The Thayans sent an expedition to Neverwinter Wood over thirty years ago to raise a Dread Ring. They were responsible for the eruption of Mount Hotenow in the Year of Knowledge Unearthed (419 NR, 1451 DR) that devastated Neverwinter by rousing Maegera the Inferno. Their ultimate plans were foiled, though, keeping the Dread Ring from achieving its full power. Under the command of the lich Valindra Shadowmantle, the Thayans became embroiled in a conflict with Netheril over the Shadowfell routes they used to travel from Thay to the Sword Coast.
The Northern Five worked with the dragon Klauth to destroy the Thayan expedition. The Northern Five went to the Netherese embassy in Evernight where they offered Prince Clariburnus’s vassal Parise Ulfbinder the location of Ioulaum, the first of the ancient Netherese achmagi, which Klauth provided to them. Enticed by the offer, Clariburnus sent a Netherese expedition with Katryn Ulfbinder, Alessoria Talens, and Quentin Kroft with the Northern Five to find the archmage. They led the Netherese to Ellyn’taal, where Ioulaum created the first illithid liches, or alhoons, and bound himself to an undead elder brain. Meanwhile, Klauth worked through other operatives to pass along information to Fulminorax about the location of Ellyn’taal and the Netherese expedition heading there. When the Northern Five reached Ellyn’taal, Fulminorax attacked. In a desperate three-way fight, the Northern Five tipped the balance by betraying the Netherese to the blue dragon, though one of their original members, Branwen Farlong, fell in the battle. This provided the victory that Fulminorax needed to convince Szass Tam to place him in charge of the expedition in Valindra’s place. Fulminorax was even given Valindra’s phylactery, which Szass Tam had previously kept in his possession, to ensure her obedience. Once the pieces were all in place, Klauth assaulted the Dread Ring, laid it to waste, and slew Fulminorax.
With the death of their leader and the destruction of the Dread Ring, Szass Tam has abandoned his plans for the Sword Coast, preferring to concentrate his efforts on the war with Netheril closer to Thay. While Thay has been broken as a major power in the region of Neverwinter, there are nonetheless a number of survivors from the expedition who may pose a serious threat for some time to come — Valindra Shadowmantle in particular, who now has nothing left but vengeance.
|Szass Tam Regent of Thay|
|Valindra Shadowmantle Hand of Szass Tam|
|Fulminorax Elder Blue Dragon|
|Jawbone Flesh Factory Overseer|
|Praddak Excavation Overseer|