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A Sage of the Blue Mountains

I do love Dwarves.  And I love scholar-types, and someday – someday! – I will do a Dwarven scholar outfit up at Nar’s Peak, with all the books in the woooorld!

But for right now, Dwarven model Gundri Gladstone has other ideas.  He’s taking a tour of Eriador’s halls of records.  This post, he’s starting at the Dwarf-fortress of Gondamon and then traveling across the Shire and Bree-land to reach the Archives at Bree-town.  He’s formally dressed, of course; it doesn’t do to be rude to the locals, or to not show his home halls off to their most splendid and noble effect.

Starring items in this outfit are the Hauberk of Rhun, available in the LOTRO Store, and the Hat of the Concerned Elf, which is a Great River epic quest reward.  I know it’s an Elfy sort of hat, but Gundri travels far, works with Elves and Men and Hobbits alike…and if he finds a practical hat that keeps the sun off his increasingly bald pate, he’s going to use it.  Supporting players include the Sturdy West-guard Shoulder Guards of Strength and the Rusted Boots of the Dunland Beserker.  I did not realize until after that I gave him a rather patriotic red-white-and-blue look, but the blue is for his home mountains, the red was in the hauberk already, and …it just looks classy!

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The Elder Dwarf

This old Dwarf is bold.  He stands proudly in front of snow and stone alike in his blood-red helm and armour to match.  Does a goblin seek to aim its spear?  Let it!  The Elder has no patience with foes who hide.

I used this helm as an example in my Friday Poll about HATS, and it hasn’t been far from my outfitting mind since.  Dwarves can handle a whole lotta helm.  They’re broad, brawny, noble sorts, and if any of the races in our beloved Tolkien mythos can handle helms and pauldrons with spikes sticking every which way, it’s Dwarves.

In real life, I am a cat lover. I always feel bad bashing lynxes in game.

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Seen on the Streets: Thranin Alehammer

I had a hoot with this one.  My spokesDwarf Gundri was still wandering around Esteldin considering outfits when I nearly ran over a very…bright…Dwarf.  Thranin Alehammer can be seen from three mining-tunnels away!

Thranin is a guardian, a Dwarf of axe and shield.  He’s the son of Thranli, a rune-keeper, but Thranin showed little aptitude for learning, so turned instead to the guardian’s way.  As he put it, “Things are simpler when you don’t have to remember more than hack…slash…block…kill.”

Thranin caught my eye because I’m currently obsessed with hauberks, and I like how the undyed portion of his Leather Hauberk is reflected in his beard, while the red portions are echoed in his pauldrons and hat.  Also, except for his boots, his entire outfit can be acquired by someone under level 30.  Finally, I love how the chin guards of his helm angle inward and his beard outward.  It’s a really pleasing detail.

When asked about his preference for reds, Thranin first answered: “Why red? Well, you dunna have to clean it as often after battle. The blood just sort of blends in.”

Also on red: “And it brings out my eyes…or so I’m told by the ladies. Well I assume they are ladies…you know how dwarf lasses are.”

This is after he /flipped for me. An airborne dwarf is something to see! Also, I really enjoy his use of the Sturdy Prospector’s Pack.

“For power and profit!” he cried at the end of our screenshotting session.

A Lore-keeper of Dwarf-kind

So…when you’re done reading this, go read thisThe Starry Mantle‘s series on ancient Dwarven professions in Moria wrapped up today, and the whole thing is just fantastic.

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And as an homage to such a nifty bunch of Dwarves, have a Dwarven-scholar who has spent all his days researching his forebears, including of course their long and storied years in Khazad-dûm.  Much knowledge has been lost in the intervening centuries.  The Dwarves of the late Third Age are far removed, both in time and in lore, from those who dug too deeply in the end:

“Gimli aided Gandalf very little, except by his stout courage.  At least he was not, as were most of the others, troubled by the mere darkness in itself.  Often the wizard consulted him at points where the choice of way was doubtful; but it was always Gandalf who had the final word.  The Mines of Moria were vast and intricate beyond the  imagination of Gimli, Glóin’s son, dwarf of the mountain-race though he was.”

A discovery!

In the dim and the quiet, a Dwarf’s thoughts turn to glories long lost, and halls long buried.

A king he was on carven throne
In many-pillared halls of stone
With golden roof and silver floor,
And runes of power upon the door.
The light of sun and star and moon
In shining lamps of crystal hewn
Undimmed by cloud or shade of night
There shone for ever fair and bright.

The Fellowship of the Ring

And to the next archive he travels, perhaps someday to the fabled libraries of Khazad-dûm itself.

  • Head:  Searcher’s Hat (Craftable tailoring recipe, dyed violet)
  • Shoulders:  Nestadbellas (Vol. III quest reward, dyed rust)
  • Back:  Map-maker’s Travel Pack (Skirmish cosmetic and LOTRO Store, dyed violet)
  • Craftsman’s Robe (Available at outfitters throughout the world, dyed olive)
  • Hands:  Fingerless Gloves (Yule festival quest/deed reward, dyed umber)
  • Legs:  None (saucy!)
  • Feet:  Embroidered Shoes of the Dunland Healer (Dunland quest drop, dyed violet)

Seen on the Streets: Hragli Steelhand

Before we begin, here’s a shout-out to another relatively new fashion blog:  An Unexpected Fashion Blog, over on Imladris.  They started in May (just like meee!).  It’s great to have all these blogs to check out for inspiration, as they say.  Give yourself a shout-out in comments if you have a LOTRO blog, fashion or not, that I’ve managed to miss!

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Character:  Hragli
Kinship:  Heralds of Durin

Today, we have a real treat.  While walking (read: stalking) through Bree-town, I spotted a Dwarf of fierce and noble visage.  Given this week’s emphasis on cloaks, I was so pleased to see a character wearing the Ceremonial Singed Cloak.  The first of Hragli’s outfits centers around the Durin’s Guard Moria set, with the addition of the Worker’s Helmet.  Hragli took inspiration from the Silmarillion and other works of Tolkien that detail “…dwarves wearing face-helms with frightening visages on them, to protect them from dragonfire and other dangers.”

His second outfit is directly modeled after the description of Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit:

“Then they hung up two yellow hoods and a pale green one; and also a sky-blue one with a long silver tassel.  This last belonged to Thorin, an enormously important dwarf, in fact no other than the great Thorin Oakenshield himself, who was not at all pleased at falling flat on Bilbo’s mat with Bifur, Bofur, and Bombur on top of him.”

Hragli’s homage to Thorin includes both the Cloak of the Golden Wood and the Robe of the Stone-Hewer, the latter to mimic “the expensive gold inlays in the fine fabric,” as Hragli described.

(EDIT:  Photos look much better, thanks to a 30-day trial of Photoshop Elements.  I still recommend not using a forge as your backdrop. 😉 )

(From Of Túrin Turambar, The Silmarillion) “…Therefore they gave him dwarf-mail, to guard him; and in a grim mood he found also in the armouries a dwarf-mask all gilded, and he put it on before battle, and his enemies fled before his face.”

(From The Hobbit) “Then they went back, and found Thorin with his feet on the fender smoking a pipe. He was blowing the most enormous smoke-rings, and wherever he told one to go, it went – up the chimney, or behind the clock on the mantelpiece, or under the table, or round and round the ceiling; but wherever it went it was not quick enough to escape Gandalf.”

As always, if you have direct questions for Hragli, feel free to leave them in comments.  Thank you, Hragli, for your time!

The Sculptor

The Dwarven lands of Arda are dotted with sculptures, from small busts to the huge statues that decorate Thorin’s Hall and Khazad-dûm.  The sculptor makes it happen.  Half mason, half artist, he renders from stone faithful likenesses of great Dwarves of yore.  In his most vainglorious moments, he wonders if Mahal the Maker (the Dwarvish name for Aulë the Smith, who created Dwarf-kind) felt much the same way when he shaped his special children.

I really like the “Isengard Prisoner” cosmetics from Volume III, Book 4 (see Cosmetic Lotro’s Escape from Isengard outfit as a nifty example of these pieces in use), but I rarely like using items for their original intent.  This outfit uses several of the pieces to show a laborer, a craftsman so involved in his work that he hardly cares that his leggings are ripped and the wrappings at his hands and legs are faded.  All he cares about is his art and his stone.

The choice of materials is crucial.

A wise craftsman spends much time contemplating the work of those who have gone before.

Where DID I leave that chisel?

  • Head:  Isengard Prisoner Bandanna (Vol. III quest reward)
  • Shoulders:  Unnar’s Shoulder Guards (low-level quest reward)
  • Back:  Cloak of the Grey Company (Vol. III quest reward, dyed navy)
  • Chest:  Westernesse Quilted Shirt of Fleetness (Random drop in the Misty Mountains, dyed navy)
  • Hands:  Isengard Prisoner Gloves (Vol. III quest reward)
  • Legs:  Isengard Prisoner Leggings (Vol. III quest reward, dyed navy)
  • Feet:  Embroidered Shoes of the Dunland Healer (Dunland quest reward)

The Brew-master

Some Dwarves’ fortunes lies in shale and stone.  Others hold tightly to their gems and gold, and others still to their water-wheels and mining-carts.  Young Dwarves full of ambition seek fortune in tunnels too deep for sense.  The brew-master’s fortune is tied to barrel and grain and good, clear mountain water.  This is a Dwarf of means, a craftsman no less knowledgeable and exact than his smithing brethren.  When songs are sung and toasts offered, he will be there ready to pass the finest of brews into his fellows’ hands.

This is no swilling dorf stereotype.  This is a proud craftsman proud of the fruit of his labor.

Ladder? Do I need a ladder? What are you implying?

A Dwarf of means.

This one’s empty, brothers.  TO THE NEXT KEG.

  • Head:  none
  • Shoulders:  Potent Calenard War Pauldrons (Craftable, tier 7 metalsmith recipe)
  • Back:  Cloak of the Raven (Fall Festival barter reward, dyed navy)
  • Chest:  Hill-man’s Cracked Leather Jacket (Isengard quest reward, dyed navy)
  • Hands:  Dunland Marcher’s Leather Gauntlets (Isengard quest reward)
  • Legs:  none (ooOOOoooo)
  • Boots:  Scout’s Weathered Leather Boots (Isengard quest reward)