Forum: 2010 - HASA Birthdays

Discussing: March 2010 Birthday Cards

March 2010 Birthday Cards

Birthday folk: Is your birthday in March and you would be delighted by a little story gift from your fellow HASA members? Then state your request here in this thread. Create a birthday workshop story to collect your birthday cards in one place, and enter it into the March Challenge.

Authors: Let yourselves get inspired by the suggestions - a chance to be creative and to make a fellow HASA member happy at the same time! And don't forget to add your birthday cards to the birthday workshop story the recipient of your birthday card has - hopefully - created.

In case you need help or have a comment or suggestion, please post it here or e-mail me privately.


March, 6 - Agape4Gondor: Been away awhile and feeling lost and lonely. How about something of the same ilk for one of the Lords of Gondor - or perhaps all three?

March, 14 - Elena Tiriel: So, I think my request is a drabble about Geeks being Geeks — whether you call them sages, scribes, lore-masters, healers, herb-masters, masters of tongues, jewel-smiths, Valar, or just The Wise.

Anything about what they (alone) see as important, or how they see others, or how others see them....

March, 10 - thelauderdale: I would just love to see something to do with Orcs, whatever you choose to write: serious, funny, any length, any POV… And if you really don't like Orcs, I guess if the word "Orc" shows up in it somewhere that works as well.

 

 

ET's Birthday Request

'Your pardon lord!' said the [herb-master to Aragorn]. 'I see you are a lore-master, not merely a captain of war.'


My birthday is March 14, and I've been racking my brains over what to request, until I stumbled upon an amusing paragraph from one of Tolkien's letters, which you can read in its entirety here.

In it, Tolkien goes into excruciating philological detail about the origins of a simple flower name (while disparaging "dogmatic scientists" and "meddlesome book-botanists" along the way)... and then goes on to lob a nuzgûl at himself.

So, I think my request is a drabble about Geeks being Geeks — whether you call them sages, scribes, lore-masters, healers, herb-masters, masters of tongues, jewel-smiths, Valar, or just The Wise.

Anything about what they (alone) see as important, or how they see others, or how others see them....

As always, if this doesn't excite your muse, any and all things Tolkienish would be much appreciated!


Thank you,
Barbara

P.S. Welcome back, Imhiriel!

 

 

For Elena Tiriel

Barbara requested a drabble about 'Geeks being Geeks — whether you call them sages, scribes, lore-masters, healers, herb-masters, masters of tongues, jewel-smiths, Valar, or just The Wise.'

This jumped into my mind - somehow I see Elrohir as being far more geeky than his brother!

The Love Of Learning

"No, but you see, El – this is important," Elrohir explained passionately, waving a scroll under his brother's nose.  "The Amorata is one of the most beautiful love poems ever written, but there is so much debate over it!  We know nothing of the poet, nor the woman he wrote about.  Who was she?  Was she real … perhaps his wife, or even an idealised fantasy; a figment of his imagination?  If I can read it in the original Haradric, perhaps there will be some clue!"

Elladan listened to all this in silence.  "But El," he asked at last.  "Who cares?"

Jay

 

 

Re: For Elena Tiriel

Oh, Jay!  This is perfect! Geekiness galore, and Elrohir and Elladan to boot!

I love that it is a romantic poem that Elrohir is waxing eloquent over, and that he wants to learn Haradric to understand it better... so in keeping with the cosmopolitan nature of the Last Homely House, where people of all races (even Dwarves!) are welcomed.

This is so perceptive!

I soooo understand Elladan here, too, like whenever anyone starts to talk about sports.....

On the other hand, I was just so pleased to find an image of a midge swarm (Culicoides spp) on Lake Mývatn in Iceland, because Tolkien said in his Nomenclature of the Lord of the Rings that the name of the Midgewater Marshes was modelled after that name, which means "midge lake" in Icelandic * .... erm, where were we?

Thank you so much, Jay... I love it! Heart

- Barbara

* Added: you can see the result here:
henneth-annun.net/resources/places_view.cfm?plid=183

 

 

Re: ET's Birthday Request

Hi Barbara, and thanks!

I've just added your request up in the top post - and hope you had a wonderful birthday on Sunday!

May I say your request fits you remarkably well, oh Research Maven of HASA Grin! And I'm glad to report that even my AWOL muse has shown signs of stirring at such tempting a request... Let's hope she manages to actually come up with something tangible...

Imhiriel
...for once actively trying to attract the fangs of a nuzgul...

 

 

Re: For Elena Tiriel

I'm glad you like it!   My Elrohir has always been a scholar like his father, more so than Elladan.  It was very easy to see this happening!  Elladan's comment at the end was actually the first part I wrote :>)

LOL about the Midgewater Lake!

 

 

Re: ET's Birthday Request

Here, Elena.  Hope it raises a smile!

The Research Project

            Ferumbras examined Bilbo Baggins's study with distaste.  Papers, books, and diagrams littered every surface, with a stack of five thick tomes on the floor.  "What is this?" he asked, indicating the stack of paper filled with Bilbo's spidery script that lay in the middle of the desk.

            Bilbo looked about himself, obviously distracted.  "This?  Oh, nothing really, I suppose.  Was writing to Gandalf, explaining what I've learned of how it is that the feathering patterns on arrows help them fly."

            Ferumbras found himself rolling his eyes.  Only Bilbo Baggins would want to waste time exploring why something like that worked!

 

 

Re: ET's Birthday Request

Hee!  That's something I would like to understand - although I expect Gandalf probably already knows :>)

 

 

Re: ET's Birthday Request

May I say your request fits you remarkably well, oh Research Maven of HASA!

Why thank you, Imhiriel! *vvbg* Yeah, I've always had a certain geeky fascination with... well, lots of things....

And I'm glad to report that even my AWOL muse has shown signs of stirring at such tempting a request... Let's hope she manages to actually come up with something tangible...

LOL! I sooo know how delicately one must entice a skittish muse.... would chocolate help?

- Barbara

 

 

Re: ET's Birthday Request

Hi Larner!

Oh, yes, this definitely raised a smile! LOL!

But then I got suspicious: when have you ever seen my office? Your description is much too accurate.........

*ahem*

I love Bilbo's slightly distracted tone, like a scholar whose mind is not quite on the here-and-now.... all too familiar!

And, of course, he'd be self-effacing about his research project... we never realize just how daunting research looks to other people, when we are so engrossed in it because it's fascinating.....

And I know that Ferumbras is displaying just plain old common sense of the Hobbit variety, but I simply can't imagine not wanting to explore and understand the whys and wherefores.... That's what makes life interesting!

Bilbo is just such an extraordinary Hobbit, and I think it really shows here.

Thank you so much, Larner! It's perfect!

- Barbara

 

 

Re: ET's Birthday Request

A Question of Dialect (200 words)

"It's been sorted, Milord," the Orc informed him.  "A goblin contingent from the Misty Mountains misunderstood an order.  Their commander told them to shoot the horses, but they thought he said to aim for the wheels."

If Sauron's hand had been corporeal he would have smacked his similarly embodied forehead.  "This is outrageous.  I devised the Black Speech so that such things would not happen.  I crafted this beautiful language and instructed my creatures in every aspect of its form, but absent a few centuries' watchfulness they have fallen back into dialect and disarray.  What good is all of my Standardization if the dregs of my army will not use the noble grammar I have given them?"

"With respect, Milord, I don't think the problem is grammatical.  It's more an issue of the homophones involved: northern snaga rukul and Mordor rûk."

"Oh, that makes it so much better," said Sauron icily.  "I should just be glad they don't speak Dwarvish or they would have followed orders to shoot each other!"

Udalug's brow creased but he forbore angering his master further.  In Sauron's current mood he would not have appreciated a reminder that the Khuzdul plural for "Orc" was actually Rakhâs.

-.-.-.-

Rûk ("horse"; Land Of Shadow Black Speech, devised by Scatha)
Rukul
("wheel"; Svartiska, a Swedish Orc conlang)
Rukhs, pl. Rakhâs ("Orc"; Tolkien's Khuzdûl)

Actually, I'm not sure who's geekier: Sauron, Udalug or me.

 

 

Re: ET's Birthday Request

Hi, thelauderdale!

Oh, I like it! Such splendid geekiness!

IIRC, when the Standard Oil company, or Esso, wanted a new name, they searched all that was known of every language to make sure that there were no negative connotations to their choice, 'Exxon'.

Apparently, Sauron, perhaps being more of a technical type than an old-fashioned philologist, didn't go to such lengths to avoid ambiguities for those whom the Black Speech is a second language.... LOLOL!

He sounds like such an engineer..... how could these inferior beings not appreciate the elegance and simplicity of the grammar he developed?

Udalug, on the other hand, sounds like a scholar... like one who is stuck in a bad department in a university, and has to hide his light under a bushel to avoid outshining the unreasonable department head.

Only this "department head" can do far, far worse than deny him tenure........ *snerk*

I honestly never expected someone to discuss the vicissitudes of homophones with The Dark Lord Himself! *vbg*

Thank you for all the research you did, and for writing such a funny vignette!

- Barbara

 

 

Re: ET's Birthday Request

Well, it sounds like my office while I'm working on research projects of my own.  When I was writing one research paper for grad school it looked exactly like this, only the diagrams were maps of brain reactions for seeing, speaking, and hearing the same words and phrases rather than fletching patterns of arrows!  Heh!  So, it appears that you and I are spiritual kindred to Bilbo here, doesn't it? 

So glad you enjoyed this.

 

 

Re: ET's Birthday Request

Delightful!  And an orc understands that much Khuzdul?  Remarkable!  Excellent humor, TheLauderdale!

 

 

Re: ET's Birthday Request

I agree, Jay--Gandalf undoubtedly appreciates the effects on aerodynamics here better than any of the Hobbits of the Shire, including Bilbo himself.  Heh!

 

 

Re: ET's Birthday Request

@Elena Tiriel:

I didn't know that about Exxon!  How practical of them.  The Chevy Nova people should have taken a page out of their book.  (Ok, that's an urban legend but still funny.)

I'd avoid irritating the Dark Lord when he's in a snit as well.  Maybe when Sauron isn't in such a lousy mood he and Udalug actually have interesting conversations along these lines.

Glad you liked it!

@Larner:

Thanks!  And as I understand it the Dwarves are quite secretive about Khuzdul, but I reckon the Orcs would have gleaned Rukhs and Rakhâs from having both shouted at them on the battlefield.  Er.  Those Orcs that survived, anyway. Wink

 

 

thelauderdale's birthday request

I loved Elena Tiriel's request, and I'm another March birthday so I though I'd put one in as well.  Mine isn't nearly as cool, though.  I would just love to see something to do with Orcs, whatever you choose to write: serious, funny, any length, any POV…

And if you really don't like Orcs, I guess if the word "Orc" shows up in it somewhere that works as well.  Grin

~ The Lauderdale

 

 

Re: ET's Birthday Request

Triptych

 Three lessons from the masters.  A birthday offering for Elena Tiriel from the Dûnhebaid.

 Chasse

Gaernath drooped, bending to pluck his goose-feathered shaft from the rusty bracken.  "No venison tonight."

"Let me see," Dírmaen said, holding out his hand.

Blood stained the pale wood four fingers from the head; the broad barbed point was clotted thickly with gore.

He handed it back.  "A fair shot, within the four quarters.  If the blood were clear and bright, or there was some whiff of bowel, the chase might be long."  There on the stony crest the noble hart fled, head of sixteen at full still high.  "He may run, but he will not run long.  After him!"

 Shore

"The tide has trapped the boys on a rock," Rian gasped, pressing hand to side, "and still rises!"

Down the track they ran; across the machair and, panting, up the dunes.  There—on one of the islets at the foot of the tower hill: Hanadan and Guaire waved their arms and cried out, shrill as seabirds.

Saelon stared, then blew in exasperated relief.  "They will not drown.  See the green beneath their feet?  That is samphire, which will not grow where washed by wave.  Young fools!  If they hunger, let them eat it, and may the fright teach them caution!"

 Sheen

Leaning into the brightest arc of lamplight, Thyrð turned the gem to and fro with louring dissatisfaction.

"What is the matter?"  Veylin set aside his sapphire and came to gaze on his nephew's work.  Great skill was required to shape moonstone to best advantage.  "Have you lost the glow?"

"Not lost.  Yet," he allowed, "it is strangely dimmed.  Should I buff it smoother still?"

Veylin shook his head.  "It is overpolished already.  The height of the dome gives the radiance."

"So I have spoilt it."

"Not irretrievably.  Here—cut it into four cabochons; they will complement the star sapphire beautifully."

 

 

Re: ET's Birthday Request

The Chevy Nova people should have taken a page out of their book.  (Ok, that's an urban legend but still funny.)

Oh, now I confess to being curious as to what the Nova urban legend is.... is that about No va meaning "it doesn't run" in Spanish? That was told to me by a school chum whose first language was Spanish, so I didn't think it was an urban legend... is there another legend about the name Nova that I didn't know?

(Hmmmm, Nova is also the name of my favorite science program, on PBS.... it doesn't run, but it rocks! *vbgg* [added: translation: Very Big Geeky Grin])

I was a bit out of sorts today, so am reviewing my birthday gifts to cheer me up... and I just realized that your gift, A Question of Dialect, even has links for the three different languages it references.... Oh, bless your geeky heart!  I'm even more in awe of the research you did, not just coming up with words that sounded similar, but making them fit together in a coherent vignette.... that's so impressive! Thank you again....

- Barbara

P.S. I am trying hard to get my muse to wake up and write something about orcs for you.... Poking it hasn't worked so far, but I'll keep trying..... At least I have an idea, which is better than my muse hass managed for the last year....

 

 

Re: ET's Birthday Request

@Elena Tiriel:

Oh, now I confess to being curious as to what the Nova urban legend is.... is that about No va meaning "it doesn't run" in Spanish? That was told to me by a school chum whose first language was Spanish, so I didn't think it was an urban legend...

That's the one!  And I thought it was true as well, up till the minute I was responding to *your* message.  I just had a funny feeling all of a sudden and decided to Snope it:
http://www.snopes.com/business/misxlate/nova.asp (beware of pop-ups)
But you say your friend's first language was Spanish, which makes me uncertain again...

Re: the links, I have a pathological need to go back and edit everything I post and in this case, I just really wanted to make sure I was giving credit where credit was due.  I have used Helge Fauskanger's Ardalambion web site more times than I can count (an excellent resource for legit information about Tolkien's conlangs), and I love the fact that there are people out there devising whole new Orkish conlangs to build on the wee corpus in the books.  Scatha's Black Speech is probably the more sophisticated, but Svartiska Orkish is what I encountered first and is what I use in my own fiction.  Plus it has done very well for itself otherwise, even inspiring albums of Orkish music/audio dramas: the Za Frûmi Saga (if you want to see something that takes geeky to a whole new level.)

 

 

Re: ET's Birthday Request

Triptych

Oh Adaneth! These are beautiful!  *quietly squeeing*

I love how each of these is so inextricably entwined with the rhythms of daily life for your characters... challenges involved in finding food, survival, and earning a living.

Chasse amazes me... not being a hunter myself (much less an archer!), the details sound esoteric.... and plausible... to me -- the kind of things that great hunters would just know. (I clearly remember combing the internet for information about boar-hunting with bow and arrow, so I could make one small phrase, in a drabble in which a warg is shot, sound authentic.... LOL!)

Shore sent me scurrying off to Wikipedia, which confirmed that samphire is a plant with the properties you describe... plus was used for making soap and glass. Wow! Did you already know this, or did you just do some research? I am sooo impressed!

And Saelon's annoyance at the boys -- are they (the ME equivalent of) teenagers, by any chance? -- just sounds so familiar to me....

And Sheen -- well, I love star sapphires, after admiring one in a Smithsonian exhibition.... and moonstones are really pretty, too. I would never have thought that the depth of the stone adds to its beauty, but it makes sense....

This is just brilliant, Adaneth.... Thank you so much for the lovely gift!

- Barbara

 

 

Re: ET's Birthday Request

Oh, now I confess to being curious as to what the Nova urban legend is.... is that about No va meaning "it doesn't run" in Spanish?....

That's the one!  And I thought it was true as well, up till the minute I was responding to *your* message.  I just had a funny feeling all of a sudden and decided to Snope it:
http://www.snopes.com/business/misxlate/nova.asp ....
But you say your friend's first language was Spanish, which makes me uncertain again...

Oh, my! I think Snopes quite thoroughly demolishes that myth (in his usual uber-geeky style)! But IIRC (it was over 40 years ago....) my friend's comment was more in the spirit of "My family gets a giggle out of that name" rather than "No one in any Spanish-speaking country would ever buy that model." (Hey, we were young girls, the auto industry was not high on our list of important concerns LOL!)... so maybe there isn't any real conflict between the two...  it's also possible that she just fell for the same apocryphal tale!

Re: the links, I have a pathological need to go back and edit everything I post....

You, too, huh? LOL! Well, thank you for sharing the wealth of information... I knew of Ardalambion, and it's a superb (and trustworthy) site....

But, may I ask a question? What does "conlang" stand for? I'm guessing it refers to an invented language, but I can't quite figure out what the "con-" stands for....

- Barbara


 

 

Re: ET's Birthday Request

But, may I ask a question? What does "conlang" stand for? I'm guessing it refers to an invented language, but I can't quite figure out what the "con-" stands for....

"constructed"

*sigh* so far the geek Muse has eluded me this month, but I can at least contribute this scrap...

 

 

Re: ET's Birthday Request

But, may I ask a question? What does "conlang" stand for? I'm guessing it refers to an invented language, but I can't quite figure out what the "con-" stands for....

"constructed"

Oh! That's so obvious, that I would never have thought of it LOL!

*sigh* so far the geek Muse has eluded me this month

{{{hugs}}} Oh, I sooo sympathize with you....Haven't had even a peep from my muse for the last year....

Thanks for filling me in, Nath!

- Barbara

 

 

Re: ET's Birthday Request

Cuinwen posted a birthday story for me, but ididn't know how to post here.... so I'll post a link to it:

Patience, Unexpected
by Cuinwen

at henneth-annun.net/stories/chapter.cfm?stid=8238

Thank you, Cuinwen! And welcome to HASA!

- Barbara

 

 

Re: ET's Birthday Request

You are very welcome, Barbara.

For hunting, my favorite resource is John Cummin's The Hound and the Hawk, even though much of the information is about the intricacies of later medieval hunting (the best strategy for deploying relays of hounds when hunting stags, the social implications of the various species of hawks, or the duties of huntsmen at various ranks).

As for herbs, well, my collection grows apace.  The more recent additions include Flora Celtica (the website associated with the book can be found here--http://193.62.154.38/celtica/scotuseb.htm) and a wonderful guide on the various edibles to be found along the British shore (http://www.rivercottage.net/ShopProduct539/EdibleSeashoreRiverCottageHandbookNo5.aspx).  The latter provided the information on samphire.

Even worse than adolescents--the boys are about ten.  Grin

Cheers--

Adaneth

 

 

Re: ET's Birthday Request

Haven't had even a peep from my muse

Not even for chocolate?

Worst is, I squeed when I saw your prompt, but now I'm drawing a complete blank:-\

 

 

Re: ET's Birthday Request

Happy birthday, Elena Tiriel! I meant to write something with a bit more geekery in it, but it didn't quite clean up that way. Hope you don't mind this wee bit all the same. 

Origins

"Where does it come from?" Eowyn asked and nodded at his pipe, the sun bouncing off the white stone walls and toasting the limp grass they sat on. It was the first time she'd said anything, though they had been sitting in the garden together for hours. Looking into the smoldering, squirming remains of his Longbottom Leaf, Merry felt his stomach drop. He knew little beyond what he had already shared with Dernhelm on the ride. It would be his luck that, for all the babbling he'd done today and the day before, when she finally spoke he would have nothing to say in reply. When he looked up at her, however, he smiled, in that instant resolving to tell as much and as merrily whatever half-remembered half-truths his great-uncle had bestowed on the soil of the South-Farthing. 

He got no laughter, not even at the story of Toby Hornblower's supposed 'ride' on the Prancing Pony in exchange for a barrel of pipeweed, but she smiled briefly, shaking her head. It was a start, at any rate, and as soon as the bells rang for the sunset hour, he set out to speak to Faramir again, to ask permission to look for any herb-lore in the great library that chatty old healing woman kept going on about. 

 

 

A Late Birthday Present, Preciousss...

Not sure what prompted this- or if you'll even like it, for that matter- but it wouldn't leave me alone once I saw your prompt.

*

I clutch my spear so hard my knuckles are white.

I don't know why.

I want to throw it away, to run, to scream, to cry...

I do nothing.

The army that charges towards us, shining as brilliant and bright and brutal as a thunderstorm...

I am transfixed.

I close my eyes, and hope that if the Dark Lord is watching that he will forgive me...

*

 

 

Re: A Late Birthday Present, Preciousss...

@Aruthir:

I like this a lot.  It's like a snapshot: short and sharp and bright as the flash of sun on steel.  With of course that little twist at the end that one would not typically expect, suddenly establishing the perspective of the narrator as the Last Alliance comes riding down on him.

I was wondering when I read it if this was your Orc Gharath, from that drabble you wrote in the thread on female Orcs.  Thank you for writing it!

Now I will go see how to add it...

 

 

Re: ET's Birthday Request

@Gilraen:

That's a neat drabble and I think it counts as geeky in the sweetest possible way: someone who *doesn't* necessarily have that much knowledge on a subject but who wants to learn more and share his knowledge.  Plus I like stuff with Merry and Eowyn.

General comment: Elena knows how to pick them!  This has turned out to be a really neat request and I love seeing what people have written for it.  "Triptych" was awesome, and I also really enjoyed Tanaqui's Not In Our Stars, which explored the premise for the request from a radically different perspective than I was expecting.

 

 

Re: ET's Birthday Request

Haven't had even a peep from my muse
Not even for chocolate?

No, and that is.... unheard of! Not even for coffee ice cream and chocolate.... *grumbles*

I squeed when I saw your prompt, but now I'm drawing a complete blank:-\

{{{Hugs}}} It will come, Nath... whether it's this nuzgûl or another, sooner or later, your muse will speak.....

(I keep telling myself that, anyway....)

- Barbara

 

 

Re: ET's Birthday Request

Origins

Oh, Gilraen, this is delightful! So that's why Merry became an expert and later wrote Herblore in the Shire! He was trying to cheer up a friend... how quintessentially Hobbity of him.... *vbg*

And I loved the mention of Ioreth... he may have dismissed her as that chatty old healing woman, but he listened closely enough to recognize the knowledge that she had....

Which reminds me of one of Celeborn's most endearing quotes from FoTR:

'But do not despise the lore that has come down from distant years; for oft it may chance that old wives keep in memory word of things that once were needful for the wise to know.'

Young as he may be, Merry is already learning of the wisdom of women....

Thank you so much for this lovely gift!

- Barbara

 

 

Re: ET's Birthday Request

Elena knows how to pick them!  This has turned out to be a really neat request

Thank you, thelauderdale! I am surprised and humbled and truly grateful for the response it's had..... definitely a lucky pick. LOL!

Still trying to get the muse working on Orcs....

- Barbara

 

 

Re: A Late Birthday Present, Preciousss...

Hi Aruthir,

Oh, this is very tense....

And I like that the PoV character sees the advancing army as brutal as a thunderstorm.... which associated them with Shadow in my mind... until the twist at the end.....

I was in the shoes of the person, heart racing, watching wide-eyed like a deer in the headlights as his certain demise falls upon him....

Nicely done!

- Barbara

 

 

Re: ET's Birthday Request

Cheers, ET. Glad you liked it.

I was quite pleased that Ioreth fit into the drabble as well. She's a great character - conveying what's most important in an absolutely trivial style.

The lauderdale - Thanks! I love stuff with Merry and Eowyn, too.

 

 

Re: ET's Birthday Request

sooner or later, your muse will speak.....

(I keep telling myself that, anyway....)

Oh, she's speaking, just not saying much that's of use right now (which is still a lot better than nothing - at least I can make notes and sneak up on ideas months later).

Maybe you should take your muse out to a play (The Muse Trap), a movie (The Muse that Roared) or a bar (Euterpe's Hideaway) for a change of scenery?

 

 

Re: March 2010 Birthday Cards

Birthday: March 6

Been away awhile and feeling lost and lonely. How about something of the same ilk for one of the Lords of Gondor - or perhaps all three?

Blessings,
Agape

 

 

Re: thelauderdale's birthday request

'I would just love to see something to do with Orcs, whatever you choose to write: serious, funny, any length, any POV…'

 

I don't usually do orcs, and inevitably Elladan and Elrohir have appeared in it, but I hope you like it!  An orc encounters the Sons of Elrond for the first (and last) time ...

The Grey Riders

They were creatures of legend, the Grey Riders.  They were tales told to terrify the younglings, stories whispered by den mothers at night so brats would wake screaming from nightmares.  They were a threat: 'the Grey Riders will come and get you!'

I never believed in the Grey Riders, but I passed the tale on; laughing at the younglings' terror.  I never believed – until one day the nightmare came true, and I saw them.  Warriors on dirty great horses, their faces like thunder and eyes as hard as steel, riding down on us with their swords in their hands …

Jay

 

 

Re: thelauderdale's birthday request

@Jay of Lasgalen:

Hssssss, nasty Elveses!  And scary too.  I will pretend this fellow lived to crawl away and lick his wounds and tell more stories to frightened Orc brats.  Honestly, the thought of Elrohir and Elladan has to be pretty freaky from an Orkish POV: not enough to have one scary genocidal Elf but there is another one who looks the same, AND they travel together! [shivers]

Thank you, Jay, for the awesome drabble. Grin

 

 

Re: thelauderdale's birthday request

I'm glad you liked it! 

There must be some orcs who survived each battle to be able to pass on the legend, so who knows if this one lived to fight another day?

 

 

Re: ET's Birthday Request

Happy Birthday, Elena Tiriel. Something suggested itself at last. A drabble-and-a-half on learning and its usefulness:

Not a scholar

"What is this I hear about not turning up for your Quenya lessons?"

Boromir squirmed under Denethor's gaze, then mumbled something he could not quite make out.

"Boromir, answer me."

"But Quenya is boring! And nobody speaks it anymore. Why should I have to learn something that's useless?"

"Useless?" Denethor stood up, maintaining his stern mien. "Then, when you are Steward, how will you read old records and reports of battles long ago?" He understood his son all too well, he feared. The boy was not dumb, but he had no patience for anything that was of no immediate use.

"Others can read them and tell me what is in there."

"How will you know they speak the truth?"

Boromir looked thoughtful, until his expression turned almost triumphant and he exclaimed, "But Faramir will be my chief councillor and he likes Quenya. He can read those old texts for me!"

 

 

Re: March 2010 Birthday Cards

Happy birthday, Agape!

Coincidentaly, I'm working on something that might fit your mood - just hope it's not all too dark for your liking Smile

http://www.henneth-annun.net/stories/chapter.cfm?stid=8214

 

 

A joint present

Happy birthday, Elena Tiriel and thelauderdale!

Here's something for both of you, if you don't mind:

Crude Material

The sobbing gasps died as the prisoner passed off. Sauron examined the marks on the rack and checked his notes. "Continue," he snarled. The Orc at the wheel crouched and obeyed the command all too eagerly. The rupture of the overstretched tendons almost could be heard.

Sauron slowly rose from his chair. "Why," he said in a dangerously calm voice, his gaze aimed at no-one in particular, "why is it that my projects are constantly hindered? How am I supposed to continue my research on the Elven tendons elasticity if I constantly run out of material? Can you imagine how difficult it is to arrange that the subjects are of more or less the same the stature and physical condition?" He sighed. "No, you probably cannot." Another sigh, as he took a different file of notes, considerably thicker. "Luckily, my research of the different physical properties of the individual Orc tribes can always use a supplement. Put him on the rack and continue."

 

 

Re: March 2010 Birthday Cards

That was excellent. I've signed up for story alerts. I do love a good battle and your account of Osgiliath is great. I loved the preparations too. Had not thought of creating a 'buffer zone' at the river - it works!

Loved your idea of Faramir 'knowing' he might already have been touched by the Black Breath. Great!

Many, many thanks for an excellent birthday present!
Agape

 

 

For Agape4Gondor

Agape requested 'Been away awhile and feeling lost and lonely. How about something of the same ilk for one of the Lords of Gondor?'   Well, it's not exactly abut the Lords of Gondor, but does take place when Aragorn was serving them in the guise of Thorongil.

Summer In The City

 The sun blazed down on the city, reflecting heat and light off white walls.  Aragorn squinted against the dazzle and held his breath to escape the noisome stench of raw sewage that flowed through the drains; but he could not so easily escape the noise and clamour that echoed off streets of stone.

He longed for the cool green shade beneath the trees of Imladris, and dappled sunlight on rivers and streams.  He missed the peace and tranquillity, the murmur of water, and the clean scent of rain on warm earth. 

He had been away from home for too long.

Jay

 

 

Re: A joint present

@Ygrain:

Eyew.

ICK. 

A "joint" present?  Do I spy a play on words?  Anyhow, this was just wicked.  Made me happy, though!  Thank you!  Sauron's brand of geeky is so...gruesome.  Elven elasticity indeed.  It's giving me ideas...

No.  No, that's just too much, even for me. Oh Well

-.-.-.-
"You know what I've heard about Elves?" asked Nazluk without changing his pace.
"What's that?" asked Kurbag.

"They bounce."

 

 

Re: thelauderdale's birthday request

Here, TheLauderdale--a tribble!  Ever wonder how Shagrat managed after he left the tower of Cirith Ungol with his bundle?

Shagrat's Welcome

            Shagrat approached the fortress with a feeling of relief.  He'd not known true terror until the last few days, only since he'd seen the figure on the stairs with its bright sword.  "An Elvish wight!" he repeated to himself, remembering the power he'd sensed, and the horrible light given off by its blade.  "An Elvish wight was in the tower!  No one could be expected to withstand the fury of an Elvish wight!  The maggots here have to believe that!"

            But the captain who received his report sniffed.  "This one speaks of Elves in his tower?  Of bright Elves filled with wrath, but smaller than himself?  Nonsense!"

            "But I saw it!" snarled Shagrat.  "And the spy we brought to the tower—it was small as well, but fair shinin' in the gloom!  And it was carrying these!"  So saying, he spilled the bundle he carried out upon the floor.

            The captain startled backwards as the grey-green cloak fell open and out of it spilled a sparkling coat of mithril links, set with pearls that reflected the torchlight with soft allure and shining crystals that seemed themselves to flame, and with them an ancient knife that radiated with fury.  The clothing it saw was a mystery to the captain, but he'd served once in Angmar, and the fashion of the knife and sheath he recognized.

            "Arthedain!" he whispered.  "Wights indeed!"

            He turned to his lieutenant.  "Have a messenger bring these to Barad-dûr—immediately!  Hurry, slug!"

          Realizing the captain respected the import of his find, Shagrat started to straighten with relief.  He'd been right!

          But the captain was not through.  "As for this one—he's all but lost his arm.  He's of no further use.  Kill him!"

          No surprise there.  Shagrat pulled his knife—he'd not go down easily!

 

 

Re: ET's Birthday Request

Oh, Nath--I can so see Boromir thinking exactly this way!  Oh, yes!

 

 

Re: For Agape4Gondor

Ah, Jay--I can so see this as well!  Perfect!

 

 

Re: For Agape4Gondor

At last, Agape, in the place of honor!  The muse finally gifted me with this drabble:

Lost in the Wilderness

            Boromir sat within the meager shelter of three tight-clustered trees, huddled within his cloak.  But nothing seemed to ward off the drizzle down his neck!

            "I should have let Faramir have this quest!" he muttered to himself, then brushed futilely at his hood as a hail of nuts fell from the oak trees above, striking his head and shoulders, one landing in his lap.  "Curse these foul things!  I'm not made for travails within the wilderness!  Tonight I'd give anything to sleep in a sound room in a clean bed!  And I have still to find the way to Imladris!"

 

 

Re: thelauderdale's birthday request

@Larner:

Ever wonder how Shagrat managed after he left the tower of Cirith Ungol with his bundle?

Only all the time...and you are the first person I've ever seen write it, so this was a real treat!  Believe it or not, Shagrat is one of my two favorite Tolkien Orcs.  Loved reading this for the excellent in-character writing and your enticing description of the swag in question.  Plus I like the way you carried off the ending.  "He's of no further use.  Kill him!" - but Shagrat is no naïf and he's going to put up a fight.  You leave the outcome up to the reader, and that is fine by me.  I am sadly pessimistic about Shagger's chances but I hope he at least causes a lot of damage.

 

 

Re: thelauderdale's birthday request

Considering what he did to Gorbag and his followers up on the upper terrace of the tower, I suspect that Shagrat managed a good deal of damage before he was overwhelmed.  What an irony that the Enemy's own policies in the end deplete his followers!

So glad you liked it!  And a most blessed Easter and end of Pesach to you!

 

 

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