Outlaws are referred to frequently in The Silmarillion and Tolkien’s other early writings; for example, Barahir and Beren became the leaders of an outlaw band after escaping the sack of Dorthonion. Like all things Tolkien, the choice of the word outlaw is not casual but carefully considered. Historically in the Primary World, an outlaw is someone literally outside of the law, having been stripped of the protection of the authorities. In English common law, a “writ of outlawry” proclaimed an outlaw to have the same legal status as a wolf; that is, he could be killed on sight with impunity by anyone as though he were a dangerous animal. In Norse mythology, the vargar (wargs; singular vargr) were a race of fearsome wolves (as in Middle-earth), but the term also referred to outlawed men who, as in the English common law, were seen metaphorically as wolves. Thus, in both English and Norse tradition, outlaws were wolf-men, literally were-wolves (“were-” is from Old English wer and means “man”). So too in Middle-earth: in the First Age, Túrin son of Húrin fled the hidden realm of Doriath after causing the death of one of the elves of King Thingol’s court and took up with a band of outlaws. These outlaws were named in Sindarin Gaurwaith, “wolf-people”.
This woman lives among the outlaws in Emyn Uial, the Hills of Evendim. Since the fall of Arnor and later Arthedain, these men and women have lived under the rule of no king and have become coarse and uncouth in their ways. They have forgotten their once-proud heritage as subjects of the North-kingdom; they now set upon travellers, plunder the ruins and tombs of Evendim, and their children play with the whelps of half-tamed wolves. This outlaw woman is not only an accomplished tomb-robber, but a wolf-keeper as well, raising wolf-pups as companions and guards. She is clad in rough-tanned leathers, including breeches gathered at the knees and light shoes to afford her agile movement when slipping into tombs or ruins. In addition, she is cloaked and masked to help conceal her identity and protect her band should she be spotted by any of the Dúnedain that still linger about the shores of Lake Evendim. In spite of her band’s rough ways and lawless existence, she and they are not evil and have not fallen under the shadow of the Enemy; they do what they feel they must to survive, and this brings them into conflict with the Rangers. Nevertheless, travellers in the Hills of Evendim would do well to be wary of them and avoid them if possible lest they be waylaid and ransomed.
I’m an admirer of the mask from the In Their Absence Hunter set and I’ve been really looking forward to using it in an outfit. The mask suggested an outlaw-type character, which of course is a fraught term in Tolkien! I’m always fascinated by the ways Tolkien worked out what certain mythological terms meant in the context of Middle-earth, often showing how they can move from literal representations of the mythology, like the wargs in the service of Sauron (often called werewolves in the Silmarillion) or indeed Sauron himself who shifted from man-shape to wolf-shape during his battle with Huan the Hound; to metaphorical representations of the mythology, like the Gaurwaith, “wolf-men” who were merely outlawed people living in the wild. Turbine has the done the same clever sort of thing in-game with the Gauredain (also meaning “wolf-men”) who occupy sort of a middle ground between the literal and metaphoric.
- Head: Lesser Secret of the West Helmet (bartered — Harndirion novices quartermaster/tier 1 difficulty Burglar armour), gold
- Shoulders: Storyteller’s Fur-lined Mantle (quest reward — Dunland  Messenger of Fate), gold
- Back: Keen Cloak of Might (looted — world drop/general), Ranger green
- Chest: Ceremonial Pathfinder’s Jacket (bartered — skirmish camp cosmetics quartermaster/Moria cosmetic clothing – medium), umber
- Hands: Radiant Westernesse Gloves (crafted — tailor T5; or looted — world drop/general), Ranger green
- Legs: Westernesse Protector’s Leggings (crafted — tailor T5; or looted — world drop), Ranger green
- Feet: Ceremonial Silver-voice Shoes (bartered — skirmish camp cosmetics vendor/Helegrod cosmetic clothing – light), umber
Tips: If you don’t have access to the cloak I used in this outfit, a very theme-appropriate alternative is the Cloak of the Mountain Wolves (purchased — LOTRO Store), which features three wolves howling at the moon. The shoulders have the same appearance as several other Dunland quest rewards. The chest piece used in this outfit has the same appearance as the ones from the other level 58 Mines of Moria instance cluster medium armour sets.
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