9 The House Of Serenity

Freeport has no shortage of brothels. From the filthy alleys in Scurvytown to the flophouses in the Docks, there is an outlet for just about every vice. Among these pleasure dens, one stands at the fore—the House of Serenity. This bordello specifically caters to Freeport’s elite, offering the finest courtesans for those with coin enough to sample their delights. This is no place for the rude and uncultured; it is a retreat for those of discerning tastes.

The House of Serenity has been serving Freeport’s elite for years. In this time, it has emerged as one of the most prominent brothels in the city, whose fame has spread far beyond. Sailors dream of spending a night in this place, while travelers come from far away lands to sample its delights. The fact that the Serenity House survived almost complete destruction during the Succession Riots is a testimony to its power and success, as well as those of money who would not see the House fade into history.

The renovated and rebuilt Serenity House is just as inconspicuous as the old one. Nothing about its façade indicates its purpose or what its four walls contain. Three stories tall, it occupies the corner of Main and High Streets. The external walls are polished sandstone fitted with numerous windows on all sides. Terracotta tiles roof the building, and each corner features a cherubic angel that drains the rainwater from the gutters by showering the streets with its delightful streams.

Once inside, there’s no mistaking this place for anything other than a bordello. The interior is soft and inviting. Statues of scantily clad beautiful men and women fill the entrance, looking down on the patterned floor with mischievous expressions. Archways on either side lead to entertaining rooms where affections are as free-flowing as the wine. These rooms are where the courtesans await their guests, offering their talents to any with the coin to spend and the libido to sate. At the far end of the hall is a dramatic staircase leading to a balcony lined with doors that open into the private bedchambers. Twin staircases head up from here to the top level, which holds offices, sleeping quarters for the staff, and storerooms.

A night in the House of Serenity costs a great deal. The prices place it well out of the range of most sea dogs, and the majority of the House’s clientele come from the wealthy men from the Merchant District too timid to venture into the flesh-pits of Scurvytown. Members of the merchant’s guards save up several weeks of pay for a single night in the House of Serenity. It is substantially safer and cleaner than Freeport’s other bordellos, as well as a cultural cut above. The ladies and men that dwell within are more accurately termed courtesans than prostitutes.

The pleasures offered by the House of Serenity are of the standard nature. Companionship, conversation, a pleasant meal, some light entertainment (singing or dancing), and physical intimacy with the woman (or man) of one’s choice are the House’s fare. House management heavily disapproves of activities beyond those. Those seeking more outré physical pleasures are advised to take their perversions to Dreaming Street.

Prominent NPCs
Sylvia Rathrow: All of the Serenity House’s success comes from one woman—Sylvia Rathrow. Almost thirty years ago, she began her career as a common whore in Scurvytown, picking up clients at her regular haunts on Dreaming Street. She was different from the other women, though; she had ambition. She may not have been as pretty as the other prostitutes, but she had a sly wit, keen mind, and legendary skills. Over the years, she gained a sizable pool of clients who were both wealthy and influential, and she was able to convince them to fund the opening of her own brothel, far away from the dangerous warrens of Scurvytown. They agreed, and she opened the House of Serenity. Her business was so successful she was able to pay off her debts in less than a year and fill her stables with the best companions money could buy.

In the years she’s run the Serenity House, she has spared no expense in recruiting the very best women and men. She pays local priests to screen the staff to ensure everyone who works for her is hale and healthy. To encourage her employees to go above the call of duty, Sylvia pays well and, more importantly, takes care of those who retire from the Serenity House. Anyone who works until they are no longer viable can continue working here in the kitchens, laundry, or keeping the rooms clean. And those who retire receive a small pension to pay for their room and board for years after they leave. As a result, Sylvia has her pick of the best in the city, and some even say beyond.

Sylvia has aged gracefully. Never beautiful, she does have pleasant, if a bit plain, features. Her once auburn hair is mostly gray, and care lines have appeared around her mouth and eyes. Although she is advancing in years, she cuts a fine figure and wears clothing that emphasizes her good qualities.

Lexi: A beautiful young woman and talented courtesan, Lexi is a popular girl at the Serenity House. The reason is simple. She augments her skills with magic, subtly altering her appearance, voice, and her clients’ moods. Lexi didn’t choose this life, and while she recognizes it’s far improved over her stint in her abusive father’s brothel on Dreaming Street, she yearns for more.

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