Tucked away in the alleys and decrepit homes of The Dominion’s poorest district, once existed a seed, a community of wood elves who operated separately from the jurisdiction of the city that surrounded them. Composed of no more than a dozen families, the seed operated traditionally, relying on ancient elven customs and beliefs to shape their self-driven economy. Art was one of the driving factors of their lives – they honed their labor on woodwork and decoration and spent their free time indulging in performance and spectacle. Their lives were ultimately difficult, and as war grew ever-present, and supplying themselves became more and more strenuous, it got to the point where it became impossible. When martial law fell over Caras Eldar and The Dominion as a whole, guards of the crown reported the unease they felt as they marched into a desolate neighborhood – beds made with food on the tables, the last glowing embers of fires still present. It was as if everyone there had vanished.
Sensing the imminent militarization of their home and the potential destruction or at least taint of their micro-culture, the small wood elf community fled the city. They took to the forests, their heritage easily allowing them to adapt to the terrain. With their hands, they dug burrows and stowed themselves away during the day time, using these hours to create elaborate beauties from the forest's offerings. When night fell they emerged, dressed in finely carved and painted masks and hastily hand-sewn clothing, and basked in their newfound autonomy. Their celebration of this occasion never died, every night they returned to the grounds of the arrival, members of the seed boasting their newest creations, enacting their performances or reciting their songs. They were forever merry, and this mindset would be ground in the generations after them.
One elf, in particular, is worth noting. His name was Trinculo, born at some point at some time, likely in a tree. They say, without any applicable context, that the first words he spoke were in conjunction with a lie. He was a catalyst of falsehoods, no matter the time of day or situation, Trinculo could never bring himself, to tell the truth. This paired with a naturally mischievous nature, it wasn’t long before his reputation in the seed became ill. One rainy night, as a prank on the poor lad, a group of elves snuck into his burrow and forcefully affixed a mask to his face – one with a comically sized nose, the symbol of a lier. In the struggle, a patch of mud sent Trinculo off the side of a hill, and with a short slide through the dirt, he hit a rock and was cast into a fierce rapid, and sent downstream.
When he awoke, he hadn't the slightest clue of what happened. Where he was, where his home was unknown to him. All he had was the mask from the night before, with its flaking red paint, patchy feathers, and comical nose. Unaware of its true purpose, he adopted it proudly and took off into the world, the same as he had always been.
“We have arrived at or destination, all passengers please exit the deck via the ramp at portside!” A crowd of people, as the man instructed, made their way to the ramp. Among them walked adventurers, traders or lowly serfs. As well as a barrel, that had until now been sitting idly on the deck of the ship, unmoving, but now possessed feet allowing it shuffles its way down the ramp and behind a piece of cargo. Trinculo lifted the barrel from around him, placing it down and kicking it, sending it rolling off of the dock and into the ocean.
“Why pay 50 Gold pieces for a short putter across the water when you could go for free?” He spoke to himself, chuckling all the while as he strode out to blend in with the crowd that had exited the ship, walking past a merchant and his supply large supply cart who had stopped at the base of the ramp.
Before he could catch up, however, a man of clear high esteem approached him, calling “Welcome!”
The man stopped before Trinculo, standing with his head held high. He’d clearly be of high esteem, dressed in an elaborate coat – it’s buttons garnished with gold and fancy engravings – and shirt bursting with ruffles. His hair shined like gold leaf and rested gently on his shoulders. Any man could tell that this fellow was, indeed, a gentleman.
Trinculo disliked him – really, truly. He had only spoken a word and yet the way he spoke it and the manner in which he carried himself made the wood elf shiver with distaste.
“What brings you to this lovely city? Adventure? Wealth? Or some grand aspirations to elevate your place in society?” The man asked, closing his sentence with a perfect, white smile.
Of course, that didn’t mean the elf couldn’t spare a minute to mess with him.
Trinculo tilted his head, placed his hands on his hips and struck a sassy pose as he quipped “What’s it to you, ninny?”
The man’s smile turned into a look of shock as he placed a hand atop his chest, “Take ease man! Can a man such as myself not invest his interest in such an interesting character?”
Trinculo’s chest puffed out as he recited, “Interesting?” He lifted an open hand to his forehead, mimicking a swoon as he said, “Oh, Sir you flatter me, oh yes you do! Perhaps I read you too quickly?”
The gentleman smirked at the elf’s response before coughing into his hand, “Think nothing of it. Now, won’t you answer me, what brings you to this port?” He asked, motioning back to the shipyard and bazaar just ahead.
Trinculo ducked and stepped forward, brushing up into the man like a cat, “Well, Sir, I do believe I’ve found it!” He spoke in a flirtatious tone, the elf having more than invaded the gentleman’s personal space at this point.
The gentleman, taking proper action to this sudden advance, was quick to shy away. He’d take a step back, again, his once confident smile turning to a look of confusion, “Pardon?”
Trinculo slid his back into an arch, tipping the nose of his mask upward as he’d say, “Why, isn’t it obvious dear, Sir? I had come for the things any scamp such as myself might desire. Money, food, entertainment, dreams that I will silently pander to myself but never bother to pursue because my attention span is just too darn short!”
The gentleman lifted a brow, following but not quite understanding what the elf was getting at.
“But you” Trinculo continued, “my dear Sir, are quite the find.” Trinculo bent down and stepped inward, again drifting closer to the man, “Such strong posture, extravagant clothing, and hair that mimics the rays that a stair might emit – what a token you are!” Trinculo, while speaking had managed to fall to a knee, a hand extended upward to the man with the other placed on his chest.
The gentleman gazed down in confusion. Seconds later his eye twitched as he took a sudden step back, “Y-you” he’d stammer, “you’re coming onto me!”
“It took you this long to realize that?” Trinculo angled his gaze to the ground, “And I thought I was oblivious..” He’d perform a long, drawn-out whistle.
The gentleman huffed, pinching the bridge of his nose, his patience for this character running thin. “What is your malfunction man? Can you not answer me without your bizarre theatrics?” He’d ask desperately.
Trinculo shuffled back up to his feet, dusting at his baggy striped pants, “You’ve got the wrong wood elf, my dear Sir.”
“Please. Stop calling me that.” The gentleman requested. “Now, man, give me something to work with! Why are you here, of all the places you could run amock?”
Trinculo huffed, pulling at his gambeson, “Okay, fine. I’ll bite.” The wood elf would then respond with a pair of gentle jazz hands beside his head. “I’m here for a show!”
The gentleman gave a sigh of relief, somehow relieved how that he had finally fished an answer from the wood elf. “A show is it? What kind of do you mention?”
“My show,” Trinculo responded, his hands pressing into his chest.
“Oh, where are you performing?” The gentleman asked.
“Everywhere” Trinculo responded, “Oh, dear Sir, aren’t you aware?” Trinculo stepped back in, wrapping an arm around the gentleman's shoulder as he panned an open hand across the air. “Life itself is a grand showtime! I am its ringmaster, and all who live in it are my subjects, eternally bound to satisfy the audience!”
The gentleman squinted his eyes, “Audience?” He’d ask inquisitively. “Who is your audience? Who would get such sick kicks out of antagonizing, and forcefully conscripting others into their tomfoolery?”
Trinculo chuckled lowly. With his arm still wrapped around the man, he’d turn to face him, the long nose of his mask brushing up against the gentleman’s face. The mask was, for the most part, expressionless, the painted eyes merely being dots and the mouth a thin line – and yet at this moment it burst with emotion as Trinculo cheerily spoke, “Why, that’d be me of course!”