Creatures mostly blind, hunt by echo-location… deaf Yrthak are dead Yrthak. Sonic attacks, tendency to cause collateral damage. Like to explode ground you are standing on.
As we try to decide what action to take, Hayden looks at some nearby stumps. He sees a hollow log and sneakily hides in it. The creatures are about two hours away, but don’t look to be going fast. The group votes to try to attract them so that they will arrive before sundown; theoretically we could then dispatch them before worrying about darkness impeding us. Strelok shoots his gun into the air a few times. The sound echoes across the desert, and the creatures pause, hovering. They then swoop back towards the tree line. Zephyr recommends we travel perpendicular to our current trajectory, so that if the creatures decide to return (possibly with reinforcements) it will be harder to pinpoint our location. Sheila decides she would rather not take the time for this detour; we continue traveling in the same direction. We are within a day’s hike of the village.—
Soon Aeric sees what seems to be a path, or at least a gap, in the scrub. It is about a half mile away. Zephyr recommends setting up camp in that gap, using the scrub as a way to prevent or at least confuse identification of us as prey via echolocation.
The gap turns out to be a road extending towards the Forest in one direction, and roughly in the direction of the village in the other. The earth looks like something heavy was dragged; this pathway may not have been a proper road. It may have been created by the large shapes we’ve seen in the distance. We set up camp in the scrub.
Strelok invites Polena to join him for the first watch. Zephyr reminds them that staying within the scrub would be the best way to avoid detection (or else form small barrier that may confuse the identification). Hayden wants to put up a hammock, and ignores Zephyr’s advice of using the scrub as camo; she says that that is fine, as Sheila can always rescue him when he gets eaten again.
Polena asks to speak to Strelok. She thinks she can help with the Yrthak, mentioning that Sheila revealed that deafness is virtually a death sentence for these creatures. She is still reluctant to use the “bad magic”, but Strelok encourages her; using it to help people means it isn’t bad. Polena believes that Sheila would not approve. Strelok reassures her with logic and that kind of good stuff.
Strelok watches the Forest as best he can in the dark, and does not see any shadows rising from the canopy (the night sky is clear, and the nebula provides about as much light as a half-moon). The first watch ends, and Hayden and Zephyr take over. About 1.5 hr later (2am), Zephyr feels a rumbling. Pallas emerges from his pouch, chirping in an alarmed way. Zephyr quickly wakes the others. She advices they not move, since a burrowing creature will likely feel the vibrations. Strelok soon gets antsy and begins walking to a more open part of the scrub. The ground suddenly moves, and a large head bursts forth. It appears to be a centipede. It clacks its mandibles in a menacing manner.
Fighting happens. We all attack… except Polena, who tries to get away from Strelok’s anxious bird (who wants desperately to eat the centipede), then calls to Strelok to ask if he is OK.
After her first attack, Sheila sees that her sword seems to bubble and crack where the creature’s blood was on it. Unfortunately, she notices this just after Strelok used frigid touch and shoved his fist into the centipede’s ruined eye. It turns out that not only the blood is acidic, but the exoskeleton is also covered in a waxy poisonous substance… Strelok takes a con damage. Not being able to see the damage done to Sheila’s sword, Aeric charges in and slices into the abdomen. The creature is killed, but one of Aerick’s weapons begins to melt at the tip.
And then a second centipede emerges from the hole.
Centipede INFO: low hp, heavy offense, poisonous bite, electrical bolt attack, acid breath weapon, corrosive blood, poisonous to the touch… no known predators. Immune to electricity.