Julian Richelieu is a black mage who worked for the Clergy of Mardük until he defected during the Great War. He has a troubled past, and many still remember him as the right-hand man of Zarnagon from the war years. He is currently a member of the Council of Mages in the Magicracy of Alent and tries to make up for his past mistakes although he hasn't forgotten the clergy's teachings completely. He is willing to do whatever it takes to save the world from the forces that threaten it, even if it means going against the orders of his fellow mages as well as his superior Jemuel.
- "Ariadne, that name..."
- "It's your name. You can't deny your past."
- —Richelieu and Ariadne discussing Richelieu's real name
A boy was born into a poor fisher's family in some small seaside village at the coast of Libaterra. He was named Julian, and had an innate talent for magic which surfaced when he was young. Some in the village said that Julian was a prodigy and that he should be sent to the mage academy once he had grown up. The young Julian could care less, though, and instead spent his days playing with his brother who was dear to him even though his brother didn't possess any magic whatsoever.
However, the Clergy of Mardük sent dark clerics to the village one day to seek out anyone whose powers could be great enough. They located Julian and kidnapped him, killing anyone who tried to stop them. They took him to Yamato all the way to Vulpengaard Keep where they brainwashed Julian, like many other children they had kidnapped, and gave him a new purpose and a new name: Richelieu.
The years training under the clergy were cruel, and Richelieu was molded into a powerful mage with no qualms about killing innocents. However, despite the brainwashing, Richelieu always looked for a higher purpose than just destruction: he saw the way of Mardük as a means to make nations stronger and help them prosper. He became a well-intentioned extremist who remained loyal to the clergy and mastered the clergy's ancient codes, a feat which even a fellow cleric like Zarnagon couldn't do.
A New Path
- "I never stopped fighting the clergy for you, Julian, my brother!"
- —The final words of Richelieu's brother
Ariadne and Richelieu went on a mission together a few months after the founding of Alent and captured a band of Rebels from Trinity Gask that had been raiding Alent's caravans. The mages had their prisoners all lined up, ready to execute them because they couldn't really release bandits and didn't have the manpower for POW camps.
Richelieu walked the line as the execution was about to take place, and one of the prisoners shouted 'JULIAN!' A mage panicked and zapped the prisoner. Richelieu ran to the the dying rebel only to hear him say that he had never stopped fighting the clergy to get his brother, Julian, back. The crying Richelieu tried to draw on his old cleric powers to save his brother, but with Mardük gone, all he got was a little spark.
The distraught Richelieu went to Ariadne, asking to see her recors. They found out that Richelieu had been was captured as a boy from a little Libaterran fishing village by the clergy. Richelieu was never the same after that, always brooding. He started falling away from Jemuel and Drishnek as he realized that the lich was controlling Jemuel and had no intention to usher in the perfect world which Richelieu desired.
A month or two later, Ariadne disappeared. The Anti Mage Police never solved the case, but rumours spread about Richelieu killing her. Some speculated that something had snapped in him the day his brother died and that he had taken it out on the messenger. Richelieu couldn't be judged, though, because he had other councillors such as Omaroch backing him up, and the police couldn't find any solid evidence to arrest him.
Richelieu, however, was hatching a plan. He had seen the evil in Drishnek but wasn't willing to endanger any of his friends in the council if his plan backfired. Thus he gathered skilled magic users and locked them up in his tower, performing horrific magic rituals on them to weed out the weak and make the rest grow strong enough to become Chaos Knights, paladins who could utilize the pure essence of holy magic in a battle against an unholy creature such as Drishnek.
Training the paladins would take time, but Richelieu was willing to proceed slowly. He couldn't make any mistakes, or the world would fall under Drishnek's ever-growing influence.
On Death's Trail
Echoes of War
A Crimson Dawn
Tears of the Sun
Aliases and Nicknames
- Richelieu's real name. Very few people know it, and Richelieu prefers to not hear anyone calling him that because he doesn't want to think about his past. However, he's slowly mellowing out and has begun writing his name as 'Julian Richelieu' in his personal memoirs.
Richelieu wears a red cloak and has long, brown hair. He also wears glasses.
Personality and Traits
A calm, analytic individual, Richelieu doesn't act rashly and instead wishes to wait for an optimal time to strike unless he's in grave danger and needs to act quickly. Although he has done awful things in the past, he seems to have become an atoner and tries to better the world even if his methods include killing those who oppose Alent.
Powers and Abilities
Richelieu is a powerful albeit fragile mage. He often uses his wits to catch his opponents off-guard before he unleashes his magic on them. He could even temporarily defeat Zarnagon by using this method while he escaped from Myridia.
At first Ariadne and Richelieu had a strictly platonic relationship as they learned from each other. However, they grew closer over time and began spending more intimate times together. Although Ariadne sees Richelieu as a trustworthy companion, Richelieu himself is more reluctant about this as he's still troubled by his dark past.
Richelieu and Drishnek never got along, especially when Richelieu became the first person to realize what Drishnek's goals were. Jemuel's power was the only thing that prevented Drishnek from killing Richelieu outright, although he often tried to make Jemuel finish Richelieu off. Richelieu was furious that he would have to serve a being from the Land of the Dead and planned to use Ariadne and her knights to finally rid Jemuel of Drishnek's influence.
The relationship between Jemuel and Richelieu has been a rocky one. They worked together well in their early years, but Drishnek's manipulation made Jemuel more paranoid, which in turn made Richelieu more cautious. Although Jemuel began suspecting that Richelieu was plotting a coup, Richelieu respected Jemuel so much that he was willing to sacrifice himself to bring an end to Drishnek's power over Jemuel. Once Drishnek had been dealt with, Jemuel realized the error of his ways, and Jemuel and Richelieu became close allies again.
Richelieu and Zarnagon never quite got along. Both were ambitious men who saw each other as dangerous rivals. By the time Richelieu chose to abandon his post in Myridia, Zarnagon was more than happy to strike him down, but Richelieu surprised him by referring to him as a half-demon. This revelation led Zarnagon to ponder his true identity which was fully revealed during the confrontation with Refan.
Although suspicious of each other at first, Omaroch and Richelieu befriended each other when they were on the run from Zarnagon. Although Omaroch originally acted as a liaison to introduce Richelieu to Jemuel, they got along surprisingly well, and Richelieu seemed to be one of the few clerics of Mardük who understood Omaroch. Once Omaroch had broken free from his mind control, he returned to Richelieu's side and helped him and Jemuel seal the Libaterran reactor core and beat back the rampaging Faerfolc. Richelieu helped Omaroch become one of the members of the Alentian council, and even when Richelieu became more and more eccentric over the years, Omaroch remained one of the few people who stood by his side.
Richelieu briefly interacted with Yurius as he heard his voice in meditation. The voice, which didn't identify itself, guided him to leave Remon with Omaroch and Jemuel. Richelieu hasn't been paying attention to the voice since although Yurius seems to have ideas in mind for him.