DM of the Rings CXXXVI:
Knock, Knock

By Shamus
on Aug 17, 2007
Filed under:
DM of the Rings


Knocking is a terrible way to begin an invasion.

Gimli points out a flaw in the versimilitude of the world.

To be fair, I think Gimli is pointing out a problem with the original work: How did all those orcs get enough food to live? I’m having trouble picturing an orcish farm, much less orcs producing all the accoutrements needed to run one. Both the book and the movie depict orcs with their own bread. Can you imagine an orcish miller? An orcish milkmaid? An orcish baker, complete with apron and poofy chef’s hat? Imagine a couple of orcs side-by-side in front of a farm American Gothic style.

Kind of daft, innit?

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  1. Cheesemaster says:

    Roxysteve wins ‘best comment award” for his Blackadder reference and halfway-reasonable explanations.

  2. William says:

    I imagine it’s fairly common for orcish bread to be made of bones of other orcs who’d been slaughtered and eatten by other orcs. Which is to say, I think orcs just barely got by on stuff that was just barely food. That, and dead orcs.

  3. Riley says:

    Robert de Neo said “Bwa?” to the post about the Matrix sucking.
    More precisely: Morpheus’ explanation of the Matrix’s use of humans as a power source, sucks, in the sense of being thermodynamically implausible. You can’t get “bio-electricity” from humans in vats unless you keep feeding the humans calories, and you can’t make high-calorie nutrient fluid without an energy source, such as plants using sunlight to photosynthesize carbohydrates.
    Of course, a good explanation is that Morpheus was misinformed. Much classier sci-fi version: the Matrix was using human brains as a data processing array.
    Meanwhile, LOTR only shows the warrior classes of both sides; we don’t see a lot of the peasants who feed the nobility of Rohan and Gondor… help, they’re being oppressed… nor do we see unarmored peasant levies in armies.

    • WJS says:

      The processing array theory also explains how the humans are able to have such control of the matrix. If the physical simulation, for example, was being run on servers under the machines control, it shouldn’t matter if you know it’s a simulation or not; it’s external to you, and you should have no ability to influence it. If most of what goes on is purely in the human’s head with the machines simply tying them all together, on the other hand, being able to exert control over things makes a lot more sense.

  4. Vinchenze says:

    that’s… just wrong.

  5. Katy says:

    Wow… you guys actually remembered the little detail in that huge book about where the Mordor orcs got their food?

    I’m impressed.

  6. brassbaboon says:

    69 Katy Says:

    “Wow… you guys actually remembered the little detail in that huge book about where the Mordor orcs got their food?

    I’m impressed.”

    Now you’ve done it. You have unleashed the dogs of geekdom. Now you will hear details from the book that are so esoteric that you will be stunned, amazed, stupefied.

    Where orcs got their food is a trivial recollection compared to what you will see now.

    You have violated the first rule of female-geek interaction. You have expressed appreciation of geek behavior.

    I fear for you Katy.

  7. Cenobite says:

    roxysteve @ 49:

    If that doesn’t work Dumbledore can jolly well get busy with Mordenkainen’s Disjunction

    *twitch*

  8. Matt` says:

    I see the “Frodo just won the campaign for you” ending being in the same vein as “rocks fall, everyone dies”

    Actually, considering what happens when the ring melts, that could be all that needs to be said :wink:

  9. theonlymegumegu says:

    Maybe there are races they’ve subjugated that don’t go into combat that they get to do the sundry things.

  10. Susano says:

    A minor note of triva.. the Mouth of Sauron (the gate exiting the gate in the last panel of the strip) is played by Bruce Spence. Who? Well, among others, the Gyro-Captain from “The Road Warrior.” I think I’d pay Shamus money to work in something like “Lingerie. Oh, remember lingerie?”

  11. General_Karthos says:

    I don’t think there are Orc females. I dunno how Orcs produce offspring, but they seem to be prised from the mud (or little warrens in the rocks) fully grown. We’ve never seen an Orc female, nor has an orc female ever been mentioned. Anyway, Orcs likely don’t have souls, and from a Christian perspective, creatures without souls can’t reproduce, at least in any natural way.

    So are Orcs turned out at a forge? Are they larva, grown in a particular way? I dunno. But I don’t know that there ARE Orc females.

  12. comicshorse says:

    I seem to remember Orcs are corrupted elves. Elves have females ( hot one’s to who look like Cate Blanchett)) so it seems likely so do Orcs

  13. Spam Vader says:

    The logistical problem with going around south is that it leaves Gondor hopelessly vulnerable. Sure, they could go ’round south, avoid the mountains, and more or less chew their way up Mordor territory, stealing Sauron’s food, being in his base, and killing his d00dz. But in that time, the still sizable number of troops Sauron has can run out the front door and sack Gondor with its broken gates. In the book, they may have left some provisional force behind, but look at how well that worked out for that place on the

  14. Spam Vader says:

    River. On the river. Osgiliath, or some such.

    Apologies, I had to do something else, and when I came back, I’d forgotten that I wasn’t done with the post.

  15. Charles says:

    Regarding the “convenient” mountain ranges surrounding Mordor: such formations do indeed happen, and surely geography was instrumental in choosing Mordor for a base.

    Check out the Takla Makan Desert for a very Mordoresque region in China:

    http://encarta.msn.com/map_701516923/Takla_Makan.html

  16. Matthias says:

    Gandalf should have taken Frodo ’round the back’ on his rocket horse. Woooosh!!

  17. Amstrad says:

    @Matthias: The imagery suggested by your comment makes my brain hurt.

  18. Luke (Thrythlind) says:

    There is a part of Mordor not often mentioned, but described in passing in some of the books (most notably in close to the end where Aragorn is granting Sauron’s land to different people).

    The wasteland is actually only in the outer parts of the kingdom just after the mountains.

    Sauron and Mordor both had a tendency to craft the terrain of their domains as massive fortresses with living and semi-living defenses.

    There is an inland sea (or perhaps a very large lake) much further into Mordor that produces the bulk of the food for Sauron’s Mordor-based armies. I’m not sure what exactly the sort of food they make is, but my general thought is mushrooms or other fungi supplemented by fish from the lake/sea. When Sauron was defeated, this realm was granted to his slaves that had been forced to work their all their lives.

    Other than that, not all the orcs gathered were Mordor orcs and orcs generally subsist on raiding and hunting for the most part, probably living off neighboring communities, and there is a very large world East of Mordor, most of which was under the sway of either Sauron, Balrogs or one of the two Blue Wizards (who caused troubles with the wars against each other and the Free Peoples long into the Fourth Age)

    The Southrons, of course, probably have a herder based diet similar to the Middle-Eastern region of our own world.

    Black Numenoreans and Corsairs have their kingdoms on the coastal regions and probably use the sea for food.

  19. Walter says:

    Riley:

    Another explanation I came up with is that yes, Morpheus is misinformed, but the real reason is the machines don’t NEED to keep the humans enslaved at all. The Matrix is perpetuated purely as revenge for the electrostatic cloud that prevents the machines from leaving the planet. The cloud, in turn, was a vengeful measure done by the humans only after it was apparent they would not win the war.

  20. Luke (Thrythlind) says:

    Crap, I should check more often, someone beat me to the obscure Tolkien reference

  21. Luke (Thrythlind) says:

    old school:

    Yeah, for anybody who pays attention, the second half of book 3 and almost all of book 5 show a lot of what is essentially Gandalf and Sauron playing chess against each other.

    The powers in the west sent the Five Wizards over and basically said “beat Sauron, but you can’t order people around and say who you really are, you have to convince them to defend themselves”

    The Istari were chosen as the order to be sent out to save Middle Earth again and 3 of their number were sent, 2 of those brought along friends for company.

    Aule put forth Saurman, and Radagast came with him as sort of a tagalong. One of the other Valar put forth one of the Blue Wizards, who brought the second as a tagalong.

    Manwe (chief of the Valar, think Zues+Odin) put forth Olorin who, among all the five of those sent, was the only one who didn’t want to go and was afraid that he wouldn’t be up to the task.

    Manwe told him that that was why he was chosen to go.

    Olorin is listed in the Silmarillion as being the wisest of the Maiar. Sauron is the most powerful (at least before he turned evil…afterwards. Going against Eru’s plan means cutting yourself off from his power, ie the Secret Fire, which is why Morgoth and Sauron grow progressively weaker and more mortal.)

    Olorin, of course, is Gandalf. And he is the only one of the Five to succeed in his mission.

    Saruman gives in to temptation and despair and decides to replace Sauron instead of deposing him.

    The two Blue Wizards do likewise and also become terrible enemies where before they were the greatest of friends.

    Radagast also falls, but does not fall in the same manner. He remains good-hearted but chooses to remain behind rather than stick to his mission. In this case he falls in the same manner as Nicholas Cage’s character in City of Angels. There is some thought that Bombadil and Goldberry are similar “Fallen” of good heart.

    Another comparison would be like saying that Radagast’s recruitment came up and he chose not to re-up and went for the honorable discharge while Gandalf stayed in and the remaining three went AWOL.

    Another interesting note is that Morgoth, Sauron and Saruman are all from the same family of spirit. As is Aule, and the only thing that saved Aule from the same path when he made the dwarves was that he wasn’t trying to take over Eru’s creation, he was only adding to it and staying respectful of it.

    (which is why none of the Nazghul are dwarves…the Nine Rings of Men and the Seven Rings of the Dwarven Kings are all made from the same basic formula, they just don’t work right on dwarves because of how different they are)

    And no, there is no indication of whether orcs have women or not, but there is a lot of indication that Dwarves, Orcs, possibly Hobbits and those Elves that remain behind ended up interbreeding with Man until the lot become one race.

  22. bobo-con-queso says:

    hello, i finally got caught up on these of course this comment being this far down you probably won’t see it.but in case you do great job on the comic i think it’s hillariuos.also thanks to the posters some comments are as funny as the strip.”i find your lack of pants…disturbing”
    “Gondor has no pants…Gondor needs no pants” have got to be among the best. looking forward to more great comics.Thanks

  23. Simon Jester says:

    Well, the question of where orc-food comes from is pretty well settled. Orcs can’t be sustaining themselves by eating each other, so the food has to be grown and carried to them; and there are places for the food to be grown that [i]aren’t[/i] in the mountainous borderlands of Mordor that we see in the movies and books.

    By the way, I love Gimli’s line:

    “If they were afraid of us, they wouldn’t have opened their impenetrable door.”

  24. Tola says:

    Come on you losers! Hand over Sauron!”

    A phrase more antithetical to the spirit of Tolkien was never spoke.

    I think not.

    “Let the Lord of the Black Land come forth! Let justice be done upon him!”
    I don’t have the book for the complete quote, but it IS directly from the book.

    NonononoNO! They go ’round the back from word one, adlepate! Dave, Sam, Aragormless, Frank, everybody. All round the back for a quick ring melting ceremony. None of this farting around in Ithilien or mooching in Moria. Get the Eagles (they’re between gigs at this point in time remember) to fly them over the mountains before that nitwit in a dress Saruman even knows they have the ring, nip ’round the back of Mordor while Sauron is still busy clicking on the “build orc” and “build troll” icons and the ring could’ve been melted down by page 350. 320 if they forego supper at that dingbat Tim Benzedrine’s pad.

    Uh…the trip to Mordor took roughly 3-6 MONTHS. Now, granted, there were detours and the like, but even ‘as the crow/nazgul flies’ it’d take a long time. They’d have to stop. And Eagles aren’t something you MISS.

    • WJS says:

      Took 3-6 months ON FOOT. I don’t know about great eagles, but real-life golden eagles can fly up to 80 mph (horizontal speed). That would make the 500 mile journey from Rivendell to Mordor (or just outside it, since flying in is generally not considered viable) in less than 8 hours. They could have been climbing Cirith Ungol while the Nazgul were still farting around Rivendell. Or, they could have taken a different road into Mordor; in this scenario, Gandalf is still leading them, and he presumably knows at least a little more about the geography of the place than Frodo does.

  25. Doug Williams says:

    Every panel with Aragorn–especially the three where the DM is railroading him about being unable to go around the gate to an entire country–are really funny! Legolas’ panel is great too! Imagine Tolkein’s Ll calling the orcs “retards”!

    Again, I get the sense here that the DM has allowed all of this “super speed” travel over the last couple of pages so that he can GET THAT DOOR TO OPEN before someone (Gimli) figures out that they don’t HAVE to attack if they don’t want to! If there’s only one way into or out of the country… they could just as well barricade the orcs IN!

  26. Doug Williams says:

    Imagine the DM trying to get out of that one:

    ARAGORN: We have Gandalf cast a spell of holding on the door to keep it from ever opening.

    DM: Suddenly, you hear the thunderous sound of Orcs coming from the East!

    ARAGORN: You said there were only swamps and mountains to the East… And that the only way in was this door… and that all of the orcs were BEHIND the wall!

    DM: Well, the orcs are coming over the mountain and through the swamp!

    A: Then why couldn’t WE attack over the mountain and through the swamps?

    DM: Um… You are on horseback, and the orcs are traversing the mountains and swamps on foot.

    GIMLI: Then why couldn’t we just get off of our horses and attack the same way?

    DM: Um… because you’d have to carry your food, water, and supplies, and it would be too heavy.

    GIMLI: Ok, so the orcs have no horses, no food, and no water! Hey, o’ wise and great King Aragorn, why don’t we just retreat back toward Mountain-View castle, or whatever, and force the orcs to follow us on foot? We’ll wear them down and allow them to spread their forces out, then pick them off in skirmishing groups!

    LEGOLAS: Kick ass! I’ll be pickin’ off MAD orc bitches with my elven bow, while they dehydrate and stagger after us like retard zombies!

    ARAGORN: Man, now THAT’s a plan!

    DM: NO! I mean… um…

    etc…

    • WJS says:

      Or, he could point out that if the orcs are still camped out across the plains of Gorgoroth, the hobbits are swiftly captured and Sauron gets his bling-bling back…

  27. Luke (Thrythlind) says:

    Doug Williams:

    Which, actually, is what the Black Gates were built for.

    Sauron didn’t build them, he built the mountains and the wastelands, what does he need with castles, the Dunadan built them while they were still strong, same with Minas Morgul and the tower that Sam rescued Frodo from.

    Unfortunately, the Dunadan started growing less and less powerful and couldn’t hold those structures that were built to keep Sauron’s forces inside Mordor. So, Sauron said, “Hey, nice place you built here, I think I’ll take it. Thanks.”

  28. Luke (Thrythlind) says:

    Riley

    Both Gondor and Rohan make use of a period of required military service from the males of their lands. (Rohan even trains its females, reminicent of ancient Norse traditions, which they copy in a lot of ways save being cavalry experts as adverse sailors)

    Gondor and Rohan have pretty much lived in a state of war for the past couple of hundred years. And Gondor has been losing population steadily. Everybody is expected to know how to fight.

  29. Luke (Thrythlind) says:

    oops, forgot…

    in the book, in addition to the 3000 horse he brought, Theoden is also supposed to have brought around 5000 foot-spears, I’m not sure of that number though, so would have to look to be sure

  30. Larch says:

    The orcs are eating each other m8 ^^
    Thats how they survive

  31. Chibi64 says:

    Nicely done!
    and props to Sunhawk for bringing the Simmerillion into the discussion!
    I still haven’t finished that book…..

  32. Tim the Enchanter says:

    Shamus,
    I hope you see my comment way down here at the bottom. I just had to add to the compliments about the screencaps. This is one of the funniest episodes yet and it’s the facial expressions that really make it shine. Awesome job!

    And props to everyone who gave good arguments to “why no Eagles?” comments. I’m tired of people blasting and second guessing Tolkien’s great work. Without him there’d be no D&D as we know it, and thus no DM of the Rings for us to enjoy!

  33. Skeeve the Impossible says:

    The image of the baker is my favorite

  34. Draco the Lizard says:

    Not sure it anyone else pointed it out, but the same’s true for the Elves, isn’t it? They’ve got their magic bread, and all they seem to do is live in trees! I can’t imagine the Elves being farmers and bakers either. Hunter-gatherers perhaps, but not farmers. I mean, they might get their hands dirty!

  35. Frank says:

    And now for something completely different… :-) Not to nitpick, Shamus, but I’m wondering why your style of text balloons has suddenly changed. In recent episodes (my guess would be roundabout since you had surgery) we suddenly see these long white bands linking balloons together. You never used to do that… :-) The “old” style seemed more… elegant, somehow.

    Not criticizing, mind you… just curious.

  36. RocketJock says:

    GEBIV wrote:

    Um. Getting back to the idea of starving out Sauron’s forces, shouldn’t one point out that the besieging army (Stare-agorn’s) would have even less food? Unless they had a nicely vulnerable supply train following them, they weren’t going to be eating for very long either.

    ****

    No, they’d just carry several dozen hundredweight of supplies each in their leather-tardis saddlebags.

    Sheesh. Don’t you understand RPG physics?

  37. Takkelmaggot says:

    Aheh… Evil bakers… There’s a comic strip there somewhere about the evil economy which must exist to support all those hordes of orks and umber hulks and bog-imps running around the various game works. Just where does their medical coverage come from, anyway?

  38. Rasmus says:

    They don’t need medical coverage… any problem and *BAM* – eaten by the Orcs!
    Suppose the Elves also have vassal states with slaves to get those prescious grains needed for baking bread… No need to get those hands dirty!
    But consider the “hunger”-plan… The “retreating” forces of Clevergorn is riding those horses again.. some of those horses WILL tire and fall back, and some might break a leg: Food for the pursuing Orcs!
    Thus, a sizeable portion of the orc-army will make the pursuit, and be enough to cause problems.

    Anyway – liked the Orcish Farmer from comment #22

  39. Luke (Thrythlind) says:

    Well, actually, traditionally, the elves are the center of a highly advanced civilization.

    The smiths, yes SMITHS, ELVEN smiths, of Eregion are among the most skilled smiths of there day, easily equal to most dwarves.

    The elven lands in Lord of the Rings, with the exception of Legolas’s people, are the REMAINS of kingdoms. They live on hunting and gathering, and probably trade, mostly because they no longer have the lands they once did that produced food for them (though I think Rivendell and Lorien had orchards and Mirkwood traded with Dale, Lonely Mountain and Long Lake)

    In further point, with the exception of one individual, all the elves seen in Lord of the Rings are Moriquendi…dark elves. Elves that have never seen the light of the Valar.

    The only representative of Caliquendi, light elves, in the entire story is Galadriel.

    And she, as one of the renegade Noldor, represents the lesser of the three races of Caliquendi.

    Legolas and the Silvan Elves of Mirkwood are the only real remaining elf kingdom rather than just an elven stronghold. And implications seem that the majority of them remained behind on middle earth even past the closing of the way left.

    At which point, I think they started becoming like the elves of typical D&D.

    But yeah, Elves traditionally had great cities and vast lands with fields and the lot. Only the centuries (millenia really) that past caused them to dwindle down to a few lightly populated strongholds and one kingdom that was more or less as “barbaric” as many dwarven and human lands.

  40. Shiney Al says:

    Al: “roxysteve, truly you have a dizzying intellect.”

    Steve: “Just wait ’til I get started”

  41. Susano says:

    The Mouth of Sauron: “A fella, a *quick* fella, might have Narsil hidden under his cloak. Then I’d have to lop his head off.”

  42. Obfuscato says:

    #86 Luke (Thrythlind) wrote:
    there is a lot of indication that Dwarves, Orcs, possibly Hobbits and those Elves that remain behind ended up interbreeding with Man until the lot become one race.

    Ah, that explains the obnoxious neighbors upstairs.

    ****

    #70 brassbaboon wrote:
    I fear for you, Katy.

    Yes, by post 100 she’s probably been stupefied into semi-consciousness, muttering
    something about how that there must have been over a thousand Mickey D franchises in Mordor. Healer!!! We need a healer over here!

  43. Scarlet Knight says:

    So many great posts… what to choose? Hmmm…

    #42 Lynx Says:Probably Orcish bars.
    Two hobbits walk into an orcish bar. The barkeep says, “Sorry, we don’t serve food…”

    #10 scldragonfish Says:Black orc in chef’s regalia, with A high born english accent ..

    “Watch Cold Iron Chef, where the finest cooks in Mordor face challengers from all over Middle Earth. The winner joins the Cold Iron Chefs, the loser is next weeks surprise ingredient…”

    # 106 Shiney Al Says: ” truly you have a dizzying intellect.”

    Please let the end be a combo of “Princess Bride” & “War of the Worlds”! Sauron laughing in his tower, falls over dead. Why? When the gates are opened the heros unknowingly transmit a virus & Sauron dies of pink eye!

  44. Jurrubin says:

    #110 Scarlet Knight Says:
    #42 Lynx Says:Probably Orcish bars.
    Two hobbits walk into an orcish bar. The barkeep says,
    “Sorry, we don’t serve food…”

    What do orcs eat when in Hobbiton?

    Short ribs.

  45. Karkki says:

    Stubid question but do orcs have school or why the heck they know english and stuff

  46. yoshi927 says:

    If orcs have fields to the south with slaves, wouldn’t it make more sense to attack those first? You could even free the slaves and secure a supply line or something. :D

  47. Jindra34 says:

    yoshi: as has been stated if the goal had been to invade mordor going around the back would have been the best bet… unfortunately until the ring got trashed sauruman had enough power to flick them aside effortlessly.

  48. Maverick says:

    Stubid question but do orcs have school or why the heck they know english and stuff

    They ‘evolved’, for lack of a better word, from elves. Said elves knew how to talk, so, so do they.

  49. Victor says:

    This may have already come up, but come on who actually READS all the responses?

    As far as I know, human slaves operated a massive patch of farmland with a lake to the southeast of Mordor to provide everything that they need.

  50. CyberGorth says:

    yoshi927 Says:

    August 19th, 2007 at 2:38 pm
    If orcs have fields to the south with slaves, wouldn’t it make more sense to attack those first? You could even free the slaves and secure a supply line or something.

    Yeah, that’d be the way to do it, if your forces weren’t based in the North with the mountains and impenetrable gate between you and the fields. Other than that TINY little detail you’ve got a great plan going there.

  51. Armagrodden says:

    Of course orcs have bakers. How else could they end up in 10×10 rooms holding pies?

  52. Svetlana says:

    Well, I posted this comment at the wrong page first, so sorry for the repeat *blush. But in my point of view, the Question with big Q is not what do orcs eat, but what do elves eat. I cannot imagine an elf-farmer, working on the field, and Tolkien is more than frugal in this respect.

  53. SSMcBeattie says:

    wow.. more than 120 posts.. and me’s number 121 – can ye do pirates next time.. me likes pirates, i wanna be one ;)

  54. Luke (Thrythlind) says:

    Svetlana:

    Lorien elves live off the bounty they get from their trees and the river, and probably from hunting. Since this realm thrives on secrecy and given its reputation with others, it is unlikely to involve itself in trade. There are the rangers, but rangers cannot bring in enough bread by themselves. In general, however, Lorien is low enough population that fishing, their orchards (and presumably vinyards) and their hunting provide enough food for their needs.

    Rivendell elves live off similar fair to the Lorien elves, and also lack trade. Similarly, many do not know of its existence, but they still are known and respected among many of the great kingdoms. However, they are so isolated as to make trade impossible. A benefit that Rivendell has over Lorien, however, and probably the reason that feasts are more often ascribed to Elrond’s House, is that not so many of the residents of the Last Homely House are permanent residents. With Dunadan, Elves and and even the occasional Dwarf coming and going, it is likely they have food brought in by travellers. In addition, the population to land ratio is probably more favorable than it is in Lorien, resulting in more food per person.

    The Coastal havens are more well-known and probably receive lots of trade, but are still relatively low in population.

    All the above are the remains of the great Sindarin Kingdoms which fell apart in the Second Age.

    The only remaining complete and living Elven culture is Mirkwood, which in the Hobbit is shown to engage in frequent and high-traffic trade with both the humans and, after the Battle of Five Armies, Dwarves. Thus allowing them to shore up what they don’t produce by trading out what they do. Everywhere else in Middle Earth, the Elves are fading.

  55. TheBladeRoden says:

    Okay, I’ve never played D&D before but this comic of all things has actually gotten me interested! Good stuff!

  56. The almighty penguin says:

    hahah i love legolas.
    “they fell for that? these guys are SO retarded”

  57. Questref says:

    Long-time lurker; first time poster.
    As things are drawing rapidly to a close, I just had to post my thanks & appreciation – great work Shamus. You’ve brightened up many a ‘should-be-working’ hour. :)

    Oh, and by the way, I think all you folks expecting Frodo to get the credit for killing Sauron are forgetting a rather important detail. WAY back in the strip, a shoot-first-ask-questions-later elf by the name of Leggylass critted Gollum to death as he floated past on a log.
    That being the case, who’s now going to stop Frodo donning the ring & becoming the new Dark Lord?
    Something tells me this campaign’s going to end REALLY badly for Aragormless & co – when they next meet Frodo, I think his kill-stealing of Sauron will be the LAST thing on their minds…

    • WJS says:

      “What’s to stop Frodo donning the ring”
      Absolutely nothing. In the film he did put it on.
      “& becoming the new Dark Lord?”
      The current Dark Lord might have something to say about that. Frodo has no idea how to use the ring as anything other than a ring of invisibility, and when he puts it on it immediately alerts Sauron to his location. In the film, the Nazgul immediately headed to Mount Doom when he did, and without Gollum would have promptly grabbed him outside the cave.

  58. Mark says:

    Ahhh, that’s why Elves live so long! They are on those restricted calorie diets that supposedly prolong life (and make you pale and thin).

  59. Mitey Heroes says:

    Way back in comment #55, Zephyris said:
    “I should point out that “kine” is the actual name of that animal; “cow” and “cattle” are actually both generic words for livestock and thus technically are not inaccurate to use for sheep, pigs, and other livestock. So it’s no surprise that an English Language professor would display such pedantism ^_~”

    To display similar pedantism… Kine is the original plural of cow (“cows”? urgh). With cow referring to female bovines.
    Cattle refers to all property, then by 1500 comes to refer to all livestock (yes, including sheep et al) and then later comes to just mean bovines.

    So cow or kine never referred to sheep, although cattle did.

  60. Tom Davidson says:

    One of the first poems I ever wrote, back in 1990:

    We labor in the fields of Nurn,
    bent double, seeding the twisted dusty rows
    with wheat (though other things will grow,
    but are not called for) for sour bread
    we will never taste, and in turn
    the men we feed do not keep the heads
    they give for Him. We cannot see
    with His sight, do not have His eye
    for plans, we know, so don’t ask why
    our children march or we still bend —
    and never will, not ’til our midnight sea
    comes drowning crown and fields at the end.

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