The Lands of Intrigue are collectively made up of the following three countries:
The nation to the north of Tethyr is known as Amn or the "The Merchants' Domain." Amn is among the youngest nations of the Sword Coast. If the saying to "follow the money, and ye shall find answers to many mysteries" is to be considered true, every investigation and adventure would lead to Amn as coins flow to that place like no where else.
The recent troubles in Amn with the goblinoid army raised by the ogre mage Sothelis and the years-long siege of its port city Murann have fueled exodus from the country every bit as much as the rumors that its ruling Council of Six have been infiltrated by the wicked Shadow Thieves. The Amnian metropolis city of Riatavin has defected to Tethyr along with smaller Trailstone, providing additional access to wealth and material goods to Northern Tethyr and supporting the Tethyrian Queen's Northern Annex: all lands north of the Tethir Road and leading to the Tejarn Hills are now considered a Tethyrian possession. The Council of Six has made no official comment for years.
As always, power groups inside Amn and elsewhere vie for supremacy, so much that outsiders view Amn as a stew pot of conspiracy and chaos. For the natives, however, it matters little who is in power so long as business continues to run uninterrupted.
The Tethyr most folk know of recently suffered from two decades of instability by way of the Alemandrian Interregnum. It is a story of one of the noblest of countries turning itself into a lawless land. The ranks of robber barons, criminals, monsters and religious fanatics swelled, further destabilizing the area until a new monarchy emerged.
Tethyr's unification under Queen Zaranda Star has seen extensive success in the southern Crownlands and in the Cape of Velen, but the northern marches have over the years proven difficult to administer to. Intrigue artists, assassins and other operators have continued to destabilize the northern region and kept it under prolonged duress, with no specific culprit amidst a stew of contributors: fallen-druid blighters, Cyricist cells, and powerful evil wizards among those considered responsible.
Tethyr's reputation as a land of political unrest, civil injustice, prejudice against non-humans and assassinations should be considered more than gossip.
Once known as the Land of Three Rivers, the nation of Calimshan is a place thought to contain only sand and silks, jewels and genies, slaves and slain rivals, and relentless heat. Calimshan is each of these and more. Steeped in culture and corruption, its history is extensive and characterized by mass-murder, necromancy, and emancipation from slavery under outsider beings.
The nation with the most powerful navy and whose armies use reverse-engineered versions of elvish bows is a world of intense contrasts, as its rich are affluent beyond measure alongside its poor that are destitute beyond imagination. Calishites embrace magic and education but jealously guard them from those they deem unfit for such insights. Even as their customs confuse those unfamiliar with their ways, Calishites accept these contradictory values simply as part of life. It is the responsibility of the guest to learn the rules of the house in the land of the Pashas, not the other way around.