(from Matthew Smith via Facebook)
LOOT Ritual: Purify Water [Arcane]
Hollowdrum appears generally poor in resources. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Grimlocks have a different standard for what constitutes value than just about every other race in the Underdark. As victors in combat, you’re awarded potable food and water…apparently quite an honor. Additionally, you’re offered fetishes and trinkets with interesting textures, that make interesting sounds, or smell interesting.
The Oracle’s main task, what makes her so valuable (and Hollowdrum possible at all), is to cast Purify Water every day. The village’s daily water supply is drawn from a small but reliable spring that, absent the Oracle’s intervention, is horribly poisonous. (The Oracle will offhandedly mention having to mercykill a dozen Grimlock young who drank the water and became drooling idiots.) The Oracle is happy to teach her version of the Purify Water ritual. It is simple enough that it can be readily adapted to Arcane or Nature, rather than Religion-based casting. You’re pretty sure that requesting ritual components would get you airholed by paragon-tier adult Grimlocks protecting their water supply.
Ten’zrin observes that Grimlocks, though sightless, follow certain texture-based conventions in what little clothing they wear. Inspiration strikes: next season’s fad! The possibilities for textured drow fashions unfold in sordid, chafing glory.
After 24 hours, Azimuth and Krizzt both notice themselves growing distinctly ill at ease. An annoying, edgy buzz permeates your hearing just below the audible range…
Kelthrae is welcomed among the drummers, pressganging him into a week-long jam session. At the end, they’ve stripmined him for songs, offered many of their own, and between violent disputes over who keeps fucking up the downbeat, work with Kelthrae to create new rhythms of remarkable, primal complexity. Kelthrae suspects he may be able to single-handedly guarantee a new musical style in Hess’zrin for decades to come.
The pounding beat of Hollowdrum throbs incessantly. You are guested for a week, during which you rack up an impressive collection of bruises, scrapes, sprains, and dislocations from the Grimlocks’ social interaction. (Those who find rough trade appealing are well-situated and will be able to score some serious poontang among the likeminded in Hess’zrin upon your return.) During this time Galina and Secret Egg are pronounced mates, the culmination of which appears to be an ultraviolent round between the newlyweds of Who Rapes Who.
Sexually, Grimlocks are opportunistic, status-based, and extraordinarily vocal. Same-sex pairings, when they occur, enjoy the same treatment as any other tryst—namely, beatings, bloodletting, and fending off rivals mid-coitus. Initially, males and females prod you with frank sexual interest and fondle you in ways that drow society would consider an invitation to open murder…but to a one, after the initial intrusive interest, the Grimlocks seem uninterested in you as prospective mates. Apparently screwing drow offers no advance in clan status, and you are judged too fragile for Grimlock tastes. Perhaps distressingly, the Grimlocks decide that properly interacting with you involves sniffing your armpits and licking the sweat off of any exposed skin. They do this before and after every non-trivial social interaction.
Of the Indigo Company, only Munin is left alone. Apparently his scent is sufficiently disquieting to ward off any social interest whatsoever. Social interactions are awkward, with the Grimlocks usually choosing to flee rather than remain nearby.
At the conclusion of your guesting, the Oracle pulls you aside to speak privately. She asks, hesitantly, somberly: “Did the Black-Skinned Knife succeed at his task? Did he breach the veil?” Inquiry reveals that the Grimlocks’ oral history of Nyanis records him approaching the first Oracle to acquire something of value: the Salts of Unknowing. (Huh?)