Valar Guild Meeting Minutes

Sunday, February 25th, 2024

5:00pm Eastern Time

Discord: Valar Guild/meeting_place


Feb. 24: [11:18 PM]Eonwë Valar: Random Tolkien thought: Thorin made a living as a smith after fleeing Erebor. Though he was by rights royalty, he probably couldn't have got by just by making stuff for other roalty. Makes you wonder how many of his "commoner" clients went to Erebor or Dale one day, or heard about his story later, and said "That guy used to make me pots!"

Feb 25: [1:09 PM]Sandalf13: I believe that many of Thorin's contemporaries also made a living by coal mining.

1:12 PM]Sandalf13: In The Hobbit, there are several references to coal or coal mining. In “An Unexpected Party,” (Ch. 1, The Hobbit), Gandalf tells Thorin & Company “Just let anyone say I chose the wrong man or the wrong house, and you can stop at thirteen and have all the bad luck you like, or go back to digging coal.” Later in the same chapter, Thorin informs Bilbo that following the destruction of Erebor by Smaug the Dragon, surviving Dwarves “had to earn our living as best we could up and down the lands, often enough sinking as low as blacksmith-work or even coalmining.” Unfortunately, there is no specific mention of where this coalmining was taking place, but perhaps it can be reasonably deduced that the Dwarves lived close to the areas they mined, suggesting that coal deposits may have been found around the Dwarf settlements at the end of the Third Age.

1:12 PM]Sandalf13: The above paragraph is from "The Geology of Middle-earth," Chapter Three in my online book.

1:15 PM]Sandalf13: Another thought just crashed my head...the population, demographic distribution, and overall booming economhy at the end of the Third Age probably required MORE fuel than could be provided by burning only wood...supporting the notion that coal was a readily-available and common commodity to the residents of Middle-earth at this time. Whew. Never thought of that when I was writing Chapter Three.

1:16 PM]Sandalf13: I do not see any evidence for oil or gas drilling in Middle-earth at this time, he he, even though I might like to, as a former petroleum geologist (Pennzoil Exploration and Production, 1980-1986, Denver, CO).

3:57 PM]Varda: brb

4:01 PM]Varda: Aiya 🙂

4:01 PM]Arien Valar: Aiya

4:01 PM]Eonwë Valar: Heya.

[4:01 PM]Ar-Pharazon-V: Aiya!

4:01 PM]Varda: Aiya Sunshine and Fionwe and Golden One!

Meeting Starts

[4:02 PM]Varda: Elen sila lumenn' omentielvo!


[4:02 PM]Varda: Any news you'd like to pass along?

[4:02 PM]Arien Valar: I am on vacation until Saturday ~

[4:02 PM]Varda: Wow!

4:03 PM]Varda: Here's hoping some of that time can be gaming. : )

[4:03 PM]Ar-Pharazon-V: Congrats 😄

4:03 PM]Varda: or writing, hehe

[4:04 PM]Varda: Enjoy that time off!

4:04 PM]Arien Valar: 🙂

4:04 PM]Arien Valar: will do

4:05 PM]Arien Valar: you know what i am like with writing :|) it just happens real quick or not for a while

[4:05 PM]Varda: Here's hoping the muse will have a quick tap of the gavel for you sometime!

4:06 PM]Varda: I'm going to mention OwlCon here.

4:06 PM]Varda: Sauron was there since Friday. He's into the tabletop gaming, and sometimes makes it to the LARP.

[4:06 PM]Varda: New folks running it on the OwlCon side and on the Paizo side, so it was a mite bare, hah.

4:07 PM]Varda: But he got to play StarFinder tabletop with others, had fun. : )

[4:07 PM]Varda: On to


[4:07 PM]Varda: Eonwe, would you like to mention anything under Web?

I'll mention something then. : )

Eonwe has been hard at work behind the scenes with massive work on coding.

The last meeting transcript was done with some of the new work.

To celebrate that, we have a special version:

Watch it and give it a few seconds...

Meeting Minutes - special

Did you see the shift?

It fades from one heading to another. Enjoy. : )

4:12 PM]Arien Valar: it looks nice and clear

4:13 PM]Ar-Pharazon-V: Fancy

4:13 PM]Varda: : )

Then we have the version on the News that is the midway between now and later on. Hopefully it will go up faster!

Meeting Minutes

[4:14 PM]Sandalf13: Aiya All!

4:14 PM]Varda: Aiya Sandalf!

Sandalf, hope you're getting to click the links above to the new meeting transcript format.

Nar-(V) was hoping to make it to the meeting, so here's a hi from him in case he can't make it. He's on LotRO pretty much every day on the Landroval branch.

On to


[4:17 PM]Varda: gavel skates to Eonwe across our giant Valar meeting table, scooting around the bacon and pie...mostly

World of Warcraft:

4:17 PM]Eonwë Valar: World of Warcraft:

This week's bonus event: Mists of Pandaria Timewalking. This week's PvP Brawl: Arathi Blizzard.

Check out This Week in WoW.

Check out Blues News

Coming February 29th: WoW Classic Hardcore Self-Found Mode.

Check out this week's hotfixes.

Diablo 4

A Campfire Chat is coming February 29th.

Overwatch 2

A new Director's Take is out: Looking Ahead To Improvements And Experiments.


Patch 28.6.2 is out.

Lord of the Rings Online:

Changes have been made to the public event schedule, including daily gold Hobbit presents through March 6th.

That's it from me.

[4:20 PM]Varda: Thank you.

Lord of the Rings Online:

Code through Feb 29: FASTMOUNT

A quote from the changes to the LotRO schedule:

4:21 PM]Varda: Lord of the Rings players in kin branches this past week:

Landroval branch

Crickhollow branch:

Treebeard branch:

End of report.

StarCraft 2 gamers known to me: Fangorn and Eowyn and RealFloppa gamed together this past week.

Any other gaming news? Suggestions? Requests? Comments?

May you all have a great gaming week coming up. : )

On to


4:24 PM]Varda: Arien, go ahead.

4:24 PM]Arien Valar: starts smoking pipe

[4:24 PM]Varda: hehe

clouds of smoke float over the table in various shapes, such as sailing ships and target shapes

Eonwe has a topic. Go ahead!

I'll pass it along since he had to be afk

Topic: Sacred Hospitality in Middle-Earth.

[4:26 PM]Arien Valar: continues to form smoke ships sailing through smoke rings

[4:26 PM]Varda: This is also a topic from ancient times, one we see reflected a bit in Middle-earth.

What is sacred hospitality? Does it go both ways?

[4:27 PM]Sandalf13: Before we get too deep into smoking or considering, here is a website with some very funny memes that I came across yeterday.


4:27 PM]Varda: Forty-one memes? I'll have to take a look at that, but a bit later, heh.

And also, why was there sacred hospitality at least in the old days? Why was it called sacred? And considering Gandalf might be your guest, it still fit in Middle-earth.

Anyone back from the meme list yet? : )

[4:31 PM]Arien Valar: hmmm

Gildor s company offering hospitality to the Hobbits on the way to Crickhollow

[4:33 PM]Varda: That's an interesting one, thanks.

Gildor of the high elves giving hospitality to the Ring-bearer and Ring-bearer to be.

Not knowing.

This is one reason to be hospitible. : )

[4:34 PM]Ar-Pharazon-V: Barliman Butterbur was hospitable, but his job and reputation relied on it too

[4:34 PM]Varda: Pro - hospitibleness. : )

4:34 PM]Arien Valar: Sheltering the hobbits , keeping them from danger or keeping them with themselfs to lead the enemy unknown to the elvels .. maybe

so they dont lead them unknowingly i mean

if u know what i mean |:)

4:37 PM]Eonwë Valar: Sacred Hospitality was important because travel was alot longer and thus carried many risks that it doesn't today.

[4:37 PM]Sandalf13: Elrond hosting the Dwarves and Bilbo

[4:37 PM]Ar-Pharazon-V: Reciprocity also a good reason. Be hospitable to others, and they'll be hospitable to you too, and in those times you need it 🙂

[4:38 PM]Eonwë Valar: Having somewhere safe to stay along the way or at journey's end meant that you could have hope of some safe places in your travel.

[4:38 PM]Arien Valar: but to answer your question about sacred hospitality .. soldiers passing through would be offerered hospitality by locals ... that was common custom in the highlands .. even if it was enemy soldiers

[4:39 PM]Eonwë Valar: And it was supposed to be reciprocal: if you stayed with someone on your travels, and then they were travelling your way, they're supposed to be able to count on you for a safe place to stay.

[4:39 PM]Arien Valar: (which lead to one of the worst massacres in Scottish history . but i wont go into this of course , it just came to mind)

4:40 PM]Sandalf13: No scorched earth policy back then, huh?

4:40 PM]Ar-Pharazon-V: Hmm. I suppose that if you're hospitable to enemy soldiers, there's some hope they'll leave more of your home standing when they leave?

[4:40 PM]Arien Valar: meant to b e , there was no open war

[4:41 PM]Eonwë Valar: Both the host and the guest had duties.

4:41 PM]Arien Valar: and the weather was atrocious

and .. the hospitality was offered of course in expectancy it would be respected

meaning that they would leave again without causing harm once the weather cleareed up

[4:45 PM]Varda: You always give good hospitality to even a totally unknown guest. He might be an old man with an eyepatch, or a burly guy with goats drawing his little wagon. And they are supposed to be good back. No violence.

[4:45 PM]Ar-Pharazon-V: Yep, you don't want to break that contract.

[4:46 PM]Varda: Breaking the pact means you might be insulting a god or hero that might have given you a great gift, but instead you find out you're eating your children because you did evil to the guest.

4:46 PM]Eonwë Valar: To tie this in, In the Hobbit when the Dwarves start appearing, it even says "Bilbo knew his duties"

4:46 PM]Varda: There you go! Tolkien was very aware of the idea from all his studies and teaching and reading for fun.

Bilbo was being very put upon, but did his best.

4:47 PM]Ar-Pharazon-V: Of course, the dwarves weren't about to let him forget his duties

[4:47 PM]Varda: They expected him to be one of their company, also.

They came for their burglar.

4:47 PM]Eonwë Valar: Once they'd become friends, those "duties" became an open invitation.

"Hey, tea's at 2, but stop by anytime."

And he seemed on good terms with many Dwarves besides, so no doubt there were many who called on his hospitality after his adventure.

[4:49 PM]Ar-Pharazon-V: that's either a "don't disturb me during tea" or "don't come looking for food after I've cleared away the plates" 😛

[4:49 PM]Arien Valar: The Jews have a custom to leave an extra chair for the guest unknown , for anyone who could come in and join their meal

[4:49 PM]Sandalf13: I am sure that the Dwarves gave him a good deal on all the toys that Bilbo ordered for the children of The Shire at his 111th B-day. Maybe as a payback for all of his good entertaining?

[4:50 PM]Eonwë Valar: The "friends and family discount," heh

4:50 PM]Sandalf13: Very true, Arien...and the people who provide food for wayfarers are to be praised and thanked...

[4:52 PM]Arien Valar: and crossing the desert ., once you get the leader of a tribe to say the sentence "You are my guest* or *Be my guest" you knew you were safe there

[4:54 PM]Sandalf13: I supposed that having 7-11s, McDonalds, or other fast food and gas stops every few miles (unless you are traveling on the Great Plains) sort of takes away the need for individuals to provide such hospitality anymore...Or the equivalent =type places in Europe, of course...

[4:54 PM]Arien Valar: hehe

commercial hospitality is something different to sacred hospitality

[4:55 PM]Ar-Pharazon-V: (don't tell Russia, but we do have McDonalds over here)

[4:56 PM]Arien Valar: i think the sacred hospitality was part of the culture , and the custom of the time

[4:56 PM]Sandalf13: I think that if a total stranger knocked on my door one evening, and said that s/he needed food and lodging for the might, I might be a bit worried...

[4:56 PM]Varda: And yes, the commercial hospitality made quite a change.

Now we would wonder why they are knocking at our door instead of a motel or eatery.

[4:56 PM]Ar-Pharazon-V: Especially if he's wearing a cloak and hood and there's lightning in the background.

"Darn. I'm going on an adventure, aren't I?"

[4:57 PM]Varda: Ok, not arguing with that guy. Have some supper and the guest room. shoos kids out the back door

@Ar-Pharazon[4:57 PM]Eonwë Valar: That's when you forbid him his staff before taking him to your king.

[4:59 PM]Arien Valar: hehe

5:01 PM]Eonwë Valar: It's been a long while since I read it, but I'm pretty sure we could consider Sir Gawain and the Green Knight an example in Sacred Hospitality as well.

5:01 PM]Arien Valar: Yeah absolutely]#

[5:02 PM]Eonwë Valar: I need to see if I have a copy of that somewhere in my collection. Some details I can't remember what was actually indicated and what was my own supposition.

But it's been about 20 years so I think I can forgive myself, heh.

[5:04 PM]Varda: It's over here on my shelf...

[5:05 PM]Arien Valar: a classical tale .. a strange tale , .. if i remember it right its about a knight Sir Gawain kills .. but he returns back the next day and invites Sir Gawain to visit him in a year s time under the condition that he can have a blow at Sir Gawain s head.

upon arrival the green knight invites Sir Gawain three days and nights to stay with him, and feast with him and have a generally good time#

[5:06 PM]Eonwë Valar: I don't think at the time he knows he's the Green Knight?

[5:06 PM]Arien Valar: probably not no .. but i havent read tolkiens version of it

5:07 PM]Eonwë Valar: Neither have I :}

[5:07 PM]Arien Valar: and its been a little while since i last heard it but not that long ago .. its just as i remember it

5:07 PM]Eonwë Valar: Brit Lit class I believe is when I read it.

[5:08 PM]Arien Valar: I find its a fascinating tale ^^ Also the role his wife is playing and the symbolism with it

[5:08 PM]Eonwë Valar: Fun class, heh.

5:10 PM]Sandalf13: Another good one is "La Fuerza del Sino," the 1835 masterpiece of the Duque de Rivas, in which Don Alfonso provides hospitality to his arch-enemy, Don Alfonso, before they consummate a duel...great romantic stuff, and the progenitor of Romantic Literature in Spain...

[5:11 PM]Eonwë Valar: Don Alfonso's arch-enemy is Don Alfonso?

I mean, one can be one's own worst enemy, but I assume that's not the intention in this case.

[5:12 PM]Ar-Pharazon-V: I recall stories about inviting the enemy army into your home, getting them drunk and killing em all.

At least they were hospitable up to that point.

[5:13 PM]Arien Valar: OH , yeah there is plenty of that indeed

[5:13 PM]Sandalf13: Sorry...Don Alvaro is the hero...he is crticially wounded in the service of the Spanish King, and Don Alvaro succors him so that they can later fight a duel to the is a very long, romantic story, but Don Alvaro is half-Spanish and half-Aztec, so Don Alvaro doesn't want Don Alfonso to marry his he decides that he has got to go...unfortunately, his plan goes awry, and Don Alvaro kills Don Alfonso...the sister goes into a convent, and Don Alvaro kills himself.

It is a VERY long time since I read this in my Sophomore SPanish Literature class at Lafayette....maybe the fall of 1968?

5:14 PM]Ar-Pharazon-V: Sounds Shakespearean... everyone dies 😄

@Sandalf 5:14 PM]Eonwë Valar: So yeasterday then, heh.

[5:15 PM]Sandalf13: Yes. Also like Puccini.. You know it is a good opera when all the good guys die at the end.

[5:15 PM]Ar-Pharazon-V: I think people just like overdramatic death scenes!

5:15 PM]Eonwë Valar: A Spanish Lit class might've been interesting if it'd been offered anywhere I went.

5:16 PM]Varda: Sir Gawain intro quote: He has redrawn according to his own faith his ideal of knighthood, making it Christian knighthood, showing that the grace and beauty of its courtesy (which he admires) derive from the Divine generosity and grace, Heavenly Courtesy, of which Mary is the supreme creation: the Queen of Courtesy, as he calls her in "Pearl". end quote

[5:16 PM]Sandalf13: Like the end of Tosca, when she jumps off the battlements of the castle at Naples, after she kills the arch-bad-guy, and then watches his forces execute her lover...Oy.

[5:19 PM]Arien Valar: well we have some nice feasts anyway with tolkien

Bilbo's farewell feast

The meal in Honor of the Hobbits at Rivendell after crossing the ford

and the attack of the nine riders

5:21 PM]Varda: The meal with Faramir's men at Henneth Annun, if I'm remembering correctly.

5:21 PM]Arien Valar: Then we have Aragorn and his half having the meal at the Golden Halls of Theoden, Frodo meeeting Framarir iat Henneth Annun indeed

5:22 PM]Sandalf13: Tosca discovers that her lover, Carradichio, has been executed, even though Scarpio promised he would be saved, before Tosca kills Scarpio, on the right.

5:23 PM]Arien Valar: oh before the split there is the farewell meal with Galadriel on the Naith just before the company leaves Lothlorien

[5:23 PM]Varda: Good one, Arien.

5:23 PM]Arien Valar: then no doubt a big party meal at Aragorn s wedding PP:_)

5:24 PM]Varda: What a reception that must have been. Check it out in Lord of the Rings Online Midsummer Minas Tirith. : )

annd it's 24 minutes after the hour.

gavels bring a picnic basket to the hammerpad which has the blanket spread



5:25 PM]Varda: Free chat!

5:25 PM]Ar-Pharazon-V: All those feasts, and yet... you'll never find a beer so brown, as the one you drink in your hometown!

5:26 PM]Varda: hehe

5:26 PM]Eonwë Valar: But... I don't live near the Green Dragon?

5:26 PM]Varda: Teleport!

Valar advantage.

[5:26 PM]Eonwë Valar: Smacks teleporter Broken.

5:26 PM]Varda: Call a hunter! Guides to Bree

5:27 PM]Eonwë Valar: :}

[5:30 PM]Arien Valar: And the cow jumped over the moon ~

well , friends , fellows, coun .. errr Valarites

5:31 PM]Eonwë Valar: Most honorable and esteemed associates of the Valar Guild.

5:31 PM]Arien Valar: i fear i m jumping just in me bed ~

5:32 PM]Eonwë Valar: It's actually time I turn my attention beyond my keyboard as well.

5:32 PM]Arien Valar: Namarie !

5:32 PM]Ar-Pharazon-V: namarie!

[5:32 PM]Varda: Namarie!

offers Guides to all in need

5:32 PM]Eonwë Valar: Take care all, good night, sleep well, and have fun :}

[5:32 PM]Sandalf13: Namarie all! I will check in later for Ar's report.

5:33 PM]Varda: I'll be around

[6:23 PM]Varda: Pippin lights the beacon as does Howard Shore

[6:23 PM]Varda: (one of the memes from Sandalf)

6:24 PM]Ar-Pharazon-V: ...Still one of my favorite tracks from the movie.

Non-Flashgaming Plus

8:14 PM]Ar-Pharazon-V: Personal gaming report!

For (non)flashgaming, one new badge this week... for Idle Zoo

An idle game, but with an upgradeable zoo! Upgrade the parking spaces and visitor count, the ticket prices and sellers, and most importantly, the animal enclosures!

Upgrade everything for more money and for unlocking stars, which give access to new animals, so you've got something to look at 🙂 Collect them all!

Blizzard gaming:

Diablo 4: Got around to doing some of this again, working on a few side quests on my main (druid).

He's gotten to level 56 now, after escorting a scholar to a druid stronghold and scaring away some goatmen from a few farms.

Maybe next week I'll get around to season 3 🙂

Hearthstone: Level 135 on the reward track now. With about a month to go until the next expansion, I wonder how far we'll get this time. At least it's good gold!

10 year anniversary quest event starts in a couple of days, should be some interesting rewards.

Along the way I also got the Death Knight to level 39.

Brawl is the Battle of the Bans: Choose 4 cards, your opponent will ban one of them, and you get 10 of each for the others.

Had some luck with cheap synergizing mecha minions

Rumble: No new collection level, but getting close. Have not beaten the next campaign fight yet, though making some progress.

It's now Blackrock week in the dungeon, and with my team under leader Drakkisath I've beaten dungeons levels 13 and 14, getting the leader slot upgraded to gold.

We got enough war chest points to unlock the new blackrock leader, Thaurissan. Recruited immediately as uncommon, so time to look out for a talent for him.

I've also got the horde leader Grom Hellscream to uncommon, and the Blackrock drake. Between the 3 uncommon upgrades, though, I've only gotten the talent for Grom so far, which means I'm now looking for talents for 4 other minis. I'm sure they'll show up soon!


More raiding, as we cleared the last few bosses again, getting our first player their legendary axe. But there's others wanting it too, and their dropchances are getting higher, so shouldn't be long 🙂

Weekly quest is pandaria timewalks, always fun, especially with the last one this week being the Brewery for me. Gotta love that place 🙂

No upgrade reward from the weekly quest, but I did get a new appearance from it, the cloak appearance belonging to the druid set.

And finally, more alting! Finished the Mirror Master questline in Revendreth with my mage, building a mirror to unlock a shortcut between 2 places in the Ember Ward. I don't really think I'll be using that a lot, but hey, quests are quests 🙂

I then moved to my newest horde character, the goblin fury warrior, and got her to clean up some alliance scouts, attacking their beachhead and freeing Thrall from their flagship.

She then found herself being rocketed to the main island next door, where we're about to build a Town in a Box and start on a whole new adventure!

Along the way she also got to level 11, unlocking Titan's Grip, the passive that allows a fury warrior to equip 2 2-handed weapons.

It's not often you get to see a goblin swinging 2 giant swords, each bigger than she is 😄 They even cut through the ground when slung on her back.

Luckily goblins have big hands!

And that's my report for the week.

Namarie 🙂

[9:03 PM]Sandalf13: Aiya Ar! Are you still here?

[9:05 PM]Varda Sandalf

9:05 PM]Varda: Phar has left the chat

[9:05 PM]Varda: But we will cheer all with this meme : )

[9:32 PM]Sandalf13: Vandalf

[9:32 PM]Sandalf13: Let's just ride to Mordor...

[9:39 PM]Varda: In comfort!

Thus ends this week's meeting. Come back and see us next week!