The Darkwoods Massacre was a battle fought in the Darkwoods of Cormanthor between an orc horde from Vastar and combined elven and human forces of the Akh'Velahr of Cormanthyr in the Year of Seven Stones, 335 DR.
Late in the Year of Cold Clashes, 331 DR, the orcs of Vastar launched a surprise attack on Cormanthyr, and occupied a portion of the lands east of the Old Elven Court. They solidified their forces in the area over the next few years. The akh'velahrn forces of Myth Drannor attempted to recover these lands three times.
The fourth major effort by the akh'velahrn occurred in the height of the summer of the Year of Seven Stones, 335 DR as they ventured into the Darkwoods against them. However, the akh'velahrn forces suffered from ineptness and bigotry among its elven officers. Troop placements were biased, communications were not maintained and orders were not shared while in camp. Worse, they treated the non-elven soldiers cruelly, willingly sacrificing them for the safety of their elven comrades.
The orcs took advantage of such negligence and surrounded over half the akh'velahrn force while they camped. Then they commenced slaughtering them as they slept, in an event later known as the Darkwoods Massacre. Over one thousand akh'velahrn soldiers were slain in a single night, but only one hundred of them were elven.
The human guards were among the dead, so no explanation was forthcoming as to how the massacre had occurred. The causes remained mysterious until the Year of Blushing Stars, 346 DR, with the conclusion of the court martials of seven officers involved, all elven (two moon, five gold). Their incompetence and barbarous behavior were revealed, they were blamed for the Darkwoods Massacre, and they were exiled from Myth Drannor and Cormanthyr.
For his failure to notice the problem among his soldiers and his own second-in-command, Arms-Major Pirphal Faerondaryl tended his resignation, but was refused by Coronal Eltargrim Irithyl. Instead, Eltargrim ordered him to resolve the issues. Therefore, Pirphal took three new lieutenants—one human, one dwarf, one halfling—and commissioned the Baneblades of Demron for them to wield.
- Steven E. Schend and Kevin Melka (1998). Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves. (TSR, Inc), p. 38–39. ISBN 0-7069-0761-4.
- Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 127. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
- Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 71. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.