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.
Hauberk Week comes to a close with the delightful Patched Hauberk. Please go see Ivy’s variation (which is probably not based on Hobbit hijinks) on the same item. I also want to thank Ivy for the great idea to collaborate on a week of outfits. I’ve had a ball, seen some great traffic and talked to some new readers.
The Patched Hauberk is available from skirmish camp cosmetic vendors. It’s a fuzzy, mangy sort of thing, and I love it. The colors are very warm, burgundy and rust, so I decided to contrast that with a cool indigo. And Hobbit hijinks.
“Well, boys, I’m off.” Thrumbo Brandybuck did a slow pivot in place while his mates hooted and pounded full mugs of porter on the table. Over by the bar, Rosalee the serving-girl laughed so hard she could barely keep her her tray of soup bowls from sliding.
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)
Sometimes it all starts with one item. I was rifling through my wardrobe (“Where the #@#$ am I going to put this spring stuff, it’s so PRETTY, I have no ROOM…”) and chanced upon this: Twisttongue’s Cloak. It’s a Moria quest reward in a deep, luscious chocolate brown that no currently available dye can replicate.
From there, a warm-hued outfit seemed to suggest itself, using rust and brown and crimson. The character modeling the outfit is roleplayed as being Eglain, and her Prized Eglan-horse suits both her and the outfit well. I don’t usually attempt to match with mounts (I’m still figuring out the clothing bits!), but sometimes it just clicks.
A hunter at work.
After the twentieth spider, Raima sort of lost patience.
Raima’s horse needs a name! Raima is a healer and hunter, an Eglain, and a mystic of sorts who has traveled far beyond her people’s traditional scavenging grounds. Any ideas?
- Head: Traveller’s Hood (LOTRO Store purchase, dyed crimson)
- Shoulders: Padded Mantle of the Dunland Soothsayer (Dunland quest reward, dyed umber)
- Back: Twisttongue’s Cloak (Moria quest reward, undyed)
- Chest: Hill-man’s Cracked Leather Jacket (Dunland quest reward, dyed rust)
- Hands: Extravagant Festival Gloves (Yule quest/deed reward, dyed umber)
- Legs: None
- Feet: Hill-man’s Cracked Leather Boots (Dunland quest reward, dyed umber)
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)
Here’s an example of an outfit made entirely of pieces found below level 50. Jorunna is a high-born Rohirrim woman, well-off and well armored. She favors the colors of autumn leaves and high plains grasses. Me, I’m a fan of some of the more geometric Dwarf-make pieces on characters of all races. These aren’t matchy-matchy, but I think the various bold lines and warm colors work well together.
A watchful maiden.
"Look to the East on the..." OK, too dramatic.
- Head: None
- Shoulders: Quilted Shoulder Pads (low-level drop, dyed rust)
- Back: Stout Cotton Cloak (crafted item, dyed rust)
- Chest: Jacket of Fem (Angmar quest reward, dyed rust)
- Gloves: None
- Legs: Dwarf Quilted Pants (low-level purchase, dyed rust)
- Feet: Padded Shoes (low-level quest drop)