|“||Yes... I'd sell the souls of all humanity to the devil if I thought it'd get us a happy ending.||”|
Elmer C. Albatross (エルマー・C・アルバトロス, Erumā C Arubatorosu) is a man who wishes to make people smile for his own benefit rather than theirs. He is a Mask Maker who became a complete immortal aboard the Advena Avis in 1711.
Elmer is a survivor of torture that he endured for the first ten years of his life at the hands of a fanatical religious cult. The modern day cult SAMPLE is a descendant of said cult.
He is one of the passengers who travels aboard the Flying Pussyfoot in 1931.
In 1998, Elmer's search for Szilard Quates brings him to a strange village in a certain European country, where he takes up residence in its castle and looks after Fil until early 2002. In August of the same year, he and three other Advena Avis immortals board the cruise liner Exit in Japan upon Huey's request, and encounter both SAMPLE and the modern day incarnation of the Mask Makers during the journey.
Elmer is often described as an average looking person, neither particularly handsome nor ugly. He is usually depicted smiling with his eyes closed. In 1705, Narita notes that his blond hair and blue eyes give him "an overall Northern European look."
In 1705, when Elmer removes his soaking wet shirt, Huey and Monica are shocked to see that "there were countless scars, not just upon his back, but stretching out all over his body, normally hidden by his clothing [...] they weren't just knife wounds, either--there were marks of skin having been picked open. There was a gigantic burn over his upper back that looked like it covered over countless more injuries."
According to Elmer, the scars are worse in the front. The scars Elmer carries are from the abuse Elmer suffered at the hands of the cult that raised him.
When one drinks the immortality elixir, they essentially are preserving the state their body is in at the time of consumption. Thus, it's plausible to assume that Elmer still has the same scars hundreds of years later.
Elmer can come across as cheerful, eccentric, and even kind to those who know him only in passing. However, those who talk to him for at least a little while usually recognize that on some level, he is not what he seems.
Elmer is a perpetual smiler whose ultimate goal is to make everybody in the world happy – not for others' benefit, but for his. He is the first to admit that his motivations are entirely selfish. and admits that he would "resort to treachery" to make someone laugh. In order to understand Elmer, one must understand that the years of torture that he endured stripped him of his emotions, leaving him an empty man. His smiles are empty as he is, and for all his laughter and cheer, he does not truly know what happiness feels like. By making others smile and experience happiness, Elmer thinks that someday he may be able to believe that his own smiles are genuine. As a result of his extensive ongoing study of others' smiles, Elmer is a master at discerning real smiles from fake smiles.
Elmer does not care about the methods he uses to make a person smile, nor does he actually care about the people themselves. For instance, if a person tells him that committing suicide will make him or her happy, Elmer will encourage them to do just that as long as their death will not be a major inconvenience or tragedy for others. It does not matter to him if someone is a serial killer or a saint: he would want both to smile equally. He has even suggested that one should smile while one is assaulting one's victim if one is truly enjoying the experience. His concern doesn't extend to people who have died, as they don't smile or feel any other emotion and thus are of no interest to him.
One aspect of his character that frightens those around him is how nothing affects him. Insults, deaths (both his and others), injury upon injury – no matter what torture he is put through – he emerges completely unchanged and emotionally unscathed from experiences that would traumatize others. He is perfectly willing to subject himself to physical pain, and to temporarily kill himself for the sake of his goals. He will put himself between someone and their attacker or impending injury or death if he thinks it will prove beneficial to him. In other words, Elmer is a purely selfish man but de-prioritizes himself in the process of pursuing his own selfish pleasures.
It is not uncommon for some to mischaracterize Elmer as a fool upon meeting him, but while Elmer possessed a certain naïveness in his youth he is altogether a clever man. His talent and drive for collecting and synthesizing information makes him one of the most influential figures of the tumultuous events of 1705, and his remarkably ability to detect behavioral changes in others has proved invaluable to such ends. Still, Elmer admittedly can be somewhat thoughtless without regard to situational consequences.
(Full chronology section under construction)
Elmer is born into a religious cult around the year 1690 for the sole purpose of becoming a living sacrifice, as the cult a chosen child will shoulder unto him the sins and misfortunes of the world. He is thus tortured in the name of love for the next ten years, enduring the pain of the cult and the world so that they will not. The cult intends for his eventual sacrifice to involve boiling his lower body, burning his upper body, and twisting his neck.
When his sacrificial day comes on his tenth birthday in 1700, Elmer is rescued mere moments before the "blade of sublimation" reaches him by the Church, which had ordered its inquisitors to seek out and destroy cult behavior. The Church proceeds to exalt Elmer as a boy who had been saved by God, blessing him and calling him a miracle child. As a result, Elmer concludes that God does not exist.
He stays with the church for the next five years on the Spanish mainland. At one point, the Count Esperanza C. Boroñal pays the church a visit, and upon meeting Elmer debates the question of how one can make everyone in the world happy. The two strike up an acquaintance.
Elmer is approximately fifteen years of age when he first takes an interest in alchemy as a means of achieving universal happiness, which in his mind might be achieved by transmuting enough gold to end world poverty. His growing interest leads him to formally announce his intention to study alchemy, and he loses his favor with the church as a consequence.
Arrangements are made for Elmer to stay at Esperanza's mansion in the port city Lotto Valentino; three weeks later, Elmer arrives in Lotto Valentino via Naples in 1705, making it to the city's main marketplace by sunset. He finds the marketplace in chaos, with produce scattered everywhere and tents ripped clean through, and wonders what could have caused such destruction as he maneuvers through the debris. Just as he is considering pitching in with the clean-up efforts, he notices a weary-looking teenaged girl sitting alone in front of a storehouse. He beelines for the girl, Niki, with the sole intention of seeing her smile.
Elmer asks if she is all right upon reaching her, explaining that he had noticed her deathly countenance and thought that she ought to smile instead. Niki rebuffs his friendly advances, warning that no good will come of associating with her, and Elmer eventually concludes that his presence is only causing her annoyance rather than happiness. He asks if she will at least give him directions to a house, but is cut off when a man grabs him by his collar and shoves him to the side.
Five young men in total close around the girl and ask her what happened to the "brats" from before. Niki replies that they were arrested by the City Police, and the man with swollen eyes grabs her and reminds her that her job is to sell "it." Elmer observes the men verbally abusing Niki for a short while before intervening, but his odd remarks only serve to antagonize the men. The swollen-eyed man eventually punches Elmer into a pile of empty crates, but Elmer, unfazed, tells the man that he should smile when he strikes another person so that it will be obvious he is enjoying himself.
The men, now thoroughly unsettled by Elmer's attitude, respond by kicking Elmer over and over. Niki calls for them to stop, but is restrained by her master, a bald-headed man. Her master is promptly kicked in the head by Zank Rowan, and all eyes turn to Zank and his companion Denkurō Tōgō, both of whom are obvious foreigners. Zank, in fluent Italian, says he had felt compelled to intervene upon spotting the men's cowardly actions, and has a quick discussion with Denkurō in Japanese.
Denkurō proceeds to dispatch two of the delinquents without fuss, and the swollen-eyed man draws a knife against Zank. Zank prepares to draw his own sword, but stops at the sight of Aile approaching the scene. It becomes apparent that Aile is the delinquents' leader, but Aile stabs the swollen-eyed man's knife into the man's own palm and arranges a cease of hostilities with the foreigners rather than fighting them.
As the city police arrive and attempt to catch Zank and Denkurō, Elmer struggles to his feet with effort and is told by Niki to flee before the officers chase him as well. She adds that the delinquents – a group of aristocrats known as the "Rotten Eggs" – will not have to worry about arrest. The bald man shouts at Niki, and Elmer asks Niki if she is happy when the man hits her. When she confirms that she is not, Elmer grabs her by the hand and takes off running, reminding her that he needs her to direct him to a certain building.
It is nearly night when Elmer and Niki stop for a breather, having finally shaken off all their pursuers. Niki asks if Elmer considered that she will be beaten more severely by the men thanks to his actions, and Elmer asks if she wants to return to the men in the first place. She says that she does not, but that it does not matter since she will die soon at the hands of the Mask Maker. She also warns him not to involve himself with a city as dangerous as Lotto Valentino. At Elmer's confusion, Niki explains that anyone who sees the Mask Maker - a serial killer who has already killed twenty-seven people - will be killed by him shortly afterwards.
Elmer says that he had never heard of the Mask Maker, and Niki's face falls with the confirmation that the news of the Mask Maker has been confined to the city. She once again warns that it will be dangerous for Elmer to associate with a target of the Mask Maker, but Elmer shrugs this off and asks if she is afraid of death or has kith or kin who would be saddened by her death. She answers no to both, and Elmer expresses his happiness at the thought that Niki will be able to die happy.
Elmer suggests that Niki spend the night at his friend's house instead of returning to the bald man, indicating the house on his map. Niki is astonished that Elmer's friend is Count Esperanza, and leads Elmer to Esperanza's mansion without further trouble. Esperanza personally greets the two of them by the mansion's front entrance and invites them in for dinner, paying more attention to Niki despite Elmer being his pre-arranged guest.
The next day, Elmer arrives at the Third Library for his first day of alchemy lessons, only for Professor Renee Parmedes Branvillier to forget to let him into the classroom. Growing bored, Elmer exits the building and shimmies up a tree, whereupon he hangs upside-down from a branch outside a hallway's window. At some point he spies a black-haired teenager through the window and calls out to him. The two boys introduce themselves, and the teenager, Huey Laforet, asks if Elmer is the new student. Elmer's explanation as to how he ended up in the tree is censured when Huey rudely closes and bolts the window mid-conversation. Elmer waves at him, but Huey only turns and walks away.
Elmer descends the tree and wanders until he spots Huey guiding Zank and Denkurō to the Library's special archives, where Headmaster Dalton Strauss can typically be found. He follows them from a distance until they reach the archives, which Zank and Denkurō enter without Huey. Huey presses his ear to the wall to eavesdrop and Elmer strides forward to do the same, greeting Huey with his typical grin. Huey stifles his shock and demands an explanation; Elmer nonchalantly admits to tailing Huey before creeping over to one of the archives' windows to peek inside. So far he has overheard talk of drugs and counterfeit money, and through the window Elmer can spy white powder and a golden ornament in Dalton's grasp.
He can guess that the powder is a drug but not the ornament's meaning, and moves to enter the room and ask Dalton about it directly. Huey swiftly covers Elmer's mouth and drags him around the corner, right as Dalton opens the door to investigate the noise. Huey lectures Elmer on his idiocy once Dalton retreats, but Elmer is more preoccupied with the question of the drugs and the ornament. He hypothesizes that a large-scale organization is behind both objects and announces his attention to gather more information on them.
Huey asks that Elmer not drag him into his plotting, and with a fake smile apologizes for having locking the window in the hallway. Elmer responds that he will be happy as long as Huey starts smiling, casually condemning Huey's smile as false. Huey pauses mid-handshake, again taken aback.
Elmer returns to the classroom for the afternoon alchemy lessons, which Huey skips, and is quick to befriend most of his classmates. He even manages to redirect Renee back on topic every time she goes on a tangent. At some point, Elmer borrows one of Renee's books called De l'Infinito Universo et Mondi, a book by Giordano Bruno which hypothesizes that extraterrestrials may indeed exist.
That evening in the marketplace, Elmer comes across Huey and their mutual classmate Monica Campanella discussing Huey's hostile attitude towards Elmer. Elmer calls out to them and teasingly accuses Huey of being jealous: that Huey secretly likes Monica but is jealous that "Moni-Moni" is talking about Elmer instead. Huey snaps at him, but Elmer grasps Huey's hands in his and announces that the two of them will make a great team. Huey snatches his hands away and loudly rejects this supposition. This startles a beet-red Monica into gesturing wildly with her arms, causing Elmer to drop the book he had borrowed earlier that day.
Huey recognizes the book as with acute alarm and confiscates it, informing Elmer that the book has been banned by the clergy. Elmer does not share his concerns over what will happen should a clergyman see him in possession of such content, and responds to Huey's anxiety by reminding him that Lotto Valentino has practically no churches within its vicinity. Though Elmer is a newcomer, his extensive research on Lotto Valentino has already led him to judge the city as strange: not only does the church have little power, the city itself appears to be in a prosperous bubble compared to the rest of the region. However, Elmer observes that Lotto Valentino has too few smiles for a thriving city, and expresses his desire to know why.
Elmer leaves Huey and Monica alone in the market square and makes his way back to the Boroñal manor, where he finds Esperanza and several maids conversing in the dining room. Elmer and Esperanza chat about Esperanza's attitude toward women for a short while before Elmer abruptly changes the topic to the "alchemists' gold ornaments." Having caught Esperanza's attention, Elmer relates everything he overheard outside the archive while omitting Huey's involvement. Esperanza reveals that Dalton has already spoken to him about the issue, and confirms that the powder Elmer saw is, in fact, a drug.
The maids exit the room, leaving Elmer and Esperanza alone. Elmer inquires about the golden ornament, and with repressed rage, Esperanza reveals that the "gold" is nothing more than an imitation alloy currently infesting Lotto Valentino's streets, and that it is both the city's "foundation and disgrace." Furthermore, the commoners have been working to buy the city itself from the aristocrats with their counterfeit gold.
Elmer spends the next morning asking people in the marketplace about the Mask Maker before heading to the Third Library. Huey is again absent from lessons, supposedly due to a cold, and Elmer comments on Monica's unhappy appearance during class. Monica is standoffish, stiffening when Elmer correctly guesses that she is not only afraid he will steal Huey away from her, she is envious because Huey has displayed more real emotion with him than anyone else. Monica pummels Elmer's back in mortification, but he merely laughs and reassures her that Huey hates him. He then declares that she and Huey would be a wonderful couple.
Elmer, having bought Renee's assumption of Huey being sick, soon manages to persuade Monica that the two of them should pay their sick companion a personal visit. They reach the market square within half an hour, at which point Monica remembers that she does not actually know Huey's home address. Elmer assures her that he knows it thanks to Dalton; he then reveals that he asked Dalton and Renee for the addresses of all his classmates, including Monica, and even went so far as to scout the places he had difficulty finding. Monica asks him why he would do such a thing, and he replies that he thought it would be useful to know where everyone lives in case of an emergency.
Monica cautiously asks how much Dalton told Elmer about her and warns him not to pry into others' pasts. She assumes that Elmer would not want people to know that he is a "witch's son," but he is indifferent and promises that he will not go around talking about others' pasts so casually. A few nearby children start singing a song about the Mask Maker, prompting the pair's conversation to refocus on the serial killer as they walk together. Their conversation is interrupted when the bald man from the day prior to appear before them and demand to know what Elmer has done with Niki. Elmer's calls for calm go unheeded, but he is saved from being struck when Aile's timely arrival once again prevents confrontation.
Elmer recalls that Aile is the leader of the Rotten Eggs, and Aile says that he has heard Elmer has been looking into the Mask Maker and the drugs. Aile, realizing that Monica is unaware of the drug situation, censures himself and advises Elmer to stop prying into the city if he wants to live normally. Elmer says that he'll decide whether stop prying only after he learns more about the city's nature, at which Aile warns him that the City Police will not take kindly to such words. According to Aile, the City Police may claim to be on the aristocrats' side but are really on the side of the commoners. Elmer decides that Aile is a 'nice person'.
Afterward, Elmer leads Monica to the harbor area where Huey's storehouse is located. On the pier, Monica demands to know just what Aile meant about Elmer investigating the Mask Maker, and Elmer admits to having questioned people about the killer that morning. Monica grabs him by his collar and shakes him furiously, accusing him of being a nuisance and asking why he wants to know so much about everything in the first place. Elmer answers that he just wants to see people smile, and that he would not want to see people sad due to ignorance on his part. He apologizes for his lack of thought, remarking that his friend "Speran" constantly complains about his dense nature.
Huey emerges from the storehouse and asks what the two of them are doing. Monica panics at the thought of Huey seeing her so physical with another boy, and pushes Elmer away from her with such force that Elmer staggers off off the pier and into the water. Once Elmer is retrieved, Huey allows him and Monica into the storehouse so that Elmer can recover. Monica stammers out repeated apologies to Elmer, whose constant sneezes irritate Huey into suggesting that Elmer at least wring out his shirt. Elmer strips his shirt and wrings it, humming serenely until Huey quietly calls his name. It occurs to Elmer that the others can see the scars on his back, and he apologizes and hurriedly dons the shirt once more. As he does, he warns them to wait since his scars are worse in the front.
Elmer returns to the Boroñal manor that evening, sneezing all the while thanks to his newfound cold. He joins Esperanza and Niki for dinner and small talk before retiring to his room in the estate's guesthouse, where he stretches out on his bed and contemplates what to do the next morning. Since he already has a good guess as to where he should look into the drugs, he decides to talk to Esperanza about them when possible.
A piece of paper lands on Elmer's face as he is dozing off. On it is an order for Elmer to cease investigating the city, accompanied by the statement, "This pain is a warning." In the next moment, the Mask Maker leaps onto Elmer's bed and pierces his arm with a stiletto. Elmer ties his wound with red cloth to stem the bleeding.
Several hours later, Elmer dons a parchment paper imitation of the Mask Maker's mask and heads to the patisserie, Monica's place of residence. He clambers up to the window of Monica's second floor room and slips inside when Monica opens the window, sneezing all the while. Monica coldly recognizes him, and with her usual expression asks what happened to his arm as he removes his mask. Elmer wonders why she needs to ask such a question when she is the one who stabbed him in the first place.
Monica learns that Elmer obtained her address through Esperanza, not Dalton, and asks why Elmer came to her and not the police. Elmer ignores the fact that she has her stiletto pointed directly at his heart and replies that he wants to borrow one of her masks. If she gives him one of her masks, he will take the 'Mask Maker' name off her hands so that she can be free to date Huey. He explains that he became certain that Monica was the Mask Maker when he realized that Monica only ever smiled genuinely when with Huey, and had deduced that Monica had become the Mask Maker in order to help Huey's counterfeiting scheme.
With difficulty, Monica is forced to accept that Elmer has gone to such lengths all for the sake of seeing Monica and Huey become a couple. He suggests that he threaten Monica as the Mask Maker to both protect her identity and attract Huey's attention. Monica ends up giving him one of her masks, and agrees to feign fear the next day when she is with Huey.
Elmer is absent from classes that day, stealing Esperanza's three-shot matchlock gun in the meantime. That night finds the city in an uproar, with Police Chief Larolf Hancletia orchestrating a citizens' uprising against the aristocracy and city alchemists. Dressed as the Mask Maker, Elmer tails Larolf to the patisserie and waits until Larolf and his men hastily leave the building to investigate a ship (drug workshop) burning in the harbor. He then bursts into the patisserie, where Niki is in immediate physical danger from her bald-headed master. Elmer aims his pistol at the bald man, sneezing once.
The bald man is cowed into putting down his hammer and asking forgiveness, ignorant to Niki cutting herself free of the ropes binding her. She proceeds to smash a wooden chair onto the man's head, rendering him down for the count. With Niki rescued and tagging along, Elmer heads to the abandoned house that serves as Huey's secret hideout and ascends to its second floor. He finds Huey and Monica staring out at the chaotic streets and the burning ship, and has to call out twice to get Huey's attention. Huey whirls around to find Elmer in a black cloak, pistol in his right hand and white mask in his left.
Huey grabs Elmer by the collar and demands to know how he found the hideout. Elmer's answer is a blatant lie. Confused and overwhelmed, Huey harshly questions Elmer's identity and the knowledge he possesses, but Elmer's answers are once again obviously made up on the spot. Fed up, Huey snatches the pistol away from Elmer, aims it at his face, and coldly demands that Elmer tell the truth. Monica and Niki each cry out, and Niki moves to shield Elmer only to find that Monica has already done so.
Monica confesses that she told Elmer about Huey's hideout, ignoring Elmer's protests, and takes the white mask from Elmer. Holding the mask in front of her face, she greets Niki as the Mask Maker and says that it has "been a while," confessing to everything.
Huey asks how Monica could have told Elmer where the hideout was given that this is her first time at the hideout, and Monica admits that she has been watching Huey from afar for some time. Elmer takes advantage of Huey's internal upheaval and reclaims the pistol, telling Monica that there was no need for her to confess as much as she did. Monica simply smiles and announces that she will not give up the Mask Maker identity to him after all, unwilling to accept someone else's sacrifice for something like her loving Huey.
She ends up stammering and blushing once more over "loving Huey," inadvertently slipping out of her Mask Maker personality. Elmer glances out the window and sees a group of commoners armed with ordinary tools surrounding the burning ship in the harbor. Remarking that everyone is gathered in "just the right position," Elmer clutches the gun and declares that it is time to bring the carnival to an end. He hurries to the roof and fires the gun three times, giving Esperanza the 'proof' needed to confirm that the citizens are rioting. In the harbor, Esperanza orders his soldiers to round up the rebelling citizens and take them alive; Elmer rejoins Huey on the second floor in time to lean through the window and ask Esperanza if he wants his pistol back. Esperanza winces and checks for nearby onlookers before quietly telling Elmer to just keep it.
Elmer closes the window and asks Huey why he hid from the Count, but Huey is too busy dealing with the fact that Elmer is on casual terms with the city's governor. Elmer then asks Monica why she didn't greet the Count. Monica replies that as Esperanza's sister she is the only woman whom Esperanza hates, shocking Huey. Elmer is surprised that Huey did not know that the two are siblings, musing that the police were probably after Monica with the intention of using her against her brother. When Huey staggers, Elmer mildly points out that this situation proves why collecting information is crucial in the long run.
In the aftermath of the riot and Larolf's arrest, Niki confides to Elmer that she still believes that she has to die. Elmer says that he will not stop her as long as she can die with a smile like the one she is showing him now, opining that as long as Niki has the freedom of choice then it does not matter how she dies.
Several hours later, Elmer meets up with Huey, Monica, and Niki in the hideout's basement, which is filled with counterfeit gold. Elmer wonders if the people on the street will be all right after all the arrests, and Huey, outraged, asks how someone powerless like Elmer can even think of accomplishing his goals of peace and happiness. Elmer agrees that he both needs and wants power to accomplish his goals, and states that he has finally found that power in the form of the Mask Maker legend and Huey's substantial finances. He asks if Huey and Monica will let him use the systems they've forged for the sake of building the world even as they work to destroy it, reminding them that he will be wishing for their happiness all the while.
Huey asks why Elmer is vying for the happiness of the world when he ought to just seek out happiness for himself, but Elmer affirms that he is doing just that: he wants to see people sincerely smile out of pure selfishness. Huey eventually agrees to let Elmer attempt to use his power, as long as Elmer keeps the hideout and Huey's counterfeiting business a secret. Elmer cheers, victorious, and the Mask Maker and counterfeiting ring officially combine to become a single organization.
Several days later, with the city returned to normal, Huey, Elmer and Monica have resumed attending classes. Elmer elbows Huey and directs his attention to Monica, who has been rather obviously staring at Huey throughout Renee's lecture, and Monica reddens and buries her face in her arms. Elmer whispers to Huey that Monica's birthday is upcoming, and proceeds to ignore the lecture and write up a celebratory party plan on his parchment. Huey, upon noticing that Elmer has written down "Huey with a ribbon" as a possible present, stomps on Elmer's foot. Elmer topples backward with a crash, and his classmates laugh.
Huey ends his direct involvement with his counterfeiting operations, and the three spend the next few years furthering their alchemy studies at the Third Library in relative stability. At one point during 1707, Elmer, Monica, and Huey are exiting the library right when Aile (Maiza Avaro), Jean-Pierre Accardo, Begg Garrott, Czeslaw Meyer, and Lebreau Fermet Viralesque are about to enter it. Elmer calls out to Maiza upon spotting him, and Maiza remarks that Elmer's "creepy smile" has not changed a bit since they last time they saw each other. Elmer replies that Maiza himself should smile more often.
Several minutes later, the trio walk the streets and discuss why Maiza and the others were at the library. Huey asks if Elmer recognized the man with long bangs (Elmer doesn't), since the man looked surprised to see him (Huey) for a moment. Monica claps her hands and exclaims that the man must have been taken in by Huey's beauty, and the subject is quickly dropped.
(1709-1711 to be added).
(To be added.)
Sometime in the year 1991, Elmer visits Japan and accidentally reunites with Denkurō, who is working as a 'ninja' at Nikko Edo Village. Denkurō relates to Elmer all that he has gone through in the centuries since the Advena Avis.
Elmer's search for Szilard leads him to a European village on December 23, 1998, where according to rumor people with ties to Szilard are operating an alchemical facility in a castle. All the villagers hide in their houses and ignore his attempts at conversation except for a girl Fil, who struggles to understand his optimistic disposition, his fast speech, and references to Christmas. Elmer promises to not only teach her about Christmas but host a party for her so that she can smile.
In response to Elmer enquiring about an inn or another place where he can stay, Fil takes him to the cramped, decrepit shed where she and her various vessels live. Elmer sleeps there for the night and on Christmas Eve again tries to engage the villagers to no avail. Having no luck with the villagers, and having resolved to find the Fils a better home, Elmer discovers the supposedly haunted abandoned castle and cleans it up so that it is suitable for living. Not only that, he has the Fils assist him in decorating the castle for Christmas with twigs, rocks, and other natural resources.
The decorations are interpreted to be demonic by the villagers, who march to the castle with weapons on Christmas Day and order him to leave the village. Elmer shields the Fils and complains, causing the headman Dez Nibiru to strike him. Upon witnessing him regenerate, they are convinced that he is a monster and drive a stake through his heart. Once again, he regenerates.
For several days, Elmer and the villagers engage in a murderous cycle: the villagers murder him; he returns to the village to attempt diplomacy and is murdered again; thus the cycle continues. All the murder methods are varied, brutal, and painful, but do not deter him in the least. The cycle finally comes to an end when Elmer notices notices a serious wound on the first Fil's face, which she says was inflicted by Dez. Not pleased, Elmer uses some of his old alchemical tricks to threaten the villagers – and the villagers consequently assume he is an archfiend.
Elmer uses their impression of him to his advantage and subsequently occupies the castle without further obstruction. He asks the villagers for an annual sacrifice as a joke, and is surprised when they take him seriously and send a Fil vessel to the castle. Over the next three years, Elmer and his 'sacrifices' live together in the castle in relative peace, with Elmer teaching Fil about the outside world and making an effort to celebrate global holidays with her.
At some point during those three years, Elmer stows away in Bilt Quates' truck and infiltrates Bilt's alchemic laboratory, sharply modern in comparison to the anachronistic village. In the laboratory are multiple cultivation tanks, some of which are used to create new Fil vessels. Elmer's detailed account of village life and the abuse that Fil experiences causes Bilt so much guilt that he announces his intention to atone for his sins. Both Elmer and Bilt make it their goal to find a way to extend the lifespans of Fil's vessels, whose lifespans are so short as to be unsustainable outside the village.
Thinking that Maiza might possess the alchemic knowledge to complete their ongoing research, Elmer manages to get in touch with Victor Talbot from the village and asks Victor if he can put him in contact with Maiza. Victor replies that he will look into it through the local information broker.
(Rest of 2001-2002 to be added).
As a true immortal, the only way Elmer can die is if another complete immortal devours him. He can transfer information to other immortals with his right hand if need be.
Elmer is a keenly observant man, noticing even the smallest of details while able to pick up on potentially useful information. Elmer is most famous for being to tell if someone's smile is real or fake, and as an extension of that whether or not someone is lying (or how they're really feeling).
Elmer seems to have an extremely high tolerance for pain. He was able to endure his own stomach being slit and able to act normally, smiling and laughing while Maiza was simultaneously goring his innards. He was able to swallow a substantial quantity of gasoline, and regurgitate it when necessary. He doesn't like pain, but he is amazingly good at ignoring it.
"You just started forcing your smile." To Jean-Pierre Accardo
- Elmer is an atheist, or at least, he believes that "there is no such thing as God in this world." He came to that conclusion after he was rescued from the cult and subsequently heralded as a boy who had been saved by God.
- Both he and Huey experienced a life changing moment around the age of ten, and both were born to a 'witch.'
- Czes observes that Elmer likes to go to high places at night; a conclusion he reached after watching Elmer climb up to the crow's nest every night on the Advena Avis to look at the stars.
- This observation is probably accurate, since it was how Czes discovered Elmer sitting on the castle rooftop in 2001.