Originally a merchant from Marsember, Methlas began his naval operations within the Sea of Fallen Stars as an honest trader in the late 1280s DR. He recruited individual sailors and crews from their respective navies to join a burgeoning fleet of ships that would trade across the sea. The legitimate operations soon became something more akin to smuggling, as his crews would keep two sets of cargo manifests, make outright "false" deliveries, or "lose" merchandise while at sea. Methlas always made sure no one outside his crew were aware of these discrepancies.
By the mid-1290s, Methlas had garnered a fleet of forty vessels that were continuously operating out of the Dragonisle. He had decided that a benchmark of fifty ships needed to be reached before he and his crews could embark on open piracy and stand any chance against the combined naval forces of the Inner Sea.
Methlas would not see his plans come to fruition however as in 1294 DR he was murdered by his lieutenant, Thevren. Immediately after this betrayal, Thevren rallied the fleet and launched simultaneous raids on the Sembian cities of Selgaunt and Saerloon.