View Full Version : Kobold Quarterly Tiamat Tuesday: The New Cult of the Dragon

PnP News Bot
06-17-2014, 04:32 PM
Originally posted on 06-17-2014 04:27 PM at koboldquarterly.com (http://www.koboldquarterly.com)

http://www.koboldpress.com/k/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Hoard-of-the-Dragon-Queen-cover-229x300.jpg (http://www.koboldpress.com/k/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Hoard-of-the-Dragon-Queen-cover.jpg)Letís get down to the basics: The Cult of the Dragon is one of the longer-running and more interesting villain organizations in the Forgotten Realms, and I was delighted to hear that Wizards of the Coast wanted the first big adventures for the new edition of D&D to feature these bad guys. My first thought was, ďDracoliches. Cool!Ē
Well, my first thought was wrong. The Cult of the Dragon is interesting because its members mean to bring dragons to rule the world (while, of course, standing right beside them and reaping some of the benefits of draconic power!), but the cult itself hasnít always agreed on whatís what. In the case of the Cult of the Dragon, thereís an inner circle and a cult leadership, and sometimes the people at the top are killed off by adventuring parties or by disappointed dragons. When that happens, the cult might take on a new direction. The phrase ďunder new managementĒ possibly leaps to mind.
This new cult is less about creating dracoliches and more about seizing power in the Realms with living dragons. In addition, the new Cult of the Dragon has a decidedly more religious bent to it: the people at the top of the cult hierarchy are devoted fans of Tiamat, the Queen of Dragons, currently imprisoned in the top layer of the Nine Hells in the D&D cosmology. It seems that some of Tiamatís worshipers think that releasing her from imprisonment and bringing her bodily into the Realms would increase the power of dragons overall. Her imprisonment, to the cultís way of thinking, is the reason why the cult has never really prospered. Fix that, and the natural order (with the draconic species on top) would reassert itself.
Thatís a heck of an ambitious planóas you would expect from villains of this pedigree. Itís not at all clear that itís a good plan (okay, if you arenít a crazy-evil cultist, it probably sounds like a terrible, terrible plan), but itís the plan they have. The details of how they intend to make it happen will be revealed in Hoard of the Dragon Queen and the follow-up adventure The Rise of Tiamat, but the point to notice here is that this is some fairly recent new ideology. The people at the top certainly believe in the new plan (or at least, they pretend to for fear of being ousted). But the Cult of the Dragon also has some old-guard types who have been at this cult business for a long time, and itís possible that some are rather conservative and devoted to the old way of doing things. Might the adventurers find some common ground with old-line dracolich cultists? Maybe, though then again, itís hard to choose your friends among two different flavors of evil and crazy.
The other thing thatís worth noting, though, is that the new Cult of the Dragon is a lot less about lurking in the shadows and a lot more about being comfortable with laying waste to the entire Sword Coast to get what it wants. Thatís certainly not going to be a secret to the players: Hoard of the Dragon Queen players can figure that out pretty much from the word ďgoĒ at 1st level. Whether they survive this new, more aggressive cult is another matter, but then theyíre heroes. You gotta root for the good guys.
Wolfgang Baur is one of the designers of the Hoard of the Dragon Queen adventure for the new edition of Dungeons & Dragons. This adventure is available in an exclusive autographed collectorís edition (http://www.koboldquarterly.com/kqstore/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=5&products_ id=236&zenid=8cb716ea4887c45b32eea440b8d0361a) with a Queen of Dragons unit patch available only through Kobold Press.

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