Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ales and Tales

My Fool is amazed, in a kind of low-intelligence and pathetic fashion. I am not, of course. I am merely offended and not at all amused.

I attended my very first Ales and Tales event, run by the soon-to-be-called Aegthil's Social and Participatory Mountain and Valley Orchestral Band. My Fool was highly impressed by the level of effort put in by a large number of people. He saw coordinated dancing! (Pfft, I thought, much better in Gondor). He thought the music to be excellent, well coordinated and performed. (I laugh at the thought. It was definitely second-rate stuff. I've seen better at the Gondor Babies Academy.)

Indeed, I had a major disagreement with my Fool over this. He insisted on remaining quietly in the background, the newcomer, trying not to get in the way, looking on and learning. He completely refused to allow me to take my natural place in the limelight. People would have so greatly appreciated my wonderful talents, and I was allowed no opportunity for their display.

He is a babbling idiot, my Fool, a babbling idiot.

To change the topic slightly (it's not all about me, you know) there is much that still puzzles my Fool, in fact. He had no idea how the Ales and Tales seemed to be in some sort of parallel universe, and was greatly confused by not initially being able to find them. Was he making me run through the crowd over and over again on his smelly horse, all too visible to the others who were invisible to him? Possibly? How humiliating that would be.

And what's with his inabiltiy to find me a Fellowship to kill stuff for me? He claims to have tried and tried, but has yet been totally incapable of finding others to do the work for me in the Great Barrows. It's rather annoying, actually, for both of us. My Fool likes it when I sing to people, and I like to exhibit my talents. But no takers yet. Even when he advertises in the LFF channel (whatever that means; I'm merely quoting him) he gets no takers.

Personally, I think that people are merely intimidated by my reputation, and nervous about his known idiocy.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A pleasant home

The Lonely Mountain Band has been the lucky winner! We shall see how well they are able to cope with the presence of genius in their midst. Not everybody can manage, or so has been my experience.

My first task shall be to persuade them all to change the name of the kinship to Aegthil's Participatory and Social Mountain and Valley Orchestral Band. Somehow that just seems catchier, more inclusive, and the explicit association with me can only be a bonus.

In other news, I continue to explore these barbarous northern regions and am now quite adept at running away from various nasties that want to chew on me. I can find my way around Weathertop without getting lost more than two or three times, and the folks at the Lonesome Inn, or some such dreary name, recognise my handsome face now and ask me to play for them. I decline, of course. My talent is not to be wasted on such as they.

My tailoring skills continue to impress all and sundry, as I am now an Expert. Very impressive, if I say so myself. The one trouble is that, in order to make tailoring sorts of things, I generally need to go and kill other sorts of things with hides. Rabbits and so forth. This is work. I break my fingernails. I bruise easily. I have not yet thought of a solution to this problem.

Fortunately, it remains relatively easy to pick up bits of wood and ore that are just left lying around. Most untidy. The Auction House is a convenient and anonymous way to dispose of such unwanted material, and I am now up to the princely sum of 5 gold pieces. I don't do this myself, of course. That would be beneath me. I am not a huckster, a merchant, a small-minded pursuer of vile lucre. I am not in Trade. I am an Artist.

But the five gold is nice.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Barrowdowns reprise

Well, I found the Barrow Downs at last. Or maybe the Barrowdowns. Both northern and southern varieties. Full of nasties they are, but I've managed to survive so far while running around doing my various errands. The most difficult thing so far has been to save that mentally retarded little girl, Talia, or Tania, or something.

Now, one doesn't expect much from children. They're under-developed both physically and mentally and their noses run. And their feet smell, which means that they're built upside-down, but let's not go there. Then they grow up, get to be teenagers, and promptly get considerably worse. I'm not sure they ever turn into humans again; expert opinion is divided.

But of this horrible little breed, that vile little girl Talia has to be the worst. A total moron. First, she runs off into the middle of the Northern Barrow Downs (not clever, little girl, not clever), and then she sits there and wails about it. At the very least she could just shut up and let other people get on with their lives while she gets eaten and turned into the walking dead. But no. Whine, whine, moan moan, so eventually you take pity on her.

Bad move. Where's my cloak, says she. Like I care, say I. It was over here, says she. She runs over to an area that, oh joy, just happens to be full of nasties. Brilliant thinking you little turd, say I, and kill the nasties. Thanks, says she. Oh, maybe my cloak was over here. Process repeats. Moron runs over, nasties try to eat her, Noble Minstrel kills the nasties, Noble Minstrel says nasty word directed at moron child.

Until finally the nasties are too much and the Noble Minstrel dies.

The irony of this is just too much for me. In a just world that little girl would be zombie food.

In other news, my Fool is still looking for a Kinship. One that (he says) can put up with me. Not easy, he says, but he's totally full of it. Any kinship would be honoured to boast my presence in their ranks. No, really, it's true.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Clothing choices

Clothes matter. Well, not to my Fool, but not everybody is a social retard. For a Minstrel, especially a famous one such as myself (let us have no false modesty here) image is all-important. I must be seen as what I am. A handsome, successful, confident and sophisticated man about the town, attractive to the ladies, jovial with the men, and of the highest social standing. I can't afford to look like a vagabond, a ruffian, a person of no sartorial taste and discernment.

But this presents a problem. The usual kind of junk you pick up from things you kill is, hardly surprisingly, less than adequate. You don't expect your regular wild pig to carry much in the way of silk fashion. And they don't. Neither do the brigands, of course, which is perhaps even less surprising. Often the pigs are dressed better.

So I toddle off to the auction house to pick up a suitably sophisticated and understated outfit. Easy, you might think. They're bound to have an extensive array of finely tailored clothing at affordable prices.

You would be wrong.

Good Lord, the prices! I'm supposed to pay 5 gold pieces for a cloak? Just because it has a picture of a wolf on it, or maybe it was a leaf, I'm not entirely sure. Or a full gold piece for some britches? Or for something circlet thing for my head? When I am as recognised in Bree as I should be, then that time will come. But not yet, I fear, not yet.

The only thing I could afford has....... wait for it..... patches!

Unbelievable! Outrageous! Appalling!

I am humiliated.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Barrowdowns?

So I was given a bunch of tasks to do in the Barrow Downs. Or maybe the Barrowdowns. I'm a musician, not a spelling expert. First I ask my Fool. Where are the Barrowdowns, say I. No idea, says he. Typical, say I, you lousy excuse for a person. He didn't answer me.

I realised at that stage that it was up to me. I saw some place on a local map, some place called the North Downs, or some such similar thing. Maybe the West Downs. Looks like somewhere a Barrow Down might be, think I, better check it out. Anyway, I ride on up there, and get my arse shredded by monsters who really didn't appreciate my playing. Level 300 monsters I think they were. Maybe even more.

But I persisted, through death after death. Well, at least one of them. I rode through some provincial backwater, with some forgettable name beginning with T. No wonder I forgot it. But no Barrow to be seen anywhere, not the right sort of Down anywhere. Kept on going north, turned a bit east, still no Barrow. The monsters got bigger and bigger, their teeth got whiter and whiter, and they began to look hungry. Eventually discretion became the better part of valour and Brave Sir Robin Ran Away, Chickening out and Buggering Orf.

Back through the provincial backwater to the relative safety of Bree. I'm tempted to sue the mapmaker.

But that still leaves me with a problem. Where, for the love of all things Elvish, are the damn Barrowdowns? My Fool refuses to help me, because he is a social retard. I might be reduced to asking someone for help.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


My Fool tells me that the reason he "rolled a character on Landroval" was because it was reputed to be full of roleplayers. I have no idea what he means by this rolling nonsense, probably nothing important, but I've seen these roleplayers myself, as the Bree gossip is full of advertisements to join kinships, who claim to be roleplayers. Or, more usually, Roleplayers. With a very definite Capital Letter.

My Fool thinks this is great, he says he loves roleplaying, but I'm a little nervous. What about if I join a kinship and they refuse to recognise my genius? They might want me to do the dishes, or sweep the floor. They might want me to sit and listen while they tell me long and boring stories of their own deeds, like I would care. They might insist on story "construction", rather than just letting me get on with being me. It's all very difficult to know what to do. What about if they make me sit an examination on the history of Bree, or some other forsaken bloody place? Could be humiliating. So I haven't yet responded to any of the advertisements. Maybe one day.

I know that my Fool has had some difficult experiences in the past with Roleplayers. He doesn't know anything about LOTRO (which is obvious) but he's met Roleplayers in other places and some of them have been pompous, humourless, self-righteous, nasty little prats. Some have been lovely. (Not the same ones.) Some Roleplayers would even think that my Fool is a pompous, self-righteous little prat. They would be right, of course. Except that he's not so little any more.

But whenever we come across Roleplayers who explain everything they are doing in precious little OOC explanations our teeth ache. He might be a Fool, but he's not always wrong, and on this we are in complete agreement.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Welcome one, welcome all.

Hi. My name is Aegthil and I'm a minstrel.

Hi Aegthil.

Ahem, yes, well. As I just said, I'm a minstrel. Born and bred in Gondor and famous throughout the lands of the south as one of the greatest and most creative interpreters of the works of the immortal Frenwine. What, you've never heard of Frenwine? Well, never mind about that.

Why did I leave Gondor? None of your business. And any rumours you might have heard are totally untrue. It absolutely was not me.

You will be forgiven for not immediately appreciating my importance, as I have been, rather unfairly, labelled as "Level 10". In reality, of course, I should be level 1000 or maybe 2000, but I am hampered by the continual presence of My Fool. This irritating person, who labours under the delusion that he controls my actions, is, well, a fool. Slow of thought and movement, and limited of understanding. I shall allow him to make notes every so often, for which I apologise in advance.

So, anyway, I come up from Gondor to find total chaos in Archet. I sort that out. Huge thanks, beautiful women cheering me in the street, just the kind of thing I'm used to. I can handle that.

Combe, much of the same. They all know me now, and think I'm a real hot-shot. Well, of course they do. I am.

And then, Bree. Nothing. No parade. No plaudits. No grateful thanks from adoring fans. No beautiful women lining the streets to throw flowers and flash their legs. Nothing. Very disappointing it was. I called on the Mayor, and he didn't even invite me to dinner. My digs at the Prancing Pony are insalubrious, to say the least, and I have to run errands for some bloody ragamuffin Ranger with some weird name. Walker, or something. Stroller. That's it. Stroller.

How the mighty have fallen. The greatest Minstrel Gondor has ever seen, reduced to picking up pieces of NeekerBreeker shit.