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The oldest Being in Endor, nobody knew what exactly Tom Bombadil was. There were many claims, but the most likely ones were easily narrowed down. Some said that he was the first Ainu to enter , originally the chief of Yavanna's people, a powerful Earth Spirit and Yavanna made him the caretaker of the Wild Wood that once covered most of Middle-earth, but his wardship had since taken on an unplanned character. As the years passed, Master Tom had become increasingly rooted to the land, and his spirit was now tied to the ever-shrinking Forest. Thus, much of his original Ainu character had gradually disappeared. His contact to Yavanna had waned, and he saw less and less of his friend Orome. Others said that he was either a unique Ainu that embodied part of Arda, a spirit of Arda so to speak, or he was not even an Ainu at all, but an Avatar of the great forest of Eriador and the landscape that came with it, and probably the first sentient being to ever exist o Middle-Earth, and as it was destroyed by Numenorean settlers, Tom Bombadil basically had to restrict the brunt of his power in the Old Forest in particular, for some reason. It is still possible that even as a non-Maia or even a non-Ainur, he might have been chief among Yavanna's people in some way, but due to his tendency to speak, albeit apparently unintentionally due to his unique perspective, in riddles, not much can be confirmed about Tom Bombadil. What is confirmed about Tom Bombadil is that he was married to Water Spirit Goldberry, however, and enjoyed strong relations with both the Ents (S. "Onodrim") and Elves of the woods. By the late Third Age, little remained of Tom's once-glorious forest domain. Only the small enclave in central Eriador reflected the original nature of its essence. This evolution paralleled the maturation of Middle-earth and the waning of the old ways associated with the Elder Days. Tom Bombadil, the embodiment of ancient Endor, had retreated from the world accordingly, his spirit following the path of his beloved wood. Within the confines of the Old Forest, Tom Bombadil's power was absolute. His soul, married to the land, was as strong as the earth he represented. No spells could harm him; no charms could seduce him. Master Tom went his own way, singing and dancing according to the ageless rhythm of the Wild Wood. Innocent, he knew little of the nature of Evil, and cared less about events outside his ward. Tom did not suffer malice or injustice well, however, and he was never above intervening in order to aid a creature in need. The Oldest One lived in a quaint cottage nestled in the upper Dingle Valley, not far from where River Withywindle tumbled into the eastern reaches of the Old Forest Valley. There, he resided with Goldberry, the beautiful daughter of the River Woman. Tom's spirit was tied to its fana and, like the Balrogs and fallen Wizards, he had lost the ability to shun his form. Although he could merge with the wind or trees, his powers were but a faint suggestion of his original incarnation.

Tom's Fána

Short, stout, red-faced, and buoyant, Master Tom was a merry fellow who favored bright clothes and joyous celebration. Always active, his hop- ping strides and simple poems color life in all the quarters of the otherwise grim forest, almost as if Old Tom retained all the youth lost by the trees over the long years. He sported a long brown beard, hanging hair and sparkling eyes and looked much like a large, happy Dwarf or a small round-bellied eriadorian Farmer or Woodsman; but even the Hobbits knew better. His battered, pointed hat with its blue feather, his blue coat, and his large, ever-clean yellow boots betrayed his friendly personality, but they also marked him as unique. The Kuduk harbored no illusions about his association with normal folk. Good of heart and hospitable, he was the consummate host, although few dared visit him in the haunted wood.

Artifacts

  • old tall Hat with a swan-feather
  • coat
  • bright blue jacket
  • green girdle
  • leather breeches
  • yellow Boots
  • Bombadil's Rune-stone
  • fiddle
  • green stockings
  • Staff (Old Stave)— A simple, grey, willow staff, it enables the wielder to communicate with any plant. The plant will respond according to its gift of spirit, but the wielder can always ascertain the exact nature of the plant and its feelings.

Powers

  • Healing— Tom Bombadil can heal the ills of any plant within 360' by merely concentrating upon it, and he can heal the ills of any animal by placing his hands upon the target and concentrating.
  • Strength of Form— Tom is extremely powerful and resilient when operating within the confines of the Old Forest. He draws extra strength from the ancient woodland.
  • Strength of Spirit— Within the confines of the Old Forest, Tom cannot be affected by spells.
  • Wind-running— If he concentrates, Tom can merge with the air and run on the wind at a rate up to 360 miles per hour with the wind, or 180 miles per hour against the wind. This power can only be used within 36 miles of the edge of the Old Forest.
  • Merging— Tom can concentrate and merge with any tree in the Old Forest, becoming virtually invulner- able and undetectable.
  • Lore— Tom can look at any plant or touch any rock and ascertain its nature and origin.
  • Ward of the Old Forest— Within the confines of the Old Forest bounds (regardless of the wood's size), Tom Bombadil can simultaneously sense any Presence. When concentrating, he can hear and smell anything in the wood in the direction he faces.
  • Song of Storms— Tom Bombadil will occassionally have a singing contest with Mock the Trickster. Both Maiar are capable of summoning winds, thunderclouds, insect swarms, phantoms, and small earth tremors to break each other's concentration. 
  • Languages — Tom Bombadil speaks all known languages. His mother tongue is Valarin, but he usually speaks Westron.

Names

  • Forn
  • Iarwain ben-Adar
  • Old Forest Guide
  • Orald
  • Tom Bombadil
  • Yarë

References

  • MERP:Lords of Middle-earth Vol I: The Immortals
  • MERP: The Shire
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