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An Anniversary is Coming!

Many Paths to Tread, the sister archive of this community, will be FIVE YEARS OLD on Sunday, July 27!

To celebrate, we will be doing something a little different this year! There will be some one-paragraph story-starters attached to this post as top-level comments by the mods. We invite our members to contribute to continuing each story in the replies to those comments! You may contribute to as many of them as you like and more than once, but we hope the stories will be able to reach a conclusion by Saturday, July 26.

There will be a starter for each of the following: The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, the First Age of Middle-earth, the Second Age of Middle-earth, and Multi-Age. Each completed story will be posted at the archive, with the names of all contributors. (Please be patient with us getting up our starters; they may not all appear at once.)

Here are the rules:
1. Please follow the community rating guidelines.
2. Only post replies that are a part of continuing each story. Save comments and reviews for when the stories are complete. Only mods will be making top-level comments. A separate post will be made for any questions.
3. Keep within the LJ character count for each addition, and if you contribute to a story more than once, try to let someone else add to the story before you add more.

There will also be an Art Challenge for our artist members in a separate post. Keep an eye open for it.

Finally: On July 27, we will begin to take nominations for the 2014 Tree & Flower Awards! Remember, only stories posted at Many Paths to Tread are eligible, and they must be posted at the Archive by Saturday, July 26.

We hope that many of you will come and celebrate with us by creating story and art!

Please comment at THIS LINK if you have any questions or concerns about this challenge!


The Mods

ETA: Deleted comments are only the LJ ping-bot.


( 37 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 16th, 2014 10:27 pm (UTC)
Story starter for The Hobbit

Bombur strolled alone through the woodland, guided by the torches along the way, as well as the brightly lit lanterns that swung from the lower branches of the tall and shapely trees. He could hear pleasant songs not far in the distance, and the air was redolent with the aroma of enticing food. Soon he found himself in a large clearing filled with Elves, all crowned with garlands of leaves. There at the center was the King of them all, his crown of golden leaves glowing in the light of a bonfire, his countenance fair. He looked up and smiled delightedly at Bombur. "Ah, my dear friend, Bombur!" He gestured with a goblet and held up the roasted leg of a pheasant, "Do come and join us at our feast!"

Edited at 2014-07-17 12:43 am (UTC)
Jul. 20th, 2014 05:52 pm (UTC)
Re: Story starter for The Hobbit
Delighted, Bombur squatted next to the King and took the leg of pheasant. "Bombur, at your service!" he said, before taking a huge bite of the pheasant leg. "Delicious!" After finishing the roasted pheasant leg off, he accepted a mug from another Elf and took a gulp of what turned out to be some kind of frothy wine-based drink. He drank the entire mug, and then helped himself to some stuffed eggs and a serving of quiche. While he was eating, some of the Elves sat around the campfire, singing merry songs.

"I am so hungry," he said, "and this is all so delicious!"

Edited at 2014-07-20 05:53 pm (UTC)
Re: Story starter for The Hobbit - dreamflower02 - Jul. 21st, 2014 02:31 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Story starter for The Hobbit - kgreen20 - Jul. 26th, 2014 01:08 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Story starter for The Hobbit - dreamflower02 - Jul. 26th, 2014 01:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Story starter for The Hobbit - blslarner - Jul. 27th, 2014 11:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Story starter for The Hobbit - kgreen20 - Aug. 5th, 2014 04:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 17th, 2014 12:34 am (UTC)
Story starter for The Lord of the Rings

Sam was completely distracted by his find. He gathered as many of the chestnuts as he could, filling his pockets and then his handkerchief with the unexpected bounty. Mr. Frodo and the others would be so happy to have them. Boromir stood nervously behind him; Strider'd asked the Man to guard him when he gave Sam permission to go back up their trail and collect his find. Suddenly, he heard the sound of an angry squeal, but before he could even turn, large hands snatched him up and plunked him upon a branch of the chestnut tree. Sam stared down in horror as Boromir drew his sword and prepared to face the charging boar.
Jul. 17th, 2014 01:51 pm (UTC)
Re: Story starter for The Lord of the Rings
Sam gripped his bulging handkerchief with one hand and held on to the tree branch with the other, desperately hoping that he would not fall. Bad enough that Boromir had to fight to defend him -- he didn't want to make things even more difficult by plunging down into the midst of the battle.

Sam watched, holding his breath in terror, as the boar charged straight at Boromir. With a sweep of his sword, Boromir deflected the charge and the boar ran past him. Quickly turning, the creature gathered itself for another attack. Boromir had but an instant to grasp the shield he wore upon his back, and set it before him to fend off attacks from the boar's fearsome tusks. Shield in hand and sword held high, Boromir did not wait for the boar's charge, but instead leaped forward to battle.

Sam cried out in fear, as Boromir's food suddenly turned on a chestnut, and he lost his balance. Down on one knee he went, and then the boar was upon him.
Jul. 17th, 2014 02:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Story starter for The Lord of the Rings
Back at camp, Legolas leaped to his feet as his sharp ears picked up the faint, shrill cry of a hobbit -- calling for help.

"Aragorn, Gimli, with me!" he cried out. "Sam and Boromir are in danger!" He raced back up the trail without looking back. He didn't call out, hoping to take any attackers unaware. Sam's cries grew louder as he approached the chestnut glade, and when he burst through the trees he halted, frozen for a moment at the scene before him.
Re: Story starter for The Lord of the Rings - kgreen20 - Jul. 20th, 2014 02:45 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Story starter for The Lord of the Rings - kgreen20 - Jul. 27th, 2014 03:18 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Story starter for The Lord of the Rings - blslarner - Jul. 27th, 2014 11:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Story starter for The Lord of the Rings - kgreen20 - Aug. 20th, 2014 10:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 17th, 2014 07:34 pm (UTC)
Story starter for Multi-Age (All Books)
It had been decided. For now she would still walk amongst her people, but once Galadriel had decided that she could leave all behind their realm would slowly diminish. No, he was not ready to leave these shores, feeling too bound to his people. Celeborn sighed and observed how a patrol disappeared in the woodlands for a much needed patrol. So much work was left to be done still. Sauron had been defeated, but his minions still wreaked havoc where they could.

With a deep sigh, Celeborn planted his hands on the railing of the balcony and as his gazed over Lothlórien, he let his thoughts wander into the past when only the stars netted the skies during the day. How long had it been that she had walked besides him? And there were the years before she became part of his life to consider as well. Soon fondest memories warred with those of days with strife and wars, joy and pain. It seemed so long ago that Celebrían had played beneath his beloved mallorn trees or when had wielded his sword during dire teams… The soft foot fall behind him interrupted his thoughts.
Jul. 19th, 2014 03:20 pm (UTC)
Re: Story starter for Multi-Age (All Books)
"My lord."

Celeborn turned, but saw only the top of the golden head as the elf bowed deferentially. "You may stop this foolishness now that the Lady departs. Nay - I order you to stop this ridiculous posturing she has required. What is it, Valandil?"

The messenger rose, though the eyes remained downcast. "The Lady begs your presence, my lord."

Celeborn was silent for a moment, as the immense sadness nearly broke his resolve. He straightened his already erect spine, however, and collected himself so there was not even a catch in his voice as he replied, "You may give her my regards and bear my farewell kiss to her, but I am unable to witness this departure."

He understood his wife's desire to depart before the diminishing of their wood took hold. The whispering leaves already sighed their regret for the waning of the power of the ring. The heartbeats of his massive mallorns had slowed significantly in the months since the One Ring's destruction. He understood, but he could not bring himself to accept her choice to return to Valinor.

"Go with my blessings, such as they are. And may the wind speed the ships across the sea to the Undying Lands."

The messenger bowed again, habit could not be broken with a single utterance, and turned to retreat in the same soft-footed manner he had arrived.

The destruction of the Ring had wrought many changes, but not his reason for leaving Valinor. Celeborn turned back to stare out over the view of his forest. Feanor's treachery might have been enacted beyond the boundaries of Aman, but its seeds had been planted long before the multitude had followed the mad elf out of the Blessed Realm. He could foresee no future where he wished to return to that place, but he would not ask Galadriel to stay. She had her own reasons for returning.

Perhaps, when his own wood failed, he would go to the Avari. With the fall of evil, the Greenwood would flourish again; it did not stand or fall on the strength of a Ring of Power. Thranduil might not welcome him, but he would not turn him away either, for the king of the Greenwood, Celeborn knew, had no great love for the Valar either.
Jul. 24th, 2014 07:10 am (UTC)
Re: Story starter for Multi-Age (All Books)
Haldir had already taken down his flet. Now he stood with his hand on the silver-grey bark, communing with the mallorn he had lived in so long. He still hadn't made up his mind whether to follow the Lady west or stay on, not really.
Elsewhere, his brothers would be coming to their own decisions...
Jul. 27th, 2014 11:55 pm (UTC)
Re: Story starter for Multi-Age (All Books)
Or, perhaps....

Mirkwood, or Eryn Lasgalen as it was now renamed, was not his only resort. He had a claim on the remains of Imladris as well, he knew, the realm where his daughter had ruled so long beside her husband Elrond. Elladan and Elrohir would not leave with their father, not now when they had been granted the right to defer their own decisions until after the more painful departure of their sister. I could find purpose there, he thought as he looked stubbornly beyond Anduin toward the east rather than to follow his wife's planned path north and west. I can still offer guidance and assistance here. And perhaps, if and when I should choose to join my beloved, I will be able to tell her of the great grandchildren that Arwen will bear. There is still life to be lived here in Ennor, at least for now.

He stood there long, very long. Only when he felt his wife's departure from beneath the last of the mellyrn did he drop his gaze, at last allowing the pain to pass through him. How long it would be before he saw her again he had no idea. Perhaps not for some Ages of the Sun.

Edited at 2014-07-28 05:52 am (UTC)
Jul. 17th, 2014 08:12 pm (UTC)
Story Starter for The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales (Second Age)
The wooden deck groaned against the weight of the wooden crates as they were lifted onto the deck and two sailors tried to shove it closer to the ship’s quarter deck.

‘What do ya reckon is in it?’ One of them muttered as he planted his hands firmly against their cargo.

‘Ah yea know Nonny. Knowing the Captain, probably more books for the King’s library.’

‘How many do those elves of Lindon gather then? It really makes me wonder betimes.’ Nonny bent closer to see if he could make out what was inside the crate.

‘Why wonder? Who knows what gifts are bestowed this time. Only good for a good fire I’d say.’

‘Enough has been burnt on our isle of late,’ Captain Anárion interrupted them as he jumped on board. ‘Nor do I think that the High-King would approve of such actions from a crew he holds in high honour.’

Both sailors nodded sternly and exchanged a glance once their captain strode past them.

‘No, Nonny, don’t you even dare to pry one open. I still remember the ruckus you got us into the last time... Nonny!’

Edited at 2014-07-17 08:16 pm (UTC)
Jul. 21st, 2014 06:44 am (UTC)
Re: Story Starter for The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales (Second Age)
Just as Nonny lifted the crowbar, the strangest sound emanated from the crate. Not, not so much a sound as a smell... No, not so much a smell, as a feeling... The two sailors were so puzzled, trying to work out what it was, that they failed to hear the Captain return.

'Right, Nonny, that's two weeks of deck-scrubbing duty for you--and one week galley duty for you!' he said, turning to Nonny's companion.

Nonny's friend cringed. But Nonny himself stood frowning.

'Those are never books,' he muttered.

'Who cares?' said his friend angrily. 'Look what trouble you got us in!'

Meanwhile in the most seaward tower of Mithlond, Galdor stood looking out. He did not usually keep watch himself, but Cirdan had been anxious lately, plagued by foresight... When would Anarion arrive?
Jul. 28th, 2014 06:09 am (UTC)
Re: Story Starter for The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales (Second Age)
Within the crate the hidden entity gave a small shiver. Hope dwelt there--hope that the Valar realized not all from the Star Isle had broken faith, hope that righteous choices would be acknowledged and blessed.

But the one sailor contemplating its protective crate was not always wise. Not yet was the one resting inside ready to be revealed, not while the one whose actions had led to the sinking of Númenor struggled through Lord Ulmo's realm back toward his own. Too long had he sought to see this symbol of the accord between the descendants of Elros and those who dwelt in the Undying Lands destroyed. Its parent had been slain cruelly and burnt upon the altar in Zigûr's temple. This one had been rescued at great cost to Lord Anárion's brother--nearly his very life! But still the small life sought some experience with open sunlight and rain once more.

Edited at 2014-07-28 06:10 am (UTC)
Jul. 17th, 2014 09:18 pm (UTC)
Story starter for The Silmarillion (First Age)
The first days of the Mereth Aderthad were relaxed, mostly concerned with raising tents and renewing acquaintances, but Beleg found himself growing tense as the days progressed and the banners of the Fëanorians did not join those of the Fingolfin, of Círdan and King Denethor, and of course, of his own king Elu Thingol. On the fifth day, Beleg rose after a too-late night spent drinking with old companions, just as the sun began to nudge itself over the horizon, when suddenly, the morning stillness was shattered by the sound of trumpets, the gentle morning light turned fierce upon gold and crimson banners. The sons of Fëanor had arrived.
Jul. 19th, 2014 10:03 am (UTC)
Re: Story starter for The Silmarillion (First Age)
Maglor looked up for a moment at the flame-coloured banners fluttering above them, conscious of the half disk of the rising sun behind their backs.
'See, we have managed our dramatic entrance!' he said with considerable satisfaction.
Maedhros grinned, not too obviously, because that might have spoiled the drama a bit. Already they were getting close enough so that he could see the expressions on people's faces and he was beginning to scan the gathering crowd for friends and relatives--and for possible difficulties.
He caught sight of Aredhel, arriving at not entirely dignified speed. As usual, she stood out in her white dress.
Aug. 1st, 2014 01:57 pm (UTC)
Re: Story starter for The Silmarillion (First Age)
A joyful whoop filled his ears and Maglor tried to suppress a smile when he saw how Huan and Celegorm ran past them, nearly pouncing Aredhel in the process. Huan won of course, just barely and knocked the lady over and started to lick her face enthusiastically.
‘Do keep your hound in check before he slobbered all over her, Turko.’ Turgon spoke drily, yet the mirth he tried to show in his words did not reach his eyes.

‘I... am… quite...’ Aredhel tried to shove the big dog aside, but failed to do so.

‘Huan, down boy. I am just as glad to see her although I would prefer to see her not like this.’ Celegorm instructed and pulled Huan away from her.

Maglor could have sworn that the hound scowled at his master and decided to alight as well to greet his cousins.

Edited at 2014-08-01 01:58 pm (UTC)
( 37 comments — Leave a comment )


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