The Duke de Richleau is an adventurer.
He is also ofttimes an operative working with British Intelligence during the highly nationalistic times of the first half of the 20th Century. His rich heritage, multi-national upbringing and his ability to walk easily and comfortably in the highest echelons of the various European governments make him a perfect instrument to not only report on events but also help manipulate them.
But first and foremost, the Duke is an adventurer. He loves the excitement and challenge and danger that he routinely pushes himself into. Over the years depicted in the eleven adventures he gathers together three men of like-mindedness and with these fellows tackles the mundane denizens of crime such as thieves, arsons, extortionists, and murderers as well as the more exotic terrorists, anarchists, political assassins, saboteurs, and more than one double and triple agents.
Born with the first name of Armand, the future Duke was from his birth the Count de Quesnoy, a title earned because of his parentage. His father was a French nobleman. His mother was a Russian princess. He was raised in the northern Carpathian Mountains possessing in truth several citizenships because of his lineage. At 18 he felt it important to establish and strengthen his French nationality so he left the Balkans and moved to the land of his father, then the Duke. His personal fortune from inheritances made it unnecessary to have a job but idleness was never in his nature. Since he wanted to be known as French, he felt it important to help serve France.
He joined the French Army and for the next few years engaged in numerous activities that saw his rank rise until he had reached the rank of Brevet Lt. Colonel. He also was known increasingly as an avid Royalist. The Fourth Republic was having more than its share of scandals and unrest and the nobility increasingly fell being a desire to again have a King rule the country. Though he never fought against the nation per se, his leanings were enough to cause him to be allowed to resign his commission. Very much in love with his lovely Angela and at odds with his paternal country, he moved to England and gained citizenship there.
With his wife expecting their first child and his new homeland offering many opportunities, he might never have lived the adventurous life he was destined for had not an anarchist's attack claim his wife and unborn child while on a trip to Spain on behalf of England. He was devastated by the loss but eventually he was pulled out of his depression to exact vengeance and then to move on.
The Duke is described as moderately tall, quite slim but athletic. He has dark slightly wavy hair which would naturally over the years gain more gray. His face is said to be oval in one report and long and thin in another leading to a disagreement. Not in question is his grey eyes with flecks of yellow that sparkle when excited and an aquiline nose. It is also mentioned that he carries himself with the "easy grace of a man who had spent most of his life hunting, dancing, fencing, and soldiering".
More than one report of the activities of the Duke de Richleau refer to him as the leading member of a small pack of "modern Musketeers". While the Duke would have scoffed at the position of leader, despite it being true, he would have chuckled and been amused at the group's epithet especially since it is so very true. The others in the unofficial group have the same love of adventure and danger as the Duke and without them, the Duke might still have engaged in many of the escapades but he would not have enjoyed them nearly as much.
These fellow danger-seekers consist of:
- Rex van Ryn, a much younger man than the Duke, scion to a very wealthy American banking dynasty. Until he met the Duke, he would more likely be found playing sports or courting beautiful women than working in banking.
- Simon Aron - an English Jew financier also much younger than the Duke but probably ten years older than van Ryn. He loves good food and beverage but seldom to excess.
- Richard Eaton - an English nobleman with a decent inheritance, he loves to indulge in the arts and can afford to do so at his pleasure.
Together these men, each having the means to afford to drop everything to go off on an adventure and the temperament to do just that. These men are all ferociously honest and gallant and each has a love of justice and the determination to mete it when necessary.