The history of the Western Heartlands is a history of endless battles and destroyed empires. In ancient times these were the lands of the Fallen Kingdom of Illefarn, the Lost Kingdom of Man, and rumored Netheril. In more recent history, the land has been fertilized with blood and bone as forces from the Empire of the Sand surged northward, the evil peoples within Dragonspear and the Goblins Marches spilled forth, and mercenaries companies moved to and fro in the service of one petty warlord after another. Recent battles leveled the Way Inn and threatened Daggerford. Even the Times of Trouble did not leave this desolate umarked - Bhaal himself perished at Boareskyr Bridge, and the waters it passed over have remained poisoned to this day.
The cities of the Western Heartlands are strong, independent, and varied. They are also strongly motivated by trade, and listen harder to the ringing of gold than the call of battle. But something else prospers in the open land - freedom and opportunity. No nation lays claim on the Western Heartlands beyond that which their armies can control, and no warlord can make demands beyond the swing of the axe. Small holds and castles regulary spring up, only to be knocked down by invading forces, or abandoned after a generation or two. Lost dungeons and secret citadels lie scattered throughout the land, and this rugged frontier presents more than enough opportunities for adventurers.