Zulkir is a title of power among the Red Wizards of Thay. There are eight zulkirs, one for each School of Magic; together they rule the Red Wizards and, by extension, Thay itself. They do not directly control the country, as the day-to-day governing is left to the tharchions. However, they have the ears of the tharchions and what the zulkirs want, they get. This truth explains many of the failures of Thay—as there is no one ruler of the Red Wizards, the constant in-fighting among the zulkirs often results in ruined plans.

Zulkirs hold their positions for life, or until he or she renounces the title. When a position opens, wizards of the same school of magic appoint the replacement, but often other zulkirs try to sway the election, making the appointment an intrigue-filled and ruthless event.

In Recent years Szass Tam, the shrewd zulkir of Necromancy, has worked himself into a leader position over the zulkirs. Officially they are still all the same rank and not all zulkirs support Szass, but enough do and the people of Thay favor him. Under his rule there has been the first succesful attack on Thesk. He also forbids the attack of Rashemen after the last failed attack in 1358 DR, saying it is useless to try and fight the Witches of Rashemen. Instead he has focused the Red Wizards on a more trade-oriented take-over of Faerun, by setting up enclaves all over the land.

Currently the eight zulkirs are:


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