Welcome to Zeitgeist! 

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STEAM AND SOOT DARKEN THE SKIES above the city of Flint, and winds sweeping across its majestic harbor blow the choking products of industrial forges into the fey rainforests that dot its knife-toothed mountains. Since the earliest ages when the people of Risur Risur founded this city, they feared the capricious beings that hid in those fog-shrouded peaks, but now as the march of progress and the demands of national defense turn Flint into a garden for artifice and technology, the old faiths and rituals that kept the lurkers of the woods at bay are being abandoned.

The Unseen Court, the Great Hunt, and the many spirits of the land long ago conquered by Risur’s kings no longer receive tribute, but they cannot enter these new cities of steam and steel to demand their tithe. The impoverished workers who huddle in factory slums fear monsters of a different breed, shadowy children of this new urban labyrinth. Even their modern religions have no defenses against these fiends.

Times are turning. The Skyseers, Risur’s folk prophets since their homeland’s birth, witness omens in the starry wheels of heaven, and they warn that a new age is nigh. But what they cannot foresee, hidden beyond the steam and soot of the night sky, is the face of this coming era, the spirit of the age: the zeitgeist.

Please download the players guide for more information about the world of Zeitgeist - https://zeitgeistadventurepath.com/free-intro-pack/

 

The PCs are agents of the Royal Homeland Constabulary, a Risur-based organization created by King Aodhan. RHC constables are elite law enforcement officers tasked with protecting Risur from serious threats, usually in the form of foreign plots, magically-equipped criminals, and various supernatural foes everyday police are not equipped to deal with. 

Every constable must have passed a background check and magical inquisition to prove his or her loyalty to Risur. These precautions allow even foreign-born citizens to serve, giving the constabulary a valuable tool in pursuing investigations overseas. Cells of RHC agents are often assigned to pool their talents to accomplish dangerous and complex tasks, such as rescue missions, surveillance to catch smugglers and traitors, and even espionage or assassination.

While they do carry badges of office, RHC agents are not expected to wear their uniforms outside official functions and ceremonies.

Bottom line: Royal Constables are specialists drawn from every race, creed, and walk of life, and are notorious for their eccentricity and independence. The crown supports this force of loose cannons because they achieve impossible results. Tales of the RHC, chronicled in the papers and pulps, inflame the public imagination in Risur and beyond its borders; thus contributing to the popularity of Risur’s government.

Authority and the Law
Constables are invested with the authority of the king, and so are granted great leeway in their pursuit of justice and safety. While normal police must acquire warrants before they can search a building, RHC constables are trusted to not abuse their authority, and so can act as swiftly as needed. However, they are required to fill out proper paperwork and give testimony justifying their actions. A constable who uses his power for personal gain—or to harass anyone of political clout without good reason—will find himself penalized, demoted, and possibly even in prison.

Constables are expected to take suspects alive whenever possible. PCs may choose to deal subdual damage at any time , without having to take a penalty to their attack rolls. This represents special training constables receive. Execution is a likely punishment if a trial deems a suspect to be an enduring threat, though some criminals with political value might be kept under special house arrest, as long as they do not actively pursue plots against Risur.

Every constable has access to binding ropes as well as handcuffs (albeit not quite as advanced as the modern variety) at no cost to them. Most handcuffs include gold wire or thread, which can be tied off after the cuffs are closed to prevent creatures from teleporting while wearing them. In special cases, mage-cuffs can be requisitioned.

Constables can usually hand over arrested suspects to the local police, though the RHC headquarters in Flint does have specially prepared cells to handle more dangerous criminals. These cells are all lined with enchantments similar to those of mage-cuffs, and are surrounded by rings of gold and bricks baked with salt and other warding agents. When needed, even more specialized items can be used, such as chains that can hold incorporeal entities or prevent shapechanging, hoods that block gaze attacks, and sigils to nullify innate elemental threats such as creatures composed wholly or in part of fire.

When it comes to interrogations, characters who choose to be enlightened and use less-violent approaches can often get what they need with less hassle, but threats and actual violence are common tools when trying to make suspects talk, and most superiors won’t bat an eye as long as no one is seriously injured or dies.

History and Organization
With the recent influx of foreign technologies and therefore foreign influence, King Aodhan ordered the formation of a new government agency to protect the traditional identity of the Risuri homeland. Within a decade this mission had morphed into investigating significant threats to the nation, particularly those involving technology. Today the Royal Homeland Constabulary uses a combination of investigators, spies, and warriors to root out, undermine, capture, and if necessary kill any groups who endanger Risur.

Though most activity occurs in Flint, officially the Constabulary’s central chamber is based out of Slate and headed by Lord Viscount Inspector Nigel Price-Hill, who was a commander in the Fourth Yerasol War. His Lordship’s greatest success as director was presiding over the apprehension of a group of Drakr necromancers attempting to animate undead dragons in the Anthras Mountains.

The Flint branch is run by Lady Inspectress Margaret Saxby, who recently won the role through political assignment after the former director lost favor in a scandal. The RHC cell director is Assistant Chief Inspector Stover Delft. The Flint agency keeps busy thwarting arms smuggling, industrial espionage, and the sorts of magical and monstrous threats once handled by plucky self-motivated “adventurers.” Regardless of where they are based, agents of the Royal Homeland Constabulary have broad jurisdiction throughout the nation, and enjoy mild immunity while overseas when acting in an official, acknowledged capacity.

 

Zeigeist: Division Six

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