House Orogoth was an organization of black dragons and related creatures, headquartered at Orogoth on the High Moor. The House was originally a powerful arcanist family of Netheril, known for their interest in acquiring draconic powers, and for accidentally creating the ophidian race. Although thought lost to history, House Orogoth returned in 90 DR under the leadership of the great wyrm Calathanorgoth. Under his direction, the House sought to accumulate the secrets of Netherese magic and research ways of attaining immortality.[1][4][5]

Organization[edit | edit source]

House Orogoth was ruled by the dracolich Calathanorgoth, who also fathered many of the House's draconic members.[6]

The House rarely accepted new members, usually only doing so if necessary for an important project. Applicants were required to have some arcane ability, though sorcerers were not tolerated. Humans who could demonstrate Netherese descent were preferred, with humans of other ethnicities tolerated but often treated with disdain. In return for faithful and proficient service to the House, members were given access to its huge library of magical lore.[2]

Activities[edit | edit source]

Magical research was a priority for House Orogoth, particularly on the subjects of Netherese magic and immortality. Several of its members sought to improve the process of creating dracoliches.[5]

House Orogoth had a vested interest in maintaining their control over the area surrounding Orogoth. To this end, they spent considerable time and resources controlling neighboring tribes of ophidians and savage humans. During periods of intense magical research, the House turned inward, lessening the degree of control somewhat.[5]

Orogoth was well-known along the Sword Coast—especially in Amn—as a lucrative adventuring spot, with tales circulating about heaps of gems for the taking.[7] As such, the House was frequently targeted for plunder by the Cult of the Dragon, yuan-ti from nearby Najara,[6] and by adventurers in general. These efforts were summarily quashed, with offenders routinely killed or transformed into beast shape.[1]

Base of Operations[edit | edit source]

The House was based out of Orogoth, a huge villa complex in the eastern part of the High Moor that was largely destroyed after internal strife. Following House Orogoth's restoration, its members took up residence in the villa ruins. Orogoth was connected to the Serpent Tunnels, a network of serpentfolk-built tunnels that ran under the Serpent Hills.[1]

Possessions[edit | edit source]

At Orogoth, the House maintained one of Faerûn's largest libraries of magical lore.[2]

Relationships[edit | edit source]

House Orogoth had a strained relationship with many of its neighboring realms, owing to the arrogance of Calathanorgoth. Near the late 14th century DR, House wizards sought to reverse this trend by offering its neighbors support against the yuan-ti of Najara. In return, the House was given access to nearby Netherese ruins.[5]

The House was once on good terms with the wizards of Halruaa, with many Halruaan families sending their young to Orogoth to receive training. This relationship soured over time, but showed signs of bettering as of the mid-1370s DR.[8]

Of the many ophidian tribes controlled by House Orogoth, the Tribe of the Old One was the largest. Venerating Calathanorgoth as a god, the tribe was the subject of much experimentation, resulting in the creation of half-dragon ophidians. House Orogoth generally viewed the Tribe as expendable troops.[6]

There was constant strife between House Orogoth and the serpentfolk of Najara, but neither side had the strength to risk a major attack on the other.[6] The yuan-ti often attempted to infiltrate the House with tainted one saboteurs. In response, Calathanorgoth created the taint removal potion, which he required all human House applicants to drink.[5]

The Cult of the Dragon coveted House Orogoth's might, but Calathanorgoth, aware of the Cult's duplicitous ways, was not interested in any association.[6] As of the late 14th century DR, House Orogoth was embroiled in a conflict with the Cult over a network of portals connected to the Dungeon of Swords.[5]

The Shadovar of Thultanthar sought to establish relations with House Orogoth. Despite emissaries being exchanged between the two sides, there was little development beyond gauging each other's strengths and weaknesses.[5]

History[edit | edit source]

The noble[9] Netherese Orogoth family sought to acquire draconic powers for themselves, and were especially interested in gaining the ability to assume dragon form. In −2482 DR, the family established a sprawling villa complex in the High Moor, naming it Orogoth. Legend holds that these early Orogoths succeeded in their quest, transforming themselves into dragons and leaving the villa behind for their descendants. Later, less sympathetic generations of Orogoths turned their interest to magically compelling dragons—by some accounts, possibly their own draconic ancestors—forcing them to plunder the hoards of other dragons across Faerûn, to enrich and amuse the Orogoths.[1][7]

Around −2300 DR, the family's draconic research led them to create the Serpent Curse by accident. This malady spread among the House's human servants, turning them into ophidians. The Orogoths drove these creatures into the nearby hills, but were unable to stop the curse from spreading. Ultimately, they exiled their entire servant staff, replacing them with constructs and undead.[10]

For reasons unknown, House Orogoth eventually turned on itself. A huge battle took place at the family villa in −2211 DR, with members fighting each other with the dragons under their control. The villa was ruined, most of the family immolated,[7] and any survivors fled, leaving Orogoth abandoned.[1] It was rumored that the black dragon Calathanorgoth, self-proclaimed last descendant of House Orogoth, was behind the family's destruction.[9]

In the Year of the Moor Birds, 90 DR, yuan-ti from Ss'thar'tiss'ssun plundered the ruins of Orogoth.[1] In doing so, they accidentally triggered a ward that summoned Calathanorgoth, who had apparently lain dormant until then. The wyrm chased the serpentfolk off his land,[4] but they were able to escape with several ancient artifacts.[1] Calathanorgoth spent the next several years consolidating his dominion over the surrounding area, enslaving many ophidian tribes in the process.[4]

When Anauria fell in the Year of Fallen Guards, 111 DR, many scholars of Netherese magic were displaced. Sensing an opportunity to strengthen his House, Calathanorgoth offered sanctuary to these refugees, further tempting them with access to obscure Netherese knowledge.[4]

The next several centuries were spent growing the House, with Calathanorgoth fathering a multitude of offspring. The wyrm encouraged his children to establish their territories near Orogoth, further strengthening the House's hegemony over the surrounding area. During this period, much time and effort was devoted to recovering lost artifacts and lore of Netheril. House Orogoth also devoted some effort to protecting Netherese ruins in Anauroch, earning them good relations with similarly aligned wizards from Halruaa.[6]

The House remained stable until the Year of the Dracorage, 1018 DR, when several of Calathanorgoth's offspring rebelled against him. The wyrm patriarch killed all the would-be usurpers, but not without sustaining serious injuries himself. Calathanorgoth emerged from the conflict still in command of House Orogoth, but lost many of his draconic offspring in the process, with his grandson Wastirek as the oldest survivor. The conflict deeply impacted Calathanorgoth, who began researching ways of achieving immortality.[6]

In the Year of the Immortals, 1037 DR, Calathanorgoth transformed himself into a dracolich with the aid of the Cult of the Dragon. The Cult hoped to use the process to gain control of House Orogoth, but Calathanorgoth was prepared for such treachery and evicted them from his dominion immediately after his transformation.[6]

When a dracorage broke out in the Year of Rogue Dragons, 1373 DR, Calathanorgoth resisted its effects thanks to his undead nature. Although the dracorage affected his draconic subjects, the black wyrm was able to mostly control and contain them,[6] sending them to the Serpent Hills where a King-Killer shield kept them safe from the Rage. In doing so, Calathanorgoth avoided repeating the bloodbath of 1018 DR.[3]

Notable Members[edit | edit source]

  • Calathanorgoth, the dracolich head of the House from 90 DR.[4]
  • Kasidikal, a black dragon who sought to unite the dragons of the Serpent Hills to fight the serpentfolk.[11]
  • Rezmir, a half-dragon who served as Wyrmspeaker in the Cult of the Dragon in the late 15th century DR.[12]

Appendix[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 109. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Eric L. Boyd, Eytan Bernstein (August 2006). Dragons of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 97. ISBN 0-7869-3923-0.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Eric L. Boyd, Eytan Bernstein (August 2006). Dragons of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 95–96. ISBN 0-7869-3923-0.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Eric L. Boyd, Eytan Bernstein (August 2006). Dragons of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 94. ISBN 0-7869-3923-0.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Eric L. Boyd, Eytan Bernstein (August 2006). Dragons of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 96. ISBN 0-7869-3923-0.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 Eric L. Boyd, Eytan Bernstein (August 2006). Dragons of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 95. ISBN 0-7869-3923-0.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Ed Greenwood (1994). Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast. (TSR, Inc), p. 78. ISBN 1-5607-6940-1.
  8. Eric L. Boyd, Eytan Bernstein (August 2006). Dragons of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 96–97. ISBN 0-7869-3923-0.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 87–88. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  10. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 111. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
  11.  (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 106. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
  12. Villains: Rezmir. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on 2018-03-07. Retrieved on 2019-01-29.
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