Wilhelm Arkis was born in Freeport into fairly well to do surroundings. His parents were fairly well-regarded merchants within the city with a taste for the finer qualities in life. However, even their posh surroundings couldn't prevent them from succumbing to the epidemic that struck the town in young Wilhelm's fifth year. Their deaths were abrupt and without warning, as was the case with this particular strain of disease. Wilhelm has no memory of his parents whatsoever.
Following the calamity, Wilhelm was sent to live with his uncle who took residence in the outskirts of Freeport. His uncle, Freidrich Arkis, did not enjoy the same luxurious lifestyle as his brother's family. Rather, he took a career in the least lucrative field of treasure hunting, archaeology. The majority of Freidrich's life was spent sifting through moldy tomes trying to glean any bit of information about an ancient settlement that most people couldn't be bothered caring about. Once Wilhelm reached the age of twelve, he began assisting his uncle on various excavations, rarely coming away from the grueling endeavor with little more than a shard of pottery.
At the age of twenty-five, while on a dig at the rumored site of a lost dwarven clan, a cave-in took the life of Freidrich. The mass of stones and detritus prevented Wilhelm from uncovering and properly interring his dear uncle. A bedraggled and beaten Wilhelm made his way back to the city of his birth, while he continued on in his uncle's work. The money from his parents' estate helped support him through the next years of study, primarily devoted towards heroes of the past and their epic battles. After a sufficient period of vagrancy, Wilhelm decided to try his hand at the magic arts, a feat made possible by the large trust.
Wilhelm gained entrance into the Wizard's Guild at the age of twenty-nine, a ripe old age for one just beginning in the arts. However, a natural proclivity to research and magical attunement, made him a well-rounded student. Though courted by many of the schools within the Guild, Wilhelm chose one that was not represented in the walls. In his time since his uncle's death, his study of the ancient heroes grew into a deeper fascination, and began to focus on finding the heroes and bringing them back in order to right the wrongs of the world. With this goal in mind, he sought the only school which would further his quest, the School of Necromancy.
The task of finding a suitable instructor within country where such art is forbidden was a formidable one. However, his life in Freeport had ensured him enough shady connections that he was able to find a teacher in a few month's time. He began study with Vestangelus in his thirtieth year, however it was not a relationship that Wilhelm had planned for. The two shared few words in the five years of Wilhelm's tutelage. Wilhelm was relagated to whatever menial chore Vestangelus had prepared for him, from skinning a freshly retrieved corpse to carefully polishing basilisk teeth. Occasionally, Vestangelus would purposefully leave a page of his workbook open his desk and Wilhelm would dutifully memorize all of the words on the page. These scraps of knowledge provided the only traditional means of instruction to Wilhelm. By his third year in service, Wilhelm had mastered all of the basic spells that had been provided to him in that piecemeal manner, and used them to quell or kill the various beasts that Vestantelus would often bring home to prepare for vivisection.
He continued his study, into his arts and into great heroes of legend. One night while taking a break from his studies at the Salty Wench, a dockside tavern, he encountered a cheerfully pugilistic dwarf and a quiet, dour shadow elf. Brunnor and Arun, respectively. He found they they had ambitions that took them near to the resting place of Freidrich, and so Wilhelm decided to join them so that he could give his uncle a proper burial. Once terms and date of departure had been discussed, Wilhelm returned to his quarters to find the entire place eerily empty. All that remained was Wilhelm's bed, a few empty shelves and Wilhelm's workbench. Now suddenly without a master, Wilhelm was truly free to begin his adventure. However, being without a source of guidance was a most troubling prospect to the novice wizard.
Fortunately for Wilhelm, he was not without a mentor for too long. On the road to Darokin, he was visited in his sleep by the Lady Taneth, a gorgeous,yet powerful necromanceress with a specialization in the shadow arts. Through his dreams and guided shadowwalks he kept correspondence with Lady Taneth, gaining great sums of knowledge. However, Wilhelm, with all of this newfound knowledge and experience, began to think much higher of himself and his abilities. He tried to shadowwalk on his own to Freeport to visit Taneth and found the process incredibly draining. This was compounded by Wilhelm having the beginning stages of the Scarlet Cough. Finding himself on the steps of the temple of Liefar after a shadowwalk go awry, Wilhelm slumped down and his vision faded. When he awoke, he found that the scribes at the temple of Liefar had written in their Book of Knowledge that Wilhelm Arkis had died. Wilhelm tried to correct the error, however the cleric were recalcitrant in editting their book. Defeated, he stormed out of the temple unsure of his mortal state. He soon rejoined his teammates and continued their adventure, which became much more involved than he could have possibly imagined.
He fights to this day to restore order and ensure that the Ghoul King does not rise to power, as has happened in his history. Such an event would have a catastrophic effect on the future, on knowledge and on the future of necromancers. He continues to work for the restoration of the heroes of old, but as time progresses, he is beginning to see that rather than bringing them back, he will have to become one himself.