in the world of Eldura
We’ve been spending a great deal of story time in the kingdom of Sanctuary lately. Sanctuary is an important destination for Vekt and Erela in Son of Dragons and is also Vekt’s kingdom of origin.
It was once part of the great Neverune Kingdom, a vast land made up of what is now Respite, Sanctuary, and Vestige.
But in this post, we’re going to explore the kingdom of Sanctuary between these two parts of its story history, at a time of relative peace under the rule of Queen Alsea. This is the setting for the Treachery in Sanctuary duet 5e campaign sketch and accompanying serialized fiction, Phantom Pain.
map of Eldura
regions of Sanctuary
There are four major regions in Sanctuary, each ruled by a member of the Orbaskier family:
- Draykemire, ruled by Queen Alsea – capital city, Madrogas
- Hillearst, ruled by Duke Andor – capital city, Arden
- Serra Valley, ruled by Duke Heinrik – capital city, Serrana
- Hadras, ruled by Marquess Caspian and Marchioness Isadora – capital city, Hadras
important locations in Sanctuary
Madrogas – Capital city, seat of Queen Alsea
Northern territory under Duke Heinrik’s rule
The Serra Valley has extensive marshlands and large, populous port cities. The Serra Valley also has more wealth inequality than other places in Sanctuary. Many believe that this inequality is why the Gaian priestesses have gained such a strong foothold in the region. So much political power concentrated in the hands of the priestesses has led to tensions between them and the nobles. The nobles see Duke Heinrik as being too open and compliant with the priestesses’ demands.
Serrana – Capital city of the Serra Valley
More condensed than Madrogas, with fewer guards and more underground activity, especially among the Tidings.
Auvergne Forest – Ancient forest on the edge of the Serra Valley
Between the marshlands that line the river and the highlands lies an ancient forest, said to have long ago been a meeting place between the peoples of the Planes of Life. Some eek out a living on the forest’s borders, but its interior residents live relatively free from Heinrik’s control.
history of the Auvergne Forest
Duke Heinrik’s predecessor, Earl Anthorp, taxed the peoples of the forest so severely that many of them had to relocate into the mountain villages and some even traveled as far as Respite. The duke waged war against those who refused to leave or to pay his tax. The people and the forest fought back, and many of his knights disappeared between the trees, never to be heard from again.
At the war’s end, ten Gaian priestesses emerged from the forest, clad in white. They formed an advisory council over whose members they would always retain control. The steward of the throne allowed them a place in the duke’s halls in Serrana, and one of Heinrik’s first duties as the true ruler of the northern lands was to recognize the priestesses’ power, authority, and rightful claim.
Southern highlands, set in the Meridienne Mountains, ruled by Duke Andor
Prosperous mining country, made up of small towns and villages in the valleys or hollows interspersed with large mining communities under the command of the duke and nobles.
Arden – Capital city of Hillearst region
Duke Andor’s castle and holdings (aside from his many mines) reside in the city of Arden. Most noble families keep a house in Arden in addition to their estates.
Stoneshire – Castle in Hillearst
Formerly a grand estate, it’s now little more than a castle and its immediate holdings in the eastern highlands of Hillearst. The ancestral seat of the Graveston family.
For those outside the immediate circle of the Graveston family and Duke Andor, it remains a point of question how the Gravestons have retained such a high position in court when their holdings remain so small. The few who have survived learning the truth have uncovered that the Graveston family are the secret hand of the duke. He calls upon them for matters of maintaining the peace and prosperity of Hillearst. When there are rumors of possible rebellions in the mines, the duke sends the Gravestons to sort out the usurpers and appoint new, more trustworthy miners into positions of prominence.
Silas, the heir of Stoneshire, has expanded his family’s reach though both a betrothal to the wealthy Luscerne family and by uncovering groups of rebels in Arden, the capital city of Hillearst.
Briar Hollow – Large mine and thriving town in western Hillearst
Briar Hollow leads to the secret hideout, Shaydecrest Cottage.
Run by the Marquess Caspian and Marchioness Isadora, Hadras sits on the border between Sanctuary and Vestige. It is not as prosperous as the Serra Valley, but it is largely independent. Many of its noble families eventually resettle closer to Madrogas if they can, as its land is considered more valuable and prestigious.
Be sure to check out the Treachery in Sanctuary campaign sketch if you’re interested in pursuing your own adventures in Sanctuary and the world of Eldura! You can also follow along with our duet 5e home campaign in Phantom Pain: part campaign diary, part serialized fiction.
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