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The Military Forces of Cormyr
Version 1.2, Annotated
By Jerry Davis

[Comments in brackets ([]) are annotations that are not part of the document itself, but serve as asides to show general notes, reasoning or intent, or simply provide a quotation or canon reference for something. Later I may change these to numbered footnotes then collect them at the end of the document.]

The Crown of Cormyr as of the first day of Mirtul in the Year of the Gauntlet (1369 DR) has at its disposal a variety or institutions that serve to defend the noble realm it rules.


The Purple Dragons are the regular army of Cormyr, the professional standing army that directly serves the Crown in the defense of the Forest Kingdom. They are famous throughout Faerûn for their professionalism, skill, valor and loyalty to their King. That professionalism and skill comes in large part from the training they receive, but what many pay little attention to is that it also comes from the discipline of working within a professionally-organized military hierarchy and structure. The Purple Dragons, or any other military force for that matter, don't develop that high degree of professionalism and discipline from just being a mob of armed men led by a few lords or knights; it comes from having an entire military culture in which the chain of command is made clear through hierarchical structure and military virtues are instilled through long-held traditions. The military of Cormyr, in its many centuries of devoted defense of the Forest Kingdom, has had ample time to develop such military organization and traditions. What follows is a detailed description of the organization of the forces that have so impressed all of Faerûn.

[Cormyr's standing army is called the Purple Dragons, but this is not to be confused with the recently deceased king Azoun IV who was also called that, nor with the Purple Dragon Throne that all kings of Cormyr sit on, nor with the original purple dragon that gave the kingdom that name, Thauglorimorgorus.]

1.1. General Makeup

The Purple Dragons consists entirely of volunteers who are willing to swear an oath of loyalty and service directly to the Crown of Cormyr. There are no conscripted Purple Dragons; conscription is used only for local militia. Those who wish to join the Purple Dragons must meet tough standards of physical fitness to simply be accepted, and these standards are enforced through rigorous training. Most Purple Dragons are men due to these physical requirements, but there is no prohibition against women joining up if they meet and maintain the same standards expected of men and there are indeed some women Purple Dragons. Do not underestimate these women when encountered; they are no less tough or skilled in combat than the men.

In game terms, all members of the Purple Dragons will have Strength, Dexterity and Constitution scores of at least 12 and the training they receive will give them at least one level of Fighter, although some Purple Dragons may be multi-classed and/or have levels in prestige classes. Purple Dragons do not advance in the Warrior NPC class; they are professionally trained soldiers and as such merit Fighter levels. The local militias will be mostly warriors, as most of them will the men-at-arms who serve noble houses unless the noble expends the money to train them.

1.1.1. Purple Dragon Ranks

One of the most basic ways in which military forces are organized is by rank. Each and every member of the Purple Dragons has is given a specific rank that determines his relative authority and leadership ability within the Purple Dragon hierarchy. There are three distinct categories of rank: enlisted men being the lowest, with commissioned officers being above the enlisted and general officers being above the commissioned officers.

Table 1-1: Ranks in the Purple Dragons

Enlisted Ranks:
Rank                Rough Earth/U.S. equivalent
------------------  --------------------------------------------------
Blade               Private, Corporal
First Sword         Sergeant, Staff Sergeant
Swordmajor          Master Sergeant, Gunnery Sergeant, Sergeant Major

Commissioned Officer Ranks:
Rank                Rough Earth/U.S. equivalent
------------------  --------------------------------------------------
Swordcaptain        Lieutenant
Lionar              Captain
Ornrion             Major - Lt. Colonel
Constal             Colonel

General Officer Ranks:
Rank                Rough Earth/U.S. equivalent
------------------  --------------------------------------------------
Oversword           Brigadier General - Major General (1-2 stars)
Battlemaster        Lieutenant General - General (3-4 stars)
Lord High Marshal*  General of the Army (5-star) + Chairman of the JCS

* Although the Lord High Marshal is indeed a rank, it is also more than
  just a rank.  It is also a specific position within the command
  structure of the military.  There is only one Lord High Marshal at any
  given time, and he is the commander of all the military forces of Cormyr
  and is second only to the King in matters of military authority.

[The rank of sergeant in the Purple Dragons is given in several places — FFC,p.6-8 as a specific veteran NPC and on p.98 as an unnamed soldier in Halfhap, in PoL,p.1 as a Purple Dragon rank, and in BtHR,p.70 as the rank of Hag Gordon. Also, in FoMD,p.14 the rank of sergeant is used outside of Cormyr in the Army of Darkness that destroyed Myth Drannor. Despite all of this, Ed Greenwood himself specifically creates his own Purple Dragon rank (First Sword) that is equivalent to sergeant in VGtC,p.234, and in the FR FAQ ( he also considers the rank of swordcaptain to be equivalent to sergeant. For this document, I'll take Ed's published info as the canon cite over his words in a FAQ or in other published works not written by him.]

[VGtC,p.236 states the rank of lionar is similar to a modern 20th-century major in footnote 3.]

[VGtC,p.237 states that senior battlemasters are equivalent to a generals.]

[Ed Greenwood gives a rank list with rough equivalencies on the FR FAQ (, and I tried to keep close to this even though there are differences due to the inclusion of info from other sources.]

[Note: My choice to make the swordcaptain an officer rank rather than an enlisted rank may be controversial. Several canon cites suggest it is a senior enlisted rank: CaN,p.195 suggests they discipline young bumbling soldiers (which would be the role of a sergeant); CaN,p.337 mentions it is a rank worthy of a veteran of the Tuigan War (i.e. at least 9 years in service); Stmlt,p.29 mentions a favored "gruff growling bear" post of swordcaptain which indicates an older grizzled veteran; Stmlt,p.45 mentions a swordcaptain as the head of a guard watch which would hardly be an officer's post. In addition, the FR FAQ (link given elsewhere) gives Ed's rough equivalent of swordcaptain as a sergeant; however, in published canon (VGtC,p.234) he says that First Sword is equivalent to sergeant. I am adamant that a senior enlisted rank is necessary for old grizzled veterans so I could have made swordcaptain that senior enlisted rank in addition to the First Sword which would be a junior sergeant, but I didn't for the following reasons. Other canon cites also point to the swordcaptain being an officer: CaN,p.338 portrays a swordcaptain (Lareth Gulur) speaking to a "senior officer" (Hathlan) as an equal (which no sergeant had better do!); CaN,p.458 tells that Gondegal used the swordcaptain rank too but the context implies he used it for mid-to-senior officers (and given his area of operations it's likely he'd pattern off of Cormyr); BtHR,p.15 speaks of the captain of the company; and finally the issues regarding lionars being the lowest ranking commissioned officers. VGtC,p.236 states that a lionar is equivalent to an 20th-century Earth major and that Purple Dragon Rings are seldom worn by Purple Dragons below the rank of lionar, and BtHR,p90 tells that Tanalasta's bodyguard is led by a lionar (a position of considerable responsibility) and p.257 speaks of a "grizzled" lionar. All of these facts strongly suggest that lionars are officers of some experience and earned trustworthiness rather than the most junior of officers despite what the FR FAQ says. So, there are two alternatives: either make the swordcaptain the equivalent of a senior sergeant and invent an officer rank to fit below lionar, or invent a senior sergeant rank and make the swordcaptain the lowest officer rank. Given that the 'captain' part implies leadership and 'captain' and 'company' go together like eggs and bacon (although this may be a real-world bias), I chose the latter and invented the 'swordmajor' to be the senior sergeant.]

As one would expect, enlisted men and women make up by far the largest proportion of Purple Dragons. The body of enlisted men are entirely commoners, and of these most of them will spend their entire careers as blades — common soldiers. The higher enlisted ranks are non-commissioned officer ranks, and there is no guarantee that a blade will ever be promoted. Enlisted promotions only occur as needed when vacancies arise due to retiring, mustering out, or casualties, and such enlisted promotions are offered to those blades that show the most potential for leadership and initiative, and whenever possible who are also literate.

Those who achieve the NCO ranks are usually the career soldiers, or "lifers," who serve until age renders them unfit. These men and women are truly the backbone of the Purple Dragons; without these dedicated soldiers the Purple Dragons would not be the professional force they are. Officers issue orders, but it is the NCOs who see to it that things get done — that all the details not mentioned in the orders but required by them get done — and insure that the blades are properly trained and fit.

The commissioned officers are those who personally lead the men in the field. They are responsible for getting their men to where they are supposed to be and implementing the designs and strategies of the general officers. Purple Dragon officers can be either commoners or nobles, but regardless of social class all start out as swordcaptains. Purple Dragon commissioned officers must meet all the same standards for physical fitness and combat skill as the enlisted men and in addition must also be literate and display some amount of intelligence or wit.

Normally, commissions are bestowed as needed directly by the King and occur either as a result of actions of leadership that catch his personal attention or, more commonly, at the sponsorship of a higher-ranking officer. It is long standing tradition that commissions are only granted as the military hierarchy needs them and are not granted as mere favors to noble families, the reason being to preserve the professional nature of the force. When vacancies are not open, then young nobles desiring military service have to settle for leading the house troops or attempting to hire into a mercenary group.

Once a vacancy occurs for a swordcaptain, a head of a noble house can often make a deal with another noble who is a senior officer to sponsor a commission for a young scion. The officer will then introduce the scion to the King and if the king is impressed and the scion meets the requirements the commission is granted. High-ranking officers may also sponsor commoners they think are worthy of a commission. The King may also grant the commission to a commoner who catches his attention through some act of valor. These latter cases are most commonly battlefield commissions granted to heroic enlisted men.

Although being of noble station is not a requirement to gain a commission, it is an aid to promotion. While commoner swordcaptains are moderately commonplace (no pun intended), with each higher rank the proportion of the officers of that rank that are commoners decreases. Although some commoner officers are granted knighthoods or noble titles if they are worthy, and for promotions little distinction is drawn between the noble-by-birth and the noble-bestowed, few commoners who remain commoners achieve the rank of constal and if they do their career stops there.

General officers are the field commanders of the Purple Dragons. They command units in the field, devise strategies and plans, and issue orders to the commissioned officers to carry them out. General officers generally will stay to the rear of the fighting line so that they can better direct the maneuvers of their units and exercise command and control, although they will not hesitate to fight if an enemy turns up in range of their sword and they usually will join the fighting at the climax of the battle once all orders have been issued and all that's left is the fighting. The group of general officers is an exclusive club; one must be a constal and of noble standing before the king will promote one to the rank of oversword. All promotions of general officers are done directly by the King himself; the Lord High Marshal may as needed give brevet (temporary) promotions but these must be confirmed by the King before they are permanent. Usually general officers are nobles by birth, although nobles who were born commoners then ennobled occasionally attain these ranks. Privileges of Rank

The truism "rank hath its privileges" is no less true in Cormyr than in any other military structure real or fictional. Perhaps the most basic of these privileges is pay. Although the Purple Dragons are by no means mercenaries, they are professional soldiers and as such are paid by the crown. The following were the rates of pay as of the first day of Mirtul in the Year of the Gauntlet (1369 DR).

Table 1-2: Purple Dragon Pay

Rank                Pay/Month
------------------  ----------------------------------
Blade                12 golden lions/month (4 sp/dy)
First Sword          18 golden lions/month (6 sp/dy)
Swordmajor           24 golden lions/month (8 sp/dy)

Swordcaptain         36 golden lions/month (12 sp/dy)
Lionar               45 golden lions/month (15 sp/dy)
Ornrion              54 golden lions/month (18 sp/dy)
Constal              63 golden lions/month (21 sp/dy)

Oversword            96 golden lions/month (32 sp/dy)
Battlemaster        108 golden lions/month (36 sp/dy)
Lord High Marshal   120 golden lions/month (40 sp/dy)

Officers enjoy a number of other benefits besides higher pay. Each rank of officer will have certain privileges that lesser officers generally do not have, although there may be occasional exceptions. These privileges are usually cumulative, that is, promotion to a higher officer rank simply adds the additional privileges to what the officer already enjoys, rather than replacing them. There are a few exceptions though: for example, once an ornrion or higher is privileged to be given a Commander's Ring, he no longer needs to have his Purple Dragon ring. The following paragraphs describe the typical privileges that most officers can expect.

Swordcaptains may be given independent commands, typically patrols of company or lance size.

Lionars may promote enlisted personnel at need and are usually the lowest ranking officer to be given Purple Dragon rings.

[VGtC,p.236 states that the rings are seldom worn by Purple Dragons below the rank of lionar.]

Ornrions are authorized to induct into service and take oaths from inductees (with three serving Purple Dragons of any rank as witnesses) during wartime, to assign enlisted personnel (usually blades) to their headquarters as personal assistants known as orderlies, and are usually the lowest ranking officer to be given Commander's rings.

[Ed G. himself has said that "in time of war, 'battlefield oaths' are acceptable before three serving Purple Dragons and a Purple Dragon officer of the rank of ornrion or higher." See the following link: This oath is given when entering the service of the Crown.]

Constals may sponsor men or women to the king for commission as officers and at need offer temporary brevet commissions (subject to approval or revocation by king & Lord High Marshal).

General officers (overswords & battlmasters) may promote commissioned officers, to higher non-general officer rank, and have junior commissioned officers as aides-de-camp as well as orderlies in their headquarters.

Only the reigning monarch and Lord High Marshal may grant permanent commissions as officers to people and take their oaths of service (that is, create commissioned officers), and promote officers to general officer rank. Ranks and Class Levels

There is no fixed relationship between rank and class level, since they indicate different things. Rank indicates degree of authority and leadership, while level indicates degree of experience.

Since most Purple Dragons are blades for their entire career, blades can be of almost any level. A young blade who joined up right after leaving home should be a 1st level fighter upon completion of his training, and how far he advances in level will depend on how much action he sees. The two NCO ranks are by definition more experienced and will usually have correspondingly higher class levels. First swords are usually at least 4th level, while swordmajors are typically at least 7th level. If a young blade is promoted to First Sword due to battlefield casualties, though, he might be of less than average level for a first sword, and the same applies to early promotions of first swords to swordmajor.

[GTR,p.51 states that the soldiers in High Horn are lead by a 4th-level fighter for every 10 soldiers, which is essentially a first sword leading a squad (see TO&E for infantry).]

Young nobles who are granted a commission directly after leaving home will also have to train as a Purple Dragon and will also be a 1st level fighter at the end of that training, but officers who earn commissions through other means (e.g. enlisted who distinguish themselves sufficiently to get commissioned) may have higher levels than the typical officer. Higher ranks of commissioned officer will have higher average levels than lower ranked officers, and may likely have levels in prestige classes such as Purple Dragon Knight as well.

General officers will almost always have higher levels in classes. They will almost always be of at least 10th character level, and will often if not usually have levels in the Purple Dragon Knight prestige class as well. Because general officers are noblemen, they will often have levels of the Aristocrat NPC class as well as levels in the fighter class, although in most cases the fighter class should have the most levels.

1.1.2. Military Titles and Job Positions

The Purple Dragons also use more general titles to refer to various leadership positions on the field of battle and in administration. Battlefield titles are entirely dependent on the circumstances of the moment and are never fixed or specifically bestowed upon any soldier on a permanent basis, while administrative positions are appointed by the Crown. It is important to note the distinction between ranks and titles — they are not equivalent concepts. A title or job position may require a certain rank, but a rank never requires a certain job position. That is, you can say that all positions require at least a certain rank, but you can never say that all holders of a certain rank have a specific title or job. It is important to distinguish between a military title and a noble title; they are not synonymous.

[Swordlords, lancelords, arrowmasters, wardens, boldshields, lord commanders, and quartermasters are literally mentioned in various canon sources, thus are described first; the remainder are not mentioned in canon.]

Swordlord: A swordlord is simply the seniormost infantry officer within tactically effective communication range (within range of guidon signals or at most a few minutes gallop of a messenger), and may be any commissioned officer but is usually at least a lionar. There is only one swordlord in any given place and situation.

Lancelord: A lancelord is simply the seniormost cavalry officer within tactically effective communication range (within range of guidon signals or at most a few minutes gallop of a messenger), and may be any commissioned officer but is usually at least a lionar. There is only one lancelord in any given place and situation.

Arrowmaster: This title is bestowed on the leader of a force of archers. This title is usually an officer or officer-equivalent (if the archers are militia or lord's men), but could also be applied to a senior enlisted person for a small force of archers. The reason that officers are called 'arrowmasters' instead of 'arrowlords' is that those who serve in archery units are commoners (or, at best, disgraced nobles or nobles going incognito) whereas nobles make up a sizeable proportion of the officer corps.

[DotD,p.230 mentions arrowmasters as the leaders of groups of archers. There is some indication that the arrowmaster in this particular case might be an enlisted man rather than an officer — a swordlord calls him 'soldier' — but I find it unlikely that the leader of a large number of men (even archers) would generally be an enlisted man.]

Warden: a Warden is not really a military title in and of itself; a warden is simply an official appointed by the King to enforce Crown laws and regulations in a specified area. The title of Warden is mentioned here because the majority of the holders of this title happen to also be military general officers. A Warden is empowered to appoint and deputize lesser officers and crown servants to help him in enforcing said laws and regulations, and when a warden is also a military officer he will use the Purple Dragons in his command in this capacity. The title of Warden is entirely separate from any other military titles and positions the holder may have; for example, that Battlemaster Baron Thomdor is Warden of the Eastern Marches means he is empowered to enforce the civil laws within the Eastern Marches and that is an entirely separate responsibility from his post as commander of the Army of the East despite the fact he uses his army as an instrument to enforce these civil laws and regulations as well as provide for the military security of the region. The Warden of the Port of Marsember is another example of this, as Lord Admiral Ayesunder Truesilver has the power to collect customs duties as well as enforce the civil laws of the port as well as the military authority of the garrison and fleet. An example of a warden that is not a military officer is Maestoon Huntsilver, the Warden of the King's Forest. Maestoon is responsible for the health of the forest and the game within and has the power to enforce the King's regulations on logging and hunting and employs many foresters, rangers and guides to help him, but he has no responsibility for military security nor does he have any military forces under his command. The King may grant the title of Warden to anyone he wishes, but historically it is granted almost entirely to nobles with the only exceptions being non-nobles of exceptional ability to do the job. In these few latter cases, more often than not a noble title will also accompany the title of Warden.

Boldshield: a boldshield is the enforcing authority of the King's law and will within a district (i.e. a local regional territory within Cormyr). The territory that a Warden is responsible for will usually be divided into several districts and a person appointed the boldshield of that district to take care of the day-to-day enforcement tasks. Boldshields will often, but not necessarily, be Purple Dragon officers that are garrisoned within the district. One example of a boldshield is the Purple Dragon officer Ergluth Rowanmantle, who is the boldshield of the Northtrees March district (which is in the foothills of the Thunder Peaks north of the Immerflow.]

[Stmlt,p.11&26 mentions the title of boldshield in the person of Ergluth Rowanmantle. Ed Greenwood describes the location of the district (which contains Firefall Vale) at]

Lord Commander: a lord commander is the commander of a major fortress or garrison. A Lord Commander is always a serving Purple Dragon officer, and is almost always a general officer although if the force is small enough the position may be appointed to a constal. The position is usually an annual appointment by the king, although the king can (and in some cases does) re-appoint the same person each year. If the officer appointed as lord commander is not already of noble birth, then his social status is the same as that of a town's local lord for the duration of his appointment. Lord Commanders also have heralds as assistants, just as town local lords do. Examples of lord commanders are the commanders of the High Horn and Castle Crag fortresses.

[The lord commander title as an annual appointment is mentioned in GTR,p.51. That the lord commander has a herald is mentioned in C9410,p.26. BtHR,p.77 mentions that Bren Tallsword is the Lord Commander of Castle Crag.]

Guidon: the position of guidon is usually given to a blade or, in larger units, a first sword. The guidon is the one who carries the unit's standard — a flag, banner or some other sort of heraldry. It is considered a great honor to be a unit's standard bearer because the standard is the symbol of the unit itself, and some say it is even the heart and soul of a unit. If the standard falls or is captured, it is damaging to the morale of the entire unit. The standard also serves a more practical purpose: it indicates the location of the unit, and where it is to form up or rally, so it is a way to maintain some semblance of order and control on the battlefield. For this reason, the guidon is always near the commanding officer of the unit.

Orderly: An enlisted soldier assigned to attend and perform various tasks for a senior officer; a soldier who serves as an attendant to a senior officer. Orderlies are usually blades, but a senior officer with several orderlies usually has a first sword as a lead orderly.

Company Swordmajor: this position is filled by an experienced soldier with the rank of swordmajor. He acts as a second-in-command of a company under the swordcaptain, and is also an advisor to the swordcaptain. Swordcaptains are usually unseasoned and young officers, and it falls to the company swordmajor to gently and tactfully guide them in matters of small-unit tactics and leadership. When these young men are wise enough to listen to their company swordmajors, they often turn out to be fine officers. Those swordcaptains who don't listen to the words of their company swordmajor (usually young high-nose nobles) end up dead in combat with regretful frequency along with many of their men.

Drillmaster: this position is one almost always filled by one with the rank of swordmajor, and this senior enlisted position has the task of training the soldiers both in military maneuvers and marches and in weapon use. When not functioning in this capacity, the drillmaster functions as a guard for the headquarters and unit commander.

Campmaster: this position is one almost always filled by one with the rank of swordmajor, and this senior enlisted position has the task of supervising the set-up and tear-down of camps and bivouacs when the unit is on the move. The campmaster's particular concerns are the organization, security and sanitation of the camp. He will insure that the tents and facilities are arranged in manner that will not obstruct the functioning of the camp, schedule round-the-clock watches, and see to it that proper privies and garbage disposal pits are dug to minimize the spread of disease among the soldiers. When not functioning in this capacity, the drillmaster functions as a guard for the headquarters and unit commander.

Quartermaster: the quartermaster is a vital duty that no large military formation can function without. A unit's quartermaster is the one in charge of all matters logistical — supplies, transport and the like — and is in charge of the supply train of wagons that always follow any large unit on the march. It is the quartermaster's duty to make sure that everyone in the unit has the supplies needed to function and fight, from food to tents to weapons and armor. Normally, the quartermaster will hire on (at crown expense of course) a number of civilian drovers, armorers, weaponsmiths, blacksmiths, wagonwrights, canvas-sewers and so forth to provide the need for such skills that any large military unit requires. This does not count the larger number of civilian camp followers (of various and often unseemly callings) that often accompany large units on the march that the quartermaster does not authorize request or pay for, much to the chagrin of some officers. Such an important responsibility would seem to justify an officer rank, and does in many other militaries, but it is a long-held tradition in the Purple Dragons to assign this task to a senior swordmajor of many years of service so that the officers can concentrate on more combat-oriented matters. The swordmajors assigned this vital task have perhaps more authority than any other enlisted person save the regimental swordmajor.

[VGtC,p.155: Army quartermasters are mentioned in the description of Alzael's Cleaver.]

Regimental swordmajor: the swordmajor holding this position is the single most senior enlisted person in the regiment. He represents the interests of all the enlisted people to the commander of the regiment and advises him on matters that concern them. The regimental swordmajor also keeps an eye on the morale of the enlisted soldiers and can keep the constal appraised of any potential problems, or solve those problems without needing to involve the officers. The regimental swordmajor is also responsible for overseeing and evaluating the performance of the other swordmajors and can advise the officers about which are ready for more responsibility. Although the drillmaster of the kadrath has the immediate day-to-day responsibility for training the soldiers, it is the regimental swordmajor who is finally responsible to the constal for the training performance and conduct of all the regiment's enlisted personnel.

Aide-de-camp (sometimes called an adjutant): An aide-de-camp is a commissioned officer who serves a general officer as a secretary and confidential assistant. The aide helps the general officer with administrative duties, often handling lesser details for the general officer.

1.1.3. Military Orders

Military Orders are created only by the reigning monarch to honor and commemorate the veterans surviving, and the families of the honorably fallen, of a specific major war campaign. Each such veteran will be awarded a ribbon and medal.

There is currently only one order active within Cormyr. The Order of the Golden Way was created by King Azoun IV to honor the veterans who participated in and the families of those who fell in the crusade against the Tuigan Horde in Thesk in Flamerule of the Year of the Turret (1360 DR). Azoun also established a number of Hostels of the Golden Way, where the families of those fallen who present the medal of the Order can get needed assistance. [FR12,p.61]

1.1.4. Knights and the Military

Knights are often seen as noble warriors, as soldiers in the service of the King. While there is some truth to this, there is no direct correlation between knighthood in general and membership in the Purple Dragons. The King can knight anyone he wishes and knighting him will not make him a member of the Purple Dragons. At the same time, one can serve as a Purple Dragon, even as a commissioned officer, without being a knight or any sort of noble (with exceptions for certain special units).

Although this is generally true, there is a specific order of knights that is directly associated with the Purple Dragons — the Knightly Order of the Purple Dragon, more commonly known as the Purple Dragon Knights. This order of knighthood is specifically for commissioned and general officers of the Purple Dragons. These knights are the core of the leadership of the Purple Dragons. This knightly honor is not gained simply by promotion; like any other knighthood, it must be granted by the King himself with a formal dubbing ceremony. All Purple Dragon Knights are officers; no member of the Purple Dragons can be a Purple Dragon Knight and an enlisted person at the same time. An enlisted person may be knighted for exhibiting great valor or honor, but such a knighting always comes with a commission as an officer.

(See the Purple Dragon Knight prestige class in the Forgotten Realms Campaign setting book for more detail. In game terms, there is an extra prerequisite for a character to take a level in this prestige class — he must first be dubbed a Purple Dragon Knight by the King. If there is no dubbing, a character cannot take levels of this prestige class. The 'Knight' part of that name is to be taken literally and seriously, not with poetic or artistic license.)

1.1.5. Military Specialties

Most of the Purple Dragons are simply soldiers of whatever rank (with a primary focus on the Fighter class), but there are also some special types of soldier that are fully integrated into the organization of the Purple Dragons.

Battlepriests are the clerics that serve right beside the regular soldiers, using their divine magic in combat support and to heal the wounded. Unlike the War Wizards who are a completely separate organization, the battlepriests are fully integrated into the Purple Dragons and are assigned among the various units. Battlepriests share the same quarters and rations as the soldiers, have ranks and draw the same pay; they are every bit as much Purple Dragons as the soldiers themselves. As a courtesy to their status as holy men and women, battlepriests are never given the rank of blade. They are always at least First Swords and are often officers, although they are not in the chain of command nor are they given command of units. (See Thomas M. Costa's article Heroes of Cormyr, in Dragon #307, for more detail of the Battlepriest prestige class.)

Royal Scouts are another special kind of Purple Dragon. The Royal Scouts are an elite force of Purple Dragons who have demonstrated skill at stealthy movement and survival. Royal scouts serve a variety of functions. Many Royal Scouts are fully integrated into the unit structure and serve with all units of any size, and often serve as point men or flankers to units as they move so that the unit commander knows what is about him and can avoid ambushes, or in larger units serve as messengers to relay orders to subordinate units and return replies to the unit commander. They are also deployed individually or in small groups on special missions of their own, in which case they are used as messengers and spies. In the latter role, they can be found anywhere in the Dragonreach and along the Dragon coast. The very best of the Royal Scouts are assigned to a special unit composed entirely of Royal Scouts called the King's Messengers. (See Thomas M. Costa's article Heroes of Cormyr, in Dragon #307, for more detail of the Battlepriest prestige class.)

[Emperel Ruousk, an agent of the Crown depicted in BtHR, would be an example of a Royal Scout. Rowan Cormaeril, also from BtHR, is also likely a Royal Scout.]

[The King's Messengers are mentioned in DotD,p.215 of the hardcover edition.]

1.1.6. Leaving the Purple Dragons

Members of the Purple Dragons will leave the service of King and Cormyr for a variety of reasons. Some may leave because their family needs them, they grow tired of rigid military discipline, or they feel the call of adventuring for their own profit. Most who enter the Purple Dragons feel a true dedication to serving the Forest Kingdom, though, and will serve until either injury or age render it more difficult for them to lead the arduous life of a soldier. Most Purple Dragons realize the time has come once they enter middle age, if injury does not force the issue sooner, when they have begun the gradual physical decline of old age yet are not so old that it is too late to make a new life as a civilian. Such a retirement after a long and honorable service is called "mustering out."

In order to ease the transition to a productive civilian life and to give thanks for loyal service and sacrifice, the Crown will usually give a lump sum of money that is called mustering-out pay. A Purple Dragon must either have served at least two full years or have participated in one military campaign involving combat in order to be eligible for mustering-out pay. This pay is often used by a retiring solder to help equip him for his new civilian livelihood, although those less wise may squander some or all of it. The amount of money a retiring soldier is paid depends on their current rank and how long he or she has served. The mustering out pay is equal to three months pay at the Purple Dragons' current rank plus five golden lions per full year served. The bonus for time in service does not vary by rank to provide an extra incentive for those having little chance for promotion to remain in the Purple Dragons.

For those retiring soldiers who wish it, the Crown may grant them a tract of land to work in lieu of some or all of their mustering-out pay. Many soldiers who originally came from a farming background select this option and return to their roots. The soldier may request a tract of land in a location of his choosing, or the Crown may suggest a location of its own preference. Whether this land grant is in lieu of the entire amount of the mustering-out pay or only part of it will depend on the value of the tract of land, the potential danger of the area it is in, and whether the Crown has a specific interest in seeing the area settled and tamed.

[BtHR,p.68 mentions mustering-out pay and the alternative of being granted land to work.]

A former soldier of the Purple Dragons is, in addition to whatever mustering-out benefit he receives, allowed to keep his personal weapon and armor and is required to maintain them, for despite the fact that he is no longer actively serving he is still under an obligation to the Crown. The King can issue a royal writ to recall retired Purple Dragons to service at need, and if this happens the retired soldier will be required to supply his own gear so that he is ready to serve as quickly as possible.

[BtHR,p.71 tells of the obligation to serve at the Crown's recall, but the obligation can only be invoked with a royal writ.]

1.2. Organization of the Purple Dragons

Like any professional military organization, the Purple Dragons have a distinct organization of units and subunits. This organization is vital. No group of armed men can effectively wage war as an unorganized mob. Unit structure is what establishes the chain of command and allows the commanding officer to have at least some semblance of control of his forces in battle, and an organized structure of smaller units within larger units allows the commander flexibility in maneuvering and positioning his forces for mutual support. A multi-level hierarchy of larger units composed of smaller units also makes possible organized military action at a variety of scales from tactical up to strategic as necessary. The unit structure also is conducive to military discipline and morale of the soldiers.

The Purple Dragons have reached its current level of organization through thirteen centuries of development and experience. They are currently organized in a regimental system, with the exception of a few special units, in which the regiment is the basic unit of military organization. All regiments of a given type, on paper at least, have the same organization of subunits and are functionally and administratively independent units, while larger structures of armies composed of multiple regiments are highly fluid and situation-dependent.

[There are regiments in Cormyr's army, because the term is used in the legend about the Tearflow stream in Gray Oaks (C9410,p.26).]

When men join the Purple Dragons they join a specific regiment, usually one in or near their hometown, and generally remain within that regiment for the entirety of their military career. New recruits train within the same regiment in which they serve after training, in a manner analogous to apprenticeship in a craftsman's guild.

Not every soldier will be from the home of the regiment, though. Transfers between regiments are not unknown, but neither are they commonplace. Such transfers are quite rare for enlisted personnel, and less rare but still uncommon for commissioned officers. Also, regiments will occasionally be rotated to other garrisons away from home, e.g. a Marsember regiment may serve 6 months or a year in Arabel, and men may deliberately join such regiments if no available openings are in local regiments or if they wish to not stay in their home town.

[Trainees are mentioned as serving with more experienced soldiers in garrisons and patrols in two places in HHEv,pp.8&13, and there is no mention in any canon source of a training unit (like the modern U.S. military uses) specifically in the Purple Dragons. This fits in well with the old British regimental system, which I've adapted for Cormyr.]

This system is part of what gives the Purple Dragons their reputation for excellence. The soldiers come to know well and work well with those they serve next to. The other soldiers in their squads and companies, and by extension the regiment itself, become a second family to them that they are loyal to. In fact, their squadmates may indeed be brothers or neighbors from civilian life. These men gain a high level of morale from this close relationship, and come to fight for each other and for their regiment as much as they fight for their King.

Each regiment will be composed of entirely one type of force. A light infantry regiment will be composed entirely of light infantrymen, while a heavy cavalry regiment will be composed entirely of heavy cavalrymen. Although the numbers of men in a standard infantry and cavalry regiment are different as are the names of the subunits, the general organization is identical.

Most of Cormyr's infantry are composed of light infantry, in keeping with the preferred guerilla-style tactics championed by the Lord High Marshal Duke Bhereu, although there are a few medium and heavy infantry regiments that would serve as the core of a large military deployment in a major war.

Keep in mind that the organizational tables that follow are the standard regulation organization. They represent what a unit should have, in and of itself, when it is fully manned and supplied. In practice they will vary. Attached units and casualties may increase or decrease the actual number of men.

1.2.1. Infantry Units

Infantry are the footmen of the army. Although many infantry have basic skill at riding horses and usually ride on patrols, and officers usually have mounts even when their men march, infantry units fight on their feet. The infantry form the backbone of Cormyr's land forces. The war wizards get the fear and awe and the cavalry gets the glory, but the infantry is what holds ground and wins wars. The various infantry regiments of Cormyr can be either light, medium, or heavy regiments.

Light infantry are, as the name might imply, lightly equipped thus quick-moving forces that are favored for guerilla-style fighting. In more set-piece battles, light infantry will often protect the flanks and rear areas of heavier units or groups of archers, maneuver to harry the enemy and prod them to move into ground of the commanding officer's choosing, and can even be used as irregular archers at need if enough trained archers are not available. Light infantry will often function as irregular archers when using guerilla tactics.

Light infantry also will often be assigned to patrol the area surrounding their garrison when there are insufficient cavalry to do the job (not every garrison has cavalry assigned, after all). Patrols will be squad or company sized, depending on the area, and on these patrols the men will normally ride ponies or light horses. These mounts are only for transportation, however. If these patrols need to fight, they will do so on foot.

Medium infantry are typically used for massed defensive actions as a main line of defense, although they are still mobile enough to be used for some flanking maneuvers at need.

Heavy infantry are the "shock troops" of Cormyrean infantry. They are always heavily armed and armored and are most commonly used in the offensive against large enemy concentrations as a follow-up force to cavalry. Heavy infantry can also provide a strong defense when supported in depth by lighter forces. Because of their heavy equipment, heavy infantry move slower and are less maneuverable so whenever possible they are not deployed without supporting lighter units to guard their flanks and rear.

Table 1-3: Table of Organization and Equipment (TO&E)
for Infantry Regiments (all types) (as of 1 Mirtul 1369 DR):

Unit Type  Abbr.  # Men Composition

Squad      SQD      12  First Sword leads 10 blades and a Royal Scout.

Company    CPY      28  Swordcaptain leads two squads, a swordmajor, a 
                        Royal Scout and a guidon.  The company 
                        swordmajor fills the same role as an Earth 
                        platoon sergeant.

Kadrath    KDR      92  Lionar leads three companies and has a staff 
                        consisting of a guidon, two swordmajors (a 
                        drillmaster and a campmaster), two Royal Scouts 
                        and two battlepriests.

Battalion  BTN     289  Ornrion leads three kadrathen and has a staff 
                        consisting of a lionar as an executive officer, 
                        three orderlies, a guidon, one swordmajor (a 
                        quartermaster), three Royal Scouts and three 

Regiment   RGT     600  Constal leads two battalions and has a staff 
                        consisting of an ornrion as an executive 
                        officer, six orderlies, a guidon, a regimental 
                        swordmajor, six Royal Scouts and six 

                   __________________/ \__________________
                  /                                       \
                 BTN                                     BTN
      ___________/|\___________               ___________/|\___________
     /            |            \             /            |            \
    KDR          KDR          KDR           KDR          KDR          KDR
  __/|\__      __/|\__      __/|\__       __/|\__      __/|\__      __/|\__  
 /   |   \    /   |   \    /   |   \     /   |   \    /   |   \    /   |   \
/ \ / \ / \  / \ / \ / \  / \ / \ / \   / \ / \ / \  / \ / \ / \  / \ / \ / \
S S S S S S  S S S S S S  S S S S S S   S S S S S S  S S S S S S  S S S S S S

Officers (not always knights):
Swordcaptains (18 CPY CO's)         = 18
Lionars (6 KDR CO's and 2 BTN XO's) =  8
Ornrions (2 BTN CO's and 1 RGT XO)  =  3
Constal (RGT CO)                    =  1
TOTAL                               = 30

Standard Equipment

Light Infantry
Enlisted: mostly studded leather armor with remainder being plain 
          leather, shields optional, armed with sword and longbow, and 
          sometimes with halberds during defensive actions.
Officer:  chain shirts or occasionally scalemail or chainmail, armed 
          with sword.

Medium Infantry
Enlisted: scalemail or chainmail armor with shields, armed with sword 
          and halberd.
Officer:  scalemail or chainmail typically, or breastplate if they can 
          afford it, armed with sword.

Heavy Infantry
Enlisted: splint or banded mail with shields, armed with halberds and a 
          mixture of swords maces or morningstars.
Officer:  splint or banded mail with shields, or some form of plate if 
          they can afford it, armed with sword.

[CaN,p.115 refers to the two dozen knights with Alusair as a company, which backs up the size of 20-30 men, and p.382 has Jorunhast speaking of "seven companies"; speaking of seven distinct entities also strongly implies a specific organizational unit. BtHR,p.1 speaks of a company as a specific unit having more than 20 (presumably less than 30) men, p.15 refers to two companies (and a captain and two scouts of that company, p.27 refers to a specific company called the "Sleeping Sword" (although p.366 says that the Sleeping Sword is 500 knights which is regiment-sized), p.70 mentions that a company has a specific insignia which clearly indicates a specific unit of organization, p.121 calls Tanalasta's bodyguard an "entire company" which previously on p.90 was 25 men led by a lionar (that it's a royal bodyguard justifies a higher-ranking leader, and also backs up that a lionar is not a junior officer), p.149 Azoun mentions multiple companies of Purple Dragons as if they were specific units, p.183 mentions that a fully armored company has at least 50 horselegs, which amounts to at least 13 horses and 13 men on them, p.220 describes Alusair as leading a "full company of warriors" which was sized in CaN as two dozen, and p.230 describes the Royal Excursionary Company led by Vangerdahast as made up of 50 war wizards and 200 Purple Dragons. PoL,p.1 also mentions a company of Purple Dragons. Although there are a couple of exceptions, the predominant cites clearly indicate company is a regulation military unit of 20-30 men.]

[FoMD gives precedent for using several real-world unit names in the Realms: regiments and battalions in the Army of Darkness on p.14 and companies, battalions, and regiments in the Akh'Velar on p.16.]

The kadrath fulfills a special function in the unit hierarchy. In times of major war when more soldiers are needed than the Purple Dragons have, they will be supplemented from various sources. Volunteers will join up, town militias and lord's men will be called up (although the lord may also provide funds in lieu of men known as scutage, or shield tax), or in extreme emergency even outright conscription may be used (although it never has yet in Cormyr). Whatever the source, most of these men will normally not have the level of training that the Purple Dragons have. These men will be assigned to kadrathen, in which they will receive whatever training from the professional Purple Dragons there is time for. Each of the three companies of men can be given a number of men up to a size of an entire kadrath to train, so a kadrath with a full complement of trainees will have four times the normal size, which is more than a standard battalion. It is for this reason that the positions of drillmaster and campmaster are allotted to kadrathen and not other units.

The special function of this unit is also indicated by the name — kadrath is etymologically derived from an ancient Jhaamdathan word meaning cadre, which is a nucleus of trained solders around which a larger organization may be built and trained. The plural of kadrath is kadrathen, not kadraths.

[Kadrathen are mentioned as collections of men in DotD,p.215 of hardcover (p.226 of ppb). The reference is plural, so I interpreted kadrath to be the singular, and no information was given about the size other than that a swordlord (i.e. an officer) commanded them so I fit it in as best as I could.]

[The similarity of the words kadrath and cadre struck me, so I worked it in for flavor's sake and as a sort of homage to the derivation of the French word cadre, which ultimately comes from the Latin quatuor, four. Note that a kadrath with a full complement of trainees is four times its normal size.]

[VGtC,p.236 footnote 3 states that lionars are equivalent to majors, although the FR FAQ has quoted Ed Greenwood as saying that lionars are equivalent to lieutenants while ornrions are equivalent to majors. Using the kadrath as a training unit allowed me to try to satisfy both as closely as possible. Normally they are lesser officers but when filled out with new recruits they can command a unit that a major/ornrion would normally command. Not a bad attempt, I think, to have one's cake and eat it too.]

1.2.2. Cavalry

Cavalry are soldiers who maneuver and fight on horseback. They are the mobility of any army and the core of its offensive strength. The sight and sound of a cavalry unit at full charge with lances leveled is an awesome, thunderous experience — what Cormytes often call "Waymoot come calling" after the excellent horse farms there — and one that often causes the courage of infantry to fail. It takes a great deal of training and discipline for any infantry unit to stand fast and meet a cavalry charge. Because of their mobility, cavalry are specially suited for patrol and scout missions, and for the hit-and-run guerilla tactics favored now by Cormyr's military leaders.

[VGtC,p.174 is the source of the phrase "Waymoot come calling."]

Cormyr fields primarily light cavalry and uses their mobility to the best advantage. Cormyr does not currently deploy heavy cavalry due to both the expense of such units and the reduction in mobility that heavy equipment would cause, and fields only one elite regiment of medium cavalry. In the viewpoint of Cormyr's leadership, if the key characteristic of cavalry is mobility why burden them with all the weight thus reducing that advantage?

Cormyr's light cavalry is most often used for scouting and patrol duties, while the one medium cavalry regiment — the Royal Cavalry Regiment — has a much more publicly prominent presence. For this reason, the medium cavalry gets the most attention and the light cavalry are often overlooked.

Table 1-4: Table of Organization and Equipment (TO&E)
for Cavalry Regiments (all types) (as of 1 Mirtul 1369 DR):

Unit Type  Abbr.  # Men Composition

Ride       RDE       8  First Sword leads 6 blades and a Royal Scout.

Lance      LNC      21  Swordcaptain leads two rides, a swordmajor, a 
                        Royal Scout and a guidon, and is served by a 
                        squire.  The company swordmajor fills the same 
                        role as an Earth platoon sergeant.

Troop      TRP      74  Lionar leads three lances and has a staff 
                        consisting of a guidon, two swordmajors (a 
                        drillmaster and a campmaster), two Royal Scouts, 
                        two battlepriests, a blacksmith and assistant, 
                        and is served by a squire.

Squadron   SQN     238  Ornrion leads three troops and has a staff 
                        consisting of a lionar as an executive officer, 
                        two orderlies, a guidon, one swordmajor (a 
                        quartermaster), three Royal Scouts, two 
                        battlepriests, and a blacksmith and assistant. 
                        Both the ornrion and the executive lionar are 
                        served by a squire each.

Regiment   RGT     500  Constal leads two squadrons and has a staff 
                        consisting of an ornrion as an executive 
                        officer, four orderlies, a guidon, a regimental 
                        swordmajor, six Royal Scouts, six battlepriests, 
                        and a blacksmith and assistant.  Both the 
                        constal and the executive ornrion are served by 
                        a squire each.

                   __________________/ \__________________
                  /                                       \
                 SQN                                     SQN
      ___________/|\___________               ___________/|\___________
     /            |            \             /            |            \
    TRP          TRP          TRP           TRP          TRP          TRP
  __/|\__      __/|\__      __/|\__       __/|\__      __/|\__      __/|\__  
 /   |   \    /   |   \    /   |   \     /   |   \    /   |   \    /   |   \
/ \ / \ / \  / \ / \ / \  / \ / \ / \   / \ / \ / \  / \ / \ / \  / \ / \ / \
R R R R R R  R R R R R R  R R R R R R   R R R R R R  R R R R R R  R R R R R R

Swordcaptains (18 LNC CO's)         = 18
Lionars (6 TRP CO's and 2 SQN XO's) =  8
Ornrions (2 SQN CO's and 1 RGT XO)  =  3
Constal (RGT CO)                    =  1
TOTAL                               = 30

Standard Equipment

Light Cavalry
Enlisted: mostly studded leather armor with remainder being plain 
          leather, shields optional, armed with sword, light lance and 
          longbow.  Mounts will be either Golden Trotter, Duskwood
          Skewbald, or Emberhawk breeds of light warhorse.  A rare few
          enlisted men might afford their own superior mounts such as
          Dambraii or Raurin light warhorses.
Officer:  chain shirts or occasionally scalemail or chainmail, armed 
          with sword, light lance and longbow.  Mounts will be the same
          as that of the enlisted men for officers of less wealth, while
          wealthier officers will ride on Dambraii or Raurin light
          warhorses or even an occasional Cormyrean Destrier or Tharurr
          heavy warhorses.

Medium Cavalry
Enlisted: scalemail or chainmail armor and barding with shields, armed 
          with sword, heavy lance, and longbow.  Mounts will typically
          be either Amphailian black charger or Tantan Destrier breeds
          of heavy warhorse.  A rare few enlisted men might afford their
          own superior mounts such as Cormyrean Destrier or Tharurr
          heavy warhorses.
Officer:  plate armor of some sort, scale or chain barding for the 
          horse, armed with sword, heavy lance and longbow.  Mounts will
          be the same as that of the enlisted men for officers of lesser
          wealth, while wealthier officers will ride Cormyrean Destrier
          or Tharurr heavy warhorses.

[See BoRv1 for details on the Dambraii, Raurin, Tharurr, and Cormyrean Destrier equine templates.]

[FoMD gives precedent for using several real-world unit names in the Realms: squadrons and regiments in the Army of Darkness on p.14 and regiments in the Akh'Velar on p.16.]

Note that cavalry units of troop size and larger are assigned their own blacksmiths to handle the necessary routine shoeing duties for the horses. This is unique to cavalry; in other units, the unit quartermaster will hire this work out to civilian smiths. In cavalry units, blacksmiths are usually first swords and their assistants are blades. The Royal Cavalry Regiment

The most famous cavalry regiment of Cormyr — that is, the one that gets the most attention as a unit — is the Royal Cavalry Regiment, stationed in Suzail. It is constituted as a regiment of medium cavalry, the heaviest fielded by Cormyr and the only regiment of medium cavalry.

The Royal Cavalry Regiment usually works together as a unit in more conventional set-piece functions when it deploys, but it rarely deploys under anyone except a royal. The Royal Cavalry Regiment is always prominent in any Suzailian event of pomp and pageantry, but make no mistake — these cavalry troopers are not just for show; they are highly proficient fighters. Because of its name — the Royal Cavalry Regiment, its fame and its solitary status as the heaviest of Cormyr's cavalry it is often thought that it is the only cavalry regiment fielded by Cormyr, but this is not true.

Unlike other regiments in the Purple Dragons, the officers of the Royal Cavalry Regiment — all 30 of them — are always by tradition knights, and many if not most of them are of noble blood. These knights are typically equipped more like heavy cavalry than medium, although the enlisted R.C.R. soldiers are equipped as standard medium cavalry. Each knight-officer is allowed to have a squire, and that squire is also enlisted as a member of the Purple Dragons. When it comes time for the squire to become a knight he will also be commissioned as an officer if there is a vacancy, otherwise he will become just a knight that is not a member of the Purple Dragons.

The Royal Cavalry Regiment is distinctive in one other way as well — the entire regiment uses the Cormyrean Destrier breed of heavy warhorse exclusively as a mount, and the mounts of this regiment are the finest to be found anywhere in Cormyr.

Because of the unique and elite nature of the Royal Cavalry Regiment, it is made up of men and women from all over Cormyr and is not made up mostly men from the same region as are most other regiments.

[Several sources, including the Cormyr supplement, state that the Crown fields a force of 500 cavalry led by 30 knight-officers that are trained in both sword and bow. The regimental structure for cavalry given above provides exactly that — a unit of 500 men, 30 knight-officers leading 470 enlisted men.]

The two squadrons that make up the Royal Cavalry Regiment are called the King's Cavalry Squadron and the Queen's Cavalry Squadron, respectively. The entire Royal Cavalry Regiment is billeted in Suzail, and when training exercise or need requires deployment only squadron will be deployed at a time while the other remains in garrison at Suzail.

[DotD,p.286(HC) mentions the Queen's Cavalry and it only stands to reason that if there's a Queen's Cavalry there also ought to be a King's Cavalry. Other sources state that there are only 500 cavalry, and since I've designated that a regiment composed of two squadrons it's natural enough to let the King's and Queen's cavalry refer to the squadrons.] Other Cavalry Units

All cavalry units outside of the Royal Cavalry Regiment are constituted as light cavalry, and are rarely seen in full regimental formation. They are usually assigned by regiment to garrisons across Cormyr then sent out in smaller units as patrols both to help keep the roads safe for travel and to keep an eye on travelers using the roads. Everyone in Cormyr is familiar with these patrols, but because these cavalrymen aren't normally seen in regimental formation the common people don't usually think of these men as being part of a regiment. Patrols are usually made up of cavalry lances with perhaps a war wizard or two attached.

[GTR,p.57 describes a Cormyrean patrol as being 12 1st-level fighters led by a 4th-level fighter with a chance of a war wizard. This is 14 men total. HHEv,p.13 describes a road patrol as being 12+1d12 mounted soldiers, with a chance of having a priest, a war wizard, or 1d6 trainees. This can range from 13 to 30 men. A lance of 21 men is a good compromise between these two. The latter source also says the patrol is led by a patrol captain, and that nomenclature matches nicely with the rank of swordcaptain that normally commands a lance.]

1.2.3. Mounted Airborne

The existence of flying creatures such as dragons, wyverns and such have long inspired in men both the dream of flight and the dread of attacks coming from the air. Ground forces trying to defend against such attacks are at an inherent disadvantage, so the defenders of Cormyr have taken to the skies themselves on flying mounts to try to remove this disadvantage. It is a goal of the War Wizards and Purple Dragons to eventually tame dragons to use as mounts, but until that goal comes to fruition they have chosen the hippogriff as the flying steed of choice. Hippogriffs are plentiful in the Thunder Peaks, especially near the source of the Immerflow, so there is no dependency on any source outside of Cormyr for flying mounts.

[VGtC, p.181: "Dragons also inhabit the Thunder Peaks. A sizable faction of war wizards, led by Vangerdahast, sees the taming of a flight of dragons to be an essential part of securing the east reaches of the realm. They want to create an aerial strike force/patrol force of mages armed with wands on dragonback. A more realistic and immediate goal is to catch and tame some of the hippogriffs found in large wings[2] in the Thunder Peaks. They're most numerous near the source of the Immerflow, where lost mines lie in several high valleys. {2. Some use the word herds instead; others prefer the term scraveys.}"]

Purple Dragon units that use hippogriffs as mounts are organized very much like cavalry units, but are referred to as "mounted airborne" units and their individual soldiers as "airborne dragoneers." There are only two differences between mounted airborne organization and that of regular cavalry units. The first is that the mounted airborne contain soldiers who are specially trained in the care and handling of hippogriffs in the place of the guidons, squires and blacksmiths of a normal cavalry unit. Such special training is not needed for regular cavalry since horses (and the knowledge about taking care of them) are so commonplace. The second difference is due to the special tactics of airborne combat. Hard experience has proven the value of cooperative "wingman" tactics, from pairs of individual mounted soldiers to pairs of units. For this reason, a larger unit will always contain an even number of smaller units that work together in pairs.

[I thought about calling them airborne cavalry, but that term already comes loaded with a strong real-world connotation so I chose something different. Calling a group of Purple Dragons the "1st Air-Cav" just doesn't fit.]

The Purple Dragon mounted airborne are used primarily for scouting, patrolling, and message courier missions, and are gathered together in larger units only in larger cities. When needed to defend against airborne attacks, however, they can quickly be assembled into larger units since no terrain will slow them down and they can easily fly 80 or more miles per day. Because of this, mounted cavalry are normally deployed in units no larger then squadrons.

[VGtC,p.184: "Halfhap is protected by keeps at either end of its oval — well, giant-potato-shaped — ring of walls, wherein Purple Dragons dwell in strength. These Purple Dragons have hippogriff steeds,"]

[FFC,pp.97,101: The hippogriff steeds of the Purple Dragons in Halfhap are mentioned on these pages as well.]

[VGtC, p.139, regarding the War Wizard College in Esparin: "Hippogriffs are stabled there for the use of war wizards and court officials"]

[VGtC, p.208, regarding Skull Crag: "Over half the Crag's folk are Purple Dragons who patrol up and down the road and in the skies over the Storm Horns. To patrol the air, they use a flight of hippogriffs and the aid of a tower staffed by no less than nine war wizards."]

Table 1-5: Table of Organization and Equipment (TO&E)
for Mounted Airborne Regiments (all types) (as of 1 Mirtul 1369 DR):

Unit Type  Abbr.  # Men Composition

Talon      TLN       6  First Sword leads 4 blades and a Royal Scout.

Wing       WNG      16  Swordcaptain leads two talons, a swordmajor, a 
                        Royal Scout and a hippogriff handler.  The 
                        swordmajor fills the same role as an Earth 
                        platoon sergeant.

Flight     FLT      42  Lionar leads two wings and has a staff 
                        consisting of two swordmajors (a drillmaster and 
                        a campmaster), two Royal Scouts, two 
                        battlepriests, and two hippogriff handlers.

Squadron   SQN     100  Ornrion leads two flights and has a staff 
                        consisting of a lionar as an executive officer, 
                        two orderlies, one swordmajor (a quartermaster), 
                        four Royal Scouts, two battlepriests, and four 
                        hippogriff handlers.

Regiment   RGT     220  Constal leads two squadrons and has a staff 
                        consisting of an ornrion as an executive 
                        officer, four orderlies, a regimental 
                        swordmajor, six Royal Scouts, four 
                        battlepriests, and three hippogriff handlers.

            ___________/ \___________
           /                         \
          SQN                       SQN
      ____/ \____               ____/ \____
     /           \             /           \
    FLT         FLT           FLT         FLT 
    / \         / \           / \         / \ 
   /   \       /   \         /   \       /   \    
 WNG   WNG   WNG   WNG     WNG   WNG   WNG   WNG  
 / \   / \   / \   / \     / \   / \   / \   / \  
 T T   T T   T T   T T     T T   T T   T T   T T

Swordcaptains (8 WNG CO's)          =  8
Lionars (4 FLT CO's and 2 SQN XO's) =  6
Ornrions (2 SQN CO's and 1 RGT XO)  =  3
Constal (RGT CO)                    =  1
TOTAL                               = 18

Standard Equipment

Enlisted: mostly studded leather armor with remainder being plain 
          leather, shields optional, armed with sword, light lance and 
Officer:  chain shirts or occasionally scalemail or chainmail, armed 
          with sword, light lance and longbow.

[DotD,p.224: "Even as they spoke, there were a hundred dragoneers approaching on hippogriffs, ready to meet the ghazneth in the air..." Due to this quote, I reorganized the mounted airborne so that one unit normally has close to a hundred men.]

It is an obvious danger that during airborne combat a Purple Dragon rider may either fall or be forced from his or her mount. To minimize this danger (thus making more people be willing to accept this duty) the war wizards have created a special magical device for mounted airborne soldiers. Each member of a mounted airborne unit is issued a limited-use Ring of Featherfalling. The ring is limited to one use per day to make them more inexpensive to make under the theory that if a rider fell from his mount for whatever reason he would not have time to report back to his unit and get another mount before the battle would be over.

Ring of Featherfalling: This ring is a silver band that is engraved with feather images. It activates no more than once per day when the wearer begins freefalling, and remains in effect until the wearer softly lands on firm ground.
Caster Level: 1st; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, Forge Ring, featherfall; Market Price: 400 gp.

Prestige Class: Purple Dragon Airborne Dragoneer

Hit die: d10.


Alignment: Any nonevil and nonchaotic
Base Attack Bonus: +4
Skills: Handle Animal 6 ranks, Ride 6 ranks, Spot 4 ranks
Feats: Mounted Combat, Ride-By Attack
Special: Membership in the Purple Dragons and two months of training (game world time, of course).


The Airborne Dragoneer's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Handle Animal, Knowledge (local Cormyr), Knowledge (geography Cormyr), Knowledge (war), Ride (Hippogriff), Sense Motive, Spot

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.


All of the following are class features of the Purple Dragon Airborne Dragoneer prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: the Airborne Dragoneer is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light armor, medium armor, and shields.

Flight Training: The Airborne Dragoneer receives training in how to ride and guide a hippogriff mount. This training gives the benefit of the Skill Focus (Ride (hippogriff)) mount, and the +2 bonus counts as two virtual ranks in the skill for any purpose requiring actual ranks rather than net Skill Mod until such time as the Dragoneer has acquired two real ranks in the skill through leveling. The Dragoneer is also issued a limited-use ring of featherfalling.

Hippogriff Mount: The Dragoneer is issued a hippogriff mount during training having the standard attributes as listed in the Monster Manual, and this mount will respond to the Dragoneer's commands.

Flyby Attack (Ex): The hippogriff may make a flying charge at an opponent, and at the command of the Dragoneer may either (a) attack the opponent itself, or (b) fly by the opponent while maneuvering to allow the Dragoneer to make a single attack against the opponent with his melee weapon or lance. If the Dragoneer has the Spirited Charge feat he may apply the benefit of it to his attack. This does not provoke an attack of opportunity from the Dragoneer's opponent against either the Dragoneer or the hippogriff.

Advanced Hippogriff I: The Dragoneer's mount is advanced by one hit die to 4HD according to the procedure in the Monster Manual.

Wingman Tactics (Ex): When teaming with another Airborne Dragoneer of having this ability, or when one unit of Dragoneers having a leader with this ability teams with another unit of similar size having a leader with this ability, in airborne combat against a single opponent, one of the two teams will always be flanking the opponent and receive all the combat benefits of flanking.

Bonus Mounted Combat Feat: At 5th and 9th level, the Dragoneer gains a feat of his choice with the Mounted Combat feat as a prerequisite.

Improved Flight Maneuverability (Ex): A normal hippogriff has average flight maneuverability. Thanks to intensive training with the rider, the hippogriff mount achieves good maneuverability in limited fashion. Its Turn, Turn in Place, and Between Up And Down flight characteristics are good rather than average. The other flight characteristics remain average.

Advanced Hippogriff II: The Dragoneer's mount is advanced by one hit die to 5HD according to the procedure in the Monster Manual.

Improved Flying Speed (Ex): The hippogriff's base flying speed increases to 120 feet.

Advanced Hippogriff III: The Dragoneer's mount is advanced by one hit die to 6HD according to the procedure in the Monster Manual.

Table 1-6: The Purple Dragon Airborne Dragoneer
Class   Attack   Fort  Ref   Will
Level   Bonus    Save  Save  Save   Special
-----   ------   ----  ----  ----   ----------------------------------
 1st      +1      +0    +2    +0    Flight Training, Hippogriff Mount
 2nd      +2      +0    +3    +0    Flyby Attack
 3rd      +3      +1    +3    +1    Advanced Hippogriff I
 4th      +4      +1    +4    +1    Wingman Tactics
 5th      +5      +1    +4    +1    Bonus Mounted Combat Feat
 6th      +6      +2    +5    +2    Improved Flight Maneuverability
 7th      +7      +2    +5    +2    Advanced Hippogriff II
 8th      +8      +2    +6    +2    Improved Flying Speed
 9th      +9      +3    +6    +3    Bonus Mounted Combat Feat
10th     +10      +3    +7    +3    Advanced Hippogriff III

1.2.4. Archers

Cormyr also fields professionally trained archers in the Purple Dragons. These archers are specifically trained for two missions: to provide supporting volley fire en masse to large armies in the field (as opposed to more individual arrowshot that is usually provided by light infantry or cavalry), and to provide defense from attacks coming from the air (e.g. a dragon attack). This means that units of archers generally do not get assigned independent missions and are attached to other units (usually infantry) to support them.

Because of the missions of these archer units, they are organized differently than are infantry or cavalry units. Since they are specifically trained for the mission of supporting volley fire, smaller units of archers are not particularly useful. On the other hand, since archers are normally used only in support of infantry or cavalry and do not need to function independently, larger units like the regiment aren't useful for organizing archers either.

To qualify to be a member of an archery unit, a soldier is required to specialize in the use of the bow. Archers will usually have feats involving ranged fire (such as far shot or point blank shot) to the exclusion of most other feats. They are devoted to their chosen weapon to a significantly higher degree than other types of soldiers devote themselves to any single weapon.

Table 1-7: Table of Organization and Equipment (TO&E) for Archers
(as of 1 Mirtul 1369 DR):

Flight     FLT      24  Swordcaptain leads a swordmajor, two first
                        swords, and 20 blades.
Battery    BTY     100  Lionar leads 4 flights and has a staff
                        consisting of a guidon, a campmaster, and a

  /    _/ \_     \
 /    /     \     \

Standard Equipment
Enlisted: mostly studded leather armor with remainder being plain 
          leather, armed with longbow and a sword for self-defense.
Officer:  chain shirts or occasionally scalemail or chainmail, armed 
          with longbow and sword.

Because of both the supporting nature of the archers and the fact that they are specialists at a specific kind of combat, serving in an archer unit is usually not a career enhancement. Officers who lead batteries usually do not get further promoted to lead larger units made up of other troops. As a consequence of this, nobles are almost never found in the ranks of the professional archers. The men and women of the archers are traditionally almost entirely of common birth, with only the rare exception.

Drillmasters are not assigned to archery batteries because one is already expected to be fully qualified with the longbow before enlisting. Archers who join an archery battery gain their skill with the bow either from continual use since childhood or from devoting themselves to their bow while in the light infantry; some portion of archers are usually transfers from light infantry. Archery batteries are still generally regional in makeup, with archers joining the battery based closest to their home, but because of the specialized skill they are usually more diverse than are infantry or cavalry regiments.

1.2.5. Special Units:

In addition to the standard infantry and cavalry units of various types, there are also a small number of special units that exist to serve special needs in the defense of Cormyr. The personnel who are assigned to these special units are generally considered the elite of the Purple Dragons. The Royal Corps of Monster Hunters

This is a special kadrath-sized unit that is stationed more or less permanently in Thunderstone just across the Thunderflow from the Hullack Forest. This unit is outfitted as heavy infantry, although each member of the unit also knows how to ride, and is composed as the toughest, most hard-bitten veterans in the Purple Dragons. Their function is to fight not armies, bandits, or raiders, but monsters of all sorts. They specialize in the tactics of fighting the wide variety of fell beasts that might be found in Cormyr (and are found in the confines of the Hullack Forest and the nearby Vast Swamp).

This unit is considered so special and elite — composed of the toughest and most experienced veterans — that an oversword is given command of it. None of the men in this unit are of less than first sword rank, as it takes that much experience to prove oneself worthy of being assigned to the Monster Hunters. Also unlike regular units, the members of this corps come from all parts of Cormyr and even include some immigrants from outside the Forest Kingdom who have proven themselves. Although the regulation size of an infantry kadrath is 92 men, it is historically common for commanders of this elite unit to pad their numbers somewhat, so that a full force can be fielded even when some are on the sick or injured list. The actual number of men in the Monster Hunters thus fluctuates, and is currently about a hundred men.

Oversword Faril Laheralson is the current commander of the Royal Corps of Monster Hunters as of the Year of the Gauntlet (1369 DR). It is unfortunate to say that Oversword Laheralson has let the elite status of the unit go to the heads of both himself and his men. The Monster Hunters think very highly of themselves to the man, to the point of thinking of themselves as above normal military discipline. They are the self-appointed law in the town, and mostly do as they wish. They generally dominate the residents of Thunderstone, although they don't quite tyrannize them, and they tend to get a little wild and rowdy in their conduct. The townsfolk have complained, but the King turns a blind eye to the conduct of the men because they are very effective at battling the monsters that lair in the Hullack Forest and keep them contained. So long as the townsfolk are thus protected and the Monster Hunters do not sink to actual criminal acts, it is likely that the King will continue to tolerate the behavior of Oversword Laheralson and his men and the townsfolk will do little more than complain. The King's Messengers

The King's Messengers are a special unit composed entirely of the best and most trusted of the Royal Scouts. They serve as the King's personal corps of messengers and couriers. It is organized as a light troop composed of two lances and is commanded by an ornrion. All King's Messengers are of at least the rank of first sword, and generally each member of the light troop is one rank higher than he would be in a normal cavalry unit.

[There may also be other special units. BtHR,p.69 mentions that the name of some Purple Dragon unit is the Hullack Venomeers. There is not enough to go on to determine whether this is a special unit, or a named regular unit. I had considered making this the name of a sub-unit of the Royal Corps of Monster Hunters given its proximity to the Hullack Forest, but it doesn't seem likely that a mere company-sized unit would have an illustrious name. So for now I will let the Hullack Venomeers lie.]

1.2.6. Organization Above the Regimental Level

As stated before, the regiment is the primary operational unit in the Purple Dragons and the structure of regiments is largely a matter of regulation, at least on paper. When more than one regiment is organized under a single command the overall larger unit is called an army.

There is no fixed regulation structure for a Purple Dragon army, and armies are normally very fluid and flexible in makeup. They will contain regiments of different types that are coordinated to work together for mutual support. Smaller armies might be made up of just two or three regiments under the command of an oversword, while larger armies will be made up of many regiments under a battlemaster. Larger armies commanded by battlemasters may have a more detailed headquarters structure as overswords are given commands of smaller groupings of regiments within the army.

Each oversword or battlemaster (referred to hereafter collectively as general officers) commanding an army will have his own headquarters to help him manage the tremendous responsibility that such a command entails. There is no fixed size of an army headquarters, as the size will vary with the size of the army. There will be enlisted Purple Dragons to serve as guards and orderlies, several junior officers who serve the general officer as aides-de-camp, royal scouts to serve as messengers for the general officer as well as being his personal eyes and ears, squires if the general officer is a knight, and probably at least one or two battlepriests. War wizards are always assigned to army headquarters as well but these are not under the direct command of the general officer, to the chagrin of many of these officers. General officers who are also nobles will often bring on their own retainers to serve them as well, as personal guards or servants to provide as much of the comfort of home as possible in garrison or encampment. Depending on the size of the army, though, a general officer's army headquarters will be made up of 20 to 40 Purple Dragons of all ranks and functions, not including any personal retainers he brings along.

During time of peace, higher levels of organization are largely administrative in nature. Currently, there are only three armies in existence: the Army of the East, the Army of the West, and the Army of the Heartlands. The Army of the East is commanded by Battlemaster Baron Thomdor, which is made up of detachments in Arabel, Castle Crag, Halfhap, Tilverton and their supporting minor garrisons. The Army of the West is commanded by Oversword Thursk Dembarrion, the Lord Commander of High Horn, and is made up of all the troops in the High Horn, Eagle Peak and Skull Crag garrison and their supporting minor garrisons. The third army, the Army of the Heartlands, is made up of the Suzail, Marsember, Arabel (except for those regiments in the Army of the East), Waymoot and Wheloon garrisons and their supporting minor garrisons. The makeup of these armies is fluid, as regimental rotations frequently transfer regiments from one army to another. In time of war, additional armies are created by the King or the Lord High Marshal as the strategic situation demands.

[Note: Since the Army of the East roughly matches a section title in VGtC (The East Raches), the other army names were taken from section names in VGtC as well: the Heartlands and the West Reaches.]

Not every general officer will be the commander of an army. Some overswords and battlemasters are assigned to the headquarters in Suzail for the purpose of strategic planning or operational oversight.

1.3. Overall Composition of the Purple Dragons

Table 1-8: Overview of Purple Dragon Manpower
(as of 1 Mirtul 1369 DR)

Unit Type                          # Units   Total Men

    Light Infantry Regiment           15        9,000
    Medium Infantry Regiment           4        2,400
    Heavy Infantry Regiment            1          600
----------------------------------   ----    ---------
Total Infantry                        20       12,000

    Light Cavalry Regiment             4        2,000
    Medium Cavalry Regiment (R.C.R)    1          500
-----------------------------------  ----    ---------
Total Cavalry                          5        2,500

    Mounted Airborne Regiment          2          440
    Archer Battery                     9          900
    Royal Corps of Monster Hunters     1          100
-----------------------------------          ---------
Total                                           1,440

===================================          =========
Grand Total                                    15,940*

* Note that this total number does not include any Purple Dragons
  serving in army headquarters.

[It is generally assumed that there are 12,000 Purple Dragons based on imprecise readings of canon. GTR,p.43 states that "more than 12,000 Purple Dragons are now garrisoned in major cities and fortifications", and C9410,p.55 repeats this. Note the use of the phrase "more than 12,000" and that it is only the number in "major cities and garrisons", which means the total size of the Purple Dragons is greater than 12,000. I have arranged things such that 12,000 is the actual number of men in all the infantry regiments, though.]

1.3.1. Units of the Purple Dragons and their Deployments

The following listing shows the normal deployments for the Purple Dragons as of the first day of Mirtul in the Year of the Gauntlet (1369 DR). Regiments are generally identified by a number, a home garrison, and the unit type: e.g. the 2nd Suzail Infantry (medium) or the 3rd Marsember Infantry (light). Special units often have no number, just a name. In many cases just the number of regiments in a garrison is given rather than listing the regiments by name because regiments are regularly rotated among garrisons. Where specific units are mentioned by name in a specific garrison, this means that unit is generally not rotated.

Most of these major garrisons provide soldiers to man nearby minor garrisons, wayposts or outposts. These detachments are periodically rotated so no small unit is away from the major garrison for extended periods of time. Minor garrisons in towns might be rotated anywhere from monthly to once every six months, while wayposts or outposts not in towns can be rotated as frequently as once per tenday.

The major garrisons also routinely patrol the roads of Cormyr. Normal patrols will usually consist of a squad of infantry on horseback (strictly for transport; they do not fight as cavalry) and will as often as not be accompanied by a war wizard.

[GTR,p.57: "A Cormyrean patrol numbers 12 fighters of 1st level led by a 4th-level fighter, with a 50% chance of a 3rd-6th level War Wizard as well." This is essentially an infantry squad.] Suzail

The total Purple Dragon strength in Suzail is 4,420 soldiers, less the number detached to minor garrisons, outposts and wayposts.

The routine duty of patrolling and policing Suzail is rotated among the various battalions of the Suzail Garrison. One battalion is always alert and patrolling the streets at any given time day or night, and the duty battalion is usually rotated just after breakfast, just before dinner, and midnight.

[VGtC,p.16 says that 300 of the garrison are on civic street patrol at a time, which is essentially a battalion.] Marsember

The total Purple Dragon strength in Marsember is 3,000 soldiers.

[C9410,p.58 states that "Ayesunder Truesilver is the commander of these forces (referring to the Imperial Navy) and is generally regarded as the head of the Cormyrean Navy." Well aside from one quibble — there is no such thing "generally regarded head" as the commander of any major branch of the military will be specifically appointed by the government rather than having command by default or general acclimation — this means that Lord Ayesunder has to be an admiral rather than a battlemaster. C9410,p.13 states that Ayesunder "also commands the garrison of 3,000 Purple Dragons". If he is the commander of the Cormyrean Navy he cannot also be a Purple Dragon himself so he cannot have the rank of battlemaster, so this must be an example of a joint force command under a naval flag officer. Why couldn't Ayesunder be a battlemaster of the Purple Dragons and still have a joint command over the ships of Marsember? Because C9410 doesn't just say he commands the ships in Marsember, but that he is the "head of the Cormyrean Navy", which would mean the entire navy rather than just the ships in Marsember.]

Only light infantry regiments are assigned to Marsember because of the nature of the duty here. Duty frequently takes the Purple Dragons on to the canals here, and anything heavier than light infantry would be at risk of drowning by quickly sinking if they fell into water. The Dragons on duty in Marsember are issues special breastplates and helmets that are easily removable just in case such accidents do happen, and many of them (including all the Marsember-native soldiers) are skilled swimmers.

[C9410,p.13: the Purple Dragons in Marsember wear leather armor and have only metal helmets and breastplates. VGtC,p.35 states that the soldiers wear leather armor with easily removable metal helms and breastplates and that they are good swimmers. This special armor issued to them is not standard breastplate as per D&D rules, since it is lighter, easily removable, and does not come with vambraces, greaves or underlying chain. At the DM's option, the Marsembrian leather and light breastplate armor may be considered to have the same game statistics as a chain shirt.]

Because Marsember is generally considered the most prone to corruption of all Cormyrean cities, being the busiest port with the greatest foreign presence and a local lord (Ildool) already under suspicion, the five light infantry regiments assigned here are rotated out no less often than every few years, and sometimes more often. Thus, at any given time usually only two and at most three of these regiments will be of Marsember infantry, while the others will be infantry from some other part of Cormyr. This also means that Marsember infantry could be encountered in Suzail, Arabel, or even Tilverton.

[VGtC,p.35: soldiers are rotated into and out of Marsember every few years to cut down on possible corruption.] Arabel

The total Purple Dragon strength in Arabel is 3,000 soldiers, less the number detached to minor garrisons, outposts and wayposts.

[C9410, inside cover gives the Arabel garrison strength as 2,000, but Volo's Guide to Cormyr says that the PD's in Arabel are actually two detachments: the Army of the East under the Warden of the Eastern Marches and the city garrison under Myrmeen Lhal. VGtC,pp.54-55 says that the garrison numbers 1,000 and that Thomdor's army has 1,700 of whom 300 are on road patrols or stationed in outlying wayposts. This is actually a total of 2,700 men, not 2,000 as C9410 gives. I had a little difficulty matching 1,000 men for the Arabel garrison and still have whole numbers of regiments and no extraneous battalions, so I made the minor adjustment of increasing the garrison to 1,300. So Volo miscounted; it wouldn't be the first time he got something wrong.]

[According to VGtC (p.55), both the Arabel garrison and the Army of the East are commanded by one person – Oversword Dutharr – despite being ultimately being under two different authorities, being Myrmeen Lhal and Baron Thomdor. This is unacceptable and unbelievable. No person in any military hierarchy can have more than one commanding officer. Chains of command never come in such X-shapes. Also, I don't buy the idea that Myrmeen Lhal can actually command any Purple Dragons when she's not an actual Purple Dragon officer. Local lords that are not also active Purple Dragons should only be able to give orders to the local militia or their own personal house men-at-arms. I'll chalk this up to Volo's total lack of understanding of military matters and Elminster's slyly letting Volo's nonsense go uncorrected. I correct this by removing the part about Dutharr being Thomdor's liaison and making him just the garrison commander.] Castle Crag

The total Purple Dragon strength in Castle Crag is 620 soldiers, less the number detached to minor garrisons, outposts and wayposts. Halfhap

The total Purple Dragon strength in Halfhap is 1,038 soldiers, less the number detached to minor garrisons, outposts and wayposts.

[VGtC,p.184: Halfhap is an oval-shaped walled town with two keeps at either end of it, which together contain over a thousand Purple Dragons and sport numerous ballistae. The Purple Dragons here have hippogriff steeds.] Tilverton

The total Purple Dragon strength in Tilverton is 962 soldiers.

Purple dragons constantly patrol the streets of Tilverton since it is a relatively new annexation of Cormyr and is still in the process of being assimilated. A patrol is generally a squad with one or two attached war wizards although if trouble is expected entire companies might patrol the streets. The garrison also patrols the area around Tilverton in strength. The typical longer range patrol is made up of two lances of cavalry with attached war wizards and a flight of archers on horseback for backup.

[GTR,p.56 garrison of 850 Purple Dragons, with foot patrols common in the streets. C9410,p.23 mentions constant patrols, typically being 10-20 F3's and 1 or 2 war wizards commanded by an F5. This would translate to a squad with attached war wizards, and I mention the bit about companies on occasional patrol just to bring the statistically average patrol up a little closer to 20. VGtC,p.195 states a typical patrol consists of 40 seasoned warriors commanded by a veteran officer, all riding medium war horses, wear field plate, and wield lances, maces, etc., are accompanies by 1-3 war wizards and 10-20 archers but mentions this separately from the street patrol so they must patrol outside the city. Note that my garrison strength is a bit more than 850, but I had to boost it a bit to get infantry, cavalry and archers all here.] High Horn

The total Purple Dragon strength in High Horn is 411 soldiers, less the number detached to minor garrisons, outposts and wayposts.

The overall commander of the Purple Dragons is Duke Bhereu, Lord High Marshal of Cormyr (LG hm Ftr14/Prp5). He performs most of his duties at High Horn rather than Suzail and has a headquarters staff here. The actual day-to-day command of the castle is on the shoulders of the Lord Commander of High Horn, who is appointed annually by the King. [GTR,p.48] In addition to this, the Lord Commander of High Horn is also the commander of the Army of the West. This army is composed all the Purple Dragons in the High Horn, Eagle Peak, Skull Crag and Greatgaunt garrisons.

[GTR,p.42 & CaN,p.13, states Bhereu is the Lord High Marshal. CaN,p.16 mentions that Azoun had to summon him from High Horn. The class levels are my own estimation for him.]

[Both the GTR,p.48 and C9410,p.26 state that half the army winters at High Horn. Think about what this means. The army normally garrisons the cities and towns around Cormyr and patrols the roads to defend the land and people. High Horn is in the high mountains, specifically the highest point in the Dragonjaw line of peaks (VGtC,p.206). The pass that High Horn guards is more than likely closed during the winter due to weather. Why in the Nine Hells would half the defense of the kingdom be withdrawn to a place where it is cut off and isolated from the rest of the country except perhaps by teleport? Even if there were a full network of portals linking High Horn to all the other major garrisons, what possible purpose is served by withdrawing half the army to there? No, in my opinion the idea that half the army — half the garrisons of the towns and cities — is sent off to an isolated garrison for a whole season should be disregarded as lunacy.]

[C9410,p.26 says that "there is a knight (F3) for every group of 10 men." Since knights who are members of the Purple Dragons are necessarily officers and 10 men are too few for an officer to lead except in special circumstances, I choose to disregard this.]

[C9410,p.57 states that in addition to the Purple Dragons and War Wizards there are "other miscellaneous forces." Other than perhaps the overall headquarters of Duke Bhereu and the army headquarters of the Army of the West, I have not specifically addressed what "other forces" there might be.] Eagle Peak

The total Purple Dragon strength in Eagle Peak is 627 soldiers.

[VGtC,p.205: Eagle Peak is home to a Purple Dragon garrison of 600.] Skull Crag

The total Purple Dragon strength in Skull Crag is 1,062 soldiers, less the number detached to minor garrisons, outposts and wayposts.

[VGtC,p.208: over half of this fortified village of over 2,000 folk are Purple Dragons. They use hippogriff to patrol by air and the tower here has no less than nine war wizards.] Wheloon

The total Purple Dragon strength in Wheloon is 600 soldiers, less the number detached to minor garrisons, outposts and wayposts.

The local lord of Wheloon, Sarp Redbeard, has kept the numbers of soldiers in his town to a minimum by getting the commander of the regiment (also a native of Wheloon thus sympathetic) to disperse most of the regiment to various towns and villages in the land between Wheloon and Sembia. With five kadrathen detached outside of Wheloon, there is only one kadrath plus the regimental HQ in Wheloon itself, which is 114 men.

[There is a contradiction between the GTR,p.57 and C9410,p.31 regarding Wheloon. The GTR states that the local lord Sarp Redbeard is popular with the people because "they see Sarp as keeping the Purple Dragon of Cormyr out of their daily lives", which clearly refers to keeping the King and his government from micromanaging the people of the town, but C9410 says the people like Redbeard "because he keeps the Purple Dragons out of Wheloon," which has an entirely different meaning. Also, VGtC,p.105 that there is a Purple Dragon barracks and armory in town and VGtC,p.108,109,113,114 mentions Wheloon's Purple Dragons. I choose to take GTR and VGtC as truth and disregard what is in the C9410, although I do make an attempt to bridge the gap by making the regiment a local one made up of people from Wheloon and surrounding regions, and then by assigning most of the regiment to smaller surrounding garrisons.] Thunderstone

The total Purple Dragon strength in Thunderstone is 100 soldiers, less the number detached to minor garrisons, outposts and wayposts.

[C9410,p.29 says that Laheralson is a CN hm Ftr5, but VGtC,p.194 specifically gives his rank as Oversword. While there is no strict correlation between class levels and military rank, I personally find it difficult to believe that an oversword, especially one commanding a special unit experienced in fighting monsters, would be so low a level.]

1.4. Operational Tactics of the Purple Dragons

Cormyr has been in relatively few set-piece battles involving large formations of thousands of men, because Cormyr has been in relatively few large-scale wars in its history. Among these few, the following are the most noteworthy: Azoun I's war against the Shoon Imperium in the Year of the Leaping Hare (376 DR), the war against the Witch Lords in the Year of the Thirsty Sword (900 DR), Cormyr's participation in the Battle of the Bones in the Year of Slaughter (1090 DR), and Azoun IV's Crusade against the Tuigan Horde in the Year of the Turret (1360 DR). In battles such as these, set-piece battles of large scale formations are the rule.

Most of the combat action Cormyr has seen, however, has been clearing the land of monsters and making it safe for civilized settlers as the kingdom grew. Much of this work was done by royally chartered adventurers (who are generally more suited to the task anyway) or special units of the Purple Dragons (like the group in Thunderstone), while the Purple Dragons as a whole were the standing army that concentrated on the defense of the kingdom from more conventional threats. As the standing army, the Purple Dragons of the past largely trained in more conventional massed formations and "set-piece" battles, although it did not often have a chance to use them. Despite this training focus, the Purple Dragons have participated in small scale actions against monsters and bandits thus have some experience in guerilla tactics at the small scale.

Duke Bhereu, the current Lord High Marshal, was the first who had the insight to apply these guerilla tactics to the regular army as a large scale tactical doctrine, and in his tenure he has reformed the practices of the Purple Dragons to be more in line with his preferred tactics. His reformation has proved successful with the enemies Cormyr has faced recently, so that is how the modern Purple Dragons are trained to fight. Still, the formal military hierarchy and the resulting military culture is deeply ingrained in the institution, and that culture will take more time to reform than simply the fighting tactics and practices. Because of this, the Purple Dragons still receive significant training in old-style set-piece battles and the organization of the army still reflects those tactics.

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