Without good direction the group decided to head north to the cartel’s cities, the first stop was the small farming village of Roy that usually supplied Center with food to give them warning and to pick up supplies for the rest of the journey. Seeks’s donkey rejoined the group so the party was split with Sterling, Seeks and Nike staying with the donkey and Gil, Lug and Xanaphus making their way ahead of the group on foot to Roy.
About a half a day out a large sandstorm began to blow in and the groups quickly found shelter. The second group had a bit more time and found an abandoned old bus for protection, the lead group managed to reach a travelers shelter in a shallow cave that was stocked with firewood. The sandstorm was the largest and most aggressive storm anybody could remember ever hitting this region and it lasted a full day and a half. Xanaphus made sure to restock the cave with firewood and left a sign showing they had made it through the storm and were continuing onwards.
The storm had completely changed up the landscape with the old trail covered over by new sand dunes and previously covered sections of road now exposed. Gil was confident in their direction however and they set out. A few hours out Gili sheepishly adjusted their course blaming the sand storm for throwing his compass off. Suddenly Xanaphus smelled something odd and the group noticed what appeared to be the top corner of an ancient building that the sandstorm had uncovered. Coming close they realized it had formerly been a big building and looking into the window Gil recoiled in horror as he realized the floor was covered with thousands of cockroaches. Lug just laughed at the human until something chomped down on his leg.
Two giant cockroaches the size of large dogs had snuck up on them and proceeded to try and make a lunch out of them. Xanaphus fired an arrow right between two plates and the cockroach let out a dreadful noise in protest before taking a hard bite out of Sterling’s leg, prompting Gil to just get pissed and shoot at it repeatedly until it stopped moving. Lug was annoyed and nearly being eaten by the bug and took a swipe only to have his first blow bounce off the hard chitin to his surprise. His second swing ripped off several legs and the bug rolled on its side just in time to catch an axe in the soft underbelly.
Having dispatched the bugs they decided to head into the building since they could see several medicine boxes on the walls of the exposed room. Stepping carefully since they were unsure of the floor and there were thousands of cockroaches around they retrieved the valuable old world medicine and found a halfway that went further into the wreckage of the building. Since they could easily see in the dark Lug and Xanaphus led the way in and Gil in the rear with his flashlight. Lug gave each side room a quick look for any threats before moving on but nothing else threatened them. Xanaphus and Sterling were both thrilled at the medicines they had found which were worth a fortune and eager to get out when they arrived in a giant room that looked to be the remains of several floors of the building collapsed. This room was evidently the main den of the cockroaches with a floor that crawled. Gil knew of an old trick and shone his flashlight on the cockroaches to make them get out of the way but it didn’t seem to do anything. Unable to easily see the floor Xanaphus argued they should get out and Gil being annoyed that these cockroaches weren’t reacting to his light agreed. Lug wanted to go for the remaining medicine chests they could see but finally decided to go along.
Xanaphus noticed something and yelled a warning that they were under attack, four more of the giant cockroaches they fought earlier came at them along with a queen bug that was the size of a large rhino. Gil yelled out that an old master had taught him how to deal with them and flashed his light right in face of the one approaching him, and he kept flashing his light at it until it began to try and eat him at which point he reconsidered that these were a mutant anomaly and the trick didn’t work on them. Two of the bugs lunged after Gil and Xanaphus as they fought their way back into the hall desperately trying to land a shot through the insects hardened plates.
That initial attack cut Lug off completely and he had nowhere to flee to so instead he launched into the smaller bugs trying to flank him, quickly ripping one apart with repeated blows and avoiding the clumsy attacks of the second before finishing it off. The queen launched into him and in one attack ripped a huge gash into Lugs side and knocked him to his knees in shock. Clamping his free hand to his side he got back into the attack only to see his attacks bounce off harmlessly.
Xanaphus and Gil got some lucky shots into weak spots and managed to incapacitate one but they were both bleeding from its jaws and were continued to be forced back down the hallway trying to get anything through.
Lug proceeded to try and bash the queen’s head in and this stunned the monster who took a moment to recover. Finally finding a weak spot Lug proceeded to bash the monster bug repeatedly keeping it stunned until his axes could finally find purchase and break the armored shell open. The queen repeatedly shook off the beating and tried to retaliate but was slowed by its injuries and head trauma and soon succumbed.
Finally victorious though bleeding and limping the group retrieved the last of the medicine and headed back into the sunlight.