Madness on the Moonsea
History of Cormyr
Recent History of Cormyr
Although most of Cormyr’s long history has been relatively peaceful, the Age of Strife has not been kind to the nation, and visited upon it two protracted and horrific wars, one of which still rages on today. These accounts are by no means complete or entirely accurate.
The Days of Dark Vengeance: 1338 – 1371 DR
A popular legend tells the tale from the earliest days of the Forest Kingdom of a brave and noble king who set forth on a solitary quest to slay a wicked dragon that plagued the borders of the young realm. The legend tells that the king was blessed by the gods and slew the dragon after battling the beast for a day and a night, and that he took the beasts treasure and distributed it among his adoring people. The historic fact behind this fable is slightly different; firstly the dragon’s hoard was distributed among the king’s most loyal nobles, generals and churches, and secondly that it was an entire brood of sleeping dragons, eggs and all, that were destroyed to prevent them from ever having the opportunity to terrorise the nation. Little did any of the many participating members of this slaughter know that the matriarch of this brood, who would come to be known as Nalavara the Devil Dragon, slept elsewhere and that her terrible vengeance would take generations to be visited on the people of Cormyr.
The destruction of Nalavara’s brood took place in the year 116 DR, but it took until 1338 DR for the beast to discover the crime, for her grief to turn to all consuming rage, and for that rage to rain down upon the people of Cormyr. Her quest for justice was carefully planned; she spent many years turning herself into a goddess among the orcs, goblins and other savage races found near the Forest Kingdom, and gathering around her the foulest and most potent dark magic in the Realms. Then, as internal strife in Cormyr reached its tipping point, Nalavara and her horde washed over the Eastern Storm Horns, beginning the longest and bloodiest wars in Cormyr’s history. In addition to the savage hordes, Nalavara coerced the leaders of the would-be rebellion against the crown into her service, turning them into hideous monsters known as Ghazneths. These abominations slaughtered most of the royal family and the royal wizards, and the orcs and goblins extinguished virtually every light of civilisation in the north of the country. Cormyrans were forced to fight a long and debasing guerrilla war to slowly claw back their country inch by blood soaked inch. In 1371 DR Nalavara and King Azoun IV finally killed each other in an epic battle that broke the back of the occupying legions and sent the fallen dragon’s minions scattering for the shadows.
Azoun’s daughter, Alusair the Steel Princess, took the thrown after her father’s death and led her people down the long, painful road to recovery. Even today (1385 DR) the covenant of trust between the royal blood and the rest of the nobility (not helped by the Steel Princesses merciless slaughter of all Ghazneth’s relatives) is weak at best and orcs, goblins and terrors worse still plague every corner of the realm, refusing to be wiped out.
The Shadow War: 1376 DR – Present
Throughout most of its history Cormyr has been a relatively insular and self-sufficient nation, enjoying civil relations with most of its neighbours but proving almost impossible to involve in foreign wars. This changed after the Burning Plague and the great upheavals it wrought, driving King Azoun V to annexe much of the free cities of the Dragon Coast and the Tunland and Farsea regions to hold back the kingdom’s old rival, Sembia. Although old king Azoun V hated himself to the necessary evils of forcing these lands into his war, so much so that it drove him to the grave, his young heir King Foril I has demonstrated no such distase for war and conquest. Under his reign the war with Sembia has developed a more covert and insidious aspects and has spread to the Dale Lands to the north-east with agents of both Cormyr and Sembia causing mayhem in those fluid and vulnerable states, using them as proxies to fight a rapidly degenerating conflict.