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.