By Colin Doberstein
This is a biography of Bamfi, my Dwarf minstrel in Lord of the Rings Online. This post is not written by a singing dwarf. It is being written by a committee of five manatees pushing glass balls with words on them. Admit it: you’re not a bit surprised.
Any discussion of the Shadowhide dwarves of the Ered Mithrin must begin with their distinctively dark skin color (hence the name). Bamfi and his clan have long lived deep under the Grey Mountains, and while no conclusive answer to why their skin is almost pitch black has been reached, the amalgamation of rumor and legend says that the rocks which crowd so tightly around Shadowhide strongholds have begun to imprint their characteristics upon the dwarves themselves. While this may or may not be true, the Shadowhides have taken care to cultivate this rumor, leading to the misguided belief among some that they are actually made entirely from living stone. Were such a misguided traveler ever to come into contact with a Shadowhide dwarf, it is unlikely that the dwarf would care to dispel that notion.
Bamfi himself left the tunnels deep under the Grey Mountains because of the declining strength of the Shadowhide clan in that area. Since the intense darkness that pervades most Shadowhide settlements has necessitated a system of coordinated sounds to communicate over long distances, Bamfi found himself already in possession of the basic skills of a minstrel. Being fairly gruff and solitary (standard for most dwarves), Bamfi has taken up the life of a wanderer, adventuring to increase his own power with the hope of increasing the prestige of the Shadowhide dwarves across Middle-Earth.