The Akanal comprised the peninsula between the Akanamere's western and southern arms and the lands around the lake's southern shore.  The east and south were bordered by the Hills of Maerth.
The Akanal boasted incredibly fertile and productive farmland, and was the best in Chessenta and the Old Empires and among the finest in all of Faerûn. The lands around the Akanamere were planted with cash crops in large plantations. Their produce was shipped to Akanax and Soorenar, and from there to Airspur, Cimbar, and Reth, and all in all provided more than half of Chessenta's food supply.
Two decades after its founding around −5800 DR, the empire of Jhaamdath maintained outposts in the Akanal, marking its easternmost edge. After its southern and western expansion was halted in −5005 DR, Jhaamdath pushed east into the Akanal, meeting and absorbing the Turami there as an underclass of laborers and field hands.
In −1504 DR, the forces of Unther broke through Jhaamdath's Akana frontier and, by −1499 DR, they controlled the Akanal and the empire's eastern half. This continued until a Jhaamdathan counterattack in −1069 DR, and it remained a Jhaamdathan possession until the empire's collapse in the Year of Furious Waves, −255 DR.
By the mid–14th century DR, the lands of the Akanal had been cultivated for hundreds of years, and they had been fought over just as long. In fact, a good number of the conflicts fought in Chessenta were actually waged over control of the Akanal and access to its produce.
The name, location, and definition of this region have changed in each source to cover them. In Old Empires, the text refers to "the Akanul" and "Akanul Plains", while the map (which has many spelling deviations) says "the Akanal". The Forgotten Realms Atlas names the same region "the Akanul", and various 2nd-edition maps note "the Akanal" or "the Akanul" in this location. Other sources refer to "the Akanal" without a description or map. The text of Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition says "the Akanal" is a peninsula (not a contradiction), while the map does not depict it. However, an error-riddled map in Dragons of Faerûn shifts "the Akanul" away from the peninsula entirely, moving it further west. Then The Grand History of the Realms shifts it again, into the Hills of Maerth, and refers to the "foothills of the Akanal". The two changes appear to be based on misreadings and deviating copies of maps, so this article assumes the Akanal/Akanul remains in its original location.
The changes wrought with the Spellplague in 4th edition erased the Akanal entirely yet introduced the new nation of Akanûl from the world of Abeir. It is not clear if there is any linguistic connection.
- Scott Bennie (February 1990). Old Empires. Edited by Mike Breault. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 52, 56, map. ISBN 978-0880388214.
- Eric L. Boyd, Eytan Bernstein (August 2006). Dragons of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 70. ISBN 0-7869-3923-0.
- Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 183. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
- Karen Wynn Fonstad (August 1990). The Forgotten Realms Atlas. (TSR, Inc), p. 10. ISBN 978-0880388573.
- Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 24, 25. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
- Steven E. Schend and Dale Donovan (September 1998). Empires of the Shining Sea. (TSR, Inc), p. 14. ISBN 978-0786912377.
- Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 85. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
- Steven E. Schend and Dale Donovan (September 1998). Empires of the Shining Sea. (TSR, Inc), p. 15. ISBN 978-0786912377.