"Oh magus, you have begun thy journey. Your master's temple has fallen but his work is not yet finished…" - Orrin Oscar Lutwidge
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Orrin Oscar Lutwidge is the pseudo-antagonist in Phase Two and Phase Three of There's Something in the Sea. A brilliant trickster obsessed with the writings of Lewis Carroll, his clues and puzzles prove to be significant in Mark Meltzer's quest for finding Rapture and his daughter.
Lutwidge was born on September 3, 1906 in New York City. Little is known about Lutwidge's youth other than that he developed an early fascination with Lewis Carroll. It's quite possible that Orrin Oscar Lutwidge is not even his real name, but instead a reference to Lewis Carroll's real name, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson.
Described by many as a restless polymath, Lutwidge was best known as an inventor. His real passion was building mechanical puzzles, but his fiendishly difficult devices never caught on with toymakers. Instead he made a tidy sum developing patented concepts for manufacturing. Another one of his subjects of expertise was the field of cryptography. He authored several books and articles for young readers and even consulted with the U.S. government on code breaking during World War II. According to a message left by Amanda Kay Meltzer, Mark's daughter, Cindy Meltzer, apparently purchased one of his books called A Child's Garden of Cyphers.
One of Lutwidge's companies, Scarlet Sovereign Import and Export, did business with Andrew Ryan, moving massive amounts of construction material for "Warden Yarn Company" (an anagram of Andrew Ryan) for the purpose of building Rapture. At some point after the opening of Rapture, the deal fell through, leaving tons of Lutwidge's raw materials rotting in the port. It is unclear if this was done on purpose by Ryan, or was an unintended consequence of his disappearance. Lutwidge eventually deduced that his company was being used as a shield for some kind of secretive project of Ryan's and began to send a series of increasingly threatening letters to him.
Quest for Rapture
After his letters to Ryan (presumably) were unreturned, Lutwidge began a quest to find Rapture. Lutwidge created an organization called the International Order of the Pawns (I.O.O.P.) with the purpose of researching the events surrounding "The Vanishing", which involved the mysterious disappearance of hundreds of thousands of people after World War II. However, as Lutwidge drew close to finding the secrets of Rapture he observed that other groups were getting close to the truth as well. He began to worry that these other researchers would uncover the secret, so he enlisted the services of the "Red Pawn" to create forgeries that would send them astray. The Red Pawn was actually Lutwidge's "right hand man"—a high-ranking member of I.O.O.P. The organization's members were all given status through numbers of "degrees" and their titles were the names of pieces in chess: Pawns, Bishops, Knights, etc. As a member of I.O.O.P. gained more knowledge, or made a major breakthrough, they would be given different colors or titles once they attained specific degrees. Lutwidge was the organization's founder, as well as the one who knew the most; therefore, he was known as the Red Queen.
Lutwidge began to mingle with the other researchers, but he was known for his tendency to never offer any new theories himself, simply encouraging the ideas of whichever fringe group he was currently associating with. Groups he corresponded with during this time include The James Millard Oakes League, and the followers of Celeste Roget. In a letter to Ryan from this time period, Lutwidge related that several private individuals and governments had been getting close to discovering the secret of Rapture until he threw them off with intentional disinformation.
The French heiress Celeste Roget was one of these individuals, seeking answers about The Vanishing after her father, Jean Louis Roget, disappeared. Lutwidge, with the help of the Red Pawn, gave Celeste numerous forgeries which led her on a wild goose chase to find the mysterious city of "Shambhala", allegedly hidden in the Himalayan Mountains. This folly culminated in the tragedy of Celeste's entire party, save herself, being killed in a mountain avalanche.
Lutwidge was quick to erase all evidence of his involvement in Celeste's accident, and ensured that all of the forged documents the Red Pawn created for her were destroyed in a fire. However, the other pawns in I.O.O.P. had observed the entire situation and many, including the Grey Pawn, Lee Wilson Seward, disliked the callous cruelty that Lutwidge showed as he became more obsessed with his goal. They began to distance themselves from him.
As time went on, Lutwidge was increasingly resentful of the fact that Ryan never considered him one of the worthy "best and brightest" invited to stay in Rapture. In a letter to Ryan dated June 1954, Lutwidge states, "It is my understanding that you sought to gather the brightest and the best under your banner, yet you have left this very brightest mind alone in the shadows." Also, Lutwidge's journal in the Rubix Tube, which quotes Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, contains the passage:"'No room! No room!' they cried out when they saw Alice coming. 'There's plenty of room!' said Alice indignantly, and she sat down in a large arm-chair at one end of the table…"All these years, Orrin had been SHUNNED by the Master of Wonderland as if there Was NO ROOM for him. But there was PLENTY of Room!"
In 1958, Lutwidge abruptly disappeared after his business offices/lab on Lower Broadway in New York City burned down. Lutwidge left various projects half-completed and vowed in letters to his correspondences not to return until he had discovered "true Rapture". However, Lutwidge left behind a series of clues and various puzzle boxes for a person whom he referred to as "the seeker" - an individual that Lutwidge foresaw would follow in his wake in an attempt to find Rapture. It is not known how Lutwidge discovered Rapture's coordinates, but it can be inferred from his journal and the Utropolis Manuscript that he did finally reach it.
Lutwidge's Life in Rapture
Lutwidge arrived in Rapture sometime after the New Year's Eve party in the Kashmir Restaurant on the eve of 1959. Lutwidge details his arrival in Rapture and his experiences there in his Utropolis Manuscript. Lutwidge's arrival, in particular, is eerily similar to Jack's arrival in the beginning of BioShock. In his journal, Lutwidge laments being "late to the party," and that "the kingdom had gone to war!" During his stay in Rapture, Lutwidge was a participant in the Civil War between the supporters of Atlas and Ryan. In a later session with Dr. Howard Lyman in Tollevue Hospital, he laments the "fall of Atlas", saying "Rapture is dead…and there are none to raise it." In his writings, Lutwidge always describes Rapture in romantic terms, referring to it often as "Wonderland".
Lutwidge was initially looked upon with suspicion by the residents of Rapture, but he earned the respect of certain people, and later in his journal, he described these people as friends, a descriptor Lutwidge would never use for anyone else. From the pages of his Utropolis manuscript and from an Audio Diary that was discovered in his basement, we know that his friends include James Millard Oakes, a former navy man who saved Lutwidge early on and who was impressed with the usefulness of his mechanical prowess. Another of his friends was a woman named Catherine who had lost her daughter during their years in Rapture. Oakes gave Lutwidge his first taste of splicing, injecting him with an unknown Plasmid that he referred to as "Sinclair Sauce". Lutwidge would go on to write a poem about Rapture's various Plasmid products in his journal.
Returning to the Surface
- “I should never have gone…but in going, I never should have left!”
- ― Lutwidge in his sixth session in Tollevue Hospital[src]
After the situation in Rapture became too dangerous, Lutwidge somehow returned to the surface with a collection of "souvenirs" and "mementos" of his friends in Rapture. He retreated to one of his offices on Park Avenue in New York and began writing a record of all that he had experienced. During this time, Lutwidge changed his identity, taking up the "nom de plume", RØd Killian Quain.
Lutwidge sought to share the story of Rapture with the world and thus he presented his writings to Lex Harlan, editor of Visionary Wonder Stories, to be published in that periodical. Lutwidge also attempted to contact any remaining faithful members of I.O.O.P. by publishing a cryptic classified ad in the magazine. Unfortunately, he was unsuccessful, because Lex Harlan edited Lutwidge's manuscript into a series of stories about an underwater dystopia called "Utropolis" that is only vaguely recognizable as Rapture. Lutwidge was understandably angry when he learned of this and assaulted Harlan in an attempt to make him revert to the original. This resulted in Lutwidge being placed in Tollevue Hospital.
Before Lutwidge's disappearance, Celeste Roget, an acquaintance now turned enemy, had hired the private investigative firm, "Auger Detection", to follow Lutwidge. Soon after Lutwidge's return, an agent, Dash H. Carmady, caught Lutwidge breaking into his old Park Avenue lab. Celeste quickly flew to the United States to catch a glimpse of Lutwidge as he typed up his manuscript. Later, after Lutwidge was placed in Tollevue, Celeste bribed local officials to make sure that he never got out.
Years later, when Mark Meltzer faked mental illness to get into Tollevue, he found Lutwidge a broken man, quietly sitting in a wheelchair in the corner and fiddling with puzzles. Lutwidge's face was distorted and asymmetrical - the after effects of using ADAM for too long. Lutwidge did not acknowledge Mark until he stated that he was the seeker, the one that Lutwidge had been waiting for. Lutwidge, apparently briefly channeling his former self, told Mark to "take thy grail, oh Parsifal," and bestowed the Rubix Tube puzzle upon him.
Escape from Tollevue
- Main article: The Lutwidge Manhunt
In January 1969 Jeremiah Lynch sought to track Lutwidge down at Tollevue and torture Rapture's coordinates out of him. Lutwidge managed to escape Lynch, but in the process Lynch killed an orderly, causing Lutwidge to be charged with the murder. Lutwidge then went into hiding, eluding the search efforts of Detective Benny Stango. Lutwidge began to contact his allies in I.O.O.P., requesting help in hiding the remaining evidence of Rapture's secrets from Lynch. Thus Lutwidge devised various coded messages and sent them to Pawns around the world.
Lutwidge even embarked on a journey overseas, hoping to lose Lynch, who had been tracking him persistently. Finally Lutwidge returned to the United States, thinking that he had avoided his adversary, and arranged a meeting with the Pawns in San Francisco. However, Lynch had not been fooled, and he finally found Lutwidge at the arranged meeting place and the confrontation resulted in the two men appearing to kill each other. There is still some evidence that Lutwidge's fate is unknown, as there has been no body produced nor does there appear to be sufficient blood at the crime scene to prove that Lutwidge was mortally wounded by Lynch's attempt on his life. The Pawns arrived too late, only to see the crime scene depicting Lynch's dead body and a chalk outline representing Lutwidge.
Lewis Carroll Obsession
Lutwidge made many references to the works of Lewis Carroll in his writings. The name Lutwidge itself is derived from Lewis Carroll's real name, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. Lutwidge also used several alternate aliases, each with the initials "O. O. L." and each with the last name derived from a person involved in the writing of Alice in Wonderland. One of these aliases is "Orson Orville Lidell", which borrows the name of Alice Lidell, the real life girl for whom Carroll wrote his stories. The other is "Ogdred O. Lewis," with the last name being borrowed from Lewis Carroll.
His final alias, RØd Killian Quain, refers to the Red Queen from Carroll's book Through the Looking Glass.
A blank map left by Lutwidge for "the Seeker" (and later found by Mark Meltzer) is referred to by Lutwidge as the "Bellman's Chart", a reference to Lewis Carroll's poem, The Hunting of the Snark. In this poem a character named "the Bellman" uses a blank map to take the rest of his party on a hunting trip for the "snark". The term "The Vanishing" is also the title of the final chapter of The Hunting of the Snark.
- The Wanted Poster from documents found during the Lutwidge Manhunt