"A little place called Hardrock"; or the story of how Hardrock came to be
The rugged, bracket- and undergrowth-covered Dagger Hills mark the eastern border of Daggerdale. Bandits and other outlaws are known to live in the area, but unfortunately, the areas that are not considered bandit territory are inhabited by other, less negotiating creatures.
Wolves, leucrottas, owlbears, lycanthropes and even beholders hunt through the thick underbrush of the region. Many cleared farmlands here were reclaimed by nature after being abandoned by people fleeing the Zhent occupation.
Movement through this region is difficult due to the rugged terrain and plant growth. Bloodstone, a town once called Highstone until its population was completely turned into vampires during the vampire infestation in Daggerdale, rests somewhere in the northern hills, long forgotten. It is rumored to be haunted, but nobody in their right mind ventures to the region to confirm or deny the rumors.
Castle Daggerdale once stood on the very southwestern edges of the hills, but now exists only as a ruin. Numerous other ruins and undiscovered crypts lie in the area as well. People down on their luck or desperate do come here however, to attempt to mine the many emeralds that exist underneath the hills. Such an industry is as profitable as it is deadly, however.
High in the middle of the Dagger Hills, where the hills are rockier and rise more sharply than the perimeter of the region, a massive rock formation juts out of the surrounding hills, creating a large cliff that faces south toward Shadowdale.
The northern side of this formation is very rocky and difficult to climb, but overall is more gentle than the sheer drop at the southern edge. The entire formation is composed of limestone rock, some of it even being made of chalk, a softer and more porous form of limestone; these materials are what give the area its distinctive, white color.
Almost in the middle, the cliffs rise sharply and jut outward, creating a large promontory, the White Crag as it is commonly called. White Crag is the highest point in the entire Dagger Hills, and from it, one can get an excellent view of the Dagger Hills and surrounding area. The Crag is located just north of a lightly traveled trail that runs through the Dagger Hills (one of the more dangerous routes in Daggerdale, but it is the quickest way to get to Shallain Freehold).
Due to the nature of limestone, large cavern systems exist underneath the White Crag, formed from flowing groundwater and even rainwater finding its way through the stone. Entrances to these systems are few and most are undiscovered, however, so anyone looking to go cave spelunking would be well advised to bring along mining equipment, to dig an entrance themselves.