Parth Odothui ~ Volume VII
Pennas Ringare ~ December Issue

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Guilds and Groups


Things are moving along in the Host of Imladris; the rank icons have been reduced in size for members to bear and we have two new recruits: Numenor and Nia.

In a mission against the new draconian terror of Erebor, the group “Khelek, comprised of Ealena and Silarian, and Orin and Eruv of the “Naur group are now passing through Mirkwood to reach the Lonely Mountain where they will be faced with a winged and deadly adversary.

Silarien, another recently joined member of the Host, has begun her training under Captain Narie Alarion’s instruction in the Training Grounds.

The Ancient Fields of Warriors has seen activity again. It’s a beautiful fall setting, with leaves in beautifully assorted colors falling to the ground, carried gently by cool breezes. Silarien and Ruincarch, the aide of Rilome, spend their time there often. Narie is there at most times, along with my daughter, Silmiel, and I. I have brought with me a lyre to strum upon, and the dear Silarien lends her sweet voice to my notes in song. Hopefully, other warriors and also healers will come by for autumn fun in the Fields!

~ Aigronding Mordagnir

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Greetings fellow plaza-ites, Aranel Vayna here to bring you the recent news from the Imladris Word Sleuth Team. Our Imladris team was victorious in our first match against Lothlorien; the final score of the match stood at 270 to 124 points respectively. During this match, Team Imladris played all seven letters twice, meriting the hard-to-get 50 bonus points each time for using all letters in a single play. The highest scoring word of the match, played by our team, was ANTIHERO for 72 points.

The second match for Team Imladris, which also ended in victory, was against the Shire and ended with the final score of 322 to 232. In the course of this match Imladris again scored two seven letter bonuses with the highest score of the game going to Imladris with an 81 point play.

Team Imladris’ third match this season ended in an upset loss to Team Minas Tirith 377 to 87 points. A combination of poor letters, sleepy elves and excellent plays made by the MT Team contributed to Team Imladris’ first loss of the season. As a result of this match, Team Imladris has decided to ban wine, aromatherapy products and bubble bath while a match is going on in an attempt to keep our team members awake and alert.

Team Imladris’ current overall standing is at 6 points, tying with the teams from Khazad-dum, the Shire, and Firewood (aka Fangorn), and an overall score of 679 points.

Our current match, against Khazad-dum, started on December 1st. Why not stop on by and show your support for Team Imladris?!

~ Aranel Vayna

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By the end of the summer the Forge was finally running again. As Quennar leaned over the order book, on one of the first pages he read was written in a beautiful, curly font: This book is meant for masters and apprentices. If you are a master, chose an item and start processing it, or fabricate something of your own design. If you are an apprentice, have a look over it with your instruction master and discuss your possibilities. This book contains a list of orders which have to be done.

Two new elven faces have joined the Forge recently: Fácënú and Earendin. Fuin, the headmaster, has taken them under her guard and has started teaching them the preliminary arts of smithery. The second master, Quennar, guides the apprentice Mar-Evayavë in the ways of forging an elven sword. The two masters put their heads together, discussing in quiet terms how to deal with the long list of standing orders and the half-finished work of the former apprentices.

Another problem arose, as the Forge had been closed due to a needed travel into the mountains for additional metal supplies. The mess was incredible. Together Quennar and Fuin cleaned out one of the back rooms, and Quennar placed some new shelves in it. After that, they brought the completed items -which had been standing for a long time in a corner of the Forge- and also the random items lying around to the newly cleaned room. The door was labelled: Archive – Stored Items.

It was deep in the autumn now, but the door to the Forge was still left open. The temperature inside wasn't as high as it would become in summertime, but it was still very pleasant in contrast with the cool days. Most trees had lost their leaves and a colourful path of yellow, red and brown led now to the doorway of the building. Quennar knew he had to clear the path, but first he had to finish a couple of orders. The list was finally growing smaller.

If you wish to help in the Forge, post in our OOC thread and join us in the main forum. We hope to see you soon!

~ Aikari

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We are deep into autumn now, and most of the trees and bushes have lost their leaves. The ground now displays a radiant array of colors ranging from yellow to red to brown. Flowers still remain vibrant, but they are slowly dying, and all plant life is preparing for the winter again. In just a few weeks, the first snow should come and change the landscape once again, this time to a magnificent, bright white.

The class of aphadoers has grown with the arrival of two new students. Healing Room 6 is packed with everyone sitting and standing around. Their case, Poldon, sits delighted in his bed, listening to their discussion on how to care for his recent injuries. Idhwen and Numellote, the overseers of the class, are surprised by the knowledge of their students, but for the moment they are letting them sweat on giving their answers to the questions the elder healers propose.

Nestor Aikári and aphador Kiranell have treated Tazynia very well and they are almost finished with healing the wounds of their patient. Very soon Tazynia will be moved to the recovery rooms where two former patients, Eruvérdë and Aigronding, are resting, as well as the latter's family. The other aphadoer and nestoer are somewhere in the Healing House or have gone for a walk in the valley.

If you wish to learn the art of healing, you are welcome to join us. Go over to the office and leave a note. Either Minestor Aikári or Tanestor Númellótë will be there to give you cheerful help.

~ Aikari

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Greetings, and the best to everyone for the holidays!

For some time now, the Imladris Library, run more-or-less solely by me, Mar, has been on a down-slide, as much as I love and cherish it. In the past it has had other Librarians, such as Elenaro or Annean. Elenaro hasn't been around for some time, and in all my time on the Plaza, I only recall a few times where I spoke with Annean. Recently I've been having the pangs of trying to run a “business on my own. Twice I have managed to “resurrect it, but once again activity has dwindled to the point where there hasn't been any activity in over a month.

I thank Aigronding deeply for helping me out. It has been an “I-help-you, you-help-me sort of thing. In exchange for posting (more-or-less) actively in the Ost-Formentir, he would come over and post in the Library. Eruverde of Isengard and Kiranell, my plaza-daughter, have also helped. Some time ago, I came up with a plan to gather interest for all Plaza libraries. In fact, I am still working on that plan, tackling librarians one-by-one, which, unfortunately, stopped at the Shire. I have Eruverde's support from the Isengard Library. I was in the process of getting the Shire's support when Estel, whom I believe was in charge at the Undertowers, had RL issues and had to put the Library on-hold... which meant my plans were put on-hold. So, since I wanted to only work on one kingdom at a time, I have had to sit back and wait, which is fine with me. I understand, and as soon as possible, I will continue working on this plan of mine.

Recently, I have been made an offer regarding the Library. As some of you may know, there was at one point a Bards and Writers Guild for, as the title implies, people with an artistic thumb to hang out and share poems and the such, or even for those who were artistically illiterate who just wanted to chat with some friends. Eventually the B and W Guild closed down, but another similar guild has popped up in its place. This guild is known as the Hall of Song. Some of you may have heard of it, some of you might not have. Like the L

ibrary, it was run by Elenaro. Since he isn't around to work in the Library, that naturally means he isn't around for the Hall of Song, either. Its current leader is Kiranell, but also like the Library, the Hall of Song has been suffering from a lack of attention. Kiranell and I were faced with a proposition that we were asked to consider. Since then, the plans have moved to the next stage. These two guilds are renovating and moving into the same building.

That's right. Sometime in the near future, the Library and the Hall of Song are merging into the same location. They will still be more-or-less two different guilds. The Library, at this time, is planned to be on the left of the building, and the Hall of Song will be on the right. A front chamber will connect the two, where a bright and cheerful receptionist waits to help you.

I can't say much more, or that would spoil the surprise. You'll have to sit in anticipation for the new opening. Perhaps we will come up with a snazzy, new name. I've created a draft banner, but we are far from finished. Hopefully, you won't have to wait long.

So, call this an ad, or an announcement, or just some form of a report for both the Library and the Hall of Song. Maybe all of the above. My objective in writing this is all of them. I hope to see you all when all the planning is complete and it is put into action!

~ Mar Evayave

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Feature Articles

Interview with Finduilas Faelivrin and Silendra

As always, the Plaza Admin team is beloved to us, and with their entrance as new admins, these two are no exception. I had the opportunity to bend the minds of two great Plaza members: Silendra and Finduilas Faelivrin. I'd like to take this chance to say that I admire them greatly, and I enjoyed reading their interviews. Hopefully they will be with us for many years.

Finduilas Faelivrin.

When did you come to the Plaza?

I stumbled onto the Plaza on October 2, 2003, when I was searching for Tolkien quizzes. I never really planned on staying, and it took a couple of months before I RP’ed my character for the first time. As wet behind the ears as they come, I remember being utterly nervous because I had never RP’ed before and I was terrified of doing something wrong.

What makes the Plaza the perfect retreat for Tolkien fans?

There is something for everyone on the Plaza, whether you are a hard-core Lorist, enjoy playing games, want to share your thoughts, poetry and art with other Tolkien fans, or just want to have some fun RPing. There is always something new around the corner!

Books or the movies?

I started out with the movies and it took a year to finally “get what Lord of the Rings was all about. When I saw the films I didn’t understand that the Hobbits were little people until I watched the commentaries on the films. The penny finally dropped and when I dove in, I dove deep and have never looked back. I have since read the books several times through and I only wish that I had gotten to know them earlier in life.

What is your favourite Plaza moment?

There are so many that it would be hard to pin down just one. I suppose when my character was promoted to Commander of the Rangers, that was a big deal for me. I think also completing GM’ing my very first RPG – Echo of a Song — was a big moment for me. As far as the Plaza in general, I recall when the admins played a trick on us Plazonians for April Fools and supposedly allowed us to see the latest posts in Valinor – only it was all a setup. They’d fixed it so that whoever was looking at the forum saw their own name. There were thread titles like, Rulers beware! Finduilas is at it again! Finduilas the uber-spammer! Finduilas’ latest foul-up! Reasons why Finduilas will never be an R/A! (I did a screenshot of that forum and I still get a giggle from it.)

If you could name your favourite thing about the Plaza what would it be?

If by Plaza thing you mean aspect, my favorite aspect is the fact that so many different kinds of people, young and old, from all over the world and all walks of life can gather together here and become friends. I am proud beyond belief that there are so many different people who speak so many different languages, and embarrassed that I don’t speak any other languages beyond hello, goodbye, no thanks I don’t smoke, but, and may I have an extra-hot burrito please? Also, the one thing that attracted me to the Plaza as opposed to some other sites was that this one is so well administrated and is family friendly.

You were recently promoted to the position of an admin - how does it feel?

When I was first asked if I would like to be an admin, I wasn’t shocked and it didn’t feel all that surprising. It’s not like I was expecting it because I wasn’t – it is just that it felt like the natural progression of my walk through the Plaza. There has been a stigma in the past about admins and I look forward to helping to see those old concepts change.

If you could change one thing about the Plaza, what would it be?

I suppose there are some technical things that could be changed, but those are all being worked on little by little. If there were a lot of things about the Plaza and how it runs that I wanted changed, I might not have stuck around so long because I love this place!

Any last words of encouragement to newbies out there?

Every single person who arrives here has something to give whether you are brand-new to the Plaza or an oldie-moldy. When you are new there is a kind of excitement, perhaps like when you first experienced a roller coaster or tasted what is now your very favorite food. I’d like to tell the newbies out there not to be intimidated, but to just keep enjoying every new aspect of this place!

Silendra

When did you come to the Plaza?

I came to the Plaza on 22nd September, 2004 - so in the year I was taking my GCSEs. One of my friends had offered to buy me Nenya - the replica copy of the ring, not Lanthy - and so I was looking for it on the internet when I came across the shop affiliated with the Plaza. Clicking random links led me here and I signed up on the spot.

What makes the Plaza the perfect retreat for Tolkien fans?

It has something for everyone: the atmosphere of each individual kingdom and the way one can immerse oneself in it, places for Tolkien art and poetry, upcoming Tolkien news, linguistic help and discussion, and, of course, the in-depth understanding of Tolkien and his works in the lore fora. The really wonderful thing is the ability to interact with hundreds of Tolkien fans, each with their different approaches, from around the world.

Books or the movies?

Books, no question. Not that the movies don't have their visual charm, but they can never be what the books are.

What is your favourite Plaza moment?

The thread in Angmar (Mordor's subforum) entitled "Blackmail and Banter" probably contains all of these...

If you could name your favourite thing about the Plaza what would it be?

My friends - the people I have had the pleasure to meet first there, and sometimes even in RL.

You were recently promoted to the position of an admin - how does it feel?

Unusual, but good. I had been looking for a break from Mordor since I had been a minion for two and a half years, so the offer came at a happy time. I'm now avoiding Mordor, so as to let the new rulers find their own space and vision without me, and also so that when I come back to it, it'll be a fresh experience. Playing in Rivendell now is like being a newbie, since I have never been a member there. I'm discovering things about it all the time - each kingdom is unique, after all. I'm also able to devote more time to the Cottage, which is something I'd wanted to do, and to Lore. Some of my buttons are truly alarming - especially the notorious big red "ERASE PLAZA" one, but I'm keeping my itchy fingers away and trying to forget that I was recently a brooding, destructive tyrant of complete evil.

If you could change one thing about the Plaza, what would it be?

I'd make weekly name changes compulsory... something like that.

Any last words of encouragement to newbies out there?

Welcome to this wide and wonderful world. I've had some really amazing and happy times stemming from this place, and I hope you do too.

~ Star Flower

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Newbie Perspective

Normally newbs feel scared, threatened, wary and altogether petrified. However, this time was different. I was in awe at the expanse of the Plaza and its thousands of members. I love Lord of the Rings, and before I joined this site I felt that I was an expert. Now I know that in fact I’m far from it. Yet I was still welcomed into the family of both the plaza and Imladris. Once inside I knew I would never be anything but an elf, but which type to choose? This was my first problem: Imladris, or Lorien? It was a very difficult choice, let me tell you.

In the end, I decided Imladris was the place for me: the last house of the elves in Middle-Earth west of the Misty Mountains. Immediately I was welcomed into its ranks, meeting new (and very friendly) elves. I got started at the Tingdain, the forge, and visited many other places as well, like the market.

It was the first time I had ever RPed in my life, so I was really excited about the possibilities and all the opportunities. I also had to think about my character, Fanecu; I had never met him, yet needed to create him a past. That was the hardest part of all, apart from making friends over the internet.

Anyway, this may be a bit shorter than normal (I’m sure the editor can format it to make it look bigger LOL) but I would just like to thank everyone who have helped me over these last few weeks. I feel really settled in, now, so I hope we can chat soon if we haven’t already. Thanks!

~ Fanecu

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Oldbie Perspective

It was in June 2004 that I joined the Plaza, as innocent as anyone arriving there for the first time. Like all newbies, I made the necessary mistakes, such as posting too quickly, not reading the opening posts well, and sometimes being too eager. This past June, my four-year anniversary passed by, and now look at me! Here I am as Minestor of the Adab Nestad and guildmaster in the Tingdain. With pleasure I look over both guilds, and I, along with my co-runners, have been with them through all the ups and downs.

My main character is back on the Plaza with a lovely baby son named Eärendúr, who I enjoy role-playing. Adding a person to a character's profile deepens the character's background. For a long time I had wished that for Aikári, and as a mother her character is more caring and softer than she was as a single person. The excitement of letting your main character chase after some kind of a career all the time eventually winds down.

You may find it surprising, or maybe not so surprising, but Aikári matches my RL person a lot. When creating her, even before joining the Plaza in June 2004, I knew who Aikári would be: maiden of the Minyár Eldar with her roots and daily life connected there in the active sense, blond haired, green-grey eyes, a smile on her face, delight in her eyes... I can picture her beauty and grace in my mind, but unfortunately I am not able to transfer her image from my mind to paper. Neither have I ever found a picture of an elven maiden on the internet that would come anywhere close to representing her. So except for the descriptions in my posts, there are no pictures existing of her.

Over the time I have seen the site changing. For good or bad, who can say? We have good hope in the Hobbit, as in the planning coming over two years, with two movies for 2010 and 2011. Like others, I am already secretly waiting for them. Not really just for the adventure, but also for what the involved people will make of it. A flood of Hobbits and Dwarves is to expected, I guess. Aside from that, the Plaza continues being the great site that it is, with wonderful and dedicated people. To many I have said goodbye, but to even more I say hello. It is a great delight to see old faces return from time to time.

A few new RPG’s remain in store, coming up next year, presumably, or somewhere around Christmas time. This year I was a BOO with Halloween, a nice and mean little ghost that surprises you when you are not on the lookout for it. It makes me grin, and I can’t say otherwise. No matter what his real tale is, I found him adorable.

I am doing fine, and though I have already been here for a long time, I will continue being here. Not one of you can get rid of me so easily, and I guess a lot of you would not like to see me vanish. So beware, I am here. *g*

~ Aikari

Tidings from Abroad

Mordor

The Black Lands of the East, where no Elf dares tread, except those in search of really fine wine; a few even break into minion pubs every so often and get nailed to the wall. Big surprise. It's where Sauron glowers from Barad-dur, and the Witch-king demonstrates his total failure at karaoke; where all manner of foul beasts crawl on the floor. It's where melees erupt for no reason and people die with mysterious arrows in their backs; where people wear heavy hoods and cloaks merely to visit the tavern lest they be revealed as non-minion and savagely mauled to death by a passing werewolf; where the temple of Morgoth still stands black and bleak, and worshippers blood-drenched go to worship. Mordor. With the terrifying chants published in their fearsome newspaper, and where the Black Market runs a perfectly legal trade in slaves and unnerving weaponry. Where Captain Gecko, laden with rum, proposes "Truth or Dare". Which is worse? Both are fairly awful.

And yet this month, transformed by the magic that takes over the entire place at Halloween, Mordor was changed into Discworld, the world carried on the back of four elephants standing atop a turtle. It makes perfect sense.... of course. Instead of the disgruntled, suspicious faces of orcs and trolls, the minions wore the disgruntled, even more suspicious -and probably more cynical- faces of occupants of Ankh-Morpork, Lancre, or otherwise.

In Mordor, we like chaos. In the Discworld, chaos is unavoidable. Therefore, Sauron's decision to step down mid-Halloween was perfectly in keeping with character, something this correspondent will insist upon until the bitter end, as was the discovery that Sauron was not in fact stepping down, but rather up, abandoning a life of tyranny over minions to a life of tyranny over, apparently, deer and other wildlife. The new occupant of the throne is proving to be even more sadistic with an even worse sense of humor, and carrying on tradition by having, as her very first ruler icon ever, a wicked cat named Greebo.

In the time it took you to read this report:

- 4 half-Elves tried to walk into a Mordor Pub and got stabbed but magically evaded it
- 7 Hobbits were liquefied to make a Bloody Mordor
- 11 minions died of "accidental shooting" during army practice
- 2 people were bullied so severely by the editors of GraBT that they accidentally agreed to write an article
- 5 Freeps thought about defecting to Mordor
- 3 people suffered 3rd degree burns by glomping a Balrog
- Minions have already surrounded your house with flaming torches. Sucker.

Thank-you for reading this foreign report from everyone's favorite Mordor. The estimated ransom demand is "Everything You've Got."

~ Silendra, the Not-So-Foreign-Correspondent

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Cryptogram

~ Aranel Vayna

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Credits

  • Guilds and Organizations
    • Host: Aigronding Mordagnir
    • Word Sleuth: Aranel Vayna
    • Forge: Aikari
    • Gwaith in Nestoer: Aikari
    • Library and Hall of Song: Mar Evayave
  • Feature Articles
    • Interview with Finduilas Faelivrin and Silendra: Star Flower
    • Newbie Perspective: Fanecu
    • Oldie Perspective: Aikari
  • Tidings From Abroad
    • Mordor: Silendra
  • Puzzles and Games
    • Cryptogram: Aranel Vayna
  • Artwork
    • Titles and background: Tinw
    • Ink sketches: Tinw
    • Eagle and Cheetah sketches: Ellitare
    • Kingdom stamps: Silarvalla
  • With gratitude to each and every one of our contributors, for all your efforts to record and bring to life the magic of Imladris and of the plaza. Fond memories, fun times, a great paper: we are so proud and honoured to be able to put the Herald together - thanks to you!
    ~Nenuphar, Arvellas, and Mar-Evayave, co-Editors