Trudool is always encased in his gaudy gold ‘‘air breathing’’ suit that prevents him from dying whenever he leaves his aquatic environment. Though designed as a functional tool,it is floridly decorated with carvings depicting various sea-monsters,a touch of vanity that soothes the ego of his rather demanding alternate personality.
A large creature with eight tentacles,Trudool looks very much like an octopus,apart from the fact that he would be truly large for one,measuring as he does a total of eight feet from the top of his enormous head to the tips of his slender appendages as well as the fact that he possesses eight eyes mounted to stalks emerging from his body. He is usually the color of deep purple when still in a sane frame of mind. But whenever one of his frequent personality changes occurs,he turns a shade of bright scarlet and begins to enthusiastically
bark orders via his ‘‘speaker machine’‘,a quaint device that enables him to make sounds that we humans would recognize as speech,albeit in such a comical high pitched falsetto that is is hard not to giggle when he assumes the mantle of reckless explorer.
Unbelievable as it may sound,Trudool is actually a native of Tarrod,that crazy submerged land ruled by the bloodthirsty eel-men known as the Eshal and their equally vicious foes. Homicidal insanity is generally prevalent in that amphibian dominated nightmare,but quite fortunately for Trudool’s people who wanted no part of the obsession on the part of their neighbors to kill just about anything,they were able to conceal themselves from the eyes of the rest of Tarrod by dwelling at the absolute bottom-most depths of Tarrod’s formerly mer-folk ruled lagoons and guarding them vigilantly with the aid of their huge,menacing golem constructs that would shred to bits anything that accidently or deliberately strayed into Usholal country,be it a big dumb predatory fish like the Dunkleoutous or a party of Eshal hunters that had decided to look for game in previously unexplored places.
Unfortunately, The Usholal at some obscure point in their distant history,decided to take personal security a little too far and came to the conclusion that the only sure way to spare themselves the chronically short life-spans which plagued the other races of Tarrod,was to lock their doors and conduct all the duties and pleasures of life through the Lagarshuu.
Young Trudool was no different from this standard Usholal mould. Initially that is.
Spawned among the comforts of a house specially built for him with the plentiful resources of both absentee parents and lacking a name in the Usholal tradition , the as of yet nameless being that would someday be known as Trudool, gradually learned to master the use of the great shaper of society that was the Lagarshuu and quickly begun to debate through it with other Usholal over the best ways of contributing to Usholal society and in doing so,ensure themselves a place in the great nexus of the Lagarshuu, that living consciousness of the entire species which held a special place of honor for those who had assisted greatly in leading their race down the path of progress as a whole. Lively and frequent were their passionate conversations about the feasibility of advanced surgery to rescue the sagging skin of some elders and political forums to better coordinate individual decisions as as to avoid the (virtual) friction that sometimes arose whenever a careless member of society angered his neighbors by negligently plarking his huge landscaping crab golem smack in front of the entrance leading to his neighbors' little home.
These activities were exactly the kind of thing that an Usholal in a healthy frame of mind would jump into,and for five comfortable years of existence following his entry into adulthood,Trudool eagerly pursued his universal dream of making contributions to his people that would matter very significantly in the after-life when he would be one with the Lagarshuu .
Then,suddenly, it all came to a shuddering halt. With no prior notice whatsoever,Trudool simply vanished from the great web of united minds,no longer ‘‘showing up’’ for his lengthy conferences with his peers on ‘‘advanced development’‘. At first they weren’t too unsettled by this mysterious absence from routine,assuming that he had decided to immerse himself in the invention of some unique and wondrous new creation that would propel their civilization into some enlightened new era of progress,a pastime that almost every Usholal was wont to do, albeit without the prolonged level of isolation that Trudool had apparently imposed on himself . But as his prolonged absence stretched into months,they begun to become concerned for his safety. Even more ominously,the guardian golems of his neighbors had reported seeing a mysterious member of the race of their creator’s go skulking up to the upper layers of water where the domain of the Usholal ended and the rest of Tarrod begun. When word of these strange going on’s reached them on the Lagarshuu,his friends begun to wander darkly if the two events were somehow linked.
In fact,they were. About a year back,strange things had begun to happen to Trudool. From time to time,he’d find himself in places where he’d never have dared to wander into(meaning the wide open expanse of ocean outside his home)and doing things that no sane person would ever do. (Like straying beyond the boundaries of the ‘‘safe’’ zone his shark golem watched vigilantly.) Terrified beyond measure by these bizarre incidents,he’d shoot off back to his home and throw some more locks on the little hatch leading out and feverishly convinced himself that this would soon end.
It didn’t. As the month progressed,his unexplainable locational shifts grew ever more and more common,until there would be some days when he didn’t even know where he would be spending most of it
Finally,a time dawned when his friends had come to the conclusion that something was seriously wrong with their friend. Disregarding the neat little norms that usually govern every action of an Usholal,they ordered their golems to go forth to Trudool’s home and check on him to find out what exactly was going on.
Upon arriving at their destination,a crab golem rapped smartly on the little metal hatch of Trudool’s home. After waiting for a response that never came,it proceeded to promptly rip off the hatch like it had been instructed to and peered inside with its special probe. The home was empty. And from the look of it,had been that way for quite some time now. The myriad technological devices and inventions that usually clutter most Usholal homes,were all but gone. Trudool had departed the safety of the Usholal domain to brave the goodness-knows-what perils of the rest of Tarrod. In doing so, he had saved his own people the task of having to exile one who clearly mentally diseased like him.
A week after this shocking discovery was made,the inhabitants of Tarod found themselves terrorized by a giant shark easily the size of a large Uluun. Huge it was,and endowed with a strange,shiny hide that was so powerful,any missile hurled at it merely bouned off,much to the intense terror of their wielders. But it scarcely seemed to notice the puny creatures that scattered before it and chose to make its peaceful up past the waters of Tarrod to the mouth of the great channel beyond which the vast open sea awaited it…
As the morning of the next day dawned,the inhabitants of the little costal village of Faflam were horrified to see a giant shark fin sticking out of the sea,approach a cluster of small fishing boats casting their nets wide for fish. Frightening beyond imagination to behold,it was vast,big as one of the very boats it no doubt intended to swallow whole. No ordinary shark this,for what shark could ever hope to attain that gruesomely large size? Nay,this was some new and hitherto previously unknown horror spawned by the oceans of Acqua.
But today,Jove be praised,there would be no gruesome slaughter in the waters of the sea. Camped in the village,were the Admiral Harold and a small force of DeMadden Company marines sent to escort him on his voyage to the Fire Peak Isles,a routine trip made to collect the annual tribute owed to them by the people of those trading islands. He had come here the previous day with his small flotilla of warships to stay here for the night and replenish his provisions before resuming the long sea journey. And now,just as he was beginning to stir from his slumber,disturbed by the pandemonium raging outside on the surf,the elderly head-man of the village burst into the little hut where he had been lodged,and without any preamble,launched himself into a frantic appeal for help for salvation from the horror that lurked in the ocean. A huge sea monster had come,he hurriedly explained,and the villagers needed the assistance of his Lordship’s soldiers if they were to survive the ravages of the loathsome brute. At these desperate words,the Admiral at once hastened into action and rushed to meet up with his commanding officers ,wasting no time in informing them of the sudden menace that had taken the village completely by storm. A sea monster was heading straight towards the village and it was their duty to put it down before it could inflict any serious harm. And put it down they would. He had absolute confidence in the skill of his men to destroy the leviathan. They were seasoned veterans,having faced their fair share of the dangerous beasties that haunted the oceans of Acqua,on previous voyages and had fended off Shura attempts to wrack their ship as well as the occasional Kraken foolish enough to attack them. No,they feared nothing. Before the hour was done,the monster would be dead.
Fifteen minutes later,the Admiral’s fleet of fifteen war ship sailed towards the gargantuan black fin that protuded above the water line,and proceeded to completely encircle it. Then on an order from the Admiral,they opened fire with their massive guns ,as one raining down killing strikes on the hulking frame of the beast. Only to have their mouths drop open in a mixtures of stunning amazement and appalled fascination as the bolts bounced off the monster with a resounding hollow clang. For the first time,in his entire career,Admiral Harold felt the jaws of fear close about his heart. Whatever this monster was,it was no simple beast of flesh and blood. Only Jove alone could stop a creature that repelled deadly missiles with such ease and without taking nary a scratch in the process at that.
But even he was not prepared for what happened next. The great fin suddenly split asunder with a seamless move that strongly suggested an utter lack of muscle and sinews of any kind. And from the gaping base of the now laid-open fin,crawled forth a bizarre eight limbed creature wholly draped in strange,shimmering gold armor that nevertheless seemed as supple as a second skin on the creature.
‘‘Greetings mysterious inhabitants of this part of the world! I,the fearless explorer Barack have come to discover and document everything there is to know about your wondrous seas and oceans!’’ it called out in a high little squeak highly reminiscent of a little child. Quite funny to listen to,really. But humor was the furthest thing on the minds Admiral Harold and his men as they found themselves confronting this strange thing. However, as this strange stand-off stretched,the fear of the unknown gradually begun to recede from his mind,replaced with keen hope for turning this most exotic encounter into a golden opportunity for the Company to thrive. The creature was by its own admission,friendly,and if he played his cards right,there was something he might be able to get from ‘‘Barack’‘.
Disregarding the fearful cries of his sea men for caution,he ordered a boat to be prepared for him. Once this was done for him by an astonished crew man unable to help but marvel at the Admiral’s misplaced courage in going alone to meet this potentially lethal creature,he rowed out to meet it.
Upon reaching the spot of ocean where the creature lounged,he held out his hands to indicate that he meant it no harm. Then,wasting no time,he immediately made his proposition. ‘‘Greetings,oh noble explorer from beyond our shores. Would you care to serve my masters as a scout who fears not to tread where they send him?’‘. The response that followed quickly,left him greatly satisfied. ‘‘Help your masters discover the darkest,most fearsome corners of your beautiful oceans that teem with such interesting and unique life? Of course. When do I begin?’‘.
Delighted,the Admiral turned around to assign some new orders to his subordinates. He would no longer be leading the tribute voyage to the Fire Peak Isles. Instead,Captain Maddock of the Ocean Dragon would serve in his stead so that the Admiral would be able to return immediately to Banhosea with explorer Barack.
And so begun their journey to Banhosea where Barack would soon be feted in front of his fellow Admirals and the Shogun who presided over them all. And for three entire weeks,the giant submerged shark craft travelled in the wake of the Admiral’s vessel,evoking panic and awe wherever it passed by. At last,in the month of October,they arrived at the mansion of the Admirals Harold.
Determined to do his best to make his alien guest feel at home,Harold had his servants drain his small artificial lake and pump it full of salt water,allowing Barack to spend the night there comfortably. This done,the Admiral strode off to his quarters,eagerly looking forward to the amazed expression on the faces of the other Admirals that would quickly materialize,when he introduced the strange eight-limbed explorer and his wondrous submerged craft to them.
The following morning,the peacefulness of the residence was abruptly shattered by a frantic scream issuing forth from the lake. Afraid for the safety of Barack,Harold and his men dashed towards the shore of the lake where the bizarre creature could be seen thrashing the surface of the water hysterically with his tentacles. Combined with the almost unintelligible gibberish the creature kept wailing in a most agitated manner,it was a most disconcerting sight indeed.
Harold was no fool. He recognized immediately that his guest was afflicted with some illness and called on his physician to try and diagnose it.
Trudool might well have continued to scream for the next few hours without ceasing,so horror-struck was he at awakening to find himself in this alien prison. But even in the grip of hysteria,he did not fail to notice the wizened thing that glided on some surface craft to where he struggled with this terrifying new reality. Speaking soothingly,it begun explain to him that he had come with their master the previous day,claiming to be an explorer by the name of Barack. But now it appeared as if he had no knowledge at all as to why he had come here in the first place,which strongly suggested to its mind that Barack or whatever his real name was,suffered from a mental illness that caused him to split into two distinct individuals with neither being aware of the existence and actions of the other. It was a rare condition among its own people,the humans,but no less dramatic for that. And sadly,there was no known cure for it.
Crushed by this sudden revelation about a part of him that he had never known existed,Trudool begun to forlornly ponder his limited options.
It did not take him long to come to the conclusion that he had little choice but to stay among these strange creatures and fulfill the agreement that ‘‘he’’ had made with them. What else could he do? There was no hope of his returning back to his own people. Trudool’s sudden departure would have marked him as a deranged individual among his own people,one’s whose abandonment of the sane need for self-preservation hinted at his insanity. He would be an outcaste forever among them,shunned by all for his defective psyche. Exile would almost certainly follow. The shame of such a fate would be worse than death. No,return he could not.
Ever since,Trudool has been serving as a diligent scout for the Company,zealously ranging with his crew into unchartered waters in his shark golem,or rather his evil twin ‘‘Barack’’ has. The real Trudool,the unhappy victim of his own insanity, simply hopes that he might be able to find a cure which will rid him of the curse afflicting him some day. For their part, his human colleagues, much bemused by his mental illness, have dubbed him ''Trudool'' which means ''Crazy fool''.
''Barack is actually the name of a famed warrior and explorer from one of the long dead civilizations that the Usholal are so fond of researching. In supreme gesture of irony, the alter ego of Trudool decided to adopt the name as his own.