Joan is the widow of Grand Duke Graham the Younger. She was born into House Hendrake, and was brought up within that House, learning the military skills which would be appropriate to one of her status: she is Aunt to the current Hendrake Grand Duchess, Belissa Minobee. Her marriage to Graham was initially a political one, although husband and wife grew very fond of each other, and when the previous Helgram Warleader died, Joan was willing to take over the position.
Children of Graham Junior and Joan
The Helgram Aunts (which also includes Duchess Matilda and Duchess Eleanor, in the previous generation) are a formidable lot. Definitely they who shall be obeyed. They have a habit of fighting with their daughters as rivals, and tend to favour their sons. However, they won’t hesitate to block unsuitable marriages for any of their children, if they don’t like who gets brought home for approval, sometimes going to great lengths (including land seizures and kidnappings) to stop a marriage they don’t approve of going ahead. They also prefer their sons to have short-lived marriages or none at all.
As she is the mother of the current Grand Duke, Clarissa is considered to be a member of the Ruling Line, and more details can be found on the Ruling Line page.
Rosemary is very much the kind of person who works behind the scenes to make sure that the laziness she sees elsewhere in the House doesn’t mean that things grind to a halt. She works in the Helgram bureaucracy and is highly effective in keeping people organised and getting the job done…whatever the job may be. She has almost as many contacts in Thelbane as a whole as her Aunt Eleanor. She is known to be a Trump artist, as well as a sorceress specialising in teleporting and communications magics.
She works closely with her daughter, Isabel, who recently joined her office in the Long House.
Despite her gossipy exterior, Duchess Florence is very highly educated, and is one of the legal powerhouses of House Helgram. She was formerly a Judge within the House (and is now Helgram Chief Counsel?). She is also very involved in House politics.
Florence was married to Douglas Fitz-Channicut, and they have two pairs of twin sons: Robby and Roddy; and Dougie and Dhugal. She is very protective of her children – some might say over protective – especially after Robby was mauled by a Hellhound belonging to Julian Rilgason when he was a child, although she is slightly more relaxed about her younger boys than her older ones. Thus far, none of the assorted girlfriends they have brought to home to meet her have passed muster, so they remain bachelors.
She is pretty liberal in many areas, in common with Matthew, son of Brand: for example, opposing universal compulsory military service, which has been floated in some countries. Robby and Robby are working for him in Shadow on some of his personal ventures, and she encourages them to debate philosophy and politics on a regular basis. She occasionally guest lectures at the Academy, on House and Thelbane governance, and is one of the main proponents of restoring the old Helgram Parliament and greater autonomy for the Grand Duchies, rather than the current, more ‘provincial’ arrangement.
Her most notable feature is her striking robin’s-egg blue eyes.
Duchess Athena is a highly competent magic user. She runs the Helgram Academy, as Headmistress and Chair of the Academy Council. She is a no-nonsense individual, with a rather stern exterior; underneath she is honest and fair but also very pragmatic. If she decides a student has done something warranting chastisement, she will usually devise a punishment aimed at encouraging practical and good behaviour in the future, rather than discomfort in the present.
She stays out of Helgram Family politics but stays up to date on it as a sensible step. One of her daughters, Anne, was recently named as a Maid of Honour to Marquesa Morgana, which is proving something of a challenge.
Athena is owned by dozen cats, many of whom have accompanied her to Amber, but a few remain who have the run of the Academy Ways.
Marguerata, like her Aunt Matilda, is one of the prouder, more aristocratic Helgram aunts, and has a lot of friends and contacts throughout the House and Thelbane as a whole. She is also less inclined to meddle in the affairs of her children than some of the others. She can be kind and considerate, but is a very bad person to get on the wrong side of, and can have a very sharp tongue if angry. She is also a strong believer in knowledge and is often sought for her influence and advice. She has a reputation as a strong Ritualist, and often lectures at the Helgram Academy.
She loves cats in all their forms, from Tiddles to tigers. She is usually seen with a long silver cigarette holder and enjoys her personal brand of cigarettes that she has had made for her.
Juanita is an honourable lady, but very stiff backed and traditional. She is also very proud, and is a tough matriarch, who is very capable of taking on those who displease her. She is of the pro-Chaos party, believing that Chaos can be reformed and brought back to its old days of a strong king, countered by a conservative parliament blocking unnecessary changes sponsored by mischief making would be tyrants, and has little time for those who believe the Grand Duchies should be independent. She has a thorough dislike of Grand Duchess Dara of Sawall, and her henchman Mandor, especially given their less than supportive actions during King Swayville’s recent illness.
She has two daughters, Alexandra and Joyce. Joyce is married to Vilhelm FitzChannicut, a natural son of a brother of Tubble Channicut, and they have four children: the blond twins Gottfried and Manfred, a daughter named Amelia, and a younger son called Thaddeus.
Other Key Members of the House
Llewellyn Stephenson-Helgram, Master at Arms
Eldest son of the late Duke Stephen, who became head of the Stephenson-Helgram branch when his father was killed by Caine Rilgason. Llewellyn is a highly skilled warrior, who was trained by his father from a young age. He accompanied Stephen on his last mission, and saw his father die, but did successfully rescue the girl they went to save, although he’s never really forgiven her for being the cause of his father’s death. He took over as Master at Arms with the agreement of Grand Duke Graham junior, and has performed his duties well. However, he has a harder edge than his father, which occasionally comes out when one of his students is being particularly clueless. To this day, he has a deep and abiding hatred of Caine Rilgason, and has sworn vendetta against him.
Cíaran Richardson-Helgram, Lord Chamberlain
Cíaran is a the younger son of Duke Richard, the historian. Richard fostered him with the Court of King Swayville, where he served as a page. However, somehow he fell foul of the King’s then apprentice, Lucian, and ended up returning to House Helgram in semi-disgrace. His father decided it would be best if he left Chaos for a while, and he was sent into Shadow, and found a position as a junior scribe in the Court of Queen Elizabeth I. He made his mark there, and learned a great deal about how a Royal Household should work. Eventually, the dust settled back in Thelbane, and he returned home, where he was appointed as Lord Chamberlain and Head of the Royal Household in Helgram Palace, as well as serving on Graham’s Privy Council. Grand Duke Bleys has seen no reason to change this appointement.
Mikel Daveth-Helgram, Lord Chancellor
Mikel is a son of Duke Daveth with Amanda Sawall, and is half-brother to Daveth’s daughter Elowen. He grew up in House Helgram, doing will as a sorcerer, but also showing a flair for admin and politics. After he walked the Logrus, he travelled in Shadow for some years, before returning to work within King Swayville’s court for a while, making contacts and gaining experience of high level government and administration. He returned to House Helgram when his grandfather died, and made himself available to Duke Graham Junior, who took note of his experience within Swayville’s court, and appointed him to run the Helgram bureaucracy and administration. He has one son, Rory, who is an excellent magician in his own right.
David Helgram, House Treasurer
David is the son of Duchess Matilda, and has a Channicut father. He was initially brought up within his father’s House. However, it soon became clear that while he’d inherited the Channicut financial acumen, in him it was more focused towards fiscal responsibility, rather than naked acquisition. This made him unpopular with certain elements of Channicut, and eventually he returned to his mother’s House, and began working in the House Treasury. He became House Treasurer about 150 years ago.
As Treasurer, he is responsible for watching House spending and budgets with an eagle eye, and making sure that the Helgram Inc doesn’t run at a loss, despite the Grand Duke’s efforts to work his way through the House coffers.
Finn Harrison-Helgram, Chief Constable
Finn is the second son of the late Duke Henry, and inherited both his father’s inherent magical skill, and his grandmother’s flair for matters military. He was taken in hand at a young age by his Uncle Daveth, who made sure that he didn’t lose control of his magic, the way his father had. Daveth kept him focused, and he graduated safely from the Helgram Academy with specialism in combat and investigative magic. He then spent some years training in House Hendrake, to develop his military ability, before returning to House Helgram and applying that knowledge to the Helgram armed forces.
When policing duties were split out from the straight military, Finn volunteered to become the House Chief Constable of the small but efficient House Police. Most of their duties relate to the main public and communal areas of Helgramways. Within the sub-Ways, the owner usually makes his own policing arrangements, and will deal with most of the everyday matters. However, the House Police do get involved if a serious crime, such as murder or rape, takes place.
The Chief Constable runs the small but efficient House Police. For the most part, their responsibilities are restricted to the main communal areas of Helgramways, although they may get called into an individual sub-Ways if a serious crime has been committed.
Dhugal, Keeper of the Lineage
Dhugal is the son of Clarissa’s younger sister, Duchess Florence. He became fascinated with the family, and genealogy at a young age, and studied both magical and mundane healing and genetics at the Helgram Academy. He became the Keeper of the Lineage quite some time ago. His position deals with the far from minor job of keeping track of Helgram genealogy, and also functions to award and keep track of the heraldry of the individual members of the House. He works closely with Myron Henry Helgram, who teaches law, politics and genealogy at the Helgram Academy.
Gwenith Eleanor Helgram, House Infirmarer
Gwenith is the daughter of Duchess Eleanor. Where her mother’s skill is with people, and getting them to do what she wants, in Gwenith it has come out more as empathy, and an innate ability to heal. After walking the Logrus, she travelled extensively in Shadow, learning a variety of healing techniques in a number of different tech levels. She is very capable both as a magical healer, and using shapeshifting.
In her role as House Infirmarer, she is effectively the Chief Medical Officer for House Helgram, running the main Helgram hospital/infirmary, and she and her staff see to the health and wellbeing of the House.
Elowen is the elder of twin daughters of Duke Daveth and Dybele Hendrake. Her sister, Eithne, went missing during the purge by Eric of Karm and Caine Rilgason, and is assumed to be dead. Elowen was something of an explorer when she was younger, perhaps because of the strong Hendrake streak within her, but thankfully didn’t suffer the fate of her sister during her travels in Shadow. Early in her youth, she developed an interest in poisons and their antidotes. As time passed, it became apparent that it was more than just an interest – it was more of an innate gift – and given the prevalence of Jesby poisons in the Courts, the House made sure that she was trained in the use of it.
After she walked the Logrus, she spent a great deal of time in Shadow, learning more about her craft on many different worlds. When she finally returned to House Helgram, its because somewhere in her travels she had fallen pregnant, and she decided she wanted her child to be born in the House. Since then she has become the foremost expert on poisons within the House, has worked closely with both the Helgram Infirmary, and the Institute for Magic and Science, in that capacity. Her son Jowan also appears to have inherited her gift with toxins.
Lindsay Eleanor Helgram, House Commercial Director
Working closely with the House Treasurer, Linsday is responsible for co-ordinating all of House Helgram’s internal and external financial endeavours: keeping an eye on manufacturing, looking for good trading opportunities, and investing the House coffers wisely. She is the daughter of Eleanor, and sister to Gwenith, and inherited her mother’s people skills, but decided to put them towards commerce and the financial benefit of the House.
While she was in the Upper House of the Academy, she was interning on a trading delegation in Shadow when they were attacked by Caine Rilgason. Her mentor, Pieter Richardson-Helgram, managed to get word back to the House before being killed, and a rescue mission was launched. Lindsay and one other member of the delegation were rescued, but the other four were murdered, along with Duke Stephen. Since that time, she has had a difficult relationship with Stephen’s son Llewellyn, who blames her for his father’s death.
She recovered from her injuries, and returned to her studies, and eventually went on to work in her chosen fields. She has degrees in economics, market forces and Thelbane commercial law.
Jowan Daveth-Helgram, House Representative in the Black Zone
Jowan is the son of Elowen. He was educated in Shadow, rather than at the Helgram Academy, but since he returned to the Courts he has been very involved in promoting Helgram interests. He is a trained lawyer, with a thorough understanding of Chaos jurisprudence, and has also served the House in diplomacy and trade, and teaches at the Helgram Academy as a visiting lecturer. He was appointed as the Helgram Agent in the Black Zone shortly after the end of the War Between the Powers.