Session 6-04: Villains

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
That is not possible as it is too far from the sea. The British Isles have their mild climate thanks being islands in the sea and Dorthonion is due to have more continental, harsher climate.



Could not Thuringwethil be checking on him and pays him a visit asking him plenty of questions while he lies on his hoard semi-annoyed opening just one eye and he gives her the prophecy to just give her any information and be rid of her?
It is only 300 miles from the sea, closest in latitude is probably central sweden about the area of stockholm, of course sweden is on the baltic sea so the comparison is flawed... looking somewhat further east:Moscow!
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Dorthonion, the land of pines, is at a higher elevation, and certainly gets cold in the winters. We've already set snowy scenes there. How harsh it is may be up for debate.
How high is Dorthonion? Similar to the central russian upland or higher?
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
How high is Dorthonion? Similar to the central russian upland or higher?
Other question: why are or orcs going there at all? Only to try to catch the outlaws? The land in abandoned, do they want to start cultivating it themselves? Are those expedition searching for Gondolin, trying to attact Doriath, capturing slaves, is there a trading route of some kind? Are the going north-south or east-west? How regularly are orcs going there for the outlaws to earn their reputation? Do they plunder old abandoned elvish and human sites? Falling trees and tormenting the earth just for the fun of it? What are they doing there?
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
We set Dorthonion in the Altai. And for Tarn Aeluin we picked a lake in Snowdonia, Wales. So, we do have a range to work with.

'What are the orcs doing in Dorthonion?' is a good question. At the very least, they are holding the territory to prevent Elves or Men from retaking the territory. Barahir and his band are the only ones challenging them at the moment.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
We set Dorthonion in the Altai. And for Tarn Aeluin we picked a lake in Snowdonia, Wales. So, we do have a range to work with.

'What are the orcs doing in Dorthonion?' is a good question. At the very least, they are holding the territory to prevent Elves or Men from retaking the territory. Barahir and his band are the only ones challenging them at the moment.
What if there is good iron ore somewhere in this area? Orcs armies would need a lot of it for their weapons. Any good source would be worth exploiting and keeping from the enemies' reach. And Morgoth knows how to use iron. This would make Morgoth care about keeping the area free from any disruption of one of his supply chains?

Edit: We do have old iron mines in the Altai, not prehistoric, but old enough: ca 500 A.D. - so iron ore is expected to be found in a similar looking area: https://en.tsu.ru/news/tsu-archaeologists-found-ancient-mines-in-gorny-altai-from-space-image/
 
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Haerangil

Well-Known Member
I doubt they would go to Dorthonion for iron when they have Angband... which should have a very sophisticated and well established metal industry.

Resources dorthonion has is i guess mainly wood, there should be quite a lack of it further north.Plus theyre probably always looking for food... herd animals, cattle as they're probably not very happy with the mushroom-mud-protein soup they have to live off in the undergound world beneath Thangorodrim.

Also i believe Dorthonion as an upland is used as their start point to foray further into beleriand... Doriath is just directly to the south and they know Gondolin and Nargothrond must be somewhere...
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
I doubt they would go to Dorthonion for iron when they have Angband... which should have a very sophisticated and well established metal industry.
True, still Melkor is not Aule, he cannot make iron ore out of nothing. Over-exploiting his own resources is unwise. As is allowing other people like e.g the elves of Tol Sirion stable access to good quality ore or to waiit untill they teach the humans all the skills to use it efficiently themselves. Actually I do think Morgoth would consider all ME's iron his own - it is his royal metal and he seems to be personaly fond of it.

How do you think the orc to transport the wood this far north to Angband?
 
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Halstein

Active Member
But still no idea how he would avoid scurvy in winter? Edit 2: wild mare milk could do it - if he is friends with animals some wild or feral forest horses might allow him to milk them and mares' milk has a high vitamin C content that most other milks lack. So: some old secret sealed grain deposits, mares' milk and wild honey. Doable, but what about clothes? Does he dress in orc skins? No mamy other options out there.
Tea can be made from pine-needles, and pine-sprouts can be eaten. Both contains vitamin C, and should be available in Dorthonion.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Yeah, cutting elves and humans OFF from possible resources in Dorthonion is a strategic point too, true.we don't know for sure about the resources in Hithlum for example... the blue mountains should be metal rich though.

How do orcs transport things in general? I suppose they have sleds, perhaps wagons and some sort of strong creature to pull them.Trolls are pretty strong, dragons too_Or they could have other draft animals we do not know of.Their main problem is they have to camp at day and somehow cover themselves (or trolls!) From sunlight, tents would be my main guess.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
Yeah, cutting elves and humans OFF from possible resources in Dorthonion is a strategic point too, true.we don't know for sure about the resources in Hithlum for example... the blue mountains should be metal rich though.

How do orcs transport things in general? I suppose they have sleds, perhaps wagons and some sort of strong creature to pull them.Trolls are pretty strong, dragons too_Or they could have other draft animals we do not know of.Their main problem is they have to camp at day and somehow cover themselves (or trolls!) From sunlight, tents would be my main guess.
My point is, there is no waterway to Angband. Wood is best transported on water, is you do not have carts on wheels and highways. If they just use it as fuel they could make charcoal of it at the spot first and then transport it farther. Should be easier and lighter to do.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
I could definitely see the orcs turning the pine forests of Dorthonion into charcoal and carting it off. I don't think that's *why* they're in Dorthonion, but if they are there anyway for strategic military reasons, that's one activity they could be engaging in. Stripping the land of whatever resources it has would be part of the utilitarian way orcs (and Morgoth) would think about the situation. Likewise, if they want to do some mining while they're in the area, why not? But they didn't come there to mine.

In Morgoth's opinion, all of Arda belongs to him personally. Anything they find there is already his. He's already laid claim to EVERYTHING, so taking what is his would be something he could command his armies to do.

Coincidentally, I was recently reading some fanfiction which featured palearctic survival practices in the Altai by a single man travelling alone. Food matters, of course, but the focus on getting out of the cold was also very prominent. Pine-needle tea thus serves the dual purpose of providing some vitamins, and warming you up from the inside. Most survival guides are going to assume you aren't opposed to trapping and eating animals, though, so I agree that Beren's practices are going to deviate from the usual. He's in a recently-inhabited area, not a strict wilderness area, so that gives him more options. We aren't going to detail exactly how he survives, but showing him accessing some food sources while he's an outlaw should demonstrate to the audience how he is living. I am not sure how we're going to convey the vegetarianism, unless he refuses a meat dish in Doriath and/or Nargothrond. Not showing him killing and eating animals won't make an audience assume he isn't doing it off screen, and, what? are we going to show a rabbit hop up to his fire and him kindly tell it it has nothing to fear from him? He doesn't have anyone to talk to while he's a lone outlaw, so explaining what he's thinking on screen isn't going to be particularly easy.

But yes, orcs eat meat, and are in favor of wanton destruction, so leaving cut trees lying and dead animal carcasses left to rot is part of how you can tell they are living in an area. They are...wasteful and rather uncaring about cultivating resources.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
I am not sure how we're going to convey the vegetarianism, unless he refuses a meat dish in Doriath and/or Nargothrond. Not showing him killing and eating animals won't make an audience assume he isn't doing it off screen, and, what? are we going to show a rabbit hop up to his fire and him kindly tell it it has nothing to fear from him? He doesn't have anyone to talk to while he's a lone outlaw, so explaining what he's thinking on screen isn't going to be particularly easy.
The Altai also a habitat of wild horses. And in the area there is an old tradition of milking mares. Pine shots are not available at the beginning of winter and a wild mare can suckle a foal a year round until she has another one next spring. Showing Beren milking a wild mare directly into a cup with her foal giving him space to do do might be a nice way to conwey he is really friends with the animals and they support him.
@MithLuin Do do you do assume orcs should try to start to settle there permanently? They would need caves for that?
 
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Haerangil

Well-Known Member
My point is, there is no waterway to Angband. Wood is best transported on water, is you do not have carts on wheels and highways. If they just use it as fuel they could make charcoal of it at the spot first and then transport it farther. Should be easier and lighter to do.
Oh i can assure you where i live are few natural waterways big enough for boats or rafts , yet we always traditionally had a big timber industry. I'd like to point out taht Orcs DO actually build roads.They built a big orc-road right through western Beleriand...
So they can use big wheeled vehicles and they have the muscle to move them too.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
Oh i can assure you where i live are few natural waterways big enough for boats or rafts , yet we always traditionally had a big timber industry. I'd like to point out taht Orcs DO actually build roads.They built a big orc-road right through western Beleriand...
So they can use big wheeled vehicles and they have the muscle to move them too.
I do assume they could but I've never seen a map with those orc roads included. Do you know of any map showing the orc road network? Or maybe we should creates one ourselves for this purpose?
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I do assume they could but I've never seen a map with those orc roads included. Do you know of any map showing the orc road network? Or maybe we should creates one ourselves for this purpose?
I would assume there's at least one since the Orcs that capture Túrin are following paths to Angband.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Recall that Ard Galen was recently converted to Anfauglith in the wake of the Dagor Bragollach. So, any roads from Dorthonion to Angband are a new addition. But as the orcs will be bringing in supplies from Angband, they'll need to construct those roads, and using them to go back in the other direction is hardly unreasonable. Stripping Dorthonion of something of its wild beauty would probably be one way we could show the impact of the 'Desolation of Glaurung' prior to turning the place into Taur-nu-Fuin (which will only happen after Beren departs).


Also, I do apologize if using all of these names is getting complicated. Tolkien was very careful to change the name of a place when the shape and nature of a place changed (ie, Greenwood the Great --> Mirkwood ), and that is happening to several places this season (Ard Galen --> Anfauglith, Dorthonion --> Taur-nu-Fuin, Tol Sirion --> Tol-in-Gaurhoth). I am happy to use the English translations if that makes these conversations easier to follow. I know we can all google things, or look them up on Tolkien Gateway, or whatever, but I don't want to make the conversation more difficult to follow.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
Recall that Ard Galen was recently converted to Anfauglith in the wake of the Dagor Bragollach. So, any roads from Dorthonion to Angband are a new addition. But as the orcs will be bringing in supplies from Angband, they'll need to construct those roads, and using them to go back in the other direction is hardly unreasonable. Stripping Dorthonion of something of its wild beauty would probably be one way we could show the impact of the 'Desolation of Glaurung' prior to turning the place into Taur-nu-Fuin (which will only happen after Beren departs).


Also, I do apologize if using all of these names is getting complicated. Tolkien was very careful to change the name of a place when the shape and nature of a place changed (ie, Greenwood the Great --> Mirkwood ), and that is happening to several places this season (Ard Galen --> Anfauglith, Dorthonion --> Taur-nu-Fuin, Tol Sirion --> Tol-in-Gaurhoth). I am happy to use the English translations if that makes these conversations easier to follow. I know we can all google things, or look them up on Tolkien Gateway, or whatever, but I don't want to make the conversation more difficult to follow.
If orc are bulding roads they would needs strone. Easiest way to get it would be demolish former stone-build settlements before they start to quarry. There are some hill ranges between Ard-Galen and Dorthonion. They could open quarries there. Ard-Galen was grassland before, do no much strone there. Still it seems a little odd for Morgoth to start a road bulding project in Dorthonion itself first, if there isn't something strategically important there. Orcs - as afraiid of the sun as they are - make bad farmers or herders.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
If Dorthonion is being used as a staging area for further conquest in Beleriand, Morgoth investing in the infrastructure makes a bit more sense.

Most of the structures in Dorthonion were wood, not stone.
 

David_M_R

Member
I'm reading though section 2 of Nature of Middle-earth, the chapters on Óre and Ósanwe-kenta etc. It strikes me as possible that what Gorlim sees is a projection via these mechanisms. His mind was very much 'open', he was desperate to find Eilinel, and given the circumstances, I think his mind interpreting the mental projection as something he saw (as per Tolkien's notes) is defensible. Given that Thuri is able to interact with minds (cf Annael) I don't think it a stretch to say she could do this.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
If Dorthonion is being used as a staging area for further conquest in Beleriand, Morgoth investing in the infrastructure makes a bit more sense.
But geographically it seems to be a cul-de-sac. It so divided by mountains from anything else. The only aim that it could be important would be of Morgoth's next goal were Doriath itself - as I do doubt Morgoth would like to start gardening or go hunting as a royal passtime and wants to create some pleasure grounds for himself there.

Controlling Sirion makes much more sense. Actually poisoning Sirion would be most effective, if elves were not immune to poison. (Are they actually? Can elves be poisoned at all? Even if not, the damage this would do the enviroment would weaken them). A strange thing none of the bad guys thought about doing that.

Could be that Sauron is not very concerned with Beren himself because he does not see the need to waste so much effort to be invested in Dorthonion at the given time? As long Morgoth does not have enough slaves to work the fields or tend to the herds during daytime it has too little value in itself to be kept permanently - only to serce as hunting grouds to grant some amusement and game to bored orcs.. So Sauron just "goes through the motions" to keep appearances for Morgoth while focussing his own attention on the spirits' project.
 
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