1. The main character in my series, the Baby Troll Chronicles is called Dolly. That’s a use-name. A descriptive. The anima which owns the body is that of Gabrielle Francesca East, an American member of the East Families (a.k.a., the Atreides, the Dawn Phraetrie), who lived from 1830 to 1929 and who was from 1838 to 1863, the Childe of the East, the most successful occupier of that office in its history. She took her sponsor’s business (Hephaestus, the Greek God of fire and industry) from a sleepy trading house in England of the early Victorian era and transformed it into one of the first multi-national corporations. Early in her tenure in the office of Childe, she entered into an agreement with the Goddess Aphrodite that the latter would contrive to build Gabrielle an artificial body and transfer her (Gabrielle’s anima into it) — in essence, giving Gabrielle a second lifetime.
2. The story arc of the series runs from deep prehistory to the mid 21st Century. There is a secret about Dolly that no one around her knows, save a handful of the Gods, and which the reader may not be vouchsafed until very near the end.
The compact between Gabrielle and Aphrodite was forged in the early 1840s (around the time of the founding of Hong Kong) and culminated in 1998 with the process called Genesis, in which Gabrielle’s artificial body was taken from a time-warping device called the antistasis and her anima was cast into it.
3. The first Gabrielle Francesca (hereinafter called GFE1), who died in 1929, did not will her estate to her survivors (none of whom were immediate family members), but left it to “the heir of my spirit,” whose identity was to be confirmed by his or her knowledge of a secret given to an estate attorney in 1925 and kept secret until Dolly is tested in 1998. She will know the contents of the written secret comes from her own memories. One large portion of the estate is the land and endowment of East College of the Americas, a university-scale private school set up for the training of children of the East families, located on a campus in Central Ohio.
The chief school at ECoA is the School of Thaumaturgy (the Thaum), where East College trains techno-mages, called thaumaturges, nicknamed witchlets (which is where Morgan got her nickname).
The Thaum is organized under the general rubric of the Center for Ex Studies (CFXS), which was GFE1’s chief area of interest. It engages in advanced R&D projects, which feed commercial developments for partners within Upothesa.
From the start of her new life, those in power around her — hostile Gods, jealous relatives, et al — have plotted against her. Of major concern is the question of whether she has any of her karmic predecessor’s memories. GFE1 had been in command of Hephaestus’s global enterprise as well as involved in and intimately knowledgeable of the relationship secrets of the vast, secret, worldwide kiretsu, consortium, what-have-you casually tagged by the Greek word upothesa. She would know whose closets contain what skeletons and where she buried all the bodies.
4. Dolly is highly intelligent (her IQ is so high it mocks the scale that purports to measure it. She speaks in a very casual manner, rapidly, with a drawl that’s a cross between urban Midwesterner and Down Home Appalachian, drawing out words for emphasis, and punning inveterately.
During her time inhabiting the dolly body, she fell in love with the Man who eventually became her Geppetto (with Aphrodite playing the part of the Blue Fairy), Mitchell Drummond, and he with her. Neither one of them expected much sexual would come of it. Boy! Were they in for a surprise!
Upothesa is one of those delightfully flexible words that carries a broad range of meanings and can be translated into English variously as: affair; hypothesis; assumption; business; case; concern; cause; matter; conjecture; premise; presumption; shebang; supposition.
The name Upothesa was not used commonly much before 1780. Nor was it ever adopted formally as the name of a business enterprise, syndicate, or network — which is the true nature of Upothesa. Like the Cosa Nostra, which followed Upothesa, and arose from a different circumstance, the entity was and remains deeply secret and secretive and no members of it ever discuss it with — or even reveal its existence to — non-members.
The word shebang appears to have been coined or to have evolved during the American Civil War, as a reference to huts or hooches that soldiers lived in in the field.
The organization has its roots in the distant past of the stone age, when proto-Doric peoples inhabited the Balkan Peninsula and there arose among them the practices of worship of individuals who later came to be viewed as the Gods of Olympus. A family of Men and one of Gods entered into a compact of mutual assistance and support, which engaged in free trade, believed firmly in the principle of live and let live, and did not try to rule or govern.
The GFE1 anima came to carry the nickname of Dolly from Drummond’s calling her that in the manner of a MCP addressing his wife as “Woman,” whether with affection or with demeaning intent. It is appropriate since, instead of the massive crystal sphere Aphrodite had intended to be her vessel, she had been — accidentally, in a moment of extreme stress — been cast into a plastic Xena: Warrior Princess action figure — called dollies by Xenite fen. There had been six of the dollies originally.
The dollies were bought by the techno-mage Morgan Miranda, nicknamed Witchlet, during an adventure in Hong Kong, and carried around for the rest of the adventure in a leather backpack, along with the crystal sphere. When Witchlet fell in a wizard’s battle, her backpack came into Drummond’s hands, since he and Witchlet had been carrying on an affair during the whole… shebang. He was not then aware that the dollies in the backpack had been imbued with the spirits of members of GFE1’s inner circle.
5. Dolly’s chief nemesis is the Babylonian God Marduk, who is also the chancellor of ECoA.