My Darling Lorna, Ah my sweet, how like a petal your lips are. How I wish I could kiss them as I did just last night. Ah, I wish I could make everything better with the kisses I will plant on your rosy lips this very eve. I do not understand how your husband, my insufferable assistant, can treat you as he does. Either he lets you languish all alone as he stays in the library or he inflicts on you his cold, cruel presence. 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. In the meantime I'll keep Ashton busy with plenty of work. 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! He has changed so much over the years, I tell you he is no longer the man I married. I only want to be with you, my dove, my shining knight! 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. Though he detests me now, he is still as jealous as any husband. 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 told you everything would work out. I've discovered that Lord Holanthrus, advisor to the Baron, has need of a new Librarian. While he is not as wealthy a man as Gervaisius, he is older and more learned. He collects not for fashion but for taste. His library is selective, but is said to be one of the best in the City. Let us be away a fortnight hence. 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. I will be the luckiest man alive for I will be starting a new life in a new place with the one I love. --Your Giles
Dearest Giles, Your news is indeed wonderful! Bluebirds sang by my window this morning as I read your letter. The thrushes trilled as they heralded a bright new day for the both of us. I treasure your letter as I do all that you send me. I savor the words your hands whisper to me with each line of ink. I cherish the ardor that comes through in every stroke of your quill. I was surprised, though, that you did not remember to seal the letter, but that did not mar its romance and perfection. 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. The sullen brute came to bed and bothered me not. Thankfully, when I awoke in the morning the letter was still there undisturbed. I waited for Ashton to leave and finally was able to listen to your letter sing its glorious song of love to me. 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. Before long we will be happily away from here and in each other's arms. 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 thy collections are to thee, but it is 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: We prepare for the coming exhibition with a certain amount of trepidation. We are close to completion, but we are not ready yet. Most of the Watchful Eyes and Metal Beasts are in place. Foreman Hobart is still putting the finishing touches on a variety of mechanical creations throughout the mansion. I'm just glad that someone reassembled the cuckoo clock before Duma burst. Steward Duma as usual is being too demanding. I expect Hobart to shortly pull out what little hair he has left. Guards have been doubled on most patrols. And all of this together should give us the security we need to ensure that the exhibition comes off as smoothly as possible.
Welcome to Lord Gervaisius' Public Exhibition of Art and Curios both Ancient and Modern
Welcome to Lord Gervaisius' Private Exhibition of Art and Curios both Ancient and Modern
From the Desk of Steward Duma To Do List for the Exhibition Grand Opening: --Check all of Sgt. Porter's security plans --Remind him to add security to basement, there seem to have been intruders down there recently --Send Wilhelm the Cellarer off food shopping in Stone Market. --Make sure he brings me the right change (I swear he's a thief in training) --Order 15 dozen flower arrangements from that cute brunette at Rosie's Flower Shoppe (do personally) --Get a new powdered wig for milord (remember one ponytail not two pigtails) --And finally, take a relaxing mudbath to relieve the stress milord has caused me
Milord, All the preparations proceed smoothly. Take your time returning. It sounds like your hands are quite full with matters in the countryside. I wish you all the best with the young Lady Veloden. I'm sure that Lord Veloden will be ecstatic should a match arise out of this courtship. I can assure you that everything will be in readiness upon your arrival. You will hardly recognize this manor from the state it was in only a few months back. Foreman Hobart has fixed everything in sight and then some. I consider myself to be a meticulous man but these Mechanists put even me to shame. New clocks, new lights, new guards, new servants, ah yes, much has changed. Lord Karras has sent word that he will be attending the gala reception. He looks forward to finally meeting you. He has matters that he wishes to discuss concerning the exhibit items and a possible trade for a rare Durant. Unfortunately, the original correspondence has gone missing in the library. But don't worry, it will be found soon. Ah, that is the problem with new staff. It always takes so long to get everyone up to speed. How I wait for the day that these commoners are as loyal and obedient as Karras promises. One final word, remember that there is a Regency Council meeting 4 days after the reception. Make sure to put that in your schedule as the new import tax will be discussed. --Steward Duma
Duma, Good job thus far. I shall be back shortly. Glad to hear the Mechanists are working out so well. I look forward to seeing what sort of contrivances they've brought to our humble mansion. If they are as good as you say, I shall speak most highly of Karras to other nobles. The gala reception shall be a testament to the progress our wonderful civilization has achieved. I must be away. I hear Carina calling and we have a hunt planned for this fair morn. --Lord Gervaisius
Foreman Hobart, Congratulations foreman! The grand opening of the exhibition is almost upon us. The preparations have gone extremely smoothly, and I must admit that I did not expect so thorough a job. Through the influence of you Mechanists this household has become both more efficient and more secure. I consider myself to be a practical man and a man of the world. I appreciate the transition this manor has undergone through its association with your master Karras. The devices he has sent are indeed wondrous. The Hammerites were always tramping about moaning of doom and gloom. They kept our servants docile with their dogma, but did little else. Why Father Norrell could be downright embarrassing when we had guests! However, your kind, with the first Masked Servants you've sent, has shown us how to make our servants obedient. And the new priest is as civilized and reasonable as one could hope for. I hope we can continue this relationship, and I will help persuade Lord Gervaisius to speak highly of your order when next they come before the Regent Council. --Steward Duma
Duma, We need a new gardener before I get back. The terrariums must be in tip top shape. Carina loves plants, and I've been talking up the terrariums. If they don't look their best, I'm sunk with her. Duma, you must see this girl to believe her! Do your best. If Hobart isn't already overworked, get him to coordinate with the new gardener and get a crew planting new trees outside. Draft servants or guards or whomever to do the work. Get the trees from wherever you can on short notice. Hell, dig them up from Bafford's if you need a source. Old Baffy will understand, he still owes me for the time he swindled me on that painting. You know, the one he swore was an original Durant. He knows I'm still annoyed about that even if it was a prank. --Bram G ps. Make sure to up the number of flower arrangements around the manor. It can be a drab place sometimes, and we should do anything we can to spruce it up for her first visit.
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 soon. Duma is breathing down my neck and some noble lady wants to play at the reception
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.
Grocery List: --2 bushels of sour fruit --6 chickens --2 boars --10 loaves of curry bread --4 casks champagne --3 bags potatoes
Maddy - Tell no one tell no one but read this and be feared. My master the Lord Gervaisius you know is close with Karras the lord of the Mechanists. We have been sent a servant of theirs, not a servant like you or I, a "Servant" with a mask, who stands silent and is nearly a machine. But I crept near to examine, to see if there was a man under the mask or but a device. And I heard it *crying*, Maddy, crying like a lost soul. I do not know what these things are, but I wish I had never laid eyes on it.
Be ever wary for the pernicious forces that array against us. For every flagstone, there is a root which seeks to crack through it. For every wall, there is a vine which seeks to tear it down. Know thou thy enemy and be ever watchful, for only so may we prevail. -Karras