Parth Canthui ~ Volume IV
Pennas Tuilë ~ April Issue

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Night lay on the northern lands as 'mid the barren stone
Wrapped in ancient memories of grief I lay alone
And watched the dying embers fade beneath the starless sky
As stinging fell the winter rain on broken ground to lie.

As I dreamed in loneliness, the rain upon my face
The west wind came and whispering drew me in its embrace
And in that wind I caught the sound of harpstrings struck afar
And borne upon its sighing breath a voice that nought could mar.

It sang of light and fearless night and stars before the dawn
The memory of deathless lands was woven in its song
A joy beyond all sorrowing, and tears as sweet as wine
When clear the Elven laughter fell as rain on lands divine.

It sang of the first rising of Tilion's vessel white,
Each falling note sprang flowering 'fore Arien's golden light
Like gems the stones cast back the light as the bright radiance grew
And in the vanguard of the wind clear silver trumpets blew.

It sang of ships upon the waves, white-mantled in the spray
The Sea sent up its musics deep to greet the rising day
As through the sable wrack of clouds by rising tempests torn
Eärendil's star came riding, the herald of the Morn.

In woven woods upon the hills the west wind paused to dance
And played amid the birches white harmonies to entrance
Then swift it leapt away again, on wings of song released
And sped unto the mountains' feet, where suddenly it ceased.

Then lo! I woke, and wondering, beheld the somber day.
The wind was stilled, and silence filled the hollow where I lay
But faint and far I heard it call as from the north it fled
And hearkening still I rose and west my following feet were led.

Bitter was that road, and long, and comfortless and grey
And many suns and many stars set on my lonely way
Until at last the mountains' horns behind me towering lay
And looked I down on a deep vale just at the break of day.

Above the deep blue shadows hung gold mist upon the fells
Across the foaming waters tolled the song of silver bells
The dark trees kindled to green flame as the new morning broke
And in the towers beyond the falls clear Elven song awoke.

'Tarry here, O wanderer,' the gentle breezes sighed,
'For thy long and lonely road behind at last doth lie;
Lay aside thy sorrowing, and leave behind regret
Let our sweet song ease thy grief, though you cannot forget.'

So I tread the hidden path and crossed the stony ford
And in court of Elrond's house I laid to rest my sword.
Winter's chill gave way to spring and old wounds ceased to pain
My heart was healed with each new dawn, and I learned to smile again.

And still I tarry in the vale beneath the misty hills
While without the wayward wind bears fortune where it wills,
And though in time I'll forth again on yet unknown travails
Ever my feet will here return until the last ship sails.

~Morfindel

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Guilds and Groups

Army Report

      

After some quiet time in the Host, where some elves could breathe easily, thinking that the valley is safe again and others were just worried about the defenselessness of their home, the Headquarters were opened again, after a thorough re-decoration, meaning to make the Host more elven-like.

From now on, the Host will be much less organized-there will only be three captains (Anarie, Aduchil, Rilome) along with the captain of honour (Laebeth). There will not be any regiments or ranks, nor officers. The soldiers will be honored by the missions, battles and training they have taken part in and consequently the veterans shall be chosen. There shall be no uniforms and before every mission, necessary requirements will be stated, so warriors shall have the chance to choose their positions and weapons themselves. But, during stealth missions, different shades of earthly brown and green for the sake of camouflage shall of course be required. Among the missions, more stress shall be put on patrolling the neighborhood lands, and the promise of more games in Rivendell also looks good!

All the soldiers have to sign up anew-who doesn't show up until March 13th shall be taken off the Army list. Already, a new renovated Meeting Hall have been opened, and all of the Army Barracks are already gone. A group of hunters have left Imladris, hoping to bring some meat back to the Valley. They have now found quite a lot of boars, which are known for their stoutness-they are quite difficult to kill! Here's to hope that nobody of the hunters shall get hurt and that upon their return, a feast can be held to celebrate it! (What else has a soldier to do, anyways?)

To sum up, a quote from Aduchil:
"Basically, we want to move the Army to something much more Elven, and make us a part of Imladris as much as possible. We want the role-play to be interesting and changing, and deal with all the aspects of a warrior's life, not merely the occasional battle."

~Tinessael

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Gwaith i-Nestoer

      

      

The business of so many patients last months have finally gone down a bit to quiet. Some of our healers have taken a healthy turn in our beautiful healing gardens to find new spirit between the off shooting trees and the opening flowers. The spring is doing its best in our healing garden again. Our new Tanestor Ancalima is doing her best in her new role. Her start has been quiet so far. Wilara, our receptionist, and Alaele, one of the permanent Taidors, helps us out as always with their unexhausting love for this beautiful place.

Among our patients are still two representatives Gecko and Ciarda from the lands of Rohan, taking a turn in the healing gardens. Then there have been a few injuries, Amrune and Ness. One less favoured event has taken place and that is the visit of an inspector. Jeckshun came to inspect the healing room, spoke to some Nestoer and took notice if everything was done by protocol. He came as representative of the Arda Health Service. There is no news yet out if all is all right to his opinion.

The Taidor program is running good, although there are still free spots for those who like to become a taidor. So if you read this and think it is something for me, feel free to come to our house and inform there to Arwil or Ancalima.

For the rest, I wish you to find enlighten of body and spirit when you enjoy the spring around you. Take care. If you need our help, then come to us!

~Lady Aikári

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Artists

      

The Hall of Writings has been a quiet and peaceful place since March began - almost sleepy as there have been few visitors, but this apparent lack of activity belies the quality of the verse and songs that have been written and uttered within this inspirational place. Of course there has been activity here and there, including a hint of burgeoning romance or at least a slow-burning meeting of minds perhaps.

It being early spring in the north the weather, as usual, has been very fickle with the sun hiding itself as often as not, and then shining forth with an icy wind stealing any warmth it might have bestowed on us. Nimras treated us an evocative piece speaking of rain and wind stealing life and hope away and then a newcomer from Fangorn, Haysend, joined us and presented another weather-inspired verse on the travels of the Grey Pilgrim. The young sapling was eager to share comments on the works of others including a song I had made on the beauty and brevity of love between the Kindreds, a perennially attractive theme for me of course, being a peredhel. I had a very satisfying conversation with the young Enting before I had to leave for a while with my gwador, Laifana.

And while April got underway the Halls were quite silent, only disturbed by the scratching of pens revealing the genius and delicacy of work from my good friends Feowen and Saranna, dealing with the glory of love and the power of spring to inspire the bards to fill the halls with song and light. On my return my head was full of the thought of homecomings and the sailings of the Eldar from the Havens to Aman, which inspired a song inspired by the pilgrims' journey into Valinor's bliss. And in the last few days we have been treated to a soldier's battle song, poignant and real from Tinessael and finally a thoughtful and touching piece on exile and coming home from Laifana. Many and varied works in the Halls these past few weeks, but all reflecting our theme of Knowledge.

Elsewhere in Glirdain we have seen two other homecomings of two former stalwarts of the Guild and House Members returned to the Valley and to the Guild – Faele and Eliendriel and look forward to seeing them a lot more in the Halls and also in the Rainbow's End. Our Bardic Inn has been celebrating almost non-stop since February 14 th it seems with birthdays, plazaversaries, homecomings and currently the honoured presence of Gildor Inglorion paying a very convivial visit accompanied by our treasured Ann-thannath. All in all a very interesting and happy start to the season and the New Year, which also saw some excellent work in the Poetry and Story-telling contests for the Edenidhrinn Festival.

~Janowyn

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Artists

      

We started March with a very interesting theme – Friends and Foes – had a major hiccup during the following couple of weeks and ended with a really full and colourful thread. Living in such a friendly place as Rivendell and being such friendly people, our contributors, including Aldoriana, Cym and Twiggy Lara (now Sniky!), mostly came up with some truly stunning portraits of friends in various guises including Istâréndil, Feowen, Cajsa Arkenstone, Ann-thannath, Alaya and Saranna, . However, being a crusty old warhorse myself, I flushed out a 'friend of a foe', the foe being Khamul the Easterling Ringwraith (as SCRed with a great deal of panache in February by Gaurlukh) who is currently causing me no end of grief in another RPG (it was the Witchking of Angmar that I actually drew). Fuin Elda – a crusty warhorse perhaps but not old of course - * hugs Fuin* also came up with a really evil friendly foe in a 'lovely' ink drawing of the minion Rings – complete with wriggly grave worms having a chomp on her quite pretty face. Pretty for a Barrow Wight anyway…

The major hiccup was the departure of my fellow curator and good friend Laifana. He left under a cloud, but I do not wish to dwell on the whys and wherefores as they are in the past now. His absence created a vacancy for a new curator, and as you all know by now, I was joined on March 12 th by an excellent and enthusiastic administrator in the lovely shape of Ellitarë. From that point is was 'business as usual' but we also had a couple of excursions from the theme and more usual contributions by looking at the brilliant landscape application Terragen, as used with increasing verve and fluency by our own Arwil and several other people in the Valley and a preview of ArtRage, an ingenious and realistic computer painting programme which is also causing a stir in digital art circles.

So, after a bad start, we ended March on a high note and entered April with an intriguing competition 'Tapestry of Spring' to welcome the new season and the Elven New Year which ran for the duration of the Edenidhrinn Festival. Artists from all over the Plaza were asked to produce a 'patch' for the tapestry depicting a seasonal slice of ME. ArtRage was our 'preferred' programme and many entries used it to great effect. Our winners were – 1 st place - Cym, 2nd place – Trellie and 3rd place – Arwil. All our entries were used to create a unique mural for Lord Elrond's Secret Garden and as everyone who entered had such a great time we are seriously considering going for the full set and running three more competitions for the other seasons too!

Our monthly thread for April was similarly concerned with the green season and we have had some truly amazing interpretation on the theme of 'New Growth' which seemed appropriate as this is the start of a new growing year and a kind of rebirth for the EAA after the sadness of March. We saw some of the entries for 'Tapestry of Spring' popping up again, some stunning bits of paper clay sculpture from Lord Ulmo (Tari Boffin of course) in the form of trees and talans and a very appropriate photographic submission of daffodils from Trellie. This latter has sparked a mini debate as we do not often have photos in our threads, but it has been decided that we would like to change this and include 'art' photography in future, as we are about to implement a new thread policy to reflect current thinking on copyright requirements, so far as artwork on the Plaza is concerned.

So this is where you heard it first folks! From May onwards the EAA will run two themed threads each month. One will be more or less as we have it now, with an Artist of the Month elected at the end – but for original work only – this will still include digital work where it has been wholly generated and/or sourced from the author's own hands or mouse, and of course the traditionally produced and scanned drawings, paintings and sculpture etc. The new thread will be run more like a discussion forum and encompass work like digital collages and photo-manipulations that has been sourced from other artists and sites – 'non-original' work if you like, and also standard and digital photography, possibly in the form of workshops or 'before and after' articles. We haven't quite worked out the details for the new thread but there will be no voting and it will be more of a kind of 'sharing work with friends' ethos to it. This approach will safeguard copyright issues, as we will not be keeping these lively and fascinating works on permanent display in our galleries any more, which the Maia were increasingly concerned about. It is a compromise but means we can still celebrate and enjoy this vibrant and creative activity.

~Janowyn

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Teliol Mi Imladris

      

Dear friends,

I hope that things are all well back in Imladris, Spring is in the air and I cannot wait to be back in the Blessed Valley with you all. I trust you received my postcard last month?

Mirkwood Paintball is drawing to a close here; and before long several of the kingdoms should be receiving their tired and paint-splattered citizens back from the depths of Lasgalen. As I write to you now, Prince Legolas is performing a rather strange combination of a male-elf-courting-a-female-dance and male-warning-another-male-to-get-lost-strut, as two members of Team Imladris approach the talan simultaneously; Nienna and Aldudenie. I'm not quite sure which of them he is more likely to attract, but the results are sure to be interesting.

I hope to see you all soon in a week, by which time the victorious team will have emerged and a new game will begin in the Games Hall!

~NildeDulindilme

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The Drill Team

      

And again, back to drilling: Keepers of the List are on the roll again, 'measuring swords' with Meduseld Drill Tweam, in the match officiated by Faelminiel and Nemroth of Lothlorien. Imladris team undertook the journey to the fair lands of Rohan to enjoy sweet moments of lore-practice, as usual following the lead of Idril and Galen. The start of the match was marked by unfair ruling and the captains brought an appeal. Luckily, the Drill Council considered the complaint fair and the standings were reconsidered with Imladris team receiving new question. At the moment the match is at its height and all Valley dwellers are welcome to express their support and cheer for the drillers.

The current match is the penultimate one before the play-offs begin. It is sad to say but this season Rivendell is unlikely to take part in them, despite huge effort the members of the team put into every match. But let's not forget that the drilling is only a game after all and the aim of it is to brush up and deepen the knowledge of Master's works and they should not become the reason of grief or discord of any sort.

~Loriwaynen

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The Racing Team

      

This month was the last in the first season of the year of the racing and what an end it was! The Derby and the Champion's race went close to perfect, without any serious incidents. However, it does grieve me to see that of ten possible positions only eight persons used the chance to take part in the Derby! Final results were: The MT was third with a whole of 110 spaces (the best six of ten, you know the system), Mordor was second with 122 (Seems like there is still some luck in Mordor left!) and the first place went to the Riddermark with whole 122 spaces! But there are all riders anyways. Imladris was exactly in the middle with our fifth place and 105 points!

In individual count, first place went to Webit of the Shire (30 spaces), second place to Dirina the Rider with 29 spaces and the third place went to me (!) and Loony of the Shire with 27 spaces.

Whole of seven elves got the right to participate in the race if champions: Elilea, Merl, Arwil, Gala, Haldriel, Iruviel and Nenuphar. Unfortunately, only four of them posted, but-BUT, our own team captain Gala was third in the race, reaching 21 spaces! Only Webit with 24 spaces and Brillonien with 23 spaces could overcome her and her cheetah Smoosh.

After brief discussion of cheering squad and an incident with Eithil, who nearly turned all of the cheetahs into giraffes in the beginning of April, was time to get all serious again. The team's colour orange was often confused with Manwe Gold of Rohan and Vaire Orange of Valinor… So after official voting, the official colour is now Vana Red! (yeah, I know, bleak and not so bright, but at least it is unique!)

The Next season will start in May, so stay tuned!

~Tinessael

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Annals of Imladris

Edenduath Eriol ~ A New Shadow Rising

      As at last the Captains of the West gazed upon the destruction of Barad-dûr, and the three standards of the Edain (the silver swan-ship of Dol Amroth on blue, the white stallion on green, and the white tree with the King's insignias on black) were raised together on the fields of Cormallen, there came a time of joy, and light and merriment. For with the desctruction of the One Ring, Sauron the Deceiver had been defeated at last.

With victory also came loss; for at the time of the Destruction, the Three Elven Rings also lost their power, and the time of the Elves was coming to an end. There were but a few years left for them in Middle Earth, and after that period, the Last Ship would set sail. The Valley of Imladris was a place where laughter and songs could still be heard, in spite of the sadness that was creeping into the hearts of the Eldar. And yet…

A sudden hush has fallen over the Valley. Elves now seldom travel alone, but always in twos or threes. There is something in the air, that none can put his finger on. And most importantly, the lord Elrond has pulled out of public life, and abides now only in his private study. Brief glimpses of him can be seen through the window from time to time. The Elves are worried; what is keeping their lord at bay? What interests could he have found in his study, which have not already been found?

As an answer to those questions, a group of Elves has assembled and is now making its way to request a private audience with Elrond. Among them are soldiers and scholars alike, women and men.

Anyone may join at any time! This RPG is something to give you a taste of what it is like when the power of the Eldar is fading. There are many things in store for the participants, so do not hesitate to take part!

~Anárië Éltanë

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Northern Watch: The Shadow of Hithaeglir

      In the cold loneliness of the mountains, Elves fought beside Men, beating down their foul foes, and bringing light to fatigue and despair. Glorfindel led them, and the Dúnedain marvelled at the warriors that came in need and stood their ground, fair and resolute. The battle died like the flame of a campfire in the rain, for it became obvious that the Yrch had no chance against the multiplied forces of Elves and Dúnedain.

At last, when the metal clanging had stopped, and those of the Orcs that had not been killed, fled, the warriors allowed themselves a breath of relief. Those wounded in the rage of battle, were tended by the wise Elven healers immediately, and many were saved, though not all. A clear song of lament rang over the remnants of the battle, calling to all open hearts, and bringing comfort to those that were grieving. Fires were lit, to warm spirits as well as hands stiffened by the hard grips of the swords.

Meanwhile, Glorfindel surveyed the scene and together with the Captains of the Dúnedain agreed that they should get back to the Hidden Valley as soon as possible. With all essential arrangements made, the mixed company set off on a way much more pleasant that both companies had been on before, in spite of wounds and fatigue. All the eyes, as all the hearts, were turned towards the goal of their journey – the Last Homely House, that after battle and danger would bring them rest and safety at least for a while. When at last the group reached Imladris, Elves greeted them there, and the weary warriors got what they longed for – delicious food, reviving sleep and exploring walks around the Valley, with its marvels and its grace.

Yet, not all were engaged so pleasantly, for the Council of Elrond was gathered, and Men and Elves together talked about the menace of the North, and received the wise word of the Master of Rivendell.

Decisions are made, and wounds healed. It is time to move on again. But for a warrior, what is better than to fight for peace and safety of Middle-earth? Come, mellon, and may the Valar watch over us.

~Feowen

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Edenidhrinn ~ Celebrating the Elven New Year

      Edenidhrinn, the Elven New Year, fell twixt March 28th and April 11th, and contests sprung up all over Imladris for Elves and visitors to prove their skill in the arts. The winners of the different contests are as follows:

Art Contest ~ Spring Tapestry
1st - Cym~
2nd - Trellie
3rd - Arwil

Storytelling Contest ~ Woeful Weather
1st - Melyanna Falas
2nd - Quill
Joint 3rd - Lilu Olnathron and Iruviel

Poetry/Song Contest ~ Renewal
1st - Morfindel
2nd - Itarilde Ranien
3rd - Feowen

Language Contest
1st - Númellotë
2nd - Ancalima
3rd - Melyanna

Gift of the Lady ~ Lore Game
Joint 1st - Elenaran, Erunáme, Melyanna, Elendil
2nd - Rinerion
3rd - Morgoth

Lore Quiz
Apprentice level:
Winning Team: Tinessael, Eithon
Runners-up: Pip Reonyea, Luinereg

Student level:
Winning Team: Illuve, Hithlum, Edan, Feowen, Iruviel
Runners-up: Nessila, Nimras, Thali, Tolotos

Senior Level:
Winning Team: NildeDunlindilme (captain), Ar-Sakalthor, Nienna Tindolme,
Phil_d_one, Elmavoitë
Runners up: Ann-thannath, Inwe Lythian, Rinerion, Melyanna Falas

Loremaster Level:
Winning Team: Mrs Daywalker, Woggy, Elendil, Fael
Runners up: Serveanthesia, Daywalker, Elenhir, Morgoth Bauglir, geordie

The standard of entries for everything was fantastic, and everybody had a lot of fun, making the Edenidhrinn festivities a great success!

~Pip Reonyea

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Spirit Renewed

Inside my mind the sun shines bright
A beautiful place for me to rest
Under a sky of brilliant blue
Upon a lawn of soft green grass

I wade here inside my mind
Along the pathways of thought
In search of a place to heal
The hurts of a long day

Inside my mind the peace I find
Gives me strength and courage
To look at what lies beyond
A new day, a new challenge

~Erunáme

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Feature Articles

April Fool's

      Ahh, April, a month full of festivities, pranks, and other such merriment. As March 31st drew to a close, seasoned plazaites began to view everything anybody said with an unhealthy degree of cynicism. This year, we would not be caught unprepared!

To the astonishment of many, a new kingdom was formed, viewable from both drop-down menus and the forum page. The Kingdom of the Eagles it was, and many who wished for a tenth kingdom wiggled excitedly in their seats. A sign adorned the entrance to this kingdom, declaring it to be under construction, and entry forbidden until an announcement was made. Plazaites demonstrated their traditional obedience and entered anyway. To everybody's great shock, it took them straight to Valinor! Or so it seemed, for when they looked upon the thread titles, no matter who viewed it, every single one was about them. No new kingdom then.

Elves found themselves Ninja Wizards for the day and Alkthoniel and Narguzir swapped ranks so that Ally was the Witchking and Narg was Manwë. Ally promptly led an attack on Imladris, where the Ninja Pirates fought bravely 'gainst minions and, in some cases, other Ninja Pirates. Instead of returning us to our normal ranks, Eithil and Tinw announced that henceforth the only ranks would be 'Flower of Imladris' and 'Jewel of Imladris', causing a coup in the CofA that involved a lot of corsets, flirting, and almost-swordplay. At one point the Lord Glorfindel found a fair maid sitting on his knee plaiting his hair. He seemed alarmed by this. Anyway, as all things do, April Fools came to an end, leaving the Elves free to celebrate their new year.

~Pip Reonyea

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Meeting Ellitarë

On a warm spring morning in April, I visited Ellitarë in her studio for a little chat. Elli was, as always, very sweet and congenial, inviting me in and making me feel at home. As I looked at some of her works hanging about she got some ice tea for us. After she came back into the room we sat and began to talk. Smiling I asked Elli how she came across the LotR Plaza. Elli took a sip from her glass, then answered: “I believe I was looking for knowledge tests when I stumbled across the plaza. I was searching through google and the plaza’s name popped up more than once. I didn’t join in immediately, I think it was after the fourth time I saw it. At first I didn’t even notice that there was this big forum attached and that so many fans from all over the world were members”, she finished saying with a silly smile on her face to show how she could not believe she had not seen the size of the Forums and amount of members. “Do not worry, Elli,” I said giggling. “The count of moments when I have gone dizzy in the Plaza are too great to count.”

On my question as to whether she had always been a Rivendell elf, or whether she had tried out any other kingdoms, Elli waited a moment before answering. “Well, she began, “Once an elf, always an elf. At least, that’s my decision. Ever since I read LOTR I have been interested in elves. Therefore it was no tough decision to choose which kingdom I would join. Though I still had the choice between Lorien and Rivendell, I don’t know why I chose the last one, I just felt right. It has always been Rivendell and will always be. I feel right at home here and I see no reason for me to leave my home.” I knew what she meant. I told her that I started out in Lothlórien myself and wanted to spread my wings, but could not picture myself being anything other than an elleth.

“What drew you to becoming an elf?” I asked.

“As I said, ever since I read the books I have been interested in elves and their race, language and culture. I started reading about elves and their history and I noticed that a lot of my personality would fit in the mind of an elf. I love art, dancing, singing, and I also love to watch the stars. Somehow it just seemed to fit, I don’t know why,” Elli answered thoughtfully.

“You know, Elli,” I said to her, smiling warmly, “I have seen your artwork all around the plaza. Are you your own worst critic?”

“Ha, good one,” she said with a broad smile. “I think so, yes. Before I started to present my work to others, I didn’t really care for my quality. Of course I wanted my pieces to be good, but if something didn’t work out the way I hoped, I wouldn’t mind. Now that I have my own gallery and the EAA and work on a lot of requests, I try to make everything perfect. I know that I’m not perfect and that my work is far from that, but I always try to improve and work on my flaws. I am very critical on my own work, but I rarely change a finished work. For instance, I have some portraits on which the eyes are too big, but I don’t change them anymore. I think I’m afraid to ruin it or something. Though if I make them for someone else, I am of course always willing to change it if they want any adjustments.

“What is your favourite type of pieces to do?” I asked as I took a swallow from my ice tea. “Pencils will always be my favourite tool to work with,” Elli answered enthusiastically. “I started out with them and I am still trying to get better. Along the way I have tried many different mediums, though. I also like to work with paint or clay, but I usually get more inspiration for a pencil drawing than a sculpture. Furthermore, I’ve worked with photography for a while and I made two dresses. But my favourite style is still working with pencils. As for the things I draw. I recently had a period in which I only drew people, mostly portraits. At the moment I’m trying different things and I’m working with different animal pictures to draw from. But that’s not all, I have many subjects for my work. Usually I just draw what comes to mind. Whatever catches my inspiration, I guess.”

Elli stood for a moment and opened a window to let more of the spring breeze in. After she took her seat once more I asked her whether it came as a surprise that she was recently promoted to help run the EAA, and what she felt when she first heard the news. Elli smiled softly and said: “Of course it was a surprise that they asked me to become curator, I mean, I’m just a simple elf, 200 days on the plaza or so. Furthermore, I certainly wasn’t the only one who worked with the EAA. Afterwards I can see why I was chosen and I understand their way of reasoning. I was very active and showed a lot of interest for a ‘newbie’ in the EAA. Ever since they chose me for the Eleidan College, I’ve tried to help as much as possible and take part in the discussions and that’s probably why they chose me. How I felt when I received the email? Well, there were some circumstances going on at that time that weren’t exactly pleasant, so I didn’t know what to think really. Of course I was honoured and pleased to know they thought of me and that I got the opportunity to become curator. I love art and I love the EAA, it’s a big part of my plaza life and my plaza life is a big part of my real life, so it meant a lot to me. Though, as I said, there were circumstances that were sad and hard and made for some awkward feelings. It was strange for several weeks, but now we got back on our feet and Janowyn and I are working hard with the Eleidan College and the contributors of the EAA to keep it running and to improve certain things.”

Giving her a moment to gather her thoughts, I then said to Elli: “You are an amazing artist, Elli, but you are also an incredible RPG’er. Is one inspiration for the other?

“Why thank you very much,” she said brightly. “I wouldn’t say I was all that amazing and incredible, but it’s always nice to hear compliments. I have never looked at it that way before. I’m not busy with RPG’ing the way I am with art. I do it because of the story and because of the people that play with me. I know what you’re thinking now; I’m not referring to one specific person. The story I post just pops into my mind as I go. So I don’t think I really get much inspiration from my art for a RPG. Though it is true that the stories I get involved in are often inspiration for artwork. On the Road Again has inspired me for some artwork and also the Cheetah Racing Team has set me to work on a drawing. That last one turned out to be one of my favourite drawings.”

I giggled. “Yes, I know it is Tolotos you speak of, who took over your place in the Eleidan College when you were promoted to CoCurator. He is a hair-pulling Elf he is, but sweet,” I finished saying while giggling. Elli laughed as well. We sipped a bit more at our glasses and enjoyed the breeze that moved the curtains about. “Elli, I began again, do you think Tolkien would have joined the plaza and if so, which kingdom?” After Elli had pondered a bit, she answered: I think he would certainly have been interested in the plaza. After all, it is a community set up by fans and it is about his books. I think he would have been interested in the comments. Though I’m not sure if he would have joined in. If he would, he would probably be a hobbit. If I remember correctly he thought his personality looked most like that of a hobbit.”

“If a new member asked you for some advice on how to make their Plaza experience fun and fulfilling, what would you say?”

“First of all,” Elli started, “I would say: “Don’t be shy”. I was very shy when I first started and I was too nervous to join in new things. I had a few places where I would go, but that was it. It was when I spent more time on the plaza that I also joined in new activities. I noticed that I missed out on a lot of fun that I could have enjoyed much sooner. So my advice would be to try new things and don’t be shy.”

”That is very good advice, mellon nín,” I said smiling. “Alas, Elli” I said rising, “I must take my leave before the whole of the day gets away from me.” Elli stood as well and said: “Let me impart some of my wise words. Too bad I don’t speak many wise words,” she added with a wry grin. “Well,” she continued, “some famous people used these words before me and I have no idea who came up with them but I send you off with this. Live each day as if it were your last, and watch out for hairpullers!” I laughed along with her, then hugging her and saying our good-byes, I left Elli’s studio. Walking along in the sun, I wondered to myself if many people knew truly how sweet Elli really is and what a wonderful giving friend she is as well.

~Tinuviel

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People Come, People Go

       Lately plazaites have witnessed many Rulers stepping down – some to assume the role of omnipresent Admins, others - to enjoy the sweet retirement and happy life of a regular member.

Fëawen, who was at first appointed to the role of weeping Nienna, assumed the rank of Estë (along with a pretty new icon) after the fabled Miss Luthy stepped down. But nature abhors a vacuum and another ruler of the Mark, Eléowyn, became Nienna in her place. This of course created a vacant place in the Riddermark, and Celinawyn soon stepped up and became fair Lady Éowyn of Rohan.

Fangorn, having recently burnt to the ground, said good-bye to MeaghanB, who had been both a dedicated and kind ruler. She was succeeded by none other than Thom, former poetry Maia. Thom’s position in the Maia team was given to Mr.Anderson, who now runs around the plaza in the shiny yellow boots of Tom Bombadil.

Khazad-dûm had to say goodbye to Opal Arkenstone, the true Queen of Durin's Folk, who had to abandon her rank due to RL circumstances. She now enjoys herself as a regular member of the plaza. Opal was succeeded by Alce Marille, who undoubtedly proved herself worthy of the honour, having contributed greatly to the prospering of the Dwarven realm.

Tari Boffin, the former Samwise Gamgee, has become the mighty Ulmo, Lord of Waters. But fear not – the Shire was left in the good hands of Feiniel, the co-captain of the Hobbit's Drill Team. She received the rank of Mayor of the Shire and now rules successfully alongside Anson.

And lastly, Seregon, the all-plaza beloved Vána, also gave up her Adminhood due to RL-obligations.

People come and go, and what can we do? We wish all of them the greatest luck and say a huge thank you for everything they have done to make the plaza the community we know today.

~Loriwaynen

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Fishing in the Rain

      "I just love these fishing trips don’t you Iru?"

The elf maiden looked down at her plump Hobbit friend as they headed down the lane. "Yes Merogo, indeed I do. These trips are always so much fun. Did Ahnna say if she would be able to make it?"

Merogo looked up at his Elven friend and smiled. "Yup she said she’d be there. And Onesephor said he was coming too."

Iruviel laughed. "I can’t believe Onesephor is finally getting out of the house. Well, it will be good for him. Besides, it’s not like we ever go swimming or anything like that."

The Hobbit shook his red head in agreement, "Nope, but ya did threaten to dunk ‘im in the river two years ago. And ya know quite well that he can’t swim."

Iruviel chuckled, "Aye, but I meant it only in jest." As the two rounded another bend in the road, the lake and their two friends came into view. Everything looked like this was going to be a beautiful spring weekend between friends. Of course things don’t always work out quite like we plan. Especially when nature is involved.

*crash*

"What in Arda were you thinking Merogo? You crazy tween. I ought to...."

Iruviel sighed, "I must agree with Ones this time Merogo. What did you think would happen if you poked the tent while it was raining?"

The hobbit whimpered, "I was just testin’ the theory’s all."

Ones growled, "You were testing the theory!? Iruviel and I both told you the tent would leak if you touched the roof. But apparently the word of two experienced travellers means nothing to you."

Merogo spoke up this time, "Well at least I don’t complain about bein’ hungry every five minutes!"

"I have not been asking that often. At worst I’ve been asking every half hour."

"Yeah and that’s just sooooo much better."

Iruviel sighed heavily glancing over at Ahnna. The arguing had been going on for two days straight now. The rain had started to pour no more than two hours after they had arrived. It was as if the sky had decided to open up and pour out every drop of water ever created. Due to being cramped into a small tent together for that much time, everyone had become quite grouchy. The latest escapade involved a bored hobbit poking at their tent to see if it would leak. Well it did leak; actually now they couldn’t stay dry.

Looking up at the roof, more water hit Iruviel’s face. This was ridiculous! If she was going to get soaking wet, she most certainly wasn’t going to do it inside a tent with two arguing Hobbits. They were leaving to go home tomorrow, and the Elf figured she might as well get some fishing done before they left. Anything was better than listening to these two while sitting in puddles of water! Crawling over the two Hobbits, she headed to the front of the tent. Ahnna called out over the noise, "Wait Iruviel, it’s raining!"

Her green eyes turned back to the human, "Yes, but thanks to Merogo we are going to get wet no matter what we do. I personally would rather stand outside and fish than listen to these two fight."

Saying nothing else, Iruviel left three bewildered mortals in her wake. Once outside, she grabbed her fishing pole and stood at the lake’s edge. Casting it out, she began to fish. Soon she was joined by Ahnna. And it was not long before Merogo and Ones joined them. Apparently everyone had enough of being cramped in the tent. So there they were all fishing in the middle of a thunderstorm. They looked quite ridiculous. And then a cry came from Onesephor, "Well look at that, I’ve got a bite!"

Ahnna called out next, "Hey, so do I!" Before long the group had caught more fish in twenty minutes than they had in any fishing trip they had ever been on. Soon they forgot about the tent and being soaked to the bone with rain, and started laughing and carrying on like you wouldn’t believe. Honestly, probably any who passed by that day, would think these creatures had lost their minds. So it turned out that the downpour was a blessing in disguise, for the friends had never had quite as much fun in all their lives.

~Iruviel

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Oldie Perspective

      

I found my way to the plaza in January of 2004 at the fresh young age of 18. Of course, at this time I thought I was much more sophisticated and mature than my peers. Only the latter of my assumption proved to be true. As I greet my 21st year in a matter of days (April 27), I look back and reflect on how much I have grown in the last two years.

When I first joined the plaza, I was as happy and carefree as any high school senior is expected to be. I spent a lot of time on the computer surfing the 'net, and it wasn't always for information on Tucana for my Astronomy term paper. (For those of you who don't know Tucana, the Toucan, is a constellation in the southern hemisphere that houses both Magellanic clouds.) It was actually a twist of fate that I even read LOTR to begin with. I wasn't paying attention in class and the teacher assigned it as an extra project. Needless to say, I got hooked. Over the course of the next couple of months, I made myself at home here and even got a couple of friends to join as well.

Then, on March 24, 2004 tragedy struck my family when my grandfather died. My peers couldn't see how if affected me, but when I came here a mess of tears that wouldn't be controlled, you all embraced me. Even though I knew none of you, I felt I had all the understanding and support of my family.

Over the course of the next six months, my life changed dramatically. I flew most of the way cross country to meet someone I had met online, and my position was very nearly compromised. When I got home (safely, I might add), I met someone whom I thought was amazing. After four months with him, it turned out he was only using me to make someone else jealous. My life began to take a downward spiral until I met Athion, a long lost friend, at Laebeth's insistence. We fell in love, and nearly a year later are still devoted to each other.

But, in October of 2005, six months ago, I took my last turn of severe depression. With help from many close friends, and the love I feel for Athion, I fought my demons and made my way through. It was an accomplishment to be proud of.

I'm telling this story for two reasons. The first, and perhaps most important being to show just how much I have grown these last two years. I am now more mature than I once believed myself to be. The second, perhaps most thoughtful, is to tell you all how much you have come to mean to me. You have all helped me shine through the toughest points in my life, for which I am ever grateful. If not for your caring and understanding, I may not have been here to tell you this story.

~ Emyla

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Newbie Perspective

      

Everybody might well be aware, Imladris is by far the most populated kingdom on the Plaza. There are more than eight thousands stray Elves roaming the forums, making our plaza brilliant, but not always finding their way to the jewel of it (forgive the pun) – the Imladris forum.

So it happened, that I, for one, opened it for myself only a little time ago, after more than a year of Plaza existence, and I cannot express in words how it affected me. I call myself now Newbie (not in the way I was when I had tried to post the Lament of the Winds all typed up in the Basic Lore three times in a row), even though I had never been to Newbie Hall, and never took part in Newbie RPGs, but I discovered Rivendell with the kind help and encouragement of the lovely creatures that dwell there, and never fail to fascinate and surprise.

It may not be novel to say there is no such place as Imladris on Plaza, as there are no such things sunny rain, warm storm and everlasting beauty, but everyday I see proof that we are getting there! And now I look at the forum page, and see familiar names and favourite icons, I read the color thread codes subconsciously; I can't help reading through loads of text because it's unique, I visit CofA daily just because it's fun to see our fabulous Rulers manage everything so gracefully, joking and smiling all along the way… To speak shortly (how I loathe that!), I now know by heart the thoughts of any respectable Elf: if there is no such thing as Eden in the world below the sun, there is one on Plaza.

~ Feowen

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Housecalls!

      

This month, I bring you to the home of Ann-Thannath, an active Drill Team member who has found time to go around kingdoms and post in various RPGs. Although the name of the house is the Rivendell Retirement Home, it is not just restricted to those 35 years and above! Everyone is welcome to join in the fun, even those young whipper snappers with all their teeth still intact.

Like all guests wandering into a strange home, I was drawn to the Welcome thread where several visitors have already posted, turning the thread into a pleasant chatting thread for all. Next, I came to the Poetry of Provender – the Recipe Thread, where people come to exchange their favourite recipes. Here's a thread fit for a hobbit!

The Murmuring Voices of Ann-T's house brought me to an RL discussion for political, social, metaphysical, philosophical and more issues. Then, I entered a thread named Bingo Game of May Madness for obvious reasons. I applaud the owner for being the first house I have ever reviewed to hold a bingo game. I wanted to join, but time was of the essence, and the editors were cracking their whips at me! Oops, I meant, encouraging me with positive praises and kind words…

As I have mentioned before, this Drill Team member has also opened a Tolkien Discussion thread called the Threadbare Tweed where members discuss, well, Tolkien related matters. Currently there is something going on about Elvish, and a question about Drakur! Go and see for yourself to know more.

The Kitchen (part of the rooms section) has already added two new dishes courtesy of Ann herself and Janowyn. The Bingo (or any silly games contrived) Hall of Fame, or also known as the Game Room is currently empty, probably because the game has not yet started. If you want your name immortalised on the walls of the Game Room, then come on over to sign up for the Bingo Game.

As a conclusion, this reporter would like two say two things: One, even though this is a Retirement Home, I can see that it is bursting with activity, which is something that few can pull off so well. Two, I am absolutely hungry after reading those recipes!

~Arwil

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Honoured Elves of April

      

Edenidhrimm was not yet in the air, but the spirit could be detected by the more than usual bustle amonst the Elves. Indeed, the month was busy, but not busy and tiring enough for the Elves to forget about their very own honoured ones.

As of every month, the Lords Elrond and Glorfindel gathered the Imladris folk above, on the hilltop and announced the names of those honoured by not only their kinspeople, but also the stars above. Amberle became Gil-galad for the month, Ann-Thannath was Gildor Inglorion, and Eglagaladiel was Erestor. All this was unexpected, for all have seen the amount of hard work they have put in for the valley.

Eglerio hym! Praise them with great praise!

~Keleos Nénharma

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Tidings from Abroad

Fangorn

This last month in Fangorn has been one with interesting circumstances! The start of the month was a chaotic one – Rohanna and Achoo took over the Kingdom and promptly turned it into a Purple Fiasco. All the threads were turned into tribute to Rohanna and every bit of the Kingdom was painted in a purple haze but luckily it was all soon over. With Fangorn's regrowth, we have found some interesting new threads which can pike up the interest from outsiders.

Fangorn has, at the moment, the best Thief Hunt on the plaza with two added functions. Instead of making it normal, Elendilthefair and I have worked on it and redone it completely. There are difficulty levels and even an RP prompt one can follow if one is in the mood. The Thief Hunt is called Rooting out the Thieves and we welcome all outsiders to come and take part in the amazing game.

Another worthwhile thread is Moonlit Musings, a thread where newbies and oldies alike can come and take part in developing or documenting their character. I find this useful for my NPCs who I haven't worked on in much detail. I would like to encourage newbies and Elves in Rivendell to use this useful thread to work on your characters. Andu and Roo have worked out set of questions that one can use to delve into their own characters.

Woodland Wanderings is Fangorn is a very open RP thread where you can come and RP in the area of Fangorn. It's a very loose thread so personal RPGs are allowed and welcome but there is always a main theme running through the thread, which you can follow if you have no inspiration. Another thread that might interest is Artists and Poets is the Coppice of Creativity. They welcome all sorts of submissions and there is even a competition running this month – so go and make a splash.

Fangorn has blossomed into one of the best Kingdom on the plaza, so make sure you share in all of its wealth of threads.

~Star Flower

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Isengard The Tower of Orthanc has been undergoing renovations recently, and many of our rooms have been given makeovers. The Old Angren Street Market has reopened with an abundance of new traders and shops, and is even welcoming the Circus and a variety of sideshows. We are also expecting an auction of closed shops as many of the owners have taken the ships to the West.

The Scholarly Sages of Erudition has also reopened under new management, and there is currently an in depth discussion underway as to whether Grima Wormtongue can be blamed for his actions, or if his corruption by Saruman can excuse him for what he did. The lorists are also contemplating the moment Grima sealed his fate; was it when he declined Theoden's offer, or when he took up allegiance with Saruman? Opinions are always welcome if you wish to join in the discussion, you will find them in the Isengard Library.

The Court Case of Grey Pilgrim vs. the Heren Istarion Elen (Isengard's publication) is still going strong, though I fear to say anything more with a large amount of evidence provided against the honesty and integrity of the prosecutor (me), including the following embarrassing gem of a quote: "Geeps: Khait, good work! Ult, you strike the orc hard with your invincible sword, I will hit him really hard with my staff, and that mighty blow will kill him. *hits Proof* See? He's dead! Now we can drink."

The paparazzi have been as strong as ever in the Tower as numerous palantíri pictures have been snapped of celebrities and their toys. These have proven to be a blast from the past as well as the traditional humiliation. Nobody was surprised that Legolas played with his own action figure, but the fact that nobody at the Council of Elrond could figure out the Rubik Cube, and that Gandalf shamelessly endorsed the Wiz Wheels Starter Set was rather amusing.

In other news, there has been a very pleasant Boat Cruise on the River Isen, led by the gallant Captain Nethron of the J.R.R. Tolkien, which has proven to be very popular among the Istari.

And that concludes this update, for the next report I'll be here same time same place next month! Or you could just mosey on to Isengard…

~Grey Pilgrim

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Khazad-dûm

The newest and most important announcement which comes from Khazad-dûm is the changing of Rulers! After months of Rulership, Cajsa (who recently changed her name to Opal Arkenstone), has stepped down from the Throne of the Dwarves and gave the position to Alce Marille, the new Queen of Khazad-dûm. Along with her, King Dain continues ruling the Kingdom.

The Anghak is passing by times of rebuilding. Although the RPG of the Mining Outpost of Gullveig wasn’t successful, due to a lack of soldiers, the Army has already organized a new one, with the new Officers who are capable of helping the Anghak. This time, due to a reinforcement in Erebor, the strong Dwarven soldiers have left their homes in Khazad-dûm and. Travelling towards the Kingdom Under the Mountain, they have crossed Mirkwood and successfully reached the Lonely Mountain, where Orcs were found close by.

Ránlindë and Elvensong have organized an interesting activity where all the Clans were called to participate. It is a Pub Brawl where four teams will enter. It has already completed two rounds; the first being between the Wise Kagams (Kagam’s Team) and the Morog Mad Miners (Morogs‘s Team). The winners of this turn were the Kagams. In the second round, the Yukogs with the Ironbellies and the Anxikogs/Merikhansar with the Wandered Boozers fought each other to learn who the better was. The Wandered Boozers proved to be greater and defeated the Ironbellies. No other round has started yet.

Another event that will involve a great number of Dwarves is the KD Festival. It is being organized by the Rulers of the Kingdom, by the mighty Ulmo (Tari), and many other Dwarves who are making their efforts to make the Festival come true. It hasn’t started yet, but many activities have already been discussed and some of the games can already be seen in the discussion thread.

The Rulers, to continue the work begun some months ago by King Dain, are also choosing Dwarves to remake the KD Pages. To this second wave, the first page chosen was the KD FAQ. If you have enough time to have a look, you will notice many things that no longer exist or that have been overtaken. In order to not cause any other misunderstandings and make newbies confused, these pages are being remade.

The Art Guild, which was one of Queen Opal’s last projects in the Kingdom, has proven to be a great addition to Khazad-dûm. In the thread, you can appreciate (and participate, if you join the Kingdom) the works. When a thread is over, the best works are selected and the creators rewarded. But usually, all the works are rewarded, if they have quality.

However, not all the plans were as good as the Art Guild. The creation of more Dwarven Only Threads was a bad thing, and did not add anything to the kingdom. For example, the Never Ending Story almost stopped, because many people who used to participate and make the thread fun were members from other Kingdoms. With a suggestion made by Tornihyanda and approved by the Rulers, some of these threads were shut and they returned to their normal way of work. The Never Ending Story can once more be visited by everyone and is now working much better.

The Thief Hunter has also suffered from alterations. Now (and following the work that is being done in many other Kingdoms), you will receive tribute if you hit the right combination, and the best RPGer of the game will also receive a couple of points. Besides, the game, which is now under the responsibility of Opal has also new places, gems and names of thieves, to make sure the game is still attractive, interesting and fun.

The list of Dwarves who received a Special Rank was released at the beginning of April. The honoured Dwarves were:

• Aisil – Durin’s Bane (March’s Dwarf of the Month)
• Katla – Smaug
• Cym – Thorin Oakenshield
• Marak RedIron – Gimli
• Tarinel – Bombur

And the Dwarf who received a Tribute Rank from the Administrators is:

• Drifa – Azaghal

And here I finish the Report of this month. I hope you have enjoyed reading it. But no matter what you thought of it, please, come to Khazad-dûm! If you don’t have a good reason, you can always come to reprehend me for holding you for so long!

~Tornihyanda

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Lothlorien

Lorien Many greetings from the Golden Wood! So, you all want to know what's been going on during the last month? Let me begin with the April Fool’s day. As you all probably know, the month began with mischief – the Elves woke up surprised and shocked, because the whole Forest had turned foo! Yes, you've read well – foo! Trees, grass, and talans were coloured in pink. By the wish of Lord Eru, Lothlórien was blighted from the face of Arda, and instead we had a new kingdom called FooLand. After days of anarchy and chaos, during which the Anti Foo Coalition was founded by the Galadhrim, everything turned back to normal. Oh, Lord Eru is sometimes very tricky, isn't he? Anyway, there’s no more pink now, and the Elves enjoy every day activities again.

While recovering from all the mess, Lothlórien hosted the Inter Kingdom Racing Derby, and the racers from all of Middle-earth arrived with their animals, ready to have fun and cheer for their sweet pets. Finally, the Riddermark won the Derby - congratulations to the Riders who took part in the race! After the Derby, the foxes of Lothlorien have been preparing for the upcoming season. We are ready for another challenge!

The Lawn of Lothlórien, a beautiful glade where Elves and other visitors gather in order to meet new friends and have a chat, were present at nightfall, with fires instead of lanterns. Somebody stole the lanterns and we couldn't find out who did that. But the atmosphere was perfect and cozy, with warmth from the fires. The next day picnic baskets, along with fishing poles have been made ready, so join us - everyone is welcomed! Besides that, the Hollow has a little surprise for the visitors, and I won't tell you which. So, let curiosity be your guide and pay us a visit.

If you wander trough the forests, you will find something interesting – wide green fields with fantastic creatures. Radagast the Brown has sent them to Lothlórien under the power and protection of the Elves, who treat the animals with love and care. If you love animals and wish to see big Mumakil, or beautiful white wolves, or maybe Mearas and bears, you will be most welcomed!

So, that would be it for April! Thank you for attention, dear readers! Until next month!

~Nienna Tindómë

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Minas Tirith

This month the annual Ranger Games were played again in Minas Tirith. Each year, the different divisions of the Rangers compete against each other to win the prestigious award, the title of best overall division. The Cúner (archer division) hope to extend their title, but the Command Team took the best start to win the second edition.

In the Inter-Kingdom Competitions, the Minas Tirith Drill Team, better known as the Dragons, is still in a good play-off position, while the Debate Team and the Skunk racers are preparing for a new season.

There were quite some games played this month. Next to the regular games we had “The Siege of Gondor”, “Gondor’s Gone Fishing” and “Pelargir Pursuit”. As both Gondorians and foreigners are welcome in these games, they were a huge success.

The rulers of Minas Tirith are also glad to announce that the Newbie House is opening its doors to show the newbies around the city even better. In addition to giving guidance to newbies, the rulers have decided that some SCRs should go to new members to show them they are important too. Here’s the complete list of SCRs for April:

Acabar – Beregond
Arador II. – Boromir
Aralomiël – Denethor
Maetalia – Faramir
Winddancer – Gollum

~Hithlum

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Mordor Once again you're taking a trip to the twilight zone. Okay, not quite that strange, it's only Mordor after all. It's nice and dark there, and as always we've had something interesting happening lately. We all know the one day of the year when everything just goes haywire recently passed, correct? During it, we didn't have quite as many odd things happening, but with all the thread names switched around I can assure a minion or twenty got a nice big headache from trying to sort them out. Otherwise, the lovely Alkthoniel took over the rulership of Mordor for that day, just long enough to freak the lot of us out. With Narguzir as Manwë - we knew there could only be trouble afoot. Soon after, we did a quick invasion of your kingdom, fighting off ninja elves and wondering when Morgoth started smelling worse than the rest of us

Of course, we returned to whatever normalcy can be claimed to exist around there soon after the whole affair, and minions went back to their usual routines. After the departure of several more minions to the free lands or someplace over the rainbow, we have had power shifts with who is in charge where. Because of this, such threads as the pub are currently only open to those of us who bear the mark of the red eye. There are several threads running, which are rotating games or just don't usually show up too often, DIE is one of them. For those of you who have never heard of the game - it's a dice based RPG which runs based off of the SCRs for the month. The other is the one and only Mordorian talk show, Beneath the Shadows. Both of these threads will be coming to an end fairly soon, and then be replaced by such things as Wheel of Torture and Morgoth's Crown.

For those of you who happen to be interested in who got what for SCRs and ATRs in the not quite so fair land of Mordor in the month of April, here's a small listing of them. For SCRs we have Nerys in the guise of Thuringwethil, Nihtferhowyn traipsing around as Shelob, and Morgoth Bauglir flying around in the stolen robes of Khamul. We also have Zoranya getting lost in the Void for the month. So there are many minions who have been rewarded for their works in our kingdom and outside of it! Otherwise everything is as normal as ever in the kingdom of Shadow and Ash, though for how long will that normalcy last? No one really knows.

~Tarín

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Riddermark Suilad mellyn nín, and westu hal! It would seem that yet another month has come and gone. Springtime! Oh, it is one of my, and I can almost bet, your favorite time of the year too.

Now news from the Great Land of the Horse Lords. A lot is happening as we get ready for the new season. Parties and dances – you will find all kinds of springy activities going on in and around our great Kingdom. Once more I need to bring you the news of a resignation, though.Our Queen Éowyn has taken on a new face.The lady Eléowyn, in stepping down and moving to Valinor, left us without a queen for a few minutes. Saying that though, Celinawyn, a great and widely admired lady, soon filled her shoes as Queen Éowyn. Many wonderful things will be happening as a result of that, I can assure you. Well known for her caring ways, good spirit and kind nature, how could Rohan not be proud to have her?

Onto more news of what's going on! We welcomed out Newbie of the month, Ciarda who in just a few weeks has made a goodl name for herself. A friend to all, myself included, some say Ciarda is known to be everywhere at once.

Our SCR winners this month are:
Ciarda as Lothriel
Lintesiriel (of many names) as Freda
Magnum as Stybba
Azultur as Windfola

They are definitely more than worthy of their special icons and I'm sure they will enjoy them. Now for your entertainment, we in Rohan always have springtime festivities going on. Still running are the Badger Chase, Spring Dance, Obstacle Course, What’s Your Story contest and an Art, Poetry and Song Contest as well. Winners I hear, shall receive a special something. The IK Raccoon Racers are also getting ready to start on May 7th, and from the looks of the team, I'm sure Rohan will be a tough competitor this time around. Well there you have the news of the past few weeks. Join me next month, for another wonderful month in Rohan. Until then, may your days always be sunny.

~Goldmoon Dunami

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The Shire Well, there has been a lot of change and excitement in the Shire this month. Tari Boffin swam to deep and clear waters to turn into Ulmo and we now have a new Samwise Gamgee; Feiniel. And now to other interesting bits of news, Feiniel’s birthday was on the 20th of April, celebrated in a small way by the Hobbits of the Shire.

The Shire Watch has been getting off to a good start this month, investigating the disappearance of Miriath Banba’s prized pony, and some Orc Bite rum that was stolen from the Headquarters themselves. The Hobbit Defence Squad has finally managed to resurrect the mysterious stone from its hiding place and the Shire Players’ production of the Phantom of the Shire Players is underway; so far being a great success.

There have been several small activities started in the Shire this Month. The Shire Miniature Golf Game has been a success, attracting keen, and some not-so-keen Hobbit Golf players. The Blue Barley Fields Farm has also been a success, creating a haven of peace and farm-like tranquillity in the usually slightly hectic Shire.

~Seph Maggot

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I always ask so much,
I always try so hard,
It’s not my need as such –
I’m just too long to start.
I feel I get too fake;
My beliefs seem to be wrong.
I said my life’s at stake.
I don’t know where I belong.

Throwing tantrums, afraid to move on,
I saw my own life pass me by.
I thought I’d better to cool off,
And reject everything that’s not mine.

I said I hate me reality
And whatever the future brings
I don’t want it. I’ve born my penalty
I’m alone. And I’m lost. It stings.

I now see that for every lost minute
I’m the only one guilty. My angst
Has no basis. My apathy – no limits
But remorse is better than fangs

I said life was an empty sour joke
And nobody could understand
Every day another hour stroke
But I choose to wear an eye-band

…Turned bitter over things I left,
Only wished to look behind…
I persisted, I didn’t forget;
I was locked inside my own mind.

…Blamed everyone else but myself,
I found no luck in my fortress.
I’m putting my mask on the shelf
And I’m tying my hair in long tress.

I have lived in room without doors,
Finding comfort in flaws and tales;
Clear stars never shone on my moors –
Now I want to see without scales.

Now I know every day’s unique,
People around me’re not dolls.
It’s me who’s been oblique;
I’m tearing up my fairy scrolls.

I will try to build future today.
I will fit myself in some form.
I will speak all the words unsaid.
I will be just a kite in storm.

~Feowen

Lore Matters

Of Gondolin

       Gondolin was the ancient realm (city) of King Turgon and was situated in the valley Tumladen upon Amon Gwareth. The valley was encircled by the mountains of Echoriath, with the peaks of Crissaegrim, where lay the nests of Thoronder on their southern border. Outside mountains, on the western side, flowed the river Sirion, where Ulmo's power was strong. The purpose of this city was to be a stronghold against Morgoth. In the year 50 of the Sun, Turgon, who lived in Nevrast with his people after the exile, and his cousin Finrod were travelling down the Sirion. Ulmo crept into their dreams on the banks of Aelin-uial, telling them to find stronghold against evils of Morgoth.

One year later, Ulmo helped Turgon find Tumladen, and in the following year, after Turgon had decided that thr city should resemble Tirion upon Túna, he sent his finest smiths and stone workers in secret to the valley. The city was made over period of 52 years, and in the year 116 it was finished. Once again, Ulmo showed himself before Turgon before the Elf leavf Nevrast. Ulmo told Turgon that Gondolin should stand the longest of all the kingdoms of the Eldalië and that in years to come a new hope would come from the West. He made Turgon leave some clothes and weapon, and then bid him farewell.

Turgon called his new home Ondolindë in Quenya, which meant the Rock of the Music of Waters. The city received this name because Amon Gwareth of old was an island in a lake, which later become the valley of Tumladen. The city it was more known as Gondolin, however, meaning the Hidden Rock in Sindarin. There re few among us who remember this great city; its white walls, towers with arches, broad stairs, green grass, fountains, nor Glingal and Belthil, the trees that stood in courtyard in front Turgon's tower, and which were made in memory of the Two Trees of Valinor…

The secret entrance to the city was at the dry bed of Dry river, which once flowed from the Encircling Mountains and into Sirion above Brethil. From there to Gondolin, there were seven gates to pass, namely: the Gates of Wood, Stone, Bronze, Writhen Iron, Silver, Gold and Steel, of which the latter was also known as the Great Gate. Over a period of some 400 years, Turgon opened his gate only once. That was in time of Nirnaeth Arnoediad, when Maedhros’ Alliance was made in the year 471 of the First Age. Turgon led an army of about 10 000 elves, the Noldor and Sindar, whose numbers in the hidden kingdom had grown considerably. But in that war Edain and Elves suffered greatly, and Turgon with the help of people from Dor-lómin, managed to withdraw and return unseen from the battlefield. They never wanted to go out again, neither to mingle in the affairs of other Elves or Men. And Turgon always had a rule that anyone who came into his kingdom must stay there until his death. This rule was broken once, in the case of Huor and Húrin.

24 years after the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, a man came to Gondolin. His name was Tuor, and he was sent by Ulmo on an errand to Turgon, with a message that he should leave the city and come to the sea following the river Sirion. But Turgon did not listen to him, thinking that his Gondolin was a mountain to climb for the enemy. Yet the King gave an order for the entrance to be covered up, for he feared betrayal between the city’s walls. So did Idril, Turgon's daughter, who many years before had given an order for a secret path to be made if something unexpected came to pass.

But what can one do against betrayal? By the misfortune of Húrin, and with the help of Maeglin, Turgon's sister's son, Morgoth found out where the hidden city was. At the coming of summer in the year of 510 of the First Age, while the Elves were celebrating a feast called the Gates of Summer, Morgoth’s armies attacked. Orcs and balrogs poured into the city, and though many heroic deeds were made, Gondolin fell. Tuor, his wife Idril and their son Eärendil, managed to escape with others by using the secret path that Idril had once let build. After a while they came to the Mouth of Sirion. Turgon died when his Tower collapsed, and the beautiful city of Gondolin, which could compete even with the beauty of Tirion, vanished in ruins and fire.

~Númellotë

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Pronunciation of Vowels in Quenya

Vowels in Quenya must be pronounced pure in any position, meaning without blurring them or leaving them out like we see in English, French or some other languages. You will see that in lack of English examples, we will have to use Spanish or Italian (Tolkien recommended Italian vowels as a way to see how to pronounce the vowels in Quenya) ones. Quenya has short and long (with accent) vowels and they differ in pronouncing. Likewise, this accent can sometimes be the only thing that makes a distinction between two similar words. For example: ma = neuter personal pronoun meaning ''something, a thing'', but = ''hand''.

Long vowels: á, é, í, ó, ú.
Short vowels: a, e, i, o, u.

Long a (á) – may sound like it does in the English word ''father''.
Example: mára =''useful, fit''

Short a – has no match in English. There is, however, a match in Spanish: the a in ''madre'' (mother) is a good example.
Example: mardo = ''dweller''

Long e (é) – no match in English language. It has the value of eh in the German word Mehr.
Example: nén = ''water''.

Short e – may sound like in it does in the word ''end''. As mentioned above, all vowels must be pronounced pure. Short e can often often be found at the end of a word so be careful when you come across such words. No blurring. For English speakers, Tolkien used ë, to remind them.).
Example: lóme = ''night''

Long i (í) – sounds like in English word ''machine''
Example: Síre = river

Short i) – Tolkien said that i in the word ''pit'' is best example of short i.
Example: intya = ''idea''.

Long o (ó) – similar to o in the English word ''sore''.
Example: rómen = ''east''.

Short o – very similar to the word ''box''. To get an idea of how to pronounce it, listen to Gandalf saying ''Mordor'' in the Lord of the Rings movies.
Example: meldo =''friend, lover''

Long u (ú) – as in the English word ''fool''
Example: núnenya = ''western''.

Short u – as in the the word ''foot''
Example: lunga = ''heavy''.

Next time we will discuss diphtongs or consonants. Keep practicing pronounciation of the vowels 'till then!

With help from: Ardalambion.

~Númellotë

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Puzzles and Games

Word Search

94 1 26
3 6 9 1
3
3 5 82
65 1
8 2 7 9
2
4 2 16
2 8 3 67

~Leanan Sidhe

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Mystery Code

~Inwe Lythian

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Credits

  • Guilds and Organizations
    • Army Report: Tinessael
    • Gwaith i-Nestoer: Lady Aikari
    • Govannas in Glirdain: Janowyn
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    • A New Shadow Rising: Anárië
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  • Feature Articles
    • April Fool's: Pip Reonyea
    • Interview: Tinuviel
    • People Come, People Go: Loriwaynen
    • Oldie Perspective: Emyla
    • Newbie Perspective: ~Feowen~
  • Tidings From Abroad
    • Fangorn: Star Flower
    • Khazad-dûm: Tornihyanda
    • Lothlórien: Nienna Tindóme
    • Riddermark Goldmoon Dunami
    • Minas Tirith: Hithlum
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    • Poem: Morfindel
    • Spirit Renewed: Erunáme
    • Fishing in the Rain: Iruviel
    • Poem: ~Feowen~
  • Crafts, Lore, and Language
    • Lore Matters: Númellotë
    • Vowels in Quenya: Númellotë
  • Puzzle and Games
    • Sudoku Puzzle: Leanan Sidhe
    • Crossword: Inwe Lythian
  • Humor
    • Lay of Imladris: Arlo Cúthalion
    • Dear Weny: Weny
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    • Titles and background: Tinw
    • Ink sketches: Tinw
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