The real Chappelle was the éminence grise of Hierarch Cyrus Engelkind Hemmelfart and the head of Novigrad's secret service. He was well known and respected (more accurately, feared) in the city as he maintained law and order through any means necessary. He was generally suspected of using torture, extortion, and blackmail, and often helping himself to confiscated possessions.
He later succumbed to a heart attack while a doppler happened to be near and, seeing an opportunity to both survive in the city and make things better, the doppler took on Chappelle's appearance without anyone else knowing the real one had died.
Chappelle (doppler)The real Chappelle succumbed to a heart attack but this wasn't widely known and a doppler replaced him who was a lot more compassionate in every way, though he continued to show an outward appearance of malice to those around him to keep up the act.
Geralt was visiting Novigrad when he, Dandelion, and Dainty Biberveldt were trying to figure out what to do about Dudu, the doppler that'd been impersonating the halfling, when Chappelle approached with his armed guards. Not knowing why a witcher was in the city, Chappelle took the witcher aside under the pretext of asking how much he could be bought to deal with the supposed doppler running around in his city and Geralt informed him there was no price because he refused to hunt and kill in a city due to possible innocent bystanders and that he didn't view dopplers as a threat. Chappelle appeared to be annoyed at this and threatened that he'd have to force the witcher to do it if Geralt and his friends wanted to leave the city, before walking off with his armed men. From this conversation though, the doppler learned what he needed: that Geralt wasn't there to hunt him down.
Later that day, Geralt caught up to Dudu and was on the verge of letting him walk off when Dudu, having taken on Dandelion's appearance, was unexpectedly knocked out by one of Dandelion's angry exes and began to change to his natural form. Geralt quickly covered him up when the group was approached by Chappelle once more. Afraid for Dudu's life, they tried to say he was just sick but Chappelle approached the rolled up material that the doppler was in and proceeded to address Dudu by his name and told him to change back to Dainty's form, the idea being "all halflings look alike" to everyone. After agreeing to pass off Dudu as Dainty's cousin, the doppler that was Chappelle informed them what happened to the real Chappelle and he'd just been fortunate enough to be nearby. As he, like many other dopplers, just wanted to live in the cities without fear, he took over Chappelle's form to try and make things better. Satisfied with this, the group kept his secret safe.
However, in 1272, Caleb Menge (the Temple Guard's commander and the Witch hunter's leader), figured out that the real Chappelle had been replaced with a doppler and summarily captured and burned him at the stake with the sorceress, Felicia Cori.
- Geralt and I had long known that Chappelle, Chancellor of Security for the Church of the Eternal Fire in Novigrad, had died years ago and been replaced by a doppler masquerading under his name. We didn't breathe a word of this to anyone, of course, for the change was decidedly in everyone's best interest. The doppler had proved a reasonable creature deprived of the true Chappelle's cruelty, and under his watch life in the city had much improved.
- Sadly, the chancellor's conciliatory style must have raised suspicions as a wave of terror and persecution began to swell over Novigrad. The doppler was found out, arrested and burned at the stake for the greater glory of the Eternal Fire.