We're all introducing our various diverse characters, and I've been thinking of a way to tie them all together. Perhaps the stories could revolve around a particular private club (of the sort that were very popular among the aristocracy in Victorian times), perhaps called The Spirit Lamp, after this community. It's also worth noting here that I named the community after a short-lived Victorian publication spearheaded by Lord Alfred Douglas, though I myself am quite unsure what exactly a Spirit Lamp is.
If you think about it, the concept of a private club would probably give us a lot of room for interesting story lines. It'd give our characters a place to socialize with one another, discuss the state of affairs in Europe, and enjoy drinks. (For the record, I found a site with good info for writers concerning absinthe.)
I've been thinking it might be interesting if the club was owned by a wealthy gentleman, an owner of some textile mills, etc, who has suddenly passed away, leaving the ownership of the club rather ambiguous. Perhaps he had a shadowy past. Perhaps he didn't have a will. Perhaps the whole club has a shadowy past that is just now coming to light.
So, this is just one idea, and I'm sure everyone has an idea. I'm just stupid enough to post mine first. Feel free to comment, criticize, debauch, etc. Lemme know what you think, in other words. Who else has ideas? I'm sure if we put our heads together we'll come up with something workable by the weekend.