Cormyr

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The Purple Dragon

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This is a description of Cormyr for our local Purple Dragon campaign. It may (and probably does) differ from the official setting.

Cormyr is also known as the Forest Kingdom and the Heart of the Heartlands. It lies between the desert kingdom of Anauroch on the north and the Dragonmere to the south. Until recently, it was one of the most prosperous countries of Faerûn. Now, it is a country under threat from all sides and struggling to holding onto order.

After the death of king Azoung IV, the current ruler, Regent Alusair Obarskyr, has her hands full in dealing with all of these threats. She has the experienced Purple Dragon Knights and War Wizards at her disposal. Vangerdahast was the leader of the War Wizards of Cormyr before he was injured in the Battle of Tilverton against the Demon Dragon, Nalavarauthatoryl the Red.

Adventuring is frowned upon without an official license, but adventurers could likely lend a tremendous amount of aid to the overstretched Cormyrian military. Lady Alusair has been known to offer land in exchange for services rendered to her country, so this is a place adventurers wanting to make a name for themselves tend to flock to.

Summary

  • Capital: Suzail
  • Population: 1,360,800 (humans 85%, half-elves 10%, elves 4%)
  • Government: Monarchy
  • Religions: Siamorphe, Tyr, Torm, Tempus, Chauntea, Tymora, Waukeen, The Red Knight
  • Imports: Glass, ivory, spices
  • Exports: Arms and armor, carved ivory, cloth, coal, food, timber, spices
  • Alignment: Lawful Good, Lawful Neutral, Neutral Good

Founded over a thousand years ago, the kingdom of Cormyr benefits from an enlightened monarchy, hard-working citizens, and an advantageous location. Cormyr boasts fine food, honest people, strange mysteries, and abundant contacts with other parts of the world.

Recently challenged by treacherous noble families, armies of goblins and orcs ([The Goblin War]), famine, a marauding ancient red dragon, and the death of its beloved monarch, Cormyr is now struggling to maintain its holdings. With one of its cities in ruins and great numbers of evil humanoids still roaming the countryside, this nation is in need of resourceful individuals willing to defend the crown and confront its enemies.

Life and society

Though there are strong reasons why it shouldn't be, Cormyr is a steadfast and prosperous land. Despite an often-violent past, constant armed vigilance against beasts and border perils, and frequent treasonous intrigues, Cormyrians remain loyal, content, prosperous, and peace loving folk. While the serious reverses of the last two years have shaken the kingdom, Cormyrians expect better days ahead and are willing to work to achieve that goal.

The Obarskyr family rules Cormyr, assisted by wise Royal Mages. The long reign of Azoun IV, aided by former Royal Magician Vagerdahast, gave the realm a legacy of stability and prosperity that is the envy of much of Faerun.

Beneath the royal family is a wealthy, sophisticated, often fractious group of noble families of long lineage, influence, and demonstrated loyalty to the crown. The War Wizards - a force of battle mages under the command of thoughtful wizards such as Caladnei - temper both royal and noble excesses. As the sage Bradeaskras of Suzail put it, the Obarskyrs, the nobility, and the War Wizards "form three legs of a stool on which the common folk sit."

Most Cormyrians are farmers, ranchers, horse-breeders, foresters, or craftsfolk. The country also maintains a large, capable army, the Purple Dragons - not to be confused with Azoun IV, the king who was called the Purple Dragon, or the Purple Dragon Thauglor, long the largest and mightiest wyrm of the Dragon Reach.

Government

Cormyr has been ruled by monarchy ever since it was founded. Only someone with Obarskyr blood may assume the crown. This means that, for example, Queen Filfaeril Obarskyr could not assume the crown.

There are some in recent times who would like to see the nation run by council. The ruling monarch has an advisor who has the title (amongst others) of High Wizard, and it is this person who is charged with the War Wizards.

Laws

Main article: Laws of Cormyr

The following laws are posted at all major entry points to Cormyr. Laws of Cormyr

  1. All persons entering Cormyr must register with the officials of a border garrison.
  2. Foreign currency can only be used in certain locations. Please exchange your coins for Cormyrean golden lions at your first opportunity.
  3. Adventurers must acquire a charter before undertaking any operation as a group.
  4. All weapons must be peace-bonded. The only persons exempt from this law are members of chartered adventuring groups and members of mercenary groups that can offer proof of employment.
  5. Harming cats is forbidden.
  6. Bow your head to royalty and the local nobility.
  7. Purple Dragons have the right to search you upon request.
  8. Hunting on private land is forbidden.

Nobility

Main article: Cormyr nobility

The nobility of Cormyr are the most wealthy and influential households. There is an annual ceremony at the beginning of the summer where each noble house comes to Suzail to meet and see the monarch and discuss their achievements over the previous year, before retiring to their summer residences. Nobles swear allegiance to the crown on the sword Symylazarr.

The monarchy is the only authority capable of awarding hereditary titles. If a noble is disloyal to the crown, he and his family may be stripped of rank, title and lands.

Heraldry

The heraldic color purple (tincture purpure) is reserved for the coat of arms of the royal family and the kingdom. However, a knights who joins the Purple Dragon Knights may incorporate purple in his coat arms. The color purple must not be prominent, and in practice this means that no more than half of the field can be purple. Altered arms must be approved by a royal herald.

Example: The arms of Wolfe is argent, a wolf rampant sable, i.e., a black wolf on a silver shield. When Dorian Wolfe joined the Dragon Knights, he altered his arms to bendy argent and purpure, a wolf rampant sable, i.e., a diagonally striped shield of silver and purple with a black wolf. His son would choose a different field or ordinary, or perhaps adopt a design that was used by a famous ancestor. See examples below.

Note: Heraldry falls under the skill knowledge (nobility and royalty).

History

Main article: History of Cormyr

Cormyr was founded in 26 DR. Its first king was Faerlthann Obarskyr, son of Ondeth Obarskyr and Suzara Obarskyr. The kingdom was initially formed from a need for the elves and humans in the region to get along. Since that time, Cormyr has grown by absorbed the two realms of Esparin and Orva and claiming the Stonelands as its own.

Some time between 376 DR and 432 DR, Cormyr was invaded by many dragons, laying waste to virtually all of the settlements in the country. It was then raided by orcs from the Stonelands, who occupied the King's Forest until they were finally driven out in 429 D] by King Duar Obarskyr. By 432 DR however, many noble families had left Cormyr for the Dalelands or Waterdeep, or split into small factional bands. The city of Suzail was sold to Magrath the Minotaur and his pirates by a traitor to the crown around this time, and it was after Magrath's death that the Purple Dragon was adopted as the nation's official symbol.

In recent years, the war against the Demon Dragon have done significant damage to the kingdom and internal and external struggles threaten to tear the kingdom apart.

Major geographical features

The Forest Kingdom is a rolling, green, and pleasant land, flanked by mountains and well fed by its own farms and ranches. Old, deep, and lush forests dominate the landscape and national character. The dragon, the stag, and the unicorn characterize the land in Comyrian folk tales, ballads, and heraldry: The wyrm represents the land's old, never quite tamed wilderness; the stag stands for royal (and noble and wealthy) sport, plus the bounty of the land for all; and the unicorn symbolizes the hidden mysteries and serenity at the heart of the forests - and the shelter those green fastnesses have always offered Cormyrians in peril. Even the nation's kings took advantage of this shelter in the realm's darkest days.

Maps

A more detailed page on Cormyr geography is also available.

Farsea Marshes

A fallen civilization that predated the elves rests in this ugly march. Its only remnants are the ornate buildings made of glass as strong as steel. Those who have seen these structures seldom life long, however, for the swamp is thick with pestilence and plague. The ruins hold gold and strange creatures, which draw adventurers despite the dangers.

Hullack Forest

Once a part of the forest of Cormanthor, the Hullack used to define the eastern border of Cormyr. Over the prosperous reign of Azoun IV, people heavily settled the forest verge and cut it back substantially. The Hulalck is the most primeval forest in Cormyr, with dark valleys and hidden vales that have gone unseen for decades. Ghostly creatures and odd monsters pepper the local folklore, and orc and goblins are frequent visitors from the Thunder Peaks. Cormyrian wardens often direct adventurers to the Hullack in hope of taming this wood.

King's Forest

This is the westernmost fragment of Cormanthor, long abandoned by the elves to humankind. With little undergrowth, a wealth of wildlife, and a high canopy, the King's Forest is entirely the property of the crown and used to be a pleasant place to ride. Now, however, it is inhabited by the orcs who were driven from Arabel. The King's Forest contains no known ruins and fell creatures had never been known to lair here until the orcs moved in.

Marsh of the Tun

Sister to the Farsea Marshes, the Marsh of the Tun holds a similar ancient civilization. Old stories say that the two city-states quarreled and unleashed foul magic upon each other, both on the advice of an old woman who may have been an agent or manifestation of an evil deity. Bands of humans who raid caravans leaving Cormyr live in the portions of the swamp not tainted by sickness, under the rule of a bandit lord.

Stonelands

A band of wide, rocky desolation between the Storm Horns and Anauroch, this region is inhabited by small groups of military minded goblins, gnolls, orcs, and evil humans, all of which are referred to as "border raiders". For decades, Cormyr's rulers have offered generous land grants to adventurers willing to tame these lands and carve out human holdings. The Zhentarim, on the other hand, actively marshal the goblin bands as raiders, but have only had erratic success in recruiting them.

Storm Horns

These forbidding mountains are massive and sharp, forming a high wall broken only near High Horn Pass and Gnoll Pass, which are guarded by Castle High Horn and Castle Crag. The Storm Horns protect Cormyr from attack but also limit expansion to the north and west. Although humanoid tribes live in the mountains, their power was broken long ago. They only pose a threat when a shaman or charismatic barbarian manages to pull them together for raids. Some of the tribes are learning to trade peacefully, exchanging iron ore and furs for food and gold. Other tribes deeper within the Storm Horns resent the flatlanders and prepare ambushes for explorers. A number of orc survivors from the attack on Arabel have fled to the eastern Storm Horns, and many roam the flatland between the mountains and the city. The mountains are also home to rogue dragons, which often wake up hungry after resting from their last great flight.

The Storm Horns have two permanent human settlements. Eagle Peak is built on a large outcropping and is a popular caravan stop, while Skull Crag is a mining community overshadowed by a large rock dedicated as a shrine to Kelemvor.

Thunder Peaks

Named for the sudden and devastating storms that batter them all year, these wild and unsettled mountains are home to tribes of orcs and goblins that bear no love for Cormyr, Sembia, or the Dales. The humanoids raid settlements constantly despite Cormyrian patrols, and travelers are advised to go armed and wary. The mountain passes are blocked in the winter by snow. The inclement weather makes large scale mining operations difficult, although solitary prospectors sometimes return with silver nuggets the size of fists. Many never return at all, however, having encountered Aurgloroasa the Sibilant Shade, a dracolich that lairs in the abandoned dwarven city of Thunderholme.

Vast Swamp

The region of marsh forms the border between Cormyr and Sembia, as neither country wishes to claim it and both disregard the area unless its monsters wander into their territories. Home to gnolls, hobgoblins, lizardfolk, and trolls, the swamp is also known to shelter a few small black dragons, a mad beholder or two, will-o-the-wisps, and stranger things. This is probably the deadliest region within the country, but since the creatures usually remain in the swamp and the people of Cormyr have no reason to enter it, they are content to ignore it.

Wyvernwater

This clean, clear, star-shaped lake produces abundant fish, crabs, and eels every year. In the morning the water is covered in a thick fog, and fisherfolk who rise early to fish the lake are known as mistfishers. Connected to the Dragonmere by the Wyvernflow River, the Wyvernwater provides access to the Sea of Fallen Stars.

Important sites

Cormyr has become a land of chivalrous knights, fractious nobles, and wealthy and verdant farms. Its freedom loving, often independent citizens are proud to live under the Purple Dragon banner but they remain quick to complain about injustice, corruption, and decadence.

Arabel

During the Goblin War, Arabel was evacuated to Suzail with the help of magic, and the city was occupied for several months by an army of orcs and goblins. The trading company outposts were looted, the mercenary groups that were not slain fell back to other cities, and the great temple to Tymora was burned. Arabel's lord, Myrmeen Lhal (known as the Lady Sword), swore to reclaim her city. Despite the loss of her left arm and its subsequent restoration by powerful magic, she spent the last few months collecting mercenaries, rangers, scouts, and adventuring bands for that purpose, then forced the orcs from the city. The orcs fled to the Hullack, King's Forest, eastern Storm Horns, and the plains to the north of Arabel. While routing the humanoids from the open farmlands may go easily, clearing the forests of their presence will be far more difficult.

Castle Crag

Built to defend Cormyr's northern border against dangers from the Stonelands, Castle Crag houses five hundred Purple Dragons and a detachment of five War Wizards. The stiff necked commander Bren Tallsword calls for frequent drills and inspections. Adventurers are not welcome here; those who arrive are sent on their way as quickly as possible.

Dhedluk

This community in the King's forest is home to farmers and woodcarvers; cutting live wood has been forbidden for several years. Surrounded by a stockade, the village is now threatened by the orc raiders driven out of Arabel. Dhedluk's lord Thiombar has a talent for reading people and a reputation for knowing everyone in Cormyr.

Eveningstar

Eveningstar is a crossroads settlement. it serves the nearby farmers, a small number of craftsfolk who rely on the farmer's goods, and the adventurers who travel this way. Lord Tessaril Winter is a quick and efficient ruler. The village maintains a temple to Lathander but is mainly known for its proximity to many ruins, notably the Haunted Halls of Eveningstar. The winged cats known as tressym are common in this area, making Eveningstar a popular place for anyone who would have one as a familiar. A portal created by a cleric of Mielikki connects a blueleaf tree here with another in the royal gardens of Suzail. The quiet pace of life here was interrupted by Myrmeen Lhal, who used the city as a mustering point in her battle to reclaim Arabel, and the place has had to fend off occasional orc raids ever since.

Immersea

This community is home to the Wyvernspur and Thundersword noble families, who inhabit several of the manors on the southwest end of town. Visitors are warned to respect anyone dressed in finery or displaying arrogance, since the families are powerful and not afraid of proving it. Immersea is a stop on the trade road. Its Five Fine Fish inn produces ale famous throughout Cormyr. There are no temples here, but a large open-air shrine to Selune is maintained by a cleric of that faith. The lord of Immersea is Culspiir, former herald of the previous lord.

Marsember

The second largest city in Cormyr, Marsember is a seaport constructed on a series of islands connected by bridges and cut with canals. Originally built on a swamp, Marsember grew to include nearby terrain, but it still often smells like a marsh. Known as the City of Spices for the local trading companies that procure those goods from far nations, the city relies on trade. Small boats crowd the canals, and many dealings are done in secret to avoid the law.

Flat, hard ground is hard to find here, and only the wealthy can afford large paved areas, usually on top of buildings. Marsember's single large temple is to Lathandar, though it also has small shrines to Tymora, Umberlee, and Waukeen. Bledryn Scoril has taken over as lord of the city since the untimely demise of the previous lord. A twelve ship detachment of the royal navy is stationed here.

Suzail

The royal capital and richest city in Cormyr, Suzail is home to the important nobles and merchant houses of the country. The center of the city is the royal palace, which is surrounded by gardens and the buildings of the royal court.

The city maintains a large barracks for the Purple Dragons, plus stockyards, shipyards, and dozens of inns, taverns, and festhalls. Tymora's is the most prominent temple, though shrines to Lliira, Oghma, Malar, Tempus, and Waukeen are also found here. The famous ivory carvers of Suzail buy exotic ivory from many lands, shape it into new and decorated forms, and export it at a greatly increased value.

The lord of the city is Sthavar, a confident and loyal man who also commands the Purple Dragons. The presence of the Purple Dragons and War Wizards has been more visible since the death of Azoun, as the Princess Regent wishes to assure the common people of their safety and simultaneously be prepared for riots or rebellious activities instigated by contrary nobles. She makes regular appearances with the heir in order to make herself available to the people and to show that she is not afraid for her life or for Cormyr's future.

Thunderstone

Named for the nearby Thunder Peaks, this logging and fishing town has become a haven for adventurers preparing to explore the Hullack Forest. A group of gnome alchemists has set up shop here, selling alchemical items to adventurers and making quite a profit. Popular items include acid, tanglefoot bags, and (of course) thunderstones. A garrison of one hundred Purple Dragons guards the pass to Sembia and occasionally has to rescue adventurers fleeing the forest with monsters on their tails. The town has no lord, but the Purple Dragons enforce Cormyr's laws as directed by their commander, Faril Laheralson.

Tilverton

This city was occupied for many years and was formally absorbed into the nation of Cormyr last year. Once a valuable piece of territory overlooking on of the three passes through the Thunder Peaks, Tilverton suffered and attack of unknown origin earlier this year. Now all that is left is a dark, concave space filled with shadows and flitting regions of deeper darkness. A force of fifty Purple Dragon Knights has been stationed nearby to ward off visitors, for those who enter the area become dim and eventually vanish, never to return.

A triad of wizards from Waterdeep has been studying the site from a distance, but so far has reported only that a great deal of powerful magic has been used in the area. It has caused a disruption in the Weave to such an extent that it greatly limits their ability to investigate further. A dirt road has been cleared around the strange ruin to allow caravan traffic passing through the area.

Waymoot

Waymoot was built in a five mile diameter artificial clearing inside the King's Forest. The town has a large keep, but because of the general safety of this forest, the outlying buildings are not protected by the walls.

A trader's town, Waymoot breeds quality horses and creates and repairs wagons. Its lord is Filfar "Trollkiller" Woodband, a very strong man somewhat uncomfortable with his well deserved title. The town has a small temple to Tymora and one to Lliira.

Wheloon

Known for its vibrant green slate roofs, Wheloon grew up around the ferry traffic on the Wyvernflow river. The roof's color is derived from the stone of a large and monster-haunted quarry due north of the town.

Most of the locals are craftsfolk, making boats, baskets, sails, and pottery. Their lord is Sarp Redbeard, a headstrong man who disagrees with court policy on many matters and is liked by the locals for his attitude, which they suspect keeps the Purple Dragons out of their daily lives. The town has a temple to Chauntea and a shrine to Silvanus.

See also

Official material

  • Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting for Dungeons & Dragons (3rd edition), Cormyr entry on pages 111-116.
  • Volo's Guide to Cormyr, a travel guide for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (2nd Edition).
  • Cormyr, a sourcebook (TSR9410) for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (2nd Edition).

External links