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Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves (2e)
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Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves (2e)

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Step into the past of 650 DR and experience the sights, sounds, and innumerable wonders of fabled Myth Drannor at its height. Walk the wooded glades of Cormanthyr, the last major elven empire on Faerun, and discover marvelous secrets lost to the Realms of the present day.

This Arcane Age campaign expansion for the Forgotten Realms setting contains all the information necessary to begin either a full-fledged Cormanthyran campaign or a journey back in time some 700 years to see the City of Song at its most glorious.

Thie 160-page book contains exhaustive details on the history, culture, military, society, and citizens of the forest nation of Cormanthyr. Features include a timeline of elven history on Toril, a rundown of Cormanthyr's ruler and important individuals, plus more information on the city of Myth Drannor at its height as well as on the communities of Semberholme and the Tangled Vale. In addition, a new specialty wizard, the elven dualist, is introduced and detailed.

Also included is a large section that gives the reader knowledge of the elves' magical rites, rituals, and unique magical weapons and items. Features include new and expanded rules on the elves' potent High Magic, moonblades, and the multitude of magics that helped make Myth Drannor the glittering gem of Faerun that it was. Finally, a two-sided, full-color map of the nation of Cormanthyr and an aerial view of Myth Drannor completes this exciting package - the largest collection of elven lore ever.

Product History

Cormanthyr: Empire of Elves (1998), by Steven E. Schend and Kevin Melka, is an Arcane Age scenario for the Forgotten Realms. It was published in March 1998.

About the Title. Cormanthyr or Cormanthor? The names are confusing to amateur Forgotten Realmsologists. Cormanthor is the forest and its ruler and its original capital city, which is now the heart of Myth Drannor. Cormanthyr is the political kingdom.

Origins: Back to the Arcane Age. Cormanthyr: Empire of Elves (1998) was a return to the Arcane Age, with the line's second major sourcebook, following the original Netheril: Empire of Magic (October 1996).

It had been almost a year and a half since the previous Arcane Age publication. This was certainly due to TSR's bankruptcy, as Cormanthyr had originally been scheduled for September 1997, but the fact that Wizards wasn't prioritizing the Arcane Age supplements wasn't a good sign. The next book, The Fall of Myth Drannor (1998) wouldn't appear for three more months.

The Media Tie-In. Cormanthyr: Empire of Elves was released slightly in advance of The Lost Library of Cormanthyr, the first of the "Lost Empires" (1998-2000) series of novels, which touched back on several lost civilizations in the Realms.

Expanding D&D. Like Netheril, Cormanthyr is full of new magical rules, including high magic, rituals, and rules for mythals. The details on the Myth Drannor mythal may be the most intriguing, because they show it before its corruption, as opposed to its somewhat fallen state in the "modern-day" Realms.

Expanding D&D: Resurrected Races Cormanthyr is the second major Realms supplement on elves, following FOR5: Elves of Evermeet (1994). The big difference, of course, is that those were elves of the present and these were elves of the past.

What difference does a few centuries make? Rules for the elves of the Arcane Age allow for longer lives as well as higher levels for fighters, priests, and wizards alike. There are also rules for elf rogues and even bards(!).

Eras of the Realms: 650 DR. The Year of the Falling Tower.

Exploring the Realms: Cormanthyr. This is the major resources for Cormanthyr and for elves in the Arcane Age. It also includes extensive details on Myth Drannor (including Windsong Tower), Semberholme, and The Tangled Vale.

Artifacts of Note. There are details on the three Elfblades of Cormanthyr: the Rulers' Blade, the Warblade, and the Artblade.

These blades would continue to be important artifacts in the future of the Realms. The Rulers' Blade and the Warblade would both be restored to Myth Drannor after its mythal was restored in 1375 DR, but the Artblade remains lost

Whoops. Cormanthyr references a chapter called "Worlds Beyond Cormanthyr". The chapter was planned but never completed due to space concerns. It would have been "a listing of the various elven, dwarven and human realms around at the time".

Future History. The story of Cormanthyr would continue, and the Arcane Age would conclude, with "The Fall of Myth Drannor" (1998).

About the Creators. Schend wrote numerous Realms supplements in the late '90s, from City of Splendors (1994) to Skullport (1999). Melka is best known as the product lead of the second edition of the Dark Sun setting. This was his only Realms book (and one of his last few books for Wizards).

About the Product Historian

The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons — a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to

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Yez F February 04, 2019 10:09 pm UTC
Are the maps part of the PDF file?
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File Last Updated:
June 10, 2017
This title was added to our catalog on June 13, 2017.