In the days before the destruction of Lake-town and the death of the dragon Smaug, there was trade between the Lake-men and the Elves of Mirkwood. The Lake-men sent barrels laden with goods to the Elvenking’s hall, and once these were emptied, they were dumped into the Forest River to float downstream back to the Long Lake. In The Hobbit, when Bilbo and the dwarves rode their barrels out of bond in the Elvenking’s dungeons, they drifted down the Forest River and passed by a village of raft-elves. These elves, probably rustic Wood-elves under Thranduil’s rule, gathered up the empty barrels caught in the little bay near their village, and roped them together to form large floating rafts. They used long wooden poles to push these back into the river’s current so they would return to Laketown whence they first had come. Fortunately for Bilbo and the dwarves, it was late at night upon their arrival at the village of the raft-elves, so they were not discovered.

This raft-elf stands by the river-bank waiting to sight empty barrels bobbing downstream. On a warm summer day, he does as much napping as watching, but there is always fishing to keep him awake. He wears a simple linen shirt in pale green and a tunic of darker green, but his leggings and shoes are of soft canvas treated with wax so that he can remain somewhat dry as he wades in the water gathering barrels (or fishing). He carries a leather pack containing bait and tackle and laden with a net, extra rod, and a knife for cleaning his catch, which he places in a wicker basket at his side. He wears a soft headwrap knotted at the nape of his neck, over which is a brimmed hat that shields his eyes from the water’s glint and is decorated with a golden leaf. He carries a long, heavy oaken pole used to push captured barrel-rafts back out into the current, and also to guide his own small flat raft back home at day’s end.

This is a fun little outfit that came about because I was trying to find a good use for the hat. Something about the style made me hesitant to use it in a “grander” elf-style outfit, but I thought it could be just right for a rustic raft-elf. It’s still fancy and clearly elven in styling, but the brim and bandana give it a bit of a county-elf feel, I thought. The dramatic protruding brim of the hat made taking screenshots tough because his face was usually obscured by the brim or else completely shaded by it!

  • Head: Songmaster’s Hat (bartered — Ost Galadh Minstrel trainer), Rivendell green
  • Shoulders: Golden Host Shoulder Pads (crafted — tailor T6/Malledhrim reputation), forest green
  • Back: Fisher’s Backpack (bartered — skirmish camp cosmetics quartermaster/cosmetic items), orange
  • Chest: Elven Cotton Armour (crafted — tailor T3; or looted — world drop/general), Rivendell green
  • Hands: Rock-climber’s Gloves (crafted — tailor T6), gold
  • Legs: Elven Outrider’s Leggings (crafted — tailor T3; or looted — world drop/general), Rivendell green
  • Feet: Elven Leather Shoes of Might (looted — world drop/general), Rivendell green
  • Weapon: Ash Staff (crafted — woodworker T2)

Tips: The hat in this outfit shares its appearance with the Hat of the Lady’s Grace (bartered — Caras Galadhon Minstrel trainer). This outfit is mostly made up of very accessible pieces, so should be really easy to put together. The hat might be a bit trickier, but so many great substitutions could be made, ranging from hoods to many of the various plumed and feathered hats.

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12 Responses to Raft-elf

  1. mephet says:

    I’ve never seen that hat before! Really pretty. All around a wonderful outfit, would’ve never thought any of those pieces capable of looking this good. Also love the idea in general – these themed, lore-inspired outfits are great! 🙂

    • Thanks Mephet! 🙂 I love the hat too, I think you don’t see a lot of people wearing it because it’s a bit difficult to match since the only part that dyes are the two little swirls. It’s a really unique appearance though.

  2. Elenluin says:

    The hat does have a carefree air to it, more hobbit like than elf I think. It’s also great to see this kind of elf once in a while. Makes me wonder how the devs will create these rustic elves, if we ever get the region.

    • Good point! I don’t know if they would bother with a distinction between the Sindar of Thranduil’s court and their Wood-elf subjects. It would be cool if they did but it might be too fine a point to make. My understanding was that the Sindar living in Mirkwood among the Wood-elves had pretty much “gone native”, but that doesn’t seem to apply to Legolas, so maybe the royal family retained their Sindarin ways.

  3. I have yet to find good use for that hat, but you made it shine! It’s not the outfit itself that is so unique, but the whole setting, the colours and the poses. You tell a story with every picture and I love it!

  4. Fionnuala says:

    That’s one of my favorite head pieces in the game. I worked hard to get it for my Minstrel in Mirkwood and now she always wears it with at least one outfit. Right now I wearing with a casual “wandering bard” style outfit. I always thought the bandana was just my hair in a pony tail (my minstrel has black hair) until I tried it on an alt and realized it didn’t change color with hair. Ah well, I’ll still pretend it’s her hair. 🙂

  5. DarkJackal says:

    While I love all your posts this is one of those that amazes me. You’ve thought of everything and brought it together so well that I just accept it as an addition to the lore. Brilliant use of the staff as raft pole!

  6. Celebeion says:

    AWESOME! Would you mind if I use this outfit on my Elf? I love this style, and I made an outfit similar to this one with a “Hunter of the Greenwood” kind of look, and I think this outfit would look great on my Elf, too!

    • Welcome Celebeion! I’d be flattered if you used this outfit on your Elf! Please feel free to use anything on my blog that you like — it’s my hope to give outfit ideas and inspiration to whoever would like them. 🙂

      Thank you so much for your kind words!

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