Ace Crocryn is a former soldier and current adventurer from the land of Prague. His most notable service was his participation at The Battle at Sodom Hill, which was also his last. Upon honorable dismissal from the army, Ace travels across Ghillodahn as a means to escape from his troubled war experience.
Ace serves as the main protagonist for the side story: The Ace of Spade, The Queen of Heart.
I'll think this over.
A New Light
Sometime after Ace's departure from the army, Ace decided it would be in his best interests to leave Prague to pursue adventuring. Ace used adventuring as a means to cope with both what he has seen and done in the previous war. His early adventures were ultimately insignificant and only turned out to be sightseeing. Nonetheless, Ace was aware of something near the Shrike Slave Market, something unseen. Upon hearing of this, he knew it was his responsibility to investigate the potential treasure and report his findings.
This journey led him to Whitebridge, where he took a rest from his travels. Like many adventurers before him, Ace stopped by The Queen's Blessing Inn for lunch on one fateful afternoon. Ace immediately noticed the loud atmosphere and oddly nice decor, from these qualities alone, one could see how this place has spawned some of the greatest adventures Ghillodahn has seen (like Shunta). As Ace took in the environment, he was approached by his waitress, a beautiful Red-headed woman named Becky. As she served Ace, she had questions about who he was and how he ended up in Whitebridge, to which he replies about his war experience and his goals down south. She listens as she serves him until their talk is interrupted by someone spilling a drink, to which Bartholomew orders her to clean the mess. As she cleans, Ace helps her out even though he is a customer. When the two of them clean, they talk about the continental conflict between Illion and Whitebridge, as well as Princess Mihn, and about the previous adventures who have been here. Eventually, Becky begins to talk about her dreams and her missed opportunity to pursue her apprenticeship. Despite being upset about the situation she accepts her place, knowing she cannot do anything about it. After the two clean up and Ace finishes his meal and feels bad for Becky's situation. While he admires her resiliency, he still wants her to have the chance to follow her dreams. Finally, as Ace leaves, he approaches Becky one more time and hands her a bag of gold so she can pay for the apprenticeship she lost. Becky is in shock and debates if it is right for her to accept but eventually does so after Ace reassures her it is no trouble. Ace then departs, hoping to meet Becky again. After meeting her, Ace has a new purpose, not only to make complete his mission but to also meet Becky.
About thirty minutes after leaving the inn and developing a crush on Becky, he runs into a lord and his squire. This lord seems to feel as if he is on top of the world and has no regard for others. This lord is named Lon Jotti, who uses the people around him for personal gain alone, including his seven wives. He further states that he is looking to add to that collection with that "Red-headed wench at the Lady's Blessing Inn". Upon hearing this lord insult Becky, Ace warns Lon Jotti to treat people not as acquisitions, but as living beings deserving of respect. Jotti ignores this warning and further insults Becky, among others. Ace cannot take this anymore and warns the foolish lord one more time to change his mindset before he gets himself into trouble. The lord has heard enough and strikes the fighter, challenges Ace to a duel. While Ace prefers not to engage in fisticuffs, he decides to do so for the honor of Becky. Lon Jotti calls for his squire Tay Rallarini to bring his sword.
The duel begins, and Lon Jotti is completely outclassed. The Lord tries to attack, but Ace refuses to use his sword's blade and instead uses his handle to inflict damage. Lon Jotti eventually gets lucky and gets a hit on Ace, but this triumph is short-lived as Ace drops his sword and swings a mean right hook directly at Lon Jotti's head. Just before impact Ace thinks about Becky mentioning her lost apprenticeship, then he recalls her joy after Ace gave her the chance to see the world. These images, empower Ace as his fist makes contact with Lon Jotti's face and proceed to knock him out. It turns out there was a crowd watching the duel, leading to Ace being worried about potential backlash towards him. Surprisingly, the crowd starts cheering for Ace and even go so far to thank him for doing what no others have had the courage to do. Ace claims it was no big deal as he leaves the scene and travels further south in Whitebridge. However, he is no longer traveling alone, now a bard named Dandillain is following him. The bard was impressed by Ace's ability in the skirmish with the Lord. The bard further states he too is hoping to capture Becky's heart, but Ace decides to ignore that part of his speech. All throughout town, the bard follows Ace as he looks for someplace where he can get his wound healed. Eventually, he finds his way to a florist's shop that is owned by Charlotte Flare.
After a brief introduction, Ace is intrigued by a magical sword that not only drains life from those attacked but also gives life to a person of the wielder's choosing. Ace ultimately decides against carrying a weapon as dangerous as this. Instead Ace purchases three healing potions and some healing bandages in case he finds himself in trouble. While in the store, Ace also makes small chat with Charlotte, it turns she is the best friend of Becky Lynch. The two and their friends: Lieutenant (Alexa) Bliss and Jax, all grew up in an orphanage, in Charlotte's case the orphanage was her babysitter that her father Ric Flare used while he was out wrestling(?). (I wasn't sure if you wanted to keep the orphanage background between them. I just put it in here to show their history since that is what we initially had, it's just here to be here, feel free to change it to whatever you want.) Continuing their talk, Charlotte describes her two other friends: Bliss, who is now a lieutenant of Illion (see Kafei and George Jackson Davies or details). The other friend Jax, still lives in Whitebridge and has aspirations to join the Whitebridge army. Becky has always been Charlotte's best friend though and was ecstatic when she found out Becky finally attained an apprenticeship but found it strange how it happened so quickly. Ace, upon hearing this plays dumb and pretends to know nothing of the situation. After that lovely talk Ace leaves the shop, drinks one of the potions, and meets with Dandillain outside. As the two are about to walk away, Dandillain starts talking about Charlotte, saying she looks like a man, leaving Ace in shock (both because it's not true and the nerve this guy has to say it out loud). Unfortunately for the bard, Charlotte heard him and immediately pummels him. Turns it out Charlotte has experience as a soldier in the Battle of Soddom. Ten minutes later Dandillain wakes up and sees Jax in the distance. Instead of learning his lesson, he proceeds to call Jax "fat as fuck", once again the foolish bard receives another beating. Upon seeing the trouble this bard brings with him, Ace decides to leave the bard behind as he leaves town.
A Wild Sheep Chase
After a few days, Ace finds a small town where he can rest for the night. Inside this town Ace conveniently finds an inn where he can stay. As Ace walks into the inn, he is greeted by the owner, Dio! Ace rents a room for the night and Dio gives him a key for a room on the second floor. Ace immediately heads to his room and rests for a few hours. However, his rest is rudely interrupted by a half-orc named Guz breaking into the building. As this happens, Ace hears scratching at his door. Eventually, he decides to answer and is surprised to see a sheep with a scroll attached to its back. Ace decides to take the scroll and it turns out to be a spell that allows Ace to speak to animals. As Ace speaks to the animal, it turns out this is no ordinary sheep, it is actually an elf who has fallen victim to a polymorph spell by his traitorous subordinate. The sheep named Shinebright and requests that Ace provide him aid, which he does. Ace figures that if he leaves the inn with the sheep, that Guz will leave too. With this in mind, Ace and Shinebright find an attic which Ace manages to lower, however, Guz has wolves that hear the opening door who immediately rush to Ace's location. Thankfully, Ace manages to shut the door before they can attack the sheep. Now safe, Ace asks the sheep where this wizard is located, the sheep replies that his hideout is just north of town in the forest. With the location known, the duo decides to face the evil wizard.
Ace and the sheep sneak out the window of the attic and head down to the stables. Once there, Ace borrows a horse (Dio's horse by the way) and heads to the forest. However, the two are not alone. The three wolves are following Ace. After a few minutes, Ace takes care of the wolves, but Shinebright is severely injured. Now at the wizard's lair (a treehouse), Ace asks Shinebright how to get inside. Shinebright replies that they'll have to climb to the top to attack from above and take out the wizard. However, before Ace can start to climb, he'll have to fight a gorilla first, with a couple of bears nearby. Ace takes on the gorilla when the bears move out of proximity to the gorilla. Yet, Ace still has the handicap of carrying Shinebright on his back. Ace manages to inflict a significant amount of damage but ultimately decides to withdraw for the sake of Shinebright staying alive. Ace then deals a blow to the gorilla and starts to climb, but the gorilla follows him up the tree. However, Ace manages to knock the gorilla off the tree.
Now at the top, Ace looks down the window and sees his target. Shinebright instructs Ace to look out for the wand the wizard uses or else he'll be polymorphed into an unknown specimen. Ace, keeping this in mind, jumps down and attacks the wizard. As Shinebright predicted, the wizard tries to Polymorph Ace but misses. After realizing he is doomed, the wizard tries to convince Ace that Shinebright is evil, but is not convinced. Ace then attacks the wizard and knocks him out. With the wizard out, Ace takes the ward and attempts to turn Shinebright into his original form, but fails to do so. Instead, Shinebright becomes a grotesque creature who lost all consciousness of his actions. Unfortunately, a bear also shows up to attack Ace in that moment. The creature attacks Ace too and spits acid in his eyes, blinding him. Knowing he is at a disadvantage, Ace decides to run towards the window while blinded. To do this, Ace runs in a random direction, gets lucky, and falls out the window. Unfortunately for Ace, his night is not over yet, not even close. Upon landing, Ace is attacked by a large unknown creature. This beast leaves Ace is very bad shape to the point where he needs to take a healing potion to recover. Finally, Ace gets his sight back and sees it is a bear, much larger than the other one. With his vision back he fights a much closer battle until the creature comes back and blinds him again. Repeat the blind situation from above, except the falling part, other than that, it's basically the same situation. Finally, instead of Ace being blinded, the bear gets blinded and Ace can use the situation to escape, but not before being blinded a third time. Ace ultimately rides away blind and runs into multiple branches before making it out of the forest. The polymorph spell gone wrong that turned Shinebright into a gibbering mouther eventually wears off, unknown to Ace.
Ace finally makes it back to the inn and unintelligently goes to his room to see Guz. Ace tries to get away, but Guz manages to hit him. Ace at this point severely injured and remarkably not unconscious. However, Ace has to be careful because one wrong move could lead to him losing consciousness, not helping with the situation is Guz, who is still attacking. Ace, while being attacked knows he must apply his healing bandages if he is to survive this encounter he must get away from Guz for a few moments. Looking to the attic, Ace drops his sword and walks toward the destination (if he goes any faster his wounds will get worse and will end up passing out. Thankfully, Guz is a loud entity and wakes up the other people staying on this floor, Appligat Du Losartan and Farmer Faggot. As the situation unfolds, the former loads his rifle to help the nearly dead fighter, a noble act. While the latter steals Ace's sword left right by his door, that bastard. At least Appligat's gunfire hurts Guz though and stalls Ace enough time to make it to the attic to heal up a bit. However, that does not stop Guz who breaks the door and continues to attack poor Ace. Speaking of Ace, without his sword, he's still very much a target who can only fight with his shield or a dagger. Ace is aware of his disadvantage in the small attic and walks out the window and onto the roof as it begins to rain. Despite the disadvantage, Ace manages to fight quite well. Appligat also makes it to the attic as well and provides aid whenever his rifle is loaded. Unfortunately, the rain proves to be a hindrance as Ace's dagger ends up slipping from his hand and is now unarmed. Seeing this as a problem, he rushes back into the attic and back to the hallway to find his sword, which is gone. Now looking for a weapon he goes downstairs and awakens an unconscious Dio, local doctor, and a fellow adventurer. Ace asks Dio if there are any weapons nearby, which there are. Dio provides two handaxes, for Ace and himself as Guz comes down the stairs. The half-orc charges in and immediately takes out the other adventurer and Dio. Ace tries to finish Guz, but ultimately falls as well. Worry not, because Appligat is still conscious and finally defeats Guz with one last round from his rifle.
Ace wakes up mere moments later thanks to the bandages he is wearing and thanks Appligat for his help. Seeing Guz dropped his sword, Ace decides to take it to replace the one that he lost. The doctor is also still alive and tends to Dio, while the other adventurer lays dead. The sigh of relief is short lived though as a strange creature is heard just outside. As everyone hears this they rush upstairs to Appligat's room, on their way up Dio is starting to regain consciousness and he looks pissed. Inside Appligat's room also hides Farmer Faggot for some reason. As Ace looks to the Faggot, he notices his sword and offers a trade, Guz's sword for his, which Faggot accepts. Just as Ace gets his sword back, the creature is now inside the inn and upstairs in Ace's room and eats someone just across the hall. Ace and Appligat, as the only ones who can do something about this, the two decide to fight after introducing themselves. After his near-death experience with Guz, Ace declares that he cannot allow himself to die before meeting Becky again, which Appligat finds honorable as he has a family to protect too (or at least he says he does Mr. messenger from Illion). The creature breaks the door and it is revealed to be the large bear from earlier. Now with his sword back, Ace is putting up a much better fight than with Guz. He is not alone either as Appligat provides support with his rifle. Surprisingly, a third person joins the fight, a human rogue who provides sufficient aid. Before Ace can deliver the final blow, the bear surrenders. Ace not being the type to be merciless accepts the plea and lets the bear go. At last the inn is safe from outside threats for the night. However, Dio fully regains consciousness and immediately blames both Guz and Ace for the damages, demanding the latter leave by morning. Ace begrudgingly accepts this and stays in the attic for the rest of the night after taking his things from his room. He goes to the attic because who knows what Dio would do. However, before Ace goes to bed, an ambassador from Trafalgar requests Ace go on a mission for him. Ace replies, he'll give a response in the morning after being fully rested. Now in the attic, Ace finally gets some sleep.
A Delirious Mission
Something must have been in that attic because Ace wakes up, he is acting oddly out of character. He's out of it to the point where he ends up accepting the mission from that ambassador after the rogue from the previous night (named Cass) convinces him. Why is this out of character, because it's an assassination mission. Ace vowed to himself to not take a life unless the life in question is a substantial threat to a larger population, which this does not seem to be one of those times. (I'll skim this section). As the two leave the inn, Ace notices Dio looking over Guz's corpse, holding a stone mask. Normally he'd do something about this, but he's too delirious to recall why this is important. In the meantime, Cass steals a horse (Appligat's horse by the way) and the two share a horse as they ride off to the outskirts of Trafalgar.