Campaign against ValasharEdit
Through the mid–4th century DR, the small realm of Valashar—a client-state of Tethyr and a subject of the Shoon Imperium, under King Ashar Tornamn—had steadily extended its borders north to the Troll Mountains and beyond. Finally, in the Year of the Woeful Resurrection, 375 DR, the ambitious Ashar marched his forces north along the Sword Coast and into the Western Heartlands, reaching the High Moor by late summer of the following year. He claimed all these lands for the Imperium, and began to tax caravans for "passing through the empire's lands". The people of Cormyr soon found their trade routes to the west blocked by Shoonite forces demanding tariffs.[note 1]
Responding to these claims on the northern lands, the interruption of trade, and the continued expansion toward Cormyr's border, the prince  commissioned the creation of a weapon that he could wield against King Ashar. The sword Ilbratha was created by an unknown maker and completed by the end of 375 DR. The sword became a symbol of power, rallying Cormyrean troops against Shoonite aggression and giving speed to their march.
In the Year of the Leaping Hare, 376 DR, Prince Azoun I embarked on a bold campaign against King Ashar, with Ilbratha in hand. The first battles were fought on Cormyr's western frontier, as the Cormyreans pushed back Valashar's combined Calishite and Tethyrian forces. Azoun then led a forced march to engage Ashar Tornamn's forces on the Fields of the Dead in the Western Heartlands, easily breaking the overextended army. A contemporary account by Halithurn noted that Azoun's army foraged food from local farmers, though the king at least paid for it.
Over the year, Azoun drove Ashar's forces back south, through the Green Fields, and quickly crushed them on the Giant's Plain. He then campaigned through Amn, Valashar, and Tethyr, pillaging many garrisons. Among them was a Calishite garrison in the eastern foothills of the Troll Mountains, the northernmost defense of Valashar. With Ilbratha in hand, Azoun overran the few remaining defenders and razed it to the ground. The garrison's original name was lost; history recorded it as "Fort Ilbratha" after the sword that destroyed it.
Azoun pursued Ashar all the way to the city of Ithmong, capital of Tethyr. The prince himself led his forces in sacking the city, in a show of strength and a warning to both King Kallos Tornamn of Tethyr and Emperor Shoon VII of the Imperium. He might have gone on to Shoonach and attempted to bring down the Imperium, if it were not for orc hordes troubling Cormyr. As Ashar Tornamn was executed for agitating Cormyr and the Sword Coast rulers, and the Shoon Empire withdrew its borders to the north of Valashar, Azoun I led his triumphant army back to Cormyr.
Also in 376 DR, Azoun met the trainee High Wizard Amedahast and offered to tutor her in her studies. The pair met each day for a month, but Amedahast was left devastated when she saw Azoun with another woman. An assassination attempt by Lady Merendil against Azoun in the Royal Gardens in which the assailants wore elven cloaks of invisibility was foiled when Amedahast used her magic and Azoun his sword to defeat them.
In the Year of the Wooded Altar, 389 DR, Azoun sailed Valashar's Bane to the Vilhon Reach, on a trade mission to Arrabar. Prince Azoun and Amedahast slipped away to explore elven ruins in the Chondalwood, where they ran into Dima, the self-proclaimed Djinni-Lord, a marauding mage. They killed Dima and took away his treasure and magical relics, electing to keep secret their discovery of the Silver Scimitar of Amahl the Mad and the magic ring Amahl's Mastering, both powerful magical items of Shoon.
However, on the return voyage later that year, Valashar's Bane was hit by a bad storm on the Sea of Fallen Stars, which caught Azoun and the crew by surprise. The ship was holed on the Neck, east of the Darkflow River. Taking on water, the prince and his crew limped back as close to Cormyr as they could, before the ship finally sank 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) from the shore. Fortunately, no lives were lost in the sinking, much to Azoun's relief. He and all the crew escaped in smaller boats and landed on shore west of the Darkflow, a day later at dawn. Azoun described the moment as "the best gleaming dawn seen in Cormyr yet". However, he regretted the loss of Valashar's Bane, which had taken the royal sword Ilbratha with it, along with lesser regalia and the treasures won by Azoun on the expedition.
The lost sword Ilbratha had since been recovered and came into the possession of the merchant Phelas. He took the sword with him as he traveled overland, passing through Cormyr, and the sword was recognized in Arabel. When Cormyrean agents of King Azoun I attempted to retrieve it in the Year of the Firstborn, 392 DR, Phelas panicked at being so hunted. The agents killed the unlucky Phelas Urm, but the sword went missing again, either due to the confusion of the situation, or due to a corrupt agent stealing the blade.
Azoun I was a capable general.
- ↑ The chronology around the founding of Valashar, Ashar's March, the war with Cormyr, the forging of Ilbratha, and associated events is rather confused, with various sources giving no less than three different dates, twenty to forty years apart. That is, Lands of Intrigue places these events over 321–336 DR; Empires of the Shining Sea and Sea of Fallen Stars choose 361–376 DR. The Grand History of the Realms uses a mixture of both dating schemes and also introduces 356 DR as another key date. These errors have been attributed by author Steven E. Schend as confusion between Cormyr Reckoning and Dale Reckoning in his works, and by George Krashos as a missed editorial deadline for the fix in the Grand History, and Brian R. James says the 356 date in Grand History is an unexplained error, all as discussed here. This article adopts the agreed 361–376 DR date, which is supported by all associated lore.
- ↑ Ed Greenwood and Jeff Grubb (April 1998). Cormyr: A Novel (Paperback). (Wizards of the Coast), p. 204. ISBN ISBN 0-7869-0710-X.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Ed Greenwood and Jeff Grubb (April 1998). Cormyr: A Novel (Paperback). (Wizards of the Coast), p. 205. ISBN ISBN 0-7869-0710-X.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 72. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book Two: Amn. (TSR, Inc), p. 20. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), p. 30. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9 Steven E. Schend and Dale Donovan (September 1998). Empires of the Shining Sea. (TSR, Inc), p. 31. ISBN 978-0786912377.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 71, 72. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Kim Mohan ed. (June 1983). Dragon #74 (TSR, Inc.), p. 22.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Ed Greenwood, Steve Perrin (1988). The Magister (sourcebook). (TSR, Inc), p. 57–58. ISBN 0-88038-564-2.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 126. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Brian Cortijo (January 2012). “Blades of Kings: The Cormyrean Swords of State”. Dragon #407 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 31.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 Steven E. Schend (1999). Sea of Fallen Stars. (TSR, Inc), p. 23. ISBN 0-7869-1393-2.
- ↑ Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book Two: Amn. (TSR, Inc), p. 35. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
- ↑ Ed Greenwood and Jeff Grubb (April 1998). Cormyr: A Novel (Paperback). (Wizards of the Coast), p. 209. ISBN ISBN 0-7869-0710-X.
- ↑ Ed Greenwood and Jeff Grubb (April 1998). Cormyr: A Novel (Paperback). (Wizards of the Coast), p. 212. ISBN ISBN 0-7869-0710-X.
- ↑ Ed Greenwood and Jeff Grubb (April 1998). Cormyr: A Novel (Paperback). (Wizards of the Coast), p. 216–217. ISBN ISBN 0-7869-0710-X.
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 17.2 Steven E. Schend (1999). Sea of Fallen Stars. (TSR, Inc), p. 19. ISBN 0-7869-1393-2.
- ↑ Steven E. Schend (1999). Sea of Fallen Stars. (TSR, Inc), p. 26–27. ISBN 0-7869-1393-2.