My name is Alex CF, and I am the curator and custodian of the Merrylin Cryptid collection. The study and documentation of the evolution and biology of unclassified species and research pertaining to prehistoric human and non human civilization.
In 2006, a trust was set up to analyze and collate a huge number of wooden crates found sealed in the basement of a London townhouse that was due to be demolished. Seemingly untouched since the 1940′s, the crates contained over 5000 specimens of flora and fauna, collected, dissected, and preserved by many forgotten scientists, professors and explorers of obscure cultures and species. The collection also housed many artifacts of curious origin, fragments of civilizations that once ruled the earth, of ideas and belief systems better left in the past.
But the most curious aspect of this discovery was the man responsible for its existence – the enigmatic, mysterious gentlemen that had gathered together a wealth of relics that challenged our understanding of nature; of species that had never been witnessed by the modern world, of objects which defied physical laws,
Lord and Professor Thomas Theodore Merrylin.
Born in 1782 to a rich aristocratic family, Thomas followed in his fathers footsteps of esoteric natural history, investing in profitable companies to fund his travels across the world, seeking out these illusive animals which hid in forgotten continents or darkened crevices, away from prying human eyes.
They traveled together until the death of his father turned Thomas into a recluse, seeking solace in his work and befriending no one. He tutored himself in the grand Library at Merrylin house, yet also studied at Gower street once the university had been established. Even then, he isolated himself from other students.
A bizarre quality of Merrylin was his apparent permanent youthfulness. Even in his 80′s, he still resembled a 40 year old, albeit of odd complexion, and his few bizarre forays into the eyes of the media only furthered his infamy. He was accused of practicing dark arts to prolong his life. Yet, he did befriend eminent scholars, who helped calm such rumors – scholars who encouraged him to share his collection with the world. In 1899, he took a small portion of his specimens on tour across America. Conservative attitudes of the time condemned these creatures, calling them blasphemous. His reaction was severe and the tour was canceled before it reached California. He returned to England and fell into obscurity, until 1942.
The Tunbridge Orphanage for boys was contacted by a man purporting to be Thomas Theodore Merrylin, in the spring of that year. He wished to donate a sizable London town house to the Orphanage for use once the war was over, and children returned. The only proviso was that the basement of the house never be opened and the house never sold. The Orphanage stood by this promise, until absolved in the 60′s and the existence of the cellar forgotten. Sealed behind two brick walls, the door was only found by chance when the foundations were checked prior to demolition. The Thomas Merrylin pictured in a local newspaper, handing over the documents for ownership to the new proprietor was in his fourties. By this time, Merrylin would have been over 160 years old. The name sparked interest from those who had followed Merrylins work, most assuming him long dead. But the man claiming to be Thomas promptly disappeared. Leaving no evidence of his existence. The Merrylin estate was also sold off and money given to charity.
What he left was the most incredible collection ever known, actual specimens of taxidermied dragons, the infant forms of werewolves, artifacts from ancient Vampyr nations and the trappings of nefarious scientists whose existence was presumed to be mere fiction. It was this, and the apparent immortality of Merrylin that drove me to become rather fanatical about understanding the life of this man, and his world changing collection. What had allowed him to live so long? Where had these specimens originated from, considering there are no other examples of these species to be found on the Earth? It is this that I find so thrilling and yet so terrifying..