I’m confused…I swore I read the Zhents were working towards being similar to the Harpers (Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide); this looks like there still up to their old ways. What you see in Secrets of the Zhentarim is the military arm of the Zhentarim, and some of its higher-up wizards and clerics.
It also has a trading arm, of merchants and trade agents. That's the newer, "softer" side of the Zhents. There are "good" Zhent traders.#Realmslore
— Ed Greenwood (@TheEdVerse) August 19, 2020