TORn Staffer WeeTanya checks in with this first report from Dragon*Con 2004.
Dragon*Con began yesterday, I hear, but for MrCere and I it began today. I ran into the infamous staffer as I was attempting to talk my way into the convention as a pale substitute for Calisuri. “Did they buy it?” He called out as I rushed past him all flustered, looking for an ATM. I wondered who the strange person was shouting after me, because I knew with certainty that MrCere was already at the Con!
Well, turns out he wasn’t already at the Con. Yes, the intrepid Man In Charge of the Fan Table ran into mechanical error — flight delay, to be precise. And on top of that, the poor fella was at Dragon*Con sans luggage!
But he made it back to the fan table, and more about that in a moment.
After I’d successfully convinced Dragon*Con that I was simply a Wee version of Calisuri, I ran off to the First Panel, which was a rundown of the day’s schedule.
Jincey ran this panel, and I was glad to see Balin there, and SamGamgee, and Anne Petty, and the two fine Elvish 101 instructors, Jeff and Paul.
Jincey’s got a very laconic, welcoming southern style about her. The room was packed, standing room only, and Jincey made sure everyone knew changes to the schedule.
Books and playing cards and a medalion were raffled off, and then everyone settled in for the day’s events.
High points for me? Meeting everyone! The hardcore Tolkien-track folk were attentive and smiling, eager for each and every panel. “Some people never leave the room,” Jincey whispered to me. “They’re there more than I am!” Costumes were also especially fine, but more about those later.
I left everyone to enjoy the Hall of Fire, and went off to see if MrCere had made it to the fan table.
He had. He and friend were all set up with banners, tshirts and pins by the time I figured out how to find the fan table area. Tshirts abounded, and I scored one in red. “If only my luggage were here,” lamented MrCere, “I had some cool stuff for the table in my luggage.”
The new tshirt offerings were especially cool. I scored one in red, and I note that they can be purchased at the TORn online store as well.
Eventually, I made my way back to the Tolkien Track programming for Elvish 101 with Jeff and Paul.
The room was packed yet again!
I admit that I am no linguist, but Jeff and Paul did a solid job of pointing out the basics of Tengwar, and gave many hints about where to hunt online for good lessons/manuals for learning the alphabet.
Paul read a few lines from Galadriel’s poem Namarie, and then taught us a portion that he claimed would get us drinks at a bar. “Fill my cup yet again,” he taught us. And after that, he taught counting to twelve (because elves obviously count in base twelve).
After the language lesson, everyone dispersed and attempted to russle up food before the night’s event — An Evening in Bree.
When Jincey, Balin, SamGamgee and I arrived at the ballroom, it was already packed full of elven maidens in their finest attire, many rangers and soldiers of Gondor, several dark people (including one amazing Balrog — yes, with wings), and not a few Hobbits.
Everyone’s costume was wonderful, to my lasting jealousy. (Pictures of the costume contest, including winners, will be posted Monday!)
Emerald Rose began to play, and in short order several Springle Rings and folk-dancey chains wound around the room… The energy was intense and vibrant, which is exactly what Craig Parker said to me as soon as he entered.
Yes! Our three Con guests came to see the festivities! Sala Baker, Craig Parker & Bruce Hopkins all came to chat with fans at Bree.
“I’m exhausted and wasn’t going to go out again,” Craig admitted, “but Sala and Bruce convinced me that the event would be amazing — such great energy. And they were so right!”
The three amigos stayed and chatted and hugged people and took photos with people up until the costume contest began.
Of the costume contest, more shall be written in a later post (with pictures!). But for now, suffice to say that everyone looked amazing, and the three judges wanted to hand out at least twelve prizes. As it was, there were three runners-up and three winners, the best being… but I’ll save that for my next story.
And the final positive event of the night: “My luggage finally arrived!” said MrCere.
After that, Emerald Rose continued to play to a lively crowd, but my steam was fast running out. I decided to call it a night.
So cheers to my friends who are still dancing away at the Con! Here’s hoping to see you tomorrow, and hoping also that Jincey, Balin and SamGamgee got to eat their long delayed
breakfast lunch dinner!