The son of a farmer from Gascony, young d’Artagnan was raised to be a man of chivalry and honor, with a keen mastery of the sword. It was as if his father was always raising him for a grander destiny than a farmer in the village of Lupiac. That grander destiny came after him in 1630 on the road to Paris as d’Artagnan and his father road to petition the king regarding taxes. The elder d’Artagnan would never make it to Paris; at a roadside inn, he was accosted and murdered by a masked man claiming to be Athos of the King’s Musketeers. That name was his father’s dying breath, sending d’Artagnan to Paris to confront his father’s apparent murderer.
Once he engaged the musketeer, d’Artagnan found himself drawn into a chain of events that would not only exonerate Athos, but capture the real culprit from Cardinal Richelieu’s Red Guards and avenge his father. Having befriended Athos and his closest comrades, Aramis and Porthos, d’Artagnan found himself a musketeer recruit. In this capacity, he fought alongside the three “Inseparables,” accompanying them on missions that tested his courage, cunning, and fighting talents.
Months wore on, however, and d’Artagnan was still only a recruit without a commission or the salary to show for his efforts. This lack became all the more crucial when a criminal named Labarge was captured and convicted of burning down several farms and properties, including d’Artagnan’s. Without the farm, d’Artagnan was left without income. His only remaining chance was a tournament against the Red Guards to be held before the King; if d’Artagnan could be chosen to fight he might prove himself and earn his commission as a Musketeer.
His hopes were dashed when the Musketeers’ Captain Treville decided to act as champion instead, depriving d’Artagnan of his chance. Treville’s choice became clear when it was revealed that Richelieu had recruited Labarge into the Red Guards to make sure he had the necessary brute strength on his side to beat the Musketeers. Labarge savaged Treville, breaking his shoulder and throwing both regiments into chaos. Allowed to nominate a second champion, Treville chose d’Artagnan, who was able to defeat Labarge. Impressed by what he had seen, King Louis asked d’Artagnan to kneel and officially join the Musketeers.
D’Artagnan was the big fish in the small pond of Lupiac. Alexandre d’Artagnan raised him to be so much more than a Gascon farmboy. Doubtless, if his skills are reaching par with the Musketeers’ chief swordsman Athos, he must have been one of the best in Lupiac. It doesn’t change that he has little real experience with the kind of combat the Musketeers see, evidenced with his assertion that he was raised to fight with honor while his friends ask if he was raised to die young. He believes in honest combat, fought between honorable men, letting his passions rule his strategy. The result is a prodigiously talented swordsman with a temper that’s almost gotten him killed on multiple occasions.
This is not to say that d’Artagnan is stupid. By the time he’s earned his commission, not only has d’Artagnan learned to control his temper in a fight, he’s also learned to be canny. At times, he even takes advantage of the first impression many have of him, playing the guileless farmboy with a temper to his benefit. Though among friends, he wears everything on his face, when it is required by a mission, d’Artagnan knows what to do. Those who underestimate him as straightforward and stupid often find themselves on the losing end of the skirmish.
Regardless of the roles he must play, in his everyday life, d’Artagnan aspires to be a man of honor. He does his best to treat others fairly and to give women their due respect (though at times this has run parallel with underestimation, getting him bitten and held at gunpoint). He likes to believe that all men will behave in a similarly honorable and courteous way, even when he knows that is rarely the case.