In 2183, the Citadel was attacked by the geth. Their onslaught was immense and repelled only at terrible cost to the galaxy's fleets and the herculean efforts of the human Commander Shepard, who slew the geth's leader, a renegade Spectre. A few months later, Commander Shepard was lost, their ship destroyed by an unknown assailant and the Commander declared MIA. The galaxy mourns even now.
Some time later, in 2184, the Commander is still lost, but events continue without them for the citizens of the galaxy. And in the lawless Terminus Systems, a group of mercenaries, criminals, outlaws and other assorted lawless types receive communications from the Elkoss Combine, requesting their help for a special mission. Something of value to the Combine has been stole and the group's services are needed to recover it. Handsome payment is offered in exchange for the mission's success, as well as a generous advance fee on the understanding that the mission remain secret from all others.
Needing money, several of those contacted accept and come together on Omega.
- Blood Knight: Domitian to a terrifying extent.
- Broad Strokes: Because the intent of Association is to be an Innocent Bystander Series which largely avoids Shepard, the RP doesn't specify anything about Shepard except for the essential plot elements of the first game, in part so anyone reading can insert their own Shepard into the narrative without issue.
- Innocent Bystander Series: Very deliberately set out of Shepard's way. Word of God is that he wanted the story to have a theme of the player characters potentially being heroes and having an impact, even though they're far below Shepard in reputation, so almost all the characters have no involvement in any of Shepard's actions (the most so far is Keelo taking part in the Battle of the Citadel).
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Domitian and Melanie respectively. Domitian is rude, overconfident and a fierce Blood Knight who fears nothing, Melanie is melancholy, kind and on the run from her terrible past.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The team consists of a Blood Knight turian Havoc, a human Sentinel on the run from her dark past and hardened by life on Omega, a snarky krogan, a naive and innocent quarian, a Mad Scientist salarian, a mysterious mercenary, a female krogan Shaman and her adoptive turian son.
- Somewhat inevitably, multiple references to the series itself. While in the Shanxi's elevator at one point, Melanie muses about how slow it is and wishes she had someone to talk to about anything, a nod to the loading screen-concealing elevator conversations in the first game. In a nod to more contemporary developments, while internally narrating on the mass relays, Domitian considers a rumor he's heard of an expedition to another galaxy and dismisses the concept because of the fact it would take centuries.
- Theme Naming: Word of God is that Association was chosen as the title to tie into the 'words ending in ion' theme of the novels.
- You All Meet in an Inn: Updated to a bar on Omega, but this is the gist of how the team meets.