The Baby Troll Chronicles

Baby Troll is Dolly and Dolly is the Baby Troll. When she was hiding from the wrath of Marduk — seeking her death for the blasphemy of her existence (and the fact that she killed Marduk’s girlfriend, but that’s another story), she hung out with the Troll Guard training cadre at Camp Meander, down in the mountains and hollers in Eastern Kentucky, where a much put-upon gunnery sergeant, in charge of Dolly’s training platoon, hung the nickname Baby Troll on her. She resented it, at first, but eventually — and characteristically — ended up adopting it as her radio call-sign. And so, the Trolls, who came to love her for her diminutive cuteness and her spunk and heart, know her as BabyTroll (with the internal capital).

The Chronicles are the story of the spirit that animates Dolly, best known as Gabrielle Francesca East, 125th Childe of the East to the society in which she moves — a syndicate of Men, Gods, Elves, Trolls, and assorted other fantastic peoples that traces its lineage back to the late Stone Age on Earth and the Early Bronze Age on Faerie.

The syndicate doesn’t have a formal name — so as to put it on a sign over the door, so to speak, though, in the late 18th Century, its members began to call it Upothesa, by the Greek word which translates (roughly) into English with a range of meanings, including (but not limited to) affair, hypothesis, assumption, business, case, concern, cause, matter, conjecture, premise, presumption, shebang, supposition, and, modernly (is so a word) protocol. The usage roughly approximates (though it predates) that by the mafia of the Italian phrase la cosa nostra (this thing of ours). Less formally, its habitues speak of Upothesa as The Enterprise, in the way that CIA folk speak of their agency as The Company.

Upothesa began, as I say, in the Upper Paleolithic era as an alliance between a clan group of proto-Doric Men and a similar, if looser confederation of beings (human in essence) who later came to be worshiped as the Gods of Olympus. These latter were not then seen as Gods or even Godlike, merely Men who fell to the right end of the bell curve in strength, athleticism, longevity, general intelligence, and hardiness. They were not invincible or immortal, though they could survive and heal from wounds that would kill an ordinary Man and they lived well beyond the natural span of years granted to their human cousins. They would not have given even an average human a run for his IQ money, but they had the advantage of having long experience — having seen most tests before, they could best them all (and so gained the perhaps undue reputation for wisdom and perspicacity). They also, over their long lives, learned to do a good many of tricks (teleportation, throwing lightning, clairvoyance) humans consider supernatural.

(To be continued…)