Devonna Said Not to Take Screenshots at Night

…but I did anyway. And you know what, I think they came out pretty spiffy.

One of the most engaging things about writing about LotRO is being able to go in-game and recreate the scenes I see in my head. I’ve done a lot of writing as a hobby, and the thing I always wished for was to be able to see things with more than just my mind’s eye. It’s this sort of balance of drawing inspiration from what I see vs. being able to recreate what I have in my mind. I have character art. I have action scenes. I have a way to block out in my head the locations of various points that are relevant to the story, because they exist outside of my brain. And I can go and visit them, and refine what I’m producing. Of course, I also have the advantage of readers who are passing familiar with all the people and places I’m describing.

So, when it came time to write the fight scene between Celebarad and the Brigand Captain, I hauled his butt out to Evendim and went and bashed Percy Alroyd around Rantost a handful of times. Trouble is, Percy spawns with more than just a greatsword, and I am a perfectionist, so “a handful of times” is a bit of an understatement. And it wasn’t much of a fight, the guard having outmatched him by 20-odd levels, but it let me stick him on auto, and swing the camera around while fraps snapped a shot every second. Anyway, now that the big climax is out of the way, I can finally share these screenshots. I’m really pleased with the way they came out, and hope they’re a nice little insight into how that fight played out. And, actually, you know what, I think they’re the first real look anybody’s had of Celebarad, so far. That picture of him in the title image of BaDFH really doesn’t do him justice.

But a Day From Home – Part Eight

But a Day from Home – Part 8

Brassica had tried. She had really tried, as Percy had dragged her up the stairs of the ruin, to where his gang of robbers had assembled, six or seven abreast, three rows deep, to keep from breaking down into sobs of fear. She had thought him fierce when he had roared at her at his own little camp. It was nothing compared to what he became, a raving, raging figure, stalking before his men, his great cloak billowing behind him. He snarled and growled and when one of the women flinched away when he came too close, he had slapped her sharply across the face, and bellowed all the louder when she wept, wretched and wailing on her knees.

Then he had seized Brassica and dragged her to the first of the men on the forward corner of the assembly. He had glowered down at her, “Is this the spy?”

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In Honour of the New Twitter Account…

…It would be really nifty to see #middlearthproblems in the twitters. You people really probably shouldn’t indulge me, I am entirely too silly to be permitted to exist. This post actually started out as me wanting to test out how gallery posts worked, but I’m rather pleased with it, so here it is! Middle Earth Memes! This is what happens when you spend too much time on the internet. I would love to see more of these! (hint hint)

But a Day From Home – Part Seven

But a Day from Home – Part 7

When the prow of their boat crunched against the gravel of Rantost’s shore, Celebarad had been the first over the gunwale, splashing in the shallows and helping haul the vessel onto solid purchase. The shield he had brought with him, but after some debate had left it in the boat. He had never before carried a shield, and worried it would slow him and make him clumsy when he most needed speed.

They had put to shore at the southernmost tip of the island, far from the ruin, which glowed in the distance, lit from the inside by the fires of the robbers. There had been only one man standing guard on the shore, and he had not seen them approach. One of the rangers had stood in the rocking boat, steadied by the hands of his fellows, as he  put arrow to string, drew, and let fly. The man on the shore had fallen almost silently, and the rest of the Rangers in the boat had heaved-to on their oars, and now they had landed.

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So, I live in the Lone Lands.

Eh? Eh? Well no, all right, not really. Tragically, I think I live somewhere even bleaker than the Lone Lands. But, they’re both places that are pretty in their own way, if you view them from an angle and catch them in the right light.

This is a bit of a throwaway post, to test whether I’ve linked my WordPress account to my twitter account correctly. I’ve been meaning to start a twitter account separate from my personal account, to spout all the randomness that I come up with about lotro. So, if Twitter is your thing, and you’d be interested, give me a follow! I love to blabber about the game, and I’d be happy to blabber @you!

Hmm, what else, what else can I say to make this post worthwhile. Well, here are some things:

  • First of all, a thank you to everybody reading so far 🙂 I hope I’m doing something that people enjoy. I tell myself that this is a blog that’s mostly just for me, and other people enjoying it is purely incidental, but it still warms my heart to see numbers on that hit counter.
  • I’ve made a few changes, recently, just tweaking appearances and such. Rendered everything down to a single sidebar, rather than divided between two, which I think is neater.
  • Went around and tweaked all my posts so that they truncate on the front page, instead of needing to scroll for six years to reach the bottom.
  • Corrected a problem where some posts had preserved the teeny tiny font that I write in a word processing program with. Hopefully things are more readable now.
  • Expect the seventh part of But a Day from Home very shortly. There are ten parts in total, and the last of them was finished yesterday, so they should trickle out over the next couple weeks, as well as a post of notes and other goodies. If anyone has any comments about the length of the pieces that it’s been broken into, I’d appreciate the feedback. Curiously, it’s not an awful lot longer than MCAH, but it was divided into almost twice as many segments.
  • Also in the offing, an about page and an outfit post about Celebarad, and then a third story.

Thanks again for reading! Cheers and take care,

~Bel

But a Day From Home – Part Six

But a Day from Home – Part 6

The night was bright and clear, the stars like points of white fire and the moon a full, bright disk. The day had passed slowly, and Brassica had spent it napping in the dirt, hungry and lonely, feeling as though she’d been forgotten, both by her friends and by her captors. She had strained her eyes staring across the lake, hoping for some sign of rescue, but there had been nothing. The woman who had paced the bank earlier in the day was gone. But for the first time, Brassica heard voices approaching, and huddled closer to the chunk of rubble to which she was chained.

How’s the little hobbit keeping?” growled a rough voice, and a dirty-faced, raggedly dressed man peered out from behind the remnants of the wall, with an evil grin. “Been a good little hobbit, not hollerin’ cross the water, or rattlin’ her chains.”

(more…)

That’s Better, Bel.

Beldrieth

Lovely, sure, but not practical in the least.

Bel kinda doesn’t do dresses. I mean, do dresses. Sort of. I mean, as the player, I put the dresses on Bel. Speaking for myself personally, I am not the world’s biggest fan of dresses, and would probably resent having them put on me by external forces beyond my control. Point being, Bel’s little about page has a picture of her in a dress, and while it’s very lovely and does fit an aspect of her character and her yet-to-be-revealed backstory, it’s not what she runs around Eriador in.

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But a Day From Home – Part Five

But a Day from Home – Part 5

When he was told that there was no way the Rangers could possibly assault Rantost until nightfall, Calenglad had needed to stop Celebarad from attempting to swim across the lake on his own. It was impossible to call an elf young, but occasionally a certain recklessness in Celebarad’s manner that made it hard to believe he was at least several centuries old.

There was no real guessing at the age of an elf; they had a certain sameness about them, a quality of being perfectly youthful and strangely ancient. Even as accustomed to the Fair Folk as the Dunedain were, and even surrounded by the ancient history of one of the once-great Kingdom of the West, it was somehow slightly unsettling to hear an elf speak about events long lost to the ages of the world. Around the fire, the evening before, Celebarad had mentioned offhandedly that the sword at his side had been his father’s, wielded when Sauron had made his war on the Elves in the Second Age. Calenglad had felt oddly sad at the sight of the blade, as bright and keen and ageless as the elf who carried it, while Arnor lay in ruins around him, and everyday they struggled to keep thieves, like the men of Rantost, from the graves of their fathers.

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But a Day From Home – Part Four

But a Day from Home – Part 4

Perhaps the most irritating thing was that gathering firewood had not hastened the acquisition of breakfast–in fact, if Brassica was realistic about her current situation, the possibility of breakfast seemed to have vanished almost entirely. Still, she had to admit that she had been glad of an empty stomach for her very first excursion on the water. It was almost impossible for her to imagine a boat ride that could have been worse than the one she’d just suffered through. In fact, Brassica was almost certain that any boat ride she took after this would be a great improvement, even accounting for the rocking and the splashing and the wet. Wholly aside from being kidnapped by ruffians, knocked about and then tossed in a sack, Brassica had been especially distressed by the dampness of the boat, having been of the impression that the whole point of a boat was to keep its insides dry.

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But a Day From Home – Part Three

But a Day from Home – Part 3

If not sharp of awareness, it could at least be said that Celebarad was sharp of hearing, and the sound of a faint shriek on the early morning breeze had seen him drop every stick of firewood he carried to charge down the slope of the shore to the aid of his young ward. He ran quickly and surely over the dew-soaked ground, to the place where he had last seen Brassica. He would have sworn it was mere moments ago that he had seen the young halfling looking up at the Great Keep of Tinnudir, but elves are not especially aware of the passage of time, and she was nowhere to be found. He called her name, once, then twice, beginning to fear for his friend. As his eyes swept through the underbrush again, he noticed a slight flattening of the shrubs and bushes underfoot, and the faintest trail leading away from the place Brassica had last been.

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