In the early days of Númenor, the Men of the island had the friendship of the Elves of Tol Eressëa, who at times sailed to visit them. The Elves instructed the Dúnedain in many arts and in many crafts, and they became skilled. One of the arts in which the Dúnedain gained renown was that of archery, and they learned to craft for themselves bows made of hollow steel. From these powerful weapons they fired black-feathered arrows, each an ell in length. Evidently, the use of these steel-bows continued in Middle-earth even after the downfall of Númenor, for they were employed by Isildur’s men during the Disaster of the Gladden Fields. The bows had obviously been used to great effect against Orcs in the past, for the Orcs assailing Isildur held the steel-bows in dread and had learned to stay beyond their long reach.
This man, one of the Dúnedain remaining in the North at the end of the Third Age, is a masterful archer. He wields a steel-bow of great ancientry, an heirloom of his house handed down from the days of Arnor’s glory. Engraved and inlaid with bronze and gold, the bow is as beautiful as it is deadly. Patrolling Annúminas, at one time the jewel in the crown of the North Kingdom, our archer guards against the depradations of tomb-robbers and other villains who would come to despoil the ruined city. He stalks the city’s empty courtyards, once grand but now silent and overgrown; he strikes from atop the city’s stone walls, now crumbled and thrown down yet still proud. Perhaps one day the chieftain of the Dúnedain will return and Annúminas will rise again — but until then, our archer remains as vigilant as a hawk over the city of his father’s fathers.
I was playing around with the Hunter’s chest piece from the Barad Guldur set and came across this (to me) unexpectedly interesting combination with the Hunter’s leggings from the Rift set. Given the undyeable sections of both pieces, the whole outfit became a challenging exercise in colour balance. There’s a lot going on, colour-wise, in the various pieces of this outfit — orange, olive, brown, crimson, silver and gold! — and I hope I was able to achieve an attractive harmony. Maybe it was because of the several Hunter class pieces I used that I started to think of this as a very sumptuous archer’s outfit, which then put me in mind of the Dúnedain and Annúminas and the steel-bows of the Núnenóreans. The steel-bows are discussed in “A Description of Númenor” and “The Disaster of the Gladden Fields” (both in Unfinished Tales). A bow made of steel (that is to say, not a crossbow) seems quite fantastic, but I was surprised to learn that apparently bows made of steel actually were used historically in the Primary World (although they were very rare). It seems that they were first used in India and later spread to various Persian and Turkic peoples. The pictures that I’ve been able to find reveal them to be extremely ornate and beautiful weapons — certainly fitting for use by the high Men of Númenor.
- Head: Helmet of the Mark (crafted), crimson
- Shoulders: Ceremonial Shoulders of the West-tower (medallion barter reward), burgundy
- Back: Fine Elven Quiver (Rivendell cosmetics vendor), sienna
- Chest: Far-arrow’s Jacket (medallion barter reward — Hunter’s level 65 Barad Guldur set), olive
- Hands: Pathfinder’s Gauntlets (Moria instance cluster token barter reward — Hunter), olive
- Legs: Ceremonial Doom-hunter’s Leggings (medallion barter reward — Hunter’s Rift of Nûrz Ghâshu set), crimson
- Feet: Ceremonial Doom-hunter’s Boots (medallion barter reward — Hunter’s Rift of Nûrz Ghâshu set), burgundy
Tips: If you’d like slightly less armoured version of this outfit, I found while putting this together that the Eastemnet Campaign Circlet, dyed burgundy, with it’s headband-like style, looks very good as a replacement for the helm that I used.
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