Figment of Dwimordene

Defender of the golden eaves

To the Elves, the Golden Wood of Lothlórien was a beautiful haven utterly unstained by evil, but to the mortal Men of Rohan who dwelt to the south, it was a fearful place shrouded in superstition. Dwimordene they called it, and in their tales filled it with figments of sorcery, phantoms and apparitions. Great was their mistrust of these fay beings and of the Sorceress of the Golden Wood, a weaver of nets and delusions that could ensnare the unwary. Indeed, Lórien was a perilous realm, for within it was the power to change the hearts of those who entered. But as Samwise perceived, the only peril to be found in the Golden Wood was that which the visitor to that land brought within himself.

Winged with fate, her elf-shot arrows fly

The Men of Rohan seldom approach even the fading eaves of Dwimordene, for fear of the Elven shadows that haunt the land. This elf, a warden on the marches of the Golden Wood, would be perceived as little more than a figment of the magical forest should she be spotted by one of the Rohirrim. Yet it is unlikely that they would ever see her unless she wished it, for she is swift and silent, masked and clad in the raiment of her folk. The Elves put that which they love into all that they make, including their clothing, and hers is grey like the twilight beneath the boughs of trees and pale blue like the mists that cling to the stocks; yet hints of golden leaves gleam through. Dearest of all to her people is the stylised mallorn-tree that adorns her armoured breast. It is well that the Men of Rohan fear Dwimordene as they do, and dare not approach it, for the Elves mistrust those who live beyond their borders and will suffer none to pass. Men who approach with intent to enter may find themselves assailed by elf-shot, but Orcs who dare to enter the wood are never seen again.

Under the fading boughs

The name for the Golden Wood in the tongue of Rohan, translated in The Lord of the Rings as Dwimordene, means “Vale of Phantoms”, from Old English dwimor “phantom, apparition; illusion” + O.E. denu “vale, valley”, referring to the river valley of the Celebrant. Although Lothlórien is a manifestation of Galadriel’s longing for Valinor, indeed her attempt to recreate Valinor, Lórien is, unlike the Undying Lands, firmly placed in Middle-earth, where time must pass, and all things must decay — even the Elves and all their works. Yet the power of Galadriel and her ring root the realm in the river of time and hold it against the current of the years. Bordered by water on two sides (the rivers Anduin and Celebrant), Lothlórien is an earthly embodiment of Faërie, the perilous realm described by Tolkien in his essay “On Fairy-stories”, and this is why the Men of Rohan fear it. It is an otherworld, a fairyland, outside of time and waking reality; the eroded name Lórien means, simply, “dream”. Tolkien uses Lórien to reconcile the varying accounts of the passage of time in Elfland as depicted in a number of traditional fairy-stories: either faster or slower than in the mortal world. In Lórien, time can be perceived as simultaneously fast and slow; in some instances the wood seems curiously outside of time, as when the Company of the Ring floated downstream away from Lórien, yet looking back it seemed that it was they who remained stationary while Lórien itself drifted away, receding into the past. It is in Lórien that the tale becomes most like a fairy-story as defined by Tolkien: a story about the adventures of mortals within the perilous realm of Faërie.

The various events, contests, and special features over the last two or three weeks brought a bit of an irregular schedule to The Starry Mantle, but I’d like to reassure everyone that we’re now back to our regular scheduled outfit posts! I thought it would be nice to get right back into it with a juicy “lore-ish” post, and I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s look at Lórien, through the eyes of the Rohirrim, as a Fairyland — and of course the outfit itself! I’d also like to remind long-time readers and let new readers know that new outfits are posted each Wednesday at The Starry Mantle, and as always I welcome and value your comments and thoughts as well as your vote on the “star widget” that accompanies the outfits.

Elusive dwimor of the wood

  • Head: Helm of the Lady’s Secrecy (bartered — Caras Galadhon Burglar trainer), grey
  • Shoulders: Ceremonial Shoulders of the Gloom-bane (bartered — skirmish camp cosmetics quartermaster/Rift cosmetic clothing – heavy), gold
  • Back: Fancy Elven Quiver (looted — anniversary event/Elegant, Embossed, or Striped Gift Boxes), violet
  • Chest: Elven Soldier’s Armour (crafted — metalsmith T5; or looted — world drop/general), black
  • Hands: Scout’s Gloves (crafted — tailor T6), grey
  • Legs: Ceremonial Trousers of the Learned (bartered — skirmish camp cosmetics quartermaster/Helegrod cosmetic clothing – light), black
  • Feet: Scout’s Boots (crafted — tailor T6), grey

Tips: The hooded mask in this outfit has the same appearance as the Dungeon Crawler’s Hood (bartered — Ost Galadh Burglar trainer). A cosmetic version is, at the time of the writing, available for sale via in-game clothing mannequin as part of a very lovely combination outfit that I think may have been put together by Hymne of Cosmetic Lotro. The outfit should continue to be offered throughout April, so now is a great time to pick it up if you’ve got some spare Mithril Coins and don’t have access to the regular statted version in-game. The Fancy Elven Quiver is available from gift boxes received in exchange for the metallic tokens that drop from monsters during the anniversary event (which happens to begin next week, on 16 April).

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14 Responses to Figment of Dwimordene

  1. cennwyn says:

    I just acquired that helm; it’s gorgeous!

    I adore everything about the Rohirrim, so I enjoyed this look at Lorien through their eyes. Indeed, one of my favorite quests from the Great River region was the “romance” between the elf maid and the Rohirrim captain; while I found the romance itself implausible I loved that their respective sides were dead against it (the Rohirrim soldiers insisting from the start that their fellow must be ensorcelled by the elf-witch). LOTRO isn’t always…realistic, for lack of a better word… so I appreciate all the more the moments when NPCs behave appropriately.

    • I like that questline too, it was nice and it kind of reminded me of the other “smote with looove on seeing a high lady” characters in Tolkien like Aragorn, Beren, Thingol and I guess even Gimli! It was nice that they concentrated on the superstitions of Rohan in those early Great River quests, too. Thanks very much for your comment, Cennwyn — always appreciated. 😀

  2. gloredh says:

    oooooh *.* (sparkly eyes) this outfit has instantly struck me, in the first screenie she looks like she’s thinking “be careful where you walk trespasser!” (XD) I love how you managed to match all colors, even that light blue of the leggings with the front of the mask and the lines of the quiver, the details of the breastplate gives a refined touch, I don’t usually associate black with elves, but as you wrote in the eyes of the rohirrim she might be seen as a ‘sorceress’ of sorts, together with lore and the background you made black an appropriate choice
    🙂

  3. cithryth says:

    Nice! I’ve always loved those leggings but often had a hard time finding something that went well with the pale blue on them (I wish we had a light blue dye for that reason!) It matches so perfectly with the mask… Well I may just have to go barter for both of those things now!

    • Yes! I sooo wish we had a light blue dye, like a robin’s-egg or powder blue. I tried those leggings in another outfit before, but I think this one is a more successful combination. It’s a fairly rare colour in LOTRO. Thanks so much for your comment Cithryth, glad you liked this one! 🙂

  4. Nathrien says:

    After coming back from a lengthy LOTRO break, I see that you still capture the magic of Middle-Earth in wonderful ways with your lore-based outfits 🙂 I absolutely love how well you’ve used that subdued bluish-gray!

  5. Pingback: Heavy armoured hunter | Wandering Around Arda

  6. Fairymore says:

    Wonderful set here. It would never had occurred to me to use those shoulders on an outfit for a stealthy elf of Lorien but you made it work so well. The Helm works just great and it all blends in very well with the location. I love it, good job.

    • Thank you so much for the kind words Fairymore! I was actually kind of struggling with this one trying to find shoulders that worked. and they were the last piece that fell into place. I think it was the shoulders that really tied it all together for me with this one. I’m very pleased to hear you liked it. 🙂

  7. Harrison Dansie says:

    You know, I could see the Figments of Dwimordene as a special group of the Galadhrim, perhaps really the briefly-mentioned handmaids of Galadriel. Maybe this was their role in the War of the Ring. Nice design!

    • Thanks Harrison! Glad you liked it. I like the idea of the Figments of the Dwimordene being a special division among the Galadhrim. It’s so nice to know that some of these posts can lead to ideas like that, creating more depth or imaginative possibilities in the in-game world. 🙂

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