"Next time the city is rebuilt, I think the natives should just knock the buildings right down again and save the next invaders the trouble." — Orgil
Pool of Radiance was a series of 4 games that had plot in Forgotten Realms and were part of the Gold Box series. Titles included:
- Pool of Radiance (1988)
- Curse of the Azure Bonds (1989)
- Secret of the Silver Blades (1990)
- Pools of Darkness (1991)
Pool of Radiance is centered in and around the port city of Phlan, on Faerûn - a major continent on the planet of Toril. Founded nearly a millennium before the Era of Upheaval, endless cycles of the town's destruction and determined rebuilding saw it grow more resilient and formidable. This led to the Phlan being walled off into two sections for many years, comprising the vast ruined neighborhoods of Old Phlan and the resilient community of Civilized Phlan, before becoming a whole and peaceful city once again. Phlan enjoyed military and economic prosperity for many years, before deteriorating into a criminal state afflicted by the machinations of a dangerous cult. Trade ebbed and flowed throughout the city's tumultuous history. During times of reconstruction, the city only imported goods and could not reliably export anything to nearby trade partners. Like many settlements of the Moonsea North, the people of Phlan possessed an streak of individualism and sort of chaotic freedom that allowed them to survive the harsh life associated with their homeland in the Realms.
In addition to being a monument to the stubbornness of the Moonsea people, the city was famous as the home of one of the fabled pools of radiance, a naturally occurring magical phenomenon. The waters of pools of radiance were a form of raw magic - the most potent sources of arcane energy in the Realms. The water from pools of radiance could not be bottled or separated from the main body of water. When attempted, the powers of the water dissipated within less than a minute. The phenomenon of the pools had a tumultuous history as it was both a blessing and a curse, carrying potent raw magical energy and its connection to the Weave. The pools had no agenda and no human morality and could potentially be misused to a dangerous degree.
Government / Law
Phlan was governed by a ruling body known as the Council of Ten, composed of judges that presided over the city's courts. An individual referred to as "Number One" served as the head of the council while also holding the officer of town mayor. The council had a high turnover rate, as no-confidence elections were held regularly for even the smallest of mishaps. The oligarchy of Phlan ended in the Year of Risen Elfkin, 1375 DR, when Zhentarim Hatemaster Cvaal Daoran broke up the council and declared himself as Lord Protector of Phlan.
A thieves' guild called the Welcomers operated openly within the city throughout its history, 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.