Dregoth What if

So in my off time/spare moments I’ve been thinking of ways to tweak the official setting to make it . . . I don’t know, more interesting to me.

One thing I hit on was Dregoth and Mon Adderath.

So Hamanu killed Dregoth. In the original setting, Dregoth rose as a kaisharga. Here, he didn’t. He’s dead. He’s gone. When Hamanu kills something, it stays dead.

Enter Mon Adderath (hereafter MA).

So MA knew Dregoth had this contingency in place to rise as a kaisharga just in case. Only it didn’t work.

MA and Dregoth were friends for, like, EVER. Let’s push it a little farther, and MA was in love with dregoth. His best friend and love of his life (who literally made him immortal) is dead and gone. What does he do?

He pretends.

He animates Dregoth’s corpse and perpetuates the illusion that Dregoth has risen. This is preserved by the fact that when Dregoth died, his living vortex moved on and bonded to MA (there is precedence for this in the material as written). He can now empower Dregoth’s templars, and attribute this to Dregoth himself (with him acting as dregoth’s high templar).

Everything that Dregoth has done per canon, MA did. Per canon, Dregoth has mastered some life shaping skills. He made the dray. Here, MA did that, trying to preserve dregoth’s legacy and expand his image. The process doesn’t work on himself, just as in canon, but he literally creates a race of people in his lover’s image.

He travels the planes, amassing power, using the planar mirror. Dregoth was doing it trying to figure out how to become a god. MA is doing it, trying to figure out how to bring Dregoth back for realzies.

This puts a spin on the Dregoth Ascending adventure. Just switch it around a little, and the Godhood spell is really one to truly resurrect Dregoth. Of course in the adventure as written, MA helps the players because he realizes Dregoth’s plan is insane. Here, MA is the insane one taking huge risks with the fundamental forces of reality, while Absalom is the sympathetic one helping the players. Let’s say the spell succeeds and Dregoth is truly brought back to life. Will it really be him? Or did MA just resurrect a nearly fully-powered dragon ready to go on a similar rampage to Borys? Let’s say it is him, complete. MA is not the same person he was 2,000 years ago. What will Dregoth think of him? Will Dregoth reborn be the same as Dregoth-on-a-pedastal that MA has been cherishing in his heart and mind for two millennia?

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Really? I’ve read everything written about the 2E era Dark Sun and see no precedence. Source?

For living vortices continuing to exist beyond their host, we have one of them as a component in Dregoth’s godhood spell. For a living vortex moving on after a host’s death and bonding to another being, we have one of them bonding to Kulrath the Vizier in the dead lands and empowering his templars (leader or one of the factions there, although this is admittedly from the original 2e unfinished manuscript).


About this dead lands unfinished manuscript, any hope that athas.org will release something about?
Even some “fluff-only” material withour rules?


I do not have an ETA, but the final maps are being worked on for Secrets of the Dead Lands. As soon as those are finished it will be released. However, the adventure, The Emissary, is far from done.


I take it there’s not a lot of interest in reimagining Mon Adderath.

It gives Mon Adderath, who up until now has always been a bit of a cipher, a personality and motivations. That’s no bad thing. On the other hand it takes away everything that made Dregoth unique among the SKs, demeaning the 3rd Champion. Dregoth as per canon is (I think) an interesting villain. He’s not just sat in his city for 2000 years like his compatriots. He’s died, been reborn, created his own race to further the original goals of the Champions, gone completely megalomaniacal and decided he wants to be an actual god. Borys, Hamanu, Nibenay and even Oronis are barely more than cardboard cut outs compared to that. So on the whole, I don’t like the idea. I would like to know what side schemes Mon Adderath hatched while his friend and liege was off gallivanting across the planes. I can easily imagine a pretty big underhand and undeclared power struggle between him and Absalom developing over the centuries for starters.

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The idea of living vortices being able to exist beyond their host and bond to a new living being is an extremely interesting idea in its own right. That could mean the Sorcerer Kings we know and loathe might not be the original ones who sealed Rajaat and empowered Borys. That could open the floodgates to a long and interesting history of various SKs rising and falling with them taking pains to hide the fact there were previous SKs centuries ago that were killed as that makes the possibility of revolution far more tangible. I personally depicted Kalak as the youngest of the SKs and least far on the path to dragonhood when he went for his crazy scheme and had my PCs be the ones to stop him.

But that’s veering a bit far from your topic so back to the main point…
I actually like Dregoth way too much to simply get rid of the lovable big guy, but the idea of transferable living vortices puts Abasalom and Mon Adderath as viable heirs. That being said I also really enjoyed the fact they stressed that Mon Adderath and Dregoth were genuine friends who always looked out for each other and agreed on how the world should be. I feel we don’t get that enough from villains, especially SKs, when it is a very humanizing quality. And like it or not the SKs are still more human than monster. It adds a dynamic we simply don’t get to see with other SKs unless we start developing the other SKs ourselves. If Dregoth is dead you don’t really get to see the degree of trust those two put into each other, something that should surprise the crap out of your players if they expect all SKs are paranoid nuts who don’t trust or value anyone. When that happens suddenly the players remember that the SKs are still people with their own hopes, fears, and dreams.


Call me a hater, but I hate the idea of transferable vortices outside of unique happenings like artifacts.

Well we know they hang around for a bit after death - hence why Dregoth can still grant spells even after dying and being reborn as a Kaisharga. Also hence why Dregoth could capture Tectuktitlay’s vortex after his death. I’d assume there’s a reason in lore why this Vizier ended up with a vortex attaching itself to him (blood relative of one of the Champions perhaps?). Even if it’s a shaky reason there aren’t that many vortices about - Sielba, Kalak and Borys are the only 3 vortices we know got let loose after their SKs died so there’s a limit to the number of them that can turn up in canon. I’d say the jury is out on whether Kalid-Ma’s vortex is a going concern (I’d say yes, given his consciousness is still around, even if its split between 5 obsidian orbs).
Edit: I forgot Abalach-Re’s vortex is unaccounted for bringing the total to 4. Doh!


Kulrath’s used to be Abalach-Re’s.

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Do they give a reason why Uyness’ vortex becomes bound to the Vizier?

Abalach-Re had quite a lot of son. If this Kulrath was one of them the blood bond may be responsable of the Vortex bonding (from what I’ve understood, Kulrath’s bond with the Vortex was casual, NOT intentional).

Or maybe, Ablach-re did a sort of “contingent magic jar” with Kulrath (always assuming a sort of bond). By now Abalach’s spirit is “quiescent” inside Kulrath. But slowly she’ll replace the whole Kulrath conscience and personality with her own.

That’s a fantastic news :grin:

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Super news, really looking forward to that.
Any help needed?

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Let’s go peoples, we are ready for an athas.org update please?


There are some continuity errors in the tale of Dregoth. Kaisharga don’t have phylacteries, Dregoth does.

Since when does Dregoth have a phylactery? I know he has that golden dragon skull, but that’s just a wonky totem used as part of his mistaken quest for godhood.

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Maybe you are right. That golden dragon skull is what I was thinking is his phylactery.

Dregoth doesn’t have any Kaisharga powers, btw.

Looking at the original 2e source, Dregoth DOES have kaisharga powers. The fact that he is a kaisharga is in fact his defining plot point as well, considering that in 2e becoming a kaisharga permanently locks all advancement, making him perpetually stuck as a 29th level dragon, unable to ever advance. Which dovetails into the original Dregoth Ascending adventure in that one of the possible outcomes of the adventure and his spell succeeding was finding himself 30th level:

“Another twist on this possible ending is that the godhood spell allows the Dread Lord to do the one thing that eludes him in undeath— achieve 30th–level. This would increase his various powers, size, and other abilities as described in Defilers & Preservers, making him the greatest villian on the face of Athas.”


Right - I was referring to his stats in Dregoth Ascending. Mea culpa.

I may write up what I think happened to Dregoth and how he became undead. I don’t think it makes sense that his followers could have turned him into a kaisharga after he died (they were bereft of templar powers), nor would he have arose spontaneously as a kaisharga (wrong type of undead for that).