TORNs Big day at DCon

After a succesful presentation, the TORn staff went out on the town. So Mhuirrich, a great friend and helper for the site, offered to write today’s report. Hope you enjoy!

DragonCon Day 3 Report
by Mhuirrich

Hah! They gave me the keys to the editor. I’m thinking they won’t make that mistake again.

Saturday arrived bright and early, with your faithful TORN staff waking bright-eyed and bushy-tailed just moments after the first rose-tinted rays of the sun peeked over the tops of the Misty, err, Skyscrapers. OK, I’m sorry, I can’t lie to you guys. I woke up late, feeling like I’d been on the recieving end of a Lurtz temper tantrum. Never play drining games with Dwarfs and Klingons. In any event, I was far better than Calisuri, who actually woke looking as if he’d just popped out of a Uruk-Hai birth pod. Perhaps it was my snoring.

Nevertheless, after a few minutes spent making our various baths imitate fountains leaping on high, we cleansed our self-inflicted ills with a liberal dose of Kingsfoil, as the rustics name it, or athelas in the noble tongue, or to those who know somewhat of the Valinorean… err, I digress. After a refreshing bit of asëa aranion, we were off to the Convention floor and Tolkien Track room. I feel the need to tell you that Calisuri still had a screaming case of the Black Breath.

First up for the day was a marvelous presentation by Ellen Denham and Stephen Laurent. They have developed a dance project inspired by the story of Beren and Luthien. Pending approval from the Tolkien Estate, they hope to present it in April, 2003, using the forces of the Butler Ballet, the pre-professional dance company of Butler University.

While Tolkien Track director Jincey (ably assisted by Tehanu and Asfaloth) held down the fort in the Greenbriar Room, the rest of us prepared to meet the countless millions….. and millions… of Tolkien fans who trooped by our TORN fan table. It’s always a treat to see the looks on folks faces when they see a great trailer or spoiler pic for the first (or frequently, hundred and first) time! All manner of Elves and Hobbits stopped by to meet and greet, and good times (as well as learned discussion and a great deal of general rumor-mongering) were had by all and sundry.

Back in the Greenbriar, Leeds University Professor and renowed Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey spoke about philology (the science of language) and how Tolkien’s works and study in the field fired his imagination and led him to create the world which we have all come to love so much. Tom’s talk was very detailed and presented a wealth of information that any Tolkien fan would find fascinating.

One highlight of the day for the TORN staff was the belated arrival of the immensly popular Cliff “Quickbeam” Broadway. Although somewhat hobbled by a leg injury suffered during the storming of Isengard (I admit that’s a cover story, he made me promise, on the Precious no less, never to tell what he was really doing with those Entwives last night), the Beamster’s mega-watt grin and irrepressible humor quickly infected the staff, which is far better than being infected by Cal’s breath.

Quickbeam’s behind-the-scenes look at the making of Universal Interactive’s series of Middle-Earth based games (for X-Box, PS2, GameBoy Advance and PC) was a great introduction to the dedication and talent Cliff and his fellow Tolkien afficianados bring to the table in the re-creation of Middle-Earth in interactive form. Also of great interest to Tolkaholics was the session on Elvish hosted by experts Paul Dunne and Jeff Sherril.

At 4:00 PM the moment for which all had been waiting arrived. Corvar started break-dancing! All kidding aside, the TORN presentation was a hit (of course). Three thousand Con attendees packed the Centenial Ballroom for an incredible behind-the-scenes report on The Two Towers, presented by our very own Calisuri, Corvar and Tehanu. Our interepid trio showed a great trailer as well as many never before seen pics, and related a lot of new information about the storyline. The fans went absolutely wild for the 4 foot high, 8 foot wide brilliant red neon “SPOILER ALERT” sign that flashed every 4.6 seconds. Those fans who couldn’t make the presentation joined me at the TORN table, where we watched the First Age battle scene from FOTR 387 times in a row. In slow motion.

Finally, the Greenbriar Room hosted master metalsmith and historical re-enactor Joe Piella of Lonely Mountain Forge, who wowed attendees with his innovative creations and personal vision of the arms and armor of Middle-Earth.

Now, lest you think attendance at DragonCon is all work and no play, picture this scene: Champions Grill and Sportsbar presents Middle-Earth’s finest (and only) non-professional traveling circus sideshow bowling team, the TORNados, in their first public appearance (as The Soggy Bottom Boys and Gals), regaling an appreciative audience with their pitch perfect and melodeously harmonic rendition of “Man of Constant Sorrow”. Try not to cringe when thinking about it. Of course, you haven’t really lived until you’ve experienced the mesmerizing, dulcet tones of the Beam-man’s version of Soft Cells “Tainted Love”. No, Sreally. I mean that in the nicest way.

Well, that about wraps it up for this evening. I’ve slaved away at the keyboard whilst the others are cruising the goths at some shindig or other, and it’s past my bedtime. Maybe if I’m snoring when Cal gets back he won’t be able to sleep and he’ll look like the Balrog tommorow.

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love ya

Day 3 Photo Gallery (taken by Calisuri, Saulone, Andy, others…l)
– Pictures of general Fan Table crowd, prize winners, TORn presentaiton crowd and activity and much more!