Valar Guild

November 14, 2010 Sunday Meeting

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

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Transcript work by
Ar-Pharazon and Varda.

Attending: (6)
    AriehnV, ArPharazonV, arwenv1, Eonwe Valar (presiding), Galdor-(V)/galdorandwe, Indis-(V)/karakedi25
Meeting begins
    Today, Eowyn and her husband are back from their honeymoon.
    Festival in the Shire event.
    Sinterklaas visited the area of our Netherland members.
    Nothing new.
    StarCraft patch.
    WoW: pre-Cataclysm elemental invasion.
    Guild Wars
    Bible Online
    Eve Online
    Arien-(Valar)'s topic:  Was there a kind of Christmas or Sinterklaas or some figure of that sort in Middle-earth? Additional note on the subject from Varda at the end of this transcript.
    A little more on the topic, as well as good-byes.
You have just entered room "valarguildmeetingplace."
Eonwe Valar has entered the room.
Eonwe Valar: Heya Phar.
AriehnV has entered the room.
AriehnV: aiya there :-)
ArPharazonV: Aiya both
Eonwe Valar: Heya Arien.
Eonwe Valar: Looks like this'll be a quick meeting :}
AriehnV: hehe aye it does
Eonwe Valar: OK, might as well get the meeting going :}

Eonwe Valar: Elen Sila Lumenn Omentielvo!
Eonwe Valar: Membership:
Eonwe Valar: Varda couldn't be here tonight as she had to go pick up the newlyweds Eowyn and Schlep from the airport.
Eonwe Valar: Any other membership news?
Eonwe Valar: OK, then onwards :}

Eonwe Valar: Web News: Nothing to announce for now.

Eonwe Valar: Gaming:
ArPharazonV: Aiya, back from afk
Eonwe Valar: Starcraft 2: 1.1.3 patch released.

ArPharazonV: No membership news from me unless you're interested in a rather local (or well, local to our country) holiday extending to the beginning of December ;-)
Eonwe Valar: Might as well give us the short version of it at least :}
AriehnV: oh forgot darn last week there was the Festival in the Shire exhibition in Leyden
AriehnV: did you hear somewe
AriehnV: Pharzie?
Eonwe Valar: somewe? :}

ArPharazonV: a bit of a Santa Claus character (in fact, it is believed that Santa Claus is based on this one), called Sinterklaas in Dutch, coming from Spain on a steamboat, delivering presents to children
AriehnV: somewhere .. somehow lol
ArPharazonV: Oh, I hadn't heard.
ArPharazonV: Too bad, that's not very far from here.
AriehnV: think it was this weekend i ll check
Eonwe Valar: Ah yes, Sinterklaas :}
ArPharazonV: he "arrived" this weekend, at some given location in the Netherlands, which was of course all over the tv, and is played by the same person every year, which makes him rather authentic :-)
Eonwe Valar: Cool :}
ArPharazonV: with all his servants/companions, called the Black Petes, loosely translated (a bit of a racism issue, that, but eh, it's tradition)
ArPharazonV: and he'll be in the country until December 5th, putting candy and small gifts in the shoes of children every night, if they've placed them below the chimney and sang some songs the previous evening
Eonwe Valar: :}
ArPharazonV: and on the evening of the 5th is the main event, where bags of presents are left by him on the doorstep for the family to give to each other ;-)
ArPharazonV: And that's just the basics. There's also the matter of his horse, bags full of "pepernoten", a typical kind of small cookie/bakery/candy like thing, and a book in which he has all the names of the children and whether they've been good or bad this yeaer
ArPharazonV: *year
ArPharazonV: and the bad children are supposed to be put in his bags and taken with him to Spain at the end ;-)
Eonwe Valar: Hehe
Eonwe Valar: The German version has a guy who follows him around and punishes the bad children, if memory serves. Can't remember his name off the top of my head.
ArPharazonV: And there's traditional activities for those a few years older, usually around the ages of 10-15 or something... where they have to make gifts for classmates after drawing lots, etc...
ArPharazonV: yeah, that's one version, if you're bad, you get hit by a stick-thing that the Black Petes are carrying with them
ArPharazonV: It's a fun holiday, though above a certain age you really don't do anything with it anymore until you have young children of your own.
AriehnV: Knecht Ruprecht , Phara :-)_
arwenv1 has entered the room.
ArPharazonV: Oh! One more thing this year, someone made a horror movie based on the guy, which was rather... controversial, the advertising poster alone got a lot of attention
ArPharazonV: haven't seen it yet, but I plan to :-) And as they say, there's no such thing as bad publicity ;-)
AriehnV: hehe , aye and the exhibition was from 11th to 14th .. my bad
AriehnV: i am a sleepy maia sometimes or just burnt out
Eonwe Valar: Heh. Personally I get annoyed by people setting/releasing horror movies around Christmas. It's a perversion of the point of the season.
ArPharazonV: exactly, and I don't think there has been one around this very child-friendly holiday yet, so the taboo's even better to break ;-)
Eonwe Valar: It does remind me, though, of the movie "Ernest Saves Christmas", where Santa Claus is trying to find a replacement to pass the torch to. He comes to a movie studio where he thinks they're making a movie called "Christmas Sleigh" (they're really making one called "Christmas Slay," if you understand the difference)
AriehnV: meh what a pun hehe
ArPharazonV: well, don't forget that tim burton movie I think? the Nightmare before Christmas?
ArPharazonV: I think that was quite a success, enjoyed it myself.
Eonwe Valar: Being successful doesn't make it good :} I've seen it, it's interesting for what it is, but it's hardly something that should be played around Christmas. Some tv stations, though...
ArPharazonV: I think this particular movie was about a Sinterklaas and Black Petes rising from the dead every full moon or something. Should be interesting, if nothing more.
ArPharazonV: Eh, you'll always find a crowd for things like this. There's always people who appreciate a holiday being taken to the other extreme.
ArPharazonV: Just adds to its enjoyment.
Eonwe Valar: But anyway, thatnks for giving us a description of the holiday as celebrated in the Netherlands :}
ArPharazonV: Sure :-) And yes, we have the Christmas holiday in the Netherlands as well ;-) We call that Saint Nicolas, the "Christmas-man" though, roughly translated.
ArPharazonV: Complete with stockings and elves and trees and angels etc... all the things that Saint Nick doesn't have here.
ArPharazonV: Though I never noticed the connection between the shoe and the sock before!
ArPharazonV: So it's not a replacement, or an "our version", it's just an addition. You took the idea from us, combined with the birthday of Jesus and all that, and we took it back as a second holiday, or so I imagine ;-)
Eonwe Valar: If memory serves, this is about the time Santa Claus starts sitting at our malls in the US :} They usually make a big deal about his arrival on the first day, and then he'll be there until Christmas Eve, since that's when he supposed to be delivering presents :}
ArPharazonV: Anyway, that's my membership news, if you can call it that. Carry on with your gaming!
ArPharazonV: Hmm. Talking about this has made me more interested in this holiday. Though I doubt I'll be doing much for this one, I'm definitely looking forward to Christmas now.
Eonwe Valar: hehe :}

Eonwe Valar: WoW: Not really much to tell. Phase 3 of the Elemental Invasion has begun, so several of us have been doing the pre-Cataclysm event.

Eonwe Valar: LotRO: Afraid I didn't make it Monday or Wednesday to Landroval, so I've no idea what runs we had. LotRo will be having maintenance tomorrow though, so it's possible the November update is coming.
Eonwe Valar: Any other gaming news?
AriehnV: i was a bit questing on Lotro on wednesday it was i think , i ll be on a bit next week to pay my upkeep for the house :-)

ArPharazonV: More Guildwars! 2 missions completed this weekend.
AriehnV: done tripping the rifts on two characters and one missing on the last 80
ArPharazonV: I've now turned against the White Mantle, which means I'll be killing a ton of those until the escape from Kryta some missions from now.

ArPharazonV: I've also done WoW, got tripping the rifts done on my lvl 44 rogue which I was levelling for Insane, but this week there was an official notice that Insane in the Membrane, the feat, is still available in Cataclysm.
ArPharazonV: The only thing removed is Shen'dralar reputation, but it's no longer a requirement for the feat, and you get an extra feat if you finish it anyway (before Cata, of course), and since I've already got that rep exalted, there's no more pressure.
ArPharazonV: So with the eye on levelling abilities in Cataclysm I decided to stop alting and go back to my lvl 80 druid.
ArPharazonV: With which I've already completed the third phase of the Elemental invasion, and am now pointing at random stragglers of "never made time for those" achievements: I got Old Crafty today in a mere 11 casts, and am currently working on Ironjaw in Ironforge :-)
AriehnV: caught Ironjaw a while ago but havenae got old crafty yet
AriehnV: tried that a while and it took the hordies about half an hour to figure out i was there .l grin
ArPharazonV: I was worried about Crafty, in Orgrimmar. Was thinking I'd have to do countless corpseruns and hours of fishing.
ArPharazonV: But I was really lucky. Yes, one DK decided to kill me at around my 8th cast, but getting Crafty with just 11 attempts is... insane luck.
AriehnV: indeed
ArPharazonV: I don't care if it'll take me 2000 tries in Ironforge, I consider the hard part to be over now. No more Horde to worry about.
Eonwe Valar: Hehe, aye.
AriehnV: did you get him in the valley of spirits?
ArPharazonV: Think so. Is that the southwest place?
ArPharazonV: Hid behind a few rocks, faced a strip of water, lay down, and fished ;-)
AriehnV: hehe
AriehnV: i ll try again on occasion
ArPharazonV: Good luck with that then :-)
AriehnV: hantal :-D
arwenv1: there used to be a glitch I think with crafty and the wrathgate quest line

ArPharazonV: Hmm. What else. Bible Online has a bonus event now where you get extra xp if you send out your heroes to fight at certain hours of the day, but previous mentions don't really indicate an interest in that game, and Americans can't play it yet anyway.

AriehnV: i ve been playing eve quite a bit recently but didnt see either pallando or Menel , Pallando seemed a bit down last time i saw him
karakedi25 has entered the room.
karakedi25: aiya
AriehnV: aiya Indis
Eonwe Valar: Heya INdis.
Eonwe Valar: Sorry to hear that.

ArPharazonV: Aye, Arwen! You could get to the phasing part of the quest where there'd be no hostile npcs or players in Orgrimmar, andn simply not finish that quest until you got the fish.
ArPharazonV: But I think that's fixed now.
arwenv1: yup
arwenv1: actually
arwenv1: there was another one as well
ArPharazonV: Oh, don't know that.
arwenv1: If you had the quest to get the crocolisk from stormwind or orgrimar
ArPharazonV: Aiya Indis!
arwenv1: and did the crafty thing while in wrathgate questline
arwenv1: you'd get it a lot faster
arwenv1: simply never take the crocolisk
ArPharazonV: Oh, that's nice, had no idea.
arwenv1: only take ... dunno.. sub 20 casts
ArPharazonV: Anyway, no more gaming news for me.
Eonwe Valar: Indis, do you happen to know the runs from Monday and Wednesday? I didn't make it onto LotRO those days, so we could use a quick blurb on them.

Eonwe Valar: OK, on to Tolkien then :}
Eonwe Valar: RP: Need I say more? :}
ArPharazonV: I... am trying not to swear at myself right now.
Eonwe Valar: We all get busy :}
ArPharazonV: Yes, but I was planning that like... 3 weeks ago?
ArPharazonV: Instead I spend my time fishing hundreds of mud snappers in Ironforge ;-)
Eonwe Valar: Can't you do both? :}
ArPharazonV: Not at the same time! Can't write a word and then click and then type and then click...
Eonwe Valar: More like type, alt-tab, click, alt-tab, type,... :}
ArPharazonV: that too
Eonwe Valar: So, are there any Tolkien topics any of you would like to discuss?

AriehnV: was there a kind of chrismas or sinterklaas or some figure of that sort in Middleearth?
Eonwe Valar: Interesting question.
AriehnV: (sorry but i had to ask the question :-) )
Eonwe Valar: Gee, to plug one of my stories, or to stick to the canon,... decisions, decisions
Eonwe Valar: :}
ArPharazonV: Well I don't remember any legendary figure climbing down a chimney... we don't know much of holidays and traditions anyway
ArPharazonV: Yes! I remember Eonwe's story...
ArPharazonV: Not the details though.
Eonwe Valar: We know of Eruhantale among the Numenoreans, and of birthdays among Hobbits.
AriehnV: there were spring and harvest festivals of some sort
Eonwe Valar: :} I'll take a third option: plug my story *and* discuss the topic based on canon :}
AriehnV: Hobbits were generally fond of partying if i remember right :-)
AriehnV: food and wine and presents .. well mathoms
Eonwe Valar: Aye :}
Eonwe Valar: Yule and Lithe I believe were celebrated.
ArPharazonV: Aye, this is true, but do we know anything about mythical characters being included in the festivities? :-)
Eonwe Valar: Who need mythical when you have Mad Baggins galavanting around the countryside? :}
Eonwe Valar: *Who needs
galdorandwe has entered the room.
AriehnV: hehee
ArPharazonV: hehe
AriehnV: he became a story for children and a figure of myth long after the true events had been forgotten
ArPharazonV: maybe in some countries Tom Bombadil would come down your chimney with his colored clothing...
Eonwe Valar: I'm pretty sure if we had anything in LotR, we'd have already named it, so let me see if I can find anything in HoME vol 12: Peoples of Middle-Earth.
AriehnV: what if the leaving of bilbo and his return somehow turned into a St Nicklas and Knecht Ruprecht .. ia m sure legend and fantasy would find a way
galdorandwe: Aiya...what's the topic?
Eonwe Valar: Heya Galdor. We're in Tolkien. Topic: Middle-Earth equivalents of Santa Claus?
galdorandwe: Ooh... that's very interesting.
AriehnV: existent or not?
Eonwe Valar: Actually, Gandalf.
galdorandwe: Has anyone looking into the Finish legends for the equivalent? Tolkein seemed ot borrow from there a bit.
Eonwe Valar: Children loved it when Gandalf came. His fireworks shows were excellent.
AriehnV: true .. i love that in the film actually , the disappointment in the face of the hobbit children as Gandalf doesnt want to give crackers away
Eonwe Valar: His fireworks shows were something to be talked about long after.
AriehnV: and their joy when he does
Eonwe Valar: And aye :}
AriehnV: althou in the book he refused it ;-)
ArPharazonV: In the book there were a lot more fireworks at the party than in the movie, though. Length-issues, obviously. In the book, the children were given small pieces of firework as well.
AriehnV: he said .. wait until the day comes , then you will get enough or something of the sort
Eonwe Valar: We're examining the world of Middle-Earth for it for now, Galdor. The people of Middle-Earth would have their own traditions developed within the world, if Tolkien saw fit to "borrow" something from a real-world tradition.
Eonwe Valar: Harvest festivals make sense as being celebrated by any agrarian culture. whereas Santa Claus is something a bit more,.. unique for a lack of a way to put it :}
galdorandwe: OK.
galdorandwe: Gandalf seems a tough fit, though.
Eonwe Valar: His visits would be a basis of later myth, is more my point. He also did help the Shire in times of need.
galdorandwe: By that I mean, Santa would have been welcomed byb all. Gandalf was not. And didn't Santa had a moorish assistant, Black Peter? Sauruman almost makes a better fit in that sense....just saying.
Eonwe Valar: Only in certain cultures.
Eonwe Valar: For the assistant.
ArPharazonV: Saruman wasn't exactly welcomed everywhere, either ;-)
Eonwe Valar: In other traditions, Santa hangs out with Elves.
Eonwe Valar: Saruman was welcomed for a time by the leadership, because he was a good guy to have as an ally. We don't really see how he was amongst the average person.
AriehnV: hmm which makes me think of Sharky and his misfit Lotho
Eonwe Valar: We know Gandalf doesn't judge a book by its cover, as he's quite fond of Hobbits, who any "wise" tactician would probably discount as having no importance in a war against Sauron.
ArPharazonV: Elves.. yes... small, pointy-eared Elves with hardly any magic, doing handcrafted labor and a talent at disappearing. They sound more like skinny hobbits than elves ;-)
arwenv1: Who didn't welcome Gandalf?
Eonwe Valar: I was thinking they sound more like Dwarves :}
ArPharazonV: that works too!
Eonwe Valar: Denethor for one. Grima through Theoden another. We know their motives for not welcoming him though, so the question is, do they really count?
arwenv1: I suspect they didn't welcome him because they had been corrupted in some form or another.
arwenv1: Was there anyone who didn't welcome him who was not corrupted?
arwenv1: at least - the way they are portrayed in the movie makes them seem corrputed.
arwenv1: I forget how they are protrayed in the books
ArPharazonV: the Hobbits? :-)
ArPharazonV: After all, Gandalf was seen as a disturber of the peace. Must've been some adult hobbits against his coming!
Eonwe Valar: That's basically it, Arwen. Grima didn't welcome Gandalf because Grima was in Saruman's pocket. Denethor didn't particularly like Gandalf because he was shrewd enough to realize that Gandalf was eschewing in the rightful King, and Denethor didn't want that.
arwenv1: ushering in, you mean?
Eonwe Valar: d'oh, yes.
Eonwe Valar: Read that as if I'd said "ushering in" rather than "eschewing in"
arwenv1: :-)
galdorandwe: Perhaps ArPharazon is right. Gandalf might be the closest thing to Santa in the books...I mean, even Burgermeister Meisterburger and his crew didn't like Santa in the Rankin/Bass movies :-)
Eonwe Valar: I'd considered pointing to those Rankin/Bass versions, hehe.
ArPharazonV: I wasn't the one who suggested Gandalf though, so I shouldn't get the credit :-)
arwenv1: and some of the hobbits (older adult ones) may not approve of him, but the hobbits as a whole did not deny him entrance
Eonwe Valar: I think I first said Gandalf, though, unless I missed Phar saying it as I typed :}
ArPharazonV: No, it was you.
ArPharazonV: deny him entrance? neither did Denethor, or Theoden for that matter. They just didn't particularly like the idea of him being there.
arwenv1: but they were the leaders, rulers of their domains.
Eonwe Valar: Hobbits actually remembered him coming there during good times or helping during rough times. That probably helped.
AriehnV: i guess because they didnt want to rouse suspicion until they were ready or blind enough to reveal their plans
AriehnV: think of Saruman trying to tempt Gandalf first
AriehnV: into an alliance with sauron .. then with him alone .. suggest overthrowing sauron but only to put himself in his place
AriehnV: (i think he d probably have killed Gandalf or held him eternal prisoner in any case as Gandalf so shrewdly said .. there is only one who can wield the one ring .. so spare your yourself the trouble to say "we"
ArPharazonV: And he does not share power...
Eonwe Valar: I see nothing in HoME12 that's particularly of interest to this conversation.
Eonwe Valar: Since the discussion has died down, shall we bang the gavel and be about our business?
Eonwe Valar: For the record, attendance is: Eonwë (Presiding), Pharazon, Arien, Arwen, Indis, Galdor.
Eonwe Valar: *bangs gavel*

Eonwe Valar: Aftermeeting :}
Eonwe Valar: For those who came in after the first plugging of my story, here it is again :}
ArPharazonV: No excuse left unused?
Eonwe Valar: No, I just figured that since there are those who may or may not be familiar with the fact that we have a Stories page, it was a good excuse to point them in that direction :} The topic itself lends to choosing my story :}
galdorandwe: OK. I'm logging off. Perhaps I'll see some of you in the game later. Namarie all.
galdorandwe has left the room.
AriehnV has left the room.
Eonwe Valar: Take care Arien and Galdor, belatedly :}
AriehnV has entered the room.
AriehnV: opps sorry what did i miss :-) any new conclusions?
Eonwe Valar: Wb and no :}
Eonwe Valar: I banged the gavel and declared Aftermeeting :}
Eonwe Valar: I think as far as sparking Santa Claus-like stories in the Shire, Gandalf corners the market.
Eonwe Valar: His visits have the greatest potential for such translation, in my opinion, except perhaps in the Gamgee family line who maintain the Red Book, and as such have a bit of true knowledge about the Elder Days.
AriehnV: ah well fascinating discussion tho :-)
AriehnV: thanks for taking that on :-)
Eonwe Valar: NP :} It was worth a look for info at least :}
Eonwe Valar: Thanks for suggesting it :}
AriehnV: all right then Namarie for now :-)
AriehnV has left the room.
karakedi25: namarie
karakedi25 has left the room.
[Additional note from Varda who nominates the tale of Mad Baggins, given in The Fellowship of the Ring, Chapter 2, "The Shadow of the Past". Quote: "It became a fireside-story for young hobbits; and eventually Mad Baggins, who used to vanish with a bang and a flash and reappear with bags of jewels and gold, became a favourite character of legend and lived on long after all the true events were forgotten."