Forgotten Realms: Empire of Ashes
The Thayan Protectorate
United by “treaty,” but effectively ruled by the Red Wizards, the easternmost lands of Faerun (up to the trackless Hordelands) are the last coherent political power on Faerun to openly oppose the Empire. Holding them at bay with threatened doomsday spells, they have thus far prevented the total conquest of Faerun, creating an apocalyptic standoff and corresponding cold war.
The Red Wizards – Apart from the epic resistance of the elven and human arch-mages who perished in defense of Cormanthyr and the Dales, the Red Wizards of Thay were the first serious magical opposition to the Empire’s sweep across Faerun. They claim to hold the power to destroy the world, the Empire along with it – and to have the will to use it, vowing to die before facing slavery or extermination by the Netherese. In the meantime, their agents scour the world and the libraries for some way to unravel the secrets of the Empire’s magicks – which, they are convinced, is the only way to oppose them (and might just propel the Red Wizards to their rightful position of rulers of the world).
Reluctant Beneficiaries – Rashemen, Thesk, Mulhorand, Chessenta, Unther, even Aglarond: the “free” lands of the east languish under the protection of Thay. Their peoples conscripted into the Thayan armies, their rulers subjugated to an unfair (but, under the circumstances, irrefusable) treaty … but at least they aren’t being executed in the streets, raised in Orcus’ cadaverous armies, or taken away to the Black Citadels, never to be heard from again. Although technically forbidden by the terms of the treaty, many of the leaders put more hope in the Resistance, and contribute what forces and supplies they can to the Alliance of Fallen Stars.