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Ormpur, or in the local vernacular "Ormpar", and known as the City of Saffron, was an independent city-state on the northeastern edge of Lapaliiya in southwest Faerûn in the mid–14th century DR. It was one of the Cities of the Seabreeze, and was often treated as part of the realm of Lapaliiya.[1][2][note 1]

GeographyEdit

Lapaliiya 2e

A map of Lapaliiya, showing Ormpur at the northern edge.

The city stood at the eastern tip of the Shining Sea, at the head of Ormpur Bay[1][2] at the northern foot of the Sheir Peninsula.[1][2][6][7] It lay at the northwestern end of the range called the Wormbones and the edge of the Shaar[6] From Ormpur, trails led south to Sheirtalar in Lapaliiya, northwest to Theymarsh and northeast to Derlusk in the Border Kingdoms.[7]

A pebble beach lay on the coast north of Ormpur.[8]

Economy & TradeEdit

Ormpur was named the City of Saffron for good reason. Ormpur Bay was the only place in Faerûn where the crocus flower grew in abundance. From this flower, the rare spice saffron was produced in Ormpur.[1][2] The city kept a reserve stockpile of this valuable and much-sought-after spice, as well as stocks of other spices, all well guarded.[3]

HistoryEdit

Early HistoryEdit

Early in its history, Ormpur established a long-running alliance with a clutch of chromatic dragon wyrmlings and formed a cavalry mounted on them. They allowed Ormpur to remain independent and grow strong.[1][2] With these allies, Ormpur repelled the lizardfolk armies of the yuan-ti empire of Serpentes (−304 DR to 34 DR), even as Lapaliiya was conquered by the Year of Sunned Serpents, −189 DR,[2][9]

In the age of the Shoon Imperium, Qysara Shoon V (281300 DR) demanded that the Cities of the Seabreeze host garrisons of imperial soldiers. In the Year of Wasteful Pride, 285 DR, the Shoon Imperium snatched control of Lapaliiya, then launched the Tashalar Campaigns, conquering the cities as possessions of the Shoon Imperium.[9][10] But through shrewd diplomatic maneuvering in the imperial court and the tacit threat of the wyrmling cavalry, Ormpur kept its independence, even if in name only.[1][2]

Circa 995 DR, five mages somewhere fought over the Scepter of Mystra. Their spell-battle left one changed and trapped in the form of a stone, and lying somewhere amongst thousands of like stones on the pebble beach north of Ormpur.[8]

In the Year of the Sword's Oath, 1142 DR, the Coiled Cabal, a group of yuan-ti pureblood mages, attempted to reconquer the Cities of the Seabreeze. They were opposed by over two dozen archmages of Lapaliiya and Tashluta, who fought first the yuan-ti, then each other as they vied for their own power. For a full season, in a conflict called the Rage of Wizards, they waged wild spell battles up and down the Tashtan Coast. By its end, the cities of Lapaliiya and the Tashalar had suffered gratuitous destruction, but not one wizard or yuan-ti had won a single crown. Disgusted, for centuries after the Lapaliiyans and Ormpurrans would see wizards with suspicion and instead treat the clergies with much greater respect, leading to the establishment of the civic faiths, as well as the faith-based relations between the cities.[11][11][9][12][note 2]

Once, a legendary bandit lord of Lapaliiya called Felingar stole a chansreena of Ormpur, together with her dowry, as she journeyed to her wedding to an important archmage of Halruaa.[13]

Modern HistoryEdit

Rest you, good lady. Your labors have been hard this day, and the gods shall not soon forget what you accomplished. A war begun, a throne overthrown, a temple plundered, a city in flames, and hundreds dead. Hmmm… after this, I hope you don't find the morrow empty and boring.
— Jeremmer Hardree, "the Mad Jester", in Torch Court on the night of Bloodsword.

In the 13th century DR, Ormpur was ruled by High Suikh Naether. He was succeeded by his nephew, Askulder, known as the "Hand of Tiamat". Both were served by the court fool Jeremmer Hardree, called the Mad Jester for his bold tongue. Askulder adopted a foster daughter, Maerildarraine, who would be declared Chansreena of Ormpur.[5]

On Kythorn 12 in the Year of Thunder, 1306 DR, High Suikh Askulder was murdered by his own foster daughter, Chansreena Maerildarraine. She seized the throne and declared herself Queen of Ormpur, then led her loyal knights to plunder and burn the temple of Tiamat, but the flames spread through the city. This outrageous act triggered a holy war, and by the end of the day, hundreds lay dead. To Ormpurrans, this shocking day would be known ever afterward as "Bloodsword". Nevertheless, the jester Jeremmer continued to served Queen Maerildarraine too.[2][5]

Supported by the church of Tiamat, Helbareim "the Storm Wind" Alanasker eventually deposed Queen Maerildarraine. She died fighting in her own throne room, and the fool Jeremmer was grievously wounded defending her, but survived in the care of priests. Helbareim then became High Suikh himself.[2][5] However, Ormpur would not recover; once a great city-state, these internal conflicts saw its power wane, leaving it a weakened realm.[1][2][5]

Then, in the Year of the Prince, 1357 DR, Helbareim's daughter and only heir, Chansreena (princess) Alabhansree Alanasker, went missing from Ormpur. Also missing were many magical blades that had been kept hidden in secret storage niches in the palace, and a large amount of saffron, comprising Ormpur's entire reserve, as well as other spices, a fortune intended as the Chansreena's dowry.[14][4][3] Obsessed with finding her, Helbareim spent a good deal of the city's treasury in efforts to locate and retrieve Alabhansree, all without success. He first suspected several notorious thieves: Hoond of Shussel, Veldyn "the Fingers" Uruin, and even the adventurer Torm. The whole Ormpurian court believed the thief had originated from the North, and Ormpurian agents in Waterdeep hunted for information in that city and all along the Sword Coast. Rumors in Sword Coast ports suggested they'd taken a ship to Mintarn or the Moonshae Isles.[4][3] Later, based on false reports, he hired a number of adventuring companies to raid the slave pits of Llurth Dreier, a drow city in the Underdark beneath the Shaar. However, he would not find a single clue to her true fate, and these failures broke his spirit.[4]

Helbareim's deteriorating state continued the decline of Ormpur begun by the war. Ormpur was steadily succumbing to the influence of the Overkings of Lapaliiya by 1372 DR.[1][2] But other powers were watching, and moved to take advantage. The Se'Sehen yuan-ti tribe plotted to use this situation to gain control of the city, and began inserting their agents circa 1371 DR. Two high-placed courtiers were kidnapped, turned into tainted ones and sent back, gaining the confidence of Helbareim. However, Eselemas yuan-ti, rivals of Se'Sehen, also sought influence in Ormpur, as they had in Lapaliiya. And beholders were also entrenched in the nobility. All these factions schemed around the broken king.[4][15]

By 1374 DR, Helbareim still reigned amongst this swirl of influence. It was considered possible that Overking Shaliim Wyrmslayer of Lapaliiya might propose an alliance, raising Helbareim's political power in exchange for the church of Tiamat's influence over dragons to protect Shaliim against the Black Wyrms.[15][note 3]

After the Spellplague of 1385 DR, Ormpur stood, in some form, by 1479 DR.[16][note 4]

GovernmentEdit

Glossary
chansreena princess
High Suikh king
Ormpurran/Ormpurian demonym

Ormpur was a monarchy, with a ruler titled the High Suikh and a princess called the Chansreena.[note 5] Though the mid-to-late 14th century DR, the current High Suikh was Helbareim "the Storm Wind" Alanasker, a devout defender of Tiamat supported by her church. However, with his daughter and sole heir missing, he was the last of his line. Broken by her loss, he was a target for influence by various powers and factions, such as the Overking of Lapaliiya, and the Eselemas and Se'Sehen yuan-ti, who inserted corrupted courtiers into his confidence.[1][2][4][15]

The city was also home to a number of noble families. One, at least, was in fact a cabal of beholder mages. They were outcasts of the Alimir Hive and used magic to adopt human form and pass among Ormpurrans.[4][15]

The royal court included a number of courtiers.[4] A custom of the royal court was the Torch Court, a brief daily session held just before midnight. The full court was in attendance.[5]

Rare idiocy you grace our ears with—but you've wasted your journey, sir. I'm attended daily by a better fool than you.
— Queen Maerildarraine dismissing an envoy.

The rulers of Ormpur were attended and entertained by a court fool. The most notable was Jeremmer Hardree, the Mad Jester, who served two kings and a queen in the 12th and early 13th centuries DR.[5]

RelationsEdit

The city had a long-established alliance with a clutch of chromatic dragon wyrmlings. With it, they fielded wyrmling-mounted cavalry.[1][2][note 6]

Despite being an independent city-state, Ormpur's waning power left it weak and succumbing to the influence of the Overkings of Lapaliiya. It was commonly counted as culturally a part of that realm.[1][2]

As recounted in the records of the royal court, dating back to Ormpur's founding, the wild elves of the Misty Vale were known to be utterly feral and xenophobic, hunting and slaying all trespassers.[17]

ReligionEdit

Ormpur had the same tradition of a civic deity as in Lapaliiya, though it was not as stringently applied. Nevertheless, Tiamat the Dragon Queen was the official civic deity of Ormpur, owing to her church supporting Helbaerim.[2] The royal temple of Tiamat was looted and burned on the day of Bloodsword.[5]

PopulationEdit

Ormpur was a large city of 24,612 people. The human population was of largely original Tashalan ethnicity. This was in contrast to the largely Shaaran population of neighboring Lapaliiya. Unlike Lapaliiya, Ormpur was never invaded by Shaaran nomads, who were instead invited into the markets.[1][2]

AppendixEdit

NotesEdit

  1. Although Ormpur is described as an independent city-state with a history distinct from that of Lapaliiya, it is included in sections about Lapaliiya, in Shining South (2004) and Serpent Kingdoms. It also has shared culture, such as the civic deities, the term "chansreena" for a princess, and the dominant Tashalan human ethnicity. It is unknown to what extent Ormpur shares the history and culture of Lapaliiya and what it does not have in common. Please see the main Lapaliiya article for history and culture that Ormpur may or may not share.
  2. Although it is unknown whether Ormpur was affected by the Rage of Wizards, it has the same (but softened) custom of a civic faith that in Lapaliiya arose out of the Rage of Wizards, suggesting Ormpur was affected too.
  3. Dragons of Faerûn, page 74, apparently mistakenly mixes up Shaliim's and Helbareim's problems, saying the Black Wyrms want revenge against Helbareim, when Serpent Kingdoms page 103 already established their threat to Shaliim. This article writes the most likely situation.
  4. Ormpur appears on the 4th-edition map with the Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide, but its status is unknown. It is not listed as ruins, however.
  5. Halls of the High King and Polyhedron #57 give the spelling as "Suihk", while later sources Serpent Kingdoms and Dragons of Faerûn use "Suikh", while Shining South uses both. Halls of the High King also uses both "Chasreena" and "Chansreena", while the later sources use "Chansreena". The later spellings are adopted for the wiki.
  6. Both sources refer to "a clutch of chromatic wyrmlings", that is, baby dragons. However, in 3rd and 3.5 editions of D&D, dragons are only counted as wyrmlings for the first five years of life, while the history has this alliance last over fifteen centuries. It's possible the initial wyrmlings of the 2nd century before DR have aged and grown to fully mature wyrm or great wyrm status by the 14th century DR, or that a local dragon or dragon family continues to loan its young from each clutch to Ormpur. Furthermore, wyrmlings vary in size over Tiny, Small, and Medium, and are generally too small to ride; only the Medium-sized red dragon wyrmling could feasibly be ridden by a human. It is unclear what threat the wyrmlings pose, other than their cuteness.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 177. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  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 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 100–101. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Ed Greenwood (1991). Halls of the High King. (TSR, Inc), pp. 63–64.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 103–104. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 Ed Greenwood (June 2000). “The New Adventures of Volo: Quotations of the Realms”. Dragon #272 (TSR, Inc.), p. 97.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Karen Wynn Fonstad (August 1990). The Forgotten Realms Atlas. (TSR, Inc), p. 9. ISBN 978-0880388573.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition (Map). (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Ed Greenwood and Doug Stewart (1997). Prayers from the Faithful. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 78. ISBN 0-7869-0682-0.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 102,127. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
  10. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 68. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 98,103. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
  12. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 120. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  13. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 99. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
  14. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 142. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Eric L. Boyd, Eytan Bernstein (August 2006). Dragons of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 74. ISBN 0-7869-3923-0.
  16. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide (Map). (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  17. Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 158. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.

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