Helm's Hold was a fortified city and cathedral dedicated to the god Helm, located to the southeast of the city of Neverwinter.[2]


Helm's Hold was located around twenty miles (less than a day's travel) southeast of the city of Neverwinter, not far from the edge of Neverwinter Wood. In fact, a section of the wood, known as the Watcher's Forest, was cared for by the Hold's residents, historically because of a wild magic area within.[3]


Originally, the Hold's founder, Dumal Erard, led the Hold as First Guardian—a position that could only be passed on through martial combat.[3] Eventually though, a democratically elected City Council was chosen from among the populace. This council was composed of 'Speakers' who were frequently loud, individualistic and sometimes obnoxious during their debates, often using intimidation against each other to try and pass legislation. The Chief Speaker led this forum and had final say on policy-making decisions.[4] As of 1489 DR, the Chief Speaker was Amarandine Wanderfoot.[5]

Eventually, when the Ashmadai revealed themselves, The Prophet, as their leader, temporarily became the de facto ruler of the Hold until she showed her true colors and fled to the crypts.[6]


Priests and paladins of Helm based out of Helm's Hold would, for the Hold's first four decades at least, patrol the Watcher's Forest and the Neverwinter Wood perimeter.[7] One hundred men and women served as Helm's Hundred, a fighting force consisting of magic-users, warriors and even thieves. Before Hellgate Keep was sealed however, this troop would leave the Hold for Sundabar every Spring to battle the tanar'ri.[citation needed] When the Hold expanded to become a city, around 1353 DR, a high wall was erected around it.[1]

After Dagult Neverember became the Lord Protector of nearby Neverwinter, around 1462 DR, he sent a detachment of Mintarn mercenaries, led by Dunfield, an associate who'd fallen out of Lord Neverember's favour. These mercenaries had the power to impose martial law on the Hold if they were ordered to.[4]

In the late years of the 15th century DR, the brutal Order of the Gilded Eye became the de facto "police force" of the city.[5]



Founded around 1338 DR by Dumal Erard, a priest of Helm and former member of the Company of Crazed Venturers, as a farm that was originally known as Helm's Stead. Other followers of Helm arrived, electing to stay, and by 1353 DR the site had grown to become a fortified town of seven hundred surrounding an abbey.[1]

The town lost prominence following the Time of Troubles when the people of Neverwinter proscribed the residents for the actions of their god.[3]

After recovering from its losses, Helm's Hold gained a reputation for safety over the next several decades and began to quickly grow again. The abbey became a grand cathedral and the town itself grew to become a small city. Though only a few actual Helmites remained in the cathedral after their god's death in 1384 DR.[2]

Cultists responsible for infecting Neverwinter with the Wailing Death used Helm's Hold as a base in 1372 DR, posing as Helmites while desecrating the abbey until the Hero of Neverwinter entered a portal that led there to arrest Desther Indelayne.[8]


After the Spellplague, the Netherese briefly conquered the place but then it was allowed to be retaken when the Netherese fled the city after Mount Hotenow erupted.[9]

Helm's Hold became a prime site for refugees fleeing Neverwinter's destruction, many infected with Spellplague energies.[2] Though none of the residents held any preconceived notions against such people, many of the uninfected refugees brought theirs with them and persecuted any who showed signs of spellscars. Those who were persecuted against fought back, forming the Heirs of Azure to retaliate against their oppressors.[9]

When Dagult Neverember began reconstruction efforts in Neverwinter, he put a call out to all skilled carpenters and masons to come to Neverwinter to help. This left a dreadful lack of such tradesmen in the Hold and caused many of the Hold's buildings to fall into disrepair. Because of the already high population of spellscarred within the Hold's walls, and the success that some of the priests had shown in suppressing symptoms, Lord Neverember also issued the Protector's Law, an edict that required all those showing symptoms be sent to the Hold for treatment.[9]

An agent of the Abolethic Sovereignty named Rohini, known in the Hold as "The Prophet", capitalized on this turn of events, earning the trust of the Helmites with her divination of the return of Helm[10] (such divinations unintentionally accurate),[11][12] sending the spellscarred to the Sovereignty to be used as servants and experiments.[13] She was able to corrupt many of the Helmite priest, gaining great influence in the area.[5]

Around 1489 DR, Rohini's machinations were discovered, and a group of adventurers from Neverwinter went to Helm's Hold and killed her, alongside her devil and aberrant allies, and the Hold was declared cleansed of evil influence.[5]

An adventuring member of the Order of the Gauntlet by the name of Javen Tarmikos, began experiencing signs of the god Helm's return, followed shortly afterward by several others. Javen was a veteran of the siege of the Hold and started a splinter-group he named the Order of the Gilded Eye, which refused to follow the Order of the Gauntlet's ethos of avoiding pre-emptive strikes, instead actively searching for hidden evil and destroying it before it threatened anybody. The Order came to control Helm's Hold and sponsored sometimes brutal tactics to achieve their goals.[5]

However, even after the "cleansing" of Helm's Hold, as of 1489 DR, followers of Helm were receiving cryptic visions of aberrant creatures working below the Cathedral of Helm, implying that the threat of the Abolethic Sovereignty was far from over.[5]

Rohini was also a double agent working on behalf of the Ashmadai to convert the spellscarred to their service. With this local increase in membership, the Ashmadai seized Helm's Hold. This in turn drew the attention of the Neverwinter Guard, who laid siege to the city - Rohini's plan all along having been to expose the Ashmadai and have the forces of Neverwinter engage the cult so that the two were preoccupied with each other.[6]

Rumors and LegendsEdit

Rumors persisted that passages formed when Scar Alley was created led up and inside the Sanatorium. Nobody who ever explored that way was seen again but it didn't stop the brave and the desperate from trying.[14]

Notable LocationsEdit

Crypts of the Vigilant EyeEdit

A veritable city beneath a city, the Crypts were a secret burial place located beneath Helm's Hold. Their existence was made public when they were discovered by those constructing the Cathedral. The crypts were occupied by the Abolethic Sovereignty who posted undead guards created from the interred. These former faithful of Helm hesitated to attack those prominently wearing the holy symbol of their former god, but their numbers were supplemented by foulspawn who had no such compunctions.[15]

The Sovereignty and its servants were not the only residents of the Crypts, as a team of Gray Wolf Uthgardt infiltrators once made a camp after foolishly digging their way into one of the catacombs. The werewolves went mad with hunger after their entry tunnel collapsed behind them, attacking anything they could conceivably eat.[16]

A beam of focused Spellplague energy generated by the Hex Locus traveled through the Crypts, warping reality as it went.[15]

The Crypts were connected to Neverwinter's Chasm by a long tunnel.[15]

The easternmost crypt, known as the Crypt of Vigilance, was found under the boughs of the Watcher's Forest, the section of the Neverwinter Wood traditionally cared for by the Hold's inhabitants. This crypt was made for the rest of paladins of Helm, fallen protecting the innocent, but was abandoned after Helm's death. The Ashmadai eventually found and secured it, hoping to turn it into a sanctum for devil-summoning while the spirits of long-dead paladins watched in horror.

Dragon's GauntletEdit

A former inn that came to serve as a center of local government when the City Council chose it to hold their meetings.[4]


The center of this marketplace in the middle of the city was a hangman's scaffold. Heartward was haunted, manifesting on nights when a waning moon is covered by clouds. Apparitions appeared at these times, going about their business and occasionally performing a hanging. On the edge of the marketplace was a shrine to Sune, from which the place got its name.[4]

The shrine was converted to a proper temple called Heartward Hall after the fall of The Prophet.[5]

Helm's CathedralEdit

Dumal Erard's abbey to Helm was expanded into a grand cathedral. Only the foundation had been laid when Helm appeared to have been killed in 1384 DR, but the building was completed in the fallen deity's honor regardless.[2] Furnished with grand statues depicting the god and heroes of the church, Helm's holy symbol was displayed prominently in the stonework, on wall-mounted pennants and on suits of armor that lined the halls. The walls were built for acoustics that block all but the most raucous sounds, creating an impressive, but peaceful place of worship. Very few devout of Helm remained here and eventually, The Prophet took the cathedral as her seat, dispensing her prophecies to congregations of loyal acolytes, fawning supplicants, and awed spellscarred patients, though she laid no claim to the actual structure.[10]

The site also had an orphanage and, after Helm regained his divinity, a building was constructed to house those spellchanged mutants who had survived their time in the Sanatorium.[17]

Hungry FlameEdit

A run-down old tavern that held a reputation for unfriendliness toward those without spellscars. This was because the place was the headquarters of the Heirs of Azure.[9]


Located beneath the Cathedral, a confusing collection of corridors and rooms were eventually adopted as a place to securely hold the spellscarred patients sent here by the Protector's Law.[18]

Scar AlleyEdit

When Helm's Hold started growing again towards the end of the 14th century, a project to expand the Hold's basic sewer system was begun. Work stalled when the Spellplague magically weakened the ground that the Hold was built on and the original sewer system collapsed. The poorest refugees moving to the city found refuge in the submerged tunnels, building a shanty town, though it quickly became a place of violence.[10]

Those sewers became heavily patrolled by guards under orders from Helm's priesthood after the fall of The Prophet.[17]

Venturer's RestEdit

Formerly Known as the Old Dirty Dwarf, this inn and tavern weathered the Netherese invasion and the cataclysm, staying open and welcoming through it all and continuing to serve high quality provender. It wasn't the cleanest place and some of the staff discriminated against spellscarred, but the Old Dirty Dwarf was justifiably popular with everyone. Unknown to most however, The Prophet had spies keeping the establishment under constant surveillance for 'interesting' looking newcomers.[10]

After the removal of The Prophet, a Chauntean Paladin named Kharissa Anuvien, took ownership, and changed the name of the establishment.[5]

The WarrensEdit

Beneath Scar Alley, were the original crypts of Helm's Abbey, long abandoned and forgotten by the people of the Hold. These crypts were infested with stealthy spellscarred monsters.[19]

Notable InhabitantsEdit




Helm's Hold N


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