General Edmund Duke was the Terran Confederacy general in charge of Alpha Squadron. Duke was fifty-three years old when war with the zerg broke out. He was a member of the Duke family, one of the famous Old Families of Tarsonis.
Serving as a loyal citizen of the Terran Confederacy and as a member of the Duke Family, Duke had a long military career, a significant portion spent as the leader of Alpha Squadron. It is known that he had defended Tarsonis "in over thirty major battles" and defeated the Colonial Liberation Army on Tyra Mining Station using "nuked earth tactics."
Despite his impressive combat record, Duke's ascension through the ranks was slow; he was a captain in his 40s. The reason for this slow ascension was most likely known to only Duke and a select few, said reason likely being "loud, messy and deeply buried in the Confederate military files." Despite this leash, it hardly put a damper on Duke's ambitions.
The Guild Wars
"Yeah, I do mind you calling me Edmund. And why I'm here is none of your goddamn business. We got our orders, and I'm a man who obeys orders, so why don't you shut the hell up and follow yours."
- Mengsk and Duke verbally spar(src)
In 2485 Duke, a captain within Alpha Squadron, met with Brantigan Fole, commander of the Confederate 33rd Ground Assault Division, on Onuru Sigma. Fole wanted Duke to attack the Noranda Glacier vespene mining complex, operated by the Kel-Morian Combine. He would work alongside another captain, Arcturus Mengsk, head of the 33rd's Dominion section. Duke would hold command authority and would even evaluate Mengsk's unit. The two captains did not get along.
Duke was a very aggressive attacker and ignored Mengsk's caution, accusing him of cowardice. He was particularly upset that he couldn't use a siege tank in the hazardous conditions. Taking the majority of the forces with him, they moved into the complex, only to discover it was an ambush. He fought into a strongpoint and called Mengsk to rescue him.
Mengsk's forces moved in more cautiously, fighting their own battle until they could create a corridor to escort Duke out. During the fighting, Confederate Wraith strafing set the entire complex ablaze. Massive numbers of Kel-Morian Combine troops and battlecruisers then approached the scene – the Guild Wars were officially declared. During the Confederate retreat a transport was destroyed; Mengsk was disappointed that Duke survived the rescue.
In 2491, not long after the destruction of Korhal, Duke, now with the rank of colonel, was ordered to be on the lookout for a lost ghost. He came across a rebel ship, and upon its status being clarified, he engaged it with the Norad II. He sent a boarding party into the rebel ship, along with a ghost. As it was, the ship belonged to the rebel group the Sons of Korhal, who, under General Arcturus Mengsk, managed to damage the Norad II enough to escape through warp space. The ghost he sent was killed shortly afterwards. In short, the encounter had been a complete failure, Duke being shaken in the experience and his ambitions of being promoted reduced.
The Great War
The Sara System
In late 2499, the Norad II was assigned to patrol the space in and around the Sara System. Still a colonel, albeit one "way overdue for his general's stars" Duke personally joined in the fighting at Chau Sara against the zerg, partaking in the reclamation of Los Andares and the assault against the zerg's primary hive cluster. While these initial efforts were successful, the zerg onslaught quickly intensified. Duke and his forces pulled out before the zerg could conquer the entire planet.
Duke's forces enacted a clumsy counterattack against the protoss fleet after they purified Chau Sara. Executor Tassadar withdrew out of respect for Duke's courage. The clumsy counterattack was declared a success.
Duke oversaw Alpha Squadron's efforts to lock down the planet of Mar Sara in the wake of the protoss attack on Chau Sara and the appearance of the zerg on Mar Sara and relayed to the Colonial Magistrate the orders to relocate core colonists to the outlying wastelands. During the conflict Duke's stance was questionable, avoiding action against the aliens, failing to rescue troops besieged by them: when the Zerg attacked the Backwater Station he ordered the Magistrate to "sit tight" as they will take care of the problem and will notify the Magistrate according to their judgment. This forced Marshal Jim Raynor and local militia forces to take action, but Duke arrested them for destroying an infested Confederate installation. The Magistrate launched a complaint, but Duke rebuffed him. Duke and his Confederate allies arrested standing militia forces, then departed the planet as the situation began to escalate.
Another Conflict with Mengsk
The colonists of Antiga Prime were ready to openly revolt against the Confederacy, so Duke and his Alpha Squadron were given the task of suppressing the revolt. The rebels were surrounded by Confederate troops and an officer was put in charge of the rebel command center. The officer was assassinated by Lieutenant Sarah Kerrigan, who just as quickly recruited the rebels to their cause and went on to defeat the Alpha Squadron detachment.
Transfer of Loyalties
"Join forces? With you? I'm a general, for God's sake!"
"A general without an army. I'm offering you a position in my cabinet, not just some backwater post. Don't test my patience, Edmund."
"All right, Mengsk. You've got a deal."
- Duke joins Mengsk(src)
The planet was soon beset by the zerg. During a high orbit attack the Norad II was crippled by them and crashed into the planet. General Duke – having been promoted sometime after confronting the protoss – survived the crash and sent out a distress signal. While the Alpha Squadron forces stationed nearby attempted to rescue him, they were stymied by the zerg. The Sons of Korhal arrived, striking an alliance with Alpha Squadron. Together they rescued Duke. Mengsk convinced him to join the Sons of Korhal, signaling a huge victory for them in their war against the Confederates.
Duke was granted a position in Mengsk's cabinet, and assisted the Sons of Korhal in conquering Tarsonis. He personally led Alpha Squadron in an attack against the central space platform defended by the Confederate Omega and Delta Squadrons in order to cause enough of a "ruckus" (in Duke's own words) to allow a small force to break through the planetary defenses.
Duke's forces also installed and activated psi emitters on the platform, attracting billions of zerg to the planet. This action alienated Raynor and Kerrigan. Raynor and Duke got into a brawl, with Raynor coming up the winner, having broken Duke's gun arm. Duke sought permission from Mengsk to take an unspecified revenge against Raynor, to no avail.
Mengsk sent Sarah Kerrigan on mission to prevent the protoss from attacking the zerg, leaving the zerg free to destroy the population of Tarsonis. Kerrigan defeated the protoss and requested evacuation, but Mengsk did not respond. This action severed the ties between Raynor and Mengsk. Jim Raynor attempted to rescue Kerrigan, but was ambushed by General Duke and a team of neurally resocialized marines who had activated their stimpacks. Reporter Michael Liberty, who before had felt he could not shoot a human being, injured Duke. The stabilization medicines in Duke's suit caused him to pass out, so he could not give the order for his marines to attack Raynor. Raynor and Liberty were able to escape.
The New Dominion
Duke became a general in the Terran Dominion. In the opinion of Kerrigan, he was the real tactician in the new empire, despite Mengsk's impressive military resume. With Duke by his side, Mengsk was unopposed by any of the major terran militias within the Koprulu sector. One of Duke's acts as a Dominion general was to capture Nova Station, which had been abandoned by Nova Squadron, in order to gain valuable information.
After his defection from the Sons of Korhal, Jim Raynor and his militia, the Raynor's Raiders, sought transports. They traveled to the Dylarian Shipyards, where ships are commonly held in dry-dock; General Duke was waiting for them in the Hyperion. Duke's forces were hampered by the close quarters and fear of destroying his own ships, whereas Raynor's Raiders had fewer worries. They used the docking arms to grapple the Hyperion and invaded it, leaving Duke tied up.
While Kerrigan was being infested by the zerg, she psychically called to Mengsk from Char. Duke was sent to retrieve her, later on ordering his troops not to have any more slip-ups like before (e.g. letting Raynor escape with the Hyperion and failing to defend the Ion cannon) though the battle turned into a disaster, and Duke ordered his men to fall back, forced to abandon their beachhead and retreat into orbit. Not long afterwards, Raynor arrived at the Char system, and the two verbally sparred, Raynor rubbing in Duke's failure on the surface. In the exchange, Duke revealed that he'd also come to retrieve Kerrigan. Raynor deployed his forces, and not to be outdone, Duke deployed forces of his own.
Raynor fared little better, and the zerg, under Kerrigan's direction (who'd re-emerged as an agent of the Overmind), appropriated his shuttles to board the Amerigo and other Raider/Alpha Squadron ships in orbit. In desperation, Raynor contacted Duke, begging for him to help clear out the ships of the zerg, even offering up himself. Duke reveled in Raynor's despair, and refused to come to his aid. He left the Char system in the Norad III alongside only one other ship, as the remaining terran ships in orbit bar the Hyperion were overrun by the zerg.
A Return to Char
"General Duke, I am Tassadar, and you are well known to me. Whatever leniency I extended to you and your comrades before, may have been in error. If you persist in halting our course, we will burn your pathetic fleet down to the last man."
"I'm going to have to assume that was a hostile response..."
- Duke confronts Tassadar(src)
In the last days of the Great War, Duke returned to Char with a small Dominion Fleet force. Protoss forces engaging the zerg drew the fleet into the conflict, one that Duke escalated His forces lost this battle as well and eventually pulled out of the planet.
By the aftermath of the Great War, Arcturus Mengsk still did not entirely trust the sincerity of Duke's loyalty and used the crisis on Bhekar Ro to send the general away. Duke led Alpha Squadron to secure the planet and the strange artifact from the protoss and zerg. The description of the first human encounter with the artifact led Duke to muse that its research might reveal a new way to disable vehicles. While ultimately victorious much of his force was destroyed, not to mention that he was stranded in the planet for months until Dominion transports arrived.
The Brood War
The Iron Fist
The United Earth Directorate's Expeditionary Force came to the sector, striking an alliance with the Confederate Resistance Forces led by Lieutenant Samir Duran. The two forces quickly captured the city of Boralis, Braxis.
Mengsk was traveling to Umoja, six months after his inauguration as emperor of the Terran Dominion and also for personal reasons. He took a fleet of ships commanded by Duke with him. Umojan diplomat Ailin Pasteur wouldn't allow the capital ships to approach beyond the outer shipping markers, and Mengsk had to descend in an obsolete gun cutter.
Confederate forces led by Mengsk's old instructor Angelina Emillian attacked while Mengsk was vulnerable, and they used a Cassandra scrambler to cut off communication between Mengsk and the local Protectorate forces and Duke's fleet. Ignoring Umojan instructions, Duke moved his fleet to Mengsk's location. Mengsk held off the attackers long enough for Duke to make a "heroic rescue."
The Dominion became aware of the UED attacks but didn't know who they were. The UED took over the Dylarian Shipyards, stealing numerous battlecruisers. Duke counterattacked with the Dominion Armada, but was defeated. After that, Duke withdrew his forces from the quadrant, falling back to Korhal. He was presumably present on the Norad III in the aftermath of Augustgrad's fall to the UED, saved from capture at the last moment by Raynor's Raiders and a group of protoss who saved them via dimensional recall to Aiur. This period allowed some relaxation, such as becoming acquainted with the protoss sport of Pro Bowl, but with the UED's pursuit forcing the fugitives to escape Aiur, it wasn't to last.
- Edmund Duke to Kerrigan(src)
In order to retake Korhal and free the sector from the UED, Mengsk fell into an alliance with Kerrigan, Raynor and Fenix. Mengsk sent Duke to establish his base of operations in Augustgrad. While his men were resting, they were attacked by zerg led by Kerrigan. Kerrigan, who had always wanted to have him killed, admitted that she was excited about this. On board the Norad III, Duke stood his ground, but the ship was destroyed, taking its commander with it.
General Duke appears as a hero unit commanding the Norad II, a battlecruiser with a higher attack damage but lower number of hit points than the Hyperion. Duke in the Norad II appears in "The Big Push" and "True Colors."
Duke as a personal hero unit appears in StarCraft: Precursor and "Biting the Bullet" operating a Siege tank. In this form, he has much more power than a normal siege tank, especially in siege mode, where he deals 150 damage, the most powerful normal attack in StarCraft.
Allows siege tank to transform into siege mode.
This greatly increases the damage and range of the siege tank's attacks, and gives them splash damage, but prevents the tank from moving. In siege mode, the siege tank has a minimum range it cannot attack within.
Level 1Level 1
Heroes of the Storm
Personality and Traits
Somewhat gung-ho, Duke despised all non-humans on general principle and was prejudiced against Fringe Worlders. Broad shouldered and radiating authority, Duke possessed an impressive physique, though gave some people the impression of a shaved gorilla. Raynor considered Duke to be akin to a "rabid dog," as Mengsk often had to keep Duke on a leash lest he ruin his superior's plans with a mindless charge. Still, Kerrigan had a high opinion of Duke's tactical acumen, and even Raynor admitted that Duke was "a good man in a fight." He was an experienced commander and general, although specialized in fighting on even battlefields, and was not used to unorthodox combat situations.
- General Duke's character seems to be paralleled with real life western and war movie star John Wayne, who was also nicknamed "the Duke." Both have similar mannerisms, speech and hard-boiled personalities, which Wayne tended to display in most of his movies. As well, Edmund's character design bears some resemblance to John Wayne.
- Duke may also have been inspired by General George Patton. Both were known for their professionalism and tough-as-nails approach to command, as well as being bigoted and devoid of a sense of humor.
- At times, Duke's lines are at odds with what is known of him in-universe. In StarCraft: Precursor, Duke retains his special quote where he insults the player for being ordered around by the Sons of Korhal, despite being a member of the Confederacy at the time. Additionally, he will exclaim "been a general for fifteen years." However, various novel installments have retconned this claim, instead demonstrating a slower rise through the ranks.
- Duke is a character in the April Fool's game Strat Blaster with Edmund Duke.
- In earlier versions of StarCraft II, the mercenary battlecruiser "Jackson's Revenge" was originally named "Duke's Revenge," ostensibly in tribute to Duke.
- In StarCraft, Duke has green eyes, but in StarCraft: Remastered, Duke's eyes are erroneously changed to be grey.
The list of authors can be seen in the page history of Characters of StarCraft#Edmund Duke.
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