The Forest KingdomEditCormyr (Core-MEER) is one of the handful of proper nations in the North. Cormyr straddles the land in the northeast region of the Sea of Fallen Stars between the Lake of Dragons and Anauroch. Founded over a thousand years ago, the kingdom of Cormyr benefits from an enlightened monarchy, hard-working citizens, and an advantageous location.
|Population||1.4 million (as of 1374DR)|
|Religions||Chauntea, Deneir, Lathander, Lliira, Oghma, Malar, Milil, Selûne, Silvanus, Tempus, Tymora, Waukeen; Helm|
|Imports||Glass, ivory, spices|
|Exports||Armor, carved ivory, cloth, coal, food, swords, ti|
Recently challenged by treacherous noble families, armies of goblins and orcs, 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.
Cormyr is also called the Forest Kingdom and the Land of the Purple Dragon. It is a rich kingdom; its southern, eastern, and northwestern areas have many farms, offering abundant yield for trade. The central areas of the kingdom are still wooded; these woods, carefully husbanded by the forces of the king, still yield good timber and have plentiful game. The surviving woods are as thick and dangerous as Cormanthor, but these areas are now outnumbered by terrain cleared for use by the cities and landed lords of Cormyr.
Cormyr is a wet land, receiving abundant rain in summer and spring and heavy snow in winter. It has long, cold winters, and short (but hot) summers. Much of spring and fall is temperate and moist, and as a result, Cormyr's farms and forests are both green and rich in yield and splendor. Fog is common along the seacoast, and there are often mists present on the High Moors, extending into the pass at High Horn and the gorge north of Eveningstar.
Cormyr is also strategically located on overland trade routes from the cities of the Moonsea to the northeast; the Dalelands to the east; the Inner Sea (on which it has two major ports, Suzail and Marsmber); and the lands to the west, northwest, and south—particularly the rich city-states and kingdoms of the Sword Coast.
Life and Society Edit
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, Cormyreans remain loyal, content, prosperous, and peace-loving folk. While the serious reverses of the last two years have shaken the kingdom, Cormyreans 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 Faerûn. Beneath the royal family is a wealthy, sophisticated, and 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 Cormyreans 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 fabled purple dragon Thauglor, long the largest and mightiest wyrm of the Dragon Reach.
The Cormyrean MindsetEdit
Cormyr is one of the most civilized and responsible nations in Faerûn. The people have a strong loyalty to their government and king, and tend to be law-abiding and peaceable unless put upon. For its part, the government of Cormyr seems almost enlightened in dealing with its people. There is a strong noble class, a vibrant freeman or commoner class, and a growing merchant class. The everyday situation has improved within the past generation for most Cormyreans, and they are quite content.
Cormyreans are friendly and open, and see themselves as cultured, peaceful, and refined. They fight when they have to and to protect the rights of others. Having achieved peace within their own borders, Cormyreans and their leaders often look elsewhere to see what they can do.
Many Cormyreans see the rest of the world as a dangerous and evil place, needing a strong hand to control it: the Dalesmen are good at heart, but too disorganized to make a credible stand against the evil of the Moonsea; Waterdeep and Sembia seem to spend too much time counting money to fight their foes; the independent states of the Vast, the Western Heartlands, and the Dragon Coast are sprawling and disorganized.
Cormyreans are often perceived as being elitist and isolated from the troubles of the day. Their response is that they have put their nation in order, showing the value of a wise king, a good people, and a strong military force.
Adventurers in Cormyr are viewed as a curiosity; adventurers native to Cormyr are an aberration or following a passing fancy. The idea that people would risk their lives needlessly for gold or glory strikes many natives as odd, a throwback to darker days when that sort of thing was necessary. However, despite this attitude, there are more than enough dragons, goblin hordes, and evil emissaries to go around.
Cormyr is a hereditary monarchy. The recent king was Azoun IV, a regal, middle-aged man of sophisticated tastes and keen wits, son of the famed warrior-king Rhigaerd II. Azoun proved himself a surefooted and careful monarch and military leader; he not only organized the crusade against the Tuigans in 1360 DR, but killed the leader of the enemy horde in single combat.
The king took council from the Royal Magician Vangerdahast, a wizard of great power and Azoun's mentor, teacher, and friend. Much of what Azoun knows of the world has been shown him by Vangerdahast, who was known as Azoun's "pet wizard" and considered the power behind the throne. Vangerdahast is the most powerful wizard in Cormyr, and his loyalty is totally to the crown.
The king taxes lightly and makes the law by his decrees in the Court of the Crown. In addition to the tithe collected by the local lords, discussed below, there is a royal tax of 1 Lion per head annually (5 Lions for wealthy landowners).
Azoun's banner is the purple dragon (on a white field); it is borne often by a strong standing army under the command of the Lord High Marshal of the Kingdom, Duke Bhereu. For major endeavors, the king himself leads the way, following in the footsteps of his father. In recent memory, a titanic red dragon led an army of orcs and goblins and despoiled much of Cormyr. The dragon and King Azoun IV killed each other in battle. The infant son of Princess Tanalasta, Azoun V, became king of Cormyr, with his aunt Alusair acting as Regent.
Suzail is the center of the kingdom and the home of its court. The landed lords and petty nobility of the nation come here to pay tribute (and gain favors from) the crown. Most of the nobility is many generations old; some are as old as the Obarskyr line itself, the line descended from the kings of Cormyr. Many are wealthy or powerful in their own right, and some are poor as temple mice, existing by dint of imperial largesse. Many have large, extant lands outside of Suzail but maintain apartments and townhouses in the capital for the court season.
Regardless of financial station, the nobility of Cormyr is regarded (at least by its members) as being superior due to its birth status and charged with helping direct the ship of state (though not handling the day-to-day operation—that's the work for the local lords and adventuring types).
A partial listing of the Cormyrean nobles includes the following:
- Bleths of Suzail
- Cormaerils of Suzail
- Crownsilvers of the Royal House of Cormyr
- Dauntinthorns of Suzail
- Emmarasks of Suzail
- Huntcrowns of Suzail
- Huntsilvers of the Royal House of Cormyr
- Illances of Suzail
- Marliirs of Arabel
- Rowanmantles of Suzail
- Silverswords of Suzail
- Skatterhawks of Marsember
- Thunderswords of Starwater Meadow
- Truesilvers of the Royal House of Cormyr
- Wyvernspurs of Immersea
The Truesilvers, Huntsilvers, and Crownsilvers are considered Royal Houses because of their close blood ties with the line of King Azoun. The Cormaerils are the largest house in Cormyr, with hangers-on and fringe nobility in every court and council in Cormyr, and have a strong heritage of second- and third-born children going adventuring. The Rowanmantles have the ruler of Tilverton and the co-ruler of Shadowdale in their line. The Skatterhawks are nouveau riche, having been made barons a scant hundred years ago, and still engage heavily in mercantile behavior.
Customs and Law^ Edit
- Commoners of both sexes bow their heads to royalty.
- Burials are followed by wakes.
- It is unlucky and an offense to the gods to kill a cat, for cats are the eyes and messengers of the deities. It is good to keep a cat, but a sin to clip its tail, ears, or fur, or hamper its ability to produce kittens. A cat may not be kept in a cage.
- Women interested in finding a mate wear purple scarves at the hip or the throat.
- Adverturers who go in peace wear peacestrings about the hilts of their weapons. These strings are colored and tasselled cords, and it is an art to tie them in ornate knots. The best of such knots look complicated, but may be undone wiht a single jerk to free the weapon.
- With an alarming number of orcs and goblins currently loose within the borders of the kingdom, the Steel Regent has followed her father's example from the Time of Troubles and relaxed the law requiring private citizens to have a license to bear arms in Cormyr. This should not be taken to mean that Cormyreans and travellers within the realm may now charge around recklessly, blades bared—that is, unless one wishes to be taken into custody and put to work rebuilding or repairing some other damage caused during the war. The established rules for peace-binding weapons are to be observed and will be strictly enforced by all agents of the Crown. Violators can expect little sympathy.
- Mages of any rank above thaumaturgist (5th level and up) must report their names, sigils, and dwelling places to the War Wizards. Such spellcasters are also required to give their names whenever challenged in Cormyr by an official agent of the Crown. The most talented of these mages are invited to join the War Wizards.
- Adventurers in the nation of Cormyr are required to have a charter from the crown. A long history of gurilla warfare and running skirmishes on the border has made the royalty sensitive to armed persons within the realm. A chartered adventuring company must pay a 1000 Lion fee, and a further tax of 300 Lions a year, due at the anniversary of the procurement of the charter. There is a 20 Lion late fee for every late day, up to 10 days after the tax is due. After that, the charter is suspended and any persons bearing arms under the charter are arrested. All members of the adventuring company must bear a symbol or badge of the company when in the nation, and membership of the group is noted in Suzail. Changes to the membership of an adventuring group must be reported as soon as possible at High Horn, Suzail, or Marsember.
^ Not necessarily enforced in Free Arabel.
To enforce the royal word, Cormyr maintains a large standing army, which has increased dramatically in the last decade. More than 12,000 Purple Dragons (called such for the banner of Cormyr) are now garrisoned in major cities and fortifications. A 25-ship imperial navy patrols out of Suzail, the palace guard numbers some 150 trained elite warriors, and the nation maintains a mounted force of 500 warriors trained in sword and bow led by 30 knights out of the court. Most of these elite units are veterans of the crusade against the Horde and are members of the Order of the Golden Way, a military order commemorating those battles. But the most deadly unit in the army is the widely feared War Wizards, mages who are known for their black-and-purple robes.
Travelers through the gaps and other dangerous regions may encounter Cormyrean patrols assigned to protect caravans and keep the peace. A Cormyrean patrol typically numbers a dozen or so fighters, occasionally accompanied by a War Wizard, as well. Such patrols are instructed not to interfere with normal merchant traffic, to inform visitors to Cormyr of customs, and to avoid engagements with superior forces. If such a battle is inevitable, the majority of the troops are to hold the enemy while one heads to the nearest Purple Dragon outpost or fortification to make a report.
Cities of Cormyr Edit
- Suzail (Capital), Population: 45,009.
- Dhedluk, Population: 936.
- Marsember, Population: 36,007.
- Thunderstone, Population: 1,800.
- Waymoot, Population: 1,980.
- Wheloon, Population: 6,661.
- Copper: "Thumbs"
- Silver: "Falcons"
- Gold: " Lions"
- Platinum: "Tricrowns"
The Legend of Gondegal, the Lost King (Pre-Civil War)Edit
Arabel was independent for a brief time in recent memory, the center of a swordsman's empire. That swordsman was Gondegal, the" Lost King", who in the Year of the Dragon (1352DR) attempted to carve a kingdom for himself centered on Arabel and extending north to the Desertsmouth Mountains, south and west of Wyvernwater and the farms outlying from Eveningstar, and east to Tilver's Gap and the mountain passes.
"Gondegal's reach was longer than his blade," people say. He could not hold any of his territory against the might of Cormyr, Sembia, Daggerdale, Tilverton, or several of the other Dales—all of whom he drew the blood and ire of in the making of his throne.
Gondegal ruled for less than a season. He reigned officially for scarcely eight days, the remainder of his rule being spent fighting here and there against one foe or another in the lands he claimed. His troops were largely mercenary, and his treasury of seized goods was small and soon gone. One night Gondegal's force simply melted away before the advancing host of Cormyr and was gone. The forces of King Azoun IV retook Arabel on the morn without wetting a blade. No one found Gondegal's body.
He is known to have fled north and then east, via Teshwave, and then his fate becomes a matter of conflicting rumor and legend. Most believe he still lives with a score or more of loyal followers, keeping court in the wilds somewhere, a careful and ruthless bandit who takes care that none survive one of his attacks to carry tales anywhere. When entire caravans vanish at times anywhere between the High Dale and far-off Impiltur, he is blamed in the taverns.
Gondegal is said to be a tall, gray-haired warrior of considerable personal skill and intelligence. His badge is a gray wolf's head, face on, with red eyes. Caravan guards often warn merchants to beef up the escort on a particular caravan, "else thy gold'll soon be gilding Gondegal's throne." Gondegal is proficient with both the long sword and two-handed broad sword. Whether he yet lives, the magic or treasure he carries, and who his allies might be are all unknown.
Gondegal's reign had a great influence on the king of Cormyr in his second decade of rule. Not only was Azoun forced to put down an effective rebellion in his own country, he was forced to pay more attention to matters outside Suzail, to become the ruler of a nation as opposed to a city-state. Further, the bloodless assault on Arabel was Azoun's first true experience at the head of his army, and the joy of "freeing" the people of Arabel is one that remains with him.