Valar Guild

April 11, 2010 Sunday Meeting

5pm EST (GMT - 5)
AIM: Valar Guild Meetingplace

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Transcript work by:
Ar-Pharazon and Varda.

Attending: (6)
    AriehnV, ArPharazonV, fladrifv, GwaihirValar, Indis-(V)/karakedi25, VardaValar1 (presiding)

Meeting begins
  Times some members will be away from the guild:
    Arien - May 2 Sunday
    Indis - 1st half of May intermittent
    Ar-Pharazon - May 17 - June 9. Another transcripter will be needed at that time.
    Second Life
    Guild Wars
    Dragon Age
    World of WarCraft
    StarCraft 2 beta
    Lord of the Rings Online: linear and non-linear gaming
    Writing systems

You have just entered room "valarguildmeetingplace."
AriehnV has entered the room.
AriehnV: aiya :-)
ArPharazonV: Aiya
VardaValar1 has entered the room.
VardaValar1: Aiya Arien and Ar-Pharazon :-)
ArPharazonV: Aiya!
ArPharazonV: just finishing up my AT dailies, then I'm logging out of WoW
AriehnV: Aiya :-) just read last weeks script
AriehnV: fast and quick
AriehnV: and short lol
VardaValar1: The transcript?
ArPharazonV: oh, I'm sure you've all seen this but I went on with the post we discussed last time... Menel was surprised, but wrote a nice post himself after that
AriehnV: yep
ArPharazonV: I did mention a barricade I came up with and discussed it with Menel on msn, I'm sure we'll be able to figure out the details here...
ArPharazonV: but the main idea is basically the Orcs piling up a few trees on the road in order to hinder our going
ArPharazonV: I'm sure we can get something workable out of that
VardaValar1: They should have some trouble making much of a barricade if it's a protected, enchanted path, but maybe something quick and not too big.
ArPharazonV: Well we've established that it's hard to get spiders to web across it etc...
ArPharazonV: but what can this protection/enchantment do against a few orcs cutting down some trees and throwing them on the path? especially a few hours before the ambush
VardaValar1: Maybe the trees have trouble falling that way, keep trying to tilt away from it.
ArPharazonV: Yes. But again. Orcs.
VardaValar1: Why are orcs immune?
ArPharazonV: Why would Orcs have trouble lifting some chopped logs and putting them down on the path? I didn't know the enchantment was *that* strong.
VardaValar1: Why would a spider have any trouble with running a web across it?
VardaValar1: Why can't troops of spiders and orcs just come tromping down it?
ArPharazonV: Maybe it won't, but whatever enchantment it is, will slowly dissipate the web... or maybe the spiders are afraid of the enchantment and don't really use the path
ArPharazonV: I have no idea. How does the enchantment work in that respect?
VardaValar1: It would help if we had more information from the books on it.
VardaValar1: Barely a mention.
VardaValar1: There is more about the enchantments around the feasting areas.
ArPharazonV: Of course I could remove the reference. But I can hardly grasp what kind of an enchantment could hold back trees that are being physically thrown on the path, for example.
GwaihirValar has entered the room.
karakedi25 has entered the room.
GwaihirValar: hello :-)
karakedi25: aiya
ArPharazonV: Aiya!
fladrifv has entered the room.
ArPharazonV: Let's discuss this in aftermeeting or Tolkien/rp further :-)
VardaValar1: Aiya Fladrif, Gwaihir, Indis, and Gwaihir :-)
VardaValar1: I'm not saying remove the reference. :-)
AriehnV: aiya :-)

VardaValar1: Elen sila lumenn' omentielvo!
VardaValar1: A star shines on the hour of our meeting. :-)
VardaValar1: We have another person who has passed our test, but is currently trying to pick a name.
VardaValar1: Any other membership news?
AriehnV: or maybe yes :-)
AriehnV: i am firmly planning to see Hammerfall on 2nd of May in glasgow, which is a sunday so i wont be here then :-)
VardaValar1: Sounds exciting :-)
AriehnV: i have been confirmed that i get the saturday to monday off so all i need is to phone for tickets :-)
karakedi25: I will be away from home for the first half of May. I'll be on line some or even much of the time, but my schedule is unpredictable, as I'll be travelling.
VardaValar1: That's great that you'll still have some computer access!
karakedi25: taking my laptop
karakedi25: and the cruise has (expensive) internet
ArPharazonV: I'll be away for the second half of may and the first week of June! No internet access, I'm afraid. May 17th to June 9th
VardaValar1: Lots of traveling. It'll be quiet without you, Phar.
ArPharazonV: Maybe you need the rest ;-)
VardaValar1: heheh

VardaValar1: Web news:
karakedi25: I won't be cruising the whole time; it's only 4 days, but I'm spending time with family and friends
karakedi25: in California :-)
VardaValar1: I've been formatting on stories for the Mellon Chronicles again, since the backup of the whole Tolkien Site now seems in good condition.
karakedi25: are there new ones?
VardaValar1: Also working on another article, sorry I didn't finish by meeting time.
VardaValar1: Some we had up were not completely formatted, and I'll be adding stuff.

VardaValar1: Gaming:
VardaValar1: Fladrif made it into AIM but is having connection weirdness.
VardaValar1: Miscellaneous games:
VardaValar1: Fladrif, before something happens to you, the recently re-strengthened stage is yours.
fladrifv: ok
fladrifv: ty varda
fladrifv: tries the stage
fladrifv: seems ok
ArPharazonV: *krrrrr*
ArPharazonV: it holds... so far...
fladrifv: sigh
fladrifv: ok lets make this quick
fladrifv: I advanced to round 5 of the chess championship
VardaValar1: Huzzah!
fladrifv: furtheron been playing sl, havent met varda there yet for a long time
fladrifv: but all wiling to test it feel welcome to contact me
fladrifv: *jumps quickly off stage*
fladrifv: a shockwave travels trough the lands...
VardaValar1: *Yavanna controls the shockwave*
VardaValar1: I've been wanting to drop into SL again, and will make a point to do so during the week. What's a good time to bump into you, about?
VardaValar1: Let me know when the chat catches up to you. : )
VardaValar1: Has anyone else played anything besides WoW or LotRO?
fladrifv: a good time is around now
fladrifv: any day :-)
VardaValar1: Around meeting times, that should be easy to remember! Thank you. : )
ArPharazonV: Starting Guild Wars now, just to show my face in it ;-) not planning on doing any activity, just making sure I'm not absent too long since it's easy to see when members were last online ;-)
VardaValar1: My kids seem to like Dragon Age and Left 4 Dead.
VardaValar1: Good thing to do, at least saying you're still alive.
ArPharazonV: I often don't even make my presence known when I do a weekly login for 20 seconds. I just make sure that my "last online" is a bit recent *grin*
VardaValar1: heh
VardaValar1: Gwaihir, have you gotten to play any games?
VardaValar1: Moving on to WoW:
VardaValar1: My family has been on a little, but most have not been home. The guys have either been at work or on the other side of Texas taking care of the farm. We've also been painting the inside of the house, some areas.
VardaValar1: So we'll be back more for gaming again, just a temporary slow-down.
VardaValar1: On to LotRO:
VardaValar1: Arien, have you been able to pop in?
karakedi25: I saw her there last night
VardaValar1: Thanks, Indis. : )
GwaihirValar: woops sry was posting something, I've mostly just been doing wow and sc2(sry for the late reply)
VardaValar1: No problem, thanks for replying.
VardaValar1: Is SC2 BroodWar?
GwaihirValar: no, the starcraft 2 beta
VardaValar1: Fantastic! Grats. And better not tell us more, thanks!
ArPharazonV: I'd like to buy that game when it comes out. It just seems a bit too non-linear for my taste. I'm told that non-linearity is the trend these days, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.
ArPharazonV: Just give me a good ol' campaign with a dozen linear levels to play through so I don't miss anything lore-wise.
VardaValar1: Non-linear, more than it used to be?
GwaihirValar: ya, I'm not too fond of the non-linear trend of rpgs, but the way sc2's single player sounds like its going to be is pretty cool - beta doesn't include single player so I dunno
ArPharazonV: Yes. Missions can be played in order, and the outcomes can change how the story goes.
AriehnV: Yes i popped in twice actually last week Varda :-)
ArPharazonV: *can be played in any/out of order
AriehnV: couple of hours wednesday morning during maintenance and last night
ArPharazonV: Well, "any" order is extreme, but you do need to make choices
AriehnV has left the room.
GwaihirValar: WEll the sc2 single player is being done as a mercenary... so you pick missions you wish to do, and based off of what you do, certain other missions become active - but the really KEY missions are mandatory no matter what you do
ArPharazonV: Hmm, that's good, at least.
AriehnV has entered the room.
ArPharazonV: Maybe I can set up several sets of savegames to see all the missions.
GwaihirValar: But ya, I haven't played it so I dunno the FULL Details, but thats what they said at Blizzcon
ArPharazonV: That's my biggest problem with non-linearity, really. In any game. Missing stuff.
GwaihirValar: but from a multiplayer perspective, the game is looking to be amazing and the competetive aspect is really well done
GwaihirValar: My biggest problem with non-linearity is that the story generally suffers
GwaihirValar: Its like a pick your own adventure book, sure its fun, but its nowhere near the level of quality of a full novel
VardaValar1: It's also hard to make a game and keep the story progressing for each person playing.
ArPharazonV: Well, no use speculating. We'll find out more at some point.

VardaValar1: I think LotRO did well on that.
VardaValar1: Onwards. :-)
VardaValar1: Indis, did you want to mention anything about LotRO? You've really been going well there.
ArPharazonV: I haven't played LotRO, but from what you've told me, I like the book-system. It seems to have some linearity to it, anyway.
VardaValar1: It allows you to hit the Book quest line so time seems to be passing for you, with the movement of the Fellowship as a kind of marker.
VardaValar1: We get to deal with what they've left stirred up behind them, as well as the regular schemes already going on.
ArPharazonV: So it basically opens up new developments and quests, if you choose to go on when you're done with the old ones?
VardaValar1: Aye, and you want to continue with it.
GwaihirValar: That is a neat idea definitely
VardaValar1: Then there are perks, like getting the white horse for completing Book 1. ;-)
ArPharazonV: Indeed. Reminds me of my 15-day Asheron's Call 2 trial I did some years ago. Seemed to follow the same linearity, with books and events. 'Eck, even Guild Wars has a similar system, which is one of my favorite parts of it.
karakedi25: you don't have to be linear if you don't want to be
karakedi25: but you can if you prefer it
karakedi25: some of the quests are in chains, and some of the books have to be completed before others, but many don't
ArPharazonV: the books are numbered, though, right?
ArPharazonV: so linearity is encouraged, at least
karakedi25: yes, but for example, one can work on volumes 1, 2, and 3 at the same time, and most of my alts are doing so
ArPharazonV: or accomodated, might be the better term
karakedi25: in some cases it's mandatory, but often it's optional, which I like. Something for both styles.
karakedi25: Lots of people playing (not so many at this very moment), but over the week, lots.
karakedi25: We have new members, as Varda mentioned...
karakedi25: and we have groupings at several different levels
VardaValar1: We don't have new members yet, just almost new members. Still have to get a name, another couple still need to test.
karakedi25: a lot of interest in end-game play, though we often have to join other groups to do it, as we don't always have the right mixture of high-end people on
VardaValar1: We have a group running together in their 20's about to be a 30's group. : )
karakedi25: anyway, nothing much else to reposrt
karakedi25: also 50's grouping
VardaValar1: Tends to be five people, with room for a sixth.
VardaValar1: Aye!
VardaValar1: The 20's are in the Lone Lands, and the 50's are in Moria. The High levels are in Mirkwood.
VardaValar1: Then others are all over. : )
AriehnV: and the middle stragglers trying to venture through Evendim on their own :-(
VardaValar1: Have to catch you to run with you. : )
VardaValar1: We'll see what we can do.
AriehnV: i need some help or would be handy in the wolfspeople camp
AriehnV: and i take forever finding just the entrance alas
VardaValar1: Okie dokie, we'll see what we can do. Be sure to say something in kin. It can be tough to drop what we're working on and go elsewhere, but we manage.
AriehnV: :-)]
VardaValar1: Are there any further comments or business before we change over to Tolkien?
VardaValar1: This is the time when you can make changes or ask us to keep going with something you especially like. : )
VardaValar1: I would like to know if any of you have favorite parts of the Tolkien Site that you'd especially like to see getting attention.

VardaValar1: Ok, on to Tolkien.
VardaValar1: Last week we were asked to tell about Writing Systems.
VardaValar1: There are only two major writing systems, origination from the Elves. All the writing systems in the time of the War of the Rings came from them.
VardaValar1: The older was Tengwar.
VardaValar1: Rúmil started that, in Valinor.
VardaValar1: His system was not used in Middle-earth but it gave Fëanor something to get his mind started in that direction.
VardaValar1: His was mostly a new invention, done in Valinor. The exiled Noldor brought it with them to Middle-earth.
GwaihirValar: sorry to interrupt, but my wife and I are going out for a bit... its been a pleasure dropping in today, and hopefully I'll talk to you soon. Namarie, friends.
VardaValar1: There it became known to the Edain and Númenoreans,
ArPharazonV: namarie Gwai!
VardaValar1: Namarie and have a good time!
VardaValar1: Hi to Gilraen!
GwaihirValar has left the room.
VardaValar1: If anyone has anything they'd like to add at any point, feel free.
VardaValar1: By the Third Age, the Tengwar was used in about the same area as Common Speech was.
ArPharazonV: Well, we can conclude that even Sauron made use of them, as Tengwar was used in the inscription in the Ring.
karakedi25: I'm curious: What writing system do you all think hobbits used?
VardaValar1: They used Common Speech
karakedi25: yes, true, so what would they have written in?
ArPharazonV: It might have been an exception, though. It was implied, I think, that the Elvish letters were used because usual Mordor-writing was not fine enough to be used inside the Ring.
karakedi25: We know that they were inveterate letter-writers
VardaValar1: Tengwar was used where people used Common Speech.
VardaValar1: It was a written language, not just runes but cursive.
ArPharazonV: As for Hobbits, I'm not sure they used Tengwar. Frodo explicitly says about that same Ring that they are "Elvish" letters. Why would he identify them as such if Hobbits had been using them too?
VardaValar1: The Fëanorian Letters didn't start as an alphabet of haphazard letters each with an independent value of its own recited in an order having no bearing on their shapes or functions.
karakedi25: as far as I know, Feanorean Tengwar were used for common speech
VardaValar1: The Tengwar was a system of consonantal signs of similar shapes and style which could be adapted at choice or convenience to represent consonants observed or devised by the Eldar.
VardaValar1: None of the letters had a fixed value, but certain relations between them were gradually recognized.
VardaValar1: This theoretical freedom by the Third Age had been modified by custom for specific uses (for example, Series I was generally applied to the dental or t-series called the tincotéma),
karakedi25: Phar, that's one of the things that make me wonder about hobbits, though it could be interpreted either way
VardaValar1: with certain sections of them (Series III and IV) modified for use in other languages.
VardaValar1: The other system was the Cirth or Certar.
karakedi25: Rumil's system was called Sarati, and was invented in and confined to Valinor
karakedi25: As I remember, it was written vertically.
ArPharazonV: Ah, I was wrong. It is Gandalf who says they are Elvish writing (of an ancient mode), after Frodo simply says he cannot read them.
karakedi25: yes, Frodo called them 'fiery letters.
karakedi25: '
VardaValar1: The Ring was in Elvish script but in Black Speech.
VardaValar1: So it didn't have the expected corresponding elvish language.
ArPharazonV: Yes. But if the Ring was in Elvish script, and Elvish script was also used by the Hobbits, why would they be referred to as Elvish script, instead of usual or "Common" script?
ArPharazonV: Allright, it was an ancient mode, but if Tengwar was used by the Hobbits, there would be no need for that clarification.
VardaValar1: Common Speech was mostly written in Tengwar script.
karakedi25: Tolkien states that.
karakedi25: But he isn't explicit about hobbits.
ArPharazonV: Exactly.
karakedi25: I expect that Bilbo wrote fluently in Tengwar.
VardaValar1: To just quote on Cirth then:
karakedi25: Frodo should have been somewhat literate in them.
VardaValar1: ok, back to what you said.
ArPharazonV: Yes, probably. I'm sure Frodo must have come into contact with it on many occasions, especially from Bilbo. But it doesn't seem to be the commonly used script among the Hobbits, just judging from that scene.
VardaValar1: There were only two types of script, although modified.
VardaValar1: Tengwar and Cirth.
VardaValar1: "The Cirth were devised first in Beleriand by the Sindar, and were long used only for inscribing names and brief memorials upon wood or stone.
VardaValar1: to that origin they owe their angular shapes, very similar to the runes of our times, though they differed from these in details and were wholly different in arrangement."
VardaValar1: "The Cirth in their older and simpler form spread eastward in the Second Age, and became known to many peoples, to Men and Dwarves, and even to Orcs, all of whom altered them to suit their purposes and according to their skill or lack of it.
VardaValar1: One such simple form was still used by the Men of Dale, and a similar one by the Rohirrim."
VardaValar1: End quote.
karakedi25: I would doubt that hobbits used Cirth.
ArPharazonV: I assume from the map in The Hobbit that the Dwarves used Cirth, since it seems to be written in similar signs.
ArPharazonV: That wasn't vertical, though.
karakedi25: yes, that's my understanding, Phar
karakedi25: Cirth were horizontal. It was Sarati that was vertical.
VardaValar1: Cirth was modified.
VardaValar1: Daeron's fault. : )
karakedi25: Sarati never reached Middle Earth, as far as we know.
VardaValar1: His modified version was called Angerthas Daeron (Alphabet of Daeron)
VardaValar1: On the timing, it says: "But in Beleriand, before the end of the First Age, the Cirth, partly under the influence of the Tengwar of the Noldor, were rearranged and further developed."
VardaValar1: "Their richest and most ordered form was known as the Alphabet of Daeron, since in Elvish tradition it was said to have been devised by Daeron, the minstrel and loremaster of King Thingol of Doriath.
VardaValar1: Among the Eldar the Alphabet of Daeron did not develop true cursive forms, since for writing the Elves adopted the Fëanorian letters.
VardaValar1: The Elves of the West indeed for the most part gave up the use of runes altogether.
VardaValar1: The Certhas Daeron was originally intended for the sound of Sindarin only.
VardaValar1: So to answer your question, Hobbits most likely used Tengwar.
VardaValar1: However, as Phar mentioned, the Dwarves didn't.
ArPharazonV: "The Dwarves of Erebor used a further modification of this system [Cirth, or more specifically Angerthas Moria], known as the mode of Erebor, and exemplified in the Book of Mazarbul." Guess I should read more before I throw suggestions around.
VardaValar1: quiote
VardaValar1: "In the country of Eregion, however, the Alphabet of Daeron was maintained in use and passed thence to Moria, where it became the alphabet most favored by the Dwarves. It remained ever after in use among them and passed with them to the North.
VardaValar1: Hence in later times it was often called Angerthas Moria or the Long Rune-rows of Moria.
VardaValar1: "As with their speech, the Dwarves made use of such scripts as were current and many wrote the Fëanorian letters skillfully, but for their own tongue they adhered to the Cirth, and developed written pen-forms from them."
karakedi25: an long, gerth modified form of cirth, as ?
VardaValar1: So you were right. The Dwarves were using a very developed form of Cirth.
ArPharazonV: Aye. And as I just quoted, what was used in Erebor was even more developed than Moria.
VardaValar1: Indis, I didn't understand your sentence.
karakedi25: Cirth were more suitable for stone carving
karakedi25: analysis of angerthas
karakedi25: an = long
karakedi25: gerth is modified form of certh
VardaValar1: Simple Cirth was invented for stone and wood carving, aye, so the Dwarves would have been attracted to it.
karakedi25: not sure what -as is
VardaValar1: Angerthas Daeron means Alphabet of Daeron, suggesting that's a possessive.
karakedi25: Daeron is the possessive, made so by position
karakedi25: it's what Tolkien wrote: long rune rows, but I'm not sure how we get 'row' out of -as, unless it's modified.
VardaValar1: Ok so the Hobbits would normally write in Tengwar, with possibly some use of the Rohirric simple Cirth, since they have a lot of language borrowings. They borrowed from any nearby humans.
ArPharazonV: Well, some adapted version of it, suitable for hobbits, anyway. It's probably not the same as the official Elvish.
VardaValar1: Tengwar was nifty because it could be adapted to any language.
VardaValar1: Cirth was intended for Sindarin.
VardaValar1: The Fëanorian Letters didn't start as an alphabet of haphazard letters each with an independent value of its own recited in an order having no bearing on their shapes or functions.
VardaValar1: The Tengwar was a system of consonantal signs of similar shapes and style which could be adapted at choice or convenience to represent consonants observed or devised by the Eldar.
VardaValar1: None of the letters had a fixed value, but certain relations between them were gradually recognized. This theoretical freedom by the Third Age had been modified by custom for specific uses
VardaValar1: with certain sections of them modified for use in other languages.
VardaValar1: Did your eyes glaze over yet? :-)
karakedi25: I believe that's in appendix F
VardaValar1: The Fëanorian Letters
VardaValar1: App. E
ArPharazonV: found it, placed around the initial table of Tengwar signs
VardaValar1: I tried to take out parts and make it understandable as a whole. Considering doing an article from the notes.
VardaValar1: HoMe also has lots more, but the Appendix is pretty safely canon.
VardaValar1: All my stuff was from Appendix E so far. Indis, where was yours from?
ArPharazonV: Tengwar looks interesting. I was once in the habit of using the Dwarven alphabet from The Hobbit as my own "secret language" but if you really manage to grasp Tengwar it seems a lot more useful and adaptable.
VardaValar1: I may grab it.
VardaValar1: Tengwar was set up to be adaptable to any language, so aye.
VardaValar1: Dwarven really was a secret language. : )
VardaValar1: Dwarves could write in Tengwar fine, but for their own stuff, they used Angerthas Moria (modified from Daeron's Cirth).
ArPharazonV: Aye. But the one I'm talking about, with the sign-by-sign translation with the Western alphabet, was quite simplified for the readers. Makes it easier to learn directly, but harder to adapt to other languages/alphabets.
VardaValar1: It does warn that there's a good bit more, in the text part outside the tables.
VardaValar1: That's true.
ArPharazonV: I doubt that Tolkien had meant for that amount of simplicity to really exist in the linguistics of middle-earth.
VardaValar1: Aye.
ArPharazonV: It more seems like a generalization for the readers, while the Tengwar/Cirth section was more... authentic.
VardaValar1: But we the readers wanted something we could grasp and use quickly. Then we could learn more later.
VardaValar1: Aye.
ArPharazonV: Aye. It helps that The Hobbit was originally meant for a somewhat younger audience.
VardaValar1: True. : )
VardaValar1: So we get a primer we can start with, then add to it if we want to study.
ArPharazonV: Aye.
karakedi25: a great many years ago, I used to be able to write in Tengwar, but I've completely forgotten it now
VardaValar1: Here's the URL to a bit of script on our site, to see how it can look:
VardaValar1: Indis, I know I've seen that bit about the vertical and horizontal you mentioned. Where was that?
VardaValar1: That pic is in our Caves at
VardaValar1: That tells more about the script.
VardaValar1: Ok, we seem to have wound down so it seems time to bang the gavel?
VardaValar1: *winds up the gavel, making a whirring noise around the head*
VardaValar1: *Bang!*

VardaValar1: After-meeting!
VardaValar1: Namarie all you afk folks. : )
VardaValar1: Enjoy your game, Indis!
VardaValar1 has left the room.
karakedi25 has left the room.
AriehnV has left the room.
ArPharazonV: saving and sending