I recently got the Wrath of Ashardalon board game and want to extend my experience by reading more about the setting. However, I couldn't find any by googling. I only found the wiki entry for Ashardalon and found it to be lacking.

I'm also planning to take inspiration from the reading materials on how I will be painting the board game's 41 miniatures. Mostly I'm interested in the environment -- What kind of dungeon lies beneath Firestorm Peak? Would Ashardalon be sitting atop a pile of gold a-la Smaug? What treasures would he keep? What does his lair look like?

  • 1
    I can't access EN World from work, but they have an article about Ashardalon Lore that may be useful.
    – eshier
    Aug 19 '19 at 20:08
  • 1
    @Raj Cross posting is not allowed. It could be migrated if deemed appropriate, though. I guess it's a matter of if the OP is looking for novels about Ashardalon or 3rd edition D&D or just any info, though the painting schemes mention implies more RPG/Monster Manual info. Perhaps the OP will clarify?
    – eshier
    Aug 19 '19 at 20:34
  • @eshier Sorry, I'm not sure I understood you. Are you suggesting I migrate the question to a different StackExchange site? Generally, I am looking for lore material for Ashardalon, so novels and related literature, but I would consider RPG/Monster Manual lore information to be relevant as well, if that makes sense? Thank you!
    – brain56
    Aug 20 '19 at 17:51
  • 1
    @brain56 A user had suggested that your question be posted on the RPG stack in addition to this post. I was explaining that was not allowed. He realized his mistake and deleted the comment. It is a perfectly fine question for this site, but as you can see in my answer probably MORE appropriate on the RPG. If it were me, I'd leave it here. However, if you want more information, you might ask an additional question on the RPG stack to clarify. I would definitely mention this question and what more info you want if you do that, though. Questions on Wrath could go to the board game stack.
    – eshier
    Aug 20 '19 at 19:14

Ashardalon, the great red dragon, started as a background character and antagonist in the last chapter of an 8-module adventure series for Dungeons & Dragons 3e in 2000-2002. The first, last (where the dragon actually appears), and one other were written by Bruce Cordell. There do not seem to be any novels dealing with this character, so only the background information from the 8 modules would apply. The board game is apparently set after the adventure path.

Cordell is also the author of the Dungeons & Dragons 2e adventure The Gates of Firestorm Peak which is regarded very highly. The module should give you a very good picture of the Firestorm Peak. There is no mention of Ashardalon in that adventure, though.

One of your links in the question contained this history/explanation taken from The Draconomicon:

After suffering a mortal wound, Ashardalon attempted to extend his life by binding a balor called Ammet to his chest in order to function as a second heart. However, his injuries were too extensive for the balor's power to keep Ashardalon alive. He then moved to a domain in the Astral Plane known as the Bastion of Unborn Souls and established his lair there. He was kept alive thanks to the timeless nature of the Astral Plane and the unusual flow of energy that permeated the Bastion.

This wordpress site, Scholoars and Serpents, has an extensive summary of the background information and details from the modules that puts that very brief summary into context. Here is the timeline proposed there as a start:

Ashardalon ravages the world

His cult worships him as a god

Gulthias [cult member] makes Nightfang Spire his temple

An Elvish dragon cult builds the Sunless Citadel

Ashardalon destroys the druids

Dydd the Wise [leader of the druids] creates a new people

Dydd cuts Ashardalon’s heart from his chest

Ashardalon escapes to the Abyss

Gulthias brings the heart to Nightfang Spire

The Sunless Citadel is destroyed

Gulthias becomes a vampire

Gulthias travels to the Sunless Citadel

Gulthias is staked to the ground in the Twilight Grove

Belak the Outcast finds the Citadel

Belak helps the Gulthias Tree create the Twig Blights and lures adventurers into the Grove

A party of adventures release Gulthias by destroying the tree

Gulthias returns to Nightfang Spire. Centuries go by

Adventurers kill Gulthias

At some point prior Ashardalon infuses Ammet [a balor] into his chest

Ashardalon uses Desayeus’ totem to enter the Bastion

The Demogorgon wants to extract the balor from Ashardalon

The Demogorgon sends The Cathazar to search for Dydd’s ancestor

The Cathazar uses Dyson to open a demonic portal

Dyson is defeated

The soul sickness appears

The soul sickness troubles the gods

Dydd’s ancestor enters the positive plane and kills Ashardalon and the balor.

Ashardalon becomes a vestige

It also contains this quote from Dragon #365:

Few can ignore the legacy of the mighty red dragon Ashardalon. Ancient even by the standards of dragonkind, he was a force for evil in the world—his ferocity and greed was unmatched by any of his kin. Even when the great druid Dydd put down the beast, ending his reign of terror, Ashardalon rose from the ashes of his grave once more, bolstered by his wickedness and by fell pacts made with dread abominations. Although we can rest easy in the knowledge that the menace posed by this beast is no more (or so we hope), Ashardalon remains a cause of wonder and speculation.

The default setting for Dungeons & Dragons 3e is Greyhawk so the original modules are set there. They usually left setting rather vague, though, so it could take place anywhere. The first two modules were recently (2017) reprinted and set in Forgotten Realms.

If you are looking for painting advice, this BoardGameGeek list has all the monsters and includes examples from the D&D miniatures line to represent them--i.e. a painted example. Likewise, any entry in an appropriate Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual or just looking online for each monster should give you ideas.

  • Awesome! This is really helpful! Thank you!
    – brain56
    Aug 20 '19 at 22:48

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.