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Thay was a mysterious and terribly powerful magocratic nation in east Faerûn,[6] that was long-governed by the Zulkirs of the Red Wizards. During the late 15th century DR, it was ruled by the necromancer lich Szass Tam, along with the Council of Zulkirs, who were supported by a near-endless chain of bureaucrats and local tharchions. The true nature of Thay laid in the endless pursuit of arcane knowledge and power by the country's elite, a dynamic that was fueled by rampant slavery. This driving force permeated the country's dark history.[7][8][9]

SocietyEdit

For most of Thay's history, the country operated under a strict social hierarchy. The Red Wizards were considered the upper echelon of Thayan society, a magocratic noble class that was followed by Mulan bureaucrats, priests, merchants, soldiers, and mixed Mulan-Rashemi artisans, craftspeople, semi-skilled workers and common laborers, where a mere step above the nation's great many slaves of nearly every race, that had been accumulated from across the Realms.[9][10][3]

In the years following Szass Tam's seizure of power in 1385 DR,[citation needed] leading up to the Second Sundering, the Thayan people led hard, destitute lives.[11] It was a land whose governing philosophy held that undeath was a preferred state of being for its people, full of boundless possibilities and immeasurable power. During most of the 15th century the living had no means to achieve prominence within Thay, as their mere existence was an affront to the beliefs of the High Regent.[7]

To briefly escape the misery of life in the city, many Thayans sought more brutal forms of entertainment. Gladiatorial matches were common in larger cities like Eltabbar and Surthay,[12] perhaps the only events that allowed commoners to succumb to their primal nature without fear of retribution from the upper class. The more ferocious and deadly combatants were celebrated and by the throngs of spectators. The brutal gladiators from Thay were considered the finest savages in all the Realms.[13]

CultureEdit

The Mulani of Thay maintained their people's tradition of shaving their heads and what little body hair they had.[14] They were indoctrinated during their youth to revere the traditions of their people, obey the laws of Thay and honor those who served within the Red Wizards. Unlike the ethnic Mulani of Mulhorand, Thayans maintained a strong connection to the Art and were proud to send their children to apprenticeship under experienced Red Wizards.[15]

The Rashemi commoners identified less with their cultural origins and saw themselves as citizens of Thay, first and foremost. They shaved their heads in imitation of the aristocratic Mulani, though their darker complexion gave away their ethnic background.[16]

All Thayans believed that the fortune was given to the strong-willed rather than those who demonstrated compassion and care.[17] As a people they sought personal power, primeval fulfillment and the procurement of wealth.[18]

RelationsEdit

Thayans were considerably prejudiced towards non-human races, particularly dwarves and gnomes, who were regularly the subject of racial epithets and provocations to violence. Elves were also held in low regard, though typically avoided and shunned rather than provoked. Orcs and half-orcs were well-tolerated within the badlands, as they commonly found as enforcers and soldiers within Thayan legions.[19] Centaurs were often kept as guards on Thayan slave plantations.[20]

UndeadEdit

Beginning in the 10th century, Thay maintained a vast "population" of undead zombies, who were enthralled as laborers and portagers, moving goods between ships docked in Thay's numerous waterways.[19][21] The number of undead grew exponentially during the decades under Szass Tam's rule, following the nation's civil war that ended in 1385 DR, and by 1479 DR the Thay had the greatest concentration of undead in all of Faerûn.[6]

ReligionEdit

The hierarchy of worship in Thay was abundantly clear to everyone within its borders: magic was revered first, religion was a distant second. Despite the common misconception, The Red Wizards did not worship fiends nor did they consider the Tanar'ri or Baatezu as gods. They saw demons as dangerous allies, servants or for the extremely arrogant, tools that could be manipulated to accomplish their goals. In fact, the Red Wizards simply did not have time that could be devoted to worship, and merely offered hollow words of worship to their patron deities, and only truly valued the power of the arcane.[22][23]

Although the Mulan people continued the worship of their old gods after they were transported to Toril by ancient Imaskar via a series of portals,[24] they did so in that lands of future-Thay with names that were different from their neighbors in Mulhorand and Unther. Anhur, the Mulhorandi god of war, was known as "Ramathant",[25] and came to count the Red Wizards as among his greatest enemies.[26] Similarly, Horus-Re was known as "Helcaliant",[27] and Isis as "Isharia".[28]

Many of the evil-aligned deities of the Faerûnian pantheon had devoted sects in Thay, including Beshaba, Loviatar, Malar, Shar, Umberlee, the demi-power Gargauth and even incorporated non-human powers such as Jubilex, the aspect of Ghaunadaur, Vaprak and even Lolth. The church of Cyric was extremely popular for a brief time following his ascension in the Time of Troubles, though it waned greatly as the god was driven mad after reading the Cyrinishad.[22] By this time the worship of Kossuth was fairly prevalent throughout the nation of Thay,[29] however it exploded in popularity following the events of the Salamander War.[9]

GovernmentEdit

For centuries, Thay was ruled by a council of eight powerful mages known as zulkirs, each of whom specialized in a different school of magic. This Council of Zulkirs appointed the nation's tharchions and tharchionesses, civil governors of the realm who ruled over the vast provinces of Thay, known as "tharchs".[30] Each tharchion chose their own "autharch", who acted as mayors, military commanders and magistrates,[31] to enact their will over their lands and take blame as a scapegoat, should the need arise.[32] Their enclaves were led by "khazarks", who held approximately the same authority as the autharchs, albeit in strongholds located in foreign countries.[31]

Each governing official was indebted to their superior, which created a sense of suspicion and fear among the nation's bureaucrats. Various rival factions and competing interests arose as a result of this dynamic, and the nation was not able to unite under a single vision for many years.[32] There was heavy turnover among the lesser bureaucrats, as each authority could assign blame in descending order of importance. While only the Red Wizards acted with real independence, their ranks were afflicted by similar scheming and in-fighting.[33]

This lack of unification continued for many years, until Szass Tam seized power as the regent and supreme ruler of Thay, during the chaos of the Spellplague. Thereafter, the zulkirs served as his vassals and the tharchions and lesser magistrates fell in line.[6]

Ruling bodiesEdit

  • Red Wizards: The Red Wizards served as a quasi-military organization within the hierarchy of Thay. They were independently-operating agents who answered only to their own superiors, a stature often denoted by the wizard's own personal power and influence.[31] They were under the protection and authority of the eight reigning zulkirs.[33] They were protected by the "knights" of Thay, martial enforcers who would readily lay down their lives to save those of the Red Wizards.[34]
  • Council of Zulkirs: Chosen from among the most powerful of the Red Wizards, this loosely-structured council was comprised of eight magocratic rulers, each of which specialized in one of the schools of magic.[33] After being purged during the Thayan civil war,[35] a number of liches were appointed to the council, who served as Szass Tam's vassals.[6]

BureaucraciesEdit

  • Guild of Foreign Trade: This administrative organization oversaw the purchase of magical items, from the private arcane workshops owned by Thay's reigning zulkirs, and facilitated their export and sale via the nation's enclaves. The guild was a driving force of Thay's foreign economy.[36]
  • Guild of Portages: Prior to the 11th century DR, this group was responsible for the conveyance of goods between the rivers of Thay. They were known for charging exorbitant rates for their portage, but were replaced by the undead slaves of Shevas Tam.[37]

LawsEdit

The ownership, sale and creation of slaves was legal within the borders of Thay.[32][38]

While it was illegal for anyone from Thay to sell items of military value outside the nation, this law was often individually ignored,[39] and loosely enforced nation's famous enclaves found across the Realms.[34]

In addition to operating under the laws of their home nation, the Red Wizard compounds were regulated by the Three Laws of the Enclave. These laws provided diplomatic immunity to the Red Wizards serving within an enclave and were required to be agreed upon by foreign city officials.[38]

  • The Law of Sovereignty stated that any enclave located outside of Thay's borders was still considered Thayan soil, and was subject to Thay's laws and regulations.[38][34]
  • The Law of Trade dictated that they sell their goods for 10% less than the standard rate and could both sell and accept slaves as payment (however their sale was impractical due to local laws outside the enclave).[38]
  • The Law of Crafting regulated which goods the Red Wizards would, and would not, sell to the general public.[38]

EconomyEdit

Road to Thay

A mountain road to Thay.

Considering that the slave trade carried such weight in the Thayan economy, a practice that was heavily frowned upon throughout the rest of Faerûn,[citation needed] it was no surprise that the nation was predominantly agrarian. The lush plantations of the Thayan plateau were rich with fields of wheat, oat and barley and its orchards produced a variety of fruits, such as apples, citron, pears and figs. Enough food was harvested that the nation could feed those citizens it deemed worthy, with enough goods leftover that could be exported in trade.[39]

TradeEdit

Prior to the Spellplague, Thay exported a variety of goods to other nations, as they regularly had an excess of grain and other foodstuffs to feed their own people. Both Chessenta and Thesk were dependent on Thayan exports to feed their people. Other exports included uniquely crafted furniture, sculptures, household items and jewelry crafted by slave craftspeople. These fine goods were often made from gold, silver or platinum, all of which were readily available from Thay's plentiful mines, as well as jade and lapis.[39]

EnclavesEdit

Thay was famous throughout the Realms for the trade of magical items, an industry sponsored by the Red Wizards, who sold their crafted goods in the major cities of Faerûn.[34] In addition to acquiring wealth from the sale of arcane curios that were manufactured in Thay, these enclaves were used to gather intelligence, another valuable commodity, for the Red Wizards and Council of Zulkirs. Among the Faerûnian cities known to have enclaves were Athkatla, Baldur's Gate, Proskur, Ravens Bluff, Scardale and Waterdeep, among others.[40]

SlaveryEdit

Slavery was a common practice in Thay,[10] a tradition that continued on from the ancient empire of Mulhorand. Somewhat ironically, the slaves themselves were the nation's most important resource,[41] and were never to be needlessly destroyed.[36] Slave markets were restocked with war prisoners, conquered Rashemi, or people who were sold into slavery. While folk of Mulan descent removed all body hair, at least on the head, and Rashemi freemen at least clipped their hair short, slaves were not allowed to cut their hair at all. They could be easily distinguished by the heavy and filthy mass of hair they wore.[42]

The zulkirs and other prominent Red Wizards grew rich beyond imagination by means of this sinister trade. From within their strongholds and estates, they used this wealth to constantly scheme and plot for mercantile and military domination of neighboring nations.[3]

In addition to the export of slaves themselves, Thay earned its wealth from a number of vast, slave-harvested timber plantations. Due to their readily-available work force, Thay was able to ship out great amounts of lumber cut from pine, maple and regional Thayan blackwood trees.[39]

MilitaryEdit

The nation of Thay possessed what was likely the strongest military in east Faerûn even seen by the 14th century DR. However they were rarely, if ever, led effectively in thanks to the competitive bickering that permeated the Thayan ruling class. Each zulkir and tharchion were empowered to raise their own legion, limited only to their own personal capital.[39] Many Red Wizards supplemented their forces with magical beasts, such as Zulkir Maligor and the darkenbeasts he used to complement his legion of gnolls. Red Wizards would always fight alongside their legions in every military engagement, if only to preserve order among the mixed and often-chaotic armies.[22]

During the 15th century, the armies of Thay were largely comprised of ruthless undead, including skeletons, ghouls, boneclaws, wraiths and liches under the command of Regent Szass Tam's necromancers. The Dread Legions were regiments of particularly cunning skeletal and zombified warriors who fought without fear of death or destruction.[43] They supplemented these undead legions with many monstrous creatures including tieflings, ash giants and Abyssal myrmidons.[44]

InfantryEdit

Infantry legions ranged in size anywhere from 800 to 2,000 soldiers and were comprised of a wide range of forces, from armored knights, human slaves,[45] goblins,[39] gnolls, undead warriors[6] and even fiends from the Outer Planes.[citation needed] The Thayan army was notorious for their use of monstrous giant-kin such as trolls, ogres and hill giants. In fact, one of Thay's finely-trained, deadliest regiments was Gruumsh's Legion, a unit comprised entirely of orcs and orogs.[39] Thayan breeding experiments led to the creation of neo-orogs, and both the black and red breeds were found within its borders in significant numbers.[22]

The humanoid soldiers of Thay often wore armor of mirror-bright silver that gave off blinding reflections. Beneath the armor they wore white cloth slipcovers to prevent over-heating and betraying their location.[45] Slaves were typically given sandal-boots, spears, headscarves, loincloths, and—if they were lucky—a baldric hung with waterskins. [45]

CavalryEdit

The riders of Thay were an even more diverse group of nearly-unarmored lancers, mounted archers and heavy knights who rode a wide variety of mounts ranging from giant cats, manticores, leucrotta, hippogriffs, giant beetles and very seldom, dragons.[39] The Griffon Legion of Pyarados was the most famous of Thay's aerial squadrons,[22] as was the infamous black unicorn cavalry, a regiment of all-female riders that were widely-feared throughout the Realms.[39]

Navy and SeafaringEdit

The nation of Thay kept a small, but highly-efficient navy based out of a naval base located on the island-tharch of Alaor. They were much more regimented than the infantry and cavalry, as they all fell under the authority of Alaor's tharchion. As of the 14th century, the navy was comprised of several hundred magically-aided ships led by the great and terrifying metallic vessel called the Red Scourge.[22]

Thayan vessels were named using magic-related themes such as spells, schools of magic, or wizards, such as Alkammar, Black Tentacle, Enchanter, or Lightning Bolt.[46]

HistoryEdit

OriginsEdit

The nation of Thay came about when a sect, calling itself the Red Wizards, declared its freedom from the god-kings of Mulhorand. The sect's center of strength was in the northern provinces where the natives did not have the inbred reverence for the god-kings. After razing the city of Delhumide they declared themselves the free nation of Thay in 922 DR, under the leadership of the Red Wizard Ythazz Buvaar. Since then, Mulhorand has defended itself, quite successfully, against two invasions from Thay.[47][48][49]

The small upstart nation quickly prospered with their vast slave-driven economy. With a lust for greater power, a group of renegade Red Wizards attempted their first march on Rashemen in 934 DR, and faced a costly defeat in the Gorge of Gauros by the Witches of Rashemen.[49] Despite the temporary economic setback, Thay grew rapidly and ranks of the greedy, imperialistic Red Wizards swelled too large for them to effectively govern their own people. After years of bickering during the 10th century DR, the Red Wizards decided upon their system of rule and formed the Council of Zulkirs. One master of each of the eight schools of magic had a seat on the council, who in turn collectively appointed the tharchions who ruled over their given tharch.[47]

Conflict and conquestEdit

A few dissident Red Wizards disagreed with this system of rule and attempted to seize the nation for themselves during the 11th century. Their forces were put down by the Zulkirs in 1074 DR.[47]

The armies of Thay marched on Aglarond and Rashemen many times and folk feared that the time would soon come when the zulkirs mobilized again. One such undertaking occurred in the year 1201 DR, when the newly-appointed zulkir of evocation, Narvonna Kren, formed a tenuous alliance with the established zulkir of illusion Nymor Thrul and infamous lich and zulkir of necromancy, Szass Tam, in an attempted invasion of Aglarond. The assault was ultimately unsuccessful and the Gray Sisters repelled the Thayan forces in the Yuirwood and Zulkir Thrul was blamed for the failure by Tam. The dark lich suffocated the master illusionist, which left a power vacuum within the Council of Zulkirs. Chaos ensued as a number of lesser wizards competed for the high seat of office and Szass Tam withdrew his forces to his private estate, disgusted with the behavior of his colleagues.[9]

Salamander WarEdit

In 1357 DR, the tharchion of Lapendrar Hargrid Tenslayer joined forces with the zulkirs of evocation and conjuration in what was the then-most-ambitious plan of conquest ever undertaken in Thay. By means of powerful magic, the trio appealed to Fyzzar, Lord of the Salamanders, and Grand Sultan Marrake of the efreeti within the City of Brass, to aid Thay in a ruthless campaign against the independent coastal cities of the Alamber Sea and Sea of Fallen Stars. In return, the Red Wizards and tharchion promised then to maintain a permanent portal on Toril, that connected the Prime Material plane to the Elemental Plane of Fire. However, this agreement was struck without the approval or favor of Kossuth, the primordial Lord of Flame.[29]

While the Thayans originally intended to simply banish the elemental forces once the zulkirs seized the lands they desired, the Red Wizards were only able to send the efreeti back to their other-planar domain and the voracious salamanders ran rampant across Priador. Having brought their nation to the brink of annihilation, the outmatched triumvirate reached out to the rest of the Council of Zulkirs and began fighting back against the elemental reptiles with the combined forces Thay's standing army, monstrous humanoids such as gnolls and goblin-kin, and the vast undead forces of Szass Tam which had been reluctantly withdrawn from an offensive in Rashemen. The Salamander War, as it came to be known, lasted for over a year until Aznar Thrul made a grand appeal to Kossuth. The Lord of Flame sent his own elementals to Faerûn and drove the salamanders horde out from Thay. Worship of Kossuth grew exponentially in Thay and its political landscape was permanently changed for decades to come.[9]

Civil WarEdit

In 1375 DR, a rift had been growing within Council of Zulkirs and opposing factions were forming under the leadership of Aznar Thrul and the necromantic lich Szass Tam. In Mirtul of that year, Tam arranged a series of events that would divide the nation and place himself in a position to ascend as its savior.[50][51] First, he assassinated his strongest ally, Druxus Rhym,[52] which was blamed on his rival Thrul, and supplanted the transmuter as zulkir with the easily-controllable Samas Kul, aided by his confidant Dmitra Flass.[53] Second, he orchestrated a Rashemi counter-attack on an unsanctioned invasion of Rashemen in the Gorge of Gauros,[54] led by the tharchs Azhir Kren and Homen Odesseiron, proceeded to rescue their forces at precisely the right moment and rewrote the narrative in their favor,[55] Lastly he manufactured the menace of an undead horde that threatened all of eastern Thay.[56]

By Kythorn 5 of that year, Tam had Aznar Thrul killed by an undead abomination,[57] in preparation for his appeal to the Council of Zulkirs. On Mirtul 11, Szass Tam appealed the council that he be named regent, for a temporary time, so that he may rid the nation of its threats and return Thay to prosperity. Unfortunately for the lich, Dmitra Flass had uncovered his scheme with the assistance of her spymaster, Malark Springhill, and approached the council about her misgivings beforehand. After entire council voted against Tam's proposal,[58] riots broke out in the capital of Eltabbar, clamoring for Szass Tam's ascension as Thay's supreme ruler.[59] While the zulkir of necromancy soothed the anger of the Thayan people,[60] he withdrew from the council, marshaled his undead army and attempted to take Thay by force.[61]

The first battle occurred on on Mirtul 14, when the combined armies of the Council of Zulkirs assaulted the Keep of Thazar, Szass Tam's fortress that had been supplied with undead from a manufactory hidden within the Sunrise Mountains.[62] The council managed to win the battle, destroying the nighthaunt Ysval who commanded Tam's forces at the keep,[63] and their Griffon Legion slowed the movement of the lich's remaining undead army in the following tenday.[64]

Szass tam appeared before a small conclave of Thayan officers on Mirtul 27 and ensured them their actions would result in a long, drawn-out war that would engulf their entire nation.[65] In fact the two warring factions would battle throughout the next decade,[66] and Tam's forces slaughtered Thayan peasants, poisoned their lands and caused massive floods and other natural disasters. Along with the horrors of war, famine ravaged the previously abundant lands of Thay.[67]

By 1385 DR the warring factions of Thay arrived at a stalemate. Szass Tam held the northern tharchs of Gauros, Lapendrar], Surthay, Delhumide and Thaymount, while the other zulkirs maintained a hold over Priador, Eltabbar, Tyraturos, Thazalhar, Pyarados, and the islands of Alaor.[66] In Ches, Hezass Nymar, the tharchion of Lapendrar warned the council that Szass Tam was planning an assault on the Keep of Sorrows.[68]

On Tarsakh 29, the legions of northern Thay marched upon the Keep of Sorrows. While the council attempted to pincer Tam's forces against the keep's walls,[69] the atropal Xingax created an artificial darkness over the battlefield, summoned undead horrors and turned the time of the battle in Tam's favor. Just before the lich could claim victory,[70] the goddess of magic, Mystra was killed, and the blue flames of the Spellplague ravaged Thay and all of Toril.[71] Arcane magic ceased to function properly and pure chaos broke out on the battlefield. Tam's legions took the keep and the council forces withdrew to the isolated town of Zolum.[72]

As a result of the Spellplague, the Thayan plateau rose thousands of feet in height and altered its place on the face of Toril. Rivers took new courses across the lands and the volcanoes of Thaymount erupted in violent explosions. These geological events began to reshape the previously-controlled Thayan landscape. Some cities were destroyed while others were unrecognizable. The icy glaciers of High Thay began to melt, which sent boulders and debris tumbling down the Second Escarpment down to the greater plateau. Volcanic ash filled the sky and the magically-protected climate of Thay was no more.[6][73]

After a few more skirmishes fought in confusion, Szass Tam made a pact with the dark god Bane. In exchange for insight into the changed function and form of arcane magic, along with powers to rule over Thay for the next 1000 years, he offered forth his soul, and promised that divine worship in his kingdom would be solely dedicated to the Black Lord.[74]

Tam's greatest victory came at Thralgard Keep on Eleint 15. The lich's legions rebuked the attack of the council's legions, aided by the dream vestige summoned forth by the powers lent by the god Bane.[75] The council fled south and briefly regrouped in Bezantur,[76] before sailing off for Escalant in the Wizards' Reach to the west.[77] Szass Tam was greeted in Bezantur to cheers and adulation. He summoned a magical storm to slow the fleet of the Red Wizards, and sent his own forces after them.[78] As the council ships gained the upper hand in the sea battle, Szass Tam withdrew his forces and allowed the Council of Zulkirs to leave Thay.[79]

On the eve of his coronation as High Regent, Szass Tam gained great magical insight in the form of an ancient tome that described the Ritual of the unmaking.[80] He begun construction on several Dread Rings, great fortresses that served as markers for the arcane power that coursed through all of Thay that, upon completion of the ritual, could potentially erase all of existence as it was known throughout the Realms.[6][73]

15th centuryEdit

While the lands, waters and skies of Thay had been ravaged by war and magic during the end of the 14th century, the following decades saw a great transformation among the nation's people. The living people of Thay were increasingly disregarded as the Red Wizards fully embraced a new existence as vampires, liches and other servitors of undeath. Seats within the reformed Zulkir Council were filled by the most powerful of these undead arcanists.[6]

On Midwinter 1478 DR, Bareris Anskuld uncovered a book from the former house of Druxus Rhym that illuminated the grand scheme that Szass Tam had been working on over the past 90 years.[81] After reuniting with the leader of the Brotherhood of the Griffon, Aoth Fezim, Bareris brought his discovery to the remaining zulkirs of old Thay that lived in exile within the Wizards' Reach.[82]

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Notable LocationsEdit

Thay was divided into 11 tharchs, each ruled by a separate tharchion.[83][48]

Cities and tharchsEdit

Alaor

This small but essential tharch, only encompassed the small, craggy island of the same name in the Sea of Fallen Stars. Despite its size, it housed Thay's largest naval base and was vital to the nation's navy.[32][23]

Delhumide
The tharch of Delhumide consisted of the lands immediately east and north of Lake Thaylambar atop the plateau. The region's namesake city, along with many other settlements, were largely destroyed in Thay's war for independence from Mulhorand.[84][85]
Eltabbar
One of the most important regions of Thay, this tharch was home to the magocratic nation's capital of the same name. While it was previously unstable and rife with political uncertainty, by the late 14th century it had come under authoritative control.[85] It was located on the northern half of the Thayan plateau, overlooked by the north-facing cliffs of Thaymount.[84]
  • Eltabbar: The former capital of Thay was a sprawling, densely-populated city; over half of its inhabitants were slaves of the Thayan ruling-class.[86]:
Gauros
This small region, located on the northeastern portion of the plateau east of the River Gauros, featured the mineral-rich Gorge of Gauros. It had been seen a great number of conflicts between the Thayans and Rashemi warriors.[85]
Lapendrar
Extending beyond the Thayan plateau out to Escalant and the Sea of Fallen Stars, this region was bisected by the River Lapendrar.[84] The tharch waned in significance since 1357 DR,[85] and was ruled by Tharchion Eseldra Yeth since the death of Hezass Nymar in 1385 DR.[87] Following the Spellplague it was known as the "Contested Lands".[11]
  • Amruthar: While they maintained official independence from Thay, this free-city was governed by a puppet-ruler of Thay before it was destroyed and reformed by canals of molten lava during the Spellplague.[88][73]
  • Escalant: The coastal city wavered between Untheric control, independence and Thayan control during the 14th century.[86]
  • Nethentir: This "gateway city" guarded the path of entry into Thay that wound up the First Escarpment.[89]
  • Tilbrand: While technically under the reign of Thay, Tilbrand was too far removed from the Thayan Plateau to be effectively governed, and its people maintained strong ties with Aglarond.[90]
Priador
This coastal area encompassed nearly all of Thay's southern border, beyond the First Escarpment and was the most-recently established tharch in Thay.[84][85] The citizens of Priador, along with the tharchioness of Bezantur Mari Agneh, were thralls to the despotic zulkir of evocation] Aznar Thrul for several years until his assassination in 1375 DR.[91][92]
  • Bezantur: While Eltabbar was the capital of Thay, the metropolis of Bezantur was considered the heart of the magocratic nation. It was a prosperous but foreboding port city where any vice or depravity could be indulged.[93]
  • Murbant: The citizens of this coastal city lived of fishermen, smugglers and slave-masters of the vast, surrounding plantation-estates.[89]
  • Thasselen: Largely destroyed during the Salamander War, Thasselen fell into disarray under the rule of Aznar Thrul in the decades that followed.[90]
Pyarados
Situated on the southeastern portion of Thay, west of the River Thazarim,[84] this tharch was highly-valued for its access to the mineral-rich Sunrise Mountains east of the First Escarpment.[91]
  • Pyarados: The namesake city of the tharch was a lawless, frontier town of the east that served as a waypoint for those who sought to explore the Sunrise mountains and the eastern lands beyond its peaks.[94]
Surthay
Strong garrisons dotted this tharch, whose lands bordered the southern coast of Lake Mulsantir, in strong defiance to the northern lands of Rashemen. During the 14th century, Tharchion Homen Odesseiron would occasionally lead his considerable forces on raids into the lands of the Wychlaran.[41]
  • Surthay: The northern-most Thayan city was a vital military stronghold for the nation's continuous, contentions with the Rashemi to the north.[94]
Thaymount
Located directly in the center of Thay, this tharch had a rich history of military might, its forces serving as reserves for the outlying regions. The range of volcanic mountains, from which the region drew its name, loomed over the region and filled its skies with smoke and cinder.[83][41].
  • The Citadel: This ancient, magical fortress was built before humans lived in Thay,[95] and served as the seat of power for Regent Szass Tam during the 15th century.[6]
Thazalhar
This southeastern region of Thay housed the trade routes that linked Thay and the frontier of Mulhorand,[41] Durpar and Raurin. The plains east of the Thazarim Riber were the site of many great battles between Thay and Mulhorand which transformed the verdant farmlands into what was essentially a mass graveyard.[96]
Tyratauros
A vast province in the southern end of the plateau, Tyraturos had a number of vital trade routes running through its borders, including the Eastern Way and the High Road.[41]
  • Tyraturos: This filthy, but vital trade city was located at the crossroads of Thay's two main trade routes.[41][98]
  • Solzepar:

GeographyEdit

Few invasions ever overcame the great mountains girding the Plateau of Thay, and the secretive and suspicious Red Wizards raised barriers just as formidable to discourage travelers from venturing into their lands.[19] Despite its seclusion and rather paranoid inhabitants, Thay was a largely fertile region, full of farms and orchards that received ample water from a a number of flowing rivers and a deep lake rich with aquatic life.[37]

During the Spellplague however, the plateau of Thay rose thousands of feet above Toril, melting its glaciers and causing great volcanic eruptions within Thaymount. Over the following century, it became a dark and foreboding land of lifeless badlands, windswept mountains and barren deserts.[6] By the 15th century, the skies over Thay were plagued with ash and smoke that spewed skyward from the volcanic peaks of Thaymount.[11]

Regions
  • Plateau of Thay: This formerly lush and verdant oasis held most of Thay's population. While it previously held grand slave plantations, cities and fortresses,[83] it transformed into an expanse of arid badlands during the 15th century.[6]
  • First Escarpment: Offering a nigh-surmountable natural barrier, this sheer cliffside elevated the plateau above the surrounding badlands. Its walls ranged anywhere from 50' (15.2 m) to over 200' (61 m) in height,[23] but rose thousands of feet during the Spellplague.[6]
  • Second Escarpment: Similar to the outer escarpment, this inner cliffside elevated the mountains of Thaymount above the surrounding region. Within its walls were a number of gold mines and hidden garrisons, granting the Red Wizards tight control over who traveled in and out of the volcanic peaks.[99]
Mountains
  • Thaymount: These rugged, volcanic mountains were located at the center of Thay, atop the Second Escarpment atop its innermost plateau. A "dampening field" over the mountain range, established some time in the late 13th century, prevented magical scrying or divination spells from granting insight over the area to anyone who attempted to spy upon the tightly-controlled region of the Red Wizards' domain.[96]
  • Sunrise Mountains: Forming the eastern border of Thay, these mountains were rough, hard-traveled peaks that were rich with minerals, including copper.[91][100]
Bodies of water
Rivers
  • River Gauros: Flowing north from the Sunrise Mountains, past the ruins of Delhumide, this river was surrounded by barren lands that had little life or vegetation.[103]
  • River Lapendrar: Thay's second-longest river was an important trade route for the southern tharchs. It flowed from Thaymount, southwest past the escarpments before pouring into the Alamber Sea near the city of Escalant.[84][103]
  • River Thay: Spanning the northeastern portion of the Thayan plateau, this vast river was vital to the nation's economy, particularly the northern tharchs.[103]
  • River of the Dawn: This river on the southern end of Thazalhar, marked the border between Thay and Mulhorand.[101]
  • River Umber: Rather unimportant in comparison to the Realms other waterways, this river flowed east from Thaymount, granting the Thayans a means to convey goods and forces in their conflicts with nearby Aglarond.[37]
  • River Sur: This shorter river was rather narrow and fast at the First Escarpment but widened and slowed down before opening into Lake Mulsantir west of the Surmarsh. It formed Thay's northern border with the nation of Thesk.[103]
  • River Thazarim: Located on the eastern side of Thay, between Pyarados and the Sunrise Mountains, this southern-flowing river featured a number of magnificent waterfalls before pouring into the Alamber Sea.[103]
Swamps

Organizations Edit

ClassesEdit

AppendixEdit

AppearancesEdit

Novels
Games

ReferencesEdit

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