Khazad-dûm, the Dwarrowdelf, was truly a wonder in its day. Mine, workplace, and residence of the Longbeards, it was vast and intricate beyond the imagining of outsiders. While passing through Moria on their dark journey, surrounded by impenetrable darkness and the fathomless weight of the stone and earth of the mountains, Gandalf told the company that there were many wells and streams within Moria, and indeed they could hear water churning down a deep pit, “as if some great mill-wheel were turning in the depths” — the Water-works. In the upper levels, there were “great windows on the mountain-side, and shafts leading out to the light”, where the three peaks of Moria were enveloped in clouds and swirling winds. The lower levels were hot with flames and smoke, perhaps home to the forges of Khazad-dûm, and below them, at unimaginable depths, the Foundations of Stone. Dwarrowdelf, wondrous mansion of the dwarves, was alive with the elements of Arda.
Any large population of people dwelling together needs a consistent and clean source of water for a variety of uses, and based on the observations of the company of the Ring, Turbine has provided this in the form of the Water-works, a wondrous system of aqueducts, wheels, and possibly filtration and purification systems located in the lower levels of Moria. Here the various underground rivers that flow through the caverns of Khazad-dûm come together in the mighty falls known as Durin’s Beard. This dwarf is a fount-usher, responsible in the days before the Fall of Moria for ensuring that the flow of life-giving water never ceases. He inspects the complex devices for wear and tear, clears the aqueducts of debris, and ensures that the water remains pure and sweet. Turtles of unusual size and ferocity have at times been a problem in the Water-works, and he has been forced to curtail their numbers when they grow too many. From the shell of one these beasts, he has fashioned a clever backpack by using fitted piece of waxed canvas that attaches snugly to either end, thus providing a hard-cased container for his tools and equipment. It has a number of useful pouches and compartments, and can act as a floatation device at need. It is even decorated with a small preserved turtle-leg. He also carries a flask, for taking water samples, and a sharp-bladed dagger, which is sheathed at the base of his pack. His work-robe is of heavy waxed canvas, and his boots of well-oiled turtle-skin keep his feet somewhat dry. This is one dwarf who loves the water, and more than anything loves seeing this impressive artifice of his people function smoothly each day.
This outfit is the third in a four-part series called the Keepers of Moria, based on special positions I imagine could have existed among the dwarves responsible for the maintenance of Khazad-dûm before its fall. Each outfit also refers to one of the four classic elements; this one represents the element of water. I felt that creating a “watery-dwarf” was the biggest conceptual challenge in this collection, as there aren’t a lot of cosmetic items in-game that allude specifically to water, so instead I decided to try a turtle theme to go along with some of the denizens of the zone. The robe and tight, almost rubbery-looking boots seemed water-resistant to me, while the shell backpack, bandana, and deep collar gave him the suggestion of a turtle-like appearance.
- Head: Isengard Prisoner Bandana (quest reward — epic  Volume 3, Book 4, Chapter 21: Servants of Saruman), turquoise
- Shoulders: Ceremonial Beast-master Shoulders (bartered — skirmish camp cosmetics quartermaster/Helegrod cosmetic clothing – light), olive
- Back: Sea-turtle Pack (purchased — LOTRO Store), Rivendell green
- Chest: Comfortable Robe (bartered — skirmish camp cosmetics quartermaster/cosmetic clothing), turquoise
- Hands: Fingerless Gloves (quest reward — Yule festival  Self-sacrifice: Support the Poor), turquoise
- Feet: Disused Boots of the Dunland Soothsayer (quest reward — Dunland  The Blocked Supply-lines), turquoise
Tips: If your character belongs to a shield-using class, you could take the turtle theme even further by equipping him or her with one of the Shell Shields (Heavy, Warden’s or Light; looted — Filikul/Nornúan) from the “turtle raid”. Many classes also have turtle-shell legendary weapons that drop in the same raid. The boots used in this outfit have the same appearance as several other Dunland quest rewards.