The world ablaze
A living fire spreads across Telara, screaming, slaying, setting the world ablaze. Cannibalistic centaurs gallop in herds. Goblins and kobolds lay low village and walled city. Driving the hordes before them come devils and the merciless Dragonians. They never stop to conquer, or even pillage, but burn everyone and everything to ashes and charge on like wildfire across a dry plain.
These are the Wanton, the Cult of Fire. Unlike other Dragon Cults, they have no legendary founder. They keep no records. Permanence angers the Flame Sire, so they worship through conflagration and chaos, fires searing away at the traces of time.
The rampage never stops long enough to allow for scheming or strategy, so there is no grand hierarchy among the Wanton, only individual war-bands that vary in size from ominous to endless. They follow the boom-doom-boom of battle drums. They burn and kill.
The Flame Sire's children
The Wanton are the easiest Dragon Cult to understand. They want to burn you and everything you love to ash. Not because it’s an insult to nature, but because they relish the sight, smell, and taste of flame. They won’t stop to take your valuables, pillage your mind, or rule your lands. They won’t raise you as a slave—but if you rise on your own like the Ascended, they’ll gleefully slaughter you again.
Wanton war-bands will fight anyone except one another, for they are united by love for their dire god. He shows his affection by roasting them in droves and letting them rebuild stronger and stronger. The Wanton seek his volcanic prison far out at sea, beyond the mile-high waves that churn in the wake of the rifts.
Asha Catari led the Defiant against a Wanton horde. The Telaran force looked tiny compared to the Wanton, like a bright cottage on the shore of a vast red sea. But they held the high ground, they had magitech, and they had Ascended, so spirits were high.
On the eve of battle, the Gedlo priests marked out a circular arena as wide as a town, and chanted as a hundred goblins fought a hundred kobolds. They fought to the death, but they fought without weapons, and soon the circle was stained deep crimson.
As the chanting rose, a huge Oni female waded into the murderous sea: horned, fanged, and fearsome, fins running along the backs of her musclebound arms. Her barbed tail flicking in excitement, she began to tear the goblins and kobolds apart, biting off heads and twisting off limbs until she stood alone amidst the charnel. The chanting stopped, and she roared at the Defiant lines, then turned and strode back into her own as the Gedlo began to burn the dead volunteers.
“Why would they slaughter hundreds of their own before a battle?” Asha wondered aloud.
“To please their red god, general,” said Rahn Chuluun, sitting beside her on his yarnosaur. “And to show us they can.”