Rise of Tiamat
Cult of the Dragon
The Cult of the Dragon has existed for centuries. During most of that time, its members have focused on the creation and worship of dracoliches, based on a prophecy translated by the cult’s founder, Sammaster. However, those goals changed with the rise of a young cultist named Severin.
Inspired by Tiamat, Severin reexamined the texts translated by Sammaster and discovered a different interpretation, believing that “naught w ill be left
save shattered thrones, with no rulers but the dead. Dragons shall rule the world entire …” Severin’s quest to reshape the cult led him to the dragon Hoondarrh, “the Red Rage of Mintarn.” The fact that Severin not only survived this encounter but befriended the dragon impressed Tiamat in her exile in the Nine Hells. As a reward and further test, she allowed Severin a scrap of knowledge regarding the existence of the five dragon masks. Severin took that bit of information and did what few others could have accomplished, searching for and finding all five masks. The task took years to complete, and it led directly to the crisis that Faerun now faces.
Severin kept the red mask for himself. As other masks were found, he presented them to his closest allies in the Cult of the Dragon, granting each the power of a wyrmspeaker. Using the magic of the dragon masks, this Inner Circle of Wyrmspeakers helps Severin prepare the way for Tiamat’s return.
The plots of the Cult of the Dragon are secret, but its existence is not. Most folk of the Sword Coast have heard of the cult, but know only that its members revere evil dragons. The cult recruits new members in major cities, and word quickly gets around. Moreover, many cultists engage in legitimate business or are assigned to ordinary academic research.
Dragon-themed symbolism and iconography pervade the cult’s official regalia—black clothing that features a cape or cloak cut to resemble dragon wings, and festooned with jewelry and draconic imagery reflecting the wearer’s favorite type of dragon. Masks are common at cult gatherings.
Cult members venerate dragons as powerful icons and masters, but their worship is reserved for Tiamat. They look forward to the Dragon Queen’s return, believing that she will destroy mortal civilization and usher in a glorious reign of dragons—and of those who helped bring about draconic rule. The complex plot dedicated to bring Tiamat to Faerun has so far seen the cult recover the five dragon masks and collect an immense treasure worthy of the Dragon Queen. All that now remains is to raise her temple in the Well of Dragons, sacrifice hundreds of victims whose souls will power an ancient ritual, and then use that ritual to open a portal through which Tiamat will emerge from the Nine Hells.
The cult has a simple hierarchical structure, consisting of initiates on the bottom, four ranks for cultists, and one highest rank for “Wearers of Purple”—the lords, leaders, and cult masters of particular locales. The cult is ruled by a secretive inner group led by Severin and four other wyrmspeakers—a term of respect given to those whose bond with dragons is supernaturally strong.
Wearers of Purple
The Wearers of Purple stand at the top of the cult’s humanoid hierarchy, and their word is law for the cultists in the cities, strongholds, and lairs they command. They are the only members of the cult to wear purple, and most are proud enough to flaunt the color. The Wearers of Purple have an affinity for talking to and negotiating with dragons—the gift of wyrmspeaking. Dozens of Wearers of Purple are spread throughout the Cult of the Dragon, and all are able to marshal the cult’s resources.
These four Wearers of Purple are the keepers of the dragon masks and Severin’s most devoted servants in the effort to summon Tiamat. Each of these wyrmspeakers bears one of the dragon masks. The members of the inner circle each have an affinity for a particular color of chromatic dragon. They treat with dragons of those colors to recruit more dragons to the cause, and plan cult missions that advance Severin’s plots.