|Leo de Alkirk|
|Ship||The Victoria II|
Leo de Alkirk, known to some by the nickname White Knight Leo, was a former Captain of a ship called the Destiny. After his failure to capture a woman known as Lucia the Destroyer, however, he's been demoted to Major and reassigned as the new Helmsman of the Victoria II.
Leo is exactly what you might expect from an overly zealous knight, or perhaps a paladin, complete with the enormous stick up his ass. He does not merely follow orders, he executes them with determined ruthlessness, becoming incredibly single-minded in his task. He is loud, overbearing, stubborn, and does not respond kindly to insults. He's the sort of man who will charge at the most dangerous of foes with his sword drawn, prepared to slay them or die with honor. He's also the sort of man who, if necessary, will attack women, children, or even the people he loves most, and strike them down in the name of justice. In the middle of a good battle he can be heard screaming things like "Victory is mine!", "Kneel and perish!" and "Discipline feels good!"
The entire reason he works this way is because he has a distinct sense of honor and is very proud to consider himself a trusted servant to a greater power. He honestly believes that every order he receives is serving all that is Just and Good and Right. He sees himself as a true knight in shining white armor, defender of the weak and innocent, servant of the righteous, an honest-to-god hero in a dark age. He simply would not be able to accept himself as less.
And, unfortunately for him, a seed of doubt has been planted in his mind by a young man named Hiro. This treasure hunter refused to hand over a wanted criminal called Lucia the Destroyer, and aided her in escaping Leo and his men time and time again. Whenever the two crossed paths, Hiro insisted that Leo's superiors had lied to him, and Leo was hunting an innocent woman.
Much to Leo's frustration, to this day he has not been able to shake the thought. It couldn't be true... could it? If it was, what other lies has he believed in wholeheartedly? How many innocents had he arrested? How many had he slain? Part of him has realized that he has lost his sense of justice in the very pursuit of it, but the thought of this overwhelms him with such disgust and horror that he makes every effort possible not even to consider it. To cope, he commits himself further to his duties.
In fact, this has created a crack in his mind. The crack can be seen in a few rare moment where he simply cannot rationalize following orders, since they go against everything he believes to be right and just. When this happens, he lapses into an alternate identity called Mystere (which is, essentially, Leo wearing a white mask that doesn't hide very much; it hasn't fooled anyone yet). Only when he is this masked vigilante can he feel comfortable taking any actions that disobey his orders. The first time it happened, he released Hiro and Lucia from jail, and was lucky enough to not get caught in the process. Appearances by this alterego are rare, because his tunnel vision usually prevents him from spotting the true motives behind any orders.
When off duty, he can be surprisingly amiable. Assuming it's not an enemy he's addressing, he will speak easily even with people who are far less lawful and righteous than he. He is honest and chivalrous, and he strives to inspire others to do their best. He even has a sense of humor, provided the joke is not on him. However, thus far his relationships with other people have been purely platonic, and any romantic or sexual advances will likely confuse him or put him on the defensive. He does not have many people he considers particularly close, and time and circumstance have pushed away the people who mean the most to him.
He is very religious, and prays to Althena, a goddess of light, magic and music. Like other followers of Althena, he does not believe her to be a creator of the world but a protector of its inhabitants, and one who supposedly sent four dragons to Reial to watch over it in times of great crisis. If he were confronted by what he believed to be a holy being, he would likely put its orders above that of any mortal superior. Thankfully for those around him, he does not preach or try to convert nonbelievers, though he may look down his nose at infidels. When feeling doubt or in need of console, he looks to the stars and prays.
Leo's history begins with that of his family. Decades ago, "Hell" Mel de Alkirk was well-known as a vicious pirate. However, he abandoned his life of piracy to defeat a powerful sorceror called the Magic Emperor. He and his three allies, Lemia, Ghaleon and Dyne, were hailed as heroes for their triumph. Afterwards, Hell Mel settled down in Ivona to help govern Abantiare and to raise his young daughter, Jessica. His decision is one that has governed the rest of the de Alkirk family's fate, including Leo's father, who likewise turned from piracy and settled in Ivona.
Leo grew up with his little sister Mauri in a town in southern Ivona called Raculi. It was a small farming village bordering the Badlands that was losing fertile land with each passing year. The village was also prone to monster attacks, one of which claimed the life of Leo's father shortly after Mauri was born. What kept Raculi alive was the faith and healing of a Sanctuary to the north called Serak Palace. His mother was a priestess there, and Mauri studied there along with Leo's best friend, Ronfar. Ronfar and Mauri fell in love at a very young age, and the three were very close in their early life.
When he was old enough, Leo left Raculi and headed north to Bellcius. With what little money and family influence he had, he was able to enroll in Belarus Academy. While diligently studying here, Leo wrote letters home to Ronfar and Mauri as often as he was able.
A few years later, a deadly plague swept through Raculi. When Mauri started to show the early stages of the illness, Leo put his studies at the Academy on hold to rush home. By the time he arrived, Mauri was bedridden and no magic would heal her. Willing to try anything, Leo and Ronfar gave Mauri a strange potion from Serak Palace that was said to cure any illness. She made a full recovery, and Leo hailed it as a miracle from Althena herself. However, Ronfar noticed that the once kind-hearted Mauri had now become cruel and sinister, as if possessed. He could not accept what she had become and blamed himself for being unable to heal her. Despite Leo's requests for him to stay, Ronfar abandoned everything to live as a low-life gambler in Vohemar.
Leo returned to Belarus Academy, and in time he graduated with high honors. Afterwards, he found himself reporting to Ghaleon, an old demihuman Captain of the Grindery and one of the four heroes who had fought against the Magic Emperor. Ghaleon was surrounded by dark rumors, particularly because he was decades past his prime and yet had shown no loss of his considerable skill with both sword and magic. Leo saw Ghaleon as a role model, and Ghaleon was amused that he would be commanding a young relative of Hell Mel's. He saw promise in Leo and always gave him the most difficult of orders, and Leo would strive to go above and beyond what was expected of him. Ghaleon found himself quickly promoting Leo, and was even so impressed that he presented Leo with the sword which had once been wielded by the great swordsman, Dyne.
Leo quickly reached the rank of Lt. Commander, and was placed in command of a small, specialized ship called the Destiny. The Destiny was a new type of ship called a Dragonship, designed to adapt between ground and air travel. It was small and fast, had no weapons except a magitech cannon mounted on the front, and required little crew to run besides a skilled helmsman. The purpose of the ship was to track down, corner and capture Ivona's rogue criminals who were traveling on foot and trying to flee through the Badlands and into Vohemar. Leo was given the full authorization to execute the most dangerous of these criminals, save for those who surrendered and submitted to a trial. Many, however, were the sort who would rather die free than submit to Leo, and were slain by his hand on the deck of the Destiny.
On the last mission of the Destiny, Leo was ordered to find a woman called "Lucia the Destroyer" and kill her on sight. In the Badlands, the Destroyer managed to find assistance in the form of a treasure hunter named Hiro, an annoying flying cat named Ruby, Leo's old friend Ronfar, a dancing gypsy named Jean, and a greedy mage named Lemina. This gang of rogues managed to escape and outsmart Leo and his men time after time, all the while insisting that Lucia was no Destroyer.
He eventually caught them in the small town of Azado. However, after the Destroyer had been safely locked away, fires started breaking out all over the city. Hiro and Ronfar assisted Leo in saving the town from burning to the ground. Soon after, Mauri appeared on the Destiny, revealing that the fires were her handiwork. She declared that the Destroyer and her heathen companions must burn. Despite his orders, Leo defended the Destroyer by threatening to kill Mauri if she interfered with his mission. She backed down and left Azado, headed back to Ivona.
He brought the Destroyer and company back to Bellcius to be tried for their crimes. When they arrived, Ghaleon himself was waiting to greet them. As a reward for their assistance in Azado, they were allowed to meet with friends in the city before standing trial. The group split up, with Leo and Ghaleon accompanying Lucia, Hiro and Ruby to the Bellcius Sanctuary of Althena. It turned out to be a trap, planned in part by Ghaleon and the high priestess of the temple. Leo watched as Lucia and her companions were seized from the public eye, thrown in jail to be executed without trial.
Leo found himself protesting in favor of the criminals, but all it earned him was questions about his loyalty to Ivona, to which he swore he was no traitor. He was thus given the order of watching over Hiro and Ruby in their cell. For the first time, Leo was struggling to obey, and when this feeling became too strong for him to ignore he became 'Mystere'. He released all of the Destroyer's companions, and reported to Ghaleon that "a mysterious stranger" had released them. He was immediately ordered to pursue them on the Destiny.
However, Lucia and her friends have fled Ivona, and with the Badlands starting to declare its independence, pursuit on Leo's part could be taken as hostile action from Ivona against the region. Thus, he has been called off the chase, and for both his questionable loyalty and his overall failure in apprehending the Destroyer, Leo has been demoted back to Major. The Destiny has been taken from his hands and returned to the government of Ivona. He has been reassigned to the Victoria II as a trial by fire, to see if he is still a capable, loyal officer or if Lucia and her friends have changed him forever.
- One of the people Leo formerly attempted to arrest. He actually does not believe in her guilt, nor that of her companions, but he would not yet call her a friend.
- Before he joined the ship, Leo already had high respect for von Karma just based on his reputation. After joining the ship and seeing how von Karma runs his ship firsthand, that respect has only grown. He's proud to be working under such a man.
- Surprisingly, he's not very intimidated by von Karma or his expectations of perfection... though, really, that's mostly because "Leo" and "intimidated" do not belong in the same sentence. Besides that, he's already comfortable working under living legends.
- Leo hopes he'll be able to impress his new Captain. He doesn't quite realize yet how difficult it will be to do that.
- Leo adores Greta. Having grown up very close to his little sister, he has developed a strong, brother's love for young children, especially ones who are kind, well-behaved, and who want to do good things. And he's seen that Greta is all of the above.
- Sizing Up - Leo's first evening on the Victoria II.
- Protector of the Innocent! Defender of Truth! - Leo's first appearance as Mystere.
- "How amusing. Not only are you country folk rude and ignorant, but your pets are as well."
- "Our world is approaching an era of darkness and destruction, Hiro. It has been foretold. But prophecies are not set in stone. They speak of a possible future, not an inevitable one."
- "Blue Stars, secret riddles! Pah! What a simple life you lead, my aged archaeologist! My work is of much greater importance than digging up the offal of our ancestors!"
- "Never let the curve of a hip or the sparkle of a woman's eyes sway you, soldier! Many men have made that mistake, and damned their eternal souls in the process."
- "You pathetic morons! There is no danger from Lucia, because Althena will protect us! You are proud warriors of the Goddess! Stand firm and you will be impervious to harm--" [Lightning hits Leo repeatedly.]
- "Seize them before they attempt an even more pathetic retort!"
- "Lucia was judged by Althena herself, and sentenced to death. And by defying the will of the Goddess, I am guilty of treason, and sentence myself to death..."
- "Uh, er...I...I am not White Knight Leo! I am the amazing Mystere! Protector of the innocent and...uh...defender of...TRUTH!"
- "Hiro, you must fight me. The Chosen...their way is not right...I know it in my heart. However, I do not know how to escape from the web in which I've been ensnared...and now my options are severely limited. I know good must prevail. Now prove it with your sword!"
- "White Knight Leo is dead, Hiro...slain by your hand on the field of battle. Allow me to fight at your side. Not as one of the Four Heroes...but as a man who fights for justice."
- "I wasted years of my life fighting for the wrong side. The time has come for me to right the wrongs I have committed! Starting here. Starting now."
- "Hiro, justice lies with us! In the face of impossible odds, we can secure victory if we strive for it. Remember, we wield the power of humanity. With that, anything becomes possible!"
- "Hiro, your strength is admirable. The fire in your eyes reminds me of days gone by. But before I can move forward, I must re-evaluate everything I once took for granted. I'm leaving to find something I only know in my heart...and when I find it, my life will begin anew."
PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE: Leo is a relative of old "Hell" Mel de Alkirk, an infamous pirate turned famous hero turned governor. He was formerly a Captain of a ship called the Destiny, tasked with capturing rogue criminals attempting to flee Ivona.
SPECIAL KNOWLEDGE: Leo's parents are dead, and his younger sister Mauri was barely saved by a "miracle from Althena". Before being Captain of the Destiny, he worked under the command of Ghaleon, an old hero who fought alongside Mel de Alkirk. He wields the sword of the late swordsman Dyne, yet another old hero and a close friend of Ghaleon's. He has killed many of the men and women who resisted arrest by the Destiny.
POP CULTURE PHENOMENON?: His name is well-known in Ivona's military and among worshipers of the goddess Althena. Due to his work as Captain of the Destiny, word of him has started to spread through Ivona and the Badlands, and in Ivona some have even started to refer to him as the "White Knight". Most people in the Badlands, however, prefer to refer to him as an arrogant fop.