I sit beside the fire and think
of people long ago,
and people who will see a world
that I shall never know.
The weather is already getting cold, Halloween just around the corner, and so we chose "Around the Fireside" as our theme for this month.
In Middle-earth, fire was the only source of light and warmth during the long winter evenings, and so the fireside became a gathering place, where people told stories and sang. The most famous of such places would be the Hall of Fire in Rivendell, where the fire never went out. Not that magnificent, maybe, but many fires could serve the same purpose - the hearth in Bag End or in the Prancing Pony, a campfire during the Fellowship's journey, maybe even a crudely built fireplace in an Orc den... What stories and songs were told and sung around these fires? Maybe someone even danced around, or leaped over them. Who did look into the mesmerizing flames? Your story can be take place around the fireside, or you can use this setting as an introduction to a story that is told there.
As October ends with Halloween (or All Hallows' Eve), it seems appropriate that these particular tales could be of wights, wraiths, and other spirits. Surely, the Rangers knew much about the Barrow-wights that ultimately captured the Hobbits, and of the wraiths that existed more in a world of spirits than the world of our heroes. Stories about "The Army of the Dead" might be more to your liking. We know that as a group they were cursed to remain in Middle-earth after breaking their oath to Isildur. But what of the individual men? Surely, some devoted parents, widows, and children passed the stories of their loved ones along to future generations. They might not have spoken of them in public, but by their hearths with family and close friends, honoring the men they knew before their courage faltered. The elves surely picked up many tales during their long lives.
I look forward to the artwork in this challenge more than I have in any other. Remember, while the stories must at least mention Aragorn or Legolas, that isn't required for the art part of the challenge.
The deadline for this challenge is October 30th. If you need an extension, let us know!
For writers: send your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org. As usually, the contest is anonymous and the story can't be posted publicaly until the results of the challenge are announced.
For artists: Submit your picture into the Teitho gallery folder of Arda-Inspired at deviantArt. The picture should be new, drawn specifically for the challenge. State that you are submitting it to the contest in the artist's comments.
And the winners are:
A Winter's Tale by Fiondil 1st place
In the Flames by Tauriel 3rd place
One Last Step by Ailian Rhys 2nd place
Protection by Archeress of Silverbow
Remnants and Memories by Erulisse (one L)
Test of Fire by Darkover
The Hardest Battle by Linda Hoyland
Alone on Hallowtide by Cinnamonwolfess
Memories of Blood and Fire by Houkakyou 1st place
The Tale of the Lights by hallosse
nautika, StarLight, and Mirach