Petty-dwarf

The Petty-dwarves were outcasts who had been exiled from Dwarven society during the First Age because of their deformity, slothfulness, and rebelliousness. The Petty-dwarves had love for none but themselves, and they took up fugitive, stealthy lives in the wild. They were the first Dwarves to cross the Blue Mountains and come down into Beleriand, and they founded settlements at Amon Rûdh and in the caverns that would later become Nargothrond. While living in Beleriand, the Petty-dwarves diminished further in stature and in craft-skill, and it is said that when they first came into contact with the Elves of Beleriand the Petty-dwarves attacked and harried them under cover of darkness. The Elves had not yet encountered Dwarves of any kind, and took them for animals and hunted them before realising their mistake. Later, Finrod’s folk enlisted the aid of the Great Dwarves, paying them with great store of treasure brought from Valinor, to drive the Petty-dwarves from the caverns at the future site of Nargothrond so that the Elves could claim them. Thus, the Petty-dwarves had an intense hatred for Elves, a hatred that could lead them to commit acts of great treachery and even to ally themselves with the Enemy. Possibly due to their persecution by the Elves and the Great Dwarves, or perhaps because they were few in number to begin with, the population of Petty-dwarves dwindled over time. In IA 502, the Petty-dwarf Mîm was slain by the Man Húrin in retribution for the Dwarf’s part in the doom of Húrin’s son Túrin. Mîm died with a curse on his lips. He was the last of his kind.

This is one of the last of the Petty-dwarves of the First Age. Living a squalid scavenger’s existence in inhospitable, swampy country, he is clad in rough rags, stained and tattered by weather and long wear. At his belt hangs a threadbare satchel, in which he stores the fruits of his scavenging, tough roots for boiling, acorns for roasting, and stones and flints for tools. His most prized possession is his rusty iron hatchet, an heirloom from the days when his kin were first cast from the mansions of the Great Dwarves. His only other weapon is a simple stone which he uses to pummel the small game he traps, squirrels and ground-nesting birds. Life is hard in the wilds of Beleriand, with little more than anger and hatred of the Elves and Great Dwarves to sustain him. Survival has become the focus of his bleak life, but each year there remain fewer and fewer of his kin.

The Petty-dwarves are a pretty intriguing people briefly mentioned in The Silmarillion and some of Tolkien’s other posthumously published writings. I suspect that the Petty-dwarves provided significant inspiration for Turbine’s creation of the Dourhands. Details about the Petty-dwarves are quite scant, and as usual, this makes them all the more fascinating! For example, it is not completely clear which line or lines of the Dwarves they originally belonged to (though I would hazard a guess that they were mostly Firebeards and Broadbeams). It is very interesting that, unlike the Great Dwarves, who kept their native language a closely-guarded secret and never divulged their personal, private Dwarvish names, the Petty-dwarves freely gave their inner names, as evidenced by Mîm and his sons Khîm and Ibun. These three are the only true Dwarvish personal names we know, with the possible exception of Azaghâl (which may rather have been a title) and Felakgundu and Gamil Zirak (which were epithets). In spite of, or perhaps because of, their mysterious nature, the Petty-dwarves are intriguing, and Mîm is an excellent tragic villain whose character seems to combine aspects of the dwarves Andvari and Reginn of Norse mythology.

A note on this Dwarf’s apparent beardlessness: the shoulders that I used in this outfit have quite a “deep” or “thick” texture and hid the short beard that I chosen for my model in many poses. I thought the look was quite striking, really playing up his status as a Petty-dwarf rather than a Great Dwarf (though I hasten to add that nowhere in the text is it suggested that the Petty-dwarves were beardless; indeed Mîm tears at his beard when his son is killed). For this outfit, I selected screenshots to share in which the beard was hidden, but you can achieve a true beardless look on your Dwarf character if you like. Here’s how: while you have a hooded cloak equipped, such as the one in this outfit, equip any of the various helmets or masks that hide the beard on Dwarves. A common and easy-to-obtain example of this kind of helm is the Dunland War Helm (crafted). You will not be able to see the helm on your Dwarf because of the cloak’s hood, but the beard will be completely removed!

  • Shoulders: Skirmish Pauldrons of the Mark (crafted — tailor T8/Men of the Sutcrofts reputation), yellow
  • Back: Hooded Tattered Cloak (looted — lootbox), gold
  • Chest: Padded Vest of Fate (looted — world drop/general), grey
  • Hands: Leather Bracers of the Gentle Stag (quest reward — Dunland [66] The Village Burns), default
  • Legs: Isengard Prisoner Leggings (quest reward — epic [72] Volume 3, Book 4, Chapter 20: In the Presence of Saruman), Ranger green
  • Feet: Brushed Shoes (crafted — tailor T7), grey
  • Satchel: Stitched Leather Satchel (purchased — LOTRO Store), default

Tips: I really wanted to use the Rune-sack (purchased — LOTRO Store) for this outfit instead of the Stitched Leather Satchel, but unfortunately the longstanding bug which prevents satchels purchased from the Store from being dyed from their basic turquoise colour is still unresolved. If this bug is ever fixed, the crude Rune-sack would be a great addition to this outfit, but until then a standard satchel will have to do. If you prefer hoodless cloaks, you could retain the same rough feel by using the (hoodless) Tattered Cloak (looted — lootbox) and top off the outfit with the Shabby Cap (quest reward — Yule festival [10] Self-sacrifice: Support the Poor), Isengard Prisoner Bandana (quest reward — epic [72] Volume 3, Book 4, Chapter 21: Servants of Saruman), or Trapper’s Bandana (bartered — skirmish camp cosmetic quartermaster/cosmetic items). The bracers used in this outfit have the same appearance as several other Dunland quest rewards.

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10 Responses to Petty-dwarf

  1. What an amazing dwarf! I never heard of Petty-dwarves (or didn’t read carefully enough) and somehow they strike me as a bit sad and melancholic dwarves, as your dwarf seems to reflect. I love the colors you used in the backdrop of the swamp. Love how the shoulders fit into this outfit, hiding the beard. Really wonderful and special outfit. :)

    • I’ve always thought their story was sad too, even though they might not have been very nice. I’m happy that melancholy feeling came through! Mîm did some evil things but I feel like he was also evilly done to, so I was hoping to convey that kind of tragic sense in his expression. I’m glad you liked this one, thank you Hymne! :D

  2. Iaksones says:

    Awesome concept and fine work! Extra points for using such a wide variety of pieces.

    I had thought you’d somehow done the beardless glitch with that hood before you explained it was just hidden by clipping (clipping, ha! Cause it’s a beard!). Beardless dorfs are quite a sight to behold.

  3. Nathrien says:

    Such a sombre piece of lore and an inspirational outfit to match it! I’ve never seen any character in my LOTRO experiences that looks as solemn and lonesome as this dwarf. Starry, you’ve captured a profound sense of tragedy in your screenshots that I’ve rarely seen. Well done!

  4. Alastan says:

    Amazing work! I just finished reading the chapter about the petty-dwarves in The children of Hurin book , and i think if they ever existed they would ook just like this!

  5. mephet says:

    It’s been a while since I’ve played lotro, but I’m starting to get back into it and therefore hurried to catch up with your blog. This outfit really stood out! It looks original, realistic & functional. Great work! :) Thanks for the lore info – I had never heard of these dwarves before.

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