Rain came in from the Five Kings, catching a ride with a southeasterly wind. Agnes Gumm sat at her kitchen table, pulling her robe close about her and stirring a bone china tea cup with a delicate silver spoon. Rain’ll be good for the roses, she thought absentmindedly. At least that bumbling wizard’s chicken hut hasn’t trampled through her rose bushes this week! She scowled at the thought of the hut.
She tried to have Sheriff John throw the wizard in jail for not keeping his property off of her own. The sheriff promised that Cornwall would make restitution. He did in fact restore her roses, but somehow managed to turn them into giant purple monstrosities with an appetite for starlings.
Agnes Gumm made an effort to prune them back but had to retreat under an onslaught of thorn covered assailants. Marshaling her forces by recruiting Mutt Wilton, the sheriff’s deputy, she mounted a frontal assault. The deputy whacked at the roses in a flanking maneuver on the right side, his rake laying the enemy low. Victory was finally hers, and Agnes vowed never to let that wizard come near her rose bed again.
Agnes had lived in Bree all of her life, which was fifty-two years to be exact. She knew everything and everyone in the town, but she couldn’t figure out that strange wizard. He was a odd one at that. Someday, she’d pry his secrets from him. Everyone had a story to tell and Agnes’ job was to learn it and share it with everyone she could. She wasn’t a spiteful woman, nor hateful, but there was some sort of thrill that came from gleaning some bit of knowledge from a person, better yet, something they didn’t mean to part with. Like a squirrel running off with a nut, Agnes would make her way through town, wheeling and dealing in information.
Agnes had her secrets too. Secrets that she didn’t care to have told all over town. First and foremost was her wealth. Agnes Gumm was wealthy. Her money didn’t come from adventuring in lost tombs nor did it come from marrying and burying a rich husband. She earned it by being shrewd. Agnes listened to the traders that came through the town and used what small amount of savings she had to invest a little here and there. A few silvers to one merchant, and a few more to another. Eventually, her fortune grew until she had more silver than she could ever spend on her own. This didn’t keep Agnes from looking for other opportunities to make more silver.
She knew that Bree would someday once again be a place of opportunity. Talk of opening the trade route through the Five Kings was on the lips of more merchants nowadays. It required a group of trailblazers, people of strong backs and low character to get it done. Anges was keeping her eyes and ears open for just those people.
Game notes on Agnes Gumm
Every group of adventurers could use a backer. Whether it be a mysterious wizard, a rich baron, or a shifty eyed merchant, patrons will always be a great place to place story hooks. I’d like to develop Agnes Gumm into a source for rumors about the goings on of Bree and as a possible employer for the PCs. Her shrewd business acumen will serve to put some constraints on the deal, giving the PC limited time or budget and expecting results.