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Ilbratha, also known as the "Mistress of Battles", Haalorth, the Heir's Blade, and "the Warrior's Fang", was an enchanted bronze short sword that had the distinction of being a part of the royal regalia of two kingdoms, to be carried by the heirs of two royal lines: the Forest Kingdom of Cormyr on land and the merfolk kingdom of Eadraal under the sea. It was one of the Cormyrean Swords of State, commissioned by Azoun I and seen as a symbol of his victory over the armies of Shoon. It was also famously wielded by the merfolk princes and princesses of Eadraal for some seven centuries. However, the sword was lost to both realms, its whereabouts unknown but still searched for.[1][2][3][4][5][6]


Ilbratha was a bronze short sword and despite many battles, it retained a sharp edge. It had a slightly leaf-shaped blade, a short but ornate cross-guard, and a green hilt.[1][2][5][6] Most distinctively, the blade was inlaid with six matching bloodstones in its fuller, on the left face.[1][2][3][6] Individually, these bloodstones were worth 70 gold pieces each, and as a set, apart from the sword, they might return 500–600 gold pieces.[2][6] [note 1]

Although it was a magical weapon, the sword did not glow and it carried no inscription.[1][2][6] Its leaping ability made it seem surprisingly light, as if it sought to spring away.[5]


It was originally a +1 short sword in power,[1][2][3][4][6] but after the Spellplague it could be characterized as a +2 leaping short sword.[5] [note 2]

However, it had a variety of other magical abilities that made it very effective in combat, earning it its nickname, "Mistress of Battles".[1][2][5][6] When held by a fighter of any alignment, with flesh pressed to hilt, the sword could communicate these powers to its wielder. However, the sword was not itself sentient; this was actually a feature added in its creation. These powers could be activated with a mental command.[2][4][6]

Most well-known among its abilities, the sword allowed its wielder to use the spell jump three times a day. Specifically, Ilbratha jumped, and carried the wielder with it.[1][2][4][6] Following the Spellplague, its leaping ability allowed a wielder to briefly fly short distances, once a battle, in order to attack.[5]

According to legend, it could also create a mirror image of itself and its wielder, once a day,[1][2][3][4][5][6] and also blink itself and its wielder, once a day.[1][2][4][5][6] Some stories told that this last ability made its wielder flash back and forth between the Feywild and the material plane.[5]

When coming into contact with magic or magical effects, it would make a ringing sound like a struck chime or tubular bell. This only functioned on physical contact with enchanted objects and spell effects from devices, not against physical effects from spells already cast (such as a gust of wind or stinking cloud). This only served as a warning, and provided no defense against the magic.[1][2][4][6]


The Mistress of BattlesEdit


An early sketch of Ilbratha, with bloodstones on the hilt.

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 made a concerted effort to expand his realm and the Imperium still further, though without the permission of the king of Tethyr or the Shoonite emperor. Over 15 months, he 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.[7][8][9][10][note 3]

Responding to these claims on the northern lands, the interruption of trade, and the continued expansion toward Cormyr's border, Crown Prince Azoun I[7][8][9][10] ordered the creation of a weapon that he could wield against King Ashar. Forged by an unknown weaponsmith, Ilbratha was completed by the end of 375 DR.[1][2][4][5][6][7][8][9]

Azoun wore the sword through the spring of the Year of the Leaping Hare, 376 DR. One morning in the Royal Gardens, Azoun and Amedahast were assailed by assassins sent by Lady Ryndala Merendil. Azoun used the sword to stab one, but the blade was stuck buried in his chest, forcing Azoun to have to kick the other.[11][speculation][note 4]

Later in 376 DR, Prince Azoun I carried the sword on a bold campaign against King Ashar.[1][2][6][10] The sword became a symbol of power, rallying Cormyrean troops against Shoonite aggression and giving speed to their march.[6][8][9] 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's forces on the Fields of the Dead in the Western Heartlands, easily breaking the overextended army.[7][8][10] Over the year, Azoun drove Ashar's forces back south, through the Green Fields, and quickly crushed them on the Giant's Plain.[9] He then pushed on through Amn, Valashar, and Tethyr, pillaging many garrisons.[7][8][9][10] 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.[12]

Azoun pursued Ashar all the way to the city of Ithmong, capital of Tethyr. The prince himself led his forces in sacking the city,[7][8][9][10] in a show of strength and a warning to both King Kallos Tornamn of Tethyr and Emperor Shoon VII of the Imperium.[7][8][9] He might have gone on to Shoonach and attempted to bring down the Imperium, if it were not for orc hordes troubling Cormyr.[9] 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.[7][8][9][10]

In the end, Azoun I only carried the sword once into war, in the battles against Valashar and Tethyr's forces.[1][2][6] Its powers had proved very useful in the fighting, and it soon earned its nickname, "Mistress of Battles".[1][2][5][6] For Cormyreans, Ilbratha became a symbol of his victory over the Shoonite armies.[5]

The Lost BladeEdit


A sketch of Ilbratha, Mistress of Battles.

Over the next fourteen years, Prince Azoun carried Ilbratha with him always but rarely had cause to wield it in combat. However, in the Year of the Wooded Altar, 389 DR, Azoun took the sword with him on a trade mission to Arrabar in the Vilhon Reach. Prince Azoun and the trainee Royal Wizard Amedahast slipped away to explore elven ruins in the Chondalwood, where they ran into Dima, the self-proclaimed Djinni-Lord, a marauding mage. With Ilbratha, magic, and luck, they killed Dima and took away his treasure and magical relics.[6]

However, on the return voyage later that year, Azoun's ship, named Valashar's Bane, was hit by a bad storm on the Sea of Fallen Stars that holed its hull on the rocks of the Neck. Taking on water, the prince and his crew limped back as close to Cormyr as they could, before the ship finally sank three miles from the shore. The sword was lost along with other treasures won by Azoun on the expedition, all going down with the ship, though Azoun was relieved that no lives had been lost.[1][2][4][5][6][13] To later generations of Cormyreans, Ilbratha now became a symbol of the glory and bounty lost with Valashar's Bane. It became one of the Lost Blades, official pieces of Cormyr's regalia sought for by authorities and adventurers.[5]

The sword resurfaced when it was recovered by two fishermen from Teziir. It was then purchased by the wealthy merchant Sevan of Amnwater, who took it on a trade caravan to Scornubel, via Trader's Road and the Chionthar river. In Scornubel, he sold the sword to Phelas Urm, a merchant from Thentia.[1][2][6] None of the four were ever aware of the blade's identity or its ties to the Cormyrean throne.[6]

Phelas took the sword with him as he traveled overland, passing through Cormyr, and the sword was recognized in Arabel.[1][2] When Cormyrean agents of now-King Azoun I attempted to retrieve it in the Year of the Firstborn, 392 DR, he 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.[1][2][6]

The sword later turned up in the Vast, two centuries later, in the hands of a peddler from a town near Procampur who appeared ignorant of the sword's powers and origins. It was purchased for 1,500 gold pieces by the sage Thallastam of Procampur,[1][2][6] a noted expert in magic swords[14] and a swordsage practitioner of the Sublime Way.[15] Thallastam brought the blade to Elminster Aumar in Shadowdale in the summer of the Year of the Zealous, 550 DR, in an attempt to identify it, as Elminster was the only other sage with an interest in swords whom he could trust. Elminster was able to identify the sword from Azoun I's writings, and Thallastam returned home through Tilver's Gap and Essembra. However, Thallastam never made it back to Procampur, and was not seen alive again. His belongings and a skeleton were found several years later in the Pool of Yeven in Battledale, but the sword was not found.[1][2][6]

The fate and whereabouts of Ilbratha remained a mystery to Faerûn.[6] In the 1350s DR, Elminster told the tale of the Mistress of Battles, among other blades, to Ed Greenwood of Earth, noting that he'd seen it himself.[1] At the time, Elminster (mistakenly) believed that the sword was in the hands of bandits or mercenaries, who had not wielded the blade in battle near the Dalelands.[1][2]

The Warrior's FangEdit


The sword lying lost on the sea bed.

In fact, Ilbratha somehow found its way back below the waves and became better known beneath the Sea of Fallen Stars, in the underwater lands of Serôs.[6]

The sword came into the possession of Tarag, a merrow chieftain. In the Year of the Deep Wound, 582 DR, Tarag used the powers of the sword and his own battle strategies to conquer the western frontiers of the merfolk realm of Hmurrath and founded the two Axe Kingdoms of Khuur and Nmalk. Ilbratha remained among the sea ogres for seventy-three years.[6]

The Axe Kingdoms and Hmurrath fell to fighting in the Year of the Killing Blow, 653 DR, beginning the Ninth Serôs War. Three years of conflict culminated in the destruction of the Axe Kingdoms and the fall of the merrow[6] to the merfolk of Hmurrath in the Year of the Volanth, 655 DR. This saw the end of merrow "civilization" in Serôs.[6][16][17]

Ilbratha was then claimed by an unknown merman of the Homurr clan, and stayed with the clan. When the merfolk kingdom of Eadraal formed in the Year of the Prophet's Child, 735 DR,[6] and the Homurr became the ruling clan,[16] it became the "Heir's Blade", the official sword of the recognized heir of the kingdom. Carried and used by the heir for some seven centuries, it gained the names "Haalorth" and "the Warrior's Fang".[5][6]

In the Year of the Moat, 1269 DR, sahaugin ambushed a royal hunting party that included the king's designated heir, Kosul, his father, Prince-Consort Kran; and his uncle, Prince Aldem. Aldem and Kran died to save Kosul. The deaths of the much-loved princes dismayed all Eadraal.[18][19]

The last heir of Eadraal to wield Haalorth was the warrior princess Jian. In the Twelfth Serôs War, during the last battles at Myth Nantar in Uktar of the Year of the Gauntlet, 1369 DR, Princess Jian fought alongside her father, King Vhaemas the Elder, and brother, Vhaemas the Bastard, to buy time for people to evacuate the city against the advance of Iakhovas and his army of koalinth and undead. The three merfolk battled Iakhovas together; their enchanted weapons were the only ones to wound the wereshark. But, in the end, Iakhovas tore the princess and her brother in two and crippled their father. The sword fell from Jian's hand when she was slain and was lost in the confusion. Popular rumors of the time included that the sword had been taken away by the merfolk traitors of Thruridru or by the morkoth of Olleth.[5][6][20]

When the Spellplague struck in the Year of Blue Fire, 1385 DR, the Sea of Fallen Stars dropped dramatically, diminishing the chances of the weapon ever being recovered.[5]

The other IlbrathaEdit

BGII cover This article or section is about elements from the game Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn.
Video games are considered canon unless they contradict content in some other Forgotten Realms publication.
Ilbratha BG2 art

Detail of the hilt and guard of the other Ilbratha.

Another sword known as Ilbratha turned up in Amn. It had a similar bloodstone-bedecked bronze blade, but a markedly different hilt and guard. Reputedly, it had also been forged for Azoun I, but was little used by him. It was eventually given to a favored member of the king's guards, an unnamed soldier who fell in a later battle. The blade was thought lost, taken by bandits or battlefield vultures.[3]

This Ilbratha was finally acquired by Jermien, one of the Cowled Wizards of Amn. At his home in the Umar Hills, part of the foothills of the Small Teeth mountain range, in the Year of the Banner, 1368 DR, Jermien would give the sword in payment to adventurers who could fetch him some mimic's blood from a mimic in a nearby cave.[3] [note 5]


Impressively, Ilbratha was officially a part of the royal regalia of two monarchies, Cormyr and Eadraal, considered the property of the heirs of each line.[5][6] This could potentially be a serious problem if both were to become aware of its discovery and lay claim to it.[6]

The merfolk princes and princesses of Eadraal owned the sword far longer—over seven centuries—but their royal line was broken after the Spellplague.[5] However, before it, any merfolk of Serôs could identify the blade as belonging to the royal heir.[6]

To Cormyreans, Ilbratha remained a potent symbol of both Azoun I's victories over the Shoon Imperium, and of the lost glories of the Forest Kingdom.[5] It was one of the Cormyrean Swords of State, and one of the Lost Blades of that set, missing from the royal vaults and a place of honor. Many centuries on, Cormyr's rulers only sought it half-heartedly, but would happily reward or negotiate with whoever returned a Lost Blade, far above its basic value. Possibilities included exchanging it for a more powerful magical weapon, or duplicating its powers in another weapon if desired. Heroes who rescued it from traitors or marauding humanoids might be granted the right to carry it themselves, for a time. Adventures sometimes hunted for the Lost Blades, in order to serve the kingdom more fully, or that they might seize the throne for themselves.[5] Only knowledgeable sages and a few Cormyrean royals would easily recognize Ilbratha, however.[6]

The jumping ability of Ilbratha was well known, though only a few rumors and stories spoke of the mirror image or blink powers.[5]

Notable ownersEdit



  1. The sources Dragon magazine #74, The Magister, and Sea of Fallen Stars all give the same description of the bloodstones being "set into the helve of the blade on its left face". However, the word "helve" refers to the handle or haft of a weapon or tool, i.e., the hilt of a sword. Only Dragon #74 depicts the bloodstones being set into the hilt. All later sources show the bloodstones set into the flat of the blade itself, in what is termed the "fuller". Therefore, this article adopts the word "fuller" instead of "helve". It is also not clear how a sword can be said to have left and right faces.
  2. The Player's Guide to Faerûn, page 126, stats Ilbratha as a longsword. This is presumed to be in error, given the wealth of descriptions and images of it as a short sword.
  3. 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 321336 DR; Empires of the Shining Sea and Sea of Fallen Stars choose 361376 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.
  4. In Cormyr: A Novel, chapter 14, Azoun I's sword is unnamed and only described as a "short, broad blade". However, this description fits Ilbratha and the history of Ilbratha implies Azoun would have it at this time. Therefore, this blade is assumed to be Ilbratha and not an ordinary short sword.
  5. IIbratha BG2 icon

    The other Ilbratha.

    The Ilbratha appearing in the Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn game has a very different history from the one described above, and the artwork shows a distinctly different hilt and guard and blade from the common depictions of the sword. It only has the mirror image power, but this is to be expected as the jump and blink spells were not implemented in the game. As the game is non-canon, this is assumed to be a separate sword.

External linksEdit



  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 Kim Mohan ed. (June 1983). Dragon #74 (TSR, Inc.), p. 22.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 Ed Greenwood, Steve Perrin (1988). The Magister (sourcebook). (TSR, Inc), p. 57–58. ISBN 0-88038-564-2.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 BioWare (2000). James OhlenKevin Martens. Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of AmnBlack Isle Studios.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 126. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 5.21 5.22 Brian Cortijo (January 2012). “Blades of Kings: The Cormyrean Swords of State”. Dragon #407 (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 28, 29, 31.
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 6.17 6.18 6.19 6.20 6.21 6.22 6.23 6.24 6.25 6.26 6.27 6.28 6.29 6.30 6.31 6.32 6.33 6.34 6.35 Steven E. Schend (1999). Sea of Fallen Stars. (TSR, Inc), pp. 22–23, 24. ISBN 0-7869-1393-2.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book Two: Amn. (TSR, Inc), p. 20. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), p. 30. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 9.8 9.9 Steven E. Schend and Dale Donovan (September 1998). Empires of the Shining Sea. (TSR, Inc), p. 31. ISBN 978-0786912377.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 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.
  11. {{Cite book/Cormyr: A Novel/Hardcover|185}-197|14}
  12. Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book Two: Amn. (TSR, Inc), p. 35. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
  13. Steven E. Schend (1999). Sea of Fallen Stars. (TSR, Inc), p. 19. ISBN 0-7869-1393-2.
  14. Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 99. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
  15. Eytan Bernstein (2007-09-11). Crusaders, Swordsages, Warblades. Class Chronicles. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-05-21.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Steven E. Schend (1999). Sea of Fallen Stars. (TSR, Inc), p. 70. ISBN 0-7869-1393-2.
  17. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 94. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  18. Steven E. Schend (1999). Sea of Fallen Stars. (TSR, Inc), pp. 72, 186. ISBN 0-7869-1393-2.
  19. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 128. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  20. Steven E. Schend (1999). Sea of Fallen Stars. (TSR, Inc), p. 74. ISBN 0-7869-1393-2.

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