|Alias:||The Black Network|
|Alignment(s):||Neutral & Evil|
|Unit Races:||Undead, Demons, Giants, Beasts, Goblins, Bugbears and Humans.|
Also known as the Black Network, the Zhentarim was originally an evil society bent on dominating the lands from the Moonsea to the Sword Coast. The leaders of the Zhentarim worship Bane, a god of tyranny and fear. At the height of their power, the Zhentarim ruled openly from Zhentil Keep, using that bastion to conquer nearby territories. Tens of thousands of citizens paid tribute to the Zhentarim.
Shortly before the Spellplague, the mysterious floating city of Thultanthar appeared in the skies over Faerûn. The arrival of this city, also known as the Shade Enclave, marked the reemergence of the ancient magocracy of Netheril. With frightening speed, Thultanthar flew to the skies over the Keep and rained powerful magic upon it, razing its structures and scattering the Zhentarim to the Winds.
The remaining Zhents were reduced to little more than a rough mercenary band, willing to take any and all contracts and harboring secret desires of rebuilding Zhentil Keep and reclaiming their power. For over two decades, they patiently bided their time and gathered their strength... until now. At long last, the Zhentarim have returned to Zhentil Keep and they have done so with new allies. Legions of Bane-worshipping goblinoids now bolster their forces. Additionally, the Zhentarim have aligned themselves with a powerful lich and reports claim that undead horrors walk amongst their ranks. New recruits work feverishly around the clock rebuilding the Keep.
But there are those who oppose a resurgent Zhent presence in the area and they have been swift to respond to these activities. Chief among these are a pair of familiar foes: the Cormyreans, a militant kingdom to the south that long defied the Black Network, and the Harpers, a society sworn to protect the weak and fight injustice. To these a new foe has also emerged: a remarkably well-organized horde of savage brutes from the nearby Border Forest have descended on the Keep, and the timing of their attack seems to be more than just a coincidence. In the Zhentarim's favor, the chaos of war has set these factions against each other as well, and the Zhents' familiarity with the ruins of their former stronghold grants them a significant advantage.