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Sad news

The Pink Elephant of Hatherleigh has been stolen!

I am torn between 'honestly, that really sucks, how mean', guilty amusement and overwhelming bafflement at how someone steals a life-size pink elephant, and what on earth they plan to do with it.



I have a bit of a cold, so when I walked Rosie this morning, I went for a gentle stroll, congratulating myself on how she has over the last year or so turned into a much easier dog to have about the place: she's generally confident and happy and even comes when called.

I had not taken enough note of the fact that she was walking firmly ahead of me at the very end of the lead, with ears in 'don't talk to me' configuration.

She wanted to go into a field we sometimes use, so I let her in, and since that field is very nearly secure apart from a bit of a gap under the top gate, I let her off the lead to sniff for bunnies and wandered up to the top to stand by the slightly dodgy gate.

After a while she seemed to get bored and went to stand by the bottom gate, so I wandered back down, at which point she changed direction, charged up to the top gate and shot under it, leaving me to stagger back up the hill after her, unable to shout due to sore throat, and set off in achey cold-ridden pursuit.

Fortunately she only went through the hedge into the other field we often use (that field is secure in the summer, when the nettles are tall, because she doesn't like nettles, but they've died down now). She then did the Saluki Prance and led me all around the fields, never looking at me, but always somehow at least ten paces ahead... Grrr. Still, she did get tired of it eventually and came to me to complain that her feet were wet with dew. THAT IS NOT MY FAULT, ROSIE ROO.

To battle on the mountain

So, having saved Kibil-Tarag and won the victory for the Stiff-beard Dwarves, we spent some time asking around after Fankil, Demon of the North Wind and one of Morgoth's greatest servants, who was also, we think, responsible for the terrible White Blight, which was bringing famine to the Southern Lands, who we had been given the task of trying to defeat at the Council of Celeborn.

An ancient Stiff-beard king, King Horn son of Thulin had come up with a  way to bind Fankil for several Ages of the world using an ancient Dwarven Spell.  How exactly it worked, we didn't know, but there were some details. If they were right, we were hopeful we might get it to work with a bit of tinkering.

So, we set off by boat to the Whale's Graveyard, where somehow or other we had worked out we needed to contact Uin, King of Whales, for information. Possibly Angruin was absent at this point, or possibly he was failing to pay attention because Tinglin Redcap was playing the flute or something.

Anyway, we got there, after a brief encounter with menacing Nabkrok tribesmen in boats, and Sirithglor summoned Uin, who came... up.

He was a whale of considerable size.
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And that was the end of the adventure for this year.

The Siege of Bosvik

We marched into the fort of Bosvik, a well-defended spot occupying the only pass through the mountains to the Stiff-beard capital. There were two sets of gates, and all traffic travelling through the pass must travel through both of them.
Here we are, just arrived at Bosvik.  You can just see the southern gate in the background, and the Dwarves who have come with us lined up in rows behind the tables in the main courtyard. The Northern gate is defended by the square tower and portcullis.


In which we simply walk into Mordor

So, after the Council of Celeborn, we set off to Mordor to find out if anything was going on there.  Erestor, who had been at the council as Elrond's representative, came with us to see the Tower Kings. That's him in the brown robes next to the very spotty horse.

The Tower Kings are local kings who were given impressive Numenorean towers along the borders of Mordor, to live in after the War of the Elves with Sauron, by Ciryatur.  This was so they could keep an eye on Mordor in cause Sauron came back to visit his own Tower, Barad Dur.

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Isle of Avalon

We were supposed to be learning about painting misty rivers.  I have an ample supply of my own photos of those for reference, so I dug out a number of them, and put them on an old minilaptop that is ideal for this purpose, since it doesn't have enough disk space to apply Windows updates and therefore isn't really safe to connect to the internet, but is fine for browsing photos off a USB stick. Which is just what I need in the art class church hall, which has no wifi, and barely even a mobile signal.   But I forgot that the dratted thing won't start unless the battery is charged, so instead this is adapted from a photo of Glastonbury Tor that someone had clipped out of a newspaper.  With some added water. 

Adventuring in the Terrible North

Previously... in our now 4-year roleplaying campaign set in the Second Age of Middle-earth, we were sent into the Mysterious East  by King Gil-galad to try to find Sauron.  There we met a lot of different Elves and Men,  set up a new Land populated by Elves, Men, Bear-men, and basically anyone not too evil to be invited, and in our last adventure, we managed to capture one of the Nine Rings, and were faced with what on earth to do with it next.

So, last week, we re-convened.  In the real world, a year and a half had passed, but in Middle-earth, fifteen years had flown by.  Also, we had some changes of player characters, so the Dramatis Personae for this week were as follows:

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So, we convened after 15 years at Edhellond, at the Council of Celeborn, convened to discuss our findings and work out what to do with the Ninth Ring.  There were a lot of VIPs there apart from us and I ran out of energy drawing everyone, but here from left to right are Hidek, Thorofin, Glorfindel, Celeborn, Galadriel, Thrandin and Sirithglor.

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Next: In which we simply walk into Mordor.

In other news, I think I’ve decided to let myself not complete Inktober this year.  I did 21 Inktober drawings, and they were definitely getting more scratty and rushed as they went on. With all the roleplaying pictures as well, I’m feeling a bit maxed out on ink for now.  I think I'll take a break for a few days.  I think I did learn some things doing it though!


now the waiting begins.  Will he call back?  Will he turn up?  Will the repair require an Unattainable Part or cost £99999?

For future reference, the plumber I have phoned is DT Hunt, who examination of the faded business cards on the pinboard suggests we have phoned before.  Sadly, I cannot remember him or whether he did a decent job, but I'm gambling that Past Us would not have kept the phone number if he'd been a complete whittle.   I seem to have a plumbing tag in which I have recorded various leaks, but not actually useful information such as who did the fixing...

Update : alas, Mr Hunt was abroken reed and did not return the call. I called Mr Utton instead, who turned out to be someone we'd called before, and very efficient he seemed, though he needs to call to arrange to return, and has yet to do so.

Inktober catchup

I continue!

10: Flowing
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Oh, and also, I can now reveal to anyone who cares and didn't spot it (I've been told it was very obvious) that I wrote:
Coming to the Valley  (18382 words, G)  : An account of what Elrond did in the War of the Elves and Sauron, and how Rivendell was founded.

Nightfall in Calstock

Two photos from a quick paddle up the river yesterday:
1) the Spirit of Mystery.
I thought this was just a random Cornish lugger (and very pretty) but googling turns up a wikipedia page for her that says she is a replica built in 2008,  which was sailed all the way to Melbourne, Australia (to commemorate a previous journey from Cornwall in 1854).  I wasn't sure it was the same boat, but yes, it looks like she was up for sale in 2012 in Plymouth, so she is one well travelled boat. Wow.

Apparently she has a piece of oak from Nelson’s Victory used as a chart table, teak from the Cutty Sark as part of the saloon table and an original rivet from the SS Great Britain as a cupboard handle.  Coo.

2)  Our journey was considerably shorter, arriving back in Calstock as the last of the daylight faded.

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