The Senior Line

Dowager Grand Duchess Joan Hendrake-Helgram, Warmistress

Dowager Grand Duchess Joan

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 and Joan

The Helgram Aunts (which also include 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.

Duchess Clarissa

As she is the mother of the former Grand Duke, and grandmother of the current once, Clarissa is considered to be a member of the Ducal Line.

Duchess Rosemary

Rosemary is very much the kind of person who works behind the scenes to make sure that members of the House keep focused, so things don’t 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. She also has a number of other children.

Duchess Florence

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. She is also very involved in House politics. Her most notable feature is her striking robin’s-egg blue eyes. She occasionally guest lectures at the Academy, on House and Thelbane governance and jurisprudence.

Florence has two pairs of twin sons, with her late husband Douglas. Thus far, none of the assorted girlfriends that the boys have brought to home to meet her have passed muster, so they remain bachelors. She also has two other non-twin sons, Dhugal and Finlay and a daughter, Maeve.

Duchess Athena, Headmistress of the Helgram Academy

Duchess Athena runs the Helgram Academy, where many of the younger Helgrams study if they don’t end up being sent into Shadow. She is a no-nonsense Head Mistress, with a rather stern exterior, but underneath she is honest and fair but also very pragmatic. She stays out of family politics but stays up to date on it as a sensible step.

Duchess Marguerita

Marguerita, like her Aunt Matilda, is one of the more prouder, 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.

Duchess Juanita

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 has two daughters, Alexandra and Joyce. Joyce married William FitzChanicut, a natural son of a brother of Tubble Chanicut, with whom she had four children: twins Gottfried and Manfred, a daughter named Amelia, and a younger son called Thaddeus.

Duchess Diane

Diane is the youngest of Graham and Joan’s children and an unlikely wealthy merchant – usually looked down upon in House Helgram. She is known to be loving and friendly to all. She is usually very hospitable and loves to feed everyone. She owns large trading houses and many trade ships. She dotes on her children as well and will cater to their needs. She is known for being very ethical in her dealings and is not known for rapacious prices.

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