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One more thought. It's OK about sorcery BUT, have you thought that if there is an evil spell to dominate an individual will's in order to make him murder other ones, it should be known by the Witch King? and thus, why doesn't he directly make use of this spell to murder the King of Rhudaur, or any other king? Such spell would have allowed the destruction of arnorian kingdoms by the systematic murder of their leaders...
Quite impressive all this second part.
I have really enjoyed it. I like the way it fits with the Tolkien Cannon, specially about sorcery, as it's come from the Morgoth-element and corrupt his performers.
I also like very much the chapter of the Mail Pigeon. What a great impact on the balance of the story!
The only thing I disagree it is the way the Witch-King is portrayed, as almost any other human King and with some kind of wife. It could be possible that when the Witch-King had at first the Ring, longing his natural lifespan, he could still have human motivations such as hunting or women, but as the Ring make him dehumanizate and turn him into a Shadow without Will (only Sauron's will) I think he should get rid of this motivations, and I think no men or women could resist his aura of dread.
Nevertheless, congratulations for your work!
I really am enjoying your story, this far. I still like your characterization and the characters are very interesting for the most part and you have managed to get at least me to take an interest on them (for example, I somehow feel bad for Algeirr, a villain or not). The love-stricken Orc especially was an ingenious invention, it was so completely surprising. I wonder what you have in store for the future, with new characters and all.
To comment upon a little detail, Gere wouldn't have needed a false beard unless she was very young. Tolkien wrote that dwarf-women had beards and voices similar to the men (HoME, War of the Jewels). But well, it's not in the least way preventing me enjoying your story, and I don't think even the worst purist could reproach you.
Author's Response: Thank you, Formegil. I also felt sad killing off Algeirr - he was an attractive chap, despite his roughness and roguishness. The lovesick orc is a cutie, indeed, he is one of Angmar's unforgettable characters. Perhaps it was one of the orcs who had a corner in his soul where some traces of initial elvishness of his race yet remained... As for dwarf-women beards, your info is new to us. Thank you for it. I thought it was a grey area. Anyway, Gere is very young still - so she may grow a fine beard of her own later.
Well, this was very good chapter, though it could have been longer. I like the way you depict the dark rituals and beliefs. It's not cheesy or unbelievable as in some stories. And as usual, your characterization is brilliant, I liked the episode between Caelen and Callon. I hope you'll update soon. Will Eryndil (and Algeirr with his friends) be featured soon again?
By the way, may I use the place names mentioned in this story (such as Cameth Brin and Penmorva River) in one of my stories? It would save me some work, since I intend to set only a few chapters in Rhudaur.
Author's Response: Thank you, Formegil! We promise more about Algeirr quite soon. Eryndil and Caelen will figure more prominently in the next part. The current one is about those who went journeying. Sure, you may use the place names mentioned in this story, but most of them, like Cameth Brin and Penmorva are not our inventions, but are taken from the maps made for ICE-MERP game modules. I believe you should acknowledge them. I am looking forward to your story set in Rhudaur! -Gordis
Thanks for an exhaustive response and clearing things. When I read the Chapter 2 for the first time and left the review I was too hasty. At the second reading I realized that it was not shape-changing after all, since the Nazgûl had elven-like appearance on his own. At first I had been under impression that he had changed his form to the likeness of Glorfindel, but now I see it was not so. Sorry, my mistake.
Author's Response: Yes, you are right. Silmatan was a Second Age Numenorean from the house of Hador, thus blue-eyed and golden haired. High Numenoreans were not unlike Elves in appearance: "[The Númenóreans] grew wise and glorious, and in all things more like to the Firstborn than any other of the kindreds of Men; and they were tall, taller than the tallest of the sons of Middle-earth; and the light of their eyes was like the bright stars. - Akallabeth". Add to this some sorcerer's glamour - and Agannalo had easily managed to dupe a simple inn-maid.
A good start for this part, so far. It was amusing to read Hurgon becoming the first abstract artist. In all, I think you use the comic potential of some characters and moments to full extent. They are a good lightening of an otherwise serious story.
While reading the first parts, I thought for some reason that only the Witch-King could change his appearance, but obviously the other Nazgûl can do it, too. It is a bit confusing, even if the plot twist of Agannalo appearing as Glorfindel is very intriguing (by the way, will the real Glorfindel be featured at some point?). I mean, in the LotR the Nazgûl are invisible if they are not wearing clothes. Did they lose the shape-changing ability by some disaster (as Sauron in the Fall of Numenor) or is it only the influence of the Nine Rings over time? Why does not anybody sense that everything is not allright with 'Glorfindel'? In the LotR the presence of the Nazgûl was felt by all because of the terror they spread. I am only curious, not criticizing. I look forward to the next chapter.
Author's Response: Thank you for your sympathetic words, Formegil. We hope to have real Glorfindel in the story at some point - those in Rivendell won't get the news of the imposter straight away, but they will - eventually. And then Glorfindel is likely to set off on a nazgul-hunt. In LOTR the nazgul are invisible at all times, but their robes are visible - because they have no Rings. Sauron took the Nine from the nazgul at some point, to better control them (see Unfinished Tales). We suppose that in 1347 the nazgul still wore their Rings, but Sauron was already actively seeking to get the Nine rings back from the Ringwraiths. As for nazgul having the ability to appear visible - it is a grey area, and we are exploring this possibility. Tolkien never really explained what a nazgul could do when in possession of their Rings. The way the Nazgul Lord duped everyone for a very long time (see LOTR App. A), appearing a mortal king is indication that he could conceal his invisibility. Also note that there are practically no reports of nazgul activities in the Second age and in the first half of the Third Age. Perhaps they simply blended with the Mankind… It was not shape-shifting, of course, it was only using the Rings as a key between words. We hypothesize that a Ring of Power can make physical things invisible (canon) and invisible things visible (hypothesis). But when Sauron took their rings later in the Third Age, they became as we see them in LOTR. About the terror issue: even in LOTR it is clear that the nazgul did have an ability to "tone down" their terror. Khamul the nazgul spoke with the Gaffer and then with Maggot. The hobbits were nervous and freaked, but they stood their ground and didn't run away. Two Nazgul rode through Bree asking questions - again, there was no panic. Yet, a single nazgul could send a whole troop of men cowering even at a distance - if he so whished. We hypothesize that with Rings this ability to tone down their terror had been greater. I hope that makes the issues clearer. Again, thank you for your interest! - Gordis
Very dramatic, this chapter. Somehow hunting dangerous beasts fits very well to the Witch-King (quite logical that he would enjoy the feeling of danger and power). I will look forward to the next part. I hope it will come soon.
Author's Response: The King of Angmar would have been an impressive ruler, always hungry for power, and perhaps enjoying staying on the edge of danger. He would be the sort of man whom his subjects would want to follow, and one whom the kings of Cardolan, Arthedain and Rhudaur would fear. He has always been a character whom I have enjoyed roleplaying or writing about. Thank you, Formegil, for reviewing. - Angmar.
(Sorry Folks. I just gave a response to a Review by Formegil. I wanted to edit my response, but only saw the 'delete' option - and it took away his whole review. Here it was.)
Formegil: This is simply an excellent story! I have always (well, since I first read LotR) been interested in the history of Arnor and its successor states. There are only hints here and there, though, in the books besides the very general account in the Appendix A. This is very good gapfiller. All that happens is quite believable.The characters are also well-done and act convincingly. I will add this to my favourites.
Author's Response: Thank you Formegil! Several of our group of authors are also very interested in Arnor and it's daughter Kingdoms - the Northern Dunedain. We try really hard to make our story fit within the boundaries JRRT prescribed as canon... but he sure left a lot of room to work on this subject. And we're enjoying 'fleshing out' this one aspect of it. If you're interested in joining in on the fun, stop on by. :)
I liked this as much as the first part. You guys are very talented writers. My favourite characters are Hurgon, Eryndil and for some reason Algeirr (maybe because he's such a down-to-earth type). The Witch-King is nothing like in appearance I have imagined him to be before, but he's very realistic (in the world of Tolkien, that is). I look forward to next chapters. The only thing that bothers me is Odare fighting the bear. I mean, almost the only women in Tolkien's legends to engage in physical battles were Haleth and Eowyn. But that is only a small matter in an excellent story.
Author's Response: Thank you very much Formegil - both for reading and for commenting. My main username is Valandil, and I write Eryndil, among a few other characters. I was glad to hear he has a fan out there somewhere. :) We are a collaborative effort, so we write in many different styles. For the most part, we try to seriously write material that 'feels like it fits' in Tolkien's Middle Earth. Sometimes we break loose with a bit of whimsy and fancy though. We will take your comments to heart though. Thanks again!
I have enjoyed so much with this story (i have read almost the first chapter in one day).
I love the way the bear's scene become a big chaos in which so many things happens. All the characters are have good backgrounds (i miss more text about "secondary" characters as Algeirr).
Congratulations for this work
When will more chapters be uploaded? I need it!
Author's Response: Thank you for your kind words, Laeron! rnIt is great to know that someone is reading and enjoying the story. Have you read the first part of it - Shadow over Rhudaur I - "Runnings?" There is much more about Algeirr.rnNext chapter is coming soon. Well (just for you) I will upload it right now.rnStay with us!rnGordis
I completely adore this prologue. I love the concept of presenting it in 'campfire tale' form first---narrated by a bard in a safe environment with all the messy details streamlined and organized into resonance. Then going back in future chapters and telling it again, with all the confusion and grit and contradictions. I've never seen a prologue like this before. Excellent!
Author's Response: Than you, Pink Siamese, for your kind words. We did indeed put a lot of work in the Prologue. I will copy your review and post it on our site http://www.northernkingdom.proboards98.com - it will cheer the others up. Greetings, Gordis.
I like the outline of Odaragariel.
Quibble: The verb "to don" means to put something on yourself. Odaragariel's mother could ask her to don clothes, but not don her in them.
Author's Response: Thank you, Ria. Serenoli, who writes for Odaragariel, is one of the best writers among us, but she is not a native English speaker. We are most grateful for your corrections - now and in the future.
I enjoyed the way you elaborate on the politics of Tarnendur's position in this chapter. Gimilbeth sounds a little like the villain of a Teresa Edgerton novel: if so, she'll be wily and tough. It makes the fall of Rhudaur all too comprehensible.
Author's Response: I am very glad you enjoyed the parts about Gimilbeth – she is my own character and I have written most of this chapter. Yes, she is wily and tough indeed, but she is no traitor yet. She genuinely wants the King to prevail over the Hillmen. But she also wants to become Queen… There will be much more about Gimilbeth and her family in the future. Cheers, Gordis.
I really like the glimpse of Gimilbeth's grimoire. It gives me a picture of what the rationale of black magic might be in Middle Earth. At the same time, with all the attention spent on Gimilbeth and the various (scary!) bandits, it feels as though they've become the protagonists of the story.
Author's Response: We believe that the fear of death and the desire for power beyond the measure of humankind were the major reasons for Numenoreans to seek Dark knowledge. The bad guys indeed predominate - at least in the beginning of the story. It so happened that in our RPG the ones who liked to write for baddies outnumbered the ones who enjoyed writing for good guys. Now, with a few new players, the balance shifted somewhat – but still we need more good ones! We are most grateful for your reviews, Ria, – stay with us and welcome to our site www.northernkingdom.proboards98.com