The Sword Coast is the western shore of Faerûn, a rough, brawling area dominated by Waterdeep. It’s treacherous, filled with undersea reefs, rock outcroppings, and soft undersea shelves reaching out for miles. True ports are few on the coast, which is the reason the best harbors capable of handling sea vessels, Waterdeep and Port Llast, grew into important cities. Other cities, like Luskan and Fireshear, are poor ports, but they service the northernmost towns where the demand for goods is small; these ports can only handle shallow ships.

In addition to the dangerous nature of the Coast, many hostile races reside here, including sahuagin, locathah, tritons, savage mermen, and barbaric sea elves. The Sword Coast is very similar to the nearby High Moors in that it’s both a forbidding terrain and contains inhabitants dangerous to those who pass through it.

The Coast was the first part of the North to be inhabited by civilized people, and it consists largely of gently rolling grass- land. Sometimes the land touches the Sea of Swords in a pebble beach, but it more often meets the water in a series of sea caves, broken rock spits, and low cliffs marked by sea stacks (pillars of rock severed by the tireless waves). This terrain lends itself to smuggling, but it also forces ships navigating close to the shore to be small and of shallow draft, therefore vulnerable to the driving onshore storms that pound the area. The opposite side of the Coast area is a boundary of extensive woods, mountain ranges, or hilly regions. These high lands wall off the large Dessarin river system from the sea.