i Nili o i Ardanole Newsletter:

Your source for Lord of the Rings News, Updates, Poetry, Art, Parody and Satire.


Issue 32, Volume 2, July 9th, 2004.

Editors: Perian, Xara. 
Primary Reporter: Ivy.
Chief Corespondent: Prongs.
Local Commentator: Rob Stames.
Contributor(s): Eowyn Evenstar, Hula'n.

In this issue: Fun and Games.
Emulators: Fan Personality Profiles by Perian.
Practical Jokes - No Go in Middle Earth by Xara.
Oh, To Chill Out and Have Fun by Prongsie.
Hobbits Know How to Party by Xara.

In every issue:
Fanfiction: This Fortnight: Chapter Thirteen by Ivy.
Ivy's Newsletter Trivia.
Xara's Random Fandom.
Ask Samwise.
Comings and Goings at i Nili o i Ardanole by Rob Stames.
Tolkienish, provided by Perian.

Find past archives at http://inili.iwarp.com/

Emulators: Fan Personality Profiles

By Perian
  Fans, as we have well seen, fall into a few broad categories. There are the Purists and the Parodyists, and a little line of stragglers in between. There are fans intrinsically devoted to one character or another. There are some who have scrambled to find every work ever written by Tolkien, and those who haven't read a single book of his. What kind of fan are you?
  Grab a pen/pencil/tube of lipstick before reading further, and write down your answers as you go. Don't skip ahead, and answer as honestly as you can. Yes, that means, quite simply, don't answer with what you think you should do, but with what you would (or would love to) do.
  1. You most enjoy the  LotR movies when you watch them:
    a. Alone, as it better allows you to imagine you are there.
    b. With one or two kindred spirits who share your reasons for going (and favourite actors).
    c. With that special someone by your side, cheering and clapping when you do.
    d. Amid a group of friends who you will explain what was happening through the movie to over pizza later.
  2. Logging onto Ebay, you search for:
    a. Anduril... isn't that the name of Aragorn's sword? Right, that.
    b. The Evenstar pendant or Galadriel's Ring. So incredible...
    c. Dom Monaghan and Billy Boyd, but there are only seven listings, and you're fairly sure two are imposters.
    d. Pssht, who needs Ebay? You're logging on to Ardalambion.
  3. On holiday in New Zealand you go to:
    a. Hobbiton! Do you know they still have a few facades standing? And that we ... sort of moved them? Hehe.
    b. Search for locations for Laketown in case they ever film The Hobbit.
    c. Rivendell (Kaitoke), Paradise, and the Anduin locations. A pity they took the sets down.
    d. The Southern Alps for a bit of skiing, then bungee jumping in Aukland!
  4. If someone were to flick on the power to your stereo, what would they be most likely to hear?
    a. Something soft, soothing, romantic.
    b. Whatever the radio is tuned to, probably something modern with a good beat.
    c. An instrumental soundtrack by Howard Shore or James Horner.
    d. A bright, lively tune, something you can dance to.
  5. Your best friend's fiancee stepped out, and you're the first person confided in. What do you do?
    a. Plot revenge immediately. A bit of poison oak on hir razor, perhaps? Or perhaps you could draw mustaches on hir prized poster collection?
    b. Comfort your friend, telling hir that s/he wasn't worth the effort anyway, then start sorting through your trustworthy aquaintances so as to matchmake and take your friends mind away from hir troubles.
    c. Celebrate! You have your friend back from the shackles of attachment; treat hir to the best single life has to offer!
    d. Silently begin studying so that someday you can see that such vile, cruel, and dangerous behaviour is made illegal.
  6. While walking you pass a man with a pipe and a notebook sitting unter a tree. He bears a striking resemblance to J.R.R. Tolkien. You...
    a. Tell the man so, striking up a pleasant conversation about literature and poetry.
    b. Gasp, do a double take, and immediately begin asking him questions about his work.
    c. Shrug and continue on your way before you're as late as the Professor.
    d. Hurry home to don a cloak and curly wig, then return to the spot and sit down on the opposite side of the tree, just to see how people will react.
  7. Where were you headed on that walk?
    a. To the library; they said The Monsters and the Critics (a volume of Tolkien's essays) should be in by Monday.
    b. To the art gallery; they have a LotR Exhibition going on right now!
    c. To your dancing lessons... at the pub.
    d. To your fencing lessons. You'll be able to take on Viggo soon.
  8. Your latest creative display of fandom was:
    a. A parody or comic.
    b. A serious bit of fantasy or fanfiction.
    c. A poem or portrait of a character.
    d. Let the others do those things, you'll take on the duty of enjoying them!
  9. Your non-fan friends most often complains that you:
    a. Complain? And risk your wrath? They wouldn't dare!
    b. Don't live in the real world.
    c. Don't take things seriously.
    d. Don't try to understand their fetishes, though they do yours.
  10. An argument has broken out. You are:
    a. Mediating it.
    b. Trying to divert the aggressors' attention.
    c. Observing quietly from the sidelines. Best not to jump in and make it worse.
    d. One of the ones in the argument, trying to get your point across to that thick-headed (expletive).
  11. Your favourite Lord of the Rings poem contains the line:
    a. There will come a time when I/ will take the hidden paths that run/ West of Moon and East of Sun.
    b. But better is beer if drink we lack,/ and water hot poured down the back!
    c. From the ashes a fire shall be woken/ a light from the shadows shall spring.
    d. And in the glad a light was seen/ of stars in shadow shimmering.
  12. Your themesong is more than likely to be (and if you don't know them well, listen before choosing):
    a. The Evenstar.
    b. Minas Tirith.
    c. The Breaking of the Fellowship.
    d. Concerning Hobbits.
  13. Your extracurricular activities are most likely to include:
    a. Theatre.
    b. Involvement in the school paper.
    c. Sports.
    d. Is social life extracurricular?
  14. Your favourite character's most noteworthy quality is:
    a. Bravery.
    b. Grace.
    c. Wisdom.
    d. Wit.
  15. You have just written something for the Newsletter, but are afraid to submit it because you:
    a. Think someone might spot an error; you need more time for double-checking your facts.
    b. Don't know whether it is interesting and exciting enough.
    c. Want it to be more creative and poetic. It sounds better in your head.
    d. Are afraid you won't get any response at all, which, in your mind, is worse than negative feedback.
  16. Your last LotR impersonation was when you:
    a. Stood outside the faculty door as their meeting ended and proclaimed "You shall not pass!"
    b. Spent an entire day speaking to people in quotes, as if they were characters (like when you told the nervous woman at the busstop, "Frodo? Why do you recoil? I am no thief.")
    d. Imitated a rustic English accent and loudly proclaimed "For the Shire!" whenever you completed something.
    c. Snuck out in the middle of the night to chalk Gollum's riddles down the sidewalk, and hid in the shadows as people tried to guess them the next day.
  17. Your Middle-earth profession would be:
    a.  A Numenorian architect.
    b. A minstrel.
    c. A humble historian.
    d. A great leader of men.
  Scoring: Write down the number of your answer. Don't bother adding them up, you don't need to. When you're through, go to "fan type" number you have the most of (One, Two, Three or Four).
  1. a = 4, b = 2, c = 1, d = 3.   2. a = 1, b = 2, c = 3, d = 4.   3. a = 3, b = 4, c = 2, d = 1.   4. a = 2, b = 1, c = 4, d = 3.
  5. a = 1, b = 2, c = 3, d = 4.   6. a = 2, b = 4, c = 1, d = 3.   7. a = 4, b = 2, c = 3, d = 1.   8. a = 3, b = 4, c = 2, d = 1.
  9. a = 1, b = 4, c = 3, d = 2.  10. a = 4, b = 3, c = 2, d = 1. 11. a = 4, b = 3, c = 1, d = 2. 12. a = 2, b = 1, c = 4, d = 3.
 13. a = 3, b = 4, c = 1, d = 2. 14. a = 1, b = 2, c = 4, d = 3. 15. a = 4, b = 1, c = 2, d = 3. 16. a = 1, b = 4, c = 3, d = 2.
 17. a = 2, b = 3, c = 4, d = 1.
  Fan Type One: The Warrior.
  Species: Humans, dwarves.
  Swords and bows may not be in use any longer, but you belong to a time when they were (and chances are you have one or the other hidden in the closet.) You have a very strong sense of honour and fair play, but a fierce competitiveness. You're passionate about what you love, and will do anything to defend it. You're rather passionate about who you love as well. Often as not you are either in or seeking a life-long relationship. Once you have a goal set in mind, you will achieve it, no matter what anyone says or does to prevent you from doing so. You don't give up, be it in a sport or a battle of wits.
  That can also be one of the peeves people have against you. In hacking your way through, you may not take the time to sort out friend from foe. Granted, you know who they are and show them unswerving loyalty... most of the time. But in the heat of battle... Do you remember in the commentary when Theoden's ear was spliced by Gamling? Same idea.
  Speaking of which, you were probably introduced to The Lord of the Rings when you went to see it in the theatres... or at least that was the first time you thought of it since it was required reading at ten years old. Those long descriptions no doubt left you a bit dazed, at least until you had a visual reference to work from.
  It is a visual reference you still work from. Rather than prints from the verious Tolkien artists, your walls are decorated by movie-based posters and calenders. They're the most realistic, solid images, and so what you have the easiest time believing.
  Your archetypes are icons of personal strength. They knew what was best for their people, and worked toward it. Even if they strayed, they would do something so profound as to completely wash away their error. Characters who share traits with you are Aragorn, Eowyn, Eomer, Theoden, Boromir, Beren and Gil-Galad. Those who most irk you are people who proclaim one set of goals while working toward another, people who stand in the background in safety while sending out those loyal to them to do their work and die for them, like Saruman.
  You have the energy and drive to do bring about your goals. Your strength is in the physical, the world around you. The more you use it, the more it grows.
  Fan Type Two: The Aesthetic.
  Species: Elves, Half-elven.
  Isn't the world lovely? At least while Tolkien's work and people like you are in it. Beauty in all its forms is visible to you, and you do your best to perpetuate it. You're devoted, putting people or characters onto a pedestal, and not allowing anyone to point out the flaws. You can see them, thank you very much, and it doesn't matter. The overall effect of whatever it is you worship is perfect. You have a tight-knit circle of friends, a plethora of talents, and sense of serenity that none of the other fan personality types can boast.
  You know your opinions, know them to be truth, and ... alas... expect everyone else to as well. That's not to say that your viewpoint is invalid, but don't quench the validity of everyone else's. Remember, beauty (and any other idea-based noun, for that matter) is in the eye of the beholder.
  If you didn't read the book first, chances are it wasn't the dialogue which set you to reading after watching the movie. The sets, costumes, and characters, based on Tolkien's work, drew you like a moth to a flame. However, it's just as likely that you fell in love with the book. The Silmarillion, Beren and Luthien chapter, that is.
  You're an artist by nature, but when you aren't creating your own images, you're oogling over Alan Lee's. The detail, the perfect lines, the ethereal colours, the awe-inspiring sketches which were on the credits and used in the books... Heaven.
  The archetypes which you follow are as otherworldly as you are. Arwen, Luthien, Legolas, Imrahil, Tharanduil, Manwe and Varda... Chances are that you have showered your devotion on one of them at one point or another, and probably still do. That character is your muse, your source of inspiration. They're beautiful, graceful, each a song in physical form. It is the discordant forms... orcs, trolls, Uruks, and the other slimy, dripping, pallid creatures of the world, Grima Wormtongue not the least of them, which so repulse you.
  Everything visual is in your domain, and yours to command. It is not what the world holds which changes from person to person, but what the individual sees within it. For you the world holds enormous potential, and it's yours for the crafting!
  Fan Type Three: The Entertainer.
  Species: Hobbits, Sylvan Elves.
  Look out, world! You're about to be- Och, too late! Hehehe. It's an invasion of entertainment. Yes, you keep our lives from becoming dull. You're charismatic, charming, magnetic, and have a wonderful wit. When you disappear, chances are you're browsing the Secret Diaries, at the comedy bar for a pint and a dance on the tables, or at the theatre (no, not in the audience. On the stage.) You bring everyone around you out of the dulldrum of the day to day, making life worthwhile. You may not see it, but you have a spark of ingenuity that everyone around you envies.
  What happens when your antics don't produce the desired results? Your style is built around instant gratification, and if you don't get it, sometimes you'll seek attention in whatever form you can get it. You're putting out so much effort for others that when they don't pay attention, you sink into a cesspool of self-doubt.
  The book or the movie, which came first? With you it's rather like the chicken and the egg question; either answer could be valid. You're always seeking new views, and there's little more unique than furry-footed midgets and evil rings! Have to love them. And we can't say you don't pay homage, in your own way. Fanfictions, comic drawings and parodies are your forte!
  In art you go back and forth between Ted Nasmith and the brothers Hildebrandt. You love the feeling Nasmith gives you of being able to walk right into the painting, but with the brothers and their Olympic Legolas you can laugh for hours!
  It doesn't take much effort to guess your character archetypes. Merry and Pippin! How could they not be? Oh, and there are a few others. Smeagol, Tom Bombadil and Goldberry, the butler in the Elvenking's halls. Even Sam at times, though he doesn't emulate this persona intentionally as most do. Fun times we've had with every single one of them. All are friendly, and people-oriented. That's why you have such wrath for Denethor and the Gollum side of Smeagol; Nothing could possibly be worse than treachery and betrayal.
  You are driven by your senses (no, not the logical kind!) and your desire to create reaction in those around you. So long as you see to it that it is a positive reaction, you'll be ever in the limelight!
  Fan Type Four: The Scholar.
Species: Istari, Ents, and individuals within all others.
  You are an idealist, a dreamer. You love to sit in a cozy corner with a good book and a blanket, and leave the world far behind. Fantasy appeals to you for what it is... another place, another time, something better than what you know. Don't think you can stay there forever, though. You may not be the most social of the fan types (in fact, if anything, you are the least, if you don't count your literary chums,) but when someone needs advice, guess who they turn to? You don't seek adventure, as the warrior type does, but it befalls you naturally. When it does, you rise to the occasion.
  But you know, better than anyone, that you are as flawed everyone else. Caught up in your visions, you tend to ignore what is right in front of you. "Out of my mind - please leave a message after the beep", "Have you ever stopped to think, and forgotten to start again?" These are written with your type in mind. 
  You read the book before ever seeing the movie, and, though you may not voice them, you have quite strong opinions on the latter. You have always enjoyed Bombadil and Glorfindel. What ever happened to them? If you do write anything it is usually poetry, soul-searching snippets, or fantasy of your own.
  In art, you tend to pore over the work of John Howe. His soft, vibrant colours appeal to you, and those billowing mists, sprays, and canopies excite the imagination as to what lies behind them.
  Your archetypal characters are probably those who were wise, yet cautious. Unwilling heros like yourself. They may even have been a bit eccentric or quietly rebellious. These include Frodo, Faramir, Gandalf, and Galadriel. The evil you would fight is not embodied, not something you can take a sword to. You live amid ideals, and as such your enemies are ideas which you perceive to be wrong. Thus the enemies you most want to see fall are those made of concepts, such as Sauron and Melkor.
  Your world is one of concepts, thoughts, and perceptions, and your meathod of conveying them is words. Don't forget that there is much to see outside of Middle-earth as well!

Practical Jokes - No Go in Middle Earth
By Xara

  If there's anything Lord of the Rings is without it's practical jokes. Heroic feats of daring and endurance it has in plenty, death and glory, epic quests, the occasional spark of wit are all there. It has kings and warriors, hobbits, elves, trolls, wizards, orcs, wraiths and more! You can take your pick of fine language and marvellous scenery (or at least descriptions of scenery)! But if I recall correctly, not a single practical joke. "Why?" I hear you ask, and I asked myself the same question, but I think I know the answer. Here are a few examples of why practical jokes are simply not on in Middle Earth:
  Frodo and Sam (who, contrary to suggestions made by a mischievous rascal bent on destroying their friendship forever going by the name of Peter Jackson, did come to Shelob's Lair) stand in a dark tunnel scared stiff as a lurking dark shape in the shadows moves menacingly towards them. "I guess this is the end Sam," Says Frodo, for want of anything better to say. "Wait, Mr. Frodo! The lady's star-glass! 'A light to you in dark places when all other lights go out,' she said it was to be! Now indeed light alone can help us!" "Yes, of course! Thank you Sam!" Cries Frodo, pulling a glass phial out of his pocket, "I had forgotten it!" Holding the glass aloft Frodo cries to the oncoming shadow, "Aiya Earendil Elenion Ancalima!" Nothing happens. Frodo shakes the glass and tries again, still nothing. "Hang on, this isn't a phial containing the light of a Silmaril caught from a ship sailing in the heavens! It's just a jar filled with water!!!" "So we're screwed, Mr. Frodo?" "Looks like it Sam." "Oh [insert curse here]!"
  Across a grassy plain run an elf, a man and a dwarf in pursuit of a hundred Uruk-hai who have captured their companions Merry and Pippin. Suddenly a large band of Riders approaches, as they pass the man, whose name is Aragorn, calls to them, "Riders of Rohan! What news from the mark?" The Riders turn swiftly and enclose the three runners, spears drawn. "What business does an elf, a man and a dwarf have in the Riddermark? Speak quickly!" "We track a band of Uruk-hai westward across the plain, they have taken two of our friends captive." Replies Aragorn after some haughty words have been exchanged. "The uruks are destroyed, we slaughtered them during the night." "But there were two hobbits!" Cries Gimli, "Did you see two hobbits with them?!!" Eomer looks troubled, "We left none alive." "Dead!?!" "I am sorry..." After some silence Eomer lends them two horses and begins to ride away, then suddenly, all the riders begin to laugh and turn around. "Only joking! They're over here!" Cries Eomer, producing the two hobbits from the horse behind him. "Why you..." Screams Legolas stringing his bow...
  In the golden hall of Meduseld sits Theoden, King of Rohan discussing matters unknown with his advisors when in runs Aragorn son of Arathorn in a very un-heir-of-Numenor fashion. "The beacons are lit! Gondor calls for aid!" "And Rohan will answer!" Cries Theoden. Mustering a company of six-thousand riders Theoden rides with them to Gondor. "Riders of Rohan! Oaths you have taken! Now fulfil them! Ride now! Ride for ruin, and the world's ending!" And with that six thousand screaming riders brandishing swords and spears charge onto the Pelennor Fields, and find it completely and utterly devoid of any besieging army. Confused, Theoden dismounts and leaves his army outside the city, marching inside to visit the hall of Denethor where he is greeted by roars of laughter. Tears of mirth streaming down his face, Denethor, clutching his sides cries, "I can't believe you fell for that old beacon trick!!!"
  You see? Middle Earth, sad as I am to say it, was simply not the place for practical jokes. It would have been complete mayhem!! And it was practically mayhem already! There was simply no room for the funniest jokes of all. A shame really but there it is, practical jokes and Middle Earth don't mix.

Oh, To Chill Out and Have Fun
By Prongsie

  So, now that the ring has been destroyed, what are the brave members of the Fellowship going to do with themselves? They have certainly earned the right to some down time. Of course, Sam has his mayoral duties to attend to and Aragorn has a kingdom to rule with Arwen, but relaxing and having fun is important also. So, what would the members of the Fellowship do for fun?
  Starting with Hobbiton and working our way across Middle Earth, what would our beloved Hobbits be doing to chill? Sam is an easy one -- he would be pottering about in his garden, planting potato bulbs, pruning his rose bushes and weeding his already immaculate lawn. Frodo would enjoy spending time with the neighbourhood youngsters. As Bilbo did before him, Frodo would tell the young'uns story after story about his adventures -- how he defeated the evil Sauron and got stabbed by the big, bad Witch King. As for Merry and Pippin, well ... they would never dream of having fun without each other. I would imagine that they would spend their time making up new drinking songs which they would entertain the patrons of the Green Dragon with. Knowing their love for mushrooms and mischief, I would also imagine them stealing Farmer Maggots crops ... still. Not because they want to aggravate the poor Hobbit, but because they have a tradition to uphold, a reputation to live up to and dozens of young Hobbits to influence.
  Moving eastwards towards the Mirkwood Forest, Legolas would be attending to his hair and would probably not be doing much else. O.K., perhaps he would also practice his archery, but I'm pretty sure that if he got dirt on any part of his anatomy, he would immediately take a lavender scented bubble bath with his rubber dwarf, Gimli.
  Speaking of the burly Gimli, hmmm ... what would he be doing for fun? He would be working himself hard in the mines, digging for gold, silver and whatever else he can find. He would then relax by taking a lavender scented bubble bath with his rubber elf, Legolas.
  As for Aragorn and Gandalf ... well, I think that any free time that Aragorn would have would be spent with his beloved Arwen doing ... er, doing things that married couples do. Any elaboration on my behalf will cause our lovely editors to chop off my head. Gandalf ... well, everyone knows that  Gandalf does not know how to have much fun. *ducks the rocks thrown at her head* O.K., O.K. fine ... for fun, Gandalf would create elaborate fireworks in anticipation of the first anniversary of the destruction of the Ring. Once that is over, he would begin designing elaborate fireworks to commemorate the second anniversary of the destruction of the Ring ... I told you, he has no life!
  Last, but certainly not least, our dear, departed Boromir. He would be teaching his fellow angels how to sword fight so that, when the devils arrive to toilet paper the gates of Heaven, the angels will be prepared to drive them off.

Hobbits Know How to Party
By Xara

  Of all the parties I have attended since I entered my teenage years, I have enjoyed very few. Most of them (with the exception of the few I very thoroughly enjoyed) involved girls and guys hanging around each other rather nervously by the poolside, listening to music but being too cool to dance and make a fool of yourself, wandering out onto the streets at midnight pretending to be tough, screaming at shadows and completely hallucinating an attack by an armed man in a fast revving car (I was there, and I saw no such man and no such car, but by the way the rest of them were carrying on you'd think we'd been kidnaped and left for dead in a ditch). In other words, they weren't much fun. These same people who throw the terribly unfun parties also snear at the hobbits on screen when they laugh and dance and ooh and ah at fire works, but those hobbit parties look like a hell of a better time than the ones (again, there have been exceptions, and these did not involve any of the above described unfun activities) I've been to.
  The simple truth of the matter is that hobbits know how to party. They know exactly how to have a good time. They don't have to try to act cool and make up stupid stories and go out in the middle of a dark street to show off. They know all you need to do is get a good dance band together in a field with some beer, food and tables and formation dancing (which in my opinion is much more fun than modern dancing because you don't have to be embarrassed as someone has already made up the dance moves for you), more food and beer, a random wizard with fireworks, even more food and beer, a good speech at the end of it all and some wheelbarrows to take you home.
  When hobbits party they don't worry about acting cool. They don't care about how many calories is in the party role before they eat it. They can dance without being embarrassed. If they don't want to dance they can have equally as much fun watching (or stealing) fireworks. And of course at the end of it all they don't jump into their cars and go zooming off the motor way at 120km/hour into a ditch. That's always a plus. We should take a tip from the hobbits (and the few excellent parties I have been to) and do it their way. It would be much more fun, don't you agree?

A Stepmother Review
by Xara.

  One of the biggest rules, some writers will tell you, is write only about what you know, at least to begin with. And this rule, Simon Tolkien, grandson of JRR Tolkien, chose to follow in his recently released his first novel, a crime fiction named The Stepmother, or Final Witness in the US. Undoubtedly Tolkien's experience as a barrister contributed to the writing of this courtroom drama, and his confidence shows.
  Rather than opting for your average Who Done It scenario, Tolkien tells you exactly who done it, the only problem is, how can anyone prove it? Sixteen-year-old Thomas's mother, Anne Robinson has been murdered in her ancestral home, the House of Four Winds, and before Thomas's very eyes. All the evidence points to his stepmother, Greta Robinson, who was his fathers personal assistant until shortly after the murder, when she became his wife. Suspicious circumstances, but circumstantial evidence will not be enough to prove Greta's guilt, and Thomas, burning for revenge, must go in search for more.
  The Stepmother is certainly carefully planned, but lacks a strong enough plot to really grip it's audience. The characters are strong, but rarely likeable, however this is not enough to deter the avid reader, as the plot unfolds like a case presented in court, which to a large extent, it is. Tolkien shows an ease with descriptive detail which could be compared to his grandfather's, though there were parts in which 'squelchiness' was barely contained and the detail was not always appreciated by this reader. Coupled with powerful, unflinching dialogue I would say this book is good. Not great, but good.

This Fortnight: Chapter Thirteen
By Ivy

This chapter is rated PG due to war and bloodshed.

  "It's done, it's done!" Merry panted, stumbling into the audience chamber behind Pippin. Aragorn looked at them gratefully, then did a surprising thing. He tossed them both swords of their size.
  "Prepare for battle," he said simply.
  "What!? You're joking!" exclaimed Pippin breathlessly.
  "The pirates' armies can be seen from here, young hobbits. They will arrive on our doorstep within the hour. Be prepared," and with that, Aragorn stepped away to ready himself.
  In the hobbits' rooms, they were hurriedly trying to fasten armour and weapons about themselves, glancing out the window from time to time, spotting the large army approaching them.
  "Well, now we know where they were when we were aboard that ship..." Pippin said, pulling on the end of his belt.
  "Yes, so it was rather useless," replied Merry, slipping his sword into its sheath smoothly.
  "It's happening very fast," Pippin pointed. "Why, only three days ago you were teaching me how to swim," Before Merry could reply, there was a knock on their door.
  "You are called to the battleground!" the stranger said, not bothering to even open the door. The two glanced at one another, then shook hands.
  "Best of luck," they said in unison, and they scuttled out the door.
  The war had already ensued when the hobbits arrived upon the scene. Bodies of both parties lay wounded and dead, scattered throughout the field. The cousins looked at each other one more time, unsheathed their swords, and began to fight. The pirates were surprisingly large for Men, and their blades were broad and heavy, thus the only good they were for was hacking and swinging. Merry managed to knock many off of their feet, making them easier to defeat, and Pippin quickly took on the same strategy. Time passed in a flurry, as if it had perhaps stopped altogether so that Minas Tirith may protect their own country with a valiant effort. Merry, panting and, sweating, and bleeding from an old wound on his head, turned to see Pippin, who was barely within earshot. His eyes widened, and he screamed.
  "Pippin!" he cried. A man had come up behind the unsuspecting hobbit, the sword in his hand ready to inflict a fatal wound. Merry watched in complete helplessness as Pippin turned, and the enemy's blade met his flesh. In what seemed like slow motion, the sword was removed, and the man turned to kill another helpless victim as Pippin fell to his knees, his hands instinctively trying to stop the blood that was pouring from his chest. Merry let out a terrified yell and ran to him, slashing his sword about to move everything out of the way. He knelt beside Pippin, who was looking to the star-filled sky from where he lay, numb to the pain that was coursing through his body. When he saw Merry, he grinned.
  "Just like... old times..." He said, his breathing becoming more and more difficult.
  "And it's time to repay the favour," replied Merry, holding back tears, "I won't let you die, Pippin,"
  "Dying is just another part of life, my friend. Just... tell Diamond I love her... And tell... tell Faramir to be good ... and tell him I love him... And he needs- he needs to take care of hi-his mother..." Pippin said, grimacing with the now felt pain. Merry's tears began to fall freely.
  "I won't let you die, Pippin! I won't let you die!" He cried.
  "Stay strong, M-merry... Stay- stay strong..." And with that, Pippin released his final breath, and was no more. Merry let out a shriek and fell limp over his body, the sobs and tears escaping him unchecked. Peregrin Took, Thain of the Shire, was gone.

Newsletter Trivia.

  Our trivia column writer is, tragically, not among us. Tragic for us, that is. She's probably having the time of her life. Wishing her the best of travels. More details in the Comings and Goings segment.

Random Fandom.
Xara: A friend asks you to look after a pet for them as they're going away for the weekend. You agree, only to find after they have left that it's a giant hobbit-heating squid!!! What do you do?
Hula'n:Take care of it. I couldn't abandon their pet. But next time, I'll make sure and know what the pet is before I say yes to taking care of it.
Xara: A plague has swept the land, sent forth from the Dark Lord's hand. It is a terrible curse, everyone can only speak in verse. Enough of that. You're the only one who didn't get the plague, so it is down to you to save everyone else, how?
Hula'n: Well, I'll whip up some really good food and feed the Dark Lord while pretending to have the curse of verse (hehe, that was a rhyme in itself). Then, I'll get the Dark Lord drunk and reverse the curse.
Xara: Legolas stole your running shoes so he can look cool in front of his friends on their horseless trans-Rohan expedition. What do you do?
Hula'n: Legolas knows I exist!?! Oh wow. I'll just get a new pair of shoes and say for the shoes he owes me a date.

Ask Samwise.
  Dear Samwise,
  I realise you aer the sort of erson who helps people out with their problems but this forthnight, I am glad to say that I have none. It has been a worry free, albeit stressful, two weeks and all I can say is that some of your good sense must have rubbed off on me for me not to have any goofs. THanks samwise.
  (To his cellar stock,)
  We did a right good job of that one, now didn't we?

  Dear Samwise,
I received a 1967 Ford Thunderbird as a birthday present this week ... it's one of those models that I have to put together and paint. Which I will do very soon. My question to you is, do you think that this is too juvenile to be put on my desk at work? Your thoughts.

  Dear Matthias,
  Now, there's nothing wrong with showing what you like. Now it may be that in this age, it's not right proper for me to be the one as does the cooking and mending, but it's right hard not to, so I do it. And if you'll look at the way people see me, begging your pardon, but your lass included, it doesn't turn out so bad after all. I say if you want it there, why, that's where it should be, no matter what people think.

The Comings and Goings at i Nili o i Ardanole
By Robert C. Stames
  As more and more members depart from the site, the message posting exponentially decreases. This proves that there is a direct correlation between the number of messages being posted and the number of members. Now, if only I can figure out which variable goes on the "x" axis and which goes on the "y" axis ... heh heh heh, OK I think I've scared you guys enough ... onto what went on at the site over the last two weeks.
  The first thing I have to say is that .... Hah! Greece won the Euro 2004 football tournament! Being Greek, I, naturally, am very very proud of our national team. Congratulations to them and to those who were cheering them on.
  We have had just one new member to the site this week: Jazz_the_hobbit. Welcome Jazz. We hope that you have a wonderful time at the site. Feel free to stay for a long time and post several messages. Anything is welcome.
  Members that have departed the site include Ivy and Prongs. Ivy is off on an European holiday. Have a great time Ivy! We will all miss you! Prongs is ... well, studying. She has an exam to sit in August and is studying hard for it. Good luck, Prongs
In the "Still Missing But Returning Soon" category is Padfoot, who is halfway through her vacation. We miss you Padfoot. Come back soon, eh?
  And to everyone's joy, Prancing_Unicorn has returned to the site. I know not who this member may be ... all I know is that she and Prongs are both gaga over some Irish boyband ... boybands ... ! Shudder!
  In the "Recovering From Injury" category is Viggo's Girl. I am delighted to report that her knee is healing nicely but, unfortunately, she is having a little bit of trouble getting around. It's frustrating but you'll be tap-dancing in no time. Keep your chin up. Good luck!
  Xara has revised her fan-fiction the "Happy Hobbit Hotel" and has posted a new copy on the message boards. It is really, really good and I urge everyone to read it. You'll be rolling over the floor, laughing your head off!! If you would like her to send you a copy, please email her: xara229@hotmail.com.
  Speaking of Xara ... unfortunately she had her wisdom teeth out about a week ago. I am happy to tell you that 3 out of the 4 teeth don't hurt a bit. Sadly one does hurt but that's OK ... one is better than 4 right? And she is desperate for some solid food instead of mush but ... OK, I can't come up with anything optimistic about eating mush. Mush sucks. Sorry Xara. But we all wish you a happy recovery.
  As I said before, it has been rather a slow few weeks at the site what with members going on vacation and the rest. Hopefully, activity will pick up soon. Until then, take care folks. Have a great 2 weeks.

  AUTHOR'S NOTE: If any members are upset about being included in this article or are hurt that they were missed out, I am to blame. Please address nasty notes to Robert Stames at the following email address: robert_stames@hotmail.com. Feedback at the same email address would also be appreciated. This was my idea entirely and is not the fault of Perian, Xara, Prongs or Ivy. Thank you.
  I have one or two bitty additions to make, if you will pardon my boldness, Rob. Firstly, and thank you, Prongsie, for suggesting this emendation, our humble Comings and Goings column writer neglected to mention that it was his birthday this week. Many happy returns!
  Also, in addition to a thorough reworking of her Happy Hobbit Hotel tale, Xara has been writing the third, and seemingly final installment of the Happy Hobbit series: Amidst Dragon Fire. This can be read at her Fanfiction site The Adventures of Samwise and the Killer Milkshake.

MISSING: Finest brewed ale in all the Shire...about 1/2 pint.
Last seen: On a table near Pippin.  If you've seen it, please contact Merry at meriado.brandybuck@theshire.net
WANTED: Model gas station and service garage to go with my Ford Thunderbird. I like to play. I pay very well. robert_stames@hotmail.com

WANTED: Mad scientist who can make multiple copies of me so that one copy can play on the sports field, one can study and one can go to work. Applicants please add a photograph also. I will read all resumes but only the cute may be called back. prongseroo@hotmail.com

Of Places and Geological Features, Part XII: (Key: q. = Quenya, s. = Sindarin, where known.)
pel-: (verb) go around, encircle. Pelargir, Pelori, Pelennor. Root of et-pel, or ephel: (noun) outer fence. Ephel Brandir, Ephel Duath.
ram (s.) ramba (q.): (noun) wall. Andram, Randal, Rammas Echor.
rant: (noun) course. Andurant, Celebrant.
ras, plural rais: (noun) horn. Barad Nimras, Caradhras, Methedras, Ered Nimrais.

  Dear Editor,
  Thank you for considering Pippin for stewardship of Gondor.  I personally think that Tookland is a better place to rule but the fact that you took him seriously make me incredibly happy!!!  Even if it was as the 3rd choice (He deserves better!!!  You cheated him, I tell you, cheated!!!)  I am also especially glad that you mentioned the mealtimes aspect of it. 
  With many thanks,
  Eowyn Evenstar
  Dear EE,
  Aye, let's leave young master Peregrin in Tukborough where he belongs. Though I must say, if he were steward perhaps he would never have married Diamond and rather fallen for those tall, dark-haired, Gondorian ladies. Ahem, ahem. But of what consequence is that, eh? None at all, oh no.
  As for third choice... Well, you see, I have more factors than adorable hobbitishness to consider. You see, he may have been the third considered, but that also means he wasn't the first rejected. Had to give him a nice middle position, you see.
  Wow. Look at all the doubletalk! I think I'll enter politics soon...

  Dear Editor,
I am impressed by the way that you guys keep on coming up with ideas for articles. Xara's "Hero Resumes - Finding the Right Person for the Battle" and your "The Seat of the Steward" were both brilliant. How do you think of these things?
Matthas AKA Rob

  Dear Matthias,
  Well, I can't speak for Xara, though she seems to have a very, very devoted muse. You would be amazed at the amount of topics she has covered in her winter store.
  As for myself, inspiration is very sporadic. For "The Seat of the Steward" I have Ivy to thank. She was having trouble thinking of article ideas, and I told her to randomly name objects. Though I don't know that she gained much from the activity, I was quite taken by the word "chair". The key is to find everything, not simply large events or awe-inspiring topics, interesting.
  Even so, if you see my inspiration flitting about Canada, would you please tell it to come home? It has been missing for quite some time, now.

  Dear Editor,
  Finally something in the newsletter that my brother could read! Thank you so much for including the interview with Shawn Dunn. However did you come up with that idea?! It was brilliant! My brother had a great time reading it and he says thank you also.

  Dear Prongs,
  Ah, but again the thanks belongs to someone other than myself. It was Andrea who mentioned he was going to the convention and would try to interview some of the speakers. All I did was insist that he send the i Nili Newsletter a transcript. You know how, er, persuasive I can be at times... All right, I nag, beg, and cajole, stopping just short of blackmailing. Ooops, no! Wait! We welcome contributors! I didn't mean to sca- Blast.
 It was as much a surprise and delight to me when he sent the extensive article and interview. If TORn, the other recipients, did not publish it... Well, their loss!
  You're both welcome. Glad to have another reader, even if it was only for one issue!

  Dear Editor,
  Woah, woah, woah!!! I think I'll start from the beginning! Pungolo, who are you and why haven't you written for us before?! I was amazed, you actually got to interview that guy? LUCKY!!! Actually, Shawn Dunn is lucky too, working with Weta Digital. You're all lucky!!! So lucky, and meanwhile my own reporting efforts terribly come to nothing! But enough of that, well done! Prongsie, I was surprised to say the least when I saw your article, I hadn't expected anyone to remember, truth be known! I'm afraid the celebrations though were somewhat less than last years, there weren't any, to my knowledge. ATLOTR is still going strong, but not for me. *Breaks into song* They're writing songs of love, but not for me... *realises everyone's staring at her and looks embarrassed" Anyway! Perian, I thought Gimli started a dwarf colony in the Glittering Caves? Ah well, he certainly looked the part in that chair, and I had suspected as much when he got to stand up near Aragorn at his coronation! Ivy; GO MERRY AND PIPPIN!!! They blew up the pirate ship! I knew they had it in them! Rob, may I please come to your Silmarillion dress-up party? *Grin.* Well, that was a long letter! But I still have one more thing to say, well done everyone on the columns! I don't think I've ever seen so many contributions!!! Fantastic!

  Dear Xara,
  You're quite right, that was a long letter! Gimli, yes, I think he did start a colony, but that doesn't mean he oversaw it 'til the end. He also promised to bring a hundred dwarves to work the stone of Minas Tirith, so once again he is attached to the realm.
  Fantastic contributions, eh? I'll let the writers speak for themselves.

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