720 Derleth Dr. - Club Nine
Some of the information presented here is for CMs only. Most of this information is included in the sidebar, which players are urged to skip.A mixture of Victorian architecture and Art Deco design, members acknowledge early 20th-Century renovations but insist the architecture remains the same as when 720 was built; they claim the architect was simply a forward-thinking gentleman - a hallmark of the club's membership. Some of these renovations include the installation of "unisex" bathrooms, originally built only for men to use. Either way, pictorials are allowed on occasion, gala events are held there irregularly, and there is even a book on the building, but there are no private tours. You have to know someone who is someone to get invited into The Nine. Getting a membership is notoriously harder.
Club Nine was originally a gentleman's society founded in the 19th-Century, though members insist it stems from a society that had already existed in secrecy for nearly a century prior. Both The Nine and its members are highly respected in and around Vincent, and only a few can truly call themselves members in good standing. While there are many low-level wannabes, induction into the Inner Circle of the society is difficult and very secretive. The Club maintains a good social face, donating to worthy charities and causes, and sending representatives to noteworthy and charitable events benefiting the area. Club Nine and its members are also on good terms with other community social clubs and some members also belong to some of those.
The entrance to the stately Victorian Brownstone is a nondescript but very well-maintained stoop hedged by terse shrubbery and a finely-wrought iron rail leading up the stairwell to the heavy, wooden, double doors. Each of these has a large knocker shaped something like the letter "S." To the right, on the outlaying wall, is a placard briefly describing the history of the building:
On maps, it is most often listed as "Silver Hall, 720 Derleth Dr." or "White Hall" (especially on particularly old maps), however it is known as Club Nine - the name painted on the wooden sign hanging beneath the gaslamp fixture hanging over the front entrance. Members refer to it simply as "The Nine."
Inside Club Nine
The foyer is marble and finely polished, mahogany wood with a coatroom that is often overseen by the elderly Julian, who boasts of having had the same job for "longer than you've been alive." There is a "unisex" bathroom here, as well as a front desk with a phone and guestbook, though there is rarely a receptionist. Members are expected to sign-in and new visitors must leave their personal information, right down to home phone number. On the other side of this reception desk lay the bar, which is always fully-stocked and self-serve.
The marbled foyer opens into a massive, general room with a high ceiling that is ringed by overstuffed chairs seated next to round, mahogany tables (often with one drawer and an ashtray), with a single Tiffany lamp atop each. In the middle of this room sets two long, mahogany tables around which are even more overstuffed chairs. It is at these tables one is most likely to find a lower-echelon member-in-waiting; the private areas are reserved for full members.
These tables are usually covered with books opened to various pages and bookmarked profusely, looseleaf papers and newspaper clippings and articles, and dirty dishes. To many, it most resembles the common area of a college study room, and many members call it the Study Hall for this reason. It isn't unusual to find characters heatedly discussing one topic or another here, or even passed-out in the crooks of their arms over opened books next to half-drank cups of coffee. Occasionally, a decorated member will be holding court here - always surrounded by hangers-on - and the Study Hall tables are where the congregation sits whenever an actual meeting is held (generally only annually - at least publicly). When gala affairs are hosted, the tables are removed to create the dancefloor and/or make room for a stage.
All of this is surrounded by banks of computer terminals and bookshelves in various semblances of order - some are very neat and tidy, while others are crammed full of notes, opened books, and who knows what else. Many of these books are historical and newsworthy in nature, and many refer directly to Club Nine, Vincent, and other social clubs, events, structures, and personae surrounding the area, but there are also numerous books on the Occult and metaphysics. Only members really know this, as visitors are too busy taking in the entire scene to pay much attention to what everyone is reading.
Beyond this is a series of offices, as well as a spa with weight room and sauna. There is a lit and heated pool on the roof. It is surrounded by a hedged garden and plenty of lawnchairs, tables, and towels. There is also a wetbar but it is not always serviceable and usually locked. Another "unisex" bathroom on the roof serves as the poolhouse.
Club Nine openly connects to the Vincent Public Library from the general room. At nights, the far end of the library is gated-off, but the section leading up to and into The Nine remains open all of the time, as does Club Nine. The society considers cleaning and tending this much of the library one of its charitable causes, and makes great donations to the collection, as it has throughout the years. Members have little problem learning or advancing skills with access to such resources.
When the doors to Club Nine are closed, as they usually are during normal library hours, they just look like a wall from the library. The small hallway of books donated - mostly paranormal in nature - remains open to library-goers. At the very end of this hallway is the gate that is closed when the library closes, keeping Club Nine visitors out of the library in general, but allowing them access to that small hallway of books after hours.
Outside Club Nine
The Nine is also only a block or so up the street from the fine dining restaurant, The Soup Kitchen, which often delivers to it. There are several coffee stations throughout the general room, though some serve tea and a few are decaffeinated. There is no paper - only solid white, fine China cups and saucers with silver sugar spoons and cloth napkins. Within the general room, right behind the reception area of the foyer, lay the full bar. It is rarely stocked with food, but nuts and chips, as well as the occasional cookie, can sometimes be found. The Soup Kitchen closes late, but the grill closes promptly at 11:00pm. There are convenience stores and fast food restaurants a few blocks away from the historical district in which 720 Derleth rests. There are also pizza parlors, doughnut shops, and other eateries - some of which even deliver.
Club Nine is located in the downtown area of Eastgate, right off the Roth Bridge. It is near the Holy Mother Hospital.