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Ringology

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A common myth dating to the beginning of the Third Age talks about the struggle to find and destroy a small but potent artifact -- a ring, a chalice, a crown -- before the Lord of Decay could retrieve it and restore himself to full power.

The Alphatians narrate of a mighty tournment between wizards and sorcerers, organized by the Lord of Decay himself as a pretext to get one of the contestants to recover the artifact, and how the winner managed to turn the evil one's deceit against him.

The Thyatians somberly report the entire might of an empire turned to one task, culminating with the largest army ever assembled constructing a road across the world, so that a pony express could transfer the artifact to the place of its destruction more swiftly than any single rider could, under cover of daylight and misdirection.

The Halflings of the Five Shires tell about a group of mighty heroes from all over the lands, who undertook a perilous journey and raised an army to distract the forces of darkness while they did the heroic deed, and flew home by bird. The last part is considered anticlimactic, although their version of this myth, with heroes of all races coming together against a common enemy, testifies to their openness and hospitality.

The elves of Alfheim tell a very short tale in which the giant eagles are first tamed and bred to allow one heroic warrior to perform the high shot of a lifetime, carrying the trinket by arrow past the clouds into the mouth of a volcano right in enemy territory. Their darker cousins in the Broken Lands tell a similar story, but with with more scratch-breeding and trick jezail shots before a precision suicide drop.

The dwarves tell of a long tale of industry and greed as the magma from under the World-Mountain is diverted in a titanic effort to destroy the artifact, all the while when the armies of evil siege the fortress inside which the labor is organized.

The gnomes narrate of the tremendous effort needed to turn the armies of decay back to the light with gold, silver, guile and skullduggery, and of the great ceremony performed to destroy the artifact after triumphally marching into the former badlands, now dry and fertile, with colonists following.

The orks and nomads of Ethengar weave an epic tale of total war and scorched earth, and of a daring cavalry charge into molten lava, a deadly Buzkashi match against spirits of earth and fire with the artifact as the token.

The goblins jabber about a really, really huge catapult. With spikes and wheels and fire nozzles and stabilization fins and something called asparagus staging. Then start drawing it and get distracted, and forget to tell the actual story.

The faeries wink, say they nicked the trinket, and sometimes -- depending on what it's supposed to be -- use it as a hula hoop. Or a bathtub. Or something that you have to wonder whether it's anatomically to scale.

One tinkerer says that the trinket made its way to the family's workshop and, being as it could not be destroyed nor marred by any mortal means, it's been doing duty as a rotary file ever since, a small lathe having been constructed around it. And that provided by pedals is all the power it needs to have.
A quick vignette on how various cultures in a fantasy setting might relate to Tolkien's epic.
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