Summer 2021 available now!

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Udwin
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Summer 2021 available now!

Post by Udwin »

The members of the MERS are proud to announce the latest issue of Edge of the Wild is now available! We focused in this issue on military matters which should interest much of the MERF membership. This was a fun one to put together and features the contributions of six members--a new record??
What themes or topics would you like to see covered in future editions? Let us know!
Check it out by direct PDF download HERE, or browse this and past issues on the Newsletters section of our website. Please share freely among your circles, consider joining our subscription mailing list, and give us a like on Facebook and Instagram. Enjoy reading!
Personae: Aistan son of Ansteig, common Beorning of Wilderland; Tungo Boffin, Eastfarthing Bounder, 3018 TA
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Cimrandir
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Re: Summer 2021 available now!

Post by Cimrandir »

I’m excited for this one! Nothing’s more fun than pokey things!
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Harper
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Re: Summer 2021 available now!

Post by Harper »

Thanks for sharing.
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Elleth
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Re: Summer 2021 available now!

Post by Elleth »

Amazing work as always gentlemen!
Persona: Aerlinneth, Dúnedain of Amon Lendel c. TA 3010.
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Iodo
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Re: Summer 2021 available now!

Post by Iodo »

Awesome :P
Gimli: It's true you don't see many Dwarf-women. And in fact, they are so alike in voice and appearance, that they are often mistaken for Dwarf-men.
Aragorn: It's the beards.
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Elemmakil
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Re: Summer 2021 available now!

Post by Elemmakil »

I noted this bit in the article on Dunadain blade design:
"Of particular note is the karma helmet shown above (dated March 1960), “made of overlap-ping enamelled plates of metal, the 'fish-crest' of leather embossed and coloured” which looks like something from the Eastern Mediterranean Bronze Age—perhaps Minoan or Egyptian?—..."

Turns out the inspiration for the Karma is neither Minoan nor Egyptian, but rather Indian in origin - see the attached pic:
Mahratta Helm - cropped - small.jpg
Mahratta Helm - cropped - small.jpg (147.74 KiB) Viewed 4935 times
Mahratta Helm 2 views - small.jpg
Mahratta Helm 2 views - small.jpg (223.69 KiB) Viewed 4935 times
Tolkien really took influences from a wide array of sources!
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Greg
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Re: Summer 2021 available now!

Post by Greg »

I can definitely see the similarities...but do you have a source that indicates that this was his actual inspiration for the Karma?
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Cimrandir
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Re: Summer 2021 available now!

Post by Cimrandir »

Agreed. Looks quite similar but I'd love to know more about the links between this helmet and the Professor.
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Eofor
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Re: Summer 2021 available now!

Post by Eofor »

Tolkien's heroes carry themselves with the high heroism of Beowulf or Byrhtnoth, but with none of the reckless pride

While certainly young Beowulf is motivated by pride and a desire for fame, I would argue that King Beowulf and also Byrhtnoth are driven by fate and duty rather than by pride.
The final battle of Beowulf is riddled with references to fame and to glory

Beowulf spoke, made a formal boast for the last time: "I risked my life often when I was young. Now I am old, but as king of the people I shall pursue this fight for the glory of winning, if the evil one will only abandon his earth-fort and face me in the open."

but despite his boast the reality is that his lands are aflame, his people imperiled and his great hall burned. Both he and Byrhtnoth are forced to fight, to defend their people and their lands and fame and glory are the weregild for their sacrifice.
But the white fury of the Northmen burned the hotter, and more skilled was their knighthood with long spears and bitter. Fewer were they but they clove through the Southrons like a fire-bolt in a forest.
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Elleth
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Re: Summer 2021 available now!

Post by Elleth »

I'm responsible for that line, I fear.

I take your point. I base what I said on two things -

1. a memory of Tolkien saying something similar in (I think) one of his letters - I believe in regards to oath-making. I'd have to dig to find the reference, and fear I haven't the time at the moment. Remind me in a few weeks if you like, and I can do it then. I'm about due for getting back to that book anyhow.

2. Byrhtnoth's decision to allow the Norsemen to leave their boats and form up on shore, that the battle may have more honor.

It probably is fair to call me out on the phrase "reckless pride," and I certainly don't disparage their heroism or their sacrifice one bit. That said, I do think it fair to say an Anglo Saxon warrior was motivated by glory in a way his late Third Age Dunedain counterpart was not. At least going by the extant literature, that is.
Persona: Aerlinneth, Dúnedain of Amon Lendel c. TA 3010.
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Eofor
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Re: Summer 2021 available now!

Post by Eofor »

Elleth wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 12:35 am At least going by the extant literature, that is.
I think that's the root of the problem. We only have a few pieces and almost all of them espouse this exemplar of a warrior and what one should be. Both Beowulf and Maldon appear in many ways to be written for that exact purpose, virtues and obligations are extolled and reinforced over and over again.
Thus Beowulf bore himself With valour; he was formidable in battle yet behaved with honour and took no advantage; never cut down a comrade who was drunk, kept his temper and, warrior that he was, watched and controlled his God-sent strength and his outstanding natural powers.
That Beowulf is praised for the simple act of not cutting down his drunken comrade shows just how hard it is for us to understand the motives of our protagonists.

Maldon is it's own beast, a heroic record of a failure. There is some thought that it was intended as a propaganda piece, to inspire resistance to the vikings and the policy of Danegeld. There is also a popular school of thought that the move to allow the vikings to form up on shore was not driven by honour but by practicality.
If Byrhtnoth had all the forces he could muster then it made sense to fight there, on ground that was not unfavorable and not let the raiders loose to plunder up and down the rivers.

I do wish we knew more about the Anglo Saxon tradition of fighting to the death beside your fallen leader though, it's so hard to guess what the motivation there was.

Regardless of all that I do agree with you that
I do think it fair to say an Anglo Saxon warrior was motivated by glory in a way his late Third Age Dunedain counterpart was not.
but the Dunedain are only one of the peoples of middle earth. :mrgreen:
But the white fury of the Northmen burned the hotter, and more skilled was their knighthood with long spears and bitter. Fewer were they but they clove through the Southrons like a fire-bolt in a forest.
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Elleth
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Re: Summer 2021 available now!

Post by Elleth »

re extant literature: absolutely. I'd hate for people in a thousand years to judge me by 1980's US action movies.

re understanding motives: the closest modern reference I can think of to old heroic customs is - strangely enough - modern gangs, especially prison gangs. I don't pretend to understand that world fully, but the notions of personal honor (and the shielding effects thereof) look very familiar. It seems very primal - humanity in a state of nature as it were.


edit, re -
I do wish we knew more about the Anglo Saxon tradition of fighting to the death beside your fallen leader though, it's so hard to guess what the motivation there was.
I think it's very understandable. If one has pledged to be loyal even unto death - and then flees - who could trust his pledge again? If a man lives by his word and deeds alone, there is no life to speak of after (what would be seen as) desertion from one's most sacred trust.

Moreover, I think our ancestors who lived with death everpresent accepted it in a way we sheltered moderns do not. Death is coming regardless - the better to meet it in an honorable way.

eg -

To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
And the temples of his gods



re Maldon etc, I bow to your expertise. You've certainly plumbed the depths of the Anglo Saxon world deeper than I.
but the Dunedain are only one of the peoples of middle earth. :mrgreen:
ABSOLUTELY AGREED. Eowyn's fear - "To stay behind bars, until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire" - could be right out of the literature.
Persona: Aerlinneth, Dúnedain of Amon Lendel c. TA 3010.
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