This impressive three story red brick court hosts the gymnasium of West Drakesdoom – part gentleman’s House, part bathhouse, part warriors training facility with a taverna attached. The institution has a rivalry with the East Drakesdoom ‘Flynn’s Gym.’
It is situated just down the Lane of a Thousand and One delights on the Barrack Barrio side. The top story is staff accommodation and rooms that members can hire to stay over. The middle floor is the tavern, meeting and dining rooms. The Ground floor is the bathhouse, locker room, weights room and stables . The building has a central courtyard where members train – the House allows members to charge other members for training etc; but only has a small janitorial and hospitality staff under the control of the House Manager.
The House’s property was the original offices of the Nideno Freight Company who gifted them to the House of the Scorpion which was an informal House of officers in the Drakesdoom Guard, Shareholder Militia and Volunteer Corps. Nideno’s generosity is not quite as charitable as it appears – he receives a reasonable ground rent and has exclusive contracts to provide all carriage the House provides, owns the taverna and his company runs the House stables. He also enjoys lifetime non-executive membership of the House Committee (as House Sponsor) giving him a vote in the affairs of the House.
The House is named after an ancient Malkian institution and has a similar constitution.
The House of the Scorpion will accept any member on the recommendation of two existing members and if no objections are raised by the overall membership. Membership fees are steep enough to deter enlisted men and NCOs. Membership criteria ensure any adventurers admitted are of the ‘right sort.’ Membership is open to non-humans and females, in theory, none have applied to join.
The House Committee features a President, Secretary, Treasurer (all elected positions), a House Manager (a salaried position usually filled by a wounded member) and House Sponsor. They make medium term decisions but certain issues can only be decided through a vote of the whole House.
Membership of the House gives you:
- Access to the House facilities – this includes the taverna, ability to hire rooms, stay overnight, bathhouse and the training areas etc;
- Beneficial rates with healers the House has on retainer.
- Contacts with members of the House
The House enters horses and riders in the Drakesdoom Steeplechase (12th of Pollak) , enters a team in the Dragonsboat Race (last week of Parkinz) and sponsors members in the ‘Festival of Fists’ (which takes place the first week of Winton.) The aim is victory and prestige for the House but most members are happy if they defeat competitors from ‘Flynn’s Gym.’
Food and Drink
The Taverna kitchens served simple excellent fare cooked extremely well. All corresponds to ‘meat and two veg’ to help members build and maintain muscle. The prices are very reasonable for the quality of ingredients which means the plebian Drakesdoomer could not afford them. Food can be served in rooms if members staying wish privacy.
Wines are shipped in from local vineyards with some extremely expensive imports from Ancienia and the volcanic vineyards of the Black Alps. Bottled ales are bought from the finest alehouses and wives in the City. As well as alcohol the Taverna also sells the latest health drinks – tea from the Jade Coast, Coffee and chocolate from Amazonia.
The current House Manager is Antriobus Kleaver a Gothican former Centurion of the Palisade Guard who ingloriously lost a leg when run over by a runway carriage. He has a wooden pegleg and is in permanent pain. He is consequently fowl tempered and has been known to beat staff with his crutch. However for members he is obsequious to an extreme and very accommodating – knowing that a serious complaint could result in his discharge and subsequent poverty. He has lost most of his hair and has run to fat which increases the difficulties of his disability.
The Taverna on the other hand is run by the open faced relaxed diminutive Wilbur. Powerfully built despite his small stature Wilbur seems to effortlessly secure excellent food and drink and at a good price for members. He treats his staff as partners in the venture and has an extremely high retention rate, even in a City as transient as Drakesdoom. He has a perfect white smile in his tanned face and has an excellent memory for members and their preferences.
- The House would be a natural place to plot a coup or attempt to brainwash military leaders of the Midmark.
- As Shareholder Militia officers are often House Members and extremely powerful in the Midmark many political plots can be generated in the House.
- Alternatively characters could be involved in hijinks around House efforts in the Steeplechase, Dragonboat Race or Festival of Fists.
- If Nideno dies the jockeying for his position as House Sponsor may generate events.
- Sparring or providing personal training to fellow House members might set characters up for political or economic adventures.
- The mixing and matching of different fighting styles at the House might enable character members to produce their own hybrid martial arts.
- If West Drakesdoom was attacked (safe an uprising of the living dead) the House would be a natural defensive point, secondmost to the Government buildings. Would House members open their doors to non-members and what repercussions might there be.