Barnaby was a man who did nothing but read. It was his life, his blood, his bread, and his butter. As a scholar who aspired, like many other scholars, to live in the kings' court, he often learned the most charming of quotes and honed his wit against his peers. Just like many other scholars he was very poor. He lived in a boarding house not far from the palace that was almost falling apart. His room mates were fellow aspiring court advisors. Although he was poor and lived among his competition day after day, he knew that one day he would rise above them. Why, just the other day the King's mistress had giggled at one of his puns. That was definitely promise, if you asked him.
It was another day just like any other but a messenger in the court's royal livery of forest green and silver came knocking on his door. Barnaby's heart beat in his chest as the small boy handed him a rolled piece of parchment and then ran off down the hall. And oh, how those other charlatans glared! How they wished it had been them being delivered a letter from the court! Not wanting to share this glorious moment with anyone, Barnaby stowed the unopened letter deep in the folds of his black scholar's robes, grabbed the unknown bard's book of poems, and then ran from the boarding house. When he was a safe distance away, he opened the parchment and read.
Greetings young scholar,
It has come to our attention that you are of exceptional wit. I know that it is the talk of the slums now, but my daughter has gone missing. The smartest of men have been put to finding her and who suceeded? A apprentince. This had led me to believe that those who lack the experience of my peers, but equal, nay surpass them in talent are the best course for returning Princess Irina back to the palace in one piece. This is where you come in, young man. I am in need of a scholar who knows the old ways and languages, and is not entirely human. With your half-elven heritage, I know that you are more than capable for this endeavor. I eagerly await your reply at the palace within a fortnight, young man.
King Caecilus III
Well. This was new. With the foolhardy energy of the youth, Barnaby turned his attention to the palace and all but ran there, stick legs churning as he ran for the first time. His mind full of glory and the prestige that would surely come if he succeeded.