I needed a bit of action in here, more to get the word count going than anything else. It also helped to show how Nyssa and Leomund reacted to a threat. Nyssa also has a magical sword, one that lets her know when there is danger. She also protected her squire. The odds are bad - two against one with Leomund, four against one without - so this is a test of her skill. Leomund is still in training; he's not really allowed to fight unless Nyssa gives the okay, but some situations mean not listening to orders. I also got to show the effects of Nyssa's age; she's not as fit as she was in her prime, though there are many in the setting who would love to be as fit as she is.
As a Knight of the Realm, Nyssa is also responsible for enforcing the King's law. She can choose not to, but she'd have to give a good reason to His Majesty. This time, she does. While she hasn't really let His Majesty know what's going on, Nyssa has the leeway to make the decision for him. Otherwise, she wouldn't be a Knight of the Realm.
Nyssa also believes in the Socratic method, though the world would call it something else. No Greece, no Socrates. She wants Leo to figure out what she already knows. It's a valid teaching method, especially one-on-one. Leo's there to learn, so he, too, can one day be a Knight of the Realm.
The purpose of the chapter was the action, with some more indication of the nature of the mystery. Bandits with a fancy axe should be a clue that something's not quite right, especially when they were defeated despite being outnumbered. I also could show Nyssa when she's not being diplomatic, not that she's the best one to send for that sort of mission. The poisoning is a set up for getting the two main groups of characters together.
Tomorrow, commentary catch continues!
Friday, a stir in the elven city, in The Elf's Prisoner Chapter 6
Also Friday, over at Psycho Drive-In, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.
Saturday, over at The Seventh Sanctum, to be determined.