Cult of the Dragon
The Cult of the Dragon, also known as Keepers of the Secret Hoard or, more recently, Wearers of Purple, was a semi-religious evil organization. The Cult of the Dragon venerated dragons, evil dragons in particular, and specifically dead evil dragons. They reanimated the gargantuan corpses as powerful and fell dracoliches. The Cult acted as an information network for its draconian “masters”, brought gems and riches as offerings, and encouraged evil dragons to become dracoliches. Their belief was that dracoliches were destined to one day rule Faerûn and beyond. They could become inhabited by objects which were created in their image especially with the image of the skull.
The Cult was active throughout the Realms, but was especially powerful in the Cold Lands and the North, where dragons were particularly abundant. Cult member activities included gathering information on particularly rich caravans to be raided, stealing unique items to be offered to their masters, and leading raids against their enemies (who, in their minds, were all those who might oppose the rulership of the dragons). Senior members of the Cult of the Dragon were given the secret of creation of dracoliches and each was also in possession of a ring of dragons. The keepers used these to protect themselves against assailants.
The cult was not against legitimate commercial activities, and as such it had several merchant members who used their well earned money to fund cult projects.