A High-Intrigue Duet 5e Campaign
set in the world of Eldura
For the last three hundred years, House Orbaskier has ruled the kingdom of Sanctuary from their seat at Madrogas. Though intermittent fighting continues to break out among members of the Orbaskier line, their war bands have held a tentative peace for two decades under the leadership of Queen Alsea.
Every three years, the four seats meet at the court in Madrogas, and the queen’s two brothers and cousin swear fealty to her. At the end of the Autumntide Harvest Festival, she sends them back to their holdings, where they retain near-absolute control.
So it has been for most of your life.
But this tentative peace is breaking.
Alsea’s youngest brother, Heinrik, is late to the autumn festival, and rumors of mutiny are growing.
For the first three days of the festival, your lord’s patience has been thin, in sharp contrast to his growing paranoia. Duke Andor’s holdings are second only to his sister’s, the queen. They maintain the peace between them through carefully guarded trade routes, with the wealth from beneath the earth passing from Andor’s mines in exchange for the grains and meats of Alsea’s fields.
Heinrik’s wealth is of a different kind. For years, spies like your father have infiltrated his lands and paid Eyes among his people—turncoats of their own lords—to uncover how, given the rocky terrain and barren fields of the northern borders, Heinrik and his people have such strong yields, how they have remained self-sufficient.
And then your father struck upon an emerald stone: One of the Eyes told him of Heinrik’s witches. A secret sect of the worshippers of Gaia had pledged their service to the young lord. They oversaw the harvests and ensured the duke’s protection. In exchange for what, no one knows. Your father’s informant died, blood pooling and pouring forth from his eyes, before he could finish his report.
It was this discovery that set about a turn upon the wheel of fate for your family and redeemed your line from years of misfortune. Your father proclaimed that the all-seeing eye was upon you still as the two of you climbed up through the court’s ranks as your ancestors had before you.
Your father remained behind, back in Stoneshire, for this year’s festival. This is your fourth festival of this kind, but your first in Lord Andor’s inner circle.
This was the introductory passage I read to Jonathan at the start of our new one-on-one D&D campaign, Treachery in Sanctuary. We had spent a little time setting up his character, Lord Silas Graveston, and I wanted to dive right into the action with the campaign.
If you’re interested in the campaign NPCs, you’ll find a list of them here! I also have a list of important locations in Sanctuary for you here.
Sanctuary is one of the major kingdoms in the world of Eldura. As you can see in the map at the top of this post, this story takes place in old Eldura, before the fall of Steymhorod. (Find the history of Eldura and Azuria here.)
Sanctuary was once part of the Neverune Kingdom. After Neverune’s fall, rule of Sanctuary passed to the Orbaskier line. Their rule of the kingdom oscillates between governing by warlords and an established courtly system.
There are four major regions in Sanctuary, each ruled by a member of the Orbaskier family:
- Draykemire, ruled by Queen Alsea
- Hillearst, ruled by Duke Andor
- Serra Valley, ruled by Duke Heinrik
- Hadras, ruled by Marquess Caspian and Marchioness Isadora
Jonathan’s PC—the main character for our campaign—is Lord Silas Graveston, the heir of the Graveston line and the Stoneshire estate in Hillearst.
Silas and his family have served as the spies and assassins for Duke Andor for the twenty years of Alsea’s reign. Silas’s father trained him in espionage and combat as well as the wills and wiles of the court.
Silas’s mother died when he was five years old. Though they could never determine the exact source, Silas and his father are certain that she was the victim of a poisoning by someone in the court. Her death was slow and painful, and Silas witnessed her final moments in the garden, unable to help his mother.
This event left quite a scar on the young noble. For months after, Silas swore he could still see his mother, still feel her presence. Cajoling by his father and the family mage, Alistriona, eventually persuaded Silas of the falseness of this belief, and he lost the ability to see his mother.
But as Silas grew older and embarked on his first solo missions for Duke Andor, his ability to perceive the dead and departed returned. On rare occasion, Silas has even been able to capture a soul before it can depart to Astralei. He holds the soul for questioning until his need has passed.
This is the first in post in the series of campaign sketches for Treachery in Sanctuary and its corresponding fictional account/campaign diary, Phantom Pain. I’m so excited to dive into this story with you and share Silas and Natalya’s adventures as well as set you up for your own adventures in Sanctuary!
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