A sense of adventure and a desire to explore the world is at the heart of Tolkien’s writing. Trying to deconstruct our hobbies is a tricky business, but I have no doubt that my love of travel was in some way influenced by readings of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings at a young age. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel a bit in my life, and I try to hold onto that sense of wonder and discovery that enraptured me as a child.
Japan holds a special place in my heart, and I’ve been fortunate enough to travel there twice. On my last trip, Mrs. Beorn and I met up with another member of the Lord of the Rings LCG community while we visited Osaka. It says a lot about how welcoming our community is that you can have impromptu meetings with folks you’ve only known online and have such a positive experience.
Beautiful scenery and delicious food are among the many appealing qualities of Japan. The Japanese have a specific and finely tuned aesthetic, and this can be seen in everything from their gardens to the hyper-attention to detail in their food. When it comes to cultural exports, many people are familiar with sushi and anime, but Japan has older forms of art which are also worthy of attention.
Ukiyo-e is a style of woodblock prints which flourished in Japan from the 16th through the 1860s. After it caught the eye of artists like Monet and Van Gogh (among others), Ukiyo-e’s culture influence travelled beyond the borders of Japan. Hiroshige and Hokusai are two of most renowned practitioners of Ukiyo-e, and many of his works are breathtaking. Hiroshige painted a famous series of prints based on his travels from Kyoto to Edo (the early name for Tokyo) which will be familiar to anyone who has played the game Tokaido. The alternate art for this deck was inspired by Ukiyo-e, particularly the works of Hiroshige.
I built Eagle Storm to take advantage of the new Eagle heroes and related cards from Fire on the Eastemnet, the most recent AP from A Long-extended Party. After a one year hiatus (yes, that word is not a synonym for death), Con of the Rings returned this year and I was able to attend. I brought Eagle Storm but due to hero conflicts I did not have a chance to play it. Once the vaccine is widely available to children, my hope is that our Austin Lord of the Rings community will start back up. If all goes well, I will have a chance to play this deck in a on over-the-board multiplayer game soon.
Contact the Hall if you are interested in printing these cards for yourself. You can find the full deck list on RingsDB. As the holidays approach, I wish you all safe and happy travels on Earth and Middle-earth.