Torches and light sources

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Iodo
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Re: Torches and light sources

Post by Iodo »

I've always thought those are cool, one of my friends parents use to have one stood on the hearth stone next to there fire, the only thing that put me off trying to buy one was how heavy those big glass lenses are
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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Sorrel
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Re: Torches and light sources

Post by Sorrel »

If I understand correctly, the the early middle ages (at least in northwestern Europe) lighting and such beyond the hearth fire was usually done with oil lamps or rush lights (the pith of rushes soaked in tallow, unfortunately I have not found any suitable rushes growing in this region). I don't see any reason why tallow candles would not have been an option, so maybe they were a thing too - but while beeswax did exist, it was an expensive and usually imported good. It was in particular associated with the church (and probably added to the experience of churches in terms of sensory phenomena), but Iirc was used by elites as well.

That said, while I think it would be interesting - especially for certain times/places/contexts in ME - to explore other forms of lighting, I think beeswax candles fit with s lot broader personas in ME, for the same reason more use of leather and hunted goods and so on do (the lack of feudal class rule and post-apocalyptic conditions). They fit the aesthetic vibe, and I think it would be pretty easy to argue for them being common among the hobbits of the Shire, the Dunedain, beornings, etc etc.

I do like the idea of dwarves having (with obvious aesthetic tweaks) forms of mining lamp
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Manveruon
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Re: Torches and light sources

Post by Manveruon »

I think it would be really cool to try making some authentic rushlights! I hadn’t ever really considered that before, but it does look like you can buy rushes online, and then it would just be a matter of treating them with either tallow or a sort of modern stand-in.
Agreed on the count of beeswax though! And I would think that if there was enough trade between the various regions of Middle-earth for pipe weed and coffee to be spread across the continent (to a certain extent at least) then beeswax from the Beornings, or even Rohan or the Shire, wouldn’t be TOO hard to come by, especially for the Dúnedain, what with their Elvish hook-up.
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Sorrel
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Re: Torches and light sources

Post by Sorrel »

Yeah there is an extremely strong association in Tolkien imo between elves and the Church, and so even on a broader thematic level the 'elven hookup' (and numenorean heritage) works to grant the Dunedain access to a variety of technologies (thinking also of - was it Elleth's? Raw silk tunic that was justified on a similar basis).
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Re: Torches and light sources

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Peter Remling
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Re: Torches and light sources

Post by Peter Remling »

Regarding torches in a DnD or Tolkien setting: torches are extremely easy to make, they last about 20 minutes to a half hour are simple to light or transfer the flame to the next prepared torch. Imagine you're in a wooded area or a deep dark ravine or dungeon, you need light to see your enemies or check for traps on the floor. You only have several packs among the group and they are stuffed with provisions, tools, lighting and sharpening equipment. Lanterns are useful but take up a lot of precious space and are easy to break. One of the items in your sharpening kit is oil. I recommend vegtable oil for several reasons, first it works just as well as any other oil to protect your weapons from rust and secondly you can use it to fry your food with. Take a branch from a tree, a stick on the ground or a piece of broken furniture or old discarded weapon (if in a dungeon) wrap some precut cloth strips around one end, dribble some oil on it (you can use the used cooking oil if you want to conserve your oil) wave it around for a minute to let the oil soak in and start to evaporate. Your new torch will light readily from any fire source or your flint and steel. You precut strips of cloth for bandages so you should always have them in a pack.
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Manveruon
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Re: Torches and light sources

Post by Manveruon »

Ohtarvarno wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 8:52 am This may be of interest -

http://www.sewhistorically.com/how-to-make-rushlights/
That is a FANTASTIC resource! Thanks!
Peter Remling wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 3:11 pm Regarding torches in a DnD or Tolkien setting: torches are extremely easy to make, they last about 20 minutes to a half hour are simple to light or transfer the flame to the next prepared torch. Imagine you're in a wooded area or a deep dark ravine or dungeon, you need light to see your enemies or check for traps on the floor. You only have several packs among the group and they are stuffed with provisions, tools, lighting and sharpening equipment. Lanterns are useful but take up a lot of precious space and are easy to break. One of the items in your sharpening kit is oil. I recommend vegtable oil for several reasons, first it works just as well as any other oil to protect your weapons from rust and secondly you can use it to fry your food with. Take a branch from a tree, a stick on the ground or a piece of broken furniture or old discarded weapon (if in a dungeon) wrap some precut cloth strips around one end, dribble some oil on it (you can use the used cooking oil if you want to conserve your oil) wave it around for a minute to let the oil soak in and start to evaporate. Your new torch will light readily from any fire source or your flint and steel. You precut strips of cloth for bandages so you should always have them in a pack.
And this is an excellent point! I’d honestly love to try it sometime, for no other reason than that torches are SUPER dramatic, haha. But yeah, I suppose they could indeed have their uses in a practical setting.
Turgolanas
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Re: Torches and light sources

Post by Turgolanas »

From a practical standpoint - I think candle lanterns have a value in areas that are prone to burn bans and the like. I would suspect that torches would be frowned upon in those conditions. Any thoughts on oil or kerosene lanterns like the style below?
https://www.kohls.com/product/prd-24323 ... src=a[url]w.ds[/url]

I would think they would be great for encampments, but less so for rangers on the move.
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