Drinking & Dragons


From Drinking and Dragons


Fuelwen's family is a chain of Falkah. This has driven them deeper and deeper into poverty. His parents and extended family have accepted that this is the lot in life of that branch. They try and take pride in being farmers and not hunters, despite the way they're looked upon in Sahuagin society. Knowing that they are too poor to equip their son for this quest, they've tried their best to prepare him for life as a Falkah. In Fuelwen's eyes, they frittered away what money they earned due to their fatalism. He was determined to escape this life of drudgery.

He is gifted with fortitude, strength and intelligence far beyond that of his peers. Despite this, the stain of coming from Falkah hung about him like a cloud as he grew up. He was strong enough and tough enough to make the bullies think twice, but there was always someone who thought they could stand up to him. The continual fights strained the relationships with his family and the community. The characteristic lack of privacy in Sahuagin culture gave him little room to hide from the conflicts.

The only escape Fuelwen had was spending time on Gnala. Gifted with an amphibious nature, he could stay out of the water for as long as he liked, which few of his peers could do. From a very young age, he became known to the dockworkers. Instead of helping his family farm, he started doing odd jobs around the docks. Sometimes he would be a gopher. As he got older and stronger, he would clean barnacles from beneath the water line, or inspect ships for damages. When not scrambling for money at the docks, he would spend time in the library. At first, merely as a client; he read everything he could find in there. Into his early teen years, he started working as a scribe. Given the rate at which books decayed, it was a profession the island was in dire need of, and he was payed well.

He hid this money away. He would bury it deep in the caves around Algol-Nun, relying on the natural hazards and the sheer scale of the area to keep his trove a secret. On more than one occasion, he had to defend it from peers who followed him to see what was so important in the caves. They, not Fuelwen, bore the scars of these encounters. After one particularly bloody encounter, Fuelwen had the saying "I do not fear thieves; thieves fear me" tattooed on his back by one of the sailors. After this, thanks his fierce nature and sharp night vision, on a few occassions he even worked as a guard for some of the ships waiting in port.

Among his people, he constantly tried to prove himself. He excelled at luqash, and proved adept at the hunting exercises the children undertook. When it came to hunting small game, he didn't always get the most, but he never made a bad showing.

He did not see his parents on his coming of age day. He visited the priestess in secret, and received his quest. He asked her to tell his parents where he had gone. He retrieved his stash of funds, went to the surface, and bought the equipment he thought he would need.

He would return a Hunter or not at all.

The Quest

The Sahuagin are not great star watchers. At the bottom of the ocean, the stars are alien. Even so, they, like nearly everyone, have painted the sky with their own constellations. To the south rises and sets the constellation of the Great Whale. The rising and setting, appearance and disappearance of this constellation allows the clergy to predict the migrations of the great pods of whales. It tells them when and where to send hunting parties, and it the single most important constellation in their mythology.

Fuelwen's quest is to hunt the Great Whale. Hunt it, kill it, and bring it back to Algol-Nun. In its place, he must leave a marker, a great token, like the moon, that can be used to track the seasons and the migrations of whales.

Fuelwen has no idea how such a thing would even be possible. He suspects that the priestess holds some secret grudge against him. She must, to give him such an impossible quest. But there's nothing for it. He's heard rumors that Sekolah has been spotted in the far west, tales of great sharks that gut ships and plunder their riches and bodies. He sails in that direction, hoping to find the shark god. Then he can ask Sekolah what he needs to do to complete his quest.

Plot Hook

Fuelwen has left Gnala, bound for his quest. Despite being rather self sufficient, a multi-week trip, alone, is not a good, safe way to start out a quest. He's booked passage, cheaply, on the ship of a friend, Burrow. For Fuelwen, that's a miserable prospect. Utterly unused to spending so long outside of the ocean, with no hope of adjusting to sea-sickness, each day on a ship is pure torture for him. His only solace is the fact that he can easily pace the boat. He spent the days sleeping below the waterline, or at least trying to sleep. Parts of his nights were spent in the ocean, outriding alongside the boat. Eager to be a good help to the crew, he used the time to catch fresh fish. Each time they put into a port, he would check the bottom for unmarked hazards and guide the ship past them.

Currently, he's on Great Fortress. Here, the strict customs laws forbade anything like letting someone swim around the boat. Burrow intended only to put in for supplies and have a brief night in port to let his crew relax and spend their wages, but irregularities with customs have lead the local authorities to lock down his ship and hold it in port while they try and straighten things out. Burrow, of course, is upset. So is Fuelwen- the local authorities also don't like seeing fish people dive off their precious protective wall for quick dips. For as long as the ship's in port, Fuelwen is stuck on dry land.

Worse yet, he's in a city where the patron god protects thieves. "Good" thieves, but thieves none-the-less. Seriously and lawful minded Fuelwen isn't apt to like it here. If he weren't loyal to Burrow, he'd be trying to buy passage on any ship he could to get away from here.

Burrow's crew bought out an inn to stay in until they return to their ship (Burrow is convinced this is all a scam to drive money into the local economy), but that didn't leave room for any of their passengers. Burrow refunded part of Fuelwen's passage, and booked Fuelwen a room at a nice, swank inn.