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Lore:Dread Ring

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Arcane Coffers[edit | edit source]

Arcane Coffers are extraplanar pockets where Red Wizards once stored their treasures. Before the rise of Szass Tam, the zulkirs of Thay engaged in brutal, political in-fighting. Theft, sabotage, and assassination were tools commonly employed by the zulkirs against their rivals. The need for a safe method to store magical treasures became clear.

Red Wizards raced to gather the most powerful lore and artifacts from Thayan strongholds across Faerûn, locking their treasures away in magically-constructed arcane coffers. Once locked, the arcane coffers would exist only in an extraplanar space until they could be pulled back into the material plane through an astral portal by using an enchanted gauntlet.

As time passed, the arcane coffers were safe in their extraplanar spaces, but the mystical gauntlets were scattered across the material plane, and the secret of their creation is known to a few.

Death Forge[edit | edit source]

In the depths of the Dread Ring lies a chamber of horrors. Within the mad, twisting labyrinth known as the Death Forge are a huge amount of corpses laying in seemingly careless stacks throughout the hallways, some on slabs of stone or steel, some simply piled in rotting heaps on the ground. Some corpses are still fresh and twitching, while others are ancient, covered in grave soil, mummified, or reduced to bone.

This is where the bulk of he necromantic rituals are performed that animate the Thayan undead legions. The Death Forge was specifically designed and enchanted to raise corpses far faster and in far greater number than simple spellwork alone. Very few who enter this place lucky enough to escape with their lives and sanity intact.

Jawbone[edit | edit source]

Jawbone is a half-orc necromancer and one of Valindra Shadowmantle's most trusted lieutenants. She has been given the task of overseeing the operation of the Death Forge, which is run chiefly by undead servants.

No one knows what Jawbone's original name was, or if she even had one, but her current moniker comes from her misshaped jaw, which hangs from her face at an angle and slurs her speech. The teeth on the right side of her jaw have rotted away, giving her an appearance not entirely dissimilar to that of the undead she oversees.

Neverwinter Vanguard[edit | edit source]

The Neverwinter Vanguard is the larges army that Lord Neverember and General Sabine could muster. It marcher out from the city eastwards towards the Dread Ring with one goal: prevent Valindra from raising the ancient dracolich, Lorragauth.

Staffed by veteran commanders of many battles, war-hardened soldiers, powerful magic users, and brave heroes from the lands around the city, the Neverwinter Vanguard is extremely formidable. It is the first fighting force to ever breach the walls of the Dread Ring and put the Thayans on the defensive.

But will even such a force be able to emerge victorious from this final battle? In this dark hour, Neverwinter's champions and heroes must rise up once again to protect the fledgling city's light from being snuffed out by Valindra Shadowmantle and her Thayan allies.

Path of Torment[edit | edit source]

The Path of Torment is the seat of power for the Red Wizard Conjurers. Here the Red Wizards recruit legions of devils from the Nine Hells, constructing elaborate summoning circles and portals in order to bring the infernal beings into the mortal world en masse.

Now that the Neverwinter Vanguard has breached the walls of the Dread Ring, the Red Wizard Conjurors have increased the speed of their operations, swelling the ranks of the Thayan army even further. It truly disturbs the mind to consider how easily and readily the Red Wizards taint the mortal world with these wholly evil beings who seek to devour the souls of mortals

Phantasmal Fortress[edit | edit source]

The Phantasmal Fortress is the abode of Hlarkus Baltreyo, the mad zulkir of illusion. It is located within the blasted volcanic lands of Thaymount, not far from the Citadel itself. Few dare to venture inside Baltreyo's fortress, but those who do find a labyrinth of hallways full of phantoms and illusions. It is said that Baltreyo keeps it this way so that those who enter without his permission will find themselves driven as mad as he.

Rath Modar[edit | edit source]

Rath Modar has dedicated his life to the study and mastery of illusion magic. His skill at deception and obfuscation are second to none. However, under Szass Tam's iron rule, Rath had little hope of gaining the prestige and power he craved. He fled Thay and took refuge on the Sword Coast, which has become home to many Red Wizard exiles who share a common belief that Szass Tam must be overthrown and Thay restored to its former glory as a multidisciplinary magocracy rule by a council of free-thinking zulkirs.

Rath Modar has joined and taken a leading role in a movement called the Thayan Resurrection, which is composed of exiled Red Wizards who seek to restore Thay to the way it was before the Spellplague, before Szass Tam overthrew his fellow zulkirs and replaced them with liches under his command. The ultimate goal of the Resurrection is to destroy the lich zulkirs, destroy or depose Szass Tam, and reestablish Thay's schools of magic under living zulkirs.

To this end, Rath and his henchmen came to Neverwitner with critical information: the location of the Dread Ring, its defenses, and most importantly, the fact that Valindra was close to unearthing and reanimating an ancient black dragon -- Lorragauth. Rath knew that Neverwinter would have no choice but to attack the Dread Ring once he revealed to them this information. With a mere few words this master of illusion has turned Neverwinter and its armies to his own ends.

Schools of Magic: Conjuration[edit | edit source]

The conjuration school of magic focuses on the transportation of materials, creatures, or energy over long distances of space or through dimensional barriers. In most cases, conjurers will utilize this craft in order to summon something directly to them, although they are just as capable of doing the reverse, sending themselves or nearby objects away or into other planes of existence. A skilled conjuror never fights alone, as aid is always merely one spell away.

Schools of Magic: Evocation[edit | edit source]

The evocation school of magic focuses on manipulating energy or taping sources of power in order to create powerful elemental effects. Roiling balls of fire, crackling bolts of lightning, darts of raw magic energy, as well as many other spectacular and deadly displays all fall under its practitioners' purview. There is very little that is subtle about the art of evocation.

Schools of Magic: Illusion[edit | edit source]

The illusion school of magic focuses on creating effects that deceive the senses of those affected by its spells. Illusionists can weave glamers that fool those nearby into seeing or hearing something that is not there, or can cloud others' senses so that they cannot see or hear something that is here. Master of misdirection, illusionists have numerous ways of hiding themselves or others in plain sight.

Thay[edit | edit source]

No nation is as loathed or feared throughout Faerun (sic) as the necromantic magocracy of thay. The nation sits far to the east of Neverwinter, past the scheming Shadowvar of Netheril and beyond the seemingly endless expanse of the Sea of Fallen Stars. The ruler of Thay is Szass Tam, a lich of great magical and political power who usurped the council of Zulkirs a century ago. Under his rule, Thay sends forth its agents and undead armies from the capitol, intent on bending the rest of the worlds to its will.

Valindra Shadowmantle is one such agent, and the undead legion that she has used in her plots against Neverwinter s one such army. If she and Szass Tam are successful in their plans, Neverwinter will become a Thayan vassal state. Its wealth and treasures would be sent back to Thaymount to fill the Thayan coffers, and its population would be doomed to become undead slaves under Thayan rule.

Thayan Resurrection[edit | edit source]

The Thayan Resurrection is a group of exiled Red Wizards who seek to restore Thay to the way it was before Szass Tam took power over a century ago.

Szass Tam's dictatorship has greatly transformed Thay, devoting it utterly to the pursuit of necromancy and undeath. The only religion permitted in the nation is worship of Bane, but even this is regarded by Tam with some suspicion. Any practitioner of magic is required to master the necromantic arts, whatever else their intended focus of study might be. And once their studies are complete, they are drafted into the Tahyan army to serve Szass Tam's expansionary ambitions.

Over the years, such harsh dictatorial conditions sewed malcontent among many Red Wizards. As malcontent is grounds for swift execution in Thay's current state, many of these Red Wizards fled the country. Now, a great number of them have organized seeking to depose Szass Tam and return Thay to the way it was before, when it was a county with the greatest wizards in the world and not just the greatest necromancers, and when its coffers were not constantly depleted by a century-long war effort.

And while the individual motivations of those within the Thayan Resurrection are almost certainly selfish, it cannot be denied that Thay would be far less of a threat to the rest of the world if they were to succeed in their efforts.

The Arsenal[edit | edit source]

The Arsenal is the storage area for the various Thayan weapons of war created inside of the Dread Ring. Golems trudge about, waiting to be sent into battle. Magical items of immense destructive power await wielders. Portals through which reinforcements could pour at a moment's notice can be seen scattered about.

More than any other place within Dread Ring, the Arsenal showcases the Red Wizards Evokers' mastery of the art of direct arcane warfare.

The Dread Legions[edit | edit source]

The Dread Legions are the armies of the Thayan nation. They are chiefly composed of undead, but subjugated races and monsters such as gnolls and orcs have also been pressed into service by the Thayans. Although the bulk of these forces are currently stationed within Thay's borders, neighboring nations know that it is certainly only a matter of time before Szass Tam sends the Legions to their doorstep with orders to kill and conquer.

Those nations' fears are fell founded. Even now, not all of the Legions sit idle within Thay. Valindra Shadowmantle has been given control over the legions to use in her conquest of Neverwinter.

The Dread Spire[edit | edit source]

The Dread Spire is the tallest tower that is still left standing within the walls of the ravaged Dread Ring. While many of Valindra Shadowmantle's most hideous operations are housed within the building, the actual tower of the Dread Spire serves two specific purposes. Its first purpose is as the war room where the Thayan legion commanders hatch their plans and stratagems.

The Spire's second purpose, however, is even more dangerous. In the tower of the Dread Spire, there are held numerous Cult of the Dragon slaves that have been captured by Valindra. There the cult members are forced to use their knowledge of things draconic to labor in service of the Thayan excavation of Lorragauth, the ancient black dragon.

The Great Excavation[edit | edit source]

In the open center of the Dread Ring, some manner of large-scale excavation is taking place. Scores of workers swarm across the ground and hastily-constructed scaffolding. A dragon skull and several bones so large they beggar the imagination poke up from the soil below. This is the resting place of Lorragauth, an ancient black dragon.

Valindra demands that work on the excavation continue ceaselessly, even now as Neverwinter forces have breached the Dread Ring's outer walls. She knows that she is so very close to her goal: to raise and transform Lorragauth into mighty dracolich, enslaved to her will. If this should come to pass, it would surely spell doom for Neverwinter.

The Quarry[edit | edit source]

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The Zulkirs[edit | edit source]

The members of the Zulkir Council are Szass Tam's vassals and the most powerful arcanists in Thay. By Thayan tradition, each of the eight zulkirs of the Council specialize in a different school of magic, and while this still holds true today, all of the zulkirs on the current Council are liches. There is little room for the living in the necromancy-heavy nation of Szass Tam, who himself serves as the zulkir of necromancy on the Council.

The Council used to rule Thay before Szass Tam's rise over 100 years ago, but Tam murdered the former zulkirs when he usurped the regency. The current zulkirs still wield much political power as Szass Tam' advisors and much magical power as the foremost practitioners of their respective school of magic, but ultimately they are obedient to and an instrument of Szass Tam's will.

Wilfred[edit | edit source]

Seeing poor Wilfred risen as a horrifying undead puppet of Valindra is enough to rattle the strongest of souls. When he died in your arms on the Dragon Bridge, his sacrifice should have earned him an eternal peace. What manner of vile warfare is Valindra engaging in that she must also insult the resolve and nerves of the valiant that stands against her? The Neverwinter guard has lost many of their members in battle, only to see them rise again to do her bidding. But, this is somehow... a touch more personal