Forgotten Realms Wiki
Forgotten Realms Wiki

A Dread Ring was a fortress that served as a ritual site wherein necromancers could steal the souls of the living in order to feed necromantic powers, such as animating undead or creating structures.[1][2] The souls of the people that died in a Dread Ring fed the power of the necromancer casting the spell, and would likely be raised as undead themselves. Dread Rings were most notably affiliated with the Red Wizards of Thay under the rule of Szass Tam.[2]


The original Dread Rings were a series of circular fortresses located in Thay which were said to house both treasure and horror.[3] As a general rule, Dread Rings were built atop places with strong magical energies,[4] such as a font of power.[5]


The first Dread Rings were built in the decades immediately following the Spellplague of 1385 DR. Szass Tam sunk an enormous amount of Thayan time and resources into these fortresses, intending to use them to enact a great and horrible ritual[3] that would bestow godhood onto Tam.[4] This effort failed, however, causing Tam to begin building Dread Rings outside of Thay in a bid to attempt the ritual once more.[3] The first attempt was built in Neverwinter Wood as part of a scheme to awaken Maegera, the fire primordial beneath Mount Hotenow, and to wield the death wrought by the ensuing destruction to activate the Ring. While the Thayans succeeded in awakening the primordial and causing the Ruining of 1451 DR, their plan was ultimately thwarted in the Year of the Reborn Hero, 1463 DR, after Drizzt Do'Urden and company sealed the primordial once more[2] and slew the Thayan leader.[6]

As of the Year of the Ageless One, 1479 DR, Valindra Shadowmantle was working to restore and reactivate the Dread Ring near Neverwinter[4] and the Thayans were also constructing fortresses that looked suspiciously similar to Dread Rings on their border with Thesk—at Nethjet, Nethentir, and Surcross—and in Aglarond at Undumor.[7]

Notable Dread Rings[]



UnholyThe Neverwinter Saga (Gauntlgrym,Neverwinter, Charon's Claw)
Video Games