Let me use a way-back machine and take you to long forgotten pre-Isengard era of outfitting :) Today I present you brave guardian Tomeoric of kinship The Westfold Marshals on Riddermark server!
This wish-based outfit has made it to this blog's book of records - as longest time between a reader made a wish and its publishing :) It was still hot summer (July 30th), when I received a wish from a reader who was listening to CSTM cosmetics roundtable and noticed that I'm trying to fulfill readers' wishes for their desired outfits. The process of outfit creation took approximately a month and it was another two months until publishing - we wanted to publish Tomeric's and his daughter's outfit at the same time, but in the end didn't finish the second one (private life & RoI came in the way :)).
Tomeoric gave me very specific and interesting requirements (which I am thankful for :)):
The first design I created seems a little bit funny now - although at that time, I found it quite decent :D I was trying to imitate Théoden's hauberk, which was pretty difficult considering I could work with pre-RoI and non-class specific pieces only:
Tomeoric provided a very detailed feedback, which helped me learn a lot - we discussed many peculiarities of Rohan armour design and I enjoyed it very much. I must quote one of his comments on the design above, because it made me laugh very hard: "I think the color/design from neck to waist and from elbow to shoulder is great - near spot on. From the waist to boot top, if you look quick, it looks like he is wearing an apron. Now that I've seen that, I can't not stop seeing it! Give him the Prized Pie to carry around and it would be the perfect Mr. Mom of Edoras." He was so right :)
I created second design, abandoning the hauberk attempts (as most of keen LoTRO fashionistas know, the pre-RoI hauberks were not manly at all and didn't resemble Rohirrim design even remotely). This basically meant getting closer to Éomer than Théoden from the initial idea. I also mentioned there are leggings ingame with plates on thighs similar to Éomer's, but they don't look good, so I used the elven ones:
Tomeoric and his home jury (all family playing together and helping him look the best :)) gave thumbs up for this design, but had particular remarks. The helmet hid character's hair (unfortunately headgear in LoTRO hides hair - I already had a small rant about it when I was designing Link inspired outfit), and he wanted the cloak to match the burgundy more than bronze/silver parts of the outfit. We agreed I will try more helm & cloak combinations. He was also interested in the "ugly plated trousers" I mentioned, so I showed them to him:
As you probably noticed, I didn't try more helmets due to hair hiding and we discussed that using just a circlet or no headgear might work better in the end. Tomeric picked his final cloak and I sent him the final design we agreed on:
Key features of this final design (besides remote inspiration by Éomer's battle armour) were matching the burgundy, silver and bronze parts on all armour pieces and introducing as much plate as possible. I also sent Tomeoric the "shopping list" with pieces used, and he started the journey to obtain them all. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to get Gaerdail - boots used in this outfit dying very solid burgundy (similar crafted boots dye differently). So we decided to switch boots for the ones available in the store.
Tomeoric liked this outfit very much and since he collected all the pieces, he even received a lot of ingame compliments. I was a little worried because of how close we got to Kedwyr's Elven Defender's outfit, but you readers can see yourself how long was the process leading there :) Now, even though the fashion trends in Middle-earth have changed a lot with Isengard, we are both interested in your opinions about about the outfit :)
Chest: Breastplate of Orod-Na-Thôn, burgundy dye (world drop)
Legs: Leggings of Orod-Na-Thôn, burgundy dye (world drop; also available from Rivendell heavy armoursmith)
Head: Circlet of Helmingas, default dye (Isengard pre-order)
Shoulders: Shining Dwarf Leather Shoulder Guards, burgundy dye (world drop)
Hands: Gauntlets of Orod-Na-Thôn, burgundy dye (world drop)
Feet: Brushed Leather Boots, burgundy dye (Skirmish cosmetic vendor or store)
Back: Ceremonial Defender's Cloak, burgundy dye (Store)