Laws of Cormyr

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Purple DragonPurple Dragon
The Purple Dragon

Cormyr is known as a tolerant, pleasant realm. This is due to the vigilance and professionalism of its soldiery, the reasonable nature of the current monarch and his local lords, and the law-abiding nature of its people, who generally know how to behave and aren't much interested in breaking the law.

Officers of the Crown

If the local lord is absent, dead, or incapacitated, only war wizards or senior nobles (of the rank of Baron or higher) can preside over trials. The local herald or Purple Dragon can settle only minor disputes. All decisions made by such an acting official can be appealed to a "proper" official, when available (though an acting official who judges wrongly cannot be punished for bad decisions).

In practice, most heralds and local Purple Dragon captains speak with authority on matters of law, and will be backed by the local lord. The Purple Dragons have the authority to jail and hold any citizen except the king, until trial or sentencing, or until six nights pass (or earlier, if release is acceptable; the local lord can overrule in such matters). The Crown will reimburse citizens who lose goods, but not opportunities for business, through such imprisonment; but imprisoning officers are immune from punishment.

A drunken patron at an inn who was ordered to leave by a Purple Dragon could expect to be imprisoned if he refused. Other patrons would help the officer against the patron, not vice versa.

Officers who are found to be corrupt or of faulty judgment (and traveling war wizards often use magic to surreptitiously check) are quietly dismissed or sentenced in Suzail, never called down in public. The former King, in moments of rage, was been known to set aside this rule, but no one else in the Forest Kingdom would have ever dared to do so.


What most farmers would consider to be a decent way of living is the way folk are expected to behave. The bearing and use of weapons is permitted for the sake of protecting oneself; if one is a soldier or in the militia; if one is a visitor who traverses lawless areas (i.e., every traveling merchant); or if one is an adventurer with a royal charter. Both armed and unarmed citizens are liable for property they damage and harm they inflict on others.

Murder, theft, unprovoked assault, and wanton destruction are serious crimes. The local lord has the authority to pass sentences and to order individuals how to behave (such as forbidding them from entering or approaching an area, or ordering them to make restitution to those they have harmed). Disobeying the lord, except in rare circumstances of special rights granted by the king to clergy, nobles, or others (such as an agent following written royal orders), is itself a crime.


Sentences generally involve fines. An individual without coins forfeits property, and if he has nothing of value, he is sentenced to labor for the Crown (mining or roadwork, under guard) at a standardized rate until the debt is paid. Another option is transportation (enforced removal from an area; permanent exile is used against only those guilty of treason or many-times-repeated offenses).

If a crime is severe enough (wanton murder, arson, or casting of spells in a deliberate attempt to kill, or knowing that a death would be likely), an accused can be put to death. A trial must first be held, and war wizards are always summoned from Suzail to determine guilt magically.

The wizard will suggest sentencing and has the added options of forcing the guilty party into "suicide service" with the military, or using magic to transform the criminal into a beast of burden to serve for a number of years.


Adventurers who find themselves in trouble with the law are most likely to face charges for murder, property damage, theft, or for wounding citizens or animals.

There is no penalty for murder if the killing is judged to be justified - i-e., self-defense, defense of another under one's protection, and so on. War wizards use magic to determine insanity and the truth of evidence.

Fines are levied for replacement of lost, stolen, or damaged-beyond-repair property. Repairs, attempted only if they can make the property better than before the damage occurred, are paid for by the guilty.

In cases of injury, healing magic is performed by the local priests and a fine is exacted to pay the costs. The guilty party might also be required to pay for lost work, including losses incurred from injury to animals (a farmer whose oxen are injured would be paid for both the cost of caring for the animals and any work lost while they recovered). If a death occurs, replacement costs are paid for animals or 1,000 gp are paid per person (doubled for skilled artisans) to the family of the deceased.

War Wizards

When sentencing criminals, most Lords can call on war wizards. They are used only when the Lord needs help to preserve the safety of the village or keep the peace (i.e., to avoid a riot or angry villagers taking the law into their own hands). Most can magically summon a war wizard and see to his arrival within minutes, sometimes less than a minute if the Lord is very powerful or a magic user. If contacted by normal means (messengers on horseback), war wizards will arrive at the end of the next day.

War wizards often arrive with apprentices and guards. Such enforcement troupes usually have access to magical weapons, wands, rings, and other items to assist them with their duties.

When the King lived, he would sometimes respond personally, even arriving with Vangerdahast himself. Alas, those days are long gone, but are well remembered in the stories and songs of the people.

Purple Dragon patrols

These are quite common. The Purple Dragons try to make their rounds across most of Cormyr at least once a day, in highly travelled areas, once every four hours or so. Patrols vary from one to two dozen armed Purple Dragons, armed with lances, swords, daggers, crossbows, chain armor, helms, and shields.

Patrols are usually led by a Captain of some great skill and often entrusted with magic items to assist with peacekeeping. Priests of Helm, Tyr, Tempus, or Torm and their young initiates often ride with the Purple Dragons as well as War Wizards and their apprentices.

See also

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