Tuesday, March 11, 2008

My Dearest Kendrah,

First of all, you, Leggs and the Sons should know that you have the full support of the King and I. We have always depended on you, along with your family, to Facilitate Ridiculous Fantasies. In fact we consider you a leader in the movement. Many look up to you, take you as an example of how to facilitate, and draw inspiration and courage from the way you boldly lay the foundations for future mental instability! The King has offered to send The Eldest Son a small honor guard of Gondorian Knights to help “facilitate” the smiting unbelievers. I suggested that it might not be best idea. If they have such an issue with a herd of harmless unicorns, imagine the reaction to a fully armoured guard. The king has agreed to simply monitor the situation for the time being. (Though I wouldn’t be surprised if a few unemployed Rangers from the North started lurking in bushes. Sometimes, the King’s "monitoring" techniques are less than subtle.)

In other news, I have received several communications from Rook concerning the future of Orthanc. As you know, once we got all the creepy stuff cleaned out, the King gave the Key of Orthanc into Rook’s keeping. He finally has a plan for converting the former Stronghold of Sauruman into an institution benefiting the whole of Arda. The King, Faramir and I are still sorting through the paperwork but with luck, “Rook's School and Home for Useless Yet Strapping Young Men and/or Elves” should be opening its doors in the next 18 months. That is of course, its informal name. It will be incorporated in Gondor as the Scholarly Council for Young Strapping Men (SCYSM).

He has asked that both you and I consent to sit on its Board of Directors. I have agreed (it’s very queenly to sit on charitable boards) and hope you will join me. He is also seeking other-world board members to act as advisors. Sir Ian McKellan and Professor Dumbledore have already been invited as art and education advisors. The courses will focus on the Classics, which in our opinion, don’t get enough focus these days. Greco-Roman wrestling will be a help in channeling YSM energies. The King suggested we add some military training as well. I’m thinking along the lines of 300 (with proper Spartan “uniforms”) to encourage team building. Classical figure drawing will nuture their artistic side and learning Latin and Quenya will lay a solid foundation for understanding and analysis of language and history. Singing, recitation of poetry, Elven harp, and other performance-oriented lessons will instill self-esteem and foster an appreciation for music and theater…or musical theater…

Of course this will all require money. I was hoping to dedicate income from the upcoming Hobbit film to this purpose, but with the latest Tolkien Estate lawsuit and the New Line merger, I am hesitant to count on becoming available in a timely manner. We hate to raise taxes again, so we are looking at alternative funding options. Several prominent Gondorian leaders including Prince Imrahil, Faramir, myself and the King, have already pledged private endowments. I plan to lean on Elrond to get an endowment from him. I don’t know if we’ll have much luck with donations from Lothlorien, but I suspect Haldir might be interested. I will leave soliciting Thranduil and his folk in the capable hands of you and Leggs. I think you and I should definitely host some charity balls, auctions and dinners. Perhaps we could recruit our reality friends to do their part as well. Maybe Orli would be willing to auction off another pair of smallclothes on Ebay. I’ll have the King mention it to Viggo(I think they’re having dinner together next week). Surely Sir Ian, and the other Sir Ian and Christopher Lee would lend their support to this worthy cause.

In any case, I should probably get back to work. I still have real work to do on top of the business of running a kingdom.. I don’t think anyone realizes the amount of time and effort that goes into proper governance of a “ridiculous fantasy.” Until next time…

Your Affectionate Friend,