Greetings! The desire for beginning this story came as The Riders of Rohan expansion drew near; I decided to pre-order the expansion knowing full well that I was in the midst of my hobbit tale over on Crickhollow and it might be awhile before I even had time to journey there with any character. But the dream of finally being able to venture to Rohan was more than enough for me to get the expansion right away.
Before departing Crickhollow only recently, I began this story but ultimately I have abandoned it with my move to Landroval. However, my desire to run the tale in full was never forgotten. Thus, I decided to kick-start the story from the very beginning here.
Naturally, I already have the story of the poor dwarf, Brimbur going quite steadily along right now - his story will remain the focus of most of my attention. This story will be played out much slower and with fewer updates and chapters than Brimbur's story, yet I cannot without my desire to return to the story and complete it if I can.
Since I already began to story and adventure back on Crickhollow, I decided to change the beginning a bit as to not create an exact replica of the first.
TOTAL IMMERSION RULES
1. Travel: I will only travel on foot or by regular mounts and absolutely no swift travel horses or map recall use. This can be waived when conducting toon upkeep, such as visiting a settlement to level. Except when in a quest, lair, dungeon, combat, etc, I will walk everywhere - I will allow myself to run for short periods of time, however, such as trying to run away from an enemy.
2. Chat / Speech: I will always stay in rp character at all times during Chat. I will chat in OOC when it is necessary however, since there are times I might want to talk to someone out of game.
3. Food and Rest: I will follow the LOTRO day/night cycle closely and force myself to rest at a safe location such as an inn or in a town if such an inn is not available. The day/night cycles are:
I must rest during the night cycles of Evening, Midnight, Late Watches and Foredawn each day (or at least camp/rest for four cycles each day/evening). I can hang around an inn, for example, and rp a bit with other players, but no going out into town to shop or craft, etc. This is to simulate my character actually resting. During the rest time I must eat a meal of some kind - Folcwain, the story character, his a hunter by trade so gathering food in the wilds is perfectly acceptable.
If I am away from a town or settlement, things will become more tricky. I will attempt to find a safe spot to camp for the evening - this means halting my journey and actually sit my toon down for rest.
4. Promoting Realism: This rule is a catch-all for such things as no jumping off high cliffs, swimming with armour on, jumping around while I am moving, jumping every fence I come across, etc.
There is one rule I play that I always forget to mention - and that is the repair of equipped gear. I may only pay for repairs of weapons from a suitable vendor; ie, weapon repairs from a weaponsmith npc in a crafting area.
5. Death and Defeat: Since I love a challenge, I will add in a harsh rule for myself. Folcwain cannot be defeated by any means during the story - should this occur, he will be considered truly dead. For all of my stories in the past, the character begins at 6-7th level right after the Intro. However, for this story, Folcwain begins at 20th level and has managed to survive to gain the Survival title of UNdying to begin the adventure.
6. Arms and Armour: Folcwain may only equip or use equipment gained via mob drops or gained by the completion of quests. So, he may not craft gear for himself, or purchase gear from a vendor or the Auction House.
SPECIAL RULES FOR THE STORY
1. Hunting Program: I desire not to give the full details of the story plot right off; what the plot does entail is Folcwain being on the trail of a fearsome and nameless wolf or warg. A simple program will be used to plot the progress of the hunt; beginning in the Lone-lands, Folcwain may attempt to find the trail and track it. This may be done in two ways.
The first is the use of the Hunter skill, Passage of Nature in the wilds. The trail of the beast will wander through a region, crisscrossing back and forth, sometimes even backtracking. The program will reveal the trail as map coordinates that can lead further on, disappear into mud or rivers, or even lead to ambushes of fell orcs, beasts or the like. Once I arrive at the map coordinates given by a tracking clue, I enter it into the program to search for the next trail. Should the trail disappear I will have to seek the surrounding area for more tracks.
NPC’s can also provide clues and sightings of the beast, with the completion of quests. Again, this is not failsafe; some NPC’s may only have rumours to give, others actual sighting and others may even lead to unwitting traps or ambushes set by the beast. Should a sighting be true, the program will lead me to a map location where Folcwain can scour the earth for the beast’s tracks once more.
The program is written so that I have little way of knowing exactly where the trail will lead – the trail has many possible paths that use many same locations on the map so I will not know that a location I am tracking to is a true path or leading me into an ambush.
2. Mount: Folcwain does not begin with use of a mount for he has become separated from his most beloved horse, Hálasfal. Until he can find his missing horse, all travel will be on foot. Another sub-program will be used in search of Hálasfal during the long hunt for the wolf or warg. Foclwain may visit Stable-masters and Reputation Vendors dealing with Reputation Mounts for sale. Of course, some clues may be nothing, or perhaps may lead to a quest request. Or, beyond hope, the Stable-master or Vendor may have found Hálasfal wandering alone in the wild and has given him shelter.
3. Skirmish Soldier: At the beginning of the story, Folcwain will not have access to his Skirmish Soldier, Holwine, who has also gone missing during the mysterious journey far into the north. That means, during a Skirmish, Folcwain will have to battle foes alone.
Another sub-program will be used to find lost Holwine; this entails completing quests from certain NPCS or speaking to NPC Healer Vendors. Perhaps someone has found the wounded Holwine in the wilds?
Should Holwine be found safe, Folcwain will have to bring him along for the duration of the story, using Landscape Soldier Tokens to summon Holdwine into battle whenever a foe appears. Naturally, I will wish to keep Holwine safe and return him to Snowbourn unscathed. Should Holwine fall in battle, he will be considered as having been slain.
THE LANGUAGE OF THE EORLINGAS
In developing the language of the Riders of Rohan, Tolkien used the tongue of the Anglo-Saxons and anglicized the words. For instance, the word, Éored, comes from the Old English éoh meaning "horse" and rád meaning "riding."
Other words or phrases like, ‘Westu Theoden hal’ was derived from the Anglo-Saxon word, wes þu being westu, which meant “be thou” and h?l meaning hal - healthy or hale.
Tolkien never fully developed the language as he did with the Elvish dialects; the novels are left with a scattering of place-names, person-names and a few odd assortment of others. However, I thought it would enrich his story if I expanded the language. I found a very good Old English dictionary to expand the tongue of the Eorlingas for the story. What follows is a concise dictionary to make reading the story more easy and understandable. Those words or phrases marked with an asterisk (*) denotes words that I have developed; otherwise they are the creation of Tolkien himself. The list of words begins short, but will be expanded as the story grows and the need for others comes into use.
Eorlingas - a name taken by the Men of Rohan in their own tongue
Éomer - from eoh, "warhorse" and m?re, "famous
Ferthu hal - go thou healthy or hale
Folcwain* - wagon-people or person
Hafred* - hawk-riders, consisting of ten men, scouts and hunters, commanded by a Héafod -from the word hafoc meaning hawk and éoh meaning horse
Hálasfal* - prized grey, from the words háls meaning prized and fealu meaning dun-colored or grey
Héafod* - chief or leader of a hafred, from the word héafdes
Holbytla (pl. holbytlan) - hole dweller, ahobbit
Holwine - loyal-friend
Láthnéat* – from láð meaning hateful or loathsome and níeten for beast
Riddermark - the name of Rohan in the tongue of the folk there, also called simply The Mark
Snowbourn - the settlement in East Rohan or the river
Théoden - from þ?oden, "chief" or "lord"
Westu hal - be thou healthy or hale
STORY CHAPTER LIST
Chapter One: A Strange Land - 18 Forelitha, 3017 TA
Chapter Two: Ere the Sun Rises – 19 Forelitha, 3017 TA
Chapter Three: A Red Day – 20 Forelitha, 3017 TA
Chapter Four: Hunting – 21 to 22 Forelitha, 3017 TA
Chapter Five: The Hill of Rain – 23 Forelitha, 3017 TA
Chapter Six: Elders in the Shadows – 24 Forelitha, 3017 TA
Chapter Seven: I Came Singing in the Sun, Sword Unsheathing – 24 Forelitha, 3017 TA
Chapter Eight: To Hope’s End I Rode – 25 to 30 Forelitha, 3017 TA
Chapter Nine: Dark to the Day’s Rising – 31 Forelitha, 3017 TA
Chapter Ten: Dark to the Day’s Rising – 31 Forelitha, 3017 TA
Chapter Eleven: An Elf-swain's Lament – 2 Afterlitha, 3017 TA
Chapter Twelve: Lilies in the Valley – 3 to 5 Afterlitha, 3017 TA
Chapter Thirteen: The House of Elrond – 5 to 9 Afterlitha, 3017 TA
Chapter Fourteen: The Riddle Game – 10 Afterlitha, 3017 TA
Chapter Fifteen: The Rider Fallen – 11 to 12 Afterlitha, 3017 TA