The Red WizardsEdit
The Red Wizards of Thay are an organization and social class of evil wizards in Faerûn. Red Wizards are the notorious and nefarious spellcasters who are the ruling class in the inhospitable but well-inhabited country of Thay. Slavers, demonologists, and magical experimenters, the Red Wizards are much feared by most of Faerûn. They constantly scheme to bring down their neighboring nations of Rashemen—where they are thwarted by the equally famed magicians the Witches of Rashemen; Aglarond—where they are 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 are the eight zulkirs, each for a different school of magic. Chief amongst these, and, indeed, among all Red Wizards is Szass Tam, a powerful archmage and feared lich.
The Red Wizards are the enemies of many forces in Toril and receive support from demons, devils, and drow. Amongst those who oppose them are the Witches of Rashemen, the Seven Sisters and their allies, the goodly Harpers, and even the Zhentarim, who dislike the wizards encroaching on their territory.
The Red Wizards' latest plot, after another failed attempt at securing Rashemen in 1357 DR, is to infiltrate the nations of Faerûn legitimately—in Thayan enclaves which will publicly sell magic items and quietly also traffic drugs, wicked spells, and slaves. Using these they hope to eventually have strongholds and resulting political infiltration that will make them indispensable and powerful, and eventually get them something along the lines of world domination.
Despite the general distrust and dislike that most feel towards the Red Wizards, the mages are still able to extend their power to almost every corner of the Realms, running embassies (known as enclaves) in towns where slaving is otherwise banned. From here they run 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 expand their sphere of influence ever further.