The Two Towers Newsletter
The Two Towers, an online game set in Tolkien's world of Middle-Earth, at the time of 'Lord of the Rings'
Adventures in Middle-Earth - For fans, by fans - Established 1994

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Aule's News Post about T2T's Tenth Anniversary in 2004

Note 1277 Aule (05/13/04 08:38) A decade in the making

June 8th, 1994. 7:26pm, Stanford California:

Graham Hesselroth installs the MudOS 0.99 driver onto a machine called "", running the stock TMI-2 mudlib at port 9999.

Graham logs on this newly-created mud as "Ankh". Seeing that all is working, he sends an email to David Rudy,, telling him the mud is up.

David is a student at the Florida Institute of Technology, and knew Graham from a previous mud known as KoBra mud. The two also worked on a project Graham had strated called "Crimson", which Graham had decided to stop work on. David had asked Graham if Crimson's server,, could be used to host a new mud and Graham agreed.

It's 11:19pm in Florida when David returns to his dorm and checks his email. He reads the email from Graham and cannot contain his excitement. He logs on the mud with the name "Krysh".

David sends emails to the other founders: Rob Davis, Todd Magers, and Stephen Tisa. David edits only one file: the login screen, announcing "The Two Towers" mud was Coming Soon.

June 9th

Rob Davis is the first to log on, at 11:38am (2:38pm Florida time), and creates his character "Manwe". Rob tells a friend who creates the character "Marius" soon after. The other founders drop by and create characters: Illuvatar, Tulkas, and Morgoth. These names, like so much else in the new mud, are destinated to change.

June 10th

Something strange happens. New players begin logging in, uninvited to an un-announced mud. Barahir, Yavie, Barak, and Eru were their names.

The TMI-2 mudlib in those days came standard with a feature known as 'InterMud'. This broadcast the existance of the mud around the world, and enabled mud-to-mud mail, remote-who, and remote-finger. The appearance of "The Two Towers" on this InterMud List drew the curious and the bored.

David soon disables and removes the InterMud feature, but not before The Two Towers begins appearing in MudLists across the country as 'in development'.


The founders decide that they should adopt the names of the Valar. The mud shall be run as a council with equal say and vote, and in that spirit no user shall ever be named Eru Illuvatar. The founders changed their names;

Rob becomes Manwe, Lord of the Sky
Todd becomes Orome, the Huntsman
Steve becomes Melkor, the Dark Lord

More than anyone else, Steve fully embraces the Tolkien theme. He sometimes logs on as Morgoth, and plays the dual role of Melkor/Morgoth in the creation of Arda.

David is the last to choose a name. He alone has not read any of the Lord of the Rings, and none of the Silmarillion. Steve reads him names and jobs of the Valar and David chooses to become Mandos, Lord of the Dead. David would eventually read The Lord of the Rings many times, and the Silmarillion. Years later, David changes from Mandos to Aule, the Smith.

The next years move quickly, with Arda growing and expanding at an unbelievable rate. The mud eventually outgrows and sells Tshirts to raise funds to purchase a 486DX4-100 to host the ever-increasing usercounts. The mud machine would see successive upgrades over the years, to a Dec Alpha 533, a Sun Ultra2 2x300, and to it's current form a SunFire v60x 2x2Ghz. A total of three Two Towers T-shirts have been created and sold to fund upgrade and internet hosting costs.

Today the mud is fast and strong - who can imagine what it will look like 10 years from now?


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