Parth Odothui ~ Volume VII
Pennas Narvinye ~ January Issue
Note: The following magic symbol returns you to the top
of the scroll:
I, the war messenger for the Host of Imladris, present you the situation on the battlefield:
This mission seemed to be peaceful and calm at the beginning but everything has gone wrong. The soldiers are now scattered and the company is spread through the woods. Enemies are ready to kill any Elf that gets in their way. The situation is critical, and the Host must regroup soon.
We have received reports of prisoners and wounded soldiers. There is no trace of the humans with which the Host was supposed to meet; they may be hiding as well.
This is all the news I could gather and which I came to bring with great haste.
Despite the dark news from the front, we have one joy as well. The Meeting Hall of the Host has opened again; once again soldiers have a gathering place to talk to each other, consult the officers ,or take orders.
We also have a new system of Host organizing and activities for training new recruits. This seems to be a great way of attracting new people and making the Host a more organized and fascinating place.
The activity levels seem to have gone down a bit over the Holiday but we will get back on track on track soon. See you next time!
This season's first match took off with a leap and a bound. The mighty Imladris Elves competed against the equally mighty Dwarves of Khazad-Dum, who came from afar to match wit with us Elves. The gracious Valinor team agreed to act as moderators for the match, doing a fantastic job! When the match was finally over, the Dwarves of Khazad-Dum won at a stunning 442 to our 353.
Week 2 consisted of the Elves of Imladris against the Valinor, who were the mods of our last match. This match took place in Imladris, with the Shirefolk as the moderators. Both teams missed one of their deadlines, then Valinor played a word which was almost not accepted. The tension was obviously pressing on both teams. The final score totaled up to be 350 to 396, with our team taking the win.
The third match did not take place in Imladris, but rather in Lothlorien, with Mordor as mods. When Lothlorien goofed on one of their rounds, Imladris took a good lead, but Lothlorien didn't back down. They finished off the rest of their rounds, but in the end the goof cost them the game. Imladris won 350 to 262.
Match 4 once again took place in Imladris. The Rohirrim came out to beat us soundly. After goofing two rounds and missing the deadline on the next, the Imladris Elves made a horrible final score of 166, whereas the Riddermark team finished with 359 points. We thank the Dwarves for acting as mods for the match, and we congratulate the Riddermark on a well-deserved win.
Week 5 was played in Imladris, with the Christmas Trees... er, the mighty Fangorn Ents coming for a verbal sparring match; the moderators were the Orcs from way out east in Mordor. The Ents began to fall behind when the Imladris Elves made three very-high scoring plays. Although the Ents made a high scoring play as well, the Elves' high scores combined with a previous missed deadline on their part lost them the round. After only four plays, the Imladris Elves were leading by just shy of one hundred points. In the end, Imladris won with 377 points against Fangorn's 184 points.
Week 6 took place in Mordor with Isengard as mods. Mordor missed their first deadline, setting them behind. Both teams went back and forth for awhile, scoring well despite Mordor missing another deadline. At one point the Elves were contested; the judges rejected our play, and our good captain Ealena challenged their decision. This took the judges and captains of the other team nearly five days to reach a decision. They accepted the play, but disallowed the ME bonus, with is an additional 10 points if we can find one quote that has the word(s) we played in it. The final rounds for both teams scored very high, but unfortunate for Mordor, Imladris won, 356 to 316 in our favor! A good game, though it took a while to complete.
Thanks to the Dwarves, those from Valinor, Elves of Lothlorien, Ents, and Mordorians for six good games. Of these six, we won four. Our total point level is 1952. Wish us luck on our future matches; we are over half way done.
Our home team consists of Ealena and Celeblin as captains. The rest of the team members consist of Amrochil, Elenaro, Illúvefailisse, Loriwaynen, Merl Moriestiel, Númëllote, Revan, Rinerion, Tanequil and myself, Mar-Evayávë. You are welcome to come out and cheer us on for all our matches. We could always do with some support from the sidelines! You are even welcome to join the Imladris WS Team.
~ Mar Evayave
It is the start of the new season for the Debate team, with the first match to be kicked off on the 28th of January, if there are no further hiccups. The topic of the team’s first match is that of the opinion that Lothlorien is a better vacation spot tham Imladris, with Lothlorien, unsurprisingly, supporting the motion, and with the valiant team of Imladris opposing the motion. This match is a matter of kingdom pride, and I can be sure that both teams are doing their best to prove that their kingdom is indeed superior.
With a new season comes greater participation, and as more elves signed up to participate, the Imladris team carried out a practice debate, on the topic of whether or not Glorfindel’s return to Middle-earth was driven by desire for greater fame. However, it seems that not all the teams have shared our initial fortunes, as it is possible that due to the lack of debaters, Minas Tirith might not be participating, and Lothlorien is having some trouble with membership.
And with a new season have come changes. The current captains of the team are Ilúvefailisse and Tanequil, both relatively new to the team. The members of the team for this season are Loriwaynen, Elenaro, Mar-Evayávë, Ealena, Revan, Celeblin and Inwe Lythian. Other changes include the fact that the word limit has been shortened to 2000 words, with no rebuttals allowed in the main posts. These changes were made with the aim of making it easier for new debaters to integrate themselves into the leage as well as to make it easier for them to make posts, and thus not intimidate them.
With these changes in place, the teams hopes to see more participation and an even more exciting and insightful season.
It would seem appropriate to begin off the year with a quick description of the Junior Drill League. The league is still relatively new, having been aroused for a little under two years. It began as a trial run, to see if the idea of having an easier version of drill would appeal to the enthusiastic but not yet knowledgeable enough for the Senior Drill League. The initial assumption, however, quickly dies out as it was proven that Junior Drillers could be easily as competitive as their Senior companions. As of now, the League operates with six teams, five kingdom teams of Imladris, Rohan, Fangorn, Mordor, and the Shire, and the last team being that of an at-large team, comprising of members from Lothlorien, Isengard, and Gondor.
Perhaps the name of the league does lend itself to questiond about the junior status, and the inherent quality of the drillers, but this doubt, I assure you, is unfounded. Although the word junior does seem to imply inferiority, the only real difference between the two leagues would be that of the sources used.
With the end of the holiday period, the Junior Drill team has once more been called into action, this time playing aginst the team of Anor Malthem on our homeground. Though understandably lacking of people, as is the norm immediately after the holiday period, the Imladris team has managed to do us proud, clinching a victory over their opponents, with a modest score of 12 points to 8.
As the season draws nearer to the end, but with a few more rounds still yet to be played, which teams will make it into the playoffs is yet to be determined, and as far as I know, the places are still up for grabs. The Junior Drill Team would love to have spectators in their next match commencing on the 4th of February, and all are welcome to come and support us!
Elven Artists Association
The Elven Artists Association closed their first plaza-wide contest, the LEGO-Style LotR Contest this last month. The contest, sponsored by the Imladris, Lothlorien, and Riddermark Art Guilds, required participants to draw LotR characters in a LEGO-style. A tutorial detailing the steps was posted in the Art and Fanfiction forums. The winners of the contest were: Istawen coming in with First Place for her drawing of Saruman; Arvellas in Second Place for her ArtRage painting of Arwen, and Dae in Third Place with her depiction of Cirdan the Shipwright. Istawen is also our Artist of the Month. Congratulations!
The theme for January was elves! Arvellas shared a portrait of an elf cradling a glowing orb of light, as well as stunning silhouette done in ArtRage. Aldoriana also contributed a portrait of Aegnor, marked by his expression of sadness. Tolotos shared a side-profile portrait of an elf maiden, and Arien Silverleaf displayed a drawing of an elf warrior.
As you can tell, the EAA is a wonderful place for sharing and exchanging feedback about your original artwork, whether they are drawings, paintings, or photography. So if you haven't paid us a visit, drop on by! We hope to see you there!
~ Arien Silverleaf
The red and yellow leaves of autumn have been replaced by winter snow. The door to the Forge is ever open; even the cold winter air brings delight in the always warm Forge where the fires burn.
At the end of November Fuin Elda returned from her journey and took her place again as Grandmaster of the Tingdain. Master Quennar Tarcelmë welcomed her warmly, glad to have a strong helping hand at his side. Fuin Elda shares now with him the burden of training apprentices into worthy smiths. The fires had been cold for a few weeks, as sometimes happens when festivities like the Enedhoer are held. Our apprentices and master smiths must have their amusement from time to time.
Eluglin and Aigronding have taken up their apprenticeships under Fuin, while Rochindil is training under Quennar. For some kind of project organized by the well-known Hoth, two trainers are visiting our Forge as well: Goldmoon Dunami and the Istari Isil Mornungol. Our Forge is filled with many faces and the fires are burning bright.
Yet enemies can still make plans and for the defence of our beloved valley the army needs good, strong weapons. The Forge is always looking for new members. If you find yourself interested in learning the smithing trade, drop by our office and let us know. We hope to see you very soon!
Winter has definitely fallen now. Outside in the garden our lovely flowers grow between the fresh fallen snow, announcing the promise of spring returning to us. But first two other months have to come before the sun carried by Arien will draw nearer and so lengthen the day again.
Patient Ariethil has been brought over toward recovery room 2 where she has talked quietly with Aikanáto over her past as Vanyar. Siladhiel is also recovering well, and together with aphador Mar-Evayávë she has been exploring the gardens of our healing house. Brillonnien is still in treatment room 2 under Isiliel's care; we have no news on her status at the moment. Isiliel has Legolas at her aide as she teaches him the first steps of healing. Two new patients have reported in to our receptionist Wilara, and Pele Alarion has been assigned over to our Minestor Ancalima. Fingolfin is placed under the care of nestor Idhwen, who is working together with aphador Gabriela to cure his arm wound.
The little class of nestoer is now being taught the true arts of their position. Idhwen as teacher is really surprised how Ariethil and Isiliel are able to surpass her sometimes in knowledge and soon she hopes they will be able to complete the last test.
As always we are looking for new taidhrim. If you want to take your first steps into healing, go over to the office and ask for a test. Minestor Ancalima or Tanestor Aikári are there to help you with instructions.
After the rush of the opening of the Library of Imladris, things have finally settled down. El-Luin, Elenaro, Annean, Eldollen and myself, Mar-Evayávë, can finally relax and work without over-stressing ourselves. Annean has still not been able to take on her active role in the Library, but we eagerly anticipate her return!
The Book Club has started up and the first sections read were: The Coming of the Elves through Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor. Already, aside from the leader, Elenaro, and myself, there is also Sedril, Loriwaynen and Celeblin who have sat down and read some of the pieces we have to offer. Some very interesting questions have come up, and it is just as much fun to answer the question and discuss it as it is to ask it!
One interesting question, brought up by myself, was on the topic of the naming patterns of those in Gondor. I even suggested that, since there were two Stewards named Denethor in Gondor, and there was an Elf named Denethor, perhaps they were descended from him. The gracious Sedril made the point of saying that many names, like Denethor, Beren, Turgon and Finduilas, were names of people in Gondor, and were also Elvish names. Elenaro pointed out that unions between the Elves and Men occurred only three times in history: Beren and Lúthien—Dior, Tuor and Idril—Eärendil, and Arwen and Aragorn—Eldarion.
Another most interesting comment that arose was given by Sedril. She brought to our attention the choice of words used when describing the awakening of Elves. Her words were very moving to those present, and certainly gave us all food for thought. Quoting the woman of Gondor:
“I have always found the description of the Elves’ awakening very moving. ‘Their eyes beheld first of all things the stars of heaven.’ It makes me wonder what Men first saw. It says later, ‘At the first rising of the Sun the Younger Children of Ilúvatar awoke…but the first Sun arose in the West, and the opening eyes of Men were turned towards it.’ So I have always thought that the first thing Men saw was the Sun, although the text does not say so explicitly. It seems an appropriate symbolic contrast, at any rate—the Eldar, whose name means the people of the stars, and Men as the people of the Sun. As for the Dwarves, if the story here can be believed, I would conclude that the Fathers of the Dwarves first saw Aulë threatening them with a hammer, though he wept while doing so.”
The pieces we are currently reading are: Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor
through Of the Flight of the Noldor
. These pieces are sure to bring in just as interesting questions and comments.
As a last note, whether you are seeking information, wishing to join the Book Club or the Library itself, or to observe the Library, make friends or simply to find a good book to keep you occupied, please find your way to our small corner of the lands!
While things have calmed down, we still welcome help from the outside, so to say! If you would like to help expand out growing database by writing lore, please seek us out! We don’t turn away help, especially when we don’t have to pay for that help! *winks* Though I’m sure some way of saying thanks would be given. So seek out one of the librarians, either Elenaro or myself, and we will help you do what you are wanting to do! Librarian-wanna-be’s are always encouraged to seek us out and attain information on how to join our small force.
~ Mar Evayave
Poetry Team report
The poetry Competition comprises of seven kingdom teams, Imladris, Rohan, Minas Tirith, the Shire, Fangorn, Mordor and Isengard. How the competition works is as such. The teams are grouped into two different matches, each team presenting their roster consisting of their team captain, and the participating team members in each round. The limit is if five members, including the captain, as well as two substitutes. The forms of the poems as well as the themes to be portrayed are them given, and the teams have ten days to come up with the poems. At the end of ten days, in which poems will have been written, edited, and edited once more, the masterpieces are then presented to the judges for grading, before the results are announced.
The Poetry Team is already nearly halfway into the season, having completed four matches out of the total of ten. Led by Captain Elenaro, the team comprising of Endril, Eria, Tanequil and Thali has been working hard to present well-written works for the perusal of the judges and their fellow poets.
The Imladris Poetry Team has been doing well in the past few matches, scoring well and placing high in the rankings in the matches. After a bumpy start in the first match with a third placing, the team has done the kingdom proud with two consecutive first places, followed by a second placing in their fourth match. The themes ranging from Lord Ulmo to the Helcaraxë have been a delight to write about, and to lend that certain elven twist to.
The Poetry Team would delight in having supporters come to cheer us on in out next match, that being in Fangorn, beginning on the 30th or the 31st of January. We hope to see you there!
After many months of racing, Tumbleweed and her elven mistress Nenuphar were growing more laidback about the fastpaced world they had stumbled into. Nenuphar had long since resigned herself to a cheetah whose performance could be brilliant or abominable. As with many other Elves she found herself more drawn to the travel the racing entailed than the actual competition itself; she loved both the visiting of other kingdoms and the long, solitary hikes to arrive at those kingdoms. It was the perfect mix of relaxing alone time with her horse and cheetah and fastpaced, laughing competitions surrounded by friends and strangers alike. After the exhausting whirlwind of the racing season, however, both enjoyed the downtime. As did their teammates, the two rested and spent time catching up on everything that got left in the lurch during the season.
This season had ended with a sad surprise. Rinerion, longtime team member and coach, had been forced to step down from his position. While all knew that captains came and went, the loss of yet another leader was always met with a sense of wistful grief. Nonetheless, Nenuphar couldn't help but feel a thrill of excitement at the election of a new captain. While she had never gotten to know Ealena well, she was glad to welcome her to the leadership of the team.
After the new captain had settled in, the cheetahs had time to train at home if they so chose, and then they were off again to the races. This season began better than many in the past. The first competition, run against the Lothlorien foxes, was a solid victory for Imladris in more ways than one. Not only were they speedier than the foxes, but every single cheetah managed to cross the finish line having run in the right direction. This fact, perhaps considered obvious to anyone not a racing connoisseur, was unusual for the cheetahs. The second race, held against the Minas Tirith skunks, also resulted in victory for the Elves. While this win was not so decisive, a win was a win, and the cheetahs rejoiced in their solid season beginning.
SCRs of the month!
There was the sound of bells pealing with joy through the silent
morning of the valley. It sounded through, disturbed the rests of some,
but no one seemed to mind. The bells were sounded in times of danger and
celebration, but the Elves of Rivendell all knew that this peal resonated
with joy and peace that could only be tied to that of the honour of some
of their very own Elven friends.
"Friends,"Elrond says, "Today it is time to honor 4
Elves of our fair home, all of whom have long served with dedication in
quiet or very public ways." In the month of December, Ealena was honored with the face of Celebrian for her hard work throughout the Kingdom, while Iluvefailisse became Gildor as thanks for her high quality RPing and general dedication to our land. In January Lady Aikari wore the face of Gil-Galad as a tribute to all of her work in the Forge and as a healer; Tanequil received the honor of becoming Earendil for her work in the Debate team and elsewhere.
Indeed, as the Lords would say, we should praise them with great praise.
~ Adapted by Nenuphar from an original article by Keleos Nenharma
The cold season in Imladris is heralded by a cold breeze, and soon the first snow flakes begin to descend from the grey sky. Thus begins the winter in our beloved Valley. Before long all the surroundings are white and in every elven house a warm fire is lit. Yet despite of the cold outside the elves are merry as always. Once the winter has come there begin the celebrations organized by Lord Elrond and other important faces of the now white Valley.
The Hall of Fire is filled again with elves and travelers eager to hear stories or just have some rest in a cozy and welcoming place. This is the place where Bilbo himself wrote his poetry and where Aragorn the king and Frodo the ring-bearer had rest during their perilous journey.
Elves are invited to a small room in which the walls are covered with small notes, all filled with wishes made to their friends and family. Any Elf can write such a note and stick it to the wall.
There is also the grand winter ball where those living in Imladris can enjoy each other's company. It is an elegant party where elves gather in their most amazing outfits.
This is the way in which the elves celebrate the cold season. All the celebrations are very tempting to join so why not stop by on your long journey and experience our hospitality?
IK Poetry Report
Season 3 is looking better and better, with our new forms and judging charts really showing off the finer skills of all our wonderful esteemed poets. Alhana chose to step down from the council because of so many demands on her time. We were sad to see her go,and knew that we needed to bring in someone else. Shirefolk of the Shire, a great poet in her own right, began her stint of leadership. Working side by side with me, we're out to make sure the IK Poetry Competition remains one of the top IK events.
Leading off round one, which showed many new talents, we discovered that Khazad-dum now has a full roster once again. Hurray for you all! It would seem that many of the teams are getting new members. Ik Poetry isn't hard; in fact, it's a lot of fun. But here I could ramble, when I need to get on with the news of Round 3.
Match 1 was held in Minas Tirith; the teams consisted of Minas Tirith, Lothlorien, Khazad-dum, Fangorn and Isengard. For Match 2, held in Mordor, the teams were The Riddermark, Mordor, Imladris, and The Shire.
The Forms for this round had been done in season one, but were wonderful nonetheless. They were the Nove Otta and Triquatrain. Shown as follows.
The Nove Otto poetry form was created by Scott J. Alcorn. It is a nine-lined poem with 8 syllables per line (isosyllabic). The rhyme scheme is as follows: aacbbcddc.
The Triquatrain form was created by Robert L Huntsman. It is a quatrain poem in tri-rhyme with a specific rhyming pattern (see below). Lines 1 and 3 have internal rhyme whereas lines 2 and 4 do not.
. . . and so on.
The groupings in the parentheses are on one line separated by a comma. This poem can be of any length or subject and do not require perfect meter.
The Theme for this round was The Arkenstone, and to say I saw some beautiful poems is an understatement. Here are how the two Matches ended up score-wise.
Match 1 Results:
Minas Tirith: 172.0
Match 2 Results:
The Shire: 176.5
And now that Round 3 has just finished, I'm looking forward to sharing with you again next month. Remember, one needn't be a great poet to be on a team, just love poetry and having fun! Until next time, le hannon for letting me tell you about our great IK Poetry Event.
~ Goldmoon Dunami
Interview with Aikari
Interview with Aikári Salmarinian by Mar-Evayávë Di’malien
1) First of all, can you tell us a little about yourself, in both RL and Plaza aspects?
My life-experience is a long one that I intend to tell through the eyes of Aikári and her brother. Aikári’s view on things is mainly my own view as well, and in a way you can say she is the better part of me. Aikári came to life even before I joined the Plaza. I saw her in my mind as beautiful, living like her people the Vanyar, respecting life following the ways long ago given by Manwë and Varda. She has never really faced difficult times; her family is complete and growing.
2) Tell us how you found the LOTR Plaza in the first place, and what your early experiences were like. Which kingdom did you initially join? What other kingdoms, if any, have you been a part of?
The site of LOTR Plaza was recommended to me by a friend from the Yahoo chat rooms. I came in like all newbies, asking around in Imladris, Khazad-dum, Fangorn, Lothlorien, and Mordor. Fangorn deleted my thread and didn't utter any kind words to me, so I have never returned there. Mordor was all too eager, Lothlorien took too long to respond, and Khazad-dum was not the place for me. Nay, it was gentle Tinw who noticed me wandering and took me under her care. She invited me to Imladris and this is where I stayed. Tinw is no longer really active with us, but her star burns still brightly for me. Imladris has been my home ever since.
3) How did you decide on Lady Aikári as your screen-name? Does it stand for anything? Have you ever had any other names? If so, why did you choose them and what did they stand for?
Aikári was named after her grandmother. Her family name is Salmarinian, which means she is daughter of her father Salmarin. Námorindúrë is the House she comes from in Valinor. Her names are just what they are and don’t stand for something particular.
I have one wish… please, ignore the lady part. Lady Aikári is just the official name, not my screen name. And no, I never taken other names; because of a Plaza glitch I've never been able to. It goes with the account. So this will always be the only name that will accompany my posts. People know me this way and it’s a fine and original name you don’t forget easily. That’s what Eithil said me once…
4) If you could choose one or two Plaza members, which would you say had the greatest impact on you?
I owe a lot to one person who has been so kind and enthusiastic about Imladris: Tinw! She is one of the greatest spirits of the kingdom Imladris. As Den Mum later on I tried to carry on her light and continue to try as Tanestor of the Adab Nestad. She has been my example.
5) What are your most memorable experiences on the Plaza?
One day in November of 2005, when Tinw and Eithil asked me to chose an SCR, and I chose Lady Elwing for the month of December. I had great fun with Elwing.
I also remember the day on 1st May 2006 when Tinw decided to step down as ruler; I was really sorry to see her go.
6) How long have you been a member of the Plaza? Between then, as a newbie, and now, what changes have you seen happen?
I've been around since 24th June 2004. As newbie I have seen several changes coming over Imladris, too many to list. Let me just say that some have been improvement while some would have been better had they been left the same. My beloved Immy is still a good place to stay, and now with the good news of two more movies, it has a secure future as well.
7) What sort of kingdom activities are you a part of, and what do you like the best about them?
Right now I am involved in leading the Gwaith i-Nestoer; I co-run it with Minestor Ancalima as Tanestor. Healing has always had my interest and from my start as a beginning aphador in the late fall of 2004, I worked my way through the courses toward nestor and finally to Tanestor. I am proud to lead and do so with great pleasure. In the classes as well as inside the Adab Nestad thread itself I try to pass on my dedication to the new healers, hoping they will become as enthusiastic as me. I know a few enthusiastic members such as Isiliel, Númellótë, and Fuin Elda. There are the eager aphadors such as Mar, Legolas, Gabriela, Istawen, Veowyn, and Ariethil. They are my hope for the future and survival of the Adab Nestad. I give you all a big and warm hug for being there.
I have the Newbie Survey thread under my care, which is one little thing that survived the deletion of the Newbie House. My hope is that one day I can restore the place where a whole generation of newbies grew up in. I think Imladris just needs it. And yes, I like running the survey thread. I am still Den Mum in there…
Finally, I also lead the Tingdain together with Fuin Elda. While the Tingdain didn’t work well with me running it alone, Fuin is accompanying me again and the spirit has returned. The Tingdain is her baby in a matter of saying and it is her spirit and dedication what makes the place a success. Fuin, you are great and I hope you will be with us for a long time to come.
8) The last question: is there any advice you can give to the readers?
Any advice? I'm glad to offer advice to any who ask, much as I did as Den Mother of the Newbie House. But other than that? It is a difficult question for me, to be honest. Imladris has always been the place where elves, dwarves, humans and hobbits have been warmly welcomed. As is Imladris in the books, our kingdom is a refuge for anyone who is in search for a home, where rules are not too strict and where the atmosphere is warm and cosy. I came to the Plaza in 2004 without any friends and now I have a small, but small intimate circle of friends, whom I care about and love.
There is one thing I will give anyone with who reads this: It takes a lot of hours to get through what is asked from you and find friends, and it is even harder to become respected. Dedication and patience are two keywords in Imladris that help you succeed. Those two values live in the heart of every Elf, whether Moriquendi or Caliquendi. May the stars of Varda Elentári always shine on your Plaza path. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and an excellent 2008! With love, Aikári.
Note: I want to thank Mar-Evayávë; she fulfilled a long silent wish of mine. Thank you, my dear, for this interview.
~ Mar Evayave
Nenuphar peered around cautiously before pulling open the imposing doors on the front of Orthanc and making her way inside. News had traveled quickly to wizzies and their friends that something important was in the making, but she hadn't been prepared for what she found.
It seemed that the rulers had heard rumblings of discontent. Wizards had trickled slowly away from Isengard, going forth to distant lands to try their powers, make new lives for themselves, or perhaps just have a break. Some, such as the much beloved Ultchuk, had even chosen to forsake Middle-earth for the journey to Valinor now that the work in the War of the Ring was complete. Lands that had once filled with the sounds of laughing, jesting, and busy industry, were beginning to grow quiet.
Some welcomed the new peace, but many others longed for Orthanc to be restored to its former glory. Seated on the floor next to the wall, Nenuphar listened carefully as the Wizards and their friends voted on which activities they would choose to keep. The Fires of Industry, the Istari Art Guild, the Library... everything was subject to discussion. In true wizzie fashion, each idea was carefully considered from all angles, with all given the chance to contribute.
Most fascinating to Nenuphar was the discussion about the Istaquenta. Few outside the lands of Orthanc knew of its existence. While many knew that the Istari were tied in some way to the Valar, it was a rare inhabitant of Middle-earth who knew the extent of their bonds. As one who spent many hours in the lands of Isengard, Nenuphar knew something of what their relationship entailed. Each Istar would choose one or at most two Valar with whom to study and learn. Free to choose, most ended up growing closest to those Valar whose personalities best suited their own. After months, years, perhaps even centuries of time spent together, the Istari would learn much of the Valar's wisdom and power. From this relationship they gained their fearsome wizardly powers, as well as a life in tune with those Valar. As an Elf born in Middle-earth, one who had never seen the light of the Two Trees nor the face of any Vala, Nenuphar had always envied the Istari their unique source of power. Her heart sank to learn that the old ways of the Istaquenta were being lost. Many of the younger Istari, those who had never been to Valinor in person and were closer to Middle-earth, had less interest in older paths. Those who had been around longer longed to hold on to their traditions, but struggled to come to a consensus on how to preserve those ancient paths. It would be a long journey to a knowledge of what was the correct choice.
Some parts of Isengard were still thriving. Nenuphar had seen the construction of a new Inn for travelers and locals; at each visit she saw the building slowly taking shape. The local pub, meanwhile, had also remained lively. Their New Years celebration had just finished up, and they were starting a party for something called “Valentine's Day”. Nenuphar rarely visited the pubs these days, but had heard that they were lively and interesting places to be.
For her part, she preferred the quiet discussions happening in corners throughout the Orthanc tower. For ages she had come regularly to a thoughtful talk about a famous Istar from another land named Harry Potter; the legends of his life had spread even to this corner of Isengard, those in the Parma Nole group were eager to talk about his exploits in a conversation at times both playful and serious. Her other favorite corner was a gathering of friends known as the Scholarly Sages of Erudition. Despite this rather intimidating title, she had found many hours of enjoyable conversation about those in the history (and sometimes the present) of Middle-earth. Recently the topic had centered upon Radagast, the much-beloved Istar sent by Yavanna to care for her creatures; this had just shifted gradually to a talk about Eol the dark Elf, a conversation which looked to be most interesting. Nenuphar stretched quietly as the meeting around her seemed drawing to a close, and thought to herself that this would perhaps be a good time to go see if anyone from Parma Nole or SSE was around.
What she heard next, however, threw her off-guard. What? How could it be? The great Istar leader, Trillian, had announced that she was stepping down from her rulership and handing her mantle (and fuzzy pink slippers) on to Daywalker. Nenuphar shook her head, stunned, as the astonished murmur of voices around her grew louder. Trillian? Leaving? Was it possible? Daywalker was certainly a worthy successor, but Isengard would not be the same without Trillian. Still reeling slightly from the shock, Nenuphar made her way quietly out of the room and upstairs to find a corner to reflect upon this startling news.
Though we are still in the middle of Winter, news have been sprouting around Khazad-dûm like flowers in Spring! Certainly, the most important event that happened since the last time I had the pleasure to write to the Herald was the arrival of the new Rulers. Knowing that they were no longer capable of leading the Kingdom for much longer, both Queens decided to step down from the Dwarven Thrones, leaving their places vacant. Their replacement was made quickly and smoothly and the Kingdom was graced with two new Queens, willing to sweep away the dust and refresh the mines like a morning breeze. They have already started several discussions in the Throne Room where everyone is welcome to give their opinions, as long as they keep the order, to ease their work in the taking of crucial measures. The subject of the discussions is the Kingdom in general, though the most focused points so far have been the awards to each citizen and the Clans.
Since then, Khazad-dûm has become a much-desired place by foreign people. Whether they are Dwarves from the Blue Mountains or Erebor, or even Wizards from Isengard, folks have settled in the Kingdom, making it their new home. Due to this wave of immigration, many caves, which were abandoned in the past, are once again filled with life and joy, just like the Moria Spa which will raise the population’s beauty as soon as its doors are opened to public.
With the increase of population, the Kingdom had the urge to import more and more goods and a natural consequence was the reopening of the Market. Although it hasn’t yet as many shops as it had in the past, it is slowly and steadily growing, especially with the help of the Clans who have their own shops in the Market, in addition to their Main Halls.
The Merikhansar have also took charge over the management of Pubs and Coffehouses and it was with great happiness that the Kingdom witness the opening of the “B(ring)Y(our)O(wn)G(rub) Pub”. Flavours of ales long forgotten can be tasted once again in their establishment, and no one who considers himself or herself a true drinker may skip this wonderful opportunity to take a sip on a good mug of Orc Bite or Dungeons Doom.
Concerning the Army of Khazad-dûm, the Anghak has departed several weeks ago, chasing down small armies of Orcs who have been lately harassing the boarders of the Kingdom. Scouts have been returning once in a while, speaking of skirmishes and glorious battles, though no updates have been made for quite sometime now.
To end this report, I would just like to inform you that a Beauty Contest is currently being held in Khazad-dûm, to pick up the Mr. and Mrs. Khazad-dûm. Despite the fact that only Dwarves are accepted to enter it, everyone is welcome to cheer for their favourite Dwarves and Dwarfettes, a contest who has judges two neutral elements, a member of the Forests of Lórien and another from the Black Land of Mordor. I do hope you have enjoyed reading through this article and don’t hesitate in visiting our Halls!
Though set apart from other realms and sheltered by watchful eyes at all times, the Golden Wood was visited by Winter this year, just like any other. And even if the climate might have been of cold frost, there was great warmth among those of the Galadhrim and visitors that gathered ‘bout for the different celebrations that have been happening in the past two months.
The Holidays brought with them many gifts exchanged, and the smiles were plenty as teddy dwarfs and cheesecakes and even mugs for ale were handed out to those of Lórien. Even on one occasion, the Lord Celeborn himself was found dressed in a red suit and with a white beard, while those that were willing helped him search for certain lost gifts and then gave them out to each other joyfully and gladly. A feast was thrown, for dancing and merry times to be had by everybody that decided to attend, and even the Gardens of Lothlórien saw itself decked in the look that deemed the Season as cheerful as it tended to be. Regular business was closed, but for a day, and the Orchards became the place to stay in if good conversation, memories shared, and delicious food was to be had--though of course, the whole of the gardens was available for anyone to make their way through.
No sooner had this come to an end, than another occasion was marked by the annual Anniversary of Lothlórien. It goes without saying, that even more feasting was had, but this time, in a different—though slightly similar—manner. Activities were given of course, which had the Kingdom as the main theme. A knowledge of lore was competed for, thanks were given to certain Galadhrim for appreciative gestures that have been made in honor of others, and even some were awarded some very coveted positions of ‘Most Charming’, ‘Most Active’, and even ‘Artiest’ in a bit of an awards ceremony of sorts.
There has not been a lack of parties and gala in the Golden Wood this time about, as one can see, and surely such a thing might not end even if there come months of simple peace in the future. There is always a smile lighting the faces of those that live in this beautiful place, and it only makes it all more blessed a realm.
This month’s exciting report will be one of sadness, newness, and departures from one’s rule to the other, along with the many other news I have to bring you. Firstly, being brought forth to take up the reins of Eomer, a new King being crowned, is our very own Eile. Having been about plaza most of my almost 4 years here, the not-so-shy pirate lass who’s modded as Librarian as well as run many, many events over her career here, her taking on the great Lord’s helm was a wonderful thing to see. With Shivased as Lady Eowyn at his (her) side, I’m sure all of Rohan and the Rohirrim are waiting to see what great venues are in store for us.
The land of the Horse Lords are always welcoming those abroad; this moth’s Mettaire Banquet and Secret Gift Exchange being brought about were a great way to get to know some riders, riders exchanging gists to one another or just kicking back and enjoying the food and dancing at the banquet. A wonderful Toboggan Race also being held this month, run by moi!, has given some riders a new outlook on just what “devious” means. *g* OI! Who said fun couldn’t be had rp-ing? That’s what it’s all about here isn’t it? The more fun, better posts, more detail? Surely you all know this to be true, especially if in the right local. Among our Elite Cavalry though, a sad day has brought many faces low and eyes watering. In the love of her Kingdom, Allacan, better known as the First Marshal, fell in battle helping the many Rohirrim escape from the clutches of the Mordorian Black Guard. Still in progress though, the odds quickly turning as the Cavalry regroup, the hands of time have taken one, leaving the Eastmark Marshalless for now. With Talaika and Firimar taking up the Westmark and Meduseldian ranks as Marshalls, they are in good hands while the land mourns. On a bit of a lighter, happier side, which in Rohan is greatly needed at this time, a tribute to the great Campwisa Marshal has risen. Stop by and pay your respects. The Cavalry having many new riders joining their ranks this month, those like Lenwe Surion, Eosar, Shade of Stronghold (Volane), and Nafne, among others now in training, our strength still shines as our Patrollers each month keep the land and towns free of evil doings.
The winter months lingering, the Ældsel Inn having been caught up with snow abound, our Riddermarket getting many new shops and products to their areas, why not come by and see what things you can do and see? And that’s about it for this month, more news to come again from your friendly roaming reporter, Goldmoon Dunami.
O Mithrandir – the extended version
When I think of you,
I pray you don't fall,
For the battle draws near.
The skies are darkening,
I hear Orcs marching;
Gone are the sun's rays.
Shield and sword in hand,
Helmet in place,
I raise my eyes,
I will fight without disgrace.
On and on the battle rages,
Many have fallen and are gone,
Night is of the past,
And the dawn has come.
Once again I raise my eyes,
Unto the land's edge,
And hope is restored within me,
For Mithrandir stands at the ledge.
The battle is over,
The Orcs have gone,
Mithrandir has saved us,
The end has been drawn.
A Shortcut to What??
Meriadoc Brandybuck walked slowly down the path towards the Green Dragon Inn. Suddenly out of nowhere appeared his cousin, Peregrin Took. “Pip! Where'd you come from?” he inquired, surprised. “I thought you were supposed to be heading for the ferry by now.” Merry, Pippin, Sam, and Frodo were all supposed to be leaving Hobbiton for several days to help a neighboring Hobbit on his farm for the Fall harvest. Originally Merry had been going to leave later in the day, since he had business to attend to, and the other three would go on. This was mainly because Sam wasn't keen on waiting too long; he was eager to get there and get to work. It had been his idea in the first place, anyhow.
Pippin hesitated. “Well, I forgot something that I had to do, and decided it needed doing, so I've come back to do it!” he proclaimed.
Merry rolled his eyes. “In other words, you have decided to dilly-dally and stall in leaving Hobbiton.”
Pippin nodded happily. “That's it! I figured, if you are going to be leaving this evening anyhow, I would just wait for you.”
“Won't Sam and Frodo be wondering where you are?” Merry asked.
Pippin looked at the ground and kicked at the dirt. “Oh, golly, Merry. You know how they are.”
“What do you mean by that?” Merry asked, crossing his arms. “I'll have you know that Sam and Frodo are very good friends of mine, just like you are.”
“Oh, I guess Frodo is alright. But that Sam is too serious about things. Hasn't got a single tricky bone in his body, I'll warrant!”
“So you decided to skip out on them,” accused Merry. Then he grinned. “While I'm sure Frodo at least will be sorry to have missed out on joining you, I'll be sure glad to have your company this evening.”
Pippin brightened. “That's right. I was thinking of you, ya know.”
“But not of us, I bet!”
Pippin spun around. Frodo Baggins came jogging up behind them. A moment later, Samwise Gamgee came puffing around the bend, holding his mid-section. “Hold on a bit!” he cried. “I can't go on anymore!”
“And you won't have to!” Frodo exclaimed.
“Where'd you come from?” Pippin asked.
“The same place you came from, I guess,” replied Frodo. “Do you think we didn't notice when you took off on your own earlier? We had just noticed that you were gone as your back disappeared around the bend in the distance behind us. We've followed you ever since.”
Sam, who was still huffing and puffing from his exertion, said, “And you led us on a merry chase!”
Frodo playfully punched Sam's shoulder. “If it weren't for you, we'd have caught up with Pippin!”
Merry laughed. “Well, this is a fine sight, I'll say! Well, since your plans have changed, you might as well stay the rest of the day and leave Hobbiton with me this evening.”
Pippin readily agreed, and Frodo said he was willing to go now or then. Sam was too tired to protest, and was obviously now wanting to wait; at least long enough for a short rest and a meal or two.
Later that evening, after Merry's business had been attended to, the four Hobbits started out together. They started down the main road and before long, Pippin sighed. “You know,” he began, “that half of our journey will be taking us out of our way.”
“We can't help the way the road was laid,” Sam said.
“I know that. But it would be nice if we didn't have to be out so late,” Pippin said.
Frodo gave him a look. “I know that tone of voice. You have some sort of plan that is bound to get us all in trouble. Like that brilliant plan you had last week! Nearly got my hair pulled out, it did!”
“You would have been the handsomest bald Hobbit around,” Pippin pouted.
“I would have been the only Hobbit around to be that bald!” Frodo exclaimed. “And how about that wonderful scheme you thought up last month!”
“That wasn't my fault!” Pippin protested. “I didn't know that the water mill wheel was unattached to the mill!”
“We all nearly drowned!” Frodo said.
“You have to admit that it was the ride of our lives,” Pippin said.
“A ride I would have much rather gone without, thank you very much!” huffed Frodo.
“Relax, you two,” Merry laughed.
“What was your idea, Pippin?” Sam asked.
“You had to ask, you just had to ask!” Frodo said, frowning.
Pippin ignored him and eagerly explained his plans. “If we cut across the fields and this forest, we can cut our travel time in half! We could be there in time for the very last meal! We'd even get to bed on time!”
Frodo narrowed his eyes. “Hold it! Isn't Farmer Maggot's farm around here?”
Pippin shrugged, then nodded. “Well, I suppose it is. We'd only have to cross a corner of his property. And
while we were at it, I'm sure he wouldn't mind us taking a few mushrooms, if we happen across any.”
“What?!” Frodo cried.
Merry hushed Frodo with only a look. “We can at least put it to a vote. I must admit that a proper meal before bed would be nice.”
“I vote we go!” Pippin exclaimed.
“We know that,” Frodo said sarcastically.
“I vote yes, as well,” Merry said.
Sam shrugged, and glanced at Frodo.
Frodo turned to Sam, his last hope. “If you say yes, then we'll have no choice but to go! I don't plan on meeting Maggot or his dogs! Ever since my last visit with him, I've had nightmares just thinking about him and his dogs.”
Sam sighed. “I agree with Merry. I'm sorry, Frodo, but spending the night out here doesn't exactly spark my interest.”
As the other three moved off the road and into the woodland, Frodo slapped both hands to his sides. “Well, I'm not going on alone,” he said to himself. Just as their backs were disappearing into the forest, he cried out, “Wait for me! I'm coming too!”
An hour's walk later found the four at the borders of Farmer Maggot's land.
“Do... do you think his beasts have had their dinner yet?” Frodo asked nervously.
“Don't be such a wet blanket!” exclaimed Pippin.
“They aren't beasts,” Merry said. “I've been in Maggot's house numerous times, and not once have the dogs given me so much as a hair-raising howl. Grip, Fang, and Wolf are very civilized.”
Frodo swallowed hard. “I don't know about that. When he got me last time, he stuck those dogs after me, and they chased me clear to the ferry. I'm telling you, when you've got three ferocious dogs chasing you, nothing will convince you that they're civilized. I was so scared, I nearly wet myself.”
The four stepped across the imaginary line that separated Maggot's land from the rest of the land. They were only halfway through his land when Frodo's ears perked up.
“What was that?” he asked hoarsely.
“Say what?” Pippin called back to him.
Frodo hurried up and grabbed his arm, causing him to drop part of his load of mushrooms, vegetables, and other yummy things.
“Hey!” protested Pippin.
“Hush! I said what was that?” Frodo's voice was a mere squeak.
The four stopped for a moment.
“I don't hear a thing,” Pippin said, stooping to collect his dropped goods. Suddenly a howl pierced the air.
“What did I tell you!” Frodo cried out.
“What is your problem?” Pippin asked.
“What reason can we possibly give Maggot about being on his land, in the middle of the night, with our arms
full of his produce?” Frodo panicked.
Pippin didn't answer. He traded a look with Merry, who swallowed hard, then licked his lips. “He has a point, Pip.”
Pippin didn't reply to that either.
Sam cleared his throat. “Not to be a wet blanket myself, but why are we just standing here?”
Merry nodded. “He has a point, too. Let's go!” He grabbed Pippin's arm and began to run.
“Like he said!” Frodo exclaimed, taking off after the other two.
“Wait for me!” Sam cried.
The four ran as fast as they were worth, but the sounds of the dog's barking were drawing steadily nearer.
“This isn't working.” cried Frodo.
Merry stopped abruptly, causing Pippin and then Frodo to bump into him. Looking around frantically, he spotted several apple trees and pointed to them. “Up the trees! Quick!”
Pippin ran to the nearest tree and grabbed hold of the lowest branch. He was up the tree in a flash. Sam gratefully clambered up after him. Merry swung himself up a tree a few rows down. His tree was unfortunately a small one, so Frodo was left to pick a tree on his own.
He quickly jumped and grabbed the lowest limb of the next tree he came to, and only just in time. As he was pulling himself up, one of the dogs came into sight. Spying Frodo instantly, the dog lit after him. He reached the base of the tree just as Frodo pulled himself out of reach.
The dog put his front paws on the trunk of the tree and barked for all he was worth. It seemed like the dog barked for hours, although it must have been much less. Pippin had been leaning over to see what was going on, and the remaining produce he carried slipped from his grasp. A potato fell on Sam's head, causing him to cry out in sudden pain. Suddenly the dog sat down and stopped barking.
Frodo found his voice and called weakly to Merry, who was closest. “What is wrong with him?”
Merry's voice came back to him slowly. “He's waiting.”
“For what?” Sam asked.
“His pals. Grip and Wolf.”
“You mean you can tell them apart?” Pippin asked incredulously.
Frodo shivered, but it wasn't because of the temperature. “So you are Fang,” he said to the dog. The dog bared his teeth at Frodo. “Suits you.” Frodo sure didn't like the look of those fangs.
Suddenly the dog stood up, stretched, and then calmly disappeared into the tall crops.
“Where'd he go?” Sam wanted to know.
“I dunno,” replied Merry.
“Well, are we going to sit in these trees all night? Who knows if he'll return with his friends,” Pippin said.
Frodo croaked, “I don't want to get down. What if he is waiting right out of sight?”
“I'll say one thing,” Merry commented. “This night isn't the one I had planned for.” He slowly lowered himself
to the ground, then took several cautious steps from his tree.
Sam carefully got out of his tree, and then Pippin came down next.
“I think he was only protecting his master's goods. When Pippin dropped the produce, Fang stopped barking. Then he left us,” Merry said. It was too dark to see his face.
Frodo reluctantly climbed down, too. “Then let's get out of here. I was against this from the start, and now I've been proven right.”
Merry shrugged. “We're here now, and now we'll get out together.” He quickly herded the others away from the farmer's crops. “It's only a short distance now to the edge of his property. Let's go.”
They hurried through the apple trees. After only five minutes or so of jogging, they heard barking once again.
This time there were more than one voice. Three distinct barks could be heard, plus the gruff voice of a Hobbit.
“It's Farmer Maggot!” yelped Frodo. “Fang must've gone for his friends after all!”
“But I was sure that Pippin dropping the produce was the reason for Fang leaving us!” Merry cried, finally beginning to get scared.
“Oops,” Pippin said.
Frodo turned to him as they ran, for that was what they were now doing. “What do you mean by 'oops'?”
Pippin held out his hands, displaying several ripe mushrooms and a few carrots. “I thought maybe a snack would do us good when we got out of here!”
“Pippin!” yelled Frodo in agony.
“Drop it!” Merry shouted.
Pippin dropped the food like it had burnt his hands and let it disappear behind them.
“We're almost there!” cried Merry.
“Grip! Fang! Wolf! They've been into our goods! After them, lads!”
“It's Farmer Maggot!” Sam cried. “I can't go on any further!”
Merry and Frodo turned partly around and grabbed Sam by his arms, then hurried the fatter Hobbit along. Pippin led the way. Suddenly the ground dropped out from beneath them, and they fell, rolled, and slid down a steep slope. Far above they could hear Maggot yelling after them. “I'll get you some day, thieves!”
When Frodo hit the bottom, he found himself staring at someone else's foot in the near-darkness.
“Ouch!” moaned someone from his left.
“Get off me, Sam!”
The person who had moaned rolled over, removing the foot from Frodo's view. Frodo sat up to see Merry pushing Sam off of him.
“How'd you know it was me?” Sam asked.
“You're the only one of us who weighs that much,” Merry groaned. He frowned and looked around. “Where's
Pip?” He stood in a hurry, as did the other two. “Pippin?”
“Help!” the cry pierced the air. “Get me down from here!”
The other three Hobbits looked up. Frodo started laughing. “Well, Pippin. Got yourself in a rather hanging mess, didn't you?”
Above their heads hung Pippin, hanging from a branch that had caught his clothing as he fell. “Don't just stand there! Get me down!”
Frodo could only laugh as Merry and Sam began to figure out a way to get Pippin down.
In the end, the four Hobbits ended up very tired, hungry and dirty when they arrived at their destination. The events that followed found more unfortunate Hobbits in equally unfortunate situations, but those events are stories entirely by themselves. For now, you can see how a shortcut through a farm can end up being more stressful than it is worth.
~ Mar Evayave
House of Feanor
Nirnaeth Arnoediad - Battle Of Unnumbered Tears
Answer at the bottom