The Pendulum Club
Main article: Vienda
The Pendulum Club is one of the many Viendan galdori social clubs which, for one reason or another, were formed for the care and maintenance of the male members of the upper classes. Some of these noble institutions cater to gentlemen (that is men of independent means who have no need or desire for a profession beyond making themselves agreeable at parties) while others are composed of men who share a common interest, say pheasant hunting or throwing away great quantities of money over the fall of dice or the arrangement of cards. The Pendulum, however, counts as its members galdori of the professional classes (lawyers, minor political functionaries, professors, physicians, and so on) who all possess the somewhat contrary desire of having a comfortable refuge from their offices populated entirely by their near colleagues.
Despite the name, the Pendulum Club was not founded by clockmakers (though there have been many horologists among its member). The name is derived rather from the curious old building that the Club inhabits. Pendulum House is a rambling old structure built a century or more ago by an eccentric former professor of astronomy and topped off by a dome of great majesty. Suspended from this dome is a rotational pendulum such as are often found at observatories; it is this curious decoration that gives both the house and the club their names.
Pendulum House went untenanted for many years following the death the astronomer’s grandson and generally fell into a state of sad disrepair. There was some talk of tearing the old place down when two architects named Simon Grymesby and Lucius Frogmorton formed a society among their friends and colleagues to buy Pendulum House with a view to restoring it to something like its former glory. The repairs and renovation took nearly seven years, and when they were completed, Lucius Frogmorton, being unmarried and without close family, moved into the House as a kind of resident caretaker.
The Society, composed as it was of the friends and colleagues of the Caretaker, took to hanging about the place and took to using Pendulum House as a retreat from their more serious cares. Over the years, it is this more social aspect that has survived and become the Pendulum Club of the present day.
The Pendulum has some rather interesting quirks of membership, many of which set it apart from other similar establishments. Here follows a brief list of these requirements.
- All potential members must be recommended by an existing member in good standing. (this is the most important rule)
- All members must be adult galdori (and so far all members have been male)
- All members must have a profession from which they draw the bulk of their income. No idle rich, landed gentry or similar can become members.
Life in the Pendulum
The Pendulum offers a number of diversions and comforts to its members. First and foremost it offers a comfortable location in which to socialize and unwind without bothersome relatives and the like. It also has a decent sized library, several fine sitting rooms, a billiard room, a cafe/bar, and a number of other clubly amenities including rooms for members (at very reasonable rates), and most importantly of all, a wide variety of social connections.