The Syndicate (5e Campaign Setting)
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The Syndicate was an empire formed by the Forsaken, a group of exiles-made-gods, which conquered and united most of the Underdark. The Syndicate was defeated after the death of the 3rd Emperor weakened The Syndicate to much. Now, only scattered outposts and the capital remain to show of The Syndicate, put still has great power and has access to a world still reading from the final attack of The Syndicate. Drow outposts are becoming more common in the above world as they grow fearful of the Forsaken, and the entire Underdark is at war.
The main gods in this setting are the Forsaken, a group of 3 exile-made-gods, and the Dark Seldarine. Skyatras, one of the Forsaken, and Lolth both have even more prominent roles in this setting, as they both war for the Underdark.
The world is made up of one plain to the east, controlled by tribes on centaurs. To the north, the Skyfall Mountains stand, over 10 miles high, which is home to giant bears, wolves, and infested with phase spiders. To the west stands the Great Dunes of Hanaril, a gargantuan desert filled with blue dragons and terrorized by the wars of two Phoenixes. In the middle of all of this stands The Spire, which is the ruins of the biggest of the Syndicate’s cities. The Spire is controlled by an ancient black shadow dragon, and the plane has merged with the Shadowfell, infesting it with all of the creatures from the unholy place. In the caverns of The Spire, a Nightwalker stalks the area, searching for life.
This world was once a mostly peaceful world, with all of the areas at peace and wars at standstill. But in the Underdark, 3 exiles had become gods, and the army they had already created was blessed with their power. This new group, The Syndicate, would infiltrate a colony, make it weaker, than leave it to be conquered. The Syndicate conquered and united a majority of the Underdark, even somehow fitting the drow and driders in. The Syndicate’s mistake was spreading to the above world. They made a massive city, and controlled that city and a large area around it for quite a while. However, once the drow, with a visit from Lolth, killed the 3rd Emperor of The Syndicate, the empire fell in the Underdark, leaving only the capital and some outposts, and The Spire. The Spire was unaffected by this, but once contact stopped with the Underdark, The Spire’s residents assumed The Syndicate below had fallen, and abandoned the outside areas, and reinforced the walls around The Spire. The command fell on Taranil, an Archmage, and a secret agent of the Lord’s Alliance. He slowly sent more and more agents from the Lord’s Alliance into The Spire, which slowly fell. Eventually, Taranil escaped and went to the capital, where a new Emperor had been selected. Taranil stole a control amulet for two Iron Guards, and fled, but has kept the location of the capital a secret. All of these events, however, re-sparked the war in between all of the factions of the above world.
When using this setting, keep suspense going, and only give direct contact to The Syndicate in dire and suspenseful situations. Also, keep the pressure of Lolth and Skyatras on the characters, as they both see use in them.