Detailed Membership and RP Guide
So, you want to be a LiL member and want to do it right?
Have you read the home page, the forums, the short "Joining Loth-i-Lonnath" page but you want to know just exactly what we mean by a "desire to roleplay", or "a proper elven name"?
Good, because this guide is required reading before you apply for membership. This will tell you everything you need to know about applying for membership in Loth-i-Lonnath.
First and foremost, we are a ROLEPLAY kinship. We have a very particular outlook on our activity - a culture which we presume all recruits wish to embrace. Of course, we realise the difficulty this poses for prospective recruits outside of the kinship to grasp what exactly that culture is. This is why this guide exists, but the best way to discern what our kinship is like, is really to engage in roleplay with us for a while. This should be sufficient to establish whether we are suited to each other as players, both in style and in our approach to Elven lore.
We have a very particular view of Elven lore, one which attracts players who share our vision - who 'get' what we are about as a kinship. This is probably the factor that will decide whether you will find a happy home here and remain in LiL...or not.
We make no apology about this! Our kinship is like a very harmonious family, something we are justly proud and protective of. If someone joins and are found to be at odds with the balance of the kinship, the officers will hold a meeting and decide if that recruit should remain or be refused membership. Simple as that.
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 too centered around our core role.
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.
When we say you need to have...
...a strong desire to roleplay
To us this means your desire to roleplay and your desire to invest in that roleplay is stronger than your desire to do other things. This does not mean forsaking all game play, nor does it mean RPing every moment you're online. We don't. We've got max level members the same as other kins. We enjoy questing, fellowship, epic battles, etc but view this as OOC fun between kinmates. We simply view RP as something that should happen for you regularly with or without scheduled events guiding you. That being said, we schedule about one RP kin event a week and can schedule more or less depending on the time of year, or what story is going on in the kin, and who's available to host. Sometimes, if the Mithdirith are very active, there could be more events too. However, regardless of the number of events, members RP within the kin throughout the week with or without scheduled events. We encourage members to develop their characters through interaction with other kin members weaving stories in and out of larger story arcs for the kin. Some of the best RP can be had just by immersing yourself with your fellow kinmates randomly outside of kin events. This is the best place to meet like-minded Elven RPers to bring your Tolkien Elf to life.
Helpful link on RPing Elves and best practices for RPing in general.
Please note that while most of the tips in the link above are good ones (and if you went strictly by this guide, you'd be doing well), you'd need to know that the 2nd bullet point from the end under "Roleplaying an Elf" specifically regarding relationships, is not lore accurate for Tolkien elves. A few paragraphs down on this page, there are helpful links on Elves in Middle-Earth that should clear up the matter.
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. 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.
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; Roll and another character with an appropriate name, or purchase a name change for the rejected character with LP.
If this policy upsets you, then we're simply not the kin for you.
We strive to play by established lore for Tolkien Elves. There is a significant difference between D&D Elves and JRRT's authentic Middle-earth version. Thus, it is extremely helpful to know enough about the lore and culture of the Elves in Middle-Earth in order to fit in well with the members of this kin. Even though we mainly attract seasoned Tolkien RPers, no one needs to be an expert. All levels of knowledge are welcome as long as you are willing to read a few links and design your character accordingly. Everyone starts somewhere. We may be an immersive RPing kin, but we are friendly about it. We welcome those eager to embrace Elven culture in Middle-Earth. Sometimes the best roleplayers turn out to be the ones brand new to it.
Helpful links on Elves in Middle-Earth
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.
(Noldor born in the Second or Third Age would pose less difficulty than First Age Noldor which are a touch trickier, given the enmities that were very much aflame in that time. Hence, it is unlikely a Noldo of such heritage would comfortably fit into our household. We recommend they apply to a more appropriate kinship, such as Vanimar.)
(Addtionally, since some RPers have used the existance of Eöl as the rationaliztion to use Avari as an excuse to create dark elf characters, our stance is No, we do not support this. First and foremost, there are NO D&D dark elves (Drow) in Middle-Earth. Secondly, the the use of the rare term "dark elves" 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 a dark or 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. Officially, we simply will not acknowledge dark elven characters as even existing - other than in the 2nd point above referring to those elves who have not seen the light of the Two Trees, but in this case, we'd likely use the term Moriquendi to refrain from mixing confusing and sometimes controversal terms. We hope this clears up any confusion. NO DARK ELVES HERE!)
Class, Training and Skills
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, Minstrels have healing or support roles 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.
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!
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
The most important aspect of becoming a member, is establishing your compatibility with our philosophy. While not everyone will agree with our way of roleplaying, to be a member of this kin, you will need to embrace it, and as our founding member has said, you need "to hunger for it!"
(It is highly recommended that you read our founder's forum post on this topic to understand where our foundation comes from. In fact, much of that text is scattered throughout this guide in one way or another. But it's worth reading anyway. This guide expounds upon it giving clarity to either 'understood' or 'unspoken' aspects, and as we are under new leadership, there may be a few differences/additions too.)
Most of the serious elven roleplaying community will be found in Rivendell and Lindon, thus our roleplaying will be mainly in these places. We do not roleplay in Bree, or Hobbiton. It is not lore friendly for an elf to be seen in these places, especially casually having a beer at the Prancing Pony. Additionally, many roleplayers who frequent the Pony, have a style that conflicts with our philosophy. From vampire elves to half orc hobbits, it's just not part of our view. While everyone has a right to roleplay as they wish, in this kin, we take a more strict lore approach. Interacting with such roleplayers would make it difficult for us to maintain lore friendly immersion. Thus we feel Bree - and indeed all Breeland townships - best avoided IC. If you desire to meet with Mannish acquaintances, there are many fine glades in the lands nearby where you can meet under the stars - without drawing untoward attention. It is known that many unfriendly eyes wander the streets of Bree in these troubled days; for Elves to converse with locals within the town may cost those brave Dunedain their lives and further the goals of the Enemy.
Note that this point is non-negotiable! If you feel it's fine for Galadriel and Legolas to prop up the bar in the Pony, then Loth-i-Lonnath is definitely not the kinship for you.
RP Traveling (Time/Space Issues)
We take a realistic view of travel and keep our characters within appropriate time/space boundaries. This means if your character is in Duillond, but there's a roleplaying event in Rivendell in two days, you would not make the event because it takes about two weeks of travel to get to Rivendell. We do not hop around Middle-earth just because we can port there. Furthermore, one does not casually travel between Lindon and Rivendell. It is a serious journey. In character, danger exists upon the road inbetween 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 over one or two weeks to simulate the time in traveling.
Naturally, if you are questing or leveling OOC, you can go wherever you must - just remember to /rp off.
Style, Look and Feel
We have a particular style and feel, from the way we dress, the mounts we ride, to our houses and yards. We present ourselves as the living elves of Middle-earth. Not only will you be expected to embrace our philosophy, you will need to 'live it' through the way your character roleplays and appears. You won't see members of this kin with an abundance of particle effects, or wearing dwarven looking outfits, carrying axes as weapons (unless you're building a boat and need lumber), or running around with a giant pet shrew hopping awkwardly behind them. (Be advised that pets in general are a bit of a distraction to RP, especially if they make regular noises, like bird pets, so unless it's necessary to have a pet out durring RP, for RP reasons, please be polite and keep distracting pets put away while RPing.) We dress as elves would dress, our weapons look elven, and our Mithdirith wear a uniform. We do have a strict dress code (as any military body should) and it is expected that members follow it at all times when on duty. This preserves the look of the household and makes you feel good when in uniform and feel great when you finally get out of it!! (Anyone who has served in uniform will understand this well!) This maintains the bond of the group and also presents your character with conditions/experiences they would otherwise not have had since most of the time spent in game is running around looking however you want.
As for mounts, most of us ride simple white horses, such as the Prized Galadhrim Steed. If you like riding goats, or mounts with skeletons painted on them, etc., gallop to a different kin.
As for titles, you won't see silly, immersion breaking titles around our names either. Arwen, Pie Eating Champion (while funny) is NOT lore friendly for an elf. When in doubt about a titles lore friendly nature, or cultural impact, just don't wear it. Keep it simple. There's plenty of people out there with names that stretch across the computer monitor already.
With respect to housing, our kinship homestead is almost entirely owned by members. Yards in our kin homestead are kept free of immersion breaking items. Would an elf have chickens, yard gnomes or broken wagons in the yard? No. You'll find mostly trees, gardens, elven statues, and elven looking banners in our kinship neighborhood.
We make use of the /rp tag as well. If you want to let the world know you're available for roleplaying, then type /rp on to change your name white. If you're not roleplaying, type /rp off .
Being a member of LiL means that each member acts as an ambassador of the kin. If you are rude or act like an idiot in front of others on the server, even while 'off duty'...the rest of your kinmates will not be impressed. This will most likely result in you being ejected from the kin. Which leads us to our next section...
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 a 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
This should be self explanatory and thankfully, this has never been much of an issue.
...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...
Final Important Notes
This guide is not meant to be 100% comprehensive. Things that will influence your chances are on a case by case basis. Personality and compatibility matter.