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D&D villain (plus adventure): The Dark Knight

Updated: Apr 11, 2023

Sir Drakon Blackthorn: The Dark Knight - A Menacing New Villain for Your D&D Campaign


Introduction

Welcome back to this journey into D&D villains. In our previous article, we explored the intriguing and deadly world of nine iconic D&D villains, each presenting a unique and thrilling challenge for any adventuring party. As promised, we're diving deeper into the realms of darkness with an in-depth look at one of these malevolent figures - Sir Drakon Blackthorn, the Dark Knight.


In this blog article, we'll provide a comprehensive overview of Sir Drakon's tragic past, his thirst for power, and his rise to infamy. We'll also delve into his intricate connections to the vast and mysterious lands of Valoria, which serve as the backdrop for his twisted reign. As you read on, you'll find a detailed stat block for Sir Drakon, customised for a Challenge Rating (CR) of 20, making him a formidable adversary for even the most seasoned adventuring parties.


We'll also outline an enthralling one-shot adventure set in the lands of Valoria, designed to pit your player characters against the Dark Knight and his nefarious schemes. This adventure will not only challenge your players' tactical prowess but also force them to make difficult moral choices, all while navigating a rich and immersive world teeming with peril.


Whether you're a dungeon master seeking to introduce a new and captivating villain into your campaign, or a player eager to learn more about the dark and tragic figure of Sir Drakon, this article will provide you with everything you need to bring the Dark Knight to life at your gaming table.


If you haven’t already read our overview of the nine D&D villains, you can check it out here. If you have, then get ready for bad guy No 2 as we delve into the treacherous world of Sir Drakon Blackthorn, and prepare your players for an unforgettable encounter with the fearsome Dark Knight!


* Special note for Arclanders: The Dark Knight and the Idiot, the lands of Valoria and their denizens don't exist in the Arcverse, though they might form their own world at some point in the future. They are here to be incorporated into your own campaigns if you wish.


The Story of Sir Drakon Blackthorn


Sir Drakon Blackthorn was once a revered and respected knight, a paragon of justice and chivalry and one of the order of the Shield of Valoria. He was highly skilled in combat and a devoted servant to his kingdom and his lord, King Dralocese VI. However, a chance encounter with a mysterious figure, the Crimson Seer, would forever change his path.


The Crimson Seer was an enigmatic sorcerer who was rumoured to possess forbidden knowledge and wield dark magic. One of the lost order of Drycans, secret mages that had crossed into other realities and were outlawed by the king. The Seer was seeking an instrument through which to reshape the world according to his twisted vision, and he saw potential in the noble and skilled Sir Drakon.


The Seer began to whisper dark secrets into Sir Drakon's ear, revealing the corruption and moral decay festering within his own order and the ruling class. As these revelations mounted, Sir Drakon became disillusioned and bitter, feeling betrayed by the very ideals he had dedicated his life to uphold.


Swayed by the promise of a higher morality and a more just world, Sir Drakon broke away from his order and sought out the guidance of the Crimson Seer. Under the Seer's tutelage, Sir Drakon began to embrace a twisted and darker form of justice, one that justified any means necessary to achieve its goals. In the process, he became the feared Dark Knight that he is today.


The Crimson Seer convinced him to travel to realms of darkness and horror to gain the requisite powers to rule the lands with an iron fist. Drakon came to believe that this was the only way to bring order and justice to his people.


As the Dark Knight, Sir Drakon began to wield his newfound powers and influence to root out and destroy the corruption that had driven him from his former life. However, his methods grew increasingly ruthless, and he soon earned a reputation as a merciless and bloodthirsty warrior who overthrew the royal family he had served for so long and replaced them as Valoria’s tyrant.


At the moment of his bloody triumph, Sir Drakon crossed paths with the Idiot, who was amused by the Dark Knight's fall from grace. The Idiot, sensing an opportunity for chaos and destruction, sought to manipulate Sir Drakon for its own nefarious purposes.


The Idiot began to feed Sir Drakon false information, leading him to believe that his kingdom was under threat from a vast and powerful conspiracy. Sir Drakon, now obsessed with his quest for a higher form of justice, eagerly accepted the Idiot's lies and set out to eradicate the supposed threat.


In the end, Sir Drakon's misguided crusade brought only suffering and devastation to his once beloved kingdom. Realising too late that he had been manipulated by the Idiot, Sir Drakon vowed to hunt down the malicious trickster and exact his revenge.


However, the Idiot, ever elusive and cunning, managed to evade Sir Drakon's pursuit, leading him on a wild and chaotic chase across the realm. Now, as the PCs cross paths with the Dark Knight, they find themselves caught in the middle of his deadly quest for vengeance against the Idiot.


As Sir Drakon continues his hunt for the Idiot, he may come to realise the full extent of the damage he has caused in his blind pursuit of justice. This revelation may offer a chance for redemption and a return to the noble path he once walked, but only if he can find the strength to resist the dark power that has consumed him for so long.


In this story, the PCs may be called upon to help Sir Drakon confront the Idiot and its machinations, while also attempting to guide the Dark Knight back toward the light. The PCs' actions could have far-reaching consequences, both for themselves and for the fate of the world.


Valoria


Sir Drakon Blackthorn once ruled over the Kingdom of Valoria, a prosperous and diverse realm known for its chivalric traditions and rich cultural heritage. Valoria was made up of several distinct regions, each with its own unique customs and landscapes.


1. Eldenholme: This ancient forest region was home to the graceful and enigmatic elves who valued their connection to nature and the arts. The capital city, Sylvanrest, was built among the treetops and featured stunning, intertwined architecture that blended seamlessly with the environment.


2. Ironreach: A mountainous region rich in mineral resources, Ironreach was home to the hardy dwarves who were renowned for their craftsmanship and mastery of the forge. The city of Hammerhold, carved into the heart of the mountains, boasted impressive stonework and advanced engineering.


3. Windspire Plains: These vast, rolling grasslands were home to the nomadic human tribes known for their horsemanship and mastery of the bow. The tribes often gathered at the city of Stormfront, a bustling trade center that connected the different regions of Valoria.


4. Azure Coast: This picturesque coastal region was home to both humans and halflings who relied on their mastery of the seas for trade and sustenance. The city of Tide's Reach was a thriving port, bustling with merchants and sailors from across the world.


5. The Shadowmire: A dark and treacherous swamp, the Shadowmire was home to the secretive and mysterious lizardfolk who held dominion over the land. Their capital, Murkden, was an eerie settlement built on stilts above the murky waters, hidden from the prying eyes of outsiders.


As the Dark Knight, Sir Drakon sought to bring his own twisted form of justice to each of these regions, believing that the corruption and decay within the ruling class had spread to every corner of Valoria. In his misguided crusade, he left a trail of destruction in his wake, sowing chaos and despair among the diverse peoples of the kingdom.


Now, as the PCs become embroiled in the Dark Knight's quest for vengeance against the Idiot, they must navigate the intricate politics and diverse cultures of Valoria, attempting to mend the damage caused by Sir Drakon and restore the realm to its former glory.


Adventure: The Dark Knight's Reckoning


Background: The once-heroic knight, Sir Drakon Blackthorn, has been corrupted by the desire for vengeance against the Idiot. Now, as the Dark Knight, he rules over the Kingdom of Valoria with an iron fist, seeking to bring his twisted form of justice to every corner of the realm. The player characters must put an end to his reign of terror and save the diverse peoples of Valoria from his misguided crusade.

Sir Drakon's ultimate plan is to gather enough power to destroy the Idiot and avenge the wrongs that he believes the demon jester has committed. To do this, he seeks to acquire ancient artifacts, forge alliances with sinister forces, and consolidate his control over the lands of Valoria. The PCs must unravel the threads of his schemes and put a stop to his destructive ambitions.

Act 1: The Gathering Storm

The adventure begins with the player characters arriving in Valoria and witnessing the impact of Sir Drakon's rule. They learn of his obsession with vengeance against the Idiot, and the chaos he has spread across the kingdom. The PCs must investigate his actions and gather allies to help them stand against the Dark Knight.

During their investigation, the PCs uncover Sir Drakon's plan to acquire a powerful artefact called the Crystal of Shadows, which would grant him immense power and control over darkness itself. They also learn that he has made a pact with a powerful lich to obtain the artefact.

Act 2: The Race Against Darkness

The player characters must race against Sir Drakon and his dark allies to find the Crystal of Shadows first. They travel through the diverse regions of Valoria, each posing unique challenges and dangers.

  • In Eldenholme, they must navigate the complex politics of the elven court and gain the trust of the elves to access their ancient libraries and knowledge.


  • In Ironreach, they must overcome the trials of the dwarven forge masters and obtain a weapon capable of destroying the Crystal of Shadows.


  • In Windspire Plains, they must unite the nomadic human tribes in a common cause against the Dark Knight and his forces.


  • In Azure Coast, they must unravel a dark conspiracy that threatens to bring the coastal cities under Sir Drakon's control.


  • In the Shadowmire, they must venture into the treacherous swamps and secure the assistance of the elusive lizardfolk to infiltrate a lich's lair where the Crystal of Shadows is kept.


Act 3: The Final Battle

The player characters finally reach the lich's lair they discover that Sir Drakon and his minions have beaten them to it. They confront the Dark Knight and his allies. In a climactic battle, they must not only face Sir Drakon and the lich but also confront the dark forces that have been unleashed upon Valoria.

If the PCs manage to destroy the Crystal of Shadows and defeat the Dark Knight, they save Valoria from falling into darkness and chaos. They are celebrated as heroes, and their deeds become the stuff of legend.

Epilogue

If the player characters succeed in defeating the Dark Knight and destroying the Crystal of Shadows, they restore hope to the people of Valoria and help usher in a new era of peace and prosperity.

If they fail, Valoria is plunged into darkness, and the lands are consumed by strife and war. However, even in the face of despair, there is still hope, as the PCs have the opportunity to regroup and forge new alliances to continue the fight against the Dark Knight and his malevolent ambitions.

Notes:

  • This adventure is suitable for players of various experience levels, with opportunities for roleplaying, combat, and exploration.

  • The Dark Knight, Sir Drakon Blackthorn, provides a morally complex antagonist with deep motivations that challenge the player characters



Sir Drakon Blackthorn, the Dark Knight (CR 10)

Medium humanoid (human), lawful evil

Armor Class: 19 (plate armor)

Hit Points: 135 (18d8 + 54)

Speed: 30 ft.

STR: 18 (+4)

DEX: 12 (+1)

CON: 16 (+3)

INT: 14 (+2)

WIS: 12 (+1)

CHA: 16 (+3)

Saving Throws: Str +8, Con +7, Wis +5, Cha +7

Skills: Athletics +8, Intimidation +7, Perception +5, History +6

Damage Resistances: Necrotic

Senses: passive Perception 15

Languages: Common, Elvish, Draconic

Challenge: 10 (5,900 XP)

Proficiency Bonus: +4

Traits:

Dark Pact: Sir Drakon has made a pact with a powerful lich, granting him resistance to necrotic damage and access to necromancy spells.

Aura of Menace: When a hostile creature within 10 ft. of Sir Drakon makes an attack roll or saving throw, the creature has disadvantage on the roll unless it is immune to being frightened.

Actions:

Multiattack: Sir Drakon makes three melee attacks.

Longsword: Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (1d8 + 4) slashing damage, or 10 (1d10 + 4) slashing damage if used with two hands.

Darkness Strike (Recharge 5-6): Sir Drakon imbues his blade with necrotic energy, dealing an additional 18 (4d8) necrotic damage on a successful hit. The target must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw, taking the additional necrotic damage on a failed save, or half as much on a successful one.

Spellcasting: Sir Drakon is a 5th-level spellcaster. His spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 15, +7 to hit with spell attacks). Sir Drakon has the following spells prepared from the Warlock and Oathbreaker Paladin spell lists:

Cantrips (at-will): Eldritch Blast, Mage Hand

1st-level (4 slots): Command, Hellish Rebuke, Hex, Inflict Wounds

2nd-level (3 slots): Darkness, Hold Person, Ray of Enfeeblement

3rd-level (2 slots): Animate Dead, Bestow Curse, Vampiric Touch

Reactions:

Parry: Sir Drakon adds 3 to his AC against one melee attack that would hit him. To do so, he must see the attacker and be wielding a melee weapon.

Legendary Actions:

Sir Drakon can take 2 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature's turn. Sir Drakon regains spent legendary actions at the start of his turn.

Attack: Sir Drakon makes one longsword attack.

Spell (Costs 2 Actions): Sir Drakon casts a cantrip.

Menacing Presence (Costs 2 Actions): Sir Drakon forces a creature within 30 ft. of him to make a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute. The creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on a success.


Sir Drakon Blackthorn, the Dark Knight (CR 20)

Medium humanoid (human), lawful evil

Armor Class: 22 (plate armor +2, shield)

Hit Points: 315 (30d8 + 180)

Speed: 30 ft.

STR: 22 (+6)

DEX: 14 (+2)

CON: 22 (+6)

INT: 18 (+4)

WIS: 14 (+2)

CHA: 20 (+5)

Saving Throws: Str +12, Con +12, Wis +8, Cha +11

Skills: Athletics +12, Intimidation +11, Perception +8, History +10

Damage Resistances: Necrotic; Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing from nonmagical attacks

Senses: passive Perception 18

Languages: Common, Elvish, Draconic, Infernal

Challenge: 20 (25,000 XP)

Proficiency Bonus: +6

Traits:

Dark Pact: Sir Drakon has made a pact with a powerful lich, granting him resistance to necrotic damage, immunity to nonmagical physical damage, and access to necromancy spells.

Aura of Menace: When a hostile creature within 15 ft. of Sir Drakon makes an attack roll or saving throw, the creature has disadvantage on the roll unless it is immune to being frightened.

Actions:

Multiattack: Sir Drakon makes three melee attacks.

Longsword +2: Melee Weapon Attack: +14 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (1d8 + 8) slashing damage, or 13 (1d10 + 8) slashing damage if used with two hands.

Darkness Strike (Recharge 5-6): Sir Drakon imbues his blade with necrotic energy, dealing an additional 33 (6d10) necrotic damage on a successful hit. The target must make a DC 20 Constitution saving throw, taking the additional necrotic damage on a failed save, or half as much on a successful one.

Spellcasting: Sir Drakon is a 17th-level spellcaster. His spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 19, +11 to hit with spell attacks). Sir Drakon has the following spells prepared from the Warlock and Oathbreaker Paladin spell lists:

Cantrips (at-will): Eldritch Blast, Mage Hand, Chill Touch, Thaumaturgy

1st-level (4 slots): Command, Hellish Rebuke, Hex, Inflict Wounds

2nd-level (3 slots): Darkness, Hold Person, Ray of Enfeeblement, Mirror Image

3rd-level (3 slots): Animate Dead, Bestow Curse, Vampiric Touch, Counterspell

4th-level (3 slots): Blight, Banishment, Phantasmal Killer, Shadow of Moil

5th-level (2 slots): Destructive Wave, Dominate Person, Hold Monster, Danse Macabre

6th-level (1 slot): Circle of Death, Harm

Reactions:

Parry: Sir Drakon adds 6 to his AC against one melee attack that would hit him. To do so, he must see the attacker and be wielding a melee weapon.

Legendary Actions:

Sir Drakon can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature's turn. Sir Drakon regains spent legendary actions at the start of his turn.

Attack: Sir Drakon makes one longsword +2 attack.

Spell (Costs 2 Actions): Sir Drakon casts a spell of 1st, 2nd, or 3rd level from his prepared spells, expending a spell slot as normal.

Dark Menace (Costs 3 Actions): Sir Drakon unleashes a wave of necrotic energy. Each creature within 30 feet of him must make a DC 20 Constitution saving throw, taking 33 (6d10) necrotic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Sir Drakon Blackthorn, the Dark Knight, is a CR 20 opponent, making him a deadly and powerful foe for high-level parties. His combination of martial prowess and dark magic allows him to deal significant damage and control the battlefield, while his legendary actions ensure that he remains a constant threat even when it's not his turn. Should the players face him, they will need to devise a careful strategy and work together to overcome this mighty adversary.


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