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.