Count Antoine de C-- is the last member of a line of the noble Comtes de C-- and protagonist in The Alchemist. His last name is not revealed in the story, with only the first letter. His family was cursed after an ancestor wrongly accused and murdered the recluse alchemist Michel le Sorcier. le Sorcier's son, Charles, cursed the family, saying that no member of the de C-- family would live beyond the age of 32.
The curse came true for the majority of the family. By the time Count Antoine was born, the family castle fell into such disrepair that it was unlivable. Count Antoine ended up in living in a single tower. Count Antoine never knew his parents. His father died at the hand of the curse, while his mother died in child birth. Thus he was taken care of by the only remaining servant, Pierre, who died when Count Antoine was 30, presumably of natural causes.
However, Count Antonie was able to avoid his fate after his murderer, the long-living Charles le Sorcier botched the Count Antoine's assassination and was burned alive by the torch Count Antoine was carrying at the time.