|“||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 was one of the passengers 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 Phil until early 2002. In August of the same year, he and three other Advena 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."
Elmer sheepishly says that "it's 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 by those who don't know him all that well. However, those who talk to him for at least a little while usually end up feeling on some level that he is not what he seems.
He is always smiling, and his ultimate goal is to make everybody in the world happy (smile) -- not for their 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. According to Elmer, he does not know "much about the emotion you call happiness," nor does he even know if his smiles are even real. He thinks that the reason he wants others to smile and be happy is because eventually he might be able to believe that his own smiles are genuine.
In other words, Elmer does not care about the methods he uses to make a person smile, nor does he actually care about the people themselves. For example, if a person tells him that committing suicide will make him or her happy, Elmer will encourage them to do just that (unless their death would be a major inconvenience for others). It does not matter to him if someone is a serial killer or a saint: he'd want them both to smile (Elmer has suggested that thugs should smile while they are beating up someone else, because they should at least enjoy themselves).
One aspect of his character that frightens those around him is how nothing affects him. Insults, countless deaths (his, and the deaths of others), injury upon injury - no matter what torture he is put through - he emerges completely unchanged and emotionally unscathed. He is perfectly willing to subject himself to physical pain, and/or to temporarily kill himself if it will make someone else smile. He will put himself between someone and their attacker or impending injury or death if he thinks it will prove beneficial to him.
It is worth pointing out that while Elmer is an entirely selfish man (all his actions are selfish) - but in the process of pursuing his own selfish pleasures he de-prioritizes himself. He acknowledges that he finds juries and certain deaths painful, but he is perfectly willing to go through with them (to secondorize his physical well-being) for the sake of other's smiles.
Other characters also sometimes mischaracterize Elmer as an idiot, or fool - while Elmer was a bit naïve as a boy (he thought he make the entire world happy by transmuting enough gold for everyone) - he was and is far from unintelligent. He spent much of his time gathering information and forging connections when he lived in Lotto Valentino, and is demonstrably clever and sly when the occasion arises (though not all the time, as seen when he attempts to impersonate The Mask Maker, aka Monica).
Elmer is born into a religious cult around the year 1690. He is born solely to become a living sacrifice for the cult, which believes that the chosen child will shoulder unto him the sins and misfortunes of the world. And so, Elmer is tortured in the name of love, enduring the pain of the cult and the world so that they would not. He is subjected to this torture for ten years. The cult intends that his eventual sacrifice will include his lower body boiled, his upper body burned, and his neck twisted.
When his sacrificial day comes, Elmer is saved only moments before the "blade of sublimation" falls by the Church, which had sent out inquisitors to seek out and destroy cult behavior. And so, "the boy who had been captured by heretics and doomed to death is raised up as the boy who had been saved by God." The church blesses him and calls 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. Elmer asks Esperanza, "what can we do to make everyone in the world happy?" The two strike up an acquaintance. When Elmer is almost or around fifteen years of age, he announced that he intends to study alchemy and loses favor with the church as a result. Why does he want to study alchemy? So that he can create gold and end all the poverty in the world, thus spreading universal happiness.
And so, Elmer travels to Lotto Valentino and arrives in the city in 1705.
(Full chronology section under construction)
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 normal, smiling and laughing while Maiza was simultaneously goring his innards. 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.