"This is Thay as it's never been shown before . . . Dark, sinister, foreboding and downright disturbing!" -- Alaundo, Candlekeep.com on Unclean
After seeking his fortune abroad, Bareris Anskuld returns to his home in the kingdom of Thay to find the love he left behind has sold herself into slavery to pay her father's debts. Nothing should be simpler for a veteran adventurer than to track her down and buy her back, but what starts as a simple rescue becomes much more when he stumbles into the dark purpose of the slavery she has been sold into.
The realm of Thay has long been ruled by an uneasy alliance of wizards -- one for each of the eight magical Arts -- known as the council of zulkirs. Treachery and politics flourish as the eight archmages maneuver for position and power, until the brilliant zulkir of necromancy, Szass Tam, decides that the time for pretenses is over. He is the true master of Thay -- and if the other zulkirs will not believe in his authority, he will prove it to them in blood.
Ruled by the ruthless Red Wizards, with their shaved heads, crimson robes, and fearsome, magical tattoos, the name "Thay" is synonymous with cruelty and forbidden arcana. Of all the kingdoms in the Forgotten Realms, no other is so feared. So when the zulkirs plunge their realm into civil war, the rest of the world dares to hope that the poisonous nation might destroy itself -- and dreads what will happen if one zulkir succeeds in uniting all of Thay under a single dark banner. The Haunted Lands continues with Undead.