Persona Concept: Cimrandir...Dunedain Archaelogist?

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Haradir
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Persona Concept: Cimrandir...Dunedain Archaelogist?

Postby Haradir » Tue Apr 28, 2020 3:12 am

Don't call it a comeback - I've been here for years.

Hey guys, long time no see. While I wouldn't often log in, I've never forgotten the folks here at MERF and I would often wander over here to check out the latest happenings. Life is slowly stabilizing for me and honestly now that I'm no longer a young'n (hard to believe that I was fourteen years old when I joined), I have a little more time and discipline to actually commit to this undertaking. I've always been attracted to the "realness" of the folks here and how they don't simply cosplay Rangers - they have the skills and experience to back it up. I come from a background of self reliance and woodcraft but I've let time and not practicing rust those skills away.

Time to get back in the saddle.

I've still got work (like most of you) and school (like some of you) so those will take priority like always but this has been bumped up this list. Time to sharpen the sword so to speak.

So while I plan to focus on the skills and know-how side of things, still got to make it fun and y'know, Middle Earth. So I'm taking a tactic from real-world reenactment and first things first this time around, I'm creating a persona. Something to guide and inform my decision-making process and kit construction. It helps to add a little depth to the Middle Earth reenactment as well.

Considering the lack of information on Middle Earth cultures and on the Dunedain in particular, I'm trying to make it vague enough to allow me to go in multiple directions and to avoid the more "fanfictiony" aspects. I also wanted to make it a bit more "real" for me and try to include some of my own personal background.

----------

Born in T.A. 2994, Cimrandir spent his youth learning the way of the Rangers and exploring the North. His parents instilled in him a love and respect for the past and he often would reflect on the glory days of the Northern Kingdoms. With the outbreak of the War of the Ring in T.A. 3018, Cimrandir reluctantly switched from his defensive Rangering to one of the offense. Serving with distinction in the war, he was never the less glad when the war was finally over with the fall of Sauron.

With the dawn of the Fourth Age and the reestablishment of the Kingdom of Arnor by King Elessar Telcontar, he knew his duty was to help restore the fallen kingdom. The years without a king and hiding from evil forces had taken its toll on the culture of the Dunedain. Cimrandir realized that they needed to establish a link to their past and revive the old ways in the renewed Kingdom. History is a funny animal in Middle Earth with the ageless Elves that could recite the traditions and deeds of Men of Old. But deeds and adventures do not a culture make. The ways of building a house, of carving a statue, of jewelry making and styles of swords do. The material culture if you will, that link people together in their ways. Sadly, those are not often recorded by those immortal Elves. Those ways of the past needed to be rediscovered. In addition, the majority of the Elves had already sailed across the sea. So that left Men to reclaim their heritage.

To that end, Cimradir began to explore the wild, recording and documenting all that he came across. He became known as an Iorengollon or "Scholar of the Old Days" in Sindarin. His mission was not entirely one of peace though. Despite the fall of Sauron, there still lurked evil in the forest needing to be driven out. The new settlers and re-emerging Dunedain still needed protecting. So Cimrandir still wandered the forest doing what a Ranger does best.

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The seed for this concept was the translation of "archaeology" into Sindarin. I am an archaeologist by trade and I was curious to translate my profession into a tongue that I much admire. The fine linguists at Parf Edhellen and their discord channel Vinyë Lambengolmor were an invaluable help in making sure the translation was both accurate and worked within a Middle Earth context. To make Iorengollon work, I came up with the backstory above to justify the creation of the word. I took inspiration from real world antiquarianism and historians such as Herodotus. But perhaps most of all, from Nabonidus and Flavio Biondo. It is not perhaps "true" archaeology but more along the lines of proto-archaeology perhaps. Enough to count.

As for Cimrandir, it is "Edge-wanderer" in Sindarin. With Edge meaning the frontier or border as in Edge of the Wild. Appropriate for both a Ranger and myself who surveys so much in the wild. Thanks to /r/sindarin for the help with that translation.

Hopefully, that does not read as too much fiction of my own design. I like to think that the Professor wouldn't have too much issue with it considering he himself paid close attention to the archaeological world and in fact served as a consultant once for a dig.

Sabo, Deborah. Archaeology and the Sense of History in J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-Earth Earth

Ring of Silvianus

As for the rest of it, my imagination filled in the blanks. As I said before, I tried to keep it simple and straightforward. I set him at the beginning of the Fourth Age so he could be free to wander in pursuit of a goal other than simple protection of the innocents. I tried to keep him "common' and I make no claim to be a member of the illustrious Grey Company.

So what does this mean going forward? How does this inform my kit?

For one, I think I should carry multiple maps. Perhaps a notebook? Practice my sketching and note taking. If I were cheeky, I'd fashion a sheath for my trowel and carry it on my belt but that would be a little over the top, I think. Other than that, I am unsure. Something to work on as I progress and earn.

So there you have it. I leave it to you fine folks for comments and criticisms. Any and all are welcome.

Thank you.
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Re: Persona Concept: Cimrandir...Dunedain Archaelogist?

Postby Peter Remling » Tue Apr 28, 2020 12:06 pm

I like the outline so far. If you were to story write, I'd suggest hiring dwarf diggers for a found site. At least have some smaller tools for gem/wood and stone work. See Iodo's tinker's tool set up for some inspiration: viewtopic.php?f=37&t=4298

Keep us posted it sounds interesting.
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Re: Persona Concept: Cimrandir...Dunedain Archaelogist?

Postby Udwin » Tue Apr 28, 2020 1:39 pm

Welcome back Haradir! I have to say, there is Nothing more refreshing than to log on and see someone has created a persona, that is so thoughtfully laid out and jives with Tolkien's lore. Plus as a former archeologist, I can really dig it! (rimshot) ; )
Seriously...I stick with 'generic' personas for Middle-earth purposes, but I've been developing an archeologist impression for my other period, so this is really cool to read. It's super encouraging to see you've avoided the lure of the 'Munchkin' Original Character (as you say, the 'fanfictiony' aspect)--a particular sore spot for me--so you're definitely on the right path to a solid impression.
As for hard kit, maps are great. I believe I've seen a pocket writing set come up before--inkwell, lead pencil, quill pen, &c. all self-contained? The trowel is a good idea; though it probably doesn't need to be on the belt. A simple horsehair brush would be an easy addition. Perhaps some charcoal to collect rubbings of engravings in the field?
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Re: Persona Concept: Cimrandir...Dunedain Archaelogist?

Postby Iodo » Tue Apr 28, 2020 1:53 pm

This seems like a really good persona idea, I'm reading it as a bit of a cross between the law-master/records keeper and ranger, or maybe a ranger who's hobby/second job is the former, awesome so far :P

Haradir wrote:So what does this mean going forward? How does this inform my kit?
For one, I think I should carry multiple maps. Perhaps a notebook? Practice my sketching and note taking.

I agree with Udwin on this being a good idea, the ability to record information seems like an important thing, you never know when you might need to note down some runes you can't read or a symbol you can't recognize, I did a quick search and found some examples and information:

viewtopic.php?f=33&t=4105&p=44286&hilit=writing+kit&sid=cf40af464d251de1cbff245a3be23a98#p44286

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=68&p=43553&hilit=writing+kit&sid=cf40af464d251de1cbff245a3be23a98#p43553

I had a crack at it here (scroll past the sewing kit) viewtopic.php?f=27&t=4037&p=43242&hilit=writing+kit&sid=cf40af464d251de1cbff245a3be23a98#p43242 , although I've never carried it as part of my kit because it doesn't fit to well with my persona so instead I go with a scrap of paper and a graphite pencil just in case, and I'm not sure about the metal dip-pens being a middle-earth item?

Peter Remling wrote:See Iodo's tinker's tool set up for some inspiration: http://www.middleearthrangers.org/forum ... =37&t=4298

how about a period version of the "fossil hunting" kit I posted as an example of a leather tool roll, I don't know anything about Archaeology but it seems like the kind of thing someone might carry

Haradir wrote: If I were cheeky, I'd fashion a sheath for my trowel and carry it on my belt but that would be a little over the top, I think.

I'm not so sure it's a bad idea, a trowel can be a useful survival tool: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=4393&p=46968&hilit
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Re: Persona Concept: Cimrandir...Dunedain Archaelogist?

Postby Iodo » Tue Apr 28, 2020 1:57 pm

Udwin wrote:I've been developing an archeologist impression for my other period

Also (not wanting to get to off topic) but this is insanely cool :P
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Re: Persona Concept: Cimrandir...Dunedain Archaelogist?

Postby Haradir » Wed Apr 29, 2020 3:54 am

Thank you very much for the feedback everyone!

Peter Remling wrote:I like the outline so far. If you were to story write, I'd suggest hiring dwarf diggers for a found site. At least have some smaller tools for gem/wood and stone work. See Iodo's tinker's tool set up for some inspiration: http://www.middleearthrangers.org/forum ... =37&t=4298


So you bring to light a question that has had me thinking for the past few weeks. What exactly does an Iorengollon do in their daily routine? You mention hiring dwarf diggers but to my mind at least, the physical act of excavation seems a little too advanced for Middle Earth. A little too scientific, if you will. Given the general feel of (so-called) Dark Ages Europe present in Middle Earth and the scientific nature of true archaeology, it seems to me an odd mixture that (likely) wouldn't happen quite yet. Perhaps in the next thousand years in Arda but not at the beginning of the Fourth Age. Which brings me back to the question of what an Iorengollon actually does. My current line of thinking is something like a proactive historian, clearing out the ruins of old Arnor to rebuild but not destroying what came before. Rather, he studies the way they did things and attempts to revive the old days in the restored kingdom through recovering artifacts (how so if no excavation?) and documenting the oral traditions of daily life (more of a historian angle but archaeology is derived from historians so not a big deal.) Perhaps as a wandering Ranger he surveys the Wild for old forgotten ruins and documents them for restoration? Exploration is a facet of archaeology as long as you don't go too Indiana Jones. :lol:

But yes, I'm still tinkering with the details of this persona and I take any and all thoughts. Thank you!

Udwin wrote:Welcome back Haradir! I have to say, there is Nothing more refreshing than to log on and see someone has created a persona, that is so thoughtfully laid out and jives with Tolkien's lore. Plus as a former archeologist, I can really dig it! (rimshot) ; )
Seriously...I stick with 'generic' personas for Middle-earth purposes, but I've been developing an archeologist impression for my other period, so this is really cool to read. It's super encouraging to see you've avoided the lure of the 'Munchkin' Original Character (as you say, the 'fanfictiony' aspect)--a particular sore spot for me--so you're definitely on the right path to a solid impression.
As for hard kit, maps are great. I believe I've seen a pocket writing set come up before--inkwell, lead pencil, quill pen, &c. all self-contained? The trowel is a good idea; though it probably doesn't need to be on the belt. A simple horsehair brush would be an easy addition. Perhaps some charcoal to collect rubbings of engravings in the field?


High praise indeed sir and from one of the people that inspired me to create a persona in the first place, no less! My thanks!

The horsehair brush is a good idea and one that would have other uses in the field I think. I really like the charcoal rubbings idea as well. Very clever and perfectly in line for the current line of thought.

Iodo wrote:This seems like a really good persona idea, I'm reading it as a bit of a cross between the law-master/records keeper and ranger, or maybe a ranger who's hobby/second job is the former, awesome so far :P


Something along those lines, yes! Perhaps a 50/50 split? I grew just a little tired of the constant "war-footing" of most Rangers and wanted something to do that didn't involve killing orcs. :lol: At least, for the majority of it. Still need to clear those woods of those pesky leftovers. :)

Iodo wrote:I agree with Udwin on this being a good idea, the ability to record information seems like an important thing, you never know when you might need to note down some runes you can't read or a symbol you can't recognize, I did a quick search and found some examples and information:

https://www.ranger.budgetauthenticity.o ... a98#p44286

https://www.ranger.budgetauthenticity.o ... a98#p43553

I had a crack at it here (scroll past the sewing kit) https://www.ranger.budgetauthenticity.o ... a98#p43242 , although I've never carried it as part of my kit because it doesn't fit to well with my persona so instead I go with a scrap of paper and a graphite pencil just in case, and I'm not sure about the metal dip-pens being a middle-earth item?

Peter Remling wrote:See Iodo's tinker's tool set up for some inspiration: http://www.middleearthrangers.org/forum ... =37&t=4298

how about a period version of the "fossil hunting" kit I posted as an example of a leather tool roll, I don't know anything about Archaeology but it seems like the kind of thing someone might carry

Haradir wrote: If I were cheeky, I'd fashion a sheath for my trowel and carry it on my belt but that would be a little over the top, I think.

I'm not so sure it's a bad idea, a trowel can be a useful survival tool: https://www.ranger.budgetauthenticity.o ... 6968&hilit


Thank you for the links! Definitely something to mull over.

Iodo wrote:
Udwin wrote:I've been developing an archeologist impression for my other period

Also (not wanting to get to off topic) but this is insanely cool :P


Agreed! Very cool! 8)
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Re: Persona Concept: Cimrandir...Dunedain Archaelogist?

Postby Elleth » Wed Apr 29, 2020 12:13 pm

I'd agree that anything we recognize in our era as a formalized archeology would be cultrally quite foreign to Middle-earth. Archeology even as Schliemann might recognize it is at the long end of a confluence of streams from Enlightnment era philosophy/natural history, sufficient hegemonic power to claim a spot and start digging, an elite class with sufficient time and resources to organize a dig... all things in their earliest embryonic stages until well into the Fourth Age - if not missing entirely.

BUT....

As I recall, at the beginning of the Fourth Age, King Elessar ordered the rebuilding of (at least part of) the ancient Arnorian city of Annúminas.

There have to be countless untold stories of digging things out of the ruins, deciphering old inscriptions, piecing together the layout of the capitol, fetch-and-carry runs for relics or raw stone out from what was once city exurbs, long since fallen to howling wilderness....

I think it's an awesome idea. :mrgreen:
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Re: Persona Concept: Cimrandir...Dunedain Archaelogist?

Postby Eofor » Wed Apr 29, 2020 12:21 pm

Haradir wrote:As for the rest of it, my imagination filled in the blanks. As I said before, I tried to keep it simple and straightforward. I set him at the beginning of the Fourth Age so he could be free to wander in pursuit of a goal other than simple protection of the innocents. I tried to keep him "common' and I make no claim to be a member of the illustrious Grey Company.
Thank you.


I love how much thought and consideration you've put into this and how carefully you're moving around the lack of subject matter. It's conjecture, but conjecture done sympathetically to the lore.


Here is a variant of an idea I've had for my Dwarven Warden (Inspired by the mission to Moria in search of Durins axe) but I wonder if one of your roles might not be similar.
Actively hunting down artifacts and long lost treasures, not in a swashbuckling style but in a research and exploration way.

I could imagine your character traveling to scour the archives of Gondor before heading back to the north chasing a lead on one of the lesser rings. Searching through the wilds for the barrow of the ancient king who wore it in life.
Once he had found it he would gather a party of Rangers and after the barrow was cleansed he would scour the treasure searching for the ring and anything else of value beyond it's gold and silver.

A few lost treasures I can think of off the top of my head
- The ring of Barahir which Arvedui, gave to the Lossoth for the help he received from them. It was later ransomed back but given Arvedui died in a shipwreck someone must have done the investigation to find that it was not lost.
- The palantíri which up until the fourth age were largely unaccounted for.
- The lesser rings of power.
- The contents of the Barrow Downs.
- Glamdring and Orcrist who survived the fall of Gondolin and wound up in a troll hole.
- Aeglos (Seriously where does it go after the last alliance?)

It would give you a lot of creative possibilities in the form of journals or 'assignments' from the king.


Iodo wrote:I'm not sure about the metal dip-pens being a middle-earth item?


I think they're alluded to by Elrond when speaking to Thorin and company of the moon letters on the map of Thror - 'The Dwarves invented them and wrote them with silver pens as your friends could tell you'
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Re: Persona Concept: Cimrandir...Dunedain Archaelogist?

Postby Haradir » Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:52 am

Elleth wrote:I'd agree that anything we recognize in our era as a formalized archeology would be cultrally quite foreign to Middle-earth. Archeology even as Schliemann might recognize it is at the long end of a confluence of streams from Enlightnment era philosophy/natural history, sufficient hegemonic power to claim a spot and start digging, an elite class with sufficient time and resources to organize a dig... all things in their earliest embryonic stages until well into the Fourth Age - if not missing entirely.


I agree completely. While in the end this boils down to roleplay, I'd still like to avoid any ... improprieties that might suggest a lack of ethical fieldwork and avoid the suggestion of simply digging for digging's own sake. Or treasure hunting like in the media's customary depiction. Since I am simply a "common" man and have no access to funding for more comprehensive excavation, I'm imagining a rather light touch with the whole concept.

Elleth wrote:BUT....

As I recall, at the beginning of the Fourth Age, King Elessar ordered the rebuilding of (at least part of) the ancient Arnorian city of Annúminas.

There have to be countless untold stories of digging things out of the ruins, deciphering old inscriptions, piecing together the layout of the capitol, fetch-and-carry runs for relics or raw stone out from what was once city exurbs, long since fallen to howling wilderness....

I think it's an awesome idea. :mrgreen:


Aha! That is perfectly in line with what I'm considering! I knew that the Kingdom of Arnor was to be restored but I hadn't come across such a specific reference to rebuilding before. I'm glad to know that I'm at least accidentally on the right track. Thank you!

Eofor wrote:I love how much thought and consideration you've put into this and how carefully you're moving around the lack of subject matter. It's conjecture, but conjecture done sympathetically to the lore.


Thank you! It means quite a bit to have the reassurances of the fine folk here that I seem to being putting the appropriate amount of thought into this persona. Shows I'm not completely off my rocker. :lol:

Eofor wrote:Here is a variant of an idea I've had for my Dwarven Warden (Inspired by the mission to Moria in search of Durins axe) but I wonder if one of your roles might not be similar.
Actively hunting down artifacts and long lost treasures, not in a swashbuckling style but in a research and exploration way.

I could imagine your character traveling to scour the archives of Gondor before heading back to the north chasing a lead on one of the lesser rings. Searching through the wilds for the barrow of the ancient king who wore it in life.
Once he had found it he would gather a party of Rangers and after the barrow was cleansed he would scour the treasure searching for the ring and anything else of value beyond it's gold and silver.

A few lost treasures I can think of off the top of my head
- The ring of Barahir which Arvedui, gave to the Lossoth for the help he received from them. It was later ransomed back but given Arvedui died in a shipwreck someone must have done the investigation to find that it was not lost.
- The palantíri which up until the fourth age were largely unaccounted for.
- The lesser rings of power.
- The contents of the Barrow Downs.
- Glamdring and Orcrist who survived the fall of Gondolin and wound up in a troll hole.
- Aeglos (Seriously where does it go after the last alliance?)

It would give you a lot of creative possibilities in the form of journals or 'assignments' from the king.


So a few thoughts here.

I really like the idea of searching the archives of Gondor for background research. Seems like that would be the only place to find primary resources to begin searching the Wild. So maybe Cimrandir is a bit of traveler even past the North. Might be fun to bring in the odd few Gondorian trinkets or motifs. Perhaps he linked up with the Rangers of Ithilien at one point. It would be a nice justification to borrow from their description. I'll have to think about it.

However, like I stated above, I'm trying to avoid the cliche "treasure hunter" and the concept of focusing on one specific artifact. It seems too Hollywood and fanfictiony to me and I'd rather do more in the area of a broader cultural focus as that would be the most help in restoring a fallen kingdom, I think.

When it comes to excavating the Barrow Downs, I'm definitely thinking I would avoid that all together. In real life, I have dug graves and burials and let me tell you, people get touchy with that. I can only imagine it would be worse when you are still living in a world populated by people that solve problems with sharp steel versus sharp words in a legal document. I've read the Professor deliberately left Arda a vaguely non-religious world but we can clearly see how highly the people of Middle Earth revere their dead. Seems a can of worms I wouldn't want to open. No sense in being labelled a hodharph or "tomb robber."

As for the Barrow Wights, I will confess a fascination with them ever since I first read "Fellowship". Creepy, out-of-context with the main plot, and clearly dangerous. I get a certain frisson whenever I re-read "Fog on the Barrow-downs". Something about it always suggests to me a deeper untold history of Middle Earth and a fully fleshed out world.

When I began work on Cimrandir, I initially had the idea (to borrow a term from D&D's Rangers) have the Barrow Wights be a "Favored Enemy". After thinking about it a little more and reading how it took the inscrutable Tom Bombadil to drive it off, I began to question whether a mortal man would even be able to give combat to Wights, much less kill it. I truly like the idea but I don't know if I could realistically swing it. And if I could, it might be a mite too "magicky" for a Ranger. I'm a Ranger, not a Witcher.

Same goes for assignments from the King. I first had the same idea that Aragorn would commission Cimrandir in his Iorengollon duties and serve as Mission Control in a sense. But then I realized I was relying on one of the main characters as part of my persona. Something which I was trying to avoid as it would take away some of the common-man vibes I'm going for in Cimrandir. Obviously, he's not super common as I can't imagine many Dunedain are running around exploring ruins. But still.
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Re: Persona Concept: Cimrandir...Dunedain Archaelogist?

Postby Eofor » Thu Apr 30, 2020 7:47 am

It stands to reason that with so much thought already put into your persona that you had considered those options.

Haradir wrote:When I began work on Cimrandir, I initially had the idea (to borrow a term from D&D's Rangers) have the Barrow Wights be a "Favored Enemy". After thinking about it a little more and reading how it took the inscrutable Tom Bombadil to drive it off, I began to question whether a mortal man would even be able to give combat to Wights, much less kill it. I truly like the idea but I don't know if I could realistically swing it. And if I could, it might be a mite too "magicky" for a Ranger. I'm a Ranger, not a Witcher.


Avoiding the label of hodharph the People of Arnor once buried their kings in the tombs so cleansing them could be part of securing the new Kingdom in the North.
I don't think it's unreasonable that Cimrandir as a Iorengollon would possess a greater knowledge of wights and other creatures that lurk in ruins than a normal ranger would as his role takes him into such places as they dwell.

As to actually fighting them I think that you're right in your assessment of it being beyond any single ranger but a group armed with the knowledge that a Iorengollon could provide may be able to cleanse the barrows without actually fighting- blocking ears with wax to shield them from the wight song, tearing stones from the barrows during the day to let light in.

But again it becomes an expansion of the role that you already have imagined for Cimrandir, perhaps he shares your fascination with the barrows while knowing to leave well enough alone?
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Re: Persona Concept: Cimrandir...Dunedain Archaelogist?

Postby Elleth » Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:02 am

Awesome!

Regarding the barrow wights, there is this from Aragorn at Elrond's Council in Fellowship -

`And yet less thanks have we than you. Travellers scowl at us, and countrymen give us scornful names. "Strider" I am to one fat man who lives within a day's march of foes that would freeze his heart or lay his little town in ruin, if he were not guarded ceaselessly. Yet we would not have it otherwise. If simple folk are free from care and fear, simple they will be, and we must be secret to keep them so. That has been the task of my kindred, while the years have lengthened and the grass has grown.


I have heard it theorized that those foes "within a day's march" that would "freeze [Butterbur's] heart" refer to the wights.
If so, it implies that Rangers have crossed with the wights, and can at least do well enough they can effectively "guard ceaselessly" against them.

That said... I don't know as I go with that interpretation - certainly the fights we do hear of in passing have been with wolves and orcs.

For creatures so supernaturally fearsome, "they leave us alone if we leave them alone" seems to my mind as well to better fit the weakened state of humanity in the Third Age: but there is that much of a justification at least.
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Re: Persona Concept: Cimrandir...Dunedain Archaelogist?

Postby Haradir » Thu Apr 30, 2020 11:14 am

Eofor wrote:Avoiding the label of hodharph the People of Arnor once buried their kings in the tombs so cleansing them could be part of securing the new Kingdom in the North.
I don't think it's unreasonable that Cimrandir as a Iorengollon would possess a greater knowledge of wights and other creatures that lurk in ruins than a normal ranger would as his role takes him into such places as they dwell.

As to actually fighting them I think that you're right in your assessment of it being beyond any single ranger but a group armed with the knowledge that a Iorengollon could provide may be able to cleanse the barrows without actually fighting- blocking ears with wax to shield them from the wight song, tearing stones from the barrows during the day to let light in.

But again it becomes an expansion of the role that you already have imagined for Cimrandir, perhaps he shares your fascination with the barrows while knowing to leave well enough alone?


You are absolutely right that as part of the reclaiming of Arnor, they would need to scour the land of the remaining evil and that includes the Wights. I very much like the word "cleanse" that you used. It seems much more in line with the vibe of both the Professor's work and the concept I'm working on. It's a little less "monster huntery" and a little more of a passive form of taking care of business. Something to think about for sure. To avoid the Munchkiny feel, I don't know if I want to make it a habit of hunting Barrow Wights but every so often it pays to be prepared, perhaps?

Elleth wrote:Regarding the barrow wights, there is this from Aragorn at Elrond's Council in Fellowship -

`And yet less thanks have we than you. Travellers scowl at us, and countrymen give us scornful names. "Strider" I am to one fat man who lives within a day's march of foes that would freeze his heart or lay his little town in ruin, if he were not guarded ceaselessly. Yet we would not have it otherwise. If simple folk are free from care and fear, simple they will be, and we must be secret to keep them so. That has been the task of my kindred, while the years have lengthened and the grass has grown.


I have heard it theorized that those foes "within a day's march" that would "freeze [Butterbur's] heart" refer to the wights.
If so, it implies that Rangers have crossed with the wights, and can at least do well enough they can effectively "guard ceaselessly" against them.

That said... I don't know as I go with that interpretation - certainly the fights we do hear of in passing have been with wolves and orcs.

For creatures so supernaturally fearsome, "they leave us alone if we leave them alone" seems to my mind as well to better fit the weakened state of humanity in the Third Age: but there is that much of a justification at least.


That seems a bit of a stretch interpreting the quote in that fashion. Poor ol' Butterbur seems the sort to be easily frightened no matter what foe.
Haradir
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Re: Persona Concept: Cimrandir...Dunedain Archaelogist?

Postby Haradir » Sun May 10, 2020 5:16 am

Some more thoughts that I've been mulling over this past week. I'm trying to get a little deeper into this persona idea but I've not really decided much of anything so accordingly, this will be a little rambly stream of consciousness. Sorry.

Okay, so I still like the pseudo-archaeologist/historian angle for a post War of the Ring Dunedain. It allows me to interpret my real profession into Middle-earth in a way that I enjoy. Exploration, history, wandering, and all those good things. Seems a match. Add in some orc fightin' for that Ranger vibe and I think it's pretty solid. But now I'm thinking that the iorengollon is just one facet. I want Cimrandir to be more fleshed out than that basic overview. I don't want to get too complex because that leads to munchkiny inventions. But I want him fully thought out and reasonable.

To quote Taurinor from another thread -

Taurinor wrote:
Greg wrote:As for the actual backstory, I at one time had one that was rather complex, but it's steadily been simplifying over the past year or two to becoming a homesteading Dunedain with a family in a settlement in the Angle. Wandering cannot be a constant thing...there has to be a home to come to. My hobby farm at home is starting to approximate what I'd have in M.e., so it's becoming a functional pursuit, rather than just an "on paper kit list".

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to find simple backstories more satisfying. I don’t object to a classic hero’s journey call to action moment if it fits the setting, but much more than that begins to feel forced to me.


I agree that a light, simple touch is the most effective. I fear that I have already passed that point with such a specific backstory and goal. Since this is not "real-world" reenactment I do fear the forcing of a persona in Middle-earth.

Remedy to this? I don't actually know.

Regarding money and the one's ability to support oneself. No matter what culture, real or imagined, a person needs to be able to support themselves. I can't imagine orc killin' pays very well. In fact, I can't imagine that one could support a family on that at all. I'm definitely thinking Cimrandir comes from a little bit of a lower class. Not poor but not descended from kings. Middle class I suppose. Average in other words.

Further more, given the scattered and wandering nature of the Dunedain culture, I strongly suspect that the Dunedain can't actually support a warrior class at all. Warriors depend on the other classes to provide food, weapons, housing, etc. I just don't see the Dunedain as that robust for something full-time like that. Granted, I don't really picture Rangers as primarily warriors anyway.

So my current line of thinking is that Rangers may have operated somewhat like "Vikings" to use the term. You weren't a "Viking" but you went viking. In the off season one must plant the crops, repair the house, etc.

With Rangers, I'm kinda thinking something along the same lines. To be a Ranger isn't a full time job but just something they did on an irregular basis. Maybe not quite as irregular as say, a Western posse but maybe a little more organized and cohesive. You'd live on the farm and take patrols perhaps once a fortnight or if word had spread of a approaching orc force. Maybe a rotating schedule every other month? Perhaps they were some full time Rangers such as the Chieftain Aragorn but your average Ranger perhaps spends a little more time at the homestead. Granted, this is all conjecture but socio-economically, it makes a sort of sense with the declining culture. Thoughts on that are appreciated.

So! Furthermore, after the War of the Ring and as a wandering iorengollon, I can't see Cimrandir's financial situation improving. Who pays for him to record and discover the lost culture? Eofor mentioned a commission from the king which makes logical sense and yet, as I've said, tying my persona to one of the main characters smacks far too much of fanfiction to me. A conundrum.

Harking back to the Ranger/Viking comparison, perhaps Cimrandir has yet another profession that he relies on to feed and support his family (Just my wife for now but who knows?) I confess to no skill in blacksmithery or leatherworking. I'm not much of a carpenter or stonemason or anything else really. If I'm trying to tie this into what I can do in real life (the proper way I believe) vs an ideal fantasy version of me, I'd be up a creek. I'm just starting and don't really have any skills beyond my real life work.
But thinking about it, three jobs is a lot for a person! Would poor Cimrandir even have the time? To copy Greg's idea, perhaps a simple homesteader? I can garden and tend house. Maybe it can grow from there? But how does that impact my impression? I can just say that I'm a farmer but that's just words. Does it impact my kit? How so? What does it mean for how I present Cimrandir?

Frustrating to me at least but maybe a start.

So back to the common-man, generic comment. If I'm to give this reenactment of Middle-earth thing a go, that seems to me the best place to start. The problem (to me at least) is that I was drawn to this because of the Rangers and for now at least, that's where my heart is drawn. Rangers, by their very existence, are not common. From birth they are special due to being descended from Númenóreans and if one becomes a fightin' Ranger, even more so. To tack on a (admittedly) fanfictiony role of "pseudo-archaeologist" on top might be too much. Perhaps I really am overthinking this and should just relax because it's fun. But I want to get it right at the very least.

Some general musings- I wonder how fighting in the War of the Ring at a young age impact him? He didn't get much time as a "regular" Ranger due to his birth in 2994. Assuming training from a young age and starting at 16-17 that's only 6-7 years before things really kicked off. Perhaps he too is insecure in his woodcraft compared to his older and wiser compatriots? How did the horrors of war shape him?

How much did he travel in those 6-7 years? I don't imagine your average Dunedain traveling very much but he's sort of a learned fellow. Obviously oral tradition helps start his love of history but to deepen his knowledge, I still like the idea of traveling at least to Minas Tirith to scour the archives. How many times does he do this? How long is he there? When does he go? Probably post-war. Does he travel anywhere else?

Where did he learn to read and write? A good point has been made that we take literacy for granted nowadays but it's not likely that many men could read in Middle-earth. He's clearly needs the skill. Did he learn from his parents?

Family life - how did he meet his wife? Who is she? What's her story? Something tells me I need to consult the real wife for this one. :lol:
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Eofor
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Re: Persona Concept: Cimrandir...Dunedain Archaelogist?

Postby Eofor » Sun May 10, 2020 5:54 am

Would you like discussion of your 'little rambly stream of consciousness'? Or it's more a matter of getting it out of your head and onto paper (screen)?
For seven days without eating or sleeping the new king sat, until he stood and cried "This cannot be borne!"!
Haradir
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Re: Persona Concept: Cimrandir...Dunedain Archaelogist?

Postby Haradir » Sun May 10, 2020 6:02 am

Feedback is always appreciated! I'm probably overthinking it anyway! :lol:

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