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.
First off, forgive my utter addiction to the Potent Calenard War Pauldrons. One of the many things I hope Riders of Rohan provides is a few cosmetic pieces beyond hauberks that I can use for my epic! Rohirrim! characters! I revert all the time to my trusty fur Calenards or the Rise of Isengard shoulders, and golly, I’m feeling repetitive.
OKAY. Medieval Viking skalds were accomplished poets. They were historians in verse, often eulogic but equally capable of skewering a subject with more satiric words. Formal court poetry followed the “heroic meter,” the dróttkvætt. One of the most famous tales of a Viking skald is the Icelandic saga Egils saga Skallagrímssonar. Here’s an example from an 1893 translation (see link in previous sentence):
Warrior gave to poet
Silken robe gold-glistering:
Never shall I find me
Friend of better faith.
Earneth well his honours:
For his like the ages
Long may look in vain.
So…when you’re done reading this, go read this. The Starry Mantle‘s series on ancient Dwarven professions in Moria wrapped up today, and the whole thing is just fantastic.
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.”
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)
Oh, how happy I was to read that the Rise of Isengard cosmetics included some new and exciting separates. I was thrilled! And several of those pieces are fantastic. That said…then there’s the Clanweave Robe.
Ohh, Clanweave Robe. How wide-hipped you make my female characters look. How disproportionate, how stubby. What an awkward length you are! How annoyed you make me!
I’ve seen a couple of people do neat things with it. Freyjuska of LOTRO Fashion did a marvelous job with her Lady of Rhûn outfit. She managed to make a stumpy, wide legpiece elegant. And here’s my offering:
I’m a little teapot…
Hark! That lady over there gets to wear PANTS!
I went with an olive-and-violet color scheme to take advantage of the skirt’s hem detail, as well as the brown and violet hues in the chestpiece. Violet shoes help to make the skirt seem a little longer.
So what’s YOUR solution? Have you come up with an outfit for the Clanweave Robe (and other items of identical appearance bearing different Dunland names) that pleases you? Share!
And I’m back! Well, for certain definitions of “back.” For me, “back” means “sitting in corporate housing with my new husband and three cats while frantically searching for long-term housing that will take three cats.” But! The important thing is, I have my PC back. Thanks for the good wishes by comment, Skype, and email, by the way! Three days in, we still like each other.
One look through the round window of his sitting-room confirmed it: today would be a lovely sort of day. Toradoc Broadbrook set his father’s cap on his head just so. It was a splendid thing with gold embroidery and not one, but two feathers, like those worn by the finest sort of Hobbits. His snowy white cloak was a gift from his wife Maisie’s mother, and though it was a bit fanciful for a good Hobbiton fellow – even a wealthy one – it kept the chill off and gave Toradoc a certain sort of dash.
“Father!” Little Bobbin ran up and held his chubby arms up to his da. “Ma wants flowers on the tea-table!” Toradoc swooped his son up onto his shoulders, calling, “Duck!” as they passed through the freshly-painted door and out into a brisk, sweet-smelling sunrise. Bobbin giggled and held tight.
“Well, my boy?” Toradoc called up to his first-born son. “Flowers are waiting! Point the way!”
There’s just about nothing prettier than sunrise over Hobbiton.
Here’s how we play jump-the-flower-patch, my boy!
Who has two thumbs and looks awesome in olive, pale blue, gold, and white? THIS GUY.
- Head: Extravagant Festival Cap (Yule festival quest/deed reward, dyed olive)
- Shoulders: None
- Back: Cloak of the Silver Birch (LOTRO Store purchase, dyed white)
- Chest: Dwarf Padded Jacket (Model found as drop and quest reward, dyed olive)
- Hands: None
- Legs: Treasure-hunter’s Leggings (Craftable tailoring recipe, dyed olive)
- Feet: …hobbit!
I’m a big fan of the Yule festival outfit sets, even though they bring top hats into a world where I, completely uneducated costume commentator, would find it odd to see a top hat. (“I say, Frodo. Pass the monocle so I can get a better look at this ring business.”) I’m certainly fond of scarves and Yule cloaks. I’ve waxed poetic about the lovely Frostbluff Robe/Dress of Thanks.
That said, my favorite pieces are actually the “Shabby” items. As a roleplayer, I don’t always want to portray someone notable or wealthy or highborn. I have the greatest respect for the Professor’s source material, and one of my takeaway messages from the Lord of the Rings is that the small and humble can achieve great ends.
So some days, this character heads off to the woods for a bit of chopping, trapping, hunting…whatever might bring a few coppers into his pocket. Evenings, he meets up with mates for a pint; at night, he dreams of softer beds and warmer clothes.
Our man finds simple pleasures where he can.
He works hard for the money.
Some days are easier than others.
- Head: Shabby Cap (Yule festival quest reward)
- Shoulders: Yule Scarf (Yule festival barter reward, dyed olive)
- Back: Sturdy Woodcutter’s Pack (Available at the cosmetic item vendor in Stock in the Shire, and how the heck did I miss this yesterday? Dyed rust)
- Chest: Herdsman’s Waistcoat and Shirt (Skirmish camp cosmetic vendor)
- Hands: Like many tunics and sets, the chest item somehow overrides all hand items. Otherwise, he would have worn the Fingerless Gloves, also from the “Shabby” Yule quest reward set.
- Legs: Shabby Leggings (Yule festival quest reward)
- Feet: Boots of the Westfold (Rise of Isengard pre-order reward)
Ruthanar is an enigma wrapped in a mystery, wrapped in a burrito (I can make fun of him, he’s mine!). A warrior of the lands south and east of Eriador, he physically has the look of some of the shadowy men called Rangers, but he seems to hew to no particular band or code. His armor has the look of a kit gained over time, a little bit here, a little bit there.
Ruthanar is dressed primarily in items bought from the LOTRO Store (What, you use your TP for stat tomes and slayer deed accelerators? Huh.) and dyed olive, with additional pieces dyed red and umber. Mad props to my fantastic friend Amimain, on whose (since re-rolled) character Jonathen I first saw the Hauberk of Rhûn/Traveler’s Hood combination.
What corner should I lurk in next?
/em glowers from within the shadows of his hood.
/em stares at you with eyes that pierce your soul. Like a toothpick.
Even I, mysterious warrior, have no idea why there is a single green glove fluttering from the back of my otherwise super-awesome pack. If I bounce up and down really quickly, it looks like it’s waving.
EDIT: My dried-up goblin hand is even /more/ awesome. (Thank you, Ariel and Amimain!)
- Head: Traveler’s Hood (LOTRO Store purchase, dyed olive)
- Shoulders: Steel Shoulder Guards (Craftable, dyed red)
- Back: Sage’s Pack (LOTRO Store purchase)
- Chest: Hauberk of Rhûn (LOTRO Store purchase, dyed olive)
- Hands: Dwarf-make Bronze Gloves (Craftable, dyed umber)
- Legs: None! (saucy!)
- Feet: Gwern-lhopan (Isengard instances drop, but commonly found in the AH, dyed umber)