Mike (DM), Makelle (Zoey), Brian (Lardul), Nathan (Orinn), Chris (Airic), Amanda (Yara), Jack (Sayid)
The players start in the immediate aftermath of the fight in Game #6. They are doing some searches – for example, 20gp in copper pieces. They of course also find the Heart of Maria, a giant dodecahedron sapphire. Sayid calms down the horses, the players rest up, and then they steal two of the wagons to head back.
The trip back is relatively straightforward. As it gets dark, the players decide to press on over night, Orrin casts dancing light continually so that the horses can see and whoever is driving the wagon has some illumination to see by. As morning is coming around, the horses are completely exhausted and must stop to rest, so the players make camp.
Orrin is asleep, Lardul is asleep, Sayid is asleep, Zoey and Yara are awake. While the players are keeping watch, Yara notices something. The horses are spooked and nervous, and she hears a chittering, clicking sound. And then one of the horses whinnies in pain and is thrashing. She runs over to the paddock where the horses are panicking and flailing, and one of the horses is on the ground being gnawed on by a giant centipede-esque monster, a baby Ankheg. Yara immediately pulls her bow out and fires, dealing maximum damage… to her own horse by mistake. The animal, thrashing and writhing in pain on the ground immediately dies from the precise, piercing shot.
Sayid gets up, he approaches and he shoots wide. Orrin gets up and stands on one of the wagons and uses his eldritch blast, but his blast goes wide and knocks over one of their own horses; it cries out in pain as one of its legs snaps.
Zoey runs up next, swinging her sword at it and driving the creature back. So the creature turns, hissing and chittering at them, and unleashes a gout of acid from its mouth. At almost point blank range, Zoey fails her saving throw (natural 1) and drops to the ground in pain, alllmost ready to faint.
Lardul charges up next, and he launches into his berserker rage. As he does so, a wave of heat and fire radiates out from him, hitting the monster and also Zoey. Zoey, barely on her feet after the acid attack, drops.
The following turn Yara heals Zoey. Airic launches one of his chaos bolts. Sayid is trying to pepper it with arrows. And Lardul smashes down on the ankheg with his giant axe, screaming in fury. The ankheg’s shell cracks under the furious assault, spilling ichor and ooze everywhere.
And then they hear a large screech from the darkness, and the mother anhkeg charges out of the night at the players that just killed her baby. She hits Lardul and knocks him over. Zoey, freshly awakened from her most recent brush with death closes her eyes and focuses on her sword, sending it tingling with thunderous energy, and then she runs up at the mother ankheg and swings her sword. It hits home with a crack of thunder that booms across the empty desert expanse.
Airic presses the attack, flinging a chaos bolt home. Lardul gets back to his feet, but he sees the mother bug rear back and he drops flat to the ground immediately as another gush of acid rushes out, this time hitting a lot of the party members. Most notably Zoey fails her saving throw, again, and gets knocked out, again.
Lardul, out of the line of fire from her acid attack, flips himself back to his feet and then leaps forward, sparks flying off of him, flame radiating out from his aura of fire, and he brings his massive axe down on the monster, cracking and breaking the exoskeletal plating.
This ended the fight; the players gathered up their gear. There isn’t any treasure with these monsters, but Lardul does manage to salvage some of the plating and is going to take them to Nogatog to ask the blacksmith if he can make those into bracers.
The players return back to the town of Mariah, tired and exhausted, but they do have the Heart of Maria. They are escorted in by all of the town guards who take them immediately to councilor Pike. He offers to pay them 600 GP total for their efforts, and sends some of the soldiers to help restore the heart to its proper location.
While the players are briefing Councilor Pike about their excursion and telling him the story of their visit, and Orrin is stalking with Ka, the guards come back troubled.
“It appears that the tunnel to where the Heart of Maria was collapsed in the attack.”
And that is where we left off for the evening, with the players agreeing to venture down into the tunnels beneath the city next time in order to restore the Heart of Maria to its proper location.