Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Allegory of the Wind

Will the grass oft speak of the trees when the wind blows over the mountainside?
Oh you little ones, gently swaying in the breeze, look to your elders under whose boughs you have grown; twas they that sheltered you from the downcast snow, but shadowed you beneath their glory. Thus, how oft will the Grass speak of the Trees?

Be plentiful and merry, chipper leaf of grass, give to your own while the season lingers, else comes the bitter winter, whereunder all green grows pale. So blessed and happy, for a life so short, as ought it to be; Grass that grows beneath the stones is pale and cold and sings no song for its mother earth. Will you not look skyward and laugh? Your time is too short to dwell under rock and foot. Cover the land, how splendid and merry, give to the sky your beauty while in your prime, else in passing seasons, earth grow grey and pale.

Will the trees oft speak of the mountain when the wind blows through the grass?
 Oh great elders, look to the mountain on which you stand, with leaves rattling as the zephyr passes o'er; Tis the shadow of the mountain's mighty form, that guards you 'gainst the tempest's fearsome wrath. Yet, how oft will the Trees speak of the Mountain?

In the dark and cold embrace of earth, your roots were nurtured and grown, yet twas the light of sun that drew you out to reach, Great Trees of the Mountainside. Pardon the wind in passing, that it should linger about in your arms, yet look skyward all, and ne'er cease to reach for the skies.
Seasons unnumbered, affliction often suffered, time as a whisper has no meaning - for you who live longer than man. Look down upon the grass at your root, ne'er they ever to live half-so long. One season for them all, and then their time be done, but their seed shall last longer than the root of the Great Trees on the Mountainside.

Will the mountain oft speak of the wind when the trees rattle and the grass

gives sway?
Oh great giant whose days none know, heavenward your gaze is spent and ageless your foothill stay; look to the wind that brings you sign of the tempest passing near, for it wages war against your little ones, else you halt its way. Still, how oft will the Mountain speak of the Wind?

Mighty Mountain with face above cloud and storm, foremost the guard of land, and guide of rain to feed those all, every root that needs earth still... Great seasons have you endured, stolid, unshaken, worn and weathered; beaten and scorned, yet for the reason to lift others nearer the sky. Beneath your base a fire is kindled, burning deep, yet ever resting, though rest it may til all else is done, when then to rise and shake land and air. From the earth you came, so separate from the sun, rising to bask in light of glory - to greet every growing dawn. Great Mountain with gaze out upon tree and grass, first to tempest meet, and keeper of sun's last ray, so to let light descend on earth in final day... 

Will the wind oft pass through the grass and trees on the mountainside?
Oh you who is the wind, wandering to and fro from pasture and peak, dancing between branch and root and leaf; twill always be that you look upon the trees and grass, while you sojourn upon the mountainside, for these may yet have what you seek, lest from them you turn away. Then, how oft will the Wind pass through the Grass and Trees on the Mountainside?

You, who to yourself are wind, begotten of tempest's wrath, the only to rest on mountain face and still glide between blade and bough unstayed. You go from the foothills to the peaks, ne'er dwindling too long, yet for the tempest's break you do flee, both to him and from. Twas the tempest from whence you came that continues your journey on, yet pause a moment and listen here, to the tale of grass-green, rock-deep, and bough-long - for all they have words for you that echo to a timeless dawn: From the Grass of the foothills may these words be kept; waste not your time while in your prime and delay not to serve the skies. From the Trees of the white peaks, an ageless chorus they call; cherish the small things that are in your keeping, for twill be they who carry your song. And from the Mountain-wise with his face so high, these words a whisper to the wind: Do not forget your purpose here, and what in this brief moment you have seen, for the story goes on and we are all one small piece.

An Allegory of the Wind

Monday, September 12, 2016


  Dear Mother,

It's been a while since I've last written to you. As it stands, I am currently in the majestic Elven home of Rivendell, preparing to journey with a handful of Skalithors best men into the Misty Mountains. There is time yet, however,  before we embark, which naturally has lent me more hours than I might ever be comfortable with, to reflect on the thoughts in the distant reaches of my mind.

Lo and behold, when you traverse those dark seas of your soul, you get caught in it's waves. The darkness, the power of them seeming so overwhelming, so consuming... You may gain a certain pleasure even, in feeling the torrent beat away your being, that it becomes like an abusive love affair. In time, you only wish you would be swept under and drowned to be rid of it all. If only it were so easy - then perhaps a coward such as myself could succumb to the abyss that no feeling can ever touch.

There's an anchor, however. It's almost agitating, the way that it tethers you to it; pulling you back up from the darkest reaches of despair. Fight as you might, there is no ocean so vast and so violent that this anchor can't pull you from it's grasp. You are never so lost in it's depths that it can't find you. Even if you are forced to the bottom, it's heavier still, and it will meet you and drag you up time and time again. Whether or not we see it, or feel it, it exists constantly.

This anchor is friendship. The steel it's forged with is something greater; charity, love, commitment, humility, hope, faith - everything that the darkness fears. The rope that binds it to the ship is a bond that cannot be broken, frayed, or cut by any evil. Once we've established that bond, it is eternal. The ship itself is something far greater than we will ever be able to fully comprehend, and has traversed more seas than we will ever know. Across the hull of this ship, you will find Truth written.

I've learned recently that no man at all times is happy. We are perceiving creatures; we must let ourselves feel the ebb and the flow of the tide. If we fight those adverse currents, we will be taken by them. We can however, in those moments of harshness, learn and let ourselves be shaped in the way that stone does not argue against the tides that bring it's character about with time. We will, with patience, know empathy, and understanding, and gain wisdom. We will grow stronger, as the weakest parts of us are gnawed away as limestone, until all that's left is a pillar of marble.

Therefore, let yourself feel the pains of life and not be consumed, but rather, when Truth comes, let it take you back to the surface and breath. We are here still.

           -Tarvhos Bartholomaus

New Kinship Challenge!

Thank you all for your participation 
in June's Kinship challenge! 
This screenshot, taken by our very own Dez was voted to best represent the theme "Unity" and will serve as the reference for the rest of our collaboration challenge! 

We hope you all are well rested, because here is where the challenge gets challenging! 
The next step of this collaboration is (get ready for it -)


So here are the instructions for this month's challenge; 
Select one aspect of the above screenshot, interpret its meaning, then give it life through creative description. 
Artistic interpretation is one of the most fundamental stages of the creative process. In this month's challenge, each member is to choose one thing that can be seen in the above screenshot, discover its hidden meaning, and describe why he/she thinks the object is important to the overall theme of the scene. Get with other kinship members to make sure every participant has chosen a unique object to describe, and enhance the meaning of the scene through creative discussion. The descriptions you come up with will become the project outline for the next stage of this collaboration.

Remember! The collaboration theme is "Unity"

So put on your thinking caps, get inspired, and good luck!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Imaginary fears & a True Story

Dear me, it has been quite some time since I last wrote anything... To tell you the absolute truth, I've been running away from my troubles. Yes, a person can get quite fond of doing that, "hiding under the covers to keep out imaginary fears" as they might have said when we were children. Well, I have quite a few imaginary fears in my head right now, and I don't think you'll mind if I told them to you... you are, after all, only pages.

You see, a long time ago, there was a friend of my sister's who had some troubles. She was a good sort of person, and my sister was very fond of her. But she was only a girl, and when you are a girl and you're hurting, you get it into your head to do some very bitter things, and you don't really pause to consider what might happen to other people if you do those things ... Well, I suppose we all do that from time to time, but anyway. 

Once, on a spring day, that little girl heard my mother talking about moving to a place faraway in the Shire, and the little girl was afraid she would lose her friend, my sister... 
Now, being a friend, and one we all considered to be a close one and trusted, we ne'er kept many secrets from her, why - she knew our faults pretty well, and she had heard us laughing and teasing one another from time to time to do some stupid things which we never actually did. But when she had this thought, that she would lose her friend, she got angry... 

I think I'll make a little bit of the story up now, because these sorts of stories make more sense when you don't think of monsters as people, for of course, that's what they really are - all of them - people. Trolls, goblins, ogres, and other terrible sorts, they're all people in their own way, with legs and arms and minds and hearts ... and reasons...

The little girl I mentioned before, we'll call her Tilly, she ran into the woods in anger and frustration. I don't know if she cried any, but she must have told her father at least a little about her distress. Tilly's father had been a friend of my parents, but when my uncle and aunt came to live with us for a little while... well, you see, they offended him, and he had been very angry ever since. So when he heard about Tilly's frustration, he nodded his head and started off across the Shire, and went over the bridge into Bree land, and climbed the hills to a very secret place. 
There was a cave in the tops of the hills many people knew about, and which everyone feared. No one would go near it, and with good reason, for those that went in never came out quite as whole as they were prior. Here, Tilly's father came and looked in, for he knew what was inside and had been here before.

"Hoy in there," he called into the cave, "You must be hungry. Well, I have just the sort to satisfy, and it won't take you long - go to the Shire, there's a hole you can find, you'll know it by - " and here, Tilly had helped, for she had told her father secrets only she would know, and he stirred them to make them more lie than truth, and told the old cave-dweller exactly what it needed to know to find our home. 

"Don't worry," said the cave-dweller, "If what you say is true it'll be a snap! I'll find it in a blink and carry all them hobbits off to come live with me here, and those that offended you - tut tut - they'll see all their children gone and they'll be sorry. Why yes, they'll be sorry!" 

So off the creature went, patting Tilly's father on the head like a good son, for Tilly's father himself had been carried off by this same monster years ago before Tilly was born and he had been raised here, in its dark cave.

Into the Shire the creature went, looking as it may, and when on a brisk September afternoon it found us, well .. it didn't delay. Up to the door it came, but we were wise and kept the door closed, for we knew mother and father were away. 

.... It was a close shave, I'll give you that. Mother and father fought with the beast when they found it at the door and it fled far over the hills! But we needn't been told how close we'd come to losing them or each other forever that day. We were scared, and we were hurt. Mother and father closed the door shut, and they forbid us ever roam the hills lest the beast return... We knew not who had sent the monster our way, and we thought perchance - at least all we children did - that we had brought it here, for so often had mother and father said, "Put up your toys and make your beds, lest the monster that lives in a cave far away smell your things and come creeping out to find you!"  

It was some time later when we found out the truth, for Tilly's mother was my mother's friend also, and she apologized in a way without telling. She had known nothing of the trick her husband played, until of course she knew, but then she could not tell my mother lest my mother and father rouse the neighbors to hunt the beast and run-out her husband also... yet she was sorry. We all were... nonetheless once it was done, it was done, and the harm could not be undone for many years to come. We hid our secrets from our friends and closed our mouths tight, little did a smile ever reach our eyes, and never did we roam the hills.

 So you see, that was a long time ago. So very long that steadily my siblings and I learned to roam the hills again. None need wonder for me, if they know me well, for I love adventure - the hills and the wild lands have so much to offer! Such blessings that can be found nowhere else in the world!
... But I can't help, every once in awhile, looking over the hills and wondering if that monster may be somewhere out of sight, waiting to find me and snatch my family away.

Now, although I have made up parts in this tale, its based on a true story, and for those who might have asked and I said nothing, this story tells you about my imaginary fears. I can't trust as easy as I once did. I am cautious of friends now, and it has only been because of some very special friends I've met recently that I've been able to learn how precious a friend really can be. Still, try as I might, I can't leave my doors open. I'll close them at night and jam them shut, and I'll pull the curtains tight to hide myself inside.

~Maeflower Tooke

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

It Was True... And It Was a Lie

Captain Evonfall? You know, they say he's blind in one eye. That's why he wears the patch. But I spied him yester eve without it, gazing into the fire. How the tongues of flame danced within his eyes... I almost mistook 'em for being yellow as a lion's... or else an orc's.

How can you keep on pretending, she asked me once. But I don't pretend. Evonfall is real. The blood of Kings truly flows through his veins. His valour, his loyalty, and devotion to those he leads is real. He would lay down his life for any one of them in at moment's notice.

He has fought countless battles for the cause of the Free Peoples, from the days of his youth on up. His heart swells with pride within his breast to be engaged in so noble a cause as their continued liberty from the Shadow. But, too, he knows his own shadow falls black upon the star he upholds so reverently...

That is why he must also be considered a lie. It is not only the blood of Kings that flows through his veins...

Friday, July 22, 2016

Oh, What Tangled Webs We Weave...


Have you ever had one of those awkward moments when you shouldn't have done something, but you did? And then you got all famous, because they put up your poster and everybody suddenly wanted a piece of you?

Oops. That's what you say when things like that happen. Oops. 

So you lay low for a little while, and hope it all blows over... but, what if it doesn't? Well, you think to yourself, Maybe this is it. Maybe this is how I'll take my grand leave of the mortal coil. Because of "oops". Maybe they'll catch me this time, and fit me with one of those cute necklaces they reserve for the vilest of criminals. I wonder how I'll look in black and blue...

But you're a sly old thing, aren't you? You like to gamble, because you're good at it. You'll never know quite what you did to deserve such adoration from Lady Luck, but you've learned not to ask questions when good things happen. Be cool. Take the credit. Maybe you'll actually do something to repay karma for it someday.

They didn't know about the fox, did they? Oops for them.

So you'll be extra good. You'll help old ladies to cross the path and won't even charge them a silver for it. Just a couple of coppers. Hey, a girl's gotta make a living somehow, right?

And things will go back to being normal. You'll be the eyes and ears for Coon, and watch all the goings on in Bree. You'll save a nobleman's life by thwarting the plans of mischief makers from the Angmarim. You'll bail an old guy from an early demise and entertain him with a good story about how you got your fox. He'll even pay your fox for your trouble--isn't that sweet of him?

And then...

And then Oops. Again.

But not to worry. You're a sly old thing, remember? And you like to gamble, because you're good at it. Somehow... somehow, I'm sure you'll make it out of this one too.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Sometimes joys are overlooked, Other times they are Hidden..

Modesty in the Shire can sometimes be a rare thing. After all, parties enthrall it's inhabitants for any occasion. And many an announcing word is sounded in all ears for an excuse. But this was different, perhaps for some, hurtful that it went unsung.
    It went unknown, but not unseen. Few of us didn't suspect it, some hoped though very likely, it never would. Perhaps this is why it has been kept from all; Believing misunderstanding would result? That unrest and feud would break out amongst us? Maybe so.. What ever be the cause of their reasons, it has been kept from the Kinship ears that Miss Kimelly Bolger and Orinmur Stoutheart, Shield Against Adversity have been engaged since this last week. Kimelly has gone unusually quiet and even avoiding company. All that comes from the lips of Orinmur is that of battle won and concern for that which is to come.. Though without they try to appear all is as it should be, within there is something amiss.
   Though they know not that I have knowledge of this, and await when they shall make it known, I cannot restrain my heart for it's concern. There should be excitement and joy behind the eyes of these my fellows, but what I have seen is anxiety and dread. For now I am left to wonder, shall I appeal to the Mountain for his aid? or should I resist, to allow the Shield and Flower their time.  

~Thoborn, High Elven-King.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Friendships Gained

Mosaine approached the pond, where the man Tarvhos and elf Thannor sat by the water. As the Southerner neared, Tarvhos took up the ragged leather hat resting by his hip and stood, giving a brief nod to his friend. "I'm going to go get some things together for the party." with that, he dismissed himself, only smiling to acknowledge the woman before going on his way. Mosaine cast her eyes on the elf, who seems lost in some thought as he looked out over the calm waters, which were painted with beautiful hues of gold and orange by the evening sun.

"Mae govanaan," she greeted him, and he does likewise. The woman took a seat beside the elf, resting on her knees, and studied his expression before following his gaze out over the waters. "Are you tired?" she asks, continuing on in her own tongue, which is familiar to Thannor.

"Not truly, no..." Thannor responds, then goes on to ask if she herself is well. Mosaine must not hear his question, or else chooses to ignore it for the time, and lifts her chin slightly at the response, again turning to watch his expressions.

"Ah... your soul is tired?" she inquires. Thannor only gives a nod in response. Mosaine smiles warmly and nods, "I see."

A stretch of silence goes on, until the Southerner is again the first to speak. "We are preparing for the next journey?" she asks. "Aye, just so." is the response she is given. Unsatisfied, she goes on to ask where they will go, and when Thannor explains they go to the Misty Mountains, he must then proceed to clear up confusion as the Southerner asks if the place is in Forochel. A few more questions are exchanged; is it in the north? she asks. Is it cold, she wonders? Each question is given a short reply, to which she doesn't seem bothered. However when it grows silent again for a stretch of time, she stands and it seems she might abandon the conversation. It is not so; rather, she bids the elf to "wait there", and only paces off a few yards to pick up a fallen stem from the willow; adorned with still fresh green leaves and gentle white flowers.

Making her way back over to the elf, she stands behind him now, indicating his hair. "May I?" she asks, touching it briefly. Thannor looks a little surprised at first, blinking and furrowing his brow. Then he smiles. "Yes, you may."

Seeming pleased, the woman takes up a seat behind the elf with her legs folded, resting the branch in her lap and proceeding then to run her fingers through Thannors hair to comb it. "What is your whole name?" she asks. Thannor closes his eyes as he goes on to respond, "My father named me Damrion. My mother named me Thanguron. In time, folk began to call me Thannor..."

"Hmm.." upon her lips is a small unfaltering and pleased smile, and everything about her is calm with the slightest image of curiosity adorning her features. "You are born of this land?" she goes on to ask, running a hand over his forehead to pull the hair back with an ever gentle touch. The elf exhales slowly, relaxing his muscles. "I was born in Eryn Lasgalen--what Men once called Mirkwood. It's... quite far."

Mosaine nods slowly, contemplating the answer briefly as she runs her fingers behind Thannors ears to obtain the last few strands of loose hair, then separates locks of hair evenly between her fingers. "I know little of this land, but I have been studying what I can understand from Skalithors books. He has been very gracious to share them with me." she goes on to say.

"He's a good fellow." Thannor replies.

Beginning to braid his hair slowly and carefully, she continues to let her curiosity drive the conversation on. "Do you miss your home?" her tone is quieter now, sympathetic. Thannor is silent for a long moment; when he speaks, his voice is quite soft. "...Very much."

"What do you miss the most of all?" she inquires. Slower now, he replies, "My loved ones."

Still holding the locks of hair in one hand, with her other, Mosaine reaches forward and touches the elf's ear, curious at it's shape, and massages it between her fingers briefly. "You have family there?" withdrawing her hand and contiuing on with her project, she waits for a reply. "Yes. My mother and father..."

"Ah.." she is unsure how to respond at this. Now she hears the elf sigh and she half closes her eyes. "I'm sorry, I should not have asked.." the Southerner utters regretfully. "No need to apologize." Thannor responds.

After some time, the long golden locks of Thannors hair had been made into a braid, and the woman ties it at the bottom with a strip of cloth.

"You are hurting so deeply. I am ashamed to say, I do not miss my home like you do." she goes on, now taking up the stem in her lap and beginning to shape it carefully...

"There need be no shame. All feel things differently, and that is well." he assures her.

Mosaine smiles warmly, and after some time, finishes making the branch into a circle. She lifts it and places it on Thannors head.

"Eh?" he wonders. "What is it?" he asks, as the woman now moves around to the front of him and pulls two locks of hair forward on either side of his face, which she also braids. When she is finished, she steps back and gestures to the water. "You see?"

Following the gesture, Thannor looks to the water and smiles. "It looks well on you." she comments. "...Thank you." the guardian responds slowly.

Now she retreats to the nearby tree, leaning against it and looking out over the pond again. By now, the sun has set and the water has turned a deep blue in the asbence of the light, with only the reflection of the moon to give it life.

Thannor meanwhile gazes into the water; for just a moment, his smile falters, though only just. He shakes his head briefly, careful of the flower crown. Mosaine acknowledges this just as Asbel clops up behind her, nudging her arm under his head so it's resting on his back. She strokes her fur briefly, before proceeding to ask with a concerned expression, "What is wrong?"

"It's just... that reminded me of someone. It was... nice." the elf explains.

"Of someone?" she asks.

"She and I, we used to do this sort of thing." he goes on with a warm smile.

Mosaine nods slowly and the warmth returns to her expression. "Your face is almost glowing. I am glad you are happy." she comments. "It was nice." he says again, "Lovely work, truly." now he indicates the flower crown. Mosaine smiles brighter still and rests her head on the tree. "Thank you. You are a beautiful soul." she utters. The elf obtains an almost sheepish expression and thanks her, "As you are." he goes on to say. "I do not deserve your kind words." the southerner utters, though her smile does not falter.

Stepping forward now. she teaches Thannor how she would say goodbye in her tribes own way. A touch of the lips, a touch of the right eye, and then of the ear and heart, proceeded with a palm outstretched towards the other, indicating a dedication of their words, mind and heart to their friend. Thannor listens and observes, and when she is done, she is silent for a long while. Concern again is visible, if just so faintly on her expression, and she moves closer, placing her hands on either side of the guardians face before giving him a brief kiss on the forehead, and resting a hand on his breast above his heart. "Your sufferings have not been unheard, and I am ever ready to offer my heart as aid however I might. I am a stranger in this land, but I am not a stranger to it's men. If you will let me, I will call you friend always from this day forward." she now takes a step back and bows just briefly.

Thannor looks on, "Mosaine.." he begins slowly, taking a deep breath. "No word of thanks can say enough."

The woman shakes her head just slightly. "Do not say thanks, only say 'friend', that is more than enough."

Thannor smiles and stretches out a hand. "Then here is my hand, and my heart in friendship with it. As you have heard my suffering and eased my pain, so shall I endeavor to ease yours. If you have need, only call."

Stepping forward, the woman clasps both hands on Thannors hand and bows her head briefly, thanking him.

"No need for thanks, yes?" he smiles sheepishly.

"Goodnight, Lote-Fea." she gives him one last look and turns away, leaving the area with Asbel in tow. He carefully removes the flower crown and examines it a moment, before replacing it on his head.

                 -An account of a roleplay with Adriana and Snowstep, involving Thannor and Mosaine

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Manka Lle Sinte

          I will never ask for your sympathy. Nor will I try to make you understand, because understanding as I know it has to be gained with time. If I could only make you know, then perhaps you might begin to understand more easily. For now I can only hope that our patience will hold out while we learn as well as we might with what has been given to us. 

Already I have been changed so much by this land. However the group I have come upon in recent days, not like any other ever known across the land, has pushed the boundaries of my curiosity, and where my zeal and courage have begun to fall short, they have reignited it within me...
 I was born to the men of the South, and I will say so without shame. It is a beautiful land in it's own right. It is an unfortunate truth however, that it's people are without law; ravaged by unceasing war.
I know not who I was born to; from the youngest age I can remember I was under the protection of a nomadic tribe, known as the Tribe of Farmona. A small tribe made up only of women - those who had sought shelter from the bloodshed, and those who like me had been left without home or family to claim for themselves. Our language, though littered with the varying dialects of the South, is as I have come to know it, "Elvish". I wonder now, looking back, if our beloved leader was of our own race, or one who was sent on that specific duty that she filled so well, of gathering those lost sheep and broken innocents, and giving us a chance at life and the ability to hope. 
So much more was it than a refuge! The tribe became a culture of it's own. While many women brought with them their own influences, we were taught songs and dances unlike the ones of my native race. We were taught to speak to animals, and hear the land; that we might find food and water if only we listen.  We were taught methods of battle and defense, healing and how to study maps. We were as much warriors as we were nurturers, healers, and craftsmen. Our strength was not used to fight for power, in the name of greed; nay! It was used to the defend to the defenseless, to seek justice, to lend strength and hope to those who had lost their morale fighting the same causes.
 However, it came at last to end  not even in the last decade. The tribe might have continued on forever but the land is increasingly suffocated with war and it's side effects. We were led then to the land of the North, reaching the place that has laid claim to my heart. We arrived in Gondor.
I could scarcely tell you where the Tribe had gone upon reaching the place. We were together only a short while. To join the men of the North, we would have no choice but to sift our way into their lives however we might.
For myself, I had made home the beautiful port city of Dol Amroth. Although I had deeply fallen in love with it, I could not rest; there was a great upset that the very earth bemoaned and left the animals of the land in unrest. So taking up my sword I have since furthered my path North. I assure you, no encampment of dark beasts, no injustice placed before me has been left to continue their deeds in peace. 
 Not all matters are settled easily, or at all, by one man alone. I have learned my weaknesses and limitations. I first spoke on a strange group and now I will say the rest regarding them. This odd gathering of men and creatures from many places in the great expanse of this land; it is called a Kinship. I have learned of Elf and Dwarf and even half-men and men who can change to the form of a beast. And where one might believe they would all be at odds, they have come together in the same place, in the green hills of what is called the Shire, to fight the  darkness I have tried so hard on my own to diminish.
 In spite of the oddness of the gathering already present, I have felt out of placed and to some extent as though they lack trust in me. I will accept this knowing that is just as likely to change with time as water and wind with time will wear upon stone. I know that my language and ways are different, however my heart beats as theirs do and there is common ground yet to be found.
I finish by saying this. This is my land. I have bled for it, and I will continue to do so as long as l live. I dedicate the breaths that I take, the beatings of my heart in the name of what is right. The blue I wear on my skirt represents Dol Amroth combined with the tears that men have shed against injustice. The red of my scarf - the blood of the fallen innocent and those who fight for freedom, for the good of the land. The purple and golds are a reminder that we as men are not all fallen - we are yet to be deprived of the Kings in all of their majesty! Glory is not gone from the world. We are not without hope or blind, helpless creatures left in the dirt.
It is why I say, "if they knew". They will know, I will give them reason yet to cease their doubts. And in time, they will give me reason to grow in understanding of them also, that when it is all done we might call on each other as friend

                                 -Mosaine of Farmona

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Kinship Challenge Revival!: Instructions

It's time for a new Kinship challenge!

This month's kinship challenge features a collaboration effort between our members, it will consist of several monthly stages where we hope each of you might use your extraordinary talent to contribute in some way!  

This month's stage is (drumroll, please)


The instructions for this month's challenge are simple; 
Enter the world of Middle Earth and locate the most inspiring location that best represents the theme of this collaboration; "Unity" and take a screenshot (you're welcome to submit up to five by the end of the month) 
Your screenshots will be viewed by the rest of the kinship (your collaborators) who will take a vote on which screenshot(s) to use as a reference for the rest of this collaboration. All submitted screenshots will be featured on this blogpost for kinship vote, and even if you don't feel like you can contribute a screenshot, we hope you will vote and help us decide on which beautiful reference to use for this continued collaboration (we know it will be a hard choice to make!)

So, without further ado, get your eyes ready, get in game, and get inspired!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Fluffy Thingamajig

They’re walking arm-in-arm through the streets of Minas Tirith, as they have so many times before.  It’s wonderful to see him again, she thinks—letters are great, but there’s something about talking in person.  They chat as the go, telling each other of what’s happened over the months.  He regales her with tales of patrols and skirmishes, of his home and family.  She tells him of time spent in Bree, and of patients (stubborn and otherwise) and an eccentric but kind old (well, all right, older) gentleman that she’d come to be fond of.  They bring up jokes old and new and their laughter fills the air.  It’s a grand thing, she thinks.  Nothing better than dusting off a good joke.  She recognizes the route they’re taking; indeed, she scarcely needs to think about it, after so many years.  They head into the sixth circle, toward the Houses of Healing.  She’s always liked it here.  The area around the Houses of Healing is fresh and green.  Here, the air is made sweet with the breath of trees and flowers and familiar herbs. 

A few healers—one or two near her own age—call out to them as the pair passes.  One, a tall girl called Mordis, chuckles and teasingly asks when the wedding is.  Merendis grins cheekily and jokes back that she won’t be invited, thank you very much.  Even so, she has to ignore the faint blush that rises to her face, which  just makes Mordis grin.  It’s not exactly a secret to the women of the Houses of Healing.  Once upon a time, she would have just laughed it off, without getting all red in face.  But things had changed.  Those jokes, well-meaning as they are, hit a little close to home.  Over the months, she’s become keenly aware of just how dear he is to her—in snatched letters and hastily-written lines, all more precious to her than silver or gold or a thousand fine dresses.  She glances up at Condir, and frowns slightly.  She knows that look.  The way his eyebrows furrow, the look in his clear green eyes, the way his nose scrunches up (which she’s always thought endearing)…  That’s the face he makes when there’s something on his mind, and he’s thinking of how to breach the subject.

Still, Merendis doesn’t press him.  He’ll tell her when he’s ready.  Which comes sooner than she expected.  

“Can we talk?” he asks. “…In private, I mean?”

Mmhmm, definitely something on his mind…  

“Of course,” she replies.  “Everything all right?”

They walk in relative quiet for a few moments.  He leads her to a grand old oak tree, and the friends settle themselves down in its shade.  She glances over at him.  Condir’s running a hand through his dark hair, beautiful green eyes narrowed as if in thought.  He really is handsome, she thinks.  Too late, she realizes that she’s staring; sheepishly, she averts her eyes.  

“Merendis…  There’s something I need to tell you,” Condir murmurs, giving her hand a gentle squeeze.  His face is flushed, and she can’t help but notice the way that brave Condir squares his shoulders.  He fixes her with those green eyes, and her heart skips a beat.  He continues, voice soft and steady, telling her how glad he was to get her last letter.  How much it had meant, after a trying day, to read the inspiring words of someone so dear to him.  He pauses, just for a moment, and brushes some dark hair from her eyes.  The movement is familiar, affectionate, something he’s done a hundred times before.  And yet…
“I know this is…rather sudden,” he says at length. 

Her heart begins a drumroll against her ribs, even as she puts a hand on his shoulder.
“I want you to know that no matter what happens, I’m happy to be your friend.  But over the months, Merendis, my feelings for you have changed.  Your last letter gave me the courage I needed to say this.”

And suddenly she’s all too aware of how close they’re sitting, how Condir’s gaze softens as he looks at her.  He moves closer still and earnestly takes her hand in his.  Her heart pounds so hard and fast that for a moment she thinks it’s about to burst.  Hope swells in her chest, warm and bright.  She hardly dares even to breathe. 
“I love you.” His voice is steady, sincere.

He loves her.  He loves her…!  He continues speaking.  He loves her for her kindness, her courage and strength.  He loves her for her wit, her eyes, her smile…  Her eyes widen.  Her heart leaps as he murmurs those words—words she’s longed to hear, hoped that she might hear—for months now.  Her vision blurs, and she roughly wipes her eyes with the back of one hand.  And before Condir can ask if she’s all right, or before she can give herself a second chance, the words come rushing out of her.  She loves him.  She loves his courage, his heart, what a gentleman he is.  She loves how kind he is.  And she loves him for his beautiful eyes, for his laugh…  She’s rambling and she really doesn’t care. He relaxes, takes a breath, and smiles at her.  He has a wonderful smile.  She squeezes his hand, face alight.  

“Can I…”  He hesitates, just for a second.  “Can I kiss you?”

She grins.  She knows her face is burning, but doesn’t care a whit.  

“I thought you’d never ask.”

He chuckles and shifts, drawing her closer to him.  Gently, he cups her cheek with a hand; she reaches up to put a hand on his shoulder.  Condir closes the distance between them, and as their lips meet—

“…dis?  Meren…”  

She blinks, and the next thing she knows, she’s not in Minas Tirith at all, but curled up on a bench.  Afternoon sunlight slants through the windows.  The pop and crackle of the hearth fills the still air.  She rubs her eyes and stares down at the knitting in her lap—the beginnings of a shawl that she’s making for Mama.  She can’t quite squash the disappointment that washes over her, or the longing that pierces her heart.  Merendis shakes her head briefly, as if in an attempt to clear it.

“Merendis?” the voice persists.

She glances up almost sheepishly at the mustachioed man before her, fine hat in his hand.
“Sorry, sir, did you say something?” she asks, rubbing the back of her neck.  "I was…just thinking, is all.”

Premton’s smile turns knowing, and she suddenly has the feeling that she’s about to be teased within an inch of her life.

“Oh, is that so?”

“Need I remind you, sir,” she begins quickly (perhaps a little too quickly), summoning that cheeky smile, “that we had a deal?”

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Clothing Exchange

Be it known herewith that my house and chest are full of more wearable garbage than should exist in the entirety of Middle-Earth. I know which of these aforementioned clothes are never used because they belong to me, and am more than assured that there are others in our kinship who have similar problems with wardrobe.. Assured, because the clothes being worn by many in our kinship are not fit to attend a tea party with a grungy orc.

Therefore, I am hosting a clothing exchange. Whatever is not claimed within the week, shall be sold or burned, depending on the quality of the wear. Simply leave what you don't want in the kinship chest; marked "Clothing", and claim whatever you want.. Let us try to improve the quality of wear.

Thank You!


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Raechal's Decision, or, A Matter of Fact and Opinion

It is not an easy thing to admit you've been wrong. No one ever wants to find out they've done something stupid with the conviction of their whole heart involved. But I am at that very point in my life, and now I must simply turn around and face it.
Unora tried to tell me I was wrong in the first place, she trusts people so willingly on the sweet simplicity of faith. But I always need something more, I need evidence, I need some facts, and maybe I would like just a little proof.

For instance, how long would you say you might have to know someone before you could say that you really, truly know them? It could be someone you just met, or someone you've admired for a long time without ever talking to, or even someone you have lived your whole life around. But when would you say that you actually, in complete honesty, knew them?

For simple-minded people, this is a simple question. All you really need is to be acquainted with the person, then whenever their name is brought up in conversation you could very easily say, "Yes, I know that person" without any further involvement in their personal life.

For more honest-thinkers, in order to say they know a person, they would like to know something about that person, like what their favorite things are or how they commonly behave in public.

I suppose, getting down to it, it just depends on what kind of person you are, and when you feel satisfied that you know someone 'well enough'.

Two people who enjoy a common subject may be very glad to say they know each other every time they get together to discuss that one topic alone, never feeling any need or desire to discuss other aspects of their individual lives; content to share in this one thing without the potential risks of disagreement on other matters that might prove a division to their mutual respect and understanding.

But I'd like to think that when it comes to relationships that matter to us, we depend on a greater knowledge of those we interact with; We all like to know the people we trust better than the people we may meet on occasion.

In the constitution of one's family, strong individual relationships are not only pleasant to have, but essential to each person within that unit and, indeed, to a greater society at large. Without such bonds of trust and respect, as well as a fair amount of compassion and understanding, there is apt to be an overabundance of contention and disorder within the home. Thus, a lifestyle ideal to development within a larger community of society is abolished on that one principle - that without the constructive relationships discovered within the family, one does not develop the attributes needed to contribute to a grander population, nor is any moment in such an individual's life ever truly happy. The conclusion is most certainly a world in a very sorry state.

No matter who you are or what your manner of thinking, we must all agree that our individual relationships are as varied as the people with whom we share the round hours of our day. Certainly however, whether in friendship, companionship, or kinship, individual sacrifice is required to maintain every personal association.

How far one might go to extend their relationships depends entirely on the individuals and circumstances involved. In the case as so often happens between strangers, there is truly no other way to gain a friendly correspondence until a chance is taken by one or both individuals.

As human beings, we are wary of the unknown and often drawn to one another by observation; In the instance of two strangers standing in the same room, one will likely ignore and avoid the unknown temperament of the other until drawn by a smile or other sign of friendliness that may induce curiosity to investigate - likewise an aggressive sign may just as well deter any opportunity for future acquaintances. The differences between the two, must be determined by a sense of judgement.

Yes, judgement, a word never to be handled lightly and often used to subject others to a conscious feeling of inferiority. Yet, judgement is an absolutely necessary thing in regards to our individual choices, and self-preservation. A person with an impaired sense of judgement is prone to make bad decisions and regularly place themselves and their relations in harm's way. But even people who have a perfectly intact sense of judgement, may be deceived by false ideas and conceptions - whether conjured by others or self-imposed.
So now you see we come back around to the point. Based on unpleasant experiences that, for the lengthy telling of them I will not relate here, I passed judgement on a certain group of individuals and have persisted in my opinion of them, though my friends have argued fiercely against it.

I have no intention of excusing myself for any perceived misconception, for I feel I founded my opinion on very solid facts and evidences. But I will say that the judgement I concluded on was incorrect, and I feel guilty only for the frustration that the effort in disproving it has caused my poor friends, most especially Unora. She and I are not of the same mind on many matters, and I daresay it has shown to be nearly impossible at times for the one to ever properly communicate her mind to the other. Nonetheless, our friendship has persisted, and perhaps her simple faith and my good sense make a better match then most people give credit or care to believe.

Still, it remains that my mind has changed in respect to one thing - People are seldom what they appear to be from cover to cover, and a great deal more difficult to read than books. Even should you know a person's behavioral pattern, you must still know their history and personality to know what to expect, and even so, people are prone to surprising you. It would take a very keen person indeed to say they 'truly' knew someone and maintain their honesty in doing it. But whatever the case may be, I feel confident that there is no alternative to this fact: it took a book to change my mind, though I still don't understand quite how, and I have made a different resolution - that is to follow the new path that is set before me wherever it may lead. 

Such are the writings of a single entry in a small Riddermark Leather-Bound Journal. Perhaps misplaced by its previous owner, the journal lays inconspicuously at the foot of one wicker chair in Lilliway Tooke's Shire home on Pleasant Street... but no name is written, and it's rightful owner is nowhere to be found...