Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain
Tóki the Toymaker
Pipe-smoking journeyman toymaker of Dale, with a magical gift
Tóki was born in the Iron Hills on 23 Solmath1 in TA WXYZ,2 within an extended family with a tradition as upstanding stonemasons. Though he had an elder sister (the age gap is typically 10 years), Tóki was his father’s son and heir.
His prosaic family soon saw that in Tóki they had a very particular son. His delight was not in the stable form, structure and strength of stone, but in moving things. He played with his toys long after other dwarflings had put them aside, and indeed took to making his own, in which he demonstrated considerable skill.
Though they raised him sternly, as is the way of the dwarves (and he is trained in fighting with axes and shields) they were unable to overcome his wilful refusal to learn anything of the family trade. He seemed to court controversy, adopting at an early age the Blue Mountain dwarves’ pastime of smoking Shire Leaf. He also showed a worrying disregard for the tradition that no dwarf can marry without establishing themselves in society with many decades of responsible service in a respectable trade; compared to his asexual race, Tóki is a lecher.
Toymaking being a lowlier profession than stonemasonry, Tóki did really well for himself to push for and get a good apprenticeship with Master Toymaker Framleiðandi in the mannish town of Dale without alienating his family. And with this, his life was completely changed. His master taught him well, including teaching of the perils of magic, and the false magics of the East. Then one day last year (TA 2987) Tóki returned from a visit to his family in the Iron Hills to find Framleiðandi gone, though cryptically Klerkur the mannish apprentice said the master had been very particular that a newly-made toy duck was not for sale, and was intended for Tóki himself.
Over the next several months Tóki came to fear the worst, that Framleiðandi must have fallen foul of the same evil sorceries as he had so sternly warned against. His simple joy in his vocation began to wane. What point was there in toys, in a world dominated by evil?
Then Thorfinn3 arrived in Dale, seeking assistance in an effort to reclaim the treasure of his family’s fallen mansion.4 This would require him to gain access to places for which he did not possess the keys, and which might be protected by the infamous vault-traps of the dwarven engineers of old. Tóki’s toymaking profession gave him knowledge and skills that could be applicable to all manner of fine mechanisms, and he recognized in this an alternate outlet for his talents.
And the rest, as the minstrels say, is history: THE TREASURE OF THE HOUSE OF DATHRIN…
1 i.e. 23 February
2 Probably somewhere between 2926 & 2946, making him 30-50 yrs old. Please choose. (Dwarves attain their majority at around 30.)
3 We originally just said ‘they knew each other’ from the Iron Hills. This could be explained in more detail…
4 As detailed in Thorfinn’s character history.