- "What is death but an obstacle to be overcome? There is no true death beneath the eternal night."
- —Necromancer Helman Ghorst.[2a]
Originally the youngest of five strong brothers from the village of Templehof, Ghorst was a farrier and groom just like his father. His love of danger and the open road was well known, and he would take any excuse to deliver messages to Ulfheim in the west or Vassel in the south. One day he returned from his adventures to find his brothers and father dead in their beds, taken by the Plague of Blue Roses. Fungus-bruises covered their bodies, and its spores were thick in the air. Ghorst could not accept the loss. At first, he tried to contract the plague himself by embracing his lost brothers, but it would not take him. Eventually, Ghorst plunged himself into the study on the black arts, hoping to return his brothers to life.[1a][2a]
Word of Ghorst's studies reached the peasantry and, in due course, the ears of von Korden. Escaping the Witch Hunter's wrath by hiding amongst the corpses of a nearby plague pit, Ghorst loaded the bodies of his dead relatives onto a mouldering carriage under cover of darkness. He lashed it to a pair of famished oxen and fled deep into nearby Vargravia.[1a]
It was in that forsaken realm that the wanderer encountered Mannfred von Carstein. The count saw a powerful madness growing in Ghorst's eyes. Instead of killing him for his presumption in trespassing, Mannfred began to teach Ghorst the secrets of necromancy, even going so far as to gift him an unholy tome of magic. It is no longer a desperate adventurer that answers to the name Helman Ghorst, just as it is no longer oxen that draw his carriage across the dirt tracks of Sylvania. Instead, his bone-ridged cart is pulled through the night by the four selfsame siblings he 'rescued' from his village, each once-handsome farrier restored to a mockery of life and forced to stumble along at the head of their brother's unliving host.[1a][2a]
As a master Necromancer, Ghorst possesses a variety of unique abilities. Over time, his skin has toughened like that of a corpse, causing arrows and sword-blows that would normally kill a man to merely glance off. Furthermore, having contracted and resisted the Plague of Blue Roses, he can easily recover from lesser wounds and sicknesses.
- The "Cursed Book" - The tome known only as the Cursed Book was written by the mad Necromancer Har-ak-Iman, said to be the most depraved man to have ever lived. [1a]
- The "Liber Noctis" - This ancient tome bristles with secrets and eldritch powers. Reading from it summons dark thoughts and fell deeds.[2a]
- The "Brothers Ghorst Corpse Cart" - Ghorst and his brothers, forever on the road to damnation. Even death cannot break the bond between them.