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Cormyr (pronounced: /kɔːrˈmɪərcore-MEER[1]), also known as the Forest Country and the Land of the Purple Dragon[1] was an independent nation in interior Faerûn. It was historically one of the most prosperous countries of Faerûn.[citation needed]

As of 1372 DR, the country was under threat from all sides and struggling to hold onto order. Nobles bickered over land rights, Sembian merchants and a Cult of the Dragon cell tried to gain a trading foothold, and there was a Zhentarim presence. The city of Shade and the ruins of Myth Drannor both posed a threat.[citation needed]

Around 1372 DR, the country felt the effects of the Goblin War and the death of King Azoun IV. Bandits inhabited the roads and remnants of orc and goblin armies inhabited the forests. The town of Tilverton was destroyed in a battle against the Shadovar, leaving the strategically important northeast of the country open to raiders wishing to invade.[citation needed]

The ruler as of 1372 DR, Regent Alusair Obarskyr, had her hands full dealing with all of these threats. She had the experienced Purple Dragons and War Wizards at her disposal.[citation needed]

As of 1486 DR, Queen Raedra Obarskyr ruled the country and focused on rebuilding after the past few years of war.[3]

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

What a land is Cormyr! Certainly, the geography is dramatic - edged by mountains and sea, filled with forests and swamps - but why dwell on these when the great walls of Suzail loom ahead?
— Excerpt from The Approachable East[8]

History[]

Main article: History of Cormyr

Cormyr was founded in the Year of Opening Doors, 26 DR. Its first king was Faerlthann Obarskyr, son of Ondeth Obarskyr and Suzara Obarskyr.[9] The kingdom was initially formed because the elves and humans in the region needed to get along with each other. Since that time, Cormyr grew by absorbing the realms of Esparin and Orva and claiming the Stonelands as its own.[10]

Some time between 376 DR and 432 DR, Cormyr was invaded by many dragons, including Thauglor, the Purple Dragon, so-called because his scales went purple with age, who laid 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 the Year of the Cat's Eye, 429 DR, by King Duar Obarskyr. By the Year of the Sea Princes, 432 DR, many noble families had left Cormyr for either 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,[11] and it was after Magrath's death that the Purple Dragon was adopted as the nation's official symbol.[12]

In the Year of the Dragon, 1352 DR, Gondegal, also known as "The Usurper King" and "The Lost King", attempted to establish a separate kingdom centred on the city of Arabel. He was overthrown, after only eight days in power, by an allied army composed of forces from Tilverton, Sembia, and Daggerdale, along with the Purple Dragons, led by King Azoun IV.[13]

The Goblin War begun by the elf-dragon Nalavara did significant damage to the kingdom, resulting in the deaths of King Azoun IV and his heir, Tanalasta Obarskyr in 1371 DR.[14][15][16] This began the Steel Regency of Alusair Obarskyr, until Tanalasta's newborn son Azoun V could take the throne.[14][17][18]

The Spellplague did not spare Cormyr, but it survived relatively unharmed, save for the loss of a third of its War Wizards.[17] The Wailing Years were not so kind to all its neighbours, and many would join the budding empire as Cormyr reluctantly grew to counter the Netherese vassal-state of Sembia.[19] Tensions between Cormyr and its neighbors Netheril and Sembia were constant, further fueled by the assassinations of Cormyrean royalty.[20]

Between 1484 DR and 1486 DR Cormyr fought a war on two fronts as it mustered troops to defend the Dalelands against Sembia's invasion and its own borders were invaded by Netheril.[21][22] King Irvel Obarskyr was killed during the Siege of Suzail and was succeeded by his daughter Queen Raedra Obarskyr.[23] By the end of the war Cormyr had successfully reclaimed its land from the Sembian and Netherese forces and turned its focus to recovery.[22]

Government[]

And in this land I'll proudly stand
Until my dying day, sir;
For whate'er king o'er all command,
I'll still be a Cormyte brave, sir."
— The Cormyte's Boast, Master Bard Chanthalas[24]

Cormyr was founded as a monarchy in about 26 DR[9][25] Around 1370 DR, there was some sentiment that the nation should be run by a council.[26] The ruling monarch had an advisor, who had the title (amongst others) of High Wizard, and who was in charge of the War Wizards.[27]

Laws of the Kingdom[]

Main article: Laws of Cormyr

By 1368 DR, the following laws had been posted at all major entry points to Cormyr.[28]

  1. "All persons entering Cormyr must register with the officials of a border garrison."[28]
  2. "Foreign currency can only be used in certain locations. Please exchange your coins for Cormyrean golden lions at your first opportunity."[28]
  3. "Adventurers must acquire a charter before undertaking any operation as a group."[28]
  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."[28]
  5. "Harming cats is forbidden."[28]
  6. "Bow your head to royalty and the local nobility."[28]
  7. "Purple Dragons have the right to search you upon request."[28]
  8. "Hunting on private land is forbidden."[28]

Society[]

Cormyte society was divided between commoners, the military, and the ruling class. The last one was in turn divided between the monarchy and the nobility[29][30].

Nobility[]

Titles of Nobility
for the
Kingdom of Cormyr
by Rank

~
King/Queen
Prince/Princess
Duke/Duchess
Marchion/Marchioness
Earl/Countess
Viscount/Viscountess
Baron/Baroness
Baronet/Baronetess
Knight

For a list of houses, see: Category:Cormyrian houses

The nobility of Cormyr were composed of the most wealthy and influential households. There was an annual ceremony at the beginning of the summer where each noble house came to Suzail to meet and see the monarch and discuss their achievements over the previous year, before retiring to their summer residences.[31] Nobles swore allegiance to the crown on the sword Symylazarr.[32] Nobles owed the king of Cormyr a certain number of troops, in lieu of their military service, under Cormyrian law.[33]

The nobility of Cormyr were fond of playing board games and were known to keep gaming tables in the parlors of their homes.[34].

Common folk[]

In Cormyte society, everyone who wasn't from a noble family or a local lord was considered a commoner. Commoners were divided between farmers, crafters and merchants. Commoners also filled most of the ranks of the Purple Dragons and the militias[29][35].

Farmers were the foundation of the kingdom's conservative society, and farming was Cormyr's largest occupation. They mostly lived simple lives in land quite a distance from towns. Cormyrian farmers tended to have a strong sense o unity amongst themselves, more so then compared to most places. They also tended to be loyal to the Crown and the monarch, having promptly volunteered to join the military in times of crisis, such and when Gondengal threatened to break the realm apart and during the conflicts against Netheril and Sembia in the 15th century DR[35][6].

There has never been serfdom in Cormyr. Its farmers were all either citizens who independently owned the land they cultivated or were landless crofters (the norm in upland Cormyr) who farmed land owned by someone else while paying rent, through either coin or a yield share. These landless farmers were in no way bound to the land, and could move if they wished[6].

Cormyr's crafters also had a long reputation and tradition, and were respected for being blessed by the gods with the ability to transform materials into goods, either useful or decorative, ideally both. This group encompassed all kinds of artisans and builders, with different towns and cities being a centre for a particular type of craft. Unlike in other regions, crafter guilds were not particularly powerful, and resembled fraternal organizations. The concept of labor unions was also mostly unknown in Cormyr. The exceptions to these rules were certain guilds of constructors that had discovered they could exert quite a bit of political influence by the 14th century DR[35][6].

Finally, merchants were the most powerful social class outside the nobility. This group had became quite powerful, and their riches surpass even that of some noble families. Merchant influence was usually seen when a merchant house a noble family from financial trouble in exchange for behind-the-scenes control of a government post held by such nobles. Despite their power, the merchant class almost always maintained the interests of the nation and of the royalty above their own. This loyalty was due in part to the favorable mercantile conditions maintained by Cormyr's rulers[35]. Their political influence grew steadily by the 15th century DR [6].

Trade[]

Coins of Cormyr[]

After around 1300 DR, coins in Cormyr were minted in either the Royal Mint in Suzail or the mint in High Horn. Older coins existed that were minted in the Elder Forest Kingdom but these were not minted in the 14th century DR.[36]

By around 1479 DR, Cormyrian coins bore the visage of King Foril I. They aged well and were made of pure metals with good weight. Coins were designated in regards to the Royal Mint that produced them by their mint mark. The marks were a three-decker, four-masted carrack for the mint in Suzail and two parallel crescent moons for the one in High Horn[6].

Coins were referred to by the following names[36][6]:

Trade Organizations[]

Cormyr's contact with other regions of Faerun happened primarily through the activities of powerful and wealthy merchant organizations. The most powerful of which were, as of 1479 DR, the Seven Suns Trading Coster, the Trueshield Trading Priakos, as well as the Glanend and Shatterhawk trading families[6].

Geography[]

Cormyr - 1479 DR

Cormyr in 1479 DR.

Often referred to as the "Forest Kingdom", Cormyr was once covered in thick forests. Due to commercial logging and clearing for farming, however, the once-great forests became restricted to the King's Forest in the west, the Hullack Forest in the east, and the relatively small Hermit's Wood to the south between Wheloon and the Dragonmere. The Dragonmere, an expanse of water connected to the Sea of Fallen Stars, bordered Cormyr to the south. The Storm Horns mountains formed a boundary to the north and west of Cormyr, with the Thunder Peaks to the east.[37] The Vast Swamp separated Cormyr from Sembia in the southeast.[37] The Wyvernwater was a large lake in the middle of Cormyr. Cormyr itself was dotted with beacon towers, used to quickly relay messages across the land.[38]

Navy & Seafaring[]

The navy of Cormyr was called the Blue Dragons.

Cormyr's official naval vessels were all named after Cormyrian monarchs, such as Valashar's Bane (after Azoun I) and Queen Besmra, whereas the corsairs and privateers used vessel named for the weapons possessed by these rulers, such as Drake's Tooth and Undying Gaze.[39]

Notable Locations[]

Regions of Cormyr[]

The Heartlands[]

Main article: Cormyr/Heartlands

The Heartlands consisted of the King's Forest and the surrounding lands, home to the oldest cities in Cormyr and innumerable smaller settlements. It was bounded by the foothills of the Storm Horns and the shores of the Wyvernwater and Dragonmere. It included Suzail, Arabel, and Marsember, making it the most urbanised and densely populated region of Cormyr.[40]

The Coast[]

Main article: Cormyr/Coast

The Coast was a broad term that referred to the pastoral and long-settled coastal lands east of the Starwater River, along the Way of the Manticore up to the border of Sembia at the Vast Swamp and Darkflow River. It largely consisted of rolling plains and small villages, punctuated by the large town of Wheloon and the forest of the Hermit's Wood.[41]

The East Reaches[]

Main article: Cormyr/East Reaches

The East Reaches of Cormyr were the great frontier of wilderness that lay to its east and north. It was made up of all the lands between the Wyvernwater and the Thunder Peaks, as well as the lands north of Arabel as far as the Stonelands and Tilver's Gap. The Hullack Forest sat in the center of this region, home of bandits, monsters, and ancient ruins.[42]

The West Reaches[]

Main article: Cormyr/West Reaches

The West Reaches encompassed the western Storm Horns, marked with perilous trails that linked the isolated villages and keeps, including the famous High Horn. It was sparsely populated and considered the most dangerous region of Cormyr, thanks to the constant threat of brigands, monsters, and violent weather. Further west, the reaches claimed the Tunlands, Veilstone Peaks and Farsea Marshes, though the control was tenuous at best.[43]

Other Regions[]

Cormyr sent Purple Dragons and adventurers into neighboring regions to claim new land, clear out monsters and bandits, and further the interests of the Crown. The realm's control of these lands was tenuous at best, if it were ever achieved in the first place. This claimed territory included the Stonelands, Goblin Marches, and High Moors, as well as other distant parts of the east and west reaches.[44][45]

The Dragon Coast fell under Cormyr's control following the Spellplague when the city-states there pleaded for assistance during the Wailing Years. In this time, Elversult, Ilipur, Pros, Proskur, and Teziir joined Cormyr by various means.[46]

During the 15th century DR, Cormyr struggled militarily and politically with Netheril and Sembia. Through this war and intrigue, Cormyr actively protected and influenced the lands between them, with Daerlun, High Dale, and Urmlaspyr taking part in this shifting of allegiances.[47]

Appendix[]

Trivia[]

  • Cormyr was introduced to the wider world by Ed Greenwood in the article More Pages from the Mages: The latest words of wisdom from Elminster the Sage, published in Dragon #69.

Further Reading[]

Appearances[]

Novels
Azure BondsThe Wyvern's SpurThe Ring of WinterSwords of EveningstarTymora's Luck
Referenced only
The Glass PrisonThe Sapphire Crescent
Video Games
Neverwinter Nights: Wyvern Crown of Cormyr
Referenced only
Baldur's GateIcewind Dale IINeverwinter Nights 2: Storm of ZehirNeverwinter Nights: Darkness over Daggerford

Gallery[]

References[]

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  2. Steve Kenson, et al. (November 2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. Edited by Kim Mohan. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 11. ISBN 978-0-7869-6580-9.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Steve Kenson, et al. (November 2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. Edited by Kim Mohan. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 11. ISBN 978-0-7869-6580-9.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 111. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  5. Ed Greenwood (August 1992). “The Everwinking Eye: Words To The Wise”. In Jean Rabe ed. Polyhedron #74 (TSR, Inc.), p. 15.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 Brian R. James (July 2008). “Backdrop: Cormyr” (PDF). In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #365 (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 47–48. Archived from the original on 2018-11-23. Retrieved on 2020-03-02.
  7. Steve Kenson, et al. (November 2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. Edited by Kim Mohan. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 13. ISBN 978-0-7869-6580-9.
  8. Larian Studios (October 2020). Designed by Swen Vincke, et al. Baldur's Gate III. Larian Studios.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 60. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  10. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 114. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  11. Ed Greenwood, Jeff Grubb (April 1998). Cormyr: A Novel. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 240–241. ISBN 0-7869-0710-X.
  12. Ed Greenwood, Jeff Grubb (April 1998). Cormyr: A Novel. (TSR, Inc.), p. 303. ISBN 0-7869-0710-X.
  13. Eric Haddock (1994). Cormyr. (TSR, Inc), pp. 32–33. ISBN 1-56076-818-5.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Sean K. Reynolds, Steve Miller (2000). Into the Dragon's Lair. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 3. ISBN 0-7869-1634-6.
  15. Ed Greenwood, Troy Denning (January 2012). Death of the Dragon (ebook ed.). (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 41, loc. 5244. ISBN 978-0-7869-6209-9.
  16. Ed Greenwood, Troy Denning (January 2012). Death of the Dragon (ebook ed.). (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 43, loc. 5495. ISBN 978-0-7869-6209-9.
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  18. Ed Greenwood, Troy Denning (January 2012). Death of the Dragon (ebook ed.). (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 46, loc. 5888. ISBN 978-0-7869-6209-9.
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  23. Erin M. Evans (August 2015). Fire in the Blood (paperback ed.). (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 30. ISBN 978-0-7869-6569-4.
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