Tethyr is a land of intrigue. It sports fertile rolling plains, tall mountains, an expansive seacoast, and deep forests. Most of the country is made up of grassland, and most citizens of Tethyr live in settlements along major trade routes through these plains. This abundant realm is a feudal one. Knights ride the roads, and land is essential for status. Common folk are free, and many are members of powerful guilds. Counts select commoners as sheriffs to oversee local areas. The counts answer to dukes subservient to the monarch. Tethyr was once a great forest inhabited by elves and home to Shanatar, an ancient and magnificent dwarven kingdom. Over the centuries, monsters of all sorts have ravaged the lands now within Tethyr’s borders, and the nation has fallen to armies from old Calimshan. More recently, civil war ended with the crowning of Queen-Monarch Zaranda and her consort, King Haedrak III, whose line remains on the throne. With the chaos of the Spellplague, Calimshan’s disintegration, and troubles with the monsters of Muranndin, the monarchy has weakened. Tethyr is too big to be ruled easily from Darromar, so dukes and counts have little help from the crown. Remote Velen, cut off by Muranndin, used this situation as an excuse to secede from Tethyr in 1423 DR. Queen Anais has had a troubled rule, starting with the machinations of her half-sister Evonne Linden, who made a play for the throne. In 1469 DR, all the queen’s nieces and nephews were slain in what has come to be called the Children’s Massacre—all except for her niece Ysabel, the only surviving heir to the throne. That same night, in a coordinated attack in another town, Evonne Linden was also killed.