Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Wish: Guardian of Dale

Most wishes I receive from readers are role-playing based. I love working on these, because I often learn much about the lore. This was also the case of an outfit for Edna, a female guardian of Eldar server. She is a character of Edward of Les Furets du Gondor, one of the biggest LoTRO fansites of the Francophone community. Edward described Edna as a very strong woman, about 45 years old, honouring her Dale origin. She wears no cloaks, nor helms or hats.

Edward outlined the requirements for Edna's outfit:

  • battle ready and heavy,
  • colour scheme around burgundy, red, crimson, brown and eventually some green shades,
  • no cloaks, helms or hats used, only circlets,
  • if possible, matching Angmar Prized Steed of the Free People,
  • and most importantly, outfit should be Dale themed.

He also sent me current picture of Edna:

I did a little research on Men of Dale, but I wasn't successful in learning more about their clothing habits. We can assume they mostly wore cold climate suitable clothes, but that's basically all - all I found was a few fan art pictures which didn't show many common characteristic features different from other men clothing. So I took a free hand and sent Edward first two designs without any specific elements of Dale origin:

In the first design, I went for a simple combination of good old ringmail and burgundy/gold plate. The chest piece creates nice cleavage and is still functional. Boots and gauntlets are also plated to offer protection of crucial bones. There is a simple touch of elven design on the leggings and shoulders, but they make the ringmail interesting. Edward loved the asymetric spaulders. But as men of Dale got their weapons and armours from the dwarves of Erebor, it would seem inappropriate to incorporate such significant elven influence into the outfit. However, he decided to try other combinations keeping the circlet, chest piece, gauntlets and boots from this outfit.

In the second design, I tried a more colourful and daring combination. I reused the beautiful Annúminas pieces Edna was already wearing, with goal to still match the horse. I thought the outfit looked interesting from back also, which might be an advantage when staring at character's back while playing. However, Edward didn't like this design - it's a mixture of styles and doesn't fit Edna at all.

So, we decided to try more leggings to pair with the rest of design number one, adding furry shoulders Edward liked. I was a little worried because I knew the elven leggings I used before are the only ones with this type of ringmail. All the others (man, westernesse and dwarf ones) have much bigger rings in the ringmail and it looks much less "noble". Also, they don't match the chest very well, so I knew I will have to experiment with the chest pieces as well. I sent Edward different chest & legs variations of design 1:

I also offered to try something completely different, in case Edward didn't like any of the combination. In the end, he was happy with number 1 and 5, but asked for the "different" design, to be more sure of his choice :) Meanwhile, I also thought of other combinations, so I sent him both new (hauberk) designs and more variations of the design 1:


I'm personally not a big fan of hauberks, especially on women, but I thought they could work as they have clear dwarf (design3) and man (design4) heritage. Anyway, I was happy when Edward said he also didn't like hauberks, but totally loved the first of the new design 1 variations, with the dragon scale!

I read a few more notes on Men of Dale and learned they were fighting the dragons of Lonely Mountain for a long time. I created the design 1 variation using dragon scale armour, so the outfit could be justified as wearing trophies of Edna's enemies. This fit Edna's role-play very well, because she's already had legendary weapons named after dragons.

The piece I listed as a chest piece in a shopping list for Edward was drop from Rift. He wanted to avoid stalking the AH, so he found the same looking armour in skirmish camp. Now, we proudly present Edna in her new signature armour :) Being heavy and protective, it still allows enough agility to move around the enemies and doesn't limit the character's movement.

This outfit consists of:
Chest: Breastplate of the North-Drake, burgundy dye (drop from the Rift; also available as Frost Covered Hauberk from Skirmish heavy armour barter)
Legs: Scalemail Leggings, burgundy dye (Heavy armoursmith vendor; also available as Restorated Soldier Leggings bartered for Arnorian coins in Evendim)
Head: Ceremonial Hat of the Elder Days, default dye (Skirmish barter - Cosmetic vendor, Rift cosmetics)
Shoulders: Fated Westfold Campaign Shoulder Guards, burgundy dye (T7 crafted)
Hands: Hyrde-folme, burgundy dye (Dunland quest)
Feet: Rusted Boots of the Dunland Berserkers, burgundy dye (Dunland quest)

What do you think of the outfit? Please let us know in the comments! :)

Guest: Black Captain by Amethad


Black captains are brave warriors of the Free People with many of supporting skills. They wear black armour because their troops attack mostly at night. Many of filthy goblins were slain beforehand they had seen who was their executioner. Black is their favourite colour! They wear black clothes in a battle as well as in a tavern. Amethad was kind enough to pose in the shade of Dunland's trees.

Chest: Elven Steel Breastplate of Determination, black dye (world drop, also available from Heavy armoursmith in Rivendell)
Legs: Malledhrim Leggings of the Gloaming, grey dye (T6 crafted)
Head: Makeshift Ranger Mask, black dye (Skirmish barter - cosmetics)
Shoulders: Hyrde-axle, grey dye (Dunland quest)
Hands: Vibrant Calenard Battle Gauntlets, black dye (T7 crafted)
Feet: Reinforced Leather Dunlending Boots, black dye (Dunland quest)
Back: Ceremonial Singed Cloak, black dye (Store)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Guest inspiration: Haldir by Thoargile


"The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater."
Haldir, in The Two Towers

Haldir's role has been much bigger in the LoTR movie trilogy compared to the books, especially in The Two Towers. His deeds in the Battle of Helm's Deep have inspired Thoargile to create an outfit using Haldir's movie appearance and action figures as models:

Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

I was very happy to receive this guest submission, because about a week ago, I was working on the same theme for Eragith, a reader who asked for Haldir themed outfit for his elven hunter. This is outfit I designed for him:

Unfortunately, the "Haldir leggings" (as I dare to call them) are part of Moria heavy classes' set and only champs, captains and guardians can barter for them (as they come from the class trainer). Unfortunately, Eragith doesn't have any of these, so we substituted these leggings with Sellsword's ones and he claimed he will level up a champion just for the sake of getting the "Haldir leggings" :)) [This is no longer true, see important note below.] About a week later, I received Thoargile's amazing submission and now I am so glad Haldir can come to life on this blog!

Thoargile's outfit is even more suitable for an elven hunter than mine, because it features more significant elven elements. My version includes more plate and is much heavier, therefore it's questionable if it allows enough agility so important for a bowmaster.

Important note: Thanks to Thoargile I've found out that the leggings are barterable not only from class trainers in The Twenty-first Hall (who are class restricted), but also in Shadowed Refuge from Heavy armour trader. You can get these "Haldir leggings" for only 3 Medallions of Moria, no matter what class you are!

Thoargile's Haldir outfit consists of:
Chest: Golden Host Coat of Knowledge, crimson dye (T6 crafted)
Legs: Leggings of the Brazen Call, red dye (Moria level 60 captain teal set; also available as champion and guardian set parts with very small differences in looks)
Head: Ceremonial Town-Saver's Helm, crimson dye (Skirmish barter - Rift cosmetics)
Shoulders 1: Aermal, crimson dye (Drop from Barad Gúlaran; also available Elven Steel Shoulder Guards from Rivendell heavy armoursmith)
Shoulders 2: Nestadbellas, default dye (Quest: Volume III, Book 4, Chapter 10: Herdsmen of the Starkmoor)
Hands: Gauntlets of the Swift Arrow, crimson dye (Mirkwood level 65 hunter purple set; also available as T6 crafted August Gloves of the Golden Wood)
Feet: (August) Boots of the Golden Wood, crimson dye (T6 crafted)
Back: Sturdy Elven Quiver, crimson dye (T2 crafted)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Wish: Simple hobbit girl meeting the Rangers


You might know Brassica from her stories publishes on Casual Stroll to Mordor. This cute and courageous hobbit lass already has a lot of fans, and her journey has just begun! Her travels brought her to Evendim where she is meeting a lot of Rangers, and so far didn't have a proper battle garb suitable for the circumstances. Beldrieth, who is telling Brassica's stories, revealed: "This is the first time Brassica's even thought about something like armour, she an innkeeper's daughter, who hasn't ever dressed for any real adventuring."

This is how Brassica dreamed up her outfit:

  • simple and practical (nothing too fancy),
  • nothing too heavy - she just can't carry much weight and as a warden, she prefers to be quick and hard to hit,
  • something to honour the Rangers she's met in Evendim who gave her a lot of support (and some armour too!),
  • she wanted to avoid high-end raiding pieces, otherwise she was willing to do a lot of effort to collect parts of her armour.

To fit into Brassica's role-play, I checked her bio and sent Beldrieth three designs which I thought would suit her:


The simplest of the three outfits - here I used dark shades of Evendim blue (to reflect Brassica's Oatbarton heritage) and typical ranger hood & cloak. The chest piece is Inn League Tunic and Pants, so it could also be interpreted as her heritage as inn keeper's daughter. Beldrieth was so enthusiastic about it that I have to quote her e-mail, because it made me really happy :)
"As a proud Sage of Fine Spirits myself, I love the Inn League angle. It hadn't occurred to me to make that connection for her, but it's a wonderful thought. I don't know if it quite fits what I had thought of in terms of her armour needs, but now I know that Brassica is a badge bearing, card-carrying, member of the Inn League."

This outfit includes very pastel green colours, similar to what Brassica wore before. It looks the heaviest out of the three designs, however, it can certainly keep her well protected.

And finally, Beldriet's winner. I designed this as a distinguishable warden outfit, where Ranger element is represented only by the shoulder piece with typical star. Beldriet said about her choice: "I think this outfit is just perfect, looking at it from the standpoint of putting together a story to go with it, it looks like she was given a mail shirt that's entirely too big for her, and a leather hauberk that's needed to be tightened with a variety of straps and buckles in order to fit properly, and the shoulder piece is just the perfect little nod to the Rangers." And she said I've hit the nail on the head - this made the hobbit inside me proud! :))

And here comes the result!

This outfit consists of:
Chest: Scout's Weathered Leather Jacket, olive dye (Dunland quest)
Shoulders: Fine Grey Company Wrap, olive dye (Quest: Volume III, Book 5, Chapter 1: Separate Ways)
Hands: Resilient Westfold Combat Gauntlets, olive dye (T7 crafted)
Back: Warden's Pack, olive dye (Outfitter vendor)
What do you think about the outfit? Please let us know! And don't forget to visit Brassica's blog to read about her adventures! :)

Guest: Allamaer of Dwarrowdelf


Allamaer, a noble captain of Dwarrowdelf, has always liked red and gold. She decided to wear red first upon reading a wise man's advice for a red uniform: if it's red, the blood doesn't show up easily. As a captain, she also needs to shine up the battlefield, so she decided gold trim was quite fitting for this purpose.

This outfit doesn't contain a single BoE piece, which is a great opportunity to search for the item on the Auction Hall and use wardrobe to look very cool even on low levels! For a video guide on equipping high level armour via wardrobe, click here.

Chest: Elven Soldier's Armour, crimson dye (T5 crafted)
Legs: Herald's Leggings, red dye (T6 crafted)
Head: Strong Westfold War Helmet, red dye (T7 crafted)
Shoulders: Enduring Shoulder Guards of Fate, crimson dye (world drop)
Hands: Golden Host Gloves of the Gloaming, red dye (T6 crafted)
Feet: Footman's Boots, gold dye (T6 crafted)
Back: Cloak of Fleetness, red dye (world drop; also available as drop from Skûmfil called Pendevig-clog)

How often do you visit this blog?

Rate: Wow! I haven't thought that results of the recent poll will make me so happy!

I was very nicely surprised there's 31 of you who visit this blog daily and over 50 who come along several times in a week! I'm very grateful for you guys! But this also means I'm neglecting you a little bit, because I never used to post that often 0:) I'm trying to work on that recently (also based on the poll results). I hope you noticed and like the more frequent supply of outfits :)

In the next poll, I'd like to know about your attitude to my little stories I make for the outfits. Do you find them interesting? Do you even read them? Please let me know! :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Guest: Armour of Glaurung's Scale by Gerbag


Glaurung was the first of the ancient dragons bred by Dark Lord Morgoth. Most scholars and keepers of the old texts know that this treacherous walking evil (known also as "The Worm of Morgoth" or "The Deceiver") was slain by Túrin Turambar. But not many know that the dragon already nearly breathed for the last time many years before that, by the hand of dwarven king Azaghâl of Belegost. Azaghâl led the dwarves of Ered Luin into the Battle of the Unnumbered Tears and was slain by Glaurung. In his last moments, Azaghâl managed to strike the worm into his belly and made him flee along with his army.
Read more at Tolkien Gateway

This is how and when dwarves of Ered Luin obtained a few Glaurung's scales as trophies, which they carefully preserved ever since as the memory of their King dying honourably facing the terrible beast. Armour with just one of these scales has unspeakable value. Gerbag, the brave guardian of Whitywindle, has proven worthy of wearing it for his deeds against the Dark Forces, slaying the mighty Draigoch being just one of many.

Gerbag is already a stable contributor of this blog and I am so grateful for him, as he truly has an eye for distinguishable dwarven outfits. I am jealous of the wonderful helmet which I've never seen before and Gerbag also admits he wears it because it's very rare and not anyone can get their hands on it. 

However, he was kind to provide an alternative which also works well for this outfit and is much more easily acquirable. 

Chest: Chestplate of the Indomitable Protector, forest green dye (Level 75 guardian epic set)
Legs: Leggings of the Keen Blade, forest green dye (Level 75 guardian purple set)
Head (rare): Westernesse Winged Helm of Vigour, forest green dye (Rare world drop)
Head (easy): Scowling Helm, forest green dye (Skirmish heavy armour barter)
Shoulders: Pauldrons of the Indomitable Protector, forest green dye (Level 75 guardian epic set)
Hands: Gauntlets of the Indomitable Protector, Rivendell green dye (Level 75 guardian epic set)
Feet: Sabbatons of the Keen Blade, forest green dye (Level 75 guardian purple set)
Back: Dwarf-make Prostpector's Pack, Rivendell green dye (Yule festival - dwarf gift box)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Wish: Matching outfit for the Steed of the Rune-keeper


I was very honoured when Ketani, a Casual Stroll to Mordor's contributor asked me for an advice with outfitting. I know that she is a person with very good fashion taste herself (one of her Yule outfits also placed high in our Yule Outfit Contest 2011). She won a Steed of the Rune-keeper for her lovely elven lady Prolixity. Although she usually has outfits which match her mounts very well, this time she was struggling to find the right combination. She sent me her temporary horse-matching outfit, where she went for complimentary white (which can never spoil anything :).

This was already a decent outfit in my opinion, but Ketani was far from satisfied with coordination of the outfit with the horse. She also sent me a few pictures of other horse-matching outfits she wore, and I realized they were really much more superior to this one. She was also looking for the outfit to be usable in battle situations (not only while showing off the pretty mount :) and wanted the back of the outfit to be interesting. Well, character's back is what we generally see the most ingame :) However, cloak wouldn't work because of heavy luggage the horse is carrying. Ketani also mentioned she's not looking for an exact match to the mount's colour scheme, because that would be most probably impossible, so we were considering complimentary shades most of the time. I sent her first two designs:


I used the Sage's Pack because it was fitting for a rune-keeper, interesting and not "too long" as a cloak would be. With the robe, I was hoping to reach a complimentary shade to the horse, but as I don't have this steed myself, I could compare only to screenshots. Ketani tried these two out and unfortunately, the colours were quite far from matching. However, Ketani liked the idea of using a robe and found the wonderful Great Hoary Aurochs Robe:

We discussed the colour scheme a bit in e-mails and Ketani mentioned she is willing to try out any colour except for yellow and turquoise. Despite avoiding turquoise, she mentioned she likes sea blue. As she mentioned it, it clicked to me, tried this dye on the robe and thought it really worked well! So I sent Ket a modification of her design and also different robe stylized in a similar way (but this was more colourful and striking):


Ketani tried the third design (aurochs robe in sea blue) and found out the colours worked really well with the horse! From this design, she changed bracers I used for fingerless gloves and the final version of the outfit was born :)

This outfit consists of:
Chest: Great Hoary Aurochs Robe, sea blue dye (T5 crafted)
Head: (Lesser) Arrow of the West Helmet, umber dye (Ost Dunhoth hunter level 65 set)
Shoulders: Fated Westfold Campaign Shoulders Pads, umber dye (T7 crafted)
Hands: Fingerless Gloves, umber dye (Yule festival)
Feet: Strong Westfold Battle Boots, sea blue dye (T7 crafted)
Back: Sage's Pack, white dye (Store)

Ketani also built a version of this outfit to wear in town when she feels like wearing a cloak. In this modification, it becomes a beautiful feminine winter outfit.

In this version, Ket used circlet Hat of the Ancient Tongue (part of Mirkwood rune-keeper set), Warm Winter Cloak (Yule festival reward) and dyed the items purple.

And now, a final view of the outfit on the beautiful, yet unmatchable horse :))

Please let us know what do you think of the result! :)

Guest: Daerundros of Laurelin

An outfit so sickeningly cute and revolting, it is no wonder that the person who wears it is constantly ridiculed and shamed for his bad taste in fashion. It was offered as a Lottery sweepstake prize and landed in the hands of the unknowing Daerundros, who was forced to wear this outfit an entire day. Shame and embarassment followed as her fellow elves laughed at her the entire day, and she breathed a sigh of relief as the day was over and she could change into her normal clothes.

Daerundros said about her outfit: "I decided to do something with the pre-order cloaks from Moria, the first being Selarthil's outfit with Cloak of Durin's crown. I quite liked how it turned out to be one of the wackiest outfits I have ever created. My friends thought it looked revolting and disgusting, but it was a true goldmine of jokes I tell you! Here we have an angry and reluctant Daerundros posing, obviously not pleased, for the camera. She smashed the camera after photoshooting was finished."

Chest: Elven Shirt of Fate, turquoise dye (world drop; also available from Light armoursmith in Rivendell)
Legs: Heavy Padded Leggings, rose dye (T2 crafted)
Feet: Strong Calenard War-boots, turquoise dye (T7 crafted)
Back: War-cloak of Isildur, default dye (Moria pre-order)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Guest inspiration: Doom of Arvedui by Thoargile


Arvedui was the last King of Arthedain and father of the first Chieftain of the Dúnedain. His fate is a sad one. Soon after Arvedui's rise to throne, Angmar attacked, driving the Dúnedain away. Gondor sent help in the form of a great fleet, but it came too late: Arthedain was destroyed, and Arvedui fled to the Ice-bay of Forochel. Círdan, the great elven mariner of Lindon sent a ship north to rescue him, and, against the advice of the Snow-men of Forochel, Arvedui boarded it and was drowned. Along with him, all the elves on board perished in the freezing sea. Except for one...

Author of this outfit told us his story: "Thoargile survived what others could not - the frozen fields of the Forochel and deadly cold of the harsh winter. He was lucky to kill a bear and sewed some warm clothes – in other case he would have perished too. On other screen he stands near the wreckage of the ship, looking at the horizon and hoping to see another ship, coming for him. The Eldar of Forochel. He’ll be alright, I hope :)"

I adore this submission. Recently, I've been getting a lot of very beautiful lore-inspired submissions and I am speechless in front of so many great outfit ideas. Thoargile developed story from LoTR lore into his own and took amazing screenshots to illustrate atmosphere of an elf struck by loss of his fellows, but having hope for better tomorrow. His outfit is stunning and I (not so) secretly hope he will submit more soon! :)

Chest: Robe of Vigor, Evendim blue dye (world drop; shares appearance with Robe of Viisaus available in store or from epic storyline: Vol. 1, Book 13 -- Chapter 4: The Hand of Angmar)
Head: Ceremonial Wandering Bard’s Helm, white dye (Skirmish barter - Rift cosmetics)
Shoulders: Vibrant Assault Pauldrons of Théodred, white dye (T7 crafted)
Hands: Ceremonial Leijona Gloves, Evendim blue dye (T5 crafted)
Feet: Ceremonial Ajokoira Shoes, Evendim blue dye (T5 crafted)
Back: Cloak of the Boar, default dye (Fall festival)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Guest inspiration: Statue of Elendil by Graegyst


Elendil (known as Elendil the Tall or Elendil the Fair) was the father of Isildur and Anárion, and the first High King of Gondor and Arnor and first King of all the Dúnedain. He was known as a great warrior and a wise king, and a heroic figure among the Dúnedain. Leading the remnant of The Faithful Númenóreans to Middle-earth, he established strong regimes there and created the great alliance that put an end to Sauron's power for over a thousand years. His bloodline and spirited leadership survived in the Dúnedain of the North and South of Middle-earth, that would in turn sire the brave and heroic men that would help bring a final end to Sauron in the War of the Ring.

Author of this outfit, known to readers of my blog as Kemendin, spoke of its creation: "I was questing in Evendim on my burglar, doing the quest line involving Aragorn and Gwindeth and the Silithar, and I got to the part where you have to cleanse one statue of Elendil and return the other restored statue to its pedestal. All of a sudden the thought hit me - why not try to recreate this outfit that the stone Elendil is wearing? So I jumped immediately onto my poor neglected minstrel, Graegyst (encouraging him to grow a very quick beard), and outfitted him in the closest things I could find to match the statue. It's certainly not exact - I took a creative liberty with the cloak, for instance - but I'm extremely pleased with the result."

I love this inspiration myself, it feels like Elendil came alive in Graegyst! Also, Kemendin found a nice Easter egg - the same statue actually appears in Ost Baranor in Chetwood as a representation of Aranarth, the first Chieftain of the Dúnedain. Turbine this way managed to successfully confuse those with some knowledge of Middle-earth history :) "Hence why "Elendil" is looking very confused in this screenshot next to the statue in Ost Baranor," Kemendin explained.

Chest: Forged-Iron Dunlending Hauberk, black dye (Dunland quest)
Head: Fated Westfold Assault Hat, black dye (T7 crafted)
Shoulders: The Ancient Master's Shoulder Pads, default dye (Level 75 lore-master purple set; has equivalent for minstrel)
Hands: Leather Gauntlets of Might, black dye (World drop)
Feet: Soft Leather Boots, black dye (Outfitter vendor in Bree)
Back: Ceremonial Wig-feld, black dye (Store)

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