Timeline question - Dragon's Rampage

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#1

This question is from the Timeline of Athas (TOA). How long was Borys’s rampage? The TOA has these 2 entries:

164th King’s Age
-Desert Vengeance FY -2025
…Borys’s transformation causes him to become temporarily insane, beginning a century of rampages across the land.

165th King’s Age
-Wind’s Defiance FY-1946
Borys emerges from his insanity and learns Rajaat’s prison is on the verge of collapse. Soon after he collects a levy of 1,000 slaves from each sorcerer-king, using their lifeforce to reseal the First Sorcerer’s prison on a yearly basis.

That is only 79 years, not 100.

I could move the second reference to FY -1923 the year of Dragon’s Agitation, which could have some significance because it mentions the dragon. Borys emerges from the insanity and is agitated to learn of Rajaat’s prison being on the berge of collapse.

Or FY -1924 the year of Wind’s Reverence, which could have been mistaken for Wind’s Defiance (FY -1946).

Any other suggestions?


#2

A “century” could be taken as artistic license/exaggeration, with the 79 years being the proper timeframe. That’s how I always took it.


(Andrea Ferrari) #3

I agree. The “79 ages of wrath” sound worse than “the century of wrath”.

I don’t remember well if the Sorcerer Kings killed Dregoth during of after that century. Since Dregoth is not far below Borys, powerwise, I don’t know why the Sorcerer Kings didn’t even try to stop the rampaging Dragon.


#4

The great tragedy of their assassination of Dregoth is this: through whatever means (I always assumed an iron will and sheer badassery), Dregoth never succumbed to a dragon rampage, and was poised to become a fully transformed dragon. He would have been positioned to not only stop/contain Borys before the latter utterly devastated the world, but likely have been able to do something better about the Rajaat situation. Instead, A-R leads the assault, he dies and winds up in hiding, and Borys turns the Tablelands into the wasteland it is “today.”

It’s explicitly stated in the material that A-R gets the other SMs onboard with the assassination because Dregoth is openly flaunting his transformation, is clearly far advanced in it, and that while in the midst of Borys’ rampage they could ill afford a second rampaging dragon.


(Stuart Lynch) #5

Agreed Nagga. It makes sense when you realise at this point you have 11 I stage Dragons, 1 IX stage Dragon and 1 X stage Dragon on Athas. The other 12 traitors to Rajaat turn Borys into a full Dragon and he immediately goes batshit crazy. At this point they had no idea the animalistic rage was a symptom of the last 5 stages of the transformation and likely assumed that it was the final transformation that sends you over the edge. It’s only later that they work out the details. Mind you, it’s debatable that having Dregoth lay the smackdown on Borys would have ended with Borys’ subdual. Even if it did, Borys is at least sane when he’s not raging (as sane as your average genocidal megalomaniac anyway), whereas Dregoth takes megalomania to new heights. An alternate history where Dregoth completes stage X and beats Borys might be a slightly more verdant world, but a much more nightmarish one.


#6

Agreed, lets not forget Dregoth wanted to finish what Rajaat started, but instead of halflings ruling the world he’d turn all humans into dray who would rule the world. This means we’d see the cleansing wars resume and a possible civil war between the sorcerer kings who would go with this idea vs everyone else. Odds are good that conflict would see the Tyr region more damaged than Borys’ rampage on top of the fact that if Dregoth does win we have to hope he can keep Rajaat contained using a thoroughly depopulated continent.


#7

Actually, to be clear, Dregoth wanted to give the world to humans. He didn’t develop the Dray until well into his hidden exile.

To be honest, if it weren’t for Borys going kookoo coco puffs at the time of the rebellion and Rajaat’s imprisonment, I think it’s incredibly likely that the champions would have continued the wars and wiping out everyone but humans. But with dealing with Borys, they had to fortify themselves in their cities, making it difficult to continue their cleansing. Over time, faced with the absolute destruction Borys was waging, they probably refocused on more immediate issues. After the dust settled and Borys became sane again, when faced with the reality that Rajaat’s prison would require life-force sacrifices for basically eternity, why not keep those subhumans around for that?

Another thing to consider is that the champions likely have different motivations for joining up. Hamanu, for instance, doesn’t give a flip about anything other than trolls. And he killed them all. After that, he was done, and didn’t care one way or another. Of the remaining surviving champions, only Andropinis, Dregoth, and Borys hadn’t finished their races. Dregoth surely WOULD have continued his wars if he hadn’t been assassinated, but Andropinis and Borys likely stopped caring about wiping out the elves and dwarves because of the change of status quo and their potential uses as prison-fuel. I imagine for a very long time, though, that there weren’t hardly any (if any at all) elves in Balic. As it stands, Elves and Dwarves probably don’t have a very warm welcome in Balic and Ur Draxa.


#8

What I meant to lead with was that if Borys hadn’t gone crazy, the cleansing wars likely would have not stopped in the first place. If Dregoth had finished his transformation and been able to stop Borys, he likely would have finished off the giants and then pressured the remaining champs to finish off the non-humans. Once he developed his dray transformation, he probably would have pressured everyone else join sign up, with varying degrees of success, before ultimately probably developing a new plague or using the pristine tower to FORCE everyone to undergo the process.


(Andrea Ferrari) #9

Since Dregoth was able to resist the animalistic rampage and be able to achieve IX stage in so few time, I believe too in the headcanon that he was the one who developed the Defiler Metamorphosis spells (and from that illustration in City by the Silt Sea, it seems that he already was about a stage IV or V Dragon when he defeated Taraskir).

I think that Dregoth as the biggest bad of the Tyr Region would be even worse than Borys. The Dragon just want to mantain the status quo (keep Rajaat imprisoned, have his fellow Champion as rulers of the City States, etc). Dregoth has somewhat noble reason (restore Athas to a better age), but he’s willing to do anything to achieve that.


(Stuart Lynch) #10

Dregoth is a problem as far as canon goes regarding the Champions. CbtSS says he was already immortal before Rajaat made him a Champion; there’s that illustration of a mid-stage Dragon killing Taraskiir, and despite supposedly being transformed into a Dragon at the same tine as the rest of the traitor Champions somehow manages to advance 8 stages further than them within the first century of doing so and seems to have no animalistic rage issues at all.
So he breaks canon and seriously stretches the limits of plausibility.
If we (bear with me on this) take RaFoaDK as canon, Rajaat turned Hamanu into a Dragon as part of his elevation to Champion status. Rajaat wasn’t known for doing things on the fly so if thats the case he likely already had a proto-Dragon or two. Could he have taught Dregoth the Dragon Metamorphosis process at some point in the Cleansing Wars (“Dregoth, those giants are pretty pesky, here’s how you bump up your power levels so you’re better able to defeat them, but don’t tell the others, they’ll be jealous!”)? If Dregoth got his spells from the First Sorcerer rather than researching them himself it might account for his advanced stage of transformation and why he doesn’t rage like he should (and that raises the question will Hamanu rage if he gets to the appropriate stage - disregarding the ending of RaFoaDK).


#11

I agree with—what I believe is—the generally agreed theory that DREGOTH is the one who pioneered the dragon metamorphosis, and not Rajaat. When the cleansing wars started, he was already immortal and at war with the giants, and the CbtSS art shows that he was already well on his dragon metamorphosis during his conquest of the city and defeat of Taraskir. It kinda fits in with the overall idea that Dregoth knows / knew / had mastered some life shaping techniques.

The fact that he never succumbed to any rages, I’ve always just marked that up to the fact that he has a sheer and unstoppable force of will.

That being said, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that the CbtSS art from the palace of giustenal could be something that Dregoth had made AFTER the fact, depicting him as a photo-dragon, regardless of what he actually was at the time, just to play to his hubris and vanity.


#12

I feel a key tool in Dregoth’s arsenal is being ignored here. We know Dregoth has a magic artifact gate that allows him to leave Athas for the outer planes and material plane worlds. In fact it has been outright stated in CbtSS that Dregoth explored other worlds to learn about the gods. I always assumed it was from this exploration that he was able to piece together the defiler metamorphosis so quickly as well, god knows it’d also make finding the resources for the rituals far easier without alerting the wrong people.

As for Dregoth’s rampage everyone seems to assume it is something that is overcome if you’re just manly and awesome enough, but that’s a lot of will saves Dregoth is making and eventually you’ll roll a 1. Or in a less meta game way of putting it, it will continue to tax the defiler until eventually he breaks. The way I’ve depicted the SKs is they are all seeking their own method of bypassing the rampage phase to some degree. For some this means figuring out an extremely powerful ritual or finding some special artifact. For others it means figuring out a way to keep your kingdom running while you wander off to the southern wastes for a couple months killing nomads and kanks.

Dregoth could very easily have entered the rampage phase without anyone knowing since the guy had been basically playing epic level planescape for decades. And I’ll admit the image of a rampaging sorcerer king putting the fear of god into a blood war skirmish makes me smile. But it is also just as possible Dregoth invented or discovered a method of not just speeding up his transformation in the planes but also minimizing the side effects. The gate Dregoth has is a Pandora’s box for what this guy could know or possess.

Note: As a matter of fact I actually had Dregoth cameo in my Forgotten Realms campaign while he was seeking to learn about the gods with the PCs doing a few quests for him. He later rewarded them by revealing his draconic nature and helping obliterate an invading army of the BBEG while defiling the ever loving sh*t out of the Greypeak Mountains, making them more akin to Mordor before leaving Toril and thanking the PCs. The fact this same group of PCs also plays Dark Sun with me made it extra entertaining.


(Stuart Lynch) #13

I haven’t got my CbtSS to hand, but I thought Dregoth didn’t discover the Planar Gate until after he had died, risen as a Kaisharga and led the survivors down to the cavern that became New Giustenal?


#14

You’re mostly correct, my bad I didn’t have the book on me at the time either. Dregoth found the mirror after the cleansing wars and almost immediately knew what it was but wasn’t able to return for the gate and relocate it until after his death according to page 73 of SbtSS.

The thing that had me confused was on the Planar Gate card they explain he obtained it after slaughtering the fleeing inhabitants of Giustenal’s caverns during the tail end of the Cleansing Wars. Then after Dregoth rose as a kaisharga he relocated it to his new realm underground.

Still that has me under the impression he might have been able to make use of it in life since it was in his possession for at least a few decades. After all it was basically hidden underground where he found it still, allowing him to use the gate without risking anyone realizing he has a super artifact. Perhaps he relocated it as a kaisharga since he now lacked Giustenal above as a deterrent for the caverns and wanted to make sure no one would stumble upon it. But given how extensively Dregoth has been using the Planar Gate as a kaisharga it’s hard to say how long he’s been using it.


(Andrea Ferrari) #15

Really cool idea to include “Dregoth’s cameo” in other settings. Since the Planar Gate shuts down forever if it’s responsable for evil deeds, and Dregoth’s travel in the planes are for knowledge about godhood, he can be used in a “subtle” way.

About Dregoth’s immortality… there’re already high level spells that prolong the life (like Vampiric Youthfulness), and by using the athas.org Metamorphosis spell rules, an epic caster can easilly create an “immortality” epic spell to become ageless.


#16

It could be rounding. But I do not think that 79 years is close enough to be a century.

As for artistic license, he could have written, “eight decades of rampages” or even “almost a century of rampages.”

Funny you should mention Dregoth, there is a question of rounding related to his death as well that I will get to.