Username(s): Iluviel Elvea, Wyndelleu Farothomir, Tallyrand Ironroot, Bradimac Hornblower
IM: AIM Mercuti0
Character Name: Tallyrand Ironroot
In Khuzdul: Zazûzigil Khuzundush (Silversister of the Ironroot)
[will only be known to other dwarves]
How did you hear of these boards: In another age I frequented these parts.
Titles: Silversister of the Ironroot
Home: Currently Bree, but she has no real ties there other than her burgeoning smithy
Weapon of Choice: gleaming leaf bladed dwarven claymore named Ruhksfelek (Orc-splitter)
Possesions: A fine dwarven cloak embroidered with silver thread, Custom made armor of leather, mail, and steel, a sparkling net of gold and silver rings (necklace/beard ornamentation), a shining clan gorget of mithril, Orc-splitter.
Tallyrand Ironroot is something rarely seen above ground in the lands of Middle Earth: a dwarven female. While the common misconception is that dwarven females, with their propensity for growing facial hair, are nearly identical to the males of their race, Tallyrand proves this notion to be a fallacy. While she is, by the standards of other races, solidly built, she is both curvaceous and far more slender of waist than most Dwarven males. She stands a respectable four feet three inches tall and her facial structure, while strong, is feminine by the standards of any race. Her long and flowing honey brown hair is typically pulled into a high ponytail, and her fine and soft beard, plaited with delicate silver and gold rings. She typically wears rather utilitarian clothing of leather and wool underneath of a very fine, silver embroidered and hooded cloak. When expecting battle, she dons a form-fitting bodice of leather with steel pauldrons, a skirt of mail, and an ornate and functional mithril gorget bearing the symbol of her clan.
Like most dwarves, even females, Tallyrand has an affinity for the earth and nearly all that is hidden within it. She is a capable smith, and an expert gem cutter. She is also skilled at appraising the value and purity of nearly any stone. She detests the traditional work of dwarven females, seeing it as drudgery, however she is a capable seamstress and a fine cook (of dwarven cuisine). Atypical of dwarven females, Tallyrand has spent much of her life learning the martial skills typically reserved for Dwarf males. Though she lacks the brute strength of her brothers in arms, she is quicker and more nimble than most dwarven warriors are, while still possessing an innate toughness and resilience in her sinewy frame and spirit. She is a skilled and deadly swordswoman and is not afraid of pain or hardship.
Tallyrand is an outsider by choice, eschewing the traditional and rigidly cast role of a dwarven female. While she has a few close friends and comrades who respect her choice of lifestyle, the overwhelming majority of her own people view her as an aberration at best, or in the extreme, a traitor to her culture. This has led to a strain of individuality that is seen by many to be a strength, but which has grown through the years into a distinct sense of isolation and loneliness. Tallyrand does not deal well with being vulnerable, and hence believes herself to possess a balanced personality…on account of the two boulder sized chips she carries on her shoulders. She has no patience for incompetency, laziness, or pettiness, and brooks no insult without challenge. She is hardnosed and persistent, but her life as a self-made exile has made her more confrontational and even a little more bitter than her nature dictates. Below the hard exterior is a dwarf wishing to partake in the glory and beauty of the world as an equal to her more visible kin, and a free spirit searching for a home.
In the year 2954 of the Third Age old Galar Ironroot of Erebor came into possession of the most precious treasure he had ever dreamed of when his daughter, Zazûzigil, was born. It was his second child, a rarity for dwarves, and the fact that the second child was a daughter made it all the more unusual. In Erebor, as in all dwarf realms, the birth of a female child is a cause for much celebration, so it was that the mead flowed freely and the gifts poured in upon the Ironroot clan, and the grizzled old dwarf knew true happiness.
Like most dwarves, Galar coveted and protected his treasure, and since he valued his wife and daughter over all of the gems and precious metals in the world (high praise indeed), he thought it only natural to protect and control their every action. While his wife, Tcharzigil, found this arrangement natural and agreeable, his daughter displayed a rebellious and impetuous streak from an early age.
At first old Galar’s joy was such that he could think of his little fair-haired daughter as nothing but perfect. He spent his few moments away from the forge regaling his two children about his adventures as a young beardling around the Iron Hills and his part in the Great Battle of Five Armies that brought him with his kinsman, Dain II, to Erebor nearly eighty years previous. His son, Alberich, looked on wide-eyed, and dreamed of partaking in similar adventures, and this made old Galar glad. However, if he had been more attentive, he would have noticed a similar gleam in the steel grey eyes of his youngest child.
It was the concern of his wife that caused him to question how he was raising his children. His wife, quite naturally more knowledgeable about the realities of dwarven female life than her husband, worried that the patriarch’s stories of defeating wicked hordes of orcs to gain riches and glory was unsuitable for the ears of a child who’s eyes would most likely rarely look upon the open sky, let alone a dragon horde of treasure. While at one point in her life Tcharzigil might have lamented this inequality, decades of life as a wife and mother had made her far more practical than idealistic. She simply did not want to see her daughter tempted by the treasures that she could never possess.
So it was that after the first decade of her life, Zazû was not allowed to come with her father to the forge, though her brother went with ever-growing frequency. She was forbidden from traveling overmountain, unless she was with the women farmhands and shepherds. She spent more and more time with her mother tending to washing, and cooking, and cleaning. She saw this work as pedantic drudgery and lamented the fact that her brother, now coming of age, seemed to have the world open to him.
For all her bitterness, there were of course happy moments. She stole away whenever she could and spared with her older brother, becoming quite skilled in both wrestling and swordsmanship in the process. The mead festivals, and the Rites of Aule were also welcome respites for a restless soul, and Zazûzigil’s growing beauty garnered her plenty of attention, a treasure rarely sought after by dwarf females, but greedily coveted by the young Zazû. But by the time of her first beard braids, she would learn the price of such attention.
Dwarven females, being rare and essential, are a prize coveted by more than proud fathers. When Zazûzigil came of age, proposals for marriage rolled in faster than thirsty dwarves to an empty tavern. At first Galar turned down all proposals, claiming his daughter was yet too young, but as the years passed, and the dowries grew, he began to make plans for the next phase of his daughter’s life.
At first Zazûzigil, being a spirited and independent female, despite the years of tutelage under the watchful and reproachful eye of her homely mother, saw the possibility of marriage as a way out of her dull existence. There were plenty of strong smiths and warriors of her age that she remembered rough housing with as a child when the differences in gender meant nothing. She fantasized that at least one of them would take her on as an equal and together they would achieve great things.
Therefore, her disappointment was great when her father informed her of her betrothal to Barak Tharkadush, a lame and aged dwarf of her father’s generation. Her father, seeking to ensure her wealth and stability accepted Barak’s proposal based simply on his excessive dowry. The old ex-smith had lost the use of an arm, and felt the desire to create a family of his own to replace the lost creations of his hands.
To her horror, the wedding was to be an event of epic proportions in Erebor, and the whole clan began with the preparations. Lost in the hubbub were the confused and bitter lamentations of a young dwarf female, who felt that the halls of her home were falling down around her, crushing her under the very weight of the stone she so loved.
There was one though, who saw her pain for what it was. Her brother Alberich was one she could confide in, and though he did not always agree with her, he would ensure that the spirit behind her stormy eyes not be extinguished for the sake of tradition.
While most of the clan worked on preparations for the wedding, Alberich worked on his own special wedding gift. The night before the great ceremony, he presented a nervous Zazûzigil with a custom-made suit of leather and steel armor. She was moved to tears at the sight, not for the craftsmanship and beauty of the armor (though both were impressive), but for what it represented, a freedom she had never known. Alberich though had one more present for his sister, and he presented her with a perfectly balanced, graceful, but strong, dwarvish claymore. It was his masterwork. Something many dwarven smiths wait their whole lives to create. To him it was bittersweet, as he was but a young dwarf, and already he knew he would never again create such beauty from his own hands. So they both shed tears of joy and tears of loss, as they knew that much sacrifice was required for true glory.
She said her goodbyes to her dear brother, begging him to explain her actions to their parents, knowing that they would not understand. She also promised to return to them when she had made her own way, and earned her own treasures and glory. She took the ceremonial mithril wedding gorget to ever be a reminder of how close to slavery she had come, and donned a simple and rustic cloak to hide her identity before slipping quietly out the front gate. She didn’t look back.
She arrived in Bree in 3010 of the third age. She had traveled through Dale and Rhiovanan and had found them too near to her former home for comfort, and found the frontier town nature of Bree to her liking. By this time, she had taken the name of Tallyrand Ironroot, becoming one of few dwarf females ever to be known to the outside world, and thus taking a name in the tongue of men. She found stable employment as an appraiser and smith of some renown.
Of course by this time the darkness growing in the east and south was growing more and more palpable, and a still restless Tallyrand felt the time to fulfill her promise was soon to come. She began to plan an expedition to her people’s former stronghold and most famous cities, Khazad-Dum, the mines of Moria. Though it is difficult for her to appeal to the few dwarves of the region, as she is but a female, she continues to try to persuade them to follow her. If she is not successful, she will attempt to illicit the help of like-minded men of the region. She has heard rumors of the exploits of the Rangers of the north, and sees in them, from afar, a similar spirit of restlessness and industriousness. Though she is loathe to rely too heavily on the fickle nature of man.
The ring of the hammer on the anvil was like music in the night. The sparks flying through the crisp autumn air, like a rain of diamonds sparkling in the moonlight. Rivers of sweat ran down a well-muscled but distinctly feminine back. The bushy bearded dwarf approached this form tentatively, not knowing exactly how to proceed. He had heard tale of a dwarf woman in the region, but had hardly believed it true. Most humans were foolish enough to believe that they simply looked like dwarf men. The form before him, back bared, save for the clasp of a simple leather apron, could not be mistaken for any dwarf warrior he had ever known.
He gulped, removed his hood, and wiped sweat from his brow, trying to convince himself it was from the heat of the forge. He cleared his throat between hammer blows and was surprised when the woman did not turn to greet him, but simply stated, “Well, you’ve been standin’ there for half the night nearly. Make yerself useful and temper this blade or run on back to your hole.”
His mouth dropped open, as he had never heard a female speak this way. Then he laughed to himself as he realized the only female dwarves that he knew were his mother and aunt, hardly a representative sample. He realized that the hammering had stopped and looked up to see steely grey eyes boring into him over a strong and glistening shoulder. He gulped again and ran forward, pouring water on the still glowing blade. The steam billowed between them, and through it he saw the wry smile of a true smith. He looked down at the creation between them and marveled at the gleaming steel sword. It was slender and graceful, but he could tell it was strong, stronger than most would ever guess. He looked up through the dissipating steam into those piercing eyes again, and thought the same thing could be said for the woman before him.
She laughed for the first time, and said, “Master Dwarf, you’re staring again.”
Caught off guard yet again, the dwarf simply laughed nervously and said, “I beg your pardon, Iron sister. I am called Fori. I had heard tale of a skilled smith in these parts, but I had no idea…” He glanced down at the blade between them. “Truly this is a blade worthy of the halls of lost Khazad-Dum.”
Tallyrand Ironroot looked up, twirled a finger around a gold plaited braid, and said as demurely as a dwarf maiden can, “I am so pleased to hear you say that master Fori…” Her gaze hardened and her voice became as strong as the steel between them, “Because that’s exactly where it is meant to go.”
Hey, I'm sorry to have to pull you back out the Accepted Characters forum, but one of our admins *coughArycough* got a little trigger happy. :p
Anyway, in accordance with the new rules, you're allowed naught but a single weapon, of no significance in mass, and no armor (even leather). Through quests you'll get money and be able to buy more items through our shops. Although these shops are not online yet, our admins have been working very hard to make them as providing and as accurate as possible, and allowing our players to start out with too many items defeats the purpose of these shops. We've made this mistake before, so we're starting anew now. In addition, no mithril armor or weapons are allowed as starting items.
I'm going to have to ask you to edit out the leather and metal armor from your possession list. Because you were accepted by one of the administrators, I'm going to compensate you by allowing you to keep your claymore, although such large weapons are normally not allowed as starting items.
Are you SURE you want it though? I mean, it's a claymore, how's a dwarf gonna wield that? :p
Terribly sorry for mixup.
I understand the desire to create shops to outfit characters, but the fun I, and many, get from RPing is in story-telling, not aquiring new "bling." Honestly, I know that it is also to cut back on the uber-noobs who like to make their characters walking armories, masters in ever weapon under the sun, even one's that aren't genre specific, but in Tallyrand's case, her gear is an integral part of her story.
The armor is something made specifically for her when it wouldn't be able to be aquired in any other way, and as such it represents her freedom.
The mithril gorget, not really armor as much as ornament, is a traditional marriage gift of her clan, and she wears it to both keep a tangible tie to her family, that she loves, and remind her just how close she came to a life of (in her mind) slavery.
And as for the claymore, it is a dwarvish sword, so it is size appropriate. It isn't a traditional Scottish highlander sword, but I wanted to describe a wide, double sided, two-handed, leaf-bladed sword, instead of the stereotypical axe or hammer. It is a solid, tough, damaging weapon, but it is also a bit more graceful, relying on speed and accuracy as much as crushing blows.
If it is really a set in stone, no exceptions rule, I am sure I can come up with something different, but I can't see Tallyrand being Tallyrand without the very few tangible ties she has to her homeland.
The Dwarvish Claymore is fine, so is the ornament, but the armor is not. I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to ask you to remove it, she can be tied to her homeland through her sword and her mithril gorget. And don't worry, I doubt it will completely destroy the personality and playability of your character if you don't have armor for a while. After all, you can always quest for it.
It's nothing personal at all, it's just the rules. You are a great writer, as is evident by the biographies you've submitted thus far, but rules are rules for a reason.