The Panther Club

Deep in the heart of the exotics quarter, in an area avoided by all but the bravest or most foolhardy human visitors, lies a nondescript building surrounded by a high wall where many of the quarter's denizens make their way at the end of the day for an evening of relaxation and entertainment. Unhuman travelers from outside the City make their way thither in search of the private services offered here. Whatever form a weary adventurer's perception of comfort takes, he will find it readily available in The Panther Club for the right price.

From the street, the Club might be the estate of some powerful halfling noble. It is a large, sturdy structure surrounded by a practical wall high enough to give pause to the pensive thief and send him looking for easier pickings. Regular patrols by alert guards accompanied by large apparent canines also lend to the air of security for the guests within.

The Club's name derives from a spectral felinoid creature which appears sporadically, when a client's face and frame appear to briefly alter into the aspect of a dark, intelligent carnivore. Most of the regulars have seen it, many have themselves provided it's focal point. The experience is said to leave one pleasantly breathless.

Though it may quiet down in the early morning hours, the Panther Club never closes. Its services are available around the clock, seven days a week, at reasonable rates. What the Club lacks in steep prices, it more than makes up in the volume of customers passing through its public and private portals.

Members of rival, even hostile groups within Sideshow can relax in the Club's surroundings. From the least member of these groups to their often unknown leaders, all are glad for the chance to unwind and share a friendly glass. It has happened that a few bottles of "Panther Pee" - a finely wrought house wine whose nickname is undeserved - has smoothed over tempers and resolved problems that might otherwise have called for drawn swords and large quantities of blood.

Subdued lighting in the main hall offers patrons all the privacy they require. A client who chances to recognize an inhuman face from depictions on wanted posters in the quarter, will understand the futility of seeking to summon the guard. Not only would the wanted guest be quickly gone, the complainant would be politely refused any further entry to the Club. And the wanted person in question might find some traditional manner in which to personally demonstrate his or her feelings about having his evening interrupted.

Outer cloaks and weapons are checked near the doors. For those who cannot control flaring tempers, enthusiastic "waiters" who are well-trained in the use of their stout cudgels will arrive to mediate an immediate cessation of hostilities - to the detriment of all participants.

(The above text and map are only part of the material for "The Panther Club" in Citybook V: Sideshow. Copyright 1991 by Flying Buffalo Inc)


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