Telflamm was usually considered to be the biggest and most important city in Thesk; however, Telflamm was actually an independent city-state but wielded so much power and influence over the country that it might as well have been the capital. Telflamm was officially founded in 926 DR by Windyn Balindre, who moved his base of operations from Impiltur to this newly-built settlement and declared himself ‘Merchant Prince’, a hereditary title.
Situated at the start the incredibly profitable Golden Way trading route, Telflamm quickly became the biggest trading station in the region, with most trade concerning the products of Kara-Tur which was in wide demand across Faerûn.
Sometime in the early part of the fourteenth century DR, the most wealthy and influential merchants in the city set up a regulating body to check any excesses of the prince. This Merchant’s Council was viewed as the real power in the city by most outsiders. This was not actually the case, however. Once the merchants began squabbling with Thesk and becoming too worried about their own profits, things started to go downhill. In 1360 DR, the Tuigan Horde weakened the city’s security and four years later The Sharkjaw Pirates extorted massive amounts of gold from the council to not interfere with Telflamm’s trade. The local thieves guild, the Shadowmasters of Telflamm slew the pirates two years later in a single night. By 1372 DR, the Shadowmasters were the absolute power in Telflamm, though few knew how powerful they really were.
The last Balindre Prince died some time after the Spellplague, leaving the Merchants’ Council in charge of the government, but the Shadowmasters remained the true power in the city.
Trade was the most important aspect of life in Telflamm. They did not have to produce much themselves as almost all the collected wares traveling along the Golden Way come through its gates. Eastern silk, spices, smokepowder, Long Jing and works of art passed through Telflamm to reach the rest of Faerûn. The city was also home to the biggest Thayan Enclave ever built, making the city a hub for the purchase of magic items.
Points of Interest
Built by Windyn Balindre, Telflamm’s founder, this fortified building sits on the waterfront on top of a large hill. It played a key role in the city’s fortunes over the years. Balindre declared himself the city’s Merchant Prince, and descendants have lived in the castle ever since. The castle also houses the city’s militia.
The Merchants’ Fortress
Home to the Merchants’ Council, the Merchants’ Fortress is a sprawling stone complex whose polished, white stone walls can be seen throughout the city.
Thesk was most famous for the Golden Way. This well-maintained road began (or ended in) Telflamm and led all the way to distant Kara-Tur. The Golden Way was a major overland trade artery. Its existence was the primary reason that Thesk wasn’t simply part of the Great Dale or Thay.
The business of Telflamm was business, and this was its heart. Most commerce in the city flowed through here at one point or another. It housed most of the city’s merchants and the headquarters of some of its most powerful organizations. Gold from all corners of the world flowed through this square.
The Thayan Enclave in Telflamm was one of the first enclaves established by the Red Wizards of Thay and grew into their largest. The shops of the enclave sold all manner of imported items, but discounted magic items were their most popular merchandise.
The Hall of the Avenging Hammer
A small temple to Tyr. Its members often tried to oppose the rampant corruption that plagued the city.
A quarter of the city that was decidedly more eastern in nature. The architecture was distinctly Kara-Turan, the businesses were mostly Kara-Turan restaurants and inns, and the people were mostly Shou. Few major merchants operated here and most residents were poor but honest. The only exception was the yakuza gang of the Nine Golden Swords.
Xiang Temple, home to an order of monks dedicated to mastering fighting with both weapons and their hands, also lay within Telflamm.