Wow! I just checked the temperatures in Memphis and Nashville, TN, to see how @Scotley and @ScottDeWar_jr are dealing with... the WN web site says it feels like 42°C/108°F in Memphis and 38°C/100°F in Nashville. That's just nuts!
Now the 30°C/86°C I'm dealing with doesn't feel so bad.
It's going to be a lot worse tomorrow and Friday, however. The WN says it will feel like 36°C/97°F for both days. I really hope it doesn't get that bad.
Knowledge (nobility and royalty) check: 33; 35 for Lady Heather Devereux and her father.
So, thinking about how Tim would know so much about these nobles from beyond Bluffside, I came up with this idea: Big Tim spent a lot of time with the NPC Elkgrar Ashhand before that character was sent off to the Granite Kingdom by Elkgrar's father. Elkgrar was not only a Cleric of the Builder, but also a noble's son. He grew up in Bluffside's Old City and was able to tell Tim certain things about the nobility of the lands that surround Bluffside. While this knowledge wasn't expansive, he did know a great deal about the noble structure in both the City of Orra (to the south) and the Kingdom of Tarminan (to the north).
The nobles of Orra tend not to be landed lords but merchants that have gained nobility through great wealth and political influence. In many ways, Orra is a lot like Bluffside. Elkgrar's father, Lord Telchal, has holding in that city, as well as a dwarven kingdom known to Bluffsiders as the Granite North, which is in the Sundered Mountains near Orra. This is how Elkgrar knew about Suzerain Kayden Greatmane, as their story is quite well known in both Orra and Kaggrim (the capital city of the Granite North).
Kayden was born in Kaggrim, but was forced from their homeland for breaking with longstanding restrictions on gender and sexually. Kayden's birthname was Taznar Garthenn. While Kayden was born as a female, they choose to be agender and typically dresses in masculine attire, although they often choose to wear their hair in a feminine style. Elkgrar didn't know much else about Suzerain Kayden's rise into the nobility of Orra, but they are considered highly respected by many in that city.
DM's Note: The title suzerain is often used in the city of Orra for nobles who do not identify as male or female. The City of the Sail is considered quite a progressive city.
Lord Cristoval Dey de Caulon
Elkgrar also told Big Tim much about the nobility of the Kingdom of Tarminan. The nobility of that kingdom is a lot more traditional than in Orra (and Bluffside). King Yezekael III has ruled Tarminan for over 90 years, and he is a horrible despot. (His foes have given him the derogatory nickname "Old Man of Tarminan.") Relations between Bluffside and Tarminan are cool, at best. There have been border skirmishes between the Bluffside Mountain Rangers and the Soldiery of Tarminan. The last of these border wars was only 20 years ago.
Caulon is the closest Tarminan city to Bluffside and the Dey Family is one of that city's oldest (some would say entrenched). While the Dey's and two other noble families (Amador and Roldán) have firm control over Caulon, Caulon tends to stand apart from Tarminan's northernmost cities. Caulon's people are as tired of the skirmishes as Bluffsiders.
Lord Cristoval, according to Elkgrar, is the most moderate of Caulon's nobles and he has long been pushing for a peace accord between Bluffside and Tarminan. However, as long as the despot king remains, peace is unlikely.
Big Tim didn't hear of Lady Heather Devereux and her father, Lord Vespasien, through Elkgrar. Instead, Lady Heather is famous for being the betrothed of the heir of the Thalassocracy of Coeurdî, Crown Prince Octave Deniaud. News of their engagement made it to the streets of Bluffside more than three months ago, and Tim heard rumors of the couple on the streets of Old City. These were the rumors among the nobility not the common people. She was said to be a great beauty and Tim can see why people would say that about her, but it is a bit of an exaggeration. Others whisper that she is a horrible flirt and bit of a hothead.
Her father is the second-in-command of the Gardes Rouges, Coeurdî's Royal Guard. Those guards are known to be very vicious to those who try to harm the Coeurdîan Royal Family or the other elite noble families of Coeurdî. Lord Vespasien's title is Lord Marshal, and he is known for being a 'tough old soul' who can still swing a sword with the best of them. He is considered to be a military icon of the lands of the Northwest, but he can also be brutal to his enemies.
Big Tim has never heard of this man; Elkgrar never mentioned him. The half-elven woman with him is also a complete mystery. Tim has heard of a large town called Saltmarsh, which is located along the coast south of Orra.
Chronic pain is kicking my ass today. Slept fitfully last night even though I went to bed a lot earlier than normal. I had to use ice and heat this morning before going back to sleep until just before noon. Pain meds are helping... a little. It feels like I need to sleep more. Trying to hold off until a bit later.