_Originally published as part of Mythrite. Prof Trent Hergenradar teaches ENGL 543: Game-Based Fiction at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Students in the class create player-characters (PCs) they control throughout the semester in an asynchronous online role-playing game. Prof. Hergenradar put out a call for volunteers to write the back-stories of non-player characters to populate the world. The catch? Volunteers would have no clue about the world or their character until they were selected, had to hit specific features, and would only have a couple of weeks and 500 words to finish the job. I was tapped and honored to write up the background of Kimdo Chestcaver, the prim and frivolous madame running a brothel in the frontier mining town of Mythrite in forgotten, fantastical realm. ;-)
Next to the amphitheater at the center of Mythrite’s so-called “Entertainment District” is “The Gentlemen’s Rest”, straddling the invisible line where refined dining and theaters give way to brothels and gambling dens. Upon entering you would be greeted by its proprietress, the dwarf Kimdo Chestcaver. Between her prim appearance, her frivolous chattering about the latest gossip out of Waterdeep, and her upper-class demeanor you would think you were talking with a great dwarven clan dame, and not the operator of Mythrite’s finest brothel.
Kimdo’s journey to Mythrite began many centuries ago. (How many centuries ago? Why, one must never ask a lady her age!) The Chestcavers made their fortune generations ago mining The Spine of the World mountains. Kimdo was brought up a proper gentlewoman, to be married off to further the clan’s influence. She had looked forward to that day and the leisurely life to follow, hosting parties where she would be the care-free center of conversation. Kimdo was already getting plenty of practice while winning hands of Talismon at the high-end gambling establishments of Mirabar.
It all changed when the Chestcaver stronghold was raided by the drow. Kimdo was captured and taken into the Underdark. She was rescued and returned to her family but it did not happen quickly enough for the tastes of high dwarven society. Everyone assumed Kimdo had been “ill-used” by her drow captors and her potential suitors dried up. Kimdo found herself unjustly shunned and ostracized by her family and society as a marked woman.
To Kimdo’s credit, she made creative use of her upbringing to now make her own way in the world. She exchanged the gilded halls for the rougher mining camps, gambling her way up and down the Sword Coast. Earning enough by playing cards, Kimdo also charmed the miners, providing light-heartedly distraction and bringing a touch of refinement to their frontier lives. While she never herself offered companionship for money, she made plenty of acquaintances who would along the way. Personally, Kimdo hated every moment of it. But she kept at it, biding her time in hopes to somehow “earn” her way back into upper society.
When word about Mythrite reached the shuttering mining camp she was it, Kimdo saw her chance. Working her connections and leveraging her savings she managed to get a guild license to establish “The Gentlemen’s Rest.” From the start her aspirations were clear. The hastily constructed building featured fanciful detailing at her instruction. She insists on decorum from even her bawdiest staff and patrons. And, if it were possible, she will gladly drop her establishment’s baser offerings to elevate it’s standing, and by extension her own. She dreams every night in Mythrilgrist will be her last.
While she privately supports the Lord’s Alliance move into town, she knows tensions are way too high with her clientele. Everyday Kimdo defuses potentially explosive conflicts by either scolding impropriety or changing the subject to lighter fare. Because would you deny a lady another hand of Talismon?