Parth Edwen ~ Volume II
For those of you who may not have heard, there’s a new ruler in Rivendell. I had the great pleasure of meeting and interviewing Laebeth.
Laebeth has been on the Plaza for two years now, since February 22, 2002. She has found her time here to be very enjoyable and believes one of the greatest things about the Plaza is that one can meet people from all over the world who share a deep love for Tolkien’s works. During her time on the Plaza, Laebeth has met a lot of people who have become very special to her.
Roleplaying is Laebeth’s favorite activity. She thinks that it is an excellent way of developing one’s character and gives them an opportunity to actually ‘be’ in Middle-Earth. “There are still many things here I’d like to try out,” she says.
Aside from roleplaying, Laebeth loves languages and has been studying Sindarin for over half a year. She began to study the language independently, but soon took up a course started by Tara. Laebeth goes on to express her feelings. “One of the reasons Tolkien created Middle-Earth was because he needed a world where his imaginary languages could develop. It is truly fascinating when words and names in Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion suddenly become more than just words, and another part of Tolkien’s world is revealed to you!”
It has been said that Laebeth has no free time, but she put a stop to those rumours saying, “That is not true! Well, maybe it is... but I do have some free time!” In her free time, Laebeth enjoys reading, going out with her friends, and singing in a choir. To top that off, she leads a drama group and is part of a group called Changemaker whose main focus is to make the world a better place. That in itself is more than a handful.
Before our parting, Laebeth left me with some advice for newbies just getting involved in the community. Grinning, she says, “Be persistent! That is what I keep telling everyone. Sometimes it will be hard to feel like you are a part of a kingdom after a week, and sometimes you do not even feel it after a month or two. I also remember how it is to be new to the plaza! But, in the end, all you can do is to keep going, join the activities, and show that you are there to stay, no matter how hard it can be at times!”
To reclaim rule of stream and tree,
A realm of the Firstborn lay glorious in shade,
Yet stood glittering like a sculpted sea.
The Last Homely House,
Lordly haven of Elven grace
Where no darkness ever dare tread
To stain its rare and holy face
The halls of Elrond ring with peace
And the light of Elwing’s kin,
No fear may penetrate this bower,
Nor death that wastes at mortal skin
Embraced by shelter of Misty Mountains,
Dwelling sweet of breeze and flower,
The jewel of our eternal hour.
The Army has had a few new departures and promotions; both Ender and Andyavie, officers of the Troops Abroad, have left after a long time of dedicated service, and Nurbor, also an officer of that regiment, has departed for Lothlórien. Of new officers we have welcomed Weny from the Sea Forces, and Aleandra from the Rivendell Defence.
The army is also improving its diplomacy; all soldiers have been given time to apply for military ambassador, a position of great worth. The ambassador will act as the Elven Army’s envoy in the courts of a foreign country, hopefully establishing or improving ties with said country. Of course ties are already strong with our brethren in the Lórien kingdom. Relations with the realm of Khazad-dûm are not bad either; soon, both armies will engage in a training battle against each other, where blunt weapons will be used so that the most severe injuries will consist of headaches.
The Army’s main activity is RPGs, and Rivendell is currently hosting one. It is a continuation of an earlier RPG concerning the Silmaril that Maglor threw into the ocean. The first part ended with the retrieval of the Silmaril outside the gates of Moria, and now the Army strides towards Mithlond in the hopes of reaching the west to deliver the Silmaril. Dangers are plenty, however, since not only foes desire this jewel.
Other things being developed include contests and tournaments— but rather than reveal the unfinished plans, read the next issue of the Herald to be updated on Army business!
The ranks of the Army are not full, and all who are above level 5 are not just welcomed, but encouraged to join any of the four regiments. If you are not level 5, then you can join the IMA and be taught the skills that a soldier needs to have, and upon graduation you enter the army regardless of rank.
My first dawn at Govannas in Glirdain, known to many as the Bards’ Guild, and I found myself on the sun-kissed patio of an intricately carven stone structure, perched romantically among the paths and windswept cliffs of Imladris. It was late evening when I rode in through the gate with a song on my lips and tales of old coursing through my veins. All seemed quiet and asleep until I was greeted by several of the Masters in Lore and Song. They led me to the New Pub of Falling Water, where I found a fabulous menu of dishes and drink from all over Middle-Earth. After I drank and ate a little, I was shown my place to rest for the evening. I awoke to the song of bird, Elf and Man. I strolled onto the garden patio and found students of various gifts and knowledge. Some were speaking in tongues of old, while others were singing to each other their hopes and dreams for the future. Here I was at last, in the place of my lost kin, among many friendly and talented people.
The Bards’ Guild has so much to offer, from classrooms for learning Sindarin and Quenya, to the schools of Story, Lore and Song. You will find archives brimming with literary works of art and study guides to help you through your learning journeys. There are even lounges for discussing and sharing all that you have learned and created with others of like mind and heart, and there are celebrations of achievement and growth.
This month I would like to congratulate the following Guild members for their successes.
So if you would like to learn how to write like the masters of old and new or simply speak with others in a language you have heard whispered on the wind, then make the journey to this fun and fascinating place, nestled in the valley of the Misty Mountains. Find your inspiration at the Rivendell Bards’ Guild and Collegium.
These past months have seen a flurry of activity in and about the Writers’ Guild as many members have worked hard on both poetry and prose to share with all willing to listen. Most of our works are beautiful poems constructed using perfect verse and others using a more free form. Some of the most stunning of these are compliments of the very talented Elandra. Stories have been written on many topics, ranging from eternal love, to the loss felt by a child, but not yet fully understood.
Many have entered our ranks recently, and the Guild is far the better for it. The consistent work put in by Shavrak_Saelta and Katurine have graced the other guild members with copious amounts of wonderful stories and poems previously undreamt of and greatly appreciated. The current thread, The Writers’ Guild of Epiphanies, has seen the joining of Ikayla Sadril, my own darling little sister, and Aeltaewe a Gondorian (But we like her anyway, shhh). We have also seen the passing from Guild mistress to Guild head of Caradain, and the promotion of FireroseBoudica to Guild mistress. I, along with many others, wish them both grand felicitations on them and their new posts.
While it is not possible to tell about all of the wonderful offerings in one small article, a person may choose one poem that stands out above the rest. The poem I chose was written by our Guild head Caradain, because I felt its meaning was even more universal then true love, because we have not all yet found true love, but a true friend, which is just as hard to come by, many know.
Come tell me your sorrow
come tell me your fears
we’ll sit till the morrow
I’ll dry all your tears
Come bare your soul
come spill your heart
I’ll sit here beside you
your side I’ll not part
a shoulder to cry on
a listening ear
I’ll do all I can
to ease all your fear
My sympathies given
my comforts extend
from here ever after
your heart I shall mend
So tell me your troubles
I’ll tell you no lies
you’ll see that my heart
resides in my eyes
to each word I’ll listen
and try to make right
with love and compassion
I’ll see thee through the night
And always remember
though near or far
my love’s always with you
and in your heart hangs a star
Fast approaching is the event that all Rivendell debaters love: the Inter-Kingdom Debates! It is the time when we get to research and write our debate speeches until our eyes are about to fall out from reading so much, and our fingers are about to cramp from writing and re-writing our multi-paged notes from which we work. But besides all that fun, it gives us an opportunity to travel to other kingdoms and see the wit and skill possessed by the other races— although with the addition of Lothlórien, we get to see the skill of our fellow Edhil. It can be a truly humbling experience, but a very fun one.
Unfortunately, this season we have lost some of our finest debaters: Cirwen to Lórien, and Fyliwion and Derevon to Rohan. But they have been replaced by a multitude of newbies, who will undoubtedly exceed my expectations and— coupled with our experienced debaters— will help lead us to a great season. In order to get the newbies prepared, there is a practice debate scheduled with Lórien that will follow the same rules as a normal IK debate, so they can get a feeling of what the real thing will be like. And in order to help them write their arguments properly, they will be put through grueling torture that will be make them want to scream and cry... Did I say “torture”? I meant training. Those “t” words can certainly be easily mixed up. But in all seriousness, I believe that this will be a great season for Rivendell’s Debate Team. So come on out and support us, or better yet, join us. It will be fun, I promise!
In a Drill Team match, teams from two kingdoms match wits and test each other’s knowledge of the lore of Middle-earth. Rivendell’s Drill Team, The Keepers of the Scrolls, have yet to be defeated!
The Keepers of the Scrolls got off to a rocky start this season. In the matches versus Mordor, the Shire, and the White Council, Rivendell’s team consisted of two or three players. The Mordorians dropped out of the match due to their own short-handedness. Our match with the Shire ended in a disappointing tie, but the match with the White Council was won by a team of two! Matches were put on hold over the holidays; Idril and Elwë took advantage of the break to finalize the Drill Team structure. We then began recruiting in earnest, and are happy to say that we have many new members! Congratulations to Aduchil for being promoted to Hebir Ist (Lore Keeper) and to Feanor Elf, Menecamiel, Eithil, Threthiel, PDCML, and Eleanar on their promotions to the rank of Ephedyr Ist (Lore Follower).
Sadly, Elwë left Rivendell for Fangorn in January. Tara received a well-earned promotion to the rank of Taidril (Co-captain). I, Ibrantriel, was promoted to Istur Main (Prime Lore Master). For our next match, we traveled to Fangorn, where Brandybuck presented us with question