Valar Guild

April 30, 2017 Sunday Meeting

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

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Transcript work by
Ar-Pharazon and Varda.

Attending (and at least said something making them visible): (6)
    Arien-(Valar)/Arien V/AriehnV, ArPharazonV, Elladan/Scot92027,  Eonwe Valar, Lenwe (-V), Varda Valar/vardavalar1 (presiding)

Meeting begins
    Timeline 3rd Age updated. Uploaded during the meeting.
    General gaming report by Eonwe and others.
    Topic: Strategies and tactics in Gandalf vs Sauron, focusing on the Return of the King (mostly). Great quote about what the Blue Wizards were doing.
    Tolkien topiccontinued.
    Flashgaming Reviews by Ar-Pharazon
    Personal gaming by Ar-Pharazon

Chat History for Valar Guild Meetingplace. Times are Ar-Pharazon's.
Arien V (17:43:30):    good morning or good afternoon all luirkers :)
Elladan (17:43:48):    good afternoon! (almost)
Ar-Pharazon-V (17:43:49):    Aiya.
Arien V (17:43:58):    aiya :)
Ar-Pharazon-V (17:43:56):    Good place to start the transcript I suppose.
Elladan (19:37:34):    MIddle Earth, here I come
Arien V (19:37:50):    )
Elladan (20:47:22):    taking a break. Cya later!
Varda Valar (22:04:33):    Aiya
Arien V (22:22:42):    aiya?
Ar-Pharazon-V (22:22:47):    Aiya
Arien V (22:22:48):    aiya :)
Varda Valar (22:23:10):    Hi!
Arien V (22:31:38):    hi :)
Varda Valar (22:31:48):    :)
Varda Valar (22:31:54):    Half an hour yet
Varda Valar (22:32:50):    Thought about instead of just a straight events list, maybe talking about the strategies and tactics for Gandalf vs Sauron. Still similar, but not just a list, maybe more fun.
Arien V (22:33:19):    sounds good
Varda Valar (22:33:32):    yay!
Ar-Pharazon-V (22:33:42):    But I like lists.. ;)
Varda Valar (22:33:46):    Giving us a chance to percolate a few ideas between
Varda Valar (22:34:34):    Lists are nice too. :) If we have time, we could do both, maybe take a chunk out of After-meeting.
Eonwe Valar (22:56:12):    Heya all.
Varda Valar (22:56:24):    Aiya Eonwe :)
Arien V (22:56:30):    Aiya Eonwe :)
Ar-Pharazon-V (22:56:45):    Aiya
Eonwe Valar (22:56:57):    How goes it?
Varda Valar (23:00:44):    Good, leaving LotRO now, Gil-galad and Falco are there. :)
Varda Valar (23:01:02):    argh, brb, shouldn't be long
Ar-Pharazon-V (23:01:06):    You make it sound like you're trying to avoid them.
Varda Valar (23:04:36):    no not at all!
Varda Valar (23:04:53):    Had to put a bandaid on this index finger to type properly
Varda Valar (23:05:11):    They're a couple of nice folks. :)
Arien V (23:05:38):    what have you done to your finger?
Varda Valar (23:05:44):    Couldn't drag them in here unfortunately :)
Varda Valar (23:06:20):    New pair of scissors, not used to such lovely sharpness. Silly me whilst cleaning them for put-up.
Varda Valar (23:06:31):    Anyone else needing a poke?
Ar-Pharazon-V (23:06:33):    ouch
Ar-Pharazon-V (23:06:48):    The scissors, that is, not the poke.
Varda Valar (23:07:07):    hehe
Eonwe Valar (23:08:13):    It's definitely nice to have the channel auto-open when I come into AIM. Never have to leave, hehe.

Varda Valar (23:08:22):    Elen sila lumenn' omentielvo!
Varda Valar (23:08:25):    Membership:
Varda Valar (23:08:44):    Thank you for being so wonderful with your time, helping out and coming to meetings. :)
Varda Valar (23:08:57):    Be really boring in here alone, heh.

Varda Valar (23:09:11):    Web:
Varda Valar (23:09:36):    Didn't make it any farther on the Timeline,no excuse, will get back to it. [Note: Went online with more Third Age later during the meeting. Starting the Great Years.]

Varda Valar (23:09:44):    Gaming:
Ar-Pharazon-V (23:10:13):    There's always an excuse if you think hard enough.
Varda Valar (23:10:27):    Eonwe has the general report for us. :)
Varda Valar (23:10:35):    Heh, the buck stops here.

Eonwe Valar (23:11:22):    Lord of the Rings Online:
Eonwe Valar (23:11:33):    Patch 20.1.1 came out this week.
Varda Valar (23:11:48):    (and we are so glad for those fixes!)

Eonwe Valar (23:11:55):    World of Warcraft:
Eonwe Valar (23:12:18):    The Volnteer Guard Day micro-holiday is going this weekend.
Eonwe Valar (23:12:36):    A live Q&A was this week. You can check out the VoD for what Game Director Ion Hazzikostas had to say.
Eonwe Valar (23:12:48):    Check out the latest hotfixes.

Eonwe Valar (23:13:06):    Diablo 3:
Eonwe Valar (23:13:21):    A Live Q&A on the Necromancer is coming this Wednesday.
Eonwe Valar (23:13:46):    The Necromancer Beta patch notes were updated.

Eonwe Valar (23:14:02):    Starcraft 2:
Eonwe Valar (23:14:18):    Coming in patch 3.13.0 is a new Co-Ops Commander: Fenix.
Eonwe Valar (23:14:32):    Also coming is a new Co-Op Mission Scythe of Amon..

Eonwe Valar (23:14:50):    Heroes of the Storm:
Eonwe Valar (23:15:54):    Heroes 2.0 came out this week! If I didn't know better I'd say they improved the graphics quality somewhat. My preferred hero seems to be looking better after the update.
Varda Valar (23:16:47):    :)
Ar-Pharazon-V (23:17:01):    I think they did. I'm noticing it in the matches. It all seems a bit clearer and brighter.
Eonwe Valar (23:17:27):    Alot of other changes too, but the biggest loot change is that it's made to be more like Overwatch's system with loot boxes. 3 Different currencies now, and the loot boxes can drop anything so far as I can tell (though I have yet to get a hero from one).
Ar-Pharazon-V (23:17:54):    I got Nova, Butcher and... something else from those.
Ar-Pharazon-V (23:18:46):    So yes, you very much can get a hero from them :)
Ar-Pharazon-V (23:19:14):    Holiday and event stuff too, I think.
Eonwe Valar (23:19:22):    They do have a set of 4 bundles of heroes that longer-time players can get basically for free, since they gave you the free gems to pay for it, so if you have that available, and you can figure out which one gives you the most heroes/most you want, it's a good thing.
Eonwe Valar (23:19:52):    Two new heroes are out as well: Genji and D.Va.
Eonwe Valar (23:20:01):    Both from Overwatch.
Eonwe Valar (23:20:11):    Check out this week's hotfixes.
Ar-Pharazon-V (23:20:16):    Oh, they put in D.Va? That's mech-rider, right?
Eonwe Valar (23:20:23):    Aye.
Ar-Pharazon-V (23:20:33):    So... basically gazlowe :P
Eonwe Valar (23:20:34):    There is an event going as well, where you must play 5 games a week with a friend for the next few weeks. Don't miss out on the rewards!
Eonwe Valar (23:21:03):    If Gazlowe were a Korean gamer-girl, sure :}
Ar-Pharazon-V (23:22:07):    Oh, right, speaking of gaming with a friend, Starcraft II Noblegarden event is still ongoing!
Eonwe Valar (23:23:11):    Bonus News:
Eonwe Valar (23:24:11):    If you needed help picking a Mega-bundle (mentioned above), or just for fun, you can take a quiz to figure out what kind of Hroes player you are:
Eonwe Valar (23:24:40):    Not long, mostly just amusing, hehe.
Eonwe Valar (23:25:11):    You can also see what heroes are in each bundle.
Eonwe Valar (23:25:54):    Keep in mind, you only get to choose one. The others are locked out once you do, and no matter how many heroes you have from that bundle, it's always the same cost: it does not dynamically adjust.
Ar-Pharazon-V (23:27:09):    I ultimately went for the one I was missing the most heroes from (turned out to be 11, compared to 10 for all other 3) but if you really want to min-max it you also need to keep in mind how expensive those missing heroes would be if you bought them with gold.

Eonwe Valar (23:27:44):    Bonus News #2: Starcraft: New unlock this past week on the Site, next one unlocks May 5th:
Eonwe Valar (23:28:02):    Thus ends the new I'm privy to.
Eonwe Valar (23:28:53):    *news
Varda Valar (23:30:07):    Thank you, Eonwe.
Varda Valar (23:31:20):    LotRO's anniversary events and festival continues, including content for both low and high level characters, even groups, with nice rewards including having Bill the Pony follow you around.

Varda Valar (23:31:36):    Kin mates seen this past week in LotRO:
Varda Valar (23:31:50):   
Varda Valar (23:32:02):    Pardoin if I missed anyone - it's for the past 6 days.
Varda Valar (23:32:07):    *Pardon
Varda Valar (23:32:27):    Any other guild mates spotted? :)
Varda Valar (23:33:55):    Did you see Fladrif?
Ar-Pharazon-V (23:34:31):    ehrr... was it the week before that I fought him in Hearthstone? The weeks just get lost. In any case, he was last online 2 days it seems.
Ar-Pharazon-V (23:34:44):    *2 days ago
Eonwe Valar (23:35:49):    Bofur, Nob, and Arien in WoW Lothar.
Eonwe Valar (23:36:05):    This past week. Actually crossed paths with Nob and Arien.
Varda Valar (23:36:16):    :)
Varda Valar (23:37:30):    Thanks, good to hear folks are still active!

Varda Valar (23:38:36):    In other news, more has been added to the Events page for the Third Age, down to the Great Years that will need their own page. Links and extra info for the Third Age to be added.
Varda Valar (23:39:13):    Any further business, news, suggestions, or just nifties?

Varda Valar (23:40:40):    Tolkien:
Varda Valar (23:41:04):    Strategies and tactics in Gandalf vs Sauron, focusing on the Return of the King (mostly).
Ar-Pharazon-V (23:42:12):    In Return of the King, I'd say that Gandalf was actually more active in the frontlines, while Sauron stayed behind out of physical necessity.
Varda Valar (23:42:28):    Good point
Varda Valar (23:43:03):    We know Sauron wasn't actually just an eyeball. What might have been the physical necessity?
Eonwe Valar (23:43:34):    Not wanting to get killed again after just reforming a body is usually a pretty good excuse :}
Varda Valar (23:43:39):    True :)
Ar-Pharazon-V (23:43:39):    He might not have actually been an eyeball, but he wasn't quite recovered enough for physical combat.
Varda Valar (23:43:58):    Also, he didn't have his Ring, so he wasn't quite all there.
Varda Valar (23:44:35):    In strategy/tactics, he needed to keep control of that nasty lot of people in Mordor that might have done vandalism while he was away?
Varda Valar (23:46:16):    What was Gandalf's strategy?
Ar-Pharazon-V (23:46:22):    Not much to vandalize, you'd think, it was all rock and fortress.
Varda Valar (23:46:39):    With spray paint. ;)
Arien V (23:47:40):    white breaking in the single colors making it all up .. but .. it is black really that is made up of all colors funn enough
Varda Valar (23:47:52):    :)
Arien V (23:47:52):    when white does that .. its no longer white ^^

Varda Valar (23:49:01):    What was Gandalf's strategy?
Varda Valar (23:49:14):    (at least one person had a disconnect just now)
Eonwe Valar (23:49:19):    Keep those kids,.. I mean orcs, off his lawn? :}
Varda Valar (23:49:25):    :)
Arien V (23:49:45):    strategy for what?
Varda Valar (23:49:49):    Sounds right. :) Big lawn of Middle-earth.
Ar-Pharazon-V (23:49:51):    Well, before Return of the King, travelling around and trying to get other people to fight for him.
Ar-Pharazon-V (23:50:00):    Though he could fight a bit himself.
Varda Valar (23:50:10):    This is the Gandalf vs Sauron's strategies.
Eonwe Valar (23:50:16):    Uniting the Free Peoples in the cause against Sauron, making sure that each would be prepared after their fashion.
Varda Valar (23:50:28):    Good summary!
Eonwe Valar (23:50:29):    Notice he didn't set Hobbits to making weapons and armor.
Varda Valar (23:51:01):    "Here, have some stones to throw! Some nice little bows and arrows." Size problem too.
Ar-Pharazon-V (23:51:14):    He just made sure the pipeweed was good so the other races would have a way to relax between battles.
Varda Valar (23:51:37):    No doubt. Arwen is probably still annoyed that Aragorn got hooked. :)
Arien V (23:51:41):    distraction tactics *nod* .. .. house at Crickhollow
Varda Valar (23:51:47):    Anyway,
Varda Valar (23:51:57):    Gandalf's strategy is a decoy of a King who apparently has the One Ring challenging Sauron with apparent over-confidence and low strength of an army going to Sauron's gate, while sending the actual One Ring by stealthy Hobbits to be destroyed inside the nearly emptied Mordor.
Varda Valar (23:52:17):    Gandalf correctly assumes that anyone's wanting to destroy something that could give them great power is outside of Sauron's ability to believe.
Eonwe Valar (23:52:20):    The Hobbits were quite capable of fighting, as seen at the end of the book, and in the Appendices when we find out they'd gone to aid Arthedain.
Varda Valar (23:52:51):    True, especially after they had experienced generals given to them, our four Hobbits.
Ar-Pharazon-V (23:53:37):    Yep, with a bit of strategy they did quite well, especially with superior numbers.

Varda Valar (23:53:57):    Gandalf's tactics change at the time that he was the Grey compared to as the White Wizard. What was the difference, and why was it needed?
Ar-Pharazon-V (23:54:39):    Grey... more unnoticed, in the background, getting other races to prepare while he kept from real authority.
Eonwe Valar (23:54:40):    They held their own when outnumbreed too, namely the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, the Battle at the Black Gate,..
Eonwe Valar (23:54:56):    *outnumbered
Ar-Pharazon-V (23:54:57):    The hobbits, Eonwe? :)
Eonwe Valar (23:55:07):    Aye.
Ar-Pharazon-V (23:55:19):    2 of them, at least.
Eonwe Valar (23:57:53):    I think Gandalf's involvement would've been more or less the same whether he had become the White or not, but he certainly had to work harder with the good guys down one hero thanks to Saruman losing sight of the mission.
Ar-Pharazon-V (23:58:27):    It does seem like he went more into battle after becoming white, directly confronting situations at least.
Varda Valar (23:58:42):    More than one, after Saruman took the Blue Wizards east.
Varda Valar (23:59:20):    Aye, Gandalf was much more active physically as the White. Given greater power by the Valar to make up for the losses, apparently.
Varda Valar (23:59:38):    Gandalf, Back-up Plan.

Ar-Pharazon-V (23:59:40):    I read a piece in the Histories not too long ago that did state those 2 wizards were working on the side of good over in the East, causing quarrels and problems between the Easterlings to prevent them wildly outnumbering and overwhelming the western kingdoms.
Eonwe Valar (23:59:40):    What exactly happened with the Blue Wizards is speculative mostly, so I didn't want to count them. Radagast, on the other hand,...
Monday, May 1, 2017
Varda Valar (00:02:00):    not the White Hand. ;)
Eonwe Valar (00:02:10):    heheh
Eonwe Valar (00:03:25):    Radagast seems to have lost sight of the mission too, but not in a malicious way at least. He seems to have become so focused on his one little area that he couldn't see what was going on in the bigger picture.
Varda Valar (00:03:38):    True.
Varda Valar (00:03:57):    And yet he contributed in ways that made a big difference.
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:04:47):    Right. Found the bit about the two wizards in a note about the five wizards among the Last Writings section in part 12 of the histories. I could cite it here if you want.
Eonwe Valar (00:05:01):    And evidently either he refused to go or was not called to the Council of Elrond. In either case he would be deemed an unsafe confidant in the matter.
Arien V (00:05:09):    go ahead , Phari
Varda Valar (00:05:20):    Please do, Phar.
Varda Valar (00:05:39):    Interesting point about Radagast not being at the Council.
Varda Valar (00:06:04):    It was unofficial, but apparently called by higher powers that arranged for them to be there at the same time.
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:06:15):    If only I had a weight for this page while I'm typing...
Varda Valar (00:06:39):    Sounds familiar! I somtimes shove the pages against the bottom of the table edge.
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:07:34):    2 ashtrays, it'll do...
Varda Valar (00:07:49):    heh
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:08:07):    "Their task was to circumvent Sauron: to bring help to the few tribes of Men that had rebelled from Melkor-worship, to stir up rebellion...
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:08:32):    and after his first fall to search out his hiding (in which they failed) and to cause [?dissension and disarray] among the dark East ...
Arien V (00:08:44):    i try to fasten one page under the screen when i copy stuff or since this desk has actually two table surfaces (one for the screen/harddisk one for the keyboard/mouse) i clip it sometimes under the second (the higher) one
Arien V (00:08:54):    carry On Phar ^^
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:08:59):    They must have had very great influence on the history of the Second Age and Third Age in weakening and disarraying the forces of East...
Varda Valar (00:09:06):    This is good stuff.
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:09:18):    who would both in the Second Age and Third Age otherwise had ... outnumbered in the West."
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:09:40):    (end quote)
Varda Valar (00:10:00):    Thank you!
Varda Valar (00:10:09):    Sounds like something that needs to go in our Encyc.
Arien V (00:10:27):    Thank you .. so .. undercover agents of Valinor!
Arien V (00:10:38):    behind enemy lines
Varda Valar (00:10:41):    Revealed here!
Arien V (00:10:44):    nice one ^^
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:10:50):    It's also said at the start of the note that they probably came earlier than the other 3, at the same time as Glorfindel.
Varda Valar (00:11:14):    Shows some of the story changes there.
Varda Valar (00:12:01):    We can work with that. :)
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:12:20):    So yes. History of Middle-earth: Part 12, Peoples of Middle-Earth: Part 2, Late Writings: Last Writings: second note in the Five Wizards section.
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:12:34):    I'll refrain from page numbers because I know they're different :)
Varda Valar (00:13:04):    Feel free to throw them in anyway. ;)
Arien V (00:13:24):    I still have to get the remaining volumes of HOME anyway .. i have the first four it hink
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:13:50):    Fair enough, page 384-5 in my 482 page book.
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:13:58):    So about 80% in.
Varda Valar (00:14:31):    Ahhh, we have the same hardback, looks like. Perfect!
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:14:41):    Paperback, actually :)
Varda Valar (00:14:59):    Interesting that they have the same page number. Handy
Varda Valar (00:15:08):    Also 482 pages.
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:15:25):    Nice.
Varda Valar (00:15:31):    Ok, back to fun and games:

Varda Valar (00:15:40):    Sauron's turn:
Varda Valar (00:15:51):    What was Sauron's strategy?
Arien V (00:16:19):    temptation and truth twisting
Varda Valar (00:16:38):    True.
Varda Valar (00:16:45):    Carrot and stick, like most leaders, too.
Varda Valar (00:17:22):    Using both carrots and sticks, Sauron has many cat's paws operating to divide and destroy his enemies before they can even start, and to guard strategic locations, using traitors or evil beings already in strategic locations as well as his own people.
Varda Valar (00:17:30):    Meanwhile, in the secure location of Mordor, he builds armies.
Arien V (00:17:34):    *he d like to have the ring, the lessest of them all just a trinket .. in return you shall have three rings of old" eh?
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:17:53):    And a couple of magic beans.
Varda Valar (00:18:01):    heh, riiiiight. Made the Dwarves of Erebor suspicious, fast.
Varda Valar (00:18:22):    This little ring, this least of rings

Varda Valar (00:18:38):    How does Sauron cause traitors?
Arien V (00:18:45):    yess that .. sorry brain has gone to bed already :)
Varda Valar (00:19:13):    You did just great, no worries at all.
Arien V (00:19:24):    he offered them sometrhing the traitors desired
Varda Valar (00:19:26):    I forgot the beans part oo. ;)
Varda Valar (00:19:34):    Aye
Arien V (00:19:57):    Wyrmtong .. Eowyn .. Tim Sandiman the mill of his father .. Lotho Bagend

Ar-Pharazon-V (00:20:06):    Was it Sauron who deceived Gorlim in the Silmarillion by pretending to be his dead wife?
Varda Valar (00:20:18):    Good summary, Arien
Varda Valar (00:20:29):    He made a vision of the dead wife
Varda Valar (00:20:46):    Elves could make illusions like that, so Sauron could too, easily enough.
Varda Valar (00:21:00):    Poisoning minds by causing despair, then sometimes by offering something they want if they aid him. That offer can be the counter to the despair that they would continue to feel working for the Free Peoples.
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:21:07):    Still, offering him something he desired. Guess it wasn't a new trick for him in the Third Age.
Varda Valar (00:21:32):    Morgoth did that too. Sauron saw that.
Varda Valar (00:21:52):    Exactly, offering what he most wanted, a chance to be with his wife.
Eonwe Valar (00:22:01):    Well, he upheld the bargain with Gorlim, if only because it was convenient and fun for him to do so.
Varda Valar (00:22:03):    but in death, was the old djinn trick.
Varda Valar (00:22:08):    Aye.
Varda Valar (00:22:41):    Arien listed some traitors. Who were some others?
Eonwe Valar (00:23:10):    Gorlim wasn't going to win that one anyway though. If he'd been specific, he'd still end up dead, just now with having been lied to completely.
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:23:42):    Saruman himself was one.
Varda Valar (00:24:06):    Sauron is not one that is good to make a bargain with.
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:24:20):    Though not sure what he tempted him with... cooperation? Shared power? Stick with me and I won't have to kill you?
Varda Valar (00:25:01):    First Sauron causes despair, then a sort of way out.

Varda Valar (00:25:27):    To Saruman, for despair, Mankind and their variants seemed weak to him and easily swayed to Sauron. Elves were running away to Valinor. Dwarves were isolationist. Animals were too weak.
Varda Valar (00:25:44):    Intel from the Palantir fed selectively by Sauron.
Varda Valar (00:26:16):    So, he could be reached by a desire for personal power, after losing so much of his own including part of his memory, and forgetting that he could have gone back to Valinor out of Sauron's grasp even if Sauron took over Middle-earth until the end of Arda.
Varda Valar (00:26:32):    He had dreams of supplanting Sauron. He tried to gain the One Ring, tried to make Rings for his own use. He hoped to control the powerful armies he made for Sauron.
Varda Valar (00:26:41):    If he couldn't supplant Sauron, he might be his right hand, as Sauron had been for Morgoth.
Varda Valar (00:27:11):    What were some of the traitorous things Saruman did?
Arien V (00:27:45):    "There is only one hand that can wear the ring .. so spare to say "we" "
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:27:52):    Sabotage Theoden, capture Gandalf, send an army of orcs and wild men to destroy Rohan... the usual stuff.
Varda Valar (00:28:17):    heh. Aye.
Eonwe Valar (00:28:44):    bidding 5.....
Varda Valar (00:28:47):    :)
Eonwe Valar (00:28:57):    Funny what stick with you, hehehe.
Eonwe Valar (00:29:01):    *sticks
Varda Valar (00:29:08):    It's in World chat all the time. :)
Varda Valar (00:29:22):    He learns intel and prevents certain strategic intel from being learned by the Council, such as claiming the One Ring is most probably washed down the Anduin into the Sea, even while he hunts for it and tries to make his own Rings of Power.
Eonwe Valar (00:29:22):    LotRO's own little meme, hehehe.
Varda Valar (00:29:33):    True. :)
Varda Valar (00:30:02):    He sets up division such as making Grima his puppet in Rohan.
Varda Valar (00:30:29):    He builds armies of orcs that withstand sunlight, and recruits human armies.
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:30:39):    He hoards pipeweed.
Varda Valar (00:30:45):    Not that!
Varda Valar (00:31:02):    Side thought related to what Saruman did as a traitor. Did each of the Istar have a particular race to work with?
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:31:03):    And then he scolds Gandalf for smoking.
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:31:09):    Such a hypocrit.
Arien V (00:31:39):    an attempt to sabotage the shire or "sets up business" with a hobbit trader to put him under pressure by buying lots?
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:31:46):    Hobbits for Gandalf, animals for Radagast... orcs for Saruman?
Varda Valar (00:31:48):    Radagast with animals. Olorin with Elves originally and gravitating to Men and their variants such as Hobbits. Saruman with leading the Council of the Wise and leading the Istari, possibly intended for Men? Blue Wizards were originally supposed to be only one wizard and could have been aimed for dwarves but were perhaps deflected to the humans of the South by Saruman?
Eonwe Valar (00:31:49):    Fields of expertise? Yes, but I don't think they were supposed to be emissaries to only one specific group.
Varda Valar (00:32:42):    Probably. Just fields of expertise. Radagast probably wasn't meant to go whole hog for critters.
Arien V (00:32:47):    or later ....he uses the locking away of tobacco from the Hobbits to put pressure on them uses it maybe as "reward" for "good behavior"?
Varda Valar (00:33:12):    Aye. The hobbits mentioned a shortage of pipeweed.

Varda Valar (00:33:54):    One of the things traitor Saruman set up was Grima in Rohan. Have to wonder a bit about that.
Varda Valar (00:34:08):    Was despair used on Grima too?
Eonwe Valar (00:34:27):    I suspect it was the carrot before it was the stick.
Varda Valar (00:34:41):    Quite possibly.
Eonwe Valar (00:34:43):    Saruman still needed to appear wise and magnanimous.
Eonwe Valar (00:35:09):    If he tried the stick and Grima refused, he could've lost Rohan before he was ready.
Varda Valar (00:35:20):    Saruman could have made Grima think that Saruman had greater power than Theoden, a despair thing, and could give him his greatest wishes.
Varda Valar (00:35:41):    He is offered Eowyn, whom he desires, and through her the eventual outright rule of Rohan.
Eonwe Valar (00:35:47):    More interesting would be, how far back did Saruman have "Grimas" in Rohan.
Varda Valar (00:36:08):    Aye, and how many? And how many backed down?
Eonwe Valar (00:36:09):    Well, not "more interesting," but certainly an interesting question.
Arien V (00:36:22):    and at the very end Grima kind of recoginises he is treated like a dog but is to weak of will to resist until his hatred drives him to action and leads to his own death .. i believe he was even kept short of food , Saruman hinted he might have resorted to cannibalism
Varda Valar (00:36:35):    Verrry strong hint.
Varda Valar (00:36:39):    As Theoden's chief advisor, apparently with some use of Saruman's voice (which may have weakened Saruman's own by distribution), he rules Rohan behind the scenes.
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:36:40):    Now I'm picturing an entire race of Wyrmtongues similar to Discworld Igors, pervading Rohan society for 500 years...
Varda Valar (00:36:48):    Yikes. :)
Arien V (00:37:00):    sounds icky ^^
Eonwe Valar (00:37:05):    And with that, I must be off for the evening :}
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:37:09):    Namarie!
Varda Valar (00:37:13):    Namarie!
Arien V (00:37:18):    Namarie Eonwe :)
Eonwe Valar (00:37:22):    Perhaps I will see some of you tonight, but for the meantime, Take care, good night, sleep well, and have fun :}

Varda Valar (00:37:26):    Sauron also set up Denethor in Gondor.
Varda Valar (00:37:30):    Later :)
Varda Valar (00:37:56):    How did Sauron weaken Denethor with despair?
Arien V (00:37:57):    ((i am being sent to bed after the meeting by Anya ))
Varda Valar (00:38:17):    Anya?
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:38:21):    Palantir works there, Varda.
Varda Valar (00:38:30):    Aye. How?
Arien V (00:38:34):    my friend of European wowl Varda :)
Arien V (00:38:55):    just as comment to Eonwes have fun :)
Varda Valar (00:38:58):    Go to bed whenever you need to, Arien. No worries. :)
Varda Valar (00:39:25):    Denethor uses the Palantir for intelligence-gathering, but Sauron puts his own visions to drive him to despair and bad decisions.
Varda Valar (00:39:45):    Denethor's messenger to Rohan asking aid is killed before arriving.
Varda Valar (00:40:15):    So what would traitorous acts by Denethor be?
Varda Valar (00:40:46):    Denethor does not defend Gondor adequately. As in?
Varda Valar (00:41:26):    Guess that's enough on its own. :)
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:41:28):    As in sending out his troops to a battle they can't win?
Varda Valar (00:41:44):    What kind of offers might Sauron have tried to make to Denethor?
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:41:44):    Sacrificing them to take a city back when they're already on the defensive?
Varda Valar (00:42:03):    Taking his son and heir to be burned with him? Alive.
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:42:11):    Yep.
Varda Valar (00:42:44):    Against an offer, his own loyalty to Gondor (not the Free People) and his desire for power probably kept him from agreeing to be a vassal of Sauron.
Varda Valar (00:43:13):    Not told to us directly, but it may be that he was reminded how good it would be if he became the King or one of his sons, preferably Boromir adding to the despair, rather than that ragged upstart.
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:43:48):    No, continue :)

Varda Valar (00:45:18):    Saruman put in some traitors in Bree, the Shire, as well. Sauron was involved too, maybe. We see the slanty-eyed, sallow southerner that was like many Merry saw in Mordor, hanging out with Bill Ferny.
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:45:38):    Someone who looked like a half-orc, right?
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:45:46):    That sounds like Saruman shenanigans.
Varda Valar (00:45:48):    That same Bill Ferny becomes leader of the Ruffians that take over the Shire, calling him the Chief's Big Man.
Varda Valar (00:45:58):    Right.
Varda Valar (00:46:05):    It sounds like combo work.
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:46:08):    Really? Was that Bill Ferny?
Varda Valar (00:46:12):    The moles were in Bree.
Varda Valar (00:46:26):    Maybe I should double-check that. :)
Varda Valar (00:46:42):    Ruffians under Sharkey's command used to cause Hobbits to work against others in the Shire by fear or a few to enjoy power, perhaps a touch of their old Man beginnings in those few.
Arien V (00:47:21):    Denethor refused to acknowledge Aragorns claim
Arien V (00:47:42):    refused to give up his own seat of power?#
Varda Valar (00:48:36):    And Ted Sandyman.
Varda Valar (00:52:13):    Trying to find the Chief's Big Man, found near the Green Dragon, "half a dozen large ill-favoured Men lounging against the inn-wall; they were squint-eyed and sallow-faced."
Varda Valar (00:52:31):    "'Like that friend of Bill Ferny's at Bree,' said Sam."
Varda Valar (00:52:50):    "'Like many that I saw at Isengard,' muttered Merry."
Varda Valar (00:53:12):    So, aye, that's Saruman.
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:53:16):    Definitely.
Varda Valar (00:53:47):    The Boss or Chief, of course, is Lotho. And he needs rescued, our heroes realize.
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:54:35):    Not prepared for what he got himself into.
Varda Valar (00:54:41):    Ah, found it, a bit ahead of that part.
Varda Valar (00:55:02):    It's when the four hobbits arrive.
Varda Valar (00:55:44):    It's Bill Ferny. And they scare him off. Merry says "So much for your Big Man"
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:56:00):    Oh, is that when they get to the Shire?
Varda Valar (00:56:08):    Nice to know my memory isn't totally off, there. :)
Varda Valar (00:56:10):    Aye.
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:56:35):    Might be a bit more metaphorical. "Don't rely on this big men, if they're all like this one."
Varda Valar (00:56:38):    It's very near the start of the chapter "The Scouring of the Shire".
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:56:40):    *these
Varda Valar (00:56:55):    It's a title, with capitals.
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:57:12):    Yeah, but that's how they always referred to humans, isn't it?
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:57:34):    Might be open to interpretation I guess.
Varda Valar (00:57:35):    And on an early page,
Varda Valar (00:58:13):    "He'll get to hear of it. And if you make so much noise, you'll wake the Chief's Big Man."
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:58:19):    Ah.
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:58:25):    I cede the point :)
Varda Valar (00:58:39):    Hey, I had to dig. Expected it to be a bit later.
Varda Valar (00:58:50):    I should have started at the begiinning. :)
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:59:14):    It's a very good place to start ;)
Varda Valar (00:59:18):    Had to provie it to myself after the slip on the squinty-eyed guys.
Varda Valar (00:59:24):    True. :)
Varda Valar (00:59:55):    So they were like mole agents, pushing others to do what Saruman wanted, making offers.
Ar-Pharazon-V (00:59:58):    Sorry, was quoting sound of music there, guess it was a bit too obscure.
Varda Valar (01:00:02):    Encouraging Ted Sandyman.
Varda Valar (01:00:22):    Not at all. I heard the music. :)
Varda Valar (01:00:27):    Enjoyed the show.
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:00:27):    heh
Varda Valar (01:00:55):    Ok, on from traitors...

Varda Valar (01:01:04):    Sauron uses certain beings as guardians and attackers of his enemies by allowing them to remain in strategic positions.
Varda Valar (01:01:20):    Who/what might some of those be?
Varda Valar (01:01:31):    And how were they used?
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:01:55):    I know a big spider, and possibly a somewhat independent dragon.
Varda Valar (01:02:01):    True. :)
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:02:04):    Also a balrog, and a bunch of orcs.
Varda Valar (01:02:27):    and something that went "gollum, gollum" might be included.
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:02:32):    Ah yes.
Varda Valar (01:03:08):    So, Smaug. He guarded the northern route. He was such a problem that Gandalf sicced a hobbit and dwarves on him.
Arien V (01:03:16):    Saruman used crebain ... crows .. did Saruman use something similar .. oh yes Nazgul or their mounts alone?
Varda Valar (01:03:21):    "or there might be no Queen in Gondor".
Varda Valar (01:03:37):    Ahh, good point on critters.
Arien V (01:03:43):    Legolas shot a felbeast near the anduin camp?
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:03:44):    True.
Varda Valar (01:04:07):    Aye. A nazgul was riding that fell beast and was forcibly sent home..
Varda Valar (01:04:21):    Great scouting position for the orc army below.
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:05:05):    "So first you guys lose the horses, then I finally get you some new beasts, and the first time you go out with it, you get shot down by an elf? Do you know how much those things cost??"
Varda Valar (01:05:11):    How did Sauron control the ones that were entirely his own people?
Varda Valar (01:05:15):    lol
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:07:11):    I'm not sure he really controlled them. He mostly let them fight among themselves, though he did put some cruel ones at the top to whip the rest into shape when the time for fighting came.
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:07:25):    Even if they don't want to go to war today.
Varda Valar (01:08:15):    Aye. Fear, despair, power. Or they would have run off to be small bandit gangs out for themselves.

Varda Valar (01:08:38):    One last question.. :)
Varda Valar (01:08:46):    Why did the Free People win in the end?
Arien V (01:09:37):    but phari .. .. where theresa whip .. theres a way ^^
Varda Valar (01:09:42):    We know that they could have lost. We are warned that if they lost, the darkness of Sauron would continue until the end of Arda. Then Eru would start over with the new Arda, cleaning out the mess. That would be a long time.
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:09:43):    Basically, they knew Sauron better than Sauron knew them.
Varda Valar (01:09:53):    *hears that song too*
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:10:12):    Okay, that reference was a bit more obvious ;)
Varda Valar (01:10:22):    Aye. :)
Varda Valar (01:10:56):    And yes, in a way. They could think thoughts of loviing sacrifice that Sauron could not.
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:10:58):    But yeah. They knew Sauron well enough to know he'd fall for the bait and not expect some sneaky hobbitses climbing the volcano.
Varda Valar (01:11:16):    That was a pretty wild scenario.
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:11:24):    And Sauron (and Saruman) did not know or care enough about them to see that hobbits had their uses.
Varda Valar (01:11:48):    Dismissed as "weak". Not seeing their strength.
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:12:06):    Or that they'd sacrifice a couple of thousand men as a last desperate distraction.
Varda Valar (01:12:26):    Again, the concept of sacrifice for others, willingly.
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:12:29):    Because really, Frodo and Sam could still be 2 days from the mountain at that point.
Varda Valar (01:12:42):    Scary, and true.
Varda Valar (01:13:06):    They emptied most of the armies out of Mordor, giving Sam and Frodo that chance.
Varda Valar (01:13:56):    Even then, it was a very iffy chance. Frodo was already unable to so much as throw the Ring into his little fireplace. That was a known. He was supposed to have a Fellowship to help him.
Varda Valar (01:14:35):    He was down to Sam, who was too loyal to him to give him a shove over the cliff.
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:14:37):    The Free People fought from risk and insecurity, because they didn't have much choice. Sauron fought from a point of patience and safety in numbers. I guess taking a risk is worth it sometimes!
Varda Valar (01:14:46):    For sure.
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:15:15):    Hmm. Would Gandalf have shoved him over the cliff?
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:15:24):    Or Aragorn?
Varda Valar (01:15:25):    Unlikely that Sam would have tried to overpower Frodo, which other members of the Fellowship might have been able to do.
Varda Valar (01:15:43):    They might have found a way to pry it from him and pitch it over the side.
Varda Valar (01:16:07):    Without, say, biting his finger off.
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:16:24):    That would break him mentally though, as Bilbo or Frodo would have been had Gandalf taken it from them at the start.
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:16:30):    Perhaps losing a finger was the better way.
Varda Valar (01:16:36):    Agreed.
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:16:51):    Falling down a pit of magma however...
Varda Valar (01:16:53):    And better than what JRRT wrote would have happened.
Varda Valar (01:16:56):    ouch
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:17:12):    Quite.
Varda Valar (01:17:32):    Frodo would have to claim the Ring. Then, knowing Sauron would take it from him, would have stepped over the cliff into the lava.
Varda Valar (01:17:54):    Gollum saved his life. At the small cost of one finger.
Varda Valar (01:18:05):    Smeagol would have liked that thought.
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:18:30):    I'm guessing Frodo's finger was hurting too much at the time to appreciate it.
Arien V (01:18:31):    had Gandalf taken it .. well one Dark Lord would have replaced another
Varda Valar (01:18:37):    Aye.
Varda Valar (01:19:04):    Who might have been able to pry it away of the Fellowship?
Varda Valar (01:19:20):    Boromir might have cut off the finger, pragmatic sort.
Varda Valar (01:19:44):    Much more neatly, with a sharp blade. Maybe someone would have used a boot to kick it over the side.
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:19:44):    And then what? Taken it for himself, or chucked it over?
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:19:48):    ah
Varda Valar (01:20:19):    Legolas or Gimli might have had the needed resistance for that time. A reason to take them.
Varda Valar (01:20:27):    The other hobbits too.
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:20:45):    Yep. Though I don't see Merry or Pippin being comfortable with the idea of taking a finger.
Varda Valar (01:20:56):    I meant kicking it over the side. :)
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:21:00):    And if it was up to Gimli, he might have lost his hand altogether.
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:21:01):    True!
Varda Valar (01:21:16):    heh.
Varda Valar (01:21:38):    A white knife could have worked.
Varda Valar (01:21:54):    Or they might have held him down and pried it off.
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:22:03):    It was the middle one, right?
Varda Valar (01:22:07):    Another hobbit might be able to pull it off.
Varda Valar (01:22:13):    lol - maybe
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:22:13):    They just had to get him to flip them off and then *whoosh* with the knife.
Varda Valar (01:22:32):    So Frodo gave Gollum the finger... *deletes this line*
Varda Valar (01:22:39):    Right. :)
Varda Valar (01:22:49):    Go ahead. Be defiant.
Varda Valar (01:23:14):    He was able to defy, even badly wounded, like at the Ford of the Bruinen, in the books.
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:23:27):    See, perfect plan.
Varda Valar (01:23:40):    (very sad they took that great moment away from Frodo in the movie)
Varda Valar (01:23:44):    Right. :)
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:24:05):    He was being pretty sickly in the movie at that point, foaming at the mouth and all.
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:24:12):    Would've made an interesting contrast.
Varda Valar (01:25:40):    Well, that was the final question. Time to pick up a hammer, unless there are some more thoughts right quick?
Varda Valar (01:26:58):    *grabs a stout hammer zooming by on the conveyor belt shelf*
Varda Valar (01:27:18):    *the hammer makes a fast U-turn then zeroes in on the hammerpad*
Varda Valar (01:27:36):    *the hammerpad squeaks as the hammer descends at speed*
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:27:39):    This happens as you are grabbing it?
Varda Valar (01:27:41):    *tap*
Varda Valar (01:28:05):    *the hammer, released, zooms back on course*

Varda Valar (01:28:09):    After-meeting!
Varda Valar (01:28:20):    Yes. :)
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:28:35):    So it drags you along after it?
Varda Valar (01:28:37):    Fortunately my wrist is just fine.
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:28:39):    ah :)
Varda Valar (01:28:54):    *shakes out arm for a few seconds*
Varda Valar (01:29:27):    Everything still works.
Varda Valar (01:29:45):    Free chat time!
Varda Valar (01:30:07):    7:30 pm Valar time, minus one minute. :)
Arien V (01:30:27):    Aragorn could have taken it .. "if i were, after the ring I cold have it Now!" He stood up and seemed suddenly to grow taller. In his eyes gleemed a light, keen dnd commanding. Throwing back his cloak, he laid his hand on the hilt of his sword that had hung concealed at his side. They did not dare to move . Sam sat wide- mouthed staring at him dumbly. .. "But I Am the real Strider, fortunately , he said , looking down at them with his face softened by a sudden smile. "I am Aragorn, son of Arathorn, and if by life or death I can save you, I will."
Arien V (01:31:05):    End quote
Varda Valar (01:31:21):    Ohh, thanks, Arien. Great quote.
Varda Valar (01:31:43):    And answers that question very well. :)
Arien V (01:32:14):    :)
Varda Valar (01:32:18):    Wonderful scene.
Arien V (01:32:22):    i love this scewne ^^
Varda Valar (01:34:00):    /afk but will scroll.
Arien V (01:34:04):    anyways high bed time for me .. Namarie all :)
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:34:18):    Namarie!
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:34:24):    I'll start personal gaming then :)

Ar-Pharazon-V (01:35:35):    Right! For flashgaming, 2 smaller new games and an oldy I came across again this week, which may have been linked in the distant past already?
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:35:41):    Just couldn't let it slip by :)
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:39:55): is the first one, move the paddle to only catch objects of the correct type to fill up the room to the threshold you need for the next level; lose progress when you catch the wrong object, at which point your focus shifts to that type instead.
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:40:01):    Simpler than it sounds perhaps :)
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:41:56): is the second one. Guide a balloon around a barbed wire, getting points and gathering enough items to unlock different colors of the same balloon.
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:42:00):    Quite difficult!
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:53:43): is the third game, bigger game, that I might have mentioned in the past. You play a white whale, complete levels and achievements, using point rewards from those to upgrade various aspects of the whale, which you can shift around at any point. Some situations you might want to be small and fast, others big and tough, etc.
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:54:23):    Destroy all the ships, and eat people all while a happy piraty music is playing :)

Ar-Pharazon-V (01:56:29):    Now for blizzard gaming!
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:56:57):    Starcraft II: Finished the Noblegarden event with more co-ops with the friend I usually do Heroes of the Storm with. So 3 egg portraits gotten :)
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:57:11):    I still kinda remember how the game works, fortunately.
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:57:24):    Would like to return to it at some point, but y'know, time.
Ar-Pharazon-V (01:59:18):    With that done, I decided to delve into the new Diablo 3 season, and got my new (well, rebirthed) crusader to level 13. I am welcoming what they did to the bonus acts, basically making every act a bonus act, which means it doesn't matter which one you do for the bonuses. That way I can get all 5 different ones done on separate days without having to wait until one is up, and without being forced to do all 5 in one session.
Ar-Pharazon-V (02:06:22):    Heroes of the Storm: Went in 2.0 at level 180. Got myself a bunch of loot chests from it, including an announcer and 3 new heroes. Nova, Butcher, aaaand... *goes through hero list* Stitches maybe? Don't recall at the moment.
Ar-Pharazon-V (02:06:49):    Got another level as I played, too. So 181 now!
Ar-Pharazon-V (02:07:39):    It's based on the total levels of all your heroes. The friend I play with had earlier made a project out of it to get every hero to level 5, and ended up with a total level of 310. Quite impressive.
Ar-Pharazon-V (02:09:21):    This week's brawl is 10 Tracer heroes on the new bg map, with some mechanics from the Nova sniper brawl added. It sounded familiar to me, but I haven't done it yet; I was thinking more about the time we ended up with 10 Tracers randomly in an older brawl.
Ar-Pharazon-V (02:09:42):    They don't seem to hand out the portraits anymore, but loot chests.
Ar-Pharazon-V (02:10:08):    So I can still do it if I want the loot chest, but don't need to feel obligated for the different portraits.
Ar-Pharazon-V (02:10:25):    Hearthstone:
Ar-Pharazon-V (02:11:25):    All classes to 48 now, and slowly pushing off to level 49, where they'll get the first golden of their last class card (except warrior and mage, who need more levels for that, because there aren't enough neutral basic cards).
Ar-Pharazon-V (02:11:50):    This week's brawl was an oldy, with a deck full of minions that cast random spells at random targets.
Ar-Pharazon-V (02:12:16):    Needs a lot of luck, but you could basically do it with any class you need, so it's nice for catching up.
Ar-Pharazon-V (02:12:32):    WoW:
Ar-Pharazon-V (02:13:28):    Old Northrend raids went well. We finally got the other druid his Valanyr, so we can now skip everything except 4 specific bosses required to farm for the sanctum cub, the last pet we need there.
Ar-Pharazon-V (02:14:20):    We also got the last pet from Anubarak that we needed, so we only need to beat the first fight there from now on for the rare (and to us unseen) snobold pet. Between both raids, things should be a lot faster from now on.
Ar-Pharazon-V (02:15:18):    For current raiding content, we're getting better at some of the bosses we had trouble with sometimes, like the Botanist and Elisande. Got my second heroic Elisande kill today, need 2 more for the quest.
Elladan (02:16:12):    aiya
Elladan (02:16:24):    been lurking, but had to get a website done first :)
Ar-Pharazon-V (02:16:40):    This week's weekly quest is/was Northrend timewalks. Came out of it with enough badges on alts to start upgrading heirlooms, and a few new appearances on my druid which will save me time later.
Ar-Pharazon-V (02:16:50):    Aiya :)
Ar-Pharazon-V (02:17:39):    I checked out the Volunteer Guard Day too, saluting a guard to get a disguise as a guard and then killing 250 invaders in Stormwind (they can spawn quite fast if there's a group of enough players gathered together) to see the buff up to mythic. But there's no permanent rewards.
Ar-Pharazon-V (02:18:14):    Hmm, let's see what else.
Elladan (02:18:59):    Heading to bed. Namarie, kin!
Ar-Pharazon-V (02:19:27):    World quests: Got a few new ones done, still working on emissaries (as I probably will for a loooooong time). Also been gathering more Marks of Honor. It turned out that the best way to spend them is on arsenals for 80 marks a piece, quite expensive, but better than getting all the weapon appearances individually, especially since it also covers unlocks for your other classes.
Ar-Pharazon-V (02:19:29):    Namarie!
Ar-Pharazon-V (02:20:02):    And since I had been buying them individually before then, it was quite a waste, setting me back by months probably. But it'll give me something to do going forward, and it's a lot more systematic, so I like it.
Ar-Pharazon-V (02:21:12):    For pet world quests, I've gotten a few more pet master fights done, finishing the Beast and Aquatic families for Family Familiar. Need 2 more Mechanical fights and then I'm done with the overall achievement, but those silly pet masters just don't want to show up.
Ar-Pharazon-V (02:21:45):    Maybe next week. Hopefully next week, or it'll be very unlucky.
Ar-Pharazon-V (02:23:16):    Done a bit more work on Suramar! Turned on all the leylines, and gotten the leyline master quest done as I went along. Also an achievement for it.
Ar-Pharazon-V (02:24:28):    Did a few more preparation quests in the city itself, blocking off outlets and scouting some teleport areas, and the next step will be a scenario to clear this last objective of the main part of the Good Suramaritan achievement, completing the Arcan'dor tree and basically finishing the Shal'aran home base :)
Ar-Pharazon-V (02:25:49):    Finally, older appearances: Finally got the Bladefist from Kargath Bladefist, so I'm done with Shattered Halls. Started Shadow Labyrinth on normal, but it turns out the loot journal was incorrect and some items only drop on heroic after all, so I'll be upping the difficulty there. Making good progress overall!
Ar-Pharazon-V (02:26:15):    And that is my report for this week :)
Varda Valar (02:49:14):    Thanks, Phar

Varda Valar (02:49:47):    Get it done ok, Elladan?
Varda Valar (02:50:11):    ahh, nighty night, Elladan Elrondion
Varda Valar (03:38:56):    I hear LotRO calling...
Ar-Pharazon-V (03:39:18):    plaaaaay meeeee...
Varda Valar (03:39:36):    Perfect interpretation! How do you do it!
Lenwe (-V) (04:11:29):    The siren song of LotRO...
Ar-Pharazon-V (04:11:36):    Right, making and sending transcript.
Varda Valar (04:11:40):    :)
Varda Valar (04:11:45):    Thank you, Phar