Sunday, June 30, 2013

Lotro(geek’s) 30-Day Picture Challenge: It Begins

That’s right, internet; we have officially clawed our way onto the bandwagon! It’s slightly dusty and covered with straw, but who are we to complain while surrounded by fellow freeps? If you don’t know how this particular challenge works, allow us to explain. Each day (for 30 days, hence the title) you post a picture in response to the question of the day. Of course, we added captions to ours since we never seem to be able to shut up. Enjoy!

1. Post a picture of your main toon(s).  Limit of three for you toon hogs like me!

 Here we see the majestic elf, preening quietly to herself in the frozen wasteland of the Misty Mountains. Known as the most photogenic of her kind, Mirinaeth Galadhlin is exceedingly humble as well. She would also like it known that cold is not her favorite temperature, but beauty in selfies comes at a price.

 And on the other end of the spectrum, the noble and...slightly goofy hobbit Codella Mosstoes dancing upon...a pillar? At least, we think she is. Actually, we’re never really sure. Who picked this photo anyway?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Spin the Globe - Nen Harn

Hello Freeps! 
Miri here to present to you our first official Spin the Globe story.  In this edition, Codella and I travel to Nen Harn in the Northeastern Bree-fields.
Our journey began in cozy Michel Delving, where Codella and I were at the stable-master getting the steeds ready for the trip to the Bree-lands.  Of course, no trip is complete without the initial argument or incidence of friendly jest. I’m pretty sure this time it started with me teasing her about her lack of height. She won this fight, however, when I was forced to ride a pony all the way from The Shire to Bree-Town. That’s what I get for hanging out with a hobbit, I suppose.

Haha, very funny Coda.

So you have to remember, Codella and I are both hunters, which means one thing in particular – we live for shortcuts.  So I would normally say here that we endured a long and exhausting journey from Michel Delving to Bree-Town but, as the efficient (read: lazy) hunters we are, of course we took the popular shortcut available at the Michel Delving stable-master called the “swift-travel”.  This “swift-travel” shortcut has saved us both some precious time traversing Middle Earth over the years.  We highly recommend it!
Anyway, we took the shortcut to Bree-Town and were welcomed by the site of the lovingly worn West Gate, its keeper Harry Goatleaf, and the comforting thought that Codella was now at the vertical disadvantage instead of myself. (Your turn, Coda…Ha Ha!)

West Gate, preparing to leave.

Once inside the West Gate, we handed over our Michel Delving ponies to the surly stable-master and had him fetch our personal steeds that we board when traveling along major routes. The stable-master, Bill Rosewood, implied that he was happy to see me (if you know what I mean); I implied back that I was past due for some target practice.  He scoffed at me and handed over the reins.  Of course the second that Codella caught wind that he was giving me trouble, I had to talk her down.  Seriously, why does her first reaction to harassment have to be aggression?  I prefer a more passive-aggressive approach myself.
So I handed Codella the reins to her pony and we got Marja (pronounced MAR-yuh, for those that care), my Steed of the Hunter, and Lilypad, Codella’s SimbelmynĂ« Pony, ready for the trip to Nen Harn.
Before I go on with our epic journey, I suppose I should probably give you a little bit of background about our destination.

Nen Harn

Nen Harn (NĂȘn + Sarn, “Lake of stones”), located in the Northeastern Bree-fields, just to the south of the Elvish settlement of Meluinen in the North Downs, is the second-largest lake in the current manifestation of Middle Earth, with Lake Evendim, for comparison, being about four times larger in size. On that note, Nen Harn is itself about four times larger than the next-biggest inland body of water, which is located somewhere in Eastern Malenhad of Angmar. The area contains five islands, with ruins of what is believed to be an ancient temple on the largest. Despite what one would assume as an ideal location for villages or other settlements, Nen Harn is abandoned currently for reasons unknown, with the exception of a small camp of hunters along the perimeter of the lake as well as, apparently, a squirrel that can communicate with chickens on one of the islands. (Yeah, your guess is as good as mine on that one.) Men populating Bree-Land during the Third Age are said to be a combination of descendants of the Edain and Dunlendings (descendants of Haladin, second house of the Edain).
So...back to the epic adventure at hand.  Coda and I, preparing Marja and Lilypad at West Gate. All saddled up, we made a stop at Lily Sandheaver’s place to stock up, and we’re ready to go. Last petty jabs out of the way, we headed out of West Gate to the Greenway Crossing where we planned to take the North-South road towards our destination. At this point, it will become clear to you just how awesome Codella and I are. Literally within three strides out of the gate, an apparently panic-stricken chicken runs past us into Bree-Town.
This is the point where we both simultaneously and instantaneously decided upon an additional type of blog-post to add to our arsenal.  It will be entitled: “Oh, look…a chicken!”
So with no discussion needed, we turned our steeds around and followed the chicken. Oh well, I suppose Nen Harn can wait….I mean, there’s a chicken running through Bree!

Oh, look...a chicken!

For the next part of our epic adventure, so as not to bore you off your seats, I will give you the “Freep’s Digest” version of what transpired.
So we followed this chicken out of Bree-Town’s South Gate and on into Chetwood South.  From there, we proceeded to travel through the Midgewater Marshes, Chetwood North, Combe, Bree-Town again, Hengstacer’s Farm, and on through the Northern Bree-Fields. We decided it would be best to leave our steeds in Hengstacer’s care at this point, since we had no idea what to expect next. By now, two thoughts were going through my mind: 1. This chicken is nuts and obviously has a death wish (or is a member of some adrenaline-junkie cult for animals). 2. Why is he travelling around all of Bree visiting random animals?  Unfortunately, we could not communicate with the nut-job chicken so we may never know.

The hunters in action!

Anyway, to get back to the action, we were running through the Northern Bree-Fields, killing everything in this chicken’s path. There was absolutely no civilization in sight, except for an orc camp, so where was the chicken taking us, really? For that matter...why were we still following it? We made it past the orc camp and continued to travel to the northeast letting our arrows fly the entire way.
As we continued, for what seemed like forever, Codella and I were sharing the fervent hope that this particular piece of poultry wasn’t of the “free range” variety, which is said to be even crazier. But just as we were considering leaving the chicken to its fate, we realized that we hadn’t really been paying too much attention to where we were. This realization quickly turned into one of those “Are you kidding me?” moments as we followed the chicken’s lead by jumping into a lake and swimming towards one of the islands at its center.

Why are we doing this again?

“Uh...Miri...” Codella said.
“Where do you think we are right now?” she asked.
I replied, “Soaking wet in a lake and for some reason swimming after a random bird, with which neither of us can communicate. I’m pretty sure where we are is irrelevant.”
“We’re in Nen Harn, genius,” she said...which would’ve been accompanied with a “/smackhead” if both of her arms weren’t still preoccupied with swimming to our destination.
I looked around as I swam, and my only response was, “Are you kidding me?”
Codella just laughed, amazed at how her cartographile friend didn’t realize before she did that we ended up precisely where we originally intended to go, despite a few very random detours.

Where'd it go??

We finally made it to a very small island and jumped onto the shore, quickly taking down anything in sight and looking for our charge. However, after killing every dangerous beast on the island, we still couldn’t find the chicken. The only animal left on the island was a squirrel, looking surprisingly content for being stranded on a miniscule island with no trees and little shelter from all of the massive snapping turtles we had just dispatched.
Nonplussed, Codella asked, “Where’d it go?”
“Not sure,” I replied. “I hope one of the turtles didn’t get it before we reached the shore.”
I jumped into the water again and began to swim to the closest island in case the chicken had moved on without us. I did have my doubts though, as it had been very patient through most of the trip, holding back while we took out everything in its path before continuing.
When I reached the next island, I looked around but still no sight of our fowl friend. Codella caught up with me shortly thereafter and got my attention.
“Hey Miri, guess what!” she shouted excitedly.
“A bird just dropped this note off to me on the other island,” she explained as she opened the note to read it aloud.
    “Dearest Hunters,
Please accept my deepest gratitude for your aid along my journey.  I am a wizard’s apprentice and was cursed during a duel with rogue wizards, which resulted in the death of my mentor.  I had been a chicken for months before I was able to discretely gain access to the texts I needed to find a remedy for my state.  Receiving a piece of a spell from several magical creatures was the only way I could find to restore myself.  This was why I had to travel to every corner of the Bree-Lands.  I’m afraid if it weren’t for your intervention, I may not have been successful in my quest.  I am unfortunately in no position currently to offer an appropriate compensation for your assistance, but I assure you that when I am able to repay you for your kindness, I will find you.  May peace always find you in your travels.
- E. “
“Are you kidding me?” I asked in disbelief, realizing that was the second time I’d used that exact expression during this journey.
“Yes. Actually, I just made all of that up on the spot and just happened to have some parchment and a bird on hand to make it look legit,” Codella said as she rolled her eyes at me.
“Shut up, Coda,” I snapped.
“Whatever, Miri,” she replied. A well-thought out response, that.

Scouting the islands.

The rest of our epic adventure was spent scouting all of the central islands of Nen Harn and enjoying the temple ruins. We believe that the temple must have originally been built for a  chicken-worshipping cult due to the mysterious chicken nest we found within the ruins.

Chicken cult?

It was perfectly intact, but no chickens were to be found anywhere nearby. The nest glowed slightly with an eerie light and gave us goosebumps when we stood too close. Perhaps this was where the wizard’s chicken curse originated and why his journey ultimately led him here. I suppose we may never know for sure.

Fine dining and entertainment.

As dusk neared, we decided to make camp and do a little recreational fishing before settling down for the night. After we decided we’d had enough fishing for the evening, I built a fire and Codella made some snapper soup from the turtle meat we’d acquired earlier. After enjoying her delicious supper, Codella treated me to one of the new songs our mutual cohort Eddenwulf had written for the harp.


Of course, we had to make time for one last D.R.A.G.O.N. before bed, but settled down to sleep after we finally stopped laughing. (Codella would like it known that Miri was the one doing all the laughing while she brooded in the ruins.)

Nen Harn sunrise.

After waking up and having a quick breakfast, we made sure to enjoy the beautiful sunrise over the lake before beginning our journey home. Codella and I travelled west and slightly south until we reached Hengstacers’ farm to pick up our steeds and continued down the North-South road until we reached Bree. We went straight to the West Gate stable to board our steeds, but this time Bill Rosewood did not pretend he was happy to see me....or Codella for that matter.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Introductions: Pre-emptive Strike!

Hello LOTRO Lovers! Codella and Mirinaeth here in a very special intro blog...

I’m sure you might be wondering a few things right off the bat. So here’s our pre-emptive guess as to what those might be.

1. Content: What to Expect

  •  Adventure Posts!
    • This can be anything from an organized journey to something along the lines of “Hey! Let’s jump into the rafters of Lalia’s Market, play some music, and see what happens!”. We really never know.
    • On occasion we may even have a picture-documented adventure post, complete with illustrations of our every step, though we’ll try to keep those to a minimum for the sake of your browsers, yeah?
  • “Fashion” Posts
    • This is really more Miri’s realm, being the fashionable, dark-haired elf that she is. The best Codella can usually pull off is cute in a pudgy, busty sort of way.
    • Anyway, this will include fashion shoots of particular cosmetics, outfits, steeds, and whatever else we dream up.
  • Social Commentary
    • Which in this case translates to event broadcasting, including but not limited to: parties (both planned and impromptu), tavern nights, musical affairs of all types, and anything else we might run into.
    • This will probably include some RP-ing, though only of the type in which we participate or generate so as to preserve as much privacy as possible for our fellows.
  • Exploration and History Posts
    • This is going to be similar to a “spin the globe”-style adventure, where we randomly choose a place that looks interesting, explore it, then look into its history and lore.
  • Pub Critiques
    • For this, we will essentially be travelling to various NPC and Player-created pubs, sampling their menu and providing a critical write-up on the pub itself and/or particular menu items.
  • Utter Miscellany
    • Anything not covered in the above categories. We’d tell you if we knew, but until we have a post that doesn’t belong anywhere else, it will remain a mystery...

2. Authors: The Nitty Gritty

  • Codella Mosstoes
    • Origin: Overhill, the Shire
    • Race: Hobbit
    • Gender: Female
    • Age:, 45 maybe? She’s not entirely sure.
    • Affiliation with Co-Author: Originally unwilling tagalong, currently enthusiastically willing partaker in adventures and all other un-hobbitish pursuits.
  • Mirinaeth Galadhlin
    • Origin: Edhellond, Gondor
    • Race: Elf
    • Gender: Female
    • Age: 107
    • Affiliation with Co-Author: I was initially mesmerized by the tiny creature’s willingness to get in over her head (pun intended) and have since taken the relationship a step further by being a terrifically bad influence (even for a Hobbit that likes adventure) and attempting to peer-pressure her on an almost daily basis.

3. The Reason: Why oh why?

  • Because we have entirely too much to say and way too many people to annoy to keep it all to ourselves.
  • Because we realize the gaping hole in your life can be filled with this website.
  • Because it’s fun.
  • Because everyone needs at least one weekly dose of Miri and Codella.
  • Because it will be a fantastic way to keep all of our rabid fans updated on happenings related, but not limited, to the Don’t Tempt Me Frodo and Flock of Smeagols kinships and bands and The Trapdoor Tavern.

  • Let’s be honest: the real reason is because we just wanted to do a bunch of photoshoots for our background. Anything else is purely unplanned rubbish.

Any unanswered questions will be promptly reviewed, carefully dissected, then burned at the stake. Just kidding! No, but really: direct your politely worded inquiries to either of our email addresses, which can be found in our bios at the bottom of the page.

Real blog posts to follow!