Lossoth Shaman

The Lossoth, known as the Snowmen of Forochel, were a type of Men that lived along the shores of the great Ice Bay. They were apparenly unrelated to the Edain, presumably having wandered into Eriador from the East, and had many outlandish customs and practices, such as constructing houses out of snow, gliding across the ice by tying bones to their feet, and traveling in carts without wheels.

This woman is a shaman, responsible for intercession with the spirits of the animals and natural forces of the Lossoth’s wintry home. She is a skilled healer and is also consulted when important decisions must be made about the reindeer herds kept by her people. Earlier today, she had been out tending the reindeer herd, and thus wears the traditional clothing worn for that task: a skirted garment with a high collar in a dominant deep blue contrasted with colored bands, plaits, pewter, embroidery, tin ornaments, and tassels of pure white fox-fur. Her bright red shoes have a pointed, upturned toe. At her belt are several pouches containing herbs and medicines, and in her pack, braced with reindeer antlers, are her other shamanic tools. Now, on her way home after tending her herd, she has heard the cry of an injured elk, and though it is a wild animal, she has a kind heart and stops to tend its wound.

(Elks of course being called moose in North American English.) I’ve been levelling alts through Forochel lately and it has also been very cold for the last week here in my own city (-32C the other other morning), so I thought I would put together a Lossoth-inspired outfit. Turbine has very smartly presented the Lossoth language using Finnish, which of course was one of Tolkien’s favourite languages. He also loved The Kalevala, an epic poem compiled from Finnish and Karelian oral folklore and mythology. I can see elements of The Kalevala throughout Forochel, so it appears Turbine has really done their homework in that zone. For example, there is a quest in which you help a young Lossoth man woo a potential bride; he intends to kidnap her and tie her up on his sled. This exact scenario occurs several times in The Kalevala (in between magic song duels those guys do a lot of kidnapping/wooing!). One Lossoth is named Sampo, and this is the name of a magical device in the The Kalevala. Other Lossoth NPCs also have names reminiscent of The Kalevala; Väinämo the champion trainer seems to be a shortened form of Väinämöinen, one of the chief figures in The Kalevala, and one Lossoth is even named Kaleva, which is the heroic northern land in which The Kalevala takes place. The Lossoth characters seem to wear clothing loosely inspired by the gákti, which is the traditional attire of the Sami, the indigenous people of the Fennoscandian peninsula. The Ajokoira armour especially seems to incorporate elements of this traditional dress. I tried to represent the traditional Four Winds Hat with the Riddler Master’s Hat, which unfortunately only has two points rather than four, but it was the best I could do! As you can probably tell by the small novel I’ve written here, I really enjoyed researching and putting this outfit together!

  • Head: Riddle Master’s Hat (quest reward — Trollshaws [36] The Riddle-master), Ered Luin blue
  • Shoulders: Ceremonial Shoulders of the Written Word (bartered — skirmish camp cosmetics quartermaster/Moria cosmetic clothing – light), Ered Luin blue
  • Back: Elk-hunter’s Pack (purchased — LOTRO Store), Ered Luin blue
  • Chest: Ceremonial Ajokoira Armour (crafted — tailor T5/Lossoth reputation; or purchased — LOTRO Store), Ered Luin blue
  • Hands: Ceremonial Gloves of the Poet’s Heart (bartered — skirmish camp cosmetics quartermaster/Moria cosmetic clothing – light), Ered Luin blue
  • Legs: Tavol-socas (looted — Fangorn’s Edge/tier 2 chest), Ered Luin blue
  • Feet: Treasure-hunter’s Shoes (crafted — tailor T6), red

Tips: If you don’t have access to the Riddle Master’s Hat, it can also be found under various names as a world drop. The shoulders and gloves used in this outfit have the same appearance as the ones from the other level 60 Mines of Moria instance cluster light armour sets.

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10 Responses to Lossoth Shaman

  1. Fionnuala says:

    That’s pretty neat, though the Elven style shoulders seem a bit out of place.

    • I just liked the colours! 😛

      I usually try to use racially-styled pieces with concepts for the appropriate race (because I’m a bit uptight that way), but to be honest one of the things I have greatly admired about the other LOTRO outfit bloggers is that they don’t seem to limit themselves that way, almost always to excellent effect. 🙂

  2. Freyjuska says:

    wow, what a great post! i love learning about new cultures and when this learning is tied up to a pretty outfit, that’s even better! 🙂

    i agree one shouldn’t be limited by racial specific armour. of course, elven shoulders would be out of place for a character whose RP is based on never meeting elves, or even not liking them. however, for a neutral character, you can always think of some story how did they come to she other race’s piece, and sometimes it even inspires a new twist in the role play 🙂

    /rp_fan_speech_off apart from that, i hate sticking to predictable combinations 😀

    • Thanks so much Freyjuska! Like I said in the post, I really enjoyed researching the Sami and their traditional dress, it was very fascinating.

      Interesting that there is a sense of relating the little backstories I give with RP. In game I’m not much of an RPer (though I enjoy a light spot of RP occasionally when it comes my way), so I don’t really think of my backgrounds as RP, more as just presenting how my outfit concept might fit into Middle-earth. That might be a pretty fine distinction! Anyway, perhaps that’s what Fionnuala was referring to, and it went right over my head. 😛

  3. Danica says:

    What a wonderful outfit! This dramatic and unique Shaman is inspiring. The ornaments you call tin have always been made of shell to me, based on the bone and the fur, and the little I know of cold climate North American indigenous cultures. Especially those adjacent to the sea. I know tin is certainly possible once cultures started mixing, but shell is more romantic and has a more pleasing clacky sound in my head.
    I’m about to attempt the twin winters of Forochel and the Misty Mountains myself, so I have been trying to create a good cold weather outfit for my guardian. Plate, scale and warm are a combination I’m finding difficult to produce! If I’m lucky, it will be half so fine as this 🙂

    • Thank you for the kind words Danica! I agree with you, the little ornaments are definitely shells. 🙂 I meant to add reference to shells to my description but I must have forgotten! The tin bit is simply a reference to the actual ornamentation used by the Sami of Finland and Scandinavia, and I guess I’m inviting viewers to see tin trinkets in their mind’s eyes.

      I’m sure you’ll put together an awesome outfit for your winter adventures — keep warm! 🙂

  4. DarkJackal says:

    Thank you for enlightening me on the basis for the Lossoth culture. It is one of those areas I will always remember entering for the first time. What I remember most was how ridiculous it was to wander around up there wearing nothing that would pass for warm gear. I know you earn it while you’re there, but I’m quite sure I would have frozen before I completed the first quest!

  5. Pingback: Red Forochel « Vogue of the Rings

  6. Nice outfit, you have managed to capture quite a bit of the Sami clothing:) Being Finnish myself it looks very familiar, although I have never met any Sami people wearing it.

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