Battle of the Five Armies: Swordsman of Bard

In late November, IIIA 2941, the dragon Smaug the Golden was slain by Bard the Bowman of Esgaroth. Smaug had been occupying the dwarf-halls of the Lonely Mountain for nearly two hundred years, and with his death his vast hoard of treasure was left unguarded. Thorin, the rightful heir to the throne of Erebor, claimed the treasure, but the Men of Esgaroth, with Bard conducting negotiations for the Master of Lake-town, also claimed a portion of the treasure as reparations for the destruction of their town and stocks and as were-gild for the townsfolk who were killed by the dragon. The Elvenking of the Woodland Realm, Thranduil, also set out to seize the treasure, believing there was no one left alive with a claim to it; but when he heard of the plight of the Lake-men, his army turned aside to aid them. When negotiations failed and an army of dwarves from the Iron Hills under the command of Dáin Ironfoot arrived to reinforce Thorin, it appeared that battle would erupt with the dwarves on one side and the men and elves on the other. Yet these three Free Peoples remembered their friendship and united once again when two further armies arrived to seize the treasure: the goblins and wargs of the Misty Mountains.

After the destruction of Esgaroth, the Men of Lake-town proclaimed their will to have Bard the Bowman, the slayer of the dragon, as their new king. The Master of Lake-town used all his powers of oratory to dissuade them in their choice, and indeed succeeded in turning the hearts of the Men against Thorin. Nevertheless, Bard announced that he yet served the Master and that he would go north to the Mountain with any who would follow him. This man is one of Bard’s stalwart followers, a swordsman of Esgaroth whose lineage can be traced back to the time of Dale. His arms are of good iron: a corselet of strong mail girdled with a polished gelt, and a peaked cap complete with a noseguard. Boots and gloves of thick leather and a warm cloak of rough-spun wool guard him against the oncoming winter. His roundshield is of thick oak planks reinforced with a heavy boss, and his iron blade is of simple craftsmanship but deadly in his hand, for he fights with the ferocity of the heroes of Dale remembered.

This outfit is the second in a three-part collection based on the Battle of the Five Armies. For this outfit, I was trying to make something that looks like it blongs naturally to the same culture as the outfit in Housecarl of Dale. Since the Men of Dale (and related peoples, like the Rohirrim and the Woodmen) are descended from the Northmen of old, who were Middle-men rather than High Men of the West, I like to try to create a look for them that is more grounded in Primary World cultures, rather than adopting a more fantastic style, as I would in, say, a Gondorian outfit.

  • Head: Padded Helm (crafted — tailor T1; or purchased — Bree-town medium armour vendor; or looted — world drop/general), grey
  • Shoulders: Noble’s Woolen Mantle (quest reward — Dunland [72] Silent Riders), grey
  • Back: Worn Cloak of the Ranger (quest reward — epic [75] Volume 3, Book 5, Chapter 1: Separate Ways – Radanir), grey
  • Chest: Dunlending War Armour (crafted — metalsmith T7/Men of Dunland reputation), umber
  • Hands: Storyteller’s Fur-lined Gloves (quest reward — [71] Munfaeril’s Warning), umber
  • Feet: Dwarf-make Outrider’s Boots (crafted tailor T3; or purchased — Thorin’s Hall medium armour vendor; or looted — world drop/general), grey
  • Shield: Wood Round Shield (purchased — Archet medium armour vendor)

Tips: The recipe for the Dunlending War Armour can be obtained from the Men of Dunland reputation vendor in Galtrev once you have reached Friend standing. The heavy helm that is a part of the same set would also look very nice and in keeping with the theme of this outfit. The shoulders and gloves used in this outfit have the same appearances as several other Dunland quest rewards. I used the dwarven boots shown in the pictures because of their interesting greyish-green trim colour, which coordinates well with the difficult-to-match colour of the chest piece, but if you prefer not to use Dwarf-styled boots, any of the Rise of Isengard pre-order cosmetic boots (for example, the Boots of the Westfold) would look great with this outfit as well.

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7 Responses to Battle of the Five Armies: Swordsman of Bard

  1. Freyjuska says:

    really well matched and authentic! I love the hauberk… dunno why I’ve never used it since it’s dyable. great job!

    • Yes, I was really happy when I saw those could finally be dyed. I was so disappointed when they first came out and they could only be navy, because it’s really quite a nice cosmetic. Glad you liked this one, thanks Freyjuska! 🙂

  2. Laenlis says:

    Great stuff. As a lore nut myself, I really enjoy the commentary that goes with your outfits.

  3. mephet says:

    That looks absolutely awesome! It’s really something I could imagine a soldier wearing – not just in Middle Earth, but our world as well. This is one of my favourite outfits from you so far 🙂

  4. Theofried says:

    Very authentic indeed. Especially the earthy tones, the simple shield and plain cloak.
    But I think soldiers like this were few in the battel of the five armies. Dale in the days before Smaugs death probably couldn´t afford the resources and time to craft chainmail. Although if I remember correctly not much is actually said about their armour in the bok.

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