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War of Wrath III : the Mappening

I had difficulty visualising how I thought the Downfall of Beleriand might have happened, so I borrowed some maps and mangled them horribly to show the progress of events and particularly the change in the coast.
(The first and last two dates are from  The War of the Jewels, HoME Vol 11: I made the rest up. )

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End of an era: Footie Cat

Last night our oldest cat, Footnote, died.  We think he had a heart attack.  He was 20 years old, and had been with us since he was a kitten, so he had a good run.   He had slowly been getting older and tireder, and didn't do much any more but wander between his food bowl and the fire  (and occasionally shout loudly to be rescued, if he got a bit confused on the route from A to B.)  He was the only one of our current three (now two) cats that we adopted as a kitten, from a friend who had found and rescued a pregnant cat that was being attacked by a dog.


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War of Wrath II the timelining

I have just realised (I think I knew this, but had forgotten) that at the end of the Silmarillion's War of Wrath, poor Elros and Elrond, who were abducted away from both their parents when they were aged seven, get to see their father again... looking up at him from below, up at him in his flying ship high above the ground.   He is forbidden to land, despite having just basically won the war that the Valar had been fighting for 43 years for them.   Because, apparently, Rules Are Rules.

I wondered if going through all the Feanorian Silmarillion details would make me feel less generally Feanorian in my sentiments.  I mean, they are mass murderers who make terrible decisions. But in fact, exactly the opposite has occurred.

DAMN YOU VALAR.  YOU UTTER, UTTER BASTARDS.

Also, it is really hard to come up with 43 years worth of details for a war that is described in canon as basically 'And then the Valar stomped everyone and it  all fell in the sea.'    I'm trying to make up a possible timeline.  Any warlike suggestions happily accepted.

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Security in Middle Earth

Random outtake that does not fit into what I am writing:

Someone with lots of Middle Earth experience, emerging from the Halls of Mandos in the Second Age. Say, Fingon.

Fingon:  You sent the early prototype Palantíri as presents to Númenor?  What were you thinking?!  Do you realise those things don't even have password protection?

Elves : Tralalalally.  Evil is ended forever!  

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IP's blocked

Scrolling quickly through messages telling me which IP addresses have been autoblocked on various websites that I work on, because of dodgy-looking activity over the festive season, I notice that there is a sudden upswing in Russian and Ukrainian IP addresses.  (My sites are almost all hosted in the UK, because dealing with the data wrangles of hosting outside the EU is a headache I do not need).

Normally, attempts to get into my websites come largely from the USA and (inexplicably) France.   The orthodoxy, I believe,  is to assume that these US attacks are not really from the US, but are from US-based machines hijacked from Eastern Europe.  (I don't know about the French thing.  Nobody else seems to be specially targeted by the French, so I have seen no discussion on it).

I don't know what to make of the sudden prominence of Russian IPs.  Have the US authorities cracked down on the hijacked machines?  Are the new attacks reported as Russian and Ukrainian, actually now coming from hijackers physically located in the USA, in a kind of weird symmetry?  Is it entirely chance?

I'll probably never know.  I can only feel vaguely reassured that the software is doing its thing and nobody is complaining. 

Waterwheel in Nargothrond

 For some reason I am firmly convinced that Nargothrond must have been powered by a goodly number of waterwheels.

Here is a random Noldo wandering past one of them.   I did this with my new Inktense pencils, which I recommend if you like watercolour pencils, they are like those but much more vivid.  The falling water was overpainted in acrylics, and I think looks better in the physical version than in my photo here, but that's life.

The New Year began yesterday with a truly horrible cold wet and rainy day.   I determinedly went out for a dog walk in Calstock with my mother anyway, and duly fell over in the mud and got very damp and filthy  (better her than me though, I am young enough to bounce!).  I wish we'd left it till today now, the skies today are a clear blue and everything is green and gold again.  

The War of Wrath

Do any Tolkien fans have stern views about Dwarves and the War of Wrath?   Involved?  Not involved?  Innocent victims in the tragic ruins of Nogrod and Belegost?

(My Feanor story has got to the War of Wrath!  And somehow it is 27700 words and growing.   I am oscillating between 'this is so much fun!!!  Filling in all the details!!!'  (there appear to be almost zero canon details about the War of Wrath, and particularly about the Feanorians in it)  and 'what on earth am I doing???'  I am fairly sure there must be lots of other fanfic on this but I daren't read it yet or else I will become discouraged and never finish mine.    My roleplaying character Angruin is not in it, (except, possibly as a vague background figure). For some reason I feel vaguely embarrassed about including him as a named character.
A couple of days ago, we decided on a Dartmoor walk.  We went, randomly, to Princetown, which is the town in the middle of Dartmoor with the monstrous prison.  But it turned out that a very large number of the people of Devon had also gone to Princetown for a walk, and it was humming.  Also, because Princetown is right in the middle, you can't just walk out in any direction onto the moor, you are corralled onto neatly-fenced footpaths.   This was not what I had in mind, so we fled, and instead stopped randomly near Merrivale and headed for a convenient tor.    This was a lot more pleasingly spacious.



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Then in the evening we went and saw the Rogue One film.   I found it a bit boggling at first, with so many characters introduced so quickly, and had the sense that there were references flying past that I was missing, but in the end I warmed to it.  Not sure how I'd have felt if I had not been spoilered for the ending though, so was ready for it.     I think I would probably have liked Jyn Erso better if her story had been a little more different from Rey's, although perhaps that's being a bit picky.   I took a great liking to the pilot, Bodhi for some reason.  I think because he seemed so baffled and unviolent and generally 'wtf is doing on' and yet was still determined to do the right thing.

Today I did some carving while watching The Last Dragonslayer.  I didn't have high expectations of it, but it was really watchable with lots of good lines.  I loved the idea of a fantasy Kingdom of Herefordshire with fantasy supermarkets and fantasy electricity.  And dragons, of course.  And the dragon ecology idea where dragons are part of the ecology and you can't just wall them off into a reserve was brilliant.

Happy New Year all!  I hope all you lot who have had bad years will have much better ones next year and that the people who have had good years will have more of them.  It would be great to have a year where the bad things are all for bad people for a change. 

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