Leon is a man in his late twenties who stands at 6 feet tall and possesses a rather muscular build in comparison to his younger squad members, standing at a height of 6 feet. He has wildly styled sand-blonde hair which is longer on the left side then it is on the right, his shaved down hair being slightly darker than his uncut hair. He has light ocean-blue eyes framed by dark and sharp-trimmed eyebrows. His skin is lightly tanned and he has high, fairly-prominent cheekbones.
He is most often seen wearing his Scouting Legion uniform and dons the standard green cloak when on missions. He wears a button-up white shirt and dons a navy-blue bow tie, as well as a golden engagement ring on his left ring finger. Leon is often seen walking a cane. His casual attire consists of a loose, airy beige shirt under which he wears a long-sleeved black t-shirt. He wears a pair of cream riding pants and fur-trimmed boots which reach his mid-calves.
At the end of the Clash of Titans Arc, leading into The Uprising Arc - Leon grows out facial hair, sporting a dark goatee, which he keeps up until his death. His goatee grows in the same shade as his eyebrows. The prominent lines under his eyes grow longer and do not cease to fade.
As a child, Leon was rather pudgy and had all of his hair, which was neatly combed back into an easily managable undercut. It wasn't until he was 16 when he grew his hair out to a faux-hawk. He wore leg and arm braces as a child, and it is possible that Leon still wears leg braces under his boots even as an adult, though its never confirmed in canon.
Leon is a man with a rather diverse personality - he is portrayed as a rather commanding Sergeant with a fiery presence, and various soldiers have their different opinions on Leon's per se, irrational behaviour. As the other officials and veteran soldiers, Leon is rather serious and prioritizes his job over forging relationships.
Hardened by the death of his family and from seeing many soldiers serving the Scouting Legion die over the years, Leon may be for the most part unafraid of the concept of death, but is barely insensitive to death at all and is scared to lose the few people closest to him. He could care less about the large population of soldiers whom he's not acquainted with, and never has batted an eye at the casualties - which he recieves much critism for. He claims to be quite lonely and deeply misses his family.
Many of the soldiers believe Leon is a snob, as it is the side that most soldiers and the general public see the most. They are not wrong - for Leon carries himself with such dignity he comes off as a very unpleasant and judgmental individual. For starters, Leon is incredibly stubborn, and wouldn't allow for people to challenge his ideas or beliefs unless they are people of importance or higher ranking soldiers.
When he's stressed or upset, he tends to lose his temper very quickly, and it's not uncommon for him to blow up in people's faces, whether they're friends or strangers to him, before recluses himself to regain control of his emotions. It's never his intention to be cruel - but he's only human, and there are times when he can't control himself. It is difficult for Leon to apologize to people, as he can't seem to admit to himself or others when he's done something wrong - and his attempts to be apologetic come off typically as brisk or insincere, even when he really tries to be kind.
Among all his negative traits, Leon's most apparent quality is that he's the opposite of diffident. He is rather egotistical and is a sucker for receiving praise from anyone. It's very evident that he cares the most highly of himself and can be absurdly self-centered. So, to put in less than ten words - he's kind of an ass. He seems to look down on the lower class, whether this was behaviour learnt as a child or developed on his own is unknown. Despite this, there are a few exceptions, and Leon does act more honest in front of the higher ranking Scouting Legion officials, humbling himself in their presence. He shows undivided respect to his superiors, and would never question any orders they give.
Those who have become close to Leon argue that he is a very kind man who can be at least sociable. Despite how unintentionally egocentric and short-tempered he is, Leon does have the ability to be quite friendly. He actually enjoys having casual conversations with people he's come to admire and grow comfortable around, but it awhile for him to start opening up. Many of Leon's close friends also know that he can be quite sensitive and is quite prone to getting very emotional over his deceased family members, even after over a decade of them being gone. Having grown up very dependent on all of his family members, he feels quite alone without them and is especially deprived of a parental bond, which Erwin kindly supplies to him in the place of Percy, in moderation.
Due to growing up in a sheltered environment, it is evident that Leon is not as self-reliant as other soldiers. Being raised as a member of the upper class, Leon was never expected to be independent. He is dependent on those willing to take care of him. There concepts he is ignorant to and merely just cares very little for, like the poverty in the southernmost regions of Wall Maria/Wall Rose and the Underground District.
Leonardo Ancel was the last-born child in Year 823 to Carole and Percy Ancel on November 28th in the Delaciel Borough within Wall Sina’s Ehrmich District. He would be the couple’s third child, and the younger brother to twin siblings Hedrick (Hedley) and Victoire (Tori) Ancel, each four years older than their brother.
Carole was a housewife, due to the Ancels being an aristocratic family, there was no urgency for her to find work. Percy, on the other hand was a high ranking soldier in the Scouting Legion who had been offered the rank of Sergeant after nearly eight years in service and was the leader of a specialized squad called the “Elite Patrolling and Navigating Squad”. He spent most of his time in the Scouting Legion’s headquarters, and minimal time at home. Percy’s work hours upset Carole greatly, who believed her husband was spending far too much time at work and not enough time with herself and the three children. Carole often believed Percy was having affairs with other men or women and had become disloyal to the family, none of which was true. Percy was a loyal husband and father, even though he was not periodically with them.
Carole was tasked with raising the children primarily on her own with Percy being absent so constantly for work. While the twins were more independent, Leon was a more dependent and clingy child, constantly required to be coddled and cradled due to how often he cried and threw constant fits. Leon kept this behaviour up for longer than Carole had judged, but what struck her as odd was the fact that Leon was nearly two and had not yet taken his first steps. The concerned mother brought Leon to a clinic in the district, where Leon was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder which is today known as hereditary spastic paraplegia. The doctor incorrectly and accidentally claimed to Carole that Leon may never be able to walk, but truthfully that the disease was the reason why Leon had not taken his first steps. After this diagnosis of Leon’s condition, Carole almost immediately stopped allowing Leon outside and demanded that he stay inside for his own safety. She tried her best to eliminate accidents from her son’s life by keeping the boy inside. A majority of Leon’s life was spent inside, confined to a chair next to the window - going outside at most twice a week for visits to a pediatrician in Delaciel. (Leon gained the ability to walk at roughly age three and a half, with the assistance of arm and leg braces.) Tutors would come by to teach Leon lessons for his grade level and he proved to be mentally intact. However, his social skills were slow to develop because he didn’t have many friends as a child due to enforced isolation, so his only ‘friends’ were his family members. Spending all day sitting down had its drawbacks, of course. The biggest concern was Leon was slightly overweight as a child, and Carole occasionally feared her son would be severely obese by the time he reached his teens.
When Leon was roughly 10, it marked the first big change in his life. Percy had come home one day, encouraging for the twins to join the next Training Squad which was open to admissions. Hedley and Tori agreed and had gone off to join the 87th Training Squadron in 833. The next three years were very quiet in the Ancel Manor and Leon had slowly developed a feeling of envy for his siblings in par with questioning his position and his place in the world. His strength against his condition was gradually improving - and his most apparent problems being his gait and his chubbiness. By 836, Hedley and Tori had graduated with honours, Hedley having graduated with a place in the squadron’s top ten at tenth place. Percy beckoned the twins to join the Survey Corps and serve as members of his squad - which both had reluctantly done.
Having had three years to try and figure out what he wanted to be - Leon confronted Carole, symbolistically walking right up to her and telling her he wanted to join a Training Squadron. Baffled by her son’s request, Carole denied - but Leon continued to press and plead for her approval. She would try to coax him away from the idea by reminding Leon of his condition would put him at a dangerous disadvantage and that he too chubby to be a soldier, but Leon refused to give into her harsh critique. Almost two months of non-stop begging had gone by before Carole finally gave in and unwillingly gave him permission to join the open Squadron, the 90th Training Squadron, lead by Instructor Reginald Watsham. Leon was accepted into the Squadron - and within his first week met Janice Malory (later on Ezekiel Malory), Clive Ehrlich and Antonio Vega, who would become his most trusted allies over the next three years.
When training began, Leon was obviously unprepared for the challenge, both physically and mentally. As his mother had told him, Leon wasn’t in ideal shape - and had a dramatic lowering in self-confidence when the instructor’s would often taunt Leon’s poor physique, referring to him most commonly as “Fatty”. It took Leon a while to gather that the intent of these insults was not only to offend - and the Instructor would poke at things every cadet was self-conscious or nervous about in order to teach them to ignore these little comments and instead focus on the larger task(s) at hand, a classic drill sergeant method. However, the instructor’s comments motivated Leon to begin losing weight - through exercise, a proper diet and eventually, smoking. (Leon began smoking, occasionally, when he was 15 and more during his mid-twenties.)
Leon’s breakthrough occurred when the cadets were taught how to use the Omni-Directional Maneuvering Gear. So far, he’d been failing in the physical portion of training - proving unable to maintain a pace with the rest of the group during running exercises and collapsing due to exhaustion multiple times a day. Reginald’s patience was gradually wearing thinner with the disabled teen, doubting him just as Carole had and he was making the decision to confront Leon and tell him perhaps the military life wasn’t meant for him.
It was around this time when Leon was also trying to improve on his own. During the daytime class exercises, he was so exhausted because he’d spend the nights training while the other trainees slept, determined to catch up, which Reginald was unaware of. Rather than miraculously improving overnight, his nighttime practices impinged on his grades and overall performance, the only benefit being it had gotten him into slightly better shape and he’d been able to teach himself gymnastics. The second developed skill would come in handy when the trainees were taught to use the Omni-Directional Maneuvering Gear and hand-to-hand combat.
Rather than failing as everyone was expecting, Leon proved to be among the best with the gear - creating his own trademark style which had a gymnastic flare to it. Despite it being roguish and unorthodox, nor was it most graceful or refined of fighting styles, it was powerful and it packed the element of confusion and surprise. Leon also incorporated gymnastics into his fighting style, relying on upper body and abdominal strength when he could in the place of his comparatively weaker and less reliable legs. Boosted with confidence, Leon stopped his nighttime practices, and his grades began to rise. He proved to inherit his father's tactical mindset and excelled in subjects like math
After three years, the members of the 90th Training Squadron graduated. Leon ranked at 8th place, awarded as a Top Ten graduate for his improvement and excellent grades in classes. Over the course of the three years, Leon’s fat had been replaced with developed muscle - and he’d grown to an impressive height of six feet tall. With the opportunity to join the Military Police - Leon was very tempted to join the branch so he could live peacefully and with respect, but just as Percy had done to the twins, Leon found himself being dragged into the Scouting Legion to join the Elite Patrolling and Navigating Squad. Antonio Vega joined with him, while Janice abandoned the idea of joining the military to become a munitions factory worker instead. Clive Ehrlich went off to join the Military Police and would become the warden of a prison in Western Trost.
Being a new recruit to the Scouting Legion, there were things Leon needed to do before he could serve as a fully fledged soldier - including getting his uniform and completing the paperwork required for members of the EPN to fill out. Due to all of this work, it meant Leon would be missing the expedition which would shape his future and turn his life completely upside down. Commander Keith Shadis would lead the Scouts out onto a Long Range Scouting Expedition - and would lead to a catastrophic number of casualties, amounting to nearly 550 lost in just over 6 hours, when a forced retreat was declared. Prior to the 57th Exterior Long Range Scouting Expedition and the Fall of Wall Maria, this expedition took the highest death toll of any of the missions predating it.
The Elite Patrolling and Navigating Squad, composed of ten members - including his father, brother, and sister would all be declared dead, except for one. Awaiting with the citizens for the return of the soldiers, Leon naively looked through the crowd of injured soldiers, reentering the walls on horseback for the EPN. Se MacLir, the only survivor of the EPN and love interest of Leon’s sister Tori told Leon what had happened, and pointed Leon towards the body carts. While the cart moved, Leon frantically pushed through the bodies - and found the remains of his brother and his father. From their remains, Leon would take his father’s wedding band and his brother’s blue bowtie. He placed the blame on the death of his family on Se, Commander Shadis, and Second-In-Command Erwin Smith, and to this day has not fully forgiven any of them.
Prior to his death, Percy had confined with both Keith Shadis and Erwin Smith that if he were to die - he ordered for his rank to be passed down to someone of his blood in the hopes of familiarizing his family and his family name with the military. Knowing Percy was a kind and honest man, Shadis and Erwin both agreed that it could be done, and believed Percy’s eldest son Hedrick was best suited for the role when Percy’s time would eventually be up. However, with Hedrick now dead and Tori nowhere to be found, the only “qualifiable” heir to the position of Sergeant and leader of the Elite Patrolling and Navigating Squad was Leon. After less than a week after the death of the first generation of the EPN, sixteen-year-old Leon was called into Shadis’ office and was told he was going to be the Scouting Legion’s next Sergeant and would be put in charge of the EPN, per his father’s wishes. Being stressed enough already, Leon didn’t take this information well and embarrassed himself by crying in front of the high ranking soldiers before eventually storming outside, outraged that they'd contact him about something so major so soon and so suddenly
It took nearly a year before Leon had managed to “move on” from the deaths of his family. The death of his family had put him into a state of severe depression and he was very unmotivated to fight. He didn’t have an appetite anymore - and he smoked more heavily. Heck, he even maintained the stupid haircut Hedley had given him as a prank… But he never left the Scouting Legion during this time. He’d spent the year on-and-off service, serving in patrols within the walls and working in par with other squads every so often. He returned to Shadis and Erwin - shakily informing them he would try to be the Sergeant and would attempt to rebuild the EPN. For anyone - especially a 17-year-old, it would not be easy. They couldn’t just be random soldiers - they’d have to be the elite.
Leon got into contact with his old friend Anton, who would become his temporary second-in-command. He’d, later on, gather a female trafficker from the Trost Region’s Black Market by the name of Linden MacNeil, after apprehending her for thieving. Leon forcibly enlisted Linden into the available Trainee Squadron, keeping her motivated to work for him by constantly reminding her he had contacts in high places who could easily persecute her. Prior to the Battle for Trost, Leon would meet his illegitimate nephew, Adrian Brady - who’d transfer from the Garrison to the Scouting Legion to join Leon. Leon would not allow for Se to serve in his squad, telling Se he would not pay him if he joined. For the first two years as Sergeant and leader of the EPN, it only consisted of three members - himself, Anton and Linden.
Upon entering his twenties, Leon slowly began to gather himself some respect as an official. In the beginning, most soldiers criticized his age - claiming he was too young for such a high-order rule, fearing he’d make brash decisions based off of his young mind. However, Leon proved to be just as capable as the more experienced soldiers. He also began to gain his reputation as “The Compass” Official with a gifted mind for mapping, credited for acute tracking abilities and keen sense of direction. He was still somewhat immature, allowing for praise and respect to get to his head. He developed an elitist mindset and let praise fuel his ego a little too much to the point where he also gained a reputation as somewhat of an asshole.
Clash of Titans Arc Edit
Leon's first appearance is made in the Clash of Titans Arc. Neither he or his squad are seen in the story until said Arc. (WIP)
Erwin Smith - The two have a strong platonic bond which slightly resembles a father-son relationship. The two have known each other since Year 839. Dependent and comparatively meek, Leon seeks Erwin's guidance and companionship in times of need, put at ease by Erwin's paternal aura. Leading into The Uprising Arc, Leon and Erwin's stable relationship crumbles when Leon chooses to become more independent and believes Erwin is becoming too zealous. Leon continues to worry deeply about Erwin's safety at all times. When Leon dies, Erwin stands in short vigil for his fallen comrade. before he is carted off. Leon's last appearance is made in Chapter 76, where his body rests near the top of Erwin's Mountain of Corpses, displaying the same anger Erwin envisions his fallen comrades look to him as.