Here be man-eating slugs

With my desire to continue creating outfits at a very low ebb, I find that it is the rather inane things keep me going. In this instance, it is the itch of the unsolved problem, namely the colourfully-recalcitrant Drape of Evendim which has successfully resisted all my attempts to incorporate it into a coherent outfit. In the course of wrestling with that, this outfit materialised as an unexpected by-product. I also realise that I am fast running out of new locations to use as backdrops. As I was taking these pictures, I was confronted with the dilemma of having to buy the new expansions, or face death at the mandibles(?) of the vicious level 95 bog slugs that patrol the Entwash. My level 85 characters’ credentials of having defeated Gortheron, Ivar, Saruman, and a giant dragon-shaped Easterling stove from the future apparently meant nothing with these slugs. But such is life. I suppose I will have to be content with the odd wildlife-induced death and occasional glimpses of the new environs, which, to Turbine’s credit, remain as gorgeous and evocative as ever.






Head: Light Nadhin Hood, purple (somewhere in Gondor)

Shoulders: Light Nadhin Shoulders, Rivendell Green (somewhere in Gondor)

Back: Cloak of the Silver Birch, violet (TP Store)

Chest: Westemnet Battle Armour of Power, violet (somewhere in West Rohan)

Hands: Gloves of the Erebor Huntsman, walnut brown (Erebor Hunter raid set, available from skirmish camp medium armour vendor)

Feet: Dirtied Work Boots, violet (Beorning starter gear)

Counterfeit kleptomania

I realise that I haven’t done any particularly burglarish in terms of outfits, mostly because my burg is on another server without the wardrobe full of fancy clothes. So here is a reasonable facsimile – the poor hobbit featured is really a guardian pretending to be a burglar, standing in brightly-illuminated spots being all kinds of visible, and not really pilfering anything.






Head: Mathom-hunter’s Hat, default (Hobbit presents. If the RNG hates you, the Traveller’s Hood dyed steel blue will also do)

Shoulders: Recruit’s Heavy Shoulders of Adlan, black (Skirmish camp heavy armour vendor)

Back: Cloak of the Raven, steel blue (Harvest Festival item)

Chest: Ceremonial Jacket of the Silent Knife, grey (Lalia’s Market)

Hands: Light Nadhin Gauntlets, black (Somewhere in Gondor. May be found on the auction house)

Legs: Leggings of the Wall-warden, black (level 65 Barad Guldur warden set, available from the skirmish camp Classic vendor)

Feet: Rugged Work Boots, black (Beorning starter gear)

Kind of blue and creamy

The Ceremonial Robe of the Lady’s Foresight is one of those things that I bought first and nearly regretted later: it’s a beautiful, stately piece that evokes much coveting, but finding something to go with its undyeable cream and powder blue portions only came after the coveting process, and about four months after buying it. I have tried my best to not duplicate the work of others, but cannot quite escape using the colour blue. Perhaps someone with a better sense of contrast can work out a nice non-blue outfit involving this robe.

I must also admit to an embarrassing fondness for Moria as represented in the game, especially the Water-works, but only when not being forced to run through two hundred angry frogs to complete one quest. Its environs leave a lot of things carefully unexplained; I would have loved to be able to climb and explore most of the moody, majestic structures found there, but perhaps it is better to be left wondering and guessing at them instead.






Head: Turquoise Summer Circlet (Summer Festival cosmetic, from gift boxes)

Shoulders: Light Nadhin Shoulders, sea blue (I don’t know, I just got it off the auction house)

Back: Widow’s Drape, indigo (available from Dunland Quartermaster in Galtrev)

Chest: Ceremonial Robe of the Lady’s Foresight, Ered Luin Blue (Lalia’s Market, the real thing available from Caras Galadhon RK trainer)

Hands: Rough Cloth Gloves, rust (tier 1 crafted, tailor)

Feet: Cotton Shoes, washed (tier 3 crafted, tailor)

Escape from festive goats

First of all, I’d like to wish a happy Lunar New Year to anyone who knows what that is, since it is now officially the Year of the Goat. Two days of festive debauchery, obligatory socialising, goat-themed consumerism, and goat-themed puns have produced the impetus for me to take these screenshots at last; the outfit itself was finished about two weeks ago, but I guess there’s nothing like organised fun to make one desire the company of another world and the therapy of sending off another creation. I must admit that I have yet to find an article of pants-like apparel that looks unqualifiedly good on a dwarf, and is also not an armoured skirt. Their body proportions have some rather distressing effects on pants in general, but hopefully science will conquer them some day. In the meantime, here are some pictures of a dwarf, and Angmar in all its austere, almost alien planet-like glory.






Head: Potent War Helmet of Eomer, white (tier 8 crafted, metalsmith)

Shoulders: Cry of the West Shoulder Guards, black (Ost Dunhoth captain set)

Back: Cloak of the Dove, black (TP Store)

Chest: Sellsword’s Armour, white (tier 6 crafted, metalsmith)

Hands: Rugged Norbury Gloves, grey (scaled reward from Fornost, Wraith of Shadow)

Legs: Lesser Leggings of Dundirith, grey (Ost Dunhoth guardian set)

Feet: Lesser Valourous Boots of Prowess, gold (world drop, presumably. Got it off the auction house, so can’t be sure)

Ode to a treacherous colour

Upon reviewing my older outfits, I found that rose dye was grossly under-represented, perhaps due to it being generally used to inflict trauma on other people’s sensibilities and give them recurring nightmares of Dar Narbugud. Pink is also a colour that technically doesn’t exist on the electromagnetic spectrum, but is perceived by the brain nonetheless; exactly the kind of unsavoury colour that tempts people into running off and becoming Cartesian sceptics because perception apparently can’t be trusted. It’s also fairly frustrating to work with, in that it tends to make outfits feel garish and decidedly un-Middle-Earth-like. (I’m not sure if anyone was ever described as wearing pink in the LOTR novels; correct me if I’m wrong) Also, different pieces of apparel will dye darker or brighter – a problem that can be worked around if you have multiple shades of the same colour, i.e. the brighter forest green dye on a darker-dyeing piece may end up looking the same as the duller olive dye applied to a lighter-dyeing piece. But there’s one version of pink, which tends to create a jarring mismatch of tones and the probably futile desire to request Turbine for a new shade of pink. Anyway…

These pictures are the fruit of haste: I had intended to use Nar’s Peak as a background (for reasons I still don’t understand), but the foredawn sky, coloured treacherously pink, changed my mind. The time stamps tell me that these were all taken in a span of seven minutes, right before the in-game sun came up and gave the environment a radically different feel. While the perspectives and angles ended up as rather similar, I felt it was an acceptable trade-off to preserve the overall unity of the screenshots.






Head: Ceremonial Circlet of the Seven Stars, olive

Shoulders: Shoulderpads of the Erebor Bowmaster, Rivendell green

Back: Cloak of the Sunset Wood, rose

Chest: Ceremonial Silver-voice Robe, rose

Hands: Ceremonial Wandering Bard’s Gloves, dark green

Feet: Dragon-scale Boots, olive


On collecting boar heads for fashion

Against my better judgement,  I have rolled a dwarf solely for outfitting purposes. It has been both frustrating and fun: since I dropped my subscription long ago, the poor dwarf has had to endure the tribulations of his lowborn F2P-hood. Horselessness, embargoes on swift travel, inexplicable mental handicaps with regards to learning skills, and a divinely-imposed limit on virtue are but the least of his troubles, for he has yet to encounter the Lossoth, who will ignore him entirely and mumble something under their breaths about Turbine Points instead. (At least I remember specifically not buying the Forochel region after my subscription lapsed) The endless yellow Turbine Point-shaped blockades notwithstanding, I find that the biggest obstacle to levelling is simply that all the friends I once shared much joy with are gone and unlikely to return, which really kills the urge to pick mushrooms and collect boar heads for NPCs for more than an hour at a time, especially when only half of said boars killed have heads. On the other hand, outfitting a dwarf has been – dare I say it – fun. This particular ensemble probably wouldn’t work on any other race; it’s as if dwarves are immune to the body deformations conferred by the Wildermore crafted chest piece, in addition to being able to get away with using nearly any type of boots. And I’ve always wanted to do something that was blue and red but not hideously jarring. I do feel compelled to apologise (or at least account) for the rather bland screenshots though: I unwisely picked the champion class just because it kills stuff fast, but it doesn’t have a lot of screenshot-friendly out-of-combat skills, and the interesting-looking in-combat skills are all many levels away, as are some of the interesting locations. Hence the emotes that must feel rather overused by now, and if I could, I would have used some part of Angmar instead of the Barrows.






Head: Battle-mask of Rhun, evendim blue (TP store)
Shoulders: Shoulderpads of the Erebor Cleanser, burgundy (Erebor RK set, available at skirmish camp light armour vendor)
Chest: Enduring Wildermore Armour of Resilience, evendim blue (T8 crafted, medium armour)
Hands: Ceremonial Town-saver’s Gloves, grey (available at skirmish camp cosmetic vendor)
Feet: Far-arrow’s Boots, burgundy (Barad Guldur level 65 Hunter set, available at skirmish camp Classic vendor)