Parth Edwen ~ Volume II
You may have heard rumours of the reopening of the Animal Care Center. But now, my dear friends, I would like to confirm it! The Nestad Levain will very shortly reopen its doors to you, the folk of Imladris and of other kingdoms of Middle Earth, and most importantly, to your animals.
The Nestad Levain has changed a little since its closing. Although the elegantly curved tower still rests upon the crest of the roof to symbolise refuge to all, the humble little cottage is now a larger building with stone walls and grand mahogany doors. The gardens have matured, and where before grew small shrubs and saplings, young trees and blooming bushes now paint the garden-haven with shade, sweet scents and soothing sounds. Neighing is ever heard coming from the paddocks, and the atmosphere is sweetly inviting. Inside, the glazed wooden floor and the deep blue furniture of the reception room have not changed. A plate of lembas-like biscuits and a pot of herbal tea are set out upon the round table central to the waiting room.
With our new and spacious facilities, our new administrative system, and the addition of two new members of staff, we are confident that your animals, wounded or ill, will be in excellent care in our hands.
This month’s biggest news is the merger between the Bards’ Guild and the Writers’ Guild. Those of you who visit our Chambers – and all are welcome, as ever – will find even more exciting tales and songs to read and listen to.
The Halls of Verse and of Tales now offer the opportunity to all Bards and Writers to put their works forward for comment and development with their Fellows. This takes place in the Chamber of Verse – Critique, and the Chamber of Tales – Critique. Each chamber has a counterpart for showcasing your work, for those who do not wish to enter into discussions about style and diction and versification. All these chambers are filling up with excellent work! We encourage you to come and share your own tales and poems with us!
~Saranna (Gildor Inglorion)
The Drill Team is an inter-kingdom competition that tests teams’ knowledge of the lore of Middle-earth. The beginning of this season of Drill Team has been an exciting one for Rivendell! The Keepers of the Scrolls had a bye during the first round, but it wasn’t long before they had their first competition, a home match against the Istari. Although a bit of confusion surrounding the last questions means that the match will be re-played at the end of the regular season, no hard feelings are harbored. The elves look forward to locking horns with the wizards again, in another game officiated by Oin! Currently, the Rivendell team is competing in Rohan against Tweam Med; at the time of this writing the first questions have been asked but not answered, and the outcome of this match is up in the air! Watch it and cheer Imladris on here.
There have been some changes in the roster since the last news: lamentably, Tinw, one of the team’s oldest members, is resigning. We bid her a fond farewell – she will be missed! There is also good news: Congratulations are in order for Rinerion and Eliswathe; both were promoted to the rank of Istyr (Lore Master) in honor of their outstanding contributions to the team!
Are you interested in joining the Drill Team? Visit the team’s house here.
Last month, the Architecture Guild reopened for both business and training. There are now three divisions. The Gardening Division is run by PDCML, the Sculpting Division by Ruiniel, and the Water Engineering Division by Eliswaithe. Orders can be put in with the secretary, Aelinor, or you can speak to her about which division it is you wish to join. As their first activity, and an on-going one, the Guild members travelled to Barad Eregion and the ruined Hollin Tower. Plans are already being made to restore it to its former glory, and the Guild has been asked to work on it.
More members are welcome in every division, so if you’re interested, drop by the Main Hall sometime and sign up. We all hope to see you there soon.
Imladris turned... Tortuga?
October 31st. A normal day, one would say, especially for the Elves. They live forever. Why would they care for the calendar of those petty mortals? Well, because one – or more – of the Valar apparently favour Edain over Eldar.
Instead of the usual pretty faces of Glorfindel and Elrond, Elves (Elves?) were guffawing at two melodramatic-looking mortals, Elizabeth Swann and Will Turner, both warped into Middle-earth from another dimension. Shortly after their arrival, boatloads of one-eyed, gap-toothed and smelly men — and a woman named Anamarina — came sailing down the River Loudwater, locked up the Elves in smelly cages they didn’t even know existed, and went on a rampage throughout the realm. The quiet feasts were replaced with loud pubs, where alcohol was flowing more freely than ever before. The Chamber of Audience was replaced by a very un-elflike building, ‘The Governor’s Mansion’. The Governor was apparently too busy to take care of business, since the aforementioned Swann and Turner seized control of the valley.
On the River Loudwater – which had grown to sixty times its usual size – a fierce battle was fought between three ships. While there were no casualties on either of the three sides, some of the pirates had irked the King of the Sea – Triton – and his daughter Ariel, who subsequently came to have a look. Reports of Triton stuffing his trident up a particularly painful area of Captain Barbossa’s body remain as yet unconfirmed.
Luckily for the Elves locked away, the grace of the Valar took over their insanity after two weeks. Suddenly the cages were opened, the pirates flocked back to their ships, Elizabeth Swann – Turner? – quickly stole all of Arwen’s jewellery ,and the Loudwater shrunk back to its normal size. Several Elves are still undergoing shock-therapy at their local ELP-Clinic, but for now, the normal degree of insanity has returned to Imladris.
~ Arlo the Trident-Wielder
I arrived at the feast, greeted by our gracious host, Esmerelda. Walking down a path of flowers, I stared in awe at how the flowers looked like snow covering the ground.
Mereth Aderthad, the Feast of Reuniting, was true to its name. When I first arrived at the feast hall, I saw those who had moved to other kingdoms such as Khazad-dûm, Lothlórien and The Shire present at the feast with us. Most of them were talking to their old friends, who still remain in Imladris. Those who had moved away were asked questions about their time living in the Valley. I peeked at the book of questions, and found out that all of them were quite active during their time in Imladris (though some still choose to call it Rivvy), and they still are, even though they are in different kingdoms now.
At a great table at the far end of the hall sat our rulers Laebeth and Taramiluiel, with Esmerelda sitting on their right hand, and Silver_Sprite and Gwen on their left. They had been given places of honour for their role in organizing the cooking of the fabulous feast. Cooks and decorators were also seated along the sides of the high table, and the minstrels, Anni, Ancalima, Koranti and Ailaya Nydrian, were given places at the opposite end.
There were tables for four all around the hall, and flowers everywhere. Obviously, the decorators did a great job at making the feast hall look beautiful. The food was superb, thanks to our dedicated Elves in charge of cooking. The performances were delayed, leaving Esmerelda a bit disappointed But our first singer, Ancalima, arrived a few moments later, and our performances began smoothly. The two-person band sounded a lot larger than it was, I thought, with Callenia at the drums and yours truly at the piano.
Join in our celebration, (providing that you are an Elf of Imladris or an ex-Elf), if you haven’t already!
Walking through two doors of redwood, an old Elf stops and stares in amazement. Here all the lore of Arda must surely be gathered! Looking down the aisle, book-shelves upon book-shelves can be seen; some holding stories of the ancient days of Ennorath, and others telling tales from the hearts of Elves and wanderers.
The Library was conceived by Arlo at the time when he and Lae were working on Project Imladris. It is mentioned in old records that Bilbo “enjoyed full access to the extensive library at Rivendell and also to its master, Elrond Peredhil, who of course was present at many of the events described”. The Library, it seems, was a great part of Imladris, and a part we wanted to bring to the plaza. Here the Elves might delve into lore and seek answers to their questions, or read the tales of the Fall of Gondolin, or of Lúthien the fair.
The Library will be divided into two: creative submissions and lore submissions. The Books of Creativity contain some of the greatest poems and stories the Elves of Imladris have written, and it is our hope that we will receive many submissions from the members of Govannas in Glirdain in the future, so that we can fill the shelves. In the Books of Lore, one can currently read about Elves and Elf-friends, but there is still much to be added!
We hope that the Elves will help to further enhance the Library with their essays, poetry and stories. Everyone should be able to enter the Library and find it to be a source of both interest and enjoyment! Currently in the process of choosing Librarians, we are looking ahead at a bright future!
We name our fair valley Imladris, Deep Dale of the Cleft, though it has been called many other names by many other peoples. Most commonly, it has been called Rivendell by wanderers from afar. Our house is one that provides shelter for those who need it, no matter what they wish to call it.
Recently, we were given a choice... to remain as Rivendell, or to use the Elves’ own name for their home, Imladris? Thus began a discussion full of “ayes” and “nays”, pros and cons. In the end, it boiled down to one common opinion: Whilst many liked the ring of Rivendell, Imladris just sounds... better. A compromise was reached, and we are now called “Imladris: The hidden valley of Rivendell”. If you are interested in the details of the discussion, you can do so here
Many things have passed since the Host of Imladris and Architecture Guild set out as a group to Hollin Tower to begin preparations for its reconstruction. Meanwhile, far from the tower itself, there have been diverse groups of travellers, the most unusual of these setting out from Khazad-Dûm. Still others have come to the tower, where they were beset by a band of Orcs and Wargs. With such troubles past, those left able to fight are even now making plans to hunt down those Orcs who managed to escape in the turmoil. Lord Glorfindel and Rilomë are leading the hunters. But their numbers are few— will you answer their call?
With supplies low, many trampled or ruined by the storm that ripped across the mountains, and with more injured than healing herbs can provide for, the situation looks grim indeed. Will those who fell guarding the camp be revenged? And what will happen to those who are so gravely ill, if help does not arrive in a timely manner?
It was an ordinary chilly evening, a month into our grueling scouting expedition. We were a group of elves sitting by the campfire and still knowing almost nothing more than when we began. All we knew was that we were there to scout the river Greyflood.
The wood seemed calm, and there was no sound. But suddenly we sensed a strange smell, the ground was trembling, and a powerful presentiment of danger hung in the air. Everyone was on his feet with bows ready in a second. Then I saw one of the most incredible sights in my life: a rebellious, vast, frightening host of Huorns was moving fast right towards our home – Rivendell! We had to do something. And fast. In fact, we hardly avoided a fight among the members of the expedition. At last every elf chose whether to go south and learn what had stirred them or straight to Rivendell to warn Elrond.
I joined the group travelling southwards for one more day. There were Melda, Merne, Orodreth, Crysere, Per, Elen, and Pheonus. Everything seemed so strange and eerie that we felt that something dangerous must be lurking in the twilight. And it was! A mad hurt Warg jumped right on me trying to bite— in vain, since there were five or six of us, and many leapt to my aid. However, I will remember what made the scars on my back for a long time. But that was only the beginning. We found another Warg killed by Huorns, and their path was covered by blood and broken branches and leaves. More and more blood and carnage appeared with every step. We were moving slowly and carefully. After an hour (or five – it seemed, we were going long) we reached strange ground. In the pale light of the moon, another terrible view came into sight: dozens of dead orcs with horrible wounds made by Huorns. That confused me completely; I did not know whether I had to be afraid of Orcs or Huorns! But a hunter out of Imladris, Tinindil, came to strengthen our party, and we turned towards Imladris. Alas, at the same time, we noticed that two members of the party, Crysere and Pheonus, were missing. We found only their bodies. Tinindil was anxious to bring us safely home. On the way, we discovered that the Huorns had not reached Imladris. They had veered westwards. Only one thing remained unclear: why the Huorns had escaped from Fangorn. But it wasn’t our goal to find this out.
Finally, we saw the sight of Bruinen. It was so strange to me to feel so many things in one time: gladness, tiredness, grief. We were home. We made it!
The Beriadrim had set out for the High Pass a while ago, under the watchful command of Lilu, PDCML, and Mor. They were to investigate the orc lair recently found near Mount Gundabad. Although the High Pass is beautiful, it is dangerous now, and a watchful eye is needed at all times. As the day passed, the regiment reached the lower hills, but came to halt as a landslide blocked their narrow path.
Under Mor’s command, the Sword and Shields Troops paired up with rope and went to work to clear the path of rocks. While setting to work, eight wolves attacked from the rear. As the troops near the front worked to clear the rocks, the archers under PDCML were able to guard at the rear and pick the wolves off one by one. Only one was left alive to run off, his tail tucked low.
At long last, the rocks were clear and the Beriadrim were able to move on. As night fell, they reached the High Pass and set up camp, enjoying food and making light of the earlier wolves. What tomorrow would bring for them all, one couldn’t tell, but all knew it would be more exhausting than the day now behind them.
Othrim— Ford of Imladris
The Othrim were headed towards the Ford. The orcs had been sighted nearby, and were said to be bold as of late. Under the command of Laivindil and Ellenan, the Othrim set out and reached the Fords of the Bruinen at nightfall. The scouting party from the Greyflood met them there. As the scouting party had news for Lord Elrond, they stopped briefly and shared what they knew before heading for Rivendell, leaving two behind to strengthen the numbers.
Laiv sent out two elves to scout out the other side of the river for about a mile in each direction. A small forgotten camp was found, used by foul creatures— orcs, goblins, or such. Destruction was apparent all around, and a stench of decay was in the air. The two headed back to report their findings to Laiv, who immediately called the Othrim to regroup on the other side of the Fords.
It was decided that a small group would ride to the Shire to warn of the huorns the Greyflood scouting party had encountered, while the others would head to the north, following the orc tracks. As the troops moved in a column, two abreast, they came upon an orc camp showing recent signs of use. The stench was almost overwhelming. Two were set to guard the camp on the northern side, as the orcs were assumed to be either nearby or headed back north. The rest were set to piling up the trash around the camp to burn. They worked swiftly, for none knew when the orcs might return...
The quest to Dol Guldur, the dark fortress of the Necromancer:
A small host of 25 come to the grim fortess of Dol Guldur, hoping to save two prisoners of the Necromancer. Mostly elves, the group gazes with respect at the towers.
One by one, they enter the fortress, and the door closes and locks behind them. Water begins rushing into the room. It is already to their ankles! In panic, everyone searches the room. Luckily, there are keys on a table: gold, silver and bronze. But what key to choose? When they have chosen the keys, they rush to the door. Some are lucky. Others are not, and the water slowly rises and fills the whole room....
The survivors step into the second room. They find several doors: one set with an eye, another with sword, a third with a crown and the last one with crescent moon and flowers on it. Those who choose wrongly are never seen again. The remainder enter one by one into the third room, where an old man awaits. As they seated themselves, he plucks his eye out of its socket and places it under a mug. It is a deadly game: after he has moved the cups, they must guess where it is. Some choose wrongly, while others linger an instant too long: their fate is to remain a stone figure until the end of days. The survivors of this challenge proceed to yet another room with no doors, only a fireplace. Suddenly, a figure of ash and smoke appears in front of them! She is the fire-spirit, Mab, and only those who answer her three questions correctly may pass. Those who succeed pass through the flames, which do not harm them, but they must endure the painful cries of comrades as the fire claims those who fail to answer...
The diminished company steps into a dark corridor. It is quiet and seems safe, but as they walk in single file, someone’s foot lands in a trap. They realize in horror that a huge stone boulder is rolling towards them from behind. To save their lives, the survivors begin to sprint with all their might towards the stairs ahead. Two of them are not fast enough, and their muffled screams are heard as the boulder reached them. Only nine out of twenty-five are now left. They soon come to a barricade of traps. Looking around, they realize they must set four levers correctly to disarm the deadly traps. All breathe a sigh of relief when they solve the puzzle and cross safely!
Now they reach an empty room with tiles covering the floor and a warning upon the wall. It is obvious that they need to pick their tiles to pass this challenge. All step onto the same tile, but one elf maiden hesitates too long, and the others can only watch in horror as the floor around the tiles crashes down, carrying her with it.
Now everyone knows to linger here might cost your life. They decide to step this time also on the same tile, and sigh in relief as the tiles crash all around them, leaving stone standing under their feet. Then the party is divided into two parts. They gaze into each other’s eyes, knowing that one or both of them will not pass this challenge alive. The tiles begin to fall, including one on which three brave adventurers stand. As the last five adventurers take another step, they suddenly hear furious screams. The Necromancer is enraged, for his traps have been defeated yet again. No one before has gone so far.
Only one row is left. Three would-be rescuers step on one tile, two on another. As a terrible rumbling begins, two managed to jump to the door and exit the accursed room. The pair of elven maidens find themselves in a garden, greeted by a golden griffin that immediately asks them both a riddle. As they ponder, their thoughts are mixed with fear, for the maidens see that nearby statues are really people of Middle-earth turned into stone with fear upon their faces. However, the pair answer correctly, and the griffin, bowing its head, lets them through.
The two elves enter a large hall with great gates at the other side. Somehow they know that this is the final challenge. Five different boulders are in front of them, a metal ring on top of each. A chain hangs from the ceiling. They follow it with their eyes and see that it reaches to the doors. They have to attach the chain to one of the boulders, push it, and hope its weight will hold the doors. Both choose a granite boulder and begin to run while pushing. Alas, they, too, choose wrongly, and their screams are muted out by the sound of whirring chains and stone against stone as the heavy doors fall down.
As the moon rose, the fortress remained, blacker than night, unconquered. A lonely eagle witnessed it and brought the news back to the King of Mirkwood, who sent the news to the homelands of heroes, who had risked their lives to save two prisoners, who still have to suffer in the dark dungeons of Dol Guldur. Will any more heroes try to save them, and will they ever be successful?
Wherever I go
Shadows are falling
I try to repel them
But I can’t for much longer
When will be the evil
When will the shadows call
Go away forever.
Will that time come at all
Or will it last to the end
Of the days.
Will there be a world
Will I live to see the world?
Will anyone see the world?
Or will all be forever
Buried under darkness.
Durin’s Tower, situated among the high and remote peaks above Khazad-Dûm, is one of the most magnificent places to be found in both KD and Middle-earth. Ruled over by the impeccable Tornihyanda, it is a haven for all who seek adventure and new friends.
Take a breather in the Great Hall, a meeting place for visitors and house inhabitants alike. It boasts of a simply mouthwatering spread of food such as KD Roast cutlets, Dwarven bread and much more. Sip a gobletful of fine Old Winyards and warm your feet by the cosy fire. Next, visit the hallowed temple of the Dwarven creator and patron Vala, Aulë. Here you may offer your prayers to him and learn the art of invoking him from the old dwarven priests.
Need something forged, crafted, or fixed? Drop by Durin’s blacksmith, who offers you a variety of services, creating exquisite masterpieces in the classic Naugrim style of old. Also, don’t miss The Crazy, a totally cool place with really fun surprises for anyone who visits it. Lastly, as Tornihyanda, the ruler of Durin's Tower rightly says, “Turn on your sound!” Every room is filled with music and breathtaking melodies for anyone to hear.
Whatever you do at Durin’s Tower, say it with a hearty “Baruk Khazad!”
~ Eithon Echui
My name is Laiedriel. I became a member on November 6. Finding a good kingdom was very important for me; I went looking in every Newbie Hall so that I could find a kingdom that would be very welcoming and filled with good people. I came across Imladris, an elven kingdom that had everything I hoped for. I went to the Newcomers’ Forum, and it was the only kingdom that seemed very interested in newbies and their perspectives. I joined Imladris and went to the Newbie Hall, presented myself, and looked for a good activity to take part in. Then I found the Animal Care Center or Nestad Levain. Currently I am training to be a Taidor, and I am learning about the behavior of animals, how to cure them, and the use of herbs and medicines. I try to take part in every activity that comes along. Everyone in Imladris is so welcoming and filled with love! I would never change this experience for anything.
I have been a member of Imladris for about a month. When I first came, I had no idea what to do, so I did not write for about two weeks or so. Then one day I came upon the wonderful newbie hall. There I met new friends, learned a lot about Imladris, and how to write in the forums. I started by going into a couple forums, getting to know some stories and people. Soon I started writing myself. I joined the Tengwar Tours first. I started out kind of shaky, but soon got used to it. Then I began to venture out to other places, like the feasting hall, Newbie Training: Scouting the Greyflood, and I signed up for healing classes. I have also met many new friends with, and without, the same interests as me. I have become very involved in writing. I also took a trip to Lothlórien to visit the Mirror of Galadriel. That was not nearly as exciting as being home in Rivendell!
For two years, she has reigned over Minas Tirith as the beautiful and mysterious Queen Arwen Evenstar. Creator of the Middle-Earth Olympics and developer of the Minas Tirith Apprenticeship Program, proud mother of three and teacher, who is this woman behind the icon?
Laielinwen came to the Plaza in March of 2002, while it was still relatively new. Soon after, she was presented with a new role to play— that of Queen Arwen Evenstar. Her main goal was to try and make Minas Tirith as realistic as possible and create activites that would enhance what had already been started. However, things would change much sooner than expected. Early into her reign, Laielinwen had a tough decision to make. Who would become the new King? Mathen was chosen to play the part, eventually succeeded by Hoyamir, and finally Naith.
Although consistant in holding true to Tolkien’s vision of Middle-Earth, our wondrous queen does have a pet peeve. She prefers for everything to be visually balanced and straight. While open and friendly, it is wise not to ask her to repeat herself, which she tends to find rather annoying. Through all the seriousness, Laielinwen does have a quirky side. A huge fan of Monty Python, she also comes up with the horoscopes for the White Tree Registry. When not logged onto the Plaza, she enjoys golf, reading, drawing, and shopping amongst other things. Don’t worry, Minas Tirith; she has not forgotten you. There are a few surprises in store for your future!
Laielinwen would love to go to Bora Bora and have a vacation with her Plaza friends. She has always wanted to go there and would love to get together with he Plaza friends, leaving behind the responsibilites of the real world. That sounds like the perfect vacation indeed!
With the holidays fast approaching, Laielinwen has a message for everyone out there: “I’d just like to say how much I appreciate all the wonderful friends and plaza members that spend time dedicating their talents to the plaza. I joined the plaza in March 2002 when it was 2.5 months old. In that time I’ve met the most wonderful people from all over the world. To be able to share the love of Tolkien with friends and acquaintances is such a pleasure. To be able to help administrate Eru’s sites is a real privilege. I’d just like to wish everyone happy holidays.....however you celebrate them. I’d also like to wish for everyone happiness, peace, and safety.”
Our next interview features Eru’s right-hand man, the illuminator of Middle-earth, the Vala so brave he wears kilts when badgers are on the prowl, Protoguy!
Eithon: Anything you would like to start off with, a comment or anecdote perhaps ?
Peeg: Well, there is a lot actually, but I promise not to go on a rant. The Plaza has meant a great deal to me for a long time. Come January I will have been here for 3 years. I came looking for trivia quizzes and found silly Riders and Gondorians. I found friends. That’s what makes this place so addicting. And now it’s going through some very exciting changes. I hope to help it continue to be that place I found and more.
Eithon: What were you like as a newbie ?
Peeg: Me? A Newbie? Never. When I was still a Plaza youngster I hung out mostly in Lore, though I did frequent Meduseld quite a bit. I’m proud to have built a little legacy there, even if most people have no idea. I invented Telperion Mist and Laurelin Dew among other things. I was the first to declare Dr Pepper the official drink of Rohan, prompting purists to proclaim me a Heretic!
Eithon: What was your most funny or embarassing experience on the plaza ?
Peeg: Hmm, embarrassing...there were so many. Let’s see...I thought both Elwing and El Sila were guys when I first met them. I broke the pool in Mordor. I was put on trial by LeBob for letting Nahar poop in the White Council kitchen (He was innocent!!). My sentence was to clean the dishes. Man my mouth was dry after a while. Only so much spit shining one can do.
Eithon: How did you invent the name Protoguy for yourself ? And who first dubbed you Peeg ?
Peeg: When I first opened a Yahoo email account, I was working with this guy named Jim Payne. I called him Earthworm Jim. He told me graphics people were lower than protozoa. So when I was thinking of a name for my Yahoo account, I tried Protozoa. It was taken. I chopped the end and added my real name, Guy, and the rest is sorta history. I’m not sure who first called me Peeg; I think it was El Sila (Munin Audoin). Before that I was PG for the longest, but I didn’t like being a movie rating, so I started referring to myself more as Peeg and it’s stuck.
Eithon: You've created the most wonderful character icons, especially the recent Halloween icons, that we on the plaza have ever seen. How do you do it ?
Peeg: Bubblegum and toothpicks. Actually, Google and Photoshop LOL
Eithon: What, in your most holy opinion is the best thing of being an admin ? Do you enjoy the power ?
Peeg: I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy that, but the best part is really that so many people know who I am. I’m not too much of an attention freak, but it’s very cool to have everyone know me. The downside to that is that not all those people like me hehe. The other part I like best is being able to do things for the Plaza and for people here. Nothing makes me happier than to make what I think is a cool icon and give it to someone and have them tell me they love it.
Eithon: You’ve been on the plaza a long time. How has it been to see it evolve from its first days to the present, vibrant place that it is today ?
Peeg: There are a lot of people nostalgic for the old days. Including me, but those days are gone and will never come back. I keep them close to my heart, but I also look to the present and the future. The Plaza has a lot to offer and a lot of room to grow. As for watching it evolve? That’s been very cool, but what’s cooler has been being part of that evolution.
Eithon: Finally, any golden words of wisdom for our newbies ?
Peeg: Don’t make Peeg angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry. Oh, and click those nice ads on the side forum. The google ones and such. That’s one way people can help support the Plaza.
Please tell Ears I’m very sorry. I won’t let it happen again, the situation was beyond my control. See you next month!
[Ed. Note: We'll be sure to tell her, and for an additional bribe, we promise not to tell Fëawen who let Huan eat an entire ball of yarn before he yarked all over her favorite tapestry.]
I remember the time, not too long ago, when Rivendell was a place filled with foo and perhaps even a little spam. Elves were not afraid to shriek like Eru made them, and purple boas were not so uncommon. But times have changed. Do you see marauding pink elves any more? I mean, occasionally you’ll get your insane daffodil-toting elf, but nothing like it used to be. It has come to my attention that is largely the efforts of some of the more serious elves. However, this disturbs me and leads me to a question of vital significance; where does all the foo go? I have my suspicions about the location of the fooness. Why? Because it now lurks within the stony halls of my fair kingdom: Khazad-Dûm. I feel as if I should explain.
Around November of 2003, an elf named Randiriel suddenly became very short and grew a fantastic beard. Now, reports differ on this matter; some say she left Imladris of her own free will, but others say that she was thrown out of the land flowing with foo and pink to a much shorter life. But the point is, the elf Randiriel ended up in November of the year 2003 firmly planted in Khazad-Dûm, known now as, “Ranlinde”. When she arrived in Khazad-Dûm little things began to happen, but very pink things. The first definite and noticeable change was the establishment of the knitting circle, and the whole Anghak ending up clothed in beautiful bunny sweaters. But this was only the first change.
I will not enthrall you with the gradual course of foo taking over, but it acted almost as a virus, so to speak. In fact, in recent anti-foo crusades, it has been claimed that foo is a virus that attacks the dwarven psyche and quickly destroys all common sense therein. Even I have, at times, found myself in the dwarven throne room at night, pink paint brush in hand, doodling a moustache on a past dwarven king. When walking in the market you can see, at times, purple boas being peddled around, floating in the breeze. But I digress; the point is that foo runs rampant in my kingdom, and I think that the reason is we were infected by one lone ex-elf, Ranlinde!
While the pink element of Moria has grown and grown, it has lessened much in Rivendell. I am told that it is the influence of the older wiser elves and one certain watery Vala. The foo part of me wants to cry that the birthplace of the wonder known as foo is almost bereft of it, but at the same time I am thrilled that Khazad-Dûm has the corner on the foo market. If you’ve made it to the end of my little article you might be wondering, “what? Why do I care?” but you do care, I can tell... If you are just dying for some foo, a real pink extravaganza, come to Khazad-Dûm for a visit, we might even let you visit Happy Mountain Asylum!
We are pleased to announce that this Double Issue of the Last Homely Herald contains an exclusive Olympics supplement. Our tireless Rivendell Reporter, Avi_Aiel, risked life, limb, and sanity to bring you complete coverage of all the morbid events taking place in the Black Land! Now grab your favorite drink and snack, and cheer on our athletes as she recounts their harrowing (and often humorous) exploits!
You may never expect to find an elf in Mordor, let alone two Kingdoms’ worth at once. The Mordor Olympics drew beings from all over Middle Earth to compete in a number of events. Backstabbing, cheating and name-calling were all part of the agenda as ents, men, wizards, halflings, elves, minions and dwarves battled it out to be the best.
In the Utumno Pub Challenge and the Horrible Heptathlon – individual and team competitions, Mordor walked away with the first three Gold medals. Our own Imladris team managed to show the minions that elves can play their game too, and Tinw received a bronze for the Pub Challenge.
Thankfully Mordor was robbed of a hat trick of gold and had to settle for a bronze in the challenge of Doomed in Mt Doom. The dwarves managed to snatch two medals in that event – gold and a tie for bronze.
In the Bloody Barges, Mordor was finally not on the podium. The Wizards, who snatched the Bronze, heavily bombarded them, and it was a clear win for Isengard. It was a tough battle for gold as Rohan and the Ents of Fangorn shivered each others timbers. Being made of wood proved a great advantage though, as Fangorn floated away with Gold.
The following medals awarded were for an event known for its violence. No other game could match the Skullduggery in aggression, terror and foul play. The Shire and Mordor fought hard for the bronze, but in the end the Hobbits proved – surprisingly – to be more adept at this obvious Minion pastime. The Hobbits once again showed their amazing prowess in this field when they beat the Elves of the Golden Wood and took Gold. More than dynamite seems to come in small packages.
The Games were far from over, and the next event was the Blackened Beach Boggleball, an event where Mordor made an obvious comeback, winning gold against the Dwarves. The Rohirrim had a tough time wrestling the Bronze from the Wizards, proving an interesting and nail-biting match.
In the finals of the following event, Splat Staircase, five finalists managed to reach the summit of Minas Morgul. Between traps, some nasty pitfalls and frustrating detours, the contestants managed to make it up and down their obstacle a number of times. In the end, however, the Minions knowledge and obvious aptitude for traps ensured them a gold and Imladris shared the glory when Pathlaniel Ael managed to tie for first. There was another tie for silver, as the Ents and Horse lords came second.
The Gauntlet was easily one of the most challenging events as it involved many tasks of varying skills, a test of endurance and a challenge of wit. The Ents once again amazed many supporters and took away the bronze. The silver went to Lothlórien and gold was won by none other than the malevolent minions of Mordor!
Imladris was definitely not easily discouraged as Tas made it through two rounds and into the Finals of the Vicious Victory. Mordor was nowhere near the final, showing that minions have much to learn in the art of animal training.
The Games were closed in an unexpected twist. The amnesty was revoked and the Free Peoples trapped in a foreign land, surrounded by hungry minions. What else could be expected from the Witch King, however, with scores of Middle Earth peoples running around under her nose as bait? Yet our team fought its way to freedom, and you may cheer their homecoming here.
What do you find in a Mordor pub? Minions, madness and a bottle of rum! Or two. And of course, no pub would be complete without a horde of annoying cheerleaders to put the minion judges in one of their notorious moods. For the drinking event of the Games, even from the start it proved to be eventful.
The Utumno Pub Challenge consists of three main events, all pub-related, of course. The first round was one consisting of a drinker’s favourite pastimes – a game of darts. The Hoppit Darts game allowed each team member three shots. Our own Rivendell Rum Team consisted of Soronúmë, Idril Celebrindal, and Annatariel, with Tinw as subsitute. From the start we proved to be strong competitors and Tinw had a chance to chuck some darts [Ed. Note: I am pleased to report that we managed to smuggle out all our "targets" alive.] After the darts, Tinw was in the lead, only a bare 80 points behind the winner of the event.
Sing along with Sauron was not the name of the next minion spawn video release, but the name of the next challenge. Competitors had to think on their feet and come up with a song of two verses and a chorus, one to win the hearts of the Mordor judges. Soro was off to a slow start, and decided he was better at mincing minions than melody-making as he attacked the third Mordor singer for insulting Elves. Tinw gave an impressive musical performance with her song "Glorfindel’s Revenge", both humorous and delightful. It did the trick and won fourth place overall. Soro sang a song eventually, after a fellow elf from the Golden Wood talked him down from sword-swinging, and he whipped up a boot-tapping tune with hilarious lyrics. Idril was not to be outdone and stepped forward courageously with her song "The Accursed". This event was truly a spectacle of musical mania.
The final event, the Barman’s Grudge, tested perseverance, endurance, motivation and good old drinking skills. Players had to select a drink, with the chance that the drink has been poisoned and players were knocked out randomly if they drank a spiked beverage. With drinks like Rohanna’s Revenge and Min’s Minionade, the intoxicated Imladris elves were in for a rough time the following day. Tinw suffered a mild concussion early on, though whether this was from her fascination with Soro’s spiffy boots or because of her choice of drink, we will never know. Soro and Idril were still downing drinks like there was a tomorrow, but it looked like hell. Idril was the next to expire, which left Soro to fend for himself.
The totals showed all Imladris elves to be far from the bottom of the beer tanker, and Tinw managed to swipe a bronze with her wonderful performances in the first two events. Idril and Soro are to be congratulated on their enthusiasm, guts and great achievement!
The Blackened Beach Boggleball against the Dwarves proved to be a surprisingly difficult task to the elves. The elves had the obvious height advantage, but although vertically challenged, the dwarves were still skilled in speed and agility, finding the gaps between players to knock that ball back.
The aim of the game was to work as a team, insult the opposition and think on one’s feet. While passing the ball back and forth, and players had to find words in a complicated puzzle and an accompanying quote from Middle-earth texts. The Imladris team was made up of Captain Callenia, Diava, Firerose Arien and Tinw. Substitute Silver had much action on the sidelines.
It was neck and neck through the whole game, the dwarves and the elves showing strengths and weaknesses and matching each other round for round. There were some impressive character assassinations and catcalls; some even made the minions turn a lighter shade of black.
A nail-biting Sudden Death round at the end was won by a hair’s breadth of two points by the dwarves. The dwarves made it into the semi-finals and won a silver in the finals, showing that as elves we were not far behind the medal winners in the first round match.
Our maiden voyage as the Imladris team in Mordor went off with quite a bang. The Bloody Barges event was set to be a popular one with luck and explosions to amuse the cheering spectators. The objective was to try to guess the whereabouts of the opposition’s fleet and blow them to smithereens.
Our match against the Horse Lords of Rohan was captained by our team of PDCML, Pathlanial Ael, Arseregwen, Arwil, and Callenia. We had Nenimé as an able substitute sailor and supporting teammate.
After the first round both teams had had a hit, and Rohan in the lead with two. Gwen was the hero as Imladris sank the first craft. Meduseld retaliated and sank one of our craft, settling the scores and getting the blood boiling. Both teams were hit hard in the next round, each team losing a ship, and our sailor Arwil was thrown into the watery deep.
After a relatively evenly matched event, Meduseld got the advantage by sinking another Rivendell ship, stranding PDCML to fight valiantly on his own. It was to be expected, however, that the lone elf would not be sailing away with victory in this event as his ship joined the rest of his teammates on the muddy bottom of the Sea of Nurnen.
Skullduggery, an event with simple instructions, yet complicated in play. This event was precisely to be expected from Mordor, macabre and vicious, inexorably bleeding away the life points of participants.
Each team is made up of five members, a runner and four protectors. The aim is to get a skull on a spike – and keep it there. For Imladris, our runner was Ellenan, fighting courageously with a dagger and wearing no armour. The protectors were Cumehtar, Tasarnandë, JRR Legolas and Tinindil, armed with weapons ranging from spears to swords; a team both nimble and terrifying. Their opponents, however, were none other than powerful wizards from Isengard, and the wizards seemed set for an early victory as they gained a dramatic lead. It seemed nothing could be done to stop the whizzing wizards; surely the elves were doomed! Almost all suffered serious wounds. The Bunny from Isengard, however, was quite seriously injured too.
Though the Wizards were fierce and set for victory, our elves fought bravely and managed to even the score, battling to a tie at 35 points. It was a match truly worthy of the notoriety of the name Skullduggery.
A deserted island far out to sea from the Mordor coastline, surrounded by starving sharks, was the fitting arena for the Horrible Heptathlon to take place. Consisting of seven parts, this event was a gruelling test to all, even the minions. There were two main awards categories, individual and team, so members had to fend for themselves and still work as teams.
Silver Sprite, Gilnessael, Diava, Perlineion were the competitors from Imladris, split into two teams. The first event tested endurance and strength in a tough Racing Round where the dwarves stole an early lead in the individual score, but were outdone by the Hobbits as a team. Silver managed to come in the top ten after a splendid display of her running prowess.
The next event was a challenge of Dwarf Tossing. The dwarves of Khazad-dûm themselves scored surprisingly lower than expected, with a Gondor member winning this event in the allotted three tosses, measuring an amazing total of 265.5 ft.
The next event was set to drastically alter the scoreboard as it involved direct fighting. The Duelling round was exciting and deadly fast. Competitors were allowed to use a variety of weapons to try and gain advantage. Unfortunately, our elves had some bad luck in this round, but fought gallantly nonetheless and deserve our admiration.
Challenge number four involved wits and quick thinking as teams had to Charm a Lava Snake and had to attack opposing teams. There would be no fatalistic fanaticism if the snakes were not deadly. Unluckily for the competitors, they were. Perhaps we spend too much time with our doves and gulls, but the snakes proved quite a match, moving us further down the scoreboard.
The next round was set to get the bellies rumbling, if for the wrong reasons. The Most Disgusting Food Contest was one not for the weak of heart. Contestants had to come up with the foulest and most rotten recipes to complete the no mean task of making a minion ill. Ness made an aptly named "Mount Doom Desert" and Callenia a drink "Sap Shake". The game was far from over as the teams had to eat a three-course meal prepared by the minions themselves. Our refined tastes proved to be a weakness, though, as we did not manage to stomach the challenge and it digested us instead.
What followed was definitely the round of the race for all. The event tested egotism and acting skills as teams had to compete in a Bragging Battle. From lies to charm, competitors had to prove they were the best with words. Elves are known for their honesty, but in this event it was again a downfall. Convincing judges you are the best is a hard task if you do not believe it.
The final round was by far the toughest. A round to end all rounds, the Obstacle Course made obstacles out of many of the teams. Ness proved to be Rivendell’s strongest athlete, but our team did not make it to the medal podium. In the end, however, it is not how many competitions you win or lose, it is how many you dared to try.
What do you get when you add fierce trainers, a large arena and an assortment of "trained" beasts? These ingredients are all used to make the Vicious Victory tournament. Leave these to stew for a few hours and you have yourself a meal fit for any sporting enthusiast.
Four of Imladris’s best trainers were sent to participate in the first round. Gilnessael and Khait with their crocodiles, Tasarnande and her Fire Salamander and Nurbor and his Crebain made a ferocious team of fighters. Ness unfortunately went down early on, a rather hungry bat making a quick meal of her crocodile. All our other contestants, however, made it through to the even crueller semi-finals.
Nurbor and Tas were together in one game and Khait on her own with her Fire Salamander. She fought bravely but could not hold off her battle-hardened rivals. Khait would not go down easily though, as she brought an opposing trainer in a double Knock Out! What determination on her part to go down so valiantly!
Nurbor and his scorpion worked well together and almost triumphed, but were surrounded by terrible terrors and was defeated. Tas and her wild boar were a formidable team, managing to make it to the finals and into Rivendell’s hearts.
What a spectacular set of games! Anticipation, anxiety and animal antics – what more could one ask for?
In the depths of the Mordorian “countryside”, a harrowing event, the Gauntlet, tested the teams from all over Middle-earth. In this eight-stage tournament, only four from each Kingdom were allowed to compete. Brave as they were, it must have taken extreme measures to bring so many to take part in this hellish nightmare.
The four Imladris relay racers were Eithil (captain), Feanor Elf, Silmarwen and lclaulau, with PDCML as a nervous substitute. They, along with their opposition, had to persevere through numerous obstacles carrying a baton of elven bone, to be sacrificed if they reached their destination: Mt Doom. Our team had a good start from the Dead Marshes, racer one listing their equipment. This was a vital start, as any decision here would affect your success later on. From the marshes onto the Morannon, the racers were not indulged better scenery, but this may have aided the team in their speedy trail. Our captain passed through the Gates as she got her riddle correct!
Before handing over to the second racer, both had to fight together to fend off an attack. Onto the Isenmouthe and the next challenge, Feanor Elf made fast tracks and gave Rivendell an admirable advantage. The lore question was no issue to our second racer either, and Imladris seemed to have a sure victory, in the lead with 6 points after the first handoff.
Surprisingly, we dropped to fourth place after stage four, but we did not give up easily, lclaulau making for Barad- Dûr and its torture chamber as the final racer. All racers had to endure a terrible Winddancer as the ruling torture tyrant. Onto the Word Sleuth game, racers had to put their pain behind them and focus their language skills to decipher words.
We did not win back our early lead, but we persevered and had some fun, I am sure, in some form or another. Not everyone can say they have survived the Gauntlet, but our team of four sure can!
Among safe, false and sliding rocks, Shelob and imminent death, as well as the need for speed, the Splat Staircase event was one consisting of perhaps more luck than any other event. We had three able climbers representing our Valley Kingdom: Mor the captain, PDCML and Pathlaniel Ael.
In the first round our team members all made good progress, avoiding the dangerous rocks in the beginning. Mor made a late entrance, but was not to be discouraged. Both PDCML and Lani slid back to the start, but climbed courageously on. It seemed to be an easy hike from there on, with all elves making great progress. PDCML and Mor fell out of the game right at the last moment, but teammate Lani was well and truly into the medal round.
In the exciting final, with a cheering Witch King thirsting for cheerleader blood, our mountaineering Staircase Specialist Lani was a great contender. She started off at the bottom, alone supporting the Imladris team. We could not have been placed in better hands. She set a steady pace, avoiding the terrible traps and pitfalls with amazing agility. She had a minor setback half-way through, but was not to be defeated. Watching in helplessness as fellow competitors plummeted to their splat fate, she continued on to win gold along with a minion. What a feat!
The event for pilots and mountaineers, Doomed in Mt Doom was an individual event not only testing the competitors’ skill at climbing but in construction and flying as well. The objective was to reach the summit of Mt Doom in on piece and fly the furthest in their own invention.
Arwil, Lilu Olnathron, Tasarnande and Silver_Sprite, with Laurie Eleni as substitute, made up the team of elves from Imladris. We were down from the beginning as we had a slow start and suffered a penalty as a result. Team members had to reach the summit of Mt Doom in an innovative and creative way. All members opted for a quick climb to the summit, but Tas was nowhere to be seen.
Competitors wasted no time in starting to build their constructs. Arwil, Sil and Lilu all built gliders, Arwil even adding a customized Imladris icon. They used various materials that they had had to carry up the steep slope.
The most challenging part of the event was the jump. Taking the plunge, you had to have complete faith in your building abilities and reach the ground unscathed. The contest was a measure of distance. First Arwil, followed by Lilu and then Silver threw both caution and their gliders into the wind. Arwil flew the farthest, and amazingly her craft only fell apart after her landing! All elves reached the ground safely, but perhaps they should not pursue a career in this field.
Hello once again from the forested boughs of Fangorn, a forest which has seen new activity and excitement spread this month from the prospect of the Olympics. Although the team was raring to go, so to speak, their early disappointment in the BBB did not disappoint them; indeed it seemed to fire the rest of the team to go out there and win more medals, and I have to say that they all performed amazingly well. We came away with a medal of each colour, and two of our Entwives are currently battling it out in the VV Final.
In other news, we have seen a new quest form and begin to leave the forest. Led by the new Dimhold, Ropp Silvertears, it seems to be an interesting experience, and we all wish them well. Also the TG and the Timo have seen continued activity within their training sessions, showing that even in the eldest of living things, there is still a need to learn.
And here comes the shameless plug, the quid pro quo of this letter — some have asked about the November & December Tree Voices — owing to a difficulty with the Leafy Bough Publishing House, these have been combined and will be appearing on your shelves close to the festival of Midwinter.
The Healing Grove and the Guilds are continuing to prosper this month, as new Entlings grow up into engaging Ents. We have also seen the return of some of our older members, inculding amongst them, Lindol Onodrim & Nienna — always a welcome sight to see them return to us. Principal amongst the Entings this month include our noted members ((SCRs)) of Ropp, Telmanthir & Indo Quare — oh, and of course Nienna, our old newbie! *g*
These parchment scrolls really aren’t long enough to say all I want to, are they? Well you will just have to come to Fangorn yourself and see what you think of our beautiful forest. Our boughs are always sheltering to friends.
Greetings and salutations from Isengard!
This month has brought to light many new activities here in the kingdom. First up we have the A&AO opening a baking day celebration. It’s open to all races, so stop by and show off your cooking skills! Another new change has occurred recently: the long-standing Order of Merlin has just become known as the Order of Anor. It’s an exciting change, and one that will help keep things Tolkien-like down in Isengard.
This month has also seen the opening of the pet pub. This is the one and only pub where you can bring your animals with you! Camino will be taking care of your beloved cats and dogs, Tigris will take good care of any rodents or winged creatures you might have, and Ultchuk will be taking care of the larger animals— you know, the usual wargs, mumakil, and fell beasts. It was and will be a fun experience.
A new shop has recently opened in the OASM! Trinkets and Talismans is being run by Taliesin (Bird) and Leilah. They carry jewels and gems, delicate diamonds, ravishing rubies, tantalizing topaz, and excellent emeralds. So stop on by and pick up something today! The Orthanc Loony Bin has recently gotten a new doctor; congratulations to Khait of your very own Imladris! So come on by with your problems. Star Quality Designs is now (and for a limited time only) accepting payment in the form of candy and other sweet treats.
Isengard has recently opened a new type of activity. The one and only Valmir has started a game in which you can play the parts of your favorite Isengard characters, including (but not limited to): The land around Orthanc, The top of the Tower, Gandalf, Saruman, Wormtongue, and many others. Coa Ingoleva has been working hard on their Valar project; this month’s Vala is none other than Oromë. In conclusioin, I invite you to come by Isengard’s rooms and visit your friends in their natural habitats.
See you in Isengard!
Rocking all the way to Moria!
There is something about Khazad-Dûm that jus rocks your world. Yes, pun intended. I don’t want to blow my own kingdom’s horn, but you have got to admit that Khazad-Dum has it down. Our wide selection of activities makes us one of the most popular Kingdoms to outsiders. Why? Well, this might be the more complex part. Let me start off with out seven clans.
These seven clans each offer a different aspect to the culture that lives within Middle Earth — Food, drinks, magic, crafting, mining, poetry, and, last but not least, lore. While the clans have been placed under scrutiny the last few days, I can say with confidence that these building blocks of Khazad-Dûm will live on until the end of days. Such major assets could never be replaced.
Role Playing for Beginners (Levels 1 – 5) has been opened up again, and Alameda Larkeye is looking for teachers and tutors from all areas of Middle Earth. Do you think you can teach a newbie to fight? Then this is the place for you. Khazad-Dûm is well known for embracing newbies and giving them a chance to experience “life” on Middle Earth right from the start. That is why we want to attract so much attention to constructing better quality from these newbies. Are you a newbie in need of help? Then look out for the latest RP 1-5 thread.
The Moria Health and Beauty Spa has reopened and is looking better than ever. With new modifications by Thom Greanleaf and Mithriltears, the spa is once again a hot and happening place. Get a variety of treatments that will suffice for even the fussiest of elves. Come and book a treatment and let your mind, spirit and body be relaxed.
On a lighter note, foo is finally being fought against in Khazad-Dûm, to my disgust. Some dwarves think that “pink” and “foo” is not acceptable and “Nobody” the dwarf has even dedicated his house to it. Squzzils, a very huge asset to the foo-supporters, is being hunted down for a 20-point tribute. The war will continue... Until next month, look after yourselves and make a stop by Khazad-Dûm.
~ Star Flower
Suilad to all our fair kin of Rivendell. I bear you greetings from our Lord and Lady of Lórien and news of our fair realm.
We have several activities in full swing within the Golden Wood. The celebration of I Vereth Firith is in full swing and ongoing. The Lórien Orchestra is entertaining all Galadhrim and visitors in the Feasting Hall. There are Craft booths still open, offering the best handicrafts of Lórien to be found anywhere. The Stargazers’ Talan is offering not only a wonderful view of the stars over the Wood at this time, but Firien is offering up tales and very practical information about the constellations as well. There is poety and song to be enjoyed on the various Lawns.
There several RPGs open to many of our allies and friends. We welcome participation from the Shire, the learned Istari, Riders from the Rohan and Men of Gondor, as well as Dwarves from Moria; many have joined the fair folk in several adventures. There is a hunt for serveral items purloined from the Lord and Lady themselves. Another group is taking a ship on her maiden voyage on the Bay of Belfalas, facing excitement and danger such as strong winds and other unknowns! The Givaethyr and the Guard just finished helping the Dwarves complete a quest in Anghak A Year on VIII. The Lórien Olympic Team is holding their own.
Talans such as Quentalmo, the Glade of Trivia, Puzzles and Riddles, Talan of Debate and Brethard: Dagor an Ennor offer chances to learn more about the history of the Elves and Middle Earth in general. Of course, some of these are open only to the Galadhrim, but all visitors are welcome to ask questions at the All Race Visitor Talan.
So come and visit and wander through our fair Wood. Take advantage of all that is open to all the races freely. We welcome you all.
This month Minas Tirith saw a very special event take place, a celebration for the Queen’s second year as Ruler of Minas Tirith! The festivities were bright and energetic as a host of different events were created for the special occasion. A Royal Circus, A Great Feast, various Tributes and an exciting game of Croquet were some of the chief things people could participate in to celebrate. Many people from far and wide came to congratulate the Queen on a wonderful two years as Queen of Minas Tirith! Congratulations Laielinwen!
Even more reason to celebrate comes along as the Pelargir Trade Route opens to entrepeneurs. The turnout has been incredible, as tons of eager Marketplace Employees have already set off, and some have already returned on the new and exciting route.
And lastly, the Southern Storms and Northern Winds effort by the Rangers of Minas Tirith and others has come to some terrible times! There is rumour of a traitor within the ranks, trying to poison the Captains! Shady eyes are cast about as the various Rangers try relentlessly to pursue the weak rumours and to find the traitor within. Meanwhile a small scouting group has been dispatched in the middle of the night. Lead by King Aragorn and Commander Hoyamir, the group seems to be in fabulous hands. What is to come of the scouts is not known yet, but time will certainly reveal all!
Mordor, the land of ash, shadow, pain, suffering, and death, a prime holiday location for the free peoples of Middle-earth, is the ultimate place to go if you want extreme sports. Something that this month’s Olympics have proved beyond all doubt, and you Elves will no doubt have witnessed that firsthand during your free passage to our most foul kingdom. Yes, the Olympics have taken extreme to the extreme, and from the medal count at the time of going to press, it has really taken its toll on you. One bronze? Was that all that you could do? However did you win the battle of the Last Alliance? In comparison, the mighty team of Mordor is currently winning with three golds, all the golds in fact. True minion strength— apart from Eäranna, who is now trailing water lilies, and possibly Gùrath; he was only classed as a minion on the technically that he was born there. However the all-minion (technically) team in Horrible Hepthalon was certainly worthy of its gold.
Of course it would be wrong to claim that nothing else has been happening in Mordor during the Olympic period, but the fact is that what has happened has paled in comparison to the Olympics, and those few events that have happened have mostly been connected with the Olympics. And why not? After all, such extreme, deadly events should not be ignored. Especially when minions can gain pleasure from watching the pain and suffering of others for free, this has led to stadiums being packed with minions all jostling to see the contestants, and what contestants we have had. Mordor was proud to present both its great lord Sauron and the Witchking during the events. Neither of whom have won awards, but neither of whom have put Mordor to shame. However, we should remember that it’s the taking part that counts, especially in the case of you Elves. Not everyone can be a winner, and you seem to be more than adept at proving that.
Now of course I know what you’ll all be thinking as you sit reading this paper. Why are Mordor’s minions so powerful? And the answer is this: We are powerful because we know that through conflict comes strength. If you need proof, then just look at the war between our garrisons at the moment. Only the strongest will survive. We shall weed out the weak and cast them aside like ashes in the early morning breeze, and those that survive will be made stronger by the experience. It is a policy that we find to be most effective, and we heartily recommend that you adopt a similar strategy within your own kingdom. Hopefully by the end you’d be at least some measure of the sport that we deserve in war. After all, if you cannot defeat us, you may as well make us break a sweat when we come to defeat your armies. Something that we guarantee will happen.
So that’s it from Mordor this month, and I hope we’ve left you sufficiently morbid, depressed, and disgusted with your own existence. Morgoth knows we are. So remember, sleep safe, sleep wary, and sleep with one eye open.
The brisk air of early morning speeds through the streets of Edoras with a soft whir, sending piles of multi-colored leaves tumbling about the street as it goes. I nearly turn back and head for home, but Aly, my beloved mare, urges me on through the cold morning. As we approach the gates of the Riddermarket, a heavenly scent reaches my nose, and I realize that today is the start of the Harvest Festival. Leaving my horse at the stables, I wander through the streets of the Riddermarket, which are quickly filling with the bounty of the Mark’s harvest.
As I walk through the streets, I find that there are various competitions going on for the Festival: a Badger Chase, where Blackie; one of the wiliest badgers alive, was set loose in the Riddermark and a competition (dare I say organized chaos) was held to see who could track and catch him first. There is also a Produce competition going on, where the very best of Rohan’s harvest are on display, all vying for the honor of the title ‘Riddermark’s Best.’ It seems also that a contest is to be held for the Poets of the Mark — more precisely, a Limerick competition where our poets will battle it out in 5 lines or less to earn the title ‘Riddermarket Cryer.’ Last, but not least, I hear that there is to be a competition for the all of the lady Riders out there, a Miss Meduseld competition, where eligible young ladies battle it out with each other to decide who will be the next Miss Meduseld.
After a long day of walking, shopping, and sitting in on competitions, I am more than ready to retire to my warm home when I hear the soft sound of music reverberating through the Riddermarket. Upon further investigation, I find myself staring at an open air dance floor, filled with masked figures of all races, types and sizes. I either have happened upon a gathering of strange creatures, or a Masquerade Ball of some sort. Whatever the answer, fatigue takes over my body, and I don’t contemplate the thought any longer, focusing instead on making it to the stables and then safely maneuvering my way home.
~ Sethiel Eluchil
Though I am writing to you while covered up in fleece blankets since so many snowstorms have hit the Shire lately, the spirit here is as if harvest time is still here. So much is going on, and there has been so much to celebrate. Six, not just four, Hobbits got special ranks this month, we came home with one gold and two bronze medals from the Mordor Olympics, and both of our mayors recently had their two-year Plazaversaries –Brandybuck on November 11th, and Eamila Bolger on December 2nd.
Tari Boffin, MerryHobbit, Balbo, and I are especially excited since our Special Ranks will play a part in the new Scouring of the Shire RPG that will open in early December. A detailed RPG for all races to participate in, Tari, Merry, and I will be coming home as Frodo, Merry, and Pippin respectively, to see Mayor Will Whitfoot (Balbo) among so many others chained up in the Lockholes so that we may rid Saruman’s many evils from our lands for real this time!
Erowen as Uinen and Menolly as Telperion will also be enjoying their gorgeous Administrators’ Ranks along with us – while all of us are excited that the Ivy Bush Cooking Guild finally re-opened (though positions there will now be limited to Hobbits), the Shire Players’ Snow Elf and the Seven Hobbits production is nearly over, and that The International Shire and Pipeweed Association (TISAPA) has started up again in result of Baragunde’s encouragement. Even Little People Speak Up- FOTR is nearing an end, and Hobbits and foreigners alike are now re-writing people’s diary entries for Little People Speak Up - Two Towers. And as a special surprise, The Tuckborough Tribune Editors’ Office opened in late November, where Tari and I will be co-editors for yet a new but exciting Shire monthly. Even foreigners may write for us!
One hard loss the Shire faced however, was losing the Shire Olympics Captain, ~Rings, to Mordor once we won the games and had celebrated Halloween with her. She had had the privilege of being Q for November, along with Prisca Sharrasi who had played Data. But now that those fun Halloween-y times with Uncle Tobriar’s House and the Star Trek RPG have passed, Garnet Took, a faithful member to the Shire, will take ~Rings’s place as our new leader for the Dear Rosie - Helpful Advice Column.
Evidently, the Shire spirit is going on quite strong despite the blistery winters here. A long-awaited wedding between Prisca Boffin and Endymion will finally become a reality on December 22nd, and the Shire Medical Clinic will soon re-open with a whole new staff of Hobbit doctors for everyone. The Shire weathers its winters well – especially this one!
~ Istya Alassea
Quote o‘ the Valian Month:
(Peeg is asked after his opinion on removing a rather large quantity of dog poo from his kilt)
Wut? uhhhhhh....oh yeah....heh heh heh.....
~ Arlo Cúthalion
In the beginning, when Eru created the Ainur, Melkor sang Eru’s melodies. But, when Eru gathered all of the Ainur and announced to them the greatest theme they ever sang, Melkor started to entwine his own melodies into their music, creating disorder. That’s where it all began.
After the creation of Arda, as you know, some of the Ainur entered the world and became Valar, the Forces of Arda. When Eru first showed them the vision of what Arda was going to be, they agreed to help build that world and let Elves and Humans, Eru’s Children, live in peace with Valar guiding them. Melkor, on the other hand, wanted to rule Arda alone, as King. In that time, he still desired the light, but with time, he sank deeper and deeper into the Darkness, and in the end, he became the exact opposite of the light he sought for, and became the Darkness itself. No longer did he wish to rule Arda, but to destroy it and the Valar.
As the awakening of the Elves came closer, the Valar directed their efforts in beating Melkor so that he would not harm the Elves. Finally, when Oromë discovered that the Elves had awakened, the Valar gathered an army and marched on Morgoth’s fortress in the north, Angband. Melkor was defeated, chained, and led to Valinor. Manwë sentenced him to three ages in the Void outside of Arda. When it was time to let him go, he was brought before the Valar. He convinced them that he realised his mistakes, and they let him walk freely in Valinor, but forbade him to go anywhere outside of it. In that time, the Elves lived in Valinor, and Melkor immediately started to turn them against Valar. He succeeded most with Noldor, because Vanyar lived with near Manwë, and Teleri, mostly dwelling by the Sea, were not affected by his rumours. Around that time, Fëanor made the Silmarils, and Melkor wanted them for himself. Fëanor hated Melkor, but he was still affected by his talk against the Valar. And then Melkor met Ungoliant, the darkest creature which fed with all light. Together, they destroyed the Two Trees, stole the Silmarils, and fled to Middle-earth. Melkor killed Fëanor’s father, Finwë. When Fëanor found out, he called Melkor “Morgoth”, the Black Foe of the world. Fëanor and his sons led the Noldor to Middle-earth despite the Valar’s warnings. The rest of Elven history in the war against Morgoth is known to you, I believe (if not, in the next edition you will find out about the Elves in the First Age). Melkor was winning the war, destroying his enemies one by one. Finally, Eärendil and his wife Elwing sailed with one of the Silmarils to Valinor to ask help from the Valar. And the Valar responded. They gathered their forces and moved against Morgoth. He was severely beaten and once again, taken as prisoner. This time, he was banished outside of Arda, and was guarded by Eärendil who sails across the sky.
On the Scripts of Middle-earth
By the time of the Third Age of Middle Earth, each race, each culture – even one as primitive as the Orc race – had adopted or created a writing system. All of these had originated from two fundamental versions of Elvish scripts. One is the Cirth and the other, the Tengwar.
The Tengwar were the eldest and were devised by the Noldor before their exile from the Blessed Realm. The first version was devised by Rúmil, and later adapted by Fëanor. This script was designed for writing with a brush or a quill, which produce signs composed of elegantly curved and rounded elements. Hence, each sign of the Tengwar is referred to as a ‘letter’. The symbols follow a logical sequence and pattern, and are grouped on a chart according to the positions of their curved and straght elements.
The Cirth were devised by the Sindar, and were used only for brief inscriptions and carvings (for at that stage, they were less technologically advanced than the Noldor). These ‘runes’, as they were called, consisted of straight-lined elements with no curved lines. This is practical for a script that is carved or scratched, because curved lines are more difficult to obtain by such a method.
Following the reunion of the exiled Noldor and the Sindar in the First Age, Daeron of Doriath rearranged and corrected the Cirth according to the systematic arrangement of the Tengwar (for up until then, the runes of the Cirth were not arranged in any specific order). However, it was not long before the Sindar adapted the Tengwar as their new writing system, and the Cirth passed out to the east of Beleriand — where it was adapted by Dwarves, Men and, yes, Orcs.
Now, each rune or letter of the Tengwar or Cirth did not represent a sound, as in the Westron script, but each sound was represented by a letter, if I may be so bold. The elves did not assign representations for sounds that were not incorporated into their speech. For example, the Noldor, upon arriving in Middle Earth had to adapt their writing system to incorporate a ‘y’ vowel sound, for this did not exist in Quenya but only in Sindarin. Likewise, the ‘kw’ sound eventually dropped out of the Tengwar, because no such sound existed in Sindarin. In other words, letters might be assigned to different sounds, depending on the sounds that existed in the language being written.
Likewise, when the other races adopted the Cirth, modifications were naturally made to suit certain sounds in their speech that did not exist in Elvish. For example, the uvular ‘r’ of Dwarfish and Orkish is represented by a different character than the Elvish ‘r’, just as we use a ‘c’ for Elvish to imply a weaker, softer sound than the strong uvular ‘k’ used for Dwarfish and Orkish. (These two ‘k’ sounds, also, are assigned to different Cirth.)
Lastly, I wish to draw attention to the use of the term ‘rune’. Traditionally, this word was used to describe ‘a symbol that has mysterious and magical powers attributed to it’. I should like to make mention that I do not think this is a mistake or mere coincidence. Throughout the ages we see the awesome power that rests in the inscriptions and markings of the Elves manifested in more than one way. The Ring is one example; perhaps the inscriptions on the doors of Moria are their secret to the password-guarded entrance; the phrase upon Arwen’s sword was what fated her to be its bearer - I could go on!
Even after this, a very lengthy note on the scripts that the Middle Earth Races employ, I fear there is much to tell. However, I do not believe that ever all shall be said on the scripts of Middle-earth, for they are so fine and complex. But I hope that this note, long and short as it was, has shed some more light on the beauty of the Elves.
[Ed. Note: For scribes wishing to write Tengwar, we recommend the resources archived here]
~ coding by Ibrantriel
Greetings fellow elves! Here is another ‘How to’. Yes, it’s that festive time of year! You may run out of ink as you write all those cards and letters, so here is a quick and easy way to make your own.
There are two methods you can use. The first is quite simple, but the quality is standard.
Collect some creosote in a mortar or small bowl. This is the sooty black substance you can find on lamps and in fireplaces. You can even get it from candles (Refer to last month’s issue for the candle making how-to).
When you have enough in your container, add a small dollop of honey. This gives it the ability to flow as ink, but of course you do not want it sticking to your quill. Add a drop of Bruinen water at a time to get the right consistency.
Get out your mortar and pestle, and get your hands on some black walnuts. Pound them in your mortar until you get a fine powder.
Take a cast-iron frying pan and boil some water. Add the walnut powder. The darker you want the ink, the longer you leave it in. Let it cool.
Once the mixture has cooled, take a sieve or a cheese-cloth and strain the mixture into another container.
To get the consistency you desire, you may add some tree gum or honey, as this mixture is very watery.
You now have your own ink to write to your heart’s content! Just remember to use containers that you do not use for cooking, if you use the second method.
~ Avi Aiel
As the season of Midwinter approaches, even the fairest of Eru’s Children will have the sad tendancy to overeat — I mean over indulge in delicious delicacies. Sitting here in Fangorn, I can picture the smells that will be coming from the Kitchens of MiLord Elrond’s House even now! Some people may say that the best remedy for this problem is simply not to indulge as much, but I know how hard that is amongst the young — what our Entlings put away would scare even a Dwarf from his Deep halls. No, there are other ways.
One of the most sucessful and noted ways is with a Dill tea, or a dill infusion. For either of these, take two or three good-sized leaves (enough to cover your thumb when laid next to each other) and tear them up into rough pieces. Then place in them in a drinking vessel of your choice, adding some water just brought to the boil. “Dunk” is the Gondorian term I've heard — you move the leaves around in the water. When the water is cool enough to drink and is only steaming slightly, remove the leaves, add honey to taste and drink.
Of course the old favourite of Chamomile Tea is another good one, prepared in the same way. The other old favourite is rosehip and honey tea. For this one use three parts boiling water to one part hot honey! It is good for sore throats as well.
Now when you want to be sneaky and give your guests energy for the evening, try adding some pinches of herbs to your Mulled Wine. Rosemary, Parsley & Yarrow will all add flavour and are full of beneficial minerals. And for the morning after — while I have no personal experience I know people who have – the best for that is a soothing cup of mint tea. When drinking this, be sure to inhale and enjoy the aromatic steam before you sip, close your eyes, and drift away...
~ Thom Greenleaf
We have a very special feature this month from one of the Fair Folk: Gilnessael shares with you her suggestions for the wardrobe of the well-dressed Elf!
Clothes of a female elf
Light summer dresses with short sleeves, made of a light material, are perfect for hot summer days. You should have many of them, for clothes tend to get easily dirty in summer.
A very simple dress is most necessary in fighting practice or for scouting, hunting, etcetera. Made of simple material and having half-length sleeves. This dress is very comfortable. It also must be not too long or too wide or of bright colour. It should have a simple cut. It can also be useful while doing some of the chores.
A riding dress must have a very wide skirt, so it would be comfortable to ride a horse. It is advised to be fairly simple at top, for it will be used mostly on long riding trips.
Everyone knows Leggings and a tunic are more comfortable. Also they add warmth if worn under the dress in winter. Must I say more?
Cloaks should be at least four:
A light, flowing cloak for summer and cool evenings. The truth is it is usually only decorative, not giving any warmth.
A warm, water-proof cloak with ahood for rainy and cold autumns and springs.
A very warm wintercloak made with fur and a warm hood for freezing weather in winter.
A simple cloak without hood for activities where quick movements are required and a hood would be a bother, though a cloak is still necesary.
A beautiful dress in the wardrobe of every elven maiden is a must have for feasts, galas, etcetera. The dress should have long and wide sleeves and a wide collar. The dress must have some decoration of silver or gold, but not both. Shorter said: the dress must be as fancy as possible. If a maiden attends many events, it is better to have two dresses, one of them a bit less fancy than another for less important events.
A couple of warm dresses. Warm dresses are usually buttoned and with folded collar and made of warm material.
In the end, the ever important daily wear, Elven dresses. There should be many of them for everyday wear. Not so fancy, but not so simple a cut either, with wide neckline. These can be worn almost always. Try different decorations, cuts and colours.
Clothes for a male elf
Simple leggings and tunics are essential for activities like duelling, archery, riding, hunting and any other activity wehre clothes get dirty and torn. They should be made of simple, but tough material and be of simple dark colours like brown or tan.
Normal leggins and tunics can be worn every day under robes, jackets or cloaks. Usually silvery or white shades with leggings a bit darker shade than tunic. The tunic usually has carved buttons. There should be many of them, for they can be worn almost every day.
Robes are usually worn for many events, like feasts or councils:
A light airy robe for summer or indoor events. Wood-elves tend to wear them
more often than elves of our valley, Golden Wood or Grey Havens.
A robe for every day wear. This is more "serious" robe for every day wear and events that one must attend. It can be more of a simple cut and remind others more of a long jacket than a robe. Actually there should be two of them; one warmer than another.
A very fancy robe. It should be long and wide with golden or silver buttons and other decorations. It is only worn on very important meetings and feasts.
Jackets are worn over tunics, especialy on cold days. There can be two of them, one more for training. Usually they are of darker shade, even darker than leggings and fit tight around the tunic. However, they should be very comfortable and not hinder any movements.
Even cloaks for males are nearly the same as for females, though I don't think that I must add that the males should not wear a light decorative cloak?
The basics are pretty much the same:
A warm water-proof cloak with a hood for Autumn and Spring.
A very warm cloak with fur and a warm hood for winter.
Simple hoodless cloak.
A vest that is usually long and wide, made of leather and worn usually over the armour.
Elvish attire is usually pastel coloured and more fancy clothes are usually glittering. The clothes for feasts are usually wine red, dark green or dark navy blue, though there happens to be a dress ot two of golden or silver coulour.
A belt can be added to make clothes more interesting. All kinds of decorations are best to be silver with green, golden with red and either with blue.
There must at least two pairs of shoes: light shoes and very warm winter boots.
In conclusion, I wish to add that these guidelines are only advisory and every elf is dfferent and they must be tailored for every elf depending on his or her needs.
This is an encrypted message, and your job is to unlock its holiday secrets! Each letter is shown by a different number, and I have already given you a few letters to help you. The rest is up to you to find out. Good luck!
HINTS: I= 20, R=7, W=18, V=1
HINTS: I= 20, R=7, W=18, V=1
An original riddle for you. (answer in credits below)