Saturday, October 26, 2019

Sword and Sorcery

I hope everybody's been enjoying LOTRO's Fall Festival this year. I've been a bit of a busybody myself between daily attempts at getting the Painted Skeleton Steed from the Haunted Burrow's not-so-secret chest, touching up future outfits, and preparing for tomorrow's server fashion show on Gladden, Frights of Fancy. In a way, I was glad the past week has been like this. It's given me time to focus on everything LOTRO and clearing my "Countdown to Minas Morgul" checklist. I can't wait to see what gear skins we're getting! I've imagined there will be plenty of spooky-looking ones! And speaking of something spooky...

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Travelling in Comfort

Having been away for the entire summer, I found myself out of practice making outfits upon my return in September. Really out of practice. However, one good thing came out of my absence. I haven't relied so much on the current contents of my wardrobe. Instead, I've been looking though my cosmetic storage mules and trying to use (or throwing away) pieces I've either rarely used or not used at all. I've even gone out of my way to craft often ignored recipes for new material. The combinations have been interesting, to say the least. This was actually the first outfit I'd created when I returned, but it was pushed back due to the stream of autumn, Halloween, and Minas Morgul themed attire.

For a couple of outfits, I went back to exploring classic cosmetics. The majority of the pieces here were from the Rise of Isengard expansion. This outfit, in fact, was partially inspired by the release of Isengard on the Legendary Servers. And it can be recreated, except for the shoulders, on those very servers! (I'd recommend the one of the shoulder wrap pieces from the SoA sets, in that case. Maybe even Gwir-palvais!) Overall, it has a wonderfully casual and simple look, fitting in well while roaming Middle-earth. It works well on the light armor classes, even in combat.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

An Autumn Fashion Show

Autumn is my favorite time of year. On one hand, there's the cool crisp air, freshly picked apples, and the symphony of colors as the leaves fall from the trees. All images of peace and relaxation. On the other hand, there's the tricking and treating, conjuring spooky images and atmospheres, and wearing costumes ranging from the lighthearted and adorable to the gloomy and ghastly. And then there's my favorite event--LOTRO's Fall Festival and all of the wonderful rewards that come with it. Each of the outfits below features a barter reward from the festival.

As some of you may know from Twitter or the Issue #132 of the Beacon, Rangers of the West, is hosting the server-wide fashion contest, Frights of Fancy, on Sunday, October 27th. Both Makaia of Style of Middle-earth and myself will be presiding as judges. There are two main categories--"Scariest Outfit" and "Autumn-themed Outfit." We also had a third theme planned, the "Look-a-Like," but after much debate, it was dropped from the program. This part would have had players dressing up like major characters from the lore, specifically from the time period between The Hobbit and Return of the King. Seeing as Gladden's not the busiest server, we didn't want to risk having too few people for too many categories. (This could be brought back if we have enough interest on the forums! *cough cough*)

Even though I can't enter the contest, I plan on dressing the part on my Minstrel and changing outfits with each theme. The first outfit, featuring an elegant red dress, falls into the Autumn one. The second outfit, featuring a black dress embroidered with barren branches, fits in the Scariest one. (This is a modified version of an old outfit.)  And the third outfit? This is my interpretation of Eowyn, for the scrapped Look-a-Like, before she secretly joins the ranks of the Gondor-bound Rohirrim.

Enjoy the festivities! I hope to see many fellow Gladdenites at next weekend's fashion show!

Head: Circlet of Fresh-picked Flowers (Sunset Orange, Farmers Faire barter reward)
Shoulders: Songmaster's Shoulders (Orange, bartered from the Minstrel class trainer in Ost Galadh)**
Back: Cloak of the Autumn Sun (White, Fall Festival barter reward)
Chest: Long-sleeved Summer Dress (Red, Summer Festival barter reward)***

**Shares same skin as the Shoulder of the Lady's Grace, bartered from the Minstrel class trainer in Lothlórien for an elf-stone from Dâr Narbugud.
***Sunset Orange is a wonderful alternative to red. The dress looks slightly, but noticeably brighter.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Visions Unseen

"And here in Rivendell there live still some of his chief foes: the Elven-wise, lords of the Eldar from beyond the furthest seas. They do not fear the Ringwraiths, for those who have dwelt in the Blessed Realm live at once in both worlds, and against both the Seen and the Unseen they have great power."

          ― The Fellowship of the Ring, "Many Meetings"

I've been reading the LOTR books again and this passage spoken by Gandalf caught my attention. It speaks of two worlds, the Seen (the one in which corporeal beings exist) and the Unseen (the one in which non-corporeal beings exist). Very few beings had the ability to cross between the realms--namely the Valar, Wizards (the Maiar), and the Elves who once lived in Valinor. The Ring-wraiths could also exist in both worlds simultaneously, though I'm not quite sure if the wraith-world they exist in qualifies as the Unseen. The One Ring also had the ability to draw the wearer into the wraith-world. At the very least, these realms were similar. And within the Unseen realms, the beings that freely walked them appeared differently. The spectral man-like forms of the Nazgul would be one example. The brilliant white aura manifesting itself around certain Elves like Glorfindel, which Frodo saw as he was succumbing to the Morgul-steel's curse, would be another. In Jackson's film interpretations, this aura also manifested itself around Arwen and Elrond. As interesting as this was, not much else is mentioned by Tolkien regarding the Unseen realm and it remains a largely speculative subject.

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