In the Year of Moonfall (312 NR, 1344 DR), Dumal Erard founded the town of Helm’s Hold. Dumal was a paladin of Helm and a veteran of Waterdeep’s famous Company of Crazed Venturers. He founded Helm’s Hold as a fortified monastery dedicated to the god of guardians. Within a few decades, it grew into a watchful community of over 700 faithful, but before they had completed the cathedral, their god Helm perished in the Spellplague. Despite the god’s death, Helm remained a patron saint for the community, which has persevered as a safe haven in troubled times, both during the Spellplague and more recently in the years following the eruption of Mount Hotenow.
After the eruption, Brother Anthus at Neverwinter’s House of Knowledge began researching the Spellplague and its apparent relationship with the nearby Chasm that the eruption had opened. His research attracted spellscarred patients to the temple. After his death, Rohini the Prophet took over and moved the operation to Helm’s Hold, warning of some catastrophe that would befall the city if she did not. From there, word has spread, and spellscarred from all across Faerûn have come to Helm’s Hold to seek treatment. Lord Neverember has decreed that anyone in the city with a spellscar must be sent to Helm’s Hold for treatment, but many more come voluntarily, hopeful that the Prophet will be able to help them.
Helm’s Hold has undergone new construction in the last year to keep up with the rising population of spellscarred, concerned families, and other refugees. The town is a hodgepodge of original structures and newer buildings stuffed between or atop them. At present, the city suffers from a lack of skilled laborers. Most of its carpenters and stonemasons went to Neverwinter to answer Lord Neverember’s call — and coin — to build there. The result is a town that seems too large for its resources. Many buildings lie in disrepair with no one to fix them. Whole tenements stand deserted or infested with wild beasts or worse. Rotted wood, heaps of broken stone, and rusty nails are commonplace street hazards.
After the revolution against Rohini, Branwen Farlong persuaded the town to disband their former council and begin operating as an anarchist enclave, inspired ultimately by the writings of Ander Brightwood. The mere existence of such a thing frightened Dagult Neverember enough to lay siege to the town, telling the outside world that the Spellplague had become contagious and that they needed to quarantine it, even though it drew soldiers away from the war effort against Netheril.