Siegebreaker 1

And in that very moment, away behind in some courtyard of the city, a cock crowed. Shrill and clear he crowed, recking nothing of war nor of wizardry, welcoming only the morning that in the sky far above the shadows of death was coming with the dawn.

And as if in answer there came from far away another note. Horns, horns, horns, in dark Mindolluin’s sides they dimly echoed. Great horns of the north wildly blowing. Rohan had come at last.

The Lord of the Rings 5:IV

Siegebreaker 2

The kingdom of Rohan had ever been the ally of Gondor since the Oath of Cirion of Eorl was sworn at the site of Elendil’s tomb upon the hallowed Hill of Awe. Therefore, when Gondor faced her greatest peril, as the forces of the Enemy surrounded Minas Tirith and burned the outlying Townlands, Théoden King, lord of Rohan, mustered his forces and rode swiftly to the White City’s defense. Chief among his warriors were the knights of his own household, his thanes, the companions of his hall, great Riders of the Mark.

Siegebreaker 3

This man rides with the King’s éored. He is arrayed in shining harness of war by the generosity of his lord, Théoden. His mail of linked rings and overlapping scales is strong, and his round shield stout. The white horsetail flies from his proud helm as the Rohirrim speed to war, swords brandished. For the beacons are lit and the Red Arrow has been presented. Gondor calls for aid, and the ruin of the world is nigh!

Siegebreaker 4

Within the shattered remnants of the encircling Rammas Echor, the Townlands of Pelennor stretch before the arriving Rohirrim, swarming with the hosts of the Enemy: wicked Morgul-orcs, wild Easterlings with cruel axes, fearsome Variags out of Khand, great Trolls wielding terrible siege weapons, and uncouth Southrons with their monstrous beasts of war, the Mûmakil. Great trenches scar the fields, roaring with flames, and the lower circles of the city are ablaze. The great gate lies in ruin. Overhead, the winged steeds of Nazgûl wheel shrieking like evil birds, causing despair in all who see them. And above even their flight, at the summit of Minas Tirith the White Tower stands, glimmering in the faint suggestion of dawn that seems poised to break through the reek of Mordor. The cry of the King goes up: “Ride now! Ride now! Ride to Gondor!”

Siegebreaker 5

The arrival of the Rohirrim, heralded by their ringing horns, is one of the great moments of eucatastrophe in The Lord of the Rings. With Update 18 currently on Bullroarer for testing, and seeming to cover the Ride of the Rohirrim, this outfit is my interpretation of one of the men of Théoden’s own éored (company of riders). I wanted him to look as Saxon-like as possible and incorporate some of the green colour and horse-motifs so closely associated with Rohan. I chose the sword, although I’m not too keen on it (too fantasy for my taste, with its silly hilt) because of the reddish-brownish detail on the lower part of the blade, which coordinates nicely with some of the details on the horse’s caparison and its tail binding. I wish that we could dye all the elements of our war-steeds — saddles, gear, and tail decorations cannot be dyed.

Siegebreaker 6


  • Head: Wildermore Survivor’s Heavy Helm (bartered — Forlaw Barterer/People of Wildermore), olive
  • Shoulders: Lesser Mark of the West Shoulder Guards (bartered — Harndirion novices quartermaster/tier 1 difficulty Rune-keeper armour), gold
  • Back: Cloak of the Eorlingas (pre-order — Rise of Isengard), default
  • Chest: Westemnet Skirmish Armour (crafted — tailor tier 9), white
  • Hands: Wildermore Gauntlets (crafted — metalsmith tier 8/Survivors of Wildermore), olive
  • Legs: Lesser Leggings of Dúngon (bartered — Harndirion novices quartermaster/tier 1 difficulty Captain armour), olive
  • Feet: Wildermore Boots (crafted — metalsmith tier 8/Survivors of Wildermore), olive
  • Weapon: Wildemore Sword of Fate (bartered — Forlaw Barterer/People of Wildermore)
  • Shield: Campaign-shield of the Mark (crafted — metalsmith tier 8/Men of the Sutcrofts)


  • Body: Warden’s Caparison (purchased — LOTRO Store), olive
  • Head: Warden’s Halter (purchased — LOTRO Store), olive
  • Saddle: Guardian’s Saddle (purchased — LOTRO Store), default
  • Legs: Light Leggings of the Entwash (quest reward — [81] In Defense of Eaworth), olive
  • Hide: Overo War-steed (purchased — LOTRO Store), dark grey
  • Tail: Short Fluffed Tail (purchased — LOTRO Store), grey

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Woodmaiden 1

In the earlier centuries of the Third Age, many of the Northmen of Wilderland lived along the eastern side of Mirkwood under the rule of various petty lords and princes. The greatest of these was Vidugavia, who styled himself the King of Rhovanion. At the time, the King of Gondor was Rómendacil II, who much desired to strengthen Gondor’s alliance with the Northmen. Therefore, he sent his son, Valacar, to dwell in the court of Vidugavia as his ambassador. Valacar spent years in the court of Vidugavia and grew to love the ways of the Northmen. Now Vidugavia had a daughter, Vidumavi, and Valacar grew to love her, too. He asked for her hand in marriage, which pleased her father the king. But Valacar’s own father, Rómendacil, was hesitant, for a prince of Gondor had never before taken to wife one of alien race. Nevertheless, he consented to the marriage so as not to affront his ally Vidugavia. And thus Vidumavi and Valacar were wed.

Woodmaiden 2

They continued to dwell among the Northmen and in time Vidumavi bore Valacar a son. They named him Vinitharya in his mother’s language. When Vinitharya was five years old, Rómendacil recalled Valacar to Gondor, and he obeyed, returning with his wife, his son, and a household of Northmen. Vidumavi was welcomed in Gondor, for she was fair and noble, and her son would one day be king. Vidumavi took well to life in the South-kingdom, learning the language and taking the name Galadhwen, for so her her native name is rendered in the noble tongue of Gondor. But there were those who were displeased, saying that the king’s son had married a woman of lesser race and that it was wrong that the future king should share the blood of an alien people. As was feared, Vidumavi’s span of years was much shorter than that of the race of Westernesse, and she died while Valacar was still young and hale; indeed, before he had even ascended the throne. In time, Valacar succeeded his father and, after reigning for sixty years and six, was succeeded by his own son. Vinitharya took the throne as Eldacar, but his ascension caused the Kinstrife, Gondor’s terrible civil war that had repercussions reaching far into the future. Yet the seed of the alliance of the Northmen and the Men of Gondor, in the planting and tending of which Vidumavi played a part, flourished down through many centuries, and bore fruit in the two great rides of the Northmen to the aid of Gondor, the first of these being the ride of the Éothéod out of Northerland to the aid of Gondor during the Battle of the Field of Celebrant; and the second being the mighty Ride of the Rohirrim to lift the siege of Minas Tirith at the very end of the Third Age.

Happy new year, everyone! I hope everyone had a lovely holiday season. I was inspired to make today’s outfit because I told myself that I needed to try to use some of the more recent pieces available in game (by which I mean anything from, say, the Riders of Rohan extension forward). As I’ve mentioned a few times now, the newer pieces often don’t really speak to me and I have a hard time incorporating them into outfits. Anyway, I’m glad I did try a few of these out, because I really enjoy the result with today’s outfit. I felt it seemed very fitting for a Northman princess — noble and rugged at the same time. The Northmen of Rhovanion are of course the distant ancestors of the Rohirrim and also of the seldom-mentioned Woodmen of Wilderland. I find the Woodmen really fascinating (the edge cases are always so interesting in Tolkien). If you’re into tabletop RPGs, the Woodmen get a really nice treatment in Cubicle 7’s  gorgeous “The One Ring” roleplaying game. One final note of a linguistic nature: the names of the Northmen of Rhovanion of the early Third Age are Gothic in origin, with Latinized (or rather, Quenyarized) spelling. The Quenyarization I suppose reflects that these names are known to history only through the records of Gondor, which at the time (c. III 1200s) would have been written in Quenya. For example, “Vidumavi” represents Gothic Widumawi, “wood-maiden” (which in turn represents her unattested genuine Northern Mannish name). And “wood-maiden”, of course, is also the meaning of Sindarin Galadhwen, her name in Gondor.

Woodmaiden 4

  • Head: Worn Hood (autogranted — Beorning), washed
  • Shoulders: Exemplary Shoulders of the Anórien Tree (bartered — Minas Tirith Builder’s Fellowship vendor), sienna
  • Chest: Robe of the Flowered Vale (quest reward — Eastern Gondor [100] The Madness of Vanyalos), steel blue
  • Hands: Simple Bracers (autogranted — Beorning), default
  • Feet: Isengard Prisoner Boots (quest reward — Epic [72] Book 4, Chapter 23: The Wizard’s Vale), rust

Tips: The autogranted Beorning pieces have appearances that vary based on the gender of the wearer, so depending on the character you want to wear them on, you may need to run your Beorning through the whole Beorning introductory instance to get both sets (male and female). The robe shares its appearance with the other light armour chest piece quest rewards in Eastern Gondor. If you would like to add a cloak to this outfit, the Worn Cloak of the Ranger (quest reward — Epic [75] Book5, Chapter 1: Separate Ways – Radanir), dyed navy.

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Cheerbringer 1

When it’s Yuletide in the Shire, the hobbits enjoy even more good cheer than they usually do. Feasting, drinking of warming spirits, and wassailing are the order of the day. Hobbit holes are decorated with fragrant evergreen boughs and warm fires crackle invitingly on every hearth.

Cheerbringer 2

This merry lass brings cheer to each Yuletide gathering she attends, clad in her gayest apparel and bearing a festive sprig. She never goes out without her softly glowing lamp to light her way home in the evening after the feasting and singing are done.

Cheerbringer 3

~ Merry Christmas, happy New Year, and all the season’s greetings ~
Best wishes to you in 2016, everyone!

Cheerbringer 4

  • Head: Extravagant Festival Hat (quest reward — Yule festival [10] Gain and Glory: Assist the Rich), red
  • Shoulders: Well-used Shoulders (autogranted — Beorning), forest green
  • Back: Yule Hoodless Cloak (bartered — Yule festival barter vendor), forest green
  • Chest: Gossamer Dress (bartered — skirmish camp cosmetics vendor), crimson
  • Implement: Lantern (bartered — Farmer’s Faire festival announcer)
  • Implement: Wood Lily (quest reward — Epic [85] Volume III Book 10 Chapter 15: The Bloom)

Tips: Depending on the character you used to earn the shoulders from the Beorning introduction, you may have to use the alternative shoulders (the two shoulders swap appearances on male and female characters). The other shoulders are called Grimbeorn’s Shoulders (quest reward — Beorning intro [1] Preparations for Travel).

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Ruffian Repulser

Ruffian repulser 1

The Company of the Ring set out from Rivendell on December 25, III 3018. They journeyed south, and behind them winter deepened in Eriador. Early in the New Year, there was a heavy snowfall in the Breeland, and ruffians from away South had been lurking in the countryside, full of thievery and mischief. Aided by the treacherous Bill Ferny and Harry Goatleaf, the ruffians took advantage of the winter weather to attack the village of Bree.

Ruffian repulser 2

This young woman has chosen to stand with the menfolk and defend Bree from the ruffians. There were no swords or shields nor any armour to be found in Bree, unless they be relics of very old days before the fall of Norbury of the Kings. But that is ancient history, so the Bree-folk have armed themselves as best they can, with the tools of their daily livelihood: pitchforks and bills and scythes and threshing flails. Our young woman has a stout club and is bundled in clothing against the unusually cold weather. In addition to keeping her warm, she may hope that the thick woolen layers will protect her somewhat from the weapons of the ruffians.

Sadly, five Breelanders were killed that cold January night: three of the Big Folk and two of the Small Folk, remembered as good fellows all. In the end, the ruffians were defeated and driven off to live as outlaws in the wild. But after that, the roads were not safe and travel ceased. The folk of Bree barred their doors at nightfall and whispered that there were now things worse than robbers and wolves about: dark shapes lurking the woods at night, dreadful things that made the blood run cold…

Ruffian repulser 3

It was time for another wintry outfit and the new hooded shoulder pieces from this year’s Yule festival caught my eye. Even though their textures are pretty bare-bones, it’s nice to have some pieces with a new model, and they made me think of something a Breelander might wear when getting bundled up for winter. I hope everyone’s enjoying the festival and getting settled in for a little bit of relaxation over the holiday season!

Ruffian repulser 4

  • Shoulders: Helmed Mantle of the Winter Drifts (bartered — Yule Festival barter vendor), steel blue
  • Back: Fine Dwarf-make Quiver (looted — Anniversary event gift box), burgundy
  • Chest: Snow-dusted Travelling Robe (bartered — Yule Festival barter vendor), burgundy
  • Hands: Warm Yule Mittens (purchased — LOTRO Store), steel blue
  • Feet: Shadow-stalker Boots (bartered — Last Homely House Burglar trader), burgundy

Tips: A ceremonial version of the Shadow-stalker boots are available from the cosmetics vendor at any skirmish camp. This outfit also looks great with the Leijona Cloak, dyed grey.

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Arvedui Last-king

Arvedui Last-king 1

In the North-realm of Arnor long ago, King Eärendur died, leaving three sons as his heirs. His two younger sons each challenged the eldest son, Amlaith, for the right to ascend the throne. The dispute led to the disintegration of Arnor into three successor kingdoms, the greatest of which, Arthedain, was ruled by Eärendur’s rightful heir Amlaith. For over a thousand years, Amlaith’s descendants ruled Arthedain, but the situation in the north grew perilous with the rise of the realm of Angmar and the incessant wars of its ruler, the Witch-king, on the Dúnedain of the North. During the reign of Araphant, Arthedain’s strength to endure was beginning to falter. When the king’s son was born, the royal seer proclaimed:

“Arvedui you shall call him, for he will be the last in Arthedain. Though a choice will come to the Dúnedain, and if they take the one that seems less hopeful, then your son will change his name and become king of a great realm. If not, then much sorrow and many lives of men shall pass, until the Dúnedain arise and are united again.”

Arvedui Last-king 2

And so the king’s son was named Arvedui, that is Last-king. When Arvedui ascended the throne, the realm was struggling to resist the attacks of Angmar. The Witch-king took Fornost, Arthedain’s chief city, and scattered the Dúnedain. Arvedui escaped the sack of the city with a group of his men-at-arms, and with him he brought the heirlooms of the realm: the Ring of Barahir and the palantíri of Annúminas and Amon Sûl. Servants of Angmar pursued them, until at last Arvedui and his men were driven out of the North Downs and into the snowbound lands around the great Ice-bay of Forochel. It was winter, and they were forced to take refuge in an abandoned Dwarf-mine. The cold temperatures and lack of provisions took their toll, and Arvedui and his men began to starve. Little food could be found in the frozen landscape around the mine. Eventually, they had no choice but to plead for help from the Lossoth, the Snow-men of Forochel. The Lossoth feared Arvedui and his men, but also pitied them, and they fed them and built for them houses of snow. Because the harsh winter conditions had killed their horses, Arvedui and his men had no choice but to wait out the winter, hoping that help would come to them.

Help finally came in March the following year. Círdan the Shipwright had heard of the Arvedui’s plight and sent a ship to the Ice-Bay to rescue him. But when the Lossoth saw the ship, they were frightened, and warned Arvedui not to go aboard, saying that the Witch-king’s power was still too great so early in the year. The advised him to wait until summer, when the snows and winds commanded by the Witch-kind would subside. Arvedui did not heed them, and giving them the Ring of Barahir he boarded the elf-ship. But as they sailed forth from the Ice-bay, a terrible storm descended and drove the ship against an ice-floe. The hull was crushed and the ship sank. Thus the Arvedui Last-king found his final resting place at the bottom of the bay, with the two seeing-stones that were his heritage. But his line did not perish, for his son, Aranarth, survived the war with Angmar and became the first of the Chieftains of the Dúnedain.

Arvedui Last-king 3

With this year’s winter festival on its way, I felt it was time to work on another cold-weather outfit. The impetus for this one was the undyeable blue section on the back of the helm, which I thought looks great with the accent colours of the cloak and the hauberk. I’ve always felt this helm to be vaguely Númenórean in feel, or a sort of “fantasy” take on how I picture that aesthetic in my mind’s eye, so it was a natural match with the cloak, with its imagery of Nimloth, the White Tree of Númenor. The shield ties into the theme as well, depicting Vingilot, the ship of Eärendil and the blazing Silmaril above it… or perhaps it alludes to the ship that bore Arvedui to his watery grave.

Arvedui Last-king 4

  • Head: Westfold Skirmish Helmet (crafted — Tailor T7), black
  • Shoulders: Song-caller’s Shoulders (bartered — Shadowed Refuge light armour quartermaster or Twenty-first Hall Minstrel trainer), black
  • Back: Radiant Cloak (crafted — Tailor T5), black
  • Chest: Elven Hauberk (purchased — Celondim outfitter)
  • Hands: Leijona Gloves (crafted — Tailor T5/Lossoth reputation)
  • Feet: Leijona Boots (crafted — Tailor T5/Lossoth reputation)
  • Shield: Light Westernesse Shield (crafted — Metalsmith T4)
  • Weapon: Potent Resolute Sword of Prowess (scaled instance drop)

Tips: The recipes for the gloves and boots of Leijona can be purchased from the Lossoth Medium Armoursmith vendor in the Great Lodge at Sûri-kylä.

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Warlock of Erech

Warlock 1

When the Númenóreans came to the shores of Middle-earth, fleeing the drowning of their island-home, they found the coasts and valleys inhabited by Men who were their distant kin. But their kinship went unrecognized, for these indigenous Men were descended from the Second House of the Edain in the Elder Days before the world was changed, and their language was uncouth to Elendil’s people. In the years of Darkness, before the coming of the Númenóreans, the Men of the White Mountains had turned to the worship of Sauron, for he was mighty and terrible, and their kings practiced heathen rites, burning themselves alive in pride and despair. But now Mordor lay empty, for Sauron too had gone down in the wrack and ruin of Númenor. Wishing to have the allegiance of the Men of the Mountains, Isildur, prince of the fledgling Númenórean realm-in-exile of Gondor, met the Men of the Mountains at the Hill of Erech, where had been placed a great sphere of smooth black stone brought over the sea from Númenor. There, the king of the mountain-men swore that his folk would be allies to Gondor and to fight for her at need.

Warlock 2

Later, when the Last Alliance of Elves and Men was formed to combat Sauron, however, the Men of the Mountains broke their oath, refusing Isildur’s call to fight against their former master. Therefore, Isildur cursed them, saying to their king:

Thou shalt be the last king, and if the West prove mightier than thy Black Master, this curse I lay upon thee and thy folk; to rest never until your oath is fulfilled. For this war will last through years uncounted, and you shall be summoned once again ere the end.

The Lord of the Rings, 5:II

The Men of the Mountains fled before Isildur’s wrath, hiding themselves in the valleys of the White Mountains where they shunned contact with other men. They were become warlocks, oathbreakers, and over the long years they dwindled in the barren hills and the curse of Isildur took hold of them, for they did not die, but lingered on as shadows of their former selves in the darkness under the Haunted Mountain of the Dwimorberg. There they have remained until, as foretold by Malbeth the Seer of Arnor, the Heir of Isildur himself shall come forth to hold them to their oath and release them at last from their bondage to the circles of the the World.

Warlock 3

From time to time I enjoy trying to put together an outfit suitable for the foes of the Free Peoples, and the key to that seems to be to try to find pieces that when combined create a bit of a different silhouette than we usually see on our characters. Since the Men of the Mountains (and indeed all Hill-men and descendants of the Second House of the Edain) are presented as being culturally pseudo-Celtic, I wanted to give this guy a look that would suggest a lower technological level relative to the Númenóreans-in-Exile, who are analogous to the Roman Empire in this situation. I thought the bare arms and legs and cloth foot-wrappings helped with this, and I also gave him a vaguely Roman-esque helm and shield to suggest some cultural crossover in the hundred years or so before his folk broke faith (again, analogous to the cultural exchange that took place between the Roman Empire and, for example, the Gauls). As for the name “warlock”, this is a word that has come to be associated with sorcery and synonymous with “sorcerer, magician” but in Old English wǣrloġa meant “oath-breaker, deceiver” from wǣr “faith; fidelity, friendship; agreement, promise” + loġa “liar, deceiver”. It became associated with the Devil, the original oath-breaker, and then with those thought to be in service to the Devil as sorcerers or magicians, and this is how the word came to have its present sense. It seemed to me a fitting term for the treacherous Men of the Mountain and the shadows that they became.

Warlock 4

  • Head: Westemnet Battle Helmet, (crafted — metalsmith T9), steel blue
  • Shoulders: Light Nadhin Shoulders (bartered — Dol Amroth light armour quartermaster), turquoise
  • Back: Cloak of the Raven (bartered — Harvestmath festival trader/cosmetic clothing), turquoise
  • Chest: Langhár’s Tunic and Waistcoat (quest reward — Beorning intro [1] Preparations for Travel), turquoise
  • Hands: Dúnadan Workman’s Cuffs (deed reward — Volume III Interludes, Part 1), navy
  • Feet: Dúnadan Workman’s Sandals (deed reward — Volume III Interludes, Part 1), navy
  • Shield: Wildermore Battle Shield (crafted — metalsmith T8/Survivors of Wildermore reputation)
  • Weapon: Polished Westemnet Axe (crafted — weaponsmith T9)

Tips: The shoulders used in this outfit are also a random world-drop at any level. Check for them at the Auction House. The appearance of the chest piece used in this outfit alternates its appearance with the auto-granted Beorning class armour depending on whether your Beorning is a man or a woman. By completing the Beorning character intro, you can obtain both full sets of gear.

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Wardrobe Update: Silvan Sentry

The Original Outfit: Silvan Sentinel was among the first outfits I shared on the blog. I wanted to create an Elvish look that would give the impression of the more rustic culture of the Silvan Elves (Nandor) as compared to the Grey Elves (Sindar) or the Deep Elves (Noldor). I wanted a lightly-armoured feel, so I chose shoes instead of boots. The short sleeved chest piece was chosen because it fit the lightly-armoured feel and also emphasized one of the central features of the outfit, the interesting greyish-blue colour of the chest piece which matches with parts of the helm.

The Updated Outfit: When this outfit was first published, I was very pleased to receive some positive feedback from my fellow outfit bloggers, but (as is often the case) the star-rating widget tells a different story. Nevertheless, this remains one of my favourite outfits on the blog, and I decided to update it and make it more complete by adding a coordinating quiver. The gloves were swapped out for bracers, which further emphasize the bare arms. At the time that I made the original outfit, the shoes that I used were the only ones in the Elvish style that I had access to, but their bright golden detailing makes them unsuitable. In updating the outfit, though, I wanted to retain the idea of shoes rather than boots, so I experimented with the Dungeon Crawler’s Boots (which are in fact shoes) available from the Burglar Trainer in Ost Galadh. While they have a thin greyish-blue detail that nicely matches the chest and helm, I ultimately felt they were too brown, but not a warm enough brown to coordinate with the other brown elements in the outfit. Instead I opted for the boots seen in the screenshots, but if you like the idea of shoes, the Dungeon Crawler’s Boots are still a very good option.

What do you think? Does this archer-sentry’s updated look hit the bullseye or miss the mark?

Silvan sentry 1

Silvan sentry 2

Silvan sentry 3

Silvan sentry 4

  • Head: Elven Light Helm (purchased — Rivendell light armour vendor; or looted — world drop/general), Rivendell green
  • Shoulders: Tawarwaith Shoulder Pads (crafted — tailor T6/Malledhrim reputation), dark green
  • Back: Fancy Quiver (purchased — Trestlebridge outfit vendor), dark green
  • Chest: Elven Leather Shirt (purchased — Rivendell medium armour vendor; or looted — world drop/general), sienna
  • Hands: Leather Bracers of the Gentle Stag Leather Bracers of the Gentle Stag (quest reward — Dunland [66] The Village Burns), dark green
  • Legs: Tawarwaith Leggings (crafted — tailor T6/Malledhrim reputation), forest green
  • Feet: Golden Host Boots (crafted — tailor T6/Malledhrim reputation), dark green
  • Bow: Bow of Unification (quest reward — epic [6o] Volume 2, Book 7, Chapter 3: Sons of Leaf and Stone)
Posted in Outfits, Wardrobe Updates | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Legends of the Free Peoples: Marcho and Blanco

Marcho 1

Blanco 1

The Free Peoples of Men, Elves, Dwarves, and Hobbits keep many tales and songs and legends of the glorious deeds of their longfathers. In the Elder Days, the deeds of heroes were of a mythological stature and beyond the power of those in younger days to achieve. When the names of Eärendil the Mariner, great among both Elves and Men, and Durin the Deathless, Father of the Longbeard Dwarves, are invoked by the minstrels, the listener is filled with wonder, for their deeds are are mighty indeed. But the Hobbits belong to the younger days, not the Elder, and thus the deeds of their most legendary figures are less awe-inspiring in nature, yet no less important to the halflings; for Marcho and Blanco were the founders of their beloved Shire.

Marcho 2

Blanco 2

The Hobbits first come into the histories of Middle-earth when they dwelt in the upper vales of Anduin. Where they had come from is not told, but in time, they became divided into three kindreds: the timid Harfoots, the riverside Stoors, and the bold Fallohides. Unlike the other two kindreds, the Fallohides maintained a hunting tradition, and thus were naturally more adventurous and inquisitive. They were also more friendly with outsiders, especially Elves, and from them learned to love the trees and forests and gained skill in song and story. When evil began to stir in Mirkwood, the Hobbits grew afraid, and began to leave their homes in the vales of Anduin and move west across the Misty Mountains. The Fallohides crossed the mountains at the sources of Hoarwell, north of Rivendell, and from there began to move west across Eriador. In time, they settled in the country around the Bree-hill, for they found that some of the Harfoots had already made homes there. Because of their daring natures, the Fallohides were easily accepted as leaders and chiefs by the Harfoots. After dwelling in the Bree-land for three hundred years, two bold Fallohide brothers, Marcho and Blanco, wished to lead a group of hobbits further west in search of new lands to settle. Knowing that the lands west of Baranduin were the royal hunting grounds of the King of Arthedain, they journeyed to the city of Fornost Erain and were there granted formal permission by King Argeleb II to settle them. The requirements of the King were that the Hobbits uphold the laws of Arthedain, keep the bridges in good repair, foster the land, speed the King’s messengers, and finally, that they allow the King to hunt the forests and moors thrice each year. With this agreement in place, Marcho and Blanco led their followers across the Bridge of Stonebows and came for the first time into the fertile lands that would become their Shire. In time, they would be joined in their mild and bountiful land by the Stoors, coming up from Dunland, and the three kindreds of Hobbits became mingled.

Marcho 3

Blanco 3

The names of Marcho and Blanco both mean “horse” (Old English mearh “horse” and blanca “white horse”) and they are of course analogous to Hengest and Horsa, the semi-legendary founders of Anglo-Saxon England whose names also both mean “horse” (Old English hengest “horse, gelding, stallion” and hors “horse”). Like the followers of Hengest and Horsa, the Angles, the hobbit-followers of Marcho and Blanco had once dwelt in a region called the Angle — the triangular area of land between Mitheithel, the River Hoarwell, and Bruinen, the River Loudwater. Thus, the Hobbits can be seen truly to be English (that is, Angle-ish, the people of the Angle) and the Shire to be England (the land of the people of the Angle). This is the third and final installment of the “Legends of the Free Peoples” collection. Since I couldn’t very well do just one outfit for Marcho and Blanco, we have a fourth bonus outfit for the collection! Once again, I’m working with the purple, rose, gold, and white colour scheme created by using pieces from the level 65 Annúminas sets and blending them strategically with other pieces. I don’t usually put boots on my hobbits, but I felt it was necessary to really sell this complex colour scheme. In making these outfits, I noticed that the spring festival tunic used on Blanco has been changed; originally the central part of the tunic was an undyeable dark green, but now the whole thing dyes — so if you had been avoiding using it for that reason you can dye away to your heart’s content. I had a really good time putting together all four outfits for this collection, and I hope you’ve enjoyed them as much as I have!

Marcho 4

Blanco 4


  • Head: Light Nadhin Hood (bartered — Dol Amroth light armour quartermaster), purple
  • Shoulders: High-warden’s Shoulders (bartered — Ost Galadh Warden trainer), gold
  • Back: Cloak of the Northern Lights (purchased — LOTRO Store), purple
  • Chest: Nenuial’s Jacket, level 65 (bartered — skirmish camp classic vendor/Annúminas Medium Armour), default
  • Hands: Nenuial’s Gauntlets, level 65 (bartered — skirmish camp classic vendor/Annúminas Medium Armour), default
  • Legs: Rhymer’s Trousers (Echad Andestel Minstrel trader or Caras Galadhon Minstrel trainer or Ost Galadh Minstrel trainer), purple
  • Feet: Nenuial’s Boots, level 65 (bartered — skirmish camp classic vendor/Annúminas Medium Armour), default


  • Shoulders: Fangorn Shoulderguards (crafted — Tailor T9/Ents of Fangorn Forest), gold
  • Back: Cloak of the West-tower, level 65 (bartered — skirmish camp classic vendor/Annúminas Heavy Armour), default
  • Chest: Tunic and Trousers of New Bloom (bartered — spring festival rewards vendor), purple
  • Hands: Gloves of the Hopeful Melody (bartered — skirmish camp classic vendor/Barad Guldur – Level 65 Light), rose
  • Feet: Boots of the Seven Stars (bartered — skirmish camp classic vendor/Annúminas Light Armour), default

Tips: If you want to bring some gold into the headpiece of Marcho’s outfit, you could try the Shadow-stalker Helm (bartered Last Homely House Burglar trader or ceremonial version bartered — skirmish camp cosmetics vendor/Helegrod Cosmetic Clothing – Medium), dyed purple or rose. Marcho’s leggings have the same appearance as the Trousers of the Mighty Verse (bartered — Twenty-first Hall Minstrel trader).

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Harfoot Settler

Harfoot Settler

Stoorish Bard

Stoorish Bard

Fallohide Explorer

Fallohide Explorer

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Legends of the Free Peoples: Durin the Deathless

A king he was on carven throne

The Free Peoples of Men, Elves, Dwarves, and Hobbits keep many tales and songs and legends of the glorious deeds of their longfathers. In the Elder Days, the deeds of heroes were of a mythological stature and beyond the power of those in younger days to achieve. When the names of Eärendil the Mariner, great among both Elves and Men, and Durin the Deathless, Father of the Longbeard Dwarves, are invoked by the minstrels, the listener is filled with wonder, for their deeds are are mighty indeed. But the Hobbits belong to the younger days, not the Elder, and thus the deeds of their most legendary figures are less awe-inspiring in nature, yet no less important to the halflings; for Marcho and Blanco were the founders of their beloved Shire.

He saw a crown of stars appear

The world was young, the mountains green,
No stain yet on the Moon was seen,
No words were laid on stream or stone
When Durin woke and walked alone.
He named the nameless hills and dells;
He drank from yet untasted wells;
He stooped and looked in Mirrormere,
And saw a crown of stars appear,
As gems upon a silver thread,
Above the shadow of his head.

— “The Song of Durin”, The Lord of the Rings 2:IV

In the deeps of time, before the Sun and Moon had risen for the first time over Arda, and before the kindreds of Elves and Men had awakened, the smith-Vala Aulë grew impatient for the coming of the Children of Ilúvatar. He longed for creatures to love and instruct, and therefore he made seven beings of his own. He ensured they were stout and resilient to injury, for Aulë knew that they must be able to withstand the evils of Morgoth in Middle-earth. Aulë began to instruct his creatures in the language he had devised for their use when he was rebuked by Ilúvatar, who said that Aulë had not the power to create, only to make, for Ilúvatar alone is the master of the Flame Imperishable. Aulë saw that unless his will was bent on his creatures they would merely stand dumb and lifeless, and he humbled himself before Ilúvatar, saying that a child who plays at his father’s work does it not in mockery but from love. He prepared to destroy his seven creatures but Ilúvatar stopped him. Then Aulë looked in wonder on the beings he had made, for he saw that they shrank back in fear from his unfallen blow. Ilúvatar had accepted Aulë’s repentance and adopted these seven creatures, Khazâd in their new language, as children of his own; and he had granted them true life and being with the spark of the Flame Imperishable. But Ilúvatar would not suffer his adopted children to come before his own. Therefore, he commanded Aulë to lay the Khazâd to sleep in deep places beneath the surface of Middle-earth. Each was to be laid with a mate save one, the eldest, Durin.

When the time of the Khazâd, or Dwarves as they came to be known in the Common Speech, came at last, Durin awoke deep beneath Mount Gundabad at the north end of the Misty Mountains. He left the caverns beneath the mountain and wandered south, seeing many hills and dells that no-one had yet laid eyes upon, and he gave them names. At last he came to a deep valley beneath three mighty peaks, in which was laid a pool with a dark and glass-like surface. Durin peered into the cold, still waters and saw that they reflected the stars in the sky above him, seeming to form a glittering crown above the reflection of his head. He took this as a sign, and went up into the mountains above the pool, finding there great caves. He explored them and in time with the help of other dwarves who came to serve him, the caves were worked and expanded and wrought into the great mansion of the Dwarrowdelf, Khazad-dûm.

He named the nameless hills and dells

Durin was accepted as the king of those dwarves that had come to serve him, and thus he became the Father of the Longbeards. He reigned as their king for untold years. His lifespan was so great that he was called Durin the Deathless, and he lived to see the rising of the Sun and into the First Age. Under his rulership Khazad-dûm became rich and mighty, lit with crystal lamps set with the light of the Sun, Moon, and stars. Great works of skill, cunning, and beauty were wrought there, for the Dwarves, like their maker, excelled at crafts of the hand. Gems and arms were laid in horde, the throne-room of Durin was roofed in gold and floored in silver, and runes of power were carved upon its door. But long-lived as he was, Durin was not immortal, for that is the lot only of the Firstborn of Ilúvatar. In the fullness of age he died, having lived for ten lives of his kind, but the Dwarves say that when he died, the stars of his crown reappeared in the glassy surface of the Mirrormere, visible there until Durin should wake again in another mortal body and once again take up his throne.

Indeed, there were another six Durins, believed by the Dwarves to be reincarnations of the original Durin, and they all bore a great resemblance to him. At the time that Gimli son of Glóin looked upon the Mirrormere the seventh and final Durin had not yet been born. He would come in the Fourth Age, and would lead the Longbeards back to Khazad-dûm, reclaiming it at last. The Longbeards would live in the restored Dwarrowdelf until the world grew old and the mountains grey, and the race of the Dwarves failed at last, and the days of Durin’s folk were ended.

This is the second in the three-part “Legends of the Free Peoples” collection. Again, I’m working with the same purple, rose, gold, and white colour scheme that I used with Eärendil last week. It’s a pretty bold colour scheme that requires a suitably epic context. I really like the story of the making of the Dwarves by Aulë. It reminds me a bit of the biblical story of Abraham, another father who offered to sacrifice his son but was stayed at the last minute and went on to enjoy great prosperity. I also like that the reason for the strangeness of Dwarves in the eyes of Elves and Men — their stunted appearance, their lack of sexual dimorphism, and so on — can be attributed to the fact that Aulë, not knowing the mind of Ilúvatar, had only an imperfect idea of what the as-yet unawakened kindred of Elves and Men would be like. Durin is a name taken from Dvergatal, “the Tally of Dwarves”, in Völuspá, the first poem of the Old Norse Poetic Edda. The name Durinn derives from Old Norse dúrr “slumber, a nap”, so the name means something like “Sleepy” — a fitting name for the Father of the Longbeards, whose life began with sleep beneath the mountains and whose spirit is said to slumber until being reawakened in distant descendants.

The world was young, the mountains green

  • Head: Circlet of Restoration (bartered — Glân Vraig Loremaster Trader), violet
  • Shoulders: Well-used Shoulders (autogranted — Beorning), gold
  • Back: Cloak of Durin’s Crown (pre-order — Mines of Moria), indigo
  • Chest: Robe of the Seven Stars, level 65 (bartered — skirmish camp Classics Vendor/Helegrod – Epic Light Armour), default
  • Hands: War-captain’s Gloves (bartered — skirmish camp Classics Vendor/Helegrod- Heavy Armour), indigo
  • Feet: Sabatons of Resolution (bartered — Glân Vraig Guardian Trader), purple

Tips: At the time of writing, the circlet in this outfit is available to purchase for mithril coins at Lalia’s Market. Depending on the character you used to earn the shoulders from the Beorning introduction, you may have to use the alternative shoulders (the two shoulders swap appearances on male and female characters). The other shoulders are called Grimbeorn’s Shoulders (quest reward — Beorning intro [1] Preparations for Travel). If you don’t have access to the cloak used in the outfit, a nice alternative is Brosh’s Cloak (looted — Great Goblin/Seat of the Great Goblin). Experiment with rose, violet, indigo, and purple dye to get the perfect colour.

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Durin IV

Durin IV





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