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Castle Crag

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Castle Crag was a castle in northern Cormyr designed to protect it from the threats of the Stonelands in the mid–14th century DR.[1][2][3][4]


Castle Crag lay in the central north of Cormyr, at the base of the Storm Horns mountains. It stood at the southern end of Gnoll Pass, east of the Mountain Ride road to Arabel and north of the Dragon Trail to Hillmarch.[2]


Castle Crag was a smaller and simpler construction than High Horn, a castle further east and higher in the Storm Horns.[5]


Fearing that bandits, orcs, and other marauders in the Stonelands and Tilver's Gap might one day threaten the northern border of Cormyr itself, the kingdom began building the fortress of Castle Crag around 1347 DR.[6][7][8][3] It was intended to be a local strongpoint to protect the frontier, and it marked the greatest expansion of the kingdom in quite some time,[5] being the easternmost outpost toward Tilverton.[1]

Construction continued for the next ten years, and was still underway by 1357 DR.[6] It already had a garrison, however, and in Eleasias of the Year of the Prince, 1357 DR, the defenders were doubled in number, to guard against bandits and raiders taking advantage of conflict in Daggerdale.[9] Castle Crag took less time to complete than its counterpart at High Horn, however, owing to its smaller and simpler design and easier terrain.[5] Work was complete by 1367 DR.[8]

However, with Cormyr's annexation of Tilverton in 1357 DR,[2] Castle Crag was no longer its easternmost outpost.[1] By 1367 DR, Castle Crag had stopped all goblin raids further south, as had the waning of goblin power in the Goblin Marches. Castle Crag was once the most important military location in Cormyr, but this declined alongside the goblins.[2] Nevertheless, it remained a key defense of the realm.[1][2] However, Zhentarim had begun recruiting goblin bands to their side and using them against tribes and raiders; if they grew strong enough, they would threaten Cormyr again.[2]

By 1367 DR, Tallsword had begun keeping a psionicist on his staff, in order to instantly transmit secure messages via telepathy to Arabel in the event the castle was attacked. The leadership in Suzail studied the system and considered implementing it throughout the realm if it proved successful. However, some conservatives feared it would trigger an arms race with Zhentil Keep and the Stonelands and would be costly and difficult to manage. Furthermore, they feared the psionicists themselves and giving them such a vital role in the kingdom's defense.[2][10]

However, Bren's psionicists proved their worth when one, Ormion Bowbreaker, not only warned of but predicted a vicious gnoll raid. War Wizards interrogated Bren's psionicists and declared them trustworthy, and a recruitment drive began across Cormyr.[10]


The castle was garrisoned by around 500 Purple Dragons and a detachment of five War Wizards. They were led by Bren Tallsword, who answered to the Warden of the Eastern Marches in Arabel.[2][1][3][3]

Unusually, Castle Crag also had a small staff of psionicists.[2][10]

There were no civilians at the castle, nor were there any lords, heralds, or merchants based there.[2] Adventurers were not welcome and any who turned up were sent away as soon as possible, if not sooner.[1][3]

Furthermore, there were no temples on site.[2] Tallsword even had taverns and hostels near the castle demolished to prevent distractions to the soldiers, but soldiers and adventurers regularly rebuilt them with the tacit approval of the Warden of the Eastern Marches.[1]


Castle Crag was intended to defend Cormyr's northern border and guard against incursions from the Stonelands and Goblin Marches beyond Gnoll Pass,[2][1][7][3] such as bandits, orcs, and other creatures in the north and east, as well as other foes coming down from Shadow Gap and Tilver's Gap.[6][8] Because of the turbulent nature of the Stonelands, Castle Crag was a key defense for Cormyr.[1] However, the castle was unable to protect travelers through the Pass on the Mountain Ride.[2]

The defenders had a standing order to hold the castle against invaders at all costs. Commander Tallsword had no qualms about obeying it, but was confident reinforcements from Arabel would arrive or rout invaders before any got past him, provided he gave them time.[1][2]

Commander Tallsword called for frequent drills and inspections.[1][2][3]



  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 48. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 Eric Haddock (1994). Cormyr. (TSR, Inc), pp. 24, 56–57, cover. ISBN 1-56076-818-5.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 112. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  4. Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), Maps. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Eric Haddock (1994). Cormyr. (TSR, Inc), p. 34. ISBN 1-56076-818-5.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (Cyclopedia of the Realms). (TSR, Inc), p. 32. ISBN 0-8803-8472-7.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 43. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Eric Haddock (1994). Cormyr. (TSR, Inc), p. 33. ISBN 1-56076-818-5.
  9. Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (DM's Sourcebook of the Realms). (TSR, Inc), p. 44. ISBN 0-8803-8472-7.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Eytan Bernstein (2007-07-03). Psionics Across the Land. Class Chronicles. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-05-21.

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