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Bezantur, also known as the City of a Thousand Temples, and the Citadel of Thieves, was a foreboding but prosperous port city located at the southern coast of the Thayan tharch of Priador. It was as diverse a place that could be found in the nation, a religious hub for those oppressed by the centuries-long rule of the Red Wizards and their strict adherence to the worship of magic above all else.[1][2]

Though it lacked the joy and hope offered by the great metropolises of western Faerûn, it was the heart and soul of Thay, famous for its great harbor that opened up into the Alamber Sea.[3][2]

DescriptionEdit

Bezantur was enclosed within massive, black walls that loomed over its outer streets. The slums of Bezantur stuck to these walls and spread beyond their protection, in a grouping of shacks and inter-connected shanties known as Market Town.[4] The stench of the unwashed masses combined with burning refuse, roaming livestock and open sewer grates permeated this area and wafted well into the city proper.[2]

The famed harbor of Bezantur was nearly always packed to the brim with ships unloading their goods in and out of the city. Due to the lack of "official" taxes, Guild of Foreign Trade inspectors, along with their thieves' guild counterparts, were often found taking their cut of Bezanturan imports. While sharks, giant eels and octopi inhabited the waters beneath the docks, sahuagin and even lacedons were known to come ashore and wreak havoc.[5]

Most of Bezantur's more reputable buildings, along with many of its temples, could be located in the heart of the city, at the end of the High Road just beyond the North Gate.[6] The southwest quarter was a labyrinthine maze warehouses, often used to arrange clandestine meetings and conduct illicit business,[2] while the northeast region, known as the Street of White Roses, was perhaps the most lawless part of the city known to some as the Citadel of Thieves.[7]

Law and OrderEdit

Crime was rampant throughout Bezantur. Mighty thieves' guilds conducted their operations without a care of repercussion from the authorities, thanks to their systematic bribery of Thayan officials. The gnolls and goblinoid creatures that served in the legions would regularly attack visitors in the open streets and were seldom thwarted by guards or constabulary.[2] The gang known as the White Ravens were known blackmailers and slave-traders.[8]

EconomyEdit

Bezantur was vital to the Thayan economy, as it controlled the majority of Thay sea trade across the Alamber Sea.[9] The neutral waters of the Alamber served as the primary route between Thay, Mulhorand, Unther,[10],Tymanther and High Imaskar.[11] Just about anything, or anyone, was available for purchase within the city.[2]

During the reign of tharchion Mari Agneh, taxes were completely eliminated in the city of Bezantur.[2]

The city housed the headquarters of the Guild of Foreign Trade, overseen by the ambitious and adept transmuter, Samas Kul,[12] who ascended to the rank of zulkir.[13]

ReligionEdit

Many different gods were worshiped in the great temples of Bezantur,[3] and it served as a religious center for the faithful whose worship was otherwise forgotten throughout Thay. Temples dedicated to the dark gods, such as Talos, Loviatar, Beshaba, the ancient Netherese deity Garagos,[14] and even the often-shunned Gargauth were prominent in Bezantur, along with those devoted to faiths that were long-forgotten following the Time of Troubles such as Bhaal and Leira. The non-human faithful of Thay were fairly well represented, as the city had sanctuaries devoted to the Orc pantheon, Jubilex the aspect of Ghaunadaur, and even Lolth, the Dark Mother of the drow.[2]

Worship of the so-called "good" deities, like Chauntea, Sune and Mielikki, could be found in the city, though they were much harder to locate. Their respective clergies were regularly driven out of Bezantur by the followers of more-prominent faiths.[2]

The open veneration of Azuth and Mystra was strictly forbidden. The Red Wizards considered themselves guardians of the magic they hoarded, and abhorred any being, mortal or divine, who sought to disseminate the secrets of the Art.[2]

HistoryEdit

The settlement of Kensten was bustling port city of Raumathar until it was taken over by the Red Wizards in the 900s DR. It was quickly taken over, renamed Bezantur and established as its own tharch within the fledgling magocracy of Thay.[2]

Following the Salamander War of 1357 DR, the city was restructured as the capital of the newly-founded tharch of Priador. The previous tharchioness Mari Agneh competed with the ambitious evoker Aznar Thrul for leadership of the new province, but vanished under unknown circumstances. The newly-appointed zulkir Thrul, was awarded leadership over Priador, and made his home in Bezantur.[2]

When undead forces ravaged the tharch of Pyarados, in Kythorn 1375 DR, the people of Bezantur celebrated with great fervor and cheered their apparent savior, the necromancer Szass Tam. It was one of the final insults to Aznar Thrul, that his political rival was celebrated for righting the calamity, which unbeknownst to Thrul, Tam had actually manufactured.[15]

In 1385 DR the city of Bezantur was the setting for the final encounter between the legions of the Council of Zulkirs and those of the self-proclaimed regent Szass Tam during the Thayan civil war. The lich used the priests of Bane that were stationed in the town to force the zulkirs to flee aboard vessels to the islands of Alaor. The priests literally burned Bezantur's harbor to ashes in an attempt to destroy the zulkir's vessels as they fled. Szass then proclaimed the town's high priest of Bane, Zekidh Shezim, the new autharch of Bezantur.[16]

Notable locationsEdit

Inns and taverns
  • Myulon's Inn: Conveniently located near the North Gate on west side of the city, this inn offered quality accommodations to foreign visitors and was seldom harassed by city officials.[17]
  • Rusty Anchor: This dark and smokey inn featured its own barber and tattoo artist,[18] a practice that was popular to the point of prevalence among the mulan populace.[19]
  • Sea Wolf Inn: Despite the gnoll marauders that occasionally harassed its patrons, this inn offered fairly good food, even if the ale was a bit watered-down.[18]
  • Slain Sahuagin: A truly wretched establishment, this tavern had the distasteful reputation as the filthiest and least reputable location in Bezantur.[4] It was prone to regular flooding during particularly high tides.[18]
Landmarks
  • Central Cathedral: The black keep of Bezantur drew an imposing shadow over the city. Its housed most of the legion of Priador, over 4,000 humans, gnoll, goblins and other monstrous creatures. Within its upper levels were aviaries for the legion's darkenbeasts,[20] which were later used to stable the griffons of the Griffon Cavalry of Pyarados.[21]
  • Citadel of Correction: This imposing stone prison inspired fear in anyone who even thought about taking actions that may displease the red wizards. Within its dark halls were interrogation chambers, torture pits and a maze-like dungeon that was believed to connect with the more horrifying depths of the Underdark.[7]
Residences
Schools
Shops and businesses
  • Caravansera: Mistress Nydra provided accommodations for the pack animals used by caravaneers that came to Bezantur from along the High Road.[17]
  • Mufrim's Place: This all-in-one business located in Market Town, served as an inn, tavern and general store.[17]
  • Nyrak's Second-hand Merchandise: This shop provided fencing services for the hard-pressed indigents of Bezantur's slums.[4]
  • Ruvya's Toys and Amusements: The joyful old toy-maker Ruvya spent most of his life within his workshop, crafting dolls, puppets and intricate clockwork automatons for the children of Bezantur.[14]
Temples
  • House of Cyric: Converted from a massive temple-complex built to venerate Bhaal, this holy house of the Dark Sun was popular among the vast numbers of Cyricists in Bezantur.[25]
  • House of Entropy: The clergy in this mysterious sanctuary worshipped the banished primordial known as Entropy.[26][20]
  • House of Iyachtu Xvim: Xvimism was quite popular in Thay, and the Godson's faithful had a contentious relationship with the clergy of Cyric.[27]
  • Loviatar's Manor: Built into a small hillside in the center of the city, "The Manor" had a number of discreet chambers and public rooms where many Red Wizards, and even priests of other deities, could enjoy the variety of services provided within.[20]
  • Orcish temple: The orc soldiers and guards serving within the Thayan legions were allowed to keep this crude holy house to worship their monstrous deities, demigods and tribal heroes.[28]
  • Temple of Bane: Even in the years following his death, the Banite priests of the city maintained his temple and held vigil for his return to Toril.[7]
  • Temple of Beshaba: Lady Doom was largely venerated out of fear, as the Thayan citizens wished to avoid the ill luck and poor fortune brought on by her clergy.[29]
  • Temple of Garagos: Run by the powerful and accomplished High Priest Santhro, this temple was one of the few holy houses of Garagos that remained in Faerûn, as of the mid-14th century.[14]
  • Temple of Gargauth: Many depraved Thayans chose to revere the horrifying deity Gargauth despite the delight he took in feeding upon his own faithful.[17]
  • Temple of Jergal: The senechal of Kelemvor was openly revered in Thay as death became a more prominent part of life throughout the nation's existence.[20]
  • Temple of Kossuth: The sacred flames that burned within the grand, red-marble temple of Kossuth did so with an intensity that was rivaled by the zeal of his Thayan faithful.[27][29]
  • Temple of Mask: The fortress-temple of Mask was overseen by Shabella the Pale, the guildmistress of the Bezanturan thieves' guild, who controlled all the illicit business that occurred in and around the city.[28][7]
  • Temple of Shar: Services held within this mysterious, dark temple were popular among the lower-class citizens and Red Wizards alike.[27]
  • Temple of Sharess: Established shortly before the year 1368 DR, this house of hedonism flourished in due to the decadence sought by Bezantur's high-class citizens.[17]
  • Temple of Sune: The indulgent feasts and grand, extravagant festivals thrown by the Sunite priests drew many attendees from throughout Bezantur.[27]
  • Temple of Talos: This square, granite sanctuary was one of the few permanent structures in all of Faerûn dedicated to the worship of Talos.[27]
  • Temple of Tempus: While the followers of Tempus have repeatedly opposed the legions of Thay in battle, the more violent nature of the Foehammer's dogma was highly favored in the city.[29]
In addition to these prominent churches, the city had many speller temples dedicated to lesser powers, such as Auril and Malar, unpopular deities like Gond, or those whose perspectives were out of alignment with the Red Wizards, such as Helm, Ilmater, Lliira, Oghma and Tyr. There was even a old temple of Myrkul that boasted a single priest and a hidden, subterranean church of Mystra that operated in relative safety from the city's ruling wizards.
Roads

Notable InhabitantsEdit

AppendixEdit

AppearancesEdit

Novels

NotesEdit

  1. The Spellbound campaign guide refers to Mythrellan as "Mythrell'aa".

ReferencesEdit

  1. Anthony Pryor (1995). Spellbound (Campaign Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 16. ISBN 978-0786901395.
  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 Anthony Pryor (1995). Spellbound (Campaign Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 25. ISBN 978-0786901395.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Richard Lee Byers (April 2007). Unclean. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 17. ISBN 978-0-7869-4258-9.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Anthony Pryor (1995). Spellbound (Campaign Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 29. ISBN 978-0786901395.
  5. Anthony Pryor (1995). Spellbound (Campaign Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 27. ISBN 978-0786901395.
  6. Anthony Pryor (1995). Spellbound (Campaign Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 26. ISBN 978-0786901395.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Anthony Pryor (1995). Spellbound (Campaign Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 38. ISBN 978-0786901395.
  8. Richard Lee Byers (April 2007). Unclean. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 22–24. ISBN 978-0-7869-4258-9.
  9. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 207. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  10. Scott Bennie (1990). Old Empires. (TSR, Inc), p. 16. ISBN 0-8803-8821-8.
  11. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 85. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  12. Sean K. Reynolds, Jason Carl (November 2001). Lords of Darkness. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 59. ISBN 0-7869-1989-2.
  13. Richard Lee Byers (April 2007). Unclean. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 21. ISBN 978-0-7869-4258-9.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Anthony Pryor (1995). Spellbound (Campaign Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 32. ISBN 978-0786901395.
  15. Richard Lee Byers (April 2007). Unclean. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 216–217. ISBN 978-0-7869-4258-9.
  16. Richard Lee Byers (March 2008). Undead. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 298. ISBN 978-0-7869-4783-6.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 Anthony Pryor (1995). Spellbound (Campaign Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 30. ISBN 978-0786901395.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Anthony Pryor (1995). Spellbound (Campaign Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 28. ISBN 978-0786901395.
  19. Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 98. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 Anthony Pryor (1995). Spellbound (Campaign Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 33. ISBN 978-0786901395.
  21. Richard Lee Byers (March 2008). Undead. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 123. ISBN 978-0-7869-4783-6.
  22. Anthony Pryor (1995). Spellbound (Campaign Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 31. ISBN 978-0786901395.
  23. Lynn Abbey (1997). The Simbul's Gift. (TSR, Inc), p. 77. ISBN 0-7869-0763-0.
  24. Eytan Bernstein (2007-05-23). Hexblades and Ninjas. Class Chronicles. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2018-03-28.
  25. Anthony Pryor (1995). Spellbound (Campaign Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 34. ISBN 978-0786901395.
  26. Brian R. James (May 2010). “Backdrop: Chessenta”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dungeon #178 (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 68–77.
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 27.4 Anthony Pryor (1995). Spellbound (Campaign Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 35. ISBN 978-0786901395.
  28. 28.0 28.1 Anthony Pryor (1995). Spellbound (Campaign Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 37. ISBN 978-0786901395.
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 Anthony Pryor (1995). Spellbound (Campaign Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 36. ISBN 978-0786901395.
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