Member list, post counts and the Dominance of TORn

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Post by Norc Sun Apr 27, 2014 2:58 pm

yeah... i think perhaps petty is the reason i am here too...
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Post by Eldorion Sun Apr 27, 2014 3:10 pm

halfwise wrote:I didn't know you preceded Odo!  I suppose that's what makes you The Queen.  I suppose you were what, 14 when it all started?

You should (re)read the history of Forumshire. Nod Though it's interesting, there were quite a few young teenagers when we started (myself included), but we've all grown up and most of our new members have been at least in their 20s. I'm not sure if we have any active members under 18 at this point.

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Yeah about that- where are the other two years of info you lazy bum!!!  Mad

 Embarassed I found it harder to write about since the last two years have not passed into history as much, plus there was nothing quite as momentous as the events of 2011 so I felt I needed a break. And then, well, I just haven't gotten back to it since.

{{{I'm just glad that you don't seem to remember my promise of a general history of Tolkien forums. Razz}}}
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Sun Apr 27, 2014 3:19 pm

I'm not sure if we have any active members under 18 at this point. - Eldo

Well there is probably a reason for that- you lot of youngsters- you can probably chart Forumshires descent from family friendly to foul and uncouth against you lot growing up into sweary adults!  Mad 

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Post by Mrs Figg Sun Apr 27, 2014 3:23 pm

bungobaggins wrote:Whenever I see someone railing against the films on the torn boards (as I saw in a thread the other day regarding the TABA title change), I feel like I should send them a PM in an attempt at an outreach. I didn't send one to this person, I guess I wouldn't really know what to say, or if it would be appropriate. Shrugging

was it Glorfindel or JTarkey by any chance? They seemed like two castaways in a sea of little hamsters biting at their toes.  Shocked 
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Post by halfwise Sun Apr 27, 2014 3:48 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Well I'm a shameless hussy, I preached Forumshire to all and sundry on Bree- and on ToRN to start with but the mods there werent best pleased, and its their forum and their rules, so I had to stop my ToRN outreach program.

I would describe myself as a castaway floating in a life preserver when Petty found me and pushed me back to the relocated home.

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Post by malickfan Sun Apr 27, 2014 3:51 pm

Eldorion wrote:This is a really interesting thread to me because it relates to a lot of my interests in terms of fandom and forum dynamics, as well as the history of this site in particular and Tolkien fandom in general.  So I apologize in advance if I ramble a bit here. Very Happy Don't worry I always find your posts very interesting..and slightly nauseating, I wish I was that eloquent as a teenager

First, I want to note that most forums have similar proportions of low-posting members, and those that don't are often only because they regularly purge all members who have not posted.  If you look at the memberlist of TORn or any other sizable Tolkien forum, you'll see similar numbersThey have around 11k members, but I've gnerally noticed the same names over and over.  I don't know exactly why so many people register on forums without ever posting, but at least as may register and then drift away very quickly simply due to lack of interestor like me, they forget their log in details almost immediately.  It's probably related to the 90-9-1 rule, which holds that 90% of people in an online community simply read passively, 9% comment or edit, and only 1% actually creates new content.  Regardless of exact numbers, the basic principle can be found all over the Internet, as well as in some real life examples.  I don't think it comes down to reputation, either, if only because we have very little reputation to begin with (Google Analytics and searches for the sites name shows very few mentions of us on other sites)That's another point, other than Petty's attempt on TORn we haven't really reached out elsewhere, do we really want to 'upset the balance?'.

Second, we have always had an unusually low number of members for a forum with our level of posting activity.  (It might not look like a ton next to the hustle and bustle of TORn, but we were the second most-active Tolkien forum in English last year.  More on that phenomenon later.)  We definitely have a dedicated core of regulars, and while that is not uncommon, the percentage of posts from that group is. On most forums, the spread of posts between different "cohorts" is more (relatively) even.  Part of the reason for the difference here is that our sources of new traffic have been sporadic, but that doesn't explain why the people who did stick around did so in such a prolific manner.  At the risk of sounding self-aggrandizing, it might just be that it's a community that some people really, really like. Razz [indeed:pub:] 

I kind of wish that was the case, but unfortunately I don't think we really have much of a presence for newcomersThat's the thing though, how many of us were 'newcomers'? most of the core group here was already posting on the old site or on a different forum before they joined.  We do quite well in searches for "hobbit movie forum" (a desire for which is part of the reason we chose this domain name) and a few related Hobbit topics, but barely register in anything elsedespite Petty's best efforts in the Doctor Who thread.  There simply aren't as many people searching for Tolkien forums now as there were a decade agothat is probaly true, LOTR was to my/your generation star wars essentially, I really don't think The Hobbit will have the same effect, whichever way they cut it, it is obvious these films aren't necessary, and frankly I don't see them doing much good for the future reputation of the franchise.  If you look at the comparative activity data linked to above, you'll see a lot of sites with 10-12 years and hundreds of thousands if not millions of posts under their belts that brought in only a few thousand or at most a couple tens of thousands during all of last year.  LOTRPlaza.com, which was the largest site in the fandom for most of the 2000s decade, averaged about a million posts per year from 2002 to 2004, during the height of the LOTR movie craze I have lurked there in the past, it seems rather quiet so this is pretty surprising.  Last year, the middle of the Hobbit movie hype period, the best forum was TORn, which gathered about 120,000 new posts Really? that small, maybe there is some truth to the 'hype passing for LOTR....  The fall-offs are even greater for the ranks in the bottom half of the Top 10 and below.

This is an issue that has attracted much speculation and hand-wringing over the years at older sites.  There are undoubtedly many reasons for the decline, but in my opinion it comes down to a few big ones.  First, subject-specific fandoms always ebb and flow, but once there's no longer new material coming out, the clock is ticking for most sites in your community.  The Harry Potter fandom, which was probably even bigger than LOTR's in the early 2000s (though less focused on forums), is in an even worse situation than us now, since it's been almost three years since any new HP material was released unless you count Pottermore, what a waste of effort that was....  Second, the cultural moment for Tolkien stuff has passed.  The nine years between ROTK and AUJ saw most of the attention and excitement directed towards Middle-earth fade away, and The Hobbit movies have been unable to recapture thatWould you say that is true of the books in any measure? Children of Hurin was a bestseller when it was released, I think it is the only time the estate has taken advantage of the movie hype.  You can argue that this is because The Hobbit movie are shittyI do, but looking at similar movie franchises, I think it was inevitable that a prequel following a decade after the original was not going to be able to turn back the clock and have everyone be just as excited as before.  Many of the people (especially young people) who were really into it before have moved on, and most new young people entering fandom have different obsessions based on more recent hot properties.One thing genuinely surprised me a few months ago, there was a thread on TORn about teenage ringers, it was surprising there was at least a dozen regular posters who hadn't been exposed to Tolkien until The Hobbit films, I think Tolkien isn't a hot property per se, but certainly a permanently established one, perhaps too much so

Third, forums in general are not as important a part of the Internet as they were in the early 2000s I can't comment on this as I have only been active on Forums for about four years, but it is an obvious point.  The rise of social media has overtaken a lot of other Internet things (not the least of which is e-mail), but most relevant to this discussion is that social media has supplanted forums and blogs as the primary form of online interaction for the majority of Internet users.  Forums have not benefited as much from the rising number of Internet users over the past decade because of newer sites, including Facebook (which is a decade old by now but still younger than most Tolkien forums out there).  The rise of social media also attracts attention from oldbies (those who stuck around at all, anyway)-I can vouch for all this, although I post on three forums currently, none of my friends/family do, even self confessed LOTR nerds, I only went out and found a forum because I searched for it, people I know who would be interested in posting in forums simply don't because they prefer other methods of social networking

As to why TORn is dominant, there are a couple of reasons.  People have already brought up their exhaustive reporting on Tolkien and movie news, which has made them the go-to site for such information for decades.  That, and their special relationship with the filmmakers, gives them a platform and publicity within the fandom that online marketeers can only dream of.  However, it's worth noting that TORn has been doing the news thing since they started, but they were not one of the largest forums for a long time.  It was only after the relaunch of their forums in 2007, and their site-wide rebranding to focus on The Hobbit movies, which were announced that same year, that they began their rise to the top of the forum aspect of fandom in addition to news I've said it before, I'll say it again, I'm generally perplexed as to how they will rebrand themselves come 2016 with no new movies...

Thanks to our relationship and with the later Bree forum (and the tireless efforts of Ambassador Petty Wink) we were able to benefit from Bree's favorable SEO I don't know what SEO stand for scratch position once again, but this meant we were getting only members who already cared enough to stick around there and see Petty's entreaties.  I'm certainly not complaining, since you guys are great cheers , but it does go some way to explaining why we don't have that many mid-level activity posters.  But I think it's pretty phenomenal how we've done despite our obstacles, and our relative newbie status in the game of forums, and the wider forces lowering activity in Tolkien fandom and forums in general.[/quote]

If you're interested in the site's history, then please allow me to direct you to my essay Forumshire: The First Five Years. :)Though I'm afraid it's only covered the first three years so far.I'll check it out

And with that, I will apologize for the length of this post and shut up. Laughing[/quote]

 Shocked Thumbs Up A typically in depth reply Eldo!, you really should write a book about this you know...

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The Tauriel: Desolation of Canon December 2013 (Accurate again!)
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Well, that was worth the wait wasn't it  Suspect


I think what comes out of a pig's rear end is more akin to what Peejers has given us-Azriel 20/9/2014
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Post by malickfan Sun Apr 27, 2014 4:09 pm

Eldorion wrote:This is a really interesting thread to me because it relates to a lot of my interests in terms of fandom and forum dynamics, as well as the history of this site in particular and Tolkien fandom in general.  So I apologize in advance if I ramble a bit here. Very HappyDon't worry I always find your posts very interesting..and slightly nauseating, I wish I was that eloquent as a teenager

First, I want to note that most forums have similar proportions of low-posting members, and those that don't are often only because they regularly purge all members who have not posted.  If you look at the memberlist of TORn or any other sizable Tolkien forum, you'll see similar numbersThey have around 11k members, but I've gnerally noticed the same names over and over.  I don't know exactly why so many people register on forums without ever posting, but at least as may register and then drift away very quickly simply due to lack of interestor like me, they forget their log in details almost immediately.  It's probably related to the 90-9-1 rule, which holds that 90% of people in an online community simply read passively, 9% comment or edit, and only 1% actually creates new content.  Regardless of exact numbers, the basic principle can be found all over the Internet, as well as in some real life examples.  I don't think it comes down to reputation, either, if only because we have very little reputation to begin with (Google Analytics and searches for the sites name shows very few mentions of us on other sites)That's another point, other than Petty's attempt on TORn we haven't really reached out elsewhere, do we really want to 'upset the balance?'.

Second, we have always had an unusually low number of members for a forum with our level of posting activity.  (It might not look like a ton next to the hustle and bustle of TORn, but we were the second most-active Tolkien forum in English last year.  More on that phenomenon later.)  We definitely have a dedicated core of regulars, and while that is not uncommon, the percentage of posts from that group is. On most forums, the spread of posts between different "cohorts" is more (relatively) even.  Part of the reason for the difference here is that our sources of new traffic have been sporadic, but that doesn't explain why the people who did stick around did so in such a prolific manner.  At the risk of sounding self-aggrandizing, it might just be that it's a community that some people really, really like. Razz [indeed:pub:] 

I kind of wish that was the case, but unfortunately I don't think we really have much of a presence for newcomersThat's the thing though, how many of us were 'newcomers'? most of the core group here was already posting on the old site or on a different forum before they joined.  We do quite well in searches for "hobbit movie forum" (a desire for which is part of the reason we chose this domain name) and a few related Hobbit topics, but barely register in anything elsedespite Petty's best efforts in the Doctor Who thread.  There simply aren't as many people searching for Tolkien forums now as there were a decade agothat is probaly true, LOTR was to my/your generation star wars essentially, I really don't think The Hobbit will have the same effect, whichever way they cut it, it is obvious these films aren't necessary, and frankly I don't see them doing much good for the future reputation of the franchise.  If you look at the comparative activity data linked to above, you'll see a lot of sites with 10-12 years and hundreds of thousands if not millions of posts under their belts that brought in only a few thousand or at most a couple tens of thousands during all of last year.  LOTRPlaza.com, which was the largest site in the fandom for most of the 2000s decade, averaged about a million posts per year from 2002 to 2004, during the height of the LOTR movie craze I have lurked there in the past, it seems rather quiet so this is pretty surprising.  Last year, the middle of the Hobbit movie hype period, the best forum was TORn, which gathered about 120,000 new posts Really? that small, maybe there is some truth to the 'hype passing for LOTR....  The fall-offs are even greater for the ranks in the bottom half of the Top 10 and below.

This is an issue that has attracted much speculation and hand-wringing over the years at older sites.  There are undoubtedly many reasons for the decline, but in my opinion it comes down to a few big ones.  First, subject-specific fandoms always ebb and flow, but once there's no longer new material coming out, the clock is ticking for most sites in your community.  The Harry Potter fandom, which was probably even bigger than LOTR's in the early 2000s (though less focused on forums), is in an even worse situation than us now, since it's been almost three years since any new HP material was released unless you count Pottermore, what a waste of effort that was....  Second, the cultural moment for Tolkien stuff has passed.  The nine years between ROTK and AUJ saw most of the attention and excitement directed towards Middle-earth fade away, and The Hobbit movies have been unable to recapture thatWould you say that is true of the books in any measure? Children of Hurin was a bestseller when it was released, I think it is the only time the estate has taken advantage of the movie hype.  You can argue that this is because The Hobbit movie are shittyI do, but looking at similar movie franchises, I think it was inevitable that a prequel following a decade after the original was not going to be able to turn back the clock and have everyone be just as excited as before.  Many of the people (especially young people) who were really into it before have moved on, and most new young people entering fandom have different obsessions based on more recent hot properties.One thing genuinely surprised me a few months ago, there was a thread on TORn about teenage ringers, it was surprising there was at least a dozen regular posters who hadn't been exposed to Tolkien until The Hobbit films, I think Tolkien isn't a hot property per se, but certainly a permanently established one, perhaps too much so

Third, forums in general are not as important a part of the Internet as they were in the early 2000s I can't comment on this as I have only been active on Forums for about four years, but it is an obvious point.  The rise of social media has overtaken a lot of other Internet things (not the least of which is e-mail), but most relevant to this discussion is that social media has supplanted forums and blogs as the primary form of online interaction for the majority of Internet users.  Forums have not benefited as much from the rising number of Internet users over the past decade because of newer sites, including Facebook (which is a decade old by now but still younger than most Tolkien forums out there).  The rise of social media also attracts attention from oldbies (those who stuck around at all, anyway)-I can vouch for all this, although I post on three forums currently, none of my friends/family do, even self confessed LOTR nerds, I only went out and found a forum because I searched for it, people I know who would be interested in posting in forums simply don't because they prefer other methods of social networking

As to why TORn is dominant, there are a couple of reasons.  People have already brought up their exhaustive reporting on Tolkien and movie news, which has made them the go-to site for such information for decades.  That, and their special relationship with the filmmakers, gives them a platform and publicity within the fandom that online marketeers can only dream of.  However, it's worth noting that TORn has been doing the news thing since they started, but they were not one of the largest forums for a long time.  It was only after the relaunch of their forums in 2007, and their site-wide rebranding to focus on The Hobbit movies, which were announced that same year, that they began their rise to the top of the forum aspect of fandom in addition to news I've said it before, I'll say it again, I'm generally perplexed as to how they will rebrand themselves come 2016 with no new movies...

Thanks to our relationship and with the later Bree forum (and the tireless efforts of Ambassador Petty Wink) we were able to benefit from Bree's favorable SEO I don't know what SEO stand for scratch position once again, but this meant we were getting only members who already cared enough to stick around there and see Petty's entreaties.  I'm certainly not complaining, since you guys are great cheers , but it does go some way to explaining why we don't have that many mid-level activity posters.  But I think it's pretty phenomenal how we've done despite our obstacles, and our relative newbie status in the game of forums, and the wider forces lowering activity in Tolkien fandom and forums in general.[/quote]

If you're interested in the site's history, then please allow me to direct you to my essay Forumshire: The First Five Years. :)Though I'm afraid it's only covered the first three years so far.I'll check it out

And with that, I will apologize for the length of this post and shut up. Laughing[/quote]

 Shocked Thumbs Up A typically in depth reply Eldo!, you really should write a book about this you know...

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The Tauriel: Desolation of Canon December 2013 (Accurate again!)
The Sod-it! : Battling my Indifference December 2014 (You know what they say, third time's the charm)

Well, that was worth the wait wasn't it  Suspect


I think what comes out of a pig's rear end is more akin to what Peejers has given us-Azriel 20/9/2014
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Post by malickfan Sun Apr 27, 2014 4:15 pm

Mrs Figg wrote:
bungobaggins wrote:Whenever I see someone railing against the films on the torn boards (as I saw in a thread the other day regarding the TABA title change), I feel like I should send them a PM in an attempt at an outreach. I didn't send one to this person, I guess I wouldn't really know what to say, or if it would be appropriate. Shrugging

was it Glorfindel or JTarkey by any chance? They seemed like two castaways in a sea of little hamsters biting at their toes.  Shocked 

I'm always nervous about inviting new people from TORn, the place seems to descend into a slagging match between the pro/anti film camps, In the past I've considered pm'ing people an invite here (Kinda cheeky from a relative newbie I suppose) but I'm not sure whether the cozy, low interference from the mods approach we have here would transfer well to those used to TORn's approach.

And we aren't entirely family friendly around here.

Incidentally you can all blame Figgs for me starting this discussion, it was she who invited me here...

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The Thorin: An Unexpected Rewrite December 2012 (I was on the money apparently)
The Tauriel: Desolation of Canon December 2013 (Accurate again!)
The Sod-it! : Battling my Indifference December 2014 (You know what they say, third time's the charm)

Well, that was worth the wait wasn't it  Suspect


I think what comes out of a pig's rear end is more akin to what Peejers has given us-Azriel 20/9/2014
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Post by bungobaggins Sun Apr 27, 2014 4:21 pm

Mrs Figg wrote:
bungobaggins wrote:Whenever I see someone railing against the films on the torn boards (as I saw in a thread the other day regarding the TABA title change), I feel like I should send them a PM in an attempt at an outreach. I didn't send one to this person, I guess I wouldn't really know what to say, or if it would be appropriate. Shrugging

was it Glorfindel or JTarkey by any chance? They seemed like two castaways in a sea of little hamsters biting at their toes.  Shocked 

The other day it was Captain Salt, and last night it was JTarkey.

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Post by bungobaggins Sun Apr 27, 2014 4:28 pm

malickfan wrote:

I'm always nervous about inviting new people from TORn, the place seems to descend into a slagging match between the pro/anti film camps, In the past I've considered pm'ing people an invite here (Kinda cheeky from a relative newbie I suppose) but I'm not sure whether the cozy, low interference from the mods approach we have here would transfer well to those used to TORn's approach.

And we aren't entirely family friendly around here.

Incidentally you can all blame Figgs for me starting this discussion, it was she who invited me here...

That's another reason that makes me hesitant to reach out. I like the atmosphere here, but it may not be for everyone. Especially if you aren't used to seeing swear words on the internet.  Pokey Tongue 

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Sun Apr 27, 2014 4:35 pm

And I can tell you there is nothing more forlorn than a lost Halfy soaking wet and adrift.  Sad 

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Post by Mrs Figg Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:25 pm

Norc wrote:aah, whatever Rolling Eyes

i started out in bree too, but that was my very first forum ever so i wasn't aware of how all the other web-forums were like. i guess I at least take this site for granted Razz

same here. Bree was my first ever forum, I started because I was interested in all the news a year running up to the films. Bree was 100% about the books and films though, no other topics which made for a more intense debate about all things Tolkien related.
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Post by Mrs Figg Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:26 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Well I'm a shameless hussy, I preached Forumshire to all and sundry on Bree- and on ToRN to start with but the mods there werent best pleased, and its their forum and their rules, so I had to stop my ToRN outreach program.

hey I poached loads of people from Bree and other forums.  Mad 
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Post by Mrs Figg Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:35 pm

malickfan wrote:

Incidentally you can all blame Figgs for me starting this discussion, it was she who invited me here...


yer darn tootin!  cheers :carrot: :brows: 
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Post by Mrs Figg Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:39 pm

I like this place because its like living in Tom Bombadil's pockets, you never know what weird shit you will find if you rootle about..  Shocked sometimes your fingers close on something wet and squidgy, sometimes its nice like an old toffee you had forgotten, it could be moonlight and stars, it could be odd shaped turnips.
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Post by malickfan Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:44 pm

Mrs Figg wrote:I like this place because its like living in Tom Bombadil's pockets, you never know what weird shit you will find if you rootle about..  Shocked sometimes your fingers close on something wet and squidgy, sometimes its nice like an old toffee you had forgotten, it could be moonlight and stars, it could be odd shaped turnips.

I'm going to add that to my signature.

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Post by Mrs Figg Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:57 pm

Embarassed  Kissing 

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Post by Norc Sun Apr 27, 2014 6:07 pm

malick, you're starting to have signatures as annoying as mine.. O_O
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Post by Mrs Figg Sun Apr 27, 2014 6:25 pm

Oi!  Mad 
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Sun Apr 27, 2014 6:39 pm

hey I poached loads of people from Bree and other forums.- Mrs Figg

Yes but where you went wrong was not shameless self promoting your acts to be lauded by others and not giving your acts a pretentious name like 'outreach program'.  Nod

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Post by Amarië Sun Apr 27, 2014 6:43 pm

Norc wrote:malick, you're starting to have signatures as annoying as mine.. O_O

Member list, post counts and the Dominance of TORn - Page 2 Grineler_zpsb523a381 He's nowhere near! Nothing is as annoying as your signature(s).

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Post by Norc Sun Apr 27, 2014 6:53 pm

... true , true.. i am the queen of sigantures  queen well.. not queen, Khaleesi
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Post by Amarië Sun Apr 27, 2014 7:27 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:And I can tell you there is nothing more forlorn than a lost Halfy soaking wet and adrift.  Sad 

Except maybe a pack of Shirelings freshly regurgitated onto the marble floors of the Dark Planet council from the bowels of the DP cat. Oh how cranky they were!
And imagine having Orwell, Petty, Eldo and Pretty unexpectedly dropped into your lap!

Figgy's description should be included in all invitations to this forum. Nod 

Though, for the Tolkien fans who find TORN too PJ centered and this place too... um... Forumshiresque there is always my dear Planet-Tolkien.com.  (Warning: there be sanity and rules.)

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Post by David H Sun Apr 27, 2014 7:36 pm

Amarië wrote:  (Warning: there be sanity and rules.)

 affraid 

 Sofa 

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Post by Bluebottle Sun Apr 27, 2014 7:50 pm

 Laughing 

Amarië wrote:And imagine having Orwell, Petty, Eldo and Pretty unexpectedly dropped into your lap!

After being regurgitated by a cat?  Shocked 

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