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 Well Met, Scribes! Seeking Daggerdale Lore ...

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Crai Posted - 29 Oct 2012 : 14:48:56
Greetings All,

For many years, I was a fellow (yet infrequent) scribe here at Candlekeep. And then during a multi-year absence, I completely forgot my ID/Password combo. Joy.

Regardless, this gives me an opportunity to start anew.

My first priority in returning to Candlekeep is to begin collecting recent news/updates and past obscure lore on Daggerdale, Lord Randal Morn and Dagger Falls itself. Perhaps in return, I can share what I know and have learned.

I'm hoping that the upcoming 5E Realms gives some spotlight attention on my beloved Daggerdale.

Cheers,
Crai
7   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Alruane Posted - 18 Nov 2013 : 04:34:53
Hail and welcome to Candlekeep, Crai!
George Krashos Posted - 19 Apr 2013 : 12:28:50
You should thank Ed. I but facilitate his genius.

-- George Krashos
TBeholder Posted - 19 Apr 2013 : 11:56:29
"Finder's Bane" and "Tymora's Luck" also had something about Finder's priest who visited the place, Lathander's paladin (half-Zakharan) he kind of picked up (not in that sense! though... almost ) there and some other folk.
Artemas Entreri Posted - 18 Apr 2013 : 01:33:50
Welcome back to Candlekeep Crai!
Crai Posted - 17 Apr 2013 : 15:58:25
I hadn't logged on in awhile .... and then I found this old thread of mine.

George, my belated thanks to you for this wonderful and informative detail on Daggerdale. I'm indebted to you. Thank you, Sir!
George Krashos Posted - 01 Nov 2012 : 15:56:33
Here is some lore Ed has provided on Daggerdale here at the 'Keep:

Daggerdale has been fought over so much in recent years, and so depopulated in the process, that there’s plenty of good farmland to go around, and right now land is owned more or less by occupying it. There’s no central taxation service (though there are, for example, copper-piece-per-transaction taxes levied in Dagger Falls), nor any surviving, coherent Book of Laws. Indeed, no taxes are payable just for owning farmland, and the Morns do indeed live off the eggs, poultry, livestock, and food crops their own lands yield.

And yes, a family that is farming land would indeed own it. Randal Morn has never been a feudal lord, and neither were his predecessors (some tried to ASSUME rights they did not in law or tradition have, but their rules didn’t last long, and can be viewed more or less as a “might makes right” approach). So neither the lord nor a local officer of the lord “owns” or “controls” anyone’s land but their own (if they need to put a road through an area, they’ll use their might-of-arms to force the landowner to agree, and pay that landowner compensation - - though a Zhentarim “lord,” of course, would never pay compensation, and would probably just kill anyone who disagreed with the road-building, or defied his will in any other way).

Of course a family could rent out land to tenant farmers, and your safety (due to location) argument is, as you say, the only reason for tenants to accept rather than just taking possession of a vacant farm and clearing the overgrowth.
I don’t see any roving tax collectors yet (though there certainly were in the past, and the Zhents DID levy monthly taxes, mainly paid in food), but I do see Randal’s men riding in patrols around Daggerdale, and the locals being obligated to feed, water, and shelter them and their mounts (with no coins changing hands at all, and Randal’s men pitching in to help with tasks beyond the farmers, like bending their backs to lift a wagon while a new axle is fitted to it).

There is indeed now a temple of Tyr in Dagger Falls, and it is indeed headed (and was founded) by Tunfer the Stout, only about a year before CITY OF THE SPIDER-QUEEN. Tunfer is an amiable, rotund glutton of a man who is one of the “rocks upon which Tyr’s faith is built.” By which I mean: he came to Daggerdale, a war-torn region “ruled” by an exhausted Randal Morn (who spent much of his time in the saddle galloping here to butcher orc raiders, there to quell brigands, over here to slay a monster that had prowled down out of the Spiderhaunt or the wilds, and then right back up the realm to fight more orcs again), and concerned himself ONLY with Daggerdale, and making it a safe, civilized, just place to live, by establishing local justice.

Tunfer began with a tent and a lot of (low-level) priests who were willing to serve
as his eyes and ears, lecturing folk on “what was just and right” and arresting those who defied them. At first, his presence and presumption (some fat outlander, judging us!) were resented, but as person after person saw and heard his reasoned judgements - - and Tunfer ALWAYS explains his rulings, in open court - - and saw that he wasn’t asking for much in the way of offerings (“bring me a stone, shaped for building, that I may in time raise a temple”), and had no desire for power (“a good man rules you, and you dwell in a wild garden that in time - - if we all work hard enow - - will be stunningly beautiful; I am but the gardener, doing these least pleasant tending, for the enjoyment of all”) and had little interest in wider politics, but only in settling disputes large and small (childrens’ fights over beautiful stones, or kittens, as well as knives drawn over dispute boundary-fences and livestock), his popularity grew. He has no shred of pomposity or personal aggrandizement, and will readily admit when he’s been wrong, and apologize and seek to mend matters.

Randal Morn met with Tunfer, got to know him, and regards him as a godsend: Tyr’s favor upon Daggerdale, Randal’s divine reward for fighting so hard and long for the land he loves.

So with the help of all folk in Daggerdale that Randal could persuade (most of the populace), a temple was swiftly built: a large, simple stone building with a thatch-and-pole roof, housing a central dirt-floor court (long table at sunken center, surrounded by concentric seating, gently raked up so all can see) and meeting-place surrounded by simple sleeping-chambers all around the inside walls, to be used by persons who’ve traveled there to seek justice, and by Tunfer and his “Hands of Tyr” (priests). So we’re not talking about a large, grand, or ostentatious temple, but rather a public meeting-house, used by Randal Morn to meet with envoys and delegations from around the dale, to make laws and policy in the presence of Tunfer (who points out “holes” and nails down definitions). Tunfer’s Hands travel the roads constantly, as safety-patrols (they have capture-hoods, leg-manacles, and cudgels) and to ask folk about disputes or troubles, and those still at home tend ever-growing vegetable and herb gardens, chicken sheds, and piggeries, selling what they produce to support themselves (and, in their spare time, digging out and lining with stone ever-expanding granary-cellars for times of need). Most of these priests are 3rd level or less.

Tunfer himself has no time for “crusading” Tyrrans, or requests to join in larger battles for justice elsewhere: he concerns himself only with Daggerdale, and equal justice for all who dwell there. He will enlist adventurers as “hands to fight the defiantly lawless, and drive them forth or give them death, that they not trouble good and just folk longer,” but he expects them to abide by the rules he verbally gives them (along the lines of: “we have laws here, and you must follow them: no wanton slaughter or wounding, no thefts or seizures by force, no pillaging, rape, or arson, and nothing gives you any greater right or authority than the dirtiest child you meet”). Tunfer, by the way, doesn’t believe in imprisonment as punishment. The unrepentantly evil are to be killed or driven off (exiled from the dale), and everyone else is to make redress, by work at the temple or on the roads under Randal Morn’s direction if they can’t repay their victims directly.

Irythkeep is only a very short ride north along the Dagger Ride (better known as the Tethyamar Trail) from the North Ride, on the east side of the Trail (and increasingly overgrown). About a third of a mile (“just over one hill” from the North Ride), no more.

Centuries ago, it was built by a trading company headed by Garskran Iryth, a trader from Turmish who established a small hold here (a keep surrounded by a subsistence farm) from which he could trade with the dwarves of Tethyamar (cloth, leather, clothing and leather goods, drinkables, and medicines brought from the Vilhon, in return for smelted metal and forged tools). Here he intended to make his home, far from enemies back home and the taxes and laws of rulers he disagreed with.

Iryth’s small band of warriors held the keep well enough, but took heavy losses trying to get caravans to and from the keep, until they were just too few to defend the keep in a harsh winter. In the end, Iryth and his folk perished to the last hungry, chilled, and terrified goodwife fighting orc raiders and hungry monsters, notably persistent packs of wolves.
The keep then passed through a succession of owners, mainly knights who set themselves up as local lordlings. Most of them perished in monster raids or at the hands of underlings who turned on them, with the keep and its attached stables standing empty until the next would-be lord came along. Few of them did much to the keep beyond replacing its roofs and doors when necessary, and it started to crumble.

It was little more than a ramshackle barracks-fortress guarding the southern approach to Daggerdale by the time Zhentarim started backing orc bands in an all-out attempt to conquer Daggerdale and scour out all inhabitants who wouldn’t bow to them - - and one such band blasted the keep to get at a small band of dale defenders taking refuge in it.

Orraun is the name (not widely known, even locally) of a place-spirit that guards (against evil-aligned creatures and "despoilers that belch fire") a tiny ravine (deep but narrow gorge or gulley) sacred to Mielikki, in the northwestern wild woods of Daggerdale (in rocky, rising untilled ground, but not so far west that these foothills are rising into the cliffs and rock faces of the mountains that border Daggerdale on the west).
The name of the Old Skull place-spirit, these days, is usually just "THE Old Skull," but to the elves and past generations of human dwellers in Shadowdale, it was known as "Duskul" or "Daelithaen."
(The "-aen" suffix is frequent in place-spirit names.)

-- George Krashos

Wooly Rupert Posted - 29 Oct 2012 : 15:42:51
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