In the year 3430 of the Second Age, the land of Gondor came under attack by the armies of Sauron of Mordor. In response, a coalition was formed between Elendil of the Dúnedain Kingdoms in Exile and Gil-galad of Lindon: the Last Alliance of Elves and Men. Their armies met at the watch-tower of Amon Sûl, then marched to Imladris where they spent three years in preparation for the coming war. When all was made ready, the combined forces crossed the Misty Mountains and marched south through the Vales of Anduin, and their numbers were bolstered by elves from Lothlórien and the Woodland Realm. They were also joined by the Longbeards of Khazad-dûm, under the command of Durin IV. After defeating Sauron’s armies in battle upon the plain of Dagorlad, the armies of the Last Alliance breached the Black Gate and passed into Mordor, where they laid siege to Barad-dûr, the very stronghold of Sauron. For seven years the Free Peoples beleaguered the Dark Tower, but at last Sauron himself came forth and did battle. Though he was defeated and thrown down, that was a grim day, for many had died to win it, and the One Ring was not destroyed.
Gil-galad was the High King of the Noldor in Middle-earth. He dwelled in Lindon where he had founded a realm between the Blue Mountains and the Sea, and he was the original keeper of two of the Three Rings of the Elves, Vilya and Narya. Here Gil-galad is seen in the terrible landscape of the Black Land, arrayed in his sea-hued battle-armour. A breastplate of great delicacy yet immense strength and intricately forged and fitted cuisses and poleyns protect him from the weapons of the innumerable hordes of Sauron. A high and shining war-crown indentifies him from afar and is fitted with a visor of beaten silver and filigreed gold. Not shown is Gil-galad’s powerful spear, Aeglos, or his shining silver shield. Along with Elendil, Gil-galad fought Sauron himself in personal combat, but was slain, and Aeglos was broken. Though Sauron too was defeated, it was a day of grief, for Gil-galad was the last High King of the Noldor.
Gil-Galad was an Elven-king.
Of him the harpers sadly sing:
the last whose realm was fair and free
between the Mountains and the Sea.
His sword was long, his lance was keen,
his shining helm afar was seen;
the countless stars of heaven’s field
were mirrored in his silver shield.
But long ago he rode away,
and where he dwelleth none can say;
for into darkness fell his star
in Mordor where the shadows are.
— “The Fall of Gil-galad”, The Lord of the Rings 1:XI
This outfit is the first in a collection of three, presenting portraits of the captains of the Last Alliance of Elves and Men: Gil-galad for the Elves and Elendil for the Men, as well as Durin IV for the Dwarves who assisted them. It’s also a companion-piece to the outfit seen in Lindon Dart-hurler, which depicts a warrior of Lindon who fought in the Battle of Fornost. I wanted to present each of the leaders in this collection looking as regal as possible, so I’ve used a masked war-crown for each of them, in their own racial style. I love the shape of the helm in this outfit. It gives me a bit of an Assyrian impression with its asymetrical, backswept peak.
- Head: Helm of the West-tower (bartered — skirmish camp classic quartermaster/Annúminas – heavy armour), navy
- Shoulders: Elven Warrior’s Shoulder Guards (crafted — metalsmith T5; or looted — world drop/general), navy
- Back: Scholar’s Cloak (crafted — tailor T4), navy
- Chest: Keen Breastplate of Might (looted — world drop/general), navy
- Hands: Ceremonial Dragon-scale Gloves (bartered — skirmish camp cosmetics quartermaster/Helegrod cosmetic clothing – heavy), navy
- Legs: Ceremonial Rift Defender’s Leggings (bartered — skirmish camp cosmetics quartermaster/Rift cosmetic clothing – heavy), navy
- Feet: Elven Hunter’s Boots (crafted — tailor T4; or purchased — Rivendell medium armour vendor; or looted — world drop/general), navy
Tips: The Ceremonial Rift Defender’s Leggings are a part of the Guardian set from the Rift of Nûrz Ghâshu. They can be purchased from the cosmetic vendor at skirmish camps, but are presently available for sale in the LOTRO Store until 28 June 2012 — so if you prefer to save your hard-earned medallions and use your TP to buy them, grab them before they’re gone! Another option (kindly provided by Hymne), if you’d like to save both your TP and your medallions, are the Leggings of the Dwarrowdelf (quest reward — epic  Volume 2, Book 8, Chapter 6: Return to Azanarukâr), which share the same appearance.