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Red, Dead, and Loving It

The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep 
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends, 
’Tis not too late to seek a newer world. 

- "Ulysses" by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Red, Dead, and Loving It is a multipart semi-openworld Dungeons & Dragons 5E adventure for an adventuring party of 4-6 adventurers of levels 1-12 (roughly). Set in the Forgotten Realms, upon the continent of Faerun, this adventure is cobbled together from various sources mainly Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle and Scourge of the Sword Coast. Material from other sourcebooks in past editions has been pilfered as well as lore from areas of the internet. There is minor personal invention, and a whole lot of expansion, but really this is mostly other people's work so I shall not take credit for it.

And so now you seek to draw your world to you, all that light and life you lost, to fill up your nothingness. But it cannot be filled. Not all the songs of earth, not all the stars of heaven, could fill your emptiness

- "The Farthest Shore" by Ursula K. LeGuin

Our story in the small yet significant town of Daggerford. Surviving now for half a century, the settlement has never had more than a thousand souls inside it's walls. It has never been the seat of some great power, lacking in both wealth and military might. Nor can it claim a fame for great magic or great wisdom. It's citizens consist of farmers, blacksmiths, chandlers, priests, beggars and innkeepers: in short, solid men of country stock, people of the land. The common clay of the Sword Coast. Y'know, morons.

Yet to say so would do the town of Daggerford a great injustice. For it is a place where battles have been fought, legends formed, history made. A place of great drama, both tragedy and comedy. A place where ordinary men and women's destinies have become entangled with the destinies of a continent. 

The year is 453 NR, the Year of the Iron Dwarf's Vengeance according to the auguries of some mad seer. The town of Daggerford has seen little in the way of danger these past few years, it's walls rarely tested by the lizardmen of the Marsh or those few orcish raiders who come down from the High Moor. The people of Daggerford have benefited from the commerce of the Trade Way and the bounty of their harvests, and they have grown fat and complacent. Those great men of yesteryear have long since gone and there seems to be little need. People little fear those things that lie in shadow.

When the first caravans of refugees drew in, the people of Daggerford commiserated their loss and gave charitable donations of food and water. When the caravans did not stop and the number of refugees began to outstrip the number of beds, the people of Daggerford became concerned and fretted about the effects to trade and daily life.  When the estate of the venerable Floshin family was ransacked by orcs and it's servants kidnapped, the people of Daggerford reacted in alarm and shock, shaking their heads about the state of the world, and wondered aloud about what their tax dollars were going towards anyway.

It has often been said that animals can sense an earthquake long before any person can. People cannot often tell when they are headed for crisis, preferring to deny a problem, bury their heads in the sand. The people of Daggerford couldn't have seen the signs even if they had been painted pink and had danced naked upon their kitchen tables. They could not have possibly fathomed the extent to which they were all, truly, fucked.

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead man naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon; 
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot; 
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again; 
Though lovers be lost love shall not; 
And death shall have no dominion.

- "And Death Shall Have No Dominion" by Dylan Thomas

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Red, Dead, and Loving It MagnarGreenseeker