Valar Guild

September 10, 2023 Sunday Meeting

5:00 P.M. Eastern Time
Valar Guild/meeting_place

Back to News
Transcript work by Varda.
[times are Central Time from Varda's Discord. Add one hour for Eastern, which is Valar time and LotRO /servertime.]

Attending (and typed): (5)

rien, Ar-Pharazon, Sandalf, Treebeard/Fangorn, Varda (presiding)
Meeting begins
Membership news:

    Tolkien Site / Stories: "Contest by Candlelight" by Eonwe-(Valar) in the Narn I Auros series, posted Sept 5.
World of WarcraftDiablo 4, Diablo 3, Diablo Immortal, Overwatch 2Lord of the Rings Online
    Games Site Mass Update (GSMU). UPDATE: the email went out early on September 11. Check your email!
    Topic: What were the stages of Sauron? He did not start out as a villain.
    (non) Flashgaming Reviews (plus) by Ar-Pharazon. Includes Blizzard games afterwards.



Varda — Yesterday at 4:01 PM
Aiya : )

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 4:01 PM

Varda — Yesterday at 4:01 PM
Good to see the Phar : )

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 4:01 PM
All golden!

Varda — Yesterday at 4:01 PM
@Bounder @Guild-friend Huzzah! Valar Guild meeting time! Come on in. : )
[4:02 PM]
[4:02 PM]
Elen sila lumenn' omentielvo!
[4:02 PM]


[4:03 PM]
Eonwe had a loss of power and internet yesterday,  throwing a wrench into sending out the Games Site Mass Update or being here in general.

Arien  Valar — Yesterday at 4:03 PM

Varda — Yesterday at 4:03 PM
Aiya Sunshine : )

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 4:03 PM

Varda — Yesterday at 4:03 PM
You seem to be in LotRO! Neato. : )

Arien  Valar — Yesterday at 4:03 PM
aye i am on landy in fact

Varda — Yesterday at 4:03 PM
Wrestling the Guardian re-spec?
[4:04 PM]
ah nice : )

Arien  Valar — Yesterday at 4:04 PM
aye and i did

Varda — Yesterday at 4:04 PM
The Keen Axe seems to hit harder, at least on mine.

Arien  Valar — Yesterday at 4:04 PM
i have to find out ^^

Varda — Yesterday at 4:05 PM
yes, yes you do ; )
[4:05 PM]
Any other membership news?
[4:06 PM]
Sept 22 is Bilbo and Frodo's book birthday, if anyone would like to do something for that.

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 4:06 PM
Only to complain about the local heatwave

Varda — Yesterday at 4:06 PM

Arien  Valar — Yesterday at 4:06 PM
i took determination and assailment so i have to figure out how it works rigfht

Varda — Yesterday at 4:06 PM
We had a cooldown with actual rain for a bit! Hummingbirds went nuts around the feeder, so many!
[4:07 PM]
Yep, a must. Let us know your opinion?

Arien  Valar — Yesterday at 4:07 PM

Varda — Yesterday at 4:07 PM
(any excuse to game!)

Arien  Valar — Yesterday at 4:07 PM
[4:07 PM]
here it has gone cooler as well
[4:08 PM]
i prefer it this way defo

Varda — Yesterday at 4:08 PM
: )
[4:08 PM]
On to
[4:08 PM]
Phar, go ahead. : )

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 4:08 PM
Jealous! We've got to wait 2 days

Varda — Yesterday at 4:08 PM
[4:09 PM]
Turn on the water sprinkler and run through it!

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 4:09 PM

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 4:09 PM

Varda — Yesterday at 4:09 PM
Aiya Sandalf : )

Arien  Valar — Yesterday at 4:09 PM
aiya Sandalf

Varda — Yesterday at 4:09 PM
Still in Membership. Anything you'd like to mention? : )

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 4:10 PM
Nope. Just getting cooler here, too.

Varda — Yesterday at 4:10 PM
[4:10 PM]
I will mention that our tomato plant has three tomatoes on it. Thought it wasn't going to happen but there they were.
[4:10 PM]
On to



[4:11 PM]
Thank you to Eonwe for a new story!
[4:11 PM]
"Contest By Candlelight"
[4:11 PM]
[4:11 PM]
Enjoy : )
[4:12 PM]
Part of the Narn I Auros series, but like all of them, also a stand-alone.

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 4:12 PM
Ah yes, the title that put a song in my head for a week.

Varda — Yesterday at 4:12 PM
[4:12 PM]
It was posted Tuesday.

Treebeard — Yesterday at 4:14 PM

Varda — Yesterday at 4:14 PM
Fangorn! Aiya : )

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 4:14 PM
Aiya Treebeard! Fangorn!

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 4:14 PM
5 days then
[4:14 PM]

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 4:15 PM
Hey Fangorn - I can get you the paperwork to start a new savings account at the Ent Bank, if you want...

Varda — Yesterday at 4:15 PM
Paper. I wonder what that's made of... Wax and cuneiform?

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 4:16 PM
It is all online, now.

Varda — Yesterday at 4:16 PM
: )

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 4:16 PM
It's bitwork now.

Treebeard — Yesterday at 4:17 PM
I'll have to have a short Ent Moot on the subject of having savings and another on what to do about it and a longer one on when... Hoom Hom.

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 4:17 PM
(semi-afk, starting my last timewalk of the week)

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 4:17 PM
Take your time.

Varda — Yesterday at 4:17 PM
So, see you again in about a month.

Treebeard — Yesterday at 4:18 PM
Any subject that is important enough to discuss,.. requires a lonnng time, a lonnnnng time

Varda — Yesterday at 4:19 PM
The unimportant don't get the drawn out n's?

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 4:19 PM
You can take the short road that is long, or the long road that is short, as my Father once explained to me.

Treebeard — Yesterday at 4:20 PM
That is assuming that there is a road to take at all

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 4:20 PM

Treebeard — Yesterday at 4:22 PM
Our hobbit companions in the story had to go where there were no recognizable roads to get to Rivendale.

Varda — Yesterday at 4:23 PM
And other places as well. Be sure to take a Ranger!
[4:23 PM]
On to
[4:23 PM]


[4:23 PM]
(Fangorn has been great to duo stuff in Lord of the Rings Online with!)
[4:24 PM]
Eonwe had a power and internet outage and the attendant fun to go along with it in rl. So I'll hit gaming for us
[4:24 PM]
Feel free to add in your gaming news as we go!
[4:25 PM]

World of Warcraft:
[4:25 PM]
This week's bonus events: Wrath of the Lich King Timewalking.
[4:25 PM]
The PvP Brawl: Comp Stomp is going through Tuesday, September 12th.
[4:25 PM]
In time for Halloween: Haunted Azeroth: The Frightening and Bizarre.

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 4:25 PM

Varda — Yesterday at 4:25 PM
[4:25 PM]
World of Warcraft
Haunted Azeroth: The Frightening and Bizarre - WoW
In honor Hallow’s End, our experts have trudged through every swamp, cave, crevice, dungeon, and field to bring you some of the scariest and most bizarre locations and occurrences in Azeroth. If you have a thirst for a good scare or curiosity, then you’ve come to the right place.

[4:26 PM]
Much too soon for Valentine's Day: The Six Best Romantic Picnic Spots.
[4:26 PM]
World of Warcraft
The Six Best Romantic Picnic Spots - WoW
Grab your picnic basket, blanket, and umbrella, and sweep your companion off their feet as you take them somewhere nice for once.

[4:26 PM]
With Fury Incarnate now live,
[4:26 PM]
World of Warcraft
Dragonflight: Fury Incarnate is Now Live - WoW
Join forces in a new public event—Dreamsurge, earn Forsaken and Night Elf Heritage Armor, undertake Heroic difficulty in the Dawn of the Infinite mega-dungeon—and more.

[4:26 PM]
the next major update, Guardians of the Dream, is under development.
[4:27 PM]
World of Warcraft
In Development: Guardians of the Dream - WoW
While stalwart champions defend the land against Fyrakk the Blazing's villainous ascension and the start of his quest to claim the power of the new World Tree, Amirdrassil, the next content update is in the making.

[4:27 PM]
Check out This Week in WoW.
[4:27 PM]
World of Warcraft
This Week in WoW: September 5, 2023 - WoW
Each week we’ll look ahead to what’s in store for World of Warcraft, share the latest news, and keep you in the know byte by byte. The Fury Incarnate Patch arrives for the week of September 5! Prepare to defend the land against the Primal Incarnates, venture into Dreamsurges, and more.

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 4:27 PM
more druid forms, yay

Varda — Yesterday at 4:27 PM
hehe yay!
[4:27 PM]
Check out Blues News.
[4:28 PM]
World of Warcraft
Blues News: September 8, 2023 - WoW
Stay up to date with World of Warcraft when you join us each week as we round up some of the latest top blue posts and discussions.

[4:28 PM]
Wrath Classic has a 50% exp buff going until further notice.
[4:28 PM]
World of Warcraft
Wrath Classic: The Joyous Journeys 50% Experience Buff Returns - WoW
The roads in Northrend are icy and fraught with danger. To help you continue your journey, players will get the benefit of the Joyous Journeys experience buff, which will increase experience gains by 50% for all players through level 80!

[4:28 PM]
Check out this week's hotfixes.
[4:28 PM]
World of Warcraft
Hotfixes: September 8, 2023 - WoW
Here you will find a list of hotfixes that address various issues related to World of Warcraft: Dragonflight, Wrath of the Lich King Classic, Burning Crusade Classic, and WoW Classic.

[4:29 PM]

Diablo 4:
[4:29 PM]
New Patch coming September 12th.
[4:29 PM]
Diablo IV Patch Notes
We will continually update this article with all patches the development team implements for Diablo IV.

[4:29 PM]

Diablo 3:
[4:29 PM]
New Patch coming September 12th.
[4:30 PM]
Diablo IV Patch Notes
We will continually update this article with all patches the development team implements for Diablo IV.

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 4:30 PM
All the diablos. And you just linked the same one again.

Varda — Yesterday at 4:30 PM
[4:31 PM]
Ok, that was Diablo 4 : )
[4:31 PM]

Diablo 3:
[4:31 PM]
Patch 2.7.6 will go live September 12th.
[4:31 PM]
There's a preview out for Seasons 29: Visions of Emnity. The season begins September 15th. This will be the final brand-new theme. From Season 30 onwards, pervious themes will be recycled "roughly every three months."
[4:31 PM]
Diablo III
Season 29 Visions of Enmity – Preview
Season 29 Visions of Enmity goes live on September 15 at 5 p.m. PDT/CET/KST. Enter Diabolical Fissures and slash through fearsome foes for helpful rewards.

[4:32 PM]

Diablo Immortal:
[4:32 PM]
(yep, Immortal)
There's an event coming up September 14th - September 25th. See the announcement for details.
[4:32 PM]
Journey into the Unknown with the Founding Discord Event
Unveil your next journey in the Founding Discord limited-time Event. Experience updates to Trial of the Hordes, Class changes, and more.

[4:32 PM]
Check out the latest bug fixes.
[4:33 PM]
Diablo Immortal Bug Fixes and Patch Notes for All Platforms
We will continually update this blog with all bug fixes and patches the team implements for Diablo Immortal on all platforms.

[4:33 PM]

Overwatch 2:
[4:33 PM]
New blogs:
[4:33 PM]
Defense Matrix – Text Chat Changes, Stopping Cheating, and Improvin...
In our latest update to our Defense Matrix initiative, we’re sharing new changes to make the Overwatch 2 experience fun and fair.

[4:33 PM]
Director’s Take – Looking to the Future of Competitive Overwatch
Game Director Aaron Keller’s latest blog looks at the future of Competitive Play in Overwatch 2

[4:34 PM]
Master Your Skills in Hero Mastery Mode!
Learn and master your skills with Tracer, Reinhardt, and Mercy in new training courses now available in Overwatch 2!

[4:34 PM]

Lord of the Rings Online:
[4:34 PM]
Update 37.0.1 is out this week.
[4:35 PM]
The Lord of the Rings Online
Update 37.0.1 Release Notes
Here are the release notes for Update 37.0.1, released on Wednesday, September 6th, 2023.

[4:35 PM]
Valarites who showed up in the kin in Lord of the Rings Online this past week:
[4:35 PM]
(may need updated for Arien!)
[4:35 PM]
Landroval server:

Crickhollow server:

Treebeard server:
[4:36 PM]
yep, Arien was on Landroval today (inserting)
[4:36 PM]
Hey, Arien, will you also be dropping by Treebeard server? Been over 600 days ; )
[4:37 PM]
Lots of new stuff to do on LotRO. Enjoy, everyone : )

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 4:37 PM
600 days? OMG! That is almost two years!

Varda — Yesterday at 4:37 PM
Checking with Pallando about Eve, if he's available.
[4:38 PM]
Amazing how long these games run. : )
[4:38 PM]
If I understand correctly, she pretty well wrote off the slow slider server. It can get very slow and very explodey.

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 4:38 PM
Let's get with the program, Arien! (just teasing)

Varda — Yesterday at 4:39 PM
Happy to see Ioreth coming on for gaming in Landroval. : )
[4:39 PM]
Nar has been traveling, might be why he is not in his usual spot in Landroval.
[4:39 PM]
I've been having fun with a new River Hobbit character.
[4:40 PM]
Turns out they aren't Stoors, the way I expected, but they are quite rural types. : )
[4:40 PM]
Your character has a bit of Fallohide, giving extra height.
[4:41 PM]
Any other gaming news? Suggetions? Material requests for the kin chest? Invite requests from fellow River Hobbits? Other? (edited)

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 4:41 PM
I am on the wait-list for another tutoring session on LoTRO. With the start of school, tech helpers have been hard to find.

Varda — Yesterday at 4:42 PM
The River Hobbits run in Mossward and Swanfleet. Lovely country, rolling.
[4:42 PM]
Best way anyway is go in and mash buttons, see what works. ; )  Good luck with the helpers!

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 4:42 PM
Thanks, Mellon-nin!

Varda — Yesterday at 4:43 PM
No one else with a needy River Hobbit?

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 4:43 PM
Barrelrider might be a good name for a river hobbit.

Varda — Yesterday at 4:44 PM
Maybe so : )
[4:44 PM]
No answer yet from Pallando, so we can probably move to the next section.
[4:45 PM]
Sandalf, you were trying to type something?

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 4:45 PM
Speaking of rivers, here is a picture of Horsetooth Falls, on Horsetooth Creek, that flows into the La Poudre River, that flows into the Platte River, and so on down to the Gulf. Susan and I hiked up there last Wednesday, and waded in the pool at the bottom of the Falls after our hike up. The hike down was a whole lot easier.

Varda — Yesterday at 4:46 PM
Hope you didn't roll down! Looks rough. And pretty. : )

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 4:46 PM

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 4:46 PM
Well, if they fall in the water, they won't take fall damage, right?

Varda — Yesterday at 4:46 PM
They might in LotRO. : )

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 4:47 PM
Here is a better one that actually shows the water shooting over the falls.

[4:48 PM]
It was definitely a wet picture-taking experience....but well worth it.

Varda — Yesterday at 4:49 PM
Nice one!

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 4:49 PM
Just in case you do not realize it, geologists like things like rocks and water.

Varda — Yesterday at 4:50 PM
: )

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 4:50 PM
I plan to return in January, to see if I can get a picture of the falls frozen.

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 4:51 PM
If that is the whole extent of the falls, I'm not sure that's realistic.
[4:51 PM]
Maybe some icicles up top.

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 4:51 PM
Not quite Niagara or Victoria, but still quite nice.

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 4:51 PM
True that.

Varda — Yesterday at 4:53 PM
Toss in the contents of a cut of ice?
[4:53 PM]
On to



[4:53 PM]
If anyone has a subject, feel free to jump in. Quick! : )

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 4:55 PM
I have a topic for "After-Meeting," but not related to Tolkien.

Varda — Yesterday at 4:56 PM
We are primarily a Tolkien group, so here goes a topic!
[4:56 PM]

What were various stages that we see of Sauron?
[4:56 PM]
He did not start out as the supervillain. : )

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 4:56 PM
He starts out as a Maia of Aule.

Varda — Yesterday at 4:56 PM

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 4:56 PM
Kinda similar to Saruman... hmm...

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 4:56 PM
He started out as a goody-two-shoes, working for Aule.

Varda — Yesterday at 4:57 PM
goody two-shoes. Are you sure you want to use that phrase? : )

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 4:57 PM
And why not?

Varda — Yesterday at 4:57 PM
Sounds kind of like what Morgoth would tell him. : )

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 4:57 PM
Perhaps there's something about a mind of crafting and order that can instill pride and a desire for control.
[4:57 PM]
Feanor was similar.

Varda — Yesterday at 4:57 PM
Aye, the crafters seemed most vulnerable.

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 4:58 PM
That was the point...he was ripe for the picking. I always find it interesting that so many of Aule's Maia were inclined to the dark side, so to speak. Maybe spending too much time in the dark near the forges?

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 4:58 PM
Well, Morgoth's darkness also sparked from a desire to create on a level such as Eru's.
[4:58 PM]
Something about creation.

Varda — Yesterday at 4:58 PM
Might have something to do with JRRT's feeling towards the Industrial Revolution vs his love of hiking the countryside?

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 4:59 PM
Heh, I suppose that works.

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 4:59 PM
Absolutely. I recall that in one of his letters, Tolkien bemoaned the fact that the local village board had an old tree chopped down for a road-widening project...and Tolkien was saddened by it, wondering what the tree had done to deserve such a fate.

Varda — Yesterday at 4:59 PM
They wanted to create and Morgoth must have found a crack there.
[5:00 PM]
Aye. Morgoth would say it got in the way.

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 5:00 PM
So would the city planner, I suppose.

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 5:00 PM
I also think that those of us who are driven to create can occasionally develop a sense of pride in our creation that leads to over-weening pride.

Varda — Yesterday at 5:00 PM
And yet, the builders will have need of wood. And other materials. That puts them at automatic odds.
[5:01 PM]
Maybe it's because the maker invests so much of himself in the making. Sauron really overdid that with the One Ring.
[5:02 PM]
Ok, so we have Sauron's first stage. He was a crafter that Morgoth was able to bring to his side.

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 5:02 PM
Yet Tolkien pointed out that Aule himself NEVER developed a covetousness or over-pride in his craftmanship. Maybe that is why he was a Vala, and his helpers were Maia.

Varda — Yesterday at 5:02 PM
But in the First Age, Morgoth was imprisoned, while Sauron escaped.
[5:03 PM]
Agreed, Sandalf. Makes sense.
[5:03 PM]
Covetousness. Another thing to watch for!

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 5:03 PM
Impatience, though. He did create his own Children, though he did apologize for it.
[5:04 PM]
Wanted to put his own mark on things.

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 5:04 PM
Eru is always forgiving of those who sincerely attempt to redress their wrongs.

Varda — Yesterday at 5:04 PM
Aye. He wanted what Eru promised, the new brothers. Now. Impatience.
[5:05 PM]
Aye, Sandalf. Osse was one of the few Maiar that actually repented and returned. Very difficult feat!
[5:06 PM]
Sauron may have been sincerely repentant and wanted to return after Morgoth's defeat, but could not humble himself enough to return to Valinor for the judgement of the Valar.
[5:06 PM]
That was another stage. He almost made it back. He was speaking with Eonwe about it.
[5:07 PM]
Couldn't. Quite. Do. It.

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 5:07 PM

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 5:07 PM
Turning into bitterness, considering what he tried to do in the second age.

Varda — Yesterday at 5:07 PM
Hubris. All lover the books as a major problem. Makes a difficult thing to see past or to let one return.
[5:09 PM]
Melkor returned to Middle-earth with the Silmarils and Sauron rejoined him
[5:09 PM]
Morgoth began the  corruption of Men after they first appeared.

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 5:09 PM
Tolkien was well-schooled in the Classics, and was no doubt well-aware of the role of huberis in Greek Tragedy, such as Oedipus Rex.

Varda — Yesterday at 5:09 PM
Very much so, aye.

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 5:09 PM
The Greeks seem to have had a thing for hubris.

Varda — Yesterday at 5:09 PM
During the fight with Beren and Luthien, Sauron took on the forms of a werewolf and of a vampire.
[5:10 PM]
So that tells us a little of his ability to shape change still existing at that time.
[5:10 PM]
The Ainur could shift their form like putting on clothing.
[5:11 PM]
It became more difficult for those like Morgoth and Sauron to do later. Their power was too invested elsewhere.

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 5:11 PM
Shape-shifting traditionally has a bad vibe about it....although Tolkien also created the Beornings, who were far from evil, and quite "good" in fact.

Varda — Yesterday at 5:11 PM
Aye. And I believe that was deliberate.

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 5:11 PM
In Native American literature, shape-shifters get short is that for a pun?

Varda — Yesterday at 5:11 PM
Yavanna could be elvish or a great tree in appearance.
[5:12 PM]

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 5:12 PM
Apparently, "dying" in a form you are using also makes it more difficult to use those forms, in those cases. Too much power dispersed I guess.
[5:12 PM]
That's how Sauron lost Annatar.

Varda — Yesterday at 5:13 PM
Sauron re-established a stronghold in Mordor and began rebuilding Barad-dur.
[5:14 PM]
But he was still loyal to Morgoth and his projects.
[5:14 PM]
During the Dark Years, Sauron worked on the corruption of Men as Morgoth had begun and took over many races.
[5:15 PM]
The one thing that made Sauron a "better person" than Morgoth was that he could and did have the ability/ humility (somewhat) to serve another.
[5:15 PM]
The ability to see another as greater and be loyal.
[5:15 PM]
He also understood the love of crafting and played on it.
[5:15 PM]
Then using the fair form of Annatar, Sauron worked on using the Elves to take over multiple races with the rings that he taught them to make, all of them rigged to tie in with the One Ring that he made.

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 5:15 PM
But blind loyalty has its own downsides!

Varda — Yesterday at 5:15 PM
Aye to that.

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 5:16 PM
So: one must be circumspect in all that one undertakes.

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 5:16 PM
Morgoth was never one to adopt a friendly visage to influence people, was he?

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 5:17 PM
I think he depended upon his forceful (overbearing) strength of will.
[5:17 PM]
He didn't need to look good to intimidate...

Varda — Yesterday at 5:17 PM
Morgoth seduced many Maiar originally by his sheer power, and willingness to dole out some to his followers.

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 5:18 PM
That goes on to the basic question that theologians wrestle with to this day: In the beginning, if Morgoth was created by Eru, why was he bad? Did Eru create him to be bad? How much free will is really free? Good questions, all.

Varda — Yesterday at 5:19 PM
The books show that he was not created bad.

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 5:19 PM
I suppose free will cannot exist if there is only the right choice.

Varda — Yesterday at 5:19 PM
It does seem as if his separation from others while looking over the Void may have harmed him mentally. His choice to do that.
[5:20 PM]
Agreed. If there is no wrong choice, how can free will exist?

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 5:20 PM
Which means that Eru (or God) values free will over creating a paradise on earth, over having everyone do the right thing.

Varda — Yesterday at 5:20 PM
Melkor wanted to be as powerful as Eru, the only one stronger than himself, because he could create life with the Secret Fire.

That was the point...he was ripe for the picking. I always find it interesting that so many of Aule's Maia were inclined to the dark side, so to speak. Maybe spending too much time in the dark near the forges?
Arien  Valar — Yesterday at 5:21 PM
I insist to point out that there are some exceptions to the rule clears throat

Varda — Yesterday at 5:21 PM
Aye, free will makes a spirit strong.
[5:21 PM]
Arien, aye, only a few of Aule's went astray. : )

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 5:22 PM
Yet here is a conundrum: (and I quote directly from the Masoretic text) - "Exodus, Chapter 10 - And the Lord said unto Moses; Go in unto Pharoah, for I have hardened his heart..."  That always bothered me. Poor Pharoah. Was he really bad himself? What chance did he have to make the right choice if the Lord had not hardened his heart? Something does not seem quitye right to me here.

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 5:23 PM
In a way he took the free well from the pharaoh.
[5:23 PM]

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 5:23 PM

Varda — Yesterday at 5:23 PM
We try not to go into religion here or politics, as it tends to lead to anger and no changes. But we can discuss Tolkien's world.

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 5:23 PM
So how free IS free will?

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 5:23 PM
Ok, back to Tolkien

Arien  Valar — Yesterday at 5:23 PM
but the question is why eh ? that would be an intereting discussion but i think this is the wrong place

Varda — Yesterday at 5:24 PM
If there are no choices, there can be no free will. But if it is there to strengthen the spirit and teach, it may not have to be a constant thing.

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 5:24 PM
I just think it is an interesting thing for us mere mortals to consider, and Tolkien no doubt thought so too, I suspect.

Varda — Yesterday at 5:24 PM
This is the wrong place for anything outside Tolkien's world, sorry. And of course it's interesting. : )

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 5:24 PM
"God made me do it." "Then what about free will?"
[5:24 PM]
Right, sorry

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 5:25 PM
Sorry -  I have an old version of Sorry to sell at my next garage sale...soon, i hope.

Varda — Yesterday at 5:25 PM
Sauron was not much into giving others free will, nor was Morgoth.
[5:25 PM]
Then using the fair form of Annatar, Sauron worked on using the Elves to take over multiple races with the rings that he taught them to make, all of them rigged to tie in with the One Ring that he made. He used the One Ring to complete the Barad-dur.
[5:25 PM]
After being discovered, Sauron switched to using force.
[5:25 PM]
He was eventually stopped by Gil-galad and a force of Numenoreans sent by Tar-Minastir.
[5:26 PM]
So he had a change of strategy there.
[5:26 PM]
Then Sauron gathered forces of Orcs and others of Morgoth ruling by force and fear, converting many to the worship of Morgoth to whom he still held allegience.

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 5:26 PM
I wonder if Sauron knew the Elves wouldn't be persuaded by intimidation, as was Morgoth's way. He too had to rely on kidnapping and torture.
[5:26 PM]
And if it worked with the Elves, perhaps also with the Numenoreans... worth a shot

Varda — Yesterday at 5:27 PM
and got revenge on them by twisting them into Orcs. And some into spies. And some that resisted were assumed to be spies if let out and treated badly by their own people. Nasty revenge by Sauron there.
[5:27 PM]
But when he called himself the King of Men, the Numeoreans' king's pride was insulted.
[5:28 PM]
The Numenorean King, Ar-Pharazon, came with great power to Middle-earth and Sauron's armies mostly deserted him.
[5:28 PM]
Sauron allowing himself to be captured on Numenor and subverted them so much that they broke ties with the Elves and took their warfleet against Valinor.
[5:28 PM]
Still another change in strategy, there. Guile, force, guile.

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 5:28 PM
Didn't take much. We were already under shadow.

Varda — Yesterday at 5:28 PM
Problems problems. : )
[5:28 PM]
Pushing over the edge.
[5:29 PM]
The Valar, unwilling to destroy the creations of Eru, turned the problem over to their mutual creator.
[5:29 PM]
Eru changed the shape of the world and destroyed Numenor, leaving only the Faithful to survive.
[5:29 PM]
In the process, Sauron lost his fair form of Annatar and could never assume it again.
[5:29 PM]
Instead he had the form of a charred Man with blackened skin that was burning hot.
[5:30 PM]
Remember Gollum's description of Sauron? And he of course noticed the missing finger. So Sauron was not an "eyeball".
[5:30 PM]
Sauron returned to Mordor and rebuilt his forces.
[5:30 PM]
He battled the Last Alliance of Men and Elves with his armies.
[5:30 PM]
Sauron lost his ring finger and the One Ring to Isildur.
[5:30 PM]
Reckon he does better with guile? (edited)

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 5:31 PM
I wonder...could he still eat?

Varda — Yesterday at 5:31 PM
Likely. : )
[5:31 PM]
He still had a body.

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 5:31 PM
Some body.

Arien  Valar — Yesterday at 5:31 PM
you know  , something struck me as you mentioned Sauron s appearance or description .. also as he  turns up in Lotro when he can be seen physically

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 5:31 PM
A charred man with blackened skin burning hot...
[5:31 PM]
thinks of Bolvar

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 5:32 PM
And that was how Gil-Galad was killed...

Arien  Valar — Yesterday at 5:32 PM
he reminds me in appearance of anorher arch villain in a game
[5:32 PM]
aa certain game cough

Varda — Yesterday at 5:32 PM
And likely the idea was taken from Tolkien? : )

Arien  Valar — Yesterday at 5:33 PM
maybe who knows with Blizz love of inspiration from anythingf to legends  via books songs to artists

Varda — Yesterday at 5:33 PM
Blizz has been very good about bringing in tons of pop references and folklore myth to add to the mix.
[5:34 PM]
Since Mordor was guarded by Gondor, Sauron stayed in Dol Guldur to regain his strength although more cautious without the one Ring, and was known as the Necromancer or Sorceror.

Arien  Valar — Yesterday at 5:34 PM
they hacve so many references to Tolkien actually it is hard not to notice them

Varda — Yesterday at 5:34 PM
Aye : )
[5:34 PM]
[5:34 PM]
Sauron sent the Witch-king to the north and founded Angmar.
[5:35 PM]
In the south, he stirred up the Haradrim and Easterlings against Gondor.
[5:35 PM]
The Great Plague, apparently sent by Sauron, weakened Gondor, and the Nazgul re-entered Barad-dur, rebuilding it for Sauron.
[5:35 PM]
They took Minas Ithil and its Palantir, which was used to ensnare Saruman and trick Denethor into despair.
[5:35 PM]
When Gandalf went to investigate Dol Guldur, Sauron shifted to the east, returning with greater strength after Gandalf left.
[5:36 PM]
The White Council apparently drove out The Necromancer, but he simply moved to Barad-dur as planned.

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 5:36 PM

Varda — Yesterday at 5:36 PM
: )
[5:36 PM]
Sauron gathered vast armies and called evil creatures to him, including the One Ring, bringing up enough force to roll across the weakened armies of Middle-earth, and there could be no new Alliance of Men and Elves as the Elves had mostly returned to Valinor with the Age of Men coming.
[5:36 PM]
After the One Ring was destroyed, the ringwraiths and Barad-dur destroyed with it.

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 5:36 PM
In my Chapter Four, The Geopolitics of Middle-earth, I take a more objective view of Sauron and his machinations.

Varda — Yesterday at 5:36 PM
Sauron was unable to take physical shape again.
[5:37 PM]
And that was Sauron's final stage.
[5:37 PM]
Doesn't seem like an improvement over creating marvelous things with Aule.
[5:37 PM]
The above was not objective enough, I take it?

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 5:38 PM
Oh no.  I was just teasing.

Varda — Yesterday at 5:39 PM
It may not have been objective enough. Go ahead and fix it.

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 5:40 PM
It is just that Sauron wanted power, and, in a geopolitical sense, power requires material...both physical and emotional. The Wizards (at least those who were "good") also wanted things to continue without the baelful influence of Sauron, but they too had to be aware of the geopolitical realities of resources, people, material, and so on.
[5:40 PM]
[5:41 PM]
From a geopolitcal perspective, Sauron's lands were pretty resource-poor. It was in the North and the White Mountains that the necessary geologic commodities could be found. Once he lost Angmar, he lost a ready suppy of minerals and ores for his nefarious plans.
[5:43 PM]
So in a sense, Sauron's machinations were not so much only directed at the Elves and the Dunedain, in particular, and men, in general, but that he wanted access to the mineral riches of the North. Sort of provides a different perspective on his plans?

Varda — Yesterday at 5:44 PM
He wanted power, control. The materials were a means to that end. So yes, considering what he needed for his plans is very important.

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 5:45 PM
That is what I meant (ONLY) by saying I take an objective look at Sauron in Chp 4. It was not meant as a criticism of your objectivity! Sorry...that is not what I meant at all.

Varda — Yesterday at 5:45 PM
I had no problem with it. : )
[5:45 PM]
The problem of needing the resources is always major in a conflict.
[5:46 PM]
I am not always objective. : )

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 5:46 PM
You are right about that. Someday I will tell you about the paper I wrote at the Naval War College on the role of oil and gas in world-strategy. It was published by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Varda — Yesterday at 5:47 PM
If you have a link/ url to that, feel free to link it in. It can also go on your Author's page or Membership page maybe.

Arien  Valar — Yesterday at 5:47 PM
The resources i feel a sudden need of is a duvet, a pillow and a matress i fear

Varda — Yesterday at 5:47 PM
May not be available online.
[5:47 PM]
Agreed, Sunshine. : )

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 5:47 PM
Not necessary. I will send you separately the reference for it sometime.

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 5:47 PM
Namarie then, Arien

Varda — Yesterday at 5:47 PM
Tried to bring it to a close. Got long!

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 5:47 PM
Namarie Arien!!!!

Varda — Yesterday at 5:48 PM
the gavel sparkles a goodbye in the sunlight

Arien  Valar — Yesterday at 5:48 PM
alsthough the conquest seems worthy

Varda — Yesterday at 5:48 PM
the hammerpad rises up to do the same and...
[5:48 PM]
[5:48 PM]
the gavel giggles and runs off
[5:48 PM]


Arien  Valar — Yesterday at 5:48 PM
pats the gavel

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 5:48 PM
Anyone want to hear a story about a dry sink?

Varda — Yesterday at 5:48 PM
May you be the winner in that fight!
[5:49 PM]
gavel purrs

Arien  Valar — Yesterday at 5:49 PM
Namarie all

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 5:49 PM

Varda — Yesterday at 5:49 PM
Namarie : )

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 5:49 PM

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 5:56 PM
Will you give your report later, Ar?

Varda — Yesterday at 5:57 PM
Namarie for now from me. Will check back in.
[5:57 PM]
Phar usually does his report after a break, aye.

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 5:57 PM
Me too....Namarie!

Varda — Yesterday at 5:57 PM
It's not part of the main meeting.
[5:57 PM]
Namarie and have fun!

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 5:57 PM
I shall try. Bis spaeter!

Varda — Yesterday at 5:58 PM
Eat hearty : )

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 5:58 PM
Jawohl, Frau Varda.
[5:58 PM]

Treebeard — Yesterday at 5:59 PM

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 6:00 PM
I well, yes, sorry  Was finishing up chapter 1 of the D4 season journey.
[6:00 PM]
[6:00 PM]

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 8:25 PM

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 8:38 PM
[8:38 PM]
Personal gaming report:

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 8:39 PM

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 8:39 PM
For (non)flashgaming, we've actually got a new game:
Enter the Diebrary! Test your reflexes and wit in this fast-paced arena roguelike, where you must fight through thousands of enemies to make it out alive. Choo...

[8:42 PM]
A sort of survival/arena/shooter game where you go around shooting and being chased by enemies, collecting xp and choosing upgrades, completing a few random quests along the way.
[8:42 PM]
Currency gotten along the way from quests and chapters completed can also be used for more permanent upgrades that persist from session to session.
[8:45 PM]
But sessions are also chapters within a story of your creation, that allow you to continue with "plot twists", or different modifications to the levels, with advantages and disadvantages. So choose wisely!
[8:45 PM]
It sounds complicated, but you'll pick it up as you go

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 8:46 PM
Maybe somtthing to try!

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 8:46 PM
[8:47 PM]
Blizzard gaming:
[8:48 PM]
Diablo 4: More renown gathering! Got the last stronghold unlocked, and then went for the next type of objective: finding the waypoints I hadn't unlocked yet in each zone.
[8:49 PM]
I could've looked them up online, I'm sure, but instead I chose to explore each region myself in an attempt to find them, looking for places that made the most sense, based on location and distance from other waypoints.
[8:50 PM]
For Scosglen and Dry Steppes that didn't work at all; in both cases I had both regions almost completely mapped out before finally coming across the last waypoints
[8:51 PM]
In Kehjistan and Hawezar I was a lot luckier in picking out probable locations, fortunately, going pretty much straight to the right places.

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 8:51 PM
Sounds about right for what "dry steppes" are really like, as a resident of the Great Plains can tell you in a heartbeat.

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 8:51 PM
[8:53 PM]
And with that done, I embarked on getting all the side quests. Since there are over 200 of them in all regions combined, I knew that'd take a while... and while I completed them all in Fractured Peaks, where I'd already gotten about half of them during the campaign, getting that region to Renown 5, I figured it wouldn't really do to do all that in all 5 regions and still have time for a seasonal character, since the season is already halfway over.
[8:56 PM]
So instead I researched a bit into the season itself and the season journey, and found out that the cosmetics - the free ones, anyway - from the battle pass are generally rather bland, and I'd never be able to work my way through the entire track for this season, or indeed any later season, as I've no intention of making it my primary game.
[8:56 PM]
Nor was I ever any good at completing the entire season journey in any seasons of Diablo 3, since the later chapters were quite beyond my efforts.
[8:57 PM]
So I adjusted my goals for the season! What attracted me to the seasons in the first place was the new story content, so instead I'm just going to focus on the story quests in this season, which only requires the first 3 chapters. That should definitely be doable.

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 9:00 PM
So I made my seasonal character for season 1! Based on the season's theme, I decided to make a corruption-specced necromancer, kinda basing him on my future unholy dk goblin in WoW, called Calfluzix. Gave him some green hair and tattoos as well to make it fit
[9:01 PM]
And indeed, I got the first few quests for the season done with him, as well as completing chapter 1 of the season journey. I'll need to complete chapter 2 as well before I get new quests. But with chapter 1 going so fast, I think I can get away with just inserting it in my gaming rotation and still easily complete it in time.
[9:01 PM]
And along the side I'll also drop by the non-seasonal druid now and then to continue renown
[9:03 PM]
Oh, almost forgot... before doing the side quests, my druid also completed the Cathedral of Light capstone dungeon, unlocking difficulty tier 3 as well as making renown 4 and 5 available for all regions, just need to unlock them through points

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 9:05 PM
Green tatoos?

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 9:05 PM
I also actually moved up to tier 3, and thought I'd have quite a bit of trouble, but quickly got the new Sacred quality gear as well as some lucky legendaries, including a powerful weapon. Right now it's actually going smoother than it was at the end of tier 2. And since mobs scale higher on this difficulty, the druid's now gotten to level 53.75, getting a bunch more paragon points.
[9:06 PM]
Yep, necromancers can be customized with tattoos!

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 9:06 PM
What color is his/her skin?

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 9:06 PM
Quite pale, seemed most fitting.

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 9:06 PM would work, then.

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 9:07 PM
Hang on, got a picture of the creation screen around here...

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 9:08 PM
Oh boy!

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 9:08 PM
Here he is.

[9:08 PM]
Pretty much as close to a WoW goblin as a human can get

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 9:08 PM
So that is your necromancer! Good luck! I copied the pic to my desktop for filing in my LoTR Folder.

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 9:09 PM
It's not LoTR, but sure

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 9:09 PM
Hey...I keep all myu stuff from you folks in that folder! You would not believe some of the things I have saved!

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 9:09 PM

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 9:09 PM
He looks properly emaciated also.

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 9:10 PM
Yeah, that's standard for necromancer class. Druids and barbarians are quite a bit bulkier

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 9:10 PM
I guess it is a good thing that I am a wizard in LoTRO.

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 9:13 PM
Anyway, said necromancer is now level 17, and I've made quite a skill/talent build for him with skeletal minions, corpse-spawning, corpse explosions, and various corruption debuffs and drains. It makes him really good at carving through large groups of enemies. Though I need some practice with elites and bosses, since there's generally less corpses to go around, and minions don't last as long against them. But I think I can hold my own against them.
[9:16 PM]
Hearthstone: level 64 on the reward track now. Been working on the quest event, which focuses on the Twist mode. Luckily I have enough cards to make a new focused deck for each quest in the series, as well as the daily quests for it, and am now at 1855 out of 2000 xp, with 8 days to go. Main questline done, and 2 or 3 dailies should be enough to finish up.
[9:17 PM]
Some unique signature versions of classic cards have been unlocked throughout, including the Northshire Cleric, a true classic/basic card for priest, which I still use often. Good to have a signature card I can show off often
[9:18 PM]
Brawl is heroic arena this week, which I always skip, so instead, for my weekly quest, I did some fights in Duel mode instead, making a death knight deck with a lot of corpse-raising. Quite a coincidence that I'm also doing that in Diablo 4, I assure you  But it did get my death knight class to level 34.

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 9:19 PM
My character in LoTRO.

[9:19 PM]
Not too emaciated, as your Necromancer is. But he is a good wizard, I think.

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 9:19 PM
Ah, neat! I like the realistic details on the clothing.

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 9:20 PM
Thanks! Maybe i can play with you someday there.

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 9:20 PM
I'm not a LotRO player myself, can't really spare the time  Looks like fun, but I still prefer WoW for now.
[9:21 PM]
Speaking of WoW:

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 9:21 PM
Ah. Now I remember.

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 9:22 PM
We're still raiding, but focusing on the first boss and 2 last bosses to get people some high-end gear there and otherwise giving us some free time. Last reset we had sunday off, this time we'll have tuesday off. But 10.2 is on the far horizon now, with new raid
[9:24 PM]
With patch out, I switched my bear and catform. For 10.1.7 I went into Nature's Fury for cat and Fallen to Nightmare for bear, orange versions, to fit alongside the theme of Fury Incarnate, with the druids of the flame and Fyrakk making trouble.
[9:24 PM]
I've got the green versions of both forms lined up for 10.2 as well. I like having many forms, can switch thematically for each patch
[9:25 PM]
Weekly is Northrend timewalking, which gave me a chance to try out the forms as well, and I like them
[9:26 PM]
Didn't have time for alting this week, as I threw myself at Diablo 4, but as I settle back in my rotation I should have some time for the mage and my new gobliness warrior next week. Busy nights

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 9:30 PM
And that's my report for the week!

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 9:31 PM
Wow. Quite a report. Thanks for the news! HAve a good week. I think I will go watch some Carbot animations before I go to bed. Sei gesund!

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 9:31 PM
Ah, enjoy

Sandalf13 — Yesterday at 9:32 PM
Namarie, until next week, if not sooner.

Ar-Pharazon-V — Yesterday at 9:32 PM