The Musketeers are the royal guards of Montaigne, loyal to her ruler and noble to a fault.
The Musketeers began in 1593 with the 3rd Musket Company of Montaigne's army. On a routine training mission, they encountered an invading Eisen army. The force was dangerously close to the encampment where King Leon XII was resting. Realizing the danger, they sent a runner back to the encampment and engaged the Eisen force with all they had.
The Eisen force had superior weapons, numbers, and a better commander. Everyone expected the Montaigne force to lose the day; the only hope the Montaigne soldiers dared have was their sacrifice would allow the king more time to escape. Merely wanting to buy more time, they fought the Eisen for every second and gave no ground.
The Eisen never suspected the ferocity with which the 3rd Musket Company would fight. They fired shot after shot into the advancing Eisen and, when their bullets and powder ran dry, fought with sword, bayonet, tooth, and fist. So unwilling to surrender were the 3rd Company that the Eisen's morale eventually broke, sending them fleeing back to their homeland. The Eisen commander later commented that he hoped he would have the strength to fight as they did in the defense of his king. So resounding the victory that the only force of Montaigne soldiers Eisen truly fears are the Musketeers.
The company's victory came at a great cost however; less than a dozen member survived the battle. King Leon XII however was so impressed with the company he ordered the remaining members made his royal guard and given a kings ransom worth of money and property to reform the company. The name - Musketeers - was given to them by the crowds of cheering citizens and it stuck.
Since then, nobles and commoners alike have joined the famous company in hopes of becoming as famous and respected as the Musketeers. So popular are the Musketeers, even when a specific king is unpopular, the Musketeers remain folk heroes to all Montaigne.
The Musketeer's order has expanded since 1593, now serving the people of Montaigne as much as their king. They are given the king's power to act as arbiters in disputes, and can deal out justice as they see fit. They particularly shine when dealing with criminals. Though there is always some corruption in any organization, the Musketeers are known to expel corrupt musketeers from their order as soon as the evidence is apparent as - as such - are often considered better keepers of law that the Montaigne justice system.
Musketeers, upon joining the order, surrender their names; instead being called by their "sword name" - a nickname earned by their deeds and given by the people. You aren't a full Musketeer until you've earned a sword name. This rule serves a practical function in that it protects the Musketeer's friends and family from harm.
l’Empereur has proven a tough spot for the Musketeers. The king's excesses, destruction of the Montaigne Church of the Prophet, use of Porte, and his numerous wars while Montaigne starves have driven a wedge into the organization. Some feel their duty to the king trumps all, while others see their duty to the people of Montiagne as of greater importance. For now, they walk a fine line between the two duties, trying not to draw the ire of either group.