D&D 5th: Demon Tower of Madness
Daggerford, a relic of an earlier age, stands beside the Delimbiyr River. The walled village with its central keep reflects its origin as the feudal seat of a lord within a much larger kingdom. Its customs and laws are holdovers from that time.
Rule is hereditary, and dukedom goes to the firstborn male. Anyone living in the lands claimed by Daggerford pays taxes to the duke in coin and goods. All able-bodied people also serve turns in the duke’s army and must be ready to answer his call to arms, unless they pay scutage, buying their way out of service. Scutage, in turn, grants the duke funds to pay for full-time soldiers and guards, whom the duke uses to enforce law and custom. Those customs and laws include the guilds that control day-to-day affairs through a council of self-important busybodies.
Despite its small size, Daggerford is an important hub for trade. The Delimbiyr River becomes shallow at Daggerford (thus the “ford” in its name), so boat traffic from the east has to stop. This traffic meets with caravans traveling north or south on the Trade Way. Thus goods, business, and taxes enrich what might otherwise be considered a petty, rural fiefdom.