[P] no curtain call
It had been weeks since she’d spoken to him. His new rooms in the Bastion were in what had been the Guild Hall – a dusty mildew room that had not been used in some time. He needed time to consider what all of this meant, for sooner or later someone would notice that the King no longer stayed in the grand room towards the front of the Bastion and was instead huddled at the back… his fine robes tossed over a crooked table.

He was not an opulent man, but he did not see the beauty that came with division. Vodeva united Old Caledonia with all that was here and new but he could feel it slipping between his fingers like thread from a loom.

Haven was less populated, though workers came and went from the Dye Studio daily. They had no place to drown sorrows or share tall tales – and so it was that Iomair lamented and was told about the South.

The excursion had been Kalypso’s idea – a conversation over tea that had somehow found him on the path to the Estrella Roja. Iomair was not one to venture far from the Realm, but tales of the tavern had weedled their way into his mind. With Vodeva markedly absent it left time for other ventures – and Iomair found himself uncertain of his freedom.

Bryony carried him most of the distance, though they stopped to rest overnight on the way.

The pair followed the red stars that had been carved and painted into trees. By the time the tavern came into sight it was dappled with candlelight and shadows that the evening forced upon them. There were broad men at the doorway who grunted for payment as some were ushered inside – Iomair made his deposit and was thrust into a sprawling scene that was ripe with drink and music.

...And women.

A scruffy looking dog gave the King his first beer, and the frothy bubbles tickled at his whiskers as he found a place amongst the crowd.

Out here, he was not a King. Merely a disciple of the tavern magic that ran through each one of them.

(///) | NPCs: N/A

Iomair... has left NC behind to explore the Estrella Roja! Kalypso what have you done...
Naughty boy
• • •
Another night, another shift to earn their keep and ensure that they were letting the wealth flow into deserving working hands. They had primped, polished, perfumed, and preened into a pretty picture. Adrianna and Vivian were prepared for their night and had made their final checks after organizing their workspace. A master craftsman had an organized shop with everything in its place. They were crafters of a different art but that did not mean a mess was permitted.

The bustle of a full night raised their spirits the moment they heard the faint hum of people. The temperature rose with every additional body in the cantina and Adrianna could hear the beginnings of music playing, too. Vivian beamed at her as they slipped into the bar, the common space, and began to mingle with the revelers come for a good time.

Adrianna watched her nightgirl work for a moment before heading to the bar and exchanging whispers with the dog manning it. What likely candidates had wandered in and had a drink? Who was alone and who was with company that would limit the chance of a successful purchase? Several options were pointed out to her and she gave the barkeep a friendly cheek kiss.

Adjusting the somewhat tight seam under her bust, Adrianna began to meander through the tables. Vivian was in a corner, already in a man's lap and giggling softly as his foggy gaze roamed to her hand on his thigh. Adrianna smiled. A fast worker and happy to do it, Vivi was exactly what an aspiring Madame wanted in a nightgirl. But she was no slouch and the Madame was a working woman, too.

She found a solitary drinker without anyone else on his arm or at his table. She leaned on the table, just close enough that if she leaned ever so slightly to the side, she would touch his arm. "Alone tonight? May I sit?" she asked, the lilt of her accent obvious despite the fluency of her speech.      

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