Silmerhelve is one of the older noble houses; traditionally their trade and business interest include guardianship, warrior-training and pandering. WATE1-1 Kylynne Silmerhelve, newly appointed tiefling magister Dala Silmerhelve, the much protected only daughter of House Silmerhelve, wanted to see some excitement and do something a bit dangerous. WATE1-1
One of the older noble houses in Waterdeep, the Silmerhelve's history seems almost charmed in comparison to so many of their fellows. The Wailing Years seem to have affected them almost not at all, with their businesses booming. Of course, the fact that their essential identity is centered around the idea of protecting folk just means they had more than enough work to keep them secure and prosperous.
The Silmerhelves are well-known to have a ghostly guardian within their family. Lady Shaerista Silmerhelve – a sad old ancestress who was quite mad in life – occasionally appears to members of the family to advise them and correct their choices. She has also been known to warn the head of household about perfidy within the House's ranks, allowing the Silmerhelves to frequently cut out potential problems and scandals before they occur. As a result, the Silmerhelves have a lofty reputation among Waterdhavian nobility: they are widely regarded as "goody two-shoes" figures, but also very coveted as friends (because they also have a reputation of sticking with their friends through all problems).
The Silmerhelves also have an oddly positive reputation among streetfolk and soft-traders, for one good reason: they know that a Silmerhelve-backed pander will never beat their coinlasses or coinjacks, and will always protect them well. Silmerhelve-owned festhalls are always safe places for soft-traders to practice their vocations, and the folk love them for it.
Members of the Family
- Olrath Silmerhelve: Patriarch (Renown 10) • 64 years. A kindly, grandfatherly figure, Olrath's House does not make great demands of him. It largely runs itself, and these days his only daughter Dala often steps in to manage the day-to-day affairs. Though he does not have any grandchildren directly, he adores spending time among the little ones of his own House. His Silmerhelve protectiveness expands outward in that direction as well: Lord Olrath is a known contributor to several orphanages in the Dock and Castle Wards, making extra effort to see that those children are raised securely and healthily. His wrath can descended on more than one such orphanage before, and those who accept his coin equally appreciate and fear him.
- Dala Silmerhelve: Heir (Renown 9) • 31 years. Though her mother died when she was just six, Dala has always been surrounded by people who love and care for her, her father Olrath first and foremost. She is a confident woman deeply involved in politics. In particular, works to help find ways for Waterdeep's traditionally selfish nobility to aid and uplift the City of Splendors as a whole. To this end, she is a member of the Lords' Alliance, and works for the Open Lord as a Waterdhavian diplomat and advisor. She is very fond of her auntie Kylynne, and is sure to make an amazing matriarch of House Silmerhelve when that time comes.
- Kylynne Silmerhelve: Patriarch's cousin (Renown 6) • 58 years. A tiefling by-blow from one of Oldrath's distant cousins, the girl's caretakers brought her to Waterdeep when she was a very small girl of four, after the death of her father, Masgler Silmerhelve. Olrath, just ten, was enchanted rather than afraid, and insisted that they must let her live with them. His father Lord Blann conceded, and the two were basically inseparable from that point on. Even if individual family members may have had their doubts about the infernal blood in their midst suddenly, they were still Silmerhelves: they closed ranks around the young, shy tiefling girl, and Helm help those who tried to ostracize or bully her for her heritage. Kylynne grew up with an appreciation for the law and the legal system, so much so that she sought training with law professionals and tried for years to be accepted as a black rob magistrate of the city, facing ugly prejudices all along the way. Finally, though, in 1478 DR, at the age of 45, she was made a magistrate, an office she serves in to this day. She is a favored "auntie" of Dala's.
- Resources Limit: If necessary, House Silmerhelve could probably generate about 42,000 gp in liquid coin and valuables within a month.
The High Road, Sea Ward
The wall surrounding Shieldwatch seems prepared for war: it is ten feet tall, and of an imposing thickness. It is also dotted with arrowslit openings every ten feet.
- Shieldwatch Manor: Three stories tall, with an imposing whitestone edifice, Shieldwatch Manor's front doors bear a shield fully five feet in height above them, emblazoned with the crest of House Silmerhelve. The main house has modest public entertaining spaces alongside normal daily use areas on the ground floor, with servant infrastructure (including the kitchens) in the cellars, and two floors worth of tastefully decorated apartments above that.
- Helmglory House: Home to the family chapel to Helm, this three-story structure also has household apartments that are somewhat modest in comparison to those of Shieldwatch or Swordshigh. Traditionally, these are given over to members of the House with a more religious bent, or to those seeking a little peace recovering from illness or in their old age. Above the two-story chapel is the household's archive, a library worth of law books, religious texts, and memoirs of House ancestors.
- Swordshigh House: The ground floor of this three-story edifice is given over to public gathering space: a single, large central hall that has been used for talks, demonstrations, and even balls in the past. Flanking that hall are a bevy of salles, all set out and ready for one of the main undertakings of House Silmerhelve: weapons training. The basements feature an infirmary as well as an elaborate heated baths and massage rooms, while the top two floors boast basic living spaces and apartments traditionally given over to the more martial members of the House.
- Raulenden's House: Named for the Silmerhelve steward who saved a lord's life and only asked as his reward a structure where the household servants might call their own, at the end of their day's labors, Raulenden's House has plenty of room for the many servants in the villa. Unlike too many servant's quarters, there are no bunkrooms or even required sharing of room: each servant, from high to low, has a dignified space all their own. By tradition, members of the House may not enter Raulenden's House without permission from the steward or the housekeeper of Raulenden's House. The structure is two-stories in height, with decent amenities. It is only lacking a kitchens and dining area, as the servants eat in their own dining space in Shieldwatch Manor.
Panders & Festhalls (Waterdeep)
The Silmerhelves have made a fine business out of pandering: that is, the protection of soft-trade workers. On the lower end, this means individual panders and their crews of roughs who provide protection to soft-traders working the streets. On the higher end, this means investment in a variety of festhalls around Waterdeep. Silmerhelve coin comes with some requirements about upgrading the security of such locations, so while the festhall owners themselves may find the highcoin demands tedious, the actual workers are often thrilled to find the Silmerhelve crest suddenly displayed prominently beside the door and above the bar of the festhalls they work in.
The Silmerhelves also own and operate two festhalls in their entirety:
- The Silvery Glory: xxx, Castle Ward. Sometimes referred to as the "Guardsman's Delight," the Silmerhelves like to joke that the Silvery Glory is their way of thanking the Guard and the Watch for their service. A simple establishment with a large and welcoming taproom, the Glory's proximity to the Guard barracks ensures that it sees a lot of custom from them – a fact that seems to suit their leadership just fine, as they know the Silmerhelves run an honest house. The Silver Glory specializes in homey, welcoming rooms with lots of creature comforts: many of the Guards miss such things living in the barracks. Indeed, it's common enough that some Guards will simply rent one of the rooms for the evening, eschewing the soft-trader's work entirely, whether just to get a decent, comfortable night's sleep, or for a private assignation (often with another member of the Guard) of their own.
- The Welcoming Hand: xxx, South Ward. Located near the gates to the city, the Welcoming Hand is generally an establishment frequented by visitors to Waterdeep, especially merchants and caravan-folk. Its delights are down-to-earth, with just the slightest hint of urban exoticity: just enough to intrigue rather than frighten off the yokels, as it were. The performances in the Welcoming Hand festhall focus on country tunes that are familiar to a good many of those who frequent the place, helping to make them feel at home.
Helvenblade House (Country Estate)
NW of Westbridge, on the edge of Kryptgarden Forest, Dessarin Valley
The principle country estate of House Silmerhelve, Helvenblade House is a fortified country manor, with stables, a guest lodge, and two outlying hunting lodges connected by grass paths which enclose gardens and a lawn. The estate includes a wooded hunting preserve for several miles into the Kryptgarden. Silmerhelves visit multiple times a year, staying for a week or two at a time; the rest of the time, the estate is simply lived in and maintained by the estate staff, overseen by the steward. Silmerhelves undergoing long convalescences or recovering from grievous injuries are sometimes transported here to take the country air.
Known Faction Perks
Scions and agents of House Silmerhelve in good standing might receive the following benefits:
- Living Quarters: Renown 1+. Those in good standing with the House are given quarters within the House's Waterdhavian villa appropriate to their role in the House.
- Living Expenses/Salaries: Renown 1+. Those in good standing with the House also receive a stipend of 1gp plus 5sp per day per point of Rank. This is not actual cash, but simply familial credit towards payment of Lifestyle costs. This stacks with the same kind of familial credit received from the Waterdhavian Noble Background (see Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide).
- Business Opportunities: Renown 3+. Lynchpins to the House's operations receive access to a variety of business opportunities within the House's money-making endeavors. This is handled as "Running a Business" in downtime months. This does not incur a business expense, but if too many of the character rolls results that end in a loss of money, he can and will find his Rank in the House reduced.
- Heir or Consort (Title): Renown 3+. The holder of one of the legal titles Heir of House and Consort of House, as recorded with the city of Waterdeep, is entitled to an additional 2gp per day in familial credit, per the "Living Expenses/Salaries" entry above. The heir is also accorded certain privileges within the legal system of Waterdeep, including the ability to speak on behalf of his House in some legal proceedings and the like.
- Wealth of the House: Renown 10. The patriarch of the House is in total control of the House's finances and various holdings, established by the laws of Waterdeep.