Then Ilúvatar said to them: ‘Of the theme that I have declared to you, I will now that ye make in harmony together a Great Music. And since I have kindled you with the Flame Imperishable, ye shall show forth your powers in adorning this theme, each with his own thoughts and devices, if he will. But I will sit and hearken, and be glad that through you great beauty has been wakened into song.’
Then the voices of the Ainur, like unto harps and lutes, and pipes and trumpets, and viols and organs, and like unto countless choirs singing with words, began to fashion the theme of Ilúvatar to a great music; and a sound arose of endless interchanging melodies woven in harmony that passed beyond hearing into the depths and into the heights, and the places of the dwelling of Ilúvatar were filled to overflowing, and the music and the echo of the music went out into the Void, and it was not void. Never since have the Ainur made any music like to this music, though it has been said that a greater still shall be made before Ilúvatar by the choirs of the Ainur and the Children of Ilúvatar after the end of days.
- J. R. R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion, "Ainulindalë"
Music has always been at the core of my relationship with the Lord of the Rings legendarium. The Music of the Ainur, the songs sung by the Hobbits, the Elves, Men, Tom Bombadil...the list is endless. Even the efforts of talented fans to put some of the series' poetry to an actual score has undeniably left an impact on me. The Tolkien Ensemble has orchestrated pieces like Hey Dol! Merry Dol! and YouTube users have wonderfully performed works such as The Ent and the Ent-wife and Galadriel's Song of Eldamar. These lyrical tales have functioned in many ways. They're reminders of sorrows past, gifts of joy and hope, and great sources of strength and motivation...not just testaments to great deeds performed in ages long gone. More often than not, something sung has lingered longer than something spoken. Not only have you heard it, you have felt it as well. And I've kept this all in mind as I wander about on my minstrel.
It seemed only fitting to design an outfit that made me think of the power of music. It was immensely satisfying to create an outfit worthy of the Silver-Voice title. As much as I enjoyed the two standard and epic Helegrod armor sets, the thematic name didn't quite fit the cosmetic appearance of the sets. Even the purple and ceremonial sets didn't look quite right dyed grey or white. However, the natural silvery tones in the Robe of the Hopeful Melody made it a perfect centerpiece. The golds and off-blues didn't overwhelm the outfit either, which was a wonderful bonus. I was originally going to use 85 BG shoulders, but they were too focused on the bluish tones. Instead, I opted for the regular 65 shoulders, which came with the same golden accents as the robe, making it a visually stunning accompaniment : )
Now, if only I can find a way to grind the medallions needed for these new pieces when they go live...
Head: Runemaker's Hat (Washed, level 65 RK Barad Guldur gear, classic skirm camp vendor)
Shoulder: Shoulders of the Hopeful Melody (Grey, level 65 Barad Guldur gear, classic skirm vendor)
Back: Wig-feld (White, Thaurlach drop from Rift of Nurz Ghashu)
Chest: Robe of the Hopeful Melody (Washed, level 85 Barad Guldur Gear, classic skirm camp vendor)
Gloves: Gloves of the Hopeful Melody (Washed, level 85 Barad Guldur Gear, classic skirm camp vendor)
Feet: Shoes of the Hopeful Melody (Washed, level 85 Barad Guldur Gear, classic skirm camp vendor)