William is a 6'4" human, with very thick red hair which he wears down to his mid-back, and piercing blue eyes. He is quite good looking, and striking in a physically imposing way.
Ashbless is a very complex person. He was actually born on Earth in the 20th century as a man named Brendan Doyle. Doyle was a scholar in his mid-50's who was a specialist in the works of Georgian poets of England, namely Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lord Byron, and William Ashbless. He was hired by a rich industrialist who had financed a working time travel machine, which was based on quantum and particle physics, combined with esoteric Egyptian magic. The industrialist had charged a great deal of money for several rich dilletantes to travel with him back to Georgian England to hear a lecture by Coleridge; Doyle was to serve as the literary expert, providing background for the people who had paid over $2 million each for the privilege.
The time travel was successful, but unfortunately for Doyle (or fortunately as it turned out in the long run), he became separated from the party due to an odd set of circumstances, and therefore was trapped in the past. (If you want the *whole* story, read "The Anubis Gates" by Tim Powers). After several strange adventures among supernatural elements of London during the time, and surviving an assassination attempt by his former graduate student, he ran into a creature called Dog-Face Joe, who was actually a body thief. Joe would transfer from body to body, poisoning his former host to remove the evidence of the switch. The mind of the "new" host would switched into the body of his previous host. Fortunately for Doyle, when he encountered Joe, and was switched into the body of his former grad student (who was much younger, and very strong), Joe hadn't done a good job of poisoning, and Doyle knew the antidote. Several days later, things went from bad to worse (although he was actually delighted with his new body, which was 30 years younger and in better health than his original) as he ran into the New Balance, who had also been drawn to London in that timeframe. Doyle had, in the meantime, realized that *he*, in the new body, was actually William Ashbless, the author he had studied for many years.
Afer the conclusion of the Anubis Gate Adventure, Doyle, now even thinking of himself as Ashbless, married a young English woman and lived out the life he knew Ashbless had lived. On the date he knew was the date that Ashbless was murdered, he waited to meet his fate. Rather than being killed himself, he managed to kill the man who had come for him, who was a Ka (an Egyptian clone) of himself from the time of the Anubis Gates adventure. The New Balance had been drawn back yet again, and was there at the time. They offered to take Ashbless back to Darkhold with them, and he, with nothing to hold him anymore, agreed to accompany them.
Once on Darkhold, Ashbless was given several potions of longevity, which returned him to youth. Since then he has lived in Mordentshire. He and Arionrhod Graylock are very good friends.