And the Echoes all Around

And the Echoes All Around

Author’s Note: To be read with this playing on repeat:

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.


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.
  • <—- 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.

By the Road Abandoned – Part Six

By the Road Abandoned – Part 6

If Brassica noticed, when she came bounding down from the watchtower, that Llythne seemed sleepy and yawned rather a lot, she had no particular comment. Speaking for herself, she was quite refreshed. The tower had been a wonderful place to sleep, and her thoughts coloured by the stories Celebarad had read her, she’d dreamed of Fornost and the great battle there. She would never have imagined that a dream of a battle could be anything but terrifying, but hers had been exhilarating and triumphant, and she’d woken all eagerness and excitement when Celebarad had gently shaken her shoulder.

“Good not-quite-morning!” Brassica called cheerfully, after fairly skipping down the no-longer daunting stairs of the watchtower. It was still dark out, though there was the faintest suggestion of the inky blackness of night beginning to pale towards dark grey in the eastern sky.


By the Road Abandoned – Part Five

By the Road Abandoned – Part 5

“Well!” Brassica broke the silence that had fallen in the wake of Beldrieth’s departure, getting up with a stretch and a yawn. “I think I could do with some sleep.” She leaned over the kettle simmering above the fire, sniffing at the rabbit stew bubbling inside it. “That’ll come along nicely, I think,” she declared, pleased. “And you can keep it going a good long while, too, you know, just keep dumping carrots and onions in, top it up with water, some salt now and again…more coneys, if you catch them. Game hen, too, if there’s any around here.”

“You seem to have given me a gift that will continue giving!” Torogethir leaned over the kettle, to peer inside and inhale the fragrant steam rising from inside. “Ahh, the halflings are a kind folk, little mistress, it’s too long since I had anyone but myself to give a care for what I eat.”



I have made a terrible and grievous oversight.

So, I mean, okay.


Wait wait wait.

This always gets me. Um. You guys. None of you know how to pronounce any of these character names, do you? I mean, the elvish stuff is probably obvious…well, but no, Bel’s name isn’t truly Elvish. And I think Celebarad’s name should be, but not everybody’s a Tolkien nut, and Sindarin isn’t obvious, actually. And “Llythne” was just me being mean to anybody who might ever have occasion to try and address me, oh…say, in a Raid or something.

SO. Here is a quick and dirty, handy dandy, guide to name pronunciation and meaning!