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#tyranny of dragons

So for Christmas Karu got the Tyranny of Dragons book, and what we didn’t realize was there was concept art at the back of the book. Including details on the clothing the Cult of the Dragon wear and all those fun little bits. How the style & color shows ranking. Then it got me wanting to draw how Aurixel looked before the start of the campaign.

You know, before he got branded by Bahamut and realized that *MAYBE* the Cult isn’t good and is instead possibly fucked up. Then ran away leaving everything behind and is kinda in the middle of a mental breakdown, questioning everything about who & what he is. Fun times.

It was weird drawing him so… put together and confident? Like his tidy hair, clothing that indicates strength and authority, the closest I’ve ever drawn to him *smiling*! It’s weird, but fun to see the contrast to the wreak he currently is in game.

Hopefully he can at least build back up the confidence and strength, without being part of an evil cult. This hair though? Yeah it can stay in the past. 

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Not a big pic this time, but hey this also gives me the chance to mention another new campaign I’m a part of. Karu recently started a Tyranny of Dragons game, and it was the PERFECT story to properly play Aurixel.

A fire genasi who at a young age was recruited into the Cult of the Dragon thanks to a strong talent for magic. Only recently he ran away, after being left with an unhealing wound from touching a blessed item of Bahamut. Turns out, you question what you’re doing with your life after a god of good basically curses you.

So far I’ve been enjoying the heck outta this game, and it’s interesting playing a character that is *technically* evil. Though also really fucking unsure of himself right now.

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Prayer of the Devout

The fractured tower made an effective chimney for the pyre the party built for the rotting zombies. Dragging one to a broken chair, Hirkas sat the dismembered body upright.

“There you go, don’t want you getting cold now.”

He gave the corpse a friendly pat on the cheek before stacking kindling on its lap and laying its clawed hands across the thick bundle of tinder to hold it in place. Its clothes began to smoulder as the chair was tipped back against the pyre. The flames were visible through it’s empty socket from where Hirkas had crack open its skull with his warhammer. The zombie stared at him with a rictus grin. “It’s good to see a smile on your face.” Hirkas nodded.

“That’s in bad taste” muttered his god from the shadowed wall.

“And who asked you?”

“You want some of this?” Tzeetch asked, tapping the dwarf of the shoulder with an ornate bottle.

“What is it?” Hirkas gave it an experimental sniff. Aniseed?

“It’s… probably not poison.”

“Blessed is Marthammor Duin that provides to the weary traveller.” Hirkas cleaned the mouth of the bottle with his sooty hand and raised the bottle in salute to the scowling deity, before taking a deep draft of the sticky liquid.

Beside the campfire Elidor sat cross legged. His spell book in his open palm while the index finger of his other hand traced the irregular lines of script. His elven eyes, glowing white and unseeing, arced prismatic fragments of octorine light. So constant was the elf to his devotions to arcane study that he absently forgot how gravity worked and drifted listlessly above the grass, his robes trailing.

Kost glowered at the wizard with ill concealed envy. A wooden tent peg, pulled from the ground and still tasting of soil, gagged his mouth and had been bound in place. Hamun’s arms were bound to his sides and ropes lashed him to a tree trunk that had been hauled from wood, and weighing more than him now anchored the necromancer in place. Even now he could feel all but his cantrips fleeing his mind. Soon he’d be no better than some indolent hedge wizard. He turned his gaze to the halfling; drawing a fine cloth across the razors edge of her short sword, she busied herself about maintaining the tools of her deadly craft.

How did these things defeat me? Some trick… And then that pious creature. Thought Hamun glumly as he looked over to the distant figure across the glade.

Cuprum knelt before his shield, before the profile of Bahamut’s great white head against a background of azure enamel. Grasping his great axe, the dragonborn began to whisper the blessing of his Lord.


“My Lord, Bahamut, guide me to seek Justice and Good above all.

"Let me pledge to You my Honour and Fealty, King of Dragons”

His nose twitched at a waft of bitter smoke.

“Let me Honour and Respect the Righteous Innocence.

"Honour and Duty to the Balancer, to Her Mercy, and to You the Justicemaker.”

Timber cracked under the tongue of the flames.

“Help me Honour and Protect these Lesser People,”

Warmth washed his bowed back.

“May I Honour and Correct the Enemies of Justice and Good.

"And Demonstrate Honour and Forbearance for Myself.”

And Cuprum opened his eyes to a hell. All about him the woodland burned in a maelstrom of red flame. The paladin turned to see a torrent of flame rend the campsite leaving a wreckage of skulls and bones.

The broken wizard’s tower groaned and rumbled. And in the flame lit chaos, Cuprum saw the writhing form claw it’s way around the stonework. And watched the five great horned and scaled heads turn to stare at him. He set his feet to a steadfast stance, grasped his axe in both claws, and with a bellow, roared with all his rage and rebellion at the damnation before him.

In the wake of the roar the little campfire crackled in the silent clearing. And from around it, with confusion and concern Mia, Kost, Hirkas, and Tzeetch stared at Cuprum.

“Would you like a drink?” Hirkas carefully proffered the bottle.

Cuprum barely shook his head.

“Would you like some goat curry? Hamun has been a gracious host.”

The necromancer snapped an angry glare on the dwarf and began cursing him with a litany of vowels.

Cuprum released his grip on the axe and shrugging, padded over to the campfire to receive a bowlful of the thick aromatic stew.

This again. He thought. And again five days before in Neverwinter. And five days before that… She is coming, and she is looking for me.

The glow of Elidor’s eyes cleared and he landed with a light thud. “Did I hear there was goat curry?”

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Dreams of the Dragoborn

A tumult of screams came at a distance.  Cuprum craned his neck, straining his ears, his tongue flicked.  Beneath the smoke of burning buildings the unmistakable flavour of blood lingered, tasting metallic in the air.  His fist tightened about the neck of his great axe, as he weaved through the wreckage of the town, ducking as a two-storey building gave way cascading flaming timbres and rumble into the street.

The screams came again, many voices, high pitched and tortured.

He entered the market square, turning to find his path; stalls and barrows, the livelihood of common merchants having been swept aside by an avalanche, smashed into the pavilion in the centre of the square and encased in a glacier.  He continued his run but saw all the same the broken limbs and out stretched hands beneath the surface of the twisted ice.

Entering the street beyond he paused, his chest tight with his exertions, and he found himself struggling to catch his breath.  The fog was thicker here, shadows cast by the distance flames caused the buildings on either side to flicker and sway.  On the wet cobble stones lay an arm, ragged flesh torn at the shoulder.  Foam accreted itself at the corners of his mouth, his tongue lolled with his laboured efforts.  Can’t breathe.

The screams came again, near too. But he’d been wrong, though they were many voices these were from the throats of no people.  Again, they cried… no, roared.

A new front of cloud drove down the street, green tinged and acrid smelling.  His mouth was thick with saliva.  He hacked a cough and sprayed blood down onto the cobbled street.  Standing, blood seeping down from his nostrils, he stared off down the street, trying to discern details.

Lights out there.  Not lights, the reflection of light; eyes.  Ten eyes, malignant with power and evil intent.

She was looking for him.

She had found him.

He found himself standing, his nest of rich woollen blankets and fine linen sheets discarded around the floor where he had slept.  The echoes of his roar dying in distant parts of the house as a fine rain of dust and plaster flakes fell lazily from the ceiling beams.  Disoriented he looked about him, taking in the moonlit room; wood panelled walls, the human bed stripped of its sheets, the wardrobe, the mantel piece on which his great axe stood.

Grasping the weapon, Cuprum stood it on end and bowing his head knelt before it;

“Lord of the Wind, give me strength,

For I am not strong enough to stand up against the evil around me.

On my own, I will stumble in time, and be crushed under tides of darkness that flood around me.

I need your aid to save me from the shadows of the world,

And from myself,

Because even as I put my sword against the foes of the people,

And even though my shield guards the defenceless from evil’s claws,

In time, I could become exactly what I seek to abolish.

“So, father, give me strength.

Do not do this task for me,

Do not consider me a child demanding a favour,

But, father, give me strength so that I might do your will,

Grace me with the gifts so that I might set about the tasks before me.

Give me aid, but do not take the task from me,

For I am eager to test myself and push on.”

The draconic words rumbled from his lips in a quick, rhythmic rumble.  Five nights had passed since he’d had the dream before, and five nights before then.  He repeated Bahamut’s prayer.  She was out there looking, searching. The old enemy was moving.

Further down the hall Saalje turned in his bed.

“Bally religious fanatics.  Why can’t you talk to your god at a more social time?  Chap’s probably trying to sleep.  How’s a chap supposed to get a decent night’s sleee-zzzzzz*”

Prayer credit:

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The Dance of Friendship
Melchior: “I charge into the clearing.”
DM: “You see your friend, Vladrek, outlined by dark red energy and the Book of Blood in his left hand which has latched onto and begun fusing to his left arm. He stands before an altar overflowing with mortal blood and covered in diabolic symbols.”
Melchior: “I’m gonna yell at him and dance distractingly to try and remind him who he is through the power of friendship.”
Torakas (ooc): That’s not gonna work.
Melchior (ooc): No. But it might give you time to come up with a plan.
Torakas (ooc): Why me?
Melchior (ooc): You’re the sage, aren’t you?
Torakas (ooc): (grumbles incoherently) Fine.
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Vladrek Ravenbane to Immeral Amakiir
Oh, do you believe death by my hand will be mercy? After what you did to her? No. No, I will be peeling off your skin like unraveling a quilt by following  every single thread. You will know agony unlike most have ever experienced and you will know that it is only the beginning of a drawn out, excruciating death. For what you tried to do to her there’s a special place in the hells for you. And by the time I’m done you will be begging to be sent there. Scream after scream.
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Journal Entry 6 - The Sally Port and Cyanwrath

27 Eleasis 1489 DR

Morning; upon the seventh bell

Dear Journal,

Yesterday Gahora and I interrogated the prisoners, especially the dragonclaw that was driven to madness during the events at the temple of Chauntea. After getting all the useful information we could get, Gahora wished to slaughter all of the prisoners. In that moment I looked at the issue logically, that they had chosen their side and that there would be less mouths to feed should this siege continue longer than expected. However, I now feel a deep dread gnawing at me as, though we all swore each other into secrecy as Gahora relished in the deaths of defenseless mercenaries, I am afraid that Quacey will discover this and begin to view me with contempt. I prayed to Eilistraee for forgiveness, but I still feel the emptiness pull at me.

After those events we were attacked by the dragon at the keep. While we were victorious in driving it away, much of our defenses were badly damaged. As such, the cultists and their allies were attacking the sally port as well as other weakened areas.

Many of us split up with Gahora and Grulnnear scaling down the main tower (for whatever reason) while many others of our party went the other way. I myself decided to follow the dwarf and tabaxi as the latter had broken his leg quite badly.

For many hours we struggled to stand against the enemy and in the end, we were successful.

Later in the night, the enemy parted to allow a blue half-dragon through. He introduced himself as Langdedrosa Cyanwrath and then challenged us and claimed he would return their prisoners that were with them if we would send out our champion. The husband of one of the prisoners tried to rush out, but the other guards stopped him. Grulnnear then went out to face the blue half-dragon.

While the dwarf indeed gave quite a good effort, he was nonetheless defeated by the half-dragon. The prisoners were released as promised and Grulnnear was taken in to be healed by the clerics of Greenest.

- Vladrek Ravenbane of Waterdeep

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Journal Entry 4 - The Mill

24 Eleasis 1489 DR

Afternoon; upon the fourth bell

Dear Journal,

We went out on the orders of Governor Nighthill to protect the grain mill as it seems many raiders are preparing to burn it down. I helped disguise Crux, Quacey and a local shifter smith,Fern; so they could walk through enemy lines directly to the mill while Dirt, Grulnnear, Gahora and I snuck along the river to get there in order to flank them.

Unfortunately, Grulnnear decided to throw our strategy to the wind and charged in blind and alone to face the enemy while Crux was in the middle of deceiving the mercenaries. Chaos then ensued and several of our numbers were severely injured during the fight, especially Fern who took several javelins to the chest.

Despite the frustrating events caused by the dwarf’s total lack of caution, we were able to come out of that combat victorious and returned to the keep to heal.

- Vladrek Ravenbane of Waterdeep

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I’ve already outlined like 80% of the overall plot for a 5e Ravnica campaign, but I’ve basically only JUST started Tyranny of Dragons, so it might literally be 4 or 5 years before I can do Ravnica. Even though I’m enjoying ToD, it’s going to kill me waiting that long.

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An au that as soon as it popped in my brain i needed to stop what i was doing and sketch it out as soon as possible

So thats! why its kinda messy. Pretty much its A Tiamat and Bahamut swap kinda?

Because i thought “ wouldnt it be cool if Tiamat was like a metallic dragon instead, and each head was a different metallic Dragon “

Ive been looking for an excuse to draw my tiamat design for a while so.. because of the campaign that heavily featured the two i had to try a Chromatic Bahamut. but with… one head. and here we are now

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