The War Wizards were a group of battle-mages and sorcerers who fought on behalf of the kingdom of Cormyr and its Crown. They were among the most well-regarded and even feared spellcasting organizations in all the Realms and highly respect by both the common folk and royalty of the Forest Kingdom.[3][6][7]

"Whenever there is doubt and dispute, I shall act to preserve Cormyr. Sunrise and moonfall, so long as my breath takes and my eyes see, I serve Cormyr. I give my life that the realm endure."
— Excerpt from the Handflame[8]

Activities[edit | edit source]

For centuries the War Wizards served the kingdom as advisors, law-enforcement agents and powerful arcane combatants, integral to the success of the Cormyrean government and royal military.[7] Among their responsibilities, war wizards were tasked with investigating shady business dealings, especially those involving the guilds of Cormyr,[9] and regulating the use and possession of smokepowder.[10]

Because they spent much of their time in direct service to the nation, which left them little time for exploration or adventure.[3]

As of the 15th century DR, they continued to directly serve the Cormyrean royal family as bodyguards, counselors and even agents of espionage.[11] When they were free to simply travel the kingdom, they remained vigilant for any happenings that could potentially be important to the crown.[12]

Leadership[edit | edit source]

They war wizards were were led by the Royal Magician of Cormyr, an individual who also served as the administrator of the organization's War College.[7]

As of the mid–14th century DR, this post was held by the great mage Vangerdahast Aeiulvana. For decades he regulated the war wizards, along with all notable practitioners of the Art in Cormyr.[7] He was said to have maintained order in the royal court, manage the various power groups that could pose a threat to the throne, and in some regard, control the kingdom itself.[13][14]

After Vangerdahast's retirement, the young battle-sorcerer Caladnei was chosen as his successor.[15]

As of the 15th century, the title of Royal Magician was held by Ganrahast Aeiulvana. While he was not as war-minded as some other war wizards would have preferred, he was well-served by the militaristic Vainrence.[4]

Orders[edit | edit source]

Within the organization there were wizards known as alarphons, who served to self regulate their collective activities. They were known to spy on fellow war wizards as needed.[4]

Abilities[edit | edit source]

As part of their martial training, war wizards were experts at the fundamentals of spellcasting and even honed their abilities with weapons considerably more than other arcane spellcasters.[5] They often wove these two skills together in battle, to great effect, wielding unique combat spells, such as lightning ripple, and the more–destructive, storm of victory. In fact, many spells created in during the 15th century were only known to the War Wizards, granting them an edge in combat against their enemies.[12]

War wizards were quite adept at applying metamagic modifications to the spells they cast.[5] Some veteran war wizards acquired powerful understanding of a single spell that allowed them to cast it as if it were a natural ability.[12]

Base of Operations[edit | edit source]

The College of War Wizards in Suzail was the seat of power for the Royal Magician.[7]

The war wizards took posts stationed all across Faerûn. As of the Year of the Prince, 1357 DR, around 90 of their members lived in Suzail,[16] with another 20 or so in Marsember.[17] Some 15 years later, Castle Crag kept of the War Wizards within its walls.[18]

Possessions[edit | edit source]

Many war wizards wore magical cloaks that were unique to their order. These were occasionally also gifted to certain Cormyrean nobles or select agents of the crown.[19]

Along with members of the Cormyrean royal family, some important figures such as the Purple Dragon knights and officers were given rings that were magically connected to the War Wizards. These rings allowed the wizards to scry and teleport to their locations, and respond to any threat, nearly as quickly as the ring was removed.[11]

Relationships[edit | edit source]

During the early years of the kingdom, the War Wizards were indistinguishable from the Cormyrean Council of Mages.[14] By the Era of Upheaval, the two spellcasting bodies had clearly defined duties, though they greatly benefited from each others' expertise.[20]

History[edit | edit source]

Powerful wizards in Cormyr have had a storied history,one that was nearly as old as the kingdom itself. The first Cormyrean Council of Mages was called around the Year of the Mournful Dance, 70 DR, when the kingdom was being threatened by monsters from the King's Forest. Baerauble Etharr earned the position as the first Royal Magician and gathered forth all the local wizards to deal with the menacing creatures. This first group of wizard-defenders came to be known as the War Wizards.[1][14][20]

The organizations experienced a great schism in the Year of the Cockatrice, 1248 DR, when Regent Salmber plotted to kill his six–year–old nephew Rhigaerd Obarskyr II, who was heir to the throne. When the sitting Royal Magician Jorunhast made the order to kill the young king–in–waiting, he was exiled and the title of Royal Magician was dissolved. As a whole, the War Wizards were stripped of much of their power and prestige they enjoyed.[20]

A war wizard battling a warrior of the Tuigan Horde

The War Wizards were instrumental in turning back the invading Grand Army of the Tuigan, which threatened the eastern realms of Faerûn in the Year of the Turret, 1360 DR.[citation needed]

In fall of the Year of Lightning Storms, 1374 DR, the War Wizards were tasked with dealing with the Dusk Lord's Passage, a portal that connected the Lost Refuge to the Shadowfell.[21]

Around a third of the War Wizards were either killed or driven mad when the Spellplague ravaged Toril in the Year of Blue Fire, 1385 DR.[22] Following that tragedy, surviving wizards dedicated themselves to protecting their nation from the impending threat of the returned Empire of Netheril.[12]

Some time shortly before the Year of the Godly Invitation, 1449 DR, King Azoun V passed the Suzail Writ, which in part limited the powers given to the War Wizards to monitor the activities of the Cormyrean citizenry.[4]

Members[edit | edit source]

Many recruits were selected from among the children who petitioned to study within the organization. Those who received the honor of an invitation to the War Wizard Academy,[23] were selected for their true genuine motive, demonstration of new and useful spells, or their ability to serve as an apprentice.[24]

Not all prospective members were recruited from a young age however. Some soldiers of the Purple Dragons found they had what it took to join the ranks of the War Wizards.[11] While many of these spellcasters studied as wizards, some of them possessed sorcerous powers, while others followed bardic traditions.[3]

If selected, a recruit became the apprentice of an established War Wizard, a position a high honor. Training to become a war wizard, took five years. During any five-year period about half the candidates dropped out due to the high standards they were expected to meet.[25]

Once the five years of training were successfully completed, the candidate earned the title of "battlemage".[25] They signed a legal agreement that bore the name of the king and pledged to serve the kingdom by the oath of the Handlfame,[8] under pain of geas.[7]

Some of these requested sabbaticals in order to travel the world and study magic in greater depth. Many of them sought to bring back knowledge that would strengthen the organization.[24]

Notable War Wizards[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

The autobiography Twenty Winter's a War Wizard recounted the experiences of one war wizard, Estimyra of High Horn.[31]

Appendix[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Eric Haddock (1994). Cormyr. (TSR, Inc), p. 60. ISBN 1-56076-818-5.
  2. Ed Greenwood (February 2001). “The New Adventures of Volo: Lost Treasures of Cormyr, Part 3”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #280 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 86.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Sean K. Reynolds, Duane Maxwell, Angel McCoy (August 2001). Magic of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 40. ISBN 0-7869-1964-7.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Brian R. James (July 2008). “Backdrop: Cormyr” (PDF). In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #365 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 47. Archived from the original on 2018-11-23. Retrieved on 2020-03-02.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Sean K. Reynolds, Duane Maxwell, Angel McCoy (August 2001). Magic of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 41. ISBN 0-7869-1964-7.
  6. 6.0 6.1 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.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 Eric Haddock (1994). Cormyr. (TSR, Inc), p. 59. ISBN 1-56076-818-5.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Ed Greenwood (October 2012). Ed Greenwood Presents Elminster's Forgotten Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 70. ISBN 0786960345.
  9. Ed Greenwood (October 2012). Ed Greenwood Presents Elminster's Forgotten Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 110. ISBN 0786960345.
  10. Ed Greenwood (October 2012). Ed Greenwood Presents Elminster's Forgotten Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 125. ISBN 0786960345.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 141. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 Rob Heinsoo, Logan Bonner, Robert J. Schwalb (September 2008). Forgotten Realms Player's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 69. ISBN 978-0-7869-4929-8.
  13. Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 42. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Thomas M. Costa (May 2003). “Heroes of Cormyr: Adventuring in the Forest Kingdom”. In Jesse Decker ed. Dragon #307 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 48.
  15. 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.
  16. Ed Greenwood (July 1995). Volo's Guide to Cormyr. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 15. ISBN 0-7869-0151-9.
  17. Ed Greenwood (July 1995). Volo's Guide to Cormyr. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 34. ISBN 0-7869-0151-9.
  18. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 112. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  19. Sean K. Reynolds, Duane Maxwell, Angel McCoy (August 2001). Magic of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 167. ISBN 0-7869-1964-7.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Thomas M. Costa (May 2003). “Heroes of Cormyr: Adventuring in the Forest Kingdom”. In Jesse Decker ed. Dragon #307 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 49.
  21. Richard Baker, Bruce R. Cordell, David Noonan, Matthew Sernett, James Wyatt (2007). Cormyr: The Tearing of the Weave. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 119. ISBN 07-8694-119-7.
  22. Brian R. James (December 2007). “Countdown to the Realms: Spellplague: The Wailing Years”. Dragon #362 (Wizards of the Coast).
  23. Dan Anderson (January 2012). “Character Themes: Heroes of Cormyr”. In Steve Winter ed. Dragon #407 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 4.
  24. 24.0 24.1 Dan Anderson (January 2012). “Character Themes: Heroes of Cormyr”. In Steve Winter ed. Dragon #407 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 17.
  25. 25.0 25.1 Dan Anderson (January 2012). “Character Themes: Heroes of Cormyr”. In Steve Winter ed. Dragon #407 (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 16–17.
  26. Ed Greenwood (October 1996). Stormlight. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 266. ISBN 0-7869-0520-4.
  27. Brian R. James (July 2008). “Backdrop: Cormyr” (PDF). In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #365 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 44. Archived from the original on 2018-11-23. Retrieved on 2020-03-02.
  28. Thomas M. Reid, Sean K. Reynolds (Nov. 2005). Champions of Valor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 62. ISBN 0-7869-3697-5.
  29. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (March 2006). Power of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 17. ISBN 0-7869-3910-9.
  30. Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 108. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
  31. Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 162. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.

Connections[edit | edit source]

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.