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Thay was a nation in east Faerûn.[3]


It was a dark and forbidding land of windswept mountains and badlands.[3]



Prior to Szass Tam's elevation to supreme ruler of Thay, the land was ruled by a council of eight powerful mages known as Zulkirs, each of whom specialized in a different school of magic. During the chaos of the Spellplague, Szass Tam named himself regent and eventually became the one true power in Thay. The Zulkirs thereafter served as Szass Tam's vassals.[3]

Tharchions, the civil governors of the realm, ruled over the various tharchs, or regions of Thay.[4]


The tharchs were the eleven regions of Thay, each ruled by a separate tharchion.[5]


By 1479 DR, Thay had the largest population of undead in all Faerûn.[3]


The nation relied heavily on slavery, a practice heavily frowned upon by nations throughout the north and northwestern Faerûn. In Thay itself the Zulkirs and other prominent Red Wizards grew rich beyond imagination from this sinister trade. From their strongholds and estates, they used this wealth to constantly scheme and plot the mercantile and military domination of their neighbor nations.[citation needed]


Slavery was a common branch of trade in Thay.[7] Slave markets were restocked with war prisoners, conquered Rashemi or people that are 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 wear.[8].

Slaves were used in warfare, where they were given sandal-boots, spears, headscarves, loincloths, and—if they were lucky—a baldric hung with waterskins. [9]

Navy and SeafaringEdit

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.[10]


Thay did under many ages have armies of blood orcs, humans, undead, fiends, or gnolls.[citation needed]

The solders of Thay wore armor of mirror-bright silver to give off blinding reflections (but also had white cloth slipcovers to prevent heating and betraying location.)[9]

History Edit

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. Since then Mulhorand has had to defend themselves, quite successfully, against two invasions from Thay.[5]

The armies of Thay have marched on Aglarond and Rashemen many times and folk fear that the time will soon come when the Zulkirs mobilize again. On the reverse, few invaders have ever overcome the great mountains girding the Plateau of Thay, and the secretive and suspicious Red Wizards raise barriers just as formidable to discourage travelers from venturing into their lands.[citation needed]

In 1375 DR, Szass Tam set in motion a series of events such as the murder of the zulkirs of Transmutation, Druxus Rhym, and Evocation, Aznar Thrul, crafting an undead army with the atropal, Xingax, from the bodies of slaves and prisoners of war, portraying a failed unauthorized Thayan invasion on a Rashemi town by the Tharchions, Azhir Kren and Homen Odesseiron, as a Rashemi invasion onto Thayan soil stopped by the great casualties of Thayan soldiers and his 'timely' rescue of the invading force. All of these actions created a climate of fear within the nation of the Red Wizards and endearing him to the people as a savior that could end the country's woes.[citation needed]

His plot was uncovered by his former confidant Dmitra Flass, who put the puzzle together and alerted the remaining zulkirs, obviously excluding the lich. When Szass Tam proposed to make himself 'temporary regent' to end all the suffering of the nation and crush the undead forces and other such troubles, the five of the six zulkirs voted against his proposition with only Yaphyll, zulkir of Divination, abstaining to vote. Szass Tam immediately had the Order of Necromancy under his control alert the common folk that the beloved hero of Thay had be denied from ending their suffering. Riots erupted in the streets, which he also used to his advantage, taking control over garrison commanders and summoning demons to kill the rioters. The appearance of the Tanar'ri did nothing to behoove the reputation of Nevron's Order of Conjuration, as they believe his servant had summoned the demons to fight. Szass Tam appeared all over the city to quell the fighting, endearing him to the people even more.[citation needed]

Soon afterword, much of the undead force had been destroyed and the nighthaunt and Angel of decay leaders had been obliterated along with much of the Burning Braziers, the later thanks to the rigged magical torches he had given them, Szass Tam openly declared himself ruler of all Thay, thus declaring war against the remaining zulkirs of Thay. Hell had come to Thay.[citation needed]

Thayans believed that the gods sent luck to the strong and resolute, not to the gentle and compassionate.[11]

Related prestige classes Edit

Road to Thay

"The Road to Thay" by Michael Dutton


Computer GameEdit

NWN2 box This article or section is about elements from the game Neverwinter Nights 2.
Video games are considered canon unless they contradict content in some other Forgotten Realms publication.

Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer has the player briefly travel to The Academy of Shapers and Binders in Thaymount by using a secret portal in the Plane of Shadows in Mulsantir, which is located in Rashemen. The player walks out of a mini-valley leading to a path with glowing, apparently magical lanterns leading the way to the academy, various walls and hostile Thayan gnolls protecting the academy, which Thay most likely uses as a enslaved or hired guard force of some kind. Once the player goes inside, a specific party member will comment on how "The Red Wizards are eager to continue their studies even as bodies fill their academy." This comment was brought by the corpses that were strewn about the entrance, since recently a coup had been successfully initiated that killed the former headmistress of the Academy and the students/teachers loyal to her.




  1. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  2. John Terra (February 1995). The Moonsea (Reference Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 54. ISBN 978-0786900923.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 180. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  4. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 206. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  5. 5.0 5.1 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.
  6. Wizards RPG Team (2014). The Rise of Tiamat. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 76. ISBN 978-0786965657.
  7. Anthony Pryor (1995). Spellbound (Campaign Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 7. ISBN 978-0786901395.
  8. Richard Lee Byers (April 2007). Unclean. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 27. ISBN 978-0-7869-4258-9.
  9. 9.0 9.1 [1]
  10. Steven E. Schend (1999). Sea of Fallen Stars. (TSR, Inc), p. 15. ISBN 0-7869-1393-2.
  11. Richard Lee Byers (April 2007). Unclean. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 60. ISBN 978-0-7869-4258-9.
  12. Richard Lee Byers (April 2007). Unclean. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 104. ISBN 978-0-7869-4258-9.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Richard Lee Byers (April 2007). Unclean. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 108. ISBN 978-0-7869-4258-9.


4th Edition D&D

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