Tomb of Annihilation
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.
Phlan has a thousand-year history of ascendance and collapse. Currently, it's experiencing tough times. Less than a year ago, the city's Lord Protector Anivar Daoran was killed in an apparent construction accident while inspecting renovations at Valjevo Castle. Daoran wasn't much of a Lord Protector and he isn't widely mourned. Because he left no heir, the Knight Commander of the Black Fist, Ector Brahms, was declared the Lord Regent. Brahms is an honorable but hidebound man, and Phlan has declined tragically under his guidance. Soldiers of the Black Fist rule the city by martial law. They swiftly dispense punishment but seldom justice. Their increasingly harsh methods are failing to preserve law or order. Without the Black Fist to protect them, the people have turned to two other sources; the city's guilds (chiefly stonewrights, carpenters, ironhands, and merchants) and a criminal organization called the Welcomers. These six organizations are constantly at odds with one another over power in the city and, aside from limited exceptions among the guilds, are completely unable to cooperate for the betterment of
Lord Protector Daoran had begun many construction projects around the city, renovating ancient buildings and reconstructing those damaged in recent wars. All of that work is halted since the city has no money to pay the guilds for their labor; half-built structures are everywhere and heaps of unused construction material clog the streets. Trade, too, has come to a standstill, leaving merchants with few legal ways to make a living.
The Welcomers are openly criminal, and the once-honest guilds are only a few steps removed from being organized crime syndicates themselves. The Black Fist's methods have made it the people's enemy instead of their guardian, so most honest folk have retreated into the ranks of the Welcomers and the guilds for survival.