Five Heads from Hell
The Story So Far…
For over 600 years, the evil Cult of the Dragon has devoted itself to creating undead dragons in a vain attempt to fulfill an ancient prophecy. However, the cultists were misguided. They misunderstood. But now, under new leadership, the cult believes that the prophecy does not speak of undead dragons, but of a dragon empire that’s been extinct since the age before the first sundering. Tiamat, Queen of Evil Dragons, has languished in the Nine Hells for millennia. The cult believes that the time of her return is at hand.
The cult has a new face and a new mission. It seeks to free Tiamat from the Nine Hells and bring her into the Forgotten Realms. To accomplish its goal, the cult needs five ancient dragon masks and the support of evil dragons everywhere. The cult leaders—each one a “dragon whisperer”—have reached out to the evil dragons of the Sword Coast and earned their allegiance.
Meanwhile, evil dragons in partnership with the cult seek to amass a treasure hoard worthy of their dark queen, not by plundering their own hoards (of course) but by stealing money from cities, caravans, good-aligned dragons, merchant ships, and other sources. Their ravenous hunt for treasure throws the Sword Coast into upheaval. Neverwinter, Waterdeep, Baldurs Gate—no city is safe from their depredations.
The situation is dire. However, the Sword Coast is far from defenseless. Powerful factions are ready to rise up and put an end to the tyranny of dragons. Adventurers throughout the Realms must join forces to face Tiamat, destroy the Cult of the Dragon, and prevent the rise of a new dragon empire. The Harpers have since shared their intelligence with the remaining factions. To combat the Cult of the Dragon, Lord Dagult Neverember of Neverwinter proposes that adventurers representing each of the five factions be sent north to investigate—and to report back with haste.
In their hands, the future lies.
Who will you align with?
Which side are you on? Five factions stand firm against the tyranny of dragons, but each calls to the heart of a different kind of hero. Will you join with the free-spirited Harpers, the tightly knit but amoral Zhentarim, or another of the groups?
An old organization that has risen, been shattered, and risen again several times. Its longevity and resilience are largely due to its decentralized, grassroots, secretive nature, and the near-autonomy of many of its members.
Many paladins and clerics of Tyr, Helm, Torm, and Hoar have joined this new organization, seeing it as—finally—a way of making common cause against the evils abroad in the world.
A far-ranging group that opposes threats to the natural world and helps others survive the many perils of the wild. Members of the Emerald Enclave are spread far and wide, and usually operate in isolation.
A coalition of rulers from cities across Faerûn, who collectively agree that some solidarity is needed to keep evil at bay. The rulers of Waterdeep, Silverymoon, Neverwinter, and other free cities in the region dominate the Alliance.
The Zhentarim seeks to become omnipresent and inescapable, more wealthy and powerful, and most importantly, untouchable. Everyone should fear to cross them.
Other Factions Emerge.
The call to arms begins to spread from The Sword Coast, and other factions have taken note of the activities of the Cult. Members of these equally powerful if less politically active factions have begun to negotiate with the leadership, currently holding counsel at Waterdeep.
The Arcane Brotherhood was once a mercantile company and wizards guild founded soon after the time of troubles over 300 years past. During the spellplague the brotherhood was nearly destroyed, its remaining power bases overtaken by the Order of the Blue Flames. With the return of Mystra, and the restoration of much of the weave 100 years ago, the College Arcane was formed, and from its earliest graduates the Arcane Brotherhood also came into being. The organization is shrouded in mystery, as even its most high-ranking members remain unknown, its power rivals that of the Red Wizards when they were far more interested in wealth and trade.
A ruling body of dragonkind (or those who do not side with the dark queen) that exists only in rumor and conjecture. But every so often one will find a dragon, with a companion rider wearing a crest sages of lore will identify as that of the great Council of Wyrms
As the weave reformed, the newly reborn but still unheralded Mystra returned to the stable and more powerful roots of magics underpinnings. This restoration of an older order rang across the boundaries of Toril and Abeir, The Eladrin and High Elven Scions of the exiled Cormanthor, the City of Song who’s ruins are known as Myth Drannor returned, cleansing the wood of its demonic influence and plague twisted denizens were the mighty Rangers, Artificers, and Druids of the Knights of Mythranor – and their living constructs the Warforged.
The southern peninsulas of lost Maztica faded into the cleansed plaguelands where once the lush jungles of Chult stood. 200 years intermingling with the beast-blooded natural lycanthropes of Abeir’s hollow inner world have left the Maztican people who remain far more formidable than their ancestors. And their natural ability to shift, gaining the features of their beast blooded ancestors has given them a unique edge. The explorers sent into the world from Returned Maztica are known as The Obsidian Order.