Azaghâl was the Lord of Belegost during the First Age of Middle-earth, and as the lord of one of the great mansions of the Dwarves, he and his line were probably direct descendants of one of the Seven Fathers of his race. Azaghâl’s folk, the Dwarves of Belegost, were on good terms with the Elves of Beleriand, being friends to both the Sindar and the Noldor in exile. Azaghâl had in particular shown great gratitude to the Noldorin lord Maedhros, who had come to his aid when he was waylaid by Orcs while traveling along the great east-west road of Beleriand. Thus, the Dwarves of Belegost joined the Union of Maedhros and fought alongside Elves and Men against Morgoth during the battle that came to be known as Nirnaeth Arnoediad, the Unnumbered Tears, and it was on that terrible field that Azaghâl found both glory and doom.
Azaghâl is seen here, as his host prepares to join the Men and Elves in their assault on Morgoth’s fortress of Angband. He is clad in mighty armour wrought in the forges of Belegost, and bears both axe and dagger. His war-helm is crowned with the likeness of snow-capped mountain peaks beneath the Moon and covers his face, for the Dwarves of Belegost favoured visors and masks graven with fearsome visages. These masks, and the natural hardiness of their bodies, stood the Dwarves in good stead against the terror of Glaurung, the fire-breathing worm bred by Morgoth. Indeed, Glaurung was present upon the field of battle that day, and Azaghâl’s dwarves surrounded the worm, hewing his scaled body with their axes. But Glaurung was a fearsome foe, and smiting Azaghâl hurled him to the ground and crushed him with his great body. With his dying strength, Azaghâl thrust his dagger into the belly of the worm, wounding Glaurung so deeply that he fled, and with him many of the creatures of Angband. Then the Dwarves of Belegost raised up the body of their fallen lord and bore him from the field of battle, singing a deep-voiced funeral dirge. So terrible were they in their grief that of the hosts of Morgoth none dared to hinder their passage.
I have been itching to use this classic mask-like helm for ages, but I wanted to use it in it’s interesting base colour, which proved tough to match. I finally came across the the combination with the chest piece and then used the shoulders to match the interesting steely-blue band on the helm, and the rest of the outfit fell into place. I love a good epic dwarf-warrior outfit, and I’m very pleased with the way this one turned out! Because of the mask-like nature of the helm, it seemed a perfect outfit to use in a portrait of the heroic Azaghâl.
As a linguistic sidenote, Azaghâl is an interesting name because it appears to be a word in Khuzdûl, the language of the Dwarves. Perhaps the Dwarves of Belegost, or the Dwarves of the First Age in general, did not share the Third-Age Dwarves’ tradition of keeping their Khuzdûl names secret and choosing an outer name from the tongues of their neighbours. If Azaghâl is indeed a name, it is one of the few Khuzdûl personal names that we know. On the other hand, it may be just a title or an epithet. It has been suggested that the word is linguistically related to the Adûnaic (Númenórean) word azgara, meaning “to wage war”. Thus, Azaghâl may mean “warrior”.
- Head: Helm of Rallying (looted — world drop/level 55), white
- Shoulders: Pauldrons of the Healing Hands (bartered — Ox-clan merchant camp Captain trader/Captain instance armour), white
- Chest: Lesser Ward of the West Breastplate (bartered Harndirion novices quartermaster/tier 1 difficulty Guardian armour), black
- Hands: Gauntlets of the Indomitable Protector (bartered — Galtrev adventurer’s quartermaster/Guardian), black
- Legs: Hall-captain’s Leggings (bartered medallion barter reward — Echad Andestel Captain trader or Caras Galadhon Captain trainer or Ost Galadh Captain trainer), black
- Feet: Lesser Ward of the West Boots (bartered — Harndirion novices quartermaster/tier 1 difficulty Guardian armour), black
Tips: The helm used in this outfit is a world drop found in level 55+ areas. If you keep an eye on the auction house, you can find one for sale there from time to time. Items from the Isengard sets are available at the Ox-clan Merchant Camp. I used the Captain shoulders, but the Guardian and Champion shoulders have the same appearance. Items from the In Their Absence sets are available at Harndirion; again I used the Guardian pieces but the Champion and Captain pieces look the same. The leggings share their appearance with the Hall-general’s Leggings (bartered — Twenty-first Hall Captain trainer). The gloves from the Captain and Champion sets available from the adventurer’s quartermaster in Galtrev share the same appearance as the Guardian ones used in this outfit.
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