So what do you think of the new apparel dummies introduced in yesterday’s patch?
The first character I made in LOTRO was an Elf. And the first thing I did after she got out of the starter instance (okay, the VERY first thing I did was burst into tears because it was Middle! Earth!) was to jump off the docks in Celondim and swim for the white ship just out of player range. Have you ever tried it?
Today’s Elf is aged, and his heart is heavy with sea-longing. He is a son of the Second Age; his wife left some thousand years ago, and their son with her. The Straight Road beckons him, and beyond that, a beach under stars that he has not seen, bathed in light he cannot imagine. He wears his finest armour, in respect.
To the Sea, to the Sea! The white gulls are crying,
The wind is blowing, and the white foam is flying.
West, west away, the round sun is falling.
Grey ship, grey ship, do you hear them calling,
The voices of my people that have gone before me?
(In brief: he wears the Cloak of the Boar Clan Warrior, Manatham (chest), Brethilwen’s Garden Gloves, and the Shoulder Pads, Leggings, and Boots of the Golden Wood.)
I have to end with one of my favorite passages in The Lord of the Rings, long, but beautiful.
Then Frodo kissed Merry and Pippin, and last of all Sam, and went aboard; and the sails were drawn up, and the wind blew, and slowly the ship slipped away down the long grey firth; and the light of the glass of Galadriel that Frodo bore glimmered and was lost. And the ship went out into the High Sea and passed on into the West, until at last on a night of rain Frodo smelled a sweet fragrance on the air and heard the sound of singing that came over the water. And then it seemed to him that as in his dream in the house of Bombadil, the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a far green country under a swift sunrise.