Content of the article: "What Should The Hierarchy Of My Cult Be?"
If you are in the campaign “Oath Of The Frozen King”… Go away. Spoilers ahead. If not, rocks fall and everyone dies.
Alright, so one of my BBEGs is an ancient black dragon named Athgorith, and I am struggling with determining the hierarchy of the cult he is leading: the Children of Azatoth.
I know that I want to have four sub-factions of the Children of Azatoth, each tasked with releasing a separate Elder Elemental from its prison within its respective Elemental Plane. These sub-factions are also tasked with killing the specific druid guardians to prevent them from doing a ritual that keeps the prison’s magic strong.
The part I'm struggling with is whether each faction leader will be out in the field, or if they will have captains underneath them, doing the hard work for them.
In the first case, the hierarchy of the Children of Azatoth would be something like 1/4/6, meaning that “1” is the leader, Athgorith. 4 are the four sub-faction leaders, and 6 would be their minions. So for example, one subfaction is tasked with going to the desert country of Ashima and finding the key to the prison to release the Phoenix. In this case, the leader of this fire cult would be out in the field with their lackeys. The problem with this is that taking out the Cult could seem anticlimactic and can happen too quick, this leading the party to Athgorith quicker than anticipated.
The alternative is that the hierarchy of the Children of Azatoth would be 1/4/3/5… meaning that the four sub-faction leaders would have 3 or so lieutenants underneath them, who are then in charge of the minions. So going back to my previous example, one subfaction is tasked with going to the desert country of Ashima and finding the key to the prison to release the Phoenix. In this case, the leader of this fire cult would have one of their lieutenants out in the field with their lackeys while the others are doing other stuff. The problem with this is that my second BBEG also has this hierarchy with his army and I don’t want to bog down my players or make them feel overwhelmed with fighting up the ranks of TWO powerful enemies.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Which hierarchy sounds more appealing? Any other advice you can offer?
PS: These two factions will be in conflict, if that helps any.
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