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Hugh "Ace" Baselard

Prettyboy Hero of Muspell

0 · 386 views · located in Muspell

a character in “New Exodia: A City Divided”, as played by Eskay

Description

Ace has worked hard for his title of the "Prettyboy Hero," so obviously he must always look the part! Standing tall and proud at 6'2, he always vies for the spotlight with his bright red tuxedo, shimmering blonde hair, and his signature crimson mask (cleverly called the "Masque de Arcana" to go along with his card motif.) Though Ace has seen more combat than any individual might dare hope, his complexion always seems to remain flawless, free from battle scars or blemishes. Ace is tall and slender, making him quite agile yet fragile all the same.

Personality

Ace's heroics in Muspell have both been a boon and a curse to his cause. Due to the image he must maintain, he is radically different as "Ace the Prettyboy" than he is as plain-old Hugh Baselard. When he is galavanting as Prettyboy Ace, he is flamboyant, a showoff, and overall very superhero-esque. Though his actions are noble and his intentions are benevolent enough, he always presents himself in an over-the-top manner, as he believes that the dreary Muspell needs a hero such as "Ace."

Behind the mask, however, lies a much different man. Hugh Baselard, having grown up dismally, knows only fear and sadness. Instead of turning to gangs and crime as his father and brothers did, Hugh instead lives a humble life in his family's old shack in the slums of Muspell. Using his network of connections gained by his heroics, he managed to smuggle his mother over to Nifl under the guise of a maid to a well-to-do family. Hugh is an inquisitive young man as well as an avid humanitarian, and seeks to learn all he can about life, especially meeting people. Though he is more than capable of handling himself as the Hero Ace, he actually functions better with a team of companions, so friends both on and off the battlefield are a most welcome commodity to Hugh.

Equipment

Equipment:
As a fighter, Ace rarely makes an appearance without his renowned deck of serrated tarot cards. A master illusionist, Ace also likes to keep a handy supply of smoke bombs, flash bangs, wire, etc. Always vieing for the center of attention, Ace also carries around his notorious crimson megaphone, always ready to make even more of a scene than the one his actions make.

As plain-'ol Hugh Baselard, however, he prefers a less flashy approach. His sword arm is nearly as good as his aim, making him just as handy close-quarters as he is with a projectile. Depending on the mission, he will either bring a sword or daggers, but he seldom leaves without his late instructors signature chain- it doubles as both a weapon and a tool. A master of using the terrain to his advantage, Hugh is also keen at improvising- using his very surroundings as weapons and tactical vantage points.

Abilities:
Deadeye: Though Hugh is no slouch with a sword, his true combat-related talent comes from his deadly accuracy. Hugh maintains a fantastic record of hitting targets from afar- his only disadvantage is the potential learning curve that comes with mastering a new weapon.

Team Synergy: Though his flamboyant alter-ego Ace seems to prefer solidarity, Hugh shines the most when he is working on a team. He is able to take orders as well as call the shots, filling any role the mission may require quite handily.

Networking: Living a double-life as a Muspellian citizen and local celebrity can get pretty complicated- naturally, Hugh needs good people on the outside to act as suppliers, backup, shelter, medical needs, consultation, all the works. Hugh is a fantastic humanitarian and master of communication, making him quite prone to not only making friends, but forging powerful alliances. He feels that diplomacy beats fighting any day.

Mind over Matter: Though Hugh isn't exactly a weakling, his lack of esoteric powers could be called a weakness when there are those lurking around the city with various magicks and inner abilities. To make up for this, Hugh has been trained to fight calm, cool, and analytical of his opponents moves. He is able to read and predict his opponents quicker and better than the average person.

Showmanship: Though life as Hugh Baselard isn't quite as glitzy, life as Ace the Hero is! Through his persona as Ace, Hugh has become quite proficient in the art of illusion, music, and deception (seen most readily by his ability to offer "fortune tellings." This is in quotes because 90% of this fortune telling is made up on the spot.) His theatrics have been known to entertain off the battlefield as well as fool foes on it.

History

I was always a small kid, even for being the youngest of the Baselard boys. Dad, Tony and Ross all left me and Mom to try and find some work. Here in Muspell, however, the only real ways to make money are to make it big in The Fights, or join a gang. I heard Ross made a name for himself in the ring, but he got so caught up with his identity as "Rocket Ross the Baselard," that he eventually drifted out of our lives. Dad and Tony never made the cut, so I assume they found a gang. That's only a rough speculation, as I haven't seen hide nor hair of them since then. For a while, it was just Mom and I, living as best we could in the slums of this godforsaken place.

That all changed quite rapidly just eleven years down the road. I was heading back home on a new route when I found myself smack in the middle of a turf war. I was pretty good about steering clear of trouble, so the chaotic bloodshed and screams left me pinned with fear. Almost got done in by one of the gangsters, but that's when Godric the Mask stepped in- the first vigilante of Muspell. He was hired to take out both gangs from the inside, but turned down the hefty paycheck for some kid he decided to rescue on the fly. I assumed that he was going to drop me off and be on his way, but astonishingly, he offered to help Mom and I out. In exchange for my "services," he offered to give us a share of all his reward money from the rest of his jobs.

Mask's kindness baffled me further, when I realized that my "services" simply involved being his apprentice- learning the ways of the mercenary. I studied with him for four years, learning the ins and outs of networking, espionage, combat, and protecting my identity. Come year five, his alcoholism got the best of him- liver quit on him right in the middle of a lesson. On his dying breath, I could've sworn I heard him tell me to "take his place." Naive fantasies? Hell if I know, but I do know that I was scared out of my mind.

Fast forward five years- I had made somewhat of a name for myself in the underground mercenary world. Mask had quite a following, so working my way up was proving to be harder than I imagined. It was around that time that some thugs had ransacked our house- tried to take advantage of our pitiable amount of possessions and my mother. Thankfully, Mask's training wasn't wasted, and I was able to make the thugs immediately regret that decision. Within the week, I made use of Mask's networking lessons and had Mom smuggled over Nifl-side. She works as a made for some company hot-shot. As long as she's safe, then my work is easier.

I'm not sure when it was that I realized that underground vigilante work just wasn't filling the void. Probably some kid's desolate face I saw after a job. I decided to go public...in a sense. With the help of a trusted consultant, we developed the hero "Ace," a flamboyant, prettyboy hero who only cares for the justice of Muspell. I hated the persona at first, but over time grew to enjoy being able to keep morale up with the citizens. Ace works alone, however, so I've still got my hand in the underground world as well. Whatever it takes to make this hell-hole just a little bit better...

So begins...

Hugh "Ace" Baselard's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adara Vitalos Character Portrait: Hugh "Ace" Baselard Character Portrait: Dante Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Eskay
Hugh scratched his dark brown hair as he entered the arena. His latest offer had just come from Waterson, one of his contacts, concerning the "eradication of one notorious gang 'Terror Engineers.' " Though he had handled cases as these in the past, getting inside the factions and taking the Engies out quietly was going to prove difficult on his own.

"Just my luck that Chum and Bramminond are out..." thought Hugh.

Hugh has always detested The Fights. Whether it be for the reason that it stole Ross away from his life or for the resentment of watching others stoop to killing themselves to obtain a living. However, desperate times called for desperate measures- the Engineers needed to be eradicated, and Hugh was running out of options for potential teammates before the op was to start. There were only two places to find desperate souls looking for work- the bar, or the Arena. Though he was no connisseur of the Fights per se, he keeps a solid record of some of the more renowned celebrities, and Adara Vitalos was a consistent winner. Since this was an impromptu visit, he wasn't quite sure if Adara was on the docket to fight, but if he could somehow catch her and persuade her to join in this op, it would make his job that much easier- and perhaps set her up to find a more "healthy" way of living.

Luckily for Hugh, as he entered the arena, who would be standing close by but the illustrious Adara Vitalos herself, accompanied by a shady man Hugh had never seen before. Making his way through the crowd, he finally stumbled upon Adara, making his presence known just loud enough to be heard over the crowd.

"Adara Vitalos, right? The name's Hugh Baselard. I know you're busy, so I'll cut to the chase- I have a business proposition for you. I think you'll find that it's tailored to your, erm, "talents" to a t."

As he extended a hand to shake Adaras, he took notice of her companion. He looked a little slender to be considered for this kind of work, but Hugh knew better than to let a first impression get the better of his judgement.

"I'm not sure how accustomed you are to getting your hands dirty, but I assume an acquaintance of Adara has to be able to hold his own as well. You're more than welcome to come along as well, Mr...?"

The setting changes from Muspell to New Exodia

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adara Vitalos Character Portrait: Hugh "Ace" Baselard Character Portrait: Dante Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Marlin
"Shit." Adara pointed at Dante. "That's two fights you've stolen from me tonight." Her fists tightened, and she had a strong urge to merely change the fight's participants. But the guy did just win her a huge payout. With a great effort, Adara pocketed her lighter. "You probably saved a couple lives though." She looked the stranger over. He was a small guy, but not without a certain charm.

"Food... okay. But your treat. To make it up to me." She glared, but there wasn't any real venom in it.

Before they could leave, another man approached. He was tall, well built, and unassuming. But his perfectly-styled blonde hair said he took a certain pride in his appearance. The polar opposite of Dante's careless good looks. I'm popular tonight, considering I didn't even knock anyone out.

"Adara Vitalos, right? The name's Hugh Baselard. I know you're busy, so I'll cut to the chase- I have a business proposition for you. I think you'll find that it's tailored to your, erm, "talents" to a t," the man said. This conversation was getting tedious already; Adara just wanted to hit something.

But. Baselard was offering a job ... and a job meant money. Can never have enough of that. She thought longingly of the punching bag back at her apartment, but it might be worth it to see what he had to say. He held out a hand for her to shake. Interesting. Not many people in Muspell bothered with niceties these days.

She gripped his hand, hating that she had to look up so far to meet Baselard's eyes. "I don't have the patience to stand around here any longer. Dante here just offered to treat me to dinner. I'm sure he won't mind one more." She eyed Dante, daring him to contradict her.

The setting changes from New Exodia to Muspell

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adara Vitalos Character Portrait: Hugh "Ace" Baselard Character Portrait: Dante Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Exodyus
She was certainly feisty, which was more of the reason she made it through Xion Core without much trouble -- skill was an excellent asset for her as well. Along with this ... charming personality. I was scolded, but with a boyishly cute and charismatic grin, she turned her attitude elsewhere before calming down some. She was attractive and this spit-fire spunk just was icing on the cake. I'd take a little pain with my pleasure, I smirked in thought.

She accepted to dinner and as they both made to move, some bombshell beauty showed up, except he was a fairy. His hair was way too perfectly placed and that strong jaw probably tackled the ladies emotional walls into submission. He was a bit charming, but he had a Keith-like flare about him that I shrugged off without much concern. He spoke of work to the woman and she looked to anger, but perked at the sound of financial motivation. So, she's a merc. Makes sense...

I stretched and shrugged. My tail wrapped about my waist like a belt, tucked beneath the ebony jacket and out of sight before giving a lithe, careless nod of approval. "I just made fourteen grand, along with Ms. Vitalos, here. So I'll be more than happy to spring for dinner for both of you. I made half the take and those who voted on me made the same. If one person bet on me, they'd make what I did. An extra five hundred was cut off the top for the set-up of each fight. They made a killing most nights. Know any good joints around here to eat at?" I asked in a random, aimless fashion that seemed to fit my personality well - at least for this withdrawn, rogue-sort that I was pretending to be. Besides, I never ate in a dump like Muspell, unless I prepared the food myself. I didn't want to catch anything nasty. You know -- like AIDS. The Clap. Or Gonnhaherpasyphilitis. Muspell wasn't exactly clean or known for their expertise in hygiene or cleanliness...

Stuffing my hands into bare pockets, I turned to see the other crowds slowly dissipating for the night and both the fights ending. A group of suits stood in the background, lingering in the darkness beyond the dense mob that had slowly began filtering out and I lofted a brow and turned by back toward them, whispering softly, "Behind me. Six o'clock. Friends of yours?" Dark chocolate eyes were focused on Adara's face, knowing that she could look over my shoulder and spy what I'd glimpsed and then with a bizarre change of attitude, I burst into laughter and lifted my hands, taking her and Hugh by the shoulder and spinning them toward the crowd. We'd be lost in them for sure and none would be the wiser.

Besides, dinner was on me and my acting career was just getting started!

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adara Vitalos Character Portrait: Hugh "Ace" Baselard Character Portrait: Dante Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Eskay
Matching Adara's grip, Hugh enthusiastically returned the handshake, pleased to have piqued her interest. Perhaps his trip to the accursed Arena had proved fruitful after all! In addition to obtaining two potential colleagues for this significan op, he was getting treated to a free meal! Though he had mixed feelings about taking advantage of someone's blood money, it had been quite some time since Hugh had had a decent meal.

"And the more I think about it, how much different these people than me?" Hugh reasoned, "Money seldom crosses my palms unless there's blood at it at the request of an employer..."

Before more niceties could be exchanged, however, Hugh noticed the peculiar mannerisms of an even more peculiar group of people from across the crowd. Hugh made an instinctual grab for Masks chain, but was stopped abruptly by Dante's observatory gesture.

"Behind me. Six o'clock. Friends of yours?" the stranger asked.

"I don't have any friends." Hugh answered, tightening the grip on Masks memento.

Before he could take any action, however, he found himself swept away by Dante's escape plan. Agreeing with the course of action, Hugh went along with it, joining in Dante's laughter. Unlike Dante, however, part of Hugh really was enjoying the moment. If even for a split second, he was feeling something of companionship- something he had not felt in a long, long time.

"I'm thinking this guy will prove useful as well." Hugh observed.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adara Vitalos Character Portrait: Hugh "Ace" Baselard Character Portrait: Dante Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Marlin
Adara hadn't really processed what was going on yet when Dante grabbed her and steered her back into the crowd. There had been a rough-looking group coming their way. Tougher than the angry gamblers had been. Professionals, if Adara spotted the signs correctly.

She glanced back. The group of men split and fanned out into the crowd, pushing through the throngs of bystanders. That itch for violence returned, and Adara stopped short, planting her feet. One of the strangers was about fifty feet back and headed right for her and her companions. Just one little fight... This guy's getting way too close. She mentally justified her next action. Besides that practical reasoning, she also wasn't going to let Dante keep her from another fight tonight.

Adara dropped to her haunches, ducking out of Dante's grip and rolling past the legs of a few people nearby. She stayed down, knowing she'd be lost in the sea of people, until her target walked by. She popped up and slammed a punch straight into the man's kidney.

He spun around, pissed, and a crowd of onlookers instantly formed around them. A glint of recognition sparked in the man's eyes. He knew who she was. So did much of the crowd.

"Kick his ass, Adara!" someone shouted. Adara grinned. That's exactly what she planned to do.

Tha man went on the attack, attempting to use his height against her. Typical. He was obviously used to more academic fighting conditions—his movements were well-timed and well-executed, but mechanical. Adara waited until he was almost on top of her, then planted a boot in his groin almost casually. The guy fell like a dropped slab of concrete.

What the hell? That doesn't even count as getting to fight!

The setting changes from Muspell to New Exodia

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adara Vitalos Character Portrait: Hugh "Ace" Baselard Character Portrait: Dante Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Eskay
Hugh facepalmed- he had not anticipated a fight so out in the open like this. Weighing his options, he quickly decided that it was in his best interest not to leave his colleague-to-be out to herself. It was discourteous, not to mention very un-chivalrous.

"Let's test the waters a bit..." Hugh pondered, cracking his knuckles.

He casually spun out of Dante's hold, surveying the immediate perimeter. Though it appeared that the big boss had fallen to a rather nasty groin-punch, one of his cohorts was attempting to get the drop on her from behind. Though not near as trained as Adara's most recent victim, this one was concealing a knife, poised to plunge it into Adara's unsuspecting back.

Hugh briskly walked in the direction of Adara, abruptly abouting face just as he passed the assailant. Catching him off-guard, Hugh was able to land a resounding haymaker to the mans jaw. The crowd roared at this new development, completely drowning out the dissaproving groan from the mystery attacker.

Upon decking the mobster, Hugh took his position at Adara's 6 o'clock, facing opposite of her.

"I'm guessing that these weren't the only two thugs," Hugh observed, "Looks like we'll be working together sooner than we thought."

The setting changes from New Exodia to Muspell

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adara Vitalos Character Portrait: Hugh "Ace" Baselard Character Portrait: Dante Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Exodyus
"Well shit, Hugh..." I mumbled, spinning around to see the crowd which were leaving beginning to suddenly form up around the young woman. This suddenly altered the flow of any movement leaving the garage because of the amount of people dumping back into the construct. The flow had performed a perfect one-hundred and eighty degrees leaving the escapees to fight instead of merely meandering out of this challenge.

I turned to watch for a moment. She was hungry for combat more than food, meanwhile, my stomach gnawed on my backbone. Shifting burned a ton of calories in a short period of time and required me to eat more often than most others. It kept me lean and fit, but also left me starving more often than I really wanted to be. I mean, seriously -- what kind of bad-ass walks around with a Nutrigrain bar for some in-between meals snackage? Uh -- none. It surely was gay looking, and I wouldn't have any of that.

I stuffed a hand into my pocket and pulled out a stick of gum from a package of Stride and held the Wintergreen scented pack toward Hugh for an offering. Regardless of whether he wanted one, I stuffed it back in my pocket and unwrapped my piece and began chomping away. Anything is better than nothing. I slipped off around the crowds, watching what seemed to be like a legion of men in suits trying to fight their way into the middle of the crowds. As I passed, I decided to bring on the pain, unleashing the metallic tonfa sticks from their sheathing on my lower back and as I humbly sauntered by -- I gave them a crack in the side of their knee.

Ha.

Dick move; me, one. Them, none. One lunged and only found the ground, with me standing on top of his back, lifting a leg and stomping hard against the back of his skull. The splatter of blood looked like a Rorschach test from his broken nose and he cried, curling up into a fetal position on the ground. It forced a fake yawn and stifled laugh as I peered into the pit at Adara who seemed bored already with the lack of competition they provided.