My undying thanks go out to Hayes and the person whose number was picked before mine in the lottery and called Durin. Hayes had his sights on the Dwarf king and decided to play Isildur instead and the other person was willing to switch with me. And so, I was privileged enough to play the King of the Dwarves, my most pivotal Ring Game/Second Age Game role yet.
This was really the beginning of a new love affair I seem to have with costume design. The costume elements themselves did not bring about any problems in their making, but the concepts behind them were what took my time. After paging through some pattern books at the fabric store, I came up with the idea of a sort of overcoat cinched together by a belt. A shirt and my faithful brown jeans went with them. As a Dwarf, I was required to have a beard. Of course, being a girl, I couldn't just let hair grow for a while and none of the false beards I found did what I wanted them to do. So, I got creative with some yarn and made my own false beard that hooked over my ears. The bottom was braided and tied with gold yarn and it had two different colors of brown throughout (mostly owing to the fact that I ran out of one color of brown and had to continue with a second, so I interspersed them rather than have an abrupt change from one to the other). Lastly, to mark myself as a Tolkien Dwarf, I made a cowl out of a remnant of brown velveteen that I got cheap off a bargain table. It was finished with tasseled tails in the front and a third tassel at the tip of the square hood. I also had a circlet made out of a coat hanger, some cheap plastic jewels, and lots of hot glue.
Weapons and armor were, as usual for me, more of a challenge. I discovered the bounties of my father's tools (namely his saws) and fashioned a wooden "ax" which I painted silver and drew Khuzdul runes all over in Sharpie (it said "speak friend and clobber the other guy"). At my side once again was my faithful staff, redecorated in a more Dwarvish fashion. For armor, I had obtained a pair of light leather bracers at a Renaissance Faire. This game also marked the first appearance of my shield. This time, it was painted with the symbol of the Moria Citadel.
Playing Durin was my first taste at any kind of game leadership. I seized the chance and decided to play as a game debugger. Since the first game, which had been played a year earlier and had ended in a tie, Second Age Game had gone through a number of changes, none the least of which involved the Dwarves. This time, as last, the Dwarves started neutral and ended up on one team or another depending on what happened in the game. At first, I was determined to remain neutral as long as possible (as Second Age Alliance Chairman Jack had made changes in order to make Dwarves choose a team earlier, this time). However, there was another change that piqued my curiosity; all of the Seven Rings started at Moria this time rather than with their respective Dwarf Lords. As Durin hides Moria at the beginning of the game, I figured this would give me some control over the other Dwarves and what team they ended up on.
It must be noted that I didn't care what team I ended up on. Rather, I set out to lump the Dwarves together so they would all end up on the same team I did. It made me more valuable to the two teams and it made me more powerful, point-wise. I argue that any good Durin would have done that eventually, if not me. The Seven Rings starting at Moria allowed me to do this. I'll explain.
The other Dwarves were worried about finding Moria before it was sacked. If they hadn't gotten their Rings before the citadel fell, the Ring would have been lost to all game play and the other Dwarves wouldn't have gotten their Rings at all. I used this worry to gather the Dwarves. I made them this proposal; "meet me behind Ost-in-Edhil at 12:30. If you promise to be on whatever team I am on, I will bring you to Moria."
I figured that two or three of the other Dwarves would take the deal. I didn't expect 5 out of 6. To her credit, Roz (playing Dwalin) did not take the deal, preferring to be beholden to no one for a while. However, she was handed the Arkenstone by the Evil Team very early in the game. By coincidence, the rest of the Dwarves decided to play Evil.
Jack... I'm still sorry.
Well, all of this had more of an overall effect than even I could have predicted. So, when Chuck (playing Sauron) gathered all us Evil types together in one big mass, we were totally invincible. All Liz (playing Elendil) and Jon (playing Gil-Galad) could do against it was force a tie by hiding and, well... that's what happened. A second tie.
It very well may be that all this has worked out for the best, though. The game glitch was found right away and the Second Age Alliance as a whole has decided that the hunting-for-rings method of victory does not work in the Second Age Game platform. The game is now in the process of being totally reinvented to be a territory and conquest game where victory is dependent on sacking and defending citadels. The Rings of Power will still be around, but they will only come into play as tie-breaking points.
Also, the Dwarves are being totally reinvented. Rather than starting neutral and ending up on one team or another, they will be their own team. They will have the ability to win the game for themselves, but it will be very very unlikely. Rather, they will likely play a role more resembling Ring Game's Dark Elves, where they can help or hinder anyone.
Long story short, my first experience in a leadership role certainly seems to have left its mark. I very much look forward to the next game to see what comes of it.
Fast Facts: Gag costumes for the game included Kabuki Easterlings, the "High" Elf Hippies, and the Disco Balrog. This game had Second Age Game's first two Hounds of Valinor on the Good Team, leashed with Glorfindel and Nimrodel. The game was played until sometime around 4:55 PM when everyone just got too freakin' pooped to do any more. I myself truly was "Durin the Deathless" as I did not die at all during the game. The running joke; "War abandoned due to apathy."
You can read more of the Adventures of Durin the Dwarf King here.
Page created on 5/27/04 by Berzerker_prime