Detailed Membership Guide
Do you believe Loth-i-Lonnath is exactly what you're looking for and you want to apply?
If the answer is 'Yes!' this guide is required reading before you apply for membership. Attempting the application without reading this page, and the subsequent links therein, may make the application more challenging.
(last updated Jan. 2018)
Table of Contents
We expect that a prospective recruit has read up on the background of the kinship before applying. Application to LiL should only be considered if you have given serious thought to whether we are the right and proper home for you and your character. Approaches made on an ad hoc basis, just randomly looking for some kind of 'generic' Elven kinship will not be entertained. We are only interested in recruits who are genuinely inspired and attracted to what we do - recruiting for quantity without question is not our way. In short, do some research! This guide is provided to give you what you need to do that.
Life in Loth-i-Lonnath
Life in Loth-i-Lonnath is slightly different from that in other kins. We do not focus on raids, pvp, instances etc. We focus kin activities purely on roleplay. As such we have chosen a role and location in Middle-earth. We stick to these parameters as closely as we can.
What you will find is a group of players doing what they can to act as a body of elves living their everyday lives in Falathlorn whose household is charged with guarding the Havens and maintaning safe passage there. These are our core parameters. As players we strive to give our elven characters a realistic life. Our elves have jobs/talents/quirks/interests/personal lives. We breath life into it this with our actions online. We have boring and mundane duties mixed with exciting assaults and interesting journeys that are centered around our core role - guarding the Havens.
Our role as guardians of the Havens gives us all a common roleplaying hook and purpose for our roleplaying story to revolve around. Our elven characters take this purpose seriously. This hook allows us to explore our characters while keeping things in perspective and not give in to too much personal drama.
...a proper Elven name
If you're an old pro at Tolkien Elven RP, you'll know what we mean by a proper Elven name. If you're new to it, then this can be a stumbling block for new Elven RPers. However, we welcome new RPers and will help you find a suitable Elven name if you wish it.
It must be understood that names are a serious matter here. Tolkien was a lingquist. Language was a primary factor in his writings. To know a being's language, was to know something about that being. Tolkien's character names were not arbitrary. They meant something based on the languages he created.
So...We will not recruit anyone who violates the LOTRO naming policy, the RP server naming policy, or any name we feel violates the spirit of that policy. Names that are clearly not Elven names will be rejected whether they violate LOTRO/server policy or not. We give preference to those who have clearly given thought to their Sindarin Elven name, especially where the meaning of the name speaks to something specific about the character. (Quenya names are accepted, but not preferred because Quenya during the 3rd age wasn't in favor.) Names do not have to be 100% perfect in Sindarin (or Quenya) either because we understand the dwindling availability of names, but at the bare minimum, they need to be passable as Elven in sound and look to be considered for membership. Ultimately, we are looking for a good effort, not perfection. Lastly, names may not be too much like an existing character in Tolkien's world, nor reflect famous characters from any other genre, movie, book, etc. Furthermore, it is recommended not to create a title within your name, even in elven.
The excuse that you can't get the name you want through the name filter, therefore you went with 'Elmoelf' and we just need to accept you as you are, will not be an acceptable rationalization. Arguing with us will only strengthen our resolve not to approve your trial membership. If you are determined, you will get a decent name through the name filter. We know this is a touchy subject for some people, but if you want to join this well established highly immersive RP kin, these are our rules subject to our interpretation.
Examples of bad names:
If you don't see what's wrong with these names for an immersive Tolkien Elven RP kin, we are probably not the right fit for each other, but we're willing to help you if you wish it.
If you are rejected due to your name, you have two choices; create another elven character with an appropriate name, or purchase a name change with LP for the rejected character. Before you spend LP with the intent to join LiL, you should talk to an officer first to be sure.
If this policy upsets you, then we're simply not the kin for you.
This kin is primarily a European kin. Our activity during any given day is going to reflect this reality. For an example, if you live in the United Kingdom, we generally start events around 7 or 8 PM. This means if you live in North America that our events may be around your lunchtime, or after. There's a 5-8 hour time difference depending on which North American time zone you are in. We do in fact welcome NA players, however, you will need to be able to attend kin events in order to become a member of the kin. If in the future we have enough NA members to warrant it, we may be able to hold events at better times for NA members. So far this has not happened, but we are open to it. Know what you're signing up for. We are an EU kin.
Only durring your trial period do we strongly recommend you to attend kin events as often as possible. This will help us determine whether you progress to a full member. If we never see you or RP with you, we won't be able to assess you and you will be dropped from trial membership. Once you are a full member (resident in Falathlorn), attendance is NOT required. Come and go as you please. That being said, if we never see you, or you are logged in doing other things and rarely RPing or interacting with kinmates after a while, you may be subject to Le Boot.
Furthermore, serving members of the Mithdirith - including Nethvaed (trainees of the Mithdirith) - are required to attend muster activity.
One final note on participation - You will get out of LiL, what you put into it. If you can't find the time to attend scheduled events, you can't complain about there being no activity in LiL. Moreover, we give our members plenty of space to create their own roleplaying with kinmates. RP does not require an event. If you want RP, create it. If you want more activity, attend events or create your own event.
Use the chart above to help you understand the below information on which elves are suitable for membership in Loth-i-Lonnath.
(Ñoldor born in the Second or Third Age would pose less difficulty than First Age Ñoldor which are a touch trickier, given the enmities that were very much aflame in that time. Hence, it is unlikely a Ñoldo of such heritage would comfortably fit into our household. We recommend they apply to a more appropriate kinship, such as Vanimar.)
(Since some RPers have used the existence of Eöl as a rationalization to use Avari as an excuse to create Drow characters, our stance is No, we do not support this. First and foremost, there are NO Dungeons & Dragons style dark elves (Drow) in Middle-Earth. As such, we do not acknowledge their existence. Secondly, the the use of the term "dark elves" in Tolkien's world refers mainly to the Moriquendi, which were the elves that did not behold the light of the Two Trees of Valinor and would apply to any elf who was born and not been to Valinor, thus there is nothing 'dark' about it. It does not have sinister meaning. Third, the term was sometimes used for elves that were enslaved by Morgoth and then released later. Again, this has nothing to do with Drow. Fourth and finally, Eöl was basically THE "dark elf", which again had nothing to do with being a Drow. He was however a 'bad guy' and executed, thus if one wishes to model their character after Eöl, there would be no way we'd want that character in LiL.)
A note about In-Game Races
It should go without saying that in order to be a member of LiL, one must have an Elf* by in-game character generation. With the addition of the High Elf* race in-game, we felt it was important to clarify our position with the following statement: High Elves, as an in-game race, will be accepted for membership under the same restrictions as noted above with Elven Compatibility.
Groups and Ranks within Loth-i-Lonnath
Every member of the herth (a household under a lord or lady) is considered Gwaith-i-Lonnath, People of the Havens. Upon full membership, this is what you are. Within the kinship we have designated roleplaying groups to further enhance the roleplaying experience. It is optional to join any the following groups. For more information about each group, select the link provided.
Class and Profession
While we do not hold strictly to class defining your role, we do utilize what the game offers us. Regarding the Mithdirith, this generally means Hunters become scouts, and only the martial fighting classes like Wardens, Guardians and Champions make up the main fighting body. We do have some healers who have a martial class but do not act or look like warriors while they are roleplaying. As a general rule no other classes join the Mithdirith. Because we only roleplay battles, having class balance within the martial order isn't required. That being said, if a group of members wish to enjoy an OOC night of featured instances/skirmishes/quests our RP restrictions would not apply. All classes would be welcome to participate.
If RL constraints affect your game time then a scout offers ideal flexibility as you can be assigned away from the main group for a time. If you happen to have a Champion or Guardian for example this would not exclude you from becoming a scout. You would be given scout training in game via RP and once the garb of the scout is adopted, your appearance and role is then altered.
Like many things common sense is required and some classes may not be suitable for certain roles in the context of roleplay and aesthetics. The fine sight of a group of wardens fighting in formation would not look so good with a Loremaster and pet in the middle trying to look like them! Likewise, Runekeepers are unsuitable for membership of the Mithdirith - though perfect for playing scholars of the enclave!
In summary the following guide should help you determine how you may fit into our optional groups.
Because becoming part of our Mithdirith is sought after more than our other groups, and in truth, what we have been historically known for, it must be made clear that if you apply to join LiL, you are applying to become a civilian member of our kin, Gwaith-i-Lonnath, to roleplay being an elven resident of Falathlorn (or Lindon area). To join our martial order, you must first become a full member and then roleplay into the Mithdirith over a period of time. We recommend becoming part of the Nothrim, the household staff that serves the herth and the Mithdirith.
To be part of the Mithdirith is an honour reserved for kin members who put in the time and effort necessary to roleplay well and complete Mithdirith training. It requires a commitment to attend muster as well.
That being said, the two parts of our kin, the martial order and our Falathlorn residents, are of equal importance. Citizens of Falathlorn are the life blood of the kin and will likely have a majority of our membership. There is freedom to being a citizen that in someways the Mithdirith do not have. So embrace being a citizen for now.
It should be noted however that the nature of our adopted role (based on our RP choices) means the Mithdirith seek to act as a trained body of elven soldiery....not a mob of wildmen. This requires a certain amount of input from each player to make the group work harmoniously. No one here seeks personal glory over their comrades. We all work to support each other. Even if your role is essentially a solitary one like a scout, you will still need to be mindful of the kin as a whole. So please consider this before you decide to pursue a role within the Mithdirith.
For more about the Mithdirith, read "The Mithdirith, Our Martial Order"
Our Culture and Restrictions
We take a realistic view of travel and keep our characters within appropriate time/space boundaries while roleplaying. Thus, hopping around Middle-Earth with available ports is not our way. This means if you've been roleplaying your character in Duillond, but there's a roleplaying event in Rivendell in two days, you would not make the event because it takes over two weeks of travel (likely closer to three) to get to Rivendell. Furthermore, one does not casually travel between Lindon and Rivendell. It is a serious journey. In-character, danger exists upon the road in-between and it is best traveled in a group, which is why we travel together a few times a year to give members the opportunity to roleplay in both areas of the world. When we do this, we spend two or more kin nights usually over two weeks to simulate the time in traveling. This is meant to give a realistic feel to time and distance traveled. It gives us a different backdrop to RP with as well. We travel on horseback, make camp, and enjoy the journey along the way. Some may choose to stay in Duillond when we do this, which also adds something to the our roleplaying. In-character, friends and family may separate for a season just to take the journey to Rivendell further changing the dynamic of the roleplaying during this time.
Naturally, if you are questing or leveling OOC, you can go wherever you must - just remember to /rp off.
RP Time Period (When are we in Middle-Earth?)
As for the in-game timeline, epic quests, expansions, etc, we don't strictly follow the developers in-game timeline nor do we consider their quests as part of our characters. We, as common elves, wouldn't know specifics about the Fellowship, the Ring, where it is, who has it, or where it's going. That information would be known only to the those who needed to, such as Elrond and other high leaders. It would never have been common knowledge as the information was far too sensitive. We only know that war is upon all free people, the time of men is at hand, and our time as elves in Middle-Earth is coming to an end. Thus, we play in a time period at the end of the Third Age in a slightly more generic sense than the specific time-line of the SSG developers.
We will not tolerate...
...Excessive drama, both in and out of character.
This means if your character is a 'Mary Sue', such as, always in trouble or always hurt, tragically disturbed, being the center of attention, or totally flawless, the best at everything, falling in love with everyone, you will receive Le Boot. Take it someplace else. Occasional IC drama is fine because that adds something colourful to the RP, but if that's your style every day, we won't welcome it. Everyone will have moments of IC drama occasionally but we use it like a fine spice with the motto "A little bit goes a long way". When it doubt avoid IC drama until you are comfortable with where the IC line is. Remember the section above titled "Life in Loth-i-Lonnath"? That's what we're after. Officers of the kin may set out to create RP stories for the kin that may be dramatic, but it is a joint leadership decision meant to serve the kin. It's their job. Out of character, we pride ourselves on being a drama free kin. If you like to a gossip, stir up trouble, spread rumors, are regularly bringing your recent real life drama into kinchat for the entire kin to read daily, we won't welcome that either.
If you're the master of all you know about Tolkien and making sure us little people know it; or, much like the above no drama rule, if you've made your character a very important person of high regard that we're all supposed to respect and bow to - such as your character being The <insert major title here> of <insert famous Tolkien character here>; Or ancient and overly powerfully with 3 different titles the minute you step into the kin, Or if you 'god-mod' in any way - don't expect to last long. You will get Le Boot. If you want to be well respected in this kin (and on the server for that matter) you need to earn it with humility, gratitude, a team spirit approach, and ultimately being a great RPer that people want to be around. If you apply for membership in this kin, you are applying to RP as an ordinary citizen of Lindon. Everything else is earned through fabulous roleplaying.
Furthermore, your character may not be related to, OR be on a first name bases with any major character.
Examples of what not to do:
• You're the ex-girlfriend of Legolas
In most cases, staying away from famous characters being in your character history is best, and preferred.
...Rudeness, argumentative, or inappropriate kinchat
We are a kinship of older adults and our humour in kinchat (which is OOC) may reflect that from time to time. However someone who is crude, rude, argumentative, and regularly crosses the line of good taste will be asked to refrain from it and if it's bad enough, be removed from the kin. Appropriate kinchat really should be common sense behavior for most and thankfully, this has not been much of an issue.
... Pushing Real Life Social / Political Issues
We welcome good role-players regardless of real life background. Our membership is diverse. However, when it comes to role-playing, if it's not in Middle-earth, we don't bring it into role-play. Real life politics, gender issues, race issues, religion, sexual orientation, etc.... are not part of Middle-Earth lore. We want to stay within Middle-earth as Tolkien wrote it. It's as simple as that.
...Bad behavior in /world chat or any public channel
It may be tempting when some anti-roleplayer is putting down the RP community in world chat, or is incapable of understanding why there is a RP server naming policy, or perhaps even saying rude things about someone you know, but do not engage in heated arguments with these people. Do not feed the trolls. We are cut from a different cloth. If you react, react with grace. It's okay to defend yourself, but don't let it degrade into behavior unbefitting a member of this kin. Otherwise, you will receive Le Boot.
And on that note...
To report a bad name when online, open the System Menu, click on Help, select New Ticket from the bottom menu, then select Naming Violation from the drop down menu at the top of that window. Follow the instructions when the window changes.
Advice for reporting names: In the big text field titled 'Enter a brief description of your problem' name the character, include the full name spelled exactly the way they spell it. Explain why you believe the name is in violation. In some cases, you may need to include the exact text of the naming rule being broken, and even include a link to the policy page. In instances where the character name is a poorly spelled version of a famous character in any genre (such as: Arrwen, Legolasss, Tiewhen Lannuster, Malkum Rinolds, Jonnluke Picarrd), be specific and include the famous character name to compare with the player name so that the GM sees exactly why it's a violation. This is to help the GM come to a favorable outcome. Not all GMs understand lore or names, nor are they all experts on every policy, and frankly some don't care. But WE care, so to assist your argument, be polite, business-like, concise, and specific. This really does help get names changed that do not belong on the RP server. If naming is something you feel strongly about, the above advice is the best way to handle it.
Final Important Notes
This guide is not meant to be 100% comprehensive. Other things may influence an individual's chances; these will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Personality and compatibility matter.