A Character from Margaret Weis
and Tracy Hickman
Tasslehoff was born in Kendermore. He was the older of two children born to Kalin and Lyena Burrfoot. The Burrfoot’s were in the mapmaking profession. They made their living wandering and making maps. Kalin was renown for his cartography skills, which were far more accurate and detailed than most kender maps.
On Blessings (The kender name for the month of December) 2nd 325 A.C. Tasslehoff was born. It was a relatively simple birth. Tasslehoff arrived early, a sign of good luck among kender, and was a pleasant baby. He was named Tasslehoff after his parents took one look at the head full of hair their new baby had. He had his father’s smile and his mother’s eyes.
During these first couple years Kalin continued to work, leaving Lyena and Tas at home. Lyena Burrfoot raised Tasslehoff with the help of her brother and sisters. Tasslehoff was like most kender babies, he was curious, fearless, and a little troublemaker. Around one and a half Tasslehoff began to walk and over the next year he was quite adept at losing his caregivers, something the two year old seem to take a sort of pride in.
From time to time in Tas’s early childhood, Tasslehoff’s father, Kalin, would come home from his travels. These were very special times for the young kender. He immensely enjoyed the short time he had with his father, playing with him for days at a time. When in town Kalin was sure to take Tas with him everywhere he went. This began Tas’s fascination with maps. His father had many maps, and dealt with them day in and day out. He would tell Tas about the wonderful adventures he had. For years Tas dreamed of the day he would get to go with his father and see the world. This wonder at the outside world was certainly not suppressed by the fact that Tas's uncle was the legendary kender Uncle Trapspringer, whose stories he heard throughout his childhood.
Lyena, Tasslehoff’s mother, spent a good deal of time baking and cooking. She was one of the best cooks in Kendermore, specializing in mongoose pies that were so good they could cause riots in their neighborhood. Kalin was fond of saying that “Lyena could turn a week-old loaf of bread into a feast”. Tas picked up his not inconsiderable cooking skills from his mother.
When Tas turned four Lyena joined her husband on his journeys and Tasslehoff was left with his Aunt Feathertail in Kendermore. Tasslehoff lived and played as many kender do at this time in their life. He spent most of his time with other kender his age, playing kender games and learning about what it means to be a kender. A year later his parents returned with a surprise for him. They brought home a new sister. He wasn’t sure where they found her, but was happy to have a new sibling. Lyena once again stayed home for the next couple years to watch over Fillina, Tasslehoff’s sister. So Tas was able to spend more time with his mother and his new sister, which was a treat for the kender.
At the age of seven Kalin decided that Tasslehoff was old enough to accompany him on his expeditions and took the young kender on is first real journey outside of the Kenderwood. Kalin took his son to map the region between Floatsom and Khuri-khan, and just as Tas thought, it was very exciting. They were taken in by exotic barbarian type bandits and given a place to stay for a couple days. It did resemble a cage, but at least they were fed and given a chance to rest. When the time was right Kalin decided to open the locked door on their accommodations and the father and son left quietly. They also discovered an ancient burial complex that they explored and mapped thoroughly, and even had a chance to see if they were faster than a mad wyvern, it was the most excitement Tasslehoff had ever experienced.
Over the next couple years Tasslehoff spent his time between living in Kendermore and living on the road with his parents. A defining incident in young Tas's life occured once when he borrowed a pair of shoes, and his sister lit them on fire. Unfortunately they were still in the market place next to the stall that Tas had taken the shoes from to try on. The owner of the shoes had caught the kender and threatened them with jail or worse, saying that kender were nothing but a type of vermin that need to be exterminated. This hurt Tas deeply who swore he had only been trying the on the shoes to make sure they fit before he paid for them. Kalin rescued his children and had a talk with Tas who had fallen into an unusual funk since the incident. Tas asked his father if the vendor was right. He asked why he was so small and defenseless. He told his father he wanted to be big like the humans and elves and do great things. His father told him that kender were small because they were meant to do small things. “If you look at the world closely” he said ,“ you’ll see that they are really made up of small things joined together and it’s the small things that make a difference in the end.”
Tasslehoff continued to travel with his parents and learned many things on his journeys. His father showed him the art of mapmaking and how to use a hoopak. His mother taught him how to speak goblin and a little Troglodyte. He learned many skills and visited more places than most kender his age would have. In the fall of 339 A.C, when Tas was 14, the Burrfoots returned to Kendermore for an extended stay. Tasslehoff had noticed his parents were remaining long and longer each visit back to his hometown. But there was something different this time. All winter the young kender felt trapped. He felt as if there was somewhere he needed to be and it showed. For his fifteenth birthday Kalin gave Tas a collections of maps, his mother gave him a set of new walking shoes, and his sister gave him a new sling for his hoopak. Tas thanked them all and the next day he set out on the road. Wanderlust, that period of time in every kender's life where they cannot stay at home, and instead explore the world, had finally kicked in.
Over the next several years, Tas wandered around Ansalon, making friends with charachters like Fizban, and had several adventures. During Tas's Wanderlust, he ended up in Solace during a festival. He stumbled upon the unattended booth of Flint Fireforge, who was selling his wares that day. Tas spotted a shiny copper bracelet in the booth's glass case and somehow it ended up in his possession. Tas was caught red-handed in the act which is how he met Flint and Tanis. Their first adventure was to return that bracelet to the Dargonesti elf princess who commissioned Flint to craft it. It had the power to show its wearer the near future and was vital to the preservation of the Dargonesti race.
Tasslehoff enjoyed traveling with the companions so much that he was always with them (except when he wandered off for weeks without notice). He was especially close to Flint. Flint, however, thought Tas was an annoyance and was responsible for most of the trouble they found (which was true most of the time). Flint came to like Tas a lot although he rarely showed it.
Tasslehoff once became evil after he, Caramon, and Sturm were captured by minotaurs. A high priest of the minotaurs kept Tas drugged with a special potion that made him evil so that he would reveal information about his friends. It was a minotaur that saved him by giving him a dose of another potion instead of the evil one. Tas had befriended this minotaur, named Dogz, when Tas was captured and imprisoned.
Tas played an invaluable role during the War of the Lance. During the Whitestone Council, which led to an alliance between Solamnia, Ergoth, Qualinesti, Silvanesti, and Thorbardin, Tas destroyed a dragon orb to make peace between the elves and knights.
After the War of the Lance, Tas, along with Caramon and Crysania, went back in time just before the Cataclysm to stop Raistlin Majere from becoming a god. Tas and Caramon were captured and wrongly accused of murder. They were sentenced to fight in the arena games. They all escaped with Raistlin except for Tas, who was left in Fistandantilus's chambers in Istar to die.
Tas didn't die, however. There was a spell on Fistandantilus's chambers which sent Tas to the Abyss. Tas met Takhisis and, in doing so, altered the future. Takhisis now knew everything the future beheld and would stop both Fistandanilus and Raistlin and eventually win the War of the Lance.
After his audience with Takhisis, the goddess of evil, Tas met a gnome named Gnimsh. Gnimsh had created a time traveling device which he and Tas used to leave the Abyss. They were sent to the time of the Dwarfgate Wars, where Caramon, Raistlin, and Crysania were. He and Gnimsh were captured by the dwarves of Thorbardin and interrogated. He found out about Caramon becoming a general in a rebel army of refugee dwarves called "The Army of Fistandantilus." During the battle that ensued between the dwarves of Thorbardin and The Army of Fistandantilus, Caramon and Tas escaped with the magical time traveling device into the far future, where Raistlin had become a god and laid waste to Krynn.
In this time, he and Caramon saw that every living thing on Krynn was gone. All except for Par-Salian, which Raistlin saved for last. In his vain attempt to rule Krynn, Raistlin became the ruler of a desolate land filled with nothing but mud. Caramon and Tas traveled back into what they knew as the present and confronted Raistlin. Upon returning, Tas was thrust into the middle of a seige in Palanthas brought by Kitiara's and Lord Soth's armies. He faced undead warriors and dragons without fear.
Tasslehoff is remembered as one of the few kender heroes of Krynn. Tales of his exploits traveled to every corner of the land (mostly told by him).