The Purple Dragons were the famous military of Cormyr that were renowned for their discipline, skill, and loyalty. The Purple Dragons were considered to be one of the strongest armies in the Realms, and were well renowned for their heroism and acts of valor in the field of combat. They ranged from young nobles who joined as officers and Purple Dragon knights, to farmers who joined as Blades. The well-disciplined army was made possible through Cormyr's military and hierarchical heritage.
A typical Purple Dragon wore field plate armor and a steel helmet. Over this, they wore a tabard with the symbol of a purple dragon. Higher ranking members were allowed to wear their family's crest on their uniform or shield as well. They could fight with any melee weapon but most often were armed with long swords.
Recruitment and training
All loyal Cormyrean citizens were eligible to join the Purple Dragons by taking an oath. Although the oath was available to non-humans provided they are Cormyrean citizens, extra measures may have been imposed on non-humans to ensure their loyalty, due to the fact that Cormyr was predominantly human.
Nobles were actively expected to take the oath, and would generally be given positions of leadership. Non-nobles would form part of the militia with an initial service of two years.
The first six months consisted of an extensive training regime, before starting active duty, such as patrolling Cormyr's borders or guarding its cities and towns. After the two-year service came to an end, the Purple Dragon may choose to continue his or her role, or return to his or her former life. In times of conflict the individual could be called back into service.
Training could take one of three paths, including basic combat training, leadership training, or training in the protection of key personnel, often War Wizards. Training was conducted in a range of weapons, and covered subjects such as defense of others and battlefield awareness, in addition to basic combat training.
The Purple Dragons had specific titles for the members of their army, listed here from lowest to highest.
- Blade, Armsman
- Telsword, Sergeant
- First Sword, Sergeant Major
- Swordcaptain, Lieutenant
- Lionar, Captain
- Ornrion, Major
- Constal, Colonel
- Oversword, General
- Lord High Marshall
Other titles and positions included:
- Roadcaptain, Scout
The Lord High Marshall in 1374 DR, also known as the Warden of the North, was Lord Dauneth Marliir. Lord Marliir was commissioned by the King for his loyalty and dedication to the Crown. He was based in the city of Arabel, where his personal estate lay.
Cormyr was once part of the woodland empire of Cormanthyr, where elves and dragons fought for dominance. The most prominent of these was the black dragon Thauglor, who was so old that his scales had acquired a purple hue. After the Cormyreans later defeated Thauglor and took the land for themselves, the purple-tinged scales of Thauglor would inspire the name of the Purple Dragons.
In the 420s DR, the Purple Dragons were originally an adventuring company comprising several Cormyrean nobles: Elvarin Crownsilver, Glorin Truesilver, Jotor Turcassan, Omalra Dracohorn, and Dintheron Bleth. Then, when the kingdom collapsed after the treacherous Melineth Turcassan sold the city of Suzail to the pirate lord Magrath the Minotaur in the Year of the Cat's Eye, 429 DR, the Purple Dragons remained loyal to King Duar "Longyears" Obarskyr. They formed the core of a rebel army under the king's command, together with Amedahast and a dwindling number of rank-and-file soldiers following them. They strove for three long years to retake Cormyr from the pirate lord and the traitors that had allied themselves with him.
The increasingly ragtag band had great difficulty retaking the nation even though they had the full support of Cormyr's commoners. In the Year of the Sea Princes, 432 DR, another loyalist unit managed to take High Horn and the soldiers inside agreed to pledge themselves to the king if the Purple Dragons could win a single victory by themselves. Duar and Amedahast chose the remote Dheolur, the hold of one of the traitorous noble families. With the help of a farmer named Dhedluk (whom Dheolur was later named after), and Threena Cormaeril, the group stormed the main building. Magrath was being entertained there at the time, which allowed King Duar to kill the minotaur. This dealt a crippling blow to the traitors and earned the Dragons the allegiance of High Horn's troops, who helped to quickly bring the realm under Duar's rightful control.
Although not explicitly stated, the royal army was most likely named in honor of this group.[speculation]
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