All About Cormyr

dazzlerdal

Explorer
So i'm working on compiling all the lore of Cormyr together in one place, and then adding little bits as i go along - a truly mammoth task.


I've just added in two locations from Ed's musings regarding the retirement of Purple and Blue Dragons.

Permanently injured dragons go to a fortress called Daunthers, where they get free board for life, but less of a pension and no lands. I figure they get to carry on their duties as purple dragons as best as they are able. In times of war i imagine these disabled soldiers being deployed as a rear guard if need be, or left to guard key defensive positions far from the battlefront. I thought to call them the Grey Dragons, because many of them would be old (greybeards).

Incurably diseased purple dragons get sent to Thulser's Lodge in the King's Forest, i'm guessing its a walled compound and nobody is allowed in (guarded from the outside), except for priests who might rarely manage to cure a "guest". In desperate times of need (like the Devil Dragon War), i can picture these "Green Dragons" being deployed in the vanguard of a charge or volunteering for suicide missions to deal whatever damage they can and spread disease among the enemy.
 

dazzlerdal

Explorer
One thing about Cormyr that many might not pick up on, is hints that Thauglor controlled the part of the Weave around Cormyr and was able to alter it in ways. The elves (Iliphar Nelnueve) seemingly won this control of the Weave from Thauglor in the contest for the Wolf Woods, and then ceded that control to House Obarskyr.

The blood of the Obarskyr's seems to be involved in this link to the Weave (the Ghazneths support that link, an idea developed by George Krashos).

However, i'm wondering if control over the Weave was not facilitated by some kind of magical construct. When the King of Cormyr met the elven lord at the battle with the Witch Lords (in Cormyr: A Novel), it was hinted that the Obarskyr's had power in their blood, but also that the same power was in the brow of the elven lord. I took that to mean his crown held power.

King Faerlthann's crown was made by the elves and gifted to him by Iliphar Nelnueve. I'm not sure what has happened to it since King Iltharl the Insufficient though.

I figure control over the Weave actually means attunement to a single Weave Anchor, and that Thauglor, whoever possesses the Crown of Faerlthann, and those of the Blood of Obarskyr are able to channel some of that power through themselves, allowing the Mage Royal to monitor them easily anywhere in Cormyr, and in Thauglor's case perhaps he found means to transcend the body he possessed.

Just a few thoughts if anyone fancies a theoretical debate on Cormyr
 

Scrivener of Doom

Adventurer
Nice work. I look forward to more. There is so much Cormyr lore to compile as the other person liking your posts - @Jeremy E Grenemyer - will attest as he's done some great work in this regard.

Quick correction: The plural of Obarskyr is Obarskyrs; there is no apostrophe.
 

dazzlerdal

Explorer
Looking at Espar again.

Still fairly certain that Esparin was founded in the wake of a migration of people from the Western Heartlands coming through High Horn Pass in the Year of the Dracorage (1018 DR). The mountain passes would have been guarded at any other time and High Horn the fortress was hit during that year by dragons.

That gives enough time for Espar to be founded as a settlement in north eastern Cormyr and for Elminster to select the Wanderers of Espar to refound the Harpers.

As Esparin grows Arabel secedes from Cormyr (emboldened perhaps by the rebel state) and is later reconquered in 1050 DR by Azoun II.

It says that King Proster ignored Espar in one of Ed's quotes, but King Baerovus gave battle to them at every opportunity. I figure it is during King Baerovus' time that the capital of Esparin (i guess it was near Arabel) was razed by Baerovus and his army. 1135 DR is the Year of the Petulant Dragon and seems like a good named date in Baerovus' reign.

Then the capital of Esparin is moved to Yerespar (renamed Espar) in time for Palaghard to wed Enchara.
 

dazzlerdal

Explorer
Given that Cormyr is one of the most lawful nations in Faerun, its laws are surprisingly undocumented. I've been making an attempt to find and organise all references to elements of law and order.

I know there is a lot more information out there on this topic but its a start.



The Royal Word

The Royal Word are those laws set by the King that are unalterable except by decree from the King himself (or the Royal Magician)

  • Commoners must bow their heads in the presence of royalty (Minor).
  • Visitors must bow their heads in the presence of a Local Lord (Minor).
  • Non-military personnel must carry all weapons openly and those weapons must be tied by "peace strings". Bearing arms is only allowed by those possessing a Charter of Arms, or a Weapons Licence (Medium).
  • Everyone must comply to a stop and search request delivered by military personnel (Medium).
  • Foreign currency may only be traded by those with a Currency Trading Licence (Minor).
  • Hunting in the King's Forest may only be performed by those with a Hunting Licence (Minor).
  • Hunting of deer in the King's Forest may only be performed by those with a Stag Hunting Licence (Medium).
  • Offences against the Dragon, this applies to all improper depictions of any King or Queen of Cormyr. Lewd, immoral, evil depictions are all classed as improper, and the medium can be anything including literature, paint, sculpture, etc (Minor).
  • It is forbidden to unleash magic within the confines of the village known as the Mouth o' Gargoyles (Severe).
  • The searching of the magical refuges of the Sword Heralds by the Crown or its agents is strictly prohibited (Capital).
  • Possession of banned substances without a Passage Licence is strictly prohibited (Severe).
  • The damming or restriction of water-courses is strictly prohibited except for individuals possessing a Water Management Licence.

Court Law

For all disputes and grievances not covered by Crown Law (or in the event of disputes by nobles against Crown Law), Cormyr has created a system known as Court Law.

Court is a formal process whereby one or both parties in the dispute bring the details to the Local Lord of a settlement to adjudicate (with assistance from court magistrates to interpret existing Court and Crown Law). Any decisions made as a result of Court Law are catalogued by the Lord Magistrate (actually his assistants) and stored in the cellars of the Royal Court.

Any appeals against Court Law decisions (a privilege allowed only by nobles or with Crown approval) are taken to the Royal Court in Suzail to be heard by a jury of peers.

Despite Court Law being a separate process to Crown Law, the Local Lords often adjudicate the application of both Crown and Court Law, and decide all punishments.

Punishment

Crown Law is strictly stratified into a range of severity for individual offences; Minor, Medium, Severe, Capital

Minor offences are punished with fines, confiscation of property, and more rarely with imprisonment for up to 1 day.

Medium offences are punished with loss of licences, confiscation of wealth and property (in punitive proportions) and imprisonment for up to a year

Severe offences are punished with maiming, hard labour for up to 5 years, confiscation of all wealth and property, loss of titles.

Capital offences are usually punished with death, but this can be mitigated to exile or a lifetime of hard labour or in very rare cases the amputation of all limbs (including eyes, ears, and tongue).

Repeat offences can result in punishment being applied at the next level of severity, at the discretion of the Local Lord

Licences

Crown Law forbids many activities in a blanket ban that applies to all (hunting, bearing of arms, selling weapons, trading in foreign currency, etc. The Crown gathers a substantial source of revenue from the sale of licences that allow individuals or organisations exemption from specific Crown Laws.

Charter of Arms: This licence is otherwise known as the Adventurer's Charter, for it allows an individual or small group of individuals as named on the charter, to bear arms and operate within the boundaries of Cormyr without fear of prosecution.

Currency Trading Licence: Allows the individual or organisation (and those employees of that organisation) to trade specified foreign currencies with foreign nationals that are believed to be in Cormyr on a temporary basis (merchants and caravans, etc).

Hunting Licence: Allows the individual or group of individuals to hunt a quota of small animals (excluding deer, stag, and all exotic beasts), within the confines of the King's Forest for a defined period of time as specified on the licence. These licences are often granted to entire settlements laying within the confines of the King's Forest, allowing all residents of said settlement to hunt a reasonable number of animals (to provide sustenance) for an indefinite period of time. Licences can otherwise be bought by those wishing to go on hunting expeditions into the forest.

Land Licence: Allows the named individual or group of individuals or organisation to own a specified area of land for a defined period of time. These licences can be hereditary (but usually not) and the terms of inheritance are strictly defined (patri or matrilineal, primo or ultimogeniture).

Logging Licence: Allows the individual to fell a specified number of trees from a specified area within the King's Forest.

Marriage Licence: Allows the named individuals to form a cooperative partnership including the equal sharing of assets and responsibility.

Passage Licence: Allows the individual or organisation (and those employees of that organisation) to transport banned or controlled items (as specified by the licence and including things like poison, dangerous animals, weapons, foreign currency, smoke powder, etc). All items must be transported in secured containers. The licence specifies the number of containers allowed to be transported by the licence, and the place of origin and place of destination. This licence is typically issued from the place of origin and destroyed by officials at the place of destination (after an inspection to ensure the terms of the licence have been complied with).

Smithing Licence: Allows the individual or organisation (and those employees of that organisation) to produce manufactured goods from base metals. The licence specifies the types of goods permitted to be manufactured (i.e. decorative, miscellaneous, arms and armour, etc).

Stag Hunting Licence: Allows the named individual to hunt a defined number of deer and stag (including pregnant and young deer) within the confines of the King's Forest for a defined period of time as specified on the licence. Licence costs range from 10,000 to 100,000 gold pieces at a rate of 1,000 gold pieces per day.

Trade Fair Licence: Allows the individual access to a trade fair. Typically issued at the site of entry to an official Trade Fair and costs vary from 1 copper piece to 1 silver piece (for those trade fairs in Suzail).

Water Management Licence: Allows the named individual or organisation (and those employees of that organisation) to modify waterways, including damming, redirection, and restriction. These licences are typically required for those wishing to operate a mill.

Weapons Licence: Allows the named individual or organisation (and those employees of that organisation) to bear arms within a specified location or locations for the purposes of selling those arms to customers providing said customers are in possession of a Charter of Arms or are representatives of the Crown.
 

dazzlerdal

Explorer
Found mention of the diadem of iliphar being claimed by king keldroun during the thronestrife period. I'm assuming this is the same as the crown of faerlthann.


Also seen lots of mention of local law in places. I'm assuming this is just court law but with laws of only local scope (but still collated and recorded by the lord magistrate and his assistants in suzail.
 

dazzlerdal

Explorer
Started a write up of the Men of the Basilisk.

Noted a few things.

Firstly, that Battlegate Keep is the site of the portal that leads to the Auantiver Labyrinth that all new recruits are required to survive. However the catacombs of Battlegate Keep are also a hideout for the cult of the dragon and the two organisations are enemies (even though the cult is mostly unaware of the men of the basilisk).

It seems curious that during the induction process potential recruits are required to visit the ruins on a named day. Perhaps this day is when the cult of the dragon will be busy or away from its base. Perhaps the men of the basilisk have a member within the cult (the sorcelisk seems a good candidate).


Secondly the men of the basilisk have cells in iraeibor, selgaunt, saerloon, marsember and four other cities. But there is no cell in teziir and yet that is where the exit portal from the labyrinth emerges and where they have their annual meetings.

I wonder if there is a secret cell that operates in teziir and secretly manipulates the octads.


Lastly, the basilisk in the labyrinth is much greater than a normal basilisk, has black dragon blood in his veins, and is at least 8 centuries old. I would expect such a creature to be quite intelligent and probably to be part of the organisation if not secretly running it.

Perhaps he could be manipulating the octad through the symbol (a reptile eye with eight basilisk legs coming out of it)


I have noted that one of the men of the basilisk is a senior war wizard who has kept the war wizards away from this society. Could it be that he directed the war wizards towards other groups like the fire knives in order to advance his station in the war wizards and the men of the basilisk (who are not above using criminals to further their objectives).
 

dazzlerdal

Explorer
Decided to add a bit about the basilisk that is never mentioned in the Men of the Basilisk.

The Basilisk (Evil, Greater Basilisk): The Basilisk (whose name is Sscartaunissk, but no one has ever bothered to ask) has remained imprisoned within the Auantiver Labyrinth since 658 DR, hovering between starvation and insanity, forced to feed on rocks for nutrition, and left with only the remains of petrified monsters for company.

In 1247 DR a number of foolish humanoids stumbled into the Basilisk's prison canyon and once again she was able to feast upon flesh. Every year new, stupid, defenceless humanoids would blindly stumble into her home and run around in a panic before she ate them, petrified them, or they ran into a narrow passageway accessible behind her main sleeping chamber, and escaped.

Once the insanity of hunger left her, and she gained focus from the game of stalking those walking meals that entered her lair, then her wits returned to her and she began to notice several details. First was that all of the humans carried a dagger bearing a symbol she remembered from when she was first hatched (the symbol of House Auantiver), second is that all the humans that escape her teeth flee down the same passageway.

Sscartaunissk has formulated a plan to escape, she has been gradually consuming the sides of the rocky canyon in which she is imprisoned, widening it so that eventually she will be able to fit through it, she has lined the passage floor with statues in various poses of escape (making sure that they are looking back towards her), and is moving them apart gradually to cover her excavations. Whenever she has fallen ill (she has an allergy to dwarves), a man arrives to nurse her back to health, he is capable of magic and is immune to her gaze, he also wears a ring bearing the symbol (of House Auantiver).

Sscartaunissk's plan is to widen the passageway enough to fit through and then attempt to devour a witless meatbag and its dagger, then she should be able to pass on to where-ever they disappear to at the end of the passage. If that fails then she will feign illness and wait for the man to come and cure her, and then attack him with her full fury (or at the very least bite off his hand) and again escape her prison. Once free she will gratefully devour beings until she is sated and then flee towards the nearest mountain.
 

dazzlerdal

Explorer
Moving on from the Men of the Basilisk to the Purple Dragons of Cormyr.

I realise they arent exactly a clandestine secret organisation, but they are quite large and they are potentially an organisation that PCs can fight or join.


So first thought / question.

When were the purple dragons founded.

I realise that there has been an armed forces in Cormyr for a long time, but has it always been called the Purple Dragons, and when did Cormyr first have a centralised army under the control of the Crown (typically feudal realms raise levies and require nobles to field an agreed number of soldiers from their household, its a big reason why a nation creates nobility).

I have a few thoughts. It seems like King Duar fought Magrath the Minotaur with 20 companions that were known as the Purple Dragons.

I reckon that name remained in history but was not applied to the military for many years after. In this time it is possible that the Crown had a permanent military force larger than most noble houses but only really big enough to guard Suzail and the Crown estates.

Now by 900 DR, King Galaghard leads an army (known as the Glory of Cormyr) against the forces of the Witch King. This is a fight for survival on home soil and is the kind of driver necessary for the creation of a national army (nobles tend to automatically resist any attempts for the King to create a large military force under his direct control). The fact that the army has a special name says to me that it was a special creation to fight the Witch King and an achievement of note. After the war it would be easier to keep the army going and thus keep a permanent national army of considerable size.

By the time of the Kingdom of Esparrin it seems clear that Cormyr has a national military that secures and patrols its territory, although its size is still up for debate.

Then in 1286 DR we have King Salember the Red Dragon battling the forces of Crown Prince Rhigaerd which are known as the Purple Dragons, i'm assuming King Salember named his army the Red Dragons. I would peg this as the official date of the naming of the Purple Dragons as the armed forces of Cormyr.



Anyone have any thoughts or firm dates regarding the Purple Dragons
 

dazzlerdal

Explorer
Thats a good point, i think the original idea for the Men of the Basilisk was written before dracolisks were a thing, and it does say that it only has black dragon ancestry so i'm not certain how much black dragon is in it or how much is needed to make a dracolisk but i will change it to be one anyway.
 

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