Pronunciation: SAM - b'kuss
Place of Origin: Salamandastron
Appearance: A still-handsome middle-aged hare, average height and build. Fur is grey-brown, paler grey below. Eartips and paws are dark brown and has one eye. The other eye is missing; when he is not performing, it is covered by a black cloth eyepatch, but when performing, he puts a shining violet jewel in as a sort of "glass eye". Buck teeth are very large and prominent, even for a hare. Has longer fur forming a sort of small beard on his chin, not unlike that of a goat. Whiskers are white and are waxed into an elaborately curled mustachios. When performing, wears an ornate red turban, with a huge white heron feather held in place by several amethysts and white quartz in the front. Also wears a flowing black and silver swirl-patterned robe, which appears to be made entirely of mica sequins; the hem and edges of this are trimmed with similar material, which is purple. The robe conceals his footpaws entirely when he stands still. The belt of the rope is a red sash, with an ornate amythyst buckle. When not performing, sheds the robe and turban to reveal a simple black tunic with a silver-buckled black leather belt about it. Weilds a long dirk, usually hidden under his robe.
Personality: Very sprightly, excitable, and theatrical. Is fairly calm and reasonable when not rehearsing or performing; when rehearsing or performing, becomes almost maniac, constantly encouraging his creatures to better efforts and refusing to pay attention to anything not circus-related. Is suprisingly humble and fatherly and can show great caring when the need arises; is more concerned about if his band is happy and enjoying themselves than if the performance goes well. Has a love of the flamboyant and shows it in his dress style. Is a natural-born leader and a capable organizer.
Sambucus was the father of Gibbosa Dunworthy and Withe Dunworthy. He was, unusually enough, born with only one eye. He was the son of a Long Patrol Colonel and his wife, and spent his childhood in Salamandastron during the rein of the Badger Lord Gorath. He had a knack for making friends and keeping others happy - as he matured, it became apparent Sambucus would always be the ringleader of any group he joined. However, though he was trained in weaponry and could fight as well as any young patroller, it was equally apparent that he was not really cut out for the regimental life and had trouble following the simplist orders. This became even more pronounced when Sambucus' new wife died suddenly of illness, leaving him with two young daughters to care for.
Finally, Lord Gorath took pity on the hare, and offered him and his family a chance to start a new life elsewhere. Sambucus accepted the offer; he and his now dibbun-aged daughters left the mountain later that same night. Not having any real destination, they wandered about, trying to pick somepace to settle, entertaining beasts with songs and jokes (and later dancing and acrobatics when the two daughters grew older) for food. Along the way, they adopted a pair of adolescent badgers into their little family, and taught them some tricks of the performing trade as they grew older. During this time, he went by the name of "Meliton the Magician", save in areas where creatures knew him personally.
When a young mouse named Taodar asked if he could join Sambucus' "performing troupe", the hare suddenly realized that this was indeed where his true calling was. He went back to using his first name, and, gathering together otherbeasts who were mistfits or had an inclination to be traveling performers, he and his daughters formed a massive performing troupe which was named Sambucus' Simply Spiffin' Circus by one of the hare's daughters in his honor. Sambucus also unofficially "adopted" four more orphaned or abandoned young ones - the hamsters Dellmar and Marduke, and the otters Pearl and Yushania - who all grew up to become part of the show. The troupe wandered about for many seasons, gathering new performers and putting on more and more spectacular shows as it went.
An attack by vermin on one of their audiences during a performance caused several circus members to be slain, including one of the star acrobats. However, Sambucus' leadership skills once again came to the fore; he was able to rally his creatures into action and drive back the vermin, later picking up the pieces of his circus to start from scratch once more. Within a season, the troupe was restored to its former glory; it toured for almost thirty seasons, until Sambucus' own death from old age finally dissolved it. A monument to his memory was added to his former chambers in Salamandastron; it was a small stone bust figurine, with the gemstone that was Sambucus' "glass eye" embedded in it in the proper place.