Lord Recluse began his life as the technocrat named Stefan Richter, an American of Austrian descent. His father, an Austrian immigrant named Rudy Richter, took it upon himself to care for Marcus Cole, whose mother had died in childbirth while his father drank himself to death. Stefan and Marcus soon became best friends, and served together during the Great War.
During the war, Marcus was exposed to the deadly German mustard gas, and his lungs became chronically ill. In hopes of finding a cure, Marcus and Stefan became thieves in search of the fabled Fountain of Zeus. After stealing an ancient Greek scroll, an early version of the Herodotus' "Histories", from a London museum, the two set out to locate a long-lost Greek island called Praxidae, which was said to house the mythical Well of Furies, beneath which the Fountain of Zeus resided. After locating the island and drinking from the fountain, both Marcus and Stefan were endowed with god-like powers that rivaled those of the demigods from myth and legend, curing Marcus' deadly ailment. Before leaving the island, however, the two uncovered an artifact thought to be Pandora's Box. Upon opening the box, which stored all of the creativity of humankind for the last millennium, its power was released unto the world, effectively starting another Golden Age of super-powered heroes.
After the collapse of the cave in which the fountain and the box were housed, Stefan was washed into the open ocean. By then, Stefan came upon a revelation in which he would use his newfound power to pave the way to a new age of science for mankind, officially marking his descent to evil. After the events that took place on the island of Praxidae, Stefan joined a shady Italian-based organization named Arachnos, then lead by the mysterious figure only known as the Weaver, and was put in charge of the group's American branch based in Paragon City, Rhode Island. During his time within Arachnos, Stefan quickly climbed ranks and became known as the man called Recluse.
Physical changes also started appearing, with Stefan's eyes progressively beginning to have almost allergic reactions to bright light, and steadily growing red and burning with malevolence, a sign of his status as the evil god, Tartarus (also sometimes called Hades); his back, through Stefan's focused manipulation of his dark power, began developing a hump which later was used to house eight massive arachnid-like arms. Upon further enhancement, the arms were outfitted with super-strong steel claws, made from a fictional alloy called proto-steel. Completing his transformation, he became known as Lord Recluse, and Stefan Richter was no more.
After Recluse's battle with Statesman, Marcus Cole's alter-ego, the evil mastermind went into hiding. During this unspecified time-period, through an assassination of the Weaver, Lord Recluse usurped power, becoming the unquestioned leader of Arachnos. The assassination was caried out by a woman only known as Red Widow. Lord Recluse established his base of operations on the Estoile Islands, nicknamed the Rogue Isles, a fictional archipelago off of the American east coast.
Lord Recluse possesses super-human levels of strength, speed, and stamina. He also has four pairs (or eight arms) of arachnid-like claws that appear to be sheathed in proto-metal armor. While Lord Recluse isn't as strong as his archnemesis, the Statesman, his intellect, amplified by the powers of the Well of the Furies, is considered the most powerful on the planet. Like Statesman's exposure to the Well of the Furies, it has made also made Lord Recluse virtually immortal. While he can be killed, he may live many millennia, though not even the ancient Furies are sure how long Statesman's and Recluse's lives will last. The official website lists him as the Mastermind archetype, who can summon henchmen to aide him in fights. While the player-controlled Mastermind can only control and summon up to six henchmen, Recluse's status as the leader of Arachnos obviously allows him to control many more. It is worth noting that, due to the fact that the source of his power is the same as Statesman's, that he may be an Incarnate as well, despite being listed as a Mastermind Archetype. Both characters appear primarily as NPCs, and Statesman's NPC incarnation uses a Tanker powerset, so it is not impossible that Lord Recluse is an Incarnate, and simply listed as a Mastermind archetype because of the Incarnate Archetype not having been implemented yet.