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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    11

    Character development help?

    Hullo all. I've been roleplaying on Imladris for some time and have enjoyed it immensely. I have no intentions of leaving that server, but I have decided to try making a character on an actual RP server as well...Landroval, specifically.

    The difficulty comes with the character itself (or herself, rather). Originally, I thought I might just re-make my Imladris main, Lenira Ashleaf, farmgirl/hunter-turned-Ranger. However, I ran into two problems: the name Lenira was already taken and I can't reconcile playing her with a different name; and I found myself struggling with the idea of playing the same character in a new setting, without all the people who shaped her journey so much on Imladris.

    So, I went with Liandal instead, but with the same background and appearance of my original Bree-land hunter. Yet she poses her own problem: I have based Liandal on a character in a story that I am writing (or trying to write, at any rate), which takes place in a somewhat different setting than Middle Earth. The Liandal of my story is a Rider, part of a specialized messenger service. Riders are an elite force sworn to the service of the king, and they share a magic Bond with their horses.

    Obviously, that won't do for a hunter in Arda.

    As of now, I have at least the basic personality of Liandal (mostly taken from the one in my story, as you might expect). Part of that personality depends on her being well-trained, and that is one of the points of difficulty: finding a reason that a Bree-land woman might have such training. The Liandal of my story comes from a minor noble house, but that's hardly an option for a Bree-lander. I would like to adapt the Rider aspect of her character to fit Middle Earth, but again, how would a Bree-land woman end up in such a position? And would there be someone in particular that she is servicing? The Dunedain, perhaps? Another force of the Free Peoples based in Bree-land or among the Eglain? Probably not the elves, though the dwarves might receive her services.

    Thoughts? Recommendations?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Barad-dûr
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lenira View Post
    Hullo all. I've been roleplaying on Imladris for some time and have enjoyed it immensely. I have no intentions of leaving that server, but I have decided to try making a character on an actual RP server as well...Landroval, specifically.
    You might want to re-post this on the Landroval forum so as to reach out to and elicit the assistance of folks with whom you might be role-playing with. Who knows, there may be a kinship there based on a band of Riders, all "part of a specialized messenger service.. an elite force sworn to the service of the king.. who share a magic Bond with their horses." This is in no way a criticism though. I wish you all the best. Landroval is a great bunch of people.

  3. #3
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    Apr 2007
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    Are you set in having her originate from Bree-land? I ask because a lot of what you describe seems like your character could easily fit in with the Rohirrim.

    Though not exactly "magical", many Rohirrim share a strong bond with their horses, going so far as to even have lengthy conversations with them. Sometimes, it is implied that the horses might actually understand what is being said to them, even if they can't effectively communicate back. Unlike Bree-land, Rohan is also ruled by a king, so it would not be impossible for her to have descended from a minor noble house of the Rohirrim, and now serve as some kind of scout or messenger for King Theoden.

    How or what she is now doing in Bree-land might be a little tricky, however, and will certainly take some imagination. But it sounds like you have a good amount of that already. Ultimately, I have always found that as long as you play a character well and don't impose upon others, most people won't mind what kind of backstory you've created, even if it isn't 100% in line with what Tolkien was writing. Work with what you've got so far, meet new people and friends to RP with on the server, and build from there. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
    [b][color=forestgreen]~Landroval~[/color][/b]
    [b][size=1][color=green]Raigar - 100 Captain[/color] | [color=green]Raigorn - 100 Hunter[/color][/b]
    [i][color=green]Captains of the West - Leader[/color][/i]
    [color=red]Founder[/color] | [color=red]Lifetime Member[/color] | [color=red]Raider[/color] | [color=red]Roleplayer[/color][/size]

  4. #4
    Hi! And, welcome to Landroval, should you choose to continue there.

    First, I would mention that your character can't (lore-wise) just decide to become a Ranger. -- mentioning this because of what you said about your other character; "farmgirl/hunter-turned-Ranger". She can choose to /aid/ the Rangers or ally with them. But, the Rangers aren't just a group of people. Their an actual race of people, all descendents of the Numenoreans.

    Now, on to your actual question. If you love the idea of her being a person devoted to her horse and with a special bond (though not a 'magical' one) to it, you might consider her being one of the Rohirrim. But then, you'd need a reason for her to be outside Rohan. If her being a Breelander is preferred, there's still no reason she can't have a special bond with her horse, though. It just wouldn't be some "magical" bond, as such things don't exist in Middle Earth.

    Being a messenger is a very nice idea, imho. All allied groups fighting a war have a need for communication between camps.

    This /could/ actually include the various Elf outposts like Thorenhad, Echad Candelleth, Duillond, Eregion...etc. For Rivendell, she'd have to earn the trust of the Elves to even be shown where that is, as it's kept hidden to avoid the enemy discovering it. -- even though, ingame, our characters are given that information freely.

    I'm sure the Dwarves would want information, too, so that they could keep track of any threats to their realms.

    Seeing that the Rangers are fairly scattered about in the wilds, it might be a bit more difficult to find them to deliver messages - though Turbine has created the two large camps --three, if you count Annuminas -- she might ferry messages between, so long as she swore to keep the locations secret. (despite Turbine making it so everyone and their sister's brother's uncle can easily find it and some even discuss them openly in Bree, ic'ly)

    As for her training; perhaps she ran across a Ranger at some point. Maybe one showed up out of nowhere to stop an attack on her family farm. They could have started talking or something and she realized she wanted to help the cause. If she isn't the type to be a fighter, then being a messenger may have simply appealed to her and she was given positive feedback from the Ranger so that she decided to pursue that. She would, of course, have to gain their trust to be shown Esteldin and Tinnudir but I doubt that would be too much of a stumbling block for someone who was obviously not a spy for Sauron or Saruman..

    Anyway, I hope that helps in some small way. Luck to you and I hope you enjoy your foray into Landroval RP.

    -Goldrush
    *******

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    11
    On the subject of Lenira, that's actually part of her background (long story short, granddad was one of the Dunedain, dad wanted a different life for himself and his family, and daughter is going the Ranger route anyway). I have spent time thinking it through--actually, the problem sometimes is to stop thinking it through.

    For Liandal, I am finding myself liking the messenger idea enough that I definitely want to go with it. I know that the magical bond is out of the question (that's unique to my story and wouldn't be appropriate in Middle Earth), but that still begs the question of how she ended up in her role. Remaking her as one of the Rohirrim is an option, I suppose, but finding a reason for her to be in the North instead of Rohan makes it tricky. (Also, 'Liandal' is hardly a Rohirric name. They're more Anglo-Saxon, and hers is a modification of Irish. And I'm reluctant to give it up.)

    I appreciate everyone's thoughts so far. I may well ask around on the Landroval forum.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lenira View Post
    On the subject of Lenira, that's actually part of her background (long story short, granddad was one of the Dunedain, dad wanted a different life for himself and his family, and daughter is going the Ranger route anyway). I have spent time thinking it through--actually, the problem sometimes is to stop thinking it through.
    I wrote about Dunedain outside of RPing and Turbine's Middle-earth, so I am admittedly a bit puzzled by this. Not all Dunedain were rangers. They, too, needed farmers, cooks, blacksmiths, cobblers, farriers, moms to take care of kids, and so on. Unless he did not want to live in hiding and wanted to live completely away from his brethren and his personal history, he could have easily done another task without having to do 'Rangering'. I guess I am just interested in what this character's granddad's personal motivations were ^-^

    For Liandal, I am finding myself liking the messenger idea enough that I definitely want to go with it. I know that the magical bond is out of the question (that's unique to my story and wouldn't be appropriate in Middle Earth), but that still begs the question of how she ended up in her role. Remaking her as one of the Rohirrim is an option, I suppose, but finding a reason for her to be in the North instead of Rohan makes it tricky. (Also, 'Liandal' is hardly a Rohirric name. They're more Anglo-Saxon, and hers is a modification of Irish. And I'm reluctant to give it up.)

    I appreciate everyone's thoughts so far. I may well ask around on the Landroval forum.
    She could be half or quarter Rohirric, if you desire, which would explain a non-A.S. name. It's just about constructing the backstory to explain why her parent or grandparent came north and married a Bree-lander then.

    RIP ELENDILMIR • Jingle Jangle
    Landroval
    : LAERLIN (Bio + Drawings) • LAERWEN • OLORIEL • AETHELIND (Bio + Drawing) • NETHAEL

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Laire View Post
    I wrote about Dunedain outside of RPing and Turbine's Middle-earth, so I am admittedly a bit puzzled by this. Not all Dunedain were rangers. They, too, needed farmers, cooks, blacksmiths, cobblers, farriers, moms ...
    True, and not true. When the Numenorean exiles founded the two Kingdoms, Arnor and Gondor, the regions were already inhabited by other ("lesser") men, and there already were Numenorean settlements throughout the Westlands (Tharbad, for example, was an ancient logging-town and shipyard founded millennia before the Downfall; Pelargir had already been founded as a refuge for the Faithfull; while most loretrolls assume that Orthanc was built during the realm of Gondor, I do not think this is explicitly stated, and I think it far more likely that its fantastic design and construction are the products of a Numenor at the very peak of both its craft and its superstition*).

    *The Hornburg at Helm's Deep is explicitly stated to have been built by Gondor: while it is a great fortress, it is nothing like Orthanc; I also mean, Orthanc-only, not including the fortifications of the Ring of Isengard, which are also explicitly of Gondorian origin and, also explicitly, were built at a later date than Orthanc.

    Please forgive the aside. Back to the purpose: the indigenous people in the Northwest of Eriador were akin to the Edain, from which the Numenoreans were themselves descended, and were more-or-less friendly; in Enedwaith and Minhiriath lived people, perhaps related to 3rd Age Dunlendings, who were hostile to the Numenoreans; the populations of Calenardhon and the Coastlands were presumably tolerant of Numenorean presence.

    So, the Exiles took over and established themselves as the ruling caste: the farming, cooking, blacksmithing, cobbling, and farriery were largely performed by the dominated peoples (consider, "what does it mean to be English?" in 1066, 1215, 1415, 1776, 1840 ...); then the Two Kingdoms declined, and there was war with Angmar, and the Great Plague, yada yada yada ...

    The Witch-King "ends" the North Kingdom at the Battle of Fornost, but what does this mean? Bree survived (it was a pre-Arnor settlement to begin with), the Shire survived, but the old kings "disappeared" and the Rangers commenced to wander the wilderness.

    The only thing that can be asserted is this: in the North, the Dunedain ceased to assert themselves as rulers, and turned to living a furtive, mostly nomadic, lifestyle; apparently their communities lived widely-dispersed (there is no mention of Dunedain settlements). Think of the coureurs de bois of 17th Century New France: a pelt-laden canoe draws up on the riverbank, and a sunburned leatherstocking leaps ashore, hoping to trade to renew his stocks of musket powder and shot, salt, suet ... perhaps he can even afford to enjoy a tankard of ale in the tavern, before he returns to his life in the trackless wilderness ...

    Aragorn declares that his people have been guarding Bree-land and the Shire (and, by extension, any other regions of settlement that might still exist in the Northwest) against perils from the Trollshaws and the Misty Mountains: this is an absolutely VAST region to police; however few the Dunedain have become in their decline, they must sustain a substantial population nevertheless.

    Otherwise, not all "Wilderlings" will be Dunedain: there are likely to be some errant Dunlendings here and there, also a smattering of independent farmsteaders and hunters, akin to Bree-folk and/or other descendants of the survivors of the North-Kingdom, as well as bandits; I'm trying to explain why "what it is to be Dunedain" is, at the time of tWotR, only remembered by the Dunedain, themselves.

    [/loretroll off]

    A couple of thought for you, regarding your original post in this thread,

    Liandal can believe she has a mystical connection to her mount: fictional people are permitted to be as delusional as non-fictional people; of course, perhaps "crazy-horse-lady" is exactly the type of disguise that a secret courier for the Dunedain might select ...

    Where/how did she acquire her skills? The School of Hard Knocks is always accepting new students ... Seriously, Liandal must be somebody's daughter: no one would raise a child to be a huntress in the wilderness, without teaching the child how to survive, particularly if likely dangers include bandits, goblins and trolls.

    I hope some of this is helpful.

    HoG

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harper_of_Gondolin View Post
    The only thing that can be asserted is this: in the North, the Dunedain ceased to assert themselves as rulers, and turned to living a furtive, mostly nomadic, lifestyle; apparently their communities lived widely-dispersed (there is no mention of Dunedain settlements). Think of the coureurs de bois of 17th Century New France: a pelt-laden canoe draws up on the riverbank, and a sunburned leatherstocking leaps ashore, hoping to trade to renew his stocks of musket powder and shot, salt, suet ... perhaps he can even afford to enjoy a tankard of ale in the tavern, before he returns to his life in the trackless wilderness ...
    While there is no mention of settlements in LOTR, if you consider anything that Tolkien wrote that does not contradict with LOTR (and possibly the Hobbit and the Silmarillion, depending who you talk to) as canon, then he *did* name a settlement/settling area for the Dunedain, in an unpublished note now kept at Marquette University:

    Tolkien actually made a note, now filed among his papers at Marquette University, which stated that Aragorn's people lived in the Angle, between the Bruinen and Mitheithel rivers. The Mitheithel river, as it turns out, does lie about 100 leagues (or 300 miles) east of the Shire. (Michael Martinez in Of Thegns and Kings and Rangers and Things)

    I spoke with David Salo (Tolkien linguist) in 2009 (IIRC) when some of the Marquette papers were on display in NYC, and that was a subject that was also brought up. I have no reason to believe the note does not exist.

    So, while it was unpublished, because it does not go against any established lore in LOTR, or other published books, I consider it canon. The appendix which calls them 'wandering' also cannot be completely trusted as fact since Appendix A is a straight translation from the book of Westmarch rather than Tolkien's discovery, as the essay above goes into. I would consider Tolkien's unpublished note more 'factual' so to speak than a 4th age historian's bias.

    Because these 'noble folk' were in decline and eventually went into hiding, I am quite convinced that they managed to make themselves self-sustaining in a permanent settlement (or settlements) in the Angle and took what jobs they needed to to survive, every now and then getting help from the Elves of Rivendell when it was more sorely needed (and likely depended on how prideful the current chieftain was, if he'd be willing to ask for help or not).

    Aragorn declares that his people have been guarding Bree-land and the Shire (and, by extension, any other regions of settlement that might still exist in the Northwest) against perils from the Trollshaws and the Misty Mountains: this is an absolutely VAST region to police; however few the Dunedain have become in their decline, they must sustain a substantial population nevertheless.

    Otherwise, not all "Wilderlings" will be Dunedain: there are likely to be some errant Dunlendings here and there, also a smattering of independent farmsteaders and hunters, akin to Bree-folk and/or other descendants of the survivors of the North-Kingdom, as well as bandits; I'm trying to explain why "what it is to be Dunedain" is, at the time of tWotR, only remembered by the Dunedain, themselves.
    I do, however, agree with this-- all men who lived in 'the Wilds', wanderers or not, were definitely not Dunedain. I imagine that in guarding Bree-land and the Shire, and other parts of Eriador, they had some sort of permanent outposts for the Rangers to rest at-- likely hidden ones such as caves a la Henneth Annun, but outposts nonetheless.
    Last edited by Laire; Aug 02 2013 at 07:46 PM. Reason: added link

    RIP ELENDILMIR • Jingle Jangle
    Landroval
    : LAERLIN (Bio + Drawings) • LAERWEN • OLORIEL • AETHELIND (Bio + Drawing) • NETHAEL

 

 

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