Helgram Game: History and Organisation
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House Helgram has its origins among the independent duchies of the earliest days of Chaos, before the Courts was Unified by Cornelius and his sons. Initially, it was considered to be a Minor House, ruled by Duke Graham the Elder, a demon nobleman. However, when he married Maíread Barimen, daughter of King Swayville and Queen Alberta, House Helgram was awarded Grand Duchy status as a wedding gift. Since then, it has risen in influence, and its star is currently higher than both House Sawall and House Hendrake.
Graham and Maíread had a long and happy life, and were blessed with a number of children, who were all encouraged to bring their particular strengths to the House. In time, Duke Graham was succeeded as Head of House by his eldest son, Graham Junior, about eight thousand Chaos years ago. Graham Junior married the beautiful Joan of Hendrake, thus cementing by matrimony the close links between the two Houses. However, the coupled were only blessed with daughters, and so, on Graham Junior’s death, the title passed through his eldest daughter, Clarissa, to her eldest son, Grand Duke Bleys.
Head of House: Ian, Grand Duke Helgram (son of Bleys of Amber and Swayvanna of Chaos)
Heir Apparent: Wolfram, son of Ian
Grand Duke Ian is married to Marina, a granddaughter of the late Brand of Amber
For the most part, the Grand Duke allows each of the various departments of the House to run their own day-to-day affairs. The Helgram Cabinet is comprised of these department heads, which meets roughly once a month. The Grand Duke keeps an overall eye on things, and either them could call and chair a Cabinet meeting if required.
The Treasurer of House Helgram, David Helgram, works closely with the Grand Duke to make sure that the fortunes of the family and its various trading concerns continue to make a decent profit. Much of this goes back into the House to improve facilities and institutions.
The Helgram Cabinet comprises:
- Grand Duke Ian
- Dowager Duchess Joan
- The Heads of the Cadet Branches
- Duke Daveth, Master of the Arcane
- Duchess Matilda
- Duke William
- Duke Arran Harrison-Helgram
- Duke Llewellyn Stephenson-Helgram
- Duchess Eleanor, Head of the Helgram Diplomatic Service
- Duke Richard, House Historian
- Duke John, House Trump Artist
- Bishop Edward
- Cíaran Richardson-Helgram, Lord Chamberlain
- Mikel Daveth-Helgram, Lord Chancellor
- David Helgram, House Treasurer
- Dhugal, Keeper of the Lineage
- Gwenith Eleanor Helgram, House Infirmarer
- Lindsay Eleanor Helgram, House Commercial Director
- Jowan Daveth-Helgram, House Representative in the Black Zone
Military and Police
While Helgram isn’t known for being a particularly martial House, its strong links with House Hendrake mean that it has a very competent standing military. This is commanded by Warmistress Joan, a Hendrake by birth, and the widow of the previous Grand Duke, Graham junior.
Policing duties were originally also handled by the Helgram army. However, eventually the more liberal members of the House insisted in separation between the two, leading to the formation of the small Helgram police force, under the command of Chief Constable Finn Harrison-Helgram. Most of its duties relate to the main public and communal areas of Helgramways. Within the sub-Ways, the Ways owner can make 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 House has an extensive diplomatic service, to both maintain relations with the other Houses, and co-ordinate its various Embassies across Creation. This is overseen by Duchess Eleanor Helgram, younger daughter of Graham the Elder and his wife, who manages to keep everything on track and co-ordinated. Helgram Ambassadors are known by the title Representative.
Full Embassies are maintained with the Dragon Court of King Swayville, the various Great Houses of Chaos, the Black Zone, the Court of Amber, the Court of Brandenberg (ruled by Queen Jasra, daughter of Suhuy, on behalf of King Brand), and the Court of Parys (ruled by King Corwin).
The Black Zone
The Black Zone is the Chaos equivalent of Amber’s Golden Circle. It is comprised of a myriad of semi-Real Shadows which have varying degrees of allegiance or otherwise to the Courts itself, or individual Houses within the Courts. Historically, House Helgram only had limited interests in the region. However, since the upheaval of the War Between the Powers, and the opportunities that has created, that has changed. The House has recently sent a Representative to the region, and is now making significant progress there.
The Zócalo is the Helgram trading base in the Black Zone, and comes under the purview of Representative Jowan. It is a centre for trade and commerce, with open access to both the Courts and the Black Zone, and direct but guarded connections to the Helgram Marketplace and the High Redoubt, which is the closest place to a Helgram capital in the Black Zone. It is guarded by Helgram troops. For further details, see the Zócalo page.
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