Parth Nelui ~ Volume IV
Pennas Hrívë ~ January Issue

Dedicated with love and gratitude to ~~~.

Note: The following magic symbol returns you to the top of the scroll: top

 

From  
Elrond & Glorfindel

       Late at night in chambers, Elrond set his pen down and gazedtowards Glorfindel, stalwart support and light of the valley, who as ever was at his side. "The time of the Elves is drawing to a close," Elrond said thoughtfully, eying the papers, scrolls, and chronicles that had collected in the last year.

      "But the end has not yet come," Glorfindel answered after a moment,looking up from the scroll in his hand. "Still new tomes are added to the Library, more warriors are trained by the Host, the Forge turns out fine things of craft, the halls of the Bards ring with new music, tales, and song - Imladris grows and prospers, even now. The Se acalls...but it is not yet time to heed its voice."

      Tinw: Yes, to judge by all our members have done and dreamed during the last twelve months, you would never guess that Elves of Middle-earth were contemplating a one-way cruise West! It seems to me that our Imladris exists during a final flowering before the Elves depart, like the breathtaking blaze of colour of autumn leaves, the bounty of an autumn harvest. Now when the nights are long and Elbereth's stars shine brightly, let's look back at some of the wonders of the last year, which began under the capable rule of Laebeth and Taramiluiel.

      Eithil: Capable if sometimes wacky -- clearly keeping in mind that some Imladris elves were "like kings, terrible and splendid; and some as merry as children", this year saw the High Lords turned into High Ladies as part of April Fools Day, and the Valley painted pink in retaliation for Fëanor's attempt to take over the kingdom and reclaim his title as High King of the Noldor! We were also overrun by tourists on their way to a LOTR convention, witnessed the birth of a new game -- Pin the Eyebrows on the Elrond, and even saw the Last Homely House being set on fire!

      Tinw: And the scary thing is, Eithil was not responsibile for all of those! Tara and Lae hatched some of our most creative capers, including the splendidly evil Legoland idea which startled both their successors when we first entered the august halls of Valinor! Turning to the kingdom's more serious side, we have had a productive year in bringing the dream of Middle-earth to life. The Forge and the Library have opened and prospered. Gwaith i-Nestoer, the healers, have expanded and added new classes. These three institutions have taken their place alongside the older Host of Imladris, the Bards and Writers Guild, and the Elven Artists Association as the pillars of our kingdom, representing the different facets of Elven culture that we explore and enjoy. As for roleplay, which is a magical doorway into this world that we love, no one who experienced it will ever forget our dramatic reenactment of the Fall of Gondolin! I think that it will remain one of the best RPGs ever staged on the plaza.

      Eithil: I certainly hope so -- I don't think I've ever enjoyed an RPG as much! It was great fun playing a character as different to Eithil as Rog was, and reading everyone else's posts really brought the story to life. Of course, Gondolin wasn't the only RPG held in Imladris last year -- in a similar style (but somewhat smaller scale) was the Capture of Celebrían RPG, reliving Celebrían's capture by Misty Mountain orcs and subsequent rescue by her sons...and of course, there were a number of "normal", current-day-Imladris storylines as well. Perhaps the most memorable one was Narn e-Dant Gîl, the Tale of the Fallen Star, which lasted over three months and involved...yes, a fallen star! In fact, it seems hard to imagine how we could top last year, roleplay-wise, but we are already plotting and planning many things.

      Tinw: Yes, and we are on the prowl for a few more RPGs as well, especially short episodes and ones geared towards newbies, so don't be shy about sending in your ideas! Speaking of newbies, we are very excited to have built a home for them last summer, the Last Homely House, where newer and older members can mix and mingle in a fun low-key environment. Imladris is famous for its hospitality, so we are constantly seeking new ways to help all its members feel at home.

      Eithil: Having a mixture of fun and serious threads is another important aspect of making sure that there's something for everyone in the kingdom, and it's a balance we hope to maintain and even improve upon this year...not that Eithil is plotting anything, precious, of course she's not... weeell, maybe. Wait and see! Let Middle-earth come alive for you, but remember that, in the end, we're here to have fun - so enjoy yourselves!

      Tinw: I'd like to leave you all with one final thought: never forget what a beautiful place Imladris is! Our home is a hidden sanctuary, thousands of years old, tucked between cliffs and waterfalls, forests and rugged hills, with the stars of Elbereth shining overhead. Listen carefully and you will hear the sound of their clear voices and laughter, the music coming from open windows, the ring of the forge or the clash of sword on shield from warriors practicing on the far side of the valley. See in your mind's eye the feast-halls lit with fire and candlelight, the shimmer of Elven fabrics and ageless faces that have witnessed thousands of mortal years. Look deep into their shining eyes, eyes that have seen epic battles and great kings, brave heroes and beautiful maidens, shameful slaughter and unimaginable loss, and legendary cities now lost beneath the waves. Elves are like the best-made swords, tempered by all they have endured and known -- and yet they shine the brighter for it. Drink deep of that heritage and revel in the wonder that is Imladris. We are Eldar, the people of the stars!

~Tinw and Eithil

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Valaquenta ~ Of the Maiar

The herald of Manwë,
And lord of Maiar is he named by lore,
At swordplay outshines any foes,
Eönwë, warrior of western shore.

The servant of Varda,
Ilmarë, maiden to the queen of stars.

The waves will roar as he ascends,
Ossë, the Maia proud who water mars.

Restrained by fleeting one,
Uinen, the Maia mild who water stills.

The grace of Aman in her eyes,
Melian, queen of Elves whose face light fills.

The dreams of Elvendom,
Wondrous ideas thought to come from themselves,
Yet placed in their hearts as a gift,
Olórin, wise and lover of the Elves.

~Aduchil

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Guilds and Groups

Army Report

       The time that has passed since the last Herald issue was published has seen great changes for the Host of Imladris. Most notably the great change in leadership. After her dedicated service, Lilu has stepped down from her position as a General. To take her place as Mingon, first general, Anárië has stepped forward. Along with her Aduchil will serve as Tadgon, Second General, and Rilémë will be the Nelgon, Third General. Those are not the only changes, since it was necessary to make some changes in the ranks of officers as well. Thus the Beriadrim are now led by Togor Tinindil and Togor Eglagaladiel. The Othrim has the honour of being led by Arthogor, Ellenan, as well as Togor Perlindeion and Togor Cúmehtar. Furthermore, we extend our thanks to Nuladiel who served the Host as squire, and hope that with this new leadership the Host will steer into an even more glorious future.

      These days has seen quite some action also. A force of Dunlendings and other evil people aligned with our enemies attempted to force their way into the Valley. A defence plan was quickly drawn up with part of the Beriadrim defending the access point across the river as a last defence, whereas the other part of the Beriadrim melee soldiers served as the first line of defence. Close by, near the buildings, the archers of the Host were placed, and the Othrim cavalry were placed in the position to come upon the rear of the Dunlendings. The battle was hard, with casualties and many wounded, and the enemy succeeded in setting several buildings on fire. In the end the Host was triumphant though, and the enemy slain or driven away. A full account of this tale of battle and bravery can be found here.

      After such an ordeal, the Host turned to more pleasant matters. To celebrate the new year, a ball was opened. This ball was not merely for army members, for every soldier was encouraged to bring a friend with them, in the hopes of making a wonderful feast for all to enjoy. The feast is located in one of the great halls in the army headquarters, with the light of many lanterns filling the room. Any may find what their heart desires there, be it music, dance, food or merely quiet conversation with a dear one. Awards have been promised for those who appear the most splendid, which promises for some delightful appearances by the lords and ladies of Imladris.

      The headquarter itself remains mostly calm, except for such intrusions as the Dunlending invasion. The soldiers may always find a place to rest in the regimental headquarters, and if they have any questions for their officers or generals, such can usually be found in the Office, where they pass most of their time when working. Furthermore, light conversation is always a welcome excuse for the officers to take a break from their tasks, so do not hesitate to pay them a visit! And if you wonder what more the Host may offer you, then do not hesitate to seek us out in our chambers!

~Aduchil

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Gwaith i Nestoer

      Whilst Arwil was away in the land of RL, Tinessael was in charge of the House of Healing, and kept things running smoothly. Wilara, (our NPC receptionist) was played by Ancalima, so it's Cali's fault that there are very few chocolates left at Reception Desk. "But chocolate is necessary to sustain life...." said she, especially with Adab Nestad as busy as it became: "...Nesto thraw, 'úr, a faer ~ To heal body, mind and spirit..." That is our motto, and we have lived up to it; we've had patients of every kind lately, it seems. This was the month for mysterious patients, and spiritual ailments... Here are a few:

      One of our patients, Balian, seemed to have literally materialized out of another world, seeking help. His Healer, Tinessael was given quite a challenge. Gala was troubled with dreams, and sorrowful over the departure of a friend for the West. Some of our patients had identity problems. Three travellers from far Harad, namely Mantauriel, Dani`el and Shau`reyh, arrived in the garden, seeking help in re-locating the spirit of one of them back in its proper home. On the first of the year, we even had an Ent, Lindol Onodrim, as a patient!

      Wonders never cease in Adab Nestad; the Bard Saranna came in one day on an errand of mercy, bearing a box containing a strange and mysterious creature that had bitten her colleague, Serveanthesia! Such is the arcane lore of our very own Aikári, that we have confidence the mystery will soon be solved.

      We have been encouraging our patients to spend more time in recovery after being treated, whether in the recovery rooms, or in our famous garden. We feel that they will do better if they do not feel rushed to leave. Our garden has seen much use this Rhîw. In fact, love was in bloom out there, among the sleeping flowers. It seems our patients Goldmoon and Gwath were feeling so much better, and became so very confidential that it lifted our spirits, just to see them together!

      In December, The Nestor (Second Level ) Healing Class began for those brave Aphadrim who wished to advance further in the Healing arts.

      From December 22 to January 5th, we were with the Army in the Aftermath RPG to help with the wounded from their battle with the Dunlendings and the accompanying fire, right here in Imladris! It was very exciting to actually make ourselves useful in a field situation, and we were honoured to be asked.

      In our Research Department (begun by Isilindil), the work goes on, as we delve into the vast vocabulary of Elven medicine. Our aim is to gather and use the most authentic information possible, in order to be not only medical but truly Elven!

      Our long-lost Melyanna Falas made a brief surprise appearance in our House, much to our joy. She is caring for her RL sister, which explains why she has been scarce lately. We wish her well, and hope for her soon return. Our Isilindil has not been heard from, and we miss her very much.

Congratulations to our new Aphadrim (First Level Healers)!
Luinil Felagund, Celebrian Green, and Elenlumien have passed their test. Now they are ready to leave the classroom and go to work on real live patients.

Welcome to our new Taidors!
Haeroniel (Meltintalle ) and Vanyonna have joined us as much-needed helpers. We hope they are enjoying life in Adab Nestad, despite all the bedpans...

~Ancalima*

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Artists

      The EAA had a busy month in December. Not only did we have our own Art Gallery, we also opened a new gallery to ‘Celebrate Galadriel’. With the end of the year, the EAA has also combined the best works of the past months into a calendar, which can be seen in the Halls of the EAA. Furthermore, the gallery- and archivesroom in the Halls have been extended and updated. So, all in all, it has been a busy month.

      The theme for the Art Chamber in December was ‘Heroes of Middle Earth’. Beautiful drawings, paintings and 3D-works decorated the walls. Many of our favorite heroes, like Éowyn, Galadriel, Aragorn and Gollum, were showcased for everyone to enjoy.

      After the December-theme and the monthly ‘Artist of the Month Election’, a new gallery was opened. This time we left the Middle Earth themes and changed to something quite different, ‘Feelings’. So far there has been a lot of interest for this, and many Elves have come to show off their talent. It started off very dark and sad, but soon it was cheered up by colourful pictures and happy faces. Definately a sight worth seeing!

      During the past 12 months, there has been a monthly election to choose the best artist of that month. The two Eleidan of Imladris were both chosen twice, so at the end of the year, 10 artists had been elected. They all selected one of their pieces from their month to be put in a calendar, and with Janowyn’s skill and talent, they were all put together. In the gallery room of the Halls of the EAA, the calendar can be viewed. If you’d rather see something else, you can look at the calendar containing the works of the two curators of the EAA, Laifana and Janowyn.

      Furthermore, the Bards and Writers Guild has joined the EAA and together they made a gallery to ‘Celebrate Galadriel’ and soon many poems and artworks were shown in honour of the Lady of Lothlorien.

      As you can see, there is still a lot to do and to see in the EAA. Come join the ‘Feelings’ gallery, look at the calendars or ‘Celebrate Galadriel’. Everyone of every race is welcome, and we are always looking forward to welcoming more talented artists!

~Ellitarë

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Library

      Saranna tried to shake off her weariness as she made her way into the Library workroom. It was late at night, but that should not trouble one of the Elder Race. Still, times had been hard in the library since last she sat down to record events for the Homely Herald. A sigh escaped her lips as she lighted more lamps and tapers, and seated herself at the desk. All was quiet – only a few late researchers still toiled in their chosen niches out in the library, most having opted for one of the Taverns or Halls in the valley where they might refresh body and fea after the day’s toils. She found a clean parchment and an unused quill, and began to write.

      Great trouble has there been in the Library since my last report, for dear Serveanthesia, companion in my daily work and friend of my heart, was struck down by a mysterious malady, and has lain insensible in the Houses of Healing, tended by the good Healer Lady Aikári, for many a day. Only this morning did she at last arise from her sickbed, to the great relief of all her friends. Aikári’s skill discovered that Servy had been bitten by a small but nasty beast brought hither – by chance, not design – in the Wagon of the Valar! Great indeed are Aikári’s powers of healing, for she sought and found an antidote to that subtle poison.

      Yet oft comes good when evil seeks to thwart us. The good Janowyn of the Bards and Writers’ Guild hastened to help me with the necessary tasks of the Library, and Elilea the Young, though new to the valley and herself unwell for a while, has also played a sterling part in my support. How true is the Mortal saying, that a friend in Need is a friend Indeed!

      Thanks to these for their help, for by it we have been able to add to the shelves of the Library many works that otherwise would needs have waited for the skilled hands of Serveanthesia. Poems by Wooley, Elilea and Janowyn have been added to the Tomes and Scrolls of Creativity, along with a merry Tale by Janowyn. Remember, all who dwell in Imladris, we should love to see your Creative works upon those same shelves; and also your learned works of Lore in the room adjoining.

      Saranna cast sand across the parchment and blew it off. She wished for a quieter time to come in her beloved library. Summoning a messenger falcon, she bound the scroll to its leg and politely bade it fly at once to the Editors. Then she blew out all the lights, left the workroom in darkness, and set off to find some rest and refreshment for herself.

~Saranna

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Teliol mi Imladris

      Ever since the unfortunate Foo fever outbreak of III 2941 (unfortunately witnessed by the Dwarves and one Hobbit), the Hidden Valley of Imladris has been known for its occasional outbursts of jollity and downright silliness. To avoid such a public Foo display in future, Teliol mi Imladris was born... and after a short convalescence, is back to contain all the frivolity Imladris has to offer. Recent visitors to get high on Foo in our lovely Games Hall include Lord Faramir of Ithilien, King Aragorn Elessar and even our own Lord Elrond Peredhel, who made an appearance in his pink dress, fluffy wings and blonde wig. Last month, Elrohir son of Elrond also entertained us all with his antics, much to the pleasure and amusement of our gamers.

      Currently in the Games Hall, we are playing "Ma Im?", a game of lore, wits and deductive reasoning. The game is still going strong, and all are welcome to escape the seriousness of everyday life with us. I would like to present to you the current league table for "Ma Im?", which is as follows:

Celinawyn of Rohan ~ 3
ElendilTheFair ~ 3
Loriwaynen of Imladris ~ 2
Ralkm of Imladris ~ 2
Searogim of Isengard ~ 2
Blank of Imladris ~ 1
Gwai of Rohan ~ 1
Lillyth of Fangorn ~ 1
Nocona of Rohan ~ 1
Sephrenia of Rohan ~ 1
Simpsonim of Isengard ~ 1
Tolotos of Imladris ~ 1

      Congratulations to Celinawyn of Rohan and ElendilTheFair for guessing three characters each, and thus topping our leader board! A big thank you also goes to our other current players who have not yet guessed their first character. See you all next month!

~Nilde Dúlindilmë

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IK Racing

      Get your rhymes and cheetahs ready to race! Another Interkingdom Racing season has begun! Unfortunately, there was no Rivendell-only warming-up race this time, but the team still immediately got full steam ahead!

      The season began with Eithil officially resigning because of her duties to a certain horse, and applications began flowing in for two new captains. Pathael and Eglagaladiel were chosen among many worthy people! Congrats and good luck to them!

      The first week’s race was held against the badgers of the Dwarves! The spectators filled up the arena and the race began. It was a close call and with a slightly confusing new scoring system, our cheetahs only lost to the badgers by 6 spaces, with Elilea with Lojn becoming the winners! Congrats to her and congrats to the dwarves!

      The next race began immediately after the first one, this time against the squirrels of Fangorn! The race is going on at the moment and unfortunately the Squirrels are far ahead of our cheetahs. But the situation can still change. Good luck to the six racers and their two subs!       Next week Rivvy will be facing the Skunks of MT, so sign up for the team and enter the race or go and cheer for our racers!

      Among other troubling news, rumours have reached us of our own dear lords Glorfindel and Elrond racing for the Valinor team against their own racers! But let’s just wait and see.

~Tinessael

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forge

       Another winter day dawns bright and clear and the Forge of Imladris is busy again. The Rivendell smithy is well-known and many apply for apprenticeship there (myself included), eager to lean the secrets of elven smithcraft. The order list will never be empty, while the Host of Imladris exists. Coming inside, instead of going to my working desk, I decided to ask Grand Master Cúmehtar Éltano some questions.

       I was first of all interested in his opinion of the smiths working in the Forge (being one of them). Cu said, smiling: “It is a pleasure to have such co-workers, though it is sad that many of our apprentices don’t manage to answer the challenge of iron.” And continuing his thought, he added that unfortunately there were not enough smiths in the Forges. To my surprise he was not sorry that no smith could now make magic rings: “There is some knowledge that is better to be lost and forgotten.” And as a true soldier, he continued: “What I do deplore, is the secret of Gondolin blades.”

       I could, of course, not resist the temptation to learn how he feels about being Grand Master: “It was the dream of my life to be a smith since my first days in Nargothrond, and I am happier to be the smith than master. Although it is always good to have someone to drop boring tasks on.”

       Grinning, Cúmehtar bowed slightly and I understood that this impromptu interview was over and it was time to get back to work.

~Loriwaynen

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Hope Is A Dancer

Hope Is a Dancer
Hope is a dancer
She dances over the world
like a magnificent wind
A breeze in your heart
that flames the light
and sends out sparks
So rest assured
all will be fine
No worries as long
as you walk in this light

Hope is a dancer
clad in power
robed with majesty
crowned with might
Hope dances on
never ready to take of
and leave in helpless flight
Her mighty wings
will take her to you
before the night

Hope is a dancer
and she dances long
upon the unbreakable tune
of love’s song
Hope might look frail
as a dancer should
but don’t be fooled
She is a strong
as she should be
ever dancing free

~Rilómë

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Annals of Imladris

Mereth Rhîw ~ The Feast of Winter

      Yes, it was that time of the year again. The Feast of Winter had come to Imladris. Many kinds of celebrations were organised to enjoy the magical days. Artists could find their way to the Hall of Fire, and in the Hall of Elrond a menu with the delicious dishes of Imladris awaited the guests. Also, Mereth Rhîw is a time of giving and sharing, so many Elves signed up to exchange gifts in the Hall of Light.

      People of all races of Middle Earth came together in the Hall of Elrond to share stories, laugh, and of course also eat. When I say that Hobbits were a part of the group, it is needless to announce that the soup, pastries, meat and fruits were well taken care of, so to speak.

      Across the hallway, the Hall of Fire had been opened and was filled with artists. Poets, musicians and singers came to Imladris to share their work and listen to others. A calm and warm atmosphere filled the room as soft music was played by Elves and Men that visited Imladris.

      But there was another hall in use during this time. The Hall of Light, though smaller than the other halls, was beautifully decorated. The image of two trees had been carved into the walls, and the white stones on the floor were engraved with beautiful flowers. In a while, the Elves entered the hall, bringing their gifts. Presents like jewellery, goblets, herbs, fragrances and statues were soon given to other Elves visiting the hall. Every gift was beautiful in its own way, but some stood out more than others. The kite that Diava made for Ala was the most original one in the group. But other presents, like the candle Pathael made for Eithon and the flute Nilde gave Thali, must also be counted among some of the most original and well chosen gifts that were exchanged during the festivities.

      At last the time came when the last gifts had been given, the desserts been eaten and the last poem recited. And as starlight fell over the Valley once more, the magical festivities had come to an end.

~Ellitarë

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On the Road Again

       The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page ~ St. Augustine.

      You are kindly greeted by Amberle and Edan as you arrive at the meeting point in Forodwaith. I hope you packed well and warm, because the weather is cold and the wind is strong. If you arrived early, you may have met some of the other travelers. If not, you probably have to start your journey on your own.

      Your road first brings you to the ice caves of Forodwaith. Rumours spread about the wolves still lingering in this place and you have to be careful not to disturb them when you enter the caves. If you made it out of there safely, you will have found a map towards the next stop, The Grey Havens. It would be a nice idea to walk along the beach for a moment, while Cirdan the Shipwright tells you the story of the ocean and the tragedy of the Kinslaying at Alqualondë. Then, you will find a new map towards your next destiny, The Barrow Downs. But it is a better idea to take some rest before you travel there. In Hobbiton a bed stands ready for you and you can get some rest there and get new supplies for your journey. After that, your road will bring you towards The Barrow Downs, where a dangerous adventure awaits you. If you made it out of the grip of the Barrowwights, you will discover a map to the next stop. You will travel to the woods of Lothlorien. Once you are there, it would be a good decision to take a boatride along the Nimrodel, where you will hear the song of the lady that still lingers in the winds there. After this relaxing boatride, your path will lead you to Cerin Amroth and after that to Fangorn, home of the Ents. After you have travelled further through Edoras, the Drúedain Forest, Ithilien and Dol Amroth, your road will bring you back home.

      Once you arrive back home, you will have an amazing story to tell to your old friends, or you reminiscence about the trip with new friends. Because, as Amberle said, adventures will be had and friends will be made. As a traveller, I can agree with her on that point. So what are you waiting for? You can join in at any time you wish. Surely, you will not back down for the new adventures that await you?

~Ellitarë

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Narn e-Dant Gîl

      Awestruck, amazed, the host of Elven travellers finally beheld the light of the star Morlín. All stood transfixed as the light shone from the lake below, brightening their faces and making them appear for a moment as the Elven kings and queens of old. Their journey had taken weeks, and they had passed through many dangers. No small price had these adventures demanded of them; some of them had endured grave wounds or poisoning, while others had fallen in battle. Yet in this moment as they gazed at Morlín's glow it was all worth it. Some sang hymns of praise to Varda, while others could only weep from mingled joy and grief. The elder among them remembered back to the first light of the two great Trees as once again they were bathed in the now faint echo of what was still engraved in their minds. Truly the Elves were the children of the Twilight; the stars had lost none of their power over the Firstborn.

      No one in the company was foolish enough to believe that the dangers of their quest were finished, and so no one was surprised at a last desperate attack from the orcs as they arrived at Lake Evendim. Harder to control was their own reaction to the sacred starlight. Laebeth had warned at the beginning of the journey that the hardest struggle might be in their own hearts, and her words proved only too true. The joy of Telperion's dew, spilled and broken though the star might be, turned to the darker emotions of greed and pride. Just as the Silmarils had inspired kinslaying and treachery, so now Elf turned against Elf once again.

      For a moment it appeared as though history would repeat itself. Those who had managed to remain calm through the turmoil of conflicting emotions watched in horror as their friend and companion claimed the dew of Telperion for himself, battling their leader with a deadly, cold fury. The company could only watch as the two warriors battled, holding their breath until at last Tinindil's sword was destroyed, and with it his fury.

      Soberly they listened as Laebeth laid their options before them. Already most of the starlight had been destroyed by its fall and by the hateful work of the orcs. Now that small fragment which remained must be gathered up. Somehow they must either pour it into the Lake Evendim or take it with them to a location where orcs would no longer have the chance to defile it. Returning with it to Imladris no longer seemed a possibility; all had felt the starlight's stir in their hearts, had seen what ugly consequences could come, and knew that bringing this upon their brothers and sisters at home would be no sign of love. Many options were suggested, and finally in the few moments remaining before a final orc attack, the host made their decision.

      The remaining diamond-like shards that had once housed Telperion's dew were gathered up, while flasks were lovingly filled with the dew itself. A host of elven warriors sent by Círdan the Shipwright arrived in time to help them escape with their beloved treasure. The broken shards were sent to the great Sea and the dew to water healing herbs of elven gardens.

      At last the company returned home. Although little time had passed, as Elves count time, their hearts had been changed forever. As had been predicted, not one of them had looked upon the light of Telperion without consequence. Each traveler had been searched to the depths of his or her soul; each had seen both good and bad, beauty, joy, grief, greed, lust, triumph, and despair, both inside and reflected back from the faces of those grown dear. In later years it was seen that those who had braved the journey had gained courage, joy, and a quiet inner reflection of Morlín's light to hold to in the darkest of circumstances. Thus ended Morlín's tale, and although they grieved his loss when their eyes beheld the twinkling firmament, all knew that he had not fallen in vain.

~Nenuphar

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Tyrn Gorthad

      A long time has indeed passed since you last received a message from us. A lot has happened and none of us has found peace for long enough to write a letter. We reached Tyrn Gorthad quite quickly and the journey passed uneventfully. But a nagging feeling had entered everybody’s hearts, and only a small fire was made as guards took their places to watch the surroundings. In the middle of the night, the sound of metal could be heard clinging against metal. Through the whole night, the sound only got louder and louder…until they appeared. The Barrow-wights. I shall not lie, when I say that each and every one of us fought with all the skill and might we had. With fire and with swords. But they were only playing with us. And with the first ray of sun they were gone. Two Elves were not found in the morning.

      Some stayed behind to guard the camp and others went away to look for them. Their search turned out to be hopeless. And as darkness veiled the sky and mists covered the ground, the Barrow-wights appeared again. We were more tired, but more prepared, too. We were determined not to let them escape and let the sun catch them. We surrounded them with fire. This time our enemies were more desperate. The light inside our people had frightened them. This time they also managed to escape, but only barely. Two of us were wounded. Healers remained in the camp to heal them, others went off to search for the missing Elves again. But rain made the tracks disappear and Arteris, Specter and Eragorn returned to the camp, where Arwil and Tinessael, along with Eryn and Brevil, had managed to save most of the things from getting wet. But it was not pleasant.

      It was time to attack ourselves. With only a few remaining to guard the camp, the others went inside the Tyrn-Gorthad. They were met by the Barrow-wights and a furious battle ensued. Until their leader bared a Palantir. During the following moments everything goes dim in my memory. It all happened so quickly…most of us attacked their leader, making him drop the Seeing Stone. Somebody took it and escaped with it…Then I remember their leader killing himself, afraid of the wrath of Sauron, who no longer existed. Other Barrow-wights appeared confused. They shrieked and we escaped. As we reached the elven maiden with the Palantír, the green glow faded and the all went quiet. We had done it.

      Expect us in the Valley within in a couple of days, and listen for our song of rejoicing as we cross the Bruinen.

      I am looking forward to our meeting.

~Tinessael

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Honoured SCRs

       The snow had not yet left the valley of Imladris, and the joy of the festive Mereth Rhîw could still be felt ringing in the halls of the Lords Elrond and Glorfindel. The dawn had broken to a beautiful morning, one fitting to those who were to be honoured that day. The sun began to rise, scattering soft shadows of the Elves present at the ceremony, creating silhouettes in the partial light.

      Four stood before their fellow elven folk, filled with the pride and joy that was revealed by the gleam in their eyes. Eärendil and Elwing graced the place, taking their form in the hearts and souls of Aduchil and VardaElbereth. The fair sisters Amárië and Anárië were rewarded for their brilliant efforts in the Feasts of Imladris and the Host, respectively, as the Lady Celebrian and the Lord Gildor Inglorion were to be hosted by them for the month.

      The sun rose, casting a bright, warm beam over the valley of Rivendell. The Lords Elrond and Glorfindel looked over the worthy ones, and a single clear voice resonated through the valley. “Eglerio hyn! Praise them with great praise!”

      The Last Homely Herald Editors congratulate all the SCR recipients, and hope that all four of you will enjoy your month and new shiny face!

~LHH Editors

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Elilea

Elilea, Mistress of Sword,
And Mistress of Word,
An Elfling Child,
Young and wild,
Raised by creatures of the Forest,
‘Til she came to Rivendell and found rest.
Elilea grew strong and well,
With No Fear to quell,
Became an apprentice of the word,
And secretly of the sword,
For ‘twas thought,
If women fought,
All be lost,
Great would the cost.
In time the great Master of Word,
Began to use his words as a sword,
He did just that in pure arrogance,
And Elilea took a brave stance,
Knowing her duty full and well,
Made her challenge fit, the song of a bell.
Matched the Master Verse for Verse,
And looked him straight in the eye, as she spoke the curse,
Making her his equal
Thus it is told by quill,
She exiled him to a place,
Where words could make no case.
Shortly thereafter,
There was the Great War, that wouldn’t be forgotten shortly after.
Told she could not fight,
She knew it was not right,
Thus disguising herself as a man,
For she knew her destiny was at hand.
In the battle at the Black Gate,
She met her fate,
Taking with her, many of the enemy,
And once, saving the life of the one who was the key,
To all salvation for Middle Earth,
A man, whose birth,
Would be cursed by many for years to come,
But one down his line yet to come,
Would help to save all.
So in her fall,
She permitted salvation for others.
Yet truth be told by others,
She was scorned and jeered,
No one cheered.
Now her tale is lost.
Yet how great would be the cost,
If she had not been born.
So blow your horn,
And jeer,
At women who fear.
But don’t let it be forgotten,
‘Twas a woman’s courage that has begotten,
Hope and Salvation for all those you hold dear.
Perhaps in knowing this, you will no longer jeer,
At Elilea; Mistress of the Sword,
And Mistress of the Word.

~Elilea

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Feature Articles

The Fangorn Olympics!

       The woods had been groaning with the weight of secret planning for weeks; I'd spent many days toiling beside other members of the Fangorn Community building accommodation for the visiting delegations of athletes... oh we didn't exactly give them five-star, but they were all soundly built and were provided with the basics of furniture so they would be comfortable; but of course part of the fun of what we had planned for them was to see how they would do the decorations of their apartments once they had moved in. The days were counting down slowly; it seemed as though there was never enough time in any one day to get everything done, and even less time when we looked at the calendars, but slowly and surely it was all being completed.

      The first groups to move in arrived around a week before the opening ceremonies, I did like the ponies that the Blond Men and Ladies brought with them, they would "harrumph" into my leaves, making me shiver - but that was part of the fun.

      Of course when the nasty people from the Ashy Lands arrived I had to go and hide behind 'nice Thom although he wasn't really big enough to hide me completely. Eventually, though, everyone had arrived and we were able to start the Opening Ceremonies on time - I loved the souvenirs, and even though I probably spent more than I should I got a flag and a ribbon to twine around my upper branches, and a rattlely thing to whirl around to annoy the other teams. The procession was amazing, all the lights and colours…the cheerleaders (at least I think that's what they're called) from the Shining City were especially great to see, all the yelling and shouting made me feel very excited! Nauntie Lanth said that it was Eru, the One, who officially opened the Olympics, but I'm not sure if that was the case, all I know was one minute the Flame wasn't burning, then there was a bright light, a loud voice, and it was lit up like a beacon...

      I spent several days watching the various events - the climbers as they hopped up the Misty Mountains. were fun to watch, and I was waving from the sidelines when the Tramplers moved off from Treebeard's Hill to make their way along the Triathlon route. I lost my teddy then and it took some days to find it - they were the worst days, and I missed seeing the Black Mountainside and Night Flight games, and that made me cry myself to sleep the night that Teddy had been found.

      The last week was the best I think, everyone was so happy - one of the Ashy people actually said that I looked pretty enough to make a nice blaze - I'm not sure what he meant, but he was leering so politely that I assumed it was a compliment and agreed with him; but I'm not sure now if I should have done that...

      Anyhow, the end came eventually, the medals were presented, I didn't win any, and I cried for several minutes before a nice Elf reminded me I had to take part to win a medal. She presented me with a new waistcoat for my teddy, so I was happy after that! I really enjoyed the Olympics, and I hope you did as well. Cousin Lae said she'd write down the winners of all the events for me as my memory's not all that good at the moment - Nauntie Lanth says I have to finish my schooling first so I'd better run along to the Lithian Falls Primary.

~Written down by Shiningleaves; on behalf and from the dictation of Oily Leaves.

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A single mysterious scroll was found in the Editors' Office at the first light of dawn. No name was left of its author, but it promised of great things to come.

We have all seen her face at one time or another. She is mysterious, beautiful, cunning. At times even elusive and a little bit crazy. It is not hard to find the answers we seek, if we look in the right places. Now, I take upon myself a quest to find The Answer I seek to The Question I have. A journey that will take me on paths uncharted before. I may come across obstacles never before seen. If there are risks, I heed them not. Forth I go, armed to the bit with pen and parchment. I seek only one thing. The Answer to my Question...

Who is Pip Reonyea?

~Emyla

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Oldie Perspective

      Actually, I've never thought of myself as an oldie, though I have been around for a bit more than two years. Most people know me as Arwil, the Healer/Pyromaniac/Elladan Supporter (go me!) and of course, the Quill-giver, or other versions of that title.

      I remember starting my newbie days by joining Imladris (called Rivendell at that time), spamming in the Lore forums so I could get a point to advance to the next rank. Dear Eru was I obsessed with getting to the next rank as fast as my fingers could get me there! I don't know if I was told off by an Admin – which I should have been, I admit – but I didn't stay long enough to find out. I left the Plaza and didn't come back until July 2004. The first thread I ever joined was the Tengwar Tours, and to avoid future blackmail, let me describe in detail what my first IC post was like: Short, spammy with a pinch of god-moding. I can and will deny that the first post in that thread was in any way related to the present Arwil, I swear! Then I spent a couple of weeks discovering what my kingdom was famous for – foo foo. Of course, I managed to see this thing for what it was in an instant: Pure evil. Smart little Elfie, wasn't I?

      Fast-forward to my first ever Plaza Olympics. By that time, I was fairly active in Imladris, spending hours and hours lurking on the Plaza on dial-up, making the bills go higher and higher until my parents were forced to get Broadband to cut costs, ahem… Like any self-loving Elf around, I was thoroughly excited by this Plaza-wide event. I even made a post in the Chamber of Audience asking where we'd open a Banner making competition. I think it was Lae and Tara who gave me permission to open up a thread for that and answered all my hyperactive newbie questions (first post, thread opening, etc…) there. And that was my first ever thread opened in Imladris. There's also my first ever fire started in Imladris, my first ever barrel race, but I don't want to bore you all with my ramblings, after all!

      I've seen people come and go, and have felt happy and sad respectively. Imladris, however, is a place that I feel really is a safe haven, where your sorrow is quickly cheered up by so many loving Elves and humorous threads. I know we've all read this somewhere or heard it from someone before, but I must say it again: Imladris has truly become alive with the work of us all. I see threads ranging from silly to serious, game to roleplay… every day something new happens. Just like the Elves, you find happy sing-song Elves like our beloved Daffodilly One, and you also find serious grouches like Elrond (but we love ya!), but you will never find a day dull with us!

      It's been a long and winding road, but I have not gotten exhausted yet, because I've made some great friends (some better than in RL!), I've learnt a lot from all of you Plaza folk, and I have improved greatly in terms of understanding leadership, responsibility and English. The Plaza has become like a second home to me, where all my family members share the same interests, and every single one of us is an equal. Since I've joined the Plaza, I have learnt that there is a place that does not have an unwritten law that adults are always the leaders. It's not wrong to be an 80 year-old Aphador and still have a 14 year-old Minestor, and people don't judge you by your age, but by how capable you are at handling things. There is a mutual respect that fills the age gaps and makes everyone the same. That is what made me fall in love with the Plaza and stay until this day.

~Arwil

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Tidings from Abroad

Fangorn

For an unhasty folk, the Ents have certainly seen quite a few sudden changes recently. Upon the conclusion of the Olympics came the abrupt resignation of Mojo as one of Fangorn's rulers. He has since departed from us altogether, leaving a prominent (and noticeable) hole. Not only in our forest but amongst our venerable debators; hence all over Middle Earth. His contributions were seen by all, and the old Ent one not lightly forgotten.

In his stead, Old Woman Willow was announced Meaghan's partner in crime. There was no surprise when Lanthy was given so great an honour. And responsibility. Since her arrival in Fangorn she has worked hard and tirelessly. That energy and drive is even now pumping new life back into a forest gone sleepy. Both she and Megs have taken to heart the decision to restore Fangorn to its former glory. Wisely, for any great leader knows the value of his men, they have enlisted the help and opinions of all Fangorn; even extending the request to any and all; no matter their kingdom.

~Meltinallë

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Isengard The biggest change in the Tower of Orthanc since you last heard is of course the sad farewell we gave to Saruman Moneta. After a long era of leading that handful of a group known as the Istari, she handed over the keys for the tower and the many-coloured robe to YaWorm, who in turn handed Shadowfax and Glamdring over to our new Gandalf Nylara. She has already proven herself to be a worthy ruler of Isengard, and so far she hasn't locked any of us in the dungeons, which is always a good thing.

The wizards have been true to their reputation as scholars this past month; the Library has been the busiest room in Orthanc as the Istari and other visitors have been discussing Eowyn and Samwise Gamgee as part of the Schorlaly Sages of Erudition, as well as the Parma Knolwe book club taking up their own corner with discussions of that fictional wizard Harry Potter, as well as the famous characters Father Christmas (and his letters) and Scrooge. All are invited to join any of these discussions. In fact, I challenge you to prove your knowledge of history and texts to be better than what the Istari boast!

But perhaps the halls of the tower are quiet because a number of Istari are currently lost in a place they don't recognise, where people talk and dress funny, where noisy yellow metal things with people in them honk at you, and where a strange food called pizza is served in great abundance. While these wizards battle on in The Meneltarma Gateway found in Tales of the Unexpected, those left behind are defending their home in Assault on Orthanc, also in TotU. The inexperienced defenders must keep Orthanc safe from the Dunlendings and the Goblins of the Misty Mountains until help arrives. I wish them good luck (and not least because I'd like a home to go to when I've escaped the clutches of Mayor Arwil).

I had best leave you here to explore Isengard on your own, as I have to get to the Medical Center where an annoying Health Inspector is being threatened by a mad doctor and his vials. Tenn' enomentielvo from Orthanc.

~Grey Pilgrim

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Khazad-dûm

The life in Khazad-dûm continues happy and funny. Although the less number of Dwarves joining us and the farewells of some important members, like Star Flower and Naragshatûr, don’t contribute to that fact, our Kingdom tries its best to welcome new visitors.

The newest and the most attractive RPG is already running. “The Expedition to the East”, organized by Khôrin and supported by the Kagam Clan, is moving and the six groups that were made (the Provision Masters, the Liason Masters, Wagon Masters, Scout Group, Camp Masters and Security Group) will have to work together to fulfil the purpose of this trip: reach the East-side of the world and find if there are still any Dwarven Lore-Clan left.

The Anghak has also started a new RPG. The Mining Outpost of Gullveig was attacked by a small army of Orcs and the brave soldiers were called to finish with the threat. In this RPG, the High General of the Army requires more from each Anghak soldiers, trying to increase the Army’s activity.

The list of Dwarves who received a Special Rank was out in the beginning of January. The honoured Dwarves were:

  • ~ Tornihyanda – Durin’s Bane (December’s Dwarf of the Month)
  • ~ Dagordraug – Smaug
  • ~ Alce Marille – Thorin Oakenshield
  • ~ Óin – Gimli
  • ~ Norin – Bombur

And the Dwarves who received Tribute Ranks from the Administrators:

  • ~ Star Flower – Indis
  • ~ Elvensong – Melian
  • ~ Merne – Crebain

The Clans of Khazad-dûm were reduced, but it seems it has helped them. The Burx and the Mex, the Lords of Drink and Food respectively, were mixed into one single Clan, the Merikhansar, in the previous month. This Clan still opens pubs and cafes to the Kingdom, and they have even been considered the Clan of the Month.

About the others, the Yukogs departed in a journey to Erebor, in a quest for a lost treasure; the Kagams, as said before, also supported the creation of “The Expedition to the East”; the Morogs, Anxikogs and Mojaks continue with their normal business.

King Dain is working on the update of the Kingdom Pages. It was clear that the old ones were overtaken and many activities were poorly developed in information given to the reader. Consequently, our Kingdom has gathered everybody and asked for new reports. This update is still going on.

Finally, another discussion is involving the Kingdom. As purposed by some members, the Queen Cajsa is working on the creation of more Dwarven-only threads and a good pub brawl, like in the old days. The Art Guild will be, almost for sure, one of those threads, where all the Dwarves can show their skills.

Well, that’s all folks. I hope you have enjoyed reading this report and please, don’t forget that Khazad-dûm has always its doors opened for you!

~Tornihyanda

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Lothlorien

Lorien
The Kingdom of Lothlorien is celebrating the anniversary of the founding of the kingdom this month. There is so much going on, it will be hard to include it all! It is traditional that Lady Galadriel and Lord Celeborn open their home to the Galadhrim during the celebrations and they are graciously receiving guests there. An Anniversary Feast and Ball is ongoing in Caras Galadhon. The musicians have just arrived to provide the entertainment. If you prefer something a bit more artistic, the Guild musicians of the Ann-Thennath are performing a concert of selections prepared for the Kingdom anniversary.

For those with a competitive nature, there is much to choose from. The Galadhrim and friends are showing off their elven grace in the Dance Competition. There is also a Story Contest and Lore Competition for those glib of tongue or wise in the history of Arda. Those handy with a blade or bow are showing off their skills in the Archer and Ranger Tournaments. In a more serious contest, Lady Galadriel has dropped her Phial and it has broken into six fragments! All must be found immediately and the Galadhrim are turning out in full force to reclaim that precious artifact.

All celebrations should include a shopping spree and the Bachas Lothlorien has many booths to help you empty your coin purse. The Galadhrim are also taking the opportunity to recognize and thank those who make our Golden Wood so wonderful in the Superlatives talan. The Elves also have the opportunity to enter their gratitude in a book of Thank Yous.

The Kingdom Anniversary will culminate in a Twilight Procession. A select group of Galadhrim, chosen to represent their kinsmen, will wind their way through the mallorns in a silence march to honour Valinor and Lothlorien. Truly the Lady's grace and the light of the Two Trees shine on Lothlorien this month!

~Tari Avalonde

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Minas Tirith

Gondor has indeed been a busy place the latest month. As many of you perhaps know, Laie and Naith returned from a trip last month, and their resurrection (if you can call it that) has triggered an explosive growth of old members returning. It was quite an emotional atmosphere in the Merethrond, and the scenes that took place were not only touching, but also beautiful as members of the Kingdom came to show their love for their old Rulers. A big thank you to Tarkano and Tiana for making this possible!

The Drill-season has started, and Gondor is on the look for another title this year as well. They have started off excellently with two victories on a row and are sure to be a threat to the title this year as well. So watch out, Middle-earth!

There are several activities in Minas Tirith this at time of the year, and many of them are open to other people than just the Gondorians. The rules of most activities are less strict than they have been before, and Gondor hopes that this will bring more visitors to the White City.

The Library is currently holding a lecture where the brilliant writer Taranuen lectures about how she writes and how she is working with her fiction. It is extremely interesting to see how this writer uses different kinds of tricks and tools (so to speak) to get the reader's attention. She has clearly fascinated the writer of this column, and I believe all should at least take a peek at the lecture. It is definitely worth it.

Another funny place to be at the moment is the Marketplace. Several shops have hired new promising apprentices, and they are of course obliged to do whatever the customer demands (within certain limits, of course). Shopping is always fun, and shopping in a friendly and usually relatively cheap environment is even better!

So there are loads of things to do in Minas Tirith if you just want to relax or do serious roleplay. Please visit us, we'll take good care of you! Until next time, this is R.E. Porter, foreign correspondant for The Last Homely Herald.

~Erlend

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Mordor Many moons have passed since the Free Peoples have heard news of the minions, which of course is what the minions have wanted all along. With risk of losing my own life for sending these reports, I can tell you that Mordor is growing stronger and more powerful by the minute, with a huge influx of newly corrupted Free Peoples. Though Gothmog has retreated to some unknown place, all minions know that he will return if we should go to war. Instead an old known and feared presence has reclaimed his rightful throne beside Lord Sauron, namely the Witch-King, though news of this must have reached you already, as his ability to strike fear in the hearts of Men reaches long and wide. Though this should be kept secret, I can reveal that Mordor's army is now fully functioning once more and it is even greater than before, being led by the very capable hands of Akilah, Gaurlukh and Volgavia. I am positive they will soon have great success in any battle they enter or instigate.

On a more personal, but related subject, the Black Pits are booming like never before, with more Free Peoples being tortured and corrupted than in a long time. It warms my dead black heart to know that so many minions are finally seeing what a fun activity this is and are joining in, making a name for themselves and also ridding Arda of Free Peoples in the process. I can only say keep up the good work. As for the Free Peoples: beware...

To round this report off, I will give you all a warning: beware of entering Mordor these days! The minions are more evil and more powerful than ever before, and do stay away from those dark deserted alleys, or you might find yourself in my torture chamber for some "questioning".

~Winddancer

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Riddermark
Welcome once again to another month, well a collection of two really, to all you lovely people of Imladris, from the great Home of the Horse Lords. It gives me great pleasure each month, to report to you of all of the happenings here in the Riddermark. These past months, we have found ourselves getting ready for the holidays, and almost all of us sent gifts of some kind to those we love. Our King, also known as Lady Fëa, is very close to giving birth to her little peanut (as she calls him/her). All in Rohan await the day with great anticipation!

When it comes to events this past month, our SCRs must be mentioned. Malorn, Eormed, and Aodh will be playing Elfhelm, Erkenbrand and Elfwine, respectively. Celebrating 1000 days of plaza was our own very Queen, Eléowyn or Éowyn, whom all know to be one of many friends. We hope she will enjoy many more days to come on the plaza, as she strives to achieve all that is best for us proud Rohirrim.

December brought gifts to many! The Shire Yule gift center helped deliver those precious presents to loved ones. We hope we will see them next year as well, as they do a grand job!

Many days to come to we all hope as she strives to achieve all the best things for us proud Rohirrim. Also this month of Dec bring gift giving for many, the Shire Yule gift center helped. Continuing onward, in the Cavalry we have seen many rewards and riders moved up the chain of command. Taethowen, Talaika, Erkendorn, Emma, and myself, just to name a few. Stop and salute those riders who have worked hard for the Cavalry, won't you?

Last, but not least, a game for those who desire to… get back at Éomer. Pin the tail of the Support Donkey? Yes, you guessed correctly. All kingdoms were welcome to erm… well, get a chance to do just that. Pin it. Come check our the beginning and results! Well, that is it for now, my friends. From your Golden Rider, this is Goldmoon Dunami. May the Valar Bless you all!

~Goldmoon Dunami

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The Shire The Shire has started the New Year on a high note with numerous new activities opening up as well as old ones being revived! The Yule activities are slowly starting to wrap up allowing for the coming of January fresh activities!

Rumor spread high and low about whether or not the revival of one of the Shires fondest elder activities, the Old Tooks, was fact or fiction! To the great delight of us all the rumors proved to be true and the age old establishment has returned! Even the Old Took himself showed up to celebrate and enjoy the abundance of delicious foods set out on the buffet! The Shire Watch and the Walking Club are in the process of being brought back for the enjoyment of hobbits and big folk as well!

A few new contests have sprung up as well such as Sharkey's treasure hunt where hobbits have joined together to find clues and discover where old Sharkey kept his treasure! Foto Frenzy has gone over well also, being a humorous thread where folks can contribute parody pictures from Lord of the Rings that they have created! Last but not least is the Mushie Mania game where two opposing teams of hobbits are after one bag of mushies, and you know how hobbits are with mushrooms!

However, despite all the revivals and new arrivals the biggest even in the Shire right now is the wedding of Eamila Bolger and Merioldo Bolger (Merry Hobbit)! With the entire ceremony being hosted in the Shire, everyone from all around has been given the opportunity to gather together and see as these two amazing hobbits start a new chapter together, just as the Shire has happily started a new year!

~Loralinn

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Valinor

The start of this month saw the Valar recovering from their Christmas and New Year parties. Eru certainly throws a good staff do! Though Tulkas has since gone into hiding after using the office palantir in a rather inappropriate way... Varda was also seen kissing Mandos under the mistletoe. So Manwë has spent the rest of the month sitting at the top of Taniquetil sulking, while Vairë has left insulting tapestries lying around the Halls of Mandos, a popular feature being the elaborately stitched words "dirty rat".

Since Morgoth didn't get an invite, he had his own little party in the void to protest. Only Estë and Mahal turned up. What with Estë falling asleep after her first drink, and Mahal discussing proper tool care all night, Morgoth was left severely disappointed.

Meanwhile Oromë was pulled over for drunk riding and remains behind bars. Nienna's attempts to raise bail money by undertaking a sponsored silence are hampered by her uncontrollable bouts of wailing. Yavanna and Ulmo have refused to help out, saying that Oromë deserved it... but this is popularly believed to be nothing but jealousy over the fact he gets a flashy horse. When Nessa pointed this out, Ulmo cried "who needs a horse when I have an octopus?!" and stormed off. He's now making a big show of adoring the said octopus, (newly named Talullah) and has taken the poor thing out to dinner.

Yesterday Vána emerged from her room surprised to find that the celebrations were over. After going through several hundred dress changes and finally applying her last layer of make up, the Vala considered herself ready to party. Unfortunately she had gone past "fashionably late" and arrived at "a few weeks late".

Valinor's Quote of the Month:

Túrin: I want to be Thumper from Bambi, he rocks.

~Alkthoniel

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Lore Matters

Of the Straight Road

       After the fleet of Ar-Pharazôn, the last king of Númenor, reached the shores of the Blessed Realm, the Valar asked Eru to change or remake Eä and thus the world was made round. Before, the Elves (who were at last pardoned and permitted to return to Aman) who wanted to leave Middle-Earth, could sail there by ship. Yet after the Downfall of Númenor, Eru removed Valinor from the Bent World. A way was left for the Eldar to return - and that is the Straight Road. No mortal could tread upon it, but elven ships that sailed towards the West, would eventually reach the Straight Road. Then traveling as if though the air, they would eventually reach the Island of Tol Eressëa.

      There was only one exception for mortals. After the War of the Ring, the Ring-bearers were allowed to come to the Lonely Isle. It is rumored that this exception might also have been made for Gimli, the Elf-friend. But it is said also that per chance, other mortal mariners might reach the shores of Aman before they passed away.

~Loriwaynen

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A Tiny Touch of Sindarin

Disclaimer: Im Tinw, Elvellon: I am Tinw, Elf-friend. My Sindarin is not superb, since I am only a student of the Elven-tongue, but I can at least help you understand a few basic phrases and words.

Upon the gates of Moria, the Fellowship of the Ring found an inscription that turned out to be both simple and difficult. Bilbo transcribed it into common characters in the Red Book as follows:

Ennyn Durin Aran Moria: pedo mellon a minno.

Let's take it word by word.

Ennyn: "Doors" or "gates", the plural of annon, "great door" or "gate".
What happened to the vowels? In Sindarin, instead of adding -s at the end of a noun to make it plural, its vowels (a, e, i, o, u, and y) change according to a loose set of rules. Mind you, there are many exceptions to these rules, and scholars are still debating and fine-tuning them, but here is a chart Taramiluiel gave her students that shows the most common patterns. Notice that it matters whether a vowel is in the final syllable of a word or an earlier ("internal") one. So the first e in edhel, "elf", stays an e in edhil, "elves", but the second e changes to an i.
So how do you use this chart? Well, take a look at ennyn and break it into its syllables: en-nyn. Ys tend to show up in Sindarin plurals, so chances are ennyn is a plural. Look at the "e" in the first syllable of ennyn and search for that vowel in the "internal" column, because it's not the final or last syllable. When does e appear as an "internal" mutation, according to this chart? You'll see that e can be the plural for a or for e, if it's in a non-final syllable. Now look at the y in the last syllable: that's final, so search for y in column 3. You'll see that y is usually the plural for o or y. So, using this information to guess what the singular form might be, look up ennon, annon, ennyn, annyn in a good dictionary and, behold! annon turns up.

Puzzle 1: Someone uses the word mellyn. Break the word apart into its syllables, use the chart to figure out what its first (internal) and last (final) vowel might be in the singular form, then look up the singular form in the dictionary to find out what it means!

Durin: "Durin", name of the first King of the Dwarves.
Tiny Sindarin grammar lesson: one way to indicate "of" or "belonging to" in Sindarin is to write the owner after the thing owned. Here, you have the word "doors" with "Durin" right after them to mean "Doors of Durin" or "Durin's Doors".

Puzzle 2: How would you write "friend of Finrod"?

Aran: "king".
This noun follows right after Durin, the same the way Durin followed Ennyn. So why doesn't this mean "Durin of king", besides the fact that it makes no sense? Elvish gets confusing when there are a lot of nouns in a row! But there is one easy way to sort them out. "Durin" and "king" are both referring to a person, so they are likely to be referring to the same person. Then you just write, "Durin, king..." or "king Durin". Whereas there is no way that "gate" and "Durin" can be referring to the same thing: one is a structure, the other is a person. If two nouns cannot be referring to the same thing, then use "of" between them.

Puzzle 3: How would you write "friend of kings"? Watch out! "Kings" is plural!

Moria: The Elves' name for the place Dwarves call Khazad-Dûm.
Look at the word that came before Moria: Aran. Can that be referring to the same person or thing? No, Moria is a place, Aran is a person. Time to use "of" again: "king of Moria". Neat tip: try looking up môr and îa to find out what the parts of this name mean. What other names do you know that include the word môr?

Puzzle 4: What does this mean? Minas Elessar, Aran Gondor.

Pedo: "speak!"
Verbs in any language are complicated: they have to change forms or endings to show you their tense, who is the subject, and all sorts of information. One common form of verbs is the command or "imperative" form. For example, "run!" or "say 'please!'" To turn a verb into a command in Sindarin, verbs add the letter o at the end. Hiswelókë's dictionary usually lists imperatives separately, so try looking up the word just as you see it.

Puzzle 5: This time you do the work-- what does minno mean?

Mellon: "friend"
Mellon is one of the first words that students learn. But there is a trick here! Does the gate inscription mean, "[you,] friend, speak!" or does it mean, "say [the word] friend!" It's a more complicated question than you might think. In Sindarin, to show a word is the direct object of a verb (For example, I hit a ball, I played a harp), we must change the first letter of the word according to a set of rules. So for instance "Fëanor abandons friends" would be Fëanor awartha vellyn, not mellyn. Since mellon is NOT mutated in any way, you would think that it is the subject of the sentence, not the direct object. No wonder Gandalf got confused and assumed the inscription meant, "friend... speak!" The Moria gate inscription tells you what the password should sound like, even though the inscription, as written, bends the rules of grammar. That is the riddle, and that is why Gandalf was tripped up.

Puzzle 6: If tiro means "look at!" or "watch" and menel means "heaven" or "the sky", how would you write "look at the sky!"

a: "and".
And is written a before a consonant, or ah before a vowel.

Puzzle 7: How would you write "Men and Elves"? (Hint: Adan is "man").

All right,now you should be able to understand all the words: Ennyn Durin Aran Moria: pedo mellon a minno. "The Doors of Durin, King of Moria: Speak "friend" and enter."

It is interesting to note that the Gates of Moria are written in Elvish by a Dwarf. Apparently certain Elves and Dwarves were quite happy to call each other "friend" long before Gimli and Legolas met one another. Why is that? Check back next month, when I untangle the rest of the gate-inscription!

Sources: The Sindarin Dictionary Project ~ Taramiluiel's Sindarin Lessons

~Tinw

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Artisans' Corner

How-to... Subject

       CRAFT ARTICLE CRAFT ARTICLE CRAFT ARTICLE

~ Author

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Nestoer

When the air is full of arrows,
And the ground is soaked with blood,
They walk among the wounded, bringing aid.
Through the smoking wrack and ruin
Come the Healers, doing good.
Cheering hearts, though they themselves may be afraid.

* * *

In the aftermath of battle,
When it breaks your heart to hear
The wounded, crying out upon the field,
They take a light and seek them
In the darkness of the night
And bring them back to safety to be healed.

* * *

There's a different kind of battle
In the Adab Nestad rooms;
In the quiet, secret watches of the night.
When the Nestor's voice is calling
To the fëa of the lost;
"Tolo nan galad~Come back into the Light!"

* * *

When the flowers fill the garden
And the robins brightly sing,
The patients sit there talking in the sun.
The Nestor's work is finished,
And the patient's chart complete,
As she writes about another battle won.

~Ancalima*

Puzzles and Games

Riddle

Ice and silver, sharpest steel,
Core of courage, held by hero’s hand,
Foe after foe before it would kneel,
As its wielder blow after blow would land.
Brandished in war after war,
Following its master from shore to shore.
Yet victories came to an end,
As Morgoth the sudden flames did send,
Wielder and weapon broke,
Under Morgoth’s final stroke.

Did this riddle interest you, and was finding the solution thrilling? Or do you think perhaps you can make better riddles? Then please, come and join us in the Conundrums of Arda, placed in Imladris, a place where we gather to make and solve riddles. All are welcome!

~Aduchil

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Who Am I?

Being of royal line, he never came to throne.
An ancestor of Elf-friend,
And would-be lord of Hadhodrond.

~Loriwaynen

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Humor

Have a Sweet!

Dearest Editors of the Last Homely Herald,

I am writing to you as a very concerned parent and responsible Elf of Rivendell. As you might have noticed, a slightly peculiar event has recently taken place right in front of our doorstep - Lord Elrond's doorstep, to be exact. The Valar have somehow dumped the unwanted junk of our ancestors just because Valinor was not big enough to store all of it. How generous! It has been a few days since the Valar left, and I ask myself if they have noticed what havoc they have caused among the Elves of Imladris?

My child has been complaining about swollen ear lobes with bright green polka dots and unusual bunny-like teeth after eating one of the sweets that dropped out of one of the Valar's robes. One would assume that if they were to come and return junk to one of the most highly Elf-populated areas in Middle-earth, they would mind to check their pockets for any odd sweets with embarrassing side effects before they came. My daughter is now very, very upset, and refuses to come out of her room – which she now thinks is a tree – and her studies are greatly delayed. All because of some unknown sweet!

I went to Adab Nestad to seek counsel from the Healers on what to do with my daughter, only to see that they were facing the same problem! One of their Healers (I will not mention the name) has become disturbingly obsessed with all things shiny. Another thinks he is a duck. Furthermore, I heard from a passing Taidor that a librarian was bitten by a scroll from Valinor! Bitten! I wish them all the best in trying to restore peace in the House of Healing.

As I went to seek for more counsel from Master Elrond and Lord Glorfindel, I found them preoccupied with their newfound birds – another gift from Valinor. These tall creatures with feeble wings appear to have become a new breed of steeds for Lord Elrond, but Lord Glorfindel seemed to have different plans for them. Me? I do not even think I want anything to do with these birds – what ever they may be! So alas, I returned home without an answer to anything.

Dear Editors, I hope you realise the seriousness of this situation; that some of this junk has become a menace to our Elven society. If it is possible, I would like to plead that you publish this in the Last Homely Herald to alert our fellow Elves of this.

Yours truly,
Worried Father

P.S. What is the password to enter a rubber banana tree?

~Arwil

Credits

  • Guilds and Organizations
    • Army Report: Aduchil
    • Gwaith i-Nestoer: Ancalima*
    • Elven Artists' Association: Ellitarë
    • Library: Saranna
    • Teliol mi Imladris: Nilde Dúlindilme
    • IK Racing: Tinessael
    • The Forge: Loriwaynen
  • RPGs and Special Events
    • Mereth Rhîw: Ellitarë
    • On the Road Again: Ellitarë
    • Narn e-Dant Gîl: Nenuphar
    • Tyrn Gorthad: Tinessael
    • Honoured SCRs: Keleos
  • Feature Articles
    • Interview: Author
    • Oldie Perspective: Author
    • Newbie Perspective: Author
  • Tidings From Abroad
    • Fangorn: Author
    • Khazad-dûm: Author
    • Lothlórien: Author
    • Riddermark Author
    • Minas Tirith: Author
    • Mordor: Author
    • The Shire: Author
    • The White Council: Author
    • Valinor: Author
  • Songs and Stories
    • Song of Old: Author
    • Creative Submission: Author
  • Crafts, Lore, and Language
    • Lore Matters: Author
    • Geography: Author
    • Artisans’ Corner: Author
  • Puzzle and Games
    • Riddle: Aduchil
    • Who am I?: Loriwaynen.
      • Answers: Farin
  • Humor
    • Have a Sweet!: Arwil
  • Artwork
    • Titles and background: Tinw
    • Ink sketches: Tinw
    • Kingdom stamps: Silarvalla