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The Courtesan's Castle is the informal name of the headquarters of the Courtesans
. Once a large and famous hotel in pre-Cataclysm times, it is now one of the largest Courtesans' guildhouses in The Dominion
. It serves as a residence for Courtesan
s, a hotel for friends of the Guild, and a headquarters for Courtesan operations in the Wyrd West.
Purpose / Function
The Castle is the center of Courtesan activity in the Dominion. It is the official residence of the Matron, the elected head of the Courtesan's Guild. Typically, a little more than a hundred Courtesans live here, with more suites and rooms available for their use when they arrive from other locations. Most young Courtesans receive their training here as well, once they are deemed to be old enough to begin learning the more practical skills of their calling.
The Castle doubles as a hotel for those who are friendly to the Guild, including the Gunslinger Order, and for Courtesan clients.
The Delta Bessborough was one of Canada's grand railway hotels built for Canadian National Railway in pre-Cataclsymic times. The building was designed in a Châteauesque
-styled building, with further inspiration drawn from castles in Bavaria. The heavy use of the Châteauesque architectural style on a number of early grand railway hotels in the country eventually led to its recognition as a distinct Canadian architectural style by the 1920s.
To capitalize on this sentiment, the designs for the hotel were made to emphasize its Châteauesque features, through the increased use of medieval elements. Such features include oriel windows, rounded turrets, quoins, string courses, and machicolations on the hotel's walls. The roof of features Gothic Revival dormers with carved tympana spread throughout. A variety of grotesques can also be found throughout the building, and they are believed to be representations of the hotel's guardian spirits. It was a point of pride in the old hotel records that it was entirely constructed of Canadian materials: Tyndall stone from Manitoba, brick from the Claybank Brick Plant in Claybank, Saskatchewan, and tiles from Estevan, Saskatchewan. The interior of the building features ceiling moulds, plaster reliefs, and terrazzo floors.
The Castle includes 225 guest rooms and suites. It is 58.5-metre-tall (192 ft), containing 10 floors; the tallest standing building in Saskatoon
Following The Cataclysm, the Delta Bessborough was seized by a chapter of the infamous pre-Cataclysm Outlaw band, the Hells' Angels, who ruled like barbarian feudal lords, terrorizing Saskatoon into doing their bidding. This continued until the local Mounties, the Assiniboine, and a colony of medievalists, organized in part by The Founders, formed an army and took the Castle back, driving the surviving Outlaws deep into the Northern Prairie and the Saskatchewan Desert.
Saskatoon was one of the first cities to join the newly-formed Dominion. It was impossible to defend, so once Fort Saskatoon was built, it was abandoned to the city.
Upkeep was terribly expensive. The nascent Courtesans Guild approached the city and offered to assume ownership and responsibility for all costs. Valuing the building for its value to tourism, and having received the support of the Assiniboine, the city agreed. The Courtesans quickly made it their center of operations.
By tradition, there are a number of suites reserved for railway travellers who wish to see the historic building and the beautiful surrounding area of Saskatoon. They are extremely expensive, and cater to the wealthiest of guests. This is a destination of choice for such clientele, due to both the building's unique architecture and its lovely facing on the South Saskatchewan River. The Courtesans occasionally provide food and shelter for stranded or needy railway travellers on a case by case basis as well.
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Books in the Wyrd West Chronicles
Gunsmoke & Dragonfire
(featuring The Teeth of Winter (Wyrd West Chronicles #7)
The Bessborough, the Delta