Parth Canthui ~ Volume IV
RPGs and Kingdom Events
Tidings From Abroad
Songs and Stories
Lore and Language
Puzzles and Games
Pennas Lairë ~ May Issue
Note: The following magic symbol returns you to the top of the scroll:
An Elf Maiden in Spring
I walk in a shawl of quiet melting snow
like a sea of white lace, chiffon, and silk
draped upon a light gown—a broad plateau
of lovely, mossy, fresh green
that sings to the eyes and
feels cool to the flesh like jade,
both young and aged at the same time.
Here in this setting, beneath this swaying tree
that sprinkles its sweet scented pink and white
blossoms upon my dark hair,
it feels as though I am adrift upon a bubble,
or caught in the ephemeral exhale of breath
that forms a soft whisper.
I part my lips to breathe a song into the cold air
and wisps of misty music notes swirl
upon the atmosphere where it entwines and dances
with the wind in a whirlpool pattern that lasts
for the briefest second.
My warm fingers caress the soft sleepy petals
that are slowly emerging,
and they yawn, stretching and showing
their young faces to the glowing sun as they take in
the comforting warmth.
Leaves of green unfold above my head,
soft streams flow where I walk,
and warm sunlight illuminates my face,
which for too long, has been cold and pale
from the icy winter.
But now, I raise my arms in a fluid motion
just in time to meet the spring rain,
and dance with the trees and clouds that smile
upon me from above.
Let all the shadows flee before me,
let all the light rush forward to converge
to where I stand,
beckoning to the world,
sounding my rejoicing song
that echoes to the far corners
of this earth
After the most promising reforms have been made in the Army system last month, the organization of the new additions to the Host is in full swing. At the beginning of this month, a general Army assembly had been called to the Field of Strife, where soldiers could duel with each other and prove that the Army, reformed or not, was still made of brave and mighty warriors. Under the shining sun of spring, on the rolling green plain, Elven warriors had been proving themselves worthy of the titles lore-books give them, and did credit to the Army of Imladris.
As it happens, Imladris does need that kind of warriors, for the next chapter of the Northern Watch RPG has been opened, where Rangers and Elves together go to Amon Sûl on a scouting mission under the shadows of the North. Soldiers of faith and courage do their best for the safety of our world of Middle-earth.
On a more managerial point, the sign-up for the new Host has been closed, and the new soldier roster is being worked on to be displayed at the Army House shortly, as well as the veteran/newbie system that is going to take place soon. Everybody is more than eager to try out the new features of the Army system, and nobody doubts they will prove to be the best.
The healing house runs as always, I would say. Our Tanestor Ancalima is doing well with running the house as smooth as she can. *many hugs for her* Wilara also does her best to keep things organized in the hallway. Sometimes it is very busy with the arrival of new patients, but there are also quiet en delightful moments when you can steal a minute and have a little conversation with her.
We still haven't received an opinion of the strange inspector Jeckshun. But no new is good news, as so is said. The heads of the healing house take this as a sign that the healers are doing their job fine, which means the healings room are as proper as they must be and that things are run rightly, as protocol would say.
New patients came into our house; Feowen, Helminga, Nilde, Elilea and Gwaloth the Willow. A bit busy time, but with the help of our excellent healers, aphadors and taidors most of the patients are out of danger and resting peacefully in our recovery rooms. Our own nestor Ness had been healed and is on normal duty again. And our gardens remain delightful as always, spring has broken out to it's full glory and turned the sleeping garden once again in a full and lively one.
For the rest, I wish you to find enlightning of body and spirit when you enjoy the spring around you. Take care. If you need our help, then you know the way to our healing house!
The end of April and start of May heralded more than the green spring in the Bards and Writers Guild, there was a sense of change and it began modestly enough in the Hall of Writings. Our beloved Aralirdan, Idril Celebrindal, Princess of Gondolin, daughter of Turgon, beloved wife of the Father of the Guild, Galen Aranor and grandmother of our Lord Elrond came to us and bade us to follow her onto the high terrace outside. As we gazed on glistening white tables, bedecked with fresh flowers and green ivy, ready for a great feast, and saw the places prepared for the guests of honour, we all anticipated something of great moment, but we had little preparation for what followed.
Our lovely High Bard gently announced that she wished to pass on her duties as Aralirdan to another and join Galen, the Adar Govannas, Father of the Guild, as a guardian and advisor to the Guild. It took a moment for this news to sink in and several more to realise that, although Idril would no longer be our leader, she would still here to guide us as the Mother of the Guild, Amillë Hereno Lindaiva, as Galen had already done when he had stepped aside for his wife.
Idril went on to reassure us that Saranna, Taidril of the Guild, and the Lords Elrond and Glorfindel would ensure the Guild was run smoothly until a new Aralirdan was found. Chief of those taking care of the Guild whilst the search for the new High Bard was undertaken would be Tinw, Lord Elrond's herald. This next piece of news was very warmly received, since all knew the many talents of the mortal maid made her particularly suited to such a role, both as bard and as an administrator. At this point Saranna was asked to open the festivities to mark Idril's leave-taking and to come together to face a changed future. Gracious as always, Saranna called for the company to honour both Idril and Galen before the feast began.
There followed dignified and heartfelt speeches, both short but filled with deep meaning and honour as Laifana wished the former Aralirdan and her husband great happiness in the future, and with Soronúmë's mixed feelings of sadness and joy on their passing on the burden of leadership and hopes for finding a worthy successor. Then the younger members of the Guild moved forward to honour the couple with more familiar bardic fare in verse and song. Janowyn and Gildor Inglorion (Ann-thannath's SCR) began with a moving lyrical account of the story of Eärendil and Elwing and their restoration of the Silmaril to Valinor and thence to its rightful place in the heavens. Feowen Súrindis followed with a beautiful song that praised the joys of the Valey of Rivendell – the 'blessed dear land' that we all love so much.
Thereafter the feast began and everyone took their places at the table, Idril and Galen in the high seats beneath a canopy of flowers, and for good while the bards made toasts and ate heartily. Then proceedings were once more halted by the arrival of Lord Elrond and Tinw his herald. Further revelations were made as the Lord of the Valley released Tinw from her duties as herald so she could more fully tend to the needs of the Guild, whilst the search for the new High Bard was begun.
And just as we thought all was settled there was one last surprise as Tinw, bearer of the small white stone with the clear glittering light at its centre – the Mîr e-Gûr Thenin, the Jewel of True Heart, passed the treasure on to the safekeeping of the Lady Idril Celebrindal. The assembly was hushed in reverence at this fitting gesture of respect and high honour and it was some moments before the festivities began once more. So much to discuss and people wished to talk to friends old and new of the events that had just been witnessed. A feeling of hope and peace pervaded the gathering as the bards realised that nobody had been lost to them, and a living breathing jewel had been restored to them in the person of the filigod. The Guild would go on and Idril and Galen would be there with them. The old and new still hand in hand, all working for the good of the Guild.
Barely a few hours later more tidings raced around the Valley as Lord Elrond appointed another new herald – Eglagaladiel. Perhaps because of these momentous events, it is not too surprising that the Hall of Writings and Govannas in Glirdain have been fairly quiet these last few weeks, as Tinw took up the challenge of finding a new Aralirdan. A drawing of breath perhaps as people quietly grew accustomed to the new order. A small beginning was made however, with a Celebration for Lord Elrond which has elicited tributes from both Bards and Artists from all over the Valley. So the Guild goes on, secure in its future as a centre of excellence for the literary and musical arts.
Onto May and more excitement as we had a brand new thread to run alongside our usual, themed Artist of the Month thread. Our 'old' thread is now solely for original pieces of artwork where all the features in an image belong to the artist and have not been sourced from other artists, the web, or magazines etc. But let us stay with the trusty old thread for now as this has been a very successful month, largely because of our theme which is Landscapes of Middle Earth.
We had done a mini-feature during March on Terragen software and, it being a landscape generating application, we expected to have a fair showing of digital works coming in. And we have not been disappointed! It has been frankly astounding to receive so many varied and stunningly executed pieces or artwork from our regular contributors here in the Valley and from newcomers from further afield, notably Feliath Dunami from Isengard who is an expert exponent of Terragen. From the Valley, Arwil found time out from her busy schedule to send us her latest work and Aldoriana, renowned for her digital-collage work, has found a new love I think, as she contributed several beautiful images using Terragen. Our Artist of the month of March, Arien, was back and in top form too with some lovely computer-generated landscapes using Photoshop.
Traditionally handled landscapes have also appeared naturally, including my fellow curator, Ellitarë. Illuvéfailisse and Tinessael have both been busy and contributed several works, with Ness using varied styles showing off a range of textures and colour work and also some Terragen images which were boldly experimental. Tari ( a.k.a. Lord Ulmo) has also been busy and sent us some truly beautiful impressionistic paintings that added some high fantasy to the theme by simply using colour imaginatively. Please give yourself a visual treat and look in on the thread (link given in parag. 2 above) as we really have been blessed this month by such a high standard of contributions.
The new thread we now run is for photography and 'non-original' digital artwork, hence it's title "digital art discussion thread", as we do not hold an election on these types of images any more and run it purely for the pleasure of sharing work and rabbiting away about different techniques and how to apply digital effects. Well – again we have been astonished at the quality and level of response here. Photography has dominated, but this has included many contributions using photo-manipulation and the standard of images contributed has literally blown us way. Again, please use the link provided at the beginning of this paragraph, as your eyes will love you forever!
We started off the new thread with a 'feature' post on digital-collages using Corel Paint Draw and Adobe Photoshop penned by Aldoriana and myself. This 'went on a bit' as neither of us are used to giving tutorials but we hope it helped give contributors a bit of inspiration or practical tips. Use of both CPD and Photoshop were present in the thread which shared the 'Landscapes of ME' theme. This was really well-represented in pure digital as well as in photographic terms including some spectacular scenes from amongst others our own Earlendil featuring work from Yellowstone NP and elsewhere, which could have looked perfectly at home as some of Arda's many river gorges or in the Eastemnet of Rohan looking out onto the Brown Lands. We were also treated to a variety of genres from a visiting photographer from Khazad Dûm, one Marak RedIron, whose wildlife, flower and black and white photography were truly spectacular. Also stunning us with monochrome works were Arien, Tari and Fuin Elda. This talented trio gave us more visual delight using violins, grasses and ballet shoes and a very lovely image of a woodland in the dying phases of a fire.
On the competition front we are also currently co-running two threads during May. The first is with the Bards and Writers Guild which is Celebrating…. Elrond. As judging is still to take place I will not elaborate specifically, but once again there is a feast of artistic excellence in both artwork and literary fields, so please visit and maybe find some inspiration to contribute something yourself? The newest contest is for the Debate Team with Inwe Lythian, Ellitarë and myself judging entries for a team banner for our intrepid debaters. Early days yet as we only just started up a few days ago as I write this, but we hope to attract some interesting work to promote our feisty debate elleths and ellons excellence in this entertaining field.
So yet another really rewarding month here at the EAA, we look forward to maintaining current standards for you next month.
Teliol Mi Imladris
Hello everyone! Finally I have returned to the Valley, bringing with me a dozen exhausted and paint-splattered players (believe you me, they won't get that paint out of their hair and skin for a while!) and leaving behind one pirate prince. Incidentally, residents of Rivendell wishing to cross the Hithaeglir in the next month would be well advised to avoid the said prince. Just a warning there.
Mirkwood Paintball was a general and unequivocal success! If you were on Team Mirkwood, that is. Nienna of Team Imladris finally captured Prince Legolas from the talan suspended above the Elvenking's halls, but by then it was far too late to reach the edge of the forest. Team Imladris were awarded a respectable 9 points, but Team Mirkwood achieved a hearty score of 12. Thank you to all those who played, and good luck with the turpentine!
Due to an unfortunate run in with three Wargs, I am currently incapacitated in the Houses of Healing - but do not worry - revelries will continue in the Games Hall soon! Be there or be square!
The Drill Team
A tribute to Idril and Galen
This season was a season of transition and transformation, new people coming and old leaving, and most important of leadership changes. Every dweller of the Valley knows the love to lore of Idril and Galen, and undoubtedly fair elves are aware that this lovely couple was leading Rivendell Drill team for years, guiding team-members through thick and thin, assuring that people interested in lore didn't loose that spark. Yet time flies swiftly and new cares and concerns never fail to appear and cloud the peaceful lives of people, unfortunately. Thus Idril and Galen, overwhelmed with nasty disease called real-life, stepped down from their positions of the Drill leaders, appointing Rinerion and Loriwaynen to be their successors. Their shoes would be ofcourse huge to fill, yet new leaders have enough time to build the team anew.
First thing that was decided upon was the roll-call, to define how many genuinely active members the team has. It is still not too late to go and state your willingness to remain on the team or join it (if you haven't yet done so) – the doors of Thaim Ist are ever open.
Changes occurred also in the leadership of the Junior Drill Team: Gaelin sailed to the West, sadly, leaving his position of the co-captain vacant. Luckily, in the practice match against Endor Thoronath Tanequil showed herself as capable leader and has deservedly stepped up to captaincy, a position she holds now along with Feowen. With new members joining the team the prospects of Bertha and Ista in the upcoming regular season (to start on May the 29 th) look just brilliant. If you are a lore-lover, Tan and Fee would gladly welcome you among the ranks of their team.
There's a new twist in Teliad Ist! For those who love to "Play with Lore" we ask - how is your Imladris Elf Lore? How well do you know your fellow Rivendwellers? Intermingled with Middle Earth Lore questions in a wide-range of difficulty, are now questions regarding your fellow Imladris Elves, such as "which Imladris Elf loves daffodils?" Come challenge your Middle Earth Lore skills, as well as get to know your fellow Imladris Elves in "Teliad Ist: Playing with Lore."
In conclusion I wish to once again express gratitude and admiration to Idril and Galen for years of service and faith in the future of the team.
The Racing Team
And as promised, the season has started off. With Gala getting herself that nice pair of Eyebrows of Doom and Pathael being consumed by that horrid monster hiding under everybody's bed called RL, two new captains had to be chosen. Congrats and good luck to our new captains Ilsa and Merl!
In the first race our cheetahs had to face none other than the emus of Valinor, who in the end won magnificently of our cheetahs by almost 60 spaces! At the moment the second race has just come to its end with Imladris once again losing, but this time only by 12 spaces. If it will go on that way, we still have a chance to win a race or two!
The third race has begun now and this time it's elves vs. dwarves! For now, Imladris is in lead, but unfortunately there is still a lot of time for that to change. As usually, the cheetahs want as many cheering people as it is possible to get! Also, the team rooster is getting a tiny bit thin ! (Those were two hints for all of you! :P )
After having ruled our Imladris kingdom for an all too short period of time, Tinw stepped down as Lord Elrond; bearer of the Eyebrows of Doom. On May 2nd Tinw handed the power of Vilya over to Eglagaladiel and returned to her beginnings in the Bards' Guild as our filigod . Bells rang out throughout the Valley, with both tones of sadness and joy. Many words of farewells, best wishes, and congratulations were said to both Tinw and Gala from not only the Elves of Rivendell but also from Rulers and members of the other far off kingdoms. Tinw leaves behind a legacy of sorts of a kingdom ruled with fairness, love, creativity, and patience. Her successor, Lady Gala, brings a sense of fairness as well but also the feeling that under her rule Imladris will continue to grow and prosper with the members enjoying much fun and camaraderie.
I had originally planned to sit with both Tinw and Gala and chat with them a bit on their feelings about the past, present, and future. With this in mind, I had sent a dove mail their way but after some time I had received no answer. Unbeknownst to me, apparently my dove had met with a fowl end. It seems that in mid flight he had tired and fluttered down to a creek to get a sip or two of the fresh water when suddenly Gollum, who had been fishing there sprung out and snatched him up. Of course it goes without saying the exact details of my dove's end, but in some small way I cannot blame the actions of Gollum for I myself could only imagine the fate of having to eat sushi for the rest of my life. Anyway, after purchasing another dove and quickly training it, I sent it off with messages for Tinw and Gala; and a thermos so he wouldn't have to stop for a drink. Thus, I present you now with the few questions I asked both ladies Tinw and Eglagaladiel, who were nice enough to just as quickly answer the questions and send my dove back, with a full thermos.
1) How did you feel to find out you would be Elrond?
Anxious and pleased and very honored. I had been intimidated by the
possibility in the past, but when Laebeth and Tara asked me, it felt
like the right moment, with the right people around me. I was very
excited about the possibility of being able to tweak and improve some
things around Imladris and speak my mind bluntly to the Powers in
Valinor (not that being a member had ever stopped me, but it made it
2) What was your favorite thing about ruling Imladris?
Handing out tribute, mostly because it let me say "thank you" to all
the folks who make Imladris a good place, but also because it helped
me get a feel for all the wonderful things happening around the valley.
3) What will you miss most about being Elrond?
Being Elrond. He is such a kind, thoughtful, and occasionally sad
figure, a truly goodhearted character in the books (none of that
silly "men are weak" stuff). I really enjoyed the chance to bring
him to life for people, and my deepest regret is that I didn't trot
the fellow out more often. And, hey, I got to play an elf, or half an
4) Any secrets about Eithil you can share now? *g*
Hmmmmm. I guess the biggest one is that she's not half as silly as
some people think, and I always had the suspicion that the daffodils
were a cover to hide the fact that she's really a brainy
mathematician. Or perhaps that wasn't a secret. :)
1) How did you find out you would be Elrond?
Eithil and Tinw asked me together, in a chat on IM. I was nervous when
they invited me to the chat, because I thought that this might be what it
was about. Even though I had a little inkling, I was still totally
surprised! I know that sounds like a contradiction, but I was in
shock for days. *g*
2) How has the experience been thus far?
Good! Very busy! Even busier than I expected, probably. I don't think I
fully appreciated all that goes into running a kingdom until I had to do
it myself! Everyone in Valinor was very welcoming, which made it a lot easier to jump
right in. I really enjoy working with Eithil, and I think we make a good
team. I picked up the basics pretty quickly, but I think there's a lot of
stuff I'll learn "on the job", so to speak, as different situations come up.
All in all, I think I'm off to a good start!
3) Did Tinw give you any advice when she stepped down?
Tinw gave me lots of good advice, but I'm not sure how much of it I can
share. lol Generally speaking, she tried to prepare me for what I could
expect in Valinor, and she got me up to speed on some things in the
kingdom, so I would know what was going on. Also, she reassured me that I
would do a good job, which I really appreciated!
4) Did Tinw share any secrets about Eithil? *g*
Hmm...Not that I can remember!
I would like to thank both Tinw and Gala for their time in answering the questions and also for making sure my dove did not have to stop at any strange watering holes on the way home. I wish them both, as I know we all do, much success and happiness in whatever it is they both do. I know that they have both shown truth in the old adage; the best leaders are those who remember what it was to follow.
Off the Rocks
Having received expert medical care from healers of Minas Tirith, and being succored by the handsome Lance Corporal Rochir of the Rangers of Ithilien, the intrepid group of Elves, Peredhel and Men are making their way to Rohan. The land of wide open plains and the noble Rohirrim beckons with safety and security. Or does it? What dangers are lurking behind the hills, waiting to assail our group as they make their way to Imladris? Will Marat the Man from Harad remain true, or will he turn on the group in some lonely place? Will the Men of Rohan welcome them, or see them as a threat and mystery? And what of the rescuers from the Hidden Valley?
This is the Off the Rocks RPG. Now is an excellent time to jump into the story without reviewing the entire thread, as we enter a new phase, leaving the realm of Gondor and moving into Rohan. OOC planning can be found in the Mathoms, Myths and Morpork House currently located in Rohan, or you can simply jump in as a traveler leaving Minas Tirith for Imladris, or as an explorer of the diversity of Middle Earth - the limit is your creativity!
Some days ago a clearly confused hawk dropped a letter at the Last Homely Jerald editors. There was no name neither on the envelope or on the letter, except for the word Mirkwood in a tiny handwriting.
My dearest friend,
How have you been? I have already stayed in Imladris for a month and I think I shall stay for a bit more, because it has been so great fun! First I just made it to the end of Tengwar Tug o' War, organized by Arwil, where there were two teams standing on both sides of Bruinen and pulling a thick rope, at the same time trying to answer questions and solve puzzles, all Tengwar themed. Unfortunately, my progress in that game is not worth mentioning, but the blue team won, only by one point!
Also, there was a very interesting traveling game, where we had to ride through all Middle-Earth, solving puzzles in every corner of the world. It was tough, I tell you, though my pity goes to the horses! Once again, it turns out that Rivvy elves are better than Mirkwood elves in that. Hmph.
Then started all the fun! Can you believe what they did? To celebrate Tinw's birthday, they hung a giant picture of Lord Elrond and we had to aim at his eyebrows with Sindarin mutations! It was great fun, I must say, though I think I need to brush up on my dart-throwing skills…But nobody won, so that's good.
And even before my aching hand muscles were healed, I saw the caption contest. I had some trouble participating there, seeing I am not a Rivendell elf, but I did not win that either. So no matter. But I don't feel bad about it, white_tower's entry was really good…Another has just opened, so I need to visit that, too.
There was of course a regular riddle hall…conundrums of Arda was its name, I think. Great fun! Made even me to look into old scripts. Imagine, me! But then, that month the theme was the Eldar, a topic I am naturally interested in. Next month another topic shall be chosen. Who knows, maybe even you will take part in it!
But I am glad I am from Mirkwood. I mean, we have Dol Guldur and everything, but there are thieves here! During my stay here, I have heard about four robberies! Strangely, elves here don't take it that seriously they laugh and play the Imladris Thief Hunt. Very strange tradition, but I have to admit, it is very amusing, especially as there are those, who pretend to be thieves on purpose! For now, Galadvaliel, Loriwaynen and Miriel Arien have received the honour of catching a thief.
Also, there was one really strange thing…you know the heralds Glorfindel and Elrond have, Eithil and Gala? Well, they are both still single and Elrond organized a game to choose the best husbands for them! There are quite many wishers, actually. I think I am going to try out too, they seem like handsome maidens!
And can you believe what I am doing now? I am making a banner! Yes, me, and it is coming out pretty well, too! The Imladris Debate team needs one and they have a competition going on, so I thought that I'd put my long-forgotten skills to a test.
Anyways, I hope it is all going well by you and I shall return soon.
(here the hawk clearly tore the paper with its claws)
Elrond of Rivendell
Flowing locks of darkest hue
Hair of polished ebony;
Beaten silver, woven through
Endless knots of memory.
Stars of heaven gleaming hard
Eyes of ancient burnished steel;
Flaming sparks, a broken shard
Depth of knowledge to reveal.
Keen to sense what is not seen
Ears have caught the timeless song;
Joy glitters 'neath sorrow's sheen,
Echoes of the ages long.
Firm to counsel wayward men
Lips impart what age instills;
Good and evil known within,
Matchless wisdom endless spills.
White and fair yet strong and hard
Hands that grasped the singing blade;
Bound in gold, wisdom to guard
Midnight fire soon to fade.
Knows the truth yet fears the end,
Noble heart doomed to foresee.
Mortal sorrows could not bend
Her will, nor send her to the Sea.
Deathless lord of fading race
On your brow the shadow falls;
Westward slowly turns thy face,
In the wind the wide sea calls.
In Hope's hand you lay the Star
Love and tears for night's erase;
One last journey now afar
Starwards, to the dawn's embrace.
The shadow has lenghtened over the Valley. The Elves sense a presence of something dangerous. Something they thought had been vanquished. Yet it was not; for Sauron's spirit remained. Yes, it is true. And that very same spirit had captured the bodies and white souls of some of the inhabitants of the Valley; currently it resides in the form of a Master Smith. Fuin Elda, one known and respected by many, has been taken by the powers of the Dark Lord. In her form now he stands again, seeking out what had been denied to him all those years ago. For some say that Vilya and the other two Rings still hold their power.
And for that the Elves of the Valley, alongside their Lord, fight against Sauron in what seems to be a fight with no real victory. For they must not allow him to gain the Ring. Who knows what will happen, if he gains it. Not even Mithrandir could give an answer to that.
So now comes the final battle. On the shores of Bruinen, which flows from the Misty Mountains as ever, shall it come to pass. The Lord Elrond is there, along with Varda Elbereth, Eliad of Gondor, and the First Captain of Imladris' Host, Anárië Éltanë. There upons the shores shall it be shown that valor still runs free through the veins of the sons of Gondor, and that old powers still reside in the Valley. As the Lord Glorfindel beforehand has shown his powers to the Ulairi, so the Captain of the Host has shown her powers to Sauron. It is a risky, and dangerous game. Who shall conquer? In the end, it shall be a fight of will-power.
Lord Elrond's face has darkened yet again. What has caused the Peredhil to storm around his House as he does? The answer is rather simple; his stables are empty. What was once the proud and full housing of Elvish horses, is now empty. Somehow, over the years, horses had ventured out of their beds, but never returned.
Thus it was, that Soronúmë has been assigned to create a group of Elves that would accompany him to the land of Rohan, home to the Horselords, to purchase new horses for the stables of Imladris. Indeed, many have gathered, and they have already set out. After an uneventful journey they were greeted warmly at Edoras. In it's main square, the Rohirrim had gathered with the best of what Rohan has to offer; horses.
Stallions and mares, young foals and elder horses, all can be found there. Merchants sell saddles and other horse-equipment. Bantering has begun. Eight horses are needed for the stables, but individuals are free to get a horse or two for themselves. Even some members of the Host can be seen walking around, purchasing great horses that shall bring their Lords victory.
It shall be a day to remember in Edoras.
Janowyn of Rivendell
On a breezy spring day, in full sunshine, I had come to Govannas in Glirdain to meet with the subject of my present interview – Janowyn Half-Elven. I was, as usually, a tiny bit late, and hurried inside the wonderful Rainbow's End pub that Janowyn had chosen. However, I found the inn empty, and would have been surprised if I didn't know the place the peredhel enjoyed most of all – on the stony balcony right near the falling water – a favourite spot worth of a good mermaid, I'd say.
Finding Janowyn there just as expected, I greeted her and perched myself on the parapet with a quill in my hands. Janowyn settled back comfortably, sipping her Lien's Chocolate Delight, and we began talking – the danger was, one couldn't make us stop.
To begin with, I asked Jano why she chose the Rainbow's End. With a tiny shrug, she answered: "I just kind of 'found' it. It was while I was still quite new and exploring all around the Valley. I went by the Aviary and noticed this little place down the hill by the river and falls and off I went."
When I asked if, unconsciously, she found something special here, she continued: "I shouted if anyone was at home and nobody seemed to be around so I didn't and went on down to the river to dangle my feet - quite a hot day. Next thing I know Laif arrives with a picnic feast and we had a nice little chat." After a pause, she added, with a warm smile: "First time we 'met'. I'd seen him around the EAA before of course but had never really spoken to him before."
Unable to help smiling too, I exclaimed: "That sounds very nice indeed! Was it then that you entered the EAA?" Jano's expression went thoughtful for a while. "I'd already been 'in' and put work on as that's where I recognized him from. We talked about drawing and that just made me more excited about being an artist again. I had not done anything much creative for years before that. So I kept going back and then I started to look after things when he was away."
Impressed, as I always am, with any creativity, especially drawing, I remarked it turned out better than anyone expected and Imladris got one of its finest artists there. Getting a grateful look in reply, I went on to ask if Janowyn enjoyed her duties as the co-curator. "It's very rewarding and I've been very happy there," she said, "first with Laif and now with Ellitare. The Eleidan College has been very helpful as well - it kind of helps the curators when we have contests (except for the Artist of the Month which Imladris elects) and also policy issues. Unfortunately there've been quite a lot of them recently." Nodding subtly, I barely needed to ask any more question, for Janowyn talked with an interest and ease one talks about a well-known and loved occupation. "And of course change can have its exciting side as well."
I went on to ask something the bugged me most of all: "You still consider yourself a Bard too, don't you?" With an understanding twinkle in her eyes, Janowyn answered she didn't at all first when arrived in Imladris. "I was more of a storyteller and never really thought about poetry, sagas and things," she continued. "And I don't sing that much either. But the Rainbow is full of poets and after a while it was just natural for me start writing them too as well as the stories." Glancing at me quickly, she added: "Well it was you and Laif that really inspired me to start. The first spark though was the passing of Hirillonwe - that was my first 'serious' poem since I left school. It was so sad as he was full of promise."
Blushing and sobering down in quick succession, I asked Jano which of the arts she believed to be the main in her life, maybe expressing her nature most fully. Casting a glance away, Jano looked back at me, replying decidedly: "At the moment they're about equal I'd say although it can be hard to produce artwork if you have too much admin to handle - time is a factor too of course." She mused for a moment, and continued: "The creative writing is something I do less formally I suppose - I often write at odd moments - if I'm waiting for somebody I jot things down in a little book - I can draw in it too - but generally I write."
Getting to my favourite topic, I smiled again, and nodded in agreement. Then, I asked her if she had ever considered writing novels, seeing as the RPG she's currently GM'ing was such a great success. Returning my smile knowingly, Jano answered a novel seemed a bit daunting to her in a way. "I do have a long-term idea for some short stories with a common theme linking them," she said, "but I need to sort out my schedule first. Proving a little difficult to do that just now. But once things are settled I'll have the space to make a proper start on it."
I kept taking notes, and, glancing through them, I asked if Janowyn enjoyed RP'ing. "Usually," she answered a little uncertainly, "but I'm very fussy where I do it. I like the free-running types of the funny ones," she added. I chuckled slightly at the mention, and went on to ask Jano if she was going to go watch the Mr Imladris competition. "Mr Imladris?" Jano lifted her eyebrows in surprise. "Well my dear I have no time whatsoever to spectate - it's taking all of my ingenuity to make sure that Sgt Savaloy is up to scratch." Suddenly rolling her eyes, she added: "You would not believe the fuss he makes… and that's just with the evening wear!"
I couldn't help but laugh at that, trying to sober down to no avail. At last, I found my breath and asked the next question: "Your friends are such a varied assembly, who do you credit for bringing you to Imladris?" "Tinw and Eithil," Jano replied decidedly, with a gentle smile, "they were the second and third people ever to talk to me on the Plaza - the first was actually Winddancer but that was when she was a Nazgûl and I was very scared of course. So when Tinw and Eithil 'rescued' and made me laugh a lot I remembered them both with a lot of affection even though I'd signed up for MT by then." Her smile faded a little. "Big mistake - not a city girl."
I grabbed the opportunity, and said quickly: "Yes, tell us please that interesting story of you joining the ranks of Plazaites..." A little blush appeared on Jano's face and then she chuckled, apparently unable to help herself. "Well actually I meant to go to Rohan but I got confused and hit a wrong button and ended up in MT instead." She shook her head slightly. "I get confused a lot actually… But I guess I'm lucky mostly."
I smiled broadly: "Lucky to have found the Plaza, and it's lucky to have you, I think!" I winked. "So, what are you proximate plans concerning Plaza, if you have any?" Smiling back, Jano answered: "To keep having fun - that's the whole point. That and the friends I've made on here. Several people are now an important part of RL too. Keep me sane and laughing. And Imladris is like a warm bath when I'm feeling raw and lonely." I couldn't but agree with her, for I guessed that many of us felt that way.
Getting a little bit thoughtful myself, I asked if Jano always wanted to be an Elf. "It was at the back of my mind," she replied, "but at first I was very aware of how fragile I was mentally and didn't want to depart too far from who I am? Why I have the name Janowyn which is based on my own name of course as well as Eowyn. But then I saw how other people did it and realized I was being silly and that I could be something different but still the same - inside anyway." As I nodded, Jano added casually: "But she also does stuff I can't do - like wear stilettos and nail extensions and use them as weapons. Only ever in the Leaky Spittoon though. She's a very kind and gentle soul really."
I chuckled again. "Do you think you'll stick with Plaza for a long time?" I asked.
"I hope so," she said earnestly. "I'm very grateful to it. It's my haven and where friends who mean a lot to me are." Her face turned a little bit graver, and her eyes – slightly sad.
Eager to turn to lighter matters, I asked Jano if she visited other kingdoms often.
"Not too much really - to my shame," she answered. "I used to go around a lot and posted over in Art & Fanfic as much as Rivvy until I was made co-curator. I still post in Poetry Corner sporadically but the other kingdoms I only visit if there's a specific reason for me to. Very rarely incidents in other kingdoms can tempt me - like when Laif got himself in trouble in Mordor and we started Off the Rocks from that. I had a really great time in there. But I get annoyed with other kingdoms - always seems so complicate finding your way around."
"Wasn't it complicated finding your way round Rivvy?" I asked at once.
Shaking her head barely perceptibly, Jano said: "I didn't seem to have too much trouble but I had been on the Plaza for a few weeks by then - maybe it was they don't have such a lot of links away from the main forum - or didn't at the time. And there was Project Imladris as well. Rivendell and Elrond were favourite things from the books as well." She smiled at the thought.
As I asked if she was happy with Rivendell, she answered thoughtfully: "It seemed more 'real' but still 'fantasy' at the same time. It's changing a lot at the moment - well in areas I use a lot - so that's BWG change and Ruler change so it's a little whirly at the moment along with the new threads and everything that's happened in the EAA. I feel a bit out of breath. But I'm happy here, still."
Saying this, she finished her drink, finding a chocolate drop surprise at the bottom, and smiled widely, displaying straight white teeth, and erasing the wistfulness from her eyes. I looked at her for a while, organizing my thoughts. "Well," I said, rising form my seat, "that was a most delightful conversation we had, mellon nin." I smiled, and continued: "It was a pleasure indeed." With that I left my interviewee and friend to herself, and hurried to my house to complete the little work there was left to do to show you, fair reader, what a beautiful, amazing person lives in our blessed Valley to add to its shine.
Elilea the First
As told by Lomesire, her husband and Master Bard and Scribe.
Written Two Centuries after The Great War of Mordor and the Death of Elilea the First.
It is with great secrecy that I write this story, for it has been banned from from Elven Liturature. I will leave with my two daughters and five sons for Rohirrim, shortly after I finish this. Nearly five centuries ago, Lord Elrond’s Father was out with a hunting/gathering party on Mount Hithaeglir, and was tracking a stag, when he heard rustling in the bushes. He stopped to investigate, and to his horror, found an Elvenmaid child about 32 years of age, playing with wolfcubs under the watchful eye of a wolf pack, her only family. She was scantily clad, enough to be modest, and her long blonde hair tangled. She was dirty from head to toe, and had claw and toothmarks all over her from roughhousing. She was startled when she saw him, and she and the wolfcubs hid behind some of the elder wolves. One of them walked gingerly up to Lord Elrond’s Father and sniffed at him. He stood perfectly still, lest the wolf attack. When the wolf was satisfied, she returned to the Elvenmaid child, and nudged her forward. The maid child whimpered like a frightened cub. The shewolfed growled, seemly to rebuke the maid child. Fearfully, the child came up to the Great Elven Lord and looked up into his face. "Ma-ma say Elilea go with you to live. Ma-ma say Elilea never come back. Ma-ma say Elilea belong with you. Ma-ma say Elilea no longer pack." She wept and he nodded slowly, puzzled. "The Wolf said that you?" She nodded, "In wolf talk. Elilea know this Moon come. Elilea not want want it to." "Elilea is your name?" She nodded, "That is closest. In wolf talk, Elilea is ’Rerrila’, or "Flower Who Runs with the Strong". He raised an eyebrow, but took her with him back to Imladris.
In three years time, Elilea had learned to speak well enough, that it was time for her to be apprentice to some trademaster. She first went to see about the Army; wolf nature was still in her blood. Being a maiden, she was turned away and shamed for it. Her foster father, Nenmardo tried to explain to her that here maidens do not make war, hunt, or other manly things. She sadly responded, "With the wolves, gender never mattered," as a tear ran down her face. "But this is Imladris, not the wolves." She nodded. "Yes, Father, you are right of course." Sadly she chose her second choice, which was open to her, Bard. Nenmardo, saw that the wolf was still in Elilea, and feared to lose her. So late one night, he woke her up, and said, "How badly, do you wish to learn the art of Swordmanship?" Her eyes wide, she said "Very deeply." So Nenmardo made his foster daughter a deal, do well in her bard studies, and he himself would teach her to fight with a sword, on the condition that she tell no one.
Eager now to pursue both careers, she usually worked all day, and late in to the night. Years passed and at the age of one hundred and eight years she was no longer apprentice of the Bardship, but a Full Bard, and with her, was I, Lomesire, ’Night River’. We were friends from the moment we met as young apprentices, but it was not until I discovered, quite by accident, her secret sword lessons, and kept her secret for her and her foster father, that our friendship significantly changed. Instead of being playful rivals, we became closer. Soon we became meldos, lovers. I asked Nenmardo’s permisson, and I began to court her.
In the 32nd year of my courting her, we both became Master Bards, and I seeked to ask for her hand in Marriage, pulling away each time I neared the question. How could this be? I, a Master Bard of the age of 143 years of age, and here I was too nervous to ask a simple question? Yet what if she rejected me?
In that same year, the Bardmaster, Tine Intya, began to use his words as a sword. With them, he ruined the lives of any he thought might one day take his place. Those who were married, he claimed in song to be unfaithful, destroying their marriages, and those who were not, he claimed in song to be secretly unlawful. All of whom, were puinished severely, including one, Tine Inytra claimed to have posioned the Lord Elrond’s Father, who died earlier in the same month. That one was was Tinemeldo (Star Friend) Elilea’s Foster Mother. Tinemeldo was put to death, and Elilea knew she was inoccent. She also knew, that with the Royal Families in grieving, only the Guildmasters, were in charge. The Guildmasters had no juridistion in any guild but their own. Only the Bardmaster could stop the Salems (an old old word), yet it was the Bardmaster doing it. He had to be stopped. So in the old way, she made a Open Challenge, that could only be judged by the Royal Families, and the winner would be the new Bardmaster. The Challenger was protected by Elven Law until the Challenge was complete.
The Day of the Challenge came, and all flocked to see the it. With Lord’s Elrond’s Signal, it began. It lasted from early morning, to late evening. My Elilea, she matched him verse for verse, of Lore, Song, and Poetry, even with her own. Then came the Last Round of the Challenge, a song about the opponent. Tine Intya was furious by this time, and he drew his desperation chance. He stood and sang this song;
My Lords and Ladies, How I hate to ruin your eat,
But this Maiden before you, is but a cheat,
A scandalous hag,
Her secret kept within a bag,
Yes, she may entrall you with Lore, Poetry and Song,
But at night, she practices hard and long,
She is not just a Mistress of Word,
But a Mistress of, Dare I say it? The Sword!
There was a shocked silence, a gasp of horror, for no decent Elf Maiden dared to learn the sword. Lord Elrond stood, and silenced the crowd. He gave a stern look, and said calmly, "Lady of the Wolves, what is your answer to this accusation?" Elilea stood calmly and and spoke these unforgettable words;
Sadly yes, Milords and Miladies, tis true,
I must admit that Wolf Nature, in me,still runs strongly through.
But In my shame,
There is a greater crime I must name.
For innoccent lives have been destroyed,
For an envious bardmaster has toyed,
With Cruel and Unjust Accusations,
He has marred names and stations.
I do not know if word has reached you,
My own foster mother’s blood runs turns red the river blue,
If only for his accusation, that she killed the Father of Milord,
Her body broken and cut, all for his vicious word.
Lord Elrond was beyond horror, needless to say. He knew, that Tinemeldo was a good and gentle soul, who barely would harm a fly. He was told that she had drowned. In a voice that made even the bravest quiver in their seat, he said, "Is this true?"
Lord Elrond saw that all were punished fitly and pronounced Elilea Bardmistress. As for Tine Intya, he left that matter to Elilea, who sent him to the Wolves, where, he was torn apart shortly thereafter. Tinemeldo’s body was retrieved from the river, and and buried. Elilea, among others, sang at her death.
Finally I gained the courage, after this incident to ask for her hand in marriage. And was accepted. We had a beautiful wedding that lasted a month, and in the following century, we had five beautiful sons and two,beautiful daughters. The boys were Nenmardo II, Siretine (River Star) Sire Lome (River of Night), Romentine (East Star), and Romensire (East River). The girls, born, last were twins. But the Great War was coming and the Army would fight Mordor.
Late the night Before the Naming Ceremony, after the army had left, Elilea dreamed of Eru. She lay before here, never seeing his, for even facedown, his Glory was too bright to behold. He told her that she must join the army, and save the life of a man, but not just any man. The Man who would be cursed for years to come, for of his cursed line, would be one that will be the salvation of all. "Forgive me for asking Lord Eru, but why me? Why not a male?" "For only a Woman can, and only you have the courage to."
With that, she awoke and told me everything. We discussed it long into the night, finally agreeing that it must be done. The Will of Eru is not to be questioned. She disquised herself herself as a male that very night and left. We never saw her again. The girls were named Elilea Tinemeldo, and Elilea Lomesire.
Elilea my wife, took down many of the enemy, before leaping in front of Prince Isildor, to take the blow meant for him from a Naz-ghoul. She was killed instantly. No one ever told of her death, no cared, except to jeer, and sneer. We, her family were considered shamed, when news came that she was in the war. I now take my leave of this place that knows not true courage. Perhaps one day, one of our family shall return to a better place.
So ends the Writing of Lomesire.
I recently caught up with Edan Amrun as he was leaving the IK Races in Khazad-dum. Edan was busy soothing his cheetah who is part of Imladris' racing team. It seems Edan's cheetah, Meoi, was feeling a little perturbed at the recent outcome of the race against Lothlorien. I asked Edan if he could possibly toss Meoi a chunk of meat to pacify him so that I could have a little chat with Edan. Smiling, Edan informed me that his cheetah was a vegetarian. I said "In that case, give him a fruit salad and meet me over there under that tree so that we can talk." I wandered on down to a big oak and sat down underneath it, waiting for Edan.
Edan soon made his way over to the tree and sat down underneath it next to me. I noticed that Edan had a bandage wrapped around his arm. I asked what had happened. He answered: "I thought Meoi was finished with his salad. Apparently, I was mistaken. Hmmmm," I giggled, "Enough said. So, what can I do for you, Tinuviel?" "Well, Edan, I know that you recently celebrated your first plazaversary. I was wondering if I might ask you a few questions about LOTR Plaza experiences thus far?" "Sure" Edan said, "as long as it doesn't take too much time. I'm feeling a little weak from the loss of blood from Meoi's reminder that when he's finished eating he'll let me know."Edan made a small laugh then. And I did hope that he was playing because if he wasn't, I had no idea how I was going to get him to the healing house on my own should he pass out.
Smiling, I began. "When you first came to the plaza, and joined the Imladris kingdom what was it like? By that, I mean did you find the other kingdom members friendly and easy to speak to?" Edan thought for a moment and then answered. "Well I remember every elf being very friendly to me and wanted to get to know the new newbie, me. I had a little hesitation in speaking to everyone but after a few weeks, I was comfortable with dwelling in the Valley and had not trouble in getting to know its residents and when someone came up to me I had no difficulty in socializing whatsoever." Nodding my head in agreement I said: "It was the same for me. What were the first activities you joined in on?" "Well" he said, "I don't remember much that I participated in but I think the one activity that really stands out is the Army. Right from the start I joined the Host of Imladris. I wanted to be a part of my new home in some big, important way and I thought that joining the army was a great start in getting to be part of the whole. Also there were the feasts that were run by Numellote, Eglagaladiel, Tinessael, and Tas Nenharma that I liked to visit every now and then. Those were a great way to get to know everyone." Grinning I said: "I know what you mean about the Host. When I was in Lorien I joined their army right away and then when I moved to Imladris I joined the Host as soon as I could. What about the rpg's in Imladris? Do you remember what the first rpg was you joined?" "I remember the rpg was called Captives of the Storm and it was an army rpg, it took place in a storm in Mirkwood. It was my first rpg experience on the plaza and loads of fun." "During your whole year in Imladris, what was your favorite rpg?" Laying back in the grass, Edan said: "I think the best so far has to be Edenduath Eriol of VardaElbereth's, and which is still going on; we haven't finished it yet. It takes place not that long after the fall of Sauron and the Valley, as well as other surrounding parts of Middle-earth, feeling a disturbing uneasiness. The spirit of Sauron in the game possesses me and Fuin Elda and wreaks havoc in the Valley, tries to get Vilya from Lord Elrond to help gain more power to take control of Middle-earth again. It's up to a band of determined elves of which I am a part to stop Sauron. It's the best rpg in Imladris I've taken part in ever."
I asked Edan then "Do you think that Imladris has only gotten better with time, and if so what is it that has made it so?" Still lying on the grass, Edan answered, "I think Imladris has improved very well over time and that's due mostly to all the creative talents of new people who come into our kingdom such as yourself, Tinny, and the commitment and wisdom of our Valley's rulers." "How do you feel about the rulership Imladris has seen since you joined? I promise, whatever you say will remain between us." "I smiled as innocently as I could when I asked Edan this as I had not yet told him that this little chat would be in the Herald. After pondering this question, and my sincerity, for a few moments Edan answered, "I think Imladris has two great rulers; I have been to other kingdoms and I feel that we are blessed to have two such friendly and committed rulers. They are very wise and many good things have happened in Imladris because of them. I'll never forget the rulership of Tinw and I anticipate seeing Eglagaladiel at work as ruler. If she does as good as with organizing those past feasts, then Imladris is in good hands indeed!" He said and laughed. Looking at him thoughtfully, I then asked Edan, "What advice would you give an Immy Newbie to help them make it the long haul and still be in the kingdom a year or more down the line?" Edan set back up, which I was glad about because I was worried for a bit that perhaps he was passing out from a loss of blood, and said, "I think I would tell the Immy Newbie that he or she would remember that it's not about points but about having fun and to love their kingdom. I would tell him or her to use the talents that they have to make the kingdom an even more fun place to be, for him or her and all the others. Being a part of the kingdom, helping out, gives you good motivation to stay, knowing you're making a difference, you know? That the kingdom needs you."
Seeing that the day was beginning to darken, I stood up and said, "Thanks for the chat, Edan. I will be seeing you around the Valley." Edan rose as well and said: "You are welcome, Tinny. By the way, why all the questions?" "You will find out soon enough, mellon nin" I said with a wry grin as I walked off.
When I first came to Imladris, I was a tired traveller. Beaten by the journey. I was heading my way east, for I heard of a valley. They called it Imladris. It was said to be a refuge for the pure hearted who needed a shelter from this world of constant lurking danger.
One night I stumbled upon a hidden valley. I decided to descend down the hill and into the valleys green floor. A small road took me there and all the way echoes of song and laughter followed. Distant voices of valley folk
were welcoming me from all around and I felt my heart telling me "This is home". Imladris took me in like a warm friendly hand. Soon I discovered a wonderful world of countless possibilities, myriad places to go and kind people to meet. The second day I was welcomed to a household. I never felt lost and my questions were never left unanswered.
I am settling down here in Imladris and with every day I am more anxious to find out something new that I haven't explored yet. And whenever I feel confused or I don't understand something, I know that all I have to do is ask. Because down here in Imladris there is always someone who will provide you with an answer.
Honoured Elves of May
The valley sang with sadness, for the noble Lady Tinw left the House of Elrond to seek her own paths in life. Yet, as the bells pealed in the silence of night, Elrond spoke. "Do not despair," he said, "for there is much to be joyful for yet."
And there was, for the Elves gathered and honoured he worthy that night, when the stars shone bright in that poignant moment of glory. Ellitare was Gil-galad, Pip Reonyea was Elwing, Feowen became Galdor and Eithon Echui was blessed by the star of Earendil. Then the Elves sang their songs in voices that were both noble and glad.
Far in the horizon, the sun began to rise, and a single, clear voice cried, through the song of Elves and birds.,/p>
Eglerio hym! Praise them with great praise!
Fangorn Forest has been buzzing with new activity. The kingdom has celebrated the Spring of 1500, in which the kingdom celebrated reaching the milestone of 1500 members. To commemorate this event, Fangorn held three special events and RPGs, dedicated to the 1499th, 1500th, and 1501st Ent, respectively. First was the Ent Drive, a diced game, in which it fell upon participants to assemble a statue of Treebeard from pieces being held hostage by six squirrels. A complicating matter was the fact that after each update, the squirrels switched pieces! Another activity involved a costume party, in which participants role-played their favorite Middle-Earth resident, and the person who correctly guessed the most won a prize. Finally, our generous residents Valies, Achoo and Roh, gave every forest dweller who filled out a "a cENTsus/tax-return" form a 58-point rebate!
Fangorn's regular RPG's have been blooming, as well. The Moonlit Musings is a thread where Ents and others can develop their characters for the various RPG's we have in the Forest. One such RPG is the new Next-Gen Old Man Willow, in which you, humble reader, are invited to play an Ent applying for the position of Old Man Willow, as he is retiring. We also have The Eagles' Eyrie, in which participants can sharpen their skills role-playing eagles. The Shadowfax in Hiding RPG has been extended. In this RPG, Ents and other forest dwellers seek to provide Shadowfax with safe haven from the various Istari looking for him before Gandalf gets upset!
On the artsy side of the forest, the Coppice of Creativity has been the posting place of beautiful artwork and such done by residents of the Forest. Lomeanor Laughter of Sprouting Spring, the successor to Fangorn's Picture Improvement Society, has created a caption contest with a twist. Instead of just creating a caption for the picture, participants may use Photoshop or another similar program to distort the picture, making it as funny (or stupid) as one may desire. The Crafts Guild has also been restarted. For those who need furniture or other items, visit the Crafts Guild. For those more interested in theatre, the Entish Acting Society has reformed itself. There seems to be a great interest in the stage, and sign-ups are taking place now, while the company is voting on a play to perform for all of Middle-Earth.
In InterKingdom events, Fangorn's Squizzle Racing Team started their season with a strong win over Mordor. Our beloved ruler Thom and his squizzle Rusty were the individual winners. Sadly, Fangorn's IK Drill Team will not be making the playoffs, but have had a very good season and have lost many matches by just one question. Fortunately for Fangorn's loremasters, Fangorn has been allowed to form its own Junior Drill Team. The Junior Drill season starts on May 29th and is being watched over by Fangorn's own ElendilTheFair, lovingly known in the forest simply as Elendil. Fangorn's Debate Team has just been reorganized, as well, and now falls under the more general category of Keepers of the Lists, with the Drill Team. Keepers of the Lists is now under the leadership of Mighty Ent Man and Elendil. Also, drillers will look to Lillyth for their leadership, and Star Flower has taken charge of the debaters.
That's it from the forest for now. I remain, your humble correspondent, Nav, the Sentient Veggie.
The tower has never been so busy, what a time to be in Orthanc! The biggest news of course is Saruman. Yes, we know he went bad, that's old news. And we know he was stabbed by Gríma too. No, I have something else to tell you! Since YaWorm wore the Saruman face we have seen a relatively well behaved white wizard, but all that is about to change. Worm has found that she no longer has time for planning world domination or breeding new species, and so she has traded the palantir and white hair for her regular pointy hat. The sad Istari were rather cheered up however as we welcomed Trillian into her penthouse suite in Orthanc. Trillian, also known as Lali, has already made a start on her evil plans. An army of orcs, Uruk-hai and other evil creatures is currently gathering below the dungeons and are even now making their way through the tunnels to cause mass destruction. I can not say what the plans are, but they are still calling for more troops in The Calling of the Uruk Hai.
To breathe some fresh air through the dusty tower, the Istari have all put their heads together and decided to run the Festival of the Five, where we are celebrating the arrival of the original five Istari in Middle Earth. Numerous activities have already begun, with more to open shortly. Proving popular is Wizard's Wisdom, a simple lore game but one with pretty grids (if I may say so myself) for the chance and luck element. There is a dunk tank for the rulers, a Lookalike contest where the contestants must dress and act like one of the original five wizards, Radagast's aviary, and there is plenty of entertainment in the form of Rhunish music, the Festival fun in the main hall and the Pub is providing usual drinks and not so usual music with an exclusive performance of the Band with rocks in! You will also find a wizard poetry contest, a lore discussion about the Istari, a story caption contest and a collection of challenges in Puzzles of the White Hand. Soon to open is a Balrog Battlefield and a game where Gandalf supporters will go face to face with Dumbledore's supporters.
All the activities are open to members of any kingdom, and the regulars are still open so there is plenty to see and do. Orthanc is always open!
For sure the most attractive new activity in Khazad-dûm, this month, was the opening of the Khazad-dûm Festival. While it was opened for two weeks, the Festival (and consequently, the Kingdom) was visited by many foreigners and counted with the help of an endless number of Dwarves, who organized and participated in the activities offered by it. Game of luck, wisdom, imagination and creativity, many could be the choices of the visitors. All the games had prizes and the winners received tribute.
However, now that the Festival is closed, the Kingdom must turn to other important business...
The new 'attack' of the Rulers to renew the Kingdom Pages distinguishes from everything else. After the contest for the update of the Dwarven FAQ, it is now the time for a couple of more sections, which must be finished within two weeks.
The Rulers have also created a survey which all the regular visitors of Khazad-dûm are expected to answer, although it isn't obligatory and the identity of the writer can remain in secret, using a special e-mailadress. In order to improve the Kingdom, the Rulers want to know the opinions to strike with precision and efficiency on Khazad-dûm disadvantages.
Following the same line, the Rulers have also closed all the threads and to begin a major revamp. Only the vital threads and the threads concerned with discussions were kept open. Every two days, a list of two or three threads is voted on to know which threads should be closed permanently and which ones should return after the revamp. The Rulers are also asking for new banners for the threads, to update everything and show a new image in the future.
This means the entire Kingdom will be busy with the revamp for the nearest times. However, it doesn't mean that the Kingdom can't be visited by newcomers. To turn the changes into real Plaza life, the Queen opened a RPG in which a massive flood enteres Khazad-dûm and is destroying nearly everything. People from other Kingdoms can also participate, as long as they NPC a Dwarf character.
So, for this month, this is everything I can say. Hope you have enjoyed reading the article!
The Ranger Games, that started last month, continued with the Melee fight. It was a great victory for Etharei and the Ehtyar (spearmen). She knocked out all of her opponents without even having a scratch herself. The Command Team remains in the lead with two of the five events finished. The next event is the Joust.
The Minas Tirith Drill Team ended the regular season with a crushing victory over Imladris, securing the third spot in the overall ranking, thus securing the play-off position. The first match will be against the Shire.
Minas Tirith also hosted two brand new games. "Tolkien Jeopardy" by Elenaran and "Laieboat Races" by the famous Laielinwen. All the games are very fun for our current 4995 members. Yes, 5 more and Gondor will have 5000 inhabitants!
Last but not least, a new set of SCR ranks has been introduced, with more Numenorean faces, with special thanks to Peeg for making them.
Azrubel Dakora - Elendil
Curubethion - Anarion
Natulcien - Amandil
Pele Alarion - Isildur
Surion - Ar-Pharazon
One of the Gondorians also received a ATR, congratulations to Finduilas for Uinen!
Suilad mellyn nín, Westu Hal! to all of you in the great land of Imladris. It gives me great honor to, once again, bring you news from afar, the lands of the Horse Lords. This month has indeed been a most exciting one. To begin with, the Interkingdom Races have been underway. The Riddermark won both races against the Shire in week one, then won yet again against Valinor in week two. Both close races to say the least, but those raccoons just weren't to be set back. Then with all the activities of the springtime festivities coming to an end, the winners were all brought together in the Spring Dance and well rewarded. The Ik Poetry Team had just ended Round 6 and didn't fare so well, but with a few of their members out, and now with some new ones in, they should once again answer the call in Round 7. With Annavalla being RoTm (Rider of the month ) and the winners of the Scr's, who all earned their status, we are all proud of each and everyone. For this month they are :
Nieriel - Shadowfax
Erkendorn - Hama
Gecko - Windfola
Ithil - Freda
Ghyslaine - Erkenbrand
As for other news, as you all know, Lord Elrond himself sent a delegation of elves to our lands to acquire some much loved horses. All seems to be going grand here, some wonderful looking steeds being bought and/or traded. You should stop by and see all whos buying them. Our Art Guild has really been doing a wonderful job inspiring all those with so many talents also. Stop by and take a look at some very beautiful drawings, pictures. Well that's it for this month, until we meet again, hannon le for reading what's going on in the land of the Horse Lords.
Finduilas was the daughter of king Orodreth, Lord of Nargothrond, sister to Gil-galad and grandniece to Galadriel. Like all from Finarfin's house, she too had golden hair. Her love was Gwindor, prince of Nargothrond, and fearless warrior. And their love was mutual. Because of her beauty he named her Faelivrin, meaning ''Gleam of the sun on the pools of Ivrin''. But he went to Nirnaeth Arnoediad, against the will of the king, and was captured and enslaved to Morgoth for almost two decades, until he managed to escape. He came to Nargothrond, bringing Turin with him, but his name was not revealed as such, but Agarwaen. Elven maiden fell in love with the human, against her will. And he loved her too, but he declined it in respect of Gwindor. When he learned that he revealed Finduilas his real name, trying to help Turin and Finduilas by bringing them together.
In the fall of 490 Nargothrond's army was heavily defeated by orcs and dragons of Morgoth at Tumhalad field, where Gwindor and Orodreth were killed. Then Glaurung cast a spell on Turin when he and small group of remnants wanted to save the women and children from the ruins of Nargothrond, while Finduilas was dragged pass by him, shouting his name in vain. Because of the spell, he did not listen to elven maidens cries, but abandoned her when he went searching for his family. She and other captives were slain by the orcs when a small group of men of Brethil was trying to save them from the hands of orcs, at the Pass of Teiglin. Her last words were addressed to Turin, as her body was pinned with a spear on a tree. Turin learned of all this news more than a month later, when he came back, learning the deceit of Glaurung. The men of Brethil, the Haladin, burried her in Haudh-en-Elleth, Mound of the Elf-maiden.
Dipthongs in Quenya
A diphtong is a vowel combination in a single syllable involving a quick but smooth movement from one vowel to another, often interpreted by listeners as a single vowel sound or phoneme. In Quenya we have two groups of them, one in ''I'', and other in''U''.
The one in''I'' contains AI, OI, UI.
The one in ''U'' contains AU, EU, IU.
AI – has the sound of letter I, or as first two letter in eye.
Example: laita – verb ''bless''.
OI – this one corresponds to the letters''oy'' in word toy.
Example: coimas – ''elven-bread'' (lembas)
UI – may sound like letters ''ooy'' in the phrase ''too young'' *
Example: luine –''blue''
AU – to be pronounced very similar to sound of letters ''ow''in the english words ''how'', ''cow''
Example – hauta – verb ''to cease''
EU – it doesn't appear in English, so spanish word ''deuda'' (debt) will have to do. It is very rare in Quenya.
Example: leuca – ''snake''
IU – it may sound like in english word ''yule''. Very rare combination in Quenya.
Example: tiuca – ''thick''.
*Be aware when you come to a word containing qui , for this is not a diphtong ''ui''in it. It is in fact ''cwi'', for ''qui'' is much better way of spelling. For example Orqui = Orcwi.
Other groups of vowels do not form diphtongs, but are in hiatus, meaning they should be pronounced distintively as two sounds, not one. They are ea, eo, ie, io, oa. To emphasise this, Tolkien used diareses for reminding (we talked about it in the last edition), so we have ëa (Eä), ëo (Eö), oë, ië (when e is final) and oa (sometimes Tolkien used öa in his manuscripts, simply to emphasise it should not be pronounced together).
Examples of vowels in hiatus:
laurëa – ''golden''
coa (cöa) – ''house''
Eö l – name of the spouse of Aredhel , löendë - ''year-middle''
tië – ''path''
aipio – ''plum tre, cherry tree''
See you soon!
With help from: Ardalambion.
Dale Brand Biscuits
While I was in Mirkwood I ate some of these savoury biscuits, and managed to coerce one of the bakers in Dale to give me the recipe. These are perfect spread with butter, cheese or similar toppings. Keep these in an airtight container.
175 g/6 oz self-raising flour
a good pinch of salt
65 g/2 1/2 oz margarine
1 beaten egg
1. Sift flour and salt into a bowl.
2. Rub in margarine.
3. Mix to a firm dough.
4. Roll out on a floured board to 7 mm/1/4 inch thick, cut into rounds and place on a baking sheet.
5. Bake in moderately hot oven, Gas 6, 400 F, 200 C, for 15-20 minutes until golden.
6. Remove from oven and, when cool enough to handle, split in half with a sharp knife.
7. Return rusks to the oven, cut side up, for 5 minutes longer to dry and colour a little.
8. Turn onto a cooling wire.