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"Do you really wish to know?"
Spoilers from the books and/or adaptations to follow!
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I'm not like Vivaldi. Profit alone only goes so far for me. I seek more. The auction house is primarily a meeting place for the local elite.
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- Horst to Geralt, Hearts of Stone expansion

Horst Borsodi was the first son of Maximilian Borsodi, older brother of Ewald Borsodi, and later on the owner of Borsody Auction House. He had a reputation as a snob and self-centered buffoon, but under his leadership, the Borsodi family managed to sneak into the royal favor of Radovid V, with many friends at the Tretogor court ensuring that the auction house was protected by Redanian soldiers.

Biography

Early life

Horst Borsodi was born in Novigrad to Maximilian Borsodi and his partner into a large and, at the time, already rich Borsodi family. He grew side by side with his brother, Ewald. Even though they were of the same blood, their personalities were very different and soon enough they developed an animosity.

While Ewald was more of a rogue and womanizer, Horst became pompous, strict and self-centered. Unlike his father, he was not opened to many things and believed that the auction house was more of a place for meetings of the local elite, not only a source of coins. This caused a rift between Horst and his father, and also contributed to Ewald being their father's favourite son. In his will, Maximilian left the auction house to Ewald, but Horst decided that Ewald was unfit to continue their father's business, arguing that he spent all the money they earned for prostitutes and alcohol, so he cheated his brother and took the auction house for himself. Ewald was thusly expelled from the family and cast out on to the streets, destitute.

Owner of the auction house

Sometime after becoming a head of the family, Horst witnessed the downfall of the von Everecs, a noble family. He demanded his money back immediately, but when they could not pay, Horst confiscated all of their property. When Olgierd heard about this, he ran to Horst pleading for mercy and tearing his shirt dramatically, but it brought him nothing as Borsodi shut the doors in front of him. Some of the von Everec family's possessions were sold on the auctions, to the dismay of Olgierd; he later gathered up enough resources, with the help of Gaunter O'Dimm, to get the Von Everec Estate back. Around this point, Olgierd also learned that Horst was not the legitimate owner of the auction house.

During the 1270s, Horst succeeded to get into Radovid V's inner circle, mostly by selling war bounty on his auction. It even got so far that he had a squadron of Redanian Guards to protect the auction house, while he did not have to pay taxes since Radovid gave him a taxation rate of zero percent in return for moving into Oxenfurt.

Heist and family reunion

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Horst Borsodi and masked Geralt in the vault

Before O'Dimm could take Olgierd von Everec's soul as agreed between them all those years ago, he first had to fulfill his three wishes via proxy, that, through the whims of fate, turned out to be a witcher: Geralt of Rivia. One such wish was for Geralt to bring him the "house of Maximillian Borsodi", a casket with Horst's father's will. When the witcher got to the auction house, Vimme Vivaldi introduced him to Horst, who was uncomfortable with the Witcher's presence, treating him with obnoxious disdain. When Geralt mentioned Max Borsodi's House, Horst demanded to know who told Geralt about the house, but regardless of Geralt revealed that it was Olgierd, Horst had two guards escort Geralt outside.

After fighting off the guards who attacked him, Geralt was approached by a cloaked stranger, who was secretly Ewald Borsodi; unbeknownst to the two men, Horst watched their ensuing conversation from a window. Later, when Geralt and Ewald broke into the auction house in a planned heist, they were caught by guards. One of the guards manages to sound a bell and more guards were alerted. Horst stormed into the room, and, seeing the chaos, fled to the vault and locked himself within. However, the vault was breached by Geralt and Ewald, who revealed his true identity. Ewald bitterly stated how he planned to steal his father's will from the vault to be able to expose Horst as a cheater, before Horst offered Geralt indescribable riches in return for standing with him against his brother. The player can choose which brother they want to support.

Conclusion

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Horst and his bodyguards

If Geralt stands by Horst...

The witcher managed to incapacitate Ewald, before Horst confronted him; he told Ewald that he'd spare him in on one condition: that Ewald accepts him as head of the family and bows before him. When Ewald responded by trying to stab him with a dagger, Horst disarmed him and viciously beat Ewald until Geralt stopped him. As soon as Geralt turned his back, Horst plunged a dagger into Ewald's chest, killing him. The surviving Borsodi then revealed that he can not give Geralt "Maximilian Borsodi's house", but that the witcher is free to choose anything else he wants and leave.

...and does not kill him

Geralt and Horst came to arrangement whereby Geralt could take the ornamental box he sought, Maximilian Borsodi's house, while Horst kept its contents: his father's will. Soon after, the witcher left, while Horst expressed his desire to never meet him again.

...and does kill him

When Horst revealed that, despite his earlier promises, he would not let Geralt have Maximilian's House, the witcher decided to take it from him by force. Horst was subsequently slain by the witcher in combat.

Geralt stands by Ewald

Unmoved by Horst's bribery, Geralt sided with Ewald. In the ensuing skirmish, Horst was disarmed by the witcher and knocked down. Ewald offered to spare his brother in return for signing away all his property to him, but when Horst began to say that he'd like one thing, Ewald flew into a rage and savagely pulverised Horst's face with an ornamental metal baton, only stopping when Geralt restrained him. As soon as the witcher's back was turned, Ewald struck his brother with the ornament once more, killing him.[1]

Journal entry

Horst Borsodi, owner of the most famous auction house in all the North, was a snob and a buffoon. He looked down his nose at Geralt from the very moment they met, and when he heard what had brought the witcher to him, he had his men toss him out and beat him. To say their relationship got started off on the wrong foot would thus be putting it very lightly indeed...
Geralt stands with Horst:
Nevertheless, when the Borsodi brothers faced off in a final showdown, Geralt chose to stand by Horst. He never revealed why he made this decision – perhaps he considered a pompous buffoon less of an evil than a bloodthirsty cheat, which is what his erstwhile partner, Ewald, had proven to be. With Geralt's support, Horst managed to defeat Ewald.
...but also demands the papers:
When Horst revealed that, despite his earlier promises, he did not intend to give Geralt Maximilian's House, the witcher decided to take it from him by force. Horst died by the witcher's blade before his hated brother's corpse had even cooled.
...but does not take the papers:
He repaid the witcher for this by giving him the ornamented box known as Maximilian's House.
Geralt stands with Ewald:
It came as no surprise, then, when Geralt chose to stand by his partner, Ewald, in the final showdown between the two brothers. With their strength combined, they defeated Horst's hired muscle. A few moments later, Ewald killed his hated brother in a spectacularly cruel fashion. It was later said none walked behind the once rich and mighty Horst Borsodi's casket and none shed a tear over his grave...

Gallery

References

  1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Hearts of Stone expansion
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