My Darling Lorna, I do not understand how your husband, my insufferable assistant, can treat you as he does. I swear I won't let him hit you again! I'll take you away from all this some day. Just have patience; there are few who can afford to keep such a library as milord Gervaisius. It will take me time to find another patron such as he. Our nights together will be heavenly. --Your Giles
My Darling Giles, Oh my love, I swear I will leave Ashton just as soon as you give me the word! But, if we are to be together, then you know we cannot stay here. It will be impossible for you to work with Ashton after we marry, and more importantly, I don't trust him. He would never give us any peace. I don't want to start our new life together with such troubles. Oh darling, promise me we won't! Your fragrant daisy, --Lorna
My Sweet Lorna, I have the best news! I've discovered that Lord Holanthrus, advisor to the Baron, has need of a new Librarian. His library is selective, but is said to be one of the best in the City. I will speak of this to Lord Gervaisius. He is a reasonable man and will give me my leave. Ashton is a capable librarian and will make a suitable replacement for me, which will appease Gervaisius. Ashton will be happy with the promotion and that will have to be his consolation when he finds out he is losing you. --Your Giles
Dearest Giles, Your news is indeed wonderful! I treasure your letter as I do all that you send me. I must tell you, I had a close call last night. I was preparing to read your letter when Ashton came into our rooms. I hopped into bed and hid the letter under my pillow. Thankfully, when I awoke in the morning the letter was still there undisturbed. Soon we will be done with Ashton and the awful memories of this place. I will divorce him and then we will tell Gervaisius of your new situation. I am so glad I believed in you. Your sweet pea, --Lorna
Milord Gervaisius It comes as a great shock to me to have to tell you that Head Librarian Giles and my wife, my dear Lorna, have run away together. I am beside myself with this loss. I cannot stay here. This place holds too many painful memories. I don't understand how my dear friend and my wonderful wife could do this to me. I have decided to take a position as a Librarian with Lord Holanthrus. I want you to know that I have only the utmost esteem for milord but I cannot stay here with these memories haunting me so. Your lowly servant, --Assistant Librarian Ashton
Lord Gervaisius, I hope thou hast enjoyed the luxury and security, which the Builder's children have brought thee. In such a cruel and uncaring world as this, true friends must aid each other. Tis my hope that I might consider thee such a friend and colleague. I look forward to attending thy reception for your exhibition. Tis said thy hast one of the finest manors in the city and I eagerly anticipate a chance to visit it. I am told thou hast most wondrous terrariums. It would please me greatly to see these and thy private exhibition rooms when I arrive. I know of what import import thy collections are to thee, but it my hope that thou wouldst honor me with a gift, namely certain ancient masks and the Cultivator artifact. Twould of course be after the exhibition ends. These items are priceless and twould be a great favor to me if thou wouldst part with them, willingly. I assure you that I will make it worth thy while, both through further Mechanist gifts and through the gift of a certain painting by Durant, which I'm told, thou hast been trying to acquire. --Master Karras
Permit #1609324 Lord Gervaisius is hereby permitted to begin and maintain construction on these premises, the Manor of Clan Gervaisius. Construction is understood to be occurring in the ballroom and on the third floor. --Nicholas P. Cantarelli, Registrar Hall of Records and Licenses
House Sergeant's Logbook, Sergeant Kelvin Porter recording: Investigation into the disappearance of the head librarian: After a fairly thorough investigation, there is no inference of foul play. I believe that the fool ran away. It is unfortunate that first the head librarian and now the assistant librarian have left we will need to hire replacements quickly. Most all else is quiet. The one strangeness is the rash of supposed hauntings of the library. Never liked the drafty place. I'll look into it later. In the meantime, I must start doing spot checks on the servants and guards for drunkenness.
Contents of this Shipment: 1 Child of the Builder. Some assembly required.
Contents of this Shipment: 1 Masked Servant. Please do not attempt to remove mask. Place in the care of Mechanist caretakers.
Duma, here are the things to pack for my visit: --pack enough general clothing luggage for a three-week stay --don't forget the red suit with the yellow frills and brown ruffles (need for the Summer Solstice Soiree) --arrange shipment of wine to summerhouse --pack 1 crate of that new Illyrian tea I like and enough scones too! --pack a blank collector's journal and several quills to record all the new items to be acquired --pack my favorite jeweled hairbrush and mirror set so I may look my best Thanks --Bram Gervaisius
Milord, Make sure to bring the casks of Throvian summer wine back from your summerhouse. We'll need them for the reception. Congratulations on meeting the young lady. I'm sure she will agree that she is most lucky to be acquainted with so charming and urbane a lord as yourself. Hurry back soon, there is much to be done. --Steward Duma
Duma, Everything is going exceedingly well. I just met the most lovely, young filly at the Summer Solstice Soiree. Bafford introduced me to her and I'm quite impressed. Her father will take some getting around but the girl is ravishing and has a voice like a nightingale. Lady Veloden, though she says I may call her by her given name of Carina, was warbling wonderfully. I haven't even thought much of my art collection the last week I've been out here. More later, but make sure to clean up my rooms; it looks like I will be entertaining both publicly and privately during the reception. --Lord Gervaisius
Foreman Hobart, As we prepare for the upcoming exhibition and the gala reception that will kick it off, I want to make sure that the manor is ready. I understand that the Children of the Builder have been constructed and placed for additional security. Solid work! There will be an influx of noble guests expecting care of the highest quality while they are being hosted by our Lord Gervaisius. I want to be sure that we display the highest standard of excellence in the decor of the manor. Be certain to have all the construction debris cleaned in the next few days. I am aware that all Watchful Eyes have been serviced recently. Turn your attention to the clocks right away. We have any number of clocks sitting broken throughout the mansion. Also, tune the harp when you get a chance. Lady Weatherington fancies herself an accomplished pianist and is an unrepentant showboat. She will take it as an insult if she is not shown to the harp during the reception so that she may display her meager skills. --Steward Duma
Milord, I'll be straight with you. I been the gardener at milord's manor for the last 40 years, for you and your father before you. It's been a good life up until recently. In the last few months, things've been changing round here and not in good ways. The gardens been shrunk again and again. Now most of my work has shifted over to caring for these fancy indoor gardens, these ‘terrariums'. It don't seem natural just having plants inside. I like watering them outside, under the hot sun, not in the glass and wooden cages of the rooms of this house. Just for the record, I think these mechanists is loony. They don't know nothing about plants or people. They just know how to tinker with their crazy contraptions. Telling Father Norrell he was being replaced by a Mechanist priest, was the last straw. I consider myself an honest woman and a practitioner of the Hammer faith. I want no part of these new faiths. I'm going to where they still hold to the old values. I leave the new ones to you young folks. Good luck. No longer your servant, --Phyleas Crowell
Record of payment for services rendered Item - ancient masks acquired by agent from places unknown Paid - in full upon delivery - 2,000 Received by Lord Bram Gervaisius
I, Philemon Abernathy, having considered the terms of employment and the generous financial compensation, do accept the appointment as Head Librarian for Lord Gervaisius.
Hunting of the Frumious Bandersnatch By Captain Rufus T. Spaulding And there I was in the darkest wilds, preparing to search for that most dangerous and elusive of adversaries, the frumious bandersnatch. This, of course, is not to be confused with the striped fromane bandersnatch, an exceedingly docile relative. No, the frumious bandersnatch, filthy beast, is a creature I have spent my whole life preparing to hunt. But where was I? Ah yes, it was an early morning on the veldt. We were on the trail of a particular bandersnatch and this one was even more frumious than most. I sat by my tent sipping tea and munching on buttered scones. A few scouts had gone out the previous night to see where the creature lurked. Such creatures always lurk … unless they were skulking from one lurking spot to another. As I finished my tea and prepared for a second cup, two scouts trotted in. Funny thing, I swore I sent out five the night before. The leader walked up to me and announced that they had found the spot where the bandersnatch was lurking. Unfortunately, it found the spot from which they observed. Now there are only two. Poor buggers. I must remind them not to interrupt me during my morning cup of tea. Well, we had a starting point for the hunt. Now on to the chase …
Note to self, retune harp prior to exhibition.
The Book of the Nail: Chapter 7, Verse 12 As the hammer drives nail into wood, taming rough hewn wood, making of nail a useful thing, so shall the Builder use the faithful, molding them into forms desirable, using them to tame wild wood, causing them to join together the foundations of our world in joyous, regimented harmony. Thus spake the prophet Jeremyn
Bawdy Bedtime Limericks for Discerning Adults by Andelwine Meuse There once was a man from …
Bram's Personal Collector's Journal vol. 19 --Bought a new painting by the Throvian artist Lizotte. There was the most glorious auction at Ramirez's mansion. Still can't believe the price I got for it. --Acquired unusual statue of a sea nymph from merchant returning from Lesser Hrabota --Still trying to find that damn painting by Durant, can't believe that Bafford tried to swindle me with a fake!
Bram's Personal Collector's Journal vol. 17 Just came back from a nice long trip in the northern territories. Ah, what wonderful hunting they have up north! Bafford always organizes the most delightful hunting excursions. We tromped around in the rain on horseback for a good three days and Julian caught a nasty cold. Still, it was tremendous fun. It was a pity I didn't catch anything. Baffy assured me it would be good hunting, but it was nothing like the time we went off west. No trophy heads to show this time. I'll add more to my collection soon though. I hope to do some hunting while I'm off in the western countryside.