The Cult of the Dragon

The Cult of the Dragon historically, has been a secret society dedicated to bringing about the “inevitable” rule of Faerûn by undead dragons. Founded by the mad archmage (and later lich) Sammaster, the Cult’s information-gathering, illegal acts, magical research, and alliances with evil dragons all help it acquire power and wealth. With these tools the Cult fortifies its holdings and proceeds toward its goal: converting dragons to the most terrible form of undead, the dracolich.

The Cult reveres dragons to an extent resembling divine worship (and in fact some dragons are worshiped as gods, although they are not deities and cannot grant spells). Cult members serve the dragons by giving them treasure, offering healing, exchanging spells, modifying lairs by adding mechanical traps, and tending eggs and hatchlings. In exchange, the Cult members are allowed to hide in the dragons’ lairs in times of crisis and receive promises of aid from the dragons. Above all, the Cultists handle the preparations for transforming a dragon into a dracolich.

The Cult is organized into independent cells that work together toward their greater goals. Some rely upon legitimate business to bring in wealth, including trade, selling information, and hiring adventurers to investigate ancient sites in exchange for a share of the profits. Other cells rely upon smuggling, kidnapping, blackmail, protection rackets, selling illicit or dangerous goods, usury, gambling, or brigandry to support themselves.

Each cell has a hierarchy of individuals, with the lowest being those serving the Cult without knowing it and the highest being the Wearers of Purple, so known for their ceremonial purple robes. Most of the important members of the Cult are wizards, particularly necromancers, who manufacture magic items, prepare the dracolich-transformation potions, and create undead. A typical servant of the Cult is a 6th-level wizard specializing in the school of Necromancy.

The group’s symbol is a flame with eyes burning above a dragon’s claw, displayed only in the few places where the Cult gathers openly – many groups such as the Harpers and the churches of Mystra, Lathander, Torm, and Tyr attack Cultists on sight.

While they are devout in their appreciation of dragons, few actual clerics serve within the ranks of the Cult. Those who do are typically clerics of Bane, Shar, Talos, Talona, or Velsharoon. Traditionally, a smaller number worship Cyric, Gargauth, Malar, or Tiamat; but recently there have been rumors that a faction that worships Tiamat is gaining ground. Because of their conflicts with the church of Mystra, many of the Cult wizards choose to worship Velsharoon to avoid paying even lip service to the Lady of Mysteries.

The Cult is rumored to have a secret headquarters or hidden fortress somewhere in the Western Heartlands, not far from the Battle of Bones.

The Cult of the Dragon

The Knights of the Phandelver stephen_h_connolly