Frantz Desaux du Montaigne

Head of the Swordsmans Guild


Frantz is a young man in his mid-twenties, with black hair styled in the latest Montaigne fashion. He wears a long moustache beneath a beaky nose (but no beard), and the most expensive and fashionable Montaigne clothing, although he avoids the more impractical styles as they might interfere with his fighting. He is often impatient, given to pacing back and forth when the situation allows it. Frantz gives the impression of a man with a constant appointment to keep. He always has social functions, dinners, and rendezvous with the opposite sex to attend.


Frantz Desaux du Montaigne is the only son of Magnus Desaux du Montaigne, one of the Guild’s founders. Magnus married in 1641, two years before forming the Guild. His wife Yolonda was content to remain at home and raise their child while Magnus went out into the world to create the Guild. He returned once every six months or so to visit with his family, but otherwise left them pretty much alone. This changed when Frantz came of age in 1658; Magnus personally trained the boy in the gentlemanly art of fencing.

Frantz had already come to enjoy the social life of the Royal Court of Montaigne, and saw his father’s training as somewhat of a trial. He realized how useful duelling could be, though, and dutifully undertook the training. A natural athlete, Frantz soon became a formidable fighter.

During their sessions, Magnus discussed his plans for the Guild, and soon made it clear that he expected Frantz to succeed him when he died. Frantz disliked the idea intensely. As far as he was concerned, the Swordsman’s Guild was a boring administrative organization fit only for merchants, not nobles or fighters. He didn’t dislike the Vendel League and its Guilds, but saw no place in it for a noble such as himself. Magnus’ orders were explicit, however and when he died in a duel, Frantz discovered that his father ensured he took his seat in the Guild whether he wanted to or not. Magnus’ money went into a trust under the control of a Vendel lawyer, Gregor Altherr, who only released a certain amount of money each year, and only as long as Frantz served in the Guild to the best of his abilities.

Frantz was enraged. He tried to bribe Altherr, but the interest from the trust went to the lawyer’s fee which made it far more than Frantz could match. Deeply irritated, he took over Magnus’ position in the Guild. Since that time he has done as little as possible while still trying to collect from the trust. He takes out his frustrations by duelling: he is the most active of the three Guild leaders and spends more times perfecting his existing skills than learning or teaching. Frantz doesn’t have a lot of spare time, however. Unlike his fellow Guild leaders, he spends a great deal of time sampling the social life of Vendel and Montaigne quite often, purportedly to administer the Valroux schools but actually to attend social events.

Frantz plays the social game with consummate skill, and currently is owed more favours than he owes to others. The one exception may be Veronica Ambrogia. The famed Vodacce courtesan was a companion to his father, a situation that troubled Yolonda deeply. Since Magnus’ death, Veronica has taken up with the son. When in Vendel and her schedule corresponds with Frantz’s, the two often appear arm-in-arm at balls and parties. Frantz is the only one of the Guild leaders who can enter Vodacce with relative safety, but only when accompanied by Veronica. When Frantz and
Veronica attend a Vodacce party, the situation always grows tense. Veronica’s presence protects Frantz against simple assault, but it does not protect him against all dangers. Several young Vodacce swordsmen have challenged Frantz to duels while their elders looked on to assess the young Montaigne. Frantz killed each one with a ruthlessness that impressed even the Vodacce nobility. Since then, Frantz’s opponents limit themselves to verbal sniping. Fortunately, the Guild leader is as quick with an insult as with a blade.

Frantz Desaux du Montaigne

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