There are three things, each sacred and bearded: Moon, Monks, and Moss. All connected. Tied together by the Monks of the Bearded Moon, an old order of healers, mystics, bearers of the secret knowledge, and inheritors of the Bearded Moon's gifts. Theirs is a sect full of mystery and bound by ritual.
The birth and life of a god through the long ages.
Two cultures at war.
They will serve up the Light to appease their dark gods.
Pirates' many bejeweled rings and piercings actually had a practical purpose - when the pirate or sailor died, the rings could be taken off as payment for a proper burial, saving him from a watery grave. This could be tied into regional culture, or made into a quest (The Pirate's Lost Rings, etc.). Also gives treasure-seeking divers another thing to look for besides crusty old chests.