1264 DR

The Helm of Helm (an artifact of Helm) rises out of a battlefield bog, presenting itself to the Helmite cleric Garshond in the defense of Iriaebor against a hobgoblin-led army of mixed orcs and goblins. Some clergy then and now believe that Helm took it from the bones of an older, forgotten champion of his faith, one whose bones lay under the waters of that bog.

Garshond takes the Helm back to The Watchtower of the Vigilant, his fledgling temple-keep in Harkstag (a long-vanished village that stood northeast of Serpent’s Cowl, in what is now scrub woodland. Then, as now, the area is infested with lurking yuan-ti). There he calls a council to which he invites the most law-abiding, old money families of Waterdeep, Iriaebor, and Scornubel. Most send their nearest merchant agents, but a few send younger sons, and to them all Garshond preached the common benefits of well-guarded roads and an elite, disciplined band of guardian knights.

The Council of Helm is a great success, and establishes Garshond as the most important Helmite priest of his day. Some of the nobles stayed to join the envisaged Vigilant Riders, and others send senior agents with money to sponsor the band and so formalize its obligations to the merchants using the area. The Riders undertake to patrol the roads linking Waterdeep, Baldur’s Gate, Elturel, Scornubel, Iriaebor, and the smaller towns and villages between. This does not please the brigands and goblinkin in the area, whose depredations had made the lightly populated lands between Amn, the Sea of Fallen Stars, and Waterdeep the most dangerous for travelers in all Faerun.

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