L'Épée Épicée [11 Hivvem 4261]
Well, I probably wouldn't have made that much of a fool of myself, even if I hadn't figured it out in advance. L'Épée Épicée doesn't look so much like a pervert's club. At least, it doesn't look very much like Across Saga very much. It looks a lot more like a small guildhall.
Jinthinia:"Hallo, Tennis. I'm paid up through the end of the year, right?"
Tennis is most of an elderly Cani man, who is the doorkeeper at L'Épée Épicée. By "most of", I mean that he is missing his left arm and leg and tail. By "doorkeeper", I mean that he sits or levitates by the front door, exuding an aura of power and danger despite all the missing bits, and looks as if he knows everything that goes on in the club. Between Cani social skills, sense of smell, and some perpetual scrying spells, I'm sure he does.
Tennis:"Indeed you are, Jinthinia, at associate grade. Through the thirteenth of Trandary, in point of fact."
Jinthinia:"Oh, good. I'd lost track. I forget, at associate grade can I bring a guest?"
Tennis:"Once a month, you may, Jinthinia. I presume that this gentle-Zi-Ri will be the aforementioned guest?"
Tennis:"May I presume to guess that you are Sythyry, the half-sibling of Hezimikkinen?" His polite gaze is quite intimidating. I'd be afraid to do something illegal or immoral, like, oh, using the wrong dining-skewer in the club's restaurant.
Me:"Yes!" Someday, perhaps, I will not be the only person of my species and color in some city. I will surely encounter the other blue Zi Ri, and mistake zir for myself, and be hideously confused and awkward until it's sorted out.
Tennis:"Be welcome at L'Épée Épicée. Please feel free to enjoy the restaurant, the bar, and the parlor. I regret that it is club policy to mention that the announcement book and the club's supplies, among other perquisites, are reserved for members in various degrees. If there is any doubt, feel free and encouraged to ask a member of the club, or myself."
Me:"Thank you! I think!"
Jinthinia explained that to me as we walked and rode in. (She walked, I rode on her shoulder.) The announcement book is mostly advertisements for people trying to collect a suitable group of adventurers for this or that project. For people like her, it's a chance to look for ways to make some money, which is currently a matter of moderate urgency.
Jinthinia:"I'm a very foresighted Orren -- I have to be. I make it a point to look for the next job before I'm out of money."
Me:"That makes sense. Why do you have to be?"
Jinthinia:"Tell you later."
(She did, too. She doesn't have any long-term family by blood or marriage to support her when she runs out of money. She does have the printing job, but gets paid only once a month from it. Three years ago, she managed to get herself into a fix where she had to choose whether to keep her apartment or her sword, during Cold Surprise. She chose the sword, and more or less took a night job as an informal transaffectionate prostitute for most of the months, selling her favors to people of various species for room and board. Not her proudest moment, and she was a bit worried that I'd find it offensive or distasteful. Which I did, actually, but I managed to look sympathetic rather than disgusted. Anyways, she's been trying to avoid that particular fix, in all its variations, despite having no head for money.)
And the club's supplies are a different kind of valuable. It's a collection of weapons, armor, magic items, and so on that the club keeps to loan to members. Jinthinia's associate membership doesn't let her borrow very much from it, but there's an enchanted shield which has saved her tail more than once that she borrows whenever it's free.
Me:"When I'm good enough, I'll make you one of those."
Jinthinia:"Any time soon?"
Me:"Next year maybe, if I keep my current job!" Yes, I am starting to talk about adventuring like she does. With her, at least.
Jinthinia:"We'll see what's going on then!"
(OOC: World Tree RPG material, if you want it. Member of L'Épée Épicée (+1 Advantage): You are an associate member of L'Épée Épicée. You are likely to hear about opportunities to go on adventures. You may also borrow equipment from the club's stores. They don't have or lend extremely powerful things, but they have a good variety of straightforward devices and equipment for most common adventuring situations. Typically, you can borrow the equivalent of +3 Advantage's worth of equipment at any given time. The gamemaster will determine what is available at any given time. It is not polite to keep equipment on hand if you are not using it; some other club member may want it. This membership costs 100 lozens a month, whether you use it or not. Inappropriate behavior, such as keeping equipment too long or losing it without repaying the loss, or inappropriate sharing of adventuring opportunities, may result in being temporarily or permanantly barred from the club.)