Carousing and inter-session page for G94: Recovery of the Heartless Stone.
Martín Le Black
Despite his reduced size, Martín Le Black's appetites remain undiminished. The pint sized swashbuckler and his spirited companions send shocked serving maids back to the kitchens again and again, as they feast deep into the evening.
The seasoned adventurers devour countless platters of spicy langoustines, rashers of the massive local oysters fried in batter, and countless small bowls of the sweet gelatinous invertebrates the Pearl Islanders serve as a delicacy.
By the meal's end, the rowdy Company has emptied the house's cellars of their delicious, tart, green wine, and had made a significant dent in the proprietors personal stores of strong black rhum.
Soused and sated, the group's wiser members collapse into the inn's soft downy mattresses . But Martín is agitated, as their long journey nears its end his anxiety rises to a manic pitch. Ticks and twitches ripple about his person as he plots, curses and worries in an escalating fervor of anticipation.
Stalking drunkenly through the streets of The City of the Scarlet Moon, Martín will apply his rakish wiles to discover a contact who can give him insight into the legacy of Ululaya, and her agents of change.
Msr. Morthommes will seek enlightenment in those places he knows best: taverns, brothels, Fflharn-houses and other places of dark debauchery. These warrens of vice are often favored by keepers of the most hidden and forbidden secrets.
Martín will carouse to expand his understanding of Ululaya, her history, and her worshippers. Are there any legends of holy warriors of the Scarlet Goddess; crusaders, explorers, soldiers or adventurers who have advanced her cause? Has Ululaya ever called upon a mortal to act as her paladin? What are the tales of this theoretical hero? Were there any traits, values, distinguishing characteristics or particular manifestations of the Goddess' attention that defined these champions? Martín seeks to discover any affectations that might be favored by the Waxing Divine, or gifts she might love best.
Martin spends a sizable amount of his dwindling funds on evenings of debauchery. This proves sufficient to exhaust all local opportunities for excess, as for all of the City of the Pearl's exotic riches, its population is little larger than that of a town like Malinbois.
It proves difficult to communicate with those dealing and participating in the island's vices. Few of the locals know even a smattering of the northern Common tongue, while most foreigners come from the cities of the southern continent. Still, several southern merchants and travelers know enough Common to permit stilted conversation, as do a few native taverners, gamblers and prostitutes — many of whom appear to be acolytes and votaries of the goddess.
According to the stories Martin hears, Ululaya emerged from the primal Chaos along with her kin, either being born along with the world or predating it altogether. She parted company with her fellow Chaos gods during a great war between the gods of Chaos and Law; it is unclear whether this was by choice or whether she was cast out. After the war, she left the Higher Worlds and raised her palace on the Isles of the Pearl.
Ululaya's worshippers are largely descended from the autochthonous population of the Isles. But new devotees do come to the Isles to seek her blessings, mostly from the southern lands, and a few remain to mingle their bloodlines with those of the natives. Popular rites include gambling in the goddess's temple, visiting the temple brothel while blindfolded, and diving into shark-infested waters in search of the rare red pearls to be found in the waters of the Isles.
Tales of the goddess's champions are freely and excitedly shared in broken Common. On occasion, a hero catches Ululaya's eye and receives the gift of transfiguration. These men and women have apparently been changed into many things, such as a great red salmon, a monstrous bat, a giant insect or a blood-red worm. Whether these champions gain other gifts, such as longevity or the ability to return to human shape, or are cursed with bestial intellect or bloodlust, varies from tale to tale.
As to what traits her champions shared, or what gifts might catch the goddess's eye, Martin's interlocutors agree on little other than that she favors the fortunate, and is equally whimsical when distributing favors and curses alike.
(You rolled a 3, spending 450gp and earning 450xp from learning new games of chance the hard way and testing your constitution with strange foreign soporifics and hallucinogens. Your d20 roll was a 9: mediocre.)