The Realm of Zerata
Welcome to the main headquarters of the Inter-Realm Bureau of Investigation. I am General Jerek and I’m currently in charge of this task force combining the efforts of both IBI and the BFA. As you may or may not know, this year marks the 200th anniversary of the Drow War and the decimation of the entirety of Miryzeen. After that day, we had assumed nothing and no one in the blast zones had survived, but recent intelligence from Ravillen d’Drakuno suggests that Naïlo may have somehow lived through it. We have evidence of small amounts of activity in the tiny enduring drow communities, but nothing conclusive.
What’s more concerning is the recent outbreak of crime in Zerata. Over the past decade, the crime rate has drastically increased. What’s disturbing about this is the victims’ descriptions of the perpetrators. In some cases, victims described strange ghost-like or skeletal creatures, true skeletons, zombies, and other undead. In others, victims reported being attacked by lycanthropic goblins, “flying octopus-things,” mutated chickens, and many other types of monstrous creatures never before seen in Zerata. Yet other reports include victims being attacked by mirror images of themselves, or by debris in the corners of their homes, or even by their cloak.
The Underdark cave systems in some areas are slowly growing and from preliminary investigations seem to be showing signs of habitation. The strange part is these new tunnels are not connected to the main Underdark cave systems under Zerata. We also have reports of multiple small towns being terrorized by groups of wandering monsters.
Unfortunately, the Zerata Militia is unable to handle the recent influx of protection requests, and there are not nearly enough trained civilian personnel to make up the difference letalone spare resources to investigate. Other realms, including Drogora, have sent what help they can, but much of their resources are being spent protecting their own people from the growing threat.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to travel through Zerata to see what you can learn and to help out where you can. You will be official representatives of the IBI/BFA task force, and will have the proper jurisdiction to handle situations as you see fit. You will travel along the Eastern Road to the Meridian Road, and we will regroup at Mephecite to discuss what course of action to take. Make a stop at the Crossroads Temple, located where the Eastern and Western roads cross at the Meridian Road – many of the clerics of Ravillen there are drow, and should be able to offer some insight into the goings-on in the Underdark. I will expect a full report.
You will be supplied with a military-grade backpack, bedroll, and 2 waterskins, as well as a week’s worth of Beads of Nourishment. Beyond that, you will be permitted to use our personnel store to purchase any gear at standard prices. Our resident enchanter has also agreed to donate his time to enchant one item for each of you. A list of enchantments he will provide is available in the personnel store.
Choose wisely; your success or failure could mean the life or death of all of Zerata.
No evil alignments
If desired, class archetypes may be chosen from Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, but check with me first to make sure the archetype makes sense with the campaign.
Deities and domains can be chosen from any book BUT if it is from a book other than the PHB please check with me first.
Abilities will be set based on the Point-buy System. You will have 35 points instead of the standard 27. Please use the above-linked calculator.
We will begin at level 2.
All feats in the core rulebooks are available. There’s a full list (with descriptions) here on 5e.tools.
Additional feat option:
Light Adaptation – negates Light Blindness or Light Sensitivity.
All players begin with a military-grade backpack (modified Handy Haversack), bedroll, and 2 waterskins, as well as a week’s worth of Beads of Nourishment. All other items are to be purchased from the Equipment chapter of the PHB. There are additional items for purchase listed here. If you like, you may also roll for a trinket (p160-161) as part of your backstory. All items, including weapons and armor, must be purchased. Starting gold will be your class’s starting gold roll + 60gp, to account for the adventures that got you to level 2.
Spells can be chosen from the PHB and/or Xanathar’s Guide to Everything (p147)