About the Toon: Well, here’s the thing about Llythne. I consider Beldrieth my main, but it’s Llythne who’s getting geared and fully virtued, and if I get dragged along on raids, it’ll be on the Burg. Don’t get me wrong, I like Bel. I like Bel a lot, and sometimes I like Bel even more, because she’s just so much simpler to play. But Burglar is an interesting class, and I think I have enough alts at this point to be able to say that it’s probably my favourite class.
If I can be permitted to get up on my Burglar soapbox for a little while, I think that Burglar is a very poorly understood class by other classes at large. And rightly so, I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t understand the role completely. To put it simply, a well-played Burglar wears a lot of hats. Depending on stance and trait line, I am a Bleedy/DPSy-Burg, or a Mezzy-Burg, or a Debuffy-Burg, or more usually some blend of all three. Actually, ideally for me, a blend of all three. On top of that, the Burg is the group member who starts the FMs. (PSA: If a random conjunction has popped on a trash mob or something, and you are in group with a burg, unless specifically asked not to input, please, please, as a courtesy to the burg, try and make at least a length-two flush with any one else who inputs. The burg has a skill that resets some cooldowns, but it’s reactive to a successful NAMED conjunction.) I run my burg in Gambler, which is the Burglar’s blue line, and sort of pulls together all three roles. An effective and properly traited burg in group can chain mez at least two mobs for around 30 seconds to a minute apiece, and while they don’t CC at the same level as a Lore Master, we share the same anguish at seeing a stun or a mez or a root get broken. So, in short, love your burgs! Just also realize that in any given fight, we’re not necessarily just burning on the main target, if we’re being used effectively. The train of thought might be “Okay, 30s mez on troll, 30s gamble mez on other troll, Reveal Weakness on DPS Lead’s target, bleed on main target, another bleed on main target, debuff attack speed/melee damage/miss-chance three ways from sunday, debuff inductions, refresh mez on first troll, refresh mez on second troll, oop conjuction, move to input EVERYONE GO YELLOW PLEASE, next mob, Reveal Weakness, break mez with conjunction–fail, popping again in 20s, refresh mez on other troll…” But it’s fun! Less brainless than Bel’s point-and-shoot rotation. If you’re on the fence about the Burglar, I encourage you to roll one. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.
About the Character: I’m really glad I made a point of exploring Llythne in AtEAA, because up until this story, she’d been kind of a bit character. I didn’t really know much about her back story, or her character or her motivations. This is the peculiar thing about writing, so much of the way you want your characters to be and to behave is intuitive, not deliberate. It comes from putting them in situations and seeing how they react, or putting them in conversations, and seeing what they have to say. Let’s have a quick run over of the basics of what Llythne is: Burglar, Scholar, Woman of Gondor.
I’ve fudged the whole “Gondor” angle pretty thoroughly. I’ve taken it to mean anyone of that whole line, Arnor, Numeanor, Westernesse, what have you. Burglar is a more interesting component, and Scholar dovetails well with the type of Burglar I want her to be, if that makes sense. But I’ll go on.
So, Llythne’s the character coming from the roughest background. Not that that’s even particularly rough, but she’s grown up a woman who’s very much in a man’s world. I think an interesting segment of the unspoken of lotro population are the wives and daughters of the Rangers. Because they have them. Golodir, most obviously, had Lorniel. Calenglad has that weird thing for Gwindeth, the blue lady who lives in the lake. Mincham had and lost a wife and daughter, if I recall my quest lore rightly. Llythne is the daughter of a Ranger, but he’s been out of her life for nearly fifteen years. And he didn’t leave her in the company of other Rangers, he left her in Ost Forod. I have this mental understanding of Ost Forod as a sort of no-man’s land. The Rangers clearly don’t have authority there, and what authority there is has evidently not taken too firm a stand against the brigands. So, I think a young, resentful Llythne, having been dumped in Ost Forod by her father, could very easily have taken up with tomb robbers. She ran around with a young Bill Tripper and Harry Hinchcliffe for a couple of years.
Then I think whoever she’d been left in the custody of–I’m imagining Basil Gummidge or Robin Dunkley–grabbed her by the scruff of the neck, gave her a thorough telling off. And then they stuck her in a library as punishment, and had her copying the histories of the old Kingdoms. And it’s dicey, it could’ve gone either way for her. She could have sat in among the musty old tomes and seethed and resented and raged, and come out worse than before. But something in those old stories caught in her mind, and she changed. Maybe she understood all of a sudden, just what exactly her father had gone away in service of. Maybe she caught the same bug all the Rangers have, and realized just what the tomb robbers were raiding and destroying.
And when she had served whatever time was deemed appropriate, maybe she spent a little longer in the libraries than she needed to. But when she finally came out, she came out in a righteous fury, and set off on her own, to steal back the things she’d seen stolen. Llythne is tough, clever, and independent. The rub is, the Rangers know where she’s come from, and they don’t trust her. Once a thief, always a thief–especially when admittedly still thieving, just thieving in their favour. Because they certainly capitalize on her escapades–if she comes striding across the bridge with a sackful of dubiously acquired treasures and relics, the Rangers may not approve, but they’re happier to have the aforesaid treasures returned to them, even if the prices run towards the exploitative side.
So she’s a woman somewhat used and a woman somewhat wronged, and she’s got a bit of a cynical bent where the Rangers are concerned. But tragically it cuts both ways, because she knows the Dunedain, and she shares their mission, and their heritage, even if they’re hard on her and keep her on the outside, she can’t help but love them. And how satisfying it would be to find a Ranger who saw through to the reason for all her thievery (and mischief).