Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Best Little Whorehouse in Wampus Country


Well situated at the crossroads between several notable towns, the Diamond Peacock is a saloon, inn, and house of ill repute.  The Peacock has grown into a massive, three-storey structure, plus external kitchen and stables, and the entire affair is painted a striking indigo color and roofed with blue shingles coated in sparkling quartz-dust.  The saloon portion can easily seat twenty; the lounge, another twenty.  There is a flophouse-style common room (eight beds) and four rentable overnight suites, not counting the six rooms reserved for entertaining customers.  Although the Peacock is by no means a general store, some common goods are kept in quantity and sold at a premium to those too desperate to wait until arriving at Thistlemarch or River-Town.

The Peacock is managed by Miss Delilah Drumm (thief 7), a former River-Town mobster (primarily racketeering) and occasional tomb-robber in her youth.  Miss Delilah employs, at any given time, nine or ten “girls” and a dozen other employees, including handymen, roustabouts, a bartender and a cook, and two stable-hands; the arable land behind the Peacock is worked by a family of sharecroppers in Miss Delilah’s employ.  Musicians often stay at the Peacock, playing in exchange for a reduced rate.  

Of note is the Peacock’s head of security, a hulking troll called Nigel, who came down from Big Eagle Mountain and, upon seeing the Diamond Peacock, wisely decided to never return to the catacombs.  Nigel is affable enough for a troll, and is always dressed in the latest fashions, although he prefers rather garish combinations of clashing plaids for his waistcoat and trousers; he is the only person allowed to carry a weapon within the Peacock, and his choice is a very fine steel-headed mace on which the girls have kindly painted butterflies and ponies.

Miss Delilah is a shrewd entrepreneur and very protective of her property and employees.  The girls themselves are independent contractors who renegotiate their rates and cut with the management quarterly and can depart at any time.  Miss Delilah is always on the lookout for new talent; further, she does not allow her employees to rob or pickpocket customers, understanding that goodwill must be built for the legend of the Peacock to spread.  Customers who stay overnight are given a small copper broach with a spray of purple-dyed chicken feathers as a memento.

The bordello makes extra money via contract assassination; the mattress in Room Four is actually a mimic.  The girls feed it table-scraps and bones between jobs.

On nights of the new moon, the ghost of Henrietta, a working-girl who was strangled by a customer some years back, walks the halls of the Diamond Peacock; Henrietta does not interact with employees or customers, but paces around aimlessly, silently mouthing the phrase “beneath the second stone” every few minutes.

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