Monster Analysis: Ankhegs

  • First Appearance: 1-98 The Mines of The Many
  • Encounter Appearance: 2-26 Found and Lost
  • Armor Class 14 (11 when prone)
  • Speed 30 ft, burrow 10 ft
  • Darkvision 60 ft, Tremorsense 60 ft, 11 Passive
  • Suggested average, max HP: 39, 66
    • Ankheg 1: 41 damage taken, 11 killing blow by Molly
    • Ankheg 2: 55 damage taken, 14 killing blow by Molly
    • Ankheg 3: 37 damage taken, 10 killing blow by Beau
    • Ankheg 4: 41 damage taken, 15 HDYWTDT by Beau

As we've seen before in the first campaign, Wildemount has an infestation of ankhegs, eight-to-nine-foot tall insect-like monstrosities with extremely acidic projectile saliva. These creatures burrow in caverns, fields, and forests, listening for prey above with their tremorsense. Although their underground travel is slow and not especially difficult to hear, their eruption through the ground provides enough of an element of surprise to allow them to take out prey with either their powerful pincers, their strong claws, or their potent projectile acid spray.

The Mighty Nein quickly learned why the previous residents abandoned the farmhouse as their footsteps disturbed the land's current residents. Though they lost of two of their horses (Water Closet and Loo) in the skirmish, the party quickly fended off the carnivorous ankhegs in a little over two rounds. The ankhegs dealt quite a bit of damage to the group in the first round by surrounding them before blasting them with acid, but didn’t survive long enough to put their other assets to use.

Beau managed to stun one of the creatures and learn with Extract Aspects that it was not very dextrous (0 Dex Save) and didn’t have a great constitution (+1 Con save), but had no vulnerabilities. During the rest of the fight, Beau continued to do what monks do best, aided by a well-placed Haste spell by Caleb. She attacked three of the four ankhegs and got the killing blow on two.

Keg and Molly were the other two heavy hitters in this fight, with Molly killing the other two ankhegs and Keg weakening one with three well-placed blows from her warhammer and battleaxe. Caleb and Nott played control this fight, with Caleb giving Beau a boost with Haste and damaging one ankheg with Magic Missile, and Nott attempting to help Beau out by flanking an ankheg with a silent image of Beau. This gambit did not pay off, but the battle ended soon after that. Despite losing their horses, the party gained respect from Keg for their combat skills, everyone that much more confident that they would successfully be able to take on the Iron Shepherds.