Hey @TheEdVerse, just a quick question, as I’ve been struggling with sources in finding an answer to whether the nation of Thay is supposed to be a cold or hot country? It has, or used to have a nearby glazier, but also volcanoes and deserts.@Madhatterhim
Thay has always been a volcanic country, which up until the Spellplague kept its interior (the Plateau of Thay) lush and fertile (real-world Mediterranean to a little warmer), with the coastal cities climatically akin to Mediterranean due to the moderating effect of the Sea of Fallen Stars. It’s depicted this way in the earliest (2e) Realmslore. In the Spellplague’s tumult, the Plateau soared in height, pushed up amid much volcanic tumult (the glaciers melted, several active volcanos split Thaymount, and ashfalls and the heat and the water boiling off to leave parched badlands and deserts. Ash and smoke still darken the skies over Thay, making the climate cold (summertime frosts, formerly hot winds in the Thayan mountains now icy). [[These climatic effects of large volcanic eruptions happen in our real world, too; see Krakatoa and Tambora.]]
So Thay’s crop exports have shrunk to nigh nothing. Szass Tam’s undead don’t need to eat, and Thay’s outposts (not just trading enclaves, but all the private holdings all over the Heartlands owned by individual Thayans, from Red Wizards to far-traveled Thayan traders) provide food for Thay’s coastal ports, which are still habitable, just not as warm as they were. So the short answer is: Thay’s climate IS a little confusing. The even shorter answer is: it’s complicated. Or: depends on when you’re asking about. And the volcanic tumult is lessening, so Thay may be heading back towards where it was in the 1300s (2e Realmslore), though the Plateau will always be cooler than it once was (unless it sinks back towards sea level) and restoring the fertility of the land may take centuries, if it happens at all. The Red Wizards working together under firm and disciplined leadership could spell-shift a lot of the ash, get rivers flowing again, and so on—but Szass Tam seems uninterested in such an effort. Which would cause fresh climatic tumult as it was happening, too!
So there you have it. :}