A brief extension of an unannounced hiatus!

Hi all! I’ve been a bit sluggish with posts lately with lotro demanding my attention. And now I’m going to be on vacation for the duration of the week, but I hope to settle back into the swing of things asap:)


By way of apology please accept this picture of my cat, the currency of the internet.

Middle-Child (And a Nifty Cosmetic Trick)

There’s an explanation owing for why I’ve been a bit slower on the updates than I like to be, lately. There’s an unfortunately cyclic problem that crops up with lotro, wherein playing inspires me to write, and writing gets me itching to play. Both detract time from the other, and currently, playing is winning out over writing. Still, I’m not unhappy with my pace, and the mental machinery is still arcing out the story that looms ahead, so I’m not especially bothered.

However, it’s not any of my four regulars who’ve got my attention snared at the moment. A long time ago, and very improbably, I rolled a runekeeper. You perhaps recall him, he’s been mentioned in passing once or twice. He is the derpy looking individual featured in the picture after the jump.

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Blithe the Days of Summer – Part Four

Blithe the Days of Summer – Part 4

Beldrieth was fetched by Aldish (who was probably the shyest out of the hobbits of Aubergine’s company, and had hemmed and hawed and respectfully doffed his cap a great number of times to the tall, impeccable elfess before managing to convey the message he’d been sent with). Despite her fluency in Westron and kindness and grace towards the small assemblage of hobbits, most of them were struck dumb and tongue-tied by Beldrieth. Brassica found herself wondering why the elfess carried such an air of gravity about her. Perhaps it was simply difficult not to sense her age, and to know how how to comport oneself around someone thousands of years old.

The appearance of Celebarad and Llythne lightened the mood considerably, as Beldrieth gently examined Bungo’s bruising wrist. Llythne was bouncing her dice merrily on her palm, and despite Brassica’s warning, soon she had Hal and Aldish rolling against her for trinkets and a handful of silver coins. Well recovered from any shyness of his own, Celebarad sat in the shady grass and chattered merrily to ‘Bergine, who seemed glad of the distraction now that her brother was in good hands.

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Blithe the Days of Summer – Part Three

Blithe the Days of Summer – Part 3

The breakfast that Aubergine Took had provided was a tasty and welcome start to the morning, and went a long way towards piquing Llythne’s curiosity towards the Summerday’s Festival, which she knew about, but was not actually really celebrated in Evendim. Brassica had been fortunate in borrowing ‘Bergine’s dress instead of Primmy’s–Primmy was stout even as hobbits went, and Brassica was closer in build to ‘Bergine, who was trim and perky. Once everyone had eaten, the tarts and the jammy bread having been washed down with fizzy sweet cider, Brassica retreated to the privacy of a bush, and wiggled into the soft yellow dress. It fit like a glove, and she spun and twirled girlishly, wishing for a mirror.

Now endowed with the capacity to flounce about, Brassica did so emphatically, her dress swirling about her every movement in a thoroughly pleasing fashion, as they tidied the camp and prepared to ride for the festival grounds. It had taken some cajoling to convince Beldrieth that they could spare a day for some relaxation and merriment, and that supplies could be just as easily purchased at the festival ground as they could in Bree Town, and probably with less fuss and bother. Once she had consented–and not unkindly, for she knew the value of a day of fun to the young hobbit–her charges had begun to prepare in earnest for the excursion.

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Blithe the Days of Summer – Part Two

Blithe the Days of Summer – Part 2

There was a strange fluidity between the pair of them–the mare and the elf. Brassica had noticed that Celebarad seemed to have a soft spot where the horses were concerned, especially his own Miriel. If Brassica hadn’t been clinging quite as tightly as she was, she might not have glimpsed the pure, unbridled joy that they both seemed to get from simply running free.

Brassica, tragically, didn’t quite manage any emotion other than stark terror until Miriel was urged to the crest of a hill and then slowed to a stop with a word from the elf. From this vantage point, Brassica could see the Festival Grounds, and see that they were indeed a place of great merriment, and there were certain to be more fireworks to come. “There!” she cried, and pried her fingers free long enough to point, and thump the elf on the shoulder. “Go slowly!” she scolded. “I feel about to fly off the back of your silly horse, for whatever the two of you think you’re flying on the ground.”

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Blithe the Days of Summer – Part One

Blithe the Days of Summer – Part 1

It had taken an entire day to calm Brassica down after they had left Trestlebridge.

Never mind that the town was half in ruins. Never mind that the guard were hard pressed to fend off from the Orcish camps that filled the canyon of Cirth Nur, and that Brassica and company had been fortunate to pass through Trestlebridge in a rare lull in the increasingly vicious assaults by the Tarkrip Orcs. Never mind that they were lucky that the inn was even still standing. And certainly never mind that it had been Llythne’s first time in a building less than a century old. Brassica had been shocked at the notion of what the big people allowed to pass for an inn.

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And the Echoes all Around

And the Echoes All Around

Author’s Note: To be read with this playing on repeat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKQwgpaLR6o

Brassica didn’t know what she’d expected the Fields of Fornost to be. The dream she’d had of the great battle was fading, bare scraps of memory clinging around the edges of her mind, like a tapestry torn away. Not that it would have been a good reference anyway, what she did remember of it seemed plainly absurd to her waking-mind, in the way that dreams do.

Her expectations entirely aside, the only word for the place was creepy. Brassica had shivered when they’d approached the Evendim Gate; when they’d passed beneath it, she’d felt as though someone had walked over her grave.

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By the Road Abandoned – Notes

Well. Noticed the retitle? I’m not 100% pleased with it, but then, I choose some horribly pretentious titles to be pleased with, so that’s not really saying much. This is what happens when you get ahead of yourself, I guess! I mentioned that this story was being posted as-written, and you know what, I’m not sure I cared for the experience. There’s some safety in a buffer, and I knew I’d be abandoning that.

I had a handful of goals with story, and they were more or less as follows:

  • Get out of Evendim.
  • Get to know Llythne.
  • Get into the North Downs.

Sort of got hung up on that second one, which is fine. I’m a character writer, first and foremost, I think, and I’ve always believed that the way to tell a story is to tell it around interesting people. That way it doesn’t matter so much what’s actually happening, as compared to how the characters are reacting to it. So, here are some tidbits.

  • Brassica’s objection to being picked up by big people is tangentially related to what I presume my cat’s objections to be. Here is this person who is multiple times your size, and they are just picking you up!  How are you supposed to respond to that!
  • I wish I knew better about the way Sindarin syntax works, because I have no idea if I’m making reasonable  analogues in Celebarad’s clumsy overtures in the the common tongue. He’s going to get better, hopefully very soon.
  • Beldrieth is hard to sort out. Llythne isn’t entirely wrong in her assessment, she’s been saddled with a load of children, and she’s trying to keep them all in line.
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZ7P1EID7v8 <—- This is why Brassica’s gone off on a rant about bacon in waybread. A kinnie posted this on our FB page and then we had a FIGHT.
  • Wanna know something sad? Poor Torogethir’s character was based on a stock photo, of a smiley dude who turned up when I googled “man in his forties”. He probably wouldn’t have been so cheerful otherwise. I like him though. You know how writers talk about characters getting away from them? He got away from me.
  • You know, it’s funny about Llythne. She’s leaving home too. And she’s come to the edge of her world, and found a kindred spirit at the border. And maybe for just a moment, she wavered on the brink of staying. BUT I WON’T LET HER, WE HAVE THINGS TO DO! ONWARD!

Here’s Llythne!

Hi Llythne! I was late in getting your character biography up! That’s okay. I did explain how to pronounce your crazy name. Well, that’s the last of the four, for now! I don’t think we see another character for a good long while yet, so my sidebar should be about fixed. I was quite pleased by the shots I took of the burg in the Fields of Fornost. She’s kind of sassy, and it’s hard to capture that in screenshots, but I think it comes across in all of these. Tragically, I’m going to need to theme and frame a new shot to replace the title image of that darn third story, which is going to be renamed to “By the Road Abandoned”. And the real “And the Echoes All Around” which was most of the way completed last night, will likely be up shortly, certainly over the weekend if not sooner.

Anyway, as per usual, here is a handy link:


Thanks again for reading!

Happy (Belated) Anniversary!

Here's our girl!

Well, no two ways around it, I’m a little bit late to the party! That’s okay. So! I think I’m about ready to call AtEAA done. That last part ended so well, it’s hard not to call it finished. Trouble is, I’m no longer ready to call it AtEAA. That was a title that applied to the original arc I had in mind, which went careening off the tracks and into the story you just finished. Thankfully no one was hurt. So, here’s my to-do list for the upcoming round of posts:

  • An About page for Llythne. She’s due! It’s important. I’m glad I finally started to explore her character and her backstory a bit, it’s good to have her a bit more solid in my mind.
  • Notes for the as-yet-to-be-retitled AtEAA. Wherein I will explain the original direction I had intended, and break down a few other bits and pieces about the writing of it.
  • A “deleted scene” if you will, or another, very short piece. This was a fragment that was already written, and was supposed to be the core of the previous piece. Again, got sidetracked. That’s something I’ve learned in takeaway from attempting to write a piece without a buffer of at least a few chapters–sometimes it changes on you midway through.
  • My fourth story, tentatively titled “Blithe the Days of Summer” We’re heading into Breeland! There was supposed to be a larger buffer in between Evendim and our next destination, but I’ve gotta be honest, there’s not a whole heck of a lot I need to say about Trestlebridge. What may happen, emphasis on may, because I’ve only just thought of this now, is a series of shorter vignettes about the journey south.  But we shall see.

So, my usual thanks to everyone reading, and I hope you’re all enjoying the anniversary festival! I certainly am. I picked up all the Moria maps, and am patiently waiting for the last 4 of the Eriador set. The toons are all doing well. Llythne’s been raiding, even poked her head into Saruman’s tower a couple times. Bel has cleaned up the Great River, is all but fully dragon geared, and she’s the toon I play if I want to do Roots of Fangorn. The Guard is lurking in Mirkwood and barreling towards cap, he’s 66 as of this writing, and geared in a mishmash of bits and pieces of various sets. Brassica just got her first set of masteries! It makes gambit building just a wee bit less daunting. And that’s how things stand for me! Thanks again to everyone reading! I hope to have more up in the not-too-distant future.