(no relation to the famous Dr. van Helsing, obviously, the names are spelled differently--"o" instead of his "a")
born October 30, 1263, Transylvania. D'WARD von Helsing was born shortly before midnight on Devil's Night, only minutes before All Hallow's Eve. primarily for this reason, he later decided that fate had chosen him to be a hunter of creatures of the night, especially vampires. throughout his teen years, he studied up on all manner of "myths" and "legends" from around the world, especially from his homeland of Transylvania. At the age of 21, he set off on a mission to rid the world of vampires and other monsters. over the next decades he earned a reputation among the public, monsters, and in the in the monster hunter/researcher community. he was the best.
but he soon realized that not all cases were black and white. not all monsters in the literal sense were necessarily monsters in the figurative sense. some came to him for help in dying or becoming human (if possible). most of the latter he was unable to help, and he took pity on the former, ending their suffering as quickly and painlessly as possible. still others chose to remain as they were, and assist him in any way they could, often becoming moles in the monster community. some enemies, he had a classic hate/respect relationship with.
in 1320, at the age of 57, he realized that it would be impossible to complete his mission in his lifetime. he was getting older, and someday would no longer be strong enough for this work. he began looking for some way to extend his life. some vampire friends offered to bring him across, but he utterly dismissed that idea, of course. one day, it occurred to him that his life had been spent dealing with dark forms of magic, but that there were also good forms of magic in the world. in his world travels and studies, he had heard of many things, wonderful and terrible, some turned out to be false, some true, and some unknown.
he remembered one legend about a so-called "fountain of youth," which he decided to search for. the popular theory regarding this fountain was that it existed, it was in a far off fabled land between the known continents. this is where he began his search. he hired a ship and set sail, and one month before his 60th birthday, the ship came to a beautiful, uncharted land. it was hot and humid, wild flora and fauna were abundant. his band of explorers searched the lakes and jungles for months. finally, von Helsing, off on his own one day, came upon a small lake and waterfall. it was the most beautiful water he had ever seen, which made him instantly suspicious. cautiously, he tasted a drop of it. it was so good, he dared not give in to the incredible desire to drink more of it. he began to feel very slightly stronger. he took out a mirror, but couldn't definitely see any difference. another sip, two, three, he felt ten years younger. he continued to take small sips until he looked and felt roughly 20. he filled 2 kegs with water, and did his best to cover the pond from view. he went back to the camp and told the crew that it was time to return home. he gave them one keg to share among themselves, warning them to be extremely cautious with it. the other keg he kept for himself, in case the effects were not permanent. (ie, in case he aged naturally, rather than forever remaining 20). no one ever told anyone that fountain had been found, except the sailors' immediate families.
von Helsing continued to use his own name, telling people that he was the original von Helsing's son, and was given his same name. over many "generations," he maintained that the von Helsings kept up the family name and occupation, and it was indeed quite coincidental that the sons of the line all looked so remarkably much the same. von Helsing had never been a terribly social man, so it was not entirely shocking that no one questioned that he had a wife to bear him a child (and so on thru the many "generations") most people found all this easier to believe than that the original von Helsing had indeed succeeded in finding a "fountain of youth." however, many monsters thru the years knew or suspected the truth. some humans, even some monsters, searched for the fountain, but to no avail. von Helsing managed to keep it secreted away from them all.
he didn't age normally, as it turned out, but got perhaps a year older for each century which passed. eventually, as old superstitions and beliefs began to fade somewhat, his work became more private, he became less well known, and was eventually largely forgotten. this is how he planned it. When Florida was discovered, he quickly bought a piece of land there, and built himself a very nice house, but one in which he rarely if ever entertained visitors. unbeknownst to the world, the fountain of youth was hidden away in his back yard.
he always continued his work to one degree or another. halloweens were always quite busy, monsters so loved taking advantage of the opportunities inherent in such a night. and there were always researchers and hunters of such creatures, tho they were more secretive in later eras. some monsters eventually began to decide to try to fit in with human civilization, more than they had in the past, to treat humans as equals, and not as prey. some even chose to reveal their identities and try to gain acceptance in an increasingly differences-tolerant world. but still, most people didn't believe them when they told them what they really were. sometimes they even tried (sometimes successfully) to lock them away in looney-bins. most didn't really want to hurt anybody, and got along as well as they could in mainstream society.
but there would always be those who defied the system, because they were of bad natures personally, or they went insane, or the system just wouldn't allow them to work within it. Whatever, there would always be work for people like D'WARD von Helsing.
there is much more i could say about him, for example, when exactly he became a Professor (late 1700s). or about some of his friends and associates, both human and monster. for example, he is the godfather to two gargoyles, and there's quite a story associated with that...