Riversleigh Manor isn’t just a house and it isn’t named for the River that runs below it that dried up and died years ago.
It was named for a family called Riversleigh.
The person who know this story best is named Acantha Deverell
and she takes her tea at Riversleigh Manor by Moonlight. If you’re really curious about Riversleigh and most of the guests here are you could join her and ask her about the Riversleigh Family.
Acantha is always dressed in black and she sits alone in the library
every night as she sips her hot poisonous drink and nibbles on her deadly dessert and admires the little fine bone china cup crafted by her own hand at her Father’s request.
The request came one dark winter many years ago on the night Mr Riversleigh rode out to Deverell Hall and demanded to see Mr Albido Deverell.
Mr Riversleigh stood in the Great Hall and called out over and over again until Albido appeared right behind him where he was warming his hands over a cold dark fire in the massive marble fireplace.
“ Mr Riversleigh what on earth would bring you out on night like this? What am I saying? What on Earth could get you to leave the Manor at all?”
Faxon Riversleigh could barely speak, “ you know why I’m here and I want you to do something about it. That new Sheriff from that town down the river in Duwamish Bay, she’s the reason I’m here. She knows about us and she’s coming for us all.”
Albido Deverell smiled, and Faxon backed up and away from those jagged pointed teeth “ she’s from the Sawajinn Family and my friend there is no getting away from them. Not for people like us. “
“ I don’t care what family she’s from, get rid of her.”
“ And why should I bring the Law and the Warden of Sawajinn into my house Riversleigh when you’re the one with the bodies. My heavens man they’re in the walls and below the floorboards and the River…how on Earth did you manage to kill that?”
“ I did it for you Deverell, I fed you and this nest of creatures you have as a family. “
“ And in return Riversleigh…oh the things you’ve received in return have you forgotten them? You handed me flesh and bone and in return
I handed you gold and jewels and art and immortality Riversleigh. Don’t forget that my friend… the immortality. Nothing can kill you, you and yours will never die.”
“ Oh thank you so much for that, my insane children, my wife has
turned into a living corpse that spends her time in the catacombs
below my home thanks you so much for that. “
“ You’re welcome. I’ve always liked Elizabeth.”
Riversleigh would have liked to twist Deverell’s head right off of his shoulders and he would have if he thought it would have made a difference.
“ The Warden only comes for things that bring attention to Duwamish Bay. She’s ready to take us all to Sawajinn and I have to say, I’m not anxious to go back there. So I’ve made a deal of sorts with her” Deverell sounded very pleased with himself.
“ With the Warden?”
Deverell wasn’t smiling now “ a most unpleasant creature to deal with. She was no sport at all. We’ve come to an arrangement.”
“ What’s going to happen to us? “
“ She wants assurance that you and your family never leave Riversleigh. If I can keep my end of the bargain she won’t take me back to Sawajinn. That foul beast assured me she would take me back piece by piece and to prove her point she killed my wives and staff right in front of me.” Deverell actually choked up and cried out in agony “Do you have any idea Riversleigh how hard it is to find good help now days? “
Riversleigh knew it was pointless to yell or run or beg so he just asked, “ are you going to kill us Deverell?”
“ The deal Riversleigh is to keep you in your house and I think I’ve found a way to do that, in fact I’ve started already.”
There was a mound of ash at least four feet high in the massive stone fireplace and Riversleigh saw scattered around the fireplace lttle gold and silver buttons and small bits of bone.
“ My daughter Acantha is a talented artist Riversleigh and she’s been away learning a new craft. I must say I found it a bit unappetizing but we do what we can to support those we love. Don’t we? She’s learned to make something called Bone China. Have you heard of it?”
Riversleigh shook his head and the floor dropped from beneath his feet.
“Go down to the basement where she works Riversleigh I think you’re going to be amazed at what you can create from a little ash and sand.”
Three months later Acantha brought a set of beautiful bone china teacups and a lovely teapot to Riversleigh Manor. Mrs. Clark, the housekeeper, allowed Acantha into the Manor and she watched as the young woman carefully set the table for tea.
“ It’s a shame Mrs. Riversleigh isn’t here to see this lovely setting. I don’t know where the family is. You know how they are Miss. The Riversleighs have always said they’d never leave this place.”
The delicate cups sat in a ring around the teapot and Mrs. Clark saw that there was one for each member of the family. They were painted with small purple flowers and little raised bumps that looked like eyes rimmed the saucers.
They were strange little things but all the same the Housekeeper felt her hands twitch and she was about to reach for one of the cups when she thought she heard Mrs. Riversleigh calling out to her. Or could it have been one of the girls? How faint and at the same time how close their voices sounded!
Then the sounds were gone.
Acantha brought one of the little cups to her cheek and smiled “ They’re closer then you think Mrs. Clark. Would you care to join us for tea? “