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The Oldbridge Project

January 1

I have been spotting a woman in black around Babbage for the last week. When spotted, she either moves out of my line of vision, or seems (seems) to disappear completely before my eyes. Who has that sort of ability in this city?

January 15

Received a death threat under my door today. Boris found it, handed it to Dizelle to give to me, who quickly went berserk and decided she would go door to door to find out who would do such a thing. I explained to her that I am rather unpopular in this city for some unknown reason. I attribute it to my skin condition, people are no better than the chickens who attack and dismember an unfortunate foul who gets a spot of dirt on herself.

She didn’t understand, so I asked Pip to explain it to her. He did. Too well. He has too much of what the cat licks its arse with, that one. He will need to be re-bound soon enough. I shut him up and sent him out to spy on the Macbain woman. More and more I simply want him out of my sight. If he didn’t increase my own effectiveness I would send him to the region of Thud, like he deserves.


January 26

Dizelle is dead. She was poisoned by tea that was sent to my house. Ever since the death threats she had taken it upon herself to start testing my food and drink before I sat down. It was beginning to become very tiresome, and then this happened. I suppose she was quicker than I ever gave her credit for.


January 29

Boris is moving Dizelle’s coffin into the bay, beneath my house, until the ground thaws enough to bury her in the spring time. The smell in here is most appealing. It reminds me somehow of my mother. How I miss her dearly.


February 2

Dizelle was murdered by Phaedra. Phaedra is the woman I have been seeing. Phaedra. That damned witch. The woman who trapped me here initially, only to return once I had broken that binding. And now murdering members of my household. She was quite forthcoming about it, proud even, as is her wont. She laughed and reminded me that our marriage was still a legal fact. Sadly, she is right.


February 15

Phaedra has moved in. She threatened me with even further unpopularity if I did not allow it. The witch said she would pull the ‘abandoned wife’ routine. I’ve seen her pull it before… her verbal gift is an astonishing and frightening thing to behold. I must admit, her cooking is much better than Dizelle’s ever was. Boris was initially cold to her, but has warmed. Considerably.


February 23

Phaedra has suggested we attempt to re-animate Dizelle. Her reasoning was twofold: the fact that Pip is so unreliable and borderline treasonous, and that the power in this position at Oldbridge is too strong to allow to be wasted day in and day out. I must admit, she is right about the power wasted, and . . . I was rather fond of Dizelle. A revenant servant would be much more faithful, and less argumentative.


March 1

Attempts have been completely unsuccessful. The power here is stronger than anywhere within 10 miles or so, but it is simply not enough. I have told Phaedra that we will need more power, and have been bathing in the icy bay as a measure to increase my Will. Phaedra laughs at me. She says there are far easier ways to boost powers. She has begun to sit on our roof at night and sing. She says she is “calling”.

March 15

The woman is both a genius, and more powerful than I ever dreamed. What she has been doing in the two years since I saw her last is beyond me, but it must have been exceedingly productive. Srizzle Snakes have begun to flock into the bay. This might be classified as a coincidence, time will tell. She laughs when I ask if she called the snakes. “I’ve been calling much more than that, my love.” she said.


March 20

Phaedra reports that there is another troll in the city. If we could get him into this house it would boost the power immensely. I must have him.


March 26

I am truly in love with Phaedra. Her power is unquestionable. This evening, while strolling near City Hall, I came across what I initially thought were two children, then I noticed the strange shiny eyes, the too-quick movements and… that smell. Two troll sisters, it seems. I spoke to them, telling them I was personal assistant to the mayor, which they believed, and they said they were looking for work. I almost fell over. I offered them positions in our household, which they accepted. They are both downstairs, cleaning, as I write these words. I must get to work.


March 28

We have begun the working. The entire house is decorated in purple and strong fragrant frankincense is lit continuously. We have been chanting to Hades and Thanatos in counterpoint for two days. My throat is becoming hoarse, but Phaedra never seems to tire. I can feel the power building.


April 5

Dizelle’s “funeral” today. I sent a box filled with stones from around her true coffin in the bay. This transference will help immensely. I didn’t attend the funeral, which caused some whispers according to Boris and Pip, but let them talk.


April 10

Tenk has convinced one of the sisters to flee our house, but he is too late. The coffin is completely charged, and simply needs the actual procedure to bring it to fruition. I will need to leave town, I think. The ritual would be noticed here too easily, even as secluded as we are on the bay.


April 21

Tenk has been showing some sort of glammer to Phaedra, pretending to become decrepit and old. He has mumbled cryptic comments such as “She is coming.” She thinks (and I agree) that he is attempting to scare me out of town. The timing is perfect. So perfect, in fact, that it causes me to wonder if this was somehow Phaedra’s doing as well. Can she manipulate the troll that easily?


April 22

I have spirited Dizelle’s coffin out of town, north, on the train to Falun. I have already rented a shack on the outskirts of town which will be sufficient for my needs.


April 30

The ritual takes place tonight, Walpurgisnacht. So few people would be able to go through with a ritual like this, but Dizelle was so dear to me, it is a delight. I have been preparing her body for hours, pulling out the teeth, one by one. And I have been meditating for days straight. Tonight.


May 1

I am frightened by the success, something I did not expect. When Dizelle, if I may still call her that, opened her eyes I was filled with cold dread, wondering if I was looking on the eyes of my old lover, or into the dark emptiness of the void of Choronzon. She seemed not to recognize me. She attempts to speak, and can move and walk, but she is clumsy. Exceedingly clumsy. I will need to work with her.


May 5

Her progress is staggering. I finally know what fatherhood feels like.


May 15

I finally have an assistant I can trust. Phaedra will be very pleased that our work was so successful. It’s remarkable working with something, or someone, like Dizelle. Is this proof of higher powers? Or is this a natural, yet rare, phenomena? I cannot say.


May 18

A letter from Phaedra, and just as I was finishing with Dizelle’s instruction. I return to Babbage tonight. I will send for Dizelle’s box in the morning.

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