Bamboo & Brass Resort
The Bamboo & Brass Resort was, and is, a spa resort reserved for those wealthy enough to travel to its remote location. Once a more expansive and luxurious establishment under the funding of the infamous and enigmatic Verdant Order, Bamboo & Brass remains only mostly rebuilt after its most famous incident. It was mostly destroyed in a Petalcap Vale Customs Authority action (involving the famous Gam Pfa'a practitioner Ame Pfren) in a late-night raid to liberate the resort's most terrible attraction: its population of involuntary servants.
The Bamboo and Brass Resort is home to a permanent population of 2000 live-in staff, or roughly one staff member for every possible guest. The majority of this staff is of Vale Verdial extraction in the modern era of the Resort's operation, though this was not always the case; before the PVCA raid on the resort, fully half the staff was comprised of human, rostran, and ovinex servants forced to work by the threat of exile into the surrounding cube. This threat was effective because long-term exposure to the environs of the Bamboo & Brass resort are lethal to most non-verdials (see Geography for details).
While the Verdant Order is the ultimate collective owner of the Bamboo & Brass Resort, the resort operates as a frontier town on a day-to-day basis. The butlers and head maids of the establishment serve as an executive council to oversee the administrative affairs of the resort when the 'masters' are away. Petalcap Vale Customs Authority ultimately control access to Bamboo & Brass, as they exercise customs control from PVCA-North skystation to prevent a recurrence of the crimes leading up to the 'Raid of '86.'
The Verdant Order's private security firm, comprised mostly of verdial mercenaries, provides on-site security for the Bamboo & Brass Resort. The Hand of the Order, an elite security cadre within the Order, oversees security efforts with an eye towards making 'problems' for the Order disappear. These individuals often carry silent GF-1 "Tarantula" assault needlers loaded with Harrow-tipped quills for when discretion is required.
Industry & Trade
Other than limited on-site gardens for staff sustenance, the residents of the resort would be forced to subside on bamboo shoots without outside trade. The Verdant Order ships in luxury goods and frozen produce for consumption at the resort, while the resort ships out bottled spring water for the luxury market. The resort staff also secretly supplies the Verdant Order with intelligence gathered from guests in high society; the Order uses this information to manipulate markets, blackmail opponents, and sus out potential allies.
Structured like a small town, the Bamboo & Brass Resort is divided into several small 'districts' where different sorts of leisure activities and spa treatments are handled. These districts are interconnected with a series of cobblestone tile footpaths and bridges spanning the complex's central river. In addition to distilled water from the resort's hot springs, the resort also maintains a water tower to store excess snow runoff for supplemental water supplies. A biodiesel reactor at the airship landing pad handles much of the resort's organic waste. This bioreactor also helps to supply the resort's dieseltech generator. Inorganic or unprocessable waste is sent down the river on barges to be piled at a dumpsite downstream - away from the eyes and noses of guests.
Guilds and Factions
Beyond the Verdant Order 'masters,' the live-in staff was once divided into 'free servant' and 'chattel servant' factions. This presumably ended after the raid, in which most or all of the chattel servants were liberated. Still, despite the protestations of the current staff to the contrary, there are those in Petalcap Vale who suspect that more unfortunate souls might already be secretly imprisoned beneath the stately bungalows and massage parlours of Bamboo & Brass.
Around 9966, explorers affiliated with the Verdant Order 'dicovered' the monastery in dissaray and, with the appropriate combination of cash payments and veiled threats, accquired the location from the former inhabitants with the condition that those who wished to remain could become butlers and head maids in a new tourist establishment to be built on the grounds. This was the reformation of the monastery into the Bamboo & Brass Resort, an escape for the well-heeled of the Manifold Sky. Over time, the decadent tastes of the Verdant Order members would corrupt the once-holy site of the Bamboo & Brass. Drugs, debauchery, and degeneracy became mainstream away from the watchful eye of the Petalcap Vale security forces, with guests' every taste being indulged in an effort to secure their loyalty - or, at the very least, to keep them quiet with regards to the Order's doings. The hidden undercroft of the old monastery had become a holding area for indentured servants from across the Manifold, with debtors, fugitives, and 'disappeared' enemies of the Order making up the bulk of this early slave crop. This state of affaris could not last.
At some point during the 9930's, the Way of the Biocosm established an isolated monastery in what would eventually become the Bamboo & Brass's location. The monastery only persisted for a generation, as the children of the small coven which had created the monastery were more interested in finally meeting outsiders than in perpetuating the faith - there is, in fact, little to do in an otherwise mostly unpopulated, bitterly cold cube where straying too far from the valley is a death sentence.
Reconstruction began a month after the Raid of '86 and, with the head maids and butlers agreeing to PVCA oversight, the resort was allowed to open once more. As of the year 10,000 AR, the resort remains around three-quarters rebuilt, with the resort still serving a select clientelle of high-rollers despite its infamous reputation as 'that place where they had slaves keeping the beds warm.'
In 9986, Ame Pfren and a group of Black Sheep infiltrated the resort to investigate the disappearances of several ovinex and Rostrans in connection with the Order. This operation was nearly a bust, as the Black sheep were routed and Phren himself was captured and tortured by the Hand of the Order. it was only a stealth raid carried out through the cooperation of the escaped Black Sheep, the Rostran Archipelago Confederacy Marine Force, and the Petalcap Vale Customs Authority that finally saw Phren and the slaves liberated - as well as the majority depopulation of the resort. In the aftermath of this event, known as the 'Raid of '86,' the Order sought to rebuild both the damaged buildings and the resort's reputation - after all, what good is a luxury intelligence gathering operation if its an obvious den on iniquity under constant law enforcement observation?
The Bamboo & Brass Resort's primary source of income is luxury tourism. The resort provides spa, massage, hot springs, fine dining, and luxury accomodation services for which they charge a premium. Though members of the Verdant Order are the most common seasonal clientelle, members of the Burning Hearts Social Club and Navigator's Guild who are not put off by the resort's dark history also come to visit. Very rarely, heads of state from across the Manifold come to stay on holidat. This makes the resort a useful place for the Verdant Order, via the resort's staff, to gather information on all these parties and expand their influence with them.
Perimeter walls in the same style surround the resort and airship landing area, with an access path crossing the foothill between them, in a loose approximation of a motte-and-bailey arrangement. The only access to the resort from the surrounding countryside is via the central river, and this is normally gated off to prevent guests who fall in from being swept too far downstream.
The Bamboo & Brass resort was built on the remains of a now-abandoned Biocosmist monastery. Indeed, the original coven members' quarters and worship halls now form the Rustric Suites and main dining halls, respectively. The resort's structures are raised on brick-and-mortar foundations. The walls and windows are all composed of imported redwood lattice and stucco. The buildings are constructed of concentric layers of rooms and corridors surrounding the inner residence and service areas; this arrangement serves to keep the cores of the buildings, where the residential and service spaces are, insulated against the Caudal cold.
The Bamboo & Brass resort is located in the chilly, mildly-irradiated Caudal H cube layer near one of the edge mountain ranges. The Resort is located in a cool, foggy valley warmed by several hotsprings - in fact, the 'glittering water' of the springs flecked with radioluminescent minerals remains the primary natural draw of Bamboo & Brass. The resort itself is bisected by a shallow river. An adjacent valley has had a raised airship platform built in it, concealed by the surrounding foothills and bamboo forest, to provide guest access to the resort.
The whole region in which the Bamboo & Brass Resort is built is an overgrown bamboo forest. Despite low levels of particle radiation raining down from the adjacent Northern Tesseract, this forest, the ever-present fog, and the surrounding geological features serve to attenuate this radiation, making the area (relatively) safe for long-term inhabitation. Some of the resort's hot spring's output is siphoned off to be distilled, creating the Manifold Sky's only 'luxury' water beverage.