The Cults Of The Dragon Below

Since the dawn of civilization—human or otherwise—there have been those who revered the Dragon Below, seeking to placate the forces of darkness through sacrifice and devotion. As some worship the light, these embrace the dark. Their goals are many and varied. Some seek to release the daelkyr or to call up other dark forces from Khyber. Others hope to buy passage to a promised land beneath the surface of Khorvaire through blood sacrifice. Regardless of their beliefs, the Cults of the Dragon Below are often insane and always dangerous.

The Cults of the Dragon Below are strongest in the Shadow Marches. The war against the daelkyr left deep scars on the psyche of the inhabitants of this region. Today, many of the prominent clans are devoted to the shapers of flesh, and secretly work with powerful aberrations. As befi ts the servants of madness, the cults have no ties to one another and often work at cross-purposes; all they have in common are their dreams of a world consumed by darkness and evil.

Beyond the Shadow Marches, the cults follow many paths. Some listen to the mad whispers of the daelkyr, others revere the bound rakshasa rajahs, while a few directly worship the progenitor wyrm Khyber as the source of these lesser evils. Typically, the organization of these cults is far less formal than that of the established sects of the Shadow Marches. Usually a lone evangelist gathers a group of followers with promises of power or pure charisma. Cults may appear among the underclasses or the aristocracy. Most cults operate in secret, and members lead perfectly acceptable lives in the light while feeding their vile devotions once darkness falls.

Aberrations are often attached to cults, since the cultists typically consider them to be beautiful and holy creatures. Some cults raise gibbering mouthers. Dolgrims or chokers may be sent to assist a cult, while a dolgaunt, beholder, or mind flayer may take charge of a particular cult. Such a powerful aberration may be acting on behalf of one of the daelkyr or, in the case of an illithid or beholder, it may have its own agenda. Cultists who serve the daelkyr faithfully may obtain symbionts (see page 298) from the flesh shapers; these living weapons become treasured heirlooms of the cult, and are passed down from priest to priest.

Some Khyber cults seek power and may even have a vaguely rational plan for acquiring it, but most are driven by madness. Regardless of how sane or structured they may seem on the surface, the vast majority of cultists are fundamentally unstable. Virtually all cultists have no regard for life. Most consider themselves to be the chosen children of the Dragon Below, and the lives of the creatures around them are no more meaningful than those of insects.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License