The nation of Thesk was an oligarchy of around 850,000 people, inhabited by humans, gnomes, and orcs. The majority of its inhabitants were either merchants or farmers. The Golden Way, the main trade route to Kara-Tur, ran through Thesk, exposing it to a wide variety of cultures and making its people more tolerant than most Faerûnians.
In eons past, the lands of Thesk were once part of the empire of Narfell, but little survived the Great Conflagration that destroyed that empire in -150 DR. Thesk remained largely empty until Windyn Balindre pioneered the Golden Way trade route to Kara-Tur in 970 DR and immigrants from Impiltur began to settle the land. Balindre and these settlers founded the city of Telflamm in 926 DR. In 1177 DR Princess Delile Balindre declared Telflamm (and thus all of Thesk) independent from Impultur.
In 1086 DR, Thay invaded and captured the two southernmost cities of Thesk, Nethjet and Nethentir. Twenty-five years later, in 1110 DR, Thay again invaded, marching on the city of Phent, but this time the combined forces of Impultur and Thesk defeat the Red Wizards of Thay.7 Relations between the two nations eventually cooled, and in 1351 DR, one of the first Thayan Enclaves was established in Telflamm.
In 1360 DR, the Tuigan Horde, led by Horselord Yamun Khahan invaded Faerûn from the Hordelands in the east. To meet the threat, the people of the western heartlands, lead by King Azoun IV of Cormyr raised a great alliance made of troops from Cormyr, the Dalelands, Hillsfar, Raven’s Bluff, Dwarves from the Earthfast Mountains, and others. Sembia provided funds to hire mercenaries, and Zhentil Keep contributed 1000 Orcs. The armies of the west totaled 28,000 against 100,000 Tuigans. Despite the odds, the alliance defeated the invading horde on the Golden Way near Phsant. The eastern half of Thesk was in ruins, but with the Tuigan threat neutralized, trade with Kara-Tur could resume, and with it, the flow of money into the land. The Orcs decided to settle in the country, becoming “civilized”, and the people of Thesk grew to accept them.
Seeing opportunity in a weakened Thesk, the Sharkjaw pirates descend on Telflamm in 1364 DR and make it their home port until The Shadowmasters managed to drive them out, leaving them unchallenged to expand their influence in the still recovering city.
In the early fifteenth century, Tai Shing, a Shou hero, successfully drove the criminal gangs out of Phsant to became the First Council Lord of Phsant and then to be elected the first Suzerain of Thesk. His death in 1453 DR has left Thesk a patchwork of nobles, merchants, and gangs.
Navy and seafaring
Theskian vessels were after the goods they carry like “Spicesail” or “Timberhold”.
Thesk was very wealthy and the wealthiest inhabitant of each settlement became the mayor. A council of mayors existed to govern the nation. Most outsiders thought of the city of Telflamm as the capital of Thesk, but in reality, the council that governed Thesk did not recognize any city as the capital.
Thesk was located between the Plateau of Thay and the Forest of Lethyr and was largely uninhabited. It had a coastline on the eastern edge of the Sea of Fallen Stars, in what was known as the Easting Reach. Much of this coastline was rocky, but ports existed at Milvarune, Nyth, and Telflamm.
Ashanath was an uninhabited area of Thesk. Despite its fertile lands, its lack of settlement was attributable to the seasonal tornadoes from which it suffers.
Telflamm was a large independent city-state and the largest settlement in Thesk. Its approximately 23,500 inhabitants apparently were under the rule of a “merchant prince”, though behind the scenes it was The Shadowmasters, a thieves guild, who ran the city.