Athkatla was the capital city of Amn. Considered a pilgrimage site for followers of Waukeen, the City of Coin was rumoured to have streets paved with gold. This was, of course, untrue, especially in the slums and the notorious Docks districts, where people were poor and crime was rife.
Athkatla was ruled by the Council of Five (formerly the Council of Six). Although council positions were once held anonymously, the council members now rule openly[as of when?]. The five council positions were held by: House Selemchant who sponsors the Cowled Wizards of Athkatla, House Dannihyr which belongs to the Shadow Thieves, House Alibakkar, House Ophal and House Nashivaar which is closely allied with the Church of Cyric.
Daranthur's Hall is a market found in downtown Athkatla. It is the first of the "shared-roof" markets that is becoming increasingly popular in Amn.
The hall was severely damaged during an attempt to uncover a smuggling ring. Storl Thammuraster, Amaront of Selgaunt, and Onth Tarralus of Silverymoon used an gem-exploding spell to detonate the gems hidden in bottles, causing a series of explosions that killed dozens of traders and shoppers. After calling additional contacts, three merchant families (the Aerlonds, Kravalondurs, and Morornds) were exposed as smugglers. 
The market of Athkatla, named Waukeen's Promenade, was twice the size of Waterdeep's and in it one could buy any item found above-ground (and some from below) for a price. The promenade itself was found in the center of the city and built as an open, oval stadium surrounded by terraced, 50 ft. walls. It had four stories, each 75 ft. wide, with the upper levels providing shade for the lower ones. Each story was accessible from wide ramps leading from the story below. Illegal goods were hard to come by in the promenade as it was patrolled regularly, though contacts for such items abounded. It was cheaper to trade in other areas of the city, but it would vastly lower the merchant's and buyer's reputation if seen doing so.
The city was founded around 100 DR by the Shoon Imperium along with Murann and Crimmor with mostly Calishite immigrants, in what was then known as "the emirate of Amin". The Empire fell and in 460 DR, Amn became an independent nation with the city of Esmeltaran as its capital city (despite Athkatla being the oldest and most established city).
The nation was blessed with peace and prosperity for over 700 years, a period during which the rulers of Amn initiated trade with the far north. Money became the center of every good Amnian citizen's world, and the nation's taste for accumulating wealth corrupted many of the mercantile classes.
Things got worse from 1238 DR forward as every three or four decades saw a trade war erupt that would last for two or three years at a stretch. The worst one came in 1333 DR when all trade in or out of Amn was stopped. A young merchant from Athkatla named Thayze Selemchant had just inherited a rich spice-importing business and the most affluent trading house in the city. He refused to allow this trade war to squash the wealth and power he would inevitably gain from his inheritance, so he personally went out and "persuaded" (using his intelligence, charisma, secret powers of magic and the third largest personal fortune in the country) five other Amnian merchant house leaders into forming a new government that wouldn't be so susceptible to these trade wars. The attempt succeeded and peace reigned once more (though only with a compact of mutual nonaggression with the Shadow Thieves). The new "Council of Six" was based in Athkatla and the city became Amn's new capital and busiest trade port on the Sword Coast.
More recently,[as of when?] as the last free port in Amn, Athkatla became the hub for nearly all the trade from Maztica although contact with Maztica ended when the entire continent was transported to Abeir during the Spellplague in 1385 DR.
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- Ed Greenwood (2000). Volo's Guide to Baldur's Gate II. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 6–45. ISBN 0-7869-1626-5.
- ↑ Ed Greenwood (August 1992). “The Everwinking Eye: Words To The Wise”. In Jean Rabe ed. Polyhedron #74 (TSR, Inc.), p. 14–15.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 92. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
- ↑ Ed Greenwood (January 2012). “Eye on the Realms: A Surprising Vintage”. In Steve Winter ed. Dragon #407 (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 42–45.
- ↑ Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book Two: Amn. (TSR, Inc), p. 29. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
- ↑ Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 154. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.