Count Mandrake is about 60cm tall. Despite his vegetal body he's very distinguished looking, always impeccably dressed, well-groomed and erudite. He exudes an aromatic scent like rain spattered soil spritzed with cedar wood oil and kept in an old leather saddlebag that once belonged to a lone crusader courageously combating the bison massacres on the sweaty Wild West Frontiers. Much of his life is a mystery to me as he occupies himself with personal pursuits in his extensive subterranean manor house which he configured with cunning artifice and foxterity (fox dexterity) with Tiffany the fox centuries ago to apparently accommodate his cabinets of curiosities and other clandestine collections. When I say manor house, I presume it's proportionate to his diminutive stature and not the sort of place that I, on account of my inconvenient mammoth size, would ever find myself? I used to be haunted by this ridiculous notion that somehow I should've been born Lady of the Manor, a Downtonish Abbey perhaps, and not boring ordinary unladylike me, but now since the gentle pressings of Queen Marcheline I realize my temple is mental and my thoughts are what count. However, as for the Count he doesn't let anyone into the heart of his home so no one really knows what it's like exactly. He's a man of few words and brooding. His secret back door in the wood is the entrance way for dolls into RDT. It's not easy to find and that in itself is one of the trials of accessing the town from ground level. Once the curious door's finally discovered nestled surreptitiously in a mossy tree hollow, dolls must knock for the Count.
Doorine the bright eyed old taxidermied dormouse guards the secret door discretely hidden in her magnificent madhouse teapot for that is surely the most obvious domicile for a dormouse any Mad Hatter frequenting tea parties with dormice would say. The teapot is a crazy art deco concoction designed by a ceramics art student high on the joys of kitchenalia and household décor. He was inspired to incorporate a hinged window and door into the large house shaped design. Only when his ingeniously aesthetically pleasing masterpiece was baked and glazed and the lid lifted off his submission for his teacher did it occur to him that the teapot would leak like a sieve and not function at all. The student instantly boiled over and infused with rage, picked up his insane creation and tossed it out the third floor window of the beautiful Georgian style Art Academy whereupon it flew across the courtyard and landed in the lap of a stork’s roof top nest. Fortunately for Mrs Studebaker, she was out delivering a baby or else she may've been chronically concussed. She wasn't amused when she arrived home to discover the ceramic home making itself at home in her home and immediately bundled it up in her delivery blanket and dropped it off with the Count for it looked the sort of weird and wonderful artefact he might be interested in. Well it never got further than his back door where it was hidden in the bracken and shadows of an adjoining hollow strategically situated for Doorine to peer out her window and scrutinise whomsoever was ringing for the Count. Whenever anyone approaches to knock, they will accidentally trigger a trip line which alerts Doorine. If she believes the visitor or visitors to be appropriate she pulls a string strung through her teapot spout into the Count’s manor which activates a series of bells played in cordial chords alerting the Count to a certain presence. If the visitor/s be suspected inappropriate then the tune of the bells will be accordingly discordantly chorded. The teapot's stuffed with a lush plush chair and Doorine borrows and reads and re-reads classic literature and children’s books from the Marzipan Mansion nursery library or knits herself twin set outfits and hats to fill her long hours of door duties. So it's Doorine who monitors the back door to RDT, however, if a doll or dolls were brought to town by bird they'd enter the high way via customs at the entrance portico and then be "processed" and redirected to the back door for proper residential procedures which are as follows, follow me!