The fronteir town of Phandalin is built on the ruins of a much older settlement. Hundreds of years ago, Phandalin was a thriving town filled with humans, dwarves, and gnomes. However, the same orc horde that sacked the mines at Wave Echo Cave burned Phandalin to the ground.
In the last ten years, a slow trickle of brave settlers have begun to reclaim the ruins. A small but bustling frontier village has grown, and is now home to farmers, woodcutters, fur traders, and prospectors drawn by stories of gold and glory in the foothills of the Sword Mountains.
Where there's gold, there's those unwilling to work for it themselves, and more than a few bandits and brigands have settled in the town as well.