A little bit of a digression, but its funny what winds up being emphasized, and what remains fallow in a game’s background. When I created SB, I had a load of background on some things that players have never even thought of touching, especially in Amber city and its environs. On the other hand, I leaped at the chance to introduce a few PCs to a restaurant that I had designed called Gormens…since the PCs had asked a NPC (Noys) for a recommendation.
So things like the Ambassadorial residences, and the Merchant’s Guild and the like have remained untouched, virginal in my game–so far, anyway. The trips to Amber City usually have been purposeful. The last character to just wander around was Antar, the Imbecile Chaosian.
And there are a couple of set-places that I wish someone would have thought or asked about, such as The Crimson House, my poor attempt at a play on words from the usual “Red light, etal”.
The Crimson House is basically a House of Pleasure inside of Amber City. It’s the only officially sanctioned one, actually, a holdover from the days of Oberon. He had sometimes contradictory notions of what was and was not proper, and having more than a single official place was anathema to him (although of course there are always the free-lancers). And during the Interregnum and Regency, other places did open, neither Eric nor Gerard really enforcing the law on this matter. And Random hasn’t, either, but neither has he rescinded it officially.
So, the Crimson House, having the stamp of approval of the Royale Family, employs the best of the best.
It’s ground floor has two major rooms, a large one for gentleman, and a smaller one for gentlewomen. There is an unspoken discretion here, the women’s meeting room is considered a “meeting club”. Men are not seen here at all. Assignations are done discreetly upstairs, be it with one of the men employed for that purpose, or if a woman should take a fancy to one of the hostesses.
The gentleman’s side is a little more libertine, although there, too, there is a veneer and patina of respectability, as card games and other events are the “ostensible” reason for men to visit the establishment. And, indeed, there are many men who never go upstairs and have no overarching urge to do so.
Rebma, on the other hand, is a different kettle of fish entirely. (pun intended)
The literary inspirations for the Crimson House are, by the by, the Aphrodesia House from Thieves World, and Lady Sally’s from the Callahan books.