Helga Mikhailovna became the first Great Mother of Periaslavl after having a successful career as merchant and gaining wide renown as an enchanter. She was born in Ryazan, the daughter of a riverboat captain whose business had expanded over the years.
Helga proved to be a skilled and wise leader, served well by her magic and her experience. In her long life, Periaslavl prospered.
She built the original Dvorets Materi, or "Castle of the Mother," as an extension of the Firehall, as Rurik's Pyre had seemingly blessed her ascension. Her successors have enlarged and improved the Dvorets Materi over the year, but always ensured that the Firehall would be available to all who wished to visit.
Not surprisingly, she founded many of the traditions currently associated with the Great Mother. The coronations are on the equinoxes or solstices. Great Mothers abdicate, they do not rule to death. They pick their own successor, in Helga's case she chose Feodora Borisovna as the first velikodoch, or Great Daughter.
She also discovered a deep connection between Rurik's Pyre and the Great Mothers. Scholars have speculated on that connection, but the Great Mothers, in general, have spoken little about the details. Still, it was clear that Helga amplified her magic with the Pyre's help.
She stepped down as Great Mother at the Feast of the Sun 787 IR.