Valar Guild

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(Frequently Asked Questions)

Home Domain Name?
Index / Site Map?

What does the Valar Guild do?
Meeting Times
What can I do?
Valar Guild Guidelines for Playing Diablo
Channel Commands (Bnet)
Game Commands (Bnet)
Restoring Without a Program (Bnet)
Tolkien Encyclopedia, how may I contribute?
Maiar Honor
Valar Honor
Your Children as Members of Honor
Name Changing 
Council Members and Advisors

What does the Valar Guild do?

    We play online games together like a Fellowship of friends with common interests and may review them on our Games page. We create a Tolkien site. We chat at Sunday meetings on AIM about gaming and Tolkien. We post to our Forum about gaming, Tolkien, other authors, and whatever.
    We originally formed as a group of Diablo gamers on Blizzard's bnet, all united by an interest in Tolkien and his ideals of honor which we included into our playing. Thus in the Diablo series we are legit, co-op, literate, decent-speaking, non player killer, non player killer killers.
    In MMORPG's that have duels and battlegrounds as part of the game, it is allowed, but do so courteously: bow to your opponent, don't gloat over a win, and don't whine over a loss.
    Each member has exclusive use of a particular Tolkien character taken from any of his books to identify him to other members in articles, Forum, and online gaming.  The member is the only one who can use that name and all its versions in the guild, and some of the versions may be very far out in either lore or creativity.
    We give special honor to those who show commitment, caring about our ideals, and Lord of the Rings book knowledge with an honor recognition of Maia (can apply or be dragged into it). To those Maiar who are insanely that way plus who can pass a tough Silmarillion test, we give Vala Honor. The Council which coordinates activities is drawn from the Valar honor people. Valar are expected to serve on the Council at the beginning, although they can retire and even use a non-Vala name still with Vala honor. Thus, if a person has a -(Valar) attached to his name, he can be looked to for help by any member and be of service to those seriously seeking entry.
    An entry test over the Lord of the Rings books is required. Email Varda or Eonwe for further questions on entry.
    So what do we do?:
Online gaming with a special guild and guild-friend channel, game names, and passwords. (The guild-friend channel in MMORPG's is named Valar. In WoW, type /join Valar. See who's there with /chatwho valar or /chatwho #ofchannel).
Make mods and maps, Tolkien style.
Meetings for business and then Tolkien chat
Tolkien Encyclopedia
Tolkien-inspired stories, poems, humor
Tolkien-inspired artwork
Web work on any of the above subjects and more
(Yes we talk about other things than Tolkien and gaming, but those are the two which we all share.)


by Varda-(Valar)

1. General meeting for all Guild members: Sunday 5pm EST, 4pm CST, 10pm GMT, every Sunday.
AIM room: Valar Guild Meetingplace. You can invite yourself to the room.
It's a kindness to other members to use your guild name so they know who you are.
The chairperson is usually Varda , sometimes Eonwe. Sometimes a member will be called on to chair a section of the meeting, especially if the chairs need to move to another window to give a test. Usually the highest honor members will be called first.
Business (in this order: Membership, Webwork on our site, Gaming reports, and then Tolkien) are discussed, suggestions and comments made, breaking into chat and games afterwards. To speed up the business meeting, a person who has business needs to whisper which part of the meeting he/she needs to be called for so the chair can jot it down and be sure each member is heard. If that speaker has to leave before that part of the business comes up, the chair can copy/paste from the whispered AIM window.
A Tolkien topic may be whispered at any time, and the chair will try to make sure all topics are addressed or listed to be brought up at the next meeting.
The group often goes into After-meeting for general chat, and may choose up which games to jump into together then or at other times during the week.

2. World of WarCraft: Lothar server members game together every Friday, usually whenever Eonwe shows up (Auros, paladin, branch leader), around 6pm EST or a bit later. The group does not have to wait for him, but do watch for him. The idea is to bring our highest level characters together to do instances with trustworthy, fun people that are hard to solo and may be frustrating with a PUG (pick-up group). High level instances are necessary to many high level quests such aselite/epic mounts, class and profession skills, and gear. Lower level instances may also be run for new members or alternates, at the same time or instead, according to member need and inclination. This type of group questing may also be done all during the day if members wish, as schedules are tough to meet, and frequently runs all night into the wee hours.



(When emailing, please say which kind of membership you are interested in.)
Full Membership:
    1. Read the Lord of the Rings. More is better, but not required for entry.
    2. Be honorable, as Tolkien would have it. In other words: no cheating, hacking, duping, or offensive (including annoying spam) language.
    3. Take the simple entry test over the Lord of the Rings, answering 4 out of 5 questions correctly from your own head (no same-time coaching or looking up). This is to make sure that the person actually read the books, not to try for obscure details. (We do that later for fun and honor ranks.)  Yes, you can re-take the test.
    4. In Diablo, make a new character starting at level 1, then use it for guild gaming. No items from outside and no non-guild characters are wanted in the guild, unless taken directly from a monster or bought yourself. It is preferred to play in the guild with that character so that we can learn to know each other. Playing a guild character outside is mainly done for recruiting. Other members may offer free gifts, which you can take or not depending on your legit philosophy.
In StarCraft, BroodWar, and the WarCrafts, use your guild name to be recognized, don't cheat, remember honor.
In a MMORPG such as WoW or LotRO, outsider-named characters can enter the guild, but put primary guild name in your note for recognition.
    5. Email Varda for how to reach a tester, also called a recruiter. (Sunday AIM meetings are the best time.) Or find anyone from the Guild on AIM or in-game and ask him or her for help. Try the Membership page for our AIM names for your buddy list.

Tolkien Memberships:

1. Join by writing (articles, stories, poetry, language, humor), doing art, or another contribution to the Tolkien site (some give server space). The guild maintains it for the benefit of all Tolkien fans. Email the work to Varda to be placed in the appropriate section(s). Pieces may be linked such as art to an article, either in an image list or at the beginning of the article. Links go both ways. If you do not wish your piece linked to something in particular, let Varda know and it will be corrected.
2.  Next, join the Forum under your new primary guild name, decided between you and Varda to prevent two people using the same name at the same time, and used as your credit name linked to your author's page by that name. Your author's page is for contact information so that all of your articles are updated at the same time, and to show readers what else you have written, so they can look up items by their favorite authors as well as subject.
3. Feel free to come to live AIM meetings held every Sunday. We have business first, then move to Tolkien chat. Transcripts of meetings are linked to the general News page.
4. If you wish to contribute to the Tolkien site without joining, that is fine, but please give Varda a consistent name for your author's page for your credit.


by Varda-(Valar)

Short answer: Game, contribute to the Tolkien or Games sites, Forum, come to live AIM meetings, email, chat.

    1. Play Diablo, StarCraft, BroodWars, WarCraft2, and DiabloVK, (as well as other online games) with other people who prefer honorable play and behavior. Our main game is now the World of WarCraft MMORPG. We have World of WarCraft branches on Lothar for Alliance (main; ask Eonwe/Auros) and on Uldaman for Horde (casual; ask Varda/Gilbrennil), and have European members on Argent Dawn server, which is now starting an official guild branch for Alliance (ask Finduilas/Failivrin).
We also have members playing EverQuest (ask Aule/Taglos) and Dark Age of Camelot (ask Irmo/Yrma).
We intend to go into Lord of the Rings Online which should come out around November 2006 (ask Varda).
Please list your games on the Games page so we can find each other, and use your guild name or a version of it to be recognized outside official branches. Games page: email Eonwe.
    2. Discuss Tolkien and related authors: Fantasy and Science Fiction in AIM after Business on Sunday meetings or on the Forum.
    3. Post Tolkien and game discussion to our Forum.
    4. Role-play one of Tolkien's characters not already taken, given when you join as a full member.
    5. Publish descriptions and articles for the Guild's Tolkien Encyclopedia. Publish Tolkien stories, poems, artwork, humor, languages.
    6. Contribute to a web page for the Guild by emailing that page's maintainer (cool links you found, information you know, Tolkien images) or make your own to be linked with the rest of the Guild pages. Tolkien and Gaming are the two main areas where we need helpers. Varda coordinates the Web Team. Please remember to put a link back to the Guild's Home Page!
    7. Make game maps for the guild, especially with a Tolkien theme. Tell Eonwe for the Games page, and tell about it during the Games section of the business meeting.
    8. Dropped for loss of players. Play in the Valar SC/BW League Ladder as one member of a pair against another pair. This ladder has fallen mostly into disuse, but if you would like to play, email Aule.
    9. World of WarCraft Friday instances or high level questing on Lothar every Friday. Other times, any level. Sometimes Fridays we have lowbie runs at the same time or instead, according to members' needs.
    10. Train other members in how to play the games by actually playing with them. Make pages to help their strategy, or add to an existing strategy page, and have it linked into the Games pages. Email a review of any online game for the Games page to Eonwe.
    11. Store items on a guild bank character for the guild's Diablo players who are new, just started a new class, have won a contest, had a hard drive wipe, or who have lost all their items after dying and crashing. In World of WarCraft Lothar branch, send extras to Eonwe's Kalasul to be passed around on Fridays live or by WoWmail at other times. Also send WoWmail requests to our crafters and/or to Kalasul. Craft goodies for other members.
    12. Come to Sunday meetings when you can. This can help you schedule games with others, let you comment and ask questions or make suggestions, and chat with other Tolkien enthusiasts.
    13. Chat. AIM and games are sociable. Use common sense during instances. Expect pauses in-game.
    14. Be recognized for Maiar and Valar honors. Dive in and help!
    15. Recruiting. Regular members can scout, Maiar and Valar honor members can also test for regular membership. Scouts look for courteous, honorable people who have read LotR, and see if they would be interested in Full or Tolkien-only membership, give the person the domain name ( and help them reach a tester (for gamers, AIM meetings are the best spot) and/or the Tolkien Site (for Tolkien-onlies) by emailing or using AIM to contact Varda. Maia honor can scout, test, and give Full Membership. Valar members do the same plus give Maia honors, and Vala honors as a team.
    16. Other. Members are always coming up with wonderful ideas, bless them.  :)


by Melkor-(Valar)
Nov. 25, 1998

Each individual must find his/her own comfort level for playing Diablo games within the overall Valar Guild philosophy.  The governing Guild rules for play are that there is cooperative play (no pk's), no items are to be duplicated (no cheating) and players are not to restore items to characters killed in play.  Battle.Net induced losses may be recovered by restoring the character with a grey area existing where a character has been killed and there is a game crash while trying to recover your artifacts - use your own sense of fair play in such a case;  if there was a reasonable chance of recovering your stuff, restore - if it was really hopeless, take your licks and rebuild your character's inventory.

In general, there is a continuum for accepting help (gifts) while playing.  The most restrictive being that you don't use anything that you don't find yourself (including shrines and town portals to deeper floors--V) and the least demanding mode of play is that you accept any and all artifacts from other Guild members (only).  Personally, I enjoy helping out new players with gifts but i don't want to detract from your enjoyment of working up a character.

My personal preference is that when a group of similar level characters are playing as a team, then items found are for the good of the group and whoever needs the artifact may accept and use it.  When I was playing up Melkor, if there were other higher level players playing more difficult levels in the same game, I would not accept items from them.  This makes it more difficult to work a player up but for me, if it is too easy, I end up with a high level, powerful character but no sense of accomplishment.  The same can be said for getting your 'dots' - if your character is not powerful enough to play the hell levels of the game (Normal, Nightmare, or Hell level games) - you should probably not join at the last minute just to be present when Diablo is killed, you have not really 'earned' your dot in such a case.

In summary, each new player must think about his/her personal philosopy and reason(s) for belonging to and playing in the Valar Guild.  Then within your own ethical guidelines, select a 'rule of play' for yourself.  The main thing is to enjoy yourself and the camaraderie of playing with other Guild members.

Good hunting, Melkor

by Varda-(Valar)

Please email Varda if you want other commands included.
Bnet commands and names are not case sensitive. People, however, don't like to be shouted at with all upper case letters.

by Varda-(Valar) COMMANDS (World of WarCraft MMORPG):

Many are listed by the chatbox. Try clicking the word balloon at the top right, and the tab for General.
Some heavily used commands are:

/g   Guild chat. You now type to all guild members online only.
/s   Say. You now type to any character standing nearby.
/p   Party. You now type to your party only.
/w nameofperson   Whisper. You now type only to that named person. Also done by clicking on a speaking person's name.
/r   Reply. Whisper back to the person who last whispered you.
/join Valar   You are now present in the Valar Guild's friend channel. Also used by members and alternates.
/channelname  or  /#channel   You now type in that channel, but have to use this command every time.
/valar  You now type in our guild-friend channel.
/chatwho #ornameofchannel   See a list of who else is in that channel with you.
/bow  Your character bows
/dance  Your character dances.

by Melkor-(Valar)

Finding and using the dlinfo files as backup for your characters in Windows 95/98. (That dlinfo word has an "L" not the number one --V)

select Windows Explorer
    under View, select Folder Options
        click on Show All Files (this will then show the dlinfo files which are 'hidden files')

These files are your Diablo character files with this structure: dlinfo_n.drv , where n=0...9

I checked again and the reverse listing of characters in Diablo does not correspond to 1 through 0 or 0 through 9 for me, (although it does for Varda --V).  So to be sure, I suggest the following method of determining which number corresponds to which character.

select Windows Explorer
    select Windows
        right click/drag all the dlinfo files to your desktop and select Copy Here so that the files are now in both Windows and
            on the desktop - for extra safety I recommend also copying to disc by: rt click on the Windows dlinfo files, select
            Send To, and select 3 1/2" Floppy (A)

Now rt click on all the Windows dlinfo files and select Delete (it will tell you that one of your programs may not work - say: ok).  Then rt click/drag/Copy Here   the dlinfo files from the desktop one at a time - after each copy operation, go open Diablo and see which character has been added and record the dlinfo number that corresponds to the character.

I save to desktop after each game and to disc once a day in the event that I have to restore

by Varda-(Valar)

    Any Tolkien fan may send an entry to the Encyclopedia or any part of the Tolkien site. Email Varda.
    The fan does not have to be in the Guild or have any particular Honor.
    Please make sure the facts are backed up with a book and chapter source of Tolkien's, double-check spelling and grammar.
    Email or Word attachments are fine. You can update your entry any time by emailing Varda, or correct errors the editor may have accidentally done. Many entries by many people may be put under the same subject, and don't have to agree on their personal conclusions.

by Ulmo-(Valar)
with input by other Valar and Maiar

Qualifications for Application for Maiar Honor:

1. 2 months active membership in Valar-game play, Tolkien chat, meeting attendance will all be considered,  time zone will be taken in consideration as well

2. continued reading/studying of LotR (this will become apparent during testing if not already from chats)

Process for obtaining Maia Honor:

1. Apply to Varda or Eonwe in a letter stating the following.
        a.  Why you wish to obtain Maia Honor
        b.  what involvement in the guild you feel qualifies you for this honor
        c.  what future involvement you might have as the result of achieving Maia Honor
2.  Approval of The Council of Mahanaxar and the Maiar that your application is worthy of being tested for Maia Honor
3.  Testing by a panel of 3 Valar, containing 5 questions, somewhat difficult and requiring a good understanding of the entire story in the LotR.
    Before the questions, show that you understand what a Maia is.
    After the main questions, a bonus Silmarillion question is offered.
    A score of 4/5 is required to pass, a correct bonus question covering one missed LotR question. Consideration for nervousness, English as a second language, and other personal factors will be considered providing a thorough knowledge is apparent.
4.  Retesting after failure will require a waiting period of 2 weeks.

Please feel free to comment on any aspect of this procedure.  I don't want to beat this to death, or make it overly complicated, but assuring that becoming a Maia is honorable and shows a depth of knowledge is important.

by Irmo-(Valar)

(From a letter to the Council, with which the Council agreed and asked that it be added to the FAQ)

Some of the things I personally look for as qualifications are (and I think that goes for all of us..) :

 - Visibility (regularity) on, possibly Discussion Board [Forum]; a Maia needs to be relatively well-informed and in tune with the goings-on in the Guild.
 - Attending meetings, expressing opinions that show interest in guild. (basically they have to be willing to get involved)
 - Tolkien lore, at meetings and/or possibly through contributions to Encyc or other fora. They should exhibit this sufficiently for us to rely on their recruiting (testing) skills and for them to take part in our Tolkien activities.
 - Maturity, courtesy and pleasant conduct - expected from all members but especially from Maiar whom we need to depend on in various situations, for example when they represent the Guild in public channels or decide if new recruits are guild material..

Incidentally, a thing I couldn't help but notice is that a few of the previous applicants have been active for a a relatively short period before and after promotion and then somehow "lost interest" and drifted out of sight. It may be hard to tell in advance, but we should really try to pick stable members who will stick with it and be careful with those who just think -(Valar) looks better than -(V)  :)

Vala Honor

by Varda-(Valar)
Nov. 16, 1999

    Only a few Valar Honor slots are available, compared to the many for Members and Maiar, set by the number of Valar names made by Tolkien.  All Valar must remember that they are there to serve the membership, not for the membership to serve them.  The members should allow the Valar to do their duties and seek to serve the guild themselves, as they may someday be the leadership. Somebody has to do it, because of our large size and numerous activities.
    Valar are expected to serve on the Council of Mahanaxar (usually shortened to "the Council"), making decisions that affect the entire guild. They have different viewpoints to represent the views of different parts of the guild, including young and old, different countries (a big help with language on tests!), different genders, Tolkien preference, gaming preference, and mixed.  All have in common a deep love of the Guild shown in fanatical commitment.  They have to know Tolkien well enough to keep up the quality both of output and of incoming members. All deeply believe in honor and will enforce it.  They have to be willing to speak to each other in group emails and possibly AIM to discuss issues, answering in timely fashion.  They remember that this guild is intended for families as well as Tolkien fans and gamers, keeping it clean and honorable as Tolkien would have approved.
    All must be capable of chairing meetings, in case they are elected chairman or the others in the gavel line cannot make a meeting.  They must be willing to accept the co-chairs' executive decision if the group cannot agree.  The co-chairs must agree in such a case, or table the issue until later, remembering that no decision is also a decision! In rare cases where a fast decision must be made, we need to be able to trust the person making it, and a co-chair or Vala may do this. The Council can do damage control afterwards if necessary.
    Potential Valar must be invited to be tested by the Council, and be sponsored by at least one Council member, preferably two or more.  The whole Council must agree that the person is worthy before the invitation is given, as they must all work together.  Also, the different Valar will have different criteria, assuring that the person will be excellent all around in ability.  Seniority is not a reason to be made Valar.
    The Tolkien test is an extremely difficult Silmarillion test, answering 4 out of 5 at least.  They have already passed the Maiar test over Lord of the Rings, and are expected to have read the Hobbit.  They have often read many other Tolkien books and are allowed to add that information to their answers.
    The original Council was put in place due to incredible service above and beyond expectations, saving and expanding the guild when normal Diablo guilds would have folded under those conditions.  New Valar have since been added, worthy of filling such shoes and doing such deeds. I salute them all!
    The co-chairs of the Council must be agreed upon by the Council, as they will occasionally be stuck with the executive decisions of the pair.  The chairs must be able to see the whole picture and therefore need plenty of input from the entire membership.  The Council must choose a pair they trust will usually make the right decisions, even if they make bloopers sometimes, and that they will try to repair problems poor decisions cause, remembering that the Council can and will help.  Have mercy on your chair persons, as you may have to do the job someday. Give constructive criticism! Give helpful information! Accept responsibility for your actions and go on from there.
    Valar may resign from the Council, retaining Valar honor but may change to a non-Vala name. Such persons are of high honor and their knowledge of immense value to the entire Guild. Their advice is welcome to the Council. They may return to the Council if they desire, if a Vala name is available, and the Council agrees.
    The list of current Council and Co-chairs may be found on this page.

Your Children as Members of Honor

by Ulmo-(Valar)
July 18, 2000

    Any mature adult member who has a polite child under 12 years old, who wishes them to be able to play in our safe/polite atmosphere should be allowed the privelege.
    The child should choose an obscure name (saving good/easier ones for regular members), the child should be informed about our conduct rules, and supervised by the parent for the first couple log-on times to assure they know how to act in games and channel.  The Tolkien aspect of our guild will prolly wear on them in time, they will like it and read the books as they mature, or it will bore them and they will fade away.

by Varda-(Valar)
Sept. 1, 2000

    If the child has had the Lord of the Rings read to him, that would help a lot. After the child reads the trilogy for himself, he may apply for regular membership, taking the entry test.

Name Changing

by Varda-(Valar)
July 4, 2001

    Primary names may be changed to reflect a change in honor rank. A member starts with a name from the free people. He takes on a Maia name if he achieves that honor, and a Vala name if he achieves that honor. Thus he might have three names. A Vala serves time on the Council and then may retire, using any name he chooses but retaining Vala honor.
    One change per honor level may be allowed if the name is available. Send a letter to the Council through Varda requesting the change. Reasons for the change may be:
1.  The name was unavailable when the player joined.
2.  As the player learned more about the characters in Tolkien, he found that he preferred the attributes of this other person.
3.  The player really really wants it enough to justify confusion and changes on at least three web pages by three different people.


Council of Mahanaxar Members and Advisors

by Varda-(Valar)
(alphabetical listing implying nothing)

Co-chair: Varda-(Valar)
Co-chair: Eonwe-(Valar) 
Council: Irmo-(Valar)
Council: Melkor-(Valar)

<>All Valar Honor members can usually return fully to the Council if they become available enough again, and may give advice: 
Beren-(Valar) was Tulkas-(Valar)1  (Quenya Lore Book)
Updated somewhat April 13, 2012 by Varda