Monday, December 26, 2011

Year-End notes, by the Fool

One danger of writing a blog is that you get to take yourself too seriously, and you start to believe that people want to read about you, about what you do, about what you think. Well, I've avoided writing much myself on this blog, I've left it all to Aegthil, and so I hope I've avoided that particular trap. After all, nobody would be foolish enough to give a rat's arse what Aegthil thinks about anything, and I'm certainly not foolish enough to believe they do.

Nevertheless, to a certain extent, a blog like this is as much for my own benefit as for anybody else's, and if I want to write a retrospective, well, then, I bloody well will. As it happens, I enjoy writing; if you don't want to read it, then don't.

And anyway, I can't play Lotro while I'm travelling, but I can write blog entries. And I'm at a loose end, a little bored. So there.

I only started playing Lotro because it was free-to-play. If it hadn't been for that I would never have started playing, as I would never have paid for it up front. Of course, I've now paid for about 2 years worth, and so Turbine, by making their product "free" have made an awful lot more money out of me than they ever would have before. Isn't it ironic how you make more money by charging less? Or even charging nothing. I am the living proof that F2P is effective.

Lotro always intrigued me because of my interest in Tolkien. But WoW sidetracked me for a few years, and that was an absorbing game for a while.  When I lost interest in WoW and began to play Lotro, the beginnings were promising, as I found people surprisingly mature and polite, particularly after my WoW years, but that wouldn't, by itself, have been enough to keep my interest.

However, it wasn't long before I discovered three things, that have the potential to keep my interest for a much longer time. The music system, the Lonely Mountain Band, and BBB.

Having the ability to write and perform music in-game is nothing less than phenomenal. It makes it far more than a game, to me. Music forms a very large part of my life, and having it in an on-line game like this is pretty much irresistible. That appeal will not die for a long time (although the joys of writing abc code pall pretty quickly, let me tell you). The Lonely Mountain Band has been a pleasant home for the most part, and is an impressive group of talented and mature individuals. I hadn't really realised what a guild (or kinship) could be like. I'd kind of thought they were all just groups of teenagers.

And last, but certainly not least, the other members of BBB have become an important part of my leisure time. They are a hilarious and talented bunch of people. It's all rather strange, that, I find. I don't know them. They don't know me. I often don't even know if they are male or female, I don't know how old they are, where they live, what they do, who they really *are*. And they don't know those things about me, either. And yet I count them as friends. Strange how that works, isn't it?

But I also wonder why I'm reluctant to tell others these things about myself. By and large, I don't tell people what I do, what my name is, etc. Why not? Hell, I'm not quite sure. Probably because I'm just so bloody old I'd be ashamed to admit it. Pfft.

I've learned all kinds of things. I'm not really interested in nice Lotro gear, or the latest stats, or the best armour, or anything like that. But I like learning stuff. I've learned how to write in abc notation, I've learned how to make a video, I've learned how to arrange music for the Lotro music system.

And while I continue to learn stuff, I'll contine to play Lotro happily.

Of course, no comments would be complete without some mention of Aegthil. Poor Aegthil has developed into a highy annoying, deeply stupid individual, who is (of course!) nothing like me at all. No way. Not even a little bit. Nope.

It's probably best I leave it at that.

Immured in vile bondage

My Fool is off on his travels yet again, so I'm holed up in Madame Celestine's. After my last stay as a guest of the Mayor I am taking pains to avoid the attentions of the Town Watch, but fortunately that's relatively easy to do here.

There are plenty of plush velvet curtains to hide behind.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The BEST dressed

It was the LMB Yulemas party, and I turned up, dressed to kill, and looking so totally sharp. Totally. I was heading for that big prize, the one everybody wants to get, the one I'll be telling my grandchildren about in years to come.

I was going to be The Best Dressed.

Oh yeah.

Well, there was a minor matter of the voting, but really, it was a foregone conclusion. I really don't know why anybody else even entered, to be honest. I didn't want to make them all look too bad, so I left the stage at first, and withdrew from the contest (don't worry, I had a plan!), but then, as I knew would happen, my many fans flocked around me. They wouldn't be denied. They jumped, they yelled, they capered. Some of them smelled (that was Beor). They pushed, they pulled, they made a scene.

And in the end, there was little old me, forced to get back up on stage, accept the plaudits, and accept the prize. I knew it. I just knew it. I am The Best Dressed.

Rose is the fashion icon for a brave new age, and I am the man to show the way.

In more minor matters, my Fool wrote a pathetic piece of music for Theromin (his Secret Santa) and BBB was forced to play it, despite all their whining and moaning. Honestly, you'd think they were having their ears poked out with red-hot pokers, the way they carry on. It's pathetic. What a sad bunch.

And talking about a sad bunch, it doesn't get much worse than the Lonely Mountain Band. How can they hold their heads up now? How can any LMB member look straight ahead, and say with a dry eye "I am in the Lonely Mountain Band, and Beorbrand, Carica, Bluebonnett, Geoffroi and Anarwald are my officers"?

How can they do this? They can't, I tell you, they can't. It is shameful. It is outrageous. It is.... it is.....AAAAAHHHH! I am lost for words. I am appalled. Totally and completely appalled. If I had to say this I'd wet my pants.

It seems that almost every member of BBB is being inducted into the LMB Hall of Shame. Fortunately, some of us maintain our principles and will not be tempted into wickedness and sin. I name no names, of course, but SOME of us have honour. SOME of us have loyalty and morality, gentility and ethics.

I am flying the solo flag of honour, and its colour is Rose.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Ballad of Khizli

... is finally completed and can be viewed here. My Fool is glad to be done with it. It took him a long time, what with the organising of this and that and other things, and then he messed up the actual filming and didn't take some important shots, and so had to make do with others. It was all a bit of a shambles. Khizli himself never turned up for any of the shoots, which made it all a little tricky to film a ballad about him, but hey, nobody will ever know, and if they do know they'll be too polite to say so, and if they're not too polite to say so I'll tell them to sit on a spike. So there.

There was a particularly handsome Highland Piper at the beginning. Very handsome indeed, and very...well...Highlandish. Oh yeah. (Hint: it's the one on the left.)

My Fool says that BBB members were an enormous help, especially Beorbrand the nasty piper, but like I'm going to believe that? How on earth could a brain-dead piper, with the mating habits of a goat, help with an intellectual activity like this? 

He can't of course, so we'll hear no more nonsense about "thank you" for this and "thank you" for that. Pfft.

In other news, there is a vicious rumour going the rounds that I have spent time in the Bree stocks, as a result of certain illicit activities involving the Daughters of Numenor. 

This is totally untrue. This story is a complete fabrication from beginning to end and contains absolutely no validity whatsoever. My activities with the Daughters were not illicit at all, but entirely consensual, and conducted in a (mostly) private setting. There was really no need at all for the Bree Watch to become involved. No need at all. 

It is disappointing that small-minded persons will seize so gleefully on any opportunity, no matter how small, to tear down genius. 

It is envy. Pure and simple.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Dear Aunty Aegthil

Dear Aunty Aegthil,

Last night when I was in the Dancing Goat I saw an incredibly handsome man sitting at one of the tables, "quietly sipping gently on his delicious frothy ale which he held in his bare right hand that was covered in attractive fine golden hair, all the while smiling mysteriously yet invitingly at the buxom wenches perambulating in front of his dark, probing eyes". When he smiled at me I felt tingly all the way down to my toes, and I knew, right then, that he was the one.

However, when I approached him, I discovered that he was not what he seemed. He told me that he was the illegitimate vampire son of Gandalf the Wizard, who had been lost from birth when his mother, the Queen of the Cave Trolls, had died in the heroic defense of Dol Guldur against the forces of incredible evil, led by the henchman of Sauron, the lost 7th king of Numenor, who also happened to be her brother, and thus his uncle.

My heart is torn in two. I know that he must be an evil and bad man, but, despite his chequered history, I feel that he is rather misunderstood than otherwise, and I want to make it my life's goal to help this poor man to a better and deeper personal understanding, and to reconcile him with the world.

And I want to get his pants off.

Oh, Aunty Aegthil, what is the best way for me to do this? Should I join him at his table, and delicately partake of his frothing ale, while emoting a deep and sensitive conversation, or should I just take a more direct route and do the groin grab?

Yours sincerely,

A disturbed young lady, elegantly dressed in a fine silken robe, that tries, but fails, to cover up what is clearly a deeply attractive personal dichotomy, caused by the presence of heroic scars on her slim forearms that she tries unsuccessfuly to cover up, juxtaposed with silken blond hair tied back in a cleverly braided pattern that resembles old dwarven runes that are found only in the dungeons of Mirkwood, carved on the walls in intricate and enigmatic patterns.


Dear Disturbed Young Lady etc etc,

I suggest the groin grab. A vampire son of Gandalf the Wizard is unlikely to be able to communicate well enough to participate in a deep and sensitive conversation, which really only leaves you one option.

If that doesn't work, may I suggest you keep a close lookout for a handsome bald man in a lovely rose robe. He can offer solace, at very reasonable rates.

Aunty Aegthil

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A matter of public morals

There was great excitement in Thorin's Gate last night as the mildly famous Devonna was discovered playing with herself in the snow. My henchbobbits and I (oh, well, yes, there was also a henchdorf) were a little concerned that Devonna would be arrested by a dorf security patrol, as that kind of behaviour is usually not tolerated in public.

So we all toddled over, purely to help her out, to make sure there was no trouble. All this talk of prisoners, ear removal, enforced picture making, is all so much nonsense. You mustn't believe everything you read, and, if you look carefully, you'll see that Devonna still has both her ears - she'll be left only with very very small scars that one would hardly notice.

Fortunately Devonna quickly saw reason and agreed to sign a bond pledging never again to be seen playing with herself in public, at least not where BBB can discover her. She also drew our picture. (But of course she did! Who wouldn't want to draw a picture of such a wonderfully handsome person such as myself?)

I feel proud that I, together with my companions in BBB, have been able to make this important contribution to the maintenance of public morals and respectability.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hot and heavy at the Dancing Goat

My Fool is puzzled.

According to his way of thinking, an old, bald man in a pink dress running around a bar saying things like "Hey gorgeous, I'm the famous ***", is not a guaranteed score. Quite the reverse, he would have thought. He finds it hard to imagine anything further from sexy. Anything less appealing.

Of course, I hasten to add that my Fool is absolutely not talking about ME, here. I don't wear a dress, I wear a robe. And it's not pink, it's ROSE. And I'm not old. Not very, anyway. My Fool is presenting a purely hypothetical discsussion, I think.

Be that as it may, my Fool clearly just doesn't get it. Despite his best efforts at being a total pain-in-the-arse slimeball, there is a breed of elf - not just elves, I suppose, but others too - who, on being approached by an elderly bald gentleman in a pink dress, saying "Hey gorgeous", responds in two seconds flat with a grab to the groin and an invitation to a back room.

Now, this doesn't happen always. But often enough, goodness knows.

Personally I don't see anything wrong with a quick visit to a back room with a cute elf chick, but my Fool has a rather suspicious nature. He's firmly of the belief that any seemingly cute elf chick who wants to get it on with an old bald guy in a pink dress is almost certainly really an old bald guy, maybe in a pink dress himself.

Oh dear. Whew, here comes Beorbrand. Saved by the cavalry.

I'm not sure I'll be allowed into the Dancing Goat again.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Aegthil's guide to Dorf Guardians

I've noticed that my Fool has recently begun a relationship with a dorf guardian (DG), and I have thus been able to observe at close hand the behaviour and habits of this species. Of course, I hasten to add that the relationship between my Fool and the DG is entirely Platonic, and involves no inappropriate physical contact. At least I certainly hope so. My Fool is a fool, no doubt, but surely even he would hesitate before pinching a dorf's bottom.

Please Eru, make it so.

But I digress. I am not here to discuss my Fool disgusting mating habits, but rather to discuss dorf guardians.

Point the first: A dorf guardian actually has to be a dorf. I've noticed many people making this mistake, and trying to pretend that their dorf guardian is actually an elf, or some such poofy race like that. Nope. Can't be done. Elves are wimpy pathetic little piles of horse turd, and wimpy pathetic little piles of horse turd can't be guardians. Obviously, I'm talking only of MALE elves here. Elf ladies, especially the ones that like to party, can be quite a lot of fun, even if not particularly cheap.

Point the second: As a corollary to the first point, a dorf guardian is short, hairy, and above all, ugly. That is ugly with a capital F. Again, I've noticed a lot of wanna-be dorf guardians making this mistake also. They dress in fancy clothes, expensive cloaks, nice hats, shiny shoes, and all that paraphernalia, desperately trying to look good, to look cool, to look as if they really weren't a dorf guardian. But this is merely pissing against the wind. When you're a dorf guardian you are ugly, and there's no point in self-delusion.

Point the third: Dorf Guardians have to use axes. When do you ever see a real dorf guardian with a wimpy-arse little dagger? Or a poncy elvish sword? Never, that's when. Nope. No way. Guardians who use those kinds of instruments are merely opening themselves to ridicule, and I'm happy to oblige. Honestly, a great big hairy ugly dorf guardian holding a wee baby's dagger? I don't think so. Time to grow a pair, Mr. Dorf Guardian, and stop being a girl.

Point the fourth: Dorf Guardians are not girls. This is so obvious I hardly even need to say it, but some people are effectively brain dead. Then they play the pipes. I've noticed this.

Point the fifth: Dorf Guardians have a lot of special attacks that they can use with their manly manly axes. Or possibly their dorfly dorfly axes. But they can only use these special attacks once they get a certain amount of stuff which is called Furiosity. DG's build Furiosity by yelling out special rude words while they are fighting, and possibly by singing special songs. These special rude words are very rude and I can't repeat them here because of my many lady fans with delicate ears, but trust me, they are very rude. The louder you shout these rude words, the more Furiosity you get for your special attacks.

The Special Attacks:

  1. One attack is called the Whirling Thunder Strike, and it hits things in front of you with your dorfly dorfly axe. You can only do the Whirling Thunder Strike once you have shouted out a rude word beginning with C, at a medium volume, and then you can whirl and do your thing. The Whirling Thunder Strike only works with axes, not with poncy swords.
  2. Another important attack is the Backwards Special Strike, which is well-named, as it does a special strike which goes BEHIND you and gets the goblin that is creeping up from the rear. The BSS requires 7 Furiosity points.
  3. If you miss a special strike you get a bonus item called a Loser Mark, and this bonus item can be exchanged at any skirmish vendor to get special Loser Armour that makes your helmet look like a tree.
  4. The final special attack that dorf guardians get is the Head Butt. This might sound like an effective method of attack, and it is, but it is an attack of last resort. It mostly involves ramming your head up a goblin's butt, or possibly a troll's butt. You can only use this special Head Butt attack if you have 35 Furiosity points, and are wearing the Loser Armour helmet with the special tree structure on top, as then it's just like trying to jam a pineapple up the backside of pig, which is something most dorf guardians have a lot of experience with.
So, to all you dorf guardians out there, keep practising those special attacks and very soon you'll turn into a dorf super-guardian, which happens at level 43, and is something to look forward to.

And that brings to an end this installment of Aegthil's guides. All financial conributions to Aegthil, c/o Madame Celestine's, Breetown.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Dumb dorfs

Well, it has been quite the break for my Fool, who has left me to languish in durance vile, while he gallivants around doing this and doing that, but generally paying me less attention than I deserve. I still have not managed to get out of Mirkwood, despite my best efforts. I mean, I have the horse and all, so what, precisely, is the problem, Mr. Fool? Let me out of this damn place. It's gloomy and I really don't give a rat's turd if I finish all the epic quests here.

There's a word for people like my Fool, and it's not a polite one.

I suppose, to be honest, I have got out a bit, as my Fool has made me run around in the Misty Mountains looking for locations for the next moving picture and trying to shepherd mentally retarded dorfs up hill and down dale. Now that's not a job for the fainthearted, let me tell you. What with Bluebonnett and Carica runnning around like moronic chickens with their heads cut off, and Anarwald humming Shire Country Music fit to burst our eardrums, and assorted wargs and goblins, it's quite the party.

And all we had to do was take a dumb dorf up to Goblin Town, kill it off and resurrect it. You'd think that would be easy, yes? Well, don't be so sure. With a party of mental midgets like BBB everything becomes a mission.

After we finally get right up to Goblin Town, the dumb dorf, Beardbreath or some name like that, decides to die by jumping off a cliff. Right on to a ledge that nobody else can get to, and that nobody can reach to resuscitate the hairy twit. Great thinking, hairball. Great thinking.

So the noble minstrel (that would be me) jumps down to the ledge too, to practise his resurrection skills, only to find that "You are not allowed to revive after an instant death".

Well. Up yours.

I mentioned the next moving picture, too, and that's turning into a major job as well for my poor Fool. Trying to organise a million dumb dorfs to do a battle scene is not a trivial thing, not to mention all the writing needed for the BBB Christmas Special.

I'd almost feel sorry for my poor Fool, if he wasn't such an irritating know-it-all self-righteous pompous prat.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Yet another conversation

Father: *grumble, grumble*. If Lotro took any longer to load, I'd be too old to play it.

Son: You already are. Oh no. Wait. It's Lotro.


Son:  Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha.

On Mirkwood matters and foul pink

My Fool has been busy making the latest music video, for Wrenaya. It's almost done, thank goodness, as then I can get back to a normal life. There's only so much of Madame Celestine I can take. My stamina is limited. Maybe Beorlich can help me there... hmmm... not a bad idea. Although I did get to see Wrenaya bathing, which was totally worth it.

Anyway, when I was allowed out I was mostly camping in Mirkwood, to get that lovely black horse. Which, of course, I now have. Beorbrand and Dannigan's Shenanigans will try to claim credit for this, but no way. They are so full of it. I saved their arses so many times with my super powerful healing, they are lucky to be alive. They still exist thanks to me. They should pay me.

Anyway, who would call their son Dannigan's Shenanigans, and then why on earth would he hang out with Beorbrand? I mean, I can see some serious life issues right there. That guy has problems.

Thanks to my Mirkwood efforts I have now reached the exalted level of 67. I think. Maybe 66. Or possibly 68. It's not quite clear, but it's one of those big numbers. Huge numbers. Not huge enough to suit my lavish rock star life style, but getting there. Next time I spar with the nasty piper man he's going to be sitting on the ground in two seconds flat, I tell you. He's looking nervous already, and so he should be.

And not only am I super powerful, I am super handsome with my nice new black horse. Did I mention that before? It's a horse. And it's black. And, oh my word (Gracious!, as Wrenaya would say) isn't it lovely (hic donce heorse sic goerd lukking)?

Almost as handsome as I am. Although I must admit my Fool has forbidden me to wear rose armour. It looked so lovely, and was so distinctive! But my Fool says Rose is not The New Black, he says it is The New POS, which stands for something rather rude so I won't repeat it, and that if he's forced to watch my rear end all day he'll be damned if he watches a foul-arse pink POS rear end, and that is that. No discussion.

So my armour is Back in Black. Fortunately, I'm still super handsome.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Missing bobbits sighted

Reports have been received at the Landroval Times that two bobbits, reported missing late last week from the premises of the famous and fabulous rock band, BBB, were seen on Monday night performing with Old Winyards.

The bobbits are one Bluebonnett (short, roundish, very ugly, body odour problem) and one Carica (short, roundish, very ugly, body odour problem), both members of the Lonely Mountain Band. They had been purchased (on sale) by BBB some months ago, and have since come to play unnecessary and unimportant roles in the weekly BBB performances.

At the time, their disappearance led to rampant speculation about possible bobbit abuse inside BBB, but this was investigated and found to be nothing more than the product of sad jealousy from people of inferior talent.

Nevertheless, the sudden and unexpected appearance of the two said bobbits with Old Winyards, must now raise some ugly questions that this reporter, at least, would like to see answered. Is it really acceptable for Old Winyards to steal band personnel, even if they are not important? Is the organisation Elves Against Cruelty to Hobbits (EACH) investigating? If not, why not? What does Lennidhren know, and when did she know it?

It is the opinion of this newspaper, and of every right-thinking person, that the leader of the Lonely Mountain Band, Harperella, the person who carries ultimate responsibility for the actions of  LMB members, should be brought in for questioning by the police, and forced to provide an explanation for behaviour that, at the very least, is disturbing.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Aegthil, the Agony Aunt

Dear Aegthil,

I'm a hunter who loves music and my name is Dave*. One of my friends is a super rock star and a fantastic guy, but I've recently become a bit concerned that he has stumbled upon a deeply disturbing scene of crime in the heart of one of the most respected kinships in Middle Earth. I am worried that my rock star friend might get hurt in his dedicated search for The Truth and The Way.

Should I discuss this with him directly and express my concerns to him, or should I merely make ridiculous and pathetic statements in his personal diary? I don't know what to do. Please help me.

Yours sincerely,
A Musical Hunter


Dear Musical Hunter,

Don't be such a dork. Of course you shouldn't make untrue and unfounded accusations in the rock star's personal diary. As for approaching him about your concerns, I think it's better that you just trust your friend (who is clearly a highly talented individual) to know best what to do.

In the presence of genius, just admire from afar and try not to get in the way.


* Name changed to protect identity

Aegthil: Roving Reporter and Agony Aunt

Being a man of so many and varied highly developed skills it was only a matter of time before I got asked to contribute to Society in ways other than my fashion sense and rock-star performances (and lifestyle).

You will all be delighted to hear that I have signed on to the Landroval Times as their reporter-at-large, with particular responsibility for the Celebrity Gossip Column, and the Agony Aunt page.

In my first intrepid and daring piece of investigative journalism I report on the possible sad fate of a missing dorf and the potential involvement of the Sons of Numenor. This is indeed a sordid tale of corruption, treachery and greed in the innermost circles of one of our previously most respected kinships.

Where will it all end? Who can tell? For we are embarking together on a dangerous journey to discover the truth, at all costs; it is only by looking deep within ourselves and facing the unthinkable (for example, a Son of Numenor in a dress) that we can arrive at a fuller understanding of ourselves.

Join me, my friends and fans, as I delve into the dark and dirty secrets of Bree High Society, as I look in detail at the Elvish parties in Rivendell (just what, exactly, are they smoking, and where did they get it?), and as I dispense kind and gentle advice to those poor souls in need of a little reassurance.

This is Aegthil, Agony Aunt and Roving Reporter, signing off.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Drunken Hobbit

My Fool is having a real blast, making music videos. He's never done anything like this before, and he's had to learn all about H.264 compression, and Premiere Pro, and video masking, and transitions and key frames, and blah blah blah blah blah. Isn't it extraordinary how playing an online game can lead to learning all sorts of new stuff? Even for old dogs like my Fool. Or he might be an old pig. Expert opinion is divided.

I think it's all completely trivial rubbish, and the only reason he's having so much fun is because his brain is small enough to be easily amused by such trivial things.

Anyway, his latest effort, The Drunken Hobbit, can be found on YouTube.  Of course, it wasn't all just him (although he tries to take all the credit). The nasty piper man did a huge amount of stuff, and even the bobbits and Ellasse helped out. The bobbits mostly by eating things, I think.

My Fool now has all these plans to make a video of Wrenaya's song (short and simple and with a lot of Rose throughout, of course), and then try to do a big dorf battle scene one, with lots and lots of dorfs, all in full battle array. Based on Khizli's Ballad, which is, in turn, based on the Walter Scott poem, Pibroch of Donuil Dhu. Very martial I must say. My Fool was hoping to get Gourgini involved, but his initial approach was a good deal short of promising. And that's putting it mildly. But maybe he can find a Dorf Kinship to help out. Initial thoughts of doing the Wyrmbane Forge as a video have foundered on the Rock of No Inspiration and Even Fewer Ideas.

My Fool hits that rock a lot. Go figure.

But enough about my Fool. More about me. I am now level 63, and powering through Mirkwood. I want that horse. I want that horse more than I want to visit Madame Celestine for a while, so I'm camping out in the damp woods until I'm finished. It's hard going, let me tell you.

Even the wargs start to look good after a while.

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Monster Mash

Yet another sold-out performance by the famous BBB, starring the humble Aegthil. And didn't we all look just gorgeous in our colourful suits? (The correct answer is, Yes.) Organised by the elegant and beautiful Gingerale, a succession of inferior bands played some inferior music (to set the stage) and then, to rapturous applause, out we came.

The cheering was deafening. Flowers were thrown in profusion, or would have been if there had been any flowers to throw. I was greatly admired in my New Black suit. The ladies swooned. The gentlemen ground their teeth in jealousy. My false beard rather spoiled the overall look, but that's expected at parties like this.

Fortunately people danced, so we didn't have to chop Gourgini into pieces and mail him out. Just as well. The chopping would have been a dirty and smelly job, and the bobbits are sure to have complained about having to do it.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A conversation between the Fool and his son

Son (playing WoW):  Hey, Dad, this guy just said "Thank you" to me.

Father: Well, that's not the WoW we have all come to know and love. Clearly WoW is gradually morphing into a LOTRO-esque parody, and very soon you'll have all kinds of people running around saying please and thank you and talking in real English instead of this pathetic and irritating teen speak, and then before you know it you'll be playing a hobbit and actually doing something creative like playing music instead of just indulging youself by beating the faces of other players into the ground. It's the thin end of the wedge! Beware! You are treading on the dangerous borders of adult maturity! Get out now while you still can!

Son: Relax Dad. I was messing with you. It was a quest giver.

(Short pause)

Son: Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Aegthil's Guide to Poverty, Chastity and Humility

As you will all know, my recent epiphany (see previous diary entry) has had a significant effect on my life, and is already garnering an enormous amount of favourable attention.

For example, my new Rose Robe has been widely admired, and even I have come to doubt my previous faith in the power of Black. Once you become a sensitive and deeply caring person (as I now am), and walk around town in a lovely Rose Robe, your eyes are opened to all the petty selfishness that tends to be associated with Black. You see posturing minstrels, preening rogues, self-satisfied warriors, ugly ladies, all dressed to the nines in various incarnations of Black, and all looking just the same.

By trying to stand out from the crowd, they merely make the crowd. The irony is exquisite.

Of course, I was never like them, even in the bad old days, but still. Improvement is never wasted.

However, to get back to the point of this diary entry, I have discovered that I am equally as good at carrying out my vows of Poverty, Chastity and Humility, as I was previously at everything else. And so, as I am now a sensitive and caring person, I want to share my expertise, share my knowledge, and help all my readers along the path to personal enlightenment.

Why take such vows?

If you have to ask this question, you obviously need to take the vows. The answer is so obvious than even a moron like yourself should understand.

If you don't like that answer, well, not my problem.


This vow is relatively simple. Poverty means giving all your stuff to band members, leaving nothing at all for yourself, no matter how uncomfortable this makes you, or no matter how much you actually need that stuff yourself to keep yourself warm, or fed, or comfortable, or safe, or out of trouble, or happy, or fulfilled, or occupied, or mentally stable.

I'm not complaining, oh no. I'm very happy to give all my ingots to the nasty piper man, and all my wood logs to Blue, and all my everything else to that disgusting little shortie, Carica, and receiving nothing at all in return. 

I'm very happy to do this because it earns me points for my vows which is an important personal milestone.

Poverty also means having no money, which means that when you need stuff you have to ask band members to get it for you, like fancy swords and things, but this is only right and just. After all, they are your fellow band mates and it should be their goal to help you out in a challenging time. Or any time at all, actually. This makes them feel good, so you get a double benefit.


Tricky, but doable, depending on your strict definition of chastity. Strictly speaking, chastity does not include Madame Celestine's Establishment for Young Ladies, as that is a charitable establishment with tax-exempt status, which makes it ineligible to participate in vow-making.

This certainly helps the cause.

But trouble can occur in other ways also, from the crowds of adoring ladies always present to cheer me on and support me in any way necessary. However, I have found a fool-proof way to resist this ever-present temptation. The solution is as follows:
  • In all public appearances, try and stand close to some person playing the bagpipes.
  • This has a dual effect. Firstly, it makes you look super clever, and super handsome.
  • Secondly, the noise emanating from the bagpipes induces nausea in all people within hearing distance, and this decreases other animal urges.
  • Thirdly, the smell emanating from the bagpipe player is equally nauseating, and equally discouraging to the amatory arts.
Follow these rules, and you won't go wrong. I haven't gone wrong yet, or at least not very often and only in minor, unimportant ways.


This is probably the easiest of the three. I have found myself to be equally good at being humble as I am at everything else. There's really not much to it. Here are a few simple lines to learn, that can help you out:
  • Hullo Ladies, I'm the humble Aegthil!
  • Hey gorgeous, do you find humility sexy? You should! I'm as humble as they come!
  • Yo, dickface, if I wasn't so bloody humble I'd bop you on the nose for being such a bloody moron. Not to mention a total incompetent who's not even qualified to wipe his own arse.
  • Hey, everybody. We are the famous BBB and I am the humble Aegthil! Listen and admire, peoples, listen and admire.
With regular and repeated use of these, and other similar, lines, you will find that humility comes as naturally as breathing. It's really no big deal.

And that brings to an end this installment of Aegthil's Guides. Thank you all for reading, and I know you'll find my ideas incredibly useful. 

Don't worry, you're in good company!  Everybody loves my guides.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


I have had time, these last few days, much time on my hands. And in this time, the Muse has visited. I have seen the light. I now realise the folly of my old ways, I have looked deep within myself and found only foulness and vanity.

I have meditated upon this, in many ways, and many places. And my reflection has led me unto the path of self-improvement, chastity and humility.

Henceforth, I shall be a changed Aegthil. I shall be a better Aegthil.

Rose is the new Black.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Bridge concert for Baby Bobbits

Once again the famous BBB, with me, the famous Aegthil, was asked to entertain the masses at a concert. Ah me, the life of a rock star. You just get no rest at all.

I know it sounds as if it is super glamorous, with lovely ladies hanging off your arm, Beorlich weed and other such supplies, crowds cheering your every move, fan mail, screaming women, money and presents, fame and fortune. You are the fashion and style icon, everybody follows your every move, you are the centre of attention at all times, and you are, in point of fact, the schizz. Totally the schizz. Like.

Yes, it sounds that way, and it is that way. Exactly like that. (For me, anyway, not for Beor.)

But spare a thought for all the energy this uses up! Have pity on the poor rock star who is feeling a little tired, a little peaky, and yet has to go out anyway to accept the praises, the adulation, the screaming women. Do I ever get a rest, I ask myself. When do I get time for ME, instead of devoting all my time and energy to women who adore me?

I tell you. It's not all it's cracked up to be, this rock star business. But needs must, and I shall soldier on.

And then you make one little remark, one itsy bitsy, teeny weeny, yellow polka dot bikini little remark, and the broadsheets are all over it, it's the gossip of the town, it's on every front page and in every conversation. So you get fired from Old Winyards for something that was totally not your fault. Is it my fault that Lenni looks fat in that dress? No. Is it my fault that I felt obliged to say something, just a very little something, entirely truthfully and only in the spirit of trying to help her? No! Of course it isn't. It is my way to help people. It's who I am. It's just me. I'm a noble soul.

It was such an over-reaction to fire me from the band. So totally an over-reaction.

Anyway, this minor point aside, here's a picture of BBB playing on the Very Last Ever Bridge (even though there are plenty more bridges after it, so it's a really stupid name) for some bobbit thing. Goodness knows what, but something to do with baby bobbits. I think there just aren't enough baby bobbits because bobbit women are just so unattractive, and so this was a concert to encourage more baby bobbit making. I think so, but I'm not sure. I really don't want to see the illustrated instructions for that one. Nope. No way.

Some bobbit lady (that's her out in front of the band) gave a long and boring speech about baby bobbits  and something was mentioned about Casually Strolling to Mordor yet again (another stupid name, for obvious reasons), BBB played, the crowd cheered, and then some losers from the Lonely Mountain Band played some horrible music by the lovely lady Gingerale (well, that's not what my Fool said, he said it was very impressive composition, but that's why we call him a Fool, because he is one, and he doesn't know anything). I wasn't allowed to play with the LMB losers (mostly) because of that unfortunate remark about Lenni. Boy, she sure can hold a grudge!

Then everybody walked to see some trolls.  I have no idea why. But I walked behind Wrenaya, which you must admit is a very nice view indeed, so that was worth it.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Of matters foolish and sublime

My lovely black robe was stolen the other day. I left it sitting around in the Dancing Goat while I went to scrub my armpits and when I got back... well, there was a robe there, but it wasn't mine. Some nasty bugger had stolen my nice Robe of Visalius (or whatever it was called) and left in its place some pathetic POS semi-black Robe of Uncool Dorkiness.

Personally, I suspect the barber.

No way was I going to wear a Robe of Uncool Dorkiness, so I blackmailed the Beard into helping me obtain another quite nice black robe. Not as nice as my original one, but you just can't get decent black clothes nowadays. They seem always to come with some other nasty colour like blue or red or green. I mean, how can a rock star be cool if he has to wear partially black clothes with blue trimmings? Right, I agree. It just so totally doesn't work.

But wait! There's more. I point the gentle reader to the picture on the left, which demonstrates, in a way that will put a shiver down your spine, the perils of hair tonic abuse.

Just say no, Boys and Girls, just say no.

Once normality was restored (relatively speaking, of course. It's BBB we're talking about) we went on A Road Trip. Now, my Fool has learned from his children that this is something you do to be cool. Doesn't really matter where you go as long as you can tell everyone you are going on A Road Trip.

Well, since I set the Bree Cool Standard, it was time to act. Heigh Ho, Heigh ho, it's off to Isengard we go, la la la. We loaded up our horses with ale, pipeweed and tater crisps, turned the music up really really loud (as all good music is), and toddled off.

And doesn't it look pretty! By the way, in case you weren't sure, the white rider on the left of the picture is facing away from the viewer, and that is actually the horse's arse, not Beor's face.

Just saying.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Beard gets lucky. Or something.

Honestly, it's outrageous what some women think. Or at least what they say, which cannot possibly be what they think. Can it? Surely not.

So we, as in BBB, were practising our moves in Bree last night, and this Cute Little Number (CLN) approaches on her horse.

Think I to myself, Ooo, here's a CLN approaching, time to look my best. So I put on my very best smile, do my very best bow and say in my politest and nicest voice, Hey Gorgeous, I'm the famous Aegthil.

Now, you have to admit this is a great pickup line. It has never failed me yet at Madame Celestine's. Not once. Every time a coconut, baby. I walk in, say that line, and Bam. Immediate success.

But not this time. CLN takes one look at me, one look at Beor, and promptly turns into the CLNFM, which is the CLN From Mordor. I tell you, it was nasty.

Oooo, says the CLNFM, what big muscles you have!

All the better to squeeze you with, says Beor. Everybody else winces.

Ooooo, says the CLNFM, what a big beard you have!

All the better to tickle between your thighs, says Beor. Everybody else vomits.

Oooo, says the CLNFM, what a broad and sexy chest you have!

All the better to press against your surgically-enhanced assets, says Beor, can I buy you some chocolates? By now, Bree was knee deep in regurgitation.

Oooo, says the CLNFM, yes please. So off they go, cool as you please, leaving the rest of us gasping in shock. I mean, Beor didn't even follow the 5-step process. In the 5-step process buying chocolates is step 3, and Beor totally omitted to do step 2 first, which is the arse squeezing.

And when I offered to do step 2 on his behalf, the CLNFM threatened to make me, and I quote, "shit my teeth".

How vulgar is that? Threatening physical violence, and offering foul and abusive language, to a gentleman of refinement such as myself. Unbelievable! Inconceivable! And what's worse, it was all witnessed by the lovely Luceedribbles, one of the very best of the Lonely Mountain Band. What will she think of me now?

I had to leave the scene precipitously, as my delicate sensibilities just couldn't cope with such vulgarity.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Aegthil's guide to Epic quests: Volume 1.

Now that I have managed to complete every single last one of Volume 1 of the Epic quests, I am finally in a position to share my extensive knowledge about this quest series. I'm nice that way. I like to spread the love.

What are Epic Quests?

Epic quests are special quests that were designed by Sauron, with the specific goal of causing mental instability and illness among the denizens of Middle Earth. They were gestated in the deepest, darkest pits of Mordor, in the Fires of Mount Doom and the Bowels of the Mountain, and were let loose upon an unsuspecting world approximately 17 years ago.

These quests appear first as a simple quest chain, easy to complete, short and relatively pleasant. However, an insidious transformation soon follows, as the chain morphs into a ravening, lethal monster that eats your brain, leaving you a drooling idiot. I admit that, with some people, it's a little difficult to tell (think BBB here), but a thorough medical examination will soon verify the above statement. (Note: anybody who gives a BBB member, including Geoffroi, a medical examination, is advised to undergo a rigorous personal hygeine improvement procedure, using an industrial-strength, super-concentrate disinfectant with active enzymes.)


The major reason that Epic quests are so lethal is the extremely high level of contagion. It is estimated that the Reproductive Number, R, of the final epic quest in the series is approximately 300, which is a very big number indeed. Much bigger than lots of other numbers like 2 or 68 or 400. The contagion results from the fact that some epic quests give quest rewards like nice cloaks, or nice hats, or handsome shoes, and when other players see these nice hats and shoes they are seduced, in their turn, into attempting the Epic quests. By this method Epic quests can ravage an entire population in less than a week.

Where do Epic Quests start? The initial infection

Epic quests start in villages close to Bree and spread from there into Bree. Initial infections are characterised by the following series of trips:
  • Go to Bree
  • Go back to Combe
  • Go back to Bree
  • Go back to Combe
  • Go back to Bree
  • Go back to Combe
  • Go back to Bree
  • Go to Archet
  • Go back to Combe
  • Go back to Bree
  • Go back to Combe
  • Go back to Bree
  • Go back to Combe
  • Go back to Bree
  • Go back to Combe
  • Go back to Bree
  • Go back to Combe
  • Go back to Bree
  • Go back to Combe
  • Tear out your hair and say a rude word
Once a typical person has been infected by this series the prognosis is not good. Studies show that only 32% of people ever manage to recover, even partially, after being infected.

Where do Epic Quests end? The denouement.

Eventually, as the infection develops, you advance from running between Bree and Combe to travelling between Rivendell and Forochel The Living Hell with side trips to other nasty places. For example, a typical sign of advanced infection is:
  • Go to talk to pointy-eared Elrond
  • Go to Forochel The Living Hell
  • Go to talk to pointy-eared Elrond
  • Go to Forochel The Living Hell
  • Go to talk to pointy-eared Elrond
  • Go to Forochel The Living Hell
  • Go to talk to pointy-eared Elrond
  • Go to Forochel The Living Hell
  • Go to talk to pointy-eared Elrond
  • Go to Forochel The Living Hell
  • Go to talk to pointy-eared Elrond
  • Go to Forochel The Living Hell
  • Go to talk to pointy-eared Elrond
  • Go to Forochel The Living Hell
  • Go to talk to pointy-eared Elrond
  • Go to Forochel The Living Hell
  • Go to Michael Delving
  • Go to talk to pointy-eared Elrond
  • Go to Forochel The Living Hell
  • Go to talk to pointy-eared Elrond
  • Go to Forochel The Living Hell
  • Go to talk to pointy-eared Elrond
  • Go to Forochel The Living Hell
  • Go to Bree
  • Go to talk to pointy-eared Elrond
  • Go to Forochel The Living Hell
  • Go to talk to pointy-eared Elrond
  • Go to Forochel The Living Hell
  • Go to talk to pointy-eared Elrond
  • Go to Forochel The Living Hell
  • Go to Thorin's Hall
  • Go to talk to pointy-eared Elrond
  • Go to Forochel The Living Hell
  • Go to talk to pointy-eared Elrond
  • Go to Forochel The Living Hell
  • Go to talk to pointy-eared Elrond
  • Go to Forochel The Living Hell
  • Go to talk to pointy-eared Elrond
  • Go to Forochel The Living Hell
  • Go to talk to pointy-eared Elrond
  • Go to Forochel The Living Hell
  • Gouge out your eyeballs with a red-hot needle
Eventually, you get to talk to Narmaleth the Teenager EBQ (see earlier diary entry) and then you can chop her hand off when she really annoys you.

Finally, it all ends, and you get given a goat as a present. Woo. Very exciting. Well, I exaggerate. Not very exciting really. But at least you know that the infection is over, you have passed through the eye of the needle, you have survived the purifying fire, and you are now a better person.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

You don't scare me, Blue

Last night I popped into the Dancing Goat to be seen and admired by my fans who often gather there. The lovely Madaelin was lucky enough to be there, and I know she would have been delighted to see me, as she always is. So I nodded to her, she smiled at me with her heart in her eyes, and kept plinking and plonking away in front of the fire. I thought I'd be kind, give her a thrill, so I sat down to listen.

There was some dorkface called David  sitting in front of her also, but he was super ugly and very poorly dressed. He doesn't have a chance when compared to a talented, handsome, charming and sophisticated person such as myself, and the poor guy just doesn't seem to realise. Ah well, there are some unfortunate people in the world who seem to be totally unable to maintain a realistic view of themselves. No matter the evidence they persist in a delusional belief in their own charm and ability, and nothing you can say can force reality down their throats.

Honestly, you have to feel sorry for people like that.

Anyway, dorkface David wasn't the real problem last night, as there was another ... well, I won't say lady... another female standing by the bar and eyeing me up. Now, this happens a lot, of course. Every day. I get used to it. It's the price you pay for being a major rock star. But this was a little different, a little creepy. She kept on doing this whole weird staring thing, with her googly eyes all poking out, and there was probably drool too.

So eventually I gave up trying to ignore her (she wasn't nearly beautiful enough to tempt me) and nipped on over to see what on earth was going on.

Good evening, lovely lady, I said (you know you have to use this kind of phrase even when she is an ugly toad), I am the famous Aegthil of Gondor. May I have the pleasure of your name?

She kind of glared at me, and there was a long pause. Setata, she said eventually. My name's Setata, but many people call me ..... BLUE!

You could have knocked me over with a feather. Finally, I could see what was going on. (I'm very clever like that.) She'd been sent by Bluebonnett to do me over, to break my kneecaps, to injure me in other creative ways. I'm guessing that Blue was a bit miffed that I spilled the beans about her little muffin incident, not to mention that I won't pay up for her bail, so she sent her sorter to have a wee chat with me. No wonder she'd been looking at me weirdly all night. She'd been deciding which bones to break.

So I took off. I wasn't going to stick around and have my fingers broken. I owe it to my fans to protect myself. I lost Blue's sorter in the corridors of the Dancing Goat, and eventually got out window and made it to the protection of Madame Celestine's.

It was a lucky escape, but I remain undaunted. I will not be scared by Blue and her minions. I will stand proud and tall (at Madame Celestine's) and show the world how a courageous minstrel deals with intimidation.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Bluebonnett's in jail

I regret to inform all my avid fans... well, actually, let me rephrase. I don't at all regret to inform my avid fans - in fact, I take enormous pleasure in informing my avid fans - that Bluebonnett Merrydo, the wanna-be rock star who isn't nearly as important as she thinks she is, was discovered by the Bree Town Guard in flagrante delicto with a muffin.

She was promptly hauled off to the Bree jail, where she remains. And good riddance too, I say. I'm not paying her bail, that's for sure.

That's why she's been absent from the last couple of BBB performances, which have therefore been models of gentility, decorum, and appropriate behaviour. Well, there may have been a little slip with Rosaliiee, but nothing to get excited about, and anyway, her psyche is probably not permanently injured. The rather dull little Blingamerrydo (I think she is Bluebonnett's grand-daughter or something; there is certainly a strong family resemblance) has taken Bluebonnett's place in BBB and will be performing with us other rock stars on a regular basis. She, at least, behaves in a relatively respectful and appropriate manner. Mostly.

I wish I could say the same for Harparzilla, another new arrival. She's a rather scary sort of character, to be honest, with a wickedly sharp (and inaccurate) turn of phrase. I shall have to consider ways she can be sabotaged. I know she's pretty keen on sailors, so that might be a possibility. They often spread nasty diseases. I'll have a wee chat to Madame Celestine to see what can be arranged.

Carica has become quite a regular and clearly is a huge admirer of me. As is often the case, she tries ineffectively to hide her admiration behind a superficial facade of rudeness and inaccurate comments. I see past such things to the underlying depths. I'm good that way. Yet another thing I'm very good at.

And the not-very-famous Geoffroi joined BBB also, for a couple of weeks.  Apparently he's from Gondor. Never heard of him.

But the most exciting thing to happen in weeks and weeks was the reappearance of the lovely Wrenaya, dressed to the nines and fit to kill in a lovely dress that was.... er... maybe green? It could have been blue. Or red perhaps. Whatever. Anyway, it was very nice indeed and she looked smashing! She even spoke to me! My Fool thinks that maybe she thought I was somebody else.

Which is why he is a Fool.  I have complete faith in the attractive power of baldness.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Narmeleth is not possessed

I haven't been allowed out all that much recently as my Fool has been working on the video for Harperella's Grace (and working for Bluebonnett, unpaid), but when I was allowed a short break from Madame Celestine's I was forced to travel all the way up to that place of living hell. Forochel.

Forochel, the Living Hell. It even rhymes. I detect the workings of fate.

Why was I sent up there, I hear you ask. Well, not for any good reason, let me tell you. Something to do with an epic quest. I'm not sure exactly what is meant by an epic quest, but I'm guessing it means a pain-in-the-bloody-arse quest that sends you hither and yon, again and again, taking a message from Elrond to some guy, and then taking a message back, and then taking a message to the horse master, and then collecing pieces of junk from every single bloody city in the entire world, and then taking another message to Elrond, and then going back to the first guy who sends you all the way to Forochel the Living Hell..... you get the picture. Pain in the arse. Why can't Elrond deliver his own bloody messages and do his own shopping? Lazy bugger.  I'm the famous Aegthil of Gondor and I should be treated with a bit more bloody RESPECT!

Take a deep breath. Let me have a zen moment....

That's better. Anway, it seems some ranger person, Laerden, or some such name, had this daughter called Narmeleth. She was a sweet wee thing, very pretty, very cute, lots of fun to have around the house, except that every so often she would turn into the Evil Bitch Queen (EBQ) and start stamping around the place, screaming and yelling things like You Can't Force Me to Tidy My Room, You Effing Bastard, or maybe Eff You, You Effing Bastard, I Effing Hate You, and I Effing Hate Effing Mum Too so Eff Both of You.

Well, Mr. Laerden, let me tell you something. This isn't possession by an evil force out of Mordor. Cute wee Narmeleth is not magically controlled by the EBQ Amarthelitha, or whatever her name is. It's nothing like that. Nope.

Narmeleth is merely a teenager, and acting in a perfectly normal age-appropriate manner. She is struggling with all kinds of personal life issues, but most particularly with the unpleasant realisation that her family is not actually there entirely for her benefit, and to act as servants whenever required to do so. This comes as a nasty shock to girls of Narmeleth's age and they understandably have trouble adjusting.

This sort of behaviour is easily interpreted as possession by the EBQ. Scientific studies have shown that 78.4% of parents believe, even if only subconsciously, that their darling child is the unwilling victim of possession by an EBQ from Mordor. But this is not the case.

There is only one remedy. You must have patience, Mr. Laerden, you must have patience, and treat the EBQ at all time with courtesy and respect. For example,  when your EBQ-possessed daughter calls you an Effing Bastard, you must reply with calm dignity, Well Eff You Too, You EBQ, You're Not The Only Effing Bastard Who Can Lose Their Effing Temper, and then you can throw her out of the house.

A restrained response like this is very effective, and will teach your EBQ daughter the importance of a mature and responsible attitude to life's little problems.

The one thing you absolutely do NOT want to do, is send me up to Forochel the Living Hell to drag her back. Quite frankly, I don't give a damn about your EBQ daughter, and it's just too bloody cold up here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

MVT and other matters, by the Fool

A couple of days ago I was yet again amazed and impressed by the level of participation in and commitment to LOTRO .... I was going to say LOTRO roleplaying, but it's not that, really. Commitment, rather, to the artistic life of LOTRO.

Firstly, it was the performance by Mer Vanya Tyalieva (I think I got that right!) of the story of the creation, from the Silmarillion. This was a show, about two and a half hours long, that required the preparation of enormous amounts of music, help from around 20 people, hours and hours of rehearsal, and then a committed audience, willing to sit through the entire show.

Just like putting on a show in real life, it required a huge level of dedication from a lot of people. And they did it. They turned up to rehearse. Mostly on time, even. They learned their parts. They practised their emotes. They behaved (even in their private raid chatting behind the scenes) exactly like any other group of musicians and actors dedicated to putting on the best performance they could. The nervous banter you could have heard in any Green Room in the world, the bad jokes, the worries, the fretting.

So why is this impressive? After all, when it comes to raiding, this kind of thing happens every hour of every day in a game like WoW, and probably almost as often in LOTRO.

Well, it's difficult for me to articulate why dedication of many hours to an artistic performance is somehow more impressive than dedication of many hours to raiding. The level of commitment, of organisation, is the same, if not more so. But the artistic performance doesn't advance a character in any way recognised by the game. It doesn't get you any new gear, any new skills, any tangible in-game rewards at all. To many people, there is no reward at all, tangible or otherwise, for participating in an artistic performance.

So why do people do it? I suppose for the love of the music, the love of the lore, the love of the artistic life of LOTRO. There are so many people dedicated to these things that such performances become possible. And, in my opinion, this is a truly impressive statement about the LOTRO community. It is a community where joint artistic endeavour ranks as highly as killing the latest nastiest boss. Not for everybody of course, that is hardly to be expected, but for many, and for enough.

Mind you, I guess I only admire this because I couldn't give a rat's arse for killing a boss in a dungeon, or for having the latest, shiniest, gear. And my children would say that I don't give a rat's arse because I couldn't do it anyway. Too old, too slow, bad reflexes, small brain, they would say. Stick to your geriatric stuff, leave us cool kids alone. Pfft.

I also was sorry to have missed the fireworks display in honour of Bilbo's birthday, put on by the Sons of Numenor. It was, by all accounts, a fantastic display and a great time was had by all.

Secondly, BBB did the filming of large parts of their latest music video, for the song Harperella's Grace, and the Lonely Mountain Band did themselves proud. Between 20 and 30 people turned up to help, to dance, to stand around, to dance again, to stop, to start, to cheer, to jump, to dance, to dance, to dance. And they stayed for hours to get the job done. Nothing in it for them. Their names don't even appear in the video. They helped because they are kin, and that's what kin does. Some of them weren't even kin, but came to help because ... well, that's just who they are.

You just can't beat that kind of community. I don't know how to say thank you adequately.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Dancing with the stars

BBB's next music video project is Harperella's Grace, and my Fool needs people to come and dance.

Saturday, 24 Sept, 3 pm.
The Lonely Mountain Band kinhouse neighbourhood. Maybe Falathlorn?
In the band rotunda with all those nice chairs.

Turn up. Get noticed! Become rich and famous. If you're lucky I'll even dance with you, and then you'll be dancing with a star!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The MVT performance: Aegthil the star

I am delighted to announce to all my adoring fans that I have been cast as the major lead romantic role in the upcoming Mer Vanny Tiddlywinks performance of..... er.... some play or other.  Silmalalatothefairies or something, by some guy I've never heard of.  The play is all about a minstrel from Gondor (that's me!) who comes to Bree and plays music and all the women fall in love with him, and a band plays music in his honour.

Fionalulu is playing the part of Apple-Sherie, of course. We get to make eyes at one another across a crowded dance floor, and then I make a speech, and then she makes a speech, and then a bunch of Mer Vanny Tiddlywinks play some music for us, and then I get to do another speech.

There's a bit more music in my honour, and then I have to pretend to be angry (like I could ever be angry with my darling Fionalulu!) and walk away. Something like that. I think the kissing and bedroom scenes must come later in the performance, because there was nothing like that at rehearsal. When I pinched Fionalulu's bottom (for additional authenticity) she didn't seem to appreciate it. Well, not openly anyway. I'm sure she was glowing inside.

I will be wearing a nice white costume (a bit different from my usual black, but that is to maintain the proper emotional distance from the part) and Fionalulu will be wearing the usual sort of leather gear. I think so, anyway, but there were no costumes at the rehearsal.

There are some other people doing stuff, but nothing important.

It's going to be a great show and the Tiddlywinks are lucky to have me in the starring role!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bluebonnett Blues: The video

After more work than my Fool imagined, I bring you

Bluebonnett Blues: the video:

Mostly because this provides a convenient place to keep the address.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Dol Amroth Bounty

The Servant Girls of Dol Amroth have refused to remove the bounty from my person and so I remain holed up in Madame Celestine's. I couldn't even pay off the Town Guard like I usually do. The Dol Amroth Scrubbers have them sewn up tighter than a duck's .....well, never mind about that. I must have really annoyed them. Goodness. Go figure.

However, secure in the knowledge that a greased palm settles everything, B.B.B. has offered a counter-bounty of 500 gold. I am going to smuggle a message out to the Babes of Dol Amroth informing them of this fact. All they have to do is see reason and let me out, so that I can continue to entertain and inform the world, and Beorbrand (as the BBB leader) will pay them the dosh. All in unmarked gold coins, come alone, and don't tell the Bree Town Guard or the deal's off.

I think this is a real bargain. The Dol Amroth Scrubbers make a good solid profit (I only want a 50-50 split, which is pretty generous if you think about it), and the world gets to benefit from my continued presence. Everybody wins.

If you throw in Gwen's address I'll accept a 60-40 split. Or who was the cutie in blue? Does she like theorbo players?

Actually, on second thoughts never mind about the Babe in Blue. After a few days as a boarder at Madame Celestine's I'm not sure I have the energy.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Servant Girls of Dol Amroth

My Fool is off on his travels again so I am forced to remain in durance vile for a few days. But this time I managed to persuade Madame Celestine to take me in as a boarder, and a general man-about-the-house. So to speak. I also persuaded Beorlich to come by with a selection of his wares (after dark). The girls were particularly appreciative.

It sure beats the Dancing Goat and old Butterbuns, let me tell you. Best of all I can avoid Beor the nasty piper man. He doesn't even know where Madame Celestine's is. Neither does the Bree Town Guard, a fact which I mention for no particular reason, let me add, except as a general statement of fact.

My mentioning the Town Guard has absolutely nothing to do with the events of the weekend, in which I was guest of honour at a party hosted by the Servant Girls of..... er.... a bunch of people from ..... er.... somewhere. Amroth? Dol Amroth? Hell, I can't remember. I'm an artist, not an intellectual geek.

Anyway, BBB was hired to play for their kinship birthday party, and boy, did we play. We played until they begged for mercy, and threw us out. The highlight of the evening was, of course, the lovely lady Gwen, all dressed (or, rather, mostly half undressed) in a cute little off-the-shoulder number that exposed her assets to all her kin. I wasn't looking, but I heard tell. She clearly thought I was a handsome devil, no two ways about it. Couldn't keep her eyes off me. I was almost too distracted to pose, preen and play. Almost.

The banter flowed. The wit was supreme. The conversational cut and thrust was enthralling. Sure, maybe a few feelings were hurt here and there, maybe a few bad words escaped in the heat of the moment, but you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. There was really no need to lodge a formal complaint or anything like that. No need at all.

It's all in good fun, and if you can't see the humour in being called a short, fat, hairy, ugly little moron of a dorf, then you really need to get a life. Honestly. Lighten up. Or maybe she was a bobbit. Whatever.

And it's simply not true that I made inappropriate physical advances to the lady Gwen. Simply not true at all. They were entirely appropriate (at the time), even if not entirely successful.

So I really don't see what all this fuss is about. I wonder if I can get the Lady Gwen's address?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

It's Party Time. Oh yeah.

Beorbrand and Aegthil and Inzilgagger and Bluebonnett and Irdu and Carica and Ashmara and the Buggerydoos and Loryswine and all the rest of the BBB degenerate musical collective invite you all to join the music video filming on Saturday.

We need everybody. Particularly all short ... er... things. Dwarves, hobbits, whatever. We're not proud. But even humans and elves can come along. We love you all.

This Saturday (10 Sept)
4 pm.
Bird and Baby, Michael Delving.

Wear your fancy duds. Brush your teeth. Get ready to dance. Get ready to cheer. Get ready to drink to excess. Above all, get ready to party!

Fame and fortune awaits.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Aegthil's Skirmish Guides: Trouble in Tookborough

My very first skirmish guide on how to save Bree was a huge success, even to the extent that I had members of my kinship asking me how they also could access its priceless information. I was happy to oblige Harperella, and I am sure that her skirmish experience has dramatically improved since. You're welcome, you're very welcome indeed. I like to be of service.

Now, since bobbit control is a major problem in general (think of Bluebonnett and the Buggerydoos), I thought I would contribute to the debate by a detailed discussion of the skirmish where you have to save the Tooks. Or something like that.

Question: What is this skirmish?

Answer: It's the one where you have to save the bobbits. Apparently the Tooks have been taken over by goblins and it's your job to sort them out. The goblins, that is. I think. Possibly the Tooks.

Question: Which skirmish helper should I use?

Answer: This is easy. Use your herb provider. Skirmishes can be a highly stressful experience, and your herb provider is skilled in a variety of measures that are guaranteed to relieve stress and improve your overall karma and spiritual aura. Their herbs are all medically certified for this use, and are guaranteed to be legal, as long as you don't inhale, which of course you wouldn't do anyway, would you? Any other skirmish services may also relieve stress although they do not always come with a medical certificate.

Question: Why should I care about saving the Tooks anyway?

Answer: This is a very good question, and gets at the heart of what makes a successful skirmish soldier. The fact is that you don't actually care about the Tooks at all. They're bobbits. Your emotions must remain uninvolved as you turn yourself into a ruthless, cold-hearted, efficient killing machine.

Question: How can I tell the difference between the goblins and the bobbits?

Answer: You can't. They all look the same. But it doesn't matter. Just kill any small things you see.

Question: What are all these little holes in the ground with little doors?

Answer: These are bobbit latrines, so don't go in them.

Question: Where do the bobbits live?

Answer: Bobbits live inside their latrines I think, which is the reason they have doors. These are holes in the ground, but much smaller than Moria, which is essentially a big hole in the ground where dwarves live.

Question: If the dwarves can dig a really big hole like Moria, and bobbits are about the same size as dwarfs, why can't bobbits dig big holes too?

Answer: The latest, and most compelling, theory is to do with size of certain regions of bobbit and dwarf brains. The hipplocampular fundamentus is the region of a dwarf brain that controls appetite and promotes the digging reflexes. In bobbits, who naturally have much smaller brains, the hippolcemplar fandamental is a lot smaller, which is why they eat a lot and cannot dig big holes.

Question: Well, yeah, but Moria is HUGE and bobbit holes are TINY.

Answer: Yep.

Question: What do I do with these flagpoles?

Answer: Whatever you do, don't touch the flagpoles. They are surrounded by fancy glittering lights to make them look attractive, but this is nothing but a goblin trap. If you touch those flagpoles you get immediately attacked by reinforcements, including goblin leaders, and other bobbits come out of the latrine doors to attack you as well. It's a very bad scene. Don't touch the flagpoles.

Question: How do I know when I've saved the Tooks?

Answer: Well, you don't really, but then you don't care either. At any rate, eventually you come to a blocked gate, which is blocked because the Tooks don't want you trespassing on their land. When this happens it's safe to talk to your herb provider and go home.

Question: What is the best way for me to show my appreciation for your wonderful skirmish guides?

Answer: Thank you for asking. It depends on your gender and race. If you are a human female, or a fairly broad-minded female elf, then talk to Madame Celestine, who will provide guidance. Otherwise, send cash to

Aegthil of Gondor
2 High Road
Bree Homesteads

Monday, September 5, 2011

Making movies, by the Fool

Playing music: easy. Composing short little songs: easy. Writing abc files: easy. Trying to make a music video: really really really difficult.

I wasn't expecting this, I must say. I thought, oh yeah, think up a few scenes, record them, stick bits together, and voila, a movie.

But for some reason it just doesn't work like this. First, you have to deal with files that are 20 GB long. I mean, that is a long upload time just for starters. How on earth do you exchange files of this size? And then, how on earth do you get the damn band in the middle of the damn screen? Either they are too small, and you can't see anything, or they are too big and look weird. And then you have to use software you've never used before (fraps and iMovie for me) and it doesn't do what you want it to do but you don't know this until you've spent hours trying to get it to do what you want, which of course you never do. And NTSC or PAL, or what frames/second, and what resolution, what screen size, how to cut a bit out, zoom a bit in, change the transition, oh, but what did the other guys send, and will it match, and will it fit, and what length should it be, and how can you ever get a crowd of extras organised, and so you spend days trying to upload and cut and trim and film and zoom and transition and then the finished product looks bloody awful because you made some really basic errors way back when and so you have to start again.


So you go and kick your children instead because that at least is a productive exercise.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Back into Moria

Woops. Well. That was slightly ambitious. So, back into Moria I go. Once those nasty orcs and goblins get to be red, then it's difficult even for a super-minstrel like myself to kill them. Mostly, I have to run away. Which is still very brave and clever and handsome, but slightly less useful, I must admit.

So I shall have to spend a little more time admiring the dwarfish delights of this bloody great hole in the ground.

Farewell sun. Farewell pretentious and irritating elves. Greetings again to short hairy dwarfs with short hairy women. Horrible. With all due respect to Khizli. Horrible.

I wonder. If I just hang out in the Dancing Goat, will I improve? I mean, apart from the obvious general improvement in looks, personality, temperament, and overall appeal, will I actually get better at killing baddies?

An interesting question. I should ask Madame Celestine.

Out of Moria

Having reached the exalted heights of level 55, and equipped a brand new Clapping (sword for killing stuff) and Shire Country Songs Vol II (Songbook for killing stuff), I decided that I had had enough of the dim dark recesses of the dwarfs, and I wanted to see the sun again. So I ran out of Moria.

It was a little tricky at times, but I made it.

Made it out to some cutsey Elven place called.... er...... Lorrysomething. I was so exhausted from the exertion I promptly had a nap and didn't pay too much attention to the name. It'll be some piece of Elvish pretentious nonsense, Silmathengarila this, or Lirrydirryafalalal that.

To be honest, the scenery in Moria was kind of spectacular. In a peculiar way. I mean, who on earth would want to dig a hole like that? Well, short hairy dwarfs, obviously, but... woooo..... weird. So, around every corner you see some new, gorgeous cavern, with decorated pillars as long as Apple-Sherie's legs, and with sparkly lanterns almost as pretty as Wrenaya's eyes, but instead of thinking, how beautiful (as you would do with Apple-Sherie or Wrenaya, although not, I have to say with every one of my female acquaintances; I name no names) you think instead, Bloody Hell, who would do this? Why would they do this? This is amazing... but ... no. No. This is not right. This is not normal. This should not be.

However, it's undeniably beautiful, and enormously impressive.

Not always in good repair, mind you. Towards the end I had to run around some big pit, that had a perfectly nice bridge over it, but with a big hole in the middle. Typical dwarfs can't get anything right. If you're going to build a bridge over a pit, at least finish the damn thing. Don't just leave it there with a bloody great hole in it.

Honestly. Dwarfs are so lazy and stupid it's hard to believe.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Aegthil's Skirmish Guides: The Bree Raid Skirmish

Back by popular demand, I bring you the next installment of my famous guides. My Tailoring Guide was an enormous hit, and rightly so; now I am delighted to bring you a guide to skirmishes. Guaranteed to have the same unique perspective and insightful comments that you all have come to love.

Skirmishes. Right. Here we go.

Figure 1. Always ask your kinship for advice.
Let's start from the beginning. The first thing to learn about skirmishes is that you get a little servant who will do whatever you ask him (or her!) to do. This has enormous possibilities. But a decision is needed, as you have to choose what kind of servant you want. Some of them are males and carry heavy things like swords, while others are female and provide you with herbal assistance (see Figure 1 for details). Quite frankly, the choice is obvious. The herb provider is kind of cute (see later) and provides all sorts of services in addition to herbs. Your tastes may vary of course, so feel free to get yourself a male herb provider if you prefer.

Once you have your herb provider you then have to choose a skirmish to do. I'm going to start with a Raid Skirmish, as they are the best ones to start with.

To get into your Raid Skirmish you talk to your herb provider. This can be done at almost any time, except really early in the morning. Personally, I don't mind morning breath on my herb provider, but some people find this a little off-putting and prefer to clean their teeth first before discussing additional skirmish services.

Remember, always use skirmish protection when asking for skirmish services from your herb provider. If you're unsure of how to get suitable protection, then consult my Tailoring Guide, which can be found ... um ... never mind about that. Tailors are expert at the construction of suitable skirmish protection, which can in fact be used multiple times as long as you're not too squeamish. I think they use bat fur for this.

Figure 2. Ask a smelly bagpipe player.
Before talking to your herb provider, consult a friend, and enlist them to help. Often Raid Skirmishes are better done in pairs, as the conversation is a lot better that way. Your herb provider, although useful in many many varied and interesting ways, is not a good conversationalist. She doesn't have to be. If you can't find a friend, or a nice non-stinky person to join the Raid Skirmish with you, a bagpipe player will do instead (Figure 2).

OK, now you're pretty much all set. You've got your herb provider, who should be at level 2 by now, and your cannon fodder (the bagpipe player).

You now head into the instance. It can be a bit difficult to find the entrance, and sometimes you need to look around for a bit, so we just went into the Bree Skirmish Raid, as that was a nice easy one to find, making it good for beginners.

When you enter the Bree Skirmish Raid there is some guy on the ground whining and moaning about stuff, but just ignore him.

Figure 3. Complementary outfits are important
Now, make sure your herb provider is ready and waiting to assist you, and that she (or he) is properly dressed (Figure 3). As you can see from the picture, this is not always easy. Because of my experience and artistic talent, I have managed to dress my herb provider properly, in a lovely blue outfit that complements the outfit that Apple-Sherie got for me. My bagpipe player, unfortunately lacks this same knowledge and fashion awareness, and his herb provider has some nasty red robe thing on; this is just not a good statement.

The next step is to go out the gate by the whining man and kill the baddies. This is pretty easy, so I probably don't need to go into too much detail. Once you have saved the town you get a special Raid Skirmish award, which is a little medal thing on a ribbon, presented by a lady with a short skirt and blond hair. I suspect the blond was artificial. Maybe the legs were, too, but I'm less sure about that. They felt real.

Figure 4. Saying goodbye.
Anyway, that's all there is to the Bree Raid Skirmish. Say goodbye to your companion and take your Raid Skirmish Award back to your herb provider. Mostly my companions say how fun it was to talk to me, and how it was a real pleasure to meet me, that kind of thing (Figure 4). I can understand this, but not everybody will have the same experience, so don't be disappointed if your companion just leaves without saying anything. It will take time for you to improve your personality to the level of mine, but when at first you don't succeed, try and try again. That's the spirit.

You can trade your Raid Skirmish Award for special favours from your herb provider, or for special herbs. Personally, I recommend the special favours, as Beorlich does a great deal on very special herbs, while you wouldn't really want him to provide any other special favours.

So, that's all from me, for this installment of Aegthil's Skirmish Guides. Happy hunting to you all, and I hope you all have many happy hours with your herb provider.