His colorful garb.
His brightly painted wagon full of goods and clanking things.
“Just the right thing you need.”
Dalme is one of the various travelling Tinkers plying their trade in the villages along the back roads. He is a man of an older nature, but his age seems vague because of his smile and twinkling eyes. He dresses in a slightly run down colorful costume of ribbons and puff and slash, a flamboyant salesman like most tinkers. He looks like every other travelling tinker you have seen.
Dalme plies his trade along the back and minor roads of the region. He is reasonably fair in his dealings, always following the letter of his word. These minor back road traders help keep these little villages alive, as they don’t have a blacksmith, weaver, or other crafter. For most villages, he (and his tinker kind) are their only source for metal goods, ceramics, fabric, and herbs. He will even have folk talismans, for warding off any number of evils. Tinkers also repair existing metal things forged by real blacksmiths. They also provide news of the outside world.
Dalme is a flamboyant character, sharing a joke and a pipe round his cart and his campfire. He is everything one expects in a successful tinker. “He always seems to have “just the item you need” in the back of his cart."
In fact, the players will often see them in their travels. Sometimes he is in the background of a village they are in. Sometimes he is passing them in the road. Other times, they might even share his campfire. He is just another colorful NPC. In fact, they should of encountered him a number of times before they even encounter something odd.
Unfortunately Dalme is not a real tinker, or even human. Dalme is a very successful Demon. He is properly masqued, so few will ever be able to detect him as such. He never breaks his masque and reverts to his demonic form (it really isn’t that physically powerful anyways). He keeps all these little villages in the back regions alive and healthy, so their people can do all those “little evils” and suffering that his kind feed upon. His items encourage their petty jealousies, avarice, anger, sloth, and so on. So while they seem to do something nice, they actually generate more suffering in the community. Most of these items are mundane, sold to just the right person at the right time to fan the flames of jealousy (“that ribbon makes her think she is “so special” and can have my man… well we will see about that”), avarice (“I must have that axe, I always wanted one like it and he snaked it out from underneath me”), anger (“damm him. Now everyone will follow him because he has that fancy cloak”), or sloth (“with that new plow, I can avoid working today as it will take me so much less time to plow my field”). Nobody seems to notice these little evils. But sometimes Dalme sells some “little magics” items. Some are obvious, like a love potion or wealth talisman (that enriches one man by syphoning luck and money from others around him). Others are secretly magical. Only those trained in spotting the ways of evil magics will notice them… innocent items with extra something. These “extras” often seduce the owner down the path of Evil, or produce extra suffering for the owner or the people around them. (See Garage Sale from Hell) or check out any number of horror stories or the Friday the 13th TV series for example items). Dalme is quite adept at this, for he has been plying his trade for quite a while. It will take players quite a while to recognize the pattern existing and even longer to associate Dalme with it.
Some people have even sold their soul to him for items, without realizing it. He is that deft at the art of conversation.
1) He is a consumate entertainer and salesman. He is flashy to get your attention, listens to you carefully for what you want, and tries to get it for you. He can be flattering when needed.
2) He is very honest in most of his dealings. It does not pay off in the end to lie about most things. If he gives his word, he must keep it to the letter.
3) He does protect his “territory” from excess Evil. (So often he will sell talismans to keep more active Evils or accidents away from his people). He is protective of his people like a shepard is of his sheep; so he can fleece them later. He needs them alive and somewhat healthy so they can produce more little evils for him to “eat”.
4) He tries not to interfere with travellers through his territory. They are unknown qualities and may be dangerous.
5) He keeps his karmic balance sheet clear. If you do a good turn for him, he will help you sometime in return (though often not in the way you expect and usually at someone else’s expense).
6) If you don’t mind that he is a demon (and in most cases you will never know), he is actually a “nice guy”. He is fun to be around, wise beyond his apparent years, and always the voice of caution.