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Old 09-18-2002, 04:02 PM   #1
Mithadan
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Sting An Audience With The King -- Discussion Thread

This is a closed membership RPG. Please do not post here seeking to join the game. Participants were signed up on a first come first serve basis.

What follows is the proposal for this RPG which was submitted to rpg@barrowdowns.com. You can use this as a form for future RPG proposals.
-------------------------

"An Audience With The King"

THE PREMISE:

The War of the Ring is over and Sauron has, at last, been defeated. Elessar Telcontar has ascended to the throne of Gondor and the reunited Kingdom. Seeking the goodwill and friendship of all free peoples, Elessar has dispatched messengers to various lands, such as The Shire, Rivendell, The Lonely Mountain, The Blue Mountains, Mirkwood, Dale, Rhun and Harad
inviting representatives from these various places to meet with him. The proclaimed goal is to renew friendly relations and set to rights any disputes which may yet exist between the lands. The task for the roleplayers is simply to get from here to there with a minimum of mayhem and meet with Elessar. Of course, the kingdoms and their representatives may also have agendas of their own, such as claims against other lands or internal disputes of various kinds. The potential for intrigue abounds!

The REAL PURPOSE is to enlist some more experienced gamers to act as mentors for less experienced gamers in a simple, short game. This will allow people interested in raising the level of their RPG abilities to receive instruction and guidance from those with greater knowledge of gaming. One mentor per group of each kingdom's representatives. The mentors will provide advice,comments, plot wrinkles and, where needed, kill out errant gamers. The
best part is we can do this over and over again with new mentors and new gamers once the process is established!

We have taken various steps geared towards improving our Freestyle RPG room. This will be your chance to help raise the bar and improve the quality of gaming on our site.


The First Post:

The scene repeated itself again and again in many places. A stranger, clad in black rode to the gates and requested leave to speak with the Lord of these lands. After the messenger’s steed had been stabled and the rider given refreshment, he was escorted before the Lord, where he delivered a message which bore a strange seal, one not seen for many years.

Curious the Lord opened the scroll and read the following:

“Elessar Telcontar, of the Line of Elendil of Numenor, Lord and King of Gondor and Arnor sends greetings and invites representatives from your fair land to journey to Minas Anor, known formerly as Minas Tirith, to meet with the King and his Counsellors to renew ties and relations between our countries and to set to right such disputes as may yet exist, even now that Sauron has fallen. Therefore, representatives of your land will be welcome and greeted in Minas Anor on mettare, the last day of this year, to engage in converse with King Elessar and the Lords of many other lands besides.”

Below this message appeared the seal of the King. The message itself was written in gold ink on the finest vellum.

Such messages were delivered to many lands and in The Shire, Dale, Rhun, Harad, Mirkwood, The Lonely Mountain, Rivendell and The Blue Mountains, much discussion was had concerning who should attend, what such representatives should bring to the new King and what should be discussed. But none refused the invitation…

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

This proposal was accepted (surprise!).

This is the backbone of the RPG. The Mentor for each Kingdom has prepared a backstory and first post as well. These will be posted here shortly. Selection and assignment of Members to Mentors will take place tomorrow. Start thinking about this guys. You have some tough taskmasters!

[ September 19, 2002: Message edited by: Mithadan ]
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Old 09-18-2002, 04:17 PM   #2
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Tolkien

Gah!!!! i cant wait, im so excited to get started.
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Old 09-18-2002, 10:59 PM   #3
GreatWarg
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Question

Yes, the skeletal outline of the whole RPG is quite something! Well, let's hope no one backs out! The sooner everyone gets here, the sooner we can start!
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Old 09-19-2002, 01:37 AM   #4
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The Eye

Indeed. Monday is a long four days away....ah, but anticipation is the spice of life [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 09-19-2002, 08:30 AM   #5
Mithadan
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Sting

Mentor Assignments!

Please contact your mentor within the next day or so to introduce yourself. Tell them your strengths and weaknesses and what RPG skills you would like to improve. There will be no trading places. These assignments are final!

The Mentors will soon be posting their backstories and first posts here. Review these and start thinking about the RPG. An early issue to deal with will be how to best get to Minas Anor. Those coming from the West need to cross the Misty Mountains (I guarantee that if you try to go South around the tip of the mountain range you will not get to Minas Anor in time [img]smilies/evil.gif[/img] ). Those coming from the East need to deal with the Anduin.

Also, talk to your team members as well. This will aid in both character development and creating relationships. Some of the backstories automatically create conflicts between characters. This should be exploited not ignored.

Here are your assignments:

------------
Mentor: Barrow-Wight
Kingdom: Rhun

Great Warg
VanimaEdhel
The Fifth

-----------------
Mentor: Susan Delgado
Kingdom: The Shire

Faye Took
Carneiach
Ringwraith Number Two

------------------
Mentor: Piosenniel
Kingdom: Dale

Nevtalathiel
Kettle of Fish
Collette Took

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Mentor: Elenna
Kingdom: Rivendell

Belin Ibaimendi
Robin Headstrong
Ransom

---------------------
Mentor: Birdland
Kingdom: Mirkwood

Guildo
Isilya

-----------------------
Mentor:Bethberry
Kingdom: The Lonely Mountain (Erebor)

Anarya Silverbranch
Aylwen Dreamsong
Ithaeliel

---------------------------
Mentor: Child of the Seventh Age
Kingdom: Harad/Umbar

Marileangorifurnimaluim
Brinniel
Alkanoonian

----------------------------
Mentor: Thenamir
Kingdom: The Blue Mountains (Dwarves)

Joy
*Varda*


Please contact your mentor to introduce yourself as discussed above. If you can't quickly find a post by your mentor, use the search function at the top of the page. If you still have trouble, contact me.

Have fun!
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Old 09-19-2002, 10:03 AM   #6
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Sting

Welcome to Mirkwood, Guido and Isilya! Here is the history or your kingdom and its King, Thranduil, plus his first take on the summons of King Elessar. Pay attention to Thranduil's character. Though he won't be traveling with you, he IS your king. You'll want to be very aware of his attitude towards other races and trade in general, (no matter what you may think of of them personally. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] )

A Short History of Thranduil and Mirkwood

Thranduil was the King of Mirkwood, the great, wooded Elf Kingdom that lay to the east of the Anduin Vales. His people were the Silvan Elves, descendents of the Nandorins who had turned their back, (some say in fear) on the Gift of the Valar to dwell forever in Valinor.

A people such as this are bound to become known as a independent, proud race ( though “stiff-necked” and “pig-headed” were also terms used to describe them). The Silvan Elves shunned the great works of art, architecture and metal-craft that marked the reigns of the other Great Elf-Lords. They had long preferred the more “simple life, natural to the Elves, before the invitation of the Valar had disturbed it.” So the Elves of Mirkwood were always known to be more pastoral and rustic then their more lofty cousins of Middle-Earth. (“provincial” and “backward” were also terms used to describe them, though not where Thranduil could hear it.)

Thranduil had inherited his kingdom after the War of the Last Alliance. The young Elf had witnessed the disastrous charge of the outnumbered army of Malgalad, and had watched his troops - dead and alive - sink forever into the depths of the Dead Marshes. He had stood with his father before the gates of Mordor, and been by his side when he fell. He had stood helpless as Isildur had shunned wisdom and seized for himself the Ring that should have been destroyed.

The horrors of the War at Dagorlad would haunt his dreams through the centuries. “If ever he looked south, its memory dimmed the light of the Sun.“ And though it was said that Mordor “was now broken and deserted and under the vigilance of the Kings of Men, fear spoke in his heart that it was not conquered forever: it would rise again.”

On the road home to his Kingdom, he passed through Lorien, and there met Nivala, who would become his wife. Her heart was touched forever by the sad, young (by Elf standards) King. And his tales of the Greenwood, where the life loved by Nimrodel had forever been preserved, kindled a longing in her. She married Thranduil, and left her life in Lorien forever.

They had three sons. Orodan, and then Finwë, were born early in the Third Age, and assisted their father in the ruling of his kingdom during the years of the Long Peace. A third son was born, surprisingly, in the time when the Necromancer took up his abode in Dul Goldur. His mother, delighting in this gift, named him “Greenleaf”. In her heart, he was a reminder of new life in a land where the trees were darkened, and the court of a King had retreated underground.

(Author’s note: Hey, I’m with Martinez on this one. Legolas is no more than 600 years old in the years of the War of the Ring.)

Thranduil’s distrust of Men, Dwarves, and even his own kin in Lorien had grown through the years He fought the growing darkness in his kingdom alone (or so he thought) and blamed the short-sightedness of Men, and the greed of the Dwarves, for his growing troubles and misfortunes.

It was at the Battle of the Five Armies that Finwë was slain. Nivala had long argued with her husband, considering it folly to try to seize the treasures of the Lonely Mountain as his own. With the death of Finwë, her long love for Thranduil died, as well as her love for Middle-Earth. She sought the Havens, and sailed to the West. Thranduil forbade her name ever to be spoken again.

During the War of the Ring, Thranduil and Orodan led their people against the forces of Sauron. He was reluctant allies with King Bard II of Dale, and Thorin III of the Lonely Mountain. But Elrond credited him and his neighbors with stemming the tide of the Dark Lord in the North, and preventing the Western Lands from falling, even as Gondor stood before the Dark Lord’s gates to the South. Despite the victories, Thranduil still mistrusted the Kings of Men. He had heard their promises in that past that Sauron would never arise again. Even the final destruction of the Ring could not fully convince him that the Darkness of Mordor was truly gone forever.

**********************

First Post

Thranduil’s Halls were always slightly damp. If skilled Dwarven craftsmen had been allowed to appraise the situation, they would have solved this problem by re-routing underground streams and providing much-needed ventilation. But no Dwarves had ever been in the underground Halls of the Silvan King - save one group, and they had departed as soon as able.

When Celeborn had visited Thranduil after the Victory, he had suggested that the King might want to relocate his seat to another area. “A new court, to go with the new name. The Kingdom of Eryn Lasgalen should be ruled from above ground, as befits this new Age of Light.” Thranduil thought to himself that Celeborn should go chase after his wife in the West, and leave the ruling of his kingdom to him.

Besides, Thranduil loved the Old Halls, damp as they were. They represented the long fight that he had waged to keep the Darkness at bay. Mirkwood may not have been protected by one of the Three as Lorien had, but against Spiders, Orcs, and Sauron himself, his people had prevailed. They may have been assailed, but they were never routed.

Thranduil picked up the missive that had been delivered to him. He had expected such a summons. King Elessar had wasted no time in attempting to bring the races of Middle-Earth into the Mannish fold. Thranduil did not begrudge Elrond’s fosterling his Rule. The Fourth Age would be the Age of Men. It had been long foretold. But he would see that there was one outpost of the Eldar that would remain for all time. Let the others flee to the Havens. The Silvan Elves of Eryn Lasgalen would abide. And when the Darkness arose in a new form - as Thranduil knew it would - then the summons from Minas Anor would take an entirely different tone.

It was the second letter that made the King return to his table again and again. The letter from Legolas, the first he had received since he had sent his youngest son to Imladris two years ago. “Letter” some might call it, but it seemed more like a tome. Legolas had written of all that had happened to him since he had left his father’s realm to attend the Council of Elrond. Moria, Helm’s Deep, Fangorn. It was all there. Nivala’s favorite had traveled far, it seemed. He wrote in glowing terms of his companions, both Man and Halfling. (Thranduil smiled to himself as he read Legolas’ descriptions of the Ring-Bearer and his companions. He had always had a sneaking admiration for Thorin’s Halfling squire.)

And he read of Legolas’ sworn friendship with the Dwarf Gimli. The praises of the Dwarf-Kind’s bravery, his devotion to the Lady of the Wood, his skill at arms and craft, even his poetry as he described the “Glittering Caves” of the Rohirrim. Legolas had said all he could to convince his father that , in bonding himself in friendship to one of Durin’s Folk, he had not lost his mind.

But it was the last pages of the letter that drew Thranduil to return to his desk and read again and again. The descriptions of Ithilien. The intention of Legolas to remain there. The humble request to his father that he inform his people of this Garden of the South, and permit such as would choose to come there to live.

The intention of Legolas to remain there. The intention of Legolas to never return home.

“So once again, Men and Dwarves have schemed to take from me my treasure.” Thranduil crumbled the page in his fist. Then he laid it gently on the tabletop and smoothed the wrinkled paper. He took up the letter and laid it in a box of mallorn wood, which he locked with a key held only by him. Finally, with a sigh, he turned his attention once more to the summons of the King.

Thranduil rang for his butler. When the Elf servant appeared, he said “Find Orodan. Send riders to the corners of the kingdom, if need be. Tell him his father has a mission for him.”

(RPG requirement - I will need someone to play Orodan, son of Thranduil and older brother of Legolas. Other representatives may also accompany Orodan on this mission, either male or female, but please keep in mind that diplomats are required more than warriors. Also needed will be servant-escorts for the representatives. (Trusted companions along the line of Frodo’s Samwise,) who will guard the representatives and see that their needs are met on the long road to Minas Anor. And if they are good at spying on other representatives they might meet on the road - so much the better.)
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Old 09-19-2002, 10:26 AM   #7
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Tolkien

Wow that got me even more excited about the Whole thing.
But let me see if i understand this Correctly there only two of us that will be from Mirkwwod and one of them must be Orodan, i would be happy to play him (even though i was fixated on my name Nefros) but i would still love to play him , unless Isylia wants to and you dont find it unapropriate this being my First RPG.

Also it seems that even though their will be only two of us from Mirwood we will have more in our party Correct??

I have lots of questions i just cant think of them all now, but if you want me to play Orudan or any other character will you give me my back ground or will it be up to me to make up.
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Old 09-19-2002, 10:36 AM   #8
Mithadan
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Trick of the trade #1. Need a travelling companion for an RPG and no one available to play him or her? Play that companion yourself along with your character. They also provide convenient cannon fodder in the event of a disaster (be sure to act appropriately sorrowful when they are stabbed, eaten, dissolved, etc....).
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Old 09-19-2002, 10:48 AM   #9
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Sting

Guido - I sent you a PM. Names are always negotiable. (I'm terrible at them, myself). But one of the characters in "Mirkwood" must be the eldest son of Thranduil. We can change his name easily enough.

And yes, Mith is right: playing multiple characters is fun! Especially if they contrast each other, like master and servant.

Get together through PM with your partner, Isilya and work out your roles.
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Old 09-19-2002, 11:17 AM   #10
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Welcome, Anarya Silverbranch, Aylwen Dreamsong, and Ithaeliel to Erebor, dwarven kingdom under the Lonely Mountain. Do you know that in the Unfinished Tales Tolkien practically refers to The Hobbit as The Quest for Erebor? Anyhow, here's the backstory and first post for our kingdom. Bethberry
~~~~
A Brief History of Erebor and its King

Recent events have moved rapidly in the life of Thorin III Stonehelm and he is still learning on the job so to speak. Stonehelm is King of the dwarves known as Durin's Folk. He rules Erebor, the dwarf kingdom delved underneath the Lonely Mountain. His illustrious and successful father, Dain II, fell in the Battle of Dale, so Stonehelm assumed the kingship in the middle of the battle, leading his people during the seven-day seige of Erebor by Sauron's forces and then routing them finally on 27 March 3019 III once news of the Downfall of Barad-dur arrived. (These forces would be those of Mislavini, Great Captain of Ozren, described in the Barrow Wight's backstory for Rhun.) The valour of the dwarves and the men of Dale and Stonehelm's leadership thereby protected the northern flank of those battling Sauron and so ensured that Rivendell and Arwen did not fall to Sauron. Bilbo himself has written that Gandalf praised this contribution: Had it not been for the valour of Durin's Folk, "[t]here might be no Queen in Gondor." Stonehelm expects Elessar to recognize this fact with strong support for Erebor's position.

Thorin Stonehelm is a young king with no experience of leadership in peace. His father had fabulous success rebuilding the wealth and fame of Erebor after the Battle of the Five Armies but age had stifled development before the War of the Rings. Not only his father and elder brother but also his father's most trusted advisors fell in the Battle of Dale, as did two of his closest confidants. He has been preoccupied with matters of internal administration, repairing damage to the delving under Lonely Mountain, providing aid to dwarven families displaced by the War, and establishing his own Council. He has worked towards finding peacetime councillors to replace military advisors. Particularly close and helpful has been the advice and support of Dain's widow, his own mother, Ruthen the Cruel Fated. Unmarried, he is aware of his obligation to provide an heir for the kingdom and, indeed, of the great need of the dwarven people to increase their numbers. It can be said he is more a scholar and statesman than strategist or militarist, for it was his elder brother who had been groomed for the throne. He is smitten by Ingeld the Able, a woman instrumental in establishing a system of dwarven education, but in keeping with the right of dwarven women, so far she has maintained a polite distance from him.

Stonehelm is a direct descendent of Durin, the eldest of the Seven Fathers of the dwarf race created by Aule. He is also a collateral relation of Thorin II Oakenshield who fell at the Battle of the Five Armies, fighting with Gandalf and Bilbo to recover the dwarven gold from Smaug. The close ties between Gandalf and the dwarves date from this time and it would surprise no one if Stonehelm named his first son Tharkun, after the dwarven name for Gandalf. Stonehelm is acutely aware of the dwarven heritage and traditions and believes his lineage to be at the very least the equal of Elessar's.

Stonehelm views Elessar's invitation as an opportune moment in dwarven history. He will guard jealously the right of Durin's Folk to claim any artifacts found at Khazad-dum and wants to see the dwarven right to recolonise the ancient city confirmed. (His descendent, Durin the VII and Last, will succeed at this recolonization.) He is also anxious to see that dwarven superiority in smithcraft, stoneworking and delving is 'retooled' towards commodities more marketable for the Fourth Age peace. He particularly wants to advance dwarves as road and bridge builders and as security contingents for trading missions as well as manufacturers of furniture (diversification!). He will need the support of Thranduil for this, for the forests to supply wood. He is a little uneasy that the king of the Dale might be preoccupied with trade with states to the south. Stonehelm is suspicious about what the supremacy of men will mean to dwarves.

First Post

Thorin III Stonehelm watched as his mother led the family in the daily ritual of mourning. She cupped her hands to her heart, her lips, and her forehead and bowed three times. He followed suit and then lowered his eyes to the ground as she picked up each stone which had been positioned around the ornate silver oil lamp, a stone for every member of the family lost in the War. Each stone bore a rune, the work of his own chiselling, which represented the name of one of those dwarves now gathered by Mahal to the Halls of Mandos. Thorin wondered if it was these stones which caused elves to think that at death dwarves returned to stone, but he wondered how it could have been that an elf had seen the ritual.

His mother's voice called him out of his thoughts. Thorin king-son, you have often been lost in thought since we received Telcontar's invitation.

There is much to contemplate, honoured Mother-queen. Instead of celebrating victory over Sauron, I become ill at ease over the rise of men. It was a sombre omen which accompanied the arrival of the messenger. Five black crows! Stonehelm shook his head and lifted his right arm to wave over his left shoulder, pushing the omen away. And then this news that Gimli son of Gloin chooses to camp out in trees. It is an ill sign when a dwarf chooses not to return to his people. Ruthen nodded, put out the lamp, closed the silver door to the family shrine, and offered to listen to her son's concerns. The two sat together, falling into a discussion of the summons to Minas Anor.

Stonehelm wanted a delegation of several councillors. The only remaining dwarf from his father's council, Heremod the Loremaster, could be relied upon to gain Elessar's ear concerning Khazad-dum, while Hengest Thaneson would know how to advance contracts for dwarven manufactures, perhaps also Stonehelm's plan for the Royal Corps of Dwarven Engineers to be deployed by Elessar where needed. Beode Shielding or Freode Strongaxe would be needed if the Corps accompanied the mission. There were too many male dwarves in Erebor with nothing to do since the War ended and too many nightly drinking sessions. Either Beode or Freode would know how to manage twelve or even twenty-four of them on the road, and they could always be counted on for security. One councillor to look behind, one to look forward, and the third to watch sideways. And a king behind to guide them.

And servants. Ruthen had advised Stonehelm to choose the servants wisely, for oft to them fell the most important tasks of listening to the wind and the stream to see where others tread. That would mean sending either Hringa or Halgen.

Then the maidservant Hrethel came for Ruthen, who left to lead the morning devotions at Ingeld's school. Stonehelm had bid Ruthen give his greetings to Ingeld and compliments on the success of her school. Ruthen had smiled quietly, bowed three times, and then withdrew with a final observation.

Aside from the question of how large a delegation to send, Stonehelm needed to decide whether to contact the mad elf Thranduil or Bard of the Dale. And what route to take to Gondor. Stonehelm took a deep breathe and recalled his mother's parting words:

Do not lose sight of the final prophecy. Whatever befalls, remember that when the world is destroyed in The Last Battle, Mahal will call upon us, not men, to rebuild Arda.

RPG requirements:

Sigin-tarag ai menu!. Here are several dwarven characters to choose from, even some women! Ruthen and Ingeld will of course stay in Erebor, as will Stonehelm (ie, me, Bethberry) but they provide an opportunity for a second plot line should anyone be interested. The names I have derived from Old English, for it seems to me that the Scandinavian names of The Hobbit are a tad too informal for the valorous dwarves post-LOTR. Name changes can, of course, be negotiated as long as they are in keeping with dwarven culture. Also, feel free to add other servants and escorts.

Contact Bethberry through PM for info about dwarven culture and behaviour and let's talk strategy.

As for the Royal Corps of Dwarven Engineers, here is their marching song:
We are, we are, we are the Engineers.
We drink, we drink, we do drink beers.
(If you know the story of Rorke's Drift, where 100 or so British soldiers led by an engineer held off 4000 Zulu warriors, you will understand the value of engineers. )

It might be a long journey to Minas Anor but it sure should be fun!

[ September 19, 2002: Message edited by: Bethberry ]
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Old 09-19-2002, 12:12 PM   #11
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Hello, Maril, Brienniel, and Alkanoonian---

Greetings from sunny Harad! Please check for pms.

Background

Harad sits below the river Harnen. Nurn (old Mordor) lies to its southeast, and Gondor to the southwest. On maps, it's shown as Near Harad (north) and Far Harad (south). It's made up of petty, warlike kingdoms who don't always agree.

Umbar, on the Bay of Belefas, was originally independent. In the Third Age, it became part of Harad, including the port of Umber and its fleet. The men of Umber, known as Corsairs, were pirates and raiders. This fleet was sadly thrashed in the War of the Rings, so only a few ships remain.

We know about Harad through the eyes of Sam Gamgee and Gollum. (LotR, II, 321-323; 340-342) Sam is fascinated by Harad's Oliphaunts. Gollum describes the people as having long and braided black hair, black eyes, and dark skin, and wearing bright colors like red and gold and many gold ornaments. He says they're cruel: "almost as bad as Orcs, and much bigger." The Haradrim stand second to none in combat, especially when they sit atop oliphaunts.

For Harad, the War of the Rings wasn't a matter of supporting "Sauron" or "Evil." It was a vendetta against Gondor, whom they'd fought for thousands of years. You can argue rights and wrongs, but both sides had long been "locked" into their positions. Harad was fiercely independent; it resented Gondor's occupation in 1050, T.A. and having to pay tribute. There was almost constant war between the two in the Third Age.

The Haradrim were cruel and primitive and loved to fight. But, having said that, they had a real sense of honor. And, as far as we know, none were personally "corrupted" by Sauron. Sam held no personal anger against the Haradrim, as he did with Orcs. When a man of Harad lay dead, Sam wondered what his "name was, and where he came from; and if he was really evil of heart; or what lies or threats had led him from the long march from his home..." If Sam's attitude was "typical" of Middle-earth, it's possible Harad could reach a grudging accomodation with Gondor. But that could only happen if it was treated fairly.

There were two parties in Harad: those who continued to raid, and those who wanted change. It's the latter who go to Elessar's court. These moderates wanted to revive coffee export, a lucrative trade, as well as expand spice, tobacco, and tea production.

Harad is negotiating a coffee agreement with Dale. They'd like to make similar contracts with the Dwarves, possibly even the hobbits. This is their main motive in going to Minas Anor. They're open to friendship with men, just not those of Gondor!
---------------------------------------------
Please look at the thread labelled "Coffee" in Books for differing ideas on the origin of coffee.
---------------------------------------------

First Post

Herumir, King of Ariwenna, paced back and forth. How he hated being cooped up! He wanted to be outside on his oliphaunt, chasing lions through the purple brush of the desert. But he had little choice.

Gondor's victory over Harad had proven bitter. Now Elessar had asked them to travel to Minas Anor to "right such disputes as may yet exist."

Herumir threw back his head and roared, golden chains jangling about his neck and ears. "He thinks to right our quarrel of several thousand years with a single meeting?" Too much anger still ran through his proud people to be bought off with scraps. He himself dreaded the heavy hand of Gondor and its insistence on unreasonable tribute, as had happened in the past.

Yet, Herumir had pledged loyalty to the party seeking to find some honorable road to prosperity, rather than continuing a hopeless war. And once a pledge was given, it could not be honorably withdrawn. Their group would travel to Umber and free at least one ship. The Council had ordered the Corsairs to turn over all vessels, but they had defied that order. Now, he--King Herumir--would force them to obey.

He and Fuinur, King of Leowenna, would then sail up the Bay and the Anduin towards Minas Anor. They must go swiftly. Rumor said one Corsair ship had slipped out from Umber a day before, intending to pillage spots along the river in south Gondor. Such an expedition would infuriate the King and negate his own attempts to foster trade. So they might need to do some "persuading " of these Corsairs. He was an expert at "persuading." It might involve a bit of bluff, physical force, a promise to cut the Corsairs in on a share of trade profits, or perhaps all of the above. He'd have to judge what would work best.

For Harad had learned a bitter lesson. It could not exist only on the might of its individual soldiers. Herumir understood they must bring gold into their coffers. The tools were at hand. The west clamored for coffee, a thing so common in Harad that the poor drank it for breakfast. They also wanted spices and tobacco and tea. All that, Harad could supply, if it could make trading deals. This was the real reason his people had agreed to the meeting. Let the men of Gondor be hanged! He'd take a good dwarf trading caravan any day.

Already, Jarl, a man of some intelligence from Dale, was in Harad to negotiate a coffee deal. Gramil hoped to travel with him to the eastern Nurn to look at the trading outposts Dale meant to establish. Then, Gramil would turn his oliphaunts to the west and arrive in Minas Arnor through the back door. Jarl and his folk were welcome to come as guests aboard the oliphaunts.

There was no pretending otherwise. The great Harad Road was largely gone. They would need to rebuild it and many others if trade was to flourish. And dwarves were reputed to have such skills. Certainly, his own people were not road builders. They might have used slaves, but Elessar had issued an order abolishing slavery in Nurn and Harad. So other sources would have to be sought.

No, Herumir had no desire to be a piece of Gondor's great empire or to build roads with his own hands, but the money that would flow from arteries made safe for trade. That was quite another thing!

NEEDED: Two to play the kings travelling to Umber to seize the ship and sail north up the Bay and the Anduin. One to play the trade negotiator who'll be using the Oliphaunts to approach Minas Anor through the back door. Names can be changed as needed, but let me know.

Get in touch, and we'll talk strategy and characters. You'll also want to drop a line to your fellow Harad delegates.

sharon

[ September 19, 2002: Message edited by: Child of the 7th Age ]
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Old 09-19-2002, 01:20 PM   #12
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Welcome to Dale, Nevtalethial, Kettle of Fish, and Collette Took.

Here is the back story for Dale and a few helpful references:

Quote:
Dale in the Fourth Age

To the east of the northernmost section of the Misty Mountains, just beyond the northeastern border of the great Eryn Lasgalen (Forest of Green-leaves), known as Mirkwood in the Third Age, lies the now prospering, Fourth Age city-state of Dale.

Established in the Third Age at the southern foot of Erebor, The Lonely Mountain, by the Northmen, nearest in kin of lesser Men to the Dúnedain, it became a thriving center of trade between the Dwarves of Erebor and The Iron Hills and the astute merchants of the city. Originally, the bulk of its trade was in food stuffs for the Dwarves in exchange for tools, stone-masonry, and smithy work. Eventually this commerce expanded into exportation of Dwarven handicrafts to other regions.

With the defeat of Sauron and the promise of an enduring peace, what had started out as a trading network between Dale, Erebor, the Iron Hills, and Laketown (an independent city just south of Dale on Long Lake) is now being expanded by King Bard II of Dale.

The small trade with King Thranduil of Eryn Lasgalen is hopefully to be expanded, although there are some recent disputes over the receipt of inferior quality of Dorwinion wine by said King. Such disputes will need to be rectified soon since Thranduil’s people control the passage of the forest into the western regions of Middle-earth. It would be far more costly for commerce to be routed through a southern route.

Representatives of Dale have gone southeast to Dorwinion, near the Sea of Rhűn to discuss quality control with the winemakers in the hopes of heading off further problems with Thranduil. They are also offering to expand the export of wine in greater quantities to the western regions of Middle-earth, and to open up areas of mutually beneficial trade with the newly recognized regions of Nurn, in southern Mordor, and with Harad.

Nurn, now peopled by the freed slave population of Mordor, is a very fertile region. Dale has heard they have begun the cultivation of an excellent variety of pipeweed, which might well rival that of the Shire’s finest.

Haradwaith, Sutherland, is a key entry for the expansion of the Dale network into the promising lands where coffee is cultivated. This is a rare and expensive commodity in Middle-earth at the present, and one that could well develop into a very profitable enterprise. A representative of Dale is in Harad when King Elessar’s message arrives there.

King Bard II is eager to secure the establishment of certain trading routes and to draw up contracts with the newly expanded areas of King Elessar’s realm.
____________________________________________
Handy references: ‘The Atlas of Middle-Earth’, Karen Wynn Fonstad, pg. 53 & 76-77.
‘The Hobbit’ – the chapters concerning Lake-town
‘The Encyclopedia of Arda’- Arda
And here is:

Quote:
Dale – First Post

Drumming the fingers of his left hand silently on his knee beneath the table, King Brand II waited impatiently for the last representative from the Merchants’ Guild to finish recounting his lists of contracts, grievances profits, and expected losses. His gaze regarded the droning Master of the Weavers’ Guild briefly, and he thought to raise his hand and bring the sleep-inducing speech to an end. Instead he let the words flow over and past him while he turned his thoughts to other matters.

King Elessar and his invitation were foremost in his mind. Now this would be a rare opportunity for Dale, he mused. The ear of the King! And just when Dale had begun to push her trading network farther south and east.

He ran a short list, through his mind, of trusted men he could send to represent him, weeding out the ones whose personal interests might overshadow the needs of Dale, itself. He wished now he hadn’t sent Jarl south to Nurn and Harad. He would be the most politic choice to send to the King’s court - a trustworthy, well-spoken man, and shrewd, though not to the point of dishonesty.

Ah, well, there was no point in wishing he hadn’t sent him, it was too far to send a message to him, and too far for him to return to Dale and start on the road to Minas Anor.

And what about the road to Minas Anor ? There was a sticking point in itself. Thranduil had grown strange of late. Would he allow the representative from Dale to travel unimpeded through the forest? He turned the question over in his mind many times, seeking a way through it.

‘Ah!’ he said aloud, as the answer came to him. The startled Master, having just finished his lists, looked at him, wondering if it were a comment of approval or disapproval. The King smiled, saying ‘Well done, Masters! I look forward to our next meeting.’ He stood, bringing them all to their feet, and dismissed them with, ‘Gentlemen!’, and a brief nod.

Once gone, he called for his attendant, Grim. ‘Find Girion quickly!’ he instructed the man, ‘Bring him to me in all haste!

Alone, Brand sat back in his chair. His son would have to be the one to travel the Old Forest Road and then down The Great River to Minas Anor. He was counting on the old friendship between Girion and the son of Thranduil, Orodan to get him safely through the forest.

He called for a cup of chilled wine, hoping it would ease the nagging doubts in his mind. Sighing, he raised the cup to whatever powers might be listening.

‘Please! Let him be up to the task!’
Needed characters:

Girion, the King’s son
Girion's attendant
Jarl as the envoy to Harad.

Names are somewhat negotiable, but they must reflect the types of names likely to be found in Dale.

Please let me know who you might like to be, as there are some details concerning them I would like you to consider in doing your first posts. Thanks! -- Pio [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

[ September 19, 2002: Message edited by: piosenniel ]
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Old 09-19-2002, 01:36 PM   #13
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Greetings to Ransom, Robin, and Belin, and welcome to Rivendell. Please PM me ASAP, so that we can start to get to know each other and I can talk to you about your characters. Two of you will be playing Elrond's sons, and the third will get a character that has not yet been heard of.

My Character:
Name: Meneciriel "Ciri"
Age: 5452
Race: High Elven
Appearance: deep gold hair, green eyes. 5'6", 120 lbs. Scar across right cheek. Not beautiful, but looks interesting.
Occupation: Warrior and healer
Weapons: A spear and throwing daggers
Personality: Very introspective and intense. Doesn't trust people easily, but also doesn't lose her temper quickly.
History: Used to dwell in Lindon, but now lives in Rivendell. Her family has all gone over the sea, except for her husband, Erestor (yikes! A married character!) and her daughter Eilithien.

Background info:
After the War of the Ring, Elrond begins to plan his journey West. He has lost interest in Middle-Earth, and has passed the day to day runnings of Rivendell to his sons and his counselors, in particular Erestor and his wife Meneciriel. However, without the attention of the Lord, Rivendell is beginning to fall into disrepair.

When the messenger arrives, Elrond does not wish to go to Minas Anor. He chooses Meneciriel, along with his sons and another member of his household, to go in his place.

The First Post:
The messenger had arrived the night before, a burly man riding a gray horse. "I have a message for the Lord of Rivendell!" he had said proudly as he rode into the courtyard. Meneciriel had looked at her husband out of the corner of her eye - Lord Elrond would not wish to receive this man, a rider of Gondor.
"My lord, this message was sent to you. King Elessar wishes to speak to the lord of Rivendell, not to a few of his household advisors," Erestor's voice was agitated as he sat before Elrond. "And Arwen will be disappointed if you do not come."

Meneciriel flinched - her husband had just stuck a dagger into Elrond's most tender spot.

"I care not." The elf-lord's voice was harsh with sadness and pain. "I have said my goodbye to her, and do not need to go again. Elladan and Elrohir will go, as well as some others and Meneciriel, since you do not seem to wish to, Erestor."

"But, my lord!" Ciri cried, sitting up ramrod straight in her chair.

"That is my decision. We need not discuss it."

And so Meneciriel found herself preparing for a long journey. Her companions would be the sons of Elrond, Elladan and Elrohir, as well as (name of other character). She brushed away a tear as she slipped a folded cloak into her knapsack. It would be a very long time before she saw either her husband, her daughter, or her home again.

[ September 19, 2002: Message edited by: Elenna ]
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Old 09-19-2002, 04:01 PM   #14
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Check the list up above Carneiach.
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Old 09-19-2002, 04:32 PM   #15
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All participants, please indicate that you have seen your assignments and have or will be PMing your mentor. I want things to go smoothly!
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Old 09-19-2002, 04:46 PM   #16
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Hello, Faye Took, Carneiach, and Ringwraith Number Two! Welcome to the Shire. Come, pull up a chair, we will converse.

As far as history is concerned, we should all be pretty familiar with the area, so I'll just recount some of the recent events around here.
Will Whitfoot is still Mayor of the Shire, but rumors abound about his upcoming retirement. Word is, Samwise Gamgee, who left the Shire to fight in the War, is going to be elected in his place. The truth is, Sam still mourns for the departure of his longtime friend and master, the fabulous Frodo Baggins and has no thought to spare for politics. His eldest daughter, Elanor, is growing up to be the most beautiful little lass anywhere around.
Masters Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took have settled in Buckland and The Marish, respectively. They and Master Samwise seem to be very contented Hobbits.
Looks can be deceiving, however. Merry and Pippin find their safe, sedentary lives comfortable but confining and not very exciting and Sam misses his old friends. All of them would like to see mountain and rivers again, go on another adventure like the one at the end of the last Age. Well, perhaps not exactly like that one.
While Sam is in contact with Rivendell and has been there a few times over the years, it isn't the same. He looks East, toward Gondor and Mordor and wishes he could go there one more time, but he must always return to the Shire.
Knowing this, you can imagine how excited he was when Mayor Whitfoot approached him with King Elessar's invitation. Who better to send on a mission to Minas Anor than those who'd gone with the King to the very slopes of the Ephel Duath and back?

----------
First Post
----------

Sam urged his pony along, impatient to get to The Marish as soon as he could. The pony, one of old Bill's fine sons, was none too eager to hurry up. He was just fine moving at a sedate walk, and nothing Sam did seemed to make any impression at all on the beast. Finally, Sam gave up on making the pony go faster and settled to gritting his teeth. He had such news for Merry and Pippin! Eventually, he did reach his destination, and beyond it Buckland, but to his extreme disappointment, neither of his old friends felt they could get away, though they wished they could. Each did recommend someone trustworthy to send in his stead and each wished him well.

Merry introduced him to young Orlo Hornblower, a lad seemingly barely out of his Tweens, but who came so highly recommended by the Master of Buckland that Sam found himself with no choice but to accept him.

Pippin was distraught at being unable to go with Sam to see all their old friends and tried most valiantly to arrange matters so he could, but in the end he was unable to. He sent along a third cousin named Odo Took and his twelve-year-old nephew, Brando. It was a long road to Gondor and Sam didn't want to take a child, especially the child of such a good friend as Pippin. He tried to talk Pippin out of sending him, but Pippin was so insistent that the experience would be good for the boy that Sam finally gave in, hoping nothing dire would happen. If something did happen to hurt Brando, Sam would never forgive himself.

The four of them made the three-day journey back to Michael Delving, to report to the Mayor. While less than pleased at the inclusion of a twelve-year lad like Brando, he was so pleased that Sam had agreed to go to the East Farthing and broach the matter with Merry and Pippin in his place that he indulgently allowed the boy to go, but he also insisted on his own prospect, a sturdy Hobbit of middle years named Hardo Proudfoot.

They all went back to Sam and Rosie’s pleasant little house and settled in for the night. There was more preparation to do before they departed, but with luck, they'd leave before the week was out.

----------
Ok, I need an Orlo, an Odo and Brando, and a Hardo. If you want, you can share Brando equally, or you can switch him off between you on a regular basis. I recommend the latter; it would give all of you practice at controlling more than one character at the same time, rather than have one of you do it the whole game. Discuss it amongst yourselves and let me know.
All the names are negotiable.
----------

Please pm me as soon as possible so I can start getting to know you.

[ September 19, 2002: Message edited by: Susan Delgado ]
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Old 09-19-2002, 05:15 PM   #17
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The nation of Rhűn looks a lot like Texas to me this week (I'm am on a business trip), so our players will have to wait until Saturday to get their first real tast of our journey. Please be patient as I don't have the resources where I am to start our adventure off correctly. I'll fill you in by Saturday evening.

Sincerely
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Old 09-19-2002, 06:06 PM   #18
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This is so cool! I've always wanted to play a dwarf but they always had these elf rpg thingys. But I get to be a dwarf! Sweet!
Also I just pmed you Bethberry, just to let you know! [img]smilies/cool.gif[/img]
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Old 09-19-2002, 06:10 PM   #19
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*does the springle-ringle* I'M IN WITH MR. BARROW-WIGHT! WHOO! Wait, is that because i need restraining and a mentor who won't put up with foolishness? Nah, can't be! Rhun, nice ring to the name. Now I must find a 'Rhunese' name. Saturday seems like a long two days away, Mr. Barrow-Wight, but your life comes first, then your Barrow-Wight life comes next. I'll be waiting...

Vanima! The Fifth! We're in this group together! *bounces around the Barrow-Downs* Er - no tackling me, okay? And The Fifth, no funny stuff.
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Old 09-19-2002, 06:19 PM   #20
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Here Ye, Here Ye, Hear Ye

A Royal Proclamation

By the authority of King Thorin III Stonehelm, of the Kingdom of Erebor, Under the Mountain, it is hereby decreed that:

Dwarven women do not have beards.


The official pronouncing this decree then distributed a Press Release which elaborated on the proclamation. It read in part that, in ages past, when dwarven women were forced to travel through unknown lands, they were required to travel under disguise, so that they could not be distinguished from male dwarves. This was to ensure their protection in unsafe realms. It is regrettable that the bard Tolkien was not entirely clear or forthcoming about this matter.

An addendum to the proclamation was as follows:

Any opinions concerning this matter on the part of the Honourable Delegation from the Blue Mountains will be entertained by Thorin III Stonehelm through PM. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

Signed,
Bethberry,
Press Secretary to Thorin III
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Old 09-19-2002, 06:50 PM   #21
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1420!

Sound great, I will PM Child of the 7th Age with my details shortly.

Thank you for this fantastic opportunity.
[img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 09-19-2002, 07:10 PM   #22
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Ah, yes, Rhűn. The mysterious land. I will look forward to playing as an Easterling of some sort, but I guess for now I shall wait for the return of Mister Barrow-Wight.


Oh, and GreatWarg, I promise not to try anything. [img]smilies/evil.gif[/img]

[ September 19, 2002: Message edited by: The Fifth ]
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Old 09-19-2002, 07:23 PM   #23
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Im a dwarf! Im a dwarf! I have never played a dwarf...but now I am! Yes I have contacted my Mentor bethberry and I plan on staying with the RPG and the members of my group! This was just such a cool idea!

Aylwen
or...dwarfkid [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 09-19-2002, 08:03 PM   #24
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Elenna posted the following. Is this what we post here, or PM our Mentor? Do you want something in this format/level of detail?
*Maril looks about, somewhat bewildered. "I don't think we're not in Kansas anymore.."*
Quote:
My Character:
Name: Meneciriel "Ciri"
Age: 5452
Race: High Elven
Appearance: deep gold hair, green eyes. 5'6", 120 lbs. Scar across right cheek. Not beautiful, but looks interesting.
Occupation: Warrior and healer
Weapons: A spear and throwing daggers
Personality: Very introspective and intense. Doesn't trust people easily, but also doesn't lose her temper quickly.
History: Used to dwell in Lindon, but now lives in Rivendell. Her family has all gone over the sea, except for her husband, Erestor (yikes! A married character!) and her daughter Eilithien.

Background info:
After the War of the Ring, Elrond begins to plan his journey West. He has lost interest in Middle-Earth, and has passed the day to day runnings of Rivendell to his sons and his counselors, in particular Erestor and his wife Meneciriel. However, without the attention of the Lord, Rivendell is beginning to fall into disrepair.

When the messenger arrives, Elrond does not wish to go to Minas Anor. He chooses Meneciriel, along with his sons and another member of his household, to go in his place.

The First Post:
The messenger had arrived the night before, a burly man riding a gray horse. "I have a...blah, blah.
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Old 09-19-2002, 09:11 PM   #25
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Alright, I have received a PM and will try to send a reply a soon as possible.
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Old 09-19-2002, 09:14 PM   #26
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Ok my Fellow Mirkwood Elves i have planed out some what could be my proposed path(which is in red) and a few alternate paths in different colors in case any thing else happens. tell me what you think.
www.glensight.com/mirkwood.jpg www.glensight.com/middleearth.jpg
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Old 09-19-2002, 10:12 PM   #27
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I've just sent PMs to Anarya Silverbranch, Aylwen Dreamsong, and Ithaliel with background info on dwarves.

Birdie and Pio, are your groups interested in joining a dwarven caravan? I've asked this of my group and will let you know the result of their deliberations.

Bethberry
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Old 09-19-2002, 10:31 PM   #28
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Birdland i just saw you are online, but i wanted to let you know i PMed you and i have some other ideas.
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Old 09-19-2002, 10:33 PM   #29
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Whoa! My elves are using maps! Me so proud! I love it.

These are all good routes, if you just want to travel with your elf companions. If you want to have some "companions" on the road, particularly from Dale or Erebor, then you'll have to meet up with them around the Old Forest Road and convince them that you have some "short cuts" through Eryn Lasgalen.

Of course, remember what Frodo said about "short cuts." [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 09-19-2002, 11:28 PM   #30
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*Belin pokes her nose out of her newly discovered Rivendell library for a moment.*

I'm an elf! How exciting. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

I've pm'ed Elenna, and am currently thinking about my character. You will all hear from me soon, especially Elenna.

Am I the only extravagant lunatic having a "Bottom moment" here and suddenly wishing to play in all of these games??

--Belin Ibaimendi,
staring up at the mountain ranges ahead.
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Old 09-20-2002, 12:58 AM   #31
Susan Delgado
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Hey, Elenna, do you and your Elves want some Hobbit travelling companions?
I'm sure my three would go along with it, and I'll ask them, just as soon as they show up [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 09-20-2002, 06:03 AM   #32
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ta da! talk of the devil and carnieach appears!
Hi Susan, Im glad to be with you, its a great background.
Id quite like to play Brando, the kid, but Ill PM the other two as soon as I find them. Oh, and I for one am fine with travelling with Elennas crowd.
Ok, Im off to find ringwraith number 2 and Faye Took then Ill write in my description tonight.
lol
me
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Old 09-20-2002, 06:39 AM   #33
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*Surfaces from ocean composed of sheets of homework and lab materiel*

I'm PMed Elanna. Currently thinking of character. Will probably finish this afternoon, assuming no more homework.

-Ransom

[ September 20, 2002: Message edited by: Ransom ]
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Old 09-20-2002, 07:00 AM   #34
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Bęthberry is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Bęthberry is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Bęthberry is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.
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Esteemed Neighbour Thranduil,

There is another route which avoids any Old Forest Road entanglements but it certainly does not qualify as a short cut.

The River Celduin to the Redwater and on down to Dorwinion and those Easterlings. No doubt this is the route which that conniving Bard took to get to Rhun in his search for false stimulants. So quickly he forgets the War of the Dale.

You have been advised.

Thorin III Stonehelm of Erebor
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Old 09-20-2002, 08:03 AM   #35
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Pio do you know who is playing Girion, as it looks as if i am playin Orodan and i have some pretty interesting ideas, i want to have layed down by no later than sunday so we can have a smooth start monday.
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Old 09-20-2002, 09:33 AM   #36
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Well, until Thenamir (or Joy) appears, I'm not entirely sure what I'm supposed to be doing, but I'll think about my character anyway. Interesting...never played a dwarf before.
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Old 09-20-2002, 11:16 AM   #37
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Guildo, I'm just about to PM Pio to ask if it will be ok for me to play Girion. As far as I nkow, no-one else is playing him yet, but I'm not sure, so I'll PM you as soon as I know.
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Old 09-20-2002, 11:26 AM   #38
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Thats great i just PMed Birdland with my Proposed first post, let me know if your Girion and ill give you my plan, as i have information for Girions ears only.
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Old 09-20-2002, 11:50 AM   #39
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All right, I've gotten in contact with my Hobbits. RW2 and Faye Took ought to be posting here soon.

What's the protocal for listing characters? Do they do it here or wait for the RPG proper to start?
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Old 09-20-2002, 12:17 PM   #40
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Ok wild stab at my first hobbit character:
Name: Brando Took
Age: 12 hobbit years
Race: hobbit
Appearance: Dark, almost black curly hair, which hes very proud of and which in true hobbbit style always looks wild. Dark green eyes, unusual in hobbits. A little short for his age.
Occupation: He takes after his Uncle, Pippin, and is a general mischief maker.
Weapons: Sam wont let him have a weapon of any kind yet, much to his disappointment, so a small penknife is the best hes got.
Personality: Cheerful and mischievious, but if provoked he can give meaning to the word sulk, due to being quite spoilt by Pippin and Merry. Hes not a brat though and easily makes friends. Very curious, which could prove unfortunate.

This Ok? I cant wait til monday!
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