The Bottom of the Cup Cafe
A New Orleans style cafe and restaurant in the Greater Moscow area (Just one block away from Arbat Street in Old Arbatskaya) owned and operated by Rowan Finnegan. The cafe was designed by her father, Seamus Finnegan, and built in record time. Rowan poured most of her trust fund into the construction. It seemed a money pit at first, but the cafe is quickly gaining popularity in the area and Rowan has begun to see a large return on her investment. The Cafe is always open, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Rowan lives in a private apartment on the upper level of the cafe.
Rowan has used her public Voodoo rituals in the Greater Moscow area to promote the cafe. The efforts have paid off. She has tried to get the word out that it is a safe house and gathering area for local Channelers, few have heeded the call until recently.
The cafe offers services other than food and drink. Rowan is a Prophet, although this is not public knowledge. She is known for her skill with the Tarot, but none have connected it with her true abilities. She offers free readings to any patron that purchases at least one item off of the menu. Anyone not ordering will be charged accordingly. Her main hostess, Maman Marie Mayfaire, also offers readings, although she is not a Prophet (there is no guarantee to the accuracy of Maman’s tarot and palm readings.) When Rowan is in attendance at the Cafe, she welcomes every patron as if they were a guest in her home, bringing that special brand of ‘Southern Hospitality’ to Russia.
The cafe also sells marijuana and at least one night out of the month is “Bordello Night,” where patrons may pay for the “company” of select individuals for a predetermined amount of time. There are extra rooms on the second level of the cafe for use on Bordello Night, separate from Rowan’s private apartments.
During the month leading up to Mardi Gras, Rowan throws a never ending party in true New Orleans fashion. Patrons are encouraged to attend in Carnival inspired attire, the entire building is decked out in greens, golds, and purples, the entire menu is changed to more festive dishes (including King Cake), and on the night of Mardi Gras a parade is thrown down the block on which the cafe resides (much to the protestation of the local authorities.)
On the last day of the month, Rowan hosts a soup kitchen for the locally deprived. Everyone who enters the cafe on that day is guaranteed a free breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
(The front facade of the Cafe)
“The Bottom of the Cup Café had a striking asymmetrical façade with a dominant front-facing gable, seven polygonal towers sprouted up from the roof. A large wrap-around porch encircled the building, wrought iron tables and chairs dotted the wooden floor; a second-story balcony covered the entire ground level porch. Patterned wood shingles shaped into fish scales covered the outer walls, oriel and bay windows jutting out all over. A monumental chimney, painted balustrades, and carved columns set off the rest of the architecture. A wooden fence enclosed the property with an expansive garden separating the fence from the rest of the café. Jazz music and warm smells of sugar, cinnamon, and coffee permeated the atmosphere.”
– The Voodoo Queen of Greater Moscow
The Seance Room
The Seance Room is in the very front of the cafe and it is where most patrons enter through. The colors in here are typically warm reds, oranges, and golds. Off to the right of the main entrance is the cashier’s desk, typically operated by Maman Marie Mayfaire. Wooden stairs sit behind the main counter, leading up to Rowan’s private rooms. There are three large open door ways set into each wall of the Seance Room, all leading to different rooms of the Cafe.
True to the rooms name, this is where Rowan and Maman preform their readings. There are secluded alcoves built into the western and eastern walls for that express purpose (although many necking lovers find themselves within the nestled confines of the alcoves.) Said alcoves are shadowy things with half-circle booths and circular tables. Candles typically flicker atop the tables and incense smoke plumes from golden censers suspended from the ceiling.
Small, round tables paired with wrought iron chairs and long, plush couches are scattered throughout the rest of the Seance Room. Crystal balls, tarot cards, oracle decks, Ouija boards, I Ching, dowsing rods, and various other divination tools can be found littered throughout this room for patron use.
Most often take their tea, coffee, scones, and beignets in this room. On Sunday mornings, a local knitting circle meets here.
Built into the western wall of the Seance Room, to the left of the entrance to the Main Dining Room, is a stairway leading down in to the Gentleman’s Parlor.
This room can be accessed through the main entrance, the Amber Room, the Ladies’ Parlor, the main Dining Room, the stairs leading up from the Gentleman’s Parlor, and the stairs leading down from the second level.
(A more intimate corner of the Seance Room)
“The doors opened onto a rowdy scene, not very café like at all. About fifty patrons filled the cafe; three other open doorways lead to rooms in the New Orleans style. There would be no hallways here, except upstairs maybe. The décor screamed ‘The Big Easy.’ Antique French furniture, Low-country antiques, ornamental iron, crystal chandeliers, gilding, tufting, and elaborate plasterwork made the entire place a feast for the eyes. Off to the right was a long counter, cash register atop it, menus scatter about, and candles glowing from every inch of unused surface.”
– The Voodoo Queen of Greater Moscow
The Amber Room
Inspired by an incredibly famous room in the old Catherine Palace, now lost to the sands of time. Everything in this room is colored after it’s namesake. The feeling in here is more akin to a traditional sitting room. Chaise lounges, large reading chairs, bookcases, and low tables fill the room. Opposite the entrance to the room is a set of french doors that lead onto the wrap around porch. To the left of the main entrance leads to the Carousel Room.
Many patrons retire to this room when the carousing of the Carousel Room grows to be too much. Despite the live music leaking in from the other room, the mood in here tends to be more relaxed. Pre-rolled joints and blunts of marijuana can be found on silver trays littered throughout the room. A unisex bathroom can be found along the southern wall of the room.
Galton, the head chef of the cafe, can often be found in this room during his downtime. He is fond of the vast library held within, which contains a wide range of works from classical all the way to metaphysical.
Rowan hosts ‘Liquid Lunches’ in this room every Saturday afternoon.
This room can be accessed from the Seance Room, the Carousel Room, and the eastern side of the main level wrap-around porch.
(The Amber Room)
“It looked much the same as the other room, same décor and furniture; the only difference was that everything in here was colored in various shades of amber. A large set of French doors lead out onto the porch. A few patrons mingled in here, drinking, eating, laughing, singing. Another large open doorway led into another room off to the left, a live jazz band swinging and playing for a small crowd. The music leaked into the Amber Room and Rowan couldn’t help but nod her head to the beat.”
– The Voodoo Queen of Greater Moscow
The Carousel Room
In the rear of the cafe, Rowan hosts live bands nightly in this room. A large stage is set into the back wall and a repurposed carousel sits in the center to act as a bar. This tends to be the most lively room in the entire cafe. Another set of French doors set into the northern wall of the room lead out onto the rear of the wrap-around porch.
Tall bar tables and stools are scattered along the perimeter of this room, leaving space between them, the main bar, and the stage. There is a large open space before the stage, leaving enough room to dance and mosh. The music hosted here is varied, almost always local; a jazz band can be seen at least twice a week.
Despite the bar, the room exudes a childlike wonder in its decor. Mardi Gras masks and glitter cover the walls, cotton candy and chocolate can often be smelled in the atmosphere of this room, and everyone that crosses into its threshold always seems to be smiling.
This room can be accessed from the Amber Room, the Ladies’ Parlor, and the rear of the main level wrap-around porch.
(The main bar of the Carousel Room)
The Main Dining Room
The Main Dining Room is on the western side of the cafe, accessible from the Seance Room. Everything in the room is red, white, or darkly varnished. Patrons may eat anywhere in the cafe, but this is the only room that offers a traditional dining experience. A heavy velvet curtain separates this room from the Seance Room.
The decor in this room most resembles High-Society Plantation of the American South. Calling cards on silver trays, grand candle-lit chandeliers, highbacked chairs, and embellished cornices. A large marble fireplace blazes along the western wall, to the left of a wide set of French double doors that leads on to the wrap around porch. The main kitchens can be accessed through a hallway set into the southern wall.
There are select, high-grade plates served only in this room, in addition to the rest of the menu. Rowan hopes to earn a three-star Michelin review for the Main Dining Room, but she has yet to attract anyone’s attention in that regard.
The main Dining Room is closed between the hours of 4 a.m. – 6 a.m., 3 p.m. – 5 p.m., and 10 p.m. – 12 a.m. to clean and restock the kitchens and dining area (and to give the staff a break.) Anyone wishing to order food during those hours must do so in another room of the cafe, with a limited menu.
This room is accessible through the Seance Room, the Kitchens, and the western portion of the main level wrap-around porch.
(Brunch service in the Main Dining Room)
The Ladies Parlor
The only room shut off from select patrons. Only females are allowed in the Ladies Parlor, any male patrons found in the Ladies Parlor will be promptly escorted off of the premises. The Parlor features a private bathroom and sitting area for the female clientele. Trays of pastries, martinis and joints litter the surfaces of the room.
On select nights, a live harp or violin player can be found in the Ladies’ Parlor and a personal valet. Ladies may retire here when the night grows too weary, for secret conversations, or just to escape to the safety of a secluded room.
There is a secret entrance located behind a large painting of Rowan and her brother, Aiden, along the western wall of this room; it leads to a stairwell that empties onto the second-floor hallway. The second-floor access is located behind a panel along the western portion of the hallway.
This room can be accessed through the Seance Room, the Carousel Room, and the secret entrance via the second-floor hallway.
(The Sitting Area of the Parlor)
The Gentleman’s Parlor
The Gentleman’s Parlor is a smoking lounge and private bar (built as an island in the center of the room) located in the basement of the cafe, catering to the masculine clientele. The wait staff in this parlor are all required to show more skin than the rest of the cafe’s staff; Rowan owing this business decision to the fact that masculine individuals tend to be ‘visual creatures.’ That is not to say that the clothing of the staff is tasteless, quite the contrary; their ensembles tend to make the imagination run wild… and so the cash flow.
Cigar and pipe smoke creates a heavy fog in this room. Billiards, gambling, darts, and other pub games can be found playing in this room. There are a few arcade machines from the 1980’s nestled along the eastern wall of this room (Pac Man, Asteroids, and a few others.) A plasma screen tv occupies the entire southern wall of this room that displays a split screen of sports, news, and suggestive music videos.
The lighting in this room is low, it smells of Cuban cigars, mahogany, and whiskey. Mirrored panels with shelves of vintage whiskey, bourbon, and other high-quality alcohols line the walls; padded leather benches built into the walls below the shelves, mahogany tables and plush velvet chairs lined up along the leather benches.
There are two doors on the northern walls, both lead to separate bathrooms.
This room is only accessible from the stairwell leading to the Seance Room on the main floor and a doorway on the western wall that leads to the main kitchens.
(Seating arrangements along the eastern wall of the Gentleman’s Parlor)
The Front Garden
The Front Gardens are almost entirely floral. Red Buckeye, Autumn Sage, Southern Magnolia, Woodland Phlox, Louisiana Irises, Swamp Sweetbells, Simpson’s Rosinweed, Birds of Paradise, Passion Flower, Frost Proof Gardenia, Wisteria, and Bougainvillea are only some of the plants you will find tended to on the front portion of the cafe’s gardens. Rowan has had to regularly use magic to maintain healthy growth in the gardens. Almost all of the plants have been imported and do not grow well in the climate without the aid of Channeling. A small lake is nestled into the left half of the front garden. A sculpture of the Archangel Gabriel sits at the southern foot of the lake.
An intricate wooden fence encloses the property. A large, ivy-covered latticework archway serves as the main entrance from the city block and into the front gardens. A cobbled brick path leads from the archway up to a short set of wooden stairs and onto the wrap-around porch. A large set of wooden doors serves as the main entrance to the cafe, set in front of the wooden steps.
Stepping stones diverge off of the main path, to the right and left, leading to the eastern and western gardens.
This garden is accessible from the Seance Room and the main street.
(The Lake of the Front Gardens)
The Eastern and Western Gardens
The gardens on both sides of the cafe are almost entirely littered with willow trees and Spanish moss. The ground here is covered with mulch and stepping stones. Carved stone benches, chess tables, and large fountains are arranged thoughtfully, creating an intimate and welcoming atmosphere. The wrap-around porch looks out over these two gardens, paper lanterns and wrought iron tables and chairs serve for further seating arrangements.
Many patrons come to these areas for private conversations. The waiting staff regularly circuits the grounds to ensure that every guest’s needs are tended too.
Stepping stone paths lead from the Eastern and Western Gardens out onto the Back Gardens. These gardens are accessible from the Amber Room and the Main Dining Room.
(A willow tree in the Eastern Gardens)
The Back Gardens
The Back Gardens are almost entirely green; ivy covering every inch of the raised wooden fences, potted plants, Mock Oranges planted along the rear of the wrap-around porch, and Sweetbay Magnolia trees create a protective cocoon for any that find themselves out back. Wrought iron chairs with plush padding and roundtables are scattered about the back gardens, large glass vases with white pillar candles and river rock at the center of each table. Bulb lights on a string are laced overhead in the Back Gardens; small bubbling fountains and hidden speakers provide a gentle music for the ears.
At the center of the Back Gardens is a round bar, with full bottle service for patrons. Waiting staff checks in regularly with any patrons seated in the back.
Rowan grows many of her herbs and plants needed for Hoodoo back here. Everything from Monkshood to High John the Conqueror Root can be harvested throughout the pockets of this garden. There are a few large bushels of catnip planted along the southern portion of the fence, hence many patrons in the back will witness 5 – 15 cats congregating on the grounds at any given time.
This garden is accessible through the Eastern and Western Gardens, and the Carousel Room via the wrap-around porch.
(A sitting area along the southern fence in the Rear Gardens)
Rowan’s Private Apartments
The Hallway and Guest Rooms
Coming up from the stairwell behind the cashier’s counter in the Seance Room will bring you to a long hallway of paneled walls and candelabras; it stretches for a few yards with white paneled doors lining both side walls and ending with a set of large double doors at the end of the hallway, opposite the stairwell.
The rooms located off to the right and left of this hallway are all bedrooms reserved for any needy staff members, Bordello Night customers, or personal guests of Rowan. They are decorated lushly and in the French style of Rowan’s personal rooms. The color palettes of each room vary, although they are each rich in their own right. Gareth Rice, Rowan’s personal servant, and Maman Marie Mayfaire, one of the cafe’s wait staff, live in different rooms located along the left half of the hallway.
The Main Parlor
Rowan’s living room, for lack of a better word. This is where she spends most of her time when not in the cafe proper. The decor is lush, all in shades of white and gold. Paintings, roses, and sculpted lamps litter the room. A plasma tv is built into the western wall, flanked by twin French double doors, one leading to the Master Bath and the other leading to the Master Bedroom. Another twin set of French double doors is built into the northern wall, which leads onto the second-floor wrap-around porch.
Rowan takes all of her personal meals in this room, sitting at the main satin sofa. Any business needs are brought to her by her servant, Gareth Rice, at this time. Rowan only deals with business transactions and proposals over meals in this room.
(The Main Parlor)
“The double doors opened onto a room decorated in the same fashion as the rest of the café. Gold and white wallpaper glittered on the walls, looking much like rich brocaded fabric. Gilded lamps were scattered around the room, most of which were carved into intricate figures of angels and saints. Round wooden end-tables with mother of pearl details, antique French furniture covered with lush pillows, all matching the gold and white wallpaper filled the center of the room. A large marble coffee table sat in the center of the encircling furniture; candles, white roses, and what appeared to be spellbooks covered its surface. Two large French doors sat opposite the double door; both of them lead out onto a balcony and the night sky shimmered beyond.”
– The Voodoo Queen of Greater Moscow
The Master Bedroom
Decorated much like the Main Parlor, all in whites and golds in the French style. A california king matress dominates this room, gilded and tufted for a Queen. A dressing area, complete with vanity, and several wardrobes, lies to the left of the bed and it’s twin night stands.
This room often smells of amber or roses. Numerous ornamental lamps cover the surfaces of the bedroom, giving a soft, intimate glow to the room. There is a small, white paneled door across from the bed that leads to the Master Bath.
(The Master Bedroom)
The Master Bathroom
Entirely made of marble and featuring a tiled mosaic floor of ebony and amber chips. The Master Bath features a large whirlpool, twin bidets, twin sink/vanities, along with a full walk-in multi-fauceted shower/sauna combo.
(The Master Bathroom)
The Wait Staff (NPCs)
Rowan’s personal servant, paid handsomely for his services. French native. Tends to the second level of the cafe, but can be found on the first floor and basement as required.
Gareth’s father, Vic Rice, serves Rowan’s father, Seamus Finnegan; Gareth was brought on by his father’s suggestion. Gareth grew up alongside Rowan and Aiden; although they were not particularly close. Gareth is charged with looking out for Rowan (he is on Seamus’ payroll.)
6’0″, 175 lbs, swimmer’s build. Brown hair, cropped and parted; light green eyes. Dresses conservatively, favoring startched shirts, sweater vests, and slacks. Typically wears a black suit when on duty. Professional and courteous air.
Maman Marie Mayfaire
Maman Marie tends to the front counter of the cafe. Patrons can pay their hostess or at the front coutner. She is almost always on duty, never seems to need sleep. There are only 4 or 5 hours of the day or night you will not see her at the front counter. Marie typically reads fiction books (Anne Rice, Charlaine Harris, and others), cleans, or knits various items in her downtime at the register.
Came over from New Orleans with Rowan, Marie is the cousin of the woman who taught Rowan about Voodoo and Hoodoo. Determined to look out for Rowan and her interests.
4’12”, 112 lbs, fragile build. Ebony skin, a multitude of white braids typically worn up in a head-wrap. Gummy smile. Dresses in long, practical dresses and woolen shawls. Prefers large pieces of jewelry in turquoise, bone, wood, or fired clay. Welcoming and comedic attitude.
Maman Marie offers tarot readings when Rowan is not available; Marie is not a prophet and has no magical skill in divination, her readings are innacurate. Marie enjoys giving readings to patrons, however, it is all in good fun. She never charges for the readings; the woman always ends up in a fit of laughter by the end of the reading.
(Maman Marie Mayfaire)
The head chef at the Bottom of the Cup Cafe. Galton comes from a long line of Cajun and Creole chefs, gaining much notoriety in his home state of Louisiana. He has decided to accompany Rowan for the express purpose of bringing New Orleans cooking to Moscow. Rowan’s mystical interests have also piqued his curiosity. Galton has zero aptitude for Channeling or any other magical path, but that has not stopped him from reading and researching the topics.
5’6″, 210 lbs. French, Spanish, and Irish descent. Often dresses in all white outfits; button front shirts, sensible slacks, and round hats. Requires a cane to walk. Fiesty and good-natured attitude. Always asking questions. Rules the kitchen with an iron fist.
Owns a flat two blocks down from the cafe. A widower, three children living in America, grandfather of eight boys and girls.
(Head Chef Galton Merrick)
(Article complete. Information subject to change and update. May add new NPCs at a later date.)