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Meeting Notes for June & July 2017 (Including Tolkien Moot XIII)

by Hawke published Aug 18, 2017 11:12 AM, last modified Aug 18, 2017 02:20 PM
Meeting notes for June & July meetings, including Tolkien Moot XIII.

Notes for the July meeting of the Ea Tolkien Society (of the Inland

Location: Hawke’s residence, during *TOLKIEN MOOT XIII*
Attended: Hawke, Richard, Wesley, Stephanie, Brian, Mercy and Irene, along
with the whole Tolkien Moot crew.

1. Hawke gave an Introduction at TM XIII to our audience and online
listeners, as well as our special guest, author and blogger Michael
Martinez, a noted Tolkien scholar in his own right.

2. After the welcome, Brian read notes from the June meeting.

3. There was a general discussion about the notes.

4. Hawke traced out the story arc of last year's Tolkien Moot and into this
year... Tolkien Moot XII was "Undying Love." This year's theme is "Rescue
from Mordor."

The adventure takes places in Third Age 2949, around the same time that
Gandalf and Balin visited the Shire (between the events detailed in The
Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings).

The pre-adventure begins in Dunland or Rohan, just after vanquishing the
witch (last year).

The heroes swore an oath to find her Elvish love, imprisoned in Dol Guldur
by The Necromancer, aka Sauron, and now likely prisoner somewhere in Mordor
after the raid by The While Council.

While the heroes were unable to save the Erbenaine’s elder son, they were
able to force out the possession of Lord Erbenaine’s body and retrieve
their newborn son.

Then the Heroes travel to Edoras to retrieve Lord Thaindan Erbenaine’s
baby. Then to Lord & Lady Erbenaine’s Manor House to return their child. The
heroes go with the lord to Minas Tirith, and once again search through the
archives, and question various folk, while waiting for am appointment with
The Steward. In the final weeks of 2950, while the Steward's scouts are
searching Mirkwood, and during their investigations, the Heroes uncover a
spy in Minas Tirith. The spy eventually admits to having worked for The
Necromancer, and that after being driven from Dol Guldur in 2941, the
retinue made their way to Mordor under cover of night.
The Heroes successfully broker a deal, and get grudging permission from the
Steward. They know at this point only that he was long ago a spy for The
Necromancer. He claims he no longer is, but in trade for his freedom, he
will provide updated information about Mordor, and secret paths into
Mordor, and possible prison camp locations. But he will not provide any of
these details until they are well into Ithilien.

Then to Osgiliath and across to the crossroads of Central Ithilien. The
Heroes learn that lore states there are 5 ways into the Land of Shadow: the
Black Gate, the Morgul Vale, the little-known Pass of Poros*, the N.E. edge
of Mordor, or the S.E. edge Then into Mordor by the route that the Heroes
choose. Then (hopefully) succeed in rescuing the prisoner from
confinement. Then
fleeing the prison location back to the border of Mordor. It will then
either end with the Heroes trying to find a way out of Mordor, now roused,
or if they play the extra session, escaping the confines of Mordor.

5. We had discussion on which route each RPG group took in the morning. The
Pass of Poros was the most popular of the five.

*The Pass of Poros is inferred from this map of Christopher Tolkien:

6. This led to a discussion of the relative lack of canon details of that
area, except the Battle of the Crossings of Poros in TA 2885, in which the
princes of Rohan were killed in helping Gondor push back the Haradrim out
of South Ithilien.

7. Since this RPG adventure is about the return of Sauron to Mordor (all
build-up to the Lord of the Rings decades later), Brian asked Michael
Martinez whether Mordor was intended by Sauron to parallel Dorthonion or
Angband. While Sauron did have strongholds in the first age
(Tol-in-Gaurhoth) and second age (temple of Morgoth, Numenor), Mordor in
the Third Age was less of a stronghold, and more of a self-sufficient realm
which enabled Sauron's plans of domination. In the NW part of Mordor, the
plain of Gorgoroth was the location of smithies, factories, and his
industrial might. Elsewhere along the land of Nurn, many slaves tended the
vast fields which were the breadbasket of Mordor.

8. We briefly talked about Beren & Luthien, Christopher Tolkien's swansong.
He introduced no new material, but organized it into one complete whole as
a tribute to his parents. CRT saw this story as seminal to the development
of the Middle-Earth legendarium, and of course the romance prallels with
JRR Tolkien and his wife Edith.

9. The other main story with such early roots in Tolkien's writing was the
Fall of Gondolin. However, it is unlikely that Christopher has any new
notes of his father on this epic story, which is described in several
versions in both the Silmarillion and also Unfinished Tales.

10. A visitor read Tolkien's Letter 141. This letter referred to Tolkien's
quandary about fitting maps into LOTR, since the page would be too small to
make a detailed map. Note: Tolkien had a high standard for maps possibly
because of the Ordnance Survey maps of Britain. The most detailed walking
maps were 25" to the mile.

11. Hawke referred to the annotated Middle-Earth map of Pauline Baynes
which had recently come to light.

12. Michael asked if we had heard about the fan mp on which JRRT allegedly
wrote "Here may be Entwives" NW of the Sea of Rhun. Discussion.

13. Many ideas suggested for Tolkienmoot XIV in 2018: Entwives, Bombadil,
Fall of Gondolin, Religions of Middle-Earth, the Palantiri, Middle-Earth
from an Orcish POV, and Dragons. Highest votes were for Entwives (12)
Bombadil (8) and the Fall of Gondolin (8).

14. Venue for next year probably will not be Hawke's house. Bozarth Mansion
in 2 years would be nice.

15. Our meetings are always on the 3rd Saturday of the month, from 1-3 pm.
Our next meeting is scheduled for 8/19 from 1 to 3 pm @ Hawke's house.

Respectfully submitted by the Secretary of the Smial,

Brian Huseland

On Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 1:14 PM, Brian Huseland <> wrote:

> Notes for the June meeting of the Ea Tolkien Society (of the Inland
> Northwest)
> Location: back at Hawke’s residence on the back of 5-Mile Prairie
> Attended: Hawke, Richard, Chris, Wesley, Stephanie, and Brian. Corey sent
> apologies that he needs to miss due to illness.
> 1. We discussed some administrivia.
> 2. On July 15, our Tolkien Society meeting will be held in the midst of
> Tolkienmoot, the annual table-top role-playing convention based on
> adventures within Middle-Earth, in the spirit of Tolkien’s epic story. The
> Society will meet at 1 pm as usual (although downstairs where there is more
> room), but those interested in the full RPG adventure should look up more
> info at It really helps if you use the RSVP, so that
> we can generate your character ahead of time based on your description (or
> take one of our pre-generated hero sheets if you prefer). That way we can
> start on time.
> 3.  Discussion of Amazon’s purchase of Wholefoods. One stop-shop idea.
> This oddly connects to making it both easier and harder to acquire books.
> Knowing where to look is easier, but rare book dealers online such as
> Abebooks have a harder time surviving.
> 4. We segued to H.G. Wells and his role-playing game, “Little Wars”, and
> discussed how Wells set the stage for later RPG war-gaming.
> Industrialization led to greater leisure time, and therefore made RPGs
> possible. Hawke gave a “potted history” of role-playing evolution.
> Follow-up question for July: did J.R.R. Tolkien and H.G. Wells ever meet?
> 5. Brian read May 2017 notes for our smial.
> 6. Hawke read Tolkien Letter 140. Discussion points:
> • Names of 3 volumes of the Lord of the Rings… he preferred “The War of
> the Ring” as the title of the last volume, to not give away the return of
> the king prematurely.
> • The Two Towers: Tolkien seems to have intended ambiguity and mystery
> about which towers these are, although he suggests the best pairs. Compare
> with George R.R. Martin & fans knowing where the story’s going. Our group
> did some checking to see when (in the text) Tolkien gives away Aragorn’s
> true identity. It’s in the council of Elrond, but it doesn’t state
> Aragorn’s intent to return and rule as Isildur’s heir until his sword is
> re-made and he takes up Isildur’s authority in the Paths of the Dead.
> 7. We chose to read selections from Christopher Tolkien’s latest edited
> work of his father: Beren and Luthien was published at the beginning of
> June.
> • We read parts of the Preface
> • We then read the overall synopsis of the story in “Notes on the elder
> Days”. Note on Dorthonion: Christopher Lee sang Treebeard’s “song of the
> seasons”.
> • Link here:
> • Christopher Lee reading Children of Hurin here:
> • Michael Flower’s worthwhile blogpost re: Edith Tolkien’s dance that
> inspired the Luthien story here: https://www.tolkiensociety.
> org/blog/2014/06/a-hemlock-by-any-other-name/
> • A reminder to consider joining us for Tolkienmoot July 15! Please RSVP
> so we can plan for food, etc. Snack donations are welcome!
> • Our next meeting will be Saturday, July 15, 2017 in Hawke’s home at 1
> pm.
> Respectfully submitted by the secretary, Brian Huseland

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ricky says:
Aug 18, 2017 11:55 AM
thanks for the recap everybody!