Parth Nelui ~ Volume Three
It is time once again for another article from your Minestor, Master Healer of the Gwaith i-Nestoer! This past month has been very busy for the Healers, especialy for the Aphadrim (the Apprentices).
The Adab Nestad has been receiving a lot more patients than usual, coming from several groups that have arrived from abroad, like Barad Eregion and Mirkwood. Could this be a sign of new evil stirring outside the borders of Imladris? The patients are either healed or are healing, and even a few have been feeling well enough to leave, a good sign of hope for the healers, whose hard work and dedication has paid off. You can even visit them in the Healing House in Imladris, or visit us in the third House of Healing if you have any problems.
A few Aphadrim have also been teaching classes to new students wanting to become healers. The classes have been a success, but you will read more about that in the Healing Class Article. Those wanting to become Aphadrim can sign up to our classes or directly pass the test here.
The Gwaith i-Nestoer, as an institution, is always changing and innovating its ways to adapt and grow. The second level class, which will cover the “magical”, mental and finer aspects of healing is coming soon, once the Master Healers can get together. All Aphadrim will be welcome to join that course of course.
In the hall of fire this month, we saw the return of some long-missed faces as well as many of our more familiar writers and even a minion or two.
As February dawned, we to host a celebration of love for Valentine’s Day. It was a contest to enter either a short story (10 paragraphs or so) or three poems on love and prosperity. Judges will be Fir, Anni and Idril and tribute for winners will be given accordingly based on number of participants and quality of submissions. Credits go to Galen Aranor for the theme. We had a number of lovely contributions including:
Galen Aranor (story), Dinledhwen (story), Vugar (poems) (Mordor), Aironya (poems), Emyla (story), Avi_Aiel (Poems), Tinindil Orodel (poems), Bors de Ganis (poems) (Gondor), Tinw (poems), Gilnessael (poems), Romennime (poems), Elenlin (poems)
The winners will be announced in this thread soon, where you may also browse the submissions!
There has also been a request from the librarians for our writers to have their own tomes of creativity in the library. With the talent in our guild, we should fill up the shelves in no time. We have a number of great conversations going on in our critique halls of tales and verses as well as a discussion about the Song and verse in Tolkien´s writings.
Last, but certainly not least, we have been asked to hold a BWG competition for the upcoming Edenidhrinn Festival (end of March) to celebrate the Elvish New Year. There will be a poetry and short story contest that will be conducted by one of our senior bards, Eliendriel, and judged by her along with Galen Aranor and Idril. The theme for the festival will be “blessings and thanks.”
Last month the Library was officially opened in Imladris. Two new Librarians will help people with their research, and add new lore or creative writings to the Tomes. You will find Saranna and Anorlín (previously Ruiniel), along with their assistant Eldollen willing and able to answer all queries or problems. Already many new Tomes of Creativity have been added to the Library, so many in fact that they cannot all be listed here; but it stands as a testament to the skills and talents of our Bards that their works are all of extraordinary quality. Any of the folk of Imladris are more than welcome to come by the Library and have their own writings added with the others already upon the shelves.
Not all of the folk in Middle Earth are able to submit works of Creativity, for indeed they are open only to the people of Imladris. But our scrolls and books of Lore can be added to by any of the races and all aid is most welcome and appreciated. Already we have a visitor from the Shire, Istya Alassea who will write on the topics of Eriador, Arthedain and Rhudaur. Our own Lady Aikarí has offered to write for us on the beautiful city of Tírion.
If you are interested in writing please drop by and let us know what subject you wish to write on. We have a list of places supplied, but it is not necessary that you choose one of these. Or stop by and read some of the poetry and stories of our gifted Bards. Whatever reason you have for coming, you will be most warmly welcomed.
In the first race of the season, Rivendell got off to a great start as a few Cheetahs raced forwards much faster then the Badgers of Khazad-Dûm! The first score called was 7-4 to Imladris. The Cheetah;s’ fans had cheered louder then those of Khazad-Dûm’s, but despite this the final score was Imladris 30 and Khazad-Dum 49! All Rivendwellers hoped for a better race in week 2.
In week 2 the Imladris Cheetahs raced the Fangorn Squizzles and as before we got off to a pretty good start with the score being 16-15 to Fangorn. There was loud cheering from each sides of the stadium, and everyone seemed to feel the excitement! Which led to the final score called being 69-75 to Fangorn. But hey, better then the last race, eh?
In the third week of racing, Imladris got off to decent start, with the score of 8-4 to the Gondor Skunks, whom we were racing. Through the rest of the race though it seemed almost hopeless for our dear orange and spotted creatures, until the very last leg of the race when, for some reason known only to them, they raced forward as fast as their legs would take them and rushed past most of the Skunks! Bringing the final score to 50-54 to Gondor. Gondor’s Tiana and our own Lindor came in first place with 15 spaces each, closely followed by Galen’s Cheetah with 12 spaces. And even though we did not win we all must say that that was a very impressive ending to a seemingly hopeless race. Never doubt a Cheetahs strength and ability!
Week 4 of the races found Rivendell in Mordor, Cheetahs racing against Lava Snakes! The first to show up were the Mordorians, and then the Rivendwellers began to cheer for their team, yelling loud and proud that Imladris was the best! It all began when the Cheetahs ran forwards, and some backwards, and the Snakes seemed to be faster then they appeared as they slithered their way into the lead with the first score being 18-10 to Mordor. The last score called was 115-114 to... Imladris! The Cheetahs had run their fastest and won the race, stomping those snakes into the ground! Figuratively of course.
In week 5 the elves of Lothlórien visited our lands for a wonderful race! The Cheetahs pulled right ahead at the beginning of it, and yours truely’s cheetah, Sadron, was in the lead. A precious moment for him. The first score called was 14-7 to Imladris! Some of the cheetahs raced forwards, and some backwards, but the point was they gave it their best at that last leg of the race, bringing the score to 72-62 to Lorien in the end. Imladris had lost the race, but in their hearts, because they had done their best, they had won.
In week 6 the Hobbits of the Shire visited Rivendell with their racing Coneys. The Cheetahs got off to a wonderful start in this race, and the first score was 11-2 to Rivendell! But the coneys are certainly fast little creatures, and with some cheetahs on their tails they can move even more quickly! They moved up in the race, and when we thought we might have had a win, the Coneys rushed forwards, their fluffy little tails looking like balls of wind-ravaged cotton. The final score was called, 6-1 to the Shire, the Coneys had won! Pandy was the individual winner with 11 spaces, and Sadron set a record with minus 20 spaces. Good Luck in the next weeks, Imladris!
My name is Laifana and I have been the custodian of the Elven Artists’ Association since November of the past year. The EAA is a showplace where all plaza members can share their artistic abilities with the rest of the world.
Each month there is a new display with a specific theme, and all contributions must conform to this. There is no difference between amateurs and professionals, young or old, and we even accept contributions from minions. Everyone is welcome to post comments and suggestions regarding the showcased works of art.
We also have an election each month where the Elves of Imladris vote to appoint the “best” artist in the latest artistic review. The EEA is proud to announce that those chosen in the past months are Silmarwen who holds the award for Girithron 04 and Narvinië is held by Fuin Elda. Congratulations to them both.
My main task as the custodian is to make the EAA challenging and a place worth being a part of. At the same time I give advice and encouragement to the artists, whether they need it or not. I would also like for you to know that I welcome ideas about how to improve the EAA. My hope is that many of you will come by to visit and participate actively in the creation, presentation and enjoyment of art.
Needless to say, many would expect one of the elves to take the title of winner in this particular form of competition. Representing our beloved valley, I was rather nervous to be pitted against the best archers of Middle-earth. From all over came the winners of the respective kingdoms and spectators eager for their champions to win. Elfhild, Lanthir Lamath, Túrin, Dincairwen, Mithelen, Tittamiire, Freyr Strongart and yours truly are all fighting it out, as we speak, to be crowned supreme shot!
Amazingly, the Wizards took an early lead, seeing the elves tied for a low position. They were not to be outdone, however, as their blood flowed truly through their veins to see them both catch up over the next few rounds, even snatching the lead for a moment. The Istari, Mithelen, was not ready to relinquish first place so readily, and easily maintained the upper advantage. Who will walk away as the sole survivor— I mean, archer? Will the Wizzie whisk away a wonderful win? Or will Fate deliver a final fanatic twist? Come support your favourite champion in the last leg of the tournament! Be there or be — not there.
~ Avi Aiel
As the fiery disk of Arien lowered itself on the horizon on the last day of spring, all elves of Gondolin started walking towards the northern walls. Warriors marched with their houses and simple folk walked with them. Soon the last song was sung and the night of silence begun. Houses united on the northern walls and everyone gathered, greeting their friends. As the King arrived, all greeted him with a low bow. Soon darkness fell over the city and the elves prepared for the celebration: quiet music and a feast.
Suddenly they noticed a red glow over the mountains. All wondered from where was it from. Was it a gift from the Valar? Or was it evil? Turgon sent scouts to investigate and they returned with terrible news: Forces of Morgoth were nearing!
People started panicking, but the King quickly gave out his orders. All able-bodied warriors should be ready to fight, woman and children gathered in the Main Hall and all the House lords should gather for a council. Some elves were sent to call those who had stayed at home to gather, some were sent to gather the woman and children, others prepared themselves for battle, putting on their armor and taking out their weapons.
At the same time the Lords, after giving out their last orders, gathered in Turgon’s Palace. Maeglin and Salgant were for staying in the city and defending themselves, others wanted to face the enemy outside the city. But Turgon decided that defending the city was most important, and sent the Houses of the Swallow, of the Hammer of Wrath, of the Tree and of the Wing to the North Gate; the Houses of the Heavenly Arch, of the Swallow and of the Harp and of Golden Flower to the South Gate, the Houses of Pillar, of Snow and of the Mole to the Main Gate. His own house and the House of the Fountain remained in the King’s Square, as reserve forces. The Lords took their leave from Turgon and went to join their Houses in battle.
But Maeglin, ruined by his desire for Idril, wife of Tuor, had evil thoughts, wishing to use the commotion in the city to take her for his own. After the council, he ordered Salgant, Lord of the House of the Harp to hinder Tuor and himself ran to the house of Idril. But Salgant disobeyed him, and so Tuor also went to his house, wishing to bid farewell to his wife and son before going off to battle. Idril, moved by premonition, called their loyal servant Meleth to gather things that they might need and help to put on a tiny chain mail on Eärendil. Suddenly Maeglin arrived at the House, leaving the soldiers who accompanied him at the doors. He grabbed Eärendil, wishing to murder him, dragging Idril by the hair and ignoring her pleas and threats. She fought back, but could only delay him.
Then Tuor arrived, just in the nick of time, breaking through the soldiers of the Mole. There started a battle between the House of the Wing and of Mole, fulfilling the orders of their lords. Just as Turgon arrived, he saw Maeglin stabbing Eärendil and charged at him, fighting all the way up to the walls. There, he pushed Maeglin of the walls. He fell to his death and Tuor stormed back to his house, only to find Eärendil alive, for the chain mail had saved him from the dagger.
Tuor left some warriors of the Wing with Voronwë as their leader to guard his wife and son, before leaving for battle. Soon the city became too dangerous, and Idril sent Meleth and Hendor, another of her servants, with Eärendil down the secret passage out of the city, having some of the warriors of the Wing as their bodyguards. She herself took a sword and went with Voronwë and the rest of the warriors of the Wing through the streets, battling orcs and getting women and children also down the secret passage, sending them to safety.
At the same time Houses of the Hammer of Wrath, of the Tree and of Swallow fought at the North Gate as Morgoth forces broke down the North Gate. Archers of Duilin fired ceaselessly their arrows on the dark creatures, but there were too many of them. Warriors of Rog and Galdor fought them in close combat. Then Duilin got hit by an fiery bolt from a Balrog and fell from the city walls. He was the first House Lord to get killed. Then many fires were lit in the valley of Tumladen and Rog, in his rage and desire for vengeance for all the years of horror, decided to surge forward leading his house. They successfully drove the enemy back, but the forces of Gothmog, Lord of the Balrogs, surrounded and killed all of them. Penlod, Lord of the House of the Pillar and of Snow, also arrived there with his folk, but was slain with many of his men.
At the same time as the battle was going on at the North Gates, Glorfindel, stationed upon the South Gates, received a message from the King, saying that they are needed at the northern gates. But as the House of the Golden Flower marched there, they were ambushed at the Great Market by orcs, who were joined later by Balrogs as well. Glorfindel sent a messenger to King Turgon, who ordered Salgant with the House of the Harp to relieve him, but he cowardly remained in his house, with his men waiting in the Lesser Market. Because of that many orcs managed to come through the Northern Gates and spread into the city, killing and burning everyone and everything that was in their way.
Just as Tuor arrived there at last with his bodyguard, Turgon sent Ecthelion with his House as reinforcements to the North Gate. With their help, the enemy was almost driven out, but a fire-spitting dragon appeared, and drove them back in turn. Ecthelion was grievously injured and taken to the Folkwell, that still was safe due to Galdor and his House of the Tree, who now, pressed further into the city by the forces of evil, defended it valiantly in front of the Arch of Inwë. Lagging behind while carrying Ecthelion, Tuor stumbled, but at that moment Galdor rushed to his rescue, fighting off the orcs that leapt to attack them. Together they fell back to the King’s Square.
At the same time at the Great Market, Lord Glorfindel with the House of the Golden Flower was driven back by a dragon of fire to the King’s Square, where at last they were helped by the House of the Harp, who had broken with their cowardly lord and gone themselves into battle. Seeing ruin closing in, Egalmoth and the house of Heavenly Arch left their positions at the South Gate and sped through the city, escorting children and women to safety and fighting the rampaging orcs.
The hope of all is to overcome the forces of evil and survive, and that is mingled with worry of their wives, children, siblings, parents, friends and beloved. It seems that there is no end to the forces of darkness and only one question stays in everyone’s minds: Will they survive? Or will the fair city of Gondolin be forever overcome with darkness?
Oh fair tower
When will I see you again?
They shall never allow it,
Return there, never I can.
I wish to return
where evil’s never born,
But that is impossible,
I am banished forevermore.
The Feast of Storm Loving Clouds was a grand feast. With lights and decorations everywhere, the only thing that could go wrong would be if those heavy clouds let loose. The first to arrive was Sea from Rohan. Then Estérel, of Rivendell made her appearance. One by one the guests arrived in style. But once in a while a loner slipped in unnoticed. This feast was hosted by the usual: Fir, Tas, Lae, and Tara.
Some of the items on the menu were, the usual assortment of wines and drinks, some mouthwatering Crispy Pheasant, delicious Venison Stew, and last but not least Chicken and Mushrooms. To top it off we had Fruit Pies and Sweet Pastries for dessert.
The night carried on with lots of laughter and noise. And there were Elves, Men, Minions, Dwarves, and even Hobbits in attendance. Many got quite drunk and had to be escorted home at the end of the night. But otherwise it was a wonderful feast that could not be duplicated.
After a long wait, Trading in Imladris had reopened! The last time, when it was first introduced to our kingdom, everyone seemed to enjoy it. This time around it was very popular, as it had been before, and almost everyone in Imladris had come to see what they could trade in the Marketplace. Not everyone there was an elf, for there were men and Istari there as well. Word about Bangad Imladris seemed to have spread through most of Middle-earth!
There were five stands set up, with so many goods ready to be traded, ranging from wooden sculptures, to delicious pastries, to clothing and boots, to Owls and quills! I myself got a bottle of Ink from the lovely elfmaidens Avi and Arwil, fabulous pastries and an amazing amulet from Ruiniel, and a few other lovely things. The others who had stands were Laivindil, Isilindil and Pathael. Remember, however, that this is not like other marketplaces. Elves take pleasure in things of craft, and we use trade or barter— so be sure to bring something interesting with you! We have all enjoyed the Market this time around, and let us hope we will have the pleasure of it again someday soon.
And once again the third Aphador Nestor, or Apprentice Healer course has begun and twenty elves gathered in the Main Hall of Adab Nestad. Of course, some of them were late, including one of the teachers! But soon all were there and the course began with a tour around the Houses of Healing. The first task to the students which was for them to develop any thoughts about the architecture of the house.
Then the students were led into the beautiful garden, with a task of gathering at least one herb and explain its healing properties. There a small problem occurred with some of the students being too shy, but luckily it was quickly resolved. As herbs play an important role in elven healing, the three teachers spent a lot of time explaining their properties to their students, and only then moved on into the Preparation Room, to start explaining the poultices. The lesson turned out to be fairly simple.
Quickly the class moved on first to Healing Room 1 where the students found a mortal woman with a bad case of a cold and then to an elven maiden with a wound on her upper arm and a broken leg. With the consent of the maiden, on her was shown most of the knowledge about treating wounds and breaks. Then only one theme was left to cover, the healer’s pack, which one always has to carry.
And when that was also explained to the students, they were shown the way to the testing chamber, to make their exam and become fully trained Apprentice Healers. Congratulations to the newest apprentices of Gwaith i-Nestoer!
The Council of Hope
Great events often move without any consent of those participating within them. Such was the case when a young hobbit from the Shire attended a Council with grave consequences surrounding it. That same council was attended by several great names, some of whom have remained behind even when one supposes they have left. For in the time between the conclusion of that period now known as the War of the Ring, and when the Ringbearers went west into the Undying Lands, another Council was held within the halls of Elrond’s House.
Council meetings have a purpose — a meaning, a depth, although its true import may not be known until months or even years later. This one appears to have been preordained by some hidden Power, in order to allow the counsel of the wise ones of the Valley to be consulted by several groups of travellers who have all come together to the same place at the same time. Rumors of messages from here in the Uttermost West have been revealed, as well as rumours that there are dark tidings abroad in Middle-earth: not the dark tidings of brigands or robbers, but something darker, from the lower circles of life. Many strands, many secrets, held in many unsuspecting hands, are at last being brought together in one place, and the tapestry they weave has given cause for dread even to the Wise.
While the great Ent, Fangorn, may have left his home in the Forest named after him, to take counsel with the Lords Elrond and Glorfindel, others of reknown have also been seen at this council. There are the Lady Idril Celebrindal, late of Gondolin, and the famed Master of Brandybuck Hall, Meriadoc Brandybuck, formerly of the Fellowship of Nine, that same fellowship formed after the last time a council was held in Rivendell.
The Eagles of my Lord see all that transpires within the circles of Middle-Earth — and so they overwatch this council. More tidings of what is occuring and what might occur at this council will no doubt wing its way to you next month. Until then I leave you with a single word: hope.
~ Faryaro, Maia of Manwë
Oh melodic aria, what longing tales
you weave! Breath of muse and eye of dream,
a wind upon the living seas!
In peaceful torment does one wander,
upon white shores of salt and mist.
For though one dwell in peace and joy,
there is a calling thy soul does miss.
A raging storm of blissful longing,
it has stirred within my weeping heart.
And with this wish I look to the West,
A golden land, where my soul shall depart.
And with pale mornings of crystal seas,
rays of dawn dapple the sky.
And though this sight, wondrous to see,
is but a wave in the flowing tide.
Oh this voice of destiny, what a cruel
hum you sing in my ear! For though I long
to behold my dream, I feel that fate
is not yet near...
And though the sun climb high at noon,
and autumn hues stain the earth.
I hope to find that distant shore,
where life hast wrought this longing’s birth.
For though white gulls call above,
and the rhythmic waves sing out to me.
There is a calling of heart and dream,
that rings upon the glowing sea.
Sapphire ocean and mystic winds,
what words do you bring today?
A sailor’s tale? Legend of old?
Your stories echo with the glittering spray.
And though the sky shine silver eyes,
stars dancing with their motherly moon.
Their white ribbons of hope and peace,
drift away with another tune.
Oh distant shore, you call to me!
And my soul is torn in two.
Time is aging, and the ships set sail,
I come to thee, but I leave thee too.
~ Ailaya Nydrian
My days as a newbie
When I read there was a call for so-called oldbies to share their memories and perspectives, I thought hard on the meaning of those words. When are you a newbie and when are you and oldbie? When you first join plaza, you think you know pretty much about Tolkien, Middle-earth and generally almost anything to do with plaza. But when, with much confidence, you start discussing with a lore master (hey, what more can they know than you do?) you get called a newbie. I think the term “newbie” is used for new people who consider themselves experts on Tolkien, but in fact still have a lot to learn. Most newbies usually don’t see themselves as such, which can make the term “newbie” pretty offensive to most plazonites. On the other hand, when are you an oldbie? I’ve been with plaza a bit over two years now, but never really considered myself an oldbie. But when you start to notice how nothing is as it was when you joined, 90% of the names you knew are gone from plaza, and most names nowadays don’t really ring a bell, you’re probably an oldbie.
Myself, I never saw as a newbie, which made me a stereotype newbie, really. With just 400 points earned, I mailed Laebeth, who was rank 6 or 7 at the time and First General of the Army. I had some ideas for the army, really cool ones in my vision, and I did not understand why you were not allowed to join the army below rank 5. After some discussing (oh, how I was awed by the power and glory of Lae at the time, while she is my little sister nowadays) with her, I earned a star for my work. (The more stars, the higher your rank). But I was not even part of the army! When I look back with Lae on those days, she sometimes jokes that I am the only person who ever received a promotion before actually joining the army.
As soon as I reached rank 5, I joined the Sea Forces of the army, and after a few months, my idea was put in motion. The Army got its own Air Force. (Don’t laugh!) We had elves riding on eagles, drats (half dragon, half feline) and even dragons! We fought in a few battles, but got more and more accused of godmoding. When in the end the AF was disbanded, I didn’t understand why. Now I know why. There is no way that an Elven army could have used pet dragons, or that there ever existed something like a drat. So for those of you who think an airforce would be cool, sorry to say it, but go think of something else. It has been tried, and while it was cool, it was a typical idea of a newbie who didn’t know enough of Tolkien or the way plaza works.
Where am I now? I am still in the army and spend my days hanging around the barracks, waiting for a new war as the first officer of the Othrim Regiment. I stayed in the army as an officer, but I learned of my mistakes. And that is something every newbie, or oldbie for that matter, should know.
Othrim High Commander
Guardian of the Valley (Rank 7)
Joined: Jan. 7, 2003
Eryndaë ~ The Forest Shadow
The sapling of a small birch reaches upwards with its branches, striving to meet the sky. A maiden is sitting beside it, watching its struggle with keen eyes. It is such a beautiful thing, to watch things grow. And through all her years in the Valley, this maiden has been a protector of life.
The wind stirs the small leaves of the sapling:
”Life guarded by the sword.”
It is Aurëthil who is watching the tree. She has been a General of the Host of Imladris for many years now. Her voice has rung out at war, summoning the troops to battle. Her sword has been wielded for Imladris; for it to remain the refuge it has always been. And whose sword was it that brought the Host of Imladris to Mirkwood when Gollum had escaped? And who called for the warriors to stand and answer the summons of Galadriel when the Golden Wood was in need? None in the Valley may forget the quest for Mithril, or the lesser rings of power that were destroyed. And still the flute of Lúthien Tinúviel plays when the Elves dance upon the greensward at night.
Years come and pass swiftly for the Firstborn. But still every year is cherished, for each holds a new memory. And none may forget the day when the messenger from Mirkwood entered the Valley, leaving her home to rise to a call that she knew must be answered.
And though her eyes may flash, and her countenance is terrible to behold at war, her laughter rings more clearly than any other in the Army. For everywhere she goes she brings with her light and joy, and the warriors look upon her and remember what they are fighting for. She has been a pillar of the Host of Imladris, a strength to her friends and an asset to the Valley. For while the days may now be fleeting and fading fast, and she has been called to return to her home in the woods, what she has given will remain. Even the changing tide may not wash away the memory of her laughter, or the picture of a maiden sitting on the ground beside the small sapling:
A protector of life.
Or maybe just laughter, echoing in our hearts.
The Loving Leadership of Lilu Olnathron
On a mid-winter day a brave half-elven lady entered the Army Journalists’ lobby: our new third general Lilu Olnathron. Taking a seat on the other side of my desk she looked like a normal elf. But becoming a third general is special. Lilu’s promotion and her long career within the Host of Imladris are enough to put the spotlight on her for this month.
Lilu arrived in Imladris two years ago with the name Lilu Pereldar. Her parents were Gondolindrim and a man of Minas Tirith. After her marriage with Mor, she changed her name to Lilu Olnathron. She organized and planned a lot of activities in Imladris like Tengwar Tours and Heroes of Arda.
Lilu sounds overexcited about swords, so it’s no wonder she joined the Rivendell Defence and later the Beriadrim swordfighters Regiment. As she explains:” When I was a child I used to cut "Z"s in my mothers woodwork, and later took up fencing. I’ve always loved swordplay, and when it came to which weapon and regiment to serve in the Host, I had made my mind up in seconds.” This turned out to be a typical Lilu way of answering my nosy questions. A lot of laughs and serious answers come together in a natural way.
In her career she always worked on improving the Host. A lot has changed for the better according to Lilu. “It certainly has changed...it feels more attached to life in Rivendell. It feels more lively, and there’s a lot more going on with loads of activities to take part in...the army has improved greatly.” Like every young soldier, Lilu was supported and still is by some key figures within the Host and her personal life. With a huge smile Lilu speaks their names in honour and her eyes light up imagining their faces. Laebeth and Laivindil taught her a lot about the Host and running it, and her husband Mor supported her by teaching her about the tactics, weapons and other important features of the army.
These supporting figures certainly helped Lilu becoming the great fighter and leader she is today. She loves battles and took part in many over the years. One of the most impressive battles was the Regimental Rumble:” Even though weapons were blunted, the battle had all the intensity of the "real thing" and every soldier in there gave 110%. This battle left a huge impression on me as it was well organized, the troops listened to their officers and followed orders...Everyone in that thread made it a joy to take part in, and if the Army keeps that up, we will be the envy of all Middle-Earth.” A grin shows the playfulness of Lilu again, but deep inside I know she means it full hearted.
Her love for the Host of Imladris goes deep. “I love the way it feels like a big family. The officers and generals are strong leaders, dedicated, and honourable, yet they are friendly, good-humoured, and are very approachable. The soldiers are the best bunch I could ever ask for. It’s the warm atmosphere and the loyalty of the army’s members to Imladris that is what I like most of all about the Host.” Still, Lilu didn’t find it easy to become Third General, although she was honoured. Leaving the Beriadrim was the hardest part, but now she realizes “by being third general, I could help make a difference to both regiments, and decided that I will give my utmost into improving the army and making its soldiers feel welcomed and appreciated. It is a deep honour for me to be given this post, and I don’t think it’s really sunk in properly yet!”
We concluded our remarkable conversation by looking into the future. A bright future according to our new General, her plan is to:” March into Mordor, kidnap Sauron, and have him peel our potatoes for a month.” With a wide grin. “Seriously, I can only see good things for the future. With the way the army has improved recently, and the brilliant soldiers we’ve got in there, the first answer might become an actuality!”
A Tribute to Alkthoniel: Three Full Years
We all shirk our duties and surf the net instead of doing our work. Sometimes we get in trouble. Sometimes we don’t. But sometimes it leads us to something magnificent and entirely unexpected....
Three years ago a young college student was pretending to work diligently but was, in all actuality, surfing Yahoo. One particular link to a fanatics site caught her attention, and soon after Alkthoniel was born to the Plaza. Not really active as a newbie, she was surprised at finding so many other fans, an entire forum dedicated to Legolas, and her own personal stalker. "I got my brother to open an account, he went into a thread and he started pretending to be a stalker saying things like ‘I know where you live’ and then he called me names, which I won’t repeat," Ally remembers with a laugh. She also remembers a time with Morme, lots of paint, a mob of elves, and the MT pub, but swears she was innocent.
Former wife of Uruloki, Ally is now married to Eru. She lives in eternal hope that Orlando Bloom will ride up on a magnificent white steed and ride off with her into the sunset. So many people on the Plaza have inspired Ally, but the one who stands out in her mind most is Peeg, whom she calls "Brilliantly dedicated and a wonderful leader. How he keeps us all together and running I don’t know, he deserves a medal!" She also has this message for her fellow R/As, "Keep up the good work guys...and stay out of the doodie pool, get your shots if you’ve been in."
Well, Ally, someone out there has a message for you too.
I remeber my first encounters with Ally from several different places: the Elven Army, the Adoption Home, and one of Rivendell’s first RPGs. She was a very typical newbie, and although she was a couple of weeks older than me, it took a bit longer before she became active in Rivendell. There is something very special about a friendship you have had from the Plaza’s beginning. I’ve seen her in the role of an editor, ruler, and admin, but all along she has been one of my best friends. She always made me feel included in everything, and our conversatioins through the times have spanned from discussions about the Plaza, to omnitoptence, her Rings, real life, Legolas, Legolas, Faramir, Legolas, and various other subjects that amazingly enough do not include guys! She is a very special girl, dedicated to what she is doing, with a soft iron-glove and a sense of humour like no other. I would not be the same without her, and the Plaza would definitely not be the same without her!
A long, long time ago there was a very young, short hobbit called Friend of Frodo. Yes, that was her name! She hadn’t made many friends yet in Middle Earth, so when she smelled adventure, she decided to go and join the Hobbit Defense Squad in a mission to help the Free Armies of Middle Earth, fighting evil while following King Aragorn, Mathen Nors. During this trip many things happened (among which was a very needed name change to Eámanë, later Eamila Bolger)... but one of the more dreadful things was an accident in which some Gondorians, the Queen herself and an Elf fell down a terribly deep ravine. The little hobbit felt very scared, and didn’t know what to do. But Lo and Behold... she was assigned to ride out with a group of Elves... lead by the famous Ally! The sight of this wonderful Elf and her weapons made the young Hobbit feel safe and courageous, and able to do more than she could ever have imagined. She hardly knew the Elven Warrior, who appeared to be more than that – a ruler! That young Hobbit learned courage from Ally — courage and the will to go on — and that there is always HOPE. And that was the best lesson anyone could learn!
Happy Plazaversary, Ally!
~ Emyla & some very old friends
Greetings from the forest of Fangorn!
As I sit under the eaves of the tall birches swaying in the cool breeze, and ponder what to tell my friends in Imladris, the first event that comes to my mind is the Keepers of the Lists. As you might know these Ents are the ones who spend their time pondering the lore of old and discussing the events of the present day. As of now they are discussing the great events that occurred before the Lord of the Rings, the quest of the halfling Bilbo Baggins. Although this estimable hobbit did not pay Fangorn a visit and nor did he deal with Ents or Huorns, his tale is very important as it covers the finding of the Ring of Power as well as the destruction of Smaug and the Battle of Five Armies. It is quite fascinating to discuss reasons for why Gandalf chose this particular halfling to go along and how the former escaped from the dungeons of the Necromancer. I will present a question for the wise elves of Imladris, that the Ents (both hasty and un-hasty) have not been able to answer yet. Was Dwalin the only dwarf to have a blue beard?
Another interesting event that occurred in Fangorn was that Lanthir Lamath, that hasty Willow Entwife, decided that the wandering Ents and Entwives deserved a place to write down their experiences. So the Wanderer’s Diaries was created in Fangorn, where every single wanderer in Arda may write of their experiences. For instance, I have discovered that Tom Bombadil insists on being called ‘Thom’ these days for some unknown reasons. I also found some interesting information as to how to avoid stepping on hobbits and other smaller creatures – very useful if you decide to visit Khazad-dûm or the Shire. Although all folks are welcome to write in the diaries, so far we haven’t had any foreigners, which is a pity.
Winter is passing away and the days grow warmer every day. With the coming of spring, the Forest livens up again. And what better way to liven up that with some song and poetry? Near the Limlight stream is a small glade, which we call the Writers Woods. Folk from all over Middle Earth join us and share song and poetry. Yes the Ents take a great deal of delight in singing songs and reciting poetry, hasty though it may be. Of late the main theme of the poems has been the sounds of the forest. To some the forest sounds silent and quiet, unchanging through the years. To others the babbling brooks and the talking trees leave little room for silence and the forest grows and does not remain the same. But to everyone there is one thing in common – Fangorn is home!
May you have an un-hasty but delightful spring!
There has been a flutter of activity around Isengard and the tower of Orthanc. With many new changes taking place, and new ways to have fun, Isengard is a regular smorgaspord of fun! The new Isengard Community Centre is the place to go for Istari announcements, such as birthdays, plazaversaries or any of special event. The trial of Éowyn is still going strong as the prosecution makes their case. The Istari, Mirluin, Wedgie and Six Beleriand, have finished the last touches of the Istaquenta. The Istaquenta is how the Istari will, from now on, base their magical abilities upon in various kingdom RPG’s. There are also many new games, and adventures to be had within Isengard. The Palantirathon has returned as Isengard’s treasury is depleting after many imports into the kingdom. Come and join the fun to help Isengard raise some more money for more imports! Do not forget to visit Isengard’s Market for some fresh fruits, veggies and other items featured with in the cobblestone plaza. We hope to see you in Isengard soon to join in the fun activities, RPG’s and other adventures to be had!
~ Fëanen Elenturo
Logic? Puzzles? In Khazad-Dûm? I know the elven readers are, by now, chortling in disbelief. For, after all, we dwarves are not in particular known for our logical manner, we’re more prone to heat-of-the-moment, or revenge-inspired decisions. But, believe it or not, in a small room off of a small passageway, one of Khazad-Dum’s most respected new lore dwarves has opened up a place to go and puzzle, logically. Her name is CajsaArkenstone and her puzzles are attracting many a new face and race to Khazad-Dûm. In the chill of the winter when Mirrormere gazing is entirely out of the question, Cajsa offers a nice respite and mind-workout. [Ed. Note: We can’t resist adding that Tara and the ever-so-logical Eithil won the first round!]
However, if logic isn’t your mug of ale, we had other opportunities this past February, including a double wedding to attend. Two couples, Borin Brikmalet and Mithriltears, Morgurth Thinndae and Lerin Mithrilear, decided to both become married at the same day, in the same small clearing in the woods, at the same time, with the same officiator of the ceremony. Queen Dis whipped out her chocolate stained ceremony book for the occasion and went through the wedding, nearly without a flaw. The couples are accepting gifts at the reception soon, if you would like to drop by and wish them luck!
February is a month that is denoted in large part by its grim weather and romantic holidays, but this past February held so much more for Khazad-Dûm. In this winter month we have had an influx of new dwarves like to which we have never seen before. Newbie of the Month was a tough decision to make. There were many dwarves that deserved the honor, but the title finally fell to a cherry dwarfette, Cherriax. She’s brightening Khazad-Dûm with her happy smile and vivid nature! Well, I’m afraid that’s all the news from the vaulted ceilings, to the tight-spaces of the mines themselves. Make sure to drop by Moria next month for some exciting experiences that you’ll never forget!
The month of February has been an interesting one in the forest of Lothlórien. With the wind down of the festivities associated with the kingdom anniversary, things have slowly been returning to normal. And even a few things are still finishing at the time that I writing this.
New events in the forest have included the guard being sent to aid King Thranduil in Mirkwood to keep a threat at bay which is besieging him. We have also seen Radagast the Brown send all the animals in Middle Earth to Lothlórien to be cared for in the face of an epidemic. The Galadhrim have gladly responded to the call and are taking care of all of these animals of a wide variety. Changes have also been made to other activities and old ones have been reopened of late.
The forest continues to be the place in which things happen and people can relax. All are welcome to visit and come to see what is happening. So whether you are looking for something to do in the short term, or long term, you will find something to suit your tastes in the forest.
The Pelennorship has started and the players are now familiar with the rules and terms. The first match between the Diablos and the Lions ended in a crushing victory for the Dwarven based team, winning 3-0. There are two other matches going on at the moment, but they are not yet finished. We await the result with excitement.
The Northern Wind & Southern Storm RPG has sped up again, after some time with lack of contribution. There now exist a great deal of plots revealed as the tale continues to impress and scare the brave Rangers from Gondor and Rohirrim from Rohan. It will be very interesting to see the end of the battle that now has developed south of Ithilien.
The Cart Races in Gondor, popularly called the GCR, ended this month, and was won by the Queen’s team, Team Anduinomiel, who thus won this year as last year. The constructor’s championship, however, was won by Team Darken Sha’di, and it was a great pleasure to the King as this team has experienced quite a turn-around, to the surprise of everyone. Congrats to both teams!
The Debates have started again, and after an awesome game against the Hobbits of Shire, a tie could not have been any closer. However, they won at last by one point. A big congratulation to both the Gondorians and the Hobbits for an excellent game. The Argyles (as they call themselves) have finished a match in Lórien and only awaits their final score. The Drill team season is on line again, and the Wizards of Isengard are facing the Dragons from Gondor in Isengard as you read this. The match is recommended for all people at all ages.
Well you lucky elves have me back again after much begging from the Imladris editors’ office. The magnificent one from Mordor has come to tell you all about Mordor again this month as well as in a typical manner, how much worse off your realm is than ours.
There is much news in Mordor this month that is of utter importance. A portion of this is of course the reorganisation of our mighty army. It was always better than your pathetic mob of elves but we felt that we should seek perfection in everything that we do. Case in point, my talented writings.
Well I shall not gloat on how much better we are than you or at least not for long, instead I will go into the specifics and that way I might sway your population to come and join our army rather than be crushed by it at a later point.
The new army structure was brought before parliament by one Byg Sci. The plan was brought before parliament for a reformation of the army. The basic plan was outlined so that it would be made up of three divisions in a united Mordor army, this means that our once fine garrisons are going to be turned into day care centres for those minions who wish to work for the redeye but have small Snagas to look after. If you would like more information on our fine war machine there are pamphlets available at the following address just follow the route and pick one up.
We have breaking news in our office. And it is that the infamous Witchking of Mordor Rohanna has just stepped down and her reign of evil is unfortunately at an end. She served Mordor for many a year in a fine and malicious manner and she will be close to the blades of all her competitors for many years to come, unless I get to her of course.
So what else has been happening in Mordor? Well there was a competition again this month for the finest minion or as in this case two minions. The winners of this month’s Minion of the Month were Byg Sci and Túrin for their fine contributions to our kingdom. Which I though I would mention once more as to prove my point of Mordor versus Imladris. As for other activities Mordor finally has a maze of it’s very own in the pass of Cirith Ungol. Will those who entered ever come out? It is as such that we are offering unlimited entry to this maze for free to all those free people interested in entering.
Well that is it for me this month. I will be back very soon to drive home my points, but until next time the black land will rule you when the time comes. Until then, farewell.
As always, Rohan is an interesting place, full of amazingly dedicated people and, well— horses. As usual, things are happening at an astounding pace, with so many things to do an equine could go crazy— just be glad you aren’t that horse. A few items of interest are the new Life in the Mark RPG, and the special museum addition of the art guild, entitled “Frame Daze”. The former is an opportunity for Riders and other races to mingle and further your character’s development. The museum for the art guild has an amazing variety of wonderful artists and the displays of their works. February also marked the anniversary of the dreaded Mullet pub, and an honorary pub opened in Mordor for Riders and Minions to explore their hidden half, the mullet-side. If you are interested in joining the art guild or seeing what life is really like in the Mark, stop by Rohan today, and see how fun it is to be a Rider!
Of Love and Valour
Very likely, if I were to tell you that I am writing from my Hobbit hole tonight dressed up in muddied trousers, a stiff shirt and a battered cloak, along with a bow, quiver, sword and medical kit at my side, you would not believe me. Yet it is true. Tomorrow morning I go back out in the exact same garb and train over at the Hobbit Defense Squad Training Grounds before I head on over to meet with my Chief Shirriff of the Shire Watch, Tari Boffin.
Yes, from the way things have been, I do not think that all is well. My fellow Shirriffs and I keep gazing across the Brandywine River as if disaster is about to strike us over at Brandy Hall – and for all of our loved ones and friendly foreign visitors there. It could explain why our HDS Training Grounds have suddenly re-opened, why so many new changes have been made there, and why I must train every day in all of these stiff shirts and baggy trousers. I want to wear my dresses again!
So I am glad that our successful Valentine’s Day Ball has not yet ended, and that I can focus on more exciting and delightful things. I already have all of the papers in front of me about the details for the Shire Players’ upcoming play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream – which is coming after a long and well-deserved break that my team needed! And my Pippin Took costume is now right next to my dress. I am so excited that our re-enactment of the Scouring of the Shire has finally reached Act II, and in which our four famous ancestors finally arrive home. I even find myself taking delight in hearing about Battlefield Middle Earth II starting up again in the near future, and in all the ideas that my Hobbit friends have proposed down at our Halfast Gamgee Hall. I so hope Miss Rosie and Mayor Sam accept a few of the ideas I am hearing about – like the idea of a library!
Quiet, comfortable library trips would certainly be a good break from all of this training and from all of this worry. In fact, I think it’s time that I read a little more out of my book before this night is over.
~ Istya Alassea
I am losing hope,
I am drowning in
A glass full of water
Darkness is taking me over
Even on sunny Midsummer’s day.
I am falling down
The darkest pit
Despair is taking me over now
If only the drowning would stop
If only I’d reach the ground,
The end of the pit.
If only I could escape,
If only I could run away,
I would do it,
Not thinking twice,
But the things is
And the drowning continues...
~ Feanor Elf & Ibrantriel
Smelling good always makes a good impression. If this Valentine’s Day your lass or lad turned their nose up at you, here’s your solution. It is not too late to redeem their love by wafting glorious scents their way. We may not always have the pleasure to order our soap from the Naugrim, the best soap-makers in Middle-earth, and as summer approaches, you need to wash regularly!
You will need to find some fresh lye from your local trader or merchant. Do not ask after its origins, they might just put you off! Find yourself a large bucket and fill it with Bruinen water. Do this outside where there is good ventilation.
Be sure to add the lye to the water, not the other way around. This can be a hazardous mistake, so be sure to pour slowly, and stir with a large wooden stick.
Leave the bucket of Lye solution until it cools. Next heat a pot with vegetable and mineral oils. If you wish to make scented soap, you can add any mixture of dried herbs (see last issue for more details). Recommended: Lavender, helps with insomnia and keeps those irritating bugs at bay!
While you wait for both the Lye and the oils to cool, grease your desired mould with some animal fat. Any small wooden container will do, but mind that there are no leaks!
Once both the oils and lye have cooled, pour the lye into the pot containing the oils. Stir slowly so that no bubbles are formed. Add any additional herbs to the mixture to increase the scent. If you wish to colour the soap, add dye or ink.
Pour the mixture into the mould. Cover with some cloth and leave for about 18 hours, and then remove the cloth. Leave for another 12 hours. Once the soap has cooled properly, remove from the mould by shaking it loose.
Final point: Leave the soap for a few weeks before use. Also, use the containers for nothing else!
Now your love will not be able to resist your personalized delicious aroma!
~ Avi Aiel
Comments on Camping 2 ~ Types of Campfires
Some of you know me as the Piper, the one who travels here and there with his set of panpipes and the seeming need to wander from place to place. Well, that is true, and as such I have gained much experience in making camps, whether for a single night or for a longer period of time. When I was asked to consider writing this series of articles for you I jumped at the chance, simply because it is such a wonderful activity — to sleep beneath the stars in the middle of nowhere with no one to disturb you except for the occasional animal in the vegetation.
Different Types of Fires
Many different races can be found within the realms of Middle Earth, and each of them seem to have their own style of building a campfire. Some are more suitable for work than others, but it is up to you which you choose.
This is basically one of the simplest fires to make. It is often the first fire type that springs to mind when one is considering the need for a fire, after choosing a camp site. Easily assembled, it needs only a few long sticks and the kindling.
This is the most commonly used fire for Minions because it is easy to build. Build it so that the shallow end of the trench faces into the wind. This will make it burn very hotly because the air is directed into the heart of the fire.
This is an excellent fire for using a cooking pot. Stews cook very well on this type of fire and it is also useful for boiling kettles of water for hot drinks. Not to mention the fact that it is easily dismantled and leaves very little trace.
Fire in a Hole
This is very much like the Ranger Fire, but the wood will slide downwards into the heart of the fire and help reduce the need for continually monitoring it. Very useful if there are other things to do as well as cooking because it allows you to move away for short periods of time. It is often used when a group of Rangers come together, or when a firepit has been left at a camping site.
Again this is very like the previous two fires, but the logs to either side act as wind shields and allow the air to be directed into the heart of the fire. Good for supporting cooking pots, or spit roasting. It usually uses rocks — well dwarves do anyway, but the logs are replaced and used when there are no convenient rocks around.
Gondorian Altar Fire. Also known as the Holy Mountain Fire of Númenor.
This type of fire is ideal for long stay camps as it helps eliminate the need for turf removal and low-level cooking. Watch the height you build to. It is much safer to have it too low than too high. Traditionally it was lit by the Númenorians when they were out and about, but its essential structure has remained throughout the centuries, and is now often employed by Gondorians.
The back shielding on this type of fire reflects the heat forward. Very useful for directing heat into a bivouac or shelter. Named after the Istari Wanderer who first concieved the idea — supposedly from a observation based upon Hobbit Fireplaces. Whether this is true or not we’re uncertain, but it certainly is an effiecent design, if a little unwieldly to build.
Normal Fires but with logs and/or sticks used to support cooking utensils above the flames.
Sometimes there are not enough small twigs and sticks around to start a fire with. Resourceful Rohirrim will always be able to make themselves ‘fuzz sticks’ which, because of their curls of wood, catch fire more easily than a solid stick. Something for whittling away those spare moments of ‘nothing to do’ when waiting on watch. Named after the residents of Fangorn Forest, it is uncertain what Ents feel about this name. Other names include Troll’s Ear-cleaners; however this seems to be unique to the area around the Sea of Nûrn.
~ Thomah Grunlea (Wanderer)
K= 22, A=16, G=26, F=12
In the seedy section of Imladris (aka the other side of the waterfall) a karaoke pub has sprung up, the work of two enterprising dwarves hoping to relieve all the visiting slugs of men of their gold coins. The Witchking of Angmar was once a man and found himself drawn to the stage, his love for Arwen strong in his cold black heart....
Run, Run, Hon
Sung to the tune of "Fun, Fun, Fun" by the Beach Boys
Well she chased Estel around
Even found out how to reforge the shards now
Seems she forgot all about the library
Like she told her old man now
with her twin brothers lying
She sneaks off just as much as she can now
And I say run run hon
’Til your ada takes the Ranger away
(Run run hon ’til her ada takes the Ranger away)
The she-elfs can’t stand her
’Cause she’s got such a beautiful face now
(Your beautiful face now, your beautiful face)
She makes them all look like goblins with a bad hair day now
(Your beautiful face now, your beautiful face)
Elven males try to catch her
But she leads them on a wild ring chase now
(Your beautiful face now, your beautiful face)
And I say run run hon
’Til your ada takes the Ranger away
(Run run hon ’til her ada takes the Ranger away)
Well you knew all along
That the eyebrows would be wise to you now
(I’m so glad you lied now, I’m so glad you lied)
And since he took your handsome king
You’ve been thinking that your fun is all through now
(I’m so glad you lied now, I’m so glad you lied)
But you can come along with me
’Cause we gotta a lot of flyin to do now
(I’m so glad you lied now, I’m so glad you lied)
And I say run run hon now that ada took the Ranger away
(Run run hon now that ada took the Ranger away)
And I say run run hon now that ada took the Ranger away
(Run run hon now that ada took the Ranger away)
Rohanna, formerly of Rohan
Now living in the vacation capital of Middle Earth...
Year 1102 of the Third Age
(09:02 am) Just spent an hour trying on different clothes and none of them seem to fit! The problem could be that the beaten silver looking glass has a dent in it where I threw a vase of flowers against it. It was the day my husband Ronny told me he liked wearing pastel colours. I got into a discussion about how they accentuated his baggy eyes. Now because of the bent metal there is the image of an elf before me who is wider than the Bruinen! I wish I could still pinch mummy’s mirror. She always used to complain that she could not spy on daddy when I took it. Talk about being selfish.
(12:47 pm) Ai! These children drive me insane. Arwen insists that she plays at being Lúthien while Elladan is Beren. Elrohir always complains that he has to be Celegorm, but I keep trying to explain to him that he cannot do the Leap of Beren as well as Elladan can. If they want to act out famous tales they might as well do it properly. Ronny makes a good grumpy Thingol. Unfortunately I have to be Melian. What an insult! As if my girdle is wide enough to encircle a realm!
(15:30 pm) Just had a fight with my dear Ronny. He continuously steals my tiaras and pendants and then gets all offended when I tell him he looks like a girl. I do not think he comprehends the full price one has to pay for beauty...
(20:59 pm) Another day spent trying to pass the time. Funny how long eternity seems now. If only elves slept I could get to bed and catch up on my beauty sleep. Not that I need it of course!
Part the First. ~ Part the Second. ~ Part the Third ~ Part the Fourth
Part the Fifth ~ Part the Sixth ~ Part the Seventh ~ Part the Eighth
Part the Ninth ~ Part the Tenth ~ Part the Eleventh
Part the Twelfth
There Laebeth came from army old,
And compulsively wandered under leaves,
And where I Adab was controlled
She was crowned Ruler, and curious
Elves peered through the Chamber’s cracks
And saw in wonder lady fair
Upon her mantle and her sleeves,
Was seriousness now following