Cult of the Dragon
Cult of the Dragon
“And naught will be left save shattered thrones, with no rulers. But the dead dragons shall rule the world entire…”
— Maglas, Chronicle of Years to Come, as translated by Sammaster
Sammaster was one of the most powerful wizards Faerûn has ever known, and one of Mystra’s Chosen. He became deeply interested in necromancy and eventually came to the conclusion that undead dragons would inevitably rule all of Toril one day. He founded the Cult of the Dragon, an apocalyptic cult devoted to this idea, and convinced that it was best to hasten this inevitable end, and so gain its favor. In the Year of the Queen’s Tears (-130 NR, 902 DR), Sammaster transformed a red dragon named Shargrailar the Dark into the first dracolich. He copied the ritual into the Tome of Dragons, which he published three years later. Sammaster was eventually killed (and rose again as a lich, and was once again defeated), but as the Cult repeats as a mantra, “the cause never dies.” The Cult, or ""the Unfailing Way of We Who Serve the Wyrms Undying," has proven far more flexible than many religious cults, secret societies, and power groups of Faerûn. The secret of how to transform a dragon into a dracolich remains almost exclusively theirs.
The Cult is spread across Faerûn. They court dragons of all kinds, but especially evil, chromatic dragons, into undergoing the transformation into a dracolich. It’s dangerous work. Some dragons welcome their worshipful attention, while others see them as interlopers and charlatans, and destroy them on sight.
The ritual to transform a dragon into a dracolich are rare and expensive. This has meant that the Cult is often involved in criminal activities to provide the funding that they need. Besides their cult activities, this need creates another, often more pragmatic side to their organization. A number of criminals work with an in the Cult. They don’t share its apocalyptic beliefs, and may even consider them silly, but in many ways the Cult operates like any other organized criminal enterprise, offering profit and security that can be hard to come by.