EMBER RISING ARE AHEAD; CAUTION IS ADVISED.
Helmer and his sister Airen were born in First Warren, and lived in their family home built by their great-grandfather. The two enjoyed an antagonistic friendship, with Airen often goading Helmer into various actions. As they grew these activities would grow to include Snoden, who later married Airen. Helmer later joined the army, though at one point he jeopardized his standing by swimming to Forbidden Island with Snowden. His career survived the incident, though Airen was furious with the pair for not including her.
Helmer developed a heated antagonism with Hewson due to their differing social standing. Helmer and Hewson eventually became friends after fighting alongside each other. Despite this, Hewson chose not to participate in a prank that Helmer and Airen pulled against a group of naval officers. Eventually, Helmer became Lord Captain of the King's Army under King Jupiter, whom he deeply admired.
Following the murder of King Jupiter, Helmer was separated from his family and closest friends. Coming to see the forthcoming war against Morbin Blackhawk and his allies as fruitless, he became bitter and antisocial, convinced that there was no hope for The Cause. Eventually he made his way to Cloud Mountain, where only a handful of individuals knew the truth about him. Though he worked hard, he shunned the company of the other inhabitants and came to be regarded by many as a plague.
Helmer was present in the Savory Den when Wilfred Longtreader's party arrived following their escape from Nick Hollow. Both Heather and Picket noticed him, sitting alone and expressing disdain when another rabbit asked to join him. Picket was immediately impressed, and looked for him again the next morning; Helmer was not in the Savory Den but was seen during Emma's tour of Cloud Mountain. After warming up and terrifying a young mother whose child wandered too close to his tree, Helmer began a dangerous training exercise that nearly resulted in his death several times.
Fortunately, Helmer was saved due to the intervention of Wilfred, Smalls, and Lord Rake, though the latter rebuked him for his actions. Helmer, feeling guilty, expressed the desire to be exiled; despite this, Smalls honored him with a salute and Blackstar's oath. When Picket approached him, hoping to receive training from the older rabbit, Helmer was dismissive. After handily subduing Picket in brief confrontation, he was confronted by Lord Rake. When Picket claimed that Helmer had been giving him pointers, Helmer relented and initiated a calling ceremony, with Picket accepting his offer.
Helmer quickly demonstrated what a rough teacher he could be, as in their first session he inflicted numerous minor injuries upon his pupil. Despite this, Picket greatly enjoyed his training with Helmer. For his part, Helmer was greatly impressed with Picket's analytical abilities and quick progression. However, he was disappointed upon discovering Picket's crippling fear of heights, and moreso by Picket's belief that the imminent war could be won. Helmer expressed his own dismal views to his student, though he also displayed sympathy for Picket's agony over his absent family.
Helmer was later in attendance at a meeting between Lords Rake and Ramnor, which was overheard by Picket and Heather. Despite the coolness between him and his former comrade, Helmer expressed a willingness to fight to prevent Wilfred or any of his family from being arrested by the suspicious citadel lords. He also expressed his amazement with Picket's skills, and his belief that the buck's fear could be overcome. During the subsequent Attack on Cloud Mountain, Helmer joined Wilfred in mounting a retaliatory charge, only for the Wolves to strike back against them.
Heather's timely arrival saved Helmer from a pair of attacking wolves, and he quickly repaid the favor by engaging one who attacked her. Upon being apprised of the imminent danger to Smalls, revealed as King Jupiter's heir, Helmer went after Lord Rake in order to marshal reinforcements. He then joined the force in marching to Jupiter's Crossing, where they witnessed Picket's spectacular feats before helping to drive off arriving wolf soldiers. In the aftermath, Helmer and Wilfred were reconciled, while Helmer's true identity as Lord Captain became widely known. Following a subsequent training session with Picket, he was present when Halfwind Citadel's Captain Frye arrived with news on the possible whereabouts of Picket's family.
During the events of the Citadel Congress at Cloud Mountain, Helmer and Picket were observed by the soldiers of Halfwind Citadel during a training session. The watching group included Jo Shanks and Nate Flynn, the latter commenting that he wouldn't want to fight Helmer as they watched the pair at sword practice.
Helmer accompanied the mission to investigate Captain Frye's intelligence, and joined Lord Victor in coming to the aid of Picket and Smalls when they spotted raptors approaching. Despite defeating the birds, he remained pessimistic regarding the rabbits' chances against them. However, at Halfwind Helmer took charge of training the Fowlers, an elite unit inspired by Picket's actions at Jupiter's Crossing. Recognizing that such rabbits would have to be the best, he dismissed the clumsy early recruit Heyward, though he was reproved for his insensitivity in doing so by Heather, the unit's medic.
Helmer was later present at a meeting at which Captain Frye revealed that scouts had spotted a large army of rabbits marching up from the southeast. After it was agreed that Smalls should departed for Kingston as planned, Helmer recruited new arrival Coleden Blackstar into the Fowlers. Some time later, he berated Picket and fellow Fowler Perkinson for running, before sending them to round up Cole and Jo Shanks for their training. However, in the midst of the session, a large force of Wolves arrived to attack the citadel, leaving most of the Fowlers trapped and in need of reinforcements.
Helmer was injured during the fighting, but insisted on remaining outside as forces from within the citadel emerged-led by Perkinson-to engage the Wolves. He sent Jo and Picket inside, the former to have his injuries treated and the latter to secure Emma, recently revealed to Picket as Smalls' sister. Just as the Halfwind forces looked to be decimated, the rabbits previously reported by Frye arrived and began attacking the Wolves. Watching them in action, Helmer was reminded-to his discomfiture-of history prior to the reign of King Jupiter.
It turned out that the unexpected rescuers were from the legendary land of Terralain, under the leadership of Jupiter's estranged brother Bleston. Due to his injuries, Helmer was confined to the sick bay for much of the prince's rule over the citadel. However, he got out of bed to observe a meeting called by Bleston in Leapers Hall, to which he reacted with obvious displeasure despite Bleston's pledge to support Smalls as Natalia's king. He got out of bed again to alert the Fowlers when word arrived that Morbin Blackhawk's forces were massing to invade Cloud Mountain.
Helmer joined Captain Frye in leading the Halfwind troops to Cloud Mountain, and later led the rabbit charge at Jupiter's Crossing. Faced with overwhelming odds, he called a retreat back to Rockback Valley, where the battle continued. Unfortunately, Bleston broke his pledge of aid, leaving Helmer's forces to be overwhelmed by the attacking Wolves and Birds of prey. Thanks to Picket's swift actions, however, Bleston was killed and forces from Cloud Mountain were able to come to the aid of the rabbits in the valley. Afterwards, Helmer joined as many of the soldiers as were physically able in pledging themselves to Emma, who became Jupiter's heir after Smalls' apparent death.
Helmer and Picket led a group of about fifty rabbits during the evacuation of Cloud Mountain, proceeding with them to Jupiter's Crossing before planning to part ways and leave Lieutenant Drand in charge of the group. Before they could leave, a force of Terralain soldiers led by Tameth Seer appeared, intent on taking Picket into custody for killing Bleston. When efforts to reason with them failed, Helmer led his rabbits in engaging the Terralains, whom they overcame due in part to the timely arrival of reinforcements under Jo Shanks and Cole Blackstar. After failing again to persuade Tameth Seer, Helmer spoke with Captain Vulm, with the two agreeing to a two-day truce.
Helmer and Picket then made their way into the Great Wood, heading towards Harbone Citadel with their aim being to enter First Warren. Along the way, Helmer told Picket about his sister Airen and his history with Lord Hews, while also revealing that he considered Picket to be part of his family. After sensing something unsettling nearby, Helmer attempted to cross a glade only to be fired upon. It turned out to be archers from Harbone, who struck Helmer's pack to force him back undercover. Their reasoning was soon revealed, as the Wild Wolf Pack charged through the area, horrifying Helmer and Picket with their numbers.
Helmer and Picket eventually made their way to Harbone after engaging a handful of the wolves, and were admitted by Lieutenant Dav Meeker, one of Helmer's old comrades. They were then brought before Harbone Citadel's council and explained their intention to enter First Warren in anticipation of the Resistance retaking the city. Reluctantly, the council agreed to help them in their efforts, and Helmer had the chance to catch up with Lord Hewson. After meeting Hewson and his wife's youngest son, young Helmer, Helmer attended another council meeting. He and Picket proposed various ideas for infiltrating First Warren, only to learn that they had already been attempted by Harbone rabbits with disastrous consequences.
A young engineer, Emerson, provided the solution by creating glider capes based upon the one Heyward had developed for Picket. Picket and Helmer then used them to glide into the city while a party led by Lord Hewson provided cover. Despite a near disaster with his own glider, Helmer made it into the city with Picket. The two then witnessed the horror of the younglings of First Warren being punished for the distraction that covered their entry, which was blamed on resistance forces within the city. Helmer prevented Picket from intervening, knowing that they would lose their own lives if they attempted anything on their own, but promising him that they would repay the monstrous deeds when the time was right.
The pair later came upon a number of rabbits secreted in a cave, including one known as the Teller. From this group they learned that the tales of Picket's exploits and the story Heather had written about them had made it into First Warren. They then traveled to Helmer's family home, where they met his niece Louise. Unfortunately, they also learned that her father Snoden and twin sister Layra had died during Helmer's absence, leaving Airen a broken shadow of his former self. Helmer was devastated, but did his best to care for his sister with Picket and Louise, or Weezie as she affectionately known, went for a walk.
The house was later attacked by the Black Band, First Warren's secret police force, and Helmer was beaten and subdued despite putting up a considerable fight. Fortunately, Picket and Louise arrived with Captain Moonlight and his resistance fighters, who managed to get Airen to safety. However, when the main body of the Black Band appeared, Picket and Helmer were left on their own. The leader of the band, Captain Daggler, proved to be a disgraced former member of Helmer's old army unit, now the leader of the rabbit armed forces loyal to Morbin. Helmer handily defeated two of Daggler's rabbits and, after learning that Daggler had killed Layra, subdued the villain and held him at the point of his own sword.
Helmer offered to surrender in exchange for Picket going free, and ordered his apprentice to depart and take care of Airen and Weezie for him. Helmer was hit with an arrow, but rescued by Moonlight's returning forces and taken to the Citadel of Dreams. He swiftly recovered and was reunited with Picket, Wheezy, and Airen, who began showing signs of her old character by teasing her brother. The Resistance then set to work preparing for the arrival of Emma's forces. Escorted by Moonlight's right hand, Prince Whitbie Joveson, Helmer and Picket confronted Morbin's governor Winslow Joveson, with Helmer delivering an ultimatum sent by Emma.
The trio then made their way to the top of the royal palace, with Picket launching from it with his glider while Helmer and Whit roped down to Winslow's public address balcony. They dispatched Winslow's guards and took him captive, shortly before the Resistance army invaded First Warren. Helmer remained with Whit as Picket joined the battle, but later leaped from the balcony to stop Daggler from killing Cole Blackstar. He was set upon by one of Daggler's rabbits, whom he swiftly dispatched, before facing off with Daggler himself. Despite Daggler's boasting and skill, Helmer overcame and killed him, fulfilling a promise he had made to the captain earlier after giving the ultimatum.
Helmer then accompanied Emma's entourage back up to the balcony, where he introduced Whit to Emma. Upon seeing Jo under attack by one of the handful of remaining raptor sentinels, Helmer helped an injured Picket launch himself from the balcony to go to his aid. With the Battle for First Warren won, Helmer introduced Airen and Weezie to Emma, and later brought Winslow before her as she addressed the city. After citing Winslow's various crimes to her, Helmer gave her his sword; she did not strike Winslow, however, but touched him on the shoulder with the sword and pardoned him for his misdeeds in a gesture of mercy.
Helmer is a large rabbit with black fur amidst flecks of grey. He carries a black sword inset with a solitary emerald on the hilt as well as a black shield with a red diamond symbol that nearly matches the symbol worn by Redeye Garlackson, though Helmer's version is without the fang. These are presumably meant to symbolize the Green Ember and the Whitson Stone, respectively.
Personality and traits
Helmer is of a blunt and gruff demeanor, traits that stem from his military background. He is physically imposing and is often angry and rude towards other rabbits, though his rough exterior hides a soft heart. His voice is gravelly, harsh, and bitter. He is an excellent swordsman and warrior.
Helmer is dutiful, always attending to his assigned tasks, but suffers from a pessimistic streak born of his many unfortunate experiences. Though his relationship with Picket has improved his outlook, he remains somewhat negative, often expressing the belief that "Things will get worse."
Despite his size, Helmer is incredibly agile, displaying the ability to perform incredible feats of speed as well as strength. Following injuries sustained during the attack on Halfwind, Helmer has a pronounced limp and seems to have lost a deal of stamina, becoming tired more easily.
|Brindle Cove||Unnamed wife|
- According to S. D. Smith, Helmer is named after his ancestor Brindle Cove, who was given the nickname "Helmer" after he saved King Whitson Mariner by rushing to the helm of Steadfast just as she was about to collide with rocks.
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