🧙 The Tolkien Forum 🧝

Welcome to our forum! Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox! Plus you won't see ads ;)

Galion's Getaways!

YayGollum

Conscience of TTF
Joined
Dec 3, 2001
Messages
5,538
Reaction score
6
Location
Columbia, South Carolina, the United States of Nor
The horribly inept butler of Thranduil, after being fired for letting a bunch of Dwarves get away, started his own Middle Earthling travel agency. Equipped with a sense of humor, the guy figured the name of his travel agency would be entertaining to anyone who happened to know of him.

Good premise, yes? Well, I just needed a name for this thread. Anyways, this is yet another attempt to get those amazing book geeks into creative writing. They don't wish to jump into very many R. P. G. things, unless it's going to follow a story that they've already read, for some reason, so I would call this some kind of middle road.

Anyone is free to show up and post a review of some Tolkien type locale, preferably through the eyes of some achingly cool character, which is certainly not required. Just don't show up and write something along the lines of ---> "Greetings, this happens to be boringelffan27,000, and I really like that Rivendell place. Ya know, or, at the least, I'd like you to, it was really pretty. And full of elves, yo! How unbearably fascinating is that?" Ick. What's that dude's problem?

An example --->

A View From The Vale, by Truor Tupnm, a rambling Beorning storyteller:

Ugh. The Vale of Anduin? Why would you want to go there? Eh. Well, my journeys always seem to begin and end there, so it can't be too bad.

I've traveled all over the world. Mountains, coastlines, huge cities, and even forests are more dramatic, just to look at. But then, anyone making their way down the east side of the Misty Mountains can't help but to stop and heave a sigh of relief. Not just because you're getting out of a dangerous area, but this place is just so sickeningly calming. Probably why I don't stay for too long.

While other places are definitely more exciting, I still haven't come across a better place to catch my breath. Tell me if you have. And don't mention any elfish sites. Ick. I'm talking about real relaxation! With the zero to worry about and the running around naked, if you feel like it. Plenty of the residents here do that regularly, although you probably wouldn't notice.

Let's see. History, just like people, doesn't really think about the Vale. A few famous travels have flown through, but nothing of earth-shaking significance has ever happened there. Besides the Misty Mountains, the Vale is bordered by the Grey Mountains, home to a few Dwarves and always fun. A few Northmen live up there, too, and they aren't too bad. Plenty have mingled with the Beornings, over the years. Then there's Mirkwood, always to be avoided. And, as far as I can tell, the Vale ends about where Mirkwood does, as well as where Lothlorien begins. Horrible places, both of them. But, people-wise, the Vale of Anduin ends around the Gladden River. There used to be some other kind of people living there, even a bit of commotion that most humans can't forget about. Enough to keep most Beornings away, even though that was a long time ago.

Only a few, even among those who live nearby, know much more. That's how its population likes it. But I don't mind telling what I know, since not very many even try to believe me. The place is full of Beornings! A kind of skin-changer. Some might remember old Beorn's name, thinking of him as a wizard who could turn himself into a giant bear and was only really notable for an appearance at the Battle of Five Armies. I wouldn't call him much of a wizard. Just a guy who really liked animals, as do most Beornings. They can change their forms to those of bears and even talk to animals, who they treat better than most people. For good reasons, I say! How many times a bird lied to you? How many times has your horse tried to kill you to obtain revenge for some slight you don't even remember? Not too many, I'd guess!

Anyways, most just think of the Vale's population as simple and uncivilized hermits or Outcast Woodmen living on the fringes of their old societies. Sure, they're simple. I don't mind admitting that, which doesn't mean that they're stupid. Just content, mostly. They used to live in the Misty Mountains and will, every now and then, try to drive the Orcs and Wargs out. More recently, they've been hunting with the Woodmen who live in the foothills. I'm not so sure how smart that is, but oh well. I won't be here long.

Um, yeah, they're probably uncivilized, too, but wouldn't that depend on which civilization you're from? But they aren't hermits or Outcast Woodmen. They're just private. They've got a great home in the Vale of Anduin. From the moment you set foot there, or at least, not very many footfalls later, you're being watched. Not maliciously or anything, though. Most animals will keep out of your way, just like anyplace else, but word spreads fast, and the Beornings will be watching before you get too far.

Many have been turned away. Some were even scared away and end up telling crazy stories about our generosity and manners. Quit that! Most Beornings are plenty generous, but if you look like you should know what you're doing, then you probably won't be received as a guest. We've got our own mouths to feed. And, no, popping out of the trees to give you a firm warning to leave the animals alive is not rude. I don't understand why so many think so. I don't wander into your country and start roasting your village elders just because I'm hungry.

Besides, plenty a traveler has spent a safe night or two in a Beorning house. I guess that they just don't talk about it as loudly as the whiners do. oh well. Why do so many believe that everyone should go out of their way to help? If you're traveling through someplace as large as the Vale of Anduin, you should have some kind of plan that includes surviving without someone else's generosity.

But that reminds me: When it comes to our houses, many Beornings will proudly call themselves master carpenters. I believed the same thing about myself before exploring the very next society over. Sure, it was a Dwarvish kingdom, but most Mannish people's are better than Beornings, too. I'd still call our houses better looking that anyone else's, though. Simple, solid, open, and huge. Most Beornings have large families, and then they have to make it roomy enough for a bunch of horses or whatever else is visiting.

Ah! What looks more like a home than one of those? Oftimes with a garden or a giant bee farm outside. The many animals walking all over the place. The Beornings, either in bear form, which they usually stay in at night, or wearing their simple, easily made (and always handed down who knows how many times, argh) clothing. The fire in the common room, surrounded by families, telling stories. Roasting some fish, every now and then, too. They usually catch them right out of the Anduin and eat them raw, though.

The whole place has a comforting and lazy vibe to it. Pretty much all of the time, all that anyone ever really talks about is the weather. They have no cares outside of their everyday lives, except when one of them remembers how much they love the mountains and hate the Orcs. If you happen to be visiting around one of those times, I can understand why you might want to avoid the place. They have to work themselves into a frenzy to get something like that done. It seems to be happening more often, nowadays, with more Woodmen moving in. But oh well. They give each other plenty of room, which slows down and can extinguish the frenzy.

The homes right in the middle are my favorite. Farthest from everything else, the widest, laziest, most boring places you'll ever find. The Carrock is a famous landmark, very close to my favorite place, said to have been built by the famous Beorn. Always a great place to catch some fish.

As to the cuisine, there isn't much to tell. I guess that would have been a good reason for some visitors calling us uncivilized. Nothing fancy, everything's simple and fresh. The fish, the fruits, the vegetables, the honey. Uh, we love our mead. Sure, it's and acquired taste. I hate most of your beer. So what?

Galion's summary:

Don't hurt the animals.
The Beornings are a private people. Arrive with an invitation or plan on a lot of camping out.
Try some raw fish. They'll respect you.
Sleep in for a couple of days, don't investigate too many noises at night. You're safe there.
Help out with chores, if they'll let you.
Don't abuse generosity or insult anyone with your silly little, "Oh, why isn't the Vale of Anduin my kind of civilized?"
Enjoy the peace, then get out before you annoy too many with your boredom.
 

Noldor_returned

New Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2005
Messages
957
Reaction score
2
Location
on the borderline of insanity and madness
Atop Weathertop, by Gradnalf, a former Dunedain Ranger.

Weathertop you say? Nay, it is truly named Amon Sul. A dangerous place at the best of times, but at night, you would do well to avoid it's shadow.

When you imagine Amon Sul, you don't realise how tall it actually is. We're talking a watch tower here, or at least one that has fallen into ruin. Watch towers tend to be lofty, as it helps with the watching.

Why is it so bad you ask? It is a hazard to take a step on it. It has been falling apart for some years now, so what is stopping a piece of rock falling onto you? And imagine if you fell? The surrounding ground is covered in rocks.

There is nothing that would help a traveller at Amon Sul. No food. No shelter as the wind will blow right through. No company. Nobody to find your body if you perish.

And should you dare it, there is nothing to keep you secure. Wolves and other beasties commonly patrol the area. Remember, unless you are an elf, you cannot see far, especially in the dark. So if you were able to see a wolf, chances are it would be able to see you, so it could summon others and then siege you there, wait for you to run out of food and then attack.

Are there any positives? Amon Sul is so tall that you can see it from a fair distance away, and this would help with avoiding it. It might also help if you were lost, because it is for some reason featured on most traveller's maps. And if you stumbled across Amon Sul you should be able to find where you want to go.
 

YayGollum

Conscience of TTF
Joined
Dec 3, 2001
Messages
5,538
Reaction score
6
Location
Columbia, South Carolina, the United States of Nor
It is around the time of Halloween, and I found this lying around, so here you go --->

If one were to check in the back of a forgotten closet at Galion's Getaways, one might find a box full of brochures advertising Utumno.

Scribed upon the front in bold and red lettering: "Visit Magnificent Utumno!" Underneath, in smaller letters, "You'll find it impossible to leave!" The fortress has been drawn quite accurately, although the stars are uncharacteristically visible through the smoke that wasn't usually as well as merely curling cutely out of the smokestacks.

Inside, on the various flaps, dotted with illustrations of vampires, werewolves, and even one Balrog, all looking creepily cheerful: "The Dark Lord Melkor generously invites the Eldar to be his guests at his northern sanctuary. Of course, you'll want to pay tribute to the greatest of all beings, but beyond demonstrating your grace by honoring our sovereign's request, there are plenty of activities for the whole family!

"Ainur born before the world will be glad to tell you more than you've even considered about its history and your place in it. Utumno, the capitol of Middle-earth, is delightfully multicultural, home to all varieties of Ainur, and soon, elves.

"Interested in the world around you? So are we! The Dark Lord wants to know just exactly how Middle-earth is seen through an Elda's eyes. We are constantly researching and reshaping any materials we can get our hands on. Speak with Ainur that helped conceptualize Arda, then help them improve it!

"Proud of your service defending the weak? There are a lot of monsters out there, not all of which attack openly, or hunt near idyllic lakes. The bulk of our forces are stationed at the fortress of Angband, where the Dark Lord's most trusted lieutenant, Sauron, is always happy to welcome new recruits."

Angband is shown here, although many who had seen it might not recognize it in this picture, since it had been demolished, rebuilt, and expanded by the time most would have seen the place.

"With some mayhaps a bit unrealistically impressive number of square units of measurement, some large number of rooms, and a basement that you'd have to see to believe, Utumno was made for company."

On the back and in smaller letters ---> "Did You Know? The one known as The Rider is one of the Dark Lord's enemies, a hunter that destroys anything that crosses his path.

"The Dark Lord Melkor is called that for a reason. His enemies plan on bathing the entire world in light, corrupting the natural state of Arda, which includes eliminating the stars."

In much bigger letters on the back ---> "For directions to Utumno, contact one of the Dark Lord's representatives. They're closer than you think!"

If asked about the brochures, Galion will inform you that he was one of the elves to wake up in Cuivienen, only he didn't become famous for it. He'll tell you about the time he heard two balrogs arguing over the things. ---> "This is your most idiotic idea yet, Mothbol!"

"Oh, come on! They don't know anything! Have some shapeshifters go in, looking like their finest specimens. First, we'll have to see what they think are their finest. I think they're all pretty sickly-looking. Have one of them discover these out here. No problem."

"Nobody is stupid enough to fall for this, Flameless One. Go back to your research on that silly compilation idea of yours! Dragons or something, right?"
 

Thread suggestions

Top