Bilbo Baggins was a very peculiar hobbit. He had been considered quite respectable, in spite of his Tookish ancestry on his mother’s side, until one spring morning he up and wandered off into the Blue in the company of Gandalf the Grey and a band of Dwarvish vagabonds! He was gone for the better part of a year and presumed dead (the inevitable result for folk who indulge in such reckless eccentricities) and his estate was duly passed to his relations and heirs, the Sackville-Bagginses. The unwanted items of the estate were set to be auctioned when Bilbo had the gall to show up quite alive, completely disrupting the whole affair and forcing everyone to give everything back. He also had in his possession chests full of treasure — gold and jewels — and he claimed that he had won this on an “Adventure” (preposterous!). He was even wearing a sword instead of a walking-stick, of all the outlandish things!
But it got even worse. Mad Baggins never married, began avoiding his respectable relations, and entertained the likes of uncouth Dwarves and the wandering trouble-maker Gandalf at Bag End. He spent entirely too much time with his young cousins on the Tookish side, putting goodness-knows-what strange ideas into their impressionable heads. He squirreled away his ill-gotten treasure in the cellars and behind the walls of Bag End, and worst of all, he refused to die in a timely fashion. When he turned ninety, he looked much the same as he had at fifty. On his ninety-ninth birthday, neighbours began calling him well-preserved (though unchanged would have been nearer the mark). It was all too much and quite inappropriate — who in the world should have eternal youth and inexhaustible wealth? At last, he scandalised everyone by adopting his nephew Frodo (more than half a Brandybuck), thereby disinheriting the Sackville-Bagginses. He then thew a very queer party for his eleventy-first birthday at which he insulted the guests and gave them all a terrible fright by disappearing with a flash and a bang. Mercifully, he was never heard from again — no doubt having finally met the fate he had long been courting with his unsavoury associations!
I thought that this silly little guise would be fun to wear while lurking in the Haunted Burrow. I picture local hobbits disguising themselves as the infamous “Mad Baggins” by donning a gormless-looking mask and sack of (fake) treasure and lampooning Bilbo’s eccentric behaviour (also maybe looking for stashed jools in the Bag End cellars while they’re at it). Why the beard on the mask? Well, Mad Baggins did spend an awful lot of time with those appalling Dwarves… I think the robe that I used in this outfit is a really nice piece, especially because it’s just so Hobbit-y, with a jacket and longish waistcoat (or weskit, as Sam’s old Gaffer might say). I’ve been looking forward to using it in a hobbit-outfit, and here was a good opportunity! I hope everyone’s enjoying this year’s festival so far. I have another “Harvestmath guise” coming up on Thursday, this time veering a bit more to the spooky side of things — please stop by and check it out!
- Head: Pipe Festival Mask (bartered — Harvestmath festival trader/cosmetic clothing), grey
- Shoulders: Noble’s Woolen Mantle (quest reward — Dunland  Silent Riders), orange
- Back: Treasure Hunter’s Rucksack (bartered — Treasure Hunt base camp reward quartermaster), burgundy
- Chest: Campaign Robe of the Mark (crafted — tailor T8/Men of the Sutcrofts reputation), yellow
- Hands: Fingerless Gloves (quest reward — Yule festival  Self-sacrifice: Support the Poor), orange
Tips: The shoulders used in this outfit have the same appearance as several other Dunland quest rewards. The Treasure Hunter’s Rucksack also sometimes drops from a Large Treasure Cache during the Treasure Hunt event. If you’re more diligent than I and have managed to win a Treasure Laden Steed during the Treasure Hunt event, it would be a great accessory to go with this outfit, representing the pony that Bilbo brought back from the Lonely Mountain. Likewise, frequent use of the /rich emote and others, also from the Treasure Hunt event would be really help sell the character of “Mad Baggins”. If you want a more “authentic” or non-costume Bilbo look, you might replace the Pipe Festival Mask with one of of the many hood cosmetics available — perhaps the almost comically oversized hood from the Erebor Burglar sets to represent the ill-fitting Dwarf-hood that Bilbo was given when he first set out with Thorin & Co.
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