Situated on the flood plains of the Delimbiyr and built against the side of a low hill, Daggerford is a small, walled community dominated by the small castle of the local duke. The city is sparsely inhabited but strategically located where the High Road crosses the Delimbiyr River on the south side of the ford.

This self-styled city is a town of about 500 folk. The town is the largest stop on the
High Road between Waterdeep and Baldur’s Gate. It’s home to human craftsmen, a few halflings, and a handful of folk of other races. There are about 20 farming hamlets within a day’s walk of Daggerford (15-20 miles), each of which is home to around five families. Each hamlet has a fortified building where the residents retreat in case of raids. There are also isolated farms and a few estates of minor nobility. In all, about 1,200 people depend on the Daggerford market for goods they can’t make themselves.

Daggerford has three major geographical divisions. The first area is the town itself, which fills the western half of the walls. The second region is somewhat higher than the town and is known as the Commons, which is nothing more than a large pasture. The third area, located at the center of the Commons, is the castle of the Duke of Daggerford. Much of the castle has been recently rebuilt by a family of dwarves, making it somewhat more majestic and splendid than might be expected of a town the size of Daggerford.

Most of the town’s buildings are built on the low ground below the hill holding the castle. The area surrounding the castle is almost entirely given over to the Commons, where horses and cattle graze in times of siege or river floods. Most of the buildings are made of wood and thatch, but since Derval Ironeater’s family brought their stone working skills to town a century ago, a number of people have built in stone. The duke, for instance, replaced the last wood in his castle with stone, the wall towers were rebuilt in stone, several important town buildings have been built or rebuilt in stone, and the protective walls that surround Daggerford are all of stone. Most of the residences in the crowded living areas are still made of wood, and placement of these wooden structures is sometimes rearranged due to the occasional fire. Fortunately, proximity to the river allows the Watermen’s Guild to quench fires quickly. Daggerford gained its name from an incident reported to have occurred 400 years ago. A wagonmaster traveling through the region sent his son ahead of the family wagon one evening to locate a safe passage across the Shining River. The boy, Tyndal, found the ford in the dark, but was attacked by a raiding party of lizard men. Defending himself with his sole weapon an old dagger, the lad slew six of the beasts before aid arrived from the wagons and drove the creatures away. The story spread among the merchants over the years, so that the ford, and later the town that grew up on its banks in the shadow of the legend, was known as Daggerford. This may be just a local legend, though many residents see truth in the old tale. The current Duke of Daggerford, Pwyll Daggerford (LG hm [cavalier]), claims to be a descendant of this brave merchant boy, and the town’s arms display a bloody silver dagger on a deep blue field.

When the elves of the Fallen Kingdom left for less crowded lands, a new kingdom sprang up, known now as the Kingdom of Man. It was during this period that the Dukes of Daggerford gained their titles and rights to all the lands bordered by the estate of Floshin to the north, the Lizard Marsh to the west, Dragonspear Castle to the south, and the Misty Forest to the east. At times, the dukes have actively controlled the entire area, but these days they do not. They actually control far less – from about a half-day’s ride north of Daggerford, where their forces meet up with road patrols from Waterdeep at a little pond called Waypost Water, east to the hills of Laughing Hollow, and south to the hamlet of Bowshot.
About a century after the dynastic war destroyed the Kingdom of Man, the duke’s subjects began building their shops and homes outside the castle proper, closer to the Delimbiyr River. After a couple of problem-free centuries passed, the town became essentially independent from the castle, although a common wall surrounded them both.

For hundreds of years, the Duke of Daggerford controlled the town, but the town was given its own charter by Duke Conan 50 years ago. The Council of Guilds now has the power to run the town, although the duke has a fair bit of influence over their actions and decisions. The current duke, Pwyll Daggerford, seems to have no inclination to revoke the charter. In a self-conscious imitation of the Lords of Waterdeep, the members of the Council of Guilds attend meetings in masks and never reveal their identities to the populace. However, the population of the town is too small for true secrecy. Everyone knows that the guildmasters are the members of the Council of Guilds.

Pwyll Daggerford is seldom seen in town. He’s either out hunting, in the castle planning how to defend his land, or discovering new ways to enrich his family and his people by shrewd investments. There are recurring plans to dredge the river and make Daggerford an important harbor in order to compete with nearby Waterdeep. A lot of travelers stop in Daggerford at one time or another, using it as a base to explore the whole north.
The bustle of Waterdeep seems far too distracting for the average adventurer, meaning that a smaller, more accessible town is desired. Daggerford strives to meet the demands of catering to adventurers, which both keeps its surrounding lands safe and keeps local merchants happy.


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