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Thread: [TATW AAR] Home to Midgard - Completed

  1. #1
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    Default [TATW AAR] Home to Midgard - Completed

    ____________Home to Midgard_________





    This will be a tale of two dwarfs and their search in Middle-Earth for the mysterious realm of Midgard. They live in the Third Age universe but who knows where they might end up eventually? It will be a bit unusual in the way that it follows two agents and not generals and consequently won't feature a great deal of battles. It is more of a story than a pure AAR although the protagonists will indeed carry out the in-game agent tasks of my faction. I might add that I have never written an AAR before, so if you believe you are seeing silly grammatical error's and plot peculiarities, you are probably right. I hope you will enjoy it (the story, not the errors)!

    _________________________Part 1, Another world____________________


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Once upon a time in Middle-Earth there was a dwarf named Runar. He had a good friend named Halvdan who was in fact also a dwarf. Then there were lots of more dwarfs, elves, orcs and all other creatures one would expect to find in this kind of fantastic realm, but none of them were of such significant importance for the story as to warrant a presentation in the opening sentences. The named dwarfs in question lived in the unquestionably mountainous, but questionably lonely, Lonely Mountain where king Dain ruled wisely.

    Country and king:




    Runar was a scholarly dwarf and often borrowed books from the great archive of Erebor, to the delight of Libri, the chief librarian.

    The archives of Erebor:


    One afternoon he sat down in the local feast hall and read. He had come across some interesting but unclear passage telling about a place called “Midgard”. It was said that the realm were home to dwarfs just like Middle-Earth and that they could craft fantastic and wondrous things. A mechanical golden boar, unbreakable fetters and chains, an entire ship made of the fingernails of the dead. That last thing was perhaps more creepy than wondrous. Some of them were apparently very strong. Four dwarves called Norr, Söder, Öster and Väster held up the sky itself. Runar could not really understand that particular passage since the sky had never seemed like a solid object to him. But they were without doubt very strong.

    He sat and read until the sun set and no longer cast any light through the high and thick windows of the hall. What if one could find the way to Midgard and meet those dwarfs? Runar had studied to become a diplomat and dreamed of travelling to foreign lands and sign trade agreements and alliances with everyone. He had already signed some trade agreements, but they were relatively trivial. Once, for example, he agreed to trade some sausages for a keg of beer. Very useful of course, since the spicy sausages made you very thirsty, but not so interesting. He had also allied with his best friend Halvdan in preparation for the annual snowball battle during the midwinter festivities, but that alliance had come rather naturally by itself. Not really a test of his diplomatic abilities.

    The mid-winter snowball battle!


    Halvdan was less diplomatic than Runar, but also interested in finding new lands. He was a bit shy, so he mostly let Runar do the talking, and this had led him to become interested in the noble profession of espionage. Halvdan was an expert at hiding and moving unnoticed. He was especially intrigued by the prospect of a mechanical boar. If the dwarfs of Midgard knew more about boars than those of Middle-earth, maybe they could teach some tricks to the latter? Both Runar and Halvdan held boars in high regard and usually picked mushrooms instead of the salted pork at dinners, sometimes to the amusement of their company. Their joking was generally short-lived though, as each jest was met by even wittier retorts from Runars sharp tongue and Halvdans cunning pranks.


    The boars of Erebor
    and the mechanical wonders of the Midgard dwarfs:


    Like most dwarfs in these dangerous times, both Runar and Halvdan had trained a lot with axes and hammers to be able to defend Erebor or the Southern allies in Dale, should the need arise. Both were convinced that the dwarfs were without peers as infantry. Yet their armies were always restricted by their lack of cavalry. Horses were too large, except for ponies which were not so good for the melee combat favoured by the dwarfs. However, one could only dream of the possibilities that would arise if the dwarfs could acquire the aid of wild boars, perhaps mechanical ones. Boars armoured in dwarf chainmail or plate, charging with a dwarf on its back and ramming into orc and warg alike!



    And so it was that the two dwarfs decided to seek out the strange realm of Midgard and try to establish contacts with whoever they could find there. They started with seeking out Libri and ask if he could tell more about the subject.


    Last edited by Maltacus; February 13, 2018 at 03:06 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: (TATW AAR) Home to Midgard

    Administrative information about the mod and such:

    The mod used is "Third Age Total War 2.1" with the submod "Forgotten Realms of Middle Earth".

    Difficulty is VH/VH

    I have deleted the garrison scripts (they just bore me to apathy) and multiplied enemy kings purse X 10. I play as the dwarves of Erebor but the story will focus almost entirely on the tale of their two agents and more or less ignore the conquests of the King Under the Mountain. Let's just hope I manage to survive long enough to keep the tale going...

    It should perhaps for the sake of fairness be pointed out that I have created none of the non-game pictures I use in my story, nor do I own any kind of rights to any of them.

    Help request;

    I have been looking for hours for a good picture of dwarves in Dain's hall for part II. Have found one or two nice halls but none with unarmed dwarves in them. Can't they ever get a break from all this warring?...

    The current placeholder is an illustation from Bilbo, a hobbits tale, which is good but a bit out of place. Gandalf is too tall to play a dwarf, also.
    So, if you know of some great picture with this motive that you think should be in my story, feel free to tell me about it

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
























    Last edited by Maltacus; August 11, 2014 at 03:56 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: (TATW AAR) Home to Midgard

    First of all, it's good to see someone trying another mod. It seems like Stainless Steel was dominating for a while. SS seems like a great mod and has a lot of support, but it's nice to see some of the other mods around here as well.

    Second of all, I really like your idea of following around to specific agents, whose story may or may not follow the larger battles going around (although I hope you'll continue to give us in game screenshots). I'll be checking in to see how it goes. (Looking forward to seeing this as I'm not familiar with the Third Age mod.)
    Aztecs invading France? The Pope himself charging into battle? Challenging AI that brings the pain? Check out the Expanded Americas mod.

  4. #4
    Radzeer's Avatar Rogue Bodemloze
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    Default Re: (TATW AAR) Home to Midgard

    Yes, TATW!
    LotR AARs are not easy to write, so extra kudos (and a spare +rep) for the idea! I will definitely follow this.

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    Default Re: (TATW AAR) Home to Midgard

    Thanks to both of you for your encouragement

    I have added a picture at the "title page" of the first post, showing the two protagonists in their search.
    Last edited by Maltacus; March 29, 2011 at 03:53 AM.

  6. #6
    Boustrophedon's Avatar Grote Smurf
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    Default Re: (TATW AAR) Home to Midgard

    Very nice start I always appreciate writers who put alot of effort in pictures outside of the TW world. +rep to get you going

  7. #7
    Darkan's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: (TATW AAR) Home to Midgard

    Great, will follow your AAR (though not in the manner Halvdan would) + rep indeed
    [DLV 6.2 AAR] - The Danish House of Hen - updated 20/08/18 - on hold
    [King of Dragon Pass AAR] - The Drakkar Saga - updated 14/04/18 - on hold
    Participate in the TotW!!! PARTICIPATE!!!
    DuckDuckGo

  8. #8
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    Default Re: (TATW AAR) Home to Midgard

    Thanks - I am currently having trouble with finding decent art (check out administrative post) but hope it will be easier in the future as the story moves over to elves and orcs more. Dwarfs are really discriminated when it comes to representation in pictures .

  9. #9

    Default Re: (TATW AAR) Home to Midgard

    I like what you are doing. It will be interesting to follow two agents. Looking forward to the next episode. Keep up the good work! Good luck!

  10. #10

    Default Re: (TATW AAR) Home to Midgard

    love this aar so far
    damn straight, i like the new ta:tw feel

  11. #11
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    Default Re: (TATW AAR) Home to Midgard

    __________________Part 2, Murky woods and murkier elves____________

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Libri, the great scholar and the team captain of the Icy Boar Snowball Team, sat thoughtfully for a long time. Then he rushed away and was never seen again. That is, until he came back with a thick book that he was examining.


    -This old book mentions something about Midgard I think. Libri said.
    -Does it say how to get there? Halvdan asked.
    -Not as such. I did however come across some kind of reference to a magic bridge or portal that should lead from Midgard to another realm. The bridge is called Bifrost and rainbow-coloured, or maybe it is a rainbow? But how can a rainbow be used as a bridge?


    -Where should we look then? Runar wondered. Rainbows appear in many places.
    -Hmm, perhaps it is connected with a certain type of rain or a certain climate. My advice would be that you visit notably different climate zones and also as many other archives and libraries as you can to find out more. This archive does not contain very much about weather, of course with the exception of snow and snowballs.
    -Good idea. Speaking of which, you will have a tough time now that we are away from the team. Have you thought of any replacements?
    -I was thinking of Ebba Oakenshield. She has gotten really accurate these last two winters.
    -Good thinking, but isn’t she going out with Narfi? Because then she would probably like to be on the right flank with him instead of our places on the left.
    -We could move the Copperkeg twins from the cente. That would weaken our centre but we could compensate by changing tactics to surround the opponents more…
    -Yes, like we tried against the Blue Hammer team last year; that looked promising…..

    The discussion had turned into a very trivial gossip about the latest local sports news and discussions about who was going out with whom. It was most unworthy of mythological creatures like dwarfs, who were supposed to be constantly busy with crafting axes and armour and raiding caves filled with mithril. Luckily, the important things had been said and the readers could continue directly to the next day, when Runar and Halvdan met king Dain to discuss their travelling plans. Dain was with his ministers in the conference hall as usual. He listened to them telling of Midgard with much interest.

    Dain's "modest" conference hall


    -Hmm, Midgard…I have never heard of it. Dain said. Yet the name does not seem unfamiliar, for some strange reason. Perhaps it is really the realm of the dwarfs and that is why the name appeals to us.
    -I and Halvdan wish to find Midgard, or at least a way to get there. Runar said. We will travel across known and unknown lands of Middle Earth with your permission and look for clues.
    -We could indeed use some more knowledge of the world around us. It is not a bad idea at all…I shall finance your expedition!
    -A most prudent decision, sire.
    -Remember to obtain as much information about foreign lands as possible and sign agreements with everyone you can.
    -Yes my liege. Said Halvdan and Runar at the same time. Onward!!!



    [Insert epic music from your favourite game or movie or band here]
    Choose a proud and enthusiastic theme to get the right feeling.




    The two happy dwarfs eagerly equipped themselves with Dains most expensive and stylish light armour, pickaxes, cloaks, backpacks and tents. They packed their favourite goblets and all sorts of maps that the dwarfs had access to. And in the middle of the summer of 2980, they set out from Erebor and started the great journey west. The plan, or the lack of plan if you like, was to begin with seeking out the elves in Mirkwood. Thranduils people were somewhat reluctant allies of Erebor and Dale since the battle of five armies, but elves and dwarfs had a very strained relationship and frequently made nasty jokes about each other. The visit to them was worth a try though. Mirkwood was at least on the way west anyhow.

    Their map:


    They travelled west through the land of the men of Dale and followed the rudimentary roads without any trouble except the sub-dwarven-standard beer in the taverns. They were beginning to feel a little uneasy. They were nearing the important crossroads where the road to the northwest joined the road, or trail, deep into Mirkwood to the southwest.



    -How do we find this trail? Runar asked.
    -Well the trail should be easy to find, or rather, a trail should be easy to find. The problem lies in determining which trail is the right one. Halvdan replied.
    -How is that? Are there not any signs or something?
    -Yes, and therein lays the problem. The old Roadmaster and Transport Supremo of Dale, Wulfric the Witty, spent his entire career thinking up clever ways to name roads and landmarks in Dale and to mark them out…
    -And presumably he did think up some way to point out the right path to Mirkwood?
    -Yes, and he planted a natural landmark that would stand for generations as well as fit perfectly with the aesthetics of the landscape…
    -Well that sounds goo…PLANTED!? He…?
    -…He marked out the trail to Mirkwood by planting a tree beside it.
    -But Mirkwood is the largest known forest in Middle Earth! How are you supposed to recognise one single tree among those multitudes?
    -Precisely my point.
    -

    Wulfrics Road Sign, easily identifiable among the other...road signs...


    Eventually they were able to get reasonably good directions. The people of Dale had lived near and in the forest for a long time hiding from enemies who had the upper hand, and could direct the dwarfs to a number of small roads that led into the woodlands. Wulfrics sign was indeed a famous landmark. It was so famous that no fewer than 14 trees had been nominated by the local populace to be the actual tree planted by him. Disputes over which one were the correct one had led to no end of petty feuds between the woodcutters and carpenters that lived there and all wanted to use the tree as a trademark.

    Dale woodcutters:


    Runar and Halvdan marched deeper into the woods. They were now in the real forest where tree after tree obscured the view in each direction. It was harder to keep track of the sun with all the leaves in the way, but thankfully the weather was still clear.



    After about two days of walking in the forest they were finally met by the elves, who greeted them with the usual elven politeness, but at least it was in the common tongue;


    -You dwarfs breathe so loud we could have shot you in the dark.


    Runar sighed inaudibly. Evidently the level of diplomatic courtesy of these people was even lower than diplomatic manuals and lectures had warned about.

    -In the common tongue we say “good afternoon”. He replied with a bored voice.
    -We have been spotting you for two days. We know of your quest and shall guide you to our lord Thranduil.
    -Excellent. May I just inquire why you have waited until now to reveal yourselves?
    -We have been very busy. Are you not surprised that we could spot you for so long time and remain unnoticed?
    -Ummm…no? Hiding in the hugest forest in the world doesn’t seem so hard, especially not if you are immortal and have lived here for some centuries. I mean, seeing as how you can talk to trees and animals it’s not exactly hard for you to scout unnoticed, is it? And your cloaks and clothes have this super-camouflage-grey colour that you have told the major part of the world about. More than once. Several times if I recall correctly. I suppose one could call it many times as well. Furthermore, it is not like we have been trying to hide. Being diplomatic envoys, being spotted by you is sort of the point with our visit here.
    -I…er…maybe you have a point there. But this is unfair! You are supposed to be impressed by our unearthly wisdom and grace. Like the rest of the world.
    -Such as?
    -Oh, lots of people, like…uhm…hobbit gardeners?
    -Hobbits, who are of course the pinnacle of maturity, wisdom and knowledge…
    -It’s not fair!
    -I suppose that with millennia of time the world eventually gets used even to such revolutionary things as elves. I would also like to point out that I find it somewhat strange that creatures with immortality, named unearthly skills and items and constant free tickets to the blessed realm of Valinor would have anything to say about unfairness.
    -All right, all right!
    -By the way, what were you busy with? It’s not another goblin raid approaching, I hope? Runar added and looked concerned.
    -Oh no, nothing of that sort. Just important elvish business.
    -Like wandering aimlessly among the trees, singing hymns about your precious Elbereth, writing poems about what the elves were up to several thousand years back and marvelling at the presumably magical light from stars?
    -What! How did y…NO! Nothing like that I ASSURE you!
    -Of course not. How could I even think about it. You elves never do any of those things.
    -Hmph! Let us continue to the halls of Thranduil.
    -Excellent idea. Lead the way, good pointy-eared sir!

    Spoiler for "Elven important business":
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    And so the party set off under continued taunting, deeper into the green realm…




    Last edited by Maltacus; February 15, 2018 at 01:39 AM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: (TATW AAR) Home to Midgard - Part 2 - Updated 31/3

    Thankyou acinorev and Exarch

    I guess I, in order to follow good AAR custom, should point out that my previous post have been updated to feature the next update, but something tells me people will see that anyway...

  13. #13
    Boustrophedon's Avatar Grote Smurf
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    Default Re: (TATW AAR) Home to Midgard - Part 2 - Updated 31/3

    Really loved part 2 I'm kinda missing pics from the campaign however. Will they be used or will you stick to concept art and nature scenes? Anyway good work

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    Default Re: (TATW AAR) Home to Midgard - Part 2 - Updated 31/3

    I do indeed intend to use campaign pics as well. I didn't include any in the latest update simply because the characters had moved hardly anywhere. But now that you mention it, there should be some note in each episode that tells where they are "in-game". I originally intended to make the mirkwood detour into one episode and had pictures in store for that, but now they will be seen in part 3 instead. I started a new campaign and took a pic of where they are though, now seen just before they meet the elves.

  15. #15

    Default Re: (TATW AAR) Home to Midgard - Part 2 - Updated 31/3

    Quote Originally Posted by Maltacus View Post
    Thankyou acinorev and Exarch

    I guess I, in order to follow good AAR custom, should point out that my previous post have been updated to feature the next update, but something tells me people will see that anyway...
    maltacus my friend
    this AAR is turning out to be quite an exquisite work of art; i love the way you draw us into your story with those awesome pics of beautiful scenery and forests and the diplomat and the style on the campaign map
    and the humour is of course a bonus lol
    some rep for you my good sir!

  16. #16
    Paladin94610's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: (TATW AAR) Home to Midgard - Part 2 - Updated 31/3

    I believe "The mechanical wonders of the Midgard dwarfs" are Battle Boars of Norse Faction from Age of Mythology!!
    Formerly Iberia Auxilia


  17. #17
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    Default Re: (TATW AAR) Home to Midgard - Part 2 - Updated 31/3

    maltacus my friend
    this AAR is turning out to be quite an exquisite work of art; i love the way you draw us into your story with those awesome pics of beautiful scenery and forests and the diplomat and the style on the campaign map
    and the humour is of course a bonus lol
    some rep for you my good sir!


    I believe "The mechanical wonders of the Midgard dwarfs" are Battle Boars of Norse Faction from Age of Mythology!!

    Iberia Auxilia advances to the Enlightened Age through the lore of Bragi

  18. #18

    Default Re: (TATW AAR) Home to Midgard - Part 2 - Updated 31/3

    Ah ah
    I don't know at all the Third Age mod, nor the real story, even if I watched some parts of the movies, but your AAR is really entertaining.

    The last chapter was great, and you managed to have great pictures. I'm particularly impressed by that one:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    It works great with the trees added.

    Then, I love the forest pictures, and the mixtures you did about that.

  19. #19
    Radzeer's Avatar Rogue Bodemloze
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    Default Re: (TATW AAR) Home to Midgard - Part 2 - Updated 31/3

    Quite a unique story. Keep up the good work!

  20. #20
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    Default Re: (TATW AAR) Home to Midgard - Part 2 - Updated 31/3

    I'm letting Runar answer this time, in proper diplomatic manner:

    @la coupe est pleine
    (French accent) Merci! If only everyone offered us such proposals!

    @Radzeer
    (EE accent) Many thanks! You do not realise how much we appreciate this thing.

    EDIT: I'm working on the next episode but it goes a little slow. One trouble with this story is that I have already written my favourite chapters, but they take place in western Eriador and Gondor and Mordor.
    The next chapter will deal with the elven negotiations and perhaps some orcs if the dwarfs run into them. I think it will be ready by the middle of this week.
    Last edited by Maltacus; April 04, 2011 at 02:38 AM.

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