Let me introduce myself: I am Brrokk Barrowbane. I come originally from
the Lonely Mountain far to the East, but I journeyed to these lands in
search of riches. Well, that is nothing unusual for a dwarf as you know,
but I had little alternative. As a younger son of a large and by no
means rich family, I did not have much hope of easy wealth. And, I
admit, I was proud. My family were retainers and servants to the dwarf
lords who had returned to the Mountain after the defeat of the drake
Smaug, but I did not relish such employment. I therefore gathered my few
possessions and jouneyed westward, towards Eriador and the Halls of
Thorin I had heard of in the far-off Blue Mountains.
days I was simply called Brrokk; the name given to me by my family.
Among my kin a second name must be earned or taken by force. I chose the
second way as I will now disclose.
Arriving in the Blue Montains
I was awed by the magnificence of Thorin's Hall and the great statue of
Durin carved in the cliff above. I decided to learn the jeweller craft
as a means to gain wealth, imagining that mining gold and skilfully
working it would quickly attract rich customers. But I found that many
others had chosen the same path, and moreover the only precious metal
easily found in the Blue Mountains was copper.
And searching for
copper I came into conflict with goblins who also sought it in the Vale
of Thrain. I therefore determined to practice with weapons. I learned
the use of armour and shield too, and soon began to study the role of a
In fighting against evil creatures I naturally came
into contact with others doing the same. A few of us formed a rough
band. "Wight Knuckle" we called ourselves; a name of intended double
meaning which we hoped would gain a fell reputation. Well, wights were
evil and to be defeated. Their knuckles were often prominently visible,
but we would offer them our own, and worse too. And then, many of us
shared tales of a mythical "Isle of Wight", which we believed to be far
off in the Encircling Seas and which was a place of great beauty and
But I digress into mythology. We of Wight Knuckle
became a force to be reckoned with, and soon carried our war against the
minions of evil into Breeland. I remember Steveomere the elf, who first
introduced me into the group; he was a skilled minstrel. An elf, you
say? Why would a dwarven warrior associate with an elf? Well, but the
group also included Jayar, a fearsome dwarf champion and skilled
metalsmith, who made for me many fine armour pieces. And then there was
the man Carlfrid, always ready to shoot at the foe with his great bow.
Sometimes, he was ready before the rest of us.
Ah, those were the
days. I remember many victories. And I remember the day which decided
my name. Wight Knuckle were to celebrate their name by making a raid
into Othrongroth, the Great Barrow, in the Barrow Downs near Bree. I did
not feel quite ready for this, but the rest were eager to confront an
evil wight named Sambrog. We entered the barrow. Things went well at
first as we fought various nasty creatures. But on a twisting stair I
mistook my way and lost the rest of the party.
I could say that I
was gripped with fear, but I am a dwarf. I ran as fast as my legs would
carry me, down and then up the stairs, trying side passages. I could
hear the voices of my friends urging me to rejoin them, but I could not
find the way to them! Instead, cold mists curled around my feet and foul
wights came to a semblance of life and lumbered after me. Hairs stood
up on the back of my neck as I tried to escape from my bewilderment and
Well, I survived. I rejoined my friends and upbraided them
for advancing too fast and leaving me behind. They seemed amused, but
anger burned within me. And yet, rather than allowing the anger to grow
hot and scorch the bonds of friendship, I found that I could guide and
channel it. It became a rage against the dead, who in this place would
usurp life and make mockery of the living. Thus it was that when we all
finally met Sambrog, my blows were a good part of his defeat. I took
from his skeletal remains the axe, "Sambrog's Bane" that I used in
battle for long afterwards. And I also took my name: "Barrowbane".
that time, I have made it my first purpose to return the dead to death
at every opportunity. The Wight Knuckle fellowship is no more; some have
grown slack in the defence of Middle Earth, although I am glad to say
that Carlfrid is here too in our present company. I drink to him in
memory of the many foul things we have slain together. But I do not
forget that night in Othrongroth. My armour is black, and although I
have owned several axes since, all have been named "Bane of Sambrog".
Ah, and I have also become a supreme master jeweller and am now comfortably rich.