Roothar (the Slaver) (Hâllback, 2300's? a.a.H. - ? a.a.H.)
Roothar (Surname currently unknown) was a clothier, slaver, information broker and spy. Roothar was a noted traveling clothes merchant and slaver who plied his sordid trade from various markets in the continents of northern Zarhuy to southern Aels. He would intersect several characters in various stories of the world of Aiers. He often projects an amiable personality, appearing as a happy, small dwarven trader with a pipe always in his mouth. This is largely a cover for a tough and skilled dwarven fighter with a mean streak.
Very little is known specifically about Roothar. But some details have emerged.
Roothar was born in the Farian Duergar city of Hâllback, in Faria in the northern Zarhuy continent, presumably in the mid 2300's a.a.H. Family background is unknown, but either due to some family prestige or great talent, Roothar received training as a dwarven equivalent of a knight and achieved a rank of paladin.
Note: "Paladin" is used as a martial designation, not as one related to a holy order in this case.
Roothar might have originated from a well to do family, or been especially talented, or both. Dwarves are well known for an almost caste system of familial roles that are hard to rise from, so he might have been from a clan of warriors. However, the Duergar dwarves are much less set in these roles, the Farian duergar are especially noted as trades-dwarves.
Note: The term "Duergar" in Aiers, refers to one of the two dwarven branches of language. Duergar have differences from other dwarves in language and culture rather than any overt differences, although Farian Duergar are the second smallest dwarven race aside from the Gmones, who are the smallest. Other races, such as elves and humans, have little compunction about referring to duergar as dwarves, and often consider Duergar peoples the more friendly dwarves. Duergar are more open to the world and more commonly seen on the surface and are known as trades-dwarves, crafts-dwarves, and artisans. The "Dwarves" themselves being more insular and rigid in their culture. The "Dwarves" painting the "Duergar" as untrustworthy because of their openness and social flexibility. They would tend to see their own inflexibility as being steadfast.
Soldier to MerchantEdit
Roothar is known to have risen high indeed as a fighter, serving as a paladin for Hâllback. It is unknown how long he served in that capacity, but it might be suspected that he made a career of at least moderate length out of it? It is unknown why he quit that occupation. Given the usual dwarven emphasis on honor and disdain for hawking wares, one might presume that maybe a great personal catastrophe occurred leading to loss of honor and removal from his post? However, as a duergar, such an outcome is not necessary and his reasons might have been far more mundane.
But a loss of honor might well explain his unknown clan name?
In any case, Roothar became a quite mobile merchant who connects with various peoples both above ground and in the underworld of Kazrrad. He frequently sells elven and drow clothes to other races, and might then buy or trade other goods for those textiles (such as slaves).
Roothar may have gotten his start as a guard for dwarven caravans, and then became a merchant himself. He usually works as his own boss, but frequently joins other dwarves and merchants as part of their caravans for big jobs or to sell his international expertise as well as mercantile capabilities.
Roothar is a bigamist as he has two wives, and some dwarven girlfriends as well. It is known that he has a loving and gentle first wife along with three children of unknown ages back home in Hâllback. He has a second, far more aggressive, wife that lives in Nortunk, along with a son who is about half grown.
So far, Roothar has managed to keep his bigamy and various other infidelities from becoming known. He has quite the skill at 'sweet talk' for his wives and as a sales-dwarf.
Roothar travels along the north of Zarhuy, into the Kanov and human empire of the Caliphate of Blazakhov, the smaller Sunner drow states, and tribes of Desert elfs and more. He often meets up with and does business and exchanges of information with Farian dwarf merchants who travel far into the interior of Zarhuy, and do business with orcs, and far off dwarven nations, and the remaining high elf colonies in Zarhuy. He also travels beneath the Sea of Caritz and deals with the drow empire of Negeémiliel, and doubtlessly other drow states. He is not above dealing with the primitive Ur Dur goblins as well. Ultimately trading with the powerful Nortunk dwarves.
Naturally, the knowledge he has gained is of great price. He often works as an advisor for merchants, selling his information. He also acts as spy for the King of Nortunk, particularly regarding the Nortunk dwarves' perennial foes, the Negeémi drow. As a Farian dwarf (duergar), he is better able to act as a spy.
Roothar appears as a secondary character, but one who has had many encounters with primary characters in Aiers stories.
Fluffy the Pet ElfEdit
Roothar has encountered Fluffy the Pet Elf (Naemae the Younger) on two separate occasions. In both Fluffy was owned as a slave by the Wrall and Son Stone Trade Company. The first instance Roothar was acting as an advisor for his fellow Farian dwarves of the Wrall and Son Stone Company, in particular, giving expertise on gaining a Drow contract to sell them armors. Roothar resolved to try and find drow women who might serve as models so as to make armors that would be likely to fit. The second occasion was when Roothar had found drow women to sell to the company as slaves.
Roothar had a trading arrangement with a tribe of Ur Dur goblins that operated in the territory of the city-state of Zannas. This encouraged them to capture interlopers as slaves, and quite possibly raided for captives as well. An expedition by the Adventurers' Guild of Zannas, led by Bog the Barbarian, and including Maylara Maltree and Neroe Rhedyn, found themselves overwhelmed by the goblins. Roothar, in conjunction with at least one other slaver operation, bought these captive adventurers. (Possibly including other prisoners as well. Other captives who were held by the slavers were present)
Maylara Maltree and Neroe Rhedyn went with Roothar himself, and journeyed to a Negeémi drow military and trading outpost. Bog and four other companions of his adventurers party went with the other group, splitting off from Roothar, presumably going directly to Negeémiliel itself.
Speculation: Perhaps, acting as an agent for the Nortunk king, Roothar might have set up the arrangement with the goblins to create disorder in the Zannas state for some reason? Possibly due to trade wars or some dispute?
When selling the two hapless adventurers of Maylara Maltree and Neroe Rhedyn, and probably other captives as well, Roothar came under the suspicion of three Negeémi Acolytes, who have collectively become known as the Drow Trio. The three acolytes decided to capture Roothar and enslave him instead! The justification for this was that the selling slaves outside of an approved slave market, under the authority of the Negeémi Slave Commission is illegal. But paying off acolytes and their commanders is common practice, presumably Roothar had done so already with Captain Xuunera Lo'Kee.
In any case, the Drow Trio were tempted by Roothar's money and wanted to waylay him outside the outpost. They expected little trouble from the small, congenial, dwarven merchant, and were unprepared for when he fought back. Roothar captured the three drow acolytes and made them part of his caravan, and marched them to the southern extent of Kazrrad through a secret cavern that was known to him. (Again, this might be indicative of his intelligence gathering activities). The drow trio would be sold in a Farian dwarf (Duergar) surface market to the Wrall and Son Stone Trade Company.
Sometime, perhaps in mid 2427 a.a.H., possibly traveling loosely with the Wrall and Son Stone Trade Company, Roothar would set up at a tiny market near the borders of the Plains of Antor and eastern Bareds. He would be approached by the Wild elf Nariza, whom he would turn away for presumably having little money or else he didn't want to deal with wild elves whom he held in disdain. Additionally, Nariza was likely a scruffy looking wild elf at that for her wanderings in the badlands with her master, the dragon she called "Father Dragon".
Nariza would return later with her master, and Father Dragon would ensure that his slave, and possibly representative, would get very good treatment from the dwarven clothier! Despite his proven capability and general fearlessness; Roothar was much unnerved by the experience and would henceforth regard trading in the badlands with little backup too dangerous given this encounter.
Return of Maylara MaltreeEdit
One of Roothar's former victims, Maylara Maltree, had escaped her (illegal) enslavement, and had returned to the outpost to gain vengeance on Roothar. More importantly, she wanted his records of to whom he had sold her companion Neroe Rhedyn. Despite her possessing magic, she was unable to overcome the skilled fighter, and was defeated by him. She would have ended up sold again, but for the interference of the Negeémi Acolyte Laeh'le Dahl'Arak, who had heard the fight. As Maylara was disguised as an acolyte herself, Laeh'le thought that May was a fellow acolyte, and at May's mention that an acolyte patrol was nearby, Roothar thought that he was in trouble.
Roothar showed Maylara his record for to whom Neroe was sold, and then both parties quickly took leave of the outpost, going in separate ways.
In large part, due to his capture and disposition of the Drow Trio, and the stir that Maylara Maltree had created, Roothar returned to Zarhuy and his home city for a time, and missed out on the Hebonnor-Negeémi War. He was likely afraid that he would be found out as the culprit for the disappearance of the Drow Trio, or at least questioned over whatever Maylara was up to. He did return to the continent of Aels and his second wife in Nortunk by 2429 a.a.H.