Sunday, March 31, 2013

Tov, son of Aulë

Tov, 100 y.o., is a unique "holy man" whom has been granted great powers by Aulë (hopefully). His background is uncertain, his manerism out of sort, his appearance disturbing. However, once he begins to chant, no other dwarf in legends ever wielded such a powerful command. Dwarves, superstitious in nature, are convinced that he is destined to revive the cold-forges of Khazad-dum with his gift.

Early Life

No one, maybe not even Tov, can recall anything about his early life.  He was born a slave in the Far-East and was released at no charge by Easterlings to a group of travelling dwarves. The albino youth was barely capable of speaking any language, and didn't seem to have  been named by his slave-masters. They named him Tov, the fatherless.

By the time that he arrived in the Iron Hills, Tov could sortof speak the language and had a grasp of his mother culture. Tov was particularly interested in Aulë, the creator, which he seemed to know from recurrent dreams. In the Iron hills, he was taken on by a group of ritual drummers and trained to perform ceremonies in mines, camps and workshops. Not only Tov had the gift, but he was unusually talented at it.

Tov's alien appearance kept him from socializing normally with his conservative and xenophobic peers. He took upon himself to widen this gap by practicing all forms of body arts such as self-made tattoos and body piercing using small pieces of Mithril jewelery. His speaking voice was also known to be particularly irritating. On the flip side, when Tov was drumming, the flames of torches and lantern would flicker and flare. Dwarves feared Tov, but sensed that he was meant to accomplish something important some day.

Ministry in Iron Hills

Tov spent the next 60 years in the mines, chanting and drumming. He would speak of his role in the coming age to reclaim the original mountainhome. His mentor sent him to Erebor where they hoped that his antics would be better tolerated. Tov was noticed by Bain Stonetongue. Bain ensured that the holy man was given ample opportunity to develop his craft. In the depth of Erebor, Tov began to tame fire with his drum chants. Under his command, fire would ignite, flames would bend to his will. The local dwarves began to fear Tov and managed to have him sent to the deepest forges under the mountain. There, he used his gift to stoke fire to new height in temperature that made possible the production of alloys that had not been made since the days of Khazad-dum. A myth was born. This myth proclaimed that his father was Aulë. No one dared to question him on that since.

There was talk in the Royal circles of a holy man, an albinos Eastern dwarf who could revive the lost arts of Khazad-dum. War chanters began to visit him and request teachings. Tov was terrible at it. His gift was uncommunicable. In nearly 100 years, Tov's language skills were still accented, and he remained illiterate.

Some 15 years ago and while Erebor was besieged by Easterlings. He demanded to be taken to the surface. He performed a chant that sowed terror in the heart of Easterlings that managed to break a key assault on an outter defense fort. This feat was repeated a number of time: the Easterlings hearing his music would cower in fear, some fleeing, other hesitating. Tov incinerated the burning corpses of his enemies by the sheer resolve of his chants. Many dwarves in Erebor and beyond doubted the veracity of these tall tales.

The presence of Tov in Erebor may have been the trigger for Thorin III to pledge to retake Khazad-dum. It is rumored that Farin III had arranged for Tov to perform while the King was visiting the deep forges. His interest was captured. But it took a few years before Thorin III make any decision. Thorin III had Bain summon the holy man from the deep forges and order him to join him on the venture to Reclaim Khazad-dum. Many are of the mind that the class of Royal parties has gone downhill since Tov moved into the court. The King, however, is convinced that he is the key to Khazad-dum's forges.

GM note: I'm taking a weird jump here and grant the advantage "Destiny (Major)" to a PC. I bet that I'll regret this, but I like to play with fire. 

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