The Story of Rutherford Manor
Rutherford Manor is a prairie gothic supernatural story of a cursed and morally conflicted family trying to raise children in the pre-depression era of Middle America. Through the generations, the Flesher and Savidge families resist Muunat, a shape-shifting Aboriginal spirit, hell bent on spreading her earthly evil within their bloodline.
A dark tale of love, hate, jealousy, betrayal, lust, greed, murder, evil, redemption, and salvation!
Over the generations the Fleshers have indulged the sourcing of alternate sources of sustenance by embracing their dark nature and obsessions. For years one family has always been in the background moving ever so quietly to dispose of any evidence of Flesher transgressions, the Savidge family. Spalding Savidge now carries on the family traditions with care and pride in his heritage.
Spalding is a business man, diplomat, and profound ladies man. He takes care of all business for the Flesher household with the general public, and runs all of the family investments. He believes in honour, duty, and friendship deeply which causes him much internal conflict due to his family traditions. Even though he is conflicted by his profession, Spalding is a dedicated father to his twin girls and works diligently with them so one day they can take over the family business.
Spalding is also an adept street fighter, but violence is not his first choice of conflict resolution. Only the very strongest can hold their own with Spalding’s fighting ability.
Spalding is the primary protagonist in the world of Rutherford Manor.
Father Lorcan Connolly
An Irish immigrant and the son of Bran and Ciara Connolly, Father Lorcan was a very fortunate boy compared to most of the Irish people that came to the United States in the 1890’s. Like most immigrants of the time, work was hard to come by for his parents who ended up working laborious jobs for the wealthy of Illinois. Some even said that Bran became heavily involved in the seedy underground of Chicago’s criminal element. Knowing that he did not want his youngest son to be like his father, Bran ensured that through his connections, his son Lorcan would attend Chicago Theological Society. He was adamant that his son would have a better and pure life in the Church.
During seminary school, Lorcan had a very chance meeting in the local tea house with a peculiar young lad by the name of Nox Flesher.It was here that a friendship began that would lead Lorcan to discover many things that were quite contrary to the teachings of the church. Even though Lorcan was intrigued by his friendship with Nox, he finished his seminary and eventually became Father Lorcan of the local church of Rowley, Illinios.
He is a man of control, viscous agenda and deadly consequence, all packaged under the banner of God. Lorcan’s tale is mired in deceit, lust, heartbreak, jealousy, broken friendships, blackmail, and murder.
Lorcan is the primary antagonist in the world of Rutherford Manor.
Lisa and Louise Savidge
Innocent is not a word to be used to describe the Savidge twins. From an early age the twins father, Spalding, noticed a penchant for the macabre in the girls. As young girls they would take bugs and small rodents and do interesting and painful things to them during play time. They would treat same age rivals with an uneasy meanness that made people unsure if it was sincere or simply kidding. Their father, on the other hand, saw great potential with the girls obvious Flesher tendencies and decided to assist the develop of this behavior in their teen years as any loving father would.
Like young kids in a theme park they were curious and excited at the possibilities. They wanted to know everything about the history of the Flesher and Savidge families. They got giddy in excitement at the prospect of helping Uncle Nox and Aunt Lilith prepare some special experiment. They learned how to bake with alternate food sources from Lilith and enjoyed serving their special concoctions to their unsuspecting peers. They learned how to fine tune their unique abilities to become the embodiment of sugar and spice and everything NOT so nice! A next generation dedicated to extreme experimentation and maniacal tendencies, the twins truly are, Fleshers to the core!
Penny Darling Savidge
Penny was a good soul that was constantly conflicted by the family business. Her father had segregated himself from his siblings which kept Penny from being exposed to the family and their depraved ways at a young age. Tragedy unfortunately struck with her parents being killed in a devastating fire as Penny watched her mother and father suffer a horrible death. How the fire started was never discovered, however the rumor in local gossip circles said it was arson. Distraught and without a family, Penny came under the care of Nox and Lilith during her most innocent early teen years. Penny always thought her Uncle and Aunt were somewhat strange but just dismissed this behavior as quirky, then one day she learned the terrible truth. The terror of this truth caused her much internal conflict. Although she did not grow up around true Flesher ways, deep down she was strangely attracted to it causing her Flesher blood to take hold.
It was at this time that Nox introduced Penny to Spalding as a suitor for marriage. At first their relationship was strained as Penny tried to keep Spalding from delving too deep into the darkness. What Penny didn’t realize was how powerful the call of her own bloodline would come to control her destiny. This journey into darkness leads to a personal tragedy that would fundamentally change her existence and manifest a profound connection with the supernatural.
Alastor’s youngest son, Nox Flesher, was an exceptional child, always designing and creating gadgets for the family home. He was considerably younger than his siblings and spent a great deal of time on his own as a boy. Many called him peculiar, sullen, and said he lived in his own world. As a young adult he became more withdrawn and began focusing his resourcefulness on mastering the skills of his forefathers which included butchery and the procurement of alternate sources of protein.
Nox attended university and excelled in the sciences. He immersed himself in the study of biology, chemistry, physics and anatomy. While at school he met his longtime partner Lilith. It was during this time a horrible accident happened scarring his face considerably which not only affected his appearance in drastic ways, but also his personality.
An unstable genius beyond his years, Nox continues to grow his knowledge, skills, and ruthlessness in the bowels of Rutherford Manor through experimentation on the unsuspecting victims of his horrible nature.
Lilith was timid; an outsider who rarely spoke with people. She preferred the company of her plants and animals. She studied botany and agriculture while at school and spent countless hours in the laboratory creating hybrid plants, germinating seeds, and whispering to her lab creations.
Lilith met the slightly Nox late one evening while looking for samples of night blooming jasmine while Nox was seeking a nocturnal creature for analysis and study. Their mutual interest in alchemy and proclivity for invention made them fast kindred spirits and Nox and Lilith became inseparable after that fateful night. As a pair, their journey into the darkness has become the the horror stories of legend to last the ages.
Caring and ruthlessness are the duality of Lilith’s personality. She is very protective of her kin and those closest to her and will do anything to protect them no matter what the cost. Her ruthlessness knows very little boundaries as she uses torture not for others sake, or the control of outsiders, but more for the pleasure it brings the black nature of her soul.
A busy body is one way to describe Rose Connors, but, she wasn’t always that way. When her husband was alive, Rose was content raising their children, Susanne and Edward. Unfortunately, Rose’s husband was killed in a terrible accident and she was never the same woman since. After her husbands death; she got involved in town business, politics, women’s rights, and another man! This man was a charming businessman and aristocrat with a dark edge to him, none other than the Flesher front man himself, Spalding Savidge. Their affair was very passionate and turbulent which lasted for some time. The affair
was quite secret and only known to a few people who didn’t dare confront either of them. It was a good thing too, as it was well known that Rose and Spalding’s wife, Penny Darling, were the best of friends, at least that’s what Penny thought.
Rose is known in town as a bit of a drama queen and tends to put her nose where it doesn’t belong, which is generally in others peoples lives.
One day however, this snoopiness paid off and she discovered that her husband’s death may have not been an accident. This information, and her need for the truth, eventually lead Rose and her family to cross paths with someone she eventually regrets ever meeting.
Little Suzie is one of those girls who is sweet, caring, bubbly, and happy to someone she likes and a rotten venomous snake to those she doesn’t. It doesn’t help that she has some huge hangups over the untimely death of her father and the fact that her own mother is probably having relations with other men in town.
She is very protective of her younger brother Edward and especially doesn’t like Lisa and Lousie Savidge who seem to the subject of her brothers attention and affection lately. Suzy is a classic mean girl wrapped in a cute exterior. She is truly beauty and the beast!
Edward is one of the boys that knows he’s a good looking guy. Some say he has a bit of an ego. He certainly doesn’t having any trouble getting the interest of girls in town even though deep down he is quite insecure about himself. He doesn’t really care about most girls silly games and giggles. Instead he prefers the company of the only girls in town that most people talk about in whispers, The Savidge Twins.
Unfortunately, Edward can’t decide which of the twins he likes more, which does lead to quite a few conflicts between him and the Savidge girls that does not end well at all for him and his sister.
Victoria was once called the most beautiful women in Chicago. She was the envy of women in local high society and the one woman all the sons of the rich and powerful wanted to court. Not only was she beautiful but she was highly intelligent with a penchant for the family shipping business. Heiress to the vast VanDrunen fortune, Victoria was expected by her family to marry for alliance over love to someone suitable to her status. Of course, when it comes to love, what happens in reality is always something different.
Victoria met Nox Flesher at a social function for Alumni at the University of Chicago. She was immediately intrigued and quite smitten with the young, slight, and strange looking young man. Nox acknowledged her that evening and some could say they became friends of a sort. Unfortunately, over time, her attention to Nox became an obsession much to the dismay of her disapproving father. Lilith, who was also attending the University and getting significantly closer to Nox, also objected strongly to the point where she took matters into her own hands. For now all that can be said by people who knew Victoria is they heard she went overseas to study. She was never to be seen again. Of course only Lilith and Victoria know the terrifying and deadly truth to this tale of, love, hate and betrayal.
Musical perfection, was the headline used by the New York Times to describe the latest opera composed by Maestro Fantoccini in the early 1920’s. As a young man this Italian immigrant studied with the very best composers of the time and surpassed his mentors at an early age. He was called the next Mozart by his adoring press and admirers which certainly inflated his very large ego. Unfortunately fate was not a kind mistress to Fantoccini and suddenly he began to show the signs of flesh eating disease which began to eat at his handsome face and affect his hearing. The very best doctors in New York at the time had no idea how to stop the disease.
An extremely desperate Fantoccini turned to researchers at NYU who told him they heard of a women who had attended Chicago University that could possibly help with some ground breaking botanical research. Excited for a possible cure he immediately left for Chicago to find Lilith Flesher of Rutherford Manor for help. Lilith was able to help Fantoccini stop the infection but the cost was massive deformation of his face and almost a complete loss of hearing. Lilith told Fantoccini that her and Nox could possibly restore what was lost but it would require experimentation and various surgeries. It was then that Maestro Marionetta was born. Much more is to be told of this tale but some say he still hopes for a cure by luring in new young victims for experimentation leading them to their doom with his angelic voice into the bowels of Rutherford Manor.
Billy The Butcher
As a young man Billy did not have an easy life. As the only son of a local spiritual leader he was seen by his people as the one who would succeed his ailing father in the tribe. Expectations were very high for Billy as he showed an aptitude and connection with the forces of nature around him. What his father didn’t know was that Billy’s connection with the supernatural was not what a traditional spiritual leader should be in connection with, Billy’s soul was being drawn to the dark forces of nature. Billy’s mother, who died when he was very young, was corrupted by Muunat. A demon owl woman, known to the local aboriginal peoples from the mid-west, she is the harbinger of death that preys on humans by deceiving them and mimicking their language.
The hold that Muunat had on Billy’s mother was extremely strong. Even in death his mother could not completely protect her son from the demons influence. This generational curse resulted in a troubled childhood that eventually lead to Billy’s own father casting him out from the tribe on a bitterly cold winter’s night. It was then that Spalding, who was returning home from town, discovered Billy freezing and close to the death on a dark forested road. Spalding saved Billy’s life that evening and returned him to the Manor to be nursed back to health. When Billy was back to full strength he decided to put his past behind him and embraced his new family eventually becoming known to the locals as Billy the Butcher.
The local townspeople see Vivian as the crazy lady of Rutherford Manor. Sometimes she can be seen wandering the streets of town or in the local graveyard with a buggy holding several disheveled baby dolls talking non-sense. Many think she should be sent to an Asylum. The family of course, knows the truth of Vivian’s strange and disjointed behavior. Vivian is the medium of the family and like all women of the Flesher clan she has some connection with the supernatural whether it’s light or dark. In Vivian’s case she doesn’t have visions or premonitions like her ancestors but more of an emotional sensitivity to the world around her.
It is this sensitivity to the emotional world around her that can lead her to proclaim amazing wisdom and then the next moment say something completely random and non-sensible; or is it really nonsense? When in public other people’s emotions and secret deceptions confuse her to do and say crazy things but in the privacy of her home around the predictable emotions of her family she is calm, collected, and very wise…mostly…. One thing is for certain, you never know what you will get out of Vivian when you are talking to her.
In the winter of 1920 there were many tales of young children left to the wilds by doctors at the local sanatorium several miles outside of Chicago. At this hospital instead of treating the many young children of chronic diseases like tuberculosis, the staff would take the young ones into the deep woods miles away from the city and left to die. They figured since they were sick what was the point. It was a cruel and deceptive practice that eventually caught up with them in the end.
Although many of the young children did die horrible deaths from exposure, disease, and violent wildlife attacks one of the older children did manage to survive, Johnathan Wright. He was mistakenly diagnosed with Tuberculosis and sent away to the hospital by his father, a well connected councilmen in Chicago politics. Johnathan survived the wilds, winters, and starvation but also became Feral in the lonely woods. One evening Nox Flesher was working on one his inventions in the manor forge when a bloody, dirty, and mangled young man fell through the door of the forge. It was Johnathan and he was quickly dying from wounds inflicted by a pack of wolves hunting him. Nox took some small pity to the wretched Johnathan and with Lilith’s assistance saved his life. Johnathan is now one of Nox’s experiments receiving treatments designed to enhance strength and intelligence. The results of these experiments is yet to be known.
Tales of the embodiment of death haunt the dreams of many children in the mid-west aboriginal tribes. Also known as the Owl Demon Woman, tales have been told for generations of a supernatural woman who resembles a giant owl, dwelling in caves by day and flying out at night to prey on all manner of creatures — including humans with a particular taste for the flesh of young children. Legend has it she hunts humans by mimicking their language. Muunat is known to many Native American cultures as an evil spirit to be very wary of.
Most recently Muunat has taken a special interest in the Flesher and Savidge familes. Haunting stories are told in whispers by a local spiritual leader of a night demon in league with a family. It is said that together they are intent on bringing darkness and death to those around them. Whatever the truth may be, Muunat draws people to her bidding by manipulating their insidious nature.
Elise Murphy – The Lady of Pain
One of three women that live just outside of town are known as the town healers and midwives. Elise is an inquisitive woman and quite the trickster. But like all things in nature there is a light and a dark side to this fun loving woman. Her fascination with pain and obscure experimentation brings her into the Flesher circle in a way that she could have never imagined.