I decided to modify the Harold pic a bit and start writing his bio for Glenmetropolis. Even though he's been one of my more "comic relief" characters throughout the years, I plan on giving him a serious role in the story. I'm not sure if he'll replace
A. S. Phyxia altogether, or just assume her role in the war for power during the first opus. Yes, I did say there's a chance A. S. Phyxia doesn't appear in Glenmetropolis at all. I'm still wrestling with the idea, but if she does
end up in the story, it'll be whilst being heavily modified from her current look...
Anyways. This is Harold's bio, not A. S. Phyxia's.
Harold Häas may look the part of the cartoony moustache-twirling villain, but behind his over-the-top antics lies a surprisingly dangerous man. Born in the U.S. to Polish-Austrian parents, Harold enrolled in the military at the age of 18, fighting in the final year of the Vietnam War. There, he met a young man from Arizona by the name of Eric Bauer. Harold and Eric fought alongside each other, and bonded quickly. A little too much for Harold's tastes, even. He found himself thinking of Eric, the very thought of his brother-in-arm enough to send him daydreaming even in the heat of war... Harold, then a bourgeoning young man, didn't know how to deal with these urges. In 1975, especially in the American Armed Forces, the general public wasn't very keen on the idea of accepting homosexuality as a natural concept. The young soldier decided to bottle up his feelings, hoping he would get a chance to confess his feelings to Eric in private, once they returned to the US. As one would imagine, war staying true to her reputation of a cruel mistress, Eric never made it back home...
Emotionally and psychologically ravaged after the war, Harold left the military and moved to Germany, and later to France, exploring the artistic scene of the mid-seventies. It was around this period he developed a taste for paintings and visual arts. Not much of an artist himself (despite years of trying), he soon started collecting and trading various pieces of art. With an innate business acumen, Harold's then-pastime quickly became a prosperous business, as he was even called upon to sponsor emerging talent in the art community. One of those young talents, a French painter known under the nickname Farce, caught his eyes both on the canvas and in real life. The two of them had a decade-long relationship.
It was during his mid-thirdies, as his business thrived and wealth became abundant, that Harold began to dabble in the criminal underworld. A competing art dealer, and known associate of the Russian mob, kidnapped Harold and threw his bound, helpless body in chemical dump in Porcheux, France. Exposed to an astronomic amount of toxins and radiations as his body lay in a puddle of radioactive refuse, it is a pure miracle the man was able to break free from his bounds and drag himself to the nearest hospital, where he received the most immediate of cares due to his condition (and risk of infection to other patients).
Day after day, Harold struggled to stay alive. Months passed, then years... Thanks to his wealth, he was able to receive uninterrupted medical care. He gruellingly, bit by bit, began to get better. After two years and six months, Harold was back at full force. First order of business, thanking the doctors who saved his life.
This is when his powers began to manifest. As he opened his mouth, a thick, sickly greenish miasma escaped from his lips, soon filling the room. Everyone besides him began to wheeze and soon, faint. Alarmed at first, Harold then realized that this newfound ability, probably a residual effect of his exposure to toxic waste, might prove of use when dealing with the men who sent him to the hospital in the first place...
With revenge on his mind, Harold started to hire goons to protect himself, and undermine any competition. And by "undermine", one should really read "tear apart". He then spent the following months after his convalescence plotting his vengeance against the Russians... The plan would come together on the evening of his 37th birthday, as his most loyal henchmen got their hands on Vadim Galchenko, the brains behind operation "leave Harold Häas for dead in chemical sewage", and former art dealing competitor. Tied up, gagged and thoroughly helpless, Galchenko was exposed to the full brunt of Harold's halitosis-on-steroids. The man, stout of constitution, managed to resist... for a few seconds. He fell like a brick shortly after Harold's exhale. As to what happened to him afterwards, no one really knows. The most sadistic believe Harold dismembered him with a hacksaw and buried the disembodied limbs in his vast garden maze. Others say he was packed in a crate and shipped to a storage unit in Denmark. The only certainty is that Galchenko was never seen again after this encounter.
Harold's encounter with Galchenko sparked a flame in him. He already grew more acclimated to criminal endeavours, but personally knocking out another human being... It somehow reminded him of the war. And of Eric... How he was plucked from him before he could tell him his true feelings... The man's already shaky psyche just cracked, leaving an entryway for sociopathic tendencies... Over the next few years Harold began training, developing both hand-to-hand and quarterstaff techniques. He started dabbling in extortion, art thievery and black marketing. Eventually, ParaGON took an interest in the man's criminal activities, but before they could investigate, Harold had moved both his properties and enterprise to Glenmetropolis, Canada, a city ripe for his "unusual practices".
In a matter of a few years, Harold's art dealing enterprises made him the wealthiest person in Glenmetropolis. But with other eminent criminal masterminds at work, none more powerful than the Chessmaster, Harold was quickly plunged into a war for power. Leading the economic branch of the war, who knows what Harold might buy his way in to get the final say...
As far as personality goes, Harold is arguably stereotypical of the aristocratic, artistic middle-aged snobs we've all seen on television and movies. His slightly campy (yet sophisticated) character meshes well with his utter lack of compassion for people of "lower" social ranking. He takes pleasure in indisposing people he deems "worthless", and won't think twice to use his halitosis against anyone he sees fit, be they friend or foe. For Harold, illiteracy is a crime with severe consequences... He enjoys aged cheese and wine, classical music and gardening. His garden maze is very near and dear to his heart, as it is there he usually disposes of unwanted guests after knocking them out cold with his breath. Disoriented intruders wake up to a series of tall green walls, all seemingly leading nowhere. Harold finds this very humorous... He's got somewhat of a sick sense of humour, indeed...
Name: Harold Häas
Real Name: Harold Lucian Amherst von Häas, IV
Weight: 117 lbs.
Hair: Light Gray
Occupation: Art dealer, art smuggler, criminal
Lives In: Glenmetropolis, Québec, Canada
Birthplace: Beltzerville, Oregon, United States of America
Alignment: The Department of Insidious Endeavours (D.I.E.)
Family: All deceased
Marital Status: Single
Combat Archetype: Mutant (Radiation)
Source Of Power: Traces of chemical reagents attached to his lungs
Signature Style: A combination of close-quarter combat and use of toxin-enhanced halitosis
Weapon(s): Hand-carved ornate sceptre
Motivation For Seeking The Guidelight: Ensure complete economic dominance over the city.