The Astronomer

From Of the Coming of the Elves, in The Silmarillion:

“Then Varda went forth from the council, and she looked out from the height of Taniquetil, and beheld the darkness of Middle-earth beneath the innumerable stars, faint and far.  Then she began a great labour, greatest of all the works of the Valar since their coming into Arda.  She took the silver dews from the vats of Telperion, and therewith she made new stars and brighter against the coming of the Firstborn…”

This Elf is a watcher of the skies, a scholar of those stars made so long ago from Telperion’s immeasurable light and set in their patterns far above.  He wears the rich, dark brown of earth and the cool, dark blue of the night sky.  The Tactical Eastemnet Campaign Robe and the cloak Ceremonial Wig-feld are joined by the Pristine Elven Shoulder Guards, the Ceremonial Spear-shaker’s Gauntlets, and the Fine Elven Circlet.

Continue reading

Blue Rohan

So, last weekend I went out of town, then came back and immediately picked up a case of LINGERING ICK.  Which is to say, some sort of freaky flu thing that’s had me down for nearly a week, and good lord I did not realize that much ick could fit in a person’s respiratory system.  ANYWAY, thank you for your patience as I horked up my lungs.


Back to cosmetics!  I’ve finally fallen for a piece of Rohan armour:  the crafted Eastemnet War Armour.  Unfortunately, a lot of the armour released so far with the expansion looks just a little odd on female toons (methinks).  Top-heavy, bulky.  But the War Armour has a grace to it, and an elegance that suits my female warriors well.  I grabbed the restrained Rohan quest reward Cillan’s Thanks as shoulders, as well as typical Rohirrim quest rewards Wardglofas as gauntlets and the Muddy Rohirric Boots.

The weather in-game this morning matches what’s outside my window:  thin sunlight, drizzly rain.  I love fall days like this.  Enjoy!

Continue reading

First Thoughts on Rohan (after the crying and stuff)

The shiny of Rohan is not wearing off.  I am dismayed by the price of color packs for our war-steeds (see Cosmetic Lotro’s excellent post here for more details), and uninspired by the barter armour pieces offered for our 8 gabillion tokens.  As a cosmetics blogger, that makes things sort of rough.

That said…omg, I love mounted combat and racing over the plains and the music and the epic and and and… *breathes into paper bag*  The landscapes are stunning.  The sound effect of the wind moving across the grasses is just fantastic.  The sky!  Have you looked up at the sky?

I do have a couple of questions that maybe my readership is puzzling over as well.  Or, you’ll know the answers and look at me funny, either way.  First, has anyone seen a mechanic outside questing (at this time) to raise the various Rohan reputations?  I haven’t.  That said, has anyone seen any reputation reward vendors?  I haven’t.  Perhaps that’s coming into the game later; I’m just curious (and still only 80, so there you go).

I am still putting together cosmetics ideas — things are pretty limited right now, and after trying three pairs of low shoes and still having clipping issues with the Tactical Eastemnet Campaign Robe, I am going back to destroying things on horseback and listening to cinematic music.

Forth Eorlingas

This is not a fashion post.  This is a post about love.

My Tolkien journey is a very easy one to describe.  I discovered the books when I was young, and then I wanted to be Éowyn.

‘Look!’ [Gandalf] cried, and they lifted their tired eyes.  Before them stood the mountains of the South:  white-tipped and streaked with black.  The grass-lands rolled against the hills that clustered at their feet, and flowed  up into many valleys still dim and dark, untouched by the light of dawn, winding their way into the heart of the great mountains.  Immediately before the travellers the widest of these glens opened like a long gulf among the hills.  Far inward they glimpsed a tumbled mountain-mass with one tall peak; at the mouth of the vale there stood like a sentinel a lonely height.  About its feet there flowed, as a thread of silver, the stream that issued from the dale; upon its brow they caught, still far away, a glint in the rising sun, a glimmer of gold.

I was never very good at the demands made on little girls (and this was in the 70s and 80s) to be good, pure angels, compliant and pretty and sweet.  Not that I was a little hellion, far from it.  I tried very hard to make everyone like me, and to be what my teachers and parents and parish priests and all the rest wanted.

And in the meantime, in my imagination, I slayed the Witch-king.  Faramir loved me.  And even though I refused a cage, I finally accepted a garden.  I tip my cap to Miranda Otto for her characterization in the movies; I think she really captured Éowyn’s pride and longing.  Her desperation was palpable.  It hurt.

…Grave and thoughtful was her glance, as she looked on the king with cool pity in her eyes.  Very fair was her face, and her long hair was like a river of gold.  Slender and tall she was in her white robe gilt with silver; but strong she seemed and stern as steel, a daughter of kings.  Thus Aragorn for the first time in the full light of day beheld Éowyn, lady of Rohan, and thought her fair, fair and cold, like a morning of pale spring that is not yet come to womanhood.

I was a girl who wanted more than to be decorative, not that my looks were up to the task.  I was a girl who wanted to achieve as much as I could, not just as much as was expected.  I was a girl who wanted to be free.  Just like Éowyn.  And I know we don’t have Meduseld in the game yet, but when I crossed the bridge south from Great River into Rohan, the music swelled and I burst into tears.  And I don’t have any problem admitting that.

The Autumn King

Okay, fair warning:  I’ve used this combination of cloak and shoulders before.  Recently, even!  But it’s like having a humble can of black beans in your pantry and using it over and over in a dozen different things:  there are only so many cosmetics in the world.

Maybe I’m just obsessed with autumn (this is true), and therefore, the Cloak of the Autumn Wood pops into my consciousness over and over.  This sounds so whiny-pants, but I’m getting very tired of this perfect California weather every single day.  I want autumn’s wind and bluster.  I want rain.  So forgive my outfit redux, but I just want a little bit of changing leaves and Halloween and dismal morning rain already.

*deep breath*

The majority of this outfit is the Ceremonial Spear-shaker’s set.  Add to that the gorgeous Harvest-brew Circlet (which thankfully isn’t just a chain of pretzels), and to my autumn-addled brain, you get an outfit of brown leathers and olive accents, of an autumn spirit that wanders the colorful woods like a Goldberry keeps to her rivers.

Continue reading

The Traveling Merchant

I had fun with this one.  I struggled with individual pieces and color until I made a last pass through the Ceremonial Helegrod items in the LOTRO store.  When I clicked “try it on” with the Ceremonial Silver-voice Shoulders, it all came together.

The traveling merchant owns a wagon of delights, from bolts of dyed cloth to wrought tools and exotic goods from lands most Bree-men will never visit.  With a grin and a wink, he sells and haggles.  His Craftsman’s Robe has a dozen pockets, all containing some small delight for matron or child, whether a hair-ribbon, a bone button, or a little dragon carved from wood.  He passes through remote hamlets maybe once a year.  Maybe every two years, if weather and the roads have been hard.  Whenever his painted wagon begins to rumble up the rutted road, townsfolk gather to see what tales the traveling man might bring.

Continue reading

Rainy Fall Fashion

So I had a PLAN this morning.  I said, “Self!  Take candids at the Fall Festival!”  And I went over there, and of course it was raining in-game, and dark, so in a strange confluence between in-character weather and “it’s noon EST on a Tuesday,” the festival grounds were deserted.


Autumn is more than crackling fires and bright foliage and turkey and brilliant blue skies.  The season carries along a sort of melancholy when rains begin, when flowers fade.  At some point late in October, early in November, you realize that all those bright leaves are gone, and you’re left with sticks and contemplation and Christmas shopping for a while.

That said, I went with a rainy, melancholy sort of feel today, the sort that has you standing on the porch on clothes a bit too summery for the season and sighing at the rain.  The stars of this very simple show are the reputation-earned Long-sleeved Elven Dress and the Embroidered Mantle of the Dunland Healer, both in navy, along with the Dunland Caretaker’s Cloak in grey.  The Fine Elven Circlet decorates her brow, but summer’s revels are over, and Yulemath is months away.

A dreary day awaits, and Suleth is not yet ready to say farewell to summer.

Continue reading

My Favorite Things, Part III: Gauntlets!

So, one cosmetics-nerd fact about me is that I’m addicted to gauntlets and gloves.  Those are often the pieces I spend a good long time fretting about:  I want them to be right.  And, of all the items in-game, gauntlets and boots seem to suffer from the most clipping issues — that is, when I put a great pair of gauntlets on a character, and the pixels from their hauberk or robe still show through.  Vexing!  Anyway, fashion’s in the details, I suppose.

So here are a few of the gauntlets that I default to, time and time again.  How about you?

The Gloves of the Eorlingas and its identical items in the other Rise of Isengard pre-order armour sets are fantastic items for Rohirrim characters, and given that I am ALL ABOUT ROHAN, I use them a lot.  I love how the one gauntlet is fingerless and has its white-horse motif.  They’re fantastic gauntlets that can be used with a lot more than just the outfit of which they’re a part.

Continue reading

My Favorite Things, Part II: Robes!

Ah, robes.  I forget you exist all the time.  I don’t know WHY; there are some lovely robes in game, and I even equip a few.  But they flee from my mind with ease.  So, let’s follow up my first Favorite Things post with one specifically dedicated to Robes I Like.

First up is the Robe of Viisaus, though I have to make a caveat here:  I think it looks so much better undyed.  When it’s dyed, it takes on a nearly monochromatic appearance, and that doesn’t do much for me.  I like high contrast.  Also, happy (belated) Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday!  Alerac, our model, is simultaneously fascinated by the infamous Baggins’ adventures and rather glad to be a home-loving, well-rooted sort of fellow.

Try to ignore that he’s surrounded by tools and/or torture devices.

Continue reading

My Favorite Things, Part I

Holy overtime, Frodo!  I miss you folks!  So today, we’re going to do a fun little post about the cosmetics I love the absolute most.  This will not be comprehensive because I desperately need sleep, but it will absolutely be Part I!  All links lead to source information.

May I note, as a cosmetics blogger, that whenever I have a super-awesome idea and log in to show it off, the game is invariably in nighttime mode.

First up is the Jacket of the Shade-finder, a chest-piece with fantastic detail and gorgeous use of dye.

Awww, yeah.

Continue reading