Henry Jekyll is London’s most beloved gentleman scientist, whose silver tongue and beguiling good looks have earned him an open invitation to every respectable house from Belgravia to Baker’s Street. With a spotless reputation and a promising future ahead, Jekyll’s life seems to be nothing short of perfect.
But underneath the charming smile, Jekyll harbors a creeping suspicion that something inside him is horribly, incurably Wrong (his closeted bisexuality might have something to do with it). This suspicion has left Jekyll with an emptiness no amount of fashionable dinner parties can fill, which is why he has lately turned to more scientific solutions to his troubles . . .
With a sip of a bubbling potion, Dr. Jekyll unleashes his alter ego Mr. Hyde, the embodiment of all the thoughts and desires he keeps hidden from the world. Hyde is the demon to Jekyll’s angel, a creature of pure evil birthed from the darkness lurking in the hearts of all mankind.
At least, that’s what Hyde tells himself. He likes to keep things simple—good and evil, black and white. He doesn’t have time to make sense of the roiling sea of emotions that make up his personality. He would much rather spend his nights stalking the streets of London at night, savoring every precious moment of freedom before retreating back into the shadowy recesses of Jekyll’s mind.
Two years ago, Dr. Jekyll founded the Society for Arcane Science, a community of rogue scientists living and working together safely under one roof. Jekyll hopes to prove to the world that scientists can be good, upstanding citizens whose experiments will make life better for everyone. In short, he wants to make mad science respectable.
The Society plays host to over a dozen scientists from all around the world, affectionately referred to as “the Lodgers.” Ranging from alchemists to aeronauts to cryptozoologists, the Lodgers are a colorful, outspoken group whose eager enthusiasm for their work can sometimes put them at odds with their strait-laced leader.
Young cryptozoologist Jasper Kaylock is the Society’s newest scientist and newly-turned werewolf. A recent transplant from a rural farming village, Jasper feels painfully out of his depth amongst the worldly London scientists of the Society. He is a keen observer of human behavior but struggles to put his thoughts into words, often preferring the company of his paranormal specimens to the mortifying ordeal of human communication.
Jekyll could not keep the Society running without the help of his day manager, Rachel Pidgley. Rachel may look as sweet as her famous gingersnap cookies, but her soft exterior hides a hard-as-steel determination forged during her hardscrabble upbringing in London’s East End. While not a scientist herself, she enjoys the company of the eccentric Lodgers and has even managed to befriend Mr. Hyde (she bribed him with chocolate). Highly persistent and loyal to a fault, Rachel would not hesitate to move heaven and earth to help a friend in need . . . even if they never asked for help in the first place.
Dr. Robert Lanyon is Jekyll’s closest friend and co-founder of the Society for Arcane Sciences. Jekyll and Lanyon have been inseparable ever since they met at boarding school. A child of the aristocracy, Lanyon introduced Jekyll to the ways of high society and taught him to become the gentleman he is today. Over the years, Lanyon has cultivated the attitude of a nihilistic dandy to weather the daily trials and tribulations of upper-class life. He believes himself far too clever to care about anyone or anything except himself but seems to have a soft spot for his best friend.
As a young scientist, Victoria Frankenstein gave life to a ghoulish creature sewn together from human corpses. Horrified by her own actions, she abandoned her creature and fled the country, setting off a lifelong struggle as creator and creation pursued each other through the wilderness.
As time went on, tales of Frankenstein’s experiments spread across Europe, her life story adapted into numerous sensational plays and penny dreadfuls. Her biographers took ample liberties with her personal history—notably, changing her gender—but as her fame grew, Frankenstein herself disappeared into obscurity. Most assume her long dead, but some believe she is still out there, wandering the Alpine tundra with her Creature by her side.
The Creature is Dr. Frankenstein’s monstrous creation and, for the last thirty years, her sole companion in life. Once mortal enemies, the two seem to have come to an understanding of sorts, or at least a semi-functional co-dependent relationship.
The Creature entered into the world with a kind and gentle nature, but years of constant rejection from every person he met have left him with a cynical view of humanity at large. Now, he prefers to spend his days in quiet study and contemplation, enduring human contact only as a last resort.
Lucy Corbyn is the leader of the Forty Elephants, the infamous band of lady thieves who have eluded Scotland Yard for nearly a decade. Lucy takes her role as the head of London’s largest women-owned business very seriously. Her generous pay and compassionate leadership style have earned her the undying loyalty of her fellow thieves, while her reputation as a ruthless vagabond has earned her devoted fans among the general public—including one Edward Hyde.