A year of wandering
And ramblings! Today marks the first anniversary of this blog, its first coranar (Sun-round) or loa (Growth), in elven terms. I am not much wordy, but I thought if would be a nice thought to share the story of how this site was born. Actually the blog existed a few days before the 7th April, it was just the name and one outfit I posted as a test, but this is the day I considered it being the beginning of a real blog, and the day I figured out how the layout panel worked XD. I have been playing Lotro for about two years and the first year I wasn’t even interested about its cosmetic system, the world, character, classes, all was new and I just spent my time wandering around the landscape, questing and exploring the iconic places Turbine managed to recreate from Tolkien legendarium. I used to run around without caring about how my gear looked, and often had the most different pieces on my characters. It was during the Harvestmath festival of 2012 that I got interested in cosmetics. It was my first festival and what caught my eye aside the fun quests, fluff rewards and haunted burrow were a horse and clothing which matched each other and the theme of the feast. I thought it to be pretty neat, and that day I learned about the preview panel and that existed dyes for armour and pure cosmetics. The first “combination” I made was the Gown of the Autumn Nights and Cloak of Autumn Nights dyed Ered Luin Blue… at the time I thought it to be awesome, and my main character wore that for a long time, swimming in rivers, spelunking, slashing orcs, battling evil all in that dress and cloak haha XD. The interest in cosmetic grew over time, and I discovered the skirmish camp, regional specific barterers which have a load of armour and cosmetics, and the power of the WARDROBE! Most armour required medallions, marks and specific tokens, and were specific to classes at the time I did not play. So I set that aside for a while, crafting and scouting for pieces within quest rewards and world drops. Indeed, the first outfit I posted on the blog was composed by all quest rewards from the Great River area and a crafted hood. (I think that Dunland and Great River are cosmetic heaven!) It was for my loremaster, and I was very happy with the result… I still like it, and consider it my loremaster signature.
There was still the thought of all those raid sets, class specific costly pieces from the various barterers in my mind though. I am not much of a raider, I did very few raids in my lotro life, and started late to join some instances with friends, 3 men and 6 men. Slowly, currencies started to fill my inventory bags, and I also created alts to play and store the new armour I was finally able to collect. At this time, I used to spend a lot of time looking at the mirror, the dressing room panel creating outfits for my characters. I discovered the blogging community of lotro, the number of cosmetic blogs got me surprised, and I got lots of inspiration from great blogs like Cosmetic Lotro, Starry Mantle, Lotro Stylist, Material Middle Earth and many many others. (I still get lots of inspiration! I recommend to check all the cosmetic blogs you can, they all are amazing!)
The idea of setting up my own place started to whirl in my head. At the start, I thought the blog format would be good to order and keep track of the combinations and pieces I used for my characters, and nothing more. The idea people would actually visit this site wasn’t in my head, indeed the first outfits I posted have little to no text, just the ensemble, and my model “posing” in a background. I was happy to see that this site was indeed visited, and maybe could be more interesting for those who stumbled upon it. What could I do anyway to make my site original since there were already so many cosmetic blogs? I play elven characters (I love the deep and complex culture Tolkien created for them 😀 ) and my outfit were all elf themed. So I decided to make that the focus of my blog. I added little stories to my posts, and started the Earliest Tales series. That is my favorite, I had a lot of fun trying to represent characters from Tolkien’s earliest writings, especially the Book of Lost Tales 🙂 I added other categories over time, and was very happy with how the blog was shaping up. I felt confident enough to start posting also on the cosmetic section of the lotro forum, that I avoided before.
That’s how Wandering Around Arda was started 🙂 It has been a fun year for me… one thing in particular I remember with a big smile, it is the Winter Carnival hosted by the kinship Second Breakfast of Crickhollow. I was invited to judge a winter themed outfit contest with Starry of Starry Mantle, it was an honour to participate in the festivities, and a very fun day! I hope the years to come will be as fun as this first has been, and that I will be able to make moar outfits!
A big , big Hannon Le to everyone who stumbled upon Wandering Around Arda, read, commented, looked around! I would never have imagined that I would reach a year of blogging, time flies! Vanya sulie, safe winds lotro players 🙂
(I don’t have only elves though… I also have a lady from Gondor! Who currently is lost in the chasm of Moria. She has been there for quite some time… I’m sure she will find the way out… someday… I hope)