As Douena gives some luck to Mahjik, the two of them and those near them feel the ground rumble a bit beneath their feet. Lorenz also feels rumbling out by him as well. Ankhegs #3 and #6 burrow double move.
Ankheg #2 bite at Sasha: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 16 -- miss
#2 snaps again at Sasha. Its nasty mandibles scrape across her chain shirt, but don't penetrate.
#5, looking heavily damage, pulls back from being completely surrounded (5-ft step to H-I 25-26). It then snaps at Ishirou.
Ankheg #5 bite at Ishirou: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13 -- miss
"With Desna to help out, what could go wrong?" Mahjik steps after the oversized insect and thrusts both hands at it simultaneously. They muscles reverberate underneath his skin and as soon as his hands make pulverizing contact with the ankheg a shudder moves through Mahjik's body as the arms push again another inch forward - straight through the chitinous armor that cracks around Mahjik's hands.
Round 5: HP = 41/36 :: AC = 21 :: Touch = 14 :: Flatfooted = 18
Active Effect: Aid
Lorenz looks nervously down at the ground around as the sounds of battle fade away, wondering where the creatures are going to emerge from. Breathing hard, he readies another arrow for a target.
Deadly Aim with Aid at first Anheg to appear:1d20 + 7 - 1 + 1 ⇒ (10) + 7 - 1 + 1 = 17 Damage:1d8 + 3 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 3 + 2 = 9 If the target is within 30 feet, Point blank shot +1 to attack and damage will apply.
Douena edges around anxiously back the way the burrowing ankhegs started from, not wanting to end up on the front lines. "How far do you think they can get underground?" she asks, tapping Mahjik with her wand.
Move to G25; cure light wounds on Mahjik 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2 Wish I had Selective Channel right now. Don't suppose Jask has invested in it. Stupid wand. Probably made by a cleric of Abadar. :P
As Douena moves away to heal Mahjik, the rumbling beneath the ground increases. A split second after she has moved, ankheg #3 bursts out of the ground right beside where she used to be. Just north of that, #6 bursts out beside Urza.
Lorenz's arrow flies and slams into one of #3's joints, while Ishirou steps up and attacks (5-ft step to I23).
Ishirou katana at #3:1d20 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9 -- miss
Unfortunately, the ankheg bends to the side, out of the way of Ishirou's attack. It snaps at him; the other snaps at Urza.
Ankheg #3 bite at Ishirou:1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24 -- hit Damage:2d6 + 4 ⇒ (4, 6) + 4 = 14 and 1d4 ⇒ 2 acid Ankheg #6 bite at Urza:1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13 -- miss
#6 misses Urza, but #3's mandibles tear into Ishirou's thigh, pulling him off his feet. He goes down.
"Watch out!" Mahjik quickly steps to help Urza. His hand thrusts with two fingers extended, right into what Mahjik hopes is a vital joint. With a touch of luck it will stun the creature temporarily, just enough to let Urza get out unscathed. He follows up with a swift kick before he sees the effect of his stun.
As Urza backs away, the ankheg snaps at him, catching him on the leg, opening a gash and burning him with acid. Urza quickly gets his revenge, however, as the flames of his spell wash over the ankheg. Popping sounds mix with the smell of burnt flesh as the ankheg collapses.
Sasha moves up to #3 (move to H23 via I24) and attacks.
Male Half-Orc Barbarian(Totem Warrior/Invulnerable Rager) :2 Druid(Wolf Shaman) :3
Not sure if I can do this, but...
Seeing Ishirou fall, Makoa moves to stand over him even as he feels his wild side taking over. With a roar, he swings his axe at the creature...
Move action: Move to stand over Ishirou protectively. Alternatively, if I can't stand over a fallen ally, I believe I can get to H-22, though I might provoke.
Isn't #6 stunned until Mahjik's init next round so it can't make an AoO against Urza?
Whoops! You're absolutely right. My apologies. Please ignore the attack and damage on Urza.
Makoa moves and stands over top of Ishirou. With a powerful swipe, he brings his axe down on top of the ankheg's head, cracking open the entire top of the head. With a squelch, the creature collapses to the ground.
Male Half-Orc Barbarian(Totem Warrior/Invulnerable Rager) :2 Druid(Wolf Shaman) :3
I was only down 10 as far as I could tell.
With the bite mark and acid burn healed, Makoa takes a drink from his waterskin and spits, trying to rid his mouth of the taste of ankhegs.
"Thanks for not letting us fall into holes, Desna." He says after a moment, echoing Lorenz as the fatigue leaves his body. "I'm guessing if we poke at the ground before we take a step, we could at least know were any tunnels are."
Douena jabs at Ishirou with the wand she still has in her hand before stowing it away in her pack. clw on Ishirou 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6"Are those the kind of beetles they have in Sothis?" she asks. "I thought they'd be bigger."
"Oh. Maybe these ones were babies. Maybe if we hadn't have killed them, they'd have grown as big as that one." She seems a little regretful but isn't sure she'd have had time to stick around long enough to see how big they'd grow anyway.
Mahjik got bit too, didn't he? I healed him 2 earlier, and that's 17 from post-combat channeling. Let me know if that's not enough, Lore.
"Ah yes," Mahjik grins, "Desna totally had my back there, did you see that? I've always known about the theory and every once in a while a strike goes true - but this is the first time I've experienced true and unerring perfection, as if my body was guided by more than just me."
Once he was fairly certain he wasn't about to plummet into some pit, Lorenz carefully moves toward Jask. "Thank you for Nethys blessing. I noticed a certain improvement in my aim which certainly helped at such long distances early in the fight."
Even as you're leaving, you notice a few vultures flying above. As soon as you're out of the way, they dive down to feast on the remains of the ankhegs.
When you stop to wait out the early afternoon heat and eat lunch, you notice more vultures circling above. Not many of them. Just a couple to start, growing to half a dozen after you've been relaxing for an hour or so. Shokambe keeps his eye on them, but says that there shouldn't be anything to worry about. "They're probably hoping we'll leave behind another meal for them. It's not unusual for vultures to follow travellers over the plains."
"Intelligent creatures, perhaps," Shokambe says, his eyes wandering back to check on the vultures in the sky. "Some other creatures might see it as an invitation that there's food nearby." He goes back to whittling on his latest carving.
The vultures continue to circle overhead as you set out again in the afternoon. Over the next few hours, their numbers increase, first by just a couple more, then a few more after that. A couple different kinds of scavenger birds join the group as well, bring the total number of birds to well over a dozen. Around 5 in the afternoon, four vultures of incredibly large size arrive. Their presence initially startles the other birds, causing the smaller birds to scatter briefly. However, it's not long before the smaller birds have all returned to circle with the four giant ones.
"Um," Lorenz says as he looks up at the sky. "Should the birds be getting bigger like that? We're not killing that many things." He's felt a sense of foreboding ever since Shokambe's admonition earlier.
Sasha gestures around at the wide, open plain with nothing but grass as far as the eye can see. "Sounds like it would be a great plan anywhere else," she says with a grin. "Unfortunately, I don't see too many cover options at the moment."
Suddenly, one of the giant vultures turns and starts flying quickly northwards. The other birds then dash to follow. As you watch, they dive down at something a few hundred yards away. From this distance, you can't see what they're going at, but a few moments later, a shape breaks away from the commotion and begins flying back towards your group. It's soon apparent that it's Alton. He flies straight for Sasha and lands on her shoulders. She stumbles slightly, as the flappybite is starting to get a little too big to ride on her shoulders anymore. Alton is covered in several scratches and squawks pitifully.
Sasha frowns and glares to the north. "I think they just stole his kill," she says, stroking Alton's head lovingly.
"Poor Alton," Douena croons, with an angry glance toward the birds. She presents her butterfly and channels positive energy to heal the flappybite's pecks and scratches. Channel Positive Energy 1d6 ⇒ 2
Alton eagerly snaps up the snake from Lorenz and swallows it in a single gulp. Sasha pets the flappybite's head. "Don't worry," she says. "You'll find some other food soon enough."
You continue onwards, free of the vultures' presence for a short while. Unfortunately, once they're done with whatever meal they stole from Alton, they return to circle overhead again. As the sun sinks low to the west and you start considering stopping for the night, you notice that the giant vultures seem to have moved in a little closer. They're still circling high in the sky, but not quite as high as they were previously.