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DorianAdricus
Acolyte

USA
19 Posts

Posted - 11 Jul 2008 :  02:10:47  Show Profile  Visit DorianAdricus's Homepage Send DorianAdricus a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Greetings noble scholars of the keep,

Long time Realms fan and often lurker here in Candlekeep and I find myself seeking advice and knowledge, so this is my first ever post!

My group and I have decided to turn back the clock so to speak, and I'm running them in Cormyr during 1351 DR. Kind of just picked the number arbitrarily, but by happy coincidence, I find in my Grand Chronology that 1352 is the year Gondegal "the Lost King" is going to run his eight day rule of the northern marches.

This will be a perfect campaign hook, at least for the low to mid-levels, so I'm wondering how much we know about Gondegal. I know he eventually makes his way into Ravenloft, that he's been stat'd up as a CN Fighter 20, that he "bloodlessly" conquered Arabel and had it "bloodlessly" conquered right back, but who is he? How do you conquer Arabel without fighting for it? Why would anyone follow him?

I've got some ideas, but I'm interested to see if anyone has every tried actually running this event and how they tied it all together.

That may be a bunch to ask, but I put it to the sages and see what comes.

Regards, all.

Afetbinttuzani
Senior Scribe

Canada
434 Posts

Posted - 11 Jul 2008 :  02:28:09  Show Profile  Visit Afetbinttuzani's Homepage Send Afetbinttuzani a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There's some good information in CORMYR: A NOVEL and the 2E CORMYR accessory.

Here's what I managed to glean from various sources:

Gondegal, also known as "The Usurper King" and "The Lost King", attempted unsuccessfully to establish a kingdom centered in the city of Arabel in northern Cormyr in 1352 DR (the Year of the Dragon). He was overthrown after only eight days in power by the standing army of Cormyr, the Purple Dragons, led by king Azoun IV of the house of Orbaskyr.

History
Initial Success
Using Arabel as his base of operations, Gondegal recruited mercenaries from throughout Cormyr and from the Goblin Marches and the Stonelands. In return for military service, Gondegal promised his soldiers any loot they could lay hands on. To his commanders he promised noble titles and land concessions.

Gondegal conducted guerrilla style raids throughout Cormyr and rapidly gained control of most of northern Cormyr. Gondegal´s forces carried his banner as far north as the Desertsedge Mountains, east past Wyvernwater to the Vast Swamp (capturing Immersea, Hultail, Thunderstone, and Wheloon), west to farms around Eveningstar (though Eveningstar itself withstood Gondegal´s siege), and northeast to Tilver´s Gap.

Gondegal managed to establish a throne at Arabel. But this reign lasted only eight days, and Gondegal was only actually in Arabel for five days as ruler of his impromptu kingdom.

Reaction Retreat and Collapse
After a brief period of regrouping by the Purple Dragons and diplomacy by Azoun IV, who enlisted the support of Sembia, Daggerdale, Tilverton, and other dales, a combined allied force marched on Gondegal. Simultaneous advances began out of High Horn, the High Dale, Thunder Gap, and Tilverton (its surviving forces had quickly retaken their city after Gondegal captured it).

Many of Gondegal´s troops retreated in the face of the advancing allied army, pillaging as the left. A substantial portion of Gondegal´s troops, however, having depleted local food supplies, merely surrendered and offered to join the Purple Dragons in return for food and shelter. Throughout the allied advance, there were no major battles; with no battle lasting more than an hour or costing more than 100 lives. Most of the renegade troops decided to fight only because they saw no other option, choosing to die in battle rather than return to their homes in disgrace.

The Purple Dragons, led personally by King Azoun IV, marched on Arabel expecting a pitched battle or a long siege at Gondegal´s stronghold. Instead, the Purple Dragons met no resistance whatsoever. Gondegal had fled, most likely during the night or perhaps even a day or two before, leaving his troops to their own devices. Gondegal´s mercenary troops had no reason to fight for Arabel on their own. They fought for gold alone, and the source of that gold had fled Arabel. The Purple Dragons reoccupied Arabel without spilling a drop of blood. Myrmeen Lhal was subsequently installed as Lord of Arabel.

Analysis
Gondegal was initially able to quickly capture large tracts of land because his mercenary forces were more agile than Cormyr´s resident forces, the Purple Dragons, and because Cormyr had been prepared for an attack from outside, not for an enemy within. With much of the military stationed in High Horn at the time, there was considerable difficulty in rapidly assembling enough troops to challenge Gondegal on the field.

Gondegal fell for a number of interrelated reasons. First, the widespread looting that resulted from the promise of booty left captured towns depleted and therefore useless as points of supply for further attacks. In addition, despite long standing anti-Suzail sentiments within Arabel and in the surrounding countryside, the pillaging, rape and murder of civilians carried out mercenary troops, meant that Gondegal was unsuccessful in capturing hearts and minds of average Cormyrians. Perhaps more importantly, however, Gondegal upset the balance of power relations in the region. As a result, Sembia, Daggerdale, Tilverton, and other dales were willing to aid Suzail in putting down the renegade.

Effects
Although Gondegal´s kingdom was shortlived, historians agree that it played a significant roll hand in the consolidation of the Kingdom of Cormyr. One of the early faults of the young King Azoun IV was his reluctance to attend to matters outside Suzail, the capital city. But with the armed rebellion, Azoun IV was forced to take action to consolidate the administration of central and northern Cormyr. Also, his personal leadership of the Purple Dragons during the counterinsurgency allowed him to project an image of a man of action, cementing his reputation among both the Purple Dragons and the common folk of Cormyr.

Gondegal was never captured and his condition and whereabouts are unknown. He is rumored to lead a group of bandits in the Goblin Marches or the Stonelands and his name arises in taverns whenever caravans disappear or bandit activity increases.

Adapted from: Cormyr. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition. Forgetten Realms Official Game Accessory (9410). Lake Geneva, WI: TSR Inc., 1994 ISBN 1-56076-818-5

See also: Cormyr: a Novel by Ed Greenwood & Jeff Grubb (TSR 1996)

Afet bint Tuzaní

"As the good Archmage often admonishes me, I ought not to let my mind wander, as it's too small to go off by itself."
- Danilo Thann in Elfsong by Elaine Cunningham
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36784 Posts

Posted - 11 Jul 2008 :  02:34:21  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Arabel is one of those cities that's never been far from rebelling. It wouldn't take much encouragement for them to say, "Screw Suzail, we like this guy right here better!"

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Afetbinttuzani
Senior Scribe

Canada
434 Posts

Posted - 11 Jul 2008 :  02:50:53  Show Profile  Visit Afetbinttuzani's Homepage Send Afetbinttuzani a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Arabel is one of those cities that's never been far from rebelling. It wouldn't take much encouragement for them to say, "Screw Suzail, we like this guy right here better!"


True. I highly recommend Cormyr: a Novel. It's a well written novel with many insights into Cormyr's history and culture. Over the course of Cormyr's history, Arabel has rebelled many times.
Afet

Afet bint Tuzaní

"As the good Archmage often admonishes me, I ought not to let my mind wander, as it's too small to go off by itself."
- Danilo Thann in Elfsong by Elaine Cunningham

Edited by - Afetbinttuzani on 11 Jul 2008 03:15:33
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Jorkens
Great Reader

Norway
2950 Posts

Posted - 11 Jul 2008 :  10:30:51  Show Profile Send Jorkens a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DorianAdricus





I've got some ideas, but I'm interested to see if anyone has every tried actually running this event and how they tied it all together.




I have used the Gondegal conflict mostly as a rumour in my campaigns as the players have not been in the area of north-western Cormyr at the time. There has been a couple of chance meetings with him in the 40's but this has not been in any events of importance.

In my presentation he has always been a charismatic mercenary that tries to carve out his own kingdom in the wilder areas of north-western Cormyr. The mercenary's comes from the wealth earned through years of adventure.

Mostly his fall comes from his inability to form any form of government when he takes Arabel. He can lead an army, but cant manage his claims. Neither does he have the time as the royal forces quickly travel north.

If I were to run a campaign around Gondegal it would be interesting to see which side the PC's will take. If they join Gondegal he might even have a chance of succeeding. But these are plans for the future.

As for the Ravenloft part. I always hated that idea. I prefer him to be a worrying rumour and a real potential threat to the crown even after his fall with stories about the return of Gondegal turning up around every tavern and trading post.
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DorianAdricus
Acolyte

USA
19 Posts

Posted - 11 Jul 2008 :  16:53:34  Show Profile  Visit DorianAdricus's Homepage Send DorianAdricus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for that sum up, Afet, it really helps to put all that into perspective.

I've got a nice mixed group, two elven wizards of Evermeet on a pilgrimage to Myth Drannor, one elf of the Yuirwood seeking the history of the People, one discredited noble son of Cormyr (of the custom created cursed House of Hawkshill), and a young acolyte of Sune on the run from her temple.

In the first session, they foiled an assassination attempt against a "traveling the realm in disguise" Azoun IV, and were rewarded with the promise of a charter, and commanded to take thyselves hence to the Haunted Halls of Eveningstar and report what they find to the local Lady Lord Winter.

They started in the Blisterfoot Inn near the ruins of Crownpoint, and made their way to Arabel during caravan season.

I've tried to sow some seeds for the future. The Arabel I painted in 1351 is ineptly managed by a grasping young High Lord (the sources are conflicted as to whether or not Lady Lord Lhal was ruling in 1351...some sources say she was appointed after the Gondegal rebellion, some sources indicate she was already in power in 1349, I decided to err on the side of her being able to pick up the pieces of a broken Arabel once Gondegal is ousted). The city is overcrowded and dirty, there is little to no regulation on mercenary companies, and there are probably three dozen independent operations going on in the city when the party arrives. The High Lord is patently corrupt and vindictive, but he's absurdly popular with the local Arabellans. Baron Thomdor is busy overseeing the final construction of Castle Crag and dealing with bandit harassment from the Stonelands around Halfhap. The War Wizards are quite suspicious of the High Lord and his clique, but they are hesitant to move against him yet. Both sides are trying to use the party for their own purposes.

I've got some players who are well read in the Realms and realized that Gondegal is coming in about a year, but they're doing a good job of saying nothing. I think it helps that there is so little information on Gondegal, they don't know which direction he's going to come from. Gondegal could even be just an assumed name. I've got some players peering at the current High Lord and wondering if he's going to turn out to be Gondegal, some looking at his badass fighter bodyguard and wondering, and some even looking internal to the group... It's been pretty good fun so far.
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Afetbinttuzani
Senior Scribe

Canada
434 Posts

Posted - 11 Jul 2008 :  17:04:55  Show Profile  Visit Afetbinttuzani's Homepage Send Afetbinttuzani a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jorkens
As for the Ravenloft part. I always hated that idea. I prefer him to be a worrying rumour and a real potential threat to the crown even after his fall with stories about the return of Gondegal turning up around every tavern and trading post.

I agree that Gondegal should stay on in the wilderness as rumored threat. Incidentally, the failure of Gondegal appears as the backdrop for someone elses plans to gain power in Cormyr in the 2E adventure module FOUR FROM CORMYR. I too have Gondegal as a charismatic bandit king operating, under an assumed name along the south eastern edge of the Anauroch.

In the adventure I am currently running in 1361, the Zhents are attempting to destabilize Cormyr economically and politically in order to distract King Azoun's attention and resources away from Shadowdale, where they plan to make yet another attempt at conquest. Part of their plan involves ostensibly supporting Gondegal in another attempt to take Arabel. The Zhentarim have seduced him into believing that he can succeed this time. They truthfully tell him that rebellious feelings and disenchantment with Suzail are on the rise again in Arabel due to discontent over food shortages and interrupted trade (caused by the Zhents). Of course, they expect him to fail again. They are simply using him to force Azoun into committing military resources to defending Arabel, while they launch an attack on Shadowdale. It is the PC's job to foil this plot.

For your purposes, you could have the PCs discreetly insert themselves into the story by being part of Gondegal's downfall. They could even be the reason that Gondegal was never found. Conversely they could be on the other side and be the ones who help him quietly escape Arabel.
Afet

Afet bint Tuzaní

"As the good Archmage often admonishes me, I ought not to let my mind wander, as it's too small to go off by itself."
- Danilo Thann in Elfsong by Elaine Cunningham

Edited by - Afetbinttuzani on 11 Jul 2008 17:14:26
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36784 Posts

Posted - 11 Jul 2008 :  17:48:14  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I like the fact that Gondegal got out of the Realms. After leading an armed rebellion, he would have been the most wanted man in all of Cormyr. There would have been teams of War Wizards scouring every square foot of land in and around Cormyr, and agents and hired mercs looking for him everywhere else. It's hard to see how he could have stayed free -- and effective -- with that going on.

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DorianAdricus
Acolyte

USA
19 Posts

Posted - 11 Jul 2008 :  18:08:42  Show Profile  Visit DorianAdricus's Homepage Send DorianAdricus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah, I never particularly liked crossover material all that much (never liked when Bigby and co. jumped over to the Realms, and such).

One of the main thrusts of this game is allowing the actions of the players to more fluidly define what happens to the Realms. There are some events from the 1350's onward that I never particularly got behind, like the Tuigan Invasion, the ToT, the events surrounding the Death of the Dragon, etc. I always felt that they could be either done better or could be best avoided. I thought I'd give the reigns to the players and let them define our Realms given the great setup and feel of the campaign setting.

That being said, I am all about the players getting into the nitty gritty of what happened with Gondegal. The Zhent manipulation of Gondegal is a great angle. In your game, Afet, it seems as if they are backing him for his second bid at being the lord of the Northern Marches, but they might actually make a good power behind the "Lost King" for his first bid too. He seems to make a great tragic figure, seduced by hubris and intending to do right by the people he loves, but in many ways too naive to see the real intentions of the people paving his way to power.
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Afetbinttuzani
Senior Scribe

Canada
434 Posts

Posted - 11 Jul 2008 :  19:24:50  Show Profile  Visit Afetbinttuzani's Homepage Send Afetbinttuzani a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DorianAdricus
The Zhent manipulation of Gondegal is a great angle. In your game, Afet, it seems as if they are backing him for his second bid at being the lord of the Northern Marches, but they might actually make a good power behind the "Lost King" for his first bid too. He seems to make a great tragic figure, seduced by hubris and intending to do right by the people he loves, but in many ways too naive to see the real intentions of the people paving his way to power.

The nature of his psyche and his true intentions are not well developed anywhere in the FR canon that I'm aware of, but I prefer to view him as being a descendant of the oldest Arabel families, preferably one snubbed or punished for disloyalty by the Orbaskyrs in the early days of Cormyr. There are lots these. I see him as believing that Arabel's wealth and liberty is being usurped by Suzail, and that his family has legitimate claims to lordship. IMC his family has nurtured a grudge against the Orbaskyrs for generations. In "Cormyr a novel", I believe it was, Suzail published a letter indicating that Gondegal had no legitimate family claims to Arabel. But that could be seen as a smoke screen to gain allies against Gondegal.

In developing your campaign, it's worth bearing in mind that Tilverton does not yet belong to Cormyr in 1351.

Afet bint Tuzaní

"As the good Archmage often admonishes me, I ought not to let my mind wander, as it's too small to go off by itself."
- Danilo Thann in Elfsong by Elaine Cunningham

Edited by - Afetbinttuzani on 11 Jul 2008 19:46:16
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DorianAdricus
Acolyte

USA
19 Posts

Posted - 11 Jul 2008 :  21:00:32  Show Profile  Visit DorianAdricus's Homepage Send DorianAdricus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The history of Arabel has become surprisingly pretty important so far in this game, with one of the PCs being a member of a noble family that predated the conquest of Arabel. Since I don't think it was revealed anywhere, I've begun fleshing out my own history of the region.

As I've developed it so far, the initial conquest of Arabel was the work of the third incarnation of Galaghard I, King Draxius "the Neverdying". By the ninth century of Dale Reckoning, the "Northern Marches" were the domain of a shifting network of local lords and self-proclaimed barons ruling over a serf-like network of small fiefdoms. Arabel was the largest and most powerful of these, but many others existed from the borders of Esparrin in the west to the Hullack Forest in the east, and from the north shore of the Wyvernwater to Tilver's Gap. These "March Lords", as they were called, were a contentious, fiercely independent sort, and the conflict that they had with Cormyr very much resembled that between the Scots and the English in the High Middle Ages.

The lord of Arabel was the most powerful and influential of these lords, and Draxius made it his mission to tame these border lords. He marched the armies of Cormyr into the northlands and fought a difficult series of wars, called the "March Wars". In this endeavor he had the assisstance of some of the border barons, those he could buy with Cormyrean land and money, and the others often banded together against him, though one day's ally could be tomorrow's enemy.

Finally, after several conflicts, the Army of the Dragon broke the power of the Allied North Clans and claimed the fortress town of Arabel. The last lord of independent Arabel was executed and his family's lands seized, but to the other border lords, Draxius was more lenient. If they laid down their arms, he promised to absorb them as nobles of greater Cormyr, to give them matching lands in the heartland, and preserve their family crests. All the needed do was to bend knee to his crown, swear their fealty, and give over one member of their family to be held in Suzail. Many of the barons, weary of war with the "undying king", did just that, and those that didn't were declared outlaw and their power was broken.

I could very much see one of these outlaw clans, or more than one, retreating ever further north, into the highlands and wild border moors near Tilverton and in the Goblin Marches, passing on the legacy of their once rule from father to son. I could definitely see a "Gondegal" arising from this, perhaps buoyed by secret Zhent manipulation, to plot a return to an independent Marchland, lost nearly 5 hundred years gone.
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Afetbinttuzani
Senior Scribe

Canada
434 Posts

Posted - 11 Jul 2008 :  23:09:52  Show Profile  Visit Afetbinttuzani's Homepage Send Afetbinttuzani a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Excellent work! Sounds great. If Gondegal was from the outlawed families, it explains why Suzail could insist that Gondegal had no legitimate claim to Arabel. I'd love to read the whole story when you're done with it.
Afet.

Afet bint Tuzaní

"As the good Archmage often admonishes me, I ought not to let my mind wander, as it's too small to go off by itself."
- Danilo Thann in Elfsong by Elaine Cunningham
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DorianAdricus
Acolyte

USA
19 Posts

Posted - 11 Jul 2008 :  23:30:35  Show Profile  Visit DorianAdricus's Homepage Send DorianAdricus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm liking the idea of developing Gondegal as a kind of William Wallace type character. He's fighting for the freedom of his people and the honor of his family name, and the only problem is that the King he's opposing is himself a beloved hero.

It makes the question of which side to be on that much more difficult for the PCs. Do they stay with the legitimate authority, fight on the side of Cormyr and their King Azoun, whose third cousin Thomdor signed their charter? Already some of the PCs have questions about the legitimacy of the War Wizards. They are questioning the methods and the legality of what the War Wizards do, and some of them are downright afraid of Vangerdahast, and the "undo influence" he has over the queen. Of course, this is quite simply the view that many of the common folk have of Cormyr, who are afraid of the power of the War Wizards, and I'm really thankful I have a group of people who are willing to question someone like Vangerdahast despite the fact that he's supposed to be a "good guy". (even though I personally like Ol'Thunderspells).

Or, do they support the upstart rebel who is reminding the people of the Northlands what it means to be free, to live as you please and without regret? He would speak against the undo power of the War Wizards, the corruption of the soft, southern Suzailan nobles, and the sinister influence of Sembian merchant cabals. It's a powerful image, the "Lost King", striding through the broken Stonelands and the moors of Tilver's Basin, wearing the colors of his long forgotten clan and stirring his people to revolution....

I can hear the playing of outlaw pipes...
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High

Australia
31701 Posts

Posted - 12 Jul 2008 :  01:49:12  Show Profile Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jorkens

As for the Ravenloft part. I always hated that idea. I prefer him to be a worrying rumour and a real potential threat to the crown even after his fall with stories about the return of Gondegal turning up around every tavern and trading post.
I rather like the RAVENLOFT angle -- but then, I'm a big fan of the Dread Domains, so that's probably not a surprise.

Anyways, Dorian, so long as you aren't particular about which edition/setting you're drawing information from... you'll find a little more about Gondegal in the old "Black Box" for the RAVENLOFT setting. Ravenloft Gazeteer Volume II also has a little info as well.

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DorianAdricus
Acolyte

USA
19 Posts

Posted - 14 Jul 2008 :  22:34:20  Show Profile  Visit DorianAdricus's Homepage Send DorianAdricus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As a followup to this, in trying to more accurately capture the "feel" of Cormyr, I've been thinking about some of the legends of the Forest Kingdom. Much like England has their tale of Arthur in Avalon, Robin Hood, and the Haunted Tower of London, does anyone know what kind of legendary tales would be kicking around old Cormyr?

I remember reading something about the Lords Who Sleep, and also Ed's work on Emmara Dragonfire (of Swords of Dragonfire fame). What else is out there?

Also, another interest, does anyone have any information as to what kind of territory exists in Cormyr between Eveningstar and Arabel? It's about 60 miles or so (according to the 3rd ed map), mostly running along the "Stone Cliffs", on the High Road, north of the King's Forest. I imagine the whole area is full of small, mostly hardy settlements, but there is no info on them I can find. The area north of the Stone Cliffs will one day become the "Helmlands" during the Time of Troubles, but what was it like before? I'm guessing a rolling, hilly country like upland England and Scotland...
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5056 Posts

Posted - 14 Jul 2008 :  23:35:28  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi. You've got the "look and feel" of the countryside exactly right, DorianAdricus. The cliff is a long escarpment, rather like the exposed dolomitic limestone Niagara Escarpment in Ontario, Canada [lots of photos of this on the Internet] that Ed climbed through the caves of as a teenager, with a rolling exposed-rock plateau atop it that's the start of the Stonelands.
And in the wake of the Devil Dragon War, the few settlements that were along the road are all gone. It's a newly-rebuilt inn and two farmsteads. This is "caravan camping country." :}
[This comes from Ed's notes. BTW.]
love,
THO

Edited by - The Hooded One on 14 Jul 2008 23:36:14
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crazedventurers
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1073 Posts

Posted - 14 Jul 2008 :  23:39:02  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DorianAdricus

As a followup to this, in trying to more accurately capture the "feel" of Cormyr,

area north of the Stone Cliffs will one day become the "Helmlands" during the Time of Troubles, but what was it like before? I'm guessing a rolling, hilly country like upland England and Scotland...



Go here for a free download of Volo's Guide to Cormyr

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/dnd/downloads

The Stonelands are very sharp ridge and gully lands that run east-west, so making your way north or south means lots of hard riding for only a mile or two of progress....

go here for Cormyr lore

http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=9685

and generally check out Ed's thread in the Chamber of Sages section.

Enjoy!

Damian
ps No doubt the Lady Herald of Realmslore has already beat me to answering your post

EDIT:
PPPS I just knew THO would beat me

So saith Ed. I've never said he was sane, have I?
Gods, all this writing and he's running a constant fantasy version of Coronation Street in his head, too. .
shudder,
love to all,
THO
Candlekeep Forum 7 May 2005

Edited by - crazedventurers on 14 Jul 2008 23:47:19
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crazedventurers
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1073 Posts

Posted - 14 Jul 2008 :  23:43:32  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

And in the wake of the Devil Dragon War, the few settlements that were along the road are all gone. It's a newly-rebuilt inn and two farmsteads. This is "caravan camping country." :}
[This comes from Ed's notes. BTW.]
love,
THO


Good Lady can you confirm just how far it is roughly between Arabel and Eveningstar please - 60 miles sounds an awfully long way with nothing much in between except a couple of farmsteads.

Thank you

Damian

So saith Ed. I've never said he was sane, have I?
Gods, all this writing and he's running a constant fantasy version of Coronation Street in his head, too. .
shudder,
love to all,
THO
Candlekeep Forum 7 May 2005
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Afetbinttuzani
Senior Scribe

Canada
434 Posts

Posted - 14 Jul 2008 :  23:53:45  Show Profile  Visit Afetbinttuzani's Homepage Send Afetbinttuzani a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DorianAdricus
Also, another interest, does anyone have any information as to what kind of territory exists in Cormyr between Eveningstar and Arabel? It's about 60 miles or so (according to the 3rd ed map), mostly running along the "Stone Cliffs", on the High Road, north of the King's Forest. I imagine the whole area is full of small, mostly hardy settlements, but there is no info on them I can find. The area north of the Stone Cliffs will one day become the "Helmlands" during the Time of Troubles, but what was it like before? I'm guessing a rolling, hilly country like upland England and Scotland...


On the 2E maps, Eveningstar and Arabel are only 30 miles apart. That´s a full day´s ride. As far as I know, there are no settlements between them. Since a slow moving caravan would have to stay overnight, you could place rest spot of caravan camp at the halfway point, but in novels people make the journey in a day, leaving at first light and arriving at nightfall. The Stonelands north of the Stonecliff escarpment are rocky bleak and full of ravines. I picture them as being like Emin Muil, the stony area that Frodo and Sam pass through at the beginning of the Two Towers. I suspect as well that Ed had the Niagra escarpment in mind when he thought of the Stonecliff. Here´s a gallery of escarpement pictures: http://kasstone.ca/photogallery4.html
Afet

Afet bint Tuzaní

"As the good Archmage often admonishes me, I ought not to let my mind wander, as it's too small to go off by itself."
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Edited by - Afetbinttuzani on 15 Jul 2008 00:09:29
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crazedventurers
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
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Posted - 14 Jul 2008 :  23:57:36  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Afetbinttuzani
On the 2E maps, Eveningstar and Arabel are only 30 miles apart. That´s a full day´s ride. As far as I know, there are no settlements between them.

I agree, hence my question - if it is 60 miles on the new map, then it throws lots of stuff out of sync IMHO.

Anyway 30 miles with nothing at all is still a long way IMHO (being British where major cities are only about that far away from each other). I have no doubt that there are hamlets between the two, but so small to not be worth mentioning in VGtC etc?

Just wondering

Damian

So saith Ed. I've never said he was sane, have I?
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shudder,
love to all,
THO
Candlekeep Forum 7 May 2005
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DorianAdricus
Acolyte

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Posted - 15 Jul 2008 :  00:08:10  Show Profile  Visit DorianAdricus's Homepage Send DorianAdricus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I imagine any homes or farms in this area would be extremely self sufficient, and in some cases cater to the passing caravans (or have a posted "No Wayfarers" sign to instruct the same to keep moving, with large, angry sheep dogs to back it up).

A large limestone escarpment (Thanks ever so much for the confirm from the table of the man himself, THO :) ), would seem to indicate numerous limestone caves, as well as unmapped switchbacks and concealed game trails up and down the plateau. In other words, it all reeks of bandit country.

A caravan stopover (with perhaps a small hamlet surrounding it) would probably not be out of place about halfway through, with perhaps a shrine to Shaundakul or Helm, and some enterprising farmers hoping to cash in on the trade.

The area above the Stone Cliffs (where the Helmlands will one day be), is probably a patchwork of relatively lawless, extremely poor free holds, and the domain of the least kind of poverty stricken "hedge lords", beholden to the Crown, but virtually forgotten by the tax register and the Dragon patrols.
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Faraer
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Posted - 15 Jul 2008 :  00:18:09  Show Profile  Visit Faraer's Homepage Send Faraer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by crazedventurers
Anyway 30 miles with nothing at all is still a long way IMHO (being British where major cities are only about that far away from each other). I have no doubt that there are hamlets between the two, but so small to not be worth mentioning in VGtC etc?
Thirty miles is a long way in Faerûn, and there are unpublished villages, hamlets, thorps and freeholds on every major road and river, as we see whenever sources zoom in and reveal, for instance, Thundarlun in Crown of Fire. (You do indeed find the canardian 'mid-level wizard in every village' if you misread 3,000-strong trading towns as villages and misinterpret limited-wordcount sourcebooks as anything more than samplers.)
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DorianAdricus
Acolyte

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Posted - 15 Jul 2008 :  00:27:30  Show Profile  Visit DorianAdricus's Homepage Send DorianAdricus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Indeed, Faraer, that was my reading of things as well. Cormyr, during the height of King Azoun's rule, especially, would likely be an exceptionally densely populated area, with hundreds of small, unassuming villages, hamlets, and thorps crowding every road and waterway.

I think I'm going to do some "zooming in" on this region, giving it a relatively dense detail, while trying to incorporate everything that we've seen so far around Eveningstar. I imagine this area, with such a high traffic volume in caravan season, would be a hotbed of intrigue, smuggling, and espionage, all hidden behind the quiet fronts of simple sheep villages, sleepy tacklers shops, unremarkable inns, and especially the faces of the hardscrabble Cormyreans who make a living around here... "Ah, don't know nothing 'bout no smuggling here, ahyup. Best ye be movin' 'long, outlander..."
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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
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Posted - 15 Jul 2008 :  18:19:41  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Faraer
(You do indeed find the canardian 'mid-level wizard in every village' if you misread 3,000-strong trading towns as villages and misinterpret limited-wordcount sourcebooks as anything more than samplers.)



Some people take it even farther and say there are epic level wizards in every single village in the Realms.

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)
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George Krashos
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Posted - 17 Jul 2008 :  00:24:38  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DorianAdricus

The history of Arabel has become surprisingly pretty important so far in this game, with one of the PCs being a member of a noble family that predated the conquest of Arabel. Since I don't think it was revealed anywhere, I've begun fleshing out my own history of the region.



"Cormyr: A Novel" (hardcover), p.188 makes it clear that Arabel existed as a logging encampment from around 75 DR or so and was at various times in and out of the kingdom as its borders fluctuated due to various events.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Afetbinttuzani
Senior Scribe

Canada
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Posted - 17 Jul 2008 :  00:53:30  Show Profile  Visit Afetbinttuzani's Homepage Send Afetbinttuzani a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos
"Cormyr: A Novel" (hardcover), p.188 makes it clear that Arabel existed as a logging encampment from around 75 DR or so and was at various times in and out of the kingdom as its borders fluctuated due to various events.

George, are there any mentions in the novel of family names from the early days of Arabel? Gondegal, as I recall, claimed to be descended from the one the earliest families of Arabel, though Suzail claimed he was not. But I don´t recall if it is specified anywhere what family he claimed to be from.
Afet

Afet bint Tuzaní

"As the good Archmage often admonishes me, I ought not to let my mind wander, as it's too small to go off by itself."
- Danilo Thann in Elfsong by Elaine Cunningham
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George Krashos
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Posted - 17 Jul 2008 :  07:06:08  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'll have to trawl through my file. Something tells me that the now defunct Goldfeathers were from Arabel and it might pay you to look at (if you have or can find) the "Volo's Adventures" articles in Dragon Magazine which dealt with early, lost treasures of Cormyr and talk about early nobles (although may not link them specifically to Arabel).

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Malcolm
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Posted - 17 Jul 2008 :  20:18:19  Show Profile  Visit Malcolm's Homepage Send Malcolm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Afetbinttuzani,
I'd head over to the Questions for Ed thread and ask him for those early family names. I'm sure he has a list somewhere.
The guy awes me; I don't care if he already thought of it and has it ready, or makes it up on the spot, he has what we need. Over and over again.
Heh. WotC's current problems could be said to derive from the fact that Ed Greenwood IS the Realms.
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DorianAdricus
Acolyte

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Posted - 17 Jul 2008 :  23:16:10  Show Profile  Visit DorianAdricus's Homepage Send DorianAdricus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Here is another question, the full answer to which I actually doubt exists, or if it does, might fall under the blanket of NDA. But, here goes.

Do we know exactly how the nobility of Cormyr operates? They seem, in many ways, to be more like the nobility of Post-Reconstruction England than like the more feudal nobles of the Tudors. I'm pretty sure that there is no such thing as serfdom in Cormyr, that every man in the Forest Kingdom is considered a freeman, most likely with some sort of precedent setting document to trace their rights to.

So I wonder, is the land divided up by the nobles and rented out to the free men to work? Does most of the income of the peerage come from investing their considerable inheritances, renting land, buying and selling real estate, etc.? How does the local government work, in that case. Are the people of a village allowed to set their own justice, elect their own mayor, etc., or are the beholden to the closest noble for the administration of justice and taxes.

Lot of questions here, but I hope the sages here can shed some light on this stuff
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rjfras
Learned Scribe

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Posted - 17 Jul 2008 :  23:33:49  Show Profile  Visit rjfras's Homepage Send rjfras a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DorianAdricus

Here is another question, the full answer to which I actually doubt exists, or if it does, might fall under the blanket of NDA. But, here goes.

Do we know exactly how the nobility of Cormyr operates? They seem, in many ways, to be more like the nobility of Post-Reconstruction England than like the more feudal nobles of the Tudors. I'm pretty sure that there is no such thing as serfdom in Cormyr, that every man in the Forest Kingdom is considered a freeman, most likely with some sort of precedent setting document to trace their rights to.

So I wonder, is the land divided up by the nobles and rented out to the free men to work? Does most of the income of the peerage come from investing their considerable inheritances, renting land, buying and selling real estate, etc.? How does the local government work, in that case. Are the people of a village allowed to set their own justice, elect their own mayor, etc., or are the beholden to the closest noble for the administration of justice and taxes.

Lot of questions here, but I hope the sages here can shed some light on this stuff



Most if not all of those questions have been answered by Ed in the many replies to questions in his forums... you can also download the file version of all the answers to search through...
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The Sage
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Posted - 18 Jul 2008 :  01:09:17  Show Profile Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Indeed. See my sig for the "So Saith Ed" link.

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