Thoughts on Cormyr

One of my biggest complaints about the TSR settings is how they kept messing with the Timelines, and none are guiltier of doing it than Forgotten Realms. They pushed things forward, not just with modules, but their book series as well! I’ve read a few of the RAVENLOFT novels, but they had always dealt with events of the past. The modules ruined the timeline, as they tend to do, but at least their novels didn’t. Still the Forgotten Realms offer great color, it is just annoying that they had the audacity to tell me where my game should go when I honestly don’t have any desire what so ever to go there.

I have decided to center my first major Orc attack on the land of Cormyr, reading the short descriptions from the 2e Box Set, Cormyr is a romantic place of knights in shining armor, royalty, and a wizard who sounds surprisingly close to Merlin. While reading I couldn’t help but originally feel that these peoples lives are much too easy.

I’ve started reading the Cormyr series of books by Matt Grubb, so far I’m not impressed with his style, but the history is good, and his major stories, when he isn’t dropping way too many names to remember, aren’t too bad either. I, of course, hate the timeline, I don’t know why he couldn’t have the events happen before the first box set came out, but I suppose that that is where module addiction is most encouraged. It does make me wonder how many people out there only play modules. I’ve played my share, but never exclusively. But, I digress.

At first glance, Cormyr seems to be a very secure place. In fact, from the basic descriptions, the place sounds boring, however when you add a few factors in, this empire is on the verge of collapse. That I can work with, however one thing doesn’t make sense.

TSR has a guilty little problem with just throwing power at stuff. They say that they don’t, but they do. According to the resource books, Cormyr’s current King, Azoun IV, is a 20th level Fighter . . . how? I can see if he was a barbarian king, such as Conan, who had to fight for his title, but Azoun didn’t; he inherited it. Sure, they say that he is a FIGHTING KING! But even then, that isn’t possible as he’d have to be a full-time adventurer, and even then, 20th level fighters are rare! His empire is too prosperous (which he is specifically given credit for that as well), for him to go and constantly skirt his duties to his kingdom. He is not 20th level. The highest level he could possibly be is perhaps 8th-10th level, and for my games, this is being extremely forgiving. It is simple math, isn’t it?

Either way, Azoun has to go. I like to have a couple of different storylines going at once, and I think that the turmoil created by the death of a king would be the perfect opportunity for the greatest orc attack in the history of the realms. There is also the Horde to deal with, but they’ll probably redirect their attack once they see the Orcs. Either way, I’m not going to worry too much about them.  Maybe I could overwhelm Cormyr with both attacks, either way, my chances of taking the empire are pretty good.

Azoun is a problem, the research that I’ve done says that he was slain when killing a dragon, but I don’t want to do this. I’m not sure how I want to kill him yet. I’m also not a fan of Vangerdahast, he is such a meddler and much smarter then I am. For him, I may want to give him over to one of my players whom does an excellent job playing wizards, he could take over the War Wizards, which would help make my scenario that much fairer and perhaps keep me from taking over the realm completely. If Cormyr falls, then the real trouble is going to start.

The other PCs will be scattered through the Empire too, so I’ll have to create a quick guide for the land, I’m still working on building my Orc Army, but I’ve still got lots of time as I want to finish our current game first.


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