Forgotten Realms Wiki
Forgotten Realms Wiki

Eltabbar was the former capital of Thay,[6] located on the edge of Lake Thaylambar within the tharch that shared its name.[7] The second-largest city of Thay was a haven for Red Wizards and bore a dark secret that predated the founding of the magocracy.[2]

The city was the nexus of Thayan slave trade up until the late 14th century DR. Thousands of slaves were shipped into the city before being auctioned off to live out the rest of their short, unfortunate lives.[1]


From a rushing waterfall, the River Eltar flowed through the city,[4] by means of a unique, winding system of broad canals that lent to Eltabbar's fame throughout the realm. They featured grand decorations such as floating flower beds and elegantly-designed stone walkways.[3][5]

Within its walls, the wide streets of Eltabbar were lined with attractive baroque buildings, and grand wizard towers constructed from exotic and eye-catching building materials. Its numerous public gardens and parks were immaculately maintained by the city's slaves, featuring flora from a many far-off lands, some completely unique to the Thayan capital. Colorful birds nested within the city's trees and flocked about, further lending to the serene beauty.[2][3]


The city was planned and constructed with exact specifications, which were arcane in nature. Its roads, canals and structures formed a massive glyph, imbued with protective magic. This design was an innovation of Jorgmacdon, the first zulkir of conjuration.[2]

Law and Order[]

One unique law in Eltabbar, was the prohibition of any maps that detailed the layout of the city. This manifestation of the Red Wizards' secrecy and paranoia regarding its inherent magic persisted for many years, originally enacted "for security reasons". Black-market maps, which were often ride with errors, carried a heavy price tag before the law became more lax around the year 1368 DR.[2][3]


A slave auction in Eltabbar

Eltabbar was primarily a city of wizards, a fact which turned away some merchants who proffered to trade in the southern city of Bezantur.[2]

Throughout its existence the population of Eltabbar has been predominantly comprised of slaves,[3] the auctions of which were a common sight to behold.[6]



Before the founding of the city, in the year when the nation of Thay was founded in 922 DR, the Red Wizard Jorgmacdon tunneled beneath High Thay and discovered the demon lord Eltab from the demoncyst beneath the plateau. Using an ancient ritual borrowed from the Nar demonbinders, Jorgmacdon released the Hidden Lord and allied with the great fiend to overthrow the oppressive God-kings of Mulhorand in the battle of Thazalhar. Eltab's release destroyed the barrier between the demon world and Toril, and created the River Eltab which proceeded to rush down the Thayan Plateau.[5]

Unable to banish Eltab following their liberation from Mulhorand, Jorgmacdon and the Red Wizards imprisoned the demon lord beneath the mouth of the River Eltab,[5] and constructed the city of Eltabbar in the arrangement of an arcane glyph to seal the magical prison.[2] As a result, Eltabbar experienced regular rumbles and and short bouts of shaking throughout its history.[8]

Release of Power[]

In the 14th century, the zulkir of necromancy Szass Tam came up the realization that the Demon Lord Eltab would break free from the prison in which he was trapped for the last 400 years. He released Eltab in 1367 DR and compelled him with the Death Moon Orb to sit upon Thakorsil's Seat, in an attempt to enslave him for all time by means of the Ritual of twin burnings. However, before Tam could wield the power of all nine runes of chaos, a group of adventurers,[5] assisted by the sorceress Azargatha Nimune and the intelligent greatsword Hadryllis,[9] stopped Tam and Eltab slipped away into the demoncyst.[5] Massive earthquakes caused by Eltab's release ravaged the city of Eltabbar. Many buildings were destroyed or outright leveled, and great floods from the Eltar River drove many Thayan citizens away from the city.[3]

Over the next eight months, Szass Tam led reconstruction efforts by means of his horde of undead laborers, with no one the wiser the lich was the cause of the "natural" catastrophe. Eltabbar was largely rebuilt to its former beauty and Tharchioness Dmitra Flass solidified her power over the bustling metropolis.[3] Around the year 1372 DR, rumors abounded that a powerful demon was again imprisoned beneath the city, though the identity of the fiend was unknown.[1]

Thayan Civil War[]

On Mirtul 11 1375 DR, the Council of Zulkirs convened in Eltabbar at the behest of Szass Tam as he offered a proposition that he be made temporary regent, in order to defeat the hordes of undead that had been ravaging the eastern tharchs. The council voted against the necromancer, the fact of which was quickly disseminated throughout the city leading to mass riots and violence. While the city's castellan Nular Zurn attempted to maintain order,[10] it wasn't until a spectral image of Tam appeared throughout the streets of Eltabbar, before the riots began to quell.[11]

During the decade-long War of the Zulkirs, the capital city remained a seat of power for the Council of Zulkirs as they fought against Szass Tam's forces of northern Thay.[12]

Somewhat inexplicably, Eltabbar managed to remain undamaged by the effects of the Spellplague in 1385 DR, and even thrived over the course of the next century, despite losing its status as the capital city of Thay. By 1479, Tharchioness Sylora Salm had made her home within Eltabbar, and oversaw the magic that protected it from the volcanic ash that plagued the rest of Thay.[4]

Notable Locations[]

  • Council Hall: This central building was used by the 15th century zulkirs serving under High Regent Szass Tam.[4]



The Crimson GoldUncleanUndeadUnholy


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Richard Baker, Matt Forbeck, Sean K. Reynolds (May 2003). Unapproachable East. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 169. ISBN 0-7869-2881-6.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Steve Perrin (1988). Dreams of the Red Wizards. (TSR, Inc), p. 17. ISBN 0-88038-615-0.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Anthony Pryor (June 1995). “Campaign Guide”. In Michele Carter, Doug Stewart eds. Spellbound (TSR, Inc.), p. 40. ISBN 978-0786901395.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 181. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Jeff Crook, Wil Upchurch, Eric L. Boyd (May 2005). Champions of Ruin. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 132. ISBN 0-7869-3692-4.
  6. 6.0 6.1 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.
  7. Anthony Pryor (June 1995). “Campaign Guide”. In Michele Carter, Doug Stewart eds. Spellbound (TSR, Inc.), p. 10. ISBN 978-0786901395.
  8. Steve Perrin (1988). Dreams of the Red Wizards. (TSR, Inc), p. 18. ISBN 0-88038-615-0.
  9. Anthony Pryor (June 1995). “The Runes of Chaos”. In Michele Carter, Doug Stewart eds. Spellbound (TSR, Inc.), p. 29. ISBN 978-0786901395.
  10. Richard Lee Byers (April 2007). Unclean. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 253–260. ISBN 978-0-7869-4258-9.
  11. Richard Lee Byers (April 2007). Unclean. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 262–263. ISBN 978-0-7869-4258-9.
  12. Richard Lee Byers (March 2008). Undead. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 1–4. ISBN 978-0-7869-4783-6.
  13. Richard Lee Byers (February 2009). Unholy. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 15–26. ISBN 978-0-7869-5021-8.