Equilibrium

Introduction

This is the Equilibrium campaign, a story about an international crime solving team, the Supernatural Phenomena Investigators (SPI), set in a fantasy world of eight nations hanging in the balance.

Logistics

Why? To have fun, relax, solve mysteries and beat bad guys.

Setting. I decided not to set in an existing D&D campaign world (Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk, etc.), but have reused many aspects of them for pragmatic reasons. The political landscape is rather important to the culture that has enabled a dedicated supernatural crime-solving organization to exist. See below for further details on the setting.

Rules. We’ll use the shiny new (as of 2014 😜) D&D 5E rules.

Characters. Main points of character creation:

The current player characters are:

Character Race Class(es) Alignment
Bec Galere elf, human wizard (enchanter)  
Callisto halfling (stout) barbarian, rogue  
Calumnystra “Callie” Rockwell gnome (rock) cleric  
Freki Sarin elf (wood), lycan ranger (lycan)  
Ozborn Underfoot halfling (lightfoot) rogue  
Vondal of the South Fireforges human, dwarf (slight ancestry) sorcerer (wild mage)  

For sweet sweet loot, see Gear.

For all characters in the story including NPCs, see the Dossiers.

Setting

The known world is a single large continent called Aecus, with various phenomena at the periphery which have hindered exploration, due to the increasing inhospitality of the environment.

There are several countries which have enjoyed an uneasy peace for the past half century. One of D&D’s primary conceits is that there are many intelligent life forms, which tend to differ culturally, not always getting along. As such, territories are often divided on racial lines, and this campaign is no exception.

The War of Countless Dead, and the Aecus Concord

For decades, the world was at war. The initial cause of the conflict is a topic of frequent historical debate—every nation tells it differently. After all, every country has reasons they hate the others—especially their neighbors. But there are a few facts upon which everyone agrees:

Fifty years ago, the war ended—suddenly. All the soldiers fighting on the warfront vanished without a trace, never to be seen again. After that, the whole area became warped and twisted, resulting in what is now called the Flux.

With no armies left to deploy, the war was effectively over. The seven nations still standing quickly met to sign a monumental peace treaty, the Aecus Concord. One of the stipulations of the treaty was the foundation of an international peacekeeping organization, consisting of individuals from all the involved nations, also dubbed the Aecus Concord. It consists of three subunits:

The A.C. have created teleportation circles between major cities across Aecus, which all three branches regularly utilize in service to their goals. The teleportation circle spell can transport someone from any location to a permanent circle. A relatively common item known as a teleport crystal also exists (typically worth 10 gp) which anyone can use to activate a circle without spellcasting; in this way, the cities stay connected and in touch with one another. While it is not cost effective to use the circles for mass trade of goods, or to commute between cities on a daily basis, they do provide many diplomatic opportunities, as well as offering a rich courier market when the goods or information being transported are of significant enough value.

The Supernatural Phenomena Investigators (SPI)

The use of magic seems to affect people’s memories. The stronger the magic, the harder it is to recall later exactly what happened. People know magic exists, and can describe cantrips. But memory becomes hazy surrounding higher levels of magic. The only exception is the caster of the spell in question: they are often unaffected, perhaps because it was their will manifest.

As such, magic and spellcasters are highly distrusted by most people. So much so, that when something magical is going on, the local authorities almost never want to deal with it. That’s where the SPI comes in: an international, elite team of agents with unique magical skills and know-how. Leading the team is Mallory, the hard-boiled boss who’s been running the operation for decades. The way he tells it, the SPI never used to get any respect, but he’s worked very hard for a long time to change that. Finally, people are starting to take them seriously.

Unfortunately, a few weeks ago, all veteran SPI teams disappeared during their respective missions. All resurrection attempts fail. And meanwhile, the SPI headquarters in the Mountain was obliterated by fire, destroying their files. Most of the existing SPI staff escaped, but it was a close call. Mallory and the remaining staff do know something about previous investigations, but with magic involved, it’s always tough to remember the details. The SPI is recruiting new investigators now, and operating from a temporary but secure location until something more permanent can be reestablished.