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Silmarillion Blues : Quenta Silmarillion : XVIII. Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin

The Noldor, strong and numerous, fair well in their alliance with Men.  For about five hundred years at least.  Time gets a bit wonky when dealing with the conniving of immortals, and "patience" becomes a bit relative.  I can't even say that Morgoth was really patient by waiting five hundred years because he built up his resources until he reached "good enough," and rushes out to burninate the countryside without really evaluating his plan.

His opening salvo is fire, rivers of flame, volcanoes, dragons, and Balrogs.  Morgoth's forces wrecked destruction on their unprepared enemy, but many retreated and regrouped, to strengthen those further away from the front and fortify defenses.  Fingolfin beholds the apparent destruction of his people, and calls out Morgoth in challenge.  Their fight is one of legend, a fight between demigods.  Morgoth rends the earth with his hammer, while Fingolfin springs away from Morgoth's blows, wounding Morgoth seven times.  …

Silmarillion Blues : Quenta Silmarillion : XVII. Of the Coming of Men into the West

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And behold, Elves discover Men. 

Or more specifically, an Eldar discovers Men, because they already associated with the Dark Elves.  We've covered a basic summary of Men in this story in Chapter 13, but it lacks depth or a clear sense of timeline.

Finrod Felagund, lord of Nargothrond stumbles across a camp of Men under the leadership of one Bëor (really named Balan, but I guess the Elven name wins out) by chance and becomes rather fascinated by them. After they fall asleep he steals into the camp, and they awake to the sound of an elf singing and playing with such skill that they had yet to encounter.  They at first take him for one of the Valar, but he stays among them and imparts knowledge, forging a bond between these Men and his line.

Thanks to some Elven mojo, and some pre-exisiting familiarity with Elven speech, the bypassed linguistic barriers without much difficulty.  Bëor shares little of their origins and their journey, just that a "darkness" lay behind them.  …

December Read: We

Actually, I have two December Reads.

The first one is We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, the other is The Hogfather by Terry Pratchett.  A bit of a spread, I know.

I learned about We when a local book club ordered copies last year.  I had never heard of this Russian dystopian novel from the 1920's, and I was fascinated by the description.  It's a small book, but I hope it proves a worthwhile read, and small books are good for the end of the year when everything comes to a head.  So that's my Virtual Speculation pick.

The Hogfather on the other hand, is a delightful re-read, that I'm diving into with a group of others as a holiday buddy read.  It's one of my favorite Discworld novels, and I actually really enjoy the movie.  I'm not sure how much I'll be posting mid-read, though that seems to be a big part of buddy reads.  The problem is, I'll want to post 70% of the book.  So be it, right?

Silmarillion Blues : Quenta Silmarillion : XVI. Of Maeglin

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I suppose it's semi-redundant to say any particular chapter exists to introduce characters and set the stage, as we're reading a "history" text... but this chapter introduces us to characters and sets the stage.

The really short summary is the daughter of Fingolfin goes on walkabout, gets ensnared in a marriage, has a kid, then goes back home, sacrifices herself to keep her kid alive, and her kid brings glory to the Noldor while slowly becoming consumed with envy and anger.

Aredhel Ar-Feiniel, the White Lady of the Noldor, daughter of Fingolfin, once roamed far and wide in the realm of Valinor.  Now she lives within the bounds of Gondolin, under the rule of her brother Turgon... and after 200 years she's had enough of living in one spot.  When asked for permission to explore again, brother dear wanted her to do so his way.  If you haven't noticed by now, Tolkien rarely writes women who simply concede to what the men around them want.  So Turgon sends his guar…

Silmarillion Blues : Quenta Silmarillion : XV. Of the Noldor in Beleriand

A summary of this chapter could be "the sins of the fathers come to haunt the sons."  The elves as a whole prosper, but the Noldor suffer from their alienation of he Valar and their infringement on the established elven societies.  The Doom of Mandos hangs over them, the threat of treason from within, rather like the Sword of Damocles.  Adding to comparisons, Melian is Thingol's Cassandra, who seems to get the "don't worry your pretty head" treatment quite a bit for some reason.

Regardless of Galadriel's careful omissions, and her speaking true when she says she is not under the shadow of evil, the truth (and rumors) come out.  And so, the language of the Noldor is banned, Sindar shall not speak or answer to the language.  The most profound moment comes for me at the end, when King Finrod Felagund says "An oath I too shall swear, and must be free to fulfil it, and go into darkness.  Nor shall anything of my realm endure that a son should inherit.&q…

Legend of the Stars 2

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This weekend, we lived a Gothic Horror/Romance.  With space wizards and light sabers.  On a real life heavy cruiser.  I did horrible things to amazing people, causing characters emotional trauma and player tears.  I lost track of the number of times friends told me they hated me or that I was the worst as they gleefully went deeper into the dark places of the plot.

Not only that, I portrayed a space wizard ghost trapped in a ship and who thinks its the AI.

Sometimes, life is pretty sweet.

I also admit that I'm a strange person.

When I was invited to contribute to Legends of the Stars 2 (website, Facebook), I think I had a bit of a brain glitch.  Really?  They wanted me to contribute?  Holy crap.  We'll hand wave the ensuing anxiety of whether or not it was a true invite that lasted through my first story development meeting up until I was officially on the writing team.

This made for one of my top LARP experiences so far.  I'm still buzzing from it.

I've never done a N…

Silmarillion Blues : Quenta Silmarillion : XIV. Of Beleriand and its Realms

I'm keeping this one short and sweet, in part because this is the type of chapter that is very hard for me to read.  In short, Of Beleriand and it's Realms is a narrative description of a map and the prominent names attached.  It would make a rather lovely graphic, the map with tags for the different areas and the data sectioned accordingly.  Actually, I'm pretty sure I've seen it as such, but life has me a bit swamped, so I'm cheating on this one, and moving on.