Helmskeep (4e Environment)

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The City of Helmskeep

(City of Green, The Garden City)

[banner symbol: white skull head with green three horned helmet]

[standard colors: green, red, and white]

City Population: 70,000+

Total Territory Population: 200,000+

Map of Helmskeep
Contour of the geography around the City-State of Helmskeep

Geographic Area[edit]

Helmskeep sits on a high mountain delta surrounded by water with three adjacent cities, West Bank City, Shannon Town, and East Bank City.

Imports, Exports, and Resources[edit]

Helmskeep has abundant freshwater, wood, hard-black-stone and marble, and wheat fields with cows and pigs. Helmskeep has abundant variety of horses but is renowned for its black warhorses. It exports marble, black-stone, pigs, gold, and silver. It imports hard-gray-stone, iron, and silver from Sidereal; imports potatoes, copper, and wool from Bronze City; imports silk and hard-white stone from Whitebeach.

The economy of Helmskeep is in ruins with the war. Before the war, the average monthly wage was 3 gold pieces (the basic pay of the army). Now, the average monthly wage is 1 gold piece (the basic pay of the army). Before the war, magic items were more available as a market item in the major cities (most items of level 1 through 5). Now, the availability of magic items is rare. There are no magic item stores or merchants (only 1st level items are available, when a magic item can be found to buy).

History[edit]

Helmskeep was founded by Warlord Shannon (Dragonborn) and 300 Human settlers in 88 C.E. Using Human slaves under Dwarven supervision, Helmskeep's Emerald Fortress and high walls were completed only 40 years later financed by dragon hoard killed by Warlord Shannon's apprentice Kornal the Red Scare (Dragonborn).

In 328 C.E., the five main cities, Sidereal, Helmskeep, Bronze City, Whitebeach, and Phobos form the United Five for mutual trade and defense. Fifty years later in 375 C.E., the evil Emperor Shaelong and an army of 25,000 invade. During the war, in 388 C.E., was Helmskeep's Third Centennial.

In the aftermath of the invasion of Shaelong, Helmskeep had over 8,000 soldiers killed and 5,000 civilians dead. The cities of Kornal and Farmtown are destroyed. The towns of Deepbank, Growersville, Greenville, Peaceville, Phobos, Barreltown, and Forestbank are destroyed. Food production is down 40% and outside West Bank City is a refugee camp of tents and plank-houses with five newly dug wells, security is done by the Emerald Hoard and food is provided by the Hill Monastery. The refugee camp holds over 12,000 people.

Governing Helmskeep[edit]

Helmskeep is ruled by as of 384 C.E. the Grand Warlord and King (Defender of the People) Valedon the Red Dragonsoldier (ancestor of Kornal the Red Scare). Real political power is shared between the King, the Cardinal of the Monastery, and the Chairman of the Four-Towers-Wizard-School and library. The Cardinal of the Hill Monastery is the dwarf Koreshaft Battlehold. The Chairman of the Four-Towers-Wizard-School is the elusive Eladrin wizard Flav'oon the Omnipotent Eye.

The mayor and baron of West Bank City as of 383 C.E. is a Human fighter named Gordan Plowman the Skull Crusher. The mayor and baron of Shannon Town as of 389 C.E. is a Human paladin named Mathis Loath the Pure Light. The mayor and baron of East Bank City as of 377 C.E. is a Minotaur paladin named Stru'arm Gorer the Holder of Justice.

There is a 4 silver piece Helmskeep tax on all merchandise bought or sold, also there is a 5 silver piece Helmskeep gateway tax on all travel into all city's gates/docks. There is a 1 gold piece ship docking fee.

The law of the land is Five Pillars. The Five Pillars are the Pillar of Blood, Violence, Dishonesty, State, and Safety. The Five Pillars are often abbreviated into five short “do not” phrases hung on gates, walls, and signs: Do not kill others. Do not violate others. Do not be dishonest. Do not interfere with the state. Do not use magic here. Within the city walls, magic use is forbidden except by state approved users. The City Watch, army officers, and knights of the realm have arresting authority. City Watch officers, army officers, and knights of the realm are judges, while each defendant can appeal to the ruling government.

Helmskeep's Culture[edit]

Helmskeep is a military frontier society on the west coast. It is a tolerant society toward other races, especially Dragonborn, although all other races, except Humans, are uncommon.

Fashion in Helmskeep is flowing cotton robes and cloaks with leather boots and shoes. The common weapons of the culture are the Katar with a light-square shield and the Falchion.

Although the basic common language is common, Helmskeep and its territories have a distinctive accent that is recognizable with a Perception DC 10.

Key Locations & People[edit]

Helmskeep sits on a high mountain delta surrounded by water with three adjacent cities, West Bank City, Shannon Town, and East Bank City.

Key Locations of Helmskeep Proper

  1. The Great Garden City of Helmskeep covers a high-hill island sandwiched between the north-west Long River and the south-east Light River and is dedicated to Theoosh, the Water God (three horizontal wavy lines whose colors are yellow and green) and to Pegay, the Spring Goddess (open flower and blue).
  2. Bridging over the Light River between Helmskeep and Shannon Town are two black-stone bridges.
  3. Emerald Fortress and high walls: the Fortress Keep known as Emerald Fortress colored a dark green that rises fifty feet high and surrounded by high walls of black stone. The Fortress Keep sits at the high point of the slope and rises fifty feet high so that it dominates everything. It is colored a dark green. Atop The Emerald Fortress is the Royal Rocs, the Skyroc Cavalry is the royal air guard of 36+ rocs and riders. Almost all the buildings, the city walls and the roads are made of hard-black-stone.
  4. The Four-Towers-Wizard-School is headquartered in Helmskeep, dedicated to its enormous library: To the south-east of the Emerald Fortress is a large structure of five high towers of black stone, each capped with roofs that look like a white skull heads with green three horned helmets. It can only be the Four-Towers-Wizard-School of Helmskeep. The Four-Towers-Wizard-School with five high towers of black stone, each capped with roofs that look like a white skull head with a green three horned helmet.
  5. The city is divided by walls, towers, and gates into seven individual sections.
    1. In the Fresh Water Dock Area are the docks on Long River and an Army fort.
    2. The Goddess Pegay Area is dominated by the Church of Order but has many other temples in this section.
    3. The Four Towers Area has the wizard school in its center.
    4. The Slope Area is a major merchant and market area that is close to the salt water docks.
    5. In the Salt Water Dock Area are the docks on the ocean bay and an Army fort.
    6. The Oun Area contains many lower houses and some middle housing with an Army fort.
    7. The Castle Area is dominated by the Emerald Fortress overlooking the city, both docks, and the Long River.
  6. The Dragon Tail Monastery [Monk Order of the Dragon: Symbol: white, orange, or black dragon scale; Cloth: white, orange, or black silk; Weapon Required: any of the monk class] led by Dragonborn Grand Master Ishbosh is in Helmskeep.
  7. The White Snake Monastery [Monk Order of the Snake: Symbol: white curled snake on a green square; Cloth: green silk; Weapon Required: sling or quarterstaff] led by Grand Master Thoraklim is in Helmskeep.

Along the Long River is the fresh water docks and to the north is the salt water docks containing 100 fishing/transport boats with 25 military boats. 50 or more bars and inns and many permanent/specialty markets: common goods, fine goods, exported goods, and luxury goods.

Key People of Helmskeep Proper

Arm GoldenBoulder, the Dwarven Supreme Legatus Legionis (answers only to the Grand Warlord and King), the Emerald Hoard is the royal guard of one legion strong with 400 cavalry [4800 soldiers].

Darris Warson, the Human Skyroc Legionis (answers only to the Grand Warlord and King), the Skyroc Cavalry is the royal air guard of 36+ rocs and riders, mostly Human with 4+ half-elves, 3+ elves and 2+ Halflings.

Flav'oon the Omnipotent Eye, the Chairman of the Four-Towers-Wizard-School is this elusive Eladrin wizard. The White School of the Spiral Tower Wizardry (banner with big white triangle: dedicated to Thechard the Stone God) has its Principle as the Chairman of the Four-Towers-Wizard-School, the elusive Eladrin (dedicated to Thedhard the Stone God).

Ishbosh, Dragonborn Grand Master of The Dragon Tail Monastery [Monk Order of the Dragon: Symbol: white, orange, or black dragon scale; Cloth: white, orange, or black silk; Weapon Required: any of the monk class].

Jay Saal the Chaos Walker, the Orange School of Elemental Wizardry's (banner with big orange triangle: dedicated to Theezine the Fire God) Principle is this Human dedicated to Theezine the Fire God.

Jelenneth Therth the Green Ghost, the Green School of Wizardry (banner with big green triangle: dedicated to Theoosh the Water God) Principal is this Eladrin female dedicated to Theoosh the Water God.

Kris Cornwell the Dragon Demon Killer, the Purple School of Battle Wizardry's (banner with big purple triangle: dedicated to Thetoru the Wind God) Principal is this ancient Human dedicated to Thetoru the Wind God.

Thoraklim, Grand Master of The White Snake Monastery [Monk Order of the Snake: Symbol: white curled snake on a green square; Cloth: green silk; Weapon Required: sling or quarterstaff].

Valedon the Red Dragonsoldier, Helmskeep is ruled by as of 384 C.E. the Grand Warlord and King (Defender of the People) (ancestor of Kornal the Red Scare).

Zanne Sharefly the Deathdealer (rides a golden-red Griffon), the Red School of Blood Mage Wizardry's (banner with big red triangle: dedicated to Theezine the Fire God) Principle is this female Human.

Key Locations of West Bank City

Surrounding the city is a high black stone wall with the West Bank City Keep and its five catapult towers dominating the whole scene. The city sits on the western bank of the Long River just south of Skull Mound and south-east of Head Hill. The land around West Bank City is gentle hills of open grasslands and farms.

  1. The city's docks are on the Long River and are a main traffic link from crossing the Long River to get to Helmskeep.
  2. West Bank City has one temple dedicated to the worship of God Theros, the Summer God (full sun with rays in red) and Cheimon, the Winter God (raven head shadow with white) with 15 clerics.
  3. The Hill Monastery and Head University worship the Four Season Gods or the Four Minor God’s Pegay, Theros, Phthino, and Cheimon. Overlooking the city on Head Hill is The Hill Monastery and University a large compound of several buildings of black stone sitting high on its hill overlooking everything.
  4. The Yellow Paw Monastery [Monk Order of the Dog: Symbol: yellow paw print on blue background; Cloth: yellow cloth; Weapon Required: dagger or unarmed strike] with Grand Master Korman is in West Bank City near Helmskeep.
  5. Outside West Bank City is a refugee camp of tents and plank-houses with five newly dug wells, the camp holds over 12,000 people in 4,000 tents and houses.

The fresh water docks are home to 25 fishing/transport boats with 5 military boats. 10 bars and inns with many permanent markets of common goods, fine goods, exported goods, and luxury goods. There are 4 Mills and many Blacksmith's Workshops, Tanner's Workshops, Weaver's Workshops, Granaries, Bakeries, and Breweries. Outside the hard-black-stone walls are lumber camps, houses, fields and farms of apple orchards and vineyards, wheat, corn, oats, and barley with various livestock. Almost all the buildings, the city walls and the roads are made of hard-black-stone.

Key People of West Bank City

Corrin Fingers the Mighty Merchant, the Golden Purse is headquartered out of West Bank City and the guildmaster is this Halfling.

Gordan Plowman the Skull Crusher, the baron of West Bank City is a Human fighter.

Koreshaft Battlehold, the present Cardinal of the Hill Monastery is a Half-Elf.

Korman, Grand Master of The Yellow Paw Monastery [Monk Order of the Dog: Symbol: yellow paw print on blue background; Cloth: yellow cloth; Weapon Required: dagger or unarmed strike].

Shava Woodsman the Lightbear, the School Master of the Head University is this female Half-elf.

Key Locations of Shannon Town

Shannon Town covers a high-hill island sandwiched between the north-west Light River and the south-east East River. Bridging over the Light River between Helmskeep and Shannon Town are two black-stone bridges. Bridging over the East River between Shannon Town and East Bank City is on black stone-bridge known as the Shannon Walk.

  1. The dominant feature on Shannon Town, seen even from afar, is the Shannon Town Keep with a hard-white-stone ten-foot-state of Shannon with arms raised to the sky on the tallest tower, and its high black stone wall with its seven catapult towers dominating the whole scene.
  2. It has fresh water docks on the Light River side and salt water docks on the north. The fresh water docks are home to 30 fishing/transport boats with 3 military boats.
  3. Shannon Town has one temple dedicated to the worship of Theoosh (God of Water whose symbol is three horizontal wavy lines) and Thetoru (God of Wind whose symbol is three vertical lines), known as the Two Columns Temple, with 15 clerics.
  4. The Double Two Horns Monastery [Monk Order of the Horned Animal: Symbol: two horns pointing up; Cloth: any; Weapon Required: club or quarterstaff] led by Grand Master Eastorn is in Helmskeep’s city of Shannon City.

10 bars and inns with many permanent markets of common goods, fine goods, exported goods, and luxury goods. There are 4 Mills and many Blacksmith's Workshops, Tanner's Workshops, Weaver's Workshops, Granaries, Bakeries, and Breweries. Almost all the buildings, the city walls and the roads are made of hard-black-stone.

Key People of Shannon Town

Eastorn, Grand Master of The Double Two Horns Monastery [Monk Order of the Horned Animal: Symbol: two horns pointing up; Cloth: any; Weapon Required: club or quarterstaff].

Jezebella Foredown the Changling, guildmaster of The Black Hand headquartered out of Shannon Town is this female doppleganger.

Mathis Loath the Pure Light, the baron of Shannon Town is a Human paladin.

Key Locations of East Bank City

Surrounding the city is a high black stone wall with the East Bank City Keep known as Justice Hold and its seven catapult towers dominating the whole scene. The city sits on the eastern bank of the East River just south-east of Shannon Town and Helmskeep.

  1. In hard-black stone is the East Bank City Keep, known as Justice Hold, with a ring wall and seven catapult towers.
  2. The city has only one temple that is forty feet high and dark green, known as The Ever-Sun Sanctuary to God Theros, the Summer God (full sun with rays).
  3. In the center of town is a garden square known as the God Theros’ Green. The God Theros’ Green has a white marble state twenty feet high of God Theros with a Minotaur kneeling in worship in the four directors of the compass.
  4. The land around East Bank City is gentle hills of open grasslands and farms. The city has no docks.

10 bars and inns with many permanent markets of common goods, fine goods, exported goods, and luxury goods. There are 5 Mills and many Blacksmith's Workshops, Tanner's Workshops, Weaver's Workshops, Granaries, Bakeries, and Breweries. Outside the hard-black-stone walls are lumber camps, houses, fields and farms of apple orchards and vineyards, wheat, corn, oats, and barley with various livestock. Almost all the buildings, the city walls and the roads are made of hard-black-stone.

Key People of East Bank City

Methmore Shallynn the Shadowalker, guildmaster of The Death Mask headquartered out of East Bank City is a Human.

Stru'arm Gorer the Holder of Justice, The baron of East Bank City is this Minotaur paladin.

Institutions & Organizations[edit]

Guilds and Brotherhoods: There are several international organizations that transcend culture and race. The international organizations are very loosely organized. The hierarchy of the international organization from lowest to highest is as follows: Apprentice Intern (1 gold piece due), Third Level Guild Member (1 gold piece due per year), Second Level Guild Member (2 gold pieces due per year), First Level Guild Member (3 gold pieces due per year), Assistant Guild Master (5 gold pieces due per year), and Guild Master (10 gold pieces due per year). There is more than one Guild Master per guild, normally one Guild Master in one general area. The Guild Master is responsible for credentials, dues, and expenses.

Merchant Guild is an international organization of buyers and seller whose symbol is a stack of coins.

Librarian Guild is an international organization of book lovers and organizers (librarians) whose symbol is an open book with a colorful rainbow.

Scribe Guild is an international organization of scribes and writers whose symbol is feather pen and unrolled scroll.

Thespian Guild of actors, jesters, and bards whose symbol is an Elven ‘Th’ letter.

Brotherhood of Smiths is an international organization of metal smith workers whose symbol is two small hammers and an anvil.

Brotherhood of Builders is an international organization of stone masons and wood carpenters whose symbol is three straight lines with a vertical tree branch.

Brotherhood of Gladiators is an international organization of gladiators whose symbol is a red drop of blood.

Thieves' Guilds: Four thieves' guilds operate within Helmskeep and its territories. Each guild is also a school for training. The Black Hand, The Death Mask, The Golden Purse, and The Beholders are the four thieves' guilds. The Black Hand is headquartered out of Shannon Town and the guildmaster is a female doppleganger named Jezebella Foredown the Changling. The Death Mask is headquartered out of East Bank City and the guildmaster is a Human named Methmore Shallynn the Shadowalker. The Golden Purse is headquartered out of West Bank City and the guildmaster is a Halfling named Corrin Fingers the Mighty Merchant. The Beholders are headquartered out of Rhema and the guildmaster is a female Eladrin named Quelenna Feywind the Invisible Assassin. Each guild operates in all the cities and each guild has its own hand-finger language (thieves' sign language).

Wizard Schools: Five wizard schools operate within Helmskeep and its territories, all under the umbrella organization of the Four-Towers-Wizard-School, dedicated to its enormous library. The Four-Towers-Wizard-School is headquartered in Helmskeep, although they have towers in all the major cities of Helmskeep and individual wizards have private towers throughout the lands. The Chairman of the Four-Towers-Wizard-School is the elusive Eladrin wizard Flav'oon the Omnipotent Eye. Each of the five schools is distinguishable by a color and a focus. The Purple School of Battle Wizardry's (banner with big purple triangle: dedicated to Thetoru the Wind God) Principal is the ancient Human Kris Cornwell the Dragon Demon Killer. The Red School of Blood Mage Wizardry's (banner with big red triangle: dedicated to Theezine the Fire God) Principle is the female Human Zanne Sharefly the Deathdealer (rides a golden-red Griffon). The White School of the Spiral Tower Wizardry (banner with big white triangle: dedicated to Thechard the Stone God) has its Principle as the Chairman of the Four-Towers-Wizard-School, the elusive Eladrin Flav'oon the Omnipotent Eye. The Orange School of Elemental Wizardry's (banner with big orange triangle: dedicated to Theezine the Fire God) Principle is the Human Jay Saal the Chaos Walker. The Green School of Wizardry (banner with big green triangle: dedicated to Theoosh the Water God) is the only school that does not have a seat on the ruling council of wizards and no one from this school can be the Chairman. Its Principal is the Eladrin female Jelenneth Therth the Green Ghost. The Four-Towers-Wizard-School is governed by a ruling council of wizards with five seats, one for each Principal from the Purple, the Red, the White, and the Orange Schools and the fifth seat an elected Chairman from all the members of the five schools.

Temples and Chapels: The Minor Gods are honored within Helmskeep and its territories. The city of Helmskeep is dedicated to Theoosh, the Water God (three horizontal wavy lines whose colors are yellow and green) and to Pegay, the Spring Goddess (open flower and blue but contains individual temples to the Spring Goddess, Summer God, Autumn Goddess, and Winter Goddess. The Hill Monastery and Head University worship the Four Season Gods or the Four Minor God’s Pegay, Theros, Phthino, and Cheimon. Overlooking the city on Head Hill is The Hill Monastery and University a large compound of several buildings of black stone sitting high on its hill overlooking everything. The Hill Monastery has a Cardinal who serves as a political power procure in Helmskeep. The present Cardinal of the Hill Monastery is the Half-Elf Koreshaft Battlehold. The School Master of the Head University is the female Half-elf Shava Woodsman the Lightbear. There is an underground/secret cult of Trouble, known as the Madness Cult. Shannon Town has one temple dedicated to the worship of Theoosh (God of Water whose symbol is three horizontal wavy lines) and Thetoru (God of Wind whose symbol is three vertical lines), known as the Two Columns Temple, with 15 clerics. East Bank City has one temple that is forty feet high and dark green, known as The Ever-Sun Sanctuary to God Theros, the Summer God (full sun with rays)

Army Special Forces: The most common uniform colors are mostly green and red trim. Helmskeep is guarded by two special force units. First is the Emerald Hoard. Under the leadership of the Dwarven Supreme Legatus Legionis Arm GoldenBoulder (answers only to the Grand Warlord and King), the Emerald Hoard is the royal guard of one legion strong with 400 cavalry [4800 soldiers]. Second is the Royal Rocs. Under the leadership of the Human Skyroc Legionis Darris Warson (answers only to the Grand Warlord and King), the Skyroc Cavalry is the royal air guard of 36+ rocs and riders, mostly Human with 4+ half-elves, 3+ elves and 2+ Halflings.

Knight Orders: Within Helmskeep and its territory are nine Knight Orders (banner is a black shield with a golden lightning bolt sword; background varies with order). You must be a fighter, paladin, or warlord to be in a knightly order. Each knightly order is also a school for training. In mass battle, they are heavy-cavalry with warhorses. Emerald Knights of the Emerald Hoard (background dark green), Skull Knights of the baron of West Bank City (background large skull), Shannon Knights of the baron of Shannon Town (background white), Justice Knights of the baron of East Bank City (background large balanced-scales), Divine Knights of Hill Monastery (background yellow), Four-Tower Knights of the Four-Towers-Wizard-School (background four vertical lines of red, Rhema Knights of the baron of Rhema (background blood red), and Blue Knights of the baron of Rivercity (background blue).

Monk Orders: The Dragon Tail Monastery [Monk Order of the Dragon: Symbol: white, orange, or black dragon scale; Cloth: white, orange, or black silk; Weapon Required: any of the monk class] led by Dragonborn Grand Master Ishbosh is in Helmskeep. The White Snake Monastery [Monk Order of the Snake: Symbol: white curled snake on a green square; Cloth: green silk; Weapon Required: sling or quarterstaff] led by Grand Master Thoraklim is in Helmskeep. The Double Two Horns Monastery [Monk Order of the Horned Animal: Symbol: two horns pointing up; Cloth: any; Weapon Required: club or quarterstaff] led by Grand Master Eastorn is in Helmskeep’s city of Shannon City. The Yellow Paw Monastery [Monk Order of the Dog: Symbol: yellow paw print on blue background; Cloth: yellow cloth; Weapon Required: dagger or unarmed strike] with Grand Master Korman is in West Bank City near Helmskeep.



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