"What do I know? Ooh, you'd be surprised what I know, dearie."
Granny Hetta[1a]
Granny Hetta

Granny Hetta

Granny Hetta is one of the multitude of canal-people who make their living from the dockworkers, sailors and boatmen of Suiddock. A frail-looking woman, she paddles her boat up and down the Bruynwater to sell the hot drinks and victuals that she cooks on her small spirit-stove. Her wares are basic - hot sausage in a bun, hot tea and rum - but they are very welcome after a hard morning's work, and her boat is a well-known sight. It's a rowing-boat about twelve feet long, with a tented awning at the back where she sleeps and keeps her few possessions.[1a]

Granny Hetta is a little over five feet. Her hair is grey, tied back in a bun, but wisps are always escaping and hanging down in her eyes. She is thin and frail-looking, with rapid, birdlike movements, but anyone observing her for a few minutes will realize that she's stringy rather than frail. She wears a pair of cracked and filthy eyeglasses jammed on her sharp nose, but she always looks over them, not through them.[1a]

Hetta has a good heart, sharp eyes, and is tough as nails - she has to be tough to have lived this long in the docks. She always has a hand-out for folk who are genuinely down on their luck and will provide a free meal for anyone who is down on their luck. She has had run-ins with Sister Hilli from St Olovald's, who tries to stop her giving rum to the drunks who congregate around the temple.[1a]

Opinion is divided over Granny Hetta. Some people thinks she's a poor old woman who's become a little touched after so long on the canals, and buy her wares as much from pity as hunger. Others know she is as sharp as ever, and little that happens on Suiddock escapes her notice. She is allowed to wander where she wants to sell her food and drinks, and no one takes much notice of a harmless old lady. As a result Hetta sees much of what is going on, and is a great source of information. She'll sell this to anyone, and her activities as a lookout and listening-post for various organizations and individuals supplement what she makes from food-selling.[1a]

Just about everyone on Suiddock knows Granny Hetta, and anyone who causes her trouble will make enemies very quickly, either among the community of people who live on the canals (the Channel Rats), the people to whom she sells information, or both. No Suiddocker would raise a finger to harm her. Stories are told of a Norse sea captain who pushed her over in the street a few years ago. His ship somehow broke loose and grounded on the edge of Stoessel, costing him a hundred-guilder fine. Then the captain himself was found by the Watch, hanging by his feet from the underside of a quay, minutes before the incoming tide would have drowned him.[1a]

Granny provides information for Lee-Jan Cobbius, and most Suiddockers guess that he was somehow behind the Norseman's ill luck. She is also friends with Ishmael at the Pelican's Perch; even Beaky recognizes her as a friend and source of an occasional sausage. She likes to visit St Rutha's, where the children love her. She often looks in at the Pilots' Guild to visit Eric Roergang and gossip about the old days.[1a]

Many good-hearted people wonder at Granny's refusal of their offers of shelter and a bed, and Shallyan nuns cluck their tongues at the old lady's obstinacy. But she has good reason to prefer the canals and the company of derelicts: hidden among the Suiddock flotsam, she is safe from her old life. She is Director Jaan van de Kuypers' grandmother, who fled from her wealth and family on the night that Bertold "went insane" and hacked her son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter to pieces. She knows the truth -Jaan summoned a demon to murder his family, and then blamed his brother for the crime, leaving him heir to the de Kuypers fortune. He knows she's still alive somewhere, and although he hasn't found her in 30 years, he's still searching.[1a]


  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 1st ED -- Marienburg: Sold Down the River
    • 1a: pg. 68

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