The history of the Dragon Coast is the history of money, particularly the darker side of the coin. Situated on the main trade routes between the Inner Sea and the Sword Coast, these lands never coalesced into a solid, coherent nation, like Cormyr or Sembia. Instead small petty city-states have risen and fallen, powered by greed and the most powerful merchant or pirate faction of the day.
As a result, the Dragon Coast has always been the home of the smuggler, the pirate, the rogue, and the hired killer. It has been the place where those seeking to skirt the laws of the more civilized nations to the north make landfall. It is here that the Red Wizards gain their access to the Western Heartlands, and where the cult of the Dragon launches its plots to the south. And it is here that independent secret societies and assassins guild have their greatest power.
The last semblence of organized resistance to this trend was the reign of Verovan, last of the kings of Westgate. The monarchy of Westgate had long worked closely with the various mercantile and pirate factions, but Verovan attempted to stem the growing power of the merchant houses and petty lords. His sudden and mysterious death without acceptable heirs in 1248 DR opened the door for-much of what is now commonplace in the Dragon Coast - corruption and treachery.
It should be noted that while Verovan's name is still venerated in these lands, better known is Immurk, the greatest of the Inner Sea Pirates, a brash and flamboyant rogue who united a pirate fleet beneath him and ruled from 1164 DR to his death in 1201 DR. Such it is in the Dragon Coast, that good people are venerated, but the power of darker rogues in imitated.