Outlaw Wolf-keeper

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 [71] 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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29 Responses to Outlaw Wolf-keeper

  1. Ivy says:

    Ooh Starry, I love that head piece too. And ranger green is such an underrated dye color, glad to see it used in this outfit.

    The white wolf is a fantastic contrast to your color pallette, nice choice. 🙂

    –Ivy

  2. Oh love it! Excellent outfit! I always love your “nature based” outfits (like the one with the stag which I think is masterly) and this one is another great one. Good colour coordination and rugged look. Very well done!

  3. firestorm953 says:

    The wolfis definitely my favorite part in this one!

    • Hehehe, I’m sad to report that that stupid wolf kept misbehaving by turning around and wandering off while I was trying to take screenshots. In the end I’m afraid I dispensed a beating with that like, level 20 club. :O

  4. Iaksones says:

    Great backstory; love the down-to-earth rough look too.

  5. fbclotro says:

    I made a similar outfit using this mask for a warg-keeper. I just love how it covers the teeth, the primary weapons of your charges, as if to say, ‘Stay in line, because you really don’t want me to take this off…’

    • Great minds think alike! 🙂 I thought it was kind of neat not only for representing that outlaw theme, but also for the role reversal of the master being “muzzled” instead of the wolf!

  6. Elenluin says:

    You’ve given me a bit to think about outlaws. Also another urge to get some medallions of the north men :).

  7. Devonna says:

    Amazing! Each piece really works well together. I also love your pictures. That wolf is really cool.

  8. Nathrien says:

    I love this outfit and such creative use of an animal! It’s not often ranger green finds its way into the spotlight 🙂

    And by the way, reading the lore with this made your outlaw outfit jump from cool to awesome!

  9. Sade says:

    I’m in love with masks, and you’ve used one in this outfit beautifully.
    The whole set looks practical and fitting, and I keep coming back to the gathers below knee.
    The club just finishes off the look, as does the wolf. Pesky things, that wildlife. :p

    Agreeing about Ranger Green’s status of being undervalued: it yields some very interesting results, depending what you try it with, being greener with some, and almost golden with others.
    Another relatively undervalued dye, imo, is grey.

    There’s something very Mannish about this get-up. Can’t put my finger on it, but if it was more Elvish or Dwarvish in looks, methinks it wouldn’t work as well. Hobbits would be different, too, imo. Hmmm….

    Nonetheless, thank you for this. It’s wonderful to see all these cosmetics, and your way of giving background info is just plain delightful. 🙂

    *bows*

  10. Freyjuska says:

    amazing outfit for a huntress, it’s fierce but doesn’t deny the character’s feminity. thanks to the ranger green it’s also very “believable”, I can imagine a real hunter wearing similar clothes 🙂

  11. C.T. says:

    Ah, that cloak. A permanent, unique, ranger green-ish hue with only the pattern dyeable. It’s now part of my Guardian’s signature outfit. I thought the pattern somewhat reminiscent of heraldry, and as weathered and stained as the cloak is, it seemed to convey a feeling of forsaken nobility and glories long past; eminently suitable for not only my far-ranging soldier-spy but your outlawess of Arnor that was lost.

    The getup is seamless, though I wonder if a spear might look better in place of the club. I find her curiously alluring, and looking at your shots is giving me an idea or two for a treatment centered on conflict between Dúnedain and outlaws in Evendim. Keep those juices flowing, and let us return beyond Anduin soon!

  12. Pingback: Expanding My Outfit Style « Cithryth's Blog

  13. tsuhelm says:

    Simply amazing…going to have to track that mask down 🙂

  14. Pingback: LOTRO: Bear With Hairy Feet | tsuhelm

  15. Bris says:

    Amazing outfit! Is there another way of getting hold of the headpiece? The only way i know of is through a raid in enedwaith but there are never enough people willing to go there
    thank u so much and keep up the good work

    • Thank you Bris and welcome to the blog! 🙂

      You won’t need to do the Ost Dunhoth raid to get this head piece as long as you get the version available from the Novice’s Quartermaster in Harndirion. That (purple) version only requires marks and medallions. Hope this helps you obtain the piece. Enjoy! 🙂

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