The Circle of Distinguished Gentlemen

by Jade Williams

"A big man has no time really to do anything but just sit and be big."
--F. Scott Fitzgerald, U.S. author.
"Claret is the liquor for boys; port for men; but he who aspires to be a hero must drink brandy."
--Samuel Johnson, English author.
"Never slap a man who chews tobacco."
--Willard Scott

Building Name: The Gentleman's Club of Arylon

Submitted By: Jade Williams

Building Type: 2 story house, wood and stone construction

Business Conducted: Private Club, and private home.

Owner: Laird Thaddeus O'Connel

Building Description:

Thaddeus' home is an austere 2-story house near the centre of Inner Ward. Built in classical styles, it has stone walls interlaced with heavy, age darkened timbers supporting the wooden floors and roof. It has leaded-glass windows in every room, and thick dark velvet curtains.

A heavy, wooden front door leads into a small hallway, from which a large meeting room and small kitchen are on either side, and stairs lead up to the living area. The meeting room is where the Circle spend most of their time, it is carpeted with a thick Amnian carpet, and has a large fireplace. The walls are covered with wooden panelling, and dark red leather armchairs are spaced around the room. Several small side-tables are arranged so drinks and food can be put in easy reach of the occupants. A large, glass-fronted drinks cabinet stands along one wall, and holds a wide selection of liquor from cheap local ale, to the finest elven wine, and age-matured whiskey. Over the fireplace hangs Thaddeus' longsword, next to various trophies the group collected over the years. None of them are very valuable or important, but have sentimental value.

The kitchen is well-stocked but undecorated. It contains the basics for preparing meals, but little else. A preparation table stands in the centre of the room, and around the walls are various cupboards and shelves. A brick stove is mounted on the opposite side of the wall to the fireplace in the study.

The upper floor is the house area where Thaddeus and his wife live. It consists of a living room, two bedrooms, bathroom, and kitchen. The decor in this part of the house reflects Mrs. O'Connel's tastes, as Thaddeus spends alot of time downstairs. The rooms are generally bright, and light coloured, with little furniture in them. Small rugs cover the wooden floor in strategic spots, and light, white curtains hang in the windows. The furniture is made from light woods, and plain in design. This contrasts with the dark hardwood furniture downstairs that is carved into intricate patterns.

Business conducted:

Twenty years ago, six veteran adventurers decided they had done all they had wanted- amassed treasure and fame, seen the world, raised families, and excelled in their chosen careers. Without the constant excitement and challenges being set in their path, they began to drift apart- old age and mediocrity set in. Then they got bored. They discovered life without the others lacked excitement, and meaning. Their lives slowly dulled, and they grew old.

When Thaddeus sold his small holding, he decided to move to Arylon to be close to his old friend Ernst, and catch up on old times. From there they started their small club, and began to enjoy their retirement for the first time. As they settled in, they looked for their old comrades-in-arms, slowly enticing them to Arylon. The Circle of Distinguished Gentlemen was born.

The original adventuring band are:
Laird Thaddeus O'Connel - a noble from Waterdeep
Anwah Dahn - a mage from Arylon
François, Duc de La Rochefoucauld - an ex-ship captain
Donavon Dangerfield - a thief who's bad leg ended his career
Ewan McClain - a dwarven militant priest of Clangeddin
Ernst Von Blazing - a hunter of undead

Now, they are beginning to enjoy their retirement. The Circle gives them somewhere to go on a regular basis, it allows them to swap stories and keep up with the latest gossip. They all enjoy hearing from Anwah about his experiences with the younger mages in the Eldritch Watchtower.

Thaddeus hires cooks and waitresses from Alanna's Servant Agency to cook dinner and serve drinks at meetings. He pays premium rates, partly to ensure discretion about the subjects discussed, and partly due to some rather unfortunate incidents at the beginning of the arrangement regarding wandering hands and short skirts. Between drinks and cigars, they discuss (read criticise) the current generation, especially the adventurers, who they constantly berate.

"Not a patch on 'Ol Longhorn, remember?"
"Aye. Aye. That red of '39- they don't make dragons like that anymore."
"These kids, they've never had it so good."
"Long hair, I tell you! And claiming to be a fighter an' all he was. Not in our day, eh?"

Despite this outwardly caustic attitude, they are not bitter old men, they simply believe the current generation has lost the adventurer spirit they, themselves had. However, they do still see some 'good adventurers' and take an interest in their deeds.

Recently, the group has become interested in the underworld of Arylon due to Donovan being robbed. They see this as another example of 'how the young 'uns have no idea how things should be done', and have decided to do something about it.

Bringing over 450 years of experience with them, they have started a small crusade against some of the independent thieves in the city. Pitting their old ways, knowledge and experience against the youth of the city, they have been quietly successful in upsetting a few shady deals and underworld groups. They try to stay out of the limelight- knowing the city officials would take a dim view to their vigilante attitude.

"Why, officer. I was just walking my dog when I happened to stumble across an illegal duskwood shipment being offloaded.."

This practice hasn't worked out *entirely* the way Thaddeus was planning.

One of their waitresses turned up, and for their dinner, served them a manifest detailing weapon shipments they had stolen the night before. As they sat in shock, the waitress- a shapely half-elf with long blue hair, told them she had been keeping an eye on them for a while. After she had related the times and places the Circle had been operating in over the past month, they calmed down, and heard her out.

Shandaria spent the rest of the night talking to the Circle, and telling them what they would and wouldn't be allowed to do. They agreed to keep their activities aimed at the unorganised low-end crooks, and Shandaria agreed to keep their activities secret from the Crescents and the council. Shandaria became the first (and only) honorary member of the Circle.

"Not a full member, you understand."
"A woman member? Good God, no. Although she did make a fine maid, Thaddeus. Think you could get her into one of those outfits again?"

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