Helen Foley


Helen is a hedonistic photographer who wishes she could be making fine art and being wealthy and the center of every party, but instead must stage fake occult photographs to support herself. She still has the streak of curiosity and artistry in her, but tempered by feeling the need to manipulate people and steal opportunities to get ahead in life.  


Indulgent, Busybody  


Helen learned of art from her father, but since she didn't have his patient for oils, she took to the immediacy of photography. Her mother was scarcely in the picture, due to all the parties and hookups and festivals she attended, but Helen always looked up to her as the height of class. Neither were married, and they both struggled with money due to their lifestyle. Helen moved out as soon as she could, but still sends her best photos to Dad, and she stills gets a new accessory every year on her birthday from Mom.  


Her "writer" archetype is more about her passion for creatively doing photography. She has always wanted to capture the beauty of life around her, but photography is expensive. To help make ends meet, she has been forced to fake supernatural-evidence photos for this traveling "cabinet of curiosities" exhibition. Her work is starting to get know among the occult community, which gives her a bittersweet pride, to be admired by such gullible fools.  


Helen has read the bible cover to cover - but only because she thought the parts of murder and extravagance and hedonism were oh so entertaining. She never paid much mind to the lessons. She'll go to church for the christmas service and easter prayer, but she doesn't pay it much mind outside of that. There is no such thing as the occult, and spirituality is just a thing desperate people cling to when they feel they're too good for alcohol or partying for their escape. I would know, I fake the images myself. Even the most "convincing" of the evidence are tricks of the optics or dubious long exposures.  


  • Recognition - To gain approval, social status, or fame: Helen's clout, and thus, job pay, is starting to wane as the sideshow's clients start to tire of her usual tricks. She needs to step up her game and capture something truly provocative - and, ideally, artistic enough to escape occult photography and become a true artistic photographer.
  • Discovery/Adventure - To explore, uncover mysteries, and pioneer: There are so many fun things to enjoy in life - parties, mansions, decadent food, breath-taking cities, Helen wants to explore all that life has to offer, and, with her camera, give a taste of it to the world.


  • Accomplishment most proud of: A year back, Helen had a strong photography portfolio that she was putting the finishing touches on before sending out to studios in the hopes of a better job. Gothic cathedrals with ghostly shadows in Pennsylvania, morning forests with twinkling orbs in vermont, she had hopped train after train to get the most beautiful shots she could, while traveling for her occult photography. Until, one day, she woke up to see someone had broken in and torn all her prints and negatives to shreds. Someone who smelled like brimstone and sugar
  • Most ashamed about: Helen tells everyone that her camera was a beloved hand-me-down from her father, but that's a lie. Automatic shutter, convenient bellows, fast-develop film, those won't be available for another couple years. She stole this camera. A local politician, who was treated to many fancy dinners by kodak executives, had been gifted their top-of-the-line camera, soon to be released. Helen knows an opportunity when she sees one, and she stole the camera as soon as the politician turned his back.
  • Fears more than anything: Helen has built her life out of faking ghosts, inventing goblins and seeding folktales. But, she has always had the nagging feeling in the back of her head that some of her photographs did develop with occult features that she hadn't intentionally added in. A shadow that is much too detailed to be a cutout, or glowing auras that couldn't be explained by an odd reflection. She will occasionally lay awake in bed, after a night of heavy partying with strangers, and invent excuses for the inexcusable imagery in her latest photographs.
  • Secrets kept: Besides the paranoia from stealing a unique camera from a corrupt politician, and her main career being about tricking people?
  • Last time they wept: A few days ago, on the train to upstate new york, she drank a bit too much in the dining car and laid out all her secrets to the waitress, who was much too kind to stop her, leading to Helen weeping as she told the server all about the stolen camera, and the career trouble, and how she just wishes she could be a rich art photographer with a ruffled dress like the woman two tables down.


  • Friends: Helen has many acquaintances from parties, and one-night-stands, and friends-with-benefits, but none have gotten close to really know Helen, and discover her insecurities. Consistently, they'll describe Helen as fun to party with, never backing down from a drinking contest, but shallow and vapid and too obsessed with how people perceive her.
  • Romance: Helen's primary sexual connections are one-night-stands and hookups from parties. However, several months ago, she maintained two regular romantic lovers, who she was just starting to open up to, and still occasionally sends letters to, but a life hopping trains to get the next great snapshot doesn't lead to deep relationships.
  • Role Model: First and foremost, Helen looks up to her Father, William Foley, for both his passion for art and interest in technology, and his sensible attitude. When she needs to steel herself to be responsible, she'll imagine her father guiding her. Artistically, she grew up with her father gushing about Louis Daguerre, who he met once and has raved about ever since. In their household, he is practically a folk hero for photographers.


When Helen was a teenager, and watching her dad practice photography, he would also use his overcoat to block out the light while he framed the image. "Those velvet hoods are just a waste of money!" He would also use the same coat to keep warm in the New York winters, he loved to do plein-air painting in the fresh untouched snows. When Helen was 19, and ready to move out, he wrapped the woolen cloak around her shoulders, already patched in places by then. "To keep you warm, as you search out your own moments to capture!" The jacket has always reminder her to stay responsible and focused, when it really mattered (and she needs that reminder often). Physically, it's a long wool coat that comes down to her knees, covered in patches and mended tears. It's a mottled faded green, and has more pockets in its silk lining than Helen knows what to do with. It was expensive-looking, once, but that was close to 30 years ago, and despite the care and maintenance put into it, its wear is obvious.  


Helen's final leg of the journey to Munson was by an antique packetboat. The captain of the boat's favorite pass-time was to tell the passengers ghost stories, inspired by the lands visible from the canal. On the last night before arriving to Munson, he went all out to tell a riveting tale by lamplight. His story of the murders in the hills, the disappearances in the swamps, and the will-o-wisps that wandered the forests enraptured the passengers, Helen most of all. The tales fired up her imagination, and got her passionate and hopeful to get the career-saving image she needed.  


Photography equipment - a shiny leather case for her camera, a tripod slung over her back, dry plates for exposures plus their frames, a magnifying loupe, plus chemicals to process the exposures. Kodak Camera - The one she stole. It's a bellows-type, with a wooden frame and leather accordion. Brass metal pieces hold it all together. photograph collection - Helen carries with her copies of the photographs she's processed so far. Before she sends copies to the side-show curators, she'll often show them off to strangers to get free drinks and impress people


Helen Foley


Towards Amos Church


Amos Church


Towards Helen Foley



Helen's employer suggested Amos by name as a good friend of his who would be able to aid Helen in her photography. Helen hasn't talked to Amos yet, but her employer sent ahead a letter to introduce her, and they intend to meet soon - Helen especially wants access to some images she can take to put in her photography.

Helen Foley

Customer and friend

Towards Adolph Bogardus


Adolph Bogardus

Gossip and friend

Towards Helen Foley



Despite only knowing each other for a few days, Helen struck up a fast connection with Adolph, swapping gossip over purchases of chemicals and food and magazines.

Helen Foley

Insulted customer

Towards Mathilda Van Vleet


Mathilda Van Vleet

Unfriendly storeowner

Towards Helen Foley



The millinery was right beside the Black Horse Tavern that Helen frequents, so she just couldn't help herself. All those beautiful dresses and hats, she just had to compliment the German craftsmanship... which led to quite the fuming arguments, compliments retracted, and Helen out of the door in a huff, but not before nicking a small black hat with a ruffled ribbon that goes oh so well with her outfit.


Physique: 2
Precision: 3
Logic: 4
Empathy: 5


Agility (+ PHY): 0 + 2
Close combat (+ PHY): 0 + 2
Force (+ PHY): 0 + 2
Medicine (+ PRE): 0 + 3
Ranged combat (+ PRE): 1 + 3
Stealth (+ PRE): 1 + 3
Investigation (+ LOG): 2 + 4
Learning (+ LOG): 2 + 4
Vigilance (+ LOG): 1 + 4
Inspiration (+ EMP): 3* + 5
Manipulation (+ EMP): 0 + 4
Observation (+ EMP): 1 + 4


Sixth Sense
Lightning Reflexes



Resources: Poor
Memento: My father's stained Jacket, used as a camera hood
Advantage: The canal's boatman told stories that gave me inspiration and fueled my curiosity


What Are The Big 5 Personality Traits?
High traits are farther to the left whereas low traits are further to the right




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