Saturday, January 17, 2015

Aegthil's Guide to Winterstock

My Guide to Weatherstock was a smash hit (it still is, of course) so I have given in to popular demand and written a companion guide to Winterstock.

What is Winterstock?

Winterstock is an enormous trade fair dedicated to dwarven and orcish erotica, usually called dworcish erotica. Sellers and buyers of dwarcish erotic literature and media, sex toys, and XXX dworcish lingerie congregate here every year in their thousands. It is the largest trade fair of any kind in Middle Earth, and widely regarded to be one of the most unusual and unique spectacles to be seen anywhere.

How did Winterstock start?

The history of Winterstock began 5 years ago when the bobbit Byrcha was arrested by the Bree Town Guard for the illegal sale of dworcish erotica outside the Prancing Pony. Although, due to a minor legal technicality, she was never formally charged with obscenity, she decided that a safer place was needed, where people of her persuasions could safely meet to share ideas, pictures, and cleaning fluids. Thus was born the idea of a specialised trade fair, held every year at Thorin's Gate, where the laws against obscenity are understandably less strict. (Otherwise, of course, all dwarves would be behind bars.)

How do I register?

To register, a small non-refundable registration fee is payable to Byrcha, of the Lonely Mountain Band. The registration fee must be accompanied by a medical certificate of cleanliness and good health.

What is dworcish erotica?

Huh? What kind of question is that? It's obvious. What? It's not? You've never googled "Orc Porn"? I don't believe you. OK, fine. Have a look here, and here.

Can I get a free sample?

Yep. Talk to any member of BBB, but most likely Eilye or Wrenthil. They can help you out.

Where is Winterstock?

Moron. It's at Thorin's Gate, like I said above. You need to listen to what people are telling you.

Who organises Winterstock?

Technically the Lonely Mountain Band does, although all organisational aspects have to be kept in the strictest secrecy for legal reasons. Although dworcish erotica is not technically illegal in Thorin's Gate, there are detailed bilateral agreements between Thorin's Gate and Bree for the extradition of wanted persons and the prevention of immoral activities. In the past a number of LMB organisers have been extradited on this basis, and have been subsequently indicted and imprisoned; the LMB tries hard to avoid any repetition of such unfortunate occurrences.

If you are personally interested in helping with the administration of this Trade Fair, send a blood sample to Beorbrand, LMB Officer, LMB kinhouse, Ellinbarbarbarant. Include 5 gold for postage and handling.

Is there music at Winterstock?

No. Not what you'd actually call "music" as such. The trade organisers do hire so-called "bands" to provide entertainment, but often this isn't actually musical at all, tending far more towards obscene burlesque than to high culture. BBB. Say no more. Every so often some group of unfortunates tries to instil a higher moral tone, but this never works.

As a general rule, the punters at Winterstock are far more interested in watching wet T-shirt orc chick wrestling than they are in listening to foofy elvish songs about trees and birds. Go figure.

How can I buy illegal substances at Winterstock?

Talk to any member of BBB or the Lonely Mountain Band. Illegal substances are highly recommended and widely used at Winterstock. It's the best way to cushion your psyche against the intolerable strain of being surrounded by dorf lingerie. I mean, some of those images will haunt you for years after.

What is the origin of the name "Winterstock"?

The word "Winterstock" is a western alliteration of the title of one of the earliest dwarvish obscene drinking songs. The actual title is "Wigkh kum akt tu schtuk". A direct translation of this would be, approximately "Hairy up and hairy down".

Is it true that Aegthilmina wears dorf-style crotchless panties underneath her pink dress?

I couldn't possibly say.

Lotro and ringtones, by the Fool

I often annoy myself. I do something and come away thinking what a bloody idiot I am.

Yesterday, I read on the LMB forums about making ringtones. It had never occurred to me to do this, so I thought, oooooo how cool, I'll do that.

So I grabbed the abc file of the LMB anthem, decided it needed to be sped up a touch, and then decided I wanted to correct the tuning of the instruments before doing anything as important as a ringtone. So I split it into separate files, one for each instrument, saved each as a wav and then put each track into Logic Pro.

I then prodded and tweaked the reverb, EQ, pitch correction, balance, volume, etc, etc. For, oh I don't know, maybe an hour or so. Sounded great. Oh yeah. Horn lead here, pipe twiddles there, nice tempo, good stereo balance. All those nice things.

Then I save it as a ringtone and put it on my iPhone. Whereupon I realised what I should have realised right at the very beginning. The iPhone speaker is the size of a bloody ant and gives the shittiest sound you can possibly imagine.

I had just wasted two hours of my life because I was too stupid to think ahead.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Winterstock, by the Fool

I've been meaning for quite a long time now to write a theme song for Winterstock, but I never got around to it. Until now, that is. I did a tune for Weatherstock some time ago, so it was time I completed the pair.

Here's the mp3 and here's the abc file. I can't admit to being particularly happy with it, although Cennwyn wrote some lovely lyrics, which are at the bottom of the abc file. It takes a lot of thought and effort to try and avoid my stuff all sounding a bit sameish, and this one suffers from that, I think. As well as too much cut and paste. The opening of the tune is weak, and the rhythm is kind of a bit boring. However, it really is designed to be sung with lyrics, not just listened to, so that will cover a multitude of sins.

Lilikate is working on a classical kind of version of the song, and I'm curious to see how that goes. Aegthil meets Vivaldi. Actually, that sounds kind of intriguing. Maybe I'll have a crack at writing a Baroque version. Not a bad idea at all, that ... certainly worth a thought or two. Mind you, anything like that really requires the use of a proper music composition program. With Vivaldi, Bach, etc, there is a huge reliance on pattern, not just in chords, but also in rhythm. And the best way to see those patterns laid out is in proper musical notation. You just can't see them in the abc file. I rather enjoy laying out multiple lines in a weaving counterpoint and getting them all to fit together. I'm rambling.

There's a crap load of bands playing at Winterstock this year. It's always a surprise to me to see just how busy the Lotro music scene is. I mean, how the hell do you get, what, 32 bands to do a four-day concert? It's extraordinary.