Magnificient fan art from Kotorigaro in Deviantart.
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In this post I will change the subject a bit and talk about the myth of the Seven Sleepers which I find quite close to the story of the Seven Fathers of the Dwarves. Yet, I am not saying that “oh look Tolkien took the idea from here!”, I stopped doing that a while ago.
Seven Sleepers is a theme which we come across in various resources. One of the places where the Seven Sleepers slept is at Western Anatolian coast, it is a site with seven caves close to the antique city of Ephesus. When I visited these caves I was young enough to believe in tales. I think we should keep a bit of that trait with us as we grow older, too.
The Seven Sleepers were seven young men among the first Christians, but they had to flee and hide because at the time the Roman rulers were not yet Christian and wanted to persecute them. So these young men sought for shelter and came to these caves where they hid and very strangely slept for three hundred years (the sources say 309 years, isn’t it curious ?). They woke up into a world where pursuing Christianity was no longer unacceptable.
As an analytical-minded grown up, what I get from this story is that the world was not ready for these young men, so they slept until the social environment became bearable for them. In many situations where we shun away from the world is when we feel that we are not ready. This time it is the world which is not ready for the new idea, attitude, or as the tale suggest: faith. So the new thing needs to be kept and preserved deep in the dark, away from the eyes and hands that may harm it.
I find this tale and Tolkien’s story about the Fathers of the Dwarves similar and fascinating, though I am no expert, just an admirer of good literature.
On Wednesday evening, Kveltrild invited her friends for tea over to her cavern in Thorin’s Hall Homesteads. As always, it was a warm meeting of sisters, accompanied by a big surprise appearance. I will not spread the details here, but it was a very fun event which gave us a merry time and laughter.
The next stop will be the Dwarrow Ting at the weekend where Kveltrild will be serving food and drinks. I find this attitude of “serving” very fitting for a dwarf. I am somehow familiar to Middle Eastern cultures where young women are supposed to serve food and drinks to the guests as the essential part of hospitality. Forgetting about your daily business and doing one’s best to serve the guests could be a very dwarven thing as well.
At your service, and your family’s!
In the Laurelin (EN-RP) server of Lord of the Rings Online, dwarf women-folk of the kinships Durin’s Folk and Khuzd Belkul have so far had two gatherings (first one rather spontenously) in Durin’s Folk Kinhall. These are in character role playing events, quite small in size and scope. They are aimed to give some space and time to our characters to meet, greet and get to know each other. Spontenous encounters around Thorin’s Hall are also greatly valued, yet an organized event with a particular time and place brings everyone together.
The Gatherings of the Women-folk are ladies only events. Though it does not mean that other dwarves cannot show up with specific roles such as a maiden’s brother or relative. The events so far included song, delicious treats, telling of tales and a little bit of gossip. I hope these gatherings will sow seeds of friendship between our characters.
Last meeting was joined with the Travelling Dwarrow Fayre in Noglond. Our dwarves rode to Noglond after their meeting in Thorin’s Hall Homesteads. This part went a little differently than I had planned due to time restrictions. I had imagined a calm, chatty and hooded pony ride across Ered Luin but we had shift to “running mode” in order to make it to the openning of the market.
There is more to come! Next week we are going to have another gathering, this time Kveltrild has invited her friends over to her cavern. I guess she will be busy preparing for it once she returns to the Hall after the busy fayre in Archet Aid.
I hope our next event is going to be as much fun as before, a hearty and warm thanks to everyone involved. 🙂
The appearance options in the game, Lord of the Rings Online are indeed quite limited. We do not even have the option to start a woman dwarf! But, if there is a will, then there is a way. Follow this motto and you will see the wonders one can find RP-wise.
Out of the LOTRO, the dwarf women created by the Weta Workshop are very inspirational as well as our little Pri.
To create our own lady dwarf, we start with the male dwarf options in Lord of the Rings Online. Our characters typically look like a male dwarf. Yet, RP folks do not mind such details much, they rely more on their imagination and the stories provided to them. Thus, try to get the most of the female look you can get on the character creation screen. Refrain from having too much bruises or scars in the face for your maiden has not probably seen much battle. My favourite beard style in the game is the one with braids, yet it gives her moustache which should not be there, I guess. Therefore I lately use the option with just beard in the shape of a water melon or ice-cream slice.
The best option is to draw your own character and link it to the forums or a platform you share with your RP friends. Thus you give them a good clue about how your character actually looks. Below are some tips help customize our dwarf maidens.
Eyes: I believe the dwarf ladies used kohl as it is an ancient Middle Eastern tradition.
Kohl is a black paint used to highlight your eyes, just like the modern eye-liner. I also think the dwarrows could have used coal as well. A piece of coal sounds practical enough.
Hair and beard: We have another eastern delight here, named henna (Lavsonia inermis). It is a green herb which strangely gives the hair red colour if applied in a specific way. I do use it in real life, much preferable than synthetic dyes which would kill the fish in the sea and harm me too. It can also be applied to the skin. It feels alright me to have dwarves use henna. Woad plant, indigo, coffee, black tea, rosemary, walnut… oh my, there are many plants one could use for hair dye. Though, the disputable part is whether all these existed in the Middle Earth.
Henna Henna applied ash brown hair
Clothing: Now this is the trickiest part. When travelling, out of their Halls, our maidens are to wear the same outfits with the boys. Yet, if one follows the Hobbit Movie lore, they can also wear women clothes outside. It feels best to stick with the lore, but I sometimes do let Kveltrild wear what she likes around strangers. I think Harvest Brew Dress (acquired in the Harvest Festival) is very fitting for Kveltrild. Secondly I recommend a hooded cloak bought from the store, it completes the dress and covers the chest very neatly. Here are Dwalia, Kveltrild and the lovely Dizinh.
On the other hand, one can assume that the character is wearing different clothing. Remember that dwarves in the Hobbit all had hoods with a specific colour related to their family and social status. I picked green for Kveltrild. Clothing styles for dwarves should be immensely varied for dwarrows are makers by nature. I am a fan of the clothes and outfits we saw in the Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey movie’s Erebor scenes, especially Balin’s and Thror’s outfits.
I think dwarf maidens mainly wear dresses with bright colours. Their dresses could be adorned with beads and even embroided with metals such a silver and copper.