The story of The Duke.
When Ethan first found him in the game:
Duke: I’ve been waiting for you. Mister Winters.
Ethan: How do you know my name?
Duke: Anyone who is anyone has heard of the likes of you. A hero searching for his daughter. Though i must say, that castle arouses suspicion.
Ethan: Yeah, and so do you.
Duke: i am but a humble merchant.
Duke: Forgive my manners, call me the Duke. Now to business. weapons, ammunition, healing salves-Anything you desire, I can provide.
An impressive figure, the Duke wears all kinds of jewels on his hands and fine clothes. He is, after all, a merchant, and his carriage is loaded with all sorts of sundries and important weapons and ammunition, all pulled by a horse that seems to have superpowers.
This cart we see here simply does not allow such a big man to operate and move around in it. He may just look like a businessman, but according to the concept art, the Duke was intend to be the fifth lord in the game. The other four lords rule their kingdoms, trying to kill Ethan.
As Ethan continues his journey, he discovers this hidden past.
Duke: We meet again.
Ethan: Duke? Why are you here?
Duke: Where there’s coin to be made…And have you found your daughter?
Duke:if she is truly here, the Lady of the castle would have kept little Rose in her private chambers, would she not?
Duke: The very same. Why don’t you take a look?Maybe you’ll get lucky. And speaking of looking…care to make a purchase?
We find the Duke in Lady D’s castle, and a guest book shows that he was allowed into the castle to discuss business. Despite helping Ethan along the way, the Duke is known by the lady and is even invited to meet. Does this mean Duke is also a lord with the same power?
Later in the game, when inside the Duke’s cart, Ethan found the carpet with the owl on it, and some French words underneath, words that would probably translate into English, money the right?
Let’s continue, after escaping the castle, Ethan confronts the Duke.
Duke: There you are. I had a feeling you would pop up here.
Ethan: It was all worthless.
Duke: Is that so? I assume you’ve picked up something of value.
Ethan: Not sure if it’s of value, but…
Duke: Why, you have your daughter right in your own hands.
Ethan: What are you saying?
Duke: Take a closer look. That flask seems to contain her head.
Ethan: No… Wh-Wha-?
Duke: Rose is-
Ethan: Don’t say another word! This-this is impossible!This just can’t be…!
Duke: Your daughter’s essence is still intact. Her power are truly unique.
Ethan: Who-who could even do this?
Duke: She can be saved. you know?
Ethan: Saved? From this? Are you insane!?
Duke: There’s a house with a red chimney on the western side of the village. Go and seek out the man who lives there. Then we can continue our conversation.
Ethan: Quit holding out and get to the damn point!
Duke: You don’t have to trust my words, but do you have any better options? Your choice. The customer is always right, after all.
Ethan: You’ll pay if i find out this is a lie.
Duke: How was it? Did you learn anything?
Ethan: I found these feathers. Now tell me how to fix this like you said you would.
Duke: Settle down. First you must use that key and collect all of your little Rose’s flasks.
Ethan: Where are the rest of them?
Duke: There are four in total. You have the one. and the other lords have the rest.
Duke: Mother Miranda is the cold. calculating ruler fo this village. Four lords serve under her. The first you’ve already met. the lady Dimitrescu. The second lives deep in a valley of mist, the doll maker Donna Benevento.None of her playmates have ever come back from that dank, old estate. The third is Moreau, a being of twisted flesh that lives in the reservoir past the windmills. It’s said that he is not the only monster that lives in those waters. The fourth and most dangerous is Heisenberg. He works in his factory on the village outskirts. And the project? Let’s just say parts of the human imagination are better left along.
The Duke is now in this position for most of the game, but will react to Ethan’s actions and where he goes, even offering to buy the remains of the lord Ethan that killed, suggesting once again that perhaps this creature of incredible power is looking for revenge
“Oh, Lady Dimitrescu! Beautiful even in death. That waistline…yes!”
“Ah, Miss Angie! Just adorable. Porcelain dolls are very popular, you know.”
“This is Lord Moreau’s? I suppose it’s what they call ‘the beauty of the grotesque’?”
“Oho, the assemblage of life and machine! I can feel lord Heisenberg’s essence through it.”
During this time Ethan also discovers that the Duke seems invincible and no guns or explosives can hurt him, in fact he laughs at Ethan when he tries. This may just be a game setting, and we can’t have our only merchant in the game vulnerable. it could be he also have the power similar to Lady D.
Yes, without the Duke, Ethan would not have been able to save his daughter Rose, and when Ethan asks who the Duke is, even himself is not sure, which confirms that the Duke is another creation by Mother Miranda, or one of her servants, and that his mutated form is very similar to Salvatore Moreau’s. In a possible fifth lord, the Duke is different though, and I think he will eventually betray his creator.
A member of the town’s diary reveals that despite Miranda’s objections, the Duke distributed newspapers to help the townspeople learn about the outside world. Maybe he didn’t like the idea of all his customers being slowly turned into Lycans by Miranda, after all, it’s bad for business. There is another theory I want to talk about, maybe the Duke is a being that lives in Ethan Winters mind, after all Ethan is dead. At the end of the game, Ethan blows up most of the village, maybe that’s what the Duke wants, and he takes his invincibility with him to go further afield, perhaps to see an old friend.