Daggerdale 1368 DR
"A land under siege, that's what Daggerdale is. For decades now they've been fighting off raiders and Zhentarim, since the fall of Teshendale. Some of the other Dalesmen believe Daggerdalesmen to be a cruel, surly lot who only got what they deserved - but I've never known more courageous and tenacious fighters. All they want is a land free of spies and raiders, and who among ye cannot understand that?" - Elminster
Daggerdale is a remote Dale of dark forests and rocky hills. The folk of the countryside band together in fortified villages, while the people of Dagger Falls, are "protected" by a Zhentarim-sponsored constable. Daggerdale's rightful ruler, a bard named Randal Morn, leads a band of fighters against the Dale's invaders.
Population: Dagger Falls: 800. The countryside: 2,900. (Includes invaders!)
Inns: The Teshford Arms is Dagger Falls' only open inn. Exorbitant prices (2 gp per night) are charged for mediocre service. Mercenaries or people in the employ of the Zhentarim may make use of the garrison barracks for free.
Taverns: The Broken Dagger was a decent tavern, but is now frequented by the Zhents and their mercenaries. Several fights break out each night. The Red Rock is a dismal dive, but is popular with resistance figures.
Supplies: Fulgath's Caravan Supplies is a fine emporium, with wainwrights, saddlemakers, and other travelers' conveniences. Prices are 200% normal.
Watch: Dagger Falls is patrolled by mercenaries, Zhents, and Dalesmen. A typical patrol consists of 10 well-armed fighters.
Other: Humanoid mercenaries and Zhentish soldiers make the taverns and streets of Dagger Falls dangerous.
For more than 50 years, Daggerdale has been battling to survive against hostile raiders, bandits, and monsters. Zhentarim spies and agents have infiltrated the Dale, and the Daggerdalesmen have been decimated by the attacks. They want nothing more than to be left alone.
Located in the upper reaches of the Tesh valley, Daggerdale lies between the Desertsmouth mountains and the Dagger Hills. Large areas of the Dale are heavily wooded, and the open farmlands and manors of the other Dales are not found in Daggerdale. Instead, people huddle together in small stockaded settlements for protection.
Daggerdale is remote and hard to get to. Paths lead south to Shadowdale and east to Teshwave, but little traffic passes through the Dale. Merchants of other lands have found the trip to Daggerdale to be dangerous and unprofitable. The Zhents are the most frequent visitors.
Daggerdale's people are hunters and farmers, but many of the homesteads are abandoned. Small villages lie in isolated areas, farming the land nearby and sending hunting parties into the dark forests and hills. The Dalesmen produce barely enough to keep themselves going and have little to offer foreign traders.
Daggerdale's largest community is Dagger Falls, It is not under control of the Daggerdalesmen, but is ruled by a sheriff from Zhentil Keep. The free Dale is led by Randal Morn, who keeps moving his base to avoid the Zhentish forces. Randal's allies have been trying to recapture the town for years, but there are just too few of them to risk in battle against the Zhentarim garrison.
The Constable of Dagger Falls
The proclaimed leader of Dagger Falls, and by extension Daggerdale, is a Dalesman and retired adventurer named Tren Noemfor (LE male human Ftr7.) Tren is the town's constable and was put into power by the Zhentish garrison in Dagger Falls. He is a man with few friends, but serves the Zhentarim well.
As Dagger Falls' recognized leader, it is Tren who must keep the peace in the town and fight off raids by Randal Morn and his rebels. His retaliations against Morn sympathizers in the Dagger Falls area have earned him the hatred of the rebels.
Tren is basically the military governor of a province under siege. His troops control the area surrounding Dagger Falls, but do not venture farther into the Dale.
(NG male human Ftr7/Rog6)
Daggerdale's rightful ruler is Randal Morn, an adventurer who is the last survivor of House Morn. The Morns ruled Daggerdale for centuries, until Zhentarim spies deposed them after the fall of Teshendale.
As matters stand, three-quarters of the Dale's countryside is under Randal's control. However, the remainder is the heavily populated area surrounding Dagger Falls. Years of betrayal and invasion have left Zhentish sympathizers in the heart of Morn's territory, just as he has support in Dagger Falls itself.
Randal Morn keeps in touch with the other Dales and sends a representative to the Dales Council. A few years ago, Tren Noemfor sent a delegation to the Council, but they were thrown out with considerable anger.
Law and Order
Daggerdale's countryside is a lawless area plagued by bandits, monsters, and pillaging mercenaries. Within the fortified hamlets under Morn's control, justice is fair, swift, and harsh. Looters and brigands are put to death. Zhentish sympathizers are run out of town.
In the Dagger Falls area, mercenary patrols and Zhentish warriors keep the peace. As constable, Tren Noemfor is in charge of administering justice. Tren is a clever, ambitious man who may manipulate passing adventurers by imprisoning one of their party and demanding some service in exchange for their freedom.
People suspected of aiding Randal Morn are quickly executed by Tren. His harsh judgments are beginning to turn the populace against him. On the other hand, Randal Morn's fairness and honesty are winning him more support in the Zhentish-controlled areas.
Dagger Falls is a strong, walled town with a garrison of 100 Zhentish troops, 200 mercenaries (including units of orcs and other disagreeable types), and about 130 native Dalesmen auxiliaries. Randal Morn's guerilla attacks have made it unsafe for loyalist units of less than 20 warriors to leave the town's immediate area.
Daggerdale's scattered hamlets and villages are usually protected by stout palisades of sharpened timbers. Zhentish patrols are rarely resisted, but the villagers will fiercely resist looters and pillaging mercenaries. In addition, Morn's freedom fighters roam the countryside and often aid the villages under attack.
The countryside wants little to do with strangers, but travelers may be able to barter for livestock or produce at individual villages. Dagger Falls receives a few imports of fancy items from Zhentil Keep or unscrupulous merchants, but prices are high and business is not good.
The Zhentarim are systematically looting the Dale for everything of value. Large areas have been depopulated as livestock, crops, and even people have been seized and taken back to Teshwave or the Moonsea. The Zhents are also logging the Dale at a dangerous rate.
At this point, there are no major temples in the Dale. Over the years, all have been destroyed. However, there is still some priestly activity in the Dale.
Eragyn the Dark, a priestess of Cyric (NE female human Clr5), has set up a small chapel for the Zhentish forces of Dagger Falls. She is trying to expand her congregation to include the Daggerdalesmen, but hasn't had much success yet.
One of Randal Morn's valued advisors is a priest of Tyr named Tunfer the Stout (LG male human Clr7.) Tunfer tends to the wounded rebels and aids the folk of the countryside in their struggle against Tren's unjust rule.
Randal Morn commands a force of about 200 Daggerdalesmen, scattered in a dozen bands. He roams from band to band, but often sets up his headquarters in the ruins of his family's castle.