|Jack of Spades|
|First appearance||September 16, 2012|
|Occupation||Self employed jack of all trades|
|Family||Grace (sister, deceased)|
“I was only trying to help!”
—Spades to Aurora
Superfluously honest, painfully humble, questionably wise and disastrously accident prone, Spades is just so Spades.
At first glance, Spades is a happy-go-lucky creature, and not the sharpest tool in the shed. He is exceptionally well-mannered and polite, to the point where has has difficulty interacting informally with others. He is also rather sensitive, and easily becomes uncomfortable or embarrassed in social settings.
On the surface, he possesses an almost delusional optimism, and lacks the capacity to give up in the face of defeat, traits that have a habit of landing him in trouble when he attempts to bite off more than he can chew. Conversely, he does not handle failure at all well, and can become greatly distressed if he feels like he has not succeeded at something.
He can often be found sitting out at Ponyville park in the middle of the night, drawing, carving or painting. Away from the town, where he is more likely to get the chance to speak one on one, he is much more relaxed and talkative. Given the chance, he will settle into philosophical debate, and can be surprisingly thoughtful and insightful, even if his anti-nihilistic ideals are simple, and possibly naive. It is during such talks he demonstrates a self-deprecating humour, and a lack of faith in himself that belies his positive attitude.
Despite his insecurities and failures, his friends have broken past his barriers, and given him the courage to face down his demons. He may have found a place to belong, hope for a future, and ponies to call family along the way.
Spades has gone through several residences, from a hole in a bank at Grace's Clearing to Icicle Gleam and Bluegrass's house,
to the clinic.
He currently lives in Vagrant's Barn with Trouble, and can be found working at Amber's Greenhouse, as well as volunteer work at the markets, draftsponies, clinic, graveyard, allotments and nearly everywhere else. Most weekends find him staff training in the park with Night Flurry.
Spades is ALWAYS willing to help. ^_^
Spades is a recovering amnesiac. His very first memory is falling through the sky towards Ponyville. He spent a short while institutionalised and living in care with his sister, Grace.
During the events of the Discord event, Spades encountered the Lord of Chaos, who ridiculed Spades' blank flank and exploited his fear of failure for his own amusement. In the events that ensued, Spades was Discorded, and Grace was lost to the Everfree. After the Elements restored the town, Spades put his sister to rest and fled Ponyville, in the hopes of putting the past behind him and rediscovering himself.
In the years that followed, Spades traveled from town to town, living off the land and filling odd jobs where he could. His journeys took him to the town of Silverglade, where he was briefly taken in by Patch, the town's medic, whilst working under the towns gravekeeper. A clash between the town's militia and a local pack of diamond dogs left Spades with a nemesis, a price on his head, and an inferiority complex.
Return to Ponyville
Returning once more to Grace and Ponyville, Spades took to residing in a den carved in an embankment next to his sister's grave. He was first encountered by Aurora, recovering from her feral form, and then by Sunrise, who was attempting to lure Aurora from the forest, and unwittingly lured Spades instead. Unwilling to leave Spades unfed, Fixit invited him back to his home, where he met the robot Trixingno, and later Spring Showers.
His nocturnal jaunts to the park led him to meet Bluegrass, who he followed at night to listen to her music, and Trixingno, both of whom he grew close to whilst discuss his thoughts on life with. Bluegrass even went so far as to drag him to the bar, introducing him to some of the patrons, (and attempting to seduce him).
Spades also chanced upon Summerset, a vagrant like he who took shelter near the Everfree. A creature of chaos, Spades nevertheless attempted to befriend her. One violent encounter ended with him fending her off as she tried to bite him, in which he left behind his shovel. The next time they met, her madness again got the better of her, and in a moment of panic, Spades attacked her, knocking her out.
Talks to Trixingno about his feelings for Starflower made Spades question his actions, and he resolved to put his feelings aside in order to be there for Summerset, keeping her company at the clinic until her eventual release.
Trips to Fixit's workshop, and a small circle of friends eventually gave Spades the courage to enter the bar, and he slowly began to meet others. He grew especially close to Trixingno, in whom he saw a kindred spirit, and who he admired greatly for having found purpose in life in his vow to protect Starflower.
The next encounter was with the weatherpony Icicle Gleam, who went out of his way to befriend Spades. Despite their seeming differences they quickly (somehow) bonded during the Running of the Leaves, a drinking contest with Mahogany, and a couple of trips into the forest. Gleam became the first pony to learn of Spades' living conditions, of Grace, and of Runt.
During aforementioned drinking contest, Spades also met the exotic Katlego, whom he assisted with enrollment forms. Their first attempt to talk was swiftly derailed by would-be matchmakers, and the second resulted in him rebuffing her advances - believing himself not good enough for anyone - in favour of friendship. The two began to spend more time together, Kat's opinion of him forcing Spades to review his perceived lack of worth.
Runt arc I
Spades and Gleam's second trip into the forest took them to a cave of crystals, where they encountered Runt. In the fight that ensued, Runt fell from the clifftop path (and was subsequently saved by Gleam) and Spades was seriously wounded. He spent the next few weeks hospitalised, being visited by friends and fighting feelings of inadequacy.
During this time, Fixit gifted Spades with a music box he'd been repairing as a present for Spring, (who denied Spades' attempts to return it), and Spades finally revealed the story of his past to those closest to him. When he recovered, rather than let him return to the Everfree, Icicle Gleam offered him a place to live under his own roof.
Shortly after, a spell that went awry caused Grace's spirit to return to the world of the living. Word eventually reached Spades, who resolved to do what he could to help his sister find peace. A trip to her grave nearly cost him his relationship with Katlego, who was hurt by his breaking a promise to not return to the forest. After a reconciliation, Kat accompanied Spades to face his sister in the hopes of putting her to rest. Things went horribly wrong when the still Discorded Grace possessed Spades and attempted to lure him to her grave. Katlego managed to break her hold and pull Spades away, but not before Grace made an attempt on Spades' life.
Entering a dream state as Katlego and Icicle Gleam worked to keep him alive, Spades was assailed by twisted figures from his past - Cold Iron, Runt, Patch and Discord - all of whom attempted to break his resolve. Each was rebuked with help of the vision of Spades' closest friends - Fixit, Icicle Gleam, Katlego and Trixingno. With their help, Spades was able to reach Grace before she ended him and restored to her some measure of peace. In doing so, he also finally identified that it was himself in the form of Jack - rather than Discord - who was responsible for all his fears and doubts. With this knowledge he was finally able to forgive himself his past and accept the second lease at life offered by his friends.
Nassy's Red Accord arc
Meeting Nassy and Flare Burst in the bar one night, Spades learned of her involvement in the mob and resolved to stay clear of the danger, for Kat and Gleam's sake more than anything else. However, a chance encounter with Flare Burst in the markets one day left Spades following Flare in the fear he was needlessly endangering himself, and was in time to see him beaten nearly to death by the mobster Drift Rime. His subsequent saving the life of Flare, and potentially bringing himself to the attention of the mob raised several questions about the lengths to which he is prepared to go to help others, and how much thought, it any, he places in his actions.
Spades had little involvement with the changeling's return, other than some discussions with the villain Tick, disguised as Rash Move, notably being the only pony that Tick could not incite to anger. He was not present when Tick was dispatched, though upon learning of it's death, he took it upon himself to bury the remains of it's chess set as a memorial to the changeling for his own reasons.
Runt arc II
A work injury that cost Spades his job, and the chance of buying a house with Katlego took its toll on Spades' sense of security. In a bid to regain some control over his life, and reduce his reliance upon others, Spades decided to move out of Bluecicle's house, to the pair's concern and confusion, to a temporary camp at Whitetail. Here, he expressed his doubts to Spring, but also found the means to rally his resolve to not move on, choosing instead to stay in the town he knew as home.
In recognition of this decision, he returned one last time to Grace's clearing to collapse his old dugout and bid a farewell to his past, only to fall into a pitfall trap prepared by Runt. The diamond dog stood at the pit for days, meaning to ensure Spades' death before being free to take his own life, which was once again denied him after Spades was able to dig his way free of the pit.
As a final act of vengeance, Runt provoked and led a manticore back to the clearing, intending to see them both ended. Runt was killed immediately, and Spades was left poisoned and dying until he was rescued and nursed back to health by Cub.
“Everypony is worth forgiving, sir. You still have your talent, a way to make a difference in the world. Having that, and not acting on it - that's the true shame, sir.”
—Spades to Sly Credence
“All good things come to an end, sir. It's what makes them so precious.”
—Spades to Trixingno
“There are no happy endings, miss. It's just like you and mister Mahogany say... there's now.”
—Spades to Bluegrass
“There's nopony else in this world as worthless as I. You are the only one I can compare myself to. So long as you exist, you are my benchmark. So long as we exist, I can strive make myself better than you are.”
—Spades to Jack
“I've... lost too much to feel comfortable believing that tomorrow will be as bright as today. I'm scared... of what tomorrow might take away.”
—Spades to Nassy
“Love brings pain, sir. Fear, and hurt, and loss. Because those you love can be taken from you. Because you might not be good enough for those you love. Because those who love you might lose interest and leave you. I died here, sir, with those thoughts in my head... all I learned is I could not afford to feel those thoughts. I do not deserve to feel those thoughts. I can choose to love for my sake... or I can choose to love for others.”
—Spades to Icicle Gleam
“Not all the decisions I've made are ones I'm particularly proud of, sir. For the longest time, I wasn't proud of the pony those decisions had led to... Now, sir? Now... well... I'm still not proud. But I do not regret them any longer. And I will not be ashamed of who I am because of them. Not when there are others who believe in me.”
—Spades to Search Light and Night Flurry
“There is no pony in my life who is not special, sir.”
—Spades to Fixit
“I... have learned not to regret my decisions. I cannot afford to... For good or ill, they have led me here... Everything I've been through... no regrets. Because now I am here, and here has her.”
—Spades to Night Flurry
“I do not think that I am very strong... But perhaps I am strong enough”
—Spades to Katlego.
“My life has been rather cloudy lately. Hard to ignore the silver lining when its as bright as you are.”
—Spades to Katlego.