FACTION NOW CLOSED
Zhentil Keep opened a trade embassy in Arabel in 1379DR. It was partially to support the city against a githyanki invasion, but most people realize the truth is that Zhentil Keep sheltered Gondegal after his first rebellion, and even armed and supported him on his second rise to power. The embassy was their reward.
Once Queen Lhal took over the Arabel Free State, it was rumored that she'd quickly expel the Zhentarim. That has not happened. Now many believe the Zhentarim are looking for an excuse to invade Arabel, while Cormyr is too weak to hold them back—and that expelling or attacking their embassy would provide that excuse. Others suspect that Lhal hopes to play the Zhentarim against the Cormyrians and Sembians to maintain Arabel's independence.
Very recently, the armies of Zhentil Keep have mobilized and the sermons from the priests of Bane have begun to change. The Zhentarim are beginning to hint they've given up on military expansion against fellow humans, and instead have declared that non-humans (especially goblins, but also orcs and even elves) are fit for removal to make way for Zhentarim expansion. It is widely suspected their forces are preparing for a great crusade against goblin-kin. Meanwhile, the priests have begun to openly denounce Ilmater throughout the Realms, indicating that the weak-god has kept men poor, down-trodden and miserable, whereas complete subservience to Bane would bring them honor and glory in return for their fear of Bane. Some whisper that there is an as-yet invisible link between Zhentil Keep's preparations for war against goblins and a brewing holy war against Ilmater's faith. Whatever it is, it does not bode well for the Forgotten Realms.
The Zhentarim began to further solidify their powerbase around Arabel with the absorption of a colony calling itself New Kilgrave. However, this move further drove the rift between Cormyr and the Zhentarim Empire, as both laid claim to the region. Eventually, Cormyr marched an army upon New Kilgrave, openning war officially between the two powers, only to have the unexpected intervention of the Empire of Shade. When the battle concluded, New Kilgrave fell under Shadovar authority, and both Cormyr and the Zhentarim withdrew their claims of the settlement. Following the battle at Kilgrave, the Zhentarim continued to engage and be engaged by Cormyr in a number of skirmishes. After a notable battle at Castle Cragg, the Zhentarim withdrew their forces from their Embassy, moving them to a small training ground bordering the Hullack forest and East Way Village. Eventually, a stalemate was reached and a peace brokered between the two nations. Little more is known of the intentions of the Zhentarim at this time.
Requirements to Join
- Preferred level: Any
- Preferred Classes: Non-Druid and non-paladin
- Preferred Deity: Bane preferred, Loviatar, Cyric less likely
- Preferred Alignments: LE, NE
- Race Limitations: Humans are most likely.
While an additional application would be necessary, the Zhentarim faction is a very good place for Blackguards, Assassins, and Divine Champions of Bane.