Forum: VmE Sauron Day Listicle Challenge

Discussing: VmE Sauron Day Listicle Challenge

VmE Sauron Day Listicle Challenge

With Victory in Middle-earth over Sauron Day coming up on March 25th, join the Listicle Challenge!



Re: VmE Sauron Day Listicle Challenge

I fear I cannot come up with anything for this challenge at the moment, but I hope you'll allow this haiku instead?


As the creature falls,
So too do I fall.
It is all over.



Re: VmE Sauron Day Listicle Challenge

but I hope you'll allow this haiku instead?

Not for the Challenge Wink but it is a good contribution to VmE-day Thumbs up



Re: VmE Sauron Day Listicle Challenge

Unless there are vehement objections, I'm going to grant myself (and anyone else who cares to make use of it) a two-day extension on the deadline for the listicle challenge... Who, me?You little devil!



Re: VmE Sauron Day Listicle Challenge

And here it is - I'm fairly certain it doesn't quite meet the requirements of the Challenge, but this is what the muse was prepared to give...

"There's mail for you, dear."

"Hmm?" Manwë looked up from his breakfast plate. "Mail?"

"Yes, mail. A letter. In an envelope."

"Oh. How odd."

Some time later


. . .

"What is this?" Manwë held up a parchment.

"It's an invoice."

"Yes, thank you; I noticed it said so at the top."

"Then, what is the problem?"

"The problem is that it is an invoice."

"I am sure I made it out correctly. Is there anything wrong with it?"

"The problem, as I said, my dear Irmo, is that it is an invoice."

"Do you remember that management course at the Interdimensional Institute of (Middle and Upper) Management Training you sent me and Námo on?"

"Hmm… yes."

"And that you said we should implement what we learned there, at least as a pilot?"

Manwë was quite certain that he had never in his existence let anyone 'implement' anything, and a pilot was someone who guided ships into port. Some of his confusion must have been noticed by the other Vala, for Irmo went on again, explaining in an even more patient tone.

"Remember, the Aratar Committee session last month?"

Manwë remembered the meeting itself, but found he was a bit vague on what had been said. He'd had to concentrate on staying awake, rather than on the content of the meeting, after Námo had started sketching something in the air that he called an 'organogram'.

"Ye-e-es," he said carefully.

"Well," Irmo replied cheerfully, "One of the things we unanimously agreed on was that we need to improve interdepartmental efficiency, and an initial step would be to make visible the true cost of various services we provide for each other, and which have been taken for granted for far too long."

"Yes, fine, I suppose," Manwë glanced at the parchment, "But charging for 'dreams and visions – assorted'…?"

Irmo nodded. "Yes! That is exactly what is needed. And I made my first saving as well on that." He paced restlessly as he went on. "At the training course, I met a minor deity from another dimension, who put me in touch with this man who did their promotional activities. Long story short, though – I met with the guy over lunch and we looked specifically at how to increase follow-up rates on palantír-derived visions. In fact, I've outsourced most of that line of business to a company in another universe somewhere. They can meet my needs at less than half the cost of my own Maiar."

"I… see," Manwë said. "Are you sure this is a good idea, though?"

"Oh, yes; I only have to send them a list of what I want, and they take care of everything for me. It's not only effective, and cheaper, but it's a timesaver as well. What can possibly go wrong?"

"Indeed. What can possibly go wrong?"


"Arwen?" Aragorn called from the next room. "Have you forgotten to put back the palantír?"

"I always put it back, you know that," she replied, "But Faramir has it, I think."

"Faramir? Even after he's learned to look into it without the burning hands thing, he's still always going on about how much he dislikes the thing."

Arwen shrugged. "Well, I don't know. He's been using it a lot lately. I've even had to…" Her voice trailed off.

"Had to what, dearest?"

"Stand on queenly prerogative to get it back from him, and I hate having to do so, you know that."

"That is most unusual. I'll look into it," Aragorn replied.

He put the matter out of his head again, until he noticed the door of the Steward's office in the citadel stood ajar later that day.

To his surprise, Faramir didn't even look up as he entered, so absorbed was he staring into the palantír. Only with an impatient cough did he manage to gain his Steward's attention.

"I'm sorry, my lord. Is there anything I can help you with?"

"Did you see anything untoward in the palantír? You seemed preoccupied."

"Oh, no, not at all; but I'll admit to being distracted," Faramir dismissed Aragorn's concern.

Back in his own office, Aragorn quickly set the palantír on its standard – as convenient as it sometimes was that both Arwen and Faramir were trained in using the Stone, he worried about the effects that using it might have especially on his Steward.

Now, though, he should put all such matters from his mind, and concentrate on the Stone itself. He sat down and cleared his mind. There was something odd about the palantír, he thought.

Wait, what is that? Letters?




Aragorn leant back and waited, until he could finally do what he had come for.

Dinner that evening was a simple affair; only Aragorn and Arwen, and Faramir – since Éowyn would only arrive in Minas Tirith in another week or so – as their guest.

"I saw some very peculiar things in the palantír this afternoon," Aragorn said just as both Faramir and Arwen were about to take a bite of food. Faramir looked away, suddenly distracted by chasing a lone pea across his plate, while Arwen looked up in shock with a forkful of salad in her mouth.

"Peculiar, my lord?" Faramir asked.

"Very much so. When I turned the Stone towards Mordor, to look for stray Orc bands in the Ephel Dúath, instead I saw a parchment with drawings advertising various goods, and underneath it read 'Nine Strategic Mistakes Sauron Made and What They Meant for the Ring War'. And after I read it there was a list of other things to read. 'Twenty Habits of Successful Rulers', 'You Won't Believe What this Half-Elf Said When Her Father's Fosterling Dúnadan Declared His Love for Her', 'Five Reasons Shieldmaidens Are Hot'."

"Ehm… I didn't mean to look at that," Faramir mumbled, "But my curiosity got the better of me, and, amazingly, they were right!"

"Really," Aragorn said. "Well, don't do it again."

Faramir nodded fervently.

"And then I discovered this other list, called Browsing History," Aragorn said. "I'll not embarrass either of you by asking who looked at 'Which Ringwar Hero Are You?' or 'Fifty Cute Puppies in Armour'"


"Follow-up rates have improved by 50%," Manwe read. "That is very good."

Irmo beamed.


Irmo's face fell.

"This has been at the expense of actual usefulness of the palantír. I've been getting complaints, and it has to stop, no matter how 'efficient' your ideas are."


"No buts about it. Next, Námo will want to outsource his duties, and who knows what that would lead to."



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