December 12, 2001 - Legend Homes
Mae Govannen, Mellyn (and foes too!):
I hope this day finds you happy and healthy. I wish to discuss Legend Homes today and be warned I won't write one for you... (well unless you offer some nice incentive *grin*). I do wish to give some ideas though for writing Legend Home descriptions and places that may seem more Tolkienish then many I have seen about the place. Also, I do not claim to be an expert. I do not have a home myself and know very little about the process to have one made. But here are some ideas for room descriptions, locations, etc at least.
Before you even consider making a good in-character legend home you must know your character. What their likes and dislikes are. What culture/race they come from. Whether they travel or spend time at home. So many things need to be considered to get the ambience or feel you need for your dwelling place. I shall discuss them race by race. Of course only the good races are discussed seeing that Sauron's minions are not able to have a permanent home.
Some general info first for all races. You are allowed three rooms for a basic home. I would assume most people would have a bedroom of some sort. Whether it be a hammock between branches, a Flet in a tree, a pile of straw in the corner or a room with a huge bed covered with a bedspread woven with a family emblem and murals covering the walls. Another room may be a social area. A hall, den, porch, conservatory, anywhere where you would feel comfortable to invite friends over and speak of the days achievements (or failures) over a fine bottle of wine, a stout beer or a flagon of mead. A room may be set aside for a duelling ground, a paddock for your horse to run free, a room of meditation for the healer or magic user to regain their strength of mind, a garden to unwind in after the days activities, ... oh how the list goes on endlessly!
You can also have items added to your home (see help legend home equipment and prices). Make sure the items you want are of benefit and suit your personality. Being a lover of blooms and blossoms my legend home most likely would have a garden with a few rose bushes that would provide stunning red roses to adorn my hair or give as gifts to my friends (or leave to be stolen by my enemies - as the case may be). You are also able to have individul features of a room examinable so you can add more character and details that way.
NOTE: Please refer to MUME's helpfiles or contact Deor for the exact rules, specifications and questions about MUME legend homes!
The actually writing of room descriptions can be a masterpiece of creative genious! Wander around and take a good look about you as you wander and you will see some great examples of such creativity. Your home doesn't have to have such ingenuity but do make sure it has enough detail to give it the right feeling.
For a human, you would generally live in a house of some sort. The regions of dwelling would be: For a Dunadan around Fornost, an Eriadorian around Bree or Tharbad, and a Beorning in theory should dwell east of the Misty Mountains (though this is not possible in mume as far as I am aware.. check it out though). It would be extremely unlikely that a human would have a permanant dwelling among the elves or dwarves and living in the Shire is out of the question.
The type of house you have is up to the characters personality. If you travel a lot and are a ranger type you may want to have a simple shack with a welcoming fireplace, backing onto a forest where you can practise your tracking or hunting technique . Whereas one who spends most of their time around Bree and protects that area would generally have a much more luxurious home, with a garden or stables or even a fighting yard. (note: Once Rohan opens is should go without saying that Rohirrim men should make their home in that region if MUME rules permit it.)
A hobbit home should have all the nice accompaniments (you can not claim yourself to be poor if you have afforded your home in the first place), preferably in a hole with a round door, after all what would a hobbit home be without a kettle on the stove and seed-cakes in the oven!!). Built most likely in the Shire but of course also may be in Bree amongst the Big people, Stoor's are most likely to dwell along the Brandywine, in Eastfarthing or in Bree. The Fallohid and Harfoots would be found dwelling in the Shire. The Fallohides among the forests and woodlands and the Harfoots among hills and highlands. The Stoors may choose to live in a house, particularly if they take up residence in Bree. Everything within the home should be smaller and any 'Tall People' entering should get the feeling that they have to duck down or crouch.
Dwarven homes most obviously would be among the tunnels and caverns of the Blue Mountains, for Dwarves love not the forests or the water's edge. Their homes would reflect their love of gems and wealth with a vast cavern and adornments and carvings on every wall. Some dwarves may wish to have a weapon and wealth storage area or a workshop for the fashioning of tools, etc. Many lamps shining forth with the light of sun and star and moon could adorn the halls, as in the might of Khazad-Dum. A majestic place hewn from the mountians themselves.
Last but most certainly not least - Elves. There is great freedom in an elven home, depending on your sub-race and the area you wish to dwell. The only Noldor stronghold between the Blue Mountains and Misty Mountains is Imladris (Rivendell). It should thus be expected that Noldor dwell in the Valley in a house or room of the House of Elrond. However, Cirdan (a Noldor) is ruler of the elves dwelling in the Grey Havens and so Noldor may be expected also to live there in houses or similar structures. Silvan elves were among those that tarried and did not sail west their dwelling became Lorien and Greenwood (Mirkwood). Since these areas are not available for legend homes, they would have to make their homes around the Grey Havens or in the Valley of Rivendell.
Silvan elves from Mirkwood lived in caverns of stone in Thranduil's kingdom (read description in The Hobbit), whereas those in Lothlorien lived on flets in the trees. The Sindarin Elves were originally from Elu Thingol's kingdom but were dispersed and settled in all of the regions that we see Elves in Mume, so they have the greatest freedom in home placement. The decoration and exact desciption of an elven home is so vast that I can't discuss it all. So the best idea would be to visit some places already created to get a feeling for the descriptions and read the parts of
The Hobbit and Fellowship of the Ring
that speak of such places (or put into words the images from the Movie when it comes out).