Location: Shrine to the Bloated Woman at Ho Fang’s Mansion in Shanghai
Physical Description: Single scroll, parchment, stored in an unassuming carved ivory scroll case with silver filigree decorations
Author: Liu Chan-fang, a Chinese monk or retired minor official of the Imperial court
Publication History: Unknown. Composed in classical Chinese reminiscent of styles popular during the Ming Dynasty. Lost for centuries until recovered by Carl Stanford. Widely considered among contemporary practitioners as the foundational text for the Order of the Bloated Woman. Some skeptic cultists consider Chang-fang as simply a recent prophet and believe earlier critical texts remain buried in lost libraries and ancient tombs. Some adherents regard Su Da Ji, the brutally malicious and favored consort of King Zhou of Shang, as the first recorded manifestation of their goddess. Her malignant influence on the Shang Dynasty’s final ruler is attributed to its decadent downfall in 1050 BCE.
A series of short poems describing how the lonely Liu meets a seductive goddess, who hides her face behind a black fan. The mysterious deity captivates Liu, who compulsively follows her despicably wicked commands. He weakly bends to her will in hopes of learning her true name and gaining a single glimpse behind her fan. After committing a series of increasingly horrific atrocities, she reveals herself. Liu is struck with ecstatic revulsion and composes his final poem in blood after eviscerating himself with a sickle to appease the whims of his goddess.
Spells: Contact Nyarlathotep/Bloated Woman
Connection to the Broader Campaign:
The foundational text for the Order of the Bloated Woman. While the cult passes the poem amongst its ranks through an oral tradition, the followers believe this to be Chan-fang’s original text stained with his revered sacrificial blood to their goddess. The cult honors Liu’s offering by using the sickle as their preferred weapon and sacrificial tool. They take great pleasure in disemboweling their victims as an act of worship towards their goddess and respect for her first follower.
Carl Stanford recovered this long-lost scroll and provided it as a gift to Ho Fang to help facilitate his recovery of the Seven Cryptical Books of Hsan for his own god’s designs. Stanford hopes this offering allows him to avoid conflict with Ho Fang over ownership of the incredibly rare scrolls. The devious Stanford recognizes the superior power of the Seven Cryptical Books over the more “sentimental” content of Liu Chan-fang’s poetry. Consequently, Stanford has no interest in the scroll. The pragmatic Ho Fang cares only about the scroll for its influence over his sadistic followers.
If stolen, cultists from the Order focus all efforts on recovering the scroll above all other pilfered tomes and artifacts. Their intense devotion to the Goddess potentially distracts them from more purposeful goals.
Investigators attempting to infiltrate the Order of the Bloated Woman and Gray Dragon Island recognize the use of lines from Liu’s final poem as passwords.
To see her face
Yellow sun, burning heart
Dark night, black fan
Coalesce frost freezes soul
Fire burns within my belly
Blood must pour, she thirsts
Flutter fan curtain gaze moon
vain long sigh
Open like flower many mouths, all beautiful
Sharp, six loving limbs to hold heaven,
sickle in hand and sky
Below be green water billowing
As her inviting eyes
My life flows in now
Still burning for her