Dieter is a wretched sight wearing a black skullcap over his gaunt, deathly face, his robes and high collar dusty and moth-eaten from centuries of neglect. He talks to himself, sneers, and laughs without reason, and his voice is a croaking baritone. [4a]
He was once a great wizard living in Middenheim during the early years of the time of the Three Emperors (1152 to 2302 IC). In his studies he discovered Katam, Pallidus and Kadon and finally the return of a legendary figure, Nagash who had come back to life after his defeat by Sigmar. He visited first the Border Princes before travelling even further to Nagashizzar to learn of this figure and the source of his powers. [2b][4a]
He returned a changed man. What had happened, no-one knows, but upon his return in Middenheim in 1207 IC[2a], word spread of his evil practices and vile rituals performed at night. Aware of the dangers of such heretic practices, Ar-Ulric, the High Priest of Ulric gathered a company of Knights and descended on Helsnicht's dwelling. Helsnicht was just starting to raise the dead but, disturbed by the knights, fled on the back of a manticore. [2b]
In 1230 IC a Merywrm known as the Beast of Nordland plagued the province of that name until it attacked the harbour of Massenfel where as it devoured the hapless villagers, the Doomlord himself appeared. He compelled a Necrofex Colossus to arise and attack the beast and a brutal battle ensued, lasting all night until the beast destroyed its foe as dawn broke. However Dieter unveiled a scroll of Kadon and in turn bound it to his service as he returned to the Forest of Shadows. [1a][4a]
Decades passed and Helsnicht was forgotten when suddenly pestilence and death spread from the forest, Orcs and Beastmen driven before it. Soon, the road between Middenheim and Erengrad grew perilous. Einrich Moltke, Elector Count of Nordland, mobilised his army and easily crushed the Orcs and Beastmen, but upon entering the Forest of Shadows, he was ambushed by the Undead of the Doomlord at the Lake of Woe and utterly defeated. [2b][4a]
Einrich himself, together with a group of pistoliers, escaped to the village of Beeckerhoven on the Midenheim-Erengrad road. Here, the Elector Count assembled the small local garrison and, sending messengers for reinforcements to Middenheim and Kislev, he prepared for a bitter defence. Helsnicht advanced slowly, raising the dead from the Nordland army he had defeated, and arrived several days later. He dispatched a small army of Undead to slow down the Kislev army and prepared to attack the Elector Count's meagre troops. Helsnicht was winning the battle when his army was flanked by the reinforcements from Middenheim. Somewhat later the Kislevites arrived too, having only slighty been slowed down, and charged the rear. The Elector Count himself finally struck Helsnicht with his Runefang and the Undead hordes crumbled at the defeat of their master, but the manticore took Helsnicht's body and dragged it away. Thus ended the Battle of Beeckerhoven, 1244 IC. [2b]
Helsnicht survived his wound and would threaten Middenheim many more times from his secret fortress hidden in the Forest of Shadows, riding the back of his manticore and carrying a Chaos Runesword. He became one of the world's premier necromancers and tutored many others.
With the return of Nagash during the End Times, Helsnicht was made one of the Mortarchs and accompanied Nagash's armies into Nehekhara. Joining the central force led by Krell, Helsnicht's necromantic power, paired with the tactical brilliance and sheer brutality of the wight king proved to be nigh unstoppable. Flying atop a bat winged horror (almost certainly the reanimated remains of his manticore) Helsnicht was instrumental in the running battles between Krell's forces and those of King Pharr of Numas. He bolstered Krell's forces by creating several morghasts, but also revealed an unpleasant new quirk in his madness- he had taken to devouring the brains of lesser necromancers!
When the united armies of Nagash met those of Settra at the gates of Khemri Nagash's true plan for Helsnicht was revealed. Nagash entered the Nehekharan underworld with Helsnicht and had him cast a great ritual while he battled Usirian, god of that dark place. Boosted by the knowledge and power of his master Helsnicht's ritual bound the entirety of the spirit realm to himself which then sent to overwhelm the faceless-god. Crippled and beaten, Usirian was then consumed by Nagash who finally was restored to his full strength. Nagash finally and truly became a god; a god of undeath.
Helsnicht would remain in the Nehekharan underworld, becoming its new guardian for his master, Nagash.
- 5th Edition: He uses Dark Magic and Necromancy. [3a]
- WFRP 4th: He uses the Lore of Death and Necromancy. [4a]
Weapons and Equipment
- 4th Edition: Manticore, Staff, Sword. May take four Magic Items, usually including the Chaos Runsword and the Staff of Flaming Death. [2c]
- 5th Edition: Chaos Runesword, Manticore, Power Scroll, Staff of Flaming Death. [3a]
- WFRP 4th: Chaos Runsesword, Manticore, Rod of Flaming Death. [4a]
- Chaos Runesword: Forged by the tainted Runesmith Grungni Ironhand, it increases the wielders fighting prowess. [2c][3a]
- Power Scroll: The magical power contained within it can be released when read aloud. [3a]
- Staff of Flaming Death: The jaws of the skull at its tip gnash and its eyes glow - it can unleash a torrent of fire. [2c][3a]
- 1: Monstrous Arcanum
- 1a: Merwyrm, pg. 74
- 2: Warhammer Armies: Undead (4th Edition)
- 3: Warhammer Armies: Vampire Counts (5th Edition)
- 3a: Aristocracy of the Night, pg. 70
- 4: Salzenmund (book)
- 4a: Dieter Helsnicht, pg. 109-111
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