While it has become something of a cliche to assert that Melbourne, as a city filled with goths, must also therefore be a city filled with vampires, it is also the case that in some parts of the city, the cliche does have a basis in fact. Nowhere is this more true than in the wide plain bisected by Edgars Creek that lies to the north of Preston.

Even the name of the creek is a clue to the discerning student of the vampire: Edgar Edwardes was a British soldier and later madman who served one of the most notorious of English vampires, Lord Ruthven, in a similar capacity to that which the madman Renfield served Dracula. Edwardes explored parts of the northern portion of Melbourne in the 1840s, concentrating mostly on the northerly tributaries of the Yarra such as the Merri and Darebin Creeks. Although he told people that he had come to Australia to make his fortune, his true purposes were more dire. His vampiric master desired the creation of a township that he could feed upon at leisure, without making great effort to do so. Such a township would need to be large enough to replenish its own population, and surrounded by enough arable land to support itself. And along the banks of Edgars Creek and wide, grassy plains to either side of it, Edwardes believed that he had found such a location.

His master was quick to join him, arriving in Melbourne a little over eighteen months after Edwardes had, and agreed that his servant had done well. As was his wont, Ruthven purchased only a small amount of the land, and used his considerable influence and powers of persuasion to induce others to move there. He did not seek to maintain complete control over them, rather seeking to render the area’s inhabitants docile via less supernatural means. His plan was upset a little in the early years by the construction of the pipeline that carried the waters from Yan Yean to the city, but Ruthven turned even this to his advantage, using it as a way to name the suburb in a private joke: it would be a literal reservoir of water as well as a more metaphorical reservoir of blood to him. Unable to wholly resist his own vanity, he also named a local railway station after himself (although to his lasting chagrin, the locals rarely pronounced its name correctly).

Satisfied that he had built a supply that would last him, Lord Ruthven returned to Europe, coming back to Australia only on rare occasions – usually to rest and recuperate after an encounter with Van Helsing or another of the Dutchman’s ilk. In 1934, Lord Ruthven voluntarily entered a great slumber, from which he hoped to emerge more powerful still. The results of this are still not known, as to this day, in Reservoir, Lord Ruthven lies dreaming…

Suburbs near Reservoir:

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