The Stoors were one of the three branches of early Hobbits who lived in the Anduin Vales east of the Misty Mountains. They were broad and stout of build (‘Stoor’ is derived from Old English stōr, meaning ‘large, great, strong’) and unlike other Hobbits, the menfolk of the Stoors had whiskers. They were fond of water and dwelled along riverbanks and in wetlands, and they were capable boatmen. Unlike the other Hobbits, they often wore shoes or boots. When the three branches of Hobbit-kind began to cross the Misty Mountains and migrate into Eriador, the Stoors took two routes: one group through the High Pass north of Rivendell, whence they came to settle in the Angle of the Hoarwell and Loudater rivers; and another group through the Redhorn Pass near Moria, whence they came to settle along the edges of Dunland. Some Stoors later returned back across the Misty Mountains to settle the Gladden fields; these were Sméagol’s folk, and may have had a matriarchal society. Eventually the three areas populated by Stoors were (for the most part) abandoned, and the Stoors came to the Shire, were they settled in the Southfarthing and in Buckland and merged with the Harfoots and Fallohides already living there to become the Shirefolk of the late Third Age.
This lass is one of those Stoors who long ago settled on the marches of Dunland. From their Dunlending neighbours her people have acquired a bardic tradition, and she serves her clan in this role. She leads them in verse and song, orally transmitting and helping them to memorize their history, legends, and (one of the great passions of Hobbit-kind) genealogies. She wears a simple skirt and a fine velvet tunic with decorative vents cut into the sleeves. Over this, she wears a leather cuirass, for bards are not unskilled in battle. Like many Stoors, she goes shod; her shoes are of soft, pliant buckskin. At all times she carries her most treasured possession: her pibgorn, a droning, single-reed pipe lovingly shaped from elderwood.
To find inspiration for a minstrel-ly Hobbit outfit, I turned once again to Tolkien’s languages. In the Hobbits’ Wandering Days the southern Stoors had come into contact with the Men of Dunland, and had taken on some aspects of the Dunlending languages. This linguistic influence can be seen in the names of some hobbits of Stoorish background, for example Gorhendad (Welsh for ‘great-grandfather’) and Meriadoc (a Brythonic name), suggesting that Tolkien would have translated the Dunlending tongues using Brythonic Celtic languages such as Welsh and Bretonic. It stands to reason that these Stoors might have adopted some aspects of Dunlending culture as well. Since it is common practice to look to linguistic cues when depicting the peoples in Tolkien’s stories, perhaps we can turn to the culture of the Insular Celts when depicting the Stoors of old — what better Celtic tradition for a minstrel than the bardic tradition, and the pigborn is perfect for a Stoor bard, since the pibgorn (meaning ‘pipe-horn’) is a traditional Welsh instrument.
- Head: Cotton Cap (crafted — tailor T3; or looted — world drop/general), grey
- Shoulders: Calenard War Pauldrons (crafted — metalsmith T7), rust
- Back: Summer Travelling Cloak (bartered — Lithe festival summer rewards vendor/cosmetic rewards), grey
- Chest: Padded Armour (crafted — tailor T1; or purchased — Combe medium armour vendor; or looted — world drop/general), grey
- Hands: Hill-man’s Cracked Leather Gauntlets (quest reward — Dunland  Throw the Yoke), sienna
- Legs: Clanweave Leggings (quest reward — Dunland  In the Shadow of the Mountain), gold
- Feet: Brushed Shoes (crafted — tailor T7), gold
- Instrument: Simple Pibgorn (purchased — any bard)
Tips: The gloves and leggings used in this outfit have the same appearances as several other Dunland quest rewards. Simple and Basic Pibgorns can be purchased from any bard, and Premium Pibgorns can be crafted by woodworkers. Minstrels can use a Simple Pibgorn at level 20 or a Basic Pibgorn at level 65, and at level 30 they gain the skill to mentor other classes in the use of this glorious instrument.