Senior and Support Staff

The Helgram Academy is run by Duchess Athena Helgram, a younger sister of Duchess Clarissa, ably assisted by the Academy Council, which is made up of the Senior Staff, both academic and administrative. In addition, there is a core teaching staff of about forty people, who deal with the day-to-day subjects which the House believes its scions will need to live, love and survive within the House, and in the wider Courts.

Up until the age of eighteen, classes are usually made up of eight to ten students (with three forms in each year), and largely cover the more academic subjects. However, for those students who decide to stay on to take their studies further, the system is more tutorial based. Tutor groups are smaller, usually comprising less than five students, who are working at improving compatible subjects.

However, the staff can’t always cover everything, so when training needs to be specialised, for the more unusual subjects, House experts are brought in to assist and will usually only teach one or two students at a time.

The Academy also provides central lectures on subjects important to the student body as a whole: for example, the House poisons mistress coming in to take a three or five lecture course on the identification and treatment of poisons; or the Medical Officer talking about basic first aid and emergency treatment.

Duchess Athena, Principal

Duchess Athena

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 something like twenty cats, many of them polydactyl and some of which have opposible thumbs, who have the run of the Academy Ways.

Alwyn Daveth-Helgram, Master of the Lower House

Alwyn is a younger son of Duke Daveth, although the name of his mother isn’t recorded in the House records. He certainly inherited his father’s knack for the arcane, with a particular speciality in conjuration. He was educated at the Academy, then worked with the Helgram Institute for Magic and Science for some years, before being given the opportunity to walk the Logrus. He travelled in Shadow for a while after that, but after one close shave too many, he returned to the safety of the House. He applied to teach at the Academy, and has been there ever since.

He is the main teacher of conjuration, but recently also took on responsibility as the Master of the Lower House. He also still consults with the HIMS, and enjoys coming up with unusual gadgets – both for fun, and for the House.

Breda Johns-Helgram, Mistress of the Junior Common Room

Breda is the daughter of Duke John (senior), and is one of the best artists in the House. She was initially educated in the Academy, but eventually gained a place in the Thelbane College of Arts, where she excelled, and got to know a lot of people outside the House. She spent a while as a commercial artist in Thelbane and Shadow, before returning to the House and working with her father for a while. She was invited to teach Art and Trump Artistry at the Academy about thirty years ago.

Liam Helgram, Master of the Senior Common Room

Liam is a son of Duke Brand and Anne, daughter of Athena, who was born before Brand had his ‘difficulties’. He was brought up in the safety of the House and studied at the Academy, where it was discovered that he had an innate ability for spotting if things are out of place or feel wrong, or there is magic where there shouldn’t be (and vice versa). He trained with Warmistress Joan and her people, to develop general situation awareness, at which he excelled, and then spent some time working as a general observer for Helgram trade and diplomatic delegations, keeping an eye out for trouble.

He was one of the first members of the House to have an innate ability developed, but nowadays it is becoming more common. He joined the Academy staff to start training others about forty years ago, and became Master of the SCR a few years later. He also still sometimes goes out with a House delegation on important business, or if there is some likelihood of risk.

Uilliam Delacroix-Helgram, Wayskeeper in Residence

Uilliam is the son of the Helgram Keeper of the Ways, Duke William and his long-term mistress, Marienne Delacroix. William acknowledged him as his son, but they were never particularly close as he was growing up, although this has changed in later life. Uilliam was schooled as a border at the Academy, showing particular aptitude at shape shifting, and was allowed to walk the Logrus at a somewhat early age. He then travelled in Shadow for a while, before returning to Helgram to study with Duke Daveth, showing a natural flair for Waysmaking.

Arguably, he has the most important job in the Academy behind Duchess Athena, in that he keeps the whole Ways linked together, with the correct connections and pathways, and fixes problems when they go wrong: for example, a serious magical accident in one of the Shadow pocket labs.
He is also one of the shape shift teachers on staff.

He is very close to his full sister, Jenna.

Maeve Helgram, Librarian

Maeve loves books and knowledge. She spent a while working in the Helgram bureaucracy, and then studied with the House Historian for over a decade, and gained a good knowledge of antiquarian and other books. She was out in Shadow looking for a particularly choice volume, when she nearly came a cropper courtesy of Caine Rilgason. She managed to get away, but was seriously injured, leaving her with a broken form of shape shift – just enough for her to use the Logrus, but she can only consciously take one other form (that of a long-armed, red/orange-furred primate with opposible thumbs and toes).

The experience shook her so much that she returned to Chaos at the first opportunity, where her mother, Florence, cared for her until she was well enough to re-enter Helgram life. When a vacancy came up for the position of Librarian at the Academy, Duke Richard recommended her for the position, and she was happy to accept. As Librarian she also supervises the Academy History and Geneaology departments, run by Ivan and Myron Helgram, respectively.

Jackin Helgram, Chief Groundsman

Jackin was lucky to survive after his mother, Josephine, died in childbirth because of complications with chaos cancer. His father’s name isn’t mentioned in the House records. He was brought up in the Household of Duchess Clarissa, and then sent to the Academy as a boarder when he was eleven. He was a quiet child, who was prone to illness, despite the fact that it became apparent early on that he had the ability to shape shift. He studied when he could, and was particularly good at botany and biology, and during the summer he spent a lot of time out in the gardens.

He stayed on to improve his shape shifting, but his main area of skill and interest was plants and nature. After he graduated, he remained at the Academy, rather than return to the Duchess’s household, and apprenticed himself to the College Groundskeeper. On the latter’s retirement, he took over the position, and has been there ever since. Mainly he keeps himself to himself, but he does sometimes teach interested students about botany and the properties of plants. He is usually accompanied by a grey-furred husky/wolf cross named Cailean, which occasionally enjoys chasing the Headmistresses cats, although they usually outsmart it.

Susan Eleanor-Helgram, Medical Officer

Susan is the daughter of Marquesa Gwenith, the Helgram House Infirmarer. After graduating from the Middle House of the Academy, she went to train with her mother, and quickly proved that she had a natural empathy and a good bedside manner, as well has having some ability as a shape shift healer. Her mother sent her out into Shadow to train as a doctor in a variety of tech levels, which she thoroughly enjoyed, although she eventually decided to return home in the run-up to the War Between the Powers.

She offered her services to the Helgram forces as a battle medic and nurse, and saw action with Bleys’s army, although he left her behind in camp before the attack on Kolvir. When he didn’t return, she made her own way back to the House and kept her head down, and the Academy seemed like a good place to do that. She came out of retirement for the battle at the gates of Chaos, helping Bleys’s forces and patching up the survivors. However, once things calmed down, she returned to the Academy. She helps teach some of the healing classes, and also the emergency medicine and first aid courses.

Back to the Helgram Main Page