Phlan was a large town located on the northern shoreline of the Moonsea at the mouth of the Stojanow river. Founded over 1,000 years ago, a series of destruction and rebuilding led to the city being walled off into a destroyed, ruined Old Phlan and a rebuilt, shining Civilized Phlan. Phlan was noteworthy not only for its stubbornness but also as the location of the fabled Pool of Radiance, which was the source of power for the otherworldy Tyranthraxus. The town is currently[as of when?] rebuilding from the devastating Dragon Run of 1306 DR and was growing even more popular as a stop for caravans and ships with recent[as of when?] troubles with Hillsfar, and adventuring was encouraged through the crumbling ruins of Old Phlan.[citation needed]

Local points of interest included the ruins of Valjevo Castle, once one of the largest castles in Faerûn[citation needed]. Rather than rebuilding the castle, a group of druids were instead attempting to recultivate the courtyard. The only temple in the city was called the Waiting, which was dedicated to Tyr.[2]


Phlan was founded in 367 DR[3][4] as a trading outpost between the elves of Myth Drannor and the dwarves of the Dragonspine Mountains. It was leveled in 400 DR by the First Turnabout, a massive attack by the Dark Alliance of humanoids who swept down on the land[5][4]. in 712 DR, Milsor the Valjevo had the city rebuilt and also commissioned the building of what would become Valjevo castle when it was completed in 730 DR [6]. The abandonment of Hillsafar, after the fall of Myth Drannor (714 DR), saw refugees expanding the citizenry of what was then the largest settlement on the north shore of the Moonsea.[4]

In 902 DR the Zhentilar made the first of many attempts to conquer their eastern neighbor, claiming that citizens of Phlan had raided their territory (though this claim was likely erroneus) but didn't count on Phlan's ally Melvaunt disrupting their siege. A four-year war resulted in Phlan becoming a reluctant signatory to the Treaty of the Ride (906 DR) which saw Zhentarim influence over the city increase dramatically.[4]

1303 DR saw ogres completely overrun a Phlan unprepared for their assault but the city was quickly rebuilt by the stubborn survivors and was able to participate in the Moonsea War against Mulmaster three years later. The Dragon Run of that year destroyed Phlan again though and the city was left in ruins until another rebuilding effort commenced a few decades later after the largest part of the monsters involved had gone. Palisade walls were quickly erected after a few blocks of the city had been reclaimed but most of the city was still occupied. Adventurers flocked to Phlan to help clear these monsters out in return for the generous bounty offered by the new Council. One of those councilors, Porphyrys Cadorna, attempted to take control of the city by duping a trio of adventurers into working for him.[citation needed]

Cadorna disappeared after being possessed by Tyranthraxus, who had been leading the local monster population, and Phlan settled into a short-lived peace. A decade after Phlan had been reclaimed, the god Bane briefly transported it and several other Moonsea settlements to another plane until adventurers foiled Bane's plot.[citation needed]

In 1375 DR Phlan was conquered fully by Zhentil Keep and within five years the government had been dissolved to be replaced by the tyranny of Cvaal Daoran when he dissolved the Council of Ten and name himself the Lord Protector of Phlan[7]. Daoran also handed custodianship of undead-infested Valhingen Graveyard over to the Order of the Silent Shroud, a kelemvorite sect who defeated the evils within and, with the help of the Emerald Enclave, turned the Graveyard into a pristine garden. During the Shadowbane War of 1383 DR however, Cvaal forged an alliance with the dark fey of the Quivering Forest and managed to slay a shadovar prince, thereby ensuring that his city did not meet the same fate as Zhentil Keep. The hearts of his subjects softened thanks to his valiant defense of the city and they accepted his rule with little complaint, allowing his dynasty to claim rights as monarchs. In turn, the rule of Cvaal's government and that of the local Church of Bane also softened.[citation needed] The next several decades saw the Netherese and the elves of Myth Drannor quietly trying to exert their influence over the city, but neither of them could claim any real successes.[citation needed]

In 1456 DR, Cvaal's son Talaric decided to send loggers into the Quivering Forest, voiding his father's agreement with the fey. Talaric mysteriously disappeared that night, never to be seen again.[8]

In 1480 DR, attacks by local barbarian tribes led to refugees swarming toward Phlan but it was eventually discovered that the barbarian attacks were caused by the coming of Maram and when adventurers made sure that Maram's return did not occur, Phlan was saved once more.[citation needed]

In 1488 DR, Talaric's son, Anivar Daoran died in an apparent accident while overseeing renovations on Valjevo Castle. Ector Brahms, the Knight Commander of Phlan's banite military, the Knights of the Black Fist, was declared Lord Regent due to the fact that Anivar had sired no heirs. Ector's grasp on power was weak and he quickly established martial law to enforce his will - a deeply unpopular move. There were riots, which involved the looting and destruction of the Lyceum of the Black Lord, the city's temple to Bane, and traders began avoiding the city.[citation needed]

With so little trade, the formerly prosperous city began to decline and the violence got worse too. The city's guilds, whose masters had been the power behind the throne during Anivar's reign, decided to concentrate on profiteering instead of cooperating with each other to stabilize the city. The many construction projects sponsored only scant months ago were left stagnating, with tools and materials piled in the streets. As people lost jobs and market prices rose, the Knights struggled to maintain a semblence of order and rival factions developed to forward their own interests. Even The Welcomers, Phlan's long-standing thieves guild, became politically active, initiating acts of violence against those they percieved to be threatening their city. Most trade in the city became illegal in nature, as the black market became the only reliable way to turn a profit and crime was at an all time high.[citation needed]


From 1340 DR, Phlan was ruled by the Council of Ten, with a half-orc fighter named Kella Voskorm serving as its last noted High Councilor. The Council had a high turnover rate, as no-confidence elections were held regularly for even the smallest of mishaps. However, in the Year of the Blazing Hand (1380 DR), Zhentarim Hatemaster Cvaal Daoran dissolved the council, declaring himself as Lord Protector of Phlan.[7]


The city had a militia of about 120, though a local clan of dwarves pledged 100 troops as help to the city. However, the city's walled nature was its greatest defense against invaders.[citation needed]

Other important factions

Thieves' Guilds

A thieves' guild called the Welcomers operated openly within the city, the members of which cut off their left ear as a sign of loyalty. As most residents of the town were aware of the guild, the guild earned its name by preying on visitors to the city.[9]

Religious groups

A Banite cult that worshipped Iyachtu Xvim (but called him Bane) was the official religion of Phlan. The cult was known for being relatively moderate in comparison to the main Church of Bane based out of nearby Mulmaster.[citation needed]

The Most Solemn Order of the Silent Shroud was a group of worshippers of Kelemvor whom Cvaal Daoran gave the responsibility of the care of Valhingen Graveyard. They were allies of the Emerald Enclave.[citation needed]

Military and Law enforcement

The Knights of the Black Fist were Phlan's military. Formerly a religious order of the Church of Bane. After Ector Brahms became Lord Regent, the Knights gained a reputation for corruption.[citation needed]

The Black Watch were Phlan's militia but took a less active role in the city after martial law was declared.[citation needed]

The Red Plumes mercenary company from Hillsfar were active in Phlan.[citation needed]

The Vilhon Mercenary Corps was also brought into Phlan ostensibly to combat the Knights of the Black Fist.[citation needed]

Notable locations

Inns and taverns



  • Kuto's Well: A well for drawing water. Also a concealed entrance to Phlan's underground catacombs.[12]
  • Podol Plaza: Phlan's open-air market.[12]
  • Valjevo Castle: The largest palace in the Moonsea, it was home to the ruler of Phlan.[6]
  • Stojanow Gate: Protected the courtyard entrance to Valjevo Castle. Adorned with figures of heroes, dragons, and gods, the gate stood about 60 ft. tall, 100 ft. long, and was 30 ft. thick. The iron bound doors of the gate only closed in times of war.[6]
  • Valhingen Graveyard: The city's graveyard sat against the far western side of the Stojanow River.[6]
  • Nobles’ Quarter: Home to the wealthiest of the city, this section of town and its cobblestone streets was meticulously maintained.[12]
  • Scholar’s Square: The central place of learning in Phlan, this area contained trade schools, wizard academies, sage houses, and most notably, Mantor’s Library.[12]
  • Thorn Island: A sandy islet located in the Bay of Phlan, it was home to Sokol Keep.[12]
  • Sokol Keep: a once ruined temple to Tyr which was converted into a large mansion and lighthouse by House Sokol.[12]


The city of Phlan was the origin of the game of Old Men's Bones, which was played all over Faerûn.[13]





Video games




  1. James Ward, Jane Cooper Hong (November 1989). Pool of Radiance. (TSR, Inc), p. 91. ISBN 0-8803-8735-1.
  2. John Terra (January 1995). “Reference Guide”. In Allison Lassieur ed. The Moonsea (TSR, Inc.), p. 33. ISBN 978-0786900923.
  3. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 71. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 110. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  5. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 73. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Brian R. James and Matt James (September 2009). “Monument of the Ancients”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dungeon #170 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 54.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Brian R. James and Matt James (September 2009). “Monument of the Ancients”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dungeon #170 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 52.
  8. Brian R. James and Matt James (September 2009). “Monument of the Ancients”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dungeon #170 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 81.
  9. John Terra (January 1995). “Reference Guide”. In Allison Lassieur ed. The Moonsea (TSR, Inc.), pp. 33–34. ISBN 978-0786900923.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 John Terra (January 1995). “Reference Guide”. In Allison Lassieur ed. The Moonsea (TSR, Inc.), p. 36. ISBN 978-0786900923.
  11. Cannot cite pages from this boxed set. See {{Cite book/The Moonsea}} for a list of citations that may be used.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 Brian R. James and Matt James (September 2009). “Monument of the Ancients”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dungeon #170 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 55.
  13. Jeff Grubb, Julia Martin, Steven E. Schend et al (1992). Aurora's Whole Realms Catalogue. (TSR, Inc), p. 114. ISBN 0-5607-6327-2.


1st Edition D&D

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