Parth Edwen ~ Volume II
Pennas Narbeleth ~ October Issue

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Guilds and Groups

Army Report

       The Army of Imladris resides in three Rivendell houses: The Army HQ, The Imladris Military Academy, and the Army Training Grounds. The Army is split into two divisions, the Beriadrim (Defence), and the Othrim (Cavalry). Both of these are housed in the Army HQ, the Othrim in their "Round Table", and the Beriadrim in their "Mess Hall". In these threads, soldiers and officers discuss army business and get to know each other better, as well as hear about news and upcoming events.

       With regards to training, the Imladris Military Academy (IMA) is flourishing with new recruits signing up for this essential army training. Congratulations were given to the first recruits of the IMA, who made excellent posts as they worked through their training. With regards to current training, many are nearing their completion of their theory and practice exams, and a new wave of graduates will be unleashed soon! The Army Training Grounds now have their own house, where all regimental training is now underway. There are training threads for the Othrim (Swords, and Bows), and one for the Beriadrim (Swords & Shields, and Bows). This training is mandatory for troops, and completion will lead to promotion in rank.

       Speaking of which, the new ranks for both Beriadrim and Othrim soldiers has been announced. To celebrate, there is a Barracks thread in Rivendell where the troops are given their ranks, and can celebrate in an army themed thread. The new ranks look like this:

Generals:
Mingon ~ 1st Commander
Tadgon ~ 2nd Commander
Nelgon ~ 3rd Commander

Officers:
Archon ~ High Commander
Caun ~ Commander
Arthogor ~ High Leader
Togor ~ Leader

Beriadrim:
Archallor ~ high champion
Callor ~ champion
Arveriador ~ high protector
Beriador ~ protector
Maethor ~ warrior
Tirn ~ watcher/guardian

Othrim:
Arthalion ~ high champion
Thalion ~ champion
Arochor ~ noble horseman
Rochor ~ horseman
Othor ~ warrior
Sinathirn ~ scout

       While these ranks are new, they will hopefully be easier to understand than the former system. To advance in ranks, the normal criterias are as follows:

Tirn/Sinathirn (Has joined the Army. No training.)
Maethor/Othor (Finished basic training)
Beriador/Rochor (Finished division training)
Arveriador/Arochor (Finished Advanced training)
Callor/Thalion (Finished the Elite training)
Archallor/Arthalion (Done something exceptional)

       This month, the first new Army Barracks “Friendly Competitions” opened its doors to its soldiers in Rivendell. Soldiers and Officers alike used this thread to discuss army matters, including news about an Orcish threat to our valley, whilst giving anyone who wished, the opportunity to have a friendly spar to practice their weapon techniques. Now closed, it is replaced by a special Army Barracks thread which coincides with the announcement of the new ranks.

       A separate RPG, the “Race to Rohan”, has been held in Rivendell for army members to pair up in teams and compete against each other in a race from Rivendell, across the Misty Mountains, and past Isengard, to reach Rohan and capture the flag. There were many wonderful posts, and excellent teamworking. The winners of this competition will be announced soon.

       Meanwhile, the epic Last Alliance RPG has progressed to Mordor, where Elves, Men, Dwarves and Ents battle the forces of Mordor, led by the Dark Lord Sauron in Dagorlad. There are some excellent posts from all sides, and it makes for an exciting read - certainly a battle to remember! New members are always welcome to join in. Just visit the OOC thread in the Interkingdom Competitions forum.

       And finally, this month we celebrated the birthdays of both Laebeth and Laivindil. Lae celebrated with a short break to Minas Tirith, whilst Laiv raided the Beriadrim's mead store for a good old fashioned knees-up in the Othrim's HQ!

       To ask any questions, or join the army, report to the Generals' Office - here!

~Mor Onathron

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Bards' Guild

       The most important thing that has happened in the guild the last month is the discussion about a big change in the guild. Or kingdom rulers, Tara and Lae, have suggested that we should merge the Bards’ Guild and the Writers’ Guild. It has been brought up that it’s unnecessary with two organisations that have to do with the art of writing, and that a merge would be good for both: we’d have more members in one place, instead of two places with fewer members. The discussion about this has taken place in the Govannas in Glirdain house, and many different points have been raised. It has clearly been difficult to make people agree about one decision; we are all different, and have very different ideas. Now that the members have been given the chance to say what they think, it’s up to Tara, Lae, the bards’ guild leaders Anni and Idril, and Firerose, the head of the Writers’ Guild to make a decision. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

       Apart from the discussion, life is going on like before in the bardic halls. People are gathering, showing their skills, and commenting on each other’s work. The Chamber of Verse is always full of poems to be read and enjoyed. Come by our house or our kingdom thread and see what we’re doing! Maybe you also have some poem or story in the drawer that you want to show us? Ed. Note: Lovers of lore, please stop by the Guild’s research project on the Fall of Gondolin, which will provide the springboard for an upcoming kingdom event! We urgently need some scholars to fill in a few last gaps!

~Annatariel, Taidril

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Writers’ Guild

       Last month the Writers’ Guild was more active than it has been for a while. Many poems were written by the members. This month’s thread is called Writers Guild of the (approaching) Equinox. This month’s topic is about the metaphorical autumn in the life of an elf, and we invited poems to be written about the change of seasons. Many pieces were written about the topic, such as Lobelia’s poem “Sounds of Autumn” and Erle’s poem “Seasons Keep Changing”. However, this isn’t the only type of poems people are writing! Glaedir wrote a poem called “The Castle Tall” which is a must-read, and there were many more poems written. The Writers’ Guild has interesting poems, stories, and lots of fun to offer. It is open to everyone so check out the Writers’ Guild today!

~Rilondë

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Song of Seasons

Summer winds, echoing
in a fading manner.
The golden sun, dripping,
with sweat from its own heat.
Its blazing fire dims to
an ember, sparking the
turn to autumn.

A crisp coolness, shades
the fallen leaves, hues
dyed from their vibrant green.
The winds now form, into
a tender breeze, embracing,
the night with enchanting,
whispers.

Yet, when rain hardens,
to an icy mask of frost,
all life sleeps.
The gentle breeze now
conforms to bitter gusts,
as soft crystals glaze
the surface of rose petals.
The moon shines white,
silver stars sing, while unleashing
their ribbons of shooting fire.

Life awakens.
Time is released from its pause,
as it begins to play again.
The earth dries the land,
giving drink to the rigid trees.
Renewed, and made new.
Spring dances, to its own
sweet aria.

The pattern continues on...

~ Ailaya Nydrian

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Drill Team

       My fellow elves of Rivendell,

       Suilad and mae govannen. This is a very interesting month, as beloved autumn is coming once more. Many inter-kingdom competitions are starting now, and among these tournaments is the Drill Team lore competition. Our team, the “Keepers of the Scrolls” had an outstanding performance in the normal season last year, but they were unlucky in the playoffs, eliminated in the first round by the Naugrim, the team of Khazad-Dûm.

       The Drill Team is in its final stage of preparations. The training is going fine and new members are joining the team. The season starts on the 4th of October, and our kingdom’s first game starts on the 18th of the same month. Every single one in the team is eager for the competitions, for we all know the potential of this team and we are ready to take it where it belongs, on top.

       Also, there are a few additions to the team. Sayoko, Arwil, Eliswathe and Elron have joined the team and by now they have all been promoted into a Lore Follower. Also, JRRLegolas has been promoted to a Lore Keeper. The promotions are given when the members pass tests on various questions of lore. There are certain tests for each rank and of course, the difficulty of the tests is rising after each one. There are a variety of things you must know, so read all books carefully before you try to take the tests.

       I must say that Idril, the captain of the Drill Team, is doing an extraordinary job with the team, by making the tests different for everyone of us, organizing the ranks and having everyone equally trained. So every single wannabe lore master who is looking for a perfect place to extend his knowledge of Middle Earth and in the same time gain honor for both himself and his kingdom must join the Drill Team at once.

See you all next month.

~Elron Quel Droma

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Word Sleuth

       Well, it has been a fascinating few weeks. Ever since Naith Liathant told the elves of his new game in Minas Tirith, there was much excitement and support on our part. The game looks complicated, but it is very fun, and it certainly gets your adrenaline going! Once you start playing, it is really easy to play despite initial appearances.

       The elves eagerly formed a team and traveled to Minas Tirith to compete. The first game against the Minions resulted in a last second draw. Everyone was holding their breath while the shot went in the last seconds of the game. Against the Mearas from Rohan it was déjà vu as we again managed a last second tie! Against the Dwarves, who were just too quick and determined for the Eldar, we lost 2 to 0.

       The games were well played by all, and the Elves of the Imladris Ice are excited about the upcoming Pelennorship to be held after this tournement. We are currently looking for new team members, so if you like excitement and sports, don’t hesitate to contact me in the Rivendell Teams thread Today!

~Weny

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Racing Team

       At the end of week 8, Rivendell was still in 9th place, and it was at this point that the pressure started to mount. With only 1 week left of racing for most of the teams, who was going to win? In the end it turned out that Fangorn won, winning 8 of their 9 matches. Rivendell ended in 9th place, followed by the Shire. But this didn’t put our team down. There was still the Derby and Champions Race to go. For the Derby we entered 10 of our cheetahs to go head to head with 10 animals from each kingdom. This resulted in about 5 threads and endless work for moderators. In the end it was won by Firefly with Flicker from Mordor, and the winning team was Mordor with 89 points. Rivendell ended in 9th out of 10 places with –9 points overall but still had a fun time. The Champions race, in which we entered Feanor Elf, Tasarnande and Niquinga, was ultimately won by Rings and Ëaranna.

       Although the races have been more fun than ever before this year, with most of the kingdoms involving a team, including Valinor with their emus, there has been a lot more work involved than ever before. This is why I write a great big thank you to the moderators out there. In particular to Eithil, who gave three of us lucky Rivendell elves the chance to moderate, Feanor Elf, on week 6, Amandagreenlea, on week 7, and me, Lclaulau, on the last race of the season, week 9. It is very enjoyable and just as much fun as racing. Overall, it has been a great season and we hope you will all join us for the next one.

~Lclaulau

Annals of Imladris

Enedhoer Festival

The Harvest season has ended, and the work to set food aside for the winter months is complete. The time has come to celebrate, and none in Middle-earth know how to make merry better than the Eldar! For these Middle-days before the Fading season, Imladris is decorated with fall flowers, and silver bells and the blue banners of the House of Elrond are hung everywhere! Visitors come from afar to participate in the games and contests.

    The Horse Race from Bree to Imladris, a perennial favorite, has drawn a good group of contestants who hope to find the fastest route to the winner’s circle. It’s never too late to join in!

    Barreling Down Bruinen has attracted a daring following who balance precariously on barrels and attempt to navigate the dangers of the river from the Bridge to the Ford. A second race will follow the first, so look for your chance to claim a barrel soon!

    A Hunting Competition, where specific weapons must be used, got underway at once, for the bounty will be served at the feast. Contestants select an animal, and points are awarded depending on the difficulty level as well as the hunter’s skills. A second Hunt will be organized after the first, so sharpen your blades!

    The Cooking Contest began early, and the delicious smells wafting from the kitchens of the Last Homely House have tempted many to become judges! Pies, stews, crispy fried fish... the creativity of the chefs knows no bounds! The kitchen will remain open for some time, so come share your culinary skills!

    In an attempt to be the first to Capture the Flag, a small group of contestants are using their knowledge of Middle-earth and Elven lore to solve clues that will lead to their flag’s location. All flags are already hidden and it’s too late to join in this time, but wish them luck!

    The Wood-carving Contest has attracted some skilled artisans, and already blood has been spilled! Plenty of blocks of wood remain, so come and select one and begin carving!

    An Archery Contest is proving especially challenging. Archers compete in three rounds: running, riding, and sailing! Even the Eldar will need a bit of luck in these circumstances! A second contest will run after the first, so make sure you have enough arrows fletched and keep an eye open for your chance to join in!

    A challenging Obstacle Course has a small group of participants. Their skill and knowledge are put to the test as they attempt to surmount obstacles and claim victory. A second round will be opened for a new group of contestants soon, so brush up on your knowledge will you await your chance!

~ Taramiluiel

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úmarth Lothiel

       “Autumn was coming to Imladris and a cold wind blew down from the icy peaks of the Hithaeglir. In the upper reaches of the mountains the leaves had begun to turn, but down in the valley the summer lingered for a few more days and the sun shone brightly from a deep blue sky, glittering in the countless waterfalls.”

       Yes, it was a beautiful day, too beautiful to stay indoors. So must have thought Tara and Elladan as they climbed the rocky slope by the waterfall. A beautiful day— until the shadow of an old tragedy cast a veil of sorrow and mystery over it. Tara got up to the rockface first, and then she saw it, half hidden under the mosses— tarnished silver, skillfully crafted into the stone, forming signs. “Lothiel...dangen am meleth...” the tengwar said. But who had killed her? Was it herself? Her lover? His brother? The orcs? Her mother? Or was it the mysterious un-named person in her song? Or was the one who was found really Lothiel at all?

       All of us who came to look read the inscription and wondered what it meant. Some remembered that Lothiel had been a singer, and others remembered those who had known her in life. We are being sent hither and yon, seeking answers. Some of us are finding out more than we expected, more than we are ready for, but still the mystery of úmarth Lothiel deepens...

~ Ancalima

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I do not know what words I had that year,
and how I bent their roots to make them mine;
and what, within this sweet yet cruel design
allowed thy wicked woeful soul to hear.
I can't recall what sounds of raging fear
I made to stain those trembling eyes of thine,
what letters floated down thy broken spine,
slow like the river that thou mentioned, dear.

But all I had is now forever lost,
I only have the wandering emptiness,
the sound of fire and the touch of frost,
the creeping memories of thy caress.
I'll go to sleep with all that I forgot,
I can not tell if I'll wake up or not.

~ Annatariel

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LoreMasters of Rivendell

       A quest sets forth to the ruins of Ost-in Edhil....

       An excerpt from a mysterious journal was found in the valley a few days ago. It was written in Quenya and read as follows....

       Síra ná lempëa aurë epë pelló yáviessë. Manna oanties? Massë unúrtieryes? Sina tinco... mirilyala ve Anar ar rilma poica lá Isil... So erinqua harya handë yassë nas... i felyar... malda lá Mithril... Nan i cotumo túla...*** Ost in Edhil

       Translated thus in Westron: Today is five days before the autumn equinox. Where has he gone? Where has he put it? Such a material...glistening like the sun, and a colour purer than the moon...Only he knows where it is...the caves....more than mithril...But the foe draws near— ***,Ost-in-Edhil, SA

       Questions that come to mind: Why is the journal written in Quenya? What is the material? How did the journal appear so suddenly in Rivendell? Answers will be given as the journey unfolds. Until more details are uncovered, I ask for your continued patience.

       Early yesterday morning a quest set forth to find the mysterious material that could be more precious than Mithril. A company of elves from Rivendell who volunteered to take part in the quest left the valley around seven o’clock in the morning, and headed for the lost city of Ost-in-Edhil. The company was led by Fireose, one of the leading councilors of the realm. No one is sure how long the quest will last, or even if the material will be found and recovered.

       For the moment, the group is simply heading to the ruins of the city mentioned in the journal entry. From there the quest will continue on until the seekers have either gathered the rumored material, or at the very least discovered what the material really is.

       I will do my best to keep you updated on the quest. However, since I am traveling with the company, this may prove difficult. I hope to have more news for you by next month, concerning the newest adventure of the folk of Imladris.

~ Iruviel

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Bangad Imladris

Rivendell Trading

       Ormenel dawned, clear and bright with the promise of another beautiful iavas day. Imladris was astir early, for it was Market Day. The Elves who had arranged to set up their wares for trade that day went early to the courtyard of Lord Elrond’s house. Ruiniel showed her wood-carving talents; Laivindil had skillfully crafted leather goods, Taramiluiel displayed useful scribal supplies, Lenfil offered some magnificent weapons, and Laebeth set out some exquisite lanterns.

       Visitors from all realms of Middle-earth came to browse and to make deals. No coins exchanged hands, for the Eldar have no use for money such as is used by Men. Instead, goods and services were traded throughout the day. The Market will close when evening falls, and the courtyard will remain empty until the following Ormenel, when new displays will be set up and a variety of goods made available for all to come see and bargain for.

       Those not familiar with the Markets of the Elves will find a helpful parchment that explains things.

~ Taramiluiel

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Towers of No Return

       Behold, visitor from afar, the terror and dread of the much-avoided Towers of No Return! Yet know, warrior who is seeking them, that you have a chance to be renowned as a hero!

       The tower of Might, home of duels, has been the most active in the last month. Challenges have come from all over Arda in order to get a chance to become a legend. The Tower of Might’s gatekeepers have all had loads of responsibilities. As for the Tower of Wisdom, its gatekeepers branded the mark of wisdom upon three successful challengers: An Istar (myself) O Illuvatar; A Councilor of Imladris, Lady_Ilsalire, and a Rohirrim, Ravendark. Well done, you three! As for the Tower of Courage, it has been idle, silent and empty for the past month: No challengers and no Gatekeepers have even been lurking near it.

       The Towers of No Return are a great challenge, yet anyone could feel the Dread. Do you dare approach?

~ O Illuvatar

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Writing Contest

       This month in Rivendell, talented writers submitted short pieces to the first Rivendell Writing Contest. In this contest, the writers were shown a picture, and told to write a story based on what they saw, in agreement with the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words”. It was amazing to see how many different things could be derived from one image, as the stories ranged in subject from Drúedain in Númenor to a horse’s story of meeting her master.

Contestants were given about two weeks to submit stories of one thousand words or less, and three winners were chosen from among the entries – Sériva took first place, Eliswathe second, and Tamsyn third. It was a privilege to read all of the stories that were submitted; I was glad so many writers turned out for the contest! You may read the entries of our talented contestants here.

~ Telepavariel

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       As you read in the August Homely Herald, ”on July 22nd, Rilondë led a group of seventeen Elves to the main path in Imladris. They started working, designing flower beds, planting seeds, enjoying the scenery and the company” of those around them. They have been working very hard since they first began their task, and the path is looking very bright and beautiful. I would say myself that they have done a wonderful job and continue to do so, as I am sure others dwelling in Rivendell and those who are passing through would also say. Many seeds have been planted, and we are all waiting to see them spring up with new life!

       The Elves had all gotten close to finishing up the spaces they were assigned, when Firien Echui joined us from Lothlórien. He brought with him enough seeds for all the gardeners to continue planting. Gladly they accepted the seeds and once again began planting to make Rivendell more beautiful then it already is— which is a hard task, for Imladris is one of the most beautiful places in Middle-Earth. Let us hope that all the travellers who may come to Imladris feel more welcome now then ever before.

~ Tasarnandë

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Race To Rohan

      
Race to Rohan (continued from last month’s report)


After successfully fending off the wargs, the teams realized how close they were to Isengard. The next danger they faced was to convince the Ents who lived there that they meant no harm. Each team completed this challenge only to be met with an icy blizzard and the threat of no food. This lasted for several days.

The blizzard abated, and the teams met up with each other at the Gap of Rohan. Working together, they defeated ten orcs. Afterwards they separated to find ways to cross the Isen, without swimming. This was the last obstacle, and the judges are now determining the victor.

~ Hirilnaur

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Of Star Filled Skies and Moonlit Dreaming

The twilight canvas spills its paint,
and makes ready for its sleep.
Night emerges in continuous whispers,
to the dawn of silver darkness.
Shadows dance upon white paths,
the cement of endless wandering,
as their invisible footprints are filled with life,
and the existence of moonlit dreaming.
Stars are strewn in hopeful display,
as each are filled with weeping wishes.
Rays of silver elegance embrace,
the bitter wind and sighing trees.
As ribbons swirl in dew drop tears,
they enter the presence of star filled skies,
to give breath to petty desires,
and the strong callings we can't deny.

~ Ailaya Nydrian

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Feature Articles

       This month’s interviewee needs no introduction. Just a lot of heartfelt thanks.

Fëanor Elf: Would you like to spend more time in the Plaza pubs/RPGs, or do you prefer working behind the scenes?

Eru: At this moment, I have to admit that I am unable to work on the plaza a lot at all. I am still very busy with the company I started more than a year ago. Although I wildly enjoy my work for this new venture, it also consumes almost all my time. So even my usual working behind the scenes has been reduced a lot. I would love to have more time to do both though. I love working behind the scenes the most. I always promised myself I would Pub/RPG more, but until now it has not happened. I also think in general that the role of Eru is a person behind the scene, not interfering too much but with the power to create new things.

Fëanor Elf: Several months ago, the Plaza celebrated its 50,000th member. How do you feel about it?

Eru: It’s amazing, of course! On many occassions, I have told people about my amazement that the Plaza was able to grow so fast and have so many dedicated members. If things continue, we will reach the 100.000 mark. Now that would really be something! I really think we are one of the largest online communities in the world.

Fëanor Elf: What do your friends think about Plaza?

Eru: They all know I created the Plaza, and they have seen it on numerous occasions. Most of them, however, do not really understand it, but then again they are not real LotR Fans. They are of course very impressed by how I was able to start this gigantic thing, and they are always amazed by some of the stories I tell them of things that have happened on the Plaza or because of the Plaza. When I told them that people from the Plaza have actually gotten married in real life, they were shell-shocked!

Fëanor Elf: How much has the Plaza changed since its foundation?

Eru: I think it has changed a lot in every possible aspect. If I were to show you the plaza of January 2002, you would not recognize it, I think. The Plaza system was much less advanced, and it was actually nothing more than a messageboard with a points and ranks system. I think at this moment the Plaza has so many RPG elements and other features that it goes far beyond a messageboard. Of course the number of members has had a great impact on the entire plaza.

Fëanor Elf: If you weren’t Eru, what kingdom would you join and why?

Eru: Hmmm, interesting question, never gave this any thought before... I think I would have joined Gondor, and I would have RPGed as a Aragorn-style ranger. I wildly enjoy hiking and the outdoors in real life, so I think a ranger would have been an excellent choice for me.

Fëanor Elf: All of the LOTR movies are out, but it seems that it hadn’t affected the Plaza at all. Are you afraid that after some time, LOTR popularity will fall and the Plaza will lose popularity?

Eru: I do not think that will really ever happen. Of course the hype around LotR is dying down, but I think the love of LotR and Roleplaying is timeless and independent of the hype surrounding movies. LotR fan sites have existed since the dawn of the internet, and they will always remain popular. I also think that many people enjoy the plaza for reasons that have nothing to do anymore with the movies, and I am sure many of them will stay and that many new people will come. I cannot imagine the Plaza ever dying out. If it ever does, I will always have had a tremendous experience.

Fëanor Elf: The latest changes on the Plaza are astonishing. Do you plan any more of them in near future, and if you do, what would they be?

Eru: I greatly enjoyed those two days of making Plaza updates, but as I explained, working on my own company consumes so much time that I have very little time left to make such updates. One of the things I always wanted to create was a Plaza Tavern where people could gamble and actually run gambling games. It would be a fun way of making more credits, and it would give added functionality to the pubs that already exist. Instead of just hanging out at the bar, you could actually enjoy your virtual drink while playing a nice game and perhaps making some credits. Another thing that of course is still on the table and has never truly been finished are the plaza items. All these RPG elements would definitely bring more fun to the plaza, but they would take many, many days to code.

Fëanor Elf: Do you know when the next hall of knowledge is going to be finished (and don’t tell us tommorow, we already heard that from Mo *g* ?

Eru: I have no idea. A group of Valinorians have taken all knowledge hall responsibilities upon them, and I know they are busy updating and making new tests. When they will be coming out, even Eru does not know :)

Fëanor Elf: Have you ever Thomassed a member, or do you leave it to the admins ?

Eru: I actually had the honour of thomassing the very first member to be booted out of the Plaza. I even came up with the verb ’Thomassing’. It was named after a member called thomas2000 (if I remember correctly), when I was confronted with the first real spammer. At that time, there was not even a function for totally booting a member. Since then, we have seen hundreds perhaps even thousands of thomas-wanna-bes, and I have to admit that the admins have booted most of those.

Fëanor Elf: Are you going to make changes on the Plaza without warning (like now) or would you explain what they are first?

Eru: The last time, I was working on a list created by the Valinorians, when I came up with the idea of changing the post-displaying-scripts. And it is often like that: I am working on something, and suddenly I decide to go in another direction or create something totally different. I think the surprise effect is also just something that makes it more enjoyable for me. I always love the ’what just happened’ reactions...

Fëanor Elf: And one final question: do you ever stop working on the Plaza and watch your masterpiece ?

Eru: As long as time allows me to do so, I think I would rather continue creating new things. Simply sitting back and enjoying is not in my character, I think. Browsing through the plaza for 10 minutes can easily cause 100 new ideas to enter my mind. If the Plaza could be a fulltime job, I would make a plaza like you would not believe!

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My dearest friends,
       My name is Arseregwen Nenharma, in case you didn’t know already. I have only recently arrived here in the fine kingdom of Rivendell. I remember perfectly the time when I first arrived. It was on a nice day in August and I had a cold so I’d stayed home the outing to gardens that I usually do. I was looking longingly out the window when I saw it, A glimmer of light not too far away. I decided that even though I was sick I might as well go out as it was unlikely that I would die from just going outside.

       I followed a path that lead to the light, but every step I took I never seemed to get closer to it. Finally I thought I was approaching my goal. The trail led over a large bubbling river and I walked across it to the other side and began to continue along the trail. I finally found the kingdom as I rounded the last corner. It was...Bliss.

       I walked on throughout the beautiful kingdom, feeling in a dream. I went straight to a spot, which appeared to be made for people such as myself, who had only just found the kingodm. I was greeted warmly and given many cookies from the official cookie lady of Rivendell, Anni I believe her name was. When I left, I wandered for hours and hours joining all of its many guilds and teams. I wish to give all of the people who are just now new to Rivendell a bit of advice. One, learn how to eat while walking. Two, never stare to long at someone, as they tend to think you’re a tad bit insane. And three, never take cookies from Anni the cookie lady.
I bid thee farewell,

~ Gwen

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Council of Elrond

Rivendell has a wide variety of activities for everyone to participate in, but sometimes one might wish to try something new. If that is the case, there is a plethora of things to do in other kingdoms.

  • • Looking for a place to loose yourself for a while? Do You Dare to ENTer? is currently being hosted in Fangorn. The object of the game is to find your way out of the forest by answering a series of riddles, puzzles, or trivia questions. Try your luck and see how you come out! Do you desire to learn the arts of carpentry, textile working, or even smithy in weaponry or jewelry? Then visit the Yukogs Clan in Kazahd-dûm.
  • • Want to expand your boundries or even look out skills? The Shire Watch is looking for new Bounders to guard the borders of the Shire.
  • • Have you always felt your calling was to work with animals? Then step on over to the Starfire Stud and Training Centre in Meduseld. There is an urgent calling for trainers, stablehands, exercise riders, grooms, and public relations officers.
  • • Looking to add a little color to your life....or maybe just your drab halls for now? Visit the Minas Tirith Drapery in the Minas Tirith Marketplace for all your needs in drapes, tapestries, upholstery, and specialty items.
  • • Always wondered what others thought of your singing voice? Step on up to the King of Kareoke Contest, going on now at the White Council. Who knows? You might just be the next Idol of Orthanc!
  • • Do you have the burning desire to design and create jewelry? The Lothlorien Jewelry Association is currently looking for designers, gem cutters, crafters, and replicators. This just might be the job for you!

With so many things always going on, its hard not to find something one will enjoy. Will one of these be just what you're looking for to broaden your horizons? For more possibilities, check out the Council of Elrond.

~ Emyla

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       In all my many years in Middle Earth, whether man or wraith, the oddities of elvenkind never cease to amaze me. Your need for color is one of those oddities. What is wrong with the world being a simple basic black, with lighter shades of grey for contrast? And if you really need some color, why not blood red? Why you insist on having green and blue and all those silly things is beyond me.

       My color blindness aside, this month’s AaFF selection proves my point, that all elves should be banned from Middle Earth forever:

Past the Stars by Aviva amara

       You begin this story with, what else? Color! Color in the eyes of the male lead character. Myself, I would have started with the female lead character poking out the eyes of the male, but in your elven world, she only looks into his eyes - bleh! We soon learn that all of these people change colors, not just their eyes, their entire bodies. Her problem is that she can’t change colors, which she confides to her friend, only to find a page or two later that she can change colors quite easily. So, this makes me think she is lying, a good quality in any story’s heroine. But why is she lying? And who are these elder people? The Seer? The aliens? And Darius is destined to be something (fell beast dinner would be a good idea) but then the sentence is cut off. First Aviva doesn’t know Darius then a minute later she does. And fine storytelling using one’s own name for the character’s name!

       After reading the aforementioned, I believe without a shadow of the east that said Ms. Aviva is simply writing confusing and foofoo stories to try and confound the enemy. Well, it won’t work! I understood all of your story. Yes, that’s right, I did! I’ve been to the Orthanc Therapy Clinic. I know all the tricks!

       On a scale of 1 to 5 Morgul blades, I give this story a 3. It has some interesting ideas (like the ability to color change) but right now it is far too confusing to be a good read, unless of course you like walking around in a state of confuzzlement, in which case, the doctor will see you now.

~ Rohanna, formerly of Rohan
Now living in the vacation capital of Middle Earth...

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The ravens are gathering. The Ents have come. The Elves are mounting their steeds. Even Gondor and the Shire have answered the call.

All of them converged on the Dwarven city, Khazad-Dum. Treebeard himself came amongst the dwarves, honoring us with his presence. Yet alas, his visit was not for merriment or enjoyment. Grim tidings he bore: an evil lurked in Middle-earth once more. As his voice echoed through the Throne Room in Khazad-Dûm, all were silenced, listening in trepidation to the Wise One’s words.

Meanwhile, a company of four travelled quickly to the safe realm of Khazad-Dum. Yet their path was full of danger, for they were steadily followed by a dark past, overshadowd by an even darker present. The help of the Dwarven City was needed for their safe arrival, Treebeard told us, or all would fail.

Treebeard’s news washed over the faithful residents in the Queens’ Throne Room. A low hush of whispering arose as the Queens discussed their course of action. As Queen Dis stood to issue her and Queen Hrive’s decision, she made no gesture, yet the crowd was immediately still. The answer from the grave Queen’s lips was that Khazad-Dûm would readily offer its assistance to banish the evil following Treebeard’s Company! A sense of relief spills over the crowd. The dwarves were proud and courageous. It would be an honor for them to help the foursome Appreciation was etched on Treebeard’s face as he heard my Queen’s reply. He placed himself in their service until his company arrived. Now, after many anxious days, Treebeard finally has news of his company. They have arrived at Dimrill Dale safely and without harm. A star has shone on the hour of their meeting, but alas they have no time to linger. A lodging-house will provide safety and hope, at least for a short while, but soon they must seek audience with the Queens of Khazad-Dûm.

~ Star Flower

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Hobbits

From little country, green and small
Came four heroes, short not tall
They ran over rivers and across woods
Small figures in cloaks and hoods
They traveled together for as long as they could.
But Boromir tried to take the Ring,
He was obsessed with that horrid thing,
So Frodo decided to part,
Even though it broke his heart,
He didn't like to leave his friends,
Who he wished could be with him until the end.
He didn't think Sam would come,
He only thought he would stay like some.
But Samwise is his best friend,
And no he is not his brother,
He's Samwise Gamgee and no other.
For truth be told a best friend is far better than a brother,
and far dearer than gold,
For a best friend is not something to be sold.

~ Thaliawen

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Tidings from Abroad

Fangorn Fangorn - a Sprouting 2 Year Old!

Some mothers refer to this as the “Terrible Twos”, when a baby begins to walk and explore the horizons of its world. Fangorn is indeed expanding. The Army is being totally revamped into two sections, the Treegarth and Treeguard (offense and defense). Many threads in Fangorn were opened to celebrate our Birthday. One concerns our missing birthday cake, and a search is underway! The early Fall mornings are wonderful and crisp, showing a few leaves beginning to change color, and making it wonderful to party outdoors! Games include Entwood Squares, a 20 Most Memorable list, a Writing competition, a Maze, a wonderful new Word Game, and much more. Many of our standard games are flourishing as usual. Everyone in Arda is welcomed and invited to attend and participate.

Excitement builds as The Grove of AnciENT Wisdom prepares for the coming Debate with KD. And the champion Squizzels are still racing to first place. The ever-popular Catering Company is delivering mouthwatering treats to most major events. And if all the excitment overwhelms you, head over to The Healing Grove, which is busy as ever curing patients from all over Arda. Their Disease section is researching some poison-like symptoms that have cropped up lately. Fortunately, I am free of this pest!

In short, Fangorn is growing and in some areas, suffering growing pains. But, overall, a lot of fun can be found here, especially this month as we celebrate our Second Year as a Kingdom! Do stop by and have a little fun!

~ Moneytree

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Khazad-dûm A Stroll Around Khazad-Dûm by Mithriltears The rainwater pooled on the brim of a khaki hat. Soon it overflowed and formed a miniature waterfall that eventually slapped into the cold stone below. The dwarf whose head the hat was sitting on top of was also enveloped in a trench coat of the same nondescript khaki color. She was trying desperately to light a match to light the pipe hanging out of her mouth. So far her attempts had been fruitless. With a sigh of disgust she threw the wet match down and muttered, “ ’Light anywhere’, my axe...” Soaked to the skin, the dwarf maid from Erebor looked up at the entrance to Khazad-Dûm, smiled and stalked into its brightly lit halls. There was news to be collected, a report to be written.

Straight off, Bruna made her way towards the heart and soul of the kingdom— well, at least, the heart and soul of gossip in the kingdom. The pub. Arriving at the “Drunkard’s Delight”, she was thrilled to see a sheen of grease on the tables, but then her system suffered a severe shock. The infamous former berserker trainer, haunter of young children’s nightmares across Middle Earth, Grunda Graniteheart was employed as bar maid. Smiling weakly, Bruna ordered a pint of ale from the craggy dwarf and watched the news unfold. Whispers still spoke of the grim happenings in the Throne Room, after but a bit of eavesdropping Bruna learned that Queen Dis’ mother and son (Edain and Tangled Axe) had been delivered into the throne room in sacks, bodies desecrated by a troupe of orcs. The kingdom was still in shock over the barbarity of these acts, but Bruna forced herself to move on... there was more news. Closely watching a table of wizards next to her led her to an unmistakable suspicion. Smuggled goods from Umbar were being peddled, right there! In Khazad-Dûm! These doubts were confirmed as a wizard passed the famous duckies of Umbar about the table. The dwarf maid’s eyes popped open and her jaw wouldn’t close. Those were illustrious, and being marketed right here... Shaking her head, the still-damp figure finished her ale and departed the foul establishment; other events called her!

From a hint at the pub, Bruna made her way to the Mirrormere early the next morning, same hat shoved onto her little skull, same coat draped around her thick frame. Her surprise was evident as she witnessed a huge mass of people waiting to depart for who knew where. It was then that the dragon mage, Meneldil arrived along with his entourage of the imp, the princesses Aldura and Adara, and princess Mai Tai. Before her very eyes Bruna witnessed this fellow wielding red sunglasses, Meneldil, punch a few buttons on a pillar and a portal was opened. Soon the huge group of people was pouring through it to a dubious end. When at last the Imp and Meneldil darted through the portal and closed it. Bruna shook her head. Khazad-Dûm dwarves, they were so high tech... With a sigh the dwarf maid made her way back inside, where she picked up bits and pieces of news. The Mirrormere Reflections had a shiny new office and there was some sort of pink parade involving bunnies for an ex-gerbilkapn of the army, Tangled Axe. Shaking her head in wonder, and fear, the dwarf maid screwed the khaki hat further onto her head and set back towards Erebor. Bruna had gathered enough news.

~ Mithriltears

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Lothlorien

Lorien There were many exciting things happening in Lothlórien in the month of September. The renowned game Brethad: Dagor an Ennor was in full swing, and indeed it still is, with many races vying to conquer the whole of Middle Earth. The Gardens of Lorien are preparing for the annual harvest, and a prosperous and fruitful crop is assured once again by the efforts of the hard working staff, who let not a day go by where they do not give their all. Now for the gathering places of Lorien, the Lawn, and the Hollow. The Lawn saw a very upbeat month, with a massive food fight ensuing and consuming the entire area. Good times were had by all there, which is more than can be said about the Hollow this time around. The Hollow, Lorien’s version of the pub was descended upon by shadows of the most evil kind, turning the place upside down with fright and worse. Of course, the Galadhrim won out in the end, but not after significant damage. Perhaps the largest and most exciting activity currently taking place in Lorien though is the I Vereth Firith, the Festival of the Season Fading, a celebration of the coming autumn season where all races are welcome. Many vendors line the River Celebrant with all sorts of food and wares for purchase. Also included in the festival is the Lawn of Activities where there is being held an archery competition, a circle of tells for the storyteller in everyone, fortune reading, and dueling. All in all, Lórien is thriving, and the future of the Golden Wood looks bright indeed.

~ Firien Echui

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Minas Tirith Suilad, Edhil! “Greetings, Elves!” Many Gondorians have returned to their studies this month, but activity in Minas Tirith is none the worse for it. In fact, as the population has recently reached 4,000 citizens, a Pot Luck dinner is being held in the Seventh Circle to celebrate the momentous event. All are welcome!

The White City has been host to two major sporting events in September: the Inter-Kingdom Racing Derby and Pelennor Pigskin’s ongoing White Tree Championship (W.T.C.). The Derby drew 90 participants from all ten kingdoms, and in the end the Snakes of Mordor reigned supreme with three of the top ten finishers. The Valinor Emus gave them a run for their money, but with only six competitors, their overall score suffered. The first round of the W.T.C. is nearly complete, and the Gondor Gale and Khazad Rock Krushers remain undefeated. They will advance to the semi-finals along with the Isengard Eagles and Mordor United.

The Marketplace has been bustling even more than usual! The August expansion project saw the opening of 21 new shops including a toystore, candymaker and even a fortune teller. The pubs have been as busy as ever, and with Pub Row hosting theme nights such as “Minas Tirith - the Musical“ and ”Alphabet Pub” in August and the wildly popular ”Movie Star Pub” in September, you never know what’s going to happen next. So, when the Festival ends and you’re looking for some excitement, head South to Gondor. We’ll leave the light on!

~ Melaiawen

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Mordor The man entered the shabby tavern self-consciously, shaking the rain from his hair as he shut the door against the cold wet night and looked about the room, eventually taking a seat at one of the tables in a far corner facing the doorway. He was early. This was his first meeting with an informer and he sat, uncomfortably aware that he looked out of place in the dingy darkness. As a tavern wench asked his order and walked away bored, he took out a long pipe and pouch of tobacco, the slightest shake of his hand as he lit the pipe gave away his anxiety, and he felt better for the occupation.

He was startled as one of the shadows moved, and from the darkness a figure approached his table unexpectedly, his black cloak drawn up to conceal his face as he pulled up a chair next to the man. "My fee?" he drawled casually. The man started and fumbled in his jacket, handing over a neat package tied with fine cord. A black-gloved hand took the parcel and secreted it within the heavy cloak, bringing out a crushed scroll, which he tossed onto the table. "Your information," he said sardonically, abruptly getting up and leaving.

The man sat still for a moment, his pipe growing cold as he forgot to puff, then he reached forward to the scroll and unfurled it.

During the last month, a number of activities have been either rejuvenated or brought to fruition. This has been the aim of the new Witchking, Rohanna, who under the watchful eye of my Lord Sauron, set about Mordor like a Wraith with a Ring-thieving hobbit to find. Dark sorcery once again is being learned in the secret places, and a fell name they give to their students: The Children of the Eye. Practices going under the fell names of 'Dark energy' and 'Abjuration' have found a number of acolytes, and not only among minions, but also among the Free Peoples.

Another fell activity, the breeding of dangerous creatures, has begun again in earnest. The Spawn of the Underworld is the underground name for the evil practices which go on, breeding wargs, mûmak and fell birds, and the creation of yet more of the Nazgûl's flying beasts; surely a dreadful time for Mordor's enemies looms.

The Annuals of Angmar has received a large number of participants recently. This very loose rpg thread attracts people from all over due to its dark alliteration.

The Witchking has not been universally received with great respect though, even in the land of shadow where the godking Sauron's word is law; and in an act of what some have called lunacy, the Witchking was brought to trial for the murder of Lord Gothmog. That no proof of his death has been established does not disturb the prosecution overly however, and as the case progresses in the Halls of Injustice - Capital Murder it remains to be seen whether he will or will not walk.

In a rather surprising twist, which is in no doubt disturbing to the suspicious mind, Mordor will be hosting the Olympics this year. Invitations will be sent out to those who are willing to sacrifice themselves participate for the glory of their kingdom. In the meantime, for those daring enough to cross the border, questions may be asked at the Dark Games HQ (Q&A only). All else seems quiet, for much subversive underground activity is taking place in preparation for the Olympics. Athough minions still take time out of their busy games testing schedules to torture the Free Peoples in the Black Pits, or continue creating the Black Speech. As well as, finding thieves (probably to congratulate them) and battling in the Training Grounds.

In Minion-only activities, Morgoth's Crown enters its third round as the contestants are whittled down, and Mo's introduction of The MMTTSC - a team writing competition, awaits the final entries and judging. Please feel free to sneak in and read the stories. The IK racing team managed to pull off an impressive win in the Derby, with Firefly winning the individual portion, and Mordor coming first overall. It is also noteworthy that Mordor is through to the semi-finals of the Pelennor Pigskin tournament. The (mostly female) players however are much more excited by the thought of Naith's “shop” for skills. This is mostly because they intend on going home with a Gondorian or two.

In more personal news, two minions, Míriel Arien and Aure, celebrate winning Minion of the Month for their contributions to Mordor, in the IK Racing and Entertainment activities respectively, and will be rewarded by SCRs during October. One of these will be the Nazgûl Khamûl, and the other remains secret, though no doubt we shall see soon enough – my spies cannot tell me who this might be, sadly.

Until next time.

A small smile hovered about the man's mouth as he refolded the parchment and stood up. He needed to get this information to the Elves as soon as possible. Holding his coat against the cold wet weather, he opened the door and disappeared into the night.

~Eäranna

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Rohan Riders of Rohan: bustling busy...

A calm month in the Riddermarket? Does it exist? Meduseld brims with activities, and this season seems to have been a goblet filled to the brim even more than usual.

What have those roaring riders been up to, you ask?

After the beacons were lit, Rohan rode to Gondor’s aid. Although this means that many of those serving under the green banner with the white horse are away from home, on the homefront, things are busy as well.

In a crowded square in the Riddermarket, people of all races come to buy excellent Rohirric products. Meanwhile, the debate team and those new to the noble craft are sharpening their wits in a display of intricate explenations and to-the-point comments, to the delight of spectators. Other debate teams, be warned! They are currently engaged in a heated discussion on whether Théoden or Gandalf was more crucial to the victory at Helm’s Deep.

In more royal news, Lady Lothíriel, wife to Éomer, King has arrived back home from her journey to Dol Amroth to visit her father. Mysteriously, Théodwyn the King’s mother has chanced to be here as well, to welcome her daughter-in-law into the family! Did Mandos let her go from his halls? Whatever the reason, both Éomer king and Lady Éowyn are overjoyed at the chance to have her by their sides again.

Unfortunately, not all the news from Rohan is good news: some dastardly person has robbed the Ældsel Inn, Rohan’s pub, where both regular patrons and passing visitors receive a warm welcome. To make it worse: while all the riders were out looking for the culprit, one of them has been viciously knocked out! Do I need to mention, my dear riders, how this unscrupulous behaviour infuriated those present? The Ældsell Inn has been locked up, and not even a mouse could escape the attention of Feldmarshall Isenfolme and those around her, who are determined to get to the bottom of this.

I think I can safely conclude in saying that Rohan is as busy and adventurous as ever and... ho... wait... halt the horses! I can’t conclude at all! Tidings has just arrived that surpasses all other news. The beloved King of the Mark Eomer / Wamblæd has just handed over the reigns of rule. In his unfortunately short kingship, Wamblæd has been known by all as a just and brave ruler, creative and kind. The shoes he leaves are big ones to fill. However, the one who is stepping up to fill them is ready indeed to take up the challenge. As the crown of Rohan passes on to Éomer / Isenfolme, those who know the kingdom look up to a new ruler who has more then earned her spurs. Wamblæd, return soon to Rohan, crown or no: Riders are missing you. Isenfolme: no one who knows you doubts that you’re both worthy and ready.

From the Riddermark: Wéstu reader Hall!

~ Eldrith

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The Shire A relaxing Shire summer may have ended recently, but the lively Hobbity spirit made sure that autumn began with leaf flurries of fun, excitement, and good challenges. In fact, this September, the Hobbits re-lived old adventures and faced new ones with the ongoing A Trip to Bree, as Merry and Pippin took their friends on a mischievous adventure. Hobbits teased each other at the Thread of Terror and Teasing to remember when well-respected Hobbits were newbies once. Also, four teams of Hobbits are currently playing the Second Annual Shire Jeopardy Game Show!

The Shire also strode into new territories last month when the Watch program commenced. The Shire mayors proudly chose Tari Boffin to be their Chief Shirriff, and now Shirriffs and Bounders alike are working towards protecting the Shire – from everything such as runaway chickens in the market to two fierce elves in the Mayor’s Office! (The Watch is currently hiring Bounders at the moment, and any foreigner without military ties can join.)

In fact, one of the many new kingdom houses that the Shire acquired during September were the Headquarters of the Watch – not to mention the new Shire Show-Off House for any Hobbit high-ranker to enjoy, the Shire Leaves Cottage for the Shire’s monthly magazine, and the Mushie Maniacs Planning Hole for all the interkingdom teams from the Shire. Mira Brandybuck, the Shire leader for the Brandywine Bigfeet team, in fact, was honored for all of her work by being Merry Brandybuck in September – while lil hobbit gurl (Aldi) donned the face of Pippin Took, Aradell as Bree’s Harry Goatleaf, thain_sam as Barliman Butterbur, and Charstar as Farmer Maggot.

So as autumn and pumpkin season creeps into the Shire, the realm of Mayors Sam and Rosie blooms as well -- with much adventure, games, and a safer Shire for all that may visit these next few months!

~ Istya Alassea

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Isengard Well, for the second month, it’s going be me who’s going to help you around Isengard and the Tower of Orthanc!

Big News, this month! Both our rulers have changed. The Beloved Elen Sila, previously Elen audoin and now Munin Audoin, has stepped down from the Ruling Seat of Gandalf the White. This allowed Grey Pilgrim, who had been Saruman the White for quite a short time, to become Gandalf himself. Arwe Thereyet has taken the staff of Saruman the White, after a long time contributing much to Isengard!

And guess what? Wizard Jeopardy is the newest wizzie-game in the White Council! Come, fellow races, to participate in the game. Sign in and get into the roll, for it sure is going to be a blast!

Two pubs have sprouted in the Orthanc Pub lawn. The White Council Dental Care Café where you can drink all the beverages knowing that there is no danger to your precious “1000 Watt” smile. Also, the Umbar Dawn Pub has started in a brand new White Council Thread not too long ago!

And the White Council Debate team is getting a new start with the newly glowing pointy-hat wearer Munin Audoin, who now has a lot of free time after stepping down from the ruling status. With this new leader, the Debate team is having two practice debates to choose the important members of the team!

Also, the Old Angren Street Market is having many sales. Come all you people of all races and buy stuff cheaper than ever in Isengard’s lowest priced thread. You can visit also the Star Quality Design shop and get some clothes, or visit Ye Olde Staff Shoppe and make your very personal staff! Trillian and Mon will be waiting for you in both shops as well as other designers!

Plus, you may go to the Orthanc Almanac, Isengard’s huge diary and read what the Wizard’s or Wizateer’s stories and inner thoughts are. Read their secrets and their adventures and feel free to wander in the lands they have ventured, as you will. And speaking of Wizateers, the Doom on the Wizateers, the istari-reserved RPG is still running and it’s come to its climax. Come forth and read what the search squad is getting through in order to find their beloved elders.

Finally, all I can say here is nothing compared to what you will be able to find in the White Council. Pass by and feel free to wander where your heart pleases you. We are all quite glad to help all visitors!

See you in Isengard!

~ O Illuvatar

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Valinor

To start off with a correction relating to last month’s report: Mo (Melkor) insists he did not say he wants ‘Bubbles the Happy Rosebush’ as his Tribute Rank. His spokesbalrog instead informs us the correct name was ‘Stubbles the Crappy Bloodflush’. Alkthoniel (Manwë) is still in the Oiolossë County Hospital, but reportedly he has been shipped to the ‘clinically insane’ department and is confined by four fluffy walls and a straightjacket. Achoo (Tulkas), was once again spoiling for a fight, but picked out a rather sour Fëa (Vairë) as his opponent. As soon as he started punching, she instantly removed him from her Carpets of Time, thereby sending him to the Void. He is there still, waiting for the De-voidation Rectification Procedure, which can only be initiated by Manwë (who is, as reported, still in hospital). Meanwhile, Pip (Estë) launches her new range of hair-care products. Unfortunately for her, she could not attend the festive opening in the Lórell Inn, because she used dew from Telperion and Laurelin for the shampoo and moisturizer, which earned her the wrath of Luthy (Yavanna). Reportedly, Estë is hiding in the Helcaraxë. Arlo (Ulmo) and Sere (Vána) are still not talking to eachother, and suspicions of the theft of the latters anti-wrinkle cream grows stronger, because Vána refused to attend the release of Estë’s hair-cair products, and neither was she present at Bael’s (Nessa) performance at the ValiMusic Dome earlier this month. Endymion (Lórien) caused the End of the World by scaring Ilúvatar with his pink umbrella, causing the One to slip in a puddle of diesel oil and transforming the world as we knew it into a drumstick. Luckily, Arda was restored about three hours later, after Eru had chased Lórien around the Timeless Halls and whacked him repeatedly with his frying pan. More scandals came to light only yesterday, though, when Hoth (Mandos) and BB (Varda) were seen snogging in the Royal Gardens on Taniquetil. An excited Oromë, trying his best not to seem excited, used the Inter-Continent Intercom ‘accidentally’ when spreading the news. Neither Mandos nor BB has been seen since.

Quote o’ the Valian Month...

On the subject of smelly Valar:
Dis: *suspiciously eyes the bubbles in the water*

~ Arlo

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The mind is like an attic,
a handy place to store
assorted bits and pieces
we're not using anymore.
A memory from long ago,
a dream that once was new,
some things we wish we hadn't done,
and some we'd like to do.
And sometimes, on a rainy day,
it's comforting to find
the things the heart has stored away
in the attic of the mind...

~ Laifana

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Crafts, Language and Lore

~ Feanor Elf & Ibrantriel

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Lore Matters

       Melian

The main Maia that served both Vana and Estë was Melian. In Valinor, she dwelt in Lórien, and from all people of Lórien she was the most beautiful and most wise. Tolkien described her in The Book of Lost Tales as “Slender and very dark of hair... and her skin white and pale, but her eyes shone seeming to hold great depths. Clad jet-spangled and girt with silver. If ever she sang or if ever she danced, dreams and slumbers passed over the heads of those that were nigh, making them heavey as it were with a strong wine of sleep.” She was the one who taught the nightingales to sing. Her voice was so wonderful that the Valars would leave their works to listen to her and the birds would hush their chattering. When the Elves awoke in Cuivienen, Melian came in Midlle earth, to the Hither Lands and “she filled the silence of Middle earth before the dawn with her voice and the voices of her birds.” (Silmarillion)

While Elwë Singollo was on a journey to seek Finwë, he heard the song of nightingales in Nan Elmoth, and his heart was filled by desire hearing Melian’s voice. He found her in the wood and “took her hand and straightway a spell was laid on him, so that they stood thus while long years were measured by the wheeling stars above them.” (Silmarillion) Her love for Elwë Singollo determined her not to leave Middle Earth and to take a physical form not as raiment, but as a permanent habitation in form.

They founded the great kingdom of Doriath and they became the rulers of the Sindar Elves. Under the influence of the only Sindar who had ever seen the Two Trees, and led by the wisdom of Melian, the Sindar became the most skillful of the Elves and the fairest. Using her foresight, Melian understood that the peace in Middle Earth will not last too much longer, so she offered to teach the Dwarves many things in exchange for building Menegroth. When the Orcs attacked Doriath, she fenced their lands with an unseen wall of shadow and bewilderment, known as the Girdle of Melian.

Her wisdom helped her understand the doom of her daughter, Lúthien, when she brought Beren to Menegroth: “Melian looked in her eyes and read the doom that was written there, and turned away; for she knew that a parting beyond the end of the world had come between them, and no grief of loss has been heavier than the grief of Melian the maia in that hour.”

After Thingol’s death, Melian’s powers left Doriath, and she left Middle Earth, passing into the land of the Valar “to muse upon her sorrows in the gardens of Lorien”.

~Elvenpath

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       The Valar, Part I

Many of you know that the world we live in (Arda) was created by Eru, the One. But although Eru created it, it was the Valar who shaped it into the form it has today.

       The Valanquenta tells us that in the beginning, there was only Eru, Iluvatar. Then he decided to create Ainur, the Holy Ones. He gave them themes, and Ainur sang for their creator. After some time, Eru created Arda in the Middle of the Void and revealed what it will look like to the Ainur. He gave them a choice: either to stay with Eru, or to go down to Arda and become its protectors and creators. Those who choose to come to Arda were called Valar, the Powers of the World. Their work in shaping Arda was long and hard, mainly because Melkor always tried to destroy their works.

       There are seven Valar and seven Valier. The Valar are: Manwë, Ulmo, Aulë, Oromë, Mandos, Lórien and Tulkas. The names of the Valier are: Varda, Yavanna, Nienna, Estë, Vairë, Vana, Nessa. Because of the evil he done, Melkor is no longer counted as a Vala.

       Manwë is the most powerful of the Valar. He was chosen by Eru to be the Ruler of Arda. He loves the air and winds of Arda, and even today, we can see his most beloved animals, the great eagles, flying high in the air above Middle Earth. Manwe is also known as Súlimo.

       Ulmo is the only Vala who doesn’t live anywere. The others live in Valinor (which was hidden from this world after the Fall of Númenor). He loves water the most, and spends his time traveling through oceans and seas of Arda. It is said by the Elves that he used to sit near the shores of Middle Earth and play on his giant horns, Ulumuri.

       Aulë is the one who, together with Manwë and Ulmo, shaped most of what Arda looks like today. He enjoys to make things with his own hands. The Noldor are most familiar with Aulë, because, during their stay in Valinor he taught them smithery and many other things related to making things, big and small.

       The Fëanturi are the "masters of spirits". There are two of them, Námo and Irmo. Námo lives in Mandos. He guards the Halls of the Dead, which is the place where Elves go after they die. Námo is often called by the name of the place where he lives, Mandos. Irmo knows the most about dreams and visions. He lives in Lórien, a beatiful garden in Valinor. It is known that even the other Valar come in Irmo’s gardens when they want to rest from their endless work.

       Oromë has dedicated himself mostly to hunting. Before the Elves awoken at Cuiviénen, he was one of the few Valar who left Valinor to visit Middle Earth. All the dark creatures Melkor made ran in fear when Oromë came. He hunted all of them, but alas, even with his efforts, the creatures would come again when he left for Valinor. When he is not in Middle Earth, most likely he is training his hunting regiment in Valinor forests.

       Tulkas is the strongest Vala. He was the last Vala who came to Arda. He was sent to help the Valar in their war against Melkor, and, with his help, the Valar were more often winning than losing against Melkor.

      (to be continued)

~Feanor Elf

Quenya Delights

Nén

Rípala undu i celumë
Hwinya terë i cúnar
Tittë falmar sírala mi i nén

Helcë leperi mápala sardi
Poice ar luini hendi yar atacalar i vilya
I rávë néno mi lárulyar

Nenion alluinë, mápala ellë

Water

Rushing down the stream
It eddies through the bends
Small waves flowing with(in) the water

Icy cold fingers grasping stones
Clean and blue eyes that shine-back the sky
The roar of the water with(in) your ears

Bluest of waters, grasping you

~Twin Demon

A Taste of Elvish

The Blessings of the Eldar

Ever do the Elves wish the best for all Eru’s children. Some well-known words of well-wishing:

No ´alui in oer lín phain. ~ “May all your days be blessed.”

No allen i ngelu e-Belain. ~ “May the blessings of the Valar be with you.”

Aphado ui ´ûr lín an ias le tôg. ~ “May you always follow your heart where it leads you.”

No oer a fuinath lín pathrennin na veleth a lalaith. ~ “May your days and nights be filled with love and laughter.”

Calo Anor oer lín a tiro le in elenath ir lostal. ~ “May the sun light your days and the stars watch over you while you sleep.”

No go le i ngelu Edhil, Edain, a gwaith lain phain. ~ “May the blessings of Elves, Men, and all free folk go with you.”

Isto ´lass ´ûr lín. ~ “May your heart know joy.”

~ Taramiluiel

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Oft Upon a Moonlit Night

Oft upon a moonlit night,
‘neath winter’s deep blue chill,
when rest most welcome calls
Irmo dost visit with fingers of sleep,
that cling with loving strength,
to a mind bent with care and worry.
Pale dreams of whimsy and wonder,
gentle waves upon a pebble strewn beach,
reflecting daylight in prisms,
golden light through shattered glass.

Or of darkling forest and green-hued dale,
with flitting light and elusive shadow,
dancing ‘pon bough and leaf,
dusty shafts of light in golden green,
as of moonlit waters, deep and dark.

And still,
upon a moonlit night,
‘neath winter’s deep blue chill,
a maiden fair lays weary head,
softly down midst pillows sweetened,
by flowers scented.
Sleep O sweet one in this half lit world,
of glowing embers and pale moonlight,
with dreams wrought by Irmo,
in Lorien fair, where even the Valar find heart’s ease.

Shifting darkness and shadow,
twilight lands before silver lamps and gold,
‘tween the passing of those things most lovely,
given life beyond thought upon Ezellohar’s green sward,
with the bittersweet song and tears of Valier gentle.

And now,
upon a moonlit night,
‘neat winter’s deep blue chill,
a whisper most soft drifts into slumber,
by secret thoughts and places strange,
where in body she had until now to wander.
Light came forth ‘tween boughs so dim,
in forest deep and shadowed dell,
where wild things shall roam,
and creep and flit as such things are wont.

And through distant trees a glowing radiance,
of golden flame and silver starlight,
mingling as of dawn and dusk,
the maiden fair is drawn,
as night-moth to sudden flame in darkness.

And yet,
upon a moonlit night,
‘neath winter’s deep blue chill,
as kith and kin their rest they take,
maiden fair wanders dreamscapes,
seeming both real and magical.
Light’s source doth bewilder and confuse,
as none before had in long ages past,
in a web she becomes entangled,
garlanded with wonderment.

For amidst a sward of green and red,
of grasses tall and fumellar swaying,
a tree grows with strength in bough yet delicate seeming,
and fair was she to touch its smooth limbs,
though icy heat and burning cold warred about.

And there
upon a moonlit night,
‘neath winter’s deep blue chill,
all lights blew out, no moon nor stars,
save those of a tree within its glade,
now shining brightly or flickering softly,
a muted dawn or fiery dusk,
from light within strange coloured boughs,
that grew beneath a canopy of leaves,
in richest green of living things.

Here golden-boughed where shadows lay,
there dusted silver reflecting starlit rays,
spindly, twisted yet evermore graceful,
for such a thing its branches run,
in endless courtship of neighbour and friend.

As it were,
upon a moonlit night,
‘neath winter’s deep blue chill,
a maiden fair sets herself down,
betwixt buttress roots of smoothest silver,
as within her throat.
a scent most heavenly and thick is caught,
from flowers dripping golden nectar sweet,
about her feet and the upturned faces,
of fumellar; poppy of sleep.

Against its trunk where silver meets gold,
maiden fair lays down her dark crown,
wreathed in fumellar and golden flowers,
as leaves of richest green slip from stems,
to lay about her a dark sleep blanket.

Upon a moonlit night,
‘neath winter’s deep blue chill,
a maiden fair slips into darkness calm.

~ Ruiniel

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When Autumn comes upon us, our thoughts often turn to the beautiful colours which annually decorate the trees all over Middle-Earth, but have you ever considered that when those same leaves fall off they could be used for something?

      
Leaves, especially dry ones, can be easily ground down, whether in a pestle and mortar or between your fingers, in order to be mixed with water so the virtues of the leaf can be given as medicine.

      
Fresher, more supple leaves are more suited to packaging for short distances of other leaves — a large dock leaf, coupled with a rush, can be used to hold and tie a bundle together for ease of carrying.

      
Now of course you will be asking yourself — what can a leaf do for me? The answer is fairly simple as shown below:

      
A Sleep-causing Draft
2 Dill Stems, loosely broken
3 Dried Willow leaves, each about 3/4" long, ground
Cup of water
Dribble of Honey to taste

1)Grind the willow leaves and stepe in the water (have this tepid, just warm on the back of the wrist) for about 4/5 minutes
2)Add the Dill and stir, leave for another 2/3 minutes
3)Strain and stir in the honey.
4)Administer at once, with half a cup, then if needed the remainder after 5 minutes.

~ Thom Greenleaf

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Puzzles and Games

Mystery Code

Elladan and Elrohir brought Galadriel news of the Council of Elrond, but for secrecy’s sake, decided it would be best to name relevent parties in code.

 F   L   A   D   N   A   G   G   I   B   C   T
 O   D   Y   N   S   A   M   W   I   S   E   R
 Z   W   N   O   R   U   A   S   M   L   G   U
 M   A   G   R   F   G   J   K   E   X   L   D
 A   R   A   L   B   R   B   G   R   N   O   L
 E   V   L   E   L   K   O   B   R   I   R   I
 E   E   D   H   N   L   R   D   Y   P   F   S
 R   S   O   O   A   K   O   P   O   P   I   I
 E   D   R   S   D   B   M   G   S   I   N   N
 S   I   S   A   W   I   I   D   I   P   D   G
 T   R   I   N   G   L   R   H   B   M   E   M
 O   B   M   I   R   B   E   L   E   C   L   T
 R   N   I   N   R   O   G   A   R   A   S   I   

Luckily, Galadriel has now jotted down the names. Can you see what she saw?

ELROND   GANDALF   FRODO   BILBO   GLORFINDEL   ERESTOR   GALDOR   
LEGOLAS   GLOIN   ARAGORN   BOROMIR   MERRY   PIPPIN   GIMLI   
ISILDUR   GOLLUM   ELVES   DWARVES   SAMWISE   SAURON   RING

~Silver Sprite & Tinw

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Riddles


My first is held by Galadriel, as well as the Ring,
My second enters the Old Forest, but avoids Wraiths,
My third lives with Bombadil and also with Gandalf,
My fourth is not found in the Shire, but always in Rivendell,
My fifth hides in Bag-end and also in Baggins,
My sixth supports Eowyn but not Frodo,
My seventh and eighth travel with Merry and Peregrin,
My last takes part in treachery, but never in forgiveness.

~Silver sprite

Mystery Code

A hooded and cloaked figure has left us with a mysterious message. Try, if you can, to discover its meaning.

W H A E T A G E H E C R A Y
I O R L H S S T E T A O R L
L U N O A L E O F H M M H A
T L T R T O C F I A E A O N
T E H E W N R T V T F F L D

~O Illuvatar

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Fellowship of Nine

Ranger of the west,
He will always be the best,
Soon to be named King,
And songs of him many will sing,
His thoughts they stay with her,
Will they meet again he cannot be sure,
Now standing before the gates of the foe,
He knows he must go no matter the woe,
The sword of the kings by his side,
The rules of men he will abide,
But the fate of the earth,
Depends on a small creature that once was filled with mirth,
To the mountain of doom he goes,
And around his neck he bears the biggest of all his foes,
He must fight for control,
For his friends, Middle-earth, and the world in whole.
No matter how heavy his burden may become,
His companion follows where he goes and doesn't think of number one,
Faithful and true he will always be,
No matter what he may hear or see,
Forevere a loyal friend,
No matter what way the road will bend,
And then there is the one,
We all think is blonde and dumb,
But truly he is courageous and without fear,
And for his friends he sheds many a tear,
Great with arrow and knife,
He will help you out in any strife,
And the companion of him is small but stout,
A great and loyal friend without doubt,
Fast and quick in battle,
And not easy to addle,
On him the rank of elf-friend was laid,
He kept all promises made,
And then there are the little ones who made friends with the ents,
With them to war they went,
Deafeating the wizard that betrayed the council of white,
Oh what a sight!
They met along the way,
The one they thought they had lost for all their days,
He told them all he had come back,
To help in the battles and finesh the task,
That had been laid upon his shoulders so wise,
Though by his stature and size,
You could never guess the strength he wields,
The one they lost before,
Never came back into the books of lore,
For he was of the mortal race,
And now he has found his place,
In the night sky among the stars,
No longer worrying of all the wars,
The arrow of the Uruk had been his bane,
And deep under water he was lain.

~ Tasarnandë

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Humor

(inspired by Edward Gorey’s Gashleycrumb Tinies)

Previous letters: A ~ B ~ C

~Tinw

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Dear Weny

Mae Govannen! Welcome to the third installment of “Dear Weny”! Can you believe it’s been three whole issues already? I sure can’t! It has been a real treat responding to all your burning questions. Well, except the one about horses (you know who you are and you’re a sick Elf!) Anyway, I am sure you are all chomping at the bit to hear some letters, so let’s get to it!

Dear Weny,

You’re soo intelligent and funny— I just love your article and I can’t wait every month to get my hands on it. I stake out the mailbox every month just to get your article. You rock!

        ~ Fan in Fangorn

Dear Fan,

It is so nice to find an individual with such good taste as yourself. I am sure you are admired and respected for your obvious intelligence throughout Fangorn. I am sending along an autographed picture of myself with best wishes.

        ~ Weny
(Ok, ok so it wasn’t a question, but who am I to let such brillance go unprinted.)

Dear Weny,

Which came first, the Chicken or the Egg?

        ~ Inquisitive in Isengard

Dear Inquisitive,

Ahh! such questions have plagued Elfkind for Eons, and on that subject I have to say just what my mother told me about Chickens and Eggs: “I don’t care what it looks like... just eat it! And if I hear another complaint, Missy, so help me you'll wish you weren't immortal.” I hope that clears things up.

        ~ Weny
I always enjoy answering those "Questions for the Ages". I really don’t see why they are so difficult. Oh Well! We have time for one more letter.

Dear Weny,

I invited some Hobbit friends of mine over for a visit, and now they are eating me out of house and home! How do I get rid of them without being rude?

        ~ Ravenous in Rohan

Dear Ravenous,

Here is what you do. When you are cooking next (Which if I know Hobbits you are cooking while your reading this) grab a big spoonful of pepper and put it into everything you cook. Hobbits are very sensitive to pepper, and once they get a taste of that they will sneeze all the way home. Next time make sure you visit THEIR place, so they won’t eat your food; hobbits are quite good cooks themselves. I recommend Saradoc’s Secret Stew. Tell him Weny sent you!

        ~ Weny

Well? we laughed, we cried (must be all that pepper) and helped solve some problems. I’ll see you next month for another installment of "Dear Weny"!

~Weny

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The Lay of Imladris

The continuing memoirs of Lord Slosh, formerly Lord Eyebrows.

Previous installments: Part the First. ~ Part the Second. ~ Part the Third
Part the Fourth ~ Part the Fifth ~ Part the Sixth ~ Part the Seventh

Part the Eighth

As Elle looked into her eyes
Within the blondness of her hair,
The trembling bubblegum of Bloom
She saw there mirrored shimmering.
Alkthoniel the elven-fair,
Drooling maiden elven-wise,
About them cast her British wit
And mace like orange glimmering.

~Arlo Cúthalion            

The Lay of Imladris

Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?

ELROND: Chickens from different lands, broilers of old, you have been summoned here to answer the threat of Mordor. Middle Earth stands upon the brink of a bar-be-que, none can escape it. You will fry or you will fall. We are all bound to this one fate, this one meal. Bring forth the wing Frodo.

EOMER: What business does a free-range, a rock Cornish, and a bantam have in the Riddermark? Cluck quickly.

ARAGORN: It is an army breaded for a single purpose, to destroy the world of vegetarians. They will be here by nightfall.

GIMLI: Certainty of death. Small chance of success. What are those chickens waiting for?

BILBO: I don’t know half those chickens as well as I should like, and I like less than half of them half as well as they deserve.

UGLUK: Looks like white meat’s back on the menu, boys.

PIPPIN: Because we need chickens of intelligence on this sort of... mission... quest... thing.

THEODEN: Forth, and fear no deep fat fryers! Arise. Arise, chickens of Théoden. Spears shall be salted, shields shall be fricasseed. A Shish Kabob day... a roast day... ere the sun rises.

LEGOLAS: The stars are souffléd. A pot is stirred in the East. A sleepless platter. The eye of the enemy is moving. Colonel Sanders is HERE.

SAM: Rosie Cotton basting. She had ribbons in her hair. If ever I were to have a chicken dinner with someone, it would have been her.

SARUMAN: Together, my Lord Sanders, we shall rule this Middle-earth. The old world will burn in the fires of ovens. Forests will season the secret recipe. New orders will be taken. We will drive the machine of fast food with the fork and the knife and the iron appetite of the orc.

FRODO: Come on Sam... Remember what Chicken Lilbo used to say: It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet... the sky is falling, the sky is falling!

TREEBEARD: You must understand young hatchling, it takes a long time to say anything in Old Eggish.

ARAGORN: My friends, you squawk for no one.

~Rohanna, formerly of Rohan
now living in the vacation capital of Middle-earth

Credits

  • Guilds and Organizations
    • Army Report: Mor Olnathron
    • Bards’ Guild: Annatariel
    • Writers’ Guild: Rilondë
    • Drill Team: Elron Quel Droma
    • Pelennor Pigskin: Weny
    • Racing Team: Lclaulau
  • RPGs and Special Events
    • Enedhoer Festival: Taramiluiel
    • úmarth Lothiel: Ancalima
    • Loremasters of Rivendell: Iruviel
    • Bangad Imladris: Taramiluiel
    • Towers of No Return: O Illuvatar
    • Writing Contest: Telepavariel
    • Lothrad: Tasarnandë
    • Race to Rohan: Hirilnaur
  • Feature Articles
    • Interview: Fëanor Elf
    • Newbie Perspective: Arseregwen
    • Council of Elrond: Emyla
    • Red Eye Review: Rohanna
    • Tidings of Our Age: Star Flower
  • Tidings From Abroad
    • Fangorn: Moneytree
    • Khazad-dûm: Mithriltears
    • Lothlórien: Firien Echui
    • Rohan: Eldrith
    • Minas Tirith: Melaiawen
    • Mordor: Eäranna
    • The Shire: Istya Alassea
    • The White Council: O Illuvatar
    • Valinor: Arlo
  • Songs and Stories
    • Star-filled Nights: Ailaya Nydrian
    • Oft Upon a Moonlit Night: Ruiniel
    • Song of Seasons: Ailaya Nydrian
    • Sonnet: Annatariel
    • The Mind: Laifana
    • Hobbits: Thaliawen
    • Fellowship of Nine: Tasarnandë
  • Crafts, Lore, and Language
    • Lore Quiz: Feanor Elf & Ibrantriel
    • Lore Matters: Elvenpath
    • Quenya Delights: Twin Demon
    • A Taste of Elvish: Taramiluiel
    • Herb Lore: Thom Greenleaf
  • Puzzle and Games
    • Word Search: Silver sprite and Tinw
    • Riddle: Silver sprite
      • answer: Goldberry
    • Cryptogram: O Illuvatar
      • Hint: read columns top to bottom
  • Humor
    • Khazad-dûm Tinies: Tinw
    • Dear Weny: Weny
    • Lay of Imladris: Arlo Cúthalion
    • Black (Rider) Humor: Rohanna
  • Artwork
    • Titles and background: Tinw
    • Celtic knotwork: Anawen
    • Ink sketches: Tinw
    • Kingdom stamps: Silarvalla

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  • Back Issues: MarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptember

  • Hennaid evyr ~ “Many thanks” to everyone for their wonderful contributions, and for countless hours of effort which make Rivendell and the plaza a wonderful place to be.
    • ~Tinw and Silmarwen, co-editors