Last week TechRaptor had the chance to hear from Amanda Hamon, Lead Designer, and Bree Heiss, Art Director, about Dungeons & Dragon's upcoming Adventure Book Phandalin and Below: The Shattered Obelisk. One of the topics that came up was a deep dive into the Standard and Alternate Artwork that those who purchase this book physically can look forward to. The Phandalin and Below Alternate Artwork has some particularly interesting tidbits in it.
On top of the artwork teases, we were also treated to more information on what's new in this release compared to The Lost Mines of Phandelver starting adventure and a look at what monsters players will face off against.
Phandalin and Below: The Shattered Obelisk Standard Artwork
The Standard Cover, by Antonio Jose Manzanedo, features a collection of Goblinoid creatures performing various activities such as carrying suspected ill-gotten loot, doodling stick goblins on rocks, and carrying what we can likely assume is a part of the titular Shattered Obelisk. Off in the background across rolling hills, we see the town of Phandalin.
The information on the back of the book reads as follows:
A beloved town is in unimaginable danger. Whether the heroes are newcomers to Phandalin or are returning after the acclaimed Dungeons & Dragons adventure Lost Mine of Phandelver, they discover hints of a threat lurkung below the town. The heroes soon learn that the cult of a malevolent entity has set its sights on transforming Phandalin into the capital of its evil empire. To save the town from oblivion, the heroes must uncover a nefarious plot and confront the otherworldly cultists.
Phandelver and Below: The Shattered Obelisk is a high-fantasy adventure that begins with the familiar story of Lost Mines of Phandelver and then delved into the perilous Underdark, where dangerous secrets fester and evil is afoot.
Phandalin and Below Alternate Artwork
The Phandalin and Below Alternate Artwork, by DZO, is presented in hues of sickly green. In the center of the cover is the Obelisk mid-shattering and surrounding it are mixtures of root and branch-like structures mixed with visages of a variety of common and uncommon enemies. Some of these enemies also might not look as they seem as the corruption has a mutating effect.
This sickly green coloration was focused on by Hamon explaining "there's a common source for all of these strange energies" but wanted to stop short of revealing too much. Diving into the residents of the cover we can see various forms of Illithid, goblins, zombies, and a Nothic.
With a mysterious green psychic energy about it's likely that the Illithid on the cover point towards the true cause of the eldritch abominations that will be showing up in this book.
Some places this green is present alongside the cover are in the artwork of a nearly assembled obelisk, and in the glow around some of the new monsters that players will face.
The Standard Cover will be available everywhere, but if you're interested in getting your hands on the Alternate Cover then you'll want to pre-order through your Game Store. Phandelver and Below: The Shattered Obelisk is one of the first D&D 5e books to adopt the $59.99 price point.