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Old 05-20-2015, 11:21 AM   #1
piosenniel
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Shield Hard Winters Planning/Discussion Thread

** Please excuse this dusty old brain for not noticing the Downs had gasped to life once again....

Greetings, fellow players, here on the wide and rolling plains of Rohan!

This thread will be a place where we can discuss and plan the action and dialogue and what-not that is written on:

The Hard Winters RPG game thread -- happening circa Spring of 4th Age year 19, after a harsh winter.....

The new facilitators for this incarnation will be:

littlemanpoet, ably assisted by Nogrod

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NOTE:

All new gamers to the RPG (that is, those who don't already have established characters bios on the Scarburg Meadhall Discussion thread) must submit an Abbreviated Character Description form to this thread when they place their first post on the RPG thread.


Abbreviated Character Bio Form

NAME:

AGE/GENDER/RACE/WHERE FROM:

APPEARANCE (very brief physical description/or as detailed as the player wishes to be):

BITS OF CHARACTER/HISTORY YOU FEEL MIGHT BE HELPFUL IN DEFINING THE CHARACTER
(again, as brief or detailed as you wish):


--------------------

Go ahead and start discussing your RPG plans here.

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Old 05-20-2015, 07:06 PM   #2
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Players/Characters List (see below this part of the post for Thinlómien's list of characters according to profession/attachment)

("XX's" designating characters who won't be played from the Meadhall)

ArrySecg and Thystel - Fana's brothers/Granny Haesel's grandsons - WITHDRAWN FROM GAME

Envinyatar
Heafoc - WITHDRAWN FROM GAME

Firefoot
Scyld (aka Nydfara)
Léofric
Cerwyn
----------
Folwren -
Saeryn - Eodwine’s wife
Eoghan and Ruari - Saeryn and Eodwyne's twins
Thornden
Javan
----------
Galadriel55
Ledwyn(Her son, Theolain, died during the hard winter.)
Balan Bard
----------
Inziladun
Ladavan
----------
Legate of Amon Lanc
Hilderinc
Áforglaed
Stefnu
----------
littlemanpoet
Eodwine (First Eorl of the Meadhall)
Rowenna (Wenna)

Harreld Smith
Garreth Smith

XX Master Falco Boffin - has gone back to the Shire
XX Laerdil (Elf) - won't be around. He's probably over the sea by now.
----------
Mithalwen
Elfthain
----------
Nogrod
Cnebba - with Thinlómien
Stigend

XX Athanar – off on an away adventure with Durelin’s ‘Coenred (Coen)
----------
Snowdog
Halcwyn of Rohan
----------
Thinlómien
Wilheard Please note: Wulfric is DEAD
Modtryth
Cnebba - with Nogrod
Brith (short for Brithiel)

Fréa and Caranthir - 2 soldiers traveling with Brith
Fréa and Caranthir are NPCs -- freely to be used by any writer.

XX Wulfric – will not be played in this game
----------
Undómë
Fana - WITHDRAWN FROM GAME
Haesel - the old herbs-woman - WITHDRAWN FROM GAME
----------
NPC's

Athanar’s soldiers - BALDWIC SON OF BALDWIN; FEARGHALL; SCYRR (NOT Áforglaed, who is being played by Legate of Amon Lanc)
Osmund - soldier in Eodwine's household/mentione a few times in Scarburg Meadhall thread
Fréa and Caranthir - 2 soldiers traveling with Brith

____________________________________________


Link to Thinlómien's list of characters according to profession/attachment -- HERE

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Old 05-21-2015, 12:34 PM   #3
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Location/Description of Meadhall/MAPS - HERE

This includes (from the original Scarburg Meadhall Discussion Thread):

Scarburg Meadhall & surrounding area
Meadhall overview
General Middle-earth overview

--------------------

Useful Information about the Eorlingian/Rohirric culture

IN PROGRESS.....

From the original Scarburg Mead Hall Discussion thread: HERE
*[includes: Anglo-Saxon culture and horses; Rohirrim-Dunlending relations; On Bailiffs, Stewards, and Almbudsmen; Medieval boy/girl stuff (“rolling in the hay”); Eorling Mead Hall & Surrounds Plan; and also includes links to -
Lords and Vassals
Oven Building
Wattle & Daub Construction
Saxon Buildings
Anglo-Saxon Occupations
Dance!
Regia Anglorum (Anglo-Saxon & Viking Britain resources)
Ravensgard (Anglo-Saxon culture)
About the Rohirric language (from the Ardalambion site)]

Links to Rohan wiki-world: HERE and HERE

--------------------

Other links which might be of some use:

"An Appreciation of Weather in the Lord of the Rings" - HERE

From the PBS NewsHour - Science section:
"Climate models turn the weather in Tolkien's Hobbit into science" - HERE


The Encyclopedia of Arda - Old and Rare Words Used in Tolkien's Works - HERE

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Old 05-21-2015, 01:25 PM   #4
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Reminders for the So Far Unnamed RPG in play:
  • Please remove your signature from EVERY post to the RPG thread

  • No SAVES on the RPG thread.

  • Don't use smileys in your RPG posts or icons - e.g., etc.

  • Don't use the 'Reason for Editing' function on your RPG posts. If it's critical that other players know that you've changed something, then put a post on the Discussion Thread about your edit.

  • No OOC (out of character comments) on the RPG thread - use the Discussion Thread.

  • Swearing, sexual conduct, or obscenity of any kind are absolutely prohibited. There are no exceptions.

    Quote:
    . . . I always ask myself if any of these words or euphemisms for cursing would be found in Tolkien's works. So I always say no to cursing and to any 'pseudo-cursing'. They need to keep it clean. -- per The Barrow-Wight

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Old 05-29-2015, 06:32 PM   #5
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NAME: Cerwyn

AGE/GENDER/RACE/WHERE FROM: 18 year old female, from the West Emnet. (As of spring F.A. 20)

APPEARANCE (very brief physical description/or as detailed as the player wishes to be): Blonde hair, green eyes, moderate height. Girl-next-door-type pretty.

BITS OF CHARACTER/HISTORY YOU FEEL MIGHT BE HELPFUL IN DEFINING THE CHARACTER
(again, as brief or detailed as you wish): Leof's sister. She was only seven when her mother died and had to take on many household tasks at an extremely young age. She has been dutiful and responsible, keeping her head low so as to keep her alcoholic father's attention away from her as much as possible, though she is by nature neither shy nor quiet. After Leof left, her father grew steadily more controlling and, correspondingly, feelings of resentment and rebelliousness have slowly been growing in her - a desire to be free of the life she has grown up with. She is afraid of being married off to a suitor of her father's choice.

-----------------------------------
LINKED ~*~ Pio

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Old 05-31-2015, 01:43 PM   #6
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Abbreviated Character Bio Form

NAME:Elfthain

AGE/GENDER/RACE/WHERE FROM: 17 years old, Rohirrim male from Upbourn in Harrowdale

APPEARANCE (very brief physical description/or as detailed as the player wishes to be):
Just under sixfoot and not quite full grown but much closer to reaching his full height than full strength. Still rather gawky, not quite beardless. Dark gold hair worn short in an attempt to defeat its curls, blue eyes.

The horse he has ridden to Scarburg, Safran is a 15hh mare bright bay, quarter cob,with a large white star and one white sock (near hind leg).

BITS OF CHARACTER/HISTORY YOU FEEL MIGHT BE HELPFUL IN DEFINING THE CHARACTER
(again, as brief or detailed as you wish):
Only surviving child of Elfride (Darker Days) and Theodmund who died when he was seven while serving in the guard of Eomer in one of the post-War of the Ring expeditions to the South. His younger sister Matilda took ill and died aged five. In a much larger extended family, his closest relation is his uncle Elwin who is an ambitious and successful career soldier, married to a Gondorian lady who was in the retinue of Queen Lothiriel. Currently part of the garrison of Edoras.

A somewhat reluctant warrior in training, Elfthain will inherit his father's estate at Upbourn when he is of age but in the meantime his mother is a supremely competent regent.

Elfthain spent about a year in Gondor when he was ten as a page to his Uncle who was on secondment there so he is well off, well connected and has a wider experience of the world than most yet he is diffident and rather embarrassed by his privilege and wishes above all to be accepted on his own merits.

Has far more skill with horses than weapons and regards his military training in peacetime as little more than marking time until he can take up the reins at the farm. Basically good hearted but liable to thoughtlessness he often finds negotiating the debatable land between childhood and adulthood a struggle and feels his father's absence more keenly than ever.

Abbreviated Character Bio Form

NAME:Elwin

AGE/GENDER/RACE/WHERE FROM: 39 years old, Rohirrim male currently living at Edoras.

APPEARANCE (very brief physical description/or as detailed as the player wishes to be):
About 6"3 and strongly built. Strong but handsome features. Has the same dark gold hair and grey eyes as his sister but otherwise no great resemblance between them - he looks like his father while his sister favours their mother.

BITS OF CHARACTER/HISTORY YOU FEEL MIGHT BE HELPFUL IN DEFINING THE CHARACTER Son of Eldred and Elflád. His father was a good soldier but a cold husband and father. His mother died when he was eight by which time he had already started his military career as a page. He has become a successful soldier and a significant figure at court helped by having a Gondorian wife, Gilwen. He has also spent time in Gondor. Unlike his father who was killed during the War of the Ring he is a devoted father to his large brood which currently numbers six (four girls and two boys) and uncle to Elfthain. Good natured and loyal, but has confidence bordering of arrogance and is ambitious and astute.


NAME: Elfride

AGE: Not quite 35
RACE: Rohirrim

GENDER: female

APPEARANCE: Tall (about 5"8)grey eyes, golden blonde hair prematurely showing a few threads of silver. Currently thin but not naturally or normally so but the result of the deprivation of the winter

PERSONALITY/STRENGTHS/WEAKNESSES: Elfride's naturally merry heart has been subdued by the losses she has suffered. She manages her farm and house, can handle a sword competently and a horse extremely well and as well as the usual skills appropriate to a woman of her kind (of a well established and prosperous though not noble family) she has a particular knowledge of herb lore. To those ignorant of her story her restraint and reserve can be seen as coldness. Inside she struggles with her instinct to overprotect her surviving child.

HISTORY:

Elfride is the daughter, sister and niece of career soldiers. Her mother died when she was four and her brother already being a page and her father having little interest in girl children, she was raised by her mother's brother and his wife mostly at Edoras. Aged seventeen, she married, Theodmund, a friend and fellow officer of her brother, who took her to live on his family's farm at Upbourn which he had become heir to after his elder brother was killed in the War of the Ring.
There she bore a son, Elfthain, and a daughter Matilda. Elfride's relationship with her mother in law had a difficult start but they overcame this and Theomund's mother passed on her knowledge of healing and midwifery.
Ten years ago, Theodmund was killed on an expedition in the Southlands. Her daughter and mother in law were killed by the strange fever that had afflicted the village two years later, which was beyond her skill to heal.
She spent some time in Gondor when Elfthain was there as Elwin's page but has otherwise lived quietly on her estate and has resisted or repelled all suggestions or offers of remarriage.
--------------------

LINKED ~*~ Pio
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Old 06-02-2015, 08:22 PM   #7
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Tolkien Halcwyn of Rohan

Name: Halcwyn
Age: 30 (in 4th Age 20)
Gender: Female
Race: Mixed Rohirrim/Dunedain
Appearance: Somewhat tall and lithe with long sandy blond hair and grey eyes.
History: Born in Eriador, she first came to Rohan as a child when her mother returned to her family home near the foothills of the White Mountains by the Anborn River in Westmarch. This was where her grandparents raised horses and tended crops When they both became ill, her mother and father inherited the land, but her father being Dunedain, was not much for settling down in Rohan. So her mother tended to the place and the herd as best she could. In the year before the war, her mother passed away in her sleep, so Halcwyn and her brother inherited the land. But her brother's heart was in the north, so gave his share to his sister, making Halcwyn sole owner. Halcwyn lived there tending to the herds and fearing troubles from Dunland when the war started.

---------------------------------------


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Old 06-05-2015, 08:02 PM   #8
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Nogrod's post from the Meadhall Discussion thread (#3986)

--- A spelled-out timeline of the jump from the Scarburg Meadhall storyline ---

Jumping to the present Mead Hall from late year 15 to spring 19... (only four years!!!) So this is my first version of it - and I will send it to lmp to especially add things from the POV of the Mead Hall itself and to correct / change any bad ideas I have not thought through - and to make it a more consistent narrative.

But now is the time to say your word for what happens. These could be the general outlines, but what say you?


~*~

Year 16 of the Fourth Age saw the finishing of the Mead Hall. Not all wounds were healed inside the Mead Hall but with Saeryn giving birth to twins even those discrepancies seemed to be set aside by most people for the time being. It did help the two lords seemed to get along well enough and seemed content with a kind of sharing of responsibilities. Lord Eodwine still being convalescent and a father of the newborn it was just natural lord Athanar took care of most of the things at the Mead Hall – but it seemed he was actually hearing lord Eodwine with his decisions. And that helped many original Mead Hall residents to trust him a bit more.

The summer then was far busier anyone could have expected. With king Elessar’s trip to lake Evendim all the areas under the rule of the king received a host of visitors taking their trips to areas they had never ventured as they were deemed safer with the king himself showing it was safe to take the road. The Scarburgians were even forced to build a two-storey shed for visitors who were happy with a more modest accomodation.

The local lords saw this as an opportunity to thrive and lost their interest in the Mead Hall – and the people of the Mead Hall just had no time to worry about the local lords in turn.


As the spring of year 17 of the Fourth Age came on it carried with it troublesome news. There were increasing number of reports of raids by Easterling tribesmen and groups of orcs from Wold, East Emnet and North Marches.

King Eomer wasted no time but called for a partial muster of northern and north-eastern Rohan to face the challenge. As the most senior commander of the region lord Athanar was called to lead the party of the rohirrim from Mid-Emnet – and was summoned to take most of his men with some of lord Eodwine’s soldiers as well. His sons Wulfric and Wilheard were mustered too alongside most of the local lords and their sons.

Lord Eodwine had not fully recovered but was forced to take the full responsinbility of the Mead Hall once again – with only a handful of active-duty soldiers left to defend the Mead Hall.

[A group of scattered easterlings flee away from the battle in East Emnet and will cause trouble at the Mead Hall which the deplenished Mead Hall wins?]

The riders of Riddermark did drive the scattered enemies away from the eastern parts of Rohan but before they could return more serious news were brought to Edoras. King Elessar had come back from the north and was building an army to ride north-east, to Rhûn, to fight the source of the raiders that festered the eastern borderlands of Gondor as well – and of which the raiders to northern Rohan were only a small part.

Lord Athanar and his troops were mustered with the larger call to arms and they rode beside king Eomer to the east led by the high king Elessar himself and his Gondorian army late in year 17.


In year 18 of the Fourth Age the spring came late and the northern parts of Rohan missed their first sowing. Most of the men were waging a war in the east under the banners of king Elessar of Gondor. It was a time of troubles as it was clear there wouldn’t be as much harvest this year. Many thought these were ill omens indeed.

The rohirrim came back from the war in the east in early autumn. It was a reason for some optimism and there were celebrations in the Scarburg Mead Hall as well with so many returning from the campaign – and tears wept for those who didn’t. Lord Athanar’s older son Wulfric had fallen on the last battle of the campaign. [we could add here a name or two from some soldiers we have already named from both Eodwine’s or Athanar’s men]

Lord Athanar had been rewarded by king Eomer for his bravery and leadership in the war in the East with an eorlship nearer his native lands in Edoras – and a lot more prestigious post as well. Thus king Eomer also nicely resolved the problem of the unhappy double leadership in Scarburg seeing that lord Eodwine was good enough to claim back his seat as the eorl of the Scarburg Mead Hall.

But the worst was to come. The men came back just in time to help with the second harvest and everything looked a bit better, but just after two days of harvesting the winter came. And it was just October.

With the temperatures falling well below zero for several consecutive days it was clear the rest of the harvest was not going to be resurrected. Lord Athanar decided that his people would be too many mouths to feed while not able to produce enough in return by hunting or other means, and took a large party with him back to Edoras and to his seat of eorlship, promising he would ask for king Eomer for any supplies the kingdom could send them. He left a few soldiers behind to help lord Eodwine though as the number of active duty soldiers of the Mead Hall had become thin indeed.

But then came the snow. Had lord Athanar just barely gotten away the snow filled the fields, then the forests, then the roads. The Scarburg Mead Hall was surrounded by snow – heaping over two meters where the wind stacked it outside the perimeters of the buildings of the Hall. The Mead Hall was completely isolated from the world – it was even isolated from the nearest local lords and their dwellings.

By time the snowbanks hardened and made it very hard to dig through them – but new snowstorms also kept the surface of the snow treachery so that it wasn’t every day people of Scarburg could walk on top of it either. They manged to establish a narrow path to where they had chopped wood for the buildings but there was not that much wood left.


In year 19 of the Fourth Age the winter took even firmer grip of the Mead Hall.

In February they burnt the wood of the sheds they had built just two years ago just to keep warm. They send a few soldiers to find help during sunny cold days of low temperatures in March when the snow drifts now almost three meters high around them carried a walking man – but none of them returned.

In late March the death-toll started rising when the weakness and cold did their job and exhausted those weak enough. In April they were eating bark of the trees boiled in snow by burning the logs from the upper stories of the guest wing.

In May the spring finally came. The snow melted fast with the temperatures rising above 20 C.

Five days after the sudden warming of the weather the people of the Mead Hall heard a remarkable sound from far away: something very noisy was coming through the snow.

The carts filled with food were spotted first by the kids who ran back to the hall screaming in joy. They were saved!

Leading the convoy was lord Athanar’s son Wilheard.

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Old 06-05-2015, 10:32 PM   #9
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Firefoot's post from the Meadhall Discussion thread (#3994)

Just to be clear - we're now starting in F.A. 19? So more of a 4 year jump?

I think I'm the last person on the thread who will argue with that ( ) but want to make sure we're all on the same page.

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Old 06-05-2015, 10:32 PM   #10
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Nogrod's post from the Meadhall Discussion thread (#3995)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefoot View Post
Just to be clear - we're now starting in F.A. 19? So more of a 4 year jump?
It looks like that.

It was easier to make the general storyline so that it went over four years rather than five (one reason being that we were already in late autumn year 15 where we left the game so there was not much of that to play anyway for year 15).

So it should be something like May F.A. 19 as we start - and the snow is just receding (well melting away) so much that it is possible for a caravan of aid to come through.

So there would still be considerable amount of snow everywhere (except perhaps the inner yard of the Mead Hall and maybe a path or two to some nearby locations like where people would have tried to gather wood etc. that would have been kept quite clean of snow) but it would be melting quickly...

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Old 06-05-2015, 10:33 PM   #11
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Firefoot's post from the Meadhall Discussion thread (#3996)

Are we starting on the day the caravan gets there?

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Old 06-05-2015, 10:33 PM   #12
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Nogrod's post from the Meadhall Discussion thread (#3997)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefoot View Post
Are we starting on the day the caravan gets there?
It could be a nice spot to start. At least quite a dramatic way of doing it?

What do you others think?

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Old 06-05-2015, 10:33 PM   #13
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Firefoot's post from the Meadhall Discussion thread (#3998)

That is fine with me - like you said, a nice dramatic start. I will probably put off introducing Leof's sister until a bit later though (I've already written their reunion and I think it would fit better maybe a month or so later?).

One thing I just want to question... it seems a little unlikely to me that Scarburg would get hit so hard by the winter, but the surrounding areas had enough surplus from their harvests that they're able to send aid... Scarburg is only about 50 mi from Edoras, which isn't far when it comes to weather systems. This seems a bit isolated.

Also, doing some research on previous harsh winters, the Long Winter in Rohan lasted November-March with Rohan under snow for five months - the winter described in Nogrod's post sounds like snow cover for seven (October-May), so we're talking about by far the worst winter in Rohan's history.

I don't want to criticize the work you've done, Nogrod, since I really appreciate it, but I just wanted to put in perspective how bad of a winter we're talking about (maybe snow cover from November to March as in the Long Winter just doesn't seem like a very harsh winter to a Finn, lol - actually, it doesn't seem that absurd to me, either...).

An interesting point that seems relevant whatever way we go though, also about the Long Winter: "The melted snow caused great floods with the Entwash becoming a vast fen." Seeing as Scarburg is quite near the Entwash...

(Source.)

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Old 06-05-2015, 10:35 PM   #14
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Firefoot's post from the Meadhall Discussion thread (#3999)

Also been doing some research on hay, and looks like it's a crop that gets harvested two or three times a year, so the horses should be okay, anyway.

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Old 06-06-2015, 05:14 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefoot View Post
Also, doing some research on previous harsh winters, the Long Winter in Rohan lasted November-March with Rohan under snow for five months - the winter described in Nogrod's post sounds like snow cover for seven (October-May), so we're talking about by far the worst winter in Rohan's history.

I don't want to criticize the work you've done, Nogrod, since I really appreciate it, but I just wanted to put in perspective how bad of a winter we're talking about (maybe snow cover from November to March as in the Long Winter just doesn't seem like a very harsh winter to a Finn, lol - actually, it doesn't seem that absurd to me, either...).
I was about to point that out, too. I think it's just Finnish thinking In normal countries (well, okay, in countries in latitude and climate similar to Rohan, anyway), winter would last December to February, and snow starts to appear/melts away in average sometime in December/March (say mid-March, meaning those tiny patches on the ground here and there). It can appear for a day in November or March, but any other month there is something weird. And again, in the age of peasants tilling their not-very-extensively-farmed fields with whatever they can, even a hail just before harvest can cause serious problem, and even a few weeks difference in the snow's coming can be disasterous. A month should do it. Also, since I am talking about it, temperatures below 0°C are also sufficient (for the benefit of Finns who might start suggesting -20 is too warm. Between 0°C to -10°C is totally enough! It's just needed that the snow doesn't melt!).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefoot
An interesting point that seems relevant whatever way we go though, also about the Long Winter: "The melted snow caused great floods with the Entwash becoming a vast fen." Seeing as Scarburg is quite near the Entwash...
Something to look forward to in a couple of weeks of our RPG, then
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Old 06-06-2015, 04:40 PM   #16
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Also, since I am talking about it, temperatures below 0°C are also sufficient (for the benefit of Finns who might start suggesting -20 is too warm. Between 0°C to -10°C is totally enough! It's just needed that the snow doesn't melt!).
It just has to be enough to be colder than usual - anyone wants to take an estimate? But if it's only like -10C, I doubt there would be serious amputation-meriting frostbite cases. Mild ones are possible, and cases of being cold all the time (and therefore all the consequences of that, including a low immune response ) would be very common due to lack of appropriate clothing (shapka-ushankas weren't yet invented, I presume ). But perhaps there was a period of extreme cold that only lasted less than a week, not the whole winter. So if anyone is still considering frostbite, this is a possible explanation. If we're going to go for it, I might have Ledwyn blacken a minor body part to make her further unstable.
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Old 06-06-2015, 04:45 PM   #17
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It just has to be enough to be colder than usual - anyone wants to take an estimate? But if it's only like -10C, I doubt there would be serious amputation-meriting frostbite cases. Mild ones are possible, and cases of being cold all the time (and therefore all the consequences of that, including a low immune response ) would be very common due to lack of appropriate clothing (shapka-ushankas weren't yet invented, I presume ). But perhaps there was a period of extreme cold that only lasted less than a week, not the whole winter. So if anyone is still considering frostbite, this is a possible explanation. If we're going to go for it, I might have Ledwyn blacken a minor body part to make her further unstable.
Totally not a problem, I am sure. I was talking about temperatures during the day, temperatures during the night could drop much further. Also, it is totally okay if you have a single night, or even day, when the temperatures are really low (even if it's been -8°C the whole winter, one day you can have suddenly a 20-degrees drop just because the weather is messy), you go out to the forest without proper clothing, or a badger steals your gloves, then you return late and get lost, come home late at night, and whoops, and you have a good start for having some body part amputated eventually
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Old 06-06-2015, 05:06 PM   #18
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Totally not a problem, I am sure. I was talking about temperatures during the day, temperatures during the night could drop much further. Also, it is totally okay if you have a single night, or even day, when the temperatures are really low (even if it's been -8°C the whole winter, one day you can have suddenly a 20-degrees drop just because the weather is messy), you go out to the forest without proper clothing, or a badger steals your gloves, then you return late and get lost, come home late at night, and whoops, and you have a good start for having some body part amputated eventually
I can think of at least 3 Jack London stories dedicated to precisely that. Except his freezing stories often involve falling/stepping into a hidden creek that does not freeze even in the coldest temperatures, which isn't likely in the SMH whereabouts.

Also, forgot to mention - the fifth year that appears to be missing is the pretty uneventful year at the very start when the building of the Hall is finished. So if we want to stick to the 5 year jump timeline, it could be tacked on briefly. If not, I'll edit my Ledwyn post to reflect that, since I believe it mentions that year.
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Old 06-06-2015, 05:16 PM   #19
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I think someone said Rohan was sort of similar to France, so here are the temperature profiles of a Lyon and Dijon (I literally know nothing about Europe but they look pretty inland and close-ish to mountains to seems comparable to Rohan geographically):

Lyon

Dijon

So actually, I think the temperature profile proposed by Nogrod isn't too bad, maybe just gets a little too cold too fast and lingers a bit too long. But in the middle of winter, I would definitely say -20 C as a low isn't unreasonable.

Two winters ago, Chicago had one of the worst winters in its recorded weather history, where we alternated weeks basically where it would be about 25 F/-4 C and snow heavily, then drop to a high of about 5 F/ -15 C. The alternating dumping snow and bitter cold temperatures was brutal (and this is a city used to having snow on the ground all the time from late Dec - mid March). Geographically, we're not similar to Rohan, but we're pretty similar to France in latitude.

Also, it doesn't necessarily have to be that cold for frostbite to occur - you just have to be exposed for longer if it's less cold. (I had one patient who just liked walking barefoot in the snow... guess what, he lost one of his feet. )

(Aren't you guys proud of me? I even converted temperature scales for you )
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Old 06-06-2015, 05:35 PM   #20
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I can think of at least 3 Jack London stories dedicated to precisely that. Except his freezing stories often involve falling/stepping into a hidden creek that does not freeze even in the coldest temperatures, which isn't likely in the SMH whereabouts.
I was just thinking the same

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I think someone said Rohan was sort of similar to France, so here are the temperature profiles of a Lyon and Dijon (I literally know nothing about Europe but they look pretty inland and close-ish to mountains to seems comparable to Rohan geographically):

Lyon

Dijon

So actually, I think the temperature profile proposed by Nogrod isn't too bad, maybe just gets a little too cold too fast and lingers a bit too long. But in the middle of winter, I would definitely say -20 C as a low isn't unreasonable.

Two winters ago, Chicago had one of the worst winters in its recorded weather history, where we alternated weeks basically where it would be about 25 F/-4 C and snow heavily, then drop to a high of about 5 F/ -15 C. The alternating dumping snow and bitter cold temperatures was brutal (and this is a city used to having snow on the ground all the time from late Dec - mid March). Geographically, we're not similar to Rohan, but we're pretty similar to France in latitude.

Also, it doesn't necessarily have to be that cold for frostbite to occur - you just have to be exposed for longer if it's less cold. (I had one patient who just liked walking barefoot in the snow... guess what, he lost one of his feet.)

(Aren't you guys proud of me? I even converted temperature scales for you )
We definitely are And yes, I was also thinking more or less some places in France are reasonable: exactly, the proximity to mountains, also to the sea (at least relatively, Rohan is a bit more inland in general, but then again France is big enough to account for the inland climate). Also comparing to other similar places that's what I would expect to have similar climate, more or less.
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Old 06-06-2015, 07:48 PM   #21
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And a country not geared up for regular substantial snows will be hit worse than people having the same weather in a place used to it. I spent my year abroad for my degree in St Etienne in the Massif Central of France. It was allegedly the first place to get snow in the winter and was certainly very cold between Christmas and Easter - I can't remember snow at Christmas and I think I would have done since a White Christmas is something I have always hoped to experience but just doesn't usually fit with UK weather... even when we had a very bad winter a few years ago it didn't quite happen.. However there was a lot of snow 3 months later in March when my family came to visit though not everywhere.. the town in its valley was clear and Lyon was quite hot the day we went there, as was Le Puy where it was actually very warm - I was never so fit before or since and had turned into a "Mountain goat" and remember basking in the sun waiting for my father and sister to complete the climb up to the chapel.. but the day we went higher up into the national park there was a lot of deep snow.. so much so that we turned back.

Anyway do the old hands have any preference for Elfthain being new or a Scarburg "intern" of a few years standing? I may have to alter his age but he may be just 17 istead of nearly 18 I will have to check his birthday with his mum
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Old 06-06-2015, 09:48 PM   #22
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And again, in the age of peasants tilling their not-very-extensively-farmed fields with whatever they can, even a hail just before harvest can cause serious problem, and even a few weeks difference in the snow's coming can be disasterous. A month should do it.
I like the idea of a hail storm a lot - make it more realistic that the food shortage be more localized to the Scarburg area.
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Old 06-07-2015, 05:27 AM   #23
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Middle Earth weather vocabulary

On the RPG thread itself, we'll need to describe weather conditions without the benefit of all the modern amenities we're so used to, such as temperature, fronts, patterns, and all that. We may want to consider developing a vocabulary we can use, or have our copies of LotR and The Hobbit ready to hand so we can see what Tolkien did.

One tool will be to describe the weather from the perspective of your character: how does it feel? What is seen? Heard? tasted? smelled?
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Old 06-07-2015, 05:36 AM   #24
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Good point LMP. I knew I was in a previously unexperienced level of cold when my hair froze on the short walk between swimming pool and hall of residence in St Et. And one year when I was very young at home the sea started to freeze.
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Old 06-07-2015, 09:21 AM   #25
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When I was little(er), I tried to estimate if the temperature is below -20C (around -4F I believe) by the way my eyelashes froze together for a bit every time I blinked. I eventually abandoned the task because of inconsistent results (wind chill, most likely).

Also, the winter before last I had to walk around a lot when it was -20 and windy, so I made use of hood and scarves to the point where I joked that I looked like a polar talibani - you could barely see any of my face except for my eyes.

But lets also imagine that our characters don't have modern jackets and snowpants. Would they have fur coats? I don't think so. I can't see Rohirrim wearing them. (Also, wasn't it the end of winter when Aragorn&co came there in TTT? They didn't appear too cold without coats, and no snow). So without proper clothing and some wind, milder temperatures would be just as fearsome. Perhaps no freezing eyelashes, but freezing bodies for sure.
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Old 06-07-2015, 09:28 AM   #26
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Here's an interesting read from an online science-oriented compendium:

"An Appreciation of Weather in the Lord of the Rings" - HERE
-----
From the PBS NewsHour - Science section:

"Climate models turn the weather in Tolkien's Hobbit into science" - HERE
-----
And just for the fun of using such words:

The Encyclopedia of Arda - Old and Rare Words Used in Tolkien's Works - HERE

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Old 06-07-2015, 12:02 PM   #27
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On the RPG thread itself, we'll need to describe weather conditions without the benefit of all the modern amenities we're so used to, such as temperature, fronts, patterns, and all that. We may want to consider developing a vocabulary we can use, or have our copies of LotR and The Hobbit ready to hand so we can see what Tolkien did.

One tool will be to describe the weather from the perspective of your character: how does it feel? What is seen? Heard? tasted? smelled?
Certainly. Well, let's simply have The Ring Goes South open at hand, and maybe a few chapters about Túrin and co., I think (at Faelivrin and whatnot).

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But lets also imagine that our characters don't have modern jackets and snowpants. Would they have fur coats? I don't think so. I can't see Rohirrim wearing them. (Also, wasn't it the end of winter when Aragorn&co came there in TTT? They didn't appear too cold without coats, and no snow). So without proper clothing and some wind, milder temperatures would be just as fearsome. Perhaps no freezing eyelashes, but freezing bodies for sure.
That's exactly it. Imagine, Rohan is really quite mild. There was no snow left at the end of February, and I have no reason to assume the year of the War of the Ring was in some way dramatically warmer than otherwise. So, imagine the shock when there actually is snow on top of it being normally cold like usually in winter, or maybe even a bit colder.

The whole difference of our Hard Winter and the normal conditions in Rohan can really be in the fact that there is the snow, which people may not be used to that much, or may not be used to it lasting. Certainly not used to any huge snowdrifts or snowstorms which take a couple of days. That's a weather phenomenon which can simply randomly happen one year, a set of really bad circumstances.

I imagine normal Rohan to be windy, it being such an open space, and the wind in winter would be cold, but usually - given that Rohan is protected by the mountains from the west and south - usually the wind would come from the east and it would be dry (because it is coming from the mainland), so there wouldn't be that much precipitation to cause large amounts of snow falling when the temperatures are below zero. But if, in our case, there simply came unusually more clouds from the west - from the sea, heavy with water - which obviously happens from time to time, but in our case it just maybe happened on a bit larger scale - you can get a large amount of precipitation; snowfall for days. And then, instead of leaving, some of the clouds can be stopped by the mountains and sort of keep rotating in place and hitting especially the valleys below - which could kinda be also the case of Midemnet - with more snow until basically everything falls down. And then, after the sky has cleared, you can have these very bright, but therefore also very cold days with cold wind from the East, when the temperatures are so low and people are just shivering and rattling their teeth and crust forms on top of the snow and it never melts.
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Old 06-07-2015, 02:14 PM   #28
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I like pio's weather article so well that I will even forgive the author for mistaking Asfaloth for Shadowfax.
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Old 06-07-2015, 02:36 PM   #29
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Introductory Post

Much thanks to Nogrod for stringing together a lot of great ideas. All I added was Rowenna's banditry and a new character, Jian. I think he'll be an npc, and who knows how long he'll stay?

I also tried to do as much as I could by way of using terminology that fits our milieu.

Just a quick note: it has been mutually decided that Athanar becomes a chieftain on the frontier of the Rhun, guarding the Lands of the West from further attacks.

Short general introduction to the Scarburg Mead Hall

Scarburg Mead Hall had had a stormy beginning. By king Eomer’s word, Eodwine was made Eorl of Middle Emnet to bring it under king’s peace. This was done because it was known in Edoras that some of the stronger and wealthier local landholders in Middle Emnet sought more to add to their own wealth than to rule well, show loyalty to the king, or work for the common good.

Finding only smoking ruins at Scarburg Hall, the folk who joined Eodwine began the hard task of rebuilding the old Hall and establishing the new Eorldom. Sadly, Eorl Eodwine took ill before he had time to see either task finished, and was deemed beyond healing.

Believing his loyal servant to be dying, king Eomer chose as new eorl for Scarburg, Athanar, a renowned hero of the War, battle tested chieftain, a man strong enough of fiber to make firm the King's rule. Although given to quick wrath, he was reliable, trustworthy, stern, and strong.

Eorl Athanar’s efforts at bringing the Mead Hall under his rule were doomed to failure from the very beginning, for the folk of Scarburg were loyal to Eodwine's memory and light-handed rule, and chafed under the more stern authority of Athanar. They had no wish to be ruled by the new eorl. Amid much mayhem, with great resolve Eorl Athanar did finish the mead hall, and by a set of bold moves brought the local landholders under the king’s rule – at least for the time being.

Then, unforeseen by all, like one risen from the dead, Eodwine came back.


Jumping to the present Mead Hall

Year 16 of the Fourth Age saw the finishing of the Mead Hall. Not all wounds were healed inside the Mead Hall but with Saeryn giving birth to twins even those ills seemed to be set aside by most people for the time being. The two eorls seemed to get along well enough and seemed content with a sharing of responsibilities. Eodwine still healing, and a father of the newborns, Athanar oversaw the daily life of the Mead Hall – but was hearing the counsel of Eodwine. Thus, most of those loyal to Eodwine came to trust Athanar a little more.

The summer was far busier than anyone could have expected. With king Elessar’s trip to lake Evendim, all the lands under his rule received many visitors journeying where they had never dared to go before. The Scarburgers built a two-story shed for visitors who were happy with a more modest bedding.

The local landholders, eager to line their pockets, set aside their dislike of the new masters in Scarburg.

As the spring of year 17 of the Fourth Age carried with it troublesome news. There were more raids of Easterling tribesmen and groups of orcs from Wold, East Emnet and North Marches.

King Eomer called a muster of eorlingas from the northern and north-eastern parts of the Mark. He called upon Athanar to be chieftains over all of the eorlingas from the Middle Emnet. He took with him most of his men and some of eorl Eodwine’s as well. Athanar's sons, Wulfric and Wilheard, were mustered alongside most of the local landholders and their sons.

Having not fully recovered from his illness, Eorl Eodwine was charged with sole rule of the Mead Hall once again – with only a handful of eorlings left to defend it.

A not so small group of easterling fugitives from the wars in the east, stumbled upon the Mead Hall. By lucky chance, Cnebba and his friends were puttering about amid the outskirts of the Scar, and spied the undisciplined rabble before they knew they had been seen, and well before the easterlings realized what kind of easy booty lay before them.

Cnebba brought the news to the Eorl, who mustered the few eorlings in his charge. They took their places in defense, and by means of a sudden rain of arrows upon the enemy, made it seem as if there were more of them than there were.

However, the easterlings' sudden losses did not lessen their desperate greed to take this prize and what loot it might have to offer. They laid siege. A sense of dread set in among the folk of Scarburg, for they were badly outnumbered.

Rowenna came to Eodwine and asked leave to gather any boys, girls, and women who were willing to be given quick and basic training in banditry, and do what damage they could. Eodwine thought the request odd, but given their dire straits, saw no reason to say her nay.

Between night raids, baiting, and other means, Rowenna and her makeshift gang of bandits picked off one, two, or three easterlings at a time. It was a mere few days before the easterlings were demoralized, according to the reports from Rowenna's well placed spies, and in the face of an eorling sally at dawn, the easterlings broke camp and fled, or sued for mercy.

Knowing that the Mead Hall could not feed and house so many captives, Eodwine charged them to leave the Middle Emnet, going he cared not where, and that any found within a day's walk on the morrow, would be killed on the spot. Whether Eodwine meant his threat or not, became a matter of debate among the folk of the Mead Hall, for he would not say.

The following day, search parties were sent out, and only one easterling was found within a day's march; this one was found sitting cross-legged, not two stone's throws from the Mead Hall beyond the Scar. His weapons were laid down and he rose, his hands held above his head. In broken Westernesse he said that the unmercy of the mead hall, whether death or imprisonment, was better than any other fate that awaited him elsewhere. Eodwine took pity on him against the heated objections of Rowenna. This one proved his worth over the following months and years. His name was Jian.

The riders of the Riddermark drove the scattered enemies away from the eastern parts of the Mark, but before they could return more serious news was brought to Edoras. King Elessar had come back from the north and was mustering an army to ride north-east, to Rhûn, to defeat the source of the raiders that festered the eastern borderlands of Gondor, of which the raiders to the Mark were only a small part.

Lord Athanar and his eorlings were mustered with the larger call to arms and rode beside king Eomer to the east led by the high king Elessar his Gondorian army late in year 17.

In year 18 of the Fourth Age the spring came late and the northern parts of the Mark missed the first sowing. Most of the men were waging a war in the east under the banners of king Elessar of Gondor. It was clear there wouldn’t be a good harvest this year. Many thought these were ill omens.

The eorlingas came back from the war in the east in early autumn. Their return brought hope, and there was a night of singing and dancing to celebrate the victory. The dead, including Athanar's oldest son, Wulfric, who was cut down in the closing battle, were honored and buried with song.

Eorl Athanar was awarded for his bravery and leadership in the war in the East with a chieftainship on the frontier of the Rhun, answerable directly to the Prince of Ithilien - a prestigious post indeed. Thus was ended the unhappy double leadership in Scarburg since seeing that Eorl Eodwine was whole enough to claim back his seat in Scarburg.

But the worst was to come. The men came back just in time to help with the second harvest, but just after two days winter came. It was October.

Biting cold settled in upon the Mark for many days. The ground froze. The crops died in the fields. Athanar deemed it wise to take leave, with his folk, so there would be fewer mouths to feed in Scarburg. He took with him a large party back to Edoras, vowing to ask king Eomer for any goods that could be spared. He left a few eorlings behind to help Eodwine, for their number at the Mead Hall had become thin indeed.

Then came snow. Athanar and his folk escaped the first blizzard in thenick of time. Wind swept fields, forest, and roads were covered. When sunlight finally glared over the vast white, the drifts were man-high. The Mead Hall was cut off from the rest of the Mark, even the nearest landholders..

The snowbanks hardened and were very hard to dig through. New snowstorms added more layers of snow. Walking on the face of the desert of snow was treacherous, for one never knew where one might fall through and land a few feet below. The folk dug narrow, high walled paths to their store of chopped wood, the meat shed, and the smithy. They were soon low on firewood.

In year 19 of the Fourth Age the winter took even firmer grip of the Mead Hall.

In February they tore down the sheds they had built just two years ago for firewood. They sent a few eorlings to find help during sunny cold days in March. The men made makeshift shoes of cross-cut wood, tied to their boots, so they could walk on the top of the man-and-a-half high snow. The men never returned.

In late March, the Mead Hall began to feel the pangs of starvation: the old and infirm were dying, first one then another a few days later, then another a day more .... until a pall hung over the Mead Hall, and it seemed that death and despair might win the day as well as the night. In April they tore apart the upper story of the guest wing, and used it for firewood, and ate bark from trees boiled in snow.

In May, spring came suddenly. Days and days of balmy sunshine warmed the air and melted the snow quickly.

Five days after the sudden warming of the weather the people of the Mead Hall heard a remarkable sound from far away: something very noisy was coming through the snow and the rising flood waters.

Carts trundling down the muddy road, filled with food, were spotted first by the children, who ran back to the hall screaming in joy. They were saved!

In the lead wagon was Athanar’s son Wilheard.

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Old 06-07-2015, 04:02 PM   #30
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This is pretty cool lmp!

I love the way you make the sentences flow in that style. *hats off*

I also loved the addition of the little bandits... and how we can use that as part of our characters' new future as well.

We were just discussing (myself, Lommy and Legate) about the starting of the actual thread, and came up with the idea that Lommy might send the first post from the POV of Wilheard leading the convoy to the Mead Hall.


PS. I sent lmp some ideas about lord Athanar's next appointment, but like I said to him in the PM, it's more or less okay to me whatever it will be...
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Old 06-07-2015, 05:10 PM   #31
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We were just discussing (myself, Lommy and Legate) about the starting of the actual thread, and came up with the idea that Lommy might send the first post from the POV of Wilheard leading the convoy to the Mead Hall.
Yes! So ready to start!

Well, almost. My post about Scyld's time away is turning into another novel.
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Old 06-07-2015, 05:16 PM   #32
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I need to upgrade Stigend - and we have to do to the same to Cnebba with Lommy as well.

And I'm not sure we're the last ones needing to have this or that done or checked.

But we're getting there...
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Old 06-07-2015, 05:45 PM   #33
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Question

Would someone like to let Inziladun know the RPG may soon be starting and now is a good time to get a Character Bio on board and tweaked as needed...

Thanks! Pio
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Old 06-07-2015, 07:38 PM   #34
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Thanks, Nogrod! You provided great ideas to work with.

For Athanar, I'm thinking of a chieftainship somewhere between the Anduin and the Rhun...
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Old 06-08-2015, 01:31 AM   #35
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I actually PM'd you lmp about lord Athanar's future but then thought also sharing those thoughts here as it might help people orientate with Wilheard...

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Originally Posted by me
I think lord Athanar would have this frontiersman -spirit.*

I mean I think I even wrote there back then that when they organized the Scarburg men into columns and rode to meet the local lords Athanar finally felt himself at home doing the thing he loved and knew how to do, feeling the wind in his face, hearing the clamor of arms and the pounding of the hooves... And he also took part in the drillings and excercises every now and then in the Mead Hall even if that could have been wholly taken care by his right-hand man Coenred.

And knowing that man I'd say he's not one who asks for the opinion of his family as to where to settle - which general trait of his personality can be sadly seen fex. in his sons. He of course loves them in his own way and wants them to be great men following his footsteps and bringing honor to the family... but he seems to be quite at loss as what that might require from him - other than military discipline.*

So let him move there.
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Old 06-08-2015, 03:07 AM   #36
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I need to upgrade Stigend - and we have to do to the same to Cnebba with Lommy as well.

And I'm not sure we're the last ones needing to have this or that done or checked.

But we're getting there...
I have the bio for my new character ready, I am still dissatisfied with its form though. Meanwhile, I actually realised what it is that I wanted to post about Hilderinc in the meantime, but I'd hope to write and do that in a matter of days (I know I've been saying that for a while now...). There's also the post we are co-writing with G55, but all in all, we are getting ready, yes...
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Old 06-08-2015, 04:51 AM   #37
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Athanar is given the chieftainship of the frontier of the Rhun, guarding against further attacks from the east. He is answerable directly to the Prince of Ithilien. So he leads both Eorlings and Gondorians. Should be just the right fit for such a man of action.
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Old 06-11-2015, 09:38 PM   #38
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I hope everyone's not so busy playing Werewolf to have forgotten this... My first posts for Scyld and Leof are basically ready but waiting to see the official first posts of the game to make some final tweaks and make sure the details line up.

Did anyone contact Inziladun?
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Old 06-12-2015, 05:50 AM   #39
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I hope everyone's not so busy playing Werewolf to have forgotten this... My first posts for Scyld and Leof are basically ready but waiting to see the official first posts of the game to make some final tweaks and make sure the details line up.

Did anyone contact Inziladun?
Not yet I guess since no one said they did? Why don't you send a pm to him since you seem to have time in your hands.

I have been horribly busy with like a million things - werewolf included, touché - but I will try to write a draft of Wilheard's first post in the weekend, so I can post it whenever everyone else (Elempi? Nog?) feels ready to start.

I was thinking of writing a post with possibly some details about the journey from Edoras without too much of Wilheard's reminiscing. Two questions:

1) Are there any notable characters or NPCs that are coming with Wilheard from Edoras? Anybody have any preferences about what kind of people the caravan consists of? (A couple of peasants/servants and some soldiers to guard it? Something else? We don't need to be too specific bc honestly I doubt Wilheard is even paying much attention, even if he's in charge. )

2) Any preferences about where I should leave off? Wilheard arriving on the yard with the caravan and greeting Eodwine? (I assume he'd come out to greet them if the kids warned him in time?) Would this mean people would want to rather start writing from the kids running back with the news about the food and write their characters reactions to that, or is it clearer to start with a post ending "Westu hal, Eorl Eodwine! here is your food" (NOT those words exactly but you know what I mean )?
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Old 06-12-2015, 06:05 AM   #40
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I have Scyld coming back with the caravan.
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