Aekold Helbrass, Champion of Tzeentch, bears a most unusual gift — the gift that is known as the Breath of Life. Where Aekold walks the grass springs green and meadow flowers blossom. When he walks upon the desert sands and stony rocks the land bursts into life as he passes. Living things he touches spring into new and vigorous growth. The long dead wood of doors and staves takes root upon his touch. Creatures that are upon the threshold of death his touch can restore to health, for such is the power of the Breath of Life. His touch is as indiscriminate as it is potent, behind him he leaves a trail of new life and everything he touches is affected.[1a]
Aekold Helbrass was born in the Empire as the son of a noble in Altdorf. Enjoying a life of privilege, young Helbrass soon tired of the intrigues of city life and searched for a greater purpose in life. He threw himself into religion, becoming a knight of the Order of the Jade Griffon.[3a] But even in service to Sigmar, he found no greater purpose, as he found their teachings of to be no balm to the pain and pettiness of everyday life. Despite praying to Sigmar to show him the path to achieve something of lasting value in the world that would change it for the better, no answer came.
In this moment, a drinking friend introduced him to the Brethren of the Golden Eagle. Under the tutelage of the chaos cult of revolutionaries, Aekold quickly advanced their ranks. Unfortunately for him, the cult was uprooted by the Witch-hunters. While Aekold was one of the few who managed to escape, but one of his acolytes revealed his name under torture. When his fellow knights came to arrest him, he tried to reason with them, but found only deaf ears. As his family, friends and former colleagues turned against him, Aekold left Altdorf and fled to the North, constantly hunted by the witch-hunters.[3b]
After managing to leave the Empire, he arrived in Troll Country, where he came upon a large Chaos monolith dedicated to the Lord of Change guarded by a mighty minotaur. In a tough battle, Aekold managed to kill the guardian and investigated the monolith, only to find a picture of himself, a knight with a shield emblazoned with a rampant griffon, encarved on it, despite the carvings being centuries old.[3c]
Aekold Helbrass pushed further north, leaving civilization behind him to discover the meaning of the monolith. As he traveled further, both he and his steed, Validus, became changed more and more. On the edge of the Chaos Wastes, he came upon a large chaos altar, where he was greeted by a mirror image of himself in his younger days, ready to defend the Empire and slay the servants of Chaos. Fighting against his mirror image, Aekold realized the pointlessness of it, but choose to press on nonetheless.[3d]
As he defeated himself, Aekold Helbrass was slowly dying from his wounds just as he touched the gateway. For one final time Aekold felt a pang of guilt, for one last time he longed for his former life, and regrets all the things he had done that brought him to this dark, lonely road. But he knew it was far too late now, that there is simply no turning back. As he pushed himself into the gateway, he was reborn as a Champion of Tzeentch. Looking back on his former life, he promised to return to the Empire and show them the truth his new master had revealed to him.[3e]
- Windblade - The Windblade is the great, double-handed broadsword of Helbrass, granted to him by his master, Tzeentch. Like all the favours of the Changer of Ways, it is erratic and unpredictable. It can allow him to fly, strike swiftly or be thrown from afar only to return to his hand.[2a]
- Breath of Life - The Breath of Life is one of the most mysterious and bizarre gifts of Tzeentch, giving Helbrass the ability to heal him and those around him.[2a]