Dungeons & Dragons Online

D&D 5th Edition: Forgotten Realms Main Antagonists and Goals

  • Demogorgon
  1. Role: The main antagonist of Out of the Abyss.
  2. Goal: Empty the multiverse of all other creatures so he can rest in a perfectly peaceful cosmos.
  3. History: Prince of Demons, the Sibilant Beast, and Master of the Spiraling Depths, Demogorgon is the embodiment of chaos, madness, and destruction, seeking to corrupt all that is good and undermine order in the multiverse, to see everything dragged howling into the infinite depths of the Abyss. Both his heads have different personalities, Aameul, loves deception, and Hathradiuh, loves destruction, they both compete in some ways and cooperate in others. Demogorgon sees every living creature as a potential threat- and only those who serve him have a chance of escaping his wrath. The gaze of both his heads brings madness and confusion to any who confront it. His ultimate goal is to empty the multiverse of all other creatures, so he can finally rest in a perfectly peaceful cosmos. According to one hypothesis, if Demogorgon were ever to achieve his goal, his two heads would finally fight to the death, each devouring the other and leaving behind nothing but a void.

  • Tiamat
  1. Roles: The main antagonist of Tyranny of Dragons. A minor yet pivotal antagonist in Baldur´s Gate: Descent into Avernus.
  2. Goals: Escape the Nine Hells, kill Bahamut, and rule the Prime Material Plane.
  3. History: She is known by many names across many worlds, but one constant remains: Tiamat is the mother of all evil dragons. Tiamat is feared and renowned as the creator of Chromatic/Evil Dragons. Her greed and hunger for power have touched innumerable worlds. IO, the primary dragon god, created Tiamat and Bahamut. They were not his first creations, however- that title belonged to the flawed, childlike Vorel. Viewing as a rival for IO's affection, Tiamat killed the godling and framed Bahamut for his death. IO discerned the truth, however, and Tiamat and Bahamut became hated enemies. Making her home within the Nine Hells, and obsessing with domination, greed, destruction, and fear. Tiamat views her children as proxy rulers of the Material Plane, individual microsms of her rightful place within the draconic pantheon and the multiverse.

  • Xardorok Sunblight
  1. Role: One of the two main antagonists of Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden (alongside Auril).
  2. Goal: Conquer Icewind Dale for Deep Duerra.
  3. History: Xardorok Sunblight leads the Sunblight clan of duergar which, until recently, dwelled in the subterranean depths beneath the Spine of the World. In the guise of Deep Duerra, the duergar god of conquest, the archdevil Asmodeus visited Xardorok and urged him to conquer Icewind Dale, beginning with Ten-Towns.
  • Auril
  1. Role: One of the two main antagonists of Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden (alongside Xardorok Sunblight).
  2. Goals: Subjugate as many mortals as she can and slowly bring about a never ending ice age.
  3. History: Auril the Frostmaiden is a neutral evil lesser god of cold indifference who embodies winter's cruelty. Auril's beloved ice grasps all things in her clutches, preserving them against the ravages of time. She hoards beauty in all forms, from art objects and flowers to skilled artisans and their wondrous works, freezing them in magical ice for her pleasure alone.

  • Iymrith
  1. Role: The main antagonist of Storm King´s Thunder.
  2. Goals: Trigger a war between the giants and the 'small folk', particularly the Lord's Alliance, thereby weakening both and removing two threats to herself and by extension chromatic dragonkind.
  3. History: She was manipulative and cunning, able to deceive Serissa, Hekaton's daughter, into believing she was a storm giant for some time. The dragon was responsible for the capture of King Hekaton by the Kraken Society and she used them without much effort. Using the princesses as pawns and convincing them to ally with the Kraken Society, in the late 1480s or early 1490s DR, Iymrith became the most powerful being in the Maelstrom. She served as an advisor to princess-regent Serissa with the goal of starting a new war between giants and the small folk.

  • Nezznar the Black Spider
  1. Role: The main antagonist of Lost Mine of Phandelver.
  2. Goal: Keep the Forge of Spells all to himself.
  3. History: Circa 1491 DR, the drow promised a share to Iarno Albrek of the Lords' Alliance in exchange for his loyalty and aid. Nezznar was the true leader of the Redbrands, controlling them (as well as the Cragmaw tribe of goblinoids) in the hopes of finding Wave Echo Cave and unlocking its secrets (while also keeping it a secret for himself).
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  • Gar Shatterkeel
  1. Role: One of the four main antagonists of Princes of the Apocalypse.
  2. Goals: Destroy the world and reduce all life down to one of its four basic elements: Water.
  3. History: Gar Shatterkeel is the water prophet of Elemental Evil and the dour leader of the Crushing Wave cult. He is embittered by a life of suffering at the hands of others. Pirates killed his family when he was young, he was forced into servitude aboard a merchant ship, and then another band of pirates left him to die at sea, where he lost his arm to a shark. Gar sees the elemental power of water as the only thing of value in his life and has gathered others who feel as he does.
  • Marlos Urnrayle
  1. Role: One of the four main antagonists of Princes of the Apocalypse.
  2. Goals: Destroy the world and reduce all life down to one of its four basic elements: Earth.
  3. History: Marlos Urnrayle is the earth prophet of Elemental Evil and the leader of the Black Earth cult in the Sumber Hills. He is a medusa of unusual power who was once a vain and cruel human nobleman. Marlos delights in petrifying his foes, especially those of great physical beauty, and smashing the remains to rubble.
  • Vanifer
  1. Role: One of the four main antagonists of Princes of the Apocalypse.
  2. Goals: Destroy the world and reduce all life down to one of its four basic elements: Fire.
  3. History: Vanifer's rough childhood has hardened her heart against others. The world is a corrupt, painful place, she thinks, and deserving of a fiery end. For years, she was a dancer and concubine in a pasha's court in Calimshan. Later, she took up the mantle of prophet when she found Tinderstrike, and the same ruthless ambition and practiced manipulation that enabled her to escape a life of servitude serves her well as the head of a growing cult.
  • Aerisi Kalinoth
  1. Role: One of the four main antagonists of Princes of the Apocalypse.
  2. Goals: Destroy the world and reduce all life down to one of its four basic elements: Air.
  3. History: Aerisi Kalinoth is the air prophet of the Elder Elemental Eye and leader of the Cult of the Howling Hatred. Tall and slender, with dark hair and (illusory) feathered wings that gently fan the air, Aerisi Kalinoth speaks to her people in a whisper that belies her violent temper, which reveals itself whenever she is denied.

  • Strahd Von Zarovich
  1. Role: The titular main antagonist of Curse of Strahd.
  2. Goals: Make Ireena Kolyana (the reincarnation of Tatyana) his bride and keep Barovia under his control.
  3. History: Ruler of Barovia and master of Castle Ravenloft, Strahd's tale is of both tragedy and terror. Strahd Von Zarovich was a retired warrior and honored general, whose passion was rekindled by Tatyana, a beauty beyond compare and his brother Sergei's fiance. Consumed by jealousy, Strahd murdered his brother on the night of his wedding, with a mind to replace his sibling in Tatyana's grieving arms. The despairing girl spurned Strahd, though, and quickly gleaning the depths of his betrayal, threw herself from the walls of Castle Ravenloft. At the same moment, strange mists rose and stole both Strahd and his castle from their native realm, sending them to a nether-realm, later known as the Demiplane of Dread. As a vampire, Strahd is cursed with immortality, brooding in his castle-crypt for centuries, ever taunted by the dark powers he feels betrayed him and by the repeatedly resurrected soul of Tatyana, a love he is forced to reunite with and lose eternally.

  • Acererak
  1. Role: The main antagonist of Tomb of Annihilation.
  2. Goals: Take over the Prime Material Plane and rule as a god-king.
  3. History: Acererak is an archlich who travels between worlds and is known to take sick pleasure in devouring the souls of adventurers, whom he lures into trap-ridden dungeons where they suffer horrible deaths. One such dungeon lies under the lost city of Omu. This dungeon is called the Tomb of the Nine Gods, for Acererak slew nine false gods and sealed them within it. More recently, he built a necromantic device called the Soulmonger, then hid it in the heart of the tomb.
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  • Xanathar
  1. Role: One of the five main antagonists of Waterdeep: Dragon Heist (alongside the Cassalanters, Jarlaxle Baenre, and Manshoon).
  2. Goal: Continue to gain power by spreading fear across Waterdeep.
  3. History: Xanathar is the name given to the beholder crime lord that lives in the dungeons under Waterdeep. It isn't the first beholder to claim this mantle, nor will it be the last. Like all beholders, Xanathar is a paranoid tyrant that charms and bullies its minions into servitude. The Xanathar Guild is made up of some of Waterdeep's most disreputable folk, as well as monsters forced into subservience or drawn to the beholder by the promise of treasure, food, or power. Treachery within the ranks of the guild is common as servants vie for the beholder's favor and affection. Such boons are fleeting, though, as the beholder is quick to distrust those who finagle their way into its good graces.
  • The Cassalanters
  1. Roles: Two of the five main antagonists of Waterdeep: Dragon Heist (alongside the Xanathar, Jarlaxle Baenre, and Manshoon).
  2. Goals: Recover the lost gold of Dagult Neverember and use it to buy back the souls of their children from Asmodeus.
  3. History: The vainglorious lady of House Cassalanter is schooled in the arcane arts. The lord of House Cassalanter is a devilishly handsome half-elf who likes coin and power. He and his wife gained both by cutting a deal with Asmodeus-which involved trading away the souls of their three children. They worship Asmodeus. When they were young, Ammalia and Victoro signed a contract with the archdevil, trading the souls of their children for power, good health, and long life. The soul of Osvaldo, their eldest son, was taken immediately, and he was transformed into a chain devil. The souls of the younger twins, Terenzio and Elzerina, will be taken when they turn nine years old. A provision in the contract allows the Cassalanters to buy their way out of it, but doing so requires a tremendous amount of coin and a mass sacrifice of unfortunate people. While Victoro hunts for Dagult Neverember's lost cache of gold, Ammalia makes plans to host a poisoned feast in celebration of Founders' Day.
  • Jarlaxle Baenre
  1. Role: One of the five main antagonists of Waterdeep: Dragon Heist (alongside the Xanathar, the Cassalanters, and Manshoon).
  2. Goals: Gain wealth to buy his way into the Lords´ Alliance and gain political power on the surface world.
  3. History: Jarlaxle is a flamboyant, swashbuckling drow iconoclast. He leads a renegade drow faction called Bregan D'aerthe, made up of disenfranchised male drow, most of them culled from destroyed or disgraced houses. Gifted with a sharp mind, a sense of humor, puissant skill with a blade, and a wealth of useful magic items, Jarlaxle infiltrated the city of Luskan, brought a kind of order to its lawlessness, and declared himself its secret lord.
  • Manshoon
  1. Role: One of the five main antagonists of Waterdeep: Dragon Heist (alongside the Xanathar, the Cassalanters, and Jarlaxle Baenre).
  2. Goal: Rule Waterdeep, and then the entire Sword Coast.
  3. History: The original Manshoon was one of the founders of the Zhentarim. Evil to the core, he made enemies all across Faerun. Fearing death by his foes, Manshoon magically crafted several clones- but a mishap caused all of them to awake at once, whereupon they tried to destroy one another in a series of conflicts called The Manshoon Wars. Now the original Manshoon is dead, and it's widely believed that all of his clones were destroyed as well. Now only three are still alive. One is a vampire residing in Westgate, another returned to power with the Zhentarim, and one is hiding out in Kolat Towers in the southern ward of Waterdeep, who has formed his own black network in hopes to take over the city.

  • Halaster Blackcloak
  1. Role: The titular main antagonist of Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage.
  2. Goals: Return the Shadowdusks to power in Waterdeep and use them as puppets to rule Waterdeep as its Shadow Lord.
  3. History: As the master of Undermountain, Halaster can alter the entire dungeon to some extent. His lair actions and regional effects don't extend beyond Undermountain. Halaster, the Mad Mage of Undermountain, is the deranged individual behind most of the traps and horrors found in the great dungeon under Waterdeep. Undermountain is his home, an amusement gallery in which others perform to entertain him. The Mad Mage knows the ever-changing ways of Undermountain as no one else does, for he is the one who controls those changes. He prefers to remain unseen, skulking about invisibly or peering through scrying sensors that resemble wide-open eyes surrounded by sparkling motes of light.
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  • Cryovain
  1. Roles: A minor antagonist in Storm King´s Thunder. The main antagonist of Dragons of Icespire Peak.
  2. Goals: Hunt for sport and seek worthy prey.
  3. History: Cryovain lived with his mate Isendraug in Svardborg. In the late 1480s or early 1490s DR, frost giant minions of Jarl Storvald reclaimed the place during an absence of Isendraug and Cryovain and took the opportunity to steal all their eggs. Storvald blackmailed the two white dragons to obey his orders or face the destruction of the eggs. Cryovain was chained to the "Krigvind", the jarl's colossal warship. During battles, Storvald ordered Cryovain to provide air support. After escaping the frost giants, Cryovain flew south to avoid other more powerful dragons. He killed the orc war chief Kra and drove his tribe of orcs out of Icespire Hold on Icespire Peak, taking the fortress as his new lair.

  • Archduke Zariel of Avernus
  1. Roles: The overarching antagonist of Tyranny of Dragons. The main antagonist of Baldur´s Gate: Descent into Avernus.
  2. Goals: Get revenge on the Hellriders for abandoning her and end the Blood War.
  3. History: Once a mighty angel charged with watching the tides of the Blood War, Zariel succumbed to the corrupting influence of the Nine Hells and fell from grace. Asmodeus admired Zariel's passion for war and offered her rulership of Avernus. She accepted his offer and was transformed by Asmodeus into an archdevil. Zariel's "rise" came at the expense of Bel, her pit fiend predecessor. Zariel and Bel hate each other. To keep Bel busy and out of her sight, Zariel tasks him with forging weapons, armor, and gruesome demon-slaying machines.

  • Splugoth the Returned
  1. Role: The main antagonist of Acquisitions Incorporated.
  2. Goals: Get revenge on Omin Dran and the rest of Acquisitions Incorporated.
  3. History: Sometimes a goblin can't catch a break. First, you fall in with a cult that works for the release of a death god. Then you get taken prisoner by a group of sociopathic adventurers who end up letting you die after you save their sorry lives. One minute, you're a dead goblin named Splug. And then you're alive again, and it seems like a really good idea to play up the drama of resurrection with a cool new name-and a master plan for cold, cold revenge against those who betrayed you. Every once in a while, the (accidentally) capricious and (totally unintentionally) self-centered nature of an Acquisitions Incorporated franchise might incur some collateral damage among followers, hirelings, and staff. When that happens, the collateral damage sometimes inspires some collateral damage of its own. No one is entirely sure how many times Splugoth the Returned has actually returned from the dead. But as the point goblin for the group known as the Six, he's made vengeance against Acq Inc and Omin Dran his life's work. And then the work of his next life. And the one after that.

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