d6+2: (3)+2: 5

<OOC> Quint says, "Fuck. Plus bardsong."

<OOC> Owen says, "You give it a good slice. Or a sapping."

<OOC> Owen says, "Ormarr!"

<OOC> Ormarr says, "Move to flank with Quint, and punch if he can. ...then I needta crash. -.-;"

<OOC> Owen says, "Sadly, no flanking at this point. It dug it's own tunnel here so only 2 squares of it are easily accessible, which is what Teppus/Quint occupies. You can attack from the side, but it'll have cover from the wall."

<OOC> Ormarr says, "Hell, he'll try anyhow. -4 for nonlethal. ':)"

GAME: Ormarr rolls 1d20+2: (12)+2: 14

<OOC> Ormarr has IUS. ...that's an 18.

<OOC> Owen says, "Still not so much with the cover. :("

<OOC> Ormarr :(

Quint stalks forward as the insectoid beasts continue to arrive. Sharna has already moved away to handle another combatant and so he engages the largest of the trio, swinging the baton to bludgeon.

<OOC> Owen says, "Ah well. Ankies are dozing...Minka!"

<OOC> Minka says, "I will shoot it. I presume its ass is not visible, else I would shoot that. Also, I will sing."

<OOC> Owen says, "Alright. -4 for not having precise shot. So Ranged-2 or Ranged-4 twice."

<OOC> Minka says, "Okay!"

GAME: Minka rolls 1d20+ranged-4: (6)+5+-4: 7

GAME: Minka rolls 1d20+ranged-4: (17)+5+-4: 18

<OOC> Owen says, "Second is a hit!"

GAME: Minka rolls 1d6+3: (5)+3: 8

<OOC> Owen says, "You plock it real good right in the thorax!"

<OOC> Owen says, "Sharna!"

<OOC> Sharna says, "There's zero room at this point to melee the 'heg or is there an open space somewhere?"

Sadly, the thorax is not the ass, but Minka looks vindicated to hit it nonetheless. "You're going down, bitch," she sings at it. "Oh, yeah yeah yeah."

<OOC> Owen says, "Teppus/Quint/Orm are hogging up all the good seats."

<OOC> Sharna says, "I'mma sheathe the saps and draw crossbow. End action."

<OOC> Owen says, "Alright. Teppus. Bug is all up in your grill. :("

<OOC> Teppus says, "Room to step back?"

<OOC> Owen says, "You can 5ft step back."

<OOC> Teppus says, "Done! Whap it."

Sharna looks over where the new and improved bug-like creature has burst out of the wall, squinting through the dust and dirt its magnificent entry has raised. With no way to approach, the half-elf curses into her chin, returning her blackjacks to her belt and replacing them with her crossbow. The safety latch is flicked off and the weapon lifted.

GAME: Teppus rolls 1d20+5: (20)+5: 25

<OOC> Teppus says, "Threat!"

GAME: Teppus rolls 1d20+5: (15)+5: 20

<OOC> Owen says, "Crit!"

GAME: Teppus rolls 6d4+18: (15)+18: 33

<OOC> Owen says, "You whack it in the head with the pole!"

GAME: Owen has cleared initiatives.

So Teppus is backing up a bit. He's backing up. He turns his glaive in his hand with a grimace and then brings it down *heavily* on the damn Ankheg's skull with a mammoth crack of the exoskeleton against wood. "HYARH," he yells, intelligently. Then he looks over at Quint, since he's nearby and also a paladin, really sheepishly.

When the dust (or dirt in this case) settles, you find yourselves with an adult mother ankheg, two immature broodlings, and 3 eggs back in the hatching chamber that momma just burrowed through in a hurry, along with the remains of several caravan guards and a few saddlebags from horses long devoured. Fortunately, the repurposed root cellar allows you to bring the horses up to drag the mother out onto the wagon quickly, without going through all that tunnel you just went through.

After an hour or so jamming eggs, broodlings and mother into the cage, tying them up, and pouring the medieval maalox down their gullets (directions say once every 6 hours for best results), you make your way home, dealing with the horrendous stink of the creatures along with pride in a job well done. THE END

(Until I have you go fight these things a few years from now after they eat the turnip and potato farmers).