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Bestiary of Middle-Earth

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Ar-Adunakhor
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PostPosted: 2007-11-02 01:17am 

Jedi Knight


Joined: 2005-09-05 03:06am
Posts: 672
Sorry for not addressing this when I commented on it, but you know... things happen. Regarding Melkor's return, I continue to find no reference to Sauron being restored, but it is explicitly stated in Lost Tales 1 that Melkor will gather his ancient power unto himself again while in the Outer Dark and come back in his full glory and with his servants. Scary.

Also, there seem to be three versions of the Blue Wizards. Success, Failure, and Evil. The first two we already know about, and here is the first hint I was able to dig up of a corrupted Alatar and Pallando. I am almost positive it was elaborated on elsewhere, perhaps in Tolkien's letters.
Unfinished Tales; p. 390 wrote:
Of the Blue little was known in the West, and they had no names save Ithryn Luin 'the Blue Wizards'; for they passed into the East with Curunir, but they never returned, and whether they remained in the East, pursuing there the purposes for which they were sent; or perished; or as some hold were ensnared by Sauron and became his servants, is not now known. But none of these chances were impossible to be; for, strange indeed though this may seem, the Istari, being clad in bodies of Middle-Earth, might even as Men and Elves fall away from their purposes, and do evil, forgetting the good in the search for power to effect it.
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Balrog
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PostPosted: 2008-02-18 08:32pm 

Jedi Council Member


Joined: 2002-12-29 10:29pm
Posts: 1970
Location: Fortress of Angband
Giant Eagles
Of Aulë and Yavanna wrote:
‘“But dost thou not now remember, Kementári, that thy thought sang not always alone? Did not thy thought and mine meet also, so that we took wing together like great birds that soar above the clouds? That also shall come to by by the heed of Ilúvatar, and before the Children awake there shall go forth with wings like the wind the Eagles of the Lords of the West.”

Then Yavanna was glad, and she stood up, reaching her arms towards the heavens, and she said: “High shall climb the trees of Kementári, that the Eagles of the King may hosue therein!”

But Manwë rose also, and it seemed that he stood to such a height that his voice came down to Yavanna as from the paths of the winds.

“Nay,” he said, “only the trees of Aulë will be tall enough. In the mountains the Eagles shall house, and hear the voices of those who call upon us.”’

The origin of the Giant Eagles.

Of the Beginning of Days wrote:
‘Spirits in the shape of hawks and eagles flew ever to and from [Manwë’s] halls; and their eyes could see to the depths of the seas, and pierce the hidden caverns beneath the world. Thus they brought word to him of well nigh all that passed in Arda; yet some things were hidden even from the eyes of Manwë and the servants of Manwë, for where Melkor sat in his dark thought impenetrable shadows lay.’

Clearly, the Eagles as described have far better eyesight than even normal eagles, though as noted magical darkness remained a problem.

Of the Return of the Noldor wrote:
‘Now, even as Fingon bent his bow, there flew down from the high airs Thorondor, King of Eagles, mightiest of all birds that have ever been, whose outstretched wings spanned thirty fathoms; and staying Fingon’s hand he took him up, and bore him to the face of the rock where Maedhros hung.’

For those who don't know, one fathom is equal to six feet, giving Thorondor a wingspan of one hundred and eighty feet. In comparison, a Boeing 747 commercial jet has a wingspan of just below two hundred feet. Mightiest of all birds indeed.

Out of the Frying-Pan Into the Fire wrote:
‘The wolves yammered and gnashed their teeth; the goblins yelled and stamped with rage, and flung their heavy spears in the air in vain. Over them swooped the eagles; the dark rush of their beating wings smote them to the floor or drove them far away…’

Their wings apparently are powerful enough to force down the goblins and wolves that attacked Bilbo & co. after their escape from Goblin Town.

The Council of Elrond wrote:
“So it was that when summer waned, there came a night of moon, and Gwaihir the Windlord, swiftest of the Great Eagles, came unlooked-for to Orthanc; and he found me standing on the pinnacle. Then I spoke to him and he bore me away, before Saruman was aware. I was far from Isengard, ere the wolves and orcs issued from the gate to pursue me.

‘How far can you bear me?’ I said to Gwaihir.

‘Many leagues,’ said he, ‘but not to the ends of the earth. I was sent to bear tidings not burdens.’

‘Then I must have a steed on land,’ I said, ‘and a steed surpassingly swift, for I have never had such need of haste before.’

‘Then I will bear you to Edoras…’

He set me down in the land of Rohan ere dawn…”

Gandalf recounting his capture at Isengard and escape to Edoras, which is ~100 miles from each other in a straight line. For a low-end conservative figure, assuming Gwaihir picked up Gandalf just after dusk and spent all night flying, that's still ~13mph carrying an 80kg adult male.

A similar feat is accomplished by Gwaihir, his brother Landroval and Meneldor 'the swift' when they bring Gandalf from the Morannon to Mt. Doom, also ~100 miles from each other, in the span of a day (the battle starts sometime around mid-morning, and the four arrive before sundown), though to note the White version of Gandalf is significantly lighter in weight then his old form.

Last edited by Balrog on 2008-10-17 01:47pm, edited 4 times in total.
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LadyTevar
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PostPosted: 2008-02-19 03:55pm 

White Mage


Joined: 2003-02-12 11:59pm
Posts: 17535
Location: Tahalshia Manor
Don't most birds have wingspans equal to twice their length beak to tail? If so, that'd mean Thorondor would be 15 fathoms (80ft) long
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Balrog
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PostPosted: 2008-02-22 03:05am 

Jedi Council Member


Joined: 2002-12-29 10:29pm
Posts: 1970
Location: Fortress of Angband
That does seem to be the case, but at the moment I'm stuck trying to figure out how much he'd have weighed. I'll finish posting relevant passages shortly.
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Balrog
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PostPosted: 2008-02-29 06:46pm 

Jedi Council Member


Joined: 2002-12-29 10:29pm
Posts: 1970
Location: Fortress of Angband
Werewolves
Of Beren and Lúthien wrote:
‘Therefore an army was sent against [Beren] under the command of Sauron; and Sauron brought werewolves, fell beasts inhabited by dreadful spirits that he had imprisoned in their bodies.’

Best to get this out of the way at the outset: werewolves in Tolkien's Middle-Earth are not anthropomorphic shape-shifters. Instead think of them as large demonically-possessed wolves. They make their appearance during the First Age, unsurprisingly in the service of Sauron, who's known as Lord of Werewolves.

Of Beren and Lúthien wrote:
‘Therefore he sent a wolf to the bridge. But Huan slew it silently. Still Sauron sent others one by one; and one by one Huan took them by the throat and slew them. Then Sauron sent Draugluin, a dread beast, old in evil, lord and sire of the werewolves of Angband. His might was great; and the battle of Huan and Draugluin was long and fierce. Yet at length Draugluin escaped, and fleeing back into the tower he died before Sauron’s feet; and as he died he told his master: “Huan is there!”’

Draugluin then could be called a 'prototype' for Sauron's werewolf program, and his strength is apparent in that he wasn't instagibbed by Huan. But as usual the true Dark Lord shows up his lieutenant:
Of Beren and Lúthien wrote:
‘There dismay took them, for at the gate was a guard of whom no tidings had yet gone forth. Rumour of he knew not what designs abroad among the princes of the Elves had come to Morgoth, and ever down the aisles of the forest was heard the baying of Huan, the great hound of war, whom long ago the Valar unleashed. Then Morgoth recalled the doom of Huan, and he chose one from among the whelps of the race of Draugluin; and he fed him with his own hand upon living flesh, and put his power upon him. Swiftly the wolf grew, until he could creep into no den, but lay huge and hungry before the feet of Morgoth. There the fire and anguish of hell entered into him, and he became filled with a devouring spirit, tormented, terrible and strong. Carcharoth, the Red Maw, he is named in the tales of those days, and Anfauglir, the Jaws of Thirst. And Morgoth set him to lie unsleeping before the doors of Angband, lest Huan come.’

The process is actually quite similar to how Sauron raises the Fell Beasts in the Third Age; more then likely this is a common method for how other "fell" creatures are created.

Of Beren and Lúthien wrote:
‘Lúthien was spent, and she had not time nor strength to quell the wolf. But Beren strode forth before her, and in his right hand he held aloft the Silmaril. Carcharoth halted, and for a moment was afraid. “Get you gone, and fly!” cried Beren; “for here is a fire that shall consume you, and all evil things.” And he thrust the Silmaril before the eyes of the wolf.

But Carcharoth looked upon that holy jewel and was not daunted, and the devouring spirit within him awoke to sudden fire; and gaping he took suddenly the hand within his jaws, and he bit it off at the wrist. Then swiftly all his inwards were filled with a flame of anguish and the Silmaril seared his accursed flesh. Howling he fled before them, and the walls of the valley of the Gate echoed with the clamour of his torment. So terrible did he become in his madness that all the creatures of Morgoth that abode in that valley, or were upon any of the roads that led thither, fled far away; for he slew all living things that stood in his path, and burst from the North with ruin upon the world. Of all the terrors that came ever into Beleriand ere Angband’s fall the madness of Carcharoth was the most dreadful; for the power of the Silmaril was hidden within him.’

I just find the image of Beren threatening Carcharoth with the Silmaril, only to have his hand bitten off, quite amusing :D Many evil things who see the light of the Silmaril often shy away, unless they're power-hungry like old Ungoliath or apparently Carcharoth. Of course letting a crazy superbeast carrying a Silmaril in its belly run around isn't conductive to a healthy environment, so a hunt is organized:
Of Beren and Lúthien wrote:
‘But Carcharoth avoided [Huan], and bursting from the thorns leaped suddenly upon Thingol. Swiftly Beren strode before him with a spear, but Carcharoth swept it aside and felled him, biting at his breast. In that moment Huan leaped from the thicket upon the back of the Wolf, and they fell together fighting bitterly; and no battle of wolf and hound has been like to it, for in the baying of Huan was heard the voice of the horns of Oromë and the wrath of the Valar, but in the howls of Carcharoth was the hate of Morgoth and malice crueler than teeth of steel; and the rocks were rent by their clamour and fell from on high and choked the falls of Esgalduin. There they fought to the death; but Thingol gave no heed, for he knelt by Beren, seeing that he was sorely hurt.

Huan in that hour slew Carcharoth; but there in the woven woods of Doriath his own doom long spoken was fulfilled, and he was wounded mortally, and the venom of Morgoth entered into him.’

Huan finally meets his destiny, and Carcharoth reveals his bite is poisonous; whether it's something specific to Carcharoth or a general trait among werewolves isn't said. Also of note is cracking the surrounding rocks from just from their battle-cries.

As to werewolves in later ages, at least Gandalf still thinks there are some in service to Sauron, and makes a distinction between them and regular Wargs:
Many Meetings wrote:
“Not all his servants and chattels are wraiths! There are orcs and trolls, there are wargs and werewolves; and there have been and still are many Men, warriors and kings, that walk alive under the Sun, and yet are under his sway.”


It's for this reason that I attribute the following, where the Fellowship is attacked by 'wolves' after retreating from the Redhorn Pass, as being the activity of Werewolves:
A Journey in the Dark wrote:
‘When the full light of the morning came no signs of the wolves were to be found, and they looked in vain for the bodies of the dead. No trace of the fight remained but the charred trees and the arrows of Legolas lying on the hill-top. All were undamaged save one of which only the point was left.

“It is as I feared,” said Gandalf. “These were no ordinary wolves hunting for food in the wilderness. Let us eat quickly and go!”’

Even Wargs leave dead bodies, and the idea that they'd spend the night delicately pulling arrows out of their comrades and dragging their dead carcasses away (which BTW left no signs for experience trackers like Aragorn or Legolas to notice) is too incredulous.

Last edited by Balrog on 2008-04-25 03:37pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Balrog
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PostPosted: 2008-03-12 10:39pm 

Jedi Council Member


Joined: 2002-12-29 10:29pm
Posts: 1970
Location: Fortress of Angband
Númenóreans

Physiology
Akallabêth wrote:
‘This was the beginning of that people that in the Grey-elven speech are called the Dúnedain: the Númenóreans, Kings among Men. But they did not thus escape from the doom of death that Ilúvatar had set upon all Mankind, and they were mortal still, though their years were long, and they knew no sickness, ere the shadow fell upon them. Therefore they grew wise and glorious, and in all things more like to the Firstborn than any other of the kindreds of Men; and they were tall, taller than the tallest of the sons of Middle-earth; and the light of their eyes was like the bright stars.’

So some general descriptions, noting their great height, long span of years and seeming immunity to disease; as it says they became more like Elves then men. There are though more specific indications of these attributes though.

The Return of the King, Appendix A wrote:
‘For though a long span of life had been granted to them, in the beginning thrice that of lesser Men, they must remain mortal, since the Valar were not permitted to take from them the Gift of Men (or the Doom of Men, as it was afterwards called).’

Though Tolkien seemed to waver about how long the Númenóreans lived, a span of three times that of normal Men is the most common figure he gives. The Line of Elros, the Kings of Númenor, was slightly longer, around four hundred years until their decline.

A Description of Númenor wrote:
‘In Númenor all journeyed from place to place on horseback; for in riding the Númenóreans, both men and women, took delight, and all the people of the land loved horses, treating them honourably and housing them nobly. They were trained to hear and answer calls from a great distance, and it is said in old tales that where there was great love between men and women and their favourite steeds they could be summoned at need by thought alone.’

This ability to summon their steeds with at a thought is very similar to Gandalf summoning Shadowfax with his thoughts, and since they are described as becoming "elvish" it's possible they did develop some form of telepathy, something common among the high-born at least.

Disaster of the Gladden Fields wrote:
‘The Númenóreans in their own land possessed horses, which they esteemed. But they did not use them in war; for all their wars were overseas. Also they were of great stature and strength, and their fully-equipped soldiers were accustomed to bear heavy armour and weapons. ’

The text speaks for itself, part of the reason the Númenóreans had no cavalry was indeed due to their size and strength and ability to carry heavy loads.

Disaster of the Gladden Fields wrote:
‘Measures of distance are converted as nearly as possible into modern terms. ‘League’ is used because it was the longest measurement of distance: in Númenórean reckoning (which was decimal) five thousand rangar (full paces) made a lár, which was very nearly three of our miles.’

Defining the distances of a 'Númenórean' league is important, since it has much to do with their endurance.

Disaster of the Gladden Fields wrote:
‘The journey was probably at least three hundred and eight leagues as marched; but the soldiers of the Dúnedain, tall men of great strength and endurance, were accustomed to move fully-armed at eight leagues a day ‘with ease’: when they went in eight spells of a league, with short breaks at the end of each league, and one hour near midday. This made a ‘march’ of about ten and a half hours, in which they were walking eight hours. This pace they could maintain for long periods with adequate provision. In hast they could move much faster, at twelve leagues a day (or in great need more), but for shorter periods.’

So they're capable of marching twenty-four miles in a day at an easy pace while fully armored, or thirty-six plus miles for a forced march. For comparison, modern US Army doctrine has foot infantry covering an average of twenty miles while marching.

Disaster of the Gladden Fields wrote:
‘Thus two ragnar was often called ‘man-high’, which at thirty-eight inches gives an average height of six feet four inches; but this was at a later date, when the stature of the Dúnedain appears to have decreased, and also was not intended to be an accurate statement of the observed average of male height among them...'

Though it obviously isn't an accurate measurement, it does give an indication of their height, which had actually shrunk during their decline.

Disaster of the Gladden Fields wrote:
‘..the Hobbits of the Shire were in height between three and four feet, never less and seldom more. They did not of course call themselves Halflings; this was the Númenórean name for them. It evidently referred to their height in comparison with Númenórean men, and was approximately accurate when given.’

Here their height is given in more general terms, between six and eight feet tall, also apparently during their decline.

Disaster of the Gladden Fields wrote:
‘First they let fly a hail of arrows, and then suddenly with a great shout they did as Isildur would have done, and hurled a great mass of their chief warriors down the last slope against the Dúnedain, expecting to break up their shield-wall. But it stood firm. The arrows had been unavailing against the Númenórean armour. The great Men towered above the tallest Orcs, and their swords and spears far outreached the weapons of their enemies. The onslaught faltered, broke, and retreated, leaving the defenders little harmed, unshaken, behind piles of fallen Orcs.’

There is no average height for Orcs (so far as I know) but the largest of Orcs tend to be as tall as Men, and the Númenóreans "tower" over them.

Isildur
Disaster of the Gladden Fields wrote:
‘[Isildur] was a man of strength and endurance that few even of the Dúnedain of that age could equal…’

An exact example of this came be seen when he was finally persuaded to flee the battle of the Gladden Fields and made his way towards the Anduin:
Disaster of the Gladden Fields wrote:
‘Seven leagues or more from the place of battle. Night had fallen when he fled; he reached the Anduin at midnight or near it.’

Since the battle took place in October, assuming the sun set around six in the afternoon, Isildur ran twenty-one miles in a little under six hours while fully armed and armored over uneven ground and after having fought for several hours. The fastest marathon runners cover a slightly longer distance in a third of that time, but that's after being well rested, over nice paved roads wearing very little to weigh them down.

Elendil
Disaster of the Gladden Fields wrote:
‘Elendil was said to be ‘more than man-high by nearly half a ranga’; but he was accounted the tallest of all the Númenóreans who escaped the Downfall [and was indeed generally known as Elendil the Tall].’

That leaves Elendil just an inch short of eight feet tall, again gives a good upper limit for the height of Númenóreans during their decline.


Craft
Disaster of the Gladden Fields wrote:
‘Though it was a long journey, each of the Dúnedain carried in a sealed wallet on his belt a small phial of cordial and wafers of a waybread that would sustain life in him for many days – not indeed the miruvor or the lembas of the Eldar, but like them, for the medicine and other arts of Númenor were potent and not yet forgotten.’

Quite apparent, Númenóreans were almost as good as the Elves when it came to making things.

A Description of Númenor wrote:
‘In later days, in the wars upon Middle-earth, it was the bows of the Númenóreans that were most greatly feared. ‘The Men of the Sea’, it was said, ‘send before them a great cloud, as a rain turned to serpents, or a black hail tipped with steel’; and in those days the great cohorts of the King’s Archers used bows made of hollow steel, with black-feathered arrows a full ell long from point to notch.’

No range given, but the unique construction material is noted, and an ell is almost four feet long; many medieval war arrows were two and a half to three feet long.

Fog on the Barrow-Downs wrote:
‘For each of the hobbits he chose a dagger, long, leaf-shaped, and keen, of marvelous workmanship, damasked with serpent-forms in red and gold. They gleamed as he drew them from their black sheaths, wrought of some strange metal, light and strong, and set with many fiery stones. Whether by some virtue of these sheaths or because of the spell that lay on the mound, the blades seemed untouched by time, unrusted, sharp, glittering in the sun.’

Introduction of the Barrow-blades, aka the blades of Westerness, the work of the survivors of Númenor. The possibility of their sheaths being magically enchanted is raised as well.

A Knife in the Dark wrote:
‘Desperate, [Frodo] drew his own sword, and it seemed to him that it flickered red, as if it was a firebrand. Two of the [Ringwraiths] halted.’

Frodo while in the 'wraith world' draws his sword. Normal swords don't glow when viewed in this realm, nor do they usually give pause to Nazgûl. They at least notice it is a magical blade meant to harm them.

The Departure of Boromir wrote:
‘He picked out from the pile of grim weapons two knives, leaf-bladed, damasked in gold and red; and searching further he found also the sheaths, black, set with small red gems. “No orc-tools these!” he said. “They were borne by the hobbits. Doubtless the Orcs despoiled them, but feared to keep the knives, knowing them for what they are: work of Westernesse, wound with spells for the bane of Mordor.”’

Aragorn and the Orcs recognize that these blades are magical and designed specifically to be used against the servants of Sauron.

Flotsam and Jetsam wrote:
‘“Well!” said Merry. “I never expected to see those again! I marked a few orcs with mine; but Uglúk took them from us. How he glared! At first I thought he was going to stab me, but he threw the things away as if they burned him.”’

Besides Ringwraiths, their effect can potentially apply to Orcs too. This ability to cause pain is something seen in artifacts made by Elves, from whom the Númenóreans learned a great deal.

The Battle of the Pelennor Fields wrote:
‘Then he looked for his sword that he had let fall; for even as he struck his blow his arm was numbed, and now he could only use his left hand. And behold! there lay his weapon, but the blade was smoking like a dry branch that had been thrust in a fire; and as he watched it, it writhed and withered and was consumed.

So passed the sword of the Barrow-downs, work of Westernesse. But glad would he have been to know its fate who wrought it slowly long ago in the North-kingdom when the Dunedain were young, and chief among their foes was the dread realm of Angmar and its sorcerer king. No other blade, not though mightier hands had wielded it, would have dealt that foe a wound so bitter, cleaving the undead flesh, breaking the spell that knit his unseen sinews to his will.’

The effects of a wraith being stabbed by one of these blades is explained. As noted elsewhere, the life of the Ringwraiths are bound to their Rings, which is why even getting hit by a flash flood doesn't kill them. A possible theory then is that the spells cast upon the blade breaks the link between wraith and ring, making it possible for their life to be permanently killed, as was the case here with the Witch-King.

The Black Gate Opens wrote:
‘He drew his sword and looked at it, and the intertwining shapes of red and gold; and the flowing characters of Numenor glinted like fire upon the blade....

At Pippin's side Beregond was stunned and overborne, and he fell; and the great troll-chief that smote him down bent over him, reaching out a clutching claw; for these fell creatures would bite the throats of those that they threw down.

Then Pippin stabbed upwards, and the written blade of Westernesse pierced through the hide and went deep into the vitals of the troll, and his black blood came gushing out. He toppled forward and came crashing down like a falling rock, burying those beneath them. Blackness and stench and crushing pain came upon Pippin, and his mind fell away into a great darkness.’

It's very hard to pierce Troll skin; when Boromir tried with his steel sword in Moria, it bounced off chipped, while the Elven dagger Sting was able to pierce the same troll easily. However, as noted in Shelob's entry the same blade failed to cut through her web as easily as Sting did, making it clear they're at least below the level of craftsmanship that went into Sting.

Flotsam and Jetsam wrote:
‘“Many of the Ents were hurling themselves against the Orthanc-rock; but that defeated them. It was very smooth and hard. Some wizardry is in it, perhaps, older and stronger then Saruman’s. Anyway they could not get a grip on it, or make a crack in it; and they were bruising and wounding themselves against it.”’

The Siege of Gondor wrote:
‘At first men laughed and did not greatly fear such devices. For the main wall of the City was of great height and marvelous thickness, built ere the power and craft of Númenor waned in exile; and its outward face was like to the Tower of Orthanc, hard and dark and smooth, unconquerable by steel or fire, unbreakable except by some convulsion that would rend the very earth on which it stood.’

The masonry skills of Númenor are of excellent quality. Ents that go through normal stone like breadcrumbs are completely defeated by it, and even the explosive bombs of Mordor would be useless against it. As noted, only the a force that would disrupt the ground it stood on could break it, but in Minas Tirith's case the city was built on the Hill of Guard, a foothill of Mt. Mindolluin, which means having to go through solid rock.

The Great River wrote:
‘“Behold Tol Brandir!” said Aragorn, pointing south to the tall peak. “Upon the left stands Amon Lhaw, and upon the right is Amon Hen, the Hills of Hearing and of Sight. In the days of the great kings there were high seats upon them, and watch was kept there.”

Interesting pieces of masonry left behind by the Númenóreans, probably during the reign of, if not Elendil and his sons themselves, then shortly thereafter. They appear modeled after the thrones of Manwé and Varda, their ability to see and hear far respectively. Though the Hill of Hearing is left without a description, it most likely has the same structure and ability as the Hill of Seeing:
The Breaking of the Fellowship wrote:
‘Soon [Frodo] came out alone on the summit of Amon Hen, and halted, gasping for breath. He saw as through a mist a wide flat circle, paved with mighty flags, and surrounded with a crumbling battlement; and in the middle, upon four carven pillars, was a high seat, reached by a stair of many steps. Up he went and sat upon the ancient chair, feeling like a lost child that had clambered upon the throne of mountain-kings.

At first he could see little. He seemed to be in a world of mist in which there were only shadows: the Ring was upon him. Then here and there the mist gave way and he saw many visions: small and clear as if they were under his eyes upon a table, and yet remote. There was no sound, only bright living images. The world seemed to have shrunk and fallen silent. He was sitting upon the Seat of Seeing, on Amon Hen, the Hill of the Eye of the Men of Númenor. Eastward he looked into wide uncharted lands, nameless plains, and forests unexplored. Northward he looked, and the Great River lay like a ribbon beneath him, and the Misty Mountains stood small and hard as broken teeth. Westward he looked and saw the broad pastures of Rohan; and Orthanc, the pinnacle of Isengard, like a black spike. Southward he looked, and below his very feet the Great River curled like a toppling wave and plunged over the falls of Rauros into a foaming pit; a glimmering rainbow played upon the fume. And Ethir Anduin he saw, the mighty delta of the River, and myriads of sea-bird whirling like a white dust in the sun, and beneath them a green and silver sea, rippling in endless lines.

But everywhere he looked he saw the signs of war. The Misty Mountains were crawling like anthills: orcs were issuing out of a thousand holes. Under the boughs of Mirkwood there was deadly strife of Elves and Men and fell beasts. The land of the Beornings was aflame; a cloud was over Moria; smoke rose on the borders of Lórien.

Horsemen were galloping on the grass of Rohan; wolves poured from Isengard. From the havens of Harad ships of war put out to sea; and out of the East Men were moving endlessly: swordsmen, spearmen, bowmen upon horses, chariots of chieftains and laden wains. All the power of the Dark Lord was in motion. Then turning south again he beheld Minas Tirith. Far away it seemed, and beautiful: white-walled, many-towered, proud and fair upon its mountain-seat; its battlements glittered with steel, and its turrets were bright with many banners. Hope leaped in his heart. But against Minas Tirith was set another fortress, greater and more strong. Thither, eastward, unwilling his eyes were drawn. It passed the ruined bridges of Osgiliath, the grinning gates of Minas Morgul, and the haunted Mountains, and it looked upon Gorgoroth, the valley of terror in the land of Mordor. Darkness lay there under the Sun. Fire glowed amid the smoke. Mount Doom was burning, and a great reek rising. Then at last his gaze was held: wall upon wall, battlement upon battlement, black, immeasurably strong, mountain of iron, gate of steel, tower of adamant, he saw it: Barad-dûr, Fortress of Sauron. All hope left him.’

Frodo is seeing, in very precise detail, events that are taking place literally hundreds of miles away, thousands if he's looking all the way into Harad. This would prove a great advantage to the Númenóreans, however they already had all seven Seeing Stones at this point as well, each with the exact same power, so it would seem to be redundant. However, the Seeing Stones were even at this time kept secret, and their primary use had always been communication between each other, with usually a strong will required to direct it to see some other part of the world. Plus, while you could see, you could not hear through the Palantír. Working in conjunction, the Seats of Seeing and Hearing would give the Númenóreans a tremendous intelligence advantage over an opponent. While they couldn't make any more Palantír, they were probably able to study its effects and replicate them for the Seats. However they didn't always work:
The Departure of Boromir wrote:
‘Aragorn hesitated. He desired to go to the high seat himself, hoping to see there something that would guide him in his perplexities; but time was pressing. Suddenly he leaped forward, and ran to the summit, across the great flag-stones, and up the steps. Then sitting in the high seat he looked out. But the sun seemed darkened, and the world dim and remote. He turned from the North back again to North, and saw nothing save the distant hills, unless it were that far away he could see again a great bird like an eagle high in the air, descending slowly in wide circles down towards the earth.’

Why it doesn't work for Aragorn I believe has a lot to do with Sauron. In the paragraphs immediately following the previous description he attempts to dominate Frodo's mind and has a mental shoving match with Gandalf (see respective entries). While Gandalf succeeded, Sauron probably still maintained his presence in the area, and it is known that he was the ability to diminish the powers of others and to hide areas from farseeing abilities. This then he used to keep anyone else from using the Seats, at least while they were still in the area.

Last edited by Balrog on 2008-10-17 01:34pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Balrog
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PostPosted: 2008-06-06 01:53pm 

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Location: Fortress of Angband
Ancalagon the Black

Of the Voyage of Eärendil wrote:
“Then, seeing that his hosts were overthrown and his power dispersed, Morgoth quailed, and he dared not to come forth himself. But he loosed upon his foes the last desperate assault that he had prepared, and out of the pits of Angband there issued the winged dragons, that had not before been seen; and so sudden and ruinous was the onset of that dreadful fleet that the host of the Valar was driven back, for the coming of the dragons was with great thunder, and lightning, and a tempest of fire.

But Eärendil came, shining with white flame, and about Vingilot were gathered all the great birds of heaven and Thorondor was their captain, and there was battle in the air all the day and through a dark night of doubt. Before the rising of the sun Eärendil slew Ancalagon the Black, the mightiest of the dragon-host, and cast him from the sky; and he fell upon the towers of Thangorodrim, and they were broken in his ruin.”

The winged dragons are first released, and we are introduced to then watch Ancalagon die. According to estimates made by Karen Wynn Fonstad in the Atlas of Middle-Earth, based upon drawnings made by Tolkien himself, Thangorodrim was 35,000ft in height and five miles in diameter at the base, making them somewhat taller then Mt. Everest (and a testiment to Morgoth's industry, considering they were composed mainly of the slag from his forges). For Ancalagon to break them as he did would require an immense size and density, or a particularly large explosive end. Obviously exact figures are vague, but it should give a general idea of his capability.

The Shadow of the Past wrote:
“It has been said that dragon-fire could melt and consume the Rings of Power, but there is not now any dragon left on earth in which the old fire is hot enough; nor was there ever any dragon, not even Ancalagon the Black, who could have harmed the One Ring, the Ruling Ring, for that was made by Sauron himself.”

This passage has been misquoted so many times it's stopped being funny. As explicitly stated, not even Ancalagon could melt the One Ring with his breath. The other Great Rings though are certainly vulnerable.
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CaptainChewbacca
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PostPosted: 2008-06-06 02:10pm 

Browncoat Wookiee


Joined: 2003-05-06 02:36am
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I hadn't read your passage on the numenoreans, but your work and attention to detail is astonishing and commendable.
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Jade Falcon
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 2008-07-10 07:28pm 

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Location: Jade Falcon HQ, Ayr, Scotland, UK
It would be interesting to read of any details on the Ringwraiths, specifically their origins and their realms when they were Kings of Men. As far as I can make out the Witchkings realm of Angmar was created to combat the northern realm of Arnor, but this was after he became a Nazgul, basically Agmar only role was to destabilise the region.
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CaptainChewbacca
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PostPosted: 2008-07-10 07:50pm 

Browncoat Wookiee


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One of the games provided backround on all of them, including a female ringwraith, but the cannonicity of that is really dubious.
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Jade Falcon
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 2008-07-10 07:57pm 

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That was Iron Crown Enterprises card game, and the names that I can remember from that were...

The Witchking
Khamul the Easterling

I believe Khamul is mentioned in a Tolkien book so these two are canon.

The other names I remember were..

Dwar of Waw
Ren the Unclean
Adpunaphel (the Female Ringwraith)
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Balrog
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 2008-07-18 11:28pm 

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Joined: 2002-12-29 10:29pm
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Location: Fortress of Angband
Trolls
Treebeard wrote:
“Maybe you have heard of Trolls? They are mighty strong. But Trolls are only counterfeits, made by the Enemy in the Great Darkness, in mockery of Ents, as Orcs were of Elves.”

The extent to which the origin of Trolls is explained.

Roast Mutton wrote:
‘…for trolls, as you probably know, must be underground before dawn, or they go back to the stuff of the mountains they are made of, and never move again.’

Flight to the Ford wrote:
‘There stood the trolls: three large trolls. One was stooping, and the other two stood staring at him.

Strider walked forward unconcernedly. “Get up, old stone!” he said, and broke his stick upon the stooping troll.

Nothing happened. There was a gasp of astonishment from the hobbits, and then even Frodo laughed. “Well!” he said. “We are forgetting our family history! These must be the very three that were caught by Gandalf, quarreling over the right way to cook thirteen dwarves and one hobbit.”

“You are forgetting not only your family history, but all you ever knew about trolls,” said Strider. “It is broad daylight with a bright sun, and yet you come back trying to scare me with a tale of live trolls waiting for us in this glade!”

The biggest disadvantage of trolls duly illustrated, though both Dark Lords were more than capable of blotting out the sun at will. It also reveals a bit more of the origin of Trolls; that they were made from stone suggests a heavy mass, though in their 'living' state they display all the trappings of a living organism (blood, need to eat, etc.).

Appendix F wrote:
‘In their beginning far back in the twilight of the Elder Days, [trolls] were creatures of dull and lumpish nature and had no more language than beasts. But Sauron made use of them, teaching them what little they could learn and increasing their wits with wickedness. Trolls therefore took such language as they could master from the Orcs; and in the Westlands the Stone-trolls spoke a debased form of Common Speech.

But at the end of the Third Age a troll-race not before seen appeared in southern Mirkwood and the mountain borders of Mordor. Olog-hai they were called in the Black Speech. That Sauron bred them none doubted, though from what stock was not known. Some held that they were not Trolls but giant Orcs; but the Olog-hai were in fashion of body and mind quite unlike even the largest of Orc-kind, whom they far surpassed in size and power. Trolls they were, but filled with the evil will of their master: a fell race, strong, agile, fierce and cunning, but harder than stone. Unlike the older race of the Twilight they could endure the sun, so long as the will of Sauron held sway over them. They spoke little, and the only tongue that they knew was the Black Speech of Barad-dûr.’

The distinction between normal trolls and Olog-hai made apparent.

The Bridge of Khazad-Dûm wrote:
‘There was a blow on the door that made it quiver; and then it began to grind slowly open, driving back the wedges. A huge arm and shoulder, with a dark skin of greenish scales, was thrust through the widening gap. Then a great, flat, toeless foot was forced through below. There was a dead silence outside.

Boromir leaped forward, and hewed at the arm with all his might; but his sword rang, glanced aside, and fell from his shaken hand.

Suddenly, and to his own surprise, Frodo felt a hot wrath blaze up in his heart. “The Shire!” he cried, and springing beside Boromir, he stooped, and stabbed with Sting at the hideous foot. There was a bellow, and the foot jerked back, nearly wrenching Sting from Frodo’s arm. Black drops dripped from the blade and smoked the floor.’

The hides of trolls are tough enough to turn aside Boromir's sword, but proves no match for Elven steel. Suggests that Troll blood is also corrosive from its reaction to hitting the stone floor.

Of the Fifth Battle wrote:
‘Last of all Húrin stood alone. Then he cast aside his shield, and wielded an axe two-handed; and it is sung that the axe smoked in the black blood of the troll-guard of Gothmog until it withered…’

Also highlights the corrosive qualities of Troll blood.

The Road to Isengard wrote:
‘Even as he spoke, there came forward out of the trees three [Ents]. As tall as trolls they were, twelve feet or more in height…’

Trolls are easily twice the height of Men. Assuming all other proportions are similarly doubled (often described as being broader, thicker than men), a twelve-foot tall Troll would have a volume of ~1.61m³. Density can only be guessed at, but again assuming a human average of 700kg*m³ (probably conservative, their origin would suggest a greater value) it's mass would be ~434kg, close to half a metric ton.

Roast Mutton wrote:
‘Yes, I am afraid trolls do behave like that, even those with only one head each.’

:? The only place where such an idea is suggested, of course, comes from The Hobbit.
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Balrog
PostPosted: 2008-10-17 02:10pm 

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Location: Fortress of Angband
I'm back, and did some updating and housecleaning so that links worked properly now. There'll be some lag between new entries still, but they will be big ones.
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CaptainChewbacca
PostPosted: 2008-10-17 05:04pm 

Browncoat Wookiee


Joined: 2003-05-06 02:36am
Posts: 15738
Location: Deep beneath Boatmurdered.
Balrog wrote:
I'm back, and did some updating and housecleaning so that links worked properly now. There'll be some lag between new entries still, but they will be big ones.


Sweet! Any heads-up on what we can look forward to?
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The Romulan Republic
PostPosted: 2008-10-17 08:58pm 

Sith Marauder


Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am
Posts: 4007
Location: Victoria, Canada
(Keeps fingers crossed for Nazgul entry).
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Lord Revan
PostPosted: 2008-10-17 09:44pm 

Emperor's Hand


Joined: 2004-05-20 02:23pm
Posts: 7272
Location: Zone:classified
btw while not from the books but from the movies, the prop sword for the reforged Narsil (forgot what it was called) was too long to be pulled from it's scabbard by the actor when strapped to his belt and it nearly slashed the roof of the tent in the reveal scene.

take as you like as it's from an appliaction and not the actual source material.
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Balrog
PostPosted: 2008-10-19 12:16pm 

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Location: Fortress of Angband
The Romulan Republic wrote:
(Keeps fingers crossed for Nazgul entry).


*kindly points RR in the direction of the Table of Contents* :wink:
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The Romulan Republic
PostPosted: 2008-10-19 10:25pm 

Sith Marauder


Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am
Posts: 4007
Location: Victoria, Canada
Balrog wrote:
The Romulan Republic wrote:
(Keeps fingers crossed for Nazgul entry).


*kindly points RR in the direction of the Table of Contents* :wink:


Sorry. :oops:
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Ghost Rider
PostPosted: 2008-10-20 12:14am 

Spirit of Vengeance


Joined: 2002-09-24 01:48pm
Posts: 27779
Location: DC...looking up from the gutters to the stars
Next spam posts that aren't directly related the to said bestiary, I am deleting. This is up for informational purposes not some fucking morons ability to get +1 posts out of it.
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Balrog
PostPosted: 2008-12-01 12:06pm 

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Location: Fortress of Angband
Not much time these days, so only a small update now, but in the meantime if there's any other requests out there, now is as good as any :wink:
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Next of Kin
PostPosted: 2008-12-24 02:39pm 

Rabid Monkey


Joined: 2002-07-20 06:49pm
Posts: 2230
Location: too close to home
How about an entry for the Men of Dunland?
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Atomik Chicken
PostPosted: 2009-02-15 11:48pm 

Youngling


Joined: 2003-07-12 06:43pm
Posts: 74
Location: Colorado, USA
A good book I found on this stuff, if it already hasn't been mentioned, is "A Tolkien Bestiary" by David Day...I think its been reprinted and renamed a few times since the movies came out, but still the same inerds.
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Balrog
PostPosted: 2009-04-17 10:59am 

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Location: Fortress of Angband
Dwarves

Physiology
For a discussion on Dwarven endurance see this thread
Of Aulë and Yavanna wrote:
‘It is told that in their beginning the Dwarves were made by Aulë in the darkness of Middle-earth; for so greatly did Aulë desire the coming of the Children, to have learners to whom he could teach his lore and his crafts, that he was unwilling to awaite the fulfillment of the designs of Ilúvatar. And Aulë made the Dwarves even as they still are, because the forms of the Children who were to come were unclear in his mind, and because the power of Melkor was yet over the Earth; and he wished therefore that they should be strong and unyielding…

Since they were to come in the days of the power of Melkor, Aulë made the Dwarves strong to endure. Therefore they are stone-hard, stubborn, fast in friendship and in enmity, and they suffer toil and hunger and hurt of body more hardily than all other speaking peoples; and they live long, far beyond the span of Men, yet not for ever.’

The origin of the Dwarves, and why they are such tough bastards.

Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age wrote:
‘The Dwarves indeed proved tough and hard to tame; they ill endured the domination of others, and the thoughts of their hearts are hard to fathom, nor can they be turned to shadows. They used their rings only for the getting of wealth; but wrath and an overmastering greed of gold were kindled in their hearts, of which evil enough came to the profit of Sauron. It is said that the foundation of each of the seven Hoards of the Dwarf-kings of old was a golden ring; but all those hoards long ago were plundered and the Dragons devoured them, and of the Seven Rings some were consumed in fire and some Sauron recovered.’

Also as a result of their creation, Dwarves are hard to mind-control, though the Rings still had an effect on their mental well-being.

Many Meetings wrote:
‘He was interested, however, to hear that Dain was still King under the Mountain, and was now old (having passed his two hundred and fiftieth year), venerable, and fabulously rich.’

A quarter of a millennium is considered old among Dwarves.

Appendix A, III Durin’s Folk wrote:
‘None the less it may well be, as the Dwarves now believe, that Sauron by his arts had discovered who had [Durin’s Ring], the last to remain free, and that the singular misfortunes of the heirs of Durin were largely due to his malice. For the Dwarves had proved untamable by this means. The only power over them that the Rings wielded was to inflame their hearts with a greed of gold and precious things, so that if they lacked them all other good things seemed profitless, and they were filled with wrath and desire for vengeance on all who deprived them. But they were made from their beginning of a kind to resist most steadfastly any domination. Though they could be slain or broken, they could not be reduced to shadows enslaved to another will; and for the same reason their lives were not affected by any Ring, to live either longer or shorter because of it. All the more did Sauron hate the possessors and desire to dispossess them.’

Again Dwarves are nigh-invulnerable against mind-control efforts, though they were still affected.

Craft
Arms and Armor
Of the Sindar wrote:
‘Therefore Thingol took thought for arms, which before his people had not needed, and these at first the Naugrim smithied for him; for they were greatly skilled in such work, though none among them surpassed the craftsmen of Nogrod, of whom Telchar the smith was greatest in renown. A warlike race of old were all the Naugrim, and they would fight fiercly against whomsoever aggrieved them: servants of Melkor, or Eldar, or Avari, or wild beasts, or not seldom their own kin, Dwarves of other mansions and lordships. Their smithcraft indeed the Sindar soon learned of them; yet in the tempering of steel alone of all the crafts the Dwarves were never outmatched even by the Noldor, and in the making of mail of linked rings, which was first contrived by the smiths of Belegost, their work had no rival.

At this time therefore the Sindar were well-armed, and they drove off all the creatures of evil, and had peace again; but Thingol’s armouries were stored with axes and with spears and swords, and tall helms, and long coats of bright mail; for the hauberks of the Dwarves were so fashioned that they rusted not but shone ever as if they were new-burnished. And that proved well for Thingol in the time that was to come.’

Obviously Dwarves are the best at what they do, and the first hints that their metalcraft is not simply normal work.

Of Túrin Turambar wrote:
‘Then the warriors of Nargothrond went forth, and tall and terrible on that day looked Túrin, and the heart of the host was upheld, as he rode on the right hand of Orodreth. But greater far was the host of Morgoth than any scouts had told, and none but Túrin defended by his dwarf-mask could withstand the approach of Glaurung; and the Elves were driven back and pressed by the Orcs into the field of Tumhalad, between Ginglith and Narog, and there they were penned. On that day all the pride and host of Nargothrond withered away…’

The first of a number of quotes that suggest Dwarven masks have some magical properties to protect the wearer, if the wearing of one was the only reason Túrin wasn't turned extra crispy that day.

Of Beren and Lúthien wrote:
‘Then Lúthien rising forbade the slaying of Curufin; but Beren despoiled him of his gear and weapons, and took his knife, Angrist. That knife was made by Telchar of Nogrod, and hung sheathless by his side; iron it would cleave as if it were green wood.

Dwarven weapons, at least those made by the best of them, are clearly superior to normal weapons.

Of the Fifth Battle wrote:
‘Last of all the eastern force to stand firm were the Dwarves of Belegost, and thus they won renown. For the Naugrim withstood fire more hardily than either Elves or Men, and it was their custom moreover to wear great masks in battle hideous to look upon; and those stood them in good stead against the dragons. And but for them Glaurung and his brood would have withered all that was left of the Noldor. But the Naugrim made a circle about him when he assailed them, and even his mighty armor was not full proof against the blows of their great axes; and when in his rage Glaurung turned and struck down Azaghál, Lord of Belegost, and crawled over him, with his last stroke Azaghâl drove a knife into his belly, and so wounded him that he fled the field, and the beasts of Angband in dismay followed after him. Then the Dwarves raised up the body of Azaghâl and bore it away; and with slow steps they walked behind singing a dirge in deep voices, as it were a funeral pomp in their country, and gave no heed more to their foes; and none dared to stay them.’

Again we see that their masks (and nature) give some overall protection against fire-based attacks. Also their weapons again demonstrate superiority if they can affect Glaurung so while others cannot (except the belly of course).

Narn I Hîn Húrin wrote:
‘The Helm of Hador was given into Thingol’s hands. That helm was made of grey steel adorned with gold, and on it were graven runes of victory. A power was in it that guarded any who wore it from wound or death, for the sword that hewed it was broken, and the dart that smote it sprang aside. It was wrought by Telchar, the smith of Nogrod, whose works were renowned. It had a visor (after the manner of those that the Dwarves used in their forges for the shielding of their eyes), and the face of one that wore it struck fear into the hearts of all beholders, but was itself guarded from dart and fire. Upon its crest was set in defiance a gilded image of the head of Glaurung the dragon; for it had been made soon after he first issued from the gates of Morgoth.’

Another Dwarven mask, and its properties spelled out. Feel free to correct, but I know of no steel helm that would cause a sword to break just from hitting it, not unless that sword was swung extremely hard. Also a possible connection between writing runes to create magical artifacts.

The Clouds Burst wrote:
‘Dain had come. He had hurried on through the night, and so had come upon them sooner than they had expected. Each one of his folk was clad in a hauberk of steel mail that hung to his knees, and his legs were covered with hose of a fine and flexible metal mesh, the secret of whose making was possessed by Dain’s people. The dwarves are exceedingly strong for their height, but most of these were strong even for dwarves. In battle they wielded heavy two-handed mattocks, but each of them had also a short broad sword at his side and a roundshield slung at his back. Their beards were forked and plaited and thrust into their belts. Their caps were of iron and they were shod with iron, and their faces were grim.’

A bit on what Dwarves (of the Third Age at least) wore in battle. This is certainly the first time 'mesh armor' is seen being used by Dwarves. Possible technological advancement? In Middle-earth? Pah!

Many Meetings wrote:
‘Gloin began then to talk of the works of his people, telling Frodo about their great labours in Dale and under the Mountain. “We have done well,” he said. “But in metal-work we cannot rival our fathers, many of whose secrets are lost. We make good armour and keen swords, but we cannot again make mail or blade to match those that were made before the dragon came. Only in mining and building have we surpassed the old days.”’

Obviously, after so many Dwarves have been eaten by dragons and their cities ransacked, some of their technology is going to get lost. But once again, Progress!

The Ring Goes South wrote:
‘“Also there is this!” said Bilbo, bringing out a parcel which seemed to be rather heavy for its size. He unwound several folds of old cloth, and held up a small shirt of mail. It was close-woven of many rings, and supple almost as linen, cold as ice, and harder than steel. It shone like moonlit silver, and was studded with white gems. With it was a belt of pearl and crystal.

“It’s a pretty thing, isn’t it?” said Bilbo, moving it in the light. “And useful. It is my dwarf-mail that Thorin gave me. I got it back from Michel Delving before I started, and packed it with my luggage.”’

The famous Mithril coat.

A Journey in the Dark wrote:
‘“For mithril,”answered Gandalf. “The wealth of Moria was not in gold and jewels, the toys of the Dwarves; nor in iron, their servant. Such things they found here, it is true, especially iron; but they did not need to delve for them: all things that they desired they could obtain in traffic. For here alone in the world was found Moria-silver, or true-silver as some have called it: mithril is the Elvish name. The Dwarves have a name which they do not tell. Its worth was ten times that of gold, and now it is beyond price; for little is left above ground, and even the Orcs dare not delve here for it. The lodes lead away north towards Caradhras, and down to darkness. The Dwarves tell no tales; but even as mithril was the foundation of their wealth, so also it was their destruction: they delved too greedily and too deep, and disturbed that from which they fled, Durin’s Bane. Of what they brought to light the Orcs have gathered nearly all, and given it in tribute to Sauron, who covets it.”

Mithril! All folk desired it. It could be beaten like copper, and polished like glass; and the Dwarves could make of it a metal, light and yet harder then tempered steel. Its beauty was like to that of common silver, but the beauty of mithril did not tarnish or grow dim. The Elves dearly loved it, and among many uses they made of it ithildin, starmoon, which you saw upon the doors. Bilbo had a corslet of mithril-rings that Thorin gave him. I wonder what has become of it? Gathering dust still in Michel Delving Mathom-house, I suppose.”

“What?” cried Gimli, startled out of his silence. “A corslet of Moria-silver? That was a kingly gift!”

“Yes,” said Gandalf. “I never told him, but its worth was greater than the value of the whole Shire and everything in it.”’

Why Mithril is just so damn uber. Also, the idea of wearing something worth more than your home town is always funny.

The Bridge of Khazad-Dûm wrote:
‘Diving under Aragorn’s blow with the speed of a striking snake [the orc] charged into the Company and thrust with his spear straight at Frodo. The blow caught him on the right side, and Frodo was hurled against the wall and pinned…

“I am all right,” gasped Frodo. “I can walk. Put me down!”

Aragorn nearly dropped him in his amazement. “I thought you were dead!” he cried.
...
“What about me?” said Frodo. “I am alive, and whole I think. I am bruised and in pain, but it is not too bad.”

“Well,” said Aragorn, “I can only say that hobbits are made of a stuff so tough that I have never met the like of it. Had I known, I would have spoken softer in the Inn at Bree! That spear-thrust would have skewered a wild boar!”’

Not quite the same as getting stabbed by a freakin' Cave Troll, but all things considered the force of the blow was enough to lift Frodo off his feet and pin him against the wall, but failed to cause much harm to him.

The Bridge of Khazad-Dûm wrote:
‘Arrows fell among them. One struck Frodo and sprang back.’

Frodo is now arrow-proof thanks to the mail shirt.

Lothlórien wrote:
‘“I am all right,” said Frodo, reluctant to have his garments touched. “All I needed was some food and a little rest.”

“No!” said Aragorn. “We must have a look and see what the hammer and the anvil have done to you. I still marvel that you are alive at all.” Gently he stripped off Frodo’s old jacket and worn tunic, and gave a gasp of wonder. Then he laughed. The silver corslet shimmered before his eyes like the light upon a rippling sea. Carefully he took it off and held it up, and the gems on it glittered like stars, and the sound of the shaken rings was like the tinkle of rain in a pool.
“Look, my friends!” he called. “Here’s a pretty hobbit-skin to wrap an elven-princeling in! If it were known that hobbits had such hides, all the hunters of Middle-earth would be riding to the Shire.”

“And all the arrows of all the hunters in the world would be in vain,” said Gimli, gazing at the mail in wonder. “It is a mithril-coat. Mithril! I have never seen or heard tell of one so fair. Is this the coat that Gandalf spoke of? Then he undervalued it. But it was well given!”

There was a dark and blackened bruise on Frodo’s right side and breast. Under the mail there was a shirt of soft leather, but at one point the rings had been driven through it into the flesh. Frodo’s left side was also scored and bruised where he had been hurled against the wall.’

The mithril coat is not as awesome as depicted in the movie, but still impressive that a mail shirt stopped completely such a forceful stabbing attack without breaking or causing anything more than bruising.

The Great River wrote:
‘At that moment there was a twang of bowstrings: several arrows whistled over them, and some fell among them. One smote Frodo between the shoulders and he lurched forward with a cry, letting go his paddle: but the arrow fell back, foiled by his hidden coat of mail.’

Self-explanatory. Hopefully the Orcs don't start shooting teflon-coated arrows :D

The Road to Isengard wrote:
‘“Forty-two, Master Legolas!” he cried. “Alas! My ax is notched: the forty-second had an iron collar on his neck. How is it with you?”

Not quite sure how this stacks up against normal weapons - forty-two is a large number - but perhaps Gimli got stuck with carrying a weapon made recently, instead of the uber-weapons the First Age.

Dwarven Doors
On the Doorstep wrote:
‘They had brought picks and tools of many sorts from Lake-town, and at first they tried to use these. But when they struck the stone the handles splintered and jarred their arms cruelly, and the steel heads broke or bent like lead. Mining work, they saw clearly, was no good against the magic that had shut this door…’

Clearly, normal methods of breaking through a Dwarf door does not work.

A Journey in the Dark wrote:
‘“Dwarf-doors are not made to be seen when shut,” said Gimli. “They are invisible, and their own masters cannot find them or open them, if their secret is forgotten.”’

A nifty design, but obviously a double-edge sword as well, like forgetting a password.

A Journey in the Dark wrote:
‘“Yes,” said Gandalf, “these doors are probably governed by words. Some dwarf-gates will open only at special times, or for particular persons; and some have locks and keys that are still needed when all necessary times and words are known. These doors have no key. In the days of Durin they were not secret. They usually stood open and doorwards sat here. But if they were shut, any who knew the opening word could speak it and pass in. At least so it is recorded, is it not Gimli?”

“It is,” said the dwarf. “But what the word was is not remembered. Narvi and his craft and all his kindred have vanished from the earth.”’

The various ways of how to open a Dwarven door. Oh, and it's lost technology as well.

A Journey in the Dark wrote:
‘“A king he was on carven throne / In many-pillared halls of stone / With golden roof and silver floor, / And runes of power upon the door.”’

Like the Helm of Hador, a possible connection between special runes and magical powers for Dwarves.

Et cetera
A Short Rest wrote:
‘“What are moon-letters?” asked the hobbit full of excitement. He loved maps, as I have told you before; and he also liked runes and letters and cunning handwriting, though when he wrote himself it was a bit thin and spidery.

“Moon-letters are rune-letters, but you cannot see them,” said Elrond, “not when you look straight at them. They can only be seen when the moon shines behind them, and what is more, with the more cunning sort it must be a moon of the same shape and seasons as the day when they were written. The dwarves invented them and wrote them with silver pens, as your friends can tell you. These must have been written on a midsummer’s eve in a crescent moon, a long while ago.”’

Ha! Take that modern cryptology! :D

Not at Home wrote:
‘Fili and Kili were almost in merry mood, and finding them still hanging there many golden harps strung with silver they took them and struck them; and being magical (and also untouched by the dragon, who had small interest in music) they were still in tune.’

Dwarvish magic can be used, in this case, to make special musical instruments.

A Long Expected Party wrote:
‘There were toys the like of which they had never seen before, all of them beautiful and some obviously magical. Many of them had come all the way from the Mountain and from Dale, and were of real dwarf-make.’

The manufacture of magical items is such at least that the Dwarves engage in trading with them.

Other
The Gathering of Clouds wrote:
‘“I thought you said you did not like them! You seemed very shy of them, when we came this way before.”

“Those were crows! And nasty suspicious-looking creatures at that, and rude as well. You must have heard the ugly names they were calling after us. But the ravens are different. There used to be great friendship between them and the people of Thror; and they often brought us secret news, and were rewarded with such bright things as they coveted to hide in their dwellings.

They lived many a year, and their memories are long, and they hand on their wisdom to their children…”

Before long there was a fluttering of wings, and back came the thrust; and with him came a most decrepit old bird. He was getting blind, he could hardly fly, and the top of his head was bald. He was an aged raven of great size. He alighted stiffly on the ground before them, slowly flapped his wings, and bobbed towards Thorin.

“O Thorin son of Thrain, and Balin son of Fundin,” he croaked (And Bilbo could understand what he said, for he used ordinary language and not bird-speed)’

Such a relationship obviously provides many advantages to the Dwarves of Erebor, from intelligence gathering to message delivery.
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CaptainChewbacca
PostPosted: 2009-04-17 07:12pm 

Browncoat Wookiee


Joined: 2003-05-06 02:36am
Posts: 15738
Location: Deep beneath Boatmurdered.
Where talking about the life-span of dwarves, you say quarter-century when you mean quarter-milennium.
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Balrog
PostPosted: 2009-04-20 03:05pm 

Jedi Council Member


Joined: 2002-12-29 10:29pm
Posts: 1970
Location: Fortress of Angband
Bah, damn this new time-limit editing. Well, as long as people understand what I meant :) Thanks for pointing out the error.
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