""[...] at least there's someone in this world legitimately trying to do good. Heroes like us, heroes like police, firefighters, doctors, soldiers... Real heroes who risk their sanity and their lives to protect those who cannot otherwise protect themselves. Not these [politicians]."
|Aliases||Spades, Spades Neil, Ace of Spades (uncanon), Gemini (uncanon)|
|Likes||Video games, Meditation, Magick studies, Philosophy, Abrahamic religious studies (Islam, Christianity, Judaism), Writing, Reading, Tea, and Sushi|
|Dislikes||Dishonor, bigots, cowards, bullies, idiots|
|Place of Origin||Methuen, Massachusetts|
|Relatives||Half-brother to Rachel "Raven" Roth|
|Allies||Beast Girl, Avro|
|Enemies||Zana, Scarecrow, Trigon, Slade|
|Powers & Abilities|
|Powers||Aerokinesis, Pyrokinesis, Demonic abilities|
|Weaknesses||Stress, poor self-control, poor magick experience|
|Equipment||Dragon Skull Cane/Sword, Vietnam War-Era Combat Knife, Ceremonial Dagger|
|First Appearance||2006 on MySpace|
Spades Neil is the (former) leader of Titans North, who once worked in the city of Boston. They occupied a renovated version of the John Hancock Tower which had the top several floors expanded for additional space Titans North thought they'd require. Despite Neil's appearance, he is almost the polar opposite of his half-sister Raven, as he is loud, talkative, outgoing, and willing to share his thoughts and feelings whenever necessary. Unlike Raven however, he has convinced himself that he is more human than demon (despite being related to Trigon and having Avro sharing a body with him). While his power has as much potential as his older sister, he initially only knew aerokinesis and pyrokinesis, while more complex abilities had to be later taught to him by Raven. This would later prove difficult as Neil follows a different philosophy as opposed to Raven. Raven insists that Neil must control his emotion, while Neil believes his powers work best when he lets his strongest feelings run free. He thinks his powers are enhanced by his emotions, rather than controlled by them. While this may be true, it also makes his magick more volatile.
It has always been in Neil's nature to lead groups of people for their collective benefit. Using this affinity for leadership, he managed to form a new, small team he called Titans North which was dedicated to continuing the work of the original Titans. He has a habit of conflicting with existing authority however, which is a definite flaw of his take-charge instincts. He had gotten into verbal fights with Robin on several occasions, one such example when Neil convinced Control Freak into stepping away from a fight. Neil not only refused to attack him, but allowed him to escape! Having convinced himself there's always another, more complex way to solve any problem, Neil and Robin have never been very friendly. On the other hand, Neil gets along fine with the others members of the original Titans team.
While a decent leader, Neil has also proven to be quite the silver tongue. With his charisma, he had often given advice to his friends, and he usually tried to stop and wait to see what a supposed villain's intentions were before starting a fight. Although more often, their intents were indeed criminal, there have been a couple situations, such as with Control Freak, where Neil has convinced the enemy to stop fighting under the belief that the 'villain' isn't necessarily evil. However, where Neil excelled in his shrewdness, he lacked in his physical strength. While he had some powers such as his Aerokinesis and Pyrokinesis, his only really usable abilities were only taught later.
Neil is an easy enough person to talk to, though the tough part is more getting him to be quiet once started. He's at least conscious of this flaw today, but if his mind is locked onto a topic of relevant interest, it may prove difficult to silence him (especially if the topic involves politics or religion). His patience is decent enough for most people, and he is known to have a good long temper. However, that long fuse may as well be the ignition to a nuclear warhead, because when someone finally does break his patience, he's especially known for his extreme cruelty and even demonic attempts for retribution. However, despite his dark appearance and beliefs, and somewhat of a mean streak when he is driven far enough, he rarely does anything out of ill-intent.
Another signifying feature of Neil's personality is his character was once very enigmatic. For example, while Neil was quite outgoing and gave off the vibe of a normal teenager, the way he spoke and thought about more important matters showed a much higher sense of wisdom and maturity than most people his age. He often spent his free time in his room, on his computer, writing stories and philosophies about the world around him. His mind did not reflect that of a normal teenager. In his younger days, he was intensely bullied because of his heretical ways of thinking. It didn't help that he was not physically strong either, thus making him an easy target. Consequently, because other children didn't understand him, they hated (or more likely feared) him because he was different. They took him as a target. Not because he was scary in the traditional sense, but just because he thought differently. Perhaps they viewed him as competition. Years of bullying caused some psychological problems for Neil, which some might even label as a mild form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, but he finds relief in his writing.
Before the Titans
Neil's "official" birth records state he was born at Stoneham Hospital in Massachusetts, into an average family with regular lives. However, something about him was far from the norm and he knew this from a very young age. Allegedly on the very day of his "official" birth, a family friend, a female psychic, who knew nothing of his birth, actually called Neil's grandmother Lenore within mere minutes of Neil being born. When Neil's grandmother picked up the phone, her friend immediately spoke of a "great power" suddenly entering the world. Not long after, Neil was deemed an Indigo Child by that same woman. Unfortunately, this woman has since faded into the shadows of history. Neil cannot remember having ever met her, but his family had told him stories about her on several occasions. Neil still has doubts as to whether she ever existed, or if she was just a crazy old lady, or if there was something more to her.
When Neil was a young child, he began to take notice of his unusual traits. He was always far more intelligent than his peers, but this made them often dislike him. This led to a long and painful lifetime of bullying and harassment from his peers. As a result, he grew up with a deep hatred of anyone who picks on others because they are different or weak. Neil suffers some psychological problems due to this history, but it serendipitously gave him a new view on the world; a world that could use some improvement. While it would never be perfect, he figured he could at least try and make it a little bit better. He event went so far as to join the Teen Titans on a visit to California in 2006.
Neil came to the Teen Titans just as they were returning from their campaign against the Brotherhood of Evil. While he managed to befriend Raven, who found herself very curious with how familiar young Neil was to her, the other Titans met him with distrust and reluctance. It would not be until he went on to create Titans North that their leader Robin would even consider speaking to Neil. It was with good reason, too. Slade, although thought to be dead, had managed to get in touch with Neil, offering to help him control of his powers in ways that Raven would not dare show him. It was an offer he nearly accepted.During this time, Beast Boy was also discovering a lost sibling by the alias of Beast Girl. Beast Girl, also known as Leyla, became the target of Slade's first offering with Neil. If he could bring her this 'Beast Girl', he would unlock Neil's potential. However, while Neil succeeded in capturing Leyla, it did not take long for her to make him realize what a mistake he was making, and who Slade really was to the Titans. At the last moment, Neil sabotaged Slade's plans, and returned Leyla safely home.
After helping Leyla out of her predicament, it didn't take long for him to fall for the girl, though at first he kept it hidden. Within a month, he had fallen in love. A month later, after coming to terms with these feelings, he then confessed it to her. They continued dating for roughly four years until separation and stress in the Titans North finally broke them up.
The loss of his family
Just as Neil was starting to further his relationship with the Teen Titans, his relationship with his (foster) family started to break down. He grew increasingly distant from his family due to constant fighting and strain between the marriage of his parents, and often found himself caught in the middle of it with the additional stress factor of his younger sister constantly berating him with verbal insults.
One day, around Christmas of 2009, it reached a breaking point. Though the details of the conflict are too vague for Neil to recall, he does remember the consequences. Cornered by his father, yelling in his face, years of this stress at long last made him break. He swung his fists at his father's face and managed to land two blows that, although they left his father relatively unharmed (being the large man he was), would be the final interaction Neil ever has with his family.
He fled the household to a near by park. What he didn't realize was the effect of his emotions on the world around him. Somewhere along the lines, all it took was a candle in the basement or ashes from a lit cigarette left by his mother to ignite a pile of clothes near the washing machine. The building was raised to the ground. While Neil was at the park, he heard the sirens, and returned to find his home ablaze. His family perished in the inferno, leaving him alone. With nowhere to go, he briefly moved in with his grandmother on his father's side, called 'Nana' by the family. Her true name was Lenore. He stayed with her until the founding of Titans North.
Titans North was constructed in Boston after an arrangement with the Mayor and the bankrupted owners of the former John Hancock Tower. The reason for constructing the tower in the first place was due to a growing super-villain problem in spite of general crime rates going down. The tower however was never fully completed. Today it is complete on the outside, but the interior is still underdeveloped. It was being rebuilt to withstand super villain attacks, which the original building was obviously not meant to do. In addition, the top floors had been widened (giving the tower its T-shape) to accommodate possible future residents or other expansions. The project was supposed to be done by summer of 2010, but it never was. Titans North fell apart due to the same person who put it together.
Neil founded Titans North in March of 2009 when the deed to the tower was given to him along with the necessary funds. Later the building underwent a retrofit that started in July. The building used to be an insurance company (ironically) which had to have its old offices and cubicles demolished and rebuilt. The hope was that one day the expanded portion of the tower would dozens of bedrooms like a big superhero apartment complex, an entire floor dedicated as a single combat field (which was completed before the tower's abandonment), an Olympic sized swimming pool, a big living room, game rooms, a huge library, a small hospital, a VTOL aircraft hangar, and much, much more while maintaining the floors below the expanded section for public access. Titans North would have been not only a superhero's haven, but a community center for all of Boston. There also would have been a secondary Police headquarters for easy communication between the Titans and official law enforcement.
The End of Titans North
It wasn't a super-villain that at long last defeated the Titans North. Instead, it was politics. A wave of xenophobia allowed right-wing politicians to take advantage of the superheroes moving in, and they did everything in their power to attack the idea in order to discredit supporters of the organization. Neil today theorizes the real reason for this is because they would have discovered and exposed corruption within the Boston law enforcement system. These right-wing protesters cited collateral damage caused by superheroes, the extreme cost of renovating and maintaining the tower, and even the recent example of the Trial of Batman incident at Arkham Asylum. Although not an actual court case, enough slander was spread through news outlets that it was falsely accepted as a valid case. The biggest argument soon became that the presence of superheroes would only attract more super-villains and turn normal criminals into super criminals.
Titans North finally collapsed a year after its creation. In summer of 2010, with only three members (dramatically less than he had anticipated by then) the group disbanded. Neil disappeared, effectively severing contact with all except Raven. Eventually, he'd lose contact with her too.
As of August 16th of 2010, Neil left the Titans North. Officially, he is still a member and its leader, but due to his absence, the Titans North group disbanded quietly. He has been reportedly spotted in Jump City with Starfire, as well as with Terra. He had been trying to obtain his college degree while living with his Nana, all the while keeping in loose contact with Raven through letters and increasingly infrequent visits to continue his training, but eventually they too lost touch.
During his time away, his Nana fell ill. Two years after moving in, and after numerous hospital visits for treatment of brain cancer, she quietly passed away on August 20th, 2012, at nine o'clock in the evening just as church bells were ringing in the distance.
A week later, Neil would return to Jump City, but by now the Teen Titans had officially disbanded. His first encounter would be with Starfire, who still lived at the tower during this time. They ran into each other by chance in the park.
- (This section is a story in progress and will be further written as it develops.)
Traits and Powers
Abilities / Strengths
- Aerokinesis - Ability to bend and manipulate air, or for generating wind. Strong emotions fuel this ability's strength. Enough emotion over a long period of time can generate storms.
- Pyrokinesis - Ability to manipulate flame. (Not to produce it.) Previously, he'd carry a zippo lighter with him for his source, but now he knows how to generate fire.
- Pyrogeneration - Ability to create fire.
- Fireball - Combination of Aerokinesis and Pyrokinesis to create an explosive orb of varying strength that detonates on impact with a powerful air-burst.
- (Limited) Telekinesis - Neil has a limited sense of telekinesis taught to him by Raven. However, his emotions are too unwieldy for this to be most effective.
- Third Eye - Allows him to sense the auras of life forms and spirits, both the color of them and how much energy they are radiating. Color represents personality and favorite colors, excluding black and white, which are not valid aura colors. He can only see auras within talking distance, and large groups of people will interfere, so this does not work well in urban environments. The removable red gem on his forehead amplifies this ability.
- Dark Magick - While Raven has been teaching him safe white magick, Neil's first lessons were self-taught from black magick tomes. These spells thrive on emotion as opposed to Raven's powers, which are most effective in the absence of emotion. However, these spells are highly dangerous and unpredictable if overcharged.
- Dragon's Soul - Through dark magick meditation, Neil met a dragon spirit named Avro. He can willingly use this side of himself to his advantage at times. He's known of Avro's existence since he was young, when he first stumbled upon these forbidden books, but hasn't truly utilized him until recently. Despite demonic origins, Avro is unnaturally loyal to Neil. Most demons simply use and abuse anyone they overshadow. Raven doesn't trust him for obvious reasons and encourages Neil not to use his powers.
- Dragon's Heart - Avro neutralizes emotions all all kinds to keep Neil perfectly calm as a defense mechanism against situations that would otherwise trigger overwhelming feelings. These feelings are suppressed until later, when Neil can release them safely.
- Dragon's Voice - Avro is allowed to take over his voice and speak freely until Neil wants control again. This is most commonly used for intimidating enemies, but has been infrequently used to let Raven talk directly to Avro.
- Dragon's Arm - Avro is allowed to take control of his body's actions until Neil wants control again. All this is however is a glorified adrenaline rush, and his strength is still bound by human limits.
- Dragon's Rage - Avro is allowed full control of Neil and his body, but only when a situation is most dire, or Avro is angry enough. This is the most dangerous and uncontrollable level of power since Neil no longer has a say in what Avro does. There have only been a few times in Neil's lifetime when this has occurred.
- Fast Learner - Not so much a superpower as it is a talent, Neil is a very fast learner. From computer coding to spellcasting, if given a good teacher and motivation, he can learn just about anything faster than most pupils. (OOC: I'm searching for a new Raven roleplayer to help him learn new things.)
Disadvantages / Weaknesses
- Emotion - This is pretty straight forward. Neil can be overly dramatic. This disrupts powers that require him to be devoid of distracting emotion in the back of his mind.
- Uncontrolled Storms - Neil does not have full control over his Aerokinesis ability. It has a sort of ripple effect in the skies much as a rock would when thrown in water. It's easy to start, but once you churn the fluid, it doesn't stop immediately. If Neil starts a storm with his powers, he can't stop it. The storm has to die off naturally.
- Magick can defeat Magick - If Neil combats another spellcaster, they'd probably beat him. He's still an amateur.
- Stress Limits - There's only so much energy Neil is capable of tapping into. If his powers are overused, he'll eventually run out of steam and be rendered as powerless as a normal human--not to mention he'll have a throbbing headache and feel physically ill. If he even uses enough power in one burst, he could even pass out.
Spells, Incantations and Artifacts
Spells and Rituals
- Saaa-taaa Naaa-maaa - A chant, similar to Azarath Metrion Zinthos, for calming himself and focusing his darker magick which he is more adept to practice.
- Azarath Metrion Zinthos - Although Neil can practice this power, it is not without its risks (as mentioned prior). He needs a proper teacher like Raven to help him learn how to control this better.
- Necronom Hezberek Mortix - A form of wild, uncontrollable, but incredibly powerful dragonic black magick supposedly known by a dragon named Malchior. When cast upon enemies, if unprotected, their bodies will be ripped apart. Ironically, Neil has much better control over this ability than Raven ever did, possibly because he's used to the black magick it involves, but it may also be due to Avro's presence. Neil often loses consciousness after casting this spell due to its draining effect.
Books, Artifacts, and Notable Possessions
- "Satanic Bible" by Anton LaVey
- "The Devil's Notebook" by Anton LaVey
- "The Holy Bible" New Testament
- "The Mormon Bible"
- "The Jerusalem Bible"
- "The Holy Qur'an" translated into English
- "No God but God, the origins, evolution, and future of Islam"
- "Modern Middle East"
- "History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict"
- "The Heart of the Buddha's Teachings"
- "Commentaries on the Book of Azar" - Volume 1
- "Quotes by Shakespeare"
- "A Blue Dove for the Princess"
- "The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao"
- "Vice and Virtue in Everyday Life"
- A Necronomicon (though he hasn't read it yet)
- Miscellaneous philosophy textbooks
- Demonology books
- Dragonology books
- A VHS set of the original Star Wars Trilogy, episodes 4 through 6.
- Dragon Skull cane
- Various mini dragon statues
- A metal ring that says, "What would I do without you?" Beast Girl owns a female-sized version of the ring.
- A pile of various video game magazines from 2004 to 2008.
- Wikipedia for some added help.
- Titans North Members Database
- Spades Neil's MySpace (Unused)
- Spades Neil's Roleplay.me (Main profile)
- FanFiction.net/~SpadesNeil (old, unrevised, very uncanon, and terribly written, so you've been warned)
- The creative mind of Jeremy Neil.
- AIM: Spades Neil
- YIM: spades_neil
- Roleplay.me/Spades_Neil (Preferred for Titans RP)
- Originally, Spades Neil was just a crappy self-insert into the Titans RP universe. Over time he's been refined, but certainly still needs improvement. While I will never use him for any serious work, constructive critique is still appreciated.
- Spades Neil is an ex-Satanist who read into the philosophies of Anton LaVey. He abandoned Satanism with the reasoning of it being "too selfish" of a religion.
- Spades Neil is a heavily revised version of an older Titans-based original character, Gemini. However, Gemini was made on the fly, and despite a storyline and roleplay spanning three years, the storyline is really badly developed and full of lousy clichés.
- Spades Neil was actually not created with the intention of becoming Raven's sister, but that's just how things played out in roleplay. Originally I had pushed that idea aside because I thought it would be too obvious and cheesy.
- Spades Neil is copyright Aces Productions. Commercial use of this character is prohibited. I really don't need to get into the legality of it because it's not like most of you are going to make money off this character, but I've had issues before, so I post it anyway no matter how dumb it sounds. If you want to write a fan fiction using him, or satire him somehow, go for it.
- Magick is an Early Modern English spelling for magic, used in works such as the 1651 translation of De Occulta Philosophia, Three Books of Occult Philosophy, or Of Magick. The British occultist Aleister Crowley, chose the spelling to differentiate the occult from stage magic and defined it as "the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will", including both "mundane" acts of will as well as ritual magick.