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Chronicles of the Argent Shroud - Primer

Welcome, traveller, to the Jewel Cities of Talavaar, a region rich in natural resources, magic, and political intrigue.

I regularly get asked if I plan on bringing back my campaign diary videos, and while they never worked in video format, the new blog seems like the ideal format for them, so I thought we'd give it a try and see how they go!

And now is the perfect time to launch this new article series, as I'm doing a soft relaunch of my campaign this week as we move from PF2 back to 5e.

This post will get you up to speed on the party and the world and future instalments will cover their exploits.

The Jewel Cities is the site of my current ongoing campaign, which was primarily developed during Twitch streams during 2022. The Jewel Cities started as a blank canvas, a typical Fantasyland which has grown and changed over the last two years based on extensive worldbuilding, adding context from other elements of Istar (the homebrew planet to which this region belongs) lore, as well as the way my players have already influenced the world around them during the course of this campaign.

You can get a traveller's guide to the Jewel Cities, which is a 16-page primer to the setting with information on the nations, pantheon, and some common practices and knowledge over on my Patreon as part of the Hero tier, which also gets you access to the back catalogue of SIDEQUEST magazine.

It won't be essential reading for this series, as I'll explain the things you need to know about the world as they come up, but I know some folks like shiny documents to read through, and I made this for my players to get immersed into the setting with.

The Order of the Argent Shroud

Our heroes are members of a free company called the order of the Argent Shroud. Talavaar used to be home to hundreds of famous free companies; mercenary bands which travelled the continent forging legends with their deeds. But almost all of these were destroyed when the Subjugator, leader of the Dusk Empire, lead his followers on a crusade to unify the continent under one banner. During the course of this war, known as the subjugation, almost all the free companies were destroyed as they tried to stand against the Subjugator and his forces, or were folded into his legions, their histories lost.

The order of the Argent Shroud is a newly formed free company, less than a year old, which is operating from the Vale, a small nation on the island of Ore.

During the first session of our PF2 portion of the campaign the players recovered the Argent Shroud relic which became the namesake and banner of the company.

The company is still small, with only a few dozen members operating across the Vale, and these chronicles will follow a new group of recruits as they arrive in the capital city of Dream to pick up several loose ends left by a veteran group which left for a greater quest.

Our Heroes

As mentioned above, with our switch back to 5e from PF2, my players decided to make new characters for the switch, so we have a new batch of heroes to follow along within this series.

First up is Venena, the human Fighter/Bard. She joined the company after an encounter with a mysterious figure she calls the "rain knight" while she was working as a caravan guard left her without an arm.

Next up is Russell, a Kenku cleric and born-again convert to the faith of Klevo, the handsome god of tricks. Russell is on a mission to spread the word of the trickster god to all who will listen.

Diddy is a Kobold rogue who is out to steal the world, with a particular eye for artifacts tied to the primordials; the dragon gods of old.

George is a monkeyfolk monk from the Unclaimed lands who is on a wanderlust mission to see the world.

Finally, Cornelius is a human wizard and third son to a baron of Aeldal. He studied magic in the wizards' college of Topaz and is out to make a name for himself and earn renown for himself among his family.

The Journey Begins

Our heroes had been dispatched to the city of Dream to replace another group from the Company (the players' previous characters) and pick up some of their loose ends.

Their first task was to attend a social gathering of Merek Montague, a local politician who was trying to crush some proposed legislation that would see the sale of magic items in the Vale more tightly controlled.

They spent a few hours wandering the rooms of Montague's lavish hunting lodge and talking to the various politicians and convincing them to side with Montague on the magic item legislation.

Eventually, they were able to convince Bastien Lorent, the lord of the city of Dream, to support Montague which swung the balance of the vote. Lord Lorent controls the movement and processing of Alaysium, better known as timestone, a rare material recently discovered on an island off the coast of Ore that has chronomancy properties.

Timestone is so powerful that the Vale and their neighbour, Novaris, went to war over the right to mine the only known source of it. The Vale won the timestone war, and now all the mined timestone flows through the city of Dream for processing.

Our heroes convinced Lord Lorent that with such powerful time magic at his command, instead of regulating magic item sales, the Vale could just use chronomancy to know what crimes people would commit before they happen. Nothing terrible will come of them creating a Minority Report situation in their homeland. . .

Cleaning up the Streets

With their task accomplished, the company set off back to Dream, but not before Merek Montague told them he would be in touch about a grand quest he could fund now that he wasn't fighting the magic item legislation.

When they arrived back in the city the company were quickly rounded up by Captain Maldras of the city watch, who told them a killer that their predecessors had been investigating had attacked the local watch garrison.

The company set off to catch the killer, all save for Venena who became paralysed by fear of the rain which had started while they were indoors. While the others rushed across the district to confront the killer, Ven was wrestling with her own demons.

When they arrived at the garrison they found the bodies of multiple city watch officers which had been drained of their life essence, and came face to face with the killer, a Breath Drinker.

Even a fighter down, they were able to bring the creature low, with Diddy striking the final blow as it attempted to flee.

They got their payment for dispatching the creature and returned to the lodgings to rest.

The next day they got word from Merek Montague about his quest - he wishes to set sail for Ngawe, the Unclaimed Lands to find the Labyrinth of the Nameless Fiend, a structure that has been kept hidden by the local tribes for centuries and supposedly contains a great evil - along with great wealth - and plunder its depths.

They set sail next week!


Love the first diary. Are the Argent Shrouds mercenaries?

Apr 19
Replying to

They are. They are part of a free company which is a mercenary group.

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