|Symbol of the Red Wizards|
|Symbol of the Red Wizards|
|Allegiances||Various demons and devils|
|Enemies||Thay, Zhentarim, The Harpers, Lords' Alliance, Witches of Rashemen|
|Base of Operations||Thay|
Members of the Red Wizards of Thay
The Red Wizards, formerly known as the Red Wizards of Thay before a coup led by Szass Tam, are an organization of wizards in Faerûn. During their height of power, the Red Wizards were the notorious and nefarious spellcasting ruling class of the inhospitable but well-inhabited country of Thay. Slavers, demonologists, and magical experimenters, the Red Wizards were much feared by most of Faerûn. They constantly schemed to bring down their neighboring nations of Rashemen, where they were thwarted by the equally famed magicians the Witches of Rashemen, Aglarond, where they were turned back by the Simbul of the Seven Sisters, and Mulhorand, where the people of Thay first emigrated from.
The leaders of the Red Wizards, and of Thay, were the eight zulkirs, each for a different school of magic. Chief amongst these, and, indeed, among all Red Wizards was Szass Tam, a powerful archmage and feared lich and now the ruler of Thay and sworn enemy of the Red Wizards who escaped him. Since Szass Tam's takeover, the Red Wizards have transformed enormously, becoming a loosely organized chain of merchant enclaves who specialized in procuring magical items.
The Red Wizards at their height were the enemies of many forces in Toril and received support from demons, devils, and drow. Amongst those who opposed them were the Witches of Rashemen, the Seven Sisters and their allies, the goodly Harpers, and even the Zhentarim, who disliked the Wizards encroaching on their territory.
After another failed attempt at securing Rashemen in 1357 DR, the Red Wizards planned to infiltrate the nations of Faerûn legitimately — in Thayan enclaves which would publicly sell magic items and quietly also traffic drugs, wicked spells, and slaves. Using these they hoped to eventually have strongholds and resulting political infiltration that would make them indispensable and powerful, and eventually get them something along the lines of world domination.
Despite the general distrust and dislike that most felt towards the Red Wizards, the mages were still able to extend their power to almost every corner of the Realms, running their enclaves as planned in towns where slaving was otherwise banned. From here they ran a lucrative business in the trade of magical items, spells and artifacts, making them virtually indispensable to many of their clients, and as such the wizards expanded their sphere of influence ever further.
The Red Wizards in the end transformed their old enclaves into their homes. What had once been a facade of a purpose, the accumulation of profit through selling magical items, became fact as the Red Wizards' goals transformed entirely.