Hardwick Thistlebound’s family has been living in the village of Redstaff since the last regent passed away over half a century ago. His grandparents moved from their forest home to escape a terrible manticore rampage, and found the workers of the mining camp both warm and inviting. Once in camp, they found their generations of woodcarving and landscaping useful in the business of providing burial and undertaking, a practice long shared by their cousins in the Dark Lands. However, their newfound morbid profession was not always embraced by the younger members, and such was the case with Hardwick.
Hardwick loved making people laugh, but families in times of grieving have little place for folly or levity, so the young halfling would steal away the free hours in local taverns and pubs, performing acrobatic tricks and staging general buffoonery. His wily sense of humor and razor-sharp wit won him acclaim and even coin in some of his frequented establishments. In time, his father began to learn of his side activities through gossip in the local community. Yew Thistlebound was a far more stern, somber man with no regard for his son making a fool of the family name. The senior Thistlebound had always commanded respect from his peers and total submission from his children, and his totalitarian views would not allow for Hardwick to engage in the family business by day and lead others in drunken revelry by night, so he gave the young lad a choice: straighten up and act respectable, or leave the family home.
The greater fortune of Redstaff is that Hardwick remained when he could not be turned to the family business, so Hardwick began work in earnest as a jester, performing in the streets by day and the taverns by night. Soon, word had spread of the madcap halfling to nearby towns and villages. Thereafter, any time he entered a room, the crowd would inevitably begin hounding him for more jokes and pratfalls, of which he had aplenty. Now he makes a handsome living traveling from tavern to tavern as the Halfling Jester, doing what he loves for the people who love him for doing it.