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.
Durin IV, believed by the Dwarves to be the third reincarnation of the Father of the Longbeards, was the king of Khazad-dûm at the time of the Last Alliance. He was also the bearer of one of the Seven Rings of the Dwarves, which he had inherited from his father, but it is uncertain whether he would have borne that ring into the very domain of Sauron as he marched there with the armies of the Last Alliance. Here Durin IV is seen against the jagged black peaks of Ered Lithui, the Mountains of Ash. He is clad in ingenious heavy armour, his arms protected by a fine metal mesh of special Dwarf-make reinforced with massive pauldrons and vambraces. His legs are protected by heavy tassets and flexible metal boots, the secrets of whose making is known only to the Longbeards. His armour has a silvery sheen, indicating that perhaps it is alloyed with or even made entirely of mithril — armour of such incalculable worth surely would not be beyond the means of the King of Khazad-dûm. Also befitting his royal status is his masked war-crown, made to resemble a scowling dwarf-face framed in flowing hair, and his cloak bearing the device of the three peaks of the Dwarrowdelf. Of the three captains of the Last Alliance leading their peoples in this attack against Sauron, only Durin IV survived. He went on to return to his seat in Khazad-dûm and at the end of his life bequeathed his ring of power to his own son. This ring would continue to be passed down through Durin’s line, and eventually came to be known as the Ring of Thrór — but at last it too was reclaimed by Sauron, the last of the Seven to come to him.
This is the second in a collection of three outfits, 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. Again, I wanted to use a masked war-crown to show this ruler of Dwarves in the most regal light possible. The wonderful carven steel hair and beard of the mask fits almost seamlessly together with the beard I have chosen for Durin, which I think is probably one of the most popular and dramatic beard-styles available for Dwarves!
- Head: Worker’s Helmet (quest reward — Moria  Opening the Waterways), orange
- Shoulders: Dwarf-make Knight’s Shoulder Guards (crafted — metalsmith T5; or looted — world drop/general), washed
- Back: Cloak of Durin’s Crown (pre-order — Mines of Moria), orange
- Chest: Dwarf-steel Breastplate (purchased — Thorin’s Hall heavy armour vendor; or looted — world drop/general), default
- Hands: Gauntlets of Heightening (looted — world drop/general), washed
- Legs: Dwarf-make Knight’s Leggings (crafted — metalsmith T5; or looted — world drop/general), washed
- Feet: Ceremonial Boots of the North Star (bartered — skirmish camp cosmetics quartermaster/Rift cosmetic clothing – heavy), default
- Shield: Sellsword’s Heavy Shield (crafted — metalsmith T5)
Tips: The helm used in this outfit can also be purchased from the LOTRO Store as the Ceremonial Worker’s Helm and can be obtained as Istuigon’s Helm (bartered — Iorelen’s Camp odds and ends trader). There is also a world drop helm, sometimes labelled as Tactical Helm, that has the same appearance. It seems to drop in level 55+ zones. The gauntlets used in this outfit are another somewhat rare world drop; if you don’t have access to these, the Ceremonial Gloves of the North Star (bartered — skirmish camp cosmetics quartermaster/Rift cosmetic clothing – heavy) would be a great alternative.