Matron Taschelin says to you, "You wished to speak?"
After drawing a long breath, you say, "I am compelled to ask, after a rather intriguing chat with one of your patrons...this place, what is it beyond the obvious? You have fed me snippets before, a place of reprieve where rich and poor alike can mingle and indulge with anonymity..."
You ask, "But what of the purpose at the heart of it all? Why here? Why you?"
Matron Taschelin raises her brow, her taloned fingers clicking against the side of the throne as she grins once more. "It is rare anybody has the foresight to ask that. I believe the last was that Ninchi girl, if memory serves." she appraises. "Before I answer, what are your thoughts on the matter?"
You say, "I have always had trouble even vaguely describing this place to those who have not been, so easily do the subtleties evade me. Were we twenty, ten years before the present moment, I would -- and I did -- find you highly suspect for your manicured facade. Even for Gaudiguch, this place is bizarre."
You say, "How it should serve you or whatever goals brew behind those eyes I could only guess. And not coherently, mind. You are disturbingly good at what you do, whatever that might be."
Matron Taschelin says, "A facade in a city of facades, Sultan. The role of this place, and myself at its head, is to preserve the status quo and provide distraction and comfort from those who would harm it. As I believe Vyell said, after all, isolation from benefits breeds resentment."
Matron Taschelin gestures down toward the rest of the pavilion, taloned fingers outswept. "You have noticed our clientelle is the wealthy of the city? The opulent? Those who could hold an unfair advantage should they try to start their own revolution?" She frowns, "It is that simple."
You say, "Opiate of the masses. Or, at least, a sufficiently concerning slice of the masses."
Matron Taschelin nods slowly in agreement. "Sometimes literally," she quips, "the opiate part."
Matron Taschelin says, "It also provides, ironically as we are deep beneath the city, a vantage point that is useful to both myself and Hareatho for gathering information."
You nod solemnly to Matron Taschelin.
Grinning just enough for teeth to be shown, Matron Taschelin says, "Any other questions? Concerns? Critiques of my decor?"
Cautiously, you say, "No critiques, no...but, for all your respectable efforts, we find ourselves rapidly approaching a revolution led by those your establishment would likely never serve. Is it wrong for some part of me to believe they should succeed at it?"
Matron Taschelin says, "The only concern you should have with revolution is who is behind it. The status quo is revolution, the One Law, drugs, sex, and a sense of indignance. I assume you read Hareatho's assessment of the Flamewright, that this is far too well-funded to be a grassroots revolution, yes?"
You nod your head slowly in understanding.
Matron Taschelin says, "This is the only reason we involve ourselves at this juncture. If we are proven wrong, so be it. But the actions do not match up fully with the cause."
You say, "Hopefully the dossier provides enough leads for us to get a step or two ahead of the game. Then, of course, there is the other-Illuminati to deal with...mmh."
You say, "We will see. I have taken enough of your time already, Matron, but I am thankful as ever for the counsel."
Matron Taschelin says, "That is a matter, certainly. I will not advise you on that. They play an interesting game, and it is interesting to see what comes of it."
The ghost of a smile passes fleetingly across your lips.
You say, "Until then."
Matron Taschelin says, "Fanatics though they are, I do wonder if their presence might not be beneficial to the city. But yes, farewell."
You suck thoughtfully upon an opalescent othala rune stud.