Festive Selections

Festive Selections main

“The Birth of Christ is the eucatastrophe of Man’s history.”

– J.R.R. Tolkien, “On Fairy-Stories”

As you enjoy this year’s holiday season and the in-game Yule festival, here are some festive outfits to keep your characters looking merry and bright!

Magic Toy-maker         Red Elf of the North Pole         The Holly King

May your days in-game and out- be filled with joy!

Merry Christmas from The Starry Mantle

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Wardrobe Update: Bundled Traveller

If you’ve been a regular follower of The Starry Mantle, you know that the blog hasn’t been as active this year as it has in the past. I hope to change that in 2015. Therefore, today I’m introducing a new post category: Wardrobe Updates. Many of the outfits that I’ve presented on the blog are actually ones that I use permanently in-game on my various characters. As time goes by, I often edit them as I find new complementary pieces, or as new gear and cosmetics are introduced. In other cases, when the outfit was published I didn’t have access to a piece that would have worked really well but has since become available to me. The original version of the outfit will be shown in a gallery (click the images for full-size) along with the new version so you can compare them. Wardrobe Updates will allow me to address some old outfits I’m not happy with, as well as letting me add some new content to the blog to keep things fresh without having to spend as much time researching and writing a piece to accompany it. Of course, whenever I’m able, I’ll still share original new outfits accompanied by the usual lore discussion. Next year I’ll strive for more than the four new outfits I published this year!

Introduction out of the way, let’s have a look at the first entry in this new series.

The Original Outfit: “Bundled Up“, a cosy cold-weather outfit for a Hobbit on a winter stroll. I use this to this day as cold-weather gear on one of my main characters, and I really enjoy displaying it. And here’s a Starry Mantle lore-fragment: “Bundled Up” is one of only two outfits ever published on the blog where the title of the post isn’t also a descriptive title for the character modelling the outfit.

The Updated Outfit: At the time that I originally published the outfit, I didn’t have access to the Oven Mitts, which make perfect Hobbit-mittens, thick and cosy. They replace the Ajokoira Gloves used in the original outfit, which were not a very successful match with the other components. The other change to the outfit is the cloak; the Warm Bear-fur Cloak is replaced by the Wintry Yule Cloak from the 2012 Yule festival. The white portion of the Wintry Yule Cloak has a very slight yellow tinge that I think works really well with the yellow already in the outfit. With these two simple updates, I feel the whole outfit is improved, looking more cohesive and even more snug and warm than before!

What do you think? Would you rather bundle up in the original outfit or the new version?

Rosy cheeks

Snowy frolick

Thinking of a whistling kettle at day's end

Watching the snowflakes fall

  • Shoulders: Yule Scarf (bartered — Yule festival barter vendor/cosmetics), crimson
  • Back: Wintry Yule Cloak (bartered — Yule festival barter vendor/festival rewards), violet
  • Chest: Radiant Dwarf-make Armour (crafted — tailor T5; or looted — world drop/general), indigo
  • Hands: Oven Mitts (bartered — skirmish camp cosmetics quartermaster/cosmetic items), violet
  • Legs: Radiant Dwarf-make Leggings (crafted — tailor T5; or looted — world drop/general), indigo
  • Feet: Ceremonial Ajokoira Shoes (crafted — tailor T5/Lossoth reputation; or purchased — LOTRO Store), red
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Grim Beorning

The kinfolk and followers of Beorn were implacable foes of evil creatures, having an especial hatred for the Goblins and wild Wargs of the Misty Mountains. In the years of gathering darkness leading up to the War of the Ring the Beornings, led by their chieftain Grimbeorn the Old, kept a vigil on the mountain passes connecting Eriador to Rhovanion, ensuring that they remained open and that no foe came down into the Vales of Anduin, whether on two feet or four.


Word has come to the hall of Grimbeorn that Wargs have been stirring and assailing travellers in the high passes, and he will not suffer their mischief to continue. At Grimbeorn’s behest, one of his trusted thains has ventured high into the snowy passes of the mountains in the failing days of the year. Braving the winter storms to stalk his prey, our Beorning is armed with a great club and clad in warm, fur-lined garb complete with a close-fitting hood and thick gloves. His horn-braced pack contains all that he needs to make his way in the wild, including a supply of the honey-cakes favoured by his people. His bear-hide mantle and boots are trimmed with fearsome claws collected from a great bear that died of natural causes — for bears are revered among the Beornings and they will not harm them. And just like a bear defending its den from scavenging wolves, our Beorning will not rest until the threat of the Wargs is ended. The hunters have become the hunted.

Return to the mountains

This is the first outfit I’ve shared in a long time (too long!). To anyone who’s been patiently awaiting something new on the blog, my apologies. I haven’t been feeling very inspired to outfit this year but naturally I had to try out something for my new Beorning. Since winter is in full swing, at least where I live, a cold-weather outfit seemed the thing to do. It’s always nice to have new warm clothing added to the game, and some of the pieces from the two unique Beorning equipment sets fit the bill nicely. This outfit was also the perfect chance to use these silly bear-foot boots from the Yule festival, which until now I had never put to any good use.

Foe of the Wild Wolves of Wilderland

  • Head: Worn Hood (auto-granted — Beorning male), umber
  • Shoulders: Lesser Memory of the West Shoulder Guards (bartered — Harndirion novices quartermaster/tier 1 difficulty Lore-master armour), black
  • Back: Elk-hunter’s Pack (purchased — LOTRO Store ), white
  • Chest: Wildermore Survivor’s Robe (bartered — Forlaw People of Wildermore quartermaster/People of Wildermore reputation), walnut brown
  • Hands: Oven Mitts (bartered — skirmish camp cosmetics quartermaster/cosmetic items), sienna
  • Feet: Snow-beast Boots (bartered — Winterhome Yule Festival barter vendor/The More the Merrier — tier 3), white

Tips: Each Beorning character starts with a unique set of gear, different for male and female characters. You are rewarded the second set of equipment from the quest “Preparations for Travel” at the conclusion of the starter instance, so if you have a female Beorning, you can get this hood with this appearance then (it is called Radagast’s Hood). The 2014 Yule festival is tentatively scheduled to open on the live servers on 16 December and to run through 15 January.

You may also like:

Warrior-hero of Forochel

Warrior-hero of Forochel

Misty Mountaineer

Misty Mountaineer

Lossoth Shaman

Lossoth Shaman

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Beorning Selections

Beorning selections

“Some say that he is a bear descended from the great and ancient bears of the mountains that lived before the giants came. Others say that he is a man descended from the first men who lived before Smaug or the other dragons came into this part of the world, and before goblins came into the hills out of the North. I cannot say, though I fancy the last is the true tale. He is not the sort of person to ask questions of.”

– Gandalf speaking of Beorn, The Hobbit, “Queer Lodgings”

Six years after the last new classes were added to the game, Beornings have arrived! Last year I speculated about the possibility of a new character class, which I thought would be called Skin-changers, and it’s interesting to look back and see how many of my predictions came to pass (not many!).

If you’re trying out a new Beorning character and looking for some outfitting suggestions, here are some possibilities to inspire your imagination. These were not necessarily created with Beornings in mind, but they all have a wild and rough look that should suit the skin-changers of Wildermore.

Woodman of the East        Warrior-hero of Forochel        Woman of the Woods

Druidess        Haleth the Hunter        Little Beorning

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Second Breakfast’s Hallowe’en Celebration

Second Breakfast, a kinship on Crickhollow server, is hosting The Haunted Hill, a Hallowe’en celebration! Join them at the Party Tree on Sunday, 26 October at 1:00 pm /servertime for lots of fun and spooky festivities, including a costume contest. There are categories for the spookiest, most original, and best duo or group outfits.

I have been kindly invited to help judge the costume contest along with talented fellow outfit bloggers Gloredh of Wandering Around Arda and Nathrien of Material Middle-earth.

Even if you don’t usually play on Crickhollow server, why not roll up an alt and join the fun. I hope to see you there!

The Haunted Hill


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Harvestmath Guise Selections 2014

Haunted burrow

With the end of the harvest season comes the onset of winter, and the dark half of the year — but it is also a time for bonfires, feasting, apple-bobbing, and guising! This year’s in-game Harvestmath festival opens 21 October, and runs through 2 November. If you’re planning to visit the Haunted Burrow or attend a festival event on your server in-costume, here are some selected outfits that might make great guises or spark your imagination to come up with something new.

Crazed Murderer        Fauxhirrim        Goldberry and Tom Bombadil

Iron Crown Cultist        Little Red Riding Hood        Lossoth Shaman

Mad Baggins        Playdwarf Bunny        Gandalf the Grey

You may also like:

Haunted burrow

Harvestmath Guise Selections 2013

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Summer Selections

Summer selections

When summer lies upon the world, and in a noon of gold
Beneath a roof of sleeping leaves, the dreams of trees unfold;
When woodland halls are green and cool, and wind is in the West,
Come back to me! Come back to me, and say my land is best!

– “The Ent and the Entwife”, The Lord of the Rings 3:IV

It’s now high summer in the northern parts of the Primary World, and in-game we have come at last to the warm lands along the Bay of Belfalas. The air is balmy and fragrant and the sun shines from a sky of faded blue, dancing brightly on the leaves and grass.

Here are some outfit suggestions in summery green and golden hues to inspire your own outfit creations.

An Unexpected Heroine         Dawn-lark         Friend to Man

Kingsfell Beacon-keeper         Minstrel Under the Mountain         Westfarthing Shirriff

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