There's plenty of information around about The Cult of the Dragon in the D&D Forgotten Realms campaign setting. As the Realms Wiki summarises:

The Cult of the Dragon venerated dragons, evil dragons in particular, and specifically dead evil dragons.

However, I can't find any sources to help me understand how the dragons might feel about this. Cultists come to them and offer them servitude and treasure in exchange for the dragon's favour, which is fine. But most dragons are not stupid, and you'd imagine they'd be well aware of the cultist's aims which is to turn them into Dracoliches.

Certainly, in older editions of D&D, the process of becoming a Dracolich involved ritual suicide, which isn't something you'd have thought dragons would be particularly keen on.

So in general terms, how do dragons feel about encounters with the cult? Is it possible they might be hostile toward the cults' entreaties? Or do these relationships tend more to develop into games of manipulation and counter-manipulation?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you searching for details from manuals, official ruling or some extracts from novels? \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddymage
    Commented Feb 1, 2021 at 11:23
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Eddymage I'll take anything from an officially licensed source, including any of the options you mentioned. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bob Tway
    Commented Feb 1, 2021 at 11:58

2 Answers 2


The Tyranny of Dragons storyline (Hoard of the Dragon Queen & Rise of Tiamat adventure modules) reveal some individual motives.

These adventures follow the actions of the Cult of the Dragon after it has been reformed under new leadership. Essentially the new leader, Severin, claimed the founder (sammaster) had mistranslated the prophecies, and the future would be ruled by living dragons, not dracoliches. The cult is now focused on releasing Tiamat from the Nine Hells, to usher in a new world ruled by dragons.

The adventure modules feature a number of dragons and give personal reasons why each dragon is working with the cult. No two are the same, but can be summed up as: Insurance (in case the cult is successful), power, and ideology.

It should be noted that this cult no longer pursues the creation of dracoliches, although there is dissent among some of the older cultists of this new direction (also explored in the adventure).

The previous cult held many of same ideals, only instead believing that dracoliches would rule the world. It would not be a stretch to imagine that these motives would still be valid. Lichdom also holds the same promises for dragons as it does for humanoids: immortality, power, and the continued gathering of wealth.


Try the novel Spellfire

It has been while since I've read it, but in the book there is a dracolich that is part of the cult of the dragon. There is a section where it recalls being changed over from being alive to being undead. As I recall it wasn't impressed with the cult initially but as it started to get really old it decided it didn't want to simply die of old age so it accepted their offer.


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