Count Charlemend de Durendaire is a non-playable character first introduced during subsequent Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers game patches, but can be met as soon as the player finishes the Heavensward expansion and begins the Ishgardian Restoration. He is the current Count of House Durendaire and father of Carvallain de Gorgagne. Believing his son died at sea, he has begun raising his youngest nephew to serve as the future head of the Durendaire family. He is the uncle to Jannequinard de Durendaire.
As the eldest son of the previous Count Durendaire, Charlemend had expected to pass on his title to his eldest son. At some point in time, his son went missing at sea, and Charlemend has since presumed him to be dead. He is entirely unaware that his son is a pirate in Limsa Lominsa, under the name Carvallain de Gorgagne.
He has an unknown sibling that is the parent of Jannequinard de Durendaire, the lead astrologian at the [Astrologicum Atheneaum] in Ishgard.
As the Ishgardian Restoration project continues , Lord Francel de Haillenarte invites the Warrior of Light along to assist him with inviting Eorzea businesses to Ishgard to help populate the growing marketplace. Accompanying them is Charlemend, who openly shows distaste for the cultures, environments, and mannerisms of non-Ishgardians.
Their first visit is Gridania, where Charlemend questions just how an unimpressive "village" like Gridania could hold potential business partners. He approaches a local woman and rudely demands she direct him to their marketplace. She rebuffs him and walks away, and before Charlemend can follow her furiously, Francel leads him away and asks the Warrior of Light to speak to others on their behalf. The Warrior of Light earns Ishgard a trade with the Black Rabbit Traders after a merchant recognizes Francel and the Warrior of Light as friends of Haurchefant Greystone, who employed the merchant previously and was known as a kind man.
The second visit is to Ul'dah. Confident he will be able to find business opportunities among the wealthy elite, Charlemend ends up tricked by a local informant named Wymond attempting to fleece him of wealth for mediocre information. The Warrior of Light and Francel intervene, which makes Wymond back off. At the same time, Lord Emmanellain de Fortemps arrives with his pageboy Honoroit, and is happy to assist the three by organizing meetings with his new friends in Ul'dah, remarking that he has found travelling Eorzea has been fulfilling for both his own social needs as well as desire to learn about other cultures in the Eorzea Alliance.
The final visit is to Limsa Lominsa; invigorated by the professional and friendly nature of the Warrior of Light, he tries to speak with the Sanguine Sirens' leader Rhoswen Leach, who sneers at his pompous nature. Charlemend then attempts to negotiate with the Kraken's Arms, who coldly shut down any trade with Ishgard. Unbeknownst to Charlemend, his missing son Carvallain watches the conversation. Seeing his father willing to reveal treasured house secrets in a potential deal persuades him that Ishgard might be moving forward from their traditional values. Though he does not wish to give up the freedoms he's gained by revealing himself to his father, Carvallain decides to offer House Durendaire a trade deal using the Warrior of Light as an intermediary.
Returning to Ishgard, Charlemend admits that he is inspired by the charismatic nature of the Warrior of Light, and how they touched the hearts of many people across Eorzea. He promises to Francel the assistance of House Durendaire for the Firmament.
After the completion of the Snowsoak Springs, an Ishgardian man introduces the Warrior of Light to the public bath. While they bathe, Charlemend quietly sits next to the Warrior of Light, which surprises the man that the noble leader of a high house would visit a public bath. Charlemend says that he feels it is important for him as a house leader to walk among common men to close the chapter of Ishgard's class divide. He wishes to learn how regular people enjoy themselves, and that he is inspired by the Warrior of Light.
The Warrior of Light discovers Charlemend later in front of Ser Vaindreau's Grace, dressed in much more common (if still very expensive) clothing. Cursing that his disguise was not good enough, Charlemend explains that he is planning to enter the hospital and apply for an aide's position, but that he fears his status will influence their decision. He asks the Warrior of Light to walk in and speak on his behalf as their positive reputation may assist his chances. The head nurse, named Maurilette welcomes the 'friend' of the Warrior of Light, and is equally surprised to see the Count of House Durendaire in her hospital.
A young orphan girl named Maelie appears and offers herself as a fellow aide, explaining that she was the child rescued by Vidofnir after being pushed from the Vault. Together, Maurilette hires both Charlemend and Maelie, saying they can help each other: Maelie will help Charlemend learn how to help the patients without his status getting in the way, and Charlemend will help her practise reading and counting. Charlemend requests that the Warrior of Light help them by providing materials for the hospital.
As Charlemend assists with the hospital, his nephew Ronantain—heir to the family — arrives, who voices his loud disgust that his uncle is associating with "common people". Charlemend apologizes for the outburst after his nephew runs away, explaining that he was teaching him bigoted and selfish ideas due to his own lack of education. Charlemend promises that he will re-educate his nephew, and that working in the hospital has already begun to help him see Ishgardians as one common people, without class dividing them.
Alongside his nephew, Charlemend proposes a high tea for patients, allowing them to indulge in a fancy and elegant afternoon to themselves without worrying of injury during rehabilitation and recovery. Ronantain enjoys putting the tea party together, and apologizes to Charlemend.
Charlemend de Durendaire is an older Wildwood Elezen with white eyes and bright red hair. He has heavy facial hair on his cheeks and jaw. He usually wears the noble attire of Ishgardian high houses, which is a dark blue Adept's coat, dark blue sarousel, white gloves, and tall black boots. He wears a feathered dark blue Adept's cap, with a light blue feather.
When he begins work in the [Hospital] in the Firmament, he wears a silk blue bliaud with couerl-print trimmings, white gloves, and dark pants. He is able to be dressed up by the player once completing his Custom Delivery storyline.
Charlemend first appears as an aloof, snooty, and selfish person, who only seeks to better his House and improve the business opportunities in Ishgard for the elite. He is easy to irritate and quick to scold others, especially those who do not respect his titles and lineage. However, he is easily influenced by others who speak highly of him, which leaves him gullible.
As he learns more of the importance of compassion for fellow people, Charlemend looks toward the future of Ishgard, and realizes he must practise patience and compassion for others. He becomes much more even-tempered, speaking to others as equals regardless of their social class. He reveals a well-spoken nature, and is very patient with children.
Behind the scenes
Though the story of the Firmament and subsequent story with Charlemend was added during the patches of Shadowbringers, player are able to meet Charlemend after completing Patch 3.3 Revenge of the Horde and continuing Towards the Firmament.
After completing the storyline for Charlemend's custom deliveries, the player is able to dress him up in their own glamour clothing, saying that he will trust them to dress him in a manner that will make him look like a regular Eorzean.