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In the outer edges of the Bazaar -- away from the bustle and press of merchants, but still in the spires' shadows -- you find a smog-blackened building with bottle-green windows, a half-timbered relic from before the Fall. You can make out the sign Paulsen & Associates, booksellers, and beneath it Septentrionem appetimus.

The rooms are a labyrinth of shelves and the shelves a labyrinth of books, with all the order a fly knows from the center of a web: threads winding under further threads and all of them, somehow, connected. Have you been studying the secret matters of the Neath? Do you need an account of the Mongol capital Karakorum, or copies of ancient Egyptian funerary texts, or a survey of comparative soul lore? Do you need lyrics translated from Loamsproach, or a guide to the flora and fauna of Watchmaker's Hill? Or perhaps you're looking for the epic poetry of Fallen London's own Israel Salvador?

Theodor Gylden keeps the catalogue, in his spider-legged writing. What you need, you may find here, but to take it would be to pluck a thread from a web; browsing is encouraged and sales are rare. 
( Floor-Plans )

A Discreet Essay

Date: 2011-01-25 08:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
A lost city. A plague. Your bookshop. This may interest you, Mr. Gylden.

It is said that this started all with a darkening of character. The peoples of this lost city. Where their worship was once bright, and pure, it became corrupt and twisted. Their Gods supplanted by the blackened farces and evil counterparts to their benevolence and lightness.

These Gods of the Lost City appealed to other gods - but they were too late. The inhabitants of this Lost City had turned their dark magics to a ritual that would release a quick and lethal plague upon the other peoples of the world. All the Gods were weakened as their worshipers died in droves.

It was decided that the only option was to destroy this City and all its peoples, lest some part of their dark and terrible knowledge surface again, and wreak destruction once again. The hunter-Gods tracked and killed, the sea-Gods downed and dragged. The Gods of fire burned buildings, and the earth-Gods swallowed up the ashes. Every trace of the Lost City was eradicated from existence.

All save one.

When Thoth himself, saddened with the weight of it, commanded his first scribe, Seshat, to destroy the beautifully scripted story of this city from her wall and her scrolls, she refused, and sent him from her. Thoth left, and set to his own work of eradicating this City. But Seshat gathered her priest-scribes, and for three days and three nights, they chanted, and fasted, and performed solemn rituals of preservation and of eternal life. The scroll-cases and stones, paint and hieroglyphic came to life with their efforts, chanting and praying and fasting with them. Seshat performed the final ritual herself, her priest-scribes watching in horror as she sacrificed her writing-hand to give the magic more power and life.

When Thoth arrived to see if her destruction of records was complete, he was shocked to find her hand-less and in the company of all her priest-scribes. She confessed to Thoth what she had done, and, seeking counsel, he took her to Osiris, who commanded her slain for her willful disobedience.

Thoth led her back to her library, laid her gently on her work-table next to the scroll-case that contained all of her knowledge of that Lost City, and commanded her to sleep. He entombed her in her own library, the Ka of her priest-scribes and scrolls to watch over her for all eternity.

Her faithful scribes have watched over her till this day. The magic infusing the library has kept even the stones together – when it burns, the ashes are made into bricks which make the next building – always guided by the spirits of priest-scribes who swore to watch over the sleeping body of their Goddess, Seshat. They arrange books and shelves into ritual patterns, the words on the books themselves spelling out strange utterances. It is their influence that keeps books from being bought, or from even being seen. They know that someday it will come time to speak of the FIRST CITY, and on that day they shall wake the sleeping Seshat with the ritual library they have prepared for themselves.

Date: 2011-02-13 08:01 pm (UTC)
nathan_attford: (teasing should always happen)
From: [personal profile] nathan_attford
A wreath left hanging on the door, constructed from colourful and slightly mismatched paper flowers woven together by their stems, and decorated with a red bow, bright in the dimness of the 'Neath. It's been lightly perfumed, and smells faintly of roses.

This wreath is mostly blue roses - a colour rare in nature, but easy enough to come by when you're working in coloured paper - and bells of Ireland. A note attached says simply for Mr. Gylden in letters carefully printed, as though written by someone who does not write much. Or by Nathan, with his off-hand, hoping to disguise his writing.

[It's possible, if you're a spoil-sport or habitually watch your door, to see Nathan Attford slide by to leave the wreath on your door in a much darker and more subdued suit than he typically wears.]

Date: 2011-02-13 10:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Russula keeps watch on the door, but that's for the fun of it, when cat-chasing's slow (slower than cat-chasing should be) and she stops in a nook of the Paulsen's roof -- not many people pass through but those that do are characters. She likes to fill in their lives before coming to the shop, like filling in a page, and pass the time in imagination and spore toffee.

So after Nathan slinks from sight, she climbs down to ground level, and studies the wreath on the door for inspiration. In a moment, she props open the door and shouts.

"S'fer you, Gylden -- !"

"Enunciate, Russula." Theodor never has to shout; his voice comes sharp and clear, and so do his steps on the way to the door. Russula points to the note, and enunciates.

"This was left for you."

Taking and turning the note in his hand, Theodor says, "Hm."

Date: 2011-02-27 04:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Louis works quickly and carefully on the sign he broke, while sitting on the roof of the bookshop. The sign was worn - perhaps as an apology he could improve it!

He works at carving in the letters, and painting them to stand out more. He adds a golden painted trim, with a careful pattern carved around the edges.

Climbing down the edge of the shop, he stands on a windowsill and works at putting it back where it belongs.

Date: 2011-02-27 05:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Some time later, Henrik happens to catch sight of his shop's sign--he seldom glances at it, because it has been carefully aged and weathered in order to deflect attention. Now, though, it is impossible to miss the sign or its golden trim. "Oh, this won't do at all," he mutters under his breath. "At this rate, we might start getting customers."

Date: 2011-02-27 05:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Louis spies from the nearest bench, holding an old newspaper with holes carefully cut out to peek though. That wasn't a smile! Oh no, has he ruined it?!

Date: 2011-02-27 09:25 am (UTC)
ext_768789: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
"Oh, but I like it!" Narciso says to Henrik, sing-song. "Such fine carvings!"

Date: 2011-02-27 01:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Oh, it's splendid workmanship," Henrik allows. "Beautifully made."

[unknown date - some silliness at noon]

Date: 2011-03-31 04:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Louis leaves from the bookshop after spending some time reading. He's started his write up, and wrote and re-wrote and re-wrote it, but he hesitates on asking for help. A part of him wants to impress Theodor, and show him something better than he could ever expect.

As he leaves, he drops off three separate notes -- folded and not in envelopes -- and runs out the door in a way which seems suspicious.


Dear Narseso,

When is your birthday?

From Louis Plumb


Dear Mr. Gilden,

When is your birthday?

You can call me Louis.

From Louis Plumb


Dear Mr. Paulsin,

When is your birthday?

From Louis Plumb

[left on a book Theodor knows Louis is reading]

Date: 2011-04-01 01:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Dear Louis,

For your reference: My surname name is spelled Gylden, and my birth-date is September 13th. For my curiosity: Why do you wish to know? When is your own natal day?

You may call me me Theodor.

Theodor Gylden
From: [identity profile]
Louis takes the book he has been reading and finds the letter. Tilting his head, he picks it up to read.

"September 13th! Ah--" He immediately stands up to find Theodor.

Re: [unknown date - some silliness at noon]

Date: 2011-04-06 11:31 pm (UTC)
ext_768789: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
At some point, Narciso peeks in on Louis while he's reading, and says, "It's October 10th, darling. I'm off to Mahogany Hall -- ta!"

Re: [unknown date - some silliness at noon]

Date: 2011-04-07 02:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Ah-- Oh!" Before Louis has a chance to reply, he watches Narciso head out, "October 10th... I'll remember it!"

Re: [unknown date - some silliness at noon]

Date: 2011-04-15 01:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
A note in reply to Louis Plumb:

Dear Mr Plumb,

My birthday is the 15th of May. Thank you very much for your interest in asking.


H Paulsen.

Date: 2011-04-04 11:49 pm (UTC)
oscarleto: (schappy)
From: [personal profile] oscarleto
Left with Harold is a parcel (and explicit instructions not to touch it overmuch, please): a roll of grey fabric about eight inches long tied with a simple, sturdy brown string. A white card is folded in half and sealed with bit of wax, the words, "For T, H, & N"

When unrolled and unfolded at the sides, the parcel reveals three men's handkerchiefs, embroidered in the corner-- each different, as follows:

--On a white kerchief, an ornate calligraphic N in pristine white, surrounded with lovely narcissus flowers.

--On a white kerchief, an ornate calligraphic H in pristine white, surrounded with ruby calla lilies.

--on a white kerchief, an ornate calligraphic T in pristine white, surrounded with pine-green ivy.
Edited Date: 2011-04-05 12:37 am (UTC)

Date: 2011-07-18 11:23 pm (UTC)
midnightvoyager: Just Middy (Polly)
From: [personal profile] midnightvoyager
A neatly-done box arrives, posted from Polly's new address above an obscure bookshop.

The box contains an extremely obscure volume of scientific theory concerning the Clay Men [Signed under the pen name "Khnum"], a pair of excellently-made pens, and a clay figure of a Golem. [Like so]

The accompanying letter is written in an extremely neat, pretty script.

Dear Mr. Henrik Paulsen and Mr. Theodor Gylden,

I wanted to thank both of you for your assistance. I was quite at my wit's end when I met the two of you, and it was very kind of you to offer aid. I had little idea of how to properly repay you, but please accept these gifts as tokens of my gratitude.

Yours truly,

Date: 2011-08-12 07:03 am (UTC)
midnightvoyager: Just Middy (Polly)
From: [personal profile] midnightvoyager
A letter is left on the Work Desk. [Or at least somewhere that Theo will find it.] It is unmistakably in Polly's handwriting. Harold may have seen Polly helping Adam compose the text and writing it herself.

Dear Mr. Theodor Gylden,

Thank you for your aid. Miss Polly has kindly offered employment as her bodyguard and aide. I would have stayed to offer my farewell in person, but I was not comfortable allowing her to continue home in her injured state. I hope to see you again, hopefully under better circumstances.

Yours truly,

The signature is very likely the word "Adam", however it is very difficult to distinguish. It is written by hands that have never before held a pen.
Edited Date: 2011-08-12 07:04 am (UTC)


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