By Crystal Collier and J. Matthew Collier
Rage. Isolation. Thirst…
A creature haunts the night, one that craves blood. In 300 years, no one has been able to stop him.
Phineas took on the hunt when his dying father committed him to the family legacy: destroying the monster their ancestor had created. He has devoted twenty years to the quest, and now, in 1792, Phineas has tracked “it” to his hometown.
Lucas, the hunted, dwells in seclusion. He is damned. He accepts that. Detesting his own existence but fearing the grave, he takes only what is needed and hides from humanity. After three centuries, he believes himself incapable of mortal emotion, until he meets Justine. If he is capable of love, is he capable of redemption? And will Phineas, Justine’s uncle, kill him before he has a chance to discover?
The Full synopsis (warning contains spoilers)
By Matt and Crystal Collier
This is a story of hope, love, change, and overcoming bias as told by Phineas, the hunter.
Kneeling before a grave, Lucas clutches a rose, mourning. (THE WORLD IS A STORM) Phineas narrates with the chorus, explaining his ancestors’ hunt for a bloodthirsty creature from generation to generation. We flashback to another time as he chases Lucas into his night-strewn hometown, shooting him with a crossbow. While searching for the injured creature, Phineas stumbles across the life he left behind: (LOVELY MORNIN) his brother, Richard, a rising Baron; his beloved niece, Justine, grown and marriageable; her nanny, Sophia, Phineas’s long-ago paramour; and the crossbow bolt the creature dug from his body. (WHERE ARE YOU HIDING)
Lucas, “Count Delamark”, stumbles into his home wounded and desperate (THE HUNGER) but refuses to satisfy his thirst and risk discovery. His servant suggests he grace a neighboring Lords’ ball anonymously—several foreigners here tonight, gone tomorrow.
Justine, Phineas’s niece, attends her first ball with Sophia cheering in the wings, driven to find love and freedom from society’s expectations. (POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE) Hunger sated, Lucas is fleeing the ballroom when he sees her. (MY FIRST) Bewildered, he fights his stirring heart and hope, putting her in a trance to draw near without detection. She breaks his hold—the only person to do so in 300 years. Before she can learn his name, he withdraws. Phineas discovers Lucas’s unconscious victim and realizes the creature is parading as a nobleman. (WHERE ARE YOU HIDING REPRISE)
After weeks of travel to throw off the hunter, Lucas returns home and Phineas invades. Lucas deflects his suspicions, leaving Phineas questioning. Lucas’s servant hands him a letter and invitation from Justine. (MY FIRST REPRISE) He marvels. She has discovered his alias. After three centuries of darkness could this be love?
The nobles are astonished when the mysterious “Count Delamark” attends the party. Using a game of CHARADES, Phineas hints at Lucas’s curse, but his brother, Richard, threatens to cut him off for accosting his guest—no more money, no more hunt. Lucas decides Phineas has laid a trap with his niece and excuses himself. Justine follows, begging him to stay. (TAKE MY HAND) She convinces him to pursue a relationship. Witnessing the pieces in play, Phineas resolves to use Justine as bait, to find proof for his brother. He places their ancestors’ journal in her path.
Justine reads about a young man who was given an unknown elixir by an apothecary that turned him into a blood-drinking monster. (THE ELIXIR OF LIFE) Phineas drops clues about the creature while she and Lucas secretly court, with Sophia narrating the time passage and flirting unsuccessfully with Phineas. (PERHAPS MAYBE) Lucas prepares to confess his secret. Justine resolves to declare her love. Plotting to expose the creature, Phineas “accidentally” scrapes Justine before she leaves with Lucas, drawing a hint of blood.
Lucas drives them home in a carriage after a pleasant evening, attempting to share the truth, but Justine beats him with a declaration of love. Overjoyed, Lucas leans to kiss her and smells her blood. Jerking back, he loses control of the carriage. They crash. Injured from protecting Justine, Lucas puts her in a trance, battling the temptation to drink from her. (ONE CUT) Arriving at the accident, Phineas determines he won’t risk Justine ever again—won’t let her go. Lucas realizes he must let her go.
Wrought by desperation, Lucas enters town and seizes the first living thing he finds. (NIGHT ATTACK)
The continuing attacks have Justine considering the journals’ contents and Phineas takes her to interrogate the latest victim, who was protected from the rain by Lucas’s cloak. (SOMETHING STRANGE) Snatches of memory assault Justine, and Sophia distracts Phineas flirtatiously so Justine can sneak away to confront Lucas during the day.
At Lucas’s estate, his servant draws the curtains and takes the cloak, confirming it’s his. When facing him, Justine recalls his grave wounds, and now he is whole. She unwraps the evidence and he confesses his immortality and the price: blood. Shocked, Justine flees. Lucas tries to follow but is driven back by sunlight. Devastated, he prepares to abandon his estate. (MY DREAM)
Justine considers what she knows of Lucas, (WHO IS THIS MAN) fighting to hold onto the dream. Encouraged by Sophia, she decides she loves him no matter what. Lucas’s servant delivers a farewell letter, and she pursues him.
Justine confronts Lucas on the road, confesses her love and begs him to make her immortal. He refuses. (THE HUNGER, Part II) After he unfolds the horrors of immortality, she rebuts with a love that can last FOREVER. While not convinced, he concedes to marry her in secret, to give her one lifetime, though not an eternity of damnation. (FOREVER REPRISE) Justine is appeased. She and Lucas are married in the night, but her search continues.
Justine discovers the key to immortality in the journal: ingesting the creatures’ blood. (ETERNITY IN FLAMES)
Phineas finally has the proof he needs—an eyewitness, one of the Count’s own servants. He presents the servant to his brother who refuses to believe until he confronts Justine about her “secret” courtship. (YOU DON’T LOVE HIM) Horrified when she, stammering, confirms the accusations, he prepares to send her to France, promising to end the Count. With Sophia’s assistance, she escapes to warn Lucas. (FINAL HOUR)
Justine confronts Lucas in his estate, ready to flee with him. Calmly, he responds that only he is leaving, else Phineas will come after them and one or both may die. In their farewell kiss, she bites his lip and consumes his blood. He is horrified. She collapses in his arms (NEVER SAY GOODBYE) and hope springs as he realizes that to protect her, he must take her with him. Before he can act, a mob bursts in and drags him away. Phineas places a stake to Justine’s chest and raises his hammer. Heartbroken, he knows what he must do.
Trembling, the hunter joins the mob as they build and light a pyre around Lucas. (THE LIVING DEAD) An explosion, and Lucas is gone.
Lucas wakes as Phineas finishes tying him to a chair. “You will die by my hand, not theirs.” Enraged, Lucas breaks his bonds and he and Phineas swordfight. (MAN VS MONSTER) Lucas wins but spares Phineas.
A candlelit funeral. (EMPTY WORDS) Mourners depart the graveyard and Lucas places a single rose before Justine’s tombstone, leaving himself exposed to Phineas, ready to die (the opening scene). Rather than attack, Phineas confesses that Justine is his child, left to Richard when her mother died and his father swore him to the hunt. He couldn’t kill his daughter.
(NEVER SAY GOODBYE REPRISE) Justine and Lucas are reunited. Phineas explains how he led the townspeople on false hunts for a time, until enthusiasm waned. Richard obsessed over the creature the rest of his days, eventually dying at sea. Phineas married Sophia and they followed Lucas and Justine to the Americas, eventually becoming immortal as well. They will face the joys and hardships of ages together, forever. (FINALE)
Phineas Raybourne: The hunter, in his 40’s. Once a rebellious young man, he is now dedicated to his family’s cause. He has grown closer to catching the creature than any of his predecessors. Baritone.
Lucas Delamark: “Count Delamark,” an immortal who looks 20-30. Tall, dark, handsome. He drinks blood because he fears the grave, but 300 years ago, after discovering what he’d become, he vowed to never take another life. Thus, he leaves a trail of breathing victims in his wake and is always traveling to avoid detection. High Tenor.
Justine Raybourne: Only child and last of the Raybourne bloodline, sheltered and a little rebellious. She is “of age” (21), and hopes to find freedom from her oppressive father through marriage. Soprano.
Sophia: Justine’s French nanny and best friend who is a hopeless romantic and infatuated with Phineas. Cute, short, 30’s with great comedic timing. Soprano.
Richard Raybourne: Phineas older brother, Justine’s father, a baron. Similar to Phineas in appearance but portlier. 40’s or 50’s. Bass.