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--ANNOUNCEMENT--

Dear All,

As you all know, we have been dealing with a pretty damaging hack in the last few weeks, that has taken the plaza entirely offline. We thank you for your patience for the time we've spent trying to figure out what happened, and how to proceed from there.

...

The problem with the plaza is that an amateurish and rather uncreative hacker used odd kinds of scripts to obtain access to our code, and once in there, proceeded to delete one of our key databases, the User database, which contains all the user data. It doesn't contain posts, fortunately for us, as this is saved in a different table. That doesn't make our loss less great.

This, furthermore, came at a specifically challenging time, since our next server bill is due in less than a couple of weeks-- meaning that with the plaza down, we couldn't really do any fundraising. So, for the past two weeks, your admin team has been burning the midnight oil trying to figure out what, if any, path forward there is.

We evaluated the following options:

1) Shut down the plaza, for good: This is an option we considered seriously. It seemed to some of us that perhaps this hack was like a death knell, or a stroke of fate.

2) Revamp the site for the 21st century: This is an option that we have been working on, slowly and methodically, for a year. It would lead to a much more complex site in time, but it also entails a huge amount of man-hours spent toiling, before anyone sees any result.

3) Try to patch together the user database, even if we have to accept some data loss and some members being "unknown" for a while, restore basic services while also migrating to cheaper, less demanding hosting.

We chose option 2. Unfortunately, though, option 2 has such far-reaching implications, and implies so much effort, that it has had us chasing our tails while Faldras pulled out his hair saying "for pity's sake ONE DECISION AND NOW".

Yeah... it won't be that easy.

In the interest of having some immediate results, we've since decided to move on to option 3. This means patch the plaza together, archiving its previous incarnation,restoring string services so that we can, once this is finished, move back into brainstorming and building it back up from scratch, providing innovative services.

Speaking for the entire administrative team, I think I can safely say we are all dismayed that this happened, and even more so that it's taken us so long to notify you as to the extent of the situation. All we can say in our defense is that we are working to remedy it, and will continue working. We remain at your service in the meantime. -Lanthy for the Admin Team

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Dear Members,

As you will no doubt have noticed, the Plaza is down and has been for a while. Unfortunately, it appears the problem does not have an easy fix, but we are working on it. Please be patient in the meantime and apologies for the inconvenience.

The Admin team

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Morning Everyone.
Please stand by for scheduled server maintenance from our host, and see you on the other side.

Have you heard the latest? Join the discussion in the movie forum!

http://lotrplaza.com/showthread.php…

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/official-lord-rings-tv-series-gets-multiple-season-commitment-at-amazon-1057486 Which means LOTR prequel TV series! So... 1. What potential topics do you want covered in an LOTR prequel series? (e.g. The Rise and Decline of Gondor, The Dwarve Kingdoms/Wars,...
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A new RP has just started in Moria. Who is joining us?

http://lotrplaza.com/showthread.php…

https://scontent-arn2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/22089462_10154806187606806_8808479437061217514_n.jpg?oh=85267f6d950ea11a23cd70512e600090&oe=5A7BCDA9 Travelling merchants had many curious items to offer, some useful and some that would be bought for fun and later turn into stuff cluttering up the home....
lotrplaza.com

If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.

Merry Christmas

Tulkas

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J.R.R. Tolkien is with Rinku Villasra and 31 others.

We are proud to announce the publication in May 2017 of BEREN AND LÚTHIEN by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Christopher Tolkien and illustrated by Alan Lee. The book... will be published simultaneously in the UK by HarperCollins, in the USA by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and in other languages by numerous Tolkien publishers worldwide.

To pre-order the book, visit the Tolkien website: http://www.tolkien.co.uk/…/978000821…/BEREN+AND+L%C3%9ATHIEN

The tale of Beren and Lúthien was, or became, an essential element in the evolution of The Silmarillion, the myths and legends of the First Age of the World conceived by J.R.R. Tolkien. Returning from France and the battle of the Somme at the end of 1916, he wrote the tale in the following year.

Essential to the story, and never changed, is the fate that shadowed the love of Beren and Lúthien: for Beren was a mortal man, but Lúthien was an immortal Elf. Her father, a great Elvish lord, in deep opposition to Beren, imposed on him an impossible task that he must perform before he might wed Lúthien. This is the kernel of the legend; and it leads to the supremely heroic attempt of Beren and Lúthien together to rob the greatest of all evil beings, Melkor, called Morgoth, the Black Enemy, of a Silmaril.

In this book Christopher Tolkien has attempted to extract the story of Beren and Lúthien from the comprehensive work in which it was embedded; but that story was itself changing as it developed new associations within the larger history. To show something of the process whereby this legend of Middle-earth evolved over the years, he has told the story in his father's own words by giving, first, its original form, and then passages in prose and verse from later texts that illustrate the narrative as it changed. Presented together for the first time, they reveal aspects of the story, both in event and in narrative immediacy, that were afterwards lost.

Published on the tenth anniversary of the last Middle-earth book, the Sunday Times and international Number One Bestseller, The Children of Húrin, this new volume will similarly include drawings and colour plates by Alan Lee, who also illustrated The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit and went on to win an Academy Award for his work on The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.

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Region Mayoral Nominations are open! Check your regions [links in the comments below!]

Let's talk about the future, shall we?

Dear Plazanites. Let’s talk about the regions, shall we? I am sure I could bore you with tales of origins, areas, kingdoms, inceptions, conceptions and perceptions, but that’s not really where I want to go. As you all perceive today, the regions remain one of the cornerstones of the plaza; and yet..…
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Take a trip down memory lane! Courtesy of Morwen Daegomir

Once upon a time in Plaza far, far away... There was a young lass who tumbled into a magical land known as the Plaza. It was February of 2007, and she was young and full of excitement at finding a group of artists and scholars who shared her passion for Tolkien, writing, and creating. She had many a…
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Fancy testing your knowledge? Head to Wilderland and find out!

http://i1382.photobucket.com/albums/ah260/kimlisimply/RAVEN%20HILL_zpsjojnywvt.png Welcome to the grand re-opening of the Ravenhill Trivia Cavern! In a lofty retreat, where scrolls and dust bunnies rule, you will find a place where one can test their knowledge and challenge their minds. Where questi…
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Hi all, the Plaza is holding an Election this week. You can read about it here: http://www.lotrplaza.com/showthread.php…

...Do I have your attention? Yes? Good. Ahem. Bear with me. Being an admin is a complicated business, in ways that few can predict or expect. I’ve been around Vali and Maxar for ten (yes, TEN) years now, and every year brings its share of innovation, of difference, of unforeseen complexity. Naturall…
lotrplaza.com

The Plaza is going to experience some downtime for software upgrades. We should be back up later today.

Happy Tolkien Week everyone! Any related plans for this week?

when was the last time you went on a middle-earth adventure? #wilderland #shadowedlands #westernmountains #eriador

For those of you who wish to contribute financially to lotrplaza...

Hi everyone, Payment for the plaza's server is due very soon, and at the moment the funds available do not cover the cost of keeping this site afloat. As most of you are aware, the plaza's running costs are financed through supporting memberships. Funds from the last Supporting Membership initiative…
lotrplaza.com