Thursday, July 30, 2015

5e WNW: Waterfalls

5e WNW - Session 18 of the weird new world campaign was played on Friday 7/10

The party consisted of the following:
Nessendra, Wood Elf Cleric 5 (Erindale)
Kethra, Human Fighter 5 (Nikki)
Bach, Dragonborn Warlock 5 (Erik)
Riia, Human Ranger 5 (Hanna)
Guy Noir, ½ Elf Rogue 5 (Nadia - Absent, kindly played by Julia)
Anya Bowen, Tiefling Ranger 5 (Allison)

Instead of a usual write up, I'm going to share these tweets from the session.

Friday night ! Let's kill some plants!
Friday night ! Apparently while I was gone the other players broke my bow. Good thing I'm a melee ranger!
Friday night ! Effective combat is less effective when the players keep making dirty "sword and sheath" comments
Friday night ! The cleric just blasted the fighter off a cliff. "Accidentally."
Friday night ! Rogue just threw self after fighter. Warlock throws 50ft rope over 100ft cliff. We are so bad at this.
Friday night ! Cleric is praying for help. Other ranger tries to rappel down cliff. Warlock was not holding end of rope.
Friday night ! I am 2 hallways back shoving a coffin and just hear a lot of screaming
Friday night ! Our campaign is actually in danger of ending due to waterfall.
Friday night ! Turns out my ranger can't tie 2 pieces of rope together. "I'm not that kind of ranger!"
Friday night ! We might actually survive this! Except now the party is split. Never good.
Friday night ! They have to get back up cliff. Everyone keeps claiming that they have a rope. Rope still not long enough
Friday night ! I MacGuyver a pulley system to get everyone back up cliff. I am that type of ranger!
Friday night ! Dungeon Master says I did not actually make pulley system.
Friday night ! We did not further plot whatsoever but this was one of my favorite sessions ever!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

#6MMRPC Week 8: Elf & Bones

In spite of my focus on minis this past week, it wasn't really on getting any of my mountain reduced. Really, it was all about making it bigger. With the conclusion of Bones 3, I'll be adding almost 300 new miniatures to my mountain. Granted, this does include every individual weapon from the various conversion sets and individual tombstones, but even discounting those, it's still a more massive addition to my mountain than I expect to dig out between now and then.

So... I guess that's 1 of my Jokers....

Beyond watching the kickstarter, I found myself helping out with it. A group of fans were keeping track of the hourly numbers, running various statistics on them, and sharing the results. The really cool thing about it was the fact that Bryan (from Reaper) actually was checking in on our numbers!  Now that the kickstarter is over though, I still find myself wanting to check in every hour and update the numbers...

Further, I've created a Google sheet that lists each and every mini that comes in Bones 3 in case you want to keep track of them on a spreadsheet like I do.

This is the Google sheet with the Bones 3 minis.
This is my personal miniature tracking sheet, so you can see how I'm using it

The other Joker that I've used was picking up a set of Enterprise (1701, A, and B) models in 1/2500 scale from Amazon. I was rounding out an order for free shipping (they always get you...) and I tossed it in, thinking that I could add them to my (as yet unassembled) DS9 model. Now, as it isn't really a gaming miniature, and I have no plans on ever actually gaming with them, maybe they shouldn't count. The general consensus on the FB group was that it didn't count.

I also got some computer parts to help my old e-machine limp along a little longer.

But here's the thing... Most of the miniatures I buy I don't have any specific intention on using in a game. Those 300 minis from Bones 3? Mostly, I just want to paint them. If they never see the table, I'll be 100% fine with that. So, while it might not be official, I'm counting it for my challenge.

I did do some further work on Anirion. I went really simple with the edging of his robe, only doing a basic slash pattern with orange paint. I still need to do a bit of work on the staff, and bring out some of the highlighting on the robe, but aside from that, I think I'm done with him. Expect finished pics next week! 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Gary Gygax Day

E. Gary Gygax "Father of the modern Role Play Game" was born this day, July 27, 1938. He created the game that brought all of us together. The game that started most of us on this journey in exploration of history and mythology, in the study of math and science, and the practice of getting together with friends and creating through our play and the magic of some funny looking dice, stories that we tell years after the fact about characters that exist only in our collective imagination. We honour him every time we gather our friends and play role playing games around a table or across the internet. But let us take a moment today to raise our glasses and celebrate the man who made it all possible!

If you need an idea of how, specifically to honor him the next time you gather at the gaming table, this site has some decent ideas.

It's also, not coincidentally, the start of Read an RPG Book in Public Week. I'll be reading A Red And Pleasant Land today at lunch, outside if the weather cooperates.

And for those NOT attending Gen Con this year, don't forget about AntiGen Con!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday Inspirational Image: Fountain With Owls

I'm still in the middle of reading a Red and Pleasant Land, and this picture just seemed like the sort of thing that you'd encounter there.

Fountain With Owls by Ferdinando Noulian.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Bones 3 Last Call!!

Ok people... this is it, the final countdown. And I want to show off the coolest minis in the campaign so far.

No, not the 8lb Ma'aldrakar...

Not the undying lords...

Not even the BFG...

But the pugs. Yes, battle pugs....

And if you have the SAN for it, here's the unofficial theme song for the kickstarter.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

5e WNW: Citadels and Chained Coffins

5e WNW -
Session 17 of the weird new world campaign was played on Friday 6/26

The party consisted of the following:
Nessendra, Wood Elf Cleric 5 (Erindale)
Kethra, Human Fighter 5 (Nikki)
Bach, Dragonborn Warlock 5 (Erik)
Riia, Human Ranger 5 (Hanna - Absent, kindly played by Allison)
Guy Noir, ½ Elf Rogue 5 (Nadia)
Anya Bowen, Tiefling Ranger 5 (Allison)

Back in town, with the Alabaster Lady breathing down their necks, the party makes a quick investigation to determine the best fastest way to the citadel. While the land to the north, following the river becomes less swampy the further north it goes, it isn’t easy going, so they decide to hire a boat.

This proves easier said than done, as apparently the tale of the crazy adventurers from 2 centuries back still is told. The first boatman they find even turns out to be the great great grandson of the boatman they’d hired before, and with an awful lot of cajoling and begging finally relented and said he’d rent them his boat for 300gp. Annoyingly this was more than the party really had readily available, as the last time they were in town they’d spent the vast majority of their gold re-equipping.

Well, except for Veidt.

Veidt, who’d decided to stay in town and spend some time focusing on research…

Guy went begging. Riia and Bach appealed to him as a fellow nobles. Nessendra appealed to his (questionable) good side. Kethra and Anya simply looked on with their puppydog eyes (Yeah, right).

With a great show of annoyance, Veidt relented, and *loaned* the party the necessary cash, but insisted on delivering it himself. He wished them well, and a speedy return of the boat. Standing on the dock, the party once again realized that not one of them knew how to adequately operate a boat. With some muttering, they headed back into town toward the bars. Bach walks into the first open bar and loudly announces that they’re looking to hire for a dangerous mission to the citadel of chaos!

Riia and Nessendra drag him out and attempt to instil a sense of appropriateness of the situation, when a teen waves at them from around the corner of a building. He’s a young sailor, and is willing to captain their boat, as long as they’re willing to listen, and to pay. The party quickly agrees, and then he drops his final requirement - don’t tell his dad, the guy who rented them the boat…

The passage upriver was remarkable only for its ease.

The boat came to a rest against the side of the river. Ahead of them, thrusting from the generally low and flat land that they’d seen since arriving on this new continent stood the first in a chain of mountains. A great waterfall, the source of the river poured down, frothing the water below. Crouched over the every edge of the waterfall the citadel perched.

Guy summoned his crow familiar, and sent it scouting. The citadel was remarkably intact in spite of its abandoned appearance. The only damage to the structure seemed to be a hole in one of the towers. The crow also spotted a small cave with a circular stone covering the entrance. Deciding that going directly at the citadel may not be the wisest of decisions, they investigate the side cave.

They struggle to move the cover stone, until Nessendra pushes it the other way, then follow the dark path down into a large chamber. A scattering of bones surrounds a metal coffin, covered in blasphemous runes and adamantine chains. Moving in to investigate, the skeletons rise up to no one's surprise. The party recognizes the inhuman shapes of the single eyed beastmen skeletons they’d faced back 200 years ago. This time, they weren’t nearly the trouble they were before, as once again Nessendra saves the day, turning and destroying the skeletons.

“Hello?” a dry rasping voice called out from the coffin. “By Justica, is someone there? Finally?!?”

The party had found Zugun, the priest and brother of the man who became the Chaos Lord in the last great war. Unfortunately the victory wasn’t complete… While Zugun stopped his brother from becoming a true demon prince, he didn’t (or couldn’t) kill him, and during the final battle was wounded, captured, and imprisoned in the magical coffin. Worse still sometime soon, the stars would again align allowing the ritual to be attempted again.

Zugun needed their help… but he believed they could do it, with his help.

Skepticism abounded.

“We’re only just 5th level”
“We only have one magic item in the whole party”
“We don’t have a mage anymore!”
“You’re a crappy DM and we hate old school play!”
“Why do you keep pulling out DCC stuff? We’re supposed to be playing 5e!”

“Ah, but there was an armory here in the citadel. There may still be items of power within.”

“Items that could turn powerful beings to stone?”

“Yes, items just like that!”

“Do you know where”

“Well, no… not exactly.”

Grabbing the chains wrapped around the coffin, the party hauled it with them deeper into the cavern, and through a worked stone portal that continued on as a dungeon corridor. They passed by a store room, mostly empty, and a series of crypts. Guy couldn’t help himself, and began pilfering the coins left on the eyes of the dead.

As Guy defiled the dead, an audacity of gargoyles appeared at the far end of the hall, their stony visages craggy in anger. Not so easily defeated as the skeletons, they were tough opponents in every sense of the word, even resulting in Anya shattering her sword against one of them, and Riia breaking her bow trying to get enough draw to pierce their skin. When the last gargoyle stood against the bloody but still standing party, it turned and retreated, flying into the darkness…

Bach in hot pursuit!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Bones 3 - Only 3 days left!!!

There's only 3 days left to get in on Bones 3. It wraps up at 5pm Central time... and just like the previous 2, this one is already a fantastic deal.

For your core $100 pledge, you get all this:

You can add these to your order... check out the giants and all the dragons, including an armored dragon and rider!

Need a little Mythos in your games? The 3rd part of this is a whole bunch of investigators!

Who doesn't need a brain in a jar? Stitch golems?

So if you need a ton of great minis at an obscenely low price, this is the way to do it! Click here to join the campaign and get in on Bones 3

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

#6MMRPC Week 7: Pirates and Priests

I'm getting behind in getting my updates posted... I am working on stuff though... Not Ebonwrath, unfortunately. I haven't made it to the craft store to pick up any of the Envirotex lite yet. So instead I finished up some minis that have been half done for a while.

First up, the dwarf pirate. He was actually mostly done a little while ago, but I noticed a white spot where the paint didn't stick.

I spent a lot of time on the pirate's skin tone. It doesn't show well in the picture, but it's a much more interesting color than this picture shows.

The Dark Priest was just a nice distraction after working on Ebonwrath so intensively. I'm going to have to write him up as some sort of necromancer.

Anirion is just fun pallet cleanser while I'm waiting to finish Ebonwrath. I've done a bit more work since this pic was snapped. At this point he's almost done, and I'm working on some detail on the edge of his robe.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Review: Ant-Man

I'm not really familiar with Ant-Man from the comics, but I've been really enjoying just about everything Marvel has put out for the MCU, from Iron Man to Agents of Shield to Daredevil. Ant-Man continues the meet my expectations. And, in the tradition of mixing genres, I always enjoy a good heist movie. Ocean's Eleven is one of my favorites!

Like all of the movies, there's plenty of silly. From the line about calling in the Avengers, to the entire shower scene, they manage to weave in lots of ridiculous things yet at the same time keep everything grounded in reality (at least comic reality) and give it all a sense of actually being important. Rarely is there a throwaway gag tossed in just for laughs.

Tauriel, I mean Evangeline Lilly's Hope comes off too much like Bryce Dallas Howard's Clair from Jurassic World, at least at first. The haircut and the suit... Just unfortunate that they're both released around the same time. However as the movie progresses her overall competence and character arc are much more developed. And I honestly believed the romantic development between Hope and Rudd's Scott way more than I did between Clair and Owen.

Paul Rudd was, I think, the perfect choice for Scott Lang. No shock, since he helped to write the screenplay!

Michael Douglas as Hank Pym pulled off the old retired superhero really well. Also, I liked how this was the first origin movie where it wasn't the original origin, but the origin of the second guy to wear the suit. That was a neat spin, and allowed some interesting things with the story.

While this wasn't one of my top 3 marvel movies overall, it's a solid entry into the pack. And let's be fair, they've set the bar really high.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday Inspirational Image: A Night Alarm: The Advance!

If this isn't the start of a DCC adventure...

A Night Alarm: The Advance!
by Charles West Cope

Royal Academy of Arts
Date painted: 1871

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

NPC: Lady Ishtan

"Why do you seek me out?" the lyrical voice chimed behind Nimble.

Spinning around, Nimble crouched with his dagger in hand.

"Put that away, thief. If I'd wanted you dead, you would be." Her fingers, all of them, glistened with jewelry. More distracting, however, were the finger blades that caught the afternoon sun slanting in through the half closed shutters.With one set of hands, she drew back the hood that concealed her face. Tattoos spiraled up her bangle adorned arms and flowed under her black silk dress. "I am Lady Ishtan, and you've come looking for me."

"I need someone dead."

Her silver eyes seemed to look through him. "Of course you do. Why else would you be here?"

Nimble straightened and sheathed his blade as she passed him. "Tea?" she asked, picking up a silver pot.


She turned her eyes upon him again, silver beneath black eyelashes.

"Sure... I mean, of course... I mean, thank you, yes."

Nodding once, she looked down at the cups, and poured two. "Please, take a seat. The afternoon has gone on long, and you are covered in the dust of it. Ease yourself."

Nimble self consciously brushed at his tunic and pants as he surveyed the room for a seat. Not finding a chair, he settled on a large pillow with his back towards a sandstone wall. Lady Ishtan handed over the silver and glass cup.

She sat opposite him, focused on her drink. Clasping the cup in her upper two hands, she spread her lower hands and bowed her head briefly, then took a sip. Nodding in satisfaction, she rested her lower hands on her lap.

"Tell me how I might be of assistance to you. And tell me how you will be of assistance to me."

Image by Tiger1313

Lady Ishtan was once a normal human, or so the story says. A thief and assassin, she traveled the sands, finding few who would deny her shelter or food, lest they fall under her deadly fingers... Until she tried to kill the Raja Mir Rao, the son of a Jinn. According to the tales, she was sent to the City of Brass where she lived for a 101 years. Upon her return, her appearance was as it is now, and her skills even more highly refined. Now though, she rarely ventures beyond the walls of her own compound, though she is still often sought out.

Monday, July 13, 2015

#6MMRPC Week 6: Dropping the Base

So I thought I'd already written about this here, but apparently I only shared over on FB.

And no, I didn't actually drop the base. That would have sucked... What actually happened wasn't a walk in the park either, unfortunately. Let's start where we left off, ready to use the water effects...

So I taped up the base, and poured the water effects in...

Then I noticed something had gone wrong...

Very wrong...

The tape either didn't stand up to the moisture, or I hadn't pressed it down well enough. Honestly, not sure... After waiting a couple of days for it to dry completely, I removed the tape, checked everything over, and came up with a new plan.

Hot glue the sucker to a piece of glass, and use the glue to keep in the water effects.

Best idea ever...


Added the rest of the water effects...

Then some coloring... and here I noticed that I didn't make a perfect seal.

But aside from that little bit, nothing else leaks. Now if only it was deeper. I really wanted it to have covered Ebonwrath's feet more... so I think I'm going to get some Envirotex Lite as recommended over on Hirst Arts, and see how that works.

So close to being done...

Friday, July 10, 2015

5e WNW: The Heart of a God

Session 16 of the weird new world campaign was played on Friday 6/19

The party consisted of the following:
Veidt, 1/2 Elf Wizard 5 [John (Absent, but kindly substituted by Erindale)]
Nessendra, Wood Elf Cleric 5 (Erindale)
Kethra, Human Fighter 5 (Nikki)
Bach, Dragonborn Warlock 5 (Erik - Absent, but kindly substituted by Hanna)
Riia, Human Ranger 5 (Hanna)
Guy Noir, ½ Elf Rogue 5 (Nadia)
Anya Bowen, Tiefling Ranger 5 (Allison)

5th Level!

With the beating heart in hand, the Master crumpled to the ground, and for the first time a look of real fear passed over his eyes. The zombies also crumpled, and the island began to fall apart. The party booked it for the (relative) safety of the swampland, and immediately hoofed it as far and as fast as they could.

It wasn't long before they realized that the Master was following them above. When they finally couldn't go any further, both from exhaustion and the lack of daylight, the party stopped and made camp. The Master was never far, but seemed hesitant to try a frontal assault. Instead he tried to talk to them, offering to cure them of their ailments. Unfortunately for him, Nessendra's newfound abilities allowed her to do that herself. He cursed in frustration and took again to the sky.

A quiet night passed, and the party continued north, encountering nothing except the Master the whole way. He followed, helpless to stop them from giving his very existence away. When the party reached the boardwalk, about a mile from Anura, he again tried to talk to them, begging them to give him back his heart, offering the moon and the sky, even a way for them to free Anura without his own death. "I have a scroll that will allow you to go to the citadel at the source of the river where the forces of Chaos once stood strong. There, within it's walls, you might find the artifact that turned him to stone in the first place."

A brief discussion followed and the party made a counter offer. They'd wait 3 days, and he could go to the citadel and get the item. He stamped his foot, blustered, and finally agreed. So they camped, for 3 days and 3 nights, and on the 4th day, with no sign of the Master they prepared to pack up and go to Anura. As they did so, the boardwalk began to vibrate slightly, and a troop of about 20 mercenaries, 6 lizardmen, and the Alabaster Lady marched up, demanding to know why they have not yet delivered the heart to her husband. There was some hemming and hawing, and then together they all went to Anura's glade.

Anura's stony surface seemed to ripple, and his eyes glowed even brighter as they approached. Stepping forward with the heart, Anura lurched forward, grasping the beating thing between his great claws.

And then it stopped, turning to stone, and Anura froze once again. The Alabaster Lady screamed in grief, and then turned on the party. They quickly agreed to go to the citadel themselves to either free the Master and/or gain possession of the item that turned the divine beings to stone. Quickstep they returned to the boardwalk, and to the city on the river...

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Bones III Starts TODAY!

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that Reaper makes some of the best minis out there, and has for a long time. You also know they've run two wildly successful Kickstarters to transition some of their old catalog into a cheaper plastic material they call "Bonsium" as well as expanding their catalog with all new sculpts.

Today, they launch their 3rd* Bones kickstarter to expand the line even more!!!

What's in it? This... but only for the first few seconds if the previous kickstarter was any indication.

Seriously, If this doesn't hit $1 Million in the first... 36 hours, I'll be shocked. Expect the stretch goals to get knocked down faster than they can update the page!

The Kickstarter goes live at 10am Central time... you can follow the countdown clock here!

*Ok, technically it's their 4th. The one I'm not talking about was their more modest CAV (Battletech) Bones kickstarter.

Monday, July 6, 2015

NPC: Old Vashoth

"Who?" Feris asked.

"Old Vashoth. He lives up stream, about half a mile or so." The farmer pointed vaguely with his scruffy chin.

"And he can tell us about the old citadel?"

"Well, I can't say fer sure... but he's old. Been around for a while."

"That's usually what old means." Nimble mumbled.

"Aye, aye..." the farmer nodded "but Old Vashoth, he's been around." He looked expectantly at Nimble, who stared back blankly. "You know, around here. Local like."


"But... uh... you'd best be careful poking around. I heard he turned Goodman Barak's son into a raven last summer. Went to go talk to him about some map or scroll or something he'd pulled out of the attic, wasn't seen for months. But during that time, Old Vashoth had a crow in his shoulder. Soran wouldn't talk about it when he showed up in the upper cornfield right at harvest time. But his hair was black..."

"We'll be careful." Nimble promised.

Old Vashoth
Tiefling/Demon-touched Sage/7th level Wokan
Master of local lore and veteran of the last great Chaos wars (though he won't generally talk about that)

Old Vashoth was cursed with immortality during the last great war. Unfortunately he wasn't blessed to remain young. At this point in his existence he alternates between searching for a means to become young (or at least younger) or a way to finally die. He's given up on violent means to end his life, as they tend to be extremely painful to recover from.

Image by Joseph Becci

Saturday, July 4, 2015

#6MMRPC Week 5: All about the base

Work continued on the base for Ebonwrath, though not directly. Rather on the test base.
I added a Mage Knight dryad and some cork, and then used hot glue to make a border.

Add in some water effects... and wait.

But I also wanted to see what some ink added to the effects would do, so I made another little section, and tried that out.

Make sure that whatever you use to seal in the water effects actually seals. The smaller section leaked out under the glue. The larger section leaked a little bit.
From what I can tell the ink made it more murky. I like the effect.
If you catch it at the right time, a bit of brush work on the water effect can create texture.

A big chunk of time I'd planned on working on minis this week got sucked up by Comcast screwing up my internet. I did take advantage of some time spent on hold working on Darkrasp so it wasn't totally wasted... but I really wish that there was another internet provider option... 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Free RPG Day Intro D&D Game

I was asked to run a 2 hour 5e intro game at my FLGS for their delayed Free RPG Day event on Sunday. So with that in mind, I dug out my starter box to mine it for ideas. I also shamelessly stole the pre-gens. Wanting to make it a good session for new players (who Free RPG day is aimed at) I dug through my painted and pre-painted mini collection for appropriate PCs.

I decided that in my 2 hours I needed to show the sorts of things you get in Dungeons and Dragons, so I picked goblins, skeletons, and a dragon!

It helped that those were monsters I had plenty of minis for, and since I wanted to run an engaging session for the new players, having the monsters out I figured could only help.

Unfortunately it turned out that all 5 players were at least somewhat experienced 5e players... Ah well, still tried to give them a good intro experience.

Brian played Jarrod the human ax fighter
Josh played Kythea the elven wizard
Rick played Cade the halfling rogue
Colin (from my Wednesday night D&D group - currently on hiatus) played Thorin the hill dwarf cleric
Justin (also from my Wednesday night group) played Palish the human sword & bow fighter

I set the scene, telling everyone that the last great empire had fallen, that he red sun sat low and cold in the sky. That the once bright blue sky was now a dull purple… but that there were those who pushed back against the end of civilization…. those who fought the creatures in the dark, that they were such adventurers on their way to a ruined city whose name had been forgotten in time. They were traveling north through a mushroom forest when they spotted some red capped blue skinned creatures perched in the mushroom caps… armed with bows!

The adventurers were spread out, as were the 4 goblins. Unfortunately the goblins were ready to ambush. Halfway through the bloody fight 2 more goblins closed in from behind the party! Thorin needed to heal himself twice, Kythea come close to death, and Cade was left to bleed out at the end of the fight.

With Cade’s death, Rick left the party to go play some 40K RPG. Had it been a new player, I’d have fudged it… But Rick seemed perfectly content to jump into the next starting game.

The 4 remaining adventurers continued on, reaching the ruins of the city. Poking through the mostly empty shells of buildings, they came to a large structure that descended into the ground via a long spiraling ramp. They heard some noise coming from the darkness, so torches were lit, and they stepped into the darkened structure. They quickly noticed a steel door off to the side, and attempted to open it in favor of going down the ramp. Unfortunately their crowbar only managed to bend the door, wedging it tighter in place. The noise drew 4 skeletons from the darkness!

Battling the skeletons was far less taxing for the party, and they quickly pressed deeper into the structure, eventually arriving at a large space supported by smooth pillars, and flooded to ankle depth with black swampy water. Two more skeletons emerged from the shadows, armed with bows, and from a dark corner, a black dragon! Thorin and Jarrod both fell during the fight, but neither drowned in the disgusting water, while Kythea and Palish decided a fighting retreat was the best option. When the dragon had had enough, they turned back and Palish lodged an arrow in the base of it’s skull, bringing the beast down!

And what did I pick up at Free RPG day?

The good(man games) stuff!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

5e WNW: Isle of the Dead

Session 15 of the weird new world campaign was played on Friday 6/5

The party consisted of the following:
Veidt, 1/2 Elf Wizard 4 [John (Absent, but kindly substituted by Erindale)]
Nessendra, Wood Elf Cleric 4 (Erindale)
Kethra, Human Fighter 4 (Nikki)
Bach, Dragonborn Warlock 4 (Erik - Absent, but kindly substituted by Hanna)
Riia, Human Ranger 4 (Hanna)
Guy Noir, ½ Elf Rogue 4 (Nadia - Absent, but kindly substituted by guest player Julia)
Anya Bowen, Tiefling Ranger 4 (Allison)

This would have been a great week to have pictures, but my cell phone died an inglorious death - I fell on the stairs, and it cushioned my fall... :-/  Such is life...

Continuing south, the party begins to smell decay and rot beyond what they've normally encountered in the swamp, and above they spy a winged man in a silver breastplate circling.

Guy and Bach stride forward, confident that their companions are right behind them. Meanwhile, everyone is is behind them, hiding in the bushes, praying that they haven't been spotted.

The winged figure looks down upon Guy and Back and descends, hovering just ahead of them. It's about this point that Guy and Bach realize they are alone. They swallow hard, and begin to talk to the winged man, who demands to know what they're doing in his swamp. They stumble over themselves trying to be as humble and unaggressive as possible, and beat a hasty retreat, getting pulled into the bushes as they pass by their friends. Some hushed discussion follows, and the party decides to confront the winged man.

As one, they step out of the bushes, and tromp forward. He watches from above, circling, mostly disinterested, but begins to once again descend. The party reaches a shoreline as he once again hovers before them. Beyond, in the water, a mound of bodies slowly churns. Rotted corpses of people and animals slowly crawl over each other, somehow keeping the island of bodies afloat.

"Why have you returned? What do you want?" his voice booms.

The party stammers a bit, and asks what they can call him. "Master" is the unsurprising response. They tell him they're on a mission to retrieve something from the island, in a room as dark as pitch. "The Frog sent you for my heart... bah. You will kneel to me, and worship me as your god."

Predictably this didn't go over well with the party (except for Guy, who went down on his knees faster than a 2 copper hooker). About this point they also noticed that the island was now much closer to the shore. The Master, seeing the party's unwillingness to worship him, decided they could add to his lair.

Individual zombies began to arise from the island, and moved to attack. At first the zombies were mostly ignored in favor of attacking The Master, but their numbers continued to grow. Nessendra's holy mace made quick work of any zombie it touched, but the resilience of the dead flesh showed that this strategy was a losing one. The Master took every blow with little interest, much like his zombies, and while it was clearly having some effect, the wounds continued to knot back together.

Realizing that the heart the Master mentioned was probably the thing that Anura needed, they beat the Master down
and ran for the opening in the island. Within the island was no less disturbing than the outside. The walls, floor, and ceiling were all made of bodies, though these seemed far less wiggly than the ones on the surface. A fork in the tunnel nearly sent Riia down a bone shard filled pit, but she managed to keep from falling in. Running down the other passage Guy and Bach entered a chamber that dripped black gore, and in the center a beating heart the size of a cantaloupe! Bach tossed his cloak over it and scooped it up...