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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Geography of Middle Earth

AelKennyr Rhiano 
Shawn Daysleeper 
Belenos                     (belenosstormchaser.magic)
Lihan Taifun            
Rajani                        (rajani.milton)
Rhûn Darkmoon

Summary: This map, taken from one of Tolkien's early sketches, shows that he imagined more continents than what appear in his stories.   The area we know as “Middle Earth” is probably drawn too small on this map.

The discussion centered on the plausible locations of several places from Dawn of the Fourth Age roleplay.

Gamilfûn is in the southern Blue Mountains.   Mithlond (Grey Havens) is the most logical port for Olwë and Nolë to meet the refugees.

We decided to place Alqualondë (which is now an island in the mortal world), due west of the Gulf of Lune/Luin/Lhûn and the Grey Havens — close enough that it is a long day's flight by air, but requires sailing across open ocean not on normal trade routes.   The latitude is similar to northern Europe, and would be susceptible to snow and icebergs.

We tentatively imagine Sylvhara in uncharted waters, west or south of Alqualondë, in warmer waters.  There are uncharted lands to be discovered further south and east of Sylvhara.

Lihan Taifun:             I think all of you have this map already
AelKennyr Rhiano:  Thank you for the map
Shawn Daysleeper:  thank you Lihan
AelKennyr Rhiano leans in and looks at the map closely.   You know this will help with Shawn and my rp It looks like we would meet the dwarves at Mithlond? is that righ?
Lihan Taifun:             Olwe and Nole? at Mithlond, yes, and Mithlond IS the Grey Havens mentioned in LotR
Rajani:                         cool map :D
AelKennyr Rhiano:  Right
Lihan Taifun:             Encyclopedia of Arda has a lot of good maps
AelKennyr Rhiano:  the other spot that is possible looks way too narrow for a seafaring vessel to travel very far.   What do you think, Shawn?
Lihan Taifun:             other spot?
AelKennyr Rhiano:  look at Minhiriath, between Lindon and Minhiriath, a tributary seems to run there
Lihan Taifun:             ah, the mouth of the Baranduin (Brandywine) RIver
AelKennyr Rhiano:  oh yes,: but the opening is not as wide, so I am thinking that Nole would choose Mithlond.
Lihan Taifun:             Mithlond is an ancient Elvish port, so you might have other reasons for wanting to check in there
AelKennyr Rhiano nods
Lihan Taifun:             Cirdan's old home
Shawn Daysleeper:  getting wounded dwarves to grey havens rather than there sounds more reasonable
AelKennyr Rhiano:  That would fit with Olwe's mission to seek out other elves.
Lihan Taifun:             it would
Rajani:                         it would
AelKennyr Rhiano:  Belenos and I would going to have the snow start melting in Alqualonde.  : so that will help with Shawn's and my rp
Lihan Taifun:             and we've already mentioned a road from the dwarves to Mithlond, so that works too
AelKennyr Rhiano nods
Rajani:                         For some reason I keep forgetting where Gamifûn is and thinking it's in the Misty Mountains or something :P
AelKennyr Rhiano: far away is Aztryd's husband's settlement?
Lihan Taifun:             he's down by Minas Tirith, way south
Rajani:                         that's a ways
AelKennyr Rhiano:  ok
Shawn Daysleeper:  ok.  Shawn Daysleeper smiles
AelKennyr Rhiano:  So the dwarves have only the journey to make.  They don't have to worry about him as well
Lihan Taifun:             right
{Belenos and Rhûn crash.   Grumbling about the quality of ISPs.}

AelKennyr Rhiano:  I guess Shawn and I will have to imagine where Alqualonde is in relation to the Grey havens.
Shawn Daysleeper:  nods
AelKennyr Rhiano:  and "fudge" part of the trip to the dwarves.
Lihan Taifun:             so far all we know is that it took a dragon a long time to fly?
AelKennyr Rhiano:  right
Lihan Taifun:             and longer than a balrog wanted to fly
AelKennyr Rhiano:  or would risk over open seas
Rajani:                         yes,: but a day or so for a very large swan, a possibly magic swan?
AelKennyr Rhiano:  yes, we had the trip be rather lengthy in duration.   but far shorter than by sea.   was it 8-9 hours?
Lihan Taifun:             that is probably about how long it took Elwing to fly, although I don't think she actually said how long her first trip took
AelKennyr Rhiano:  no, I don't think she did.
Shawn Daysleeper:  sylvhara is closer than the Grey Havens i think, and in a different direction, so ulmo can turn them
{Belenos returns.   More grumbling about ISPs.}

Lihan Taifun:             Geography — while you were gone, we were discussing where off the coast Alqualonde was
Belenos:                      oh ok..  *digs out her map again* where did you decide it was?
AelKennyr Rhiano:  We had not
Lihan Taifun:             several days sailing, and not in the same direction as Sylvhara?
Belenos:                      oh..  *grins* which direction is sylvhara?
Shawn Daysleeper:  we were discussing that
Rajani:                         I have no idea :D
Shawn Daysleeper:  oh
Belenos grins..  ok
Shawn Daysleeper:  It seems like it is up to us.  sylvhara is around a day's sail from alqualonde?
AelKennyr Rhiano:  yes, and Sylvhara is in the northern part of Middle Earth? is that right?
Lihan Taifun:             are they attached to Middle Earth? or are they an island?
{Rhûn returns.   Greetings.}
Shawn Daysleeper:  it would be a big island if it was an island
AelKennyr Rhiano:  Sylvhara?
Shawn Daysleeper:  yes
AelKennyr Rhiano:  I don't think it is? We are.   and I believe Sylvhara is north of us.   on the very far reaches of Middle Earth.
Shawn Daysleeper:  so maybe sylvhara is near Minhiriath coast
Lihan Taifun:    This is zoomed out more
AelKennyr Rhiano:  idk?
Shawn Daysleeper:  there is a forest there
Lihan Taifun:    This shows that there are more continents that don't come into the main story
AelKennyr Rhiano looks
Lihan Taifun:             as the footnote mentions on that last map, that is from one of TOlkien's early sketches, and the part we call "Middle Earth" is probably drawn too small on the map
AelKennyr Rhiano:  I am afraid that my grasp of Tolkien geography has never been good.
Lihan Taifun:             That's why we have maps?
Rhûn Darkmoon grins, 'I get lost, even with a map.  Or maybe especially with a map.'
Belenos:                      lol...
Lihan Taifun:             don't let RHun give directions, then
Shawn Daysleeper:  i would think it would take well more than a day to sail from Lond Daer to Grey havens
AelKennyr Rhiano:  omg...yes
Rhûn Darkmoon:       'So Nasi isn't going to lead the exodus?'
Shawn Daysleeper:  maybe more like a week
AelKennyr Rhiano:  more than that
Shawn Daysleeper:  looks at the miles scale
AelKennyr Rhiano:  the ship will be powered by sail, not oars, so it will depend upon the winds.
Belenos nods nods nods...  depending on the winds too..
Rajani:                         that map shows Aman as way way bigger than I ever imagined it...huh
Lihan Taifun:             Aman does look huge in that map
AelKennyr Rhiano:  it does
Lihan Taifun:             winds could make a huge difference in how long it takes
Belenos nods ..  yes..  a tail wind vs tacking back and forth with a headwind
Shawn Daysleeper:  so I would not put Sylvhara any further south than Lond Daer
AelKennyr Rhiano:  why?  We are still going to start off heading for Sylvhara, Shawn?
Shawn Daysleeper:  unless the dwarves take forever to get to mithlond
AelKennyr Rhiano:  well, it will take them a good while to get there.
Shawn Daysleeper:  i was trying to look at th timing of everything
AelKennyr Rhiano nods.  It's rather tricky.  : They have to either cross the mountains or descend and then trek across to mithlond overland.   I think we might need to go Sylvhara after all, Shawn.   to give the dwarves enough time to start their journey.  : The sooner Olwe receives the word, the better.
Shawn Daysleeper:  unless we put Alqualonde further north closer to mithlond
AelKennyr Rhiano:  do we want to do that? would that be a rp advantage? I was thinking if we were more on the outskirts of Middle Earth, it gave us the advantage of finding lands unknown in the 3rd Age, but perhaps that does not matter?
Rajani:                         are the Elves planning to meet the Dwarves in this RP, or does that happen by accident?
AelKennyr Rhiano:  Yes, we are coming to pick them up, rescue them and bring them to Alqualonde
Shawn Daysleeper:  we could rp a slower sailing, such as seeing icebergs and such, ocean hazards
AelKennyr Rhiano:  yes, we could.
Lihan Taifun:             it will take the dwarves some time to travell, and to load up Adelsteinn's barrels
AelKennyr Rhiano:  We should get them on their journey, and out of the mountains...
Shawn Daysleeper:  just because alqualonde is melting does not mean the open sea is clean
AelKennyr Rhiano:  yes, I was about to say.   oh, good point, Shawn :) That is why HE is the sailor :P
Rhûn Darkmoon:       'As the Titanic found out.'
Shawn Daysleeper:  ya
AelKennyr Rhiano nods
Shawn Daysleeper:  I do live close to a real harbour hehe
Lihan Taifun:             heh heh
Belenos smiles..  very useful..
AelKennyr Rhiano:  So, Shawn, we are placing Alqualonde not terribly far away from Mithlond?
Shawn Daysleeper:  on the other map I see Gulf of Luin I am thinking maybe straight west of that just off the map
AelKennyr Rhiano:  ok.   That would be perfect.
Shawn Daysleeper:  far enough to be in open sea for the ocean hazards rp
AelKennyr Rhiano:  nodnodnod I agree
Shawn Daysleeper:  but close enough to explain elwings fast flight
Lihan Taifun:             that would put you at a lattitude similar to northern Europe
AelKennyr Rhiano:  perfect!
Shawn Daysleeper:  and in the northern lattude for the snow and icebergs
AelKennyr Rhiano:  so we are the far west of middle earth?
Shawn Daysleeper:  ya
AelKennyr Rhiano:  yes, I think that is wise.
Rajani:                         that sounds good
Shawn Daysleeper:  that way sylvhara could be another island south i warmer waters, on the coast to the southeast, or west in uncharted waters
Lihan Taifun:             it could
Shawn Daysleeper:  in warmer waters*
Belenos:                      and maybe the uncharted lands you could discover are further south and east of that?
AelKennyr Rhiano:  yes...west in uncharted waters would be perfect, yes!
Shawn Daysleeper:  or sylvhara could be in lindon below the Gulf of Lune -- uncharted island may be better ya
AelKennyr Rhiano:  making notes...pardon
Shawn Daysleeper:  smiles
Belenos smiles..  take your time..  it will be good to get this set down for future reference
Lihan Taifun:             it makes lots of sense for there to be islands off the coast, that never get mentioned
Rhûn Darkmoon nods nods nods, 'It may even save me from getting lost.'
Belenos:                      that's common enough, too....  we have islands off australia that don't generally get mentioned in day to day talk
Lihan Taifun:             right, especially if you are talking about events inland
Shawn Daysleeper:  yes
Rhûn Darkmoon nods, 'Most definitely.'
Shawn Daysleeper:  I do see a couple islands on the online map, one north of lindon the other on the edge on the north side of the map
AelKennyr Rhiano: is what I have?
AelKennyr Rhiano:  Alqualonde is straight west of the Gulf of Luin far enough to be in open sea but close enough to explain Elwing's fast flight.  That puts it at a lattitude similar to northern Europe and in the northern lattude for the snow and icebergs.

So Alqualonde is far west of middle earth.  Sylvhara is west in uncharted waters, in warmer waters.  There are uncharted lands to be discovered further south and east of Sylvhara.  Sylvhara could be in Lindon below the Gulf of Lune.
AelKennyr Rhiano:  is that correct?
Shawn Daysleeper:  so it would make sense for there to be more
Belenos:                      so sylvhara is west of alqualonde, not south?
AelKennyr Rhiano:  idk?
Rajani:                         it makes sense for there to be things uncharted
AelKennyr Rhiano:  I'm asking?
Rajani:                         I somehow had the idea that Sylvhara was north of Alqualonde but I have no idea at all where I got that from :P
Belenos looks to our sailor savy elf to see what he thinks
Shawn Daysleeper:  I am thinking it is in uncharted waters west or south of Alqualonde
Lihan Taifun:             or southwest
Belenos grins at rajani..  probably because it used to be north of alqualonde at arda
Shawn Daysleeper:  far enough off shore so sailors from middle earth did not bump into either during the 3rd age
Rajani:                         oh, LOL, that's probably wy
AelKennyr Rhiano:  It was north and west in Arda
Rajani:                         probably why
Lihan Taifun:             ah
AelKennyr Rhiano:  So, i have it right, Shawn?
Shawn Daysleeper:  well it is not up to just me blushes
AelKennyr Rhiano:  No, no, I know.
AelKennyr Rhiano:  But you know more than I.
Shawn Daysleeper:  in uncharted waters I think is best
AelKennyr Rhiano:  And I konw this is not about the 4th Age, but talking about where Alqualonde would be in the 4th Age, has helped me alot...thank you.
Shawn Daysleeper:  yes me too :)
Lihan Taifun smiles
AelKennyr Rhiano:  :)
Belenos:                      Actually I think it's helped us all get our bearings in where everything is