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Judge Claude Frollo

Claude Frollo was the former lord high protector and supreme judge of Paris, France, until he fell to darkness and became Tartarus' primary judge of damned souls. Though he serves the Devils faithfully enough to give the souls of the fallen and ruined what they deserve, he hates working under their hellish thumb, and seeks to overthrow Chernabog to install a new reign of God's divine light with himself as leader.

History and Description

In his youth, Claude Frollo was a highly knowledgeable but morose individual who was orphaned along with his infant younger brother Jehan when their parents died of the plague. Left alone without no help in sight, they were forced to head to the Church of Notre Dame de Paris for sanctuary, where they were adopted and raised by the kindly head priest, who would one day become the Archdeacon many years later. Under the Archdeacon's care, Frollo grew into a fine man and, after setting off into the world to make his fortune in the name of God, studied long and hard to become the head presiding judge of Paris, earning him plenty of money for which he spared a little to unwillingly help his brother with his alcoholism and frivolous spending.

Though he appeared to be a man of good temperament and understanding, the truth was that deep down due to his orphaned childhood and experience seeing how easily mankind had fallen to corruption and ruin just as his brother had, Claude had become a cold and bitter person who was determined to eradicate all of Paris of sin even if it meant imprisoning those who would inflame the populace's lowest instincts. He was fully aware of what love was, but preferred the love that came from God himself for all his children and of the love that came from a man raising his brood, swearing an oath of celibacy to honor his roots from the Church and never let his passion cloud his judgement.

However, unbeknownst to Frollo, he was not as pure and righteous as he believed himself to be, which attracted the unwanted attention of the Devils of Tartarus, especially the Firebird, to hopefully corrupt him to their side as their link to the holy city. The Firebird in particular saw the deep, unbridled passion that lurked within Claude's soul, which resonated well with its chaotic free-willed nature, and sought to manipulate him by stoking that passion.

Thankfully for the Devils, they didn't need to corrupt him with darkness to set him on the wrong path. In all honesty, Claude Frollo did it all to himself. As the years passed and many ethnic groups rose to power under the streets of Paris, Frollo's drive to eradicate them and cleanse the city of vice drew him to take extreme measures to ensure Paris' survival, becoming harsher, vindictive, and iron-fisted in his rule over the people. Even his own brother was not safe, as Claude had finally had enough of Jehan's foolishness hanging over his reputation like a noose around his neck, and ordered his arrest to the Palace of Justice.

The tipping point for Frollo's fall to darkness occurred during what seemed to be a nightly ambush on a gypsy family trying to illegally enter the city under the cover of night. When the mother, Sachette, tried to flee with her still-unnamed half-Irish son, Frollo angrily pursued her believing the child to be a bag of stolen goods. It wasn't until he caught up to Sachette on the steps of the very church of his childhood, Notre Dame, and unknowingly killed her by cracking her head on the steps with a kick did he discover the truth, but upon finding the baby was malformed, he tried to drown it in the nearby well out of a belief on sending it to Hell where it belonged. Thankfully, he was stopped by the Archdeacon, who had ran outside the church when he heard the commotion, and angrily scolded Claude for his vile actions, threatening him with eternal damnation as GOD himself, through the eyes of the statues of the Great Kings of Jerusalem, had seen everything and he couldn't deny it wasn't so. Realizing to his horror was he had done and fearing for his immortal soul, Frollo begged his former caretaker for a way to redeem himself, but the Archdeacon's answer was strict and without pity: "Care for the child and raise it as your own...". Reluctantly, Frollo agreed to this task, but requested that the child live up in the bell-tower so that no one else would see him, and that neither one would speak again of what occurred that day for as long as they lived, burying Sachette deep beneath the church in a tomb away from prying eyes. However, as Claude contemplated the future to come, he began wondering if perhaps as he was to raise the child, he could somehow make him of use to his plans for cleansing the city after all. Since that fateful evening was in truth the Octave of Easter, Frollo decided to name the babe Quasimodo as a way of honoring that day, but also as a hidden insult to his half-formed body, thoughtless and cruel as it were.

Meanwhile, the Firebird became very pleased at this turn of events, seeing it as a step in the right direction for his plan to watch over Frollo as his guardian. Now, he needed to wait for only one more opportunity to act, and then Claude's soul would finally be his to rule over. But the Devils were not the only ones watching over this scene; the High Council, led by one who could very well be Belobog himself, feared that Frollo's renewed drive thanks to the charge he was burdened with would result in him raising Quasimodo to become just as monstrous and xenophobic as he was, even more so on the outside due to his appearance. To prevent Frollo's influence from fully taking affect, the Council sent three guardian spirits down to the cathedral to possess three gargoyles and watch over Quasimodo for the next 20 years, their peaceful guidance serving as a suitable counteracting agent towards Frollo's cruel parenting.

Sure enough, by 20 years time, Quasimodo had grown into a docile and friendly youth, even as Frollo still managed to cowtow him into submission by teaching him of the terrors and prejudices of the outside world. But on this day, things were about to change tremendously for the city and its inhabitants. Frollo set forth to oversee the Festival of Fools as is his duty despite not enjoying a moment of it, but not before recruiting Phoebus to serve as his subordinate in hunting down the gypsies once the festivities had ended. In fact, during the 20 years of campaigning, Frollo had begun hearing whispers from the shadows, telling him that the Romani might have a hiding place of sorts, to which Frollo began plotting a way to find this so-called "Court of Miracles" and enact the final cleansing once and for all. But little did he suspect that his plans were about to change tremendously beyond his control, for even as he believed himself a righteous, virtuous man, Frollo still had not managed to control his passion, only push it down and bottle it up. Inevitably, during the festival, his passion was stoked by the gypsy girl Esmeralda teasing him as part of her act during the Festival, causing Frollo a great amount of self-doubt and hatred towards himself for not having protected himself from this advance ahead of time, and also towards the girl for stoking his lust in the first place. Even as Phoebus vouched for her safety by declaring sanctuary at the Cathedral in her name, Frollo still vowed to get Esmeralda in his clutches one way or another.

This was the moment the Firebird had been waiting for, and he immediately flew to the Palace of Justice to begin teasing and taunting Frollo with visions of Esmeralda in his fireplace and a whole assortment of robed judges of Hell reverse-psychological attacking the minister with proof of his guilt even as he denied it; al this to push Frollo into resuming his genodical quest with even more drive than before. And, to ensure that he would be unopposed by any who stood in his way, the Firebird granted Frollo a limited array of pyrokinetic abilities to be used only in the most extreme of circumstances. Immediately afterwards, Frollo received word that Esmeralda had escaped the Cathedral and set forth to find her even if he had to burn all of Paris to do so. The Firebird was incensed to find out that Frollo was about to waste his deal all for the Romani dancer, but decided to sit back and wait to see if things turned out better for him.