Locations

Aman

Alqualondë
Teleri | City | Coastal
Challenge: They say music soothes the savage beast. Or does it? Write a story surrounding the idea of music and music-making as something that does not calm and soothe but, rather, energizes or antagonizes.
Proceed to Tirion, Valmar, Avathar, Araman, and Tol Eressëa*
Please note that locations marked with an asterisk (*) are accessible only with a ship.

Araman
| Plains | Desert
Challenge: Write a story, poem, or create an artwork from the point of view of a character who is drunk or otherwise under the influence.
Proceed to Helcaraxë and Alqualondë

Avathar
| Plains | Desert
Challenge: Choose a character. She or he wakes up to find she or he is in the body of another character. It can be someone of a total different race, sex, or even time period. Your character, however, retains her or his own thoughts and memories. How does your character deal with this sudden unexpected event?
Proceed to Alqualondë

Doors of Night
Valar | Edifice | Enchanted
Challenge: Your character has a chance to change a single event in his or her past, but doing such will forever alter the future. What will your character choose? What would they change, if anything? And how do you think his or her future would change?
Proceed to Halls of Mandos
Currently occupied by Finrod
Currently occupied by Túrin
Currently occupied by Eärendil
Currently occupied by Maglor
Currently occupied by Ossë
Currently occupied by Glorfindel

Enchanted Isles
Valar | Island | Coastal
Challenge: Are you superstitious? Do you hold beliefs based on magic rather than reason? Write a story, poem or create an artwork where characters' behavior is dictated by some kind of superstition.
Proceed to Tol Eressëa*, Andunië*, Great Sea*, or Eldalondë*
Please note that locations marked with an asterisk (*) are accessible only with a ship.

Formenos
Noldor | Town | Heath
Challenge: Create a story, poem, or artwork that responds to the following quote: "The only difference between me and a madman is that I'm not mad." -- Salvador Dali
Proceed to Valmar or Helcaraxë

Halls of Mandos
Valar | Edifice | Enchanted
Challenge: Show us a character having or coming to terms in the aftermath of a near-death experience.
Proceed to Valmar, Tirion, or Doors of Night
Currently occupied by Aegnor

Helcaraxë
| Plains | Ice
Challenge: Groupthink is a social phenomenon in which, during high-pressure situations, people abandon creative thought to go with the will of the group. Create a poem, story, or artwork in which groupthink endangers a group of characters.
Proceed to Araman or Formenos

Tirion
Noldor | City | Heath
Challenge: Are you creative? Do you try to think outside the box or do you follow the beaten path? Write a story, poem or create an artwork where the characters have to act creatively to sort out a problem--even if creativity does not come easy to them.
Proceed to Alqualondë, Valmar, or Halls of Mandos
Currently occupied by Nerdanel
Currently occupied by Fëanor

Tol Eressëa
Teleri | Island | Coastal
Challenge: Choose a color. Create a story, poem, or artwork in which that color dominates.
Proceed to Enchanted Isles* or Alqualondë*
Please note that locations marked with an asterisk (*) are accessible only with a ship.

Valmar
Vanyar | City | Rocky
Challenge: Utopia can be defined either as a place of ideal perfection in laws, government and social conditions or as an impractical scheme for social improvement. Write a story, poem or create an artwork about a place or society that can be defined as utopia.
Proceed to Tirion, Formenos, Halls of Mandos or Alqualondë


Beleriand

Amon Rûdh
Mortal | Hills | Heath
Challenge: Choose three characters from Tolkien's legendarium. Place them in a room together. What happens?
Proceed to Nevrast, Nargothrond or Tol Sirion

Angband
Dark | Underground | Enchanted
Challenge: Given the oft-spoken phrase "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter," create a work of fiction, poetry, or artwork in which a character occupies the gray area between heroism and despotism.
Proceed to Himring or Mountains of Shadow

Belegost
Dwarf | Underground | Rocky
Challenge: Your character finds something that she or he wants. Now create a scene in which your character attempts to make an exchange or purchase in order to acquire that item.
Proceed to Blue Mountains, Doriath or Nogrod

Blue Mountains
| Mountains | Rocky
Challenge: Look out a window. Write down four observations (e.g., the time of day, the weather, the scenery, types of activity). Set a story, poem, or artwork in a place that shares those observations. (You may replace your observations with those more appropriate to the text, such as replacing "lots of horse-drawn wagons" for "lots of cars.")
Proceed to Belegost, Doriath or Ossiriand

Doriath
Teleri | Plains | Forest
Challenge: Create a story, poem, or artwork in which a character is stuck in a location for an extended period of time. How does she or he cope with it?
Proceed to Belegost, Mountains of Terror, Nevrast or Tol Sirion

Echoing Mountains
| Mountains | Rocky
Challenge: Create a story, poem, or artwork that responds to the following quote: "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it." -- Oscar Wilde
Proceed to Helcaraxë, Hithlum or Nevrast

Gondolin
Noldor | City | Rocky
Challenge: Unrequited love is a popular theme in both Tolkien canon and fanon. Write a story, poem, or create an artwork about unrequited love.
Proceed to Mountains of Shadow, Mountains of Terror or Thargelion

Himring
Noldor | Town | Rocky
Challenge: En garde! This challenge is all about weapons and weaponry. Write a story about a character's chosen weapon, or learning how to use a weapon. Is the character a skilled fighter, or is learning to wield a weapon a bit of a struggle for him or her?
Proceed to Angband, Mountains of Shadow or Thargelion

Hithlum
Noldor | Plains | Heath
Challenge: Create a story, poem, or artwork that responds to the following quote: "We have art to save ourselves from the truth." -- Friedrich Nietzsche
Proceed to Echoing Mountains or Mountains of Shadow

Isle of Balar
Teleri | Island | Coastal
Challenge: Storms can be both frightening and awe-inspiring. Write a story in which your character experiences a storm. What are its aftereffects and how does your character feel about it?
Proceed to Nevrast*, Lindon*, Grey Havens*, or Great Sea*
Please note that locations marked with an asterisk (*) are accessible only with a ship.

Mountains of Shadow
| Mountains | Rocky
Challenge: Choose a location in Arda and write down five defining traits of that place. Now create a story, poem, or artwork in which you show how that location influenced the lives of the people in and around it.
Proceed to Angband, Gondolin, Himring, or Hithlum

Mountains of Terror
| Mountains | Enchanted
Challenge: A character awakens suddenly, frightened, in the middle of the night--why?
Proceed to Doriath, Gondolin or Thargelion

Nargothrond
Noldor | Underground | Heath
Challenge: Create a story, poem, or artwork that responds to the following quote: "You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you." -- Leon Trotsky
Proceed to Amon Rûdh, Nevrast or Tol Sirion

Nevrast
Noldor | Plains | Coastal
Challenge: Create a story, poem, or artwork that responds to the following quote: "If you never flew why would you / Cut the wings off a butterfly?" -- Dave Matthews Band
Proceed to Amon Rûdh, Doriath, Echoing Mountains, Helcaraxë, Isle of Balar*, Nargothrond, or Great Sea*
Please note that locations marked with an asterisk (*) are accessible only with a ship.
Currently occupied by Maedhros

Nogrod
Dwarf | Underground | Rocky
Challenge: A character loses something seemingly mundane that possesses great personal importance or value. What does he or she do to recover it?
Proceed to Angmar, Belegost, Blue Mountains or Old Forest

Ossiriand
Avari | Plains | Forest
Challenge: The books of J.R.R. Tolkien are largely about war. Write a story, poem, or create an artwork about an important event in history (either from the texts or of your own invention) that is in no way related to war.
Proceed to Lindon or Tol Sirion

Thargelion
Noldor | Plains | Heath
Challenge: The books of J.R.R. Tolkien are largely about war. Write a story, poem, or create an artwork set on the eve of a war.
Proceed to Gondolin, Himring, or Mountains of Terror
Currently occupied by Celebrimbor

Tol Sirion
Noldor | Island | Riverside
Challenge: Choose a character. That character has stolen something. What has she or he stolen and why?
Proceed to Amon Rûdh, Doriath, Nargothrond or Ossiriand


Eriador

Anduin River
| Water | River
Challenge: Your character comes to a large body of water. He or she can see the shore on the other side. How would your character get across to the other shore?
Proceed to Dol Amroth, Cirith Ungol, Minas Tirith or Umbar
Currently occupied by Imrahil

Angmar
Dark | Hills | Rocky
Challenge: The works of J.R.R. Tolkien present complex (and sometimes contradictory) views of magic. In Letter #131, he said that "The Machine is our more obvious modern form though more closely related to Magic than is usually recognised," defining magic as something wielded in pursuit of power. In a draft of Letter #155, he defined a second sort of magic as "not to be come by by 'lore' or spells; but ... an inherent power not possessed or attainable by Men as such." Write a story, poem, or create artwork that shows the use of one (or both!) types of magic.
Proceed to Bree, Lonely Mountain, Nogrod or Old Forest

Ash Mountains
| Mountains | Rocky
Challenge: Create a story, poem, or artwork that responds to the following quote: "Do, or do not. There is no 'try'." -- Yoda
Proceed to Fangorn or Mordor

Bree
Mortal | Town | Heath
Challenge: A character is supposed to meet a friend at an appointed time and place. Upon arriving, his or her friend is nowhere in sight, and instead the character meets someone entirely unexpected.
Proceed to Angmar, Old Forest, Misty Mountains, or Weathertop

Bruinen River
| Water | River
Challenge: Choose a character and write down five defining traits about him or her. Now write the opposite of those traits. Write a story, poem, or construct a work of art depicting a meeting between the character you chose and a person (canon or original character) possessing the opposite traits.
Proceed to Eregion, Moria, Grey Havens or Rivendell

Cirith Ungol
Dark | Underground | Rocky
Challenge: Show a scene in which a character defends himself or herself against an attack.
Proceed to Anduin River, Harad, Mordor or Umbar

Cuiviénen
Avari | Plains | Riverside
Challenge: Choose a favorite novel, short story, or poem. Write down the first line from it. Begin a story or poem using that line (or create an artwork that could be inspired by a scene beginning with that line). If the line has names or places that do not appear in your story, you may substitute something more appropriate.
Proceed to Angmar or Lonely Mountain

Dol Amroth
Mortal | City | Coastal
Challenge: Choose a character. From that character's point of view, show in a story, poem, or artwork how he or she would respond to the following quote: "I celebrate myself, and sing myself / And what I assume you shall assume / For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you." -- Walt Whitman, "Leaves of Grass"
Proceed to Anduin River, Great Sea*, Umbar*, or Minas Tirith
Please note that locations marked with an asterisk (*) are accessible only with a ship.

Edoras
Mortal | City | Heath
Challenge: Create a story, poem, or artwork that responds to the following quote: "Four things come not back: the spoken word, the sped arrow, the past life and the neglected opportunity."
Proceed to Fangorn, Isengard or Minas Tirith

Eregion
Noldor | City | Rocky
Challenge: Do you often regret what you've done? Write a story, poem or create an artwork where characters express regret or lack of it for their past actions.
Proceed to Bruinen River, Isengard or Moria
Currently occupied by Celeborn

Fangorn
Ent | Plains | Forest
Challenge: Different cultures deal with their elders in very different ways. Write a story, poem or create an artwork where a society's view of old age is shown.
Proceed to Edoras, Isengard, Ash Mountains, or Lothlórien

The Grey Havens
Teleri | Town | Coastal
Challenge: Begin a story with a character on his or her way to deliver an unpleasant message to someone. From here, show us what transpired to bring the character to this moment. (You may or may not show the actual delivery of the message.)
Proceed to The Shire, Rivendell, Weathertop, Bruinen River, Isle of Balar*, Lindon*, or the Great Sea*
Please note that locations marked with an asterisk (*) are accessible only with a ship.
Currently occupied by Ecthelion

Harad
Mortal | Plains | Desert
Challenge: Do you like to eat unusual foods? Or would you rather go hungry? Write a story, poem or create an artwork where the characters have to decide what to eat in unusual circumstances.
Proceed to Cirith Ungol, Khand or Umbar
Currently occupied by Denethor

Isengard
Mortal | Edifice | Heath
Challenge: Hands have been symbolic of many things in various societies. Some even believe the path of our lives are written within the lines of our hands. Write a story centered on the theme of hands.
Proceed to Edoras, Eregion or Fangorn

Khand
Mortal | Plains | Desert
Challenge: Given that history is written from the perspective of those in power, write a story, poem, or create an artwork from the perspective of the powerless minority.
Proceed to Harad or Mordor

Laketown
Mortal | Plains | Riverside
Challenge: A character is digging in the garden, rummaging through an old trunk, or perusing the stacks in the library and finds an object from a time long past. Begin your writing with or construct a work of art around that moment.
Proceed to Lonely Mountain or Mirkwood

Lindon
Noldor | Plains | Coastal
Challenge: Write a story, poem or create an artwork that disproves this statement: "Good breeding consists of concealing how much we think of ourselves and how little we think of the other person." -- Mark Twain
Proceed to Great Sea*, Isle of Balar*, Grey Havens*, Ossiriand or The Shire
Please note that locations marked with an asterisk (*) are accessible only with a ship.

The Lonely Mountain
Dwarf | Mountains | Rocky
Challenge: Have you ever felt totally lost? In a big city? In a foreign country? Because somebody has left you alone? Write a story, poem or create an artwork where the character has to deal with loss--either physical or spiritual.
Proceed to Angmar, Cuiviénen or Laketown

Lothlórien
Teleri | Plains | Forest
Challenge: Create a story, poem, or artwork that responds to the following quote: "How wrong it is for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself." -- Anais Nin
Proceed to Fangorn, Anduin River, Misty Mountains or Moria

Minas Tirith
Mortal | City | Rocky
Challenge: Choose a character. She or he has a chance to look into the Osgiliath Stone. What would your character want to see? Whom would she or he wish to speak to? This stone also has the capabilities to spy on the other stones. If your character chose to spy on other stones what would she or he discover?
Proceed to Anduin River, Dol Amroth or Edoras
Currently occupied by Aragorn

Mirkwood
Avari | Plains | Forest
Challenge: Pets are important to many people in modern society and are often considered family members. Write a story, poem, or create an artwork in which a character and an animal companion share a special bond.
Proceed to Laketown, Lothlórien, Angmar, or Misty Mountains

Misty Mountains
| Mountains | Rocky
Challenge: Shoes: some people love them and others wear them because they have to. Choose a character: How does she or he feel about shoes? Does your character even wear them? Maybe she or he has a curiosity about these strange things worn upon feet and hoarded in wardrobes. Maybe your character has an interesting tale to tell about a certain pair of shoes.
Proceed to Bree, Lothlorien, Anduin River or Rivendell

Mordor
Dark | Plains | Rocky
Challenge: Earthquakes, starvation, natural catastrophes. Do these happen in Middle-earth? Write a story, poem or create an artwork where the characters have to deal with any natural catastrophe.
Proceed to Ash Mountains, Cirith Ungol or Khand
Currently occupied by Sauron
Currently occupied by Éowyn
Currently occupied by Handy
Currently occupied by Haldir
Currently occupied by Beren
Currently occupied by Esmerelda Brandybuck

Moria
Dwarf | Underground | Rocky
Challenge: Create a story, poem, or artwork that responds to the following quote: "Of course it's happening inside your head, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?" -- Albus Dumbledore
Proceed to Bruinen River, Eregion or Lothlórien

Old Forest
Hobbit | Plains | Forest
Challenge: Write a story, poem, or create an artwork in which a character faces a peril--profound or silly--while on a journey.
Proceed to Angmar, Bree, Nogrod, The Shire or Weathertop

Rivendell
Teleri | Town | Riverside
Challenge: What are defining traits in a friend? Intelligence? Good humor? Integrity? Write a story, poem or create an artwork where a new friendship is built or old friends meet after a long time.
Proceed to Bruinen River, Grey Havens, Misty Mountains, or Weathertop

The Shire
Hobbit | Plains | Heath
Challenge: J.R.R. Tolkien often wrote about feasts and festivals, from the attested festivals in pre-Darkening Aman to Bilbo's eleventy-first birthday party. Write a story, poem, or create an artwork involving a feast, festival, or party.
Proceed to Lindon, Grey Havens, or Old Forest

Umbar
Mortal | Plains | Coastal
Challenge: A character disembarks from a boat or ship in an unfamiliar place. Begin a story, poem, or artwork at this moment.
Proceed to Anduin River, Cirith Ungol, Dol Amroth*, Great Sea* or Harad
Currently occupied by Halbarad

Weathertop
Mortal | Hills | Heath
Challenge: Show a scene in which a character or characters acquire a meal.
Proceed to Bree, Grey Havens, Old Forest or Rivendell


Númenor

Andunië
Mortal | City | Coastal
Challenge: Create a story, poem, or artwork that responds to the following quote: "All changed, changed utterly / A terrible beauty is born" -- W. B. Yeats, "Easter 1916"
Proceed to Great Sea*, Enchanted Isles*, or Meneltarma
Please note that locations marked with an asterisk (*) are accessible only with a ship.

Armenelos
Mortal | City | Rocky
Challenge: Our characters often hold strong opinions, whether they be as serious as Fëanor's convictions about freedom from the Valar or as seemingly frivolous as Merry's belief in the superiority of Longbottom Leaf. Write a story, poem, or create an artwork in which a character must defend or discovers the *opposite* of a strongly held opinion.
Proceed to Meneltarma, Eldalondë or Rómenna

Eldalondë
Mortal | Town | Coastal
Challenge: Create a story, poem, or artwork that responds to the following quote: "In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." -- Martin Luther King Jr.
Proceed to Rómenna, Armenolos, Enchanted Isles*, or Great Sea*
Please note that locations marked with an asterisk (*) are accessible only with a ship.

Meneltarma
Mortal | Mountains | Enchanted
Challenge: Sigmund Freud put forth the theory that our psyche is controlled by the Id, the Ego, and the Super-ego and that our minds are constantly in flux between these three powers. What is your character's greatest goals? What great good do they long to do? How do they deal with their current reality? And what primal urges and forces may be causing temptations for your character? Show a conflict between two or more of these drives and desires.
Proceed to Rómenna, Armenolos, or Andunië

Rómenna
Mortal | Town | Coastal
Challenge: Name a sport or game that you think might have been played in Tolkien's world--it can be a real game or one of your invention. Show a character playing that sport or game.
Proceed to Meneltarma, Armenolos, Eldalondë, or Great Sea*
Please note that locations marked with an asterisk (*) are accessible only with a ship.


Other Locations

Great Sea
| Water | Sea
Challenge: Create a story, poem, or artwork that responds to the following quote: "God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh." -- Voltaire
Proceed to Romenna, Eldalondë, Andunië, Nevrast, Isle of Balar, Grey Havens, Lindon, Dol Amroth, Umbar or Enchanted Isles