by Glen Swartwout
Metal is useful for many tools. When kept well oiled in our ‘marine’ environment, these tools are one of the most precious and lasting sources of utility and value we have. They are precious. We paint bright colors on their handles so we do not lose them or forget to bring them home to a dry space when we are done using them. Otherwise, like other material things, they melt back into the jungle… and are lost, sometimes forever.
On first glance the metal element is known as a specialty of the dwarf race, and thus also of particular interest to the earth hobbits who trace a good portion of their lineage to the dwarves. They use metal implements to dig in the earth and harvest its riches of soil and rock, and even sparkling green olivine (peridot) crystals found at The Shire (just look closely at the greenish sand on the surface of the driveway!). Metal, of course, is also classically abused by the orcs with their indiscriminate digging and scraping of the earth, often leaving linear scars and rectangular patches of ground flat, barren and… boring. Dead. We hear that they call these places ‘subdivisions.’ It all sounds scary to a poor hobbit… But enough horror stories… We have glorious tales to tell of the hidden truth within the metal element. Read the rest of this entry