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 The Sword Heralds of Cormyr

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Nephilim Posted - 16 Jun 2004 : 20:25:34
I am planning a game set in Cormyr and I have found references to The Sword Heralds but the details are a little vague. Does anyone know anything beyond what is covered in the 2nd Ed Cormyr Source book and Volo's guide to Cormyr?

I have a theory that they may have been some or all of the power mages from GreyHawk - Bigby, Mordenkainen, and the others. A post I read somewhere says that there was once many portals connecting Greyhawk with Toril but the portals are now forgotten hence the name - The Forgotten Realms. Well, perhaps these portals weren't so forgotten a thousand years ago?
25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
cpthero2 Posted - 22 Nov 2020 : 21:21:28
Great Reader Dallison,

Thanks! I checked out the Volo's Guide to Cormyr and saw it there. I didn't see it in the City of Splendors: Waterdeep accessory, but I'll keep poking around. Makes me wonder if it is in another Volo's guide perhaps.

Best regards,




Gary Dallison Posted - 22 Nov 2020 : 11:44:11
Volos guide to cormyr and the 3e waterdeep book are the two I remember
cpthero2 Posted - 22 Nov 2020 : 08:36:50
Great Reader Dallison,

I would like to read up on that material. Which source books did you find Murald in?

Best regards,



Wooly Rupert Posted - 20 Nov 2020 : 19:55:40
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

And to those that care to look, Murald is mentioned in a few sourcebooks (I just checked). He was quite the painter it would seem, a skill I did not know Khelben possessed.



It's mentioned at least a couple of times in the fiction. One of the early Drizzt books mentioned it, and it's referenced a few times in Elaine's Songs & Swords books.
Gary Dallison Posted - 20 Nov 2020 : 19:05:08
And to those that care to look, Murald is mentioned in a few sourcebooks (I just checked). He was quite the painter it would seem, a skill I did not know Khelben possessed.

I wonder if he painted pictures of Laeral while he was masquerading as Murald. Might confuse a few people if they come from Waterdeep to visit Suzail and see a picture of Laeral in the Palace.
cpthero2 Posted - 20 Nov 2020 : 17:58:25
Master Krashos,

Ahhh, nice! I love that I learned of that here. Very, very cool!

Best regards as always,




Gary Dallison Posted - 20 Nov 2020 : 09:03:14
More information for the archive. Cheers George.
George Krashos Posted - 20 Nov 2020 : 07:59:35
No, it's from Steven Schend's super secret Khelben family tree.

-- George Krashos
cpthero2 Posted - 20 Nov 2020 : 07:57:35
Master Krashos,

quote:
He was one of the Sword Heralds and used the name Murald Darmaster. He spent almost half a century in this guise in the Forest Kingdom from about 1100-ish DR.


That is really fantastic information. Thank you.

Is that in a novel that I could check out? Perhaps an accessory, or is this Warehouse 23 material? ;)

Best regards,



George Krashos Posted - 20 Nov 2020 : 07:54:14
quote:
Originally posted by wildeman

Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I was hoping George could clarify something...

Was Khelben actually one of the Sword Heralds or just an ally?

Thanks



He was one of the Sword Heralds and used the name Murald Darmaster. He spent almost half a century in this guise in the Forest Kingdom from about 1100-ish DR.

-- George Krashos
cpthero2 Posted - 19 Nov 2020 : 02:32:48
Seeker wildeman,

I'd love to know myself. I remember reading about the Hidden House vaguely in Crown of Fire, but I don't recall it mentioning the Blackstaff being a part of the Sword Heralds. Then again, the Sword Heralds are/were super old, so all things taken into account, it is quite likely that the Blackstaff was a part of that organization.

Best regards,




wildeman Posted - 18 Nov 2020 : 23:43:53
Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I was hoping George could clarify something...

Was Khelben actually one of the Sword Heralds or just an ally?

Thanks
Knight of the Gate Posted - 19 Dec 2009 : 05:20:57
quote:
Originally posted by Brimstone

Like this?



Much like that, yes.
Brimstone Posted - 19 Dec 2009 : 04:22:27
Like this?
Knight of the Gate Posted - 18 Dec 2009 : 21:30:06
The only 'harm' threadjacking is doing is that it makes searches done on this topic misleading. And (if you're really interested in starting a 3E Cormyr netbook, you'll get more help for it by starting a new thread.
Hawkins Posted - 18 Dec 2009 : 16:19:05
quote:
Originally posted by Sandro

At this point the original thread's five and a half years old -- I don't think anyone's doing any harm by hijacking it.
Lol. I totally didn't notice that.
Sandro Posted - 18 Dec 2009 : 08:10:46
At this point the original thread's five and a half years old -- I don't think anyone's doing any harm by hijacking it.
Hawkins Posted - 17 Dec 2009 : 16:42:51
Maybe we should start a new scroll to cover this instead of high-jacking Nephilim's?
Ousia Posted - 16 Dec 2009 : 23:33:31
quote:
Originally posted by Garen Thal

quote:
Originally posted by Brian R. James

What exactly are you hoping to see in a 3E Cormyr sourcebook that you couldn't get from the many 2E versions? Stats? Otherwise the lore is all there for you to use.

Hoo, boy...

I hate to disagree with my friend and fellow-Brian, here, but I could easily argue that there is more lore missing from the 3E lore than there is present. Because of the fiction that preceded the 2E-3E changes, one of the very obviously lacking things in 3E was Cormyr lore... and that's ignoring the fact that Cormyr, despite being the home of Ed's original Realms campaign, the region that is most developed, and the portion of FR that is most "core-friendly" (with a place for adventurers, a role for every class, the most directly relatable as a "medieval fantasy kingdom"), Cormyr didn't even get the coverage in 2E that it should have gotten.

Now, I'm obviously biased (seeing as I'm the "Cormyr guy" and would like there to be a Cormyr supplement every few years for as long as I can turn the pages of them), but here's some of what could have gone into a 3E Cormyr supplement:

An overview on the Forest Kingdom for core D&D players
One of the things that's always been missing from FR products is a "primer" to bring D&D players into the Realms. Because Cormyr has always fit the core assumptions players (and non-players) have, it's easy to throw a couple of pages out letting people know what it means to play in Cormyr--and how Cormyr can serve as a 'gateway' region into the wider Realms.

Cormyr-Specific Mechanics
Volo's Guide to Cormyr and Volo's Guide to All Things Magical have plenty of magic items specific to Cormyr. Then there's Ilbratha from Sea of Fallen Stars, and room for plenty more material as well, just in terms of magic items.

There's Crown Wards and Sword Herald Refuges and the magic of the Mages Royal, lingering elven magics from the time of Lythlorn and older remnants of Orva, not to mention smaller, never-mentioned settlements.

There's the continuing plagues of Marsember.

There are prestige classes for roles that were never addressed (Crown agents, for one), and way more for those that were addressed wrongly (Purple Dragon knights, War Wizards, Highknights).

There is tons of material that could have been included in such a book, but since we're supposed to ignore the statistical side of things, I'll move on.

What's going on now?
We've got a dead king, a dead princess, an infant heir on the throne, an unwilling regent, a retired and not-dead Royal Magician and his outlander successor. No matter how small you type it, six pages is woefully insufficient to cover these issues even for seasoned Realms fans--who, frankly, only were okay with the level of coverage in FRCS because they (like the members of the FRCS design time) were expecting a sourcebook further down the road to fill in the massive blanks.

There were six novels set in and around Cormyr between its last 2E-coverage and 3E, and people wanted more Cormyr lore during 2E, when they were relegated to a short sourcebook and a travel guide. While I appreciate that amount of coverage, I'd like to have seen something approaching the level of coverage that Waterdeep got in that same period.

Serving the Crown
One of the issues that's never been adequately addressed is what it means when a PC serves the Crown as a Purple Dragon, a War Wizard, a Highknight, or some other agent. What sort of freedoms does she have? What sort of assignments can she expect to receive? What role (and protections) do her comrades have? What sort of campaign is formed when you have just one PC that serves Cormyr? What does it look like when everyone is a servant of the Dragon Throne?

Purple Dragons
On the above note, it took forever for us to get a published listing of PD ranks. Those ranks still don't have direct meaning, because we got them in a chart in a larger book.

We don't know what sort of authority Dragons have in general to make arrests, detain foreigners or suspects, search property, attack adventurers(!), or misbehave. We don't know what the relative ranks stand for other than "I've got a shinier badge than him."

Given the level of interest in Cormyr and the amount of fiction published there, we should be let in on some of these issues by now.

The Nobles
Generally speaking, it would have been nice to finally get a holistic picture of the nobility. What do the various ranks and titles mean in relation to one another, other than greater prestige? What can an earl get away with that a baron can't?

It also would have been great to see a sort of rundown of the noble families--something I know Ed has information on--at the level provided for Waterdeeps houses in the 2E City of Splendors boxed set... or even what was in the 3E City of Splendors: Waterdeep web enhancement.

Adventure Locales
Cormyr is home to Suzail, Marsember, Arabel, the Stonelands, the Marshes of Farsea and Tun, the Vast Swamp, the Hullack Forest, the Goblin Marches, High Horn, Castle Crag, Gnoll pass, and portals to the extraplanar city of Grodd. More than enough places to adventure for an entire campaign and then some. Detailing just a few of these, or even giving DMs two-page spread (a full-page, keyless map and a one-page run down of the sorts of inhabitants there) would have been a glorious addition to FR and to D&D in general.

Oh, and the Haunted Halls of Eveningstar are there, too.

--
I could go on, but I'll stop here.

I'm usually pretty quiet about this issue beyond my general "I like more Cormyr" calls, but I think it has to be said: of all the moves during 3E, WotC squandered a brilliant opportunity in the Realms to bring new players in, detail a long-fallow region, bring the setting up to date with the changes pre-edition shift, bring the game world into line with the increased interest produced by the fiction, show D&D players as a whole that detail is good, provide a great "one-product" campaign book, and overall give readers what they wanted.



I would love to read that book if you were de editor, I am buying if they decide to publish
Jakk Posted - 17 Oct 2008 : 07:50:56
quote:
Originally posted by arry

Perhaps the collected Sages of Candlekeep could rectify the missing detail for 3e Cormyr?



I sense a Netbook in the making... I'll gather what I can. Anyone else interested in helping out? I'm not sure how much time I'll have to put in, but I'll see how RL goes.
arry Posted - 11 Oct 2008 : 12:03:16
Perhaps the collected Sages of Candlekeep could rectify the missing detail for 3e Cormyr?
The Sage Posted - 11 Oct 2008 : 01:31:43
quote:
Originally posted by Rinonalyrna Fathomlin

quote:
Originally posted by Brian R. James
Same with Lapaliiya, Tashalar, Thindol and Samarach.




Weren't some of those covered in the Shining South sourcebook? The information in there wasn't exactly copious, but still, it was there.

Samarach, Thindol, Tashalar, and Lapaliiya are all detailed in Serpent Kingdoms. Though Shining South does have some brief bits on Lapaliiya.
Purple Dragon Knight Posted - 10 Oct 2008 : 23:07:12
I agree with Garen Thal on this one: we desperately needed a Cormyr sourcebook back in 3E... We needed a post-war picture of Cormyr badly. Case in point, I know 3 DMs (including me) who ran various Cormyr campaigns since 2001, and each of us took great pains at "filling the gaps" and "three-ify" the Forest Kingdoms. Tilverton anyone? nooooooo! have a 7-year NDA instead, you geeky bastards!

As well, there could have been much Cormyr-specific crunch generated, like a proper 3.5 10-level version War Wizard PrC (at least ONE 3.5 PrC, if not MANY! if the damn Red Wizards, underused Hathran witches, dozen-or-so-in-existence Aglarondan griffonriders, what-the-heck!a-Gold-Dwarf-is-flying! Great Rift hippogriff flyers and bloody Harpers have PrCs, why the heck not the War Wizards? I always have players coming to me and ask "what's the best PrC for a War Wizard," at which point I go in my long-winded explanation of how War Weavers, Unseen Seers, and various other arcane PrCs out there would fit in nicely...) Feats, skill applications, and many, many others could have been added, and might I say, such a book would have had a great success. Everyone who loves the Realms have a little piece of their heart rooting for Cormyr.
Rinonalyrna Fathomlin Posted - 10 Oct 2008 : 16:01:49
quote:
Originally posted by Brian R. James
Same with Lapaliiya, Tashalar, Thindol and Samarach.




Weren't some of those covered in the Shining South sourcebook? The information in there wasn't exactly copious, but still, it was there.
Faraer Posted - 10 Oct 2008 : 15:50:06
quote:
Originally posted by Brian R. James

What exactly are you hoping to see in a 3E Cormyr sourcebook that you couldn't get from the many 2E versions? Stats? Otherwise the lore is all there for you to use.

The Volo's Guides are excellent within their specialized roles -- giving impressionistic overviews of what places are like to visit, including detailed treatment of shops, inns, taverns and a lot of adventure hooks and sketches of adventuring sites -- but they aren't complete or balanced sourcebooks. They tell you only scraps about the history, society and government of places, what it's like to live there as opposed to pass through, how national and local organizations work, and so on. In Cormyr's case those things are covered very superficially in Eric Haddock's Cormyr sourcebook. The rest is -- incompletely and often only by inference -- scattered across dozens of novels, articles, online posts and privately circulated files.

Every other region of the core Realms is similarly inadequately detailed. There aren't 'many 2E versions' of anywhere in the Realms except arguably Waterdeep. My most missed 3E regional sourcebooks are, yes, Sembia and the Dragon Coast, Cormyr, and the Dales, which are just as important as Cormyr but worse covered in the above-mentioned source miscellany.

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