Bruce arrived to the meeting with the Elders of The Village of Tommen just a tad late, and then worked the room. Shaking hands and using Max as a way to get advantage on his persuasion checks. Max was instructed to be affectionate and cute as I greet everyone and all the ladies will get a kiss on the hand (only Persephone gets a smile). Kip came in with Sir Bruce, but was instructed to sit in the corner until hist testimony was needed.
Sir Bruce met all the Town Elders. Some he had met before including Jarik Goth, the owner of the Salt Mine in Tommen, Bressard Montaine, an academic and observatory owner, Orion Endar, Owner of The End of the Road Inn. However there were 5 town elders that Sir Bruce had not met. They included Karn Miller who was the widow of the Miller who had been a fixture on the council of elders for years. After his death she has been running the mill and sitting on the council in his stead. Louisa Little is the town midwife. A relatively new face in Tommen, but welcome indeed. Her help in bringing new life into the town has been a blessing. Tabitha Jensen was an interesting and quiet figure. Clad all in furs and bedecked with weaponry, Tabitha was quite a contrast to most of the others on the council. However, as a fur trapper, she often roamed the outlying wild areas around town and has acted as a scout for the town for years keeping them aware of goblins and other threats on the outskirts. Bim Blothar was a big and jolly man. He was the town smith and had lived in Tommen all his life. The final new face was quite memorable. Raquel Richards was a wealthy Waterdavian who had recently moved to Tommen and bought up some land to try her hand at cattle ranching. Business is booming and she is doing quite well. Raquel always seems to be the center of attention in a room because of her propensity to wear all the latest outlandish Waterdeep fashions. It is said she never wears the same outfit twice.
Orion Endar then brought the meeting to order and introduced Sir Bruce of Avalon to the Council formally including a letter of recommendation he received from Duke Eltan Falconhand extolling the virtues and skills of the knight champion Sir Bruce of Avalon. The crowd seemed duly impressed and politely went very quiet as Orion Endar turned the floor over to Sir Bruce.
Sir Bruce smiled at the assembled Elder Council and began speaking.
‘Thank you all for meeting with me this evening. As you know, I have been sent here in the name of Tyr by His Holiness Sir Reginald DeBarnay to investigate the strange happenings here in Tommen (looking at Jarik Goth and then Bressard Montaine). I chose to investigate the kidnapping of Lady Persephone first due to the pressing nature of the situation. I rescued her from a hoard of Goblins to the north and during my investigation began to suspect that Warden Duthane might be involved. The good lady recalled that when she was kidnapped down by the river she was hit in the head by a man with a purple scarf covering his face and hiding his identity. There were tracks of Goblins, Wargs and men down by the river but I think Duthane was working with them. Two things led me to believe this. First is that she was kept alive for several days and…’
Sir Bruce paused for dramatic effect and then said, “I found the the purple scarf.” And with a flourish Sir Bruce produced the purple scarf to an audible gasp from the audience and handed it over to Persephone Montaine. “Is this not the scarf Lady Persephone?”
“Yes,”replied Persephone. “The person who assaulted me had the scarf wrapped around their head to obscure their face. As you can tell the color and stitching is quite unique. I have never seen its like in Tommen before.”
‘Indeed,’ agreed Sir Bruce. ‘It is quite unique. A few days ago young Kip saw the Warden out behind the inn in a patch of woods. He took me to that spot and with Max’s help I found this buried in the sand. Is that not true Kip?’
Sir Bruce stepped closer to Kip and held the scarf before him for all to see. Kip nodded his quickly and said, ’Yes Sir. I helped you and old Maxie find it. That good hound sniffed it out and showed us where to dig. It was very well hidden. ’ As he continued Sir Bruce could hear some mumbling and whispering of folk regarding the charges against Warden Duthane. Louisa and Karn looked bewildered. Orion looked sad shaking his head. Bim and Raquel looked worried. Bressard, Jarik Goth, and Tabitha Jensen were stoic but Sir Bruce could see genuine worry through their masks.
Sir Bruce nodded and stroked his chin, ‘Thank you Kip. The second reason I suspected Duthane was involved was that after I returned to Tommen with Lady Persephone, Warden Duthane was acting suspicious. When I confronted him he attacked me and then used some sort of magic to escape. I showed him a magic gem that I found on the person of the Goblin Chief and at that he fled. The Gem was enchanted and inside was a Crystal Devil, a Fiend from Hell. Not wanting to unleash it in the town I went to the Standing Stones and with the help of Kip’s sister Felicity we battled the Devil and destroyed it. Kip was there as a witness.’
Kip’s eyes went wide as he spoke up, "Yes Sir, it sprung up out at the gem and was a horrible site to behold. Its body was encrusted with emeralds and more than once during the battle it spewed a cone of razor sharp crushed gems to cut into Sir Bruce. But Sir Bruce did not back down he hit it again and again with his faerie sword and eventually cut it down!
At the description of the Crystalline Devil, Esmeraldoch, everyone went quiet and most looked terrified. Even the tough old dwarf Jarik Goth and the back woods fur trader Tabitha Jensen seemed very frightened. Old Bim Blothar said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Tommen before. In all my days I’ve only heard stories of fiends. To think a real devil was that close to Tommen makes my skin crawl.”
Sir Bruce put a hand on Kip’s shoulder, “Thank you Kip. During the battle I engaged the devil in conversation and feel certain that it was in league with Duthane and perhaps someone or something else.”
Jarik Goth spoke up saying, “I think there must be some sort of link between the trouble with my mine and what is going on here with this new deviltry.”
Sir Bruce nodded in agreement, "Yes, Jarik. I think you are right. That is why my next step is to investigate the mines as I feel that they may somehow be connected. Duthane’s refusal to investigate the mines is suspicious at best. Duthane is a dangerous man and if anyone sees him or has contact with him you should report to me immediately. "
There is some grumbling and continued shocked looks but everyone was in agreement that Sir Bruce should investigate the mine and pursue Warden Duthane to bring him to justice before the council of elders.
Sir Bruce paused again for dramatic effect and then asked…“now tell me, does any of you have any information that may lead to finding Duthane or any other relevant information to my investigation?”
Everyone looked around thoughtfully until Tabitha Jensen spoke up. She had been quiet up until now taking everything in. But she explained that while she was out in the wilds checking on some beaver traps, she saw a man wrapped in a purple scarf meeting with some goblins and wargs. Some gems were exchanged. Specifically a sack of emeralds was given to the goblins by the man in the purple scarf. The goblins took them out and held them up to the light allowing Tabitha to see them better. They looked quite valuable. Tabitha explained that told all this information to Warden Duthane. She said that he thanked her and said he would investigate it further. But she never heard anything more about it from him. Now it seems she knows why.
Jarik Goth chimed in and confirmed that he was given the very same run around by Warden Duthane in regards to an investigation of his mines.
Raquel Richards spoke up and said she has something to say. She stood up and strode confidently onto the floor. Sir Bruce was surprised because at 6 foot 5 the woman towered over him and her fancy Waterdhavian dress just added to the spectacle of her striking presence. She looked at Sir Bruce and all in attendance and said, “One thing we have not considered is Sir Darius Black and his brigands. They have been raiding my cattle, robbing merchants on the roads, and making many question the safety of traveling to Tommen from Twin Falls Keep. Could they somehow be involved in this business with Warden Duthane? I don’t know how many times I have complained to Warden Duthane about Black and his highwaymen. And nothing seemed to get done. Perhaps his lack of action on Sir Darius Black may also indicate some connection. Sir Bruce, I heard a rumor that you had an encounter with Sir Darius. What happened?”
Sir Bruce nodded and said, “Thank you Ms. Richards. I plan to investigate the brigands and did indeed encounter them. If I find Duthane’s trail I suspect it may lead to the brigands lair.”
Sir Bruce thanked the elders for their comments. He didn’t sense that anyone was hiding anything. They all seemed generally concerned and wanted to help get to the bottom of this.