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.
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 use the Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition (D&D5E) rules, which are available online:
- 5e.tools – A wealth of D&D5E rules in one place.
- dndbeyond.com – The official Wizards site for D&D5E rules.
- 5esrd.com – A large subset of the core rules plus third party materials.
- dnd5e.wikidot.com – The DND 5th Edition community wiki, with even more rules, including from splat books, such as the class archetypes from Xanathar’s Guide to Everything.
Characters. Main points of character creation:
- Try to hail from a unique territory and/or race. This helps diversity and world-building.
- Have a reason in mind for why you are part of (or being recruited for) the SPI.
- Have an unsolved mystery in your backstory.
- SPI agents are currently 10th level. Anything in the 5E Player’s Handbook or Xanathar’s Guide to Everything is fair game.
The current player characters are:
For sweet sweet loot, see Gear.
For all characters in the story including NPCs, see the Dossiers.
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.
- [N] The Zephyr Federation - A windy and increasingly mountainous region to the north, inhabited by diverse dragonborn races. Further north, dragons dwell in the endless sky.
- [S] Elyria - A sprawling forest in the deep south, home to elves and other sylvan races.
- [E] The Mountain and the Veldt - A volcano and surrounding lands where dwarves dwell.
- [NE] The Radiant Union of Pelor (RUP) - Inhospitable desert lands in the northeast governed by a benevolent paladin order known as the Luminous Defenders.
- [W] Cognitutus - A great gnomish city, which disappeared during the War of Countless Dead.
- [SE] The Selva Tribes - Orcish tribes that vie for control of southeast rainforest territory.
- [NW] The Archipelago of Trell - A fiendish island territory off the northwestern coast.
- [SW] Arallu - A terrifying undead realm to the southwest, about which little is known.
- The Flux - An uninhabitable zone bordering the nations.
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:
- All the nations of the world were involved.
- No one’s hands were clean.
- The death toll was immeasurable.
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:
- Supernatural Phenomena Investigation (SPI), about whom this story is concerned. These are the people who are called in when the situation is too weird for the country’s usual police force. Part detectives and part spies, SPI is the “Interpol” of the A.C. However, their central focus is not on mundane crime, politics or intrigue, but only dangerous magic which might somehow threaten world peace.
- Military Aid and Defense (MAD), a mixed force offering benign services to nations that request it. Members are volunteers from the armed forces of constituent nations. MAD is the “U.N. Peacekeeping” force of the A.C.
- Trade, Enforcement, Arbitration and Mediation (TEAM), the diplomatic arm of the A.C., facilitating diplomatic relations and fair trade between the nations. It enforces its arbitration decisions, as well as international regulations, largely via threat of trade sanctions and embargoes, should a nation fail to comply. Which so far has been rare.
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.
|[Case 01] Petrification and Putrifaction
(AC50 Solis 10) A petrified accountant triggers a cascade of events.
|1||2015-05-15||AC50 Solis 10||[01e01] The Ultimate Showdown of Stone||The agents interview the victim's employer, and investigate the Beastly Colosseum.|
|[Case 02] Exchange and Extortion
(AC50 Solis 11-12) A rich man dies of a rapid wasting disease.
|2||2015-06-28||AC50 Solis 11||[02e01] I Think I'm a Clone Now||A secret vault in Tremere's manor leads to some harrowing developments.|
|3||2015-07-18||AC50 Solis 12||[02e02] Pulchritudinous Euryale||Agents confront the prime suspect at her villa.|
|[Case 03] Punctuality and Perpetuity
(AC50 Solis 14) An elderly dwarf's clock stops at the moment of his death. But what's this? He's a zombie now?
|4||2015-Aug-15||AC50 Solis 14||[03e01] Granduncle's Clock||Went to Aldrimor manor; met Hollerd; investigated the scene.|
|5||2015-09-11||AC50 Solis 14||[03e02] The Almost-Kings||Talked to Gardenblossom at Kham Kuldohr Academy; had lunch; talked to Mungus Wrathborn and his daughter Larsa.|
|6||2015-11-14||AC50 Solis 14||[03e03] Esprit Repose||Questioned Elka, Bruck back at Aldrimor manor, Larsa at the Brandywhistle.|
|7||2015-12-12||AC50 Solis 14||[03e04] The Honor of Aldrimor||Fought Zanic, got Bronce's confession, apprehended Hollerd on his farm.|
|[Case 04] Ingestion and Incoherency
(AC50 Solis 16) The entire population of a seaside resort has mysteriously vanished.
|8||2015-12-20||AC50 Solis 16||[04e01] Euphoria||Agents travel to an eerily abandoned, yet still fully operational, Trell resort town—with water slides!|
|9||2016-01-30||AC50 Solis 16||[04e02] That Sinking Feeling||Agents continue to investigate Euphoria, and find that the ground beneath their feet is not as solid as it should be.|
|10||2016-02-19||AC50 Solis 16||[04e03] Brian the Elder Brain||Agents destroy an elder brain deep within garbage tunnels under the resort.|
|[Case 05] Tumbling and Transcendence
(AC50 Solis 19) People are jumping from the Zenithal Summit of the Cliffs of Transcendence—each longing for their wish to be granted—each plummeting downward, never seen again.
|11||2016-05-28||AC50 Solis 19||[05e01] The Temple of Symmetry||Agents defeat a dire threat at the Temple of Symmetry.|
|[Case 06] Mutilation and Metamorphosis
(AC50 Solis 24 - Cudo 07) A tribe of gnolls has been slaughtered by a terrifying blast of Flux.
|12||2016-08-21||AC50 Solis 24-25||[06e01] Fate of the Manufeai||Traveled to Xaos; met Bruck, who guided them to the Manufeai camp, which took 2 days (1 night's camp).|
|13||2016-10-29||AC50 Solis 25||[06e02] Freki the Hunter, Freki the Witness||Slew demonic Manufeai reincarnations; met Freki.|
|14||2017-01-21||AC50 Solis 25-28||[06e03] The Malosi||Met Semu; traveled to Malosi tribe to seek out Kavaki; encountered Andalla; met Sabrina.|
|15||2017-04-28||AC50 Solis 28 - Cudo 07||[06e04] Retracing Kavaki's Steps||Met Kavaki; headed south for 10 days looking for the place where she was attacked.|
|16||2017-05-12||AC50 Cudo 07||[06e05] The Stormherd||Freki's dreamt about Talos; found and visited the Stormherd encampment.|
|17||2017-06-09||AC50 Cudo 07||[06e06] The Union of the Elements||Solomon battle. Lost time and memories after the Fluxsplosion.|
|[Case 07] Hazards and Harbingers
(AC50 Cudo 11-13) An auction for a vial of divine essence is interrupted by MURDER!
|18||2017-07-14||AC50 Cudo 11-13||[07e01] The Invitation||Scouted and camped the meetup location|
|19||2017-08-11||AC50 Cudo 13||[07e02] The Auction Begins||Checked in to Invictus's manor and got comfortable with the other guests.|
|20||2017-09-08||AC50 Cudo 13||[07e03] Interrupted... by MURDER||Private interviews. SPI's interview is interrupted by a wave of antimagic. Flameskull battle.|
|21||2017-10-06||AC50 Cudo 13||[07e04] A Thief and a Killer||Investigated Tremere's murder; Tremere's corpse fingers Orbach as the killer.|
|22||2017-12-03||AC50 Cudo 13||[07e05] Feed Me, Seymour!||Heard shrieking in the distance; fought the carnivorous plant; caught Orbach trying to escape.|
|23||2018-01-27||AC50 Cudo 13-19||[07e06] Escape from Invictus Manor||Divine essence exploded, escaped the manor through the chaos, but it rubbed off on everyone... time corruption and forgotten memories.|
|[Case 08] Revelry and Revenge
(AC50 Cudo 19) A wealthy couple have "laughed to death" during a circus performance.
|24||2018-03-09||AC50 Cudo 19||[08e01] Murder is no Laughing Matter||Next case: murder at the circus. Investigation begins.|
|25||2018-04-05||AC50 Cudo 19||[08e02] A Circus of an Investigation||Oz and Cal meet up with the other agents, and they all continue to investigate the circus incident. They become suspicious of Meroe.|
|26||2018-05-04||AC50 Cudo 19||[08e03] Blood & Fire & Landsharks||Fought the circus monsters; escaped by climbing the Vondalstalk|
|[Case 09] Amalgamation and Anathema
(AC50 Cudo 19-26) The SPI agents are trapped in a bizarre realm of unreality, from which they must escape—but along the way, they stumble across the corpse of someone they know.
|1UP||2018-06-29||-||[09e00] 1UP!||Level up! 4th level spells, here I come!|
|27||2018-07-27||AC50 Cudo 19-25||[09e01] Imagine All the People... on a Yachtopus||Agents travel through the crystal flux in their Yachtopus. Time corruption means a few hours' travel for the SPI is a few days on the material plane.|
|28||2018-08-03||AC50 Cudo 25||[09e02] OMGs! A Balor!||The SPI fights the balor, and gets back into HQ through the wall.|
|29||2018-09-07||AC50 Cudo 25||[09e03] Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jog||Agents clean up the mess from their recent adventure, and meet a new recruit.|
|30||2018-10-05||AC50 Cudo 25-26||[09e04] Time Travel Shenanigans||Stayed a night at HQ, during which time Mary Reed was caught stealing and unmasked as Seirye Qin. The next morning, MAD showed up to kick everyone out of HQ.|
|[Case 10] Capers and Calamity
(AC50 Cudo 26 - Rixa 10) A "time traveler" needs the SPI's help to "secure" the Cornucopia. But what are her true motivations?
|31||2018-11-02||AC50 Cudo 26||[10e01] A Dubious Caper||Agents flee to the old HQ to discuss next steps.|
|32||2018-11-25||AC50 Cudo 26 - Rixa 02||[10e02] Desert Pilgrimage||Traveled through the desert for 7 days; reached the Cornucopia|
|33||2019-01-26||AC50 Rixa 02||[10e03] A Test of Valor and Resolve||Defeated Cornucopia guardians|
|34||2019-03-08||AC50 Rixa 02||[10e04] Yo Ho! A Pirate's Life for Me||Teleported Cornucopia to Rockwell manor, and agents to the Tempest; contacted various parties magically|
|35||2019-03-23||AC50 Rixa 02-06||[10e05] Corruption at SPI HQ||Teleported from the Tempest to SPI HQ; explored it; began fighting the demons; time corruption|
|36||2019-04-06||AC50 Rixa 06-10||[10e06] The Demons in the Kitchen||Defeated the demons in the demiplane; time corruption|
|[Case 11] Hardships and Homecomings
(AC50 Rixa 10-23) Aboleths infiltrate Callie's family, and want the Cornucopia for their nefarious purposes!
|37||2019-04-19||AC50 Rixa 10||[11e01] The Secret City of Cognitutus||Went to Cognitutus and Rockwell manor|
|38||2019-05-31||AC50 Rixa 10||[11e02] Something Amiss at Rockwell Manor||Investigated the suspicious situation in the manor|
|39||2019-06-15||AC50 Rixa 10||[11e03] Breaking Free of the Madness||Fought the aboleth in Rockwell manor|
|40||2019-08-09||AC50 Rixa 10||[11e04] An Undersea Rescue Mission||Secured the sub|
|41||2019-08-30||AC50 Rixa 10-21||[11e05] Journey to the Lair||12-day journey on the sub|
|42||2019-09-13||AC50 Rixa 21||[11e06] Shark Attack!||Shark attack|
|43||2019-11-15||AC50 Rixa 21||[11e07] Hallucinations of an Ancient Civilization||Fish people|
|44||2020-01-25||AC50 Rixa 21||[11e08] Epic Aboleth Battle||Aboleth battle|
|45||2022-03-18||AC50 Rixa 21-23||[11e09] The Frekoning||Stayed two nights in Antigua|
|[Case 12] Burglary and Blight
(AC50 Rixa 23) The World Tree is dying. The cancer druid writes "Yggdrasil" into the Necronomicon every day. The Warforged and elves hunt the druid fruitlessly, while one elven holy sorcerer has a bolder plan.
|46||2022-04-15||AC50 Rixa 23||[12e01] Burglary at SPI HQ!||Secured HQ; went with Sartus to Estanesse|
|47||2022-04-22||AC50 Rixa 23-24||[12e02] The Tree-melded||Stayed a night in Estanesse palace|
|48||2022-06-03||AC50 Rixa 24||[12e03] The Golden Path||Began climbing the World Tree; found a blighted area|
|49||2022-06-24||AC50 Rixa 24||[12e04] Attacked by a murder sprite||Fought the murder sprite and other scary monsters|
|50||2022-07-16||AC50 Rixa 24-25||[12e05] You never said your tiny hut had a floor||Dreamt of the Queen and mushrooms|
|51||2022-08-19||AC50 Rixa 25||[12e06] Deep Truffle||Met Enoki, beat back the mushrooms, druid threw away the book, encountered Eixam|
|52||2022-09-03||AC50 Rixa 25||[12e07] Dickery in the Hickory||Talked to Eixam, met the hamadryad, reached the illusory Fruit|
|53||2022-10-29||AC50 Rixa 25||[12e08] Thrilla in the Willa||Fought Isis and the Guardian|
|54||2022-11-19||AC50 Rixa 25||[12e09] Everybody Goes in the Hole||Parleyed with the Guardian|
|55||2022-12-02||AC50 Rixa 25||[12e10] ...Unusually Large Amounts of Blood||Confronted Isis and Perrin; decided to pursue the Necronomicon in the Estanesse treasury without telling Tybalt.|
|56||2022-12-31||AC50 Rixa 25||[12e11] Feathers, Fun, and Unholy Ghost||Went to the elven vault, overcame the shadow nightmare trap, convinced Lorissa Stormseeker to help them cleanse the Book, and performed the miracle.|
|57||2023-01-07||AC50 Rixa 25||[12e12] Confrontation with the Queen||TODO|
|[Case 13] Facts and Facsimiles
(AC50 Auran Apex) The SPI follows the trail of a suspected doppelganger, the spitting image of one of their former colleagues, to a hidden village of changelings.
|58||2023-01-21||AC50 Auran Apex||[13e01] Flimflam in the Forest||TODO|
|59||2023-02-03||AC50 Auran Apex||[13e02] Adieu to Alye'adu||Adieu? We just got here! And French isn't even a thing in Aecus!|
|60||2023-03-04||AC50 Auran Apex||[13e03] Arkenstab Reclaimed||Agents learn the true nature of the changelings, and a wild Talos appears.|
|61||2023-04-22||AC50 Auran Apex||[13e04] The Malosi Strike Back||TODO|
|62||2023-05-13||AC50 Vis||[Case 14 Prelude] Assemblage and Absolution||In the aftermath of the Malosi fight at Alye'adu, the SPI agents rescue Mallory and Cassandra from their respective plights.|
|[Case 14] Animus and Annihilation
(AC50 Vis 03) TODO
|63||2023-07-29||AC50 Vis 03||[14e01] Enigma at Evershroud Manor||TODO|
|64||2023-10-28||AC50 Vis 03||[14e02] Defying the Fallen||TODO|
|65||2023-11-18||AC50 Vis 03||[14e03] Secrets of the Spectral Sanctum||TODO|
|66||2023-12-99||AC50 Vis 03||[14e04] Undead Unraveling||TODO|