Gods: Lady Helena

The Goddess Lady Helena

Lady Helena is frequently portrayed as a beautiful dark haired woman. She wears a simple mask to hide her features, but dresses in revealing clothing. In one hand she holds a staff. In the other hand is a human heart pierced through with an arrow.

Lady Helena’s goal is to spread light throughout the world. Her Church does this by maintaining buildings that are essentially brothels in towns with a population over 500. They also have traveling caravans that visit many smaller towns and cities.

The Church maintains Orphanages in bigger cities. Orphans are always female. Male Orphans are passed over to the Brothers of Talric, although some maybe kept and trained as servants or Temple Guards. Usually such positions are given to brothers and family of female Orphans who become priestesses.

Orphans are not forced to join the church, but they are expected to work as servants while attending classes in basic trade skills. At the end of their education they are frequently found apprenticeships, and are given an amount of money sufficient to set them up in their chosen trade at the end of a successful apprenticeship.

If they wish to enter the Priesthood, they are allowed to become a Hand Maiden in Training at the age of 14. They can become full HandMaidens at the age of 16 if they meet all the requirements of the training and have been judged by the majority of the older priestesses to be ready.

A standard temple layout has a large common room downstairs. At the far end is an altar to Lady Helena flanked on the left side by a twice life size statue of her. An area in the corner frequently has a couple of comfortable couches and privacy screens for potential clients and Handmaidens to conduct interviews of each other. Upstairs from there are private rooms for each Handmaiden. Half of the second floor is a common area that the rest of the staff and guards share.

Handmaidens of Lady Helena

Priestess of Lady Helena are known as Handmaidens. Each Church is staffed by between five and thirty priestesses. There are additional guards and support staff that are frequently priestesses in training or orphans picked up by the church.

A priestess of Lady Helena acts as a courtesan, a confident, a companion, and even frequently as a mediator. They are highly intelligent women who are trained in courtesan duties, business, politics and many other pursuits. After successfully serving the Church for a number of years, many Handmaidens will marry a favorite client. Such marriages are very loving, but also very beneficial to both parties. Many a man and his business finds increased fortune under the helpful guidance of former Handmaidens.

Priestesses are given a tenth of the donations they directly solicited over their life in service as a dowry. In return they and their husband are expected to donate one percent of their income after taxes back to the Church. This arrangement is usually extremely profitable for each party.

If a former Hand Maiden finds herself in dire means, poor and widowed for instance, she is frequently welcomed back into the Church and given a role in helping to teach her knowledge to new Handmaidens.

Characters as Handmaidens

15+ Intelligence
16+ Charisma
Sex is female
3 Knowledge skills at 3 or higher
Characters also have an automatic Patron in the form of the Church.

Game Use
Lady Helena was originally built for Dungeon and Dragons 3.5 Edition, but could be easily updated to 4th or even 5th edition, or used in any other Fantasy world you’d like.

Locations: Garnoc’s Gloves

Locations: Garnoc’s Gloves

Garnoc is one of Trizol’s premier gloves makers. His shop is located in the city of Newhaven Crossing. His clientele are mostly nobles and rich military officers. He has experience in making a wide variety of leathers into functional and good looking gloves.

Garnoc himself is getting on in age and currently has two apprentices working for him, twin brothers named Markoos and Harkoos. These apprentices stand to jointly inherit the shop when he dies. Although both are very skilled and handle the bulk of the orders coming through the shop, Garnoc has not yet sponsored them to the Guild.

The shop is on the corner of Dragon’s Rest and an unnamed alleyway. It’s a small two story affair that is well kept up. In the back it shares a common area with several other shops and houses. It also shares a dirty stable with the inn next door, although Garnoc does not have any animals at this time.

When entering from the front door, gloves are neatly arranged on shelves. They are sorted by material, size and color. Each pair is left unfinished so that they can be custom fitted to the customer. A glass case against one the interior wall also serves as a sales counter. Displayed inside are some of the more exotic materials, including a set made from black dragon leather. All gloves are masterwork in quality but confer no other game stats unless created to do so by another NPC or PC at DM’s discretion. Prices range from 7gp for basic leather riding gloves to 600gp for the black dragon ones.

A door way covered with a simple curtain separates the front from the workshop in back. It is about twice the size of the front showroom, about fifteen by thirty feet. Bolts of leathers of all types are neatly shelved (about 6000gp worth) along one long wall. A work bench lines the other side. All tools are in their place and the only scraps are from projects currently in progress. At the far end is a small stove for heat. Closest to the door is a comfortable chair for clients to sit in while their hands are measured for custom orders.

Small stairs near the stove lead to the upstairs. It has been divided into four rooms. The twins share one, Garnoc has another and the other two are full of miscellaneous household supplies and broken tools from the shop below.  Garnoc has about three hundred gold hidden in his room (search 15) in various sized coins. It is protected by a magic trap (disable device 25) that freezes (DC:30 save) any would-by thieves.

Garnoc is about 65 years old. He has a full head of greying hair but walks with a slight stoop. He is always immaculately dressed in one of six nice suits that he owns. All are several generations out of style. Over this he wears a leather apron when working in the shop.

Stats: male human commoner; CR 3; HD 3d4+3; hp 11; Init +0; Spd 30 ft; AC 10, touch 10, flat-footed 10 BAB +1;  (1d10+3/x3); AL LG; SV Fort +2, Ref +1, Will +0; Str 8(-1), Dex 10(+0), Con 12(+1), Int 11(+0), Wis 9(-1), Cha 14(+2).

Skills and Feats: HIDE+0, SPOT+2(3), LISTEN-1, MOVE SILENTLY+0, climb+6(4), craft(leatherworking)+6(6), appraise+4(2), use rope+3(3).

Markoos and Harkoos are identical twins. Both are dark haired, about five and a half feet tall. Their age is somewhere between fourteen and seventeen, but they’re not sure. Their parents were killed by bandits and the twins found themselves in a strange city with no support. Even Garnoc is not sure why he took them in, but they have proven to be well worth his trouble. He looks upon them as the sons he never had and is extremely proud of them, although does not show it, merely commenting upon their skills and efficiency.

Twins stats: Human Male, Com1; CR 1; HD 1d4+1; hp 5; Init +0; Spd 30 ft; AC 10, touch 10, flat-footed 10 BAB +0; Melee club +3 (1d6+2); AL LG; SV Fort +1, Ref +0, Will -2; Str 14(+2), Dex 10(+0), Con 13(+1), Int 12(+1), Wis 7(-2), Cha 16(+3).
Skills and Feats: HIDE+0, SPOT-2, LISTEN-2, MOVE SILENTLY+0, craft(Leatherworking)+6(4), escape artist+2(2), heal+1(4),  swim+4(2); simple weapon proficiency(club), track.

Adventure seeds:

  • Garnoc had a falling out with the guild sometime ago. Due to his skills and Noble patronage it has not affected his business much, but with his increasing age and closing retirement the Guild is looking to change that.
  • The twins recognizes one of the bandits who killed their parents in a nearby tavern. The man has recently moved into the city, reformed his ways and taken up an honest trade. But the twins want revenge for what he did.
  • A single glove was found at the scene of a horrific crime. It is clearly one of Garnoc’s creations. The problem is he never sold that pair. Or perhaps he simply does not remember who he sold them too.
  • The night before Garnoc is set to sponsor the twins to the Guild, he dies. Some of the more jealous Guild members see this as an opportunity to take over the profitable and reputable shop. Markoos and Harkoos are distraught over this news and vow to fight however they can, but being merely apprentices, they have no standing in the Guild.
  • A mysterious woman brings in an a piece of extremely rare leather and asks for a pair of gloves. She does not give a name, but leaves an address in the Mage’s district to deliver them too. That night the shop is broken into and only that piece of leather is stolen. The Constable reports that magic, rather then thief skills were used.

Locations: Newhaven Crossing

Locations: Newhaven Crossing

Newhaven Crossing is one of the fabled twelve ring cities arranged on the Great Plains around Mar Gullend Dek – the giant haunted castle carved out of a Mountain. Each of the ring cities was originally a remote fortress to protect the castle. In the past two thousand years they have grown to be great cities themselves. Five of the cities are dedicated through ancient peace treaties and pacts to one of the major races, Halflings, Goblin kind, Elven, Dwarven and Centaur. The rest are primarily human, but are accustomed to members of other races.

Newhaven Crossing is the most North Eastern of the Twelve Ring Cities. Situated on the coast at the Wineworm River it has become an important trade route up and down the coast, and across the sea. It has a large undercity with connections to the Underworld. It’s primary import is Wine from the Arabel area, (the most North Eastern of the Ring Cities,) along the Wineworm river. It’s major export is fish, along with timber from the Northern Forest. It is rumored that anything can be found and bought – or sold some where in Newhaven Crossing though.

The core of the city surrounds the old fort, which has been renovated and upgraded many times. There are about five thousand troops stationed in the fort at all times. Another five thousand patrol and maintain small forts in an area to the north that covers 100,000 square miles. To the south of the fort is the dock area, where there is room for up to 100 ships at a time. Ten naval ships are stationed there to keep the peace, enforce rules, and stop the occasional Northern pirates that may end up this far south.

Newhaven Crossing is home to the Handmaidens of the Lady Helena. The Handmaidens are a love cult who maintains houses of “worship” (brothels) in most any city with more then 500 citizens. In addition they take in female orphans and maintain highly regarded schools for young ladies both low born and high born. Handmaidens have a high marriage rate as they are constantly sought after for thier intelligence, and their knowledge of business, politics and many other areas. The most promising students are sent to the Acadamy of Learning in Newhaven Crossing. The school is limited to 500 students total, and entrance to the school must be sponsored by a high priestess at one of the houses. Characters can become a Handmaiden, but they need to have a 15+ Charisma, 16+ Intelligence, at least three knowledge skills and be Female.

Other deities with temples in the town include The Brothers of Talric and Nanreen – The Goddess of Merchants.

Other Locations
Garnoc’s Gloves