Nicholas Ballard, is a being created by the Yonko, Daddy L. Legs during an experiment upon a captured pirate, who she unraveled and put back together in the shape of a new individual altogether. Although he kept his original name, the being that resulted from the womans vile machinations was something very different, born from a webbed cocoon and emerging into this world a grown man, fit with a mature body and a keen mind.
Born from her power as he is, and imbued with a significant portion of it, Ballard possesses similar powers to the wonders and miracles that Legs herself is known to possess. Although his ability to use the esoteric art that many have taken to calling magic is proof of an unbreakable contract with his maker, one that would see a price paid in his life if he were to ever betray her.
His unusual abilities, which only a select few possess beside himself and his mistress, enable him to do wondrous things and makes up for his poor fighting ability at close quarters.
At a glance, Ballard looks the part of a finely dressed gentleman typically seen in a variety of fine-cut suits of various pattern and colors. Taller than most regular humans, Nicholai is nonetheless small in comparison to many pirates, marines and fighters in the New World, including his mistress which completely overshadows him in that regard. Lithely buildt, one can easily make out that his creator didn't intend for him to a frontline combatant, and his overall appearance often leads others to assume that he is a non-combatant member of her crew.
Nicholai's face is considered to be pleasing by many, as it was presumeably shaped to be disarming, given how Nicholai often serves as an envoy sent to collect tribute to his mistress from islands under her control.
However, despite being a nue created to resemble a human, certain physical traits of his are known to stand at odds with that idea. His tail is the first sign that he might not be entirely human, it is a powerful white tail tipped with a stinger that can produce an incredibly powerful poison. His elfine ears are also easily spotted when one gets close to him, and when he opens his mouth to speak, one cannot help but notice a disturbing reality: for his teeth aren't those of a man, they are those of a monster. For they're needle-like and like his tail, are reputed to be venomous. When he closes his mouth these teeth fold back into his gums in order to not wound him accidentally.
Ballard has a theory that the Spider Empress created his body to be both alarming and reassuring at the same time. None of his features are overwhelming on their own, but they make for a constant reminder that he is not a human, nor will he ever be one.
Powers & AbilitiesEdit
The power that some call magic is a parasitic one, for it requires the energies of the land of the dead, and consequently, lives must be continously sacrificed in order to keep its power. For since the energy is not naturally present among the living, it is ever finite and limited, even to the woman who makes harnessing it at all possible. Nicholai is but a shade of what she is, and although he possesses the ability to extract these precious energies from the dying or recently deceased, the amount of power he can extract from the deed is but a tenth of what his mistress can accomplish. For this reason, Nicholai's weapons of choice, namely six orbs imbued with soul energies from the Yonko herself, are largely dependant on her continued patronage in order to allow the man to operate at full strength.
Each orb is a small sphere of a smooth crystal-like material, which despite its fragile appearance is exceedingly difficult to break, being creations of the Yonko as surely as he is. Reservoirs of energy, these orbs are each capable of holding a specific amount of soul energies at once, measured rather simply as Units, each orb is capable of holding up to twenty units. Ballard draws upon these energies in order to realize his power, namely that of generating a wide range of usually destructive or negative effects, ranging from generating powerful elemental effects, to suppress the conciousness of a victim to make them fall asleep, to visit enormous destruction upon a country at the command of his mistress.
Beyond their capacity as energy sources, they're also innately capable of manifesting simplistic versions of his simpler spells, enough so that they serve as potent weapons at mid-range as well. And enemies who are assaulted by them find themselves impaled by icicles erupting out of thin air, electrocuted within an inch of their lives, or charred to the bone by scorching flames. Nicholai even has the ability to mix their effects together when they strike an opponent all at once, such as generating a point-blank explosion of conflicting elemental forces, many a stunned foe have found themselves destroyed by this application. For after they've endured the many hardships that came before it, they rarely expect that the string of attacks has only just begun. Due to how the orbs are controled by Ballard mentally, they're extremely effective at overwhelming opponents with barrages of powerful attacks in quick succession, even as Nicholai unleashes destructive spells upon them from afar.
Perhaps its because of their great offensive prowess that people are often prone to forgetting the sheer mobility that they offer, for witth them now bound to Ballard, they bestow upon him unlimited flight capabilities; and allowing him to dart around the battlefield and move mid-attack with strict ease. Thus, even though he's not as fast as some other fighters in the new world, Ballard is capable of staying alive just fine.
Although the Six Orbs make for extraordinary weapons in their own right, the true power at Nicholai's command is that of his spells; predetermined and preconstructed manifestations of his wonders, unlike the powers of a Logia, or even Devil Fruits, these spells, while certainly very powerful and capable of great destruction and damage, are predictable. For with slight alterations and small circumstantial differences, the spells manifest in precisely the same way every time. Agria always summons a flurry of medium-sized fireballs, Crystla always causes large icicles to rise up from the ground, and Fulcra always manifests as a concentrated lance of scintilating lightning.
It is unknown why exactly the curious magician speaks the names of his spells aloud, or even why they have names in the first place. Although it seems likely that he does it either for dramatic effect or as a form of self-suggestion to produce that singular spell as opposed to the numerous others at his disposal. This is also the reason why the man deviced alternative and increasingly powerful versions of the three basic spells he prepared, where he simply adds one or two letters to their original name to denote their advanced nature.
The differences between a low-grade spell and a higer-grade version is noted to be quite large, with Agriaza producing an inferno fit to consume a town. Ultimately, these spells originate from Ballard's orbs, and assuming that the number of energy units they require don't exceed what's left in an orb, each orb can cast a separate spell in immediate succession. Although this is rarely done, as it is highly wasteful in most situations, instead, Nicholai supplements the spells with the generic elemental offensives of the orbs.
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